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Kuroikaze

Here Is Why I Don't Believe

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What would you do if God told you to kill me? If God said I was a threat to him and I was leading too many people away with my heathen teachings. Would you kill me?

I suspect this won't get directly answered. If it is, it will sound something like, "no I would

never do anything like that, but god in his infinite wisdom, yada, yada, blah, blah..

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Again, I reiterate:

 

"Hind site is 20/20 and God has perfect hind site. He sees everything that we don't and knows what we do not know. Those who choose not to believe that will fight a Christian till the bitter end when they are told that God really does love them. But the proof is there and that won't change. "

The proof of the xtian Gods love is not there as you put. The bible says it one place that he is love yet when you read in context its clear that "God is hate" is the better description. Please show me the justice in eternal punishment for a finite crime. Please show me the justice in your God wiping out whole nations including little babies. If he is not just he cannot be love.

 

Fight all you want, God's message is God's message. People have been fighting since the beginning about what to accept as God's word, what message to send.

You claim its God word yet that same word show that not only is he highly imperfect but vindictive and tarred with the worst attributes of wicked men. Why should I worship somebody who does evil?

 

This is no different. Talk about the cruelty of God, go ahead. Even if you really believe that,

We not only believe but have shown detailed examples of his cruelty that neither you or your fellow xtian apologists can answer rationally.

 

He is still God. But that's ok.

How can he be God? How can the bible "god" be truly God when he is far worse in morals than the worst tyrant that has ever lived. Is it ok in your mind to exterminate babies like your god does?

 

You deny Him in life and He will not force you to live with Him for all eternity. He will give you what you want and you will be separate (no, not literal burning; but like the metaphor even matters cause you don't believe in the bible anyway).

Your Lord and Master is the true devil of creation.You worship a being that does evil.

 

Fine, pick apart the bible and take out any TRULY contradictory statements (yes I too believe that the bible has them) and even the history of the Hebrews actions. You are still left with the message of salvation and it has been the same since the death of Christ.

This does not make sense. If a person finds that the bible cannot possibly be God then that person must act on that knowledge rather than murder their conscience by pretending it does not matter. Your attitude is that "I dont care if he is a devil I will worship him anyway"

 

God came down, limited part of Himself so that He could take the punishment for our mistakes and all we need to do is accept His loving payment and give a sincere "Thank you".

This is just repeating the party line. We have already given good reasons why your god cannot be true but you proceed anyway repeating your theology like a mantra without any support or rational arguments.

 

 

"Gee, that's really hard to accept. I think I'd rather focus on things that I can't possibly know the whole story about because I wasn't there.

The things we object to are not esoteric points or issues but things that relate directly to the nature of the xtian god. If we show you information that points to him being evil then you must deal with them and expplain why our take on them is wrong.

I think I will pick out all the bad things that I (in my infinite wisdom) decide do not meet my perfect standards and call the word of God fake because of it.

Is genocide just a slight imperfection ? Oh yeh sure it it is because we are dealing with sub-humans, people who are not xtians, heck people who are not even of our culture, nuke them all!

 

After all, I am REALLY the one who created the world and everything in it.

Don't dare to assume what I or anybody else thinks on this board. If you are prone to egomania don't project it onto others.

 

It is ME who decided what is righteous and unrighteous.

You think exterminating babies is righteous?? or that eternal torture for a finite crime is good ? We are the ones who object to it, you are the ones who support it. We don't belive this can be God. Those of us who believe in God think it unworthy to attribute the things you attribute to him,.

 

I SEEE ALLLLL! EVERYONE COME TO ME BECAUSE I KNOW MORE THAN GOD!!"

This is just hot air. You provide nothing in the way of quotations from what we have written to support your assertion. You are just thinking bad things about people you do not know. Did not your God warn you about judging the hearts of other people?

 

Give me a break. Your arguments are no different than anyone else.

Then why do you ignore all the points we have raised. If you have answers give us them.

 

You want to fight against God because you do not agree with the choices He made.

No, because we do not think he is God.

 

Well, teenagers with raging hormones and a know-it-all attitude don't agree with their parents either. But their parents are still their parents. If you choose to put your limited understanding above God's infinite wisdom just because you think He "looks cruel and unmerciful" fine.

I believe in God and I also believe the gift of reasoning faculties is something to be used and not buried as you seem intent on doing. To act against conscience is to do wrong. From what you say you routinely ignore your conscience.

 

I pray someday you will see past your limited view but,

Please expand our horizons by explaining what we are missing and less of the rhetoric.

 

if not, I am still thriving on the love and mercy God shows me everyday. My life and my salvation are unchanged and I do not need to understand the Creators every decision. I TRUST that He is just and that is the difference between us. You do not WANT to trust God and so you reject Him based on your limited understanding of His choices.

I only reject your god because he does things unworthy of God. We give you reasons, you do not answer, therefore our decission seems sound whilst yours appears irrational.

 

Even with all I have been through in my life, I still see how God has loved me and shown me the way to improve myself and my family and my life time and time again. Answering prayers (down to the smallest detail) just to show me He is there for me and loves me.

Wow how close and special you are to God. Maybe you can ask him to answer the questions we have raised that you cannot. When you have the answers come back - we wont hold our breath.

 

THAT shows me His love and THAT is what makes me willing to TRUST e other things I do not understand. I research the validity of His message of salvation and leave the rest in His hands. You keep on doing your thing. If it helps you survive, that's great. Me? I prefer to thrive!

Your research is very superficial as you cannot answer the most basic questions. You have not shown what are the grounds for your hope and trust, is this somehting to boast about?

 

 

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Again, I reiterate:

 

"Hind site is 20/20 and God has perfect hind site. He sees everything that we don't and knows what we do not know. Those who choose not to believe that will fight a Christian till the bitter end when they are told that God really does love them. But the proof is there and that won't change. "

 

Fight all you want, God's message is God's message. People have been fighting since the beginning about what to accept as God's word, what message to send. This is no different. Talk about the cruelty of God, go ahead. Even if you really believe that, He is still God. But that's ok. You deny Him in life and He will not force you to live with Him for all eternity. He will give you what you want and you will be separate (no, not literal burning; but like the metaphor even matters cause you don't believe in the bible anyway).

...........blah, blah, blah..............

 

"I am told that I am in danger of hell; that for me to express my honest convictions is to excite the wrath of God. They inform me that unless I believe in a certain way, meaning their way, I am in danger of everlasting fire. There was a time when these threats whitened the faces of men with fear. That time has substantially passed away. For a hundred years hell has been gradually growing cool, the flames have been slowly dying out, the brimstone is nearly exhausted, the fires have been burning lower and lower, and the climate gradually changing. To such an extent has the change already been effected that if I were going there tonight I would take an overcoat and a box of matches. They say that the eternal future of man depends upon his belief. I deny it. A conclusion honestly arrived at by the brain cannot possibly be a crime; and the man who says it is, does not think so. The god who punishes it as a crime is simply an infamous tyrant. As for me, l would a thousand times rather go to perdition and suffer its torments with the brave, grand thinkers of the world, than go to heaven and keep the company of a god who would damn his children for an honest belief."

.......... Robert Ingersoll, "My Reviewers Reviews", lecture in San Francisco, June 27, 1877, reply to attacks by clergymen for his lectures "The Liberty of Man, Woman and Child", and "The Ghosts"

 

Thank you, Colonel Ingersoll! I couldn't have said it better myself!

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Sorry for the rant. My intentions are not to offend and not every comment was made for every person. If some of what I said does not apply to you then it wasn't directed AT you. But there are some responses that required me to be a bit obvious with pointing out their attitude.

 

People ask me for proof and I can sit here all day talking about it. The things I have seen.. the prayers answered in such detail that it could not possibly be coincidence. The facts and evidence... Not that it will matter for those who only want to argue but here is some.

 

Historians have studied the biography of Alexander the Great and have agreed that

- it is a reliable source of history

- distortions and legend didn't start to set in until after 500 years past his lifetime.

- first biography wasn’t written until almost 400 years after his death (about 323 before

Christ.).

 

The standard scholarly dating is that Mark was written in the 70's (about 40 years after the death & Resurrection), Matthew and Luke in the 80's and John in the 90's - all within the lifetime of eyewitnesses! However, these dates are conservative. Many believe the dates are even earlier.

 

Why?

 

The book of Acts

- 2nd book of 2 parts

- written by Paul before he died (common scholarly view, not just a Christian one)

- places it about 62 A.D. (year of his death)

 

Book of Luke

- 1st book placing it before Acts

- has parts of Mark placing Mark before Luke

- If Jesus was put to death around A.D. 30 or 33, that leaves a maximum gap of 30

years before they started documenting the life of Christ!

 

Again, it is widely accepted in the historical field that distortions and legend do not start to set in until 500 years after an event/death of a major figure.

 

Revelation is the book written the latest (about 95 AD) which still places it about 6-65 years after the death and resurrection of Christ.

 

This mean the books accepted in the NT were all written within the life span of many

- eye witnesses and hostile sceptics.

- gave adequate opportunity for dispute of inaccuracies.

- Roman & Jewish history doesn’t argue with the EVENTS of that time. Only their belief

in the truth of Christ's claims.

- Over 34,000 manuscripts found, as of today, to compare accuracy of the NT.

 

We are also talking about an oral society here. It was not uncommon for someone to have the netire OT commited to memory (which is why Jesus spoke in parrable a lot. It made it easier to memorize). And, even when they wrote it down, they went through painstaking efforts to keep the documents accurate. What kind fo efforts?

 

"..the biblical records, and in particular the Jewish Torah, were not copied in a haphazard fashion. The process was so accurate it still amazes historians today. For thousands of years, Jewish scribes carefully copied the original manuscripts of sacred Scriptures without any significant error.

The Masoretic Jewish scribes were so careful that they counted the number of occurrences of every single letter, comparing that count to the "official" count. When a scribe completed his copy, a master examiner would painstakingly count every individual letter to confirm that there were no errors in the newly copied manuscript. This process was so accurate they could pinpoint the exact middle of a book simply by letter count and would check the verse at that point as one of the methods of confirmation. If a single error was found, the entire manuscript was destroyed to ensure that it could never be used as a master copy in the future."

 

Is there proof of the bibles infallibility?

 

Masoretic and Yemenite translations of the Torah

Some time ago, the Yemenite Jews were separated from their brother Jews in the Middle East and Europe. Despite a thousand years of copying their manuscripts in isolation, only nine Hebrew letters in the entire Torah were found to differ from the accepted Hebrew Masoretic text. Not one of these nine changes the meaning of a word.

 

 

-Why isn’t this called reliable?...

Christ's biography: began 30-50 years after His death. How do we know that? Because it

was already being quoted in the 2nd & 3rd century.

 

This would mean that they were already being used by enough people to make quoting

the books worth it. Due to the slow copying process, this would mean they would have

had to be copying for probably decades already in order for them to be that well known.

 

This proves that the actual formation of the New T (not the writing of the actual books,

just the "putting together", of the books)had to have been within about 100 years of Christ’s death.

 

We have gathered enough quotes dated before the end of the 4th century to almost

completely reconstruct the entire New Testament (minus about 11 verses).

 

That is not even taking into consideration the major efforts to not making cipying errors.

 

Alexander's biography (deemed reliable by historical scholars): began 400 years after

his death.

 

Dead Sea Scrolls were found in 1947.

- scroll w/ part of the book of Isaiah

* dated to about 250 years before Christ.

* compared scroll to an 11th century bible and found to be 99.8% accurate!

* Approximately 1,350 years later, less than 1/4 of 1% discrepancy. This

proves the accuracy of the OT far greater than any other historical

document in existence.

 

In John 19:30

- Christ was on the Cross

* His side was pierced and blood and water poured out.

* Today, we know this only happens after death... but they did not have that

kind of science back then. Even 2-300 years later when we have the

earliest quotes from the original books.

 

No one in all of history has ever died for something they KNOW to be a lie. Yes, people have died for lies... but they honestly thought they were dying for truth! They had been tricked.

 

Non-Christian documentation shows that the disciples and early Christians were martyred because they refused to deny that they SAW Jesus heal the sick and raise the dead... the SAW Jesus die on the cross and SAW Him alive again days later. Again NO ONE IN ALL OF HISTORY HAS EVER DIED FOR SOMETHING THEY KNOW TO BE A LIE. If this was a lie, they would KNOW it because they said they SAW it. No one can say that hundreds of people were tricked into what they SAW.

 

Places, money and items recorded in the OT and NT video taped... photographed... some on display. New evidence from recent scientific explorations have confirmed parts of the OT and NT that were once thought to be inaccurate and false. So many cientists are becoming believers because they cannot deny the mounting evidence in the accuracy and reliablility of the historical documentation within the bible.

 

God left us these clues to lead us to His truth.

“Seek and ye shall find”

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Again, it is widely accepted in the historical field that distortions and legend do not start to set in until 500 years after an event/death of a major figure.

 

Yeah.

 

And Elvis is alive.

 

:lmao:

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>snip>

 

I pray someday you will see past your limited view but, if not, I am still thriving on the love and mercy God shows me everyday. My life and my salvation are unchanged and I do not need to understand the Creators every decision. I TRUST that He is just and that is the difference between us. You do not WANT to trust God and so you reject Him based on your limited understanding of His choices.

 

Even with all I have been through in my life, I still see how God has loved me and shown me the way to improve myself and my family and my life time and time again. Answering prayers (down to the smallest detail) just to show me He is there for me and loves me. THAT shows me His love and THAT is what makes me willing to TRUST e other things I do not understand. I research the validity of His message of salvation and leave the rest in His hands. You keep on doing your thing. If it helps you survive, that's great. Me? I prefer to thrive!

 

Does God really have nothing better to do than to dwell on you and yours? I'm sorry, but all your post tells me is how obsessed you are with you.

 

I'm going to post some lyrics here by Todd Rundgren that explains exactly what you are doing. Your post is a perfect example. Read the lyrics but look beyond the words to understand. This person is praying to god to talk to him. God responds, but not in the way the person would understand because the person is worshiping an "IMAGE" of god that was created by man/mankind. So, he is worshiping himself. When god says, "I'm not really here", he is not here in the perceived way of the worshiper.

 

God Said

Composer: Todd Rundgren

 

Nearly everyone I know claims to have heard your voice

And every time they do, I know I should rejoice

Because one day I'm sure you’ll break your silence

And speak just to me

But I feel like time's running out

And my heart, my heart is filling with doubt

 

 

And god said

I don't dwell upon you, I dwell on something else

And I am not really here so get over your self

 

 

I've tried to follow every rule they said you handed down

And spread the sacred testimony all around

And still the others seem to have your ear but never will I

Have I displeased you somehow?

I can't, I can't help feeling left out

 

 

And god said

There's no anger in me, you must mean someone else

Cause it's not me that you see, you're looking at yourself

And I won't give you a prize instead of someone else

Cause I don't play favorites, so get over yourself

 

 

Is it my fear, is it my pride, is it my vanity?

Should your name just be denied to save my sanity?

What is the price I need to pay to have

What others seem to grasp so easily?

Pity your servant your slave

Who'll kiss, kiss your feet to be saved

Save me, save me...

 

 

And god said

You are not serving me, you're serving something else

Cause I don't need to be pleased, just get over yourself

You can't suck up to me, I know you all too well

But I don't dwell upon you, so get over yourself

Cause you're not praying to me, you're praying to yourself

And you're not worshipping me you're worshipping yourself

And you will kill in my name and heaven knows what else

When you can't prove I exist so get over yourself

 

 

So...why would god give you a prize instead of someone else?

 

All religions are are a way for people to connect with the divine. No one knows what that is or if it's really there. There is wisdom in them but when a follower takes it to be exclusive, it's purpose is lost.

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Sorry for the rant. My intentions are not to offend and not every comment was made for every person. If some of what I said does not apply to you then it wasn't directed AT you.

Just stop judging people - period. It’s wrong even by the standards you say you believe in. Remember that according to Jesus what you hand out to others is what you will receive from him in judgment.

 

But there are some responses that required me to be a bit obvious with pointing out their attitude.

Try concentrating on the issues rather than emotional declarations.

 

People ask me for proof and I can sit here all day talking about it. The things I have seen.. the prayers answered in such detail that it could not possibly be coincidence.

Like I say how very, very special you must be. How very good you must be to receive all these favours and the people on this forums must be very evil for never having experienced such things.

 

The facts and evidence... Not that it will matter for those who only want to argue but here is some.

 

Historians have studied the biography of Alexander the Great

I thought we were discussing the veracity of the bible, if it truly is Gods word? What has Alexendar the Great got to do with it?

 

and have agreed that

- it is a reliable source of history

- distortions and legend didn't start to set in until after 500 years past his lifetime.

- first biography wasn’t written until almost 400 years after his death (about 323 before

Christ.).

ditto

 

The standard scholarly dating is that Mark was written in the 70's (about 40 years after the death & Resurrection), Matthew and Luke in the 80's and John in the 90's - all within the lifetime of eyewitnesses! However, these dates are conservative. Many believe the dates are even earlier.

We don’t have the original manuscripts to date we can only guess based on internal evidence. The trouble is how much reliance can be placed on the authors of the gospels? Many people feel that the prophecies that seem to be fulfilled in the gospels are too contrived to be real. The embedded dating hints such as Lukes Gospel running in to Acts when Paul is assumed to be still alive can all fall under the banner of creative writing to produce an effect. Remember how Paul himself has to reassure his readers that he is not lying - presumably the early xtian community were not always noted for accuracy in the retelling of their stories.

 

Why?

 

The book of Acts

- 2nd book of 2 parts

- written by Paul before he died (common scholarly view, not just a Christian one)

- places it about 62 A.D. (year of his death)

 

Book of Luke

- 1st book placing it before Acts

- has parts of Mark placing Mark before Luke

- If Jesus was put to death around A.D. 30 or 33, that leaves a maximum gap of 30

years before they started documenting the life of Christ!

Why should there be any gap at all. Surely every word of somebody who was believed to have been Son of God and had risen from the dead would have been recorded right away. Why wait until 30 years after. Could it be that Jesus and his followers thought thta he would be back real soon riding on the clouds and that there was no need for a written account as there was no time for widespread publication? It points to Jesus being a false prophet - he was only one of many at that time.

 

Again, it is widely accepted in the historical field that distortions and legend do not start to set in until 500 years after an event/death of a major figure.

Oh really that’s nice to know. Come on! Save us from such wild generalisations.

 

Revelation is the book written the latest (about 95 AD) which still places it about 6-65 years after the death and resurrection of Christ.

 

 

This mean the books accepted in the NT were all written within the life span of many

- eye witnesses and hostile sceptics.

The catastrophe of AD70 destroyed the Jewish community in Judea. We have no original NT manuscripts with uncontested datings that go back to these times. The embedded dating info that is claimed within the NT can all be the work of writers long after those times who worked the material to fit an agenda - especially the prophecies. An example is Mathews gospels ludicrous attempt to have Jesus riding two animals simultaneously into Jerusalam in order to conform to a mistaken reading of the prophecy in Zechariah

 

 

- gave adequate opportunity for dispute of inaccuracies.

No, for the reasons given above. Your best approach is use Paul rather than the gospels since we definitely seem to be dealing with a real person there. The only problem is Pauls good news doesn’t seem to conform to the Gospel version of salvation therefore it supports the point mentioned above that the writers of the NT contrived internal (back)dating markers.

 

- Roman & Jewish history doesn’t argue with the EVENTS of that time. Only their belief

in the truth of Christ's claims.

Some people might argue differently right from the opening chapters of the gospels dealing with the birth of Christ and census....

 

 

- Over 34,000 manuscripts found, as of today, to compare accuracy of the NT.

But none from the first century. We have no original NT manuscripts.

 

We are also talking about an oral society here.

And as we all know oral testimony isn’t worth the paper its written on :)

 

It was not uncommon for someone to have the netire OT commited to memory (which is why Jesus spoke in parrable a lot.

Give examples of this.

 

It made it easier to memorize). And, even when they wrote it down, they went through painstaking efforts to keep the documents accurate. What kind fo efforts?

Then how come we end up with two completely different accounts of creation in Genesis ? There are a multitude of contradictions in the bible.

 

 

"..the biblical records, and in particular the Jewish Torah, were not copied in a haphazard fashion. The process was so accurate it still amazes historians today. For thousands of years, Jewish scribes carefully copied the original manuscripts of sacred Scriptures without any significant error.

Like I say why the two opposing creation accounts of Genesis for example.

 

 

The Masoretic Jewish scribes were so careful that they counted the number of occurrences of every single letter, comparing that count to the "official" count. When a scribe completed his copy, a master examiner would painstakingly count every individual letter to confirm that there were no errors in the newly copied manuscript. This process was so accurate they could pinpoint the exact middle of a book simply by letter count and would check the verse at that point as one of the methods of confirmation. If a single error was found, the entire manuscript was destroyed to ensure that it could never be used as a master copy in the future."

The Dead Seas Scrolls generally show the effort made by scribes to maintain accuracy in the Hebrew texts - but there are indeed errors, they are far from perfect. The greek texts of the NT are something different, they are a joke compared to the fidelity of the Dead Sea scrolls for example.

 

Is there proof of the bibles infallibility?

I think you mean text accuracy and not the doctrine relating to Gods inerrant word?

 

Masoretic and Yemenite translations of the Torah

Some time ago, the Yemenite Jews were separated from their brother Jews in the Middle East and Europe. Despite a thousand years of copying their manuscripts in isolation, only nine Hebrew letters in the entire Torah were found to differ from the accepted Hebrew Masoretic text. Not one of these nine changes the meaning of a word.

So what? The NT is pathetic when it comes to text accuracy[/color].

 

 

-Why isn’t this called reliable?...

Because it is so embarrasing. Even at the most elementary of levels scholars do not agree as to what is the ending in Marks gospel.

 

Christ's biography: began 30-50 years after His death. How do we know that? Because it

was already being quoted in the 2nd & 3rd century.

I don’t understand what you mean here, please explain.

 

This would mean that they were already being used by enough people to make quoting

the books worth it. Due to the slow copying process,

this would mean they would have

had to be copying for probably decades already in order for them to be that well known.

 

 

This proves that the actual formation of the New T (not the writing of the actual books,

just the "putting together", of the books)had to have been within about 100 years of Christ’s death.

This proves nothing, you pile one assumption on top of another and reach a conclusion that you think is fact when its no fact at all.

 

We have gathered enough quotes dated before the end of the 4th century to almost

completely reconstruct the entire New Testament (minus about 11 verses).

Is this the best you can do? Almost 400 years after he died is the earliest text reconstruction that can be made. What does this indicate - nothing except doubts as to its accuracy.

 

That is not even taking into consideration the major efforts to not making cipying errors.

The NT manuscripts are a disaster area when it comes to word accuracy. They are full of copyist errors.

 

Alexander's biography (deemed reliable by historical scholars): began 400 years after

his death.

Again so what? What this got to do with the bible. You are comparing apples with oranges to prove that pears are sweet.

 

Dead Sea Scrolls were found in 1947.

- scroll w/ part of the book of Isaiah

* dated to about 250 years before Christ.

* compared scroll to an 11th century bible and found to be 99.8% accurate!

* Approximately 1,350 years later, less than 1/4 of 1% discrepancy. This

proves the accuracy of the OT far greater than any other historical

document in existence.

You mislead. All you have proven is that the Isaiah text has been accurately transmitted from the time of the Dead Sea community copying it but what about all the other books of the OT, especially ones which have obvious internal contradictions like the two opposing accounts of creation in Genesis, never mind the NT manuscripts which are full of copiest errors?

 

In John 19:30

- Christ was on the Cross

* His side was pierced and blood and water poured out.

* Today, we know this only happens after death... but they did not have that

kind of science back then. Even 2-300 years later when we have the

earliest quotes from the original books.

Crucifixtion was a very common form punishment and who is to say that the writer of John was only passing on an observation well known to those who had witnessed such things. "John" only mentions it because it he wants to work it into his theology of blood and water and their symbolism.

 

No one in all of history has ever died for something they KNOW to be a lie. Yes, people have died for lies... but they honestly thought they were dying for truth! They had been tricked.

Give us examples outside of the NT to support your point.

 

Non-Christian documentation shows that the disciples and early Christians were martyred because they refused to deny that they SAW Jesus heal the sick and raise the dead...

Ditto, especially quotes relating to their first hand testimony of Jesus and miracles etc.

 

 

the SAW Jesus die on the cross and SAW Him alive again days later.

ditto

 

Again NO ONE IN ALL OF HISTORY HAS EVER DIED FOR SOMETHING THEY KNOW TO BE A LIE.

How do you know?

 

If this was a lie, they would KNOW it because they said they SAW it. No one can say that hundreds of people were tricked into what they SAW.

Show us evidence outside of the NT that records the death of the 12 apostles.

 

Places, money and items recorded in the OT and NT video taped... photographed... some on display.

Show me the all the records of the Exodus, for example, when millions were supposed to have walked around the place for decades yet there is no archeology to support it. Show us the video tapes and photographs.

 

 

New evidence from recent scientific explorations have confirmed parts of the OT and NT that were once thought to be inaccurate and false. So many cientists are becoming believers because they cannot deny the mounting evidence in the accuracy and reliablility of the historical documentation within the bible.

This is just propaganda. I am reading books just now about people involved in the original examination of the Dead Sea scrolls and their translation and at least two of them have given up on xtianity, Geza Vermes and John Allegro. I suspect that there far more who are giving up on the bible as history than those going the other way. You have to support your assertion.

 

God left us these clues to lead us to His truth.

“Seek and ye shall find”

 

Then why have all then people on this forum, for example, who studied and prayed for many years as xtians given up? It was because Christ never kept his promises, he turned a deaf ear to them if ever he existed but maybe we are not so good and holy as you?

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Again, it is widely accepted in the historical field that distortions and legend do not start to set in until 500 years after an event/death of a major figure.

No, it's not widely accepted, and legends and distortions starts very fast. The more ignorant the people, the faster it grows.

 

--edit--

 

Legends are so common that here's a website dedicated to modern (current, contemporary, get the idea?) legends: http://www.snopes.com/

 

There's one modern legend that I'm trying to find the info for, that is totally amazing. Not even 100 years old. I'll be back later with it.

 

--edit--

 

I'm back.

 

Kat22, look up John Frum and the Cargo Cult. And explain to me how a religion and a legend came out from the WWII soldiers visiting the Tanna island in Vanuatu. Here's a link to a report from a person that made a recent visit: http://travel.ctomberg.com//SouthPacific20...rnal.php?day=22

 

Kat22, I demand an explanation to 500 years versus 60 years!

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Kat22, I demand an explanation to 500 years versus 60 years!

 

Don't forget....Elvis.

 

"Elvis Never Did No Drugs!" - Penn

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and your fate shall be converting ex-c to c

 

how does that sound

 

we shall pray for that

 

Just like when my Xian parents prayed for the recovery of my siblings, and ended up burying their own children instead? Whatever.

 

Your prayers don't work because your god is a fraud. Get a clue, idiot.

 

Fine, pick apart the bible and take out any TRULY contradictory statements (yes I too believe that the bible has them) and even the history of the Hebrews actions. You are still left with the message of salvation and it has been the same since the death of Christ. God came down, limited part of Himself so that He could take the punishment for our mistakes and all we need to do is accept His loving payment and give a sincere "Thank you".

 

Yes, we are left with the message of salvation - the ultimatum that unless we becomes slaves to Jeezus™, forsaking our families, our spouses, our children, and everyone that we love - as well as everything that we love - and be the biggest possible fanatic in his worthless name, we will be eternally tortured in Hell™.

 

Why do you think we don't accept your god or your religion in the first place? Are you too dense? Let me explain; even if your god existed, and was all he claimed to be, I'd still defy him - I'll burn with my parents, my brother and sister (who were not Xian when they died, so they're in Hell, too), my ancestors, my friends on this board and elsewhere, my future wife, and all the good and brave souls who spat in your god's phony face and refused to worship your desert devil.

 

I have found courage and do not fear the "wrath" of the Abrahamic gods.

 

You cannot terrorize or trick me into abandoning my loved ones or my courage.

 

Thank you, Colonel Ingersoll! I couldn't have said it better myself!

 

Nor could I have said it better, Mista Grinch! Nice quote! :goodjob:

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and your fate shall be converting ex-c to c

 

how does that sound

 

we shall pray for that

I thought we already had a prayer request topic for you? Have you done it? I haven't seen or heard anyone getting any results yet... Maybe you should finish those prayers first and then you can get to this one? It probably would amaze me more if my son walked again.

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Again, it is widely accepted in the historical field that distortions and legend do not start to set in until 500 years after an event/death of a major figure.

You have got to be kidding me...

 

I assume you know about the distortions and legends that are surrounding 9/11?

I assume you know about those modern legends known as Urban Myths?

I assume you know about one of the most common of those myths... that Elvis had 40lbs of undigested meat in his colon when he died?

 

 

It is well known, never mind accepted, that distortions and legends appear within months...

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Actually legends starts forming almost immediately. As soon as someone tell someone else about the event, already the exact truth has been tweaked a little.

 

If you tell a story about an event you were part of, you will automatically hide your less favorable side and increas the favorable side. Every kid learn how to do this. And if the story gets told to someone else, it will start to change.

 

The 500 years requirement for a legend is utterly bullshit. I can't believe I even read that! That's utterly ridiculous! History proves to the contrary.

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Historians have studied the biography of Alexander the Great and have agreed that

- it is a reliable source of history

- distortions and legend didn't start to set in until after 500 years past his lifetime.

- first biography wasn’t written until almost 400 years after his death (about 323 before

Christ.).

 

seems shifty to me, i don't know where you got this data from so I'm a little dubious of it, morever this is not really the same thing because no one is asking me to trust the biography of alexander the great with containing all the secrets of life.

 

The standard scholarly dating is that Mark was written in the 70's (about 40 years after the death & Resurrection), Matthew and Luke in the 80's and John in the 90's - all within the lifetime of eyewitnesses! However, these dates are conservative. Many believe the dates are even earlier.

 

actually these are the VERY earliest posbible dates, many scholars date them much later, but its all just educated guesses anyway, there were at least 40 gospels in circulation by the end of the 2nd century (hard to know for sure because the mainline church started killing people with "heritical" gospels after the 2nd cousel of Nicia), all the others were declared heritical by the nicean counsel in the 4th century. How do you know it wasn't the other gospels that were true?

 

Why?

 

The book of Acts

- 2nd book of 2 parts

- written by Paul before he died (common scholarly view, not just a Christian one)

- places it about 62 A.D. (year of his death)

 

Uh...Paul didn't even write Acts...Luke did. If that was really his name :scratch:

 

Book of Luke

- 1st book placing it before Acts

- has parts of Mark placing Mark before Luke

- If Jesus was put to death around A.D. 30 or 33, that leaves a maximum gap of 30

years before they started documenting the life of Christ!

 

Yes and what about the "Q" document? Where does that come into your timeline? besides even in 30 years wierd legends can arise out of nothing...look at how many kooks claim to have seen Elvis alive :grin: Morover the avarage life span in first century was only about 35 years so 30 to 33 years was almost a whole generation at that time.

 

Again, it is widely accepted in the historical field that distortions and legend do not start to set in until 500 years after an event/death of a major figure.

 

No it is not widely accepted, even if your previous claim is true you are taking a specific instance and applying it too all instances which is bad logic. Historians may have other reasons for trusting the historical accuracy of Alexander's biography. I simply don't have enough information on this, and I suspect you do not either

 

Revelation is the book written the latest (about 95 AD) which still places it about 6-65 years after the death and resurrection of Christ. Yes and revelation nearly didn't make the cut for the bible, Even Martin Luther wanted to reopen the cannon and throw it out...Luther said that a book nammed revelation should REVEAL something :grin:

 

This mean the books accepted in the NT were all written within the life span of many

- eye witnesses and hostile sceptics.

- gave adequate opportunity for dispute of inaccuracies.

- Roman & Jewish history doesn’t argue with the EVENTS of that time. Only their belief

in the truth of Christ's claims.

- Over 34,000 manuscripts found, as of today, to compare accuracy of the NT.

 

Lots of people argue with the events of that time, thats because there is a lot to argue about, and not much data to go on. And yes we have lots of manuscripts, those manuscripts show that the NT was clearly edited quite a bit, Like the story in John about the woman caught in adultury was added long after the book was first written, Late 2nd century most likely

 

We are also talking about an oral society here. It was not uncommon for someone to have the netire OT commited to memory (which is why Jesus spoke in parrable a lot. It made it easier to memorize). And, even when they wrote it down, they went through painstaking efforts to keep the documents accurate. What kind fo efforts?

 

"..the biblical records, and in particular the Jewish Torah, were not copied in a haphazard fashion. The process was so accurate it still amazes historians today. For thousands of years, Jewish scribes carefully copied the original manuscripts of sacred Scriptures without any significant error.

The Masoretic Jewish scribes were so careful that they counted the number of occurrences of every single letter, comparing that count to the "official" count. When a scribe completed his copy, a master examiner would painstakingly count every individual letter to confirm that there were no errors in the newly copied manuscript. This process was so accurate they could pinpoint the exact middle of a book simply by letter count and would check the verse at that point as one of the methods of confirmation. If a single error was found, the entire manuscript was destroyed to ensure that it could never be used as a master copy in the future."

 

Is there proof of the bibles infallibility?

 

Masoretic and Yemenite translations of the Torah

Some time ago, the Yemenite Jews were separated from their brother Jews in the Middle East and Europe. Despite a thousand years of copying their manuscripts in isolation, only nine Hebrew letters in the entire Torah were found to differ from the accepted Hebrew Masoretic text. Not one of these nine changes the meaning of a word.

 

yes but we are fairly certain that the OT was edited heavily BEFORE these systems were in place. Issiah for instance, had at least 3 writers and likely more. the Torah, was not written by Moses, but written out piece meal from about 800 B.C.E. and 500 B.C.E. then durring the Babylonian exile it was compled and edited into its modern form.

 

-Why isn’t this called reliable?...

Christ's biography: began 30-50 years after His death. How do we know that? Because it

was already being quoted in the 2nd & 3rd century.

 

Quoted by who? have you read these texts yourself? People write stuff all the time but it doesn't mean that a lot of people were reading it. The church fathers also knew about the gnostic texts as well, and fought about which ones were true

 

This would mean that they were already being used by enough people to make quoting

the books worth it. Due to the slow copying process, this would mean they would have

had to be copying for probably decades already in order for them to be that well known.

 

Uh...it doesn't nessaraly mean any of that, but...whatever

 

This proves that the actual formation of the New T (not the writing of the actual books,

just the "putting together", of the books)had to have been within about 100 years of Christ’s death.

 

Wrong, the bible was canonized in 325 in the council of Nicea, A council of less than 400 out of the total of 1800 bishops of the church voted on and decided the cannon of scripture. Even at Nicea there was much disagrement about theology, to the point of bloodshed in the streets of Rome over the rullings of the council.

 

We have gathered enough quotes dated before the end of the 4th century to almost

completely reconstruct the entire New Testament (minus about 11 verses).

 

That is not even taking into consideration the major efforts to not making cipying errors.

 

Alexander's biography (deemed reliable by historical scholars): began 400 years after

his death.

 

Dead Sea Scrolls were found in 1947.

- scroll w/ part of the book of Isaiah

* dated to about 250 years before Christ.

* compared scroll to an 11th century bible and found to be 99.8% accurate!

* Approximately 1,350 years later, less than 1/4 of 1% discrepancy. This

proves the accuracy of the OT far greater than any other historical

document in existence.

 

still doesn't proove accuracy prior to 2nd century B.C.E. Most of the dead sea scrolls dated closer to first century C.E. anyway.

 

In John 19:30

- Christ was on the Cross

* His side was pierced and blood and water poured out.

* Today, we know this only happens after death... but they did not have that

kind of science back then. Even 2-300 years later when we have the

earliest quotes from the original books.

 

uh....people didn't know what happened when someone died? this just doesn't make sense

 

 

 

No one in all of history has ever died for something they KNOW to be a lie. Yes, people have died for lies... but they honestly thought they were dying for truth! They had been tricked.

 

Have you talked to every person who has ever lived? This is an assertion with no proof. In any case, even if I agreed with you this does nothing but make christianity another one of those lies the people thought were true.

 

Non-Christian documentation shows that the disciples and early Christians were martyred because they refused to deny that they SAW Jesus heal the sick and raise the dead... the SAW Jesus die on the cross and SAW Him alive again days later. Again NO ONE IN ALL OF HISTORY HAS EVER DIED FOR SOMETHING THEY KNOW TO BE A LIE. If this was a lie, they would KNOW it because they said they SAW it. No one can say that hundreds of people were tricked into what they SAW.

 

Very little information is avalable about christians before the 2nd century. It was a very small group and no one really cared about them, Nero only had them killed because he needed a political scapegoat.

 

Places, money and items recorded in the OT and NT video taped... photographed... some on display. New evidence from recent scientific explorations have confirmed parts of the OT and NT that were once thought to be inaccurate and false. So many cientists are becoming believers because they cannot deny the mounting evidence in the accuracy and reliablility of the historical documentation within the bible.

 

Yes, and other studied have shown other parts of the bible to be totaly made up...like the exodus for instance. and who? Which scientists have become fundamentist christians? can you name a single scientst who became a fundamentalist christian AND have made a notable contribution to the scientific community? Don't just make assertions and expect us to believe it, you don't know much biblical history so I'm certianly not just going to take your word for this.

 

God left us these clues to lead us to His truth.

“Seek and ye shall find”

 

RIIIIIGHT If you believe this I have some great farm land to sell you in Florida. :shrug:

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* His side was pierced and blood and water poured out.

* Today, we know this only happens after death... but they did not have that kind of science back then. Even 2-300 years later when we have the earliest quotes from the original books.

uh....people didn't know what happened when someone died? this just doesn't make sense

I second this criticism. Unless the Biblical incident was a beta-test of Spear 1.0, I'd say that a lot of people on just about every battlefield on the planet had already noticed this.

 

Too many B.S. assumptions in your arguments, Kat22. Clean it up and get skeptical and stringent with your evidence. Unsupported assertions get mocked mercilessly in these here parts.

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Historians have studied the biography of Alexander the Great and have agreed that

- it is a reliable source of history

- distortions and legend didn't start to set in until after 500 years past his lifetime.

- first biography wasn’t written until almost 400 years after his death (about 323 before

Christ.).

 

 

Alexader the Great is a bad example

 

There is a lot of contemporaneous writing about him, by friend and foe alike.. His history was a lot more then oral tradition. Of those recorded, few are in contradiction. More information can be gleaned here

 

http://www.livius.org/aj-al/alexander/alexander_z1b.html

 

All these authors lived more than three centuries after the events they described, but they used older, nearly contemporary sources, that are now lost

 

Alexander, left a wake of destroyed and created cities behind. We have buildings, libraries and cities, such as Alexandria, left in his name. We have treaties, and even a letter from Alexander to the people of Chios, engraved in stone, dated at 332 B.C.E. In a British Museum, there is a marble inscription dating from 333 BC which mentions Alexander's dedication of a Temple to Athena.

 

It would be hard to deny that their was a Greek conqueror in the 4th century BC that suddenly disseminated Hellenic culture from Egypt to the Indus, and left behind numerous cities named "Alexandria"

 

Yet no Historian out there says that the extraordinary events surrounding his life are true. He is remembered and revered even in modern military academys as being the most 'succesful' strategist and general in history. These claims are verifiable; not only the people but the situations. It requires no leap of faith to accept the probability that he existed

 

We can only establish some historicity to Alexander because we have evidence that occurred during their life times. Yet even with these evidences, historians have become wary of after-the-fact stories of many of these historians.

 

So does the evidence of Jesus matches up to Alexander?

 

We are also talking about an oral society here. It was not uncommon for someone to have the netire OT commited to memory (which is why Jesus spoke in parrable a lot. It made it easier to memorize).

 

What crock?

 

http://www.theskepticalreview.com/JFTBobbyEtTu.html

 

Turkel apparently thinks that he can appeal to "oral cultural" as a catch-all explanation of any identifiable problem in the Bible, but he cannot explain how his skipped-generation theory could be explained by an "oral culture" that needed genealogies to be abbreviated when some genealogical sections of the Bible ran on and on and on and on and.... Here is just one chapter of genealogical data that extended through eight more chapters.

 

1 Chronicles 1:1

Adam, Seth, Enosh; 2 Kenan, Mahalalel, Jared; 3 Enoch, Methuselah, Lamech; 4 Noah, Shem, Ham, and Japheth. 5 The descendants of Japheth: Gomer, Magog, Madai, Javan, Tubal, Meshech, and Tiras. 6 The descendants of Gomer: Ashkenaz, Diphath, and Togarmah. 7 The descendants of Javan: Elishah, Tarshish, Kittim, and Rodanim. 8 The descendants of Ham: Cush, Egypt, Put, and Canaan. 9 The descendants of Cush: Seba, Havilah, Sabta, Raama, and Sabteca. The descendants of Raamah: Sheba and Dedan. 10 Cush became the father of Nimrod; he was the first to be a mighty one on the earth. 11 Egypt became the father of Ludim, Anamim, Lehabim, Naphtuhim, 12 Pathrusim, Casluhim, and Caphtorim, from whom the Philistines come. 13 Canaan became the father of Sidon his firstborn, and Heth, 14 and the Jebusites, the Amorites, the Girgashites, 15 the Hivites, the Arkites, the Sinites, 16 the Arvadites, the Zemarites, and the Hamathites. 17 The descendants of Shem: Elam, Asshur, Arpachshad, Lud, Aram, Uz, Hul, Gether, and Meshech. 18 Arpachshad became the father of Shelah; and Shelah became the father of Eber. 19 To Eber were born two sons: the name of the one was Peleg (for in his days the earth was divided), and the name of his brother Joktan. 20 Joktan became the father of Almodad, Sheleph, Hazarmaveth, Jerah, 21 Hadoram, Uzal, Diklah, 22 Ebal, Abimael, Sheba, 23 Ophir, Havilah, and Jobab; all these were the descendants of Joktan. 24 Shem, Arpachshad, Shelah; 25 Eber, Peleg, Reu; 26 Serug, Nahor, Terah; 27 Abram, that is, Abraham. 28 The sons of Abraham: Isaac and Ishmael. 29 These are their genealogies: the firstborn of Ishmael, Nebaioth; and Kedar, Adbeel, Mibsam, 30 Mishma, Dumah, Massa, Hadad, Tema, 31 Jetur, Naphish, and Kedemah. These are the sons of Ishmael. 32 The sons of Keturah, Abraham's concubine: she bore Zimran, Jokshan, Medan, Midian, Ishbak, and Shuah. The sons of Jokshan: Sheba and Dedan. 33 The sons of Midian: Ephah, Epher, Hanoch, Abida, and Eldaah. All these were the descendants of Keturah. 34 Abraham became the father of Isaac. The sons of Isaac: Esau and Israel. 35 The sons of Esau: Eliphaz, Reuel, Jeush, Jalam, and Korah. 36 The sons of Eliphaz: Teman, Omar, Zephi, Gatam, Kenaz, Timna, and Amalek. 37 The sons of Reuel: Nahath, Zerah, Shammah, and Mizzah. 38 The sons of Seir: Lotan, Shobal, Zibeon, Anah, Dishon, Ezer, and Dishan. 39 The sons of Lotan: Hori and Homam; and Lotan's sister was Timna. 40 The sons of Shobal: Alian, Manahath, Ebal, Shephi, and Onam. The sons of Zibeon: Aiah and Anah. 41 The sons of Anah: Dishon. The sons of Dishon: Hamran, Eshban, Ithran, and Cheran. 42 The sons of Ezer: Bilhan, Zaavan, and Jaakan. The sons of Dishan: Uz and Aran. 43 These are the kings who reigned in the land of Edom before any king reigned over the Israelites: Bela son of Beor, whose city was called Dinhabah. 44 When Bela died, Jobab son of Zerah of Bozrah succeeded him. 45 When Jobab died, Husham of the land of the Temanites succeeded him. 46 When Husham died, Hadad son of Bedad, who defeated Midian in the country of Moab, succeeded him; and the name of his city was Avith. 47 When Hadad died, Samlah of Masrekah succeeded him. 48 When Samlah died, Shaul of Rehoboth on the Euphrates succeeded him. 49 When Shaul died, Baal-hanan son of Achbor succeeded him. 50 When Baal-hanan died, Hadad succeeded him; the name of his city was Pai, and his wife's name Mehetabel daughter of Matred, daughter of Me-zahab. 51 And Hadad died. The clans of Edom were: clans Timna, Aliah, Jetheth, 52 Oholibamah, Elah, Pinon, 53 Kenaz, Teman, Mibzar, 54 Magdiel, and Iram; these are the clans of Edom.

 

 

This genealogical information went on for eight more chapters, so I would be interested to see Turkel explain how the arrangement of all this genealogical data, which merely parroted some of the same information reported in Genesis and Exodus, aided memorization in the "oral culture" that Turkel used as an explanation for why some writers skipped generations. Furthermore, he needs to explain how his "oral-cultural" explanation is compatible with the chronicler's claim that he had "reckoned all Israel by genealogies" (1 Chron. 9:1) and that those genealogies had been previously "written in the book of the kings of Israel." That doesn't sound as if the chronicler had at all intended to aim his genealogical information at an oral culture but at one that kept written records that could be consulted.

 

.....

I just showed that the chronicler, whose genealogies were among the most extensive and detailed in the Bible, clearly indicated that he was addressing his genealogical data to a literate culture, which could read the information both in his book and a previously written one called "the book of the kings of Israel." Furthermore, I showed here and here that biblical societies were far more literate than Turkel would have his readers believe. Turkel had obviously overstated the need for oral transmission of data and had no doubt done so because he was--and still is--desperately trying to find a way to "explain" discrepancies in the Bible.

 

....

I assume everyone noticed that Turkel did nothing more here than make an unsupported assertion. I have shown above that all of Turkel's talk about memory aids in "oral cultures" is inapplicable to written works, because they were obviously directed to those who were literate. Furthermore, I showed above that the chronicler's genealogies were long and tedious and that he had appealed to "the book of the kings of Israel" (9:1) as the source of his information. Such an appeal certainly suggests that the chronicler was directing his genealogical information to those who could read.

 

 

No one in all of history has ever died for something they KNOW to be a lie. Yes, people have died for lies... but they honestly thought they were dying for truth!

 

Kindly point us to historical or biblical evidence that all the apostles died for their beliefs

 

Non-Christian documentation shows that the disciples and early Christians were martyred because they refused to deny that they SAW Jesus heal the sick and raise the dead

name one non-christian documentation that says the disciples were martyred.

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:ugh: Please don't give me this nonsense about urban legends and the like. When I speak of the change from fact to legend being about 500 years, I am talking about the shifts which (for a time)are widely accepted in HISTORY. Real legends don't even really happen anymore because of video tapes, news papers, libraries with the capability of accessing information from all around the world etc. I don't care about wives tales and scary stories. I care about people from history who are documented and studied about today.

 

And again (forgive the mistaken use of "infallible bible" from before) I agree that there are contradictions in the bible. Some explanations require an in depth conversation (which I will have to deal with later). Some of that is because people are writing what they saw and what was important to them.

 

Another way to explain it is with the analogy of an accident that is viewed by many different people. Each one saw it from a different angle and each one focused on a different part. All the information will not line up perfectly (if it did, they would be accused of collaborating) so you need to put them all together to get the whole picture.

 

The same is true with the bible. Many of the secondary details clash with one another. One example is the names/# of people who are at the tomb, who was in/out of the tomb, time of day etc. But the message is the same throughout: Christ went (was carried - for those who wish to argue technicalities) into the tomb dead and days later the tomb was empty and Christ was seen alive again.

 

Honestly, I get kind of irritated when people try to say the bible isn't trustworthy just because there are contradictions. Some of those same people would also say the same thing if every book in the NT had none. But then their reason would be that "the disciples/translators got together to make sure they had their story straight. Therefore, the whole bible is in question due to collaboration." You just can't satisfy some because they are just bound and determined not to believe (again, I am not addressing everyone- maybe not even anyone- from this discussion).

 

You can also look at other things. Like the fact that, if it was made up or changed into legend, why would they bother keeping documentation that cannot be explained in there? Wouldn't it just be easier to take out the things which make the disciples look bad and the quotes that make people unsure about what the heck Christ meant? After all, you're already changing other things, right? What's a few more?

 

People who want to convince others that something is real, when it's not, try to downplay or eliminate hard to explain or embarrassing documents (after all, what would be the point of adding them in? - further explanation below).

 

Like the fact that women were the ones to see the empty tomb first. Back then (even 300 years later), if they wanted to convince people that a fabrication was truth, they wouldn't have had a woman be the first one to give testimony of what was seen. The words of women were considered (by men not God) "not to be trusted" so it would be pointless to use women for this part if they were just trying to convince people that something they made up was true.

 

And, if you take the descriptions of the apostles before the resurrection and ascension, you have self seeking, unbelieving cowards. How would that help a cause? The only reason to keep that in there is if you are truly trying to keep the word accurate. So, you cannot even take out the stuff that makes the disciples look bad.

 

Please do not respond with "Well, they could have thought about that when they wrote the lie" because, not only is that speculation, but the statement is not based on psychology (which is what you need to understand if you want to convince someone that a story is true). Until recently (within the past several centuries) to go to a psychiatrist was to risk getting part of your brain removed! Even if you only take the manuscripts from 300 years after Christ, they did not have the psychological know-how to manipulate things in such a convincing manner.

 

This is not just speculation, it is psychological fact. Someone who is lying tries to use convincing testimony (from people who the majority would trust, even if they have to fabricate it) and make themselves and their allies look as good as they can. Even now, when we have free access to information on what to do in order to pass a lie as truth, most people do this. How much more so when they did not understand these things?

 

It seems to me that, though there are exceptions, most people just want to bash what I have written, giving their OWN opinion verses documented evidence. So that the same is not said of me, I will gather all of the documented evidence I can find and the sources where they can be verified. It may take me a while before I have it all.

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No Kat, you're completely wrong. Explain the Cargo Cult phenomenon. And show me one trustworthy source that can prove legends take 500 years to develop. It's the most absurd statement of all, so far.

 

--edit--

 

Also consider that you're inconsistent in your conclusions. Today we have media and science to correct us and keep us out of amazing legends, and yet we do have them plentiful. Imagine a time when no TV, no Radio, high illiteracy and low education etc, how legends easily get accepted without proof. Most followers of Christianity didn't have logical, rational, critical thinking in their background or education. Legends could build easily back then. And it's not a matter of lying or telling the truth, it's a matter of Chinese Whisper, where everyone think they're telling the true story, but it gets embellished by the persons own understanding of things.

 

'Send reinforcements, we're going to advance' - 'Send three and fourpence, we're going to a dance.'

 

--edit--

 

Kat, explain how any of the Gospel writers were eyewitnesses to the birth of Jesus.

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Response to Kat22

 

 

Real legends don't even really happen anymore because of video tapes, news papers, libraries with the capability of accessing information from all around the world etc. I don't care about wives tales and scary stories. I care about people from history who are documented and studied about today.

 

The fact is legends do happen today, and people have outlined some of them. The Kennedy Assassination was one of the most videotaped and photographed assassinations in history, yet there are many, many theories and legends about it.

 

And again (forgive the mistaken use of "infallible bible" from before) I agree that there are contradictions in the bible. Some explanations require an in depth conversation (which I will have to deal with later). Some of that is because people are writing what they saw and what was important to them.

 

Many of these contradictions are quite unexplainable.

Another way to explain it is with the analogy of an accident that is viewed by many different people. Each one saw it from a different angle and each one focused on a different part. All the information will not line up perfectly (if it did, they would be accused of collaborating) so you need to put them all together to get the whole picture.

 

But we know that the accident happened. Furthermore, the different views corroborate one another instead of contradicting them.

The same is true with the bible. Many of the secondary details clash with one another. One example is the names/# of people who are at the tomb, who was in/out of the tomb, time of day etc. But the message is the same throughout: Christ went (was carried - for those who wish to argue technicalities) into the tomb dead and days later the tomb was empty and Christ was seen alive again.

 

It's not the same. If there are disagreements as to the simple objective facts, then there is every reason to conclude that it is far from the truth.

Honestly, I get kind of irritated when people try to say the bible isn't trustworthy just because there are contradictions. Some of those same people would also say the same thing if every book in the NT had none. But then their reason would be that "the disciples/translators got together to make sure they had their story straight. Therefore, the whole bible is in question due to collaboration." You just can't satisfy some because they are just bound and determined not to believe (again, I am not addressing everyone- maybe not even anyone- from this discussion).

 

If a story that was supposedly true had numerous contradictions, I would think it not trustworthy, and rightfully so. You can't satisfy people who want something somewhat believable with such problems.

You can also look at other things. Like the fact that, if it was made up or changed into legend, why would they bother keeping documentation that cannot be explained in there? Wouldn't it just be easier to take out the things which make the disciples look bad and the quotes that make people unsure about what the heck Christ meant? After all, you're already changing other things, right? What's a few more?

 

The problem is that it has been changed, altered, made up and more. Doing it further would just be continuing this and it wouldn't help one bit.

 

People who want to convince others that something is real, when it's not, try to downplay or eliminate hard to explain or embarrassing documents (after all, what would be the point of adding them in? - further explanation below).

 

Like the fact that women were the ones to see the empty tomb first. Back then (even 300 years later), if they wanted to convince people that a fabrication was truth, they wouldn't have had a woman be the first one to give testimony of what was seen. The words of women were considered (by men not God) "not to be trusted" so it would be pointless to use women for this part if they were just trying to convince people that something they made up was true.

 

I don't know about that. I do know that the belief that women could not be trusted originated from Christianity (that's a fact, by the way). However, I don't think the same could be said for pre-Christian societies, unless you have something to back that up. This point doesn't mean much IMO.

 

And, if you take the descriptions of the apostles before the resurrection and ascension, you have self seeking, unbelieving cowards. How would that help a cause? The only reason to keep that in there is if you are truly trying to keep the word accurate. So, you cannot even take out the stuff that makes the disciples look bad.

 

It would help the cause because it portrays Jesus as someone who "triumphs over unbelief" and all that. To someone looking into it, it would make this idea of the "saviour" more uplifting.

 

Please do not respond with "Well, they could have thought about that when they wrote the lie" because, not only is that speculation, but the statement is not based on psychology (which is what you need to understand if you want to convince someone that a story is true). Until recently (within the past several centuries) to go to a psychiatrist was to risk getting part of your brain removed! Even if you only take the manuscripts from 300 years after Christ, they did not have the psychological know-how to manipulate things in such a convincing manner.

 

I didn't respond with that. Secondly, the early Christians did manipulate people so they could con them into their cult.

 

This is not just speculation, it is psychological fact. Someone who is lying tries to use convincing testimony (from people who the majority would trust, even if they have to fabricate it) and make themselves and their allies look as good as they can. Even now, when we have free access to information on what to do in order to pass a lie as truth, most people do this. How much more so when they did not understand these things?

 

The inconsistencies show that it wasn't what it was supposed to have been. If someone can't get the facts down on what is an important story to them, that is indicative of the veracity of their story and the beliefs which come from it.

 

It seems to me that, though there are exceptions, most people just want to bash what I have written, giving their OWN opinion verses documented evidence. So that the same is not said of me, I will gather all of the documented evidence I can find and the sources where they can be verified. It may take me a while before I have it all.

 

What "documented evidence" (not the Bible) do you have to support your conclusions?

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:ugh: Please don't give me this nonsense about urban legends and the like. When I speak of the change from fact to legend being about 500 years, I am talking about the shifts which (for a time)are widely accepted in HISTORY.

 

Like Han said provide PROOF.

You can also look at other things. Like the fact that, if it was made up or changed into legend, why would they bother keeping documentation that cannot be explained in there? Wouldn't it just be easier to take out the things which make the disciples look bad and the quotes that make people unsure about what the heck Christ meant? After all, you're already changing other things, right? What's a few more?

You think this hasn't already been done? How about all the gospels that were excluded from the Bible? You are apparantly unfamiliar with how these particular books were chosen to be considered "canon" and why others weren't.

 

Either learn some real history (not including some BS that 500 years = legend status whoever told you that was being a real ass and taking advantage of a gullible idiot), or go the hell away.

 

Like the fact that women were the ones to see the empty tomb first. Back then (even 300 years later), if they wanted to convince people that a fabrication was truth, they wouldn't have had a woman be the first one to give testimony of what was seen. The words of women were considered (by men not God) "not to be trusted" so it would be pointless to use women for this part if they were just trying to convince people that something they made up was true.

 

Ah. WISHFUL BIBLICAL FEMINISM.......gotta love it. Tell me Kat, SO WHAT if the women supposedly saw Jesus first when the verses afterward describe how the disciples (ones with penises! Really!) supposedly saw Jesus afterward too? Without the MEN collaborating the STORY....the wishful thinking of those weak ignorant "little women" would have remained wishful thinking and remained an unwritten "wives tale".......except the story was USEFUL to the men of the period.

 

Please do not respond with "Well, they could have thought about that when they wrote the lie" because, not only is that speculation, but the statement is not based on psychology (which is what you need to understand if you want to convince someone that a story is true). Until recently (within the past several centuries) to go to a psychiatrist was to risk getting part of your brain removed! Even if you only take the manuscripts from 300 years after Christ, they did not have the psychological know-how to manipulate things in such a convincing manner.

 

This is not just speculation, it is psychological fact. Someone who is lying tries to use convincing testimony (from people who the majority would trust, even if they have to fabricate it) and make themselves and their allies look as good as they can. Even now, when we have free access to information on what to do in order to pass a lie as truth, most people do this. How much more so when they did not understand these things?

 

Do you have a degree in psychology??? I DO. And I think you can shut the fuck up. It doesn't take a modern understanding of psychology to understand how to manipulate the masses.

 

Ever read "The Prince" by Machiavelli? How about The Art of War by Sun Tzu?

 

Nevermind. Evidence suggests you haven't picked up a book aside from the bible since you left high school. Anything else you read probably has shiny pages and lots of mail in inserts.

 

I will gather all of the documented evidence I can find and the sources where they can be verified. It may take me a while before I have it all.

 

Boo Hoo. None of us had to do any research to decide to give the cornerstone of our lives the grand heave ho. We couldn't wait to throw away religion and risk going to hell! The decision was so easy! [this is sarcasm you twit......most of us have done more research than you could begin to imagine]

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:ugh: Please don't give me this nonsense about urban legends and the like. When I speak of the change from fact to legend being about 500 years, I am talking about the shifts which (for a time)are widely accepted in HISTORY. Real legends don't even really happen anymore because of video tapes, news papers, libraries with the capability of accessing information from all around the world etc. I don't care about wives tales and scary stories. I care about people from history who are documented and studied about today.

 

Naked assertion. What the hell is a "real" legend?

 

And again (forgive the mistaken use of "infallible bible" from before) I agree that there are contradictions in the bible. Some explanations require an in depth conversation (which I will have to deal with later). Some of that is because people are writing what they saw and what was important to them.

Another way to explain it is with the analogy of an accident that is viewed by many different people. Each one saw it from a different angle and each one focused on a different part. All the information will not line up perfectly (if it did, they would be accused of collaborating) so you need to put them all together to get the whole picture.

 

The writers of the bible were working off of secondary accounts. They weren't eyewitnesses. At the very earliest, the gospel accounts were written 40 years after the death of Jesus. This was AFTER decades of passing on the information.

 

The same is true with the bible. Many of the secondary details clash with one another. One example is the names/# of people who are at the tomb, who was in/out of the tomb, time of day etc. But the message is the same throughout: Christ went (was carried - for those who wish to argue technicalities) into the tomb dead and days later the tomb was empty and Christ was seen alive again.

 

THAT kind of contradiction would have the evidence thrown out of court. You're not even taking into consideration the untrustworthiness of eyewitness testimony in a court of law. And if it was only the women who did see that, then why the hell do we not include the Gospel of Mary in the bible? If anything, Mary saw more of Jesus than any of the Apostles.

 

You can also look at other things. Like the fact that, if it was made up or changed into legend, why would they bother keeping documentation that cannot be explained in there? Wouldn't it just be easier to take out the things which make the disciples look bad and the quotes that make people unsure about what the heck Christ meant? After all, you're already changing other things, right? What's a few more?

 

Because they have an agenda to spread this exclusive religion.

 

People who want to convince others that something is real, when it's not, try to downplay or eliminate hard to explain or embarrassing documents (after all, what would be the point of adding them in? - further explanation below).

 

They don't believe it isn't real, dude.

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Please do not respond with "Well, they could have thought about that when they wrote the lie" because, not only is that speculation, but the statement is not based on psychology (which is what you need to understand if you want to convince someone that a story is true). Until recently (within the past several centuries) to go to a psychiatrist was to risk getting part of your brain removed! Even if you only take the manuscripts from 300 years after Christ, they did not have the psychological know-how to manipulate things in such a convincing manner.

 

This is not just speculation, it is psychological fact. Someone who is lying tries to use convincing testimony (from people who the majority would trust, even if they have to fabricate it) and make themselves and their allies look as good as they can. Even now, when we have free access to information on what to do in order to pass a lie as truth, most people do this. How much more so when they did not understand these things?

Maybe I'm not understanding you correctly here, and I don't believe the bible was written in whole in order to deceive people. But, I can't understand what you are saying here...are you saying that they would need a psychiatrist to gain the know-how to manipulate things in a convincing manner? Didn't the NEED for pyschiatrists develop because of pyschological problems not the other way around? :twitch:

 

Like I said...I could be misunderstanding you.

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Kat: Another way to explain it is with the analogy of an accident that is viewed by many different people. Each one saw it from a different angle and each one focused on a different part. All the information will not line up perfectly (if it did, they would be accused of collaborating) so you need to put them all together to get the whole picture.

This argument only holds if you reject the bible as being the word of God. Do you?

 

The same is true with the bible. Many of the secondary details clash with one another. One example is the names/# of people who are at the tomb, who was in/out of the tomb, time of day etc. But the message is the same throughout: Christ went (was carried - for those who wish to argue technicalities) into the tomb dead and days later the tomb was empty and Christ was seen alive again.

One account may include details not found in another account but what is not acceptable (if you claim its the word of God) is when accounts completely contradict one another, e.g both cannot be true.

 

Honestly, I get kind of irritated when people try to say the bible isn't trustworthy just because there are contradictions.

Why do you get annoyed? Xtianity says the bible is the very word of God and if people simply point out that it cannot be because of the blatent contradictions then the frustration you feel is perhaps due to the suppression of the truth.

 

 

Some of those same people would also say the same thing if every book in the NT had none.

How do you know that?

 

But then their reason would be that "the disciples/translators got together to make sure they had their story straight.

Mathew has Jesus riding simultaneously on a two different animals when he enters Jerusalem due to a poor translation of a passage from Zechariah in order to make sure the story was straight as you suggest. If the God described in the bible was good then a perfect text would not give rise to suspicions. The problem is that the bible God is not good so people are right to question everything else.

 

 

Therefore, the whole bible is in question due to collaboration." You just can't satisfy some because they are just bound and determined not to believe (again, I am not addressing everyone- maybe not even anyone- from this discussion).

ditto

 

You can also look at other things. Like the fact that, if it was made up or changed into legend, why would they bother keeping documentation that cannot be explained in there? Wouldn't it just be easier to take out the things which make the disciples look bad and the quotes that make people unsure about what the heck Christ meant? After all, you're already changing other things, right? What's a few more?

At face evalue this is a strong point but lets take one example. Peter denies Christ three times but in the Gospel of John the resurrected Jesus appears on the shoreline and Peter makes his three fold profession of love to atone. The one who had said he would never abandon Christ has been duly humbled and Christ now appoints him the chief shepherd. The dialogue that takes place when Christ asks "do you love (agape) me" and Peter replies with the lower from of love as an act of humility "you know I love ( philos) you" seems very contrived and only understandable to a greek speaking audience, it doesn't ring true as verbal exchange takling place of the shores of Lake Galilee.

People who want to convince others that something is real, when it's not, try to downplay or eliminate hard to explain or embarrassing documents (after all, what would be the point of adding them in? - further explanation below).

The differernt gospels represent different strands passed down through different communities and subject to all the normal distortions in the passage, either accidental or deliberate. They may all have shared the same kernal of myth at some point. Many years later when people started to put together the NT they might just simply have been honest in recording everything that had been handed down.

 

Like the fact that women were the ones to see the empty tomb first. Back then (even 300 years later), if they wanted to convince people that a fabrication was truth, they wouldn't have had a woman be the first one to give testimony of what was seen. The words of women were considered (by men not God) "not to be trusted" so it would be pointless to use women for this part if they were just trying to convince people that something they made up was true.

What you say may be broadly correct but remember the women who saved Israel at keys points in it history? Just because society was generally male dominated did not exclude the presence of women at key spiritual turning points in its history. In the bible Israel is often likened to a women. Its even more important to realise that women played a far more visible role in pagan religions and the NT as we have it was targeted largely at a Greek audience.

 

And, if you take the descriptions of the apostles before the resurrection and ascension, you have self seeking, unbelieving cowards. How would that help a cause? The only reason to keep that in there is if you are truly trying to keep the word accurate. So, you cannot even take out the stuff that makes the disciples look bad.

I gave you one example above where Peter is humbled but nevertheless there is a strong suggestion of it being a literary contrivance.

 

Please do not respond with "Well, they could have thought about that when they wrote the lie" because, not only is that speculation, but the statement is not based on psychology (which is what you need to understand if you want to convince someone that a story is true). Until recently (within the past several centuries) to go to a psychiatrist was to risk getting part of your brain removed! Even if you only take the manuscripts from 300 years after Christ, they did not have the psychological know-how to manipulate things in such a convincing manner.

ditto

 

This is not just speculation, it is psychological fact. Someone who is lying tries to use convincing testimony (from people who the majority would trust, even if they have to fabricate it) and make themselves and their allies look as good as they can. Even now, when we have free access to information on what to do in order to pass a lie as truth, most people do this. How much more so when they did not understand these things?

A clever liar factors in all the points you made.

 

It seems to me that, though there are exceptions, most people just want to bash what I have written, giving their OWN opinion verses documented evidence.

You have not really answered all the points raised but are simply making vague generalised statements. As yet you have not provided any real evidence to support the idea that the bible is truly the word of God.

 

So that the same is not said of me, I will gather all of the documented evidence I can find and the sources where they can be verified. It may take me a while before I have it all.

Look forward to reading it.

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Here is some stuff to look over. Though this is information I have already studied, I copied and pasted (just so no one thinks I am trying to steal someone elses work) this because this site has the sources in an easy to find format. I do not have that put together yet. So, here you go...

 

Sources:

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I got some of the information from Craig Blomberg's interview in Lee Strobel's book "Case For Christ"

 

Craig is a professor of New Testament at the Denver Seminary since 1986.

Here is Craig's home webpage: click here

 

 

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Who wrote the Gospels ?

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Craig Bloomberg on the authorship of the Gospels:

 

The Gospels are anonymous (authors name are not mentioned in the Gospels)

 

Testimonies of the early chruch fathers (in particular Eusebius) state that the authors are Matthew, Mark, Luke and John (the disciple).

 

Eusebius: (c. 260 - c. 340)

 

 

 

Bishop Eusebius of Caesarea (c. 260 - c. 340) is the first "Church Historian".

He wrote "History of the Church" covering the period of the first Apostles down to his own days.

 

 

Here is a webpage containing his work: click here

 

Here is another copy: click here

 

Early Church Fathers on the Authorship of the Gospels:

 

 

Irenaeus (120-203 AD -- click here) in regard to the authors of the scriptures:

 

"Matthew published his Gospel among the Hebrews in their own language, while Peter and Paul were preaching and founding the church in Rome. After their departure Mark, the disciple and interpreter of Peter, also transmitted to us in writing those things which Peter had preached; and Luke, the attendant of Paul, recorded in a book the Gospel which Paul had declared. Afterwards John, the disciple of the Lord, who also reclined on his bosom, published his Gospel, while staying at Ephesus in Asia."

---- In "Against Heresies" 3.1.1, and also quoted in Church History, Book V, Chapter 8 (See: click here )

 

 

 

 

Eusebius on the composition and order of the 4 Gospels in "History of the Church", citing Clement of Alexandria (150-213 --- click here):

Again, in the same books [the Hypotyposeis], Clement gives the tradition of the earliest presbyters, as to the order of the Gospels, in the following manner: "The Gospels containing the genealogies [i.e. Matt and Luke], he says, were written first. The Gospel according to MARK had this occasion. (My comment: MARK was written before Luke) As Peter had preached the Word publicly at Rome, and declared the Gospel by the Spirit, many who were present requested that Mark, who had followed him for a long time and remembered his sayings, should write them out. And having composed the Gospel he gave it to those who had requested it. When Peter learned of this, he neither directly forbade nor encouraged it. But, last of all, JOHN, perceiving that the external facts had been made plain in the Gospel, being urged by his friends, and inspired by the Spirit, composed a spiritual Gospel." This is the account of Clement.

(Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History 6.14.5-7 - See: click here ).

 

 

 

 

Here is a webpage detailing the portion of "History of the Church" related to the authorship of the Gospels is here: click here

 

Summary on the authorship of the Gospels from Case for Christ:

 

Bible scholars believe that the Gospels were written in the following order:

 

Mark - Matthew - Luke - John

They say this based on the observation that some material in Matthew and Luke may be copied from Mark....

 

Clement however, said that the order is:

 

 

Matthew - Luke - Mark - John

 

The authorship of the Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke are not in dispute and confirmed by writing of early Church Fathers (bishops)

 

The authorship of John is uncertain, because there were 2 different John's - Papias mentioned "John the apostle" and "John the Elder" and it is not clear which John wrote the "Gospel of John".... However, from the way that the "Gospel of John" was written (it mentions that the Gospel was written by the disciple loved by Jesus), the gospel is attributed to "John the apostle".

 

So:

all 4 gospels were written by people who either witnessed the events first hand (Matthew and John) or by people that are intimately acquainted to people that witnessed the events first hand (Mark was a good friend of Peter and Luke is the "beloved physician" of Paul).

 

 

In other words: the event that they recorded are based on either direct or indirect eyewitness testimony

We can be assured that the information recorded in very accurate (or else they deliberately lied)

 

 

 

Further evidence of Gospel authorship

The following extra information further confirm the authorship of the 4 Gospels:

 

 

There are no competing authors

 

The lack of prominance of the first 3 authors substantiates the fact that they were the geniune authors:

 

Matthew was a hated tax collector

Mark was the travelmate of Peter and was not part of the original disciples of Jesus

Luke was the travelmate of Paul and was also not part of of the original disciples.

The reason that they are mostly be the genuine author is the following:

 

 

If you were gonna fabricate some gospel about Jesus, you would want prominent authors - like Peter to give it more "weight".

 

"Other" Gospels

 

If you think that there are only 4 Gospels were written, you are wrong.... There are many many more.

 

The are many apocryphal gospels that have been dated much later - they often carry "heavy weight" names, for example:

 

The Gospel of Thomas (Dated around 150 AD)

The Gospel of Peter (Dated around 130 AD)

These gospels are rejected) by the Church leaders at that time (who were naturally the people with the right skill and knowledge to judge on this matter) as apocryphal (false teachings)

 

(See the Canon of the New Testament later for more details)

 

 

Just to give you a taste why these gospels by "famous" apostels were rejected:

 

Gospel of Thomas - Dated around 150 AD: click here

Gospel of Thomas, 13:

Jesus said to his disciples, "Compare me to something and tell me what I am like"

 

Simon Peter said to him, "You are like a just (righteous) messenger".

 

 

 

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Gospel of Thomas, 114:

Simon Peter said to them, "Make Mary leave us, for females don't deserve life"

 

Jesus said, "Look, I will guide her to make her male.... For every female who makes herself malewill enter the kingdom of Heaven"

 

 

 

Compare what you read in the gospel of Thomas to the 4 Gospels and you conclude that if the 4 Gospels report true facts, then the gospel of Thomas is either lying, or is an "interesting work by a novelist - writing from his/her imagination.

 

 

Gospel of Peter - Dated about 130 AD click here :

This gospel starts off very convincingly.... but when you reach about the end, when it tells the event of the resurrection, you start to suspect the author:

 

Verse 9:

... (3) and they (the soldiers who were guarding the tomb) saw the heaven opened and two men descending shining with a great light, and they drew near the tomb. (4) The stone which had been set on the door rolled away by itself and moved to one side, and the tomb was opened and both of the young men went in.

 

 

 

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My comment: There were NO eyewitnesses to the resurrection. This must be fantasy... The fantasy gets even better:

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Verse 10:

 

...they saw three men (the two men that went inside the tomb and the third is probably Jesus) come out of the tomb, tow of them sustaining the other one, and a cross following after them

 

 

 

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My comment: Wait, it gets even better:

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The head of the two they saw (the two angels) had heads that reached up to heaven, but the head of him that was led by them went beyong heaven

 

--- In other words: the reseurrected Jesus was HUGE....

 

 

 

First, no one was present when the stone was rolled away - certainly not Peter. The description of the stone rolling away must be from someone's imagination.

 

Second, the authentic Gospels never reported a cross following Jesus...

 

Third, the authentic Gospels tell us that the resurrected Jesus was as normal as He was before He was crucified. He was not HUGE with a head reaching beyond the heaven....

 

The early Church fathers were very careful on what to accept as "Gospel": one of the criteria was that the document must be written by someone who knew Jesus or someone who was a long time company with someone who knew Jesus

 

 

 

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When were the Gospels written ?

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The importance of dating ancient documents

 

Human memory fades and humans tends to make stories more fantastic than what they were

 

On the other hand, when an event is written down, the accuracy (truth) of the event is perserved longer because it is no longer depending on human memory

 

The length of time between the event and the date of the recording of the event is a very important measure for accuracy:

 

If the recording of the event is within one generation (about 70 yrs or so), then the recording is very accurate - because within one generation, hostile witnesses will testify against the writing and false writing will usually die away (poorly perserved)

 

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, but even with such a liberal dating, all gospels are wriiten within the lifetime of various EYEWITTNESSES of the life of Jesus INCLUDING hostile ones

 

This fact is important - human nature being what it is - if false teaching about Jesus were going around (e.g., that Jesus' resurection was false), these hostile witnesses would make sure any false teaching were corrected

 

Can the Gospels contain Legends ????

 

Legends are untrue or unverifiable stories handed down from the pasts

 

It is common to beautify important historical events - so called legend development

 

For example:

The earliest biographies of Alexander the Great were written by

 

 

Arrian

 

Plutarch (47-121 AD) in "Lives" around 100 AD

 

Here is a Biosketch of Plutarch: click here

Here is a page on Alexander by Plutarch click here

Alexander died in 323 B.C. - so Plutarch wrote about Alexander about 400 years after the death of Alexander

 

Historians consider these work generally trustworthy

 

 

Later writings did emerge later and they contained legendary material

 

Legend material can develop when the account of the event is written down long after the event took place - typically more than 2 or 3 generations.

 

The Gospels were written within a very very shorter time after the happening of the events - 40 years or so after Jesus' death (compare that to the 400 years after Alexander's death when Alex's history was written down !)

Furthermore, because the Gospels were written within ONE generation, the hostile witnesses that witnessed the same events that the disciples were preaching were also alive and they can testify against the New Testament IF THE GOSPEL WAS FALSE.

 

Now:

 

 

There are NO HISTORICAL RECORDS found that indicate that the hostile witnesses testified that the gospel material was UNTRUE,

Instead, we DO find HISTORICAL RECORD where these hostile witnesses were trying to CREATE ALTERNATE EXPLANATIONS FOR THE (SAME) EVENTS REPORTED BY THE GOSPELS

 

 

Example: "The disciples stole the body" see Matthew.

This strongly support that the events reported in the Gospels are in fact the true and are NOT legends !!!

 

 

Hostile Testimony against the Bible:

Examples of hostile testimony can be found in the Gospel and other writings

 

 

Matthew reports that Jewish leaders trying to "explain away" the resurrection by saying that "the disciples stole the body" (see Matthew 28:13-15):

....they gave enough silver to the soldiers. saying: "Say that His disciples came by night and stole His body away while we slept.".... And taking the silver, they did as they were taught. And this saying was spread amongthe Jews until today.

 

 

What can we learn from this ?

 

 

That Jesus did die, was buried and his body is really gone.

 

What can we conclude what is happening back then:

 

 

Jesus' disciples were preaching that Jesus had resurrected. The Jewish leaders did not believe that Jesus was the resurrected Messiah.

 

All the Jewish leaders had to do to shut Jesus' disciples up was to produce Jesus' dead body and show it to the people.

 

Yet, they could not do that because they had a problem: the dead man's body is gone...

 

They had to "explain it away" - their explanation: Jesus' disciples stole the body....

Think ! Who do YOU believe ?

 

 

Does the story that the disciple stole the body make sense ?

 

What evidence do you have that they didn't steal Jesus' body ?

Let me tell you that we have historical evidence that many of Jesus' disciples die a horrible death because they refuse to preach a "different gospel" - there are written records that Paul and James (Jesus' brother) were persecuted.

 

I know of human nature that humans do not willing suffer for a lie

 

But on the other hand, if you have seen someone die and later see that same person alive again (Paul and James said they did), then I can understand why one would rather die than to change one's story even under persecution....

 

 

The Jewish Talmud and Josephus reported that Jesus used "sorcery" to lead people astray....

What can we learn from this ?

 

That Jesus did perform miracles....

 

 

Here is another example where the hostile witnesses DID NOT DENY the fact that Jesus performed many UNEXPLANABLE DEEDS

 

They can't explain the miraculous things that Jesus did, and instead of DENYING it the Jewish leaders "explained" it away (by saying that Jesus was a soccerrer rather than admitting that He was the Messiah (or even a prophet).

 

 

 

 

Indications that the Gospels were written much earlier:

 

Jesus predicted that the Temple of Jerusalem will be destroyed and the Temple was indeed destroyed in 70 A.D. by the Romans.

The gospel writers would certainly include this historially important fact but did not - the reason they omitted it may be because the gospels were written before 70 A.D.

 

 

Acts was written by Luke after Luke has written the Gospel of Luke.

At the end of Acts, Luke describes Paul being in Rome under house arrest in 62 A.D. - and ends without telling us the fate of Paul

 

Paul was executed by Nero and Nero died in June 68 A.D.... so Paul was executed before that 68 A.D. - if Luke knew about his death, he would certainly wrote about it.

 

So Acts was probably written between 62 A.D. and 68 A.D, most likely in 62 A.D. when Paul was under house arrest (Luke was with him and he had time writing).

 

Since Luke wrote the Gospel of Luke before Acts, this gospel would be written before 60 A.D. - which is only about 30 years (a very short time !!!) after Christ's resurrection !

 

 

Even earlier documents: Paul's letters !!!

 

Paul's journey in Galatia and the Greek island did not leave behind many churches but - and probably his most important legacy - a large number of letters (that he wrote to the churches that he has established)

 

Dating Paul's letters:

 

The Gospels were all written after Paul's letters !

 

the Crucifixion occured around 30 A.D.

 

Paul's conversion occured around 32 A.D.

 

Paul's first meeting with the apostles in Jerusalem occured around 35 A.D. ( Acts 9:26)

 

Paul's ministry probably began in the 40's A.D.

 

Paul's letter were probably written in the 50's A.D.

 

Conclusion: Paul's letter were written in a very short 20 years after Christ's resurrection - within the lifetime of many many many eyewitnesses - favorable and unfavorable ones.

 

A VERY EARLY Christian Creeds in Paul's letter

All fundamental creeds of Christianity are confirmed in Paul's letters

 

 

Creed: "Jesus is (Son of) God" - (God, who has called you into fellowship with his Son Jesus Christ.... 1 Corinthians 1:9)

 

Creed: "Jesus died for our sins" - (For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Jesus died for our sins according to the Scriptures.... (1 Corinthians 15:3 )

 

Creed: "Jesus resurrected from the death" - (..., that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures (1 Corinthians 15:3 )

 

An Interesting Point made by Craig Blomberg:

 

Paul's first meeting with the apostles in Jerusalem occured around 35 A.D. (after Paul met Jesus and got blind in Damascus)

 

Paul's letter to the Corinthians mentioned that "he received some teaching that he is passing on" (the teaching are the creeds in 1 Corinthians 15):

For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received, that Christ died for our sins, according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures and that He was seen by Cephas, then by the twelve. Afterwards He was seen by over five hundred brothers at once, of whom the greater part remain until the present day, but also some fell asleep. Afterwards, He was seen by James, then by all the apostles. And last of all He was seen by me also.

 

 

 

So in 35 A.D. - only a 3 or 4 years after Christ's death and resurrection - when Paul spoke with Peter, he was told that "Christ died for our sins", "He was buried", "He rose again the third day" and "He was seen by Cephas....".

That is WAY TOO SHORT a time to form any legends !!!

 

 

Some other facts in support of the fact that the Gospels do NOT contain legends

 

The Gospels report the "ugliness" of their leaders

Suppose, just suppose that the Gospels were legends; suppose that the disciples were inventing a new religion....

 

What do you think they would do ?????

 

THINK !

 

If you are gonna invent a new religion to ATTRACT a lot of people, you want the leaders of the new religion to be as immaculate/perfect as possible... (Who would want to follow a criminal or scumbag as a religious leader ???)

 

Take Peter for example - the leader of the disciples. Would Peter - being one of the main man of this newly invented religion - invent a gospel where he denies Jesus not once, not twice, but THREE TIMES ???? Would Peter portraited himself as a COWARD in his own invented religion ???

 

Peter - the leader of the apostles and the most important pillar of the early Christian church - denied Jesus not once, but three times. The Gospels could have easily omitted this fact, but did not !

 

 

 

No man will die for his own lies

Most of the original Disciples of Jesus were persecuted to death. If they have invented this "gospel" themselves, they would know it is a lie. Human nature is such that:

 

 

Some man will die for the truth

Some man may even die for a lie invented by someone else

But NO man will die for a lie invented by himself

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Historians have studied the biography of Alexander the Great and have agreed that

- it is a reliable source of history

- distortions and legend didn't start to set in until after 500 years past his lifetime.

- first biography wasn’t written until almost 400 years after his death (about 323 before

Christ.).

 

The standard scholarly dating is that Mark was written in the 70's (about 40 years after the death & Resurrection), Matthew and Luke in the 80's and John in the 90's - all within the lifetime of eyewitnesses! However, these dates are conservative. Many believe the dates are even earlier.......

____________________

 

Please don't give me this nonsense about urban legends and the like. When I speak of the change from fact to legend being about 500 years, I am talking about the shifts which (for a time)are widely accepted in HISTORY. Real legends don't even really happen anymore because of video tapes, news papers, libraries with the capability of accessing information from all around the world etc. I don't care about wives tales and scary stories. I care about people from history who are documented and studied about today.

 

(sigh) ... is this discussion going on again......

 

(HanSolo) And show me one trustworthy source that can prove legends take 500 years to develop. It's the most absurd statement of all, so far.

 

I completely agree.....

 

Han would you like some scholarly opinion on the subject - I mean mainstream scholarly opinion - as in (and we've covered this before) 90% or more of Biblical scholars agree? Following is an interesting excerpt from this site: http://www.sbl-site.org/Publications/JBL/JBL1233.pdf

 

The site is The Society of Biblical Literature. A description of their work is as follows:

 

The Society of Biblical Literature (SBL) supports the critical investigation of the Bible. Founded in 1880, SBL is a member of the American Council of Learned Societies. The Society provides conversation partners and resources for those interested in the religions, history, literature, and culture of the ancient Near Eastern world.

 

Over 6,000 members from every continent provide a forum to test ideas and advance the understanding of the Bible's role in the public arena.

 

And now for the excerpt.....

 

Fourth, the Gospel of Mark works well as oral literature. It is of an appropriate length for oral performance. A storyteller could learn it from simply hearing it performed. As I and others have argued elsewhere, its composition consists of oral composition techniques. Briefly, the story consists of happenings that can be easily visualized and thus readily remembered. It consists of short episodes connected paratactically. The narrative is additive and aggregative. Teaching is not gathered into discourses according to topic but rather embedded in short narratives, which is the way oral cultures remember teaching. Indeed, I would suggest that it is the lack of a more literate chronological and topical order that Papias had in mind when he said Mark’s story was “not in order,” ou mentoi taxei (Eusebius, Hist. eccl. 3.39.15). It followed oral ordering procedures, not proper rhetorical form. The plot as well as the style is typical of oral composition.17 The structure does not build toward a linear climactic plot; the plot to kill Jesus is first introduced in Mark 3:6 but not picked up and developed until Mark 11, and it does not really get under way until Mark 14. Rather than linear plot development, the structure consists of repetitive patterns, series of three parallel episodes, concentric structures, and chiastic structures. Such structures are characteristic of oral literature, helping the performer, the audience, and new performers and audiences remember and transmit the material. From what we know of oral literature there is no reason why it could not have been composed and transmitted in oral form. Thus, it is certainly possible—I would say probable—that Mark was an orally composed narrative. As John Miles Foley, among others, has shown, it is possible to write in an oral register, and there is no foolproof way of deciding if a particular text was composed orally or in writing. But there is no need for writing to create the Gospel of Mark.
Indeed, the distinguished scholar of oral literature Albert B. Lord noted that the Synoptic Gospels seemed to him to “have the appearance of three oral traditional variants of the same narrative and non-narrative materials.” Whether or not it was composed orally, the Gospel of Mark was undoubtedly transmitted through oral re-performance.

II

 

While writing was not essential for the creation of Mark, tradition was. In order to compose orally or in writing in an oral register, the composer must be able to draw on a body of tradition. So I turn to the question of the nature of the tradition Mark had available to him. Form criticism has customarily assumed that the small episodic units to be discerned in the Synoptic Gospels were the individual units of oral tradition, and that Mark composed the Gospel from these bits and pieces of oral tradition and perhaps a short written source or two.
All that we know or can infer about how tradition operates suggests that this assumption of form criticism is wrong, deriving more from the critics’ own immersion in print culture than from how tradition operates.
Studies from the fields of folklore, oral tradition, and oral history all suggest that traditions are likely to coalesce into a continuous narrative or narrative framework
quite quickly
. Tradition generally is remembered by gathering stories around a hero (fictional or real), not by remembering disparate individual episodes. On the basis of his study of folklore, Thorleif Boman introduced to NT studies the thesis that traditions typically gathered into longer continuous narratives.
He concluded that no historical legend ever emerged out of individual items that circulated for decades independently, but rather grew into a narrative about the person. Jan Vansina, a student of African oral traditions and oral history, asserts that traditions “adhere to the ‘great man,’” coalescing into larger blocks of connected narratives about that person or persons. Walter Ong writes, “Most, if not all, oral cultures generate quite substantial narratives or series of narratives.” All agree against the form-critical assumption of transmission of disparate small episodes. Thus, what we should expect from folklore, oral history, and oral literature studies is that early oral Christianity would develop a connected oral narrative about Jesus. Individuals undoubtedly would tell particular episodes of the story on particular occasions, but storytellers would soon combine them into longer sequences. One performance would build on another performance, in each case varying and adapting to the particular audience, and the continuous narrative would grow. This is the typical way tales are developed. Vansina writes, “Such tales develop during performance. They never are invented from scratch, but develop as various bits of older tales are combined, sequences altered or improvised. . . . Unlike poetry and its sisters there is no moment at which a tale is composed. Innovation is only incremental from performance to performance.” This is much more likely to have happened to the traditions about Jesus than the transmission of isolated episodes. Furthermore, not only the tellers but also the audiences need to become familiar with the new tale gradually if they are to follow it themselves: “The tale must be well known to the public if the performance is to be a success, for the audience must not be overly preoccupied with the task of trying to follow painstakingly what is being told in order to enjoy the tale.” Vansina distinguishes between the traditions that audiences considered factual, which he calls accounts, and those they considered fictional (tales or epics).
Once accounts are formed, they change less, but they still change according to the needs of the situation. And accounts tend to coalesce and solidify
fairly quickly
. He writes
:

 

Kat, you brought Mark into this. So you may want to take a look at the following thread. We've had a variation of this same discussion with Amy Marie (sigh) - it led nowhere fast. You may want to move onto something else. :shrug:

 

Following is the link to our discussion with Amy Marie...

http://www.ex-christian.net/index.php?s=&a...st&p=183644

 

The discussion starts there and continues here.... http://www.ex-christian.net/index.php?s=&a...st&p=184841

 

It starts out with a discussion of Mark in particular but also moves into oral history.

 

The overall point? Almost unanomously Biblical scholars agree that Mark is the 1st gospel into writing. That it was based on an oral tradition BEFORE it was put into writing - and that oral tradition is not just limited to facts - but also includes ... well I'll let one scholar say it....

 

One performance would build on another performance, in each case varying and adapting to the particular audience, and the continuous narrative would grow. This is the typical way tales are developed. Vansina writes, “Such tales develop during performance. They never are invented from scratch, but develop as various bits of older tales are combined, sequences altered or improvised.

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