Hi there, long time no speak, so I understand if this is a tad presumptious of me , but I have an old school buddy Christian type who has responded to a few anti christian remarks I have made on facebook by going away for like 2 months and then hitting me with a huge page of text as proof of my iminent damnation and the existance of God...his main beef seems to be my assumption that the Bible is not a historical document, and the justification for the existance of Jesus is unreliable at best. Now because of a very recent death in my family I have right now limited emotional resources and time to do my own donkey work. Its a big ask, but I know some of you guys will have seen and heard these arguements so many times before that you will be able to ryhme off the answers or connect me up with links right off the tops of your heads, It would save me some time. I have also recommended this site to him so he can look for himself but at the moment he is busy congratulating himself on his coup d'etat , I take umbridge at being referred to as a dressed up Satanist. so if I may be so bold as to copy paste the page, if any of you have a little extra time or can be bothered helping me out I would appreciate it.
there is a lot be warned. >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
All of your quotes are underlined and in italics.
I have tried to answer your points. However before you read my efforts i think you should read this. It’s quite long, but then any document making any sort of claim normally is. (hint)
One of your pals on the Christians v Atheist board commented after reading this “Yes but we have coins with Caesar’s head on them.” Does this mean if we had no coins of Caesar we would say he did not exist. I think not. Moreover, this person who made that comment claimed to be a historian yet he could not see the irony in Jesus Christ minting his own coins (:
Somehow i don’t think you will posting this link when you make attacks on the ‘Lie's that is Christianity’. Though if you have integrity you will. For as the excerpt clearly proves that if the New Testament is not authentic then NONE of the documents we have in antiquity are authentic. On this alone i’d be very interested to hear your opinion.
Note that this is a book excerpt. Well referenced, and gives the arguments on both sides, and not a mere website that anybody could knock up in their back room.
You assert that if none of the Historians of that age never mentioned Jesus then he never existed. This is either disingenuous or very dim. I mean who could expect any historian outwith the region, and of that day, to ever to even know about a Jewish Joiner/Rabi who led a small sect in a remote outpost of the Roman empire. Can you not see how improbable that is. But you bander statements like this because you know that they sound good. But when you actually examine a lot of what you say its found to be lacking in weight.
Michael Wood popular modern day historian recently said "There is not much we know about the ordinary people of history - it was only the kings, queens, generals, dictators that history recorded" and mostly because they had their own personal historians
You even posted this on facebook recently
"Real history is conducted in secret and is almost never documented."
And yet you make sensationalist statements about there being no written record for Jesus. Is that not hypocritical?
You say the evidence you sent me comes from Scholars. Scholars publish books, not websites. Websites are ok if they give proper references. I don’t remember seeing any on any of the websites you sent me.
Just to show how feeble the website listing all the historians who never wrote anything about Jesus is i found this after a two minute google search
"Now there was about this time Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call him a man; for he was a doer of wonderful works, a teacher of such men as receive the truth with pleasure. He drew over to him both many of the Jews and many of the Gentiles. He was [the] Christ. And when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men amongst us, had condemned him to the cross, those that loved him at the first did not forsake him; for he appeared to them alive again the third day; as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning him. And the tribe of Christians, so named from him, are not extinct at this day."
Written by Jewish historian Josephus. The only Historian of that era who was ever likely to write about Jesus.
One of the links you sent me even claimed that Pilot did not exist. Well who was the Roman governor at that time, or were the Romans not in Judah too?
Just by academic standards is it not clear that your attacks are misleading.
Dr Nelson Glueck, one of the most outstanding Jewish Archeologists of this century, wrote in his book, rivers in the desert, "It may be stated that no Archeological discovery has ever controverted Biblical reference. The bible is the anvil that has worn out many hammers indeed. It can be trusted."
And yet you point me to a website, that i can only imagine some malecontent has knocked up his bedroom and i am expected to take that over the Bible.
Don’t you think the God who created this Universe could manage to get enough folk to write down his plans, and then be able to protect his Word.
“The Bible is the best-selling book of the year, every year.” (The New Yorker magazine)
I say there was written evidence for Jesus Christ before he ever walked the earth. Google and read Isaiah chapter 53 (it will only take a minute) and tell me that’s not about Jesus Christ.
If you going tell me that’s just a made up part as well. Go and look into the dead sea scrolls. They have the book of Isaiah and its practically the same as the bible Christians read today. There may differences in grammar / spelling etc, but its meaning is exactly the same.
Butchering the Bible
Like so many who attack Christainty you pick points/verses from the bible as though they were intended to stand on their own. They never give the CONTEXT in which it was written. Which is very disingenuous. Especially as you even gave this quote in evidence of you argument.
"The New Testament is a very strange book. It is written for those who already have a certain degree of understanding, for those who possess a key. It is the greatest mistake to think that the New Testament is a simple book, and that it is intelligible to the simple and humble. It is impossible to read it simply just as it is impossible to read simply a book of mathematics, full of formulae, special expressions, open and hidden references to the mathematical literature, allusions to different theories known only to the 'initiated', and so on…Every phrase, every word, contains hidden ideas, and it is only when one begins to bring these hidden ideas to light, that the power of this book and its influence on people, which has lasted for two thousand years, becomes clear."
Unless you have studied the bible and not just merely read it how can you ever know the context in what these teachings sayings were made? Would i ever attempt to tear apart the physics taught by Hawking after having merely read a few books on physics? By all means make a study of it and then comment.
By context i mean history, culture, who was the verse being said to, and why. If you knew the history of the Jewish people and their culture at the time then a lot of the verses you pull out as debunking Christianity would be turned on their head.
You make mere assertions, few with any depth of argument. Any evidence that you do present you slyly present not in its entirety. Which in any academic argument would simply not get past first base. I refer here to your butchering of the gospels, picking out parts that neatly suit your view.
One of your links makes a great deal out of writing style as if that’s disproves Christianity. Its just ridiculous. They did not go to writing school. They knew it all because they gave up their lives for it. They lived and breathed it every day. They were brought up expecting what happened to happen.
This a great example of picking and choosing and ignoring the context.
Matthew 10:6: But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
You used this quote to try and tell me that Jesus only came for the Jews.
Its completely true that here Jesus said “Don’t go to the gentiles or samartins” but did he say don’t you ever go anywhere near those gentiles ever? No of course not for in the very same book Jesus tells his disciples.
8 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age. Mathew 28:20
I say you are either ignorant of this verse (which is strange since its in the same book) or disingenuous.
In Matthew 10:6 he was sending out his apostles on their first mission, and as he was prophesied as being the saviour of the Jews, throughout their history, it was only right and proper that he gave them the first opportunity to hear the gospel. They were supposed to be expecting him.
He was also phrophisized in the old testament as being the saviour of the gentiles too. But of course few of them would have known this.
He says, "You will do more than restore the people of Israel to me. I will make you a light to the Gentiles, and you will bring my salvation to the ends of the earth."
Even if you look at this with some cold logic you could see it would not make much sense for him to send out his apostles teaching a message and fulfillment of prophicies to people that there are very unlikely to have heard off them. Jesus himself had hard enough job teaching the Jews. What chance his raw disciples? Might have knocked their confidence a bit? See by all this i mean context.
See how its not simple, how wrong it is to simply pick out single verses and try to make them mean what you want them to mean. If you do that then yes Jesus’s teachings can well be all things to all men. But if you look at the bible as a whole then it will leave you with only two possible conclusions that Jesus Christ was who he said he was; the Son of God. That’s Yahweh the God described in the old testament not some force that has never revealed itself in any form to humanity.
The only other conclusion is that he was insane, and I don’t what that would say about the people who knew him and died for him.
Yes his family did think he was insane. But why would one later go on to head the Church in Jerusalem and be beheaded for his beliefs. Perhaps because he saw the resurrected Christ.
Jesus The Son of God
Jesus never taught anything new. For every thing Jesus taught is in the Old testament. All that he did was to fulfill prophecies given to the Jews throughout their history.
He was not a hippy teaching about the light. He was a devout Jew. He was a Rabi (after being a joiner). He taught about the God of the old testament. He could not have taught in their holiest of hollies, their temple in Jerusalem, if he was spouting anything remotely like you imply he was teaching - That there is no creator God. But of course all the bits about Jesus teaching in Jewish synagogues that’s made up and added on right?
All the letters and gospels in the new testament all line up with each other, and they all point/relate to the old testament. That’s why spurious texts like the Gospel of Thomas that appeared in the 3rd century are able to be dismissed.
Yes i have read it and it has teachings of Jesus in it but does it line up with prophecy. The way the gospels of the new testament do. Does it have other writings that back it up like the Epistles back up the Gospels.
"I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel."
Another quote you used to try to reveal to me that Jesus was only for the Jews. Again picking and choosing here. If you would look at that story as a whole you would see that the woman is a Canaanite pretending to be something she was not (i.e a Jew)
A Canaanite woman from that vicinity came to him, crying out, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter is suffering terribly from demon-possession.”
Jesus well knew she was a Canaanite and so ignored her and rebuffed to try to get her to come clean. When she finally admitted she was not a Jew (but even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters) Jesus was then able to show her the grace that is for all men.
"Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews"
Given in the right context there is nothing false in that statement, for at the time salvation was from the Jews. Again all prophesied in the old testament. The big problem was that Jewish religious leaders rejected him, and thereby fulfilled many of the prophecies that were in their own scriptures. You just grabbed that verse, and completely ignored the context. That is just ignornace or a shameful attempt to mislead people.
What you imply, that being, he was only here for the Jews is false. How would you then explain this?
He says, "You will do more than restore the people of Israel to me. I will make you a light to the Gentiles, and you will bring my salvation to the ends of the earth."
Even the very terminology Jesus used gives evidence his teachings were from the old testament.
Jesus answered her, "If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water."
Living water was sacred to the Jews and the Samartians, and is spoken of throughout the old testament.
It’s becoming pretty obvious you either know very little about the bible or you are deliberately trying to mislead people. Which is it.
You went on to the trinity....
Jesus says he does only what his father taught him, thus drawing a clear distinction between his wisdom and God's. He is conceding that he is not part of a Godhead (Trinity) that has equal powers, intelligence, judgement and experience (John 8:28):
I do nothing of myself, but as the Father hath taught me.
Jews accuse Jesus of being a Samaritan rather than a Jew, and of being possessed by a devil (John 8:48):
Then answered the Jews, and said unto him, Say we not well that thou art a Samaritan, and hast a devil?
Again you conveniently ignore the bits that don’t fit your own view.
John 10: 30 “I and the Father are one.”
Again from the same book. Have you no shame?
The whole reason that the Jewish Pharisees crucified him was because he proclaimed he was the Son of God.
And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come.
Note that the "Holy Ghost" is the Christian equivalent of the Hebrew Shekinah, the presence of God in the world.
Christian equivalent? It’s the same Holy spirit. Christians have never, and will never make out its any different.
Denying the Holy Spirit means rejecting Jesus Christ as your saviour, because it’s his Spirit.Which is what the Pharisees were doing by denying his deity.
“Many Gnostics hold a similar view. Once you have attained your Higher Self you are incapable of sin.” Name me one person who has attained this higher self and can’t sin. Bearing in mind in God’s eyes hatred is the same as murder, and mockery as bad as the greed of these wall street bankers you rant about.
“A motto for all Christian armies?” Who are all these Christians armies you speak off? Can you name one? There may well be some armies with Christians in them. But believe me i have been 16 years in the British Army and its not a Christian Army by any means. Pagan is a much closer description.
Very interesting that in all the Gospels except Matthews God is used instead of Heaven. Bible scholars attribute this to Matthews Gospel being addressed to the Jews. But what’s even more interesting is how this is good evidence that the Gospels were not made up or added to down through the ages. Surely this is the first thing any competent group of conspirators would have pounced on.
But whatever word is used, The Kingdom Jesus’s preached about, in great length, is not a kingdom that suits the new age philosophy of nice feelings or enlightenment. Whatever that means.
I’d really like to know what exactly happens to the physical universe when new age people are in their zen like state? Will evil just carry on, unchecked, growing and growing?
It is the Kingdom of God. The God of the Jews and of the Old Testament. Yahweh. The great I AM. A kingdom of provision and life in all its fullness. Yes life, not floating on around on a cloud with a harp, in a zen like existence.
God did not bring creation into existence just for it to be forgotten about so we could all then move on to a spiritual nirvana. This earth will melt and away and at the Apocalypse (which simply means unveiling) a new earth will be unveiled for those whose names are written in the book of life.
I know i could through all your points but to be honest this is exhausting, and time consuming. That i would not mind so much but i have shown you to be either dishonest or lacking in knowledge of the bible/Christianity so much that you are unqualified to attack it. This is like me attacking Steven Hawking’s science never having even gotten an O’level in Physics.
Not that i’m putting myself on a par with Hawking it’s just that i listened to a lot of men who have actually studied the bible, instead of reading it looking for ways to rubbish it. I mean you say you have ever right to question God’s existence. Good he wants you to do that and look for him. Problem is most of the answers are already there for you in his Word. From what i can gather you simply won’t accept any authority. Most people like that would not except any God, no matter what.
You question how i know that what i experience is not the same what others experience in new age pursuits. Well i question how do you know that your divine energy is what it seems to be? Make no mistake the Holy Spirit is not what people in other faiths experience.
The above is a rather long video, and a few of it’s points are a bit off the mark. But you will get the jist i think.
“And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light.”
2 Corinthians 11:14
It also comes across in your comments as if all Christians are dumb and ignorant of other faiths/beliefs just dumbly following Jesus because its a done thing, done by most people.
Also there is nothing at all in all your points that deals with evil and is growing hold of this world. From what i can gather this belief that we are all one, and part of this one big nicey, nicey force, does nothing about the fallen state of humanity, and this dying Earth. It’s all about going into oneself, being at peace with your inner self. All about me. Which as far as i am concerned is just a dressed up form of satanism.
“The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the World that he did not exisit”
I did not go running to the arms of Jesus Christ simply because i though he was a cool dude who said nice fluffy things. Even now having experienced his power in my life that’s still not the foundation why i believe so resolutely. It’s because he is the only one who makes sense of this fallen world.
We can either accept that the world is just the way it is and evil will continue on and on until it engulfs the universe, or we can believe that this is not is how it was designed to be, and that something bad happened to make it turn out this way.
Of course as you well know the fall of man (and our choices ever since) is what Christians believe caused this mess. Again conveniently forgotten when people attack Christianty for their Gods supposed apathy to suffering. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is that God has a plan for the worlds suffering, and to restore his creation to the paradise it was meant to be.
“Christains do nothing except pray”
You have either not thought this through or you are blinded by hatred. I’ll give you grace to withdraw that remark.
You are not going to find the truth on facebook forums. I’d advise you to get out into the world and spend some time with Christians (that is followers of Jesus Christ) not those who merely use the name Christian as a label.
Some Easy Viewing for you
Videos of people being set free from demonic possession.
You could say these were crazy people, mere plants. But they are Muslims. Add to that several demons manifested themselves during a meeting in our sister church in Edinburgh in November, where people where delivered and set free.
When Jesus had called the Twelve together, he gave them power and authority to drive out all demons and to cure diseases, and he sent them out to preach the kingdom of God and to heal the sick. Luke 9.1-5.
If nothing else in going to all this trouble i hope at least to have shown you there is more to Christianity than what you can glean from anti-christs, and that maybe you can show it a bit more respect then the contempt you currently do.
Here are various dying words from many anti-christs. I sincerely hope this is not how it is for you. Remember nothing is bigger than the grace of God. Except that is refusing to acknowledge his Son. His hands are tied when people do that.
Sir Thomas Scott, chancellor of England: "Until this moment, I thought there was
neither God nor hell; now I know and feel that there are both, and I am doomed to
perdition by the just judgment of the Almighty!"
Sir Francis Newport, the head of an English infidel club to those gathered around
his deathbed: "You need not tell me there is no God for I know there is one, and that I
am in His presence! You need not tell me there is no hell. I feel myself already slipping.
Wretches, cease your idle talk about there being hope for me! I know I am lost forever!
Oh, that fire! Oh, the insufferable pangs of hell!"
David Strauss, leading representative of German rationalism, after spending a lifetime erasing belief in God from the minds of others: "My philosophy
leaves me utterly forlorn! I feel like one caught in the merciless jaws of an automatic
machine, not knowing at what time one of its great hammers may crush me!"
Some 15 years before his death, Mohandas K. Gandhi wrote: "I must tell you in
all humility that Hinduism, as I know it, entirely satisfies my soul, fills my whole being,
and I find a solace in the Bhagavad and Upanishads."
Just before his death, Gandhi wrote: "My days are numbered. I am not likely to
live very long-perhaps a year or a little more. For the first time in fifty years I find myself
in the slough of despond. All about me is darkness; I am praying for light."
In a Newsweek interview with Svetlana Stalin, the daughter of Josef Stalin, she told of her father's death: "My father died a difficult and terrible death. God grants an
easy death only to the just. . At what seemed the very last moment he suddenly opened
his eyes and cast a glance over everyone in the room. It was a terrible glance, insane or
perhaps angry. His left hand was raised, as though he were pointing to something
above and bringing down a curse on us all. The gesture was full of menace. The next
moment he was dead."
Few men in Europe have tried to eradicate the Bible and the knowledge of God
from the minds of the people as did the French infidel, Voltaire. The Christian physician
who attended Voltaire during his last illness later wrote about the experience:
"When I compare the death of a righteous man, which is like the close of a
beautiful day, with that of Voltaire, I see the difference between bright, serene weather
and a black thunderstorm. It was my lot that this man should die under my hands. Often
did I tell him the truth. 'Yes, my friend,' he would often say to me, 'you are the only one
who has given me good advice. Had I but followed it, I should not be in the horrible
condition in which I now am. I have swallowed nothing but smoke. I have intoxicated
myself with the incense that turned my head. You can do nothing for me. Send me an
insane doctor! Have compassion on me I am mad!'
"I cannot think of it without shuddering. As soon as he saw that all the means he
had employed to increase his strength had just the opposite effect, death was
constantly before his eyes. From this moment, madness took possession of his soul. He
expired under the torments of the furies."
This took place in Glasgow and though very dated is still worth a read.
So that was it in a nutshell, I would appreciate even links to pages on this forum that have dealt with some of these topics at hand.
And if I can take part in it by transforming my own consciousness, then someone else's, I'm happy to do it.