Why Jesus is Lord

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Why Jesus is Lord

Historical Textual Evidence for Jesus’ Existence

There are over 42 sources within 150 years after Jesus’ death which mention his existence and record many events of his life.

  1. 9 Traditional New Testament Authors
    1. Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Paul, Author of Hebrews, James, Peter, and Jude.
  2. 20 Early Christian Writers Outside the New Testament
    1. Clement of Rome, 2 Clement, Ignatius, Polycarp, Martyrdom of Polycarp, Didache, Barnabas, Shepherd of Hermas, Fragments of Papias, Justin Martyr, Aristides, Athenagoras, Theophilus of Antioch, Quadratus, Aristo of Pella, Melito of Sardis, Diognetus, Gospel of Peter, Apocalypse of Peter, and Epistula Apostolorum.
  3. 4 Heretical Writings
    1. Gospel of Thomas, Gospel of Truth, Apocryphon of John, and Treatise on Resurrection.
  4. 9 Secular Sources
    1. Josephus (Jewish historian), Tacitus (Roman historian), Pliny the Younger (Roman politician), Phlegon (freed slave who wrote histories), Lucian (Greek satirist), Celsus (Roman philosopher), Mara Bar Serapion (prisoner awaiting execution), Suetonius, and Thallus.

Historical Textual Evidence for Tiberius Caesar’s Existence

Tiberius Caesar, the Roman emperor who reigned during Jesus’ ministry, has 10 authors who mention his existence within 150 years of his life.  These include: Josephus, Tacitus, Suetonius, Seneca, Paterculus, Plutarch, Pliny the Elder, Strabo, Valerius Maximum, and Luke.  If one removes Luke, since he is a New Testament source, there are 9 secular non-Christian sources.  This means that there are just as many non-Christian sources for Jesus’ existence as there are for Tiberius Caesar’s!  And, to compare, the total number of sources between Jesus and Tiberius Caesar are 42:10. Therefore, there are over four times as many sources for Jesus’ life and deeds than for Tiberius Caesar’s.

If one is going to doubt the existence of Jesus, one must also reject the existence of Tiberius Caesar.

Equally as intellectually impaired are those that claim Christianity is based on pagan mythology. 

First of all, Christianity does not need any outside influence to derive any of its doctrines.  All the doctrines of Christianity exists in the Old Testament where we can see the prophetic teachings of Jesus as the son of God (Zech. 12:10), born of a virgin (Isaiah 7:14), was crucified (Psalm 22), the blood atonement (Lev. 17:11), rose from the dead (Psalm 16:10), and salvation by faith (Hab. 2:4).  Also, the writers of the gospels were eyewitnesses (or directed by eyewitnesses as were Mark and Luke) who accurately represented the life of Christ.  So, what they did was write what Jesus taught as well as record the events of His life, death, and resurrection.  In other words, they recorded history, actual events and had no need of fabrication or borrowing.

There will undoubtedly be similarities in religious themes given the agrarian culture.  Remember, an agriculturally based society, as was the people of the ancient Mediterranean area, will undoubtedly develop theological themes based upon observable events, i.e., the life, death, and seeming resurrection of life found in crops, in cattle, and in human life.  It would only be natural for similar themes to unfold since they are observed in nature and since people created gods related to nature.  But, any reading of the Old Testament results in observing the intrusion of God into Jewish history as is recorded in miracles and prophetic utterances.  Add to that the incredible archaeological evidence verifying Old Testament cities and events and you have a document based on historical fact instead of mythical fabrication.  Furthermore, it is from these Old Testament writings that the New Testament themes were developed.

Following is a chart demonstrating some of the New Testament themes found in the Old Testament.

Theme Old Testament
Reference
New Testament
fulfilled in Jesus
Ascension of Jesus to the right hand of God Ps. 110:1 Matt 26:64; Acts 7:55-60; Eph. 1:20
Atonement by blood Lev. 17:11 Heb. 9:22
Begotten Son, Jesus is Psalm 2:7 Acts 13:33; Heb. 1:5
Crucifixion Psalm 22:11-18; Zech. 12:10 Luke 23:33-38
Eternal Son Micah 5:1-2; Psalm 2:7 Heb. 1:5; 5:5
God among His people Isaiah 9:6; 40:3 John 1:1,14; 20:28; Col. 2:9; Matt. 3:3
Incarnation of God 1)Ex 3:14; 2)Ps. 45:6 Isaiah 9:6; Zech. 12:10 1)John 8:58; 1:1,14; 2)Heb. 1:8; Col. 2:9; Heb. 1:1-3
Only Begotten Son Gen. 22:2.  See Typology John 3:16; Heb. 11:7
Resurrection of Christ Psalm 16:9-10; 49:15; Is. 26:19 John 2:19-21
Return of Christ Zech. 14:1-5; Mic. 1:3-4 Matt. 16:27-28; Acts 1:11; 3:20
Sin offering Ex. 30:10; Lev. 4:3 Rom. 8:3; Heb. 10:18; 13:11
Son of God Psalm 2:7 John 5:18
Substitutionary Atonement Isaiah 53:6-12; Lev. 6:4-10,21 Matt. 20:28; 1 Pet. 2:24; 2 Cor. 5:21; 1 Pet. 3:18;
Virgin Birth Isaiah 7:14 Matt. 1:25

As you can see, there is no need for any of the Christian writers to borrow from anything other than the Old Testament source in order to establish any Christian doctrine concerning Jesus.  If the argument that pagan mythologies predated Christian teachings and therefore Christianity borrowed from them is true, then it must also be truth that the pagan religions borrowed from the Jewish religion because it is older than they are!  Given that all of the Christian themes are found in the Old Testament and the Old Testament was begun around 2000 B.C. and completed around 400 B.C., we can then conclude that these pagan religions actually borrowed from Jewish ideas found in the Old Testament.  Think about it, the idea of a blood sacrifice and a covering for sin is found in the first three chapters of Genesis when God covered Adam and Eve with animals skins and prophesied the coming of the Messiah.

Furthermore, those who wrote about Jesus in the New Testament were Jews (or under the instruction of Jews) who were devoted to the legitimacy and inspiration of the Old Testament scriptures and possessed a strong disdain for pagan religions.  It would have been blasphemous for them to incorporate pagan sources into what they saw as the fulfillment of the sacred Old Testament scriptures concerning the Messiah.  Also, since they were writing about Jesus, they were writing based upon what He taught:  truth, love, honesty, integrity, etc.  Why then would they lie and make up stories and suffer great persecution, hardships, ridicule, arrest, beatings, and death all for known lies and fabrications from paganism?  It doesn't make sense.

 

The alleged pagan parallels to Jesus’ resurrection are (1) unclear, (2) have late testimony that postdates Christianity, (3) may not be referring to an actual resurrection, (4) lack historical evidence, (5) misunderstand the Jewish influence on early Christianity, and (6) fail to explain the positive evidence for Jesus’ resurrection.

Unclear Parallels

The first problem is that the accounts of dying and rising gods in other religions are unclear.  Justin Martyr, an early Christian apologist, records some of these "parallels" in an attempt to convince the Roman emperor that the Christian's teachings were not that dissimilar from other Roman religions which were favored by the empire.  Justin appealed to various examples, including Aesculapius who was struck by lightning and ascended to heaven, Baccus and Hercules and a few other sons who rose to heaven on the horse Pegasus after having died violent deaths, Ariadne who was “set among the stars,” and finally the cremation of the emperor Augustus in which someone claimed that he saw Augustus’s spirit ascend towards heaven.3  However, Justin’s parallels are extremely unclear.  As Habermas and Licona note, “If we were to consider these as parallels to Jesus’ resurrection, we would also have to consider every ghost story."

Late Testimony: After Christianity

Second, the first clear dying and rising god parallel to the resurrection story of Jesus occurs at least 100 years after the reports of Jesus’ resurrection.  For example, the earliest versions of the death and resurrection of Adonis appeared after A.D. 150.  The accounts of Attis, the Phyrgian god of vegetation who was responsible for the death and rebirth of plant life, are not until the 3rd century A.D. (200 A.D.) or later.  Therefore, the Christians did not follow a genre of “dying and rising gods” since such parallels did not exist during their time period.

Questionable if Referring to a Resurrection

Third, it is questionable if the pre-Jesus pagan resurrection accounts are actually referring to a resurrection.  In the accounts of Marduk there is no clear death or resurrection mentioned.  Adonis, in the earliest visions, contains no death or resurrection reports.  His first death and resurrection accounts do not occur until after A.D. 150.  Osiris has conflicting accounts.  Some accounts say that he is assigned to the underworld and others refer to him as the “sun.”  However, there are no accounts or claims that Osiris rose from the dead.

The only account of a god who survived death that predates Christianity is found in Osiris.  However, as mentioned above, there are several versions of his story.  In one, he is killed by his brother, cut into fourteen pieces, and scattered in Egypt.  The goddess Isis then collects his parts and bring him back to life, but she was only able to find thirteen parts.  Furthermore, it is questionable whether Osiris was brought back to life on earth or seen by others like Jesus.  Osiris descends and was given status of the underworld as god of the mummies.  Interestingly, it is more of a zombification rather than a resurrection! Finally, the hero in the story is not Osiris, but Isis or Horus, their son.  This is extremely different from Jesus who is the heroic risen prince of life who was seen by others on earth before his ascension into heaven (Acts 1:1-11).

Lack of Historical Evidence

Fourth, the accounts of dying and rising gods in other religions lack historical evidence, and can be accounted for by opposing theories such as legendary embellishment or lack of historicity.  Interestingly, these dying and rising vegetation gods like Osiris and Adonis are not real people in history like Jesus (see: Did Jesus ever exist?).  Furthermore, they are not attested by multiple sources, and the first available manuscript is far removed from the event that is described.  For example, The Life of Apollonius by Philostratus, postdates Jesus by 200 years and is thought to be a “product of conscious reaction against Christianity.”  Therefore, these pagan parallels are late and not around the time when eyewitnesses could be questioned.

Jewish not Pagan Ideas

Fifth, early Christianity was birthed in a Jewish cultural context.  The early Christians, in fact, worshiped in the Jewish temple (i.e. Acts 2:46; 5:42) and believed that Christ's resurrection fulfilled Old Testament prophecy (1 Cor. 15:3-4).  In light of this, these Jewish Christians believed in a physical resurrection which was a view that was not accepted by the Greco-Roman culture who ridiculed such an idea (Acts 17:31-32).  Therefore, it is unlikely that these Jewish Christians would adopt pagan mythology.

Positive Evidence for the Resurrection of Jesus

Sixth, and finally, the idea of the resurrection story being borrowed from pagan religions is unconvincing for several reasons since it does not explain the empty tomb, the early belief of the disciples in the resurrection of Jesus due to eyewitness testimony, the transformation of the disciples, the conversion of Paul, and the conversion of James.

First, the empty tomb of Jesus contains strong historical corroboration due to the unreasonableness of the disciples to preach an empty tomb in Jerusalem when the critics of Christianity could have just uncovered the tomb, the fact that early polemics between Christians and Jews presuppose the empty tomb, and finally, the fact that women who were not regarded highly by ancient society are the chief witnesses of the empty tomb!   If the resurrection story of Jesus was borrowed from pagan mythology, then there would be no need for an empty tomb.

Second, we have extremely early testimony to the disciples’ belief that Jesus rose from the dead and appeared to them.  A pre-Pauline creed in 1 Cor. 15:3-8 has been dated by critical scholars to the early 30’s A.D.  This does not allow enough time for legend to embellish the core story of the text.  In fact, the events upon which the creed is based points right back to the early 30's, possibly only a year or even months from the resurrection event itself.  This would indicate that there really is no significant gap in time for legendary embellishments to explain the disciple’s core belief in the resurrection.

The early nature of the resurrection appearance accounts points to at least one, and possibly multiple, eyewitness accounts.  At least Paul in A.D. 55 mentions his own eyewitness resurrection account (1 Cor. 15:8).  In fact, the atheistic historian Michael Martin states that Paul is the only eyewitness that we have of the resurrection.   It is also quite possible that the 1 Cor. 15:3-8 creed also contains eyewitness material from the twelve, all of the apostles, Peter, James, 500, etc.

Third, the disciples were radically transformed from despairing doubters to persevering proclaimers of the gospel.  Is it really realistic to think that a pagan resurrection story is going to inspire pious Jews to adopt pagan ideology, change their worship from Saturday to Sunday, radically alter their views about their Messiah, change from despair about their dead Messiah, and then be willing to die for their faith and start proclaiming this “gospel” with conviction to hostile monotheistic audiences?

Fourth, Paul converted to Christianity as a result of what he claims is an eyewitness appearance of the risen Jesus (1 Cor. 15:8), endured much persecution (2 Cor. 11:23-28; Phil. 1:21-23; Acts 14:19; 16:19-24), and was willing to die for his faith.  Is it really reasonable to believe that he became a Christian due to adopting pagan mythology and would be willing to die for this belief?  As an educated Pharisee, he would have seen through the unhistorical claims of the pagan mythological parallels.

Fifth, James, the brother of Jesus, was also converted to Christianity as a result of an appearance of the risen Jesus (1 Cor. 15:7) and was willing to die for his faith (Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews 20:200; Hegesippus in Eusebius's Ecclesiastical History 2:23; and Clement of Alexandria in Eusebius's Ecclesiastical History 2:1, 23).  Before this appearance, he was a skeptic and did not believe that his brother was the Messiah (Mk. 3:21; Jn. 7:5).  Like Paul, it is extremely improbable, that as a pious Jew, these pagan parallels would have motivated him to believe in Jesus and be willing to die for his faith.

Think about this, only one of the original disciples died of old age.  Judas committed suicide immediately after betraying Jesus.  All the rest were martyred.  Slowly, painfully killed.  All they had to do to prevent this was simple, renounce Jesus.  Just say they were lying.  Or even say that maybe they were mistaken, and all of the miracles they saw were illusions or tricks.  But they didn't.  Tell me this, what would it take for you to give your life in a slow, agonizing, torturous manner?

"In this book, they list ten steps in the course of human evolution, each of which is so improbable that before it would have occurred the sun would have ceased to be a main sequence star and would have burned up the earth. They estimate the probability of the evolution of the human genome by chance to be on the order of 4∧(360)^110,000, a number which is so huge that to call it astronomical would be a wild understatement. In other words, if evolution did occur, it would have been a miracle, so that evolution is actually evidence for the existence of God”-William Lane Craig


ProzacDeathWish
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jackspell wrote:Think about

jackspell wrote:

 

Think about this, only one of the original disciples died of old age.

 

       Source ?

 

jackspell wrote:
Judas committed suicide immediately after betraying Jesus.

 

 Matthew 27:3-8 states that Judas hung himself. 

Acts 1:16-19 states that he fell headlong and his bowels burst open. 

 

 The apologists try to rationalize the two accounts ( INERRANCY !!! ) by attributing his fall as post mortem   .....yet, if the tree branch was strong enough to support the full weight of Judas so that he could hang himself why would it somehow weaken a short time thereafter ( Judas' internal organs were still intact enough "to spill" )  and break off ?  That's a convenient turn of events, don't you think ?

 

jackspell wrote:
  All the rest were martyred.  Slowly, painfully killed.  All they had to do to prevent this was simple, renounce Jesus.  Just say they were lying.  Or even say that maybe they were mistaken, and all of the miracles they saw were illusions or tricks.  But they didn't.  Tell me this, what would it take for you to give your life in a slow, agonizing, torturous manner?

 

   David Koresh and the Branch Davidians could have avoided being burned alive by their government "rescuers" if they had simply surrendered and walked out into the custody of the FBI.   They remained within their compound and were burned alive.    So ?  Should I consider accepting Davidian theology based upon their willingness to die for their beliefs ? 


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   Also, in the year 782

 

 

 

  Also, in the year 782 the Christian ruler known as Charlemagne at the Massacre of Verden brutally beheaded 4,500 captive Saxons who steadfastly resisted his efforts to "Christianize" them away from their pagan beliefs. 

So a large group of pagan Germans basically gave up their lives in order to give the middle finger to the Christian God and his loyal servant.   Would you have the balls to give up your head for your religion ?


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Oh wow! Your post is filled

Oh wow! Your post is filled with so much valid information I think I'll convert to christianity. Yep... that convinces me. Jesus was real.

 

 

Free will is an illusion. People always choose the perceived path of greatest pleasure.

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Jack, NONE OF  WHAT YOU

Jack, NONE OF  WHAT YOU POSTED is evidence of anything but HUMANS peppering places and names into the book AFTER THE FACT to make it SOUND  lagit. Buddha was a real person but you are not a Buddhist. Muhammad was a real person but you are not a Muslim.

AND a person or place being real WILL NEVER CONSTITUTE MAGIC BEING REAL.

We can prove George Washington existed but no one claims he could fart a Lamborghini out of his ass. I DON'T CARE what names the bible drops there is no such thing as virgin births and human flesh does not survive rigor mortis.

You see in the Geico commercial a pig on a skate board lying on his back. flying down the curvy mountain road shouting "WEEEEE EEEEEEEE WEEEEE WEEEEE" so because the road is real and the voice is real, then that means that pig was real and  pigs can road surf?

IT IS A BOOK OF MYTH, nothing more.

"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers."Obama
Check out my poetry here on Rational Responders Like my poetry thread on Facebook under BrianJames Rational Poet also on twitter under Brianrrs37


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"Why Jesus is Lord"

“A meritocratic society is one in which inequalities of wealth and social position solely reflect the unequal distribution of merit or skills amongst human beings, or are based upon factors beyond human control, for example luck or chance. Such a society is socially just because individuals are judged not by their gender, the colour of their skin or their religion, but according to their talents and willingness to work, or on what Martin Luther King called 'the content of their character'. By extension, social equality is unjust because it treats unequal individuals equally.” "Political Ideologies" by Andrew Heywood (2003)


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                                                                                                                          Why Jesus is LARD....


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                                                          Meanwhile 1,230 years ago Christian Emperor, Charlemagne was attempting to impose his religion upon the "natives"...

 

                                                                                                            

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                                                                       

 

                                                                                                          Born a pagan, live as a pagan, die as a pagan.  Bring it......


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Psalms 110:1 The Lord says

Psalms 110:1

The Lord says to my Lord: “Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet.”

Matt 26:64“Yes, it is as you say,” Jesus replied. “But I say to all of you: In the future you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.” That proves Jesus knew the Old Testament and could be so egotistical that he thought it was about him. Boy, like that never happens.

Lev 17

For the life of a creature is in the blood, and I have given it to you to make atonement for yourselves on the altar; it is the blood that makes atonement for one’s life.

That is about animal sacrifice, which is a pagan ritual. Primitive Jews just made it part of their religion as well. Do you really believe spilt blood justifies you murdering someone? Will that bring them back? The concept that my immoral behavior can be washed away with the death of another living creature is revolting and immoral. Two wrongs don't make a right.

The Christian story is simply bizarre if you step back and look at it. Jesus who was a chunk of god committed suicide so he can appease the other chunk of him, Jehovah, so he could save only a small remnant of the humans he created and condemn the rest to eternal fires and torment. Meanwhile he accepts no blame for his obvious incompetence.

 

Ps 22 is a poem written by David and how he and Israel felt persecuted. Early Christians just re-tooled it for their purposes. You can see it is poetic. What are you saying the "strong bulls of Bashan encircle me" are the Romans?

 

If you read the context of these text you will clearly see the author was directing it to his time and the stuff Christians lift is usually as you have demonstrated a passage here and a passage there. As a Christian I too had blinders on. I would read these passages and go see...see, but when I read entire books I would see the NT authors were strictly quote mining. Being that the vast majority were illiterate back then it was easy to get away with it. Instead of you doing the same with all your cutting and pasting I recommend you open your mind, relax your need for it say what you need it to say and give the OT a good reading front to back. I expect you will see things in a different light.

 

 

Religion Kills !!!

Numbers 31:17-18 - Now kill all the boys. And kill every woman who has slept with a man, but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.

http://jesus-needs-money.blogspot.com/


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Five Possible Theories I

Five Possible Theories

I believe Christ's resurrection can be proved with at least as much certainty as any universally believed and well-documented event in ancient history. To prove this, I do not need to presuppose anything controversial (e.g. that miracles happen). But the skeptic must also not presuppose anything (e.g. that they do not). I do not need to presuppose that the New Testament is infallible, or divinely inspired or even true. I do not need to presuppose that there really was an empty tomb or post-resurrection appearances, as recorded. I need to presuppose only two things, both of which are hard data, empirical data, which no one denies: The existence of the New Testament texts as we have them, and the existence (but not necessarily the truth) of the Christian religion as we find it today.

The question is this: Which theory about what really happened in Jerusalem on that first Easter Sunday can account for the data?

There are five possible theories: Christianity, hallucination, myth, conspiracy and swoon.

1 Jesus died→Jesus rose→ Christianity 2 Jesus died→Jesus didn't rise→apostles deceived→Hallucination 3 Jesus died→Jesus didn't rise→apostles myth-makers→ Myth 4 Jesus died→Jesus didn't rise→apostles deceivers→Conspiracy 5 Jesus didn't die→Swoon

Theories 2 and 4 constitute a dilemma: if Jesus didn't rise, then the apostles, who taught that he did, were either deceived (if they thought he did) or deceivers (if they knew he didn't). The Modernists could not escape this dilemma until they came up with a middle category, myth. It is the most popular alternative today.

Thus either (1) the resurrection really happened, (2) the apostles were deceived by a hallucination, (3) the apostles created a myth, not meaning it literally, (4) the apostles were deceivers who conspired to foist on the world the most famous and successful lie in history, or (5) Jesus only swooned and was resuscitated, not resurrected. All five theories are logically possible, and therefore must be fairly investigated —even (1) ! They are also the only possibilities, unless we include really far-out ideas that responsible historians have never taken seriously, such as that Jesus was really a Martian who came in a flying saucer. Or that he never even existed; that the whole story was the world's greatest fantasy novel, written by some simple fisherman; that he was a literary character whom everyone in history mistook for a real person, including all Christians and their enemies, until some scholar many centuries later got the real scoop from sources unnamed.

If we can refute all other theories (2-5), we will have proved the truth of the resurrection (1). The form of the argument here is similar to that of most of the arguments for the existence of God. Neither God nor the resurrection are directly observable, but from data that are directly observable we can argue that the only possible adequate explanation of this data is the Christian one.

We shall take the four non-believing theories in the following order: from the simplest, least popular and most easily refuted to the most confusing, most popular and most complexly refuted: first swoon, then conspiracy, then hallucination and finally myth.

Refutation of the Swoon Theory: Nine Arguments

Nine pieces of evidence refute the swoon theory:

(1) Jesus could not have survived crucifixion. Roman procedures were very careful to eliminate that possibility. Roman law even laid the death penalty on any soldier who let a capital prisoner escape in any way, including bungling a crucifixion. It was never done.

(2) The fact that the Roman soldier did not break Jesus' legs, as he did to the other two crucified criminals (Jn 19:31-33), means that the soldier was sure Jesus was dead. Breaking the legs hastened the death so that the corpse could be taken down before the sabbath (v. 31).

(3) John, an eyewitness, certified that he saw blood and water come from Jesus' pierced heart (Jn 19:34-35). This shows that Jesus' lungs had collapsed and he had died of asphyxiation. Any medical expert can vouch for this.

(4) The body was totally encased in winding sheets and entombed (Jn 19:38-42).

(5) The post-resurrection appearances convinced the disciples, even "doubting Thomas," that Jesus was gloriously alive (Jn 20:19-29). It is psychologically impossible for the disciples to have been so transformed and confident if Jesus had merely struggled out of a swoon, badly in need of a doctor. A half-dead, staggering sick man who has just had a narrow escape is not worshiped fearlessly as divine lord and conquerer of death.

(6) How were the Roman guards at the tomb overpowered by a swooning corpse? Or by unarmed disciples? And if the disciples did it, they knowingly lied when they wrote the Gospels, and we are into the conspiracy theory, which we will refute shortly.

(7) How could a swooning half-dead man have moved the great stone at the door of the tomb? Who moved the stone if not an angel? No one has ever answered that question. Neither the Jews nor the Romans would move it, for it was in both their interests to keep the tomb sealed, the Jews had the stone put there in the first place, and the Roman guards would be killed if they let the body "escape."

The story the Jewish authorities spread, that the guards fell asleep and the disciples stole the body (Mt 28:11-15), is unbelievable. Roman guards would not fall asleep on a job like that; if they did, they would lose their lives. And even if they did fall asleep, the crowd and the effort and the noise it would have taken to move an enormous boulder would have wakened them. Furthermore, we are again into the conspiracy theory, with all its unanswerable difficulties (see next section).

(8.) If Jesus awoke from a swoon, where did he go? Think this through: you have a living body to deal with now, not a dead one. Why did it disappear? There is absolutely no data, not even any false, fantastic, imagined data, about Jesus' life after his crucifixion, in any sources, friend or foe, at any time, early or late. A man like that, with a past like that, would have left traces.

(9) Most simply, the swoon theory necessarily turns into the conspiracy theory or the hallucination theory, for the disciples testified that Jesus did not swoon but really died and really rose.

It may seem that these nine arguments have violated our initial principle about not presupposing the truth of the Gospel texts, since we have argued from data in the texts. But the swoon theory does not challenge the truths in the texts which we refer to as data; it uses them and explains them (by swoon rather than resurrection). Thus we use them too. We argue from our opponents' own premises.

Refutation of the Conspiracy Theory: Seven Arguments

Why couldn't the disciples have made up the whole story?

(1) Blaise Pascal gives a simple, psychologically sound proof for why this is unthinkable:

The apostles were either deceived or deceivers. Either supposition is difficult, for it is not possible to imagine that a man has risen from the dead. While Jesus was with them, he could sustain them; but afterwards, if hedidnot appear to them, who did make them act? Thehypothesis that the Apostles were knavesisquite absurd. Follow it out to the end, and imagine these twelve men meeting after Jesus' death and conspiring to say that he has risen from the dead. This means attacking all the powers that be. Thehuman heart is singularly susceptible to fickleness, to change, to promises, to bribery. One of them had only to deny his story under these inducements, or still morebecauseof possibleimprisonment, torturesanddeath, and they would all havebeen lost. Followthat out. (Pascal, Pensees 322, 310)

The "cruncher" in this argument is the historical fact that no one, weak or strong, saint or sinner, Christian or heretic, ever confessed, freely or under pressure, bribe or even torture, that the whole story of the resurrection was a fake a lie, a deliberate deception. Even when people broke under torture, denied Christ and worshiped Caesar, they never let that cat out of the bag, never revealed that the resurrection was their conspiracy. For that cat was never in that bag. No Christians believed the resurrection was a conspiracy; if they had, they wouldn't have become Christians.

(2) If they made up the story, they were the most creative, clever, intelligent fantasists in history, far surpassing Shakespeare, or Dante or Tolkien. Fisherman's "fish stories" are never that elaborate, that convincing, that life-changing, and that enduring.

(3) The disciples' character argues strongly against such a conspiracy on the part of all of them, with no dissenters. They were simple, honest, common peasants, not cunning, conniving liars. They weren't even lawyers! Their sincerity is proved by their words and deeds. They preached a resurrected Christ and they lived a resurrected Christ. They willingly died for their "conspiracy." Nothing proves sincerity like martyrdom. The change in their lives from fear to faith, despair to confidence, confusion to certitude, runaway cowardice to steadfast boldness under threat and persecution, not only proves their sincerity but testifies to some powerful cause of it. Can a lie cause such a transformation? Are truth and goodness such enemies that the greatest good in history—sanctity—has come from the greatest lie?

Use your imagination and sense of perspective here. Imagine twelve poor, fearful, stupid (read the Gospels!) peasants changing the hard-nosed Roman world with a lie. And not an easily digested, attractive lie either. St. Thomas Aquinas says:

In the midst of the tyranny of the persecutors, an innumerable throng of people, both simple and learned, flocked to the Christian faith. In this faith there are truths proclaimed that surpass everyhuman intellect; the pleasures of the flesh are curbed; it is taught that the things of the world should be spurned. Now, for the minds of mortal men to assent to these things is the greatest of miracles....This wonderfulconversion of the world to the Christian faith is the clearest witness....For it would be truly morewonderful than all signs if the world had been led by simple and humble men to believe such lofty truths, to accomplish such difficult actions, and to have such high hopes. (Summa Contra Gentiles, I, 6)

(4) There could be no possible motive for such a lie. Lies are always told for some selfish advantage. What advantage did the "conspirators" derive from their "lie" ? They were hated, scorned, persecuted, excommunicated, imprisoned, tortured, exiled, crucified, boiled alive, roasted, beheaded, disemboweled and fed to lions—hardly a catalog of perks!

(5) If the resurrection was a lie, the Jews would have produced the corpse and nipped this feared superstition in the bud. All they had to do was go to the tomb and get it. The Roman soldiers and their leaders were on their side, not the Christians'. And if the Jews couldn't get the body because the disciples stole it, how did they do that? The arguments against the swoon theory hold here too: unarmed peasants could not have overpowered Roman soldiers or rolled away a great stone while they slept on duty.

(6) The disciples could not have gotten away with proclaiming the resurrection in Jerusalem-same time, same place, full of eyewitnesses—if it had been a lie. William Lane Craig says,

The Gospels were written in such a temporal and geographical proximity to the events they record that it would have been almost impossible to fabricate events....Thefact that the disciples were ableto proclaim the resurrection in Jerusalem in the face of their enemies a few weeks after the crucifixion shows that what they proclaimed was true, for they could never haveproclaimedthe resurrection (andbeen believed) under such circumstances had it not occurred. (Knowing the Truth About the Resurrection, chapter 6)

(7) If there had been a conspiracy, it would certainly have been unearthed by the disciples' adversaries, who had both the interest and the power to expose any fraud. Common experience shows that such intrigues are inevitably exposed (Craig, ibid).

In conclusion, if the resurrection was a concocted, conspired lie, it violates all known historical and psychological laws of lying. It is, then, as unscientific, as unrepeatable, unique and untestable as the resurrection itself. But unlike the resurrection, it is also contradicted by things we do know (the above points).

Refutation of the Hallucination Theory: Thirteen Arguments

If you thought you saw a dead man walking and talking, wouldn't you think it more likely that you were hallucinating than that you were seeing correctly? Why then not think the same thing about Christ's resurrection?

(1) There were too many witnesses. Hallucinations are private, individual, subjective. Christ appeared to Mary Magdalene, to the disciples minus Thomas, to the disciples including Thomas, to the two disciples at Emmaus, to the fisherman on the shore, to James (his "brother" or cousin), and even to five hundred people at once (1 Cor 15:3-8). Even three different witnesses are enough for a kind of psychological trigonometry; over five hundred is about as public as you can wish. And Paul says in this passage (v. 6) that most of the five hundred are still alive, inviting any reader to check the truth of the story by questioning the eyewitnesses—he could never have done this and gotten away with it, given the power, resources and numbers of his enemies, if it were not true.

(2) The witnesses were qualified. They were simple, honest, moral people who had firsthand knowledge of the facts.

(3) The five hundred saw Christ together, at the same time and place. This is even more remarkable than five hundred private "hallucinations" at different times and places of the same Jesus. Five hundred separate Elvis sightings may be dismissed, but if five hundred simple fishermen in Maine saw, touched and talked with him at once, in the same town, that would be a different matter. (The only other dead person we know of who is reported to have appeared to hundreds of qualified and skeptical eyewitnesses at once is Mary the mother of Jesus [at Fatima, to 70,000]. And that was not a claim of physical resurrection but of a vision.)

(4) Hallucinations usually last a few seconds or minutes; rarely hours. This one hung around for forty days (Acts 1:3).

(5) Hallucinations usually happen only once, except to the insane. This one returned many times, to ordinary people (Jn 20:19-21:14; Acts 1:3).

(6) Hallucinations come from within, from what we already know, at least unconsciously. This one said and did surprising and unexpected things (Acts 1:4,9)—like a real person and unlike a dream.

(7) Not only did the disciples not expect this, they didn't even believe it at first—neither Peter, nor the women, nor Thomas, nor the eleven. They thought he was a ghost; he had to eat something to prove he was not (Lk 24:36-43).

(8.) Hallucinations do not eat. The resurrected Christ did, on at least two occasions (Lk 24:42-43; Jn 21:1-14).

(9) The disciples touched him (Mt 28:9; Lk 24:39; Jn 20:27).

(10) They also spoke with him, and he spoke back. Figments of your imagination do not hold profound, extended conversations with you, unless you have the kind of mental disorder that isolates you. But this "hallucination" conversed with at least eleven people at once, for forty days (Acts 1:3).

(11) The apostles could not have believed in the "hallucination" if Jesus' corpse had still been in the tomb. This is a very simple and telling point; for if it was a hallucination, where was the corpse? They would have checked for it; if it was there, they could not have believed.

(12) If the apostles had hallucinated and then spread their hallucinogenic story, the Jews would have stopped it by producing the body—unless the disciples had stolen it, in which case we are back with the conspiracy theory and all its difficulties.

(13) A hallucination would explain only the post-resurrection appearances; it would not explain the empty tomb, the rolled-away stone, or the inability to produce the corpse. No theory can explain all these data except a real resurrection. C.S. Lewis says,

Any theory of hallucination breaks down on the fact (and if it is invention [rather than fact], it is the oddest invention that ever entered the mind of man) that on three separate occasions this hallucination was not immediately recognized as Jesus (Lk 24:13-31; Jn 20:15; 21:4). Even granting that God sent a holy hallucination to teach truths already widelybelievedwithout it, and far more easily taught by other methods, and certain to be completely obscured by this, might we not at least hope that he would get the face of the hallucination right? Is he who made all faces such a bungler that he cannot even work up a recognizable likeness of the Man who was himself? (Miracles, chapter 16)

Some of these arguments are as old as the Church Fathers. Most go back to the eighteenth century, especially William Paley. How do unbelievers try to answer them? Today, few even try to meet these arguments, although occasionally someone tries to refurbish one of the three theories of swoon, conspiracy or hallucination (e.g. Schonfield's conspiratorial The Passover Plot). But the counter-attack today most often takes one of the two following forms. 1. Some dismiss the resurrection simply because it is miraculous, thus throwing the whole issue back to whether miracles are possible. They argue, as Hume did, that any other explanation is always more probable than a miracle. For a refutation of these arguments, see our chapter on miracles (chapter 5). 2. The other form of counter-attack, by far the most popular, is to try to escape the traditional dilemma of "deceivers" (conspirators) or "deceived" (hallucinators) by interpreting the Gospels as myth—neither literally true nor literally false, but spiritually or symbolically true. This is the standard line of liberal theology departments in colleges, universities and seminaries throughout the Western world today.

Refutation of the Myth Theory: Six Arguments

(1) The style of the Gospels is radically and clearly different from the style of all the myths. Any literary scholar who knows and appreciates myths can verify this. There are no overblown, spectacular, childishly exaggerated events. Nothing is arbitrary. Everything fits in. Everything is meaningful. The hand of a master is at work here.

Psychological depth is at a maximum. In myth it is at a minimum. In myth, such spectacular external events happen that it would be distracting to add much internal depth of character. That is why it is ordinary people like Alice who are the protagonists of extra-ordinary adventures like Wonderland. That character depth and development of everyone in the Gospels—especially, of course, Jesus himself—is remarkable. It is also done with an incredible economy of words. Myths are verbose; the Gospels are laconic (concise).

There are also telltale marks of eyewitness description, like the little detail of Jesus writing in the sand when asked whether to stone the adulteress or not (Jn 8:6). No one knows why this is put in; nothing comes of it. The only explanation is that the writer saw it. If this detail and others like it throughout all four Gospels were invented, then a first-century tax collector (Matthew), a "young man" (Mark), a doctor (Luke), and a fisherman (John) all independently invented the new genre of realistic fantasy nineteen centuries before it was reinvented in the twentieth.

The stylistic point is argued so well by C.S. Lewis in "Modern Theology and Biblical Criticism" (in Christian Reflections and also in Fern-Seed and Elephants) that we strongly refer the reader to it as the best comprehensive anti-demythologizing essay we have seen.

Let us be even more specific. Let us compare the Gospels with two particular mythic writings from around that time to see for ourselves the stylistic differences. The first is the so-called Gospel of Peter, a forgery from around A.D. 125 which John Dominic Crossan (of the "Jesus Seminar"), a current media darling among the doubters, insists is earlier than the four Gospels. As William Lane Craig puts it:

In this account, the tomb is not only surrounded by Roman guards but also by all the Jewish Pharisees and elders as well as a great multitude from all the surrounding countryside who havecometo watchthe resurrection. Suddenly in the night there rings out a loud voice in heaven, and two men descend from heaven to the tomb. The stone over the door rolls back by itself, and they go into the tomb. Thethreemen comeoutof the tomb, two of them holding up the third man. The heads of the two men reach up into the clouds, but the head of the third man reaches beyond the clouds. Then a cross comes out of the tomb, and a voice from heaven asks, 'Have you preached to them that sleep?' And the cross answers, 'Yes.'

Here is a second comparison, from Richard Purtill:

It may be worthwhile to take a quick look, for purposes of comparison at the closest thing we have around the time of the Gospels to an attempt at a realistic fantasy. This is the story of Apollonius of Tyana, written about A.D. 250 by Flavius Philostratus....Thereis some evidence that a neo-Pythagorean sage named Apollonius may really have lived, and thus Philostratus' work is a real example of what have thought the Gospels to be: a fictionalized account of the life of a real sage and teacher, introducing miraculous elements to build up the prestigeof the central figure. It thus gives us a good look at what a real example of a fictionalized biography would look like, written at a timeandplacenot too far removed from those in which the Gospels were written.

The first thing we notice is the fairy-tale atmosphere. Thereisa rather nice little vampire story,which inspired a minor poem by Keats entitled Lamia. There are animal stories about, for instance, snakes in India big enough to drag off and eat an elephant. The sage wanders from country to country and wherever he goes he is likely to be entertained by the king or emperor,who holds long conversations with him and sends him on his way with camels and precious stones.

Here is a typical passage about healing miracles: 'A woman who had had seven miscarriageswas curedthrough theprayersof her husband, as follows. The Wise Man told the husband, when his wife was in labor, to bring a liverabbit under his cloak to the place where she was, walk around her and immediately release the rabbit; for she would lose her womb as well as her baby if the rabbit was not immediately driven away.' [Bk 3, sec 39]

The point is that this is what you get when the imagination goes to work. Once the boundaries of fact are crossed we wander into fairyland. And verynicetoo, for amusement or recreation. But the Gospels are set firmly in the real Palestine of the first century, and the little details are not picturesque inventions but the real details that only an eyewitness or a skilled realistic novelist can give. (Thinking About Religion, p. 75-76)

(2) A second problem is that there was not enough time for myth to develop. The original demythologizers pinned their case onto a late second-century date for the writing of the Gospels; several generations have to pass before the added mythological elements can be mistakenly believed to be facts. Eyewitnesses would be around before that to discredit the new, mythic versions. We know of other cases where myths and legends of miracles developed around a religious founder—for example, Buddha, Lao-tzu and Muhammad. In each case, many generations passed before the myth surfaced.

The dates for the writing of the Gospels have been pushed back by every empirical manuscript discovery; only abstract hypothesizing pushes the date forward. Almost no knowledgeable scholar today holds what Bultmann said it was necessary to hold in order to believe the myth theory, namely, that there is no first-century textual evidence that Christianity began with a divine and resurrected Christ, not a human and dead one.

Some scholars still dispute the first-century date for the Gospels, especially John's. But no one disputes that Paul's letters were written within the lifetime of eyewitnesses to Christ. So let us argue from Paul's letters. Either these letters contain myth or they do not. If so, there is lacking the several generations necessary to build up a commonly believed myth. There is not even one generation. If these letters are not myth, then the Gospels are not either, for Paul affirms all the main claims of the Gospels.

Julius Muller put the anti-myth argument this way:

One cannot imagine how such a series of legends could arise in an historicalage, obtain universal respect, and supplant the historicalrecollection of the true character [Jesus]....if eyewitnesseswere still at hand who could be questioned respecting thetruthof the recorded marvels. Hence, legendary fiction, as it likes not the clear present time but prefers the mysteriousgloom of gray antiquity, is wont to seek a remoteness of age, along withthat of space,and to remove its boldest and most rare and wonderful creations into a very remote and unknown land. (The Theory of Myths in Its Application to the GospelHistory Examined and Confuted [London, 1844], p. 26)

Muller challenged his nineteenth-century contemporaries to produce a single example anywhere in history of a great myth or legend arising around a historical figure and being generally believed within thirty years after that figure's death. No one has ever answered him.

(3) The myth theory has two layers. The first layer is the historical Jesus, who was not divine, did not claim divinity, performed no miracles, and did not rise from the dead. The second, later, mythologized layer is the Gospels as we have them, with a Jesus who claimed to be divine, performed miracles and rose from the dead. The problem with this theory is simply that there is not the slightest bit of any real evidence whatever for the existence of any such first layer. The two-layer cake theory has the first layer made entirely of air—and hot air at that.

St. Augustine refutes the two-layer theory with his usual condensed power and simplicity:

The speech of one Elpidius, who had spoken and disputed face to face against the Manichees, had already begun to affect me at Carthage, when he produced arguments from Scripture which were noteasy to answer. And the answer they [the Manichees, who claimed to be the true Christians] gave seemed to me feeble —indeed they preferred not to give it in public but only among ourselves in private—the answer being that the Scriptures of the New Testament had been corrupted by some persons unknown...yet the Manicheans made no effort to produce uncorrupted copies. (Confessions, V, 11, Sheed translation)

Note the sarcasm in the last sentence. It still applies today. William Lane Craig summarizes the evidence—the lack of evidence:

The Gospels are a miraculous story, and we have no other story handed down to us than that contained in the Gospels....The letters of Barnabas and Clement referto Jesus' miraclesand resurrection. Polycarp mentions the resurrection of Christ, and Irenaeus relates that he had heard Polycarp tell of Jesus' miracles. Ignatius speaks of the resurrection. Quadratus reports that persons were still living who had been healed by Jesus. Justin Martyr mentions the miracles of Christ. No relic of a non-miraculous story exists. That the original story should be lost and replaced by another goes beyond any known example of corruptionof even oraltradition,not to speak of the experience of written transmissions. These facts show that the story in the Gospels was in substance the same story that Christians had at the beginning. This means...that the resurrection of Jesus was always a part of the story.

(4) A little detail, seldom noticed, is significant in distinguishing the Gospels from myth: the first witnesses of the resurrection were women. In first-century Judaism, women had low social status and no legal right to serve as witnesses. If the empty tomb were an invented legend, its inventors surely would not have had it discovered by women, whose testimony was considered worthless. If, on the other hand, the writers were simply reporting what they saw, they would have to tell the truth, however socially and legally inconvenient.

(5) The New Testament could not be myth misinterpreted and confused with fact because it specifically distinguishes the two and repudiates the mythic interpretation (2 Peter 1:16). Since it explicitly says it is not myth, if it is myth it is a deliberate lie rather than myth. The dilemma still stands. It is either truth or lie, whether deliberate (conspiracy) or non-deliberate (hallucination). There is no escape from the horns of this dilemma. Once a child asks whether Santa Claus is real, your yes becomes a lie, not myth, if he is not literally real. Once the New Testament distinguishes myth from fact, it becomes a lie if the resurrection is not fact.

(6) William Lane Craig has summarized the traditional textual arguments with such clarity, condensation and power that we quote him here at length. The following arguments (rearranged and outlined from Knowing the Truth About the Resurrection) prove two things: first, that the Gospels were written by the disciples, not later myth-makers, and second, that the Gospels we have today are essentially the same as the originals.

(A) Proof that the Gospels were written by eyewitnesses:

1. Internal evidence, from the Gospels themselves: a. The style of writing in the Gospels is simple and alive, what we would expect from their traditionally accepted authors. b. Moreover, since Luke was written before Acts, and since Acts was written prior to the death of Paul, Luke must have an early date, which speaks for its authenticity. c. The Gospels also show an intimate knowledge of Jerusalem prior to its destruction in A.D. 70. The Gospels are full of proper names, dates, cultural details, historical events, and customs and opinions of that time. d. Jesus' prophecies of that event (the destruction of Jerusalem) must have been written prior to Jerusalem's fall, for otherwise the church would have separated out the apocalyptic element in the prophecies, which makes them appear to concern the end of the world. Since the end of the world did not come about when Jerusalem was destroyed, the so-called prophecies of its destruction that were really written after the city was destroyed would not have made that event appear so closely connected with the end of the world. Hence, the Gospels must have been written prior to A.D. 70. e. The stories of Jesus' human weaknesses and of the disciples' faults also bespeak the Gospels' accuracy. f. Furthermore, it would have been impossible for forgers to put together so consistent a narrative as that which we find in the Gospels. The Gospels do not try to suppress apparent discrepancies, which indicates their originality (written by eyewitnesses). There is no attempt at harmonization between the Gospels, such as we might expect from forgers. g. The Gospels do not contain anachronisms; the authors appear to have been first-century Jews who were witnesses of the events.

We may conclude that there is no more reason to doubt that the Gospels come from the traditional authors than there is to doubt that the works of Philo or Josephus are authentic, except that the Gospels contain supernatural events.

2. External evidence: a. The disciples must have left some writings, engaged as they were in giving lessons to and counseling believers who were geographically distant; and what could these writings be if not the Gospels and epistles themselves? Eventually the apostles would have needed to publish accurate narratives of Jesus' history, so that any spurious attempts would be discredited and the genuine Gospels preserved. b. There were many eyewitnesses who were still alive when the books were written who could testify whether they came from their purported authors or not. c. The extra-biblical testimony unanimously attributes the Gospels to their traditional authors: the Epistle of Barnabas, the Epistle of Clement, the Shepherd of Hermes, Theophilus, Hippolytus, Origen, Quadratus, Irenaeus, Melito, Polycarp, Justin Martyr, Dionysius, Tertullian, Cyprian, Tatian, Caius, Athanasius, Cyril, up to Eusebius in A.D. 315, even Christianity's opponents conceded this: Celsus, Porphyry, Emperor Julian. d. With a single exception, no apocryphal gospel is ever quoted by any known author during the first three hundred years after Christ. In fact there is no evidence that any inauthentic gospel whatever existed in the first century, in which all four Gospels and Acts were written.

(B) Proof that the Gospels we have today are the same Gospels originally written: 1. Because of the need for instruction and personal devotion, these writings must have been copied many times, which increases the chances of preserving the original text. 2. In fact, no other ancient work is available in so many copies and languages, and yet all these various versions agree in content. 3. The text has also remained unmarred by heretical additions. The abundance of manuscripts over a wide geographical distribution demonstrates that the text has been transmitted with only trifling discrepancies. The differences that do exist are quite minor and are the result of unintentional mistakes. 4. The quotations of the New Testament books in the early Church Fathers all coincide. 5. The Gospels could not have been corrupted without a great outcry on the part of all orthodox Christians. 6. No one could have corrupted all the manuscripts. 7. There is no precise time when the falsification could have occurred, since, as we have seen, the New Testament books are cited by the Church Fathers in regular and close succession. The text could not have been falsified before all external testimony, since then the apostles were still alive and could repudiate such tampering. 8. The text of the New Testament is every bit as good as the text of the classical works of antiquity. To repudiate the textual parity of the Gospels would be to reverse all the rules of criticism and to reject all the works of antiquity, since the text of those works is less certain than that of the Gospels.

Richard Purtill summarizes the textual case:

Many events which are regarded as firmly established historically have(1) far less documentary evidence than many biblical events; (2) and the documents on which historians rely for much secular history are written much longer after the event than many records of biblical events; (3) furthermore, we havemany morecopiesof biblical narratives than of secular histories; and (4) the survivingcopies are much earlier than those on which our evidence for secular history is based. If the biblical narratives did not contain accounts of miraculous events, biblical history would probably be regarded as much more firmly established than most of the history of, say, classical Greece and Rome.

Conclusions:

No alternative to a real resurrection has yet explained: the existence of the Gospels, the origin of the Christian faith, the failure of Christ's enemies to produce his corpse, the empty tomb, the rolled-away stone, or the accounts of the post-resurrection appearances. Swoon, conspiracy, hallucination and myth have been shown to be the only alternatives to a real resurrection, and each has been refuted.

"In this book, they list ten steps in the course of human evolution, each of which is so improbable that before it would have occurred the sun would have ceased to be a main sequence star and would have burned up the earth. They estimate the probability of the evolution of the human genome by chance to be on the order of 4∧(360)^110,000, a number which is so huge that to call it astronomical would be a wild understatement. In other words, if evolution did occur, it would have been a miracle, so that evolution is actually evidence for the existence of God”-William Lane Craig


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Quote:There are over 42

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There are over 42 sources within 150 years after Jesus’ death

There are 0 sources within 50 years of the so-called death of the mythological jesus. Relegating all other sources to hearsay status, and inapplicable to any discussion on the actual existence of jesus.

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jackspell wrote:I do not

jackspell wrote:
I do not need to presuppose anything controversial (e.g. that miracles happen). But the skeptic must also not presuppose anything (e.g. that they do not)

You've lost me there.

If one accepts that miracles happen, anything goes. 6=7 and true = false.

 

Also, you'd better add the possibility that Jesus the Christ never existed.


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ProzacDeathWish

ProzacDeathWish wrote:

 

 

 

  Also, in the year 782 the Christian ruler known as Charlemagne at the Massacre of Verden brutally beheaded 4,500 captive Saxons who steadfastly resisted his efforts to "Christianize" them away from their pagan beliefs. 

So a large group of pagan Germans basically gave up their lives in order to give the middle finger to the Christian God and his loyal servant.   Would you have the balls to give up your head for your religion ?

Nice try slick. The only problem is this was a slaughter, not martyr. The Saxons had no choice. They got caught practicing their pagan religion, and they were slaughtered, whether they liked it or not. The disciples had a choice. All they had to do was renounce Jesus, and their life would've been spared. Instead, they allowed themselves to be tortured to death. The Branch Davidian's deaths were nothing like this either. I want you to honestly tell me, what would you be willing to do that for? You asked if I would willingly get beheaded for God? I would like to think yes. Atleast that is fast and relatively painless. But what if it came to crucifixation? Slow, agonizing death. I, like most everyone else, might renounce my own kids in that situation! But the disciples didn't. They died, not for hearsay, but for what they saw Jesus do with their own eyes. Say what you want, we both know, that is powerfully.

"In this book, they list ten steps in the course of human evolution, each of which is so improbable that before it would have occurred the sun would have ceased to be a main sequence star and would have burned up the earth. They estimate the probability of the evolution of the human genome by chance to be on the order of 4∧(360)^110,000, a number which is so huge that to call it astronomical would be a wild understatement. In other words, if evolution did occur, it would have been a miracle, so that evolution is actually evidence for the existence of God”-William Lane Craig


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 LMAO

 LMAO... jesus is lard... harharhar...


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jackspell wrote:Five

jackspell wrote:
Five Possible Theories I believe Christ's resurrection can be proved with at least as much certainty as any universally believed and well-documented event in ancient history. To prove this, I do not need to presuppose anything controversial (e.g. that miracles happen). But the skeptic must also not presuppose anything (e.g. that they do not). I do not need to presuppose that the New Testament is infallible, or divinely inspired or even true. I do not need to presuppose that there really was an empty tomb or post-resurrection appearances, as recorded. I need to presuppose only two things, both of which are hard data, empirical data, which no one denies: The existence of the New Testament texts as we have them, and the existence (but not necessarily the truth) of the Christian religion as we find it today. The question is this: Which theory about what really happened in Jerusalem on that first Easter Sunday can account for the data? There are five possible theories: Christianity, hallucination, myth, conspiracy and swoon. 1 Jesus died→Jesus rose→ Christianity 2 Jesus died→Jesus didn't rise→apostles deceived→Hallucination 3 Jesus died→Jesus didn't rise→apostles myth-makingcopies are much earlier than those on which our evidence for secular history is based. If the biblical narratives did not contain accounts of miraculous events, biblical history would probably be regarded as much more firmly established than most of the history of, say, classical Greece and Rome. Conclusions: No alternative to a real resurrection has yet explained: the existence of the Gospels, the origin of the Christian faith, the failure of Christ's enemies to produce his corpse, the empty tomb, the rolled-away stone, or the accounts of the post-resurrection appearances. Swoon, conspiracy, hallucination and myth have been shown to be the only alternatives to a real resurrection, and each has been refuted.

 

JESUS FUCKING CHRIST DUDE! Are you trying to make us go blind?

Fuck... learn how to post normal and learn to stop copying and pasting shit as if it were your own words. Start giving links for your references.

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Vastet wrote:Quote:There are

Vastet wrote:
Quote:
There are over 42 sources within 150 years after Jesus’ death
There are 0 sources within 50 years of the so-called death of the mythological jesus. Relegating all other sources to hearsay status, and inapplicable to any discussion on the actual existence of jesus.

Nice post! I was wondering about that... didn't ever do enough research to see if there weren't any.

Could this have been because initially after he died no one gave two shits or nobody knew who he was? Maybe he didn't die and they started a story about him to boost his statue? Then it took 150 years of tweaking to get the story to gain momentum.

Free will is an illusion. People always choose the perceived path of greatest pleasure.

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jackspell wrote: Nice try

jackspell wrote:
Nice try slick. The only problem is this was a slaughter, not martyr. The Saxons had no choice. They got caught practicing their pagan religion, and they were slaughtered, whether they liked it or not.

 

             

 

 

Seriously, what were the chances that these 4,500 Saxons weren't already aware that to practice their pagan religion within the domain of Charlemagne was a death sentence ? 

I guess Charlemagne liked to keep his decrees hidden from the very people that they were intended for, hunh ? 

Either that, or the Saxons did have a "choice" and they opted not to betray their pagan gods even when faced with certain death. 

 

 

 

 

 


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jackspell wrote:    The

jackspell wrote:

 

 

  The disciples had a choice. All they had to do was renounce Jesus, and their life would've been spared. Instead, they allowed themselves to be tortured to death.

 

              If the disciples actually existed, and they willingly sacrificed their lives, then I nevertheless tip my atheist hat to them.   I respect their dedication   ...but not their cause .

            

             In the same vein, during WW2 Japanese soldiers and even Japanese civilians were well known to choose death by suicide rather than submit in any way to the Allies.

             People willingly sacrificing their lives when the option to surrender or submit was offered to them is not unknown behavior outside of Christianity. 

            

             BTW, The Sacred Band of Thebes

             were a group of 300 elite soldiers composed of 150 pairs of male homosexual lovers who refused to surrender to Philip II of Macedon ( Father of Alexander the Great ) and who chose to fight to the

             death when they likely could have surrendered and lived to see another day.   It's not just Christians who were willing to die in defense of their personal beliefs.   Even "sodomites"

             have done it.

 

jackspell wrote:
The Branch Davidian's deaths were nothing like this either.

 

                             Bullshit.   Their deaths were the direct result of their willingness to die for their bizarre religious beliefs.   They were offered the chance to surrender to the FBI ....they didn't.

 

 

jackspell wrote:
But what if it came to crucifixation? Slow, agonizing death.

 

                

It seemed to be an occupational hazard in Imperial Rome.   When the Christians controlled Rome they indulged their own blood lust against non-Christians. Imitation is the greatest form of flattery.

 

 

jackspell wrote:
I, like most everyone else, might renounce my own kids in that situation! But the disciples didn't. They died, not for hearsay, but for what they saw Jesus do with their own eyes. Say what you want, we both know, that is powerfully.

 

        The point that you are so blithely overlooking is that an individual's willingness to die for their cause in no way validates their beliefs.  History is filled with examples of such dedication / fanaticism.

 

 


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Why Jesus is bored

“A meritocratic society is one in which inequalities of wealth and social position solely reflect the unequal distribution of merit or skills amongst human beings, or are based upon factors beyond human control, for example luck or chance. Such a society is socially just because individuals are judged not by their gender, the colour of their skin or their religion, but according to their talents and willingness to work, or on what Martin Luther King called 'the content of their character'. By extension, social equality is unjust because it treats unequal individuals equally.” "Political Ideologies" by Andrew Heywood (2003)


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 Jackspelt,Do you have any

 Jackspelt,

Do you have any original thoughts or is your religion just cut and paste?

You faith is a copy of a copy of a copy of a copy of a copy of a copy of a copy just like the bible. Much lost in the translation. Simply man-made - nothing more simple to understand than that and completely damning to those who hang on to this fairy tale.

You don't know how to defend your faith.

 

Next time instead of cutting and pasting just provide the link and let the big boys talk.

http://www.philvaz.com/apologetics/num9.htm

 

 

 

Religion Kills !!!

Numbers 31:17-18 - Now kill all the boys. And kill every woman who has slept with a man, but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.

http://jesus-needs-money.blogspot.com/


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ex-minister

ex-minister wrote:

 Jackspelt,

Do you have any original thoughts or is your religion just cut and paste?

You faith is a copy of a copy of a copy of a copy of a copy of a copy of a copy just like the bible. Much lost in the translation. Simply man-made - nothing more simple to understand than that and completely damning to those who hang on to this fairy tale.

You don't know how to defend your faith.

 

Next time instead of cutting and pasting just provide the link and let the big boys talk.

http://www.philvaz.com/apologetics/num9.htm

 

He knows how to defend his faith, that is why it is called "faith". Just like you did when you believed and when you were a minister. All you have to do is swallow it and defend it.  It is never credible, sure, but that is all one has to "Know" to defend "faith" is to simply have "faith". Lucky people like you were fortunate enough to have something crack through it. Hopefully Jack can get to where we are.

"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers."Obama
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jackspell wrote:Five

jackspell wrote:
Five Possible Theories I believe Christ's resurrection can be proved with at least as much certainty as any universally believed and well-documented event in ancient history. To prove this, I do not need to presuppose anything controversial (e.g. that miracles happen). But the skeptic must also not presuppose anything (e.g. that they do not). I do not need to presuppose that the New Testament is infallible, or divinely inspired or even true. I do not need to presuppose that there really was an empty tomb or post-resurrection appearances, as recorded. I need to presuppose only two things, both of which are hard data, empirical data, which no one denies: The existence of the New Testament texts as we have them, and the existence (but not necessarily the truth) of the Christian religion as we find it today. The question is this: Which theory about what really happened in Jerusalem on that first Easter Sunday can account for the data? There are five possible theories: Christianity, hallucination, myth, conspiracy and swoon. 1 Jesus died→Jesus rose→ Christianity 2 Jesus died→Jesus didn't rise→apostles deceived→Hallucination 3 Jesus died→Jesus didn't rise→apostles myth-makers→ Myth 4 Jesus died→Jesus didn't rise→apostles deceivers→Conspiracy 5 Jesus didn't die→Swoon

I don't know if you copied and pasted this or not, it seems like you did.

The micro print might work on IE 3 with windows 95 and 640 X 480 resolution but one needs 4X magnifying glasses to read it the way you pasted it with micro type.

Perhaps there might be something in this copy paste wall of text of interest, but wearing magnifying glasses to read it and then cutting it all up so it appears properly is far more time consuming an endeavor than I'm wearing to do or probably most on this forum.

Try again with you own work or simply give a link to the key points with your comments.

I personally go with a guy named Jesus lived. He thought he was the messiah. He modeled himself as in Zechariah going as far to come into town on a donkey. However, the legions of angels prophesied didn't show up. That he used the same call to his followers as did the Maccabees was obvious, leave all and follow me. Does this make him THE MESSIAH or does this mean only he thought he was.

So, what I consider is Jesus was executed for his rebellion against Rome, specifically the attack on the Temple complex. The Temple complex was also the Bank of Judea. Rebellion against Rome did not have community service at the time or probation. End result he's crucified as the rebel criminal that he was.

The whole story of THE JESUS as propagated by Christians is not true. It is a development of oral traditions and legends that have come together in storytelling.

Jesus as a real person is not THE JESUS in the New Testament storytelling at all, that Jesus did not EVER EXIST.

But that's what I think and I can give you extremely detailed reasoning why I think that if I feel like taking the time.

Your unimpressive post so far does not suggest to me you deserve much more time than I've spent so far.

If you'd like to actually discuss this, do your own work and write it so it can actually be read.

Just saying,....

 

____________________________________________________________
"I guess it's time to ask if you live under high voltage power transmission lines which have been shown to cause stimulation of the fantasy centers of the brain due to electromagnetic waves?" - Me

"God is omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent, - it says so right here on the label. If you have a mind capable of believing all three of these divine attributes simultaneously, I have a wonderful bargain for you. No checks please. Cash and in small bills." - Robert A Heinlein.


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 Jackspell, please stop

 Jackspell, please stop stealing arguments from other sites and then cut and paste posting them here.

 

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First off, I'm not trying to

First off, I'm not trying to pass anything off as my own. I am at work when I post on my phone. It is hard to type a long argument on this small keyboard. Copy and paste is faster and easier. I don't claim to be the originator of everything I post. However, I have no need to paste anything other than my main argument. I agree with all of it, which is a compilation of several arguments from others and myself. With that being said, I envite anyone to offer RATIONAL explanation. To say that Jesus and the disciples never existed is a bold claim, and is a heavy burden of proof to shoulder. So I would be interested to hear what evidence anyone claiming that would have. For everyone else that is intelligent enough to not argue against the fact that Jesus and the disciples existed, I will gladly engage that stance. I agree, just because we have tons of historical evidence showing they existed, doesn't necessarily mean He performed miracles and was resurrected. So I would like to hear any and all of your explanations of the facts that are almost universally accepted by New Testament historians, Theologian and skeptic. The facts are, someone named Jesus was crucified for claiming to be the Messiah, his tomb was found empty by a group of women, many people experienced appearences of Jesus after his death, and Christianity originated and flourished in the very place he was crucified. So tell me, what is the most plausible exlplanation? And FYI, the difference between the disciples sacrifice and all others you have listed, is that they weren't dying for hearsay. They weren't dying for a belief in right or wrong. They died, for something they experienced FIRSTHAND, which happened to go against every instinct someone at that time would have. The Branch Davidians chose to resist arrest. In no way were they told that they had to renounce their belief in anything. If they had allowed themselves to be arrested, they didn't have to stop lracticing their beliefs. The comparison is not warranted. Give an example of a group of people that were martyred for not renouncing a FIRSTHAND EXPERIENCE, then we'll talk.

"In this book, they list ten steps in the course of human evolution, each of which is so improbable that before it would have occurred the sun would have ceased to be a main sequence star and would have burned up the earth. They estimate the probability of the evolution of the human genome by chance to be on the order of 4∧(360)^110,000, a number which is so huge that to call it astronomical would be a wild understatement. In other words, if evolution did occur, it would have been a miracle, so that evolution is actually evidence for the existence of God”-William Lane Craig


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Jack is correct in

 

jackspell wrote:
First off, I'm not trying to pass anything off as my own. I am at work when I post on my phone. It is hard to type a long argument on this small keyboard. Copy and paste is faster and easier. I don't claim to be the originator of everything I post. However, I have no need to paste anything other than my main argument. I agree with all of it, which is a compilation of several arguments from others and myself. With that being said, I envite anyone to offer RATIONAL explanation. To say that Jesus and the disciples never existed is a bold claim, and is a heavy burden of proof to shoulder. So I would be interested to hear what evidence anyone claiming that would have. For everyone else that is intelligent enough to not argue against the fact that Jesus and the disciples existed, I will gladly engage that stance. I agree, just because we have tons of historical evidence showing they existed, doesn't necessarily mean He performed miracles and was resurrected. So I would like to hear any and all of your explanations of the facts that are almost universally accepted by New Testament historians, Theologian and skeptic. The facts are, someone named Jesus was crucified for claiming to be the Messiah, his tomb was found empty by a group of women, many people experienced appearences of Jesus after his death, and Christianity originated and flourished in the very place he was crucified. So tell me, what is the most plausible exlplanation? And FYI, the difference between the disciples sacrifice and all others you have listed, is that they weren't dying for hearsay. They weren't dying for a belief in right or wrong. They died, for something they experienced FIRSTHAND, which happened to go against every instinct someone at that time would have. The Branch Davidians chose to resist arrest. In no way were they told that they had to renounce their belief in anything. If they had allowed themselves to be arrested, they didn't have to stop lracticing their beliefs. The comparison is not warranted. Give an example of a group of people that were martyred for not renouncing a FIRSTHAND EXPERIENCE, then we'll talk.

 

suggesting that it's hard to entirely disprove the existence of jesus and co using the literary historical method, which if memory serves me partly right, allows for the acceptance of the existence of an historical person if they are referenced 'first hand' in a couple of sources, or second hand in a couple more, etc. My brothers deploy this argument a lot. But I believe application of the scholarly method to a literal interpretation of the NT exposes a flaw in the methodology. 

The problem for me is this. The core sources cannot be considered unbiased. The NT is not the Jerusalem times. Nor is it Anne Frank's diary. There are no photographs, no additional evidence at all. It's the doctrine of the cult - it's always been the doctrine of the cult. A grab bag of assertions that cannot be supported by empiricism. There is no alternative viewpoint on this. The NT is not a reliable source. It weaves mythology and the supernatural into a seamless narrative - it's classic personality cult. 

The historical sources generally quoted to prove the existence of Jesus - like Suetonius and Josephus - are oblique or exceedingly dubious. None directly reference Jesus with the exception of that paragraph in Josephus which attempts to validate the entire christian doctrine in 3 lines. This is flagrant forgery and Eusebius is the likely author. It's also worth noting that of 50 great historians writing at the time, none mention Jesus. It's possible there was a jesus - there were certainly many other messiahs running about at the same time. It's also possible Jesus is a combination of characters. Or the 'physical' manifestation of the spiritual jesus concept of Paul, leveraged by competing 'super-churches' in Rome and Alexandria. 

Historical writings do not prove the existence of jesus beyond doubt. They are already apologetics. They make a series of truth claims that are almost completely unsupported outside the texts. They make a series of truth claims that blend natural and supernatural events into a single stream. The burden of proof remains on the claimant. 

 

 

 

  

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


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jackspell wrote:First off,

jackspell wrote:
First off, I'm not trying to pass anything off as my own. I am at work when I post on my phone. It is hard to type a long argument on this small keyboard. Copy and paste is faster and easier. I don't claim to be the originator of everything I post. However, I have no need to paste anything other than my main argument. I agree with all of it, which is a compilation of several arguments from others and myself. With that being said, I envite anyone to offer RATIONAL explanation. To say that Jesus and the disciples never existed is a bold claim, and is a heavy burden of proof to shoulder. So I would be interested to hear what evidence anyone claiming that would have. For everyone else that is intelligent enough to not argue against the fact that Jesus and the disciples existed, I will gladly engage that stance. I agree, just because we have tons of historical evidence showing they existed, doesn't necessarily mean He performed miracles and was resurrected. So I would like to hear any and all of your explanations of the facts that are almost universally accepted by New Testament historians, Theologian and skeptic. The facts are, someone named Jesus was crucified for claiming to be the Messiah, his tomb was found empty by a group of women, many people experienced appearences of Jesus after his death, and Christianity originated and flourished in the very place he was crucified. So tell me, what is the most plausible exlplanation? And FYI, the difference between the disciples sacrifice and all others you have listed, is that they weren't dying for hearsay. They weren't dying for a belief in right or wrong. They died, for something they experienced FIRSTHAND, which happened to go against every instinct someone at that time would have. The Branch Davidians chose to resist arrest. In no way were they told that they had to renounce their belief in anything. If they had allowed themselves to be arrested, they didn't have to stop lracticing their beliefs. The comparison is not warranted. Give an example of a group of people that were martyred for not renouncing a FIRSTHAND EXPERIENCE, then we'll talk.

Sorry, lame excuse. If you can cut and paste from your phone ALL THAT INFO then you can damn well post "hey this isn't my shit, I got it from blah blah website".

So you mixed what other people said and what you said all together? Lame. Where did you cut and paste your stuff from? You running a website which already had that stuff already posted for you to do the cut and paste or are you pushing a lie to cover your butt? because if you didn't cut and paste it, then it means you fucking typed it in using that "small keyboard".

As for the whole jesus stuff, the burden of proof isn't on me or others because we didn't start this thread. You did. You are making the claim.

In my opinion, based on the pros and cons I have seen, Jesus probably did exist and yeah he had followers, but there is a ton of hype behind the name. It took howlong? to write stuff about this guy? Yep. and you don't see any writing of him elsewhere in the world until much later.

Think about this... if jesus existed sub-modern times and came to a really small town.. let's say 1776... no telegraph, no internet, no newspapers (well sort of locally). And he started to heal the sick and do amazing stuff... that shit would spread like wild fire. It would get passed around and people would write or talk about it all over the world.

Instead, we have a guy, who people claim to be the son of "the creator" who was healing people and doing amazing stuff and what happened? Did it spread all over the world? no. Did it spread to india? no. Did it spread to africa? no. Did it spread to N. america? no. S. america? no. Asia? No. Australia? no.

Hmmm. where did it spread to and how fast? Well, it stayed locally in the middle east, specifically around judea, galilee and samaria while he was alive. It wasn't until after he "died" that the followers went out to preach. Even then this was years later, decades later and with different followers. Yes, some of the original followers were there, but very few stayed around the original site? Why? because they were wanted men. Some of them were murdered. Stoned to death. 

It took a really really long time for even the bible to be created? Why? Well the story was being passed around like most myths do and every one had a different version of the story. Then one day some one got pissed off and said "We need to get this shit straight or we are going to look like asses and no one is going to believe us". So they sat down, rejected all the shit which was "different" and kept the stuff which "jived" with each other.

Yep, that is totally cool right? Think about that shit happening today? The government rejects all the other stories about a war and then does a press release "ok here is our story" but it isn't the "whole story". Specific stuff gets left out to make them look good, to make people happy, to make people patriotic. Yep, that is the way shit like this happens.

As for the rest of your stuff I stopped at the contradiction which you claim, and I quote:

"I agree, just because we have tons of historical evidence showing they existed, doesn't necessarily mean He performed miracles and was resurrected"

Whoa dude.. really? Then you say:

"So I would like to hear any and all of your explanations of the facts that are almost universally accepted by New Testament historians, Theologian and skeptic. The facts are, someone named Jesus was crucified for claiming to be the Messiah, his tomb was found empty by a group of women, many people experienced appearences of Jesus after his death, and Christianity originated and flourished in the very place he was crucified"

Wait...what? 

Make up your mind... see.. this is what we call a fallacy. You claim that you agree it might not have performed those miracles and not have been reserrected, but then you fucking ask us to explain all the "facts" that are "universally accepted" by "historians, theologians and skeptic(s)?"

WTF.

I'm sick of these posts by stupid theists who can't get their argument right and fucking can't use a damn spell checker. I'll tell you what. You put together an original argument WITH YOUR OWN WORDS, WITH YOUR OWN RESEARCH, THAT IS LOGICALLY SOUND and I'll bother to respond. Until that time comes you fucking wasting my valuable time.

 

Free will is an illusion. People always choose the perceived path of greatest pleasure.

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digitalbeachbum

digitalbeachbum wrote:

jackspell wrote:
First off, I'm not trying to pass anything off as my own. I am at work when I post on my phone. It is hard to type a long argument on this small keyboard. Copy and paste is faster and easier. I don't claim to be the originator of everything I post. However, I have no need to paste anything other than my main argument. I agree with all of it, which is a compilation of several arguments from others and myself. With that being said, I envite anyone to offer RATIONAL explanation. To say that Jesus and the disciples never existed is a bold claim, and is a heavy burden of proof to shoulder. So I would be interested to hear what evidence anyone claiming that would have. For everyone else that is intelligent enough to not argue against the fact that Jesus and the disciples existed, I will gladly engage that stance. I agree, just because we have tons of historical evidence showing they existed, doesn't necessarily mean He performed miracles and was resurrected. So I would like to hear any and all of your explanations of the facts that are almost universally accepted by New Testament historians, Theologian and skeptic. The facts are, someone named Jesus was crucified for claiming to be the Messiah, his tomb was found empty by a group of women, many people experienced appearences of Jesus after his death, and Christianity originated and flourished in the very place he was crucified. So tell me, what is the most plausible exlplanation? And FYI, the difference between the disciples sacrifice and all others you have listed, is that they weren't dying for hearsay. They weren't dying for a belief in right or wrong. They died, for something they experienced FIRSTHAND, which happened to go against every instinct someone at that time would have. The Branch Davidians chose to resist arrest. In no way were they told that they had to renounce their belief in anything. If they had allowed themselves to be arrested, they didn't have to stop lracticing their beliefs. The comparison is not warranted. Give an example of a group of people that were martyred for not renouncing a FIRSTHAND EXPERIENCE, then we'll talk.

Sorry, lame excuse. If you can cut and paste from your phone ALL THAT INFO then you can damn well post "hey this isn't my shit, I got it from blah blah website".

So you mixed what other people said and what you said all together? Lame. Where did you cut and paste your stuff from? You running a website which already had that stuff already posted for you to do the cut and paste or are you pushing a lie to cover your butt? because if you didn't cut and paste it, then it means you fucking typed it in using that "small keyboard".

As for the whole jesus stuff, the burden of proof isn't on me or others because we didn't start this thread. You did. You are making the claim.

In my opinion, based on the pros and cons I have seen, Jesus probably did exist and yeah he had followers, but there is a ton of hype behind the name. It took howlong? to write stuff about this guy? Yep. and you don't see any writing of him elsewhere in the world until much later.

Think about this... if jesus existed sub-modern times and came to a really small town.. let's say 1776... no telegraph, no internet, no newspapers (well sort of locally). And he started to heal the sick and do amazing stuff... that shit would spread like wild fire. It would get passed around and people would write or talk about it all over the world.

Instead, we have a guy, who people claim to be the son of "the creator" who was healing people and doing amazing stuff and what happened? Did it spread all over the world? no. Did it spread to india? no. Did it spread to africa? no. Did it spread to N. america? no. S. america? no. Asia? No. Australia? no.

Hmmm. where did it spread to and how fast? Well, it stayed locally in the middle east, specifically around judea, galilee and samaria while he was alive. It wasn't until after he "died" that the followers went out to preach. Even then this was years later, decades later and with different followers. Yes, some of the original followers were there, but very few stayed around the original site? Why? because they were wanted men. Some of them were murdered. Stoned to death. 

It took a really really long time for even the bible to be created? Why? Well the story was being passed around like most myths do and every one had a different version of the story. Then one day some one got pissed off and said "We need to get this shit straight or we are going to look like asses and no one is going to believe us". So they sat down, rejected all the shit which was "different" and kept the stuff which "jived" with each other.

Yep, that is totally cool right? Think about that shit happening today? The government rejects all the other stories about a war and then does a press release "ok here is our story" but it isn't the "whole story". Specific stuff gets left out to make them look good, to make people happy, to make people patriotic. Yep, that is the way shit like this happens.

As for the rest of your stuff I stopped at the contradiction which you claim, and I quote:

"I agree, just because we have tons of historical evidence showing they existed, doesn't necessarily mean He performed miracles and was resurrected"

Whoa dude.. really? Then you say:

"So I would like to hear any and all of your explanations of the facts that are almost universally accepted by New Testament historians, Theologian and skeptic. The facts are, someone named Jesus was crucified for claiming to be the Messiah, his tomb was found empty by a group of women, many people experienced appearences of Jesus after his death, and Christianity originated and flourished in the very place he was crucified"

Wait...what? 

Make up your mind... see.. this is what we call a fallacy. You claim that you agree it might not have performed those miracles and not have been reserrected, but then you fucking ask us to explain all the "facts" that are "universally accepted" by "historians, theologians and skeptic(s)?"

WTF.

I'm sick of these posts by stupid theists who can't get their argument right and fucking can't use a damn spell checker. I'll tell you what. You put together an original argument WITH YOUR OWN WORDS, WITH YOUR OWN RESEARCH, THAT IS LOGICALLY SOUND and I'll bother to respond. Until that time comes you fucking wasting my valuable time.

 

You should really pay more attention when you are reading arguments from theists. It's obvious you are just making frantic posts, due to your presuppositions that won't allow you to view the argument objectively. I never attempted to shift any burden of proof about the resurrection. What I did say, however, was that anyone making the claim that Jesus and everyone else in the NT never existed would have a heavy burden of proof. Understandably, I don't blame anyone for not considering historical writings as absolute proof of something. But I would expect that person to be consistent with their skepticism. Why not also deny the existence of Alexander The Great? His first 2 biographies were't written until 400 years after he died. I acknowledge the fact that Jesus didn't leave behind his own writings. Thus, we are forced to rely on the documentation of those who were around him. Tho is NOT unusual for figures of antiquity (Socrates left behind no writings of his own, we rely on those of Plato). Jesus is referred to in a range of ancient sources inside and outside the NT, including Christian, Roman, and Jewish. That is really extraordinary when you consider that he only had about a 3 year public life as a preacher. Yet, we have more information about him than most other major figures of antiquity. And you are correct about the NT not being composed until later. But that is one of your problems. Stop thinking of the NT as a holy book. Think of it for what it really is, a collection of several historic documents, with some dating within 3 years of the crucifixation. ("All historians agree the gospels were written and circulating during that generation"-A.N. Sherwin-Wright (≠Christian)). ("The passion source goes back to atleast AD 37"-Rudolf Pesch). Here is one of your other major problems: Why do you presume to think that Christianity should have spread all over the world instantaneously? Sure, Jesus claimed to be God's son. Sure, many people atleast thought they experienced him do the miraculous. But another fact remains, he was crucified by the Sanhedrin as a heretic. In the eyes of the high-ranking Roman and Jewish leaders, he was a nutcase. They certainly weren't trying to spread his claims to other continents. The Jews had no conception of a Messiah who, instead of triumphing over Israel's enemies, would be shamefully executed by them as a criminal. There was nothing inticing about Christianity at this time. It went against all predispositions. It lead to persecution and death. So you really think the disciples were just sitting around and decided, "hey fellas, I got a great idea! Lets fabricate a a story about Jesus that is gonna destroy our lives! We got nothing better to do." I sure would like to meet the salesman who convinced Paul that it was a smart move to trade his life as Pharisee and high ranking leader, for a life of Christian missionary, which encompassed being whipped, beaten, stoned, poverished and in constant danger.

Your last problem, is your misplaced notion that I am being contradictory with my challenge. Go read it again. I am NOT claiming that because we have substantial historical evidence of the existence of Jesus, that proves he is God's son or any other supernatural claim. I am claiming that I have never heard a naturalistic explanation of the established historic facts of 1. After being crucified, his tomb was found empty. 2. Many people claimed to have appearences of him after death. 3. Christianity originated with the disciples beliefs, which came from firsthand experiences. Now that you hopefully comprehend what I am asking, tell me what is the most plausible explanation of these 3 things. If God didn't raise him from the dead, why was the tomb empty? Why did all these people CLAIM to have postmortum experiences? And why, with no good reason at all, would the disciples spread their claims about Jesus?

"In this book, they list ten steps in the course of human evolution, each of which is so improbable that before it would have occurred the sun would have ceased to be a main sequence star and would have burned up the earth. They estimate the probability of the evolution of the human genome by chance to be on the order of 4∧(360)^110,000, a number which is so huge that to call it astronomical would be a wild understatement. In other words, if evolution did occur, it would have been a miracle, so that evolution is actually evidence for the existence of God”-William Lane Craig


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jackspell wrote:. Go read

jackspell wrote:
. Go read it again. I am NOT claiming that because we have substantial historical evidence of the existence of Jesus, that proves he is God's son or any other supernatural claim. I am claiming that I have never heard a naturalistic explanation of the established historic facts of 1. After being crucified, his tomb was found empty. 2. Many people claimed to have appearences of him after death. 3. Christianity originated with the disciples beliefs, which came from firsthand experiences. Now that you hopefully comprehend what I am asking, tell me what is the most plausible explanation of these 3 things. If God didn't raise him from the dead, why was the tomb empty? Why did all these people CLAIM to have postmortum experiences? And why, with no good reason at all, would the disciples spread their claims about Jesus?
4

What facts? seriously what document outside of the bible says that his tomb was discovered empty? Even your bible doesn't get that story right, changing a few times who went to see it and what exactly happened. Many people claimed, but none of been proven at all, people have claimed other deities have appeared to them as well that are not of the christian origin or christian deities, should I believe them merely because they have made that claim? nope i say hallucination or other natural explanation for that phenomena. 3 prove he was raised from the dead, prove that the stories in the bible are not mythological? Just because a character in the bible could have existed it doesn't mean all the feats happened. Much like legends, stories get exaggerated. So seriously what facts are you talking about? You have no fact.


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Seriously Jack?

Is this really the best you can do in any thread? - pasting 80,000 words of shit.  Did you ever think of reading the stuff yourself and summarizing with your own thoughts as a commentary? I paste now and then, many of us do, but you are ridiculous.  Did you notice above the names it says "author" not "paster".  Why don't you just start a thread called "Jackspell's pastes" and start with Genesis 1:1.  For Fuck's sake Dude, get real.

"...but truth is a point of view, and so it is changeable. And to rule by fettering the mind through fear of punishment in another world is just as base as to use force." -Hypatia


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digitalbeachbum wrote:Nice

digitalbeachbum wrote:

Nice post! I was
~
tweaking to get the story to gain momentum.

One must become a historian, an expert on human psychology past and present, and a scholar of all things mythological to give educated guesses on such things. And even when you've done so, someone will disagree with you.
I'm satisfied with the knowledge that the first evidence for a guy named jesus who had some kind of magical powers came from the writings of a guy named josephus, who has ironically more evidence to back his existence than the guy he wrote about, who wasn't even born until at least a year after the death of the supposed jesus.

In other words, noone ever met jesus and wrote about it. Nor did anyone meet jesus and tell anyone who might of been able to record it, until decades after he was dead.
Knowing memory as I do, that means anyone josephus spoke with was recalling, at best, less than 30% of their memories accurately. Reinforced by decades of gossip in the age of ignorance.

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Why anyone could put any

Why anyone could put any weight in such spotty and impossible tales is beyond me. There's literally nothing of any substance to suggest there was a magical man. Anywhere. Ever. By any name.

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latincanuck wrote:jackspell

latincanuck wrote:

jackspell wrote:
. Go read it again. I am NOT claiming that because we have substantial historical evidence of the existence of Jesus, that proves he is God's son or any other supernatural claim. I am claiming that I have never heard a naturalistic explanation of the established historic facts of 1. After being crucified, his tomb was found empty. 2. Many people claimed to have appearences of him after death. 3. Christianity originated with the disciples beliefs, which came from firsthand experiences. Now that you hopefully comprehend what I am asking, tell me what is the most plausible explanation of these 3 things. If God didn't raise him from the dead, why was the tomb empty? Why did all these people CLAIM to have postmortum experiences? And why, with no good reason at all, would the disciples spread their claims about Jesus?
4

What facts? seriously what document outside of the bible says that his tomb was discovered empty? Even your bible doesn't get that story right, changing a few times who went to see it and what exactly happened. Many people claimed, but none of been proven at all, people have claimed other deities have appeared to them as well that are not of the christian origin or christian deities, should I believe them merely because they have made that claim? nope i say hallucination or other natural explanation for that phenomena. 3 prove he was raised from the dead, prove that the stories in the bible are not mythological? Just because a character in the bible could have existed it doesn't mean all the feats happened. Much like legends, stories get exaggerated. So seriously what facts are you talking about? You have no fact.

"By far, most scholars hold firmly to the reliability of the Biblical statements about the empty tomb." -Jacob Kremer (New Testament CRITIC)
In a survey of over 2200 publications, 75% of scholars accepted the historicity of the discovery of the empty tomb. This includes a number of Jewish scholars-Pinchas Lapide & Geza Vesmes.

Tell me this then, if the tomb was in fact, not empty, why didn't the Jewish authorities just go get the corpse out of the tomb and put it on display for everyone? Surely, this would've put an end to the claims the disciples were making, right? Of course it would've. Nobody would've became a Christian, since it hinged on Jesus being raised from the dead by his father, God. So all the Jews wouldve had to do was pull out the corpse. What did they do instead? The hired Saul of Tarsus to persecute all Christians. So this shows they were deeply concerned about the Christian movement. So tell me, wouldn't it have been much easier, and also cheeper, to expose the corpse instead of hiring Saul instead? You ask if you should believe everyone who claims that a deity appeared to them? Of course not. I wouldn't either. Lots of people claim to have seen Elvis, and Bigfoot. Just like lots of people CLAIMED to have seen Jesus. But here is the difference, Jesus also appeared to 500 people simultaneously! Now, we both know 500 people don't experience the same hallucination. That's not how hallucinations work. So I'm pretty sure if 500 people said they saw someone, even Elvis, you wouldn't just write it off as a halucination. Paul says in I Corinthians V6 that most of the 500 are still alive. "There can hardly be any purpose in mentioning the fact that most of the 500 are still alive, unless Paul is saying in effect, the witnesses are there to be questioned"-C.H. Dodd (New Testament Scholar of Cambridge University).
"It may be taken as historically certain that Peter and the disciples had experiences after Jesus' death, in which Jesus appeared to them as the risen Christ"-Gerd Ludemann (skeptical critic)
Think about Paul. Think about his life before the day he THOUGHT he saw Jesus on that road to Demascus. His social status was among the elite. A high ranking Rabbi, Pharisees, and Jewish authority. He had wealth, power, and respect. And yet, after that day, he threw it all away, and never looked back. Why? This was a highly educated man. Surely, he must've had a good reason. What would it tale for you to abandon a wealthy, respected life, for one that is made up of non-stop suffering and ultimately, being crucified?

And lastly, there is nothing plausible at all, to claim Christianity is based on a myth? How so? There was nothing mythical at all about the disciples beliefs. Jews despised pagan myths. Its impoosible they would base there beliefs on one. Furthermore, the very short time between the resurrection and the gospels, doesn't allow sufficient time for them to develop legendary qualities. This takes several generations of being passed down to develop. And the gospels lack any evidence whatsoever of being similar to any mythical story. That is not the tone they have. So it remains that I have yet to hear any plausible explanation for the 3 historical facts about the gospels. Unless and until someone can present one, I am perfectly rational to stand by the belief that God raised Jesus from the dead.

"In this book, they list ten steps in the course of human evolution, each of which is so improbable that before it would have occurred the sun would have ceased to be a main sequence star and would have burned up the earth. They estimate the probability of the evolution of the human genome by chance to be on the order of 4∧(360)^110,000, a number which is so huge that to call it astronomical would be a wild understatement. In other words, if evolution did occur, it would have been a miracle, so that evolution is actually evidence for the existence of God”-William Lane Craig


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jackspell wrote: They died,

jackspell wrote:
They died, for something they experienced FIRSTHAND, which happened to go against every instinct someone at that time would have.

 

 What is the significance of this FIRST HAND EXPERIENCE that you keep babbling about ? 

The Christian martyrs who died in the Roman Colosseum had no first hand experience with Jesus your "messiah" ...do you consider their sacrifice to be as equally trivial as well ?


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Bias pervades the

Bias pervades the scholarship. The christians especially, but some jews and even a few moslems have an interest in promoting the authenticity of a script that contains no useful information.

The day that the majority of scholars are not tied in some way to the very material they say is accurate, and they still say the bible contains useful and accurate information is the day I'll entertain the idea. Until then it's just a bunch of fanboys promoting their favourite fiction stories.

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jackspell wrote: Tell me

jackspell wrote:
....why didn't the Jewish authorities just go get the corpse out of the tomb and put it on display for everyone?

 

                                                          Perhaps for the same reason no one can go and retrieve the body of King Arthur.  

 

 

 

jackspell wrote:
Just like lots of people CLAIMED to have seen Jesus. But here is the difference, Jesus also appeared to 500 people simultaneously! Now, we both know 500 people don't experience the same hallucination. That's not how hallucinations work. So I'm pretty sure if 500 people said they saw someone, even Elvis, you wouldn't just write it off as a halucination.

 

                                                  On October 13, 1917 at Fatima, Portugal between 30,000 to 100,000

                                                claimed to have seen a miracle in the skies that was a sign from The Virgin Mary™

                                                Most Protestants completely reject this "miracle" despite the thousands of

                                                eyewitnesses who claimed to have seen it.   Do you believe the Virgin Mary™

                                                actually paid them a visit from Heaven ?

 

          


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@jackspell

Dude. I can't believe you are still pushing this tripe.

Every thing you previously posted is based on one book. The bible. All other authors based their writings of jesus on.. can you guess? the bible.

So you have a single point of failure for your entire discussion. The bible.

And if you are going to include outside text of the bible, such as the book of john, fine, but you are still talking about text which is entirely taken on faith (as you need to with your bible).

I do not debate faith. End of discussion.

http://www.straightdope.com/columns/read/1985/who-wrote-the-bible-part-1

All sources for this posting is given at the bottom of the link I have given.

The bible is a bunch of baloney. It's not valid.

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I am going to say this, why

I am going to say this, why would the jewish authorities put him out to display? he was killed infront of everyone, second, the claim that he was resurrected came many years after his death, at least written wise, like most followers chances are they made up stories, legends and mythology is filled with resurrected characters. As for your scholar statement of 75 percent? BULLSHIT, only on christian sites do I see any agreement in regards to this, almost every other skeptic site does not believe the resurrection occurred, hell there is a disagreement that jesus would have been put in a tomb since he was a criminal, and was charged with blasphemy from the jewish authorities and crucified by the roman empire as being a criminal, if you known anything about history, neither of these type of crimes deserved a proper burial in a tomb.

As for the paul statement, please like no one has never dropped everything for a religious belief, or worse. Seen it before, still happens today and they involve other religions, yours is nothing special.

there is tons of stuff in the bible that is mythological, you just don't believe that....that's not my problem. However I see discussing this with you is kinda useless. You claim 75 percent when in reality it is very much divided between if it happened, and if he was even buried in a proper tomb, then of course if it was even an empty tomb, etc, etc, etc.


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ProzacDeathWish

ProzacDeathWish wrote:

jackspell wrote:
They died, for something they experienced FIRSTHAND, which happened to go against every instinct someone at that time would have.

 

 What is the significance of this FIRST HAND EXPERIENCE that you keep babbling about ? 

The Christian martyrs who died in the Roman Colosseum had no first hand experience with Jesus your "messiah" ...do you consider their sacrifice to be as equally trivial as well ?

 

I don't know how much more I can dumb it down for you.  These men were not indoctrinated as young children to believe anything about Christianity.  They weren't following Jesus because some priest put a guilt trip on them.  They didn't stand with Jesus because it was cool or it was gonna make them rich.  They willingly suffered terrible deaths for refusing to renounce Jesus based on what they experienced the,selves.  So, tell me what would possess s11 sane people to do that?

"In this book, they list ten steps in the course of human evolution, each of which is so improbable that before it would have occurred the sun would have ceased to be a main sequence star and would have burned up the earth. They estimate the probability of the evolution of the human genome by chance to be on the order of 4∧(360)^110,000, a number which is so huge that to call it astronomical would be a wild understatement. In other words, if evolution did occur, it would have been a miracle, so that evolution is actually evidence for the existence of God”-William Lane Craig


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ProzacDeathWish

ProzacDeathWish wrote:

jackspell wrote:
....why didn't the Jewish authorities just go get the corpse out of the tomb and put it on display for everyone?

 

                                                          Perhaps for the same reason no one can go and retrieve the body of King Arthur.  

 

 

 

jackspell wrote:
Just like lots of people CLAIMED to have seen Jesus. But here is the difference, Jesus also appeared to 500 people simultaneously! Now, we both know 500 people don't experience the same hallucination. That's not how hallucinations work. So I'm pretty sure if 500 people said they saw someone, even Elvis, you wouldn't just write it off as a halucination.

 

                                                  On October 13, 1917 at Fatima, Portugal between 30,000 to 100,000

                                                claimed to have seen a miracle in the skies that was a sign from The Virgin Mary™

                                                Most Protestants completely reject this "miracle" despite the thousands of

                                                eyewitnesses who claimed to have seen it.   Do you believe the Virgin Mary™

                                                actually paid them a visit from Heaven ?

 

          

 

What logical refutation can be given to  to discredit the eyewitness accounts of 100000 people?

"In this book, they list ten steps in the course of human evolution, each of which is so improbable that before it would have occurred the sun would have ceased to be a main sequence star and would have burned up the earth. They estimate the probability of the evolution of the human genome by chance to be on the order of 4∧(360)^110,000, a number which is so huge that to call it astronomical would be a wild understatement. In other words, if evolution did occur, it would have been a miracle, so that evolution is actually evidence for the existence of God”-William Lane Craig


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digitalbeachbum wrote:Dude.

digitalbeachbum wrote:

Dude. I can't believe you are still pushing this tripe.

Every thing you previously posted is based on one book. The bible. All other authors based their writings of jesus on.. can you guess? the bible.

So you have a single point of failure for your entire discussion. The bible.

And if you are going to include outside text of the bible, such as the book of john, fine, but you are still talking about text which is entirely taken on faith (as you need to with your bible).

I do not debate faith. End of discussion.

http://www.straightdope.com/columns/read/1985/who-wrote-the-bible-part-1

All sources for this posting is given at the bottom of the link I have given.

The bible is a bunch of baloney. It's not valid.

This has nothing to do with faith. I am simple asking for a plausible explanation for 3 widely accepted facts among historians (you know, the people that get paid to spend their lives investigating this). So if you no longer want to debate this, that's fine with me. Go back to Youtubing Justin Beiber videos or watching Twilight or whatever you do. But you can't cop out behind "I don't debate faith" because this isn't pertaining to faith even remotely. We both know why you keep posting that you aren't going to keep posting. You, like anyone else who denies Christ, fail to substantiate your position due to your inability to present a single, plausible, rational explanation for these 3 facts.

"In this book, they list ten steps in the course of human evolution, each of which is so improbable that before it would have occurred the sun would have ceased to be a main sequence star and would have burned up the earth. They estimate the probability of the evolution of the human genome by chance to be on the order of 4∧(360)^110,000, a number which is so huge that to call it astronomical would be a wild understatement. In other words, if evolution did occur, it would have been a miracle, so that evolution is actually evidence for the existence of God”-William Lane Craig


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jackspell wrote:This has

jackspell wrote:

This has nothing to do with faith. I am simple asking for a plausible explanation for 3 widely accepted facts among historians (you know, the people that get paid to spend their lives investigating this). So if you no longer want to debate this, that's fine with me. Go back to Youtubing Justin Beiber videos or watching Twilight or whatever you do. But you can't cop out behind "I don't debate faith" because this isn't pertaining to faith even remotely. We both know why you keep posting that you aren't going to keep posting. You, like anyone else who denies Christ, fail to substantiate your position due to your inability to present a single, plausible, rational explanation for these 3 facts.

Wow. You totally missed my point. I know people who had degrees and got paid plenty of money, yet they were wrong because their starting point of their opinion was incorrect. Unfortunately your starting point is your failure. You can't prove any thing about the bible and neither can any of the historians you mentioned.

And in case you didn't notice, every one who is discussing this thread with you is saying the same thing. You are asking for us to make decision based on "three widely accepted facts" which we do not acknowledge as being factual. You say that these historians say they are facts, but we don't recognize these people as being valid references. They are using the bible as their "facts". We don't believe in the bible.

This entire thread is a FALLACY. F-A-L-L-A-C-Y. Look it up. It's a bogus argument.

 

 

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I am amused that jackspell

I am amused that jackspell has no response.

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latincanuck wrote:I am going

latincanuck wrote:

I am going to say this, why would the jewish authorities put him out to display? he was killed infront of everyone, second, the claim that he was resurrected came many years after his death, at least written wise, like most followers chances are they made up stories, legends and mythology is filled with resurrected characters. As for your scholar statement of 75 percent? BULLSHIT, only on christian sites do I see any agreement in regards to this, almost every other skeptic site does not believe the resurrection occurred, hell there is a disagreement that jesus would have been put in a tomb since he was a criminal, and was charged with blasphemy from the jewish authorities and crucified by the roman empire as being a criminal, if you known anything about history, neither of these type of crimes deserved a proper burial in a tomb.

As for the paul statement, please like no one has never dropped everything for a religious belief, or worse. Seen it before, still happens today and they involve other religions, yours is nothing special.

there is tons of stuff in the bible that is mythological, you just don't believe that....that's not my problem. However I see discussing this with you is kinda useless. You claim 75 percent when in reality it is very much divided between if it happened, and if he was even buried in a proper tomb, then of course if it was even an empty tomb, etc, etc, etc.

Wrong. The claims came immediately with the postmortem appearances. Even Jewish and Roman authorities don't attempt to deny the empty tomb. They acknowledge it from the start, claiming the disciples stole the body. So you say legends and mythology are filled with resurrected characters? By all means, let's hear a couple! Also, the burial in the tomb, by Joseph of Arimathea is also widely accepted by all those historians who affirm the empty tomb. Here is the link to information about the poll. http://www.garyhabermas.com/articles/J_Study_Historical_Jesus_3-2_2005/J_Study_Historical_Jesus_3-2_2005.htm

And finally, I don't know how a person with an IQ in double digits would lack the capacity to understand what I have made clear: THE DISCIPLES WEREN'T MARTYED FOR A RELIGIOUS BELIEF! THEY DIED FOR BELIEVING IN WHAT THEY PERSONALLY EXPERIENCED WITH JESUS. THEY DIDN'T DIE FOR FAITH IN A RELIGION. IS RELYING ON YOUR OWN 5 SENSES CONSIDERED TO BE FAITH?

"In this book, they list ten steps in the course of human evolution, each of which is so improbable that before it would have occurred the sun would have ceased to be a main sequence star and would have burned up the earth. They estimate the probability of the evolution of the human genome by chance to be on the order of 4∧(360)^110,000, a number which is so huge that to call it astronomical would be a wild understatement. In other words, if evolution did occur, it would have been a miracle, so that evolution is actually evidence for the existence of God”-William Lane Craig


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Oh and one other thing. I

Oh and one other thing. I don't debate faith because it isn't testable or observable. It's an opinion. If it was factual it wouldn't be called faith.

 

Free will is an illusion. People always choose the perceived path of greatest pleasure.

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jackspell wrote:For everyone

jackspell wrote:

For everyone else that is intelligent enough to not argue against the fact that Jesus and the disciples existed, I will gladly engage that stance.

There are a few threads on this already on this forum.

jackspell wrote:

I agree, just because we have tons of historical evidence showing they existed,

1 ton = 2000 lbs. Tons as you use it means something like 4,000 to 6,000 lbs.

I don't think so. They probably all existed, but there isn't thousands of pounds of documentation from the time period that they supposedly lived.

jackspell wrote:

doesn't necessarily mean He performed miracles and was resurrected.

No, it doesn't. He could have been like Apolloious of Tyana

jackspell wrote:

So I would like to hear any and all of your explanations of the facts that are almost universally accepted by New Testament historians, Theologian and skeptic.

The facts are not what you are about to claim.

jackspell wrote:

The facts are, someone named Jesus was crucified for claiming to be the Messiah,

Someone named Jesus may have been crucified. Why he was is not "Universally Accepted". He could have been simply a rebel or criminal.

jackspell wrote:

his tomb was found empty by a group of women,

This is not a fact. This is an assertion and a legend.

jackspell wrote:

many people experienced appearences of Jesus after his death,

This also is not a fact. This is another legend.

jackspell wrote:

and Christianity originated and flourished in the very place he was crucified.

It's not clear exactly where the Jesus believers actually originated. You have an exact GPS location?

Are you claiming it began on the spot he was executed? If so, present the proof for that.

You have not presented facts here, you have presented assertions and legends.

Try again with actual facts.

 

____________________________________________________________
"I guess it's time to ask if you live under high voltage power transmission lines which have been shown to cause stimulation of the fantasy centers of the brain due to electromagnetic waves?" - Me

"God is omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent, - it says so right here on the label. If you have a mind capable of believing all three of these divine attributes simultaneously, I have a wonderful bargain for you. No checks please. Cash and in small bills." - Robert A Heinlein.


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Vastet wrote:I am amused

Vastet wrote:
I am amused that jackspell has no response.

He is nitpicking his discussions.


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First off, 500 people did

First off, 500 people did not see jesus resurrected, that is simply a claim made by Paul and Paul only, he doesn't give a location where it appeared or even the name of a single witness. This is second hand account at BEST.  The empty tomb and resurrection has many plausible explanations, however if Jesus was tried as a criminal then he wouldn't have been given a proper burial, that is historical fact. Third part is that none of his disciple saw him crucified nor did they see the empty tomb, Rome wouldn't have given the body over to anyone as it would have made sure it could not be made into a martyr and even more so they would make sure that the criminal would not have a dignified burial.

Next part even if the empty tomb is true, it does not mean the resurrection is true, any other explanation if more historically superior over the resurrection idea which never could have happened. As for Paul's conversion, many people throughout history have left everything to follow religion, from buddha as recently as Mase (last person I can think of anyways) still doesn't mean that jesus existed as per the bible exactly, he may have existed as a person by the legendary parts, like the feeding of the people, the resurrection etc, etc, etc are all mythological or legendary in telling. Jesus isn't the first character or religious figure to have been resurrected. John the baptist before him supposed had an empty tomb and was resurrected....hmmmm strange how jesus and john have the same story. Or could it be that the disciples of jesus wanted him to be bigger than john and used the same story and only mention john in passing? Or mention him resisting baptizing jesus? On the serious note the bible is set up with lots of mythology, to deny that is to deny reality of the bible. It's not historical fact at all. Even biblical scholars acknowledge that much.


Brian37
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latincanuck wrote:First off,

latincanuck wrote:

First off, 500 people did not see jesus resurrected, that is simply a claim made by Paul and Paul only, he doesn't give a location where it appeared or even the name of a single witness. This is second hand account at BEST.  The empty tomb and resurrection has many plausible explanations, however if Jesus was tried as a criminal then he wouldn't have been given a proper burial, that is historical fact. Third part is that none of his disciple saw him crucified nor did they see the empty tomb, Rome wouldn't have given the body over to anyone as it would have made sure it could not be made into a martyr and even more so they would make sure that the criminal would not have a dignified burial.

Next part even if the empty tomb is true, it does not mean the resurrection is true, any other explanation if more historically superior over the resurrection idea which never could have happened. As for Paul's conversion, many people throughout history have left everything to follow religion, from buddha as recently as Mase (last person I can think of anyways) still doesn't mean that jesus existed as per the bible exactly, he may have existed as a person by the legendary parts, like the feeding of the people, the resurrection etc, etc, etc are all mythological or legendary in telling. Jesus isn't the first character or religious figure to have been resurrected. John the baptist before him supposed had an empty tomb and was resurrected....hmmmm strange how jesus and john have the same story. Or could it be that the disciples of jesus wanted him to be bigger than john and used the same story and only mention john in passing? Or mention him resisting baptizing jesus? On the serious note the bible is set up with lots of mythology, to deny that is to deny reality of the bible. It's not historical fact at all. Even biblical scholars acknowledge that much.

I completely agree but I try to draw a parallel.

If I wrote a book about myself, since I am a real person living in a real location, does that mean I cant lie in the book I write? If I claimed to be a billionaire, would that make it true simply because I wrote the words in a book?

Again, we know that George Washington existed, but if I wrote a book about him and claimed he could cure the blind or fly like Superman, would that be true because George Washington was a real person? Would George Washington really be able to fly like Superman if I claimed in that same book 500 people saw George Washington fly like Superman?

He doesn't understand HOW myths and legends get started. They are merely the reflections of the desires of the people of that time. But no matter what book claims what real person, INSIDE OR OUTSIDE religion, it will never make any of the fantastic claims real. Harry Potter has a REAL actor playing him, but that does not mean boys can fly around on brooms.

Virgin births are absurd claims. It takes TWO sets of DNA to manifest into a zygote which makes godsperm a bullshit claim. Human flesh NEVER HAS or ever will survive rigor mortis, which makes the death claim of Jesus in the bible also a bullshit claim. No matter who wrote it, just like Harry Potter will never fly around on brooms outside of the movies.

 

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latincanuck wrote:many

latincanuck wrote:
many people throughout history have left everything to follow religion, from buddha...

The buddha you are speaking of left a religion because he saw how the chaste system was phony. It was used to keep people under control.

He rejected the sacrifices gods and the gods themselves as he knew they were a waste of time.

Free will is an illusion. People always choose the perceived path of greatest pleasure.

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 Jackspell, Did the

 Jackspell, 

Did the disciples die because they believed in the teachings of their master Jesus?

No one really knows because the only documents claiming to relate the teachings of Jesus were written long after his and his disciples' deaths by people who never met them.

The gospels weren't written by the guys whose names are attached to them.

Paul didn't convert to Christianity - he created it. Paul was an semi-educated pagan who wanted to be a Pharisee but didn't have the intellectual chops He was supposedly in the employ of the high priest to persecute Christians. The high priest was a Sadducee - no Pharisee would work for a Sadducee.

If Jesus and Paul had ever met, Jesus would likely have slapped Paul silly and/or brought him before the Sanhedrin on the charge of blasphemy. Contrary to the stories you've been told, the Sanhedrin really didn't pay that much attention to the Jesus movement. In fact, Jesus was most likely a Pharisee teacher himself.

As for the odds in the WLC quote - the odds are 1:1 because it happened.

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
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jackspell wrote: So, tell

jackspell wrote:

 So, tell me what would possess s11 sane people to do that?

 

 RELIGIOUS FERVOR is what motivated them you dolt !   They already believed he was the Messiah allegedly foretold in their holy books!  ....how much more religious can you get ?

 

All "spiritual" movements, including Christianity, had a beginning at some point in history, and even if these movements didn't yet exist as an organized religion they still frequently spawned FANATICS !

 

You are so knocked back on your heels over these idiot disciples who willingly laid down their lives for their delusional beliefs.  So fucking what ! Tell it to all the other fucking idiots who also gave up their lives for their own cockamamie beliefs.