The Ex-Atheist of Woodstown

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The Ex-Atheist of Woodstown

(Firstly, I wasn't sure where to stick this topic, so I'll leave it up to Sapient to move it some place else, if need be.)

The Ex-Atheist of Woodstown...

No, I'm not talking about me!!

Sitting in our local coffeeshop, here in Woodstown, I decided to take a look at our county's newspaper (which I haven't done in quite some time). There was an article in the Living section about a man named Ralph Muncaster, who is a native of Woodstown and an ex-atheist. He recently made an appearance at the nearby Presbyterian Church, seems to promote his new book called A Skeptics Search for God.

Like most people who FOUND Jesus, he makes the most ridiculous claims about the Church, Jesus, God...and of course he couldn't leave out the falsity of evolution!

Like: "Biochemistry just discovered that Evolution is impossible even at the molecular level - so how could it exist at the species level?"

And: "The existence of Jesus is BY FAR the most thoroughly documented fact in ancient history."

You can find more information about him here: www.evidenceforgod.com and www.iccfaith.com .

That's if you can stomach it!


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The Ex-Atheist of Woodstown

Utter garbage!


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Re: The Ex-Atheist of Woodstown

Leda wrote:

The Ex-Atheist of Woodstown...

No, I'm not talking about me!!

THANK GOD!!!

A few months ago my mother sent me a link to a video on another site (through email) where Ralph Muncaster was featured. It was her proof that god exists. I sent her back this page.

It's funny to see his name come up again and to realize he's from your town.

- Brian Sapient


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The Ex-Atheist of Woodstown

A great mind at secularity.com has been corresponding with Ralph Muncaster.

http://www.secularity.com/ForumTopic.php?Topic=15182&StartIndex=0&cc=253038168#GotoID


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The Ex-Atheist of Woodstown

If you know Nietzches student feel free to tell him we'd be glad to host a discussion between he and Ralph on the show Leda. (can't find my login info for secularity)

- Brian Sapient


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The Ex-Atheist of Woodstown

I just IM'd Nietzsche's Student for you, Brian.


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The Ex-Atheist of Woodstown

Just a short post to prove that I can do it.

I am Nietzsche's Student ...

I understand that Dr. Ralph O. Muncaster has a lot of fans here. He was kind enough to reply to my first email to him. If this forum would like, I will post a few of my posts from Secularity.com here so that you can stay informed of the progress with debunking the EvidenceOfGod.com claims

They are loooonggg ... I don't do short very well.

[NS fades off to Secularity ...]

They could not hear the music.


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The Ex-Atheist of Woodstown

YES! We'd love to have you update us here as to how it goes. I'm glad you're taking the time, it's important work.

- Brian Sapient


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Dear Dr. Muncaster (1)

Dear Mr. Muncaster,

I participate in a philosophy forum at Secularity.com were the EvidenceOfGod.com website was mentioned.

I am an atheist, I am a person without belief in a god or gods. On your website you put forward Answers to Questions. The first topic is Jesus and the question is "How do we know Jesus ever existed?"

You make the assertion that, "The existence of Jesus is BY FAR the most thoroughly documented fact in ancient history." An assertion is something declared or stated positively, often with no support or attempt at proof. (The American Heritage? Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

I'm sure that you already know what hearsay is, it is evidence based on the reports of others rather than the personal knowledge of a witness and therefore generally not admissible as testimony. (The American Heritage? Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

The courts won't accept hearsay, and I won't either. You assert that the existence of Jesus "was documented by thousands and thousands of people" during his "short, 3 year ministry."

Accepting premise that the Bible as evidence to prove that the Biblical account of Jesus was true would be a textbook example of circular logic. Circular logic is using a premise to prove a conclusion that in turn is used to prove the premise. (The American Heritage? Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Can you provide for me ONE (1) example of a document other than the Bible that was created by someone that was literally a personal witness of the reality of the Biblical Jesus?

I almost hesitate to go further, but I must insist that you not waste your time providing documentation created by people who did not live when the alleged Jesus lived. Please do not provide me with the testimonials of people who have seen visions or are certain he was/is real. I am looking for the same documentation that would apply to all ancient, historical figures, such as Julius Caesar, Nero and Alexander the Great.

Answers to Questions - Jesus

How do we know Jesus ever existed?

The existence of Jesus is BY FAR the most thoroughly documented fact in ancient history. Some ask why we don?t have spectacular monuments like powerful kings and military leaders made (e.g. the pyramids). But Jesus was NOT a king or military leader. He had a short, 3 year ministry, and he was relatively unknown. Even so, it was documented by thousands and thousands of people even though they faced death to write it. There was no reason to build spectacular monuments. MANY non-Christian historians also documented Jesus including his miracles, his disciples and the Crucifixion and Resurrection. This included many that were against Jesus. If the same principles of documentation analysis and logic were applied to all ancient, historical figures, one would build a case for doubting ALL ancient people, prior to the development of the printing press. Does it make sense to accept Julius Caesar, Nero and Alexander the Great and reject Jesus? Of course not. A FAR stronger case for existence of Jesus is available.

http://www.evidenceofgod.com/answers/jesus1.htm

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Dr. Muncaster Replies (1)

Hi *****,

I don't respond to many of the hundreds of inquiries I get due to time, but yours caught my eye.

You can find documentation evidence in several of my books: Evidence for Jesus, Examine the Evidence and A Skeptic's Search for God.

Truth is, aside for the Bible, Jesus was attested to even in the Jewish Talmud, and by other non-Christian historians. Four early church fathers were contemporaries of the Apostle John just after Jesus and writings exist from them. As far as non-Christians that saw the resurrected Christ directly--that's a bit more challenging. After all, if you actually saw someone rise from the dead, would you remain a non-Christian? Or do you think you might change like Paul, or Constantine?

Hope this helps,
Dr. Ralph O. Muncaster

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Debunking Dr. Muncaster (1)

Almost immediately there was a pitch for me to buy a book. Religion is a for-profit enterprise.

Should I mention that the Jewish Talmud is a collection of rabbinical writings, the oldest of which were written long after the death of the alleged Jesus? Writtne between 200 C.E. and 1450 C.E., the mentions of Jesus are essentially commentary based on the Christian, Biblical record of Jesus. Any reference in the Talmud to Jesus by one of the many rabbis is strictly hearsay.

Jesus In The Talmud, by Gil Student (http://www.angelfire.com/mt/talmud/jesus.html)

Who are these other non-Christian historians? And, who cares? If these documents were created by anyone that was not contemporary to Jesus, they are hearsay. Most historians write about the past, not the present. Contemporary means belonging to the same period of time. (The American Heritage? Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Who are these ?four early church fathers? that were contemporaries of the Apostle John whose writing exist to this day? On the first point, they are not contemporaries of Jesus so their testimony is hearsay. On the second point, Dr. Muncaster didn?t bother to name them, for that I will need to buy his book. Dr. Muncaster?s claim that texts survive that were the record of four contemporaries of the Apostle John and record the reality of Jesus is an assertion. You remember the definition of assertion don?t you? Good.

Also I didn?t ask Dr. Muncaster to exclude Christians or provide documentation of the reality of the resurrection. I did ask him to exclude people who long after the death of the alleged Jesus had seen visions or just believed the Jesus story and to include people that were contemporary to Jesus. This is a classical argument technique used by Christians; focus on something that is not relevant to the discussion and pretend that it is really important. I?m sure there is a word for that; will someone post the word for that kind of argument?

In the final analysis, Dr. Muncaster was unable or unwilling to provide me with ONE (1) example of documentation that supports the asserted reality of Jesus. You would think that if the reality of Jesus was ?documented by thousands and thousands of people? it would be very easy to provide ONE (1) example.

[NS is not surprised ?]

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More Dr. Muncaster later

Dr. Muncaster and I have exchanged several emails now and I will post the second email with it's reply and my debunk tomorrow and the third on Friday ...

[Sex is always better when it is preceeded by anticipation and followup is expected ...]

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Re: Debunking Dr. Muncaster (1)

NietzschesStudent wrote:

[NS is not surprised ?]

Neither is Sapient. Eye-wink

- Brian Sapient


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Dear Dr. Muncaster (2)

Dear Dr. Muncaster,

Thank you for responding to my recent inquiry regarding ?How do we know that Jesus ever existed?? I am especially aware that your web site generates hundreds of emails from both those that believe there is evidence of God and those that don?t. I appreciate how much time and effort is involved in replying to these emails as I personally invest a great deal of time in my own communications.

In all fairness to yourself it is important to let you know that it is unlikely that I will ever purchase one of your books so I will certainly understand if you do not invest further effort in communicating with me. The purpose of my last inquiry and this inquiry was and is to provide you with a fair opportunity to defend you position regarding evidence of God.

In your reply you did not provide me with the ONE (1) example of a contemporary of Jesus that had documented the reality of his existence. The authors of the Talmud were not contemporaries of Jesus and wrote between 200 C.E. and 1450 C.E. There testimonies are hearsay. I do not know of any historian that was a contemporary of Jesus and documented the reality of his existence. And, I have no idea who the four contemporaries of the Apostle John, whose reality is as much in question as the reality of Jesus, were. Indeed if they were also contemporaries of Jesus and some of their old texts survive, I would be very interested in knowing.

The purpose of this inquiry is not to revisit the previous issue but to address your answer to the question, ?How do we know God exists??

You offer as your first evidence that God exists, ?his Creation?. Your argument is that the complexity of ?a single living human cell ? necessitates a Creator (God).? Also, you point out that ?the Bible says Creation by God has been obvious from the beginning of time.?

The vast majority of scientists do not believe that complexity necessitates a creator. Throughout history every phenomenon that eluded the understanding of curious and less socially and intellectually evolved humans has been initially explained by belief in a god or gods. As humans have become smore ocially and intellectually mature a better understanding of each phenomenon has been provided by scientific methods of observation and analysis. Almost every revelation provided by God has failed to withstand the scrutiny of scientific observation. So, why should we believe that the remaining phenomenon whose complexity still eludes the understanding of most humans are better explained by a belief in a god or gods than by the simple explanation that we just don?t know everything?

Your reliance on the Biblical record of the creation as proof that the Biblical record of creation is true is circular logic and I must reject it.

You offer as your second evidence that god exists, ?the ?statistical? proof of divine inspiration of the Bible.? You assert that ?only a supernatural God ? could provide hundreds of specific prophecies and insights, written centuries in advance. ? Perhaps you remember that I provided you with the definition of assertion in my last correspondence?

I recently asked my believing forum friends to provide me with an example of a prophecy from the Bible that was true. Upon examination, the prophecies offered fall apart. To make it appear that most prophecies are true you must figuratively stand on your head, wiggle your ears and squint out of the left eye. Nostradomians are experts at twisting words and even rearranging letters to make it appear that the prophecies of Nostradomus have been and continue to be fulfilled.

For mathematical analysis to literally prove the existence of God?s inspiration many hundreds of years in advance a statistically significant number of prophecies would have to be tested and found to be 100% accurate. ?But wait!? I hear the complaint coming, ?Science doesn?t require 100% accuracy.? We are not talking about mortal and fallible humans employing scientific analysis; scientists are constantly reevaluating evidence and theories and revising them to arrive at conclusions that are more accurate. God is supposed to be all knowing, omnipotent and infallible.

Please provide me with ONE (1) example of a divinely inspired prophecy from the Bible the fulfillment of which can be verified without using the Bible. Using the Bible as evidence that Biblical prophecy was fulfilled would be circular logic. I think I defined circular logic for you in my last email.

Answers to Questions ? God
How do we know God exists?

There are at least 2 objective, yet certain ways to know God exists. The first is through his Creation. Imagine finding a new, hi-tech watch in a forest. There would be no doubt in your mind that it was created, though you have never seen anything like it before. Thanks to the electron microscope, we now know that a single living human cell is FAR more complex than the most modern factory. Creation of life, now is obvious - especially to experts in biochemistry. This necessitates a Creator (God). But you don?t need a degree in molecular biology or quantum physics. The Bible says Creation by God has been obvious since the beginning of time... that we are "without excuse" [Rom 1:20].

Second, we can be certain from the statistical "proof" of divine inspiration of the Bible. Only a supernatural God, beyond time and space, could provide the hundreds of specific prophecies and insights, written centuries in advance. Perhaps you think the Bible is biased, inaccurate, mythological or unprovable. Many of us felt the same way... until we investigated the evidence from the "eyes of a skeptic." . Mathematical analysis literally "proves" the existence of God?s inspiration many centuries in advance.

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Dr. Muncaster replies (2)

*****,

Too bad you reject purchasing my book A Skeptics Search for God which reviews my journey from atheism to God to the Bible to Jesus. I was not a religious zealot--the opposite.

It was based on empirical evidence, not philosophy and heresay. It lists well over 200 specific prophecies most of which are verified outside the Bible. I purposely excluded all short term prophecies that could have been contrived.

We have thousands of ancient writings of the Apostle John and hundreds of thousands died in belief that his history was true. Compare that to Julius Caesar, Livy or Tacitus--all of whom we readily accept as historians dispite the fact that only about 10 copies apiece exist today, and certainy nobody died on behalf of their historical accounts. Your argument would also imply we are using circular reasoning to say Caesar's history is true (give me one other source for the history of the "Galic Wars"--there is none). And nobody died to support it. Yet we (probably you too) readily accept it and it is taught in school.

Unfortunately, if one has sufficient motivation to reject God, no amount of logic and objective reasoning will overcome it. I was as outspoken as they come, but was also open-minded... that if it could be "proven" to me empirically, I'd listen. My book reviews that journey of how I eventually radically changed my thinking.

Best wishes,
Ralph

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More Dr. Muncaster tomorrow

I didn't write a debunk for Dr. Muncaster's second reply, I included my debunk in the next letter to him.

Feel free to post your own debunk here at RationalResponders.com

[NS drifts off to the shadows ... ]

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Dear Dr. Muncaster (3)

Dear Dr. Muncaster,

You have not provided me with any of the three items of information that I asked for.

1. Please provide me with the ONE (1) example of a contemporary of Jesus that had documented the reality of his existence. You claim that there are thousands, and I have only asked for ONE (1).

2. Please provide me with ONE (1) reason why should we believe that the phenomenon whose complexity eludes the understanding of most humans are better explained by a belief in a god or gods than by the simple explanation that we just don?t know everything?

3. Please provide me with ONE (1) example of a divinely inspired prophecy from the Bible the fulfillment of which can be verified without using the Bible.

Are you concerned that your book sales will suffer if you provide this information for free? I was a Christian minister for twenty years and I never charged anyone for information about Jesus or God.

I will not proceed to further subjects at this point since we are at an impasse.

One thing you must understand about real atheists is that we do not believe in a god or gods and therefore they do not reject any god or gods. I may reject an argument that is put forward and if any evidence is ever put forward I may reject that as well, but I have no reason to believe there is a god or are gods and therefore I do not reject them.

Your argument appears to be with the reality of Julius Caesar, Livy or Tacitus; I have never argued that they are, or are not, real people from history. When historians examine the veracity of claims about historical figures like Julius Caesar, they do so with an eye of skepticism. For example, consider these words about Julius Caesar from Wikipedia.com:

Caesar's military campaigns are known in detail from his own written Commentaries (Commentarii), and many details of his life are recorded by later historians such as Suetonius, Plutarch, Cassius Dio, and Strabo.

Caesar is personally credited for five literary works. The skeptical historian might suspect that a later author wrote the works and then attributed them to Caesar or might suspect that Caesar embellished his own records of personal exploits. So the historian looks for more evidence to corroborate what Caesar wrote.

The author of this wiki was very careful to point out that historians wrote about Caesar in retrospect. Let?s see what wiki said about the historical documents produced by Suetonius:

Suetonius used the imperial archives to research eye-witness accounts, information, and other evidence to produce the book. He also quotes from Gaius Asinius Pollio, Cremutius Cordus and the Acts of Augustus.

It is said by some to be founded on gossip and citations of historians who had lived in the time of the early emperors rather than of primary sources of that time. However, even if this is true (the book is very racy, gossipy, dramatic and sometimes amusing and there are times the author subjectively expresses his opinion or knowledge), it provides valuable information on the heritage, personal habits/lives and political careers of the first Roman Emperors. It mentions details that other sources do not mention. For example, Suetonius is the main source on the life of Caligula, his uncle Claudius, and the heritage of Vespasian (the relevant sections of the Annals by his friend and contemporary Tacitus being lost).

The author of this wiki was very careful to avoid misleading the reader and qualified the source?s potential for being inaccurate or misleading . These historians wrote shortly after the death of Caesar and had access not only to public records and first-hand witnesses of the reality of Julius Caesar. Their records are qualified regarding their sources as in references to quotes from Gaius Asinius Pollio who was a contemporary of Caesar and was about 30 years old when Caesar was assassinated.

Images of Caesar are preserved in stone monuments, engravings and on coins all of certifiable antiquity and each subject to scrutiny by the skeptical thinker.

The name, GAIVS IVLIVS CAESAR, is engraved in rocks of certifiable antiquity and is preserved in future generations. In 63 B.C.E., he modified the Roman calendar which has been 365 days ever since and which is still referred to as the Julian calendar and a month of which is named after him. The use of his calendar that bears his name is certifiable into antiquity.

I guess what I?m trying to say is that I don?t believe that any documentation of the reality of Jesus survives outside of the New Testament. I?ve read not only the New Testament but also pseudoepigraphical works many of which are fragments of text taken from badly damaged scrolls. None of the surviving text can be certifiably attributed to contemporaries of the Biblical Jesus or even the generation that followed him.

When the texts relating to Jesus are published by reputable historical scholars, they usually bear disclaimers regarding the authenticity of the work. NOTE: I am not suggesting that Christian scholars are not reputable. Please consider this example from The NIV Study Bible:

Although there is no direct internal evidence of authorship, it was the unanimous testimony of the early church that this Gospel was written by John Mark. The most important evidence comes from Papias (c. A.D. 140), who quotes and even earlier source as saying, ?

Most of us don?t have access to libraries as extensive as the NIV Committee on Bible Translation. But a quick trip to wiki will reveal that it wasn?t the work of Papias (c. A.D. 140) that provides the evidence, but the work of Eusebius (c. A.D. 325) where Papias is referenced as having referenced an earlier work. The veracity of the claim becomes suspect with the citations of sources that cite other unnamed sources. Where one scholar twists the evidence to lead the reader to believe that a credible source contemporary to the life of the Biblical Jesus exists, another scholar reveals that the earliest reliable non-Biblical reference to the book of Luke is c. C.E. 325.

Our sources regarding Julius Caesar lived in the generation or two after Caesar?s death and cited, by name, living contemporaries of Caesar and had access to the imperial archives. Our sources regarding the Biblical Jesus lived almost 300 years after his alleged death and cited sources that were 150 years dead who were citing earlier unknown sources. The veracity of claims regarding the life of Caesar are held suspect by the skeptical historian who is constantly looking for evidence that could prove or disprove the current understanding of Caesar?s historical significance. The true Christian is called upon to accept the Bible as an authentic and accurate record without any requirement for corroborating evidence. The very act of skepticism in regard to the Biblical record is considered by many to be a sin.

You claim that there exists evidence of the reality of the Biblical Jesus and of the Biblical God; I claim nothing. I only asked for the tiniest shed of corroborating evidence which you claim exists in abundance. As you said, the reality of Jesus ?was documented by thousands and thousands of people?; I am only asking for ONE (1) example. From your list of ?well over 200 specific prophecies most of which are verified outside the Bible? I am only asking for ONE (1). And I still do not understand why it is unacceptable to admit that many complex phenomenons are simply outside of our understanding at the moment; why these phenomenons must be explained by the existence of a god or gods.

Maybe it is time for you to reevaluate what constitutes ?evidence?. I seriously doubt that anything that I would call ?evidence? exists and I offer as my evidence your apparent inability to provide any. Yes, the absence of evidence is evidence of absence.

Best regards,

***** *********
Still an atheist

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Dr. Muncaster replies (3)

1. Matthew (Biblical historian), Flavius Josephus (non-biblical historian)
2. Chirality
3. Cyrus, (Is. 44:24-28) verified by archaeological find of the Cyrus cylinder.

Good luck. I will not be able to continue an ongoing dialogue with one person as the reason I write books is to communicate this type of information to the masses. Again, I encourage you to start reading A Skeptic's Search for God.

Blessings,
Dr. Ralph O. Muncaster

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Nietzsche's Student debunks Dr. Muncaster 93)

Of course Dr. Muncaster?s answers fall far short of glory.

Matthew is a fictional character from the Bible and I clearly specified that the document should be from a non-Biblical source.

Flavius Josephus was not contemporary to the Biblical Jesus. He is famous for recording the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans in 70 C.E. and was not born until 37 C.E. at which time Jesus would have been dead. Most historians agree that the few reference to Jesus that are attributed to Josephus were inserted into his work long after his death since the oldest surviving texts do not include references to Jesus at all.

Chirality relates to the structural characteristics of a molecule that make it impossible to superimpose it on its mirror image. (The American Heritage? Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition) I have no idea why chirality exists and I don?t feel inclined to invent an invisible person with supernatural powers to explain it.

Is. 44:24-28
Thus saith the LORD, thy redeemer, and he that formed thee from the womb, I am the LORD that maketh all things; that stretcheth forth the heavens alone; that spreadeth abroad the earth by myself;
That frustrateth the tokens of the liars, and maketh diviners mad; that turneth wise men backward, and maketh their knowledge foolish;
That confirmeth the word of his servant, and performeth the counsel of his messengers; that saith to Jerusalem, Thou shalt be inhabited; and to the cities of Judah, Ye shall be built, and I will raise up the decayed places thereof:
That saith to the deep, Be dry, and I will dry up thy rivers:
That saith of Cyrus, He is my shepherd, and shall perform all my pleasure: even saying to Jerusalem, Thou shalt be built; and to the temple, Thy foundation shall be laid.

According to Wikipedia, Cyrus the Great, also Cyrus II of Persia or Cyrus the Elder, (ca. 576 or 590 ? July 529 BC), founded the Persian Empire. ? The Bible records that a remnant of the Jewish population returned to the Promised Land from Babylon, following an edict from Cyrus to rebuild the Temple, fully reproduced in the Book of Ezra. As a result of Cyrus' policies, the Jews honored him as a dignified and righteous king. He is the only Gentile to be designated as a messiah (divinely-appointed king) in the Tanakh. Koresh (Hebrew for Cyrus) is a common name for streets in Israel and is a relatively common Israeli family name.

That reality of Cyrus is well documented by archeological evidence. The return by Cyrus of a remnant of the Jewish population from Babylon with an edict to rebuild the temple is recorded ONLY in the Bible. My own longstanding belief regarding the entire Old Testament is that it was fabricated by Jews returning from Babylon with new ideas about religion that they had adopted in Babylon and the that the book was used by these returning Jews to justify taking the land from its inhabitants and establishing a new theocratic nation the same way the Book of Mormon was fabricated and used to justify taking land from Native Americans and setting up a new theocratic nation.

The evidence for my belief is in the number of Zorastorian/Persian views that crept into Palestine at this point in history replacing well document belief systems that were far older and commonly practiced throughout the same area. The success of the Jews and the Mormons is very similar.

Let?s go ahead and pretend that Dr. Muncaster actually answered one question out of three but even that answer was a big belly flop. He had 200 prophecies to choose from and should have been able to do better.

Since I won?t be buying one of his books we will not need to correspond further. I?ve taken the same approach to sales myself, if the likelihood of a sale is low, go ahead an make on last bold sales pitch and move on.

If I die and discover that there is a god, I am blaming Dr. Muncastor for putting the sale ahead of the conversion and for doing such a poor job of providing evidence. I'm sure that God will understand.

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Debunking Dr. Mancaster's "true" acknowledgement o

Conjecture is a statement, opinion, or conclusion based on guesswork. (The American Heritage? Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Dr. Muncaster writes that ?true acknowledgment of Jesus means believing and accepting the physical Jesus, who died for our sins? but he is unable to provide any documentary evidence, outside of the Bible, of that reality left by contemporaries of Jesus.

Dr. Muncaster makes the misleading claim, ?When considering evidence for other religions regarding Jesus, recognize that Christians using the Bible as THE authority, vastly outnumber the ?cult? derivations.?

Christianity: 2.14 billion
Islam: 1.5 billion
Judaism: 15 million
Mormonism: 12 million
Jehovah?s Witnesses: 6.7 million
Unitarian Universalism: 800,000
Non-Jesus Religions: 3.36 billion

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religion

This is the old argument that the majority must be right. To make the claim appear legitimate, Dr. Muncaster must ignore the 3.36 billion people on the planet earth that do not believe in the reality of Jesus and focus on a subset where his Jesus believers can be broken down into ?true? believers and ?cult? derivations.

Finally, ?Only the Bible with prove authoritative.? I am left to conclude that the Bible is the only evidence that exists and the only evidence that is considered authoritative by Dr. Muncaster. Exclude the Bible and Jesus instantly becomes a mythological character instead a historically real person.

Answers to Questions ? Jesus
What religions acknowledge Jesus?

BEWARE of religions that use the name of Jesus, or the title of Christ. True acknowledgment of Jesus means believing and accepting the physical Jesus, who died for our sins. Thusly, Jesus is THE Christ - a title of a person, not a "Christ-like consciousness." Major world religions that accept the physical Jesus include: Christians, Jews and Islam. But only Christians acknowledge the role of Jesus as defined in the Bible... as God incarnate, and as the ultimate sacrifice for our sin. There are also derivations of Christianity (called "cults" that distort the Biblical message. Some ways to spot cults are to ask the questions: (1) Was Christ the description of a human being - Jesus? (2) Did Jesus physically die for our sin? (3) Is Jesus a form of the ONE "God" - and ONE with the Holy Spirit? (4) Did Jesus physically rise from the dead? and (5) Are the words and directions of Jesus reliable? When considering evidence for other religions regarding Jesus, recognize that Christians using the Bible as THE authority, vastly outnumber the "cult? derivations. Furthermore, the Bible has been analyzed for accuracy for thousands of years. Many cults try to tie the Bible into their own recent "holy books" to give their books "authority." TEST THEM. Only the Bible will prove authoritative.

http://www.evidenceofgod.com/answers/jesus2.htm

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NietzschesStudent
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Circular reasoning

Dr. Muncaster askes the question, ?Isn?t using the Bible to ?prove? the existence of God, ?circular? reasoning??

He then answers his own question, ?Not when outside sources are used to prove without doubt, the Divine nature of the writing of the Bible.?

Let?s review some definitions.

Circular reasoning is ?using a premise to prove a conclusion that in turn is used to prove the premise?. As an example, we read in the Bible some information which leads us to the conclusion that God exists and the Bible can be relied upon to be factually correct because God inspired it.

Doubt exists if a person continues ?to be undecided or skeptical about? claims made after reviewing the evidence. Let?s see if doubt exists after reviewing the evidence put forward by Dr. Muncaster.

Dr. Muncaster claims that ?we know the Old Testament was written hundreds of years before Christ.? Setting aside the likelihood that Jesus was a fictional character, the oldest surviving texts of the Old Testament are the Dead Sea Scrolls, written about 125 B.C.E. and the Septuagint, the Greek translation of the Hebrew text, translated around 150-200 B.C.E.

Let?s apply some non-circular reasoning ? 5,000 copies of the book of Mormon, in English, were published in 1830. Since publication, 124,455,125 copies have been distributed worldwide and the book can now be read in 104 languages. The church claims to have 12,275,822 members. The fact that the book was written over 170 years ago, has experienced wide distribution and is believed to be a true record by many people around the world does not alter the fact that it is a work of fiction.

Dr. Muncaster continues, ?the Bible contains many Scientific Insights written thousands of years before science discovered the facts.? For instance, cud chewing rabbits, four legged insects, unicorns, giants, placing bats in the bird family, dragons, dinosaurs and humans lived on the earth at the same time, the heart is the organ where thinking occurs, earthquakes are the result of God?s anger, the moon produces its own light instead of reflecting the light of the sun, the earth sets in one place and does not move, the earth is flat, the sun moves around the earth, it takes 40 year to travel from Egypt to Canaan,
it rains when God opens the windows of heaven, the whole earth was flooded once and every living thing was preserved because they were all on a boat, stars are small bright objects that sometimes fall from the sky and can be stamped on, the heart is the organ where thinking occurs, if you have sufficient faith you can avoid illness, leprosy is caused by sin, blindness can be cured by washing in the Pool of Siloam, and much more.

I would ask Dr. Muncaster for one example of science revealed by the Bible thousands of years before it was known to others but he isn?t corresponding with me any more.

?More importantly the Bible contains over 600 specific, historical prophecies ? all precisely fulfilled and verified by a variety of historical record.? I did ask Dr. Muncaster for one example that could be verified without the Bible and he was unable to do so. The example he provided was that Cyrus sent the Hebrews to Jerusalem with an edict to rebuild the temple.

The Bible incorrectly records that Nebuchadnezzar was the king of Babylon and invaded Jerusalem during the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim (606 B.C.E.). Jehoiakim was dead and his son Jehoiachin was king in 597 B.C.E. when Nebuchadnezzar conquered Jerusalem.

The Bible also mistakenly records Belshazzar as the son of Nebuchadnezzar. Nebuchadnezzar was succeeded by his son Amel-Marduk who was assassinated by his brother-in-law, Nergal-shar-usur. The next and last king of Babylon was Nabonidus who reigned from 556 to 539, when Babylon was conquered by Cyrus. It was Nabonidus, and not Belshazzar, who was the last of the Babylonian kings. Belshazzar was a the son and viceroy of Nabonidus. But he was not a king, and was not the son (or any other relation) of Nebuchadnezzar.

Darius the Median is a fictitious character whom the author perhaps confused with Darius I of Persia, who came to the throne in 521 BCE, 17 years after the fall of Babylon. The author of Daniel incorrectly makes him the successor of Belshazzar instead of Cyrus.

There is no evidence outside of the Bible that Cyrus freed any Hebrew captives or sent them to Jerusalem with a decree to build a temple.

Every statement made by Dr. Muncaster in this short answer is either conjecture, guesswork based on inconclusive evidence, or assertion, declared or stated positively, with no support or attempt at proof. In true circular fashion the Bible must be relied upon to provide proof that the Bible is true. When the Biblical record is subjected to scrutiny, its science and its history fall apart.

Answers to Questions - God
Isn't using the Bible to "prove" the existence of God, "circular" reasoning?

Not when outside sources are used to prove without doubt, the Divine nature of the writing of the Bible. First, we know the Old Testament scripture was written hundreds of years before Christ (we have existing manuscripts actually written centuries before Jesus). Second, the Bible contains many Scientific Insights written thousands of years before science discovered the facts. Only in the last few centuries have scientific discoveries literally proven the insights in physics, medicine and other fields - (written 3,000 years earlier). More importantly the Bible contains over 600 specific, historical prophecies - all precisely fulfilled and verified by a variety of historical records. The list of prophecies includes exact description of amazing events. Prophecies also foretell names of people in key roles and even predicts exact years and days of some of the most important Biblical events... hundreds of years in advance. History and archaeology confirm the Divine prophecies and insights in the Bible.

http://www.evidenceofgod.com/answers/god2.htm

They could not hear the music.