What is Christianity? Part 14

Here are the main conclusions and claims that I have argued for or asserted in previous posts:A religion is fundamentally about ideas, claims, and beliefs (see post #1). Christianity is a religion (see posts #2 & #3). Christianity is NOT a relationship with Jesus Christ, because Christianity can be true or false, but a relationship cannot be true or false (see posts #2 & #3). In his book Worldviews, the religious studies scholar Ninian Smart asserts that there are six dif … [Read more...]

Did Jesus Exist? Ehrman’s Complete Failure – Part 5

Because my main objection to a key argument in Chapter 3 of Bart Ehrman's book Did Jesus Exist? (hereafter: DJE) is a strong and decisive objection (i.e. Ehrman provided ZERO historical facts to support the main historical premise of a key argument),  I have felt some concern that my identification or interpretation of the ABSIG argument (Agreements Between Seven "Independent" Gospels) might have been incorrect or inaccurate.  In my view, Ehrman is an intelligent and knowlegable N.T. scholar, so … [Read more...]

Did Jesus Exist? Ehrman’s Complete Failure – Part 4

A Brief Review of My Previous ObjectionsOne key argument for the existence of Jesus presented by Bart Ehrman in Chapter 3 of Did Jesus Exist? (hereafter: DJE) is based on an historical claim about alleged Agreements Between Seven "Independent" Gospels:(ABSIG) There are seven Gospels which were written within "a hundred years after the traditional date of Jesus's death" (DJE, p.78) that are "either completely or partially independent" from each other (DJE, p.78) and yet they "agree on … [Read more...]

Did Jesus Exist? Ehrman’s Complete Failure – Part 3

The Independence of Passages vs. BooksAmong the seven "independent" Gospels to which Ehrman's ABSIG (Agreements Between Seven Independent Gospels) refer are the Gospel of Matthew and the Gospel of Mark.A "basic aspect" of the life or death of Jesus is the claim that Jesus was crucified by the Romans.  There is agreement between Matthew and Mark on this "basic aspect":And they [the soldiers] crucified him [Jesus], and divided his clothes among them, casting lots to decide what each s … [Read more...]

Did Jesus Exist? Ehrman’s Complete Failure – Part 2

Existence vs. Basic Aspects/Attributes"Did Jesus exist?" - What does this question mean?Clarity is a gateway standard of critical thinking.  If you are UNCLEAR about the meaning of a question, then your thinking about that question will also be unclear, and your thinking will probably not be very useful or productive or logical so long as you remain UNCLEAR about the question at issue.On the one hand, it is certain that there was no Jewish man who lived in Palestine in the first cent … [Read more...]

Did Jesus Exist? Ehrman’s Complete Failure – Part 1

I was recently asked to participate in a public discussion/debate about the question "Did Jesus Exist?".  I don't plan to argue in favor of the mythicist position, just because I don't think I would do it justice.  I'm not a mythicist, and I have not studied any mythicists in recent years (I read some of G.A. Wells books years ago, and I read Earl Doherty's The Jesus Puzzle some years ago).  But I do have significant doubts about the existence of Jesus, and especially about the strength of the hi … [Read more...]

Draft Paper on the Jewish Hearsay Testimony and the Empty Tomb

I wrote this about 10 years ago but never finished it. In light of recent discussions, however, I thought it might be of interest to some readers.Please do not cite without my permission.Jewish_Hearsay_Evidence_v1.0_DRAFT_1 … [Read more...]

What is Christianity? Part 13

Worldview as a Way of Life?The third objection that James Sire raises against his older conception of worldviews, is that it makes more sense to understand a worldview as being “a way of life” (NTE, p.97) rather than to understand a worldview as being “a system of thought” (NTE, p.98) because of “the practical, lived reality of worldviews…” (NTE, p.100).The sub-section of Chapter 5 where Sire presents this third objection is called “Worldview as a Way of Life” (NTE, p.98-100).  The first … [Read more...]