Debate: External Evidence for Jesus – Post on Part 4 Coming Soon

I have been working on understanding and evaluating Joe Hinman's fourth argument for the existence of Jesus, and I believe my post on this subject will be ready to publish later this week.  This argument is based on alleged references to Jesus found in a book by the Jewish historian Josephus, particularly the "brother passage", where a person named "James" is referred to as "the brother of Jesus the so-called Christ". … [Read more...]

Debate: External Evidence for Jesus – Part 3

Question 1: What are Hinman's Central Claims about Polycarp?As with his discussion about the external evidence of Papias,  Hinman begins his discussion of Polycarp with some strong claims:III. Polycarp: Knew the Apostle John and studied with him. He speaks of where the apostle sat when they studied together.The first sentence is lacking a subject.  But the heading just above the sentence implies that the subject of the sentence is Polycarp.  The first sentence uses the pronoun "him" … [Read more...]

Debate: External Evidence for Jesus – Post on Part #3 Coming Soon

I am working on Part 3 of this series of posts about external evidence for the existence of  Jesus.  Part 3 will focus on analysis and evaluation of Joe Hinman's third argument for the existence of Jesus, which is based on historical claims about Polycarp.I have written the opening section of Part 3, and have an outline for the main points I plan to make.  So, I hope to publish Part 3 of this series on Saturday, July 9th. … [Read more...]

Debate: External Evidence for Jesus – Part 2

========================NOTE: This post is now complete, as of 11:25 pm pacific time on Saturday, July 2, 2016.========================The first sentence of Joe Hinman's argument from the external evidence of Papias makes a very dubious claim:Papias was the student of the Apostle John.By this, Hinman means that Papias had personal, face-to-face conversations with the Apostle John.This claim was explicitly rejected by Eusebius, the the first historian of … [Read more...]

Debate: The External Evidence for Jesus – Part 1

Joe Hinman's first argument for the existence of Jesus is based on references to Jesus in the Talmud: We know Jesus was in the Talmud and that is a fact admitted by Rabbis.  Some references use his name (Yeshua) some use code words such as "such a one" or "Panthera".  The reason codes are used, is that the commentators censored the works and removed overt reverences [sic] to Jesus (although they missed some) to prevent Christians from inflicting persecution.  We have many of the out takes in va … [Read more...]

The Debate about Jesus has Begun

The debate between me and Joe Hinman about the existence of Jesus has begun.We are focusing on just the external (non-biblical) evidence.Joe has published his positive case for the claim that:...the external (not in Bible) evidence is strong enough to warrant belief in Jesus' historicity.Here is a link to Joe's initial post that summarizes his positive case:http://christiancadre.blogspot.hr/2016/06/debate-bradly-bowen-vs-joseph-hinman.htmlJoe has divided his case into … [Read more...]

What is Christianity? Part 16

In his book Naming the Elephant (hereafter: NTE), the Christian apologist James Sire raises various objections against his previous analysis of the concept of a “worldview” that he had presented in his earlier book The Universe Next Door (hereafter: TUND).I have reviewed three of Sire’s objections to his earlier cognitivist analysis of the concept of a “worldview” and argued that those objections were unsuccessful (see previous posts 10, 11, 12, and 13).In post 15, I argued that Sire's be … [Read more...]

Half of a Debate about the Existence of Jesus

Joe Hinman has requested that I debate him about the existence of Jesus, and I have agreed to do so.We will not, however, attempt to answer the BIG question: Did Jesus exist?  But we will be arguing about a significant issue closely related to that question:Does the external evidence warrant the belief that Jesus existed?The phrase "external evidence" means evidence other than evidence from the Bible.  So, we are excluding the internal evidence from the four canonical Gospels, from Ac … [Read more...]


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