Response to “Top 10 Myths About Jesus’ Resurrection”

Response to “Top 10 Myths About Jesus’ Resurrection” March 21, 2016

Yesterday was Palm Sunday, the day we celebrate the triumphant entry into Jerusalem of our lord and savior. Or not.

This week leading up to Easter is a good time to critique “Top 10 Myths About Jesus’ Resurrection,” ten brief videos by Dr. Mike Licona covering what he claims are false beliefs about the resurrection. Let’s take a look and see where the facts point us. (I’ve written about Licona before, and I analyze where he got on the wrong side of fundamentalist scholars here.)

Myth 1: Contradictions in the Gospels. “The gospels contradict themselves and so therefore we can’t believe them on the resurrection of Jesus.”

Licona rejects this: “No credible historian believes that contradictions within an account discredit the account itself.” (I’ll use blue for the myth, green for Licona’s rejection of the myth, and black for my response to Licona.)

Contradictions don’t discredit a historical account? Surely you admit that contradictions must discredit it somewhat and that a contradiction-free account is more credible than the equivalent story full of contradictions.

Licona gives the sinking of the Titanic as an example. Some witnesses say that the ship broke in two before sinking (correct) while others say that it sank intact, but historians didn’t conclude from this contradiction that the Titanic didn’t sink.

Since the witnesses were unanimous that it did sink, a sinking ship is a well-understood event, and the event is well documented, that sounds like a reasonable conclusion for historians to reach. Disagreements over details didn’t change the fact that the genre of the Titanic account is history, but disagreements between the gospels make one wonder if historical or journalistic accuracy was even the goal.

While a ship sinking isn’t especially incredible, the story of a man rising from the dead must default to the “mythology” or “legend” categories. We’ll call that history only after being convinced by very good evidence. The 100% natural Titanic story is a poor analogy to a supernatural tale.

Licona says that he won’t admit to any contradictions in the Bible and that any there could be explained away.

Harmonizing the facts to support something you know for certain happened is fine, but first you must show that it happened. Licona has it backwards—he wants to assume the accuracy of the Bible first and then select the facts of the world to support that presumption.

And, of course, if there are contradictions in an account, you must first ask yourself if that account should be discarded as unreliable. Richard Carrier addresses this with his summary of Stephen Law’s Argument from Contamination:

Law’s argument is that in documents with a disturbingly high quantity of unbelievable claims, we have no reason to trust the mundane claims in those documents either, without some reliable external corroboration (the bogus material thus “contaminates” the rest with heightened suspicion). …

Law is not saying any history or biography that blends legendary with mundane claims warrants skepticism. He is saying any history or biography that is loaded with legendary claims, as in has an unusual amount of them central to the story, warrants sweeping skepticism. …

Law’s actual principle is obviously correct and obviously one real historians routinely employ.

I can accept that a single contradiction can’t justify the dismissal of a source, but contradictions must affect the reliably to some extent. And the Argument from Contamination is a nice encapsulation of how unbelievable claims, like the supernatural, must color our view of the remainder.

Licona argues that any contradictions are in peripheral details. The gospels agree on the important claims: that Jesus died, was buried by Joseph of Arimathea, was raised on the third day, and appeared to others.

We have several copies of the Gilgamesh epic, which must also disagree on some details. Are we entitled to consider as history the supernatural claims agreed to in all copies as Licona does for the claims common among the gospels? Or suppose that a future historian is trying to make sense of our contradictory stories about Superman from radio shows, TV, movies, and other media. Suppose he selects just the common features—Superman came as a baby in a rocket from Krypton, he grew up in Smallville, he could lift cars, he disguised himself as Clark Kent, and so on. Must that amalgam be historical?

Licona has given no rule that allows him to capture Christianity but reject Gilgamesh, Superman, and other fanciful tales.

Myth 2: Pagan Parallels in Mystery Religions. “How can it be that you have so many accounts of dying and rising gods and heroes within pagan accounts—isn’t Christianity just another example of this?”

Licona says that there is almost unanimous consensus by scholars that virtually all of these accounts postdate the gospels. In fact, it’s the pagans who are copying the Christians!

This is a red herring. If there are accounts that postdate the gospels, we should obviously discard them. But that leaves us with plenty of precedents for the Jesus resurrection: Tammuz, Osiris, Adonis, Attis, and Baal. My favorite is Dionysus, the love child of one of Zeus’s many affairs. His jealous wife Hera had the infant Dionysus eaten by Titans, but Zeus brought him back to life through the mortal woman Semele.

Dead, and then born by a mortal. Brought back to life by the ruler of the gods. Sounds like there’s overlap with the gospel story.

Unlike Licona, second-century Christian Justin Martyr was happy to acknowledge commonalities between Jesus and Greek gods such as a virgin birth and resurrecting from the dead. He simply says that Satan placed the precedent back in time to trick us.

The Jesus story arose in a culture suffused with the idea of dying and rising gods, and resurrection envy nicely explains the resurrection.

Licona warns us that many popular internet examples are nonsense, such as the claim that Krishna was crucified and rose from the dead. “There are no accounts period of Krishna being crucified or rising from the dead three days later.”

I suppose he’s thinking of sources like The World’s Sixteen Crucified Saviors by Kersey Graves (1875) or Zeitgeist: the Movie, which have been attacked for poor scholarship. But, like his complaints about the existence of dying-and-rising gods that postdated the gospels, historical examples that don’t fit can simply be ignored. Time spent warning us away from examples that aren’t relevant doesn’t help him dismiss the ones that are.

As for Krishna, it’s true that there is no crucifixion or three-day delay, but those are insignificant details. What’s common is the important thing: that, like Jesus, Krishna arose from the dead and returned to his place in heaven!

Continue with part 2.

Forget Jesus—stars died so you could be here today.
Lawrence Krauss

Image credit: Camilo Rueda López, flickr, CC

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  • Jason Westerly

    Jesus is fucking dead. Now let’s all go suck Muhammed’s dirty penis while fingering the Pope’s dirty Argentine anus.

  • Paul D.

    It really boggles my mind that people deny the parallels with pagan dying-and-rising gods. That’s one of the most basic features of any mythology ever, and of fertility cults in particular.

    • They focus on the differences between the Christ story and others. I’m not aware of any who says they are identical though. No story is.

      • MNb

        That would be OK if they did the same with the Gospels. But then they suddenly focus on the similarities.
        That method is called “Ad Hoc Argument”.

        • Heads I win and tails you lose.

    • Pofarmer

      Reality is hard.

  • MNb

    “Harmonizing the facts to support something you know for certain happened is fine.”
    Actually it’s not that fine. It means that the historian is imposing his/her own unhistorical interpretation on what actually happened.
    If two accounts contradict each other on some point there are three possibilities:
    1) account A is wrong;
    2) account B is wrong;
    3) both accounts are wrong.

    • Right. And I’m imagining that we know for certain that A is correct and B is incorrect. Given that, we’re entitled to consider all the possible ways that B might appear to be correct but not actually be. And there’s no point in considering how A might appear to be correct but not be.

  • ningen

    (My comments here are actually relevant to Myth #4. I’m getting ahead of things, I guess.)
    Actually, there are several reasons not to discount the hallucination or vision hypotheses too strongly.

    First, it turns out that bereavement hallucinations (vivid perceptual experiences of lost loved ones) are quite common. http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/ghost-stories-visits-from-the-deceased/

    If it is likely that Jesus’ close friends would have bereavement hallucinations after his death, it is very easy to see how this could spur rumors of his having come back to life. (This point is made by Matthew McCormick http://www.amazon.com/Atheism-And-Case-Against-Christ/dp/1616145811 )

    Second, in the ancient world, it was very common for people to take dreams as providing reliable information about reality. We can’t know, of course, to what extent people might have confused dreams about Jesus after his death with veridical visions of his post mortem existence, but when asking whether a report is more likely an artifact of a dream or of a miraculous resurrection, especially given how common dream-reality confusion was at the time, it is not so unlikely that dreams might have been taken as veridical post-mortem sightings of Jesus.

    Finally, we know that interpretations of experience can be very strongly affected by the priming effect (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Priming_%28psychology%29). So once the rumor that Jesus has come back from the dead gets a foothold among his followers, they are increasingly likely to interpret their own experiences in ways that confirm this. This is one of the best explanations of the narratives where Jesus’ followers didn’t recognize him until later. When they revisit the memory of some particular event, they are primed to reinterpret it to fit the resurrection account. “Hey, now that I think about it, that guy I saw earlier was actually Jesus!”

    • Paul famously had a vision of Jesus, and says he also “appeared” to many others, such as the twelve disciples. He doesn’t saw what these were though. So perhaps visions as well?

      • Pofarmer

        And, he uses the same word for “appeared” to the others as “appeared:” to him, and Paul certainly wasn’t a bereaved friend. He also says that Jesus “was revealed” to him through the scriptures. If you follow the works attributed to Paul, it’s pretty easy to conclude that the Jesus figure is completely fictitious. The later Gospels constitute fan fiction, adding narrative.

        • Even if he had physically appeared, this is hearsay.

        • Pofarmer

          It’s more like heresay twice or 3 times removed, but still……………..

        • True, so it’s even worse really.

        • Thomas Paine said the Bible is “hearsay upon hearsay”.

        • Pofarmer

          Another Thomas Paine fan?

        • Indeed. The Age of Reason was one of the best books I’ve ever read.

        • Pofarmer

          That was one of the first books I read when I started questioning. It might as well have been the last.

        • Yes, he had a very incisive mind.

    • MNb

      “Jesus’ close friends would have bereavement hallucinations”
      There is no way to test this hypothesis. That doesn’t mean we must accept a supernatural explanation. It means we must apply David Hume’s On Miracles.

      • ningen

        That’s why I said, “If it is likely that…”

        The point is that bereavement hallucinations are fairly common, and they do not require (as is suggested in Licona’s video) that the disciples sought consolation in hallucinogenic drugs or alcohol to precipitate them.

        So look: bereavement hallucinations are known to occur with relatively high frequency, while being miraculously resurrected from the dead is not known to occur with relatively high frequency. So if you are seeking an explanation for someone’s alleged post-mortem sightings, you shouldn’t too readily dismiss hallucinations as an explanation.

        • Pofarmer

          How about if we dismiss the whole thing as fiction?

        • ningen

          That is always a possibility. But even on the assumption that Jesus’ death and crucifixion happened pretty much the way the standard account says, we’re not restricted to the choices the apologists propose.

        • MNb

          If you can’t test it you can’t determine its likeliness either.

        • ningen

          Actually, you can test it. Not directly, but you can determine the general frequency of bereavement hallucinations in similar situations. Incidentally, it seems Bart Ehrman has also suggested the same scenario as a possible origin of the resurrection story. And the whole point, again, is this: We know bereavement hallucinations to occur relatively frequently. We also know of no reliably documented cases of coming back from the dead. So if asked to assign relative probabilities to each of these hypotheses, the bereavement hallucination hypothesis would seem to be on stronger footing.

        • Greg G.

          I know someone whose faith is anchored by a visit from her then recently deceased grandmother while she was in bed, the perfect environment for a waking dream.

        • ningen

          Yup. I know someone who saw Jesus… he was in bed at the time… with a fever… He still thinks it was a genuine supernatural appearance.

    • Pofarmer

      In this case, all of that really isn’t necessary. If we turn to our purported earliest source, Paul. The poster “TruthSurge” on Youtube has a very good series called “Excavating the empty tomb” where he discusses 1 Corinthians 15, as Donald Trump would say One Corinthians fifteen.

      “4that he was buried, that he was raised o on the third day p in accordance with the Scriptures, 5and that q he appeared to Cephas, then r to the twelve. 6Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. 7Then he appeared to s James, then t to all the apostles. 8Last of all, as to one untimely born, u he appeared also to me.

      Crossway Bibles (2011-02-09). The Holy Bible, English Standard Version (with Cross-References) (Kindle Locations 183375-183385). Good News Publishers/Crossway Books. Kindle Edition. “

      He argues that the passage originally read “He appeared to Cephas, then to James and all the Apostles, and then to me.”

      There are good reasons for this, chief among them being that this is the only time in Paul that the twelve and the only time in the NT that the 500 are mentioned. Notice also that he was raised “according to the scriptures”. There is no actual earthly resurrection required, at least certainly not by Paul. Paul’s Jesus is a revealed Jesus, a scriptural Jesus.

      So, I guess what I’m saying, is that the whole thing was made up.

      • The Twelve motif and the Traitor motif come into collision. You can’t have twelve anymore after the traitor does his thing.

        • Otto

          I thought they brought someone in off the bench?

          I am not joking I thought there was a supposed replacement.

        • Greg G.

          In Acts, they waited until after Jesus ascended 40 days later, then let Jesus decide by giving him a chance to cheat at drawing lots to choose his favorite Judas substitute.

        • Otto

          Well then there apparently wasn’t 12…good to know!

        • Greg G.

          The epistles never say there were any disciples, let alone twelve of them. You will only find a few called “apostles”. Mark probably used the mention of the twelve in 1 Corinthians 15 to invent the twelve disciples.

        • T-Paine

          Also the word “disciple” doesn’t occur anywhere in the epistles – only apostles. (It would make sense if Paul’s Jesus was a spiritual being and not a man – hence no disciples or “followers” of Jesus.)

        • Greg G.

          Or if Paul’s Jesus was thought to be an ancient historical man who was nobody special until he got resurrected like the Suffering Servant in Isaiah 53, which they may have thought was a hidden mystery disguised as a metaphor.

        • T-Paine

          That’s another possibility.

        • Otto

          I knew that but that is still the argument that is made, the 12 were the 12 Disciples.

        • Greg G.

          That is reading the gospels back into the epistles.

        • Yes, it was Mathias. But in 1 Cor. 15, Paul refers to the Twelve after the betrayal but before the replacement.

        • Greg G.

          John 20:24 also speaks of them as twelve.

        • TheNuszAbides

          i’ve heard of Marcan, Lucan & Matthewismical priority hypotheses; is there a loopy movement for Johannine priority as well?

        • Greg G.

          I haven’t heard of that. Mark and John share two dozen pericopes, with John 6 following Mark 6 detail for detail and even use the same literary techniques with John leaving out the ironical punchline. I think John used Mark, Matthew used Mark heavily and borrowed from John, while Luke heavily used Mark, used quite a bit of Matthew, and knew John but outright rejected more John than he used. The Rich Man in Hades seems to me to be a rejection of the Lazarus resurrection.

        • TheNuszAbides

          interesting; i hadn’t come across the idea of John coming earlier than any Synoptic. but i still have a very rough picture of each gospel (Mark = Homeric midrash, Luke = embellishment, Matthew = extensive Judaic retcon, John = extra spooky mystic sauce) so I’ll probably get around to re-reading them soon (and digging around the theory-monsters).

        • Greg G.

          I think that John 7:41-42, IIRC, provides a conundrum about Jesus coming from Galilee while the scriptures say the Christ was supposed to be from Bethlehem. I think that spurred Matthew to write a birth narrative which Luke rejected. John has Joseph as the father (Mark does not) but seems to reject that Jesus’ mother’s name was Mary.

          Luke used Josephus a lot. He would know from JA 20 that Annas has 5 sons who became high priests and from John that Annas was the father-in-law of Caiaphas, so the Rich Man in Hades would be Caiaphas and that parable is the rejection of John’s Lazarus resurrection.

        • TheNuszAbides

          oh yes, i should get me some kind of Josephus concordance too–if nothing else it’ll help me follow a lot more stuff on vridar, infidels, et al.

      • Greg G.

        But if the Twelve were just the temple officials, as in Paul’s Cephas is Caiphas – Author of 1Peter and Hebrews by A.A.M. van der Hoeven, and the 500 were just a bunch of men who happened to be at the temple saying “Well, isn’t that interesting,” then smiled and walked away shaking their heads when Cephas, standing on a soapbox, went off about what he found in the scriptures, Paul may have written about that story.

        • Pofarmer

          That’s possible, but why criticize Ehrman for using imaginary evidence and then use imaginary evidence?

        • Greg G.

          I have never seen any manuscript evidence that those were not in the letter written by Paul but the idea had to come from somewhere. Mark appears to have used the Pauline epistles for the gospel story. He invented twelve disciples even though there are no disciples in the epistles.

          van der Hoeven cites “S. SAFRAI a.o. eds., The Jewish People,. p. 602” about the Twelve. Here is information on Safrai. Here is something about the book. I haven’t traced the claim past there but it doesn’t appear to me to be imaginary.

          I think there are plenty of cases of interpolations but I don’t think it is necessary to claim interpolations to salvage the Jesus Myth theory. There may have been interpolations in the epistles before Mark read them but Mark is easier to explain if he was using Paul than those things being inserted into Paul’s writings from the gospels.

        • Pofarmer

          Would the case be stronger if Corinthian said revealed to cephas instead of appeared to.?

        • Greg G.

          It is the fact that Paul used the same word for everybody else that he used for himself, which indicates that he didn’t consider the “appeared to” to be different than his own. His writings say that he told by humans and that it came from the scriptures as a long hidden mystery. This is confirmed by the fact that everything he says about an earthly Jesus, and many things about the heavenly Jesus, can be found in the scriptures, the same ones he quotes often. That he didn’t think the superapostles saw or knew Jesus is seen in his claims that his knowledge was not inferior to theirs in 2 Corinthians 11:4-6 and 12:11.

    • Pablo U Hunni

      Ooh wikipedia another inaccurate source of info touted as fact LOL. Jesus followers did NOT expect him to rise from the grave. They missed the message he had been telling them. They didn’t expect his crucifixion either. So they weren’t looking to see him. They didn’t initially see him altogether either. So mass hysteria and hallucination are a strawman argument or actually just opinion without basis in fact.

      • Dys

        You don’t know what a strawman argument is. And considering the leaps of logic apologists have had to make to try and explain away the errors and contradictions in the bible, criticizing possible scenarios is a really stupid move on your part.

        • Pablo U Hunni

          I know what a strawman argument is, it’s the circular reasoning faux fact illogical statements of opinions all atheists use when trying to discount 66 books written by 40 different authors over centuries. All the books agree, the story is the same, the info is the same etc. If you were Jewish you might understand the picture in the OT. However if you aren’t or haven’t studied Jewish history you will NEVER have the understanding to comprehend the message. There are NO errors or contradictions in the BIBLE only those perceptions by those who can’t think critically but rather criticize. The fact that the BIBLE is the best selling library of books of all time and continues to be so, is quite telling in and of itself. Possible scenarios? You mean what YOU think are possible explanations big difference. We could take this down to a simple example and show why the strawman applies because that simple means your opinion cannot be held up to scrutiny.

        • Greg G.

          All the books agree, the story is the same, the info is the same etc.

          Did Jesus eat the Last Supper before the Passover or on the Passover? Matthew, Mark, and Luke clearly say it was on the Passover while John clearly says it was before. The theological implications are significant.

        • Dys

          There are NO errors or contradictions in the BIBLE only those perceptions by those who can’t think critically but rather criticize.

          That’s simply not true. That’s a false belief that you have concerning the Bible. Like too many simplistic apologists, you confuse having a possible explanation (no matter how far-fetched) somehow makes the contradiction disappear. It doesn’t. It just means you have an invented story that may or may not have happened.

          Possible scenarios? You mean what YOU think are possible explanations big difference.

          I agree. The problem is, in order to address the errors and contradictions in the Bible, you’re forced to do the same thing, and on a much grander scale. Just remember – simply because something is written in the Bible doesn’t make it true.

          Nothing you’ve said demonstrates that you have any inkling what a strawman argument really is. You’ve just gone on a silly tirade about atheists pointing out that you don’t have any of the proof you claim to have. You’re just whining.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Now we all know you are lying and haven’t read the fucking Bible…like shooting fish in a barrel.

        • Pablo U Hunni

          Yep typical atheist you just kept the 3rd rule. When you are losing resort to swearing, vulgar languages and name calling. I won’t waste my time with you.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Like I give a fiddlers fuck about a gormless twat like you…this is just about the entertainment now…you have proved yourself an otherwise lost cause already. You know nothing of what you comment on.

        • Ignorant Amos
        • I’ll look to you to set the example by showing us how thoughtful, civil discourse should work.

        • Tony TV

          He’s not losing, you are, asshole. Amos is just frustrated by your stupidity and obstinance and your repetitive recitation of what you learned in Sunday school,in place of actual fact. What comes out of your head can’t even be called “dogma.” It would be more appropriately called dogshit.

        • The fact that the BIBLE is the best selling library of books of all time and continues to be so, is quite telling in and of itself.

          What does it tell you? It just tells me that Christianity is the simply biggest supernatural belief at the moment and that Christians gullibly pay to have Bibles sent to people who actually need food or jobs instead.

        • TheNuszAbides

          and coincided neatly, during its most obvious schism, with the advent of the printing press.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Nope.

          A strawman is the creation of an absurdly extreme and unrealistic opinion which you attribute to your opponent for the express purpose of destroying it.

          DO try to keep up….???

        • Ignorant Amos

          Something that anyone with basic internet skills should not have to be instructed on.

          https://yourlogicalfallacyis.com/strawman

          There is at present, a self proclaimed teacher of Logic at university level on this very thread asserting the claim that he never commits a fallacious argument while at the same time dropping fallacies at his arse,right, left and centre while denying they are fallacies. Ya couldn’t make it up.

      • Greg G.

        I agree with you in two ways. The characters in the stories didn’t expect Jesus to rise from the grave or the crucifixion. Also, the actual people depicted in the stories never expected any of that because it is a fictional story.

      • ningen

        There is no evidence that bereavement hallucinations are any more or less common among those who expected either the death or manner of death of their loved one.

        And the relevance of cognitive priming research is obvious. As I said, once someone says they saw Jesus alive, others are primed to interpret their experiences as confirmation. We know this effect is real: the explosion of flying saucers sightings around 1950 is very probably due to priming effects ( http://www.theness.com/index.php/ufos-the-psychocultural-hypothesis/ ).

        Your objection presupposes that there were “mass hallucinations” in the sense that many people had co-occurring hallucinations at the same time. I grant that something like this would have to be the case IF we accept that post-mortem encounters with Jesus happened the way they do in the standard narrative. But that is the whole point at issue. I am suggesting that it is completely plausible that all those stories are basically tall tales that are no different in their origins and development than the thousands of other ghost stories that people have told over the years.

      • Myna Alexanderson

        It has been my observation that those who write too often in capital letters and use LOL too much are immature, hysterical and unequipped to engage in rational discourse. I find it impossible to take them seriously.

        You do not answer direct inquiries and you do not take specific points and address them. You do not respond, you react. It’s like reading a transcript from Faux News. The bigger mouth catches the most flies, while shouting over each person who has something valid to point out.

        You came here to “hear” yourself click the keyboard as fast as your ego-brain could think. You didn’t come here to listen or exchange ideas. You didn’t come here to discuss anything, much less to understand a different point of view…(Edited to add: or consider something you may not have known before.)

        • Ignorant Amos

          Well observed… Hence mockery and ridicule at this point…education is obviously a futile endeavour from the commenting history. Therefore let’s play with the new chew toy.

        • Myna Alexanderson

          Quote: “…Hence mockery and ridicule at this point.”

          One could have some wicked fun with that one, but like the urban legend of the black-eyed child, woe be unto you if you open the door and invite one in.

          Leonard Cohen published a book of poetry many years ago entitled, “Parasites of Heaven.” A grand title! Sometimes, when I come across religious diatribes, I think of the magnificent title of that book.

      • Ignorant Amos

        Wikipedia as inaccurate… unlike the well attested ballix in the Bible ya mean?

    • Yep, hallucination is #4 on Licona’s list.

  • Lex Lata

    Invoking the loss of an ocean vessel as an analogy to the death, resurrection, and ascension of a demigod is sheer rhetorical legerdemain, transparent to anyone who’s given serious thought to historiography and epistemology. It’s not even an apples-to-oranges comparison–more like apples-to-Osiris.

    To make the analogy intellectually rigorous, we’d have to contort the Titanic story and related evidence beyond recognition. First, the claim wouldn’t be about the relatively recent sinking of a ship–a mundane, material, repeated and repeatable event that seafaring peoples have been dealing with for millenia. A more apt claim would involve the sinking of a ship ages ago, followed by its miraculous resurfacing, and then ascension to, say, Saturn. Second, our only evidence would be copies of a handful of accounts, transcibed by unknown authors decades after the purported events described.

    Now, isn’t it rather likely that Lincona would be inclined to dismiss those accounts as products of the human imagination, and point to inconsistencies between the accounts as tending to confirm that they’re unreliable?

    • Christian scholars always get real when they’re evaluating the other guy’s supernatural claims.

    • WalterWhite007

      The faithful flippantly dismiss all other religions and gods that have ever existed but they do wild mental gymnastics to defend their own equally suspect god/religion. Even to the point of not seeing they’re doing it.

    • Rick

      “A more apt claim would involve the sinking of a ship ages ago, followed by its miraculous resurfacing, and then ascension to, say, Saturn.”

      The SDF-1 Macross?

  • Rudy R

    Licona rejects this: “No credible historian believes that contradictions within an account discredit the account itself.”

    Licona doesn’t get past the first hurdle that no credible historian believes miracles are the most probable explanation for an event. The very nature of miracles make it the least probable explanation for an event. Since a resurrection would be considered a miracle by most peoples standard, credible historians would not logically conclude Jesus resurrected from the dead.

    • Yeah, but “Your alternative is a miracle; you lose” would make for a very short post.

      • Rudy R

        I’ve copied Matt Dillahunty’s debating style, which is, don’t give concessions to a faulty premise. The premise either passes muster or you don’t proceed any further. And your right…there’d be nothing to read on your blog if you adopted that style.

        • MNb

          That’s a good strategy, but there isn’t much wrong with “let’s accept the premise and demonstrate that it leads to inconsistency, incoherence and/or falsified conclusions” either.

        • I will always mention that the natural trumps the supernatural, but I will also do a semi-exhaustive analysis to show any other reasons that the argument is flawed. (And there are always so-o-o many other reasons.)

    • Ignorant Amos

      Licona ended up getting the sack because of an issue with Matthew 27 and inerrancy too, so even the mad are fair game when the wolf pack is rabid.

      https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_R._Licona#Matthew_27_controversy

      • Greg G.

        Licona was fired for his outrageous skepticism of zombies.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Well, not his scepticism about all zombie accounts ya understand, but however, yes outrageous indeed.

          He did get a lot of support from the usual woo-woo suspects… against his getting fired, not any scepticism he held.

        • Greg G.

          He expressed a slight doubt about the zombies. In Fundy circles, such skepticism would be an outrageous breach of conformity.

        • Michael Alter

          Hello Greg:

          You are correct. Conservative writers signed a paper in his defense: “He proposes that the report may refer to a literal/historical event, a real event partially described in apocalyptic terms, or an apocalyptic symbol. Though most of us do not hold Licona’s proposal, we are in firm agreement that it is compatible with biblical inerrancy, despite objections to the contrary.” The writers are referring to Norm Geisler’s vicious attack much in the vein of some Republicans running for office. The signers included:
          W. David Beck Craig Blomberg, James Chancellor, William Lane Craig, Jeremy A. Evans, Gary R. Habermas, Craig S. Keener, Douglas J. Moo, J.P. Moreland, Heath A. Thomas, Daniel B. Wallace, William Warren, and Edwin M. Yamaguchi.

          The event was totally fabricated. The text runs from Friday Nisan 15 [Mt 27:1-Mt 27:52]; then to Sunday Nisan 17 [Mt 27:53]; back to Friday Nisan 15 [Mt 27:54-61]; next Saturday Nisan 16 [Mt 27:62-66] and it closes Sunday Nisan 17 [Mt 28:1 – 6]. An actual table can be seen on pages 154-155 in my text, The Resurrection: A Critical Inquiry.

          Jesus did NOT die for our sins.
          Jesus did NOT rise from the dead.

  • L.Long

    #1…
    john….he wore a blue dress!
    mat….he wore a black dress!!
    these are not real contradictions.
    john….we saw him upstairs yesterday.

    mat…we saw him yesterday at Galilee 50mi away!
    That is a real contradiction as is seen in the book o’BS.

  • jumbybird

    A better argument for gospel contradictions would be that eyewitness accounts can be very different, and it was a traumatic time, they were all forced to flee in differnet directions. They couldn’t get together to get the story straight.

    • Otto

      Except that God was supposed to have inspired their work. Looks like a failure on his part.

      • jumbybird

        Taking god out of it… they were all led by a guy with serious mental problems… They had to be seriously screwed up themselves. You can never expect them to come up with the same story.

    • Pablo U Hunni

      Bad analogy. They were not traumatized. The differences are simple, something we did in school as children, but way above the heads of those who take what atheist teachers have taught them in school as fact and swallowed it down.

      • Dys

        So it’s all a giant atheist conspiracy…despite the low percentage of atheists in the population?

        Your conspiracy theory makes as much sense as your inane apologetics.

      • MNb

        “They were not traumatized.”
        How do you know? Were you there?
        Disprove they were traumatized.

  • Pablo U Hunni

    The problem with this article is, the lack of facts for the pagan beliefs. Krishna is claimed to have died and risen. We have zero eyewitness accounts of this period. There are no facts. Satan has been around since the beginning of our time, he knows the facts regarding Jesus, he knows God’s word(that is in scripture) so it’s not outlandish to say he can implant ideas within the pagan mind. They pagans had many mixed ideas, but not factual proof of any of it. We see a clear explanation of this with Elijah and the prophets of baal. However when we see Jesus, we have 1000’s of eyewitness accounts and we have Roman historical record, we have Josephus etc. So there are sources both Jewish and Gentile to corroborate these facts. The article falls far short of real scientific seeking of truth.

    • We have zero eyewitness accounts of this period. There are no facts.

      What a coincidence! We have zero eyewitness accounts of Jesus, too.

      Satan has been around since the beginning of our time, he knows the facts regarding Jesus, he knows God’s word

      All theological claims. Make them history, and I’ll take notice.

      • Pablo U Hunni

        Disprove them. My first and foremost proof is one of Satan’s favorite lies he has mankind believe is that he doesn’t exist.

        • Otto

          The burden of proof is on you.

        • Dys

          So you’re in the pro-gullibility camp then.

          Also, the fact that you believe Satan is real isn’t proof of anything. Other than that you don’t understand how evidence works.

        • Greg G.

          Doesn’t that apply to your god, as well? It is pretty much the same set of people who don’t believe either exists. God would be just as responsible for that as Satan. If God exists, he is lying.

        • MNb

          Disprove that I have unobservable fairies in my backyard tending my flowers to blossom more beautifully.
          You won’t? Then I don’t need to disprove your theological claims either.

        • That’s a rather frank admission! You can’t support your own burden of proof, so you pretend that the burden is actually mine. Cute, but that won’t work around here.

          I have no obligation to prove or disprove any claims about the Bible. You want to make bold supernatural claims? All right, I’ll give you the opportunity. But don’t waste our time unless you have evidence and argument to support them.

          So far all you have is bluster and arrogance.

        • Greg G.

          There are a few hundred super-galaxies in the universe. In each one of them is a rock floating through space that is identical in size and shape to my own body in various positions. The quality looks like fine art but they are absolutely natural. Disprove that. See how easy it is to make up an unsubstantiated, disprovable claim? Your claim is even more implausible than mine.

    • Greg G.

      Nobody says that Krishna rose from the dead, only that the story existed. The idea was out there in other stories, too. The eyewitnesses you refer to are just another element in the fictional story.

      Origen never noticed the Testimonium Flavianum in Josephus’ writing even though he seemed to have have made an exhaustive list of Jesus and John the Baptist mentions and even says Josephus did not believe Jesus was the Christ. His library ended up in Eusebius’ hands and he was the first person to mention it. It has been shown that it has an uncanny resemblance to the Emmaus Road story in Luke 24, with embellishments that are similar to Eusebius’ writings elsewhere.

      The extrabiblical accounts are too late to show us anything except their derivations from the gospels.

      • Pablo U Hunni

        No one said Josephus was a believer, that is you assumption. I said he was a writer of historical record. In fact for the Romans. So the life of Jesus and his followers was seen by him. What he believed is inconsequential, he was writing history verification of what happened facts. As to krishna, it’s a story without ANY verifiable facts. Jesus’ life was not a story. The Jews chose to have him crucified because he said he was GOD. John agreed with this in his gospel by showing the 366 prophecies that Jesus fulfilled 365 of. Each to the exact date, time, place and other details. Either you want to see the truth or you do not. The atheist mind set is since I can’t prove it, it doesn’t exist. However you could take that with any number of things we hear about everyday so that is just opinion. You cannot negate the existence of God by your disbelief.

        • Rudy R

          John knew what the prophesies were in the OT and wrote about a fictional character fulfilling all those prophesies. You seem to have a problem with chronology. Wouldn’t it have been more convincing for John to write about all those prophesies and then a real Jesus fulfilling all those prophesies at a later date?

        • Pablo U Hunni

          Well isn’t that just hilarious. I have no problem with chronological facts. However it seems you do. John didn’t write all the prophecies. Those were written by some of the other authors of each book over centuries. John saw how Jesus fulfilled them. He isn’t imaginary. The Romans kept extremely accurate records of their victims. Sorry.

        • Otto

          Please…where are the accurate records that the Romans kept of their victims? I have yet to see one and I have looked.

        • Dys

          The idea that someone could have easily created stories or generously interpreted real events to seemingly fulfill prophecies has never occurred to you?

          If John knew of the prophecies (and he did), then it would not have been a problem at all. You don’t seem to comprehend that the bible isn’t a history book, and isn’t written as one.

        • Rudy R

          Reread my comment. I didn’t state John wrote all the prophecies. I said he wrote about a fictional character that fulfilled all those prophesies. And since most of the scholared historians agree that the author is unknown, what exactly are the credentials of the author of the Gospel of John? How do you know that the unknown author didn’t have some type of agenda, one that didn’t include reporting the facts? And where exactly is this Roman record of Jesus? Historians will be surprised to know.

        • Pablo U Hunni

          Sources for your statement most historians. John lived to be 90. He was exiled by the Romans to patmos. Who he is and how he lived is well documented. The statement you made is ad hominem atheist commentary, opinion and nothing more. The disciples have lineage, people living today. I actually know a Jewish woman who can trace her lineage back to King David. Sorry living line is unavailable for your theory. Roman record of crucifixions. I thought my statement made that clear. SMH

        • Dys

          Actually, we don’t know that John of Patmos wrote the gospel. And we don’t know anywhere near as much about him as you imagine. You’re confusing tradition with reality.

        • Greg G.

          Irenaeus assumed John wrote that gospel. John is never mentioned. John 21:24 says the the unnamed disciple told about those things and wrote about those things but then is says that “his witness is true”, which is in the third person, and indicates that the unnamed disciple did not write the gospel we call John. That is not to say that it was not written by somebody else named John, though.

          This does not come from atheist commentary. See
          http://www.biblicalarchaeology.org/daily/biblical-topics/new-testament/gopel-of-john-commentary-who-wrote-the-gospel-of-john-and-how-historical-is-it/

        • Greg G.

          Read what I said. I did not say anyone said Josephus was a believer. I said that the early church father Origen said that Josephus was not a believer. But Josephus did not write the Testimonium Flavianum. It was a forgery by Eusebius, another church father.

          Again, nobody is saying that the Krishna resurrection story is real, only that it is every bit as real as the Jesus resurrection story. The prophecies you claim were not prophecies, they were fictional accounts written to match up with passages of the OT because the authors had no actual knowledge of Jesus. The believer has to play fast and loose with what is called a prophecy, like the virgin birth narrative. It’s not about the Messiah and it doesn’t refer to a virgin.

          I can negate the existence of an omnipotent, benevolent God by the existence of unnecessary suffering.

        • Pablo U Hunni

          Haha. First you make statements then you withdraw the statement and change it. SMH. Josephus wrote historically for the romans. He got fed up with them as well. You err in that you don’t understand the times and Roman law. The Jews thought the believers would steal the body so they went to the Romans and asked a guard be set to watch the tomb so the followers could not steal the body. The Romans sealed the tomb and set the guard. When they found the guards they could not explain who had moved the huge stone from the tomb. It was certainly too heavy to be moved without a great deal of strength, or without being noticed. They could NOT have fallen asleep on the watch because to do so was punishable by death and every soldier knew that. Since the body was missing, they searched. IF it had been stolen they would have found it, except that several of the disciples actually spoke with and ate a meal with Jesus. The Roman guards were paid off to tell lies regarding the incident by both the Jewish leaders and the Roman leaders for very obvious reasons. As to Messiah which simply means anointed one, the Jews were looking for an earthly deliverer not for a heavenly one. The idea of the virgin birth was that a man was NOT the father. You still have not negated God’s existence and your comment is almost laughable. There is suffering in the world because of sin. There are consequences for sin. Just as there are consequences for YOUR behavior. Just because YOU think GOD should not allow suffering means you don’t understand because your mind is finite. Yet you argue against a being you claim doesn’t exist. Your comment doesn’t negate GOD it only expresses your limited understand opinion.

        • Greg G.

          You are reading Matthew’s account and believing it. The other gospels contradict Matthew. His account tells about zombies visiting Jerusalem. How absurd would an account have to be before you would question it? Does it have to report that Jesus was hundreds of feet tall? There is such an account.

        • Dys

          Do you have any methodology beyond “Bible says it, I believe it, that settles it”?

          Because it doesn’t appear that you do. In which case you don’t care about the truth, you just care about insisting that the bible is accurate based on the unsupported assumption that it is.

        • Greg G.

          He also has the methodology of “I said, God believes it, that settles it.”

        • Tony TV

          Any more than you can “believe” him INTO existence if he doesn’t.

    • Otto

      Roman historical record?

      Ummm…I would like a citation for this please.

      1000’s of eyewitnesses?

      1 guy (Paul) who was not himself an eyewitness saying 500+ people witnessed something is 1 account…not 500. And since he was not himself one it is hearsay of the worst kind. Let’s do the math.

      0 X 500 = 0

      • Pablo U Hunni

        I’m not going to spoon feed you. You want the Roman record start looking. That’s the problem with all you atheists you never look you just swallow the lie being fed you in the classroom.

        • Dys

          So you’re making a claim, and refusing to defend it with sources.

          Probably because acknowledging that you don’t have all those eyewitness accounts pretty much decimates your assertion.

          PS. It’s nice to see that Greg still upvotes people who support their position as lazily, ineffectually, and ignorantly as he ever did.

        • Greg G.

          The Roman record begins in the second century, a couple of generations too late and a thousand miles too far way to be reliable. They are questionable because they are quite different than other writings by the author they are supposed to be from. Their authenticity is questionable but even if they were authentically written by the supposed author, they are too late be reliable. They would be like modern accounts of the deeds of Superman in the 1930’s.

        • Otto

          Actually that is not true, in fact it is patently false.

          I was educated in a Christian school.

          I am no t swallowing your lie and/or bad information. I have looked and there is no Roman records that you speak of. You are either lying or you are ignorant and think you are informed.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Spoiiiinng!!!!

    • Dys

      However when we see Jesus, we have 1000’s of eyewitness accounts

      No, you don’t. You have a claim of 1000s of eyewitnesses. There’s quite a big difference there.

      The article falls far short of real scientific seeking of truth.

      You’re making excuses for the bible, and pretending to have eyewitness accounts that don’t exist. You’re putting the cart before the horse in presuming biblical inerrancy. Don’t pat yourself on the back, you’re not on any scientific seeking of the truth when it comes to the bible.

      • Pablo U Hunni

        No you are making the claim there were not. The eyewitnesses wrote what they saw. Your problem with the titanic is there were only a few survivors, with claims about what they saw. You did not know any of them, you did not collect the information yourself. You like all who do not believe start out with the Bible as inaccurate and untruthful, then you want me to prove it isn’t just so you can claim you were correct. Try that with any book. Even the writings of Shakespeare which people today claim to be his, take that without proof. In fact much of the writings attributed to him have been proven to be otherwise.

        • Rudy R

          The names are known of the eyewitnesses of the Titanic sinking. Can you list the 1000s of eyewitnesses by name, outside those in the Bible, who can account for Jesus’ resurrection?

        • Pablo U Hunni

          The names are known. Really, name two. I will wait for you to google that. OBTW we know we cannot trust the internet for accurate info so are you going to the library? IF so which book has the accurate facts? If they don’t who will you ask? How do you know their stories are accurate, who do you know that was on board? How do you know these people actually were. None of us were there? No one wrote the happenings down as they happened.

        • Dys

          Oh dear…you’re playing the infantile and illogical “were you there” game. You’re a Ken Ham fan, aren’t you? You make as much sense.

          Great. Than you have to accept the Odyssey as historically accurate. Troy used to exist, therefore everything else in the book is true. That’s how your methodology works, right?

        • Rudy R

          There’s nothing I can add to that.

        • Pablo U Hunni

          Haha the Iliad and the Odyssey are part of Greek mythology something I studied back in High school for peets sake. Everyone knows they are MYTHS. They never made a claim to be otherwise. The Bible is true, if it were not people would not have died to defend it, not just a few souls who were there at the time either. Maybe you should educate yourselves with Foxe’s book of Martyrs. It isn’t true because I believe it anymore that evolution is because you believe it. I believe the bible because it’s true. I have tested it, researched it and spent a lifetime getting to know it’s actual author. Again your perception of God is too small to think he couldn’t reveal himself to mankind directly or indirectly or that he could tell them what to write. Yet you believe what these pseudo scientists tell you without question. Even mr. genius Dawkins has contradicted himself so many times as to make anything he says ludacris. But then I have done my digging on both sides. If you start with an open mind to the truth you can find it. Otherwise you keep believing what men tell you. Funny thing is that changes with the wind. They once thought the world was flat, even though GOD’s word plainly said it wasn’t.

        • MNb

          “I have tested it.”
          Tell us about your experiments.

        • Dys

          He believed really super duper hard, which reinforced his belief, thus making it true. I think that’s the extent of Pablo’s “research”.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Imbecilic thinking much? The poor twats knuckles must be red raw with all this dragging of them he is doing.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Isn’t the phrase “…and I would like to subscribe to your newsletter….” ??? 😉

        • Dys

          Everyone knows they are MYTHS.

          Sure…everyone today knows that. It wasn’t always that way. The Bible contains myths as well…the creation account, Noah’s Ark (borrowed from the Sumerians), Jonah and the Giant Fish(or Whale), etc.

          People can and have died for false beliefs. Martyrdom isn’t any proof that the martyr’s beliefs are true. I daresay you have a much higher standard of evidence for religions you don’t accept than you do for your own. Making special exemptions for your own faith is a double standard.

          It isn’t true because I believe it anymore that evolution is because you believe it.

          I’m glad you’ve cleared up that you’re anti-science. I agree. Just as the Bible isn’t the word of God just because it says it is. In fact, you can’t demonstrate that it’s inerrant at all, since that’s entirely a faith position. Which is why you can’t provide any proof, and have been avoiding doing so. You’re trying to distract from the inherent weakness of your position.

          researched it and spent a lifetime getting to know it’s actual author.

          Your “research” looks like cut-rate bargain basement hackery. Hopefully you didn’t spend too much money on it, because if so, you’ve been ripped off by con-artists. And if it’s just your own special brand of research…well, it’s clear that you don’t have much insight into actual biblical research.

          If you start with an open mind to the truth you can find it

          But you don’t have an open mind, and you’ve made it clear multiple times. Your mind is completely closed to the possibility that maybe the Bible isn’t inerrant. So please don’t pretend you’re not a dogmatists, when you quite clearly are.

        • Pablo U Hunni

          Walked into you did. Fact the Ark does exist. The remains have been found where they were expected to be by two different teams of explorers. Fact the major religions of the world and many historical records report there being a worldwide flood. The layers of sediment across the planet bear this out as well. Jonah and the whale. Well it’s been proven the city of Ninevah existed. You don’t believe a man being swallowed by a whale? Look it up, a man in England was. In fact several accounts of such things. BOO HOO. I pointed out that book because it gives good church history and beliefs of the time at which each person was martyred. Living line, the veracity of eyewitnesses accounts, the fact that people were martyred and no they were horrible deaths. The bible is inerrant it is you who THINKS it isn’t but again NO proof. IN fact the dogmatic atheist cannot give proof for anything they say. Only what some other guy says. Just men spouting what other men say. All like a bunch of jocks in the locker room who think they know some tidy little piece of info no one else knows and that makes them somehow smart. Remember what it says in Revelation. EVERY knee will bow and EVERY tongue confess. Only man knows that he will die, long before he does, ONLY man fears death. ONLY man can reason and argue and discern. ONLY man can achieve things on a scale the rest of the animal kingdom does not think about much less understand. This was a gift given to us. Yet instead of using it wisely we, like Satan set ourselves on throne and think we are GOD. What a miserable little existence, to think we are just here for NO purpose, NO reason, some cosmic accident. That we live and die. How horrible. You all complain about the evil in the world and the other horrible things, yet you use a scale of good and evil or right and wrong from outside yourself. IF man made these laws up, where did they come from HIMSELF? NO, because moral relativism says there is no right and wrong only what you think is right or wrong. But that very thought negates that idea. Therefore all things become permissible and you now have no way of saying anything is good or bad, or even that suffering is such. My mind isn’t closed, it’s just that I have been given the gift of sight and as such want to share it with those who are blind but like the Pharisees you say you see therefore you remain blind.

        • Dys

          Oh boy…you actually think those Noah’s Ark hoaxes are real…I suppose the fact that they’ve all been debunked has escaped your notice?

          The layers of sediment across the planet bear this out as well.

          Spoken like someone who doesn’t get his geology from actual geologists. Fact is, there was never a worldwide flood, and there’s no evidence there was. Quite the opposite, actually.

          You don’t believe a man being swallowed by a whale? Look it up, a man in England was.

          I did. Apparently you’ll buy into anyone’s story. Investigations into the tale revealed various errors in the story. Also, the fact that a whale’s throat is too narrow to swallow a person and the lack of oxygen in a whale’s stomach pretty much guarantee the story is just a tall tale.

          And as per usual, you’ve gone on a silly little diatribe to distract from your complete lack of evidence for your beliefs. You shouldn’t bother with apologetics, as you’re absolutely terrible at it.

        • MNb

          “The remains have been found where they were expected to be by two different teams of explorers.”
          BWAHAHAHAHA!
          And they were found at Mount Ararat, weren’t they?
          Well, I have two facts for you.

          1. That mountain was named Mount Ararat only 1000 years ago. By islamic Turks.
          2. The Biblical account doesn’t talk about Mount Ararat. Reread Genesis 8:4. “upon the mountains of Ararat. Plural.

          You fools can’t even read your own Holy Book and hence look in the wrong place – about 800 km remote. Of course the locals (all muslims) are more than happy to place some random pieces of wood here and there. How does it feel to sponsor islam?

          https://christiananswers.net/dictionary/ararat.html

          “The bible is inerrant”
          Yeah – and pi equals 3 (1 Kings 7:23 and 2 Chro 4:2) and bats are birds (Lev 11:13-19).

        • The Ark exists? Show us the articles. Show us the cover of National Geographic or Time with the Ark on it.

        • Save the trash talking. Just give us some convincing arguments with evidence. Not much to ask, don’t you agree?

        • Greg G.

          Many groups have claimed to have found the Ark in different places and returned with nothing but excuses for their lack of evidence. Explorers keep going on these ventures because Christians are gullible enough to fund them again and again.

        • Walked into you did.

          Talk like Yoda you do.

          Fact the Ark does exist.

          Prove it.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Lies…a don’t believe ya studied anything in yer puff.

        • MNb

          Yes, I was there.
          You contradict me?
          How do you know?
          You already admitted you weren’t there.

        • Pablo U Hunni

          Well you weren’t there. How do I know observable science tells me you could NOT have been, that would make you far to old to be here now. LOL a battle of wits with an unarmed individual.

        • I’m willing to provide my own eyewitness testimony. I personally witnessed him there at that time. He met up with me while I was casually hanging out with 500 of my friends, who also saw him.

        • MNb

          How do you know I wasn’t there? You weren’t there.
          Hey – observable science can’t tell you how old I am or can be. That’s history, not observable science.

        • Pablo U Hunni

          Can you disprove they saw him? Can you give me names of those living at the time who refuted them?

        • MNb

          Can you disprove that I and my 1000s of anonymous witnesses “saw” unobservable fairies in my backyard?

        • Pablo U Hunni

          Show me the fairies. We know you can do that right LOL. No eyewitnesses only your word. Problem is this isn’t just my word, nor is it my opinion.

        • I saw that too. MNb and I hang out a lot. Our hobby is meeting up with implausibly large groups of people and witnessing improbable events together.

        • Dys

          No, no, no…you have to believe him. You can’t disprove his account. Why do you need evidence? Why isn’t belief enough for you?

          After all, you’re asking us to believe in something you can’t demonstrate, and you don’t have any eyewitnesses either.

        • Pablo U Hunni

          Actually that is what you are doing. Why is it it’s ok for your disbelief to use that, but for my belief it isn’t? We call that cherry picking on your part. Taking your claims and molding them to fit your opinions and then passing them off as fact. Fact with should not be questioned but does NOT hold up to science. If someone came back from the grave today and told you about Jesus and heaven and hell you would NOT believe. WHY? not for lack of evidence all creation screams creator, no just because as been said before YOU don’t want it to be true. If that’s not so why argue about something YOU say you don’t believe? I can leave you in your ignorance, I had a right to make my statement, I didn’t say anything about yours but bam you and your friends come along trying to shove your nonsense down my throat. LOL Yeah a real insult was the guy who said your a Ken Ham fan LOL. I could be worse I could be a fan of that delusional FOOL Dawkins.

        • Greg G.

          Why is it it’s ok for your disbelief to use that, but for my belief it isn’t?

          Because you should not believe anything without a good reason to believe it. You have to have a way to distinguish the imaginary and wishful thinking from reality. Evidence is one good way to do it. If you don’t have evidence that you are a millionaire, it is better to not spend money like you are a millionaire, even if you imagine that you are. There are many religions, you don’t believe in most of them. That is a good start. None of them have evidence to support them. Your religion has the exact same evidence that other religions have. Apply the methodology fairly.

        • Dys

          Uh, you’re the one who’s cherry picking. You won’t believe in the fairies, and correctly ask for evidence. But when we do the same for the Bible, you ramble on and insist we just have to accept it.

          I didn’t say anything about yours but bam you and your friends come along trying to shove your nonsense down my throat.

          You came onto an atheist forum spouting nonsense you couldn’t defend, and you’re feeling sorry for yourself? Please stop being so stupid. You’re not being persecuted, and you’re not defending Christianity.

          I could be a fan of that delusional FOOL Dawkins.

          Oh no…Ken Ham is much worse than Dawkins. But you’re an anti-science loon, so of course you’re going to disparage a scientist that ruins your pseudoscientific worldview with reality.

        • Pablo U Hunni

          Same thing you do with evolution. Can’t take the heat can you.

        • Dys

          What heat? You’ve just proven my point. You demand evidence for fairies, but you can’t do the same for the Bible.

          The theory of evolution has plenty of evidence for it. You just define it out of existence.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          I’ve seen evidence of evolution, and have enough grounding in the timescales and statistics involved.

          When added up, SOMETHING being here becomes inevitable, with no supernatural dawg required.

        • Greg G.

          How is he supposed to show you “unobservable fairies”? He can only show you observable fairies but they don’t tend his garden. They are a different species.

          Does claiming something is unobservable make it more believable to you? Isn’t that how they got you to believe in an unobservable god? Pointing to the world as evidence of such a god is just like the beautiful flowers in MNb’s garden being evidence for the unobservable fairies.

        • Pofarmer

          Do all these yokels think they have some novel slam dunk argument that an educated atheist have never heard?

        • Ignorant Amos

          Bug nutty bat shit crazy feckers.

        • Pablo U Hunni

          Educated??? It’s called conditioned you are conditioned to believe the lie that began in the garden.

        • Pofarmer

          Look, I was conditioned most of my life to accept your fairy tale. You are welcome to ignore me unless I reply directly to your ignorance.

        • Tony TV

          He’s conditioned? This a case of the pot calling the kettle black, when in fact the kettle is a bright shade of yellow & red?

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          the lie of *knowledge* that’s created the very devices and network you use to spread your vile poison?

          If knowledge is bad, burn your PC and quit the ‘Net, then.

        • MNb

          Show me your god and your satan. We know you can do that right LOL. No eyewitnesses, only the word of Paulus and co. And your word for your satan.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Just as soon as you show me your jebus.

          I’ll wait.

        • Greg G.

          No, there was no such event to refute.

        • Pablo U Hunni

          That is an opinion one you can neither prove nor disprove by your own admission. I can prove it, but you do NOT want the truth. Why waste my time. In fact I know that many better than I have already laid down better and you rejected that. That’s in the bible as well.

        • Greg G.

          2 Peter 1:16 states that they did not follow cleverly devised stories which is an odd statement unless someone was saying they were following cleverly devised stories. As proof that they were following not cleverly devised stories, the author cites the Transfiguration pericope from Mark 9:2-13, a cleverly devised story. Mark gives the hint about what he is referring to with the six day wait in 9:2, just like Moses had to wait on the mountaintop in Exodus 24:13-18. The description in Mark 9:3 comes from Daniel 7:9. Mark 9:4 is an allusion to Deuteronomy 18:15. The cloud in Mark 9:7 is from Exodus 40:34 and the quote comes from Psalm 2:7. Mark 9:11-12 about Elijah coming first comes from Malachi 4:5-6. The sufferings and contempt come from Psalm 22:7 and Isaiah 53:3. What Jesus says in Mark 9:13 refers to 1 Kings 19:2, 10. This is what the Greeks called mimesis and the Jews called midrash. They created fiction that way.

          Or you can be a gullible goof and argue that Moses, the guy who left no evidence of wandering the desert for forty years with a few million people nor evidence that they were ever in Egypt, and Elijah, who was said to have been taken to heaven in a whirlwind, were actually there because magic is real.

          All of Mark follows such a pattern using the literature of the day that would have been popular among Christians.

        • Pablo U Hunni

          So simply by the days of waiting you want to discount everything? LOL. God repeatedly had reasons for using numbers. In Jewish culture each number meant something specific. The children of Yisrael wandered in the desert for 40 yrs, Jesus was tempted for 40 days and night, It rained for 40 days and nights. You need to understand what the number represented. Evidence? Seriously. What would you find? Did you read the account. Most of the original Hebrews died in the desert ONLY two entered the promised land of the original. Their clothes didn’t wear out. SO what would they leave. Monuments? Seriously? What do you expect to find? Do you know they did a scientific study as to what would happen if man disappeared and just the plants and animals remained as to how long it would take for the remaining things on earth to wipe out all traces of our existence? You would be surprised how little time it takes. There are whole nations buried beneath the sand in the Middle East. They have found the wheels of the Egyptian chariots on the sea floor. There is evidence but again YOU don’t want evidence. A pattern of literature? Seriously? They were Jewish fishermen. It’s too big a stretch to think they sat around doing all that when anyone of their day would easily refute their testimony. Yes that’s what the gospels are a testimony of their time spent with Jesus. Each different in some detail but the message is the same. The first Christians were Jews but they were not Christians as such that name was attached to them by the Romans. History is a funny thing, our own history is being re-written and taught in schools these days. It’s a favorite trick of the socialist. Re-write history and make people believe something other than what happened and they will believe anything you tell them. That is what is going on now. Like I said you don’t want the truth you just like to argue.

        • Greg G.

          It’s not just one of the points, it is that nearly everything in the Gospel of Mark can be identified as being modeled on other writings and most of those writings are fiction. We see Luke basing Jesus’ trip to Jerusalem on Deuteronomy. We see where Matthew and Luke used Josephus for their stories. We see where John used Philo and apparently stories about Horus and Osiris from the Pyramid Texts to construct the Lazarus story.

          An Egyptian chariot wheel in water near Egypt is not evidence of a few million people crossing that water. If the Bible account were true, it would be hard to not trip over evidence that they were in the desert. We have no evidence of millions of people dying in the desert but there is skeletal evidence of a large group of soldiers dying in the desert. The desert is very good at preserving things like that. But archaeologists have searched and searched and not found a trace of the Hebrews. What they find is that there were settlements with no other cultural differences except for pig bones in some but absent in others. The religious differences developed within a single culture. If they had come to the area after 400 years in Egypt, the cultures would be quite distinct.

          There may be some civilizations buried but the Exodus claims that millions wandered the desert for forty years. The sand cannot cover all of it. Covering one place exposes another. The Bible says they took livestock but that evidence is missing, too.

          The amount of people would be half of the work force of Egypt. Their desertion would have crippled their economy. Yet they remained a world power during the time.

          Jewish fishermen? Are we supposed to believe the stories of fishermen? I suspect that Cephas and James and John were well educated but Mark portrayed them as illiterate fishermen taking off on the disdain Paul directs at them in Galatians 2:6,9 and elsewhere.

          Of course I like to argue. It’s a good way to examine your beliefs and learn. This is an argument clinic. If you don’t want to argue, why did you come here. We are asking for evidence for your claims. I make a claim, you question it, I provide evidence for my claim. The evidence you provide for your claims is paltry.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Still making assertions.

          Please understand, I don’t CARE what you THINK.

          I care what you can provide EVIDENCE for.

        • Dys

          That’s in the bible as well

          Ever hear the statement “Don’t believe everything you read”? It applies just as much to the Bible as any other book.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          It may be an opinion, but it’s far more likely to be true, statistically, than your position.

          After all, there’s NO evidence of your position’s narrative ever happening outside of myth.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Logic fail.

          Burden of proof is in you…YOU made the claim.

        • Greg G.

          The eyewitnesses wrote what they saw.

          No they didn’t. Paul wrote about the 500 and he was not an eyewitness. Nobody else mentioned them. Mark was not an eyewitness and the other gospels are dependent on Mark.

          Your problem with the titanic is there were only a few survivors, with claims about what they saw. You did not know any of them, you did not collect the information yourself.

          There were 706 survivors of the Titanic disaster, about a third of the number on the ship. But the ship has been found on the sea floor. We have proof that it sank. The information was recorded by people who suppressed any of their superstitions in their reports.

          You like all who do not believe start out with the Bible as inaccurate and untruthful, then you want me to prove it isn’t just so you can claim you were correct.

          We start out being skeptical about all claims and evaluate their veracity according to the claim and the evidence. The Bible fails both on the likelihood of the claims being true and the evidence in its favor.

          Try that with any book. Even the writings of Shakespeare which people today claim to be his, take that without proof. In fact much of the writings attributed to him have been proven to be otherwise.

          Somebody wrote the sonnets and plays. I favor that Shakespeare wrote them but my conviction is far less than yours for the resurrection story.

        • Pablo U Hunni

          Now, you are assuming that the information you are giving me regarding the titanic is true without knowing for sure. You are taking claims from unknown sources and regurgitating them as facts. You are assuming that all of the works that are attributed to Shakespeare are his, regardless of the fact that they are not. Some are, as far as we know again without any real observable proof. The Bible has proof. We can trace lineage something you cannot do with other sources. The proof, and facts are there but as with all atheistic view, you start out refusing facts, refusing proof and with the idea that it is all made up and untruthful. Well we could do that will science books too. In fact Haeckel’s embryos are fake, they were disproved within a year of his submitting them, yet they are still printed in pseudo science textbooks today and passed off as truth.

        • Greg G.

          Read what I said. You are assuming things you wish I had said. I do not hold those beliefs any stronger that the evidence can support. The evidence is quite strong but it can never be 100% for anything. You are the one who assumes absolute certainty with poor and imaginary evidence. What I call knowledge is based on reasonable evaluation of the evidence. Give me some of that for your beliefs.

          Why bring up Haeckel? His drawings merely emphasized the similarities he was trying to point out. They were not completely wrong. They were fake because any drawing is fake. The Theory of Evolution is not based on his drawings. It is the reasonable conclusion of tons of evidence. Evolution has more evidentiary support than anything in science.

        • Pablo U Hunni

          They were fake. They were hung out to dry. He doctored them, the fact that you believe that they were what you say proves my point. I brought him up to show that evolution stands on anything but fact, or provable or observable science. Even Darwin said if we didn’t find fossil links we should throw his theory OUT. But evolutionists love their lies. Now Degrasse Tyson made a ridiculous statement regarding animals and painful sex and was laughed off the stage. He has been refuted and shown up for what he is by many well known scientists and reputable groups. Evolution has NO evidence that is the problem. You come up with something that hasn’t been previously disproved. Haeckel’s drawings were a farce trying to prove that ALL embryos were the same and by some magical twist of evolution they would change. What a Maroon he was. Scientists of the day booted him.

        • MNb

          “to show that evolution stands on anything but fact, or provable or observable science.”

          Facts and evidence:
          Observed speciation.
          Fossils.
          Mutations.

          Degrasse Tyson is not an evolutionary biologist. He getting Evolution Theory wrong doesn’t say anything.

          “we didn’t find fossil links”
          Yeah. But we totally did. Google “transitional species.” Know what? The dog is a transitional species.
          You fail badly.

        • Pablo U Hunni

          You totally did. FALSE, it has not been found. In fact they, followers of evolution keep looking. Give me proof, you can’t everything you will show me has been disproved. The part I love best is that the Chinese find our obsession with evolution quite entertaining and have been for some years putting together bones and selling them to these pseudo scientists as the “missing links” all for great sums of money. TRY again. The dog is not transitional, wow that is really and erroneous statement. The dog has not come from one species and is becoming another. With all the types of dogs guess what down to the DNA it’s still a DOG. You are hilarious. Still no observable proof NEXT.

        • MNb

          I already gave you facts and evidence.

          Observed speciation (google it – or are you too stupid to do that?)
          Fossils.
          Mutations.

          “The dog is not transitional, wow that is really and erroneous statement. The dog has not come from one species and is becoming another.”
          BWAHAHAHAHA!
          Man, you’re a champ fact denier.

          “Still no observable proof.”
          BWAHAHAHAHA!
          Seeing some dogs bone with grey wolves (and getting fertile offspring) and others incapable of doing so is totally observable proof.

        • Tony TV

          Here’s the kind of proof that works for this moron. God would have to open the heavens, come to Earth, smack him in the chops,and tell him he’s a fool. Since there is no God, this can’t happen, so why don’t we leave him to wallow in the mire of his stupidity?

        • MNb

          I will as soon as he leaves this blog.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          By your standard, we don’t know Pluto’s orbit, since we haven’t known about it long enough to see it complete an orbit.

          But we know what is almost certainly probable.

          Same with evolution.

        • Pablo U Hunni

          Mutations are NOT changing from one species into another sorry. Try again.

        • MNb

          BWAHAHAHAHA!
          You’re not even wrong.

          Mutations are facts and evidence.
          Observed speciation provides facts and evidence.
          Fossils provide facts and evidence.

          They all are consistently, coherently and correctly described by Evolution Theory.

          Your creacrap is inconsistent, incoherent and describes nothing. And yes, I can prove that. It’s not an opinion.

        • Greg G.

          No artist puts in every detail. You are blowing Haeckel’s problems out of proportion. It isn’t relevant to the point but it is the best you got. You are trying to divert attention away from your Jesus claims. Have you never been to a real museum? A decent one will show you fossil evidence just as Darwin predicted. Even for the human line, the problem with the transitionals is to include them with named species or to call them a new species because the distinctions are so small.

          Now, have you posted anything about whether Jesus was arrested before or after the Passover meal?

        • No one cares what Darwin said. Modern evolution is based in no way on what the great man said in Origin of Species.

        • MNb

          Your latter sentence is too strong a statement. But one doesn’t need to read Origin of Species anymore to understand Modern Evolution Theory anymore than read Newton’s Principia to understand classical kinematics.

        • I would’ve thought you’d question my first statement. Of course, Darwin is very interesting within the History of Science.

          Modern evolution of course comes from Origin. What I hoped was clear was that it’s not dogma in that new ideas must be cross-checked to make sure they don’t offend the inviolate axioms of Origin. If the evidence points to a new way of thinking by which we must leave Darwin behind, so be it.

        • TheNuszAbides

          perhaps “dependent in no way” rather than “based in no way”?

        • Ignorant Amos

          Aye, but Pablo is a creotard remember, and too dopey to know that the bilge he gets his knowledge from won’t be educating him on his dopiness any time soon.

        • TheNuszAbides

          he’s gotta steer clear of all that atheist and socialist poison–being a TruBleevur is hard, yo.

        • Ignorant Amos

          And yet here he is, talking shite.

        • Dys

          So you’re going to gainsay all the statements giving away that you don’t know what you’re talking about, but keep insisting that you have all this monumental proof for the bible (which you don’t).

          We have much better evidence that the Titanic sank and the details surrounding it than anything in the Bible. If you believe otherwise, you’re clearly delusional.

        • Pablo U Hunni

          The titanic sank, fact. Yet they used to believe it was UNsinkable lol. They said the iceberg took it down LOL FACT it went down because of bad steel. Oh yeah great facts all so accurate. Proving once again how little man knows despite his marching around and bragging to the contrary. Funny, creation can predict outcomes on the things we see around us, but evolution can only make predictions that never come true. I’m not the one with a lack of education or knowledge. Try reading a great geologist sometime. Henry M. Morris, he is only one of many.

        • MNb

          BWAHAHAHAHA!
          Morris was an engineer, not a geologist.
          So much for you being educated.

        • Pablo U Hunni

          So much for being educated yourself. Try again. I have his book sitting right here. SMH.

        • Dys

          Morris was not a geologist, but an engineer. Just because an engineer wrote a book about geology doesn’t make him a geologist.

          Maybe you should try again. From an actual geologist.

        • Pablo U Hunni

          Try again. Henry M. Morris was a geologist. Seriously guys get out of your basements go to the library and research do some reading other than your comic books.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Oh for fuck sake…cite his credentials as a geologist or shut ta fuck up.
          Ya silly child

          https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_M._Morris

        • Otto

          Provide a link showing where he received his degree in Geology. That shouldn’t be hard should it?

          Every search I have conducted shows he was an engineer and nothing more….but you can change my mind by providing a citation for that.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Soft boy thinks because a creotard wrote a book on creationist woo-woo, it makes them an expert.And because soft boy is too dim to know any better, he believes to creationist woo-woo. He is such an incompetent amateur at this supporting an argument Malarkey that it is an embarrassment.

        • Pablo urged people to read something besides comics. Good advice for him to follow.

        • Dys

          I don’t have to try again. Henry Morris wasn’t a geologist. He was an engineer who wrote an incredibly bad geology book because he espoused the pseudoscientific young earth creationism dogma.

          Just because you write a book about something doesn’t make you an expert on that thing. Writing a book about geology doesn’t make you a geologist.

        • Don’t tell me–you’re a Creationist and of the young earth sort? Hilarious!

        • MNb

          Bad news for you, BobS. There are no prices to win for this little quiz.

        • Well, I guess it wasn’t that hard a test.

        • Ignorant Amos

          You’re man Morris get’s taken to task for his nonsense here…

          http://ncse.com/cej/4/1/impossible-voyage-noahs-ark

        • MNb

          BWAHAHAHAHA!
          OK, egghead, tell me where Morris got his PhD and what he studied.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          I have a book here that says Harry Potter was a ParselTongue…does that make it true?

        • Dys

          Yep, some people had false beliefs about the Titanic. Are you under the impression that somehow bolsters your point?

          We have much better evidence concerning the Titanic and its sinking than anything in the Bible. That’s a fact as well, and one which you’re apparently uncomfortable with.

        • Greg G.

          Morris got his BS in civil engineering and advanced degrees, including a Ph.D., in hydraulic engineering. He was not a geologist. He co-authored a book on Creationism with an Old Testament scholar, which is as far as one can get from geology or biology.

          His claims are for the gullible.

        • Ignorant Amos

          His claims are for the moronic more like.

        • Pablo U Hunni

          That would include you Ignorant.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Your Morris started with a conclusion and cherry-picked evidence to support it.

        • Pablo U Hunni

          Sorry Henry M. Morris was a geologist. You are confusing him with your faux science hero Bill Nye, the wanna be childrens’ show science guy. He is an engineer. The gullible would be you. Bill Nye has made a fool of himself over the years more than once. One of his worst was stating that a tree is 9000 yrs old. Today’s scientists are arguing over how old the tree actually is. They can’t agree on one thing except it’s old. They can’t even hazard a guess as to how old the tree is. These are your heroes. Seriously is that all you have.

        • Greg G.

          Obviously you don’t know what a geologist is either.

        • Dys

          Sorry, Henry Morris was an engineer who wrote a book on geology. You’ve been duped.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Sorry Henry M. Morris was a geologist.

          Repeating the same tripe over and over won’t make it any less tripe.

          You are confusing him with your faux science hero Bill Nye, the wanna be childrens’ show science guy.

          Not that your nonsense is relevant but…

          Nope, Bill Nye has actually got a degree…in science. What ta fuck does “faux science” even mean?

          He is an engineer.

          Yeah…that too.

          One of his worst was stating that a tree is 9000 yrs old.

          Old Tjikko? Do yerself a favour and stop relying on creocrap bullshit for your info. Parts of the tree’s root system has been carbon dated to over 9,000 years old.

          The tree’s age was determined by carbon-14 dating of the root system, which found roots dating back to 375, 5,660, 9,000, and 9,550 years. Carbon dating is not accurate enough to pin down the exact year the tree sprouted from seed, but given the estimated age the tree is supposed to have sprouted around 7550 BC. For comparison, the invention of writing (and thus, the beginning of recorded history) did not occur until around 4000 BC. Researchers have found a cluster of around 20 spruce trees in the same area, all over 8,000 years old

          Nye’s point still stands…and Ken Hamm is just another dopey creationist tit like yerself.

          Today’s scientists are arguing over how old the tree actually is.

          But not for the reasons you think they are, if you were better educated you might know that.

          They can’t agree on one thing except it’s old. They can’t even hazard a guess as to how old the tree is. These are your heroes. Seriously is that all you have.

          Nope…just more verbal diarrhoea from a creotard.

          The visible portion of the 13-foot-tall (4-meter-tall) “Christmas tree” isn’t ancient, but its root system has been growing for 9,550 years, according to a team led by Leif Kullman, professor at Umeå University’s department of ecology and environmental science in Sweden.

          http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2008/04/080414-oldest-tree.html

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Nope. It was *called* unsinkable to provide an excuse for not carrying sufficient lifeboats.

          And that’s how science works, even if that claim was made. When it turns out to be wrong, we learn from it and do better.

          Religion just denies it’s ever wrong.

        • Tony TV

          Isn’t all unwavering belief in unproven accounts of history the definition of delusion. Kind of like the conservative majority I constantly hear about?

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          I’ve seen photos of the Titanic, both afloat and on the bottom.

          If I had the money, I could visit it myself.

          Try saying any of that truthfully about your jebus.

        • Dys

          My point remains – you have the claim of 1000s of eyewitnesses. You don’t have their actual accounts. Having a story where it says “this was witnessed by 500 people” doesn’t mean you have 500 eyewitness accounts. It doesn’t mean you have even one. It means you have a story claiming there were eyewitnesses.

          You’re also trying to treat all historical claims as being equal, when it is incredibly foolish to do so. Claiming that a boat sank, like the Titanic is a mundane claim. Claiming someone came back to life after being dead for three days is not.

          You want the bible accepted as historically accurate wholesale, but the fact is that there’s no rational reason to do so, and plenty of good reasons not to.

        • Tony TV

          It’s like those “thousands” of Muslims Trump “saw” celebrating when the WTC fell. Myth becomes reality.

        • MNb

          You don’t have prove that the authors of the Gospels were eyewitnesses. There are some good reasons to assume they were not.

        • The default hypothesis that a book full of the supernatural is just mythology. Deal with it. If you give us nothing but bluster, we fall back on the default hypothesis, and you lose.

          Baby Jesus cries when you don’t give us a reason to believe in his divinity.

        • Tony TV

          Does that mean that until Cameron’s expedition people could believe the Titanic really didn’t sink?

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          you’re claiming that the eyewitnesses were literate.

          In that time and place, that’s VERY unlikely

          Check your history.

    • katiehippie

      You are assuming the bible to be true. How can you assume that?

      • Pablo U Hunni

        You are assuming it isn’t. I have researched facts etc. Came to the conclusion the Bible(which means library) is true and there are facts to back it up.

        • Greg G.

          There are facts which back up much of the story in Gone With the Wind but that doesn’t make it a true story. The existence of Kansas doesn’t prove that Clark Kent/Superman grew up there. That Luke used Josephus as an encyclopedia and a muse, doesn’t mean what he got from Mark was true.

        • Pablo U Hunni

          Proves you don’t want to hear the truth, because it makes you uncomfortable. Gone with the wind, is a fictional account it was printed as such. Try staying on topic.

        • Greg G.

          But the Civil War happened. The book mentions Sherman marching on Atlanta.

          We know that Gone with the Wind is fiction and we know that the gospels are fiction.

          You are the one who has problems with the truth and reality.

        • Pablo U Hunni

          No we do not know the gospels are fiction. We know that is your opinion. Gone with the wind was and is fiction. The people involved were characters in a story. While Margaret Mitchell used some facts for the storyline, remember she wrote after the fact, NOT during the fact and not as an direct observer of the facts.

        • Dys

          Eyewitness accounts – you don’t have any. You have claims of eyewitness accounts, and you’re apparently unable to tell the difference.

          No we do not know the gospels are fiction.

          But we have incredibly good reasons to suspect they are, due to contradictions, discrepancies, and the supernatural elements that appear in them. You keep forgetting: not all claims are created equal. Resurrection claims have a much higher burden of proof then boats sinking. Rational people just don’t accept them because they’re written down in an old book, even if it is the bible.

        • Pablo U Hunni

          Again no proof of discrepancies or errors. Again with the opinion without proof. There is no body in the grave, there wasn’t 3 days later. The people at the time looked. There were eyewitness accounts which for your world view are not valid yet they are when it suits you as in the case of the titanic. Since there is no basis for truth to stand on with your world view, we can never prove anything you say. Rational people know the truth and the power of God’s word, they still come to Jesus and find the truth, lives are changed daily, personal relationships are made with him daily. It is far more interesting that this collection of books has withstood better minds than yours, has been proven by archaeological finds, etc etc. It is still changing lives, and it is still being printed. Unlike so many works of men. Your faux hero Darwin has been disproved by his own words, yet you err in not knowing that fact either. You cannot prove evolution yet you persist in believing the lie. This is the same lie in the garden that you will become like gods. LOL. Man is still FOOLISH, even the bible says the FOOL says in his heart there is no GOD.

        • MNb

          “There is no body in the grave, there wasn’t 3 days later.”
          Were you there?

        • Pablo U Hunni

          It isn’t there now. Your great grandpa’s bones are still in the grave aren’t they? Oh you don’t know you aren’t there either. YOU have to take it on FAITH that they are, you have to believe eyewitness accounts to that person being YOUR great grandfather. YOU will do it for everything except GOD that is quite telling too.

        • Dys

          You really don’t have a clue as to how evidence works, do you? Oh, and you don’t have eyewitness accounts for the gospels.

        • Greg G.

          How would a Christian understand how evidence works? They’ve never had any to work with.

        • Pablo U Hunni

          You are like most deluded by the lie. You believe science and faith are mutually exclusive yet nothing could be further from the truth. TRUE science was the search for the TRUTH. Something this faux scientists of today do not understand.

        • MNb

          Ah, the No True Science fallacy.

          Thanks for confirming again you’re arguing for predetermined conclusions.
          FALSE science: any science that contradicts your predetermined conclusions.
          TRUE science: any science you perceive to confirm your predetermined conclusions.

          I have met many a creacrapper on internet, but you’re one of the biggest goofs among them.

        • Greg G.

          Faith and science are mutually exclusive. Science is based on things seen. Faith is supposed to be things not seen. Faith takes over where evidentiary support for an idea ends and it works equally well on any idea no matter how dumb it is. When you have evidence you don’t need faith. When you want to believe in something without evidence, you need faith.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Just remember that the device you’re using to spread your drivel is based on the work of scientists who were atheists, and in one major case (Alan Turing) homosexual.

          So why are you using an evil-spawned device?

        • Pablo U Hunni

          Yep typical atheist lack of reason. Rule# 1 from the handbook, never answer a question that has been asked of you. Rather attack with what you deem are smart comments but no facts. Rule # 2 deflect your lack of understanding back on the person you are disagreeing with trying to derail the whole conversation. Rule # 3 if that doesn’t work resort to name calling etc. You guys ares so transparent and boring never anything new.

        • Dys

          Aren’t you tired of deflecting yet? The fact is that you don’t have eyewitness accounts, and you quite clearly don’t understand the concept of evidence, because you’re opting out of it for all the claims you’re making for the Bible.

        • MNb

          “It isn’t there now.”
          Then you don’t know that there was no body in the grave and that there wasn’t three days later. This is just another empty phrase meant to confirm your predetermined conclusion.
          I actually have no idea what happened to the bones of my great grandfathers. Were they cremated? Or buried? If the latter, where? Beats me.
          So unlike you I don’t make claims about graves.
          For all I know the milkman might have been one of my great grandfathers. I wasn’t there and never asked for DNA research. I don’t claim anything about that either.
          What I do claim is that they were my legal grandfathers. Because legal documents, simpleton.
          So if you can provide me a legal document signed by three independent eyewitnesses that your god created the entire shenanigan I will recognize your god as the legal, but not yet the actual god.
          You’re invited.

        • Dys

          Again no proof of discrepancies or errors.

          The fact that the gospels contradict each other is proof enough. The absence of a census to get Joseph and the family to Bethlehem to fulfill a prophecy in Micah that wasn’t about Jesus is a good start. The story was a construction, invented to try and tie Jesus to the OT.

          There is no body in the grave, there wasn’t 3 days later.

          What grave? The fact remains, you’re giving your religious beliefs a pass that you wouldn’t grant to any other religion.

          There were eyewitness accounts which for your world view are not valid

          You don’t have eyewitness accounts. You have a story about eyewitnesses. That you can’t tell the difference is a testament to how little you actually understand the Bible.

          It is still changing lives, and it is still being printed. Unlike so many works of men

          The Bible is a work of men as well. There’s no indication that any deity was involved in its creation.

          You cannot prove evolution yet you persist in believing the lie.

          Science doesn’t prove things. You don’t know what you’re talking about.

          even the bible says the FOOL says in his heart there is no GOD.

          The fact that the bible includes insults for believers to throw at non-believers is yet another testament to the fact that it was created and written by men.

          Just because the Bible says it, doesn’t make it true. This truth seems to escape you.

        • Pablo U Hunni

          The gospels do NOT contradict themselves. Have you read them?? Probably not. Let me give you an analogy from my 7th assignment, a level you should be able to grasp. There were 3 newspapers in the town I grew up in. All reputed to be good papers. All favorites. An incident took place in town. All 3 papers sent reporters out with photographers to get the story on this incident. Just for background it involved a man, a truck and a powerline. I will keep the facts simple. Now each collected the facts, or shall we say the details of the events. Our assignment was to get the 3 papers read the accounts and give a report. Do you know what? I did that. DO you know what? Each account had discrepancies in their reports. Some of the facts were the same, some were slightly different, some were not mentioned by one or two of the other papers and some were just way different. Does that mean the accounts were inaccurate, does that mean someone was lying. Does that mean we should throw out two of the papers and only believe one??? IF so which one?? We weren’t there so how do we know which account was most accurate?? We don’t. Now lets us deductive reasoning here. When you have 6 people 3 reporters and 3 photographers sent to a scene. What happens? Each will collect information, to which they will add their viewpoint whether deliberately or not they will. Each will see the event from a different perspective. In fact they each may have interviewed some eyewitnesses. Now they will each give the account as they saw it. Either everyone is wrong, if so how do we know and how will we prove they are wrong and how will we get the truth. Or everyone is right but they have some extra info that the other’s did not get. Well in the case of this story. Yes the many of the facts were in agreement, the stories were different but the whole of the story remained the same. We knew about human nature, we knew about reporting. We see this on TV now when someone reports a story. SO this is a faux argument to say they disagree or contradict. Each of the gospels is written from a different perspective to reach a different audience. Luke was a physician he wrote for that view point. Shows how little you understand of God’s word and that YOU are making God too small to be GOD.

        • Dys

          When was Jesus born? The different perspective argument doesn’t resolve the fact that there’s no record of any census that works the way the one described in Luke does occurring in Israel.

        • Pablo U Hunni

          He was born during the time of Cesar Augustus during the Roman census. Sorry you just don’t have the records that doesn’t mean it didn’t occur. When were you born, where is the record, how do I know you are telling me the truth. How do I know you exist all these questions could be applied to anyone even today. It’s harder today to prove that given hackers etc. Can’t you come up with a real argument?

        • Dys

          The closest Roman census was in 6 AD. Herod died in 4 BC. There was no Roman census with the bizarre rules given in Luke. So you’ve got a contradiction. The story makes no sense, and is an obvious fabrication.

          When were you born, where is the record, how do I know you are telling me the truth.

          There’s these things called birth certificates.

          all these questions could be applied to anyone even today. It’s harder today to prove that given hackers etc

          Not really…you’re just trying to come up with excuses, and failing.

        • Tony TV

          How would you go about hacking historical records?And why? Oh,I forgot Lucifer was an IT guy.

        • Greg G.

          If you have three accounts with different details, they might all be correct or there could be any combination of wrong accounts. If the three accounts have conflicting details, at most one of them is right but they could all be wrong. These discrepancies are contradictions. The Bible accounts have discrepancies that are contradictions. You know that or you wouldn’t present such a stupid illustration. So why say that the Bible has no contradictions when it has contradictions in the most important parts of Christianity?

          Was Jesus arrested before or after the Passover?

        • Pablo U Hunni

          That is not true. Contradictions would be directly on the known facts. I already addressed this with an actual example. Discrepancies are NOT automatically contradictions.

        • Pablo U Hunni

          That wasn’t written as an insult. Again proving you know nothing of God’s word. ALL mankind starts from the point of rejecting GOD foolishly. SO ALL are foolish as long as they say there is no GOD. When you come to the TRUTH you are no longer a FOOL. The bible has no insults that is your opinion due to your lack of understanding. The Bible is truth whether you choose to believe or not. It’s truth whether I chose to believe it or not and my believing doesn’t make it true, because it’s truth I believe. Can’t get your horse in the right place it comes after the cart.

        • Dys

          It’s a biblical self-defense mechanism, nothing more. It’s the same kind of nonsense where people are told that they’ll be persecuted for their faith, leading to the false belief that being persecuted is somehow proof they’re doing something right.

          The Bible is truth whether you choose to believe or not. It’s truth whether I chose to believe it or not

          No, it’s not. See, the problem with this is that since you can’t defend your claim, it can be refuted the same way.

          Can’t get your horse in the right place it comes after the cart.

          You mean like how you just assume the bible is true? That’s the definition of putting the cart before the horse.

        • Tony TV

          The Bible is only YOUR truth if YOU CHOOSE TO BELIEVE IT. We don’t choose to disbelieve. We disbelieve because you haven’t said ANYTHING here to convince even one of us’ You’ve failed your God miserably.

        • Ignorant Amos

          even the bible says the FOOL says in his heart there is no GOD.

          Ya tit…From Chuck Norris to the average Catholic blogging soccer mom, this little bible quote has been thrown around as though excreting scripture at atheists actually has a tangible metaphysical impact. While this is as effective as a witch doctor pricking a voodoo doll of me in the hopes that I will actually be pricked…

          That said…

          But many ex-christian Atheist know the Bible quite well. …the fool hath said in his heart that there is no god, while the wise person says it in his brain. …. The fool hath said in his heart ” there is no God. … If a fool can work it out, what’s your problem?”

        • Pablo U Hunni

          That is a quote from the OLD Testament. Sorry. Written long before Christ and his followers. When pagan cultures abounded and God chose the Jews out of all the pagans to reveal himself to. That quote is more ad hominem atheist circular reasoning or should I say lack thereof. Since it faith in evolution requires no thought or reason what so ever.

        • Dys

          The verse itself is an ad hominem against atheists. Moron. You keep trying to refer to logical fallacies, but you don’t understand what they are or how to spot them. You just use them as buzzwords to hide the fact that you’re clueless.

        • Ignorant Amos

          What are ya apologising to me for? It was your quote ya doofus….I was just throwing it back at ya to show how asinine it was of you to use it. Strewth, give me strength.

        • Evolution? It’s just the overwhelming scientific consensus. Aside from that little fact, you’re quite right–no reason to believe in it.

        • MNb

          Do you always apply this principle? Or only when it suits you? Or perhaps there is another, higher principle that trumps it?

        • Ignorant Amos

          You keep bringing up this false dichotomy like different disciplines are equal in terms of their consensus. It is wrong.

          The ad populum fallacy has its problems if applied erroneously.

        • MNb

          Eh?
          I didn’t bring up anything.
          I asked a question. About BobS applying his principle to scientific consensus (and I didn’t mention any discipline), which, as he has explained himself, is not an ad populum, because the population we’re talking about is qualified in the field of research.

          I’m stunned that you make so little sense, IA. I thought you were one of the less prejudiced guys here. Was I mistaken? Because your comment betrays quite some unjustified assertions coming from prejudice regarding me.

          Suggestion: stick tot what I write, not what you want to read in between.

        • “The ad populum fallacy is seductive because it appeals to our desire to belong and to conform, to our desire for security and safety. It is a common appeal in advertising and politics. A clever manipulator of the masses will try to seduce those who blithely assume that the majority is always right. Also seduced by this appeal will be the insecure, who may be made to feel guilty if they oppose the majority or feel strong by joining forces with large numbers of other uncritical thinkers.”

          IA, is correct that if applied erroneously, it has it’s problems – how are you stunned that this makes so little sense? IA seems to be acting like more of an adult than you have been lately, MNb.

        • MNb

          If acting like an adult means producing stupid ignorant lies like you do again in this comment I’d rather not become one.
          Idea. Hang your stinking socks at your mother’s cross. It’s the only appropriate way for you to honour her.

        • Ignorant Amos

          A have ta say, when Greg is supporting my position I know I must be on shaky ground and the sphincter starts twitching.

          His comment made me cringe when a first seen, but then a realised he doesn’t know what he is talking about…again…as usual.

        • MNb

          Don’t worry – I’m ready to blame you for all kind of stuff (see above), but not for Greg taking sides with you. For one thing he only thinks/pretends he does.

        • Greg G.

          IA, is correct that if applied erroneously, it has it’s problems

          How does a person apply a fallacy that is not “erroneously?”

        • Ignorant Amos

          Suggestion: stick tot what I write, not what you want to read in between.

          Sorry, I was reading your comment in the grander context of the overall conversation of what I’ve read in my time here.

          I asked a question. About BobS applying his principle to scientific consensus (and I didn’t mention any discipline), which, as he has explained himself, is not an ad populum, because the population we’re talking about is qualified in the field of research.

          First, I took your questions as rhetorical in a sarcastic manner. I believed you already know Bob’s position on the consensus front. I did this because I’ve witnessed comments that you’ve made to Bob when you believed he was being less rigorous at applying his appeal to the consensus standard on subjects that he claims to be less informed upon, less I say ignorant. If my take was incorrect, again, apologies for the misrepresentation.

          The ad populum fallacy, or argument by consensus if ya like, can apply to a consensus of folk even when they are qualified in a certain field of research.

          And yet, it is often enough the case that a consensus of experts is wrong (as proved even by the fact that the scientific consensus has frequently changed, as has the consensus in any other domain of expertise, from history to motorboat repair). And our brains are cognitively biased to over-trust those we accept as authorities (the Asch effect), putting us at significant risk of false belief if we are not sufficiently critical of our relying on an expert. It’s only more complicated when we have warring experts and have to choose between them, even though we are not experts ourselves.

          http://freethoughtblogs.com/carrier/archives/5553

          I know that you didn’t mention a discipline here, but I can extrapolate from the ongoing debate the subjects in question. Again, if I have been unfair in this, I certainly apologise.

          I’m stunned that you make so little sense, IA.

          Sorry again, it was not my intention to make little, though I’m surprised you are stunned as ya know me long enough to have witnessed that I sometimes make no sense. My fault in not fleshing out the comment, I just assumed you would have picked up on what I was getting at. Of course I’m the first to criticise another for assuming things in a comment. Mea culpa In mitigation for my behaviour, it was late/early and I had been consuming alcohol.

          I thought you were one of the less prejudiced guys here.

          Thanks for the compliment.

          Was I mistaken?

          Well we can all be prejudice on occasion, some a lot more than others. On this occasion I didn’t think I was, but obviously if I’ve misinterpreted the point of your comment to Bob, then I was being prejudiced. Unjustly so, so again, I apologise.

          Because your comment betrays quite some unjustified assertions coming from prejudice regarding me.

          You have, in the past, criticised Bob for comments that have gone some way in defending a stance that you have considered in breach of the consensus, true? It is with just such comments in mind that I read your questions to Bob above. I that context I made my comment.

          Now, a week or so ago I asked you in a comment which of the mythicist arguments you are familiar with from literature. You never answered so I took that as a negative. The reason I asked is because I’m baffled by your certainty on this subject, given your well displayed rationality and critical thinking in all other areas. A certainty to the point where you ridicule and mock other members of the forum with whom you otherwise agree with on most things and dare I say display a certain degree of respect for their views.

          It was never my intention to antagonise you MNb, just to open the debate on this area of the use of consensus and it’s value.

          If I have misrepresented your position in anyway, through prejudice or not, I unreservedly apologise yet again, as you must be aware, like many others here I regard your contributions here as enlightening, educational and informative. I also agree with most of what you write, and dare I say it, hold a certain degree of respect with you and your views.

          Edit: add link

        • Always. And that always suits me.

        • MNb

          Thanks. See, I noticed you only bring it up when Evolution Theory is the topic.

        • Evolution and climate science seem to be the disciplines where the Christian commenters are most likely to have problems.

          But if there’s some inconsistency in my claims (like there’s some unpleasant scientific consensus lurking out there that I’d prefer to simply ignore), let me know. As you know, I can’t imagine any grounds by which I’d reject any scientific consensus.

        • Greg G.

          The Gospel of Mark has travel narratives that match up with Homer’s Odyssey and the passion narrative is very much like the death of Hector in <The Iliad, in the same way other writers of the day used those works to write fiction. Most of the miracles are based on the miracles of Moses, Elijah, and Elisha. Scholars have recognized the Greek, Hebrew, and Christian sources that Mark drew from for nearly every passage. Even the Christian sources are not about things Jesus did, they are things said or done in the epistles by others that are attributed to Jesus. The most reasonable conclusion is that the stories are fiction, like many of the sources.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Too complicated for this one…. Go the easy route.

        • Pablo U Hunni

          You having trouble Ignorant, way above your pay grade obviously

        • Ignorant Amos

          I just don’t see the point of all these knowledgeable people wasting time and effort trying to explain why you are wrong when you are too dumb to pay attention. You obviously know fuck all about your sacred texts, that much is obvious.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Hee hee hee…“Too complicated for this one” refers to you, as in this one you are trying to educate in that comment…the one who the comment is address to…here’s a clue. There are two names at the top of Greg’s comment, one is his own, the other is the soft boy he is addressing.

          The last part of my comment is a request to use KISS when dealing with ya, “Go the easy route” is a pointer to not talk in such a scholarly manner as I reckon it flies right over yer head.

          But all is okay, my interlocutor understood what I meant, even if you didn’t.

        • Pablo U Hunni

          That is a conclusion drawn from your own opinion NOT based on any provable fact. Sorry try again.

        • MNb

          Definition of fact according to Pablo: anything that confirms his predetermined conclusions.

        • Greg G.

          It is also the opinion of scholars based on evidence, without having to believe in magic and talking donkeys or talking snakes.

        • MNb

          The Gospels were written after the supposed facts as well.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Okay, in Luke and !Mathew… who was Jesuses granda?

        • Greg G.

          I realize that you are dealing with many people and many posts. You have said a few times that there are no contradictions in the Bible. I have asked a few times in different threads about whether Jesus was arrested after eating the Passover meal, as in the Synoptics, or before the Passover, as in the Gospel of John. The theological implications of each are different.

          In the Synoptics, Jesus is a sin offering. Mark teaches his readers that “bar” means “son of” when he explains Bartimaeus’ name. He teaches his readers that “Abba” means “father” when Jesus prays in Gethsemane. So his readers should be able to recognize that Barabbas means “son of the Father” which makes him a match for Jesus, like the scapegoats in Leviticus 16:5-22. However, this ritual is performed at Yom Kippur, not Passover.

          In John, Jesus is arrested, tried, crucified, and buried on the day of preparation for the Passover as he represents the Passover Lamb, similar to 1 Corinthians 5:7. However, the Passover is not a sin offering.

          But it gets worse. Christianity relies on the premise that the sacrifice of Jesus redeems mankind because he was sinless.

          1 Peter 2:22 (NRSV)22 “He committed no sin,    and no deceit was found in his mouth.”

          The “no deceit was found in his mouth” is a quote from Isaiah 53:9 but is it true?

          John 7:8-10 (NRSV)8 Go to the festival yourselves. I am not going to this festival, for my time has not yet fully come.” 9 After saying this, he remained in Galilee.10 But after his brothers had gone to the festival, then he also went, not publicly but as it were in secret.

          John has Jesus deceiving his brothers, explicitly saying that he was not going to the Festival of Booths, then going secretly. Clearly, Jesus had deceit in his mouth, therefore he was not sinless, and the whole premise of a sinless offering redeeming Christians fails.

          That section of 1 Peter 2 has many allusions to Isaiah 53 but doesn’t seem to know anything about a first century Jesus.

        • Tony TV

          EXACTLY you idiot!!!!

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          The books tell a story.

          YOU claim it’s true.

          So the burden of proof is on YOU to demonstrate.

        • Dys

          Actually it makes the case that the Bible could properly be labeled historical fiction. But since you’re dogmatically committed to believing in the inerrancy of the bible, you’re stuck making unsubstantiated assertions that you “know” it’s true.

          You’ve confused strength of belief with having knowledge.

        • Pablo U Hunni

          You still have nothing more than your opinion. What you are saying is just that, nothing more. You cannot give me proof to your claims or even that there is anything to back up your statements. Like all atheists you go in circles then pin that on believers. It’s laughable. I have knowledge in someone outside myself. Your mark is yourself and way too low to measure truth by. Just as the other guy’s opinion regarding evil is a flawed supposition and makes GOD way too small to be GOD.

        • MNb

          You haven’t produced anything more than your predetermined conclusions either.

        • Pablo U Hunni

          I haven’t predetermined anything. LOL I’ve simply stated TRUTH. If you don’t know the TRUTH and you CAN’T handle the TRUTH you will believe the man made lie.

        • MNb

          “I’ve simply stated TRUTH.”
          Which is a classic example of a predetermined conclusion. Thanks.

        • Dys

          It’s amazing that for all your declarations of having truth, you’re absolute shit at demonstrating that anything you’ve said is actually true.

          You’ve predetermined what the supposed truth is, and you can’t handle any criticism of it, so you just wind up ranting.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Nope. You’ve made assertions.

          Now try backing them up. I’m betting you can’t.

        • Dys

          You still have nothing more than your opinion

          Nope, I’ve got more than that. But speaking of opinion…it’s merely your opinion that the bible is inerrant. You’re pretending to have knowledge of it, but as anyone can plainly see, your avoidance of defending the claim demonstrates that it’s just a belief, nothing more.

          Like all atheists you go in circles

          Uh, you’re the one engaging in circular reasoning.

          It’s clear that you’re trying to distract from your complete and utter failure to back up your claims by committing ad hominem attacks.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Projection like that would get humanity to Mars in a fortnight…

        • Max Doubt

          “Try staying on topic.”

          On topic, there is no objective evidence to support any claims that any gods exist as part of reality. The existence of a god or gods is required for your position to be accepted as true. So you and the little girl with an invisible magical fairy friend and the little boy with the monster under his bed are all in exactly the same position as far as supporting the supposed existence of your imaginary beings.

        • Ignorant Amos

          As are the gospels… And you can’t prove otherwise.

        • Pablo U Hunni

          You can’t prove otherwise, either end of your childish pissing contest.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Like I say, pig shit thick as fuck.

        • MNb

          A contest you started, not IA.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Burden on proof is on the person making the positive claim.

          All we’re saying is “we don’t believe you”

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          I’m waiting for you to provide evidence that your claim is any more true than Gone With The Wind.

          Well?…..evidence?….

        • Ignorant Amos

          (which means library)

          My arse….citation please?

        • Pablo U Hunni

          The word Bible mr. ignorant comes from a latin root. I.E. example bibliotheque which is the mexican word for library. Stay in your ignorance your are safer there than the real world.

        • Max Doubt

          “The word Bible mr. ignorant comes from a latin root. I.E. example bibliotheque which is the mexican word for library.”

          Mexican word for library? Jesus H. Christ where do you get this insane nonsense? The word bible has an etymology that dates back to the 13th century French and Anglo Latin. It derived from the concept of scroll or book, a singular item. Also, there was no exchange of information between North America and Europe until a couple hundred years later. You’re either just playing around now, or you are truly one of the stupidest children to ever cross the threshold of this forum.

        • Ignorant Amos

          He’s a fucking numb-nuts….can’t ya tell? Too stupid for words from what I can see.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Because the Spanish word for library is biblioteca, soft boy thinks that the word bible also means library. Stupid is as stupid does…or says.

          https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/biblioteca

        • Ignorant Amos

          Dumb fuck answer.

          Only to be expected from same.

        • Trash talking is dangerous from someone who’s on thin ice himself.

        • Greg G.

          Mexican is a language? Is American a language?

          The word comes from the ancient Greek word for book which probably came from the Byblos, an ancient city that shipped papyrus. Many words are created from it in different languages.

          You may have heard that Bible means library in church. If so, let that be a lesson that what the tell you in church is often untrue.

        • Mexican is a language? Is American a language?

          Uh … hello? Never heard of United Statesian?

        • The null hypothesis is that the Bible is just one more book of mythology and legend. The burden is yours: show us that it’s true.

        • Tony TV

          Common evangelical Xtian mistake. Atheists & agnostics assume NOTHING, whereas EVERYTHING you believe IS based on assumption.
          1) You assume the Bible is actually the word of God. (there is NO way to know this.)
          2) You assume it is inerrant, despite a multitude of contradictions. (let’s call them “holy typos.”)
          3) You assume the resurrection, though there is no account of a human witness (NOT ONE)
          I could go on but have already wasted enough time here. I’m almost as bad as you, trying to convince you of something you’ll never believe. It’s like trying to convince a neanderthal the sky is blue from sunlight refracting on water vapor. Ooops! Maybe you don’t know about stuff like that. After all if it ain’t in the Bible…..

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          I take the null position, which is to disbelieve until there’s evidence.

          That’s not the same as calling your book false. It’s merely saying “Prove it!”

    • Rudy R

      Satan could have implanted false facts into the minds of those 1000s of eyewitnesses. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander.

      • Pablo U Hunni

        Proves you don’t understand God or Satan. They can’t dwell in the same house.

        • Rudy R

          How do you know Satan isn’t the good guy?

        • Pablo U Hunni

          Because I know God.

        • Dys

          So it’s really just presuppositionalism then, and the whole “scientific seeking of truth” is a charade.

        • Pablo U Hunni

          No dys, if you have a relationship with someone then you know the truth. It’s that simple. If you don’t then you can’t comprehend it.

        • MNb

          Aha. I know some little childs who have relationships with Santa Claus. They know the truth. It’s that simple. If you don’t then you can’t comprehend it.

        • Pablo U Hunni

          Santa claus is based on an actual person. So what has been added to the story is inaccurate but the person of St. Nickolas did exist. TRY AGAIN.

        • MNb

          Doesn’t change anything about my point.
          But if you prefer you may replace Santa Claus with the Tooth Fairy.

        • Tony TV

          But the tooth fairy was based on a gay (sorry) dentist….

        • Try again? You haven’t even tried once. Your claims are all just your personal theology, presented as if they’re historical fact.

          Do yourself a favor. Take a claim and back it up. See why your own religion makes that claim. You’ll be surprised at how little evidence there actually is. Or, look at some of the posts on this blog that cover these fundamental Christian claims that don’t hold up.

        • Dys

          I have relationships with lots of people. Your understanding of truth is flawed.

          You’re engaging in presuppositionalism, and don’t care whether what you believe is true or not. You’re just going to keep assuming they’re true, and casually dismissing any criticism out of hand.

          I sincerely hope you don’t think you deserve to be taken seriously.

        • Pablo U Hunni

          Says the man who has run out of debate material.

        • Dys

          I’ve already refuted everything you’ve said. Also, in order to debate, one side must be willing to actually support their side of the argument – you clearly aren’t equipped to do so.

          You’re just making assertions you can’t defend. But if you think I don’t have plenty more ways of pointing out how hilariously ignorant and wrong you are, you’re very much mistaken.

        • Tony TV

          In order for this to be a debate there would have to be points being made on both sides. You have made exactly none. Hell, you haven’t even made one decent argument.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          as you descend into middle-school insulting from lack of being able to defend your position logically.

        • RichardSRussell

          You might be interested in my blog posting about “My Deep, Personal Relationship with Jesus Christ”.

        • How do you know if you have a relationship with someone vs. you’re just imagining it? The Muslims imagine a relationship, but they’re wrong–how do you know that you’re not just as wrong?

        • L.Long

          Yes! So true I have a deep relationship with Angelina Jolie Every night when I fall to sleep. And to state such is true as YOU can’t prove it untrue, of course if I state this relationship as FACT would make me as big a liar as you!

        • Pablo U Hunni

          You do really? We know for a fact that’s in your head, that can be proved. Sorry lying isn’t in my list of things I do, you and every atheist on the planet believes it’s because the ends justify the means so you ASSume everyone else behaves like you. OBTW since the comments were NOT directed to you, why are you showing your ignorance?

        • Dys

          Sorry lying isn’t in my list of things I do, you and every atheist on the planet believes it’s because the ends justify the means

          Your defense of the claim that you don’t lie is to immediately lie about atheists. You really are just a complete idiot.

          No wonder you’ve gone with creationism. Anything more complicated than “god did it” is too much for you to comprehend.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          that was rambling and incoherent.

          define your terms.

        • Greg G.

          I almost had a wet dream about her but I didn’t fall asleep fast enough.

        • Tony TV

          Premature nocturnal emission?

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          So you’re admitting it’s subjective.

          In that case, it’s all in your head and we don’t have to give any credence to your nonsense.

        • Tony TV

          And THAT, my friend is circular logic.

        • Dys

          Presuppositionalism can’t exist without it.

        • MNb

          Further proof of you assuming what you want to demonstrate.

        • Ignorant Amos

          But in the Bible, God/YahwehJesus is the lousy piece of shite…ya don’t know it that well it seems.

        • What would it look like if the bad guy were in charge? He’d convince people like you that all the bad stuff in the world (birth defects, tsunamis, young parents dying and leaving their children motherless/fatherless) is actually part of the greater good, part of some incomprehensible good plan.

          Look around, because that’s the world you live in. Looks like Satan has suckered another.

        • Tony TV

          What color’s his hair? Does he have big feet/ long Fingers? Is he a good kisser? What’s his sign?

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Nope. You have an unsupported belief, that’s all

        • MNb

          Proves you assume what you want to demonstrate.

        • Max Doubt

          “Proves you don’t understand God or Satan. They can’t dwell in the same house.”

          There is no objective evidence to support any claims that any gods exist as part of reality. As far as you know — yes, you — that is true. So you’re making a claim that a god exists or did exist based on the premise that a god exists, and that you know the mind of that alleged god. Pretty firkin arrogant of you, eh? Given the wholesale lack of any objective support, the entirety of your claim may be summarily rejected.

        • Pablo U Hunni

          Your opinion is summarily rejected as nothing more. First you would have to understand that GOD is a spirit and that Satan is a spirit, We too are spiritual. Then you would have to understand that God is eternal, satan and you and I are created beings. Satan is the antithesis of God. He rejected God desired to be GOD, rebelled and was thrown out of heaven along with 1/3 of the angelic created beings. They cannot reside in the same house. When a believer accepts Christ he is indwelled with the Holy Spirit, God himself, therefore Satan can no longer be in the same house. Yes I do understand a small part of the mind of God. I do not purport to understand ALL of God that’s impossible being finite. He exists, I don’t have to provide proof even though it’s there in his creation. You on the other hand don’t exist, why because I have never seen you, I don’t know you, I can’t prove you exist in fact I don’t know who you are, for all I know it’s a computer arguing with me. Again with your empty reasoning.

        • Max Doubt

          “First you would have to understand that GOD is a spirit and that Satan is a spirit,…”

          As I mentioned already, as far as you know there is no objective evidence to support any claims that any gods exist. You cannot objectively differentiate between the things you think of as gods and any other figments of your imagination. That, as far as you know, is true.

          “… We too are spiritual.”

          It appears you’re using the term “spiritual” here without being able to define it in an unambiguous way.

          “Then you would have to understand that God is eternal, satan and you and I are created beings.”

          You continue to make claims about characteristics of gods without having the tiniest mote of objective evidence to support any claims that any gods even exist. You’re about as poorly behaved as a spoiled seven year old child who comes into a room full of adults and starts telling people they can’t sit here or there because your imaginary pal wants to sit there. Yep, you’re that ill behaved and that immature.

          “Satan is the antithesis of God. He rejected God desired to be GOD, rebelled and was thrown out of heaven along with 1/3 of the angelic created beings. They cannot reside in the same house. When a believer accepts Christ he is indwelled with the Holy Spirit, God himself, therefore Satan can no longer be in the same house.”

          What a bunch of god-believer gibberish. Thrown out of heaven, reside in the same house, accepts christ, indwelled with the holy spirit… All a bunch of utter nonsense, phrases you may think are meaningful, but if you were honest with yourself you’d have to admit you can’t even define those phrases unambiguously. It’s preacher talk, and you’re gullible enough to think it means something.

          “Yes I do understand a small part of the mind of God.”

          As far as you know, there is no objective evidence to support any claims that any gods exist, but you’re trying to attribute that god thing with some particular characteristics. In reality the only characteristics your god has are exactly the same characteristics as any other figment of anyone’s imagination. It can’t do anything. It can make things appear or disappear. It can move stuff. It can’t be measured or seen or heard. The only effects it has are those you give it inside your own head.

          “I do not purport to understand ALL of God that’s impossible being finite. He exists, I don’t have to provide proof even though it’s there in his creation.”

          When children come into a room talking about their imaginary friend and assuming everyone else should go along with the gag, they’re being insolent brats. When adults do it, they’re assholes. How old are you?

          “You on the other hand don’t exist, why because I have never seen you, I don’t know you, I can’t prove you exist in fact I don’t know who you are, for all I know it’s a computer arguing with me. Again with your empty reasoning.”

          You can’t provide objective evidence to support your claim that a god exists, and you realize how fuckin’ silly your claim is, so you resort to juvenile word games to try to bring reality down to the level of your game of let’s-pretend. Helpful hint: You’re pretty shitty at this. We get middle school kids through here every once in a while who are far better at it than you are, and they also always fail like you have.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Religion has that one well FUBAR’d

        • Ignorant Amos

          Empty head.

        • Tony TV

          The shame is his head isn’t empty. If it were we could all start to fill it with knowledge. As it is, it’s so filled with myth & folklore (he probably thinks the Bible was dictated & written in English) there’s no room for factual content.

        • Ignorant Amos

          That’s a fair one a suppose.

        • You reject Max’s input as an opinion, but you have some higher respect for your own? Show us why yours is any more.

          You say you understand a small part of the mind of God … maybe the part about how he hates abortion and gay sex?

          I wish Christians would have a little more doubt about the things that affect social policy.

        • Dys

          You do realize, of course, that since you’ve failed to defend your assertions, that you don’t have anything more than your opinion as well, right?

          And given your tragically pathetic defense of your opinion, you haven’t given anyone a good reason why they should care about it.

        • Tony TV

          Everyone with a brain that works knows the catechism as well as you or better. Saying something over and over doesn’t make it fact. If your faith tells you to walk off a cliff & you will be saved, then by all means walk, but let the fuck go of my hand you idiot!

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Still making assertions without backing them up, I see.

          Get back to me with EVIDENCE…until then you’re nothing more than a buffoon too incompetent to mock.

        • Ignorant Amos

          But they can make a brt that can fuck a family up and that seems to be okay?

          Aye…yo-ho ya eejit.

        • RichardSRussell

          You have an exceedingly shaky conception of the idea of “proof”. Just for openers, do you believe that God is omnipresent? If so, there’s no house anywhere in which he can’t be present. So who is it really who lacks understanding here?

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          by your book, they did, until yahweh had a hissy fit and threw lucifer out.

    • MNb

      There are zero eyewitness accounts for Satan of any period. So much for you scientifically seeking of truth.

      • Pablo U Hunni

        You haven’t seen him? Really? Where does evil come from?

        • Greg G.

          Some things happen that we like and some things happen that we do not like. When things happen that we dislike a lot, we use the adjective “evil” and might even use it as a noun. It is a s simple as that.

          It is silly to attribute it to supernatural causes.

        • Otto

          According to the book you believe in your God creates it.

          Isaiah 45:7

          “I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.”

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Dang….beat me to it. I should’ve read through the responses first!

        • Otto

          Funny how I never got a response to that…was sure I would….lol

        • MNb

          From people like you and me.
          Do you have more easy questions?

        • Tony TV

          Dunno’ Cleveland? Where were you born?

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Your dawg creates evil…see Isaiah 45:7

          I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the Lord do all these things.

  • Scooter

    Some comments seem to indicate that there’s still a question about the historicity of Jesus. Perhaps this rather long but helpful quote from an author who would stand on the side of skeptics might be interesting to consider.

    A voice from Germany-Gerd Thiessen, a leading German New Testament historian at the the liberal/skeptical end of the theological spectrum, says:

    “The mentions of Jesus in ancient historians allay doubt about his historicity. The notices about Jesus in Jewish and pagan writers…especially those in Josephus, the letter of Sarapion and Tacitus-indicate that in antiquity the historicity of Jesus was taken for granted, and rightly so, as two observations on the above-mentioned sources show: The notices about Jesus are independent of one another. Three authors from different backgrounds utilize information about Jesus independently: a Jewish aristocrat and historian, a Syrian philosopher, and a Roman statesman and historian.

    All three know of the execution of Jesus, but in different ways: Tacitus puts the responsibility on Pontius Pilate, Mara bar Sarapion on the Jewish people, and the Testimonium Flavianum (probably) on a cooperation between the Jewish aristocracy and the Roman governor. The execution was offensive for any worship of Jesus. As a “scandal” it cannot have been invented. Gerd Thiessen and Annette Merz, “The Historical Jesus:a comprehensive guide”

    • Greg G.

      If the Tacitus quote is authentic, he wrote in the second century. Tacitus usually gives his sources but not here. It is unlikely that he would have gone through 80 year old scrolls to verify that Pilate crucified somebody named Jesus so he would have had to have heard the story from Christians.

      Mara barSerapion doesn’t even mention Jesus. He talks about a wise king.

      The Testimonium Flavianum is a forgery. Origen knew Josephus well but never mentioned it. The Coincidences of the Emmaus Narrative of Luke and the Testimonium of Josephus by Gary J. Goldberg, Ph.D. shows a relationship between the TF and Luke 24 but he dismisses the obvious conclusion in favor of a ridiculous one. Luke is based on Mark, the Emmaus Road pericope is a summary of the story of Luke, so there was no common narrative they both copied from. It had to have appeared after Origen and before Eusebius died. The Testimonium Flavianum, Eusebius, and Consensus by Ken Olson shows that the parts of the TF that are supposed to be similar to Josephus’ writing style are also similar to Eusebius’ writing style. So Christian scholars who accused Eusebius of the forgery a thousand years ago are vindicated.

      You are basing your belief system on fairy tales.

  • Ignorant Amos

    Licona gives the sinking of the Titanic as an example. Some witnesses say that the ship broke in two before sinking (correct) while others say that it sank intact, but historians didn’t conclude from this contradiction that the Titanic didn’t sink.

    Who witnessed the Resurrection? Where are these accounts? There is no witness’s to the Resurrection of Jesus anywhere as far as am aware. No one seen a dead man come back to life, get up and dander out of a tomb…not in the accounts portrayed in the canonical NT scripture anyway.

    So hearsay is hearsay, but the Bible doesn’t even have that ffs.

    • Pablo U Hunni

      Well you statement is in error. Many have seen a dead person come back to life. I have. So a general statement like that is bound to get you in trouble. You aren’t aware of them. Well let’s take Saul who later was called Paul. He was a Jew of Jews, circumcised on the 8th day( a medical reason for that) studied under the most well known Rabbi of the day Gamaliel. Was a Roman citizen and a hater of those who followed Christ. He was given writ by the Romans to go out and hunt them down, kill them via stoning. Imprison them and harass them. The general populus was terrified of this man Saul and the authority and power he wheeled. Then one day on a trip from one town to another he was knocked to the ground and a light shone down on him blinding him. A voice said why do you kick against the goads. Why do you persecute me? The person was Jesus. Saul had never met Jesus did not know of Jesus and fought daily to kill his followers. Why would he make up such a story? He remained blind till he was led to a home at the end of his journey where something akin to scaled fell from his eyes. For the remainder of his life he suffered with eye problems. Now why would he say he had met the risen Christ. Not just Jesus but the risen Jesus? No it wasn’t so he could find more Christians’ to hunt down and kill. He became one. They didn’t trust him, others had to speak for him. You asked for eyewitnesses. Have you forgotten how the world works? Even in our day and age if someone is not telling the truth, they are easily discounted and shown for the liar they are example Hillary Clinton and Obama, just to name a few. If someone is not whom they say they are or not telling a story the way it happened it will be squashed at it’s source and not travel far. Yet here is Saul (hebrew) who changes his name to Paul which means small, helping those he persecuted. Suffering being stoned, suffering being beaten, put in jail numerous times. Being shipwrecked. If any of that were untrue, there were enough people around to tell about it, to repeat the story to even write it down. There were more people in those days who were out to kill Jesus followers than the small contingent of atheists these days. Christianity is a relationship with our creator, not a religion. Religion is man’s attempt to reach GOD that is why they all are similar. Christianity is GOD reaching down to man to restore his relationship with us. In all the other belief systems, no one dies for payment of breaking God’s law, in all the other belief systems, no one has the power to rise from the dead. Only in Christianity, which is Judaic in it’s roots. There is a long lineage that’s traceable through the Jews to confirm these facts. There was plenty of opportunity for the Pharisees to discount Jesus claims even for Pontius Pilate and Herod. Yet they could not. No one wrote a book saying anything to the contrary. It’s modern day man, so far removed from truth that refuses to see it and cannot understand it. Atheism has not grown any larger for all your pseudo science because it cannot prove itself and it cannot disprove God. Yet the number of Christians keep growing. I see so much anger here. That in itself is telling, since if you really DID NOT believe in GOD’s existence you wouldn’t even comment on my initial comment. No you were made in God’s image with a place only he can fill with a purpose and in your heart you know that’s true. You may deny it, you may argue about it. But it eats at you. You all want to be god but you cannot. I didn’t start this thread, I only made a comment regarding the writer’s opinion. But like all who want to be heard and win some non existent argument you jumped on my statement. Yep throw the stones, act like you are perfect. We can go round and round all night. As I said, there is proof but it’s not the kind you want. If you were seeking the truth, you would find it. Just as Jesus told the Pharisees.

      • Ignorant Amos

        Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah…ya lost me when ya claimed to have seen a dead person come back to life.

        Lying for Jesus !akes him cry ya know?

        • Pablo U Hunni

          I don’t lie, but since you do and have no moral code you would assume others would be like you. Ignorant is definitely a perfect name for someone as foolish as you.

        • Ignorant Amos

          You’re a lying know fuck all cunt…that much is abundantly obvious in your short time here.

        • Dys

          You’ve made numerous comments now demonstrating that you lie fairly frequently.

        • Otto

          When you provide links showing where Morris got his degree in Geology (which should be basic and easy) you will take the first step to being credible and honest. Until then there is no reason to take anything you say seriously.

        • MNb

          You lied about the Bible being inerrant.

          http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined/2016/03/response-to-top-10-myths-about-jesus-resurrection/#comment-2584415465

          Care to confirm that pi equals 3 and bats are birds?

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Did you buy stock in a strawman factory?

          You’re using them like you’re trying to drive up the price…

      • MNb

        “But it eats at you. You all want to be god but you cannot.”
        BWAHAHAHAHA!
        Thanks, but no thanks.

        “If you were seeking the truth, you would find it. Just as Jesus told the Pharisees.”
        Never mind that Jesus actually took an important part of his “truth” from those very same pharisees – especially from

        http://www.sacred-texts.com/bib/fbe/fbe266.htm
        Cute, how ignorant you accuses others of ignorance.

      • Ignorant Amos

        There is no account of the Resurrection… For someone that claims knowledge of the texts, please quote the verses that witness the Resurrection? Put up or shut up.

      • Max Doubt

        “Many have seen a dead person come back to life. I have.”

        You are unable to objectively demonstrate that to be true.

        • Tony TV

          I’ll bet the story about the guy coming back to life in the morgue comes from a friend of a friend of his cousin’s girlfriend.

      • Do us all a favor and avoid long, boring summaries from the Bible. Most of the atheists here are very well versed in the Bible … perhaps even more knowledgeable than you.

        I wonder why the evidence that convinced you that the dead come back to life hasn’t convinced the scientific community. Are they just in league with the devil?

        Even in our day and age if someone is not telling the truth, they are easily discounted and shown for the liar they are example Hillary Clinton and Obama

        A nice injection of irrelevant and baseless political slander! 10 points for you, sir.

        Now that you’ve summarized Paul’s story, tell me why it’s any more believable than that of Merlin the shapeshifting magician.

        If any of that were untrue, there were enough people around to tell about it, to repeat the story to even write it down.

        Read up on the Naysayer Hypothesis at this blog.

        I see so much anger here.

        Here? Go chat with those fag-hating bakers. They’re livid.

        if you really DID NOT believe in GOD’s existence you wouldn’t even comment on my initial comment. … it eats at you.

        Dude, you’re the one with the interminable manifesto. I’m impressed that it’s not just one long sentence.

        there is proof but it’s not the kind you want.

        No, there isn’t proof. There isn’t even evidence. If there were, you’d be sharing it with us instead of all this dick swinging.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Most of the atheists here are very well versed in the Bible … perhaps even more knowledgeable than you.

          I’ll go out on a limb here and assert ALL the atheists here are at least better versed in the Bible than Pablo and without a doubt more knowledgeable.

        • Tragically, Pablo has done little to cast doubt on that hypothetical.

        • Tony TV

          There’s good reason for that, I think. Atheists & agnostics seem to be more critical thinkers and, as such, look for truth (or lack thereof) in the Bible. True believers like Pablo & mostly all fundies are looking for validation of their Christian “education” (indoctrination) and therefore read selectively, missing any nuance that might be there.

          It’s a lot like conservative political philosophy, in that the simplest solution to a problem is always the most obvious, if not really the best, and therefore must be correct. Figure out the simplest way to deal with ISIL (bomb the shit out of them & turn the sand to glass) then go to Fox News for validation.

      • Pablo – Go back and read Paul’s own accounts of meeting ‘the risen Christ’ (Galatians 1 and 1 Corinthians 9.1 & 15.45). Paul is clear he had a vision that took place ‘in’ his own head (that’s what the Greek says – “the Christ appeared ‘in’ me”) and that this vision was like a beam of light, not a man at all. Paul doesn’t claim anywhere that he saw a man in a resurrected physical body. He always talks about ‘the Christ’, a construct almost entirely of his own making that had little to do with a guy who’d lived (possibly) a few years earlier.

        Paul hallucinated and imagined his hallucination was an encounter with a supernatural being. From this the whole Christian edifice grew.

        • Ignorant Amos

          And as has already been stated, Paul’s own account’s also state that this is how all his fellow brothers of the Lord witnessed the Christ also, via revelations/dreams/hallucinations.

          1 Corinthians 15

        • Greg G.

          I think 1 Corinthians 15 is just saying they read it in the scriptures.

        • Ignorant Amos

          That’s not my take on it and perhaps am interpreting the passage wrong. I think Carrier also interprets it the same.

          Here is the most convenient citation of just such thinking.

          5. What about the people Paul knew who knew Jesus? Goodacre said “Paul knows loads of people from that early Christian movement, people like Peter, people like James, the brothers of Jesus, the twelve” and so on, but the question is whether these people knew a living Jesus, or were merely claimed to have generations later in the Gospels–which they did not write. Paul never mentions them knowing Jesus in life. Never. Not once. As far as Paul seems to know, Peter and James learned of Jesus by the same revelatory pathway Paul did (1 Corinthians 15:1-8). And as far as we can tell, “brothers of the Lord” (whether James, Gal. 1:18-19, or generically, 1 Cor. 9:5) was just Paul’s way of saying “Christian” (perhaps of a specific rank), since otherwise all baptized Christians were “brothers of the Lord,” and the status of James or anyone as peculiarly the “biological” brother of “the Lord” is never claimed or implied by Paul (see my previous summary of this point, which answers our host’s worry that having a brother of the Lord “wouldn’t make any sense if you didn’t have a historical person to tie that to,” since, in fact, being a fictive brother of the Lord routinely made sense to Paul). It’s therefore not clear what Paul means in these two passages. It is certainly not “very” clear. And when considered against the backdrop of the complete absence in Paul’s letters of any clear reference placing Jesus in earth history, a “historicist” interpretation of such a grandiose title as “brother of the Lord” starts to look less likely.

          http://freethoughtblogs.com/carrier/archives/2839

          An essay on infidels.org by David Friedman makes this similar argument…

          Does 1 Cor. 15 Teach a Physical or a Spiritual Resurrection?

          Verses 5-8 move on to speaking about the resurrection appearances. Paul begins by saying that Jesus was seen by Peter, then by the twelve. After this he says that Jesus was seen by over five hundred people at once, then by James, then by all the apostles. As my article is not an Apologetic aiming to prove inerrancy or the historicity of the resurrection, I will not address the problems presented by the list of appearances Paul gives. What is interesting about the resurrection appearances is that immediately after speaking of the above listed appearances, Paul says that last of all Jesus appeared to him (“He was seen by me”). This logically means that it was the same Jesus that appeared to him, either physical or non-physical, as with the other appearances mentioned. The same Greek word is used for “seen” to speak of the appearance to Paul as is used for the appearances to Peter and the rest. The word is often used to speak of supernatural appearances, such as for the transfiguration. It is rendered as “appeared” a few times in the Markan appendix, a word indicating something non-physical. As the appearance of Jesus to Paul was not physical, the appearances mentioned prior to his were also not physical. Literalists would probably claim I am begging the issue, saying that we should look at the resurrection accounts of Paul and the others, and if we do so it becomes clear that the appearances to the others were physical, but not with Paul. But it’s hardly begging the issue, because of the way the appearances are mentioned in 1 Corinthians 15, which doesn’t suggest any distinction between the type of appearance, just the timing. The report of the resurrection appearance to Paul may be written more literally than the appearances in the gospels, just being a different way of reporting the resurrection appearance. One might note that while the gospels seem to depict physical appearances, the appearances sound very much like those of angels of the Lord in the Old Testament. They also took part in human activities like eating (Genesis chapter 19), and Judges chapter 6 and 13 both speak of an angel vanishing, as did Jesus in Luke 24:31. The two chapters from Judges both say that the angel “appeared” to people, and those who the angel appeared to did not realize immediately that it was an angel, thinking that it was a man. The chapters are clearly not intended to be read as literal history, and we know that angels are not physical.

          http://infidels.org/kiosk/article/does-1-cor-15-teach-a-physical-or-a-spiritual-resurrection-19.html

        • Greg G.

          That was how I used to think about it. I was uncomfortable with Galatians 2:6 and 9 showing disdain. Then I saw Galatians 5:12 and realized that it was directed at the circumcisers and James as a leader. Galatians 1:1 and the statement about James sending people on missions and Paul ranting that he was sent by the Lord and not by human authority made me think that was directed at James, too. There wouldn’t be much need to call James a brother of the Lord to identify him as a Christian in that context nor to distinguish him from some other James as that should be plain from the association of the vist in the same sentence. If Paul thought James was an actual brother of the Lord Paul fawns over about every five verses, he wouldn’t direct so much vitriol at him. I think it is more likely to be just another bit of sarcasm.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Or it could it be about making different points at different times to different audiences for different purposes?

        • Greg G.

          All of those points are from Galatians so it is directed to the same people at the same time. Paul seems to be defending his theology and his apostleship in the letter.

          In 1 Corinthians 9, Paul appears to be defending his right for a stipend from the Corinthians that someone has questioned. I think he might be sarcastic in that situation. He calls some “the brothers of the Lord” in 1 Corinthians 9:5. In 1 Corinthians 9:8, he brings up “human authority” in his rant, as if it is not a good thing, as he did in Galatians.

        • lorasinger

          Paul does defend his theology which he says comes straight from the visions of Jesus himself versus the teachings of James and the apostles who knew the living Jesus. He is not accepted as an apostle and feels that he is being held back whereas he feels his version is the better one and is unrecognized by them. The covenant directed “And the uncircumcised male who is not circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin, that soul shall be cut off from his people; he hath broken My covenant.’
          .
          Now by teaching his converts that they didn’t need to be circumcised put them outside the eternal (old) covenant and so Paul invented a new one for his Christians. And THAT is the beginning of Christianity some 30 years after Jesus was already dead.
          .
          And yes, Paul charged the churches for his preaching whereas the apostles were directed to preach for free.

        • lorasinger

          Read: Christ’s Ventriloquists (Zuesse) which explains the rivalry between the James/Peter group (Jews still under the law who believed Jesus was a man) and Paul (who taught her converts to “turn their backs on Moses law”) and developed a new breakaway pagan based religion – Christianity.

        • Greg G.

          You have talked me into it. Christ’s Ventriloquist is on my reading list

        • Tony TV

          Is that “One” Corinthians or 2?

        • Pablo U Hunni

          That is your opinion that he hallucinated because you refuse to accept anything else. Since the bible is TRUTH and GOD is truth to accept them means you have to accept responsibility for YOUR behavior and sin something you just want to deny. You cannot disprove it, though many far smarter than you have tried.

        • Greg G.

          You are making the positive claim that the “Bible is TRUTH”. It is nobody’s responsibility to disprove it. It is your responsibility to prove it, or at least provide evidence.

        • Dys

          So you’ll believe in anything that can’t be disproven. So you accept Sagan’s Dragon and Russell’s Celestial Teapot as well.

          You’re not doing anything more than trying to toss off your burden of proof, presumably because you know you can’t meet it.

        • MNb

          I can accept responsibility for my behaviour just fine without your badly outdated book and without your imaginary sky daddy.
          Apparently you can’t.
          Sad.

          “You cannot disprove it.”
          You can’t disprove the little demons running my computer.

        • Susan

          you refuse to accept anything else.

          You haven’t provided another reliable explanation. Just an assertion. Why would anyone accept your assertion?

          Since the bible is TRUTH and GOD is truth

          But a muslim asserted to me that the Quran is TRUTH and ALLAH is truth. Why should I believe you? Why should he believe you? Why should I believe either of you?

          You can’t disprove their claim, though many (and I imagine there are very many) far smarter than you have tried.

        • Tony TV

          AGAIN with the same crap!

        • lorasinger

          It’s up to YOU to prove it, not for others to disprove it, Pablo. Can you disprove that I have a pink troll in my back closet?

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Evidence that your book is truth, please…

          It’s self contradictory, sometimes within the same chapter, which doesn’t support your book being reliable.

        • It’s not my ‘opinion’. Paul himself says clearly that he had a vision in his head. I even supplied the reference for you; did you bother to go back and read it? Or would that have disturbed your delusion too much?

          And what is it you think I’m trying to ‘disprove’? You don’t say, not even in those big bold capital letters of FAITH.

      • Dys

        People have come back from clinical death, not brain death. And every implication in the bible is that Jesus outright died.

        • Pablo U Hunni

          Actually Dys I made the statement having been there. I knew someone who was dead, in the hospital morgue, covered with a sheet after being hit by a bus. Sorry but he awakened on the slab, alive. You will naysay that using the standard he wasn’t really dead narrative which is what people say when they can’t discount or explain something. You obviously have NEVER worked in the medical field.

        • Dys

          Ok…so your modus operandi is to just blatantly ignore what people say. I said outright that people have come back from clinical death, not brain death. So actually, what you stated doesn’t contradict what I said in the slightest. The person who you witnessed come back to life wasn’t brain dead, but clinically dead.

          You obviously have NEVER worked in the medical field.

          Considering you apparently aren’t aware that clinical death and brain death are two different things, I suspect you’re not particularly qualified to speak on the topic either. Along with pretty much everything else you’ve attempted to discuss. Your ignorance, willful and otherwise, is astounding, but expected.

        • lorasinger

          MOST likely, the man Jesus died and remained dead. The new central figure of Christianity could do anything his writers dreamed up for him. The NT is a book of fiction, not history.

        • Dys

          I think you must meaning to respond to Pablo…nothing I’ve said should indicate to anyone that I’m religious, let alone a Christian.

        • lorasinger

          You’re probably right, Dys. It was just a general comment anyway.

        • Greg G.

          That is nothing like being dead three days.

          I read a story about a guy who stumbled into a snow bank. He was discovered the next morning. The doctor warmed him up, cut off a few fingers and toes, and the guy recovered with no brain damage beyond what the alcohol he drank the night before did.

          The practice of not burying somebody for three days is to make sure the person is really dead. Sometimes first responders and doctors make mistakes. One girl who was shot by the Uber driver in Michigan was thought to be dead at first.

        • Ignorant Amos

          There is a reason why the safety coffin was invented and it wasn’t to assist in resurrections.

          A safety coffin or security coffin is a coffin fitted with a mechanism to prevent premature burial or allow the occupant to signal that they have been buried alive. A large number of designs for safety coffins were patented during the 18th and 19th centuries and variations on the idea are still available today.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Safety_coffin

          Then there is the Lazarus Syndrome.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lazarus_syndrome

          But the soft boy doesn’t quite understand the difference.

        • Greg G.

          The only words I want spoken at my funeral is “Hey,wait! He’s still breathing!”

        • Michael Neville

          I would rather lurch out of my coffin shouting: “Brains! Brains!” But that’s just me.

        • Greg G.

          My backup plan is to be cremated with pocketfuls of firecrackers.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Liar! Liar! Pants on fire…prove it.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Okay, let’s play this silly nonsense.

          How do you know Jesus was dead when he was taken down from the stake?

          How do you know he was placed in an empty tomb?

          How do you know he wasn’t secretly moved?

          How do you know he even existed in the first place?

          And again, who witnessed the Resurrection?

          And ya still haven’t told us what was Jesus granda named?

        • lorasinger

          How do you know that the fully human Jesus who died some 40 years before Paul and his followers and writers of the gospels invented the god of the new testament are even remotely alike. The Jewish male, Jesus, being under the law (40 years before Christianity) would have believed that each person had to atone for his own sins and have known that in Judaism, there is no concept of original sin. For the Jewish Jesus, there was no reason to die for mankind.

        • You obviously have NEVER worked in the medical field.

          Good point. Because if he had, he’d realize that every medical anecdote is true. Therefore, your anecdote about the guy coming back from the dead must be true.

          And Jesus wins again.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Soft boy doesn’t even attempt to support this anecdote with substance other than his say so.

          Presumably such an occurrence would have made the local media…unless it was really like the Resurrection and this someone was assumed into the heavens.

          Or he’s just waffling. Which sounds about right.

        • Pablo lives in a strange world, one where miracles happen all the time, but most of us just step over them without noticing. We’re more interested in getting to Starbucks than in the fact that prayer regrows limbs.

        • Tony TV

          May we have that person’s name or maybe you could cite a media account of this miraculous resurrection? Or is this some more stuff made up to reinforce the myth you try so hard to validate as actual history?

        • lorasinger

          Narcolepsy, Pablo. I HAVE worked in the medical field – 45 years of it.

        • lorasinger

          So you’re saying “magic did it” The body dies in stages but once a certain point is reached, there is no coming back.

        • Dys

          Well, I’m not saying magic has ever done anything. I was pointing out the difference between clinical death and brain death for our dear confused friend Pablo, who thinks that since people have been declared clinically dead and have resuscitated, that somehow establishes that Jesus popped up back to life as well.

        • lorasinger

          Pablo is running the “party line” and I doubt he knows much beyond that.

      • Greg G.

        Paul says nothing like the Acts versions of the Damascus Road incident. Acts 9:3-7 says those with him heard sounds but saw nobody around. Acts 22:6-9 says the people with him saw the light but did not hear the voice. Another contradiction you deny.

        Now the Acts 26:12-18 gets interesting. He hears a voice but doesn’t say whether anyone else did. Acts says the voice spoke Hebrew but this often what was actually Aramaic. But in Acts 26:14, where it says “‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads.” That is a Greek idiom from Bacchae by Euripides, which was about as old then as Shakespeare’s plays are now. So the author is saying that Jesus came down from heaven to speak in Aramaic, a quote of the Greek god, Dionysus. This tale is not supported by either of the other two stories from Acts or from Paul himself.

        There is nothing to suggest that Paul had eye problems from this. If he wrote in large letters, it may have been simply because he was aging and eyeglasses had not been invented.

        • lorasinger

          Paul is by tradition believed to have had epilepsy. What Luke describes in all three contradicting versions of the episode are the classic symptoms of an epileptic seizure. All of those symptoms, even the temporary blindness, can be repeated in a lab by passing electromagnetic current across the temporal lobes of the brain.
          .
          Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry 1987;50:659-664
          Occasional historical review
          St Paul and temporal lobe epilepsy

      • Tony TV

        I was going to read your entire diatribe, but didn’t need to go past the second sentence. “Many have seen a dead person come back to life.” No, what many have seen is someone whose heart has stopped beating after they stopped breathing. If you can be revived you weren’t really dead.

        Let me add my voice to the many already here. You not only fail to present proof, as you have none, but you don’t even present evidence. That’s all any one here has asked for. There are no “kinds” of proof as in, “there is proof but it’s not the kind you want.” You either have proof or you don’t. If you have it, present it. If not, please shut up.

        You are preaching, but nobody here is in the choir.

    • Yeah, but no account says that Jesus broke into two, so therefore the Titanic analogy holds, and Licona wins.

      QED

      • Ignorant Amos

        Well you might think that…but given the astronomical number of hypothetical sources, I’m declaring that there is an account of Jesus breaking in two…so there, nah! nah!…

        Luke wrote about a different Jesus to that of Matthew, when did that break into two happen? Post Mark anyway.

        And don’t forget about all that theological ballix about the hypostasis and person of Jesus.

        • Greg G.

          The canonical gospels say Jesus broke bread and said it was his body. So both metaphorically and transubstantiationally, he did break in two or more pieces.

        • Ignorant Amos

          But who seen it?

        • The Gospel of Peter has a talking cross. The Acts of Paul and Thecla has death by man-eating seals. Jesus breaking in two and sinking in the north Atlantic wouldn’t be any more surprising.

          Ain’t God glorious?

        • Ignorant Amos

          The Gospel of Peter is particularly funny version of the yarn. The talking cross and a two giant angels and an even greater giant Jesus.

          9. 34. Early in the morning, when the Sabbath dawned, there came a crowd from Jerusalem and the country round about to see the sealed sepulchre. 35. Now in the night in which the Lord’s day dawned, when the soldiers were keeping guard, two by two in each watch, there was a loud voice in heaven, (36) and they saw the heavens open and two men come down from there in a great brightness and draw near to the sepulchre. 37. That stone which had been laid against the entrance to the sepulchre started of itself to roll and move sidewards, and the sepulchre was opened and both young men entered. 10. 38. When those soldiers saw this, they awakened the centurion and the elders, for they also were there to mount guard. 39. And while they were narrating what they had seen, they saw three men come out from the sepulchre, two of them supporting the other and a cross following them (40) and the heads of the two reaching to heaven, but that of him who was being led reached beyond the heavens. 41. And they heard a voice out of the heavens crying, ‘Have you preached to those who sleep?’, 42. and from the cross there was heard the answer, ‘Yes.’

          But at least in the Gospel of Peter woo-woo there are witnesses to the Resurrection…no such thing in the NT.

          Man eating seals….brilliant.

          Jesus breaking in two and sinking in the north Atlantic wouldn’t be any more surprising.,

          Even from within the canon that wouldn’t be at all any more surprising. The amazing flying apostles and Simon Magus in Acts 8:9–24 springs to mind.

        • I’ve mentioned before how nutty Wm. Lane Craig has used the Gospel of Peter. He was arguing against including any of the other gospels in the canon. His point was basically, “Have you read any of them? Heck, the Gospel of Peter has a talking cross!

          And I’m wondering if he’s read his own gospels.

        • Pofarmer

          You know given how bad the stuff they didn’t include in the Canon is you have to wonder why modern researchers pay heed to any of it at all.

        • Greg G.

          One of the gospels that didn’t make the cut had Peter resurrecting a salted fish from a market. Another says people were healed when Peter’s shadow passed over them. Another says Paul’s snot rag healed people.

          Oh wait, the last two are Acts 5:15-16 and Acts 19:11-12.

        • Pofarmer

          I guess I need to sit down and read through Acts again. There’s no wonder Richard Carrier calls it complete garbage. But, the Fundies think it was written by a Great Historian.

        • Greg G.

          Carrier says that? I didn’t know that but I came to that conclusion myself.

          He got most of his historical information from Josephus and modeled stories on Josephus’ biographical tales. They grade him according to how well he is supported by Josephus. Imagine that.

        • Pofarmer

          I think there’s a youtube video titled “why acts is bullshit”

        • Pofarmer

          “They grade him according to how well he is supported by Josephus.”

          Ah, that had never clicked. Nice circle they got there.

      • Pablo U Hunni

        Statements that have no bearing in reality Bob. However to clarify Jesus was broken, on the cross just not in two. Your analogy is woefully wanting as always. Licona wins, actually he is a loser and one day that truth will be evident, just not at this point in time. This isn’t a contest silly child.

        • Greg G.

          You are equivocating the meaning of the word “broken”. If this isn’t a contest to you, why are you playing word games?

        • Dys

          I like that you think you’re in a position to condescend to people when you’re actually just an ignorant anti-science creationist loon with the intellectual maturity and reasoning skills of a 5 year old.

        • Greg G.

          As a former 5 year old, I resent that comparison.

        • Ignorant Amos

          That is an insult on my 5 year old grandson I’ll have ya know.

        • your analogy is woefully wanting as always.

          You’re clueless as always. That sentence of mine was deliberate gibberish.

          I imagine the happy day when you will give us some solid argument and evidence for why your position is valid. You have the opportunity, and all I can come up with is that you have nothing to offer.

          Alas, that happy day is not today.

  • Ignorant Amos

    Pablo epitomises the reasons why Raphael Lataster gives in his latest book as to why Christian’s should not even be allowed through the door of this debate, let alone get a seat at the big peoples table.

    • Greg G.

      Even good scholars pull up short when faith is threatened.

      The Coincidences of the Emmaus Narrative of Luke and the Testimonium of Josephus by Gary J. Goldberg, Ph.D. is great work where he shows a definite relationship between the Testimonium Flavianum and the Emmaus Road pericope in Luke 24. But he considers three possibilities to explain the similarities.

      Three explanations for these coincidences have been considered.

      (1) They could be due to chance. But this would seem to gainsay the three independent forms of evidence listed above. In particular, it is difficult to ignore that the only two known examples of the “third day” as a participial phrase appears in texts with so many other structural resemblances. Some common literary milieu seems mandatory; the question is the form it took.

      (2) The coincidences may be due to a Christian interpolator who altered the Testimonium, or forged it entire, under the influence of the Emmaus narrative. This proposal has the weakness of supposing that a writer capable of imitating Josephus’ style and daring enough to alter his manuscript would at the same time employ non-Josephan expressions and adhere rather closely to a New Testament text. A forger of the required skill should have been able to shake free of such influences.

      (3) Josephus and Luke may have used similar or identical sources in composing their passages. This explanation appears to be the simplest. It not only explains the series of coincidences, but it also goes a long way toward solving a number of mysteries that have bothered commentators of the Testimonium. What does Josephus mean by calling Jesus a wise man? What was the nature of the accusation by the leaders? If the passage is authentic, why does it approximate to a Christian creed? All these questions fall away if it were true that Josephus did little but rewrite a concise narrative that had, so to speak, crossed his desk. He may have known more about Jesus, or he may have known nothing but what was in his source; in either case, when it came to composing his own passage, it would have been easier and more accurate for him to adhere to a reliable source rather than to piece together secondhand knowledge.

      He opts for the imaginary source. It should be obvious that the Emmaus Road passage is a summary of the story told in Luke and Luke got the story from Mark. Josephus could not have used Mark or a source of Mark because that doesn’t explain the similarities in the phrasings. That leaves option 2 as the best explanation.

      The Testimonium Flavianum, Eusebius, and Consensus, by Ken Olson, answers his objections to option 2.

      • Clover and Boxer

        Hey Greg G., and anybody else. This is off topic but I wanted to know what you thought. What are ways that you would respond to the claim that the iron kingdom in Daniel 2 was a correct prophecy for the Roman Empire, which later split into the Eastern Roman Empire and the Byzantine Empire? Here are the relevant verses:

        “Finally, there will be a fourth kingdom, strong as iron—for iron breaks and smashes everything—and as iron breaks things to pieces, so it will crush and break all the others. 41 Just as you saw that the feet and toes were partly of baked clay and partly of iron, so this will be a divided kingdom; yet it will have some of the strength of iron in it, even as you saw iron mixed with clay. 42 As the toes were partly iron and partly clay, so this kingdom will be partly strong and partly brittle. 43 And just as you saw the iron mixed with baked clay, so the people will be a mixture and will not remain united, any more than iron mixes with clay.”

        • Greg G.

          Daniel was written as if it was from a few centuries earlier but was clearly written in the 2nd century BC. Most of those kingdoms are retrodictions. It was written with delusions of grandeur that the Hasmodeans would one day be so great as to rule forever and would rule over the Romans.

          Christians have been re-interpreting prophecies for 2000 years to make them relevant, then doing it again when the remade prophecy doesn’t work out.

        • Clover and Boxer

          Written around 165 BC would have meant a prophecy for the “Iron Kingdom” being the Roman Empire which then split up though, since the Roman Empire began well after 165 BC.

          I guess that wouldn’t make sense for the writer to do that–using vaticinia ex eventu for the first three kingdoms (Babylonia, Persia, Greece all before 165 BC) and then a bona fide prophecy about a future kingdom. But to a Christian apologist, they would cling on to the Iron Kingdom splitting being a correct prophecy about the Roman Empire that later split up.

          I suppose the problem with the prophecy (like many Biblical prophecies) is that it is vague and can be melded on to historical events after the fact. But for apologists that point to Christian interpretation of the four kingdoms being Babylonia (gold), Medo-Persia (silver), Greece (bronze), Rome (iron–which later split up), I’m looking for a more comprehensive and cutting rebuttal.

        • Greg G.

          The Roman Empire began a century later with Julius Caesar but Rome was probably the most powerful nation in the world in the 2nd century BC after defeating the Seleucids in 188 BC and having the Carthaginians on the run in the Punic Wars. I don’t think the author of Daniel would have been able to make the “Empire” distinction between the Rome of his day and the Rome of a century in the future.

          If a religious person is willing to wait two millennia for the fulfillment of a prophecy that was supposed to happen in the first century, they can’t be defeated with logic on the spot.

        • Clover and Boxer

          That’s not very convincing. The extension of Rome was only throughout the Italian peninsula, parts of North Africa, and parts of the Iberian Peninsula at the time. Babylonia was centered in the Middle East, which I don’t think Roman possessions were close to at the time.

          I actually came across a good article (from a conservative Christian) that argues for the the fourth kingdom as the Greek Empire. This fits very well with the writings in Daniel and completely fits the vaticinia ex eventu. I believe Bob wrote an article that mentioned these things too.

          Here’s an excerpt from the conclusion: “Daniel’s four kingdoms may be identified as the Assyrian, Median, Medo-Persian and Greek empires. Nebuchadnezzar would be seen as a continuation and culmination of the Assyrian empire. That would be succeeded (as well as overlapped) by the Medes during the time of Nebuchadnezzar’s successors. This would then be followed by the Medo-Persians and the Greeks. The ten horns of the fourth empire would be the ten independent states that had arisen from Alexander’s empire by the last quarter of the third century B.C. The little horn would represent the Seleucid overlords of Palestine, dating from the reign of Antiochus the Great and continuing during the time of Antiochus Epiphanes. The three displaced horns would represent the conquests of Antiochus the Great. The kingdom of God is left open to be interpreted in any number of different ways.

          Besides being compatible with the ancient secular view of the flow of empires, this view is compatible with the comments on the kingdoms made in Daniel as well as with the focus of Daniel as seen in other sections of the book.”

          Link: http://biblicalstudies.org.uk/article_daniel_walton.html

        • MNb

          “the most powerful nation in the world”
          Rather meaningless given Parthia, China plus not knowing the Americas.
          For your point “The Mediterranean” is good enough.

        • The toes are the successor kingdom(s). If you say that the iron legs are Alexander and the iron/clay are the successor empires, doesn’t that make the most sense of it?

          http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined/2014/03/liars-for-jesus-does-daniel-predict-the-future-prophecy-70-weeks/

        • Clover and Boxer

          Yes. That fits well. I also found some conservative Christian backing for that idea, which is probably important, since this interpretation indicates that the “amazing prophecies” in Daniel were indeed simply vaticinia ex eventu (which the writers from the links below I included don’t agree with for obvious reasons). Many conservative Christians obviously prefer Rome as the iron kingdom because even at a date of around 165 BCE, that would have been a “spectacular” prophecy of the Roman Empire. Too bad for them.

          http://www.equip.org/PDF/JAF5355.pdf

          http://biblicalstudies.org.uk/article_daniel_walton.html

        • SparklingMoon

          What are ways that you would respond to the claim that the iron kingdom in Daniel 2 was a correct prophecy for the Roman Empire, which later split into the Eastern Roman Empire and the Byzantine Empire?
          ——————————————————–
          In Daniel’s interpretation, the gold head is the king of Babylon; the silver breast and arms the kingdoms of Persia and Midia which arose after the kingdom of Babylon; the brass thighs stand for the Greek Empire under Alexander, which became dominant after Persia and Midia; and the iron legs stand for the Roman Empire which attained to power on the decline of the Alexandrian Empire. About this last, the dream says:

          His feet (the image) part of iron and part of clay (2:33).

          The description points to the fact that the Roman Empire would cover parts of Europe as well as Asia. Iron legs denote the European part of the Roman Empire and point to the strength of a single nationality and a single faith. But the feet, says the dream, were partly of iron, partly of clay. This meant that the European power was to subjugate parts of Asia and thus become an imperial power. Imperial powers command large territories and vast resources, but they also suffer from the inherent weakness which comes from lack of cohesion among their peoples. The dream evidently means that in latter years the Roman Empire would begin to decline because of this lack of cohesion. The dream, however, proceeds to say more important things:

          ”Thou sawest till that a stone was cut out without hands, which smote the image upon his feet that were of iron and clay, and brake them to pieces. Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, broken to pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshing floors; and the wind carried them away, that no place was found for them: and the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth ” (Daniel 2:34-35).

          Here we have a prediction of the rise of Islam. Early Islam clashed first with Rome and then with Iran. When they clashed with Rome, Rome had conquered the Alexandrian Empire of Greece and had become more powerful than ever; and when they clashed with Iran, Iran had extended its power over Babylon. When their clashes resulted in the destruction of both Rome and Iran, then did the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, break to pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshing floors. The order of events in the dream and their interpretation by Daniel leave no doubt as to their meaning.

        • Clover and Boxer

          You might be interested in reading these articles that argue for a Median, Medo-Persian, and Greek interpretation for the silver, brass, and iron. They make the case or use the interpretation while also rejecting vaticinia ex eventu of course.

          http://biblicalstudies.org.uk/article_daniel_walton.html

          http://www.equip.org/PDF/JAF5355.pdf

        • SparklingMoon

          Everybody knows that Babylon was succeeded by Persia and Midia and the power of Persia and Midia was broken by Alexander and the Empire of Alexander was replaced by that of Rome which from its Eastern seat of authority at Constantinople laid the foundation of a mighty Europo-Asiatic Empire. This Asiatic Roman Empire was defeated and finished by followers of Islam.

        • Clover and Boxer

          I’m sure the interpretation you are putting forward has merit as does the interpretation I linked to in the articles. Here’s an excerpt from the article written by a former professor from the Moody Bible Institute , http://biblicalstudies.org.uk/article_daniel_walton.html :

          “Daniel’s four kingdoms may be identified as the Assyrian, Median, Medo-Persian and Greek empires. Nebuchadnezzar would be seen as a continuation and culmination of the Assyrian empire. That would be succeeded (as well as overlapped) by the Medes during the time of Nebuchadnezzar’s successors. This would then be followed by the Medo-Persians and the Greeks. The ten horns of the fourth empire would be the ten independent states that had arisen from Alexander’s empire by the last quarter of the third century B.C. The little horn would represent the Seleucid overlords of Palestine, dating from the reign of Antiochus the Great and continuing during the time of Antiochus Epiphanes. The three displaced horns would represent the conquests of Antiochus the Great. The kingdom of God is left open to be interpreted in any number of different ways.

          Besides being compatible with the ancient secular view of the flow of empires, this view is compatible with the comments on the kingdoms made in Daniel as well as with the focus of Daniel as seen in other sections of the book.”

          I believe there are also other interpretations of this prophecy (some saying that the Holy Roman Empire figured into it for example). So there are easily multiple ways to interpret this prophecy.

          Vaticinia ex eventu (writing a prophecy after the events purportedly prophesied) have occurred in Babylonian writings and in the Book of Mormon (except that conservative Mormons think they are real prophecies rather than simply vaticinia ex eventu, of course). Since there are good reasons to think Daniel was written around 167-164 BC, the purported prophecies in Daniel (specifically the four kingdoms) are also likely vaticinia ex eventu and meant to act as a prophecy for the Median, Medo-Persian and Greek empires followed by the successor states of Alexander the Great and so on as explained in the quote above.

          EDIT: Additionally, people are able to map Nostradamus’s purported prophecies onto real events, but I doubt he could really see into the future. Note that Daniel and Nostradamus are different in that Daniel likely employed vaticinia ex eventu, but they are also similar in that people can map their prophecies onto later events (i.e. the Roman Empire would have been after the date of 167-164 BC for Daniel in any case).

    • Pablo U Hunni

      You are the child and a debate is for those who are NOT simple minded. You chose your nom de plume which exemplifies your lack of understanding period. You quotes of those who agree with you point of view only go to prove how pointless anything you say really is. Narrow minded bigotry always comes from the left. You are probably a Bernie Sanders voter too! LOL

      • Clover and Boxer

        Trolling.

      • Greg G.

        Irony is another thing you don’t get. You display your immodest ignorance by calling a European a Sanders voter.

      • Ignorant Amos

        Spoooiinnnng!

        Says the infantile person littering their comments with LOL….that has me RATFLMFAO, ya goat ye.

        https://pigeonchess.files.wordpress.com/2012/07/irony-meter-explode.jpg

      • Dys

        Oh boy…you think you’re actually mature enough for a debate? You are silly. See, you have to actually try and defend the things you say in a debate if you want to be taken seriously. You’re just ranting and trying to distract from the fact that you haven’t been able to defend your assertions at all.

        Narrow minded bigotry always comes from the left.

        The fact that this is, in itself, a bigoted comment demonstrates that you’re a liar.

      • MNb

        “a debate is for those who are NOT simple minded.”
        Ie a debate is NOT for you.,

      • Narrow minded bigotry always comes from the left.

        I’ll just let that one sit there for a while.

        You are probably a Bernie Sanders voter too! LOL

        You are probably a Fox News viewer too! LOL

        • Tony TV

          Q: What’s the difference between a Sanders supporter & a Trump supporter?
          A: The Sanders supporter is an ideologue, possibly a Utopian. The Trump supporter is just stupid.

          So whattya’ gonna’ do? Sucker punch me?

        • Tony TV

          Better one (I think)

          Sanders guy: Tool of the Marxists.
          .

          Trump guy: A tool.

      • Max Doubt

        “You are the child and a debate is for those who are NOT simple minded.”

        Interesting that you don’t even address the points anyone here is making, and favor instead just throwing little kid tantrums. Shall we see where you really stand on this stuff? Straight up, do you have the balls and honesty to start from the beginning? Here’s how the conversation starts…

        All your comments, claims, and assertions are based on the assumption that a god or gods exist. Before you can build from that premise — with honesty and objectivity — you have to provide objective evidence that the god thing you’re speaking of actually does exist.

        We atheists reject your claims that gods exist for the very simple reason that you haven’t provided any such objective evidence. Remember, we have the luxury of being correct on this point before the conversation even starts: Neither we nor you are able to produce any objective evidence to support any claims that any gods are substantively different from any other figment of the human imagination.

        I repeat, on that point we are correct. And the only possible way for you to show that we are not correct is to offer up some objective evidence. Until you can do that, we will enjoy the luxury of remaining correct. Our position is objectively true. And any claims you make to the contrary cannot be accepted as true.

        So, do you have the balls and honesty? Will you admit that you don’t know of any objective evidence to support any claims that your gods exist? Or will you be dishonest and claim there is such evidence while not being willing or able to bring it in? Or will you go into full willful ignorance mode and totally shirk your responsibility to build your position on something we can all agree is true?

        • MNb

          MD, your comment is too long for Pablo. Hence you’re wrong.

        • C_Alan_Nault

          I doubt he can even define this god of his clearly & in a meaningful ( ie: no special pleading) way.

        • Tony TV

          To paraphrase the Constitution (or something) “…nonexistent until proven otherwise.”

        • ChloeAlexa Landry

          Religion is a Business created out of Spirituality.

          And as the Nuns repeated regularly when in school: “The catholic Church is the largest Corporation in the world.”

          Proves the above ! ! ! !

        • Jack Haley

          Religion survives because it is so profitable. If you take money from people by conning them into believing you are receiving information from a departed relative instructing them to give you some percent of their income, you will be prosecuted for fraud, but if you tell them that god has ordered that they give you their money, it’s legal and it’s tax free!

        • Jack Haley

          Myths can be quite difficult to prove…but the real point is that god isn’t necessary to explain the universe.

      • RichardSRussell

        When somebody says something “always comes from the left”, it’s usually because they’re so far to the right that William F. Buckley looked like a Commie. From that perspective, everything seems to be to the left.

        • Greg G.

          They are so far into foul territory down the first base line, they need binoculars to see right field.

    • Maybe I should have a really simple logic/IQ test and only let people who understand the basics come here to comment. Pablo is a failure on everything except bravado.

  • Ignorant Amos

    I noticed that Greg the ropey lawyer is lurking long enough to follow this thread due to the numerous upvotes he gives the new chew toy. I wonder what happened to him taking the weekend in order to research the Tax Deductable/Tax Exempt discussion in order to return better educated. Same old, same old Greg a suppose? Dodge to Croydon for a number of days in the hope the convo moves on, before hitting reset and sneaking back under the radar. Just not got the wit to realise when he upvotes, the rest of us know he is back.

    The Pablo and Greg double act…

    http://www.ibroidery.com/(S(130gz1vtvlbvmjbxdb4tadqx))/ImageLibrary/Large/LiBRO-AWL002.jpg

    • Greg G.

      I noticed some of those votes last night.

    • Dys

      Greg got tired of getting repeatedly trounced, so now he just upvotes trolls who make the same bad arguments he’d make.

      • Greg the “lawyer” is in permanent timeout.

        • Dys

          Ah, I must have missed out on that. Good call.

  • Thomas Goodnow

    I admit he lost me at the “pagan parallels” stage. I’ve read enough in mythology and classics as well as New Testament to know that this is the red-herring extraordinaire. A physical resurrection in a Jewish context as a harbinger of Yahweh’s remaking of the cosmos is uniquely Christian. Pagans would (and did, actually) laugh at the idea of a physical in-this-time-and-space resurrection which is foundational to the historic Christian understanding.
    There are some decent reasons to not be a Christian (the problem of evil is probably one of the better). Questioning Licona’s scholarship is probably not one of them, however (not sure what Mr Seidensticker’s qualifications are, and bio is elusive; my hunch is that he has a degree in some tech field).

    • lorasinger

      Wrong. Judaism has no concept of men gods, nor literal sons of god. Their messiah was to be fully human and wasn’t supposed to die for anyone with Jewish belief being that each person has to atone for his own sins. None of the Jesus story comes from Judaism. Even their god is one and indivisible – no son. One read of Jewish beliefs and it’s clear that this is not Jewish and therefore that leaves “heathen” or pagan Roman mythology where Christianity took root and grew.

      • Thomas Goodnow

        Obviously, this would all surprise Paul. You may argue (incoherently, I think, considering NT Wright’s work on the subject) that Paul hijacked Christianity, but he obviously did so from a Jewish, not pagan, context. You can certainly sustain that a full-blown Christology was waiting for a time closer to Nicaea, but the NT shows Jews trying to make sense of who Jesus was, not shoe-horning him in to pagan mythology.
        Generally, these things don’t get resolved on social media. Your argument isn’t ultimately with me, but with NT Wright (“What Paul Really Said” or of course “The NT and the People of God”) and Longenecker (e.g. “Biblical Exegesis in the Apostolic Period”).

        • lorasinger

          This is what Jews believe and have always believed. Please point out where Christianity corresponds to those Judaic beliefs:

          One Person cannot die for the sins of another.
          A blood sacrifice is not required for forgiveness of sins.
          The Jewish messiah is to be fully human.
          God hates human sacrifices.
          People are born pure and without original sin.
          God is one and indivisible – NO offspring, no holy ghost.
          Jews believe in The Satan, but not The Devil.
          God does not become human and humans do not become God.
          .
          As a matter of fact, the above beliefs preclude any relationship between Judaism and Christianity except the name “Jesus” and even then, the first could only be a fully human male, the second one is a man god, a concept that doesn’t exist among the Jews.
          .
          David had a garden that was absolutely beautiful. In it, he grew the most perfect tomatoes that you have ever seen! One day, Matthew came along and planted cucumbers right in the middle of David’s garden. When the cucumbers started sprouting, Matthew told everyone that the tomatoes were the root of his cucumbers. In other words, that the cucumbers had developed from the tomatoes, and were the natural result — the goal — of the tomatoes as they grew to maturity.

          The above story may seem to you to be ridiculous, but this is exactly what many people who teach ‘The Jewish Roots’ or ‘The Hebraic Roots’ of Christianity actually do.

        • Jack Haley

          The overlap between Christians and Jews is probably their mutual belief in the creation myth, Noah’s flood, talking donkey’s, snakes and the occasional burning bush. They also share a belief in the fact that God gave Moses the ten commandments and that the old testament was divinely inspired. There are probably as almost as many differences between the various Christian sects as there are between Christians and Jews.

        • lorasinger

          However, since they are under a new covenant, the old testament no longer applies to them no matter what they believe. Now all of those myths as well as the commandments occur in the Torah, the first five books of the bible. AND they come into Christian hands edited, mistranslated, added to, and misinterpreted. The DSS are identical to the Jewish Tanakh and neither of them are like the OT in Christian hands. Now Galatians 5:4 directs that any Christian attempting to live under old covenant (Torah) law is cutting themselves off from Jesus Christ. In fact the OT is a book of history, laws and poetry written by Jews, for Jews and has nothing to do with Christians whatsoever.

        • Jack Haley

          How do you have a covenant with a myth?

        • lorasinger

          It’s all myth, Jack.

        • Jack Haley

          Yes it is.

        • Greg G.

          As unilaterally as you want it to be.

          Of course, some preachers will make it unilateral on the myth’s side, then collect the benefits for the myth.

        • Jack Haley

          Jim Bakker has been working this scam for a very long time. He was convicted of embezzlement from his old Praise the Lord club and wound up at the barbwire hotel for a while.

        • Thomas Goodnow

          I don’t think Wright (for instance) would dispute the idea that Christianity modified many Jewish beliefs, but he would be hesitant to endorse what you’re arguing, mostly because a lot of it isn’t Christian any more than it’s Jewish (to deny #3, 6, and 8 would all be considered heresies by the early 3rd century). He would point out, additionally, that some of what you describe as “non-Jewish” beliefs actually were beliefs in the first century (and at least a couple hundred years before), such as #1, 2 and 7, and were eventually changed as part of post-CE70 Judaism, probably partly as anti-Christian polemic. #4 is probably true, which is why the sacrificial system was inaugurated (e.g. Ex 30:10 among others). I don’t spend a lot of energy on #5: I think it’s safe to say that everyone in this world is adequately sinful whether or not you consider it a problem since birth, and “original sin” is something I believe in on a revealed rather than empirical basis. Wright addresses all of this, incidentally, and he would be the first to tell you he wrote nothing about all this that is truly original: most of it is relatively old news. The difficulty with ascribing Christian beliefs to paganism is that it just doesn’t work well, and Christianity winds up being a strange, third thing, unmoored from any historical beliefs, and with an unknown power to attract either Jew or Greek. This is hardly news: Paul himself described his beliefs as a “stumbling block to Jews” (Jesus couldn’t be the messiah for numerous reasons) and “foolishness to Greeks” (Physical resurrection? A crucified savior? Seriously?).
          As for the Hebrew Roots movement (if that’s what you mean in the last sentence), you won’t get much objection from me, but this is a rather different thing than 1st or 2nd century Christianity.

        • lorasinger

          WhatJewsbelieve.org
          Outreach Judaism.
          The Dark Side of Christian History (Ellerbe)
          Christ’s ventriloquists (Zuesse)
          /
          If you want to go into Jewish beliefs in depth, these first two are a couple of Jewish sites where rabbis or Jewish scholars will be glad to explain their beliefs as Jews have always believed them. Once you know what they are, you will be able to peel away what has been added to create Christianity.
          You will find very little Jewish in Christianity except the area where it originated in common.

        • Michael Alter

          Hello Lora:

          Outreach Judaism with R. Tovia Singer is outstanding. Two other sites that I would highly recommend are R. Michael Skobac and Jewsforjudaism.com and R. Moshe Schulman at judaismsanswer.com.

        • lorasinger

          Thanks, Mike. I’ve been to the one, the other looks good. I’ll add them to my reading sites.

        • Michael Alter

          Hello Lora:

          You are welcome… They are excellent and educational!

          Have a good shabbos

        • Greg G.

          One Person cannot die for the sins of another.

          Isaiah 53:5
          But he was wounded for our transgressions,
              crushed for our iniquities;
          upon him was the punishment that made us whole,
              and by his bruises we are healed.

          Isaiah 53:8b
          For he was cut off from the land of the living,
              stricken for the transgression of my people.

          Isaiah 53:9a
          They made his grave with the wicked
              and his tomb with the rich,

          A blood sacrifice is not required for forgiveness of sins.

          A blood sacrifice can be for the forgiveness of sin. The ritual for Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, is described In Leviticus 16:5-22.

          The Jewish messiah is to be fully human.

          Romans 1:3
          3 the gospel concerning his Son, who was descended from David according to the flesh

          Paul makes the person who died out to be human. It is the person who returns and raises the dead and changes the bodies of the followers who is to be supernatural.

          God hates human sacrifices.

          Jephthah felt obligated to sacrifice his daughter rather than to break his oath so human sacrifice was not necessarily thought to be what God hated the most.

          People are born pure and without original sin.

          But the original sin idea comes from the Jewish scriptures.

          God is one and indivisible – NO offspring, no holy ghost.

          Philo introduces a version of the Greek philosophical Logos, a creative force, into the conversation.

          Jews believe in The Satan, but not The Devil.

          2 Samuel 24:1 says the anger of the Lord made David take a census, for which all of Israel was punished. 1 Chronicles 21:1 says it was Satan who did it. The concept appears to have evolved long before Christianity popped up.

          God does not become human and humans do not become God.

          Isaiah 53:12
          Therefore I will allot him a portion with the great,
              and he shall divide the spoil with the strong;
          because he poured out himself to death,
              and was numbered with the transgressors;
          yet he bore the sin of many,
              and made intercession for the transgressors.

          Isaiah 9:6For a child has been born for us,    a son given to us;authority rests upon his shoulders;    and he is namedWonderful Counselor, Mighty God,    Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

        • lorasinger

          Pretty long, Greg. Try breaking it up a bit from now on.
          ..
          Quotes from ShomRei HaBrit:
          Isaiah 53:5 is a classic example of mistranslation: The
          verse does not say, “He was wounded for our transgressions and crushed for our iniquities,” which could convey the vicarious suffering ascribed to Jesus.
          Rather, the proper translation is: “He was wounded because of our transgressions, and crushed because of our iniquities.” This conveys that the Servant suffered as a result of the sinfulness of others – not the opposite as Christians contend – that the Servant suffered to atone for the sins of others.

          The Christian idea directly contradicts the basic Jewish
          teaching that God promises forgiveness to all who
          sincerely return to Him; thus there is no need for the
          Messiah to atone for others (Isaiah 55:6-7, Jeremiah 36:3, Ezekiel chapters 18 and 33, Hoseah 14:1-3, Jonah 3:6-10, Proverbs 16:6, Daniel 4:27, 2-Chronicles
          7:14).
          ……………….
          Blood sacrifice is not necessary. : Look in Leviticus 5. If, however, he cannot afford two doves or two young pigeons, he is to bring as an offering for his sin a tenth of an ephah of fine flour for a sin offering.

          Human sacrifice is forbidden as is the consumption of blood.

          Thou shalt not do so unto the Eternal thy God: for every abomination to the Eternal, which he hateth, have they done unto their gods; for even their sons and their daughters they have burnt in the fire to their gods. [Deuteronomy 12:30-31]

          In Jeremiah, God tells us that Human sacrifice is so horrible a concept to Him, that it did not even come into His mind!
          ,,
          There is no concept for a sacrificial man god in Judaism and there are no scriptures that say that, Greg. Often, as in Matthew, they will make reference to prophecies about….when no such prophecy exists.
          ….
          Just as the Abraham story is about a test for obedience, so is the Jephthah story about keeping an oath. Neither is about the sacrifice per se. It is the prop illustrating something else entirely. Death, of course, is the ultimate test and so it is used.
          …..
          Show me where the idea of original sin comes from Jewish scriptures and I will show you either misinterpretation, mistranslation or cherry picking out of context.
          …………………
          Logos does not refer to an entity, Greg. It is the acts and
          thoughts of, of God. Not a person.
          …………….
          Again the suffering servant and again, look in the verses
          and you will find the reference is to Israel, not a sacrificial man god.This verse speaks of how the Jews always pray for the welfare of the nations they are exiled into (see Jeremiah 29:7). The verse continues to explain that the
          Jewish people, who righteously bore the sins of the world and yet remained faithful to God, will be rewarded.

          Immediately following this promise of reward for the Jews’ suffering (53:10-12), chapter 54 clearly speaks of the redemption which awaits the Jewish people. This point is acknowledged by all Christian commentaries.

          Isaiah 9:6. Note it is in the past present tense. IS born,
          IS given. This is not a prophecy. Every Jewish name has a meaning, Greg. Ariel (Lion of God), Baruch (blessed), Daniel (god is my judge), Emmanuel (God is with us), Isaac (Yahweh is salvation), Menachem (God’s comforter), Reuben (Behold, a son), Solomon (peace)

        • Greg G.

          Remember that the scriptural interpretations of 21st century Orthodox Judaism are not the same as 21st century Reformed Judaism are not the same as 1st century Sadduceeism are not the same as 1st century Phariseeism are not the same as 1st century Essenism nor any other sect. The sects had to have changed over time as they separated into distinct sects. We should not compare full-blown Christianity with any single form of Judaism. Consider the different stages of the formation of Christianity. Remember that they were superstitious, religious, and looking for reasons to believe some kind of Messiah would come to kick out the Gentile overlords.

          We know that the early Jerusalem Christians did not believe in Paul’s version. They were early proto-types. ! Corinthians 15 credits Cephas as the first and follows from there. But in Galatians, Paul is discrediting Cephas and James, directing sarcasm and disdain at them. He wishes the “those who trouble you” would go the whole way and castrate themselves, obviously aimed at the circumcisers and at the rhetorical question of “Who has bewitched you?” in Galatians 3:1. He then goes on to explain why Jesus must have been crucified. It is as if Cephas was sent to the Galatians by James and he told them that Jesus was not crucified.

          Isaiah 53 does not say that the Servant was sacrificed, only that he died “for/because of” sins of others. Isaiah 53:12 then says “he made intercession for the transgressors” which would imply no longer being dead, especially to someone wanting a Messiah to come. So the Jewish Christians may not have believed in Paul’s sacrificial crucifixion. Paul created a new version of Christianity that was different than that of Cephas, James, and John. The verses you list are about God forgiving sins en masse, not on an individual basis. The Jerusalem Christians may have thought that as well. The individual forgiveness may have been Paul’s idea, too. The Epistle of James seems to be a point-by-point rebuttal of Galatians and it has examples of individuals in the OT being saved by their individual works, however.

          Paul argues for apocalypticism based on the scriptures but he doesn’t seem to have had to defend that much. Perhaps the Jerusalem Christians were hoping for the Messiah to return in their lifetime, too. Paul seems to think that the fact this Messiah was revealed to his generation meant that the Messiah would come to his generation. Perhaps that was not in dispute.

          Then Mark wrote an allegorical story with Jesus having been a first century buddy with the three mentioned in Galatians, with his Jesus patterned on Paul and parroting Paul’s sayings and views, performing the miracles of Moses, Elijah, Elisha, and Hermes. Other gospels made Jesus a pre-existent being. Holidays came much later.

          So, the Jerusalem proto-Christians simply read certain scriptures differently, possibly motivated by a belief that a Messiah would come, one more powerful than the one imagined by other Jews, but a person still had to follow Jewish laws so it was more Jewish than Christian. Paul wedged of a part of it into a different type of Christianity that was less Jewish than Christian. Mark changed the whole nature of Paul’s Christianity from an ancient figure to a recent figure. There were also many other forms of Christianity going, too.

          Show me where the idea of original sin comes from Jewish scriptures and I will show you either misinterpretation, mistranslation or cherry picking out of context.

          Agreed. I don’t think ancient religious people were less prone to that than modern religious people. You can see Paul doing it in 1 Corinthians 15:21-22 and Romans 5:14-18, alluding to Genesis 3:11-12. But that isn’t Cephas Christianity, as far as we know.

          Logos does not refer to an entity, Greg. It is the acts and thoughts of, of God. Not a person.

          For Philo (AIUI), Logos was modeled on the Greek Logos but applied to God who was immaterial and could not interact directly with the physical world, but need the Logos as a demiurge. Does this enter Christianity before John 1:1-18 which is long after Paul made it distinct from Judaism?

          The present tense of Isaiah 9:6 would fit right into the time frame for the Suffering Servant for someone who was really, really hoping for a reason to believe the Messiah was coming soon.

        • Michael Alter

          Hello Lora:

          An excellent text that SUBSTANTIATES your position is Gerald Sigal’s The Jew And The Christian Missionary. A Jewish Response to Missionary Christianity. It is perhaps the best text that refutes Christian supposed proof texts to support their claims. A must read for ALL readers on both sides of the religious aisle.

        • lorasinger

          Hi Michael. Thank you for the book suggestion. I’ll be sure to follow up on that. I’ve been reading “Their Hollow Inheritance” (Drazin) which is good but requires a higher level of knowledge than I have. This may be just what I need. Christians tend to think that the only difference between the two is simply the belief or disbelief in Jesus but have absolutely no idea about just why that is so.

        • Michael Alter

          Hello Lora:

          I also have Drazin’s book. Gerald Sigal’s The Jew and the Christian Missionary definitely surpasses Michoel Drazin’s text. [No disrespect to Michoel Drazin]. But there is a quantum leap in quality and depth. And, Gerald’s book is VERY understandable. However, another text that you should consider to obtain for your personal library is by Beth Moshe: Judaism’s Truth Answers the Missionaries [Bloch Publishing Co.1987] Of course, when you are ready, I would encourage that you obtain my text, The Resurrection: A Critical Inquiry. Three reviewers on Amazon gave it five stars [if possible please read the reviews] and The Association of Jewish Libraries just published a great review of my text.

          From what I have read that you have written, you should NOT underestimate your knowledge. Really! Your comments are well articulated. Just remember to keep learning from “dependable” and “reliable” sources…

        • lorasinger

          Well, I see that you will keep me reading for quite some time. All three of the books are already calling me. I will make a point of reading your book, Michael and leaving a review for you very soon.
          .
          I do always stay with reliable sources or those recommended by reliable sources. I don’t like appearing to be a fool on these boards because a mistake leaves one’s other posts open to doubt by readers.

        • Michael Alter

          Hello Lora:

          Thank you for your reply.

          Let me know when you receive my text. At that time I will send you a “cheat sheet”… And, do not be intimidated by its size. I can guide you through the text. It is user friendly… Really!

        • lorasinger

          RE: NT Wright.
          .
          Perhaps if professors of earliest Christian history at accredited colleges and universities were barred from ever serving in a church’s pay, and preachers in church-run institutions were barred from ever teaching earliest Christian
          history outside of a church-financed setting, there would be a difference between preachers and teachers, but that’s not the case now: These two fields are essentially one, and calling its practitioners “historians” is to insult the historical profession. Any historian who accepts such people as being historians has a very low opinion of his field, and it as a corruption. . McDonald, James (2009-11-01). Beyond Belief: Two Thousand Years of Bad Faith in the Christian Church
          .
          Good book to read, Tom. It points out the glossing over of truth for the last 2000 years by preachers masquarading as historians.

        • Thomas Goodnow

          I will look for it (our under-funded county library actually has a very good inter-library loan program). Putting a Joel Osteen and an NT Wright into the same category (or even a JD Crossan and a Billy Graham) is ridiculous on the face of it, but I’m sure there’s been some cross-contamination.

        • lorasinger

          I’m not talking about the televangelists who are not re-writing church history, but are simply preaching it. I’m talking about the early church fathers, like Eusabius who was called “the first thoroughly dishonest” church historian who wasn’t above doctoring his material.
          .
          Celsus wrote: “I have even heard that some of your interpreters, as if they had just come out of a tavern, are onto the inconsistencies and, pen in hand, alter the originals writings,three, four and several more times over in order to be able to deny the contradictions in the face of criticism.”

        • JohnnyRelentless

          Paul started from a Jewish perspective, but when he realized Jews wouldn’t follow him, he went full on pagan, doing away with the law and embracing pagan ideas like human sacrifice and multiple gods, including a flesh and blood god. That’s when Christianity started to take off – among the pagans.

        • a full-blown Christology was waiting for a time closer to Nicaea

          The slow development of the Trinity would be an example to support this.

      • Jack Haley

        So, maybe Christianity plagiarized many pagan myths that the Jews weren’t aware of…

        • lorasinger

          Christianity has nothing it hasn’t plagiarized from someone, from the central figure, to the story, to the celebration dates, and right down to the easter bunny.

        • Jack Haley

          Yes, and the Jews plagiarized from the Mesopotamian and Egyptian myths and incorporated them into their religion. So, pick the bronze-age mythology that suits you.

        • lorasinger

          They might very well have done, Jack. Other than a passing knowledge of their myths, I can’t give you a comparison of Jewish versus Egyptian mythology. But the Jewish beliefs as they have been for over 2500 years are in direct opposition to those of Christianity so wherever Christianity got its beliefs, it isn’t from the Jews.

        • Greg G.

          I don’t think you can look at the changes in Christianity after the mid-first century to get that it doesn’t come from Judaism. Nor should we compare modern Judaism with Temple Judaism. Look at the early Christian writings. (The gospels are crap for that.) Paul relies on the Jewish scriptures for his theology. There were sects of Judaism that believed in a coming Messiah from Hasmodean times. Judaism used midrash to get new ideas out of the scriptures and that is what Paul did.

        • lorasinger

          Whether modern Judaism or temple Judaism, they are still under the same covenant with the Torah and those rules haven’t changed. After the fall of the first temple, the Essenes and the Sadducees faded away, leaving just the Pharisees, the law keepers still. Paul relies on the Septuagint, the Greek translation of the Torah, something a trained biblical scholar would not do, having been taught in Hebrew and for this reason, his claims are suspect. Certainly they believed in a coming messiah and they still do but there have been many messiahs in Judaism. David and Solomon were both messiahs. The difference Christians don’t seem to be aware of are that the Jewish messiahs are to be fully human and are to prove themselves by their actions during their lifetime. Jesus failed to do that and Paul, if he actually was a Jew, should have known that.

        • Greg G.

          I think it is Philo who brought Greek philosophy into Judaism. The Christians probably used that after it was a part of at least one school of thought in Judaism.

          Paul does rely primarily on the Septuagint. It may not have been used in Jerusalem but the fact that the Septuagint was available to Paul is an indication that it was being used somewhere.

          I think the earliest Christians were reading about the Suffering Servant in Isaiah 53 as a “hidden mystery”, a vague, historical account hidden in a metaphor. That would be a normal human who got resurrected. Some insist that resurrection was foreign to Judaism but there are cases in the literature. Paul thought the resurrected human was now a god and would return as a spiritual conquering Messiah.

        • lorasinger

          Philo was the originator of the word “logos” – spirit or breath. Logos was “the thoughts and actions of God”. It didn’t refer to a distinct being.
          .
          The Septuagint was used by Greek speaking people, Greg. The original Torah was translated by the 72 Jewish biblical scholars for the library in Alexandria. After that translations were done by Christian scholars and with it the errors and mistranslations crept in. Paul’s use of it is an indication that he was not trained at the feet of Gamliel who worked only ln Hebrew as did all such teachers as he claimed. He would have been taught in Hebrew and would have used the Hebrew Torah.
          .
          Isaiah 53 is not about a messiah, Greg. Look through those verses and you will find that reference is to “my servant” only. Look further and you will find that “servant” is linked to “Israel, my son, my firstborn”. It’s about Israel’s relationship with their God, not about Jesus or any messiah.

        • Michael Alter

          Hello Lora:

          R. Moshe Schulman at judaismsanswer.com has perhaps one of the best series of articles on this subject. In addition, Gerald Sigal has penned Isaiah 53: Who is the Servant? [Xlibris 2007]. This 276 page text was written by one of the major writers for Jews for Judaism. It’s pretty good.

          Take care.

        • Greg G.

          Logos comes from Greek philosophy. The word is Greek and Philo brought it to Judaism.

          Paul never says he was taught by Gamaliel. That may be an inference by Luke for Acts 22:3 from Galatians 5:14 but Acts is hardly reliable about anything that Luke didn’t steal from Josephus. There were Jewish scholars outside of Jerusalem and Paul may have learned from them.

          Galatians 1:12
          … I did not receive it from a human source, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation…

          Romans 16:25-26
          Now to God who is able to strengthen you according to my gospel and the proclamation of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery that was kept secret for long ages 26 but is now disclosed, and through the prophetic writings is made known to all the Gentiles, according to the command of the eternal God, to bring about the obedience of faith

          Paul was getting his “revelations from the Lord” through the scriptures. Most of Paul’s quotes from the scriptures come from Isaiah. Everything Paul says about Jesus can be found in the OT. Paul read a lot of passages that were not about a Messiah as being about a Messiah. In 1 Corinthians 15, he gives credit to Cephas and James as having seen it before he did. He uses the same word for “appeared to” for them and the others that he uses for himself, as if he didn’t think their “appeared to” was any different than his own.

          The Isaiah 53 song begins at Isaiah 52:13 which Paul alludes to as about Jesus in Philippians 2:9. Romans 15:21 says “it is written” and quotes from Isaiah 52:15. Romans 10:16 quotes from Isaiah 53:1. Philippians 2:7 talks about his appearance which could be from either or both Isaiah 53:2 or Isaiah 52:14. Isaiah 53:5 is drawn from for Romans 4:25, Romans 5:1, and 1 Corinthians 15:3. Romans 4:25 may rely on Isaiah 53:6 or Isaiah 53:11. Romans 8:34 and Philippians 2:9 draw from Isaiah 53:12. 1 Peter 2:22-25 also draws from Isaiah 53:5, 7, 9, and 12. Whatever Isaiah or whoever meant was irrelevant to those readers who thought the Lord was speaking to them.

          1 Corinthians 14:21 ends with “says the Lord” but is a quote from Isaiah 28:11-12, so we should not take those as anything but a “revelation” through the scriptures. Other verses like that are 1 Corinthians 7:10-11 coming from Deuteronomy 24:1-4, 1 Corinthians 9:13-14 coming from Deuteronomy 18:3-8, and 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17 coming from Isaiah 26:19-21a, Daniel 7:11a, Daniel 7:13a, Daniel 12:2, and Isaiah 25:8a. 1 Corinthians 11:23-26 seems to come from Psalm 41:9 and Isaiah 53:12 but are combined the way Mark creates stories from scripture and 1 Corinthians 10:23 to 1 Corinthians 11:29 seem to be one or more interpolations so the interpolater may have borrowed it from one of the gospels.

        • lorasinger

          That Gamaliel ever taught in public is known only
          from the Acts of the Apostles, where (xxii. 3) the apostle Paul prides
          himself on having sat at the feet of Gamaliel. Josephus never mentions Paul.
          .
          Read: Christ’s Ventriloquists (Zuesse) where Acts and Galatians is minutely analysed as if it were to be presented in a court of law. A great deal of what has been glossed over in the past is revealed and you will be surprised at the outcome.

          .

        • Greg G.

          Gamaliel is said to be either the grandson or the great-grandson of Rabbi Hillel who said, “What is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow: this is the whole Torah; the rest is the explanation; go and learn.”

          Paul used the first part of that in Galatians 5:14. Luke probably recognized that as a Hillel quote and put Paul at his descendant’s feet.

          Acts 21:38
          Aren’t you then the Egyptian, who before these days stirred up to sedition and led out into the wilderness the four thousand men of the Assassins?”

          The Egyptian comes from Antiquities of the Jews 20.8.6 as does the following into the wilderness though the 600 followers of the Egyptian were killed or captured. The “assassins” are the sicarii which may be a word invented by Josephus and is found in Antiquities of the Jews 20.8.5 and 20.8.10.

          The shipwreck of Paul has many similarities to Josephus’ shipwreck, too. Luke made stuff up and it shows. He was trying to make Peter and Paul out to be similar and in agreement. Almost a third of Acts is speeches, basically the same speech over and over, and seldom relates to the narrative that sets up the character having a chance to speak.

        • lorasinger

          Jews are Jews because they are under a covenant laid out in the Torah which is over 2000 years old. Torah is what directs the above beliefs and actions. Only those NOT under Torah (not Jews) would be “unaware”. Every child is raised and was raised on the Torah so they would hardly be unaware.

    • this is the red-herring extraordinaire.

      I’m on the edge of my seat.

      A physical resurrection in a Jewish context as a harbinger of Yahweh’s remaking of the cosmos is uniquely Christian.

      If the Jesus story weren’t different from that of, say, Dionysus, they’d call Jesus “Dionysus.”

      Yes, the Jesus story is different than the others. Ditto all the others.

      There are some decent reasons to not be a Christian (the problem of evil is probably one of the better). Questioning Licona’s scholarship is probably not one of them, however

      Licona is probably a very smart guy and well educated. The only possible caveat I could imagine is that Licona’s arguments were forced to be quite short. Otherwise, the scholarship indicated in these videos is pathetic. Sorry, Dr. Licona: the thinking in these arguments is useful only at someone who wants a pat on the head and assurance that, yes indeed, the religion of their youth is on target.

      not sure what Mr Seidensticker’s qualifications are

      For the purposes of this blog, I have just the blog itself as my qualification. I lay out the arguments plainly in a blog post and I invite comment and criticism. So far, all I’ve gotten from you is “Nuh uh!!” I’ll need a little more than that.

      You have an argument? You can rebut the points I make here? Do so.

  • C_Alan_Nault

    “Response to “Top 10 Myths About Jesus’ Resurrection””

    Until it is first proved that Jesus existed, then proved that he was crucified & resurrected, anything that may be said about the issue can be considered examining & dissecting a myth or fable.

    It’s be like looking for contradictions in Superman comics & using the contradictions to prove Superman stories in the comics aren’t real.

    • Kevin K

      Of course, the authors of the Superman comics are careful to not create contradictions that can’t be adequately explained in later editions.

    • Greg G.

      But if the earlier claim about Superman is more embarrassing than the later one, the Criterion of Embarrassment can be applied to show that the earlier claim must be true as it would not have been written if it wasn’t. If that is true, then Superman exists.

  • lorasinger

    This comes from an article saved a long time ago but it covers things pretty well, I think:
    .
    Like Osiris, Dionysus, Attis, MIthras and many others, Jesus was a God shaped like a man, walking, talking, eating, but still having magic God powers. Like the
    other Pagan godmen Jesus was a subordinate God, son of the great universal God, miraculously conceived in a mortal woman, living for a while on Earth rather
    than in Heaven, helping people
    .
    Was Jesus a xerox copy of one particular Pagan God? Was He Mithras renamed? Or Dionysus? The answer is No. Jesus was new — in the same way the first
    Honda Accord was a new car and the first Mountain Dew was a new soda pop. But the Accord wasn’t the first car, and Dew wasn’t the first soda. They were
    “new” versions of old ideas. So was Jesus.
    .
    Jesus was the Son of God who suffered, died, and was reborn. But He wasn’t the first Son of God who suffered, died, and was reborn. He brought salvation; but He wasn’t the God first to do that either. His mom was a virgin; He wasn’t the first God there either. It’s the same with miracles, disciples, ascending to heaven — the list goes on and on.
    .
    Believing scholars like to bring up differences between Jesus and the earlier Pagan godmen. Mithras was born of a rock, not a virgin, so Jesus can’t be Mithras. Attis’ faithful hung his likeness on a pine tree, not on a cross, so Jesus can’t be Attis. Believing scholars are right, Jesus wasn’t Mithras, and He wasn’t Attis. Jesus
    was a “new” God, the same way the first Honda Accord was a new car. He was a “new” version of God, built from old ideas.

    • paulalovescats

      Stealing for FB

    • Thomas Goodnow

      I rather doubt you have to be a “believing scholar” to note the problems with pagan-Christ parallels; there are quite a few atheists who look at the whole pagan-Christ think with (ahem) skepticism. It tends overall only to make atheism look desperate.
      Also, as usual it tends to ignore the definition of “genetic fallacy”. CS Lewis, among others, saw the parallels (which were viewed as more likely in his day) as actually confirming the gospels: if God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself, would it not make sense for him to leave hints of this in even pagan myths, rather than sticking solely to Judaism? Overall, unless a particular chain of influence and copying is supported, it has nothing to do with Christianity’s truth or falsehood. Stick to something substantive, like the problem of evil or God’s hiddenness.

      • lorasinger

        Well think of it this way then. The man god story belief didn’t come from Judaism so that leaves only what the Jews called “heathens” who carried out human sacrifice of innocents and who had men gods aplenty. Your choice of which heathen.
        .
        Being under Moses law/Torah law as Jesus allegedly professed to be meant a set way of belief, then or now and this is supported by the DSS.

        One Person cannot die for the sins of another.
        A blood sacrifice is not required for forgiveness of sins.
        God hates human sacrifices.
        People are born pure and without original sin.
        God is one and indivisible.
        God does not become human and humans do not become God.
        .
        And not one of these beliefs line up with Christianity.
        .
        The bible itself describes Jesus circumcision, the outward sign of being “under the law”. His brother James and Peter headed up the remainder of Jesus followers after his death and were referred to as the “Party of the circumcised”, also a sign that they were practicing Jews. The circumcision was the defining sign of being under the eternal covenant which then dictated what their beliefs would be.
        .
        If you will recall, Paul taught his converts that circumcision wasn’t necessary and that put them outside the law/covenant, so he invented a new covenant for his Christians and there you have the first Christians – 30 years after Jesus was already dead.

    • That nicely responds to the arguments many Christians make (indeed, I see I’ll need to respond to just such a comment from Thomas Goodnow). They’ll say that the Jesus resurrection story was different from that of other gods.

      But of course, those are also different from the Jesus story. So what? They share in common the most notable trait of their death, the returning-to-life part.

      • lorasinger

        It’s not Jewish, Bob, so that leaves any number of the “heathen” to choose from.

    • Jack Haley

      Excellent commentary, thank you!

      • lorasinger

        I wish I could say it was mine but it isn’t. I saved it years ago and back then didn’t think to save the sources as well. I wish I had now.

        • Jack Haley

          It doesn’t diminish it’s relevance nor my appreciation for you taking the time to share, thanks again!
          All the best, Jack

  • Jack Haley

    This is how it all started…
    One day god was wearing his burning bush disguise when Moses
    happened by.

    Well, Moses had always thought that being a volunteer fireman was
    the highest calling a body could aspire to. He figured that by demonstrating
    some initiative, he’d be first in line for the next open position. So he ran
    and got some water to put that fire out before it could spread to the feedlot
    and sandal factory next door.

    It seems that god had a real aversion to water ever since that
    little incident with Noah. So at first sight of Moses running at him with a
    bucket, he just started hollering like all get out!

    “Moses”, he yelled, “You’d best not be fixen’ to
    throw any water on me!” “And while you’re at it, I’d better see some
    bare feet around here on account of you’re on holy ground!”

    Now Moses might not have been the heaviest brick in the wheelbarrow
    but he knew it was a curious thing when a burning bush started talking. First
    of all, he couldn’t recollect ever seeing anything like that before, and
    second, having finally run into a talking bush, he thought he’d better listen
    to what it had to say!

    He put down that bucket straightaway and stepped right out of those flip-flops all in one smooth motion.

    Moses looked directly into that fire to see if he could make out a
    mouth or ears or something, just so he wouldn’t feel so silly talking to a bush
    that was on fire. He thought he could see a little beanie cap with a propeller
    on top, when he looked real hard.

    “Hey bush”. He said, “you sure you don’t want me to give you a little dowsing just to cool you off a smidgen?”

    God was thinking to himself, if this nit-wit gets one drop of
    water on my burning bush disguise, I’m going to turn him into a dung beetle!

    God replied, “No Moses, I’m feeling fine at the moment, but I would like to discuss the possibility of you leading my people to the “Promised
    Land”.

    Moses was beside himself! He forgot all about applying for any job
    as a volunteer fireman!

    “Wow bush!” “Are you sure you want me to lead all those people”?
    Moses didn’t want to appear too anxious.

    God said, “I’m sure Moses, and by the way, please call me Yahweh
    in the future.”

    “Oh, of course, Yahoo sir, anything you say!” Moses continued, “I do
    have a lot of experience bossing goats and sheep around…you know you have to be a real leader to get their respect…not just anybody….” God interrupted, “Moses, that’s YAHWEH, not yahoo!” God mumbled “Idiot!” under his breath and continued…”Now when you get there, you’re going to have to kill everyone you see, but that’s OK, because I’m authorizing it on account of this real estate deal I worked out with Abraham…”

    Moses interrupted. “Who’s Abraham, Yahoo, Sir?”

    God was beginning to question the wisdom in his choice for a
    leader and he was wondering if he should have waited for someone else to wander by…

    This is an excerpt from the diary of god’s best friend, Irving,
    and it is a true account of the first meeting between god and Moses.

    It is dated July 21, 2005 B.C. and time stamped 8:15 A.M.

    I translated it myself from the original stone tablets and can personally
    attest to its accuracy. Signed///Jack Haley///

    • It is dated July 21, 2005 B.C. and time stamped 8:15 A.M.

      I translated it myself from the original stone tablets and can personally

      attest to its accuracy. Signed///Jack Haley///

      Wow! That’s a heckuva lot better than ancient documents of unknown authorship of which we don’t even have the originals. Thanks for bringing this valuable document to our attention.

      • Jack Haley

        Yes Bob, it truly is valuable, and you are most welcome!

    • lorasinger

      This has the touch of Mark Twain himself!

      • Jack Haley

        Thank you, I am humbled by any comparison between one of the greatest satirists of all time and myself!

  • Hal Molitor

    – The gospels all agree that Jesus was dead and then was no longer dead – the first evidence at the time was the empty tomb. So there is no contradiction. The gospels were written 30 to 60 years after Jesus died and the authors had to rely on verbal traditions from various persons and, perhaps, some written sources which were never mentioned and no longer exist. The various gospels disagree on who found the empty tomb. That is an understandable disagreement given the nature of oral traditions. But whomever first discovered the empty tomb is irrelevant to the total agreement on the facts of the resurrection. So, at least in this case, the contradictions between the gospels are easily understood, are irrelevant to the basic message of the gospels and do not discredit the main point of the gospels, the resurrection. Nothing in this comment requires the reader to believe or disbelieve in the resurrection.

    • Hal Molitor

      My comment is in response to the first point. It may suggest that I find none of the arguments relevant. It may also suggest that my disagreement with the nature of the responses in point 1 led me to the conclusion that there was no point in reading any further in the article.

      • Ignorant Amos

        Of course ya don’t find any of the arguments relevant, you are a godbot ffs.

        It may also suggest that my disagreement with the nature of the responses in point 1 led me to the conclusion that there was no point in reading any further in the article.

        Thank fuck, because judging by the lack of logic in your response to point 1, anything more is likely to be excruciating nonsense.

      • Odd Jørgensen

        “led me to the conclusion that there was no point in reading any further”

        So you did not read it, simply because of your preconceived bias, much like most christians don`t bother to read the bible, they just agree with what they want it to say.

    • Ignorant Amos

      The gospels all agree that Jesus was dead and then was no longer dead –

      The gospels represent a single secondary source from an unreliable biased community.

      the first evidence at the time was the empty tomb.

      Evidence of what? An empty tomb?

      So there is no contradiction.

      The point being made is that the gospels are strewn with contradictions which makes some or all of them making false statements. If one or all of them contain many false statements, how can ya tell what is fact or fiction?

      Just because the same detail is mentioned in a group of books that obviously plagiarise each other, it is no veridicality of that detail.

    • lorasinger

      In order to have a human sacrifice to begin with, the sacrifice HAS to die, at least for a time, and then resurrect, in exactly the same fashion as a dozen other men gods in Greco-Roman lore. You have in the Jesus story, simply the last of the group of resurrecting men gods. And so you have four anonymous writers, none being eye witnesses, depending on the lore floating around them, to document their versions of the resurrection. Common sense should tell you that the truly dead don’t resurrect EVER, any more than reindeer fly. All you have in the Jesus story, are four different versions of a fairy tale.

    • Michael Neville

      Nothing in this comment requires the reader to believe or disbelieve in the resurrection.

      This is incorrect. You’re assuming the resurrection happened and the rest of your comment flows from that assumption.

    • Greg G.

      Matthew, Luke, and John are dependent on Mark’s narrative and that seems to be based on the literature of the day, not on oral traditions.

      The burial draws on Isaiah 53:9 for the burial with the rich. Genesis 50:1-14 has Joseph asking Pharaoh for permission to bury his father and Homer’s Iliad has King Priam asking Achilles for permission to bury his son, Hector. Joshua 10:26-27 has great stones placed in front of a burial cave.

    • plantman13

      So…what!?!?! The bible, by your explanation, is not the word of god but a second or third hand account of people who claimed to be eye witnesses…maybe. This contradicts two thousand years of “word of god” claims. Is this a new way to fudge the facts, the facts being that the bible is a plethora of contradictions and outright lies? Oh…and the Yeshua bar Yusef (jesus to you) family tomb was discovered in 1980, intact, and it was full.

    • There are no contradictions … except for where there are. Just to illustrate the point, tell me if the Last Supper was the Passover meal (what the synoptics say) or was on the night before Passover (what John says).

  • SparklingMoon

    The gospels agree on the important claims: that Jesus died, was buried by Joseph of Arimathea, was raised on the third day, and appeared to others.
    —————————————————–
    There is the statement of Jesus: ‘But after I am risen again, I will go before you into Galilee’ (Matthew 26: 32). This verse clearly shows that Jesus, after he had come out of the tomb, went to Galilee and not to heaven. Jesus’ words ‘After I am risen’ do not mean his rising up alive after he was dead; rather, as in the eyes of the Jews and the common people he had died on the Cross, he used words beforehand consistent with what they were to think of him in the future, and indeed, the man who was placed on the Cross, in whose hands and feet nails had been driven till he had fainted from pain, had become as good as dead; if such a man was saved from such a calamity and if he recovered his senses it would not be an exaggeration on his part to say that he had come to life again. There is no doubt that after so much suffering, Jesus’ escape from death was a miracle; it was no ordinary event. But to think that he had died is wrong. It is true that in the books of the New Testament words of this kind occur, but this is a mistake of the writers of those books, just as they had committed mistakes in recording several other historical events. Commentators who have made researches into these books admit that the books of the New Testament have two parts:

    (1) the spiritual instruction received by the disciples from Jesus (peace be on him) which is the essence of the teachings of the Gospel;

    (2) historical events — like the genealogy of Jesus; his arrest and his being beaten; the existence in his time of a miraculous pond, etc.

    These, the writers recorded by themselves; they were not revealed; rather, they were set down in accordance with the writer’s own ideas. In some places there are undue exaggerations, as where it is stated that if all the miracles and works of Jesus were recorded in books, the earth would not be able to accommodate these books. How exaggerated is this statement! (Ruhanikhazain)

    • Greg G.

      But the Gospel of Mark says the women were told to tell the disciples to go to Galilee, but the women were afraid. Matthew tried to fix Mark with the add on. None of the gospels are reliable. The Quran is based on unreliable information, so it is also unreliable.

      • SparklingMoon

        But the Gospel of Mark says the women were told to tell the disciples to go to Galilee, but the women were afraid.
        ——————————————-
        The verses of Matthew (28:7 -10) clearly say that the women who were told by someone that Jesus was alive and was going to Galilee, and who were also told quietly that they should inform the disciples, were no doubt pleased to hear this, but they went with a terrified heart, — they were still afraid lest Jesus might still be caught by some wicked Jew.

        The ninth verse says, that while these women were on their way to inform the disciples, Jesus met and saluted them. The tenth verse says that Jesus asked them not to be afraid, i.e. of his being caught; he asked them to inform his brethren that they should all go to Galilee; that they would see him there, i.e., he could not stay there for fear of the enemy.

        In short, if Jesus had really come to life after his death and had assumed a glorious body, it was up to him to furnish proof of such life to the Jews. But we know that he did not do this. It is absurd, therefore, to accuse the Jews of trying to render negatory the proof of Jesus’ coming to life again. No, Jesus himself has not given the slightest proof of his restoration to life; rather, by his secret flight, by the fact of his taking food, and sleep, and exhibiting his wounds, he himself proved that he did not die on the Cross. (Ruhanikhazain)

        • plantman13

          Yeshua bar Yusef never was crucified and his tomb was found in Jerusalem in 1980 with his bones showing no sign of the alleged execution. The new testament also shows him to be a master of disguise which would explain his miraculous reappearance. Mary thought he was the gardener because he was dressed like one. No miracle.

        • Michael Neville

          his tomb was found in Jerusalem in 1980

          Citation seriously needed.

        • XCellKen

          I think Mr Plant was seriously joking ???

        • Michael Neville

          That’s the trouble, I can’t always tell.

        • plantman13

          No joke. “The Jesus Family Tomb” by Simcha Jacabovici and James Cameron.

        • From Wikipedia: “The Jesus Family Tomb: The Discovery, the Investigation, and the Evidence That Could Change History is a controversial book by Simcha Jacobovici and Charles R. Pellegrino (with a Foreword by James Cameron) published in February 2007.”

        • plantman13

          Thank you for the clarification. I don’t have the book with me at the moment. I’m writing from memory which is a terrible thing to waste.

        • plantman13

          “The Jesus Family Tomb” by Simcha Jacabovici and James Cameron.

        • SparklingMoon

          Yeshua bar Yusef never was crucified and his tomb was found in Jerusalem in 1980 with his bones showing no sign of the alleged execution.
          —————————————————
          A prophet cannot lie. Jesus compared his three days of unconsciousness ( condition between life and death) to three days unconsciousness condition of Jonah. This only shows that just as Jonah remained alive in the belly of the whale, so did Jesus remain alive.

          As in the parable he had also hinted that he would come out of the bowels of the earth and would then join the people and, like Jonah, would be honored by them. So this prophecy too was fulfilled; for Jesus, coming out of the bowels of the earth, went to his tribes who lived in the eastern countries, Kashmir and Tibet, etc. viz.the ten tribes of the Israelites who 721 years before Jesus, had been taken prisoner from Samaria by Shalmaneser, King of Assur, and had been taken away by him.(Besides these, more Jews were exiled to eastern countries as a result of Babylonian excesses.)

          Ultimately, these tribes came to India and settled in various parts of that country. Jesus at all events must have made this journey; for the divine object underlying his advent was that he should meet the lost Jews who had settled in different parts of India; the reason being that these in fact were the lost sheep of Israel who had given up even their ancestral faith in these countries, and most of whom had adopted Buddhism, relapsing, gradually into idolatry.

          Dr. Bernier, on the authority of a number of learned people, states in his Travels that the Kashmiris in reality are Jews who in the time of the dispersal in the days of the King of Assur had migrated to this country. (Dr. Bernier, Travels, Vol. II )

          In any case it was necessary for Jesus(sa) to find out the whereabouts of these lost sheep, who had, on coming to this country, India, become merged into the other people. Jesus (peace be on him) did in fact come to India and then, by stages, traveled to Kashmir, and discovered the lost sheep of Israel among the people who professed the Buddhist faith and that these people ultimately accepted him, just as the people of the prophet Jonah accepted Jonah. And this was inevitable, for Jesus had said in so many words that he had been sent to the lost sheep of Israel. (Ruhanikhazain)

        • Odd Jørgensen

          Do you really believe this nonsense? Jonah and the whale? How did he get inside the whale in one piece? Not to mention back out? http://www.thenakedscientists.com/HTML/articles/article/what-would-happen-if-you-were-swallowed-by-a-whale/

        • plantman13

          Your argument is circular. You use the bible to prove itself. I, too, by my own declaration, am infallible…because I said so. You don’t believe me. Why do you believe a book written by people who thought the world was flat and disease was caused by evil spirits? Because it says so? BTW there is no species of whale with a large enough throat to swallow an object as large as a human. Most whales eat plankton…incredibly small sea creatures. Why can’t a prophet lie? Prophets are people and people lie all the time.

        • Cygnus

          “A prophet cannot lie.”

          You’re right, for prophecy is a method by which related sets of information can be gathered, analyzed, and compared in such a way that it becomes possible to see trends of the past and thus predict with great accuracy the market trends of the future.

          This scientific method should not be confused with statistics, which is the result of fraudulent con-artist pretending to have some form of preternatural vision.

          Statistical analysts claim to reveal to the unlearned masses the nature of future events. Such poppycock is only successful in today’s world because of superstitious mental weaklings who believe in magic, occult powers, leprechauns, and Captain Marvel. Yeah, right… and the boogedyman is living in your closet. No, really. A boogedyman is fucking in your closet right now!!!

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          You keep making assertions and expecting them to be treated as facts.

          Not happening here.

        • Greg G.

          The verses of Matthew (28:7 -10) clearly say that the women who were told by someone that Jesus was alive and was going to Galilee,

          Matthew was making up stories when he added to Mark. Mark was completely made up, too. Matthew was one of the first gospel apologists.

        • Cygnus

          “Matthew was one of the first gospel apologists.”

          Nope, “Mathew” was the first name made up by the writers of the new religious garbage, I mean, new testament. Apologetic came later with the apparition of job opening of sucking up to Christian leaders.

        • Greg G.

          I stand corrected.

    • C_Alan_Nault

      “Licona argues that any contradictions are in peripheral details.”

      Until the basics of the story can be confirmed, the entire story — contradictions or not — can be dismissed.

      It hasn’t been proven Jesus actually existed. Until that is accomplished, any claims about him can be ignored as being no more valid than claims about Perseus, Hercules, Thor, or Spider-man.