Responding to the Minimal Facts Argument for the Resurrection (2 of 2)

Responding to the Minimal Facts Argument for the Resurrection (2 of 2) August 7, 2017

Gary Habermas, a department chair at Liberty University, is known for his minimal facts argument for the resurrection of Jesus. We’ve exposed some weak thinking behind his first two facts in part 1, and we’ll now look at his remaining facts. You folks at home can join in as we play “Spot that Fallacy!”

Fact 3: The church persecutor Paul was suddenly changed: Paul was an enemy of the church but became a persuasive theologian and prolific church builder. His belief came from first-hand experience, and his martyrdom was documented by six sources.

But what of this could only be explained by an actual resurrection? So Paul gets religion and spreads the word—this isn’t surprising and happens in our own day. The sources we have are Paul’s own writings, Acts, and the writings of church fathers many decades later, all of which we must be skeptical of.

Was Paul knocked to the ground with a vision of Jesus? Maybe it was a complete fabrication. Maybe he just imagined it. Maybe the story grew in his mind until he wrote it down years later. The natural explanations are much more plausible than the supernatural one.

Fact 4: James the brother of Jesus was changed. Habermas takes us on a scavenger hunt through the Bible to pick up various pieces to create a life story for James that supports his preconception.

  • James and the rest of Jesus’s family weren’t believers. In fact, they thought he was crazy (Mark 3:21).
  • Next, James saw Jesus after his resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:7).
  • Then James became a leader in the Jerusalem church (Acts 15—a vague reference).
  • Finally, James died as a martyr. Habermas must go outside the Bible to Josephus and Eusebius for this factoid. Their stories being contradictory points to the martyrdom of James as legend.

The James story varies depending on what pieces you pick up. Mark makes clear that the family of Jesus didn’t believe and never says that they changed their minds. We see this in John as well, where Jesus commanded “the disciple whom he loved” to take care of his mother after he died (John 19:26–7). Why would Jesus do this if his brother James was available? Both of these gospels were written long after the death of James. They never mentioned James as part of the inner circle, and perhaps that was because he wasn’t.

And what does “James, the Lord’s brother” (Galatians 1:19) mean? That James was the biological brother of Jesus or simply that James was one of the Christian brethren, as in “brothers and sisters loved by God” (1 Thessalonians 1:4)?

The basic facts of James’s life are tentative enough. The story can’t support the additional claim that he saw the risen Jesus.

Fact 5: The tomb was empty. This is a bonus “fact” because it isn’t as widely accepted as Habermas claims the previous four are. He says that “75% of scholars on the subject accept the empty tomb as a historical fact,” but we’ve already exposed the weakness of that argument.

He’s quick to use the flawed Naysayer Hypothesis:

It would have been impossible for Christianity to get off the ground in Jerusalem if the body [of Jesus] had still been in the tomb. His enemies in the Jewish leadership and Roman government would only have had to exhume the corpse and publicly display it for the hoax to be shattered (p. 70).

First, I argue that it was a legend, not a hoax (that is, that it was inadvertently rather than deliberately false). Second, show me that valid contradicting evidence always stops a religion. Third, remember that the gospel stories were written decades after the events they claim to document. By that point, the legend had a life of its own. What the leadership might’ve done (or even did do) years earlier is irrelevant at that point.

Testimony of women

Women were the first to discover the empty tomb. This is startling, we’re told, because women’s testimony was never allowed in court, but what Habermas fails to show is that courtroom testimony is ever part of the story! He says that women playing this central role would never be part of an invented story, but I never argue that the story was invented.

Habermas’s argument completely fails when we consider that tending to the dead was women’s work in that culture. Having women—remember that these were trusted members of the inner circle—find the empty tomb was both unsurprising and culturally mandatory (more here).

Straw man responses

Habermas sets up and knocks over the typical list of imagined responses (that I never make) such as the disciples stole the body, someone else stole the body, witnesses went to the wrong tomb, Jesus didn’t die but only swooned, the disciples were deceived by delusions or hallucinations, and, my favorite: Jesus was an alien. It’s curious that he treats the obvious one—that it was a legend—so superficially that there’s nothing more for me to address.

A slam-dung argument

If a body of any sort was discovered in the tomb, the Christian message of an empty sepulcher would have been falsified. Anything but an empty tomb would have been devastating to the Resurrection account (p. 71).

Can this guy have no appreciation of how religion actually works? He imagines it to be a house of cards, knocked down by a single contrary word.

Consider the Great Disappointment of 1844, where tens to hundreds of thousands of Millerites woke to the day that should never have dawned, the day after William Miller’s prediction of the end of the world. Some left the sect, poorer but wiser. Others refused to believe that they’d been following a ridiculous interpretation of reality and formed other sects, including the Seventh-Day Adventist Church.

Or consider a more recent example. Pastor Jamie Coots died from snakebite in 2014 after refusing medical treatment. That was his ninth snakebite. He and his congregation knew better than anyone that God doesn’t protect believers against snakebite, and that if you handle poisonous snakes, you risk getting bitten and dying. I wonder if, as Coots lay dying, any friends said, “You have strong faith, brother.”

But the good news is that snake handlers finally got the message, right?

Of course not. Snake handlers who think it through must know that all available evidence points to either no God or a God uninterested in protecting Christians from the obvious consequences of snake handling, but few will admit this. They make themselves immune to the evidence.

You’ll be relieved to know that Pastor Jamie Coots’ son Cody picked up where his father left off. Unsurprisingly, he was bitten a few months later, his sixth snake bite.

Back to Habermas’s argument, the legend has little interest in what actually happened decades earlier—whether the tomb was empty, full, or nonexistent. Even if there were disconfirming evidence, the early religion could’ve shrugged it off just like snake handlers do. That Habermas doesn’t understand this makes me question how serious he actually takes his scholarship.

For some lessons learned from studying this argument, go here are “8 Lessons Learned from the Minimal Facts Argument.”

The resurrection of Jesus is the cornerstone of Christianity, 
which stands or crumbles depending on whether this event actually occurred.
— Habermas and Licona,
The Case for the Resurrection of Jesus, p. 149

(This is an update of a post that originally appeared 2/21/14.)

Photo credit: Ted


Browse Our Archives

Follow Us!


TRENDING AT PATHEOS Nonreligious
What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • RichardSRussell

    Rationalist: I believe it because it’s true.

    Religionist: It’s true because I believe it.

    • Sophia Sadek

      Rationalist: I believe it because I am to lazy to do the research.
      Religionist: I say I believe it so that my husband will not divorce me.

      • TheNuszAbides

        you forgot the scare-quotes.

  • G.Shelley

    “His enemies in the Jewish leadership and Roman government would only have had to exhume the corpse and publicly display it for the hoax to be shattered (p. 70).”
    Or they could have said it was stolen. Which I believe, the gospels claim they did
    they seem to want it both ways here. On the one hand, the idea that it was stolen is so ludicrous it can be dismissed out right. on the other hand, the people in charge thought it plausible enough that they were willing to push this story.

  • Herald Newman

    It would have been impossible for Christianity to get off the ground in
    Jerusalem if the body [of Jesus] had still been in the tomb. His enemies
    in the Jewish leadership and Roman government would only have had to
    exhume the corpse and publicly display it for the hoax to be shattered
    (p. 70).

    To which I say “bullshit!” From the stories in the book, the disciples spent 50 days before the Holy Spirit came and filled them with confidence to go out and preach. After sitting in a tomb for 50 days the body of Jesus would have decomposed to the point where it was unrecognizable. Nobody, not even his family, would have likely been able to confirm that this was indeed the body of Jesus.

    As you say, Bob, the naysayer hypothesis and the idea that Christianity could have been stamped out easily if it was false, doesn’t pass the proverbial sniff test.

    • doesn’t pass the proverbial sniff test.

      Or, as you suggest, the literal sniff test.

      From the raising of Lazarus: “Jesus said, ‘Take ye away the stone.’ Martha, the sister of him that was dead, saith unto him, ‘Lord, by this time he stinketh: for he hath been dead four days.'” (John 11:39)

      • RoverSerton

        For as the current skeptic and thinking man says “The head stinketh from the head down, therefore, I say unto thee, thy Trumpest is the vilest of stinking sea dwelling creatures and all that smite the beast will be termed worth of eternal praise”. If only the congress will shout amen and persist at “god’s” speed.

        • RoverSerton

          For Trump supporters, that is not high praise.

        • Yes, that is a vile creature.

      • TheNuszAbides

        i was struck by Spong’s take (recently shared here via a huffpo link) that gJohn, in that verse and several others, means to mock literalist interpretation. keeping that framework in mind could
        (1) put an obscuring twist on the allegations that it’s the most Jew-condemning book of the n.t.
        (2) support [at least indirectly] the erotic interpretation of some or all “washing” of “feet”.

  • Scooter

    “Third, remember that the gospel stories were written decades after the events they claim to document.”
    This is a tired, weak and unfounded counter argument to the resurrection event among others.
    Couldn’t you accurately recount an event in your experience 40 years after the fact?
    Consider Hitchen’s writing almost 40 years after MLK’s assassination who noted that the speech King gave the night before was a “transcendent moment” that left a heavy imprint on the memory of those who were there. “Nobody who was there that night has ever forgotten it,” he said (god is not great, p 174)

    2000 years ago, before the media was around to rot people’s brains, accurate memorization was the primary means of recording things. The even more dramatic and traumatic events of Jesus’ life were seared into the minds of those who had witnessed them.

    • Raging Bee

      No, it’s not really that weak a counter-argument.

      And the comparison to Hitchens’ account of King isn’t all that valid, since a) Hitch was basing his account on those of others who were there, or who recorded the events soon after they took place; and b) Hitch wasn’t alleging any sort of miracle or supernatural event.

      • Also, this was filmed. He didn’t have to rely on people’s memories.

    • kraut2

      “The even more dramatic and traumatic events of Jesus’ life were seared into the minds of those who had witnessed them.”

      Similar to those that witnessed the golden tablets presented to them by a Mr. Smith…

      • And we actually have modern (supposed) eyewitness evidence supporting this claim. Not so much for the Jesus story.

    • Philmonomer

      Here is the entire quote from the OP:

      He’s quick to use the flawed Naysayer Hypothesis:

      It would have been impossible for Christianity to get off the ground in Jerusalem if the body [of Jesus] had still been in the tomb. His enemies in the Jewish leadership and Roman government would only have had to exhume the corpse and publicly display it for the hoax to be shattered (p. 70).

      First, I argue that it was a legend, not a hoax (that is, that it was inadvertently rather than deliberately false). Second, show me that valid contradicting evidence always stops a religion. Third, remember that the gospel stories were written decades after the events they claim to document. By that point, the legend had a life of its own.

      The OP isn’t saying that events cannot be accurately recounted 40 years after the fact. The OP is saying that after 40 years we can expect a legend about the tomb to have developed, and it is reasonable to think that such a legend could not be refuted by simply exhuming the corpse and putting it on public display.

      • It’s remarkable how the Christian response misses the mark. The gospels were written decades after the fact vs. the time to display the unresurrected body was days after the fact.

        The gospels are a story, and the apologists want to go back in time, in the story, and imagine the authorities not bringing out the body.

        Maybe this thinking lasts because it’s a little convoluted and so not obviously wrong at first glance.

    • Philmonomer

      Indeed, I’ve always been blown away by the fact that there is no history of tomb veneration in the earliest of Christianity. The place for the single most important event in world history, and Christians didn’t venerate the spot! Unbelievable. (Joseph of Arimiathea is a wealthy man, with a nice tomb, and there is a long story about all the events around the tomb in the Gospels, and yet no worship at that place!)

      This tells me that it is most likely that Christians didn’t know where he was buried, or of those that did know, they knew that it wasn’t worth meeting there (for example, a mass grave).

    • Tony D’Arcy

      Like Ron L Hubbard and Scientology, or the Cargo Cults waiting for the return of John Frum ? Well within living memory, but bollocks all the same.

      I’m afraid your carpenter needs to build Himself a crutch to prop up his devious religion.

    • Otto

      >>>”The even more dramatic and traumatic events of Jesus’ life were seared into the minds of those who had witnessed them.”

      Lots of people would have witnessed the supposed ‘dramatic and traumatic events of Jesus’ life’, but apparently those memories were only seared into the ones that thought he was a god. Nobody else took notice.

    • Bob: “Third, remember that the gospel stories were written decades after the events they claim to document.”
      Scooter: This is a tired, weak and unfounded counter argument to the resurrection event among others.
      Couldn’t you accurately recount an event in your experience 40 years after the fact?

      So let me see if I have your argument right. First, assume that it happened. Then say, “If indeed it happened, couldn’t memories of so remarkable an event have been well preserved?” Then assume that the account is reliable.

      Can you find any flaws in this approach?

      Consider Hitchen’s writing almost 40 years after MLK’s assassination who noted that the speech King gave the night before was a “transcendent moment” that left a heavy imprint on the memory of those who were there.

      The gospel stories talk about the supernatural. We have 2 centuries (in the case of Matthew, for example) from original writings to our best copies, with no guarantee of what hanky panky happened during that time. And we have decades of oral history before the authorship of the gospels, during which time legend might well have grown.

      Can you see why MLK’s assassination is in a different category?

      Further, I’m certain that there were eyewitness stories of the assassination decades later that conflicted on various points.

      “Nobody who was there that night has ever forgotten it,” he said (god is not great, p 174)

      Oh, Hitchens. Well, if Hitchens said it, I have to believe it. It’s like my religion.

      2000 years ago, before the media was around to rot people’s brains, accurate memorization was the primary means of recording things. The even more dramatic and traumatic events of Jesus’ life were seared into the minds of those who had witnessed them.

      I’ll let you work out yourself the problems here, based on our discussion above.

    • Greg G.

      2000 years ago, before the media was around to rot people’s brains, accurate memorization was the primary means of recording things. The even more dramatic and traumatic events of Jesus’ life were seared into the minds of those who had witnessed them.

      If that is so, why are the gospels tainted with tales from the Homeric epics and the writings of Josephus? Why are Jesus’ miracles based on the miracles of Elijah, Elisha, Hermes, and Vespasian? Didn’t he do any memorable miracles that were original?

      • Pofarmer

        Hell, if that were the case, why did Christianity grow exponentially faster outside of Jerusalem than in it? Why was it more quickly adopted among Gentiles who’d never experienced the events and couldn’t verify them at all? Just more bullshit.

        • Tony D’Arcy

          The Roman Empire was built upon slavery and largely agricultural. The slaves were the ones who adopted the new religion which gave them, at least, some hope of a better life. Christianity was built upon the material conditions of the society at the time. The theology resulted from these conditions.

        • Tommy

          Christianity was offered nothing new to Greco-Romans of all backgrounds. Salvation cults and resurrection cults already existed and were popular. Christianity embodied both salvation and resurrection elements from mystery cults. It was truly a Greco-Roman religion that appealed to most people.

        • TheNuszAbides

          And instead of simply owning up to SPaul’s marketing genius, the Trubes prefer the Spiritual Mentorship narrative. y’know, the one that doesn’t even pretend to have a witness account in Scripture(TM).

        • Pofarmer

          Well, yes. but the argument goes that the events were seared, seared into the mind of those in Jerusalem and that’s why the religion grew. Except it didn’t grow in Jerusalem at all.

        • TheNuszAbides

          must’ve been all those pesky local Naysayers! no wonder The Righteous had to fan out and give stump speeches.

      • Joe

        Didn’t he do any memorable miracles that were original?

        He probably tried, but like a crowd at a Rolling Stones concert, they only wanted to the classics.

        • Greg G.

          I wanna hear Sympathy for the Devil again!

      • TheNuszAbides

        it’s almost as though [the character in the stories] is playing to an audience of its contemporaries! this must fit in somewhere with that cunning Omnimax-Requires-The-Soft-Sell Theory.

    • adam
      • I believe that the former is probable, provided they were only “amazing” to his followers.

        • TheNuszAbides

          he’d only need the weird charisma of [e.g.] L.R.H. to start things up. whether the next tier of the pyramid scheme were genuinely devout or just saw a sweet opportunity to score _____ would be a distinction without a long-term difference.

          EDITed to remove unnecessary implication.

        • It was probably much easier in that time and culture. Apparently self-proclaimed messiahs, prophets etc. were fairly common.

        • TheNuszAbides
        • Indeed, and that was in a much later, probably less religious era (at least compared with the 1st century). There have been many accounts of “messiahs” in that era who were crucified.

      • TheNuszAbides

        oh, it’s escapable all right. witness the centuries of obstinacy, political power plays, suppressive competition, plus the sheer lack of desire to sustain questioning.
        that said, I do enjoy D.F.’s delivery most of the time.

    • Joe

      Couldn’t you accurately recount an event in your experience 40 years after the fact?

      Not accurately, no. Plus, why wait so long in the first place. These people allegedly saw a guy come back to life, and they didn’t bother writing it down until 40 years later? What if they’d all died in that time? Which would have been likely given life expectancy.

      • This is related to the uncomfortable fact that Jesus, present at the Creation, was wrong about the End. Why write stuff down if the End was months away?

        Whoops.

      • TheNuszAbides

        IIRC, Scoot’s already (some other thread, months back) rolled out the “what if better records were destroyed in the persecutions” line — though whether or not it was Scoot doesn’t really matter. Considering how obvious the prevalence of bias in Xian commentary/copying was from early on, there’s a tiny element of fair play in this — though the survival of so many of Paul’s epistles hardly indicates such comprehensive eradication (unless of course all gospels were post-Pauline, which I still find entirely compelling).

        The occasional suggestion that initial followers were neither literate enough nor wealthy enough to afford scribes is another prong of the excuses, but would basically torpedo any “gospel written by eye-witness” silliness – plus the intent behind so many copies of the Pauline epistles so early would be even more up for question.

    • GubbaBumpkin

      Couldn’t you accurately recount an event in your experience 40 years after the fact?

      No. I find myself now doubting some accounts from my childhood. I have a memory of someone leaning back on a kitchen chair, falling over and getting a cut in their forehead. But was it me, or was it my brother? Or perhaps it didn’t actually happen, perhaps someone was giving a cautionary example and in the mist of time I confuse it with fact. I have many such examples.

      • GubbaBumpkin

        Frequently I find such distant memories are not really clear, and I have to try to reconstruct them based on things outside the experience of the memory, such as historical info on where I was living at particular times, or cross-check them with other people’s memories (which introduces a certain amount of risk, since their memories are vulnerable to the same sorts of problems as mine).

      • Michael Neville

        Some years ago my mother, my brother and I were discussing something that took place about 30 years previously. We all remembered that it happened but disagreed on some of the major details like who it happened to (I thought it was my father, my brother and my mother said it was my other brother), where it took place and who else was present. But we all remembered the incident perfectly.

        • smrnda

          I know that I was once in Montreal during my childhood, but I have zero memory of actually being there.

        • Ignorant Amos

          I periodically hook up with comrades that I served with 35 years ago. We reminisce on shared experiences, some of which are memorable for a variety of reasons, the hilarity of the incident through to how traumatic and scary. Now we can say whether we were there, but very often the details get muddled. Important details such as who was the central character, among other things. There might be reasonable excuses for the err’s being made, but mostly it is because we are all getting older. Sometimes a person who was not there, but has heard a particular story repeated so many times in a variety of reunions, they start to retell the tale from the position of the first person. We call this third party yarning. Very often in the retelling, the details get jazzed up.

          Then there is the out-and-out Walter Mitty’s….you lot on the other side of the pond know it better as Stolen Valor. And the Gumper’s too of course. Which is starting to get so out of hand that there is now a dedicated group called The Walter Mitty Hunters Club set up to specifically out these lying toerags.

          Walter Mitty Hunters Club: Facebook group exposes military imposters

          The number of people falsely claiming illustrious military backgrounds is on the rise. Simon Usborne meets the vigilantes intent on exposing these real-life Walter Mittys

          http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/walter-mitty-hunters-club-facebook-group-exposes-military-imposters-a6721641.html

          Human beings are born liars…and the pious are up there with the worst of them.

        • smrnda

          I read that many clergy claim military backgrounds and some have been exposed as having plagiarized Hollywood action films. People all lie in the sense that we distort our memories likely to fit in with what is more desirable. It’s why surveys about ‘how often do you attend church’ or ‘how often do you drink and how much’ don’t provide useful data. When in doubt, people drift towards more socially acceptable answers. If you are a good American Christian, you rarely if ever drink and always attend church.

          But, lies can become part of a well-crafted image, particularly in people who have to sell themselves constantly. A story of your military service, perhaps a criminal background can make a person more exciting and glamorous and better hold an audience.

          Here is the story of a man who falsely claimed to be some sort of martial arts assassin before finding Jesus.

          https://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/jul/28/tony-anthony-kung-fu-sham

        • Ignorant Amos

          I read that many clergy claim military backgrounds and some have been exposed as having plagiarized Hollywood action films.

          Interesting. Not something I’m familiar with.

          But, lies can become part of a well-crafted image, particularly in people who have to sell themselves constantly. A story of your military service, perhaps a criminal background can make a person more exciting and glamorous and better hold an audience.

          Without a doubt. Even those that have served in both will jazz up reality for a fuller effect. We military types know these as Bloaters. There are two types of Walter Mitty, the Cumper and the Bloater. The Cumper has never served. A few well placed, but tricky questions is usually enough to uncover those types. The Bloater, someone who has served, but fells the need to bloat their service in order to impress, is slightly more difficult, because they will know stuff that the Cumper will not.

          http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3362061/Inside-secret-network-military-vigilantes-working-expose-Walter-Mitty-fantasists.html

          Pardon the source.

        • TheNuszAbides

          pardon the Daily Mail? not bloody likely, but you’re pardoned for not doing extra digging. even a stopped clock blahblahblah!

        • TheNuszAbides

          some have been exposed as having plagiarized Hollywood action films.

          worked well enough for millions of romantic bobblehead Reagan-voters.

        • TheNuszAbides

          There might be reasonable excuses for the err’s being made, but mostly it is because we are all getting older.

          i’d say it’s mostly because the brain isn’t as awesome as we tend to think/assume it is (especially when we swallow the yarn that OmniMax gifted us extra-special beasties with Mind) … compounded by the story-sharing occurring with less-than-firming frequency.

          “Just a tiny bit of emotional arousal will influence whether you remember something just a few minutes later,” says McGaugh. And the more directly you’re affected by something like 9/11—the closer you are to it physically and emotionally—the more emotionally arousing, and better remembered, it will likely be, he says.

          http://www.apa.org/monitor/2011/09/memories.aspx

          And the part they get the most wrong is how they felt.

          another nail in the coffin of “Martyrdom* Enhances Truth”.

          *either narrative or actual

      • TheNuszAbides

        Scoot’s already ignored to issues regarding memory, coherently and falsifiably explained by naturalistic models. Trubes of that ilk evidently aren’t interested in the distinction between “memorable” and “accurately recorded in the brain”.

        http://www.apa.org/monitor/2011/09/memories.aspx

    • Ignorant Amos

      Consider Hitchen’s writing almost 40 years after MLK’s assassination who noted that the speech King gave the night before was a “transcendent moment” that left a heavy imprint on the memory of those who were there. “Nobody who was there that night has ever forgotten it,” he said (god is not great, p 174)

      Nobody who is writing in the NT claims to have been there when Jesus resurrected. In fact there is absolutely no witnesses to the Resurrection, end of, period. There are only before and after stories in the NT. We have to go to the Apocrypha texts to get a Resurrection Narrative, but the nonsense in that story was even too much for most Christians of the time.

      The speech King gave used parts of his favourite sermon from the Moses and the Mount Nebo yarn in Deuteronomy and the Garden of Gethsemane…both fictions. It was intended as a metaphor. But you’d know that if you’d read the book. Was it transcendental at the time, or did it become poignant in the hours after because it was Kings last address and it sounded like he was prophesying his own demise? Anyway, what Hictchens wrote was subjective and as much as some found it a spiritual and memorable, being there and not forgetting it, is different from everyone finding it spiritual.

      Scooter, twenty-six years after the event surrounding Bravo Two Zero, the fist hand accounts recorded within a few years by those who were there and involved in the mission, a memorable series of events fore sure, but they are contradictory when recorded.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bravo_Two_Zero#Literary_accounts

      An example of how an actual event can be misreported, or lied about, because of bravado amongst other reasons. People embellish real events. People invent events that others believed are real. Myths and legends are like that.

      The NT texts are all embellished hearsay at best. But more likely myth and legend read out of existing scripture and other literature around at the time.

      Why are you not a Mormon?

      The Book of Mormon witnesses are a group of contemporaries of Joseph Smith who said they saw the golden plates from which Smith said he translated the Book of Mormon. The most significant witnesses are the Three Witnesses and the Eight Witnesses, all of whom allowed their names to be used on two separate statements included with the Book of Mormon.

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

      Is it because of Christian bullshit like this?

      http://www.bible.ca/mor-witness-book.htm

      If so, then you understand why atheists can’t take you seriously.

      • Bob Jase

        ” In fact there is absolutely no witnesses to the Resurrection, end of, period.”

        Point of fact, none of the supposed witnesses of the resurrected Jesus in the NT even recognise him at first – pretty poor wittnesses who don’t recognise someone they’ve hung with for years and saw only a couple days earlier.

        • TheNuszAbides

          perhaps one or more of the nails caused a malfunction in Jesus’s ninja-toggle-switch. that would perfectly explain the pitifully few appearances between crucifixion and ascension and the difficulty of recognition.

    • smrnda

      On the whole idea that people used to have amazing memories.

      First, let’s take the notion of an ‘official version’ like we have today. In ancient times, this didn’t exist. Stories might have elements and even particular phrasings that were considered essential, but the idea of delivering a verbatim copy time after time just wasn’t the way they did things. Folklorists look at this, and point out how the emergence of the written word changed perspectives of narratives. did people in the past memorize their stories? Yes. Does ‘memorize’ have the same meaning as today? I doubt it.

      Second, it isn’t like rumors don’t get spread about the past that aren’t true, but are widely believed by many people. How many people think Mr Rogers was a Marine or a Navy Seal? Right now you could fact check any number of things but many people won’t from sheer laziness, and this is when people can fact check stuff.

      Third, if I were to say “at the gym, I saw someone break a world record for the deadlift” nobody is going to change any record books.

      • Ignorant Amos

        Scooter is a Memory Maven.

        He believes the ancients had some special superpower that meant they all had photographic memories and got things spot on verbatim all the time.

        More nonsense on Scooters part.

        There is an interesting series of articles on Vridar, if you are interested, that touches on this subject, beginning at…

        http://vridar.org/2014/11/27/the-memory-mavens-part-1-a-brief-introduction-to-memory-theory/

        • smrnda

          Will definitely read that link!

          There is a possibility that people in different time periods are better/worse and memorizing different things. Let’s take phone numbers. Thanks to cell phones doing the work for you many people today don’t know their own phone numbers. This would have been unthinkable just a few decades ago.

          We’ve also seen research done on memory. One experiment I read about (I’ll look for a link) had people get together and view a short video. They were going to sit down and try to remember it again at a later session. Part of the experiment was that one ‘viewer’ was prompted to very confidently make a false claim about the content of the short video. Rather than ‘the group’ correcting the person, the groups end up doubting their memories and adding the false episode.

          I doubt ancient people had much better memories overall. There may be areas (like phone numbers in the past) where they did better than the present, but often the perception of ‘having a good memory’ is the absence of any evidence that would prove the person wrong.

          If I say ‘on this date and time, I was at this cafe getting coffee’ and someone else says ‘yes, I was there, and remember her being there, she’s telling the truth’ both me and the other party cold be wrong. But we could sort it out with GPS perhaps, which was an option not available in the past.

        • Ignorant Amos

          There is a possibility that people in different time periods are better/worse and memorizing different things. Let’s take phone numbers. Thanks to cell phones doing the work for you many people today don’t know their own phone numbers. This would have been unthinkable just a few decades ago.

          Indeed…I don’t know my mobile number, but back before mobile phones, I knew my home telephone number off the top of my head. Every service man remembers there service number and can rattle it off without even thinking about it, because it was used day in, day out. I can’t remember my national insurance number because I rarely use it.

          But the problem we are talking about is remembering an oral story. How could anyone know what had happened to an original tale told a generation or more after the alleged event and how could we tell what was what from the lost original?

        • TheNuszAbides

          different time periods are better/worse [for] memorizing different things

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Art_of_memory
          (which I’ll admit I only look into enough to incorporate it into roleplaying games)

          Part of the experiment was that one ‘viewer’ was prompted to very confidently make a false claim about the content of the short video. Rather than ‘the group’ correcting the person, the groups end up doubting their memories and adding the false episode.

          conformity is worse than just memory-fudging — it’s reality-right-in-front-of-your-face-fudging:

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

          (of course, with the qualifier that Asch only ever used (1) male (2) college students)

          The conformity demonstrated in Asch experiments is problematic for social comparison theory[, which] suggests that, when seeking to validate opinions and abilities, people will first turn to direct observation. If direct observation is ineffective or not available, people will then turn to comparable others for validation.
          In other words, social comparison theory predicts that social reality testing will arise when physical reality testing yields uncertainty. The Asch conformity experiments demonstrate that uncertainty can arise as an outcome of social reality testing. More broadly, this inconsistency has been used to support the position that the theoretical distinction between social reality testing and physical reality testing is untenable.

          S.C. theory is from Leon Festinger, who authored When Prophecy Fails and may have done more sound work on cognitive dissonance.

    • Pofarmer

      Couldn’t you accurately recount an event in your experience 40 years after the fact?

      Actually no, probably not. Every time you access a memory, you change it in some small way. In that way, remembrance of very impactful events is likely to be changed MORE than events that you don’t think about as much, or at all. surely you’ve had the experience of talking to someone who was at the same event or place or whatever several years ago and your recollections of those events differ significantly? And that’s for events that happened.

    • TheNuszAbides

      tired

      if you had better material on which to base your comments that might carry some weight; unless/until that improvement, it just looks like a bogus attempt to ‘hold up a mirror’ to the umpteen times we’ve grown tired of your weak protestations. oh, speaking of which …

      weak

      You’re still apparently confusing strength of faith (or at least depth of gullibility) with strength of rational position. Is anyone surprised?

      unfounded

      [EDITed out a mistaken interpretation of your weasel-word; in any case, Philmonomer had already delivered a sound correction. Not that your track record suggests you’ll pay any attention.]
      Naturalistic explanations and predictions are provisional; self-important certainty isn’t. Humans are capable of developing either or both, individually and collectively. You consistently show a weak grasp of the former and an unenviable (in a different way) grasp of the latter.

      counter argument to the resurrection event

      LOL, rhetoric ex culo. The pretense that a counter-argument is being lodged against an event cleanly removes you from the running for Honest Interlocutor. So, thanks once again for showing you’d rather strut ludicrously than make a coherent point.
      Crying “oral tradition” and “persecution” doesn’t redeem credulousness, it just helps you feel better about the absence of evidence.

  • Bob Jase

    Now if the ‘minimal facts’ were more than minimal presupposition by believers then I might consider them seriously.

  • watcher_b

    Concerning Paul’s vision, I seem to remember at the end of the book of Acts it is explicitly stated that Paul’s companions saw and heard nothing.

    • Sophia Sadek

      That’s what happens when you keep the magic mushrooms to yourself.

    • TheNuszAbides

      Spiritjesus was too lazy to ~mentor~ all of them at once.

  • Tony D’Arcy

    Excuse my language but what about that effing empty tomb ? Pure Gospel writers’ invention. Knowing how the Romans treated the executed, the body would have been left there to rot nailed to the cross. No special treatment for some uppity Jewish trouble maker preacher.

    • Greg G.

      Josephus tells how the Romans put some things up at the temple that the Jews objected to. They went to Caesarea to complain. Pilate threatened to have them all killed. They all laid down and bared their throats. Pilate then had the things they found objectionable taken down. So Pilate could be sympathetic.

      Josephus also tells us that when Titus was doing mass crucifixions, Josephus found three of his friends being crucified. He asked Titus to have them taken down, so he did and ordered that they be taken care of. Two of them died but one survived.

      The gospels only say Jesus was put in a tomb because Isaiah 53:9 says the Suffering Servant was put in a tomb with the rich.

      • Tony D’Arcy

        OK, special pleading might have had Jesus’ body taken down and put into a tomb. Did Joseph of Arimathea bribe the guards ? We will never know. Seems far more likely to me, that there was no tomb and no resurrection either.

        • Otto

          Or he could have just been thrown into a pit with the other common criminals and left to rot. The whole Joseph of Arimathea tomb story could have been concocted. Literally ANY natural explanation is more plausible.

        • Greg G.

          Joseph of Arimathea may be Joseph the best disciple since there is no known city by that name and that’s what it means. I think it was included to align with Isaiah 53:9.

        • TheNuszAbides

          good Everyman name for a boilerplate Trube — Joe Bestdoctrine.

        • Greg G.

          Seems far more likely to me, that there was no tomb and no resurrection either.

          That’s what I say. I don’t think there was a body nor a crucifixion nor are the gospels about a real Jesus.

    • Lark62

      Robin Hood doesn’t have a tomb with a body in it. That proves Robin Hood was a real god-person who rose from the dead. Right?

      Likewise Paul Bunyan.

      Likewise Harry Potter

      Likewise Huckleberry Finn

      Likewise Hazel the Watership Down rabbit.

    • TheNuszAbides

      Excuse my language but what about that effing

      HOW DARE YOU.

    • jamesparson

      To be fair, they might have dumped is rotting naked corpse at the edge of town for the scavengers to eat.

  • Scooter

    “It’s curious that he treats the obvious one—that it was a legend—so superficially that there’s nothing more for me to address.”

    It really should be treated superficially. Surprisingly, this theory was first proposed by a theologian and not a historian. D. F. Strauss, a German theologian from the 19th century, is credited with originating the claim. Strauss, influenced by the post-Enlightenment rationalism that permeated his era, couldn’t reconcile the prevailing ideas of his time with the miracles described in the Bible. This led to his denial of the Biblical version of Jesus’ life and directed him in his search for the true “historical Jesus.” Out of this came his belief that the various miracles in the Bible were just myths created to convince people that Jesus was the Messiah.
    Julius Muller a contemporary of Strauss stated the following critique which has never been answered.

    “Most decidedly must a considerable interval of time be required for such a complete transformation of a whole history by popular tradition, when the series of legends are formed in the same territory where the heroes actually lived and wrought. Here one cannot imagine how such a series of legends could arise in an historical age, obtain universal respect, and supplant the historical recollection of the true character and connexion of their heroes’ lives in the minds of the community, if eyewitnesses were still at hand, who could be questioned respecting the truth of the recorded marvels. Hence, legendary fiction, as it likes not the clear present time, but prefers the mysterious gloom of grey antiquity, is wont to seek a remoteness of age, along with that of space, and to remove its boldest and more rare and wonderful creations into a very remote and unknown land.”

    William Land Craig points out (The Son Rises: The Historical Evidence for the Resurrection of Jesus,) how long it would take for a significant legendary account to be established. He states ” Other ancient Greek and Roman writings, such as those of the Greek historian Herodotus, enable us to test the rate at which legend accumulates. In these cases, “even the span of two generations is too short to allow legendary tendencies to wipe out the hard core of historical fact”

    This minimum time-span for the accrual of legendary accounts plants us, at the earliest, firmly in the mid-2nd century, well after the NT documents were written, yet, interestingly enough, exactly within the correct time frame for the apocryphal gospels. In other words, if you want a legendary account then look no further than the apocryphal gospels.

    The resurrection story does not show signs of significant legendary development. In general, the NT accounts of the death, burial, and post-burial appearances show reserve and lack embellishment that comes with the mythologizing of a text. Instead, we see simple, straightforward factual statements.

    In addition, legendary development begins in the details and slowly morphs into bigger things over time. However, the resurrection of Jesus is not a mere detail, but is the core fact of the NT documents. Therefore, it is the least likely historical claim that would be susceptible to legendary development, especially within the necessary time frame and locale.

    A final thought:
    Some will say, perhaps, that [Ayosha’s features] are quite compatible with both fanaticism and mysticism, but it seems to me that Alyosha was even more of a realist than the rest of us. Oh, of course, in the monastery he believed absolutely in miracles, but in my opinion miracles will never confound a realist. It is not miracles that bring a realist to faith. A true realist, if he is not a believer, will always find in himself the strength and ability not to believe in miracles as well, and if a miracle stands before him as an irrefutable fact, he will sooner doubt his own senses than admit the fact. And even if he does admit it, he will admit it as a fact of nature that was previously unknown to him. In the realist, faith is not born from miracles, but miracles from faith. Once the realist comes to believe, then, precisely because of his realism, he must also allow for miracles. The Apostle Thomas declared that he would not believe until he saw, and when he saw, he said: “My Lord and my God!” Was it the miracle that made him believe? Most likely not, but he believed first and foremost because he wished to believe, and maybe already fully believed in his secret heart even as he was saying: “I will not believe until I see.” – The Brothers Karamazov, Fyodor Dostoevsky

    • Greg G.

      William Land Craig points out (The Son Rises: The Historical Evidence for the Resurrection of Jesus,) how long it would take for a significant legendary account to be established. He states ” Other ancient Greek and Roman writings, such as those of the Greek historian Herodotus, enable us to test the rate at which legend accumulates. In these cases, “even the span of two generations is too short to allow legendary tendencies to wipe out the hard core of historical fact”

      But if there was no historical fact to wipe out, then it wouldn’t take so long and it would be two generations, it would be two centuries, if the Messiah idea came from the Hasmonean times that produced the Book of Daniel.

      The early epistles tell us of a Jesus that seems to be invented from the OT as if they thought they were reading a long hidden mystery as history, but they have no teachings or preachings. Then Mark wrote a story that placed Jesus in the first century using midrash and mimesis to concoct a story. Another 20 years passed until the other gospel authors took it seriously enough to try to embellish it.

      • Pofarmer

        Of course, another problem is, we have plenty of examples today of people with signifigant supernatural claims attached within their own lifetimes. Both within and outside of Christianity.

        • Kevin K

          Grand Rebbe Menachem M. Schneerson comes to mind. They buried him with a device so he could signal them that he had risen from the dead and so could be unburied. Someone may be listening for that signal even as we speak.

        • Pofarmer

          There was a faith healer in the South in the 60’s that was said to perform all kinds of miracles. It was said that two little girls that were blind with no eyes received sight just standing in line for one of his big healing shindigs. He died in a car crash.

        • TheNuszAbides

          wow. i generally maintain a picture in my head of Judaism being the most kicked-around sophisticated mellowed-with-age of the grand ol’ monotheisms, but I’m obviously missing/dismissing the exceptional little gems like that.

        • Kevin K

          They’re what’s known as “ultra-Orthodox”. I have a friend who is as much a Jew as I am a Christian, who calls those sects “savage Jews”. They’re hyper-insular, completely and utterly dismissive of anyone who is not a part of their in-group, racist and sexist to their marrow. Whenever I see someone wearing a tallit katan (the undergarment with the fringes), I know I’m going to be treated with utter contempt.

        • TheNuszAbides

          a close friend’s sister’s family is a study in tragically motivated reasoning: met while getting their math & physics doctorates, went ultra-orthodox, had 7 kids, voted for … Trump. And I was enough of a damn-fool optimist to be surprised when Xian hacks like Dobson endorsed him … I don’t even think I want to know what line they swallowed from a rabbi to square that circle.

        • Kevin K

          All of the “fine folks” at the rally in Charlottesville would like nothing better than to shove that entire family into the ovens … so … yeah, it’s kind of a mystery.

    • Joe

      You state all those things (the timescale for legendary accounts etc.) as if they aren’t easily disproven by real-world examples like Mormonism, cargo cults etc.

    • Otto

      Even IF all that was accurate…on the scale of probability ‘Legend’ would still beat out ‘Supernatural’

      • TheNuszAbides

        Even IF all that was accurate

        you’re too generous, giving him more of that Presup Rope.

    • [The legend claim] really should be treated superficially.

      I didn’t. I wrote a 3-part post starting here. You’re welcome to respond.

      this theory was first proposed by a theologian and not a historian. D. F. Strauss, a German theologian from the 19th century, is credited with originating the claim.

      It’s that remarkable or surprising or convoluted a theory that it didn’t start until then? I doubt it. The idea of an ancient story being legend (if not mythology) is a very simple and obvious idea.

      Did this come from the etheology blog? Please cite your sources. It looks like you’re plagiarizing.

      Julius Muller a contemporary of Strauss stated the following critique which has never been answered.

      I detect the Naysayer Hypothesis plus a lot of nonsense here. Expand on why Muller is right if you want to get into this more.

      William Land Craig points out (The Son Rises: The Historical Evidence for the Resurrection of Jesus,) how long it would take for a significant legendary account to be established. He states ” Other ancient Greek and Roman writings, such as those of the Greek historian Herodotus, enable us to test the rate at which legend accumulates. In these cases, “even the span of two generations is too short to allow legendary tendencies to wipe out the hard core of historical fact”

      Wrong on so many counts. First, WLC is misquoting and misunderstanding his source, A. N. Sherwin-White. Second, it violates common sense to imagine that stories couldn’t drift in one retelling.

      I demolish this here.

    • Numerous legends have sprung up overnight, even while their characters are alive (when they exist at all). I’m not sure how they can all be judged legendary or not simply by their tone. Many legendary accounts seem very similar.

      What is the point you think Dostoyevsky makes here? That everyone just believes what they want? Assuming you really think this, why bother arguing at all? On this view it won’t make any difference. Dostoyevsky should speak for himself. I find he and many others like to describe what they think are others’ views for them.

    • Ignorant Amos

      You don’t half come away with some absolute ballix Scooter.

      • TheNuszAbides

        the more he gets called out on — oh, let’s pick one at random — motivated reasoning … the more he comes back with the obvious urge to pull a tu quoque on us, but a headful of fluff where he seems to think he’s stocked ammunition.

    • smrnda

      I think my take is a bit different. I wonder how many ‘facts’ of the ancient world we buy into now are legend, simply because we don’t have the ability to really test them the way we would more recent events.

      In terms of the gospels, people believed in quite a bit of ridiculous things during the 1st century AD.

    • TheNuszAbides

      couldn’t reconcile the prevailing ideas of his time with the miracles described in the Bible.

      or maybe he just couldn’t reconcile miracles with a realistic appraisal of history. but yes, what ghastly things we apes DON’T get up to when YOUR favorite ideas prevail! rah rah rah!

  • skl

    It seems to me that, in general, Christians have little interest in, and spend little if any time in, trying to prove the truth of their faith or to provide scientific evidence for their faith. But it does seem to me that, in general, nonreligious people (i.e. atheists) have great interest in, and spend much time in, trying to disprove the truth of the Christians’ faith or to provide scientific evidence against the Christians’ faith. I think the latter are wasting a lot of the latter’s time, because the former don’t seem to base their faith on science.

    • Greg G.

      But many ex-Christians became that way by realizing religion was wrong and science was right.

      I think you are wasting your time arguing that the latter is wasting their time.

      • MR

        And it seems to me they put a lot of faith in science when it comes to just about everything that doesn’t touch their religion, even hedging their religious bets in a lot of things like health and safety. “Jesus miraculously cured me, praise his name, don’tcha know.” The doctors do all the work and Jesus gets the praise.

    • Otto

      Come out of the closet skl

      • TheNuszAbides

        he poses as so thoughtful and strategic; I wish he’d make a proper, utter fool of himself by trying to review something like Hutchinson’s Moral Combat.

    • epeeist

      But it does seem to me that, in general, nonreligious people (i.e. atheists) have great interest in, and spend much time in, trying to disprove the truth of the Christians’ faith or to provide scientific evidence against the Christians’ faith.

      For a start off I would distinguish between “non-religious” and “atheists”. The two are not necessarily synonymous, it is perfectly possible to be non-religious and believe in a god of some kind.

      Secondly, I suspect the majority of those who don’t believe in gods simply live without any thought as to whether gods exist or not, in effect they are “apatheists”. This being so, only some atheists try to disprove the “truth” of Christianity.

      Thirdly, if theists chose to live by their faith and not attempt to impose it and its precepts on others I doubt whether the above attempts would take place.

      Lastly, I am not trying to impose my atheism on others, rather my aim is secularism where someone’s religion or lack of it is not a factor in their treatment by society.

      • skl

        Good points.

        • TheNuszAbides

          but not enough for you to amend your screed? okay.

    • Chuck Johnson

      It seems to me that, in general, Christians have little interest in, and
      spend little if any time in, trying to prove the truth of their faith . . . -skl

      Trying to prove the truth of their faith is one of the main ways that Christians practice their religion.

      Every comment that you make in this blog is another example.

      • skl

        If I’ve inadvertently converted you to Christianity then I should get a gold star from the Christians, or whatever they might give to non-Christian skeptics.

    • Philmonomer

      It seems to me that, in general, Christians have little interest in, and
      spend little if any time in, trying to prove the truth of their faith
      or to provide scientific evidence for their faith.

      It seems to me that most conservative Christian colleges and universities in this country spend a lot of time on this. There are now multiple Master’s degrees in Christian apologetics available!

      But it does seem to me that, in general, nonreligious people (i.e. atheists) have great interest in, and spend much time in, trying to disprove the truth of the Christians’ faith or to provide scientific evidence against the Christians’ faith.

      To the extent that I think this is true (and I don’t think it’s true that nonreligious people “have great interest in, and spend much time in” thinking about Christianity), it seems to me that’s because Christianity is all around us. I spend zero time thinking about Islam apologetics. But I bet atheists living in the middle east spend a whole lot of time thinking about it.

      I think the latter are wasting a lot of the latter’s time, because the former don’t seem to base their faith on science.

      If only the former based their faith in common sense. (Common sense tells me that Jesus didn’t really rise from the dead.)

      • Ignorant Amos

        If only the former based their faith in common sense. (Common sense tells me that Jesus didn’t really rise from the dead.)

        If only the former could keep themselves to themselves, quit interfering in others business, and fuck away off leaving the rest of us alone…there’d be a thing.

        • Michael Neville

          +10

          I discuss Hinduism with a Brahmin priest I work with. It can be quite interesting and I’m learning somethings I didn’t know before. I don’t argue Hindu apologetics with this man because Hinduism doesn’t try to impose itself on me. But every day I see Christians trying and occasionally succeeding in imposing their beliefs on me, my family, my friends and my society. As a result, I will argue vehemently against Christian apologetics.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Islam was once like Hinduism in my life…not so much anymore….though Christianity is still the big bug bear.

        • smrnda

          What’s weird with Christianity is that it’s got this idea that everybody should join. There’s no simple ‘show and tell’ about being a Christian – it’s a sales pitch all the time. I’d suspect that other religions are more like that wherever they are dominant.

        • TheNuszAbides

          I’d suspect that other religions are more like that wherever they are dominant.

          and the more aspects of culture they’ve pre-emptively appropriated, the less need for an active ‘pitch’.

      • smrnda

        I think Christian apologetics is more meant to keep current Christians on the inside, and keep them convinced that their faith is intellectually on solid ground. They aren’t looking for converts, they are looking to lose fewer members than they are losing right now.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Well they will severely need to up their game in that case, if the moonbeams we get around here are any kinda yardstick to go by.

        • Philmonomer

          Well, I definitely think it exists to fill a demand. Why exactly there is a demand, that is probably up to each individual. (On a conscious level, maybe so that they can better defend the faith to others–on an unconscious level, maybe so that they can better defend the faith to themselves.)

        • TheNuszAbides

          some just want their head patted and tummy rubbed; some eventually figure out how to service themselves.

    • If you are in the minority (as nonreligious people) are it isn’t surprising they would react to the majority. Further, if they believe this majority view to be harmful (or simply false) as most do, it’s also not surprising. It may be a waste of time for some, but given that many believers do change their mind, it can’t be always. In any case many believers do often cite “science” favoring their belief system. However it isn’t simply science but philosophy which comes into play with anti-religious arguments.

    • If a Christian has no interest in defending Christianity, then we’ll talk about something else. It’s only those who declare that science backs up scripture or that I’d be a Christian if only I weren’t closed minded that I will engage with.

    • Ignorant Amos

      It seems to me that, in general, Christians have little interest in, and spend little if any time in, trying to prove the truth of their faith or to provide scientific evidence for their faith.

      You mustn’t get out and about much.

      The evidence contradicts your statement above. The number of apologists coming on this site is enough to refute such an asinine statement. The fact that Christian apologetics is a thing is another.

      Sites like Strange Notions and CARM amongst many others are another.

      Finally, the multitudes of fuckwit holy rolling YouTube videos are another.

      That list isn’t exclusive btw.

      • skl

        “The evidence contradicts your statement above. The number
        of apologists coming on this site is enough to refute such an asinine
        statement.”

        I wasn’t aware of that. I would appreciate it if you would name some of the
        apologists my asinine statement missed.

        • Tommy

          Luke Breuer is one example.

        • Greg G.

          tolpuddle1 is another.

        • Susan

          Ameribear and Ed Dingess. Karl Udy.

        • Pofarmer

          Greg the fake Lawyer. Cody Girl. There have certainly been plenty.

        • A few of them refused to die after being banned. Remember STERILE SCIENCE ATHEIST FAKE and ATHEISTS=FOOLS? And what was the name of the brainwashed homeschooled girl who loved punctuation marks?

        • Greg G.

          C*ndy Sm*th. Apparently if you leave out the vowels of gods and demons you won’t provoke them.

        • Don’t they go away if you say their names 3 times? Maybe that was just Beetlejuice. Or was it that if you get them to say their name, they go away? Maybe that was just that guy with a name full of consonants in the Superman comics.

          Damn these vexing demons!

        • Bob Jase

          htims ydnic, htims ydnic, htims ydnic – did it work?

        • TheNuszAbides

          no, she has to say that.

        • Greg G.

          Lil’ Abner had a character with an all consonant name.

        • Greg G.

          Scooter.

        • Susan

          Steve K. It’s a very long list even if we don’t count the drive-bys.

        • MR

          I’m not entirely convinced that SteveK has left us.

        • Greg G.

          Ameribear?

        • MR

          Hmmm…, possibly. Someone I spoke to recently had his surliness.

        • Ignorant Amos

          James Warren.

        • Susan

          Remember George Watson and all his aliases?

        • TheNuszAbides

          eh, he’s a harmless enough ‘centrist’. some of the ways he seeks to keep us on our toes are rather childish; and I’ve never seen a theist engage with him here, but I haven’t followed him around either.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Yeah, but he is an example of a Christian showing plenty of interest and time in trying to prove the truth of his faith in contradiction to the asinine claim made by skl.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Even Susana Gonzales thinks she is using science in her arguments albeit parroting IDiot articles.

    • Greg G.

      A bit over 20 years ago, a colleague at work began to argue with me everyday about my atheism. Then he told his friends so I was getting hit from all sides. It was a challenge to get any work done. I had just discovered the internet and found some of their arguments and the response to them. I would have two or three questions to shoot back at them that they would have trouble answering. The others stopped asking but the first guy continued for a decade until he took a different shift.

      That’s what got me into debating online.

      He kept trying to change me to the non-changing God but his religion changed instead. The last I heard, he had become a Calvinist. A very intelligent guy but willfully ignorant of science.

      • TheNuszAbides

        The last I heard, he had become a Calvinist.

        it seems the ultimate corner for someone too obstinate to resist painting themselves into. [EDIT: i suppose one could either go full Presup if obsessed with debate, or non-Presup if one is “done arguing” but still needs that loop of self-importance keeping the rational mind in check.]
        Perhaps the end of the diametrically opposed trajectory (still resisting atheism) would be … universalist i guess? no matter how much woo they internally cling to, they’ve pretty much transcended the motivation to (1) argue at all / (2) set themselves apart.

    • eric

      That must be why religious posts on the internet never get more than 20 comments. The Christians are just so uninterested in convincing people their faith is credible!

      • skl

        Yes, of course they’re interested in convincing people their
        faith is credible. But “credible” is a bit different from what my post noted – the
        ‘proof of the truth of their faith’ or the ‘providing of scientific evidence
        for their faith.’ Obviously they find their faith credible, otherwise they
        wouldn’t believe. I just think that, for the most part, they don’t rely on proofs
        and scientific evidence for the credibility.

        • Ignorant Amos

          They’d claim they do though.

        • skl

          If they claim that here on Bob’s blog I’d be interested in
          seeing what they say is their proof or their scientific evidence.

        • Greg G.

          Look for those who cite William Lane Craig, Alvin Plantinga, and CS Lewis for proof by logic and philosophy. None of the apologists who are currently active are citing them, but they often come by.

          Then there are creatards who think they have scientific evidence but they haven’t a clue what science is. They are just told it’s scientific and come here to try out this new-found rhetoric.

        • TheNuszAbides

          this “shucks where are they?” of skl’s, if not an act, is evidence in favor of my Muddle-Head-Rather-Than-Undercover-Theist hypothesis. not as actively oblivious as Gary W., but not much for reading the full comment section in detail over more than a day or two (a problem I end up having when I’ve caught up).

        • TheNuszAbides

          None of the apologists who are currently active are citing them, but they often come by.

          er … hasn’t Scooter tapped pretty much all of them at one point or another? i know it’s usually the Scripture Context game with Scoot, and Fyodor D is probably a more frequent guest than WLC/AP/CSL, but…
          EDIT: further reflection — of course you might have skipped Scoot as particularly viable for skl to examine, since Scoot tends to be far more drive-by-dump-inclined than skl.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Get at it then.

          Well known Catholic apologist in his own circles is Trent Horn, he commented here just 2 days ago to me at…

          https://disqus.com/home/discussion/crossexamined/responding_to_the_minimal_facts_argument_for_the_resurrection_74/#comment-3455790417

          On the following article’s commenting thread…

          http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined/2017/08/responding-to-the-minimal-facts-argument-for-the-resurrection/

          Trent is considered a reasonably articulate semi-big gun and he contributes regularly at Strange Notions…

          http://strangenotions.com/author/trent-horn/

          A few of the regulars here these days got banhammered from Strange Notions about three years ago for showing the place up a wee bit, and embarrassing the believers posting, and those silly arguments the eejits thought were sound.

          Others have been mentioned, some given the bot by Bob for being nothing but a nuisance while bringing nothing to the discussion, some others commenting at the moment, but Trent Horn is about the best of them if you don’t want to mess about with the knuckle draggers. His arguments are just the same as all the rest, no better, but perhaps a bit more refined. He’s yer man.

        • skl

          Thanks. I looked at the first link and the second seems to
          be the source of the first. Trent Horn seems to be proposing as evidence the writings of the first Christians and ancient historians. They would constitute evidence, but they’re not proofs or scientific support.

        • Ignorant Amos

          I looked at the first link and the second seems to be the source of the first.

          Yeah…that’s why in the preface to each link I explained the link. The first was his last comment to me showing he commented as I stated, the second giving the OP. That being, “Responding to the Minimal Facts Argument for the Resurrection”…facts being evidence in some folks eyes.

          Trent Horn seems to be proposing as evidence the writings of the first Christians and ancient historians.

          Uh-huh….ya think?

          They would constitute evidence, but they’re not proofs or scientific support.

          Trent cited the works of two Historian’s, along with the NT and early Christian writers, which he would declare are evidence, I tend to shy away from the word “proof” as much as I can. Some would say that Historian’s are doing science. Now it appears that you and I agree that his argument is neither evidence of based on anything scientific, but Trent would claim otherwise. Part of the remit of this site is to demonstrate the errors of such folly.

          Now the third link is to a place where he posts articles with articles filed under “science” or with tags containing “science”, so he engages on the subject. If you are only interested in those that make specific claims using what you want to define as “proofs” and “science”, then there is any amount of low hanging fruit to be found on this site. It’s not that hard for someone who is internet savvy.

          Here’s a couple of starters for you.

          Paul.

          http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined/2017/07/evolution-crazy-says-man-thinks-earth-created-6000-years-ago-animals-saved-boat-built-600-yo-noah-loving-creator-drowned-everyone/#comment-3429732574

          Scooter and disqus_4oa5swUhvD on…

          http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined/2017/07/why-is-the-universe-comprehensible-2/

          You seem more interested in engaging with atheist rather that getting your sleeves rolled up and getting into the pig pen with those believers that you fear are not out there. I’m guessing you forgot about your Sealioning interaction with a few of the regulars at….

          http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined/2017/07/the-bibles-shortsighted-view-of-the-universe-2/#comment-3427469610

          Your comment …

          It seems to me that, in general, Christians have little interest in, and spend little if any time in, trying to prove the truth of their faith or to provide scientific evidence for their faith. But it does seem to me that, in general, nonreligious people (i.e. atheists) have great interest in, and spend much time in, trying to disprove the truth of the Christians’ faith or to provide scientific evidence against the Christians’ faith. I think the latter are wasting a lot of the latter’s time, because the former don’t seem to base their faith on science.

          Is absolute ballix. You are either very naive, a fake, just pure ignorant, a liar, afraid, or just so fucking lazy as to be abnormal. The latter I’m really not buying because you invest so much in arguing irrelevant nonsense with the non-believers on this site as far as I can see. Maybe you are just a smart Alec Christian trolling? My jury is still out on that one.

        • skl

          If Trent Horn and Paul and some few others here are trying to use science to defend the resurrection, they are exceptions to the rule, my “rule” that
          “It seems to me that, IN GENERAL, Christians have
          little interest in, and spend little if any time in, trying to prove the truth of their faith or to provide scientific evidence for their faith.”

          As for the “ballix…very naive, a fake, just pure ignorant, a liar, afraid, or just so fucking lazy as to be abnormal…trolling”,

          thanks for the research, but I don’t care to discuss this with you further. Your comments are almost constantly caustic. You seem to me like a volcano ready to erupt.

          Your tremors and lava will get no further responses from me.

        • TheNuszAbides

          Your tremors and lava will get no further responses from me.

          that’s nice. we only actually care about your responses to ideas.

        • Ignorant Amos

          How skl could possibly know that Christians, IN GENERAL have very little interest or time trying to prove, is way beyond my comprehension. I’d like to see the eejit support such an asinine assertion.

        • TheNuszAbides

          but they’re not proofs or scientific support.

          unless you think the Vatican librarians are sitting on these because they’re Just Too Good for us swine, or that nobody has shown up at Bob’s repeated-ad-nauseam invitation because he or his regulars or atheists in general are just being too mean or rude or obsessive or demanding or by sheer coincidence asking The Wrong Questions, you might as well get more comfortable with the reasonable conclusion that theists have no proofs* or scientific support for explicitly theist claims.

          or go get cozy in a Thomist retcon rabbit-warren.

          *without circular or specially-pled or question-begging priors.

  • eric

    Fact 3 and 4 and even the ‘bonus fact’ apply to different, contradictory religions (for the bonus fact: producing Mohammed’s body would have been sufficient to show he didn’t ride a horse into heaven).

    So we still have the problem of his “proof” demonstrating the verity of multiple, contradictory, and non-Christian religions.

  • eric

    His enemies in the Jewish leadership and Roman government would only
    have had to exhume the corpse and publicly display it for the hoax to be
    shattered

    To me, this is much more reasonably explained as the Roman government not caring what some small religious sect believes. I could go down street today claiming some tomb in a graveyard is empty because the person in it got up and walked away, and the government isn’t going to exhume the corpse just to prove me wrong.

    • Claimed messiahs and prophets were very common at the time. Josephus describes this, with his mention of Jesus-assuming it’s even partially true, being just one example of many, and far from the most prominent. Why would the Romans bother with this one? They had others to crucify.

    • Kevin K

      The more-reasonable explanation, of course, is that Jesus corpse wasn’t exhumed because it never existed. Jesus was a heavenly figure until Mark turned him corporeal.

      • Michael Neville

        So Jesus wasn’t exhumed because he was never inhumed.

  • GubbaBumpkin

    Consider the Great Disappointment of 1844, … Millerites… Others refused to believe that they’d been following a ridiculous
    interpretation of reality and formed other sects, including the
    Seventh-Day Adventist Church.

    The Jehovah’s Witnesses are also traceable to Millerite roots.

    • That makes sense, as both teach that the end is nigh, and disbelieve in hell.

      • Sophia Sadek

        That is because hell is being a Jehovah’s Witness.

  • I’m sure the snake handlers just say that their faith was not strong enough. The same verse they get this from says believers will be able to drink poison without harm, but few test this. Also there is the promise that believers will perform even greater miracles than Jesus (by the man himself) but that also gets ignored.

    • Kevin K

      This is actually the entire response from the Christian Scientists as to why the members of their little cult die. All sickness and death comes from sin and lack of belief in the magic juju of Yahweh and his baby boy Jeebus.

      I watched my great-grandmother die in agony because she wouldn’t even take so much as an aspirin for whatever it was that was killing her (cancer, I suspect). I’m against religions in general in kind of a “more harm than good” kind of way — but those fuckers I hate.

      • Just one example like this dismisses the tremendous “sacrifice” of Jesus. His agony was over in an afternoon.

      • Yes, that seems to be a common “out” for many faith healing groups. Christian Scientists say you just have to disbelieve this stuff exists, and it will.

        I’m very sorry for what happened.

    • Greg G.

      Those who drink poison do so in small amounts of poisons that one can develop a resistance to. They don’t do heavy metals that accumulate in the body. At least, they don’t do it for long.

      Mark 16:18 likely comes from Luke 10:19. Luke follows Mark’s outline until chapter 10 where it follows topics from Deuteronomy for Jesus’ journey to Jerusalem until Luke 18:15 which goes back to Mark’s outline. Deuteronomy 1:1-8 recalls the events in Numbers 21:4-9 (i.e. Deuteronomy 1:6a “The Lord our God spoke to us at Horeb…”). That is about a stick with an image of snakes on it. If anyone was bitten by a snake and looked at it, they would not die of the snake bite.

      • MR

        I’ve spent the last few years building up an immunity to iocane powder.

        • Bob Jase

          Inconceivable!

        • Michael Neville

          You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

        • Giauz Ragnarock

          You beat me to it! Prepare to die!

        • Michael Neville

          Sorry, I only have five fingers per hand. I’m not the droid man you’re looking for.

        • Giauz Ragnarock

          He’s not the man I’m looking for…

        • Greg G.

          Dammit, MR. I tried very hardly to not put a Princess Bride reference in there. Let me explain… No. There is too much. Let me sum up.

        • MR

          Frankly, I was wondering about that. Seemed an unforgivable slip that I couldn’t let go by. Try not to stress over it, though. If you haven’t got your health, then you haven’t got anything.

        • Greg G.

          I’m just mostly dead.

        • Tommy

          At first I read that as:

          I’ve spent the last few years building up an immunity to cocaine powder.

        • MR

          One would expect such addictions from us hardcore atheists, wouldn’t one? About the only thing I’m addicted to is a nice M.L.T., where the mutton is nice and lean and the tomato is ripe….

      • Yes. I’d call that “cheating” myself.

        I forgot about the sympathetic magic there. Not unlike the part where Jacob mates goats in front of certain plants so their kids have the same markings.

  • Kevin K

    Yeah, none of that comes even close to what’s needed to establish the resurrection as a real event.

    The one, the only definitive proof of the resurrection would be the reappearance of the risen Jesus, with all of his magic powers intact. Absent that … tell it to the hand.

  • epicurus

    I read Habermas’ book years ago and I believe he admits it sure would be nice if we had some kind of letter from a synagogue to Paul to actually confirm Paul’s position and authority to chase down Christians, because all we have is Paul’s description of who he was. That was about the only place in the book where I thought Habermas was at least making some effort to not let his faith drive his conclusions. Did you (Bob) come across this sentence in his book? I took it out of the library when I read it, so I don’t have the book now to go check.

    • No, I don’t remember any letter confirming Paul’s authority. The problem is; I can’t see how that would’ve been preserved to the present day.

      • epicurus

        Right, he was just wishing there was one at some point in his book. But there were lots of forgeries and manipulations, so even a letter “discovered” would probably be suspect.

      • Bob Jase

        Oh, it was mimeographed (no copiers then) and saved in the many original copies of the gospels.

        • Greg G.

          Maybe it was saved somewhere to a 5¼ floppy. Those are ancient.

        • Didn’t they have clay-tablet USB drives back then?

        • Greg G.

          Yes, with ASCII hieroglyphics.

        • No, you’re thinking of Roman times. For Sumerian/Babylonian I’m pretty sure it was BCD or EBCDIC.

        • Greg G.

          Now you are really dating yourself, old man.

        • I’ve always felt that 8-bit character sets were for sissies.

        • Greg G.

          When I was in the Air Force, we used to send information about the manifest of cargo on a plane via a card deck in Hollerith code. We eventually got a refrigerator sized modem so we could send information to certain bases.

        • MR

          Clay-tablet USB drives were pretty advanced in my day, we were still using discs.

          http://www.crystalinks.com/phaistosdisc400.jpg

        • Sophia Sadek

          At least you guys had discs. All we had was papyrus tape.

        • TheNuszAbides

          we were evicted from our papyrus tape. we had to go live in a tally stick!

        • Sophia Sadek

          You tell that to kids these days and they won’t believe you.

        • GubbaBumpkin

          I used to have an 8″ floppy drive. They were even floppier.

        • Greg G.

          Remember when people used to keep their boot disk on the filing cabinet next to the computer, held there by a magnet and wondered why it kept getting corrupted?

        • TheNuszAbides

        • TheNuszAbides

          no, you’re thinking 8″.

          mind outta the gutter

        • Pofarmer

          Just the other day my sister and I were trying to remember what they called the old school ink copiers. Mimeographs! thank you, thank you, thank you.

        • Greg G.

          I used to hate the smell of mimeograph ink in the morning. It smelled like Pop Quiz.

        • TheNuszAbides

          we only had “ditto[ machine]s” at my elementary schools.

      • Greg G.

        The problem is; I can’t see how that would’ve been preserved to the present day.

        It could have been lost in the mail. You never know when one of those letters will turn up. He could have left it at Qumran or thrown it away in Oxyrhynchus.

      • Greg G.

        Bob, the format of Patheos changed suddenly. The color of links is the same as regular text from what I saw but that was from doing a page search for http. Are there some settings available to you for style? I noticed that different pages had different color links that went with the color scheme.

        • Apparently a link is now bold and underlined, not colored.

          I’m not sure what’s customizable. Like the real God, the Patheos gods will explain all in their own good time.

        • adam

          Recent post list seems to be missing.

          Or am I missing something?

        • Yes, you’re missing something–the recent post list!

          I’m missing the Search (in this blog) tool. And my Cross Examined banner.

          Let’s give it a few days to stabilize.

        • Greg G.

          I’m missing the Search (in this blog) tool.

          Hover over the magnifying glass icon in the tool bar. It searches Patheos, or so it says.

        • Right. And I want to search just this blog.

        • GubbaBumpkin

          That’s a magnifying glass! For several months now I’ve been thinking it was the letter ‘Q’
          thx

        • Greg G.

          Today, it looks like a staple.

        • Cozmo the Magician

          IKR, i clicked the Q hoping for an exploding pen and an ejection seat for my car… nopes.

        • Max Doubt
        • Michael Neville

          Bob, please explain to the Patheos powers that be (1) if it ain’t broke don’t fix it, (b) they’ve actually broken some stuff like recent posts and banners, and (iii) there are things that need fixing in Patheos, like disappearing comments, and they should fix those things instead of “improving” what does work.

        • Greg G.

          I have notice that when you go to a link in Disqus, it goes to the top of the page as it should but is covered up by the tool bar at the top.

          But on the plus side, the main column is wider.

        • TheNuszAbides

          that’s a huge plus for me. it also makes c&p reformatting so much easier to do in a single edit.

        • Greg G.

          Copy the text below to Notepad and save it as an html file and give it any name. Windows doesn’t care if it ends in “.htm” or “.html” In Chrome, right-clicking the time stamp allows you to open the link in a new tab or window. With Internet Explorer, you have to right click on the person’s name.

          EDIT: Try it now. Anything copied below before the 19 minute mark was wrong. I think I got everything to look right at that point.

          Recent Comments on Cross Examined

          function rightnow(D){
          var a, d
          D = D || new Date()
          d = ”
          a = D.getMonth() + 1
          d += (a < 10 ? '0' : '') + a + '/'
          a = D.getDate()
          d += (a < 10 ? '0' : '') + a + '/' + D.getFullYear() + ' '
          a = D.getHours()
          d += (a < 10 ? '0' : '') + a + ':'
          a = D.getMinutes()
          d += (a < 10 ? '0' : '') + a + ':'
          a = D.getSeconds()
          d += (a < 10 ? '0' : '') + a
          return d}

          <a href=”http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined/#recentcomments” target=”new25recentcomments”><b>Cross Examined Recent Comments</b></a><a href=”http://mail.google.com/mail/?hl=en&tab=wm#inbox” target=”reccomm5″><b>Gmail</b></a>document.write(rightnow())

          Recent Comments on Cross Examined

        • Greg G.

          Except the link to the Recent Comments on the CrossExamined home page has been deprecated by Patheos.

        • Susan

          .

          Edited Greg G’.s code out because my eyes are falling out of my head.

          Hope to find time to take it up tomorrow.

        • I’ve been told that much will be improved by tomorrow morning.

        • Max Doubt

          “I’ve been told that much will be improved by tomorrow morning.”

          Reading this comment, and the little accompanying notation that says “11 hours ago”, I’m guessing you mean “tomorrow” the same way as the sign posted up on the wall behind the bartender that says “Free Beer Tomorrow”.

        • Pofarmer

          I am not loving the new Non-religious home page. Like, at all.

        • Michael Neville

          That’s like when the White Queen tries to hire Alice as a maid in Through the Looking Glass:

          “I’m sure I’ll take you with pleasure!” the Queen said. “Two pence a week, and jam every other day.”
          Alice couldn’t help laughing, as she said, “I don’t want you to hire me – and I don’t care for jam.”
          “It’s very good jam,” said the Queen.
          “Well, I don’t want any today, at any rate.”
          “You couldn’t have it if you did want it,” the Queen said. “The rule is, jam tomorrow and jam yesterday – but never jam today.”
          “It must come sometimes to ‘jam today’,” Alice objected.
          “No, it can’t,” said the Queen. “It’s jam every other day. Today isn’t any other day, you know.”

        • GubbaBumpkin

          Were you promised that by some guy who believes Jesus is coming back any minute now?

        • Pofarmer

          Lol.

        • Michael Neville

          It’s tomorrow evening and it still isn’t fixed. We still don’t have recent posts (which I miss very much) and banners.

          I’m trying to figure out what the half-open wire basket on the right side of the screen is supposed to represent. Is it symbolic, metaphoric, allegorical or is it there to puzzle the viewers?

        • Remember the banner across the top with the escaping bird? The wire basket is an attempt to replicate that. The banner is gone, replaced on every blog by the small named banner that you see. If your screen is big enough, you can see the bird and the cage. (Though if your screen is not big enough, it’s only confusing.)

          http://crossexaminedblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/header-reflect-lo.jpg

        • Pofarmer

          The new home page SUUUUCCCCCKKKKKKSSSSSSS. You can’t read the titles of the articles. argh.

        • Michael Neville

          I haven’t decided if the new format sucks or if it blows. Possibly it does both simultaneously.

        • Maybe we’ll all come to love it in a few weeks? he asked hopefully.

        • MR

          Oh, Lord, you said that about…, what was it…, World Table?

        • Pofarmer

          I don’t think you’re supposed to say the name.

          I hope they don’t do another half assed rollout – oh, wait…………

        • MR

          Shit. Good point. Fixed.

        • Pofarmer

          L*l.

        • Pofarmer

          I think the disapearing comments are probably, disqus, and not Patheos.

        • epicurus

          Change for the sake of change! I like reading PC Mag’s cantankerous contributor John C. Dvorak and in this article he’s ripping Google for degrading readability of it’s news service for no good reason:
          https://www.pcmag.com/commentary/354865/the-webs-big-problem-change-for-the-sake-of-change

        • Pofarmer

          No recent comments, either.

        • Greg G.

          They could put up a separate page for each blog for recent comments like the one I posted. The options could be selectable by the user for the number of comments shown and the number of characters previewed per comment.

        • Greg G.
        • Kevin K

          I am NOT loving this redesign.

        • Pofarmer

          This blows.

        • Kevin K

          They did not beta test this with actual-and-real users.

        • Pofarmer

          Nor did they, I imagine, ask anyone what they actually wanted.

        • Greg G.

          I haven’t checked any of the religion pages. Maybe we are the guinea pigs beta test.

        • Kevin K

          Yeah, I think the followers of the more-conservative pages are going to have kittens and conniptions.

        • Greg G.

          We are acting like old fuddy-duddys.

          I expect that the most hits they get are from frequent commenters. I think they should accommodate us. I hate it when I try to reply on my phone and have to scroll to the bottom to get it to the regular site.

        • Pofarmer

          I’ve been called an “early adopter” I don’t consider myself a fuddy duddy. Change is fine, but breaking something in the name of change, eh????? I’m dealing with a similar thing right now on a local fair board. Dammit Greg this might actually lead to an interesting conversation.
          Here’s the back story. I sit on a local 4H fair board. I’ve been on the board for 8 years. I’ve been President of Vice President rotating for the last 8. This is to be my last two year term as President, ending in October. I intend to stay on the board. I tend more liberal, and less controlling, at least that’s how I see myself, although we made some large changes 6 years ago and those have calmed out now to the point where new members on the board don’t know anything about them. I mean changed the fair around to a very large degree. Totally rescheduled something that had been static for 20 years. Anywhoo, the new members coming on tend to be quite a bit more religious, and a lot more conservative than I am. They basically want to sneak in a back door dress code because they think some of the girls at the sale were dressed inappropriately. No one else seemed to notice. Basically, they are wanting everyone to wear the same fair T-shirt for shows and the sale. Oh, the sale is the last night of the fair, when local buyers buy 4H members animal projects. They want to do the Pledge of Allegiance and the 4H pledge before the sale. This has never, to my knowledge, ever been done. Another local fair started it and they thought it was cool. I think it wastes a lot of time It’s going to add 10-15 minutes to an event that already goes over 2 1/2 hrs in MO, in Aug, in a barn that’s open to the outdoors. And you’ve got the logistics of getting 110 kids into the sale arena and just doing it, and then getting them all back to what they were doing to get the sale going. I think it’s just a delay that’s unnecessary. So, I”ve been asking myself. Am I opposed to this because I think it’s genuinely unnecessary? Am I opposed to it because I simply don’t want to see the way that “I’ve” been doing it changed? Am I opposing it because I think there’s a religious motivation behind it that I probably can’t prove? Do I need to just back off and let things happen and try to guide? Do I need to back clear out? I mean, none of this is clear cut stuff.

          So, there, now I’ve gong completely of track and atheo/narcissist.

        • Michael Neville

          Tell the other board members that the sale already goes over 2½ hours, the kids get fidgety towards the end, and you want to keep the time down.

        • Pofarmer

          It’s not that the kids get fidgety, it’s that they buyers get hot and start leaving.

        • Jack Baynes

          A sale? As in, you sell stuff? Why would you start that with a pledge of allegiance?

          Trying to imagine Black Friday shoppers stopping to say the pledge before trampling each other…

        • Greg G.

          Trying to imagine Black Friday shoppers stopping to say the pledge before trampling each other…

          With liver tea and just ice for all.

        • Kevin K

          If you’ve never been to a county or state fair, it’s quite an event. These kids spend MONTHS hand-raising their animals, grooming them to look just perfect in advance of the fair. And there is judging to see which animal is the best, which of course any kid would be proud to know that they raised the best animal. And then, the animals are auctioned off and SLAUGHTERED!!! Clarence the Bull becomes USDA Prime rib eye.

          Oh yes, there are tears. Lots and lots of tears. Of course, some of these animals fetch a price worth a year’s worth of college (community) or more. And sometimes, the buyer gives the animal back to the kid (but my bet is that eventually, Clarence becomes hamburger, because … well … farming).

          One of my first reporting gigs out of college was to cover the state fairs, and especially the beef auction. Photos of the kid, the buyer, and the pre-hamburger were mandatory.

        • wtfwjtd

          Your saga reminds me of a story my wife told me recently. Her sister, who is now a retired school teacher (she taught 2nd or 3rd grade in small-town MO), noted casually in a conversation that she had to remove a poster of the Ten Commandments from her classroom. Mind you, she’s highly religious, so…what happened? A parental complaint? A threat from a local secular group? No, and no. She said they, and I quote, “clashed with the decor.”
          Lol! My opinion of her up-ticked after that. I’ve always admired her honestly, but she hit that one out of the park. Maybe not in the way she thought, but… still, I’ll take it.
          So, I would advise you to be honest when talking to the locals. You make some good points without having to make it a religious discussion, and I’d leave it at that.

        • TheNuszAbides

          I’ve been called an “early adopter”

          the weight that carries depends entirely on who said it 😉

        • Michael Neville

          I just went to the Christian Evangelical section. They’re cursed with the same thing we are.

        • Greg G.

          It seems that Disqus is loading much faster than it used to. If only that damn menu bar didn’t block the top of what you want to respond to.

        • Jim Jones

          Could it be? I don’t know . . . Satan??

        • TheNuszAbides

          damn! disconfirming the targeted ghettoization hypothesis.

        • epeeist

          They did not beta test this with actual-and-real users.

          I am not convinced they even alpha tested it.

        • Michael Neville

          They don’t seem to be listening to complaints about it either.

        • MR

          Make it stop, it’s scaring me.

        • Greg G.

          I still haven’t dared to open up anything on my phone.

        • Pofarmer

          What the hell. I’ll give it a go.

        • Pofarmer

          Good instinct. That didn’t go well. At. All.

        • Greg G.

          I am using the cell phone now. It’s not so bad. I like it better so far.

        • Pofarmer

          It completely locked up my Galaxy s5

        • quinsha

          I can click on the dropdown button and on nonreligious now. The problem is I get Mormon and Progressive Christian on the page that comes up, even though it is titled nonreligious.

        • Greg G.

          I bet an Evangelical staffer did that.

    • smrnda

      Paul might be an early example of the ‘self loathing Jew.’ I suspect that there was influence to be made in this new ‘Christianity’ thing. I mean, think of what a Jewish convert would be to Christians now – they’d be the talk of the whole town.

      • epicurus

        Yes, imagine if Richard Dawkins suddenly walked into a Church and said “I’m a beliver now, I’ve had a vision and Jesus spoke to me.” Pure gold talk of the town. That is, until, he started to tell the higher ups they are wrong, and his visions are what the church should now follow.

    • Ignorant Amos

      I was just re-reading an article on Vridar this morning that suggests it is an interpolation.

      Paul the Persecutor: The Case for Interpolation

      http://vridar.org/2014/12/20/paul-the-persecutor-the-case-for-interpolation/

      • epicurus

        Interesting, Thanks!

    • Jack Baynes

      I guess Paul didn’t plan for the future church to treat his letters as scripture or even historically interesting, so didn’t bother to keep any record of the context.

      • epicurus

        That’s a problem with the entire very early church – it was an apocalyptic movement that thought everything would be over in a few years or at most a decade or so. Paul thought this as well. So there was not much motivation to start to set up a system of records and evidence. I wonder how different Paul’s letters – at least the ones we have, I’m sure he wrote more that have not survived- would have been if he knew that thousands of years later people would be reading and pouring over every word and even wondering who he was. He was so sure the end was any day or month, I’m sure his head would explode to find out two thousand years later things were still rolling.

        • Pofarmer

          If he knew that 2000 years later people would be reading his stuff it seems he wouldn’t have been an apocalyptic. ;o)

        • epicurus

          haha that’s right!

        • Jack Baynes

          I have to wonder, did Paul see his letters as being the inspired Word of God? I find that unlikely. How did Christians come to the conclusion that they were?

        • Pofarmer

          Well, Paul certainly thought his revelations, or visions, or whatever where inspired. Would he have considered his letters as inspired? I dunno, since you’re talking about letters about his made up theology. So, maybe?

        • Kevin K

          I would think he would have been every bit as inspired as Joseph Smith, or Mohammed, or L. Ron Hubbard.

        • epicurus

          Inspired as in the same level as what we call the Old Testament, I dont know. But he definitely thought his instruction to the churches was authoritative and that he was speaking for God on many occasions (such as 1 Cor 7:10-11).
          I would imagine later Christians came to the conclusion that his writings were inspired because he was considerd an apostle, and all writings ( that were considered legitimate and not forgeries) by apostles came to be viewed as scripture and therfore inspired.

        • Kevin K

          I wonder why, then, they haven’t kicked out the known forgeries out of the canon?

        • epicurus

          You mean now, in modern times? I doubt it will ever happen. WAAAAAYYYYY too much tradition and history and security in something having been around so long. Heck, look at the reverence some people still give the King James Bible and elizabethan english. It kills me when modern 21st century people still translate ancient greek expressions like “know yourself” into “know thyself”
          In the early Church they did know and dismiss many of the gospels, epistles, and apocalypses that were floating around. I’m not trying to say they made the right choices in what they did use, and there was controversy over some books like Revelation that still got in anyway, but they did use some discernment – although not enough in my opinion.

        • Kevin K

          Well, of course people are invested in the KJV. After all, that’s the language Jesus spoke…right? 😉

        • Bob Jase

          Verelly & forsooth!

        • Bob Jase

          It took centuries of debates, wars and mutual persecution for Christian authorities to realize that “Because we said so didn’t carry the authority of “Because god said so”.

        • Greg G.

          2 Peter 3:14-16 (NRSV)14 Therefore, beloved, while you are waiting for these things, strive to be found by him at peace, without spot or blemish; 15 and regard the patience of our Lord as salvation. So also our beloved brother Paul wrote to you according to the wisdom given him, 16 speaking of this as he does in all his letters. There are some things in them hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other scriptures.

          2 Peter may have been written by someone who was raised on Paul’s letters.

          Then there is 1 Timothy 5:18 which cites scripture:

          1 Timothy 5:18 (NRSV)18 for the scripture says, “You shall not muzzle an ox while it is treading out the grain,” and, “The laborer deserves to be paid.”

          The second quote is Luke 10:7 so 1 Timothy thinks Luke is scripture. The first quote is Deuteronomy 25:4 but 1 Corinthians 9:9 quotes that verse so 1 Timothy might be calling 1 Corinthians scripture, too.

        • Kevin K

          Isn’t 2 Peter pseudepigraphy?

          Edit: Wow my fingers are NOT working this morning. Took me SIX TRIES to type “Isn’t”

        • Greg G.

          Well, at least you are much better at typing “Isn’t” than you were. How many tries did it take to get “pseudepigraphy”?

          Isn’t 2 Peter pseudepigraphy?

          Yes, but it still gives us information of what early Christians thought. That it was accepted as canon tells us other Christians accepted it, too.

          Most of the Bible is false but it tells us what they thought and believed back then, with insights in how they came to believe it.

        • Kevin K

          Ha! I got pseudepigraphy right the first try!

          I guess my point is that people might take 2 Peter as being written by … you know … Peter. That is, someone who actually was purported to have seen, lived with, shat (spelling correct) next to, and all the rest.

          That’s a lie that I would not like to see perpetuated. We have no … zero … direct evidence from people who allegedly knew the alleged Jesus. Gospels, epistles, or otherwise.

        • Greg G.

          But even if the Peter of the gospels and Paul’s epistles wrote that Paul’s letters were scripture, it is still a meaningless term that just sounds profound.

        • Kevin K

          Yes, true. It’s attempting to confer some special status to the written word by declaring it to be “scripture”.

          “Scripture” is just a word declaring that some saying had been written down somewhere. Doesn’t mean anything other than that — certainly not “whispered into someone’s ear by the creator of the universe, who doesn’t like two guys fucking.”

        • TheNuszAbides

          exegesis … hermeneutics … *gag*

        • TheNuszAbides

          about as deeply significant as script-urea.

        • Otto

          But…But….God spoke DIRECTLY to HIM…Paul said so himself!

        • TheNuszAbides

          i guess i can see why apologetics don’t generally own up to this:
          (1) they seem to mostly appeal to contented middle-class milquetoasts (like, the people who can afford to (or at least are in the habit of) buying books, whether or not they actually read them)
          (2) opening the End-Is-Nigh can of worms is for jerking the chains of people who are already pretty firmly convinced they’re on the right side of the War for Minds & Souls; they only need a Harold Camping type for occasional focus, not a Lewis type for the cognitive-dissonance lullaby.

      • Jim Jones

        Why didn’t he write a book? It seems to me that he just ran his scam in his lifetime, never thinking it would last 2000 years.

    • Pofarmer

      It would be nice if we had some historical verification of Paul’s existence, period.

      • epicurus

        Yes, at least letters claiming to be by him are a start – with Jesus you don’t even get that.

        • Greg G.

          Were Homer’s works really written by Homer or were they written by somebody else named Homer?

        • epicurus

          I told that joke at a cousins party, and her 20 something children thought – wait for it, you know what’s coming- I was making a non sensical Simpson’s joke.

        • MR

          Back in the day when a certain political entity was made up of different countries…, you were allowed to stay in a country for six months from the date of your passport visa stamp. But, if you left the country and came back, you could stay for another six months from the new date. Some of us took advantage of this technicality by visiting another country for the weekend. Once, I was stopped by the local police who looked at my passport and said I had overstayed my visa. I pointed to the stamp in my passport that showed I had gone to another country before the six month mark was up. “Yes, but you don’t have the entrance stamp showing that you came back in.” I looked him square in the eye and said, “But, I’m here.” He couldn’t beat that logic, and handed my passport back. Biggest bluff I ever pulled.

          I have no idea what that has to do with your comment, but for some reason, your comment reminded me of that.

      • TheNuszAbides

        i remember looking him up in the previous edition of Jewish Encyclopedia, and not being surprised that what little was there didn’t match up too much with any of the Xian narratives i grew up with; not sure how to go about digging for it again, but the updated entry seems substantially different from what little I recall — especially the plethora of N.T. references! at least compared to the entry on Christianity-as-related-to-Judaism, which of course has a massive theological chip on its shoulder, Saul’s has a solid opening:

        The records containing the views and opinions of the opponents of Paul and Paulinism are no longer in existence; and the history of the early Church has been colored by the writers of the second century, who were anxious to suppress or smooth over the controversies of the preceding period, as is shown in the Acts of the Apostles and also by the fact that the Epistles ascribed to Paul, as has been proved by modern critics, are partly spurious and partly interpolated.

        it proceeds to indicate that Eusebius was making shit up about Paul’s pedigree, that the epistles betray no Hebrew influence (calling Gamaliel a “mild Hillelite”) but rather Hellenic (further torpedoing the pseudointerfaith trope of “Judeochristian”). also there’s this bit:

        There is possibly a historical kernel to the [road to Damascus tale] … According to the Acts, Paul was a young man charged by the Sanhedrin of Jerusalem with the execution of Stephen and the seizure of the disciples of Jesus. The statement, however, that, being a zealous observer of the law of the Fathers, “he persecuted the Church unto death,” could have been made only at a time when it was no longer known what a wide difference existed between the Sadducean high priests and elders, who had a vital interest in quelling the Christian movement, and the Pharisees, who had no reason for condemning to death either Jesus or Stephen. In fact, it is derived from the Epistle to the Galatians, the spuriousness of which has been shown by Bruno Baur, Steck, and most convincingly by Friedrich Maehliss

        http://jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/13232-saul-of-tarsus

        (dig it, these writers still say “Mohammedanism”)

  • epicurus

    Last night I was doing some searches to try to track down a quote from Habermas’ book I read years ago and I came across this story about another claim of his that made me shake my head at the, I dunno what to call it, naivety? dishonesty?, of Habermas and the person who wrote the story. Lots of claims with no evidence, even trying to make it sound like Bart Ehrman is now “open” to believing in the resurrection.

    http://www.christianpost.com/news/a-generation-of-skeptics-are-open-to-the-resurrection-gary-habermas-says-127906/

    • Otto

      I would say dishonesty fits the best. Yes there are critics that accept some of the evidence that Habermas and others use, they do not accept the conclusions that Habermas and others come to regarding the evidence (and I am being generous by calling it evidence). They are being disingenuous in how they report it in an apparent attempt to claim they are winning the critics over. It is really rather shitty but it is what I expect from Christian authorities concerning the fine details that they attempt to brush over. In sales it is called a bait and switch.

    • Bob Jase

      That was a pretty evidence-free link.

      • Otto

        It said just enough to be able to back up the basic claims and not enough to be able to back up the implied claims.

        Same as it ever was.

      • epicurus

        Totally. I subscribe to Ehrman’s blog, and I’m tempted to send him the link to see what he says, but on the other hand, what could he say, there are just bold claims with nothing to back them up.

  • Sophia Sadek

    Paul was more of a troll than a follower of Jesus. He and his followers did everything in their power to undo the work of Jesus.

    BTW, it appears you misspelled dunk (see “A slam-dung argument”).

    • That was an attempt at wit. A supposed slam-dunk argument that sucks–what do you call that? I’m guessing slam-dung. Or maybe a reference to chimpanzees throwing poo.

      • Sophia Sadek

        As long as it was not an allusion to the Reverend Sun Dung Moon.

        • Michael Neville

          One of the North Vietnamese generals during the First and Second Vietnamese Wars was Văn Tiến Dũng. He planned and commanded the 1975 Spring Offensive, the final PAVN offensive that defeated South Vietnamese defenses and captured Saigon.

        • Greg G.

          When we visited Can Tho, near the turn for the street our hotel was on was the My Dung Cafe. I knew it wasn’t but what could you say if they pointed out that it said so right on the sign.

          I do know that a “D” without a bar across the vertical straight line is a soft “D”, not the hard “D” sound in English.

  • “Fact 3: The church persecutor Paul was suddenly changed: Paul was an enemy of the church but became a persuasive theologian and prolific church builder. His belief came from first-hand experience, and his martyrdom was documented by six sources.

    But what of this could only be explained by an actual resurrection? …”

    Good question!

    Unlike the inner circle of twelve disciples, Paul never laid eyes on the historical Jesus. Paul did NOT see Jesus get crucified, and Paul did NOT see Jesus die on the cross. Paul was in no position to IDENTIFY the glowing figure who appeared to him in his (alleged) conversion experience. Even if Paul could somehow identify this heavenly figure as being the Jesus who had been an itinerant preacher in Palestine, Paul had no direct knowledge of Jesus’ death by crucifixion, so Paul could NOT KNOW that this figure who appeared before him had previously been a dead corpse on a cross. Paul could only believe that he was seeing Jesus, and he could only believe that this person had previously died on a cross; Paul could not KNOW either of these things.

    Furthermore, suppose that Jesus did exist as an historical person, and suppose that Jesus was crucified in Jerusalem, and suppose that Jesus really died on the cross, and suppose that Jesus really did appear to Paul on the Damascus road. That would explain Paul’s conversion, but it would NOT imply that Jesus had “risen from the dead”.

    In particular, it would not imply that Jesus body was buried in a stone tomb and came back to life less than 48 hours after he was buried. Jesus could have died, gone to heaven, and then appeared to Paul as a spirit or angel. That would explain Paul’s conversion but would not involve a physical resurrection.

    Alternatively, Jesus could have remained a dead corpse in a tomb for a couple of years, then came back to life, and appeared to Paul on the Damascus road. In that case Jesus would have risen from the dead, but all of the other alleged eyewitnesses of Jesus’ resurrection would be LIARS, since Jesus would have been dead long after Easter Sunday.

    There are many possibilities both natural and supernatural that fit the conversion experience of Paul but that don’t support the Christian story about Jesus rising from the dead on Easter Sunday.

    • Ignorant Amos

      Unlike the inner circle of twelve disciples, Paul never laid eyes on the historical Jesus.

      And according to Paul, the inner circle of twelve apostles only knew Jesus in the same way as Paul knew him, through revelation and scripture.

      Paul had already been preaching Jesus for three years before going to Jerusalem and meeting other believers. One would think that had he thought there was anyone living that personally knew the guy, it would be high on the to-do list and get along to get the lowdown from a horses mouth so-to-speak.

      It was the much later gospel writers that put the label “disciple” on the apostles and transformed them into pupils as opposed to messengers and made the report of them “seeing” Jesus risen as an actual real life event. The coming apocalypse prophecy failing to be fulfilled, some fancy foot work was needed.

  • “Fact 4: James the brother of Jesus was changed.”

    As you point out, the evidence for the martyrdom of James is problematic. We don’t know the details of James’ conversion, and we don’t know for a fact that he even claimed to have seen the risen Jesus. Paul does NOT say that James saw the risen Jesus on the first Easter Sunday, or even shortly after that. James might have had a vision of the risen Jesus a year or more after the alleged crucifixion of Jesus, just like what happened to Paul.

    Even if we grant all of these questionable assumptions, that James converted and claimed to have converted after seeing the risen Jesus soon after the crucifixion of Jesus, and that James died as a Christian martyr, it does NOT follow that James died for his claim to have personally seen the risen Jesus, nor even that he died for the belief that Jesus had physically risen from the dead. We have no details about what James had to say shortly before he was killed (assuming he was killed).

    The one somewhat dubious source that attributes significant verbiage to James during his martyrdom, has James proclaiming that Jesus was the Christ (i.e. the Messiah of the Jews), and that Jesus was in heaven “sitting at the right hand of the Great Power [i.e. God]”. That is a proclamation of faith in Jesus as a divine savior, but such a belief does NOT require that one believe that Jesus had physically risen from the dead. A heavenly Jesus could be viewed as a spirit or angel or as a person who received an immortal body in heaven, as opposed to in a stone tomb on earth.

    We don’t know what James said or believed in the last moments of his life, so we don’t know that (assuming he was a Christian martyr) he died for the specific belief that Jesus had physically risen from the dead and appeared in new immortal body to James.

  • “Fact 5: The tomb was empty.”

    One problem with the “empty tomb” story is that the male disciples of Jesus, who were the supposedly the first preachers of the resurrection of Jesus, could NOT KNOW that the tomb of Jesus was empty. According to the Gospels, Jesus was buried by women who were followers of Jesus, not by his male disciples. So, the disciples had no direct knowledge of where Jesus was buried (assuming that Jesus was in fact buried as the Gospels claim). So, if one or more of Jesus male disciples was taken to a tomb and told “This is where Jesus body was placed”, they could personally see and verify that the tomb in front of them was empty, but they would have to take someone else’s word for the tomb being the one in which Jesus body had previously been placed. So, (a) the disciples did NOT know that Jesus had died on the cross (because they were not eyewitnesses of Jesus’ crucifixion), and (b) the disciples did NOT know that Jesus body had been placed in a specific tomb (because they were not eyewitnesses of Jesus’ burial), so Jesus inner circle of male disciples could NOT KNOW that (a) Jesus died on the cross, or that (b) Jesus tomb was empty on Easter Sunday.

    Another problem with the empty tomb story is that there is good reason to believe that the disciples fled Jerusalem and headed back to Galilee when Jesus was arrested. The Gospels give conflicting accounts on this question. The earliest Gospel (Mark) indicates that the disciples went into hiding, and then left Jerusalem heading for Galilee BEFORE seeing the risen Jesus. Matthew also gives the impression that the disciples left Jerusalem and saw the risen Jesus for the first time in Galilee, not in Jerusalem. Scholars have to choose between the historicity of Mark and Matthew accounts on the one hand and Luke and John accounts on the other on this issue, and many side with Mark and Matthew over Luke and John, particularly in view of Luke’s clear shaping of his narrative in relation to geography, and in view of the general lack of historical credibility of the gospel of John.

    So, if the disciples fled Jerusalem when Jesus was arrested (or shortly after that) and headed for Galilee before having experiences of the risen Jesus. then the Easter Sunday stories are likely fictional or highly embellished, and the inner circle of Jesus male disciples had no direct knowledge about the empty tomb.

    • Ficino

      Good stuff in your comments on 3, 4 and 5. I hadn’t thought before about whether the disciples fled to Galilee when Jesus was arrested. Explains some stuff.

      But it’s not true that the gospels have Jesus buried by women. Both in the synoptics and in John, it’s Joseph of Arimathea who buries the body – assisted by Nicodemus in John. Two of the women watch and see where the tomb is, but they are not supervising or conducting the burial.

      In addition, Mark says that along with the women present during Jesus’ crucifixion were many others who had come up with him (from Galilee, I suppose) to Jerusalem. I should think this gives an apologist room into which to insert at least one male disciple. and There’s the beloved disciple in John, present at the crucifixion.

      • “But it’s not true that the gospels have Jesus buried by women. Both in the synoptics and in John, it’s Joseph of Arimathea who buries the body – assisted by Nicodemus in John. Two of the women watch and see where the tomb is, but they are not supervising or conducting the burial.”

        Thank you for the correction.

        According to the Jesus Seminar scholars, Joseph of Arimathea “was a Markan invention” (see The Acts of Jesus, pages 159 to 161). Also, it seems unlikely that a prominent and wealthy Jew would be touching a dead body, especially just prior to the Sabbath. Coming into contact with a dead body made a person ritually impure. A wealthy man could have had his servants perform the burial, and then be given the credit for doing what his servants actually did. But if Joseph was a fiction, and if Jesus was in fact buried in a tomb, then the most likely hypothesis would be that some of the women who were followers of Jesus performed the burial. It is also quite possible that there was no burial at all. The Jesus Seminar concluded that the “burial is a fiction” in the gospel of Mark (see p.161).

      • “In addition, Mark says that along with the women present during Jesus’ crucifixion were many others who had come up with him (from Galilee, I suppose) to Jerusalem. I should think this gives an apologist room into which to insert at least one male disciple.”

        What passage in Mark are you talking about? In my New Revised Standard Version, I only see mention of women at the crucifixion: “There were also women looking on from a distance; …and there were many other women who had come up with him to Jerusalem.” (Mark 15:40 & 41)

        Comment by Jesus Seminar on Mark’s account of Jesus’ death:

        The only item in the Markan account of Jesus’ death that has any claim to historical veracity is the presence of women followers at his execution. …Even so, the mention of the women watching is tenuous in view of one of the psalms of lament, Ps 38:11: “My friends and companions stand afar from my affliction, those closest to me stand at a distance.” The scene may have been suggested by that psalm, but also by the memory that the women alone remained behind when the male disciples fled at Jesus’ arrest.(Acts of Jesus, p.158)

        The gospel of John is mostly fictional, and the crucifixion scene in John pretty clearly is fictional. Comments by Jesus Seminar:

        Aside from the notice that some of the women were present at the crucifixion in v.25, the Johannine version of Jesus’ death, like the other gospel versions, is the product of imagination laced with scriptural allusions.(Acts of Jesus, p.439)
        …Nichodeumus is a Johannine fiction. (Acts of Jesus, p.439)
        The Johannine version [of Jesus’ burial], like those found in the synoptic gospels and Peter, is most likely the product of the Christian imagination.(Acts of Jesus, p.440)

        • Ficino

          Ah, I should have read Mark 15:41 in Greek. Yes, the “many others” are feminine. My Catholic translation just says “many others” w/o a gender signal.

          I think John is mostly fictional, too – along with lots of other Bible stuff. I was just trying to talk about what the texts say.

    • Greg G.

      The earliest Gospel (Mark) indicates that the disciples went into hiding, and then left Jerusalem heading for Galilee BEFORE seeing the risen Jesus.

      It doesn’t even say that in the earliest version of the earliest gospel.

      • Right. The original version says very little about the resurrection of Jesus. The main passage is this:

        As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man, dressed in a white robe, sitting on the right side; and they were alarmed. But he said to them, “Do not be alarmed; you are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has been raised; he is not here. Look, there is the place they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him, just as he told you.” (Mark 16:5-7)

        This passage implies that Jesus had already left town early Sunday morning, without visiting any of his followers. So, this passage implies that there were no appearances of the risen Jesus in Jerusalem on Easter Sunday to any of his followers, and that the first appearances of Jesus took place in Galilee. Since Galilee was several days away, when travelling on foot, the first appearances of Jesus probably took place in Galilee a week or more after the crucifixion. If so, then the resurrection appearance stories in Luke and John are either fictional or highly inaccurate (because they are either way off on timing or way off on location).

        • Ignorant Amos

          There in lies the problem.

          Mark 16:8 has the women make off and saying nothing to anyone.

          And they went out quickly, and fled from the sepulchre; for they trembled and were amazed: neither said they any thing to any man; for they were afraid.

          So how did the author of Mark glean the info in verses 5-7 that he records? Unless it is just a made up story.

          Mark’s narrative as we have it now ends as abruptly as it began. There was no introduction or background to Jesus’ arrival, and none for his departure. No one knew where he came from; no one knows where he has gone; and not many understood him when he was here. ~ Richard A. Burridge, “Four Gospels, One Jesus? A Symbolic Reading”

        • John Thomas

          Few apologists argued with me on that point when I brought it up saying that the young man saying that he is going ahead of them to Galilee where they will see him, is an allusion to the post-resurrection appearances. Just because Mark didn’t report it does not mean that it did not happen. But my response, was that it would be assuming that those were the exact words said. How about if it is the case that there was something said about Galilee and it was the words reported by Luke: “He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee.” (Luke 24:6). If those were the words that were originally said, then there won’t be even any allusions to post-resurrection appearances.

    • Wow. Great points. I’d never thought about that.

    • And this fits in well with the apologists’ insistence that having women witnesses to the resurrection was embarrassing, so therefore true. If the male disciples really couldn’t believe women back then, their obvious rebuttal–“Yeah, but the women, who were as much a part of the community as any of the men, could’ve been trusted to fill in the gaps”–dribbles away.

      • Greg G.

        And this fits in well with the apologists’ insistence that having women witnesses to the resurrection was embarrassing, so therefore true.

        But being afraid to tell is how women would have been perceived so it would be natural for Mark to end the first gospel written about the story. Why else did nobody write about it for 40 years? (Maybe it took that long to figure out that the Messiah wasn’t coming as soon as expected.)

        • TheNuszAbides

          some communities presumably needed a dose of liquidmythological courage after the loss of Temple 2.0.

      • Luvin’ it

        Here’s a better question though why not make the number bigger if you’re going to lie? Why not 1,000 or 5,000?

        • 1000 or 5000 what?

          Anyway, I’m not saying anyone lied.

        • Ignorant Amos

          You don’t think 500 is a big number? Maybe it was only actually five that claimed an “appearance” and the 500 is a lie…or exaggeration. It’s not as if there were folk about to travel from Corinth to Jerusalem to fact check, they don’t have any names for starters. By the time the gospels are getting wrote, most folk from the 30’s would be toast. Paul even said many were toast by the time he’d written the epistle. So not much point in bothering to hunt any of the vision seer’s down.

          You must know the inherent problem with over exaggeration, no? The greater the exaggeration, the less likely the story will be believed.

          Haven’t you been told a billion times not to exaggerate?

        • Luvin’ it

          Paul wrote in the 50’s that’s impossible. Even atheist scholars agree with that

        • He wrote in the 50s, so therefore … what?

        • Luvin’ it

          He was writing in the 50s and the creed from 1 Corinthians 15:3-8 goes back to within 5 years of the cross according to highly respected atheist scholars

        • Debatable, but that doesn’t answer the question. So what?

        • Luvin’ it

          It’s virtually settled unless you’re Richard Carrier or Bob Price which again lends credibility to my assertion (that you have yet to deny) that you’re a Jesus mythicist.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Demonstrating your ignorance on a number of level’s and your inability to want to learn anything.

          Richard Carrier believes it goes back to Paul’s conversion…you’d know that if you’d bothered to read the link.

          https://disqus.com/home/discussion/crossexamined/responding_to_the_minimal_facts_argument_for_the_resurrection_2_of_2/#comment-3529700037

          Unless you are lying.

          Bob Price believes it too be interpolated. Bob Price is a theologian. His position on the creed is not mythicist.

          Believing that the creed dating is debatable, has bugger all to do with the historicity of Jesus.

          You are putting yourself at risk of the banhammer by continually trying to shoehorn Bob S into a pigeon hole he is not.

          Define what you claim is the mythicist position first, because until you do, you might find that there are definitions that many would fall into, but would deny the label.

          Most rational mythicist’s are agnostic on the subject. That’s not to say 50/50, but just that the evidence is not conclusive to say for certain. This is where Ehrman’s folly lies. He is irrationally certain, but just can’t make his case.

          Raphael Lataster lays out his position well in his book, “Jesus Did Not Exist: A Debate Among Atheists”.

          http://www.raphaellataster.com/books/

          Try and learn a wee bit on the topic you are going to engage in before engaging, it will save your embarrassment of getting egg on your face.

        • Greg G.

          You are putting yourself at risk of the banhammer by continually trying to shoehorn Bob S into a pigeon hole he is not.

          That already went down.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Ohhhhpps..time…delay?….maybe.who cares…???

        • Ignorant Amos

          And even atheist’s that you wouldn’t respect too.

          At least some of it…but where does it originate from?

          How much does not originate back to 5 years of the alleged cross incident?

          Dating the Corinthian Creed

          https://www.richardcarrier.info/archives/11069

          The fact remains that it wasn’t written down until the 50’s…and we have no original autograph and the earliest mss copy is mid fourth century…no doubt corrupted.

          Btw…some highly respected atheist scholars and a Christian atheist, believe it is not from within 5 years of the cross fiasco.

          https://depts.drew.edu/jhc/rp1cor15.html

          http://www.egodeath.com/FalsifiedPaul/DeteringChapter3.pdf

          None of which gives any veracity to the details in the creed.

        • Ignorant Amos

          What’s impossible?

          That by the time he was writing in the 50’s many of those 500 were dead?

          If the mysterius 500 had a vision of Jesus within 5 years of the alleged crucifixion and Paul was writing 15-20 years later in 54 CE, given that the average life expectancy in first century was abut 29 years, then it is a fair assessment to conclude many of those unnamed 500 would be toast. By the time Mark was being authored just abut all could be regarded as dead…certainly by the end of the century and into the second century when Matthew, Luke, and John was being put down on papyri…none of this 500 would be not kicking up the daisies…that’s if the 500 isn’t a literary motif for a fuller effect. Which is most probable.

          A person’s wealth, greatly impacted their life expectancy as well. Historian, J.D. Crossan, concluded that the life expectancy for the average man in the 1st century Palestine, was 29 years.

          This is supported by other scholars…

          Q: You quote the historian J.D. Crossan, who concluded that the life expectancy for men at that time was 29 years. I was amazed that it was so short.

          A: Well, Crossan is basing this on ages that he finds recorded on tombs, or from bones that were found. And, if you calculate all the numbers, you will get that early age. But that’s not to say that there weren’t many people who lived long lives. I think you also have to keep in mind the very, very high infant-mortality rate, which is going to bring the number way down. The number had the same effect on me that it had on you. Which is to say: It means that people didn’t live nearly as long as they do now. And also, that people died very young. Many died very young.

          Talking about Scott Korb’s book, “Life in Year One: What the World Was Like in First-Century Palestine”…, his subject is not the life of Jesus, but rather the way in which his neighbors lived if Jesus had been “the kind of person who had neighbors.”

          read more: http://www.haaretz.com/jewish/books/questions-answers-a-conversation-with-scott-korb-1.264080

        • Greg G.

          If Cephas had come up with a theory of a person dying for sins from scripture and told somebody everyday about it but could convince only one in thirty, in a year, he would have the Twelve, and each of them did the same once they were convinced, and they also convinced one person per month, in about three years, there would be 500 other followers.

        • Pofarmer

          I suppose that actually, kinda, sorta makes sense.

        • Ignorant Amos
        • Greg G.

          Actually, I forgot the part that the appearance to the 500 was at the same time, so that part is wrong. Maybe Cephas and the twelve started preaching to a crowd at the temple who listened for a while and some said they believed it so they made the assumption that the whole crowd did, a la The Lady of Fátima where the reports are that 70,000 people saw the sun dancing, drawn from a small sample who went along with it.

        • Pofarmer

          I dunno. I don’t think I’m gonna get that far into the speculative well. Lol.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Of course. I’m not doubting the math. It seems commensurable to the growth of Mormonism in that respect.

          So, Christianity may have grown from about 1,000 believers in 40 C.E. to about 5-8 million in 300 C.E. – just 260 years. That would require a growth rate of 40% per decade, as shown by this table:

          But the steady increase of Christian number is not what is being debated here. First, Paul writes that the appearance to the 500 brethren happened at once. Seems a bit fanciful that there just happened to be this figure of 500 having a mass vision at once. Or claiming to anyway. Not out of the question of course, but I would expect such a thing to be big news, like the Miracle of Fatima, but there is very little evidence of such.

          But did Paul actually write it? Carrier thinks perhaps not.

          Yes, maybe Paul’s letters are a forgery. But that’s very unlikely. Yes, Paul added at least one line (verse 8, appending his own conversion years later to the original). But the first three lines certainly are original components of the sect’s founding creed (written in non-Pauline style). Yes, the text may have become corrupted (I suspect verse 6 originally said something like, “then he appeared to all the brethren together at the Pentecost” and not “then he appeared to more than five hundred brethren at once”; and verse 7 looks like a post-Pauline scribal addition, as it breaks the logic of the sequence and is too redundant, just repeating the same information already conveyed in verses 5 and 6, since everyone who saw Jesus was already an apostle and James the pillar was already one of the twelve: see Empty Tomb, pp. 192-93). But the essential elements of the creed (especially verses 3 to 5), even if we have to account for some transmission error (in verses 6 and 7), still dates to the sect’s origin. It’s what distinguishes Christianity from any other sect of Judaism. So it’s the only thing Peter (Cephas) and the other pillars (James and John) could have been preaching before Paul joined the religion. And Paul joined it within years of its founding (internal evidence in Paul’s letters places his conversion before 37 A.D., and he attests in Galatians 1 that he was preaching the Corinthian creed immediately thereupon: OHJ, pp. 139, 516, 536, 558).

          But my point with Luvin’ it is more about whether the 500 is a lie, exaggeration, literary device to make an impact, an interpolation, and the fact that no one could’ve even checked it out for veracity, even if they’d want to, because not only were no names provided, but everything being equal some/many would be dead by the time the Corinthian Church were reading their letter. In my opinion, if the 500 was original to the document, it was to add gravitas to the authors authority more than anything else. A kind of name dropping approach.

        • Luvin’ it

          Literacy rates are lower now than when all schools were Christian and taught by classical standards so sorry for you

        • epeeist

          Literacy rates are lower now than when all schools were Christian

          Citation required. Also, you need to show a causal warrant for your implied claim that taking Christianity out of schools lowered literacy rates.

          After you do that then it might be an idea for you to explain why some of the highest ranked countries for the PISA tests are not Christian…

        • Luvin’ it

          Look at literacy rates before 1950 compared to today. More people could read them than now. That was when Christian prayer was apart of the classroom and most Americans went to church etc.

        • adam

          The number of people who can not read continues to go up, largely
          because of the flow of millions of Spanish-speaking people who flow
          across the southern borders from Mexico.

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/7123c548a1342e2d1779d51809c0ce85d82e0551dcde5fa0f6496d68284963dd.jpg

        • Luvin’ it

          Evidently you are also illiterate.

        • adam

          No you are just so stupid.

        • Luvin’ it
        • adam
        • Luvin’ it

          Two words…Darwins doubt

        • adam
        • Eight words: No one gives a shit what Darwin said.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Well maybe just a wee bit.

        • True. My point (which i’m sure went over his tiny head) was that Darwin’s writings are now in the bin “History of Science.” Important indeed to know where we came from, but no one today checks their findings against the Great Man’s thoughts to make sure they’re doctrinal.

        • Greg G.

          Two words…Darwins doubt

          A whole bunch of words from people who know what they are talking about:

          Darwin’s Doubt
          On 18 June 2013, HarperOne released Darwin’s Doubt: The Explosive Origin of Animal Life and the Case for Intelligent Design.[40] In this book, Meyer proposed that the Cambrian explosion contradicts Darwin’s evolutionary process and is best explained by intelligent design.

          In a review published by The Skeptics Society titled “Stephen Meyer’s Fumbling Bumbling Amateur Cambrian Follies”,[41] paleontologist Donald Prothero gave a highly negative review of Meyer’s book. Prothero pointed out that the “Cambrian Explosion” concept itself has been deemed an outdated concept after recent decades of fossil discovery and he points out that ‘Cambrian diversification’ is a more consensual term now used in paleontology to describe the 80 million-year time frame where the fossil record shows the gradual and stepwise evolution of more and more complicated animal life. Prothero criticizes Meyer for ignoring much of the fossil record and instead focusing on a later stages to give the impression that all Cambrian life forms appeared abruptly without predecessors. In contrast, Prothero cites paleontologist B.S. Lieberman that the rates of evolution during the ‘Cambrian explosion’ were typical of any adaptive radiation in life’s history. He quotes another prominent paleontologist Andrew Knoll that ’20 million years is a long time for organisms that produce a new generation every year or two’ without the need to invoke any unknown processes. Going through a list of topics in modern evolutionary biology Meyer used to bolster his idea in the book, Prothero asserts that Meyer, not a paleontologist nor a molecular biologist, does not understand these scientific disciplines, therefore he misinterprets, distorts and confuses the data, all for the purpose of promoting the ‘God of the gaps’ argument: ‘anything that is currently not easily explained by science is automatically attributed to supernatural causes’, i.e. intelligent design.

          In his article “Doubting ‘Darwin’s Doubt'” published in The New Yorker,[42] Gareth Cook says that this book is another attempt by the creationist to rekindle the intelligent design movement. Decades of fossil discovery around the world, aided by new computational analytical techniques enable scientists to construct a more complete portrait of the tree of life which was not available to Darwin (hence his “doubt” in Meyer’s words). The contemporary scientific consensus is that there was no “explosion”. Cook cites Nick Matzke’s analysis that the major gaps identified by Meyer are derived from his lack of understanding of the field’s key statistical techniques (among other things) and his misleading rearrangement of the tree of life.[43] Cook references scientific literature[44] to refute Meyer’s argument that the genetic machinery of life is incapable of big leaps therefore any major biological advancement must be the result of intervention by the ‘intelligent designer’. Like Prothero, Cook also criticizes Meyer’s proposal that if something cannot be fully explained by today’s science, it must be the work of a supreme deity. Calling it a ‘masterwork of pseudoscience’, Cook warns that the influence of this book should not be underestimated. Cook opines that the book, with Meyer sewing skillfully together the trappings of science, wielding his credential of a Ph.D. (in history of science) from the University of Cambridge, writing in a seemingly serious and reasonable manner, will appeal to a large audience who is hungry for material evidence of God or considers science a conspiracy against spirituality.

          From a different perspective, paleontologist Charles Marshall wrote in his review “When Prior Belief Trumps Scholarship” published in Science that while trying to build the scientific case for intelligent design, Meyer allows his deep belief to steer his understanding and interpretation of the scientific data and fossil records collected for the Cambrian period. The result (this book) is selective knowledge (scholarship) that is plagued with misrepresentation, omission, and dismissal of the scientific consensus; exacerbated by Meyer’s lack of scientific knowledge and superficial understanding in the relevant fields, especially molecular phylogenetics and morphogenesis. The main argument of Meyer is the mathematically impossible time scale that is needed to support emergence of new genes which drive the explosion of new species during the Cambrian period. Marshall points out that the relatively fast appearance of new animal species in this period is not driven by new genes, but rather by evolving from existing genes through “rewiring” of the gene regulatory networks (GRNs). This basis of morphogenesis is dismissed by Meyer due to his fixation on novel genes and new protein folds as prerequisite of emergence of new species. The root of his bias is his “God of the gaps” approach to knowledge and the sentimental quest to “provide solace to those who feel their faith undermined by secular society and by science in particular”.[45]

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stephen_C._Meyer

          Someone recently pointed out that this book reached #7 on the NYTimes bestseller list. I saw that it debuted at #7. If the poster was correct, then this books popularity dropped right away. A book with an organization behind it will sometimes pre-order lots of copies of a book to give it an artificially high rank on bestseller lists so they can make the brag about the rank, even if it barely sold any other books.

        • epeeist

          That was when Christian prayer was apart of the classroom and most Americans went to church etc.

          Nobody had launched satellites in the 1950’s, ergo the fall in literacy is due to the increasing number of satellites we have in orbit.

          You are aware of course that as the amount of nuclear power generated in the US has increased so have the number of people drowning in swimming pools. I really think we ought to be concerned about this.(Yes this is a spurious correlation).

        • Greg G.

          When I was a kid, my parents used to get a “World Book” (or something like that) every year, a collection of articles that documented history for the previous year. The book for 1960 or 1961 had an article about decline all the things Christians tell us began with prayer being removed from schools, but these complaints were already there before teacher-led prayer was banned. Those complaints were comparing rates to around the time when “In God We Trust” was required on our money.

        • Ignorant Amos

          No answer then…just unsubstantiated bullcrap. Figures.

        • Luvin’ it
        • Was that deliberate lying or inadvertent? You found different sources that define illiteracy differently and mixed them. Honest people don’t do that (but perhaps I’ve answered my own question).

          The table in your own source shows a fairly steady decline (I’m looking at the Total column). 1950 was 3.2%, and 1979 was 0.6%.

          https://nces.ed.gov/NAAL/lit_history.asp

        • Luvin’ it

          In that table and then today it’s considered a “crisis” we’ve “progressed” to more illiteracy under modern school systems

        • Ignorant Amos

          Wise ta fuck up…only where religion has any influence is there a crisis ya moron.

          In secular or irreligious areas, education and literacy thrives.

          http://worldtop20.org/2017-world-best-education-systems-1st-quarter-report

        • epeeist

          About 20 percent today and in 1950 it was about 3 percent

          Let’s accept those reports that you link to. Now, where is the argument that this is due to the fall in the number of “Christian schools”?

          Oh, and you don’t seem to have responded to my comment about high ranking non-Christian schools for some reason.

        • BlackMamba44

          When were all schools Christian and what were the “classical standards”?

        • Ignorant Amos

          Nope, never…but Christian fuckwits even today think they are the centre of the universe…egotistical arsewipes.

        • Ignorant Amos

          That’s not true am afraid….ya don’t get to invent your own facts.

        • Ignorant Amos

          I’m sure you think that has some relevance to the conversation at hand, but it hasn’t, so pah!

        • adam
    • Pofarmer

      Or the whole thing is a device to explain to the listeners why they had never heard the story before.

  • Ficino

    A bit off topic, but picking up on stuff said below… what about liars for Jesus? I Timothy purports to be written by Paul. It says that liars and perjured persons are condemned by the law, as well as “malakoi” and “arsenokoitai” (different types of fags?).

    Again at I Tim 4:2 the author talks about hypocritical liars.

    But all biblical scholars except outright fundies say that this epistle is not by Paul.

    So the author is a liar.

    So either the author is going to hell along with fags like me or none of us is going to hell.

    • Greg G.

      I have been looking at 1 & 2 Corinthians and I think they are mixtures of letters. Some of 1 Corinthians looks a lot like 1 Timothy. Maybe pages of Paul’s letters that had been hand-copied by the Pastoral author were on the desk along with the his own letters. Maybe he died and a gust of wind blew the letters all over the place. Then the person who had to clean up knew the Pauline letters were valuable but didn’t know how to put them together. Some think the letter mentioned in 1 Corinthians :9 might be 2 Corinthians 6:14-7:1. The Severe Letter mentioned in 2 Corinthians 2:3-4 and 2 Corinthians 7:8 might be 2 Corinthians 10-13.

      1 Corinthians 8:1-13 and 1 Corinthians 10:23-11:1 seem to be a continuous message while 1 Corinthians 10:18-22 sets up a pattern of exhortation, question, and a response to the question in the same metaphors but the third response is found at 1 Corinthians 11:30-31, meaning you can see a clear interpolation seam, including the above fragment, some Pastoral-like stuff. The Eucharist bit at 1 Corinthians 11:23-26 looks like Luke’s version of the story.

      So maybe several letters got combined into a few and the leftover intros and closings got tacked onto the Pastoral material.

      So it may been an honest but inept mistake.

      • Ficino

        Maybe. Or maybe a squirrel came in through the window and carried off some of the pages. I had a kid give that as an excuse for
        no homework once.

        I’m not trying to be nasty. But forged epistles were rampant in the ancient world. Easy to create, and a market for them. Won’t most biblical scholars talk about the unity of these compositions? The author of I Timothy claims to be Paul. Apparently he was not. I call that forgery. And forgery is a species of lying.

        • Greg G.

          I agree with you. But I was reading some speculation on a James Tabor page with some reconstructions of 1 Corinthians and I had looked at the missing letters a while back. I just happened to be thinking about this today and had that thought earlier so when you asked the question, I just tossed out that brainstorm.

          Most of 1 Corinthians 10 and 11 are about food. Right in the middle of that seam is 1 Corinthians 11:2-16 which goes off into haircuts and stuff. 1 Corinthians 11:8 and 12a refer to the significance of the order Adam and Eve were created, like 1 Timothy 2:13. 1 Corinthians 14:34-35 seems out of place in Paul’s writings and it seems to be molded from 1 Timothy 2:11-12, so both of those appear to come from the same part of 1 Timothy.

        • epicurus

          There is also a 3rd Corinthians that didn’t make it into the Bible, it might be interesting to check that out.

        • Greg G.

          Thank you. I haven’t thought about that one in years and had forgotten about it.

      • I heard Richard Carrier say in passing that these “letters” were far longer than the typical letter of the time and agreed that some sort of amalgamation was likely.

        • Luvin’ it

          Wow there ol’ Bobby goes again quoting one of his mythicist heroes

        • There goes Luvin’ it again with no argument but still a desire make some words.

      • TheNuszAbides

        Some think the letter mentioned in 1 Corinthians :9 might be 2 Corinthians 6:14-7:1.

        missing digit?

        • Greg G.

          Corrected. Thank you.

      • james

        https://youtu.be/WzebwRf32CA

        tony costa argues that the reason why paul modified the creed by omitting the women was because,

        “of his Corinthian audience” and “they would dispute him on that point”

        so nobody in Corinth, according to costa, would know about the women witnesses?

        even if paul said that peter verified the claims of the women , Corinthians would still dispute him?

        even though there were 500 other witnesses? when matthew included the women being the first to discover the tomb, everybody accepted womens testimony in matthews time?

        • adam

          Paul never met Jesus…

          “even though there were 500 other witnesses? ”

          Give us the names of these 500….

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/62da10177de8c12d9feedf1a0ff3d448ed929feef887a1192640edb3a8a15953.jpg

        • james

          i don’t believe there were 500 witnesses. what i am saying is that if there were 500 witnesses, why would paul not mention the women visiting the tomb, there were 500 witnesses .

          tony costa says that paul modified the creed and deliberately did not include the women because of Corinthian audience. i don’t buy costas claims.

          costa said :
          “of his Corinthian audience” and “they would dispute him on that point”

          my point was, EVEN with alll those 500 hundred witnesses, his claims would be disputed?

        • adam

          ” why would paul not mention the women visiting the tomb, there were 500 witnesses .”

          Why does Spiderman have ‘spidey sense’?

          It’s a STORY

          “EVEN with alll those 500 hundred witnesses, his claims would be disputed?”

          Just like with SO MANY MOVIES, how can anyone doubt that Spiderman can crawl walls?

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/ca9775db9e9cd1970bf86b87154c7eefb1c8db8ce2eaba244aeb12366eb5f5c9.jpg

          Why is a ‘loving’ Jesus so hard to find?
          Could it be he is JUST dead?
          Could it be that he is JUST IMAGINARY?

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/38a372d179f379b51cdb5f1c227e4a5bd6dd543347d09566c2aedd943b72e754.jpg

        • Luvin’ it

          Thats because you don’t want to understand ancient cultures or contexts

        • Yes, it is odd that women are central to the gospel passion narrative but ignored by Paul.

          The claim of 500 witnesses doesn’t count for much, particularly since the gospel authors either didn’t know about it or didn’t think enough of it to put it in their books.

        • james

          “The claim of 500 witnesses doesn’t count for much”

          yes i agree, but i am just talking about christian apologists like jp holding who say that the people in corinth would have “checked the evidence” by asking some from among the 500. if this is the case, then doesn’t this refute costas claims that mentioning women would mean that
          “they would dispute him on that point”?

        • Luvin’ it

          500 is a number based on male attestation BUT assumes women and children were present. Most likely the number of actual witnesses was double probably around 1000 or so

        • james

          where is your proof for “but assumes women and children present…” ?

          can you at least identify 50 of these eyewitnesses ? okay, identify just 20

        • Luvin’ it

          Those in the 1st century could because this creed goes back to within 2-4 years of the cross according to atheist scholars such as Gerd Ludemann and Bart Ehrman

        • james

          2-4 years is a LONG time. who exactly went to find out that women discovered the tomb first?

        • Luvin’ it

          The women told the men to go investigatecit after they saw it

        • james

          that is a lie. mark says clearly they did not say anything because they were afraid. maybe they opened their mouth 40 years later ?
          think about this. marks knows that the women met jesus NEAR the tomb , but he thought “they said NOTHING to anyone for they were afraid ” was more important to report to his audience?

          mark knew that the women REPORTED TO peter, but he decided to bullshit his audience by saying “they said nothing to ANYONE ” ?

        • adam
        • Greg G.

          Mark says the women were afraid to tell.

        • Luvin’ it

          And?

        • Greg G.

          That is the end of the story. Mark is fiction. The other gospel have the same fictional stories Mark wrote. The other authors had no more actual information than Mark so they are also fiction.

          Matthew relies on Josephus’ Antiquities of the Jews, which was written in the mid-90s, for the nativity story. Luke relies on Josephus even more than Matthew and also on Josephus, so those gospels are no earlier than the end of the first century.

        • Bob Jase

          Are those the same women the gosple says told no one?

        • adam

          The VERY same.

        • Greg G.

          Mark ends before that. That’s inconvenient for Christianity, which is why they needed other gospels to try to replace Mark.

        • Greg G.

          The “creed” goes back to when Paul made it up from Isaiah 53:5-8 (died), Isaiah 53:9 (buried), and Hosea 6:2 (rose on the third day).

        • Luvin’ it

          Oh my that’s a stretch nice try though are you that desperate to explain a prophecy away?

        • adam

          Prophecy is IMAGINARY, like God and Spiderman

        • Luvin’ it

          Nope those ade prophecies

        • Greg G.

          Paul says it was “according to the scriptures”. He says he got his gospel from the scriptures, and specifically says he got nothing from human sources, and we can tell he means it because he never says anything about Jesus that is not found in the Old Testament. Are you calling Paul a liar?

        • Luvin’ it

          Meaning the Gospels were already in circulation

        • Ignorant Amos

          Your claim is that Paul wrote his stuff 2-4 years after the alleged events, yet you think the gospels were already in circulation, getting wrote for Christian communities as far afield as Rome?

          Not even the most ultra conservative fundies I seen believe that kind of mind wamkery.

          Yep…you are as dumb as fuck as they come.

        • Luvin’ it

          That’s not what I meant. I meant Paul quotes from Luke and Luke quotes from Mark indicating an early dating

        • Ignorant Amos

          Don’t talk ballix.

          You haven’t a clue, have you?

        • Greg G.

          Paul never quotes from Luke. I think 1 Corinthians 11:23-25 was interpolated by Mark but there is an obvious interpolation seam when you see the pattern of 1 Corinthians 10:18-22 continued at 1 Corinthians 11:30-31.

        • Baby_Raptor

          “Getting wrote”? Embarrassing.

        • Ignorant Amos

          I’m sure you think you have a good reason why you think it is embarrassing. Care to share it?

        • Baby_Raptor

          That fact that you need me to explain it to you is even more embarrassing.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Homour me…point out the problem so I can learn from my grammatical error…go on, if you can.

          But before ya go making a cunt of yerself, I’m Irish, so you will need to account for colloquialism’s before the lecturing commences ya trolling arsehole.

          wrote:- past tense and dialectal past participle of write.

          https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/wrote

          wrote:- a simple past tense of write.

          http://www.dictionary.com/browse/wrote

          written:- a past participle of write.

          http://www.dictionary.com/browse/written

        • Baby_Raptor

          I don’t care what third world toilet you’re from. English is English. You sound like an asshole doing a bad pirate impersonation.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Now who is being an embarrassment dickhead?

          I don’t care what third world toilet you’re from.

          More retarded fuckwittery. The United Kingdom is a first world country. So is Ireland dufus.

          http://www.nationsonline.org/oneworld/first_world.htm

          And you should care. It might save you getting egg on your face the way you have been here.

          English is English

          Is it fuck? Ya imbecile. Do you know anything, or is the pain from your knuckle’s dragging along the ground, so distracting that it has what little of a brain you have too numb to think?

          https://learningenglish.voanews.com/a/six-difference-between-britsh-and-american-english/3063743.html

          You sound like an asshole doing a bad pirate impersonation.

          Spoooiiing!

          Says the man that comes from the country which bastardised the English language.

          Keep going though, your imbecility is good craic.

        • Baby_Raptor

          It’s still you, asshole. Go work on your act. It sucks.

        • Ignorant Amos

          And….you’ve still got nothing a see?

          Just childish trolling…figures.

        • Baby_Raptor

          Again, you’re just an embarrassed asshole. If using the word troll makes you feel better, so be it. The fact remains, you’re a clown. It must be exhausting to write all that schtick out before making a comment.

        • Ignorant Amos

          *yawn*

        • Baby_Raptor

          Thanks for proving my point. As soon as I call you out on it, the schtick disappears. What a coincidence.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Called me out on what ya prick?

          It is me that is calling you out on your bullshit and you that is refusing to respond. For fuck sake, do you practice at being so asinine with just the one head?

          What a Dime Bar you are…two armadillo’s.

        • Baby_Raptor

          Your family must hate you.

        • adam

          And you sound like a bad pirate doing an asshole impersonation.

        • Baby_Raptor

          That sounds like your typical fag Friday night.

        • adam

          I dont have ‘fag Friday night’

          Quit coming on to me.

        • Baby_Raptor

          You changed it up to “Cocktober”. A twink like you can’t get enough.

        • adam

          Not me.

          Seems youre fantasizing again.

        • adam

          “A twink like you can’t get enough.”

          Funny, thats what your daddy says about you.

          Seems all too true, you just keep coming on to me like you cant help yourself.

        • Baby_Raptor

          You’re sweating. Homo.

        • adam

          Nope, Im not sweating.

          And quit coming on to me like you cant help yourself.

        • Kodie

          I recognize your name as someone who isn’t such a fucking asshole, so I reported you for impersonation.

        • You’re done.

        • Kodie

          Man are you uptight as fuck.

        • Greg G.

          I think he is saying that Christians started repeating the claim 2 to 4 years after until it became a creed of some sort and Paul wrote it down later. That what some scholars say but I doubt Luvi nitwit comprehends it exactly.

          Those so-called creeds are references to Old Testament verses. Paul may have preached them so often that they ended up that way in his writing but they are consistent with how Paul refers to Jesus.

        • Ignorant Amos

          So the clown reckons there was a 2-4 year gap where no one was repeating the creed, then some one invented it, then it was repeated for about 20 years until Paul decided that the folk he was addressing his letter to, needed reminding? All makes perfect sense now.

        • Greg G.

          Their theory is that they were talking about it so that the word spread until a succinct way of phrasing it that was easy to remember came along, which became an unofficial creed. Since we can identify the scriptures mentioned in the “according to the scriptures”, it could be something like that but it doesn’t have to be about a crucifixion, just what they read.

          The “2 to 4 years” relies on analysis with an emphasis on the first four letters.

          I suspect Paul’s letters to churches contain a lot of what he happened to be preaching wherever he was at the time he wrote.

        • adam

          “so that the word spread until a succinct way of phrasing it that was easy to remember came along”

          With little to no regard for truth.

        • Greg G.

          I think they weren’t saying that Jesus had appeared to them in person. They thought the Suffering Servant in Isaiah was an actual person who died and got resurrected. Those reading it as their friend Jesus dying and rising in three days is reading the gospels back into the epistles. Why interpret the epistles in terms of later fiction?

        • adam

          I agree with your post.

          One of the major elements of story telling is exaggeration.
          I took a memory class in college, exaggeration was the KEY element in remembering.

          We now attend Tellabration – http://www.tellabration.org/

          Storytelling doesnt work if no one remembers the story.

          Stories are ‘mythic’ in nature, it is not the story that is important it is the ‘metaphor’ that needs remembering.

          My take is that the word spread because people remembered it, not anything to do with factual representation of events, obviously.

          These guys believed justice would be served in their lifetimes.
          And hyperbole too often times work.

          Hence, prophecy is to be created where only metaphors existed.

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/c8d01ed1b9f53173e882c769fa69e63c3584d87fd6bca730bcd98beca9e5c76c.jpg

          It seems as though they, like modern evangelicals and fundies, they forgot it is the metaphor that is the purpose of the story.

          Not truth.

        • Baby_Raptor

          I see you’re a bore on a variety of topics.

        • adam

          Yeah, so quit coming on me.

          Still not interested

        • Baby_Raptor

          Lol. “Coming on you”. Freudian slip. Homoboy.

        • adam

          No, I understand what you are doing in front of your monitor in your fantasies.

        • Bob Jase

          Meaning the OT was already in circulation. Damn but you are a stubborn jackass.

        • Greg G.

          Many people think Christians are stupid. It is people like you who give that impression to them.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Along with the other half of the double act, Baby_Raptor….a proverbial Beavis and Butthead duo.

        • adam
        • adam

          “can you at least identify 50 of these eyewitnesses ? okay, identify just 20”

          So your answer is NO

        • Ignorant Amos

          Continuing in that long established religious tradition of pulling made up shite from outta yer arse.

        • Luvin’ it

          You think female attestation was valued in the 1st century?

        • Ignorant Amos

          Scholars cleverer than you and I, that know about this stuff, certainly do.

          Ultimately, Holding has not demonstrated that the admission of women into the Church or its core traditions presented any obstacle to its actual scale of growth in its first hundred years or beyond. His claim that women were widely devalued as witnesses is false. Both Gentiles and Jews trusted the testimony of women, both in and outside the courtroom. And his assumption that Christians would sooner have invented a male visit to the empty tomb is unjustified: such a place in the story had no bearing on the Gospel itself, every element of which was based on the testimony of men; the prominent and important role women played in the success of the Church, especially women of means and station, would have strongly urged including women in the story, especially when their role was not crucial and conformed perfectly to the expectations of their society; and Mark had strong and evident reasons to specifically place women and not men in his empty tomb story–which is the first anyone appears to have heard of an empty tomb, much less any role of women as witnesses, long after the Church had already spread throughout the Empire. Finally, there is no evidence Mark’s gospel, or the story it contains, was ever used to win converts in the first hundred years, and no evidence either Mark or his story were widely known even within the Church itself in that period. Ditto for Luke-Acts. Therefore, there is no sense in which having women in the Church or its founding myths would have presented any difficulty for the original Christian mission.

          https://infidels.org/library/modern/richard_carrier/improbable/women.html

          Anyway, we are not talking about all women in the first century, the story refers to followers of Jesus, allegedly. Those women were certainly valued.

          Even your fellow Christians acknowledge their importance.

          Women were the last disciples at the cross and the first at the empty tomb. they remained integral to the work of the church in its early centuries. Catherine Kroeger scours historical data to compile an impressive collection of stories about noteworthy women in the early church.

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

          The Women at the Tomb: The Credibility of their Story

          http://richardbauckham.co.uk/uploads/Accessible/The%20Women%20&%20the%20Resurrection.pdf

          Deborah was a judge, among other things.

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

        • Greg G.

          You think female attestation was valued in the 1st century?

          Yes, it was. But in Mark, they are afraid to tell, which might well be believable, but the verses after that appear to have been added later. The other gospels copied most of Mark but they had to make up accounts to add to that.

        • Luvin’ it

          What’s your source for a posit8ve affirmation of female attestation in Jewish society?

        • Ignorant Amos

          https://infidels.org/library/modern/richard_carrier/improbable/women.html#20

          Judaism in the first century had emerged from the oriental patriarchal tradition in which women were considered the property of men with no rights, no role in society except childbearing, and no education. In the intertestamental period Judaism was, however, affected by its encounter with hellenism. This produced a double effect. Some schools within Judaism reacted negatively, attempting to reinforce the subordination and seclusion of women in order to safeguard the purity of Judaism against the influence of hellenism. In the diaspora this was often impossible. The Jewish people were living within hellenistic society. There were Jewish women who had acquired wealth and education within that society. Such women were beginning to have a voice in business and politics. Many Jews lived their everyday lives more according to the mores of hellenistic society than those of Torah and Talmud. Greek philosophical and theological ideas began to be taken up by Jewish philosophers and theologians.

          It was into this complex world that Christianity was born. Christianity originated in the Judaism of Palestine, which was itself partially hellenized. It soon spread to Greece, Egypt and Rome. It was within the experience of its encounter with these cultures that the Christian faith was formulated and its scripture composed. In these lands of the first-century Mediterranean world, the earliest Church made decisions about the position and role of women within the Christian community. Such decisions were inevitably affected by the context of Jewish, Hellenistic or Roman culture in which they were made. This chapter will examine the question of the status and religious role of women in Greek, Roman and Jewish societies in the centuries that preceded the birth of Christ.

          http://www.womenpriests.org/classic/tetlow1.asp

        • Luvin’ it

          infidels.org are you dumb?

        • Ignorant Amos

          Oh for fuck sake…the only dimwit in this discussion is you.

          Rather than engage in the ad hominem fallacy, try and extend your reading comprehension past the source and as far as the essay’s bibliography. Ya knuckle dragging moron.

        • Luvin’ it

          I’m still laughing and feeling sorry for you that you consider infidels.org a legitimate source hahahaha

        • Ignorant Amos

          That’s cute…especially from someone that believes the buybull is a legitimate source.

          I wouldn’t bother feeling sorry for me, you’re the imbecile that needs pitying.

          It’s okay. I will understand if you can’t read or comprehend the essay, and have noting to refute it.

          As for infidels.org being a legitimate source. You mustn’t have done much scholarly writing yourself. You apparently can’t assess how to determine what a legitimate source is, ya eejit.

          Since its founding in 1995, the Secular Web has grown from a small site spawned in a dorm at Texas A&M University into the most comprehensive freethought resource on the Internet. We offer thousands of outstanding essays, reviews, and critiques, covering everything from articles of general interest to scholarly papers by prominent nontheistic philosophers, scientists, historians, and others. Unlike most of our opponents, we even publish responses to our own pieces to encourage readers to make up their own minds.

          What independent reviewers say….

          In 2004 the Secular Web was ranked among the “Best of the Web” in PC Magazine Best of the Internet. According to the back cover, PC Magazine contributing editor Don Willmott “has personally checked out thousands of sites…. [arranged them] into logical categories … [and] then selected the best of the best in every one.”

          The site … [presents] a wide range of interesting essays about secularism and accompanying each one with discussions that elaborate on the themes and ideas being presented. This is not a site for Wiccans, Marilyn Manson fans, or teenagers who get bored in church. It’s a highly intellectual gathering of philosophers and academics who have a lot to say about the world and the role (sometimes damaging) that organized religion plays in it. What about life after death? The site presents the thoughts of Albert Einstein, David Hume, and even Clarence Darrow to make its points. Church-state separation? See what Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and Thomas Paine had to say about it. A daily newsfeed is searchable by topic, so you can track the abortion debate, worldwide fanaticism, or the creation/evolution debate easily.

          So you laugh away…it is you that is the fool. I notice you have not mentioned the other two articles, what’s your beef with those two sources ya fuckwit?

        • Greg G.

          You are giving historical quotes from the likes of David Barton. We have shown you that the quotes are not authentic. Now prove to us where infidels.org is wrong.

        • Ignorant Amos

          You are giving historical quotes from the likes of David Barton.

          Bwaaahaaahaaahaaa!

          I’ve not seen that comment yet. Seriously? Oh the irony, it stings.

        • Greg G.

          He was stealing adam’s shtick of posting graphics with a picture of a founding father with a fake quote. There were several, some posted multiple times. One had four quotes and one was authentic. One was supposed to be a George Washington quote when it was simply written into a bill to designate a day for a Thanksgiving holiday that Washington signed as president but historians identified the handwriting as somebody else’s.

        • Greg G.

          What’s your source for a posit8ve affirmation of female attestation in Jewish society?

          Ignorant Amos has already provided it.

          Jewish society is irrelevant in this context anyway. Mark wrote in Greek and used Latinisms and Aramaicisms, but he never explained the Latinisms but almost always explained the Aramaicisms, which indicates he was writing to those who spoke Latin, the language of Rome, and not to Jews, who spoke Aramaic.

        • Luvin’ it

          It’s a Jewish context you buffoon

        • Ignorant Amos

          Followers of the new Jewish cult that would become known as Christianity, ergo, the context is the followers of Christ, not the other mainstream Jewish sects, ya clown.

        • Greg G.

          The Gospel of Mark is a fictional story written for Romans. It doesn’t get the geography correct. In Mark 10:11-12, Mark is putting Paul’s writing from 1 Corinthians 7:10-12 in Jesus’ mouth. Paul was writing to the Corinthians where it was legal for a woman to divorce a man but Jesus was talking to Jews who would have thought women divorcing was weird. Even Matthew and Luke dropped that part. For the Gospel of Mark, the Jewish context is not relevant.

        • adam
        • Bob Jase

          Would’ve been nice of the author to have explained what happened to these zombies – are they still wandering around today?

        • james

          if paul knew that peter confirmed the womans testimony and knew that the women were the first to discover the tomb, why did paul decide to drop the women who had first discovered the tomb empty?
          he is talking about appearances
          the women were the first to see according to gospels

          bart ehrman write :

          A: Cephas, the twelve, the 500
          B: James, the apostles, Paul himself
          The appearances in group A correspond to the appearances in group B. First there is an appearance to an individual who was to become a leader of the church in Jerusalem (Cephas/Peter and then James);

          this is the big fish of christianity confirming the women testimony but paul decides to omit it (the women’s first encounter) ?

          ehrman says :

          • He indicates that Cephas was the first to have a vision of Jesus. What about the women at the empty tomb? Does Paul not know about them? Does he choose not to mention them? Why? (Note: at the end, when he says “last of all, he appeared also to me,” that “last of all” is usually taken to mean that he has given the full list, that there were no other appearances).

        • Luvin’ it

          But in this case he lists the first men to see the empty tomb, etc

        • james

          he didn’t say anything thing about an empty tomb being discovered by any first men.

        • Luvin’ it

          Peter is listed as the first MAN in every gospel to witness the empty tomb

        • james

          what does that prove? how does “he appeared to peter” imply peter DISCOVERED an empty tomb? in the first gospel, peter DOES not witness any empty tomb, the women DO not report what they saw. no jesus waiting around the corner in the first gospel. no peter running to the tomb in the first gospel. it says “he appeared to peter”
          NO APPEARANCE TO PETER at the tomb.

        • james

          “he appeared to peter”
          peter in matthew, mark and john does not see jesus at the tomb.

        • james

          peter did not witness jesus at the tomb.
          mark does not have peter run to the tomb
          “he appeared to peter” cannot mean he appeared to peter at the tomb because peter does not get any appearance at the tomb.

        • Greg G.

          In John, the “disciple who Jesus loved” outran Peter to the tomb. Some believe that disciple was John himself. That disciple was never mentioned in John before Lazarus was resurrected and gJohn says Jesus loved Lazarus.

          The whole Lazarus resurrection story appears to be based on the resurrection account of Osiris in the Pyramid Texts. Some accounts of Osiris say that he was hacked into pieces and Isis had to gather up the parts but couldn’t find his penis so he was resurrected without it. So if you are willing to infer that Lazarus was resurrected as a transsexual, then maybe your claim is correct.

        • Luvin’ it

          Osiris has exactly zero parrallels to Jesus as many scholars have shown

        • Greg G.

          If the story of Osiris resurrection from the Pyramid Texts, particularly from the Pyramid of Pepi II, was translated to Hebrew or Aramaic, Osiris becomes El-Osiris, which becomes Lazarus when transliterated to Greek. The city in Egypt would be Heliopolis in Greek, On in Hebrew, but Anu in Egyptian, which transliterated to Aramaic becomes “Beth-anu”, which transliterated to Greek becomes “Bethany”. Osiris was mourned by his two sisters. Horus raised him. Many of the chants of the Pyramid Texts are similar to lines in John 11. The hieroglyph for “Nephthys”, one of the sisters, has a sign for “master” with a stroke to identify it as feminine, and a sign for “enclosure” or “house”, which probably meant “a temple area”. The name “Martha” is Aramaic for “master of the house” with a feminine connotation.

          John 11 has Osiris written all through it.

          John 11:1
          “Lazarus of Bethany”
          Utterance 307
          Unas Tomb, W 212
          483a N. himself is a Heliopolitan, who was born in Heliopolis,

          John 11:2
          “Mary was the one who anointed the Lord with perfume”
          John 12:3
          “Mary took a pound of costly perfume made of pure nard, anointed Jesus’ feet”
          Utterance 576
          Pepi Tomb, P 518
          1511a anointed with the best ointment, clothed in [purple],
          Utterance 685
          Pepi II Tomb,
          2065a Behold N., his feet shall be kissed by the pure waters,

          John 11:3
          “So the sisters sent a message to Jesus”
          Utterance 593
          Menefre Tomb, M206
          1630a Two sisters, Isis and Nephthys, come to thee;
          Utterance 670
          Pepi II Tomb, Funerary Chamber, South Wall, lower east corner, N348
          1973b [at the voice of we]eping of Isis and at the lamentation of Nephthys,

          John 11:11-14
          (11:11) “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep, but I am going there to awaken him.”
          (11:13) “Jesus, however, had been speaking about his death, but they thought that he was referring merely to sleep.”
          Utterance 670
          Pepi II Tomb, Funerary Chamber, South Wall, lower east corner, N348
          1975a They say to thee, Osiris N., “thou art gone, thou art come;
          1975b thou art asleep, [thou art awake]; thou art [dead (lit. thou landest)], thou art alive.

          John 11:25
          “I am the resurrection and the life.”
          The Book of the Dead 64
          I am Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow, for I am born again and again ; mine is the unseen Force, which createth the gods and giveth food to those in the Tuat at the West of Heaven ; I am the Eastern Rudder, the Lord of Two Faces, who seeth by his own light; the Lord of Resurrections, who cometh forth from the dusk and whose birth is from the House of Death.

          John 11:21
          “Martha said to Jesus, ‘Lord, if you had been here'”
          John 11:32-33
          (11:32) “Mary… said to him, ‘Lord, if you had been here”
          (11:33) “When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who came with her also weeping”
          Utterance 619
          Pepi II Tomb, N588, M399
          1750c Isis weeps for thee; Nephthys calls thee;
          1751a as for ’Imt.t she sits at the feet of thy throne.
          Utterance 667A
          Pepi II Tomb, N340, Nt243
          1947b (Nt. XXX 780). as the mourning-women of Osiris call for thee.

          John 11:38-39a
          “Jesus said, ‘Take away the stone.'”
          Utterance 665A
          Pepi II Tomb, N335
          1914c (Nt. 735). This is this N. (for whom) thou, Osiris, shalt open the six doors.
          According to Randel McCraw Helms, Who Wrote the Gospels (p.125), R. O. Faulkner’s translation has:
          The tomb is opened for you, the doors of the tomb-chamber are thrown open for you.
          Utterance 676
          Pepi II Tomb, N411, Nt248
          2009a The tomb is open for thee; the double doors of the coffin are undone for thee;

          John 11:39b
          “Lord, already there is a stench because he has been dead four days.”
          Utterance 412
          Pepi II Tomb, Sarcophagus Chamber, West Wall (end), N33, Nt43, T228, P60, M24
          722a Flesh of N.,
          722b rot not, decay not, let not thy smell be bad.
          Utterance 419
          Pepi II Tomb, N444, T225, M286
          746b Horus has exterminated the evil which was in N. in his four day (term);
          Utterance 670
          Pepi II Tomb, Funerary Chamber, South Wall, lower east corner, N348
          1978c After he had exterminated the evil [which was in N. on] his fourth day,

          John 11:43
          “he cried with a loud voice”
          Utterance 620
          Pepi II Tomb, Sarcophagus Chamber, West Gable only, N11
          1753a To say: I am Horus, Osiris N., I will not let thee sicken.

          John 11:44
          “Jesus said to them, ‘Unbind him, and let him go.'”
          Utterance 662
          Pepi II Tomb, N388
          1878a Let them who are in their graves, arise; let them undo their bandages.
          Utterance 703
          Pepi II Tomb, Antechamber, South Wall, N615
          2201c O N., live, thou shalt not die.
          2202a Horus comes to thee; he separates thy bandages; he casts off thy bonds.

        • Luvin’ it

          And there are no scholars in the field who subscribe to this. Ehrman mocks these people openly

        • Ignorant Amos

          Yes there is, and Ehrman is a dick for his mocking and has been ripped apart fr it too…so pah!

        • Ignorant Amos
        • Greg G.

          I just presented some of the evidence so you can make up your own mind.

        • adam

          2) Specifically, the passion stories of the gospels strike me as
          altogether too close to contemporary myths of dying and rising savior
          gods including Osiris, Tammuz, Baal, Attis, Adonis, Hercules, and
          Asclepius. Like Jesus, these figures were believed to have once lived a
          life upon the earth, been killed, and risen shortly thereafter. Their
          deaths and resurrections were in most cases ritually celebrated each
          spring to herald the return of the life to vegetation. In many myths,
          the savior’s body is anointed for burial, searched out by holy women and
          then reappears alive a few days later.

          https://infidels.org/library/modern/robert_price/price-rankin/price1.html

        • Luvin’ it

          That’s cute virtually zero scholars subscribe to that. Even atheist scholars think those arguments are stupid watch Ehrman vs. Price and you’ll learn something maybe

        • adam
        • james

          “appeared to peter” could mean appeared any where

        • Luvin’ it

          And? It’s a creed the purpose of which is to be concise and easy to memorize

        • james

          your early creed included a lot of information, but gave no hint that women discovered the tomb or peter did. actually your creed was REPEATED and according to costa MODIFIED

        • Luvin’ it

          Those are specifics and a creeds purpose is to highlight the most important core things

        • Ignorant Amos

          So where in any creed does it state Peter was first to see an empty tomb?

          You appear to be ignorant of your own scriptures.

        • Luvin’ it

          1 Corinthians 15:3-8 “Cephas” is Peter

        • Ignorant Amos

          3 For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance[a]: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, 5 and that he appeared to Cephas,[b] and then to the Twelve. 6 After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. 7 Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, 8 and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born.

          Where in that text does it mention the appearance was at a tomb, or anything other than a vision. We know the “appearances” were visions, because Paul never met Jesus, he only “seen” him in visions, i.e. dreams, hallucinations, revelations.

          The empty tomb and the women are later literary devices. But Paul still, that doesn’t rule out that Jesus could have appeared to others, his list is just a claim about those he is aware of.

        • james

          his creed is full of specifics.

        • Luvin’ it

          Generalized ones yes

        • adam

          You mean all those core things that NEVER made the local news?
          That NOBODY wrote about when it happened?

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/240e76b809830834292884152c7c7a48f8ec22c813ae1f56a7ed4223ab63de54.jpg

        • Ignorant Amos

          Which creed?

          There were many creeds floating about during the first three centuries of the Christianities.

        • Luvin’ it

          The oldest is 1 Corinthians 15:3-8 according to atheist scholars like Gerd Ludemann Lineman and Bart Ehrman

        • Ignorant Amos

          Ah…right.

          But the details in that creed Paul claims he got from the scriptures.

          For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received:

          That Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures,
          And that he was buried,
          And that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures

          And that he appeared to Cephas,
          And then to the Twelve,
          Then he appeared to more than 500 brethren (fellow Christians) at one time,

          most of whom remain until now, but some have fallen asleep

          Then he appeared to James
          And then to all the apostles.(12?)
          Then, as to one untimely born, he appeared to me also.

          Even atheist scholars can get things wrong, Ehrman isn’t atheist btw, he’s agnostic, but no matter. I’ve not read the ther guy, but Ehrman certainly gets stuff way wrong.

          As for conflicting hypotheses….

          https://www.richardcarrier.info/archives/11069

        • Baby_Raptor

          I have to seriously wonder if you’ve ever even read the Bible. Sounds like you skimmed the comic book version

        • Ignorant Amos

          @ Baby bullshit Rapture…

          You blow a lot of smoke out of your hole…but you have no substance. But please don’t stop, you are a great advert for theist fuckwittery…a court Jester full of bullshit…hilarious.

        • adam
        • Greg G.

          I think the “appeared to” is about revelation from reading the scriptures. The “died” and was “buried” is “according to the scriptures” in Isaiah 53, and the “rose on the third day” is “according to the scriptures” of Hosea 6:2.

          Paul never says he saw Jesus. He tells us he got his gospel from the prophetic writings, which is attested by the fact that everything he said about Jesus can be found in the Old Testment. He uses the same word translated as “appeared to” for all of the others that he uses for himself, so he doesn’t think their “appeared to” was any different than his own.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Wise up. You are doing that silly nonsense of reading the gospels back into Paul. There is no empty tomb mentioned anywhere in Paul’s letters.

          Norman Perrin comments on the silence of Paul concerning the empty tomb:

          “What makes this liturgical statement particularly important to us is not only that it is the earliest statement concerning the resurrection which we possess, although it is that by some twenty years, but also that, in the first place, it lists appearances of the risen Jesus to various individuals and groups, and that in the second place, Paul includes himself among those to whom the risen Lord has appeared. Then, thirdly, there is here – and for that matter elsewhere in Paul’s letters – no mention of the empty tomb.”

          All this has given scholars most furiously to think, and the upshot of their thinking may be expressed as follows: First of all, the empty tomb tradition is comparatively late. There is no evidence for any such tradition earlier than the Gospel of Mark, itself written some forty years after the event. Scholars are increasingly coming to the conclusion that the empty tomb tradition is an interpretation of the event – a way of saying “Jesus is risen!” – rather than a description of an aspect of the event itself.

          https://infidels.org/library/modern/peter_kirby/tomb/paul.html

        • adam
        • Greg G.

          In Acts 26, Paul is in Agrippa’s court. He uses the Jews as character witnesses to his sanity. Then he tells a third version of when Jesus appeared to him, the fourth if you count his mention of going to Damascus where he doesn’t say anything about this. If the empty tomb is such a good argument, why didn’t Paul just tell Agrippa to ask the Jews about the empty tomb?

        • Luvin’ it

          He needs to be redundant in other words? Please.

        • Greg G.

          Paul never claimed he saw Jesus on the road to Damascus. That is fiction written by Luke in Acts. Redundant wouldn’t be as bad as the contradictions.

        • adam

          Most likely it is just a story, made up like the rest of the story.

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/240e76b809830834292884152c7c7a48f8ec22c813ae1f56a7ed4223ab63de54.jpg

          Still interesting how NONE of this made the local news.

    • That reminds me of the ending of Revelation (22:18-19):

      I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this scroll: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to that person the plagues described in this scroll. And if anyone takes words away from this scroll of prophecy, God will take away from that person any share in the tree of life and in the Holy City, which are described in this scroll.

      This author is acknowledging that “improving” a document was a problem back then. And yet Christian apologists cling to the idea that 200 years (or whatever) from original to our oldest copy gives us no worry about scribal hanky panky.

      • Ignorant Amos

        Pious fraud is fine and dandy.

        Someone might argue, “If my falsehood enhances God’s truthfulness and so increases his glory, why am I still condemned as a sinner?” Why not say — as we are being slanderously reported as saying and as some claim that we say — “Let us do evil that good may result?” Their condemnation is deserved. —Romans 3:7–8

        Pious fraud was all the rage back in the day.

        How it may be lawful and fitting to use falsehood as a medicine, and for the benefit of those who want to be deceived. Eusebius of Caesarea….allegedly.

        What harm would it do, if a man told a good strong lie for the sake of the good and for the Christian church … a lie out of necessity, a useful lie, a helpful lie, such lies would not be against God, he would accept them. Martin Luther

        Then there is all those evangelical holy rollers in the states that are Liars for Jesus….

        The Religious Right’s Alternate
        Version of American History

        http://www.liarsforjesus.com/downloads/LFJ_FINAL.pdf

        • TheNuszAbides

          What harm would it do, if a man told a good strong lie for the sake of the good and for the Christian church … a lie out of necessity, a useful lie, a helpful lie, such lies would not be against God, he would accept them. Martin Luther

          cue “context!” so we can drag out the ‘full’ citation in all its rotten glory.

        • Ignorant Amos

          The full quote…

          https://cs.uwaterloo.ca/~shallit/luther1.jpg

          One translation I found on a Snopes forum…

          How would it be, if this [second marriage] came up for discussion, and if he [Philip] were challenged, he would say, that he had indeed considered it, but in the end did not go through with it? And he should otherwise keep quiet. What does it matter, if, for the sake of the good and the Christian church, one tells a good strong lie! And furthermore, to shut the mouths of the people, he should put N [this refers to Philip’s second wife Margarethe von der Saale, perhaps a typo for “M”] away for four weeks, and take the other [his first wife Christine of Saxony] back and make good with her; then everyone would say, that there was nothing in it; and thus [their objections] would be broken. If that doesn’t help, then he [Luther] saw no hope.

          The context…

          The quote comes from an incident in Luther’s life that is well-documented and attested to in many books. Briefly: Philip of Hesse (1504-1567), a German nobleman committed bigamy in 1540. Luther counseled him to lie about the bigamy, saying it would be for the good of the Christian church. This incident is discussed in many places, including here and in The Life and Letters of Martin Luther by Preserved Smith, Houghton Mifflin, 2nd edition, 1911, p. 381.

          Also…

          The quote is well-documented and accepted by historians – even pro-Luther historians, who accept it as authentic, but try to make excuses for it. See, for example, Martin Brecht, Martin Luther, volume 3, “The Preservation of the Church, 1532-1546”, pages 211-212 (available through google books):

          “Luther continued to maintain this position during the heated discussions with the Hessian counselors and theologians during the Eisenach assembly in mid-July [1540]. This was no longer only a private scandal; the bigamy affected land and people, body and livelihood. Therefore the landgrave had to “tell a good, strong lie” and deny the second marriage; otherwise, Luther foresaw grave consequences for him and the church, and in this he was to be proved correct. Repeatedly, even to the present, Luther has been portrayed as unscrupulous because he advocated lying in this case. In fact, however, it was in no way an opportunistic morality that motivated him. As a confessor, he could do his client no better service than to protect his confidence under all circumstances.”

        • TheNuszAbides

          ahahahaha … hush-hush of the greater good. so objectively correct, don’tchathink? no wonder sola fide had to be principle #1.

  • “Habermas sets up and knocks over the typical list of imagined responses (that I never make) such as the disciples stole the body, someone else stole the body, witnesses went to the wrong tomb, Jesus didn’t die but only swooned, the disciples were deceived by delusions or hallucinations, and, my favorite: Jesus was an alien. It’s curious that he treats the obvious one—that it was a legend—so superficially that there’s nothing more for me to address.”

    These alternative theories may not be probable based on the evidence with have, but the evidence is skimpy and dubious, so they cannot be dismissed. The objections to these alternative theories are generally weak because they rely on questionable factual claims and hasty conclusions. There is a chance that one of Jesus’ disciples moved the body, and a chance that someone else moved the body, and there is a chance that witnesses went to the wrong tomb, and there is a chance that Jesus did not die on the cross but only appeared to die, and there is a chance that the disciples were deceived by delusions or hallucinations. There is also a chance that Jesus never existed.

    There is a very significant chance that EITHER one of Jesus’ disciples moved the body, OR that someone else moved the body, OR that witnesses went to the wrong tomb, OR that Jesus did not die on the cross and only appeared to die, OR that the disciples were deceived by delusions or hallucinations, OR that Jesus never existed.

    Because there is a very significant chance that one of these alternative naturalistic theories is true, the evidence for the resurrection is insufficient to establish that Jesus rose from the dead. Showing that a specific naturalistic theory is improbable does NOT show that this collection of naturalistic theories is improbable, and it certainly does not show that the “God raised Jesus from the dead” theory is probable.

  • I think the basic idea of trying to build a case for the resurrection on solid historical claims is a good idea. The problem is that there are very few, if any, solid historical claims that can be made about Jesus, and so this project is doomed from the start.

    Habermas basically lowers the bar, and settles for historical claims that he and many other NT scholars believe to be probable or highly probable. That would be OK if we were just trying to establish a good historical outline of the life of Jesus (like the Jesus Seminar has attempted to do). But lowering the bar like that will not work to establish the resurrection of Jesus. Miracle claims require bullet-proof evidence, and no such evidence exists concerning Jesus.

    Furthermore, there is a problem of BIAS in Habermas’s method. What if instead of the five or ten “facts” being selected by a Christian philosopher, who is aiming to prove the Christian belief that Jesus rose from the dead, the five or ten facts are selected by a skeptic, such as myself, who is aiming at casting doubt on the resurrection of Jesus? I would select a completely different set of facts, and my facts would point in a completely different direction. Habermas is NOT attempting to test his theory against all the available evidence, but only to test it against a few hand-picked “facts”. He has deliberately selected facts with the purpose of supporting his theory. A skeptic can do the same thing and end up with a very different conclusion.

    For example:

    It is a FACT that victims of crucifixion usually took three or four days to die, not three or four hours.
    It is a FACT that some victims of crucifixion were removed from the cross and survived.
    It is a FACT that modern scientific medical knowledge did not exist in the first century, and that mistaken diagnoses of death were common.
    It is a FACT that people who experience the death of a beloved friend or family member sometimes experience visions or appearances of that dead person.
    It is a FACT that the gospels contradict each other on many details concerning the crucifixion, burial, and resurrection of Jesus.

    Habermas mentions NONE of these facts, but they are obviously of relevance to the question of the resurrection of Jesus. He picks out a few “facts” that support his theory, and then ignores a great deal of relevant evidence that points in a different direction.

    • Ficino

      Isn’t it also fact that our traditions of the martyrdoms of various original disciples are less well evidenced than the gospel stories themselves? So the argument, “they wouldn’t die for what they knew was a lie” is not strong, since our evidence that the disciples were martyred while refusing to recant their resurrection claims is weak. Such an argument is of the “obscura per obscurius” sort – trying to explain the obscure through what is even more obscure.

    • Uh, yeah, but if you pick those facts, you don’t conclude “so therefore the resurrection happened.” So therefore you’re wrong.

  • TheNuszAbides

    His enemies in the Jewish leadership and Roman government would only have had to exhume the corpse and publicly display it for the hoax to be shattered

    For those who accept the supernatural as An Actual Thing, this hand-wave is nothing but a failure of imagination.

    If some prick changing his name and claiming holy visions is sufficient to get them to swallow that he was ‘mentored’ by JC Himself, (1) every ‘reported’ sighting (2) by those who are said to have known ~Him~ in life (3) after the ‘reported’ crucifixion … can be a Spirit Sighting! No half-assed appeal to principles of physical evidence required. At best this is one more lame non-excuse for the choir to point and shout “see Gary know better than you fool atheists”.