Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

Youngin

The bible is a work of fiction

422 posts in this topic

i read a little bit of the first page (too much to read ha)

like the guy before me said, you are almost stupid to not believe in God and have a chance of getting to Heaven verses not believing at all and not going to an afterlife.

P.S. The Catholic Church is the only Christian branch to use the stories (not all) as a symbolic message. All Protestant (maybe some dont but im pretty sure all do) believe every word literally.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"So by this thought process we have to apply the following logic. We cannot test evolution."

ofcourse it can. if evolution, or natural selection, were not fact, much of our agricultural work would be in vain as we, man, often serve as a force of natural selection in the modification of plants and breeding of animals. if you have eaten or grown food, or own a dog or a cat...you have seen the results of evolution.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
P.S. The Catholic Church is the only Christian branch to use the stories (not all) as a symbolic message. All Protestant (maybe some dont but im pretty sure all do) believe every word literally.

Thinking "all Protestants" believe anything universally is folly. First, there are so many of them, who can tell who believes what? Second, there are a TON of liberal Protestants who not only don't believe the Bible literally, but some don't believe it at all (they'll say it contains "truths" like fables or nursery rhymes, but they won't say it IS the truth). No small number of Episcopals, Lutherans and Presbyterians say they don't believe the virgin birth, the Resurrection, etc. Some even deny the historical existence of Jesus, something an overwhelming consensus of secular scholars affirm.

Also, Eastern Orthodox Christians view Scripture very similarly to Roman Catholics in that there are at least some leading thinkers who hold certain of the Scriptures to a symbolic meaning and others as literal.

Oddly enough, just about anyone when pressed hard enough will admit there are symbolic parts of Scripture. I had that demonstrated in a discussion with a family member who kept telling me I was wrong for not reading every word of Revelation as literal. When he started telling me the whore represents so and so and the beast represents so and so, I reminded him "no, they can't represent anything -- they're literal, right? They're just a whore and a beast."

Shut down the conversation right quick.

As for this thread, I'll say that most of the arguments against the Bible are really arguments against fundamentalism. Defining the Bible as a fundamentalist in order to knock it down means the person so defining the Bible is falling into the very error they criticize.

CLofton50 likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The bible is one of many literary works filed away

in natures universal court of law.

We wrestle not with flesh and blood but principality's

and spirits.

You will be judged on principle, not how well versed you

are in the bible.

The fact the kkk used the bible from their soapbox

shows you just how much faith should be placed in the

literal interpretation of the bible. Meaning, to expect

others to accept only your prespective of life is robbing

nature of her diversity.

Also, for those that don't believe in evolution, too bad.

We are evolving right now. The internet came to be in 94',

think about how much we evolved since.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Also, for those that don't believe in evolution, too bad.

We are evolving right now. The internet came to be in 94',

think about how much we evolved since.

That does not, in any sense, describe evolutionary theory (at least not the biological theory of evolution -- maybe there is some evolutionary theory that deals with computer science, but I'm unaware of it).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That does not, in any sense, describe evolutionary theory (at least not the biological theory of evolution -- maybe there is some evolutionary theory that deals with computer science, but I'm unaware of it).

I was using the internet as an example of evolution in how we process information.

How we process information is ever evolving and is directly related to survival.

Evolution theory is inclusive not exlusive.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The U.S. National Academy of Sciences has stated that intelligent design "and other claims of supernatural intervention in the origin of life" are not science because they cannot be tested by experiment, do not generate any predictions, and propose no new hypotheses of their own.

So by this thought process we have to apply the following logic. We cannot test evolution. We have never seen personally, nor do we have 1st hand accounts of evolution ever happening. There are no experiments to look to and say "look we sped up time and this is the result we got". Evolution also proposes no new hypotheses of its own. Again its circular. It goes something like this. We believe evolution to be true b/c we have seen the outcome of evolution, we know this is the outcome of evolution b/c we know evolution is true.

Do we see species adapt? Yes. Have we seen what most will call Macro-evolution? No. There has never been a test where one species evolves into another. Look at bacteria, it adapts to its environment, but at the end of the day its still a bacteria. No matter how long we watch the bacteria, that is all it will ever be.

Bacteria is one of a few species on earth that do not require oxygen to live or reproduce.

This is evolution. On a planet rich with oxygen, so much that your very life depends on it, species that don't need it had to have evolved from a time where oxygen wasn't as abundent. How else do you explain non-oxygen species existing in an atmosphere where oxygen is a bldg block for 99.9 percent of our species?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i guess this is why they call it "faith," which means you believe in something that can't be proven.

just because elements of the bible are historical fact doesn't mean the overall message of the book is, in fact, true. nor does it mean it isn't. you have to have 'faith' one way or the other.

either way, i'm willing to bet the Falcons will actually win the Super Bowl before this ages old debate is settled on a football message board....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The whole "bumblebee flight is impossible according to science" thing is FALSE.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bumblebee#Flight

I think some of you have a very poor understanding of evolution or the scientific concept of a "theory". Also, there is nothing in evolution that precludes the existence of God. There's NO REASON one couldn't believe in both concepts.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I think some of you have a very poor understanding of evolution or the scientific concept of a "theory". Also, there is nothing in evolution that precludes the existence of God. There's NO REASON one couldn't believe in both concepts.

I agree on both counts. I used to disagree with the 2nd sentence, but having educated myself a bit on both the theory of evolution and the proper use of the Scriptures, the only evolutionists I tend to disagree with now are those who claim that evolution is completely inconsistent with a Creator and therefore no Creator exists (and these range from pretty mild folks like Jerry Coyne to outright anti-religious zealots like Richard Dawkins).

I do think our knowledge of evolutionary processes is weak, and I very much believe that there are a lot of things commonly accepted that are ill-proven and speculative (as one example, some of the ordering of descents I find a bit odd, and the reasoning behind them circular, as with snakes versus lizards and the order of whale descent, etc.). I also find the scientific arguments of ID advocates rather interesting, though I acknowledge that taking those scientific arguments and extrapolating them to "intelligent design" is as faulty as Coyne taking evolutionary theory and extrapolating it to "no intelligent design." In both instances, I believe the scientist is stepping outside his proper realm of empiricism and trying to engage in philosophical and metaphysical discussion he is ill-equipped to deal with.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A theory is only man's attempt to define the undefinable.

Evolution is a term to define natures growth and change over time.

Slapping the two together de-values natural process and distorts one's own reality.

I'm guilty of the word play and whether it's for convenience or ignorance doesn't change the fact that it's a contradiction.

We all evolve from birth to death both physically and mentally. Some of us suffer from deformity's that stunt our growth both physically and mentally.

It's called diversity.

I think most ppl who reject evolution do so because they fear going against their upbringing. That there is a heaven and a way to get there and that you can smile when your girlfriend cheats on you with your best friend because you know they both won't get in.

The subject of life after death really chaps my ***. If one dies at 4, will that child's "spirit" go to a heaven of his understanding? Will a 99 year old with no memory go to a heaven or **** of his understanding.

Heaven is literature plain and simple.

The concept of life after death goes against one's own nature.

To overlook today for tomorrow is to step into the vale of anxiety.

There is nothing wrong with having faith unless it's false. Then everthing is wrong about it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Buried and returned 3 days later.......where did he go?

If Jesus was Jewish, and spoke of an afterlife in Heaven, then explain to me why the Torah does not mention an afterlife, but speaks mostly about how most should live and treat others in real life.

Even that has become diluted......The Israelis just might be the most aggressive, combatant group to date.........Well, maybe not, I forgot about the Islamic extremists.

Because Christianity wasn't started yet...it took Jesus Christ for it to begin. I'm not sure I really needed to explain that, since it seems too obvious, but there you have it!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Because Christianity wasn't started yet...it took Jesus Christ for it to begin. I'm not sure I really needed to explain that, since it seems too obvious, but there you have it!

Of course, the Old Testament does mention afterlife. Daniel 12:2, 1 Samuel 28:1-25, Isaiah 26:19, etc.

The Torah does as well (interesting the objection was limited to the Torah while the insinuation was that Jews would not believe in an afterlife, as if Jews read the Law and ignored the Prophets), but it is a bit more obscure. References to Abraham ("go to your fathers in peace") and the account of Enoch, etc.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When it comes to the evolution topic, I have real problems with it. We are to believe that over billions of years, water was struck by lightning and life was created from non-living matter. How is that any easier to believe than God created life on earth?

Then you ask me to believe that over time that single cell evolved until a body as complex as a human being was created. What stops a tooth from growing out of the middle of your eardrum? The answer is DNA you reply. As a scientific person you know the gazillion of possibilites that DNA could create, but the human ones are basically perfect every time. (I know there are mutations, but are they ever good?)

My biggest beef is with Sea World and such "rescuing" beached whales, dolphins and porpoises. Aren't you interfering with evolution when you push them back into the sea or worse, put them in a rescue tank? I mean, aren't these guys just trying to climb onto land to become land creatures? They already have lungs. That dolphin you pushed back into the ocean might have been the one that was going to make it, and live on land.

I am sorry, but I have a bigger problem with existing science than I do with the Bible. At least the Bible has not changed over the last couple of thousand of years. Science on the other hand changes every 5 - 20 years. The dinosaurs I learned about in school in elementary look quite a bit different than they do now.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would def. not say that the entire bible is a work of fiction, or any other religous book or "bible" is an entire work of fiction. It's pretty much a proven fact that Jesus was crucified. I wouldn't say all these people that don't believe it are going to ****. Science and evloution may be a possibilty too, even with their being a god or gods. I'm sure the world thinks that Hitler went to ****, anyone ever think that maybe Hitler didn't like the fact the jews had jesus tried to be executed and was getting revenge? If so many athiests have no faith in god how come when a gun is pointed at their head they start praying and asking "please god?"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's pretty much a proven fact that Jesus was crucified.

Not really.

If so many athiests have no faith in god how come when a gun is pointed at their head they start praying and asking "please god?"

Why are you walking around and pointing guns at the heads of atheists?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not really.

"Proven fact" is hyperbolic, but it's pretty well established:

The majority of scholars who study Early Christianity believe that the Gospels do contain some reliable information about Jesus, agreeing that Jesus was a Jew who was regarded as a teacher and healer, that he was baptized by John the Baptist, and was crucified in Jerusalem on the orders of the Roman Prefect of Judaea, Pontius Pilate, on the charge of sedition against the Roman Empire.

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

Footnotes omitted, but do check them out (there were 13 just for this paragraph alone).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not a couple paragraphs later:

The evidence for the existence of Jesus all comes from after his lifetime. As a result, some critics argue that Biblical scholars have created the historical Jesus in their own image. A small number of scholars believe the gospel accounts are so mythical in nature that nothing, not even the very existence of Jesus, can be determined from them.

I've examined the evidence myself, and I remain unconvinced. In my personal opinion, the story of Jesus seems more about legend than history.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Not a couple paragraphs later:

I've examined the evidence myself, and I remain unconvinced. In my personal opinion, the story of Jesus seems more about legend than history.

I hear you, but I hope you'd acknowledge that's a minority view among scholars. A vast minority view at that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I've examined the evidence myself, and I remain unconvinced. In my personal opinion, the story of Jesus seems more about legend than history.

Also, a quick question if you'll indulge me. It's one thing to say Jesus wasn't God. It's another to say He was never crucified. You seem to be saying He never lived.

If that's the case, what do you do with the eyewitnesses. Not in the sense of "the Bible purports to have been written by eyewitnesses," but in the "my Patriarchate has a line of bishops leading back to St. Peter, who founded the See" sense.

Put better, if Jesus is made up, at which point in the process was He made up, since we have an historical lineage to deal with?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Also, a quick question if you'll indulge me. It's one thing to say Jesus wasn't God. It's another to say He was never crucified. You seem to be saying He never lived.

If that's the case, what do you do with the eyewitnesses. Not in the sense of "the Bible purports to have been written by eyewitnesses," but in the "my Patriarchate has a line of bishops leading back to St. Peter, who founded the See" sense.

Put better, if Jesus is made up, at which point in the process was He made up, since we have an historical lineage to deal with?

In all fairness, there's no clear evidence that Peter existed either. I've been doing some research and to say I've taken a few steps back would be an understatement.

Paul (or whoever wrote it) pretty much says that Jesus didn't exist in the physical realm but solely in the spiritual realm. He never met him and only claims to have seen Jesus in a vision. Everything Paul "knew" was what he was told.

There's too much silence about Jesus and his life in the New Testament (except for the gospels which were more just embellished copies of Mark) that makes me wonder. Also, you would think that historians of the day would have recorded miracles and the crucifixion of the Savior but yet, there's nothing written until well after his supposed death. I also have issues with Matthew and Luke not being in agreement on when Jesus was supposedly born. There's a 10 year difference and I'm having a hard time buying the explanations that I've seen especially when the Bible is supposed to be the inerrant word of God.

Even more is there's no clear evidence that a city of Nazareth existed back then. It just seems to me that someone of that stature would have been documented out the wazoo yet it's not there.

Not ready to declare myself one way or the other so I'll quote George Clooney in O Brother Where Art Thou? when he said "I'm currently unaffiliated"...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In all fairness, there's no clear evidence that Peter existed either. I've been doing some research and to say I've taken a few steps back would be an understatement.

Paul (or whoever wrote it) pretty much says that Jesus didn't exist in the physical realm but solely in the spiritual realm. He never met him and only claims to have seen Jesus in a vision. Everything Paul "knew" was what he was told.

"Paul" isn't an "it." He wrote numerous works in the NT, and there are some who speculate he wrote the Didache in the 1st century. And nowhere does St. Paul say "Jesus didn't exist but solely in the physical realm." I'd like to see a citation for that quote. It appears you are making an argument from silence, which is no argument at all since St. Paul by his own account did not meet the Lord until after the ascension as you note.

Cappy, all of the above basically is akin to me saying "there is no clear evidence that Homer ever existed" or "there is no evidence that Herodotus ever existed." It's easy to say Jesus never existed if you are just going to blithely take all of the source material out of play without any real basis for doing so. Historians certainly don't do this. Which is why I mentioned the scholarship and the scholarly consensus (which is overwhelming) that Jesus was a real, historical person.

But beyond that, you miss my point. I'll repeat: as proof that Peter existed, in addition to the above I offer again the line of bishops in our Patriarchate. My bishop was ordained by his predecessor, who was ordained by his predecessor, and so on. When you trace that line back, it stops at St. Peter. St. Ignatius, who is the third Bishop of Antioch (my Church, for what it's worth), was ordained by Evodius who was appointed Bishop of Antoich by -- you got it -- St. Peter. St. Ignatius wrote extensively and his letters are available for you to read. He was also a disciple of St. John. I'll also offer the writings of St. Clement of Rome, who wrote to the Church in Corinth in the late 1st century about Peter and Paul.

Now, I suppose you could say "there is no clear evidence Clement or Ignatius existed," and in fact you could say there is no clear evidence that I exist, but at the end of the day, history is just not on your side here. At some point the writings are so prolific that you really can't get around it. Ignatius is most likely a contemporary of Peter, and at the very least only 1 generation removed. Clement was probably born around the time Peter was martyred. If you are going to say "these writings are frauds" or whatever, then the burden is on you to demonstrate such, preferably by showing where the supposed fraud was invented and first written about. At the very least you should be able to demonstrate a more significant gap between the documented events in the Gospels and Acts and the writings of early Christians who corroborate them. Blindly dismissing the source material isn't helpful, and it certainly isn't something we tend to do with other texts. I suspect your skepticism is more a rank bias here, or perhaps the bias of the sources of your "research." I'd be curious to know what you are reading.

There's too much silence about Jesus and his life in the New Testament (except for the gospels which were more just embellished copies of Mark) that makes me wonder. Also, you would think that historians of the day would have recorded miracles and the crucifixion of the Savior but yet, there's nothing written until well after his supposed death. I also have issues with Matthew and Luke not being in agreement on when Jesus was supposedly born. There's a 10 year difference and I'm having a hard time buying the explanations that I've seen especially when the Bible is supposed to be the inerrant word of God.

Even more is there's no clear evidence that a city of Nazareth existed back then. It just seems to me that someone of that stature would have been documented out the wazoo yet it's not there.

Not ready to declare myself one way or the other so I'll quote George Clooney in O Brother Where Art Thou? when he said "I'm currently unaffiliated"...

I have never seen or heard of Matthew and Luke having a 10 year difference between the birth dates. I'd like to see proof of that. I reject that "the Gospels" ere "just embellished copies of Mark." No scholar says that. Some say that Matthew was based on Mark, but that involves some sketchy textual criticism. Really, no one says John was based on Mark and there is no real basis for doing so. Even if they did, the same scholars who you would rely on say Jesus was a real, live historical person. So it would seem you rely on their scholarship where it suits you and reject it where you prefer to. That's just special pleading.

Do you have a source for your claim that "there's no clear evidence" that a city of Nazareth existed back then?" Again, this is one I've never heard, and again, you are throwing out the source material where it suits you, for the Bible gives ample evidence that Nazareth not only existed but was the birthplace of a pretty important person.

Your claim is like saying "we don't know that Homer even existed -- unless you believe the claims of authorship of the Iliad and the Odyssey, which is just silly!"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Let me also add that the basis for asking about the apostolic succession claims is precisely to determine where those who claim Jesus is not an historical figure (and, now, apparently Peter too) would say this claim arose.

We know, for example, that Churches were started in Rome, Antioch, Jerusalem, Corinth, Ephesus, Galatia, etc. And we don't know this from "the Bible." We know it because these Churches still exist to this day. Their existence and their bishops are evidence the Biblical claims of their founding are true unless you want to argue they were made up in the Scriptures and then someone came along in each and every one of these locations some time later and set up puppet Churches to "fulfill" the Biblical claims. But oops -- that won't work. There is archeological evidence of their 1st century existence (the catacombs being perhaps the best-known example of this -- and the catacombs have NUMEROUS references as early as the late 1st and early 2nd century to "Sts. Peter and Paul"). St. Paul wrote letters to them, and not just the ones encapsulated in canonical Scripture. Letters went back and forth between their bishops as noted in my post above. We know beyond any reasonable doubt they existed from the mid-1st century and they still exist today.

Now, lets say these Churches were started not by Peter (for it is claimed there is no "clear evidence" Peter even existed) or the rest of the Apostles, but by someone else. Let's assume that for the sake of argument. Does it really make sense for someone to go around talking about Peter (who doesn't exist) as if he is still alive and out teaching, but for Peter to make no contact with that community he supposedly founded? If the Church in Antioch is actually started by someone else, at what point did they decide they were really started by some non-historical figure known as "Peter?" Does this really make sense?

Further, lets say Antioch makes that claim. What do you think Rome is going to do about that? If Peter didn't exist, and Rome is the seat of the empire, are they going to sit back and watch Antioch claim Peter existed, that he founded their See and was martyred in Rome and all that, and not say "who is this Peter you speak of? We've never met him!"

Fundamentally, the entire claim amounts to just ignoring history. That's why I want to know -- when did these Churches invent these men Peter, Paul, Jesus, Barnabus, etc? How is it that one hypothesizes their alleged existence was introduced into the Church? We KNOW these local Churches existed in the 1st century. Is it reasonable that history was re-written as early as Clement (in ~95 AD)? And no one said anything about it? No one stepped up and said "we don't know what you're talking about -- who is Peter?" No one?

I'm guessing at hypotheses here, so if y'all have one that makes more sense, I'd like to hear it. When were all these people supposedly made up? And how did the story spread?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"Paul" isn't an "it." He wrote numerous works in the NT, and there are some who speculate he wrote the Didache in the 1st century. And nowhere does St. Paul say "Jesus didn't exist but solely in the physical realm." I'd like to see a citation for that quote. It appears you are making an argument from silence, which is no argument at all since St. Paul by his own account did not meet the Lord until after the ascension as you note.

Cappy, all of the above basically is akin to me saying "there is no clear evidence that Homer ever existed" or "there is no evidence that Herodotus ever existed." It's easy to say Jesus never existed if you are just going to blithely take all of the source material out of play without any real basis for doing so. Historians certainly don't do this. Which is why I mentioned the scholarship and the scholarly consensus (which is overwhelming) that Jesus was a real, historical person.

It did not refer to a specific book but the reference to one of his writings. Ephesians 3:3-5 is very clear that Paul received a revelation and then says that previous men did not receive it and that it is only revealed through the Spirit. When the Bible is the question (especially since the oldest form is 300 to 400 years old and isn't the autograph), I can't consider that to be "source material", so if I look outside of the Bible (since the New Testament is essentially hearsay since none of the books were written by those that knew Jesus) for other evidence, I see none. There is certainly not a scholarly consensus that Jesus was a real person. There's simply not enough evidence to make that claim.

But beyond that, you miss my point. I'll repeat: as proof that Peter existed, in addition to the above I offer again the line of bishops in our Patriarchate. My bishop was ordained by his predecessor, who was ordained by his predecessor, and so on. When you trace that line back, it stops at St. Peter. St. Ignatius, who is the third Bishop of Antioch (my Church, for what it's worth), was ordained by Evodius who was appointed Bishop of Antoich by -- you got it -- St. Peter. St. Ignatius wrote extensively and his letters are available for you to read. He was also a disciple of St. John. I'll also offer the writings of St. Clement of Rome, who wrote to the Church in Corinth in the late 1st century about Peter and Paul.

Now, I suppose you could say "there is no clear evidence Clement or Ignatius existed," and in fact you could say there is no clear evidence that I exist, but at the end of the day, history is just not on your side here. At some point the writings are so prolific that you really can't get around it. Ignatius is most likely a contemporary of Peter, and at the very least only 1 generation removed. Clement was probably born around the time Peter was martyred. If you are going to say "these writings are frauds" or whatever, then the burden is on you to demonstrate such, preferably by showing where the supposed fraud was invented and first written about. At the very least you should be able to demonstrate a more significant gap between the documented events in the Gospels and Acts and the writings of early Christians who corroborate them. Blindly dismissing the source material isn't helpful, and it certainly isn't something we tend to do with other texts. I suspect your skepticism is more a rank bias here, or perhaps the bias of the sources of your "research." I'd be curious to know what you are reading.

As for the lineage, that's well and good but for all we know, Paul could have gone looney and everyone bought into this revelation of his. I don't have all the answers, I'm still researching and working out what's what. I have no definitive yes or no as to whether or not Jesus, Peter, etc. existed. As for what I'm researching, I started with the Bible and considered sources on both sides of the arguments then further breaking those down and researching those answers to see if what they say holds water.

I have never seen or heard of Matthew and Luke having a 10 year difference between the birth dates. I'd like to see proof of that. I reject that "the Gospels" ere "just embellished copies of Mark." No scholar says that. Some say that Matthew was based on Mark, but that involves some sketchy textual criticism. Really, no one says John was based on Mark and there is no real basis for doing so. Even if they did, the same scholars who you would rely on say Jesus was a real, live historical person. So it would seem you rely on their scholarship where it suits you and reject it where you prefer to. That's just special pleading.

Do you have a source for your claim that "there's no clear evidence" that a city of Nazareth existed back then?" Again, this is one I've never heard, and again, you are throwing out the source material where it suits you, for the Bible gives ample evidence that Nazareth not only existed but was the birthplace of a pretty important person.

Your claim is like saying "we don't know that Homer even existed -- unless you believe the claims of authorship of the Iliad and the Odyssey, which is just silly!"

I'm sure you are aware of the Herod/Quirinius disconnect in regards to Jesus' birth, right?

I have read the Gospels many times and even said to myself, "Wait a minute, this other dude said that word for word." Not sure where the special pleading thing came from. I'm not accepting or rejecting anything, I'm simply taking it for what it is. There are plenty of scholars that consider Markan Priority to be the truth but the fact remains that will never know because all we have to go on is 300 to 400 year old copies and no one knows how they might differ from the original writings.

Nazareth isn't mentioned in the old testament nor does Josephus mention it when writing of the towns and cities of Galilee. Outside of the new testament, where's it mentioned?

I don't know that Homer existed. That could very well have been a ghost name for a collection of writers. Of course, I'd also say that the analogy is flawed because Jesus didn't write the New Testament and those that did, did so well after his alledged death and none actually met Jesus...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
It did not refer to a specific book but the reference to one of his writings. Ephesians 3:3-5 is very clear that Paul received a revelation and then says that previous men did not receive it and that it is only revealed through the Spirit. When the Bible is the question (especially since the oldest form is 300 to 400 years old and isn't the autograph), I can't consider that to be "source material", so if I look outside of the Bible (since the New Testament is essentially hearsay since none of the books were written by those that knew Jesus) for other evidence, I see none. There is certainly not a scholarly consensus that Jesus was a real person. There's simply not enough evidence to make that claim.

(snip)

I have read the Gospels many times and even said to myself, "Wait a minute, this other dude said that word for word." Not sure where the special pleading thing came from. I'm not accepting or rejecting anything, I'm simply taking it for what it is. There are plenty of scholars that consider Markan Priority to be the truth but the fact remains that will never know because all we have to go on is 300 to 400 year old copies and no one knows how they might differ from the original writings.

Repeating a claim doesn't make it true. There is, in fact, a scholarly consensus that Jesus is a real, historical figure. It is the overwhelming majority view.

Ephesians isn't the only source for Paul's conversion. There is also the Book of Acts which details it precisely. Further, Ephesians does NOT, as you claim, say "previous men did not receive" Paul's revelation, nor is this revelation some overarching claim of Paul to Jesus' existence. What Ephesians deals with is the revelation that the Gospel was to be given to the Gentiles. Ephesians 3:5-7 makes this clear:

"which in other ages was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to His holy apostles and prophets: that the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, of the same body, and partakers of His promise in Christ through the gospel, of which I became a minister according to the gift of the grace of God given to me by the effective working of His power."

Ephesians doesn't really help you. It seems to be irrelevant to the point at issue, because it is limited to the application of the Gospel to the Gentiles.

I moved part of your post up here because it addresses the same issue -- you also claim the "oldest form" of the Bible is 300-400 years old. I assume you meant 300-400 years after the birth of Christ (the 4th Century is generally agreed upon as the rough date for our oldest New Testament manuscripts), but even that isn't helpful to your argument, since the oldest transcripts of the Iliad (the closest ancient text we have in terms of the sheer number of manuscripts to the Bible) date to the 10th century. And this isn't an argument that the manuscripts themselves aren't accurate -- they are mentioned in other texts, primarily as I said before the writings of the Bishops of the Church.

As for the lineage, that's well and good but for all we know, Paul could have gone looney and everyone bought into this revelation of his. I don't have all the answers, I'm still researching and working out what's what. I have no definitive yes or no as to whether or not Jesus, Peter, etc. existed. As for what I'm researching, I started with the Bible and considered sources on both sides of the arguments then further breaking those down and researching those answers to see if what they say holds water.

This confirms something I said quite a few posts back -- it seems to me your argument like so many others amounts to a neo-fundamentalist view of Scripture imposed on a skeptical view. In other words, your argument boils down to "I'm reading the Bible, and I don't buy it." That's fine, but as to historicity, it ignores so much evidence it really isn't helpful. To avoid the huge block quote debacle that arises when I try to respond line-by-line, I'll write a new post that deals with my own conversion from Protestant to Lutheran to Orthodox and why I think history more than theology moved me to that conversion. For now, though, I find it interesting that you are treating the Bible as a fundamentalist would -- "lets talk about the Bible, I don't want to hear about history or tradition, show me what's in the Bible" -- while at the same time not being a fundamentalist yourself.

In other words, you're repeating the exegetical errors of those you would otherwise disagree with. And for what it's worth, it sounds like you've been reading quite a bit of Ehrman, which is problematic in itself.

I'm sure you are aware of the Herod/Quirinius disconnect in regards to Jesus' birth, right?

(snip)

Nazareth isn't mentioned in the old testament nor does Josephus mention it when writing of the towns and cities of Galilee. Outside of the new testament, where's it mentioned?

I don't know that Homer existed. That could very well have been a ghost name for a collection of writers. Of course, I'd also say that the analogy is flawed because Jesus didn't write the New Testament and those that did, did so well after his alledged death and none actually met Jesus...

Quirinius is a good example of taking a "fundamentalist view" of Scripture. You say the New Testament wasn't written by people who actually met Jesus. That's not true -- John certainly did (interestingly, we haven't talked about Saint John -- do you believe he actually existed?), as did Peter and, notably, Mark. But setting that aside, it IS true that Luke did not know Jesus, by any measure. Luke was a disciple of Paul. So it would seem Luke's error (if it is, in fact, an error -- I'm not convinced the problem of Quirinius is unreconcilable) would be quite a bit more understandable than, say, Matthew (another one who actually knew Jesus).

Further, has it occurred to you that differences and minor historical errors in the New Testament actually argue to its authenticity instead of the other way around? Which is to say, if someone were inclined to fabricate a story from another author, why would they not be careful to get the story right? And why would the Church accept it?

I should note that "Markan priority" does NOT state that Matthew, Luke and John are essentially "embellishments" of Mark, as you claimed. I know about the Q theory (I note with some interest that no one has ever found a manuscript of the Q document, though), but Markan priority and the Q document are separate issues. Those scholars who argue Markan priority argue Mark was written first, and Matthew, Luke and to a lesser extent John had access to it. Some even argue that Matthew is essentially Mark with some added details. But no one seriously argues that Luke and John "copied" and then "embellished" Mark's Gospel.

Re: Nazareth, I'm tempted to say "look at a map, or an archeology textbook." But instead, take a look here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nazareth#Extrabiblical_references

It was a small town then. It wasn't a center of activity.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites