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The bible is a work of fiction


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If, rather, you mean that St. Peter or St. Paul or St. Andrew or St. Mark never lived, then you are on the wrong side of scholarship. If that's what you mean, saying that is every bit as bad as saying "there is no overwhelming, conclusive evidence to support common descent of species." It amounts to ignoring the evidence. And since I've directed you previously to books written by historians on the subject, I can only conclude that it's willfully so.

"Wrong side of scholarship" is a definitive statement that can't be made. There are more than enough scholars who would agree that they were contrived much like Apollo and Zeus or Horus.

While I have not read the books, I have looked into them.

Regarding Ignatius (reference to an earlier dialogue on the church):

"Of his origin, birth, and early life we know nothing at all ... a tradition credits him with having been a disciple of Apostles; but any further information about his early career is non-existent ... The remainder of his history is scarcely less obscure ... An impenetrable silence lies over the whole forty years of his pastorate." – Early Christian Writings, p63-64.

"We are entirely ignorant of the events which led to his trial and condemnation."

– Foakes Jackson, History of the Christian Church to A.D. 461, p57/8.

Are these not considered scholarship?

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"Wrong side of scholarship" is a definitive statement that can't be made. There are more than enough scholars who would agree that they were contrived much like Apollo and Zeus or Horus.

While I have not read the books, I have looked into them.

Regarding Ignatius (reference to an earlier dialogue on the church):

"Of his origin, birth, and early life we know nothing at all ... a tradition credits him with having been a disciple of Apostles; but any further information about his early career is non-existent ... The remainder of his history is scarcely less obscure ... An impenetrable silence lies over the whole forty years of his pastorate." – Early Christian Writings, p63-64.

"We are entirely ignorant of the events which led to his trial and condemnation."

– Foakes Jackson, History of the Christian Church to A.D. 461, p57/8.

Are these not considered scholarship?

As we've discussed before, that takes care of Ignatius in a vacuum, but Ignatius was a bishop of Antioch, and he had successor bishops, and there were others who knew him. We have more to go on than his writings. You can't rip someone from their historical context and then pretend that everyone who knew them never existed.

And as I asked you before, if you contend the See of Antioch was not headed by Ignatius, then explain to us its history? When was it formed? Who formed it? At what point did Ignatius (or his supposed legend) pop into the picture? Who was involved in fabricating this story?

Because the See of Antioch exists TO THIS VERY DAY. That's the problem with your position on these matters -- you want to take Ignatius and say "well, we really don't know much about him, or why he was tried, or his execution, so I don't really know if he ever existed" but you don't want to deal with the existence of an actual community that he headed that has existed for 2000 years and was begun by St. Peter in Antioch. You claim Peter and Ignatius are myths, but you still have to deal with the See of Antioch, which exists right now. Either your claim is that the See of Antioch was fabricated after the fact, in which case you bear the historical burden of demonstrating when that happened, or your entire argument falls flat.

I acknowledge that's an easy argument for me to make, since I'm a member of a parish headed by the Patriarch of Antioch, but that may render me as someone you might want to listen to about such matters.

Here's the early Patriarchal succession. Tell me where in here Ignatius and his predecessors were supposedly invented:

http://www.antiochian.org/667

I know for a fact Ignatius IV exists, because I know people who have met him. So start with him and work backwards and tell me where in that line of succession real people become fictional characters.

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Also, I doubt F.J. Foakes-Jackson opined that Ignatius did not exist. If you want to look up that quote in its proper context, in fact, you'll see that he expressly indicates that Ignatius wrote to Polycarp, who Foakes-Jackson refers to on p. 48 as "the disciple of St. John." So you are quoting the work of a man who DOES believe the Apostles really existed, and DOES consider Ignatius to be an historical figure to prove the opposite?

And out of context at that?

Read the source material for yourself, Cappy. It's all out there. Here's a link -- read the whole book.

http://archive.org/PIRATED VIDEO IS ILLEGAL/historyofthechri027628mbp#page/n15/mode/2up

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Also, I doubt F.J. Foakes-Jackson opined that Ignatius did not exist. If you want to look up that quote in its proper context, in fact, you'll see that he expressly indicates that Ignatius wrote to Polycarp, who Foakes-Jackson refers to on p. 48 as "the disciple of St. John." So you are quoting the work of a man who DOES believe the Apostles really existed, and DOES consider Ignatius to be an historical figure to prove the opposite?

And out of context at that?

Read the source material for yourself, Cappy. It's all out there. Here's a link -- read the whole book.

http://archive.org/P...ge/n15/mode/2up

Your link goes to a page not found. I never claimed Jackson believed one way or the other, I simply quoted him on what was known or not.

If I had to guess as to where it all really started (and I emphasize started), my guess (and I stress it's just a guess) would be Theophilus. There's not much out there on the 3 between Ignatius and Theophilus. Of course Theo would have you believe that the Young Earth Theory was true as well. If I had to place a bet, it would probably be there...

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I'll agree with this part of your post. Benny Hinn, however, is a fake phony baloney.

Now to me. I tried to be a christian many times and even talked the talk and walked the walk for a while. The problem was that when I really looked at what I believed, it wasn't what equates to Christianity.

I am not against the Bible nor do I think it's historically accurate in any way. What I have come to believe and as ease with is that it's entirely a metaphor for how a society should live, how an individual should conduct themselves and maybe even Jesus is a metaphor for our conscience.

I don't pretend to have the right answer nor do I feel the need to tear anyone down who believes otherwise. Is there really a god? Heck if I know but it's just not that big of a deal to me really.

I respect you very much.

furthermore I like to tell you this.

there is many paths to the top of mount Everest. some easier for others, some harder for others. find you a good guide, IMO. that can show you the way to the top.

meaning christian is not the only way, IMO to G-d (GOD).

also do not think you can just appear to the top of mount Everest. if you did pop to the top of Everest you would loose consciousness in 30 seconds and die in 2 minutes, because of lack of oxygen. It takes time and learning. even though you reach a point, does not mean to keep driving up. sometimes you need to build up the strength. also do not flip flop with religions. just as there is many paths to the top of the mountain, you see picking one path one week to the next path to the next; only leads you in circle's around the mountain.

^^^^ took me a long time figure that out.

I would suggest if you like peace, then go with Buddha or Zen or Tao. but there is many many faiths out there......also I say G-d tells us to be sheep of G-d.....furthermore I say, do not be sheep of man. I see a lot of Christians fail because they put there faith into a pastor instead of reading what G-d said.

---------------------------------------------

this is another story. only read if you want.

I child decided one day he wanted to go visit the king of his land. (the king lived in the mountains in a big temple). So the parents aloud the child to go. the journey was simple at first. He rode the horse through clear days. he reached almost the base of the mountain, and was stopped by a simple man. the man asked him what he was doing and asked to stay a while and rest. so the boy stayed. a couple of days went by and the boy said, "I need to really go". so the boy took off. the weather started to get a little rough but him and the horse went on. they reached a town. A women came out and asked the boy to please stay and please eat and build his strength. so the boy admitted his was hungry and so he stayed. a couple of days passed and he said he must get going. well he went out and the mountain was to steep for the horse to go up. so the boy went on his hands and knees to climb the mountain. then the weather got very very bad. but the boy kept going. a good day went by and he finally got to the temple doors. the boy opened the door, inside was gold and the most beautiful he ever saw. but then he saw himself. it was weird at first. the boy asked himself, "what is going on". and the "himself" replied I am about to embark out on a journey to find the king".

now think about it. you let the story speak to you. I will not say what I feel it means.

this is the best thing about picking up faiths. you take in what you are to listen to. not everyone has the same ear. and everyone should not be listening to a man. you start listening to a man and thinking you are a sheep, and you'll find out your a sheeple.

as far as me. I am a ram to man. but a sheep unto G-d.

Asante' for letting me share this with you.

Namaste'

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Your link goes to a page not found. I never claimed Jackson believed one way or the other, I simply quoted him on what was known or not.

Sorry, try this one....

http://archive.org/details/historyofthechri027628mbp

.....and click the e-book to the left side of the page.

If I had to guess as to where it all really started, my guess (and I stress it's just a guess) would be Theophilus. There's not much out there on the 3 between Ignatius and Theophilus. Of course Theo would have you believe that the Young Earth Theory was true as well. If I had to place a bet, it would probably be there...

So I would then ask, what evidence do you have to support that guess?

Because not only does the historian you cited not believe what you suggest, but the vast, vast majority of other historians don't either. Ignatius wrote letters, and we have them intact (there are others that are believed to be forgeries, but there are a significant number that are widely considered authentic). So did Theophilus glom on to those letters and claim Ignatius to be something he really wasn't? Or are you seriously claiming Ignatius never existed?

If the latter, I'd be interested in your thoughts on Origen writing that he was a successor of St. Peter as bishop of Antioch? What do you do with Iranaeus writing of Ignatius' martyrdom? Are they made up to? Did Origen and Iranaeus not exist?

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I'm not atheist, JDaveG. For that I would have to NOT believe in god. But, although it seems weird, I don't believe in God, yet. I am impartial until I am given 100% concrete evidence of his existence or nonexistence. You WANT to believe SO badly that God is real, and that's okay. But how disappointing would it be for you if you live your whole life worshiping a made up entity and instead of white, pearly gates all that happens after death is rot? I'm not getting my hopes up. Until then I am being a good, contributing member of society and living life in a way "God" would want me to even though I am not living through his guidance.

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I'm not atheist, JDaveG. For that I would have to NOT believe in god. But, although it seems weird, I don't believe in God, yet. I am impartial until I am given 100% concrete evidence of his existence or nonexistence. You WANT to believe SO badly that God is real, and that's okay. But how disappointing would it be for you if you live your whole life worshiping a made up entity and instead of white, pearly gates all that happens after death is rot? I'm not getting my hopes up. Until then I am being a good, contributing member of society and living life in a way "God" would want me to even though I am not living through his guidance.

Let me be clear -- I have no problem with people who do not believe in God nor with people who are essentially agnostic or skeptical. Skepticism is good. And I consider Cappy and other skeptics on this forum to be my friends.

My issue, though, is when skepticism becomes willful ignorance of the truth. It's funny, because I was a Protestant for years and years, convinced that I could read the Bible and have all the answers. Then I studied history. To quote Cardinal John Henry Newman, "to be deep in history is to cease to be Protestant." And so it was with me (we became Orthodox, while Cardinal Newman is Roman Catholic, but the same maxim applies). So I know quite a bit more than your average man on the street about Christian history, and because of that I find it distressing when people make claims that are, put bluntly, categorically false. Demonstrably false. So false that historians consider people who adhere to them to be akin to holocaust deniers or flat earthers or people who believe in magic.

Being a skeptic is one thing. Questioning whether demonstrable historical figures are actually historical is not skepticism. It is willful ignorance and wishful thinking. It is exactly what you describe above -- wanting something to be true so bad you essentially are willing to overlook all manner of truth in order to maintain that belief. I find that ironic, particularly when it comes from the side that typically wants to pit reason against faith.

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Sorry, try this one....

http://archive.org/d...hechri027628mbp

.....and click the e-book to the left side of the page.

So I would then ask, what evidence do you have to support that guess?

Because not only does the historian you cited not believe what you suggest, but the vast, vast majority of other historians don't either. Ignatius wrote letters, and we have them intact (there are others that are believed to be forgeries, but there are a significant number that are widely considered authentic). So did Theophilus glom on to those letters and claim Ignatius to be something he really wasn't? Or are you seriously claiming Ignatius never existed?

If the latter, I'd be interested in your thoughts on Origen writing that he was a successor of St. Peter as bishop of Antioch? What do you do with Iranaeus writing of Ignatius' martyrdom? Are they made up to? Did Origen and Iranaeus not exist?

The evidence that I would start with would be the absence of writings immediately after his. There's very little in relation to the 3 between Ignatius and Theophilus and no historical writings from them. Then the floodgates open with writings. That's a red flag for me. As for Ignatius himself, I find it hard to believe that there's no pastoral evidence and nothing known about him except for this martydom story. The letters are still questioned (I lean towards fraud) given the evidence that for the 100 year period after him there is very little on Heros I and II and Cornelius. See in the introductory note to Irenaeus on ECW site:

We have therefore given all the forms of the Ignatian letters which have the least claim on our attention.484 The reader may judge, by comparison for himself, which of these is to be accepted as genuine, supposing him disposed to admit the claims of any one of them. We content ourselves with laying the materials for judgment before him, and with referring to the above-named works in which we find the whole subject discussed. As to the personal history of Ignatius, almost nothing is known. The principal source of information regarding him is found in the account of his martyrdom, to which the reader is referred.

As for Origen and Irenaeus, given the timeframe of their writings, I would venture to guess that quite a lot was based on oral tradition and what was on hand, obviously there weren't many copies of materials or the internet to verify information during that time. Obviously, all is just theory as I'm not a historian by any means but I'd hardly say that there is overwhelming evidence of anything of being "fact" or "truth".

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The evidence that I would start with would be the absence of writings immediately after his. There's very little in relation to the 3 between Ignatius and Theophilus and no historical writings from them. Then the floodgates open with writings. That's a red flag for me. As for Ignatius himself, I find it hard to believe that there's no pastoral evidence and nothing known about him except for this martydom story. The letters are still questioned (I lean towards fraud) given the evidence that for the 100 year period after him there is very little on Heros I and II and Cornelius. See in the introductory note to Irenaeus on ECW site:

We have therefore given all the forms of the Ignatian letters which have the least claim on our attention.484 The reader may judge, by comparison for himself, which of these is to be accepted as genuine, supposing him disposed to admit the claims of any one of them. We content ourselves with laying the materials for judgment before him, and with referring to the above-named works in which we find the whole subject discussed. As to the personal history of Ignatius, almost nothing is known. The principal source of information regarding him is found in the account of his martyrdom, to which the reader is referred.

As for Origen and Irenaeus, given the timeframe of their writings, I would venture to guess that quite a lot was based on oral tradition and what was on hand, obviously there weren't many copies of materials or the internet to verify information during that time. Obviously, all is just theory as I'm not a historian by any means but I'd hardly say that there is overwhelming evidence of anything of being "fact" or "truth".

You not being an historian, it would seem to me you would be better off relying on historians than relying on people with an agenda in either direction. It would seem to me especially important to look at the opinions and conclusions of historians you cite to support your case, particularly when they disagree completely with your own conclusions. You personally leaning toward fraud in all of Ignatius' letters really doesn't move the ball since you haven't personally studied the letters in any sort of depth to form such an opinion. The question is, what do people who HAVE studied the writings say, and those scholars overwhelmingly consider them to be authentic. Once again, take the citation you provide:

http://www.ccel.org/.../anf01.v.i.html

I find it interesting that you selectively edited the quote to omit the sentence immediately preceding, which says:

There are still those who hold that the balance of argument is in favour of the shorter Greek, as against these Syriac Epistles. They regard the latter as an epitome of the former, and think the harshness which, according to them, exists in the sequence of thoughts and sentences, clearly shows that this is the case.

So what he is saying is NOT that ALL of Ignatius' writings are suspect, but rather that the shorter form of his epistles is widely recognized as authentic while the longer forms are controversial. Your edit, unfortunately, changes the entire context of the quote.

Regarding absence of writings being some sort of "proof," can you think of any reasons why, for example, we don't have a lot of information about Ignatius prior to his martyrdom? Or why writings from this era are sparse? Antioch is a bit of a flyer (and Ignatius a bigger flyer still), but if you look at succession lists from other Sees, you'll see something very interesting -- the bishoprics don't last very long. That's because at that time, when it was discovered you were a Christian bishop, you were executed. Most people of the period were not writing extensively and publishing their writings widely because it would get them killed.

Origen was born in around 185. So obviously, his knowledge of Ignatius was based on oral tradition. However, he would be speaking to people who knew him or who knew people who knew him. Same with Iranaeus, who wrote extensively. You dismiss this as "evidence," but you have not actually met any of your ancestors past a certain point, and yet you trust that your great great grandfather or whoever really existed. Your standard of proof is therefore flawed. Further, your "guess" that the See of Antioch was first formed around 169 doesn't help your argument, as the community would not be fully formed by the time of Origen or Iranaeus if that were true, and more to the point, neither of these men was in the See of Antioch (Origen was in Alexandria, as I recall, and Iranaeus was a bishop in what is now France). So when were THEIR Sees formed? Now you have multiplied your problem. If the See of Antioch was invented around 169 to prop up a fraudulent religion (apparently in order to commit suicide by Roman soldier?), how in the world do you explain the See of Alexandria and the See of Lyon existing contemporaneously?

Lyon, at least, was formed immediately prior to that -- Iranaeus was the 2nd bishop of Lyon. But how do you deal with Alexandria? Here is the Patriarchal succession in Alexandria:

http://www.patriarch...tent&cid=001003

Now you have to explain to me when THAT See was begun, if not by St. Mark as indicated in the succession. So look at that list and tell me where THAT See was supposedly invented and why you believe that.

This is the problem you will face the deeper you go into history. You'll be able to drill down in a vacuum and call into question this or that person. But as you unravel the evidence for the existence of that person, you'll find a much broader fabric that you'll also have to unravel. And it is impossible to unravel, which is why the vast majority of historians believe these are real people who really existed and really wrote about their experiences. My take is you'd be far better off concentrating on the resurrection claims, or the virgin birth claims, or anything that is at least historically arguable, than trying to go here. You just can't undo what has long been demonstrated to be the truth. You can't write people out of history.

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You not being an historian, it would seem to me you would be better off relying on historians than relying on people with an agenda in either direction. It would seem to me especially important to look at the opinions and conclusions of historians you cite to support your case, particularly when they disagree completely with your own conclusions. You personally leaning toward fraud in all of Ignatius' letters really doesn't move the ball since you haven't personally studied the letters in any sort of depth to form such an opinion. The question is, what do people who HAVE studied the writings say, and those scholars overwhelmingly consider them to be authentic. Once again, take the citation you provide:

http://www.ccel.org/.../anf01.v.i.html

I find it interesting that you selectively edited the quote to omit the sentence immediately preceding, which says:

So what he is saying is NOT that ALL of Ignatius' writings are suspect, but rather that the shorter form of his epistles is widely recognized as authentic while the longer forms are controversial. Your edit, unfortunately, changes the entire context of the quote.

Regarding absence of writings being some sort of "proof," can you think of any reasons why, for example, we don't have a lot of information about Ignatius prior to his martyrdom? Or why writings from this era are sparse? Antioch is a bit of a flyer (and Ignatius a bigger flyer still), but if you look at succession lists from other Sees, you'll see something very interesting -- the bishoprics don't last very long. That's because at that time, when it was discovered you were a Christian bishop, you were executed. Most people of the period were not writing extensively and publishing their writings widely because it would get them killed.

Origen was born in around 185. So obviously, his knowledge of Ignatius was based on oral tradition. However, he would be speaking to people who knew him or who knew people who knew him. Same with Iranaeus, who wrote extensively. You dismiss this as "evidence," but you have not actually met any of your ancestors past a certain point, and yet you trust that your great great grandfather or whoever really existed. Your standard of proof is therefore flawed. Further, your "guess" that the See of Antioch was first formed around 169 doesn't help your argument, as the community would not be fully formed by the time of Origen or Iranaeus if that were true, and more to the point, neither of these men was in the See of Antioch (Origen was in Alexandria, as I recall, and Iranaeus was a bishop in what is now France). So when were THEIR Sees formed? Now you have multiplied your problem. If the See of Antioch was invented around 169 to prop up a fraudulent religion (apparently in order to commit suicide by Roman soldier?), how in the world do you explain the See of Alexandria and the See of Lyon existing contemporaneously?

Lyon, at least, was formed immediately prior to that -- Iranaeus was the 2nd bishop of Lyon. But how do you deal with Alexandria? Here is the Patriarchal succession in Alexandria:

http://www.patriarch...tent&cid=001003

Now you have to explain to me when THAT See was begun, if not by St. Mark as indicated in the succession. So look at that list and tell me where THAT See was supposedly invented and why you believe that.

This is the problem you will face the deeper you go into history. You'll be able to drill down in a vacuum and call into question this or that person. But as you unravel the evidence for the existence of that person, you'll find a much broader fabric that you'll also have to unravel. And it is impossible to unravel, which is why the vast majority of historians believe these are real people who really existed and really wrote about their experiences. My take is you'd be far better off concentrating on the resurrection claims, or the virgin birth claims, or anything that is at least historically arguable, than trying to go here. You just can't undo what has long been demonstrated to be the truth. You can't write people out of history.

It's not the agendas of either side that sways me at this particular time, it's just the logic behind things that doesn't sit well with me. I didn't "selectively edit" the quote to mislead anyone as it seems you may be suggesting (and I hope I'm just taking that wrong) but only to establish the point that I made which was that the only thing known about Ignatius is this martyrdom story. It's not that Ignatius or anyone before may not exist physically, it's that they don't exist as we have been told is my point.

Here's how my logic works (and one of these days, I'll get around to checking out some things to see if it holds water or not):

1. It's a consensus that nothing is known of Ignatius outside of the martyrdom story.

2. It's also known that there isn't much, if anything (I haven't found anything) on the 3 that follow Ignatius (Heros I and II and Cornelius).

3. So with no writings before Ignatius, nothing during his 32 years of being bishop and nothing the following 100 years of the See, I'm expected to believe that these letters were kept intact with known 2nd versions that are known to be fraudulent?

That just doesn't pass the smell test for me. The first question I would have to ask is why would they be kept when he evidently did nothing deemed worthy of keeping during his entire time as bishop? The second question is on what basis could someone deem the letters to be authentic when it's widely accepted by scholars that very little is known about Ignatius prior to these letters? The third question is am I also supposed to accept that the 3 bishops that followed him had nothing worthy of being kept in a full century? Without getting to the actual content of the letters themselves, I'd then take note that the mass collection of writings began with Theophilus and Origen later on. I find it more likely that someone other than Ignatius wrote the letters and that they were actually written closer to Theophilus' time. The argument for oral tradition is an easy one to defeat from a simple party game. 20 people in a line. The first person is handed a sentence and whispers it to the person next to them and so on down the line. By the time it gets down to person #20 it's an entirely different thing.

I don't doubt the existence of the churches or their leaders, I just doubt their existence as it has been presented to us. Let's remember the old adage that "History is written by the Victors."

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I am not arguing anything. I am stating fact. It is ignorant to think otherwise. If you honestly think that - without substantial evidence as proof - all of the Bible's stories are true then you are terribly naive. This is why I stay away from religion as a whole. It thrives off belief in entities that may or may not exist. I'd never put my faith into something that may not be there when I need it most. I like concrete, physical things that I can see with my own two eyes to look for guidance from (ie. Family). Although, I do not dismiss people who are religious nor do I think any differently of them as again I have no evidence to disprove their beliefs. It's all subjective. If you are comfortable dedicating your life to Jesus Christ, a man you have never met and may have never walked the earth for all you know, then by all means do it. I couldn't care less.

Both sides of this real or fiction argument have no evidence to prove the other wrong, hence "pointless".

The burden of proof is on the side that makes the claim that Jesus Christ walked the earth, etc etc. The side that denies these claims do not have to provide evidence to disapprove the people who makes claims about Jesus.

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It's not the agendas of either side that sways me at this particular time, it's just the logic behind things that doesn't sit well with me. I didn't "selectively edit" the quote to mislead anyone as it seems you may be suggesting (and I hope I'm just taking that wrong) but only to establish the point that I made which was that the only thing known about Ignatius is this martyrdom story. It's not that Ignatius or anyone before may not exist physically, it's that they don't exist as we have been told is my point.

Here's how my logic works (and one of these days, I'll get around to checking out some things to see if it holds water or not):

1. It's a consensus that nothing is known of Ignatius outside of the martyrdom story.

2. It's also known that there isn't much, if anything (I haven't found anything) on the 3 that follow Ignatius (Heros I and II and Cornelius).

3. So with no writings before Ignatius, nothing during his 32 years of being bishop and nothing the following 100 years of the See, I'm expected to believe that these letters were kept intact with known 2nd versions that are known to be fraudulent?

That just doesn't pass the smell test for me. The first question I would have to ask is why would they be kept when he evidently did nothing deemed worthy of keeping during his entire time as bishop? The second question is on what basis could someone deem the letters to be authentic when it's widely accepted by scholars that very little is known about Ignatius prior to these letters? The third question is am I also supposed to accept that the 3 bishops that followed him had nothing worthy of being kept in a full century? Without getting to the actual content of the letters themselves, I'd then take note that the mass collection of writings began with Theophilus and Origen later on. I find it more likely that someone other than Ignatius wrote the letters and that they were actually written closer to Theophilus' time. The argument for oral tradition is an easy one to defeat from a simple party game. 20 people in a line. The first person is handed a sentence and whispers it to the person next to them and so on down the line. By the time it gets down to person #20 it's an entirely different thing.

I don't doubt the existence of the churches or their leaders, I just doubt their existence as it has been presented to us. Let's remember the old adage that "History is written by the Victors."

In this case, history was written by the martyrs. The powers that be in ancient Rome certainly didn't make this up. I see that as a testament to the truth of the historicity of the Church.

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In this case, history was written by the martyrs. The powers that be in ancient Rome certainly didn't make this up. I see that as a testament to the truth of the historicity of the Church.

I don't see the Roman gods being worshipped much anymore although Jesus certainly was given some of their qualities when his character was developed...

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I don't see the Roman gods being worshipped much anymore.....

Exactly....

.... although Jesus certainly was given some of their qualities when his character was developed...

Oh, please rolleyes.gif

I note with some interest that you didn't even address the Sees of Lyon and Alexandria. You're trying to rip Antioch from its proper historical context and analyze it in a vacuum, and then begging the question to boot. That's hardly conducive to a search for truth.

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Exactly....

Oh, please rolleyes.gif

I note with some interest that you didn't even address the Sees of Lyon and Alexandria. You're trying to rip Antioch from its proper historical context and analyze it in a vacuum, and then begging the question to boot. That's hardly conducive to a search for truth.

Because that was the subject we were discussing. I didn't try to rip anything, I simply presented my logical questions about Ignatius based on agreed upon facts. I can't even begin to type each and every thing that I've come into contact with or thought of in a post on a message board, that's quite an unrealistic challenge. And again, I state that it's not that these people didn't exist (in one way or another) but that they don't exist in the way they are portrayed.

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Because that was the subject we were discussing. I didn't try to rip anything, I simply presented my logical questions about Ignatius based on agreed upon facts. I can't even begin to type each and every thing that I've come into contact with or thought of in a post on a message board, that's quite an unrealistic challenge. And again, I state that it's not that these people didn't exist (in one way or another) but that they don't exist in the way they are portrayed.

So it's your burden then to take someone like, say, Origen, who wrote about Ignatius, and then refute his authenticity. That takes us out of Antioch and into Alexandria. That's a problem for you.

That's been my point all along. You can raise your questions in an historical vacuum, but when you shine the bright light of ALL of Christian history on it, your objections fail. Because then your hypothesis that the See of Antioch was invented in the mid-2nd century depends entirely on you further refuting writings from the See of Alexandria that support the Antiochian historicity. The history is there. If you want to make a claim that the See of Antioch was fabricated after the fact, you have to deal with the evidence. It's not enough to simply pass it by and pretend it doesn't exist.

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So it's your burden then to take someone like, say, Origen, who wrote about Ignatius, and then refute his authenticity. That takes us out of Antioch and into Alexandria. That's a problem for you.

That's been my point all along. You can raise your questions in an historical vacuum, but when you shine the bright light of ALL of Christian history on it, your objections fail. Because then your hypothesis that the See of Antioch was invented in the mid-2nd century depends entirely on you further refuting writings from the See of Alexandria that support the Antiochian historicity. The history is there. If you want to make a claim that the See of Antioch was fabricated after the fact, you have to deal with the evidence. It's not enough to simply pass it by and pretend it doesn't exist.

Dave, you keep ignoring the fact that I've said repeatedly that it's not that the people didn't physically exist, it's that they don't exist as presented. Not sure why you continue to gloss over that like it hasn't been said. The logic that I spelled out on Ignatius is based on fact. You haven't so much as acknowledged I even said it. None of that was copied from a website or something I read, that was my original thought process.

We've already discussed Origen. Considering his writings occur 2 centuries after Jesus' birth, he can only write what he's been told or read and I addressed that very simply.

I know that you don't believe what I'm saying and that's fine but what it comes down to is you have faith that things are as you believe. I don't have that faith because the facts simply don't back it up for me. More breakdown on Ignatius:

http://www.bible.ca/...eries-250AD.htm

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Dave, you keep ignoring the fact that I've said repeatedly that it's not that the people didn't physically exist, it's that they don't exist as presented. Not sure why you continue to gloss over that like it hasn't been said. The logic that I spelled out on Ignatius is based on fact. You haven't so much as acknowledged I even said it. None of that was copied from a website or something I read, that was my original thought process.

I'm not ignoring it -- I'm actually demonstrating for you that the only way we know they exist is from the writings we have by them and about them, and the communities they established. That's true of any ancient historical figure. So if you accept that they exist at all, you must accept it based on the evidence we have, which is the writings and the communities. If you want to claim that one of those is in error, then you have to demonstrate that the writings are fraudulent (which you have claimed) AND the communities are fraudulent (which you have also claimed). Once you do that, on what basis do you even contend they ever existed? And if you claim they existed but not "as presented," what evidence is there for that view? You accept the writings and communities as to their existence but not as to how they existed?

More to the point, you can't really do even that because the web is cast too widely. That's why I asked you about Alexandrian writings.

We've already discussed Origen. Considering his writings occur 2 centuries after Jesus' birth, he can only write what he's been told or read and I addressed that very simply.

You say Origen was "2 centuries after Jesus' birth," but we aren't talking about Origen's writings on Jesus. He's 2 GENERATIONS removed from Ignatius. That's why I asked you if you believe your great, great grandparents were real. When Origen references Ignatius, his claim has merit because he is in an active community that is geographically in reasonable proximity to Ignatius, and he is talking to people who knew him and his successors. And by the way, Origen ended his life as a heretic, so it's not like Christians consider him a source favorable to our side.

It isn't like the party game where you pass something down and see if it makes it through so many people in its original form, either. For one, oral tradition was the MAIN way information was passed in the ancient world. By that logic, there is no reliable evidence of anything that existed before the printing press was invented. For another, the oral tradition surrounding the Scriptures has been over and over again confirmed by archeological evidence, discoveries of various writings, etc.

As to Ignatius, Origen refers to him twice, and specifically makes reference to his writings. Iranaeus quotes his writings without specifically naming Ignatius. Iranaeus completed "Against Heresies" around 180 AD. This is within 11 years of when you claim the See of Antioch was invented (which claim, of course, is without a shred of actual evidence). So for your claim to be true, Iranaeus would have to have either committed a fraud himself (which literally no one claims), or would have to have been duped by an 11 year old community that put forth fraudulent writings attributed to Ignatius and then actually cited those writings in his work. Does THAT pass the smell test to you?

I know that you don't believe what I'm saying and that's fine but what it comes down to is you have faith that things are as you believe. I don't have that faith because the facts simply don't back it up for me. More breakdown on Ignatius:

http://www.bible.ca/...eries-250AD.htm

No, you have faith in spite of evidence, which ironically is what you claim I am doing.

Your link says these supposed "forgeries" were done in 250 AD. Explain, then, how Iranaeus references Ignatius' writings in 180 AD?

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P.S., did you read the link you provided carefully? Can you tell us what possible bias the author of that website might have? Hint: He's not an atheist, but he has a very clear reason for wanting Ignatius' letters to be fraudulent. Care to take a guess what that may be?

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As to Ignatius, Origen refers to him twice, and specifically makes reference to his writings. Iranaeus quotes his writings without specifically naming Ignatius. Iranaeus completed "Against Heresies" around 180 AD. This is within 11 years of when you claim the See of Antioch was invented (which claim, of course, is without a shred of actual evidence). So for your claim to be true, Iranaeus would have to have either committed a fraud himself (which literally no one claims), or would have to have been duped by an 11 year old community that put forth fraudulent writings attributed to Ignatius and then actually cited those writings in his work. Does THAT pass the smell test to you?

No, you have faith in spite of evidence, which ironically is what you claim I am doing.

Your link says these supposed "forgeries" were done in 250 AD. Explain, then, how Iranaeus references Ignatius' writings in 180 AD?

Not sure where you are getting the See being created as that's not what I said and if I was unclear, I'll say it now, that's not what I'm saying.

I'm glad you brought up Iraneus though since he states in Against Heresies that Jesus lived to be at least 100. How can that possibly be explained away? That is one of the reasons oral tradition just doesn't hold water with me. Add in that the actual contemporaries who would have certainly known about Jesus never said word about him. How can this be?

I believe it's more accurate to believe that some very imaginative and creative people wrote these things to create hope for a crumbling Judea where faith in traditional Judaeism was fading...

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Not sure where you are getting the See being created as that's not what I said and if I was unclear, I'll say it now, that's not what I'm saying.

Good. This is the post I was referring to -- can you clarify what you meant?

http://boards.atlantafalcons.com/topic/3871788-the-bible-is-a-work-of-fiction/page__st__260__p__6811420#entry6811420

I'm glad you brought up Iraneus though since he states in Against Heresies that Jesus lived to be at least 100. How can that possibly be explained away? That is one of the reasons oral tradition just doesn't hold water with me. Add in that the actual contemporaries who would have certainly known about Jesus never said word about him. How can this be?

Well, first, that's not what Irenaeus said. There is an issue with what he did say about Jesus' age, but he did not say he lived to be 100. He indicated that JOHN lived to that approximate age, but this is generally accepted. Irenaeus' point was that He fulfilled the Judaic prophecies by being baptized at 30 and beginning His ministry at that time.

Second, you say Jesus' contemporaries "never said a word about him," but this is also untrue. The only way you get there is to beg the question with regard to the authorship debate on the New Testament, specifically the Gospels. But the claim that Matthew, Mark, Luke and John did not write the Gospels is a late novelty, and more to the point, scholars are divided on the issue. You have to resolve that in favor of pseudonymous authorship in order to make the claim you do, and the scholarship just doesn't support that conclusion. More to the point, Mark is a likely eyewitness to the events in his Gospel, and Markan authorship is not as widely contested as, say, Matthew and John are. So you get to this claim by basically picking a side without regard to the dispute in the scholarship. That's fine, but it indicates you have as much a bias as anyone else in that regard. It certainly is not "going with the evidence," since the evidence is not conclusive on that point.

Further, Paul was a contemporary of Jesus, and his authorship of at least certain Epistles is undisputed. Luke was also a contemporary. The fact that neither of them knew Him personally (leaving the Road to Damascus out of it) doesn't change the fact that they certainly knew people who did.

I believe it's more accurate to believe that some very imaginative and creative people wrote these things to create hope for a crumbling Judea where faith in traditional Judaeism was fading...

And you get there by selectively interpreting the evidence, which is ironic. You claim that I want the Bible to be true and the Tradition of the Church to be true and that I therefore go forward on "faith," while you think "the facts" don't support my view. But the simple fact is you have picked a side yourself. You are engaging in argument, not fact-finding. You accept those facts that support your view and discount, disparage and outright ignore those that don't.

Admitting that might be a good first step to finding the truth.

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