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  1. #41
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    Re: From "a god" to Jesus and the proof of Christianty, version 2013

    Quote Originally Posted by Freund View Post
    What exactly do you mean by "reasonable degree of probability"?
    I mean something that is more likely to be true than not . . . which, as you know, is not a very high standard for belief.

    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap
    no. it is the reliability of the FIRST HAND evidence of both a death and then being seen alive again.
    If you know of what to call an observed death, and then being seen alive again other than "resurrected" then I am interested in hearing it.
    I think your standard is reasonable, MT. Someone who both observes a person to be dead and then later observes that same person to be alive again, IMO, should be called an eyewitness to a resurrection. I don't know why anyone would have a problem with your "eyewitness to a resurrection" standard. I certainly don't.

    That's the reason that I say in the case of the NT accounts of Jesus' resurrection we're most likely talking about hearsay and not first hand accounts.

  2. #42
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    Re: From "a god" to Jesus and the proof of Christianty, version 2013

    Quote Originally Posted by Freund View Post
    You were met on that challenge by MT, specifically when he outlined a quality of the New Testament manuscripts that differentiate them from most (if not all) ancient historical manuscripts:


    You asked in your OP for Christians to describe how they came to faith--MT started the ball rolling for you and you tossed this aside because it didn't meet your preconceived notions as to how this discussion was supposed to progress.

    To clarify--the primary evidence for Jesus as the Son of God comes from the Bible, and specifically the New Testament manuscripts. So it makes sense then to establish the trustworthiness of those manuscripts. Seems straightforward to me.

    So straightforward, in fact, that I think discussing anything else would be a distraction. So focus on this point.
    With all due respect, this is a mischaracterization of what is happening here, specifically the part in bold. I have repeatedly asked for specific pieces of evidence to evaluate, and have even pointed out that that this evidence would of course have to come from the Gospels. I have tried to focus.

    MT never forwarded any specific parts of The Bible as evidence to support his claims that The Bible is different, in that the core claim of Jesus is the one and only God. Nor has he forwarded anything from outside of The Bible that would support a specific part of The Bible. He has not forwarded anything but the obvious: that he feels The Bible is the evidence that proves that Jesus is God because of the Resurrection.

    So let's get down to it. Which Gospel is the most convincing account of Jesus' Resurrection and why?

  3. #43
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    Re: From "a god" to Jesus and the proof of Christianty, version 2013

    Quote Originally Posted by Rodriguez
    I think your standard is reasonable, MT. Someone who both observes a person to be dead and then later observes that same person to be alive again, IMO, should be called an eyewitness to a resurrection. I don't know why anyone would have a problem with your "eyewitness to a resurrection" standard. I certainly don't.

    That's the reason that I say in the case of the NT accounts of Jesus' resurrection we're most likely talking about hearsay and not first hand accounts.
    Why should we assume that the NT accounts are hearsay over first-hand accounts?

    Quote Originally Posted by Prime Zombie
    With all due respect, this is a mischaracterization of what is happening here, specifically the part in bold. I have repeatedly asked for specific pieces of evidence to evaluate, and have even pointed out that that this evidence would of course have to come from the Gospels. I have tried to focus.
    The evidence MT has presented is the fact that unlike nearly all other works of ancient history, we have documentation of the NT manuscripts in some cases less than 30 years after they were first written. MT's point is that the closer we get to the originals, the more trustworthy and reliable they become. This applies to the whole of the New Testament, which is why you can't simply ask for "the most convincing account of Jesus' Resurrection" because the reason the NT accounts are convincing has everything to do with the fact that there are multiple sources that describe the same events in great detail.

  4. #44
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    Re: From "a god" to Jesus and the proof of Christianty, version 2013

    Quote Originally Posted by Freund
    Why should we assume that the NT accounts are hearsay over first-hand accounts?
    We seem to be going around in circles here.

    The NT accounts of the resurrection are most likely hearsay because it cannot be clearly established that an eyewitness account is being related.

  5. #45
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    Re: From "a god" to Jesus and the proof of Christianty, version 2013

    Quote Originally Posted by Rodriguez
    The NT accounts of the resurrection are most likely hearsay because it cannot be clearly established that an eyewitness account is being related.
    Are you being serious? Please clarify what about the following indicates that anything but an eyewitness account is being related:

    "Inasmuch as many have undertaken to compile a narrative of the things that have been accomplished among us, just as those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word have delivered them to us, it seemed good to me also, having followed all things closely for some time past, to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, that you may have certainty concerning the things you have been taught." --Luke 1:1-4 (ESV)

    "This is the disciple who is bearing witness about these things, and who has written these things, and we know that his testimony is true." --John 21:24 (ESV)

    "In the first book, O Theophilus, I have dealt with all that Jesus began to do and teach, until the day when he was taken up, after he had given commands through the Holy Spirit to the apostles whom he had chosen. He presented himself alive to them after his suffering by many proofs, appearing to them during forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God." --Acts 1:1-3 (ESV)

    Not only that, but there are simply too many names listed within the accounts; names which are specific to this particular region and time period of ancient Palestine, names of the people in power within this region at this time (Herod the Great, Tiberius Caesar, Quirinius, Pilate, et al.), names of women (something unheard of during this time period), etc. To claim that not only the unique styles of the four Gospels and the letters that followed weren't a collection of eyewitness testimony, but also that Luke--who said he gathered his information from eyewitnesses--is a liar, and then to take it one step further and claim everything is hearsay, requires justification and support, as it can be established with high confidence that the New Testament accounts were the accounts of eyewitnesses to the events described within.

  6. #46
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    Re: From "a god" to Jesus and the proof of Christianty, version 2013

    Quote Originally Posted by Freund View Post
    Are you being serious? Please clarify what about the following indicates that anything but an eyewitness account is being related:

    "Inasmuch as many have undertaken to compile a narrative of the things that have been accomplished among us, just as those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word have delivered them to us, it seemed good to me also, having followed all things closely for some time past, to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, that you may have certainty concerning the things you have been taught." --Luke 1:1-4 (ESV)
    There is no indication whatsoever that the author of Luke was an eyewitness to the resurrection of Jesus.

    It's stunning to believe that you could read the words you quote here and say, "The author of Luke says that he was an eyewitness to Jesus' resurrection."

    "This is the disciple who is bearing witness about these things, and who has written these things, and we know that his testimony is true." --John 21:24 (ESV)
    See above.

    "In the first book, O Theophilus, I have dealt with all that Jesus began to do and teach, until the day when he was taken up, after he had given commands through the Holy Spirit to the apostles whom he had chosen. He presented himself alive to them after his suffering by many proofs, appearing to them during forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God." --Acts 1:1-3 (ESV)
    The book of Acts is not one of the Gospels. Beyond that, clearly this account says that Jesus appeared to them, not to him. Any eyewitness account, straightforwardly enough, is testimony based on what the witness himself has witnessed, not what someone else claims to have witnessed.

    Not only that, but there are simply too many names listed within the accounts; names which are specific to this particular region and time period of ancient Palestine, names of the people in power within this region at this time (Herod the Great, Tiberius Caesar, Quirinius, Pilate, et al.), names of women (something unheard of during this time period), etc. To claim that not only the unique styles of the four Gospels and the letters that followed weren't a collection of eyewitness testimony, but also that Luke--who said he gathered his information from eyewitnesses--is a liar, and then to take it one step further and claim everything is hearsay, requires justification and support, as it can be established with high confidence that the New Testament accounts were the accounts of eyewitnesses to the events described within.
    You apparently don't know what an eyewitness account is. If John tells me that he's seen X and I tell you that John has seen X, I have not provided you with an eyewitness account of X.

    MindTrap gave a good standard to use for "eyewitness to a resurrection." To be considered an eyewitness to a resurrection it is necessary, AT A MINIMUM, for one BOTH to have seen a person dead and then later to have seen that same person alive.

    Anything short of that is not an eyewitness to a resurrection.

  7. #47
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    Re: From "a god" to Jesus and the proof of Christianty, version 2013

    Quote Originally Posted by Rodriguez
    There is no indication whatsoever that the author of Luke was an eyewitness to the resurrection of Jesus.

    It's stunning to believe that you could read the words you quote here and say, "The author of Luke says that he was an eyewitness to Jesus' resurrection."
    I didn't say that. Luke (and Acts) are the result of eyewitness interviews, which is how historians of this period gathered their information. If Luke said he interviewed eyewitnesses to the Resurrection, then you must provide adequate reasons why we should not trust Luke (and by extension, all ancient historians).

    See above.
    John 21:24 is likely an addendum which was included after John's death by the person who John dictated to (likely as a result of old age and various ailments preventing John from writing himself), which is why the style is different from the preceding passages.

    The book of Acts is not one of the Gospels. Beyond that, clearly this account says that Jesus appeared to them, not to him. Any eyewitness account, straightforwardly enough, is testimony based on what the witness himself has witnessed, not what someone else claims to have witnessed.
    Who cares if Acts isn't part of the "Gospels"? It is a continuation of Luke's work that documents the events after the Resurrection--something you would expect to find if someone said they had interviewed eyewitnesses and set out to "write an orderly account" of what happened based on eyewitness testimony.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rodriguez
    You apparently don't know what an eyewitness account is. If John tells me that he's seen X and I tell you that John has seen X, I have not provided you with an eyewitness account of X.
    So in court, the stenographer writes down what the eyewitnesses say. Are you saying that just because the eyewitness themselves don't type their own testimony out, that it cannot be considered an eyewitness account? That's just absurd.

  8. #48
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    Re: From "a god" to Jesus and the proof of Christianty, version 2013

    We've gone through a few back and forths here and you have yet to give me even ONE name of an eyewitness to the alleged physical resurrection of Jesus.

    FYI, stenographers do not submit anonymous eyewitness testimony to the court. Normally, eyewitness testimony not only states the eyewitness' name and address as part of the testimony but also the eyewitness takes an oath that his testimony is truthful. And the eyewitness is (almost always) available for cross examination. I'm surprised you didn't already know that.

    So again (for what? the third time now) please give me the names of the people that you believe the bible lists as eyewitnesses to the alleged physical resurrection of Jesus. If you do not have those names, that's fine, just say so.

    If Luke said he interviewed eyewitnesses to the Resurrection, then you must provide adequate reasons why we should not trust Luke (and by extension, all ancient historians).
    Luke? Who was "Luke"? Be specific. Was he viewed as an upstanding member of his community? Was he honest? Did he tend to exaggerate? What do you know about him?

    And who were the people this Luke fellow allegedly interviewed? Give me names, please, not guesses. When and where did the interviews take place? Was anyone else present? Were the interviewees threatened? Were they made to feel comfortable? Were they enticed to say things that Luke wanted to hear? Were they trustworthy individuals? Did any of them suffer from a mental condition? Were their perceptual organs normal; for instance, was their vision 20-20? Any of them have a hearing problem? Tell me exactly what you know about these people that you claim witnessed a physical resurrection and tell me about the interview process.

    Beyond all this, why should any serious person believe an incredible claim made not by the person who allegedly witnessed the event but instead made by a person who says he was told by someone else about the incredible event?

    You haven't given us enough facts here for us to establish a reasonable belief in even an ordinary claim made by your anonymous "eyewitness," much less a supernatural one.

  9. #49
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    Re: From "a god" to Jesus and the proof of Christianty, version 2013

    Quote Originally Posted by Rodriguez
    We've gone through a few back and forths here and you have yet to give me even ONE name of an eyewitness to the alleged physical resurrection of Jesus.
    This is actually the first time you've asked for that, but whatever.

    The probable eyewitnesses of the Resurrection include:

    -Peter
    -Andrew (Peter's brother)
    -James, the son of Zebedee
    -John, the brother of James (son of Zebedee)
    -Philip
    -Bartholomew
    -Thomas
    -Matthew
    -James, the son of Alphaeus
    -Thaddaeus (or Judas the son of James)
    -Simon the Zealot
    -Mary, mother of Jesus
    -Mary Magdalene
    -James, the brother of Jesus
    -Joseph of Arimathea
    -Nicodemus

    ...in addition to other named and unnamed eyewitnesses.

    FYI, stenographers do not submit anonymous eyewitness testimony to the court. Normally, eyewitness testimony not only states the eyewitness' name and address as part of the testimony but also the eyewitness takes an oath that his testimony is truthful. And the eyewitness is (almost always) available for cross examination. I'm surprised you didn't already know that.
    How is this relevant to the point I was making?

    Luke? Who was "Luke"? Be specific. Was he viewed as an upstanding member of his community? Was he honest? Did he tend to exaggerate? What do you know about him?
    The person attributed to the book that bears his name (The Gospel according to Luke) and the book of Acts. He is also know as Luke the Evangelist, was a native of Antioch, was a physician by trade, and was a disciple of Paul.

    And who were the people this Luke fellow allegedly interviewed? Give me names, please, not guesses. When and where did the interviews take place? Was anyone else present? Were the interviewees threatened? Were they made to feel comfortable? Were they enticed to say things that Luke wanted to hear? Were they trustworthy individuals? Did any of them suffer from a mental condition? Were their perceptual organs normal; for instance, was their vision 20-20? Any of them have a hearing problem? Tell me exactly what you know about these people that you claim witnessed a physical resurrection and tell me about the interview process.
    Considering Luke was a disciple of Paul, who spent time with the original eleven disciples, it's safe to say that Luke interviewed all the disciples, and Mary the mother of Jesus (as there is a detailed birth narrative available), at minimum. Regarding your other questions, specifically the following:

    1. Were they enticed to say things that Luke wanted to hear?
    2. Were they trustworthy individuals?
    3. Did any of them suffer from a mental condition?
    4. Were there perceptual organs normal?

    Response to 1: What indication do we have that Luke enticed the people being interviewed to say things he wanted to hear?
    Response to 2: How does one determine trustworthiness?
    Response to 3: What indication do we have that any of the interviewees suffered from a mental condition (and really, you have to apply that criterion to ALL, as there is no mention of mental condition)? Since there is no mention of any mental condition on behalf of the eyewitnesses, why should we assume that there would be?

    Response to 4: I didn't realize perfect vision and hearing was a prerequisite for being a good eyewitness, especially in the case of Jesus' mother and brother, who would have known Him the best.

    Ultimately your threshold for belief is so high as to be virtually impossible to satisfy, and essentially discards all of recorded history as a result. As such, there simply isn't any reason to accept your position as reasonable.

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  11. #50
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    Re: From "a god" to Jesus and the proof of Christianty, version 2013

    Quote Originally Posted by Prime Zombie View Post
    So let's get down to it. Which Gospel is the most convincing account of Jesus' Resurrection and why?
    Not that it's the most convincing, but some things certainly worth examining:

    Matthew 28:11-15, This is the details of the guards' report regarding the tomb of Jesus. They, along with the Sanhedrin, come up with a story that the disciples stole the body during the night. Now what's interesting is, regardless of what time period you put Matthew at being written (IIRC, 50-55 at the earliest, 90 at the latest), the point remains that he's referencing a conspiracy theory involving the empty tomb. Were there no empty tomb, there would be no need for a conspiracy.

    Matthew 28:17, it speaks to some, even seeing him resurrected, STILL doubting. In Luke's gospel we get a clearer image of who remains doubtful, Luke 24:11 states that upon hearing the women's words they thought they were crazy. Peter, the first disciples to discern that Jesus is the Christ, sees the empty tomb, the bloodied linen and all for HIMSELF and STILL walks away going, "WTF?" (Luke 24:12).

    Now as far as convincing, I would argue that Peter seeing the tomb for himself and going, "Huh...well that's weird." and dismissing the word of two women as far more reliable than if he were to jump up and down and scream that Christ is risen and that he knew it all along.
    But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.
    1 Peter 3:15-16

  12. #51
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    Re: From "a god" to Jesus and the proof of Christianty, version 2013

    Quote Originally Posted by Freund
    This is actually the first time you've asked for that, but whatever.
    No, actually it's not the first time I've asked you for a list of the names of the people you allege were witnesses to an alleged resurrection. I've never asked you for that list. I merely remarked that it's odd that you had not, on your own initiative, provided such a list.

    The probable eyewitnesses of the Resurrection include:

    -Peter
    -Andrew (Peter's brother)
    -James, the son of Zebedee
    -John, the brother of James (son of Zebedee)
    -Philip
    -Bartholomew
    -Thomas
    -Matthew
    -James, the son of Alphaeus
    -Thaddaeus (or Judas the son of James)
    -Simon the Zealot
    -Mary, mother of Jesus
    -Mary Magdalene
    -James, the brother of Jesus
    -Joseph of Arimathea
    -Nicodemus

    ...in addition to other named and unnamed eyewitnesses.

    Probable eyewitnesses???

    Where have you heard that any of these people said or wrote that he or she saw Jesus dead and then later saw him alive again?

    How is this relevant to the point I was making?
    You are the one who compared the writings in the Gospels to the writing of a court stenographer in terms of reliability. I am only pointing out that you overlook many, many key differences when you do so.

    Here's one more difference. There is no reason whatever to believe that the author of Luke or any other author of a Gospel sat down one-on-one with any of the principals involved with the Jesus story and interviewed them, much less that he interviewed them in a rigorous, cross-examining manner.

    What is far more likely is that the authors of the Gospels simply wrote down the "Jesus stories" they heard that had been orally circulating in the Christian community for decades. The problem with this, among many other problems, is that orally circulated stories change over time. The original event often bears little resemblance to the finished product.

    The person attributed to the book that bears his name (The Gospel according to Luke) and the book of Acts. He is also know as Luke the Evangelist, was a native of Antioch, was a physician by trade, and was a disciple of Paul.
    So even you admit that besides knowing next to nothing about a historical "Luke," he was not an eyewitness to the alleged resurrection of Jesus. Good.

    Considering Luke was a disciple of Paul, who spent time with the original eleven disciples, it's safe to say that Luke interviewed all the disciples, and Mary the mother of Jesus (as there is a detailed birth narrative available), at minimum.
    No, that is not something that is "safe to say." Far from it, in fact. You have no idea who the person that wrote the "Gospel of Luke" "interviewed." Indeed, scholars today are in agreement that a major source for the Gospel of Luke was the Gospel of Mark. Yeah, that's right, the author of Luke copied what had been written 10 to 15 years before him and added a few fluorishes to suit his own ideological purposes.

    One thing about the "interview" you believe that the author of Luke conducted with Mary. Since there are obvious differences in the birth narratives given in Matthew and in Luke, does this mean that you believe the author of Matthew simply invented his birth narrative out of whole cloth?

    Regarding your other questions, specifically the following:

    1. Were they enticed to say things that Luke wanted to hear?
    2. Were they trustworthy individuals?
    3. Did any of them suffer from a mental condition?
    4. Were there perceptual organs normal?

    Response to 1: What indication do we have that Luke enticed the people being interviewed to say things he wanted to hear?
    Response to 2: How does one determine trustworthiness?
    Response to 3: What indication do we have that any of the interviewees suffered from a mental condition (and really, you have to apply that criterion to ALL, as there is no mention of mental condition)? Since there is no mention of any mental condition on behalf of the eyewitnesses, why should we assume that there would be?

    Response to 4: I didn't realize perfect vision and hearing was a prerequisite for being a good eyewitness, especially in the case of Jesus' mother and brother, who would have known Him the best.
    If these "eyewitnesses" (whomever they were) were testifying about, oh say, someone crossing a lake in a boat, then it would be fair to say, "OK, that's reasonable. That occurs all the time. They could be mistaken, but their claim is plausible on the surface."

    Your eyewitnesses aren't doing that, though, are they? No. They're testifying about someone crossing a lake by walking on the surface of the lake!

    See, the difference here is that a person, any of us, could be mistaken in any claim that he makes; but the more unusual, the more bizarre his claim is, the more the claim should be questioned by someone who is asked to believe the claim.

    For instance, is it more likely that I was actually taken on a one week tour of the solar system by aliens or that I took a trip on drugs and merely but vividly imagined that I'd taken the solar system trip? Either one is possible, so it comes down to plausibility, to probability, to what most likely is the case.

    In the course of telling a story about something that happened 40 years ago, if I say I saw something that everyone else has seen many times in their own lives, then my claim bears initial plausibility; that is, I could be mistaken (after all, 40 years is a long time) but there's no compelling reason, beyond the distant memory thing, for someone listening to my story to believe that I am mistaken about it.

    Conversely, if in this same scenario I claim to have seen something that no one else in their own lives has ever seen or even heard about, then my claim no longer bears the stamp of initial plausibility.

    On the contrary, it should face a great amount of skepticism; for it is far more likely that some other reason is responsible for the event I claimed to witness than it is that I actually saw what I believe I saw. It is at this point and only at this point that other possible explanations for my claim have to be ruled out.

    It all comes down to what is probable and what is not. In the religious world, anything is plausible to true believers and nothing is far-fetched. People come back from the dead, they walk across water, they part seas on command, the sun "stops" in mid-air for them.

    True believers question little. They believe simply.

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    Re: From "a god" to Jesus and the proof of Christianty, version 2013

    Quote Originally Posted by Rodriguez
    No, actually it's not the first time I've asked you for a list of the names of the people you allege were witnesses to an alleged resurrection. I've never asked you for that list. I merely remarked that it's odd that you had not, on your own initiative, provided such a list.
    ...maybe because it wasn't yet warranted? If you'd like to participate in the discussion, by all means do so, but don't just stand on the side providing a color commentary making pot shots every now and then.

    Probable eyewitnesses???

    Where have you heard that any of these people said or wrote that he or she saw Jesus dead and then later saw him alive again?
    -Luke 24:34 (Jesus appears to Peter)
    -John 20:11-18 (Jesus appears to Mary Magdalene)
    -John 20:19-30 (Jesus appears to the disciples: Peter, Andrew, James (Zebedee), John (Zebedee), Philip, Bartholomew, Thomas, Matthew, James (Alphaeus), Thaddeus, Simon)

    If you take a look at John 20:24, you note that the author goes into detail about someone who wasn't there:

    "Now Thomas (also known as Didymus), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!”

    So we know for certain that Thomas was there. We can go further though. Knowing that any mention of disciples, unless a different number were specified, indicated that the Twelve were there also (as is the case throughout the gospels--made clear when Jesus talks on the side to the Twelve after talking to other unnamed disciples), we can know with a high degree of certainty that all of the above-named disciples saw Jesus alive after He had been in a tomb three days.

    -Joseph of Arimathea likely saw Jesus as well, considering it was he who arranged for Jesus to be buried in that tomb. Nicodemus accompanied Joseph and assisted with the burial.

    -Mary, Jesus' mother, was at the Cross (John 19:25), and it is assumed that she was among those who saw Jesus alive given the circumstances.

    -Paul records that Jesus appeared also to James (Jesus' brother), and the "rest of the apostles" in 1 Corinthians 15 (in addition to giving the exact order of the people to whom Jesus had appeared):

    "For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me."

    You are the one who compared the writings in the Gospels to the writing of a court stenographer in terms of reliability. I am only pointing out that you overlook many, many key differences when you do so.
    I never compared the writing of a court stenographer to the Gospels. It was an example used to highlight your unreasonable definition of eyewitness testimony, which if you follow to its logical conclusion, means that only an eyewitness who has written his/her testimony down was acceptable as eyewitness testimony (and according to you, this is checked, double-checked, and triple-checked to verify that the person writing it down was healthy, had a DNA test that was run three times "just to make sure" they were who they said they were, was an upstanding member of society, had no medical conditions, wasn't crazy, never committed a crime, loved their mother and father and brothers and sisters, gave money to the poor, etc.).

    Here's one more difference. There is no reason whatever to believe that the author of Luke or any other author of a Gospel sat down one-on-one with any of the principals involved with the Jesus story and interviewed them, much less that he interviewed them in a rigorous, cross-examining manner.
    The author of Luke said he interviewed them. Normally when someone conducts an interview, it is one-on-one. What reason do we have to believe otherwise?

    What is far more likely is that the authors of the Gospels simply wrote down the "Jesus stories" they heard that had been orally circulating in the Christian community for decades. The problem with this, among many other problems, is that orally circulated stories change over time. The original event often bears little resemblance to the finished product.
    Please demonstrate that this was the case with the Jews and early Christians of Palestine in the First Century. Considering that the eyewitnesses to Jesus' Resurrection were still alive when these records were being written down, it cannot be asserted as more likely that these stories changed over time when in fact the opposite is true. Even one of the early church fathers (Papias) preferred meeting with eyewitnesses to hearing them from those who had simply met eyewitnesses, which directly contradicts your point. For more detail, see Prof. Richard Bauckham's Jesus and the Eyewitnesses.

    So even you admit that besides knowing next to nothing about a historical "Luke," he was not an eyewitness to the alleged resurrection of Jesus. Good.
    Never said otherwise.

    No, that is not something that is "safe to say." Far from it, in fact. You have no idea who the person that wrote the "Gospel of Luke" "interviewed." Indeed, scholars today are in agreement that a major source for the Gospel of Luke was the Gospel of Mark. Yeah, that's right, the author of Luke copied what had been written 10 to 15 years before him and added a few fluorishes to suit his own ideological purposes.
    Of course we can't know for 100% certain who the author of Luke interviewed--no one here is claiming that. It is, however, safe to say that the persons listed were among those he interviewed. That is, we should take Luke at his word that he interviewed the eyewitnesses as there is no good reason to believe otherwise.

    There isn't a dispute regarding Luke borrowing from Mark (which is the eyewitness testimony of Peter--makes sense not to reinvent the wheel, no?). That doesn't diminish its credibility, though.

    One thing about the "interview" you believe that the author of Luke conducted with Mary. Since there are obvious differences in the birth narratives given in Matthew and in Luke, does this mean that you believe the author of Matthew simply invented his birth narrative out of whole cloth?
    You are welcome to start a new thread on this as I believe this would take us off-topic.

    In the course of telling a story about something that happened 40 years ago, if I say I saw something that everyone else has seen many times in their own lives, then my claim bears initial plausibility; that is, I could be mistaken (after all, 40 years is a long time) but there's no compelling reason, beyond the distant memory thing, for someone listening to my story to believe that I am mistaken about it.

    Conversely, if in this same scenario I claim to have seen something that no one else in their own lives has ever seen or even heard about, then my claim no longer bears the stamp of initial plausibility.
    That is simply a double standard, however warranted you think it might be. If you were going to evaluate claims properly, you should apply the same rigor to both cases.

    On the contrary, it should face a great amount of skepticism; for it is far more likely that some other reason is responsible for the event I claimed to witness than it is that I actually saw what I believe I saw. It is at this point and only at this point that other possible explanations for my claim have to be ruled out.
    It is only more likely that some other reason is responsible in the event that you assume materialism to be true prior to evaluating the claim. Thus you set out to prove what you have already assumed, so of course you believe that there is some other natural explanation--that's the only explanation that is even possible.

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    Re: From "a god" to Jesus and the proof of Christianty, version 2013

    Quote Originally Posted by Rodriguez View Post
    Here's one more difference. There is no reason whatever to believe that the author of Luke or any other author of a Gospel sat down one-on-one with any of the principals involved with the Jesus story and interviewed them, much less that he interviewed them in a rigorous, cross-examining manner.

    What is far more likely is that the authors of the Gospels simply wrote down the "Jesus stories" they heard that had been orally circulating in the Christian community for decades. The problem with this, among many other problems, is that orally circulated stories change over time. The original event often bears little resemblance to the finished product.
    That would be difficult for the gospels when most everyone mentioned in them were still alive when they were recorded. If you've got a reasonable explanation for that, I'm open.
    Quote Originally Posted by Rodriguez View Post
    If these "eyewitnesses" (whomever they were) were testifying about, oh say, someone crossing a lake in a boat, then it would be fair to say, "OK, that's reasonable. That occurs all the time. They could be mistaken, but their claim is plausible on the surface."

    Your eyewitnesses aren't doing that, though, are they? No. They're testifying about someone crossing a lake by walking on the surface of the lake!
    They also claim to have been terrified at the sight of him walking on water, reacting as though they'd seen a ghost.
    But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.
    1 Peter 3:15-16

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    Re: From "a god" to Jesus and the proof of Christianty, version 2013

    Quote Originally Posted by Freund
    -Luke 24:34 (Jesus appears to Peter)
    -John 20:11-18 (Jesus appears to Mary Magdalene)
    -John 20:19-30 (Jesus appears to the disciples: Peter, Andrew, James (Zebedee), John (Zebedee), Philip, Bartholomew, Thomas, Matthew, James (Alphaeus), Thaddeus, Simon)

    If you take a look at John 20:24, you note that the author goes into detail about someone who wasn't there:


    "Now Thomas (also known as Didymus), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!”

    So we know for certain that Thomas was there. We can go further though. Knowing that any mention of disciples, unless a different number were specified, indicated that the Twelve were there also (as is the case throughout the gospels--made clear when Jesus talks on the side to the Twelve after talking to other unnamed disciples), we can know with a high degree of certainty that all of the above-named disciples saw Jesus alive after He had been in a tomb three days.

    -Joseph of Arimathea likely saw Jesus as well, considering it was he who arranged for Jesus to be buried in that tomb. Nicodemus accompanied Joseph and assisted with the burial.

    -Mary, Jesus' mother, was at the Cross (John 19:25), and it is assumed that she was among those who saw Jesus alive given the circumstances.

    -Paul records that Jesus appeared also to James (Jesus' brother), and the "rest of the apostles" in 1 Corinthians 15 (in addition to giving the exact order of the people to whom Jesus had appeared):


    "For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me."
    IOW, you read that one of the authors of Gospels (whomever they may have been) wrote that he, for some reason, believes Jesus appeared to Peter, Andrew, James (Zebedee), John (Zebedee), Philip, Bartholomew, Thomas, Matthew, James (Alphaeus), Thaddeus, Simon), Thomas, and Mary Magdalene, allegedly after Jesus was dead.

    OK, I don't doubt that this largely anonymous author believes exactly what he says he believes about other people's experience. So what? It wasn't his experience. He, the person who is relaying other persons' accounts of events to you, is not telling you what he witnessed. He's telling you what he believes other people witnessed.

    And where are the accounts from anyone that says these persons saw Jesus die? If there are none then it's reasonable to believe that these so-called "eyewitnesses to a resurrection" simply took the word of someone else that Jesus had died in the first place. And that disqualifies all these people as eyewitnesses to a resurrection.

    I see no need to even discuss the people that you say you assume saw Jesus die and then alive again later.

    I never compared the writing of a court stenographer to the Gospels. It was an example used to highlight your unreasonable definition of eyewitness testimony . . .
    My definition of "eyewitness testimony"???

    My definition of eyewitness testimony is something like this: Testimony that is given by someone from their own experience about an alleged event.

    Your definition seems to be: Testimony given by someone about an event in someone else's experience.

    Let me make this plain: If the author of Luke OR the author of Matthew or the author of John OR Paul tells us what other people told him about their experience, we (the people to whom Paul is writing) are not getting eyewitness testimony from the persons who allegedly witnessed the event. We are getting HEARSAY. And in the case of this particular event, hearsay about an allegedly supernatural event, and without our knowing the first thing about the people to whom the Gospel writers and Paul spoke, including little tidbits like whether they even existed. This is HEARSAY ON STEROIDS.

    In one example you, essentially, say: Someone, whose identity is unclear, wrote that he heard stories which led him to believe that someone else, about whom little is known, saw Jesus alive after he had heard rumors that Jesus had died.

    And it is from accounts like this, you, seriously I assume, conclude that it is more probable than not that Jesus was physically resurrected from the dead?

    How is it even possible for you to do so?

    The author of Luke said he interviewed them.
    No, he doesn't. He says that he has composed a narrative of events as those events have been "delivered" to him.

    Scholars conclude that in several cases this "delivery" came to the author of Luke in the form of his reading the Gospel of Mark. This means that when the author of Luke uses the word "delivery" he is not using that word to refer to interviews he had with the principals involved.

    Please demonstrate that this was the case with the Jews and early Christians of Palestine in the First Century.
    Since scholars have concluded that much of Luke is a cut'n'paste job of Mark, we know that Luke did not interview all the people you seem to believe that he interviewed.

    It is more likely that the author of Luke simply put down on papyrus the Jesus stories that had been circulating mouth-to-mouth in the Christian community, for some 40 years by that time, rather than that he conducted a rigorous, cross-examination style interview of alleged eyewitnesses.

    There isn't a dispute regarding Luke borrowing from Mark (which is the eyewitness testimony of Peter--makes sense not to reinvent the wheel, no?). That doesn't diminish its credibility, though.
    Actually, it does. If I copy someone else's interview with Peter without speaking to Peter myself then it's clear that I never interviewed Peter. You said that the author of Luke interviewed the principals involved in the Jesus story. Now you seem to be saying only that the author of Luke copied someone else's alleged interviews with the principals.

    It actually seems to be even worse than that. You may be saying that you believe the author of Luke copied the words of Mark who may have gotten his information about the principals involved from Peter who allegedly got his information from the principals themselves!

    Do you see how convoluted this is all becoming?

    You believe that an incredible, unbelievable event happened, at least partly, on the basis of what someone copied from someone else who himself got his information from someone else who himself got his information from yet other people.

    That is simply a double standard, however warranted you think it might be. If you were going to evaluate claims properly, you should apply the same rigor to both cases.
    But the same standard is being applied. The standard here is the standard of sufficient evidence. It's not that an unusual or extraordinary claim requires more evidence than does a routine, run-of-the-mill claim. It's that since a routine claim already has an extraordinary amount of evidence that supports it, it's only fair to expect that the extraordinary claim have at least as much evidence to support it, too, if it is to be believed.


    It is only more likely that some other reason is responsible in the event that you assume materialism to be true prior to evaluating the claim. Thus you set out to prove what you have already assumed, so of course you believe that there is some other natural explanation--that's the only explanation that is even possible.
    First, what are you calling "materialism"?

    Second, nowhere in my account have I assumed the truth of materialism. I'm open to any explanation for anything just as long as the explanation has evidence that supports it.

    ---------- Post added at 03:42 AM ---------- Previous post was at 02:11 AM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Hyde
    That would be difficult for the gospels when most everyone mentioned in them were still alive when they were recorded. If you've got a reasonable explanation for that, I'm open.
    I'm not sure to whom you refer when you say "most everyone mentioned in them were still alive," but as a general reply, I have a few comments about your remark. One, human memory doesn't work like a video recorder. You yourself, believe it or not, do not remember events in your past (especially events 40 years or so in your past) exactly as those events transpired. You have completely forgotten some details about those events, you have embellished others, and you have added other details that never existed.

    Two, people are much more apt to correct an account of events which is critical of their behavior rather than they are an account which praises it. So an alleged event that would make James the center of attention and practically worshipped by some is not an event that James would be apt to correct at cost of his own diminishment.

    Three, how old were the principals when the Gospels took center stage in the Christian faith? The Gospels, as you know, were not a part of the Christian Bible until all the principals involved in the Jesus story were two centuries or more dead.

    Four, contrary to what many think today, there were competing accounts of what actually occurred in the life of Jesus in the immediate decades following Jesus' death, some accounts we know about, maybe some we'll never know about. This being the case, do you know, for example, what Mary Magdalene thought of each of these accounts? If you do not, then how do you know that she gave her blessing to the contents of, say, the Gospel of Luke and not the Gospel of Thomas?

    Five, how many people claimed both to have seen Jesus die and then to have seen Jesus alive later, so how many people are we talking about here? Two, three maybe?

    I have a few more comments about this, but this should suffice to show that it wouldn't be difficult at all for someone or some group to embellish an account of just about anything some 40-60 years after the original event.

    They also claim to have been terrified at the sight of him walking on water, reacting as though they'd seen a ghost.
    The "ghost" reference you make here, I think, is apt because people who claim they've seen ghosts do react in a terrified manner. So does their reaction, to you, mean that these people actually saw ghosts or only that they believe they saw ghosts?

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    Re: From "a god" to Jesus and the proof of Christianty, version 2013

    semantics. The devil is in the details. God is everywhere else. That's why the father of all lies causes confusion and darkness, he questions his own motives to justify his necessity. If God is dead, so is this debate. That's all I'm going to say.

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    Re: From "a god" to Jesus and the proof of Christianty, version 2013

    Quote Originally Posted by Rodriguez View Post
    I'm not sure to whom you refer when you say "most everyone mentioned in them were still alive," but as a general reply, I have a few comments about your remark. One, human memory doesn't work like a video recorder. You yourself, believe it or not, do not remember events in your past (especially events 40 years or so in your past) exactly as those events transpired. You have completely forgotten some details about those events, you have embellished others, and you have added other details that never existed.
    The color of someone's shirt may get lost over time, but someone walking on water, or coming back from the dead, I have a difficult time picturing that as something you wouldn't remember clearly.
    Quote Originally Posted by Rodriguez View Post
    Two, people are much more apt to correct an account of events which is critical of their behavior rather than they are an account which praises it. So an alleged event that would make James the center of attention and practically worshipped by some is not an event that James would be apt to correct at cost of his own diminishment.
    But this is contradicted by Biblical study. Peter (the source of Mark's gospel) records the following:

    Mark 8:27-30 - Jesus and his disciples went on to the villages around Caesarea Philippi. On the way he asked them, “Who do people say I am?” They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, one of the prophets.” “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?” Peter answered, “You are the Messiah.” Jesus warned them not to tell anyone about him.

    Matthew 16:13-20 tells the SAME thing with an exception: Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven. 18 And I tell you that you are Peter,[b] and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades[c] will not overcome it. 19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be[d] bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be[e] loosed in heaven.” 20 Then he ordered his disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Messiah.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rodriguez View Post
    Three, how old were the principals when the Gospels took center stage in the Christian faith? The Gospels, as you know, were not a part of the Christian Bible until all the principals involved in the Jesus story were two centuries or more dead.
    The Gospel (Good News)....pretty much WAS the Christian Bible until two or more centuries later. It's all there was. There were actually problems with people adding TO that (Galatians is a good example). If you wanna know how the early Church functioned, Acts 2:42 tells you explicitly: They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. What were the Apostles teaching? They taught Jesus! The Gospel.
    Quote Originally Posted by Rodriguez View Post
    Four, contrary to what many think today, there were competing accounts of what actually occurred in the life of Jesus in the immediate decades following Jesus' death, some accounts we know about, maybe some we'll never know about. This being the case, do you know, for example, what Mary Magdalene thought of each of these accounts? If you do not, then how do you know that she gave her blessing to the contents of, say, the Gospel of Luke and not the Gospel of Thomas?
    Well most of the "competing gospels" weren't competing at all. Most didn't appear until well over a hundred, and in some cases two or three hundred, years after the fact. Most, if not all, contained an odd assortment of stories that not only disagreed with each other, but disagreed with the main four (that are in total agreement). There's no competition if four people tell the same story, and then twelve other people come along with twelve completely different stories. You and I both would assume the four in agreement were probably telling the truth because theirs is the only one there's agreement on, if for no other reason than that.
    Quote Originally Posted by Rodriguez View Post
    Five, how many people claimed both to have seen Jesus die and then to have seen Jesus alive later, so how many people are we talking about here? Two, three maybe?
    Whose writing has survived. You're talking about written records of events two thousand years ago. The fact that we have ANY written information about Jesus is pretty much a miracle in itself.
    But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.
    1 Peter 3:15-16

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    Re: From "a god" to Jesus and the proof of Christianty, version 2013

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Hyde
    The color of someone's shirt may get lost over time, but someone walking on water, or coming back from the dead, I have a difficult time picturing that as something you wouldn't remember clearly.
    With all due respect, Mr. Hyde, you're still missing the point. I don't mean to suggest that the few people who allegedly "remembered" Jesus being dead and then "remembered" Jesus being alive again later, did not remember those things. What I mean to suggest is that what that handful of people remembered, almost certainly never occurred in reality. That someone personally may believe human memory works like some sort of inerrant mechanical recording device doesn't mean that it does. In fact, modern psychology and neuroscience has shown that it doesn't.

    False memories, even about unusual or traumatic events, are not that unusual.

    "Human memory is created and highly suggestible, and a wide variety of innocuous, embarrassing and frightening memories can be falsely created through the use of different techniques, including guided imagery, hypnosis and suggestion by others. Though not all individuals who are exposed to these techniques will develop memories, experiments suggest a significant number of people will, and will actively defend the existence of the events, even if told they were false and deliberately implanted." -- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/False_memory_syndrome

    It is infinitely more likely that some phenomenon like this explains the "I was an eyewitness to a resurrection story!" claimed by a tiny handful of people than that those few actually witnessed someone recover from brain death to intelligibly think and speak once more.

    If you ever have a chance to attend your 20th high school reunion and you talk to enough of your friends from back in the day, you are almost certain to talk to someone who has a totally different memory of some major event that occurred back then than you do. This doesn't mean your friend is lying about what he remembers. This doesn't mean that he's invented his memory out of whole cloth (at least not consciously). It means only that one or both of your memories are mistaken. This is because human memory is largely a creation that is only a more or less accurate rendition of past events that can be and often is altered by subsequent events.

    Well most of the "competing gospels" weren't competing at all. Most didn't appear until well over a hundred, and in some cases two or three hundred, years after the fact.
    . . . which have survived.

    After Romans decided which account of their new religion would be the official one, they actively set about destroying all other accounts.


    Most, if not all, contained an odd assortment of stories that not only disagreed with each other, but disagreed with the main four (that are in total agreement). There's no competition if four people tell the same story, and then twelve other people come along with twelve completely different stories. You and I both would assume the four in agreement were probably telling the truth because theirs is the only one there's agreement on, if for no other reason than that.
    As far as we know, there was only one "official" account of Jesus' life and that was the gospel of Mark's. Matthew and Luke copied that account and added a few wrinkles of their own to suit their ideological puposes.

    Whose writing has survived. You're talking about written records of events two thousand years ago. The fact that we have ANY written information about Jesus is pretty much a miracle in itself.
    On the contrary. If the record we have is that of a god sent to earth to save humanity from death, it's exceedingly odd that we would have only this one dubious account of his life. You would think that many people of the time, of many faiths, and of many nationalities, would have written about it in great detail, with great accuracy, leaving little doubt as to what they believe occurred.

    Instead, we have NOTHING written contemporaneous with Jesus' life. The first accounts appear not to have been written until some 30 to 40 years after the events in questioned occurred and those accounts are written only by Jesus' most ardent supporters.

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    Re: From "a god" to Jesus and the proof of Christianty, version 2013

    Quote Originally Posted by Rodriguez
    IOW, you read that one of the authors of Gospels (whomever they may have been) wrote that he, for some reason, believes Jesus appeared to Peter, Andrew, James (Zebedee), John (Zebedee), Philip, Bartholomew, Thomas, Matthew, James (Alphaeus), Thaddeus, Simon), Thomas, and Mary Magdalene, allegedly after Jesus was dead.

    OK, I don't doubt that this largely anonymous author believes exactly what he says he believes about other people's experience. So what? It wasn't his experience. He, the person who is relaying other persons' accounts of events to you, is not telling you what he witnessed. He's telling you what he believes other people witnessed.
    Considering that John was one of the disciples, that means it was his experience as well. So no, it is not the case that the author is telling us only what he believes other people witnessed because he is part of the disciples that witnessed these events, i.e. John is an eyewitness.

    And where are the accounts from anyone that says these persons saw Jesus die? If there are none then it's reasonable to believe that these so-called "eyewitnesses to a resurrection" simply took the word of someone else that Jesus had died in the first place. And that disqualifies all these people as eyewitnesses to a resurrection.
    Considering John was also at the Cross (as well as the mother of Jesus, her sister who was named as the wife of Clopas, as well as Mary Magdalene), his testimony is that of an eyewitness to Jesus' death. Why include such detail as naming Jesus' mother's sister (wife of Clopas), though? If this were all a farce, why would you name specific people that were there?

    Let me make this plain: If the author of Luke OR the author of Matthew or the author of John OR Paul tells us what other people told him about their experience, we (the people to whom Paul is writing) are not getting eyewitness testimony from the persons who allegedly witnessed the event. We are getting HEARSAY. And in the case of this particular event, hearsay about an allegedly supernatural event, and without our knowing the first thing about the people to whom the Gospel writers and Paul spoke, including little tidbits like whether they even existed. This is HEARSAY ON STEROIDS.
    Then you completely misunderstand ancient Roman and Hebrew historiography, for this is how history was recorded. Ancient historians of this period would hold their own personal eyewitness account as the best source, followed by external eyewitnesses to events, followed by oral traditions. You cannot attribute the term "hearsay" in the case of John, Paul and Matthew, as these were eyewitnesses to most of the events, and in the case of Paul, eyewitness to the spread of Christianity. Even when the term is possibly warranted, there is no good reason to assert falsehood, especially when in the case of Luke we have the indication that eyewitnesses were interviewed.

    No, he doesn't. He says that he has composed a narrative of events as those events have been "delivered" to him.

    Scholars conclude that in several cases this "delivery" came to the author of Luke in the form of his reading the Gospel of Mark. This means that when the author of Luke uses the word "delivery" he is not using that word to refer to interviews he had with the principals involved.
    Please support this.

    It is more likely that the author of Luke simply put down on papyrus the Jesus stories that had been circulating mouth-to-mouth in the Christian community, for some 40 years by that time, rather than that he conducted a rigorous, cross-examination style interview of alleged eyewitnesses.
    Why should we trust this reading over what Luke explicitly states?

    Actually, it does. If I copy someone else's interview with Peter without speaking to Peter myself then it's clear that I never interviewed Peter. You said that the author of Luke interviewed the principals involved in the Jesus story. Now you seem to be saying only that the author of Luke copied someone else's alleged interviews with the principals.
    I say no such thing. I am simply following along with your hyper-skeptical viewpoint. I see no good reason to doubt what Luke stated was the case: that he carefully investigated everything. Why should anyone be surprised if Luke's writings are similar to Mark's, considering Mark is the testimony of Peter? Some scholars even believe Mark is essentially a collection of Peter's sermons recorded in an orderly fashion--again, what reason do we have to believe that Luke never interviewed or talked to Peter, especially when in Acts we have him included with Paul in his visit to Jerusalem?

    But the same standard is being applied. The standard here is the standard of sufficient evidence. It's not that an unusual or extraordinary claim requires more evidence than does a routine, run-of-the-mill claim. It's that since a routine claim already has an extraordinary amount of evidence that supports it, it's only fair to expect that the extraordinary claim have at least as much evidence to support it, too, if it is to be believed.
    Sufficient to whom?

    Second, nowhere in my account have I assumed the truth of materialism. I'm open to any explanation for anything just as long as the explanation has evidence that supports it.
    Perhaps metaphysical naturalism would be a better term.

    One, human memory doesn't work like a video recorder. You yourself, believe it or not, do not remember events in your past (especially events 40 years or so in your past) exactly as those events transpired. You have completely forgotten some details about those events, you have embellished others, and you have added other details that never existed.
    Can we say this of people in the ancient world? Can we say this of people who consistently repeated these stories throughout their lifetimes? Memorization was the primary method of learning in this time period, and every good little Hebrew boy would have memorized the Torah and the laws in this time period. What makes you think that you can compare our modern ability to recall events, given our different learning styles and increasingly interconnected (i.e. distracting) world to how people remembered the events in the First Century?

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    Re: From "a god" to Jesus and the proof of Christianty, version 2013

    Quote Originally Posted by Rodriguez View Post
    With all due respect, Mr. Hyde, you're still missing the point. I don't mean to suggest that the few people who allegedly "remembered" Jesus being dead and then "remembered" Jesus being alive again later, did not remember those things. What I mean to suggest is that what that handful of people remembered, almost certainly never occurred in reality. That someone personally may believe human memory works like some sort of inerrant mechanical recording device doesn't mean that it does. In fact, modern psychology and neuroscience has shown that it doesn't.

    False memories, even about unusual or traumatic events, are not that unusual.

    "Human memory is created and highly suggestible, and a wide variety of innocuous, embarrassing and frightening memories can be falsely created through the use of different techniques, including guided imagery, hypnosis and suggestion by others. Though not all individuals who are exposed to these techniques will develop memories, experiments suggest a significant number of people will, and will actively defend the existence of the events, even if told they were false and deliberately implanted." -- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/False_memory_syndrome

    It is infinitely more likely that some phenomenon like this explains the "I was an eyewitness to a resurrection story!" claimed by a tiny handful of people than that those few actually witnessed someone recover from brain death to intelligibly think and speak once more.
    Wow. Just. Wow. So you're suggesting that instead of witnessing the events they claim to've witnessed, that you posit the more likely scenario is...none of it happened and they're remembering things that never happened. And that this information was never corrected because people aren't going to be critical of a story that puts them in a good light or makes them seem better. That's a LOT of stretching, Rod.

    It ignores the existence of a conspiracy regarding an empty tomb. If there was a conspiracy about an empty tomb, there would HAVE to be an empty tomb. Nothing you're offering here actually addresses that. The next major problem with your offering is that the memory issues doesn't make sense in itself. The disciples wouldn't misremember or have a false memory of Jesus resurrected BECAUSE THEY NEVER EXPECTED HIM TO BE RESURRECTED. Reread the ending portions of Mark, Luke, and Matthew. There's ZERO indicator that anyone outside of Jesus believed Jesus would come back from the dead. Kind of hard for a memory to fabricate on an issue that you weren't looking forward to or expecting. When he died, Peter actually goes back to his old job as a fisherman, as do James, Andrew, and John (all fisherman). And considering three of those four were at the transfiguration on the mount, that's a helluva statement about what they were thinking to record that post-crucifixion they had COMPLETELY given up on Christ's ministry.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rodriguez View Post
    . . which have survived.

    After Romans decided which account of their new religion would be the official one, they actively set about destroying all other accounts.
    The Romans didn't "decide" which would be the official account(s). I think you're misunderstanding the First Ecumenical Council. I'm also not sure the Romans actively set about destroying the non-canonical works. I'll need to see some proof of both here.
    Quote Originally Posted by Rodriguez View Post
    As far as we know, there was only one "official" account of Jesus' life and that was the gospel of Mark's. Matthew and Luke copied that account and added a few wrinkles of their own to suit their ideological puposes.
    I'm gonna go ahead and Challenge to support a claim. you to support that Matthew and Luke "added a few wrinkles to suit their ideological purposes."

    Quote Originally Posted by Rodriguez View Post
    On the contrary. If the record we have is that of a god sent to earth to save humanity from death, it's exceedingly odd that we would have only this one dubious account of his life. You would think that many people of the time, of many faiths, and of many nationalities, would have written about it in great detail, with great accuracy, leaving little doubt as to what they believe occurred.
    Well that's the thing, Rod. We don't know if people actually DID or not. We can tell from Matthew and Luke that there may have been an earlier written source. We can tell from Matthew that it was probably originally written in Aramaic or Hebrew. Paul references letters he wrote that we have evidence of. Peter references Paul's writings (again, some of which we have no evidence of). Jude references the Assumption of Moses. The Old Testament references DOZENS of books that no longer exist. So it's POSSIBLE there could've been a wealth of written material about Jesus that's now gone. Considering the number of witnesses recorded (Paul puts it at over five hundred), then it wouldn't seem unreasonable that at least some of those guys wrote down what they saw and heard, and like most of written history, the record(s) have been lost or destroyed over time.
    Quote Originally Posted by Rodriguez View Post
    Instead, we have NOTHING written contemporaneous with Jesus' life. The first accounts appear not to have been written until some 30 to 40 years after the events in questioned occurred and those accounts are written only by Jesus' most ardent supporters.
    Well remember, while he was ALIVE there was no real reason to write about him, and this is key. His ministry and abilities were disputed by existing groups with influence. He was well known, yes, but so were John the Baptist, Gamaliel, Nicodemus, Caiphas, etc. And there's just not a whole heaping amount of information on any of those guys outside what Josephus may have written. So post-resurrection, possibly some written record that's been lost. But writing about him Pre-resurrection, I doubt anyone would have.
    But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.
    1 Peter 3:15-16

  22. Likes MindTrap028 liked this post
  23. #60
    kandrib
    Guest

    Re: From "a god" to Jesus and the proof of Christianty, version 2013

    I read the bible, but I found that jesus word and teach was always reject divinity!

 

 
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