An Easter Exercise
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31-03-2013, 09:30 AM
An Easter Exercise
Last year I challenged my Christian parents with one of the hardest questions in Christianity, and I'd invite you all to try it along with me: ask a Christian friend or family member to tell you the Easter story. If you're familiar with the different gospel accounts, it's a real ice-breaker to name the gospel their story comes from, and if it's an amalgam or (more likely) they can't give you the details, you can tell them why (because the gospels differ so much).

My parents and brother related the story from Matthew, with the guards passing out and the stone in front of Jesus' tomb being rolled away and sat upon by an angel. As soon as I heard those stories, I said "you were reading Matthew in Church this morning". They were surprised that I knew that, and I responded by pointing out that these details were only in Matthew. I admonished them for only looking at the story from one gospel at a time rather than looking at each gospel to make comparisons. Matthew 28:8 differs greatly from Mark 16:8, as Matthew says that the women "immediately told the disciples" that Jesus had risen, while Mark proclaims that the women "told no one". These are clear contradictions. It only becomes clearer as you look at Luke 24 which introduces 2 men at the tomb (as opposed to one angel/man in Matthew and Mark) and at John 20 which tells a radically different story altogether in which 2 disciples visit with only Mary and they find 2 angles and Jesus himself inside the tomb.

Today I think I'll bait them into explaining the 3-day model (from 9 am Friday to 6 am Sunday is 45 hours, which makes it generous to even call it 2 days) and once they explain how it works because of Jesus rising after daybreak on Sunday (as Matthew, Mark, and Luke says he did) and Jewish definition of "days" I'll be quick to point out how John makes it clear that it happened before sunrise (and why!). Just like last year, I'm certain that it won't convert them -- they have too much to lose by changing their minds -- but it makes my anti-theism much more credible and understandable.

It only works, though, if you know your bible. The relevant verses are Matthew 28, Mark 16, Luke 24, and John 20, all of them right from verse 1 onward. It's easy to remember because they're all multiples of four. Any Christian who reads these scriptures one after another will quickly see the discrepancies, and a Christian who can't tell you the Easter story after an Easter Sunday sermon on it (because the memory has to sort out the problem, often by forgetting the details) is one who probably won't object to looking at them in the bible with you.

My girlfriend is mad at me. Perhaps I shouldn't have tried cooking a stick in her non-stick pan.
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31-03-2013, 09:36 AM
RE: An Easter Exercise
Ohmy

Frankly, I am amazed you get invited to the gathering at all!

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31-03-2013, 12:23 PM
RE: An Easter Exercise
(31-03-2013 09:30 AM)Starcrash Wrote:  Last year I challenged my Christian parents with one of the hardest questions in Christianity, and I'd invite you all to try it along with me: ask a Christian friend or family member to tell you the Easter story. If you're familiar with the different gospel accounts, it's a real ice-breaker to name the gospel their story comes from, and if it's an amalgam or (more likely) they can't give you the details, you can tell them why (because the gospels differ so much).

My parents and brother related the story from Matthew, with the guards passing out and the stone in front of Jesus' tomb being rolled away and sat upon by an angel. As soon as I heard those stories, I said "you were reading Matthew in Church this morning". They were surprised that I knew that, and I responded by pointing out that these details were only in Matthew. I admonished them for only looking at the story from one gospel at a time rather than looking at each gospel to make comparisons. Matthew 28:8 differs greatly from Mark 16:8, as Matthew says that the women "immediately told the disciples" that Jesus had risen, while Mark proclaims that the women "told no one". These are clear contradictions. It only becomes clearer as you look at Luke 24 which introduces 2 men at the tomb (as opposed to one angel/man in Matthew and Mark) and at John 20 which tells a radically different story altogether in which 2 disciples visit with only Mary and they find 2 angles and Jesus himself inside the tomb.

Today I think I'll bait them into explaining the 3-day model (from 9 am Friday to 6 am Sunday is 45 hours, which makes it generous to even call it 2 days) and once they explain how it works because of Jesus rising after daybreak on Sunday (as Matthew, Mark, and Luke says he did) and Jewish definition of "days" I'll be quick to point out how John makes it clear that it happened before sunrise (and why!). Just like last year, I'm certain that it won't convert them -- they have too much to lose by changing their minds -- but it makes my anti-theism much more credible and understandable.

It only works, though, if you know your bible. The relevant verses are Matthew 28, Mark 16, Luke 24, and John 20, all of them right from verse 1 onward. It's easy to remember because they're all multiples of four. Any Christian who reads these scriptures one after another will quickly see the discrepancies, and a Christian who can't tell you the Easter story after an Easter Sunday sermon on it (because the memory has to sort out the problem, often by forgetting the details) is one who probably won't object to looking at them in the bible with you.

I think your claim that it was only 45 hours from death to resurrection and thus not even quite two days is nit picking. He was dead on a Friday, dead on a saturday, and dead on a Sunday....so Jesus was dead for three days. It would be a little different if the gospels claimed Jesus was dead for three compete 24 hour periods.

Vosur, Anjele, Hanoff.....have you learned nothing in my absence?
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31-03-2013, 01:44 PM
RE: An Easter Exercise
(31-03-2013 09:30 AM)Starcrash Wrote:  Last year I challenged my Christian parents with one of the hardest questions in Christianity, and I'd invite you all to try it along with me: ask a Christian friend or family member to tell you the Easter story. If you're familiar with the different gospel accounts, it's a real ice-breaker to name the gospel their story comes from, and if it's an amalgam or (more likely) they can't give you the details, you can tell them why (because the gospels differ so much).

My parents and brother related the story from Matthew, with the guards passing out and the stone in front of Jesus' tomb being rolled away and sat upon by an angel. As soon as I heard those stories, I said "you were reading Matthew in Church this morning". They were surprised that I knew that, and I responded by pointing out that these details were only in Matthew. I admonished them for only looking at the story from one gospel at a time rather than looking at each gospel to make comparisons. Matthew 28:8 differs greatly from Mark 16:8, as Matthew says that the women "immediately told the disciples" that Jesus had risen, while Mark proclaims that the women "told no one". These are clear contradictions. It only becomes clearer as you look at Luke 24 which introduces 2 men at the tomb (as opposed to one angel/man in Matthew and Mark) and at John 20 which tells a radically different story altogether in which 2 disciples visit with only Mary and they find 2 angles and Jesus himself inside the tomb.

Today I think I'll bait them into explaining the 3-day model (from 9 am Friday to 6 am Sunday is 45 hours, which makes it generous to even call it 2 days) and once they explain how it works because of Jesus rising after daybreak on Sunday (as Matthew, Mark, and Luke says he did) and Jewish definition of "days" I'll be quick to point out how John makes it clear that it happened before sunrise (and why!). Just like last year, I'm certain that it won't convert them -- they have too much to lose by changing their minds -- but it makes my anti-theism much more credible and understandable.

It only works, though, if you know your bible. The relevant verses are Matthew 28, Mark 16, Luke 24, and John 20, all of them right from verse 1 onward. It's easy to remember because they're all multiples of four. Any Christian who reads these scriptures one after another will quickly see the discrepancies, and a Christian who can't tell you the Easter story after an Easter Sunday sermon on it (because the memory has to sort out the problem, often by forgetting the details) is one who probably won't object to looking at them in the bible with you.
My knowledge of the Bible comes from a small amount of reading, Sunday school when I was a kid, and later, church sermons, and finally, movies like King of Kings with the ultra handsome Jeffrey Hunter as Jesus.

I consider Biblical discrepancies like the one you describe to be akin to two individuals repeating slightly differing accounts of what they heard when listening to a third person describe his UFO abduction, another words; the details, and really the story itself is really pretty irrelevant to me. I will say that Biblical contradictions, not to mention scientifically disproven stories and accounts found in the Bible, work to cement me ever more securely into atheism.
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31-03-2013, 09:53 PM
RE: An Easter Exercise
(31-03-2013 12:23 PM)Heywood Jahblome Wrote:  I think your claim that it was only 45 hours from death to resurrection and thus not even quite two days is nit picking. He was dead on a Friday, dead on a saturday, and dead on a Sunday....so Jesus was dead for three days. It would be a little different if the gospels claimed Jesus was dead for three compete 24 hour periods.

I agree -- it's nit-picking. But it hardly matters whether Jesus was dead for 3 "actual" days or 3 "Jewish" days, because acceptance of the womens' arrival at the tomb after the sun rose is the important part. The contradiction lies in John 20:1, quoted below:

Quote:Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance.

Why would John tell the story so differently? Well, he also wanted to make it a burial of 3 days, and his gospel put Jesus to death the day before Passover rather than the day after. Below, John 18:8

Quote:Then the Jewish leaders took Jesus from Caiaphas to the palace of the Roman governor. By now it was early morning, and to avoid ceremonial uncleanness they did not enter the palace, because they wanted to be able to eat the Passover.

Speaking of picking nits, I notice that you left my argument above about other contradictions untouched and instead focused on this one fact that I didn't point out as a contradiction. I wonder why that is... [sarcastically said]

My girlfriend is mad at me. Perhaps I shouldn't have tried cooking a stick in her non-stick pan.
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01-04-2013, 11:57 AM
RE: An Easter Exercise
(31-03-2013 12:23 PM)Heywood Jahblome Wrote:  
(31-03-2013 09:30 AM)Starcrash Wrote:  Last year I challenged my Christian parents with one of the hardest questions in Christianity, and I'd invite you all to try it along with me: ask a Christian friend or family member to tell you the Easter story. If you're familiar with the different gospel accounts, it's a real ice-breaker to name the gospel their story comes from, and if it's an amalgam or (more likely) they can't give you the details, you can tell them why (because the gospels differ so much).

My parents and brother related the story from Matthew, with the guards passing out and the stone in front of Jesus' tomb being rolled away and sat upon by an angel. As soon as I heard those stories, I said "you were reading Matthew in Church this morning". They were surprised that I knew that, and I responded by pointing out that these details were only in Matthew. I admonished them for only looking at the story from one gospel at a time rather than looking at each gospel to make comparisons. Matthew 28:8 differs greatly from Mark 16:8, as Matthew says that the women "immediately told the disciples" that Jesus had risen, while Mark proclaims that the women "told no one". These are clear contradictions. It only becomes clearer as you look at Luke 24 which introduces 2 men at the tomb (as opposed to one angel/man in Matthew and Mark) and at John 20 which tells a radically different story altogether in which 2 disciples visit with only Mary and they find 2 angles and Jesus himself inside the tomb.

Today I think I'll bait them into explaining the 3-day model (from 9 am Friday to 6 am Sunday is 45 hours, which makes it generous to even call it 2 days) and once they explain how it works because of Jesus rising after daybreak on Sunday (as Matthew, Mark, and Luke says he did) and Jewish definition of "days" I'll be quick to point out how John makes it clear that it happened before sunrise (and why!). Just like last year, I'm certain that it won't convert them -- they have too much to lose by changing their minds -- but it makes my anti-theism much more credible and understandable.

It only works, though, if you know your bible. The relevant verses are Matthew 28, Mark 16, Luke 24, and John 20, all of them right from verse 1 onward. It's easy to remember because they're all multiples of four. Any Christian who reads these scriptures one after another will quickly see the discrepancies, and a Christian who can't tell you the Easter story after an Easter Sunday sermon on it (because the memory has to sort out the problem, often by forgetting the details) is one who probably won't object to looking at them in the bible with you.

I think your claim that it was only 45 hours from death to resurrection and thus not even quite two days is nit picking. He was dead on a Friday, dead on a saturday, and dead on a Sunday....so Jesus was dead for three days. It would be a little different if the gospels claimed Jesus was dead for three compete 24 hour periods.

I don't think it's nitpicking at all. People's failure to recognize what's accurate and what's not - i.e., accepting carelessly worded details regardless of factual accuracy - has much to do with why people believe BS in the first place.

"Religion has caused more misery to all of mankind in every stage of human history than any other single idea." --Madalyn Murray O'Hair
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03-04-2013, 09:24 PM
RE: An Easter Exercise
Don't forget that in John in the non-passover meal, Jesus gives Judas a piece of bread, that has satan in it, and then tells Judas to go quickly and do what he must do (satan made me do it). One meal is seen as symbolically eating Jesus' body, the other Judas ingests satan... that's not just remembering things differently.
And what about Judas' death? In one (Mat. 27:3-8) Judas felt remorse, gave the money to the priests, and then hung himself. The priests used the money to buy Potter's field (a clay field) and from then on it was known as field of blood since it was purchased with blood money (?).
In Acts 1:16-19, Judas does not feel guilty, he buys Potter's field with the money where he dies via explosion, "falling headlong, he burst open in the middle and all his intestines gushed out." And from then on it was known and field of blood.
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