Bible as the most reliable ancient text
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16-06-2013, 01:45 PM
Bible as the most reliable ancient text
In an ongoing debate with a Christian, I've stuck in a place where I don't know how to go on and Google isn't helping.

This particular guy ignores every bad detail in the Bible, all the cruelty and contradictions, because as he says "if Jesus was resurrected, nothing else matters", since, I guess, it's an amazing thing(?).

So I ask him, how can he be so sure that Jesus was resurrected? And he always answers in the same way: the New Testament in the most reliable ancient document ever. He goes on to show me that based on Text Criticism, the New Testament has not been altered or tampered in any way and the mistakes from the constant copying are minor.

The point is, even if that is true, it only means that the New Testament was the same 2000 years ago as it is now. How does it prove that it is reliable and historically true?

I'm quite buffled by the way he throws "reliability" around and I'm not quite sure about how to face this. Any help?

Many verses are like silver threads
tied on the chimes of the stars-
if you pull them,
a silver peal makes the horizon vibrate.
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16-06-2013, 01:54 PM
RE: Bible as the most reliable ancient text
(16-06-2013 01:45 PM)undergroundp Wrote:  In an ongoing debate with a Christian, I've stuck in a place where I don't know how to go on and Google isn't helping.

This particular guy ignores every bad detail in the Bible, all the cruelty and contradictions, because as he says "if Jesus was resurrected, nothing else matters", since, I guess, it's an amazing thing(?).

So I ask him, how can he be so sure that Jesus was resurrected? And he always answers in the same way: the New Testament in the most reliable ancient document ever. He goes on to show me that based on Text Criticism, the New Testament has not been altered or tampered in any way and the mistakes from the constant copying are minor.

The point is, even if that is true, it only means that the New Testament was the same 2000 years ago as it is now. How does it prove that it is reliable and historically true?

I'm quite buffled by the way he throws "reliability" around and I'm not quite sure about how to face this. Any help?

Challenge him to back this up or admit that he can't establish it and shouldn't rely on it for convincing others. If he doesn't, stop talking to the guy. Is there an audience (including random browsers on a forum)? Aim to convince the audience rather than him, even if he's the one you're overtly speaking to. Is it completely private? Politely say that you and he are not going to come to a consensus the way this argument's going, and declare it over.

For bonus fun, ask him how he was convinced of the Bible's reliablity in the first place? (2-to-1 odds... figuratively, I hate gambling... that he was taught it at age 5 or something.) Ask him if how he would persuade someone who had never before encountered the Bible of its reliability if that person WASN'T 5 years old.

Don't actually get caught up on deconverting the guy. Even following the "evangelical atheism" mindset of some atheists, it's not worth it. Cost-benefit. There's higher quality recruits to atheism to be found out there, for much less effort.

"If I ignore the alternatives, the only option is God; I ignore them; therefore God." -- The Syllogism of Fail
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16-06-2013, 02:00 PM
RE: Bible as the most reliable ancient text
(16-06-2013 01:45 PM)undergroundp Wrote:  In an ongoing debate with a Christian, I've stuck in a place where I don't know how to go on and Google isn't helping.

This particular guy ignores every bad detail in the Bible, all the cruelty and contradictions, because as he says "if Jesus was resurrected, nothing else matters", since, I guess, it's an amazing thing(?).

So I ask him, how can he be so sure that Jesus was resurrected? And he always answers in the same way: the New Testament in the most reliable ancient document ever. He goes on to show me that based on Text Criticism, the New Testament has not been altered or tampered in any way and the mistakes from the constant copying are minor.

The point is, even if that is true, it only means that the New Testament was the same 2000 years ago as it is now. How does it prove that it is reliable and historically true?

I'm quite buffled by the way he throws "reliability" around and I'm not quite sure about how to face this. Any help?

1. It was an age of "pious fraud" Deception was the name of the game. Gain followers at any cost. There are countless examples of it, including the gospels.
http://www.thethinkingatheist.com/forum/...rly-church

2. The gospels are full of contradictions.
They can't even agree on which day, or at what time he died. Who saw what on the day he (supposed) rose, (whatever that really meant back then).
Dr. Bart Ehrmann :
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story...=124572693
http://www.evilbible.com/contradictions.htm

3. The gospels are in no way what modern humans consider "history". Even the Romans at the time were arguing what the word actually meant. (see Tacitus).
The gospels are faith proclamations, for use in church services, written by believers for believers, to remind them what they already believed. The ultimately biased material.

The "resurrection" is an entirely different matter.
http://www.thethinkingatheist.com/forum/...other-look

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein Certified Ancient Astronaut Theorist
Isaiah 45:7 "I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things" (KJV)

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16-06-2013, 02:01 PM
RE: Bible as the most reliable ancient text
(16-06-2013 01:54 PM)Reltzik Wrote:  Challenge him to back this up or admit that he can't establish it and shouldn't rely on it for convincing others. If he doesn't, stop talking to the guy. Is there an audience (including random browsers on a forum)? Aim to convince the audience rather than him, even if he's the one you're overtly speaking to. Is it completely private? Politely say that you and he are not going to come to a consensus the way this argument's going, and declare it over.

For bonus fun, ask him how he was convinced of the Bible's reliablity in the first place? (2-to-1 odds... figuratively, I hate gambling... that he was taught it at age 5 or something.) Ask him if how he would persuade someone who had never before encountered the Bible of its reliability if that person WASN'T 5 years old.

Don't actually get caught up on deconverting the guy. Even following the "evangelical atheism" mindset of some atheists, it's not worth it. Cost-benefit. There's higher quality recruits to atheism to be found out there, for much less effort.

Well, my main problem is that I don't know how to avoid confusion with "reliability", "accuracy" and "truth".
He shows me "evidence" that the NT is almost the same as the original centuries ago from "important" scholars. For him, if a text is proven to be as close to the original, it is also true and reliable. I even told him that there are no non-christian sources that speak of a resurrection and he just insists on the "reliability" factor.

I'm sure there is an "audience", since people randomly comment at times and I see them watching the thread and the truth is I'm only going on for them.

Many verses are like silver threads
tied on the chimes of the stars-
if you pull them,
a silver peal makes the horizon vibrate.
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16-06-2013, 02:04 PM
RE: Bible as the most reliable ancient text
Just a couple of quotes that might take him up short....

!/ The writer of Matthew started the deceit that the title 'Jesus the Nazarene' should in some manner relate to Nazareth, by quoting 'prophecy':
"And he came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, He shall be called a Nazarene." – Matthew 2.23.

With this, Matthew closes his fable of Jesus's early years.

Yet Matthew is misquoting–
he would surely know that nowhere in Jewish prophetic literature is there any reference to a Nazarene.

or

2/ So careless is “Matthew” with his 'mis-quotations' of the prophets that he wrongly attributes one quote:
in referring to Judas's "thirty pieces of silver" (27.3,10) he maintains that the prophecy of 'Jeremiah' had been fulfilled – and yet it is 'Zechariah' (11.12-13) who used the phrase!


Reliable ???? I think not.
If you're lucky your adversary may go to an apologetics website for the answers ,which are ,frankly , ludicrous.

Man will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest.


"Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit upon his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats."
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16-06-2013, 02:06 PM
RE: Bible as the most reliable ancient text
(16-06-2013 01:45 PM)undergroundp Wrote:  In an ongoing debate with a Christian, I've stuck in a place where I don't know how to go on and Google isn't helping.

This particular guy ignores every bad detail in the Bible, all the cruelty and contradictions, because as he says "if Jesus was resurrected, nothing else matters", since, I guess, it's an amazing thing(?).

So I ask him, how can he be so sure that Jesus was resurrected? And he always answers in the same way: the New Testament in the most reliable ancient document ever. He goes on to show me that based on Text Criticism, the New Testament has not been altered or tampered in any way and the mistakes from the constant copying are minor.

The point is, even if that is true, it only means that the New Testament was the same 2000 years ago as it is now. How does it prove that it is reliable and historically true?

I'm quite buffled by the way he throws "reliability" around and I'm not quite sure about how to face this. Any help?

He's using a composition fallacy mixed with an antiquity fallacy. The NT is not a historical document in any way. The Gospels were not histories but proclamations to be read at prayer meetings confirming what the community already believed. Also the NT is not 2000 years old as it was not formed until the First Councile of Nicaea and was later changed. Revelations was not added as cannon until almost 100 years after the original council.

A few points about the NT's horrible record of errors and historical impossibilities. The fact that there was no town of Nazareth until at the earliest 50 CE so that kind of messes up the Of Nazareth part. There are many other problems but no the bible (either testament) is not regarded as a reliable historical text by any serious academic.

(31-07-2014 04:37 PM)Luminon Wrote:  America is full of guns, but they're useless, because nobody has the courage to shoot an IRS agent in self-defense
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16-06-2013, 02:10 PM
RE: Bible as the most reliable ancient text
I feel I didn't make my point clear Sad

Whatever I tell him about the Bible being contradictory and inaccurate, he just says that "great scholars say that it is the same as the original written back then and if it was written back then it means that the apostles lived at that time, thus they know better, thus what the Bible says is true". Any mistakes on the apostles' part is unimportant for him, since the only thing that's important to him is the resurrection.

I'm just trying to find a way to show him not that the Bible is not a good copy, but that even if it is, it doesn't mean that what it says really happened. He doesn't seem to be able to understand that difference and I'm finding it hard to explain it.

Many verses are like silver threads
tied on the chimes of the stars-
if you pull them,
a silver peal makes the horizon vibrate.
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16-06-2013, 02:14 PM
RE: Bible as the most reliable ancient text
(16-06-2013 02:10 PM)undergroundp Wrote:  I feel I didn't make my point clear Sad

Whatever I tell him about the Bible being contradictory and inaccurate, he just says that "great scholars say that it is the same as the original written back then and if it was written back then it means that the apostles lived at that time, thus they know better, thus what the Bible says is true". Any mistakes on the apostles' part is unimportant for him, since the only thing that's important to him is the resurrection.

I'm just trying to find a way to show him not that the Bible is not a good copy, but that even if it is, it doesn't mean that what it says really happened. He doesn't seem to be able to understand that difference and I'm finding it hard to explain it.

Then call him on his fallacies and show where the errors are. If you're arguing for the audience then it doesn't matter if he doesn't get it.

(31-07-2014 04:37 PM)Luminon Wrote:  America is full of guns, but they're useless, because nobody has the courage to shoot an IRS agent in self-defense
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16-06-2013, 02:18 PM
RE: Bible as the most reliable ancient text
Time then to walk away. Even if you do show him "scholars" who demonstrate the bible isn't a historical document, it's highly dubious he would believe it.


Wind's in the east, a mist coming in
Like something is brewing and about to begin
Can't put my finger on what lies in store
but I feel what's to happen has happened before...


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16-06-2013, 03:12 PM
RE: Bible as the most reliable ancient text
Wait, wait. What the fuck?

He says the Bible is reliable, but even if it isn't it's only the resurrection that matters anyways.

You have no way to argue with him. He is not thinking rationally, he may not be capable of thinking rationally.

Walk away. He is religiously insane.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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