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26-12-2011, 06:19 AM (This post was last modified: 26-12-2011 06:40 AM by Malleus.)
RE: Facebook Preachers
(25-12-2011 08:07 PM)Sharks9 Wrote:  Do you really think they would've understood evolution back then?

Yes. I can explain evolution to a 4 year-old. Not very detailed, simplifying a few things, but yeah, I would transmit scientifically correct information and the child would understand it. Not even once would I be forced to make shit up just to shut up his curiosity. But I guess I'm better at this than your god. That's why I can't believe.

On the other hand, when did god become so careful about what people understand from what he's transmitting? Did you read Revelation? Now that's a clearly written, non-shocking piece of literature. (*Sarcasm mark* - I guess you need it)

There is no difference between the god of the bible and a god who was just as ignorant as the people who wrote the book or, to put it differently, there is no difference between this book and a book that was written without any divine inspiration whatsoever.

Quote:Maybe use a sarcasm punctuation mark next time.

http://www.thestar.com/living/article/751364

I will.


Quote:Miracles would obviously be untestable or else they wouldn't be miraculous.

Really? Well, I, for example would like to see a man with a dried-out limb regaining muscular tissue and healthy skin in a matter of seconds. God did that before, right? I want to see a medically certified paralyzed man (who had been so for many years), not only getting up from his bed without any muscular atrophy, but also being able to carry his own bed. I want to see a dude splitting a sea in front of me. Walking on water? A talking snake or donkey? Tell god to start doing that kind of stuff again and I promise we will find a way to test it

Quote:Please, there are numerous mentions of Nazareth or Nazarenes before the 17th century.


Yes and they are all related to the gospels. However, Nazareth was not on *any* map before 17th century and Jesus and his mother are the only people ever mentioned to come from that place. Otherwise the Catholics wouldn't have been forced to make the place up.

Quote:Early Christians were often called Nazarenes as a reference to being followers of Jesus.

Yes, because they kept talking about a Jesus from Nazareth. The term was used for identifying the sect, but never to describe a real place.

Quote:I would enjoy hearing why you think they made up a town.

Gladly. But that's not what I think. That's what Christian scholars who actually did the science and studied the biblical history explain. By all means, don't believe me, look for yourself.

Here we go: The Jewish Messiah had been prophesied to be "a Nazarite", which is the Jewish equivalent of "holy man". For regular Jews, it was a temporary ritual which involved, among other things, not cutting their hair, never touching dead people and never drinking any type of alcohol. (Numbers 6). In some special cases, it was a permanent vocation, decided by god, such as Solomon (Judges 13) who was a permanent Nazarite.

SO, to fulfill the prophecy, Jesus needed to be a Nazarite. (ask a Jew. They don't believe that their Messiah has to come from Nazareth, this is what they mean) It's still open to debate if he was supposed to be a permanent Nazarite (which he failed because he didn't stay away from the wine) or a temporary Nazarite, which he may have fulfilled.

BUT, the moron who wrote the Luke gospel, not being Jewish, had no idea what a Nazarite is, but he knew enough to be dangerous, so he took out his big guns and made up a city to fit the story:

Quote:And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth,
(Luke 1:26)

And, because he thought that 2 conflicting prophecies make the Messiah come from 2 cities at once (Bethlehem AND Nazareth), he also made up the fanciful census story to make him a Nazareth citizen born in Bethlehem. Tadaaaa!

It goes to the credibility of the witness. Can I believe the rest of a story coming from this guy?

Quote:No contemporary documents doesn't mean he doesn't exist. The Gospels were written only 40-60 years after his death and there are non-Christian sources that mention him such as Josephus.

Right. It doesn't mean he never existed. It does mean that he was insignificant though. No miracles, no high-profile political attention, no dead people coming out from graves, no resurrection, no real crowd attention. If he was really crucified, he was treated as a common rioter or a minor criminal and the main reason is that he was a loud-mouth and he rubbed important people the wrong way. A sad story (if it ever happened and, again, there is no good reason to believe any of it) but hardly a god's story.

Josephus: I suppose you mean the "Testimonium" which is a paragraph that was too short for Josephus's style, especially when such a paragraph mentioned someone viewed by Josephus as "wise", the oldest copies date from the 9th century, was never quoted by *any* early Christian authors,(not earlier than 4th century) even the ones who DO mention Josephus (like Origen) and who wouldn't have missed the chance to point out an independent source.

It has been convincingly proven to be a fake, but my most important objection is this one: Josephus was born *after* Jesus died (year 37). If the passage is real, and it isn't, it's not an eye witness testimony, so you're in the same hole. NO eye witnesses who saw life shattering evidence thought for a second: "maybe I should write a book about this" in an era when writing a book was the only possible record.

It's like telling me that 100 Chinese people on vacation forgot to take pictures of a volcano eruption that they saw destroying a city. Sorry about using a stereotype, but I can't imagine a Chinese man on vacation without "seeing" a large camera around his neck.

40 to 60 years? Are you serious? It means the authors weren't even born when the things they describe were supposed to happen. Even in the pigeon-mail age I find it hard to believe that my grandchildren would be the first ones ever to mention 9/11 because the rest of us who actually lived those moments had more important things to think about at the time.

Check me out: I used to have an obsessive need to write and talk about religion when I came out of it. It was a huge deal for me, you couldn't keep me away from the keyboard because I had to express my freedom, and I needed to get stuff out of my system. As I said, somehow people experiencing god up-close were not as impressed by the experience as I was about leaving religion because they patiently waited for their grandchildren to put the story on paper.

Quote:Different time period, news wasn't nearly as prevalent then as it is now. Also, seeing as an estimated 6 to 20 children were killed, it's not surprising it might not have been recorded. But the idea that Herod would do something like that is completely consistent with his character as recorded by other historians.

Aw c'mon, fine, 6-20 children killed by a cruel nut may not have been "news" for the Roman empire, but a census with such fanciful rules would have attracted everybody's attention, especially since such things were carefully recorded and this kind of rule was *never* applied before, after, and, may I say, during the bible story. It was made up to fulfill the misread prophecy. A bunch of dead people coming from graves was unbelievably big news. Rioters with a serious support from the Jewish people did make the contemporary "news", even if they only managed to raise a single small community. Still, somehow they all miss an extremely outstanding Jew who performs unbelievable miracles at will and drives crowds crazy.

Oh, no Hallucinations 4:11 says the 'gilded sheep should be stewed in rat blood' but Morons 5:16 contradicts it. (Chas)

I would never shake a baby unless the recipe requires it.
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26-12-2011, 07:59 AM
RE: Facebook Preachers
(25-12-2011 03:38 PM)Erxomai Wrote:  
(25-12-2011 01:06 PM)Malleus Wrote:  The bible is not a reliable source of information. It's as useful as Spiderman comics for studying New York. Realizing that this is my primary source of god-related information, I was quite disturbed, to say the least. My logical reaction was to drop it like it's hot and look for some other reason to believe in God. Judging by where I am now, I will let you figure out what I found.

Dude, I was totally mesmerized by your post and nodding my head all the way through. When I got to your Spiderman analogy I almost shot a load. Good stuff!

Thanks for putting my scattered thoughts into clarity. I'm going to be borrowing from this heavily as I'm writing and thinking through stuff.

AMEN !!
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26-12-2011, 08:13 AM
RE: Facebook Preachers

James 1:27
"Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world"

"Atheists express their rage against God although in their view He does not exist." C.S. Lewis
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26-12-2011, 09:04 AM
RE: Facebook Preachers
(26-12-2011 08:13 AM)Sharks9 Wrote:  I know that Nazirite is also a religious title, but that still doesn't prove it wasn't also a location.
I know that Altanta is also a city, but that still doesn't prove it wasn't also a sunken city on the bottom of the sea.
Sounds familiar?
If not, here in the style of an IQ-test: Nazarite / Nazareth are to each other like Atlanta to a)Atlantis b)No clue c) I don't wanna talk about it anymore

(26-12-2011 08:13 AM)Sharks9 Wrote:  And of course all the Jews who were Christians(The majority at that time) just went along with the make believe town even though they supposedly would've known that wasn't true. Makes a ton of sense(sarcasm)
Yes, actually it makes sense.
Today people follow a lot of stuff without questioning it, you think that didn't happen before?
Just saying: Santa on the northpole, Chicken nuggets are made of chicken meat, Fox news, Dr Phil, money is safe on a bank account...
Come one....


(26-12-2011 08:13 AM)Sharks9 Wrote:  No, it's not. People can live to be more than 40 or 60 years old.
Yes, nowadays.
Back then you were an old man with 30 years old and due to the rough life and the low medical possibilies you would die around 40 - 50 unless you were a rich person that did not have to work hard and had the good doctors of the time.
Now tell me that people who wander around for many years (to spread the word), having no real income during that time, therefore no good medicine and definitely a hard life, would have gotten old.

(26-12-2011 08:13 AM)Sharks9 Wrote:  And you expect all you've ever written to still be there 2,000 years from now? That's pretty optimistic.
That was not the point he was making.

"Freedom is the freedom to say that 2+2=4" - George Orwell (in 1984)
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26-12-2011, 10:27 AM (This post was last modified: 26-12-2011 10:36 AM by Malleus.)
RE: Facebook Preachers
Quote:I disagree that they would've understood it so this discussion will go nowhere.

Everything that *you* understand well enough can be explained in terms, analogies and experiments that are simple enough for a child to understand. Just because you force yourself to believe that it's impossible, doesn't make it so.

Quote:
(26-12-2011 06:19 AM)Malleus Wrote:  Really? Well, I, for example would like to see a man with a dried-out limb regaining muscular tissue and healthy skin in a matter of seconds. God did that before, right? I want to see a medically certified paralyzed man (who had been so for many years), not only getting up from his bed without any muscular atrophy, but also being able to carry his own bed. I want to see a dude splitting a sea in front of me. Walking on water? A talking snake or donkey? Tell god to start doing that kind of stuff again and I promise we will find a way to test it

Yes he did, maybe if you're around for the second coming you'll see stuff like that happen again.

Yeah, still, we only know about such things from a non-trustworthy text. No other source. As long as we care whether what we believe is true, such "evidence" can be dismissed. This standard is in no way different from what you apply to other mythologies.

Quote:Actually they have a marble fragment from a synagogue from around the year 300 A.D. which mentions Nazareth.

And that is the first mention *ever* about it. In fact it's "נצרת" (n-s-r-t). For all we know it could be a typo. Historical existence of cities is generally based on stronger evidence.

However:

1. Nazareth is never mentioned in the Old Testament. Not once. Joshua (19:10, 16) gives a list of settlements in the area. Nazareth is not one of them.
2. The Talmud lists 63 towns in Galilea. Nazareth is not on the list. All early Jewish texts ignore it completely
3. St. Paul never mentions Nazareth.
4. No early historian or geographer has ever mentioned Nazareth
5. No ruins of an additional city in the area. All ruins are accounted for by other settlements which are properly documented independently.
6. Josephus (I love science. It works both ways) has led a military campaign all over Galilee. He mentions 43 settlements in Galilee (a tiny 900 square mile region). Nazareth, again, not on the list. However, and here's the funny-ha-ha part, Josephus actually lived in Japha, only 1 mile to the South-West from where Nazareth was later recorded. Nazareth was actually... Japha's designated graveyard when Josephus lived in the year 53 a.d. Forgive me dude, I have to laugh.

No, man. No Nazareth. Not when Jesus lived.

Quote:Why would no-one question where this Nazareth place is? You're saying all these Jews who lived closed to the supposed location of Nazareth just went along with the fact that the town didn't exist?

Because a huge majority of ancient people (in my country, even a couple of centuries ago) only knew about major cities that were not too far and/or settlements within walking distance. The argument from ignorance worked for them just as well as it does for you. "Just because we can't prove that Nazareth exists, it doesn't mean that it doesn't"

Quote:Which Christian scholars? The only person I found who wrote a book about it was Rene Salm, a composer who is apparently an amateur historian as well.

Oops, my bad, I take it back. It was a double misread and it evolved from Matthew to Luke.

Let's start over. Isaiah 11.1 says:

Quote:And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots:

"Branch" is נצר (netzer)

Matthew misreads this verse (and makes up a city in the process) as follows:

Quote: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) - I dare you to find another prophecy that even gets close to what Matthew quotes.

So Matthew is the one who made the city up for a different reason than the one I pointed (mistakenly, from my imperfect memory). The only thing that Luke did was he created the fake census to explain Matthew's fuck-up. But thank you for making me see my mistake and figuring out that Matthew is not trustworthy either. 2 down 2 to go.

Really, dude, ask a Jew. No Nazareth in their messianic prophecies.

Quote:I know that Nazirite is also a religious title, but that still doesn't prove it wasn't also a location.

No, dude, I learned that part in seminary while preparing to become a priest and I was dumb enough to quote from that memory without checking it for accuracy first.

Quote:And of course all the Jews who were Christians(The majority at that time) just went along with the make believe town even though they supposedly would've known that wasn't true. Makes a ton of sense(sarcasm)
Same as above. City name accepted due to argument from ignorance, plus me being dumb enough to take for granted what religious morons taught me about their religion.

Nazareth did not exist as a city. Maybe as a graveyard.

BTW, you don't need to point out sarcasm to me. I am quite sensitive to that. You are the one who required conventional signals to recognize it.

Quote:Insignificant in the eyes of whatever historians were writing at the time, but obviously not insignificant to his people. It's not surprising that some historians might not have heard of him until after he was dead and his disciples began preaching and gaining converts and Christianity became more worthy of notice.

BUZZ!! Wrong! He would have been noticed. He was too noisy not to be.


Quote:By no means has it been proven to be a fake and many scholars agree that it's likely that some parts were added in by later church leaders but Josephus did mention Jesus in that passage. Not to mention his other reference to James as the brother of Christ.

I can't send you to my sources because I established this rule. However, the arguments I found for my statement are: (I quoted them. Feel free not to read them because that's homework. However, I wanted you to see that I'm not making shit up and, if anything, I would be paraphrasing what I get here)

Quote:1. Although the church fathers were quite fond of quoting passages which supported Christianity, since this passage would seem to be the proverbial "nail in the coffin" for doubters, and since early church fathers were very familiar with the works of Josephus, it's very strange indeed that not a single one mentions this quote until Eusebius does in the fourth century. Eusebius is considered the most likely candidate for the creator of this passage and, indeed, he is well-known as believing that a little white lie was justified if it furthered the cause of Christianity. Furthermore, Origen, the famous early Christian apologist quotes extensively from Josephus' works, yet he never mentions this passage.
2. The passage comes in the middle of a collection of stories about calamities that happened to the Jews. The crucifixion of Jesus would not have been considered a Jewish calamity.
3. The passage interrupts the normal flow of the text. When the passage is removed, the end of the paragraph before it and the beginning of the paragraph after it merge perfectly.
4. Josephus was an Orthodox Jew and remained one his entire life. He would have never said such glowing things about Jesus. Indeed, he never would have called him "Christ" and yet remained a Jew his whole life.
5. Although Josephus reports the miracles of a number of other "prophets", he never once mentions any of Jesus' miracles. Whenever he writes about other prophets he blames them for famines, disease, wars, etc. and even calls them "false prophets". He never does so with Jesus, even though he should've thought such things seeing as he was a Jew.
6. The last line of the passage, "...subsists to this time", implies that the passage was written a long time after the events in question. Josephus himself, who lived so close to the time of Jesus, would never have written such a thing.


As for "Jesus's brother":

Quote:1. Josephus was writing for a Roman audience. A Roman audience would not have been familiar with Jewish beliefs concerning the Messiah. Indeed, they probably wouldn't even have known what the word "Christ" meant. To throw such a description in without any explanation would have confused the readers.
2. Why would Josephus mention Jesus before the person that the passage is actually about? On the other hand, if this were a Christian interpolation it would make sense to have Jesus' name be in the place of status, or the entire section may be about Jesus, but then in context it would be about Jesus son of Damneus who in the end is made high priest.
3. The original Greek wording of the passage itself is extremely similar to Matthew 1:16 . For an Othodox Jew this would be extremely unlikely.
4. After reading the rest of the text of this passage we find that the Jews were so angry about the stoning of James that they they demanded that King Agrippa fire Ananus. Why would the Jews be angered over the killing of a Christian, since Christians were seen as heathens by the Jews?
5. After the angry Jews get their way, "Jesus" is put in charge, Jesus son of Damneus and not Jesus son of Joseph. If "who was called Christ" was simply a margin note that got added to the text. The context would suggest that Jesus and James are brothers and after James is killed his brother is made to be high priest. And therefore the passage has nothing to say about any Christians but rather Jewish infighting.
(http://www.ironchariots.org)

Quote:All the gospels were written with eyewitnesses as sources, except for perhaps John which was the latest gospel written.

Bullshit! Suspend your indoctrination and look for better sources. Hint: scientific texts tend to have less pictures than the apologetic ones

Quote:No, it's not. People can live to be more than 40 or 60 years old.

So it makes perfect sense to you that they waited 40 years (minimum) before writing a sentence about what they saw in their youth.

Dude, it's psychologically impossible not to want to record, or at least formulate for the purpose of self-processing such a mind-blowing experience very soon after it happens. The rumor would have traveled like wild fire.

If anything, the Romans would have recorded something like: these crazy Jews are tying their pants in a knot about this Jesus scammer who is a potential danger because he could unite them all in a riot if he ever gets his mind to it. First half of the 1st century was especially "noisy" in the Jewish areas due to cruel and unusual treatment from the Roman governors and explosive riots of Jewish communities. Romans kept a close eye for Jews that were too charismatic and crowd-pleasing. They recorded quite a bunch of such people. They would have recorded his movements and he would have been arrested quite a few times before execution, had he been as active as the gospels say. Lack of evidence in places where evidence should exist IS evidence.

Quote:And you expect all you've ever written to still be there 2,000 years from now? That's pretty optimistic.

Yes, that's exactly what I expect (sarcasm). I was saying that when people have their mind blown off by evidence, they tend to write a book right away, not 40 years later, not letting their children write about it.

Quote:Yes, chances are Luke was mistaken when writing about the census, though Matthew's account is completely in line with the census which is also recorded by Josephus.

Awesome. In that case please do tell me where Jesus was born. And if he was born in Bethlehem, what exactly was he doing there without a census forcing his mother to travel pregnant (so far along too)?


Quote:They didn't have serious support until after the death and resurrection of Jesus and that's when they began to be noticed. Before the resurrection it would've seemed to people that Jesus was just another prophet or teacher, but the resurrection made it clear that Jesus was the Son of God.


Sure. Whenever I see an empty grave my first thought is that somebody was resurrected and I start worshiping the name on the tablet. I agree, that's a good reason to believe when everything else failed so miserably and my sources are completely unreliable. No questions asked. I fall down on my knees and pray to... whoever.

Oh, no Hallucinations 4:11 says the 'gilded sheep should be stewed in rat blood' but Morons 5:16 contradicts it. (Chas)

I would never shake a baby unless the recipe requires it.
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26-12-2011, 10:52 AM
RE: Facebook Preachers
(26-12-2011 09:04 AM)Leela Wrote:  I know that Altanta is also a city, but that still doesn't prove it wasn't also a sunken city on the bottom of the sea.
Sounds familiar?
If not, here in the style of an IQ-test: Nazarite / Nazareth are to each other like Atlanta to a)Atlantis b)No clue c) I don't wanna talk about it anymore
d) Not an accurate comparison

There's no evidence for Atlantis, unlike Nazareth.

(26-12-2011 09:04 AM)Leela Wrote:  Yes, actually it makes sense.
Today people follow a lot of stuff without questioning it, you think that didn't happen before?
Just saying: Santa on the northpole, Chicken nuggets are made of chicken meat, Fox news, Dr Phil, money is safe on a bank account...
Come one....

All those things are questioned by people. You really think that absolutely NO ONE checked to see if Nazareth was a real town? Not even people living close to its supposed location?


(26-12-2011 09:04 AM)Leela Wrote:  Yes, nowadays.
Back then you were an old man with 30 years old and due to the rough life and the low medical possibilies you would die around 40 - 50 unless you were a rich person that did not have to work hard and had the good doctors of the time.
Now tell me that people who wander around for many years (to spread the word), having no real income during that time, therefore no good medicine and definitely a hard life, would have gotten old.

Dates of death for the disciples (Most of them aren't exact but are likely approximations)
Peter: 67 AD
Andrew: 70 AD
James the Greater: 44 AD
James the Lesser: 63 AD
John: 115 AD
Philip: 80 AD
Bartholomew: 70 AD
Matthew: 60-70 AD
Thaddeus: 65 AD
Thomas: 72 AD
Simon: 65 AD

As you can see, a number of them died after the first gospel was written and could've given information to the writers of the gospels or even written them themselves in the case of Matthew and John.

(26-12-2011 08:13 AM)Sharks9 Wrote:  And you expect all you've ever written to still be there 2,000 years from now? That's pretty optimistic.
That was not the point he was making.

[/quote]

I know, but I was saying it's possible there were contemporary writings that were lost or destroyed.

James 1:27
"Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world"

"Atheists express their rage against God although in their view He does not exist." C.S. Lewis
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26-12-2011, 11:04 AM
RE: Facebook Preachers
Sharks9 Wrote:There's no evidence for Atlantis, unlike Nazareth.

Any evidence for a Nazareth at Jesus' time outside the bible please. I would like to check your source. (For your marble statement, check Malleus' comment)

Sharks9 Wrote:All those things are questioned by people. You really think that absolutely NO ONE checked to see if Nazareth was a real town? Not even people living close to its supposed location?

Nope, I don't think that. But what I think is that people don't listen to evidence when they don't want to. So Dr Phil has a lot of fewers who take his word for granted. Everyone who doesn't is either ignored or dismissed by the majority of people wanting Dr Phil to be right. Same goes for Nazareth.

Sharks9 Wrote:Dates of death for the disciples (Most of them aren't exact but are likely approximations)

Where is your source, I would like to check that, please.
Those people btw mean nothing to me, I need backrounds to them as well, to see who they were and how they lived. (That is because I don't have a strong christian backround, so please point me in the right direction. Are they real historical people who have records somewhere or are they out of the bible and there are no historical records on them but the bible?)

"Freedom is the freedom to say that 2+2=4" - George Orwell (in 1984)
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26-12-2011, 11:28 AM
RE: Facebook Preachers
Quote:
Sharks9 Wrote:All those things are questioned by people. You really think that absolutely NO ONE checked to see if Nazareth was a real town? Not even people living close to its supposed location?

Nope, I don't think that. But what I think is that people don't listen to evidence when they don't want to. So Dr Phil has a lot of fewers who take his word for granted. Everyone who doesn't is either ignored or dismissed by the majority of people wanting Dr Phil to be right. Same goes for Nazareth.

In fact another problem emerges. In that time there was no Nazareth. Nobody had heard of it. People who lived "close to its supposed location" had no idea that their graveyard will be called Nazareth in just a few hundred years. When an entire population believes that Nazareth is "somewhere far away from here", nobody realizes that it's "far away" from every single town and village in Galilee and nobody seems to actually be their neighbor. We found that out later when a more modern geography kicked in.

Oh, no Hallucinations 4:11 says the 'gilded sheep should be stewed in rat blood' but Morons 5:16 contradicts it. (Chas)

I would never shake a baby unless the recipe requires it.
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26-12-2011, 01:23 PM (This post was last modified: 26-12-2011 04:24 PM by Seasbury.)
RE: Facebook Preachers
(26-12-2011 10:52 AM)Sharks9 Wrote:  Dates of death for the disciples (Most of them aren't exact but are likely approximations)
Peter: 67 AD
Andrew: 70 AD
James the Greater: 44 AD
James the Lesser: 63 AD
John: 115 AD
Philip: 80 AD
Bartholomew: 70 AD
Matthew: 60-70 AD
Thaddeus: 65 AD
Thomas: 72 AD
Simon: 65 AD

As you can see, a number of them died after the first gospel was written and could've given information to the writers of the gospels or even written them themselves in the case of Matthew and John.

Sharks - I really hate jumping into the middle of a good debate, but I have to ask...

[I've posted this before in this forum, so sometimes I feel like we are on a hamster wheel in here, but I'll give it a shot...]

Does it ever bother you, just in the least little bit, that the first gospel appears following the Roman destruction of the temple in 70 AD?

The first Gospel, Matthew, was even under the best of timings, doesn't appear before 70AD, and in fact is pegged to somewhere between 80-90AD.

The Gospels were not written for Christians - at least not in the sense you think. It was written for Jews as a logical extension of Judaism - for a people that were distraught having lost their telephone booth to god (i.e., the temple).

I'm not arguing whether a man named Jesus ever existed, or that he was an influential rabbi, or that some even thought he was a messiah. In fact, I'm inclined, based on the evidence (especially that of Paul and his writings to the churches in the 50's), but Paul's messages to gentiles and his advocacy for spreading Jesus is completely different than that of the gospel writer's intent. The gospels were primarily designed for Jews and Jews alone and they were designed to provide an alternative to god through belief rather than prayer in the temple.

Moreover, do you not find it troubling that during the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd centuries there were hundreds of gospels floating around out there. In fact, many of the churches Paul was writing to in the 50's were following "alternative" texts - those that pissed him off enough to admonish them for using.

These "heresies" were being followed even as the church in Jerusalem was growing stronger. By the time Rome adopts Christianity, there is the realization that standardization of the texts needs to take place. Here is a troubling thought - all those "Christians" thrown to the lions - are you sure they were adherents of the right belief system? There is ample historic evidence to not only suggest, but to prove that Rome fed heretical Christians to the lions as a way to purge the multi-Christian faiths that were springing up all over the land and force adherence to the one true faith.

By the time the Council of Nicea comes around, we are late in the 4th century and that is when the bishops gather to cherry pick the texts that make up the New Testament, along with the the Older Judaic prophesies.

Now whether you accept the historical record, or reject it as a matter of faith - that's entirely up to you. But since you are here on an atheist forum - you are either trying to dazzle the ignorant with your knowledge of god and trying to win converts or you have some lingering doubts in you faith and you are looking to dispel them by arguing with heathens as a way to strengthen you beliefs.

I too was once a Christian looking for answers, and looking to validate my belief and trying to strengthen my faith. My problem was every time I looked harder in to the issue I found the house of cards shaking until it violently came crashing down.

I highly recommend reading J.D. Crossan's The Birth of Christianity

Amazingly, Crossan is and remains a self-described Christian, so you may not feel threatened by his work - but it at the very least theologically and historically honest.

If you still wish to accept the challenge of strengthening faith against the odds, then try reading Burton Mack's Who wrote the New Testament

Then read Elaine Pagels Beyond Belief

Ask yourself why the Book of Thomas wasn't included as a gospel or why it was deemed heretical.

My final nail in the coffin was reading Lee Strobel's the Case for Christ. I was looking for a great counter to any of the great books listed and his "case" was so incredibly weak, so incredibly lacking, so incredibly pedantic I almost cried out in frustration - here I am looking to find god and looking to Lee Strobel for answers - swing and a miss - lol!

My point in all this is that the reason most people believe in Christianity is because we were raised in it. It is the ultimate cult - take that pejoratively or not - it just is what it is. The message is great, and we've believed in it for nearly two millennium. Most Christians truly believe we are the cusp of the end of days - all the "signs" are there - what happens if we as a species are still around in another 1,000 years or 2,000 years. DO you really think people will still be pushing Jesus as as the answer to their problems in another 2,000 years? Honestly, and you have to know this just by the trends you can see today - there is no f'ing way. Islam has a better chance at survival than Christianity over the long haul (not that that makes me any happier).

For the Jesus story to hold value, you need a second coming - and that second coming is not happening because it's not real. That's not me being mean, it's just recognizing that a nomadic tribal religion that morphed by sheer luck and some good sweat on the part of a handful of people to become a world-wide religion doesn't mean it's accurate or real.

I won't argue faith with you - faith is something where logic need not apply (and I say this not to be mean, simply that faith doesn't require logic or reason) - but when you rely on "evidence" to justify faith, sorry, you're holding a pair of deuces against 4 aces.

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26-12-2011, 02:30 PM
RE: Facebook Preachers
(26-12-2011 10:27 AM)Malleus Wrote:  And that is the first mention *ever* about it. In fact it's "נצרת" (n-s-r-t). For all we know it could be a typo. Historical existence of cities is generally based on stronger evidence.

Nazareth wasn't a city, it was a tiny village. Also, there's an 8th century Hebrew inscription which uses the same form so it's unlikely it's a typo.

(26-12-2011 10:27 AM)Malleus Wrote:  However:

1. Nazareth is never mentioned in the Old Testament. Not once. Joshua (19:10, 16) gives a list of settlements in the area. Nazareth is not one of them.
2. The Talmud lists 63 towns in Galilea. Nazareth is not on the list. All early Jewish texts ignore it completely
3. St. Paul never mentions Nazareth.
4. No early historian or geographer has ever mentioned Nazareth
5. No ruins of an additional city in the area. All ruins are accounted for by other settlements which are properly documented independently.
6. Josephus (I love science. It works both ways) has led a military campaign all over Galilee. He mentions 43 settlements in Galilee (a tiny 900 square mile region). Nazareth, again, not on the list. However, and here's the funny-ha-ha part, Josephus actually lived in Japha, only 1 mile to the South-West from where Nazareth was later recorded. Nazareth was actually... Japha's designated graveyard when Josephus lived in the year 53 a.d. Forgive me dude, I have to laugh.

No, man. No Nazareth. Not when Jesus lived.

1. The book of Joshua was written around 600 BC. It's entirely possible Nazareth was uninhabited at that time. (It's likely it was abandoned for a time around 720 BC when the Assyrians invaded)
2. Not too familiar with the Talmud, link maybe?
3. Why would he?
4. Again, it was a small and insignificant village.
5. No ruins? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ancient_Bat...f_Nazareth
6. What's really funny is when you ignore the fact Josephus said that Galilee had 219 villages total, so he's listing less than 20% of the villages in the area and you're saying that's proof Nazareth didn't exist at that time? Hilarious.


Quote:Because a huge majority of ancient people (in my country, even a couple of centuries ago) only knew about major cities that were not too far and/or settlements within walking distance. The argument from ignorance worked for them just as well as it does for you. "Just because we can't prove that Nazareth exists, it doesn't mean that it doesn't"
But what about those who did live within walking distance? Why didn't they say anything about this non-existent village?


Quote:*snip*

The fact that Jesus was from Nazareth probably made Matthew misunderstand what the word and attribute it to the town instead of just to Jesus directly. Jesus was a Nazarene in the sense that he was the branch that was prophesied as well as being from the town of Nazareth.

And still waiting on word from any credible historian who doubts the existence of Nazareth.



Quote:Same as above. City name accepted due to argument from ignorance, plus me being dumb enough to take for granted what religious morons taught me about their religion.

Nazareth did not exist as a city. Maybe as a graveyard.

BTW, you don't need to point out sarcasm to me. I am quite sensitive to that. You are the one who required conventional signals to recognize it.

Your arguments don't prove in the slightest that Nazareth didn't exist, all they amount to is mostly arguments from silence, hardly convincing.

Congratulations. You must feel so proud of yourself.

Quote:BUZZ!! Wrong! He would have been noticed. He was too noisy not to be.
Not at all, it's not as if he started a violent rebellion. Not surprising the Romans wouldn't have considered him a threat and they might've even been happy at the trouble he was causing the Jews.



Quote:*snip*
Really? The "counter-apologetics wiki" is your source?
Sounds about as reliable as conservapedia.


Quote:Bullshit! Suspend your indoctrination and look for better sources. Hint: scientific texts tend to have less pictures than the apologetic ones

Feel free to recommend some "scientific" texts that hold the gospels as false.


Quote:So it makes perfect sense to you that they waited 40 years (minimum) before writing a sentence about what they saw in their youth.

Dude, it's psychologically impossible not to want to record, or at least formulate for the purpose of self-processing such a mind-blowing experience very soon after it happens. The rumor would have traveled like wild fire.

If anything, the Romans would have recorded something like: these crazy Jews are tying their pants in a knot about this Jesus scammer who is a potential danger because he could unite them all in a riot if he ever gets his mind to it. First half of the 1st century was especially "noisy" in the Jewish areas due to cruel and unusual treatment from the Roman governors and explosive riots of Jewish communities. Romans kept a close eye for Jews that were too charismatic and crowd-pleasing. They recorded quite a bunch of such people. They would have recorded his movements and he would have been arrested quite a few times before execution, had he been as active as the gospels say. Lack of evidence in places where evidence should exist IS evidence.

Not neccessarily. I'm sure you've heard of the Q document, it's possible that was written soon after the death of Jesus and was used as source material for the Gospels which would explain why there are no records immediately after his death. It's also possible any of those records could've been destroyed.

Also, could all of the disciples even write? Probably, but I've never looked into that.

Quote:And you expect all you've ever written to still be there 2,000 years from now? That's pretty optimistic.

Jews mainly used oral tradition to keep their stories alive, the Talmud was only written in 200 AD and was the first written compendium of Judaism's Oral Law. It's not surprising that the disciples(Jews) could've kept Jesus' story alive orally and only later have written it down.

Quote:Awesome. In that case please do tell me where Jesus was born. And if he was born in Bethlehem, what exactly was he doing there without a census forcing his mother to travel pregnant (so far along too)?

Does it matter?

Quote:Sure. Whenever I see an empty grave my first thought is that somebody was resurrected and I start worshiping the name on the tablet. I agree, that's a good reason to believe when everything else failed so miserably and my sources are completely unreliable. No questions asked. I fall down on my knees and pray to... whoever.

You probably would if the person had predicted rising from the dead and you knew there was no way he could've done it by mortal means.

James 1:27
"Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world"

"Atheists express their rage against God although in their view He does not exist." C.S. Lewis
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