Reliability of the Gospels
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12-12-2012, 08:19 PM
RE: Reliability of the Gospels
(12-12-2012 06:25 PM)Free Wrote:  
(12-12-2012 06:08 PM)vindicarblack Wrote:  All of the holy books fail even the loosest standard of evidence as they are iteration after iteration of hearsay within hearsay
But the one question remains: "What is the origin?"

One of the biggest problems for those who adhere to the total myth of Jesus theory is that there is no evidence in antiquity whatsoever of anybody ever claiming Jesus was a myth. Although this is an argument from silence, it escapes the fallacy moniker for the reason that it is a reasonable inductive argument where no deductive argument can dispute it.

Since we have so many ancient writings of people who were not Christians but knew of Jesus, yet none saying he never existed, the argument from silence here can be very convincing.

Believe me, I have looked long and hard for any of this kind of evidence and found absolutely none.

Maybe they never said he never existed, but there is plenty of commentary that strongly suggests the Jesus story is a fiction...


"It is clear to me that the writings of the Christians are a lie, and that your fables are not well-enough constructed to conceal this monstrous fiction: I have even heard that some of your interpreters, as if they had just come out of a tavern, are onto the inconsistencies and, pen in hand, alter the originals writings, three, four and several more times over in order to be able to deny the contradictions in the face of criticism."(Celsus 178 CE,
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Celsus)

“A little jargon is all that is necessary to impose on the people. The less they comprehend, the more they admire. Our forefathers and doctors have often said not what they thought, but what circumstances and necessity dictated.”St. Gregory (mid fourth century, from Jerome's letter 52 to Nepotian, http://catholicism.org/gregory-great.html)

Irenaeus tried to emphasize that Jesus had once been a living character, as he was determined to distinguish Jesus from all the other god-men saviors of the world.

“Christ alone is able to teach divine things, and to redeem us: he, the same, took flesh of the virgin Mary, not merely in appearance, but actually, by the operation of the holy spirit, in order to renovate us… in no other way could we have learned the things of God, unless our Master, existing as the Word, had become man. For no other being had the power of revealing to us the things of the Father, except His own proper Word…. Again, we could have learned in no other way than by seeing our Teacher, and hearing His voice with our own ears, that, having become imitators of His works as well as doers of His words, we may have communion with Him, receiving increase from the perfect One, and from Him who is prior to all creation.” (Against Heresies Book v.) He offered no proof for any of these assertions.He was convinced Jesus lived well into old age:

“For he came to save all through means of Himself—all, I say, who through Him are born again to God—infants, and children, and boys, and youths, and old men. He therefore passed through every age, becoming an infant for infants, thus sanctifying infants; a child for children, thus sanctifying those who are of this age; a youth for youths, and thus sanctifying them for the Lord. So likewise He was an old man for old men, that He might be a perfect Master for all, not merely as respects the setting forth of the truth, but also as regards age, sanctifying at the same time the aged also, and becoming an example to them likewise. Then, at last, He came on to death itself, that He might be the first-born from the dead.” (Against Heresies Book II, Chapter xxii, sec. 3)

“They, however, that they may establish their false opinion regarding that which is written, to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, maintain that he preached for one year only, and then suffered in the twelfth month. [In speaking thus], they are forgetful to their own disadvantage, destroying His work and robbing Him of that age which is both more necessary and more honorable than any other; that more advanced age, I mean, during which also, as a teacher, He excelled all others” (Ibid. Chapter xxii, sec. 4)

He claimed Jesus died in Trajan’s (Roman Emperor, 98–117 CE) time, and that John and other unnamed apostles were the source of this information:“Now, that the first stage of early life embraces thirty years, and that this extends onward to the fortieth year, everyone will admit; but from the fortieth and fiftieth year a man begins to decline toward old age, which our Lord possessed while He still fulfilled the office of a Teacher, even as the Gospel and all the elders testify; those who were conversant in Asia with John, the disciple of the Lord, (affirming) that John conveyed to them that information. And he remained among them up to the times of Trajan. Some of them, moreover, saw not only John, but the other Apostles also, and heard the very same account from them, and bear testimony as to [the validity of] the statement. Whom then should we rather believe?”(Ibid. Chapter xxii, sec. 5).

So the “first great theologian of the church” asserted Jesus lived seventy or more years later than what is now stated in the gospels. He obviously knew or made up details about Jesus that contradicted what became the accepted story. This demonstrates that the gospels were still evolving in the late second century.
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12-12-2012, 09:31 PM
RE: Reliability of the Gospels
Quote:Maybe they never said he never existed, but there is plenty of commentary that strongly suggests the Jesus story is a fiction...



That will depend on how well the argument is presented, how well the texts are analyzed, and how well it stands up to other facts. Wink



Quote:"It is clear to me that the writings of the Christians are a lie, and that your fables are not well-enough constructed to conceal this monstrous fiction: I have even heard that some of your interpreters, as if they had just come out of a tavern, are onto the inconsistencies and, pen in hand, alter the originals writings, three, four and several more times over in order to be able to deny the contradictions in the face of criticism."(Celsus 178 CE, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Celsus)

So which part of the writings is Celsus referring to? Is he saying that the person of Jesus was a work of total fiction? Or is he merely talking about the embellishments that the Christian writers created of Jesus? Let's find out. The following are some quotes from Celsus:

' Wrote:Jesus had come from a village in Judea, and was the son of a poor Jewess who gained her living by the work of her own hands. His mother had been turned out of doors by her husband, who was a carpenter by trade, on being convicted of adultery [with a soldier named Panthéra (i.32)]. Being thus driven away by her husband, and wandering about in disgrace, she gave birth to Jesus, a bastard. Jesus, on account of his poverty, was hired out to go to Egypt. While there he acquired certain (magical) powers which Egyptians pride themselves on possessing. He returned home highly elated at possessing these powers, and on the strength of them gave himself out to be a god.

[quote]And in addition to the above, this Jew of Celsus afterwards addresses Jesus: "What need, moreover, was there that you, while still an infant, should be conveyed into Egypt? Was it to escape being murdered? But then it was not likely that a God should be afraid of death; and yet an angel came down from heaven, commanding you and your friends to flee, lest ye should be captured and put to death! And was not the great God, who had already sent two angels on your account, able to keep you, His only Son, there in safety?" From these words Celsus seems to think that there was no element of divinity in the human body and soul of Jesus, but that His body was not even such as is described in the fables of Homer; and with a taunt also at the blood of Jesus which was shed upon the cross, he adds that it was not "Ichor, such as flows in the veins of the blessed gods." - Chp LXVI



Obviously Celsum harbored quite a few ill feelings towards Jesus, and had his own view of what cannot be understood as anything other than the man, Jesus of Nazareth. Therefore, by analyzing the texts more in detail, we can rightfully conclude that Celsum was not dismissing the personage of Jesus by any means, and in the quote you made above, he was in fact speaking only of the embellishments the Christians made regarding the life of Jesus.


Also, in your quote about Celsum clearly claims that the Christians have altered the "originals writings" which is devastating evidence that there were indeed original writings in regards to Jesus that were embellished.


I will return later to examine the rest of your position.

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12-12-2012, 11:59 PM (This post was last modified: 13-12-2012 03:58 PM by Mark Fulton.)
RE: Reliability of the Gospels
"Obviously Celsum harbored quite a few ill feelings towards Jesus, and had his own view of what cannot be understood as anything other than the man, Jesus of Nazareth. Therefore, by analyzing the texts more in detail, we can rightfully
conclude that Celsum was not dismissing the personage of Jesus by any means, and in the quote you made above, he was in fact speaking only of the embellishments the Christians made regarding the life of Jesus."

AGREED, although I don't know about "ill feelings" towards Jesus. I think he he was just relating what he'd heard about Jesus, and was commenting on the fabricated nature of Christian texts.


"Also, in your quote about Celsum clearly claims that the Christians have altered the "originals writings" which is devastating evidence that there were indeed original writings in regards to Jesus that were embellished."

I see no such devastating evidence....he's just stating that one copy (the original) was altered. That copy could have been the one hundredth version.
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13-12-2012, 01:39 AM
Reliability of the Gospels
(12-12-2012 06:25 PM)Free Wrote:  
(12-12-2012 06:08 PM)vindicarblack Wrote:  All of the holy books fail even the loosest standard of evidence as they are iteration after iteration of hearsay within hearsay
But the one question remains: "What is the origin?"

One of the biggest problems for those who adhere to the total myth of Jesus theory is that there is no evidence in antiquity whatsoever of anybody ever claiming Jesus was a myth. Although this is an argument from silence, it escapes the fallacy moniker for the reason that it is a reasonable inductive argument where no deductive argument can dispute it.

Since we have so many ancient writings of people who were not Christians but knew of Jesus, yet none saying he never existed, the argument from silence here can be very convincing.

Believe me, I have looked long and hard for any of this kind of evidence and found absolutely none.

Again I fail to see the significance of your argument. I am not denying the possibility of someone named Jesus in antiquity. I do absolutely deny, with as near to 100% confidence that is reasonably possible, that all of the supernatural claims are completely made up.

Your logic is seems to be looping in nature. Since no one has categorically disproved it, does not in fact help prove it. Proving the negative in any case, is nearly never completely possible. If some years ago someone asserted that there might be a huge suction cup monkey stuck to the back of one of Jupiter's moons; and the fact that you nor anyone else can or has disproved this does not make the assertion any more true or validated in any way.

The only total myth of Jesus or Mohammed or any other historical figure of any holy book I can attest to is their supernatural aspects. The rest is just a huge crap shoot
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13-12-2012, 07:19 AM
RE: Reliability of the Gospels
(13-12-2012 01:39 AM)vindicarblack Wrote:  
(12-12-2012 06:25 PM)Free Wrote:  But the one question remains: "What is the origin?"

One of the biggest problems for those who adhere to the total myth of Jesus theory is that there is no evidence in antiquity whatsoever of anybody ever claiming Jesus was a myth. Although this is an argument from silence, it escapes the fallacy moniker for the reason that it is a reasonable inductive argument where no deductive argument can dispute it.

Since we have so many ancient writings of people who were not Christians but knew of Jesus, yet none saying he never existed, the argument from silence here can be very convincing.

Believe me, I have looked long and hard for any of this kind of evidence and found absolutely none.

Again I fail to see the significance of your argument. I am not denying the possibility of someone named Jesus in antiquity. I do absolutely deny, with as near to 100% confidence that is reasonably possible, that all of the supernatural claims are completely made up.

Your logic is seems to be looping in nature. Since no one has categorically disproved it, does not in fact help prove it. Proving the negative in any case, is nearly never completely possible. If some years ago someone asserted that there might be a huge suction cup monkey stuck to the back of one of Jupiter's moons; and the fact that you nor anyone else can or has disproved this does not make the assertion any more true or validated in any way.

The only total myth of Jesus or Mohammed or any other historical figure of any holy book I can attest to is their supernatural aspects. The rest is just a huge crap shoot


You appear to be totally misunderstanding my position. I think I have said ad nausium that no one here believes in any such miracles or supernatural events. You also do not seem to realize that I am an atheist.

And yes, all the supernatural claims defy logic, reason, and evidence, and therefore are mere embellishments of a historical figure's life.

Sorry, but I really have no idea what your argument with me actually is.

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13-12-2012, 12:02 PM
Reliability of the Gospels
(13-12-2012 07:19 AM)Free Wrote:  
(13-12-2012 01:39 AM)vindicarblack Wrote:  Again I fail to see the significance of your argument. I am not denying the possibility of someone named Jesus in antiquity. I do absolutely deny, with as near to 100% confidence that is reasonably possible, that all of the supernatural claims are completely made up.

Your logic is seems to be looping in nature. Since no one has categorically disproved it, does not in fact help prove it. Proving the negative in any case, is nearly never completely possible. If some years ago someone asserted that there might be a huge suction cup monkey stuck to the back of one of Jupiter's moons; and the fact that you nor anyone else can or has disproved this does not make the assertion any more true or validated in any way.

The only total myth of Jesus or Mohammed or any other historical figure of any holy book I can attest to is their supernatural aspects. The rest is just a huge crap shoot


You appear to be totally misunderstanding my position. I think I have said ad nausium that no one here believes in any such miracles or supernatural events. You also do not seem to realize that I am an atheist.

And yes, all the supernatural claims defy logic, reason, and evidence, and therefore are mere embellishments of a historical figure's life.

Sorry, but I really have no idea what your argument with me actually is.

That makes two of us then. My supernatural comments were a side note. I was calling into question your reasoning that Jesus existed because no one has proven he did not. You are cherry picking portions of my retort to duck your logical fallacy of circular reasoning and proof of the negative for your point.
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13-12-2012, 04:07 PM
RE: Reliability of the Gospels
(13-12-2012 07:19 AM)Free Wrote:  
(13-12-2012 01:39 AM)vindicarblack Wrote:  Again I fail to see the significance of your argument. I am not denying the possibility of someone named Jesus in antiquity. I do absolutely deny, with as near to 100% confidence that is reasonably possible, that all of the supernatural claims are completely made up.

Your logic is seems to be looping in nature. Since no one has categorically disproved it, does not in fact help prove it. Proving the negative in any case, is nearly never completely possible. If some years ago someone asserted that there might be a huge suction cup monkey stuck to the back of one of Jupiter's moons; and the fact that you nor anyone else can or has disproved this does not make the assertion any more true or validated in any way.

The only total myth of Jesus or Mohammed or any other historical figure of any holy book I can attest to is their supernatural aspects. The rest is just a huge crap shoot


You appear to be totally misunderstanding my position. I think I have said ad nausium that no one here believes in any such miracles or supernatural events. You also do not seem to realize that I am an atheist.

And yes, all the supernatural claims defy logic, reason, and evidence, and therefore are mere embellishments of a historical figure's life.

Sorry, but I really have no idea what your argument with me actually is.
Can you tell us what your opinion of the gospels, minus the miracles and supernatural events, is then? Do you think they're accurate historically? Do you think they're pushing wisdom?

I ask because you seem to be passionately defending something (their validity?), but I can't work out what or why. You gave the same impression in the Paul thread when you insisted Paul was talking about "Jesus."
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13-12-2012, 04:29 PM
RE: Reliability of the Gospels
Quote:I see no such devastating evidence....he's just stating that one copy (the original) was altered. That copy could have been the one hundredth version.

Take a closer look at the text, Mark.

Quote:"It is clear to me that the writings of the Christians are a lie, and that your fables are not well-enough constructed to conceal this monstrous fiction: I have even heard that some of your interpreters, as if they had just come out of a tavern, are onto the inconsistencies and, pen in hand, alter the originals writings, three, four and several more times over in order to be able to deny the contradictions in the face of criticism."(Celsus 178 CE,

You can see that the word "originals" is plural. Celsum is accusing "Christians" of altering the writings of the those persons who originally penned down the story of Yeshua.

Here's a little more evidence from Celsum:

' Wrote:Although I could state many things regarding the events of the life of Jesus which are true, and not like those which are recorded by the disciples, I willingly omit them. The disciples of Jesus, having no undoubted facts on which to rely, devised the fiction that he foreknew everything before it happened. The disciples of Jesus wrote such accounts regarding him by way of making the charges that were held against him to appear to be less serious, as in such a way so that if any one were to say that a certain person was a just man, when it were to show that he was guilty of injustice; or that he was pious, when yet had committed murder; or that he was immortal, but yet was dead, and then they appended to all these statements the remark that he had foretold all these things.


Celsum was a marvelous writer, and if i were alive at his time I would have been greatly impressed because even Origen was obviously befuddled by the intelligence of Celsum.

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13-12-2012, 04:32 PM (This post was last modified: 13-12-2012 04:45 PM by Free.)
RE: Reliability of the Gospels
(13-12-2012 12:02 PM)vindicarblack Wrote:  
(13-12-2012 07:19 AM)Free Wrote:  You appear to be totally misunderstanding my position. I think I have said ad nausium that no one here believes in any such miracles or supernatural events. You also do not seem to realize that I am an atheist.

And yes, all the supernatural claims defy logic, reason, and evidence, and therefore are mere embellishments of a historical figure's life.

Sorry, but I really have no idea what your argument with me actually is.

That makes two of us then. My supernatural comments were a side note. I was calling into question your reasoning that Jesus existed because no one has proven he did not. You are cherry picking portions of my retort to duck your logical fallacy of circular reasoning and proof of the negative for your point.


Sorry, but the only thing I'm ducking here is your nonsense.

So let's see how good your logic actually is.

Please demonstrate where the circular reasoning actually is.

As far as "proof of the negative" is concerned, learn the following:


Quote:Evidence of absence is evidence of any kind that suggests something is missing or that it does not exist. A simple example of evidence of absence: A baker never fails to put finished pies on her windowsill, so if there is no pie on the windowsill, then no finished pies exist. This can be formulated as modus tollens in propositional logic: P implies Q, but Q is false, therefore P is false.

Evidence of this kind is not to be confused with mere ignorance, and the traditional axiom warns that[1] "absence of evidence is not evidence of absence", although this is only the case if there is no reason to believe that such evidence would already have been found if it existed.[2] In this regard Irving Copi writes:

In some circumstances it can be safely assumed that if a certain event had occurred, evidence of it could be discovered by qualified investigators. In such circumstances it is perfectly reasonable to take the absence of proof of its occurrence as positive proof of its non-occurrence.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evidence_of_absence

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13-12-2012, 04:34 PM
RE: Reliability of the Gospels
(13-12-2012 04:07 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  
(13-12-2012 07:19 AM)Free Wrote:  You appear to be totally misunderstanding my position. I think I have said ad nausium that no one here believes in any such miracles or supernatural events. You also do not seem to realize that I am an atheist.

And yes, all the supernatural claims defy logic, reason, and evidence, and therefore are mere embellishments of a historical figure's life.

Sorry, but I really have no idea what your argument with me actually is.
Can you tell us what your opinion of the gospels, minus the miracles and supernatural events, is then? Do you think they're accurate historically? Do you think they're pushing wisdom?

I ask because you seem to be passionately defending something (their validity?), but I can't work out what or why. You gave the same impression in the Paul thread when you insisted Paul was talking about "Jesus."
When we take away the miracles and much of the narrative, we have the Q source.

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