Usual introductions
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08-08-2012, 11:22 AM
RE: Usual introductions
(07-08-2012 05:11 AM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  
(06-08-2012 11:55 AM)Grazer501 Wrote:  Except you won't find many (if any) ancient historians who dispute his existence. Classic historian Professor Graeme Clark of the Australian National University has gone on record as saying;

"Frankly, I know of no ancient historian or biblical historian who would have a twinge of doubt about the existence of a Jesus Christ. The documentary evidence is simply over-whelming" (http://www.smh.com.au/news/national/fact...=fullpage)

Richard Dawkins conceded in a debate with John Lennox that a case could be made for Jesus's existence (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J0UIbd0eLxw)

Other videos from historians/professors:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XbFbJrr1-bY
https://publicchristianity.org/library/c...-the-bible - Professor Craig Blomberg (I recommend this one)

There's no point having a discussion about the resurrection if we're still stuck at whether he even existed. From everything I've read, this is simply not something that is disputed by historians studying the period.

You didn't read the link. I'm not disputing there may have been a person Yehsua. What they did with his teaching IS certainly a fabrication, which, if you read the link, they admitted was a lie. And if you're going to have a discussion about the resurrection, you will have to establish beforehand what you will accept. If you do that, you will have to agree the Salem witches were really witches, as there is better evidence for that, by YOUR criteria.

The church fathers lying about what Jesus did does not match up with the evidence. We have multiple sources attesting to a remarkable transformation of his followers, his half brother James and the former persecutor Paul (formerly Saul of Tarsus); Josephus, Hegeisppus, Clement Of Alexandria, Clement of Rome, Polycarp, Ignatius, Dionysius of Corinth, Tertullian, Origen all attest to this (excluding the biblical texts) Not only that, they attest to these people being killed for what they believed or more accurately, refusing to change their minds. You don't willing die for something that you made up. As Craig Blomberg highlights, these were fundamental Jews who would never equate anyone with God but something happened to convince them that Jesus was indeed the Son of God. Based on the documents that we have and their dates, historians have concluded that there was a core of Christianity being proclaimed less than a year after the reported events. There would have been people around to say "Jesus did no such thing" but nothing in any writings give this impression. Now this doesn't prove its true but they were preaching in Jerusalem where all these events reportedly took place and they weren't killed because of what they were saying per se (i.e. spreading lies) they were killed because they were seen as a threat to the Roman empire. So I think qe can say that these followers of Christ were wrong in their proclamations of who Christ was but with the speed of which they acted, the changes in the disciples and the willingness to die cos they believed it so much, I don't see how you can say they simply made it all up.

As for the salem witch trials, I haven't looked into these so I can't really comment. But I don't recall the church leaders dying for what they believed, they were the ones doing the killing (something that I am ashamed is equated with Christ especially since he forbade the use of violence to defend him or his message) Also, they were not changed by their belief but acting on an already held idea something that does not apply to the disciples. As I alluded to above, simply claiming something does not make it true so is there other evidence that must come into play.

Video 2 of https://publicchristianity.org/library/j...CKdw_bN-1k makes a brief reference to Josephus and him writing about how Jesus was perceived to have done miraculous deeds. I will leave it to you to listen and interpret as you see fit.

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08-08-2012, 11:35 AM
RE: Usual introductions
(06-08-2012 04:09 PM)kingschosen Wrote:  Hey Graham, I was wondering about the finer points of your theology.

If you don't want to answer these, don't feel obligated.


1) Do you believe in the Doctrine of Free Will (Arminian) or the Doctrine of Election (Calvinist)?

2) What is your belief on Origins? Are you a Young Earth Creationist (YEC), Old Earth Creationist (OEC), Progressive Creationist (PC), Theistic Evolutionist (TE), or an Evolutionary Creationist (EC)?

3) What is your eschatological belief?

4) Do you believe the Bible is 100% literal?

5) Do you believe "inspired" equates to being literally inerrant?

I don't mind answering them Smile

1) Do you believe in the Doctrine of Free Will (Arminian) or the Doctrine of Election (Calvinist)? I'm more of an Arminian

2) What is your belief on Origins? Are you a Young Earth Creationist (YEC), Old Earth Creationist (OEC), Progressive Creationist (PC), Theistic Evolutionist (TE), or an Evolutionary Creationist (EC)? Evolutionary Creationist I think best fits my view on this.

3) What is your eschatological belief? - I'm taking eschatological meaning "The department of theological science concerned with ‘the four last things: death, judgement, heaven, and hell" At a basic level, I believe everyone will come face to face with God and have to account for everything they've done. Being a Christian merely means being forgiven.

4) Do you believe the Bible is 100% literal? - If by literal you mean "face value" then no, especially regarding Genesis. There are books in the Bible that are meant literally (the gospels come to mind) but not everything in them is mean literally (Jesus's parables come to mind) I try to look at the text and interpret it as it would have been by the people it was written to. They didn't read things like we do. Peter Enns has been quite influential lately on this front.

5) Do you believe "inspired" equates to being literally inerrant? Not 100% inerrant. I believe God used humans to write the Bible and used their language and culture to convey his word. In terms of the gospels, they are compilations of eye witness accounts and other sources. I don't believe dictation is the only means God has of conveying his word. Again, I've found Peter Enns to be very helpful.
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08-08-2012, 11:42 AM
RE: Usual introductions
(08-08-2012 11:35 AM)Grazer501 Wrote:  5) Do you believe "inspired" equates to being literally inerrant? Not 100% inerrant. I believe God used humans to write the Bible and used their language and culture to convey his word. In terms of the gospels, they are compilations of eye witness accounts and other sources. I don't believe dictation is the only means God has of conveying his word. Again, I've found Peter Enns to be very helpful.

The gospels are not eyewitness accounts. They are hearsay, written decades after the alleged events and altered over time.

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08-08-2012, 12:11 PM
RE: Usual introductions
(08-08-2012 11:35 AM)Grazer501 Wrote:  
(06-08-2012 04:09 PM)kingschosen Wrote:  Hey Graham, I was wondering about the finer points of your theology.

If you don't want to answer these, don't feel obligated.


1) Do you believe in the Doctrine of Free Will (Arminian) or the Doctrine of Election (Calvinist)?

2) What is your belief on Origins? Are you a Young Earth Creationist (YEC), Old Earth Creationist (OEC), Progressive Creationist (PC), Theistic Evolutionist (TE), or an Evolutionary Creationist (EC)?

3) What is your eschatological belief?

4) Do you believe the Bible is 100% literal?

5) Do you believe "inspired" equates to being literally inerrant?

I don't mind answering them Smile

1) Do you believe in the Doctrine of Free Will (Arminian) or the Doctrine of Election (Calvinist)? I'm more of an Arminian

2) What is your belief on Origins? Are you a Young Earth Creationist (YEC), Old Earth Creationist (OEC), Progressive Creationist (PC), Theistic Evolutionist (TE), or an Evolutionary Creationist (EC)? Evolutionary Creationist I think best fits my view on this.

3) What is your eschatological belief? - I'm taking eschatological meaning "The department of theological science concerned with ‘the four last things: death, judgement, heaven, and hell" At a basic level, I believe everyone will come face to face with God and have to account for everything they've done. Being a Christian merely means being forgiven.

4) Do you believe the Bible is 100% literal? - If by literal you mean "face value" then no, especially regarding Genesis. There are books in the Bible that are meant literally (the gospels come to mind) but not everything in them is mean literally (Jesus's parables come to mind) I try to look at the text and interpret it as it would have been by the people it was written to. They didn't read things like we do. Peter Enns has been quite influential lately on this front.

5) Do you believe "inspired" equates to being literally inerrant? Not 100% inerrant. I believe God used humans to write the Bible and used their language and culture to convey his word. In terms of the gospels, they are compilations of eye witness accounts and other sources. I don't believe dictation is the only means God has of conveying his word. Again, I've found Peter Enns to be very helpful.

Holy crap.

We believe A LOT alike.

We differ on the free will thing, but that's not a big deal.

As far as #3 goes, I was asking about what you believe as far as the end times. Pre-trib, post-trib, amillennial, etc

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10-08-2012, 11:46 AM
RE: Usual introductions
(08-08-2012 11:42 AM)Chas Wrote:  
(08-08-2012 11:35 AM)Grazer501 Wrote:  5) Do you believe "inspired" equates to being literally inerrant? Not 100% inerrant. I believe God used humans to write the Bible and used their language and culture to convey his word. In terms of the gospels, they are compilations of eye witness accounts and other sources. I don't believe dictation is the only means God has of conveying his word. Again, I've found Peter Enns to be very helpful.

The gospels are not eyewitness accounts. They are hearsay, written decades after the alleged events and altered over time.

They're based on eye witness accounts (ancient biographies) written very early after the events much earlier than anything we have for that time, and the only modifications are spelling & grammar errors. We have more copies of the NT documents than anything in ancient literature attesting to this. To quote Norman Giesler and William Nix:

The New Testament then, has not only survived in more manuscripts than any other book from antiquity but it has survived in a purer form than any other great book - a form that is 99.5% pure
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10-08-2012, 12:06 PM
RE: Usual introductions
(10-08-2012 11:46 AM)Grazer501 Wrote:  
(08-08-2012 11:42 AM)Chas Wrote:  The gospels are not eyewitness accounts. They are hearsay, written decades after the alleged events and altered over time.

They're based on eye witness accounts (ancient biographies) written very early after the events much earlier than anything we have for that time, and the only modifications are spelling & grammar errors. We have more copies of the NT documents than anything in ancient literature attesting to this. To quote Norman Giesler and William Nix:

The New Testament then, has not only survived in more manuscripts than any other book from antiquity but it has survived in a purer form than any other great book - a form that is 99.5% pure
I highly doubt the validity of your claims. Do you have a credible source for them?

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10-08-2012, 12:14 PM
RE: Usual introductions
(10-08-2012 11:46 AM)Grazer501 Wrote:  
(08-08-2012 11:42 AM)Chas Wrote:  The gospels are not eyewitness accounts. They are hearsay, written decades after the alleged events and altered over time.

They're based on eye witness accounts (ancient biographies) written very early after the events much earlier than anything we have for that time, and the only modifications are spelling & grammar errors. We have more copies of the NT documents than anything in ancient literature attesting to this. To quote Norman Giesler and William Nix:

The New Testament then, has not only survived in more manuscripts than any other book from antiquity but it has survived in a purer form than any other great book - a form that is 99.5% pure

Your understanding is incorrect. Utterly. Textual analysis of all of the extant texts show tens of thousands of changes, textual additions and deletions spanning centuries. The 'original' texts simply don't exist. There are no texts from the times of the events.

I suggest you read some of Professor Bart Ehrman's works.

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10-08-2012, 12:37 PM
RE: Usual introductions
(05-08-2012 07:14 AM)Grazer501 Wrote:  I became a Christian when I concluded that it was true.

Did you take into account the bi-product that Christianity has of earlier religions? Such as Messianic story, the Great Flood, where humans came to be, etc. Can you explain to me why you go for version 2.5, instead of version 1.0? Thanks!

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10-08-2012, 12:40 PM
RE: Usual introductions
Eye Witness test. See if you can pass this.




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10-08-2012, 12:46 PM
RE: Usual introductions
Such an event cannot be disproven because there were no reputable witnesses who provided accounts at the time. If you read the NT accounts, lay them out side by side, you will find 46 irreconcilable differerences that if one passage is true, another passage must be strictly false. For ordinary witness accounts, this really isn't too bad, given the time in between, but these are accounts presented by "true believers," who would also have an incentive to alter the accounts to convince others. So we lack any evidence at all. You can neither prove nor disprove the accounts in a scientific or non-scientific way.

Now I used to be in ministry and in part it was the resurrection accounts that made me realize what I think had happened. In addition to being in ministry, I am also a scientist. Of course, as an atheist I am no longer in ministry. I was reading the writings of the apostolic fathers, the people trained and ordained by the apostles and who were the first hearers of the message. Some, such as Clement, the third pope, had written works that for about seven hundred years were considered part of the bible. Others, like Polycarp, were the editors of John's Gospel. I was reading them, Hebrews and Revelations and briefly I read it without the "eyes of faith," like a bubble bursting.

What I think happened happens quite a lot in small religious groups. It is important to remember that according to Josephus, Jesus was one of over twenty 'messiah's' wandering around Judea. It seems to have been like a occupation like the traveling revival missionary groups you see particularly in America's South.

Jesus was killed by the Romans. I suspect he was crucified because little kernals of the story are likely in the story that was recorded. The disciples went into hiding, fearing for their lives.

My suspicion is that either badly behaved Jewish teens or Roman soldiers stole the body as a cruel joke. Look at pictures and accounts of hangings in the United States from about seventy or eighty years ago. Assuming they were at least no better than Americans, that is very plausible. Hence, I am strongly suspect the empty tomb is true. I don't think the women saw angels until much later. The reason I say that is that one account has the women saying nothing. Just as the account where Peter shows up first seems to be an attempt to reinforce Petrine authority, so the account where the women are silent seems realistic and even more so, it seems likely that the divergent accounts come from people needing to make up a story after the fact.

Jesus is not unique in history in being resurrected. What is important is that by the time the stories were important, he was long since ascended. Why go back? After all, if he is going to go to all that effort, why not do what Joseph Smith, the founder of the Mormon's say he did and visit the Americas, leaving the golden tablets which were taken up to heaven.

You should read or watch the accounts on the Jim Jones masacre. You will see a group much like the first Christians. It is important to note that all ancient accounts of Mark's gospel, the oldest have no resurrection story at all. Jesus just dies in it. It is also important to note that the scriptures we have quoted in the apostolic fathers, the first people to see the bible, do not match the quotes we use in our bible today.

I think the group was traumatized by the death of Jesus and was forced to turn inward for self protection. This is a group of people that also believed in magic, see the various accounts in Acts, believed in dreams and felt hallucinations were messages from God. They were not educated as a group, they were the marginalized, and they needed others to help them survive, hence the missionary element.

I think Christianity was so successful because there are three classes of ways that people can interact with one another and manage conflict. In positive situations, you can either grant autonomy to others, you can bring a situation under control to help them out, or you can embrace them. Each method is particularly appropriate at some times and less appropriate at other times. In conflict, these three classes of behaviors can fall to hug 'em, hit 'em, or walk away.

The Roman Empire used violence as its ultimate means of control. It used the hug 'em where possible, but with the persistent knowledge that those who do not hug, die. Autonomy as a method of societal groups dealing with conflict did not appear in history much prior to the formation of the United States. Christianity's primary conflict management form was hug'em. The word Catholic means "to embrace all." Literally it is the All Hugging Church. This is an effective form of conflict management and allowed members an alternate form of societal dispute resolution within the Empire, hence the persecutions. It became widespread because it worked and because it was superior to many alternative methods from smaller tribal groups. Its leadership was highly intellectual and was one of the few literate religions of the day. Since the Empire was ultimately the driver of norms, not only in its realm but in nearby others, Christianity served as an alternate power base for the disenfranchised.

When Christianity became legal, it also picked up the power to use control, so it had two conflict management forms. Finally, although it would only be available to the bishops, autonomy was to a large sense preserved in Christianity until the Reformation forced consolidation, a consolidation that is just now being unwound.

You cannot directly test this hypothesis. What you can do, however, outside the scientific method but inside Bayesian analysis, is to ask the credibility of the claims. If someone told you this today, had you not been Christian, that someone in Jerusalem was killed by terrorists last week, but had been seen raised from the dead by members of his sect (and only members of the sect), and they are seeking members and believers, would you join. Now there are no independent accounts, only the leadership and closest followers seem to have seen him. A couple of other members say he magically appeared to them on the road, but no one can confirm it.

Then you can do an alternate thought problem, again testing credibility. If a god wanted to communicate effectively with humans, are there more effective ways to do it? Would a god leave clear instructions, many things Jesus said are contradictory. Would he have sought reporting by independent groups? We he have sent his son to reconcile the Jews and Romans? After all, the Romans were initially in Palestine at the request of the Jews, they just overstayed their welcome. Why did not the divine power work peace then and there? Why would a god be in conflict with the leadership of his chosen people instead of helping them change their hearts? Surely if they saw a miracle, instead of the uneducated masses, they would change. Of course, if he was a magician basically, a shaman, the educated would see through him.

People are Christian because the conflict management mechanisms are not usually bad, though at times they are very bad. They are Christian because they were marginalized and some Christian came along and made them feel less marginal. They are Christian because their mom and dad or spouse are. - A former pastor known as OPM

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