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how do religious people prove religion


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#46    Rlyeh

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Posted 09 May 2013 - 05:43 AM

View Postdanielost, on 08 May 2013 - 11:44 PM, said:

How else did a couple of high explosives, and a poison become necassary for life.  I know it was an accident, right.

By the way I made a small mistake.  Water is a compound not an element.  Sorry.
Because water is common? Still not seeing what this has to do with God.


#47    Frank Merton

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Posted 09 May 2013 - 06:03 AM

View PostDoug1o29, on 08 May 2013 - 07:03 PM, said:

If there were ever any witnesses to Jesus, they didn't leave us any documentation.  No ancient writer that we now know of ever said anything like:  "I had breakfast with Jesus," or "I saw him on the Cross."  Not even St. Paul, who was probably mythical anyway, made that claim.  And he supposedly lived in Jerusalem when Jesus was executed, yet he never even mentioned it in his writings (that is, if the Pauline letters are really the product of his hand).

The very first documentation of any of the Gospels in history is from the writings of Theophilus of Antioch who said he had seen the Gospel of John.  Theophilus died in 180 AD, so we know it existed before then.  The next mention of a Gospel is Irenaeus' mention of Matthew in Book I of Against Heresies, written in about 180 AD.  Irenaeus didn't say it was a gospel or a holy writing or any such thing, but it is reasonable to assume he meant the modern Gospel of Matthew because in Book III, written about 186 AD, he mentions all four gospels by name.  And that's over 150 years after Jesus' death.

The very first mention of St. Paul is an indirect one.  Tertullian (early third century) wrote that Marcion (144 AD) wrote a Bible (the very first Christian Bible) that included some of St. Paul's letters, along with a redacted version of the Gospel of Luke.  More-recent scholars have suggested that Luke is actually a redacted version of Marcion's Bible.  This is supported by Luke's dedication to "Most excellent Theophilus (Patriarch of Antioch from about 169 to 180 AD)" and by a reference in the text to "most excellent Felix (appointed governor of Egypt in September 151 AD)."  Acts likewise has a reference to "most excellent Theophilus" and is supposedly written by the same author as Luke.  I think it very telling that St. Paul did not write of the virgin birth or any of Jesus' miracles or express any knowledge of his execution.

Papias alone among ancient writers refers to having "the words of John ringing in my ears."  The problem is that we don't know if there really was a person named Papias or when he might have written this.  Supposedly, he was the Bishop of Hierapolis, but he is not mentioned by contemporary writers; he has no provenance.  Fragments of his writings appear in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke (or did Papias quote from those gospels?).  The other problem is that his writings can't be dated because they have no references to datable events or people.  All this renders Papias of little value in studying the Bible.

In short, there are and as far as anybody can demonstrate, never were, any witnesses to Jesus, Mary, the disciples or Paul.


For the Ark, see my post above.  As for Egyptian chariots:  ever hear of shipworms?  They eat submerged wood.  They can demolish a wooden ship in a few years.  A chariot would be a piece of cake - and Egyptian chariots were wooden.  The source of your information is Ron Wyatt, a "researcher" who believes that 80-year olds can travel over 100 miles through the desert in less than a week when modern Israeli soldiers can't do that on established roads and the crew of the Lady Be Good couldn't do it when they had to or die (They died of thirst, except one whose parachute didn't open.).  And Wyatt never brought back any evidence to support any of his claims:  no rock from Gebel el Lawz - no "chariot wheels" from the Red Sea.  No nothing that anybody might use to prove him wrong (or prove that he knew what he was doing, either).

Not only that, the crossing site was at what is now known as El Kubrit on the banks of the Suez Canal (There's an airport at the site where "Moses" camped.).  When they dredged the channel for the canal any archeological evidence would have been piled up to make a base for the service road.

In short, some of the Bible stories are probably based on events that really happened, but many are legends, myths and outright lies.  A serious Bible student ought to have some idea which is which.
Doug
Thanks for that; I have stored it away for future refrence; its something every Christian should be aware of but Christian ministers never seem to mention.


#48    Paranoid Android

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Posted 09 May 2013 - 06:19 AM

View PostFrank Merton, on 09 May 2013 - 06:03 AM, said:

Thanks for that; I have stored it away for future refrence; its something every Christian should be aware of but Christian ministers never seem to mention.
It's also fair to note that Doug's research is only one path the scholar can take to arrive at dating the New Testament.  I'm no historian, so I cannot speak for why they do what they do, but most historians and scholars, regardless of their religious persuasion, date the gospels much earlier than Doug does.  Mark, they surmise, dates to circa 70 AD.  Matthew and Luke to circa 80-100 AD, and John to circa 90-125 AD.  In contrast, Doug generally presents a mid-2nd Century dating.  I'm not disrespecting his research, I find his views fascinating.  But without being a scholar myself, I prefer to rely on the information of the scholarly consensus.  I have to think that if the scholarly community is pretty much agreed upon a mostly 1st Century dating (with possible early 2nd Century for John) then they are probably better qualified to judge a dating than I am, and I defer to their years of research and experience.

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#49    Frank Merton

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Posted 09 May 2013 - 06:30 AM

I don't think Doug was talking about when they have been actually written but instead the earliest mentions we have of their existence.  It seems to me this is two different questions.

I think the earlier dates are often those of liberal Christians, who tend to give the texts every possible benefit of the doubt, and so date them at the earliest possible date based on events the texts actually mention (it being assumed that they could not be before them).  Very few people without a Christian background are going to even enter this field, which of course makes any assertion about what the majority of "scholars" in the field think somewhat suspect.

I noticed his mention that the letters of Paul seem to have no knowledge of the execution of Jesus.  This seems incredibly strange and puts the entire story into what I would say is serious doubt.


#50    Paranoid Android

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Posted 09 May 2013 - 07:37 AM

View PostFrank Merton, on 09 May 2013 - 06:30 AM, said:

I don't think Doug was talking about when they have been actually written but instead the earliest mentions we have of their existence.  It seems to me this is two different questions.
True, I do seem to remember reading Doug in the past thus suggest a likely dating based on these dates.


View PostFrank Merton, on 09 May 2013 - 06:30 AM, said:

I think the earlier dates are often those of liberal Christians, who tend to give the texts every possible benefit of the doubt
Actually, the liberal Christians do their best to push dates back even further than what I suggested - the dates I provided represent mainstream consensus.  Extreme liberalism suggests Matthew was completed by 48 AD.  Extreme liberalism suggests Mark was finished by 60 AD, followed very shortly by Luke.  John was written no later than 100 AD.  These represent extreme liberalism, though.


View PostFrank Merton, on 09 May 2013 - 06:30 AM, said:

, and so date them at the earliest possible date based on events the texts actually mention (it being assumed that they could not be before them).  Very few people without a Christian background are going to even enter this field, which of course makes any assertion about what the majority of "scholars" in the field think somewhat suspect.
The field of study in Ancient History dealing with Christianity is much larger than I think you may realise.  In general, authors who release material on ancient Christian history fit into three broad categories.  On the left side, you have what you may call the extreme sceptics, who mostly write for the purpose of debunking idea and arguing against Christianity.  On the other side of this would be the apologetics crowd.  They have been convinced of the 100% truth of the Bible and therefore devote their time to proving that belief, often specifically and directly arguing against the extreme liberalism on the other side.  Both the sceptic and the apologist often the scholars that make the headlines because of their equally extreme approaches.  They're the ones we see in the "Religion" section of your local bookshop.


But this is not the be-all and end-all of religious scholarship, and in fact these are actually the minority of authors.  To quote John Dickson's "The Christ Files":

Quote

Between these two margins is what you might call the mainstream or middle scholarship.  This is where the vast majority of professional scholars are to be found.  Mainstream scholars rarely hit the headlines or the shelves of popular bookstores but their work appears regularly in the hundred or so major peer review journals dedicated to the subject area....

... On the whole, mainstream scholars have little interest in debunking or defending Christianity; they are neither staunch sceptics nor devout apologists.  They just get on with the business of analysing the New Testament and related material in the way historians treat any other comparable historical source from the period:  whether Ceasar, Seneca or Tacitus on the Latin side, or Plutarch, Epictetus or Lucian on the Greek.  Some of the most important names/works in the large scholarly middle include the following:

Follow THIS LINK to the Google-Books I'm quoting this from - the last 2-3 pages of the preview include a long list of scholars
The point I'm aiming at is the argument that New Testament historians are predisposed to Christianity and therefore are already suspect sources.  The extreme liberal and apolgetics scholar do seem to fall into this trap, where they exploit every loophole in argument and present it as proof of their side of the debate.  John Dickson, later in the book I quoted (but not in the Google preview), states the following:

Quote

My feelings about the sceptical scholarship will be obvious already.  I think the best that can be said for it is that it puts Jesus in the headlines every now and then - even if it is as the "gay" messiah or the misunderstood husband of Mary Magdalene.

It may surprise some readers, particularly those in church circles, to learn that I feel only slightly better about apologetic forms of scholarship.  While I share the spiritual perspective of many Christian apologists (I too wish to highlight the significance of Christ), on historical questions I feel less affinity.  It seems to me tht for all the benefits they bring (in critiquing sceptical scholars and building the confidence of Christians) apologetic scholars ten to overstate their historical case.  They tend ot exploit all of the possible arguments for a "biblical Jesus" and present them to the public as proof positive.  Sceptical scholars develop the nay-saying case in the same way.  Hence, while I am sympathetic to the aims of Christian apologists, I have drawn almost nothing from them in the writing of this book, preferring instead to lean on the scholarly mainstream.
Or in other words, the mainstream middle of Christian scholarship, which includes people of all faiths (not just Christians) are much more balanced than it may appear.  Their personal beliefs don't get in the way.  They're just there to research the texts the way they would research any ancient text.


View PostFrank Merton, on 09 May 2013 - 06:30 AM, said:

I noticed his mention that the letters of Paul seem to have no knowledge of the execution of Jesus.  This seems incredibly strange and puts the entire story into what I would say is serious doubt.
Perhaps because Paul was focused far more on the death and resurrection of Jesus.  Which is more important to Christianity, do you suppose - that Jesus was executed by Romans, or that Jesus died and was resurrected three days later?  Perhaps it is more helpful to find out what Paul DOES say about the historical Jesus?  After all, Paul did note the following:

Quote

1- Jesus' descent from King David
2- The name an status of Jesus' brother (James)
3- Jesus' instructions to missionaries
4- Jesus' teachings about marriage, love and the treatment of enemies
5- Jesus' last supper
6- Jesus' betrayal
7- Jesus' execution and burial
8- Jesus' resurrection from the dead
9- Jesus' post-death appearances to eyewitnesses (including to Paul)
10- Jesus' status as the Messiah-Christ

Of special interest to scholars is a passage in one of Paul's letters in which he quotes the earliest known summary (or creed) of Christian belief:

"For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance:

that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Peter, and then to the Twelve.

After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the bothers at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep.  Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born"
~ 1 Corinthians15:3-8

In the opinion of most mainstream scholars the indented words above come from a fixed narrative-summary of Christ's death and resurrection compsed sometime before AD35, within just a few years of the events themselves.

~ Source - same as above, The Christ Files
You may have noticed I've quoted this book several times in this post, and I must say it is a terrific book for anyone interested in understanding how historians begin to approach New Testament scholarship.  I'd recommend you get a copy of this book, if you can.  I own two copies.  I keep one on my bookshelf for personal reference, and the other I routinely lend out to anyone who is interested in borrowing it.  Anyway, I'll leave it there :)

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#51    danielost

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Posted 09 May 2013 - 11:06 AM

View PostRlyeh, on 09 May 2013 - 05:43 AM, said:

Because water is common? Still not seeing what this has to do with God.

No, water is not common few heavenly bodies in our system has water.  It is uncommon.

I am a mormon.  If I don't use mormons believe, those my beliefs only.
I do not go to church haven't for thirty years.
There are other mormons on this site. So if I have misspoken about the beliefs. I welcome their input.
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#52    Lilly

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Posted 09 May 2013 - 12:15 PM

View Postdanielost, on 09 May 2013 - 11:06 AM, said:

No, water is not common few heavenly bodies in our system has water.  It is uncommon.

No, water is actually quite common.

Here's a nice wiki link all about water: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Water

And from that link:

Quote

Much of the universe's water is produced as a byproduct of star formation. When stars are born, their birth is accompanied by a strong outward wind of gas and dust. When this outflow of material eventually impacts the surrounding gas, the shock waves that are created compress and heat the gas. The water observed is quickly produced in this warm dense gas.[18]
On 22 July 2011 a report described the discovery of a gigantic cloud of water vapor containing "140 trillion times more water than all of Earth's oceans combined" around a quasar located 12 billion light years from Earth. According to the researchers, the "discovery shows that water has been prevalent in the universe for nearly its entire existence".[19][20]
Water has been detected in interstellar clouds within our galaxy, the Milky Way. Water probably exists in abundance in other galaxies, too, because its components, hydrogen and oxygen, are among the most abundant elements in the universe. Interstellar clouds eventually condense into solar nebulae and solar systems such as ours.


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#53    Doug1o29

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Posted 09 May 2013 - 01:10 PM

View PostParanoid Android, on 09 May 2013 - 06:19 AM, said:

In contrast, Doug generally presents a mid-2nd Century dating.  I'm not disrespecting his research, I find his views fascinating.  But without being a scholar myself, I prefer to rely on the information of the scholarly consensus.
It is extremely difficult for someone raised from birth to think of the Bible as "the Word of God" to shake off that belief and follow the evidence.  I know - that's a description of me.

The evidence may not always lead to a correct conclusion and there are some things, like whether Papias was a real person, that we'll probably never have a definitive answer to, thus producing multiple conclusions, each of them equally valid.  Because it is impossible to know ultimate Truth, we must settle for truth based on the evidence.  Almost everything I have posted has come from someone else's research, mostly from the school of higher criticism.  My own contribution is quite small.

We know that there were other documents around both before and after the four modern gospels.  There are between 20 and 30 "gospels," depending on exactly how you define "gospel."  Clement of Rome wasn't quoting the four gospels, so where did he get his information?  Where did Papias get that story about the grapes?  Was there really a Q Document or is that just a device to allow Mark to be written before Matthew?  Was there an "original Mark?"  If so, what might it have said?

Why do some quotes from Papias appear in Matthew and Luke?  Why is a quote from Philo of Alexandria found in Mark?  Why are the gospels written in the form of a Roman play-within-a-play?  Why did Justin the Martyr who quoted copiously from Matthew and some from Mark, not quote from John?  Why did Aristides of Athens not include one detail from Jesus' life or quote from the gospels when he wrote his defense of Christianity?  There is one unifying answer:  the traditional dates of these events are wrong.

There has been so much shoddy research done over the years that one cannot trust anyone else's opinion.  The only way to be sure that the most rigorous analysis has been used is to apply it yourself.  The problem with rigorous analysis is that it produces relatively few conclusions, but at least, the ones it does produce are reliable.

I think that the biggest objection most people have to what I have found is that if you accept my conclusions, you don't need a miracle to explain anything.  And if you don't need a miracle, you might not need god, either.  The simple truth is that god is not a necessary part of the explanation.

What I have presented is a tiny part of what I have collected.  There simply isn't room on a forum like UM to post it all.  And I'm too slow at typing to get it all down in a reasonable amount of time.
Doug

Edited by Doug1o29, 09 May 2013 - 01:32 PM.

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#54    Frank Merton

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Posted 09 May 2013 - 01:13 PM

The theory that I have heard is the Paul reveals the presence of a movement (of one Jesus of Nazareth) that was present in Asia Minor before the stories we find in the Gospels evolved, as Paul seems to have Jesus living in "mythical time" and is entirely about his expect Jesus soon return in the Heavens.  Such a movement would probably later have been absorbed by other Christians (or maybe evolved into them) who developed the Gospel story after the earlier Christian belief in a soon-arriving Messiah.

Such an approach seems to me to solve a puzzle I have long had as to what happened to the Tetragrammaton.  If these early Christians were essentially Greeks in Asia Minor and not Palestinians in Palestine (even though of course they would develop a Jesus story taking place in Palestine), they would have no knowledge of the Tetragrammaton (they would be using the LXX Greek Bible where it was suppressed).  This would explain its disappearance from the Gospels and why Jesus never addresses one of the most important issues of Judaism of the day.

I am also aware that not all the "Pauline" epistles are considered to be genuine, and some are considered to have been written later.  I'm curious what of the list you provided is from one group and which from the other.


#55    Frank Merton

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Posted 09 May 2013 - 01:21 PM

I don't think the Jesus we see in the Gospels was a real person.  He was a myth generated in Asia minor deriving from a mystery cult of Greek nature (God come to earth born of a virgin betrayed and dying a sacrificial death to provide a route to salvation for followers).  Who knows how long this cult circulated -- they would have used the Greek LXX Bible, and this seems to be where they got "Jesus" and "Nazareth" (from Isiah).  The only real evidence we have it is Paul.  A set of stories of a historical Jesus set in Palestine in the early first century would have come later, probably late in the first century, which is when the Gospels date from.  That a Nazareth did not exist in Jesus day seems sure.  That no Jesus existed either comes from the fact that there is no mention of him until much later (except one fraudulent mention in Josephus), hard to swallow considering the accounts in the Gospels.


#56    J. K.

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Posted 09 May 2013 - 01:33 PM

View PostDoug1o29, on 08 May 2013 - 09:15 PM, said:

...Just which past observations does Christianity use to validate itself to others? ...

Christianity doesn't validate itself.  It is the actions of God that validate it.  I realize that many people on UM do not believe that God exists.  However, Christians do believe it, and we see the evidence of Him working in our lives.

View PostDoug1o29, on 08 May 2013 - 09:15 PM, said:

I have been working on that paper for months.  The observations were made back in 2009.  God must have placed it there a long time ago just for me to dig it up when you came along.


Not necessarily.  For you, trees are a natural subject to think about.  It could be that God placed the tree example in my mind because of its connection with your profession.

On the other hand, I have seen chains of action/reaction that lasted for years.  In 1982, I chose to read a specific book.  A series of events occurred. As a result, an event occurred in 1995 that has positively affected the lives of hundreds of people since that time.  I do realize that other UMers would view it as coincidence, but that's fine with me.


View PostDoug1o29, on 08 May 2013 - 09:15 PM, said:

And that brings up another question:  if you looked up a Bible verse and four years later you found a use for it, does that somehow prove your god?  Or does it simply mean that if you wait long enough anything can happen?


Yes, anything can happen given enough time.  The material in the New Testament, which I usually read through once a year and study, is finite and will eventually address a number of different life situations.

View PostDoug1o29, on 08 May 2013 - 09:15 PM, said:

That's what I call chance.


That's fine with me as well.  Whatever the cause is, the result is that I'm able to help somebody.


View PostLiquid Gardens, on 09 May 2013 - 02:20 AM, said:

I think there are several confounding factors to your theory here that God is behind verses popping into your mind.  What percentage of the entire Bible is actually popping into your head, aren't they the most notable and famous verses?  It seems that a decent amount of that subset of famous verses are fairly general and have wide applicability; I can think of tons of situations that the Golden Rule applies to, although that is obviously on the very general end of the spectrum.  I assume you're not getting verses like Ruth 1:20 - " “Don’t call me Naomi,” she told them. “Call me Mara because the Almighty has made my life very bitter." "; I'd probably be pretty impressed if you were just later in the same room with a Naomi and Mara in it simultaneously.

It is true that there are many types of statements in the Bible.  Some are simply descriptions of actions, some are general principles, and others speak to very specific situations.  Usually the "popping" involves specific situations.

View PostLiquid Gardens, on 09 May 2013 - 02:20 AM, said:

It is important as noted to keep track of how many times verses come into your mind and don't get applied.  If you have verses pop into your brain a couple times a week and you only apply them a few times a year and allow up to a day or so to 'apply' it to a situation, it may not be so unlikely at all.  How many 'situations' you later encounter to which a verse could be applied should also be noted, the more there are the less surprising you can apply the verse.

Maybe someone can write me an app for that.  I can usually tell the difference between random verses and specific verses.  Random verses can be triggered by any stimulus and I recognize what brought it in, such as seeing a stone wall being built in someone's yard and thinking about the walls of Jerusalem being rebuilt.  Other times, there is no clear trigger.  There can certainly be random thoughts; I'm not denying that.

View PostLiquid Gardens, on 09 May 2013 - 02:20 AM, said:

And if I'm reading you right, it is you that is judging this applicability, which doesn't make it too objective.  What might be a good test when this happens again is talk to a knowledgable Christian friend and tell them of the situation you encountered and ask them what they think the most applicable verse in the Bible is in response to that situation, without first saying what popped into your head, and see if it's the same as the one that came to you before the fact.  If it is not the same, see if you agree that your friend's is a more applicable verse (obviously don't cheat and lend extra 'applicability' to the verse that came to you just because you suspect it may have come from God/precognition, that's what's being tested) and if you do, it would seem to imply that you are the one who is doing the applying, not God.  If you say that even if your friend's is better that yours still counts because it also applies pretty well, then it becomes more unremarkable because you now have 'x' number of verses that could have popped into your head that you could apply to that situation, which also lowers the unlikelihood that it is God or you are psychic.  If your friends agree with you that you are consistently getting the most applicable verse that would seem to help your possible theory.


The test of telling someone else about a problem would not prove much because of the fact that there are specific Scriptures that speak to specific situations, and anyone with a certain amount of knowledge would be able to identify such a passage.


View PostLiquid Gardens, on 09 May 2013 - 02:20 AM, said:

Which honestly is not to burst any bubbles.  Even if God is not communicating with you in this direct way, I would think it a good thing for a Christian to be so familiar with the Bible that verses pop in your head and that you look for and can see their application in the world.

No bubble burst here.  I am comfortable with the way things happen, regardless of it being God or coincidence.  The end result is the same; as you implied, I am able to help people.

Bottom line observation:  in the same way that I am unfamiliar with tree diseases, non-Christians are unfamiliar with the way the spiritual world works.

One's reality is another's nightmare.

#57    Frank Merton

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Posted 09 May 2013 - 02:17 PM

View PostJ. K., on 09 May 2013 - 01:33 PM, said:

Bottom line observation:  in the same way that I am unfamiliar with tree diseases, non-Christians are unfamiliar with the way the spiritual world works.
I think that statement verges on the absurd.  You know not what you know not.


#58    J. K.

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Posted 09 May 2013 - 02:30 PM

View PostFrank Merton, on 09 May 2013 - 02:17 PM, said:

I think that statement verges on the absurd.  You know not what you know not.

I can accept that you don't believe the spiritual world exists.  Can you accept that it exists as a concept?

One's reality is another's nightmare.

#59    Doug1o29

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Posted 09 May 2013 - 02:44 PM

View PostParanoid Android, on 09 May 2013 - 07:37 AM, said:

1- Jesus' descent from King David
2- The name an status of Jesus' brother (James)
3- Jesus' instructions to missionaries
4- Jesus' teachings about marriage, love and the treatment of enemies
5- Jesus' last supper
6- Jesus' betrayal
7- Jesus' execution and burial
8- Jesus' resurrection from the dead
9- Jesus' post-death appearances to eyewitnesses (including to Paul)
10- Jesus' status as the Messiah-Christ
Which of these were actually written by "Paul" and which ones were actually written by somebody else?

The bottom line with Paul's letters is that it doesn't really matter who wrote them.  What is important is that they were apparently written well before the gospels, they say little about Jesus' biography and they exhibit an evolution of Christian thought over time.

Maybe "Paul" of Tarsus was Apollonius ("Pol") of Tyana.  Maybe not.  Maybe Apollonius was the "Apollos" mentioned in "Paul's" letters.  Maybe not.  In the end, we'll never know absolutely who Paul, or Jesus or any of the others were.  But circumstantial evidence is pointing toward them being myths/legends of the second century.

BTW:  there is no mention of Jesus' disciple Thomas in writings of the time.  But a person named "Damus" went to India and did many other things Jesus' disciple is reputed to have done.  Who was Damus?  He was Apollonius' chronicler and friend.  It would help the Christian church's case a whole lot if we couldn't find the prototypes for their creations.
Doug

If I have seen farther than other men, it is because I stood on the shoulders of giants. --Bernard de Chartres
The beginning of knowledge is the realization that one doesn't and cannot know everything.
Science is the father of knowledge, but opinion breeds ignorance. --Hippocrates
Ignorance is not an opinion. --Adam Scott

#60    jbondo

jbondo

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Posted 09 May 2013 - 02:48 PM

As a person of "Faith", I don't feel it's my job to prove anything. I am willing to present scripture and answer questions, but I have no time for someone who is hell bent on arguing. I've done that many times and it leads nowhere.

Frankly, I am often met with opposition from people who seem to know the Bible better than me and I've been studying it for years with still plenty to learn. If you are a nonbeliever, how is it that you know scripture better than those who read and study it ever single day?

When a mind is already made up, praying for them is better than arguing with them.





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