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Ben Masada

The Text Josephus Never Wrote

402 posts in this topic

1st Let me ask, which is skewed? The original or a badly copied text?

That depends: if the former, then it follows the latter would also; if only the latter then it is possible the former is more true. You have so far failed to give any reason for why I should think that the former is any less skewed than the latter.

Bur we aren't speaking maya... I was in fact speaking of your worldview... do you hold to maya as your worldview? Do you in fact hold that we are living in an illusion? The more accurate term for me would be "matrix", it captures exactly what I want to transmit...

No, I do not believe that we are living in an illusion. Again, you have misunderstood maya.

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That depends: if the former, then it follows the latter would also; if only the latter then it is possible the former is more true. You have so far failed to give any reason for why I should think that the former is any less skewed than the latter.

That is why God gave us brains... it implies we should use them.

No, I do not believe that we are living in an illusion. Again, you have misunderstood maya.

as you have misunderstood the bible...

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That is why God gave us brains... it implies we should use them.

Again, I don't believe in your God; or any god. Of course we should make use of our cognitive faculties; but you cannot simply assert that a god gave us brains without presenting a decent argument.

as you have misunderstood the bible...

Oh? In what way?

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Christians have relentlessly asserted to me that the 'spiritual dimension' is scriptural; I simply ask them to cite a clear reference from anywhere in the Bible of such a thing, which cannot be more adequately explained via an alternative interpretation. I have received no response so far.

It doesn't sound very objective if you're going into it with the intent of finding an alternative interpretation.

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It doesn't sound very objective if you're going into it with the intent of finding an alternative interpretation.

I don't go looking for an alternative explanation; however, I do not simply accept the first explanation that is proposed. Particularly if that explanation is dubious, and an alternative is likely to be more accurate.

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That sounds a bit like my ex-wife. She always chose to believe whatever explanation would put me in the worst light.

It is commendable that you prefer to examine information before adopting it as truth, and that you wish to apply the truths which you believe will be of most benefit to your life.

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That sounds a bit like my ex-wife. She always chose to believe whatever explanation would put me in the worst light.

It is commendable that you prefer to examine information before adopting it as truth, and that you wish to apply the truths which you believe will be of most benefit to your life.

Thank you. And as a note, please don't think I'm prejudiced against Christians; it's not that I try to seek out alternative explanations, just that the accepted, or first-proposed explanation isn't always right.

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Posted (edited)

Fair enough. Although, if you believe in God, I still have some difficulty believing that you don't reject science; not to say that they are intrinsically opposed, but science would necessitate that subjective experience should be verifiable through objective, demonstrable evidence. There is no such evidence of God as yet.

I do not reject science. I simply acknowledge that it is limited to study of the natural world. I don't need empirical evidence for a supernatural being, and believing in a supernatural being does not invalidate the wonders that science can show us about the natural world we live in.

What an absurd claim. Ben has displayed thus far a highly-admirable familiarity with the history of Judaism and the Judaic scriptures. That you wish to teach a Jew what Jews believe is rather a spurious notion.

Sorry to butt in with my thoughts here, but wouldn't it be equally spurious for someone to try and teach a Christian what Christians believe? I'm not directing this statement to you specifically, just making a statement that several non-Christians are doing this, including our Jewish friend Ben Masada. Edited by Paranoid Android

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I do not reject science. I simply acknowledge that it is limited to study of the natural world. I don't need empirical evidence for a supernatural being, and believing in a supernatural being does not invalidate the wonders that science can show us about the natural world we live in.

Sorry to butt in with my thoughts here, but wouldn't it be equally spurious for someone to try and teach a Christian what Christians believe? I'm not directing this statement to you specifically, just making a statement that several non-Christians are doing this, including our Jewish friend Ben Masada.

I am a non-Christian, Hindu, atheist, yes. But for the greater part of my life, I was. I have since been redeemed from that religion, but for more than forty years, I was most definitely a Christian; therefore, I think I have a reasonably firm grasp of the claims of Christianity.

You personally may not need empirical evidence of the supernatural, but that is part of why I reject your ideology; if you can accept a supernatural being without evidence, why not Santa Claus, or leprechauns? I may be biased, but with good reason; I'm biased towards things that can be shown to be true, and biased against things which can't. Things that are true/real invariably can demonstrate that they are. Thus it is unreasonable to presume the existence of something for which there is no evidence; because things without evidence (leprechauns, invisible pink unicorns, etc.) probably aren't real.

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Posted (edited)

I am a non-Christian, Hindu, atheist, yes. But for the greater part of my life, I was. I have since been redeemed from that religion, but for more than forty years, I was most definitely a Christian; therefore, I think I have a reasonably firm grasp of the claims of Christianity.

I only became a Christian when I was 20, and for the past 12 years (I'm 32 now) I have been vigorously studying my beliefs and the more I learn the more I realise I still have to learn. I think I know the Bible better than most Christians, though I am by no means a scholar of any kind. My point was not aimed at you, I was pointing to those that make claims about what Christians believe but are not representative of Christianity (such as the claim in another thread that Paul could serve two masters, something no Christian teaches or believes, but because that is how a Jew has interpreted Romans 7, then us Christians must be wrong - this being just the most recent example I can think of, but by no means the only).

You personally may not need empirical evidence of the supernatural, but that is part of why I reject your ideology; if you can accept a supernatural being without evidence, why not Santa Claus, or leprechauns? I may be biased, but with good reason; I'm biased towards things that can be shown to be true, and biased against things which can't. Things that are true/real invariably can demonstrate that they are. Thus it is unreasonable to presume the existence of something for which there is no evidence; because things without evidence (leprechauns, invisible pink unicorns, etc.) probably aren't real.

I find the comparison to Santa Claus to be unfounded because we can identify the origins of Santa and agree that he was invented as a Christmas story (though the origins of the story probably have some basis in fact with Saint Nicholas). I don't know the origins of the leprechaun folklore and therefore do not know whether they were originally thought to be real or were an invention like Santa Claus, but at the very least Santa Claus is an inappropriate comparison here. The Invisible Pink Unicorn is also equally incorrect here because we can identify the origins of the IPU as an internet meme.

That said, from my point of view, belief in God is not just about empirical evidence but must be considered in terms of subjective experience. True that this is entirely a personal matter and my experiences cannot and should not be evidence for you or anyone else to decide on God's existence, but my experience leads me to the overwhelming conclusion that a creator exists. I don't agree with view that if it cannot be scientifically and empirically tested then it has no place in our ideology. But I won't stop anyone else from holding a world view that is based only on science.

Edited by Paranoid Android
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Posted (edited)

"...for he appeared to the disciples alive the third day." Josephus could have never stated this item of Paul's

Why not since there he knew of the previous slaying of Simon, , pointing to lines 19 through 21 of the tablet — “In three days you will live. Josephus was a secret Christian.

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/06/world/middleeast/06stone.html?pagewanted=2&_r=1&hp

Edited by docyabut2

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I only became a Christian when I was 20, and for the past 12 years (I'm 32 now) I have been vigorously studying my beliefs and the more I learn the more I realise I still have to learn. I think I know the Bible better than most Christians, though I am by no means a scholar of any kind. My point was not aimed at you, I was pointing to those that make claims about what Christians believe but are not representative of Christianity (such as the claim in another thread that Paul could serve two masters, something no Christian teaches or believes, but because that is how a Jew has interpreted Romans 7, then us Christians must be wrong - this being just the most recent example I can think of, but by no means the only).

I find the comparison to Santa Claus to be unfounded because we can identify the origins of Santa and agree that he was invented as a Christmas story (though the origins of the story probably have some basis in fact with Saint Nicholas). I don't know the origins of the leprechaun folklore and therefore do not know whether they were originally thought to be real or were an invention like Santa Claus, but at the very least Santa Claus is an inappropriate comparison here. The Invisible Pink Unicorn is also equally incorrect here because we can identify the origins of the IPU as an internet meme.

That said, from my point of view, belief in God is not just about empirical evidence but must be considered in terms of subjective experience. True that this is entirely a personal matter and my experiences cannot and should not be evidence for you or anyone else to decide on God's existence, but my experience leads me to the overwhelming conclusion that a creator exists. I don't agree with view that if it cannot be scientifically and empirically tested then it has no place in our ideology. But I won't stop anyone else from holding a world view that is based only on science.

Fair enough. I will note though, that every time a Christian mentions "personal experience" which causes them to believe... well... Not to be offensive, as I don't know your particular situation, but invariably they were just interpreting perfectly mundane, coincidental 'answers to prayer', or the like: all of which were actually well within ordinary probability. For instance, going to the hospital to have your cancer treated, praying that God cure your cancer... and your cancer is healed! It's a miracle! Except... that's why you were in the hospital to begin with. That's what hospitals are for.

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"...for he appeared to the disciples alive the third day." Josephus could have never stated this item of Paul's

Why not since there he knew of the slaying of Simon, , pointing to lines 19 through 21 of the tablet — “In three days you will know that evil will be defeated by justice” Josephus was a secret Christian.

http://www.nytimes.c...&pagewanted=all

Um... no. I think you might want to research this a bit further.

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Fair enough. I will note though, that every time a Christian mentions "personal experience" which causes them to believe... well... Not to be offensive, as I don't know your particular situation, but invariably they were just interpreting perfectly mundane, coincidental 'answers to prayer', or the like: all of which were actually well within ordinary probability. For instance, going to the hospital to have your cancer treated, praying that God cure your cancer... and your cancer is healed! It's a miracle! Except... that's why you were in the hospital to begin with. That's what hospitals are for.

There's nothing specific I can recall in terms of exact prayers answered (though I believe several of my prayers have been answered). I tried explaining this before, but it's more a sum total of my entire life experience, not any one or two or even ten things, but the overall experience of my life.

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There's nothing specific I can recall in terms of exact prayers answered (though I believe several of my prayers have been answered). I tried explaining this before, but it's more a sum total of my entire life experience, not any one or two or even ten things, but the overall experience of my life.

Which I'm fine with. You can believe whatever you want. I'd just like to know why anyone else should believe it.

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Um... no. I think you might want to research this a bit further.

if Josephus lived in the frist century bc he would have known of the case of a Simon that fought against the Romans and his body where he was killed, was in punishment to lay for three days on the battle field, giving rise to his believers he was to live again. In the case of Jesus he would have also had said Jesus would have lived after three days. He didnt get that from Paul.

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if Josephus lived in the frist century bc he would have known of the case of a Simon that fought against the Romans and his body where he was killed, was in punishment to lay for three days on the battle field, giving rise to his believers he was to live again. In the case of Jesus he would have also had said Jesus would have lived after three days. He didnt get that from Paul.

Josephus lived in the 1st Century CE, not BCE.

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Posted (edited)

Excuse me frist century CE:)

Edited by docyabut2

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Excuse me frist century AD:)

I suspected it was a harmless mistake; I've done the same.

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Thank you. And as a note, please don't think I'm prejudiced against Christians; it's not that I try to seek out alternative explanations, just that the accepted, or first-proposed explanation isn't always right.

We should all admit that we have a bias toward our own belief system.

Fair enough. I will note though, that every time a Christian mentions "personal experience" which causes them to believe... well... Not to be offensive, as I don't know your particular situation, but invariably they were just interpreting perfectly mundane, coincidental 'answers to prayer', or the like: all of which were actually well within ordinary probability. For instance, going to the hospital to have your cancer treated, praying that God cure your cancer... and your cancer is healed! It's a miracle! Except... that's why you were in the hospital to begin with. That's what hospitals are for.

Somewhere on this board - I've lost track of the thread - I gave several examples of spiritual workings which go beyond the bounds of coincidence and probability. Once, twice, three times might be coincidence. But 20? 30? 40?

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We should all admit that we have a bias toward our own belief system.

Somewhere on this board - I've lost track of the thread - I gave several examples of spiritual workings which go beyond the bounds of coincidence and probability. Once, twice, three times might be coincidence. But 20? 30? 40?

Well, if you can demonstrate that an event was influenced or directed by supernatural sentient beings, then that would be fantastic evidence! I try to be as unbiased as possible, but I will confess to one definite bias: things that are real. I still would like not to be offensive to anyone, but I know that's too much to ask for most of the time. I do recall you gave examples somewhere on here (I lost track as well), but I for one can say that not one of them couldn't be easily explained by probability or coincidence, or perhaps even by quantum influence (that's another story). And I'm not even the most skeptical of the people here... I'd say compared to others, I gave your examples a real fighting chance to be valid, and I still came up with nothing that stands up to scrutiny as clear evidence of your claims.

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....I try to be as unbiased as possible, but I will confess to one definite bias: things that are real....

Regardless of the spiritual or coincidental origin of my examples, they were indeed real events.

I would humbly submit that you do have a religion of sorts. If you believe that similarly repetitive occurrences are a result of coincidence, then you believe that the power of coincidence rules occurrences in our world.

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Regardless of the spiritual or coincidental origin of my examples, they were indeed real events.

I would humbly submit that you do have a religion of sorts. If you believe that similarly repetitive occurrences are a result of coincidence, then you believe that the power of coincidence rules occurrences in our world.

Oh? And under what authority do you presume to tell me what I believe? I do not necessarily think that all of the events you cited were repetitive in nature; however, I know from my own experience as a Christian, that if you are looking for signs from God, you'll find them. Because that tends to happen. If you're looking for a specific something, based on your own preconceptions, then chances are, you'll find it; regardless of whether it's actually there.

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Oh? And under what authority do you presume to tell me what I believe? I do not necessarily think that all of the events you cited were repetitive in nature; however, I know from my own experience as a Christian, that if you are looking for signs from God, you'll find them. Because that tends to happen. If you're looking for a specific something, based on your own preconceptions, then chances are, you'll find it; regardless of whether it's actually there.

Your own statements indicated that you don't always accept the first explanation of an event, and that you think my spiritual incidents were a result of coincidence.

The repetitive incidents consist of myself and another person, separated by distance, gaining the same bit of informational knowledge or Scripture reference at the same or nearly the same time. I do realize that one school of thought terms those as coincidental without regard to the mathematical probability of such incidents.

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Your own statements indicated that you don't always accept the first explanation of an event, and that you think my spiritual incidents were a result of coincidence.

The repetitive incidents consist of myself and another person, separated by distance, gaining the same bit of informational knowledge or Scripture reference at the same or nearly the same time. I do realize that one school of thought terms those as coincidental without regard to the mathematical probability of such incidents.

Probability has very little to do with the example of two people coming across the same Bible verse at the same time (or what have you). In a finite book, where more often than not, certain passages are ignored, and certain passages are read diligently; and that those diligently-read passages often have either ambiguous or utterly unambiguous statements, then inevitably the same conclusions will be reached about them, and perhaps even at the same time. There need not be some invisible hand guiding it; it's simple mathematics. If two people read the same book, and are more likely to read certain passages than others, then inevitably, those two people will converge on a particular passage, and perhaps even come to the same conclusions as to its interpretation, given they share a common ideology. There's nothing particularly miraculous about that; it's just sort of amusing. And let's say, for the sake of argument, that it wasn't sheer coincidence acting on probability: in that case, God isn't the only explanation. I take it you believe in the Devil as well? Well, why couldn't he have been deceiving you simultaneously, to create the illusion that it was divinely-guided truth? That's what the Devil does, right? Or why couldn't it have been a spontaneous telepathic, quantum-entangled exchange of information at a distance? Scientists speculate that might be possible. Or why couldn't it have been Reptilians, implanting the same information into both of your brains at once; or why couldn't it have been a malfunction in the Matrix, whereby data was unintentionally copied into both of your cognitive systems? There are literally infinite possible explanations. I just happen to go with the most probable one: coincidence acting upon predictable laws of probability, based on the finite number of passages in the Bible, interpretations thereof, and common ideology.

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