Reissuing…Again… A challenge to Would be Apologists: “If Christ be not Risen…”

(((UPDATED AND REPOSTED 4/9/17 for Amanda’s information. She doesnt know if there were any secular historians in the first century. Silly little girl, as they say… “Google is your friend”. Let’s have another go at the question that will never be answered honestly, shall we?-kia)))

Here’s a word from another friend Wally about what’s at stake

“Without a bodily resurrection, our entire faith simply melts away. Without the Resurrection, Jesus was not God; he was just a martyred prophet. Without the Resurrection, every single prophecy about it is false; that renders the Bible false. Without the Resurrection, even Jesus’ own prophecies about His death and Resurrection were false, making Him not even a real prophet, but a false one. ” – Wally. Christian blogger “extraordinaire”, Truth in Palmyra.

Here’s the “Original” Article 

How to win souls and influence nobody

Well, at least he understands what is at stake. Next, he should try demonstrating such a thing actually happened in history not just “His-Story”.

The Challenge few are willing to Accept

Go ahead, give us the… 

  • non-biblical, 
  • 1st century contemporary
  • secular historians 

that documented this Greatest Story Ever Told at the time it happened… 

  • The life, 
  • death, 
  • resurrection 

of the New Testament Jesus.. I’ll be waiting.

The Original “Flavor Flav!!”: A life long Jew for Jesus?

And don’t try to use Josephus’s writings. He was only 6yrs old roughly when Jesus was supposed to have Suffered His Passion, and he wrote in the mid-90s

Not contemporary. Not first hand. 

Even if his ‘Testamonium’ were authentic and not ‘interpolated’ much later as MOST scholars agree it was… it would only be hearsay of what Christians ‘believed’ to be True ™ at the time, not what Joe ‘knew‘ to be true.

The Problem with Joe…

Before Eusebius in the 4th century, not one of the Apologists for the Faith ever quotes from his famous “Flavian Testimony”. 

Not… One!

Curious yeah?… since they most certainly would have had it been written by said author when he published his in 93-97ad. Most scholars consider this Raving Reference to Jesus as the Messiah and “if it be lawful to call him a man” to be at the very least a partial if not a complete “Interpolation”. 

Translation for those who don’t speak ‘Apologetese‘… Interpolation: a later Forged insertion into and alteration of the original text.

An even clearer, albeit more colloquial and ‘Vulgate’ term would be… Bull S#!t. Most scholars believe that it was probably “interpolated” by the one who first quoted it… Eusebius himself. Because not even the person Eusebius got HIS copy of ‘Josephus’ from ever quoted or referred to it before. And like I said, 

… no one else did either.

Tacitus in Tatters?: ‘Christians tell the strangest stories’

“Also not like that guy Tacitus, just repeating what some Christians at the time ‘believed’ to be True ™.”

So, I repeat the challenge to Wally or anyone else claiming to stand on solid Historical and Archaeological grounds… Bring out the 

  • non-biblical, 
  • 1st century 
  • contemporary 
  • secular historians 

that documented this Greatest Story Ever Told as it happened, as eyewitnesses or first hand accounts… 

  • the Life, 
  • Death and 
  • Resurrection 

of the New Testament Jesus of Nazareth.

Historical Truth just doesn’t seem to mean the same thing to some people

“The Writers of the Bible Clearly Describe Jesus as Being Divine” 

– the Apprentice/neophyte Internet Apologist Extraordinaire, Wally

Of course they do, Brother Wally… 🙂 But please, enlighten us with “the True Light that Lights the World”. Have a go then. Go on… I’m waiting.

-KIA

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205 thoughts on “Reissuing…Again… A challenge to Would be Apologists: “If Christ be not Risen…”

  1. New response post at james’ say the reason there are no sources is that jesus was not all that important at the time… Other than to call that a bull shit ‘reason’ I would say…
    Regardless of the reason, you are still left with NO SOURCES. That’s the point

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  2. One of the key apologetic challenges of early Christianity is to explain why the Jews (on the whole) seemed to have rejected their Messiah, and indeed their God. To someone such as myself who was raised a Christian I am so used to the idea that I have trouble seeing just how shocking it is.

    According to the Bible ‘God’ had nurtured a people of his own for 2 millennia and then when he turns up in person the people reject him.

    Thus we see how the New Testament goes to great lengths to explain this situation. The Book of Acts is primarily an apology for why the Jews rejected Jesus. In Paul’s longest letter, Roman’s, we see the three chapter inclusion 9-11 where Paul tries to explain it. These three chapters bear close study, but usually they are ignored by Christians. The reason I say that they bear close study because they are a rambling mess, it is almost as though Paul had a thought bubble. Those who argue that Romans is the height of sophisticated theology, have to find some way to excuse these three chapters.

    For so long I was blind to the reality of what was going on here. I always wondered how the Jews could have been so blind. But now I see that the large scale Jewish rejection of Jesus tells us much about what was really happening in the first millennium. The Jews who were there saw nothing to say to them that ‘God’ had been in their midst.

    There were converts, but the historians tell us most of them were from the ‘God fearers’ that is the gentile proselytes who were not prepared to go all the way and be circumcised. So what happens is that PAul turns up and says to them in effect you can be people of God without circumcision. Little wonder that Paul’s message caught on, and again little wonder that circumcision was such a big battle as we see in the letter to the Galatians (probably the second oldest writing in the New Testament).

    It has been fifteen months now since I lost faith and I am only just now getting to the point where I can discard the pre conceived ideas that had been drummed into by a lifetime of Christian interpretation to see what was really happening.

    I am beginning to see that a lot of the clues are there in the text if one is able to take off ‘God glasses’ and look at the text honestly.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Peter, I love reading your comments because you include so much in them — not only history, theology, but your (now) personal perspective on all of it.

      Christians want to completely put the “truth” that the Jews rejected Yeshua as their messiah under the table. They’re much more interested in seeing “Jesus,” their “Savior.” And, as I’ve stated on various blogs (and in my book), it was PAUL that made this happen. Yet only those who, like yourself, are interested in the history/truth of the bible will ever see (or accept) this fact. “God glasses” indeed.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. @pete

    So in other words, in the language of the bard…………Oh thou how the mighty have fallen. so you were once the ‘mighty,’ who supposedly was one of a ‘few’ who alone while unbelieving, and ‘having’ a handle on Romans 9, 10, 11, while being ‘ignored,’ according to your own words, by the majority of believers,….now you have decided it has no merit, no weight, no truth……? Please.

    The dripping arrogance is astounding. Yet you cannot see it. I know of no believers who ignore Romans 9, 10, 11. Perhaps part of your deconnery is due to the fact you associated with people who ‘ignored it,’ and who did not appreciate God’s sovereignty, ie, Israel, much to the chagrin of all other tribes and tongues.

    Perhaps you are confusing ‘understanding’ with the reliability of the text. People disagree on election, predestination, sanctification, Lordship, redemption, atonement, so what? It takes NOTHING away from the truthfulness of the scriptures.

    Some laugh and say 30,000 denominations. Again so what. Even if it were true, that’s a whole lotta people trying to get it right……………

    One God, Creator of all. God’s word is good. Very good. And Romans? Ha! Also perfect and very good.
    The great attorney Paul argues with God’s unassailable wisdom, His preservation of His word through Israel, the faithfulness of scripture, as well as set at naught the gripes of petty man. (the potter and the clay)

    Your complaints have long been dismissed as empty chatter having no meat on the bones. You sitting in judgment of God and His word? Laughs, like yeah, that could ever end well. Give it up already, and stop fighting against yourself.

    Liked by 1 person

    • you’re not being very nice to my guest, cs. so far below the standard of kindness, compassion and empathy that you should be ‘fruiting’ as a christian filled with the Spirit of God. you really should apologize.

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        • not being weak in the knees at all. just calling a dickhead a dickhead. stop it. it’s not ‘becoming’ of one who names the name of christ. and by the way… “how are the mighty fallen” is not from Shakespear. Read yout bible

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            • but you aren’t using anything at all to prove scripture. assertions and declarations hold no more weight that they would in any other arena. which is very little to no weight at all.

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            • By the way cs, just getting back to this. Just as your ‘how art the might fallen’ was not ‘the bard’ Shakespeare, so is your quote ‘the best of times, the worst of times’ not William either. It’s Charles Dickens, you Dick head. Read a book sometime

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              • @mike
                You are one of the sloppiest and careless readers online.

                As if I do not know that ‘thou whited wall’ was not attributed to Jeremiah.

                You have your books. Now get a clue.

                Liked by 1 person

              • Strange. I never said anything about Jeremiah or the white SEPULCHER… not a Wall you idiot. Really, read something buddy. It might help that sense of arrogance and Dunning Kruger effect you’ve got going on. Lol

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              • So… cs, the question on the table is… 1st century, non biblical, contemporary with the life of Christ, secular (ie.non religiously biased) sources for the life and works, death and Resurrection of jesus. Times a wasting. Get to the ‘giving all men an answer’ for the reason of the hope within

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              • Mike.

                You just do not get it. I DO NOT CARE what other sources say. Period.

                The word of God needs no help from disinterested people to validate its intrinsic worth.

                And until you understand this, you will continue to be more lost than london fog.

                Liked by 1 person

              • Cs, thx at least for your honesty in saying you have no concern for whether its true to history, archaeology or evidence. You are willfully deluded and dead set on staying that way.
                But your comments have been very instructive for those reading as lurkers here and other places. You do more for the cause of Recovery from Christianity than I ever could.
                Thank you again, really. Lol

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              • #to the lurkers: lol

                Nice try mike. Your attributing to people things they never said as in your first sentence says enough of you. It’s a form of professional lying that you have become quite good at.

                God’s word is perfectly reliable and completely 100 per cent accurate as to history.

                Last I looked, geographically speaking, the Euphrates is still flowing, per God’s creation as described in Genesis. Ah yes, the history of the Euphrates.

                Go ahead and create your own reality.

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              • There you go again, CS. The irony in that last comment is heavy. You accuse KIA of being a liar and then say this –
                “God’s word is perfectly reliable and completely 100 per cent accurate as to history.”

                oh. my. google. How else can this be explained except delusion on the part of the utterer?

                Liked by 1 person

              • Well well well, look who else is challenging God’s word. lol

                Perhaps you would like to cite ONE lie. And I’ll get around to it after your foolishness simmers.

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              • You’ve had them all presented to you countless times before, CS. You – and all other ‘apologists’ (sic) – do the theological two-step every time. Anything to assuage cognitive dissonance, eh? 😉

                Liked by 1 person

              • I have to say Carmen, that I’ve never had cs be so clear and honest about his lack of concern whether what he believes is actually true or not. It’s kind of refreshing. I think it would make a great centerpiece for a post, don’t you agree?

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              • Cs, how would your comment sound coming from a Mormon or a Muslim or a Scientology st?
                “I do not care what other sources say. Period” followed by “the koran… the book of mormon… or dianetics needs no help from disinterested people to validate it’s intrinsic worth.”
                CS, you would NEVER accept such an ignorant and thoughtless ‘defense’ coming from anyone else’s pie hole for their Religious convictions and Truth Claims. Why do you think it’s valid coming from yours?

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              • Because mike the contents of scripture are self proving. The genius of the only living God is on display and speaks in a manner otherwise impossible for all the world’s religions combined.

                Of course it does.Truth has no competitors, frauds are a dime a dozen, and the scriptures have commended your attention even in your current state, and it is why you do not crusade against scientology or all the other isms or schisms.

                God’s word stands apart, and you know it.

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              • And the Muslim could easily assert.. on no evidence at all, as you have done… the same for the koran, and the Mormon the same for the book of mormon.
                To be int3llig3nt and intelligible, one must have a way to distinguish True from False truth claims and assertions and beliefs and Holy books.
                You are decapitating yourself and looking everybody as deluded and brainwashed as those cultists who died when hale bopp commet went over head, believing strongly that the space brothers were coming to beam them up.

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              • You have lost all credibility speaking mus-lim and Christianity in the same sentence. Geez.

                Where did Christ mike command ONE person to blow another human being up to gain God’s approval……….

                Wake up will ya.

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              • christ never did in the nt, but isn’t jesus the same God as Yahweh in the old testament? And he commanded genocide and murder and what would now be termed as ethnic cleansing.
                He even killed David’s first child born from bathsheba to cover for David’s sins of rape, adultery and murder of her husband uriah.
                What couldn’t god command that you would not obey?

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              • Your claim that scripture is self proving the same as Muslims assert, without Evidence, for the koran.
                With such a position, how could you possibly deny that Muhammed flew on a winged horse over Jerusalem? Their scripture is self proving, they don’t care whether outside sources agree or disagree either. You are both deluded.

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              • Yeah ok mike.

                Maybe you should read up on God’s care for Israel according to His own promise, and while you are at it, consider the mus-lims hatred of the apple of God’s eye.

                Wake up already. Next thing you will babble about is there was no deluge or the sun did not stand still…………..

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              • That’s from your scripture. They have equal r3asons and backing from their scriptures for their hatred of Israel and that God promised thru Ishmael.
                You can only see truth when you are willing to subject your beliefs and their foundations in your scripture to outside tests, ie conformity and verification by outside sources. Historical record outside of Scripture and Archaeological evidence and textual criticism of the writings you accept by Faith as scripture.
                You can’t just assert “I don’t care about anything outside of the biblical record” or spit out “they are self proving and self confirming”
                You would never accept such bulls#!t from a Muslim, a Mormon or a Scientologist. Why would you even think of using such a bullshit claim for your religious claims? Think

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              • @mike

                For the fourth time, the creator of water, trees, sun, moon, (which moon btw has its own light) male and female, you name it, has no competitors.

                His word, aka, the Holy Bible explains it perfectly. And today, God has revealed Himself through grace, something TOTALLY FOREIGN to your so-called other competitors.

                The strange thing, is the devil knows more scripture than you, and he is not half as stupid to challenge the very existence of the only God.

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              • And any other believer of any other religion can assert and claim the same certainty of their beliefs as you do. But evidence is what we use to confirm true claims or disprove false claims. Evidence separates truth from fairy tales.
                To simply and boldly claim that YOUR scriptures are self affirming, self proving and self confirming, evidence and contradictory history and archaeology be damned is nothing less that delusional. If you would accept a Muslim doing the same for their beliefs, you shouldn’t accept yourself doing it either. Think

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              • By the way, archeology, the evidence, doesn’t support a world wide flood and what we know of cosmology and the chaos that would ensue if the earth actually DID stand still, let alone go backwards, tells us that Joshua’s ‘long day’ couldn’t have happened either. Just like Muhammed flying the friendly skies over Jerusalem on a winged horse.

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              • Here ya go, in case your readers are unfamiliar:

                —Then spake Joshua to the Lord in the day when the Lord delivered up the Amorites before the children of Israel, and he said in the sight of Israel, Sun, stand thou still upon Gibeon; and thou, Moon, in the valley of Ajalon.

                And the sun stood still, and the moon stayed, until the people had avenged themselves upon their enemies. Is not this written in the book of Jasher? So the sun stood still in the midst of heaven, and hasted not to go down about a whole day.—

                The earth was already still, thank you very much. The SUN stood still. 😉

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              • The earth rotates to give the impression that the sun and Moon rise and set. If the earth stopped rotation at 1000 miles per hour, look up what that would do. Or do you still believe the earth is the center and the sun and Moon revolve around us?
                The sun did not stand still. The earth never stopped in its rotation. The Bible is incorrect regardless of your forceful and deluded assertion that it’s perfect and unassailable. Think

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              • Muslims would say the same, but they assert Allah. How do you tell a Muslim he’s wrong if he says like you do “I don’t care what outside sources say”

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              • By the way cs, the amorites are some of the people that Yahweh/jesus told Joshua to Exterminate from their own lands… every man, woman, child and infant.
                I’d there anything that God could command that you would not do? If not, then you and the Muslim terrorists are the SAME animal. There is no difference in the type of murderous delusion motivating both, if both Muslim and you claim your respective scriptures as self proving and self confirming. Think

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              • They use the same justifications and the same arguments for their god and their scriptures as you do. Why are they valid with yours when they are obviously fla2ed and invalid with theirs? Think

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              • Checking through this thread, I see you’ve got two winners – CS and SC – commenting on this thread. This your first run-in with SC?

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              • Ah. . well, I’ve run into him on several other blogs. He just came online a few months ago and his main effort seems to be drive-by comments to attract traffic for his blog. No doubt, his comment at the bottom of this thread was cut-n-pasted from others he’s dropped on various blog sites. He’s young, overly zealous, and seems to have a very high opinion of himself. (a bit of a know-it-all) 🙂

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    • Oh yeah – Paul’s references to Jacob, Esau and Moses, in Rom 9, for whose existence there is no evidence, certainly lends credence to everything else he has to say. Romans constitutes the opinion of one superstitious, scientifically-ignorant man, and mean no more to anyone – or at least shouldn’t – than that.

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    • Some laugh and say 30,000 denominations. Again so what. Even if it were true, that’s a whole lotta people trying to get it right……………

      Why should they have to? Is your god so incompetent he can’t make it clear to all?

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    • The dripping arrogance is astounding. Yet you cannot see it.
      I’m late to the party (different timezone), but couldn’t help throwing CS’s words back at him.

      Anything that CS writes is a result of the demented image he has of himself as the King of Scripture. If he EVER actually took a genuine interest in his “good book” and spent some time studying the context and settings of what he so flippantly quotes, he might actually learn something.

      Ahhh, but that would mean admitting there are a few errors and contradictions in those “holy” words so we know such an event will never take place.

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      • i think it’s amazing so many commenters are free to exchange here that are regularly Banned, Edited and outright Blocked when commenting on CS’s site. it’s pure and unadulterated Fear that refuses to hear or allow what one doesn’t want to hear or consider. KIA – 70+, Cowardly Lion – Zero

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      • Oh nan, I’m always amused at the ‘professionals,’ they who have deconned, who are somehow expert in what they call a book of myths.

        Gotta love the irony. I believe it all, yet make no claim to king of scripture.

        That title is reserved for they who regally say Abraham never lived………. 😉 Quite the roar you got there. Uh huh, okay, sure.

        (and mike, kia, for someone who is so unlearned in scripture, I have brought your convo to life. Le Chaim!)

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            • both? are you sure?
              matthew says judas repented and threw the money back to the elders who bought the field. judas then killed himself, acts says judas bought the field and didn’t repent, died by god’s judgement. couldn’t both be accurate. only in your world where it HAS to harmonize would this make sense.
              it’s you who haven’t thought about it at all… you just accept what ever crappy apologetics answer they give you. no thinking involved at all

              Liked by 1 person

            • so… CS. how bout that answer: 1st Century contemporary, non biblical historical sources for the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. you’re ignoring it, aren’t you?

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              • What unbeliever would be interested in ‘non biblical sources,’ if not to satiate their unbelief; and what believer cares what unbelievers, skeptics, or scorners say about the word of God…………….

                The playground of unbelief is reserved for many. The word of God is self proving unlike any other work. Kind of genius and nice of God to be so careful; it tends to keep the hands of misfits way.

                Your gripe is with the scriptures, and the God of scripture mike. There is plenty there to keep you occupied for a lifetime, and to strengthen your faith if you were so inclined.

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              • please also refrain from assuming you know my motivations or reasons for asking. it’s obvious you don’t know what you’re talking about so no sense dodging any longer. if you aren’t going to answer according to the topic of the post, then bugger off after you’ve apologized for your attack on peter to start this shit storm and for wasting everyone’s time (especially your own) with your childish and defensive rants.
                or… you could still answer the question of the post. Answer, or Bugger off. it’s up to you. I won’t ban, block or censor your comments.

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              • CS has decided somehow that dodging and weaving around our questions somehow makes him superior to us – what he fails to see is that it just makes him look like a fool who has no answers.

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              • Well, those are questions he still doesn’t want to consider. He’s afraid of the answers and what they will mean for his faith. For now, he just taunts, baits and dodges like a good troll

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        • No, not “experts.” Just individuals who, unlike you, have actually studied the bible and looked at it without the rose-colored glasses of believers.

          You’re never going to win any battles with people such as Mike, Peter, Arch, Ark, etc. by throwing around scriptures in an effort to portray yourself as a True Christian ™. These people have actually read and studied the bible and most likely know FAR more than you do about what’s between the covers of your “holy book.”

          If you truly want someone to see your “god” through your eyes (which I somehow doubt is your real motive), then why not try to demonstrate some real knowledge of the scriptures instead of spouting off a few words here and a few words there in an (weak) effort to prove your point?

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          • ‘s not really interested in truth or learning or understanding. his game is Superiority and bullying people into either silence or submission. when he can’t win on the evidence and truth, he either blocks or mocks depending on if he has the power to do so.
            he’s a child trying to show himself a man in the presence of his betters

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    • why not try answering the question of the post… ie. the non biblical, 1st century contemporary sources for the life death and resurrection of jesus. that might be sufficient to “stop the mouths” of those who disgree.

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      • @mike

        I don’t give a whit what people say who have no interest in scripture, that’s why.

        They cannot be trusted, and the genius of God in keeping the truth contained in one place is further proof of His Divine hand.

        It’s all about light and darkness mike.

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        • … and i have a whole lot of interest in the bible, what you still call scripture. i devoted decades to it’s study, teaching and spread in various capacities. just because i don’t hold it to be god’s word anymore doesn’t mean it doesn’t hold interest for me or that i forgot all i know from it. what a lame excuse for not engaging with people who disagree with you. i guess it’s part of the defense mechanism we all carried, same as you are now, to protect us from hearing and learning things that might lead us away from christianity.
          nothing but bravdo being used as a cloak for your fear

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          • Was it bravado mike of the apostle to say ‘even your own poets have said…………..?

            He referred to the ‘wisdom’ of the day to catapult God’s wisdom.

            But fear? C’mon mike, say it aint so. 😉

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            • acts is fiction. do you know he said any such thing? it’s not in the letters… what did paul say in the letters about the poets and philosophers? there he is not supportive of them at all. why do you think Paul would know anything about them? acts is a narrative of the church to make it seem like paul submitted to their authority when clearly in the letters he saw himself as the only authority he stood on. try again?

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              • we don’t have to tell ourselves that. it’s in the scholarship. have you read anything about the nature, origin and composition of Acts? probably not. you’re too busy trying to attack people who say things you disagree with in the attempt to make them stop. (defense out of fear) how like the Cowardly Lion

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              • Grow up mike. Attack?

                The word of God needs no defense. Period. You will run out of hammers and your arms will fall off, as well as exhaust every breath trying to blow spitballs to discredit scripture.

                And as far as ‘not answering’ your tenants here? Uh, which of the ‘nine’ commenters have I ignored……….kinda tuff ya know with bullets flying from all quarters. 😉

                But no worries, all your gripes are the same, and God’s word stands.

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              • you need to demonstrate that it IS in fact the Word of God first before you can just Assert it as fact.
                you have ignored the question of the post… 1st century contemporary, non biblical source for the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. as minnie said to mickey “I’m all ears” (inside joke)

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              • I have tried telling him repeatedly that there IS no ‘word of god’ anywhere in the Bible, only a series of mostly-anonymous, superstitious, scientifically-ignorant, Bronze and Iron Age men TELLING us what their god said.

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              • since you think acts and matthew are both accurate… which is the True story. did judas pay for the field he died in or did the jewish leaders?

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  4. CS, given you consider I have no credibility I am surprised you saw any need to respond to my comment.

    For decades I believed that the Bible was inspired, the inerrant word of the creator of the universe. However eventually I had to admit to myself that such a view was not sustainable.

    A simple test of the truthfulness of the Bible is the story of Noah. Now if one goes back 500 years pretty much all scientists believed it was true. Godly scientists sought to understand the world more and assumed that as they looked at the evidence it would confirm the truthfulness of the flood story. However, much to their surprise over a period of three centuries they realised that the evidence showed clearly that a worldwide flood as described in the Bible could not have happened.

    If the overwhelming evidence shows the Bible is wrong in this regard what should we assume?

    I have mentioned to you a number of times that if you believe the Bible despite the evidence then you have nothing to say to a person of another faith who says their holy book is inspired.

    Ken Ham once said, in a debate with Bill Nye, that no amount of evidence would cause him to change his position. Once again what would your reaction be to a person of another religion who made such a statement? Would you see them as blind?

    My loss of faith was a direct result of e undertaking further study to be ordained as a minister of religion? If the Bible was divine, surely a deeper study of it should strengthen faith not erode it?

    As for Paul, he is a lousy writer, he starts sentences and does not finish them, he gets sidetracked half way through making a point. His interpretation of the Old Testament is radical and at odds with the clear meaning of the text. His language at times was from the gutter. If you believe that he wrote all 13 letters attributed to him then he also contradicts himself.

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  5. The great attorney Paul“?? Paul was a cobbler, he repaired sandals – ‘great attorney,’ my achin’ –!

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  6. Arch, Paul was called a ‘tent maker’ though it is thought that this might actually be a generic term for leather work. In some of his letters he makes much of being a self supporting missionary.

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    • actually peter, the book of acts refers to paul as a tentmaker. but i don’t really trust Acts for an accurate picture of paul. too much revision to make paul seem like a ‘team player’ which from the letters we see he wasn’t so much with the disciples at jerusalem. do you know if the letters even hint at his non-religious/secular vocation? i never found anything that was convincing.

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      • Mike, I know what you mean about Acts, it seems at odds with Paul’s description of events. I raid copious scholarly efforts to reconcile Paul’s travel itinerary and Jerusalem visits between Acts and his letters. There is some difficulty there.

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  7. Arch, I keep going back to the prayer in John 17, that Jesus prayed to the Father that Christians would be one as a ‘witness’ to the world.

    In light of that prayer, the 30,000 denominations present a problem to those who believe in Biblical inerrancy. Jesus said that the Father always heard his prayers and answered them so what should we make of the clear failure of this prayer?

    ‘True believers’ will find some way to explain it away, but if they are honest they should at least admit that it is problematic.

    Liked by 1 person

    • i agree, if god were to reveal his ‘truth’ to mankind, there wouldn’t be as many ‘truths’ as there are mankinds. smacks of humanity to me. not only that, but why would mankind have to ‘try’ to get it right at all? no. the denoms are indication of humanity making god into their own image.

      Like

      • did you see that bit on jame’s site about ‘ of course there are no sources… jesus wasn’t that big of a deal at the time’ had to laugh at that one.

        Like

          • of course the Cat in the Hat is real. it says right there in the book that he is and Dr Seuss wouldn’t lie. Thing one and Thing two concur, independant witnesses, the even a hostile opinion The Grinch agrees. surely he would have no reason to say The Cat in the Hat is real if it were not True ™

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      • then he did a post setting up a strawman argument ‘the church didn’t believe in the deity of jesus till the 4th century’ i commented (not to see the light of day i’m sure) that it was a non argument. doesn’t matter what or when people ‘believed’ something to be true. only whether it was actually true

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  8. @pete

    You said this:

    —I have mentioned to you a number of times that if you believe the Bible despite the evidence then you have nothing to say to a person of another faith who says their holy book is inspired.—

    DESPITE THE EVIDENCE? And this my friend is why some cannot get out of the quicksand of their own stubbornness.

    The testimony of scripture is confirmed by nature. It’s that simple. God created the conscience to know the true and living God. Men know there is a God…………..without a book. For God’s sake, a honeybee and the turtle speak to the Creator, but men are a bit slow while they ignore the sting…….

    As far as saying ‘you have zero credibility,’ that would also be true of men if I were to say Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob never lived. And this is one proof of the correctness of scripture. The lengths that people travel to dismiss it. Just look at blog sites. Just read the comments of the usual patrons. Case made.

    (and mike, glad I could be of service in your convo here)
    (and arch, no reply needed to your lame excuses)

    Liked by 1 person

  9. One thing you will never ever see is an apologist such as Colorstorm even attempt to answer the question in the post honestly.

    And the reason is plain.

    It is for this reason that there are professional apologists of the likes of Craig and Habermas who make a livelihood out of constructing spurious arguments to defend the indefensible.

    And it all begins with a presuppositional premise that believers appear not to notice (or simply turn a blind eye to ) the sleight of hand these charlatans enact time after time.

    If you watch any Habermas YouTube video regarding the Resurrection, for which he is noted, he is never, as far as I am aware, asked about contemporary evidence , and from what I can gather, never offers any either. Because there is none.

    If each and every theologian / religious apologist was obliged to answer honestly the question of contemporary evidence their entire apologetic worldview would immediately unravel.

    But they will not and this is why these people are simply liars. And Colorstorm can number himself among them.

    There is no other word for it .
    In the business world they would likely be jailed for fraud.

    Liked by 1 person

    • very true. but i don’t accept cs for an apologist at all. he just doesn’t have the knowledge or ability to engage others and enter discussions to attempt to convince others. he just doesn’t care enough about anyone else who disagrees with him. he is the ultimate dickhead who only comments to strike back with pure aggression in effort to silence the fear and insecurity within his own heart and mind.
      it’s purely defensive.like a small child

      Liked by 3 people

  10. Peter, don’t know if you knew or not but Canada does not grant Scientology tax-exempt status. (Obviously, there are those who don’t think of it as a religion – I’d be in that camp) I just watched a program on the organization; I find it difficult to take anything they say seriously – weird does not cover it.

    Oh, and CS – the pic of you on Ark’s site. You look – shall we say? – VULNERABLE in it. 🙂

    The fact that you cannot and will not answer any questions put to you on this thread suggests that you are still happily ensconced in la-la land; you know, that place where Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and all the gods ‘reside’.

    Liked by 3 people

  11. To nan:

    who said:

    —-These people have actually read and studied the bible and most likely know FAR more than you do about what’s between the covers of your “holy book.——–”

    Ah but nan, your friends have admitted to their blindness while they have convinced you they see!
    Proof of this admitted blindness? Glad you asked.

    They believe none of it. Truth is a closed book to they who sit in judgment of God. They (and you) say Abraham never lived, and that the lineage of the Messiah did not come through David?’ Oh oh, big time lie there.

    They say Christ did not rise again? Oh oh, another big time lie there, coming from people who supposedly KNOW more of scripture……….

    Please nan, do not pretend to cover for they who walk without legs, as the credibility factor is on the table. Unbelievers know very little of scripture, and the atheist knows next to nothing. But why should this trouble you? You should be proud and not be offended. Quite a dilemma for you, unless……………you know the scriptures are true, in which case, you would have something to defend…..Hmmm.

    Liked by 1 person

    • so, may i ask how long you’ve been a christian and how long have you taught the bible? in what capacities and on which continents? i’ll bet mine’s longer and thicker that yours.. CV that is

      Like

    • Oh, CS … you are the ultimate preacher. You say the same things over and over and over again, yet provide no evidence, no proof, no substantial argument to defend your beliefs.

      Now … on to a couple of things based on your comments:

      First, I have NEVER made ANY claims about Abraham or anything about Yeshua’s lineage, so do NOT lump me in with others who have.

      Second, if “Christ” rose again … where is he now? Are you going to tell me he sits at the right-hand of the father? If so, where is this? Up in nether-nether land? Somewhere out there in the vast reaches of the universe? (BTW, if he IS sitting at the right hand of the FATHER, then obviously he is not God incarnate.)

      You are soooo right … “the credibility factor is on the table.” We’re still waiting for yours.

      One final thing — you do NOT have an exclusiveness on knowing scripture just because you claim to be a believer. Many, many others know FAR more than you — as is evidenced by your non-answers to direct questions presented to you on several blogs.

      Liked by 1 person

      • No substantial argument nan? Hmmm, then the hundred, probably thousands of comments by your esteemed friends are aimed at what?

        Sort of puts your argument on the horns of a dilemma, for if I said nothing of merit……….then it speaks more to others time and interest in that which they find revolting.

        Then again, there is always that issue of trying to chip away at the rock of ages…….which is a lost cause.

        But I do, no I must agree that believers do not have a lock on scripture. Some of us are the worst offenders of representing that which is holy, just, and good.

        And btw, don’t assume ‘non-answers’ are ‘no’ answers. Many make this careless mistake.

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        • well, i for one have not been answered. you have specifically dodged the question of the post, questioned my propriety in even asking it, and falsely assumed my motivations. yes… non-answers are not answering. try again, funny boy

          Like

  12. Pingback: “Jesus Prayed like Someone was listening…” | The Recovering Know It All

  13. For this skeptic, written testimony alone won’t suffice. Believers will have to produce a living, breathing, crucifixion-scarred, 2000-year-old Jewish man who can perform miracles. So far, none have been able to fulfill my request..

    Liked by 1 person

      • lol…so is the eventual heat death of the universe.

        But here is my (cribbed) response:

        “I have a deep, personal relationship with Jesus Christ.”

        […]

        So, Mr. or Ms. True Believer, let’s say you’re walking across library mall one day, you see your good buddy Jesus in a crowd of folks ahead of you, and you holler “Hey, J, dude, wait up!”. Would he?

        Let’s not kid ourselves. This would never even happen because there’s no way you’d be able to pick Jesus out of a crowd. Heck, you couldn’t pick him out of a 1-person lineup. You wouldn’t know him if he walked up to you on the street and handed you his business card. (In fact, it would tickle me pink to see your reaction if somebody actually did exactly that.)

        So we both know exactly what your claim to have a “deep, personal relationship with Jesus Christ” is. It’s bull…

        That Deep, Personal Relationship with Jesus Christ – Russellings

        Liked by 1 person

  14. It’s rather hard to count all the enormous and ridiculous errors throughout this post, but I will give it a try.

    1) Josephus
    a) Here, the flavium testimonium (if that’s how it is spelled, otherwise known as Jewish Antiquities XVIII.3.3) is said to, by most scholars believed to be an “interpolation”. This is not actually entirely correct, because most historians also believe it is partially authentic and does in fact refer to Jesus when you exclude the interpolated parts. Funnily enough, you use the argument that “no one before Eusebius quotes the flavium testimonium” as an argument against its authenticity. Although that’s an awful argument, I will now use this exact logic to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Josephus did in fact cite Jesus.
    b) Apparently, you have not done all your research on Josephus. Josephus actually references Jesus twice, not once. The first time is in the flavium testimonium (Antiquities of the Jews XVIII.3.3), and the second time is in Antiquities of the Jews XX.9.1. Utilizing your logic, we can consider this authentic if it is cited before Eusebius in the 4th century AD. Indeed, Origen (c. 180-250 AD) not only cites this passage from Josephus, he cites it three times. Further discussion on Josephus can be found on my blog. https://faithfulphilosophy.wordpress.com/2017/01/30/jesus-and-the-jewish-historian-josephus/
    c) You state Josephus is “not first hand” — almost nothing in ancient history is first-hand, and Josephus is very, very close to the time of Jesus so that most historians can accept Jesus based on this alone.

    2) Your “challenge”, which is rather nonsensical. Indeed, the key wording is reference to “secular” 1st century sources. What is the definition of secular? NOT the New Testament? Why can’t the New Testament work, exactly? Why doesn’t the New Testament, a collection of 27 1st century writings written by 8-10 different 1st century authors qualify as a source for Jesus? Secondly, would you accept Clement of Rome as a 1st century source of Jesus? Clement’s work is not in the New Testament, and Clement wrote as early as 70 AD (as late as c. 95 AD).

    3) Tacitus. LOL. Tacitus was almost certainly not carrying off Christian claims, concerning anybody who knows anything about Tacitus, or has actually read his reference to Jesus. Tacitus was someone who had direct access to Roman records (which are now lost), why wouldn’t a historian as careful as Tacitus fact-check his claims before simply repeating hearsay? Secondly, Tacitus, as I just said, is a very, very careful historian. Tacitus is the only historian in ancient history (that I know of) to specifically tell his readers when his sources are hearsay. He does this about 70 times in his work. This hearsay disclaimer does not appear for Annals 15.44 (his reference to Jesus). Why is that?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Howdy. I’m sorry it’s taken a while to get to this. But I just recycled this post for Palm Sunday. I’ll have to address your comment later today when I return from errands. Maybe we can discuss these things

      Like

    • Also mention Suetonius – Roman Historian

      Caius Suetonius was the official historian of Rome during the reign of both Emperor Trajan and Adrian. He was also a friend of Pliny the Younger, and was referred to in several of Pliny’s letters. Suetonius wrote a book on the Lives of the First Twelve Caesars. In the section on the Emperor Claudius (who ruled from AD 41 to 54) Suetonius referred to the Christians causing disturbances in Rome which led to their being banished from the city. Suetonius wrote about Claudius: “He banished the Jews from Rome, who were continually making disturbances, Chrestus being their leader.” He identified the sect of Jewish Christians as being derived from “the instigation of Chrestus” which was his curious spelling of the name Christ (Life of Claudius 25.4, written in A.D. 125). This statement provides powerful evidence that there were a significant number of Christians living in Rome before A.D. 54, only two decades after Jesus. This passage confirms the statement of Luke (in the Book of Acts) about the exiling of the Jews from Rome during the reign of Claudius. The Apostle Paul found, “a certain Jew named Aquila, born in Pontus, lately come from Italy, with his wife Priscilla; (because that Claudius had commanded all Jews to depart from Rome:) and came unto them” (Acts 18:2).

      Suetonius also wrote about the persecution of Christians during the reign of Nero. “The Christians were punished; a sort of men of a new and magical superstition.” His criticism of the early Church affirms that this was a “new” religion that had recently appeared (in confirmation of the Gospels and the book of Acts). Furthermore, his reference to “magical superstition” confirms that the Christians were known to produce miracles and healing. The new faith of Christianity was based on the resurrection of their Messiah Jesus of Nazareth which would certainly qualify as a “magical superstition” to a pagan Roman historian.

      and… The Letter From Mara Bar-Serapion

      A Syrian named Mara Bar-Serapion wrote a curious letter from prison during the first century. The letter was written to his son, Serapion, to encourage him to follow the example of various esteemed teachers of past ages. This letter is listed as Syriac Manuscript number 14,658 in the British Museum. His father reminded him:

      What advantage did the Athenians gain from putting Socrates to death? Famine and plague came upon them as a judgment for their crime. What advantage did the men of Samos gain from burning Pythagoras? In a moment their land was covered with sand. What advantage did the Jews gain from executing their wise King? It was just after that that their kingdom was abolished. God justly avenged these three wise men: the Athenians died of hunger; the Samians were overwhelmed by the sea; the Jews, ruined and driven from their land, live in complete dispersion. But Socrates did not die for good; he lived on in the statue of Hera. Nor did the wise King die for good; he lived on in the teaching which he had given.

      The historical value of this Mar Bar-Serapion letter is that it provides strong independent pagan corroboration that Jesus was considered to be the “King” of the Jews. This letter may refer to a Gospel statement about the written statement that was placed above the cross. “And set up over his head his accusation written, This is Jesus The King Of The Jews” (Matthew 27:37). The writer of the letter also states that Jesus was executed illegally by the Jews, who then suffered the judgments of God for their misdeeds in a possible reference to the well known tragic destruction of Judea and Jerusalem by the legions of Rome in A.D. 70. It is fascinating to note that the writer considered that Jesus was in some sense immortal because His teachings “lived on” after His death. In addition Mara Bar-Serapion refers to Jesus as “a wise and virtuous man.” As a pagan Mara Bar-Serapion considered Jesus to be a great philosopher together with Socrates and Pythagoras.

      and a third…Julius Africanus, Thallus, and Phlegon

      A very early confirmation of the truth of the crucifixion of Jesus is found in the writings of the pagan historian Thallus, in his Third History. The significance of this account from the middle of the first century relates to the fact that it one of the earliest historical records of an event connected with the crucifixion and may have been written at the very time the first of the Synoptic Gospels were being composed by Matthew, Mark, and Luke. One of the most miraculous aspects of the crucifixion was the supernatural darkness that covered the land during the three hours while Jesus hung on the Cross. This miracle was recorded by several pagan historians. Matthew recorded this event in his Gospel: “Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land unto the ninth hour” (Matthew 27:45). This remarkable event was also recorded in Mark 15:33 and Luke 23:45, 45.

      Julius Africanus was a North African Christian teacher writing in A.D. 215. He recorded the writing of a pagan historian by the name Thallus who wrote his book in A.D. 52 only twenty years after the resurrection of Christ. Thallus wrote that the darkness totally covered the land at the time of the Passover in A.D. 32. Julius Africanus records, “As to [Jesus’] works severally, and His cures effected upon body and soul, and the mysteries of His doctrine, and the resurrection from the dead, these have been most authoritatively set forth by His disciples and apostles before us. On the whole world there pressed a most fearful darkness; and the rocks were rent by an earthquake, and many places in Judea and other districts were thrown down. This darkness, Thallus, in the third book of his History, calls as appears to me without reason, an eclipse of the sun. For the Hebrews celebrate the passover on the 14th day according to the moon, and the passion of our Saviour falls on the day before the passover; but an eclipse of the sun takes place only when the moon comes under the sun.” (Thallus (Samaritan, 1st century) -Julius Africanus, Extant Writings 18, Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol 6).

      Julius Africanus explained that Thallus’ theory was unreasonable because an eclipse of the sun cannot occur at the same time there is a full moon. The moon is almost diametrically opposite the sun during full moon which would make a solar eclipse impossible at that time. This historical reference by the pagan historian Thallus confirmed the Gospel account regarding the miraculous darkness that covered the earth when Jesus was dying on the cross.

      There are other ancient historical references to this supernatural darkness which occurred at the death of Christ. Modern astronomers confirm that Julius Africanus was right in his conclusion that a normal eclipse could not possibly occur at the time of a full moon, which occurred at the time of the Jewish Passover. The high priest carefully calculated the position of the full moon to the smallest degree because their whole Jewish liturgical calendar, especially Passover, depended on determining the precise lunar position. There are two important points here. First, the pagan Syrian historian Thallus, who was alive at the time of Jesus’ death occurred has confirmed that darkness covered the earth at the very time recorded in the Gospels. Secondly, the fact that there was a full moon present makes it certain that this darkness was not an eclipse but that it was a supernatural event.

      Another remarkable historical reference to this supernatural darkness is found in the manuscript of another pagan historical writer from Lydia named Phlegon who was granted freedom by the Emperor Adrian. In approximately A.D. 138 he noted the astonishing fact that this “great and extraordinary eclipse of the sun distinguished among all that had happened” occurred “in the fourth year of the two hundred and second olympiad” which was the nineteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar as emperor of Rome. The Christian historian Eusebius (A.D. 300) in his Chronicle quoted from Phlegon’s sixteen volume Collection of Olympiads and Chronicles as follows:

      All which things agree with what happened at the time of our Saviour’s passion. And so writes Phlegon, and excellent compiler of the Olympiads in his thirteenth book, saying: ÔIn the fourth year of the two hundred and second olympiad there was a great and extraordinary eclipse of the sun, distinguished among all that had happened before. At the sixth hour the day was turned into dark night, so that the stars in the heavens were seen, and there was an earthquake in Bithynia which overthrew many houses in the city of Nice.’ So writes the above named author.

      Furthermore, Phlegon indicated that the darkness that covered the earth began at the sixth hour, which is equivalent to our noon hour, is precisely the same time period as recorded in the Gospels in Matthew 27:45. The Christian writer Tertullian indicated that this supernatural darkness was recorded in the Roman archives that could still be consulted. “At the same time at noonday there was a great darkness. They thought it to be an eclipse, who did not know that this also was foretold concerning Christ. And some have denied it, not knowing the cause of such darkness. And yet you have that remarkable event recorded in your archives.” Another writer, the martyr Lucian, spoke of the public archives which recorded these supernatural events as follows: “Look into your annals; there you will find that in the time of Pilate, when Christ suffered, the sun was obscured, and the light of the day was interrupted with darkness.”

      Liked by 1 person

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