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Old 11-11-2001, 02:42 AM   #1
Benjamin Franklin
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Post EASTER CHALLENGE

http://www.ffrf.org/lfif/stone.html

I refer to Dan Baker's Easter challenge to Christians to harmonize the resurrection accounts. I have seen the harmonisations but I would like to discuss one particular one. The date of anscension. Harmonisers would like to say tht there is a time lag in Luke 24 since nothing in says it all happenend within one and day and there must be a time lag between Luke verses 44 and 50 since the disciples must have gone to Galilee to see him. I personally find this incredulous because read int context it seems it all happend in one day and the the verse that he led them out to Bethany reinfoces the idea he was in the room with them all this while. But since I am biased against Christianity,I would like to hear other peoples opinion.
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Old 11-11-2001, 04:55 PM   #2
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[Moved here from Feedback. Author notified. --Don--]
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Old 11-11-2001, 06:42 PM   #3
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I debated this very point at length in this thread a few weeks ago.
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Old 11-12-2001, 06:27 AM   #4
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I have no wish to re-invent the wheel but I would like to add a couple of more points The command not to leave Jersualem in Luke obviously was given just before he ascended. In Luke it is obvious that this is the first time he gave such an instruction. In Acts, he gave the instruction a few days before he ascended and said "Remember I have told you about this before", which means this is not the first time he has given the instruction before. Another difficulty in trying to reconcile this two passages.

How certain are the experts that Luke and Acts are written by the same person. Even if they are written by the same person, it could be the resurrection appearances were interpolated which explains why they contradict each other.

Finally I have seen a lot of other contradictions e.g Geneaolgies of Joseph Geneis 1 and 2 and a lot of explanations. Is there any contradiction so clear cut that they cannot rationalise it away ?
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Old 11-12-2001, 08:57 AM   #5
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http://www.infidels.org/library/mode...ion.html#notes

I would like to enclose a quote from G.A Wells essay, a resurrection debate
"I find it impossible to resist Archbishop Carnley's conclusion that:


One of the most conclusive results of contemporary redactional studies of the New Testament traditions of the appearances, no less than of the empty tomb, is that an original nucleus of tradition has been developed during the course of its transmissions and that the resulting diversity can be explained by reference to apologetic motives and concerns along the way; the modification of the tradition is an inevitable by-product of the attempt to communicate and defend resurrection belief in different contexts to different people with different preconceptions and concerns. All this conditions what is said. The diversity of the resulting traditions cannot just be added together to form one synthetic account of what is supposed to have happened at the first Easter. (pp. 67-8)

He also finds that 'fundamentalist writers and ultra-conservative popularisers of the Easter faith do the church no lasting service by nervously seeking to defend a superficial harmony of the gospel narratives' (p. 27")
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Old 11-12-2001, 11:34 AM   #6
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Dan Barker responds to the original feedback:
---------

The appearance in Galilee was 60 - 100 miles away from Jerusalem, depending what mountain it was. So in order for everything to have happened in one day, they would have had to travel at least 120 - 200 miles! From Jerusalem to Galilee, then back to Jerusalem. Even with the fastest race horses, blazing at breakneck speed, one for for each disciple, that trip would have taken 8 -12 hours without stopping to rest or eat. But they presumably would not have had healthy race horses - they probably walked both ways, making the trip impossible in a day's framework. Also, Jesus would have had time for a leisurely stroll to Emmaeus, arriving around evening. None of this makes any sense.
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Old 11-13-2001, 05:36 AM   #7
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I have read Dan Bakerís book where he argues that the meeting in Galilee in Matthew is the first meeting of Jesus with his disciples, when Matthew is read in context.

I enclose the following response from this article
http://www.bigland.u-net.com/Theist/Topics/easter.html

ďHis (Dan Bakerís) reasoning is based on his misunderstanding of the Gospel narratives. Because Luke and Matthew cut out bits and jump from one event to another, Barker assumes the events happen immediately. Hence his situation where the disciples see Jesus in Galilee and Jerusalem on the same day (an impossible journey without fast transportation).Ē


I enclose the following comment from Glen Millerís article about amateurís right to criticize the harmonization attempts
http://www.christian-thinktank.com/ordorise.html

Bible critics who have never had any training in the laws of evidence may decry the 'harmonistic method' all they wish; but, like it or not, it is essentially the harmonistic method that is followed every day that court is in session throughout the civilized world. This method has a very definite bearing on valid procedures in biblical criticism as well as in the practical conduct of a tort or criminal action, or even a contract case in a court of law, today. Then the critics would find that most of their artificial, logically fallacious and basically biased approaches to the text of Holy Scripture would be successfully challenged by even the most inexperienced attorney and thrown out by the presiding judge."

Pardon me, but arenít the people who sit in the jury of an American juridical system ďnot trained in the laws of evidenceĒ and the judge or the jury never challenges their verdict of whether the defendant is guilty/innocent. I personally find some of the statements made in Glen Millerís article ridiculous. Witness testimony is considered reliable because there are discrepancies and should be suspected of collusion if they are in perfect harmony. So are the juries going to dismiss witness testimony because they are in perfect harmony and accept them if they are contradictory. The simple fact of the matter is that any discrepancy should be cause of doubt unless they can be explained. I am not saying that one should be pick on every minor discrepancy to discredit the resurrection but any discrepancy which is obvious at first glance should be cause for concern And if the discrepancies are large enough, the testimony should be dismissed altogether. A good guide of whether there discrepancies are detrimental to the reliability of the resurrection accounts is the overall impression one gets from the reading the Gospels. In forming an overall impression, the reader would not notice the minor discrepancies nor realize that the testimonies are in perfect harmony unless the testimonies are word for word. The overall impression I get is that of markedly different resurrection accounts. A natural reading (natural does not mean superficial) reading of the Gospels reveal glaring discrepancies. My Christian friend, in a long phone conversation me, when reading the discrepancies pointed out by me, said she is being to doubt whether resurrection happened or not. The idea that the meeting in Galilee might not the first one never occurred to her. It is only a week later, after talking to a pastor; she then came back with a harmonization attempt. Inerrantists can tease and torture the (to borrow G.A. Wells manner of expression) resurrection accounts until they agree with one another but Okamís principle suggest that the most likely explanation is that the resurrection accounts were written by people who did not witness what happened at all and invented certain parts for whatever purpose they have. I reiterate what critics has always pointed out, using the apologetic methods used by Christians, I can prove that any book or any testimonies has not contradictions at all
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Old 11-13-2001, 07:40 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by TJUN KIAT TEO:
<STRONG>
I enclose the following comment from Glen Millerís article about amateurís right to criticize the harmonization attempts[...]I personally find some of the statements made in Glen Millerís article ridiculous. </STRONG>
I have been to Glens' site, and here is
my opinion of his approach. Keep in mind
that I minored in Statistics.

His approach is to quickly immerse you in a
complex web of logical terms and statistics.
On the surface, he appears to be using logic
to arrive at a conclusion, but I suspect
his real motive is simply to confuse most
people, just as lawyers do in court, so
that they quickly lose the train of thought.

As they say, "Liars, Damned Liars, and Statisticians". I believe Miller is all
three.

His arguments are almost impossible to follow, and I have a high IQ and a background
in statistics.
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Old 11-13-2001, 08:58 AM   #9
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I don't exactly have a high IQ but I happen to be going Mphil in Statistics in Cambridge . I don't think Glenn is using statistics in the sense we understand it i.e. manipulation of numbers. He is trying to justify the use of historical inference which I agree with since we cannot go back in time to interrogate the witnesses. What I object to is his use of certain fallacious arguments and he has avoided the most difficult of the harmonisations, like the date of anscension and he cites a few relatively simple examples of contradictions which can be easily harmonised as straw man to attack.
I don't like his belittling of us amateurs. The fact is most of us have to decide whether resurrection occured without getting PHDs in history/law. As Robert M Price says, we sometimes have to appeal to consensus of experts because we do not have the time to master the subject ourselves but this certainly cannot be applied for something as important as eternal salvation
because to parphrase Thomas Paine's reason for rejecting divine revelation ,What you want people to universally believe, there must have universal proof.
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Old 11-13-2001, 09:44 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by Donald Morgan:
<STRONG>Dan Barker responds to the original feedback:
---------

The appearance in Galilee was 60 - 100 miles away from Jerusalem, depending what mountain it was[/URL]</STRONG>
It is clearly a misquotation of the original galley, implying Jesus appeared in the kitchen where the last supper was cooked, and never left Jerusalem in the first place. That explains how your superficial nit picking of the account of this profoundly earthchanging moment in our path to redemption is factually and morally wrong. And anyway, he had a chariot. A fiery one.
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