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Old 02-07-2001, 09:45 PM   #41
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"Lots of people followed Hitler too. You aren't saying much for early christians: you just proved to me that they could easily be convinced to follow a murderer. Can you say BaahhhBaahhhh?"

Not much of a debater are you? It usually works this way: one side makes a point and the other side responds to it and, perhaps, makes a counterpoint.

Of course, those losing the debate often refer to your tactic of failing to respond to reasoned points, and fall back on shifting the debate, or responding with "bah."

Whether Paul was legally a murderer or not would be an intersting question. He seemed to have been acting under color of law. That certainly doesn't make him just. However, the comparison to Hitler is an obvious red herring. However, if Hitler one day had woken up, repented of all that he had done, and became the most zealous zionist on the planet, then that would be quite a radical transformation requiring some explanation. I, for one, would certainly want to know what changed his mind.
 
Old 02-07-2001, 09:51 PM   #42
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Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Layman:
Not all Christians decided the Bible was true beforehand. Many converted after an intensely personal experience</font>
Which has nothing to do with the bible.

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Layman:
or through the study of the Bible.</font>
This I don't believe. You're saying people really looked at the contradictions and absurdities and atrocities and said to themselves, "Hmm...look at the contradictions and absurdities and atrocities. This has gotta be the One True Word of the One True God." I'm sorry, but no.

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Layman:
That would depend on what sort of mathmatical computations the Bible would have been put in, wouldn't it?</font>
No. Why would it?

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Layman:
And at least some respected mathmaticians DO believe that the Bible contains a mathmatical code.</font>
Names?

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Layman:
However, the issue is highly controversial one subject to fierce academic debate.</font>
Fierce is a rather strong word.

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Layman:
JUST the kind of thing that I doubt a God would entrust his "Word" to.</font>
None of that matters. No one is saying that there's a code in the bible.

Incidentally, you may want to look at this.

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Layman:
And you overlooked, or ignored, my point about First Century understanding.</font>
1. You'd think all those miracles and whatnot would convince them...

2. Why couldn't god teach them? It would be ridiculously easy for the christian god. After all, the Aztecs had a very advanced system of mathematics that long ago.

3. Nobody said it has to be calculus.

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Layman:
God had to convince THEM, before he could convince US. Afterall, they handed down His "Word" to us. </font>
Not necessarily. As long as a copy was preserved until the math was understandable, we could be convinced.

And anyway, no one said it has to be math. That was just an example.

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Layman:
Moreover, I think you are focusing on the Bible as some magic tailsman that contains the mystical word of God.</font>
I am focusing on the bible as a poorly-written, pointlessly-long-winded book that contains a large number of contradictions, atrocities, absurdities, and "upwards of a thousand lies. (That last bit is from Mark Twain.)

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Layman:
That was not the opinion of the early Christians. To them, the "Gospel" was the death and resurrection of Christ, as well as whatever teaching traditions they passed on as well.</font>
How does that differ from the modern christian view of the bible?

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Layman:
It was not the "New Testament." It was "What Happened."</font>
So now there's a special name for it. So what?

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Layman:
Whether you doubt the historicity of the New Testament or not, it is fairly clear about the basics of "What Happened." Jesus Chris was the messiah, and maybe more. He taught the coming of the kingdom of God/Heaven, and antagonized the Jewish authorities to the extent that they moved against him, causing Jesus to be turned over to the Roman Authorities for execution. Jesus was in fact executed, but he rose again on the third day, demonstrating God's triumph over sin. That was the CORE Christian message, and THAT was what Christians have, and should today, attempt to tell others about.</font>
If you want to get that basic, then they mainly agree. But there are discrepancies on major points.

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Layman:
Because I beleive that the resurrection of Jesus Christ provides strong evidence of his divinity,or at least divinely granted authority,</font>
And yet the only evidence of the resurrection is the bible itself.

You're missing the point. How do you know the presence of the resurrection in the bible wasn't a result of human error?

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Layman:
those words preserved in the New Testament which are likely his are authoritative.</font>
If you are refering to what Jesus said, then you are wrong. This is one of the points on which the gospels disagree or contradict themselves.

On what do you base the opinion that it is authoritative?

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Layman:
Morevoer, I also believe it historically probable that Jesus trained and taught and appointed several of his followers to carry on his work and spread his teachings and deeds.</font>
Based on what?

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Layman:
Let us call them "Apostles." To the extent that the New Testament records their teachings and deeds, I believe that they are authoritative.</font>
On what do you base the opinion that it is authoritative? Is it just a belief?

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Layman:
However. To the extent that there are clear interpolations or redactions, I find them to be much less authoritative. That is not to say that the Christian who added text to the New Testament had no insights to offer, but his authority is much less than Jesus and his Apostles.</font>
Do you know for sure what is the original, intended text, what is human error, and what is redaction?

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Layman:
Out of Room.</font>
What do you mean?

[This message has been edited by Patrick Bateman (edited February 07, 2001).]
 
Old 02-07-2001, 10:02 PM   #43
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Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by JragonFli:
Thanks Patric, I loved the responses. Did you see the Matrix? I found the "Humans are a Virus" argument to be one of the more interesting points of the movie. Keep writing, and keep having fun! </font>
You bet your ass I saw The Matrix. About 50 times. It's one of my favorite movies ever.

You might find this thread interesting.
 
Old 02-07-2001, 10:03 PM   #44
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Your argument basically boils down to, "God didn't preserve his words the way I would have, so it can't possibly be true." You say this with no real historical inquiry into the reliability of the New Testament, but almost as a matter of personal preference. To be blunt, I really don't care how YOU think it should have been done. In this context, the numbers game is relevant. The way God did it has resulted in Christianity being the predominant religion on the planet. It spread like wildfire through the Roman Empire in the way it was presented, rather than some abstract mathmatical code that some academics could have discovered 2000 years later. And even then I have no doubt that the skeptics would be out in force arguing it away.

Even if there was some mathmatical language saying x, y, z, what would make you any more likely to believe that just because a mathmatical code says x, y, and z, that it was so?

This whole "God should have" argument is nothing but a big fat red herring with no real persuasive force.

As for the question of "What Happened" v. "The New Testament" you completely misunderstand my point. I'm not certain that everything in the New Testament is true. I am very confident about a certain number of sayings and deeds attributed to Jesus, including the death and resurrection. THAT is the basis for my belief, NOT that the Bible is somehow some magic book that is free from ALL error. The question for me is not whether everything that is in the Bible is absolutely true, but rather, of what is in the Bible, what IS true, and what does that mean for me.

I believe that certain tools of historical inquiry can lead us to varying degrees of confidence as to Jesus' teachings, the teachings of his apostles, and the early spread of Christianity. I am not alone in this, nor is this some funy position. E.P. Sanders, Raymond E. Brown, John P. Meier, Graham Stanton, Ben Witherington, and N.T. Wright all happen to agree with this point, if not with all of the specifics.

Have you read anything by these authors? Or by any other respected New Testament scholar?

 
Old 02-07-2001, 10:08 PM   #45
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"it works this way"


So you are the one who decides it is a debate, and gets to make all the rules? No fair!

The comment about hitler was an example, not a red herring. You can focus on any point I make to get off subject. As to wether Saul was a murderer, the early Christians sure thought so. If you are amazed by his conversion you must think so too. The fact that the vast majority of the population who ACTUALLY lived then thought it was justified gives credance to the theory that christianity is a long lived cult. Most people don't object to the Branch Dividians being broken up by the government.

Just so you know, even if you think you won this "debate", I still don't believe in your god. I won't be giving any percent of my income to your pastor, and I won't be any better of a person. So what are your motives for this?
I for one am here for entertainment. You amuse me. Too bad there aren't any hungry lions available: they not only make it more entertaining, they settle the argument as well!
 
Old 02-07-2001, 10:14 PM   #46
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Why am I here?

Good question. The best one you have yet to ask in fact.

The main reason I am here is to learn. Debate sharpens my knowledge and presentation. I really don't expect to convert anyone on this forum, although I have hopes for other forums. Additionally, I like to think I encourage some doubting Christians in their faith. Furthermore, I am continually looking for people more knowledgeable than myself on these issues so I can learn from them. This place looked promising.

And, I enjoy this stuff. I find history fascinating.

Finally. The more I know and the more persuasive I can articulate my beliefs the better my chances of spreading my faith. And yes, I actually have helped to lead people into a firm Christian faith using my studies to answer their questions.

 
Old 02-07-2001, 10:25 PM   #47
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Pat, I think the Matrix thread is a good example of what is wrong with the average post here. The Matrix is an awesome movie---why couldn't people just take it as that? Why must they debate it to death? One group is beating the horse while the other is arguing if it is dead or not! A true debate is not really possible here, because in an actuall debate people don't have to "rehash" the argument to death. They just react to it and go from there. I try to do that with my writing style. I find that it puts less people to sleep that way.

Another thing that I find funny is that no one is touching my post about the tower of babel. I may have hit on something there...check it out if you get a chance.
 
Old 02-07-2001, 11:25 PM   #48
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Lightbulb

Actually, I would still suggest that Paul's resurrection is different from the gospels' concept. I was sure to point out when I used the loaded term "spiritual" that I put in parentheses "pneumatic." Because I agree that the English "spirit" can be misleading--I was just using what the English translations have given. You do not need to prove to me that a "body" (soma) is different than a "soul" (zosa) to Paul, that's an assumption that I work with. My argument was that Paul's resurrection was different that of the gospels.

In response to your point about Jesus' post-resurrection events, Jesus' body could walk on water and have "ghost-like" qualities (they even think Jesus is a ghost!) to the gospels before his resurrection, so I don't think that the supernatural functions of Jesus' body after the resurrection are a conclusive indication that Jesus' body in the gospels is some kind of "spiritual body." Also, why did Jesus have nail prints in his hands? I don't think that Christian theology would suggest that someone who died by impaling would have a hole in his or her new spiritual body, would it?

When our English translations say that Jesus became a "spiritual body," it might not set off a whole lot of lights in our head. But when an ancient person says that the resurrected will be given a pneumatic body that sets of all kinds of alarms in a classicist's head. The word pneuma is a term loaded with meaning, and "what" pneuma is has been written about extensively by classical writers. Pneuma also means breath, so that should give one a clue as to the nature of this substance (which is an ancient concept). Apparently, to the ancients, pneuma was an invisible substance--some have suggested a mixture of air and fire or ether, but none of the ancient descriptions that I have come accross of pneuma can be remotely compared to Jesus' body in the gospels.

Finally, Paul says in 1 Cor 15:45, that the "last Adam has become a life giving spirit (pneuma)..." As a matter of fact, he uses that word throughout 1 Corinthians to describe the resurrected "bodies." And btw, I'm not quite sure about your assertion that soma refers to 'the physical body' only. In I Cor. 15:40, it says, "there are also heavenly bodies (somata epourania)" then he goes into a discussion about the celestial "bodies." And soma can be a reference to the sun, moon, stars (heavenly bodies) according to my lexicon. But I do realize that pneuma to the ancients was in fact a physical entity. But it was nothing like what is described in the gospels.

And we also need to compare the gospels with Paul:
"But they were frightened and thought they were seeing a spirit (pneuma!)....
And he said to them, 'See my hands and feet, that it is I myself; touch me and see, for a spirit (pneuma!) does not have flesh and bones as you see I have'..." (Lk. 24:36-37).

Here we have what appears to be Jesus denying that he is pneuma, when Paul specifically says he is pneuma (1 Cor 15:45). Another thing that Paul notes is that "flesh (sarx) and blood will not inherit the kingdom of God..." (1 Cor. 15:50). But as you recall, in the gospel of Luke, Jesus says that he has flesh (sarx).

Since I tend to adopt a plain-sense reading of the text, I would conclude that Paul's concept of Jesus' resurrection was pneumatic, whereas this "fleshy" one developed later. This leads me to conclude that there are two different traditions about Jesus' resurrection and that Paul's was the one closest to the original rumors (or fact if you like) of Jesus' resurrection.


[This message has been edited by Le pede (edited February 08, 2001).]
 
Old 02-08-2001, 06:08 AM   #49
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Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Layman:

Not much of a debater are you? It usually works this way: one side makes a point and the other side responds to it and, perhaps, makes a counterpoint.
</font>
Layman
I find this hypocritical statement absolutely hilarious since you have managed to dodge most of the questions and points brought to you earlier in THIS post. What nerve you have to judge someone for doing what you are guilty of.

So to get back to the point of this thread, I will quote BobK who posted a question that both you and Nomad dodged....

BobK

If this standard for evaluating holy books is not acceptable, should we have ANY standards?

What standards ought to be acceptable?


There is my point, lets see if you can remember what you wrote about debate in your last post and respond with anything at all....



[This message has been edited by dmvprof (edited February 08, 2001).]
 
Old 02-08-2001, 08:16 AM   #50
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"I find this hypocritical statement absolutely hilarious since you have managed to dodge most of the questions and points brought to you earlier in THIS post. What nerve you have to judge someone for doing what you are guilty of."

Nothing but slander. When responding to others I have attempted to cut and paste their point, and respond specifically to the point raised. Any fair reading of my posts would indicate that I am very interested in engaging in a dialouge and responding to reasonable points. The fact that you find me evasive speaks to your own bias, not my posting practices.

"If this standard for evaluating holy books is not acceptable, should we have ANY standards?"

Which standard? That the Bible must be self-evident truth? This sounds like code word for, "it hasn't convinced ME!" It is an impossible standard because you interpret it to mean it has to be convincing to everyone. When you get to set up the rules, of course you can expect to win.

Nevertheless, I think if you will review my posts that you will find your answer there. Not because it is abstractly perfect. I'm not in the business of judging "books" as "holy" or "unholy" by the criteria of perfection. As I stated, to the extent that the Bible records "holy" events and "holy" teachings, it is "holy." To the extent it contains interpolations or redactions, then it is less "holy."

The "standard" I would use is historical inquiry, not self-evident truth. There are many less than "perfect" books that provide us with an awful lot of accurate information. In fact, I would daresay that ALL books that provide us with an awful lot of accurate information are imperfect. Accordingly, I believe the relevant standard is historical inquiry, not abstract complaints that the Bible is not written in a "super" code which would have been inaccessible to everyone at the time of its writing.

Remember, Christianty thrived and spread before there was the canon known as the "New Testament." They didn't nead the "HOLY BOOK" to win converts, they needed to pass along the information about "What Happened."


 
 

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