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Old 05-16-2001, 06:48 AM   #1
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Question History verifies the Bible?

Hi Gang...

I was surfing through some of the x-tian websites and came across this post by a moderator named "Manalive" at Christian fellowship.net. (credit were credit is due!)
http://www.christianbb.net/ubb/Forum19/HTML/000006.html

Anyhow, this guy brought up some historical evidence that supposedly verifies some of the supernatural events during the crucifiction of Christ.

I was just wondering if any historians or well read persons on the subject have any input? This guys says his historical proof validates the Bible so I was wondering what my fellow Infidels think?

Here's part of Manalive's post:

"If the Bible is heresy then how come it is the most accurate book in history. Let's take a look at Jesus from a secular viewpoint, and see if he is corroborated as having died at the hands of the Romans as a martyr.

Josephus in his book "the antiquities" mentioned this "James the brother of Jesus who was called the Christ." This is one reference that he made.

In one of his other books the "Testimonium Flavianum he mentions "Pilate condemned him to be crucified."

The historian Tacitus said that "Christus (Christ) suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of our procurators Pontius Pilate."

Now about the darkness that fell over the land that is mentioned in the Gospels. Phlegon a Greek author from Cariawriting a chronology soon after 137 A.D. reported that in the fourth year of the 202nd Olympiad (i.e. 33 A.D) there was the greatest eclipse of the sun. and that it became night in the 6th hour of the day (ie noon) so that stars even appeared in the heavens. There was a great earthquake in Bithynia, and many things were overturned in Nicaea."
This would corroborate what the Bible says.

Now if you look in Mark 15:33 It mentions that in the 6th hour darkness fell over the land."

 
Old 05-16-2001, 07:02 AM   #2
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Here is a good site that does a historical recreation of Jesus. http://www.concentric.net/~Mullerb/index.shtml

All of those points you have listed have been addressed by historians. It's been a while since I reviewed this site and don't know the accurate answers off the top of my head. The best advice I can give to you is that you take the time to personally research each of your points - reading the Christian explanation and then verifying those "facts" independently.

Good luck,
Brighid
 
Old 05-16-2001, 07:07 AM   #3
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Another question you should ask yourself is in regards to all the events in the bible that aren't historically accurate! If a few are "supposedly" accurate and many are NOT even close - what sort of credibility does that lend the text?

 
Old 05-16-2001, 09:04 AM   #4
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<<<Another question you should ask yourself is in regards to all the events in the bible that aren't historically accurate!>>>

My point exactly!

I know many are not historically accurate. I guess I was intersted if any other "Infidels"
had any information regarding the so-called historical events that this guy points out regarding the ressurection. This was the first time I have ever seen those events even verified and suspect this guys sources.

I am far from a historical expert and at present don't have the time to delve too deep. Guess I am taking the lazy way out and hoping a lurking secular historian might have some information.



Anyhow, I'll give this a few days and maybe someone will provide insight.

Thanks for the info though!

-T
 
Old 05-16-2001, 09:26 AM   #5
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Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Thomas:
I was just wondering if any historians or well read persons on the subject have any input? This guys says his historical proof validates the Bible so I was wondering what my fellow Infidels think?

Here's part of Manalive's post:

"If the Bible is heresy then how come it is the most accurate book in history. Let's take a look at Jesus from a secular viewpoint, and see if he is corroborated as having died at the hands of the Romans as a martyr.

Josephus in his book "the antiquities" mentioned this "James the brother of Jesus who was called the Christ." This is one reference that he made.

In one of his other books the "Testimonium Flavianum he mentions "Pilate condemned him to be crucified."</font>


Well, first off, Manalive appears to have less than a passing familiarity with his source matierial, as both Josephus passages come from Antiquities of the Jews. The Testimonium Flavianum is reagarded by nearly all scholarly source as an interpolation. Josephus wrote his histories around the fall of Jerusalem (70 CE), but the earliest existing copy of his works comes from the 11th century, nearly a thousand years later.

An 9th century Islamic source is the first mention we have of the Testimonium Flavianum appearing in Antiquities, and the wording at that point is quite different from what we find in the 11th century MSS. This indicates that the passage was still evolving at that point. It is certain that Josephus did not write the Testimonium Flavianum as it is now presented in Antiquities, it is less than certain whether Josephus mention Jesus in this passage at all.

The second passage is also disputed to some extent, and given the brevity of the passage, that says quite a bit. Most scholars don't have problem with Josephus mentioning the name of Jesus here, but Josephus certainly wouldn't have called him 'the Christ'. But without that qualifier in the passage, Josephus could have been speaking of nearly anyone in the region named Jesus.

Moreover, early church fathers (the first Christian apologists) were familiar with the works of Josephus, yet they didn't seem to notice that he mentioned Jesus at all in Antiquities, when such favorable mention by a prominent Jewish historian would have clearly benefitted them.

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">The historian Tacitus said that "Christus (Christ) suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of our procurators Pontius Pilate."</font>


Well, first of all Tacitus gets the name of Jesus wrong, referring to him as Christus. And Tacitus wraps the passage up by getting Pilates title wrong (Pilate was a prefect, not a procurator). Tacitus wrote his history around 100 CE, and by this time there were tens of thousands of Christians in the Roman Empire, the knowledge of their religion he displays in this passage could have come to him second, third, or even fourth hand. There is no reason to believe that Tacitus is doing anything here other than repeating what he heard.

It is worth noting that Tacitus was writing his histories against the Empire. He shows time and again his hatred of Tiberius, Nero and Caligula, and spares no opportunity to portray the Emporers in a harsh light. The passage about 'Christus' is critical of both Tiberius and Nero, and though some believe that because of the mistakes I mentioned above portions of the Tacitus passage were interpolated as well, I hold the opinion that Tacitus just didn't take the time to research this bit of writing as it served his political agenda fine as it was.

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Now about the darkness that fell over the land that is mentioned in the Gospels. Phlegon a Greek author from Caria writing a chronology soon after 137 A.D. reported that in the fourth year of the 202nd Olympiad (i.e. 33 A.D) there was the greatest eclipse of the sun. and that it became night in the 6th hour of the day (ie noon) so that stars even appeared in the heavens. There was a great earthquake in Bithynia, and many things were overturned in Nicaea."
This would corroborate what the Bible says.

Now if you look in Mark 15:33 It mentions that in the 6th hour darkness fell over the land."
</font>
The truth is that we have no idea what Phlegon said, as there are no copies of his works known to be in existence. Now Phlegon is used extensively by the early Church Fathers such as Origen, Philipon, and Julius Africanus, in an attempt to show that he corroborates the events recorded in the NT about the crucifixion. But these apologists were writing about 100-200 years after Phlegon, and the works by Phlegon seem to have already been obscure by then as Origen has a hard time remembering exactly what Phlegon said and in what volume he said it.

Both Pliny the Elder and Seneca lived in the region at the time the eclipse supposedly occured, and both historians were known for recording all types of natural phenomenon including earthquakes, meteors, comets, and especially eclipses, yet neither man records such a spectacular event at the time Phlegon is supposed to have recorded it.

Also, preeminent historian Edward Gibbon (Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire), writing during the 18th century, said that the Phlegon passage was "wisely abandoned" by Christian apologists even in his time.
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Old 05-16-2001, 11:25 AM   #6
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Cool and thanks!

Will have to digest this when I get home!

-T
 
Old 05-16-2001, 04:43 PM   #7
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Why, the Bible is verified by current events!

Both the Old and New Testaments talk about a land called Israel. Lo and behold, I look in today's newspaper, and I find there is indeed such a place!
 
Old 05-16-2001, 10:36 PM   #8
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Every last reference he made to Jesus must be faked references because, as it has continually been proven on this site by Christians, ... God can not and did not provide proof of his existence, otherwise it is not by "faith" one believes but by "proof". These supposed proofs violates God's own formula for being saved. Therefore, any facts such as these must by necessity be fake.
 
Old 05-17-2001, 09:32 AM   #9
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Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by critical thinking made ez:
Every last reference he made to Jesus must be faked references because, as it has continually been proven on this site by Christians, ... God can not and did not provide proof of his existence, otherwise it is not by "faith" one believes but by "proof". These supposed proofs violates God's own formula for being saved. Therefore, any facts such as these must by necessity be fake. </font>
You must be a Douglas Adams fan, this sounds quite a bit like the Babel Fish conundrum in The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. The Babel Fish is a creature that, when inserted into the ear, can translate any language in the universe. This cannot be explained via exolutionary means, and as thus becomes proof of God's existence. The problem is that God's existence can be proven by faith alone, and as Douglas Adams put it, after this was explained "God disappeared in a puff of logic."

Edited to work with UBB instead of HTML


[This message has been edited by Ulrich (edited May 17, 2001).]
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Old 05-17-2001, 04:50 PM   #10
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Smile

Haven't read him, but sounds interesting. Thanks!
 
 

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