FRDB Archives

Freethought & Rationalism Archive

The archives are read only.


Go Back   FRDB Archives > Archives > Biblical Criticism - 2001
Welcome, Peter Kirby.
You last visited: Today at 05:55 AM

Notices

 
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 03-17-2001, 12:42 AM   #1
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Wink biblical "testimony"

I am having a discussion with Manuel in the PuertoRico.com religion forum about what constitutes testimony from an evidentiary standpoint. He has given biblical references to "testimony" that supports his position. Because I know virtually nothing about biblical sources, I would like to enlist the assistance of those who do have that knowledge in order to set this silly boy straight.

In his discussion of the "testimony" of "eyewitnesses" such as the "apostle" John, he references, it seems, the gospel by that name. It is my understanding that the apostles are deemed to be the twelve disciples of Christ, and Paul. Since the gospel of John is estimated to have been written some 100 years after the alleged death of Christ, it could hardly have been authored by an apostle, and, therefore, could only be heresay, in my view, not testimony. Am I off course here?

The discussion from the PuertoRico.com board follows:

POST BY MANUEL -
What is the Essence of Christianity?

quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The Word of God says in the 1st Letter of the Apostle John 5.11,12:

11 And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. 12 He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Christianity is all about LIFE. The LIFE that the Christian Message presents is not mere existence, or a miserable life bound to decay, but "Life in all its Joy". In my cable system there is a channel called the "Good Life Network". It is not a Christian channel, but what I am trying to communicate here is that only a "good quality life" is worth living. This "good quality life" is what the Christian Message is all about. And to make the Christian Message even more interesting, the LIFE that we Preach is of the ETERNAL kind: that is a "Never Ending Life", not merely a "long life". Only a "Never Ending JOYFUL Life" can satisfy the human heart's longing for Complete and Significant Permanent Joy.

It is interesting that no animal on Earth has this urge for Eternal Significance. You don't see cats making monuments to their names that can last a thousand years, only Humans do that. Elephants, which are animals that have brains that are four times as large as our own, and with the same amounts of grooves and cerebral topology, do not have a quest to build Permanent Structures that can last until the end of time, like humans do (for example the large Egyptian Pyramids). No other creature on the face of this globe has this urge, only humans. And this urge for Eternal Significance is present in our lives from about the age of three, or perhaps the age when we learn which of our hands is left, and which is the right hand. Amazing, how creatures no larger than an average dog have already in their hearts a longing for Eternal Meaning, for a "Never Ending JOYFUL Life".

Well, but the Christian Message does not end there. There are many world religions that seek after "Never Ending Joyful Life" too. The KEY to the Christian Message is that this "Never Ending JOYFUL Life" is only found in the Son of God, Jesus, the Jewish Messiah. The Christian Message does not say that the ""Never Ending JOYFUL Life" can be found by giving money to the poor, although that is good, nor is it found by going from house to house seeking converts (even though this is good too), but by embracing, by accepting the Jewish Messiah named Jesus, who the Christian Message labels the SON OF GOD.

Not only this, but the Christian Message states in unequivocal terms that anyone who does not accept Jewish Messiah named Jesus does not have "Never Ending JOYFUL Life". Therefore, the Christian Message by its very nature is an EXCLUSIVE RELIGION, that is, it excludes any other "way" to Heaven but Jesus. Jesus Himself said it better:
quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
"I am the Way and the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through me." (the Good News written by the Apostle John 14.6)
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

So, by its very nature the Christian Message is a "Take it or Leave it" Proposition. Happily, it is also a Message that many like me once rejected, but now after many years of thought and many years of maturing we have the chance to accept: in other words <<as long as you are alive you can still "Take It">>.

Now, the Christian Message is also DEEP. In other words, it takes an entire lifetime to understand in all its fullness the Christian Message. Were it a mere human slogan, another one of those "one liners", then this Christian Message would run out of steam. But because it is the Message given by an Infinite Being, God, all its meaning and depth can never be fully explored by the human mind. That does not mean that human beings can never understand some of it, or much of it, but that human beings bound to time and space will never understand all of It and all that It implies.

Take for instance "Son of God". Some people who are limited in verbal skills and general knowledge take this to mean that some how the Christian Message tries to portray God having sex with a human woman and having a "son". This concept born out of SHEER IGNORANCE can only be cleared up by the Words of Jesus Himself again:
quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
"I tell you the truth," Jesus answered, "before Abraham was born, I am!" (the Good News written by the Apostle John 8.58)
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Interestingly Jesus did not say "I existed before Abraham was born", but He said "before Abraham was born: I AM!". This can only be understood by reading the Torah, the most important book in Judaism, where God gives His name to the Prophet Moses:
quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
<<13Moses said to God, "Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, `The God of your fathers has sent me to you,' and they ask me, `What is his name?' Then what shall I tell them?" 14 God said to Moses, "I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: `I AM has sent me to you.' " (the Second Book written by Moses, EXODUS, 3.13,14)>>
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Therefore "Son of God" is not a label of a "half-god-half-human" creature, but of the SON that GOD has always had before the beginning of time, before the universe ever existed, including angels and the "spiritual world". And we are just beginning to scratch the surface of the Christian Message.

Perhaps many will want to disagree with me, but don't waste time with me, since I am only QUOTING what was Written LONG AGO. If anyone wants to argue, let him/her argue with the Author of the QUOTES, (God Himself) .
__________________
Manuel Alonso desde el jurutungo de Bairoa

POSTED BY RAUL -
The essence of Evidence and Testimony

Manuel,

I believe that Joe said it best:

Observation by joemailman:

Everything that you wrote is based on a STORY. A story, nothing more. It is a tale told by someone to someone. Get it? A story. Regardless of how sophisticated the language is that you use to describe it, it is still a story. Strictly verbal. It is no different than the testimonials by people who have been abducted by little green men. Stories. That's all they are.

It may have been made more believable in that time because the early Jews would hold their testicles and "swear by my testicles that what I am about to tell you is true"! That's where the word testify comes from. Testimonial from the same place. Testicles were very important to those old Jews and everyone in those days knew it. Another example of just how important sex was to the Jews from the very start of their religion. So, from the very beginning, the belief that you hold so dear is based upon the value of Jewish testicles.

POSTED BY MANUEL -
Are you an expert in history and anthropology?

Perhaps you would like me to refresh some basic definitions for you?

What is a Story? A description of events, whether real or not.

What is a Testimony? It is an EYEWITNESS account to real events.

A Testimony is a Story.

Not all Stories can be qualified as Testimony.

What factors corroborate a Testimony?

The reliability of the Witnesses and the Evidence.

For example, lets look at the case for Green Men Abductions (lets call them for shortness sake, GMA’s):

1. Most, if not all, GMA’s leave no evidence.

2. Most if not all GMA’s are witnessed by unreliable parties (such as drunkards, people who are predisposed to see GMA’s such as UFO enthusiasts and people who practice the occult; oh and plenty of persons with documented psychiatric conditions).

3. Critical forensic analysis of any evidence found usually proves out GMA’s.

4. Witnesses of GMA’s have never passed adversarial interrogation and reliable polygraph tests.

Lets look at the case of Jesus the Resurrected Jewish Messiah (lets call this for shortness sake, JRJM):

1. JRJM left plenty of documentary evidence behind, both ADVERSARY as well as ADVOCATE. All adversary witnesses to JRJM document that he existed and was "dispatched" by Roman Authority (Talmud and Roman historical chronicles).

2. Eyewitnesses to JRJM represented a cross section of the Jewish community, one was a fishing entrepreneur, another was a Roman "Internal Revenue Service" representative, and most of the rest were made up of representative members of Jewish masses.

2.a Most eyewitnesses of JRJM were HOSTILE witnesses at first, being totally skeptical about him coming back to life after the peculiar way Romans "dispatched" him and other non-Roman adversaries.

2.b. These same eyewitness refused to believe first hand accounts of those who saw him resurrected first, such as the women who went to embalm JRJM after the passing of their sacred days of rest, Simon the fishing entrepreneur, and the two discouraged men on their way back home who spent the first day with Him.

2.c. Amazingly, the adversaries were quick to keep hush the events surrounding the mysterious disablement of the entire platoon of Roman storm-troopers guarding the Tomb of JRJM, and the platoon was never thoroughly interrogated according to prescribed Roman military regulations.

3. The evidence behind JRJM is an empty tomb and a silent adversarial government.

3.a. Adversaries never made a serious effort to find the corpse of JRJM, which would have been essential to discrediting any and all advocates: "Where is the body?"

4. Each eyewitness to JRJM (persons who saw him alive after resurrection and gave their Testimony) were arrested and tortured during the decades following the incident and none of them ever recanted under extreme duress of their Testimony. They had remained visible public figures in their communities for all those years, and some, like John, even went to write several books on their first hand experience with JRJM and died of old age. Interestingly, John's book on JRJM, which was written decades after the three previous books on JRJM made by the other eyewitnesses, has surviving fragments from 30 years after he published it. No other books in history have so many existing ancient copies, partial or complete, yet no other books are so much slandered, grilled or excoriated than them.
__________________
Manuel Alonso desde el jurutungo de Bairoa


 
Old 03-17-2001, 01:56 AM   #2
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Post

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by soulofdarwin:
In his discussion of the "testimony" of "eyewitnesses" such as the "apostle" John, he references, it seems, the gospel by that name. It is my understanding that the apostles are deemed to be the twelve disciples of Christ, and Paul. Since the gospel of John is estimated to have been written some 100 years after the alleged death of Christ, it could hardly have been authored by an apostle, and, therefore, could only be heresay, in my view, not testimony. Am I off course here?</font>
Yes you are off course. Very very few people believe John was written or edited any later than 100AD. There are two schools of thought on the date of original authorship, one says in the 60s, the other 90s. Either way it is quite possible for the apostle John to be the author (We know John lived to be very old).
 
 

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 01:01 PM.

Top

This custom BB emulates vBulletin® Version 3.8.2
Copyright ©2000 - 2015, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.