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Old 11-22-2001, 10:32 PM   #11
eh
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I kind of find it hard to believe that out of 500 witnesses, not a single one wrote anything down. Yep, ZERO. Could it be that those witnesses are fictional?
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Old 11-22-2001, 11:36 PM   #12
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Hello dj, and welcome.

First, to make sure you know where I am coming from, I am a Christian, and very orthodox in my beliefs. I come here to defend those beliefs, to answer questions, and to put my own questions to those with whom I disagree.

Your essay was interesting, although I think you have been too quick to accept the dismissal of the empty tomb tradition. We have had a number of extended discussions on these boards on this exact subject, and you may want to take a look at some of them. One in particular would be Jesus Christ: Worth Burying in a Tomb. It is long, but hopefully informative, and I believe shows that Jesus' burial was very probably historical. The theory that it was also empty is equally defensible, and if you would like to go through the evidence I would welcome it.

Now, as to the plausibility and probability of your options, I think you will find it unlikely that any of the sceptics here will offer a substantive response to your questions. What you have seen thus far will be pretty much par for the course. Assertions aside, there is no credible evidence for mass hallucinations, and the explanitory power of both Carrier's and Crossan's theories is seriously lacking. If we were to take their arguments at face value, it is clear that Christianity would have never gotten off the ground, and certainly would not have survived beyond its first few years.

For myself, I have been hoping that someone would offer a competing theory to the Resurrection, and defend it, allowing us to examine the strength of such a theory. My experience has been that the great majority of sceptics do not believe that they need to offer any such thing. That said, please see my thread What Happened?. If you have a theory you think might be worth examining, I would certainly welcome it. That thread is still active. For example, what competing theory do you find most persuasive personally, and why? As for the Christian claim, why do you find the evidence against it to be increasingly good? To be candid, I have not seen a new argument against the Resurrection put forward in a very long time, and the ones that have been offered have been exceptionally weak.

Thanks again for the post, and once again, welcome to the SecWeb.

Peace,

Nomad

[ November 23, 2001: Message edited by: Nomad ]
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Old 11-23-2001, 10:22 AM   #13
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Assertions aside, there is also no credible evidence for a man named Jesus rising from the dead either. The problem is, no matter how plausible an explaination for the events of his death someone puts forward, it will remain a mere idea because no evidence will support it. That is because we have no evidence that 'could' support it. Zero eyewitness accounts or any other historical records dealing with the crucifiction, or even Jesus for that matter, make validating any ideas near impossible.
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Old 11-23-2001, 11:23 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by eh:

Assertions aside, there is also no credible evidence for a man named Jesus rising from the dead either. The problem is, no matter how plausible an explaination for the events of his death someone puts forward, it will remain a mere idea because no evidence will support it. That is because we have no evidence that 'could' support it. Zero eyewitness accounts or any other historical records dealing with the crucifiction, or even Jesus for that matter, make validating any ideas near impossible.
Your post appears to contradict itself eh. Your first sentence says that there is no credible evidence for the Resurrection, while later you state that there is none whatsoever. I point this out only because we do have evidence for the Resurrection, including from eye witnesses (Paul, Peter, James, John, Mary Magdeline, Jesus' mother, other disciples and up to 500 more people). The fact that you do not find it to be credible does not make it non-evidence.

Now, all of that said, I am willing to take it as a given (for the sake of this discussion) that the Resurrection as described in the Bible did not happen. The question remains, what did happen, as something obviously did happen after Jesus died. Do you have a theory as to what happened, and would you be willing to offer it? In this way we can examine the strength of the case you are prepared to make.

We have an historical fact:
Christianity was founded in Palestine some time between 30 and 35 AD, based on the belief that a specific man had died on the cross, and had since risen from the dead. Given that the Resurrection did not happen, what did?

Thank you.

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Old 11-23-2001, 11:31 AM   #15
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Quote:
Assertions aside, there is also no credible evidence for a man named Jesus rising from the dead either. The problem is, no matter how plausible an explaination for the events of his death someone puts forward, it will remain a mere idea because no evidence will support it. That is because we have no evidence that 'could' support it. Zero eyewitness accounts or any other historical records dealing with the crucifiction, or even Jesus for that matter, make validating any ideas near impossible.
Very true. It always upsets me to see cult members talking about how weak our alternitive explainations are for the supposed Jesus' supposed death and supposed ressurection when they fail to realize that they have no extra-Biblical evidence of any of these events. This is important because the Bible, specifically the New Testiment, is designed to make people believe, and its claims are only supported internally. At best, the arguments of cult members for the factual ressurection that aren't Biblical come down to "where there's smoke, there's fire!" I particularly dislike how easily they dismiss alternate reasons for the ressurection story's propagation as "too unbelievable" or "not likely," when any of the alternates are more plausible than the absurd idea of a dead man (whose actual existance is up in the air) coming back to life.
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Old 11-23-2001, 01:33 PM   #16
Benjamin Franklin
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Does it mean if we cannot explain away the resurrection accounts then by default we have accept the resurrection as a real historical event

I enclose this quote from this article
http://www.users.globalnet.co.uk/~sl...ym/jordan.html

"Just because a person cannot explain the resurrection accounts, or has not yet seen or felt the force of a good solution, this does not mean there is not one. I have seen a good solution, but it is one I found some time after I deconverted

"There are many curiosities about non-Christian religions that surely most people would be at odds to "explain away" without a lifetime of research and scholarship" "
-------end of quote ------------------
I cannot explain how people came to believe Mithras resurrected and I cannot explain the resurrection accounts of Apollonius. Does it automatically follow that I have to accept their resurrections as historical events.

I am not a expert in the historicity of the new testament so I might be wrong when I say this but from what I have read, I don't think the evidence for the resurrection of christ is much better than the resurrection of pagan saviour gods, Christianity just have better documentation because it came at a later time(when writing and printing is more advanced), it's political power, and the fact that they burned so many libraries that have similar pagan stories. As someone (I think it is Mark
Twain) said : Christopher Colomubus is not the first to discover America, he was just the first to hold a press conference"
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Old 11-23-2001, 10:42 PM   #17
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Nomad wants to know what happened. It has been explained to him many times before, but it has never sunk in and probably never will, so this is more for those who think before coming to conclusions.

Jesus died. In the superstitous and credulous society of the 1st century, people had visions and dreams. Not particularly the best way to gain knowledge, but popular at the time and still popular enough today to support "psychics" who charge $2.99 a minute. Stories go around, get expanded, and as Christian scholar E.P. Sanders has put it, some were simply made up. And Nomad wishes us to think that Christianity "couldn't get off the ground" under the conditions skeptics think it happened under, when in fact, in our modern age, we still see people believe in the sublime and ridiculous (and I'm not necessarily talking about Christianity here, though I wonder how many millions of dollars have been spent in the last thirty years on books predicting that the world was going to end -- damn Russia for never invading the Middle East). Nomad and his ilk, like P.T. Barnum, depend on suckers being born every minute.

Nor do we have eyewitness accounts. All we have are second-hand accounts written decades after the fact from anonymous authors with the same ultimate goal for their propaganda who claim to be relating information from eyewitnesses. Not exactly the most awe-inspiring evidence, and certainly not anything that any self-respecting historian would even consider accepting as persuasive. But, after all, it's all Nomad has. So we understand why it has to be "eyewitness" though by any reasonable standard it would be considered hearsay in nature, and unreliable considering the authors who were promoting it.

Nor was there anything particular remarkable about growth of the Christian church for the first three centuries. Christianity remained a minor religion, rejected by the one people who were truly in a position to judge it, the Jews. If it hadn't been adopted by the Roman emperors, it probably would have disappeared just like it did in the Persian empire or in North Africa.

Finally, Nomad would like us to think that his supernatural event is as historical as any other event in ancient history. However, in all of my considerable reading of history I have never seen a single comparable supernatural event being accepted as historical, not to mention any with such flimsy evidence put up to support it. If Nomad could come up with a single example of a similar event being considered historical, I'd accept his argument has valid. As it is, I'd say the only one proposing an extraordinarily weak argument is Nomad.

[ November 23, 2001: Message edited by: DennisM ]
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Old 11-23-2001, 11:20 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally posted by Nomad:


Your post appears to contradict itself eh. Your first sentence says that there is no credible evidence for the Resurrection, while later you state that there is none whatsoever.
Heya Nomad. You know the deal - your original post in bold and my reply in normal text. I don't see where there is any contradiction. I said there is no credible evidence for the resurrected Jesus, and no evidence at all from the events to support or refute any theory I may come up with. It's fun to speculate what happened, but near impossible to validate.


Quote:
I point this out only because we do have evidence for the Resurrection, including from eye witnesses (Paul, Peter, James, John, Mary Magdeline, Jesus' mother, other disciples and up to 500 more people). The fact that you do not find it to be credible does not make it non-evidence.
Great! Where can I read the writings of James, John, Mary and Peter? And since there were 500 witnesses, surely you have their account in writing somewhere? At least one of those many witnesses, must have written something down, don't you think? This is what I mean by not being able to validate the events around the crucifixion. It would be great if we cross reference the gospel accounts to what James, the brother of christ had to say, or to see text written by Peter that specifies exactly what were the big disagreements between Paul and himself. But there are no texts to speak of. All we have are 2nd hand accounts written many years after the fact.

Quote:


Now, all of that said, I am willing to take it as a given (for the sake of this discussion) that the Resurrection as described in the Bible did not happen. The question remains, what did happen, as something obviously did happen after Jesus died. Do you have a theory as to what happened, and would you be willing to offer it? In this way we can examine the strength of the case you are prepared to make.
That sounds like fun, where should I start? To be honest, I have no idea exactly what happened. I am also stumped for explanations for countless ghost sightings, NDE accounts, reincarnation claims, UFO sightings, and other miracles. But does that mean I should accept them all by default? You see, there is nothing to separate the miracle claims of other believers from the Christians. That is why I do not accept the resurrection account.

Quote:
We have an historical fact:
Christianity was founded in Palestine some time between 30 and 35 AD, based on the belief that a specific man had died on the cross, and had since risen from the dead. Given that the Resurrection did not happen, what did?
Gee, I'd really like to know, on the account that this Jesus has had more influence on western history than any other living human being. But I don't know what happened. There are countless possible explanations, but aside from the ludicrous theories, I have nothing to validate them with. It is probable that a man named Jesus was set to be crucified for sedition, and somewhere along the line his group of followers came to believe he had risen from the grave. Whether or not they were justified in this belief, is another matter.
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Old 11-24-2001, 08:21 PM   #19
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Quote:
Nomad:
We have an historical fact:
Christianity was founded in Palestine some time between 30 and 35 AD, based on the belief that a specific man had died on the cross, and had since risen from the dead. Given that the Resurrection did not happen, what did?
Religion certainly exists as historical fact, and Christianity as one variation. Am I missing something?

joe
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Old 11-25-2001, 02:14 PM   #20
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I have a question. How historical is the persecution of the disciples of Jesus. If it is not historical, why was it invented. Were the writers of the new testament extrapolating from the persecution of Christians in the 2th and 3rd century.

If they were really persecuted. What were they persecuted for , for their politcal meddling as in the Gnostic Gospel of Peter or because as in Galatians becuse they were preaching that Gentiles who converted to Christianity did not have to be circumcised.

This of course brings us to the issue of what was real mission of the historical Jesus, reform of Judaism or overthrowing of the Romans

Any references provided would be very welcome.
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