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Old 10-04-2001, 09:29 PM   #21
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Originally posted by turtonm:

C'mon, nowhere in Mark does it say where the body is.
I think it is necessary to look at what Mark actually said:

Mark 16:6 "Don't be alarmed," he said. "You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him.

In other words, the young man tells the women that Jesus is risen, and that the proof is that He is "not here". This is basic linguistics. Any reading of this to suggest that Mark thinks that Jesus rose as a ghost is nonsense. Denial that the man is talking about an empty tomb is equally nonsensical.

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For all we know, jesus has annihilated it and is appearing in Galilee as a spirit.
LOL! I know you are joking here. If you wish to have a serious discussion, however, please try not to go overboard in wild speculations.

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The empty tomb -- assuming it is empty, the man does not specify that it is --
Yes he does. Read the passage again. ("he is not here" is pretty clear after all. ).

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simply signifies that the Resurrection has occurred. There is nothing in Mark that rules out a spiritual resurrection. You can interpret it either way. That's why the Gnostics also prized this gospel.
I will refer you again to my post on Marcion (a gnostic). He rejected Mark, and accepted only Luke. Who are you thinking of, and what is your proof that they saw Mark as talking exclusively about a non-physical resurrection?

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Old 10-04-2001, 10:36 PM   #22
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I can tell you why he won't accept Mark prior to 70A.D.

Two reasons.
1. this is the most important one. If written prior to 70 A.D. then that means that Jesus's prophecy of the destruction of Jerusalem would have been correct, and we just simply couldn't have that, could we? I mean, even if all of the evidence stacked together all but proves that it was written prior to 70, he still wouldn't believe. Why? Because this would be pretty good evidence that the supernatural does exist.

2. The closer you date the gospel to the event it records, the more accurate it has to be. 40 to 60 years isn't all that much anyway, heck even 100 years isn't that much. I've said it before and I'll say it again. If scholars and sceptics judged every other book out of history the same way that they judged the bible, then would would know practically nothing about history right now. But they do judge the bible by different standards than every other book. Why, becuase they are biased against it's message. If it is true, then that means that there is serious evidence that the Supernatural does exist, and they could no longer have it so easy being considered both logical and biased. Becuase they are biased, just like we are. Only now they would begin to appear more biased than we are, instead of vise versa.
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Old 10-05-2001, 12:23 AM   #23
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Originally posted by Deathscyth Hell:

I can tell you why he won't accept Mark prior to 70A.D.

Two reasons.
1. this is the most important one. If written prior to 70 A.D. then that means that Jesus's prophecy of the destruction of Jerusalem would have been correct, and we just simply couldn't have that, could we? I mean, even if all of the evidence stacked together all but proves that it was written prior to 70, he still wouldn't believe. Why? Because this would be pretty good evidence that the supernatural does exist.
While I agree with you that most sceptics will reject a pre-70 date for the Gospels because of the rejection of prophecy, in my thread Redating the Books of the New Testament I argue that the Olivet Discourse could very well have come from Jesus, and use arguments presented by the atheist scholar Michael Grant as my support. Further, the late J.A.T. Robinson also dated all of the Gospels to pre-70AD, and he was a liberal who definitely rejected the possibility of the supernatural.

Quite frankly, the assumptions for a date of 70 AD are flawed, but no one on these boards has been willing to defend them.

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2. The closer you date the gospel to the event it records, the more accurate it has to be.
Actually, while this can sometimes be true, it is not necessarily so. An early date for the Gospels does make it more probable that eye witnesses saw the works, and could confirm them, but we cannot assume that because they were early they are more likely to be true.

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40 to 60 years isn't all that much anyway, heck even 100 years isn't that much. I've said it before and I'll say it again. If scholars and sceptics judged every other book out of history the same way that they judged the bible, then would would know practically nothing about history right now. But they do judge the bible by different standards than every other book.
This is absolutely true DH, and I have often wondered at the double standard that is applied to the Bible by sceptics and scholars alike.

Welcome to the Boards by the way. It is always nice to have another Christian in the discussion.

Peace,

Nomad

[ October 05, 2001: Message edited by: Nomad ]
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Old 10-05-2001, 05:10 AM   #24
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Originally posted by Nomad:
<STRONG>

I will refer you again to my post on Marcion (a gnostic). He rejected Mark, and accepted only Luke. Who are you thinking of, and what is your proof that they saw Mark as talking exclusively about a non-physical resurrection?

Nomad</STRONG>
There isn't any "proof" that they were talking about a spiritual resurrection. Both interpretations are merely interpretations. All we know is that the man at the tomb implies the body is gone. Where it is, he does not say. What is meeting the women in Galilee, he doesn't say. Thus, the text supports either interpretation, based on whatever presuppositions one brings to it. That is all I'm claiming.

As for Marcion, his preferences are based on his presuppositions. Iraneus tells us that the Gospel of Mark was a favorite of Gnostics, so obviously they must have felt it contained no strike against their views.

Arguing that the body is simple gone and Jesus has risen spiritually is not a "wild speculation" but the position of a number of gnostic groups. It is no more wild than arguing that a man rose from the dead, which is ridiculous.

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Old 10-05-2001, 05:49 AM   #25
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Turtonm:

You are a typical example of a humiliation to decent skeptics like myself. Body anihiliation? Gospels written a hundred years after the events? As well as other stuff you have said. I suppose you are bosom buddies of people like Earl Doherty. Please, you seem intelligent, but before you enter into these discussions, try to get a clue, young man.

Deathscyth Hell:
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I can tell you why he won't accept Mark prior to 70A.D.
Two reasons.
1. this is the most important one. If written prior to 70 A.D. then that means that Jesus's prophecy of the destruction of Jerusalem would have been correct,
Actually no, it would not mean that. Jesus made an incorrect prophecy. He said that 'every stone would be torn down, not one left upon another' (paraphrasing). This is false, as the wailing wall in Jeruselem is still standing.
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and we just simply couldn't have that, could we?
I mean, even if all of the evidence stacked together all but proves that it was written prior to 70, he still wouldn't believe. Why? Because this would be pretty good evidence that the supernatural does exist.
This would be pretty good evidence of Satan's most mentally defective demon taking hold of those who believe the above quoted statement, so yeah, it is proof of the supernatural.
Seriously, do you actually believe your statement? If so, you are quite clueless. People make accurate guesses all the time. Just watch John Edward for that. Prophecies are no big deal - Nostradamus had far more 'come true' than Jesus did, as do a host of other alleged 'prophets' living even today, most with 'powers' as good as or better than Jesus' alleged prophecy. Listen to Art Bell for evidence of that.
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2. The closer you date the gospel to the event it records, the more accurate it has to be.
Not necessarily. If this were true, far better supernatural and extraordinary phenomenon documented the world over would be 'more accurate'. Coral Castle (made in the 1950's, I believe), for example, actually exists, and to this day believers in the supernatural still tout it as overwhelming evidence for extra-sensory powers (or whatever they call that crap) - one weak, frail little man apparenlty built the whole structure himself with no machinery or equipment of any kind, and certain people even claim to have watched him raise stones up with no apparent means of doing so (except his alleged 'supernatural powers).

Or we could compare Vespasian's miracle working to Jesus' resurrection. But you might not want to, as it is recorded by Seutonius around ten years after it supposedly happened, as is again mentioned by Tacitus about 40 years later, who's age, prestige and intelligence would make it unlikely that he believed a late developing legend (he would have known about Vespasian since being a young man. If such legends popped up thirty years later, he'd not believe it). Vespasian's miracle was perhaps even so great that its plagiarized for the Gospel, in the story of Jesus spitting in a man's eyes to make him see. Thats how Vespasian allegedly healed a blind man.

There is also a wealth of other such phenomenon that is better documented than the Gospel supernatural claims.
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40 to 60 years isn't all that much anyway, heck even 100 years isn't that much. I've said it before and I'll say it again. If scholars and sceptics judged every other book out of history the same way that they judged the bible, then would would know practically nothing about history right now. But they do judge the bible by different standards than every other book. Why, becuase they are biased against it's message. If it is true, then that means that there is serious evidence that the Supernatural does exist, and they could no longer have it so easy being considered both logical and biased. Becuase they are biased, just like we are. Only now they would begin to appear more biased than we are, instead of vise versa.
No, your 'Evil Atheist Conspiracy' excuse doesn't cut it. If every other history book were judged by the same criterion you want the Bible to be judged by, history would be just ridiculous, as it would warrant belief in many a ridiculous supernatural claim (including those many ones which are better substantiated than the Gospels).


Nomad:

I see you have jumped into a thread I started. I thought you did not like me. Looks like I was wrong. Cool man! It would be nice if you reconsidered debating me in the Liberal Christians - does Satan literally exist? thread in which you took offense to my statements.
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Old 10-05-2001, 09:11 AM   #26
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How do you decide that your own assumptions are sound? At the end of the day we must make foundational, a priori assumptions about how we acquire and understand anything. In a universe created by a single being, it is fully rational to assume that the initiative for knowledge about Him, who He is, and what He wants from us will from Him to us.

This still gets you nowhere. Even if you make some a priori assumption, you're still stuck with trying to figure out what SkyDaddy(tm) wants. There is no way to do that, except by subjective preference. And how do you make your particular a priori assumption of SkyDaddy(tm)? By subjective preference. Some of us want better ways to accumulate knowledge about reality, so we don't make a priori assumptions.

For Christians, our way of knowing what God is, wants, and thinks, is transmitted to us by way of the Bible, the Church (both acting as agents of the Holy Spirit), and personal revelation. Is this objective? I suppose that depends on how you look at it. To me it is completely objective, but only way we can have objective facts is if God exists at all. Otherwise, none of us can prove that we actually KNOW anything.

If it is objective, why is it that everyone disagrees? Objective facts are completely possible in a universe without god. Take a gander at Explaining Science : A Cognitive Approach(Science and Its Conceptual Foundations) by R. Giere. Evolution not only proves the long-term stability of the world, it also lays the foundation for how we can understand it without the intervention of fairy sky daddies. Metaphysical naturalism contains no a priori assumptions about the world, except for what is built in by 3.5 billion years of evolution.

No, we do not dispute these things, unless you are willing to define heretical Christians as being Christians. As this can easily become a semantics debate, I will confine my definition to what is called "orthodoxy" as defined by the Creeds, the oldest meaningful definition of Christian available to us.

Heretical Christians ARE Christians. They're the ones that lost the political struggles. Is there some way to define "heretical" that doesn't involve entirely subjective and arbitrary decisions about who is in and who is out? That's what this discussion is about, you know, showing an objective method for defining "orthodoxy" or "Christian" or anything other aspect of your beliefs. For example, your preference for "oldest" is simply a subjective one; it does not tell us that the Creed (or even older documents) reflects anything the SkyDaddy(tm) wants us to know.

The Bible is a thing made between humans. What got in and out was the result of agreements between human beings. You may believe that it reflects something about SkyDaddy(tm) but there is no evidence that it does, and no objective method for sorting out what goes in and what goes out. Relying on the Bible is every bit as subjective and arbitrary as any other method for finding out what SkyDaddy(tm) wants.

Further, by using the term "semantics debate" you are implicitly conceding that there is no real difference between heresy and orthodoxy. It is entirely subjective and arbitrary.

And yes, even "orthodox" Christians dispute about "essentials." See controversy about faith vs. works, about the status of Mary, and so on. Where do you think the division between Protestants and Catholics came from?

Mike: Also, the fact that they are not essentials does not eliminate the problem of finding out which things god meant and which things he just said for the heck of it.

Since God never says anything without having His own reasons, it becomes incumbent upon His creatures to seek to best understand what He has told us. At the same time, we are finite, and He is infinite. We will make mistakes in what we know and understand. Fortunately, God will not judge us for these honest errors, but, rather, for our faith in Him.


Saying humans make mistakes doesn't give us some method for sorting orthodoxy from heterodoxy. We already know humans make mistakes.

So far everything looks arbitrary and subjective. It's no wonder you theists settle things by killing. If you had some generally accepted and relatively objective way of settling agreements, you wouldn't have to organize yourself into groups and kill each other.

As a fallen and rebellious race, it is axiomatic that many of us will not wish to accept God's grace, nor to understand what He wants for us.

Unfortunately, you do not seem to know of any method for determining whether this is true. You only have your subjective and arbitrary preferences, and self-reinforcing nonsensical statements, like the one above. As far as no, nobody has any understanding of god(s) that makes any rational sense, and can be demonstrated in some objective way.

Michael
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Old 10-05-2001, 09:20 AM   #27
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Turtonm:
You are a typical example of a humiliation to decent skeptics like myself. Body anihiliation? Gospels written a hundred years after the events? As well as other stuff you have said. I suppose you are bosom buddies of people like Earl Doherty. Please, you seem intelligent, but before you enter into these discussions, try to get a clue, young man.

Hmmm...it's ok to correct others, but not from a position of total ignorance. There were gnostic groups that argued that the spiritual Christ left his body at Mk 15:34; leaving Jesus to suffer and die. The body having done its job, it was whisked away to somewhere, while the spirit Jesus went about its business. People who will believe that humans rise from the dead, and donkeys talk, and human history displays the love of god, will believe anything.

A good start for you might be Peter Kirby's home page. There you will see that many of the gospels -- that would include both canonical and non-canonical -- were indeed written a hundred years after the events they purport to describe.

You seem intelligent, EoU, but you should probably try to get a clue before you jump on my case.

Michael

[ October 05, 2001: Message edited by: turtonm ]
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Old 10-05-2001, 04:19 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally posted by turtonm:

All we know is that the man at the tomb implies the body is gone.
You have a strange way of interpretting the passage Michael. "He is not here" is pretty clear. If you tell someone that "my wife is not here", would you think they would think you were only implying that she was not there? How odd.

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Where it is, he does not say. What is meeting the women in Galilee, he doesn't say.
Mark 16:7 But go, tell his disciples and Peter, `He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.'"

Just out of curiousity, what ARE you reading Michael? I read this and it tells me that Jesus is the one that will meet the disciples. After all, in the sentence IMMEDIATELY before this one, he tells us that "he" (Jesus) is not here. Why would he change the subject of the next sentence, yet use the same pronoun?

I thought you were an English teacher.

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As for Marcion, his preferences are based on his presuppositions. Iraneus tells us that the Gospel of Mark was a favorite of Gnostics, so obviously they must have felt it contained no strike against their views.
Indulge me. What gnostics, and what do they say? Thus far I cannot even check your claim as you have not offered a source. I'm not saying you are not right, I would just like to check for myself.

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Old 10-05-2001, 08:37 PM   #29
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Hmmm, I'm reading plain English. Nowhere in Mark is there any positive statement about where Jesus's body is. We only know where it is not (and even that we have to infer from the words of the man in the tomb.)

"You will see him..." does not tell us WHAT is being seen. If you have orthodox presuppositions, then you will believe they are seeing a body, if you have gnostic ones, you will believe they are seeing a spirit. Neither interpretation conflicts with the text. For all we know, the body is gone and Jesus is in Galilee in spirit.

Please show me direct wording of any kind in Mark that Jesus has his body in Galilee.

I have forgotten the exact passage Iraeneus says Mark was a favorite of Gnostics, Polycarp cited it before. The comment is on page 168 of Ehrman's NT intro, if you have that. According to Ehrman's cite of Iraneus, some of the group that thought Christ left Jesus at Mk 15:34 prized Mark's gospel. They believed that Christ came back after Jesus' death, and raised him. So Christ did not die, but Jesus did.

Like I said, the text admits of several interpretations, none of which are "right" in any sense save theological, and all of which are wacky.

Michael
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Old 10-06-2001, 09:37 AM   #30
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Start with Mark, and explain why it must be after 70AD. Then explain why it may well be 135AD or later. I would certainly like to see the evidence upon which you base your beliefs.

I will take that one on ! I will be basically using the arguments of Burton Mack, JR Miller, Robt Funk and Elaine Pagels.
(Note that all of these well nown Biblical scholars disagree with your position. I also question your statements that "most" scholars date Mark prior to 70, I also read Michael Grant's treatise on Jesus, and do not recall him stating that Mark must date pre War [Since I borrowed that particular text and have since returned it to it's owner, I cannot verify, so please elaborate)

First, let me say that these arguments depend on the existence of an historical Jesus, who lives some years before the Judeo-Roman war. Even if you belive that he predicts the destruction of the temple, his claim is not verified till 70.

Without the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple, there is no vindication for Jesus's many statements, the polemic against the scribes and Pharisees, or his vindication as son of god, and thus the believability of the resurrection. The epistles of Paul are from what Mack calls "The Christ Cults", speaking of Jesus in terms of the Christ. WE must conclude that Paul's writing indeed come from the original disciples.
When Israel is destroyed, the Epic of Israel as taught in the Tanakh becomes meaningless. History has not lived up to the promise of the epic. These people believed deeply that the Jews were God's chosen people, and that the Messiah(as predicted by the OT) would free Israel from foreign rule.
All of those beliefs now had to be discarded. Jerusalem was leveled, the temple utterly destroyed, 2/3rds of the Judean Jews are dead, and those living have fled, and are ordered never to return to Judea again under pain of death [Josephus - War of the Jews]. Th scriptures are now meaningless.

Mark's gospel addresses this situation, and shows that one man, Yeishu ben Pandeira, predicted all of this.[whether he really did or not is irrelevant]. The Jewish system had become corrupt and evil, as Yeishu said. In the story, his resurrection vindicates him. The fact that these event have come to pass, justifies and vindicates him even further. The chosen people, are now those who follow Yeishu, who is now called Ioseus Kristos (Jesus the Christ). The Christ myth and the historical Jesus are fused into one.

The epic of Israel, and the chosen people is no longer invalid., just shifted to the followers of Ioseus Kristos. The natural events that follow his death are symbolic of the destruction of Jerusalem.

The Epic of Mark makes little sense without the destruction of Jerusalem. Without these events, how do any of Jesus's statements ring true if Jerusalem still stands with the temple intact? It doesn't!

Edited for spelling corrections

[ October 06, 2001: Message edited by: Papaver ]
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