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

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 02-05-2001, 01:31 PM   #21
Posts: n/a

Thank you Ulrich for your enlightening and unemotional piece. (I'm sick of bickering--I just want to be educated and educate--that's why as a Christian, I am at this website!!
I only had a few points to put to you. How often is history written by those with no bias whatsoever?--rarely. If there is no bias, it is because temporaly and/or spatially they are so far removed from the events and personalities, that we would have grounds to trust their accuracy. Should we disbelieve the holocaust survivors on their accounts of what happened because of their bias?
Would Christianity's purpose have been better served by having multiple accounts that matched exactly? Or would this have opened up charges of collusion?
Another point is that why are there no conflicting accounts in the early years by either Roman or Jewish historians. In the Talmud, there are mentions of Jesus as a evil sorcerer which acknowledges that his miraculous happenings were well known, and that to deny them would have been futile.

Old 02-05-2001, 02:57 PM   #22
Posts: n/a

sciteach: "It has been said that no one willingly dies for what he knows to be untrue, and yes, followers of fanatical, fringe groups like Koresh, Jones et al, do martyr themselves."

I agree with the statement. I would rephrase it, though. People are willing to die for causes they believe in. The Christian faith is not the only religion or cause that has produced martyrs. I have no doubt that the early Christians believed what they professed, just as they do today. I think it is silly for people to suggest otherwise.

The question is, is the things believed in really true? Is it possible for people to believe things that aren't true? Of course. Believe strongly, and willing to die for their beliefs, even though the things believed aren't true? Of course. If religions are incompatible, they can't all be true, and therefore the believers of all or all except one religion are wrong. Sincerity of belief is not a way at getting at truth. We have to examine the beliefs in other ways, which is, of course, what we are trying to do here.

"PhysicsGuy, I believe the fact that Paul does not repeat the gospels is evidence that Mark (and then) Matthew were written before Paul's letters, as it was well known by all in the vicinity that Mark was accurate. "

So all the followers in Corinth and Rome had a copy of Mark and knew that it was accurate? Why didn't Paul suggest they read it then, or point out certain passages? I can't imagine a preacher today writing several letters to churches all over the United States, giving them all sorts of theological advice yet never mentioning the Bible.

"Also, Paul did not know jesus or witness the events described, so he knew that his apostolic authority could not supercede that of Matthew the Apostle, and Mark, Peters confidant."

I think the only way you could make an argument along these lines is if you claimed that Paul, due to his arguments and problems with the other apostles, decided to ignore the information produced by the Jewish Christians, including their gospels, which may or may not have been written down yet.

It seems unlikely that Paul and all the Christians had copies of Mark, all agreed that it was accurate, yet Paul completely ignores Mark in his letters. Certainly Paul would have been concerned that people weren't reading it, or perhaps they were misunderstanding it, getting confused about Jesus' sayings, and so on. Didn't they care about what Jesus had to say?

" Luke was the first to investigate Jesus's early life, it wasn't done earlier because who could prove or witness the virgin birth as a sign of Christs deity?"

So how was it proven to Luke?

"Do you think that life under the Romans was so unbearable that people reached out to these loony Christians who taught the masses to endure hardships for rewards in the hereafter?"

Is life so unbearable now? Harder life might lead to stronger attachment to religious beliefs, but it doesn't take much to get people to believe in a religion. It happens all over the world, regardless of the religion, and regardless of how hard life is.

You use the word 'loony' as if a religion can grow only if the followers are in their right mind and believe only things that are true. I've met reasonable people who are Christians and reasonable people that aren't Christians. I'm sure that some of the early Christians were reasonable people as well. They thought about their beliefs. They decided they were true. They felt strongly about them. Some were willing to die instead of say they didn't really believe it. None of this means that what they believed in was true.

Two arguments put forth by Christians seem to rest on the same fallacy. One is that the beliefs of the early Christians must have been based on truth since they were willing to die for their beliefs. The other is that Christians today can only experience a 'transformation' in their thoughts or behavior only if their beliefs are based on truth.

There is plenty of evidence from cults and religions all over the world and all through time that suggests that this is false. Belief is enough to motivate people to kill themselves or others. If you believe you have cancer, this will change your life whether it is true or not. Belief is powerful, and doesn't need to rely on truth for its power. If a refutation of the belief is blatantly obvious, then you're right, the belief won't be held. But we're talking about 'historical' events that have some vague 'spiritual' effect on your life that results in eternal life in 'heaven' which can only be seen 'spiritually' after you die. All invisible. All in the past or all in some invisible spiritual realm. Of course their is no blatant refutation. So people believe and this belief can change their life. This doesn't require the belief being true, however.

Old 02-05-2001, 03:57 PM   #23
Posts: n/a


You always post such interesting theories. Where
you find the basis of this one about "age" of
Jesus? I am not asking this mockingly, you have
genuinely piqued my interest. I would like some
further info or citing of sources.


The author that taught me the art of pesher was
Flavius Josephus through the editor William
Winston. Sir Winston was aware of Josephus' ten
year mistakes in chronology but he was unaware
of pesher.

A source can be THE WORKS OF JOSEPHUS,
ISBN 0-913573-86-8, note at bottom of page 42
citing Book 1, Chapter 12, verse (216). Here is
what it says.

"Josephus here calls Ismael a young child or
infant, though he was about 13 years of age; as
Judas calls himself and his brethren young men,
when he was 47, and had two children,
Antiquities 2.8, and they were of much the same
age as a damsel of 12 years old called a little
child. Mark 5:39-42, five several times. Herod
is also said by Josephus to be a very young man
at the age of 25. See the note on Antiquities
14.9.2, and War 1.10. And Aristobulus is styled
a very little child at 16 years of age,
Antiquities 15.2.6-7. Domitian is also called
by him a very young child, when he went on his
German expedition at about 18 years of age,
War 7.4.2. Sampson's wife, and Ruth, when they
were widows, are called children, Antiquities
5.8.6, and 9.2.3,"

I made a discovery a few years ago when I was
trying to figure why Adam was Created on the
Sixth Day, i.e.,

Gen 01:23 And the evening and the morning were
the fifth day.

Gen 01:27 So God created man in his own image, in
the image of God created he him; male and female
created he them.

Gen 01:31 And God saw every thing that he had
made, and, behold, it was very good. And the
evening and the morning were the sixth day.

Using the chronology of Genesis it is easy to
figure that Adam was Created on the 6th Day.

Using Jubilees it says;

JUB 04:29 And at the end of the nineteenth jubilee
in the seventh week, in the sixth year, Adam died.

To figure this date one has to multiply 18*49
which equals 882 years. Then you multiply 6 weeks
x 7 days and you get 42 years. 882 + 42 =
924 years. You add the sixth year and you
surmise that Adam lived 930 years.

Gen 05:05 And all the days that Adam lived were
nine hundred and thirty years: and he died.

The problem with this is that if you subtract
930 years from from 18 Jubilees, 6 weeks, and
six days you are back to zero, however, if
you have a zero Jubilee and a 1st Jubilee
beginning with year 50 and you subtract 12 years
you come up with the year 38. This year will
fall on the sixth week (Day) of Jubilee 0.

The interesting problem with this is that the
Hebrews did not have a zero and the Greeks did.

thanks, offa

Old 02-13-2001, 11:47 PM   #24
Posts: n/a

Hey sciteach - you mention that you are tired of the bickering.

Have you re-read the accusatory and challenging tone of your own posts?

Seems to me you're quite happy daring people to knock the chip off your shoulder - and given the level of scholarship around here, that's not much of a challenge.

So if you're serious, then take the attitude level down a couple of notches. Otherwise, you're likely to discover that you've bitten off more than you can chew.
Old 02-13-2001, 11:49 PM   #25
Posts: n/a

[b]It has been said that no one willingly dies for what he knows to be untrue, and yes, followers of fanatical, fringe groups like Koresh, Jones et al, do martyr themselves. The trouble is, they almost invariably become reclusive, which minimizes their impact on society, and any brainwashing-induced martyrdom usually kills 'em off fast.[b]

You mean like Muhammad, and Islam? Yeah, he was a real recluse. Had no impact on history either.

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 12:36 PM.


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