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Old 03-31-2001, 10:56 PM   #91
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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by turtonm:
1. The resurrection story arose out of the myths and legends perpetuated by its follwers.

2. The disciples invented (lied about) the stories on purpose to further their own desires/beliefs.

A mixture of (1) and (2). What's difficult about it?</font>
Hi Michael

On what basis do you call the disciples and early Christians liars? Do you have any evidence that they were dishonest? Further, do you have any evidence that they could have even hoped to have pulled off such a hoax, so successfully, in the very city where Jesus was executed, and within days of his death?

Old 03-31-2001, 11:50 PM   #92
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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Nomad:
Hi Michael

On what basis do you call the disciples and early Christians liars? Do you have any evidence that they were dishonest? Further, do you have any evidence that they could have even hoped to have pulled off such a hoax, so successfully, in the very city where Jesus was executed, and within days of his death?

And yet I suspect Nomad would call the creators of every other religion there ever was besides Christianity "liars" just because his own religious beliefs mandate that they must be such.

Of course Nomad is really begging the question here that there was any "hoax" to be pulled off. All based on the assumption that MMLJ, written decades after the supposed resurrection, relate actual events rather than myths and legends that grew up surrounding an interant preacher who supposedly claimed to be the messiah.
Old 04-02-2001, 08:35 AM   #93
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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by madmax2976:
Nomad: On what basis do you call the disciples and early Christians liars? Do you have any evidence that they were dishonest? Further, do you have any evidence that they could have even hoped to have pulled off such a hoax, so successfully, in the very city where Jesus was executed, and within days of his death?

And yet I suspect Nomad would call the creators of every other religion there ever was besides Christianity "liars" just because his own religious beliefs mandate that they must be such.</font>
Hi max

Actually, Nomad doesn't believe any such thing, and this is completely off topic for the thread in any event. The question I posed to Michael is the same I will offer to you. Do you have any answers?

<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Of course Nomad is really begging the question here that there was any "hoax" to be pulled off. All based on the assumption that MMLJ, written decades after the supposed resurrection, relate actual events rather than myths and legends that grew up surrounding an interant preacher who supposedly claimed to be the messiah.</font>
If this is the theory you wish to run with, Nomad would be more than happy to listen to any and all supporting evidence and arguments to back it up. On the other hand, if you don't have anything more than this is what you believe, and you don't really have any evidence, then that is cool. Just say so, and we can move on.

I want to know what YOU think happened max. Do you have any thoughts on the matter, and can you back them up with anything more than mere speculation?


Old 04-02-2001, 09:08 AM   #94
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Thumbs up

<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Nomad:
(cut / snip)evidence at all that could be used to support your thesis that the disciples and/or Jesus' enemies knew (or feared) that He would rise again from the dead. Also, if you could address my points above, that would be greatly appreciated.

I understand that I am placing you in a difficult spot jm, especially since you do not believe your own hypothetical story. ***But I hope you can appreciate that this thread is not about creating interesting fiction. **** I am genuinely interested in exploring any naturalistic possibilities that could account for the events that immediately followed the crucifixion of Jesus of Nazareth, leading to the foundation and eventual triumph of the Church in the Roman Empire.

Also ****Hello again jm.
You are trying to give the disciples knowledge that they just didn't have at the time of the resurrection itself. Yes, they understood what Jesus meant, but only AFTER the resurrection itself took place. If you have any evidence that they even had a clue that Jesus was going to rise from the dead, could you please point out the relevant passages.

For example, if they knew before Jesus was executed that He was going to rise again consider the following:

1) why were they so afraid that they fled (Mark 14:50)?
2) Peter denied even knowing Jesus (three times). Why?
3) they hid from the authorities, completely afraid (John 20:19).
4) Mary Magdeline and the other women were so afraid that they spoke to no one after visiting the grave (Mark 16:8)
5) when Peter and the disciples are specifically mentioned as NOT knowing that He would rise again (John 20:9)
6) the two disciples on the road to Emmaus show no indication that they even suspected that Jesus would rise from the dead (Luke 24:21-22), reporting that they were "astonished" by the women's words.
7) why did Judas betray Jesus if he believed that He would rise from the dead?
8) Martha (one of Jesus' disciples) testified that she believed in the resurrection of the dead, but only at the last day (John 11:24)
9) The testimony (reflecting the belief of Jesus' enemies) used against Jesus was not that He claimed He would rise again from the dead, but that He would destroy the Temple, and rebuild it in three days (Matthew 26:61, 27:40, Mark 14:58).
10) Thomas states clearly that he would not believe in the resurrection unless he sees and touches Jesus himself (John 20:25), echoing the doubts found in Matthew 28:17.

In fact, no where in any of the four Gospels do we see any prior understanding by any of the disciples that Jesus would rise from the dead. Every piece of evidence shows the exact opposite, and that their understanding came only after the resurrection itself came about.



I am relatively new and find this discusion fascinating (and most of more scholarly aspects are way beyond me.... However ...Excuse me for entering so late into the discussion and with a good deal of "naive" questions... Did not all the disciplies know about Eljah & Elisha in the Old Testament did they not know about Lazarus .. does that not provide and adequate background for the resurection posibility.....

Does not one of the Gospels claim that Temple or Roman guards were set in place to prevent the body from being stolen. A very shakey account to me. Does that not hint at not just rumors but a possiblity someone perhaps was at the tomb before the accepted witness either stole the body or found a swooned / seriously injured not dead Jesus. Who was nursed back to sigficient health to appear in public (who may have died soon after).

Item 4 and some others are only one version (gospel) of individuals actions
Number 7 on the above list has always been one that has puzzled me and until I recently discovered some work investigating other possible motives ie Jesus actually sent Judas (somewhat hinted at by Jesus seemingly doing things purposely to fill Prophesies, Judas being a zealot not a thief (another shaky Gospel explaination). One avenue all but ignored in searching for answers to "What" happened. It sticks me that NO ONE can say what happened in to Jesus (based on unbaised evidence) after the Crucxifiction. I find myself left with two extreme choices. Unquestioning belief that He was a divine figure who did raise from the dead or a unsatisfying mystery which at every turn only leads to more questions. What did Saul / Paul see and when any how many others also experienced something similair. Simply because some believed in a physical resurection why is that the only conclusion to be reached by examing the evidence (The Gospels for there is no other source of the claim. In closing I have to applaud Nomad for placing the idea on the table ... Yet I am somewhat unsure about why he has only presented counter arguements to the basic framework of some theories that address filling some of the holes / contradictions left by the Biblical accounts .... Looking forward to seeing more on this thread even if it seems most have abandoned the effort.

(I also hope my remartks are not too far off base)
Old 04-02-2001, 10:08 AM   #95
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I want to know what YOU think happened max. Do you have any thoughts on the matter, and can you back them up with anything more than mere speculation?

With the lack of definitive evidence that is typical in historical science there will always be speculation as to what happened at such and such a time. Studying history, particularly ancient history, is often a game of approximations and maybes. With the relative dearth of verifiable evidence this is inevitable.

Given the following:

- people lie
- people invent stories and pass them off as truths
- people have been and are superstitious
- people have believed in all sorts of gods and spirits
- people have invented numerous stories about the deeds of their deities and/or holy men associated with those deities
- people make fantastic claims of all sorts(channelers, pyschics, mediums, tarot card readers, NDE's, ghosts, UFO's, demons, spirits, etc.)

What is the most reasonable thing to speculate as to what happened?

- people lied about Jesus and any actions he may have done.
- people told stories about Jesus that developed into they myths and legends surrounding him.
- a man named Jesus who was an interant preacher in an isolated, middle east region was actually God incarnate

Of course you probably know what my answer will be. With the understanding of the givens, my answer is based on experience, knowledge of history, and the common sense outlook that extraordinary claims require very strong evidence to support them. It is hardly "mere" speculation.

Based on what reasoning do you speculate that Jesus was actually a God, rose from the dead, performed miracles, etc. ? Please be sure to include why you would discount prophets, miracle workers and claims for other deities and faiths. (Including present day supernatural claims as mentioned.) On the other hand perhaps you accept all those stories as well, in which case let me know as I will find that fascinating also.

[Just as an example, John Edwards, claims to be able to communicate with the dead. Do you believe he can do so or do you have good reason to believe he is a liar? demented? a fake?]

(Of course this isn't truly an equal test, since Edwards is alive and you have much more ability to evaluate him than any of us can evaluate obscure 2000 year old ancient writers of which very little is known and that were admittedly bent on spreading their beliefs.)

Old 04-02-2001, 10:51 AM   #96
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Nomad - you miss the point. I admit the disciples were a dull lot. But despite that, Jesus did provide a framework - Later on they understood it - but they couldn't have later understood something that Jesus had not already laid a framework for. The enemies understood quite well what Jesus meant - I don't buy your opinion of Matthew - see Matt 27:63 "On the next day, which followed the Day of Preparation, the chief priests and Pharisees gathered together to Pilate, 63 saying, "Sir, we remember, while He was still alive, how that deceiver said, 'After three days I will rise.' 64 Therefore command that the tomb be made secure until the third day, lest His disciples come by night F163 and steal Him away, and say to the people, 'He has risen from the dead.' So the last deception will be worse than the first." 65 Pilate said to them, "You have a guard; go your way, make it as secure as you know how." 66 So they went and made the tomb secure, sealing the stone and setting the guard.

The framework was laid and easily understood. The disciples were frightened by all the incidents you recount, but when Mary told them about the empty tomb - John understood and believed (given Jesus framework that he spoke quite often to them about - see Mark 8:31:31 "And He began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again. 32 He spoke this word openly. And Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him") So wake up - Jesus did indeed lay the framework - they were dull - the enemies were not so dull.

It was I who pointed out that Paul won the day - btw James and Paul were clearly at odds in their ideas about justification by faith alone - read James 2 where James clearly makes works a necessary ingredient for justification. Paul was against this.
BTW - you're clearly wrong about the incident between paul and Peter: Paul rebuked peter not due to nationalistic pride, but because he departed from the Truth of the Gospel(when certain men from James came).
For one incident where James actually gets the best of Paul see Acts 21:18-end. C'mon Paul do this and let all these zealous Jews know that what is being said about you and the Law is not true.....etc.....

Finally, your use of the term 'evidence' is indicative of begging the question. You've never answered my question:
Just because these are the texts we have, why ought anyone accept them as Truth?

I've given you a naturalist explanation. It meets your requirements (which do change alot btw), and since you opemly admit that any explanation can be provided to meet the test of 'reasonableness', I'll just point out to you another fallacy you are perhaps guilty of: Ad ignoratio
Just because no one here can give you a 'naturalistic explanation' to your liking, doesn't mean the Gospels are Truth. There could indeed be a natural explanation that is the Truth, but eludes you due to your own obvious biases.......

Personally, I find imaginative fiction to be quite entertaining - read Thomas Mann's Joseph and His Brothers.....
Old 04-02-2001, 10:57 AM   #97
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BTW - Mass hallucinations are quite possible - what about all those Mary citings? what about Lourdes or whatever??

btw - what about this - After that He was seen by over five hundred brethren at once, of whom the greater part remain to the present, but some have fallen asleep

At once - simultaneously - umm like were all these people in an auditorium waiting for the appearance? The above seems difficult to comprehend on any basis - but a mass hallucination is not improbable.

Old 04-02-2001, 12:05 PM   #98
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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Nomad:
Now, [Koy] you have raised the possibility that fraud was what happened. Cool.</font>

No, you raised this possibility. You told us to assume this was the case. From your post to lpetrich:

<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">I want to know what happened after Jesus died, and I want you to do it by assuming that the Resurrection is a fraud.</font>

Do you even read your own posts, let alone ours?

<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Show us how you think this could have happened. Do not just assume it.</font>
No problem, but you're the one who wanted us to assume that it was a fraud. And, by the way, if I show you how I think this could have happened, then it is by necessity an assumption on my part. If I can provide evidence to back it up, I will, but you are asking mutually exclusive things here.

So, let's be clear: You want us to state what we think happened and then provide evidence to prove it, correct?

<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">If you look at the replies that have been offered by sceptics here, only jmcanany has suggested fraud. Iain and nat appear to favour the swoon theory.</font>

<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> I see no reason to assume from the start that the evangelists that wrote the Gospels did not actually believe the story as they told it, but it is obviously a possibility. </font>
I was just basing that on what you had said. If I am to assume fraud as you had earlier stated, then the assumption would also go toward anyone writing about that fraud, which is why I pointed out that we can't assume the story to be fraudulent without also assuming the synoptics to be fraudulent, or, at the very least, in serious question as to remove their use for purposes of eyewitness accounts, which is what you've been using to discredit other's theories.

Just want to be clear. If I am to assume fraud or that the event did not happen the way it is written in the synoptics, then both of us must necessarily assume that the synoptics are not reliable as evidence either for or against any theory I propose.

If instead you are asking me to prove that the synoptic account of the resurrection is a fraud, well, obviously that's an entirely different matter requiring a different set of rules and regulations.

I think you're asking for us to come up with what really happened and then explain how and why the authors of the NT wrote what they wrote, correct?

<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">What I am looking for is your theory Koy, then let's see how it hold up.</font>
Ok, but "hold[s] up" to what? To the synoptics? To your personal whim? What standard of evidence are we using to "hold" it up to? A theory is not necessarily backed up by "concrete" evidence, remember? Oh, wait, as you display in a moment, you don't remember, my bad.

So, this is why I requested specific ground rules. For example, if you are going to use the synoptics as counter-evidence, then we have no standard as the synoptics are a mythical account of an event that did not actually happen (unless of course you have evidence which proves the validity of the synoptic myths).

If you would like my theory on how the myth was created, no problem; but if you are attempting to argue that the synoptics represent verifiable and legitimate evidence in support of the bodily resurrection of a man from death, then we've got problems.

<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">ME: If we are starting from this premise, then anything written which claims that it did happen would automatically be fraudulent according to the assumption

YOU: As I explained above and in my previous post, you cannot begin the discussion from an unproven assumption. On that basis we might as well begin an examination of the Bible by assuming that Constantine or Nero wrote it, then go from there.</font>
Cute. For those of you who aren't quite so rabidly defensive about their cult, Nomad is alluding to a room I created, wherein I hypothesize that the Christian myth was created by Romans in order to usurp their enemies in the region (the Jews) in exactly the same way as the Christian cult has done throughout its entire history: co-opt aspects of indigenous religions and then force their version on the indigenous peoples in order to supplant their original beliefs.

You should check out my latest response to Layman, Nomad, to see how logically it has progressed. If you're not too afraid, of course: Christianity: Roman Last Ditch Effort (that worked)? Page 2

<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">A premise must have some supports Koy, if you wish to assume that the Gospel writers were participants in a fraud, give us some evidence and arguments to look at.</font>
Ok. To begin with, I offer as evidence for fraud the synoptics. Within the three gospels you can read contradictory accounts of an extraordinary event that allegedly took place some thirty to forty years prior to the chronicling of that event, from writers who give the impression that they were there and saw exactly what occurred, which is a lie.

Although this in itself is not evidence of "fraud," per se, it seriously impugns their testimony.

Further, the story that they relate is of a person resurrecting from death to walk amongst his friends, who then see him raised bodily into the sky.

Although this "event" would certainly be symbolic to a group of ignorant nomads who mistakenly believe that the sky and "heaven" are the same thing, such an event would serve no actual purpose, as we know from modern experience that a body raising into the sky (if it were possible) would only travel into space and implode in the vacuum.

The language and the symbolism illustrates a mythical creature (one capable of "raising from the dead" and bodily ascending into "heaven") and not an actual human being, which, I believe is the whole point of the myth; the creation of stories that explain our creation through fantastic beings, rather than through the reality of natural evolution.

Perhaps, then, your use of the word "fraud" is too harsh; however use of the term "myth" is certainly extant and no evidence exists to the contrary.

So, instead, we should call it what it is, a myth. Since only ignorant children believe myths to be any form of extant reality, we can close the books on the whole damn thing the way we do with Santa Clause and move on with our lives, n'est ce pas?

<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">If, at the same time, you want to suggest that the pre-Gospel resurrection accounts were also fraudulent, be my guest. But please support your assertions.</font>
First, I have (see above).

Second, why is it an assertion to point out what is extant? There is no assertion in stating "Star Wars is a movie." That is an extant fact just as stating "The Bible is a collection of ancient myths" is an extant fact.

If you have evidence which proves that the Bible is not a collection of myths, however, then I'd be more than happy to look at it.

Or is that "off-topic?"

<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">ME:...are you instead asking us to prove that the resurrection story is a fraud (vastly different from assuming it is a fraud and then theorizing on what actually happened to Jesus)?

YOU: I am not asking you to prove anything conclusively, but I would like to see why or how you decided that the resurrection was a fraud, then we can examine how good your evidence and arguments really are.</font>
Well, that's a tad contradictory, but I've provided my evidence--the synoptic gospels. As to the argument, well, since there exists no evidence to support the resurrection myth beyond two thousand year old anonymous and demonstrably specious hearsay accounts, I'd say that the evidence of extant myth is firmly in my court.

Or do you have any extraordinary evidence that we have not seen, which proves the validity of the synoptics and, therefore, the resurrection myth?

Any evidence at all, or am I the one making the claim?

<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">ME: You seem to want to have it both ways. You want us to assume a fraud and forward an alternate theory only to have you turn around and then you use the fraud as evidence against our theories?

YOU: Perhaps if you reread the premise of the thread, then you would better understand what it is actually about.</font>
Nope. Didn't help, but I'll get into that at the end.

<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">ME: Which is why I am sincerely asking you to explain what you want us to do: Prove it is a fraud so that you can deconstruct the proof utilizing the alleged eyewitness accounts, or assume it is a fraud and provide an explanation for why and how a fraud of this nature was perpetrated?

YOU: We can compare any arguments and evidence you have in support of any theory you wish to put forward against that offered in support of any other theory. What I want to avoid on this thread, however, if dealing with the resurrection as being true. Assuming that the Gospels got the story wrong does not equate to the resurrection being an actual fraud. You can, however, make this argument if you wish.</font>
So, you want us to assume that the story was just written down wrong and based on that assumption explain what really happened? If this is the case, blink twice...

Sorry, I promised not to be flip. If this is the case, then what evidence are we comparing our theories to? The synoptics? You repeatedly refer to them in other posts here as if they represented the truth, which doesn't make sense if we are to assume that the resurrection did not happen.

The only evidence that we have of the resurrection is the synoptic gospels (which is to say, no evidence at all due to their contradictions and use of symbolic imagery as well as the fact that they are biased hearsay accounts that none of them actually witnessed), so if we throw out the resurrection as something that actually occurred, we would also have to throw out the gospels which chronicle that resurrection.

Regardless, I think I have demonstrated beyond a reasonable doubt that the synoptics offer no legitimate evidence in support of the resurrection myth as anything other than a myth, so, case closed.

If you are actually then interested in my theories as to why these people created their resurrection myths, well then we have a discussion. There are many many theories as to why a cult creates their myths, number one in my book being deliberate subjugation and control. If you wish, we can discuss cult motives and strategies in another thread, as I think that would be off-topic.

<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">ME: As to your remarks about my snide remarks being kept in check and your skepticism to whit, all I can say is...

YOU: Yes. As I said, I am not optimistic here, but if you do wish to offer some thoughts on the subject, please do. We can then consider them.</font>
Done. I hope you did not take offense at my condescending tone. Now, back to your "original assumptions:"

<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Let me repost the original assumptions again for you Koy:

About 300 years after a peasant Jew lived, was crucified and was buried, the religion He founded took over the greatest, and most cosmopolitan empire in all of ancient history. The question remains, how did this extraordinary event actually happen?</font>
Well, history supposedly records that a fellow named Constantine declared the religion to be the reigning state religion and that any other religions should be subordinate to it.

Military force, then, is your answer.

As to why this happened, as you know, I have my own theory in that "other thread," but this isn't so great a mystery as you continuously imply. Millions of crackpots in powerful positions have believed all kinds of idiotic crap.

Hitler, for example, believed the New Testament implication that Jews were inferior to non-Jews (hence Paul declaring indirectly that only the Gentiles "get" the message of the Christian cult and that cult members should concentrate on Gentiles over Jews even though their own Messiah was a Jew); Romans (before Constantine forced his ridiculous beliefs on the empire), believed in all of the pagan rituals that the Christian cult stole as their own; Reagan believed that an umbrella of high powered lasers could knock out Soviet nuclear missiles and Nancy believed in the Zodiac; etc., etc., etc.

Hell, even you believe that a myth is a factual event instead of a fantasy event, so go figure?

Regardless, it only proves one thing: people are idiots.

<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Now, the basic facts of the story are not supernatural, and are well enough attested to be pretty agreeable to serious historians. They are:

1) A person by the name of Jesus of Narareth was born around 4-6BC
He was born 4-6 years before he was born ? I know, there's my flippancy shining through. My bad.

<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">2) His ministry lasted about 3 years c. 30AD</font>

Do not agree. The Sayings Gospel Q does not necessarily attest to how long he "ministered" or even that he ministered. The original Jesus cult was not about divinity or trinity; it was primarily about wisdom sayings with certain layers of apocalyptic sayings layered in latter.

But, for the purposes of your post, I will extend a courtesy you have never extended to mine and grant this point for the sake of your thought experiment.

A man named Jesus had some things to say and he said them for 3 years. Granted.

<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">3) He was executed by crucifixion by then Roman governor Pontius Pilote,</font>
Agreed. A man named Jesus was crucified by Pilate, which, of course, means that he was crucified by the Romans. Want to go check out my post again now or later? Now. Later.

<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> and was buried in a grave by Joseph of Arimathea</font>
Do not agree. Allegedly, he was placed in a tomb, not "buried in a grave" (thereby failing yet again OT prophecy).

As for who owned the tomb, as far as I know we have only the synoptics to attest to this, so I can't firmly "agree" with it, but, again, since it's your post, I will grant that in the myth chronicled in the synoptics the tomb discussed was owned by a man named Joseph of Arimathea. Ok?

<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">4) Within days of that event, Jesus closest friends, followers and even some of His family members were saying that the tomb was empty and that Jesus was alive again.</font>
Do not agree. An anonymous author commonly referred to as "Mark," claimed that a resurrection of sorts had occurred some forty years after the alleged event. Then other anonymous authors (in some instances, decades later) embellished this first story, adding in claims of witnesses and contradictory details they did not see for themselves and could not attest to, too far after the event to be of any evidentiary use.

<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">They believed this against all opposition,</font>

Do not agree. Hearsay cult propaganda.

<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> and eventually (about 300 years or so) the religion that they founded swept over the Empire,</font>

"Swept" over the Empire after 300 years, eh? Nice sweeping...

Addend the following phrase to the end of your statement and then I can agree: "through brutal military action and the absolute decree of their murderous dictator."

<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">replacing virtually every other religion the Western World had known to that point.</font>

Rephrase to, "replacing paganism as the State sponsored cult," and I can agree. What you've written is hyperbolic nonsense.

<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">How did this happen? </font>

State mandate. This isn't rocket science.

So, what do we "agree" on? We agree that a guy named Jesus said some quotable wisdom platitudes and a few apocalyptic warnings.

Forty years later an anonymous author created a whole gospel myth around this teacher's death and then a few decades later another anonymous writer embellished this first story and then another decade later, another anonymous writer embellished that story, for purposes of creating their own splinter cult.

Approximately 300 years later, Constantine recognizes the usurpation and control benefits of this new cult and decides to replace the old State sponsored cult with this new one.

That's it, my friend. Nothing interesting or mysterious about it at all.

See my thread now for a more interesting theory if these facts are too mundane for you

<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">For the purposes of this thread, I would like to assume that the Resurrection did NOT take place. </font>

No need to make any assumption. There is no worthwhile evidence to support the resurrection as anything other than a myth, so there is no need to make an assumption about anything here. After all, when you make an "assumption," you make an "ass" out of "u" and "mption."

Too flip?

<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">The rest of the events described above, however, are pretty much historically accepted as being true. How do you account for them, especially point number 4?</font>
I see nothing about a resurrection myth being accepted as "true," except by indoctrinated cult members.

As for how I account for the cult spreading like the virus that it is, it's very simple. If Constantine (and his ilk) didn't manufacture the Christian cult as I hypothesize in my thread and he wasn't clinically insane, then obviously he saw that the Christian cult easily and readily usurped Judaism in the region, while at the same time turned otherwise intelligent, free minded people into easily manipulated sheep.

Hell, they even called themselves sheep, right?

It's a very simple cult, too, unlike the many different Gods paganism worships and especially great for indoctrination purposes; it's all fear based! Be a docile sheep and turn your cheek to authority and give unto Caesar's that which is Caesar's!? That's so perfectly Roman and serves everything the Roman Empire wanted it hurts!

Why wouldn't Constantine force everybody to become a mindless, non-threatening, non-violent zombie who doesn't just acquiesce to authority, they are actively told to turn the other cheek and take any shit flung their way!? Hell, the idiots won't even be rewarded for their docility until after they're dead!

I tell you, if this wasn't concocted by the Romans, then they sure as shit should have, because it's brilliant! A cult that teaches its members to obey authority and look the other way and think only about what happens to you after you are dead means slavery will be voluntary from that point on!

Constantine must have been locked in a non-stop orgasm for decades once he made that decision

After all, with it came the most powerful, corrupt, "evil" institution the world had ever seen; forcing its belief structure on all manner of men across all manners of national borders through any means possible, including torture and murder! You don't get more Roman than that (actually, that's unfair to the early Romans, who considered themselves far more civilized); much more effective and far more powerful than just chopping your enemies up or stealing their land. King Henry the VIII certainly found that out, not to mention our Founding Fathers; the ones who created the idea of Separation of Church and State to begin with.

Why do you think they did that, by the way? Their health?

I see nothing here to discuss, unless you have better evidence than two thousand year old anonymous hearsay accounts of a mythical being written by one man and embellished by many others some forty to fifty years after the alleged event?

Yes? No?

(edited for formatting - Koy)

[This message has been edited by Koyaanisqatsi (edited April 03, 2001).]
Old 04-02-2001, 01:44 PM   #99
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PS - I resent that someone would call my version "fraud" - it was a case of emotional unbalance leading to visions (and mistaken identity) based on a framework/belief propoggated by Christ himself, exploited by the perpetrators of the hoax, and believed to be true by the hopeful.

The only 'fraud' was with the perpetrators (the gardener and the centurions). The believers really believed Christ was raised. The disciples had their doubts at first, but since they were not ready to assign the name of 'liar' to Mary and the others, affirmed the sightings, were slightly embarrassed, but then, given the chaotic things going on, and a fuller understanding of what Jesus 'meant' by his teachings, started to see Jesus on their own. The stories are undoubtedley embellished and multiplied beyond reasonableness: Jesus cooks, eats, then disappears. Appears to 500 a once, etc....
Is this fraud? I don't know - would the lady who saw jesus be a fraud - all the Mary seers? How 'bout Oral Roberts who saw the 700 foot Jesus? Ooppsss....
Old 04-02-2001, 02:20 PM   #100
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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by jmcanany:

I resent that someone would call my version "fraud" - it was a case of emotional unbalance leading to visions (and mistaken identity) based on a framework/belief propoggated by Christ himself, exploited by the perpetrators of the hoax, and believed to be true by the hopeful.

The only 'fraud' was with the perpetrators (the gardener and the centurions).</font>
I agree that the disciples and Mary actually believed in the resurrection, even in your own account here jm. The "fraud" I was referring to was the one perpetuated by the centurian and the gardner.

Unfortunately, the rest of your replies are leaving me increasingly puzzled. You have yet to reply to my questions or points regarding the disciples not anticipating the resurrection, or to offer any evidence to support your own thesis.

For example, we cannot establish with certainty that there even where any soldiers at the tomb. Matthew's account lacks any support from any of the Canonical Gospels or Paul (multiple attestation), it is certainly not embarrassing to the Church, and could easily be understood as an apologetic device created by Matt to refute the story that Jesus' body had been stolen by the disciples. This is why I said that we cannot assume that anyone (least of all His enemies) believed Jesus would be raised before His actual resurrection took place. We simply lack sufficient supporting evidence for such a belief to exist prior to the event itself.

Elijah's being taken up to heaven may explain the Assension, but it certainly would not have prepared the Jews of any era, let alone the 1st Century, to believe in a single individual's physical resurrection of the dead. The best we can come up with is that people of that time did believe in ghosts, and if that had been the original story (rather than an actual raising of Jesus' physical body), then it would be far easier to explain than is the Resurrection itself.

Similarily, if we are to assume that Jesus' resurrection did not happen, then it is a safe bet that Lazarus' being raised from the dead was also not historical (at least from a naturalistic point of view). And just as the soldiers at the tomb is present only in Matthew, Lazarus' resurrection is present only in John. It is not embarrassing (quite the opposite in fact), has no multiple attestation, and serves an apologetic purpose. So while we are free to believe it is true (I certainly do), it cannot be assumed, nor offered as proof that anyone believed (before the event) that Jesus would also rise from the dead.

Finally, if the Jews believed that the resurrection was something that was even plausible, Paul would not have referred to it as a stumbling block to the Jews (1 Cor. 1:23), would he?


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