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Old 01-10-2001, 03:24 PM   #101
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Nomad, I missed anything being wrote about Metacrock having dislexia, so yes, compassion and charity or in order here. Iíve never made an issue of his spelling since Iíve been here, and I havenít appreciated when on other boards, posters have hammered him on this. I think MC brings a lot of heat mostly for his arguments though. Anyway, since I wasnít aware of this, I will make certain note of it. Only once did I ask him to run his post through a spell-checker before posting, because there were some other things I wanted to comment on in his post, but I couldnít quite make out what he was saying. But I wasnít rude or snide when I made that request. I appreciate you sharing this with us. If he got his education from a Big 10 school, then congrats to MC. It beats the hell out of Liberty any day.

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">I have rarely expected some of the atheists on these boards to refrain from the need and desire to fire cheap shots.

Insults pass for arguments...

I do hope you will one day understand the true meaning of charity and compassion.</font>
However, I donít think with your posts youíve put yourself in a good position to be asking others to be refraining from insults or cheap shots. I hope we all can work on doing better.

John
 
Old 01-10-2001, 03:49 PM   #102
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quote:
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I am not sure what the "ding dong about Matt 27" refers to, but if Bede means Matt. 27:52-53, he needs to produce evidence demonstrating the fact that some extant MS dating before ca 350 CE contains those verses, or commentaries about those verses.
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Bede enatis, you should read posts because you'd see I had supported you against Nomad here and said that no pre forth century fragment exists. But are you claiming the verses in question were not part of Matt's original? Do you insist on original documents for everything?

1. I read your initial commentary. If you will re-read what you said, you will note that you used the date "300AD." I used the date "ca 350 CE." There is a difference. If you had said "middle of the fourth century," I would not have quibbled. Another thing: I believe that there are no extant papyrus fragments FROM ANY DATE that contain Matt. 27:52-53 and that the earliest codex to include that verse is Codex Sinaiticus.
2. I don't know if verses Matt. 27:52-53 were included in the autograph or not, nor does anyone else. We do know that ALL NT MSS contain variant readings and that the verses ARE NOT included in Mark, a most likely source; therefore, it would be reasonable to presume the verses could have been added at a later time, for theological reasons.
3. I don't "insist" on anything. I do find it curious that there is no original MS of any NT work. (SOMEONE could have preserved at least one of them.) Original sacred texts from other religions have been preserved for thousands of years.

Ron
 
Old 01-10-2001, 04:44 PM   #103
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quote:
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Also, he needs to produce evidence demonstrating the fact that a Church Father from the third century specifically alluded to Matt. 27:52-53.
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Bede: Origen, commentary on Matthew (about 240AD): These same mighty works are still done every day; the veil of the temple is rent for the Saints, in order to reveal the things that are contained within. The earthquakes, that is, all flesh because of the new word and new things of the New Testament. The rocks are rent, i.e. the mystery of the Prophets, that we may see the spiritual mysteries bid in their depths. The graves are the bodies of sinful souls, that is, souls dead to God; but when by God's grace these souls have been raised, their bodies which before were graves, become bodies of Saints, and appear to go out of themselves, and follow Him who rose again, and walk with Him in newness of life; and such as are worthy to have their conversation in heaven enter into the Holy City at divers times, and appear unto many who see their good works.

I read Origen's extantCommentary on Matthew years ago, but I could not recall seeing the passage you quoted. So, I went back and re-read it. I did not find the quote;however, I did find it in the works of Thomas Aquinas. Of course, he lived in the thirteenth century. (If one quotes Aquinas supposedly quoting Origen "quoting" an anonymous writer who describes an incredible event, based on an unknown source, he does not have much evidence.) This is certainly not the kind of evidence that I find convincing.

If, however, you actually quoted Origen, then, of course, you satisfied my request to produce evidence demonstrating the fact that a Church Father of the third century alluded to Matt. 27:52-53.

Bede: Frankly, this argument is rather silly. That this particular part of the NT nas not turned up on one of the 40 odd pre 300AD papyrus fragments means nothing at all.

It is not "silly" that Matt. 27:52-53 is not attested to until Codex Sinaiticus, dating to around 350 CE. It means that between three and four centuries separate these verses from the claimed, incredible event. That does not bode well for those who believe the NT is inspired and preserved by a god. (I don't mean to imply that you do.)

Bede: It certainly would not make the event any more or less historical even if we found Matt's autograph manuscript.

I agree that textual reliability does not guarantee historical accuracy. An autograph would only confirm what the writer originally wrote. But the fact remains, we don't have any extant MS closer than three or four centuries to the claimed event.

Ron


[This message has been edited by penatis (edited January 10, 2001).]
 
Old 01-10-2001, 08:22 PM   #104
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Nomad: P.S. Are you [penatis] actually going to answer my questions eventually? (And I do hope you won't answer this question with yet another question).[/QUOTE]

All Nomad has to do is ask of me any question or questions he chooses. I will address every single one of them, whether or not I have already addressed them.

Let's see just how many questions he actually has that I have not already answered.

 
Old 01-10-2001, 10:07 PM   #105
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Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by penatis:

All Nomad has to do is ask of me any question or questions he chooses. I will address every single one of them, whether or not I have already addressed them.

Let's see just how many questions he actually has that I have not already answered.</font>
Thank you. Here are the ones I could dig up thus far:

1) Tell us what you think is the best single theological contradiction in the Bible please.

2) Please explain to us why you think Christians should require the Bible to be treated the way the Qur'an is by Muslims. After all, they DO believe that the Qur'an is perfect in every respect (at least in its original Arabic) and even put a sentence of death on Muslim that says otherwise. Christians (except for the most radical of fundamentalists) have NEVER made this error. Why should we put our faith in a mere book written by men?

3) Finish the following sentence please:
The fact that we do not have a complete set of the Canons (as opposed to complete books of both the OT and NT) that is reliably dated to before the 4th Century is important because...

4) Nomad: See what I (and Metzger) mean? It really is an embarrassment of riches, but most non-scholars (at least the sceptical ones) don't seem to appreciate this fact for some reason.

penatis: It is not "an embarrassment of riches." It is a vast amount of MSS that were preserved centuries after the autographs were written.

Nomad: If you want to disagree with Metzger, why did you quote so extensively from him?

5) penatis: Metzger uses the words "empirical evidence." Empirical evidence is not opinion. Take a look at his book.

Nomad: Since you have read it, tell us what empirical evidence you find most convincing.

6) penatis: I don't believe Nomad understands that to a neutral observer, all religious works and their respective associated dogmas have equal value.

Nomad: If a neutral observer looks at the evidence and becomes a believer, then we are to discount his conclusions? Is the reverse also true? Or must one remain neutral forever to be considered "reliable"?

7) Do you think all, most, or only some of the New Testament is anonymous? What is the hard evidence you use to support your belief? Do you understand the difference between anonymous ancient texts, and unknowable authorship?

8) Why do you claim that we do not know who the author of John's gospel happens to be?

9) Do you uniformly reject all claims and beliefs you consider to be absurd? Or do you admit that there are things that you simply do not understand, forcing you to rely upon the evidence offered by others (including evidence you do not understand as well due to a lack of expertise on your part)?

10) Which century do most experts believe the codex was first used? Why is this an important question?

Thank you,

Nomad

[This message has been edited by Nomad (edited January 10, 2001).]
 
Old 01-10-2001, 10:11 PM   #106
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Double post. My apologies.

[This message has been edited by Nomad (edited January 10, 2001).]
 
Old 01-10-2001, 10:43 PM   #107
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[Nomad:]
Matthew (as a Jew) certainly wasn't interested in Roman legends. He was, however, very interested in Messianic prophecies fulfilled by Jesus,

[Me:]
But Luke would have. And I seem to have touched a raw nerve by my comparison to the story of Romulus and Remus.

[Nomad:]
so here he was making a reference to the prophet Jeremiah and the slaughter of the innocents in Bethlehem.

Jeremiah 31:15 This is what the LORD says: "A voice is heard in Ramah, mourning and great weeping, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because her children are no more."

[Me:]
ROTFL. That's not what I'd call a prophecy.

[Nomad:]
I see no reason to imagine why Jews would care about the heathen beliefs of the Romans,

[Me:]
That does not apply to the authors of the other Gospels.

[Nomad on Richard Carrier:]
Please note my qualifier that the person must be a scholar in the subject, not a well spoken amateur. I would suggest you place your faith in more reputable and true scholars than the very nice, but quite mistaken Mr. Carrier.

[Me:]
In what way is he not a true scholar? He certainly seems to know his stuff, such as about Apollonius of Tyana and Alexander of Abonutichus.

[Nomad:]
Also, I note that you did not reply to my point that the Gospels were created when witnesses were still alive, ...

And your arguments are? ...

[Me:]
Consider the legends that had arose around Apollonius of Tyana. Or better yet, consider the career of Alexander of Abonutichus, who had been a faker, pure and simple. Skeptics like Lucian had not slowed down A of A very much, not to mention the careers of other fake prophets, like L. Ron Hubbard.

So I believe that skeptics would not have slowed down early Christianity one bit.

[Me:]
However, Paul's writings are generally thought to be older than the Gospels -- it's interesting that so little of the Gospels have found their way into Paul's letters. And yes, I'm sure that he would have mentioned them if he had known about them; he does mention other parts of the Bible.

[Nomad:]
Your reliance on arguments from silence and poor translations of Paul's work is quite stunning. ...

[Me:]
Non-argument. Arguments from silence are reasonable when the silence is not to be expected. Paul quotes freely from the Adam-and-Eve story, now why not the Gospels? He would have gone ape over the baby-boy-killing story, for starters.

[Nomad:]
That the historicity of the Gospels are at least as reliable as any other documents we have about history, moreso I would argue since we do not have anything approaching so many differing accounts of the same events from ancient history (meaning anything that happened more than about 500 years ago).

[Me:]
That's a stupid statement about the Gospels. The three Synoptics are *not* independent; they have word-for-word matches in their contents. Which is usually considered evidence of plagiarism.

[Me:]
Still a non-sequitur. As Richard Carrier notes, the evidence for Julius Caesar's activities is *MUCH* better than that of Jesus Christ's.

[Nomad:]
No it isn't, but that is quite beyond the scope of this thread. On the other hand, perhaps you can offer as many independent biographies on Julius, or any other figure in antiquity? How about in the manner in which he (or any other figure in antiquity) died?

[Me:]
Richard Carrier has loads of stuff on Julius Caesar, including coins with his name on it. And there is a surviving document which contains the claim that its author is "Gaius Caesar". How much of the Bible has similar assertions of authorship? Certainly not the Gospels! And where are the documents whose claimed author is "Joshua, son of Joseph, from Nazareth"?

At least L. Ron Hubbard had written books :-)

[Nomad:]
Are you reading my posts or remaining deliberately dense? Let me help you again. Archelogy has helped to prove many of the things that Homer reported were based on history. Archeology has helped to prove that many of the things in the Gospels also happened.

[Me:]
Like all those miracles? And the interventions of the Gods in the war over Troy?

[Nomad:]
Nope.

[Me:]
But who's the one claiming what great history they are?

quote: Me: "Stamped out competition by submitting to persecution" is sort of like asking "have you stopped beating your wife?", and for that reason, is not worthy of answer. Christianity did not have much of a chance to stomp out competition until it was made the official state religion of the Empire.

Christianity went through tremendous persecutions in the period from 30-363AD, and this included expulsion of all Jewish Christians from the synagogue at least from the early 70's (no small matter to a Jew, since the family then considered the Jewish convert to be dead). Go to JewsforJudaism.com and ask them what they think of Jews who become Christians to this very day, and tell us it is not traumatic to these people.

Here is a sample of a prayer created in first Century Palestine after the fall of Jerusalem. It was a prayer offered by the Jewish leaders against their Christian fellows:

(From the Eighteen Blessings):

Heal us, O God, of the pain of our heart; remove from us sorrow and grief and raise up healing for our wounds.
You are blessed, O God, you who heal the sick of your people Israel.
Proclaim your liberation with the great trumpet and raise a banner to gather together our dispersed.
You are blessed, O God, you who gather the banished of your people Israel.
And for apostates let there be no hope; and may the insolent kingdom be quickly uprooted in our days. And may the Nazoreans and the heretics perish quickly; and may they be erased from the book of life; and may they not be inscribed with the just.
You are blessed, O God, you who humble the insolent."
("The Four Witnesses", Robin Griffith-Jones, HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. 2000, pg. 160)

Attitudes have not changed much since then amonst some Jews, but happily not all of them think like this any longer. Perhaps you would like to take a look at The Institute for Christian & Jewish Studies for a more enlightened attitude on both sides. It is an excellent site.

quote:Nomad: Yes, the Romans were notoriously ineffective persecutors weren't they?

[Me:]
That's essentially right. They were rather half-hearted about it; if they had been really serious about it, they would have stamped out this weird cult that denied all gods but theirs, and the only surviving Christians would be those that had fled the Empire.

So in your view the persecution of the Christians wasn't really all that bad. How sad. I cannot compel you to take a more evenhanded view of history of course, but I can wish that you would.

quote:Nomad: Good thing the Christians taught them how to finally get it right, eh?

[Me:]
Judging from the historical record, yes.

And perhaps you will outgrow your anti-Christian bigotry one day as well. Can you offer any good proofs of your shallow beliefs and reasons for your prejudice?

quote: Before Christianity was made the official religion, the authorities tolerated lots of weird cults; after that, Christianity was the only religion that was allowed, with the partial exception of Judaism.

Obviously you are unfamiliar with Roman practices in persecuting not just Christians, but also the cults of Isis, Mithras, and others as well. And they were very good at it. The latter two, for example, were gone before Constantine converted and gave the Christians the power to do much of anything against them.

quote: Nomad: Please try to remain serious in your posts lpetrich. Propaganda may play to the crowds, but it doesn't help your case much with the thinking classes. Try this, prove your points, and stop with the mindless assertions.

[Me:]
After you.

I am very serious in many of my posts. I do, however differentiate between those against whom I respond. As of right now, your prospects are not good, but with a more balanced research and opinions, I think you could be a very serious poster here.

Nomad
 
Old 01-10-2001, 11:00 PM   #108
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[Nomad:]
Christianity went through tremendous persecutions in the period from 30-363AD, and this included expulsion of all Jewish Christians from the synagogue at least from the early 70's ...

[Me:]
Cry me a river. Roman persecutions were peanuts compared to what would follow later.

[Nomad:]
Here is a sample of a prayer created in first Century Palestine after the fall of Jerusalem. It was a prayer offered by the Jewish leaders against their Christian fellows: [...]

[Me:]
Whoop-de-doo. And what could the Jewish establishment have done after the fall of Jerusalem outside of stomping their feet and snarling?

[Nomad:]
Yes, the Romans were notoriously ineffective persecutors weren't they?

[Me:]
That's essentially right. They were rather half-hearted about it; if they had been really serious about it, they would have stamped out this weird cult that denied all gods but theirs, and the only surviving Christians would be those that had fled the Empire.

[Nomad:]
So in your view the persecution of the Christians wasn't really all that bad....

[Me:]
Compared to what would come later, the pagan Romans were models of religious tolerance. Consider the vicious fights over minute doctrinal issues like the homoousia/homoiousia controversy (is the Son's essence the same as the Father's or only similar? Don't blame me if tht does not make much sense).

[Nomad:]
Good thing the Christians taught them how to finally get it right, eh?

[Me:]
Judging from the historical record, yes.

[Nomad:]
And perhaps you will outgrow your anti-Christian bigotry one day as well. Can you offer any good proofs of your shallow beliefs and reasons for your prejudice?

[Me:]
Check the historical record. Christianity has been a big persecutor, comparable only to Islam. What do you think the homoousia/homoiousia controversy had been? And I think that the reason that the more hard-boiled of Christians and Muslims are obsessed with being persecuted is that persecuting others is the only thing that they can imagine.

[Nomad:]
Before Christianity was made the official religion, the authorities tolerated lots of weird cults; after that, Christianity was the only religion that was allowed, with the partial exception of Judaism.

[Nomad:]
Obviously you are unfamiliar with Roman practices in persecuting not just Christians, but also the cults of Isis, Mithras, and others as well. ...

[Me:]
News to me. Isis and Mithra had been worshipped a long time in the Roman Empire. And their worship did not exclude the worship of the official gods of the Empire, as Christianity had. In fact, their worship ended only when their temples had been shut down by Christian emperors.

And I said *worship*. One could be a complete atheist and not be bothered if one had worshipped the official gods.


 
Old 01-11-2001, 08:32 AM   #109
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lpetch.

Thank you for your posts.

After reading them I can only conclude that you have bought into every hairbrained wing-nut anti-Christian piece of bigoted propaganda you could find, and your knowledge of actual history in the ancient Roman Empire is astonishingly limited.

Sadly, this makes discussion between us virtually impossible, since from my point of view, trying to speak to you rationally about such matters would be as likely to bear descent results as talking with a Holocaust denier about the events in Germany 1933-45, or a KKK member about the Civil Rights movement in the 1950's and 60's.

You are entitled to your beliefs of course. Everyone is. When I tell you that you cannot possibly back up your ridiculous assertions with actual hard evidence showing the numbers of people persecuted and killed by Christians in the Roman Empire I doubt you will ever believe me. On the other hand, if you are willing to actually produce such evidence, then we can indeed see if your theories hold up, but to be candid, I am not optimistic.

The fact that you feel comfortable trivializing the deaths and suffering of thousands of individuals simply because they were Christian is dispicable in my view, and almost certainly guarantees that you are too bigoted to be worth speaking with again.

So on that note, good bye.

Nomad
 
Old 01-11-2001, 09:27 AM   #110
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Hey, Nomad,

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">7) Do you think all, most, or only some of the New Testament is anonymous? What is the hard evidence you use to support your belief? Do you understand the difference between anonymous ancient texts, and unknowable authorship?
8) Why do you claim that we do not know who the author of John's gospel happens to be?</font>
You addressed this to Penatis, and I feel like quite a few of these other questions have been covered enough by him. But I want to comment on two of these, and give a few reasons why I doubt their names. Iím sure he has better research than me, and perhaps, I havenít kept up with the latest scholarship, but will explain briefly. The Catholic sites can shed a great deal of light upon this subject by reading the early Church Fathers of which we both have access to and I know youĎve been to.

Itís been some years before I delved into this, and forgot most of the reasons of why I doubted these names, but remembered some of them, and briefly went over a few of my works, and some sites before posting to refresh my memory. So just a few reasons of the many. It is my understanding that in St. Irenaeusí works we have the four gospels start appearing together with names by their supposed authors, which is very late sometime around 185AD. And when Irenaeus does quote from Mark, we have him either falsely quoting from it or reading from an altered text that we have of Mark today. Probably the latter. We have Eusebius (lived about 260-340) which is very late in his writings which he is supposed to be quoting Papias (of which he probably wrote very late in his life, well past 100 AD) mentioning the names, but I donít know how good this evidence is. Itís difficult to put trust in Eusebius when the Catholicís and other scholars themselves talk about how dishonest of a writer he was. Many of the early Church Fathers by their own admissions donít mind using deceit, when it suits their purposes, but another board for that. I only want to comment on Eusebius for now. Eusebius entitles a chapter to one of his books from Evangelical Preparation, How it may be Lawful and Fitting to use Falsehood as a Medicine, and for the Benefit of those who Want to be Deceived. My main concern is how much trust should one place in his writings with such admissions as these? But again, if we assume he is correct, and he may very well be, this would still put the first names being mentioned on these Gospels very far removed from their supposed authors. I find it interesting that the Church depends on Iranaeus for the names of the Gospels of which from his time on, there is others quoting from these Gospels with their names as we know them, but yet, we have Iranaeus saying that Jesus lived to be a very old man living past the age of 50 so he didnĎt accept the Gospel accounts of such an early death! This is also Papias sentiments. Iranaeus talks about this in his ďAdversus Haereses Chapter 22 of which this site has it:

www.newadvent.org/fathers/0103222.htm

If there are some known fragments of Papias mentioning the names, or any others, I would like to know what I have possibly missed. If you have some reliable documentation of anything coming in before St. Irenaeusís writings, and you can address it in a dispassionate way, I would like to see it. If you canĎt, then donĎt bother. Brevity gets extra points.

John


 
 

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