Oh, for gods’ sake! It’s a fact!

Or is it?

If the Resurrection of the biblical character, Jesus of Nazareth is an historical fact why is there no historical evidence for this event?

If the biblical character, Jesus of Nazareth was a genuine historical person rather than a myth why is there not a single verified historical account of him?

 

Ark

 

323 comments

  1. Yeah, they won’t accept Climate Change or the Theory of Evolution because there isn’t enough “proof” but this, this is an historical fact. (“We all know …”)

    The sad thing is that for most people, this “fact” is either presumed (“It must be true, otherwise they couldn’t put it on the Internet!”) or their religious leaders have told them (over and over and over …) that it is true. This is the recipe for The Big Lie.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Exactly.
      Excellent comparison, Snr Ruis.
      These folk don’t understand what evidence really means – or display willful ignorance – and there are no ”historical Jesus studies” that fully comply with the historical method.

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  2. If you were a historian of that day and that district, and you heard a story like that, and you were unable to verify it personally, would you record it – let alone publish it – using your expensive, limited supply of papyrus?

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    • Dead wrong. We have many, many, many examples of that medium (papyrus) in daily use for such mundane purposes as receipts, lists, lease agreements, marriage and divorce documents, and even run-of-the-mill business letters. The cost however of papyrus is entirely irrelevant. Far cheaper and more readily available parchment fashioned from lime treated animal hides (vellum) was the medium of choice and although subject to rot when exposed to humidity documents considered important enough were repeatedly reproduced, as exampled in the library of Qumran.

      https://thesuperstitiousnakedape.wordpress.com/2013/08/21/jesus-christ-just-not-worth-a-sheet-of-paper-9/

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      • Assuming you’re right and papyrus was as cheap as claimed, what about the other aspect of my question? If you were a respected (therefore critical) historian of that time and that region, and you needed to retain your credibility, would you really record and publish the gossip you heard about a guy healing people, feeding thousands with a couple of fish and bringing dead people back to life? And let’s also think about the people tasked with actually keeping records. Who were the archivists of the time and how did they store their material? Jesus wasn’t only an embarrassment to people like you guys, He was an embarrassment to every authority which followed until the early church was established, so even if records were kept for a few years they would be destroyed by successive generations. In fact it’s surprising that the gospels survived at all. Am I wrong? I’m happy to be corrected if so.

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        • Papyrus not available and not cheap?
          Hmm, let’s look at the words of the god- breathed bible shall we?
          KJV is my personal fav.
          John 21:25 -which is eyewitness testimony of course, as we all know right?
          And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen.
          Hmmm … Never mind papyrus scrolls we have actual books!

          So, with all these wondrous deeds, the huge crowds he attracted wherever he went, the triumphant entry into Jerusalem and the adoring mobbing he received, couple all this with the final verse of John are you still going to suggest that he would have been a complete non-entity that went completely unnoticed that no one even bothered to jot down a few notes?

          To refresh:

          the world itself could not contain the books that should be written

          Based on the god breathed words of the eyewitness testimony of John who was Jesus’ favorite( the one he loved most) if memory serves, then his degree of fame would leave the average rock star drooling with envy.

          In light of the god-breathed claims of the bible, perhaps you might like to take a few moments to reconsider your comment?

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          • I’m not sure why you’ve included the quote from John’s gospel. All he says there is that Jesus did a massive amount during his three-year ministry. He doesn’t claim it was all written down, in fact he implies that it wasn’t. So it doesn’t prove anything about what records might or might not have been made. Nor does it suggest that any kind of system was set up to preserve those records. I make notes by the hundred but they all get sent for recycling or will compost away in landfill dumps. As I’ve said, Jesus was an embarrassment to the authorities, both Roman and Jewish – and particularly after his death – so the lack of official records or even ‘notes’ is unsurprising and is exactly what we would and should expect.

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          • I know he did not claim it was written down. Please pay attention.

            He mentions books and suggests that if the deeds of the character Jesus were written down there wouldn’t be enough books in the world to contain these deeds.
            Books …
            So straight up as a claimed eyewitness we can presume he knew there was enough writing material available.
            That is point one and very important.
            To reiterate: John knew there was adequate writing material available.

            Now, as far as the bible is concerned, we are not talking about some smelly little itinerant preacher who may have been executed for sedition, but your god incarnate; the creator of the universe in human form.
            The miracle worker who walked on water cured the blind and raised dead people from the grave(Lazarus for one) – and was himself raised/raised himself from the dead.

            You see the difference?

            A) Scruffy little nobody who was nailed up for sedition who it is highly doubtful anyone could give a damn about.
            or
            B) Super famous, miracle working god man who made the universe, walked on water and strode around Galilee.

            Now, let’s make absolutely sure we are discussing the same character, shall we?

            As you claim the bible is god-breathed and inerrant, which ”Jesus” are YOU talking about?
            Jesus A or Jesus B?

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          • John said there would NOT be enough books didn’t he? But even if there were plentiful materials books (scrolls at that time of course) were handwritten, so were time-consuming to create and to duplicate. Every event in the life of Jesus would have taken twice as long to record in writing.

            I’m not sure why you think Jesus was not an embarrassment to the authorities. Remember it was the local Roman governor who was totally indecisive regarding the fate of Jesus, it was Roman soldiers who relented under the pressure from the locals and nailed Him to the cross, and it was ‘inept’ Roman guards who let His dead body walk out of its tomb. It wasn’t the kind of reputation the Romans would want to promote, let alone preserve. Do you see what I mean?

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          • I think you are going off on a tangent once more.
            Please, tell me which Jesus you are talking about?
            I identified the two versions in my previous reply. I would appreciate it if we can get this squared away before continuing.
            You obviously have a personal belief in this matter so …
            A. The itinerant preacher who was crucified for sedition, or,
            B. The miracle-working, water upon water walking god/man who performed endless miracles attracted a following of thousands and was hailed as a superstar upon his entry into Jerusalem?

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          • That’s not difficult because Jesus was both but at different times: first B, then A, then C (the resurrected Christ).

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          • No, they actually weren’t ”both”.

            One was with the god-man miracle working character, as depicted in the bible, whereas the other is the non miracle working character people such as Ehrman consider to be who the former was based upon,
            so, A or B?
            Please be specific,which one you are referring to, then we can discuss the rest of your comment.
            Thanks.,

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          • Jesus went from hero to zero in a matter of days, so how can I – and why should I – opt for one but not the other, when both apply?

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          • If he was the Messiah then he had thirty odd years before he embarked on his ministry.
            so hero to zero in days is a ridiculous and fallacious thing to say as his ”birthright” was laid out for us to read even before his birth.
            And that being said, as you fully believe the god-man scenario and all that has already been detailed with this character – then it is disingenuous of you to even suggest that the miracle working biblical character would have been able to waltz around Galilee unnoticed and completely un-regarded for three years.

            Therefore, it can be reasonably asserted that the god-man biblical character you worship is simply a narrative construct for whom there is absolutely no historical evidence for whatsoever, which, as you very astutely pointed out:

            (so the lack of official records or even ‘notes’ ) is unsurprising and is exactly what we would and should expect.

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          • Jesus was the Messiah – I believe that of course – but the people of the day were not expecting the Messiah to arrive in the form that He did, so despite what he did for them – even raising dead Lazarus back to life – they didn’t recognise Him as such – see John 12:37. So whilst he was cheered into Jerusalem on his donkey after his three-year ministry their attitude soon changed when they were whipped up into a frenzy by the Jewish leaders and demanded His crucifixion.

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          • Whether he was believed to be the Messiah, something the character in the story never claims, he attracted huge crowds for a reason. We can deduce therefore that the miracles he performed identified him a wonder worker at the very least, and yet no interest was shown him at all?

            Your grasping at straws and desperately trying to invent ways to ignore the obvious.
            However, as a narrative construct you were correct when you initially noted:

            (so the lack of official records or even ‘notes’ ) is unsurprising and is exactly what we would and should expect.

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          • Do you think there could possibly be another reason for what you perceive as the ‘lack of interest’ than the one you’ve claimed (ie it didn’t happen)? In other words do you think there’s a possibility that there are/were circumstances which we don’t know about that could explain the silence, or is your conclusion rock-solid in your own mind?

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          • Rock solid – it did not happen.
            The circumstances speak for themselves.
            It is a piece of poorly constructed fiction.

            Maybe there was an eschatological itinerant preacher behind the story who gallivanted around Galilee and was eventually crucified for sedition. ( as Ehrman believes).

            Personally I don’t even think this much is true, but that’s me.

            There simply isn’t a shred of evidence for any of it which is why people who espouse such things as Historical Fact are simply lying through their backsides.
            There are no historical facts regarding this character and the tale can be picked apart verse by verse.

            But if you are convinced there is verifiable evidence, that you are in possession of historical facts, then I am very serious – present them, and we can look at what you’ve got.

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          • I don’t know how you can say ‘Of course not’ when there could be unknown influences. My claim remains that the embarrassment factor could have caused the destruction of most of the records which might have existed. For instance, we really don’t know if records existed prior to the ones we currently have which make up New Testament, nor do we know if some historians wrote corroborating records which were later lost or destroyed.

            The evidence I present is the existing New Testament, and that’s good enough for me despite what may appear to be discrepancies (but many of which have plausible explanations). Your absence of evidence is obviously good enough for you, but who stands to lose the most if they’re wrong?

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          • and that’s good enough for me

            The mantra of the Christian. Facts and evidence? Pshaw!

            “What I read in that several thousand year old book is good enough for me. Besides … it says right on the cover that it’s holy.”

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          • Of course. “This is the Book: There is no doubt about it. A perfect guidance for the God-revering, pious, who keep their duty to God.” (Al-Baqarah 2:2) See? So, WHY, oh WHY, are YOU not Muslim, too? Huh!? WHY???!!!

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          • Of course my view is rock solid. There is no evidence and all you have is an argument from a text that is full of error including interpolation (fraud).
            Do you not even have the integrity to appreciate and acknowledge why fraud renders your argument meaningless?
            Would you trust the leader of a country who you discovered had purposely committed fraud to ensure his agenda carried through government?
            Well, would you?
            Of course not!
            The bottom line is this: Your argument, as weak as it is already, has been further corrupted by people who were prepared to lie to ensure this piece of fantasy got pushed and published and allowed those in power to cite it as an excuse to indoctrinate and slaughter untold numbers of people, including fellow Christians who simply disagreed with the orthodox version.

            The evidence I present is the existing New Testament

            Good grief! How many more times?
            That is not evidence. It is an argument based upon a text that, aside from what I listed above – has no corroboration whatsoever.

            Who stands to lose?
            You are already ”lost”’ my friend – to a delusion.
            Go read some of the testimonies over at the Clergy Project.
            It’ll do you a power of good.

            http://clergyproject.org/

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          • OK, so let’s pretend the gospels are all concocted, made up. But it means we’re left with more questions such as who wrote it all and why, and how did they come up with such strange and un-called-for wisdom in the middle of a harsh period of Roman occupation. The figure of Jesus was a maverick and an enigma, and is the least likely character to be considered the panacea for the ills of his contemporary society. So who, exactly, did dream up the Jesus Christ figure?

            Please quote me an example of Biblical ‘fraud’.

            You ask me if I would trust the leader of a country who I discovered had purposely committed fraud to ensure his agenda carried through government? I would have no choice until the following election. We have to trust our authorities unless we resort to assassination and anarchy. Would I have faith that he/she would deliver on their promises? Some, but probably not much.

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          • Now, which Jesus figure are you referring to? The miracle working narrative construct you worship or, the eschatological itinerant preacher that Ehrman considers existed?

            I would have no choice until the following election.

            But once you became aware of it

            you would not trust them and most certainly you wouldn’t vote them in for a second term- unless you were a fool. Do I hear Nixon anyone?
            So if you know there is fraud and corruption of the text why don’t you stop trusting it?

            Please quote me an example of Biblical ‘fraud’.

            Only one example? Crikey you really make things quite easy don’t you?

            The Johannine comma.
            Next ….

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          • The Johannine Comma – Apparently added to the Vulgate and probably to explain ‘the Spirit, and the Water, and the Blood’. Later removed once the earlier manuscripts became available, and rightly so, but what does that prove?

            Next?

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          • How is that fraudulent? There are side notes throughout most translations and if that particular one got incorporated into the main text by mistake it’s hardly fraudulent. You’d need to prove it was done deliberately and with an ulterior motive for it to be fraudulent. I hope, for your sake, that you can do better than that.

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          • The explanatory notes only began appearing in bibles after it had been revealed to be fraud. My KJV certainly doesn’t contain any ”side notes”.

            Of course it was done deliberately. How else are you going to explain the fact that the nonsense of Trinity was heavily reliant on this biblical passage.
            Are you suggesting they were unable to understand the original Greek?

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          • Regarding Biblical Interpolation, of course Christians are well aware of them and there have been various studies to try to determine how and why each one occurred. Some are ‘resolved’ and some are not. So for that reason we see them referenced in most modern translations and rather than hide them or disguise them readers are kept aware of them in the form of footnotes. So do they destroy our perception of the Bible as God’s Word? Not really. We see the world as a fallen place, and everything mankind touches is fallen, so in the same way that God does not intervene to prevent evil completely (for now) He also does not prevent people from corrupting and altering His Bible from time to time.

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          • Yes … might as well kill y’self right now. Hell, it’s all strawberry daiquiris and deflowering virgin maidens and playing croquet with Jesus and his dad.
            Go to it, I say. One less mouth to feed!

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          • The problem is that for the longest time you Christians have been slaughtering millions on the say so of the bible which, as you have acknowledged , is corrupt.
            Now, as scholars are unraveling more and more of the bible, exposing corruption almost on a regular basis, let alone what we know to be myth and historical fiction – I have already mentioned Acts and the archaeological evidence that refutes Captivity, Exodus and Conquest – what criteria do you, a layman, and one indoctrinated into the faith, use to discern which parts of the text are not corrupt?

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          • “The problem is that for the longest time you Christians have been slaughtering millions on the say so of the bible which, as you have acknowledged, is corrupt.”

            I haven’t acknowledged that the Bible is ‘corrupt’, that’s your expression. And why do you guys always trundle out the killing scores when arguing the toss? Are you not able to see the other side of the coin?

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          • You did not even bother to address the rest of the comment. Why is that?
            Please read again and have the decency to reply properly.

            It gets trundled out because it is fact, and people like you need to reminded of this.

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          • I haven’t acknowledged that the Bible is ‘corrupt’ that’s your expression.

            Oh, really?

            He also does not prevent people from corrupting and altering His Bible from time to time.

            Did you forget you wrote this, then or did you lie and think I might not read?

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          • Ah, you caught me out there. I guess the question is whether the Bible is corrupt now. The ‘corruptions’ we know about have been discovered, so as far as can be ascertained they’ve been put right. As far as whether or not I’m a layman is concerned, that’s my business. What are your own qualifications, are you an archaeologist yourself? If so, what evidence have you personally discovered that refutes some of the Bible’s stories?

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          • The corruptions discovered so far have been addressed.
            That still does not answer the question as to how you discern the veracity, if any, of the rest of the text, especially as what experts already know about how fallacious much of the text is.
            Acts is a good example.

            Please could you address how you discern right text from corrupt text.

            Suggesting you are a layman regarding biblical exegeses etc was based on the fact you show a surprising amount of ignorance regarding what is the considered current scholarly biblical view, and even more ignorant regarding the archaeological position.

            If you are a professional in some biblical field then I apologise if you feel insulted.
            And if you ARE in some way academically involved then even better as I would love to pick your brains regarding so much of the bible.
            So, which is it, layman or professional?

            For myself I am merely an interested amateur.
            Furthermore, I don’t need to be a nuclear physicist to accept that qualified people have detonated nuclear bombs, and I don’t need to be an archaeologist to read and accept the findings of those professionals who have dedicated their lives to this field.

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          • Thanks for that courtesy. I’m also a layman (a semi-retired handyman who worked in the printing industry for most of my working life), and both you and I have to take the word of our preferred experts in good faith. You take the word of your experts and I of mine. I’ve been educated by many regarding the shortage of evidence for (therefore considered circumstantial evidence against) many of the Biblical events, but it’s still a shortage of tangible evidence so there is still no proof in either direction. For instance, the fact that some of the NT emerged during the time of Marcion is no proof that ‘his’ manuscripts were the originals. That’s merely a deduction which could well be way off the mark (pun not intended).

            Also I’m not an academic, and do not have a memory for names and figures, which means the only way I could address all of the issues you present to me would be to take copious notes, do hours of research and then present a copious amount of information back to you. I have neither the time nor the inclination to do that. If you want to read a good source of ‘copious’ notes regarding many of your claims I suggest you go to carm.org. I suggested you read a Timothy Keller book Making Sense of God which contains far more than the video which you cited and which also shows the futility of atheistic and other worldviews in social and personal terms, but you refused, so why should I spend my time doing any more than arguing with you here?

            And, BTW, I’m still keen to know why atheists quote the killing league tables so readily when they know themselves that the numbers are open to interpretation and are more evenly balanced than they would like. Have you looked at the other side of the coin yet?

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          • @CDD,

            Re: your suggestion related to reading Making Sense of God indicates to me that you are swayed by those you believe are more learned than you in the Christian faith.

            May I suggest you also take a look at my own book, Things I Never Learned in Sunday School. I think you may be surprised at how much the information relayed to you by Christian leaders, clergy, and apologists is often based on (often incorrect) teachings that have simply been passed on from one generation to the next.

            My book is comparatively short, very easy reading, and inexpensive. To learn more, check out the reviews on Amazon.

            Note to Ark: I’m trusting you don’t mind the “commercial.” 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

          • Thanks Nan, I’ve skimmed through the sample pages and whilst I see nothing there that I haven’t encountered before I’m intrigued to know more of your story. In the Preface you say that you were a born-again Christian for some years but you don’t explain what converted you, so do you enlarge on that in the book itself? If so I’ll pay the vast sum of £2.69 and read it next week.

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          • Thanks for at least taking a look. 🙂

            I only recently posted my “conversion” story (you can read it here). My book primarily talks about WHY I left and what I discovered as I took a “second look” at all I had been told was “truth.”

            Even if you don’t agree with what I’ve written, I think you may be intrigued by some of the things I discovered.

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          • Thanks for that courtesy. I’m also a layman (a semi-retired handyman who worked in the printing industry for most of my working life), and both you and I have to take the word of our preferred experts in good faith.

            It is extremely important that you make a serious effort to understand that any such term as ‘’faith’’ for me is based on trust, which is based on experience gleaned through evidence.
            To explain further; If you wish to use the term to insist that I have faith the pilot will land the aircraft safely then you must acknowledge it is faith based on the fact he is qualified to fly. Even in the unforeseen circumstance he is unable to land the aircraft the co-pilot and the Tower will have enough expertise to guide the aircraft to a safe landing.
            There is no appeal to your god to ’’take the wheel’’ and land the plane in the pilot’s stead during this episode, an utterly ludicrous suggestion I am sure you will agree.

            To try to suggest we have a similar view of faith is simply not true and for those to insist it is, is simply disingenuous on the part of those who continue to trumpet such nonsense.
            I sincerely hope that we have cleared this point up once and for all?
            For future reference I prefer if you use the term trust, which is far more accurate of my position.

            You take the word of your experts and I of mine.

            To clarify. I accept only after examining such claims and making sure they are verified by others working in a similar field.
            The Exodus/Moses tale is a perfect example. One can read the development of how the biblical tale, once regarded as history and few aspersions were cast upon its lead character, to the current position that acknowledges it is simply geopolitical myth.
            The evidence tells us that settlement of the hill country was relatively peaceful and mostly internal.
            There was no captivity, no exodus and no conquest.
            Even the text in Judges suggests this contrary to the fictitious tale of genocide in Joshua.
            And the archaeological evidence supports this to the hilt.

            Kenyan’s dating of Jericho, for example has been verified time and again and stands as the benchmark.

            So if one wishes to be scrupulously honest what should one believe?
            The physical evidence that completely refutes the biblical tale of Exodus or those minority of fundamentalists who still cling desperately to the bible tale?

            I’ve been educated by many regarding the shortage of evidence for (therefore considered circumstantial evidence against) many of the Biblical events, but it’s still a shortage of tangible evidence so there is still no proof in either direction.

            Of course there is.
            The Pentateuch is nothing more than historical fiction. We’ve discussed Exodus. The flood narrative is palpable nonsense and the Human Genome Project has destroyed any notion of a deity making an original breeding couple.
            There is no either direction as far as these are concerned.

            I suggest you go to carm.org. I suggested you read a Timothy Keller book Making Sense of God which contains far more than the video which you cited and which also shows the futility of atheistic and other worldviews in social and personal terms, but you refused, so why should I spend my time doing any more than arguing with you here?

            CARM is a Christian creationist/fundamentalist site and has no value in ascertaining anything if one wishes to understand genuine biblical history.
            I explained my position regarding Keller some time back. As nice a chap as he comes across as his foundational views are Christian fundamentalist. For example, he believes in Hell as taught by the Christian church, thus he is useless as a source to further honest dialogue.

            And, BTW, I’m still keen to know why atheists quote the killing league tables so readily when they know themselves that the numbers are open to interpretation and are more evenly balanced than they would like. Have you looked at the other side of the coin yet?

            I am not quoting killing league tables. The excuse so often bandied about by Christians that:
            ‘‘Yes, Christianity was bad in those days but look at Stalin and Hitler etc’’ simply makes me want to gag, I am so tired of this knee-jerk diatribe.
            The numbers slaughtered by Christians to further their agenda is there for all to see. If you wish to be completely honest.
            The proponents of your religion have been slaughtering each other since Christianity was first invented, never mind non-Christians. And for this, one only need look at possibly the largest genocide in human history – the slaughter of the Native Americans.

            Such revolting history does not speak of anything but violence, which when you get down to brass tacks is religion to a T.

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          • The article – which I have read before – is written by Bryant Wood.
            In itself that should have had all the alarm bells ringing, but aside from the fact you linked to an article you didn’t read, it is obvious you didn’t even bother to check the credentials of the author.
            For the record: Wood is a Young Earth Creationist and I will have no truck with such blatant idiocy.

            Re: Keller.
            What is it you are not able to grasp here?

            I get the impression that you may be behaving purposely obtuse.
            I would like to be shown that I am flat out wrong in this regard.
            Last time:
            I have explained my position on Keller ( and his ilk) more times than I feel I need to explain to someone who I have at least tried to regard as a reasonably intelligent individual.
            So perhaps you are simply so indoctrinated that willful ignorance has become your default position?

            I don’t care one iota if Keller covers it, He is a fundamentalist Christian who believes in the inerrancy of the bible and that a character (for whom there is no evidence) from a spurious text was raised from the dead, and was then lifted bodily to heaven.
            I feel stupid just typing that.
            He also holds the simply vile belief that those who do not accept this. which includes several billion human beings I might add, will spend eternity being tortured in Hell, in whichever version of this ”Hell” he personally subscribes to.

            So his ”explanation” on the Native American Genocide carries no weight at all, except for those Christians who, rightly so , have nightmares of conscience.

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          • I get the feeling I’m winding you up a bit too far, but consider this. If the British settlers in North America were not Christians, do you think they would have committed the same genocide? They had emigrated in order to find plentiful land; that was their primary purpose and the fact that the natives appeared to be very different in many ways is the reason for the genocide. It had little to do with Christianity despite their claims and the result is almost certain to have been the same. It’s human nature and even if they claimed to be Christians they did not act as though they were, so we must conclude that they were not.

            Regarding Kenyon, have you actually read the entire article and can you dispute it? It’s no good slagging off its author simply because he might appear biased, because everybody is biased in one direction or the other. True agnosticism is impossible. The author appears to have studied every possible source extremely carefully. What do you make of this quote?
            “To make matters worse, Kenyon based her conclusions on a very limited excavation area – two 26-foot by 26-foot squares. An argument from silence is always problematic, but Kenyon’s argument is especially poorly founded. She based her dating on the fact that she failed to find expensive, imported pottery in a small excavation area in an impoverished part of a city located far from major trade routes!”

            I just noticed one of your other questions. Have I actually read the Bible? Yes, at least once right through from cover to cover, and probably several times since. And I do know it’s not in chronological order.

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          • The Pilgrims fled to the New World because of persecution. Persecution by other Christians.
            Eventually once ”settled” it became a massive land grab through lies ,deception, and systematic genocide, by Christians who used their faith and their bible to justify their actions.
            After which they used slaves to build their economy and justified this with the bible as well. Much in the same fashion they did all around the globe – for ”God and for country” was often the cry.
            So, for what ever other reasons people went to America,initially most would have been Christian.

            So don’t come and say they were not likely Christians, you are just being a disingenuous arse of the first order.

            I stated I had read the article before; quite a long time ago in fact, so yes, of course I read it all .
            I reiterate, Wood is a YEC.
            What else needs to be said?
            As with similar YEC dickheads such as Ken Ham, he believes such crap as a 10,000 year old earth and dinosaurs and humans co existing and the inerrancy of Noah’s Ark and a global flood.
            Such people are fucking idiots. and they corrupt children with their lies.

            Go find a video by Finkelstein or Devers, or Ann Killebrew .

            If you are only prepared to look at these issues from your jaundiced, faith-based worldview and not consider them without the supernatural baggage, then I suggest you go back to Robertson’s blog and suckle on the tit of his vitriolic evangelism.
            Much more up your street.

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          • I need to press this home, Ark. If you started to visit the local Pentecostal church every Sunday and did so for many years, shouting praise to the Lord and hallelujahs, yet continued to claim you were atheistic, what would your friends think? ‘Christians’ who blatantly disobey at least four of the Ten Commandments as well as many of Jesus’ instructions cannot and should not be considered Christ’s Ones.

            Nor do ad hominem and abuse serve your cause.

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          • Again, they regarded themselves as Christians, acted based on their interpretation of the bible and in many cases had the blessing of the church for doing so.
            Consider the Crusades.
            Consider the annihilation of the Cathars.
            Consider the early Pilgrims who had every intention of trying to convert the locals even before they climbed aboard the Mayflower.

            Therefore, your excuse this time is, once again simply willful ignorance, and the only thing you are pressing home is your disingenuous nature.
            And why four commandments?
            Why not simply one? Is there a sliding scale of Christianity?
            Your apparent willingness to accept lies and then hand wave the actions of your brethren suggest you are definitely abiding to a sliding scale.

            So, have you bothered making inroads into the archaeologists I offered for you?

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          • and even if they claimed to be Christians they did not act as though they were, so we must conclude that they were not.

            Think about what you just wrote. Does this not describe untold numbers of individuals even today? This is just one of the things that non-believers find so hypocritical about those who try to defend their faith.

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          • I agree and much of so-called Christendom is nominal. It’s impossible to know who is real and who is not, but generally it’s a person’s behaviour which is a good indicator, and is equated to ‘fruit’ at the end of Galatians 5.

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          • As you’ve been nagging me about Keller it might be considered prophetic (sic) I found this very enlightening quote which should finally dispel any more notions about his theological position.

            Pastor Tim Keller, a participant in a BioLogos workshop on evolution and Adam and Eve held last November (!), says this:

            “[Paul] most definitely wanted to teach us that Adam and Eve were real historical figures. When you refuse to take a biblical author literally when he clearly wants you to do so, you have moved away from the traditional understanding of the biblical authority. . If Adam doesn’t exist, Paul’s whole argument—that both sin and grace work “covenantally’—falls apart. You can’t say that Paul was a ‘man of his time’ but we can accept his basic teaching about Adam. If you don’t believe what he believes about Adam, you are denying the core of Paul’s teaching.”

            And now, I hope, you should start to understand that what you believe is, as Jimi Hendrix once sang: nothing more than Castles Made of Sand.

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          • I’m not sure what this has to do with how we tell who is a genuine Christian or, indeed, Keller’s intelligence, but I’m intrigued, so can you send me a link to this? I’ve searched Google, Youtube and Vimeo for it but can’t find any reference to this workshop.

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          • The point is this:
            The Human Genome Project has kicked into touch any notion whatsoever of there being an original created couple as per Genesis.

            Keller is saying that if Paul is wrong – which he most certainly is – then his entire doctrine is also false.
            As Keller must surely know this he is effectively being willfully ignorant or worse, lying through his teeth.

            Which tells me there really is no such thing as a Christian, only willfully ignorant people who simply delude/con or lie to themselves into believing they are.

            https://whyevolutionistrue.wordpress.com/2011/06/02/adam-and-eve-the-ultimate-standoff-between-science-and-faith-and-a-contest/

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          • I see your point of course, but one reason for my original recommendation of Keller’s book was not so much to try to prove the existence of God but more to persuade you that Christianity is one of the best belief systems for both individuals and society as a whole and that, throughout history, where religion of any kind has been abandoned or stamped out society has collapsed. Keller goes into great detail on that subject.

            However, I’m still keen to find the original source of the statement you quoted, which is obviously from up to eight years ago, not ‘last November’. While I was listening (via Audible) to Making Sense of God I was almost expecting Keller to suggest that even if it’s all false (as you claim) Christianity is still good for society, but of course he didn’t.

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          • Can’t help you on the original article, I’m afraid.
            I am going to presume you are not doubting what he was quoted as saying?
            Or that you think there is some other sort of ”context”?
            Irrespective of what Keller expounds in his book, his statement regarding Paul’s position on Adam and Eve is the perfect example of him shooting himself, and by extension, Christianity, in the foot.

            There simply is nowhere for you (or him, or Christianity ) to go once you acknowledge the fact of the scientific evidence provided by the HGP on this issue.
            I am presuming you read the article
            and therefore you will have read that the scramble to find some way to harmonize the biblical story with the scientific evidence is merely hand-waving, Surely you realise this?
            Why not simply be honest?
            What on earth is there to be afraid of?

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          • Thanks Ark, I spend precious little time at the computer at the weekends, so I haven’t done any research into this at all or read your linked article from 2011.

            What am I afraid of? Too much! If I gave up my faith in Jesus my life would become a mess and my family would be distraught, my eternity would be abandoned and any chance of meeting and knowing the Creator of the Universe would be destroyed for ever. I’d rather ‘waste’ my life than miss out on that opportunity. What about you? Are you afraid of anything? What do you really believe?

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          • Well, when you have researched … come back to me, otherwise this continual side-stepping is a waste of my time.

            Keller’s statement is clear enough.
            Thus, based on the scientific evidence, the doctrine of Paul is false.

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          • The biggest side-step ever was made by Richard Dawkins when he was asked “What if you’re wrong?” by a student in a Q&A session. So, what if you are wrong? Are you frightened of anything? If not, you should be.

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          • Pascal’s Wager. Debunked more times than I care to bother to mention.

            As you refuse to engage honestly then rather stay away.
            Be happy in your delusion.

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          • I know it has but it’s still relevant. I presume you would concur with this video, but is this guy right? Every one of his arguments is flawed in the same way that Dawkins’ response was:

            The wager is still relevant because even rationalists have guess about – and therefore base their worldview on – what lies beyond and outside our own experience. So what do you believe? Your words and behaviour would appear to assume that the universe created itself, but do you really believe that? Honestly?

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          • It’s your blog of course but it’s indicative that you shy away from telling me what you believe; you ought to be quick to respond considering your rapid dismissal of my beliefs. Regarding Keller, I have to assume, from your link, that he does believe Adam & Eve were real people because he believes Paul also claims the same. To get a grip on this I would need to re-study Paul’s writings as well as go back to Keller’s books to see what he says in there. Personally I find it incredulous that God would create the female human by using one of Adam’s ribs, not because I think He is incapable of doing that but because science suggests He has other ways of achieving His objectives. If God can create our world in our universe (or even multiples of both) He could also have created Adam & Eve in the way described in the Bible. Whether they really were the first two humans (as we know ourselves to be) or not is impossible for us to know. I prefer John Lennox’s approach to the whole topic of the Genesis accounts.

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          • I am an atheist.
            What else need be said?

            Whether they really were the first two humans (as we know ourselves to be) or not is impossible for us to know. I prefer John Lennox’s approach to the whole topic of the Genesis

            Is this willful ignorance or are you lying through your backside?

            The HGP has demonstrated beyond any doubt that the Genesis account is utter garbage.

            What is it you are failing to grasp?

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          • If you’re unable to believe in a timeless God and/or His ability to intervene in His own creation then of course accounts like that of Adam & Eve are impossible to contemplate. The HGP has demonstrated, beautifully, how God has worked down the ages, but it doesn’t prove there was no Adam & Eve, and it can only bolster existing theories about the past.

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          • but it doesn’t prove there was no Adam & Eve

            Jerry Coyne pointed out on his blog that Francis Collins and his team on the HGP had demonstrated exactly that,
            There was no Adam and Eve as per the bible.
            As you read the piece all I can is, you, sir, are a damned liar.
            And we know how Jesus feels about liars, now don’t we, Smithy?

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          • This response by blog pal, Mary, over at Nan’s spot answers your question about being wrong most eloquently.

            I truly believe you need to get your head out of your arse and use your brain for some critical thinking.
            It would make a pleasant change for you.

            BTW..this was Dawkins response to the young woman.

            “What if I’m wrong, well anybody could be wrong, but what I think you are really asking is what if I am wrong and you are right, eliminating the possibility that we are both wrong. So let’s go with that. Christianity is correct and spells out the authentic doctrine of the living god.

            OK, now let’s suppose you get married and have two children, a son and a daughter. Both become extremely accomplished in their fields of medicine and science, win many awards, have exemplary families, and are loved and respected in their communities and in their churches. All seems so well. You and your husband eventually die and go to Heaven. After a time, you realize that your son and daughter have probably died as well, but you have yet to meet up with them.
            Finally, you ask an angel about them and he says that he will look them up to see what happened. To your chagrin, he informs you that they are both in Hell. You are in disbelief and ask how that could have happened. The angel explains that although they went to church, neither one actually believed in Jesus or accepted him as their personal savior, so they died with their sins unforgiven. Since God cannot allow any sin enter into Heaven, they were sent to Hell.
            You ask how long they will be there, and the angel tells you it will be for all eternity. He offers to let you view them through a direct link to Hell. You see your daughter crying out in pain as she is being lashed by three demons, and your son is wallowing in a tub of hot acid. You cannot believe what you have seen and protest that this is not fair and that you emphatically demand that your children be rescued and sent to Heaven. The angel upbraids you by saying you must never criticize God, for everything he says is true, and everything he does is just.
            Further, he instructs you to go to the next 12-hour praise session that will begin shortly, where you must praise God, raise your hands in worship, and declare that God is great, and fair, and just, and deserves unbridled admiration.
            What this vignette shows is the total putrid bankruptcy of the Christian doctrine that you hold dear, and so I respond to your question with a question of my own-

            WHAT IF YOU’RE RIGHT?”

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          • Actually I was thinking of this rather than your quotation:

            … and I just wonder whether Dawkins ever bothered to check what the Bible actually says about hell, or even watch this little clip:

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          • The bible says nothing about Hell. That is an erroneous Christian construct.

            But again, as a hand waving disingenuous fundamentalist you will avoid tackling the real issues thus enabling you to lie through your teeth and continue in you delusion.

            Other than to accept that the gospels are anonymous accounts, what on earth has Wright ever seriously contributed to any supposed ”enlightened” view of your faith?
            He still believes a narrative construct rose from the dead while believing that Islam and Hinduism are false religions.

            I hope you realise you have not approached a single topic under discussion, here or on other posts,with anything remotely approaching honesty.

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          • Honesty? What is there to be honest about when I ask you questions which you refuse to answer honestly if at all? Let me demonstrate. What if you’re wrong?

            Regarding the Bible saying nothing about hell, why do you claim that? Jesus spoke of it more than anybody else, and He spoke of it being a place of destruction.

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          • Jesus spoke of it more than anybody else, and He spoke of it being a place of destruction.

            And here, once again you show how ill informed you are. This may not be entirely your fault because I was in the same boat once upon a time.

            But let’s get this straightened out up front.

            First; in the story, Jesus was a Jew. He was born a Jew, raised a Jew and died a Jew.

            There is no Hell as you Christians understand it in Judaism.

            Furthermore, the biblical character Jesus of Nazareth referred to Gehenna.

            You can Google it if you feel so inclined.It’s outside Jerusalem.

            What if I’m wrong?

            I don’t even know if I’m right, so how the Gehenna am I going to know if I am wrong?

            My standpoint is based on the evidence received(or lack thereof) .

            As you obviously believe I am terribly wrong and the consequences will be dire and eternal then present evidence to demonstrate why I should accept your belief.

            In fact, why not present the evidence that convinced you ?
            And I am going to presume you have evidence and didn’t wake up one day, bump your head and announce to the world :”I’m Saved!’

            Personal testimony is always a good start

            Let me read your evidence.

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          • There is no Hell as you Christians understand it in Judaism.”

            Well I thank the Lord you’re reading the Bible properly, checking its context and real meanings; long may it continue! You’re absolutely right about hell and Gehenna as far as I’m concerned. However, what is important also to note is that many Christians do have the wrong idea about it, and that’s the fault of some preachers who, both in the past and now, use the ‘eternity in fire & brimstone’ concept to scare people into ‘submission’. That said, Jesus did emphasise that hell is to be feared above all things. So it’s still a place (or state) to be avoided at all costs. Hell, at its very ‘best’, is oblivion after a fiery destruction, but for the Christian it’s eternity away from Christ, which is unthinkable. See, I’m not quite as ill-informed as you think and in fact I did a study of the very subject several years ago, just to try to get things straight in my own mind.

            The evidence that convinced me? It’s a long story, but I was brought up in a Christian home and was dragged along to Sunday school every week, and church again in the evenings. I hated both, having no idea how on earth Jesus – if he’d ever existed – could ‘forgive’ my sins – whatever that meant – and make me right with God – whoever he was, if he even existed at all. I was faithfully taught all of the Bible stories from both Old and New Testaments and even had to learn the occasional Psalm to recite from the Sunday school platform on special occasions. We had Bible readings every evening before we went to bed and I was so relieved when my parents decided I was old and daft enough to do my own study. So that lapsed completely. However, in my mid-teens the Bible clicked with me when somebody pointed out a part of the verse in Hebrews 9:22 which says: ‘…without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.’. This is the tenet of both parts of the Bible, with God’s anger at mankind’s rebellion, His temporary ‘fix’ and then His permanent solution in the form of Christ, in His death by crucifixion and then His resurrection to substantiate His divinity and victory.

            I eventually went to college to study printing and attended a lively church in the city but at the same time was pressurised to join the other guys on my course in the city’s pubs. I resisted, as a good Christian youth should, preferring to make friends with a Nigerian who was also a fairly devout Muslim and we enjoyed a healthy mutual respect. However, I wasn’t fully convinced of the truth of it all until in my adult years my boss at work questioned all of my beliefs, claiming, as you and so many others do, that the Bible is myth and fiction. He quoted the works of Von Daniken and others, and that prompted me to try to get to the bottom of it. I consulted one of our church elders who suggested a number of books (long before the days of the internet), but even then I realised that nobody can prove Christianity, whilst at the same nobody can disprove it either.

            I’m not an avid reader, but thanks to the internet and easy access to reading matter I also became good friends with a local guy who similarly questioned my beliefs. Unfortunately he had a bad accident last year but prior to that we enjoyed hours of discussion online and we met a couple of times for a pint and a pizza. He raised every argument in the atheist’s book and, whilst I’m unable to answer all of them, none of them has been sufficient to persuade me that the God of the Bible does not exist or that oblivion is our ultimate destiny. My friend’s questioning actually served to cement my knowledge and understanding. The Bible remains my main evidence because nobody – absolutely nobody – no human could invent, devise and compile a tome like that and make its every page point to the one God-Person who would descend into humanity, become one of His own creations, and then fulfil the Old Testament requirements perfectly by allowing His life to be taken by His own creatures.

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          • Well I thank the Lord you’re reading the Bible properly, checking its context and real meanings; long may it continue! You’re absolutely right about hell and Gehenna as far as I’m concerned. However, what is important also to note is that many Christians do have the wrong idea about it, and that’s the fault of some preachers who, both in the past and now, use the ‘eternity in fire & brimstone’ concept to scare people into ‘submission’. That said, Jesus did emphasise that hell is to be feared above all things. So it’s still a place (or state) to be avoided at all costs. Hell, at its very ‘best’, is oblivion after a fiery destruction, but for the Christian it’s eternity away from Christ, which is unthinkable. See, I’m not quite as ill-informed as you think and in fact I did a study of the very subject several years ago, just to try to get things straight in my own mind.

            Condescension duly noted. Feel free to have sex and travel.
            As we are now on the same page regarding Gehenna, you can understand why I have no truck with those who tout it as an either or choice, or fail to explain what it really means. People such as you, for example.
            And as the character in the story was a Jew he would not have preached any such eternal punishment that would be dished up by ‘’God’’ because, as far as Christians are concerned, he was Yahweh, after all.
            So no matter in what form it is presented, hell is a Christian construct which had nothing to do with the character Jesus at all.

            This is the part that most interested me.

            However, in my mid-teens the Bible clicked with me when somebody pointed out a part of the verse in Hebrews 9:22 which says: ‘…without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.’. This is the tenet of both parts of the Bible, with God’s anger at mankind’s rebellion, His temporary ‘fix’ and then His permanent solution in the form of Christ, in His death by crucifixion and then His resurrection to substantiate His divinity and victory.

            First, thanks for taking the time to write such a comprehensive reply. Although to my mind there are one or two salient details not quite filled out.

            It is fairly obvious that an element of childhood indoctrination had already done its work, and when you reached those vulnerable and impressionable teens it didn’t take much to put you right back in that box, otherwise you would have laughed it off and kicked it into touch for good at that stage.

            My question here is:
            What prompted this person to point out the verse in Hebrews in the first place?
            People would rarely open up a conversation with such a line unless they are canvassing for recruits.
            As you must surely know by now that Hebrews is anonymous why on earth would you put any trust in a fraudulent piece of text?

            If I have missed anything let me know, okay?

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          • I detect some circular reasoning here about hell. Are you saying that hell can’t be what Jesus said it is because he was a Jew and that because Jews don’t believe in hell He couldn’t therefore have said it? Have I got that right?

            Regarding my story, I was well beyond my teens when things really gelled, but what difference does my so-called indoctrination make anyway? As far as I’m concerned I’m extremely grateful to God that I happened to be born into the most sensible worldview on the planet! One topic of discussion with my friend has been to do with ‘inherited’ religion (he’s a big fan of Sam Harris). He, despite having been brought up in a very similar environment, dumped his Christianity. Why? Because his parents died early and he witnessed the tragic death of a close friend in his teens. The ironic thing is that even though he’s a determinist he refuses to admit that those three tragedies influenced his decision and he believes it was all because of the research he did and his determination to be ‘rational’. So where does that leave us? Are you the same; did something happen in your own life that made you hate the concept of God? If so, it might be worth examining your own heart.

            Regarding Hebrews, I don’t remember the context of the quotation of the verse other than it being a young people’s Bible study group led by some Bible college students, obviously in training in the ‘mission’ field, and of course they will have been on a recruiting drive; so am I! But why should the fact that Hebrews is anonymous suggest it’s fraudulent? You can only conclude that if you know who did write it and why. If it wasn’t Paul and was one of the other genuine apostles it would be no less important. Equally, why would the writer have added that statement if he had realised it wasn’t true? You seem to imagine a conspiracy theory which would have been completely impossible to invent, let alone implement. Apologies for so many questions.

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          • The character, Jesus of Nazareth didn’t mention Hell.
            What else is there you don’t understand?

            but what difference does my so-called indoctrination make anyway?

            All the difference in the world as a matter of fact. A point that you illustrate perfectly with your next sentence ….

            As far as I’m concerned I’m extremely grateful to God that I happened to be born into the most sensible worldview on the planet!

            Supported by absolutely no evidence whatsoever. In fact, all the evidence (which can be itemized!) – historical and current – clearly demonstrates that it is one of the very worst worldviews on the planet.
            And, other than indoctrination, this still doesn’t clear up the actual reason for you accepting it. Was there something else here you are forgetting?

            But why should the fact that Hebrews is anonymous suggest it’s fraudulent?

            Because its authorship, like many of the fraudulent epistles, was originally assigned to ”Paul”.
            Therefore, as a fraudulent piece of text it could have been written by anyone .
            And once text is recognised as fraud then this indicates someone is lying.
            So why would you trust any text that was inserted into the bible (or any other book for that matter) written by known liars?

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          • Apologies for the confusion. This is the statement I don’t understand as it appears to be circular: ‘And as the character in the story was a Jew he would not have preached any such eternal punishment that would be dished up by “God” because, as far as Christians are concerned, he was Yahweh, after all.’

            I’m not going to talk about evidence any more as you still seem to confuse it with proof. I call it the classic Boghossian error because he wrote an entire book based on the assumption that evidence means proof.

            I can’t concede that Hebrews is fraudulent. No signature is present and there’s no claim within it as to its author as there is with the Pauline letters, so it can’t be fraudulent as there’s no lie apparent. It seems it may have been written by Apollos … unless you know something I don’t.

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          • Apologies for the confusion. This is the statement I don’t understand as it appears to be circular: ‘And as the character in the story was a Jew he would not have preached any such eternal punishment that would be dished up by “God” because, as far as Christians are concerned, he was Yahweh, after all.’

            Simplified: In the story, the character, Jesus of Nazareth was a Jew. Born, raised and died a Jew. There is no ‘’Hell’’ in the Jewish religion that you, as a Christian, understand it
            What you call Hell is a church construct, so Jesus of Nazareth could not possibly have taught it. And of course he didn’t.

            I’m not going to talk about evidence any more as you still seem to confuse it with proof. I call it the classic Boghossian error because he wrote an entire book based on the assumption that evidence means proof.

            Not at all. Proofs are normally reserved for such disciplines as Mathematics.
            I am talking about evidence for which you don’t seem to understand the correct meaning of, or do understand but refuse to accept.

            Example 1: There is evidence in the geological record that tells us there was no global flood as per the bible.

            Example 2: There is no evidence to support the biblical claim in gMatthew that the dead were raised from the grave and walked about Jerusalem at the time of the crucifixion of the character Jesus of Nazareth.
            It is a simple matter to list any number of examples for you but I hope you now get the point and understand what evidence actually is?

            I can’t concede that Hebrews is fraudulent. No signature is present and there’s no claim within it as to its author as there is with the Pauline letters, so it can’t be fraudulent as there’s no lie apparent. It seems it may have been written by Apollos … unless you know something I don’t.

            There is no signature in any of the biblical text.
            Are you now going to claim that someone called Moses authored the Pentateuch? Really?
            But once more, you miss the point of this thread.
            The lie regarding Hebrews is attributed to those who would claim authorship to Paul.
            It is a similar story to the other pseudo-epigraphical epistles.
            As it is with the long ending to Mark or the Johanine comma, or the woman caught in adultery.
            They are all examples of fraud.

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          • Ah, you mean EXTERNAL CORROBORATIVE EVIDENCE! If that’s what you’re looking for then there isn’t much, but in that case you might be interested in this:

            I’ve only ever heard or read that Hebrews’ author is anonymous, which means that in itself it’s still not fraudulent, whereas the claims of those who pretend to know its author may be.

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          • I have seen this video before. It is apologetics.- There is no evidence. The bible is not evidence. The claims of those who believe is not evidence.
            There is no evidence to support your Christian claims.

            If the claim of authorship ( traditionally claimed to be Paul) is demonstrated to be false ( it has) then the text is fraudulent.

            As is the Johanine comma, and the long ending of gMark etc

            From the dictionary.

            Fraud:
            A person or thing intended to deceive others, typically by unjustifiably claiming or being credited with accomplishments or qualities.

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          • The Bible exists, I’m sure you’ll agree with me there, because there’s tangible, physical evidence for it, but if you demand tangible, physical evidence for all of the accounts written in it, then that’s a restriction you put on your own perception of it and in your mind everything written in it must automatically be lies. But you can’t be certain can you?

            Also if you write a letter to me about your photographs and post it to me in the UK without signing it, and my wife claims it’s come from my neighbour across the street, does that mean your words become fraudulent? Of course not, but that’s what you’re claiming of Hebrews and it just isn’t logical. In fact if the Pauline letters were proved to contain the words of somebody other than Paul then they would be far more fraudulent than the letter to the Hebrews. According to your rule I could even claim your words here are fraudulent since I can’t verify the actual author of them and don’t even think Arkenaten is your real name. So in fact if anything is fraudulent it’s your words! Mine less so because you know what my real surname is. But perhaps you don’t, because all you have is my word for it, so maybe we’re all fraudulent!

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          • The Bible exists, I’m sure you’ll agree with me there, because there’s tangible, physical evidence for it, but if you demand tangible, physical evidence for all of the accounts written in it, then that’s a restriction you put on your own perception of it and in your mind everything written in it must automatically be lies. But you can’t be certain can you?

            Actually, what it means is that those indoctrinated into the faith and those tasked with defending it have little interest in honesty and integrity and most certainly do not follow properly laid out guidelines to ascertain the historicity of the text and its claims. Even apologist Mike Licona recognizes this.
            The bible is geopolitical historical fiction as I have been at pains to demonstrate with numerous examples.
            Feel free to use your own examples to refute this.

            Also if you write a letter to me about your photographs and post it to me in the UK without signing it, and my wife claims it’s come from my neighbour across the street, does that mean your words become fraudulent?

            No, it means your wife is a liar, like those who falsely attribute authorship to biblical text.

            In fact if the Pauline letters were proved to contain the words of somebody other than Paul ….

            And evidence suggests exactly this. Of the batch of 14 epistles only 7 are agreed to have been written by the same hand.

            So in fact if anything is fraudulent it’s your words!

            And now you are just whining once more.

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          • You’re obsessed with the Bible’s sources, Ark, even though nothing can be proved either way. Why are you not so bothered about its content?

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          • Obsessed? Not in the least. I am fascinated yes. It is a very interesting subject.
            Many historians dedicate their lives to this stuff and are paid professionals. Would you call all of them obsessed?
            I am merely an amateur and I try to do what you simply can’t be bothered to do: search for the truth of the text from an historical point of view.
            You do know that most sheep get slaughtered in the end don’t you?

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          • Thanks, but I asked the question because most atheists are indifferent to the idea of God in the way that I’m indifferent to the existence of the celestial teapot. However, you are much more than that, you’re anti-theist, but why? What’s your own story? I’ve shared mine, so now please do me the courtesy of sharing yours.

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          • Something is eating you. What is it? You blame Christianity for the world’s problems but are you unable to see that humanity is the world’s problem? It wouldn’t matter a jot if Christianity didn’t exist, or even religion, people would still fight, kill, steal, envy, hold malice, abuse children, gossip, war over land, battle over rights and property. Can’t you see that? Now, please, be honest with me and come clean.

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          • CD, this is one of the most accurate statements you have made: “It wouldn’t matter a jot if Christianity didn’t exist, or even religion, people would still fight, kill, steal, envy, hold malice, abuse children, gossip, war over land, battle over rights and property.”

            Why? Because that’s who we are. Humans. There is no “outside” force guiding us. We are who we are — good and/or bad.

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          • You know exactly what I mean with that question, Nan, and so does Arkenaten. I’ve read your story, and thanks for sharing it (not the book but the link you posted). I’d like to list a few thoughts but will come back to them when I have time.

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          • I look forward to your thoughts … on my blog page preferably. 🙂

            As for “you know exactly what I mean” … I’m taking you at your words not your “meaning.”

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          • What? ” ….blame Christianity for the world’s problems …”

            Oh dear,oh dear.

            Are you looking for some psychological reply, is that it?

            Sorry, chief you picked the wrong bloke for your projections I’m afraid.

            I became interested in biblical history while doing a spot of research for a fantasy novel I was writing in which I caricatured the character Moses.
            I thought it best to at least get some background on him.
            It was while doing a few checks on the historicity of Moses – for whom at that stage I never doubted was a real historical figure – that I discovered he was, in fact, simply a work of fiction.
            A fact known to scholars for a very long time.
            So didn’t I feel like chump because of my ignorance. Damn right I did!

            Anyhow, it was this little tidbit that prompted me to wonder about the rest of the bible, and so I dug out my old KJV, laid the encyclopedia next to it open at the section Biblical Literature and began to read.
            My bible is littered with little dots from a red felt tip marker where I cross-checked verses and or claims with the Britannica and later for more in-depth stuff the internet, digging out all the scholars from both sides of the fence,
            And thus I came across fundamentalists, Young Earth Creationists and various other nutters of this ilk. I can tell you in all honesty I had no idea such people were out there, such was my complete lack of interest and how much of a non impression it made on me as a youth.

            But once I had turned over that rock, I became fascinated and this is why I write about it on my blog.

            It is kind of sad that you would believe I have some hidden hurt or some axe to grind, but sorry to say, my interest was sparked by something quite innocuous.

            And there you go …
            My Story.
            Boring, right?

            Liked by 1 person

          • Thanks, it’s obviously something that interests you academically but which appears to have become a full-time exercise, trying to educate people to what you perceive to be the truth in order to persuade them to shed their religion. Do you think you’re succeeding, and if not, why not? And having discovered what you did – about Moses – were you disappointed or pleased and did you try to resolve the apparent discrepancies at all?

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          • Not full time. But as an extended hobby.
            I write primarily for my own enjoyment.
            If you are ”educated” by any of it that’s a bonus.

            Evidence indicates that religion as a major player is on its way out- slowly but surely. – but it’s happening.
            What’s a few hundred years after all this time?

            were you disappointed or pleased

            Neither. I had no preconceptions, other than dismissing the miracle nonsense.
            So if anything it was mild surprise, then a thought about: Hey, I wonder if anyone else realizes this?
            And finally Oh, what an idiot that so many did know about this and I was an ignorant twit who believed it was historical.

            Many deconverts from more fundamentalist christian cults have felt conned or cheated.
            I was never bothered about religion so, as I said, it was more mild surprise.

            Resolve discrepancies?
            It is a story. A piece of historical fiction.
            What is there to resolve?

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          • After discovering that so many people already knew about what you’d discovered (about the Bible) were you also surprised at how many Christians also knew it, or did that worry you, causing you to wonder whether your conclusions might be incorrect and that you might have missed something?

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          • Not in the least.
            Once I began to do more research I realised just how willfully ignorant people like you truly are, and that you simply refuse to pull your heads out your arses and accept the evidence.
            And this was before I discovered the whole Lying For Jesus crowd and Giant Arse-Hats like William Lane Craig, Bryant Wood, Ken Ham, Licona, Habermas Strobel and all.
            They make my skin crawl.

            However, as I have said on numerous occasions. It is a free world … sort of, and you are entitled to believe whatever you like, as long as you donpt try to impose this nonsense onto a secular society.
            And if the Bus of Enlightenment stops at your door and you decide not to board that is your choice.
            Being a Nob is all part of being human, I suppose.
            As long as you stay away from kids with this garbage then what can one say?

            Have a nice day!

            Liked by 1 person

          • Remember you invited me here and you knew I would be more than happy to share my good news with you and your readers. What else did you expect? It’s not a very friendly place, I have to admit, but I’m concerned for you.

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          • Yes, I did invite you, and you are more than welcome to stay.
            Perhaps I was naive to expect that with all the non religious info and all the genuine experts in these topics you have been referred to, you might have availed yourself of their expertise and at least made a real effort not only to read and /or watch, you would have also made a genuine effort to study further.
            It seems, however that this was a rather naive expectation on my part, and judging by your somewhat dismissive and derisive tone over at the Weeflea is seems apparent that you are all for clinging to your indoctrination.
            As with almost every (Christian) fundamentalist I have ever engaged, they are blindly ignorant to the reality that those they engage with who have counter views are nearly always deconverted Christians, who know everything you know and usually a whole lot more besides.
            Some are former professionals (pastor/minister etc)
            I referred you to the clergy project, I’m sure?
            Just in case ….

            http://clergyproject.org/

            It is almost pathetic to watch those who are so indoctrinated try to explain to former believers the supposed ”error of their ways” and eventually go off on a tangent and tacitly or overtly tell them they were never proper Christians in the first place and condemn them for turning their backs on ”God” (sic) .

            Your disgusting and highly offensive use of of the term ”you people” on Robertson’s blog did not win you any friends, I can assure you, and if you really felt you were trying to ”reach” me you failed dismally and utterly, of that I can assure you.

            Furthermore, irrespective of anything else you may believe, the fact that, according to your religion, your god condemns all those who do not grovel and worship him-and this will eventually include tens of billions of human beings – are doomed to an eternity of misery and torture should be enough that anyone who claims this god is all loving is quite delusional and can .. excuse my French …. go and fuck themselves.

            Once again, I adjure you to take time to go back and read things such as the HGP, the archaeology of the Exodus, the history of the the Gospels and your own religion.

            And read the bible cover to cover. Then come and tell me how you can justify slavery and genocide .

            Liked by 2 people

          • Hi Ark, I’ve read the Bible, I’ve read your archaeological links, I’ve read random samples from the clergy project, but you and others haven’t presented me with sufficient evidence for me to abandon my faith in Jesus. One reason is the actual contents of the Bible, and particularly the gospels. If I were to pretend they were fabricated fables, I would be left with the question as to who wrote them and why. Read, for instance, the gospel of Mark. Read Jesus’ words in particular, and think why the disciples would make up stories like those. Think about human nature and try to work out why a hero figure would only do healing miracles and not elaborate self-glorification miracles. Think why they would have written into their narrative embarrassing stuff about themselves and the things about children such as in chapter 10, if they were making up a story about a hero figure. It just doesn’t add up unless Jesus really existed and was who He said He was.

            I also challenge you to work out who devised the story of the Exodus if it was made up. Fables and myths always glorify people and things, they never show generation after generation as being quite as pathetic and hopeless as the Israelites are portrayed in those accounts. These stories, too, don’t add up if there is no divine guidance of some sort. If there was indeed a human conspiracy that developed over centuries, how come the embarrassing bits were never taken out by successive generations?

            Archaeology can’t answer any of these questions, so I look forward to your thoughts.

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          • The minimum date of writing for gMark is considered to be around 70 ad, after Titus and the 10th flattened Jerusalem. This is the vague date of composition based on this military action but it is not written in stone. Some believe it could have been composed considerably later.

            Even at the minimum date we are talking close to a generation post crucifiction ( if it actually happened)

            Read Jesus’ words in particular,

            You, nor anyone else has any way of verifying that the character, Jesus of Nazareth said anything at all.

            Furthermore, the long ending of Mark is an interpolation – a piece of fraudulent text. Therefore , no post crucifixion appearances.
            As we know the gospels are not eyewitness testimony and Matthew, for example, copied (verbatim in some cases) some 600 verses of gMark for his own gospel , plus the several instances of nonsense he added to his own text, there is no reason whatsoever to trust the writing.
            And you surely don’t need me to list the instances of nonsense I hope?

            There is no evidence of any miracle working individual in the historical record so there is absolutely nothing you can point to justify your view.
            Faith is ALL you have. No verifiable archaeology or history,

            If you have the emotional need to hang on to an indoctrinated worldview that’s your choice.

            We have a pretty good idea of where the Exodus story was concocted .- during the Babylon captivity and why – to give political legitimacy for the land grab that ensued.
            Why don’t you do some damned research for the gods’ sake, instead of whining like a petulant child?
            I offered you a link to John Zande’s blog regarding Kadesh and he has several excellent articles on the Exodus, all fully referenced and links provided.
            There are numerous videos by people such a Finkelstein and William Devers.
            I have pointed to the work of Kathleen Kenyan and told you why Bryant Wood is NOT to be trusted and holds no respect in mainstream archaeological circles because of his stupid Young Earth Creationist beliefs and also his daft, un-substantiated dating which, if accepted throws everything else out of synch.
            And Ron offered a link for the radio carbon dating of grain samples at Jericho.
            So, why on earth do you keep trying to push a fundamentalist religious agenda? You have aptly demonstrated that you are nothing but willfully ignorant.

            So, until you can offer verifiable evidence for a single claim then I’m afraid all you are doing is making a fool of yourself.

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          • The point I’m trying to make is that IF the text is assumed to be fraudulent (ie not written by the named author), we have some more questions to answer, and that is who DID write everything and why. So far you’ve given me no answers, not even a clue as to where to look for the answers. I’m trying to reconcile the content with its origins. In other words, if Shakespeare didn’t write his plays, who did?

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          • No one knows who wrote the damn things! People in the fledgling church.
            Marcion and a few mates over a flagon of wine who then back dated them to retro-fit?

            Go listen to NT Wright if you refuse to accept my words.
            He will tell you that no one knows who wrote them and he believes Jesus walked on water!
            Some critical scholars reckon there was more than writer for gJohn and some consider the writer may have even been a woman. None of this is ”News”.

            If you want to believe the gospels are eyewitness testimony and refuse to accept that the names were added much later I could not give a monkeys uncle.
            If you simply refuse to make even the slightest effort to do research and continue to behave like an indoctrinated Nob, then don’t whine when you get treated like one as well.
            The world is bursting at the seams with religious Dickheads so why on earth do want to be part of such a crowd?

            What next? A discussion on the veracity of Noah’s Ark?
            For the gods sake …. this is the 21st century. behave like an adult.

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          • Fine, but the other question is WHY? Any ideas? Don’t you have an enquiring mind? The enquiring mind naturally builds hypotheses, but I get the impression from everything you post that you really don’t have an enquiring mind and are merely hell-bent on destroying what others have built.

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          • Ark .. if I may interject here … NOT to defend CD in any way, but in his last comment he asked, “who DID write everything and why,”

            It seems to me what he’s most interested in is the “why” question. IOW, he’ll concede (to a point) that the names assigned to the gospels may not be correct, but now he’s asking WHY did some individuals (whoever they were) write anything?

            IOW, he’s attempting to validate the existence of his hero …

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          • There are far better qualified than I who can provide an answer. And, please, feel free to offer your insights.

            One view is the character emerged from within, what John Z calls, a failed crisis cult. I may be misquoting him.

            Some believe he was crated by the Romans – not very popular but a view nonetheless.

            Scholars know that Christianity did not emerge in Jerusalem so one can draw the conclusion that the figure was postulated by diaspora Jews then picked up and or ”sold” to the gentiles.

            But like ever religious hero, control by the few over the many seems the most likely reason.

            Everyone looking for another hero.
            *shrug*

            Liked by 1 person

          • Exactly, but I’m going further than that, I’m attempting to show that my hero validates Himself. For instance, WHY would His later followers write something like the following – a part of Jesus’ prayer from John 17 – if they were making the whole thing up:

            ‘Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world.
            ‘Righteous Father, though the world does not know you, I know you, and they know that you have sent me. I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them.’

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          • Unless you can identify the writer and demonstrate that the words attributed to the character were actually spoken by him then it matters not the reason and those who wrote it in all likelihood did so for similar reasons that people have always written such things.
            In the same vein that only a delusional fool would actually beleive that there were angels dishing out instructions to visitors to an empty tomb.
            It is a story.
            And like all stories some parts are believable and some parts are just plain silly.

            You don’t actually believe the words attributed to someone called Moses for example were spoken upon arrival after his mountain climbing expedition to meet Yahweh, do you?

            And who was in the Garden of Gethsemane jotting down notes while JC was praying to his dad in heaven?

            Liked by 1 person

          • “*For instance, WHY would His later followers write something like the following – a part of Jesus’ prayer from John 17 – if they were making the whole thing up:”*

            So a Christian asked:
            “How did John know what Jesus prayed in John 17, if Jesus prayed alone?”

            Here are 4 options give by an apologist:

            (1) assume that it is wholly fictitious;
            (2) assume that someone besides Jesus told the disciple(s) about the incident;
            (3) assume that the Holy Spirit told the disciples later; or
            (4) assume that Jesus told the disciple(s) about the incident.

            https://bible.org/question/how-did-john-know-what-jesus-prayed-john-17-if-jesus-prayed-alone

            What’s with all this assuming, although I agree with option 1.

            His final answer:

            All it takes is for us to use a slightly sanctified imagination to envision the disciples sitting around the fire with Jesus, asking him all sorts of questions.”

            In other words, he doesn’t have an answer, just an assumption.

            Liked by 2 people

          • Mathew 17: Six days later, Jesus took Peter, James, and John, the brother of James, up on a high mountain by themselves. 2 While they watched, Jesus’ appearance was changed; his face became bright like the sun, and his clothes became white as light. 3 Then Moses and Elijah[a] appeared to them, talking with Jesus.

            —————————————————

            Jesus has some explaining to do, or at least, the writers do.

            ““Would you willingly lie to your children?” asks Rabbi Adam Chalom, Ph.D. “Would you say this is what happened when you know this is not what happened? There’s an ethical question there.”

            The lie Rabbi Chalom is referring to is the continued maintenance of the popular belief that the Jewish foundation narrative detailed in the Tanakh (the Hebrew Bible) chronicles actual historical events, when in fact it’s been known among biblical archaeologists for nearly three generations that the Five Books of Moses (the Torah) and the Deuteronomistic History of the Nevi’im (including the books of Joshua, Judges, and Samuel) are no more a literal account of the early history of the Jewish people than J. R. R. Tolkien’s, The Lord of the Rings, is a literal account of World War I.

            Through the exhaustive efforts of biblical archaeologists and scholars we know today that the Jewish origin narrative contained in the Pentateuch is nothing but a geopolitical work of fiction—inventive myth—conceived of in the 7th and 6th centuries BCE, and written to place Judah at the centre of the Jewish world so as to capitalise on a weakened Mamlekhet (Kingdom) Yisra’el after its sacking in 722 BCE.”

            I recommend reading John Zande’s post.

            https://thesuperstitiousnakedape.wordpress.com/2013/11/18/of-course-what-you-say-is-true-but-we-should-not-say-it-publically-13/

            Liked by 1 person

          • Ark, I’m late to this discussion, so I didn’t realize until now that the Pentateuch being nothing more than historical fiction had already been discussed. However, John’s post contains a wealth of information, so my recommendation @CumbriaDaydreamer to read his post still stands.

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          • I provided links before. I think he puts on glasses before reading.
            Remember those glasses that some kids wore with brown paper covering one lens to supposedly train a lazy eye?
            CumbriaDaydreamer has brown paper on both lenses.

            Liked by 1 person

          • What a pity. I’ve quoted this before but it seems appropriate to share it again.

            “One of the saddest lessons of history is this: If we’ve been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. We’re no longer interested in finding out the truth. The bamboozle has captured us. It’s simply too painful to acknowledge, even to ourselves, that we’ve been taken. Once you give a charlatan power over you, you almost never get it back.”

            ― Carl Sagan

            Liked by 2 people

          • I’ve read through the page of the link and it’s essentially a repetition of things I’ve already seen in other places. I note it’s provided by a skeptic, so is obviously biased, but even if I were to concede that it’s all correct, and that the bulk of the OT is myth and fiction, I’m still left with the same questions – and possibly more – as with the approach to the NT. The questions all come under the ‘Who?’ and ‘Why?’ headings.

            For instance, WHO wrote the account of Abraham taking his son up the mountain and not quite killing him as a sacrifice, and WHY did they make that up? What purpose did that story serve?

            Who wrote about feeble young Jacob – egged on by his mother – cheating his elder brother out of his birthright and inheritance? What’s the point of that story when myths and legends are supposed to teach us lessons or bring kudos to their subjects?

            Who wrote the squalid little tale about that wanker Onan and why? What purpose did that serve? Read it carefully before you try to answer that one.

            Who wrote about the Exodus from Egypt and why did they portray the population as constantly grumbling and complaining rather than adoring of their leaders? Also why concoct such a weird story about the people painting fresh blood around the doors?

            Who wrote about the Judges and why did they include stories about repeated failure and shame? Does the book of Judges really fit the pattern of myths and legends?

            Who wrote the books of Kings and why, when every one of them ultimately failed or went off the rails?

            Who wrote Isaiah, and why is it full of disdain for the nation of Israel? And why is so full of prophecies which came true long after it was written?

            I could go on but do you folks not find yourselves asking the same questions? If so, and you’ve found some well-reasoned answers, I’m keen to read them.

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          • @ CumDaydreamer
            It isn’t ”skeptic bias” it is archaeological evidence.
            Stop being a churl.
            If you want to really understand then do some damn research.

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          • CD, quite frankly, most non-believers simply don’t care who or why. They long ago dismissed the entire story so why would they want to spend the time and effort to identity the authors and/or dissect their motives?

            You need to accept that nothing you say (or ask) is going to change the minds of those who have spent time (often years) researching and investigating the fables and tales that you and others have chosen to live by. And most certainly you’re not going to accomplish whatever it is you’re trying to do (convert others?) on Ark’s blog.

            Of course, if you enjoy banging your head against the wall, that’s certainly your prerogative.

            Liked by 1 person

          • CumbriaDaydreamer, there’s nothing wrong with questioning, but I have a question for you. Why do you worship the war god, Yahweh, who had the behavior of the worst of human rulers and your average alpha male chimpanzee? Have you not noticed that this war god, the very god Jesus commanded his followers to worship, has the same insecurities as humans, the same need for recognition, the same demand for loyalty, submission, and obedience like dictators, not to mention the same murderous rage?

            I have higher standards than Yawheh. Why don’t you, and if you do, then, why have you chosen to worship a god that contradicts your standards? Who are you afraid of? Why are you afraid?

            Before I learned about the archeological and scholarly findings, which came after my deconversion, I asked myself the same questions. My conclusion was that in good conscience, I couldn’t. If I’ve chosen to live up to higher, ethical standards than this war god, and sent to hell, then what does that say about your god?

            Liked by 3 people

          • Why do I wordship the war God, Yahweh?

            My reply is, essentially, why should I not?

            For a start I wouldn’t worship a god who was a wimp. If you look at the book of Genesis you’ll see that the God therein described created mankind in His own ‘image’, which means we are like him in many respects. We too enjoy the loyalty of others, we enjoy attention, we enjoy praise, and if we are responsible for other people and have authority over them we require their obedience. You see these qualities as ‘insecurities’, but they are essential to humanity’s existence and survival, in case you hadn’t noticed.

            I would also not want to worship a god who, whilst enjoying power to create, had no power to destroy. I would also not want to worship a god who failed to let me know whether or not He was powerful. So is God vindictive when He destroys His own creation or should He, being the ultimate unversal Authority, have no right to do that? Would you be vindictive if somebody close to you betrayed you, told lies about you, stole your car, smashed your house windows and abused your children, or would you just tell them to ‘…not worry about it mate, it doesn’t matter’? So is Yahweh meeting your standards yet? And where do you get your standards from anyway? God is a dictator and He is the only being in the universe who has a right to claim that title because His Universe is not a democracy, it belongs to Him and Him alone. But the question you need to answer is whether or not God is a righteous dictator. But to do that you would need to be god yourself, you would need infinite knowledge and infinite wisdom.

            So I would like to suggest your ask yourself those questions again.

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          • Something really bad must have happened in your life that made you so indoctrinated and blindly subservient to a character in a story that is thousands of years old who even most of the descendants of its inventor merely pay lip service to.

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          • Ark, I realise this is cruel, but it’s impossible to resist.

            Something really odd must have happened in your life that made you so indoctrinated and blindly subservient to a theory that purports that the universe in which we exist created itself from absolutely nothing and is strictly material, to the exclusion of all other possibilities propounded down the centuries by many, most of whom were much deeper thinkers than ourselves.

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          • Cruel? Not in the least. You merely continue to demonstrate what a Nob you are, and I have no qualms about ragging you for it.

            Yes … indeed. In fact, the odd thing that happened was this, I was able to let go of my pee pee for five minutes and stop sucking my thumb. I learned to wipe my own backside and soon exercised a little bit of critical thought.

            Maybe you will arrive at this juncture at some point?

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          • CumbriaDaydreamer, so the answer is yes, you are afraid of your dictator god. That is exacly how authoritarian religions (and dictatorships) work — through fear tactics. This kind of belief that you have (divine command theory) creates sociatal disfunction, and mental disorders. I live in the most conservatively religious state in the U.S., and it consistantly ranks last in well being/quality of life.

            “Consider, for instance, the latest special report just put out by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, which lists the ten states with the worst/best quality of life. According to this multivariate analysis which takes into account a plethora of indicators of societal well-being, those states in America with the worst quality of life tend to be among the most God-loving/most religious (such as Mississippi and Alabama), while those states with the best quality of life tend to be among the least God-loving/least religious

            [snip]

            …the more secular tend to fare better than the more religious on a vast host of measures, including homicide and violent crime rates, poverty rates, obesity and diabetes rates, child abuse rates, educational attainment levels, income levels, unemployment rates, rates of sexually transmitted diseases and teen pregnancy, etc.

            On nearly every sociological measure of well-being, you’re most likely to find the more secular states with the lowest levels of faith in God and the lowest rates of church attendance faring the best and the most religious states with the highest levels of faith in God and rates of church attendance faring the worst.”

            https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-secular-life/201410/secular-societies-fare-better-religious-societies

            The same holds true internationally.

            Liked by 2 people

          • Thanks, and it looks lucky for you that this article seems to have appeared just today. However, I note it’s merely somebody’s musings, backed up by no evidence at all – other than the musings of others! So you and I must take them as mere musings. That said, I do try to keep an open mind and agree that there may be some credibility to the theory that the OT rabbis concocted all of the stories in order to convey lessons to young people. But if you read most of the stories there are no indications as to the nature of the lessons. Again, I ask, why did Abraham fail to sacrifice his son atop the mountain? What lesson are we supposed to take from that? And why was David’s appalling treatment of Bathsheba and her poor husband included, especially since he suffered no punishment for it? It’s possible to cherry-pick a few of the accounts and envisage some moral lessons from them, but many are too obscure for that. It’s a rather far-fetched theory, don’t you think? If you apply that silly Okham’s Razor to the whole thing the simplest explanation is that the Bible really is what it claims to be – God’s word to His world.

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          • Did you follow the links and read them at least, rather than prattle about musings?

            People believed in all sorts of gods responsible for almost everything back in the days when any form of mental illness was deemed to be some sort of possession by demons.
            And only idiots cling to such garbage today.

            Again, I ask, why did Abraham fail to sacrifice his son atop the mountain?

            he didn’t … it’s a fucking story.
            It is all a story.
            The Pentateuch is historical fiction.
            Go study the history.
            Go study the archaeology.
            Watch an archaeological video.
            Stop listening to biblical inerrantists.
            Think for yourself.

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          • I think you still haven’t understood my question so I’ll make even clearer. Why did the authors – whoever they were – of the so-called myth include the story of Abraham failing to sacrifice his son on the mountain? It’s only one story I’m now asking you to think about, so, taking into account the musings you’ve linked to, do some thinking and come up with your own musing along the same lines. You’ve read all the links yourself I presume, so is it such a difficult task for you? If you look up some Bible commentaries you’ll find the Okham’s Razor answers, but of course your mind is slammed shut to those.

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          • Why did JK Rowling compose Harry Potter? What could possibly be the meaning behind the book’s meanderings?
            And Tolkein’s works- fact or fiction?
            How can you tell?
            Were you there?
            Is Ken Ham really doing Yahweh’s work by building an ark to show the world what Noah did, or is he simply a YEC Nob who needs to be kept away from kids?

            Just for fun:
            If we were to accept the (your) belief that there is any veracity to the character Abraham and the story, are we also to accept that he really did hear Yahweh?
            Or is it more likely he had a mental illness?
            Okham’s Razor?

            There are numerous modern day accounts of devout Christians who have murdered their kids on the apparent say so of your god.
            Are they credible people?
            Did your god really tell the woman to drown her kiddies in the bath?

            Or, do you perhaps think these modern day child sacrificers are simply off their fucking rockers?

            Come, Senor Smithy, let’s apply Okham’s Razor to this scenario shall we?

            Is your mind ”slammed shut” to the very real possibility that your god really did communicate to this particular woman?
            Or, if you were part of a jury of her peers you would strongly suggest she is mentally unstable?

            Let’s see how honest you really are shall we?

            Liked by 2 people

          • The behaviour of people in this day and age is a side issue and nothing to do with my question, it merely implies that I shouldn’t be asking the question. I guess the following link will be lost on you, but this is why I quoted the Abraham & Isaac episode as Abraham is just one of those characters in the Bible as indicators of the sacrificed Son who is to follow. The number of these indicators in the Old Testament is uncanny and huge, so I think I should point this out. I would guess you will strongly deny these, claiming that the Jesus character was invented to fit in with the OT characters and events, but if so, those who did that were extremely clever and I suggest such was impossible … unless the hand of God was guiding everything. Take a look, and then if you must, abuse me in your usual way because I’m getting used to it now.

            https://www.biblestudytools.com/bible-study/topical-studies/jesus-through-the-bible.html

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          • CD, the thing you (and most other Christians) don’t “get” is that when someone doesn’t see the bible as an authentic source of information, providing links to various sources related to its contents (e.g., bible study notes, apologist’s quotes, scriptures, etc.) to “prove” your point simply carries -0- (zero) weight.

            For example, your insistence that the Abrahamic episode “proves” something is entirely based on a BIBLE story — the very source that non-believers reject.

            Try to think on that a bit before you offer any more “proofs.”

            Liked by 2 people

          • Here’s some irrefutable proof you can find in a holy book that there is simply NO argument against, at least not by intelligent, learned people.

            “He that chooses a religion over Islam, it will not be accepted from him and in the world to come he will be one of the lost.”

            Quran 3:85

            Liked by 2 people

          • If Mohammed predicted his death and resurrection, and then he died and rose again, I would take notice. Jesus did all three of those things, so He’s worth taking notice of, don’t you think? Mohammed died and stayed dead. No contest.

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          • Quran (9:30): “And the Jews say: Ezra is the son of Allah; and the Christians say: The Messiah is the son of Allah; these are the words of their mouths; they imitate the saying of those who disbelieved before; may Allah destroy them; how they are turned away!”

            Liked by 1 person

          • The atheist, the Christian and the Jew are all non-believers. There is no difference in Allah’s eyes. Blind, arrogant foolishness abounds in all but Islam.

            Quran (5:51): “Don’t take Jews or Christians for friends. If you do, then Allah will consider you to be one of them.”

            The same is true of the atheist. Fire awaits you all.

            Liked by 1 person

          • That’s a bit circular, Nan. My point is that the Abrahamic story and all of the OT stories were written before Christ, yet they still foretold His arrival, so how did they manage to do that? The OT Judges were only partially successful and they all eventually failed, whereas Christ was totally successful and victorious in everything He did. The successive OT Kings were also successful for a while but they too eventually went off the rails or failed. Not Christ. How do you account for so many ironies and coincidences? They’re all there in black & white!

            Like

          • CD … are you truly that dense???? You continue to try and prove your “argument” by referencing stories in THE BIBLE … the source that is REJECTED by non-believers.

            Once again — and please THINK about about what I’m about to write — you simply cannot “win” a debate by referencing a book that has NO merit in the eyes of the people you’re trying to convince. It’s like “proving” Jesus is real by referencing Aesop’s Fairy Tales.

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          • How can you pretend it’s not there? You KNOW the OT was written hundreds of years before the NT, and even though the origins are unclear that doesn’t mean the text is meaningless. You can reject it as much as you like but it won’t disappear, ever.

            Like

          • I’m not “pretending” anything. What I’m saying is it doesn’t matter whether the story you’re referencing is in the OT or the NT. When a person rejects the credibility of the book where the story is told, no amount of “explanation” is going to make an iota of difference.

            Also, it doesn’t matter how “clear” the origins of the story are, to those who reject the source of the stories, the text is meaningless.

            Truly, I hope you “get it” this time. But I’m not going to hold my breath. You are one determined individual. Sad that it’s not directed to more worthy causes.

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          • Do you know how to copyright a work of fiction, Nan? There’s a very simple method. All you have to do to prove the book is yours is seal your script in an envelope and send it to yourself via recorded mail. Then if somebody plagiarises your work you simply have to produce the sealed envelope in court, where it can be opened and the work will be legally authenticated as yours. That’s what the OT is for the NT. The OT authenticates the NT because it was written first, and that fact is never disputed. So even if the Bible IS a work of fiction its content is still relevant to the whole of humanity including you. Bury your head in the sand if you must, but that doesn’t make it non-existent. And if it is NOT fiction it’s vital to everybody who reads it. You have read it and therefore it’s vital to you unless you can prove beyond reasonable doubt that it’s fiction. I look forward to your proof; maybe you could de-convert me?

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          • This text is inerrant and NOT meaningless. READ IT!

            ” The only true faith in God’s sight is Islam.”
            Quran 3:19

            You blind fools are reading a false book! WAKE UP before you’re damned forever to hell! READ and LEARN!!!

            Liked by 1 person

          • inspiredbythedivine1, God loves you and Jesus, His Son, died for you on the cross. Do you prefer to worship the god who hates some or the One who loves all?

            Like

          • “This Book is not to be doubted…. As for the unbelievers, it is the same whether or not you forewarn them; they will not have faith. God has set a seal upon their hearts and ears; their sight is dimmed and grievous punishment awaits them.”
            Quran 2:1/2:6-2:10

            Allah has granted you eyes, but you refuse to see. Sadness, loneliness and loss awaits you as you walk eternity bowed in shame before the One True God, Allah. Allahu Akbar

            Liked by 1 person

          • Oh, but they have eyes but do not read! Oh, but they have ears but do not listen to the word of Allah!

            “If you doubt what We have revealed to Our servant, produce one chapter comparable to it. Call upon your idols to assist you, if what you say be true. But if you fail (as you are sure to fail) then guard yourselves against the Fire whose fuel is men and stones, prepared for the unbelievers.”

            Quran 2:23-4

            READ!! LISTEN TO ALLAH!! HAVE TRUE FAITH!! And you too will be saved! It’s all in the Quran!
            Allahu Akbar

            Liked by 1 person

          • Oh, and perhaps you need to refresh you memory re: John.
            kjv
            ”I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written.”

            Nowhere does the writer suggest there could not be enough books.

            Tell me, have you ever actually read the bible?

            Like

        • Again, pure nonsense. Neil Godfrey has written extensively on this very subject, and the Romans were more than enthusiastic to embrace the supernatural. That’s one of the reasons why they so easily adopted other cultures gods. They lusted after supernal knowledge. They sought it out.

          Liked by 1 person

        • You say the jesus stories were an embarrassment to the Roman authorities so they wanted to keep it quiet, fair enough. Then what about our own fair queen of the Iceni, Boudicca? Ruling East Anglia only a couple of decades after the supposed life of your buddy she gave the Romans one hell of a bloody nose. Now there is something to keep quiet! But no her exploits were well recorded by the Roman historians of the day, why? Oh and we also have the little matter of hard archaeological evidence the Boudicca actually existed!

          Liked by 2 people

          • If Boudicca and her army slaughtered 80,000 Roman citizens, ransacked three Roman cities and was eventually defeated and killed by the Roman army (and note, she didn’t resurrect so was no longer an embarrassment to the Romans) it’s no wonder she gained notoriety and would inevitably be recorded in the history books, and even after such catastrophic events the two accounts of the time disagree wildly. What an odd comparison to make.

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          • You really didn’t get my point did you? Why is it such an odd comparison? You stated that jesus was an embarrassment and needed to be hushed up. I state that Boudicca was an even bigger embarrassment who’s exploits would have sent shudders through the Roman empire, keep that quiet or it might encourage others to have a pop, but no it was recorded. Btw Boudicca did, not if lead those attacks, and there is no record she was killed by the Romans, indeed if she was surely they would have made a big song and dance of it? All this in roughly the same period of time as your saviour. All this is recorded in history backed up by hard evidence. All you have is a collection of stories written at least forty years after the event when any ‘eyewitnesses’ would have been very old indeed. Further more when the Romans cashed in (literally) on this new religion in 313 ce would it not have been to their benefit to produce a bit of evidence to back up this amazing moment in time?

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          • Did I mention the cave she found? The very one that Mary and Joe stopped by when she popped her sprog?
            They built a church on that site so it must be true, right?
            Christians wouldn’t lie, would they? Surely not.

            Liked by 1 person

      • Take your pick:

        Josephus, Philo-Judaeus, Seneca, Pliny the Elder,Arrian, Petronius, Dion Pruseus, Paterculus, Suetonius, Juvenal,Martial, Persius, Plutarch, Justus of Tiberius, Apollonius, Pliny the Younger, Tacitus, Quintilian, Lucanus, Epictetus,Silius Italicus, Statius, Ptolemy, Hermogones, Valerius Maximus, Appian, Theon of Smyrna, Phlegon,Pompon Mela, Quintius Curtius, Lucian, Pausanias, Valerius Flaccus, Florus Lucius, Favorinus, Phaedrus, Damis, Aulus Gellius, Columella, Dio Chrysostom, Lysias, Appion of Alexandria.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Not sure why any man of today has one whit of mental agitation over something that clearly has been proven to be true.

    The coals of fire and fish at the shore prepared for men who KNEW who it was….. not to mention the positive ID at the tomb, in the upper room , especially to Thomas, then at the mountain. But not before the 500, at once,

    So asking for more evidence and proof is like asking for proof there is snow in Alaska.

    The account of scripture is true. You may neither not like it or believe it, but please do not insult the records of history by saying it is not true. Thanks.

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      • Not sure what will satisfy you ark, if EYEWITNESS testimony is not enough.

        Ask any competent trial attorney if eyewitnesses have not sent a man away.

        Eyewitnesses. But you would prefer the tales of they who were NOT there, they who would supply dark opinions?

        Ah I see. This is why scripture always has the last word. Take it or leave it, but it’s a good word.

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          • Evidence, proof, evidence, proof. What would it take? Even the corroborating evidence for Jesus’ life is disbelieved by some people, so there’s no way those folks are going to accept such evidence for His resurrection, even if some did come to light.

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          • As Steve Ruis pointed out further down.
            ”You” have all the evidence you could possibly need for evolution and yet it is rejected by a great many religious people.

            So perhaps the more pertinent question should be: at what point will you acknowledge that a 2000 year old tale of someone rising from the dead in a book that is absolutely riddled with every kind of error you could probably name is simply myth?

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        • “Not sure what will satisfy you ark, if EYEWITNESS testimony is not enough.”

          Me neither, but for me a simple visitation by either God or Jesus would be enough—and given their/His power, that shouldn’t be too difficult, surely?

          Liked by 3 people

          • If that happened, would you be left with any choice BUT to believe? What about the rest of us; are you demanding special treatment?

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          • Which suggests that you currently believe based on NO evidence?
            Why don’t you demand the same criteria as Argus? After all, your eternal soul is supposed to depend on it.

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          • Your answers to my two questions, Ark, should be ‘No’, and ‘Yes’. It’s quite easy really.

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          • And once again, you try the old theological two step.
            I have yet to encounter a truly honest believer and fundamentalists are even worse.
            Why don’t you try to be honest, just for once.
            You might find it refreshing.

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          • CUMB:

            of course I’d believe.
            Wouldn’t you?
            Wouldn’t Ark, JZ, or anyone who could fog a mirror and tie his own shoelaces?

            Furthermore: Sheesh~!

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          • CUMB:

            “special treatment”?

            What’s special about Big G appearing to me? It’s no more effort for Him to appear simultaneously to every human being alive, and dead, no matter when and/or where.

            So if it seems that I’m requesting a ‘oncer’ especially for me, please let me extend the invitation to cover the whole of Humanity. You included …

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        • It becomes exhausting having to explain the basics of what constitutes evidence.
          As apologist, Mike Licona stated: ”N. T. Wright, James G. D. Dunn, and Dale Allison have written substantive historically minded works using hermeneutics, but even so, there remains “no carefully defined and extensive historical method…typical of professional historians.”

          ”Historically minded”

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          • Why bother with evidence? If the Almighty wants you for a sunbeam, He would have written such into the script BEFORE He created everything. In brief, He would have made you to His heart’s desire …. or:

            or did the Perfect Artificer create a flawed product? (Ouch …)

            If He did that could only have been in accordance with His own infallible plans.
            Ergo God is a colossal sadist—by MY standards—it could be all good clean fun to Him, much like some kids pulling the wings off flies.

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    • Oh CS — Another one of your absurd claims — something that clearly has been proven to be true.

      PROVEN??? To be TRUE??? In your dreams, perhaps. But not in the real world. Sorry.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Hark! It’s our stationary flat earth and geocentric apologist. Happy New Year!

      CS says:
      January 6, 2019 at 10:03 pm

      As to ‘flatness,’ that’s a word I avoid, for the same reason Bill Nye says ships disappear over a ‘curve’ at 3 miles out in the ocean.

      True science proves him wrong, as he must not understand mirroring, refraction, lensing, and the vanishing point. I am of the opinion the earth is stationary and does not move one inch, per our senses. Perhaps you have seen it move an inch or two, other than math formulas and assumptions? Perhaps you know of somebody who has seen the earth from above that appears different from our balloon friends here?

      And no, this thinking has been around for thousands of years, it was only until a few dissatisfied customers got the itch to say otherwise; that is, that the earth is guilty of the preposterous offense of spinning at 1,000 mph, going God knows where at an alleged orbit of 67,000 mph, at rates and speeds we can not even conceive.

      Or, we can choose to believe that humans do not walk on basketballs, upside down like insects. That God has made the earth IN the water, with foundations like that of a well constructed building, which any engineer relies upon stability lest it falls, just like He says in the good book, which logic, facts, reason, and common sense all attest to.

      Other than that I did reference the Gleason map, a masterpiece of unequalled [sic] and unchallenged cartography, (because its correct) so that’s why I posted the vid.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. I just commented on another exodus/Moses post yesterday, and with all the facts laid out by historians (Christians and Jews included) and archeology, the guys rebuttal was “I just believe in jesus”. Well, they’re ya go. Faith is a decision and ostriching is a unique Christian value.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. And me mum and her husband went to Rome, brought back a plastic-encased (and blessed by the Pope, tyvm) piece of the true cross. What a large large cross that must have been.

    Did they preserve the toast, or just butter it and–you know–eat it…

    Liked by 1 person

  6. All the mortar for the foundation of the Christian religion lies in the veracity of the Genesis myth, and the whole Exodus idea is providing a construction to make this foundation look real. When all this underpinning crumbles, what is the point in the Jesus story? He is the solution to a problem that can be proven never to have existed (original sin). It was always too absurd to be taken seriously, anyway . . . so the fact that it ever has been casts serious doubts on the effectiveness of human reasoning.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Ya haven’t read ya Bible (or Koran, or any of the myriad other unique books of Truth). Go on, admit it, confess, repent, and be saved by the very Lord who’s voice ye are denying~!

    (Quickly, while there’s still a chance … an outside chance, but ol’ God loves repentant sinners even more better than the born devouts) (I don’t understand it eiver, Guv …)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oops, forgot the relevant “why is there not a single verified historical account of him?” from your post (sets the scene). Plse forgive …

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  8. What’s nice (and damned handy, too) is that when you have a hero like King Arthur or Jesus or someone else who is mostly mythical, you can make it up as you go along. King Arthur fought valiantly, died bravely, his wife, yadda yadda, the Round Table, yadda dida, the castle. Jesus and the loaves and fishes. Jesus in the temple, or in the manger, Jesus at Gesthemane.

    The best hero is the one who never really existed. You can dress him up anyway you please, like paper dolls, and make him do what needs to be done to prove your point or entertain the troops.

    Liked by 1 person

    • So we still worshi— (oops, celebrate) Santa Claus?

      How about we put it to the vote and see if we can’t just get the violence-inducing Jesus story relegated to the dustbins of mythology, and kick off a new religion based on being nice to each other 24/7; with ol’ Santa as the figurehead?

      Instead of nailing guys to crosses we can have sleighs filled with gifts … instead of building huge cathedrals and mosques and temples and other meaningless edifices we could all have a wee symbolic sleigh-port with little figurine reindeers … all year round.

      BUT—

      but we’d lose nothing; we’d simply go into overdrive at the winter solstice (wherever). Can you imagine (say) Londoners taking a brief trip to Australia to celebrate the local Santamas there, and vice versa in six months time?

      Liked by 1 person

    • Astute as always, Judy.
      I have always maintained that if there was real person behind the miracle worker ”Jesus” then he is going to get found out eventually.

      Like

  9. Do all the Miracle Workers ever have a get-together, do you think?
    Is there a special room (oops, mansion) set aside for them in one of the Paradises?

    I wonder … how many devouts would it take to qualify for the badge, secret handshake, free car and membership? There could even be a lower level for top-grade followers …

    Liked by 1 person

  10. No, the resurrection of Jesus is not a fact. But if it were, that would do nothing to demonstrate his deity or his ability to save anyone, other than himself, from death, hell, and eternal torment.
    There may have been a man Jesus, but the reason he isn’t testified to in nonreligious, unbiased history is that if he actually existed, his life was so inconsequential and mundane as to not be relevant to anyone but himself.
    The nt Jesus is a Myth. Simply put.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Hi Ark, Bruce here, this is your statement, correct? “If the biblical character, Jesus of Nazareth was a genuine historical person rather than a myth why is there not a single verified historical account of him?”

    I noted in the comments that others have already provided the names of numerous ancient historians who mention Jesus Christ in their writings. There was one in particular who listed a good number of ancient historians and asked you to take your pick.

    Here are a couple of links that may shed additional light on your statement:
    freethinkingministries.com/historical-references-to-christ-from-non-biblical-authors/
    http://coldcasechristianity.com/2017/is-there-any-evidence-for-jesus-outside-the-bible/

    Hope this helps.

    Bruce

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    • Before I make answer, and without trying to be flippant, I should point out that every Christian apologist/evangelical/ fundamentalist, new or well-established I have ever encountered always assumes that we (non-believers/deconverts) are unfamiliar with the likes (arguments) of Strobel, Habermas, Craig , Lennox , et al and all the supposed historical claims from the likes of : Irenaeus, Josephus, Pliny,Tacitus and all the others, after and in between including …. Wallace.
      So, just to save time in the future, please take it as a given there is no argument I am not (generally) familiar with as presented by defenders of Christianity and/or apologists,
      But I will offer this as I do to every Christian I encounter for the first time.
      If you have evidence – and NOT argumentation -to demonstrate the veracity of the foundational claims of your faith, I am more than interested to read.
      You might like to offer an answer of what happened to the biblical character Jesus of Nazareth in the intervening years from the Jerusalem Incident when he was 12 to the time he began his ministry.
      That would be very interesting.

      So, to the question:

      “If the biblical character, Jesus of Nazareth was a genuine historical person …. etc

      While I personally consider the character, Jesus of Nazareth a narrative construct, as is Moses, I am not seriously phased that there could have been an itinerant Jewish preacher roaming Galilee who was crucified for sedition.
      However … the miracle-working, walk on water, supposedly divine viticulturist, who is claimed to be Yahweh in human form who came back from the dead, materialised, and eventually levitated into the sky is entirely a work of fiction with absolutely no evidence whatsoever to support it.

      Ark.

      Liked by 1 person

    • I am familiar with O’Neill’s views.

      Again, he believes there was someone called Jesus/Yeshua but does not believe in the miracle-working god- man of Christianity.

      Like

        • You initially commented on this post.

          The body /text specifically refers to the biblical character, Jesus of Nazareth.
          I consider the miracle worker/god man is implicit in the term biblical character.
          Apologies if this was confusing.

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          • I think we’re talking past each other a little.
            It’s my fault as I am busy at the same time with some work related stuff in another doc.
            Apologies.

            Let’s clear this up.
            There may have been an itinerant preacher named Yeshua ( Josephus mentions a few) who was crucified for sedition.
            Even here, the evidence is not conclusive and doubt surrounds such texts as Annals.
            I have no truck with the (revised) Josephus account but that is personal based on my own research.

            The Jesus Christ character as described in the bible is a narrative construct with no evidence to support him whatsoever.

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          • I thank you for the dialogue Doug, you’re obviously intelligent but I can’t possibly break down the barriers that you have constructed. I can only tell you this. I’m 73 years old, married 48+ years to the same woman that I love with all of my heart and we raised five children. The best years of my life and the greatest joy and love that I have ever experienced is the relationship I have with God. I have been where you are and you can analyze the why’s you think I feel as I do but until you have been in the presence of God and experienced His love, you have no reference point at all. I wish you well my friend.

            Like

          • In a previous comment you wrote: I would receive an internal witness. And by all indications, this most certainly must have been from that itinerant preacher Ark has mentioned. Right? Of course you probably never considered it was your self talking to yourself?

            You also told Ark: you can analyze the why’s you think I feel as I do but until you have been in the presence of God and experienced His love, you have no reference point at all. Just wanted to mention that I have been there, done that so I DO have a reference point. And I have found my life today as a non-believer far more satisfying and full of love than I ever did as a believer. But … to each his own.

            I just wish folks like you would stay in your corner and read your bible and pray and stop trying to “convert” those of us who have either been there, done that (and found it wanting) … or have thoroughly investigated your religion and chosen to never “go there.”

            Liked by 2 people

          • @ Bruce.
            I recently read your comments on Colorstorm’s blog and as I love his writing soooo much I popped over to your spot to read.

            You appear to have deleted my comments at your spot. Was there a particular reason?

            Like

          • Was there anything I wrote that was rude of offensive?
            Was our chat at your spot not civil and respectful?
            Was there something I wrote that you were afraid to let your other visitors read?
            There is only one individual whom I might curtail and that is only when he becomes completely irrelevant and only then after extreme provocation.
            Otherwise, all are free to speak their mind here.
            Can you explain why you felt the need to delete my comments?

            Liked by 1 person

          • Who’s getting uppity now, Ark? I’ve been following today’s comms with Bruce and others and if things were the other way around you’d be laughing your socks off. Critical thinking enlightened by ‘no evidence’? Rubbish! It’s head-in-the-sand time for those who just don’t want to see!

            Like

          • Uppity? Moi?
            Bruce popped over to my spot and opened up dialogue.
            I saw him on Everyone’s Favorite Flat Earther’s blog and popped over.
            Our chat at his place was very civil with none of the fundy, bile inducing garbage you regularly spew forth.
            I thought that after our chat at his spot it was a bit cowardly to then go back and delete our entire dialogue.

            You notice I hope, that I allow even an indoctrinated half wit like you to have your tuppence worth whenever you feel like it.
            So don’t be so bloody ungrateful you curmudgeonly, uppity sod.

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          • I think when you informed me that some of your associates would be joining the conversation (which they did with deliberate insults) and to standby for incoming comments, the tone in our conversation changed. You and I both know what started out as a honest exchange where I took the time to respond to your questions, quickly turned into a showcase for you to display your adapt ability at rejecting all evidence if it doesn’t meet your prerequisite as indisputable proof, of which no one, that I am aware of, can supply. Anyone can dispute anything which doesn’t leave much room for honest discussion. Many scholars accept the evidence that J. Warner Wallace and others provide but you evidently regard all of it as being unworthy of consideration. And quite frankly Doug, I have better things to do with my time than to serve as yet another example of your disarming efficiency. With the criteria that you require, ancient history and textual criticism would be a short study. You’re an intelligent person Doug, why don’t you find someone else to showcase your stacked deck skill set with. Oh, and with regard to me deleting your comments, I get to delete frivolous content and unfortunately yours met my criteria. You set your standard, I set mine. Please note that I did it without bringing in reinforcements that insult you. Best regards.

            Liked by 1 person

          • your adapt ability at rejecting all evidence if it doesn’t meet your prerequisite as indisputable proof

            I haven’t rejected your evidence as you have yet to provide any.
            I have considered your arguments for the tenets of your faith and summarily dismissed them as completely lacking in substance or supporting evidence.

            With the criteria that you require, ancient history and textual criticism would be a short study.

            Wrong. I require the same degree of honesty towards the biblical character Jesus of Nazareth and the claims believers such as you assert as I do for other claims surrounding historical figures.
            Even apologist Mike Licona has acknowledged that those Christians engaged in history where it concerns their faith do not apply the same criteria.

            You engaged Colorstorm and were equally as dubious of his claims as I am of yours.
            And you surely must have witnessed his unique brand of insults and denigration; even towards fellow Christians.

            One of the things you fail to consider is that what you believe are insults are born out of the frustration, and in some cases genuine trauma and misery experienced by former indoctrinated believers.
            That you refused to offer any reason why such former believers, including professionals, walk away from such indoctrinated beliefs suggests a measure of what some call compartmentalism.
            People such as Francis Collins and Hugh Ross are good examples of this.
            When you are prepared to acknowledge the level of hurt some of these former Christians suffered during their deconversion you might begin to appreciate how they feel and why some react the way they do.
            You might even be interested to read about a chap called Jonny Scaramanga.
            A former Young Earth Creationist who was part of the ACE system in the UK.
            He attained his phd by exposing ACE and YEC and the effects it has on children.

            https://newint.org/features/2015/06/01/christian-fundamentalist-schools

            https://www.patheos.com/blogs/leavingfundamentalism/

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          • Oh and I notice you amended the Horn article.
            Well done.
            I hope you explain to any that might inquire why I wrote the post as it does now rather diminish you original claim somewhat.
            As we are all trying to keep each other honest and all that, right?
            Thanks Bruce.

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          • My apology also, I’m trying to respond to my wife and focus on you at the same time and it’s not working well for either of you. Question: When you look around and begin to comprehend the complexity that surrounds you at multiple levels, is there anything at all within you that says there is a reason or cause behind it? Or are you just dust that is here one day and gone the next?

            Like

          • Re question:
            No, and yes …
            If there is anything more then positing a creator is nothing more than a god of the gaps.
            And even if one were to accept such a scenario getting from deist to theist is only the beginning of your problems.

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          • When I was in my early thirties I was taking a course at the local university while I was working shift work and we had three kids at the time. It was a course on comparative religion and the professor was a draft dodger from the USA up in Newfoundland Canada. I found the course extremely difficult because the Professor was an atheist and was continually pumping out info like you are to me now. As the opportunity presented itself I would correct him on whatever fact he was misrepresenting and I think I spent half of my life in the library doing research. I wanted to quit but every time the though came into my head I would receive an internal witness that I was to stay the course. One day when I walked into his class, he gave the class to me so I sat basically gave my testimony to the class. About ten people came up to me at the end of the class and I answered their questions. That night I got a call at home from the professor asking if he could come over. I said yes and I was intimidated by his list of degrees and asked God what I should do. He told me to speak to him from my heart and that is what I did. His name was Paul Riley and he accepted Jesus into his heart that night. We kept in contact for almost 10 years after he went back to the states. That is a fact. I have many more. It really happened. You can’t learn to swim until you get into the water. It’s that simple.

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          • EDIT Great! I am sure it did happen. I have NO reason to think you are telling stories..
            But he was obviously emotionally charged enough to seek you out and whatever his internal issues were he considered they could be solved by becoming a Christian.
            But on the flipside, how do you account for the great many ex-professional Christians pastors, priests, nuns, etc (not to mention former, every day believers) who were riddled with doubt, embarked on serious study and deconverted?

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          • I am not asking you to judge them , but merely ask what you believe causes so many Christians who were fully immersed in the faith to eventually walk away?

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          • Jesus asks you to die to self and to seek God’s will in your life. That’s not easy and there are some who walk away but to those who have tasted and experienced His love and direction, there is no walking away because you never want to go back. You’d have had to experience that to know what I mean.

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          • Well, I never have.
            But many experienced this.
            I was merely a nominal christian, raised C of E.

            However, many would say they were as d.evoted and emotionally committed as you seem to be. Quite a few visit here
            And yet, they walked away.

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          • Indoctrination and emotional dependence does this to some people.
            Neurology explains a lot of it.,
            Sociology too.

            You do not accept the claims of other religions as they don’t accept yours.
            If one of you could demonstrate the veracity of your claims then there would likely be only a single religion.
            As it is there are lots and there are tens of thousands of Christian denominations.
            Do even you know which christian viewpoint is correct and how you do discern?

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          • The brush off?
            If you cannot even encourage me to rethink my view, and are not prepared to offer a single piece of verified evidence for your claims then maybe what you believe needs to be questioned a little more rigorously?

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          • Proof The Quran is the inerrant word of God:

            “This Book is not to be doubted…. As for the unbelievers, it is the same whether or not you forewarn them; they will not have faith. God has set a seal upon their hearts and ears; their sight is dimmed and grievous punishment awaits them.”

            Quran 2:1/2:6-2:10

            Liked by 1 person

          • Doug, you can frame this conversation however you wish to paint it. I will tell you this. God’s love is extended to you, through the death of His Son Jesus, on the cross. You have no idea what you’re rejecting.

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          • No, I have not, you are correct.
            But then I thought you were a Trinitarian, so how can you believe in a Father(Yahweh) and a son, Jesus?
            But the hundreds of thousands who walk away do understand perfectly, and some of those will engage with you right here if you are open to it?

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          • Apologies Bruce.
            I just spotted the typo in that reply.
            I meant to say:
            I have NO reason to think you are telling stories.
            Sincere apologies for that faux pas.

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          • No problem Doug. This conversation was over before it started. Critical thinking influence, strange, I would have said the prideful influence. Best wishes.

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          • Ah …
            That was a bit of a dig I think.
            It is unfortunate that when push comes to shove all the somewhat Ivory Tower claims begin to look more and more like the Tower of Babel.

            It would just be refreshing if, for a change, devout believers such as yourself were honest to acknowledge that ultimately it is all about faith and evidence is simply the optional and usually invisible icing on the cake,

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          • Then as you reject this view, I am completely open to evidence.
            So far all I have ever gotten from Christians is clever arguments and unsubstantiated faith-based assertions.

            You believe and you sound a reasonable sort of bloke.
            Offer me a single piece of evidence that irrefutably supports just one tenet of your faith.

            And did I ask you what was the evidence that convinced you?

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          • So, no evidence, just feelings and presupposition.
            You said earlier that Wallace would have a field day with me … ( but I can assure you he still could not provide any evidence to support his claims) I know that my ex-christian readers will thoroughly enjoy going toe to toe with every argument you present.
            It will be a case of been there done that got the blood stained T shirt and walked away.
            Please stay for desert … some of those visitors will be along soon!
            🙂

            Liked by 1 person

          • I’ve convinced dozens of Brazilians that cheesecake is the greatest food ever invented by human hands. That really happened. You can’t learn to swim until you get into the water. It’s that simple.

            Liked by 2 people

          • May I ask what relevance this has to the topic of discussion?
            Personal details I mention in the course of certain blog pieces I write generally cover what I am comfortable with.

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          • J Warner Wallace from coldcasechristianity.com would have a field day with you. No evidence to support him whatsoever. Hardly know where to start. There is a host of evidence, what is it that you are looking for, do you expect Jesus to come knocking on your door and check off all the boxes you have on His existence? There is one basic requirement, you have to believe that it might be possible that He exists and YOU have to make a move towards Him. The reason for that is because it is a relationship and that relationship is critical. If you are not willing to give that a try, it will never happen. It’s that simple. Facts are things you can examine. Realities are real because they exist but if you won’t even give His reality the mental acknowledgement of possibility, that door is nailed shut by you. He gave you life, not the other way around. You’re not dealing with a frog that you can dissect and manipulate to your liking. It simply doesn’t work that way.

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          • No, there is no evidence.
            I reiterate. Clever arguments, yes. Evidence no. None whatsoever for a single foundational tenet of Christianity.

            I have listened to his arguments on several occasions. He brings nothing new to the table and if there were any merit to his claims then surely it would convince every homicide detective around the globe, or in the US at least.
            He also believes the gospel are eyewitness testimony.
            Right here, any credibility goes out the window.
            A seasoned scholar such as NT Wright acknowledges that the gospels are anonymous. And this is the consensus.

            And veiled preaching is almost an insult, Bruce, so please don’t.

            Finally , on Wallace, I would ask, what were the circumstances surrounding Wallace’s conversion?
            Are you aware?

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