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  • Originally posted by Mikeenders View Post
    I am not even sure why there needs to be an extended discussion about scholars on this. Are the opening verses of Acts in dispute? I've never heard much about that. Acts says clearly the issue of eyewitness testimony has been dealt with in depth already by whoever the writer is. So why would he go extensively into it again?

    Acts 1:1-3 (KJV)
    1 The former treatise have I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach,
    2 Until the day in which he was taken up, after that he through the Holy Ghost had given commandments unto the apostles whom he had chosen:
    3 To whom also he shewed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God:

    which is yet another passage that shows how dreadfully silly gary's point that Acts says nothing of a witness creed is. What's verse 3????

    I'm beginning to think this alleged Doctor is a teenager thats barely read the NT at all.
    Strawman.

    There is no mention of an appearance to James or to "Five Hundred at once" in Acts (or the Gospels). If the "Early Creed" in First Corinthians really was a creed used in Christian worship from just a few years after Jesus' death and continuing until the time of Paul, the evidence strongly indicates that this Creed was abandoned thereafter, for some reason, as it is not repeated (in a creed form) in Acts, the Gospels, nor in the liturgy of the second and third century Church.

    Comment


    • Originally posted by Gary View Post
      Let's concede you are correct for the Book of Acts. What about the omission of the appearances of Jesus to James and the Five Hundred in the Gospels?
      Already answered when the naming of witnesses is mentioned. You're expecting the Gospels to be exhaustive. They're not. If anything, this could serve as greater testimony of the creed since the writers could include the other witnesses that were not cited in the Creed.

      Comment


      • 1 Corinthians was written in 53-54 AD.Which part of this "creed" was abandoned by the early churches? Which of them did not teach and preach the same?

        The statements of 1 Corinthians are today termed a creed. Would they have been considered a formalised statement during the first century, or is the term, creed, applied to what was to the writer a simple statement of fact.

        Still waiting for some sort of evidence that the writers were deliberately lying - so far you still have nothing credible.
        Last edited by tabibito; 09-17-2015, 12:40 PM.
        1Cor 15:34 εκνηψατε δικαιως και μη αμαρτανετε αγνωσιαν γαρ θεου τινες εχουσιν προς εντροπην υμιν λεγω
        Come to your senses as you ought and stop sinning; for I say to your shame, there are some who know not God.
        .
        "It is not divine truth that makes the man seem more innocent in what is equally sinful, but human wrong-headedness." AUGUSTINE: re adultery

        "The synoptic gospels claim that Jesus was crucified on the 15th day of Nisan and buried on the 14th day of Nisan:" majority consensus

        Comment


        • Sad. Very sad.

          I had hoped that at least Stein would begin to see just how preposterous this claim is and just how weak the evidence for it is.

          On skeptic blogs, which are populated mostly with ex-Christians, we discuss just how bizarre it is that at one time we too held to your positions and how now that we have left Christianity we see just how nonsensical these arguments and positions really are. How can it be that two groups of intelligent, educated people can see the "evidence" so very, very differently? I think that there are only two possible explanations:

          1. An evil demon or devil really has blinded non-believers to the real Truth.

          or

          2. Christians are thoroughly (and in many cases hopelessly) brainwashed.

          I know that many of you consider me a troll, here just to stir up a fight. It is true that I do enjoy a good "brawl in the mud", but I also do really care about the truth. I really do care that others see the truth. I really do care that each of YOU sees the truth. And, I really do believe that conservative Christianity is a cult because it uses mankind's fear of death and what happens after death as a billy club to control people. No loving deity would threaten people he loves with punishment for not loving him back.

          Please use your brains, folks. Please ignore the "experts" and use good ol' common sense: dead bodies do not walk out of their graves with new superhero, immortal bodies to fly off into outer space. It's science fiction. It's a tall tale and nothing more.

          Comment


          • Actually - the only piece missing from Acts 2 that I can see with regard to Jesus' death and resurrection, that is included in 1 Corinthians - is the term of 3 days. Let's see now ... Acts has a rough draft form of the formulaic statement in 1 Corinthians .... would that not lead to the possibility that Acts may have been written BEFORE 1 Corinthians?

            Gary can't provide any evidence to support the theory that the writers of the New Testament were deliberately lying, but he is convinced that Christians have been brainwashed. He's not going to "de-program" anyone with that kind of story.
            Last edited by tabibito; 09-17-2015, 12:55 PM.
            1Cor 15:34 εκνηψατε δικαιως και μη αμαρτανετε αγνωσιαν γαρ θεου τινες εχουσιν προς εντροπην υμιν λεγω
            Come to your senses as you ought and stop sinning; for I say to your shame, there are some who know not God.
            .
            "It is not divine truth that makes the man seem more innocent in what is equally sinful, but human wrong-headedness." AUGUSTINE: re adultery

            "The synoptic gospels claim that Jesus was crucified on the 15th day of Nisan and buried on the 14th day of Nisan:" majority consensus

            Comment


            • Originally posted by Gary View Post
              I know how you feel, guys, because I was once one of you. I laughed at the arguments and criticisms of atheists and other skeptics. I was so certain that my Christian belief system was THE Truth. I was so sure that skeptics were God-hating idiots who refused to look at the evidence for Jesus and his Resurrection simply because they did not want to believe. They did not want to submit to the will of God and repent of their sinful lifestyles.
              What you don't seem to get is I was once just like you are now(and there are several others here like me). Convinced there was no God, smug in my certainty. Life was one BIG party and I was enjoying every minute of it. Laughing at the "idiots" who went to church every Sunday, and actually believed in a guy who rose from the dead...until, God changed my mind. You could no more convince me that God doesn't exist than you could convince me that Barak Obama is President of the United States.
              "What has the Church gained if it is popular, but there is no conviction, no repentance, no power?" - A.W. Tozer

              "... there are two parties in Washington, the stupid party and the evil party, who occasionally get together and do something both stupid and evil, and this is called bipartisanship." - Everett Dirksen

              Comment


              • Originally posted by Littlejoe View Post
                What you don't seem to get is I was once just like you are now(and there are several others here like me). Convinced there was no God, smug in my certainty. Life was one BIG party and I was enjoying every minute of it. Laughing at the "idiots" who went to church every Sunday, and actually believed in a guy who rose from the dead...until, God changed my mind. You could no more convince me that God doesn't exist than you could convince me that Barak Obama is President of the United States.
                But I am not asking you, Little Joe, to deny the existence of a God. I am asking you to consider that your conversion was based on emotional reasons and not because a God spoke to you in your heart, or moved you, or lead you, to him. How would you know for sure? Aren't you really just guessing that your conversion was due to Yahweh/Jesus and not some internal psychological need which was relieved/fulfilled by your psychological submission and belief in the religious equivalent of an all-powerful superhero as your personal body guide and all-knowing mentor for all of life's problems?

                Comment


                • Originally posted by Gary View Post
                  So you are stating that because Christians have explanations/harmonizations for every alleged error, contradiction, and discrepancy in their supernatural story that this proves it to be true?
                  s.
                  Heres the problem Gary. Too many people including NT scholars assume things that they have not learnt from any established source because their training did not cover it. A classic one I point at?

                  Whats a contradiction? Its pretty clear that a contradiction is when two facts are necessarily opposed to each other. Rather than demonstrating with some evidence that two different verses are necessarily opposed to each other Skeptic scholars and followers such as yourself change the meaning of a contradiction to what MIGHT be opposed to each other or to you APPEARS to be a contradiction. At that point rather than proving that there is a contradiction you assume the onus and burden of proof is on the believer to show otherwise but even if he does show precisely that you call that "harmonization". So in other words you have created an argument where tails you win heads they lose.

                  What allows skeptics to have fun with the NT is its uniqueness in its numbers of writers/witnesses talking about the same event that long ago. you get a number of people giving witness to events there will always be differences in what they saw, how they saw and when they saw. Mix that in with culture, time, history and language not completely known to us and you can have even more fun which you would have with just about any other similar multiple witnessed ancient event. You have ample opportunities to claim what MIGHT or APPEARS to be a contradiction. However Thats not how a contradiction works.

                  A charge of a contradiction is like a charge of lying. the onus of proof is on ME if I call you on lying and if I should merely assume that you are lying you would call that polemic and be offended. so no I don't think that because Christians have "harmonizations" (Aka proof that there is not a necessary logical incoherence) that proves it to be true but I think that your lack of proof of a true contradiction simply does not meet that requirement to distrust the testimony of the New Testament.

                  Please, Mike, apply that logic to any other religion's supernatural claims. Mormons can do the very same thing with their supernatural tale, as can the Muslims, as can the Hindus, as can every other supernatural-based religion on the planet. Now, you won't believe that their explanations/harmonizations are good, and you will feel that you are very justified in rejecting their explanations/harmonizations, but then how is that different from the many,
                  Stop incessantly telling me what I would or would not do when you have no clue . I've told you point blank on at least three occasions that i do not find miracles by themselves to be compelling without context. Your claim that all religions have the same background and equality is nonsense. All you are doing is putting them all in the same box and claiming equivalence for all. Using that technique in regard to race and you would be considered a racist. I evaluate a religion on its own terms not some mass generalized discrimination that you are adhering to. I reject Mormon claims because they lack the very context i told you several times I require. If there were a previous context indicating a man was going to dig up something in the new world then I would have to consider it more carefully than I do.

                  You assume too much and you are unaware of your assumptions swearing you are free from them. This is one of the things that alleged ex christians intoxicate themselves with. They swear they were solid christians and they had a solid basis so they know why other Christians believe what they do and why its wrong. Then when a skeptic attacks their wobble foundation they think it devastates the entire Christian faith because they think that was all that was behind everyone else's faith. You are wrong. Some of us have far more to be standing on that what you were.
                  Last edited by Mikeenders; 09-17-2015, 01:27 PM.

                  Comment


                  • Indeed. We don't have a shallow faith that disappears the moment someone teases us about it.
                    If it weren't for the Resurrection of Jesus, we'd all be in DEEP TROUBLE!

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by psstein View Post
                      The 1 Cor. 15 creed is meant as part of an oral tradition. In the Greek, it's abundantly clear due to its structure (almost rhyming). It's not meant as a confessional creed.
                      I am taking Gary's reference to creed within the context of the other creeds he has mentioned - confessional creeds.

                      I would be interested on a side note to know how we determine a church wide oral tradition based on a rhyming text. Why can that not be a Pauline teaching device or a convention in his churches without being an established oral tradition?

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by Gary View Post
                        But I am not asking you, Little Joe, to deny the existence of a God. I am asking you to consider that your conversion was based on emotional reasons and not because a God spoke to you in your heart, or moved you, or lead you, to him. How would you know for sure? Aren't you really just guessing that your conversion was due to Yahweh/Jesus and not some internal psychological need which was relieved/fulfilled by your psychological submission and belief in the religious equivalent of an all-powerful superhero as your personal body guide and all-knowing mentor for all of life's problems?
                        How about you - Gary - assume that just one of the people here might just know what he is talking about. "psychological submission", "all powerful superhero", "emotional reasons". What sort of clap-trap do you think you are going to get anyone to buy into. If anyone came to me with nothing more than warm fuzzies to base his belief on, I wouldn't consider him a candidate for baptism. He wouldn't be able to survive what comes, and would wind up in the same position that you now are in.
                        For all you know, just one of the people involved in this discussion may have turned to Christ with no regard for personal gain whatever, maybe even considered at the time that he could never be admitted to heaven.

                        What do you know? Anything?
                        1Cor 15:34 εκνηψατε δικαιως και μη αμαρτανετε αγνωσιαν γαρ θεου τινες εχουσιν προς εντροπην υμιν λεγω
                        Come to your senses as you ought and stop sinning; for I say to your shame, there are some who know not God.
                        .
                        "It is not divine truth that makes the man seem more innocent in what is equally sinful, but human wrong-headedness." AUGUSTINE: re adultery

                        "The synoptic gospels claim that Jesus was crucified on the 15th day of Nisan and buried on the 14th day of Nisan:" majority consensus

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by Gary View Post
                          Let's concede you are correct for the Book of Acts. What about the omission of the appearances of Jesus to James and the Five Hundred in the Gospels?
                          Gary for once analyze your own logic. You are essentially claiming that any statement or statements not made in the NT more than once is evidence that it was denied by the other writers of the NT.

                          You are supposedly educated enough. How can you not see how inane that logic is?

                          Comment


                          • The gospel stories finish with the ascension - or before. Why would they mention something that happened after the writing finished? Why do you think the destruction of the temple isn't mentioned in the gospels? In all probability, because when their narratives finish, the temple was still standing. Perhaps you think that there would be another reason for the fulfilment of a major prophecy by Christ to pass without mention.

                            And yes, there is no obligation to believe anything that isn't written up at least twice, and by more than one author.
                            Last edited by tabibito; 09-17-2015, 01:41 PM.
                            1Cor 15:34 εκνηψατε δικαιως και μη αμαρτανετε αγνωσιαν γαρ θεου τινες εχουσιν προς εντροπην υμιν λεγω
                            Come to your senses as you ought and stop sinning; for I say to your shame, there are some who know not God.
                            .
                            "It is not divine truth that makes the man seem more innocent in what is equally sinful, but human wrong-headedness." AUGUSTINE: re adultery

                            "The synoptic gospels claim that Jesus was crucified on the 15th day of Nisan and buried on the 14th day of Nisan:" majority consensus

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by tabibito View Post
                              How about you - Gary - assume that just one of the people here might just know what he is talking about. "psychological submission", "all powerful superhero", "emotional reasons".
                              I dunno. I have met quite a few people who take strong "emotional reason" objection to being seen as a sinner and rejected Christianity (most atheist males I have encountered get particularly emotional about sexual prohibitions in the Bible ) . I wasn't thrilled with the idea myself. The idea that coming to Christ is this all butterfly and warm fuzzies event with little distress doesn't match all conversion experiences and thats not to speak of countries and times when doing so meant you were drastically reducing your life expectancy and had to be ready to face your mortality in the near future.

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by Gary View Post
                                Sad. Very sad.

                                I had hoped that at least Stein would begin to see just how preposterous this claim is and just how weak the evidence for it is.

                                On skeptic blogs, which are populated mostly with ex-Christians, we discuss just how bizarre it is that at one time we too held to your positions and how now that we have left Christianity we see just how nonsensical these arguments and positions really are. How can it be that two groups of intelligent, educated people can see the "evidence" so very, very differently? I think that there are only two possible explanations:

                                1. An evil demon or devil really has blinded non-believers to the real Truth.

                                or

                                2. Christians are thoroughly (and in many cases hopelessly) brainwashed.

                                I know that many of you consider me a troll, here just to stir up a fight. It is true that I do enjoy a good "brawl in the mud", but I also do really care about the truth. I really do care that others see the truth. I really do care that each of YOU sees the truth. And, I really do believe that conservative Christianity is a cult because it uses mankind's fear of death and what happens after death as a billy club to control people. No loving deity would threaten people he loves with punishment for not loving him back.

                                Please use your brains, folks. Please ignore the "experts" and use good ol' common sense: dead bodies do not walk out of their graves with new superhero, immortal bodies to fly off into outer space. It's science fiction. It's a tall tale and nothing more.
                                Gary, I work in the field. Nothing you're saying is new. You have to actually understand how and why the evangelists are writing, rather than ripping Paul's passages out of context and expecting Luke to use them for a completely different project.

                                Also, I took a look at the Joel Marcus commentary. It's pretty good, and he gives good reasons to accept the authorship of Mark.

                                Comment

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