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  • Originally posted by Adrift View Post
    Like I've previously pointed out, this technique simply doesn't do what you seem to want it to do. Quite the contrary, it makes you look petty, arrogant, and narrow minded, and it's not helped at all by the fact that you don't have nearly the handle on this subject that you apparently think you do. In the end you just end up looking very silly talking down to people clearly more educated on the subject than you are.
    It may not be changing your mind, or that of Nick, but my hope is that it will shake the consciences of the "lurkers" so that they will see the downright silliness of this belief system. The people participating in this debate are probably beyond hope.

    Just because a Muslim or Mormon scholar has a PhD and can talk circles around me using philosophical and logical theories for the veracity of his truth claims, doesn't mean that I or any person with a sixth grade education can't tell the Muslim and Mormon scholar that his or her entire belief system is based on silly nonsense. I don't need to be a NT scholar to know that dead, decomposing human tissue cannot be reanimated; eat broiled fish sandwiches; or levitate into outer space.

    Comment


    • Originally posted by Gary View Post
      There is only one passage in the entire Bible that talks about a trinity (three in one) concept. Sure, Christians can point to verses that can be read as the Father and Son being one, but not all three persons of the Trinitarian godhead. However, this one verse (shown below) was corrupted by a later scribe copying the Bible. It was not in the originals. Therefore, there is no true passage in the Bible that clearly and precisely declares that the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are one God but three persons. Many believe that this passage was doctored to reinforce the "proto-orthodox" Christian position against the Arians and other Christian groups in the early Church. The proto-orthodox won the early Christian civil wars, and therefore their doctrine "crept" into the Bible.

      Johannine Comma

      The Johannine comma, as it is called, is a sequence of extra words in 1 John 5:7-8 which appear in some early printed Greek texts (notably those of Erasmus), later versions of the Latin Vulgate, and in the King James Version of the Bible. See these words below in italics in the KJV and the same verse from the newer ESV.

      "For there are three that bear record (witness) in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. And there are three that bear witness in earth, the spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one." -1 John 5:7-8, KJV


      "For there are three that testify: the Spirit and the water and the blood; and these three agree." -1 John 5:7-8, ESV


      Pre-16th century Greek manuscripts and translations

      "These extra words are generally absent from the Greek manuscripts. In fact, they only appear in the text of four late medieval manuscripts. They seem to have originated as a marginal note added to certain Latin manuscripts during the middle ages, which was eventually incorporated into the text of most of the later Vulgate manuscripts." ^1

      "The passage is absent from every known Greek manuscript except eight, and these contain the passage in what appears to be a translation from a late recension of the Latin Vulgate. Four of the eight manuscripts contain the passage as a variant reading written in the margin as a later addition to the manuscript." ^2
      There is plenty left without the Johannine Comma to use in favor of the understanding of the Trinity. Wisdom theology[1] of the OT and intertestamental literature is a good starting point. The "Spirit of the Lord[2]" is also another place to look in the OT. Then there are things like theophanies[3] to consider.

      In other words, this is not the "major problem" that you make it out to be.

      1. Places like Proverbs, or Wisdom of Solomon help in understanding Jewish thought on God's Wisdom.
      2. Places like Judges are examples of the Holy Spirit before Christ shows up.
      3. The "Angel of the Lord" does things that no angel, and no prophet would have done. Things only God Himself would do. All of these things together tie in very well to the orthodox understanding of the Trinity, no Johannine Comma needed.

      Comment


      • Someone mentioned earlier that Jesus' body did not decompose. Well, if that is true, then he didn't die.

        The minute the heart stops beating, cells in the body start dying, which is the first stage of decomposition of the body. If Jesus was dead (which I believe he was) his body was in the early stages of decomposition while he was still hanging on the cross.

        As I said before: Dead, decomposing bodies CANNOT be reanimated, by ancient middle-eastern gods, or by anyone else.

        Comment


        • Originally posted by Cerebrum123 View Post
          There is plenty left without the Johannine Comma to use in favor of the understanding of the Trinity. Wisdom theology[1] of the OT and intertestamental literature is a good starting point. The "Spirit of the Lord[2]" is also another place to look in the OT. Then there are things like theophanies[3] to consider.

          In other words, this is not the "major problem" that you make it out to be.

          1. Places like Proverbs, or Wisdom of Solomon help in understanding Jewish thought on God's Wisdom.
          2. Places like Judges are examples of the Holy Spirit before Christ shows up.
          3. The "Angel of the Lord" does things that no angel, and no prophet would have done. Things only God Himself would do. All of these things together tie in very well to the orthodox understanding of the Trinity, no Johannine Comma needed.
          Understand Jewish thought on a Trinity??? Have you spoken to your neighborhood rabbi lately?

          Comment


          • Originally posted by Gary View Post
            Understand Jewish thought on a Trinity??? Have you spoken to your neighborhood rabbi lately?

            I never said Jews accept the Trinity, only that Jewish concepts and teaching line up perfectly with the Trinity when the NT in it's entirety is also taken into account. So, stop burning .

            Comment


            • Originally posted by Cerebrum123 View Post
              Well, maybe you could list these "major" problems. So far all I've seen are spelling errors, numerical discrepancies, and a few small verses that do not impact Christian orthodox doctrine in any way, shape, or form.
              so you agree there are errors, but just not big ones? I'm not talking about spelling or translation either.

              I dont really mean to get off on a tangent, but Matthew has jesus riding two donkey at the triumphal entry as if he misunderstood redundancy in text, he credited Jeremiah with something Zechariah said, he said that Isaiah said that a Virgin would conceive and that that referenced Jesus and Mary while Isaiah really said "young woman" and and young woman happened to give birth in Isaiah Ch 8.

              Matt and Lukes genealogies both say through Joseph but are horribly wrong - people usually say that Luke meant Mary, but this is really just wishful thinking. I mean, what discrepancy cant be "explained" in such a way?

              on the limited commission, were they to take their sandles or staffs or not?

              at jesus birth, each has a different story. which is right? if they're all right, how do you make it work with all the details?

              ezekiel's prophecy of Tyre... Tyre isnt desolate and was rebuilt and is populated today, contrary to what Ezekiel said.

              Jeremiah said that a levite will always be at the alter in Jerusalem and that a decedent of david would always be on the thrown. Jesus is the descendant of David, but he's from Judah, and priest after melcizedec not after Levi.

              I mean there's more. and I've heard the excuses, so since this is a tangent, I'll just acknowledge that you likely have "explanations" for them - but keep this in mind, all religions have explanations for their issues (Islam as well) and Like them, these excuses dont eliminate the issue, as the text says what it says not matter how much we plead for it to mean something else. You'll believe it regardless and I just do not.

              But saying that the Koran has textual issues but that the bible does not is not fair or accurate. you just make and believe excuses for the bible and dont want to hear or accept the excuses made and believed for the Koran.

              Comment


              • Originally posted by Adrift View Post
                I realize this is just a bit of well poisoning, but just for the hell of it... Flesh doesn't necessarily decompose within three days, especially when it's been treated for burial, and laid to rest in a cool grotto. The New Testament doesn't suggest that Jesus' body was merely reanimated. It was transformed into a new, glorified body. Since any claims made about the historical Jesus are necessarily within a middle-eastern context, it's a bit redundant to point out that the God that raised him was also middle-eastern. Same goes with God's ancientness. Any talk of the historical Jesus 2000 years ago necessarily refers to that ancient period. You've used this same sort of rhetoric about a half dozen times now, as if to remind everyone of how incredulous you think this all is. We all get it. Argument by incredulity doesn't impress. All it does is tend to make you look like a bit of a jerk. It makes people wonder if this is the way you acted when you were a Christian, or if you only started acting this way when you apostated.



                The presumption here is mind-dumbing. Just because you never took the time to think through your faith, and ask yourself why you believed what you believed when you claimed to be a Christian doesn't mean the rest of us are that simple and arrogant. Many of the Christians posting on this forum, probably most of us, took a long hard look at the evidence for Christianity before confessing Christ as our Lord. Don't put on us what you failed miserably to do when you decided to mindlessly accept blind faith rather than a reasonable one.
                adrift, you seem to be doing what you are accusing Gary of a little.

                it's not really correct to say that you and most others thought about every little thing before you took christ as your savior. that's basically saying you waited until you knew everything so now there's nothing more for you to learn, so no way you'd have to reevaluate your faith. I dont think you really mean this and it would be quite an arrogant thing to say anyway, yeah?

                maybe Gary should stop saying Ancient (even though it's accurate) and you should not imply you are a better christian than he was. and let's not pretend that gary is the only acting like a jerk, there are enough jabs and snipes from several here, right?

                Comment


                • Originally posted by Gary View Post
                  Hi Dave,

                  The reason I agreed to the "empty tomb" as historical is to get Nick to agree to the later dating of the Gospels (no earlier than the mid 60's for the first gospel), and, that none of the Gospels were written by eyewitnesses.

                  Both the empty tomb and these last two points are the position of the majority of NT scholars, and Nick was pressing me to accept the majority position on this point, so in exchange, I asked him to accept the majority position on the dating and authorship of the Gospels. (Yes, I know that most NT scholars are Christian believers, but by accepting the empty tomb as historical, my argument that the appearances were more likely to have been based on mass hysteria is not harmed, whereas for Nick to agree to the dating and authorship of the Gospels, I believe it takes a lot of wind out of his sail. I do not believe that the Resurrection claim can stand without evidence that the Gospels were written by eyewitnesses.) But let's see how Nick and other Christians respond.
                  Thanks for explaining that Gary. I just wanted to point out another alternative scenario that could be examined: That the empty tomb story was a later addition and that the burial place of Jesus was unknown to his disciples. That they came to believe he was alive could be explained by a vision or dream or mistaken identity followed by mass hysteria as you propose.

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by Cerebrum123 View Post

                    I never said Jews accept the Trinity, only that Jewish concepts and teaching line up perfectly with the Trinity when the NT in it's entirety is also taken into account. So, stop burning .
                    There is no concept of a Trinity in the Hebrew Bible. Any apparent presence is in the imagination of Christians.

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by Adrift View Post
                      Like I've previously pointed out, this technique simply doesn't do what you seem to want it to do. Quite the contrary, it makes you look petty, arrogant, and narrow minded, and it's not helped at all by the fact that you don't have nearly the handle on this subject that you apparently think you do. In the end you just end up looking very silly talking down to people clearly more educated on the subject than you are.
                      maybe our problem is one of empathy and the ability to look at things differently. Each side could say the same as you. Perhaps no one has that great of a handle on it as there isn't much there. To act as if the resurrection is iron clad is misleading to say the least. You find it compelling. But not everyone has the same threshold for belief.

                      I do not think belief is a choice, but rather an eventuality. We can all claim that our opponents dont know was much as us, or try as much as us, or dont study as much as us, or think it through as much as us, because if they did, they'd see it my way...

                      this is obviously flawed.

                      for me, I left the faith when I encountered certain textural issues. after I left the faith, the logical issues hit me more and they now seem to be the bigger reasons to me, while before, it was all biblical stuff. I can only assure you that i try and search and take this very seriously. i do not live any differently than i did when I was a christian, so this isnt an excuse to live sinfully.

                      it's easy to say stupid, but it's harder to identify whether we, ourselves, are stupid and what we're missing or lacking.

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by Gary View Post
                        Ever heard of the Crusades, the Inquistion, pogroms, the Thirty Years War, the decimation or enslavement of the native peoples of America in the name of the Christian god, slavery, segregation, anti-gay laws??

                        But, I can already guess your response: "These people weren't REAL Christians, like me and my particular flavor of Christianity."
                        Please show how the above horrors are supported by the Christian scriptures.
                        Enter the Church and wash away your sins. For here there is a hospital and not a court of law. Do not be ashamed to enter the Church; be ashamed when you sin, but not when you repent. St. John Chrysostom

                        Veritas vos Liberabit<>< Learn Greek <>< Look here for an Orthodox Church in America<><Ancient Faith Radio
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                        I recommend you do not try too hard and ...research as little as possible. Such weighty things give me a headache. - Shunyadragon, Baha'i apologist

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by Gary View Post
                          I tell you what. I'm going to make this debate much easier for Nick and the other Christians participating in this discussion. Nick and I have already agreed to accept the following three points as historical facts for this discussion:
                          Easier? It's hard for a way to think of you making it easier because it was never a challenge to begin with.

                          1. The empty tomb.
                          2. The first gospel, Mark, was written no earlier than the mid 60's AD and the other three gospels were written one to several decades later.
                          3. None of the gospels were written by eyewitnesses.
                          I've never agreed to two or three, but it's irrelevant because my case doesn't depend on that.

                          In addition, I will agree to accept the following additional Christian claims as historical fact:

                          4. The Eleven, the women, James, and the "Five Hundred at once" all believed they had truly seen Jesus in post-resurrection appearances.
                          5. Many of these "eyewitnesses" were willing to die for their belief in the bodily resurrection of Jesus.
                          6. Paul sincerely believed that he saw, in some sense, the resurrected Jesus on the Damascus Road.
                          7. The Creed in I Corinthians 15 was formulated within five years of Jesus' death.
                          8. No early Christian contested the accuracy of this Creed.
                          9. Paul discussed the Creed and the post-resurrection appearances of Jesus with Peter and James on his trip to Jerusalem.
                          10. Paul met some or all of the "five hundred" witnesses while in Jerusalem or at some other time.
                          11. Paul knew additional details about the life of Jesus, his parables, sermons, and birth/childhood history, he just did not discuss them in his epistles.
                          I accept 5, but it was not part of my argument.

                          Now, by accepting all these Christian assertions, what is the most probable explanation of these historical facts? Is it that the decomposing flesh of a three-day-dead first century Jewish prophet was reanimated by an ancient middle-eastern god?

                          I don't think so. Is it possible allowing for the supernatural/miracle claims? Yes. But it still is not the most probable explanation...by far. So what would explain these historical facts AND be much more probable to be the cause of these beliefs/facts based on collective human experience? Let me answer that by giving an analogy:
                          Alright. Let's watch another story where you don't deal with the actual case but give a "just-so" story so you can ignore all the pushback which you've done every other time before.

                          A widow, Mrs. Jones, lives alone in Sheboygan. One night Mrs. Jones is suffering once again from her chronic sinus headaches. She tosses and turns in bed, unable to sleep. However, in the middle of the night, a bright light appears in the night sky and shines into her bedroom window. The light gets closer, and brighter and brighter until....the Virgin Mary is standing in her bedroom. The Mother of Jesus tells Mrs. Jones that since she has been such a faithful and devout believer, she will be healed of her chronic sinus headaches.

                          The next morning when Mrs. Jones gets out of bed and her headache is gone. "I am healed!" she exclaims with joy. "The Blessed Virgin Mother has healed me!"

                          Mrs. Jones heads down to the local parish hall where she tells everyone present of her healing and the appearance by the Virgin Mary...and within the next few days... every Roman Catholic within a 25 mile radius of Sheboygan is seeing the Virgin Mary, either in appearances to individuals, or in appearances to large groups (of believers only), or, in images of her, such as in paint stains on the side of their garage, or in their burnt toast.

                          So, my dear Christian friends, which is more likely: All these devout believers are really "seeing" the 2,000 year-deceased mother of Jesus, or, they are caught up in mass hysteria?

                          Think about that.
                          Okay. Let's ask a few questions. Does Mrs. Jones live in an honor-shame society where deviant beliefs are looked down on and shunned or does she live in an individualistic society where having an unusual belief can even be a badge of honor?

                          Is Mrs. Jones living in a community where her claims will be welcomed without serious question or is she living in a community where she will face shaming and persecution for her questions?

                          Does Mrs. Jones belief involve acknowledging someone who was just recently put to death by the ruling authorities and thus challenging them in her face?

                          Does the event involve skeptics of her worldview entirely coming to embrace her worldview?

                          If there are appearances of a being to a large number of people, how is this explained since it can't be a hallucination?

                          WHat are the stakes involved with the claim?

                          Now dear readers, which is more likely of these two events since I've answered this?

                          1) Gary will pause and say "You know, maybe I shouldn't be on this personal crusade now but should go and inform myself by reading the best scholars and come back later"

                          Or

                          2) Gary will keep going ignoring any pushback to his position and keep acting like he knows better than everyone else who's read more on this topic than he has.

                          But let's get to his other posts.

                          Both the empty tomb and these last two points are the position of the majority of NT scholars, and Nick was pressing me to accept the majority position on this point, so in exchange, I asked him to accept the majority position on the dating and authorship of the Gospels.
                          I was pressing you to accept the majority of what even non-Christian scholars say on the issues and I presented reasons why. I did not say "Majority says this, therefore it is so." That's your position.

                          (Yes, I know that most NT scholars are Christian believers,
                          Prove it. Did you do a survey of SBL?

                          but by accepting the empty tomb as historical, my argument that the appearances were more likely to have been based on mass hysteria is not harmed, whereas for Nick to agree to the dating and authorship of the Gospels, I believe it takes a lot of wind out of his sail.
                          Not a bit. The minimal facts approach doesn't rely on the Gospels at all.

                          I do not believe that the Resurrection claim can stand without evidence that the Gospels were written by eyewitnesses.) But let's see how Nick and other Christians respond.
                          Then you don't know what you're talking about. The data used today is found in the authentic Pauline epistles.

                          And for Dave, I agree with what OBP said on the empty tomb.

                          It's also amusing that you point to the Johannine Comma as if this is some mind-blowing fact. Every Christian in this thread already knows about that. We're not blinking. I would suggest reading scholars like Hurtado and Bauckham. Perhaps get the book edited by Bird called "How God Became Jesus."

                          As for religious violence, sure. Let's talk about the Crusades. Let's talk about how it was a defensive war when the East asked the West for help because the Muslims were killing people in Jerusalem. Let's talk about how it was seen as a fulfillment of "Love your neighbor" because if your neighbor is being murdered, maybe you should help him out. Let's talk about how it was not to be used as a means of evangelism. Let's talk about how evil actions done in it were regularly condemned. Let's talk about how the hospitallers were taking care of the wounded in battle, even wounded Muslims.

                          For the Inquisition, let's talk about how the worst Inquisition, the Spanish one (Which no one expected) lasted 300 years and killed 3,000. Sure, that's 3,000 too many, but that's a rate of 10 people per year. Let's talk about how the State was the one behind most of it since going against the main religion was treasonous to the State. Let's talk about Henry Kamen's work on the topic.

                          Now if you want to talk about what harm beliefs have done, how about talking about Stalin, Mao, Pol-Pot and others, who under atheism, murdered millions of their own people in one century alone?

                          And as for your idea that a dead body cannot be restored to life, did you give any actual argument a miracle can't occur, or do you want to take it on faith?

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by Dave View Post
                            Thanks for explaining that Gary. I just wanted to point out another alternative scenario that could be examined: That the empty tomb story was a later addition and that the burial place of Jesus was unknown to his disciples. That they came to believe he was alive could be explained by a vision or dream or mistaken identity followed by mass hysteria as you propose.
                            Yea, I suggested that, but since the "majority of scholars" say there was an empty tomb, Nick et al wouldn't go for it. Of course, when I brought up that the majority of scholars date Mark to circa 70 AD and Matthew circa 80-90 AD, he then didn't want to accept the "majority" consensus...because he felt he knew more than the majority of experts.

                            (But isn't that what I was doing with the empty tomb claim???)

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by William View Post
                              maybe our problem is one of empathy and the ability to look at things differently. Each side could say the same as you. Perhaps no one has that great of a handle on it as there isn't much there. To act as if the resurrection is iron clad is misleading to say the least. You find it compelling. But not everyone has the same threshold for belief.

                              I do not think belief is a choice, but rather an eventuality. We can all claim that our opponents dont know was much as us, or try as much as us, or dont study as much as us, or think it through as much as us, because if they did, they'd see it my way...

                              this is obviously flawed.

                              for me, I left the faith when I encountered certain textural issues. after I left the faith, the logical issues hit me more and they now seem to be the bigger reasons to me, while before, it was all biblical stuff. I can only assure you that i try and search and take this very seriously. i do not live any differently than i did when I was a christian, so this isnt an excuse to live sinfully.

                              it's easy to say stupid, but it's harder to identify whether we, ourselves, are stupid and what we're missing or lacking.
                              I think you totally misread the quoted bit. My critique was based on Gary's approach to discussion and debate in general, and not to his personal beliefs. I would have (and have) said the same to a Christian if the Christian's debate technique consisted of derision and talking down to people who are better educated on a subject than they are. The old saying "You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar" comes to mind.

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by One Bad Pig View Post
                                Please show how the above horrors are supported by the Christian scriptures.
                                You will need to ask the Christians who perpetrated these crimes, all of whom used passages in the Bible as justification for their actions.

                                Comment

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