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  • That still doesn't account for the survival and growth of Christianity during the first few centuries of it's existence.
    If it weren't for the Resurrection of Jesus, we'd all be in DEEP TROUBLE!

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    • Originally posted by Christianbookworm View Post
      That still doesn't account for the survival and growth of Christianity during the first few centuries of it's existence.
      Then explain how Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, Scientology and company have gotten so big. How did it happen?

      For the same reasons it happened to Christianity.

      Comment


      • Originally posted by Sea of red View Post
        Then explain how Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, Scientology and company have gotten so big. How did it happen?

        For the same reasons it happened to Christianity.
        Other than Islam, none of your list is "big" - not even a drop in the bucket. And as I said previously Islam uses force to convert and keep their adherents in check. And none of them is based on historical evidence or claims except Christianity.

        Comment


        • Originally posted by Dave View Post
          In the link you gave there are two related references from ancient writings: "Cicero, for example, mentions a governor in Sicily who released bodies to family members in return for a fee (In Verrem 2.5.45), and Philo writes that on the eve of Roman holidays in Egypt, crucified bodies were taken down and given to their families, "because it was thought well to give them burial and allow them ordinary rites" (In Flaccum 10.83-84)." These appear to be special circumstances (a Roman holiday and extortion) that would allow an exception, but otherwise the rule may have been to not release the body of crucified criminals (especially someone guilty of treason). Since there are no quotes that mention Pilate's custom regarding crucified bodies we can only speculate.
          In Verrem, In Flaccum, and other ancient writings simply set precedence for the burial of the dead, including the crucified, in Jewish custom as outlined in Tractate Semahot 2.9 which states that "No rites whatsoever should be denied those who were executed by the state" (and perhaps especially in the context of sacred festivals). We can find a couple other instances in Josephus, so in his account in The Wars Of The Jews 4.5.2 we read, "...the Jews used to take so much care of the burial of men, that they took down those that were condemned and crucified, and buried them before the going down of the sun.", and in his autobiography (Vita 75) we read about his own appeal to Titus about crucified friends,

          "And when I was sent by Titus Caesar with Cerealins, and a thousand horsemen, to a certain village called Thecoa, in order to know whether it were a place fit for a camp, as I came back, I saw many captives crucified, and remembered three of them as my former acquaintance. I was very sorry at this in my mind, and went with tears in my eyes to Titus, and told him of them; so he immediately commanded them to be taken down, and to have the greatest care taken of them, in order to their recovery; yet two of them died under the physician's hands, while the third recovered"

          And, as you no doubt read, there's also the case of the crucified skeletal remains found in a family tomb. So there's good evidence of a tradition of Jews requesting the bodies of the crucified, and this being granted by the Roman state.


          It seems unlikely that the gospel would have been distributed to opponents (if they were even still alive).

          It wouldn't have to have been actual copies of the gospel, but of the oral tradition in the early Jewish-Christian community that mentioned a lone member of the Sanhedrin making this request (perhaps with Nicodemus' help).


          I guess I have a hard time believing that so much dialogue could be retained in oral traditions for all those years. Not to mention that many times the dialogue is done in private.

          If it helps, the exact words would not have to be recorded in order to retain the general sense of the dialogue in oral traditions. Furthermore, Tim McGrew recently mentioned in his debate with Bart Ehrman on Unbelievable that most of the "private dialogues" were probably not as private as we sometimes imagine.
          Last edited by Adrift; 07-31-2015, 11:38 AM.

          Comment


          • Originally posted by Christianbookworm View Post
            Zombies??? NO! A glorified resurrection body is nothing like the undead. The undead still aren't alive. They would eventually break down.
            Thomas supposedly felt the wounds still in Jesus' resurrected body...

            I'm not saying Jesus was a zombie, but was dead, then not dead, while still having his wounds...

            but either way, it still seems more like science fiction than science.

            Comment


            • Originally posted by Sparko View Post
              Other than Islam, none of your list is "big" - not even a drop in the bucket. And as I said previously Islam uses force to convert and keep their adherents in check. And none of them is based on historical evidence or claims except Christianity.
              Seriously? Scientology is just getting started and it's got a big following for only forty years old. But even still, is this seriously your argument? Most Christians today have no clue about Christianities origins or the arguments for and against it, so this idea is pretty dead in the water. All we really have for Christianities early days is two passages from historians that confirm Jesus had some sort of ministry and nothing else outside of that. We have no idea how the Romans and Jews really responded to claims of Jesus being the messiah, or the idea of him being resurrected.

              Comment


              • Originally posted by Sparko View Post
                Islam grows by forced conversion, not personal choice based on evidence. Once a muslim government is in place everyone is pressured to become muslim or face dire consequences. It has been that way from the beginning, when Mohammad raided caravans and made them convert at the point of a sword. So you really can't compare Christianity to Islam. Christianity is a personal choice, and it makes historical claims based on actual events. If the evidence were not convincing, there would be no Christianity.

                [ATTACH=CONFIG]8411[/ATTACH]
                you're sort of cherry picking here. Even in many middle eastern countries, it's compulsory. There are those in the USA who leave Christianity to become Muslim - they are not forced by threat.

                What you said is true in one snippet of reality, but ignores other facts. It's like claiming Christianity never spread by force or threat. in truth, they have more in common than what you're trying to peddle.

                Comment


                • Originally posted by Sparko View Post
                  Mohammad merely claimed he was visited by an angel and given the Koran to write down. The Koran, if you have ever read it, is basically like the book of proverbs, full of sayings and advice but not really making a cohesive narrative based on historical events.

                  check it out yourself: http://www.wright-house.com/religions/islam/Quran.html
                  now I'm curious, have you read it through?

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by Sea of red View Post
                    Scientology is just getting started and it's got a big following for only forty years old.
                    Scientology membership is actually in a rapid state of decline. The recent HBO documentary Going Clear mentions this, and, if I recall correctly, the current number of active Scientologists worldwide is somewhere in the tens of thousands rather than the millions the church claims. Membership decline is such a big deal that the leaders of the church have been investing in real estate to counter the loss of cash flow.

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by Adrift View Post
                      Scientology membership is actually in a rapid state of decline. The recent HBO documentary Going Clear mentions this, and, if I recall correctly, the current number of active Scientologists worldwide is somewhere in the tens of thousands rather than the millions the church claims. Membership decline is such a big deal that the leaders of the church have been investing in real estate to counter the loss of cash flow.
                      And you know why it's decline? Because all of the information about it's origins and founder are easily available for anybody that wants to know. We still have both sides of the argument unlike the earliest days of Christianity and it's claims.

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by Dave View Post
                        Yes, this is true. We don't know now and back then it is at least a possibility they did not know. The other possibility is that they knew, but lost the location at some point (perhaps the siege of Jerusalem affected grave sites).
                        70 A.D. would definitely have that effect. Keep in mind you had three groups. You had the Romans, the opponents of Jesus, and the followers of Jesus. All of them would have an interest in where the grave was.


                        In the link you gave there are two related references from ancient writings: "Cicero, for example, mentions a governor in Sicily who released bodies to family members in return for a fee (In Verrem 2.5.45), and Philo writes that on the eve of Roman holidays in Egypt, crucified bodies were taken down and given to their families, "because it was thought well to give them burial and allow them ordinary rites" (In Flaccum 10.83-84)." These appear to be special circumstances (a Roman holiday and extortion) that would allow an exception, but otherwise the rule may have been to not release the body of crucified criminals (especially someone guilty of treason). Since there are no quotes that mention Pilate's custom regarding crucified bodies we can only speculate.
                        I stand with what Adrift said.


                        It seems unlikely that the gospel would have been distributed to opponents (if they were even still alive).
                        Adrift is right. This is about the oral Gospel.


                        I read this entire page. It is very interesting. I am going to have to revise my hypothesis because I do need to somehow explain why Mark gives Jesus a shameful burial with no mourners. Of course, the burial by Joseph story could just be true, but then we still have to wonder why there were no mourners.

                        What if Mark was trying to paint a very bleak picture to gain an emotional response from his readers? The crucifixion was horrifying, the burial was shameful and all hope was lost. Then miraculously everything goes from black to white which makes for a great story. The tomb is empty, an angel is there proclaiming the resurrection, Jesus appears to the disciples and then is taken up to heaven to sit at the right hand of God.
                        This would imply that shame would evoke sympathy but that needs to be argued for and not just asserted. They could make up a painful story for that, but a shameful one would not get the job done.


                        I guess I have a hard time believing that so much dialogue could be retained in oral traditions for all those years. Not to mention that many times the dialogue is done in private.
                        Even in our day and age, if my wife and I are driving down the road together and a song comes on the radio, many of them we can both sing along to. (And my wife has short-term memory loss by the way.) This is in an age where we don't use our memories as much. Memorization was far better back then. Some Jews had the whole Torah memorized. Today in the Middle East you can find blind men that have the entire Koran memorized. There were Rhapsodes in ancient Greece who had the writings of Homer memorized.


                        Good point, that is plausible.
                        Don't know if you're married or not, but if so, think about crazy things a wife can do. Heck. Think about crazy things you can do as a husband.


                        I guess because the reason to visit the tomb was to anoint the body. Perhaps this kind of chore was left for women. (Sorry ladies) Besides, in Mark's gospel the women don't get to see Jesus, just the angel in the tomb saying he was risen. The honor of the first appearance then is still given to the disciples.
                        Which Mark never tells us about and frankly, I have no firm opinion on that matter. I don't think Mark 16:9-20 is part of the original document, but did Mark intend to end the document there? Did we somehow lose an ending? Did something happen to keep Mark from finishing? There are dissertations that will argue for all of these.

                        But still, the women could have been avoided easily, or even just replaced, but they weren't.

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by Sea of red View Post
                          Seriously? Scientology is just getting started and it's got a big following for only forty years old. But even still, is this seriously your argument? Most Christians today have no clue about Christianities origins or the arguments for and against it, so this idea is pretty dead in the water. All we really have for Christianities early days is two passages from historians that confirm Jesus had some sort of ministry and nothing else outside of that. We have no idea how the Romans and Jews really responded to claims of Jesus being the messiah, or the idea of him being resurrected.
                          I think we should differ between beliefs deemed odd and those deemed shameful. Every belief system has some oddities to those outside of it after all. Scientology however doesn't really work here. It did grow up in a modern individualistic American culture with a live and let live attitude. Christianity didn't have that. If a people started to suffer, it would be blamed on the deviants for ruining the group and who were the deviants? Those darn Christians who refused to satisfy the gods.

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by William View Post
                            now I'm curious, have you read it through?
                            I've read it, along with the Analycts, the Tao Te Ching, and all of the Mormon Scriptures. I find reading other "Scriptures" a revealing exercise.

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by Apologiaphoenix View Post
                              I think we should differ between beliefs deemed odd and those deemed shameful. Every belief system has some oddities to those outside of it after all. Scientology however doesn't really work here. It did grow up in a modern individualistic American culture with a live and let live attitude. Christianity didn't have that. If a people started to suffer, it would be blamed on the deviants for ruining the group and who were the deviants? Those darn Christians who refused to satisfy the gods.
                              That didn't really contradict anything I said as being untrue.

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by Sparko View Post
                                Other than Islam, none of your list is "big" - not even a drop in the bucket. And as I said previously Islam uses force to convert and keep their adherents in check. And none of them is based on historical evidence or claims except Christianity.
                                i still don't really understand your point. There is historical support for Muhammad, that he had believers and that he won several battles where he was out numbered, etc. That is historical. And does size matter to Christian? The bible says that narrow is the way and few there be that find it.

                                Regardless of size, these religions did persist despite opposition. And Islam does not only get converts by threat or force, while Christianity had it's share of converts by force and threat too.

                                and then there's even peer pressure. Everyone in my town is of one particular faith that they feel must be adhered to and that they feel opponents of are broken, so I may be convince dto see it their way when that's most of what I'm exposed to and when i mostly hear the "good" about it.

                                Converts and believers are not good evidence for the truth of what they believe in.

                                and then we could mention Peer pressure

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