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  • Originally posted by tabibito View Post
    That is what makes the admission of Paul's date of birth by the Jewish Encyclopaedia so valuable. They have a vested interest in discrediting Paul, and deny that he was a student of Gamaliel, but they do not deny that he was old enough to study under Gamaliel. Had this been written in a Christian sympathetic publication, I would not have accepted the claim as valid.
    It is worth considering, but I'm just saying at this point, I take it historically with a grain of salt, but enemy attestation is one of the best things you can have.

    (Interestingly, we have enemy attestation of Jesus being known as an exorcist and a miracle worker. No one denies that he did these things early on. They just come up with explanations that are different, like him learning dark arts in Egypt.)

    Comment


    • Originally posted by Apologiaphoenix View Post
      Gary has this bizarre idea that if you accept that miraculous events can happen, you must accept all of them. Well you should be open to ANY claim but only accept those that are evidenced well. Some claims are better evidenced than others. The assumption for Gary is all such claims are equally evidenced, but this must be shown. I think of what Chesterton said.

      The believers in miracles accept them (rightly or wrongly) because they have evidence for them. The disbelievers in miracles deny them (rightly or wrongly) because they have a doctrine against them.óG.K. Chesterton
      Chesterton may be right about some skeptics of miracles, but that is not my position nor that of most skeptics I know. We doubt miracle claims because the evidence is weak, NOT nonexistent. If Jesus' appearances had been witnessed and recorded by non-believing Jews and Romans, that would make the claim much more believable. As it is, he only appeared to believers. To me that is no different than the fact that the Virgin Mary only seems to appear to devout Roman Catholics.

      Comment


      • Originally posted by Gary View Post
        Chesterton may be right about some skeptics of miracles, but that is not my position nor that of most skeptics I know. We doubt miracle claims because the evidence is weak, NOT nonexistent. If Jesus' appearances had been witnessed and recorded by non-believing Jews and Romans, that would make the claim much more believable. As it is, he only appeared to believers. To me that is no different than the fact that the Virgin Mary only seems to appear to devout Roman Catholics.
        He appeared to James and he appeared to Paul. These were not believers. Furthermore, this is being your position because you consistently say "Well do you believe these claims?" Well no. We don't because we see the evidence as weak. If you can show me a well-attested miracle outside of Christianity, I can believe it. It's based on the evidence.

        And if you're still wanting to say miracles don't happen today, it is essential to reply to a work like Craig Keener's.

        Comment


        • Originally posted by Christianbookworm View Post
          Gary's ignorance is through the roof. He didn't even figure out my argument that if Santa existed, there would be emperical evidence of mysterious gifts in the homes of poor children and there would be a super fast blip on radar screens. He somehow thought my argument was to believe only the fantastical claims that are believed by many other people.
          When it comes to supernatural claims, there are always excuses (harmonizations) to explain the discrepancies. For example, Santa doesn't appear on radar screens because he has a "cloaking" device that makes him invisible to radar. Santa doesn't leave presents in some homes because the children have been naughty, not nice, regardless of socioeconomic status. And remember, only Santa knows for sure, who is naughty and nice.

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          • Originally posted by Apologiaphoenix View Post
            He appeared to James and he appeared to Paul. These were not believers. Furthermore, this is being your position because you consistently say "Well do you believe these claims?" Well no. We don't because we see the evidence as weak. If you can show me a well-attested miracle outside of Christianity, I can believe it. It's based on the evidence.

            And if you're still wanting to say miracles don't happen today, it is essential to reply to a work like Craig Keener's.
            Yes, you are correct about Paul, and maybe James.

            This is why Paul's testimony was the "last thread" that held me to my Christian faith. "Why would a devout, educated Jew convert to a sect he hated?" I believe that Paul's testimony is the strongest evidence for the Resurrection. However, I eventually had to ask myself: "Which is more probable: that Paul really saw a resurrected, talking corpse, or, he had a vision due to feeling guilty about killing fellow Jews, he had a seizure, or other causes?"

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            • Originally posted by Gary View Post
              Yes, you are correct about Paul, and maybe James.

              This is why Paul's testimony was the "last thread" that held me to my Christian faith. "Why would a devout, educated Jew convert to a sect he hated?" I believe that Paul's testimony is the strongest evidence for the Resurrection. However, I eventually had to ask myself: "Which is more probable: that Paul really saw a resurrected, talking corpse, or, he had a vision due to feeling guilty about killing fellow Jews, he had a seizure, or other causes?"
              You only determine that by looking at the evidence, and for me, Paul's conversion isn't the strongest piece. I made much more in fact of people with a high honor status who were the ones most able to fact check the events becoming Christians.

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              • Originally posted by Gary View Post
                Yes, you are correct about Paul, and maybe James.

                This is why Paul's testimony was the "last thread" that held me to my Christian faith. "Why would a devout, educated Jew convert to a sect he hated?" I believe that Paul's testimony is the strongest evidence for the Resurrection. However, I eventually had to ask myself: "Which is more probable: that Paul really saw a resurrected, talking corpse, or, he had a vision due to feeling guilty about killing fellow Jews, he had a seizure, or other causes?"
                The emotion of guilt does not exist in an honor/shame culture! The Christians were veiwed as social deviants. And a resurrected body is no more a corpse than a body revived from clinical death. Except that the Resurrected(not just resuscitated) body would be completely immortal and incapable of being hurt.
                If it weren't for the Resurrection of Jesus, we'd all be in DEEP TROUBLE!

                Comment


                • Originally posted by Apologiaphoenix View Post
                  I'm curious what you mean by the silence of Paul exactly since frankly, I wouldn't expect him to speak on many such things. Also, since we have different stories and ideas, it's hard to take a completely firm stance, but I also think internal evidence best fits an early date. Michael Bird shows a lot of the uniqueness of the Gospels in The Gospel of the Lord.
                  The fact that Paul and Peter were dead and no longer preaching meant the gospel tales had to be carried on in some form, and so it's likely that's when the gospel of Mark was finally written. We've got more than enough reason to think this IMHO. Paul had never taught about Jesus' life (though may or may not have known some elements of it) in any of his testimony, church traditions hold this is when Mark started writing the gospel, and just fits in with the context of the time and where Christianity was heading pretty well. I think it's likely that Mark was written in 75 AD, Matthew written a decade or so later, and Luke-Acts was written either at the tail end of the century or the very beginning of the second century. John? Very likely a late document.


                  When a fire raged through Bithynia, Pliny wrote to Emperor Trajan and cautiously recommended a fire brigade that would consist of no more than 150 men who were all wanting to be fire fighters. Trajan was still uneasy with the idea. Why? Because these groups that start out as "non-political" eventually become insurrectionists and lead to trouble in the province. The Christians would have been seen as a much larger group like that and rumors were already flying about what went on in their meetings. Furthermore, we know from Hebrews that even without government persecution, shame itself was enough to get people to want to abandon Christianity and go to an easier system. They were being ostracized (A punishment in itself) and deviancy was unaccepted. One of the closest parallels we can think of today is peer pressure in high school, though much much more intense.

                  When a fire breaks out in Rome, Christians are easy scapegoats. As the movement gets larger, government gets more and more involved, but at the local level, shame was also enough.
                  Anything new in a society is received with fear so this is really not a surprise - it's certainly not about shame now or probably wasn't then. But I fail to see how this all disputes my contention that it's unlikely that first century Romans and Jews would have even bothered to go and try and disprove resurrection rumors. If they had been we would be lucky to such rumors of the resurrection being false surviving - just look at the works of Celsus whom we by no accident, have lost his works.

                  Do you want take this to your forum?

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by Sea of red View Post
                    The fact that Paul and Peter were dead and no longer preaching meant the gospel tales had to be carried on in some form, and so it's likely that's when the gospel of Mark was finally written. We've got more than enough reason to think this IMHO. Paul had never taught about Jesus' life (though may or may not have known some elements of it) in any of his testimony, church traditions hold this is when Mark started writing the gospel, and just fits in with the context of the time and where Christianity was heading pretty well. I think it's likely that Mark was written in 75 AD, Matthew written a decade or so later, and Luke-Acts was written either at the tail end of the century or the very beginning of the second century. John? Very likely a late document.
                    The problem here is that even with the written word, the oral word was still more valuable. Papias wanted a living word over the written word. In the ancient world, if you could have a document or the oral tradition, most people would trust the oral tradition more. Paul also definitely knew much about Jesus's life, but it really wasn't something that needed to be stressed. Knowing Jesus was born of a virgin has nothing to do with the question of if Christians need to be circumcised or not. This would all be background knowledge that would already be known. Now if we were following one strand of tradition strictly, Irenaeus's would mean after the death of Paul and Peter, but wouldn't other time markers be more relevant then, say after the destruction of Jerusalem? Acts is quite interesting to date late because it says nothing about the death of Paul in it or even the death of James or the destruction of the temple.



                    Anything new in a society is received with fear so this is really not a surprise - it's certainly not about shame now or probably wasn't then. But I fail to see how this all disputes my contention that it's unlikely that first century Romans and Jews would have even bothered to go and try and disprove resurrection rumors. If they had been we would be lucky to such rumors of the resurrection being false surviving - just look at the works of Celsus whom we by no accident, have lost his works.

                    Do you want take this to your forum?
                    I have thought about moving the whole thread to my forum and I might do just that. I have to categorically disagree on one point. It was definitely all about shame back then. Everything that everyone did was constantly about honor. Everyone was trying to guard theirs and was constantly watching everyone else to protect their own honor. As for Celsus's works being lost, it would need to be shown that this was something intentional on the part of the Christians. Could have been, but that needs to be demonstrated. There are many ancient works we've lost.

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by Christianbookworm View Post
                      The emotion of guilt does not exist in an honor/shame culture! The Christians were veiwed as social deviants. And a resurrected body is no more a corpse than a body revived from clinical death. Except that the Resurrected(not just resuscitated) body would be completely immortal and incapable of being hurt.
                      CBW is certainly right on this. Internal guilt was not something that Paul would have wrestled with. Shame would be more like it and his fellow Jews would not be shaming him for what he did to the Christians.

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by Apologiaphoenix View Post
                        CBW is certainly right on this. Internal guilt was not something that Paul would have wrestled with. Shame would be more like it and his fellow Jews would not be shaming him for what he did to the Christians.
                        I learned that from tektonics.org!
                        If it weren't for the Resurrection of Jesus, we'd all be in DEEP TROUBLE!

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by Gary View Post
                          True, but my point is that other religions claim even TODAY that one can see a god. Why should we be surprised that a small group of people two thousand years ago believed that their god had appeared to them?
                          Yes and you have been shown how, qualitatively, the two situations are not comparable. Further, one claim is not necessarily connected to the other. Have you determined some equation which shows that all these claims lie within the limits of falsehood? I doubt it. More likely you are assuming that they are all untrue because you assume no one can see a god because there is no god.

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by Apologiaphoenix View Post
                            You only determine that by looking at the evidence, and for me, Paul's conversion isn't the strongest piece. I made much more in fact of people with a high honor status who were the ones most able to fact check the events becoming Christians.
                            Such as whom?
                            Last edited by Gary; 08-03-2015, 11:08 AM.

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by Apologiaphoenix View Post
                              The problem here is that even with the written word, the oral word was still more valuable. Papias wanted a living word over the written word. In the ancient world, if you could have a document or the oral tradition, most people would trust the oral tradition more.
                              That may have been true amongst the Jews (don't know much about ancient Jewish tradition in Rome) but Romans definitely preferred written recorded history above all else and not word of mouth.
                              Paul also definitely knew much about Jesus's life, but it really wasn't something that needed to be stressed. Knowing Jesus was born of a virgin has nothing to do with the question of if Christians need to be circumcised or not. This would all be background knowledge that would already be known. Now if we were following one strand of tradition strictly, Irenaeus's would mean after the death of Paul and Peter, but wouldn't other time markers be more relevant then, say after the destruction of Jerusalem? Acts is quite interesting to date late because it says nothing about the death of Paul in it or even the death of James or the destruction of the temple.
                              I never get the sense that Acts is relaying written prophecy to us and I so I don't really see that argument at all. Besides that, Paul's death is implied in certain passages of Luke-Acts so I also don't see the argument there either - and most of critics of all striped don't too.



                              I have thought about moving the whole thread to my forum and I might do just that. I have to categorically disagree on one point. It was definitely all about shame back then. Everything that everyone did was constantly about honor. Everyone was trying to guard theirs and was constantly watching everyone else to protect their own honor. As for Celsus's works being lost, it would need to be shown that this was something intentional on the part of the Christians. Could have been, but that needs to be demonstrated. There are many ancient works we've lost.
                              Lots of literature that was deemed heretical or ant-christian bit the dust when Christianity became the dominant force in Europe, and I doubt Christian would have liked us to read his full on work. Stuff that challenged the doctrines of that time just didn't get a chance or if it did, it wouldn't be for long before it caused a stink. But you're missing my point. My point is, we don't have any of the earliest writings of those first critics, and so we don't really know what was or wasn't said in full.

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by Apologiaphoenix View Post
                                CBW is certainly right on this. Internal guilt was not something that Paul would have wrestled with. Shame would be more like it and his fellow Jews would not be shaming him for what he did to the Christians.
                                Nick, you believe that because a group of first century Jews believed and were willing to follow, to the death, shameful early Christian claims, such as a dying and rising messiah, in an Honor-Shame society, that this is the strongest evidence for the truthfulness of those Christian claims.

                                But isn't it a problem that the overwhelming majority of people in that Honor-Shame society (Judaism) did NOT believe that this belief by a small group of first century Jews was convincing evidence of the truthfulness of the Christian claims? And the overwhelming majority of Jews have not believed it to be convincing evidence for 2,000 years, to this very day. And Jews have thoroughly studied the Christian claims. Orthodox Jewish author, Asher Norman, has written a best seller (among Jews) entitled, "Twenty-Six Reasons why Jews don't believe in Jesus", that reviews every major Christian claim regarding Jesus and thoroughly refutes them. I urge every Christian to read it.
                                Last edited by Gary; 08-03-2015, 11:33 AM.

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