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Ancient Sources: History and Theology.

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  • Ancient Sources: History and Theology.

    Originally posted by rogue06 View Post
    I believe that we once went over the rarity of contemporaneous literature from the ancient world, including works that would definitely have been copied multiple times for decades if not centuries, but are totally lost to us.

    And yet here we have not one but four complete works, not just fragments of quotes like so many other works of the era, with three of them being compiled not long (a few decades) after His death. Considering that the people back then were overwhelmingly illiterate, meaning societies where oral tradition was strong, there was no need to rush anything into writing, but we still have these books from a time when there would still be a good number of eyewitnesses alive -- including a few key ones.

    That is pretty much what we have for the great Carthaginian general Hannibal. You know, the guy who took the elephants through the Alps. Utterly annihilated a couple Roman armies in battle. There had to be an awful lot of ink spilled about him, not just while he was active but for the next generation. But the first time he's ever mentioned is somewhere between 40 and 80 years later by Polybius.

    But for someone like Hannibal, someone we should had a virtual library full of contemporary references and allusions to, the first reference not being for some four to eight decades is perfectly understandable.

    And as I previously noted the very earliest mention of the eruption of Vesuvius killing nearly a quarter million people and was not far from Naples, a city, renowned for having a higher than average literacy rate, comes three full decades later in an oft-hand remark by Pliny the Younger. And we have no mention that Herculaneum was also destroyed until Cassius Dio in the third century.
    If we ever have had an in depth discussion as to “the rarity of contemporaneous literature from the ancient world”, I do not recall it.

    While many ancient literary sources have been lost and/or destroyed either by accident, war, or by over enthusiastic Christians [and later] Muslims we still have sources for confirming the existence of Hannibal and the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 CE. However, your comments on Hannibal and Pliny the Younger require a little context and qualification.

    The evidence of the Punic Wars is far from evenly distributed over the period; and while the Second Punic War is well recorded by surviving sources, the Third and most of the First War are less well attested. We also know there were other, now lost sources, one such being that of Sosylus, Hannibal’s Greek tutor who accompanied him on his campaigns, as well as others that were clearly utilised by those sources that have survived. And of course we have nothing from the Punic perspective.

    As for the Achaen nobleman Polybius of Megalopolis [c. 200-118 BCE] he lived through the Third Punic War. Having been one of thousands of hostages from the Achaean League taken to Rome at the formal end of the Third Macedonian War in 167 CE he became a close friend of Publius Cornelius Scipio Aemilianus [who would later destroy Carthage] and Polybius accompanied Scipio Aemilianus on his campaigns in Africa and Spain. [Adrian Goldsworthy, The Fall of Carthage, Phoenix, 2003]

    One can hardly dismiss Pliny the Younger’s account of the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 CE as “an oft[sic]-hand remark”. As a teenager visiting his uncle he witnessed the event [albeit from the other side of the Bay of Naples] and later wrote two detailed letters to Tacitus on his experiences which included the reports he received concerning how his uncle met his death.

    I recommend you read your sources before offering uniformed comments.
    https://www.bartleby.com/9/4/1065.html
    and
    https://www.bartleby.com/9/4/1066.html

    Nor, contrary to your contention regarding Hannibal and the Punic Wars was it necessary for there to have been “an awful lot of ink spilled about him, not just while he was active but for the next generation”.

    The ancient world did not operate mass medium publications nor did Greek and Roman historians aspire to the same ideals as their modern counterparts and they did not write for a mass audience.

    The ideal of ancient historiography was that it should be truthful as well as skilfully crafted, and from that it may be reasonably deduced that, at the very least, the bare narrative of their accounts conform closely to the actual events.. It also has to be noted that some authors are considered to be more reliable than others.

    You also confuse differing forms of texts. The gospels are not inquiries [the Greek root of the English word “history”]. They were written to recount events purported to have taken place and to produce and confirm faith in Jesus the Messiah [i.e. “the Christ” the Son of God]. This was not a historical figure, but a mythological one. They are, in part semi-aretalogies, but they also share marked similarities with ancient Hellenistic and Hellenised Jewish fiction. In his paper “The Ancient Novel Becomes Christian” in Schmelling’s The Novel in the Ancient World [Brill, 1996] Richard Pervo observes that the gospels can be understood as fictional biographies roughly analogous to the Alexander-Romance, the Life of Aesop, or Philostratus’ novel about Apollonius of Tyana. Pervo notes that the techniques required for shaping various independent stories about Jesus into a coherent narrative plot required compositional strategies that show a marked similarity with those of ancient fiction.

    You also make sweeping generalisations [as is your wont].

    Hellenised societies were not “overwhelmingly illiterate”. Despite the fact that recent debates about literacy levels within the Roman world have proved somewhat inconclusive, it appears that, from the preponderance of graffiti as well as wittily written epitaphs [often in poetry with all the concomitant skills required] that at least among the urban populations literacy was taken for granted. In rural areas it is possible that the percentage of literate men may have been much lower [less than 20%] but within cities and larger towns it would of necessity have been higher with [at the very least] basic literacy and numeracy a requirement by traders, craftsmen, and some slaves to permit them to do their jobs. [Mary Beard, SPQR: A History of Ancient Rome, Liveright, 2016]

    On what evidence are you contending that “oral tradition” was “ strong” in the Hellenistic world? Or have you just made that up?

    Of course rumour, gossip, and urban myths abounded in the ancient world but those things are also prevalent in our societies today.

    As to your allegation concerning key eye witnesses within the four canonical gospel narratives we do not know if any of Jesus’ alleged disciples and followers mentioned in those actually existed. There are also serious questions today concerning the reliability of eye witness accounts not to mention the complexity of the human brain that can create false memories.

    We do know that each of these anonymous texts would later be attributed to one of four presumed Evangelists. However, there are also variants of those texts, including the longer Mark, and the additional chapter of John. One wonders who wrote those.

    That a real life man existed behind the Jesus characters with which we are presented in the Synoptics, is generally and widely accepted; however, we have no idea what, if any, resemblance that man bore to those portrayals.

    [The character we are presented with in John’s gospel is quite different. The alien figure in that text bears no resemblance to any real first century ascetic Jewish peasant holy man/teacher.]

    Jesus’ apparent miracles are also representative of the beliefs in magical practises prevalent in both the contemporary Jewish and Gentile societies. Omens, charms, and spells, imprecations and appeals to deities, exorcisms to remove evil spirits, divination, and the wearing of amulets all underlay the social fabric. As Morton Smith notes in his book Jesus the Magician [Barnes & Noble, 1978] it is unsurprising that Jesus was regarded as a goētēs [wonder worker] and later as a magician. For Jews in particular, the sheer numbers of demons responsible for illness and evil could be overcome through the interventions of charismatic individuals who, because of their piety and closeness to him, God had granted supernatural powers. These individuals were frequently depicted as either coming from, or being active in, Galilee [Geza Vermes, Jesus the Jew, A Historian’s Reading of the Gospels, Fortress Press1973]

    We also have to consider the sheer number of copies of these gospel texts that were produced after the early fourth century. No other ancient texts were ever accorded that level of importance.

    However, prior to the fourth century the only evidence of any of these texts is fragmentary, often found in rubbish heaps or as palimpsests, which indicates that they were not considered overly important, and certainly not “divinely inspired” by their readers.

    In conclusion none of the internal narratives of these texts can be substantiated by any other contemporary first century sources and despite all Jesus’ wonder-working that is recounted in these four gospels we have not one shred of extraneous contemporary source evidence, even in fragmentary form, corroborating those purported events.

    "It ain't necessarily so
    The things that you're liable
    To read in the Bible
    It ain't necessarily so
    ."

    Sportin' Life
    Porgy & Bess, DuBose Heyward, George & Ira Gershwin

  • #2
    Originally posted by rogue06 View Post
    That at least is an honest answer instead of trying to bounce around and covering all bases.

    The fact that Jesus did exist (whether or not you accept that He's divine is a separate issue) and that existence is well attested to.

    Look at the New Testament for instance. It is a collection of separate documented sources composed by a number of different authors. The fact that they weren't written during his life time is hardly a cause for doubt in that it is extraordinarily rare to have contemporary accounts for anyone from ancient times.

    In fact, most works from that time have been lost, including works that were very famous and repeatedly copied.

    For instance we only have 6 out of at least 90 of Aeschylus' (regarded as the Father of Tragedies) plays. Similarly only 7 of Sophocles' 123 plays still exist. They are and were so well-regarded that both of their works are still being performed today. Then you have folks like Aristarchus of Tegea, a contemporary of Sophocles and Euripides, who composed 70 plays, of which only the titles of three of them (Achilles, Asclepius, and Tantalus), along with only a single line of the text, have survived. And of the over 700 works by the Greek Stoic philosopher Chrysippus of Soli, none have survived except for few fragments embedded in the works of later authors.

    It is thought that today we only have roughly a third of Aristotle's works. Probably most famously his Poetics (dealing with comedy) which is the missing work at the center of Umberto Eco' excellent novel, The Name of the Rose. Considering how highly regarded Aristotle was by medieval and Renaissance Christians (especially in the West) the fact that so much has been lost can hardly be blamed on Christians seeking to destroy pagan works.

    Even many of the works written by Emperors and the like have been lost and you can bet that these were repeatedly copied and shipped all over the Roman Empire. For instance, Augustus' Rescript to Brutus Respecting Cato, Exhortations to Philosophy, History of His Own Life, Epigrams, and Sicily (a work in verse) have all been lost. Works by his immediate predecessor, Julius Caesar, such as De astris liber, Dicta collectanea, Laudes Herculis, Libri auspiciorum (a.k.a., Auguralia), and Oedipus (among others) are lost while several others are known only by scattered fragments.

    For the few that are still extant, nearly all of the earliest copies come from several centuries later. For instance, the earliest copy of Julius Caesar's Commentarii de Bello Gallico ("The Gallic Wars") date from something like nearly 800 years after the original was written.

    And then there is the 79 AD eruption of Mt. Vesuvius, which annihilated several Roman cities including Pompeii and Herculaneum, and was witnessed by the tens of thousands of eyewitnesses in and around Naples but is only mentioned by one near contemporary account -- that of Pliny the Younger[1]. Keep in mind that Naples had a reputation during Greco-Roman times as being an area with a highly literate population so we should have a slew of eyewitness reports in our hands not just the one. And, IIRC, Pliny's account, written some 30 years later, was spurred on in reaction to Tacitus' Histories, and if not for that we would have no account of it whatsoever. In fact, it's not even until the time of Cassius Dio, over a century later, that we learn that a second major city was destroyed in the eruption.



    1. And his uncle, Pliny the Elder, many of his works have been lost including Dubii sermonis (8 books/volumes), History of his Times (31 books, which he deliberately reserved for publication after his death), Studiosus, De jaculatione equestri, and most famously Bella Germaniae (History of the German Wars -- consisting of 20 books). The latter was his first published work and all that remains are a handful of quotations in the Roman historian Tacitus' Annals and Germania (Pliny the Younger wrote of Tacitus' reliance upon his uncle's book).

    And you might want to check out your snide, and less than scholarly, dismissal of it, so the conversation was decidedly one-sided.

    I'm always still in trouble again

    "You're by far the worst poster on TWeb" and "TWeb's biggest liar" --starlight (the guy who says Stalin was a right-winger)
    "Overall I would rate the withdrawal from Afghanistan as by far the best thing Biden's done" --Starlight
    "Of course, human life begins at fertilization that’s not the argument." --Tassman

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by rogue06 View Post
      And you might want to check out your snide, and less than scholarly, dismissal of it, so the conversation was decidedly one-sided.
      You made your usual mistakes of sweeping generalisations, failure to check your facts, and unsubstantiated opinion presented as if it were fact.
      "It ain't necessarily so
      The things that you're liable
      To read in the Bible
      It ain't necessarily so
      ."

      Sportin' Life
      Porgy & Bess, DuBose Heyward, George & Ira Gershwin

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Mountain Man View Post

        First of all, yes, the gospels do record firsthand eyewitness testimony.
        No they do not. First of all, as noted in my reply to rogue06 in the OP to this thread we do not know if any of Jesus’ alleged disciples and followers mentioned in those gospels actually existed. There are also serious questions today concerning the reliability of eye witness accounts not to mention the complexity of the human brain that can create false memories.

        Originally posted by Mountain Man View Post
        Secondly, the burden is on you to prove that this testimony is unreliable.
        This "testimony" aka the four canonical gospels contradicts itself.

        For example:

        When did the interrogation by Pilate occur? Before or after Passover?
        When was Jesus born? During the reign of Herod the Great or during the census of Quirinius?
        Who actually went to the tomb?
        Did Jesus experience a bloody sweat [Luke 22.39-46] or not?

        As also noted in the OP to this thread, none of the internal narratives of these texts can be substantiated by any other contemporary first century sources. Despite all Jesus’ wonder-working that is recounted in these four gospels we have not one shred of extraneous contemporary source evidence, even in fragmentary form, corroborating those purported events.


        "It ain't necessarily so
        The things that you're liable
        To read in the Bible
        It ain't necessarily so
        ."

        Sportin' Life
        Porgy & Bess, DuBose Heyward, George & Ira Gershwin

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Hypatia_Alexandria View Post
          No they do not. First of all, as noted in my reply to rogue06 in the OP to this thread we do not know if any of Jesus’ alleged disciples and followers mentioned in those gospels actually existed. There are also serious questions today concerning the reliability of eye witness accounts not to mention the complexity of the human brain that can create false memories.

          This "testimony" aka the four canonical gospels contradicts itself.

          For example:

          When did the interrogation by Pilate occur? Before or after Passover?
          When was Jesus born? During the reign of Herod the Great or during the census of Quirinius?
          Who actually went to the tomb?
          Did Jesus experience a bloody sweat [Luke 22.39-46] or not?

          As also noted in the OP to this thread, none of the internal narratives of these texts can be substantiated by any other contemporary first century sources. Despite all Jesus’ wonder-working that is recounted in these four gospels we have not one shred of extraneous contemporary source evidence, even in fragmentary form, corroborating those purported events.
          Anti-historical rubbish. Even liberal historians accept that Jesus and his disciples actually existed and that the gospels were written by the men whose names they bear. Whatever argument you might use to dispute this could be applied equally to all of history. As the saying goes, "That which proves too much, proves nothing."

          As for your supposed "contradictions", they are trivial to resolve and any number of essays and books have done so, which I will leave to the sincere seeker to find on his own since they are numerous and readily available through a simple internet search query. I will, however, note that what is commonly regarded as supposed "contradictions" in the Bible are generally down to differences in writing conventions where ancient writers did not write with the same precision as is often demanded today, and so they used what we might consider unconventional methods such as reordering events thematically rather than chronologically, compressing multiple events into a single narrative, paraphrasing, approximating, and so on. As the Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy says, "When total precision of a particular kind was not expected nor aimed at, it is no error not to have achieved it. "

          But for sake of argument, let's generously concede this point and toss out every supposed "contradiction". Are you willing, then, to accept what remains as truthful and accurate?

          On the point of corroboration, we have four independently composed writings that corroborate each other. Why is other corroboration needed?
          Some may call me foolish, and some may call me odd
          But I'd rather be a fool in the eyes of man
          Than a fool in the eyes of God


          From "Fools Gold" by Petra

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Mountain Man View Post

            Anti-historical rubbish. Even liberal historians accept that Jesus and his disciples actually existed and that the gospels were written by the men whose names they bear. Whatever argument you might use to dispute this could be applied equally to all of history. As the saying goes, "That which proves too much, proves nothing."
            I again refer you to the OP of this thread.

            That a real life man existed behind the Jesus characters with which we are presented in the Synoptics, is generally and widely accepted; however, we have no idea what, if any, resemblance that man bore to those portrayals. [The character we are presented with in John’s gospel is quite different. The alien figure in that text bears no resemblance to any real first century ascetic Jewish peasant holy man/teacher.]

            Originally posted by Mountain Man View Post
            As for your supposed "contradictions", they are trivial to resolve and any number of essays and books have done so
            Christian apologists wriggling desperately in their attempts justify these contradictions cannot resolve the chronological gap between Matthew's birth narrative and that of Luke. Either the birth occurred "In the time of King Herod" or it occurred "In those days a decree went out from Emperor Augustus that all the world should be registered". There is at least a ten year discrepancy.

            Unless Christian apologists are contending that Mary had a ten year+ gestation, or that Jesus was born twice. Such a scenario of one divine and one human birth was postulated in the fourth century by Theodore, bishop of Mopsuestia.

            Nor can any amount of wriggling explain why the timings of the interrogation in front of Pilate differ between the Synoptics [after Passover] and John [on the eve of Passover] or why the accounts of who actually went to the tomb vary so widely.

            Originally posted by Mountain Man View Post

            On the point of corroboration, we have four independently composed writings that corroborate each other. Why is other corroboration needed?
            Anyone reading these accounts dispassionately, objectively, and critically can see the inherent contradictions and the embellishments within the Synoptics between Mark and the later writings of Matthew, and Luke. It is generally accepted that the two authors of Matthew and Luke used a version of Mark but added their own "colour and texture".

            "It ain't necessarily so
            The things that you're liable
            To read in the Bible
            It ain't necessarily so
            ."

            Sportin' Life
            Porgy & Bess, DuBose Heyward, George & Ira Gershwin

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Hypatia_Alexandria View Post
              I again refer you to the OP of this thread.

              That a real life man existed behind the Jesus characters with which we are presented in the Synoptics, is generally and widely accepted; however, we have no idea what, if any, resemblance that man bore to those portrayals. [The character we are presented with in John’s gospel is quite different. The alien figure in that text bears no resemblance to any real first century ascetic Jewish peasant holy man/teacher.]

              Christian apologists wriggling desperately in their attempts justify these contradictions cannot resolve the chronological gap between Matthew's birth narrative and that of Luke. Either the birth occurred "In the time of King Herod" or it occurred "In those days a decree went out from Emperor Augustus that all the world should be registered". There is at least a ten year discrepancy.

              Unless Christian apologists are contending that Mary had a ten year+ gestation, or that Jesus was born twice. Such a scenario of one divine and one human birth was postulated in the fourth century by Theodore, bishop of Mopsuestia.

              Nor can any amount of wriggling explain why the timings of the interrogation in front of Pilate differ between the Synoptics [after Passover] and John [on the eve of Passover] or why the accounts of who actually went to the tomb vary so widely.

              Anyone reading these accounts dispassionately, objectively, and critically can see the inherent contradictions and the embellishments within the Synoptics between Mark and the later writings of Matthew, and Luke. It is generally accepted that the two authors of Matthew and Luke used a version of Mark but added their own "colour and texture".
              The typical non-substantive reply of a brain-dead skeptic. There's nothing here worth replying to. Just because you can ask 101 "What if...?" questions doesn't mean they are meaningful or pose any serious challenge to the veracity and historicity of the gospel record. I suppose if you had a real argument to present then you wouldn't have found it necessary to chop out the vast majority of my post and only respond to a couple of points taken out of context.

              I also notice you didn't care to address this challenge: For sake of argument, let's generously concede this point and toss out every supposed "contradiction". Are you willing, then, to accept what remains as truthful and accurate?
              Last edited by Mountain Man; 05-10-2021, 11:39 AM.
              Some may call me foolish, and some may call me odd
              But I'd rather be a fool in the eyes of man
              Than a fool in the eyes of God


              From "Fools Gold" by Petra

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Mountain Man View Post

                The typical non-substantive reply of a brain-dead skeptic.
                Making unnecessarily offensive remarks merely serves to suggest you have lost the argument/have no case to answer.

                What excuses are offered to explain the chronological discrepancies between the two birth narratives? Likewise what excuses are given to explain the contradictions in timing for the interrogation by Pilate? How are the different accounts of who went to the tomb explained away?

                Originally posted by Mountain Man View Post
                I also notice you didn't care to address this challenge: For sake of argument, let's generously concede this point and toss out every supposed "contradiction". Are you willing, then, to accept what remains as truthful and accurate?
                Insofar as the texts mention real places and real historical figures, in that respect the texts may be considered correct. Everything else is questionable.
                "It ain't necessarily so
                The things that you're liable
                To read in the Bible
                It ain't necessarily so
                ."

                Sportin' Life
                Porgy & Bess, DuBose Heyward, George & Ira Gershwin

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Hypatia_Alexandria View Post
                  How are the different accounts ... explained away?
                  Already answered, which I will reproduce below for your edification:

                  I will, however, note that what is commonly regarded as supposed "contradictions" in the Bible are generally down to differences in writing conventions where ancient writers did not write with the same precision as is often demanded today, and so they used what we might consider unconventional methods such as reordering events thematically rather than chronologically, compressing multiple events into a single narrative, paraphrasing, approximating, and so on. As the Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy says, "When total precision of a particular kind was not expected nor aimed at, it is no error not to have achieved it. "

                  Originally posted by Hypatia_Alexandria View Post
                  Insofar as the texts mention real places and real historical figures, in that respect the texts may be considered correct. Everything else is questionable.
                  Right, so the "But- but contradictions!" song and dance is nothing but an intellectually vacuous ploy since you are unwilling to concede even those points on which all four gospels are in alignment -- for example, all state that Jesus rose from the dead -- meaning that you don't reject the gospels because of contradictions but simply because you are predisposed against them.

                  Thanks for playing. You may pickup your consolation prize at the door. It's a 50 pound bag of horse manure.
                  Last edited by Mountain Man; 05-10-2021, 12:32 PM.
                  Some may call me foolish, and some may call me odd
                  But I'd rather be a fool in the eyes of man
                  Than a fool in the eyes of God


                  From "Fools Gold" by Petra

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Mountain Man View Post
                    Already answered
                    Where?

                    Originally posted by Mountain Man View Post
                    which I will reproduce below for your edification:
                    Where?

                    Originally posted by Mountain Man View Post
                    I will, however, note that what is commonly regarded as supposed "contradictions" in the Bible are generally down to differences in writing conventions where ancient writers did not write with the same precision as is often demanded today,
                    Would you care to cite some accredited academic sources in support of that contention?


                    Originally posted by Mountain Man View Post
                    and so they used what we might consider unconventional methods such as reordering events thematically rather than chronologically, compressing multiple events into a single narrative, paraphrasing, approximating, and so on.
                    Once again some accredited academic sources would be helpful.


                    However, perhaps you can explain how the two birth narratives which are separated by at least ten years of history may be reordered "thematically"?

                    Furthermore how can the Synoptics and John disagree on when the interrogation before Pilate took place if, as you contend, the authors of those texts were all eye-witnesses?

                    More to the point how did the four of them secrete themselves in the Praetorium to overhear this exchange? Were they all hiding behind separate columns each with his tabula and stylus ready to take dictation?

                    And how and why did John allegedly hear a great deal more than the three Synoptic writers? Was he closer to the action?

                    Perhaps he was under Pilate’s seat! Or maybe he was disguised as a potted palm. And yes I am being deliberately facetious.

                    Originally posted by Mountain Man View Post
                    Right, so the "But- but contradictions!" song and dance is nothing but an intellectually vacuous ploy since you are unwilling to concede even those points on which all four gospels are in alignment
                    The four canonical gospels are not in alignment in many of their internal narratives.

                    A visit to an empty tomb is recounted in all four canonical gospels but who went and what they found differs in each text.


                    "It ain't necessarily so
                    The things that you're liable
                    To read in the Bible
                    It ain't necessarily so
                    ."

                    Sportin' Life
                    Porgy & Bess, DuBose Heyward, George & Ira Gershwin

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Hypatia_Alexandria View Post
                      Where?

                      Where?

                      Would you care to cite some accredited academic sources in support of that contention?


                      Once again some accredited academic sources would be helpful.

                      However, perhaps you can explain how the two birth narratives which are separated by at least ten years of history may be reordered "thematically"?

                      Furthermore how can the Synoptics and John disagree on when the interrogation before Pilate took place if, as you contend, the authors of those texts were all eye-witnesses?

                      More to the point how did the four of them secrete themselves in the Praetorium to overhear this exchange? Were they all hiding behind separate columns each with his tabula and stylus ready to take dictation?

                      And how and why did John allegedly hear a great deal more than the three Synoptic writers? Was he closer to the action?

                      Perhaps he was under Pilate’s seat! Or maybe he was disguised as a potted palm. And yes I am being deliberately facetious.

                      The four canonical gospels are not in alignment in many of their internal narratives.

                      A visit to an empty tomb is recounted in all four canonical gospels but who went and what they found differs in each text.

                      And now we've come to our part of the program where the braindead skeptic doesn't have a valid rebuttal, so she proceeds to break up the post she's replying to in order to respond line by line and word by word to give the appearance of rebutting an argument without actually rebutting it. It's one of my least favorite intellectually dishonest debate tactics, and I have little patience for anybody who engages in it.
                      Some may call me foolish, and some may call me odd
                      But I'd rather be a fool in the eyes of man
                      Than a fool in the eyes of God


                      From "Fools Gold" by Petra

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Mountain Man View Post

                        And now we've come to our part of the program where the braindead skeptic doesn't have a valid rebuttal,
                        The lack of a "valid rebuttal" lies with you.

                        I have given you the contradictions. You cannot answer them.

                        Where are the academic sources in support of your contentions?
                        "It ain't necessarily so
                        The things that you're liable
                        To read in the Bible
                        It ain't necessarily so
                        ."

                        Sportin' Life
                        Porgy & Bess, DuBose Heyward, George & Ira Gershwin

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Hypatia_Alexandria View Post
                          I have given you the contradictions. You cannot answer them.
                          As for your supposed "contradictions", they are trivial to resolve and any number of essays and books have done so, which I will leave to the sincere seeker to find on his own since they are numerous and readily available through a simple internet search query. I will, however, note that what is commonly regarded as supposed "contradictions" in the Bible are generally down to differences in writing conventions where ancient writers did not write with the same precision as is often demanded today, and so they used what we might consider unconventional methods such as reordering events thematically rather than chronologically, compressing multiple events into a single narrative, paraphrasing, approximating, and so on. As the Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy says, "When total precision of a particular kind was not expected nor aimed at, it is no error not to have achieved it. "
                          Some may call me foolish, and some may call me odd
                          But I'd rather be a fool in the eyes of man
                          Than a fool in the eyes of God


                          From "Fools Gold" by Petra

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Hypatia_Alexandria View Post

                            You made your usual mistakes of sweeping generalisations, failure to check your facts, and unsubstantiated opinion presented as if it were fact.
                            Provide examples not excuses

                            I'm always still in trouble again

                            "You're by far the worst poster on TWeb" and "TWeb's biggest liar" --starlight (the guy who says Stalin was a right-winger)
                            "Overall I would rate the withdrawal from Afghanistan as by far the best thing Biden's done" --Starlight
                            "Of course, human life begins at fertilization that’s not the argument." --Tassman

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Mountain Man View Post

                              As for your supposed "contradictions", they are trivial to resolve and any number of essays and books have done so, which I will leave to the sincere seeker to find on his own since they are numerous and readily available through a simple internet search query. I will, however, note that what is commonly regarded as supposed "contradictions" in the Bible are generally down to differences in writing conventions where ancient writers did not write with the same precision as is often demanded today, and so they used what we might consider unconventional methods such as reordering events thematically rather than chronologically, compressing multiple events into a single narrative, paraphrasing, approximating, and so on. As the Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy says, "When total precision of a particular kind was not expected nor aimed at, it is no error not to have achieved it. "
                              While some "contradictions" are more significant than others, many are indeed nothing burgers and the result of what typically happens when different people describe the same event.

                              The fact of the matter is, that it often depends on the audience and what the person providing the account wants to emphasize. Just like what we see today.

                              For instance, the following describe the exact same thing. If someone were to ask "Bob" if they ever went over to see "Steve's" new house and got one of the following

                              Yeah. I went over there Saturday and stayed over there for about three hours


                              Last weekend, after work, I went past the park and picked up Carol and went over there. He was just walking back up his driveway after getting his mail


                              I went this past weekend. You wouldn't believe the traffic. It was like everybody and their brother was taking their dog to the park. And then there was a fend-bender by the square and it took us three lights to get through but we finally made it


                              All three describe the exact same thing. All provide different details.

                              Only the second one mentions Carol going as well, but the third indicates it with the use of "us" and "we." The first was a barebones recount and left that detail out but does not contradict that more than one person went to Steve's.

                              A similar thing can be seen about exactly how many women went to the tomb after Jesus' crucifixion.

                              Matthew, gives a very brief account seemingly eager to get on to the Great Commission. Both he and Mark mention Mary Magdalene as going. They also mention a second Mary, who is described differently, likely because Matthew's audience may have been familiar with who she was so "the other Mary" sufficed. Mark, OTOH, might have wanted to be sure they understood which Mary so he adds "the mother of James" into the descriptor and also notes that Salome was there as well. Nobody else mentions Salome, but that could be due to Mark's audience knowing Salome or simply that she doesn't play much of a role later on so no need to mention her and therefore explain who she is. Keep in mind both paper and ink were expensive and not to be wasted. And while John only mentions Mary Magdalene, it is clear she was not alone because she uses the term "we" when describing events. So for whatever reason John wanted the spotlight on her.

                              I'm always still in trouble again

                              "You're by far the worst poster on TWeb" and "TWeb's biggest liar" --starlight (the guy who says Stalin was a right-winger)
                              "Overall I would rate the withdrawal from Afghanistan as by far the best thing Biden's done" --Starlight
                              "Of course, human life begins at fertilization that’s not the argument." --Tassman

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