Author Topic: The Christian Myth Is Based on Pagan Myths  (Read 17542 times)

Re: The Christian Myth Is Based on Pagan Myths
« Reply #15 on: August 03, 2013, 05:43:25 PM »
PilatesQuestion  
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All of my information comes from one or more of these sources:
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By such authors as: J. Ed Komoszewski, Th.M.
Ed is the founder and director of Christus Nexus

William Lane Craig is Research Professor of Philosophy at Talbot School of Theology in La Mirada, California.

Atheist-turned-Christian Lee Strobel, the former award-winning legal editor of The Chicago Tribune,

Dr. Gary R. Habermas is Distinguished Research Professor and chair of the Department of Philosophy and Theology at Liberty University. He also teaches in the Ph.D. program in theology and apologetics at Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary.

I'm sure none of these authors are in the least bit biased towards the Christ myth.  :wink:

Re: The Christian Myth Is Based on Pagan Myths
« Reply #16 on: August 03, 2013, 05:50:34 PM »
As Riza Aslan says, most of these authors hold PhDs in their fields which makes them qualified. :) Besides this, these authors studied every shred of evidence and did not insert personal opinions. I challenge you to read these books. :D

ETA: Lee Strobel, while not a PhD, was an atheist who set out to see what Christianity was all about and was converted because of the research he conducted. Dr. Gary Habermas was a doubting Christian who was contemplating Buddhism while he conducted his research.

All one has to do is research the validity of Christianity for themselves. :)

Re: The Christian Myth Is Based on Pagan Myths
« Reply #17 on: August 03, 2013, 06:15:48 PM »
PilatesQuestion wrote:
Quote
As Riza Aslan says, these authors hold PhDs in their fields which makes them qualified. :) Besides this, these authors studied every shred of evidence and did not insert personal opinions. I challenge you to read these books.
Did you mean Reza Aslan?  The Islamic apologist?

Doesn't matter to me if they have degrees or not.  They have to be unbiased and truthful.  While I haven't read any of these books, I did watch Strobel's movie and listened to his book.  I have also watched William Lane Craig in several debates.  Their ideas about logic are completely foreign to me.  

Riza Aslan or Reza Aslan as I suspect is making the logical fallacy of "appeal to authority."  Authorities in myths are just experts in ancient literature.  Such people might decide there is some truth to Homer's Iliad and argue for the existence of Zeus.  They can have degrees up the ying yang, but it doesn't necessarily make what they are saying true.

I would also dispute your assumption that, "did not insert personal opinions."  Not one of these authors doesn't have a horse in the race.

Offline Solitary

Re: The Christian Myth Is Based on Pagan Myths
« Reply #18 on: August 03, 2013, 06:32:11 PM »
Think you can handle the truth? Now you are in my territory.
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evidence is sufficient. When dealing with the Bible or any ancient source, we have to loosen up a little; otherwise, we can't really say anything."

-David Noel Freedman (in Bible Review magazine, Dec. 1993, p.34)
The implications appear obvious. If one wishes to believe in a historical Jesus, he or she must accept this based on loose standards. Couple this with the fact that all of the claims come from hearsay, and we have a foundation made of sand, and a castle of information built of cards.
CITING GEOGRAPHY, AND KNOWN HISTORICAL FIGURES AS "EVIDENCE"

Although the New Testament mentions various cities, geological sites, kings and people that existed or lived during the alleged life of Jesus, these descriptions cannot serve as evidence for the existence of Jesus anymore than works of fiction that include recognizable locations, and make mention of actual people.

Homer's Odyssey, for example, describes the travels of Odysseus throughout the Greek islands. The epic describes, in detail, many locations that existed in history. But should we take Odysseus, the Greek gods and goddesses, one-eyed giants and monsters as literal fact simply because the story depicts geographic locations accurately? Of course not. The authors of mythical stories, fictions, and novels almost always use familiar landmarks as placements for their stories. The authors of the Greek tragedies not only put their stories in plausible settings as happening in the real world but their supernatural characters took on the desires, flaws and failures of mortal human beings. Consider that fictions such as King Kong, Superman, and Star Trek include recognizable cities, planets, and landmarks, with their protagonists and antagonists miming human emotions.
Likewise, just because the Gospels mention cities and locations in Judea, and known historical people, with Jesus behaving like an actual human being (with the added dimension of supernatural curses, miracles, etc.) but this says nothing about the actuality of the characters portrayed in the stories. However, when a story uses impossible historical locations, or geographical errors, we may question the authority of the claims.

For example, in Matt 4:8, the author describes the devil taking Jesus into an exceedingly high mountain to show him all the kingdoms of the world. Since there exists no spot on the spheroid earth to view "all the kingdoms," we know that the Bible errs here.

John 12:21 says, "The same came therefore to Philip, which was of Bethsaida of Galilee. . . ." Bethsaida resided in Gaulonitis (Golan region), east of the Jordan river, not Galilee, which resided west of the river.

John 3:23 says, "John also was baptizing in Aenon near Salim. . . ." Critics agree that no such place as Aenon exists near Salim.

No one has evidence for a city named Nazareth at the time of the alleged Jesus. [Gauvin] Nazareth does not appear in the Old Testament, nor does it appear in the volumes of Josephus's writings (even though he provides a list of cities in Galilee). Oddly, none of the New Testament epistle writers ever mentions Nazareth or a Jesus of Nazareth even though most of the epistles appeared before the gospels. In fact no one mentions Nazareth until the Gospels, where the first one didn't come into existence until about 40 years after the alleged death of Jesus.

If a city named Nazareth existed during the 1st century, then we need at least one contemporary piece of evidence for the name, otherwise we cannot refer to it as established history. Many historians do not agree with this of course. Some think Nazareth existed, some don't think it existed, and some remain skeptical, but the fact that historians still debate it should tell you that that we should not use this uncertainly as a certainty. Moreover, some scholars think it as a moot point because they believe "Nazareth" refers to a Christian movement, not a city. For one example, Acts 24:5 refers to a sect of the Nazarenes.

 The Gospel writers then might have confused the term to mean the city (which by the time they wrote the gospels, a city did exist with that name). We have a lot of educated guesses by scholars, but no certainity.

Many more kinds of errors and uncertainties like this appear in the New Testament. And although one cannot use these as evidence against a historical Jesus, we can certainly question the reliability of the texts. If the scriptures make so many factual errors about geology, science, and contain so many contradictions, falsehoods could occur any in area.

If we have a coupling with historical people and locations, then we should also have some historical reference of a Jesus to these locations and people. But just the opposite proves the case. The Bible depicts Herod, the Ruler of Jewish Palestine under Rome as sending out men to search and kill the infant Jesus, yet nothing in history supports such a story. Pontius Pilate supposedly performed as judge in the trial and execution of Jesus, yet no Roman record mentions such a trial. The gospels portray a multitude of believers throughout the land spreading tales of a teacher, prophet, and healer, yet nobody in Jesus' life time or years after, ever records such a human figure. The lack of a historical Jesus in the known historical record speaks for itself.

COMPARING JESUS TO OTHER HISTORICAL FIGURES
Many Christian apologists attempt to extricate themselves from their lack of evidence by claiming that if we cannot rely on the post chronicle exegesis of Jesus, then we cannot establish a historical foundation for other figures such as Alexander the Great, Augustus Caesar, Napoleon, etc. However, there sits a vast difference between historical figures and Jesus. There occurs either artifacts, writings, or eyewitness accounts for historical people, whereas, for Jesus we have nothing.
Alexander, for example, left a wake of destroyed and created cities behind. We have buildings, libraries and cities, such as Alexandria, left in his name.

We have treaties, and even a letter from Alexander to the people of Chios, engraved in stone, dated at 332 B.C.E. For Augustus Caesar, we have the Res gestae divi augusti, the emperor's own account of his works and deeds, a letter to his son (Epistula ad Gaium filium), Virgil's eyewitness accounts, and much more. Napoleon left behind artifacts, eyewitness accounts and letters. We can establish some historicity to these people because we have evidence that occurred during their life times. Yet even with contemporary evidence, historians have become wary of after-the-fact stories of many of these historical people. For example, some of the stories of Alexander's conquests, or Nero starting the fire in Rome always gets questioned or doubted because they contain inconsistencies or come from authors who wrote years after the alleged facts.

In qualifying the history of Alexander, Pierre Briant writes, "Although more than twenty of his contemporaries chronicled Alexander's life and campaigns, none of these texts survive in original form. Many letters and speeches attributed to Alexander are ancient forgeries or reconstructions inspired by imagination or political motives. The little solid documentation we possess from Alexander's own time is mainly to be found in stone inscriptions from the Greek cities of Europe and Asia." [Briant]

Inventing histories out of whole cloth or embellished from a seed of an actual historical event appears common throughout the chronicle of human thought. Robert Price observes, "Alexander the Great, Caesar Augustus, Cyrus, King Arthur, and others have nearly suffered this fate. What keeps historians from dismissing them as mere myths, like Paul Bunyan, is that there is some residue. We know at least a bit of mundane information about them, perhaps quite a bit, that does not form part of any legend cycle." [Price, pp. 260-261]

Interestingly, almost all important historical people have descriptions of what they looked like. We have the image of Augustus Caesar cast on denarius coins, busts of Greek and Roman aristocrats, artwork of Napoleon, etc. We have descriptions of facial qualities, height, weight, hair length & color, age and even portraits of most important historical figures. But for Jesus, we have nothing. Nowhere in the Bible do we have a description of the human shape of Jesus. How can we rely on the Gospels as the word of Jesus when no one even describes what he looked like? How odd that none of the disciple characters record what he looked like, yet believers attribute them to know exactly what he said. Indeed, this gives us a clue that Jesus came to the gospel writers and indirect and through myth.

Not until hundreds of years after the alleged Jesus did pictures emerge as to what he looked like from cult Christians, and these widely differed from a blond clean shaven, curly haired Apollonian youth (found in the Roman catacombs) to a long-bearded Italian as depicted to this day. This mimics the pattern of Greek mythological figures as their believers constructed various images of what their gods looked like according to their own cultural image.

Historical people leave us with contemporary evidence, but for Jesus we have nothing. If we wanted to present a fair comparison of the type of information about Jesus to another example of equal historical value, we could do no better than to compare Jesus with the mythical figure of Hercules.

IF JESUS, THEN WHY NOT HERCULES?
If a person accepts hearsay and accounts from believers as historical evidence for Jesus, then shouldn't they act consistently to other accounts based solely on hearsay and belief?
To take one example, examine the evidence for Hercules of Greek mythology and you will find it parallels the "historicity" of Jesus to such an amazing degree that for Christian apologists to deny Hercules as a historical person belies and contradicts the very same methodology used for a historical Jesus.

Note that Herculean myth resembles Jesus in many areas. The mortal and chaste Alcmene, the mother of Hercules, gave birth to him from a union with God (Zeus). Similar to Herod who wanted to kill Jesus, Hera wanted to kill Hercules. Like Jesus, Hercules traveled the earth as a mortal helping mankind and performed miraculous deeds. Similar to Jesus who died and rose to heaven, Hercules died, rose to Mt. Olympus and became a god. Hercules gives example of perhaps the most popular hero in Ancient Greece and Rome. They believed that he actually lived, told stories about him, worshiped him, and dedicated temples to him.

Likewise the "evidence" of Hercules closely parallels that of Jesus. We have historical people like Hesiod and Plato who mention Hercules in their writings. Similar to the way the gospels tell a narrative story of Jesus, so do we have the epic stories of Homer who depict the life of Hercules. Aesop tells stories and quotes the words of Hercules. Just as we have a brief mention of Jesus by Joesphus in his Antiquities, Joesphus also mentions Hercules (more times than Jesus), in the very same work (see: 1.15; 8.5.3; 10.11.1). Just as Tacitus mentions a Christus, so does he also mention Hercules many times in his Annals.

And most importantly, just as we have no artifacts, writings or eyewitnesses about Hercules, we also have nothing about Jesus. All information about Hercules and Jesus comes from stories, beliefs, and hearsay. Should we then believe in a historical Hercules, simply because ancient historians mention him and that we have stories and beliefs about him? Of course not, and the same must apply to Jesus if we wish to hold any consistency to historicity.

Some critics doubt that a historicized Jesus could develop from myth because they think there never occurred any precedence for it. We have many examples of myth from history but what about the other way around? This doubt fails in the light of the most obvious example-- the Greek mythologies where Greek and Roman writers including Diodorus, Cicero, Livy, etc., assumed that there must have existed a historical root for figures such as Hercules, Theseus, Odysseus, Minos, Dionysus, etc. These writers put their mythological heroes into an invented historical time chart. Herodotus, for example, tried to determine when Hercules lived. As Robert M. Price revealed, "The whole approach earned the name of Euhemerism, from Euhemerus who originated it." [Price, p. 250]

Even today, we see many examples of seedling historicized mythologies: UFO adherents whose beliefs began as a dream of alien bodily invasion, and then expressed as actually having occurred (some of which have formed religious cults); beliefs of urban legends which started as pure fiction or hoaxes; propaganda spread by politicians which stem from fiction but believed by their constituents.

People consider Hercules and other Greek gods as myth because people no longer believe in the Greek and Roman stories. When a civilization dies, so do their gods. Christianity and its church authorities, on the other hand, still hold a powerful influence on governments, institutions, and colleges. Anyone doing research on Jesus, even skeptics, had better allude to his existence or else risk future funding and damage to their reputations or fear embarrassment against their Christian friends. Christianity depends on establishing a historical Jesus and it will defend, at all costs, even the most unreliable sources. The faithful want to believe in Jesus, and belief alone can create intellectual barriers that leak even into atheist and secular thought.

 We have so many Christian professors, theologians and historical "experts" around the world that tell us we should accept a historical Jesus that if repeated often enough, it tends to convince even the most ardent skeptic. The establishment of history should never reside with the "experts" words alone or simply because a scholar has a reputation as a historian. Historical review has yet to achieve the reliability of scientific investigation, (and in fact, many times ignores it). If a scholar makes a historical claim, his assertion should depend primarily with the evidence itself and not just because he or she says so. Facts do not require belief. And whereas beliefs can live comfortably without evidence at all, facts depend on evidence.

THEN WHY THE MYTH OF JESUS?
Some people actually believe that just because so much voice and ink has spread the word of a character named Jesus throughout history, that this must mean that he actually lived. This argument simply does not hold. The number of people who believe or write about something or the professional degrees they hold say nothing at all about fact. Facts derive out of evidence, not from hearsay, not from hubris scholars, and certainly not from faithful believers. Regardless of the position or admiration held by a scholar, believer, or priest, if he or she cannot support a hypothesis with good evidence, then it can only remain a hypothesis.

While a likely possibility exists that an actual Jesus lived, another likely possibility reveals that a mythology could have derived out of earlier mythologies or possibly independent archetypal hero worship. Although we have no evidence for a historical Jesus, we certainly have many accounts of mythologies from the Middle East during the first century and before. Many of these stories appear similar to the Christ saviour story.

Just before and during the first century, the Jews had prophesied about an upcoming Messiah based on Jewish scripture. Their beliefs influenced many of their followers. We know that powerful beliefs can create self-fulfilling prophesies, and surely this proved just as true in ancient times. It served as a popular dream expressed in Hebrew Scripture for the promise of an "end-time" with a savior to lead them to the promised land. Indeed, Roman records show executions of several would-be Messiahs, (but not a single record mentions a Jesus). Many ancients believed that there could come a final war against the "Sons of Darkness"-- the Romans. Solitary
There is nothing more frightful than ignorance in action.

Offline Solitary

Re: The Christian Myth Is Based on Pagan Myths
« Reply #19 on: August 03, 2013, 06:35:19 PM »
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This then could very well have served as the ignition and flame for the future growth of Christianity. Biblical scholars tell us that the early Christians lived within pagan communities. Jewish scriptural beliefs coupled with the pagan myths of the time give sufficient information about how such a religion could have formed. Many of the Hellenistic and pagan myths parallel so closely to the alleged Jesus that to ignore its similarities means to ignore the mythological beliefs of history. Dozens of similar savior stories propagated the minds of humans long before the alleged life of Jesus.

 Virtually nothing about Jesus "the Christ" came to the Christians as original or new.
For example, the religion of Zoroaster, founded circa 628-551 B.C.E. in ancient Persia, roused mankind in the need for hating a devil, the belief of a paradise, last judgment and resurrection of the dead. Mithraism, an offshoot of Zoroastrianism probably influenced early Christianity. The Magi described in the New Testament appears as Zoroastrian priests. Note the word "paradise" came from the Persian pairidaeza.

Osiris, Hercules, Hermes, Prometheus, Perseus, Romulus, and others compare to the Christian myth. According to Patrick Campbell of The Mythical Jesus, all served as pre-Christian sun gods, yet all allegedly had gods for fathers, virgins for mothers; had their births announced by stars; got born on the solstice around December 25th; had tyrants who tried to kill them in their infancy; met violent deaths; rose from the dead; and nearly all got worshiped by "wise men" and had allegedly fasted for forty days. [McKinsey, Chapter 5]

Even Justin Martyr recognized the analogies between Christianity and Paganism. To the Pagans, he wrote: "When we say that the Word, who is first born of God, was produced without sexual union, and that he, Jesus Christ, our teacher, was crucified and died, and rose again, and ascended into heaven; we propound nothing different from what you believe regarding those whom you esteem sons of Jupiter (Zeus)." [First Apology, ch. xxi]

Virtually all of the mythical accounts of a savior Jesus have parallels to past pagan mythologies which existed long before Christianity and from the Jewish scriptures that we now call the Old Testament. The accounts of these myths say nothing about historical reality, but they do say a lot about believers, how they believed, and how their beliefs spread.

In the book The Jesus Puzzle, the biblical scholar, Earl Doherty, presents not only a challenge to the existence of an historical Jesus but reveals that early pre-Gospel Christian documents show that the concept of Jesus sprang from non-historical spiritual beliefs of a Christ derived from Jewish scripture and Hellenized myths of savior gods. Nowhere do any of the New Testament epistle writers describe a human Jesus, including Paul. None of the epistles mention a Jesus from Nazareth, an earthly teacher, or as a human miracle worker. Nowhere do we find these writers quoting Jesus.

Nowhere do we find them describing any details of Jesus' life on earth or his followers. Nowhere do we find the epistle writers even using the word "disciple" (they of course use the term "apostle" but the word simply means messenger, as Paul saw himself). Except for a few well known interpolations, Jesus always gets presented as a spiritual being that existed before all time with God, and that knowledge of Christ came directly from God or as a revelation from the word of scripture. Doherty writes, "Christian documents outside the Gospels, even at the end of the first century and beyond, show no evidence that any tradition about an earthly life and ministry of Jesus were in circulation."

Furthermore, the epistle to the Hebrews (8:4), makes it explicitly clear that the epistle writer did not believe in a historical Jesus: "If He [Jesus] had been on earth, He would not be a priest."
Did the Christians copy (or steal) the pagan ideas directly into their own faith? Not necessarily. They may have gotten many of their beliefs through syncretism or through independent hero archetype worship, innate to human story telling. If gotten through syncretism, Jews and pagans could very well have influenced the first Christians, especially the ideas of salvation and beliefs about good and evil. Later, at the time of the gospels, other myths may entered Christian beliefs such a the virgin birth and miracles. In the 4th century, we know that Christians derived the birthday of Jesus from the pagans.

If gotten through independent means, it still says nothing about Christian originality because we know that pagans had beliefs about incarnated gods, long before Christianity existed. The hero archetypes still exist in our story telling today. As one personal example, as a boy I used to read and collect Superman comics. It never occurred to me at the time to see Superman as a Christ-figure. Yet, if you analyze Superman and Jesus stories, they have uncanny similarities. In fact the movie Superman Returns explicitly tells the Superman story through a savior's point of view without once mentioning Jesus, yet Christians would innately know the connection. Other movies like Star Wars, Phenomenon, K-PAX, The Matrix, etc. also covertly tell savior stories. So whether the first Christians borrowed or independently came up with a savior story makes no difference whatsoever.

The point here only aims to illustrate that Christians did not originate the savior story.
The early historical documents can prove nothing about an actual Jesus but they do show an evolution of belief derived from varied and diverse concepts of Christianity, starting from a purely spiritual form of Christ to a human figure who embodied that spirit, as portrayed in the Gospels. The New Testament stories appears as an eclectic hodgepodge of Jewish, Hellenized and pagan stories compiled by pietistic believers to appeal to an audience for their particular religious times.

A NOTE ABOUT DATING:
The A.D. (Anno Domini, or "year of our Lord") dating method derived from a monk named Dionysius Exiguus (Dennis the Little), in the sixth-century who used it in his Easter tables. Oddly, some people seem to think this has relevance to a historical Jesus. But of course it has nothing at all to do with it. In the time before and during the 6th century, people used various other dating methods. The Romans used A.U.C. (anno urbis conditae, "year of the founded city," that being Rome). The Jews had their own dating system. Not until the tenth century did most churches accept the new dating system.

The A.D. system simply reset the time of January 1, 754 A.U.C. to January 1, of year one A.D., which Dionysius obliquely derived from the belief of the date of "incarnation" of Jesus. The date, if one uses the Bible as history, can't possibly hold true. *

Instead of B.C. and A.D., I have used the convention of B.C.E. (Before the Common Era) and C.E. (Common Era) as often used in scholarly literature. They correspond to the same dates as B.C. and A.D., but without alluding to the birth or death of an alleged Christ.
 
* Dionysius believed that the conception (incarnation) of Jesus occurred on March 25. This meant that the conception must have occurred nine months later on December 25, probably not coincidentally, the very same date that the Emperor Aurelian, in 274 C.E., declared December 25 a holiday in celebration of the birth of Mithras, the sun god. By 336 C.E., Christians replaced Mithras with Jesus' birth on the same date.

Dionysius then declared the new year several days later on January 1, probably to coincide with the traditional Roman year starting on January 1st. Dionysius probably never read the gospel account of the birth of Jesus because the Matthew gospel says his birth occurred while Herod served as King. That meant that if he did exist, his birth would have to occur in 4 B.C.E. or earlier. He made another 'mistake' by assigning the first year as 1 instead of 0 (everyone's birthday starts at year 0, not 1). The concept of zero (invented from Arabia and India) didn't come into Europe until about two hundred years later.   

QUOTES FROM A FEW SCHOLARS:
Although the majority of scholars today believe that a Jesus lived on earth, the reasons for this appear suspicious once you consider the history and evolution of Jesus scholarship. Hundreds of years ago all Biblical scholars believed in God. Considering their Christian beliefs, they would, of course, believe in a historical Jesus. In the last two centuries, the school has loosened up a bit, and today they even allow atheists into their study rooms. But even today you had better allude to a historical Jesus even if you question the reliability of the sources, otherwise, you may not have a job. If, indeed, Bible scholars did allow skeptics of a historical Jesus into their studies, and they presented a convincing case, that could threaten the very branch of Jesus scholarship that studied a historical Jesus.

 It could very well disappear like that of euhermerism.
Although some secular freethinkers and atheists accept a historical Jesus (minus the miracles), they, like most Christians, simply accept the traditional view without question. As time goes on, more and more scholars have begun to open the way to a more honest look at the evidence, or should I say, the lack of evidence. So for those who wish to rely on scholarly opinion, I will give a few quotes from Biblical researchers and scholars, past and present:

When the Church mythologists established their system, they collected all the writings they could find and managed them as they pleased. It is a matter altogether of uncertainty to us whether such of the writings as now appear under the name of the Old and New Testaments are in the same state in which those collectors say they found them, or whether they added, altered, abridged or dressed them up.

-Thomas Paine (The Age of Reason)
The world has been for a long time engaged in writing lives of Jesus... The library of such books has grown since then. But when we come to examine them, one startling fact confronts us: all of these books relate to a personage concerning whom there does not exist a single scrap of contemporary information -- not one! By accepted tradition he was born in the reign of Augustus, the great literary age of the nation of which he was a subject. In the Augustan age historians flourished; poets, orators, critics and travelers abounded. Yet not one mentions the name of Jesus Christ, much less any incident in his life.

-Moncure D. Conway [1832 - 1907] (Modern Thought)
It is only in comparatively modern times that the possibility was considered that Jesus does not belong to history at all.
-J.M. Robertson (Pagan Christs)
Many people-- then and now-- have assumed that these letters [of Paul] are genuine, and five of them were in fact incorporated into the New Testament as "letters of Paul." Even today, scholars dispute which are authentic and which are not. Most scholars, however, agree that Paul actually wrote only eight of the thirteen "Pauline" letters now included in the New Testament. collection: Romans, 1 and 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Philippians, 1 Thessalonians, and Philemon. Virtually all scholars agree that Paul himself did not write 1 or 2 Timothy or Titus-- letters written in a style different from Paul's and reflecting situations and viewpoints in a style different from those in Paul's own letters. About the authorship of Ephesias, Colossians, and 2 Thessalonians, debate continues; but the majority of scholars include these, too, among the "deutero-Pauline"-- literally, secondarily Pauline-- letters."
-Elaine Pagels, Professor of Religion at Princeton University, (Adam, Eve, and the Serpent)
We know virtually nothing about the persons who wrote the gospels we call Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.
-Elaine Pagels, Professor of Religion at Princeton University, (The Gnostic Gospels)
Some hoped to penetrate the various accounts and to discover the "historical Jesus". . . and that sorting out "authentic" material in the gospels was virtually impossible in the absence of independent evidence."
-Elaine Pagels, Professor of Religion at Princeton University
The gospels are so anonymous that their titles, all second-century guesses, are all four wrong.
-Randel McCraw Helms (Who Wrote the Gospels?)
Far from being an intimate of an intimate of Jesus, Mark wrote at the forth remove from Jesus.
-Randel McCraw Helms (Who Wrote the Gospels?)
Mark himself clearly did not know any eyewitnesses of Jesus.
-Randel McCraw Helms (Who Wrote the Gospels?)
All four gospels are anonymous texts. The familiar attributions of the Gospels to Matthew, Mark, Luke and John come from the mid-second century and later and we have no good historical reason to accept these attributions.
-Steve Mason, professor of classics, history and religious studies at York University in Toronto (Bible Review, Feb. 2000, p. 36)
The question must also be raised as to whether we have the actual words of Jesus in any Gospel.
-Bishop John Shelby Spong
But even if it could be proved that John's Gospel had been the first of the four to be written down, there would still be considerable confusion as to who "John" was. For the various styles of the New Testament texts ascribed to John- The Gospel, the letters, and the Book of Revelations-- are each so different in their style that it is extremely unlikely that they had been written by one person.
-John Romer, archeologist & Bible scholar (Testament)
It was not until the third century that Jesus' cross of execution became a common symbol of the Christian faith.
-John Romer, archeologist & Bible scholar (Testament)
What one believes and what one can demonstrate historically are usually two different things.
-Robert J. Miller, Bible scholar, (Bible Review, December 1993, Vol. IX, Number 6, p. 9)
When it comes to the historical question about the Gospels, I adopt a mediating position-- that is, these are religious records, close to the sources, but they are not in accordance with modern historiographic requirements or professional standards.
-David Noel Freedman, Bible scholar and general editor of the Anchor Bible series (Bible Review, December 1993, Vol. IX, Number 6, p.34)
Paul did not write the letters to Timothy to Titus or several others published under his name; and it is unlikely that the apostles Matthew, James, Jude, Peter and John had anything to do with the canonical books ascribed to them.
-Michael D. Coogan, Professor of religious studies at Stonehill College (Bible Review, June 1994)
A generation after Jesus' death, when the Gospels were written, the Romans had destroyed the Jerusalem Temple (in 70 C.E.); the most influential centers of Christianity were cities of the Mediterranean world such as Alexandria, Antioch, Corinth, Damascus, Ephesus and Rome. Although large number of Jews were also followers of Jesus, non-Jews came to predominate in the early Church. They controlled how the Gospels were written after 70 C.E.
-Bruce Chilton, Bell Professor of Religion at Bard College (Bible Review, Dec. 1994, p. 37)
James Dunn says that the Sermon on the Mount, mentioned only by Matthew, "is in fact not historical."
How historical can the Gospels be? Are Murphy-O-Conner's speculations concerning Jesus' baptism by John simply wrong-headed? How can we really know if the baptism, or any other event written about in the Gospels, is historical?
-Daniel P. Sullivan (Bible Review, June 1996, Vol. XII, Number 3, p. 5)
David Friedrich Strauss (The Life of Jesus, 1836), had argued that the Gospels could not be read as straightforward accounts of what Jesus actually did and said; rather, the evangelists and later redactors and commentators, influenced by their religious beliefs, had made use of myths and legends that rendered the gospel narratives, and traditional accounts of Jesus' life, unreliable as sources of historical information.
-Bible Review, October 1996, Vol. XII, Number 5, p. 39
The Gospel authors were Jews writing within the midrashic tradition and intended their stories to be read as interpretive narratives, not historical accounts.
-Bishop Shelby Spong, Liberating the Gospels
Other scholars have concluded that the Bible is the product of a purely human endeavor, that the identity of the authors is forever lost and that their work has been largely obliterated by centuries of translation and editing.
-Jeffery L. Sheler, "Who Wrote the Bible," (U.S. News & World Report, Dec. 10, 1990)
Yet today, there are few Biblical scholars-- from liberal skeptics to conservative evangelicals- who believe that Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John actually wrote the Gospels. Nowhere do the writers of the texts identify themselves by name or claim unambiguously to have known or traveled with Jesus.
-Jeffery L. Sheler, "The Four Gospels," (U.S. News & World Report, Dec. 10, 1990)
Once written, many experts believe, the Gospels were redacted, or edited, repeatedly as they were copied and circulated among church elders during the last first and early second centuries.
-Jeffery L. Sheler, "The Four Gospels," (U.S. News & World Report, Dec. 10, 1990)
The tradition attributing the fourth Gospel to the Apostle John, the son of Zebedee, is first noted by Irenaeus in A.D. 180. It is a tradition based largely on what some view as the writer's reference to himself as "the beloved disciple" and "the disciple whom Jesus loved." Current objection to John's authorship are based largely on modern textural analyses that strongly suggest the fourth Gospel was the work of several hands, probably followers of an elderly teacher in Asia Minor named John who claimed as a young man to have been a disciple of Jesus.
-Jeffery L. Sheler, "The Four Gospels," (U.S. News & World Report, Dec. 10, 1990)
Some scholars say so many revisions occurred in the 100 years following Jesus' death that no one can be absolutely sure of the accuracy or authenticity of the Gospels, especially of the words the authors attributed to Jesus himself.
-Jeffery L. Sheler, "The catholic papers," (U.S. News & World Report, Dec. 10, 1990)
Three letters that Paul allegedly wrote to his friends and former co-workers Timothy and Titus are now widely disputed as having come from Paul's hand.
-Jeffery L. Sheler, "The catholic papers," (U.S. News & World Report, Dec. 10, 1990)
The Epistle of James is a practical book, light on theology and full of advice on ethical behavior. Even so, its place in the Bible has been challenged repeatedly over the years. It is generally believed to have been written near the end of the first century to Jewish Christians. . . but scholars are unable conclusively to identify the writer.
Five men named James appear in the New Testament: the brother of Jesus, the son of Zebedee, the son of Alphaeus, "James the younger" and the father of the Apostle Jude.
Little is known of the last three, and since the son of Zebedee was martyred in A.D. 44, tradition has leaned toward the brother of Jesus. However, the writer never claims to be Jesus' brother. And scholars find the language too erudite for a simple Palestinian. This letter is also disputed on theological grounds. Martin Luther called it "an epistle of straw" that did not belong in the Bible because it seemed to contradict Paul's teachings that salvation comes by faith as a "gift of God"-- not by good works.
-Jeffery L. Sheler, "The catholic papers," (U.S. News & World Report, Dec. 10, 1990)
The origins of the three letters of John are also far from certain.
-Jeffery L. Sheler, "The catholic papers," (U.S. News & World Report, Dec. 10, 1990)
Christian tradition has held that the Apostle Peter wrote the first [letter], probably in Rome shortly before his martyrdom about A.D. 65. However, some modern scholars cite the epistle's cultivated language and its references to persecutions that did not occur until the reign of Domitian (A.D. 81-96) as evidence that it was actually written by Peter's disciples sometime later.
Second Peter has suffered even harsher scrutiny. Many scholars consider it the latest of all New Testament books, written around A.D. 125. The letter was never mentioned in second-century writings and was excluded from some church canons into the fifth century. "This letter cannot have been written by Peter," wrote Werner Kummel, a Heidelberg University scholar, in his highly regarded Introduction to the New Testament.
-Jeffery L. Sheler, "The catholic papers," (U.S. News & World Report, Dec. 10, 1990)
The letter of Jude also is considered too late to have been written by the attested author-- "the brother of James" and, thus, of Jesus. The letter, believed written early in the second century.
-Jeffery L. Sheler, "The catholic papers," (U.S. News & World Report, Dec. 10, 1990)
According to the declaration of the Second Vatican Council, a faithful account of the actions and words of Jesus is to be found in the Gospels; but it is impossible to reconcile this with the existence in the text of contradictions, improbabilities, things which are materially impossible or statements which run contrary to firmly established reality.
-Maurice Bucaille (The Bible, the Quran, and Science)
The bottom line is we really don't know for sure who wrote the Gospels.
-Jerome Neyrey, of the Weston School of Theology, Cambridge, Mass. in "The Four Gospels," (U.S. News & World Report, Dec. 10, 1990)
Most scholars have come to acknowledge, was done not by the Apostles but by their anonymous followers (or their followers' followers). Each presented a somewhat different picture of Jesus' life. The earliest appeared to have been written some 40 years after his Crucifixion.
-David Van Biema, "The Gospel Truth?" (Time, April 8, 1996)
So unreliable were the Gospel accounts that "we can now know almost nothing concerning the life and personality of Jesus."
-Rudolf Bultmann, University of Marburg, the foremost Protestant scholar in the field in 1926
The Synoptic Gospels employ techniques that we today associate with fiction.
-Paul Q. Beeching, Central Connecticut State University (Bible Review, June 1997, Vol. XIII, Number 3, p. 43)
Josephus says that he himself witnessed a certain Eleazar casting out demons by a method of exorcism that had been given to Solomon by God himself-- while Vespasian watched! In the same work, Josephus tells the story of a rainmaker, Onias (14.2.1).
-Paul Q. Beeching, Central Connecticut State University (Bible Review, June 1997, Vol. XIII, Number 3, p. 43)
For Mark's gospel to work, for instance, you must believe that Isaiah 40:3 (quoted, in a slightly distorted form, in Mark 1:2-3) correctly predicted that a stranger named John would come out of the desert to prepare the way for Jesus. It will then come as something of a surprise to learn in the first chapter of Luke that John is a near relative, well known to Jesus' family.
-Paul Q. Beeching, Central Connecticut State University (Bible Review, June 1997, Vol. XIII, Number 3, p. 43)
The narrative conventions and world outlook of the gospel prohibit our using it as a historical record of that year.
-Paul Q. Beeching, Central Connecticut State University (Bible Review, June 1997, Vol. XIII, Number 3, p. 54)
Jesus is a mythical figure in the tradition of pagan mythology and almost nothing in all of ancient literature would lead one to believe otherwise. Anyone wanting to believe Jesus lived and walked as a real live human being must do so despite the evidence, not because of it.
-C. Dennis McKinsey, Bible critic (The Encyclopedia of Biblical Errancy)
The gospels are very peculiar types of literature. They're not biographies.
-Paula Fredriksen, Professor and historian of early Christianity, Boston University (in the PBS documentary, From Jesus to Christ, aired in 1998)
The gospels are not eyewitness accounts
-Allen D. Callahan, Associate Professor of New Testament, Harvard Divinity School
We are led to conclude that, in Paul's past, there was no historical Jesus. Rather, the activities of the Son about which God's gospel in scripture told, as interpreted by Paul, had taken place in the spiritual realm and were accessible only through revelation.
-Earl Doherty, "The Jesus Puzzle," p.83
Before the Gospels were adopted as history, no record exists that he was ever in the city of Jerusalem at all-- or anywhere else on earth.
-Earl Doherty, "The Jesus Puzzle," p.141
Even if there was a historical Jesus lying back of the gospel Christ, he can never be recovered. If there ever was a historical Jesus, there isn't one any more. All attempts to recover him turn out to be just modern remythologizings of Jesus. Every "historical Jesus" is a Christ of faith, of somebody's faith. So the "historical Jesus" of modern scholarship is no less a fiction.
-Robert M. Price, "Jesus: Fact or Fiction, A Dialogue With Dr. Robert Price and Rev. John Rankin," Opening Statement
It is important to recognize the obvious: The gospel story of Jesus is itself apparently mythic from first to last."
(Deconstructing Jesus, p. 260)
CONCLUSION
Belief cannot produce historical fact, and claims that come from nothing but hearsay do not amount to an honest attempt to get at the facts. Even with eyewitness accounts we must tread carefully. Simply because someone makes a claim, does not mean it represents reality. For example, consider some of the bogus claims that supposedly come from many eyewitness accounts of alien extraterrestrials and their space craft. They not only assert eyewitnesses but present blurry photos to boot! If we can question these accounts, then why should we not question claims that come from hearsay even more? Moreover, consider that the hearsay comes from ancient and unknown people that no longer live.
Unfortunately, belief and faith substitute as knowledge in many people's minds and nothing, even direct evidence thrust on the feet of their claims, could possibly change their minds. We have many stories, myths and beliefs of a Jesus but if we wish to establish the facts of history, we cannot even begin to put together a knowledgeable account without at least a few reliable eyewitness accounts.
Of course a historical Jesus may have existed, perhaps based loosely on a living human even though his actual history got lost, but this amounts to nothing but speculation. However we do have an abundance of evidence supporting the mythical evolution of Jesus. Virtually every detail in the gospel stories occurred in pagan and/or Hebrew stories, long before the advent of Christianity. We simply do not have a shred of evidence to determine the historicity of a Jesus "the Christ." We only have evidence for the belief of Jesus.
So if -Robert M. Price, professor of biblical criticism at the Center for Inquiry Institute you hear anyone who claims to have evidence for a witness of a historical Jesus, simply ask for the author's birth date. Anyone whose birth occurred after an event cannot serve as an eyewitness, nor can their words alone serve as evidence for that event.

Sources (click on a blue highlighted title if you'd like to obtain it or read it):
Briant, Pierre, "Alexander the Great: Man of Action Man of Spirit," Harry N. Abrams, 1996
Carrier, Richard, "Reply to McFall on Jesus as a Philosopher (2004)"
Crossan, J.D., "Jesus: a revolutionry biography," HarperOne, 1995
Doherty, Earl, "The Jesus Puzzle," Canadian Humanist Publications, 1999
Flavius, Josephus (37 or 38-circa 101 C.E.), Antiquities
Gauvin, Marshall J., "Did Jesus Christ Really Live?" (from: You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login)
Gould, Stephen Jay "Dinosaur in a Haystack," (Chapter 2), Harmony Books, New York, 1995
Graham, Henry Grey, Rev., "Where we got the Bible," B. Heder Book Company, 1960
Helms, Randel McCraw , "Who Wrote the Gospels?", Millennium Press, 1997
Irenaeus of Lyon (140?-202? C.E.), Against the Heresies
McKinsey, C. Dennis "The Encyclopedia of Biblical Errancy," Prometheus Books, 1995
Metzger, Bruce,"The Text of the New Testament-- Its Transmission, Corruption, and Restoration," Oxford University Press, 1968
Pagels, Elaine, "The Gnostic Gospels," Vintage Books, New York, 1979
Pagels, Elaine, "Adam, Eve, and the Serpent," Vintage Books, New York, 1988
Pagels, Elaine, "The Origin of Satan," Random House, New York, 1995
Potter, David Stone, Mattingly, Dr. David J., "Life, Death, and Entertainment in the Roman Empire, Univ. of Michigan Press, 2010
Price, Robert M.," Deconstructing Jesus," Prometheus Books, 2000
Pritchard, John Paul, "A Literary Approach to the New Testament," Norman, University of Oklahoma Press, 1972
Robertson, J.M. "Pagan Christs," Barnes & Noble Books, 1966
Romer, John, "Testament : The Bible and History," Henry Holt and Company, New York, 1988
Schonfield, Hugh Joseph, "A History of Biblical Literature," New American Library, 1962
Spong, Bishop Shelby, "Rescuing the Bible from Fundamentalism," HarperSanFrancisco, 1991
Tacitus (55?-117? C.E.), Annals
Wilson, Dorothy Frances, "The Gospel Sources, some results of modern scholarship," London, Student Christian Movement press, 1938
The Revell Bible Dictionary," Wynwood Press, New York, 1990
King James Bible, 1611
U.S. News & World Report, Dec. 10, 1990
Various issues of Bible Review magazine, published by the Biblical Archaeology Society, Washington D.C.
Online sources:
[1] Epistle of James, from Theopedia
[2] Epistles of John, Wikipedia
[3] First Epistle of Peter, from Theopedia
[4] Second Epistle of Peter, from Theopedia


Now show your evidence and references!  :P  Solitary
There is nothing more frightful than ignorance in action.

Re: The Christian Myth Is Based on Pagan Myths
« Reply #20 on: August 03, 2013, 07:42:39 PM »
My references can be found in this thread. They address many of the valid points you have raised, such as the Nazareth dispute and the small language variations you mentioned. :)
We could debate all of these points, including the debunked Pagan Copycat Theory, but it really all boils down to the Resurrection of Jesus. I presented one set of evidence in another thread on this forum, which was developed by Dr. Gary Habermas, so I will present another one of his arguments here.

All history scholars know that the earlier a document is dated, the more reliable it is. The closer a historical document is written to the event it is recording, the more reliable it is. The best evidence we have for widely accepted historical figures such as Alexander the Great and Julius Caesar were written outside of the centuries they died in (+100 years). All the best historical evidence we have for the Resurrection of Jesus is written within the century He died in (+100 years). The earliest evidence is the creeds the Apostle Paul wrote in his letters, particularly in 1 Corinthians 15 and Philippians 2. Paul wrote his letters less than 40 years after the death of Jesus, and some of them less than 20. However, the creeds about the life, deity, death, burial, and Resurrection of Jesus, which he includes in his letters, can be dated less than 10 years after the death of Jesus. Therefore, these claims are reliable.
Furthermore, if Jesus was not raised from the dead, then the Pharisees could have easily produced His body, since the disciples were preaching the Resurrection of Jesus in the same city he was buried in. Yet they never did. Paul left a prominent position among the Pharisees to join the group he was working so hard to persecute and to destroy. His reason for leaving was his encounter with the Resurrected Jesus.

Basically, if Jesus is a myth, then we need evidence which shows that no reliable historical documents about Jesus can be found which are dated less than one hundred years after His death.

Offline Hijiri Byakuren

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Re: The Christian Myth Is Based on Pagan Myths
« Reply #21 on: August 03, 2013, 09:34:06 PM »
Quote from: "PilatesQuestion"
My references can be found in this thread.
Your references are biased and therefore unreliable. Give me a book outlining a position accepted by most of the scientific community on the subject (Read: archaeologists) and then we'll talk.
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Speak when you have something to say, not when you have to say something.

Re: The Christian Myth Is Based on Pagan Myths
« Reply #22 on: August 03, 2013, 11:02:42 PM »
PilatesQuestion wrote in part:
Quote
However, the creeds about the life, deity, death, burial, and Resurrection of Jesus, which he includes in his letters, can be dated less than 10 years after the death of Jesus. Therefore, these claims are reliable.
I'll counter with:  However, the creeds about the life, deity, death, burial, and Resurrection of Elvis, can be dated less than 10 years after the death of Elvis.  Therefore, these claims are reliable.  And well within a hundred years of his resurrection.   :wink:

Offline Solitary

Re: The Christian Myth Is Based on Pagan Myths
« Reply #23 on: August 04, 2013, 01:38:05 AM »
:roll:   :-k  [-X
Here is the unbiased person that gives reliable evidence about the resurrection of Jesus:


Gary Robert Habermas (born 1950) is an American evangelical Christian apologist, historian, and philosopher of religion. He is a prolific author, lecturer, and debater on the topic of the Resurrection of Jesus.

Biography
Habermas is Distinguished Professor of Apologetics and Philosophy and chairman of the department of philosophy and theology at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia. He holds a Ph.D. (1976) from Michigan State University in the area of History and Philosophy of Religion and an M.A. (1973) from the University of Detroit in Philosophical Theology.

He has specialized in cataloging and communicating trends among scholars in the field of historical Jesus and New Testament studies. Habermas has authored or co-authored 35 books on religious and philosophical subjects, contributed to over 60 chapters or articles in books, and published over 100 articles and reviews in peer-reviewed journals. He continues to do research, publish popular and academic papers, give debates, and he frequently appears on television.

In 1985, Dr. Gary Habermas and Antony Flew debated the question of Jesus' resurrection as a literal and historical/physical event, before a crowd of 3000 people. Five philosophers and five professional debate judges judged the debate. Of the philosophers who judged on the content of the debate, four voted that Habermas won and the other was undecided. Of the debate judges who voted on debate technique, three voted for Habermas while two voted for Flew.The debate was published as a book under the title Did Jesus Rise from the Dead? The Resurrection Debate (Harper & Row).

In 2004, Habermas conducted an interview with Antony Flew published in Biola University's Philosophia Christi journal, in which Flew reversed his long-standing espousal of atheism by endorsing deistic theism. The interview has been the source of some minor controversy, centering on claims made in the interview's preface regarding the scope and nature of Flew's beliefs, and his subsequent contradictory statements endorsing atheism, the latter being a misnomer, for Flew clearly no longer supports the inference or verdict of atheism, but rather the evidential method or route by which one may secure such a verdict, i.e., the "Presumption of Atheism" is default, nullified only on the condition that the degree of proof is met.

Habermas was married to Debbie for 23 years until her death from cancer in 1995. He then remarried Eileen. Between them they have seven children and eleven grandchildren.

This is how you debate a believer that Jesus existed:

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This is the opinion of an actual unbiased historian that didn't go to Liberty University:

You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login  Solitary
There is nothing more frightful than ignorance in action.

Re: The Christian Myth Is Based on Pagan Myths
« Reply #24 on: August 04, 2013, 07:51:31 AM »
Quote from: "Eric1958"
Quote from: "LikelyToBreak"
Several good YouTube documentaries and such about the Dover Trial.  Shows how the Christians will lie to get their ideas pushed.  Don't forget about Bruno.

Cool beans, I hadn't caught either the Dover trial or Bruno. Ya gotta love Google, it makes looking stuff like this up so easy. Thanks for the tip.


I thought I was the only person left on the planet that said "cool beans"   :rollin:  :rollin:
I am currently experiencing life at several WTFs per hour.

Offline Colanth

Re: The Christian Myth Is Based on Pagan Myths
« Reply #25 on: August 04, 2013, 09:05:13 PM »
Quote from: "PilatesQuestion"
As Riza Aslan says, most of these authors hold PhDs in their fields
which is religion, not history or archaeology.

Quote
which makes them qualified.
To discuss religion, not to discuss historic and archaeological reality.  They can expertly discuss what Christianity believes, they can't expertly discuss the reality that the Exodus never happened regardless of what the Bible says.

Quote
Besides this, these authors studied every shred of evidence
Which is why they make statements that are contrary to fact?  Or do you mean that they discarded any evidence that didn't support what they were looking to support?

Quote
ETA: Lee Strobel, while not a PhD, was an atheist who set out to see what Christianity was all about and was converted because of the research he conducted.
Maybe.  Or maybe he was a lapsed Christian who missed Christianity and let something convince him to go back.  You certainly can't know.

Quote
Dr. Gary Habermas was a doubting Christian who was contemplating Buddhism while he conducted his research.
And?

None of these "experts" are expert in any field but "what Christianity claims", and the claims certainly aren't evidence that the claims are true.

Quote
All one has to do is research the validity of Christianity for themselves. :)
Been there, done that (been researching the Bible for over 50 years), and all the actual evidence (physics, math, chemistry, biology, cladistics, archaeology, Egyptology) says that the Bible is full of make-believe.

How did 30,000 feet of water fall all over the planet in 40 days [the Biblical claim] without raising the temperature to about 800 degrees?  Or are you claiming that the laws of physics are wrong too?  (The claim that they came from hidden sources under the ground - and stayed on the surface for a year - is nonsense according to even high school physics.)

Moses - remember him?  An individual?  Nah, it's a title, and it means "son of".  Like Rameses (the 'o' can be an 'e' or an 'i', like Mises) is the son of Ra.  "Moses" is "son of".  The "son of" no one is ... no one.  He's a myth.

Adam and Eve?  We know that our Most Recent Common Female Ancestor (X-MRCA) lived a LOT more recently than our Y-MRCA - tens of thousands of years more recently.  (Or a few hundred thousand according to one recent paper.  Genes don't come with "invented on" dates.)

A talking serpent?  You're an adult, right?  So I won't even dignify that one with derision.

Hey, you're new here.  You're raising points that Christians raise every few weeks.  Most of us are SO tired of refuting them that we may be giving you short shrift but, trust me, we could write volumes of responses to your posts - if we thought anything we said would penetrate.  From what you say in your posts, if God came down and told you that he didn't exist, you'd question his statement.
Afflicting the comfortable for 70 years.
Science builds skyscrapers, faith flies planes into them.

Offline Colanth

Re: The Christian Myth Is Based on Pagan Myths
« Reply #26 on: August 04, 2013, 09:32:21 PM »
Quote from: "PilatesQuestion"
We could debate all of these points, including the debunked Pagan Copycat Theory, but it really all boils down to the Resurrection of Jesus.
It boils down to the actual existence of a man named Yeshua Ben Yosuf.  If he didn't exist, he couldn't have been crucified (or been anything) so he couldn't have resurrected.

Quote
I presented one set of evidence in another thread on this forum, which was developed by Dr. Gary Habermas, so I will present another one of his arguments here.
Habermas is a theologist, so he can knowledgeably discuss what Christianity says.  He CAN NOT discuss whether a particular event occurred a long time ago with any more certainty than anyone you could stop on the street.  He has no formal education in Roman History, archaeology, physics, biology, etc.

Quote
All history scholars know that the earlier a document is dated, the more reliable it is. The closer a historical document is written to the event it is recording, the more reliable it is.
No, only the opposite is known.  The further a document was written from the event, the less likely it is to be accurate.  A document written as the event is occurring may be completely accurate or it may be completely false.

Historians know this, Bible apologists, whether they know this or not, claim that the proximity of a document to the event has something to do with its accuracy.

Quote
The best evidence we have for widely accepted historical figures such as Alexander the Great and Julius Caesar were written outside of the centuries they died in (+100 years).
Ordinary claims don't require extraordinary evidence.  Extraordinary ones do.

Quote
All the best historical evidence we have for the Resurrection of Jesus
is nothing at all.  All we have are assertions, not evidence.

Quote
is written within the century He died in (+100 years).
Not ONE SINGLE manuscript about the Jesus in the Bible has been dated to the first century.  "Dated" doesn't mean "someone said it was written in", it means C-14 dating, or referenced by the unaltered original of a document known with certainty to have been written after the one in question.  (And then we can only establish the latest date by which it could have been written.)

Quote
The earliest evidence is the creeds the Apostle Paul wrote in his letters
But since we don't have the originals, we have no evidence of when they were written.

Quote
Paul wrote his letters less than 40 years after the death of Jesus, and some of them less than 20.
Again, that's Christian assertion - there's no evidence of when they were written.

Quote
However, the creeds about the life, deity, death, burial, and Resurrection of Jesus, which he includes in his letters, can be dated less than 10 years after the death of Jesus. Therefore, these claims are reliable.
Since we don't have the originals, they can't be dated.  At all.  Therefore they're TOTALLY USELESS as evidence.

Quote
Furthermore, if Jesus was not raised from the dead, then the Pharisees could have easily produced His body
You're assuming that someone in 33CE (or whenever it supposedly happened) said, "so where is his body?"  There's no evidence that anyone was telling stories about Jesus that early.  So this old canard is nonsense.

Quote
since the disciples were preaching the Resurrection of Jesus in the same city he was buried in.
Christian assertion - there's no evidence that it happened.

Quote
Paul left a prominent position among the Pharisees to join the group he was working so hard to persecute and to destroy. His reason for leaving was his encounter with the Resurrected Jesus.
You keep saying, "this is what Christianity claims, so it's true."  We're talking about evidence and assertion isn't it.  Even if the assertion comes from a book that asserts that it's the word of a god.

You may accept it, scholars don't.  Scholars start with the fact (and it is a fact) that the Bible is an assertion.  Christians start with the belief (and that's all it is) that the Bible is true.  Christians look for proof that the Bible is false and, finding none (or making apologies for any they find ["miracle" is an apologism, not a fact]), conclude that it's true.  Scholars look for evidence that the assertions are true and, finding that many of them are impossible or nonsense, conclude that the Christian book, just like the books of all other religions is a myth (and "Christian scholars" agree on THIS point - that the books of all other religions are myths).

Quote
Basically, if Jesus is a myth, then we need evidence which shows that no reliable historical documents about Jesus can be found which are dated less than one hundred years after His death.
No, we need the fact that we have no historical document about Yeshua ben Yosuf, the Jesus of the Bible and no other, dated before the second century.  (Dated, not asserted to be.)

We don't have to prove that Jesus didn't exist, those claiming he did have to present evidence (not Christian assertion, which is known to be so false in so many places in the Bible as to not even be ludicrous) but actual evidence, that he lived, was crucified and was resurrected.

AND THERE IS NONE.

Checkmate.  Game and match over.
Afflicting the comfortable for 70 years.
Science builds skyscrapers, faith flies planes into them.

Offline Colanth

Re: The Christian Myth Is Based on Pagan Myths
« Reply #27 on: August 04, 2013, 09:34:01 PM »
Quote from: "LikelyToBreak"
PilatesQuestion wrote in part:
Quote
However, the creeds about the life, deity, death, burial, and Resurrection of Jesus, which he includes in his letters, can be dated less than 10 years after the death of Jesus. Therefore, these claims are reliable.
I'll counter with:  However, the creeds about the life, deity, death, burial, and Resurrection of Elvis, can be dated less than 10 years after the death of Elvis.  Therefore, these claims are reliable.  And well within a hundred years of his resurrection.   :wink:
Within 10 years?  There were "Elvis sightings" before his funeral.  If they were THAT close to his death, I guess we can't question them, huh?

And Elvis was the King of Rock and Roll, and we KNOW that Rock and Roll exists, unlike Jesus supposedly being Son of God, whose existence is highly questionable.
Afflicting the comfortable for 70 years.
Science builds skyscrapers, faith flies planes into them.

Re: The Christian Myth Is Based on Pagan Myths
« Reply #28 on: August 05, 2013, 02:26:42 PM »
I've answered most of the objections here (that are not ad hominem fallacies) in the other threads on this topic.

As for the Elvis sightings, if there was accurate documentation on Elvis sightings, as well as the presence of a growing body of Elvis-believers who were willing to die for their faith in Elvis, then I would believe that Elvis rose from the dead. Also, the body of Elvis would have to be missing. :)

Re: The Christian Myth Is Based on Pagan Myths
« Reply #29 on: August 05, 2013, 03:53:14 PM »
Quote from: "PilatesQuestion"
but it really all boils down to the Resurrection of Jesus.

ok.
Prove it.

We'll wait.
 :-s
I am currently experiencing life at several WTFs per hour.

 

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