This is a compilation of various observations I’ve made about Easter over the years.
This weekend is *the* Christian holiday, Easter. It commemorates the murder, and subsequent supposed magical resurrection, of a man/god in payment for the original sin of Adam and Eve (requiring them to exist plus the talking snake) and all the sinning thereafter. It also may have even more problems than Christmas does in the reality department.
There’s a lot of odd things associated with Easter. Except for the cruxifiction, nearly every other symbol associated with it is fertility based. Peeps, eggs, rabbits, etc. It seems to be the usual cooption of pagan religions into Christianity. I’ve seen some rather peculiar arguments that the cross is a phallus and the tomb is a womb.
The date picked to celebrate Easter has very little to do with the day that this supposedly happened. No one has a clue when that might have been, so I guess one may as well just pick something. The date is *generally* decided by the first Sunday following the full moon following the equinox which is claimed to be only ever on March 21, even though it falls on other days. So we have a date that makes not a whole lot of sense. Add that to the fact that Christians can’t agree on which calendar to use, and the thing hops all over the place depending on the sect. If one knows about other religions, based on seasons, it seems that Easter is a lot closer to them in date (among other things) than some religion that claims it has something new to say. More on the history of how the date was changed around and around again can be found here. The massive confusion about this makes me think that the story is indeed nonsense and never happened, and each sect decided that their interpretation was the only right one. It’s quite a thing to totally forget the date of your supposed emancipation.
Unsurprisingly, Easter has a fair amount to do with Passover, foremost being that JC was supposed a Jew and was celebrating it with his apostles. In Passover, it’s a celebration that the god killed a lot of people to finally get its “chosen” nation out of slavery. Alas, there is nothing to support that story at all. The association with Passover is one of the things that contributed to the date problems above. Jewish law is fairly clear but the bible isn’t and has two different dates based on the events claimed.
Depending on the NT book and interpretation, JC is the Passover lamb, that had its throat slit, furnishing blood to paint the doors of the Israelites so the angels could figure out who to kill and who not to. No, they couldn’t just know, they had to see blood. This need for blood, both the lamb’s and man’s, indicates a less than omni-max god. It indicates a god that cannot function without man’s actions and having animals killed.
Another thing that shows that this god is less than touted is that it must depend on its supposed archenemy to accomplish what it needs done. From what we are told, this death of JC must happen (John is very clear about this). It is unescapable. So, the actions of everyone around the event are set in stone for it to happen (free will takes yet one more hit). Judas must turn JC over. But in Luke 22, we have the mover being Satan. Now, this makes not a whole lot of sense in several ways. First, it’s not mentioned in all of the gospels, but that is no surprise considering the contradictions to come. Second, with this claim, Satan intentionally causes his archenemies supposedly ultimate triumph. Satan knows who JC is and knows what will happen if one beliefs the claims of prophecy. Third, supposedly JC knows what is going on, and just lets his friend suffer. There is of course, the gospel of Judas (Gnostic Christianity) that presents a very different story, but most Christians do not accept it.
After the betrayal, events go swiftly. Most Christians have been told that the gospels agree on what happens, and many have not bothered checking for themselves. Here are some of the differences and some strange occurrences:
Jesus wants to avoid his death if he can in Mark, Luke, and Matthew. He supposedly weeps blood, he is so distraught. In John, we have no Gethsemane and Jesus is not bothered at all. It’s rather a pity since I find the story to be humanizing. An episode of Babylon 5 did a nice rift on the concept.
Suddenly no one knows who Jesus is, odd for a man who supposedly had thousands of people following him. Judas has to kiss him to point him out. No one recognizes him when he comes back. Mark also has a man who was wearing nothing by a linen garment (underwear?) being seized then running away naked, leaving his garment behind. It’s a bizarre little interlude.
The “thieves” pose quite a problem. In Mark and Matthew, they both insult Jesus. Luke has that one makes fun of JC but the other asks to be remembered and JC says he’ll be with him that day in paradise. In John they say nothing.
Events that should be noticeable aren’t. The whole land darkens and the curtain in the temple rips in Mark and Luke. Matthew has the darkness and curtain but it also has an earthquake and has the dead walking the streets. There are no contemporary accounts of any of these rather noticeable events. Some Christian apologists try to correlate them to actual earthquakes and eclipses, but the timing has yet to work. And we know when eclipses happen because of physics and we can find and date earthquakes thanks to geology and dating methods.
Then there is the problem of who goes to the tomb and what they find there. Mark has one man in a white robe waiting there for Mary, Mary M and Salome (not the dancer). The gospel ends with them being too afraid to tell anyone anything. Some verses were added later to make it conform better to the other versions. These verses are where the nonsense about picking up snakes and drinking poison come from.
In Matthew, there’s another earthquake *after* the crucifixion. Mary and Mary M go to the tomb and find an angel who tells them to go tell the others. JC then shows up right after and the women clasp his feet and worship him. JC meets the apostles on a mountain.
In Luke, the women go, find two angels and don’t meet JC. Peter is in the tomb first in Luke. JC appears on the road to Emmaus and no one recognizes him until he breaks bread. JC then eats fish to show he’s real. The apostles go right back to Jerusalem and worship in the temple.
Things get quite different in John. As I said above, Gethsemane vanishes and JC has no problem with going to the cross. Judas gives no kiss. Last words are “It is finished.” quite a bit different than the plaintive cry of abandonment. JC’s side is pierced which no one else mentions and seems only added to give a little prophetic oomph to the story. Mary M is the only one to go to the tomb. There she sees no one. The “other disciple” gets in the tomb first, not Peter. JC is masquerading as the gardener who Mary doesn’t recognize and forbids Mary to touch him. The apostles are hiding for their lives from the Jewish leaders. Thomas is there poking around. JC appears more times, no one still recognizing him. And supposedly JC does so many other things that not all of the books could contain the descriptions.
For all of the claims of how perfect the bible is, it doesn’t take much to see that’s not the case. There are direct contradictions that cannot be “harmonized” away. Now, many Christians do their best to try to blend the stories together. They have JC being positively chatty when he’s up on the cross, claiming that everything the gospels claim was said. But that makes little sense in context. Christian claim that the various numbers and who did what mistakes are not important, but that begs the question, what else is wrong if no one could get such simple things right? Why should we trust the authors at all?
Finally, I have one last observation and it’s been made before by others. The salvation of the world was supposedly predicated on the painful murder of one man. The only being that required this was the Christian god. What would have happened if someone out of love and kindness rescued Jesus? Would the story hold and everyone be damned from an act of mercy?
As always, I welcome comments from everyone. My Christian readers are welcome to give their take on things. As always, please do support your claims.
Postscript: FFRF has an excellent post about this subject. You can take the challenge: make a coherent timeline from the various versions of the easter story.
23 thoughts on “Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – Easter, the supposed events and implications”
Easter, another excuse for Cortne’s mom to try & have us over. This year we told her we couldn’t come, because we were walking the dogs in a parade. We used that as an excuse BEFORE we actually decided to do it, but that’s an acceptable one, right?
I am always unavailable for those kinds of invitations. This year I have the reason that my husband is on-call.
PERFECT. Didn’t even have to get obscure with it. It’s enough that we already give in for Christmas.
I’m going to try and send a young apologists over here. His name is Dereck.
He’s very welcome if he’d like to brave the leopard’s den. 🙂
I gave him fair warning 🙂
Hello! I’m the “young apologist” 🙂 Although I’m 30, which it still relatively young. But I don’t want to oversell myself. I’m a Christian in seminary at the moment, but I’m more concerned with social justice (especially in the realm of human trafficking) than apologetics. But I do find apologetics fun, and it’s a great way to engage with people of different persuasions (which is not a change I get too often by attending seminary). I really enjoyed this post and look forward to responding to it. Now that the semester is back in force, it may take me several weeks. Family and school must come first. But I WILL respond in due time. Just wanted to say hello and show you my appreciation for your article. I also noticed you called this the “leopard’s den” and have a snow leopard as your pic. Before seminary, I was on my way to veterinary school to become a vet for exotic cats, hoping to help rescue centers mostly (my wife regrets my decision to not go to vet school at the last minute haha, but I’m happy with it). I once “Adopted” a bobcat from one of the organizations named Alex, and he is still there today. I know this is off-topic a bit, but if you are interested in this type of rescue work for big cats as well, I can send you the website to the one I went to when I lived in Indiana. Pretty cool place. Many more like it, fortunately (so they don’t have to be euthanized) and unfortunately (because it displays a much bigger problem with the treatment of these beautiful creatures). Now, you may just like pictures of pretty cats and I may have wasted my time talking about all of that lol. When I do respond, I will make sure to start a new post and not just piggy back off of John’s. Have a great week!
Hi Derek! I have 17 years on you so I guess you’re a young one compared to me. 🙂 May I ask your flavor of Christianity?
I’m glad you are interested in social justice. Human trafficking is a big problem, and stopping it is good, but it doesn’t do as much as it could if religion decides that those who are trafficked are second class citizens because of their sex, sexual orientation, religion, etc.
I hope you do respond to my post. But if you don’t, no problem. I’m very used to Christians, including seminarians, who decide that they don’t really want to do that after thinking about it.
I love my big cats, and my little ones too. I give money to Big Cat Rescue, among other places, and they always have some great videos on youtube. http://bigcatrescue.org/ I love their do big cats like catnip videos: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tklx3j7kgJY
hope to see your post soon!
Hello! Sorry for such a long hiatus. School and extra jobs have been taking up my time. Also a still-young marriage and trying to train 2 parakeets to like me 🙂
And I will also say that the organizations I have supported, to my knowledge, don’t view those who are trafficked as second-class citizens. I believe their Christian doctrine is sound, and viewing anyone as anything less than a child of God, equally loved, would be foreign to them. In particular I think of the International Justice Mission.
My particular flavor of Christianity has been, historically, of the Independent Christian Church movement (from the Restoriationist movement). But since I’ve been in seminary, I’m leaning more towards Wesleyan-Arminian theology. I’ve seriously considered open theism, but only for a couple of weeks at a time haha.
As for my response, it is probably too long and “out in the ether”. I’m not great at summing things up! But hopefully it gets into some of the thought processes that go into issues such as this. I won’t pretend it is an easy issue to resolve, either. But I don’t think this particular issue by itself is as catastrophic as many may think it is at first glance.
Also, I wrote something up a long time ago and decided that I would, in the future, sum it up, rewrite it, and then post a more succinct version on your blog. But I find that I keep not having time to do that. So if you’ll forgive me, I am going to post this rough draft:
Now, as far as the stuff about the resurrection story:
– The date issue: the original people would have known, because it was the passover feast, which was a big deal. They would have known when it happened. It is only when people get more specific about dates later that it gets confusing to retrace. And the more that we understand about the society then, we see that they weren’t much of a “temporal” people in speech (Verbal Aspect Theory). But when we force these standards on them, it is incredibly anachronistic, and these are standards that are usually not forced on any other ancient documents that have much, much less attestation than the New Testament.
– Why the guards didn’t know him: again, this is why there aren’t that many (but there are some very early ones, even within the same century, which is quite remarkable) contemporary non-Biblical references to Jesus: he was mostly a “Jewish problem” who was only turned into a “Roman problem” for a few days before his crucifixion by some of the Jewish leaders. Most of the Roman guards that were there were just there because it was a religious festival, and a time of high emotion and fervor, so more guards were typically moved in during these times to squash any possible revolts (which the Jews were known for, and Rome hated). So they would not have ever heard of Jesus or known what he looked like. They were probably not from his area of travel.
– why the different accounts? Different viewpoints. Different emphases depending on the argument or appeal being put forth:
— example: I break my leg on hawaiian vacation. If someone wants to talk about Hawaii, I will mention all the great things Hawaii has to offer. If someone wants to talk about my time there, I will tell them it was great, but also bad because I broke my leg. If someone wants to talk about broken legs, I will emphasize that I broke my leg when in Hawaii. Each one will take a different tone depending on what is being asked, but all are truthful.
— another example: If I wanted to persuade someone to go to Purdue University in Lafayette, IN. If they liked basketball, I would talk up the basketball program. If they liked science, I would talk up the science program. Just because I don’t include one program doesn’t mean I’m lying or unaware that it exists, it just means I’m shaping my appeal to a certain audience. We know that the Gospel writers were all writing to different groups, and they were in different regions of the Roman empire. Including or excluding something doesn’t mean they are lying. Not getting the order of events the exact same doesn’t mean that either. Some were more concerned with chronology , some were more concerned with themes. We can’t hold them to a standard of journalism we have now, which is also anachronistic. But also we know that, at least in the case from Matthew and Luke, they borrowed some things from Mark. So, they had Mark’s Gospel, but yet there’s is different. Why? They were adding their own recollections as well, but also writing to specific groups with specific concerns. Matthew has a more Jewish tone because he was writing to a Jewish audience. So when he mentions Jewish things, he doesn’t feel the need to elaborate. Luke was writing to a Gentile audience, so when he does mention the Jewish aspects, he explains them more. But it seems Luke was more concerned with highlighting the Good News in regards to women and the poor. Mark was also to a Greek audience probably and his Gospel seems very similar to the fast-paced action of a Greek play. John was more theological and elaborated much more on different aspects, but since he was the closest apostle to Jesus in many ways, it is not hard to see why! John even said that many more things about Jesus could be written, but there weren’t enough pages in the world to hold them – similar things could be said about any biography – if you read two current biographies now on the same person, they will not have all of the same data. But have you asked yourself why the accounts would be different, especially in the cases where the Gospel writers are known to have had access to the other Gospel and have taken some lines from it word for word? Why would they do that? Some say that these men were just stupid, but at the same time they pulled off the most successful and elaborate hoax in history … so which is it?
—also, let’s go back to Hawaii. I am with 4 friends and I break my leg. Now, depending on when my friends come to visit, I may be in a different mood. So, if they visit me while I am in the hospital and my leg is hurting, I will be in pain and talk about my leg hurting. But if it’s right after I got my pain medication, I won’t be talking about my leg that much, maybe I’ll be talking about what I saw on TV, or on how the hospital food is. So, different people have different vantage points. Now what if THOSE friends then go out and tell other people about my time? Will their stories all be the same? No. Will they all be truthful? Yes. They all have their own styles of telling a story, and their own reasons for focusing on one part of the story or another, but still truthful. Now if they were writing a MODERN-DAY biography where they try to include all the information they can in chronological order from all vantage points, then they would probably want to corroborate their stories.
—in an interrogation, with two people separated, what would you expect to hear? If one is lying, and the other one isn’t, you will hear two completely different stories. If their stories are both exactly the same, they will assume they have already talked about it together, and so they aren’t sure if the story is true or not. But if they tell the same story, but some of the details are a little different (some more specific, some more vague), then they will assume they are telling the same truth independently of one another. That’s what the gospels have in a sense.
– so now, with all of that as a backdrop, what of the differences in the accounts? Even the timing issue — the time used depends on which group being spoken to (Jew or Gentile – each had different way of counting days), and what the rooster crow meant (still some debate on what the crow even was – but again, it’s something that would have been understood then).
— don’t want to make it seem like this is an easy issue, though. Not at all. And even though they all agree on the MAIN points, and disagree on some of the specifics, that won’t be persuading to you. But I can explain some of the current scholarship in this field.
-earthquakes and the dead walking – If we take a strictly literal reading of this, then it would be hard to explain. Not some earthquakes (including one recent study) have been found to have happened in the area within 3-5 years of the crucifixion. How accurate are those dates? Well you’d have to ask the scientists (not Christians — I can point you into the direction of these findings if you would like). But also, Matthew may have been employing a literary device that his audience would have understood as just that. This is another issue where the 2,000 year difference hurts us a bit. I would like to do more research on this when I get the time. I may find that the answer is already out there, especially if they find similar literary devices in other literature. The point may not be the actual events, but what Matthew is saying about the person of Jesus. And this doesn’t mean that everything in the Bible is up for grabs, so that when the going gets tough historically we just say “oh, well, it must not be literal then.” But we have to look at all of the options here. There are many, many other reasons why my faith is strong and I believe with my heart, mind, and soul that Jesus is the Christ, and this text doesn’t dissuade me from that. This is a minor issue, I believe, and one that requires someone to study all aspects of context before making any declaration of certainty.
If you would like me to clarify any particular statements, please don’t hesitate to ask! I know that, since this is rough, it also may be a bit vague in some areas. The other option is that it was a true miracle that took place, and the other Gospel writers didn’t need it for their point, and our geological findings haven’t corroborated the earthquakes (yet – or ever – perhaps that factoid is lost to history). Now based on one’s assumptions and worldview, that will either be a good enough answer or an awful answer. Obviously, for this discussion, I only mention it as one of the possibilities, but I would not spend much time on it as it would not be a very beneficial one for the discussion.
Hi Derek, I’ll be with you in a bit. Thank you for replying.
Hah, and you think your post is long! 🙂
Again, thanks for returning. I know that it can be uncomfortable to discuss Christianity and theism with an atheist. I am definitely one of the more aggressive ones, so be warned. And don’t worry about length. You’ve certainly seen where I don’t give a hoot how long a post is.
I’d love to have parakeets but I think my cats would terrorize them to death. I need a big ol’ crow that could stand its own.
My point about the second class citizens is that the Bible has much about how second-class women are and has one very little bit about how everyone is supposed to be equal. As always, the parts of the bible to be followed depend on the person, not some idea that the words are a divine truth. There are some sects that do not treat women as such, but most consider a woman less than a man, basing their nonsense on Paul. Of course, most of these sects ignore the parts about women not teaching, because that’s rather inconvenient in the US. IJM does good work (though there are some questionable things they’ve done as my research has shown). However, the basic idea of women as second-class is about as Christian as the idea of taking care of the least of these.
I’ve always been interested in the various sects of Christianity. My former church was Presbyterian. It split because one woman said that this god told her that the church we had needed to be torn down and replaced. The “new church” half was recognized by the Presbytery and the other considered well, I think heretics isn’t too strong a word since they didn’t believe the woman’s claims and kept the old church. They became an independent church. It seems that splits like this are always happening in Christianity, there’s always someone who thinks that they have the “right” version. Open theism is certainly a strange one. It seems like a rather curious attempt to make God over into what reality indicates, a way to have a god but excuse its incompetence. It certainly isn’t the god of Christianity it’s describing.
I’d like to ask you, why do you “lean” more towards Wesleyan Aminian theology? What makes it better than say Calvinism or Roman Catholicism?
Now, onto the other stuff. There is no evidence that this cruxifiction happened at all. If it happened on a Passover, one could recalculate it since Passover is based on lunar events. There would also have been a Roman date which we also could figure out what it was in our calendar, and Romans are anything but “atemporal” as a people. But we have neither. And yes, dates are forced on other ancient documents. We know Alexander’s birthday. That we do not know one of the most important dates in your religion makes it seem very odd to me.
I ask you to tell me what reference to Jesus are contemporary and non-biblical. I want to know which ones you are talking about before I tear into them. Again, there is no evidence anyone was cruxifed as this man. But, assuming the story is true, then he was crucified as a danger to Rome. He was also supposedly famous for doing miracles, so much so that he had over a legion’s worth of men (plus women and children) just outside of Jerusalem an occupied city. And no one noticed this, in a country that was, as you said, known for revolts. Or remarked upon this to the soldiers. Knowing more than a few soldiers, I find that hard to believe considering how they gossip.
Different accounts and different viewpoints does not excuse why entirely contradictory events were claimed. These events cannot have occurred together. There can’t be more than one “first into the tomb”. There can’t be the thieves tormenting Jesus and then not doing so. There cannot be a Jesus so distraught in Gesthemane that he wept blood, and a Jesus that did not weep at all and had no trouble going to the cross. The bible presents all of these as the “truth” and they cannot all be; so why consider any to be the truth and not just a set of stories? Your example of breaking a leg in Hawaii can be proven by evidence of a certain event happening. Your story will not say “ I broke my skull.” It will not say “I was in Massachusetts”. If it did, you would be providing misinformation, correct? Since the Gospels do contradict themselves, they can be shown to be doing the same thing. This is not simply different viewpoints or different emphases. It is claims that one thing happened and then a completely different thing happened. One of the events is not true (per you perhaps intentionally) and I know that the Bible says that lies and liars are not loved by this god, with no exceptions given at all.
This is not simply not mentioning something as in your second example, it is giving another event that precludes the priorly claimed one from happening.
You claim that we can’t hold the people writing then to the same standards as now. Why not? They weren’t stupid. They wrote the truth as often as we do, so it is anachronistic at all to expect them to write facts down and hold to those facts. Writing to an audience does not require changing what are supposedly the facts.
There is no evidence to show that Matthew and Luke were adding their “own recollections” since we have no evidence that the event happened at all or that they were there. Another explanation, just as valid, is that they were adding stuff to make the story more appealing and that stuff never happened. Humans can invent things or borrow things, Derek, and they could have been doing it then just like humans do it now with the claims of miracles and other nonsense. The authors cannot be shown to be apostles or anything like that; they were written by people we do not know well at all over a span of decades at best. We do not know their provenance and your arguments depend on believing things that are not true. And no, it would not take an infinite amount of pages for any biography.
It may have not been an intentional hoax. Other religions pop up and I don’t think they are intentional hoaxes. Do you? People hear things and elaborate on them. And people aren’t necessarily stupid. They can simply be ignorant and wanting to believe in such things. It’s very attractive, a religion that says that even slaves will get magical rewards in heaven, that some omnipotent being loves you and will answer your prayers.
Again, the friends aren’t saying that you broke your skull when you broke your leg or saying that you were in Massachusetts when you were in Hawaii. That is what the authors of the gospels have done. Your analogy fails again since we are not talking about omission. We are talking about events that cannot happen concurrently and both be true. The authors have no idea if the stories are true but report them as true, and they cannot be shown to be true via any other source. Now, there were people writing in ancient times that did their best to cooroborate their stories, so it is no excuse to say it’s anachronistic again. It was done, these people didn’t do it, so why? It’s like now. People want to claim things as true and do their best to remain willfully ignorant of anything that contradicts them, for example creationists. They have a reason to intentionally tell a false tale and it is for no beneficial purpose to those they tell it too.
Your analogy does bring up one more problem: why can’t this god keep its story straight? It has supposedly influenced mankind over and over again? Why not now? Why the confusion?
And nice try but no, police do not automatically assume that just because stories are the same or similar, the witnesses have talked to get their claims to match. Nor do they assume that since there are differences, it must be true. It always amuses me when Christians want to use both arguments “the gospels are the same so it must be true. The difference don’t matter at all” and “the gospels are different so it must be true. The differences matter very much.” Which is it?
The timing issue and the cock are little things when it comes to the problems in the stories. I’ve listed them in the blog post and some again in this post at the beginning. I known that it’s constantly debated of what happened, when it happened and what does it “mean”. That’s why we have Christian sects up to our eyeballs. No one can agree on this nonsense that is supposedly some magical truth. And no they do not agree on the MAIN points, Derek. You want to pick and choose what you want to claim as “main points” so you can ignore the problems.
You want to pick and choose what to take literally and figuratively. Each Christian does that, and we have a million different variations of what is “really” literal and what is “really” figurative. Again this is why we have so many sects, because Christians aren’t one big happy family. I have called that the magic decoder ring. And the magic decoder rings have changed since the scientific method has been around. What was declared as true and inviolate has been shown to be untrue. Yep, the claims of the earthquake is nonsense and the dead walking is even more hilarious. But everyone used to think it literally true. And now, since we know it’s not by evidence and investigation, those things become just figurative conveniently and why Matthew simply *must* have been using a mysterious “literary device” that no one can explain. Now, I can say that the whole Christ story is figurative, that it’s just an ideal being put forth. What tells you that it must be literal? We have no evidence for the events in it, so why think it, and not the earthquake or the walking dead literally true? Does this mean that the miracles aren’t true, that no one was raised from the dead, fed fish and loaves or saw JC walking on water? Or resurrected?
To me, this running around trying to find evidence, claiming bits figurative and literal is the best indication that most, if not all, Christians have very little faith. Someone with faith, aka belief in the unseen, would not be so desperate as many Christians are when they are looking for evidence. It is unfortunately easy to watch them intentionally lie to provide supposed “evidence”, they keep themselves willfully ignorant so they do not encounter things that might shake their faith. We have had Christians, Jews, Muslims, looking for evidence for millennia and you have found nothing. Does that mean that they never will? No, but the prospects are certainly looking dim.
You have said that you believe that JC is real and this text doesn’t dissuade me from that. Let me ask: what would dissuade you or are you blindly faithful and would never consider anything that might show you that you are wrong, either that atheism is correct or that another religion got it right?
Oh and earthquakes are easy to find. 2000 years is nothing when it comes to geological evidence. So, if there is no evidence yet, there is no reason to think it’s hiding or worn away. You might as well as say “we were created last Thursday and God is playing hide and seek for no reason or that we got the wrong god.” If a god wants to hide all of the evidence, then it is intentionally damning honest people and that whole story about the lost lamb is complete nonsense. I can see a vicious god like this but I don’t think that is the god you claim exists
I’ve made a blog post of my response: https://clubschadenfreude.wordpress.com/2013/07/22/not-so-polite-dinner-conversation-troopies-welcome-derek-a-seminarian-who-is-braving-the-leopards-den/ If you do respond, please do it over there so we have a nice open comments area to use.
Boss, yet another nice post.
There is a bigger problem with the passover story that most people want to admit. A careful reading of Exodus have the Israelites staying in different quarters with the Egyptians that is why we have darkness over Egypt and not over where the sons of Israel live. The plagues do not affect the sons of Israel, so one is left to wonder why the need for blood in the first place.
The story of two thieves crucified with Jesus can also be an extrapolation of the Joseph story while in prison before he is made head honcho by pharaoh. So we are left with a few choices here, to take the older story as an interpolation of the later one, that the Jesus story is a fabrication, that all the stories are fabrications. I know my take, I don’t know yours.
And the question you ask is a potent one, would an omni-max god with knowledge of the future and knowing there would be skeptics choose to use blood sacrifice dominant in the near east at the supposed time of his son’s suicide to redeem the world?
As always good points. I hadn’t thought of the Joseph story in that way (I am assuming you mean that the thieves are the cupbearer and baker) but I can see that.
Heh, and my take is that that all the stories are fabrications. They might occasionally mention a real place or real person but so do modern political thrillers.
As for my last question in the post, yes it does pose a lot of problems. One of which is that the bible itself isn’t that clear that the sacrifice is needed. We have JC saying that one only needs to believe in him to be saved, no death on the cross needed at all. We also have the claims that grace is the only thing needed, so that indicate again that no sacrifice was really needed to correct the actions of two people and a talking snake. And those need to be literally existing. If A&E are metaphor as some more liberal Christians claim, then it makes the sacrifice even that much more pointless.
yes to the cup bearer and the baker. It was the connection I made when i read the story, they are too similar.
If it is a metaphor, it is a metaphor all the way down. The thing that happens I think to such Christians is they don’t for a minute consider what happens when their arguments are taken to their logical conclusions.