Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – Juries, sources and what the gospels has to say about 500 witnsses among other things (aka Postzilla part 1)

religion selective hearingthis post has been split into two parts.  part 2 can be found here.)

 

Sorry for the hiatus on the blog, everyone.  I thought I might address one of the comments on one of the other blog entries since there are some interesting claims by a Christian apologist and a blog entry is more conducive to a thorough investigation of them.   I’ve also been kibitzing in comments so check there for more discussion. This is a long post, but you know that this will often be the case on my blog.  They may be to your taste or not.

Currently, we’ve had Ben and his guest poster Silverswiper (from here out termed SS) commenting on my reviews of their claims.  They  indulge in the usual Christian apologist nonsense but that’s what I’m here to rebut so it works out well.  I do appreciate their participation.  Their use of a lot of the typical apologist claims always gives a good place to start from.  As is common, refuting the claims of theists, especially Christians gets very tedious and repetitive.   Dearly held beliefs given to them by people they trust are hard to eradicate.  Add to that the very pleasant fantasy that one is the special focus of some omnipotent, omniscient and omnibenevolent deity, and it’s a very addictive combination.  I found it to be so myself when I was a Christian and it is not pleasant at all to lose such beliefs.  The feelings of withdrawal e.g. “I can’t have been that wrong.”  will keep a believer coming back for years, still hoping for any evidence for their god or eventually any gods at all.

I found myself in that situation when I finally lost my faith in Christianity and went looking at other religions.  Thanks to that search, I know a lot about many religions.  I had a shelf full of books about Wicca.  I still have a handful of manuals from the Rosicrucians and a shelf full of books on comparative religion.   They all unsurprisingly gave many promises of what worshipping the god and following the religion would achieve.  And unsurprisingly, all of those promises failed just like the ones offered by  Christianity. Then one goes to the effort of creating a god that doesn’t fail, one that does nothing but exist, just to salve those wounds of abandonment.

SS has offered stories  as evidence and I have berated him for that.  He claims that stories are evidence.  I’ll try to clarify why that is the case in the instances of claiming that since a story exists about Jesus, that means he existed.  I can claim that I have a dragon in my attic.  Is this evidence for the dragon or just a claim that I have one?  A similar instance: I claim I killed a man.  Is this evidence or just a story until I can provide evidence to support it?

For example, the claim of an “empty tomb” is nothing more than a story, it has nothing to support that there was a tomb or that it was empty.  A story isn’t a bad thing but it’s not the truth.  Much of ancient history we know because of similar stories, claims of cities, battles, and gods. But what is history and what is myth can be determined by artifacts, contemporary accounts, etc.   SS used an old apologist claim that “pretty much all of ancient history can be discounted because, after all, they are just “stories”.”  Unfortunately, he and other apologists, fail to realize that those stories that archaeologists have followed have either been proven true, partially true or false.  For instance,  we had folks following the story of the battle of Troy and have found a site that is generally agreed upon as the site of  Troy, the site and artifacts fits the legend fairly well.  However, we have not found evidence of the Greek gods’ involvement there or of Cassandra or any of the magical things claimed by the legends.  In contrast, your stories about Jesus  Christ is a story that has gods and events and real places mentioned,  *but* there are no artifacts, no contemporary accounts for what should have been very noticeable things, etc.  Both stories  have extraordinary claims concerning magic and gods and there is no reason to think that those parts of the stories are true.  We have a city of Troy; Christians don’t even have a tomb.  That’s what is different between the bible stories and the stories from other sources, be they pagan or not.  

Now, for the claims SS and Ben have used about their religion to be true, for example that JC was a man/god and that his body vanished by magic and he came back from the dead, we need a story *and* evidence to support it.  We have nothing that does so that cannot be used for other religions.  You have offered stories, not the evidence that supports them.  A claim that 500 people saw JC is not evidence. I can claim to have 500 people in my backyard. What would be evidence for this claim?  Maybe a photo, crushed plants (I have a wee back yard), a police report from my neighbor who doesn’t like me, etc..  We can have a believable “report” if we have that corroborating evidence.  A story does not stand on its own. I have no more reason to believe the stories of Indian gods being with people than I have to believe the Christian claim that there was a demigod.  I ask Ben and SS: Do you believe that the gods interacted with the ancient Hindus?  Or do you think that they are just stories?  What would make you believe that such claims are true?  For me, it would be again corroborating evidence as I have listed.

Despite SS’s claims, it is not rare at all for events to have matching descriptions.  Let’s take a sporting event, like Super Bowl 13.  What happened at the event? Well, the Steelers won.  If one claimed otherwise that would be a contradiction, and the evidence would support that.  Terry Bradshaw threw a 75 yard touchdown pass.  If one claimed it was Franco Harris, that would be a contradiction.  If one had claimed that there was an appearance by Sir Isaac Newton, discoverer of the laws of gravity, on the 50 yard line at the half-time, that would be a contradiction of actual events.   We will have approximately 74 million people, those on site and watching on television, who will have the same story.  In the story of Jesus Christ, we have four differing stories of what should be the most important event in history, and no one else in the world noticed events that should have been pretty obvious.   Yes, there are differences in what was *claimed* about the sinking of the Titanic, the crossing of the Alps, but those differing claims were put to rest from artifacts and contemporary accounts.   For example, how the Titanic sank was up for debate when it was just competing stories, but the actual ship shows what happened.  Stories can be told about such things, but that doesn’t mean that the there was one ridiculously large blue diamond on board.  If we have no good reason to believe in what is claimed,  an event that has no evidence to have happened of to have *ever* happened, having contradictions about the event shows that there is even less reason to believe it.  For instance, the bit about whether Jesus can be touched or not.  If one touches him and one is not supposed to, then what?  They are struck down like Uzzah?  That JC ceases to become holy?  He was certainly worried about it in one story, but not the others.  If I can’t trust JC’s words in this, why trust it when he says “Him that believes in me shall have everlasting life.”?

SS also noted the jury instructions for California.  However, I do not know if he knows all of the instructions depending on cases.  The instructions say “Do not automatically reject”, and indeed I am not “automatically rejecting” anything. The instructions do say how to consider carefully what the witness claims and compare it to other things. If witnesses have differences, they are important to compare them and ask why there are differences. This is especially true  if one thinks that this is accurately describing the most important event in human history.  People do honestly forget and make mistakes; however, there is no evidence of an honest mistake in something written decades after the supposed event.  And indeed, two people may witness an event differently.

I’ve grabbed a bit more of the instructions so everyone can see just what is being told to the jury:

You alone must judge the credibility or believability of the witnesses. In deciding whether testimony is true and accurate, use your common sense and experience. You must judge the testimony of each witness by the same standards, setting aside any bias or prejudice you may have.

You may believe all, part, or none of any witness’s testimony. Consider the testimony of each witness and decide how much of it you believe. In evaluating a witness’s testimony, you may consider anything that reasonably tends to prove or disprove the truth or accuracy of that testimony. Among the factors that you may consider are:

How well could the witness see, hear, or otherwise perceive the things about which the witness testified?

How well was the witness able to remember and describe what happened?

What was the witness’s behavior while testifying?

Did the witness understand the questions and answer them directly?

Was the witness’s testimony influenced by a factor such as bias or prejudice, a personal relationship with someone involved in the case, or a personal interest in how the case is decided?

What was the witness’s attitude about the case or about testifying?

Did the witness make a statement in the past that is consistent or inconsistent with his or her testimony?

How reasonable is the testimony when you consider all the other evidence in the case?

[Did other evidence prove or disprove any fact about which the witness testified?]

[Did the witness admit to being untruthful?]

[What is the witness’s character for truthfulness?]

[Has the witness been convicted of a felony?]

[Has the witness engaged in [other] conduct that reflects on his or her believability?]

[Was the witness promised immunity or leniency in exchange for his or her testimony?]

[If you decide that a witness deliberately lied about something significant in this case, you should consider not believing anything that witness says. Or, if you think the witness lied about some things, but told the truth about others, you may simply accept the part that you

think is true and ignore the rest.]   

To let you know, this is what the brackets are indicating:The instructions use brackets to provide optional choices that may be necessary or appropriate,depending on the individual circumstances of the case  http://www.courts.ca.gov/partners/documents/calcrim_juryins.pdf

So, as one can see from a source SS has provided, the jury instructions do not eliminate disregarding the claims of a witness if one has good reason to, for instance other evidence proving or disproving the claims of the witness.

As in all cases, the evidence for someone existing is dependent on evidence, not only stories.  I can claim that Thor Odinsson existed but unless we can find corroborating evidence, my claim has no basis in reality.  Can we make an educated guess at the probability of someone existing?  Yes.  In this case, Thor is a god, and since we have no evidence of gods or the supernatural, the probability of his existence approaches zero.  Did Julius Caesar exist?  Well, we know that there was a Roman empire, there were generals and there were emperors, so the likelihood of his existence is high. Can we accept all that is claimed about him with no question? No.  Same with Alexander the Great, Genghis Khan, Saladin, King Richard the Lion-hearted, etc.    In archaeology, we can be pretty sure that a stone mason or blacksmith existed, but we may not have a name to put with the artifacts in a village.

Now, let’s look at the claims of about James.  We have the Bible claiming he existed, as the brother of Jesus Christ, son of God.  We have Josephus mentioning him: “Festus was now dead, and Albinus was but upon the road; so he assembled the sanhedrin of judges, and brought before them the brother of Jesus, who was called Christ, whose name was James, and some others; and when he had formed an accusation against them as breakers of the law, he delivered them to be stoned.”  However, if one reads about James, there are problems with calling him a “brother” if one accepts one sect’s version of Christianity.   Is he brother or cousin?  Or was he either? We have a few mentions in Acts, this mention in Josephus and mentions hundreds of years later.  At best, we can say that there probably was a person who led the Jerusalem Christians. He may have been called James, since that seems to be a fairly common name (in regards to common names, Josephus mentions 20 men called Jesus aka Joshua, a common Jewish name).  He may have been the brother to a rabbi who claimed to be the messiah.  But we have nothing that shows he was the brother to a demigod.  And that is the person that Christains need to show existed.  I could say “sure, there was a man who thought he was the messiah.  Per records from the time, there were bunches of them.”  I ask Ben and SS and our other Christians here: “And then what?  We know that this is not the character you wish to prove existed.  I have no problem with you denying the divinity of Joshua ben Joseph, but I think your religion does.  “Who do you say that I am?”

We then have SS claiming that James is mentioned in works of “non-fiction” and Horus isn’t.    The idea of what consists of non-fiction and fiction changes when one’s beliefs are involved.  Those who worshiped Horus were sure that the Book of the Dead was not fiction.  And Christians need to believe that the bible and other works are not fiction either.  Since there is evidence for neither Horus nor Jesus Christ, there is no reason to think either theist claims to be true. Parts of Josephus, like the bible, may contain accurate information. But we know that all of it does not.  This shows how some Christians cherry pick their sources.  They wish to say that since Paul mentions James, James must exist.  All we have are Paul’s claims, nothing more.  Paul mentions demons, again, nothing shows that they exist either.   In that we have stories about characters that non-Christians find true, and believe to be non-fiction, that should mean that SS, for example, should accept them for truth as much as he thinks I should accept his claims as truth.  I think I am fairly safe in guessing that SS isn’t going to proclaim the authenticity of the deeds of Heracles or Hanuman anytime soon.  And thus, if that isn’t proof enough that Heracles and Hanuman didn’t exist, then” nothing, simply nothing will convince you or anyone else. “

Part 2 is here.

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122 responses to “Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – Juries, sources and what the gospels has to say about 500 witnsses among other things (aka Postzilla part 1)

  1. Whoa, that was a long one!

    The only thing i can add here is an appeal to these apologists to try and actually advance the cosmological argument. For 3,000 years no one has moved it forward. The argument has remained as is, and its damn boring going over such well-traveled terrain.

    To actually advance the argument a theist will have to present a conclusive explanation for why there can’t be an infinite chain of causes and effects.

    Try asking that of a theists…. they’ll do everything humanly possible to avoid answering it.

    • well, we can ask right now. I see I have at least one Christian who likes my crazy long post (never helps when I have to cite a lot of things). Theists, why can’t there be a infinite change of cause and effects.

      Infinities are among those terms that are confusing and cause problems. I love them! 🙂

      • Good luck in asking. You won’t get an answer…. and that’s the crazy thing about theists reasoning: they deny infinities, but claim their god is, wait for it, infinite!

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  3. Two full posts to refute my one (not even very long) comment. Wow, I am very touched. Let’s take a look and see if Vel is able to decisively refute my claims.

    We start with another amusing but sadly irrelevant graphic. I think I am right, I could be wrong, but I hear and understand your criticism and am prepared to defend my point. I don’t think the graphic, once again, is appropriate here.

    We have a fairly extensive reference to why apologists are nuts and why she deconverted. While very sad stuff, it is quite unnecessary in our discussion.

    First of all, we have a definition of what differentiates stories and evidence. Vel is correct when she says a dragon in her attic is a claim, but not proof. But lets take a look. When someone makes a claim, they can either be intentionally lying, unintentionally lying or telling the truth. In order to determine which of the three is taking place, we should take a look behind the scenes. In Vel’s analogy, is it likely she would have made up the story? Quite possibly, especially if she loves dragons. But let’s take a look at the disciples. They claimed that Jesus rose from the dead. Is it likely they would have made up the story? It is my opinion that they wouldn’t not deliberately. There is both no plausible origin for the very strange belief apart from the Resurrection happening, and there is the fact they had everything to lose and virtually nothing to gain from lying. These points are contentious, but I will deal with them later.

    Vel then points out a difference between the Gospel accounts and other ancient accounts. She distinguishes them because there is no artifacts of these events, only proof of cities, people and customs. She then points to a lack of contemporary accounts. Both are misguided. Allow me to illustrate. While archaeological evidence can tell us a lot about ancient times, it is limited in many respects. For example, can archaeology prove Caesar was murdered in the Senate by a horde of conspirators? No, it cannot. Can it prove that he said “Et tu, Brute?”. No, it cannot. Can it prove that Jesus appeared to his followers after his death? No, it cannot. The only way to determine whether these events happened is to assess the primary written (or also possibly graphics like mosaics, etc) accounts. I think her expectations are unrealistic. The accuracy of the New Testament is greatly helped by archaeology, but come actual events, it’s uses are limited. What about contemporary accounts? Well, Vel is correct when she says that multiple accounts definitely help. Here’s the thing, there are four canonical Gospels as well as additional letters and documents. These are separate accounts, only united into what we call the New Testament for the very reason that they are accurate reports of Jesus’s life.

    Come to her example of 500 people in her backyard, she is correct in the essentials. But let’s take a look at the actual mention of these people. The creed where they are mentioned dates within just a few years of Jesus’s death. Paul tells the Corinthians that while some were dead, some were still alive, implying they could still be found and questioned. The creed itself comes from Jerusalem, the very place this claim could be falsified. But it wasn’t, interestingly.

    What about other religions? What about evidence for them? Well, the truth is, often the truth claims for these religions is either extremely old and unreliable, or can be explained naturalistically much more satisfactorily than the Resurrection. Let’s take a look at just one, Mormonism. The witnesses for this event are very suspicious, they are extremely superstitious, they largely come from just two families, and the key witnesses fall into strange patterns of behaviour after their testimony. Additionally, even if it can survive all of this, one thing remains. They saw Golden Plates. So? There is nothing spectacular about Golden Plates, and as we can see, there are clear connections between them and, say, the KJV. But let’s take a look at the Resurrection. Jesus died, he rose from the grave. That cannot be explained naturalistically. It is my view that no other religion has such a strong historical backing like Christianity, if one has a contender, they are welcome to show it.

    Vel is correct when she says it is not rare at all for events to have matching descriptions, she is perfectly correct. The Gospels do share many things in common, the empty tomb, certain post-resurrection appearances, women discovering the tomb, etc. Though they differ in certain minor details, they do not at all invalidate the big picture. She also says certain differing claims were put to rest by later accounts, this is also perfectly correct. Yet, did anyone doubt for a minute the Titanic didn’t sink? Hannibal didn’t cross the Alps? The contradictions she cites are interesting, but do not invalidate my case.

    In her next paragraph, Vel seems to agree with everything stated in the instructions. Do not automatically reject testimony because of conflicts, this is all good. On the whole, I think we are in agreement here. All I need to do is show it is applicable to the Gospels. People do remember things differently, yes, we are on the right track. Remember, the sources for the Gospels when it comes to the Resurrection accounts were all slightly different, so it is natural that some details are emphasized and others are not. It is important to ask why there are differences, this is all true, but there seems to be little evidence to believe that these differences invalidate the Resurrection, especially when all the major details are agreed upon. So on the whole, I think we agree concerning contradictions. And just as Vel says, they do not eliminate disregarding claims if one has good reason to. She uses an example of “other evidence”. It is unlikely she means the other Gospel accounts, because she has already stated many times these are not evidence, so they will not do. But if she is aware of a good reason, she is welcome to put it on the table.

    In her take on the existence of James, I don’t quite get where she is going. The Gospels mention him, the Epistles mention him, Paul mentions meeting with him, Josephus mentions his execution. There seems to be no good reason to deny his existence with so many sources confirming it. And in Josephus’s passage, he mentions James as the brother (as in literal brother) of Jesus, the one they called Christ. This clearly distinguishes this James as the brother of Jesus. Overall, I think it is safe to say James really did exist, and if we can agree on that, we can discuss the manner of his conversion.

    On the last paragraph, only one thing needs to be said. Josephus was writing history when he mentioned James, and not mythology. Even if one rejects absolutely everything the Bible says, there is still this account. And yes, if this isn’t proof James existed, it would be hard to imagine what would be.

    • It’s great to see you decide unilaterally what is “necessary” and not necessary to our discussion, SS. I do note that it allows you to pick and choose what to acknowledge. Alas, in a written medium, it’s more than obvious what you are doing. But please, do keep picking up the rope.

      We again have no evidence offered by you, SS. Your claim, your dragon in your attic, has nothing to support it. You have no evidence that they story of resurrection wasn’t made up. Your opinion means nothing, SS, since it has nothing to support it but your wishful thinking. I, and others here, have refuted your claims with facts and actual instances that no one would make up such stories. We know that the apostles, if they existed, did have things to gain for making up such stories and for spreading them if they themselves didn’t make them up. Status in a community, free food and lodging, and the very comforting thought that they and only they were right. Again, we have no evidence that they were.

      The rest of the post is great fun. We have the very common Christian attempt to claim on one hand that archaeology and contemporary accounts supports them and their religion, but on the other hand decrying both when they don’t. Ah, the hypocrisy! It’s also just great to hear a Christian claim that the gospels are related by source, but when they want to, they claim that the gospels are 4 separate sources, of course with no evidence. There are no “additional letters and documents”, though SS does continue to claim that there are but fails to provide them.
      The creed that SS again mentions has nothing to support that it was from “just a few years of JC’s death”. He also mentions Paul saying that some were still around who saw the supposed events. Unfortunately, there is nothing to demonstrate that anyone could be found and questioned. Again, no contemporary sources at all. The creed may have come from Jerusalem, but again, nothing says it does and again, we no contemporary sources. I’d say that the claim was quite well falsified since the entire city wasn’t Christian and the Jews paid no attention to the claims. They weren’t impressed by all of these supposed antics. Why?

      I love the excuses trying to claim how different other religions are from Christianity. SS uses every good atheist’s answer to Christianity against those religions he is atheist about. Let’s see, we have: natural explanations are better than divine ones; the information is old and unreliable, the witnesses are suspicious!; the claims come from limited sources; the witnesses behave “strangely”; relics are missing and that the miracles aren’t “spectacular”. I just love it! Congratulations, SS, you are one religion away from being an atheist just like me.

      It’s also gratifying to see that SS says I’m right and his initial claims are wrong. But it’s still sad to see that he thinks that the gospels have so much in “common”, and the conflicting details unimportant, when that isn’t true at all, especially in the last three days. But anyone can see that if they read the bible themselves. As always, actually reading the bible and not listening only to a Christian is one of the best ways to become an atheist. Biblegateway.com is a great resource. It’s also great to watch SS avoid my questions and points about the actual historical events, and then say baselessly that they don’t invalidate his case. Saying they don’t and not showing that they don’t are quite different.

      As for the jury instructions, I do love how he ignores all of the questions that jurors are supposed to ask when it comes to questioning witnesses. He tries to claim that details were only emphasized differently, when that is not true either, they differ completely. Oh well, again, one can just read the bible and not listen to a Christian to get the actual story. No, SS and I do not agree on contradictions at all. He alternately tries to ignore them and to explain them. And again, he forgets that since there is no corroborating evidence for claims, and evidence that the claims never happened, a jury would have more than enough reason to ignore such claims.

      Finally we have more claims about historical characters. James is mentioned in various sources, so is Krishna. He is right that Josephus mentioned James as the actual brother of Christ but Christians disagree on if that is possible. So, we have the mention by Josephus disagreeing with the bible and what Christians interpret it as “really meaning”. Ooops, now we have no idea what the reality is about the story. The only thing that is clearly established is that people thought there was a James, brother of Jesus, nothing more. Josephus was writing what he had heard when he mentions James. He thought he was writing history. If Josephus’ mention of James is history, and thus makes him real, then all of the other claims by Josephus are also just as real.

      So again, we are no closer to you being able to show that your religion is valid or your claims are true. What we have are a bunch of possible humans that may have existed, but that’s it. Not much to build your eternal salvation on.

      • A few comments need to be made here.

        First off, I highly doubt the apostles had anything to gain by making up such a story, and that they had much to lose from preaching it. If they made it up, how could they possibly think that they were right if they knew they were wrong? That makes little sense. And as for pursuit of power, you must realize that the higher up they were, the more likely they were to be targeted for persecution. And think about it, none ever recanted their testimony, when they had all the reason in the world to do so. Paul writes…

        “Five times I received from the Jews thirty-nine lashes. Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, a night and day I have spent in the deep. I have been on frequent journeys, in dangers from rivers, dangers from robbers, dangers from my countrymen, dangers from the Gentiles, dangers in the city, dangers in the wilderness, dangers on the sea, dangers among false brethren; I have been in labor and hardship, through many sleepless nights, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure. Apart from such external things, there is the daily pressure upon me of concern for all the churches”
        (2 Cor. 11:24-28)

        If the disciples made up a story and went through that, it would probably be an even greater miracle than the Resurrection.

        Maybe you should do a bit more research into the creed, for there is indeed evidence it dates from just a few years after the death of Jesus. You also argue that since the whole city wasn’t Christian, the claims were falsified. That doesn’t make much sense to me, 40% of Americans don’t believe in evolution, does that mean it is lacking as a scientific theory? Like the public, many simply probably didn’t care to take a good look at the evidence or (like with the miracles of Jesus) denounced it as work of demons.

        You say if I read the Bible to get a good understanding of the stories, then it all makes sense. Well, I have read up those Resurrection stories many times, I can assure you I am well-versed in the relevant passages of Scripture.

        You accuse me of alternately trying to explain and ignore contradictions. Well, you must realize, some might be possibly to reconcile, others not so much. I am not a fan of systematic harmonization, it is impossible, but as I have said before, there are many facets of the Resurrection story the Gospels agree on, the empty tomb, the women as first witnesses to the tomb, appearances to Jesus in the upper room in Jerusalem, and the burial by Joseph of Arimathea, to name a few.

        Jospehus did indeed write what he thought he knew, indeed he did that for much of his history. But naturally, James is treated with skepticism as opposed to other figures he mentions, it is interesting how when there is no evidence, this is proudly pronounced, and when we do have evidence, it doesn’t count. The passage is considered genuine by virtually all scholars on the subject, and yet, some still dispute it. There is no good reason to, if you ask me.

      • SS, you realize your doubting that they could have made up the stories doesn’t make them true? Your not knowing why they invented the stories doesn’t all of a sudden make them a valid representation of reality.

        I see you quote Paul, one person who decries life, hater of intelligence, tells men to submissive, that to be poor is alright, no his being lashed, if that happened, is not proof of anything except that christianity is life denying and that a person can endure pain or great indignity if he believes something so passionately and nothing more.

        Why would it be a greater miracle? Joseph Smith did it, Muslims did it unless you want to call these miracles as well.

        When did we pass that part of requiring the proof for Jesus existence to knowing when he died? And what year is this he died so we can know how many years passed between his death and writing of this creed?

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  5. Boss, having been brought up christian, one is able to look back in retrospect to understand why the christian apologist is so stuck in his claims. One desires these things to be true, to be otherwise would be detrimental to what a person has hitherto believed to be true.

    In the case of Paul, who the apologists claim couldn’t have written what he wrote what he wrote, is a case of circular reasoning at its best. I could be wrong, but Paul claims he was persecuting christians, then he writes about his conversion, then he writes other stories, no one corroborates them. They are as you write, just so so stories and nothing more.

    I see SS claims above that the disciples testified about these things. To the best of my knowledge, none of the gospels or the letters in the NT is written by a disciple and Luke isn’t a witness. Mark which is written first don’t contain some of the stories that appear in Mathew and Luke.

    If a resurrection occurred, we would expect this story to have been recorded even by the rivals of the Jesus fellow and historians would have given it a better treatment. I mean even the gospels don’t agree on what happened whilst we are told that this was one of the most monumental points in human history! Please, sell us another one, but these story of Paul and Jesus has passed its sell by date!

    • Like Vel, you cite your conversion story to help show why Christians are so desperate to defend their claims. Also like Vel, you use the same reasoning, that one desires things to be true, therefore one can only accept what would confirm their belief.

      Confirmation bias is very real, and I do my best to try to limit it by reviewing my ideas with others, much like I am now. But remember, it applies to atheists just as much as Christians, so one must acknowledge that the same goes for them as well. And also, all of the evidence I have cited for the Resurrection is open to assessment, and much of it is widely accepted by modern scholarship, so it is not entirely subjective.

      With Paul, it is universally agreed that the creed he cites was not his own. I have given a link in my post, you should look it up. Also, while Paul writes his own work, one must remember that they ARE corroborated by the other Epistles and most importantly the Acts of the Apostles. And as said before, if Paul was indeed just writing “stories”, why would he go to all the trouble of being persecuted and martyred for it?

      We have records of the Disciples testifying about these things from people who knew them personally, and written in a time when these disciples were still alive, so it would be seem counterintuitive they would have made this stuff up when it could have so easily been contradicted. And for the record, we all agree Mark is not as broad as Matthew or Luke. So? Just because his account is shorter does not make it false. And even so, if we did have such accounts, like Paul they could simply be dismissed as mere “stories”.

      Corroboration by secular sources, this is a common objection to the historicity of Jesus. But here’s the thing, it is a common myth we have thousands of records and writings of people from that time. That is not true. Our access to ancient records is wholly incomplete. So many writers have most, if not all, of their works lost. Archaeological evidence can only prove so much, and when it does, it tends to confirm the Bible. The only major compilation of history from that place at that time (except for the Bible, of course) is the writings of Josephus. Besides, we do have secular corroboration for at least some of the events around the death and Resurrection, in fact, the evidence for it is much more abundant than for most other ancient events.

      • SS, you misunderstand my first sentence. At no point was supporting my conversion story, it was not about my conversion. I said in retrospect, I can understand why it is the case for any apologists to stick to their story, how that supports my conversion story I don’t get.

        I wouldn’t deny there is confirmation bias on either side, can you point out one in my comment?

        I will look at what you have written on the resurrection maybe then I will have further comments.

        I don’t know how much you trust the catholics. I have a catholic bible and in the introduction to the letters of Paul, it says

        all of the reliable information we have about the life of Paul comes from his own letters and from Luke’s account of his career in the Acts of the aposteles.

        it continues to say

        There are some discrepancies between these two sources in their accounts, for example, of the proceedings and conclusions of the council of Jerusalem which was held in 49CE[Gal 2:1-10 & Acts 15]

        So pray tell me, when you say universally agreed, who do you have as part of this universal consensus?

        People have died for fringe beliefs. Getting martyred for a fringe belief doesn’t make the belief true, it only confirms that the person was willing to die for his beliefs. It has nothing with the truth of the beliefs. So using this as an argument, I think false flat on its face.

        Are the records you are talking about the same bible stories or you mean some other records? You must realize it is the validity of the bible account that is in question, to say again that the proof of what we are interrogating is in this story to me seems to be a fallacy in logic and I think you also agree.

        You say that we all agree that Mark is not so broad and ask me so what? If you agree with me it is the first account, and the others are later accounts, which would you expect to give a detailed autobiography of the character in question? Mark does not tell us about the family of Jesus, neither does John, they didn’t know? Did they omit it and why so? Mark has two endings one which all or most of you agree is spurious, an interpolation. If you don’t think this matters, especially since the story is about a man-god, I don’t know what matters then!

        I haven’t studied those ancient texts and as it is am not going to do so in the near future. I also know we don’t have much of what was bequeathed us by the ancients because again most were destroyed by the church and only a few that were not detrimental to their narrative survived or those that were hidden in safe houses. So if there is a lack of documents, it is the church’s fault and they have a story to tell. Your saying we don’t have much from those early centuries does you no good because even the ones we have do not care to treat it as an important story.

        I hope I have responded to all your concerns.

      • the epsitles corroborate each other? Whodathunk! 🙂

        and again, people still martyred for what they think is true. Does that make it true? No. Unless you want to believe that Allah is the one true god and Muhammad is his servant. Do you, SS, because according to your claims, since we have idiots who blow themselves up for their religion that makes it the very most true one?

        Archaeology does not tend to confirm the bible. it confirms that the bible was written by people who knew some places and people, but not one of the essential events of the bible has ever been confirmed by archaeology. Not the exodus, not the resurrection, not “creation”, not the fabulous temples and palaces, nothing. And again, SS is wrong when he claims that we have secular corroboration for “at least some of the events around the death and resurrection. We do not. And it is not true that there is more “evidence” for those events than for “most other ancient events”. Sigh.

        and as always, its just a kick to see SS glom onto archaeology when convenient, but say it’s incomplete or incorrect when it shows his myths are no more real than the myths of other cultures.

        still no evidence, still no divine messiah.

      • Makagutu,

        First off, my apologies. I should not have used the term conversion story, I meant that you said that you know how it feels to be a Christian, why it is so hard to deny important beliefs, just like Vel did. Sorry for that misunderstanding.

        I think your Catholic Bible is right when it says that the best info we have on Paul comes from his letters and from Acts. I totally agree. But remember, in your last comment you write, “no one corroborates them”, and since it was not Paul but Luke who wrote Acts, this is clearly untrue.

        When I referred to universal consensus, I was referring to the creedal formula in 1 Corinthians 15. I presumed that that was what you referred to when you apologists claim Paul couldn’t have written what he wrote. It is universally agreed he mentioned a pre-Pauline, ancient creedal formula dating from at most 5 years after the death of Jesus.

        You are absolutely correct when you say dying for a belief does not make it true, I have never ever claimed that sincere belief makes it true. However, what this argument offers is it shows that Paul did not simply make up these stories he sincerely believed to be true, and seeing as Paul was the most bitter, vehement, violent opponent of the Church prior to his death, one must explain what could have possibly changed his mind.

        Concerning the records of the disciples preaching, we have accounts of the disciples preaching these things in, say, the Acts of the Apostles. Now, if you have a good reason to doubt the account, you are more than welcome to bring it up. However I find no conclusive reason to reject the fact that the disciples sincerely believed what they preached based on the Biblical account.

        Mark writes a shorter account. How does writing a shorter account make it untrue? Mark has his own reasons for writing a shorter account. Who would I expect to write a longer autobiography? In all honesty, if I picked Matthew/Luke or Mark, I would pick neither. None of them had obligations to write a certain amount of detail, Mark obviously felt his account didn’t need to be as in-depth. Still, a shorter account doesn’t necessarily mean it is untrue.

        Why did Mark not mention the birth of Jesus? Probably because he simply felt he didn’t need to include it. And neither did John. Why is this? When people write about past events, some events are mentioned and others not so much. That does not make the details they do not mention in their accounts (as opposed to other accounts) untrue.

        You say the Church destroyed most of what was bequeathed by the Ancients. I would suggest you back up your claims, and not for non-Canonical Gospels and the like, but actual ancient history. Why did some survive (Josephus, some of Tacitus) and others did not? (Thallus, Phlegon, etc). What quarrel would medieval monks have with ancient histories?

        Hope I have helped.

      • First off, apology accepted.

        You must know that one of the largest collection of ancient writings was stored at the library in Alexandria, a library that was destroyed by rioting christ cult members. You also must be aware that during the time the church was in control several books were destroyed and before the printing was invented, several ancient scrolls were written over and this includes even writings of Cicero. You also must be aware that it is during the reign of one of the christian emperors[I can’t remember the name as at now] that one of the remaining philosophy school was destroyed and its philosophers exiled.

        It is either Paul or Luke writing about Paul, how is that for corroboration?

        Paul’s epistles are written several years before the gospels, there is nowhere he quotes Jesus but in many instances he writes this has been revealed to him. So what would stop me from saying he invented this stories as he went a long? Joseph Smith said the same thing in America and now the church of Mormons has several millions of followers, are they right? That is not for me to judge.

        It is highly likely that Paul invented this stories. He had something to gain from it. And one of those things he has gained is posterity. He must have believed sincerely that he was visited by ghosts but that does not make his claims true. And just to add on it, a few years ago several hundred people buried themselves underground because they sincerely believed the world was ending. A number of them died a few were rescued. This just goes to show how cult following can be strong and doesn’t necessarily depend on truth value of the belief.

        In my critique of Mark you miss the point entirely. If Mark is the first biographer, you would expect him to capture most of the details and the subsequent biographies should have just smaller additions. This, however, is not the case with the gospel stories. Me and you know that as far removed we are from the events, the details get blurred. Why you think this doesn’t apply to the gospel stories is beyond me. Unless of course it is a case of special pleading.

        You realize, I have said the disciples could have sincerely believed what they preached, that however doesn’t make them true. This is where my contention is and I think we are agreed that holding a sincere belief about something doesn’t make it true. The ancients believed, and sincerely, that the earth was flat, that diseases were caused by ghosts and lightning was gods anger, now we know this ain’t the case. Holding a belief sincerely doesn’t make the said belief true.

    • Couple things I will address.

      “You must know that one of the largest collection of ancient writings was stored at the library in Alexandria, a library that was destroyed by rioting christ cult members.”

      >Actually, it is most probable that the library was destroyed by many people, over time, such as Julius Caesar in 47 BC. Unless, of course, you could offer a Christian or pagan source describing this “destruction” of the library near 391 AD.

      “So what would stop me from saying he invented this stories as he went a long?”

      >Trying to sell a crucified Messiah would have been impossible; being hung on wood meant someone was cursed.

      “He had something to gain from it. And one of those things he has gained is posterity.”

      >How would that benefit him, exactly? It really didn’t.

      On the other hand, Smith frequently at least tried to profit from his cult.

      • This is what wiki has to say on what destroyed the library: “Four possible occasions for the partial or complete destruction of the Library include: Julius Caesar’s fire during the Alexandrian War in 48 BC; the attack of Aurelian in AD 270 – 275; the decree of Coptic Pope Theophilus in 391 AD; and the Muslim conquest in (or after) AD 642.[4]

        After the main library was fully destroyed, ancient scholars used a “daughter library” in a temple known as the Serapeum, located in another part of the city. According to Socrates of Constantinople, Pope Theophilus destroyed the Serapeum in 391 AD.” – source Fred Lerner (2001), The Story of Libraries, Continuum, p. 30, ISBN 9780826411143, 0826411142

        It seems that religion surely does a job on libraries that aren’t theirs.

        Why would a cruxified messiah be impossible? Per some Christians, he had to be sacrificed in such a manner to fulfill supposed prophecies (Isaiah 54-55 in particular). If people believed in what are claimed as prophecies, then it would be no hard sell at all. the problem is that many prophecies claimed by Christians weren’t prophecies at all. And where have you read that being hung on wood means you were cursed?

        And Paul gained a livelihood, if not posterity. rather like Joseph Smith.

      • As for the library, I’ll get back to you on that. For now-

        “Per some Christians, he had to be sacrificed in such a manner to fulfill supposed prophecies (Isaiah 54-55 in particular). If people believed in what are claimed as prophecies, then it would be no hard sell at all.”

        1) It it was Isaiah 53.

        2) Isaiah 53 does not specifically mention the method. It’s also known as “progressive revelation”.

        “And where have you read that being hung on wood means you were cursed?”

        >Deuteronomy 21:23

        “And Paul gained a livelihood, if not posterity. rather like Joseph Smith.”

        >Paul was a Jewish Pharisee. That would be completely backwards.

      • Potato,

        You are quite right, it’s also Isaiah 53 and 52. Alas, it doesn’t quite fit as a real prophecy for your supposed savior “Just as there were many who were appalled at him —
        his appearance was so disfigured beyond that of any human being and his form marred beyond human likeness—.” Really, JC was like that? Funny how nothing mentions that, or the fact that the pierced claim is contended as wrong by the Jews (http://www.jewsforjudaism.org/isaiah53/why-jews-cannot-accept-the-new-testament/). who’s version is the “right” one?

        And ah yes, progressive revelation, the excuse given to prophecies that there are problems with. it doesn’t mention it so “of course” it really means cruxifiction.

        I believe you said that hanging on wood made you cursed. I may be wrong. However, in this instance of Deut 21.23, I believe it indicates that the person is hanging on the wood because he was cursed and is not cursed because he is hanging on wood.

        Paul was indeed supposedly a Jewish Pharisee. that does not preclude him from gaining a livelihood as a supposed leader of Chrisitanity. With his claims that he and only he should be listened to, it does give him a wide open field.

      • Potato, so you are not disagreeing that the christians ransacked the library, you are only saying there were other people involved too which is fine by me.

        Trying to sell a crucified Messiah to people who didn’t know better is not an impossible task because it appears Paul or whoever it is wrote the epistles managed to do it.

        That is a question only Paul or whoever it was can answer correctly, I can only speculate.

      • “Potato, so you are not disagreeing that the christians ransacked the library, you are only saying there were other people involved too which is fine by me.”

        No, I said I’ll get back to that.

        “Trying to sell a crucified Messiah to people who didn’t know better is not an impossible task because it appears Paul or whoever it is wrote the epistles managed to do it. That is a question only Paul or whoever it was can answer correctly, I can only speculate.”

        That whole statement was under the assumption that he was trying to sell the idea. Do you have any real evidence?

      • “You are quite right, it’s also Isaiah 53 and 52. Alas, it doesn’t quite fit as a real prophecy for your supposed savior “Just as there were many who were appalled at him —
        his appearance was so disfigured beyond that of any human being and his form marred beyond human likeness—.” Really, JC was like that? Funny how nothing mentions that, or the fact that the pierced claim is contended as wrong by the Jews (http://www.jewsforjudaism.org/isaiah53/why-jews-cannot-accept-the-new-testament/). who’s version is the “right” one?”

        >Really, you just refuted yourself. Thanks for that. Before, you said the following:

        ““Per some Christians, he had to be sacrificed in such a manner to fulfill supposed prophecies (Isaiah 54-55 in particular). If people believed in what are claimed as prophecies, then it would be no hard sell at all.””

        >Now, because you argue it does not mention crucifixion, it would be pretty difficult to sell.

        “And ah yes, progressive revelation, the excuse given to prophecies that there are problems with. it doesn’t mention it so “of course” it really means cruxifiction.”

        >So, you have accusations of excuses- can you prove that?

        “I believe you said that hanging on wood made you cursed. I may be wrong. However, in this instance of Deut 21.23, I believe it indicates that the person is hanging on the wood because he was cursed and is not cursed because he is hanging on wood.”

        >”If someone guilty of a capital offense is put to death and their body is exposed on a pole, you must not leave the body hanging on the pole overnight. Be sure to bury it that same day, because anyone who is hung on a pole is under God’s curse.”

        Christ was falsely accused of being guilty of a capital offense, was put to death, and hung on wood.

        “Paul was indeed supposedly a Jewish Pharisee. that does not preclude him from gaining a livelihood as a supposed leader of Chrisitanity.”

        >You forgot the death threats.

        “With his claims that he and only he should be listened to, it does give him a wide open field.”

        >Galatians 1:8.

      • We see that the claims of prophecy in Isaiah fail because Jesus does not fit the claims there. The ones in the chapters I mentioned and the ones in chapters 52 and 53 that you mentioned. That’s part of the reason we still have Jews. I did say what you quoted, that Christians claim that Isaiah says that the messiah has to be slain in a particular manner to fulfill prophecy. Then I said that the Christians fail because their claims of prophecy pick and choose what they want to claim has to happen. Where is JC said to be so disfigured beyond any human being? Or is that just a part that you decided wasn’t “really” meant by your god? Isaiah does not mention cruxifiction but Christians claim that this is what it predicts, as well as the piercing by the spear, the whipping, etc. It also can be say to predict that this messiah is disfigured, that this messiah will be set upon as if by wild animals (the problem of how one translates the supposed “piercing” reference), etc.

        And again, whose version is the right one?

        I can show that progressive revelation is a problem. We have had Christians insisting that their interpretation was correct, and then they change their mind when reality shows that their claims are wrong. So they go back and reinterpret their supposed “truth” to find another “truth”. To return to the problems of the supposed prophecies in Isaiah, we have no idea who has the true answer if there even is a true answer.

        Yes, it says that the person who was killed was under god’s curse, not that being hung on a pole for display puts them under the curse. The Jews did not kill JC nor did they hang his dead body on a pole for display (assuming any of this happened). He was not buried on the same day. Again, the claims of prophecy fail and the Talmud is not describing this event.

        Death threats? From whom? And how do death threats negate the fact that he made a living as a supposed leader of Christianity? We have Paul, who insists that no one follow anyone but him and his version of Christianity.

        And yep, Galatians does have Paul claiming tht his version of Christianity is the only one to be followed and threatening to curse anyone who doesn’t. Pity for Paul that magical curses fail just as much as prayers do. “6 I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you to live in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— 7 which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. 8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let them be under God’s curse! 9 As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let them be under God’s curse!”

        Alas, Paul doesn’t always follow JC either. But that’s the nature of religion, everyone thinks they have the “right” answer, whether they come up with an idea themselves or are taught one that they like by someone else.

      • “We see that the claims of prophecy in Isaiah fail because Jesus does not fit the claims there. The ones in the chapters I mentioned and the ones in chapters 52 and 53 that you mentioned.”

        > I recall that you complained earlier about exegesis, and having the right interpretation.

        “That’s part of the reason we still have Jews.”

        > If there are Jews, Christianity is false? lolwut? There are also Messianic Jews.

        “I did say what you quoted, that Christians claim that Isaiah says that the messiah has to be slain in a particular manner to fulfill prophecy. Then I said that the Christians fail because their claims of prophecy pick and choose what they want to claim has to happen.”

        > Your complaints of exegesis refute your own statement.

        “Where is JC said to be so disfigured beyond any human being?”

        > Isaiah 52:13-14. Or do you think He would look pretty after Matthew 26:67; 27:30; John 19:3, and the customary cat of nine tails?

        “Or is that just a part that you decided wasn’t “really” meant by your god? Isaiah does not mention cruxifiction but Christians claim that this is what it predicts, as well as the piercing by the spear, the whipping, etc. It also can be say to predict that this messiah is disfigured, that this messiah will be set upon as if by wild animals (the problem of how one translates the supposed “piercing” reference), etc.”

        > Again, your complaints of exegesis refute your own statement.

        “I can show that progressive revelation is a problem. We have had Christians insisting that their interpretation was correct, and then they change their mind when reality shows that their claims are wrong. So they go back and reinterpret their supposed “truth” to find another “truth”. To return to the problems of the supposed prophecies in Isaiah, we have no idea who has the true answer if there even is a true answer.”

        >Yet, this cannot apply to the Jews?

        “Yes, it says that the person who was killed was under god’s curse, not that being hung on a pole for display puts them under the curse. ”

        “The Jews did not kill JC”

        >Matthew 27:24–25

        “nor did they hang his dead body on a pole for display (assuming any of this happened). ”

        >Crucifixion. The word “ets” means “wood”.

        “He was not buried on the same day.”

        >Lolwut. Matthew 27:57-61.

        “Again, the claims of prophecy fail”

        >No, no, I think that’s just you.

        “Death threats? From whom?”

        >The Romans and the Jewish leaders.

        “And how do death threats negate the fact that he made a living as a supposed leader of Christianity? We have Paul, who insists that no one follow anyone but him and his version of Christianity.”

        >He would have made a much better living as a Jewish pharisee.

        “And yep, Galatians does have Paul claiming tht his version of Christianity is the only one to be followed and threatening to curse anyone who doesn’t.”

        >He just said if he preached a different one, he would also be cursed.

        “Alas, Paul doesn’t always follow JC either.”

        >Prove it.

      • Why yes, potato, I have noted that exegesis is just one Christian insisting that his interpretation is the only “right” one. And I’m *still* waiting for you to show me that your exegesis is the only right one. My point about the Jews is that you cannot show that their beliefs are wrong or yours are right. Both sets of theists make claims that they cannot support. You fail, they fail too and there is no reason to believe any of this nonsense. This is why progressive revelation is nonsense and yes, the nonsense applies to both Christians and Jews and indeed any other religion I can think of. You all decide that your god didn’t “really” mean something when it proves to be inconvenient and change your supposed “truth” to accommodate whatever you want.

        And please do show how my complaints about exegesis “refute” my own statement.

        Again, the verses in Isaiah do not say that this messiah was disfigured only after his abuse. We have the servant of God, who was disfigured and his form “marred beyond human likeness”, who will be respected by kings. Isaiah 53 goes on to repeat that this man grew up and had no beauty or majesty, repeating again what was in Isaiah 52. After this, he was supposedly pierced, and beaten, not before. Again, it is no surprise you are wrong again in what the bible says since you can’t even read it to realize that the entire Egyptian army was supposedly destroyed. Now, is this my interpretation? Yes, based on what the text says directly. And you have to show me why your interpretation is more “right” than mine.

        I do love how you cite the Matthew 27 verses to claim that the Jews killed JC. No, they didn’t kill JC. No Jewish hand was on the lash or the spear or the hammer. There is no reason that a Roman governor would care that he killed one more supposed messiah or that he would “wash his hands” of it. But it does make a great story to demonify the Jews as a entire people. Which is exactly how Christianity has “interpreted” that verse until very recently. Was your god mumbling again?

        Cruxifiction is not hanging a dead body on display. You are right, and I was wrong, JC was buried on the same day. I was thinking of the burial being completed later when the women came to anoint the body with herbs. I had forgotten that JC was tucked into the tomb so they wouldn’t break the Sabbath.

        You seem to be claiming that Paul got death threats from Jewish and Roman leaders. Can you tell me where these occur? I see you have now stated that Paul would have made a “better” living as a Jewish Pharisee. So you are admitting that he did benefit from being a preacher, though not as much as he might have. We have Paul in Galatians claiming that “6 I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you to live in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— 7 which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. 8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let them be under God’s curse! 9 As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let them be under God’s curse!”

        You have claimed that “He just said if he preached a different one, he would also be cursed.” This is not true. We do not see Paul saying he would be cursed. No, he said that anyone who disagrees with him will be cursed, even himself or an angel.

        You have asked me to show that Paul doesn’t always follow JC. Okay, no problem and if you google “Jesus vs Paul” you’ll get your fellow Christians noting this too. One glaring difference is that Paul is sure that the return of Jesus is “at hand” to be happening immenently Romans 13 “11 And do this, understanding the present time: The hour has already come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. 12 The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light.” Now, JC says Luke 21 “8 He replied: “Watch out that you are not deceived. For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am he,’ and, ‘The time is near.’ Do not follow them.”

        And who gets mercy? Well, JC says those who are merciful get mercy (Matt 5). Paul has that no action by a human can influence this god and he bestows mercy without thought to what a human has done (Rom 9). Paul has that only faith is needed (Rom 10) and JC has that one needs to believe and follow his father’s laws (Matt 5). JC says to not take money for being follower of his (Matt 10) and Paul says to demand pay (1 Cor 9).

      • “We have Paul, who insists that no one follow anyone but him and his version of Christianity.”

        >I’ll play along. How does making a claim of exclusivity mean you made it up?

        My math teacher is a liar. He made up math to torture innocent children. 2+2 can and will equal 5. And he makes those useless threats to lower my grades. Bah. He’s a liar and he knows it.

      • And reality can show that you are lying about your math teacher. So?

        Paul has no more evidence that his version is any more true than any one else’s. That’s why making a claim of exclusivity is very silly.

  6. Couple things I will address.

    “You must know that one of the largest collection of ancient writings was stored at the library in Alexandria, a library that was destroyed by rioting christ cult members.”

    >Actually, it is most probable that the library was destroyed by many people, over time, such as Julius Caesar in 47 BC. Unless, of course, you could offer a Christian or pagan source describing this “destruction” of the library near 391 AD.

    “So what would stop me from saying he invented this stories as he went a long?”

    >Trying to sell a crucified Messiah would have been impossible; being hung on wood meant someone was cursed.

    “He had something to gain from it. And one of those things he has gained is posterity.”

    >How would that benefit him, exactly? It really didn’t.

    On the other hand, Smith frequently at least tried to profit from his cult.

  7. Nick Peters offered a rebuttal of this.

    deeperwaters.wordpress(dot)com/2013/07/22/a-response-to-clubschadenfreude-on-the-500/

      • LOL.

        The fella in the other blog complained about comment debates and preferred blog to blog.

      • Moreover, you again display how you make those assumptions. Actually, he’s posted the link on the comment section, but it’s never shown up.

        “That tells me just how worthy it is.”

        Lol. And so does your Googleism.

  8. “I have not refused to debate Nick (and again, I wonder if you are Nick yourself, or perhaps Potato since you both are so desperate for me to pay attention to him without poor Nick making one appearance here). Nick has said nothing new. Again, if you think he has a great argument, post it here. I will make a blog post about it. But I will not choose the refutation to address myself, you or he must. Then I know it will be considered “worthy” and “hard” enough.”

    >Okay.

    Is there a case here? Let’s talk about it on Deeper Waters.

    For some wondering about a final reply to Matt Ferguson, we will be having a debate so I figure rather than reply, wait and save everything I see problematic for the debate, entirely my prerogative. This will likely be a month or so into the future. I’m thinking around mid-September would be the best for me. Yet meanwhile, someone has linked me to a writing on the appearance to the 500 on a blog by a Clubschadenfreude, whom I will be calling CS from now on. The first part can be found here. There is a link to part two and I do not consider it necessary that I give links to both parts.

    Unfortunately, one has to wade through much of CS complaining about the way apologists and such think, which ironically I find to be really the exact way fundamentalist atheists like CS actually think. Claims of “Nothing more than a story”, etc. show up. Does any interaction with real NT scholarship show up? Well, we already know the answer to that one.

    So let’s try and cut to the chase.

    Note CS is responding to some others in this post so let’s see what is said first.

    “Now, for the claims SS and Ben have used about their religion to be true, for example that JC was a man/god and that his body vanished by magic and he came back from the dead, we need a story *and* evidence to support it. We have nothing that does so that cannot be used for other religions. You have offered stories, not the evidence that supports them. A claim that 500 people saw JC is not evidence. I can claim to have 500 people in my backyard. What would be evidence for this claim? Maybe a photo, crushed plants (I have a wee back yard), a police report from my neighbor who doesn’t like me, etc.. We can have a believable “report” if we have that corroborating evidence. A story does not stand on its own. I have no more reason to believe the stories of Indian gods being with people than I have to believe the Christian claim that there was a demigod. I ask Ben and SS: Do you believe that the gods interacted with the ancient Hindus? Or do you think that they are just stories? What would make you believe that such claims are true? For me, it would be again corroborating evidence as I have listed.”

    The language here is quite revealing. At the start, I am not arguing for the incarnation. I am simply arguing for the resurrection. Is the incarnation important? Yes. Do I hold to it? Yes. Yet right now, I am simply arguing for the historical claim and the ramifications of that come later. The claim is as follows:

    “The historical figure known as Jesus died.”

    “This same person was alive afterwards.”

    That is it. If those two are established, will I move on from there? Yes, but CS does not understand that this is not an all-or-nothing game. It is not the case that unless one proves the incarnation, then one has not shown Jesus did not rise.

    To refer to this as a story is also problematic. I know of no NT scholar who says the account is simply a story. All of them take it seriously, even Robert Price in saying that this has to be an interpolation.

    If Paul is trying to make a convincing argument to the Corinthians, we should realize something. Even if the account is wrong, Paul certainly believes it to be true. Not only does he believe it to be true, he is willing to put himself on the line by offering it to be challenged by saying most of them are alive though some have fallen asleep. In other words, he is saying that the people are there to be questioned.

    “But their names are not mentioned!” One wonders why Paul should have to write out a list of say 400+ people in an age where writing was timely and expensive. The oral tradition would take care of this and these people would have been well-known in the community.

    So if Paul believes it to be true, either Paul is wrong entirely, or there’s a misunderstanding. If Paul is wrong entirely, then we need a reason to know why no NT scholar is making this claim. For instance, consider a non-Christian like Ludemann.

    “”The only thing that we can certainly say to be historical is that there were resurrection appearances in Galilee (and in Jerusalem) soon after Jesus’s death. These appearances cannot be denied” (Gerd Ludemann. .”What Really Happened To Jesus?” p. 81″

    CS’s position is one of hyper-skepticism. Now we could just as well say that perhaps this event did happen then, but it was a mass hallucination. Fair enough, yet if CS wishes to argue it was a mass hallucination, then it is up to CS to back that claim.

    For our purposes, it is important to note that Paul compares this to our resurrection. CS is urged to read two works that show Paul is talking about a physical resurrection despite interpretations to the contrary. The first is Gundry’s study “Soma in Biblical Greek.” The second is Michael Licona’s work on pages 403-37 of “The Resurrection of Jesus: A New Historiographical Approach.” For another view, since CS could think I’m begging the question by citing Christian scholars, they could consider chapter 5 of Dale Martin’s “The Corinthian Body.”

    Note, this would require CS do some reading in NT scholarship. As we’ve seen, this could be problematic.

    CS also says a story does not stand on its own. This is extremely problematic as there is no rule in historiography that says “If there is only one testimony to an ancient event, that event cannot be accepted as historical.” If CS thinks there is such a rule, it is up to them to show it.

    Let’s move on.

    “In the story of Jesus Christ, we have four differing stories of what should be the most important event in history, and no one else in the world noticed events that should have been pretty obvious.”

    Unfortunately, this is moving away from the 500. How does it work to show “Paul must be wrong because the later gospels are wrong?” It doesn’t. If that’s the standard, then anyone could have disproven Christianity supposedly by just writing an account that contradicted the gospels early on. One must weigh each claim on its own.

    Also, CS seems to wonder why no one else would notice these events. Here’s why. It’s quite simple. No one else would really take them seriously.

    Suppose you are an official in the Roman Empire and you have a servant come to you and say “Sir! There is a report that in Jerusalem, there is a rabbi who has been traveling and teaching and though crucified, he has risen from the dead!” What are you going to be thinking?

    Jerusalem…A strange area in the world known for trouble-making and rabble-rousing. The people there have strange beliefs and have been known to have rebellions regularly.

    Miraculous claims-Something we don’t need to take seriously. The gods are not intervening in our lives and if they are, they certainly won’t choose a place like Judea. They would choose us.

    A rabbi. Why on Earth would I take the idea of a rabbi seriously as being a Messiah figure? If anything, we’ll just send a squadron of troops down there if these people get problematic and squash them like we always have.

    Why would you not be paying attention? Because you are skeptical as most people were in this time. We know, for instance, that the world did not immediately convert to Christianity despite the fact that Christians from the beginning were teaching the resurrection. Why did they not? Because people did not believe every claim they heard. Today, we know how important the claim was. Back then, it would be seen as just another claim.

    If CS thinks otherwise, it is their burden to show why such a claim should have been taken seriously, especially with would-be Messiahs on every corner practically in Israel.

    “For example, how the Titanic sank was up for debate when it was just competing stories, but the actual ship shows what happened. Stories can be told about such things, but that doesn’t mean that the there was one ridiculously large blue diamond on board. If we have no good reason to believe in what is claimed, an event that has no evidence to have happened of to have *ever* happened, having contradictions about the event shows that there is even less reason to believe it. For instance, the bit about whether Jesus can be touched or not. If one touches him and one is not supposed to, then what? They are struck down like Uzzah? That JC ceases to become holy? He was certainly worried about it in one story, but not the others. If I can’t trust JC’s words in this, why trust it when he says “Him that believes in me shall have everlasting life.”?”

    With a mess like this, it is hard to know where to get started. For instance, with the Titanic, the central claim is still the same. It is the same for the resurrection accounts. The central claim is still the same. It is a wonder that the same skeptics who speak about the accounts “copying” one another and thus not being independent traditions, then say that the accounts contradict one another. We can expect that there would be some differences in the accounts. This is common for eyewitness claims. In fact, in writers like Plutarch, the same event is described differently by the exact same author. Are we to throw out Plutarch?

    As for the part about touching JC, I wonder what on Earth CS is going on about. Did CS bother doing any real study on what the word touch means in John? Did CS look up any commentaries or consult with NT scholarship on the issue? I do not think we really have to ask the question. We already know the answer.

    CS then goes on to talk about the standards given to juries in CA and says this in part of the reply:

    “People do honestly forget and make mistakes; however, there is no evidence of an honest mistake in something written decades after the supposed event. And indeed, two people may witness an event differently.”

    It is as if there is something to the account being written decades after the events. Does CS not know that this is common in ancient literature? The best account we have of Tiberius overall would be Tacitus, which is about 80 years after Tiberius lived. Plutarch wrote about events that happened centuries before he lived.

    CS gets this idea from living in a Post-Gutenberg society where it is thought “If you want to get the truth out there, write it down!” The ancient person would not have thought that. For them, the oral tradition would in fact be more reliable. It is something you can question and interact with. In fact, a written account would reach fewer people since few people in the Roman Empire were capable of reading. Not only that, does CS know nothing about the time it would take to write such an account as well as the cost of writing such an account? It would not matter to say that they wanted to or had great motivation. One might as well say because I would love to build my wife a barn and buy her a horse to put in that barn, that despite not having money, I should be able to go out and do that right now.

    CS goes on:

    “As in all cases, the evidence for someone existing is dependent on evidence, not only stories. I can claim that Thor Odinsson existed but unless we can find corroborating evidence, my claim has no basis in reality. Can we make an educated guess at the probability of someone existing? Yes. In this case, Thor is a god, and since we have no evidence of gods or the supernatural, the probability of his existence approaches zero. Did Julius Caesar exist? Well, we know that there was a Roman empire, there were generals and there were emperors, so the likelihood of his existence is high. Can we accept all that is claimed about him with no question? No. Same with Alexander the Great, Genghis Khan, Saladin, King Richard the Lion-hearted, etc. In archaeology, we can be pretty sure that a stone mason or blacksmith existed, but we may not have a name to put with the artifacts in a village.”

    I do not accept the so-called supernatural/natural distinction, yet we sit back and eagerly await the disproving of all theistic arguments by CS. I especially await her disproving of the Five Ways of Aquinas. If philosophy is approached the same way history is, I suspect I will be waiting a long time.

    If CS also wants to go with archaeology as the main source, they will encounter problems. For one thing, one has a bare minimum of what the ancients had in archaeology. It is usually said one has 1% of 1% of 1%. What archaeological evidence would CS expect to find for some people accepted as historical. What could we expect to find of Gamaliel, for instance?

    Suppose CS says we need to find coins. Why should we expect that? To begin with, a Jew would not have a coin stamped with the image of a person created. That would go against the 2nd commandment for them. Second, why should the Roman Empire have coins depicting Jesus or Gamaliel or any other Jew of that time?

    Finally, there are numerous people written about in history that we would not find specific evidence for except the writings of the historians themselves. CS needs to tell us why it is we should be skeptical of such writings otherwise if we need corroboration. Should I doubt a figure in Tacitus existed if I cannot find something archaeological to back them?

    Now, let’s look at the claims of about James. We have the Bible claiming he existed, as the brother of Jesus Christ, son of God. We have Josephus mentioning him: “Festus was now dead, and Albinus was but upon the road; so he assembled the sanhedrin of judges, and brought before them the brother of Jesus, who was called Christ, whose name was James, and some others; and when he had formed an accusation against them as breakers of the law, he delivered them to be stoned.” However, if one reads about James, there are problems with calling him a “brother” if one accepts one sect’s version of Christianity. Is he brother or cousin? Or was he either? We have a few mentions in Acts, this mention in Josephus and mentions hundreds of years later. At best, we can say that there probably was a person who led the Jerusalem Christians. He may have been called James, since that seems to be a fairly common name (in regards to common names, Josephus mentions 20 men called Jesus aka Joshua, a common Jewish name). He may have been the brother to a rabbi who claimed to be the messiah. But we have nothing that shows he was the brother to a demigod. And that is the person that Christains need to show existed. I could say “sure, there was a man who thought he was the messiah. Per records from the time, there were bunches of them.” I ask Ben and SS and our other Christians here: “And then what? We know that this is not the character you wish to prove existed. I have no problem with you denying the divinity of Joshua ben Joseph, but I think your religion does. “Who do you say that I am?”

    And again, we have this same problem. One must show this Jesus is in fact the incarnate Son of God supposedly. That is not what must be shown to show the resurrection. This is the kind of all-or-nothing thinking that is common to fundamentalist atheism. Note also that there is nothing here about archaeological evidence of James, yet his existence can be accepted. (In fact, do we have archaeological evidence of Josephus? Maybe he never existed.)

    Yes. There are some who think James was a cousin and not a brother. What of it? Both sides agree James existed and was a relative of Jesus and was skeptical of him beforehand. Yes. There are several people named James. Again, what of it? Note this one is particularly noteworthy since he is identified by his brother who was called Christ. This must have been a famous Jesus that would have been known by an earlier reference, and indeed there is one earlier in the work of Josephus, though granted it has interpolations. Few scholars say it is a wholesale interpolation, including Josephus scholars. Most if not all Josephus scholars would say some the testimonium is authentic.

    “Since there is evidence for neither Horus nor Jesus Christ, there is no reason to think either theist claims to be true. Parts of Josephus, like the bible, may contain accurate information. But we know that all of it does not. This shows how some Christians cherry pick their sources. They wish to say that since Paul mentions James, James must exist. All we have are Paul’s claims, nothing more. Paul mentions demons, again, nothing shows that they exist either. In that we have stories about characters that non-Christians find true, and believe to be non-fiction, that should mean that SS, for example, should accept them for truth as much as he thinks I should accept his claims as truth. I think I am fairly safe in guessing that SS isn’t going to proclaim the authenticity of the deeds of Heracles or Hanuman anytime soon. And thus, if that isn’t proof enough that Heracles and Hanuman didn’t exist, then” nothing, simply nothing will convince you or anyone else. “”

    Again, this shows CS is one of three things.

    CS is piggybacking on Carrier.

    CS is ignorant of NT scholarship.

    Or finally, both. My money is on both.

    For instance, has CS dealt with the references in Josephus, Tacitus, Lucian, Pliny, Mara Bar-Serapion, etc. The reality is that the idea of a Christ-myth is simply a joke in NT scholarship. Most scholars would barely even give it a foot note. If CS wants to make claims about Hercules and others, let the evidence be presented. In fact, if there can be shown to be good evidence that there was a person named Hercules in history, even though there could have been legend built up around him, then it is necessary that we accept it.

    For now, let’s move on to part two.

    “I have said that there are only stories that Paul existed as claimed. That includes his supposed conversion. I can also say that there are only stories that Simon Magus flew around since that also cannot be shown as true either. There are many stories that have no evidence supporting them. We have the claims that King Solomon used demons to build the Temple of Solomon. I ask our Christians: Is that a story or is it the truth? How can you tell? We have no evidence of such a temple so who knows how it was built, if it existed at all. This also applies to the supposed empty tomb. We have no tomb so we have no idea if anyone was in it, or if anyone disappeared from it.”

    Not even Richard Carrier would accept the claim that Paul never existed! This just shows the extremes that CS is willing to go to. Has CS given a historiography by which to show that a person is historical. As for these other claims, let CS feel free to give the evidence for them. I do not discount them ipso facto, but I do ask to see the evidence.

    For instance, consider the claim about Simon Magus flying. These are in works that are believed by NT scholars to be apocryphal. This is the kind of account that CS wishes to compare to the gospels, which are Greco-Roman bioi. (See Richard Burridge’s work.)

    What CS doesn’t realize is that one should accept a claim that there is good evidence for, regardless of if that claim goes against one’s worldview. If it does, then one should be prepared to change the worldview, unless of course one wants their worldview to interpret the evidence.

    For instance, if I refuse to be open to the possibility that there is no God, then is it proper for me to interpret all evidence in that light and whenever any evidence goes against my position, just have to re-interpret it somehow? If my central claim of my worldview is false, it would eventually catch up to me. If I would not be allowed to do that, why should CS be allowed to do the same?

    CS goes on to say more about Acts being a story, though I would be impressed to see her find the scholar who says none of Acts is historical, and I suspect the only possible name that could come up is Carrier.

    “And yes, I do say that the appearance to the 500 is just a story. It comes from 1 Corinthians, written by Paul, some decades later than the supposed event. There is no evidence this is from some “ancient creed”, it is solely found in 1 Corinthians.”

    We await the news that CS has discovered that is not known to even skeptical groups like the Jesus Seminar. We eagerly await their interacting with the scholarship on this such as Dunn, Hurtado, Ludemann, Crossan and Borg, Bauckham, etc. that all say that this is a creed. If CS simply wishes to say there is no evidence, then this is a sufficient reply.

    There is evidence.

    If CS can make an assertion without an argument, there should be no objection to my doing the same. The difference is, I do have an argument and it is one rooted in NT scholarship. Number of scholars I’ve seen referred to by CS thus far? You could count that with all your fingers cut off.

    “Paul indeed says that ““Now, brothers and sisters, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand.” SS, you claim that this should be “self-explanatory”. However, it isn’t, and I ask you to do so”

    It is not self-explanatory indeed, but CS has not done the research on this. We know from Josephus that this is the Pharisaic language used to indicate the passing on of tradition. It is saying “I got this from my rabbi and now I am passing it on to you.” One gets the impression that CS reads no scholarship and does not argue for their claims really but simply has the position of “If Christians do not prove their claims, mine are right!” If so, that is simply wrong.

    “We see SS making baseless claims again when he claims that “myths of dying and rising gods never really took off in Palestine”. Well, one could make the argument that they certainly did, with the ideas being co-opted into the Jewish myths with Jesus.”

    One could, but CS certainly doesn’t! Has CS gone through the relevant material in Boyd and Eddy’s “The Jesus Legend”? Has CS interacted with Craig Evans in “Fabricating Jesus.” CS is simply relying on scholarship that most scholars today do not take seriously. Indeed, the internet is the place where zombies live most as dead ideas get resurrected to new life to those behind on scholarship. Not even Bart Ehrman takes these claims seriously.

    If CS wishes to show that the Jews decided to copy a pagan idea, then I leave the burden of proof to CS. I suspect CS has never even read a work like Ulansey’s on a figure such as Mithras. I can assure CS that I am not impressed with Google scholarship.

    “No, he [Hercules] is taken to heaven and made a full-fledged god. Just like someone else we know, eh?”

    Why am I not surprised that CS’s source on this is Wikipedia? Hercules undergoes an apotheosis. This is not the claim of Jesus, but it is again irrelevant right now as all seeking to be shown is the resurrection. Perhaps if CS thinks this is true they can give us a general timeframe of when this happened, like NT scholars can do with Jesus. Perhaps, CS could also show the difference between a deity in a polytheistic system vs. the deity in Second Temple Judaism and how Jesus as God’s Wisdom would strongly differ from a polytheistic concept.

    “In the Jewish prophecies, we have no claims of being killed and returning. The messiah will come and then reign, with all of the world’s leaders respecting him. Didn’t happen so much with JC. What’s the possible answer? That the idea of a returning god is co-opted into the story to explain an inconvenient death.”

    We can thank CS for saying that there was no such prophecy at the time of Christ understood this way. In fact, it is only after the event that this starts being seen in Christian tradition. This would go against the idea of Jesus being made up based on the OT.

    As for what didn’t happen with Jesus, as an orthodox Preterist, I only find it humorous.

    “I would ask SS how one could show a connection between the resurrection myths and Jesus. What would be possible ways to do this? Hmmm. Well, we have the cultures intermixing, either normally through trade and conquest, or if you believe the bible, through the supposed enslavement of the Israelites by one big culture all about resurrection, the Egyptians. We can see how religions infect each other with the modern examples of voodoo and Santeria. So we have an actual observed phenomenon versus an unsupported claim that the authors of the bible came up with the idea of resurrection on their own. Perhaps it is more important to ask: How can one show that the authors of the bible didn’t copy the myth?”

    Once again, CS needs to interact with Boyd, Eddy, and Evans, who go to great work to show that even in the diaspora, Jews clung tightly to their guns. Sure, they would interact with Gentiles, but they did not imbibe their ideas that way. They could learn the language, but that did not entail accepting the beliefs of people who spoke that language.

    CS can point to modern examples, but to say people do this today in a belief system shows the Jews did so in theirs is just fallacious. Each claim must be taken on its own and considering the Jews were quite opposed to intermixing, especially after their having gone to Babylon for doing so earlier, the burden is on CS to show that this happened.

    As for the claim that Craig is being used, I would say there is a good possibility Craig is not being used. The pointing to the creed is more along the lines of the minimal facts approach. Craig does use minimal facts outside the creed, which makes his approach more problematic. It seems CS does not know about the minimal facts approach, which again shows they are behind on NT scholarship.

    If CS wishes to challenge this, then this is my challenge. Come to TheologyWeb.com and look for me there in the Deeper Waters section. Feel free to send a message there and tell me you’re here to accept the challenge. I eagerly await to see if CS shows up.

    And as expected, throughout, we have seen no interaction with NT scholarship. A shame. Perhaps CS would benefit by going to the library more than going to Google.

    Now no more excuses. Make a “blog post about it” and address Nick.

    • wow, nice to see a cut and paste of everything that Nick wrote. No, tater, I want to see you put one argument ” a great argument”, not the whole thing. Try again. One argument, not the grab bag that Nick uses.

      But oooh this is a good one “Hercules undergoes an apotheosis. This is not the claim of Jesus, but it is again irrelevant right now as all seeking to be shown is the resurrection. ” Let’s see, apotheosis means elevation to divine status.

      Paul says this about Jesus “4 and who through the Spirit of holiness was appointed the Son of God in power by his resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord. ” Appears to be apotheosis, becoming the Lord. Here JC is saying he now is all-powerful, which means he wasn’t before: Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.” And Peter seems to agree “36 “Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Messiah.”

      still no evidence of a magical Christ, still no evidence for a man named Paul who did all that is claimed. And lovely false claims that I am not open to the possibility of a Jesus Christ even if I was presented with evidence. Again, Nick is just batting a 1000 in using the same exact arguments SS has used. The same claims of evidence and presenting none. The same claims that only his interpretation is the right one without any evidence of this. Where is this evidence that is claimed that can show that the 1 Corinthian verse is an “ancient creed”. Nick claims that there is: “There is evidence.” and that’s where the paragraph stops. Claims of evidence but not one scrap of it actually presented. Do I have to ask for it again?

      • “Why yes, potato, I have noted that exegesis is just one Christian insisting that his interpretation is the only “right” one. And I’m *still* waiting for you to show me that your exegesis

        is the only right one. My point about the Jews is that you cannot show that their beliefs are wrong or yours are right. Both sets of theists make claims that they cannot support. You fail,

        they fail too and there is no reason to believe any of this nonsense. This is why progressive revelation is nonsense and yes, the nonsense applies to both Christians and Jews and indeed

        any other religion I can think of. You all decide that your god didn’t “really” mean something when it proves to be inconvenient and change your supposed “truth” to accommodate whatever

        you want. And please do show how my complaints about exegesis “refute” my own statement. Again, the verses in Isaiah do not say that this messiah was disfigured only after his abuse. We

        have the servant of God, who was disfigured and his form “marred beyond human likeness”, who will be respected by kings. Isaiah 53 goes on to repeat that this man grew up and had no beauty

        or majesty, repeating again what was in Isaiah 52. After this, he was supposedly pierced, and beaten, not before. Again, it is no surprise you are wrong again in what the bible says since

        you can’t even read it to realize that the entire Egyptian army was supposedly destroyed. Now, is this my interpretation? Yes, based on what the text says directly. And you have to show me

        why your interpretation is more “right” than mine.”

        1) There is no need for me to show anything. You refute yourself. Of course, you claim that Isaiah does not specifically mention the crucifixion, thus contradicting yourself about how Paul

        could easily sell the Gospel narratives.

        2) You claim if “X” has a variety of opinions about it (and those opinions apparently cannot be determined as more valid), then “X” is nonsense. Are you willing to apply that to the US

        Constitution? We have had a number of problems based on interpretations on the Constitution (from deeming slaves as property, and thus could not be rightfully taken away; to denying

        territories rights; etc.) The Constitution definitely has a variety of interpretations to it. Therefore, the Constitution is nonsense and should be discarded as such.

        “I do love how you cite the Matthew 27 verses to claim that the Jews killed JC. No, they didn’t kill JC. No Jewish hand was on the lash or the spear or the hammer. There is no reason that

        a Roman governor would care that he killed one more supposed messiah or that he would “wash his hands” of it. But it does make a great story to demonify the Jews as a entire people. Which

        is exactly how Christianity has “interpreted” that verse until very recently. Was your god mumbling again?”

        >That horrendously literal path. No, I am not saying my “interpretation” is a liberal/loose one. The fact is, you could also argue that Hitler wasn’t that bad from this view. I doubt he

        himself pulled the trigger/pulled the switch/etc. on the millions of people he is responsible for killing. The Jews brought Him before the Romans and demanded His execution. They also took

        responsibility for it. Thus it is essentially that they killed him (1 Thessalonians 2:15). But it’s not being anti-semitic either. If that’s what you’re asking. It’s another lame excuse

        atheists make. Jesus was also a Jew. And so were all of His early followers. And theologically, the people who killed Jesus were the people He died for. No one is mumbling but you

        skeptics.

        “Cruxifiction is not hanging a dead body on display.”

        >Since you like Wiki, “victims were left on display after death…”. Also, “crucifixion was usually intended to provide a death that was particularly slow, painful..”, so they would’ve

        been hanging there long before they died.

        “You seem to be claiming that Paul got death threats from Jewish and Roman leaders. Can you tell me where these occur?”

        >What was Paul’s previous job? Apart from being a Pharisee. What did Suetonius and Pliny have on Christians? What happened under Nero, Domitian, Trajan? What happened to Paul? To Peter? To

        Stephen? To James?

        “I see you have now stated that Paul would have made a “better” living as a Jewish Pharisee. So you are admitting that he did benefit from being a preacher, though not as much as he might

        have.”

        >No. The number 1 is more than 0, but it doesn’t mean 0 is worth anything.

        “We have Paul in Galatians claiming that “6 I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you to live in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— 7

        which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. 8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should

        preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let them be under God’s curse! 9 As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what

        you accepted, let them be under God’s curse!”

        You have claimed that “He just said if he preached a different one, he would also be cursed.” This is not true. We do not see Paul saying he would be cursed. No, he said that anyone who

        disagrees with him will be cursed, even himself or an angel.”

        >No, he will also be cursed. “But even if >weanybodySee, what I like about you is that you just throw links and Google things. If you Google “Did Jesus and Paul teach the same thing? CARM”, you would see they don’t contradict.

        “you’ll get your fellow Christians noting this too.”

        >Non-Paulines.

        “One glaring difference is that Paul is sure that the return of Jesus is “at hand” to be happening immenently Romans 13 “11 And do this, understanding the present time: The hour has

        already come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. 12 The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside

        the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light.” Now, JC says Luke 21 “8 He replied: “Watch out that you are not deceived. For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am he,’ and,

        ‘The time is near.’ Do not follow them.””

        >The many are making both claims. Paul never claimed to be the Messiah. The claim “the time it near” doesn’t stand just by itself. If you wish to be super specific, logically, time would

        have to be near at some point, or else it would never arrive. Paul is talking about the perfection of our salvation when we pass into glory. No error here.

        “And who gets mercy? Well, JC says those who are merciful get mercy (Matt 5). Paul has that no action by a human can influence this god and he bestows mercy without thought to what a human

        has done (Rom 9).”

        >All throughout Romans (and other writings), Paul is simply combating legalism. You have to take certain writings in context. He warns of legalism constantly, one example being Colossians

        2:20-23. You must also take in Christ’s words in Matthew 7:16; Paul lists these fruits in Galatians 5:22-23.

        “Paul has that only faith is needed (Rom 10) and JC has that one needs to believe and follow his father’s laws (Matt 5).”

        >By grace, through faith, which brings forth works (John 3:16, Ephesians 2:8). That is the message that Christ, Paul, etc. repeat. Salvation based upon works (salvation earned by a

        person’s merit) is disagreed upon (Matt. 7:22-23, Ephesians 2:9). Christ constantly opposes the Pharisees, who indeed would have done mighty works, but were unfortunately hardened and

        proud. Paul is not casting out works either (Galatians 5:13-26, etc.).

        “JC says to not take money for being follower of his (Matt 10) and Paul says to demand pay (1 Cor 9).”

        >”If this was my own idea of just another way to make a living, I’d expect some pay. But since it’s not my idea but something solemnly entrusted to me, why would I expect to get paid?

        (Verse 17)” What are you talking about?

        “And reality can show that you are lying about your math teacher. So? Paul has no more evidence that his version is any more true than any one else’s. That’s why making a claim of

        exclusivity is very silly.”

        >The reality is that everyone is exclusive. You claim I am lying. Thus, you are a living example of intellectual hypocrisy. You also have no evidence that your claim of atheism is any more

        true than any one else’s claim. Your atheism is also a faith. You can play those childish word games like “atheism is a lack of belief in theism”, but I can go “theism is a lack of belief

        in atheism”. If you start being intellectually consistent now, you aren’t an atheist, but a religious pluralist or an agnositc. And thus, claiming 2+2=4 is silly, because it is an

        exclusive claim. No. Truth by definition is exclusive. Get over it.

        “wow, nice to see a cut and paste of everything that Nick wrote. No, tater, I want to see you put one argument ” a great argument”, not the whole thing. Try again. One argument, not the

        grab bag that Nick uses.”

        >You asked that someone post Nick’s argument. It’s what I did.

        “But oooh this is a good one “Hercules undergoes an apotheosis. This is not the claim of Jesus, but it is again irrelevant right now as all seeking to be shown is the resurrection. ” Let’s

        see, apotheosis means elevation to divine status.”

        >Attaching it to Christ is a heresy. Apotheosis is someone becoming deity. It is not said that Christ became deity. He always has been deity (John 1:1).

        “Paul says this about Jesus “4 and who through the Spirit of holiness was appointed the Son of God in power by his resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord. ” Appears to be

        apotheosis, becoming the Lord.”

        >Here’s what AT Robinson says on that- “Who was declared (tou horisthentos). Articular participle (first aorist passive) of horizō for which verb see note on Luk_22:22 and note on

        Act_2:23. He was the Son of God in his preincarnate state (2Co_8:9; Phi_2:6) and still so after his Incarnation (Rom_1:3, “of the seed of David”), but it was the Resurrection of the dead

        (ex anastaseōs nekrōn, the general resurrection implied by that of Christ) that definitely marked Jesus off as God’s Son because of his claims about himself as God’s Son and his prophecy

        that he would rise on the third day. This event (cf. 1 Corinthians 15) gave God’s seal “with power” (en dunamei), “in power,” declared so in power (2Co_13:4). The Resurrection of Christ is

        the miracle of miracles. “The resurrection only declared him to be what he truly was” (Denney).”

        “Here JC is saying he now is all-powerful, which means he wasn’t before….”

        >Various views on this.

        1) Above (See also: Romans 1:3-4)

        2) Jesus always was God (John 1:1-3; 8:58). However, He did become man (John 1:14; Rom 8:3; Phil 2:5-11). And it was in His capacity as a man that God “made” Him Christ and Lord (Acts

        2:36), in the sense of being appointed to the human “office” of ruling Messiah (Psalm 2:5-12; Rom 1:3-4; Heb 2:5-9). It is as ruling Messiah, then, that all authority has been given to him

        (Matt 28:18); but in this present age (28:20) He “rules” as the perfect human: to teach and model what it means to be a true “son” of God (Rom 8:14) and bear His righteous image during

        this life on earth. So, Matthew 28:18 and Acts 2:36 are only two of many verses in Scripture that are too often assumed to be related to Christ’s deity when in fact they are related to His

        identity and role as the ideal image-bearing human.

        3) See also: Economic Trinity

        “still no evidence of a magical Christ”

        >No one really went into this yet. So how would you know?

        “still no evidence for a man named Paul who did all that is claimed”

        >Paul did not exist? I probably have more evidence for Paul than I do that you exist (at bare minimum, they are the same). All I have are a few of your writings.

        “And lovely false claims that I am not open to the possibility of a Jesus Christ even if I was presented with evidence. Again, Nick is just batting a 1000 in using the same exact arguments

        SS has used. The same claims of evidence and presenting none. The same claims that only his interpretation is the right one without any evidence of this. Where is this evidence that is

        claimed that can show that the 1 Corinthian verse is an “ancient creed”. Nick claims that there is: “There is evidence.” and that’s where the paragraph stops. Claims of evidence but not

        one scrap of it actually presented. Do I have to ask for it again?”

        >That’s the only response you deserve. What with all of your pointless assertions.

      • Ah, Potato. I do love how you declare you don’t need to show anything. Of course, you do since you have made claims that are baseless. You claim I “refute” myself, but also cannot show where. Isaiah does not mention the cruxifiction. Some Christians claim it does, but depend on faulty translation and wishful thinking to support their claims.

        We see Isaiah showing that this supposed messiah will be disfigured and marred beyond human likeness. He will also supposedly be respected by kings and not after some supposed resurrection. There is nothing about this that says Paul couldn’t sell the gospel. Please do show how I supposedly refute myself. You need to say “Vel, this couldn’t be since “this” precludes “that” and tell me what this and that are, as well as why they preclude each other. Since you have yet to be able to do this despite making the claim several times, there is no reason to think you can do this now and are simply trying to throw shit at a wall and hoping someone will believe your baseless claims about what I have said.

        I have not said that if x has a variety of opinions about it then x is nonsense. The US Constitution is a document that we know quite a bit about. The authors, the historical context, etc. We can interpret it by various things; some that makes sense like the known viewpoints of 18th century men and some that don’t make as much sense, like interpreting it by the viewpoints of 21st century men who want nothing more than to destroy the US government. Now, we do have many opinions about it. And none of it is claimed to be an eternal truth that was written by a magical omnipotent, omniscient being. Now, if you want to compare the two documents by accepting that there is nothing magical about the bible, I’m good with that. Are you? If not, your attempt at an analogy fails…. Again.

        I always love to watch Christians become indignant when I dare take something in their bible literally. You of course take much of your bible literally but excerpt those bits that you don’t like from your attempts to claim that the bible is true. Assuming the bible story is true: who killed Jesus Christ? The Romans, who did not have to do anything the Jews wanted. And, again, they would not have cared if they killed one more wannabee messiah or not. Now, if you want to get to the nuts and bolts of it, the “person” who killed Jesus Christ was himself/God, because an omnipotent/omniscient being declared that was the only thing that would work for salvation and that it *had* to happen. I also note that you cannot refute that Christianity has interpreted the Jews as “Christ-murders” up until recently. The version of the story in Matthew says that the Jews “took responsibility” for it, the other gospels do not even mention such a thing and only the leadership of the Jews at that time had any responsibility. It’s such a lovely attempt at demonizing a whole group, but that is not surprising from a religion that has a god that can’t quite decide whether it damns everyone until the 3rd or 4th generation for something their parents did or if it doesn’t. And yes, you can make Hitler a good guy if you decide that the person making the order isn’t responsible. Unfortunately, for you the entire Jewish people did not make the order. If they didn’t make the order then the Jews as a group did not kill Jesus Christ. Jesus was indeed a Jew if he existed, and Christians are indeed Jews who have decided to reinterpret the bible so they get the special claim to being the “Chosen People”. I do note that in 1 Thessalonians, Paul makes the rather amusing claim that the wrath of God has come upon those Jews “at last”. Funny how this wrath again fails to do anything again, that can’t be attributed to politics. Oh and please show how I’m mumbling, Potato, or is it that you can’t think of anything original to say?

        Cruxifiction is not hanging a dead body on display. It is indeed a method of slow painful death that serves as a terrorist tactic and can be allowing a person who has died from the brutal event to remain hanging. The jewish tradition was to kill a person and *then” hang them up. Again, you are wrong.

        I know what Paul’s “previous job” was, but again, you have no evidence of the death threats you have claimed. Suetonius says “Iudaeos impulsore Chresto assidue tumultuantis Roma expulit.” Nothing about death threats there: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suetonius_on_Christians#The_Latin_text In Pliny, we have Pliny asking his emperor, Trajan, how to prosecute Christians, in trials where they may indeed get the death sentence thanks to Roman law. You know how Trajan responds? His first order is “(1) Do not seek out the Christians for trial.” There was a law against worshipping other gods, but Trajan was not hunting people down (http://www9.georgetown.edu/faculty/jod/texts/pliny.html ) There are stories about Nero persecuting Christians http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nero#Christian_tradition (sources of this seem to be mostly if not all apocrypha), other emperors persecuting Christians (see Domintian: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Persecution_of_Christians_in_the_Roman_Empire#Under_Domitian which seems again to be questionable), etc. Now, where are those threats against Paul? We have stories, no evidence that Peter or Paul died in the manner claimed. I’m not that familiar with Stephen or James, but we are talking about Paul here and the death threats that you said were made against him. You cannot show these but resort to making claims that if it happened to one person it happened to all. We have stories of a man, Paul, who seemed to have no problem traveling wherever he wanted.

        It’s great to see you again lie when it comes to Paul. We have had you claim that Paul did not benefit from being a preacher. Then you said that Paul would have made a “better” living as a Pharisee And now we have you claim that you “really” meant 1 is better than zero. One is indeed better than zero, but doesn’t work since we have evidence that Paul doesn’t benefit “zero”. And we have you claiming that Paul got money from wealthy patrons to buy papyrus. What a tangled web you weave, tater.

        Show that Paul will be cursed, Potato. He says “let them be under god’s curse”, including angels and other people. We see nowhere does it say “Let me be cursed.” I have given you a link that shows that Christians think that Jesus and Paul disagree. Why yes, CARM does say that they magically don’t contradict. Here we have again, Christians who are sure that their personal versions of Christianity are the only “right” ones and where they disagree. So, again, Potato, show me that God approves of your and only your version. I think a nice meeting of Christians in a public space where you all show how much your god approves of you. Elijah was able to get his god’s attention in 1 Kings 18. Can you? What excuses will you give me this time? Who will win the “Non-Paulines” or the Paulines? I think I might bet on those who were supposedly getting their instructions from the horse’s mouth as it were, rather than someone who seems like the bad guy in the first guy’s stories.

        And yes, saying the “time is near” requires it to be near at some point. Saying “the time is near” would also require knowing what point it is near to, so we have Paul claiming to know what point that JC will return.” 11 And do this, understanding the present time: The hour has already come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. 12 The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. “ And well, we all know that JC says no one will know. In context, Paul is saying that everyone must obey and act right because he knows that the return of Jesus/God is imminent. Paul does not claim to be the messiah. He does claim to be everyone’s father in Jesus, when Jesus says call no man father on earth because you have only one father in heaven.

        Please tell me what “legalism” is. Also, please tell me how it negates that Jesus says that those who show mercy will get mercy and Paul says that showing mercy will get you nothing if God doesn’t feel like it. I have read Colossians. 2:20-23 has that if one accepts JC, one does not have to follow the world’s rules. Please demonstrate how this shows that Paul agrees with Jesus or Jesus with Paul. Matthew 7 has that JC says that one will known false prophets by their fruits. Again, where does this show that JC agrees with Paul when he says that that the merciful will always get mercy from God, and Paul says that this is not the case? And in Galatians 5, we have Paul insisting that the only good people are those with the “spirit”. Paul is in quite a tizzy in Galatians, I will have to say. He’s in such a snit about circumcision that he wants those who recommend it to cut their penises and testicles off. I guess he’s not too interested in offering mercy, eh?

        Christians have yet to figure out by what they are saved. That problem is part of the major differences between varieties of Christianity. We have those that believe in grace only, e.g. that you were chosen by God to believe. We have those that believe that belief is what is required, and that is what you see in John 3:16. We also have that those who do good works are those that this god will favor e.g. Matthew 25, where those who do good and did not look to find favor are those who are blessed and James 2 that says works are, if not more important than faith (for even the demons believe), as important as faith/belief. We have in Galatians 3 where Paul asks “2 I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by believing what you heard?” But according to Paul himself, people who accept this god received the spirit by neither means. He says to the Romans “16 It does not, therefore, depend on human desire or effort, but on God’s mercy. 17 For Scripture says to Pharaoh: “I raised you up for this very purpose, that I might display my power in you and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.” 18 Therefore God has mercy on whom he wants to have mercy, and he hardens whom he wants to harden.”

        I have shown that Paul and JC have disagreed on if an apostle should be paid for revealing the “good word”. And then we have your claim. “>”If this was my own idea of just another way to make a living, I’d expect some pay. But since it’s not my idea but something solemnly entrusted to me, why would I expect to get paid? “
        We have Paul expecting pay. So is this his own idea of “just another way to make a living”? Per your argument, yes it is. JC says that one should not ask for pay.

        Potato, I do not only claim that you are lying, I can show that you are lying and have done so by showing your claims false (like that one where you’ve claimed that the bible didn’t say that the entire Egyptian army was destroyed). Therefore, I am not a hypocrite. If you wish to claim I am a hypocrite, then show evidence. You claim that “the reality is that everyone is exclusive.” That is a response to my showing why claiming exclusivity is rather silly for Paul. We have no more evidence that his version of Christianity is true than those who he is speaking against as competitors. We also know that everyone is not exclusive since many people do hold to the same beliefs.

        Oh my. It’s so great to see you try to parrot me and fail utterly. There is only one claim of atheism, that there is no god/gods. No one else has a “different” claim about the lack of existence of a god. There is no different way that a god “doesn’t” exist. And no, dear tater, atheism is not a faith. You see, faith is hmmm, what is is that verse? “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” Now, as an atheist, I have no confidence or assurance about what I do not see e.g. god/gods. Atheism is indeed a lack of belief in gods but that lack of belief is based on evidence and yes, tater, a lack of evidence can be taken as evidence itself. I have no evidence of tooth fairies, Santa Claus, reptiloids, etc, therefore I have no reason to believe in them. I am not an agnostic about fairies, I know that there is no reason to believe that they exist. Do you believe in such things without any evidence? I rather doubt so. You have spent many hours making claims of having evidence for your god so you do need evidence to believe in it. Thus, theism is not a lack of belief in atheism, it is a positive belief in a god/gods. Now, in religion, we have claims of exclusive truth, but we have no of you being able to demonstrate that your claims are truth. So, claims of exclusivity do nothing to support claims of truth. Whining that “we have it but no one else does” and being unable to demonstrate this as a fact means your claims of being the only ones with the “right” answer are baseless. I claim that there are no gods as described as their religions/believer and we have no gods to be found. There may be a vague possibility that there are these gods and they are desperately hiding out from us, but it is the same argument as Russell’s teapot. Could there be some magical being/a teapot orbiting Zeta Reticuli? Yes but there is no good probability since we have no evidence of such a thing.

        I asked that someone post an argument that Nick has used that you thought was a great argument. An argument and a grab bag are not the same thing. Still, thank you for you have shown that Nick uses not one particularly good argument that you could figure out. Again, post me one of Nick’s argument that you think I have not addressed and that you think is very good and very hard, not the “fundamentalist bible-belt Christian” easy apologetics. I will address it. As it stands, I am guessing that you are very afraid of choosing one since you have tried to claim that I am only addressing easy apologetic claims and if I succeed in this, then you will have one less excuse to make.

        Ooooh, attaching apotheosis to Christ is a heresy! Yep, it’s one of many competing ideas about Christ and Christians believed in that as well as a lot of other versions of exactly what the relationship between god and JC was. Again, show me that your version is the only correct one. Or do you want to claim that might equals right? And why yes, a Christian interprets the bible one way that says that Paul was wrong, and another Christian interprets it that Paul was right. Who am I to accept as having the truth? Those that agree with you? Those that agree with Christians as good as you are? Paul says it was only after the resurrection that JC became the Lord. I love the term “preincarnate”. Let’s see, if incarnate means “made manifest or comprehensible” then pre- would modify that to mean before he was made manifest, before he was God. This is not about Jesus being God’s son, but Jesus being God himself. There are indeed various views of what Jesus was and when. Care to show me that only your variant is the “truth” one? If you can’t, then any Christian is as true as you. Indeed, any religion is as true as yours. I’ve been showing that Christians aren’t the happy agreeable bunch that Christians claim they are. You, Potato, have done a lovely job showing just how bad it is.

        It’s hilarious to watch you note that “no one really went into this yet”, when I mention “still no evidence of a magical Christ. You certainly tried, tater, with your claims of Suetonius, Tacitus, etc and were quickly shown that you are doing nothing for the magic JC. I’m still waiting for evidence of the magical Christ. There is still no evidence of a martyred Paul that ran around the eastern end of the Med. Was there a guy who claimed that JC talked directly to him and everyone now needed to believe in his version and no others? Yep, probably. I can spit in your eye if you’d like. Show me that we have Paul’s hankerchiefs and aprons that supposedly cure the ill (Acts 19). Surely no one would have lost them, right? I have no problem believing you exists, tater. There are Christians all over the place. Many are rather silly and sure that their and only their versions of their religion is the “right” one. There is a very high probability of you existing because people like you are common.

        So, we are still stuck with you lying that I am not open to the possility of Jesus Christ even if I were presented with evidence. And now we have you claiming that the “only response you (I) deserve” is claims of evidence while presenting none by you, Nick and SS. And please, dear Tater, show me where I’ve made “pointless assertions”. If I have, I will apologize and endeavor to make very pointed and supported assertions. If you cannot show that I’ve made “pointless assertions” then you are again lying to excuse the fact that you, Nick and SS have presented nothing to support your claims.

      • “Ah, Potato. I do love how you declare you don’t need to show anything. Of course, you do since you have made claims that are baseless.”

        >So, did Isaiah 53 reference the crucifixion or not? Actually, the better question is, do Jews necessarily believe that it points to the crucifixion? The answer would be “no”. Citing

        Christian interpretations does not help. Why? Per your claim, who was Paul trying to “sell” his claim to? Christians? Well, then I guess he wasn’t the one who made it up then. In your

        words, “we can interpret it by various things; some that makes sense like the known viewpoints of 18th century men and some that don’t make as much sense, like interpreting it by the

        viewpoints of 21st century men who want nothing more than to destroy the US government.”

        “You claim I “refute” myself, but also cannot show where.”

        >First you say Isaiah mentions the crucifixion, then you change your mind.

        “Isaiah does not mention the cruxifiction. Some Christians claim it does, but depend on faulty translation and wishful thinking to support their claims.”

        >I never really said much about that anyway. I never made any claims as to what that meant.

        “We see Isaiah showing that this supposed messiah will be disfigured and marred beyond human likeness.”

        >So, what do you think He looked like a bit before/during the crucifixion?

        “He will also supposedly be respected by kings and not after some supposed resurrection.”

        >A direct citation would be helpful, so I know exactly what you are referring to.

        “There is nothing about this that says Paul couldn’t sell the gospel.”

        >So why did you bring it up?

        “Please do show how I supposedly refute myself. You need to say “Vel, this couldn’t be since “this” precludes “that” and tell me what this and that are, as well as why they preclude each

        other. Since you have yet to be able to do this despite making the claim several times, there is no reason to think you can do this now and are simply trying to throw shit at a wall and

        hoping someone will believe your baseless claims about what I have said.”

        >ClubS, temper tantrums are a bit childish.

        “I have not said that if x has a variety of opinions about it then x is nonsense.”

        >It was indeed your argument. You said that because you don’t know whose interpretation is more valid, the item is nonsense. Which is a non sequitur. It doesn’t affect the validity of

        the document itself. In your words, “My point about the Jews is that you cannot show that their beliefs are wrong or yours are right. Both sets of theists make claims that they cannot

        support.” This would be in context of the interpretations of Isaiah. So, you conclude with “you fail, they fail too and there is no reason to believe any of this nonsense.”

        “The US Constitution is a document that we know quite a bit about. The authors, the historical context, etc. We can interpret it by various things; some that makes sense like the known

        viewpoints of 18th century men and some that don’t make as much sense, like interpreting it by the viewpoints of 21st century men who want nothing more than to destroy the US

        government.”

        >The Bible is a document that we know quite a bit about. The authors, the historical context, etc. We can interpret it by various things; some that makes sense like the known viewpoints

        of the authors and some that don’t make as much sense, like interpreting it by the viewpoints of contemporary men who want nothing more than to destroy Christianity.

        “Now, we do have many opinions about it. And none of it is claimed to be an eternal truth that was written by a magical omnipotent, omniscient being. Now, if you want to compare the two

        documents by accepting that there is nothing magical about the bible, I’m good with that. Are you? If not, your attempt at an analogy fails…. Again.”

        >That is irrelevant to the analogy of exegesis/interpretation.

        “I always love to watch Christians become indignant when I dare take something in their bible literally. You of course take much of your bible literally but excerpt those bits that you

        don’t like from your attempts to claim that the bible is true.”

        >No, because there is a such thing as contextual study. There are also things called literary devices, metaphors, etc.

        “Assuming the bible story is true: who killed Jesus Christ? The Romans, who did not have to do anything the Jews wanted.”

        >Yes. They did.

        “And, again, they would not have cared if they killed one more wannabee messiah or not.”

        >What is your point?

        “Now, if you want to get to the nuts and bolts of it, the “person” who killed Jesus Christ was himself/God, because an omnipotent/omniscient being declared that was the only thing that

        would work for salvation and that it *had* to happen.”

        >Which is irrelevant to the discussion.

        “I also note that you cannot refute that Christianity has interpreted the Jews as “Christ-murders” up until recently.”

        >Anti-Semitism? I laugh. Enough people have handled that topic already. In your words, it is “nothing new” and just the same old “baseless claims”.

        “The version of the story in Matthew says that the Jews “took responsibility” for it, the other gospels do not even mention such a thing”

        >So?

        “and only the leadership of the Jews at that time had any responsibility.”

        >Yes. And at the time, they technically represented the Jewish people.

        “It’s such a lovely attempt at demonizing a whole group, but that is not surprising from a religion that has a god that can’t quite decide whether it damns everyone until the 3rd or 4th

        generation for something their parents did or if it doesn’t.”

        >Which is another red herring.

        “And yes, you can make Hitler a good guy if you decide that the person making the order isn’t responsible. Unfortunately, for you the entire Jewish people did not make the order. If they

        didn’t make the order then the Jews as a group did not kill Jesus Christ.”

        >The people who essentially “represented” the Jews gave the order. Matthew 27:22; Mark 15:13; Luke 23:21; John 19:15.

        “Jesus was indeed a Jew if he existed, and Christians are indeed Jews who have decided to reinterpret the bible so they get the special claim to being the “Chosen People”. I do note that

        in 1 Thessalonians, Paul makes the rather amusing claim that the wrath of God has come upon those Jews “at last”. Funny how this wrath again fails to do anything again, that can’t be

        attributed to politics.”

        >Which has what to do with the topic at hand. I would appreciate it if you could stick to the subject.

        “Oh and please show how I’m mumbling, Potato, or is it that you can’t think of anything original to say?”

        >They’re your own words, ClubS.

        “Cruxifiction is not hanging a dead body on display. It is indeed a method of slow painful death that serves as a terrorist tactic and can be allowing a person who has died from the

        brutal event to remain hanging.”

        >I cited Wiki. Of course, in your words, “you should believe me because you have no evidence that I am lying.” However, I’ll go a step further. See Martin Hengel’s book, Crucifixion.

        “The jewish tradition was to kill a person and *then” hang them up.”

        >Irrelevant; they were done by the Romans in this case.

        “I know what Paul’s “previous job” was, but again, you have no evidence of the death threats you have claimed.”

        >Simply put, he killed Christians. Which is a death threat (actually, more than just a threat).

        “Suetonius says “Iudaeos impulsore Chresto assidue tumultuantis Roma expulit.””

        >Of course, we have Suetonius saying “punishment was inflicted on the Christians”; and yes, we also have banishment.

        “In Pliny, we have Pliny asking his emperor, Trajan, how to prosecute Christians, in trials where they may indeed get the death sentence thanks to Roman law. You know how Trajan

        responds? His first order is “(1) Do not seek out the Christians for trial.” There was a law against worshipping other gods, but Trajan was not hunting people down”

        >But he also says “if the accused are guilty of being Christian, then they must be punished.”

        “There are stories about Nero persecuting Christians (sources of this seem to be mostly if not all apocrypha)”

        >I will note that you intentionally use the word “story”. Tacitus would probably not apply.

        “other emperors persecuting Christians”

        >Yes we do.

        “Now, where are those threats against Paul?”

        >We have accounts throughout Acts of him being hunted down (Acts 9:20-23), stoned (Acts 14:19), jailed (Acts 16:16-40), etc. Along with the other extra-Biblical things that happened to Christians.

        “We have stories, no evidence that Peter or Paul died in the manner claimed.”

        >Stories. Accounts are now mere stories.

        “I’m not that familiar with Stephen or James”

        >Simply put, they died.

        “but we are talking about Paul here and the death threats that you said were made against him.”

        >Already given.

        “You cannot show these but resort to making claims that if it happened to one person it happened to all. We have stories of a man, Paul, who seemed to have no problem traveling wherever

        he wanted.”

        >What did he do in those places? Well, he was preaching the Gospel, getting attacked, stoned, jailed, and eventually was executed.

        “It’s great to see you again lie when it comes to Paul. We have had you claim that Paul did not benefit from being a preacher. Then you said that Paul would have made a “better” living

        as a Pharisee And now we have you claim that you “really” meant 1 is better than zero. One is indeed better than zero, but doesn’t work since we have evidence that Paul doesn’t benefit “

        zero”.”

        >As noted before, he had many death threats; he got little to no pay (1 Cor 9); he lost the esteem and influence he had as a Pharisee (Jews tried to kill him); being jailed a couple

        times; being stoned; etc. Had he remained merely as a Jewish Pharisee, he would have been highly respected by the Jews, have a decent living (middle-class at least), and would have been

        extremely influential (as noted by Josephus).

        “And we have you claiming that Paul got money from wealthy patrons to buy papyrus.”

        >So? What about it? Buying papyrus for writing down letters to Christians does not really apply as self-profit.

        “Show that Paul will be cursed, Potato. He says “let them be under god’s curse”, including angels and other people. We see nowhere does it say “Let me be cursed.””

        >Let “anyone”. “We”- including himself.

        “I have given you a link that shows that Christians think that Jesus and Paul disagree.”

        >Per your claim, giving links are lazy.

        “Why yes, CARM does say that they magically don’t contradict.”

        >Why yes, you do claim that they magically contradict.

        “Here we have again, Christians who are sure that their personal versions of Christianity are the only “right” ones and where they disagree. So, again, Potato, show me that God approves

        of your and only your version. I think a nice meeting of Christians in a public space where you all show how much your god approves of you. Elijah was able to get his god’s attention in

        1 Kings 18. Can you? What excuses will you give me this time? Who will win the “Non-Paulines” or the Paulines? I think I might bet on those who were supposedly getting their instructions

        from the horse’s mouth as it were, rather than someone who seems like the bad guy in the first guy’s stories.”

        >I would appreciate an actual argument. Like I said, contextual study, along with all the other rules in any form of literature/studying documents.

        “And yes, saying the “time is near” requires it to be near at some point. Saying “the time is near” would also require knowing what point it is near to, so we have Paul claiming to know

        what point that JC will return.””

        >No, not necessarily. There will be a point, so anywhere is really “near”.

        “And do this, understanding the present time: The hour has already come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. 12 The

        night is nearly over; the day is almost here. “ And well, we all know that JC says no one will know. In context, Paul is saying that everyone must obey and act right because he knows

        that the return of Jesus/God is imminent.”

        >Jesus is saying to not follow anyone claiming to be the Christ and that the time is near. Paul is essentially saying that we always have to be prepared because the return is always

        approaching (Matthew 24:36-44). There is no contradiction.

        “Paul does not claim to be the messiah.”

        >Good. Because that’s who Christ was warning against.

        “He does claim to be everyone’s father in Jesus, when Jesus says call no man father on earth because you have only one father in heaven.”

        >I would appreciate it if you could not drag this argument ad nauseum. If you read Christ’s words in context, you see in the beginning of the paragraph they were exalting themselves

        rather than God. Here is a Pulpit commentary- “This was the title given to eminent teachers and founders of schools, to whom the people were taught to look up rather than to God.”. Paul

        was simply saying he was one who gave them the Gospel and they were his spiritual children (so to speak). However, he was not taking credit for it; he still gives credit to Jesus/God

        (ibid, Romans 8:16, etc.).

        “Please tell me what “legalism” is.”

        >I’ll put this in simple terms- attempting to earning salvation on works. More specifically, for your own selfish glory. Like some of the Pharisees of Christ’s time.

        “Also, please tell me how it negates that Jesus says that those who show mercy will get mercy and Paul says that showing mercy will get you nothing if God doesn’t feel like it.”

        >Yes; those who are merciful get mercy. However, like I said before, Paul combats legalism strongly.

        “I have read Colossians. 2:20-23 has that if one accepts JC, one does not have to follow the world’s rules.”

        >Which again, approaches legalism.

        “Please demonstrate how this shows that Paul agrees with Jesus or Jesus with Paul.

        “Matthew 7 has that JC says that one will known false prophets by their fruits. Again, where does this show that JC agrees with Paul when he says that that the merciful will always get

        mercy from God, and Paul says that this is not the case?””

        >Couple possibilities here:

        1) They are referring to the same person.

        2) More in depth on what I was saying before- verse 16 is the parallel of verse 20; connecting that with Paul’s fruit of the Sprit, it logically follows that the merciful get mercy.

        “And in Galatians 5, we have Paul insisting that the only good people are those with the “spirit”. Paul is in quite a tizzy in Galatians, I will have to say.”

        >Christ (again) agrees with Paul. For example, in John 14:16, Christ says that believers will be filled with the Holy Spirit. Thus, it logically follows that if you do not have the

        spirit, you are not a beliver. Of course, the Biblical theology is that none are righteous, thus needing Christ’s gift of salvation. Without it, you will die (John 8:24).

        “He’s in such a snit about circumcision that he wants those who recommend it to cut their penises and testicles off. I guess he’s not too interested in offering mercy, eh?”

        >Some Jewish people were trying to force the Gentiles to be circumcised and threatened that they would not be saved unless they did so. Paul was simply rebuking these Jews who were

        trying to put the “yoke of the Law” on the people who are free in Christ (ibid).

        “Christians have yet to figure out by what they are saved. That problem is part of the major differences between varieties of Christianity.”

        >ClubS, why are you unable to stick to the topic at hand?

        “We have those that believe in grace only, e.g. that you were chosen by God to believe. We have those that believe that belief is what is required, and that is what you see in John

        3:16.”

        >Really, you provide no contradiction, as you say 1) God chose people to believe and 2) the people believe. It logically follows.

        “We also have that those who do good works are those that this god will favor e.g. Matthew 25, where those who do good and did not look to find favor are those who are blessed”

        >No, Jesus makes it clear that the salvation of the “sheep” is not necessarily jsut based on their works. Their inheritance was theirs “since the creation of the world” (Matthew 25:34).

        And again, it connects with the fruits of the Spirit.

        “James 2 that says works are, if not more important than faith (for even the demons believe), as important as faith/belief.”

        >James is talking about dead faith (James 2:20). James 2:14-26 is about showing the genuineness of your faith by what you do. It is supported by Paul’s fruit of the Spirit.

        “We have in Galatians 3 where Paul asks “2 I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by believing what you heard?” But

        according to Paul himself, people who accept this god received the spirit by neither means. He says to the Romans “16 It does not, therefore, depend on human desire or effort, but on God

        ’s mercy. 17 For Scripture says to Pharaoh: “I raised you up for this very purpose, that I might display my power in you and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.” 18

        Therefore God has mercy on whom he wants to have mercy, and he hardens whom he wants to harden.””

        >So, per your first claim, God chooses who “believes” and thus they believe. It’s awefully simple.

        “I have shown that Paul and JC have disagreed on if an apostle should be paid for revealing the “good word”. And then we have your claim. “>”If this was my own idea of just another way

        to make a living, I’d expect some pay. But since it’s not my idea but something solemnly entrusted to me, why would I expect to get paid? “
        We have Paul expecting pay. So is this his own idea of “just another way to make a living”? Per your argument, yes it is. JC says that one should not ask for pay.”

        >No, you really haven’t. Christ was addressing the Apostles for that specific moment; Paul doesn’t expect to get paid (hence, “why would I expect to get paid?”). Which would imply that

        he doesn’t expect to get paid.

        “Potato, I do not only claim that you are lying, I can show that you are lying and have done so by showing your claims false (like that one where you’ve claimed that the bible didn’t say

        that the entire Egyptian army was destroyed).”

        >ClubS, I do not only claim that you are lying, I can show that you are lying and have done so by showing your claims false (like that one where you’ve claimed that the bible said that

        the entire Egyptian army was destroyed). ClubS, assertions are not arguments.

        “Therefore, I am not a hypocrite. If you wish to claim I am a hypocrite, then show evidence.”

        >You yourself are the evidence.

        “You claim that “the reality is that everyone is exclusive.” That is a response to my showing why claiming exclusivity is rather silly for Paul. We have no more evidence that his version

        of Christianity is true than those who he is speaking against as competitors.”

        >Assertions are always fun, so I’ll make one. Simply put, the evidence puts “Paul’s” “claim” on a much higher level. If you want to discuss this, answer Nick’s challenge.

        “We also know that everyone is not exclusive since many people do hold to the same beliefs.”

        >Which is not the point. The topic is of how all different beliefs exclude each other. Even religious pluralists are exclusive.

        “Oh my. It’s so great to see you try to parrot me and fail utterly. There is only one claim of atheism, that there is no god/gods.”

        >Oh my. It’s so great to see you try to parrot me and fail utterly. There is only one claim of theism, that there is a God/gods.

        “No one else has a “different” claim about the lack of existence of a god. There is no different way that a god “doesn’t” exist.”

        >Actually, most Buddhists reject the idea of a deity.

        “And no, dear tater, atheism is not a faith.”

        >Atheism is “the doctrine or belief that there is no God.” So, yes, it is a belief; yes, it is a faith. Of course, if you want to play the word games like “atheism is a lack of belief”,

        then theism is merely the lack of belief in atheim, thus it’s not really a belief/faith either.

        “You see, faith is hmmm, what is is that verse? “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” Now, as an atheist, I have no confidence or

        assurance about what I do not see e.g. god/gods. Atheism is indeed a lack of belief in gods but that lack of belief is based on evidence and yes, tater, a lack of evidence can be taken

        as evidence itself.”

        >That is faith in a Biblical context. It’s a more specific definition for a more specific point. So, it would not be very honest to apply it to other things.

        “I have no evidence of tooth fairies”

        >I don’t recall that the existence of tooth fairies were the center-piece of a philosophical critique.

        “Santa Claus, reptiloids, etc, therefore I have no reason to believe in them.”

        >Which are corporal entities, and thus are false analogies.

        “I am not an agnostic about fairies, I know that there is no reason to believe that they exist. Do you believe in such things without any evidence? I rather doubt so. You have spent many

        hours making claims of having evidence for your god so you do need evidence to believe in it.”

        >Sure thing. But asking for corporal evidence is intellectually dishonest.

        “Thus, theism is not a lack of belief in atheism, it is a positive belief in a god/gods.”

        >By definition, theism counters atheism, so theism is the lack of atheism.

        “Now, in religion, we have claims of exclusive truth, but we have no of you being able to demonstrate that your claims are truth. So, claims of exclusivity do nothing to support claims

        of truth. Whining that “we have it but no one else does” and being unable to demonstrate this as a fact means your claims of being the only ones with the “right” answer are baseless. I

        claim that there are no gods as described as their religions/believer and we have no gods to be found.”

        >Like I said before, it’s the evidence. And also like I said, I invite you to TWeb. You will be able to see many Christian’s views and arguments.

        “There may be a vague possibility that there are these gods and they are desperately hiding out from us, but it is the same argument as Russell’s teapot. Could there be some magical

        being/a teapot orbiting Zeta Reticuli? Yes but there is no good probability since we have no evidence of such a thing.”

        >Which is a ridiculously childish false analogy. For one, it is a physical object, unlike God. Teapots are physical and therefore verifiable within the physical world, with physical

        tests.

        “I asked that someone post an argument that Nick has used that you thought was a great argument.”

        >Sure thing. Nick’s post refuting your Googlism.

        “An argument and a grab bag are not the same thing. Still, thank you for you have shown that Nick uses not one particularly good argument that you could figure out. Again, post me one of

        Nick’s argument that you think I have not addressed and that you think is very good and very hard, not the “fundamentalist bible-belt Christian” easy apologetics. I will address it. As

        it stands, I am guessing that you are very afraid of choosing one since you have tried to claim that I am only addressing easy apologetic claims and if I succeed in this, then you will

        have one less excuse to make.”

        >You asked for Nick’s argument, however you hardly even touched it.

        “Ooooh, attaching apotheosis to Christ is a heresy!”

        >Yes, it is.

        “Yep, it’s one of many competing ideas about Christ and Christians believed in that as well as a lot of other versions of exactly what the relationship between god and JC was. Again,

        show me that your version is the only correct one. Or do you want to claim that might equals right? And why yes, a Christian interprets the bible one way that says that Paul was wrong,

        and another Christian interprets it that Paul was right. Who am I to accept as having the truth? Those that agree with you? Those that agree with Christians as good as you are?”

        >ClubS, I would appreciate an argument instead of whining about exegesis again.

        “Paul says it was only after the resurrection that JC became the Lord.”

        >No, he doesn’t. Like I said before, the word is “declared”.

        “I love the term “preincarnate”. Let’s see, if incarnate means “made manifest or comprehensible” then pre- would modify that to mean before he was made manifest, before he was God. This

        is not about Jesus being God’s son, but Jesus being God himself.”

        >No, pre-incarnate would refer to the term of before He became man.

        “There are indeed various views of what Jesus was and when. Care to show me that only your variant is the “truth” one? If you can’t, then any Christian is as true as you.”

        >It’s called contextual study.

        “Indeed, any religion is as true as yours.”

        >No, not really.

        “I’ve been showing that Christians aren’t the happy agreeable bunch that Christians claim they are. You, Potato, have done a lovely job showing just how bad it is.”

        >ClubS, I’ve seen you contradict your friends multiple times (all on the exact same page), and have made you admit you were wrong. What is your point?

        “It’s hilarious to watch you note that “no one really went into this yet”, when I mention “still no evidence of a magical Christ. You certainly tried, tater, with your claims of

        Suetonius, Tacitus, etc and were quickly shown that you are doing nothing for the magic JC. I’m still waiting for evidence of the magical Christ.”

        >Yes; no one did. If you wish to have this discussion, then first answer Nick’s request by coming to TWeb. You can even invite your friends.

        “There is still no evidence of a martyred Paul that ran around the eastern end of the Med. Was there a guy who claimed that JC talked directly to him and everyone now needed to believe

        in his version and no others? Yep, probably. I can spit in your eye if you’d like. Show me that we have Paul’s hankerchiefs and aprons that supposedly cure the ill (Acts 19). Surely no

        one would have lost them, right? I have no problem believing you exists, tater. There are Christians all over the place. Many are rather silly and sure that their and only their versions

        of their religion is the “right” one. There is a very high probability of you existing because people like you are common.”

        >Of course, there is still no evidence that you exist either. All I have are a bunch of your writings. If you take the existence of Christians as the existence of me, why not Paul?

        “So, we are still stuck with you lying that I am not open to the possility of Jesus Christ even if I were presented with evidence. And now we have you claiming that the “only response

        you (I) deserve” is claims of evidence while presenting none by you, Nick and SS.”

        >Have you spoken with Nick?

        “And please, dear Tater, show me where I’ve made “pointless assertions”. If I have, I will apologize and endeavor to make very pointed and supported assertions. If you cannot show that I

        ’ve made “pointless assertions” then you are again lying to excuse the fact that you, Nick and SS have presented nothing to support your claims.”

        >No, you see, the assertions themselves are the evidence.

      • oh my this post. I did 11 pages on it for my amusement. Yep, 11 pages of showing how Potato is wrong, again. Eh, it’s more fun than Luminosity. 🙂 I also made it a PDF so anyone who wants the agony of reading it can do so (https://clubschadenfreude.files.wordpress.com/2013/08/potato-comment.pdf ). I’ll pick out a few bits that I liked the best…..

        It’s hilarious to watch you so desperately try to redefine the word “near”. In your words, “There will be a point, so anywhere is really “near”. Alas, no, it isn’t. By your claims, a thousand years ago is no different than 1 second ago. Even JC has that near doesn’t mean “anywhere” or any time: Matthew 24: 33 “Even so, when you see all these things, you know that it is near, right at the door.”. Thank you for yet another excellent example of how a TrueChristian will make his own holy book meaningless with this attempts to redefine words to excuse his god’s inaction and evident non-existence. Paul is not saying that the return is “always approaching”. Please do show what words say this that you claim. I would like to see the exact phrase that you think says “always approaching”. You also claim that JC says not to follow anyone who claims to be the Christ. That is not quite true. He says not to follow anyone who says that they know JC has returned, this is also in Matthew 24. Thus, it being Paul saying that Jesus appeared to him in the wilderness, and that JC will be back so soon that Paul knows it without seeing the signs that JC predicted (stars falling etc), Paul is a very nice fit for those JC is warning about.

        So, Potato, you claim that you can show I’m lying. Okay, do so. I’m waiting. You have not shown that the Bible claims that only part of the Egyptian army was destroyed. But, go ahead, show where I was lying. I’ll be most happy to witness more false witnessing on your part, you wonderful TrueChristian. And aw, you claimed you could show I was a hypocrite and all we have from you is “you yourself is the evidence.” Not one instance can you show and again, we see that you are unable to back up your false claims.

        Tater, you really do need a dictionary. Because in a dictionary you can find various definitions, and as we know definitions can change with context. Atheism is indeed the doctrine or belief that there is no God. It is also the doctrine or belief that there are no gods. Belief is “a state or habit of mind in which trust or confidence is placed in some person or thing” and is also defined as “conviction of the truth of some statement or the reality of some being or phenomenon especially when based on examination of evidence”. In my context, the second definition is the more accurate.

        A doctrine is a principle or position or the body of principles in a branch of knowledge or system of belief. These principles are built on evidence and/or faith that something unseen is true, yes? Now, faith’s definition does include this lack of a need for evidence. We have this “belief and trust in and loyalty to God (2) : belief in the traditional doctrines of a religion b (1) : firm belief in something for which there is no proof (2) : complete trust 3: something that is believed especially with strong conviction; especially : a system of religious beliefs “ We also have this in the bible, remember? “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.”

        Now, I am an atheist because I see no evidence for any gods. I see evidence for the theories that explain the universe without needing a god. Thus my belief is based on evidence and earned trust by repeatable experiments, etc . I do not have “confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see”. I don’t even have “complete trust” since I know that we may discover something new.

        Theists, especially TrueChristians, dearly want to pretend that atheism and theism are equal. They are not since you cannot provide evidence for your claims, any evidence that is not the same as the evidence for gods that you *don’t* believe in. And dear, theism isn’t a lack of belief in atheism. Theism is a belief in God, not a lack of belief in atheists. Because if that’s all theism is, then it’s even more ridiculous than usual, since you know that atheists exist. Or do you believe I vanish when you cover eyes? Peekaboo!

        I do love that you think Russell’s Teapot is a “ridiculously childish false analogy”. But of course you can’t actually address my point. God is a physical object if it can interact with physical objects. Can it, Potato or is your bible lying again? One of the funniest claims I’ve seen by TrueChristians is that there is a soul but it somehow interacts with the brain like some kind of receiver set. Now, for it to interact with the brain, then it must have physical properties. I can say I have a god in my basement. You can’t prove me wrong, but I bet you don’t believe me. Read Carl Sagan’s “The Dragon in my garage” to see just how ridiculous you and your fellow TrueChristians seem: http://www.godlessgeeks.com/LINKS/Dragon.htm

        I do enjoy when a Christian lies that there is no evidence that I exist. If you had any investigative ability at all, you’d know who I am, much more than a blog full of writings. Your ignorance doesn’t mean I don’t exist. But the argument is amusing since you must claim that evidence doesn’t show I exist since you cannot provide evidence that your magical Jesus did. Suddenly evidence becomes unimportant when you can’t produce it. As I said, I know you exist, and I have evidence of it. I have an IP address that can tell me much about you, Potato. I have your writings. I know that you are likely on TWeb. Unfortuantely, you aren’t simply a figment of my imagination. Now, with these protestations that you have no evidence that I exist, we see the beginning of the end of the Christian apologist when we start heading into solipsism. The TrueChristian must declare that no thing can have evidence for its existence, so why that means that their god must exist since they have no evidence for it either! Paul was claimed to be magical (healing hankerchiefs and what not). Paul as described by the bible did not exist. As I have said, someone who thought he was an official apostle, he just met an invisible Jesus! Could have easily existed. A man who really did meet invisible Jesus? No.

        My being open to the possible of a Jesus Christ has nothing to do with one poor little theist whose arguments I have already addressed. He’s failed. You’ve failed. There could be someone else who does have evidence, something that I do very much deserve. I’m waiting.

        Finally, geez, finally! We have one little whimper from you. “No, you see the assertions themselves are the evidence.” I have asked you to show me where I have made “pointless assertions” and of course you have failed in being able to do that too. One more vague claim and nothing to back it up. Not one assertion I have made that has been shown to be “pointless”. How sad. And how expected.

      • “He will also supposedly be respected by kings and not after some supposed resurrection.”

        >Indeed, Paul even quotes this in Romans 15:21, and complements it further in Romans 4:11. What is your objection?

      • So, let’s look at your verses:
        Romans 15:21 Rather, as it is written: “Those who were not told about him will see, and those who have not heard will understand.”

        and
        Romans 4:11 And he (Abraham) received circumcision as a sign, a seal of the righteousness that he had by faith while he was still uncircumcised. So then, he is the father of all who believe but have not been circumcised, in order that righteousness might be credited to them.

        Tater, show me where Paul quotes “this” (evidently what I said) ““He will also supposedly be respected by kings and not after some supposed resurrection.” in these two verses. Now, I see nothing referring to the problem that the messiah is supposed to be respected by kings when he was alive, rather than some time after he is dead and magically resurrected.

        I’m guessing that rather than being completely incomprehensible, you either grabbed the wrong part of my post or grabbed the wrong verses.

      • “So, let’s look at your verses:
        Romans 15:21 Rather, as it is written: “Those who were not told about him will see, and those who have not heard will understand.”

        and
        Romans 4:11 And he (Abraham) received circumcision as a sign, a seal of the righteousness that he had by faith while he was still uncircumcised. So then, he is the father of all who believe but have not been circumcised, in order that righteousness might be credited to them.

        Tater, show me where Paul quotes “this” (evidently what I said) ““He will also supposedly be respected by kings and not after some supposed resurrection.” in these two verses. Now, I see nothing referring to the problem that the messiah is supposed to be respected by kings when he was alive, rather than some time after he is dead and magically resurrected.

        I’m guessing that rather than being completely incomprehensible, you either grabbed the wrong part of my post or grabbed the wrong verses.”

        >In 15:21, Paul is quoting Isaiah 52:15 (where you get the prophecy).

        4:11 is a typo- it’s 14:11.

        I see no problem.

      • Paul quotes the second sentence in Isaiah 52:15. He does not quote the first part which we are discussing. “20 It has always been my ambition to preach the gospel where Christ was not known, so that I would not be building on someone else’s foundation. 21 Rather, as it is written:“Those who were not told about him will see, and those who have not heard will understand.”22 This is why I have often been hindered from coming to you.” We do not see Paul saying “See, my servant will act wisely; he will be raised and lifted up and highly exalted.14 Just as there were many who were appalled at him— his appearance was so disfigured beyond that of any human being and his form marred beyond human likeness— 15 so he will sprinkle many nations, and kings will shut their mouths because of him”.

        And Romans 14 says “10 You, then, why do you judge your brother or sister? Or why do you treat them with contempt? For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat. 11 It is written:“‘As surely as I live,’ says the Lord,‘every knee will bow before me; every tongue will acknowledge God.’” 12 So then, each of us will give an account of ourselves to God.”

        Again, Isaiah says that this will happen before this messiah dies. Paul is quoting from Isaiah 45 and again it mentions nothing of this messiah supposedly being killed before all of this happens.

      • “No one else has a “different” claim about the lack of existence of a god. There is no different way that a god “doesn’t” exist.”

        >This was also an interesting, but false claim. The fact is, there are many, many types of atheists. Gnostic/agnostic atheists, weak/strong atheists, broad/narrow, unfriendly/indifferent/friendly, open/closet, passive/evangelical/active/militant, humanists, naturalists, pleasurists, religious/non-religious. Religious includes the various schools of Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism, Raelism, Wicca, etc. I believe Satanism is predominantly atheist, though I’m not too sure.

      • oh my. So, tater, tell me how these people differ in disbelieving in god/gods. Tell me how a friendly atheist and an unfriendly atheist differ in how they disbelieve in god/gods. I’m waiting. Tell me how an agnostic atheist doesn’t believe in god the same way a gnostic atheist doesn’t believe in god. They all don’t believe in god. The evidence they require may differ, but they disbelieve in god/gods equally. I disbelieve in god. I don’t believe in it at all. How am I different from one of your supposed atheist “types” in how I don’t believe? Let me clarify: I don’t believe in the tooth fairy just like you don’t believe in the tooth fairy. Unless you do believe in the tooth fairy…. Do you?

        Religious atheists, eh? Well, unless you want to claim that having say, baseball as a religion is exactly the same as saying Christianity is a religion. I’m good with that, having religion meaning only “a cause, principle, or system of beliefs held to with ardor and faith “, just something that humans do that has no supernatural basis. But I’m sure you will be offended if I don’t call Christianity a “real” religion: ” personal set or institutionalized system of religious attitudes, beliefs, and practices “ .

        And dear, Hindus believe in gods in various ways and what some interpret as atheism is more nuanced than that(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hinduism#Concept_of_God_Almighty) , Jains believe in no gods but they believe in omniscient powerful beings aka gods ”a being or object believed to have more than natural attributes and powers and to require human worship; specifically : one controlling a particular aspect or part of reality” , Buddhist do and do not believe in gods and they do believe in the supernatural, Wicca believe in the Goddess and sometimes the God http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wicca . And hmmm, raelism? Well, they think aliens were masquerading as gods, but doesn’t specify where the aliens “Elohim” come from. So, they may or may not believe in the supernatural.

        I can call you a religious atheist too. You believe in one god but not in others. So you are a Christian atheist, if you want to play with words so more.

        and please do tell me how believing in Satan, a supernatural being, is atheistic. If one believes in the Christian Satan, then one believes in the Christian god. There are some people who claim to be Satanists, and claim to simply hold the ideal of Satan in high esteem but not worship such a being. All seem to be those who want an excuse to be selfish. Tell me how they don’t believe in God in a different way than I don’t believe in god. I may have different morals than them but my disbelief in god is the same.

      • “Again, Isaiah says that this will happen before this messiah dies. Paul is quoting from Isaiah 45 and again it mentions nothing of this messiah supposedly being killed before all of this happens.”

        >Does Isaiah say there is no resurrection? No. Where is the problem?

        “So, tater, tell me how these people differ in disbelieving in god/gods. Tell me how a friendly atheist and an unfriendly atheist differ in how they disbelieve in god/gods.”

        >Unfriendly- believes no one is justified in believing that gods exist.

        >Friendly- believes that some theists are justified in believing that gods exist.

        “Tell me how an agnostic atheist doesn’t believe in god the same way a gnostic atheist doesn’t believe in god. They all don’t believe in god.”

        >A gnostic claims that God DOES NOT exist, while an agnostic claims he does not know. So, they are different.

        “The evidence they require may differ, but they disbelieve in god/gods equally.”

        >No, not really. They have different justifications, degrees of their views, etc.

        “I disbelieve in god. I don’t believe in it at all. How am I different from one of your supposed atheist “types” in how I don’t believe? Let me clarify: I don’t believe in the tooth fairy just like you don’t believe in the tooth fairy. Unless you do believe in the tooth fairy…. Do you?”

        >No. But the tooth fairy is not the center of philosophical critique. Don’t use kiddie-arguments.

        “And dear, Hindus believe in gods in various ways and what some interpret as atheism is more nuanced than that()”

        >There are a couple atheist Hindu schools. I’ve met some Hindu atheists before.

        “Jains believe in no gods but they believe in omniscient powerful beings aka gods ”a being or object believed to have more than natural attributes and powers and to require human worship; specifically : one controlling a particular aspect or part of reality””

        >Mahavira (the founder) denied the existence of God.

        “Buddhist do and do not believe in gods and they do believe in the supernatural”

        >Largely, they don’t believe in a Creator. The supernatural in general is irrelevant.

        “Wicca believe in the Goddess and sometimes the God”

        >Sometimes, they are also atheist. Since you trust Wiki- “Carol S. Matthews (19 October 2009). New Religions. Chelsea House Publishers. ISBN 978-0-7910-8096-2. “There is no universal worldview that all Neo-Pagans/Wiccans hold. One online information source indicates that depending on how the term God is defined, Neo-Pagans might be classified as monotheists, duotheists (two gods), polytheists, pantheists, or atheists.””

        “And hmmm, raelism? Well, they think aliens were masquerading as gods, but doesn’t specify where the aliens “Elohim” come from. So, they may or may not believe in the supernatural.”

        >Exactly.

        “and please do tell me how believing in Satan, a supernatural being, is atheistic.”

        >Most don’t. Satanism is largely the worship of yourself, such as LaVeyan Satanism. Mainly, people confuse it with Luciferianism.

      • “Religious atheists, eh?”

        >Yes.

        “Well, unless you want to claim that having say, baseball as a religion is exactly the same as saying Christianity is a religion.”

        >Yes.

        “I’m good with that, having religion meaning only “a cause, principle, or system of beliefs held to with ardor and faith “, just something that humans do that has no supernatural basis.”

        >Atheist would be merely against God, not all of the supernatural.

        “But I’m sure you will be offended if I don’t call Christianity a “real” religion: ” personal set or institutionalized system of religious attitudes, beliefs, and practices “ .””

        >Depends how you define religion.

      • “Well, unless you want to claim that having say, baseball as a religion is exactly the same as saying Christianity is a religion.”

        >Responded to the wrong point on the last one (I said “Yes” before). The answer would be no. I doubt you would classify as atheism as a hobby or a sport. And atheists have their beliefs too.

      • Yawn.

        Christ is addressing those who claim to be the Messiah. Thus, your argument is invalid.

        As we noted, only the Egyptians leading charge (those who followed the Israelites into the sea_ would be destroyed.

        We note atheism is a belief. The whole theism/atheism definition is merely jsut dragging the argument ad nauseum.

        God is defined as a supernatural, nonphyiscal entity in the Christian worldview. He is transcendent from the physical universe who can interact with His creation.

        Yawn. More whining, just to drag the argument ad nauseum. Which reminds, em, when are you going to respond to Nick after you confronted him? deeperwaters.wordpress(dot)com/2013/07/22/a-response-to-clubschadenfreude-on-the-500/#comment-13917

      • Please do show that JC is addressing those who claim to be the messiah. I do need the sentences that say exactly that.

        There is nothing that says only those leading the charge will be destroyed. Please show the sentence that says that too.

        You claimed that atheism is “faith”, not just a belief. Nice to see you backpedal again.

        God is not defined as only a supernatural nonphysical entity in the Christian worldview. He might be in your personal version but that is not all Christianity. We have this entity interacting with the physical world. We have this entity being under the influence of time. You wish to claim that this being is transcendent, while also being physical. Hilarious.

        and no, I’m not going to bother with you and your best friend Nick. The desperation that you show is just great. Again, not interested. I’m sorry that you need my attention so badly, Nick.

      • “Let’s see, Tater, I said that Christians claim that the chapters in Isaiah mention the cruxifiction. I know
        that they do not, but they are “interpreted” by Chrisians to retroactively try to make their supposed
        messiah fit the Jewish prophecies. And I do love your excuse that you “never really said much about
        that anyway.” You mentioned it, you made claims about it and now you can’t support them.”

        >Nope, you brought it up ClubS. “Why would a cruxified messiah be impossible? Per some Christians, he had to be sacrificed in such a manner to fulfill supposed prophecies (Isaiah 54-55 in particular). If people believed in what are claimed as prophecies, then it would be no hard sell at all”. You lied again. Besides, you’re being dishoenst. Only Jewish interpretations at the time of Paul would matter. Clearly, you don’t believe Jews note it as a crucifixion, thus it would be hard to sell.

        “I have no
        idea what JC looked like before the cruxifiction, being that there is no reason to think he existed as the
        bible claims. At best, the possible historical Jesus would have looked like a 1st century Jew, complete
        with temple locks, beard, etc. The verses in Isaiah say that he will be nothing special to look upon. You
        want a direct citation. Well, Potato, read Isaiah. It’s there. But since you have demonstratd yourself to
        be quite ignorant about what your bible contains, I’ll be merciful and tell you where. It’s in Isaiah 52.”

        >Cool. So? Where is the problem?

        “Read the entire chapter, so we don’t have problems with claims of “context”.
        Oh and golly, Suetonius mentioned Christians! Why yes he did and again that does nothing to show that
        your magical Jesus existed. The existence of worshippers of a certain god/gods does not support the
        existence of a particular god. Unless of course you wish to admit that other gods exist just like you claim
        yours does. I know you’ve claimed that you’ll come back to this issue. I am expecting an answer since
        you have indeed claimed you would address it.”

        >Never said that did.

        “I have said that if I don’t know whose interpretation is more valid there is no reason to think any
        interpretation is the “right” one. Since you misrepresented my words again, your claim of a non
        sequitur fails.”

        >Contextual study, ClubS.

        “If a document’s author, intention etc is unknown, people who claim to magically know
        the meaning via magical revelation have no more evidence that their interpretation is the “right” one
        than the next group of people who make the same magical claim. And indeed, there is no reason to
        believe any of this nonsense since “this nonsense” are baseless claims by all sides.
        The bible is not a document that we know quite a bit about. First, it is not one document, it is a
        gathering of contradicting stories. We know very few of the authors and those we know, we know as
        commonalities of writing, not personalities. The writer of the gospel of Luke and Acts may be the same
        person but it cannot be shown that this person was an apostle or who it actually was. We know the
        history of the eras that it purports to report about and we know that those reports are faulty since we
        have no evidence of magical floods, fantastical palaces and temples, divinely wise kings, millions of
        people wandering around in the Sinai for 4 decades, magical destruction of cities, battles between hundreds of thousands of men, earthquakes, darkening of the sun, walking dead, etc.”

        >Already dealt with.

        “You simply lie
        when you claim that we know the viewpoints of the authors. We can guess that they may be focusing
        on an audience but we have no evidence on why. And I do want you to show me these “viewpoints of
        contemporary men who want nothing more than to destroy Christianity”. Now, it seems that these
        “contemporary men” could be Christians that Potato doesn’t agree with and who is sure that their
        claims of being right are wrong and that only Potato’s claims are right, all of course with no evidence to
        support that claim. Let me guess, would the Pope be one of those contemporary men? Would Pat
        Robertson be one of them? ”

        >You lie when you say we don’t. We know the early theological views of the Christians and Jews.

        “And no, saying that the US Constitution has been written by mortals and that it is not claimed to be an
        eternal truth that was written/inspired by a magical omnipotent, omniscient being is not “irrelevant to
        the analogy of exegesis/interpretation”. You claim that the bible is this magical book and its meaning is
        from magical revelation from this magical being. Christians wish to pretend that they get some magical
        message, some “sensus plenior”, from their god and that their version of what “God really meant” is the
        only true one. In the case of the Constitution, we know that men who claimed to be nothing else but
        men wrote it. They wrote other things that demonstrated their ideas and positions and those facts can
        inform what they meant in the Constitution. We have nothing else from the authors of the bible except
        what we see in the bible so we know nothing about them. Now, if you are willing to say that the bible is
        no more than a set of works by humans and nothing more than that, we can compare the two
        documents. If not, the analogy does fail. ”

        >No, the analogy fails. We are talking about the INTERPRETATIONS of the text, and the views of the people of that time.

        “There is indeed such a thing as contextual study, metaphors and other literary devices. And Christians pick and
        choose what they want to pretend to be literal and what they want to pretend are metaphors. Christians all claim that
        they are all using contextual study, exegesis and guess what, you don’t agree on what God really meant. You,
        Potato, and so many others, want to pretend that your version is so much more “right” than those “fundy bible belt
        Christians” but you have no more evidence that this is the case than those Christians you disregard.”

        >Uh, no, you’re an idiot. Context and literary style dictates it.

        “And nice to see that you have said that the Romans killed Jesus Christ assuming that the story is true. You claimed
        that the Jews killed this character before. And my point is that the Romans killed one more person, because it was
        nothing special to do so. The fact, per the story, that the person who killed JC was himself/God is relevant to the
        discussion since you are the one who wants to assign blame. Of course calling the Jews “Christ-murders” is antiSemitism. Paul did a lovely screed on that in Hebrews and his nonsense caused humans to hate each other for a very
        long time. Please do show me that anti-Semetism is not largely based on what the bible says and what Christians
        have claimed. Show that this is “just the same old baseless claims”. I do really want to see you do this. You might
        want to start showing that Martin Luther isn’t a major Christian leader in your attempts to support your claims: Luther is just about as nifty as the guys who wrote
        the Left Behind stories where the only “good jew” is a convertible Jew. It’s always good to see you write “So?””

        >I see you going off topic. Anti-Semitism has been dealt with before. More baseless claims.

        “when we’re discussing the verses that have caused so much harm to people. Well, Potato, we have one gospel that
        claims that the Jews claimed the guilt of killing Jesus for their entire people and descendants. None of the others say
        that the Jews did this, but Christians glommed onto this verse to excuse themselves and their hatreds. They didn’t
        take the majority “opinion” and say that only the Jewish leadership and Romans were responsible; no, they decided
        to take this verse so they could treat Jews badly. And noting this nonsense is not a “red herring” since again you are
        the one who wants to place blame. Please do show that the Jewish religious leadership “technically represented” the
        Jewish people. Doesn’t your god say that one’s own sin is one’s own and not one’s descendants, nor one’s
        neighbors? Yes, it does, Ezekiel 18. I will also note that it does say that the opposite Exodus 20, another one of
        those lovely contradictions. ”

        >Ezekiel 18 is meant for personal sins. And no one is righteous anyway. Derp.

        “I do not often believe you, Potato, since I *can* show that you are lying. Cruxifiction is not hanging a body on
        display after it is dead. That is the Jewish custom, and we can see it in the Talmud reference to the stoned and then
        hung body. Cruxifiction is torture and death by being affixed to a cross/pole and left to hang *until* dead. t’s
        amusing since you now claim “Irrelevant; they were done by the Romans in this case.” Which shows that your
        claims about JC being in the Talmud to be nonsense since in that story the Jews were the killers. Thank you for
        disproving one of the common Christian claims about the historical sources for Jesus.”

        >Uh, no, you see, I have shown your claims to be wrong, and I have indeed cited outside sources for crucifixion. The Talmud is late anyway, so I won’t bother defending it.

        “Paul killed Christians? Paul has claimed he persecuted Christians. But I don’t see where he killed them. He could
        have if he existed as the bible claims. We don’t have evidence of that except in the bible. He, as Saul, put them in
        prison in Acts. I do see that in Acts, Saul appears from nowhere during the trial of Stephen and “approves” of his
        killing.”

        >What do you think persecution means?

        “We have that Suetonius has that punishment was inflicted on Christians, we have Pliny asking the emperor about
        how to deal with Christians and it shows that the Romans were not doing an inquisition. Trajan does say that if they
        are guilty they should be punished and that does mean killed.”

        >Guilty of BEING CHRISTIAN.

        “And we have plenty of claims on how the Christians
        were persecuted by emperors, which are not again supported by evidence and seem to be the usual stories told about
        people in power by those who are not. And of course I use the word “story”, Potato, because these claims are not
        born out by facts. As soon as you can show facts to show that there was a magical Jesus, there was a Paul who was
        magically converted, etc, then we can continue on and I may be convinced that the bible stories are something more
        than fictional claims. Tacitus’ writings can be considered stories if there is nothing to support his claims. Just like
        the legends of Atlantis are stories, accounts of dragons are stories, etc. ”

        >LOL. You take the historical words of Tactitus to be stories? That’s new. History is rarely dependant upon archaeology.

        “Let’s take a look at your claims about threats against Paul. Acts 9 does have that there was a conspiracy to kill Paul,
        Acts 14 has that he was supposed stoned. And I happily admit that this is threat, but there is one problem, it’s a
        story, not supported by evidence. And Acts 16. One of the more curious parts of Acts where the authorship is
        questionable, since we have the author saying “we” when speaking about the actions happening. Is this the same
        author who wrote the gospel of Luke? We also have Paul saying that only belief is necessary to be saved, not grace
        alone. However, I see the largest problem is that they had no problem with the authorities when the authorities
        found out that they were Roman citizens. ”

        >Besides, as we have noted, early Christians were heavily persecuted. Neither Jews nor Roman would like them very much.

        “Stories are still “mere stories”. Unless of course, you wish to admit that the stories about Vespasian healing the
        blind, Simon Magus flying, Shri Swami Samarth raising the dead , Apollonius of Tyana are true and just as valid as
        your claims? Or are they “mere stories”? We have the accounts of the martyrdom of Peter, and one can see how
        confusing they are here: Again, we have competing tombs,
        early church fathers not mentioning details but details added long after the supposed event, Christians accepting
        apocrypha as long as it’s convenient (but ignoring it when it’s not), etc. It’s very much the same with Paul:
        We have stories that are repeated
        but again have no evidence. ”

        >Stories are still stories, like Abe Lincoln. No evidence.

        “And yep, if Stephen and James existed, they probably did die. Humans do that. Again, deaths of believers does
        nothing to support the claims that the gods of those beliefs are real. ”

        >I never did, stupid. It shows how early Christians were persecuted, so profiting off of making that up would be silly.

        “People get death threats. Even the actor of Breaking Bad gets them. This does not mean that they benefit. Paul
        recommended that pastors be paid. He did not take the money from his “churches” but you wish to say he took
        money from wealthy patrons. He supposedly worked at a tent maker. He gained esteem and influence over
        Christians. I can postulate that if Paul remained a Pharisee, he would have been one of many, not in power over a
        new religion. As a tent maker, he would have been a craftsman and this seems to be a middle-class position. And
        how does Josephus “note” that Paul would have been extremely influential as a Pharisee? Influential as Josephus?
        He appears to have been a historian but “influential”? ”

        >Uh, no Josephus notes that Pharisees were the most influential over the people.

        “You have claimed that writing materials were too expensive for early Christians to bother writing down anything
        about their messiah. And now you wish to claim that Paul had a wealthy patron. Unfortunately, we have nothing
        showing that Paul got any money at all from this person, and it would also beg the question that there were wealthy
        people who benefited from JC and who did various things like having a dinner in JC’s honor, Mary having
        extremely expensive perfume to pour on JC’s feet, etc. We have a grateful centurion. And again, we have JC
        summoning money when it is supposedly needed. Now, if one accepts that JC is preaching and is sure that heaven
        will come so soon that no one needs to remember his words, then one can accept that JC didn’t think it worth
        writing things down. That would also show that JC was quite wrong. ”

        >The perfume wouldn’t be enough to make enough money. You appear to like links now, so here- tektonics(dot)org/gk/jeswrite.html For one thing, Paul probably changed his name from Saul because of Sergius Paulus. That’s a sign of a patron. Another is that because Paul gave Sergius Paulus the gospel. Sergius would feel he “owed” Paul one. Paul’s tentmaking doesn’t negate this, just like a second job doesn’t mean someone doesn’t have a first job.

        “No, it doesn’t say that.”

        >Are you stupid? “We” includes yourself.

        “And its’ so cute to refuse to look a link that shows that Christians think Jesus and Paul disagree. You
        wanted evidence, dear and the link was evidence because you would not accept me just giving quotes. I
        know you love me so much that you can’t resist repeating my stellar words, but in this case, claiming
        that giving a link is easy is false since giving a link is necessary.
        CARM says that verses magically don’t contradict. And I say “magically” since they make baseless
        assumptions to have such things not contradict. I need to invent nothing new and only cite the verses to
        show that they contradict. I do not need to claim that the book “really” means something that it does
        not say”

        >And its’ so cute to refuse to look a link that shows that Christians think Jesus and Paul agree. You
        wanted evidence, dear and the link was evidence because you would not accept me just giving quotes. I
        know you love me so much that you can’t resist repeating my stellar words, but in this case, claiming
        that giving a link is easy is false since giving a link is necessary.
        You say that verses magically contradict. And I say “magically” since you make baseless
        assumptions to have such things contradict. I need to invent nothing new and only cite the verses to
        show that they don’t contradict. I do not need to claim that the book “really” means something that it does
        not say.

        “And it is no surprise that you still cannot demonstrate that your version of Christianity is any more right than
        another Christians, or another theist’s for that matter. I have given you an bible approved way to show that your
        claims are true, and of course you have done your best to ignore it. You claim that “contextual study, along with all
        the other rules in any form of literature/studying documents.” Are what prove your version is the only “right” one.
        Unfortunately, all Christian the exact same things prove their versions are the only right ones. We have no magical
        being coming down and bestowing its seal of approval on any of you, from non-denominational evangelical
        Christians, to denominational evangelical Christians, to Roman Catholics, mainstream Protestants, Jehovah’s
        Witnesses, “fundy Bible Belt Christians” , Church of Latter Day Saints, Paulines, non-Paulines, etc. I have given
        you an actual argument, Potato. I have shown where your claims fail and where your claims are no better than your
        fellow Christians that you think are wrong. ”

        >Contextual study, ClubS. Really, the other sects are very small and have bad arguments.

        “It’s hilarious to watch you so desperately try to redefine the word “near”. In your words, “There will be a point, so
        anywhere is really “near”. Alas, no, it isn’t. By your claims, a thousand years ago is no different than 1 second ago.”

        >Uh, no, you’re just stupid. I never said they were the same distance.

        “Even JC has that near doesn’t mean “anywhere” Matthew 24: 33 Even so, when you see all these things, you
        know that it is near, right at the door.”. Thank you for yet another excellent example of how a TrueChristian
        will make his own holy book meaningless with this attempts to redefine words to excuse his god’s inaction and
        evident non-existence. Paul is not saying that the return is “always approaching”. Please do show what words say
        this that you claim. I would like to see the exact phrase that you think says “always approaching”. You also claim
        that JC says not to follow anyone who claims to be the Christ. That is not quite true. He says not to follow anyone
        who says that they know JC has returned, this is also in Matthew 24. Thus, it being Paul saying that Jesus appeared to him in the wilderness, and that JC will be back so soon that Paul knows it without seeing the signs that JC
        predicted (stars falling etc), Paul is a very nice fit for those JC is warning about.”

        >I was debating a non-Pauline a while ago. He brought these things up. The “near” part is warning about false Christs. Re the wilderness, I’ll have to dig up what I said earlier.

        “And poor Tater, I do love how your protestations about length increase just in time with my points showing you
        wrong. I have read JC’s words in context and again, you present a false context to support your claims. Paul claims
        to be everyone’s father in Jesus, and JC says call no one father on earth. No exceptions for anyone.”

        >If you take it as an absolute, wooden free reading, sure.

        “The context of
        the verse is in the chapter that has that Pharisees love to be called teacher, love to show off how much they know,
        love to claim that they and only they know the right answer. JC goes onto say that no one should be considered
        better than anyone else, and that there is only one being to be called father, and that is God. That Paul doesn’t
        evidently know this is interesting. The term “father” certainly doesn’t seem to only be a phrase to be applied to
        “eminent teachers and founders of schools”. That might apply to “rabbi” but we see that no one is to be called
        “father”, except God. And that’s exactly what the CARM article on this said, that rabbi was the phrase, not “father”,
        that your quote from here was concerned about. from The Pulpit Commentary, Vol. 2, page 397
        Indeed, the CARM article does say that no one should be called father out of “ecclesiastical superiority.” And that is what you
        argue that Paul is doing, claiming that he was more important than the followers, a father to his children, superior
        to inferior. ”

        >Uh, the Pharisees put themselves essentially higher than God. They made their own rules. Paul gave credit to God. Nice try.

        “You say that “legalism” is trying to earn salvation through works. Well, JC had no problem with that (see
        goats/sheep). You add that doing good works for “selfish glory” is anathema. Yep, JC says that howling from the
        street corners about how great you are is a bad thing. Funny how few Christians keep silent. We have JC saying
        that those who do mercy get mercy. Paul says that doing something will not get you anything, it is all dependent on
        God’s “grace” aka whim. Paul doesn’t only combat “legalism” he says his supposed “savior” is wrong because he
        says that the merciful won’t get mercy because of what they have done. If they get anything it is entirely because of
        God’s whim. It’s always good to know that your supposed magical holy book has “possibilities” in what it might mean. There is
        no logic in Paul that says that the merciful must get mercy. JC says that. Paul says that it matters nothing what you
        do here on what this god will do.” ”

        >So, what happens if they are talking about the same person?

        “I’m sorry, potato, that you don’t want to have to address the topics you have brought up. Those are indeed the topics
        at hand. If your claims fail and you are again shown to be ignorant and telling falsehoods, then I will take great
        pleasure in showing that. Whining that we are “off topic” any time you get demonstrated as a failure doesn’t work.”

        >Yawn. You see, bringing up irrelevant topics merely shows how weak your arguments are and the fact they can’t stand on their own.

        “If you don’t like it, you are more than free to go away. Christians cannot agree on what “really” saves them and that
        is a problem. We have Christians that believe in grace only, that god has already picked those who will believe, we
        have Christians who believe that people must come to accept JC/God by free will. Which is it? There is no free will
        if you are guaranteed to do something by the power of something else. We have Christians who believe that anyone
        who does good works will be saved. And we have Christians who believe in combinations of all of this nonsense.
        It’s so funny to see you try to claim that there is no contradiction here, that “1) God chose people to believe and 2)
        the people believe it.” Alas, you ignore those Christians who don’t’ agree with poor ol’ tater and that shows your
        dishonesty again. ”

        >Funny, how you’re stupid. There is also compatibilism free will, which fixes your silly complaints.

        “As for your claims that Matthew says that JC supposedly “makes it clear” that the salvation of the sheep is “not
        necessarily just based on their works” (always good to see “not necessarily” claimed by a TrueChristian who is sure
        his version of the bible is the only right one and obvious has no idea). Well, let’s look at Matthew 25 again. The
        verse you *partially* quote says this in its entirety: And it’s not hard to see why you again tried to lie about what it says. It says that the
        kingdom has prepared since the creation of the world, not that they were to inherit from the creation of
        the world. See those commas, that’s what makes the difference. Now, if you want to claim that bible
        interpreters are wrong in how they interpreted this, that’s fine, and again we see that the bible is
        nothing more than human interpretation and writing and the TrueChristians again don’t agree. ”

        >Yawn. “prepared for you since the creation of the world.” Moreover, again, what happens if they are referring to the same person as John 14:15?

        “James is indeed talking about dead faith in those verses and he is also saying that faith is nothing impressive since
        even demons believe. Again, we have Paul claiming that belief comes from being chosen to have it even before one
        is born. And this makes the claims of Christians of free will and how important that is to their god to be
        contradictory to your claims. Which should I believe? Ready for that altar contest now? The claims of the fruit of
        the spirit fail since we know that people of any belief and no belief at all do good decent things. To claim that the
        desire to do good things come only from a magical being makes good acts worthless and that is not what JC says.
        So, again Paul and JC disagree. It’s nice to see you repeat nonsense “God chooses who “believes” and thus they
        believe. It’s awefully simple.” And yes, it is awfully simple. It is also not a consistent message from the bible or
        from Christians. Again, we have no reason to believe such imperfect nonsense claimed to come from a perfect
        being.”

        >Yawn. From your whining, and vulgar mouth, I wouldn’t say you do anything decent but lie.

        “Potato, saying “no you really haven’t” and then proceeding to not show this is amusing, but it just you saying “nuhuh”. I’ve heard better arguments on a playground. We have you using another classic TrueChristian claim, that you
        can pick and choose what JC really meant by claiming that what inconvenient thing he said was only addressed to a
        specific audience “Christ was addressing the Apostles for that specific moment”. If this is the case, then anyone can
        decide that anything doesn’t mean “them”. Christians can decide that homosexuality is fine for them since the only
        people “really addressed” were the Israelites and the Romans. They can ignore the instructions to treat everyone as
        an equal since that wasn’t addressed directly to *them*.”

        >Yawn. Be super literal. Then technically, no one is to preach to Gentiles and this only applies to 12 people.

        “So, Potato, you claim that you can show I’m lying. Okay, do so. I’m waiting. You have not shown that the Bible
        claims that only part of the Egyptian army was destroyed. But, go ahead, show where I was lying. I’ll be most
        happy to witness more false witnessing on your part, you wonderful TrueChristian. And aw, you claimed you could
        show I was a hypocrite and all we have from you is “you yourself is the evidence.” Not one instance can you show
        and again, we see that you are unable to back up your false claims. ”

        >Already did.

        “You claim that “the evidence” puts Paul’s claims on a much higher level. And of course you can’t show this
        evidence at all. Surprise! ”

        >Yawn. Nick could tell you. Of course, you ran away back to your blog.

        “You have claimed that “the reality is that everyone is exclusive”. I responded that we know that everyone is not
        exclusive since many people do indeed hold the same beliefs. And you know what we get to see from you now?
        Not a refutation that what I said is true and shows you to be wrong again, no we get “which is not the point”. The
        topic is indeed how different beliefs exclude each other, aka how Christians don’t agree on very important parts of
        their own religion. However, the fact is that they do agree on some things, and thus everyone is not entirely
        exclusive. If there is one supposed magical truth, then we should indeed have an entirely agreed upon religion, and
        we don’t.”

        >And their beliefs exclude other. Rather simple, ClubS.

        “You are right, many Buddhists reject the idea of a deity. Even some Christians do when they try to claim that their
        god is some vague idea of “love”. They try to remove all attributes that get their religion in trouble when they are
        cited. And again, there is no difference between how I don’t believe a god exists and how they don’t believe a god
        exists. Again, Tater, show me how my belief that god doesn’t exist is different than my belief that Santa Claus
        doesn’t exist. Show me how your belief that Tezcatlipoca doesn’t exist is different than my belief that Tezcatlipoca
        doesn’t exist. Show me how our disbelief is different.”

        >LOL. Just, LOL. As Zande notes, its comedy gold.

        “Tater, you really do need a dictionary. Because in a dictionary you can find various definitions, and as we know
        definitions can change with context. Atheism is indeed the doctrine or belief that there is no God. It is also the
        doctrine or belief that there are no gods. Belief is “a state or habit of mind in which trust or confidence is
        placed in some person or thing” and is also defined as “conviction of the truth of some statement or the
        reality of some being or phenomenon especially when based on examination of evidence”. In my context,
        the second definition is the more accurate.
        A doctrine is a principle or position or the body of principles in a branch of knowledge or system of belief.
        These principles are built on evidence and/or faith that something unseen is true, yes? Now, faith’s
        definition does include this lack of a need for evidence. We have this “belief and trust in and loyalty to
        God (2) : belief in the traditional doctrines of a religion b (1) : firm belief in something for which there is
        no proof (2) : complete trust 3: something that is believed especially with strong conviction; especially : a
        system of religious beliefs “ We also have this in the bible, remember? “Now faith is confidence in what
        we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.”
        Now, I am an atheist because I see no evidence for any gods. I see evidence for the theories that explain
        the universe without needing a god. Thus my belief is based on evidence and earned trust by repeatable experiments, etc . I do not have “confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what
        we do not see”. I don’t even have “complete trust” since I know that we may discover something new.
        Theists, especially TrueChristians, dearly want to pretend that atheism and theism are equal. They are
        not since you cannot provide evidence for your claims, any evidence that is not the same as the
        evidence for gods that you *don’t* believe in. And dear, theism isn’t a lack of belief in atheism. Theism
        is a belief in God, not a lack of belief in atheists. Because if that’s all theism is, then it’s even more
        ridiculous than usual, since you know that atheists exist. Or do you believe I vanish when you cover
        eyes? Peekaboo!”

        >My goodness, more whining. However, you have also admitted that atheism is a belief. Good.

        “It’s also so sweet of you to whine about tooth fairies to avoid the point I’m making. So, dear tater, tell
        me you believe in fairies, reptiloids, without evidence. Tell me you believe in Wicca’s Goddess without
        evidence. Because if you don’t believe in these beings, then you must have a reason? What reason is
        that, Potato? That there is no evidence for them? Shucks, that’s why I don’t believe in your god, tooth
        fairies, reptiloids, etc. I’m not agnostic about such things because the evidence against such nonsense is
        overwhelming. And no, asking for corporeal evidence is not “dishonest” in the least, unless you want to
        claim that me asking for corporeal evidence for the tooth fairy, Santa Claus, etc is “dishonest”. You want
        to pretend it is since you have no evidence at all, much less the corporeal evidence that you should have
        for the magical events in your bible. Santa Claus isn’t corporeal, because how else does he get down
        chimneys in apartments? The tooth fairy isn’t corporeal since how does she get into locked homes?
        Golly, Paste Pot Pete, they only have corporeal manifestations (Christians use this excuse so why not
        here?) It would be intellectually dishonest to not hold your claims to the same standard that you hold
        other”

        >Wow. Real philosophical critique right here. Show me mathmetical evidence that Arzachel existed.

        “I’ve already seen Christian views and arguments; TWeb has nothing new. I’ve seen them claim each
        other is wrong, and thus I have no reason to think that any of you, Christians, Jews, Muslims, Wicca, etc,
        are right and that you have evidence. As I have said, all of your “evidence” is no more than the same
        “evidence” claimed by the other religions. I’ve asked you to point out one great and wonderful
        argument from your master Nick and you have yet to do so. My guess is that you are afraid. Afraid
        you’ll pick one more that fails so you insist that I go to TWeb and look there for something that might
        work but you don’t have to take responsibility.”

        >Yawn. You’re arguments are preschool level compared to the stuff on TWeb. Nick has already refuted you twice.

        “I do love that you think Russell’s Teapot is a “ridiculously childish false analogy”. But of course you can’t
        actually address my point. God is a physical object if it can interact with physical objects. Can it, Potato
        or is your bible lying again? One of the funniest claims I’ve seen by TrueChristians is that there is a soul
        but it somehow interacts with the brain like some kind of receiver set. Now, for it to interact with the
        brain, then it must have physical properties. I can say I have a god in my basement. You can’t prove me
        wrong, but I bet you don’t believe me. Read Carl Sagan’s “The Dragon in my garage” to see just how
        ridiculous you and your fellow TrueChristians seem: http://www.godlessgeeks.com/LINKS/Dragon.htm

        >More yawn. Hardly any Christian defines God as a physical entity. Instead, He transcends the physical universe, hwoever, He can itneract with His creation. Try again.

        “And Nick’s refuting of “googlism”? What is googlism? Ah let me guess, he’s whining about how dare
        anyone find research that shows him wrong on the internet? I am asking for one argument, not every
        argument used by a Christian since the dawn of time. Try again. An argument is one singular point. For
        instance, a single argument in my writings is that there is no reason to believe in the Christian god
        because a book claimed to be perfect is rife with mistakes. If a perfect being wants its commands
        followed to the letter, what possible process allows error to creep in? But I am glad that you do admit
        that I’ve addressed at least some of Nick’s nonsense. ”

        >More yawn. Nick refuted you twice. Google provides no depth.

        “Every TrueChristian claims that anything that they don’t agree with is “heresy”. You are heretic, Potato. So why
        should I care if you call someone else one? And it’s fun to watch you complain when I show your personal
        “interpretation” aka “exegesis” is wrong or at best no more important or true than anyone elses. Again, I’m still
        waiting for you to compete with other TrueChrisitans in showing me that your god loves you best. Who am I to
        believe when you don’t agree? I’ve asked this many times and you still can’t give an answer. We have that Paul
        claimed that JC became the Lord after the resurrection. “regarding his Son, who as to his earthly life was a
        descendant of David,
        4
        and who through the Spirit of holiness was appointed the Son of God in power
        ]
        by
        his resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord.” Aka getting his power and position *after* his
        death. We have Paul also saying (“declaring”!)saying that JC was always God and didn’t need to be declared the
        “lord” after all (Philippians 2). We have the author of Luke saying that JC was the “Word”, which also seems to be
        god, but before the resurrection, indeed before time itself. We have “kenosis” where JC is divine, but became fully
        human, but then became divine again. And Christians disagree about that too: h
        Who should I believe so I am not damned? ”

        >Yawn. Jesus never stopped being God. And repeating yourself doesn’t help either. He was declared (or affirmed) as God. The resurrection attested to His divinity. You failed again.

        “And again, claims of “contextual study” show you are “right”. But as I have noted, every Christian claims this.
        Why are their contextual studies not as “right” as yours? And ah, the claim “not really”, but no evidence against
        that my claim that any religion is the same as yours. Just a “not really”. What masterful refutation, what wonderous
        rhetoric. Not really. ”

        >What are their arguments for their exegesis?

        “Oooh, you made me admit I was wrong. No, dear, I admitted I was wrong since I was wrong. My friends and I may
        have contradicted each other. Know what? We don’t claim we’re guided by the divine. We can be wrong and there
        is no shame in that. I have shown that Christians, though they clam divine guidance and interference, do not agree
        with what they claim is the magical “truth”. ”

        >Yawn.

        “You went “into this yet”, this being evidence for the magical Jesus, when you tried your hardest to claim that
        Tacitus, Suetonius, etc were evidence of a magical Jesus. One of the first posts under the relevant topic. I guess you
        are “no one”, a old joke when Odysseus used it. Nope, not coming to TWeb and I have no request from Nick to do
        so at all. I’ve had lots of demands from you though. So maybe you indeed are Nick. Nick wrote a supposed
        refutation of a post of mine and never told me about it. I had to be told by others. Then Nick was on TWeb and
        again never told me, I only had the demands of others to tell me that he was so hot to trot. I went there to say he was
        welcome on my blog. And again, poor Nick didn’t show again. Just his minion, Paste Pot Pet”

        >Uh, no, I’m not Nick. You saw his post anyway. Nice evasion. According to Zande, “Evasive, run away, run away!”I do enjoy when a Christian lies that there is no evidence that I exist.

        “If you had any investigative ability at all,
        you’d know who I am, much more than a blog full of writings. Your ignorance doesn’t mean I don’t exist. But the
        argument is amusing since you must claim that evidence doesn’t show I exist since you cannot provide evidence that
        your magical Jesus did. Suddenly evidence becomes unimportant when you can’t produce it. As I said, I know you
        exist, and I have evidence of it. I have an IP address that can tell me much about you, Potato. I have your writings.
        I know that you are likely on TWeb. Unfortuantely, you aren’t simply a figment of my imagination. Now, with
        these protestations that you have no evidence that I exist, we see the beginning of the end of the Christian apologist
        when we start heading into solipsism. The TrueChristian must declare that no thing can have evidence for its
        existence, so why that means that their god must exist since they have no evidence for it either! Paul was claimed to
        be magical (healing hankerchiefs and what not). Paul as described by the bible did not exist. As I have said,
        someone who thought he was an official apostle, he just met an invisible Jesus! Could have easily existed. A man
        who really did meet invisible Jesus? No.”

        >I still don’t have any evidence that you exist.

        And Nick already answered your request of evidence for the creed.

      • ah, wonderful. It’s great that you now admit that I’m right about Isaiah and that it speaks of the messiah’s appearance before any supposed injury. The reason it matters, dear Tater, is that the claims of Christians that their JC is the figure in Isaiah are shown to be wrong. Your claims that the unpleasant looks of the person in Isaiah were from the injuries described in the passion are wrong and the claim of any magical images of JC are wrong.

        Nice that we’re still heading for solipsism.

      • “And dear, theism isn’t a lack of belief in atheism. Theism is a belief in God, not a lack of belief in atheists. Because if that’s all theism is, then it’s even more ridiculous than usual, since you know that atheists exist. Or do you believe I vanish when you cover eyes? Peekaboo!”

        >ROFL. You still can’t read? Theism is the lack of belief in atheism, not atheists. Are you asserting atheism = atheist? Well, then you have just admitted you are a mere belief and don’t exist! Poof! Refuted yourself again!

      • Bwaahahhaa. oh my, theism is not the lack of belief in atheism or atheists. It’s the belief in god/gods. Atheism is what makes an atheist an atheist. Sorry, atheism is supported by evidence. Try again, tater. I do love seeing you implode.

      • “Please do show that JC is addressing those who claim to be the messiah. I do need the sentences that say exactly that.”

        >Because He is…

        Here is what He said- “For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am he,’ and, ‘The time is near.’ Do not follow them.”

        As John Gills notes, “for many shall come in my name; making use of his name, taking it to them; not that they would pretend they were sent by him, but that they were he himself: ” Paul clearly did not claim to be the Messiah.

        Whereas in Romans, Paul is reminding his hearers of the perfection of our salvation when we pass into glory. No error here.

        “There is nothing that says only those leading the charge will be destroyed. Please show the sentence that says that too.”

        >Because that’s how battles work. Also, verse 28: “that had followed the Israelites into the sea.”

        “You claimed that atheism is “faith”, not just a belief. Nice to see you backpedal again.”

        >Faith and belief are synonyms. thesaurus.com/browse/faith

        You failed again.

        “God is not defined as only a supernatural nonphysical entity in the Christian worldview. He might be in your personal version but that is not all Christianity. We have this entity interacting with the physical world. We have this entity being under the influence of time. You wish to claim that this being is transcendent, while also being physical. Hilarious.”

        >Alvin Plantinga has more- intelligentfaith315.com/latestposts/telligentfaith315.com/2011/11/series-closer-to-truth-how-can.html

        ROFL. You lied. Again. You claimed “Why must I show you wrong? Because allowing someone like you to lie to other is against my morals.” However, when you confronted Nick on apotheosis, you ran away. Again.

        Why is Isaiah a problem? Assuming His looks do not refer to the crucifixion, where is the problem?

        Theism IS the lack of belief in atheism. Atheism is the belief there is no God. I lack that. Therefore, theism is the lack of belief in atheism. Nice try though.

      • Unfortunately, with your lack of intelligence and all, I doubt you’ll get my hint in my last post.

        We have in Matthew 10 giving the Apostles these specific instructions to this journey. Why? We have in verse 5- “These twelve Jesus sent out with the following instructions:”. Further, He says “Do not go among the Gentiles or enter any town of the Samaritans. Go rather to the lost sheep of Israel”. This shows that it is indeed this SPECIFIC moment, as opposed to later commands to preach to the world (Matthew 24:14). Now, you may naturally whine and complain and go “umm…. derp…. contradiction!”. Sadly, that doesn’t work out for you. A contradiction would exclude each other and cannot happen together. It’s not problem to say that Jesus commanded this for this scenario and something else for later. No contradiction.

        What a surprise, ClubS! You contradict yourself. Again!

        “He says not to follow anyone who says that they know JC has returned, this is also in Matthew 24. Thus, it being Paul saying that Jesus appeared to him in the wilderness, and that JC will be back so soon that Paul knows it without seeing the signs that JC predicted (stars falling etc), Paul is a very nice fit for those JC is warning about.”

        >Here, you admit that Jesus is talking about the end times (Him returning). One small problem- Paul never claimed that Jesus has returned! Yes, he claims to see Jesus, but not the end times. Nor does Paul even say to “go out” into the wilderness. Paul never claimed that the end times have happened yet! Your statement even contradicts your earlier statement. You claim that Paul says that the end times are at hand in Romans 13. This would mean that the end times have not happened yet!

        So, which empty claim will you revoke and which empty claim with you go with?

        Furthermore, let’s look at the other verses you claim contradict,

        Matthew 23:9 “And do not call anyone on earth ‘father,’ for you have one Father, and he is in heaven.”
        We see from the context that Jesus is rebuking the religious hypocrites (verse 4). He implies that they are not worthy of the titles.
        On the otherhand, Paul never really asked anyone to necessarily call him father; and the times where he says he is the father, you should note two things.

        1) Gives credit to Christ (God)
        2) Usually uses the term “son” or “bring forth” (for the Gospel); not “father” in the Greek.

        So, if you remained consistent in your flawed logic and kept going with the super-literal, context-free route, the accusation fails anyway.

      • Grand! I am so glad that make false claims again, Potato. Claiming someone has a lack of intelligence is quite a lie when there is no lack of intelligence, only a lack of agreement with and demonstration of your failed claims. Please do keep being a great example of a TrueChristian, Potato.

        Paul claimed to be the father of everyone that followed him. Paul declared this to be true. It’s great to see you claim that he “never really asked anyone to necessarily call him father”. That is a lovely phrase, one that attempts to deny reality, by saying that Paul “really” didn’t mean what he said word for word. That’s the usual excuses that Potato gives to claim that his interpretation is the only “right’ one, that one should ignore what was said and make assumption after assumption. Your supposed messiah never gave any exceptions to calling anyone else father or claiming to be father. It says flatly, no one other than this god is to be considered father. There is no exception for “giving credit” or to “usually use” some term.
        And as always, it’s good to see a Christian declare that one instance is only meant for a certain circumstance when it’s convenient but in another we have a certain circumstance and the Christian claims it’s meant for all situations every time because they like those words. You want JC’s words in Matthew 10 about money to only apply to that one situation. To which I say, fine! But then everything else in this chapter must also only apply to this one instance. So, we have that *only* in this situation can one apply the command “14 If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, leave that home or town and shake the dust off your feet.” That means that every pastor who uses this in a sermon to apply to other situations is wrong because he’s not considering the context per Potato. Anytime JC mentions “anyone” in this chapter, it only means those “lost sheep of Israel” since those are the people being talked about in context; just ignore those preachers who have used such verses to mean any human being at all. Again, we see a Christian sure that his version is right and everyone else is wrong, but who has only his own magic decoder ring to show this. I did not contradict myself, Potato. I showed how JC and Paul differ. And you’ve given me exactly what I expected, more evidence that Christians disagree. But I’m sure you’ll claim that those who disagree with you aren’t real Christians. Convenient, isn’t it?

        JC claims that he’ll return. But he doesn’t do it when he claimed. Let’s go back to Matthew 10. He says “I tell you, you will not finish going through the towns of Israel before the Son of Man comes.” Didn’t happen. He says he’ll return within the generation. Failed at that too. Paul claimed that he saw JC on the road to Damascus. He claims that JC will return in the near future (love it when you claimed near didn’t mean soon, such fun!). I do enjoy when you crow that Paul didn’t say go out into the wilderness. Sigh. I know that Paul didn’t literally say that, and he doesn’t need to. The author of Matthew 24 has JC giving examples of what *could* be said and also has other possible things to be said like “23 At that time if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Messiah!’ or, ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. 24 For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. “ Paul certainly seems to be saying “Look here is the messiah on the road to Damascus!”

        By your claims, any anti-christ will have to parrot Matthew 24:26 to be a “real” anti-christ and you will happily believe anyone who says something like “Jesus spoke to me in my head and told me this”, “Jesus appeared to me in Central Park.” or “Jesus appeared to me invisibly in the middle of nowhere on a road and said that I was the only person who really understood him and could speak for him.” And no potato, I did not again contradict myself. Paul says “11 And do this, understanding the present time: The hour has already come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. 12 The night is nearly over; the day is almost here” in Romans 13. This is Paul claiming to know that the return of JC is imminent, the “end times” which are described in Matthew 24, yes? However, we’re missing the signs that supposedly will show that the return of JC is imminent, the falling stars (impossible), etc. We have two versions of what is to happen, either lots of heavenly indicators per JC, or we have none per Paul.

        In Matthew 23, JC is indeed rebuking the religious hypocrites in verse 4. He says that the religious teachers love the respect and importance they get by being rabbis and being called rabbi. He says that they do not practice what they preach, a classical definition for hypocrite. JC then goes onto tell his apostles that in his religion there are no teachers or instructors, but him and all believers in him are equals. He also says that no one should be called father, since they have only one true father, this god.

        We’ve gone back and forth about what words mean what. And in these verses the word “call” is used repeatedly. We have nothing to say that “call” means one thing on one instance and not the same thing in the very next sentence. I agree, it makes no sense for this character to say “don’t call anyone else father” when other stories have it doing so. And that again shows that these stories are contradictory, confusing and anything but divinely inspired.

        I am not going the “super-literal” and “context-free” route. I am showing that Christians can’t agree on what is literal and what is metaphor, that they pick and choose when they are concerned with context and when they are not. You have claimed that your fellow Christians who disagree with you are wrong. But I note that you Potato have no more magical powers than they, and your supposed messiah said that his true followers would be able to do what he did and more. There is no more reason to think you are the right one than to think that they are.

      • And let’s play pretend and throw away context for a bit.

        In Matthew 10:9, Jesus is telling his disciples to not take money with them because “the worker is worthy of his keep.”  So, He is saying that they should rely on the hospitality of those they preach to. They should expect to be supported.  So, Jesus isn’t telling them not to accept donations.  Quite the opposite. He’s telling them they don’t need to take money with them because they can be supported by donations from other people.
        Paul himself specifically said that he worked in each town he went to so that he wouldn’t be a burden to them (1 Thessalonians2:9).  Although he thought apostles had a right to be paid for the same reason Jesus did (“a worker is worthy of his wages”), he did not take advantage of that privilege (1 Corinthians 9:7-18).

        It backfired on you again.

      • Still can’t pick out an argument, eh? Oh well. Potato, you keep claiming “context”. Every Christian claims “context” when they want to “prove” their claims of being the only TrueChristians. And every Christian ignores it when they don’t. But in this instance I agree that you are right. Yep, Potato is right and his fellow Christians, and me, are wrong.

        We have been talking about being paid for preaching. This is not a voluntary contribution, with the preacher being just as happy and accepting if they don’t get any money or if they did. We have JC saying “freely you have received; freely give.” This sentence itself would imply that no matter what the village did, they would still preach and still work miracles. Now, reading this again and thinking about it, I’ll say you are right, JC does say demand payment for miracles and revealing the “good news”. I’m more than happy to admit that you are right, Potato. JC and Paul agree that healing and preaching and telling people the “right” way to do something requires payment. JC has that if one can’t get someone to support them in a village, then one is to leave and do nothing. This is not the claim that God will take care of the apostles like the lilies of the field; it is a shakedown, food and lodging for being healed or being taught the “right” religion. Paul gets the same thing, support me or else. The guilt trip in 1 Cor 9 is archetypical Jewish mother. “Oh I did all of this for you and I get nothing. Oh is that for me? Oh no, I couldn’t take it, because then I couldn’t complain and insist how wonderful I am. Oh, it’s for “papyrus”? Well, maybe I can take it”. I also wonder, just how does a Calvinist claim that anyone can give a voluntary offering of hospitality? If one knows one is going to be given what they want, it makes JC’s words rather silly, making it the fault of those who don’t offer hospitality since they have no choice. Not that this is the only silly claim. We also have “Truly I tell you, you will not finish going through the towns of Israel before the Son of Man comes.” JC tells his apostles to claim that the kingdom of heaven is “near”, that the apostles will still be alive when the end times come (aka the nonsense in revelation) and none of the claims about that have shown up in the last 2000 plus years.

        I am curious about one thing, since we’re in 1 Corinthians. Do the women in your church only have long hair and cover it? It is off topic but since we are talking context, perhaps you can tell me the context that you do or don’t follow with this instance of what the churches of God do.

      • Yawn.

        More nonsense from ClubS.

        Glad to see that you admit you lied. Again. Unfortunately, we again have you going much off topic. Again. Look, I know you have a short attention span, but I have one word for you- FOCUS.

        Indeed Matt 10’s instructions were given to the Apostles for that specific moment. Could some apply to other events? Yes.

        But, regardless, you contradicted yourself again. Clearly, Jesus was talking about the second coming in reference to appearing in the wilderness. Paul did not claim Jesus returned- you even claim that Paul knows when Jesus WILL return. So, again, which baseless claim will you let go?

        Silly ClubS. The Pharisees were claiming honorary titles to establish authority in a fictive kinship marriage. Those aren’t Paul’s claims.

      • how nice, claims of nonsense but no actual rebuttal of said “nonsense”. We have claims of “clearly I’m right” and that’s all. I did not admit that I lied, dear Potato. But nice lie of your own in that claim. If you do wish to claim that I admitted I lied, then please do cite my words. I’m waiting. And dear, admitting one is wrong is not admitting one lied. Again, I advise you to get a dictionary if this confuses you.

        I often see Christians insisting that certain parts of the bible are only for one circumstance/one people, but when I mention other parts that they like are also for one circumstance/one people, they are sure that those parts mean everyone and have no evidence for this except their own preference. I mentioned that Paul says that churchs of god all have to have women’s hair long and covered. He did not say “some” churches like only the Corinthians or the Romans, etc. So, what can you tell me about how the vast majority of Christian churches ignoring this part that certainly seems about all churches and not just a few? Is this picking and choosing?

        Jesus was not “clearly” talking about the second coming. Again, Potato, when you have to claim something is “clear” that is a great indicator that it is not, and is only your opinion. Jesus said not to believe those who said that Jesus was in a certain place or said certain things. He said that there would be people who were intent on deceiving Christians by such claims. He made claims that certain events would happen to show that the time when God would come to earth would be near. Paul claimed that JC was back and talked to him and only him. He also claimed that JC would return in the near future and failed to note that the events that JC predicted would precede this never happened. Again, no baseless claims, unless you want to say that what the bible says verbatim are baseless claims.

        We have Paul making claims of being a father to everyone who followed what he taught, a claim to authority over them and an honorary title since he certainly wasn’t their real father. Paul takes a fit if they dare not obey what he has said and believe what he has taught. Exactly how Pharisees claim to have authority, to say that some divine being has given them the right to demand that everyone believe their version and obey their pronouncements. Now, Potato, tell me about this “fictive kinship marriage”. I see that Wikipedia has a decent article about it: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fictive_kinship and it does seem to fit what Paul, early Christians and the Pharisees were doing. Paul claims to be “father” of everyone who follows his version of Christianity. Early Christians call each other brother/sister. Pharisees claim to be the teacher/authority figures of the tribe. Please demonstrate how Paul is not participating in a fictive kinship relationship.

      • Yawn.

        More off topic nonsense, ClubS? Focus.

        Rofl. More sad, pitiful whines from you.

        In the entire chapter, what is Jesus speaking of? The end times. Now, did Paul claim that the world ended? No. Did He claim Jesus returned? No. Jesus appeared to Him, but clearly, Paul did not claim the world ended. This is specifically supported by your previous accusations that Paul says the end times are at hand.

        Silly, silly ClubS. Is Paul claiming ultimate authority? No. Paul is not doing that. Note his statement “in Christ”. We should not ascribe ultimate authority to any human, but to God alone. Paul is merely saying that he gave (Timothy, for example, the Gospel). In essence, it is not ultimate authority. I’ll expand in another post.

      • Yes, Potato, Paul claimed that JC returned to speak to him. It’s amusingly like how your fellow Chrisitans have claimed that JC really did return when they predicted but he did so invisibly.

        Paul is claiming ultimate authority on earth as “father”. Yes, Potato, Paul does say “in Christ” and does exactly as JC says not to do, claim to be “father” of everyone who believes as he teaches. Again, against what JC supposedly said. Paul claimed that he knows that the world will end imminently and he does not cite the supposed events that JC said have to happen before anyone will know the events in revelation will start.

        It’s so fun to watch you make false claims again. I have not said that Paul said the world ended. I have said he claims to know when the world will end.

        I am very sorry that you are unable to answer my questions. However, it’s no surprise. TrueChristians are always unwilling to admit that they pick and choose as badly as every other TrueChristian that they claim is wrong.

      • The previous post was quite unclear, and you will most likely misunderstand.

        I’ll make another post later.

      • You contradict your friend Ron, who insists that Paul saw only a vision of Jesus (hence, it would not be the return). You seem to claim that Paul insists that he knows that the times are at hand in Romans 13, which would mean it hasn’t happened yet and Christ hasn’t returned. We have Jesus saying “if anyone tells you, ‘There he is, out in the wilderness,’ do not go out”, which is in context of His return (next verse). We don’t have Paul telling anyone Jesus has returned, nor to necessarily check it out, nor do we have Paul saying Jesus is still there (in the wilderness). Here, wilderness (erémos) would more refer to a state of solitude (an unpopulated place); not necessarily in the actual wilderness. However, yes, a wilderness might closely apply to this. Still though, Paul was not alone when Christ appeared to Him (and no, Paul did not write Acts). Thus, this accusation again fails.

        Obviously, we must take “father” in a proper context. Here, Jesus is saying that God is the Father- the ultimate authority. We can see throughout the chapter (and other places) that the Pharisees loved the praises of men (John 12:43, Matthew 23:5,etc.), and essentially put themselves on top by giving their own rules (Matthew 23:4, Mark 7:13, etc.). On the other hand, we can see Paul not commanding anyone to call him father; he refers to himself as a servant (Romans 1:1) as opposed to the Pharisees who exalt themselves (Matthew 23:12). He refers to God as the one he serves. No claims of ultimate authority from Paul. Sorry.

        Details come later.

      • Oh yes, those details to come later. We’ve heard that from you before, Potato and you often just try to forget that you promised something that you can’t produce.

        Poor Potato. I don’t care if you think I’ve contradicted someone else. It’s all about a story that never happened. I *am* claiming, that in these silly stories, Paul does insist that he knows that the supposed end times are at hand. He has also claimed that he has seen Jesus in the wilderness, on the road to Damascus. Just like JC supposedly claimed that people would do. We have one imaginary character, Paul, saying that they saw another imaginary character, Jesus, and that this imaginary character said his version of religious delusion, Pauline Chrisitanity, was the right one.

        Now, we have you declaring that every interpreter of the greek is wrong and Tater is right! So, if eremos supposed “really means” a state of solitude, why didn’t anyone use those words? “There he is, out in the state of solitude” works fine they had words to do it. And I do love watching you say now, that “an unpopulated place” is now not “really” a wilderness. Per Potato, the divine book is again wrong, its god can’t fix it, and now it really didn’t mean an “actual” wilderness. Again, Tater, you show how Christians have no idea what their book “really” means. You continually change it, to excuse its ridiculousness. For all of the claims of an omnipotent, omniscient god, this poor thing can’t get what it means across any better than two year olds using a Ouija board.

        You’re right, Paul, didn’t write Acts. We have no idea who really did other than maybe it was the same person that wrong the Gospel of Luke. We have various versions of what supposedly happened on the road to Damascus within Acts itself. Supposedly Paul wasn’t alone. In Acts 22, we have Paul claiming that a bright light flashed about him, blinding him and he heard voices. He says that his companions saw the light, weren’t blinded and heard the voice but didn’t understand. He is told to go to Damascus and get instructions on his mission. He then is healed of his blindness, gets instructions from Anaias, sees “the Lord”, and this “lord” says leave Jerusalem immediately and preach to the Gentiles. Paul ignores this and finally is taken from there by Romans to Caearea since he was a Roman citizen. He’s imprisoned there for years supposedly. Then in Acts 26, we have the story of Damascus repeated, with some alteration. Paul says that both he and his companions see the light and fall to the ground. He hears the voice, which says that this is the Lord and he has appeared for Paul to repeat about what he has seen and will see of JC. In the other version, Anaias says this stuff. Paul also doesn’t mention being blinded and healed.

        And in Acts 9, we have one more version. We have Paul seeing the flash of light and falling. He hears the voice and it repeats pretty much what is in Act 22. Paul’s companions hear the voice but do not see the flash of light or anyone who is speaking. Paul is blind. And Anaias heals him and gives him instructions. It also says that believers got Paul to Caesarea and then to Tarsus, when Acts 26 says Romans did this because he was a citizen and sent him on to Rome.

        Potato, I don’t believe in any of this nonsense. But I do enjoy showing how it’s anything but magical writings and that the religion based on it is simply ridiculous. I address your nonsense and bring more in. You don’t like it? Too bad. You want to claim wilderness means one thing in one instance and another when it’s inconvenient to have the same definition for your argument. I’m more than happy to show that your argument is silly. One can be in the wilderness and with people. One can be in solitude in a city.

        And ah, the word “obviously” again and with the additional bonus of “proper context” e.g. what the TrueChristian wants to make his claims seem more possible. The only “proper” context will be on that agrees with you, no matter what, and that’s worth a chuckle. Jesus is saying don’t call anyone but God “father”. No if ands or buts. No exceptions given at all. You are right, the character JC says that Pharisees love their power and being called Rabbi. So he says not to call yourself rabbi, father or teacher, since he’s the only rabbi/teacher, and this god is the only one to be called father. Paul calls himself father. Why yes, he does say servant, but that does not negate the fact he called himself father. I’ll ask do you really think that if he calls himself father, no one else did? Well, we’ll never know, but I find it plausible that if someone claims to be someone’s father, he’s looking for acknowledgement.

        He also calls himself teacher, 2 Tim 1. Now, I think it can be postulated that JC was not expecting needing a fill-in like Paul, but was sure that he would be back with the return of the kingdom of God very quickly after he ascended (depending on the story). I think this could be why he says no one else it to be considered teacher or instructor since he expected to be back before the generation he was speaking to would be dead. But he wasn’t. The belief in such nonsense could then slowly morph to a more vague “real soon now”, and they would have to ignore the injunction about having teachers to establish a hierarchy.

        “8 “But you are not to be called ‘Rabbi,’ for you have one Teacher, and you are all brothers. 9 And do not call anyone on earth ‘father,’ for you have one Father, and he is in heaven. 10 Nor are you to be called instructors, for you have one Instructor, the Messiah. 11 The greatest among you will be your servant. 12 For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”

        Keep trying to move the goalposts, tater. Make sure to lift with your knees.

      • Yawn. More nonsense.

        “Yes, Potato, Paul claimed that JC returned to speak to him. It’s amusingly like how your fellow Chrisitans have claimed that JC really did return when they predicted but he did so invisibly.”

        >Uh, no. He didn’t really bodily return. Ron insists that. You contradict your friends again?

        “Paul is claiming ultimate authority on earth as “father”. Yes, Potato, Paul does say “in Christ” and does exactly as JC says not to do, claim to be “father” of everyone who believes as he teaches. Again, against what JC supposedly said.”

        >Uh, no. We have the Pharisees working to serve God but to serve themselves. As noted before, they desired the praise of others and be looked upon with glory for themselves (verses 5-7). Yet they heaped impossible standards upon the people (Verses 1-4).  Therefore, when Jesus comes to verse 9 he states that that type of person should not be your father, instead you have but one Father in Heaven.  Paul, in 1 Corinthians makes a statement about being their father in the gospel.  This is not a contradiction of Jesus’ words, for he is simply using an analogy.  Paul first shared the gospel with them and because of that they were saved, therefore, he is like a parent who begets a son. He is in no way attempting to supersede God in their lives, in fact he points them directly at Christ (Verse 17).  

        “Paul claimed that he knows that the world will end imminently and he does not cite the supposed events that JC said have to happen before anyone will know the events in revelation will start.It’s so fun to watch you make false claims again. I have not said that Paul said the world ended. I have said he claims to know when the world will end.I am very sorry that you are unable to answer my questions. However, it’s no surprise. TrueChristians are always unwilling to admit that they pick and choose as badly as every other TrueChristian that they claim is wrong.”

        >Rofl. Still can’t read, ClubS? I never said you claimed Paul said the world ended. Thats my point. If Paul claims the end hasnt happened, Matthew 24 doesnt apply.

      • I can read quite well, Potato. You said this “Now, did Paul claim that the world ended? No. Did He claim Jesus returned? No. Jesus appeared to Him, but clearly, Paul did not claim the world ended. This is specifically supported by your previous accusations that Paul says the end times are at hand.” This is a nice little clip, showing that you wish to try to claim that I said Paul said the world has ended by pretending you are answering that claim from me. I did not claim such a thing, this is essentially a strawman argument on your part, making up something that no one mentioned so that you may attack it.

        In the various versions of the story of what supposedly happened on the road to Damascus, we have no indication of what happened. We have no idea if it was a vision or JC appearing to only Paul or being invisible or being just a disembodied voice. In my experience, most Christians assume it is a vision. However, the only direct vision involved in this is in Acts 9 where Anaias has a vision about Paul’s arrival. I have gone with the usual Christian claim, but I think that Ron’s version is just as well supported. You may tell us why you don’t think so.

        I do enjoy you pointing out how the Pharisees put impossible standards on to the people, per JC. Now, who put those laws into place and who brooked no breaking of them? Why yes, it was God! You claim that JC was “really” saying that “that type of person should not be considered your father”. That is an assumption on your part since there is nothing that indicates this at all. We have him stating succinctly “8 “But you are not to be called ‘Rabbi,’ for you have one Teacher, and you are all brothers. 9 And do not call anyone on earth ‘father,’ for you have one Father, and he is in heaven. 10 Nor are you to be called instructors, for you have one Instructor, the Messiah. 11 The greatest among you will be your servant. 12 For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”

        I know that many Christians will claim that JC mentioned honoring one’s father and mother and *surely* he can’t mean that only God should be called “father”. but this supposed messiah of yours says to leave one’s father and mother and to leave them unburied to follow him. Is this “honoring” one’s father and mother? It is no surprise that there are more contradictory messages in this compilation.

      • Yawn.

        Keep going ClubS! This is comedy gold! Unfortunately, Jesus is referring to His second coming, and expresses not to believe claims that He returns to people alone. Seriously. Read.

        Paul, clearly, was not alone, nor did He claim Jesus returned! Paul never claimed Jesus returned, but that He appeared to Him (and not when he was alone).

        Unfortunately, ClubS is also too stubborn and says “no exceptions”. Sure, I’ll go for that. Unfortunately for ClubS, how Paul uses father is quite different from how Jesus used father.

      • I have read, Potato, and I do not agree. Again, I need you to demonstrate that your god approves of your and only your interpretation and that everyone else is wrong.

        I know Paul wasn’t alone in the story. He had companions that the author mentions and then we have differences in the story of what happened during the supposed magical event and afterward. Let me ask you, why should we believe “Paul” when he cannot get his own story straight? Again, the verses are not referring to solitude; that is only an invention on your part, where you have decided that your god “really” meant solitude rather than wilderness and that every linguistic interpreter is wrong and that you are right.

        And again, it’s amusing to watch you retreat to “I said so.” as all that you have as an argument. I am indeed stubborn when it comes to pointing out how your claims fail. I’m still waiting for you to show that there are any exceptions. I’m also still waiting for you to make good on your claims that I have lied and that others have lied. You make the claim, you provide the evidence. If you can’t, it’s just more false witnessing on your part. I’ll be sure to save you a seat in hell if you are right about this god, but as my latest blog post has shown, there will be so many Christians there that a poor honest atheist won’t fit.

      • And of course, there goes ClubS being stupid as usual.

        Matthew 24 directly warns against solitude for He will appear “For as lightning that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.” He warns against the wilderness and closed rooms. Now, what does this mean? It expresses solitude. The wilderness is defined as a wild, unsettled region. Expressing solitude.

        Again, this doesn’t even apply to Paul as he never claimed Jesus returned.

      • Keep on with the personal attacks, Potato. I always love to see them. Keep calling me “stupid”. Happily, it’s yet another claim that you cannot support. Yes, Matthew 24 does mention rooms, “inner rooms”. Now, I wonder, do you know what “inner rooms” is referring too. I am guessing not. They appear to be referring to the inner rooms of a temple, where your bible claims that God lives. Now, this is an inference on my part from the context of the bible, where the OT speaks of inner rooms places where only priests and this god can go. I think this would fit well since JC speaks out against the established priesthood.

        The verses we are currently discussing is “22 “If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened. 23 At that time if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Messiah!’ or, ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. 24 For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. 25 See, I have told you ahead of time. 26 “So if anyone tells you, ‘There he is, out in the wilderness,’ do not go out; or, ‘Here he is, in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it. 27 For as lightning that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. 28 Wherever there is a carcass, there the vultures will gather.”

        There is nothing warning against solitude here. It is my considered opinion that these verses can be interpreted just as easily as: the author has JC saying that one should watch for those who claim to have special knowledge about this god/JC. We have warnings not to follow anyone who says that they have seen JC in the wilderness. We have warnings to not follow those who would put this god in a temples inner passages beyond the view of the common man, because this god/JC will be seen as lightning is in the sky, everywhere. Paul comes along and says only I have the right answers, you cannot see this god yourself, you need me because this god appointed me as its spokesperson.

        We have the author having JC claiming that there will be very distinct (and ridiculous) signs and wonders when it is near to the return of this god. We have Paul claiming that the return is near but not acknowledging the required events. We have the author having JC saying that all of this things will happen before the generation he is directly addressing dies. And Paul is left with explaining why that failed.

      • Moreover, it was on a road near a major city. Wilderness to this would be a ridiculous stretch. Vaguely, you could apply this to all of Israel.

      • So, Tater, tell us where Paul had this experience on the road. Then we can tell if it was “wilderness” or not. All we have is a claim from someone who claims that he was blinded, etc, “near” Damascus. We have no idea what road it was. We have divergent stories on what happened. It is also amusing that now you want to consider wilderness to be indeed that wilderness, rather than the claims of “solitude” that you have tried to argue before. Quite happy to see you changing your mind about what words “really” mean as your claims fail when I point out that solitude does not mean wilderness.

      • Yawn.

        Read verses 26-27 again.

        It warns against claims that He appeared far out in the wilderness or deep inside rooms. The next verse essentially says everyone will know. Again, Paul never claimed Jesus returned.

        We can note that the appearance took place on a road near a major city (road to Damascus). This would mean there is some human maintained element (but not necessarily people around there 24/7)

        What amuses me is your hypocrisy. You always whine how other “Christians” have different views on things, yet you so lovely shove aside your friend Ron. Hilarious!

      • I do not shove my friend Ron aside. I do like your fantasies, Potato. I say that his version is just as supported as claiming that Paul had a vision. Paul said that JC returned to speak to him. Again, Potato, you do need a dictionary and look up hypocrisy. No one, not me, not you knows any more than what the verses literally say. Anything beyond that is assumption. I can support my assumption that the inner rooms can likely mean temple sancturaries. You have claimed that wilderness “really” means solitude, without any evidence that the words are interchangeable. You want to claim that inner rooms means solitude, and again, I can show that it likely means in temples. For a book that supposedly is the truth, we have no idea what it really means.

        Not unsurprisingly, you have no idea where this happened on this road to Damascus.

      • Yawn.

        I’ve already provided you with the proper contexts of the use of “father”; unfortunately, either you cannot read well (you’ve demonstrated this enough), or you just dislike context.

        Of course, we find no real rebuttal; just more whines and irrelevant comments

      • No, Potato, you have provided me with your opinion. Your opinion is not the “proper context”, only your preference.

        And nice again to have your false claims of no “real” rebuttal. You see, when you qualify works with things like “real”, “proper”, etc, you are giving yourself an excuse to ignore those rebuttals you don’t like. My rebuttals are quite real. We’ve reached here pretty much on schedule.

      • Uh, no, in that historical context, it would refer to the gathering of the ossuaries after a year. If the father just died, he wouldve been buried ASAP. So, another failed accusation. Hilarious!

        Yeah, Paul never claimed Jesus returned. More baseless claims from you. You hilariously contradict Ron on that too. And then you act like you dont bring up other views on the matter. Hilarious! And calling it a wilderness is quite a stretch.

        Indeed, the context of father does not refer to Paul’s use. Simple fact, ClubS.
        You’re being too literal and ignoring context. If you wish to be so, Paul never commanded anyone to call him father, nor did he use the word “father”. And it doesnt matter if others do call him father. Thats on them, not Paul.

      • Again, show your work, Potato. Please show what means the “gathering of ossuaries”.

        Paul claimed that Jesus returned and appeared to him. We do not know if it was physically, by vision, or if the story is true at all. And again, I do not contradict Ron. I agree that his version is as valid as a vision. Again, most Christians claim it is by vision and again, there is nothing to support either side better than the other. And no, calling being on the road in the wilderness isn’t a “stretch” unless you can show me exactly where this even supposedly happened. We have wilderness mentioned various times in the NT. We have the gathering of thousands following JESus in the “wilderness”. So, just how far out of the way was JC leading people? We have John the Baptist preching in the “wilderness” of Judea. Do you know how big Judea was? Where was this wilderness? The bible does not use the word consistently.

        As for me being “too literal and ignoring context”, that is again untrue and amusing as usual. As I have pointed out, you pick and choose what to take literally and what to take as metaphor. You have no rhyme or reason for this, only caring for it to confirm what you personally believe, just like every other Christian for millennia. The idea of what is literal and what is metaphor has changed over the years and again there is no way to determine which version of Christianity is correct. For example, we have had Christians claiming that the Noah flood was a literal event, and now we have Christians claiming that it is just a metaphor. Which version is right? All of you claim context and all of you contradict each other. Then you claim anyone who differs with the context as wrong and again have no evidence of this either.

        I am bemused with your claim that it’s someone else’s fault if they call Paul father when he claimed to be father. That’s classic.

      • You pretty much supported me, ClubS. You note that the Pharisees put those burdens. You claim God did so too. It is God’s authority to give rules. This supports that the Pharisees were putting themselves as God and giving their own rules.

      • So, lets say we have no idea where it took place; its ambiguous as to where. What makes you think you can make a jump to say it means wilderness?

        Again: prove to me that Paul had proved Jesus returned (Second Coming). From verse 27, we can see that it is what He is referring to. So, where does Paul claim Jesus returned? A vision wouldnt be a return.

        I presented the context, ClubS. Its your choice to ignore them.

      • Exactly, Potato. We have an event described as happening along a road “near” Damascus, not in a city or town or place of human habitation. We don’t know where it happened or *if* it happened. We have various versions of a story, that don’t agree on what happened. And you want people to think that any of this is real. It’s taken a while but this is the point, what makes you think you can make a jump and claim this to be real?

        Nothing about a vision, nothing about in person. We have a voice that spoke, that one story has the others hearing and one does not. We have no idea if this was a vision, a physical appearance (to make noise in the air, it has to be physical), a delusion or a story.

        And you do not present the context. You present assumptions that have nothing to base them on. I did not say that Paul has proven anything. I don’t even believe that he existed as described. In the story, Paul states that a dead/resurrected man has returned to speak to him and him alone. He does not have to say “Jesus returned to me and said I’m his guy.” He has to return to do so, because if he didn’t return, then who is Paul talking to? In the story, Paul claims that the end times will start imminently. He doesn’t cite seeing the events that will herald this and doesn’t even seem to know about them.

      • “Again, show your work, Potato. Please show what means the “gathering of ossuaries”.”

        >People were buried immediately after death. This is Jewish custom. (See Levi Rahmani). After a body was buried, it was left to decompose. There are a number of mourning periods which do not end until the flesh of the deceased had decomposed, usually about a year later.  According to the Talmud “When the flesh had wasted away, the bones were collected and placed in chests (ossuaries).” The the gathering of the bones into a bone box called an ossuary, was called ossilegium, or secondary burial.

        Details later.

        “Paul claimed that Jesus returned and appeared to him.”

        >His return refers to the boldily Second Coming and the Rapture. Paul didnt claim this.

        “We do not know if it was physically, by vision, or if the story is true at all. And again, I do not contradict Ron. I agree that his version is as valid as a vision. Again, most Christians claim it is by vision and again, there is nothing to support either side better than the other.”

        > If its a vision, its not a real return.

        “And no, calling being on the road in the wilderness isn’t a “stretch” unless you can show me exactly where this even supposedly happened. We have wilderness mentioned various times in the NT. We have the gathering of thousands following JESus in the “wilderness”. So, just how far out of the way was JC leading people? We have John the Baptist preching in the “wilderness” of Judea. Do you know how big Judea was? Where was this wilderness? The bible does not use the word consistently.”

        >So, if it is so ambiguous, what makes you think you can say it is a wilderness?

        “As for me being “too literal and ignoring context”, that is again untrue and amusing as usual. As I have pointed out, you pick and choose what to take literally and what to take as metaphor. You have no rhyme or reason for this, only caring for it to confirm what you personally believe, just like every other Christian for millennia. The idea of what is literal and what is metaphor has changed over the years and again there is no way to determine which version of Christianity is correct. For example, we have had Christians claiming that the Noah flood was a literal event, and now we have Christians claiming that it is just a metaphor. Which version is right? All of you claim context and all of you contradict each other. Then you claim anyone who differs with the context as wrong and again have no evidence of this either.I am bemused with your claim that it’s someone else’s fault if they call Paul father when he claimed to be father. That’s classic.”

        >Rofl. Paul never used the word father for himself. Nor was it in the same way. Thats context, ClubS.

      • So, lets pretend it is ambiguous.

        There is absolutely no context to show that it was the Second Coming.

        Now, if it is ambiguous, how do you make the jump to say Paul meant Jesus returned?

      • “Exactly, Potato. We have an event described as happening along a road “near” Damascus, not in a city or town or place of human habitation. We don’t know where it happened or *if* it happened. We have various versions of a story, that don’t agree on what happened.”

        >The fact that it was a road to a major city means it had human maintained elements. So, not a wilderness.

        “And you want people to think that any of this is real. It’s taken a while but this is the point, what makes you think you can make a jump and claim this to be real?Nothing about a vision, nothing about in person. We have a voice that spoke, that one story has the others hearing and one does not. We have no idea if this was a vision, a physical appearance (to make noise in the air, it has to be physical), a delusion or a story.And you do not present the context. You present assumptions that have nothing to base them on. I did not say that Paul has proven anything. I don’t even believe that he existed as described. In the story, Paul states that a dead/resurrected man has returned to speak to him and him alone. He does not have to say “Jesus returned to me and said I’m his guy.” He has to return to do so, because if he didn’t return, then who is Paul talking to? In the story, Paul claims that the end times will start imminently. He doesn’t cite seeing the events that will herald this and doesn’t even seem to know about them.”

        >Yawn. You are the one providing assertions and assumptions. Theres no reason to believe that Paul claimed Jesus returned, theres no reason to believe Paul claimed the Second Coming occurred.

        If its truly as ambiguous as you say, its the fallacy of argument of silence.

      • let me ask you, Potato, does the Alaskan Highway go through wilderness?

        You claim that I am the “one providing assertions and assumptions”. Okay, please do cite them. I agree with you, there is no reason to believe that Paul claimed Jesus returned or that Paul claimed that the second coming occurred. 🙂 But alas, that’s not what you meant. Unfortunately, Potato, I have not said that Paul said that the end times had occurred. I have said, repeatedly, that he claimed to know when they would occur. Paul claimed that JC returned to speak to him and make him his magical apostle. He claimed that JC had appeared out in the wilderness to him and told him that he was to be the leader of the Christian movement with the gentiles, at the least.

        and how is this an argument from silence. It may be, but I want you to tell me how it is because I do get tired of you making false claims and never supporting them. still waiting for evidence that I have lied.

      • “He has to return to do so, because if he didn’t return, then who is Paul talking to?”

        >Who says Jesus needs to return bodily to speak with Paul? That’s your own assumption.

      • And there we get the word “assumption”, which is all your excuses for your stories are. Assumptions to make primitive nonsense make some kind of sense to your modern sensabilities. If there is noise, there is physical interaction of sound waves. I make no assumption, I go with what is written, not some desperate claim that surely it must mean something else. And I acknowledge that it’s all ridiculous.

      • “And there we get the word “assumption”, which is all your excuses for your stories are. Assumptions to make primitive nonsense make some kind of sense to your modern sensabilities. If there is noise, there is physical interaction of sound waves. I make no assumption, I go with what is written, not some desperate claim that surely it must mean something else. And I acknowledge that it’s all ridiculous.”

        >Right… More baseless assumptions.

        Since when does a (vision, for instance) have to follow this? Aka, you forget miracles and other “spiritual appearances” that would be described by the Bible.

        So, where is your evidence that Paul claimed Jesus returned? Oh wait! You have none!

      • “So, where is your evidence that Paul claimed Jesus returned? Oh wait! You have none!”

        Acts. Pick either of the version of the story.

        Please show me how sound can be made without physical interaction. Supposedly other people heard sounds. Of course, you can invoke magic and miracles, so can other religions. Care to tell me why I should believe your magic and not theirs? Why don’t you believe in their claims?

      • “let me ask you, Potato, does the Alaskan Highway go through wilderness?”

        >Ah yes! All roads are the same! Especially contemporary roads with ancient ones!

        “You claim that I am the “one providing assertions and assumptions”. Okay, please do cite them. I agree with you, there is no reason to believe that Paul claimed Jesus returned or that Paul claimed that the second coming occurred.”

        >Then the argument is over. That’s what Jesus was referring to.

        “:) But alas, that’s not what you meant. Unfortunately, Potato, I have not said that Paul said that the end times had occurred. I have said, repeatedly, that he claimed to know when they would occur. Paul claimed that JC returned to speak to him and make him his magical apostle. He claimed that JC had appeared out in the wilderness to him and told him that he was to be the leader of the Christian movement with the gentiles, at the least.”

        >”Wilderness”. Rofl.

        “and how is this an argument from silence. It may be, but I want you to tell me how it is because I do get tired of you making false claims and never supporting them. still waiting for evidence that I have lied.”

        >You are making the claims; you should back them up. Stop trying to shift the burden of proof.

      • No, Potato, you claimed that anytime there was a road by humans there was no wilderness.

        And of course, you are unable to support your claims that *I* am the one using assertions and assumptions. Hurrah.

        and hilarious that you wrote before you read the rest of my post. I was making fun of your claims that there is no reason to believe Paul.

        again you claim that you know where Paul met Jesus. So, please do tell me the coordinates so you can be safe in saying that it was not a wilderness. Or don’t you actually know and your argument depends on insisting that there was no “wilderness” in Palestine?

        No, Potato, you claimed that I was using an argument from silence. You made that claim. I’m waiting for you to back it up. You don’t seem to quite get what shifting the burden of proof means. Here’s a good site: http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/Shifting+the+Burden+of+Proof. You’ll see that the one making the claim has the burden of proof to support that claim. If you are able to produce evidence for it, then the burden of proof would shift to me to show that you were wrong. “in a lawsuit the plaintiff (the party filing suit) has the burden of proof to produce enough evidence to prove his/her/its basic (prima facie) case. If that burden is met, then the burden of proof shifts to the other party, putting the defendant in the position of having the burden to prove he/she has a defense.” Here’s another good site: https://yourlogicalfallacyis.com/burden-of-proof

      • “No, Potato, you claimed that anytime there was a road by humans there was no wilderness.”

        >No, the fact that it was near a major city meant it had some “human maintained element”.

        “And of course, you are unable to support your claims that *I* am the one using assertions and assumptions. Hurrah.”

        >You admitted it yourself. And I have already shown that you assume that Jesus had to be physically present on earth to speak with Pail.

        “and hilarious that you wrote before you read the rest of my post. I was making fun of your claims that there is no reason to believe Paul.”

        >Hilarious that you have responded to many other posts of mine without reading… anything!

        “again you claim that you know where Paul met Jesus. So, please do tell me the coordinates so you can be safe in saying that it was not a wilderness. Or don’t you actually know and your argument depends on insisting that there was no “wilderness” in Palestine?”

        >The fact that it was on a road near a major city. The word used for inner rooms is “tameion”. Strongs Concordance puts it to also mean “secret chamber”; essentially, someone where people are not. Thayers and Strongs put the word “eremos” (wilderness) to imply “desolate” and “solitary”. So the words imply solitude. Moreover, like I noted before, the context of the next verse implies it also.

        “No, Potato, you claimed that I was using an argument from silence. You made that claim. I’m waiting for you to back it up. You don’t seem to quite get what shifting the burden of proof means. Here’s a good site: http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/Shifting+the+Burden+of+Proof. You’ll see that the one making the claim has the burden of proof to support that claim. If you are able to produce evidence for it, then the burden of proof would shift to me to show that you were wrong. “in a lawsuit the plaintiff (the party filing suit) has the burden of proof to produce enough evidence to prove his/her/its basic (prima facie) case. If that burden is met, then the burden of proof shifts to the other party, putting the defendant in the position of having the burden to prove he/she has a defense.” Here’s another good site: https://yourlogicalfallacyis.com/burden-of-proof

        >You yourself admitted it was ambiguous, “we have an event described as happening along a road “near” Damascus, not in a city or town or place of human habitation. We don’t know where it happened or *if* it happened. ” So, you are making an argument off of essentially silence.

      • “Acts. Pick either of the version of the story.”

        >I see no claims of a bodily second coming.

        Please show me how sound can be made without physical interaction.”

        >Miracles. Visions. Spiritual appearances.

        Supposedly other people heard sounds. Of course, you can invoke magic and miracles, so can other religions. Care to tell me why I should believe your magic and not theirs? Why don’t you believe in their claims?”

        >You are actually being evasive. Again. Can you stick to the subject? Do all atheists have a short attention span?

      • “again you claim that you know where Paul met Jesus. So, please do tell me the coordinates so you can be safe in saying that it was not a wilderness.”

        >That’s not my burden of proof.

        You are asserting that Jesus appeared to Paul in the wilderness; if you aren’t sure, then don’t make the accusation.

      • More evidence you are unsure:

        “We do not know if it was physically, by vision, or if the story is true at all.”

        >So, you admit yourself it is not necessarily physical.

        Then there is no base for your claims.

      • oh my, that’s great. No, I do not admit that the story “is not necessarily physical”. I am saying we don’t know at all. Do you see that bit that says “or if the story is true at all”? This indicates that all of these possibilities are equally nonsensical. There is an implied “or” in the sentence. I’m sorry if I was unclear. The sentence means “We do not know if it was physically, (or) by vision (or) if the story is true at all”. Each possibility has equal weight.

        I’m waiting for evidence that your claims of a magical Jesus.

      • *On my other post, I misspelled “Paul”.

        “And of course, you are unable to support your claims that *I* am the one using assertions and assumptions. Hurrah.”

        >ClubS, you need to bring EVIDENCE for your claims.

        So, far all you claimed was that it was ambiguous.

      • Naturally, you may whine and say “you have no evidence I misread posts!”

        How about these examples?

        Potato: What is the purpose of an ancient historian? It was to interpret and report history as to make a bridge between past and present. Everything reported was selected for the relevance and usefulness of readership- not because it was exciting and amazing.

        Reply: nice to know that JC’s stuff wasn’t “exciting” or “amazing”. (Which is irrelevant; I was speaking about other ancient historians.)

        Potato: *Ron spoke about the daughter of Matt Slick*

        Reply: “I may not have had a chance to yet. Please do show me where you have “confronted her on her question” and I’ll get right to responding.” (You thought I was talking about you.)

      • You don’t have to approve the last one.

        “No, Potato, you claimed that anytime there was a road by humans there was no wilderness.”

        >No, the fact that it was near a major city meant it had some “human maintained element”.

        “And of course, you are unable to support your claims that *I* am the one using assertions and assumptions. Hurrah.”

        >You admitted it yourself. And I have already shown that you assume that Jesus had to be physically present on earth to speak with Paul. You couldn’t support your claims with evidence and admitted it was ambiguous.

        “and hilarious that you wrote before you read the rest of my post. I was making fun of your claims that there is no reason to believe Paul.”

        >Hilarious that you have responded to many other posts of mine without reading… anything!

        “again you claim that you know where Paul met Jesus. So, please do tell me the coordinates so you can be safe in saying that it was not a wilderness. Or don’t you actually know and your argument depends on insisting that there was no “wilderness” in Palestine?”

        >The fact that it was on a road near a major city. The word used for inner rooms is “tameion”. Strongs Concordance puts it to also mean “secret chamber”; essentially, someone where people are not. Thayers and Strongs put the word “eremos” (wilderness) to imply “desolate” and “solitary”. So the words imply solitude. Moreover, like I noted before, the context of the next verse implies it also.

        “No, Potato, you claimed that I was using an argument from silence. You made that claim. I’m waiting for you to back it up. You don’t seem to quite get what shifting the burden of proof means. Here’s a good site: http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/Shifting+the+Burden+of+Proof. You’ll see that the one making the claim has the burden of proof to support that claim. If you are able to produce evidence for it, then the burden of proof would shift to me to show that you were wrong. “in a lawsuit the plaintiff (the party filing suit) has the burden of proof to produce enough evidence to prove his/her/its basic (prima facie) case. If that burden is met, then the burden of proof shifts to the other party, putting the defendant in the position of having the burden to prove he/she has a defense.” Here’s another good site: https://yourlogicalfallacyis.com/burden-of-proof”

        >You yourself admitted it was ambiguous-

        ClubS: “We have an event described as happening along a road “near” Damascus, not in a city or town or place of human habitation. We don’t know where it happened or *if* it happened. ”

        So, you are making an argument off of essentially silence and ambiguity.

      • Don’t approve the other two comments under moderation. I keep forgetting that providing links makes the comment go through approval.

        “No, Potato, you claimed that anytime there was a road by humans there was no wilderness.”

        >No, the fact that it was near a major city meant it had some “human maintained element”.

        “And of course, you are unable to support your claims that *I* am the one using assertions and assumptions. Hurrah.”

        >You admitted it yourself. And I have already shown that you assume that Jesus had to be physically present on earth to speak with Paul. You couldn’t support your claims with evidence and admitted it was ambiguous.

        “and hilarious that you wrote before you read the rest of my post. I was making fun of your claims that there is no reason to believe Paul.”

        >Hilarious that you have responded to many other posts of mine without reading… anything!

        “again you claim that you know where Paul met Jesus. So, please do tell me the coordinates so you can be safe in saying that it was not a wilderness. Or don’t you actually know and your argument depends on insisting that there was no “wilderness” in Palestine?”

        >The fact that it was on a road near a major city. The word used for inner rooms is “tameion”. Strongs Concordance puts it to also mean “secret chamber”; essentially, someone where people are not. Thayers and Strongs put the word “eremos” (wilderness) to imply “desolate” and “solitary”. So the words imply solitude. Moreover, like I noted before, the context of the next verse implies it also.

        “No, Potato, you claimed that I was using an argument from silence. You made that claim. I’m waiting for you to back it up. You don’t seem to quite get what shifting the burden of proof means. Here’s a good site: You’ll see that the one making the claim has the burden of proof to support that claim. If you are able to produce evidence for it, then the burden of proof would shift to me to show that you were wrong. “in a lawsuit the plaintiff (the party filing suit) has the burden of proof to produce enough evidence to prove his/her/its basic (prima facie) case. If that burden is met, then the burden of proof shifts to the other party, putting the defendant in the position of having the burden to prove he/she has a defense.” Here’s another good site:”

        >You yourself admitted it was ambiguous-

        ClubS: “We have an event described as happening along a road “near” Damascus, not in a city or town or place of human habitation. We don’t know where it happened or *if* it happened. ”

        So, you are making an argument off of essentially silence and ambiguity.

      • More fun with the Holy Spud. Those not English majors may wish to turn their heads. 🙂

        Potato, let’s look at what you claimed about the road to Damascus:
        ““Exactly, Potato. We have an event described as happening along a road “near” Damascus, not in a city or town or place of human habitation. We don’t know where it happened or *if* it happened. We have various versions of a story, that don’t agree on what happened.”

        >The fact that it was a road to a major city means it had human maintained elements. So, not a wilderness.” – Submitted on 2013/09/06 at 4:04 pm in Postzilla part 1

        Now, let’s look at what you have claimed after this:

        ““No, Potato, you claimed that anytime there was a road by humans there was no wilderness.”

        >No, the fact that it was near a major city meant it had some “human maintained element”. – Submitted on 2013/09/10 at 7:46 pm again in Postzilla part 1

        ““No, Potato, you claimed that anytime there was a road by humans there was no wilderness.”

        >No, the fact that it was near a major city meant it had some “human maintained element”.
        “And of course, you are unable to support your claims that *I* am the one using assertions and assumptions. Hurrah.” – Submitted on 2013/09/10 at 9:25 pm in Postzilla part 1

        It appears that we have you making a claim and then trying to present your claim as something else repeatedly by selectively quoting yourself and trying to ignore where you failed. Per your claim, as long as a road has “human maintained elements” then “so, not a wilderness”. The Alaskan Highway also has constant human maintenance, this does not require being near a “major city”. By your logic, where it goes is never a wilderness.

        I also am wondering, can Potato define “near” in this context? We have this quote from Potato about the word “near”- “>No, not necessarily. There will be a point, so anywhere is really “near”. – Submitted on 2013/08/20 at 3:30 pm in Postzilla part 1. I’m curious how “near” can we consider Paul to have been.  Oh well, Potato can’t answer even more important questions, so this one can stand. Was Paul seeing JC in the wilderness? Well, it’s a story with nothing to support it in reality. Can it be interpreted it as that? I think so. Potato doesn’t and we’ve seen his interpretation.

      • Potato,
        To have sound, one has to have a physical presence. That’s how physical laws work; this is not an assumption. I have said that it could be a vision it could be a physical presence or it could be utterly nonsense as a story. Now, I have said that you can claim magic. I am waiting for evidence of this magical Jesus. I’ve been waiting for a while now. Show this evidence. If not, your claims of magic appearances, miracles, etc are nothing more than the claims of every other religion that makes the same claims and that you claim are untrue.

        “>Hilarious that you have responded to many other posts of mine without reading… anything!”
        What a wonderful intentional lie! You do TrueChristians proud, Potato. I do wonder, how many times have you either excused your lies to your god insisting that they are “for” it, or that you tell your god that you are so very sorry but you’ll do better next time and then sin intentionally again. For all of the times I have heard TrueChristians claim that atheists expect their god to be a vending machine, this seems to be much more the vending machine expectation. On demand forgiveness, what a great idea.

        As I have noted in another post, you yourself have claimed that “near” doesn’t really mean “near”. Why should we take your acceptance of it being “close in proximity” now? But I agree with you, one would think that it wouldn’t be wilderness if it were “near” a big city. But we have no idea where this supposedly amazing event occurred, just like how we have no idea where the tomb is either. So, we have just one more story with nothing to support it, not even a coherent story from the supposed participant himself. Now, we have you claim that Strong’s Concordance says that “tameion” means a secret chamber, and yes it does, it also appears to claim that it means storage, and an inner chamber. You say that it can only mean secret chamber in the instance where JC is warning about anti-christs. But JC seems to think that tameion means an inner chamber where one prays, like in Matthew 6:6. (yes, he does say pray alone, which Now, if I say beware of those who say that God spoke to them in their inner chamber or in the sacred space in the temple, I find it makes more sense than secret chamber. We also have JC saying that anything said in the “tameion” whispered between people (in this case he seems to be using Pharisees in the temple as an example but that could be questionable) will be revealed. Again, it seems that JC is more interested in inner rooms rather than secret rooms where no one is. Also, if “secret chamber” was mean, as you say, somewhere people are not, one does one hear something in there? You also claim “the context of the next verse implies it also” which I assume you meant verse 27 which says “26 “So if anyone tells you, ‘There he is, out in the wilderness,’ do not go out; or, ‘Here he is, in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it. 27 For as lightning that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. 28 Wherever there is a carcass, there the vultures will gather.” What is the “context” of this verse and how does it imply solitude?

        We also have your reply for showing I was making an argument from silence. Your reply “You yourself admitted it was ambiguous”. I did not intend to convey that something was ambiguous, I intended to indicate that the possibilities were equally silly. But, that aside, how is saying something is ambiguous an argument from silence? It appears you are moving the goalposts again. An argument from silence is saying that since something is not mentioned by someone who should have mentioned it, then the event can’t have happened. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argument_from_silence Now, my entire comment reads “Exactly, Potato. We have an event described as happening along a road “near” Damascus, not in a city or town or place of human habitation. We don’t know where it happened or *if* it happened. We have various versions of a story, that don’t agree on what happened. And you want people to think that any of this is real. It’s taken a while but this is the point, what makes you think you can make a jump and claim this to be real?”

        We have Paul making a claim about an event. He mentions it so we have no silence. What we don’t have is evidence that it happened at all. Now, I suppose one can say that since no one else mentioned it ever, then that is indeed using an argument from silence, and though that’s a weak argument and can be dangerous since it can lead to wrong conclusions, it is a valid argument since we have much less important sites declared to be known and venerated. The problem becomes why wasn’t this place noted by Paul or those who were with him?

      • And of course, ClubS still cannot support her claims.

        If the location on the road is so ambiguous, how can you assert that it was indeed a “wilderness”? Because of the fact that it was on a road near a major city, it is more probable that it is not.

        So, can ClubS establish that Jesus was warning of Paul in that verse? Of course not. The context is different. Jesus was addressing false Christs. He says many will come claiming those things (claiming to be the Christ and claiming that the time is at hand). Paul is speaking of the completion of salvation and that we should not loiter because Matthew 24:43.

      • There we go, Potato. You are right. We have no idea where Paul was, if this happened or if any of this is true at all. There is no fact that there was anything on a road near a city; it’s a story in a book full of stories. We’ve went from you insisting that near can mean anywhere, where human hands on a road means no wilderness, etc. I have asked you if you know exactly where Paul met JC, and you have no location other than claiming that the bible’s claim is a “fact”.

        JC was indeed talking about those claiming that they know where JC is and that he is returning. And we have Paul saying that he knows when JC is returning and that he saw him already. Again, in Matthew 24, it says that no one knows the day or hour, e.g. that no one can say it’s “soon” or “near”. Paul expects JC to return “soon” and that the time is “near”. JC says no one will even know when to expect him. I do like looking at the TrueChristians who try to claim that Paul only thought that JC “could” return soon, to excuse him claiming to know such things. Alas, Paul doesn’t say “might” he says “will”. He says “is” rather than “might be”. Again, I have to thank Potato for even more evidence that the bible is nonsense and TrueChristians don’t agree on what it means.

      • “oh my, that’s great. No, I do not admit that the story “is not necessarily physical”. I am saying we don’t know at all. Do you see that bit that says “or if the story is true at all”? This indicates that all of these possibilities are equally nonsensical. There is an implied “or” in the sentence. I’m sorry if I was unclear. The sentence means “We do not know if it was physically, (or) by vision (or) if the story is true at all”. Each possibility has equal weight.I’m waiting for evidence that your claims of a magical Jesus.”

        >Which is you saying exactly that it was not necessarily physical. Are you trying to rewrite history?

        So, if you don’t know, then what makes you think that you can assert that Paul contradicts Jesus?

        I’m still waiting for a response to Nick.

      • Evidently Nick doesn’t give a damn. Unless you’re Nick, which increasingly seems to be the case. Sockpuppets are a great way to beg for attention and make it seem that a viewpoint is valid when no one else cares.

        Here’s what I said:

        “Nothing about a vision, nothing about in person. We have a voice that spoke, that one story has the others hearing and one does not. We have no idea if this was a vision, a physical appearance (to make noise in the air, it has to be physical), a delusion or a story.”

        I am saying that we have no idea if it was physical, a vision, a delusion or a story. I have not said: 1. that anything actually happened and 2. that what happened is not necessarily physical. I have said we don’t know what, if anything, happened. I have not said “the event is not necessarily physical” which is what you are claiming.

      • Here’s one thing I’ll admit I was wrong about.

        You were not the one who posted on Nick’s blog. It was someone else.
        But regardless, Nick still answered your claims; even if you didn’t present them yourself.

      • Rofl.

        “To have sound, one has to have a physical presence. That’s how physical laws work; this is not an assumption. I have said that it could be a vision it could be a physical presence or it could be utterly nonsense as a story. Now, I have said that you can claim magic.”

        > Two problems with that ClubS.You still have not shown that you *must* be physical (in our terms) to interact. Moreover, if Jesus was physical, what makes you think He had to return to earth to talk with Paul? So again, what is your evidence? I’m waiting.

        “I am waiting for evidence of this magical Jesus. I’ve been waiting for a while now. Show this evidence. If not, your claims of magic appearances, miracles, etc are nothing more than the claims of every other religion that makes the same claims and that you claim are untrue.”

        >I have been waiting quite some time now for a reply to Nick. When will you stop being evasive?

        But you must also examine the context of how the words are used. Jesus uses eremos and tameion. These words both strongly imply solitude, as even the next verse shows how His return will not be so.

        You claimed that Romans 13 spoke of the end times/return of Jesus (which failed because Jesus was referring to false Christs and Paul was not giving and specific info as to when it occured.). So, you claim Paul knows when Jesus will return. If Jesus had returned already, Paul would not be claiming this. It’s rather simple, ClubS. 

      • You are still making an argument of silence, ClubS. You assume that Paul is speaking of the return of Jesus. But you admit there are many possibilities. You are just making an argument from something, as you note, ambiguous.

      • I’m loving the excuses, ClubS. Way to go!

        “I am saying that we have no idea if it was physical, a vision, a delusion or a story. I have not said: 1. that anything actually happened and 2. that what happened is not necessarily physical. I have said we don’t know what, if anything, happened. I have not said “the event is not necessarily physical” which is what you are claiming.”

        >Do you know what “necessarily” means?

        Yes, you are claiming that it being physical is not the inevitable result because it can be other things.

      • And more vague claims of excuses made.

        necessarily: used to say that something is necessary and cannot be changed or avoided

        It’s great to see you do your best to claim that I am agreeing with you in anyway and failing. Now, I’m happy to go with saying that I did indeed say it was not necessarily physical in what I wrote, if you also agree that this means that I also said it was not necessarily a vision, and not necessarily magic, and it was not necessary that it happened at all. Are you good with that, Potato? You should be, if you aren’t just desperately trying to pretend I agreed with you.

      • “There we go, Potato. You are right. We have no idea where Paul was, if this happened or if any of this is true at all. There is no fact that there was anything on a road near a city; it’s a story in a book full of stories. We’ve went from you insisting that near can mean anywhere, where human hands on a road means no wilderness, etc. I have asked you if you know exactly where Paul met JC, and you have no location other than claiming that the bible’s claim is a “fact”.”

        >This even being true doesn’t even have to do with it! Did Paul claim to meet Jesus in a wilderness? You say its inconclusive. There you go.

        “JC was indeed talking about those claiming that they know where JC is and that he is returning. And we have Paul saying that he knows when JC is returning and that he saw him already.”

        >Assertions are funny. When did Paul claim Jesus returned?

        ” Again, in Matthew 24, it says that no one knows the day or hour, e.g. that no one can say it’s “soon” or “near”. Paul expects JC to return “soon” and that the time is “near”. JC says no one will even know when to expect him. I do like looking at the TrueChristians who try to claim that Paul only thought that JC “could” return soon, to excuse him claiming to know such things. Alas, Paul doesn’t say “might” he says “will”. He says “is” rather than “might be”. Again, I have to thank Potato for even more evidence that the bible is nonsense and TrueChristians don’t agree on what it means.”

        >Rofl. Repeating yourself doesn’t make it any better… Are the contexts the same? What does Paul mean? Who is he addressing? Why?

      • Oh that is a great one “This being true doesn’t even have to do with it!” The event never happened, poor thing. Paul claimed to have met JC in the wilderness. Let me be clear. Even if you think I meant that I thought the event happened but was inconclusive, I did not. If I misspoke, then I misspoke, it happens sometimes. If you continue in trying to pretend that I have agreed with you, then after this you are again lying.

        One more lie I see. Paul claimed that JC returned when he claimed to have talked to him. Just like how Moses claimed that God was there when he talked to him.

        Repeating myself does get you to make more claims about “context”. We have both talking to believers, yes? they are talking about JC’s return with fanfare, yes? JC says that no one will know when he will return. And Paul claims he knows when JC will return. Not that JC “might” return and the time “might” be soon, but that the time is imminent. But please do go on with the “interpretations”, Potato, as we all know from you that it all depends on the believer if they are “correct” or not.

      • Examine Romans 13:11. Perhaps the translation is a bit misleading.

        Here is an alternate translation:

        This is necessary because you know the times—it’s already time for you to wake up from sleep, because our salvation is nearer now than when we became believers. 

        Believed could be in context of being a Christian. Then it would make total sense as if time passes, it is sooner to the future.

        But I will examine the verses further to see if this is a correct translation.

      • “oh, an “alternate” translation. it’s great to see TrueChristians decide on what is a “correct” translation and what is not.”

        >I never said they contradicted. So, I am not claiming translations are “wrong” in this case. Pulpit commentary also notes this.

      • If you aren’t sure, you’re not in any position to make any claims that Paul claimed Jesus returned.

        It’s quite simple.

      • “Oh that is a great one “This being true doesn’t even have to do with it!” The event never happened, poor thing.”

        >That actually is again, irrelevant. It being true has nothing to do with what Paul claimed?

        “Paul claimed to have met JC in the wilderness.”

        >Where is your evidence? A wilderness is “a natural environment on Earth that has not been modified by human activity.” Well, what we have here is a road. This has human maintained elements. And again, did you pay attention to context? Did Paul claim Jesus returned? All baseless claims from you, ClubS.

        “Let me be clear. Even if you think I meant that I thought the event happened but was inconclusive, I did not. If I misspoke, then I misspoke, it happens sometimes. If you continue in trying to pretend that I have agreed with you, then after this you are again lying.”

        >Trying to rewrite history I see. “We do not know if it was physically, by vision, or if the story is true at all.” It’s your words.You have said “we have no idea if it was physical, a vision, a delusion or a story.” That’s pretty inconclusive. You have lied AGAIN ClubS. When will your lies stop?

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