Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – So, if I agree to a possible historical Jesus, then what?

courtesy of atheistmemebase.com

courtesy of atheistmemebase.com

In the interminable comments on some of my blog posts, we have been hashing out the idea of a historical Jesus.  I prefer the mythicist approach (basically ‘religious telephone’ as per the cartoon, but with various guys)  but Christians are trying every so hard to get me to agree that Jesus was historical.  Why, I have no idea because they are no closer to their myths and indeed they are damaging them since it becomes even clearer that this supposedly magical being can’t even get a footnote.  They really want everyone to believe that at least there was some itinerate wannabee messiah who was killed by cruxifiction in the early part of the first millennia.

So, I grant that the idea of a historical Jesus has some points for it.  Now that we have that established, I want to get to the real question, the one that Christians must answer:  What is the evidence that Jesus Christ, Son of God, who did all of the miracles, etc, existed?   We know that Christians are not worshipping a dead man who never rose from the grave and who cannot fulfill any violent prophecies in the future.

So, Christians, it is now in your court. What is the evidence you have for your divine messiah? We know that there is no evidence for the other supernatural events in the bible, what makes this different?   Be aware, that many of your arguments are used by other religions so you need to show me that your god/son of god exist.

 

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382 responses to “Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – So, if I agree to a possible historical Jesus, then what?

  1. Love the image (especially Jesus shooting lasers out of his eyes at giant dinosaurs). I think a giant game of Chinese Whispers best explains how with ended up with the legend we have today.

  2. As a Shenaniganist I don’t subscribe to the notion of a deity, but I can get behind the idea that Jesus might have been a guy who walked the earth. Obviously I don’t think he was the product of a virgin birth or the son of god, and I don’t believe he was resurrected three days after he died – because that would make him a zombie and as far as I know there’s no Book of Zombie in the New Testament.

    What I think is that he may have been no different than the charismatic cult-leaders with delusions of grandeur we see attracting followers today. Jim Jones got 900 people to drink the KoolAid, so it’s not a big stretch for me that Jesus would have been able to convince people he could turn water into wine … and from there the myths and legends grew. I don’t know if Jesus was a wacko like Jones, but I don’t see why he couldn’t have been a bit of a huckster who got himself in too deep and ended up getting crucified for his troubles.

      • Me too. I fear they won’t touch it. I mean, what’s there to touch? There isn’t a single external source for the man. Nothing. Zip. Zero. Might as well be arguing that Batman was real, as both characters have exactly the same historical references.

      • “There isn’t a single external source for the man. Nothing. Zip. Zero.”

        >So, Clement of Rome, 2 Clement, Ignatius, Polycarp, Martyrdom of Polycarp, Didache, Barnabas, Shepherd of Hermas, Fragments of Papias, Justin Martyr, Aristides, Athenagoras, Theophilus of Antioch, Quadratus, Aristo of Pella, Melito of Sardis, Diognetus, Gospel of Peter, Apocalypse of Peter, Epistula Apostolorum,
        Gospel of Thomas, Gospel of Truth, Apocryphon of John, Treatise on Resurrection,
        Josephus, Tacitus, Pliny the Younger, Phlegon, Lucian, Celsus, Mara Bar Serapion, Suetonius, and Thallus don’t count?

        “Might as well be arguing that Batman was real, as both characters have exactly the same historical references.”

        >Batman was recorded by over 5,700 Greek manuscripts, composed of several epistles, historical narratives, and Greco-Roman bioi, with a textual purity rate of over 99%? Do you have any real arguments than pure assertions than going “derp I consider it fiction, and all fiction is the same” made up of your fanciful assumptions?

      • Wow, you actually cited Josephus. Evidently you don’t know your stuff. Every person you mention (i won’t even bother with Josephus) was writing 3 to 6 generations AFTER Jesus.

        the Apocrypha are interesting, but hardly contemporary, or external. Just another version of the story and grossly contradictory at that. In the Gospel of Peter it is Herod Antipas, not Pontius Pilate, who orders Jesus’ death, and in the Gospel of Truth he is nailed to a tree, not a Roman cross. In Thomas he isn’t even executed!

        Please, present a single contemporary source.

      • wow, tater, it’s like watching the death dive of a kite, the abruptness and thrashing is funny but then I feel sorry for it in the end. All of these are not evidence that your magical god existed. They are repititions of stories handed down. There is no evidence. And, as John Z. noted, you used Josephus, which is at best evidence for some poor guy who got killed and was nothing special. Same with Tacitus. And Pliny, well, dear Pliny mentions Christians, not Christ. So, as I have told you before, if you want to claim that believers of a god is good evidence, then many many gods exist with as much reality as your god.

        It’s always great to see you either have not paid attention at all to the discussion that has occurred or are intentionally trying to lie again by presenting sources that do not show Jesus Christ, magical son of God as existed. We still have no evidence of the supposedly supernatural events in the bible.

        Those manuscripts are copies of the same stories and again no evidence to support them. It’s so cute when a Christian wants to claim quantity over quality. By that bit of silliness, Scientology is just as real as Chrisitanity since golly, we have lots of books about it.

        Finally, nice lies again, potato, when you want to claim more strawmen arguments. Sorry, please do show where anyone has said something like your poor little attempt at insulting people and lying about what they said.

        And dear, fiction is fiction aka a story that is not the truth. Please do tell us about those “other” types of fiction.

      • “Wow, you actually cited Josephus. Evidently you don’t know your stuff.”

        >Evidently, you don’t know your stuff either. Only mere bits of Testimonium Flavium contain accusations of forgeries. However, no reputable scholar dismisses all of it.

        “Every person you mention (i won’t even bother with Josephus) was writing 3 to 6 generations AFTER Jesus.”

        >What is a generation? 25-30 years? So, +75-180? Clement of Rome died in 99 AD. There goes “every”.

        “the Apocrypha are interesting, but hardly contemporary, or external.”

        >How is it not external?

        “Just another version of the story and grossly contradictory at that.”

        >With that logic, what can’t you dismiss?

        “In the Gospel of Peter it is Herod Antipas, not Pontius Pilate, who orders Jesus’ death,

        >Hmm, now you are going into specifics. I presented them as evidence for specifics. Details come later.

        “and in the Gospel of Truth he is nailed to a tree, not a Roman cross.”

        >Being nailed to a tree was also used as an idiom to refer to crucifixion.

        “In Thomas he isn’t even executed!”

        >As I recall, it doesn’t mention it- it doesn’t say He never was executed.

        “Please, present a single contemporary source.”

        >Let me know when contemporary sources are a requirement for antiquity. Or did Vesuvius never erupt and did Alexander the Great never exist?

      • Ah, so you can’t actually produce a single contemporary (external or internal) source from any time earlier than 70-80CE.

        Not one. Nothing. Zero. Zip.

      • “Ah, so you can’t actually produce a single contemporary (external or internal) source from any time earlier than 70-80CE. Not one. Nothing. Zero. Zip.”

        >Oopsie, you just made a blip. The synoptic Gospels are dated prior to 70 AD, with a majority of Paul’s writings dating to 50 AD.

        Tell me when you’re going to become serious instead of applying standards for modern history on ancient history.

      • Are you aware of what the word “contemporary” means?

        Mark (the oldest of the synoptic gospels) was written between 65-75 CE.

        Now, who actually wrote mark? Did you know the original didn’t include the resurrection? That’s a rather large omission, wouldn’t you say?

        Now, once again. Stop wasting my time and please present some contemporary documentation which mentions Jesus.

      • Thanks for the laugh. Paper too expensive is unquestionably the best excuse i’ve heard from any apologist, and i’ve heard a lot of excuses. Congratulations!

      • “from any time earlier than 70-80CE.”

        >It’s what you were asking for.

        “Mark (the oldest of the synoptic gospels) was written between 65-75 CE.”

        >Mhm. So? All of them were dated to pre-70 AD. Mark is dated to earliest, 50-55 AD.

        “Now, who actually wrote mark?”

        >Mark wrote Mark.

        “Did you know the original didn’t include the resurrection? That’s a rather large omission, wouldn’t you say?”

        >You are talking about Sinaiticus and Vaticanus, no? There are many bits about that. http://www.tektonics.org/lp/markend.html

        “Now, once again. Stop wasting my time and please present some contemporary documentation which mentions Jesus.”

        >Lolwut. What survives from the 1st Century can fit a 3 foot high bookshelf. Go let me know when contemporaries are a necessity. Otherwise, I’ll go with the position that Alexander the Great never existed.

      • You are boring me. No one dates Mark to 50 CE, and no, Mark did not write Mark. You really should learn some things before typing such nonsense.

        One last time: present some documentation from anytime between 5BCE and 40BCE which says a man named Jesus was doing things; quite remarkable things, so the story goes… things people should have noticed, right? Perhaps you could produce a Roman court record. There should be one considering crucifixion was reserved for sedition, the highest of all crimes against Rome.

      • “In the interminable comments on some of my blog posts, we have been hashing out the idea of a historical Jesus. I prefer the mythicist approach (basically ’religious telephone’ as per the cartoon, but with various guys) but Christians are trying every so hard to get me to agree that Jesus was historical.”

        1) Do you have any evidence to support your “telephone-game”?

        2) The written Gospels were clearly not some telephone game. With over 5,700 Greek manuscripts (24,000 in other languages) having a 99.5% textual purity rate, the notion is absurd. Here’s some more info on that- http://www.tektonics.org/lp/nttextcrit.html http://carm.org/manuscript-evidence http://www.godandscience.org/apologetics/bibleorg.html

        3) Oral tradition? The Jews were an oral culture, afterall. If you actually studied the NT, you would know that most of Jesus’ sayings were written in parables- easy to remember, and to the point. Moreover, much of the sayings (by Christ, and others) were purposely written in a simple, easy to remember format. Perhaps most likely compared to a “jingle” or a simple poem. Here’s a bit on that- http://www.tektonics.org/ntdocdef/orality01.html

        “So, I grant that the idea of a historical Jesus has some points for it. Now that we have that established, I want to get to the real question, the one that Christians must answer: What is the evidence that Jesus Christ, Son of God, who did all of the miracles, etc, existed? We know that Christians are not worshipping a dead man who never rose from the grave and who cannot fulfill any violent prophecies in the future.”

        > You want me to write an entire essay/go into a full-fleged debate on a comment section of a blog?

      • “No one dates Mark to 50 CE,”

        >That’s pretty much a universal negative. Typically, the earliest is 55AD, but some do date it that far back.

        “and no, Mark did not write Mark.”

        >On what basis can you make that claim?

        tektonics(dot)org/ntdocdef/mattdef.html

        “You really should learn some things before typing such nonsense.”

        >Pot called the kettle black.

        “One last time: present some documentation from anytime between 5BCE and 40BCE which says a man named Jesus was doing things; quite remarkable things, so the story goes… things people should have noticed, right?”

        >Lolwut? 40BCE? You’re boring me.

        “Perhaps you could produce a Roman court record. There should be one considering crucifixion was reserved for sedition, the highest of all crimes against Rome.”

        >It’s too bad, because all of those are missing.

      • Why bother with Pontius Pilate? As i pointed out earlier, in the Gospel of Peter it is Herod Antipas who condemns Jesus to death.

        Now, why would there be such a contradiction? Could you explain that? I’d be interested to hear your explanation as you seemed to imply the apocrypha were worthy of attention.

      • “So, what you’re saying is, you can’t produce a single contemporary source (external or internal) which verifies a historic Jesus.”

        >Oh my, look. You just ignored everything else I wrote.

        Tell me why contemporary accounts are a requirement for

        A) Ancient History

        B) A predominantly oral society

        C) When only 3-10% of the people were literate

        D) Paper was expensive

      • “Why bother with Pontius Pilate? As i pointed out earlier, in the Gospel of Peter it is Herod Antipas who condemns Jesus to death.

        Now, why would there be such a contradiction? Could you explain that? I’d be interested to hear your explanation as you seemed to imply the apocrypha were worthy of attention.”

        >And of course you would raise a red herring to drag the argument ad nauseum, simply because you were incapable of addressing anything else.

        I referred to these texts as evidence of existence, not detailed events.

      • You have a very strange definition of ‘evidence.’ As i pointed out, by your logic Batman is a real historic figure as there are many stories and commentaries written about him, yet no documentation of him actually ever existing.

        Alas, you cannot produce a single shred of evidence. Nothing. Zero. Zip.

      • But i’d still like to hear your explanation for such a colossal contradiction in the story. While you’re at it, perhaps you could also explain why Mark (the oldest synoptic work) didn’t mention the resurrection…. or the historical nature of the Zombie Apocalypse in Mathew (which no one seemed to have noticed)… or what ever happened to the DRAGONS Jesus slays in the Infancy Gospel of Pseudo-Matthew… or all the children Jesus murders in the Infancy gospel of Thomas… and what about the homosexual Jesus who surfaces in James 2nd Apocalypse and the Secret Gospel of Mark… or the Jesus in the Gospel of the Egyptians who preaches for total abstinence and separation of the sexes.

        Why are there so many Jesus’s?

      • “Oh, i see… paper was expensive. Yes, that explains it perfectly.”

        >You really should learn some things before typing such nonsense. Did you actually study what you are talking about, or do you get all your scholarly research from Wikipedia? Actually, Wikipedia would spew out better information than what you give here.

        For example, one of Paul’s writings could cost thousands today to write and send. Who do you think could afford the paper in Ancient Israel? The peasants (a majority of Christ’s followers) definitely could not, nor were they even literate (literacy was 3% in rural areas). Even if they were literate and rich, paper is considered second to oral tradition.

      • Oh dear, you’re really going to persist with this, i see. So, you’re trying to say there were NO historians at all writing between 1CE and 80CE. Not one. No one recorded anything that happened in all of Judea for about 100 years… because peper was too expensive.

        I see, yes, that makes perfect sense.

      • “You have a very strange definition of ‘evidence.’ As i pointed out, by your logic Batman is a real historic figure as there are many stories and commentaries written about him, yet no documentation of him actually ever existing.”

        >Mhm. Like I said before, was Batman was recorded by over 5,700 Greek manuscripts, composed of several epistles, historical narratives, and Greco-Roman bioi, with a textual purity rate of over 99%? Do you have any real arguments than pure assertions than going “derp I consider it fiction, and all fiction is the same” made up of your fanciful assumptions?

        “Alas, you cannot produce a single shred of evidence. Nothing. Zero. Zip.”

        >Alas, you cannot produce a single shred of evidence that you have one of these. Nothing. Zero. Zip.

        https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSI65VR-8c0HXp3ebmicOmhl9GMZdeGrcMP5uOY115Wu0S-qp-sKA

      • OK, try reading this slowly because its clear you can’t think fast:

        con·tem·po·rar·y
        /kənˈtempəˌrerē/

        Adjective
        Living or occurring at the same time.

        Noun
        A person or thing living or existing at the same time as another.

      • “But i’d still like to hear your explanation for such a colossal contradiction in the story.”

        >Don’t need to. I mainly presented it for existence, not detailed.

        “While you’re at it, perhaps you could also explain why Mark (the oldest synoptic work) didn’t mention the resurrection”

        >Are you an idiot? http://www.tektonics.org/lp/markend.html

        “…. or the historical nature of the Zombie Apocalypse in Mathew (which no one seemed to have noticed)”

        >They’d be targets, like Lazarus, so the pharisees would keep it hidden. If they made it a huge event out of it, or left it alone, people would know something was up. Moreover, it probably wasn’t much to note anyway. They came out of tombs (implying they had a fair sum of money), and they were considered holy. How much would that be? Probably about what- 10 people?

        “… or what ever happened to the DRAGONS Jesus slays in the Infancy Gospel of Pseudo-Matthew…or all the children Jesus murders in the Infancy gospel of Thomas…
        and what about the homosexual Jesus who surfaces in James 2nd Apocalypse and the Secret Gospel of Mark… or the Jesus in the Gospel of the Egyptians who preaches for total abstinence and separation of the sexes…. blah blah blah derp derp derp

        Why are there so many Jesus’s?”

        >Beats me. Abe Lincoln has a book and a movie (and a couple games) with him as a vampire slayer.

      • >Beats me. Abe Lincoln has a book and a movie (and a couple games) with him as a vampire slayer.

        aka the game of telephone, where stories are added to a character. But in your myths you want to believe what you like and disbelieve what you don’t like. Why yes, it’s still to have Abe being a vampire hunter, but it’s okay to have a guy claimed to have risen from the dead and again having killed dragons, killing children, bringing clay birds to life, etc.

      • “Oh dear, you’re really going to persist with this, i see. So, you’re trying to say there were NO historians at all writing between 1CE and 80CE. Not one. No one recorded anything that happened in all of Judea for about 100 years… because peper was too expensive.

        I see, yes, that makes perfect sense.”

        >Tell me why someone should write anything before Christianity started to make a big impact.

        http://www.tektonics.org/qt/remslist.html

      • Well, let’s see…. a man brings another man back to life. Seems like a pretty big story, wouldn’t you say. It’s the kind of story that should be noticed and recorded. I mean, a witnessed supernatural event should raise a few eyebrows, right?

        Now, how many people did Jesus bring back to life? Three, wasn’t it? And how many miracles? 34 recorded, but John says “so many that every book in the world couldn’t record them.” Sounds like a lot…. a lot of supernatural happenings, and yet no one bothered to write a word about it.

        Now, by your reckoning, paper was just too damn expensive to record any of this fantastic magic… magic, we’re told that was witnessed by thousands upon thousands of people.

        But hey, dead people are brought back to life all the time, aren’t they… Nothing remarkable there.

      • “OK, try reading this slowly because its clear you can’t think fast:

        con·tem·po·rar·y
        /kənˈtempəˌrerē/

        Adjective
        Living or occurring at the same time.

        Noun
        A person or thing living or existing at the same time as another.”

        >Try reading this slowly, because its clear you can’t think.

        When are contemporary documents a necessary component to establish the historicity of an event or object in Antiquity?

      • John Zande, you are correct about your wonderful insight of truth.

        I can see now it’s all a myth. I have finally revealed my true self and have taken hold of truth.

        I have become… an alincolnist.

        http://alincolnism.com/

      • “Well, let’s see…. a man brings another man back to life. Seems like a pretty big story, wouldn’t you say. It’s the kind of story that should be noticed and recorded. I mean, a witnessed supernatural event should raise a few eyebrows, right?”

        >Tell me why the Romans didn’t go “blah, crazy Jews”, just like you are going?

        Moreover, the Jewish leaders frequently tried to cover it up (John 12:9-11).

        “Now, how many people did Jesus bring back to life? Three, wasn’t it? And how many miracles? 34 recorded, but John says “so many that every book in the world couldn’t record them.” Sounds like a lot…. a lot of supernatural happenings, and yet no one bothered to write a word about it.”

        >In an oral culture. Yes.

        “Now, by your reckoning, paper was just too damn expensive to record any of this fantastic magic… magic, we’re told that was witnessed by thousands upon thousands of people.”

        >By my reckoning? Have you ever studied ancient history?

      • “Oh dear, you’re an idiot.”

        >Pot called the kettle black.

        Do you mind giving some real argument? Not just pointless assertions from your Googleism?

      • Thanks for the laugh. Paper too expensive is unquestionably the best excuse i’ve heard from any apologist, and i’ve heard a lot of excuses. Congratulations!

      • What survives from the 1st Century can fit a 3 foot high bookshelf. Go let me know when contemporaries are a necessity. Otherwise, I’ll go with the position that Alexander the Great never existed.

        Actually, Alexander’s name and legacy are immortalized in busts, statues, medallions, coins and cities. We have a fairly detailed account of his personal life, and his conquests were also recorded by the historians of the nations he conquered.

        What similar artifacts are available to establish Jesus’ existence?

        Are there any portraits? Or personal writings?

        How about furniture bearing the master carpenter’s signature? Or a boulder with “Jesus was here… Summer of ’33” chiseled into it?

        Is there a copy of his arrest warrant? or his trial transcripts? or his execution decree? or a death certificate? or a bill of sale for a burial chamber to one ‘Joseph of Arimathea’?

        Is there a list identifying the 500 group members who (according to Paul) witnessed the post-mortem appearance of Jesus?

        If Jesus is presented as God incarnate, then it’s hardly unfair to demand superior evidence for his existence than we’d ordinarily expect to find for other historical figures.

        “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
        ~Jesus

      • “Thanks for the laugh. Paper too expensive is unquestionably the best excuse i’ve heard from any apologist, and i’ve heard a lot of excuses. Congratulations!”

        >No sir, thank you for ignoring just about everything else. I’ve never seen such an ignorant atheist before. I can’t even decide which of the Wikipedian scholars here are worse.

        “Actually, Alexander’s name and legacy are immortalized in busts, statues, medallions, coins and cities. We have a fairly detailed account of his personal life, and his conquests were also recorded by the historians of the nations he conquered.

        What similar artifacts are available to establish Jesus’ existence?”

        >Of course we could see that- Alexander was a king of many nations. But none of his contemporary documents are here.

        “Are there any portraits?”

        >Violation of the second commandment.

        “Or personal writings?”

        >John 5:31.

        “Is there a copy of his arrest warrant? or his trial transcripts? or his execution decree? or a death certificate?”

        >All of Pilate’s records are gone anyway.

        “Is there a list identifying the 500 group members who (according to Paul) witnessed the post-mortem appearance of Jesus?”

        >As Nick puts it, “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.”

        “If Jesus is presented as God incarnate, then it’s hardly unfair to demand superior evidence for his existence than we’d ordinarily expect to find for other historical figures.”

        >Non sequitur. God is not a tangible being. +John 18:36. Besides, this is a entirely different topic.

      • “Are there any portraits?”

        >Violation of the second commandment.

        “Or personal writings?”

        >John 5:31.

        This is getting a bit off topic but does a great job of showing how things fall apart after so much time spent on arguing for a flesh and blood man who was killed and never resurrected.

        Oh dear, violations like this? http://www.upi.com/blog/2013/04/03/Ohio-school-removes-Jesus-portrait-after-ACLU-FFRF-complaints/6321365004794/

        well, the commandment says this ““You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. 5 You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, 6 but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.”

        Now most Christians will says that they don’t worship such images like the idols described. This again is another instance of where Christians don’t agree on what their god “really” meant.

        and John 5:31? “31 “If I testify about myself, my testimony is not true. 32 There is another who testifies in my favor, and I know that his testimony about me is true.

        So, this would seem to mean that Paul is to be doubted. And where is this testimony from this other source? Now, Christians assume that this other is their god. So the sentence really should say “I testify for me since I am God and I know my testimony is true.”

        And your bible says that your god is a tangible being. We have him walking and making clothes. We have him showing his backside to Moses, etc.

      • “Actually, Alexander’s name and legacy are immortalized in busts, statues, medallions, coins”

        > All in violation of the second commandment. You wouldn’t be able to apply that to Jesus. Besides- the topic at hand was documented evidence. Moreover, there were lots of statues and busts of Zeus, Poseidon, etc.

        “and cities.”

        > I don’t recall Jesus ever conquering a city. Why is this a requirement? There were also cities named after Greek gods and goddesses.

        “We have a fairly detailed account of his personal life, and his conquests were also recorded by the historians of the nations he conquered.”

        > Too bad none of his contemporary accounts are here. And the most reliable is what- +300? Also, as John put it, “Might as well be arguing that Batman was real, as both characters have exactly the same historical references.”

        “What similar artifacts are available to establish Jesus’ existence?”

        >Since I’m not a Wikipedian scholar, I’m not just going to go to Google and plop everything I see down. From what I remember, though the Shroud of Turin is thought to be dated to the medieval era, there are lots of arguments against it, which may bring up another dating. I believe Craig Evans as some bits about Peter’s house and the tomb. As well as there being recent discoveries of James’ ossuaries, among others.

      • still no evidence of a magical Jesus. There are indeed arguments that the Shroud is 2000 years old but there is no evidence and certainly no evidence that Jesus would look like he does in medival paintings and not as a young Jewish man. The ossuary says “James son of joseph brother of Jesus” which also does nothing to show that there is the jesus of myth existed. I do not see that Craig Evans has anything on Peter’s house or the tomb. I would be very interested if you could show more information on these claims. What I have found is that the supposed house of peter is one more questionable site that has been initially interpreted as bible based by religious investigators and then questioned later: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capernaum (note the references)

        Evans does seem to have his doubts about the ossuaries: http://www.craigaevans.com/tombofjesus.htm

      • Violation of the second commandment.

        Which version: Catholic or Protestant? Exodus 20? or Exodus 34? or Deuteronomy 5?

        Not that it matters much — because then as now, the majority of them are frequently violated, anyways. And the Romans certainly weren’t under any obligation to follow them.

        Anyways,,, it’s missing evidence.

        Evidence for Jesus: 0

        Though, according to the bible, the Jewish people often violated that commandment. And the Romans definitely didn’t follow it. Nor do modern Christians.

        John 5:31

        John 8:14

        All of Pilate’s records are gone anyway.

        Too bad.

        Evidence for Jesus: 0

        As Nick puts it, “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 carwhate of this and these people would have been well-known in the community.

        Then you’ll have to accept the same arguments in defense of the supernatural claims attributed to Mohamed. And the Mormons can actually produce affidavits for the people who claim to have seen those golden plates.

        Evidence for Jesus: 0
        Evidence for Golden Plates: 1

        >Non sequitur. God is not a tangible being. +John 18:36.

        That’s also too bad — because tangible evidence for the Christian deity is precisely what’s being requested.

        Evidence for Jesus: 0

        Besides, this is a entirely different topic.

        Please re-read the opening post — especially the final paragraph.

        Evidence for Jesus’ divinity is what you’ve been asked to provide.

        Final Tally:

        Tangible Evidence for Jesus: Nil

        Next…

      • “Which version: Catholic or Protestant? Exodus 20? or Exodus 34? or Deuteronomy 5?”

        >lolwut

        “Not that it matters much — because then as now, the majority of them are frequently violated, anyways. And the Romans certainly weren’t under any obligation to follow them.

        Though, according to the bible, the Jewish people often violated that commandment.”

        >Now tell me how you can apply it to this situation, and tell me if that was approved.

        “And the Romans definitely didn’t follow it. Nor do modern Christians.”

        >Why would the Romans make a bust of Jesus?

        “Anyways,,, it’s missing evidence.”

        >You can’t use it against either- it’s simply not there.

        “John 8:14”

        >Context man. Context. He is talking about the hopelessness of a only one man’s testimony. 5:31 is in respect to for Jews (or just men in general) [Deut 19:15]. 8:14 is in respect to the truth.

        “Then you’ll have to accept the same arguments in defense of the supernatural claims attributed to Mohamed. And the Mormons can actually produce affidavits for the people who claim to have seen those golden plates.”

        >And those people have admitted to it being mere profit and a lie.

        “That’s also too bad — because tangible evidence for the Christian deity is precisely what’s being requested.”

        >Scientifically prove to me that Abe Lincoln was elected on Nov 6.

        Evidence for Lincoln: 0

        “Please re-read the opening post — especially the final paragraph.”

        >Evidence for the historical Jesus is the topic in the comments.

        Tangible Evidence for Abe Lincoln’s election: Nil. Never was elected.

        Next…

        “Tangible Evidence for Jesus: Nil”

        >I see you ignored everything else.

        However, I believe Habermas has an entire chapter on it in his book “The Historical Jesus”

      • I believe “Mormonism Unveiled” sums it up nicely, with Barton Stafford, Henry Harris, Abigail Harris, Lucy Harris, Artemas Cunningham, Nahum Howard, Oliver Smith, John N. Miller,Roswell Nichols and Joshua Stafford.

        And the two people he killed trying to escape jail doesn’t help either.

      • “John 8:14”

        >Less rushed answer. However, it may still be unclear. I will expand. John 8:14 is where Jesus has the claim of truth- regardless of anyone’s standards. In John 5:31, Jesus is talking in regards to Deut 19:15. He is saying a mere one man’s testimony is insufficient- no one would believe Him, apart from other witnesses. The Pharisees understood this in John 8:13.

        There’s also more info here- http://www.tektonics.org/gk/jeswrite.html

        and here- http://www.blueletterbible.org/faq/don_stewart/stewart.cfm?id=192

      • “John 8:14″

        >Less rushed answer. However, it may still be unclear. I will expand. John 8:14 is where Jesus has the claim of truth- regardless of anyone’s standards. In John 5:31, Jesus is talking in regards to Deut 19:15. He is saying a mere one man’s testimony is insufficient- no one would believe Him, apart from other witnesses. The Pharisees understood this in John 8:13.

        There’s also more info here- tektonics(dot)org/gk/jeswrite.html

        and here- blueletterbible(dot)org/faq/don_stewart/stewart.cfm?id=192

      • “Which version: Catholic or Protestant?”

        >Mhm, perhaps I should be more specific. However, the Catholic Church merely numbers them differently. It violates “Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God…”

        “Exodus 20? or Exodus 34? or Deuteronomy 5?”

        >Exodus 34:17, Exodus 20:4, Deut 5:7. Regardless, they are all the same.

        And here’s some info on that- tektonics(dot)org/qt/tentab.html

        “Not that it matters much — because then as now, the majority of them are frequently violated, anyways.”

        >The Decalogue, or the entire Laws of Moses?

        “And the Romans certainly weren’t under any obligation to follow them.”

        >Why would the Romans make a bust, exactly?

        “Though, according to the bible, the Jewish people often violated that commandment.”

        >Indeed, they have at times. However, the teachings would make it more likely that they wouldn’t make them frequently.

        “Nor do modern Christians.”

        >Again, the Decalogue, or the entire Laws of Moses?

      • “lolcontradictions

        Second Commandment per:

        Jewish Talmud = “Thou shalt not have any other gods before me (plus no graven images)”

        Catholics and Lutherans = “Thou shalt not take the Lord’s name in vain”

        Orthodox and Other Protestants = “Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image””

        >You don’t pay attention. Perhaps I should be more specific. It violates “Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God…”

        Exodus 34:17, Exodus 20:4, Deut 5:7. Regardless, they are all the same.

        And here’s some info on that- tektonics(dot)org/qt/tentab.html

        “Exodus 34 = “Thou shalt make thee no molten gods”

        And then in Numbers 21:8, God apparently forgot his own rules.”

        >It’s not an idol. The never worshipped it. Moreover, they destroyed it in 2 Kings 18:4, BECAUSE people started to worship it. Now you may go “Didn’t God see this coming?” He did. That’s why He made the commandment.

        “According to the Gospels, Jesus was charged with blasphemy (i.e. claiming to be God), remember?”

        >Irrelevent to busts.

        “So anyone who worshiped him would have been guilty of breaking the commandments, as well.”

        >According to who’s standard? God’s? No. The Pharisees. Now tell me how this has to do with making a bust.

        “Who said it had to be a bust? It could have been a courtroom sketch, or a portrait drawn by one of his non-Jewish followers, or even just a textual description of his appearance.”

        >Tell me why they should make it. Immortalize His legacy? Jesus wasn’t a physical king, nor was His kingdom physical. Worshiping it is already out of the picture. Establishing His existence? People then already knew He existed. And if they doubted, why would a picture convince them otherwise?

        “Nevertheless, the onus for providing tangible evidence remains with those making positive claims for the existence of a god-man.”

        >Habermas has written an entire chapter about archaeological evidence in his book “The Historical Jesus”.

        “Your ad-hoc eisegesis notwithstanding, the text clearly shows Jesus contradicting himself within the span of just three chapters.”

        >Your ad-hoc eisegesis notwithstanding, the text clearly shows Jesus is not contradicting Himself within the span of just three chapters. See how well your baseless accusations work?

        “The point remains… nothing prevented the all-mighty, all-knowing Jesus from committing his thoughts to papyrus. Or do you maintain that he was just as illiterate as the rest of the population?”

        >Nope. He certainly was literate. Luke 4:17 Again, more info on that here-tektonics(dot)org/gk/jeswrite.html

        and here- blueletterbible(dot)org/faq/don_stewart/stewart.cfm?id=192

        “You mean aside from the newspaper articles and photos of his first inauguration ceremony? And the events which transpired almost immediately thereafter? And the congressional records? And his personal memoirs? And the contemporaneous accounts written by others?”

        >Too bad. You can’t scientifically prove it. It’s not observable, measurable, nor repeatable.

        “You mean aside from the newspaper articles and photos of his first inauguration ceremony?”

        >Hyper-skepticism logic: It’s not the evidence, but the claim. And here’s a newspaper with Spiderman, with a picture of him robbing a bank. planetkrypton(dot)net/products/Spiderman-3-newspaper.jpg

        “And the events which transpired almost immediately thereafter?”

        >What events? The Civil War? Oh, you mean that thing that was made up to give black people hope and cling to the Northerners. Yup, they indeed have reason to have made it up. Moreover, it’s clear that Abe Lincoln was nothing more than an allegory. “Abraham” refers to the father of multitudes and is derived from the biblical character [father] Abraham (Gen 12ff). The “Abraham” character is a symbol of plentitude and fruitfulness. Applied to the Lincoln myth, “Abraham” refers to a founding father who creates new people or new nations through abolition (read, ‘abe-lincoln’). In this case, “Abraham Lincoln” describes the liberation of a slave class and the founding of the United States of America. The picture is beautiful allegory, really, but not to be taken literally. . . .

        “And the congressional records?”

        >How do we know they weren’t doctored and changed over time? So many peope want to believe that there was a president who fought for emanicipation.

        “And his personal memoirs?”

        >Santa has recently published “The Autobiography of Santa Claus”.

        “And the contemporaneous accounts written by others?”

        >It’s not the evidence. It’s the claim. Moreover, it’s pretty clear that it was all made up, all to garner the support of the 4 million African Americans.

        “Evidence for Lincoln: pretty frickin’ high.”

        >Nope.

        “In any case, it’s a moot point, because I’m not aware of any religious movement centered on claims that Lincoln was a divine being who performed miracles.”

        >facebook(dot)com/lincolnbewithus?ref=stream

        “It’s a package deal. A deity incapable of making its existence known is indistinguishable from one which doesn’t exist.”

        >Stick to the topic at hand. We were specifically going for written evidence.

        “What did I ignore? Your point on the Shroud of Turin? If biblical scholars aren’t convinced of its authenticity, then what more can I add?”

        >Hardly fair to make that jump. It’s a highly debated topic.

        “[citation needed]

        Could you please clarify what you mean by those statements.”

        >I’ll point you to a series CARM has, here- carm(dot)org/mormonism. It’s “Mormonism Unveiled”.

        “And when you’re done, please explain why the oral traditions of other religions should be considered any less reliable than those passed down by Christianity.”

        >You ignore the fact that the Jews were an oral society, which would transmit even long material reliably. Moreover, Jesus taught in short parables, thus making it easier to transmit. There are also many other “creeds” and passages throughout Scripture which are specifically desgined as a type of “poem” so it would be simple to repeat.

        Also, I’m not the one making telephone game accusations.

      • “Oh dear, violations like this? http://www.upi.com/blog/2013/04/03/Ohio-school-removes-Jesus-portrait-after-ACLU-FFRF-complaints/6321365004794/

        well, the commandment says this ““You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. 5 You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, 6 but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.”

        Now most Christians will says that they don’t worship such images like the idols described. This again is another instance of where Christians don’t agree on what their god “really” meant.”

        >Cool. Now tell me why the contemporaries would make any portraits of Christ. Actually, there may be a few portaits from the first few centuries, but I’ll have to check back.

        “So, this would seem to mean that Paul is to be doubted. And where is this testimony from this other source?”

        >Luke (Acts) and Peter (2 Peter 3:15).

        “And your bible says that your god is a tangible being. We have him walking”

        >Have you never heard the word “theophany” before?

        “and making clothes.”

        >How does this prove He is tangible?

        “We have him showing his backside to Moses, etc.”

        >It’s referring to the fullness of His glory. So?

      • Yes, there are portraits from the first few centuries. you can find them on the ‘net.

        I have indeed heard of the term theophany. It is simply physical appearance of deities. The Christian god is no different than many of the other gods from the Bronze/Iron Age.

        To make garments out of skin, one has to interact with the skin. I do suppose he could have acted like a poltergeist making material objects move while being immaterial. I wonder, why not make garments out of woven fabric (one type of fiber of course) since God prefers that it seems.

        And no, it’s God showing his backside to Noah, not his “glory”. “18 Then Moses said, “Now show me your glory.”

        19 And the Lord said, “I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you, and I will proclaim my name, the Lord, in your presence. I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. 20 But,” he said, “you cannot see my face, for no one may see me and live.”
        21 Then the Lord said, “There is a place near me where you may stand on a rock. 22 When my glory passes by, I will put you in a cleft in the rock and cover you with my hand until I have passed by. 23 Then I will remove my hand and you will see my back; but my face must not be seen.”

      • “aka the game of telephone, where stories are added to a character. But in your myths you want to believe what you like and disbelieve what you don’t like. Why yes, it’s still to have Abe being a vampire hunter, but it’s okay to have a guy claimed to have risen from the dead and again having killed dragons, killing children, bringing clay birds to life, etc.”

        >Interesting.

        Now prove that the Gospels are “telephone”.

      • So, can you show that Jesus did what is claimed of him? We have evidence that stories are attributed to characters and those events do not need to have occurred, thus we know that the phenomenon of “telephone” happens. We have no evidence that the stories ever happened which throws more doubt on the veracity of the stories and makes them seem more likely to be distorted. So, is it more likely that known human phenomena have happened or is it more likely that a magical man killed children, brought clay birds to life, rose from the dead, etc?

      • “wow, tater, it’s like watching the death dive of a kite, the abruptness and thrashing is funny but then I feel sorry for it in the end. All of these are not evidence that your magical god existed. They are repititions of stories handed down. There is no evidence.”

        “And, as John Z. noted, you used Josephus, which is at best evidence for some poor guy who got killed and was nothing special. Same with Tacitus.”

        >You contradict your friends. “There should be one considering crucifixion was reserved for sedition, the highest of all crimes against Rome.” -John Z

        “And Pliny, well, dear Pliny mentions Christians, not Christ. So, as I have told you before, if you want to claim that believers of a god is good evidence, then many many gods exist with as much reality as your god.”

        >No not directly. However, I’ll leave that for later.

        “It’s always great to see you either have not paid attention at all to the discussion that has occurred or are intentionally trying to lie again by presenting sources that do not show Jesus Christ, magical son of God as existed. We still have no evidence of the supposedly supernatural events in the bible.”

        >Interesting. Nick was also speaking of the incarnation, in respect to your post. Perhaps you should go talk to him?

        “Those manuscripts are copies of the same stories and again no evidence to support them. It’s so cute when a Christian wants to claim quantity over quality. By that bit of silliness, Scientology is just as real as Chrisitanity since golly, we have lots of books about it.”

        >By golly, you are an idiot. That wasn’t the argument. The fact is that the texts were not doctored in any way.

        “Finally, nice lies again, potato, when you want to claim more strawmen arguments. Sorry, please do show where anyone has said something like your poor little attempt at insulting people and lying about what they said.”

        >Pot called the kettle black.

        “And dear, fiction is fiction aka a story that is not the truth. Please do tell us about those “other” types of fiction.”

        >smh. There are different literary styles, lackwit.

        So, are all books are the same? Math book = science book = history book? All nonfiction is the same? Lincoln isn’t in my science book- therefore, he never existed.

        Checkmate, Lincolnist.

      • okay, how do I contradict John? I see no contradiction, just you making a vague claim. Please do go into detail.

        No wonder you want to ignore the problem of claiming Pliny as evidence for your god and Jesus when all it does is show that any mention of any believers of any god would make them just as supposedly as real as yours. Of course, you want to “leave that for later.”

        We still have no evidence for the existence of a magical Jesus. Nick has no evidence either. I am still waiting.

        The claim that the “texts were not altered in any way” is also false. We know that not to be the case with the bible. Now, I wonder if your respect for Bart Ehrman will last when he shows that you are wrong in “Misquoting Jesus”?

        Please do show me where I am being the “pot calling the kettle black”. You want to make accusations, you will support them with facts or you will simply be lying again.

        I know that there are different literary styles. That doesn’t change what fiction means; we can have fictional poems, prose, etc. Again, please do show us these other “types” of fiction. Non-fiction also means one thing, based on facts. Math books, science books and history books write about true events and true facts; in that they are indeed the same. We can have memoirs, biographies, text books, etc and all are non-fiction. Fiction and non-fiction are opposites. See that nifty little prefix “non”? And a chemistry book is no less non-fiction if it doesn’t mention Lincoln. Try again.

      • “Unfortunately, you are wrong again, tater. I have seen no link from your precious Nick. Not in the spam or the trash folder or in comments waiting to be approved. There could be a couple of possibilities. The message never got to me. WordPress is not perfect, not by a longshot. Second, he never sent an invitation and now falsely claims he did to cover his embarrassment when I have pointed out how his conduct is rather amusing. I have *never* blocked or rejected a comment.”

        >Why should I believe you?

        “Claiming I did so is lying and is bearing false witness, something that Christians should avoid, yes? Unfortunately, I know that bearing false witness is a common thing for many Christians.”

        >Again, why should I believe you?

        “And avoid him, tsk. I know just where he is, since his minions desperately want me to pay attention to poor Nick. I’ve read his supposed refutation and it’s nothing new. Been there, done that. By all means, if someone else wants to waste the time reading it, let them.”

        >Another display of argument ad lapidem. Try again.

        “It is just grand to see so many people desperate for my attention. And how sweet, someone who wants to parrot my writing. It’s even more hilarious since this person must depend on a lie in their attempt to make a point. Excellent!”

        >Blah blah, nothing new.

      • That’s odd. Considering everything I said before. Including the fact that it’s not very common for people to do that.

        What’s odd or uncommon about wanting to make portraits (or take pictures) for sentimental reasons? Which part of the world do you live in?

        Now instead of spewing out sound bites, make a real argument.

        It wasn’t a sound bite – that one sentence was your entire argument in response to my comment that “anyone who worshiped [Jesus] would have been guilty of breaking the commandments, as well.” Scroll up to your reply dated August 6, 2013 at 11:01 and examine it for yourself.

        What does this have to do with busts and pictures?

        I have no idea. You’re the one who keeps raising the issue, so why don’t you tell me? Is it your Chewbacca defense?

        That which is physical would leave physical objects. Looking in the wrong area.

        And that which is supernatural, would leave supernatural evidence. Yet I see neither physical, nor supernatural evidence for Jesus’ existence. So if I’m looking in the wrong area, please guide me in the right direction.

        Wasn’t within their cultural context. There was simply no reaosn [sic] too.

        How do you know this? In the words of Kenneth Ham: “Were you there?”

        Ron: “Or that the same God who spoke the universe into existence couldn’t arrange to have a sketch artist and historian on hand to document Jesus’ ministry?”

        Potato: For what purpose?

        To prevent countless wars and schisms over doctrinal disputes, for one. To squelch all future skepticism pertaining to Jesus’ existence, for another.

        Kindly look at who I was talking to when you jumped in.

        Yes, and I countered your assertion that “what survives from the 1st Century can fit a 3 foot high bookshelf.” The conversation has since moved forward – at least for my part – so why do you keep interjecting the words of others into our discussion? Are you incapable of engaging more than one person at a time?

        Some is an “An unspecified number or amount of people”. Try again.

        The on-line thesaurus defines “some” as synonymous with:

        – a bit, a few, a little, any, part of
        – a few, a number, a part, a portion, an amount, more or less.

        In any case, scholarly agreement over the shroud’s authenticity is far from unanimous. And even if it were traced back to the early first century, it still wouldn’t prove whose body it had once been wrapped around.

        Define “valifity”.

        “Valifity” isn’t a word in the English language. Did you mean “validity?” If so, I’m using it in the context of trustworthiness (i.e. plausibility, credibility, reliability and soundness).

        Good. Now what does this have to do with him being literate?

        As explained earlier, the Gospels portray the disciples as being somewhat dim.

        So you’re an intectually [sic] dishonest individual. Thank you for your failure to exegete [sic] properly.

        I made no such admission.

        Few people are proficient in either Greek or Hebrew, let alone both. Fewer still, have unrestricted access to the ancient documents – comprised, as they are, of thousands of fragments — in their original form. Which means that the rest of us are forced to rely on the professional expertise of those who piece together those fragments and translate them into modern languages.

        I admitted only to relying on their proficiency.

        And thus are your requests.

        Since Lincoln isn’t in my science book, he is clearly unscientific, and thus never existed.

        Since the Bible makes no mention of traffic laws, there’s no moral injunction to obey them. So go forth and speed through controlled intersections.

        BTW…

        Why do you devote so much attention to a president you don’t believe in? Perhaps you’re not really an aLincolnist after all – you’re just angry with Lincoln and willfully deny his existence because you want to indulge your immoral lust to enslave others with impunity.

        Re: Mormons

        Acrimony aside, I still see no evidence that any of the witnesses recanted having seen those plates. Being ousted from the church would have been the ideal opportunity for them to do so. Yet strangely — they didn’t.

        As for seeing the golden the plates spiritually, Peter and Paul both claimed they saw Jesus after they’d fallen into a trance — so this seems to be par for the course.

      • “I shall be surprised if any Christians attempt this one.”

        Are you serious? Have you read NT Wrights ‘The Resurrection of the Son of God?” published by a scholarly source

        Richard Swinburne’s “Resurrection of the God Incarnate”?????? Published by Oxford

        Tim Mcgrew’s ‘Argument from Miracles’ that was published in the Blackwell Companion to Natural Theology?

        C’mon Club you need to stop messing around Fundy Bible-Belt Christianity and get up to date with academia.

        Why are you so anti-academia?

        MY Friend Nick on Deeperwaters (the guy who you refused to debate) pointed this out to you in his response to you (that you refused to respond to

      • Sigh, attempt this discussion *here*, Cornell, I know that there are books of apologetics on it. You need to make the argument that your magical jesus existed.

        You claim that “The Resurrection of the Son of God” by Write is published by a “scholarly source”. It is published by Augsburg Fortress, “Welcome to Augsburg Fortress, the Publishing House of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.” http://www.augsburgfortress.org/company/default.jsp So, it is not the “scholarly source” you claim, but simply a Christian publishing house. Your claim is false and either you have intentionally lied, hoping no one would notice, or you are terribly ignorant and lazy.

        “Argument from Miracles” is an essay in a Christian book, again not scholarly. Here it is for anyone’s review: http://www.commonsenseatheism.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/Mcgrew-McGrew-The-Argument-from-Miracles.pdf We have the usual attempts to claim that the contradictions in the bible show that they are true, since agreement would show them to be just a conspiracy. This of course is the usual Christian attempt to have cake and eat it too since they also argue that the similarities are what show the gospels to be true. McGrew also claims that archaeology has supported the gospels, the usual Christian claim that since there are mentions of real people and real places, that means magic also happened. By that argument, the events in the movie “Independence Day” also happened since we do know that Washington DC exists. We continue with the usual arguments, that women would never have been considered reliable witnesses (addressed by me in other posts), that the apostles wouldn’t not have died for something they didn’t believe in, etc. it is the very same arguments used by all apologists (sophisticated and those “fundy bible belt Christians” that Cornell dislikes so) dressed up with mathematical equations to give it a frisson of importance since people trust science.

        Thank you, Cornell, for complaining about those awful “Fundy Bible-Belt Christianity” people. Why those people aren’t TrueChristians at all, are they? Alas, your claims of “academia” are shown for the falsehoods they are. I do enjoy when Christians say that their fellow Christians are wrong but have no more evidence that their “academic” Christianity is right.

        And I am not anti-academia, but thanks for lying again to try to portray me as such. I amused that your soul is worth you losing it by falsely claiming things about me. I have no problems with academia; I do have problems with lying Chrsitians who claim that they have scholarly sources and who can be shown to be telling falsehoods.

        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.

      • “What’s odd or uncommon about wanting to make portraits (or take pictures) for sentimental reasons? Which part of the world do you live in?”

        >Wasn’t really part of their cultural context.

        “It wasn’t a sound bite – that one sentence was your entire argument in response to my comment that “anyone who worshiped [Jesus] would have been guilty of breaking the commandments, as well.” Scroll up to your reply dated August 6, 2013 at 11:01 and examine it for yourself.”

        >Good. Now, what does this have to do with busts and idols? Because that was the original issue you were supposed to address.

        “I have no idea. You’re the one who keeps raising the issue, so why don’t you tell me? Is it your Chewbacca defense?”

        >You have no idea what your argument has to do with my statement? Cool.

        “And that which is supernatural, would leave supernatural evidence. Yet I see neither physical, nor supernatural evidence for Jesus’ existence. So if I’m looking in the wrong area, please guide me in the right direction.

        If so, I’m using it in the context of trustworthiness (i.e. plausibility, credibility, reliability and soundness).”

        >Vast issue, so I’ll expand on it later.

        “How do you know this? In the words of Kenneth Ham: “Were you there?””

        >The fact that they didn’t make any, and were widely known for not making any, and that we have few or none left to this day.

        “To prevent countless wars and schisms over doctrinal disputes, for one. To squelch all future skepticism pertaining to Jesus’ existence, for another.”

        1) How does a picture affect doctrinal disputes? Moreover, only 6.98% of wars are tied to religion- half are caused by Muslims. (See Encyclopedia of Wars by Phillips and Axelrod).

        2) A picture will convince you more? We have statues and pictures of Zeus.

        “Yes, and I countered your assertion that “what survives from the 1st Century can fit a 3 foot high bookshelf.” The conversation has since moved forward – at least for my part – so why do you keep interjecting the words of others into our discussion? Are you incapable of engaging more than one person at a time?”

        >And of course, you take my words out of context. We were discussing textual documents.

        “The on-line thesaurus defines “some” as synonymous with:

        – a bit, a few, a little, any, part of
        – a few, a number, a part, a portion, an amount, more or less.”

        >”being of an unspecified amount or number” merriam-webster(dot)com/dictionary/some

        “As explained earlier, the Gospels portray the disciples as being somewhat dim.”

        >There are also stupid people who are literate. Go on facebook.

        “I made no such admission. Few people are proficient in either Greek or Hebrew, let alone both. Fewer still, have unrestricted access to the ancient documents – comprised, as they are, of thousands of fragments — in their original form. Which means that the rest of us are forced to rely on the professional expertise of those who piece together those fragments and translate them into modern languages.

        I admitted only to relying on their proficiency.”

        >There are many places where you can see the Greek New Testament, even online. If you want to exegete scripture, it is essential to see the very original meaning. Translators aren’t always perfect.

        “Since the Bible makes no mention of traffic laws, there’s no moral injunction to obey them. So go forth and speed through controlled intersections.”

        >See Romans 13:1.

        “Why do you devote so much attention to a president you don’t believe in? Perhaps you’re not really an aLincolnist after all – you’re just angry with Lincoln and willfully deny his existence because you want to indulge your immoral lust to enslave others with impunity.”

        >If lincoln existed, why are there still slaves? Checkmate, lincolnist. Also, stop capitalizing the “l”. It only reinforces the myth.

        “Re: Mormons…”

        1) Of course, even if Smith had found a bunch of plates, it is still uncertain what these plates actually contained. Though, it is widely noted that they were extremely alike to the writings of Solomon Spalding.

        2) In a letter to Luke Johnson in 1838, Stephen Burnett notes that Harris had admitted to not seeing the plates. As noted by Robert N. Hullinger, in his book “Joseph Smith’s Response to Skepticism”, “Martin Harris publicly denied that the eight witnesses ever saw the plates.” And of course, we have two witnesses (Abagail and Lucy Harris) revealing that Harris had lied. Harris’ testimony of Shakerism was “greater than it was of the Book of Mormon.” (Letter of Phineas H. Young to Brigham Young, Dec. 31, 1844)

        3) As Hullinger also reports, “The written testimony of the eight witnesses differed from that of the three witnesses. They claimed no revelation. No “voice” declared to them that the “work is true.” No “power of God” showed them the plates—just Joseph Smith.” However, this contradicts another statement they make- “However, the eight did claim revelation in their conversations with others. When David Marks stopped at the Whitmers on March 1830, the eight witnesses “affirmed, that an angel had showed them certain plates of metal, having the appearance of gold that were dug out of the ground by one Joseph Smith.”

        4) Whitmer’s story contradicted Oliver’s story (Millennial Star, vol. XL, pp. 771-772). Whitmer also claimed to John Murphy that he saw the angel with “no appearance or shape” but he merely “had impressions”. Thus, it’s hardly even a vision.

        5) Cowdry is reported to have denied the plates in Times and Seasons Vol 2.

        6) The claim for the plates is clearly physical, however, most of the witnesses do not describe it as such. Some describe it as a vision, others describe it as a feeling, and others describe it as a

        I’ll expand more later.

        “As for seeing the golden the plates spiritually, Peter and Paul both claimed they saw Jesus after they’d fallen into a trance — so this seems to be par for the course.”

        >As you said before, “citations needed”. For Peter, the only relevent thing I remembered was Acts 10. However, it’s not really a physical claim nor is it about the resurrection. As for Paul, I remember Acts 22. However, that’s not really about the resurrection.

      • Good. Now, what does this have to do with busts and idols? Because that was the original issue you were supposed to address.

        I already addressed that issue on August 5, 2013 at 11:53 pm. Seek and ye shall find.

        You have no idea what your argument has to do with my statement? Cool.

        I have no idea why you’re fixated on busts and idolatry (personal hobby, perhaps?), nor why you are incapable of following the natural flow of a conversation.

        1) How does a picture affect doctrinal disputes?

        It doesn’t. But written accounts taken during his ministry certainly would done much to mitigate them.

        Moreover, only 6.98% of wars are tied to religion- half are caused by Muslims. (See Encyclopedia of Wars by Phillips and Axelrod).

        None of which erases the fact that such doctrinal disputes account for millions of casualties and thousands of sects – a fact which not only undermines all claims to biblical inerrancy, but also negates the idea that our universe is governed by an all-loving, all-knowing and all-powerful being.

        The real problem for apologists isn’t so much that there’s insufficient evidence for the existence of God; it’s that the evidence we do have contradicts the Christian concept of God.

        2) A picture will convince you more?

        Supporting evidence can never hurt, can it?

        We have statues and pictures of Zeus.

        Indeed, we have more physical evidence to support belief in the existence of the Greek pantheon than we do for Jesus.

        And of course, you take my words out of context. We were discussing textual documents.

        Perhaps you were, but external sources aren’t limited strictly to textual documents. In fact, much of ancient history is reconstructed from non-textual artifacts.

        There are also stupid people who are literate. Go on facebook.

        So…

        Despite:

        a) being presented as dim-witted, ordinary fishermen,
        b) who couldn’t afford to buy papyrus (your claim),
        c) living during an era when over 90% of the population was illiterate (also your claim) and
        d) Acts 4:8-13 assertions to the contrary

        … you still maintain the disciples were functionally literate men?

        There are many places where you can see the Greek New Testament, even online. If you want to exegete [sic] scripture, it is essential to see the very original meaning. Translators aren’t always perfect.

        Exegete is a noun, not a verb.

        The original manuscripts (and meanings) have been lost to time. I’m often inclined to wonder why the same God who’s purported to have meticulously guided the composition of the original autographs would later become so ambivalent about keeping them in circulation, thus leaving future generations reliant on error-ridden translations of copies of copies of fragments, instead. To me it seems inconceivable that an omniscient being would ever entrust such an enterprise to fallible men.

        See Romans 13:1.

        Now if only the religious right would honor the sentiments expressed by that verse when it comes to matters of national policy (i.e. same-sex marriage, health care and immigration reform, women’s reproductive rights, separation of church and state, etc.)

        If lincoln existed, why are there still slaves? Checkmate, lincolnist. Also, stop capitalizing the “l”. It only reinforces the myth.

        Which states in the union still sanction the practice of slavery?

        Re: Mormons…

        Hearsay is not the equivalent of a signed confession denouncing former claims to having seen the plates. As far as I know, none of the witnesses issued such a confession.

        As you said before, “citations needed”

        Sure, happy to oblige.

        According to Acts (9:3-4, 9:12, 16:9, 18:9, 22:6-21), Gal. 1:11-12 and 2 Cor. 12:1-5, Paul had quite a number of “visions” during his ministry. In fact, Paul acknowledged he had so many “surpassingly great revelations” that he was given a thorn in his flesh to keep him from becoming conceited. (2 Cor. 12:7, NIV)

        Peter’s (and Cornelius’) visions are documented in Acts 10.

        However, it’s not really a physical claim nor is it about the resurrection. As for Paul, I remember Acts 22. However, that’s not really about the resurrection.

        What difference does it make? The point is they all lay claim to heavenly apparitions. In Gal. 1:11-12, Paul proudly admits that his gospel was not received from man, but through revelation – a clear indication that he had little regard for the doctrines propagated through oral tradition, and especially so when they conflicted with his own (Gal. 1:6-9).

    • lolwut

      lolcontradictions

      Second Commandment per:

      Jewish Talmud = “Thou shalt not have any other gods before me (plus no graven images)”

      Catholics and Lutherans = “Thou shalt not take the Lord’s name in vain”

      Orthodox and Other Protestants = “Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image”

      Exodus 34 = “Thou shalt make thee no molten gods”

      And then in Numbers 21:8, God apparently forgot his own rules.

      Now tell me how you can apply it to this situation, and tell me if that was approved.

      According to the Gospels, Jesus was charged with blasphemy (i.e. claiming to be God), remember? So anyone who worshiped him would have been guilty of breaking the commandments, as well.

      Why would the Romans make a bust of Jesus?

      Who said it had to be a bust? It could have been a courtroom sketch, or a portrait drawn by one of his non-Jewish followers, or even just a textual description of his appearance.

      You can?t use it against either- it?s simply not there.

      Nevertheless, the onus for providing tangible evidence remains with those making positive claims for the existence of a god-man.

      Context man. Context….

      Your ad-hoc eisegesis notwithstanding, the text clearly shows Jesus contradicting himself within the span of just three chapters.

      But I’m not here to quibble over interpretations.

      The point remains… nothing prevented the all-mighty, all-knowing Jesus from committing his thoughts to papyrus. Or do you maintain that he was just as illiterate as the rest of the population?

      And those people have admitted to it being mere profit and a lie.

      [citation needed]

      Scientifically prove to me that Abe Lincoln was elected on Nov 6.

      You mean aside from the newspaper articles and photos of his first inauguration ceremony? And the events which transpired almost immediately thereafter? And the congressional records? And his personal memoirs? And the contemporaneous accounts written by others?

      Evidence for Lincoln: pretty frickin’ high.

      In any case, it’s a moot point, because I’m not aware of any religious movement centered on claims that Lincoln was a divine being who performed miracles.

      Evidence for the historical Jesus is the topic in the comments.

      It’s a package deal. A deity incapable of making its existence known is indistinguishable from one which doesn’t exist.

      I see you ignored everything else.

      What did I ignore? Your point on the Shroud of Turin? If biblical scholars aren’t convinced of its authenticity, then what more can I add?

      However, I believe Habermas has an entire chapter on it in his book ?The Historical Jesus?

      An entire chapter on what? Until you provide more specific details, I’m unable to respond.

      I believe “Mormonism Unveiled” sums it up nicely, with Barton Stafford, Henry Harris, Abigail Harris, Lucy Harris, Artemas Cunningham, Nahum Howard, Oliver Smith, John N. Miller,Roswell Nichols and Joshua Stafford.

      And the two people he killed trying to escape jail doesn’t help either.

      Could you please clarify what you mean by those statements.

      And when you’re done, please explain why the oral traditions of other religions should be considered any less reliable than those passed down by Christianity.

      • Illiteracy is also a moot point. One of the favorite sayings of Jesus in rebuttal to his accusers was: “Have you not read…” This not only implied literacy to his opponents, but also to himself and to his apostles whom he taught.

      • “lolcontradictions

        Second Commandment per:

        Jewish Talmud = “Thou shalt not have any other gods before me (plus no graven images)”

        Catholics and Lutherans = “Thou shalt not take the Lord’s name in vain”

        Orthodox and Other Protestants = “Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image””

        >You don’t pay attention. Perhaps I should be more specific. It violates “Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God…”

        Exodus 34:17, Exodus 20:4, Deut 5:7. Regardless, they are all the same.

        And here’s some info on that- tektonics(dot)org/qt/tentab.html

        “Exodus 34 = “Thou shalt make thee no molten gods”

        And then in Numbers 21:8, God apparently forgot his own rules.”

        >It’s not an idol. The never worshipped it. Moreover, they destroyed it in 2 Kings 18:4, BECAUSE people started to worship it. Now you may go “Didn’t God see this coming?” He did. That’s why He made the commandment.

        “According to the Gospels, Jesus was charged with blasphemy (i.e. claiming to be God), remember?”

        >Irrelevent to busts.

        “So anyone who worshiped him would have been guilty of breaking the commandments, as well.”

        >According to who’s standard? God’s? No. The Pharisees. Now tell me how this has to do with making a bust.

        “Who said it had to be a bust? It could have been a courtroom sketch, or a portrait drawn by one of his non-Jewish followers, or even just a textual description of his appearance.”

        >Tell me why they should make it. Immortalize His legacy? Jesus wasn’t a physical king, nor was His kingdom physical. Worshiping it is already out of the picture. Establishing His existence? People then already knew He existed. And if they doubted, why would a picture convince them otherwise?

        “Nevertheless, the onus for providing tangible evidence remains with those making positive claims for the existence of a god-man.”

        >Habermas has written an entire chapter about archaeological evidence in his book “The Historical Jesus”.

        “Your ad-hoc eisegesis notwithstanding, the text clearly shows Jesus contradicting himself within the span of just three chapters.”

        >Your ad-hoc eisegesis notwithstanding, the text clearly shows Jesus is not contradicting Himself within the span of just three chapters. See how well your baseless accusations work?

        “The point remains… nothing prevented the all-mighty, all-knowing Jesus from committing his thoughts to papyrus. Or do you maintain that he was just as illiterate as the rest of the population?”

        >Nope. He certainly was literate. Luke 4:17 Again, more info on that here-tektonics(dot)org/gk/jeswrite.html

        and here- blueletterbible(dot)org/faq/don_stewart/stewart.cfm?id=192

        “You mean aside from the newspaper articles and photos of his first inauguration ceremony? And the events which transpired almost immediately thereafter? And the congressional records? And his personal memoirs? And the contemporaneous accounts written by others?”

        >Too bad. You can’t scientifically prove it. It’s not observable, measurable, nor repeatable.

        “You mean aside from the newspaper articles and photos of his first inauguration ceremony?”

        >Hyper-skepticism logic: It’s not the evidence, but the claim. And here’s a newspaper with Spiderman, with a picture of him robbing a bank. planetkrypton(dot)net/products/Spiderman-3-newspaper.jpg

        “And the events which transpired almost immediately thereafter?”

        >What events? The Civil War? Oh, you mean that thing that was made up to give black people hope and cling to the Northerners. Yup, they indeed have reason to have made it up. Moreover, it’s clear that Abe Lincoln was nothing more than an allegory. “Abraham” refers to the father of multitudes and is derived from the biblical character [father] Abraham (Gen 12ff). The “Abraham” character is a symbol of plentitude and fruitfulness. Applied to the Lincoln myth, “Abraham” refers to a founding father who creates new people or new nations through abolition (read, ‘abe-lincoln’). In this case, “Abraham Lincoln” describes the liberation of a slave class and the founding of the United States of America. The picture is beautiful allegory, really, but not to be taken literally. . . .

        “And the congressional records?”

        >How do we know they weren’t doctored and changed over time? So many peope want to believe that there was a president who fought for emanicipation.

        “And his personal memoirs?”

        >Santa has recently published “The Autobiography of Santa Claus”.

        “And the contemporaneous accounts written by others?”

        >It’s not the evidence. It’s the claim. Moreover, it’s pretty clear that it was all made up, all to garner the support of the 4 million African Americans.

        “Evidence for Lincoln: pretty frickin’ high.”

        >Nope.

        “In any case, it’s a moot point, because I’m not aware of any religious movement centered on claims that Lincoln was a divine being who performed miracles.”

        >facebook(dot)com/lincolnbewithus?ref=stream

        “It’s a package deal. A deity incapable of making its existence known is indistinguishable from one which doesn’t exist.”

        >Stick to the topic at hand. We were specifically going for written evidence.

        “What did I ignore? Your point on the Shroud of Turin? If biblical scholars aren’t convinced of its authenticity, then what more can I add?”

        >Hardly fair to make that jump. It’s a highly debated topic.

        “[citation needed]

        Could you please clarify what you mean by those statements.”

        >I’ll point you to a series CARM has, here- carm(dot)org/mormonism. It’s “Mormonism Unveiled”.

        “And when you’re done, please explain why the oral traditions of other religions should be considered any less reliable than those passed down by Christianity.”

        >You ignore the fact that the Jews were an oral society, which would transmit even long material reliably. Moreover, Jesus taught in short parables, thus making it easier to transmit. There are also many other “creeds” and passages throughout Scripture which are specifically desgined as a type of “poem” so it would be simple to repeat.

        Also, I’m not the one making telephone game accusations.

      • “Illiteracy is also a moot point. One of the favorite sayings of Jesus in rebuttal to his accusers was: “Have you not read…” This not only implied literacy to his opponents, but also to himself and to his apostles whom he taught.”

        >Yes. To the Pharisees. Now tell me why they would write about someone who “threatened” their power. And others thought He was simply just a lunatic.

      • Well, Luke 4:16-21 has Jesus reading/teaching from the book of Isaiah in the synagogue — so he obviously must have been literate.

        But I’d exercise caution in making similar claims for the disciples, because as far as I could find, Jesus reserved his “have you not read” rhetoric for the the scribes and Pharisees (Matt. 12:3,5; 19:4; 21:16; 21:42; 22:31; Mk. 2:25; 12:10; 12:26; Lk. 6:3), and his arch-nemesis, Satan (“It is written” Matt. 4:4, Lk. 4:4-12). The Gospels present the disciple as ordinary fishermen (Mark’s narrative in particular, portrays them as a bunch of bumbling idiots), and Acts 4:13 proudly declares that Peter and John were “unschooled men.” (Which means they couldn’t have authored the works attributed to them unless one invokes the same deus ex machina employed in that verse.)

        Then again, the apologist can argue that with God anything is possible — and once you loosen the noose of reality, anything becomes possible.

      • “Well, Luke 4:16-21 has Jesus reading/teaching from the book of Isaiah in the synagogue — so he obviously must have been literate.”

        >Yes, that’s what I just said.

        “The Gospels present the disciple as ordinary fishermen (Mark’s narrative in particular, portrays them as a bunch of bumbling idiots), and Acts 4:13 proudly declares that Peter and John were “unschooled men.” (Which means they couldn’t have authored the works attributed to them unless one invokes the same deus ex machina employed in that verse.)”

        >It is not saying they were illiterate; it was saying they were trained like the pharisees were. How do you tell someone is illiterate by their speech?

      • Now, you may go “Ha! So they were literate!”

        1) I didn’t say all of his disciples were.

        2) Even if they were illiterate at the time, the could have learned.

        3) Scribes might have also assisted them.

        4) They still couldn’t afford the materials to write anything.

      • You don’t pay attention….

        Oh, but I do. “Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God…” makes it explicit that the worshiping part is forbidden. Drawing a portrait of Jesus does not necessarily entail an act of worship, and you know that because you state so yourself further down.

        According to who’s standard? God’s? No. The Pharisees. Now tell me how this has to do with making a bust.

        The Pharisees’ interpretation of “God’s” standards would have been the only one’s made know to the illiterate masses.

        And what’s your fixation on busts? I merely used it as one of several artifacts available to establish the historical existence of Alexander.

        Tell me why they should make it. Immortalize His legacy? Jesus wasn’t a physical king, nor was His kingdom physical. Worshiping it is already out of the picture. Establishing His existence? People then already knew He existed. And if they doubted, why would a picture convince them otherwise?

        Why do people take pictures of their relatives? To immortalize their legacy? Relatives aren’t (usually) physical kings. Worshiping them is already out of the picture. Establishing their existence? People already know their relatives existed. And if they doubted, why would a picture convince them otherwise?

        Once you establish the answer to those questions, you’ll have the answer to yours.

        Habermas has written an entire chapter about archaeological evidence in his book “The Historical Jesus”.

        And what archaeological evidence does he present to confirm that Jesus was a divine being?

        Too bad. You can’t scientifically prove it. It’s not observable, measurable, nor repeatable.

        By that logic, you can’t prove that you were ever born.

        Thankfully, competent scientists and historians employ a more nuanced understanding of how the scientific method operates to avoid such pitfalls.

        Hyper-skepticism logic: It’s not the evidence, but the claim….

        Again, you betray your ignorance of how the scientific method operates and gets applied out in the field. Please enroll in a science class.

        facebook(dot)com/lincolnbewithus?ref=stream

        Looks more like a parody site than a religious movement.

        Stick to the topic at hand. We were specifically going for written evidence.

        The topic at hand is to furnish tangible evidence for the supernatural elements attributed to Jesus. So far, we’ve been treated to second- and third-hand accounts written in a foreign language decades after the events they attempt to describe.

        Hardly fair to make that jump. It’s a highly debated topic.

        Since when is it a jump to withhold final judgment until the debate has been settled?

        I’ll point you to a series CARM has, here- carm(dot)org/mormonism. It’s “Mormonism Unveiled”.

        That website presents many theological arguments and third-party grievances against Mormons, Joseph Smith, et al. — but I’m looking for evidence that the eyewitnesses recanted having seen the plates.

        You ignore the fact that the Jews were an oral society, which would transmit even long material reliably. Moreover, Jesus taught in short parables, thus making it easier to transmit. There are also many other “creeds” and passages throughout Scripture which are specifically desgined as a type of “poem” so it would be simple to repeat.

        I don’t ignore it. I’m simply asking you this: By what metric do you evaluate the validity of the competing truth claims passed on through oral tradition? Thus far, you’ve engaged in special pleading.

        Also, I’m not the one making telephone game accusations.

        When have I made such an accusation?

        Yes, that’s what I just said.

        I was responding to John Zande, but your comments posted ahead of mine.

        It is not saying they were illiterate; it was saying they were trained like the pharisees were. How do you tell someone is illiterate by their speech?

        “…they were unschooled, ordinary men…” (NIV)

        “…they were uneducated and untrained men…” (NASB)

        “…they were uneducated, common men…” (ESV)

        “…they were unlearned and ignorant men…” (KJV)

        From Merriam-Webster:

        Illiterate

        1: having little or no education; especially : unable to read or write

        Language skills develop in this order: listening, speaking, reading and writing.

      • “Oh, but I do. “Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God…” makes it explicit that the worshiping part is forbidden. Drawing a portrait of Jesus does not necessarily entail an act of worship, and you know that because you state so yourself further down.”

        >So, why would they make a picture?

        “The Pharisees’ interpretation of “God’s” standards would have been the only one’s made know to the illiterate masses.”

        >This will be interesting to note for later. I could later use this against ClubS. Moreover, I don’t think followers of Christ would really care about what the Pharisees thought. Nor does this have anything to do with busts or sculptures or pictures.

        “And what’s your fixation on busts? I merely used it as one of several artifacts available to establish the historical existence of Alexander.”

        >It was an example. Moreover, Alexander was again, a king of many physical nations. It’s raising the bar of evidence unnecessarily high.

        “Why do people take pictures of their relatives? To immortalize their legacy? Relatives aren’t (usually) physical kings. Worshiping them is already out of the picture. Establishing their existence? People already know their relatives existed. And if they doubted, why would a picture convince them otherwise?”

        >Ah, now tell me, why would they make it specifically for Christ? Especially when the relatives were-

        A) Preaching the Gospel

        B) Dead

        C) Thought He was crazy and broke ties

        D) Peasants, who probably couldn’t afford any materials

        E) Probably couldn’t draw either

        “And what archaeological evidence does he present to confirm that Jesus was a divine being?”

        >What Mathmatical evidence is there that Caesar crossed the Rubicon? What scientifically repeatable evidence is there that Lincoln was elected? Lincoln was never in my science book- must have never existed. Give me tangible evidence of evil. How about a spoonful? Moreover, stick to the topic at hand. Read John Z’s original post that I responded to.

        “By that logic, you can’t prove that you were ever born. Thankfully, competent scientists and historians employ a more nuanced understanding of how the scientific method operates to avoid such pitfalls.”

        >Thank you for this. Because this is how fair fundy atheists go.

        “Again, you betray your ignorance of how the scientific method operates and gets applied out in the field. Please enroll in a science class.”

        >What me? I’m merely applying standards other fundies apply.

        “Looks more like a parody site than a religious movement.”

        >What gives you the right to judge?

        “The topic at hand is to furnish tangible evidence for the supernatural elements attributed to Jesus. So far, we’ve been treated to second- and third-hand accounts written in a foreign language decades after the events they attempt to describe.”

        >You don’t pay attention. “There isn’t a single external source for the man. Nothing. Zip. Zero.” -John Z

        “Since when is it a jump to withhold final judgment until the debate has been settled?”

        >”If biblical scholars aren’t convinced of its authenticity” It’s a statement of generalization. Some are convinced it is authentic.

        “That website presents many theological arguments and third-party grievances against Mormons, Joseph Smith, et al. — but I’m looking for evidence that the eyewitnesses recanted having seen the plates.”

        >I’ll make another post on this.

        “I don’t ignore it. I’m simply asking you this: By what metric do you evaluate the validity of the competing truth claims passed on through oral tradition? Thus far, you’ve engaged in special pleading.”

        >I’m addressing the ignorant accusation of “telephone game”. As evidenced by my other comment.

        “When have I made such an accusation?”

        >Good. I never said you were. Most other people seem to be making these accusations.

        I was responding to John Zande, but your comments posted ahead of mine.

        ““…they were unschooled, ordinary men…” (NIV)

        “…they were uneducated and untrained men…” (NASB)

        “…they were uneducated, common men…” (ESV)

        “…they were unlearned and ignorant men…” (KJV)”

        >I’ll use the NASB for now. “Now as they observed the confidence of Peter and John and understood that they were uneducated and untrained men, they were amazed, and began to recognize them as having been with Jesus.” The word for “uneducated” is “agrammatos”. In context of the Jewish council, it would mean “unacquainted with Rabbinic teaching.” They would be pointing out their boldness in interpretating Psalm 118:22. The word for untrained is “idiótés”, which would have the meaning of an “amateur” or “layman”. It would make no sense to say they were illiterate. In the rare scenario they were illiterate, a scribe could have written it for them. They did this even for literate people. Or they could have learned how to read later. And again-

        Now, you may go “Ha! So they were literate!”

        1) I didn’t say all of his disciples were.

        2) They still probably couldn’t afford the materials to write anything.

        3) Still an oral culture.

        “having little or no education”

        >Hardly applicable, when they were taught by Christ.

        “especially : unable to read or write”

        >Okay. Now how do you derive

        “listening, speaking,”

        >Already did this.

        “reading and writing.”

        >Is illiteracy an incurable disease?

        Moreover, you’re really not showing any sign of intellectual honesty by quoting a modern dictionary for an ancient text.

        And so- do you concede that Lincoln never existed?

      • Hmmm, why would people make a drawing of someone they loved and respected? Oh yes, for the same reasons that early Christians did.

        ““And what archaeological evidence does he present to confirm that Jesus was a divine being?”

        >What Mathmatical evidence is there that Caesar crossed the Rubicon? What scientifically repeatable evidence is there that Lincoln was elected? Lincoln was never in my science book- must have never existed. Give me tangible evidence of evil. How about a spoonful? Moreover, stick to the topic at hand. Read John Z’s original post that I responded to.”

        Wow, nice nonsense and what strawman arguments. No one has ever claimed that there is mathematical evidence that Caesar crossed the Rubicon, etc. We use archaeology to establish the veracity of historical claims. And thus we use the right tool for the job and aren’t doing the silly things you claim and attack since you again fail to provide any evidence for your magical god.

        Alas, we have Lincoln’s own writing. Images of Lincoln, Contemporary writings about Lincoln, both pro and con. We have his dead body. We have his descendants.

      • So, why would they make a picture?

        For sentimental reasons. Facebook and Myspace hadn’t been invented yet.

        Moreover, I don’t think followers of Christ would really care about what the Pharisees thought.

        That’s odd. Only one post earlier you stated: “According to who’s standard? God’s? No. The Pharisees.”

        It was an example. Moreover, Alexander was again, a king of many physical nations. It’s raising the bar of evidence unnecessarily high.

        Jesus is proclaimed to be “the King of kings and Lord of lords.”

        “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.”
        ~Carl Sagan

        Ah, now tell me…

        So, it’s your contention that not one single person amongst Jesus’ “multitude of followers” was capable, prosperous and/or motivated enough to create a keepsake of their beloved messiah? Or that the same God who spoke the universe into existence couldn’t arrange to have a sketch artist and historian on hand to document Jesus’ ministry?

        What Mathmatical evidence is there that Caesar crossed the Rubicon? What scientifically repeatable evidence is there that Lincoln was elected? Lincoln was never in my science book- must have never existed. Give me tangible evidence of evil. How about a spoonful? Moreover, stick to the topic at hand. Read John Z’s original post that I responded to.

        Oh dear! Perhaps you should add (pun intended) mathematics and applied logic to that course list, too.

        But I’ll interpret your evasive non-answer as a tacit admission that Habermas offered no archaeological evidence that Jesus was a divine being.

        Thank you for this. Because this is how fair fundy atheists go.

        At what point did I mention being an atheist? You know what happens when you assume things, don’t you? And “fundy atheist” is an oxymoron, wouldn’t you say?

        What me? I’m merely applying standards other fundies apply.

        Can’t argue with that. Fundies seldom understand the scientific principles they attempt to refute.

        What gives you the right to judge?

        To borrow the words of Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart:

        “I know it when I see it.”

        >You don’t pay attention. “There isn’t a single external source for the man. Nothing. Zip. Zero.” -John Z

        Kindly take a look at my avatar. Does it say John Z?

        ”If biblical scholars aren’t convinced of its authenticity” It’s a statement of generalization. Some are convinced it is authentic.

        Some are convinced would imply that most are not.

        I’m addressing the ignorant accusation of “telephone game”. As evidenced by my other comment.

        But as you yourself acknowledge, I have made no such accusations. So could you please stop dragging your grievances with others into this conversation and turn your attention to addressing my specific question:

        By what metric do you evaluate the validity of the competing truth claims passed on through oral tradition?

        I’ll use the NASB for now. […] Hardly applicable, when they were taught by Christ.

        Yet, according to Acts 4:8, Peter’s oratory skills improved because he was “filled with the Holy Spirit” – just as Jesus had promised in Mark 13:11.

        Okay. Now how do you derive

        “listening, speaking,”

        Logic and observation of the real world. How many children have written their doctoral thesis before learning how to speak?

        Is illiteracy an incurable disease?

        Only for those who want it to be.

        Moreover, you’re really not showing any sign of intellectual honesty by quoting a modern dictionary for an ancient text.

        But I’m reading the English interpretations rendered in modern translations. Is it my fault the publishers got it wrong?

        And so- do you concede that Lincoln never existed?

        I concede your analogy is malformed.

      • “For sentimental reasons. Facebook and Myspace hadn’t been invented yet.”

        >That’s odd. Considering everything I said before. Including the fact that it’s not very common for people to do that.

        “That’s odd. Only one post earlier you stated: “According to who’s standard? God’s? No. The Pharisees.””

        >Now instead of spewing out sound bites, make a real argument. What does this have to do with busts and pictures?

        “Jesus is proclaimed to be “the King of kings and Lord of lords.”

        “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.”
        ~Carl Sagan”

        >That which is physical would leave physical objects. Looking in the wrong area.

        Ah, now tell me…

        “So, it’s your contention that not one single person amongst Jesus’ “multitude of followers” was capable, prosperous and/or motivated enough to create a keepsake of their beloved messiah?”

        >Wasn’t within their cultural context. There was simply no reaosn too.

        “Or that the same God who spoke the universe into existence couldn’t arrange to have a sketch artist and historian on hand to document Jesus’ ministry?”

        >For what purpose?

        “Oh dear! Perhaps you should add (pun intended) mathematics and applied logic to that course list, too.

        But I’ll interpret your evasive non-answer as a tacit admission that Habermas offered no archaeological evidence that Jesus was a divine being.”

        >Classification error. Atheists are good at this stuff.

        “At what point did I mention being an atheist? You know what happens when you assume things, don’t you?”

        >Your friend ClubS does very well.

        “And “fundy atheist” is an oxymoron, wouldn’t you say?”

        >I see you haven’t been around this topic for long.

        “I know it when I see it.”

        >Then I’ll argue it is legitimate, because I “know it when I see it”.

        “Kindly take a look at my avatar. Does it say John Z?”

        >Kindly look at who I was talking to when you jumped in.

        “Some are convinced would imply that most are not.”

        >Some is an “An unspecified number or amount of people”. Try again.

        “But as you yourself acknowledge, I have made no such accusations. So could you please stop dragging your grievances with others into this conversation and turn your attention to addressing my specific question:”

        >You pointed me to the topic of the original post before. Did you not? I would like to do the same.

        “By what metric do you evaluate the validity of the competing truth claims passed on through oral tradition?”

        >Define “valifity”.

        “Yet, according to Acts 4:8, Peter’s oratory skills improved because he was “filled with the Holy Spirit” – just as Jesus had promised in Mark 13:11.”

        >Good. Now what does this have to do with him being literate?

        “Logic and observation of the real world. How many children have written their doctoral thesis before learning how to speak?”

        >Ah, I left that sentence half finished.

        “But I’m reading the English interpretations rendered in modern translations. Is it my fault the publishers got it wrong?”

        >So you’re an intectually dishonest individual. Thank you for your failure to exegete properly.

        “I concede your analogy is malformed.”

        >And thus are your requests.

        Since Lincoln isn’t in my science book, he is clearly unscientific, and thus never existed.

        Checkmate, Lincolnist.

      • “Logic and observation of the real world. How many children have written their doctoral thesis before learning how to speak?”

        >A lack of listening and speaking (vaguely speaking), would be irrelevant to the matter. The listened to Jesus speak, and asked questions.

      • Moreover, Ron, if you wish to discuss the incarnation in full detail, I would like to point you to either Nick Peters, or invite you to TheologyWeb.

        The comment section of a blog is hardly the place to go into a thorough conversation.

      • One thing I shoud get cleared up- the argument was never “they testified, so it must be true”. Their testimony must be evaluated by their reliability, and etc.

        Joseph Smith- As noted by Barton Stafford, he was “was very much addicted to intemperance” [Manchester, NY, Nov 3, 1833] (Mormonism Unveiled, pg. 250). Henry Harris noted “I would not believe him under oath.” (Mormonism Unveiled, pg. 251) Smith was jailed for destroying a printing press, which revealed Smith’s polygamy and abuse of power (Expositor, In Sacred Loneliness, etc.). The smuggled pistols, the fact that he killed two people, and the fact that he tried to escape damages the notion of a “martyr” (History of the Church, Vol. 7, pg. 103).
        As Oliver Smith testified, “When I heard the historical part of it related, I at once said it was the writings of old Solomon Spalding. Soon after, I obtained the book, and on reading it, found much of it the same as Solomon Spalding had written, more than twenty years before.” [Conneaut, August, 1833] (Mormonism Unveiled, pg. 285) Further supported my John Miller “I have recently examined the Book of Mormon, and find in it the writings of Solomon Spalding, from beginning to end” [Conneaut, August, 1833] (Mormonism Unveiled, pg. 283)

        The three main witnesses- Oliver Cowdery, Martin Harris, and David Whitmer.

        These witnesses specifically claimed that an angel had shown them the golden plates. All were excommunicated. All but Whitmer returned. All were denounced by Smith as “too mean to mention; and we had liked to have forgotten them.” (History of the Church, Vol. 3, pg. 232)

        Eight others- Christian Whitmer, Jacob Whitmer, Peter Whitmer, Jr., John Whitmer, Hiram Page, Joseph Smith, Sr., Hyrum Smith, and Samuel Harrison Smith.

        These Eight claimed Smith had shown them the plates, rather than an angel- thus removing a bit of the supernatural element. Moreover, they are somewhat called into question, because they were all relatives of Smith and Whitmer. But, I may deal with each of them later.

        [Oliver Cowdery]- Confronted Smith for teaching false doctrine. (Private Letter to Brother, Warren Cowdery, Jan. 21, 1838)

        Confessed his shame for his connection with the Mormons (The True Origin of The Book of Mormon, pg. 58-59)

        Though it is said that he rejoined the Church, he was later accused of joining with an Apostate (The Mormon frontier, Diary of Hosea Stout, Vol. 2, pg. 336)

        [Martin Harris]- Religiously unstable. Changed his religion 13 times.

        John Gilbert, the typesetter for most of the Book of the Mormon, “interviewed” Harris. He asked the following question: “Martin, did you see those plates with your naked eyes?” Harris replied “No, I saw them with a spiritual eye.” (Recollections of John H. Gilbert, Sept. 8, 1892) Thus, he assumes a subjective view, not an actual physical viewing of the plates. Also admitted to have seen it with “the eyes of faith and not with the natural eyes” (The Braden & Kelly Debate, pg. 173).

        Lucy Harris, Martin’s wife, notes “His whole object was to make money by it.” When she asked him to leave the company of the Smiths, he replied “if you would let me alone, I could make money by it”. [Palmyra, NY, Nov. 29, 1833] (Mormonism Unvailed, pg. 256) Abagail Harris supports Lucy’s testimony- she recalls Martin’s response as “What if it is a lie; if you will let me alone I will make money out of it!” [Palmyra, NY, Nov. 28, 1833] (Mormonism Unvailed, pg. 254)

        Was also described by Mormons as “”a lying deceptive spirit attend them…they are of their father, the devil…The very countenance of Harris will show to every spiritual-minded person who sees him, that the wrath of God is upon him.” (Millennial Star, Vol. 8, pg. 124-128)

        As Phineas Young noted, “There are in this place all kinds of teaching; Martin Harris is a firm believer in Shakerism, says his testimony is greater than it was for the Book of Mormon” (Martin Harris – Witness and Benefactor of the Book of Mormon, 1955, pg. 52)

        Denounced by Smith “so far beneath contempt that to notice him would be too great a sacrifice for a gentleman to make. The Church exerted some restraint on him, but now he has given loose to all kinds of abominations, lying, cheating, swindling, and all kinds of debauchery.”(Gleanings by the Way, JA Clark, pg. 256-257)

        [David Whitmer]- Denounced Smith and the Mormon Church- “God spake to me again by his own voice from the heavens, and told me to ‘separate myself from among the Latter-day Saints…” (more in Address to All Believers in Christ). Moreover, like Harris, he testified that he saw it with “by the eye of faith” (Palmyra Reflector, March 19, 1831). In more simplistic terms, he didn’t see it in real life. He also changed his story from finding them in a field, to a table. (Millennial Star, Vol. XL, pg. 771-772). Also denounced by Smith as a “dumb beast to ride” and an “ass to bray out cursings instead of blessings.” (History of the Church, Vol. 3, pg. 228)

        I understand that the method of citation may be a bit primitive. Also, I might expand on this more

      • “What’s odd or uncommon about wanting to make portraits (or take pictures) for sentimental reasons? Which part of the world do you live in?”

        >Wasn’t really part of their cultural context.

        “It wasn’t a sound bite – that one sentence was your entire argument in response to my comment that “anyone who worshiped [Jesus] would have been guilty of breaking the commandments, as well.” Scroll up to your reply dated August 6, 2013 at 11:01 and examine it for yourself.”

        >Good. Now, what does this have to do with busts and idols? Because that was the original issue you were supposed to address.

        “I have no idea. You’re the one who keeps raising the issue, so why don’t you tell me? Is it your Chewbacca defense?”

        >You have no idea what your argument has to do with my statement? Cool.

        “And that which is supernatural, would leave supernatural evidence. Yet I see neither physical, nor supernatural evidence for Jesus’ existence. So if I’m looking in the wrong area, please guide me in the right direction.

        If so, I’m using it in the context of trustworthiness (i.e. plausibility, credibility, reliability and soundness).”

        >Vast issue, so I’ll expand on it later.

        “How do you know this? In the words of Kenneth Ham: “Were you there?””

        >The fact that they didn’t make any, and were widely known for not making any, and that we have few or none left to this day.

        “To prevent countless wars and schisms over doctrinal disputes, for one. To squelch all future skepticism pertaining to Jesus’ existence, for another.”

        1) How does a picture affect doctrinal disputes? Moreover, only 6.98% of wars are tied to religion- half are caused by Muslims. (See Encyclopedia of Wars by Phillips and Axelrod).

        2) A picture will convince you more? We have statues and pictures of Zeus.

        “Yes, and I countered your assertion that “what survives from the 1st Century can fit a 3 foot high bookshelf.” The conversation has since moved forward – at least for my part – so why do you keep interjecting the words of others into our discussion? Are you incapable of engaging more than one person at a time?”

        >And of course, you take my words out of context. We were discussing textual documents.

        “The on-line thesaurus defines “some” as synonymous with:

        – a bit, a few, a little, any, part of
        – a few, a number, a part, a portion, an amount, more or less.”

        >”being of an unspecified amount or number” merriam-webster(dot)com/dictionary/some

        “As explained earlier, the Gospels portray the disciples as being somewhat dim.”

        >There are also stupid people who are literate. Go on facebook.

        “I made no such admission. Few people are proficient in either Greek or Hebrew, let alone both. Fewer still, have unrestricted access to the ancient documents – comprised, as they are, of thousands of fragments — in their original form. Which means that the rest of us are forced to rely on the professional expertise of those who piece together those fragments and translate them into modern languages.

        I admitted only to relying on their proficiency.”

        >There are many places where you can see the Greek New Testament, even online. If you want to exegete scripture, it is essential to see the very original meaning. Translators aren’t always perfect.

        “Since the Bible makes no mention of traffic laws, there’s no moral injunction to obey them. So go forth and speed through controlled intersections.”

        >See Romans 13:1.

        “Why do you devote so much attention to a president you don’t believe in? Perhaps you’re not really an aLincolnist after all – you’re just angry with Lincoln and willfully deny his existence because you want to indulge your immoral lust to enslave others with impunity.”

        >If lincoln existed, why are there still slaves? Checkmate, lincolnist. Also, stop capitalizing the “l”. It only reinforces the myth.

        “Re: Mormons…”

        1) Of course, even if Smith had found a bunch of plates, it is still uncertain what these plates actually contained. Though, it is widely noted that they were extremely alike to the writings of Solomon Spalding.

        2) In a letter to Luke Johnson in 1838, Stephen Burnett notes that Harris had admitted to not seeing the plates. As noted by Robert N. Hullinger, in his book “Joseph Smith’s Response to Skepticism”, “Martin Harris publicly denied that the eight witnesses ever saw the plates.” And of course, we have two witnesses (Abagail and Lucy Harris) revealing that Harris had lied. Harris’ testimony of Shakerism was “greater than it was of the Book of Mormon.” (Letter of Phineas H. Young to Brigham Young, Dec. 31, 1844)

        3) As Hullinger also reports, “The written testimony of the eight witnesses differed from that of the three witnesses. They claimed no revelation. No “voice” declared to them that the “work is true.” No “power of God” showed them the plates—just Joseph Smith.” However, this contradicts another statement they make- “However, the eight did claim revelation in their conversations with others. When David Marks stopped at the Whitmers on March 1830, the eight witnesses “affirmed, that an angel had showed them certain plates of metal, having the appearance of gold that were dug out of the ground by one Joseph Smith.”

        4) Whitmer’s story contradicted Oliver’s story (Millennial Star, vol. XL, pp. 771-772). Whitmer also claimed to John Murphy that he saw the angel with “no appearance or shape” but he merely “had impressions”. Thus, it’s hardly even a vision.

        5) Cowdry is reported to have denied the plates in Times and Seasons Vol 2.

        6) The claim for the plates is clearly physical, however, most of the witnesses do not describe it as such. Some describe it as a vision, others describe it as a feeling, and others describe it as a

        I’ll expand more later.

        “As for seeing the golden the plates spiritually, Peter and Paul both claimed they saw Jesus after they’d fallen into a trance — so this seems to be par for the course.”

        >As you said before, “citations needed”. For Peter, the only relevent thing I remembered was Acts 10. However, it’s not really a physical claim nor is it about the resurrection. As for Paul, I remember Acts 22. However, that’s not really about the resurrection.

  3. “In the interminable comments on some of my blog posts, we have been hashing out the idea of a historical Jesus. I prefer the mythicist approach (basically ’religious telephone’ as per the cartoon, but with various guys) but Christians are trying every so hard to get me to agree that Jesus was historical.”

    1) Do you have any evidence to support your “telephone-game”?

    2) The written Gospels were clearly not some telephone game. With over 5,700 Greek manuscripts (24,000 in other languages) having a 99.5% textual purity rate, the notion is absurd. Here’s some more info on that- tektonics(dot)org/lp/nttextcrit.html carm(dot)org/manuscript-evidence godandscience(dot)org/apologetics/bibleorg.html

    3) Oral tradition? The Jews were an oral culture, afterall. If you actually studied the NT, you would know that most of Jesus’ sayings were written in parables- easy to remember, and to the point. Moreover, much of the sayings (by Christ, and others) were purposely written in a simple, easy to remember format. Perhaps most likely compared to a “jingle” or a simple poem. Here’s a bit on that- tektonics(dot)org/ntdocdef/orality01.html

    and I also believe Habermas has something on it with his minimal facts

    “So, I grant that the idea of a historical Jesus has some points for it. Now that we have that established, I want to get to the real question, the one that Christians must answer: What is the evidence that Jesus Christ, Son of God, who did all of the miracles, etc, existed? We know that Christians are not worshipping a dead man who never rose from the grave and who cannot fulfill any violent prophecies in the future.”

    > You want me to write an entire essay/go into a full-fleged debate on a comment section of a blog?

    • So Potato, what would you accept as evidence for the claim that your supposed messiah was nothing more than a regular guy (assuming a historical jesus) and had stories that were attributed to him? Let’s see, we have other instances of this accretion e.g. Washington, Vespasian, the Buddha, Mohammed,etc. We have no evidence for the stories that are claimed for Jesus Christ, so it seems a reasonable assumption that they are stories and not actual events.

      Please show that the gospels were “clearly not some telephone game”. How do you know? And we see evidence presented by scholars that the gospels are indeed compilations of several sources.

      I have asked you to tell me what textural purity is and you haven’t. And it’s hilarious that you think that since people can copy, that means that stories are true. This would me that you are sure that the Qu’ran is completely true. Are you? Again, I want you own words not links. With your amazing ignorance, like oh claiming that the Bible doesn’t say that the entire Egyptian army was destroyed, there is no reason to think that you aren’t just one more Christian trying to throw shit at a wall and hoping it sticks, without doing any work on your own.

      The Jews were an oral culture? Then explain the OT, the Talmud, etc. And tater, it’s sweet when you try to claim that no one but you has studied the NT, since we dare have a different answer than you. But you fail again. There are indeed parables. They are not easy to remember and are not to the point since your supposed messiah himself said they were made to be misunderstood. You know, in Matthew 13? But since I know you don’t know bible very well and are willing to make claims about it that are not true, this doesn’t surprise me that you don’t know, or admit to knowing, this. I will have to say that I do like one particular parable, the parable of the 10 minas, in Luke 19. It’s so fun watching Christians have conniptions about that one, how it should be interpreted, and how it ends….

      Sure, tater, write an entire essay, or please do go into a full-fledged debate on the comments section of a blog. You’ve been doing that, so the problem now is…what? I’d be happy to post your essay as a guest blog post here so I and others can refute it, and where you can defend it.

      • “So Potato, what would you accept as evidence for the claim that your supposed messiah was nothing more than a regular guy (assuming a historical jesus) and had stories that were attributed to him? Let’s see, we have other instances of this accretion e.g. Washington, Vespasian, the Buddha, Mohammed,etc. We have no evidence for the stories that are claimed for Jesus Christ, so it seems a reasonable assumption that they are stories and not actual events.”

        >Testimonies of eyewitnesses, along with the ossuraies, various tombs, synagogues, and houses unearthed. But, if you want to go more into this, I’ll let you contact Nick.

        “Please show that the gospels were “clearly not some telephone game”. How do you know? And we see evidence presented by scholars that the gospels are indeed compilations of several sources.”

        >Shifting the burden of proof. Prove it is a telephone game.

        “I have asked you to tell me what textural purity is and you haven’t. And it’s hilarious that you think that since people can copy, that means that stories are true.”

        >It’s amazing how much you lie. You’ve “studed the NT” and “read countless Apologetic works” and you don’t even know what textual purity is? All of these manuscripts all agree 99.5%. The only variants are basically spelling errors. There’s no room for doctoring the accounts.

        “Again, I want you own words not links.”

        >Says the Wikipedian.

        “With your amazing ignorance, like oh claiming that the Bible doesn’t say that the entire Egyptian army was destroyed, there is no reason to think that you aren’t just one more Christian trying to throw shit at a wall and hoping it sticks, without doing any work on your own.”

        >Blah blah blah, temper tantrum.

        “The Jews were an oral culture? Then explain the OT, the Talmud, etc.”

        >Do you actually study history apart from Wikipedia? Written word was more set in stone for the generations. And yes, the Jews were mainly an oral culture. In fact, some of the things Moses wrote were also thought to be originally derived from this oral tradition.

        “And tater, it’s sweet when you try to claim that no one but you has studied the NT, since we dare have a different answer than you.”

        >Because you demonstrate that very clearly.

        “But you fail again. There are indeed parables. They are not easy to remember and are not to the point since your supposed messiah himself said they were made to be misunderstood. You know, in Matthew 13? But since I know you don’t know bible very well and are willing to make claims about it that are not true, this doesn’t surprise me that you don’t know, or admit to knowing, this. I will have to say that I do like one particular parable, the parable of the 10 minas, in Luke 19. It’s so fun watching Christians have conniptions about that one, how it should be interpreted, and how it ends….”

        >Again, quoting out of context. Basically, only those who want to hear will hear. Moreover, you still haven’t dealt with how easy to remember parables are.

        “Sure, tater, write an entire essay, or please do go into a full-fledged debate on the comments section of a blog. You’ve been doing that, so the problem now is…what? I’d be happy to post your essay as a guest blog post here so I and others can refute it, and where you can defend it.”

        >Why don’t you handle Nick’s first?

      • I have already shown you that I know that your claims of “textural purity” are not true. So, yes I have read apologetics and I know that their claims about the same thing are also false.

        Since we have no evidence for a historical Jesus that did nothing as described and that we have no evidence that there was a magical Jesus that did nothing as described, this is why I find the idea of the entirely mythical Jesus the best answer. We have no evidence of Jesus the magical man on ossuaries, in contemporary documents, tombs, syagogues, etc. So, we are at an interesting impass. Ehrman has shown in his works that your claims of textural purity are false.

        I do put links but I put my take on them, my apologies if I have not done that in any instances. And aw, “Blah blah blah, temper tantrum.” this is your response to having been caught in a lie about what is in the bible. Alas you claimed unequivocally that the Bible did not say that the entire Egyptian army was destroyed and you were wrong.

        You claimed that the Jews were an oral culture. You did not give any exceptions, which proves a problem when you ignore the OT and the Talmud. There is no evidence that Moses wrote anything, and it would indeed be hard for Moses to write about how God buried him, though Christians and Jews will insist that he wrote all of the Torah.

        Please show me how you can tell that no one but you has studied the NT correctly.

        You invoke “context”. Okay, show me what the correct context is. You have claimed that JC supposedly really meant that “Basically, only those who want to hear will hear.” But that’s not what the bible actually says: “10 The disciples came to him and asked, “Why do you speak to the people in parables?” 11 He replied, “Because the knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but not to them. 12 Whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them.” There is an action by this god to remove the ability to choose. We have the descendants of people being punished for something that they did not do, and the punishment is being refused understanding. In Romans 9, it underlines this that this god creates some humans to be destroyed with no choice in the matter.

        And if parables are so easy to remember, why does Paul not know any of them when mentioning them in his letters would have made sense? There is nothing that indicates parables are easy to remember *or* that they are not easy to remember.

        And I am still waiting for the evidence that supports a magical Jesus’ existence. You have done a great job at showing yourself that Nick has nothing that I have not addressed before in other posts. Since I have addressed Nick’s points in depth already, I am free to address your claims.

      • ““Sure, tater, write an entire essay, or please do go into a full-fledged debate on the comments section of a blog. You’ve been doing that, so the problem now is…what? I’d be happy to post your essay as a guest blog post here so I and others can refute it, and where you can defend it.”

        >Hi folks, Potato here. Sorry, not interested in joining a blog that can block my posts. If you think you have such great refutations, come to the blog where Nick’s original posts are, or TheologyWeb. They block no comments, except those that are obviously spam. If you won’t come to Nick’s blog or TheologyWeb and post there, well, that’s your choice to avoid me.

      • Whose blocking any comments? Club has never done so, and most likely isn’t now. Perhaps you’ve ended up in the Spam bin, which she’ll have to liberate you from, if that is the case.

      • Oh do, please come up with better excuses.

        “The theistic evolution article on Wikipedia has that theistic evolution is part of creationism.”

        >Tell me- do you EVER do ANY research apart from Google and Wikipedia? Have you EVER thought of getting off your lazy bum and going to a library? That is- if you even know of such a thing.

        “I’m not avoiding poor ol’ Nick at all.”

        >Yes, you are.

        “I’m right here.”

        >This proves it.

        “Please tell me how that is avoiding him.”

        >You refused his debate challenges and run to the security of your failure of a blog.

        “Poor Nick,again only has wannabee minions touting how great his post is and he can’t come here at all.”

        >You’re an idiot. He has posted a link- but it was never approved. Moreover, what is this blog filled with? All of your little wannabees.

        “But as I’ve noted, his post is nothing new. Yep, read it, yep,not impressed.”

        >Argument ad lapidem. Try again, lackwit.

        “If he thinks he has something great, then he can invite me himself. Yep, I expect someone who claims to have refuted me to at least tell me he thinks he’s done so in the comments of the post and offer me a link to come to.”

        >He did, lackwit.

        “It’s hilarious to watch you and potatoe and others do their best to get external validation from me. I’m flattered, but one more Christian post that covers the exact same things that other Christians have doesn’t impress me.”

        >Blah blah blah. Whine.

        “And “neutral route”?”

        >TWeb, you dope.

        “posting on his own blog and hiding?”

        >And what exactly are you doing?

        “Please tell me how I have any advantage here.”

        >It’s your blog, lackwit.

        “I allow any post through that isn’t spam.”

        >Nick allows any post through that isn’t spam. So does TWeb. Try again, lackwit.

        “So, no advantage there.”

        >Your blog, idiot.

        “And nope, not conceding anything, but it’s awful sweet to see you again declaring you’ve won and no evidence for that either.”

        >He’s got a refutation on you.

        “How expected. Poor ol’ Nick and you are fundamentalists just like any fundamentalists. You pick and choose what parts of the bible are true and what aren’t. You just pick different pieces. His errors have long been noted.”

        >Blah blah blah, whine.

        Try again.

        For now, here’s this-

        I’m not avoiding poor ol’ ClubS at all. I’m right here. Please tell me how that is avoiding her. Poor ClubS, again only has wannabee minions touting how great her blog is and she can’t come here at all. But as I’ve noted, her blog is nothing new. Yep, read it, yep,not impressed. Even done a REFUTATION. I have invited her myself. I’ve told her I’ve done so in the comments of the post and offered her a link to come to, but it was never approved. It’s hilarious to watch you and others do their best to avoid me. I’m flattered, but one more atheist post that covers the exact same things that other atheists have doesn’t impress me. And “neutral route”? posting on her own blog and hiding? Please tell me how I have any advantage here. I allow any post through that isn’t spam. So, no advantage there. And nope, not conceding anything, but it’s awful sweet to see you again declaring you’ve won and no evidence for that either. How expected. Poor ol’ ClubS and you are fundamentalists just like any fundamentalists. Her errors have long been noted.

        All of your failed excuses can be pinned back on you.

      • Unfortunately, you are wrong again, tater. I have seen no link from your precious Nick. Not in the spam or the trash folder or in comments waiting to be approved. There could be a couple of possibilities. The message never got to me. WordPress is not perfect, not by a longshot. Second, he never sent an invitation and now falsely claims he did to cover his embarrassment when I have pointed out how his conduct is rather amusing. I have *never* blocked or rejected a comment. Claiming I did so is lying and is bearing false witness, something that Christians should avoid, yes? Unfortunately, I know that bearing false witness is a common thing for many Christians.

        And avoid him, tsk. I know just where he is, since his minions desperately want me to pay attention to poor Nick. I’ve read his supposed refutation and it’s nothing new. Been there, done that. By all means, if someone else wants to waste the time reading it, let them.

        It is just grand to see so many people desperate for my attention. And how sweet, someone who wants to parrot my writing. It’s even more hilarious since this person must depend on a lie in their attempt to make a point. Excellent!

      • “Unfortunately, you are wrong again, tater. I have seen no link from your precious Nick. Not in the spam or the trash folder or in comments waiting to be approved. There could be a couple of possibilities. The message never got to me. WordPress is not perfect, not by a longshot. Second, he never sent an invitation and now falsely claims he did to cover his embarrassment when I have pointed out how his conduct is rather amusing. I have *never* blocked or rejected a comment.”

        >Why should I believe you?

        “Claiming I did so is lying and is bearing false witness, something that Christians should avoid, yes? Unfortunately, I know that bearing false witness is a common thing for many Christians.”

        >Again, why should I believe you?

        “And avoid him, tsk. I know just where he is, since his minions desperately want me to pay attention to poor Nick. I’ve read his supposed refutation and it’s nothing new. Been there, done that. By all means, if someone else wants to waste the time reading it, let them.”

        >Another display of argument ad lapidem. Try again.

        “It is just grand to see so many people desperate for my attention. And how sweet, someone who wants to parrot my writing. It’s even more hilarious since this person must depend on a lie in their attempt to make a point. Excellent!”

        >Blah blah, nothing new.

      • You should believe me because you have no evidence that I am lying.

        You’ve done the great job of cutting and pasting Nick’s whole argument. Now everyone can see it and how there is nothing new. Thank you for showing that I have not used a argument ad lapidem at all and that indeed Nick’s entire argument is nothing new.

  4. I’m busy for the next few days at work but I’ll be back. For the moment, here are some bit about how common papyrus, vellum, etc were, showing that the claims of “paper was expensive” is nonsense. This stuff was used to write receipts: http://brbl-legacy.library.yale.edu/papyrus/SearchExec.asp letters: http://brbl-legacy.library.yale.edu/papyrus/SearchExec.asp and even before dates BCE: http://brbl-legacy.library.yale.edu/papyrus/SearchExec.asp

    • “ADODB.Recordset error ‘800a0bb9’

      Arguments are of the wrong type, are out of acceptable range, or are in conflict with one another.

      /papyrus/SearchExec.asp, line 36”

      >Yey!

      • arrrgh. It’s probably because they are search pages. here’s the main page: http://brbl-legacy.library.yale.edu/papyrus/

        From here you can search. Each field has a list of terms you can search on and you can see those lists by clicking on the explanation links above each searchable field. For instance in the “contents” field, you can type in “letters”, “lists”, etc. In the “date/period” field, you can type Roman or Ptolemaic, etc. There you can see that papyrus is used for many less important things than the supposed words of a god, and that there is no reason to think it’s “expensive”.

      • ClubS, does your link account for any Jewish writings? Also, mere letters hardly compare to entire Gospels. Writings were also recycled frequently.

        Here’s the words of a friend with a degree in information science “Yes, it was expensive, and that’s the word of scholars. All these papyrus items means that someone spent the money for it — or sometimes took some out of a trash dump and re-used it, but you’d lose quality if you did that, and it wouldn’t be any good for a whole scroll like a Gospel.  “Less important” meaning what? A personal letter? Duh…rich people wrote personal letters, they had the money. What’s the point here?”

        I appreciate the step away from Wikipedia, though.

      • Bwahhahhaaa! 🙂 So, do you have evidence that magically the Jews had to pay more for paper and that only everyone else could use paper for lists, receipts, personal letters, etc. Of course you don’t, tsk.

        And golly, someone with a degree in information science says it was expensive but has no evidence for the claim and cannot show my information to be wrong or not applicable to Jews in the early first millennium. Oh my, a nameless, faceless, person says I’m wrong and the Yale department is wrong. No actual “word of scholars on it”. Such a pity. 🙂

        And just perfect, one more little fella who is upset about Wikipedia showing them wrong and being so easy to use. You see, tater, wiki articles are as good as their references, you know the bibliographies at the bottoms of the articles. So, unless you can show that the sources are wrong, whining about wiki articles is just as amusing as whining about a journal article.

      • “So, Potato, let me get this straight… you’re saying Jesus was so unimpressive that he wasn’t worth the expense.

        How interesting…”

        >No, lackwit, they probably couldn’t afford it in the first place.

        It wasn’t a matter of if they wanted to or not.

        Moreover, it’s STILL second to an oral culture. Written word could not be questioned like a person could.

      • Ahhh, right… so silly of me. It was simple economics. Supernatural events were common, i guess, and buying that new urn was far more important than perhaps jotting down the deeds of a guy resurrecting the dead. Happens all the time.

      • “Ahhh, right… so silly of me. It was simple economics. Supernatural events were common, i guess, and buying that new urn was far more important than perhaps jotting down the deeds of a guy resurrecting the dead. Happens all the time.”

        >So yes, you’re an idiot.

        If an amazing thing happened, you would want to question it, no? The witnesses could not question a piece of paper as well as an eyewitness.

        They were an ORAL culture, lackwit.

        Try again.

      • Oh heavens no… you’ve nailed me. I’m going to rejoin the catholic church after this exchange. You’re a genius!

        Just one question: if they were all illiterate, and it was all oral, why did they place signs on Herod’s Temple? If no one could read or write, wouldn’t a town crier have been more in order?

        While you’re at it, perhaps you could also explain why someone bothered to write down the account of Simon of Peraea (who also called himself the King of the Jews) on the Jeselsohn Stone. I mean, he was a Jewish messianic figure who led a revolt and got noticed and was beheaded in 4CE… or did the “oral” tradition start after Simon?

        Also, perhaps you could explain why in the Infancy Gospel of Pseudo-Matthew and the Infancy Gospel of Thomas there’s a school in Nazareth where the teacher, Zacchaeus, teachers reading and writing to the children.

        And ok, one more thing… Before I march back into church and sign back up, could you perhaps explain why just before the Jewish revolt the high priest Joshua ben Gamala (cir. 64 C.E.) declared that teachers would be appointed in every town of every province throughout Palestine with the purpose to provide an education for every male of the age of six or seven and upward. If that was for every town and village one must assume the major regional centers already had a quite well established education system dating back decades.

      • “Just one question: if they were all illiterate, and it was all oral”

        >I never said that. Do you pay attention?

        “B) A predominantly oral society” -Potato (August 5, 2013 at 2:42 pm)

        “C) When only 3-10% of the people were literate” -Potato (August 5, 2013 at 2:42 pm)

        Thus, technically, all your other stuff is mere jibber jabber.

        But, I’ll respond later anyway.

      • For now, I’ll say the following: even the Jewish people today, most of which are Rabbinic Jews (which was descended from early Pharisaic traditions) hold to this oral tradition, rather than the written one.

        Example- aish(dot)com/jl/b/ol/48943186.html

        Nor does your post account for the price of writing materials.

      • Potato… i’m guessing you have the catalog for 1st Century writing implements and their costs handy. Could you please post it, or else we might just think you’re making this stuff up as you go.

        and BTW, i want you to answer each of my questions. No running away, you naughty little thing.

      • “So, do you have evidence that magically the Jews had to pay more for paper and that only everyone else could use paper for lists, receipts, personal letters, etc.”

        >Well, in the link, there are only four documents written in Hebrew/Aramiac, half of which are mixed with other languages. Nor does your link actually prove anything to do with your claim. Abundance does not always mean it is cheap. Are not fossil fuels abundant? Are not diamonds? Are not flatscreens? There are over 66 million PS3s. As well as over 7 billion people.

        >However, as this post by the University of Michigan notes, “Papyrus is the most common writing material we have in our collection, and it was used for all manner of public documents, private letters, literary and paralitery texts. Nevertheless, papyrus was expensive enough in ancient Egypt that it was often recycled and reused. Many papyri are written on both sides, and old papyrus were sometimes recycled as mummy cartonnage.” (lib.umich(dot)edu/papyrus-collection/ancient-writing-materials-papyrus)

        “Of course you don’t, tsk.”

        >It’s amusing to see you and your friends refute each other. You’ve already done it with John Z. And you’ve done it yet again. In the words of your friend Ron, “You know what happens when you assume things, don’t you?”

        “And golly, someone with a degree in information science says it was expensive but has no evidence for the claim and cannot show my information to be wrong or not applicable to Jews in the early first millennium.”

        >Your claim isn’t applicable to the site you bring up. There is no information about the price of writing materials.

        “Oh my, a nameless, faceless, person says I’m wrong and the Yale department is wrong.”

        1) No one says Yale is wrong. The site isn’t applicable to your claim. And this is where it starts to get awkward for you.

        2) Here’s an exerpt from one of JP Holding’s books: “You’re also not going to be writing on paper: You’ll be writing on a scroll. These could be fashioned to any length desired, but practically speaking, the mean length was seven to ten meters. “A roll of ten to eleven meters was too cumbersome for the reader to handle…authors of long new works made their own divisions by taking the customary length of rolls into account.” A roll of papyrus of typical quality “cost the equivalent of one or two days’ wages, and it could run as high as what the labourer would earn in five or six days…” Papyrus was also rare enough that there could be shortages of it: At one point in the reign of Tiberius, the Senate was asked to assume responsibility for the allocation of paper. But even at the most plentiful, paper never made it usual to print multiple copies of anything — the publication of 1000 copies of a work was significant enough for the ancient author Pliny to give it notice.

        Parchment (made of animal skins) was also an available medium, but it was more difficult to make. Comparative costs of papyrus and parchment are unknown. Gamble notes however that parchment did not become more popular than papyrus in the Roman Empire until the 4th century AD.

        So practically, here is what this means. A book half the size of Mark’s Gospel is know to have been priced at 1.5-2.5 denarii for a cheap edition, and 5 denarii for a high quality edition. The average wage was one denarius per day. Working out the economics, the average person would have had to work for 4 days to pay for a copy of one of Paul’s letters. Ask yourself if you’d be able and willing to pay for an entire New Testament under those circumstances.2

        [2] For these details, see Harry Y. Gamble, Books and Readers in the Early Church (Yale University Press, 1997), 44-50, 266; Achtemeier, 11f; Whitney Shiner, Proclaiming the Gospel (Trinity Press International: 2003), 13-14.”

        3) Gamble’s book was published by Yale. Here’s a review of the book too: “An important and interesting book that provides the most extensive and coherent treatment we have of how ancient Christians produced and circulated books and developed libraries.”—Abraham J. Malherbe, Retired Distinguished Professor of New Testament at Yale University

        “No actual “word of scholars on it”.”

        1) Above.

        2) Does Yale show the pricing of the documents?

        “And just perfect, one more little fella who is upset about Wikipedia showing them wrong and being so easy to use. You see, tater, wiki articles are as good as their references, you know the bibliographies at the bottoms of the articles. So, unless you can show that the sources are wrong, whining about wiki articles is just as amusing as whining about a journal article.”

        >Using Wikipedia merely shows how lazy you really are. I believe their slogan is also “The Free Encyclopedia that anyone can edit”.

      • It’s true, papyrus imported from Egypt was expensive, which is precisely why animal hides, stone and wood tablets, and even stone flakes were used. Use the resources that are readily available, which was goats and sheep and stone (like the Jeselsohn Stone, which was ink on stone). The library of Qumran is proof enough of parchment being the preferred medium so the cost of papyrus is fundamentally moot. Here’s book you might want to read up on concerning the written tradition of the Hebrews.

        http://www.emanueltov.info/docs/books/scribal-practices1.publ.books.pdf

        Now, I’m still waiting for you to answer my questions. I’m so very keen to get back into church, but I can’t until you answer me in a satisfactory manner… and while you’re at it, here’s another one you might be able to provide an excuse for: The Parable of the Unjust Steward (Luke 16:1-13) clearly states writing was common among even simpleminded debtors: “So he called every one of his lord’s debtors unto him, and said unto the first, How much owest thou unto my lord? And he said, A hundred measures of oil. And he said unto him, Take thy bill, and sit down quickly, and WRITE fifty. Then said he to another, And how much owest thou? And he said, An hundred measures of wheat. And he said unto him, Take thy bill, and WRITE fourscore.”

      • why, no, tater, the Yale source doesn’t show pricing. But tell me, when do people use expensive things to do mundane tasks? Can you show me where common people use silk as toilet wipes?

        And yes, wiki can be edited. But again, poor tater doesn’t realize that it can be corrected too and when references are used, it’s just like a essay in a book that has references. And as usual, you get something wrong when you could do that horrible thing of looking something up. The Wiki slogan is “The Free Encyclopedia”. Please do show me how using well referenced articles on Wikipedia makes me “lazy”.

        Papyrus was indeed reused. So we see that it was available and cheaper than new. So, why again did no one do this for your messiah? No one was able to find money for papyrus, per your claims. And this is when Jesus himself was conjuring gold coins. Of course, we can always go with the historical Jesus that did no magic at all. Shall we do that?

        And yes, abundant does mean cheap. You see, there are a lot of diamonds but the mines keep the supply artificially low, which keeps the price high. Natural resources drop in price when they become abundant, as natural gas has become prevalent here in the US, the prices have dropped which makes the gas companies stop developing new wells. There are millions of PS3, and they are kept cheap by having them manufactured in countries where the wages are absurdly low.

        and if I believed that a book would save my soul and give me an afterlife, I would pay anything for it. Wouldn’t you?

        And JP Holding is a Christian apologist. What book did that quote you used come from and what were his sources for his claims?

      • “Just one question: if they were all illiterate, and it was all oral”

        >Putting words in my mouth, I see. It was predominantly- not all. Moreover, see Harris on Ancient Literacy.

        “why did they place signs on Herod’s Temple? If no one could read or write, wouldn’t a town crier have been more in order?”

        >Your point? The literacy rate for Burkina Faso is less than 30%. Oh look! A sign- isrrt(dot)org/images/isrrt/Workshop%20in%20Burkina%20Faso%201.JPG

        “While you’re at it, perhaps you could also explain why someone bothered to write down the account of Simon of Peraea (who also called himself the King of the Jews) on the Jeselsohn Stone. I mean, he was a Jewish messianic figure who led a revolt and got noticed and was beheaded in 4CE… or did the “oral” tradition start after Simon?”

        1) I said predominantly oral. “B) A predominantly oral society” -Potato (August 5, 2013 at 2:42 pm) That would increase the chances of their being oral tradition first, rather than written.

        2) Your point? Never said everything was oral. There were indeed some writings. How does one example of a source rule out the term “most”? If I said “all”, sure.

        3) Already stated in the other comment.

        4) If I am correct, Simon was claiming to be a physical king, who led a physical rebellion. Not really the best comparison to Christ.

        5) Rocks were free. Unfortunately, you can’t really fit a Gospel on one of them.

        “Also, perhaps you could explain why in the Infancy Gospel of Pseudo-Matthew and the Infancy Gospel of Thomas there’s a school in Nazareth where the teacher, Zacchaeus, teaches reading and writing to the children.”

        1) As everyone says, “citations needed”.

        2) There were the 10% who could read in urban areas. I never said everyone was illiterate.

        “And ok, one more thing… Before I march back into church and sign back up, could you perhaps explain why just before the Jewish revolt the high priest Joshua ben Gamala (cir. 64 C.E.) declared that teachers would be appointed in every town of every province throughout Palestine with the purpose to provide an education for every male of the age of six or seven and upward. If that was for every town and village one must assume the major regional centers already had a quite well established education system dating back decades.”

        >The program probably did not go very far because of the war. And “education”, which meant religious instruction, didn’t require writing anyway.

        “Potato… i’m guessing you have the catalog for 1st Century writing implements and their costs handy. Could you please post it, or else we might just think you’re making this stuff up as you go.”

        1) That’s raising the bar of evidence unnecessarily high.

        2) For papyrus in Greek Antiquity, Gustave Glotz notes “They paid 1 drachma, 2 obols per sheet. This was a high price at a time when a day’s work was worth 1 drachma, even for an architect.” (Annales d’histore économique et sociale. 1929, Vol 1, no. 1)

        3) More info in previous post

        4) Hmm… I wonder why they never made a list..? 🙂

        “No running away, you naughty little thing.”

        >Quite hypocritical on your part. What would that make you?

      • Oh dear, so much babble. I’ll just address a few of your more notable hilarities and omissions.

        “I said predominantly oral…..” Yes, so what? We have CONTEMPORY EVIDENCE of people writing about a messianic character a few decades BEFORE Jesus. You haven’t answered why no one then bothered to write a similar testament regarding someone who you are claiming was a million-times better than Simon. If Simon was important enough, why wasn’t Jesus?

        I’ll be waiting for your answer.

        “citations needed”. Are you serious? You can’t Google the Infancy Gospel of Thomas? Ask the nurse, I’m sure she can help you.

        “There were the 10% who could read in urban areas.” Ahahaaaaa, 10%, really? Got some evidence for that, or was it a figure you just thought sounded good?

        “The program probably did not go very far because of the war.” Who cares! I was talking about pre-war.

        So, address the real question… No squirting it like a slippery little snake.

      • “5) Rocks were free. Unfortunately, you can’t really fit a Gospel on one of them.”

        funny how other cultures could put much longer myths on clay tablets. You know, by using more than one?

      • “It’s true, papyrus imported from Egypt was expensive, which is precisely why animal hides, stone and wood tablets, and even stone flakes were used. Use the resources that are readily available, which was goats and sheep and stone (like the Jeselsohn Stone, which was ink on stone). The library of Qumran is proof enough of parchment being the preferred medium so the cost of papyrus is fundamentally moot.”

        1) Why would the contemporaries need to write anything down, when they were traveling around with Jesus and talking to people face to face?

        2) It doesn’t matter if it was preferred. Was not vellum more expensive than papyrus (Hellenistic Science and Culture in the Last Three Centuries B.C. by George Sarton)? Moreover, vellum was indeed much more durable.

        “Here’s book you might want to read up on concerning the written tradition of the Hebrews.”

        >In the words of ClubS, “Putting just links up shows us only how lazy you are and my guess is that you only want to put links up so you don’t have to take responsibility for the arguments therein.”

        Now, I’m still waiting for you to answer my questions.”

        >I just did. And please, don’t be a hypocrite.”

        “The Parable of the Unjust Steward (Luke 16:1-13) clearly states writing was common among even simpleminded debtors: “So he called every one of his lord’s debtors unto him, and said unto the first, How much owest thou unto my lord? And he said, A hundred measures of oil. And he said unto him, Take thy bill, and sit down quickly, and WRITE fifty. Then said he to another, And how much owest thou? And he said, An hundred measures of wheat. And he said unto him, Take thy bill, and WRITE fourscore.”

        >Are those not merchants in the first place? The fact that debts were also owed to them suggests quite a bit.

        “Yes, so what? We have CONTEMPORY EVIDENCE of people writing about a messianic character a few decades BEFORE Jesus. You haven’t answered why no one then bothered to write a similar testament regarding someone who you are claiming was a million-times better than Simon. If Simon was important enough, why wasn’t Jesus?”

        >Mmk. The problem being what? Do you not understand what “predominantly” means?

        “citations needed”. Are you serious? You can’t Google the Infancy Gospel of Thomas? Ask the nurse, I’m sure she can help you.”

        >Sorry, I’m not like you. Googleism isn’t my thing.

        “Ahahaaaaa, 10%, really? Got some evidence for that, or was it a figure you just thought sounded good?”

        >Harris on Ancient Literacy, for one. There are many other sources, though I can’t remember it at the moment.

        “Who cares! I was talking about pre-war.”

        >And of course, you have to ignore the bit after that..?

        “So, address the real question… No squirting it like a slippery little snake.”

        >Quite hypocritical.

      • Sorry, but your excuse can’t be taken seriously. Supernatural events happening left right and center, people being raised from the dead, DRAGON SLAYING, clay statues coming to life, tens of thousands of people mobilising, the blind and crippled being healed, the Temple ransacked, revolution afoot, crucifixion, ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE, RESURRECTION… and no one bothered to jot a word of it down until two generation later. Yet, a small time messianic character named Simon who led a minor revolt a few years earlier had such an impact that someone wrote it all down IN STONE the very moment it happened.

        That, sir, is pathetic beyond measure. You are amusing me, though.

      • “Sorry, but your excuse can’t be taken seriously. Supernatural events happening left right and center, people being raised from the dead, DRAGON SLAYING, clay statues coming to life, tens of thousands of people mobilising, the blind and crippled being healed, the Temple ransacked, revolution afoot, crucifixion, ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE, RESURRECTION… and no one bothered to jot a word of it down until two generation later. Yet, a small time messianic character named Simon who led a minor revolt a few years earlier had such an impact that someone wrote it all down IN STONE the very moment it happened.

        That, sir, is pathetic beyond measure. You are amusing me, though.”

        >Sad.

        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.

        If you wish to see more info, look here-

        tektonics(dot)org/af/asilent.html

      • “was selected for the relevance and usefulness of readership- not because it was exciting and amazing”

        Oh, you are truly special!

        And do please stop flogging your little site. I’m not going to visit it… although if its as funny as your excuses here then i might have to change my mind. You, sir, are comedy gold!

      • “Supernatural events happening left right and center”

        >Too generic. Moreover, if you wanted to spread the word, paper wouldn’t be the best option. You couldn’t question the paper.

        “people being raised from the dead”

        “DRAGON SLAYING, clay statues coming to life”

        >lolwut

        “tens of thousands of people mobilising”

        “the blind and crippled being healed”

        >Too generic. Moreover, if you wanted to spread the word, paper wouldn’t be the best option. You couldn’t question the paper. And they were doing it as they moved along. People could see it for themselves. Why write it down?

        “the Temple ransacked”

        >

        “revolution afoot”

        >lolwut

        “crucifixion”

        >

        “ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE”

        >Referring to post-resurrection?

        “RESURRECTION”

        >Again, with the oral tradition the fact that paper could hardly be questioned.

        “and no one bothered to jot a word of it down until two generation later.”

        >When the apostles started dying off.

        “Yet, a small time messianic character named Simon who led a minor revolt a few years earlier had such an impact that someone wrote it all down IN STONE the very moment it happened.”

        Column A-
        (Lines 1-6 unintelligible)
        7. [… ]the sons of Israel …[…]…
        8. […]… […]…
        9. [… ]the word of YHW[H …]…[…]
        10. […]… I\you asked …
        11. YHWH, you ask me. Thus said the Lord of Hosts:
        12. […]… from my(?) house, Israel, and I will tell the greatness(es?) of Jerusalem.
        13. [Thus] said YHWH, the Lord of Israel: Behold, all the nations are
        14. … against(?)\to(?) Jerusalem and …,
        15. [o]ne, two, three, fourty(?) prophets(?) and the returners(?),
        16. [and] the Hasidin(?). My servant, David, asked from before Ephraim(?)
        17. [to?] put the sign(?) I ask from you. Because He said, (namely,)
        18. [Y]HWH of Hosts, the Lord of Israel: …
        19. sanctity(?)\sanctify(?) Israel! In three days you shall know, that(?)\for(?) He said,
        20. (namely,) YHWH the Lord of Hosts, the Lord of Israel: The evil broke (down)
        21. before justice. Ask me and I will tell you what 22this bad 21plant is,
        22. lwbnsd/r/k (=? [To me? in libation?]) you are standing, the messenger\angel. He
        23. … (= will ordain you?) to Torah(?). Blessed be the Glory of YHWH the Lord, from
        24. his seat. “In a little while”, qyTuT (=a brawl?\ tiny?) it is, “and I will shake the
        25. … of? heaven and the earth”. Here is the Glory of YHWH the Lord of
        26. Hosts, the Lord of Israel. These are the chariots, seven,
        27. [un]to(?) the gate(?) of Jerusalem, and the gates of Judah, and … for the
        sake of
        28. … His(?) angel, Michael, and to all the others(?) ask\asked
        29. …. Thus He said, YHWH the Lord of Hosts, the Lord of
        30. Israel: One, two, three, four, five, six,
        31. [se]ven, these(?) are(?) His(?) angel …. ‘What is it’, said the blossom(?)\diadem(?)
        32. …[…]… and (the?) … (= leader?/ruler?), the second,
        33. … Jerusalem…. three, in\of the greatness(es?) of
        34. […]…[…]…
        35. […]…, who saw a man … working(?) and […]…
        36. that he … […]… from(?) Jerusalem(?)
        37. … on(?) … the exile(?) of …,
        38. the exile(?) of …, Lord …, and I will see
        39. …[…] Jerusalem, He will say, YHWH of
        40. Hosts, …
        41. […]… that will lift(?) …
        42. […]… in all the
        43. […]…
        44. […]…
        Column B
        (Lines 45-50 are unintelligible)
        51. Your people(?)\with you(?) …[…]
        52. … the [me]ssengers(?)\[a]ngels(?)[ …]…
        53. on\against His/My people. And …[…]…
        54. [… ]three days(?). This is (that) which(?) …[… ]He(?)
        55. the Lord(?)\these(?)[ …]…[…]
        56. see(?) …[…]
        57. closed(?). The blood of the slaughters(?)\sacrifices(?) of Jerusalem. For He said,
        YHWH of Hos[ts],
        58. the Lord of Israel: For He said, YHWH of Hosts, the Lord of
        59. Israel: …
        60. […]… me(?) the spirit?\wind of(?) …
        61. …[…]…
        62. in it(?) …[…]…[…]
        63. …[…]…[…]
        64. …[…]… loved(?)/… …[…]
        65. The three saints of the world\eternity from\of …[…]
        66. […]… peace he? said, to\in you we trust(?) …
        67. Inform him of the blood of this chariot of them(?) …[…]
        68. Many lovers He has, YHWH of Hosts, the Lord of Israel …
        69. Thus He said, (namely,) YHWH of Hosts, the Lord of Israel …:
        70. Prophets have I sent to my people, three. And I say
        71. that I have seen …[…]…
        72. the place for the sake of(?) David the servant of YHWH[ …]…[…]
        73. the heaven and the earth. Blessed be …[…]
        74. men(?). “Showing mercy unto thousands”, … mercy […].
        75. Three shepherds went out to?/of? Israel …[…].
        76. If there is a priest, if there are sons of saints …[…]
        77. Who am I(?), I (am?) Gabri’el the …(=angel?)… […]
        78. You(?) will save them, …[…]…
        79. from before You, the three si[gn]s(?), three …[….]
        80. In three days li[ve], I, Gabri’el …[?],
        81. the Prince of Princes, …, narrow holes(?) …[…]…
        82. to/for … […]… and the …
        83. to me(?), out of three – the small one, whom(?) I took, I, Gabri’el.
        84. YHWH of Hosts, the Lord of(?)[ Israel …]…[….]
        85. Then you will stand …[…]…
        86. …\
        87. in(?) … eternity(?)/… \

        Not really a descriptive event.

      • Posted comment too early.

        My bad.

        “the Temple ransacked”

        >Evaluate.

        “revolution afoot”

        >lolwut

        “crucifixion”

        >No one would write anything down, except the people who kept record. And those are gone.

        “ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE”

        >Referring to post-resurrection? They’d be targets, like Lazarus, so the pharisees would keep it hidden. If they made it a huge event out of it, or left it alone, people would know something was up. Moreover, it probably wasn’t much to note anyway. They came out of tombs (implying they had a fair sum of money), and they were considered holy. How much would that be? Probably about what- 10 people?

      • so, how would the Pharisees keep things hidden *if* we can believe the bible that JC was wandering about for weeks after the resurrection doing so many things that there aren’t enough books to contain the writings about them all? or this “52 Then they worshiped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy. 53 And they stayed continually at the temple, praising God.”?

        and where do you get the number of 10 people?

      • Did Vesuvius not erupt?

        A whole city gets destroyed, 90% of people escape, and only one person writes anything down a whole generation later?

      • “Oh, you are truly special!

        And do please stop flogging your little site. I’m not going to visit it… although if its as funny as your excuses here then i might have to change my mind. You, sir, are comedy gold!”

        >Thank you.

        As if arguments of stone aren’t funny either. Let me know when you get an education in history.

      • “Seriously, keep writing…. You are hilarious.”

        >“No running away, you naughty little thing.”

      • Paper was too expensive?

        O ye of little faith! Why should this present a problem for the a man who purportedly turned water into wine, fed multitudes, healed the sick, cast out demons and raised the dead?

        Jesus could have easily instructed Peter to go fish a few more coins from the lake (Mt 17:27).

        Or he could have secured a year’s worth of wages (Mk 14:5; Jn 12:5) without the use of supernatural powers simply by selling that expensive perfume he had lavished upon his head. Or was it his feet? (The Gospels present conflicting accounts.)

        “But He loves you. He loves you, and He needs money! He always needs money! He’s all-powerful, all-perfect, all-knowing, and all-wise… somehow just can’t handle money!”
        ~George Carlin

    • That is not going to happen. “Agreeing to disagree” is no more than allowing lies to remain unchecked in this instance and I am not willing to do that just to make you and your “inbox” feel better. If they are coming to your yahoo address that you seem to be using, you simply have to click a checkbox on them and then hit delete.

      I’m sorry if you checked the box to get notified about updates: I do not know how one would click that accidently. You may wish to ask WordPress how to turn that off if it is possible.

  5. On a side note…

    I stumbled upon this post while perusing Nick Peters’ “Desperate Deeper Waters” blog over the weekend:

    As listeners of the podcast know, and I hope you all are listening, my grandmother-in-law passed away Saturday. This is the grandmother on Mike’s said, [sic] in other words, the mother of Michael Licona, for those wondering which Mike. His daughter is my wife after all.

    This, of course, is the same Michael Licona who co-authored The Case for the Resurrection of Jesus with Gary R. Habermas.

    And according to Licona, the resurrection of the saints described in Matthew 27:52-53 “should probably be interpreted as apocalyptic imagery rather than literal history.”

    Further down, he goes on to argue:

    My conclusion in reference to the raised saints in Matthew 27 was based upon my analysis of the genre of the text. This was not an attempt to wiggle out from under the burden of an inerrant text; it was an attempt to respect the text by seeking to learn what Matthew was trying to communicate. This is responsible hermeneutical practice. Any reasonable doctrine of biblical inerrancy must respect authorial intent rather than predetermine it.

    Hermeneutics: the study of the methodological principles of interpretation (as of the Bible).

    In other words, if the literal interpretation sounds absurd, say that it’s allegorical. And when maintaining either of those methods of interpretation becomes untenable, call it poetic or apocalyptic imagery.

    Et voilà! You’ve effectively immunized the passage from any further probing.

    • exactly. I love the claim that the only ones to “respect” the text are those who agree with the poor apologist.

      one can “interpret” the claims of a magivsl man and his supposed resurrection as just imagery rather than “literal history” too. But of course, the Christian magic decoder rings tell them that those parts they like have to be true.

      • The funny thing is that Licona does ponder the question:

        “If some or all of the phenomena reported at Jesus’ death are poetic devices, we may rightly ask whether Jesus’ resurrection is not more of the same.”

        … and then goes into heavy special pleading:

        “There is no indication that the early Christian interpreted Jesus’ resurrection in a metaphorical or poetic sense to the exclusion of it being a literal event that had occurred to his corpse …. no known Christian opponent criticized the early Christians or their opponents for misunderstanding poetry as history.” [Source]

        Unfortunately, his magic decoder ring must have been broken, because the Evangelical Theological Society asked him to re-affirm his commitment to The Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy to its satisfaction (i.e. admit that everything in the Bible is a literal historical event) or step down. (He later resigned.)

        This highlights the lack of academic freedom within religious institutions. Scholarly consensus is little more than a catchphrase for “everyone agrees to obey the sacred creed.”

      • I hadn’t seen this. Thanks, Ron, for showing it to me.

        What occurs to me from this quote is that the idea that “early Christians” did or didn’t do something is a problem since we know that some early Christians appear not to be sure if Jesus was a physical being (Docetism: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Docetism ). It seems to be an attempt to claim that the only “real” “early Christians” are those that agree with 21st century Christians.

        I do find it quite amusing that this Norman Geisler fusses about using “extra-biblical” sources to show the bible stories are being less than historical (aka we must only refer to the bible to convince ourselves that the bible is historical) and is shocked, shocked that one can compare stories that are similar. Any difference why of course mean that the bible stories are true… which ignores that, per this “argument”, since there are differences between resurrection stories in greek legends and other legends, why greek legends have to be true too.

        love his quote “The “old” historical-grammatical approach is sufficient, as it has been down through the centuries. Indeed, if the principles of your historical approach (of using extra-biblical material as determinative of the meaning of a biblical text) were used consistently on the Bible, then it would undermine orthodoxy by dehistoricizing many crucial passages of the Bible”

        which seems to be oh please don’t show us anything different that tells us we’re wrong. Willful ignorance is exactly what we need to keep telling ourselves that what we claim is true.

      • Indeed, there were many competing ideas about Jesus in the early years — the Nag Hammadi manuscripts attest to that fact. It’s conceivable that others still remain buried, or have been quietly squirreled away somewhere in the Vatican libraries.

        As I pointed out to Potato (I don’t blame you if you missed it in that tsunami of text), Paul himself never met a physical Jesus – his entire experience was based solely on his visions – and his discourse in 1 Corinthians 15:35-58 makes it doubtful he believed in a bodily resurrection either. In verses 42-44 he writes:

        “So will it be with the resurrection of the dead. The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable; it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body.”

        And in verse 50 he states:

        “I declare to you, brothers and sisters, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable.”

        Richard Carrier provides a more in-depth analysis here..

        Apologists like Geisler (who heads the seminary that employed Licona) attempt to re-interpret the word spiritual in order to “harmonize” the texts, because their entire doctrine is built on the premise of a bodily resurrection.

      • It appears that Geisler is on the warpath again accusing yet another apologist of heresy:

        He denied the historicity of Jesus’ command about getting the coin from the mouth of the fish (in Matthew 17:27), saying, “Yet even the most superficial application of form criticism reveals that this is not a miracle story, because it is not even a story” (“NT Miracles and Higher Criticism” in JETS 27/4 [December 1984] 433). But this is a futile attempt to defend his disbelief by diverting attention from his denial of the historicity of this text on the grounds that it was not a story but a command (B, 263, n 113). By focusing on these factors, attention is deflected from a crucial point, namely, that Blomberg does not believe this event ever happened, as the Bible says it did. Blomberg added, “Further problems increase the likelihood of Jesus’ command being metaphorical” (B, “NT Miracles,” 433).

        Did yo get that? According to Blomberg, Jesus only commanded Peter to fish for the coin, but t there’s no record that he actually carried out that request. Ergo, it’s just a story; it didn’t really happen.

  6. I shall address all of these in one post. The comments are getting too stuffed. Perhaps we could go on another site? Like TheologyWeb? I had the spine to show up here. Now you do the same.

    Of course, your excuses are pitiful, as well as hypocritical. “You should believe [Nick] because you have no evidence that [Nick] is lying [about censoring comments].” Christians censor

    you? I’ve been censored by atheists too. What does this prove? Nothing. You’re making baseless excuses and claims. Also, don’t count on me sticking around for much longer. I’m a busy

    person. If you want to have a full on discussion, grow a spine and get on TWeb.

    [Club S]

    “Yes, there are portraits from the first few centuries. you can find them on the ‘net.”

    >Does this support me, or support you? The Jews hardly made any of these. Of course, these were made. Are they contemporary? No. Does that hurt me? No. Again, “predominantly” answers the

    issue. If they were contemporary, do they hurt me? No. In fact, quite the opposite.

    “I have indeed heard of the term theophany. It is simply physical appearance of deities. The Christian god is no different than many of the other gods from the Bronze/Iron Age.”

    >In other words, you cannot defend your statements, and thus make assertions?

    “To make garments out of skin, one has to interact with the skin. I do suppose he could have acted like a poltergeist making material objects move while being immaterial. I wonder, why not

    make garments out of woven fabric (one type of fiber of course) since God prefers that it seems.”

    >In other words, you answer nothing.

    “And no, it’s God showing his backside to Noah, not his “glory”.”

    >Take that in context, and it’s describing His glory. Unfortunately, you have shown on numerous occasions that you have not been able to do so. It’s also called “anthropomorphism”. God is

    clearly defined as Spirit (John 4:24).

    “still no evidence of a magical Jesus. There are indeed arguments that the Shroud is 2000 years old but there is no evidence and certainly no evidence that Jesus would look like he does in

    medival paintings and not as a young Jewish man. The ossuary says “James son of joseph brother of Jesus” which also does nothing to show that there is the jesus of myth existed. I do not

    see that Craig Evans has anything on Peter’s house or the tomb. I would be very interested if you could show more information on these claims. What I have found is that the supposed house

    of peter is one more questionable site that has been initially interpreted as bible based by religious investigators and then questioned later: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capernaum (note

    the references)

    Evans does seem to have his doubts about the ossuaries: http://www.craigaevans.com/tombofjesus.htm

    >I need not say more than this: I was addressing John Z’s claims that there were *no* external sources. Of course, you have conceded to a historical Jesus, no? Now on to the incarnation?

    Of course, that is after I have dealt with all of these other posts.

    “So, can you show that Jesus did what is claimed of him? We have evidence that stories are attributed to characters and those events do not need to have occurred, thus we know that the

    phenomenon of “telephone” happens. We have no evidence that the stories ever happened which throws more doubt on the veracity of the stories and makes them seem more likely to be

    distorted. So, is it more likely that known human phenomena have happened or is it more likely that a magical man killed children, brought clay birds to life, rose from the dead, etc?”

    >So the topic you wish to discuss is the incarnation, correct? So, do you thus concede to a historical Jesus?

    “okay, how do I contradict John? I see no contradiction, just you making a vague claim. Please do go into detail.”

    >Of course, you claim “And, as John Z. noted, you used Josephus, which is at best evidence for some poor guy who got killed and was nothing special.” yet, the crucifixion wouldn’t make him

    a nobody, would it? “crucifixion was reserved for sedition, the highest of all crimes against Rome.” -John Z

    “No wonder you want to ignore the problem of claiming Pliny as evidence for your god and Jesus when all it does is show that any mention of any believers of any god would make them just as

    supposedly as real as yours. Of course, you want to “leave that for later.””

    >Ignore? If you ever say you are “busy” at “work”, can I use that as evidence you are ignoring me?

    “We still have no evidence for the existence of a magical Jesus.”

    >And that is another topic. We’ll get to that.

    “Nick has no evidence either. I am still waiting.”

    >How would you know? Nick wasn’t addressing that. Ah right, I forgot. You just “know”.

    “The claim that the “texts were not altered in any way” is also false. We know that not to be the case with the bible.”

    >The claim that the “texts were not altered in any way” is also true. We know that to be the case with the Bible. See how far your assertions go?

    “Now, I wonder if your respect for Bart Ehrman will last when he shows that you are wrong in “Misquoting Jesus”?”

    1) I never said I respected him.

    2) While we’re just spewing out book titles, can I bring up “Misquoting Truth A Guide to the Fallacies of Bart Ehrman’s ‘Misquoting Jesus'”? And I believe Nick Peters has a bit on Ehrman’s

    book too.

    “Please do show me where I am being the “pot calling the kettle black”.”

    >I think it’s self revealing.

    “You want to make accusations, you will support them with facts or you will simply be lying again.”

    >How amusing. And ironic.

    “I know that there are different literary styles. That doesn’t change what fiction means; we can have fictional poems, prose, etc. Again, please do show us these other “types” of fiction.

    Non-fiction also means one thing, based on facts. Math books, science books and history books write about true events and true facts; in that they are indeed the same. We can have memoirs,

    biographies, text books, etc and all are non-fiction. Fiction and non-fiction are opposites. See that nifty little prefix “non”? And a chemistry book is no less non-fiction if it doesn’t

    mention Lincoln. Try again.”

    >Ah, right. Can I say all books are the same, thus Washington is just as real or fake as Superman? After all, it’s all just a book. I know that there are different literary

    works/styles/genres. That doesn’t change the fact that all books are books, and thus they are the same. And while we’re being like this, I will firmly establish that the Bible is

    nonfiction and your blog is fiction. Why? Because I say so. See how far your argument methods reach?

    “Hmmm, why would people make a drawing of someone they loved and respected? Oh yes, for the same reasons that early Christians did.”

    >Too bad few Christians that were contemporary at the time of Christ were Gentiles.

    “Wow, nice nonsense and what strawman arguments. No one has ever claimed that there is mathematical evidence that Caesar crossed the Rubicon, etc. We use archaeology to establish the

    veracity of historical claims. And thus we use the right tool for the job and aren’t doing the silly things you claim and attack since you again fail to provide any evidence for your

    magical god.”

    >Exactly my point. How does archaeology determine an untangible trait, like deity?

    “Alas, we have Lincoln’s own writing.”

    >We have the writings of Geronimo Stilton (a talking mouse), and Santa Claus (“The Autobiography of Santa Claus”). Your point?

    “Images of Lincoln”

    >Images of Batman, of Spiderman, Superman. Need I go on?

    “Contemporary writings about Lincoln”

    1) Not the evidence, but the claim.

    2) I suppose just because they take place at the present, they are true? Well apparently Percy Jackson and World War Z are real too. Most of the fictional movies today take place in this

    time.

    “pro”

    >Then why can’t the Gospels and Epistles be trusted?

    “con”

    >Here’s an article of Spiderman that would fit that description. planetkrypton(dot)net/products/Spiderman-2-newspaper.jpg

    “We have his dead body.”

    >Oh I suppose you have it with you? How do you know it belongs to Lincoln? And not Cecil Barnes (reasonsforgod(dot)org/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/cecilbarnesandlincoln.jpg) or Jefferson

    Davis (sphotos-a-lga.xx.fbcdn(dot)net/hphotos-ash4/s720x720/386558_139998462845605_727732114_n.jpg) or Bill Nye (i.chzbgr(dot)com/maxW500/1721354496/h7C3C1440/) or Cliffe Knechtle

    (b.vimeocdn(dot)com/ts/431/548/43154855_640.jpg)?

    “We have his descendants.”

    >And I was descended from Batman.

    Conclusion: Abe Lincoln does not exist.

    “I have already shown you that I know that your claims of “textural purity” are not true. So, yes I have read apologetics and I know that their claims about the same thing are also false.”

    1) No. You haven’t.

    2) You didn’t even know what it was before.

    “Since we have no evidence for a historical Jesus that did nothing as described and that we have no evidence that there was a magical Jesus that did nothing as described, this is why I

    find the idea of the entirely mythical Jesus the best answer. We have no evidence of Jesus the magical man on ossuaries, in contemporary documents, tombs, syagogues, etc. So, we are at an

    interesting impass.”

    >Since we have no evidence for a historical Lincoln that did [everything?] (I’ll go your method of arguing- for Jesus, I’ve been over this already) as described and that we have no

    evidence that there was a magical Lincoln that did [everything?] as described, this is why I find the idea of the entirely mythical Lincoln the best answer. We have no evidence of Lincoln

    the magical bearded, top hat wearing, emancipating, wrestling giant on math books, science books, the Great Wall of China, etc. So, we are at an interesting impass.

    “Ehrman has shown in his works that your claims of textural purity are false.”

    >Habermas has shown in his works that my claims of textual purity are true. See how far your argument goes?

    “I do put links but I put my take on them, my apologies if I have not done that in any instances. And aw, “Blah blah blah, temper tantrum.” this is your response to having been caught in a

    lie about what is in the bible.”

    >It’s all you deserve after you claim Nick has “nothing new”.

    “Alas you claimed unequivocally that the Bible did not say that the entire Egyptian army was destroyed and you were wrong.”

    >Alas I claimed unequivocally that the Bible did not say that the entire Egyptian army was destroyed and I was right. This is how far your statements go.

    “You claimed that the Jews were an oral culture. You did not give any exceptions, which proves a problem when you ignore the OT and the Talmud.”

    >Jews rely on their oral culture more than the written one. http://www.aish(dot)com/jl/b/ol/48943186.html

    “There is no evidence that Moses wrote anything, and it would indeed be hard for Moses to write about how God buried him, though Christians and Jews will insist that he wrote all of the

    Torah.”

    This is your argument:

    1) Deut. has something Moses could not have written.

    2) Therefore, Moses did not write Deut.

    Here is why it is flawed:

    1) “The Ascent of Man” by Jacob Bronowski has a new foreward by Dawkins (something Bronowski could not have written)

    2) Therefore, Bronowski did not write The Ascent of Man.

    Another example:

    1) My copy of “The Great Gatsby” states that Fitzgerald died of a heart attack. He could not have written this.

    2) Therefore, he did not write “The Great Gatsby”.

    >Others hold to the belief that Moses was the honorary author, meaning he commissioned the work.

    “Please show me how you can tell that no one but you has studied the NT correctly.”

    >Your lack of knowledge of theological doctrines, of textual purity, etc.

    “You invoke “context”. Okay, show me what the correct context is. You have claimed that JC supposedly really meant that “Basically, only those who want to hear will hear.” But that’s not

    what the bible actually says: “10 The disciples came to him and asked, “Why do you speak to the people in parables?” 11 He replied, “Because the knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of

    heaven has been given to you, but not to them. 12 Whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them.”

    There is an action by this god to remove the ability to choose. We have the descendants of people being punished for something that they did not do, and the punishment is being refused

    understanding.”

    >”For the hearts of this people have grown dull. Their ears are hard of hearing, And their eyes they have closed, Lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, Lest they

    should understand with their hearts and turn, So that I should heal them.’ But blessed are your eyes, because they see; and your ears, because they hear.” So yes, the people were ignorant

    and refused to listen. Thus they didn’t get it.

    “In Romans 9, it underlines this that this god creates some humans to be destroyed with no choice in the matter.””

    >No choice? It is because of their choice that they are destroyed. But it is upon God to give mercy.

    “And if parables are so easy to remember, why does Paul not know any of them when mentioning them in his letters would have made sense?”

    >Why does he need to?

    “There is nothing that indicates parables are easy to remember *or* that they are not easy to remember.”

    >Unless of course, you are an idiot. Parables were common at the time. Christ also used items (and etc.) that the people were familiar with. The stories themselves were short. A parable is

    defined as a “a simple story illustrating a moral or religious lesson”. There is “nothing to indicate”? They themselves are the evidence that they are easy to remember. To note- the Jesus

    Seminar only marks parables and aphorisms (both of which are short sayings) as authentic words of Christ.

    “And I am still waiting for the evidence that supports a magical Jesus’ existence. You have done a great job at showing yourself that Nick has nothing that I have not addressed before in

    other posts.”

    >Of course, we’ll get to that, after we handle all of these posts.

    “Since I have addressed Nick’s points in depth already, I am free to address your claims.”

    >No, you really haven’t.

    “Thank you for showing that I have not used a argument ad lapidem at all and that indeed Nick’s entire argument is nothing new.”

    >The fact that you haven’t answered it is proof that it is an argument from stone.

    “why not?”

    >Does the paper talk back to you?

    “why, no, tater, the Yale source doesn’t show pricing. But tell me, when do people use expensive things to do mundane tasks? Can you show me where common people use silk as toilet wipes?”

    >Tell me where Yale lists common people and toilet paper.

    “And yes, wiki can be edited. But again, poor tater doesn’t realize that it can be corrected too and when references are used, it’s just like a essay in a book that has references. And as

    usual, you get something wrong when you could do that horrible thing of looking something up. The Wiki slogan is “The Free Encyclopedia”. Please do show me how using well referenced

    articles on Wikipedia makes me “lazy”.”

    1) Ah yes, because all of the scholars use Wiki and Google.

    2) Wiki hardly supplies citations for all of it’s statements. And for the times they do, it’s usually not more than one.

    “Papyrus was indeed reused. So we see that it was available and cheaper than new. So, why again did no one do this for your messiah? No one was able to find money for papyrus, per your

    claims.”

    >You’d lose quality, and it wouldn’t be very good for anything as lengthy as the Gospels.

    “And this is when Jesus himself was conjuring gold coins. Of course, we can always go with the historical Jesus that did no magic at all. Shall we do that?”

    >Sure, He could do that. Doesn’t mean He would, just to satisfy a whining atheist; nor is it really necessary.

    “And yes, abundant does mean cheap…”

    >All you have proved is that rich people had money and that paper was recycled. Abundance does not affect anything. Jay Leno has about 80~ cars, including a couple Lamborghinis. And the

    last count was about 5 years ago. I guess they’re all cheap. Rich people can afford stuff- that’s all you’ve proven.

    “and if I believed that a book would save my soul and give me an afterlife, I would pay anything for it. Wouldn’t you?”

    >Missing the point. What good is money for afterlife? The Gospel is free (1 Corinthians 9:18). Unlike what the Mormons tried.

    “And JP Holding is a Christian apologist.”

    >So?

    “What book did that quote you used come from”

    >”Trusting the New Testament”

    “what were his sources for his claims?”

    >I’ve already listed the sources. Read more carefully next time. Harry Y. Gamble, Books and Readers in the Early Church (Oh look- Yale University Press, 1997), 44-50, 266; Achtemeier, 11f;

    Whitney Shiner, Proclaiming the Gospel (Trinity Press International: 2003), 13-14.

    “funny how other cultures could put much longer myths on clay tablets. You know, by using more than one?”

    >Funny how this culture preferred oral traditions. And the Gospels themselves were written for Christians and the truth of the Gospels were meant to be passed around. I doubt people want

    to pass around thousands of stone plates, when that could be easily taken care of with their oral society.

    “nice to know that JC’s stuff wasn’t “exciting” or “amazing”.”

    >Nice to know that you can’t read carefully.

    “so, how would the Pharisees keep things hidden *if* we can believe the bible that JC was wandering about for weeks after the resurrection doing so many things that there aren’t enough

    books to contain the writings about them all? or this “52 Then they worshiped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy. 53 And they stayed continually at the temple, praising God.”?”

    >I was referring to the holy people being raised from the dead.

    “and where do you get the number of 10 people?”

    >Very few people were considered “holy” along with being rich.
    _______

    [Ron]

    “I already addressed that issue on August 5, 2013 at 11:53 pm.”

    >So the Pharisees consider it blasphemy. So what? A follower of Christ would know worshipping Jesus is not the case of blasphemy. So, now tell me what that has to do with making idols.

    Which is what you brought up. All I see is that you vaguely went into blasphemy, thus changing the issue.

    Ron: And the Romans certainly weren’t under any obligation to follow them. Though, according to the bible, the Jewish people often violated that commandment. (In context of making idols)

    Me: Now tell me how you can apply it to this situation, and tell me if that was approved.

    Ron: According to the Gospels, Jesus was charged with blasphemy (i.e. claiming to be God), remember? So anyone who worshiped him would have been guilty of breaking the commandments, as

    well. (Hardly anything to do with making idols)

    >The discussion goes on, and ends with you jumping out of topic of making idols.

    “Seek and ye shall find.”

    >With a skeptic, I won’t find much.

    “I have no idea why you’re fixated on busts and idolatry (personal hobby, perhaps?), nor why you are incapable of following the natural flow of a conversation.”

    >You brought it up.

    “It doesn’t. But written accounts taken during his ministry certainly would done much to mitigate them.”

    >How so? They were traveling around themselves. They would have handled it by mouth.

    “None of which erases the fact that such doctrinal disputes account for millions of casualties”

    >Ah yes. So because the other 93.02% has nothing to do with religion, I suppose that negates atheism.

    “and thousands of sects…”

    >The thousands of sects are separated by culture and regions, not doctrinal disputes.

    “The real problem for apologists isn’t so much that there’s insufficient evidence for the existence of God; it’s that the evidence we do have contradicts the Christian concept of God.”

    >Assertions are always fun.

    “Supporting evidence can never hurt, can it?”

    >No. But pictures of Spiderman can prove his evidence too, right?

    “Indeed, we have more physical evidence to support belief in the existence of the Greek pantheon than we do for Jesus.”

    >That’s not the point. The hyper-skepticism route is arbitrary and dangerous, and historicity of people are not only based on mere “busts” or “statues”; especially when it’s not within the

    cultural context.

    “Perhaps you were, but external sources aren’t limited strictly to textual documents. In fact, much of ancient history is reconstructed from non-textual artifacts.”

    >Of course, we hardly have any of what the ancients had.

    “being presented as dim-witted, ordinary fishermen”

    >Quite subjective opinion, no? And dumb people write stuff all the time. Take a look at Facebook.

    “who couldn’t afford to buy papyrus (your claim)”

    >What does this have to do with literacy?

    “living during an era when over 90% of the population was illiterate (also your claim)”

    >10% could write.

    “Acts 4:8-13 assertions to the contrary”

    >We’ve been over this, bud.

    “you still maintain the disciples were functionally literate men?”

    >And I suppose illiteracy is some incurable disease?

    “Exegete is a noun, not a verb.”

    >Ah, right. I believe the word comes from “exegeisthai”, which is the verb. However, since ClubS does love Wiki so much: “Verb[edit]
    exegete (third-person singular simple present exegetes, present participle exegeting, simple past and past participle exegeted)
    (chiefly religion) To interpret; to perform an exegesis.”

    “The original manuscripts (and meanings) have been lost to time.”

    >With the manuscripts we have, we can indeed reconstruct the originals. Even if we had none, we can construct the entire NT (minus about 11 verses) with merely the letters from the early

    church fathers. If you’re going to set up a claim like this, the NT is the worst to attribute it to.

    “I’m often inclined to wonder why the same God who’s purported to have meticulously guided the composition of the original autographs would later become so ambivalent about keeping them in

    circulation, thus leaving future generations reliant on error-ridden translations of copies of copies of fragments, instead. To me it seems inconceivable that an omniscient being would

    ever entrust such an enterprise to fallible men.”

    >Reliant on translations? For deep study, the Greek manuscipts are indeed reliable- there is no evidence that the texts were doctored. Also, English is a very confusing, ambiguous

    language. Our word for love is “love”. The Greeks have six different words for “love”. There is a saying- “the Greeks have a word for it”.

    “Now if only the religious right would honor the sentiments expressed by that verse when it comes to matters of national policy (i.e. same-sex marriage, health care and immigration reform,

    women’s reproductive rights, separation of church and state, etc.)”

    >Of course, following traffic laws don’t violate God’s commandments. Acts 5:27-29 can explain the rest.

    “Which states in the union still sanction the practice of slavery?”

    >Apparently Mississippi didn’t officially oblish slavery until Feb 7 of this year. abcnews.go(dot)com/blogs/headlines/2013/02/mississippi-officially-abolishes-slavery-ratifies-13th-

    amendment/

    >Conclusion- Lincoln did not exist.

    “Hearsay is not the equivalent of a signed confession denouncing former claims to having seen the plates. As far as I know, none of the witnesses issued such a confession.”

    >Fortunately, denouncing each other, leaving the church, changing your story, (etc.) does not fall in this category.

    “According to Acts (9:3-4, 9:12, 16:9, 18:9, 22:6-21), Gal. 1:11-12 and 2 Cor. 12:1-5, Paul had quite a number of “visions” during his ministry.”

    >They were both physical (use of “soma”) and spiritual claims. Why? Vaguely speaking, the incarnation of Christ- both God and Man. However, the plates were indeed a physical claim, and the

    witnesses only went one way or the other. And it’s hardly a fair comparison to Whitmer’s mere “impression”. This may not be very clear, so I’ll expand upon it. See more: 1 Corinthians 15

    “In fact, Paul acknowledged he had so many “surpassingly great revelations” that he was given a thorn in his flesh to keep him from becoming conceited. (2 Cor. 12:7, NIV)”

    >Mhm. So?

    “Peter’s (and Cornelius’) visions are documented in Acts 10.”

    >It was a spiritual claim. The plates weren’t.

    “What difference does it make? The point is they all lay claim to heavenly apparitions.”

    >It makes a difference. Paul is referring to what he saw in both spiritual and physical terms, while Peter is referring to strictly a spiritual term. The plate “witnesses” refer to

    physical plates in a mere “feeling” or “impression”; others barely even a vision. Moreover, what Paul saw is what led him to Christ, and caused him to die for it. Contrast that to the

    people who left the Church, while denouncing each other.

    “In Gal. 1:11-12, Paul proudly admits that his gospel was not received from man, but through revelation – a clear indication that he had little regard for the doctrines propagated through

    oral tradition, and especially so when they conflicted with his own (Gal. 1:6-9).”

    >Tell me how his conflicts with the oral tradition of the Gospels. Oh wait! They don’t. (Galatians 2:6-10, etc.)

    “O ye of little faith! Why should this present a problem for the a man who purportedly turned water into wine, fed multitudes, healed the sick, cast out demons and raised the dead? Jesus

    could have easily instructed Peter to go fish a few more coins from the lake (Mt 17:27).”

    >This isn’t even much of an argument; more like just a stupid question. Sure, He could do this; however, there’s simply no need. He’s probably not going to do this just to satisfy a

    whining atheist. Also, oral tradition would be preferred anyway.

    “Or he could have secured a year’s worth of wages (Mk 14:5; Jn 12:5) without the use of supernatural powers simply by selling that expensive perfume he had lavished upon his head.”

    >That’s not the point. Nor would writings be preferred at this time. To gain any notice, you would need thousands of copies (hardly achievable, even when you sell the perfume). And it was

    better (and preferred) to confront people by mouth. So writing things down would not have much of a point.

    “Or was it his feet? (The Gospels present conflicting accounts.)”

    >It was different women. Matthew and Mark- the anointing of Jesus takes place in Bethany at the house of Simon the leper. Luke- It takes place at the house of a Pharisee in Galilee. The

    others (Matthew, Mark, and John) record the traditional anointing of both head and feet. Is it ad hoc? Anything can be termed as such arbitrarily, and ad hoc isn’t even a fallacy half the

    time. Nor does it even matter. If there is some event in which both passages could be true, then the passages don’t actually contradict each other. If they really did contradict each

    other, then there would be no state of affairs in which both could be true. So, if you can think of even one instance, the accusation of a contradiction is immediately removed. Plus, there

    may be theological reasons as to why the authors would focus on only one aspect.

    More info- tektonics(dot)org/af/femanoint.html

    As for Ron’s other post about Nick’s blog, someone has posted your message. Take it up with Nick, you sad boy.

    “apologianick Says:
    Augpm13 30, 2007 at 10:12 +00:00Aug | Reply
    Wow. Talk about a class act. This is a blog post written in tribute to my grandmother-in-law who passed away last month and you’re using it for this purpose? Just so you know, I’ve done

    much writing on the topic of Matthew 27. Perhaps you should have done a real search and looked for it.

    At any rate, ClubS did not have the guts to debate me on TheologyWeb and is choosing to write from a distance. Perhaps you’d like to try in her place. If not, then try commenting on a post

    done for debate instead of being a moral disgrace as you are right now.

    Thomas Says:
    Augpm13 30, 2007 at 10:12 +00:00Aug | Reply
    If he needs to post a debate request on a memorial page,then he must be one sad man…”

    “I stumbled upon this post while perusing Nick Peters’ “Desperate Deeper Waters” blog over the weekend:”

    >Being childish now? I could do the same: Repulsive Ron and ClubStupid. See how fun that is? Please, Ron, learn to grow up. Stop acting so immature.
    _______

    [John Zande]

    “LOL!”

    >I agree. Ron’s post was indeed a joke.

    • You showed up here and made false claims, Tater and it was just precious when you tried to deny being a Christian on one of your earliest. I don’t see much “spine” in that.

      I have a spine, rather ouchy at the moment from working. And my spine doesn’t care about theology web. It’s cute to see Christians try to make believe that if one atheist doesn’t address their baseless claims that means their nonsense is true. I have enjoyed reading theology web, because I’ve rarely seen such a bunch of Christians who go out of their way to be so unpleasant. But been there done that, and one more forum won’t suffer if I’m not on it to yet again show how Christians are so very unChristlike.

      But do keep on lying about me, Potato. You can show everyone that you don’t actually believe what you claim either, since you have no problem ignoring the rules of your religion.

      The Christian god is indeed no different from the other gods in the Bronze/Iron age. It is petty. It is very human in its ignorance and jealousies. It appears as a physical being. It mates with a human female. It demands sacrifices. It likes the smell of burning flesh. It eats with Abraham. It is bothered by poop lying around when it walks around camp (Deut 23). It makes prophecies. It heals people and kills people. It cannot even come up to the level of its own proclamations (see the 1 Corinthians 13). I can cite chapter and verse for all of these qualities in your god.

      You have claimed that the Jews never made portraits. And now, look, you’ve said “The Jews hardly made any of these portraits”, demonstrating that your initial claim was simply wrong. It’s very nice to see you again trying to cover up your failings by attempting to claim that you never said what you have.

      It’s a shame that you lie again when you say I answer “nothing”. Alas, that is not true and anyone reading this can see it.

      The context of the verses where god shows himself to Moses is that Moses speaks with this god “11 The LORD would speak to Moses face to face, as one speaks to a friend.” Moses asks to see God’s “glory” which God interprets as to see God;s face “19 And the LORD said, “I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you, and I will proclaim my name, the LORD, in your presence. I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. 20 But,” he said, “you cannot see my face, for no one may see me and live.” 21 Then the LORD said, “There is a place near me where you may stand on a rock. 22 When my glory passes by, I will put you in a cleft in the rock and cover you with my hand until I have passed by. 23 Then I will remove my hand and you will see my back; but my face must not be seen.”

      So again, we come to a Christian using a magic decoder ring in determining what is literal and what is metaphor in the bible. Since later versions of the same religion needed a god that wasn’t a physical presence, suddenly any reference to God having a physical form is now magically a metaphor. We of course have the usual TrueChristian arguments about this since some Christian do think that God is a physical being and neither side being able to show its claims are true. Just google “is god a physical being” to see the continued lack of agreement on one more important issue.

      I have not conceded to a historical Jesus, Tater. I have stated that it is a possibility and any claim to the contrary is one more lie on your part. I have no problem point this out every time. And you have shown that there is no evidence for your magical Jesus. Every thing you have tried to claim is either untrue, only refers to Christians, or demonstrates that there was no magical occurrences. Your claims about ossuaries, shrouds, houses and tombs are wrong.

      There is no evidence of any incarnation no more than there is evidence of the incarnations of Vishnu. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kalki

      It’s very amusing to watch you try to simultaneously claim that no one knew about Jesus and then say that he was famous for the cruxifiction. There is nothing that says cruxifiction makes you famous. Tell me the names of the men cruxified with Jesus. I agree that I may have contradicted John, and that is fine with me since it has shown me *another* contradiction that Christians make.

      It’s great to see you write huge replies but then claim that you are so busy at work. I have no problem with being busy at work, but when your actions bely your claims, then it just becomes sad. Here’s what I said and your response ““And Pliny, well, dear Pliny mentions Christians, not Christ. So, as I have told you before, if you want to claim that believers of a god is good evidence, then many many gods exist with as much reality as your god.”
      >No not directly. However, I’ll leave that for later.”

      No, it is not an another topic. See, at the top of the page of the blog post “So. If I agree to a possible historical Jesus, then what?” The then what is where silverswiper, you, etc show me evidence that your magical Jesus exists. It is not a “another topic”, it is *the* topic of the blog post that you have posted this comment under.

      Nick has made claims of the incarnation. So, you are wrong again.

      Sorry, tater, but just repeating me doesn’t work. You see, I have cited Ehrman and then that means the reader can go look at his works which are supported by his research. Now, please do show that type of reference that says that the bible’s text was not altered in any way. Tater, you’ve cited Ehrman as a source to support your claims. So, now you don’t respect those you cite. Nice. You may cite any book you’d like. This book, “Misquoting Truth A Guide to the Fallacies of Bart Ehrman’s ‘Misquoting Jesus’” written by Timothy Paul Jones. This is what a reviewer says that Jones says about Ehrman “In the end, Timothy Jones suggests that Ehrman lost his faith not because he ‘peered so deeply into the origins of Christian faith,’ but because he gained his understanding of Christian faith in a fundamentalist evangelical context that allowed little (if any) space for questions, variations or rough edges” Here we have the usual claim that those “other Christians” are wrong and he’s right, again with no evidence to support such a claim. I often see Christians insist that those “fundamentalist Christians” are wrong but alas, they can never show that their “sophisticated theology” is any more right.

      And of course, you make more claims that you cannot support. Also wonderful that again you make an analogy that fails. Sure, tater,say that all books are the same. It’s a lie, but go ahead. I have said and shown that fiction and non-fiction are different things, and that each can be presented in various styles. Now, poor tater, you want to say that since all books are the same (a lie) that means that fiction and non-fiction are the same. Hilarious! Please do show my blog is fiction and the bible is non-fiction. I’m waiting. Nice strawman argument again, since I have never said anything was true because “I say so”. Since I have never used that argument method, your statement about seeing how far they reach is wrong.
      You claim that it should make some difference that early Christians contemporary with Christ were not gentiles when it comes to images. Now, since we’ve shown that the commandments were not talking about every image but only ones that would be worshipped, how does this work?

      Now we get into some fun stuff. You have claimed that archaeology has provided evidence that the Bible is true. I have shown that this is not the case. Now, after I have shown your ridiculous comments about mathematics proving Caesar are indeed ridiculous, now you say “How does archaeology determine an untangible trait, like deity?” It can’t. So again, we have no evidence for your magical god. However, archaeology can show evidence for events supposedly caused by supernatural means. And there is never any evidence for these supposed events. The miracles of JC are small scale and are hard to pinpoint evidence that would show them other than contemporary independent accounts. I would at least expect that Christians could remember which tomb they really thought was the “real” one or perhaps where Lazarus’ tomb is. But that isn’t quite good enough, though it’s a start. Let’s look at the big miracles, which should be replete with evidence. The ten plagues, the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, the millions of people wandering around in a small area for 40 years (where are the latrines that this god supposedly said to create?), the global flood, the tower of babel, etc. Now, many Christians caught in this bind will insist that some of these events were “really” just figurative. Isn’t that convenient?

      The writings of Geronimo Stilton and Santa Claus can be shown to be the writings of real people, Elisabetta Dami, and Jeff Guinn. Lincoln wrote all by himself. So, your claims that Lincoln can’t be shown to exist are wrong, again. And again, why yes there are images of Spiderman, etc, but funny how no real people (perhaps I should also detail “sane”) have claimed to have seen them, that pesky contemporary account that you cannot provide for your magic god. And no, stories set in the present are not automatically true. I have not said that. Indeed, I have pointed out that the simple mention of real places and real people in a story does not support its veracity. If you want to claim that Percy Jackson or World War Z are real, then we are back to having more than just stories.

      And we can prove the body is Lincoln because of science. You know, DNA, that stuff. And vic It’s so fun to watch Christians insist that the same techniques that they depend on every day suddenly don’t work when their myths are involved. Please do show how you are descended from Batman aka Bruce Wayne. Now, you need to show me “stately Wayne Manor”, the bat cave, etc. Can you? You see, tater, baseless claims fail every time you try to use them.
      Aw, now we get “no you haven’t”, but you can’t show that can you? And more lies, since I indeed did know what textural purity before. I asked you for your definition to make sure that I knew exactly what you were talking about and that you couldn’t change your mind when it was shown that you were wrong….again.

      How sad, you again lie and claim we have no evidence for a historical Lincoln. Sorry, we do, contemporary records, artifacts, his body, his descendents, etc. We have audience records from the Gettysburg Address. We have his writings. And for a historical Jesus, we have one set of supposedly agreed upon stories that contradict each other and the possibility that one man was killed by the Romans. For a magical Jesus we have nothing. Evidently no one thought to write down that they saw a messiah, who had “thousands” of people listening to him. Poor tater, no one claimed that Lincoln was magical and hilarious that poor tater is sure that people are stupid enough to put history into math books. Try again.
      Why yes, Ehrman and Habermas do disagree, just like Jones. And how does Habermas determine what was originally in the bible? I am asking you directly, how does he do it? Now, the problem for Habermas is that early Christians long noted that there were differences in the stories, Origen for example. We know that there were differences and the early Christians picked and chose what they liked, by their personal opinion. They then had councils where they had to hash out the supposed “truth” from all of the contending stories, and no magical thing happened to show them the “right” answer, only good ol’ politics. The various changes can be seen, not in their entirety, here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Textual_variants_in_the_New_Testament That’s right, Wikipedia. Please do show how this isn’t a good source. Tell me that the references at the bottom aren’t “good enough”.

      Still haven’t shown that Nick has anything new. Nice. And this is great: “Alas I claimed unequivocally that the Bible did not say that the entire Egyptian army was destroyed and I was right. This is how far your statements go.” Now, let’s see what you claimed: “>Why would they need to mention the event? It wasn’t even the entire army.” https://clubschadenfreude.wordpress.com/the-library/#comment-1646

      You claimed that the Jews were entirely an oral culture. Now, of course, after being shown you are wrong, we see a long slide into modifications of that claim, that now the Jews “rely on the oral culture more than the written one.”

      No, that is not my argument, but nice try again. Christians and Jews have claimed that Moses wrote the Torah. They make this claim forgetting that the Torah has Moses’ death and description of events around that death that no one could have witnesses. This indicates that Moses did not write these things, and that beliefs from the “oral tradition” are wrong.

      And oh, one more of your analogies. No one has claimed that Bronkowski wrote the foreword, indeed you have shown that it was written by someone else yourself. Jews and Chrisians have claimed that Moses wrote all of the Torah, and not that someone else added something. A foreword written by someone else, Dawkins, and claimed by someone else, Dawkins, does not mean that Bronowski didn’t write the book. And the second example? Oh my. Where does your copy of The Great Gatsby say that Fitzgerald died of a heart attack? In the foreward written by someone else? In the back or on the cover again written by someone else and claimed by someone else? Does it have a date of his death so we can compare it to the original copyright date? So we have your argument: 1. There is a foreword in a book written by another person that is distinctly written by someone else. 2. This means that the original author did not write the book. I certainly didn’t argue that. Now, Moses, if he existed, could have written most of the Torah, but that is not what Jews and Christians have claimed. They claim he wrote it *all* and this is in a book that is supposedly inspired/written by an omnipotent perfect god. So, is the tradition wrong? Is the bible wrong? And there is nothing that indicates that Moses existed, much less commissioned the work. Again, this shows that oral tradition can be faulty, and that excuses can be invented to explain things that make no sense in the bible.
      You have yet to show me how you can tell that no one but you has studied the NT correctly. You have indeed shown that you think that your version is the only right one and again, you have yet to show this is true and everyone else, including other Christians, is wrong. You have again made false claims that I do not know theological doctrines, textural purity when I have demonstrated I do know these. You are also saying that people who are indeed scholars also haven’t studied the NT correctly since they also don’t agree with you.

      Again, you have not shown what you think the “correct” context is. Why yes, the verse does have that the people’s hearts have grown dull, etc. That’s from the OT and again shows my point that this god has prevented the new generations from having their own choice. Isaiah 6, which is indeed a bit different than what JC has claimed: “Go and tell this people:“‘Be ever hearing, but never understanding; be ever seeing, but never perceiving.’10 Make the heart of this people calloused; make their ears dull and close their eyes.[a]Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts,and turn and be healed.”

      It seems that again there is a problem with the bible agreeing with itself. “>”For the hearts of this people have grown dull. Their ears are hard of hearing, And their eyes they have closed, Lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, Lest they should understand with their hearts and turn, So that I should heal them.’ But blessed are your eyes, because they see; and your ears, because they hear.” Were the people made ignorant or were they ignorant? We have two different stories. There is no choice when this god sends someone to “make the heart of this people callused.”
      You ask why Paul needs to refer to the parables that Jesus supposedly taught. No reason, if there was no Jesus who taught in parables. But plenty of reason if the people were to believe that Paul spoke for Jesus. For instance, there is always bickering going on in the churches Paul writes to, and he never mentions the parables about love, like the unforgiving servant, etc. There is no “my friends, remember what our lord said about …..” and invoking the direct words of JC. There can be reasons why Paul doesn’t mention the parables. Take the parable of the 10 virgins, where JC says that no one will know the time he will return. Paul is certain he knows when it would be.

      Thank you for calling me an idiot. I’ll chalk that one up to what a TrueChristian says. And oh, parable were common, so one more thing that is not unique to Christianity? They had to be written down. And I know that Christians don’t know them, especially those inconvenient ones that pastors do their best to never mention. Christians can’t even agree on what they “really” mean. As you know, Luke 19 has my favorite one, the parable of the ten minas. We have Christians sure that the king is Jesus and we have Christians who are sure that it isn’t. Who shall I believe since all of you are sure that your version and only your version is right?
      And again, one more “no really you haven’t” but you can’t show that this is true. Show me one I haven’t addressed. And again, tater, I do want one, not the entire grab bag of Nick’s post. Still no evidence that papyrus was ever so expensive and that was the reason we have no contemporary evidence. And more hilarity, you now want to know about toilet paper and common people, rather than show where people used this supposedly ever so expensive papyrus for mundane things like a list or a receipt. We also have tater unable to show that wiki is a poorly referenced source and now we have the claim that since “scholars” don’t use wiki and google, that means that they are wrong. How do you know that they don’t use wiki and google, tater? I never said that wiki supports all articles equally. But please do show that the ones I have been using aren’t well referenced. Let’s see a wiki articles that have citations for more than one of the statements made: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_the_Apostle (126 footnoted statements) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historical_Jesus (214 footnoted statements) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Josephus (28 footnoted statements) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Assassination_of_Abraham_Lincoln (107 footnotes)

      Shall I go on?

      Unfortunately, you have no evidence that loss of quality was important to ancient writers. You also make a claim that it mysteriously wouldn’t be very good for anything as lengthy as the gospels. Palimpsets, reused documents, have often been used for the gospels, etc: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palimpsest

      I didn’t say that JC needed to satisfy a “whining atheist”. I am saying that this would be for his followers so they would have his words without fighting about what he “really” said.

      We have a supposedly magical messiah that could create money to pay taxes but never coughed up enough to help his friends. And abundant still means cheap. Lamborghinis are not cheap or abundant. Please, oh please do argue that they are. We have merchants, soldiers, etc, affording papyrus. Please tell me merchants and soldiers are rich, oh please.  Money has no use in the afterlife, but in the real world, money certainly is useful. The gospel is free how? Why do I have to pay someone for a bible? Why are pastors paid? And aw, poor tater doesn’t like the Mormons. One more theist who is sure that those “others” are wrong. Show me that they don’t get magical planets when they die and you get a magical city made of gold when you do.

      My goodness, a book called “trusting the new testament”? Gamble’s book is a good one, and it has that literacy was around 10%. Achtemeier? He’s a professor of “biblical interpretation”, which should be much fun since Christians can’t agree on that. The only thing I see from Gamble, and I do apologize for not noting that you did mention this before, is that Gamble says that parchment did not become more popular than papyrus until the 4th century. That’s nice, but where does he say that papyrus was out of the reach of common people.

      I believe I’ve noted a bit of a problem for you. You have said that parables were to be easily remembered, and that Paul wouldn’t have needed to mention such things. Then you say that the gospels “themselves were written for Christians and the truth of the gospels were meant to be passed around”. Now, how does that work with people being as illiterate as you have claimed? How does one “pass around” a oral work?
      I know you were talking about the dead people wandering around. Again, how do the Pharisees keep such a thing under wraps when the apostles are supposedly hanging out at the temple praising their god and his works?

      And again how did you get the number of 10 people being the only ones raised? Please tell me how you know who was “holy” enough and also please tell me how being rich impacts this. That they had tombs? Isn’t it that *every* Jew must be buried before sunset? “51 At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split 52 and the tombs broke open. The bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. 53 They came out of the tombs after Jesus’ resurrection and went into the holy city and appeared to many people.” Many people, eh? How many is “many”, tater? Many: consisting of or amounting to a large but indefinite number. Is “many” ten?

      • my husband has brought up a wonderful point. What was Paul writing on for his letters? How did the price of papyrus/parchment come down so precipitously in the decades that you claim that Paul was around in?

      • Actually, i have a question. Who were the active historians alive during Jesus’ alleged life? I generally say Philo, Seneca, and even Gaius Licinius Mucianus.

      • “my husband has brought up a wonderful point. What was Paul writing on for his letters? How did the price of papyrus/parchment come down so precipitously in the decades that you claim that Paul was around in?”

        >Ask rich converts like Sergius Paulus.

      • So, where does it say that Paul was getting money from this person? Acts 13: 6 They traveled through the whole island until they came to Paphos. There they met a Jewish sorcerer and false prophet named Bar-Jesus, 7 who was an attendant of the proconsul, Sergius Paulus. The proconsul, an intelligent man, sent for Barnabas and Saul because he wanted to hear the word of God. 8 But Elymas the sorcerer (for that is what his name means) opposed them and tried to turn the proconsul from the faith. 9 Then Saul, who was also called Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked straight at Elymas and said, 10 “You are a child of the devil and an enemy of everything that is right! You are full of all kinds of deceit and trickery. Will you never stop perverting the right ways of the Lord? 11 Now the hand of the Lord is against you. You are going to be blind for a time, not even able to see the light of the sun.”
        Immediately mist and darkness came over him, and he groped about, seeking someone to lead him by the hand. 12 When the proconsul saw what had happened, he believed, for he was amazed at the teaching about the Lord.”

        And the money exchanged hands where? We see in no place that Paul was getting paid by “rich converts”. It is an assumption on your part. What we do see is that Paul supposedly supports himself as a tentmaker. Indeed, Christians laud Paul for having supported himself, if one googles “what did Paul do to support himself” Paul says in 1 Corinthians 9 that he has *never* taken money from someone else.

      • “You showed up here and made false claims, Tater and it was just precious when you tried to deny being a Christian on one of your earliest. I don’t see much “spine” in that.”

        >At least I had the guts to come here. All you did on TWeb was back out.

        “I have a spine, rather ouchy at the moment from working. And my spine doesn’t care about theology web. It’s cute to see Christians try to make believe that if one atheist doesn’t address their baseless claims that means their nonsense is true.”

        >It is equally as funny to see atheists dismiss arguments without addressing them.

        “I have enjoyed reading theology web, because I’ve rarely seen such a bunch of Christians who go out of their way to be so unpleasant. But been there done that, and one more forum won’t suffer if I’m not on it to yet again show how Christians are so very unChristlike.”

        >Yet again going off vaguely.

        “But do keep on lying about me, Potato. You can show everyone that you don’t actually believe what you claim either, since you have no problem ignoring the rules of your religion.”

        >Ah but you must show that I am lying.

        “The Christian god is indeed no different from the other gods in the Bronze/Iron age.”

        >Your evidence being, what?

        “It is petty.”

        >How so?

        “It is very human

        >Genesis 1:26

        “in its ignorance”

        >How so?

        “jealousies.”

        >Which is different from our terms of jelousy.

        “It appears as a physical being.”

        >Anthropomorphism and theophany. So?

        “It mates with a human female.”

        >Uhm… no.

        “It demands sacrifices.”

        >So?

        “It likes the smell of burning flesh.”

        >Be more specific.

        “It eats with Abraham.”

        >

        “It is bothered by poop lying around when it walks around camp (Deut 23).”

        >So?

        “It makes prophecies.”

        >So?

        “It heals people and kills people.”

        >So?

        “It cannot even come up to the level of its own proclamations (see the 1 Corinthians 13).”

        >Be more specific.

        “I can cite chapter and verse for all of these qualities in your god.”

        >Now how do you connect your first sentence with your others?

        “You have claimed that the Jews never made portraits. And now, look, you’ve said “The Jews hardly made any of these portraits”, demonstrating that your initial claim was simply wrong. It’s very nice to see you again trying to cover up your failings by attempting to claim that you never said what you have.”

        >It’s against their cultural context. Of course, because you fail to address the argument, you start to drag the argument ad nauseum.

        “It’s a shame that you lie again when you say I answer “nothing”. Alas, that is not true and anyone reading this can see it.”

        >It’s a shame that you lie again when you say you answer “something”. Alas, that is not true and anyone reading this can see it.

        “The context of the verses where god shows himself to Moses is that Moses speaks with this god “11 The LORD would speak to Moses face to face, as one speaks to a friend.” Moses asks to see God’s “glory” which God interprets as to see God;s face “19 And the LORD said, “I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you, and I will proclaim my name, the LORD, in your presence. I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. 20 But,” he said, “you cannot see my face, for no one may see me and live.” 21 Then the LORD said, “There is a place near me where you may stand on a rock. 22 When my glory passes by, I will put you in a cleft in the rock and cover you with my hand until I have passed by. 23 Then I will remove my hand and you will see my back; but my face must not be seen.””

        >Yes, anthropomorphism. So, this proves nothing.

        “So again, we come to a Christian using a magic decoder ring in determining what is literal and what is metaphor in the bible.”

        >Yes, because obviously there is no such thing as contextual study and literary style.

        “Since later versions of the same religion needed a god that wasn’t a physical presence, suddenly any reference to God having a physical form is now magically a metaphor.”

        >Do you have any evidence for your claim? Or are you being a hypocrite again?

        “We of course have the usual TrueChristian arguments about this since some Christian do think that God is a physical being and neither side being able to show its claims are true.”

        >And of course, you are an idiot.

        “Just google “is god a physical being” to see the continued lack of agreement on one more important issue.”

        >Just google “god is not a physical being” to see the continued agreement on one more important issue. ClubS, stop being a fool and start making your own arguments.

        “I have not conceded to a historical Jesus, Tater. I have stated that it is a possibility and any claim to the contrary is one more lie on your part. I have no problem point this out every time. And you have shown that there is no evidence for your magical Jesus. Every thing you have tried to claim is either untrue, only refers to Christians, or demonstrates that there was no magical occurrences. Your claims about ossuaries, shrouds, houses and tombs are wrong.”

        >Ah, so you back out on your original post.

        “There is no evidence of any incarnation no more than there is evidence of the incarnations of Vishnu. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kalki

        >Yes, because obviously we had that discussion.

        “It’s very amusing to watch you try to simultaneously claim that no one knew about Jesus and then say that he was famous for the cruxifiction. There is nothing that says cruxifiction makes you famous. Tell me the names of the men cruxified with Jesus. I agree that I may have contradicted John, and that is fine with me since it has shown me *another* contradiction that Christians make.”

        >I merely pointed out how you contradicted each other. When did I say He was famous?

        “No, it is not an another topic. See, at the top of the page of the blog post “So. If I agree to a possible historical Jesus, then what?” The then what is where silverswiper, you, etc show me evidence that your magical Jesus exists. It is not a “another topic”, it is *the* topic of the blog post that you have posted this comment under.”

        >I was originally addressing textual purity, along with John Zande, who addressed a historical Jesus in general. So yes, it is another topic.

        “Nick has made claims of the incarnation. So, you are wrong again.”

        >Like, one sentence. He didn’t go into it. If you want to discuss it with Nick, you are welcome to.

        “Sorry, tater, but just repeating me doesn’t work.”

        >So in otherwords, you retract your own statement. Or do you just apply double standards, like always?

        “You see, I have cited Ehrman and then that means the reader can go look at his works which are supported by his research. Now, please do show that type of reference that says that the bible’s text was not altered in any way.”

        >It’s nice how you chose a book that has been dealt with many apologists, including Nick. However, even Bart Ehrman goes “Essential Christian beliefs are not affected by textual variants in the manuscript tradition of the New Testament” (Misquoting Jesus). Westcott and Hort commented that the parts of the New Testament that were “still subject to doubt can hardly amount to more than a thousandth part” of the NT- it’s less than a third of a page (The New Testament in Original Greek, Introducing the New Testament). There are also some statistics given by Kurt and Barabara Aland (The Text of the New Testament). Norman Geisler and William Nix, A General Introduction to the Bible. Bruce Metzger’s The Text of the New Testament. Etc. Again, the NT is the worst possible thing to accuse of being textually impure. Other documents can’t compare.

        “Tater, you’ve cited Ehrman as a source to support your claims. So, now you don’t respect those you cite. Nice. You may cite any book you’d like.”

        >So? You have cited Non-Paulines. Is there a rule that you have to respect/agree with people you cite?

        “This book, “Misquoting Truth A Guide to the Fallacies of Bart Ehrman’s ‘Misquoting Jesus’” written by Timothy Paul Jones. This is what a reviewer says that Jones says about Ehrman “In the end, Timothy Jones suggests that Ehrman lost his faith not because he ‘peered so deeply into the origins of Christian faith,’ but because he gained his understanding of Christian faith in a fundamentalist evangelical context that allowed little (if any) space for questions, variations or rough edges” Here we have the usual claim that those “other Christians” are wrong and he’s right, again with no evidence to support such a claim. I often see Christians insist that those “fundamentalist Christians” are wrong but alas, they can never show that their “sophisticated theology” is any more right.”

        >Which has what to do with textual purity?

        “And of course, you make more claims that you cannot support. Also wonderful that again you make an analogy that fails. Sure, tater,say that all books are the same. It’s a lie, but go ahead.”

        >Since it’s a lie you say the Gospels are fiction, go ahead. Say that all “fiction” is the same. It’s a lie, but go ahead.

        “I have said and shown that fiction and non-fiction are different things, and that each can be presented in various styles. Now, poor tater, you want to say that since all books are the same (a lie) that means that fiction and non-fiction are the same. Hilarious!”

        >I have said and shown that “fiction” can be presented in various styles. Now, poor ClubS, you want to say that since all literary works are the same (a lie) that means that all things you arbitrarily declare fiction are the same. Hilarious!

        “Please do show my blog is fiction and the bible is non-fiction. I’m waiting. Nice strawman argument again, since I have never said anything was true because “I say so”. Since I have never used that argument method, your statement about seeing how far they reach is wrong.”

        >Ah yes. Like those times you dismiss Nick, arbitrarily declare things as the same, and your pitiful arguments of silence. Etc.

        “You claim that it should make some difference that early Christians contemporary with Christ were not gentiles when it comes to images. Now, since we’ve shown that the commandments were not talking about every image but only ones that would be worshipped, how does this work?”

        >The commandments were put it place pretty strictly. It further decreases the chances of it occuring. And it wasn’t in the Jewish culture to make these kind of things.

        “Now we get into some fun stuff. You have claimed that archaeology has provided evidence that the Bible is true. I have shown that this is not the case. Now, after I have shown your ridiculous comments about mathematics proving Caesar are indeed ridiculous, now you say “How does archaeology determine an untangible trait, like deity?” It can’t. So again, we have no evidence for your magical god.”

        >Ah yes, since math cannot prove Caesar, there is no evidence for him.

        “However, archaeology can show evidence for events supposedly caused by supernatural means. And there is never any evidence for these supposed events. The miracles of JC are small scale and are hard to pinpoint evidence that would show them other than contemporary independent accounts. I would at least expect that Christians could remember which tomb they really thought was the “real” one or perhaps where Lazarus’ tomb is. But that isn’t quite good enough, though it’s a start. Let’s look at the big miracles, which should be replete with evidence. The ten plagues, the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, the millions of people wandering around in a small area for 40 years (where are the latrines that this god supposedly said to create?), the global flood, the tower of babel, etc.”

        >Of course, you would love to bring up other items, just to drag the argument ad nauseum.

        1) Ten plagues: I’d have to check back, but I believe there is the city of Pi-Rameses, along with other things.

        2) Sodom and Gomorrah: I recall you saying that cities being cited doesn’t make it historical. So there’s no need for me to touch on this. Of course, there are many sites thought to be the city, all around the Dead Sea.

        3) Exodus: JPH has a bit on this- tektonics(dot)org/af/exoduslogistics.html “Millions of everyday Scythians on the steppes left behind zero evidence of their existence, over a period of hundreds of years. So why would a mere 600K~ Israelites leave evidence behind after just 40 years?”

        4) Flood: We’ve been over this.

        5) Babel: The Tower of Babel was indentified as a ziggurat. And there are a couple dozen of those lying around in Mesopotamia.

        “Now, many Christians caught in this bind will insist that some of these events were “really” just figurative. Isn’t that convenient?”

        >Is there a problem? No.

        “The writings of Geronimo Stilton and Santa Claus can be shown to be the writings of real people, Elisabetta Dami, and Jeff Guinn. Lincoln wrote all by himself. So, your claims that Lincoln can’t be shown to exist are wrong, again.”

        >Of course, there is also this: reasonsforgod(dot)org/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/Lincolnssignature.jpg

        “And again, why yes there are images of Spiderman, etc, but funny how no real people (perhaps I should also detail “sane”) have claimed to have seen them, that pesky contemporary account that you cannot provide for your magic god.”

        >No sane people alive today claimed to have seen Lincoln. It’s all in those papers; just like ol’ Spidey.

        “And no, stories set in the present are not automatically true. I have not said that. Indeed, I have pointed out that the simple mention of real places and real people in a story does not support its veracity.”

        >Indeed you have not said that. I was merely applying hyperskepticism logic to contemporary accounts.

        “If you want to claim that Percy Jackson or World War Z are real, then we are back to having more than just stories.”

        >I never said they were.

        “And we can prove the body is Lincoln because of science. You know, DNA, that stuff. And vic It’s so fun to watch Christians insist that the same techniques that they depend on every day suddenly don’t work when their myths are involved.”

        >Tell me how you know it is Lincoln’s DNA. It’s from Lincoln’s body! Tell me how you know it’s Lincoln’s body. His DNA! Mere circular reasoning.

        “Please do show how you are descended from Batman aka Bruce Wayne. Now, you need to show me “stately Wayne Manor”, the bat cave, etc. Can you? You see, tater, baseless claims fail every time you try to use them.”

        >Show me how the body belongs to Lincoln. Who says I was descended from the Bruce Wayne Batman? What about Terry? Azrael? Dick Grayson? As for evidence, sure. There are lots. Here’s a Wayne Manor- maps.google(dot)com/maps?ie=UTF-8&q=wayne+manor&fb=1&gl=us&hq=wayne+manor&hnear=wayne+manor&cid=0,0,7720129716653978216&ei=OW4OUqSbJIeX2QXdpYGIBQ&ved=0CLwBEPwSMA8 Here’s a Bat Cave in another location- maps.google(dot)com/maps?ie=UTF-8&q=wayne+manor&fb=1&gl=us&hq=wayne+manor&hnear=wayne+manor&cid=0,0,7720129716653978216&ei=OW4OUqSbJIeX2QXdpYGIBQ&ved=0CLwBEPwSMA8

        “Aw, now we get “no you haven’t”, but you can’t show that can you?”

        >No, the fact that you haven’t proves it.

        “And more lies, since I indeed did know what textural purity before. I asked you for your definition to make sure that I knew exactly what you were talking about and that you couldn’t change your mind when it was shown that you were wrong….again.”

        >Of course you lie to hide your embarrasment. Nor have you shown me wrong yet. I’m still waiting.

        “How sad, you again lie and claim we have no evidence for a historical Lincoln. Sorry, we do, contemporary records, artifacts, his body, his descendents, etc.”

        >Sorry, Lincoln didn’t exist.

        “We have audience records from the Gettysburg Address.”

        >Oh, do we now? Where are they? How do you know they weren’t doctored and changed over time?

        “We have his writings.”

        >We have Santa Clauses writings.

        “And for a historical Jesus, we have one set of supposedly agreed upon stories that contradict each other and the possibility that one man was killed by the Romans.”

        >Contradictory? How so?

        “For a magical Jesus we have nothing.”

        >We haven’t even begun that discussion yet.

        “Evidently no one thought to write down that they saw a messiah, who had “thousands” of people listening to him.”

        >Evidently no one thought to write down that 9 cities were destroyed by a volcano, along with tens of thousands of people.

        “Poor tater, no one claimed that Lincoln was magical and hilarious that poor tater is sure that people are stupid enough to put history into math books. Try again.”

        >Poor ClubS, Lincoln does not even exist. Try again.

        “Why yes, Ehrman and Habermas do disagree, just like Jones. And how does Habermas determine what was originally in the bible? I am asking you directly, how does he do it? Now, the problem for Habermas is that early Christians long noted that there were differences in the stories, Origen for example. We know that there were differences and the early Christians picked and chose what they liked, by their personal opinion. They then had councils where they had to hash out the supposed “truth” from all of the contending stories, and no magical thing happened to show them the “right” answer, only good ol’ politics.”

        >We have the manuscripts. The variants are hardly extraveagent, leading to only a .5% difference between them. Nothing to significantly change any doctrine. And the councils to choose the doctrines were merely putting their stamps on what the universal church (from Rome to Alexandria) had already done.

        “The various changes can be seen, not in their entirety, here: *quotes Wiki* That’s right, Wikipedia. Please do show how this isn’t a good source. Tell me that the references at the bottom aren’t “good enough”.”

        >Yes, and those are the .5%. Hardly affects anything. Nick has already dealt with things like this before. And those variants are hardly enough to cause massive doctrinal disputes. If you just want to spew links, here’s one: tektonics(dot)org/lp/nttextcrit.html

        “Still haven’t shown that Nick has anything new.”

        >That’s not my job. Nice.

        “And this is great: “Alas I claimed unequivocally that the Bible did not say that the entire Egyptian army was destroyed and I was right. This is how far your statements go.” Now, let’s see what you claimed: “>Why would they need to mention the event? It wasn’t even the entire army.””

        >So? Your point being, what?

        “You claimed that the Jews were entirely an oral culture. Now, of course, after being shown you are wrong, we see a long slide into modifications of that claim, that now the Jews “rely on the oral culture more than the written one.””

        >Now of course, you said nothing on that to prove I was wrong.

        “No, that is not my argument, but nice try again. Christians and Jews have claimed that Moses wrote the Torah. They make this claim forgetting that the Torah has Moses’ death and description of events around that death that no one could have witnesses. This indicates that Moses did not write these things, and that beliefs from the “oral tradition” are wrong.”

        >A classic example of non sequitur.

        “And oh, one more of your analogies. No one has claimed that Bronkowski wrote the foreword, indeed you have shown that it was written by someone else yourself. Jews and Chrisians have claimed that Moses wrote all of the Torah, and not that someone else added something.”

        >Another example of hasty generalization.

        “A foreword written by someone else, Dawkins, and claimed by someone else, Dawkins, does not mean that Bronowski didn’t write the book. And the second example? Oh my. Where does your copy of The Great Gatsby say that Fitzgerald died of a heart attack? In the foreward written by someone else? In the back or on the cover again written by someone else and claimed by someone else? Does it have a date of his death so we can compare it to the original copyright date? So we have your argument: 1. There is a foreword in a book written by another person that is distinctly written by someone else. 2. This means that the original author did not write the book. I certainly didn’t argue that. Now, Moses, if he existed, could have written most of the Torah, but that is not what Jews and Christians have claimed. They claim he wrote it *all* and this is in a book that is supposedly inspired/written by an omnipotent perfect god.”

        >Ah yes, but Fitzgerald supposedly wrote *all* of The Great Gatsby, however, in the book, it describes Fitzgerald’s heart attack in 1940. No foreward, no other claims of authorship.

        “So, is the tradition wrong? Is the bible wrong? And there is nothing that indicates that Moses existed, much less commissioned the work. Again, this shows that oral tradition can be faulty, and that excuses can be invented to explain things that make no sense in the bible.”

        >No one is wrong but you.

        “You have yet to show me how you can tell that no one but you has studied the NT correctly. You have indeed shown that you think that your version is the only right one and again, you have yet to show this is true and everyone else, including other Christians, is wrong. You have again made false claims that I do not know theological doctrines, textural purity when I have demonstrated I do know these. You are also saying that people who are indeed scholars also haven’t studied the NT correctly since they also don’t agree with you.”

        >Simply put, your dull stupidity. Your laziness, use of Google, etc. don’t help either.

        “Were the people made ignorant or were they ignorant? We have two different stories. There is no choice when this god sends someone to “make the heart of this people callused.””

        >Which reminds me- this really has nothing to do with remembering the parables themselves. Understanding the meaning, maybe.

        “You ask why Paul needs to refer to the parables that Jesus supposedly taught. No reason, if there was no Jesus who taught in parables. But plenty of reason if the people were to believe that Paul spoke for Jesus. For instance, there is always bickering going on in the churches Paul writes to, and he never mentions the parables about love, like the unforgiving servant, etc. There is no “my friends, remember what our lord said about …..” and invoking the direct words of JC. There can be reasons why Paul doesn’t mention the parables.”

        >This doesn’t answer the question directly. The literary style and purpose of Paul’s Epistles are different from the Gospels.

        “Take the parable of the 10 virgins, where JC says that no one will know the time he will return. Paul is certain he knows when it would be.”

        >Already dealt with.

        “Thank you for calling me an idiot. I’ll chalk that one up to what a TrueChristian says. And oh, parable were common, so one more thing that is not unique to Christianity? They had to be written down. And I know that Christians don’t know them, especially those inconvenient ones that pastors do their best to never mention. Christians can’t even agree on what they “really” mean. As you know, Luke 19 has my favorite one, the parable of the ten minas. We have Christians sure that the king is Jesus and we have Christians who are sure that it isn’t. Who shall I believe since all of you are sure that your version and only your version is right?”

        >So, you go off topic again. Nice.

        “And again, one more “no really you haven’t” but you can’t show that this is true.”

        >The fact that it isn’t dealt with.

        “Still no evidence that papyrus was ever so expensive and that was the reason we have no contemporary evidence.”

        >Of course, you would have to ignore everything I just said,

        “And more hilarity, you now want to know about toilet paper and common people, rather than show where people used this supposedly ever so expensive papyrus for mundane things like a list or a receipt.”

        >You brought up the toilet paper and common people. Rich people can use expensive things for mundane tasks. It’s a quality of being rich.

        “We also have tater unable to show that wiki is a poorly referenced source and now we have the claim that since “scholars” don’t use wiki and google, that means that they are wrong. How do you know that they don’t use wiki and google, tater? I never said that wiki supports all articles equally. But please do show that the ones I have been using aren’t well referenced. Let’s see a wiki articles that have citations for more than one of the statements made: (126 footnoted statements) (214 footnoted statements) (28 footnoted statements) (107 footnotes)”

        >Nice straw man. They don’t give citations to every major claim, nor are the citations more than one for each claim.

        “Shall I go on?

        “Unfortunately, you have no evidence that loss of quality was important to ancient writers. You also make a claim that it mysteriously wouldn’t be very good for anything as lengthy as the gospels. Palimpsets, reused documents, have often been used for the gospels, etc:”

        >Yes; four fragments. WOuldn’t do much good passing around a lot of used paper.

        “I didn’t say that JC needed to satisfy a “whining atheist”. I am saying that this would be for his followers so they would have his words without fighting about what he “really” said.”

        >What difference does it make when they wrote it?

        “We have a supposedly magical messiah that could create money to pay taxes but never coughed up enough to help his friends.”

        >”Could” does not mean “would” or “should”; nor was it preferred.

        “And abundant still means cheap. Lamborghinis are not cheap or abundant.”

        >Proves nothing. Jay Leno seems to have a lot of them, along with other expensive cars.

        “We have merchants, soldiers, etc, affording papyrus. Please tell me merchants and soldiers are rich, oh please.”

        >Yes, merchants were wealthy. Soldiers either had the government paying, or even stole it from people (as we can see in Luke 3:14).

        “Money has no use in the afterlife, but in the real world, money certainly is useful. The gospel is free how? Why do I have to pay someone for a bible? Why are pastors paid?”

        >The message is free. A Bible is free online, on an app, etc. Many churches give free Bibles. Websites give out free Bibles. Many other groups give out free Bibles.

        “And aw, poor tater doesn’t like the Mormons. One more theist who is sure that those “others” are wrong.”

        >Aw, poor ClubS doesn’t like the Christians. One more person who is sure that those “others” are wrong.

        “Show me that they don’t get magical planets when they die and you get a magical city made of gold when you do.”

        >Not my burden of proof.

        “My goodness, a book called “trusting the new testament”?”

        >Your point?

        “Achtemeier? He’s a professor of “biblical interpretation”, which should be much fun since Christians can’t agree on that.”

        >Which has nothing to do with the subject at hand.

        “The only thing I see from Gamble, and I do apologize for not noting that you did mention this before, is that Gamble says that parchment did not become more popular than papyrus until the 4th century. That’s nice, but where does he say that papyrus was out of the reach of common people.”

        >Read more carefully. A roll cost from 1-2 and even 5-6 days wages. There were even shortages of papyrus (pg 266). Etc.

        “I believe I’ve noted a bit of a problem for you. You have said that parables were to be easily remembered, and that Paul wouldn’t have needed to mention such things.”

        >There is no reason to.

        “Then you say that the gospels “themselves were written for Christians and the truth of the gospels were meant to be passed around”. Now, how does that work with people being as illiterate as you have claimed?”

        >To preserve the truths for the people who were literate, as the original apostles began to die off.

        “How does one “pass around” a oral work?”

        >Speaking. Talking. Reciting. Asking questions. It’s not like the telephone game where you say it once and intend for the message to get distorted. These messages were repeated a number of times, and questions could be asked.

        “I know you were talking about the dead people wandering around. Again, how do the Pharisees keep such a thing under wraps when the apostles are supposedly hanging out at the temple praising their god and his works?”

        >What does that have to do with the rich holy people?

        “And again how did you get the number of 10 people being the only ones raised? Please tell me how you know who was “holy” enough and also please tell me how being rich impacts this. That they had tombs? Isn’t it that *every* Jew must be buried before sunset?”

        >The non-rich Jews got a hole in the ground.

        “Many” is a vague word. If you said 10 people were arrested for robbing 7-11, it would be “many”. Because the dead coming back to life is not very common, I would say even 5 was “many”.

        “So, where does it say that Paul was getting money from this person? And the money exchanged hands where? We see in no place that Paul was getting paid by “rich converts”. It is an assumption on your part.”

        >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.

        “What we do see is that Paul supposedly supports himself as a tentmaker. Indeed, Christians laud Paul for having supported himself, if one googles “what did Paul do to support himself””

        >If one Googles “alincolnism”, one can see Abraham Lincoln doesn’t exist. What is your point? What does making tents have to do with anything?

        “Paul says in 1 Corinthians 9 that he has *never* taken money from someone else.”

        >Be more specific.

    • My goodness, Potato! Look at the wall of text you’ve erected to escape from the task of providing evidence for the existence of a divine Jesus. What’s worse, is that with each additional post you render your God more and more impotent. If I were a Christian, I’d be ashamed.

      “But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.” 1 Peter 3:15

      This is now my third request: By what metric do you evaluate the validity of the competing truth claims passed on through oral tradition?

      It’s been ten days since I first asked that question. When, if ever, can I expect an answer from you?

  7. On Potato’s assertion that artwork wasn’t part of Jewish-Christian culture, here are but two examples to refute that claim:

    An ancient synagogue dating back to the early first century.

    “In the middle of the 120 square meter main hall of the synagogue archaeologists discovered an unusual stone carved with a seven branched menorah.”

    The Christian Catacombs of Rome which also date back to the first century.

  8. and here we are at August 25 and *still* no evidence for magical Jesus. I’ll be getting to Paste Pot Pete’s posts (aka Potato) when I have time. It’s a better exercise than any “mental games” website.

      • “No, Potato, I never said this “According to ClubS “It’s cute to see atheists try to make believe that if one Christian doesn’t address their baseless claims that means their nonsense is true.” and for you to present it as a quote is a rather piteous lie. But again, thanks for being such a great example of a Christian.”

        >Here is what you said- “It’s cute to see Christians try to make believe that if one atheist doesn’t address their baseless claims that means their nonsense is true.” Thus, unless you want to fallaciously apply a double standard or negate your own words, you will accept it as valid.

        “Now, tell us those “other words for miracles”.”

        >Semeion, terata, dunamei, etc.

        “Let’s look at the context of John 14:12-14. We have the run up to the cruxifiction. We have the devil controlling Judas. We have JC saying that he is “going ahead” aka he will die.”

        >Uh no, “going ahead” would refer to post-ascension. It is not death. However, you bring up the crucifixion. Through his death and resurrection, sin would be atoned for and conquered. Thus, this would be the Gospel- the good news. Thus, the disciples were commanded to go preach the Gospel. This would support what I said earlier about a “more extensive ministry”.

        “We have JC saying that the apostles have seen God, though JC’s works. JC says “at least believe in the evidence of the works themselves”. Now, Potato, what works are being referred to here? What instances can you point to in the gospels that are these “works” that you say aren’t the miracles that JC did?”

        >How can you conclude he is soley referring to miracles? In and of itself, “ergon” does not refer to miracles. The word is used more for deeds (Matthew 5:16, Matthew 23:3, Matthew 23:5, John 3:19, John 3:20, John 3:21, John 7:3, John 8:39, Luke 11:48, etc.) Nor does it really refer to soley miracles. For example, He also notes that some false prophets will work miracles (Matthew 24:24).

        “We have JC continuing saying that those who believe in him will do “works” that he has been doing and “even greater things than these”. So, what can the apostles do that is greater than JC?”

        >Building hospitals, feeding the homeless, starting universities, adopting orphans, etc. However, the biggest is noted by many scholars. AT Robertson notes that they works are “not necessarily greater miracles”. He refers to them as works in quantity, in reference to conversion (Peter at Pentecost and Paul‘s mission tours). Leon Morris also notes that “What Jesus means we may see in the narratives of the Acts. There there are a few miracles of healing, but the emphasis is on the mighty works of conversion. On the day of Pentecost alone more believers were added to the little band of believers than throughout Christ’s entire earthly life. There we see a literal fulfillment of ‘greater works than these shall he do.” Lenski and William Hendricksen also note this.

        “WE also have JC promising that he will “do whatever you ask in my name”, which indicates that he will be the source of power behind what the apostles want to do, and it can be anything e.g. “whatever” which has no limitations placed on it.

        >It simply means his authority is behind what they do. That’s what “name” means. It has no bearing on the level of power.

        “John 5”

        >John connects these works with coming to the faith (John 5:19-21, John 5:24,25). The “greater works” are the giving of life to the spiritually dead. See also- scholars comments noted above.

        “Now, Potato, are we to be “amazed” at “physical labor”?”

        >Even for phyiscal deeds, yes. It would have been a way to accrue honor in their world to build a hospital, for example. However, the conversions in Acts would also be amazing spiritually.

        “Is raising the dead simply physical labor? We have works mentioned in John 9, does this mean God does “physical labor”? We have works mentioned in John 10″

        >”Ergon” would mean physical labor and also deed. It has no real connotation of miracles. Only if the context specifically allowed for it.

        “So are these works just physical labor that “testify” about JC?”

        >Yes, pretty much. Nor do the works really refer to soley miracles. For example, He also notes that some false prophets will work miracles (Matthew 24:24).

        “And Peter saying in Acts 2…”

        >Which refer specifically to miracles, not “ergon”.

        “You have claimed that works are just physical labors. What “physical labors” did JC do that “no one else did”?”

        >Let’s go into your position. If Jesus did miracles that no one else did, then, John 14:12 cannot refer to those miracles.

        “I can point to very many Christians who are quite sure that the “works” mentioned are the miracles.”

        >So what? Their arguments for it are not so good.

        “Potato, can you show me that your interpretation is the only “right” one?”

        >Contextual study and the use of words.

        “Potato, you’re just getting yourself in all sorts of knots here. Firstly, one dos not “prepare” for a Masters. Secondly, you have to first complete a Postgraduate before being “invited” to do a Masters. A Postgraduate, Potato follows the undergraduate degree, which your Nick Peters hasn’t even finished.

        >What you’re referring to is when he was pursuing a Master’s in Philosophy.

        “That is, of course, what happens in real universities. I know, I have a Masters from a “real” university, and two postgraduate degrees.””

        >Is that what they call preschool now?

        “Now, back to your evasion. I’ll ask the question one more time: Why do you think 4th century Christians saw it necessary to molest the oldest of the synoptic gospels, Mark, and secretly insert a new ending?””

        >Now, back to your evasion. I’ll ask the question one more time: Why do you think it matters?

        “From Matthew Henry’s Commentary:”

        >It appears as though he is only referring to the Apostles and other early believers.

        “I think I’ll go with the trained scholar’s opinion of what the passage means.”

        >AT Robertson notes that they works are “not necessarily greater miracles”. He refers to them as works in quantity, in reference to conversion (Peter at Pentecost and Paul‘s mission tours). Leon Morris also notes that “What Jesus means we may see in the narratives of the Acts. There there are a few miracles of healing, but the emphasis is on the mighty works of conversion. On the day of Pentecost alone more believers were added to the little band of believers than throughout Christ’s entire earthly life. There we see a literal fulfillment of ‘greater works than these shall he do.” Lenski and William Hendricksen also note this.

    • Yawn.

      And all we have from you are preschool arguments (all jokes to the scholarly community).

      You’d be no match for anyone on TWeb. I suppose that’s why you avoid it so.

      • “scholarly community.” Potato, in with your “scholars’” (who are only Christian apologists, which is sort of hilarious) you seem to quote a Nick Peters. Tell me, is this Nick Peters who’s an undergraduate at the Southern Evangelical Seminary?

        Now, are you going to answer Ron’s question?

      • Hmm, funny how they actually have degrees relevant to their area of study, and some aren’t even Christians. I quoted Ehrman, Metzger, Gamble, William Harris, etc.

        As for Ron’s question, he essentially asked me to prove the Gospels were true. An official discussion at an appropriate setting would better.

        ClubS would only embarrass herself like she did trying to confront Nick on apotheosis. Though, I appreciate her coming out of hiding.

      • So, by your silence i am to assume Nick Peters is the undergraduate at the Southern Evangelical Seminary. Mmmm, quite an institution! And i’m guessing you are indeed Nick Peters. Oh, this get’s even better 🙂

        Now be a man and answer Ron’s question.

      • “Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.” Mark 16:16-18

        Please demonstrate that you’re a True Believer by curing all the ICU patients at your local hospital. When this miracle hits the news, I’ll be convinced your beliefs are justified and no further debate will be necessary.

      • Ron, John argued that the verse was an interpolation.

        Thus, I don’t even need to deal with that.

      • Once again, please look at my avatar. I’m not John, nor have I ever disputed the authenticity of those verses during our conversation. And since these verses also appear in the dead tree copies of my KJV and NASB translations, I am going to assume that they are accepted as part of the biblical cannon.

        You also know what I’ve asked previously, but here it is once again — for the fifth time now — just in case you’ve forgotten:

        “By what metric do you evaluate the validity of the competing truth claims passed on through oral tradition?”

        Two days ago you wrote:

        John, I may answer Ron’s question here or on ClubS. But at a later time.

        I’m with family right now.

        I see no mention of TWeb, and it appears you’ve found plenty of time to post additional comments — both here and on John’s site. Will you honor your promise, or not?

      • Then simply put, I can cite John and say those verses were added later. No problem.

        And as for your question, I invite you to TWeb to discuss it. There are also others there that you could get a better answer. However, ClubS is overly obsessive and can’t seem to focus on one subject, so if you want an answer soon, go ask Nick. Email him or post a comment on his blog.

      • So you simply pick and choose which verses you accept as authentic when it suits you? In that case, Mark’s gospel ends with the women running away from the tomb without telling anyone.

        As to my question: you’re the one who came over here to debate, my question was posted here and it was addressed to you specifically, not Nick (unless you’re actually Nick posting under the pseudonym of Potato) — so please answer it here as you originally promised you would, or admit that you are not a man of your word.

      • On second thought, I won’t let you off the authenticity hook so easy. In John 14:12-14 Jesus promises:

        “Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.”

        So with that in mind, I am now going to raise the bar even higher. Please demonstrate that you’re really a True Believer by asking Jesus to:

        – regenerate the limbs of all amputees
        – cure all illnesses
        – end world hunger.

        Good luck, and Godspeed!!

      • Ron, if you really wish to go that route, I was originally addressing John and ClubS.

        According to ClubS “It’s cute to see atheists try to make believe that if one Christian doesn’t address their baseless claims that means their nonsense is true.”

        John 14:12-14: the context isn’t limiting His statement to miracles. In fact, it hardly is talking about miracles. The word in Greek usually refers to physical labor; there are other words for miracles.

      • No, Potato, I never said this “According to ClubS “It’s cute to see atheists try to make believe that if one Christian doesn’t address their baseless claims that means their nonsense is true.” and for you to present it as a quote is a rather piteous lie. But again, thanks for being such a great example of a Christian.

        Now, tell us those “other words for miracles”. Let’s look at the context of John 14:12-14. We have the run up to the cruxifiction. We have the devil controlling Judas. We have JC saying that he is “going ahead” aka he will die. We have JC saying that the apostles have seen God, though JC’s works. “9 Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 10 Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you I do not speak on my own authority. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work. 11 Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the works themselves. 12 Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. 13 And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.”

        JC says “at least believe in the evidence of the works themselves”. Now, Potato, what works are being referred to here? What instances can you point to in the gospels that are these “works” that you say aren’t the miracles that JC did? We have JC continuing saying that those who believe in him will do “works” that he has been doing and “even greater things than these”. So, what can the apostles do that is greater than JC? WE also have JC promising that he will “do whatever you ask in my name”, which indicates that he will be the source of power behind what the apostles want to do, and it can be anything e.g. “whatever” which has no limitations placed on it.

        Now, if we look earlier in John, we have the word “works” several times. John 5 has “works” mentioned when JC has been doing miracles, e.g. magical healings. JC himself (assuming he existed) said “19 Jesus gave them this answer: “Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does. 20 For the Father loves the Son and shows him all he does. Yes, and he will show him even greater works than these, so that you will be amazed. 21 For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son gives life to whom he is pleased to give it. 22 Moreover, the Father judges no one, but has entrusted all judgment to the Son, 23 that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father, who sent him.”

        Now, Potato, are we to be “amazed” at “physical labor”? Is raising the dead simply physical labor? We have works mentioned in John 9, does this mean God does “physical labor”? We have works mentioned in John 10 “25 Jesus answered, “I did tell you, but you do not believe. The works I do in my Father’s name testify about me, 26 but you do not believe because you are not my sheep. 27 My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all[c]; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. 30 I and the Father are one.”

        So are these works just physical labor that “testify” about JC?

        Finally, we have JC saying in John 15 “23 Whoever hates me hates my Father as well. 24 If I had not done among them the works no one else did, they would not be guilty of sin. As it is, they have seen, and yet they have hated both me and my Father. 25 But this is to fulfill what is written in their Law: ‘They hated me without reason.’” And Peter saying in Acts 2 “22 “Fellow Israelites, listen to this: Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs, which God did among you through him, as you yourselves know.” And the author of John saying in John 20 “30 Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. 31 But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.” which mimics what JC says earlier in John.

        You have claimed that works are just physical labors. What “physical labors” did JC do that “no one else did”? I can point to very many Christians who are quite sure that the “works” mentioned are the miracles. Potato, can you show me that your interpretation is the only “right” one?

      • Ah, no, I’m not Nick.

        If I were, ClubS would’ve banned me out of embarrassment by now.

        Just like how she embarrassed herself confronting Nick on his blog.

      • Potato, you do nothing but present excuse after excuse. Its rather pathetic. Now, you still haven’t answered my question which I repeated numerous times. Perhaps you could stop running away and actually answer it. So, hear it is again:

        Why do you think 4th century Christians saw it necessary to molest the oldest of the synoptic gospels, Mark, and secretly insert a new ending?

        No evasion, no trying to change the subject, just answer this very straightforward question like a responsible adult.

      • And another lie. Quite a nice track record for you, Tater. You really are such a great ambassador for Christianity. We have no idea if you are Nick or not, but you certainly are concerned with him. I’d say you are a wannabee minion but I doubt you are Nick since Nick does appear to write more coherently.

        I have not banned you and I have not banned Nick, that last because he never left one measly comment. And how did I embarrass myself “confronting Nick on his blog”? I thought your posts were about how I never confronted Nick and never responded to him. 🙂

      • Should I repeat the question?

        Why do you think 4th century Christians saw it necessary to molest the oldest of the synoptic gospels, Mark, and secretly insert a new ending?

      • Should I repeat the question? Why does it matter?

        Or am I running away, just like ClubS ran away from Nick. Who by the way, is prepping for a PhD in New Testament.

      • Nice to see more lies, Tater. I’m still waiting for your master Nick. I’m right here so your claims of “running away” are just hilarious. Please tell us where Nick is prepping for a PhD in “the New Testament”.

      • By “preparing for a PhD in the New Testament” you mean “Hasn’t actually even graduated from a meaningless theology school.” Priceless!!

        Now, i’ll ask the question again. Do please act like an adult and answer it:

        Why do you think 4th century Christians saw it necessary to molest the oldest of the synoptic gospels, Mark, and secretly insert a new ending?

      • Potato, exactly what route are we going? Because from my perspective it seems right now you’re rafting down the river of denial.

        IIRC, the Johannine gospel never directly uses the word miracles, but refers to them as “signs” and “great works” instead. And the context of verses 12 to 14 — “whatsoever you ask” and “you may ask me anything” — makes it patently clear that by greater works Jesus isn’t simply talking about greater carpentry or fishing skills. Furthermore, similar promise is given in Matthew 18:19-20.

        This is twice now that you have denied the divinity of your Lord. May I remind you what Jesus said about those who deny him:

        “But whoever disowns me before others, I will disown before my Father in heaven.” (Mt 10:33)

        And may I further remind you that 1 Peter 3:15 enjoins you to: “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.”

        Do you just talk the talk? Or do you also walk the walk?

      • Ah, ClubS, it’s nice to see you being a hypocrite again.

        It’s also nice to see that you still haven’t learned how to read. I never said you banned anyone.

        And yes, you still avoided Nick. You ignored his debate request. As John Zande says, you’re “Evasive, run away, run away”. It’s funny watching you guys chase your own tails. Now, as John Zande would say, “Answer Nick like an adult.”

        However, I note that you finally came out of hiding and posted a comment on Nick’s blog. Unfortunately, you failed again and posted an already refuted statement. Too bad.

        Indeed, it was a Masters, not PhD. However, he was more invested in NT so he decided to pursue that.

        Re: 1 Peter 3:15- Does it say give an answer to every nauseating, idiotic question an atheist has to offer? No. As ClubS notes, “It’s cute to see atheists try to make believe that if one Christian doesn’t address their baseless claims that means their nonsense is true.” In fact, some really don’t even believe it’s talking about apologetics.

        Re John 14: “ergon” refers to labor, deeds, etc (i.e., a more extensive ministry). Not miracles.

      • Potato, you’re just getting yourself in all sorts of knots here. Firstly, one dos not “prepare” for a Masters. Secondly, you have to first complete a Postgraduate before being “invited” to do a Masters. A Postgraduate, Potato follows the undergraduate degree, which your Nick Peters hasn’t even finished. That is, of course, what happens in real universities. I know, I have a Masters from a “real” university, and two postgraduate degrees.

        Now, back to your evasion. I’ll ask the question one more time: Why do you think 4th century Christians saw it necessary to molest the oldest of the synoptic gospels, Mark, and secretly insert a new ending?

      • From Matthew Henry’s Commentary:

        Verses 12-14

        The disciples, as they were full of grief to think of parting with their Master, so they were full of care what would become of themselves when he was gone; while he was with them, he was a support to them, kept them in countenance, kept them in heart; but, if he leave them, they will be as sheep having no shepherd, an easy prey to those who seek to run them down. Now, to silence these fears, Christ here assures them that they should be clothed with powers sufficient to bear them out. As Christ has all power, they, in his name, should have great power, both in heaven and in earth.

        […]

        1. Two things he assures them of:—

        (1.) That they should be enabled to do such works as he had done, and that they should have a more ample power for the doing of them than they had had when he first sent them forth, Matt. 10:8. Did Christ heal the sick, cleanse the leper, raise the dead? So should they. Did he convince and convert sinners, and draw multitudes to him? So should they. Though he should depart, the work should not cease, nor fall to the ground, but should be carried on as vigorously and successfully as ever; and it is still in the doing.

        (2.) That they should do greater works than these. [1.] In the kingdom of nature they should work greater miracles. No miracle is little, but some to our apprehension seem greater than others. Christ had healed with the hem of his garment, but Peter with his shadow (Acts 5:15), Paul by the handkerchief that had touched him, Acts 19:12. Christ wrought miracles for two or three years in one country, but his followers wrought miracles in his name for many ages in divers countries. You shall do greater works, if there be occasion, for the glory of God. The prayer of faith, if at any time it had been necessary, would have removed mountains.

        I think I’ll go with the trained scholar’s opinion of what the passage means.

      • “No, Potato, I never said this “According to ClubS “It’s cute to see atheists try to make believe that if one Christian doesn’t address their baseless claims that means their nonsense is true.” and for you to present it as a quote is a rather piteous lie. But again, thanks for being such a great example of a Christian.”

        >Here is what you said- “It’s cute to see Christians try to make believe that if one atheist doesn’t address their baseless claims that means their nonsense is true.” Thus, unless you want to fallaciously apply a double standard or negate your own words, you will accept it as valid.

        “Now, tell us those “other words for miracles”.”

        >Semeion, terata, dunamei, etc.

        “Let’s look at the context of John 14:12-14. We have the run up to the cruxifiction. We have the devil controlling Judas. We have JC saying that he is “going ahead” aka he will die.”

        >Uh no, “going ahead” would refer to post-ascension. It is not death. However, you bring up the crucifixion. Through his death and resurrection, sin would be atoned for and conquered. Thus, this would be the Gospel- the good news. Thus, the disciples were commanded to go preach the Gospel. This would support what I said earlier about a “more extensive ministry”.

        “We have JC saying that the apostles have seen God, though JC’s works. JC says “at least believe in the evidence of the works themselves”. Now, Potato, what works are being referred to here? What instances can you point to in the gospels that are these “works” that you say aren’t the miracles that JC did?”

        >How can you conclude he is soley referring to miracles? In and of itself, “ergon” does not refer to miracles. The word is used more for deeds (Matthew 5:16, Matthew 23:3, Matthew 23:5, John 3:19, John 3:20, John 3:21, John 7:3, John 8:39, Luke 11:48, etc.) Nor does it really refer to soley miracles. For example, He also notes that some false prophets will work miracles (Matthew 24:24).

        “We have JC continuing saying that those who believe in him will do “works” that he has been doing and “even greater things than these”. So, what can the apostles do that is greater than JC?”

        >Building hospitals, feeding the homeless, starting universities, adopting orphans, etc. However, the biggest is noted by many scholars. AT Robertson notes that they works are “not necessarily greater miracles”. He refers to them as works in quantity, in reference to conversion (Peter at Pentecost and Paul‘s mission tours). Leon Morris also notes that “What Jesus means we may see in the narratives of the Acts. There there are a few miracles of healing, but the emphasis is on the mighty works of conversion. On the day of Pentecost alone more believers were added to the little band of believers than throughout Christ’s entire earthly life. There we see a literal fulfillment of ‘greater works than these shall he do.” Lenski and William Hendricksen also note this.

        “WE also have JC promising that he will “do whatever you ask in my name”, which indicates that he will be the source of power behind what the apostles want to do, and it can be anything e.g. “whatever” which has no limitations placed on it.

        >It simply means his authority is behind what they do. That’s what “name” means. It has no bearing on the level of power.

        “John 5”

        >John connects these works with coming to the faith (John 5:19-21, John 5:24,25). The “greater works” are the giving of life to the spiritually dead. See also- scholars comments noted above.

        “Now, Potato, are we to be “amazed” at “physical labor”?”

        >Even for phyiscal deeds, yes. It would have been a way to accrue honor in their world to build a hospital, for example. However, the conversions in Acts would also be amazing spiritually.

        “Is raising the dead simply physical labor? We have works mentioned in John 9, does this mean God does “physical labor”? We have works mentioned in John 10″

        >”Ergon” would mean physical labor and also deed. It has no real connotation of miracles. Only if the context specifically allowed for it.

        “So are these works just physical labor that “testify” about JC?”

        >Yes, pretty much. Nor do the works really refer to soley miracles. For example, He also notes that some false prophets will work miracles (Matthew 24:24).

        “And Peter saying in Acts 2…”

        >Which refer specifically to miracles, not “ergon”.

        “You have claimed that works are just physical labors. What “physical labors” did JC do that “no one else did”?”

        >Let’s go into your position. If Jesus did miracles that no one else did, then, John 14:12 cannot refer to those miracles.

        “I can point to very many Christians who are quite sure that the “works” mentioned are the miracles.”

        >So what? Their arguments for it are not so good.

        “Potato, can you show me that your interpretation is the only “right” one?”

        >Contextual study and the use of words.

        “Potato, you’re just getting yourself in all sorts of knots here. Firstly, one dos not “prepare” for a Masters. Secondly, you have to first complete a Postgraduate before being “invited” to do a Masters. A Postgraduate, Potato follows the undergraduate degree, which your Nick Peters hasn’t even finished.

        >What you’re referring to is when he was pursuing a Master’s in Philosophy.

        “That is, of course, what happens in real universities. I know, I have a Masters from a “real” university, and two postgraduate degrees.””

        >Is that what they call preschool now?

        “Now, back to your evasion. I’ll ask the question one more time: Why do you think 4th century Christians saw it necessary to molest the oldest of the synoptic gospels, Mark, and secretly insert a new ending?””

        >Now, back to your evasion. I’ll ask the question one more time: Why do you think it matters?

        “From Matthew Henry’s Commentary:”

        >It appears as though he is only referring to the Apostles and other early believers.

        “I think I’ll go with the trained scholar’s opinion of what the passage means.”

        >AT Robertson notes that they works are “not necessarily greater miracles”. He refers to them as works in quantity, in reference to conversion (Peter at Pentecost and Paul‘s mission tours). Leon Morris also notes that “What Jesus means we may see in the narratives of the Acts. There there are a few miracles of healing, but the emphasis is on the mighty works of conversion. On the day of Pentecost alone more believers were added to the little band of believers than throughout Christ’s entire earthly life. There we see a literal fulfillment of ‘greater works than these shall he do.” Lenski and William Hendricksen also note this.

      • Anyway, you can use Ehrman all you’d like. It only reveal how foolish you are.

        Simply put, Misquoting tries to makes things look like a problem, when in actuality, they aren’t.

        Dan Wallace notes that the errors Ehrman points out are highly misleading. Over 70% of those “errors” are spelling errors and in no way whatsoever affect the documents. Even Ehrman notes that it doesn’t affect major documents. The number of errors are also misleading because the there are several million pages of manuscripts, so the percentage is quite small. Furthermore, he notes that the “MSS agree over 90% of the time” and that the “vast majority of them agree over 98% of the time with each other” (in works like “The Majority Text and the Original Text: Are They Identical?”) . If the question is “can we recover the wording of the original text?” He notes that the answer is “a strong confirmation that we have done so or at least that the original wording is to be found in the existing manuscripts virtually 100% of the time.” In fact, Dan Wallace notes that the only errors that make any difference are much less than 1%, and the rest are inconsequential (Understanding Scripture: An Overview of the Bible’s Origin, Reliability, and Meaning, Is What We Have Now What They Wrote Then?). You can also see John Wenham, “Christ and the Bible”.

        Here are some rebuttals/critiques on Ehrman’s book-

        bible(dot)org/article/gospel-according-bart

        tektonics(dot)org/books/ehrqurvw.html

        deeperwaters.wordpress(dot)com/2013/08/13/book-plunge-misquoting-jesus/

        So, you have been shown to be lying again, ClubS.

      • Wallace claims that the differences are “inconsequential” but he does not show that this is the case. It is the baseless claim of someone who doesn’t want anyone to look “pay no attention to the man behind the curtain”. He also makes the baseless claim that there is a “strong confirmation that we have done so”. Let me ask you, Potato, what is Wallace’s evidence that we have the original wording since we do not have original documents?

        The problem is that the bible is claimed to have been written/inspired by a perfect being. Any errors that have come in have come in either because this god didn’t care or that this god doesn’t exist. If we have a perfect deity that wants no question about its existence, we have a book that is evidence against it. Wallace’s argument also works for Dianetics. They agree 100% in text. We have the original. Does this mean that they are true?

      • I’m surprised you didn’t use Wakefield’s hyperbole argument:

        If we extend the analogy just a little, we may be able to think of these promises as the same sort of hyperbole that parents use when they tell a child, “I would do anything for you!” The child may say, “Really? Then I want a tattoo; I want a pet elephant; I want a Ferrari!”

        The child has missed the point. The hyperbole shows the parent’s infinite love for the child, a love that will seek the good of the child even above the parent’s own good…. The hyperbole is a way of expressing the intimate relationship between loving parent and child–and that relationship is not simply about giving and receiving.

        Strange, isn’t it? On the one hand, apologists opine that Jesus’ promises to his followers be interpreted as mere allegory or hyperbole, while on the other hand, they insist that the miracles performed by Jesus’ first century followers be embraced as genuine historical facts.

        Of course, the lie of Jesus’ promise reveals itself on a daily basis: if believers were truly convinced that faith and prayer alone were sufficient in curing illness, then they’d forgo seeking out medical treatment from trained specialists. The fact that they do seek out such help betrays their lack of faith in the efficacy of prayer alone.

      • Indeed. We have a great bit of evidence about how some Christians want to pretend that this god heals but when push comes to shove they back pedal on their claims. A mega church in Texas (where else?) has contributed to a measles outbreak because of their stupidity. They claimed that no one should get vaccinated, and now when they are the culprits, they are claiming that they never said such things. Alas, there are those neat things called video tape and audio tape: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2403743/Measles-outbreak-Texas-megachurch-run-vaccine-denying-preacher-Kenneth-Copeland.html

        Measles can kill. We have a quote of one of the chief idiots (and yes, I am angry and have no problem calling those who do such things idiots) that says “In a recent sermon posted online, senior pastor Terri Pearsons encouraged those who haven’t been vaccinated to do so, adding that the Old Testament is ‘full of precautionary measures.’ Hmmm, what precautionary measures? Smearing pigeon blood on yourself courtesy of: http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Leviticus%2014:49-53&version=KJV Making sure that you don’t sit where menstruating women sit?

      • Ron, that argument has come up before.

        However, like many others have explained, perhaps modern medicine is the way given.

      • I’m assuming this is the excuse for why this god doesn’t heal people. Well, Tater, tell me why your god hated the people who dared to be born before modern medicine? Why put them through the misery of no antibiotics, no c-limbs, no blood transfusion, etc? Why did Solomon not know about germ theory at the very least?

      • “Kinda’ like wearing a seat belt in a car….”

        Ha! Nothing screams “I don’t trust God” louder than the bulletproof popemobile and churches with padlocks on their doors.

      • Lolwut?

        Solomon did not have antibiotics or learn of modern medicine, therefore God is a lie and He does not exist?

        What a childish, fallacious argument. I pity you.

      • Why yes, Solomon didn’t have antibiotics or lean of modern medicine. Exactly my point. You’ve claimed that God has given modern medicine to us, that humans didn’t struggle and invent it. So, why not give it to every-so wise Solomon. Germ theory is quite simple for anyone to comprehend. Could Solomon not have done so? Or how about Jesus? He could have revealed it rather than spitting on people to heal them.

        And please do show how this is childish and fallacious.

      • ClubS, you’re being an idiot. Again.

        Wallace has studied these manuscripts. Because there are millions of pages of MSS, the amount of variants are quite small. I highly doubt that Jesus Christ -> Christ Jesus changes any significant documents. You can tell what it means, and the rest of the documents can all cover for it anyway.

        You forget- Ehrman also admits that no significant documents are affected.

        You also set up a baseless strawman to go with your ignorant handwaving. I never claimed the were true because of that. It merely refutes your idiotic accusation of telephone game.

        You’re claims are all things Wallace has dealt with. Baseless and nothing new.

        More info-chab123.wordpress(dot)com/2011/01/27/what-bart-ehrman-gets-right-and-wrong/

      • Lol! More nonsense. More non sequiturs.

        In the words of Zande, “It’s comedy gold!”

        Why should God give everything to you? It encourages being lazy.

      • Speaking of the germ theory, here’s some profound biblical “science” emanating from none other than Mr. “Alpha & Omega” himself.

        Jesus on washing up before dinner:

        “Are you so dull?” he asked. “Don’t you see that nothing that enters a person from the outside can defile them? For it doesn’t go into their heart but into their stomach, and then out of the body.” Mk 7:17-20

        Jesus on cosmology:

        “Immediately after the distress of those days “‘the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.’” Mt 24:29

        John (“My Gawd! This island’s covered in shrooms”) of Patmos on cosmology:

        “and the stars in the sky fell to earth, as figs drop from a fig tree when shaken by a strong wind.” Rev 6:13

        Jesus on botany:

        “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field. Though it is the smallest of all seeds, yet when it grows…” Mt 13:31-32

        Jesus on horticulture:

        “The next day as they were leaving Bethany, Jesus was hungry. Seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to find out if it had any fruit. When he reached it, he found nothing but leaves, because it was not the season for figs.” Mk 11:12-13

      • “Wallace claims that the differences are “inconsequential” but he does not show that this is the case.”

        >Uh, because they are inconsequential. Most of the errors are spelling errors or sloppy mistakes like “My favourite fruit is the appl”. You can clearly tell what they are meaning.

        “It is the baseless claim of someone who doesn’t want anyone to look “pay no attention to the man behind the curtain”.”

        >Tell me. Why do you trust Ehrman, and not Wallace? Ehrman is the one being baseless.

        “He also makes the baseless claim that there is a “strong confirmation that we have done so”. Let me ask you what is Wallace’s evidence that we have the original wording since we do not have original documents?”

        >The fact that the errors are a very, very small percentage of the several millions of pages of manuscripts, and thus they agree virtually 100%. Things like Christ Jesus to Jesus Christ are considered errors.

      • Again, tater, why is a book from a perfect being subject to *any* errors?

        and please do demonstrate that Ehrman is being “baseless”. I know that is not the case since he cites his reasons and evidence.

        Again, I will repeate, what can tell Wallace that we have the original wording since we do not have original documents. We have copies of manuscipts but again that does not tell us that they agree with original documents. It only means that they agree largely with each other.

        I am curious about your last claim. I do not recall that Ehrman states that things like Christ Jesus to Jesus Christ are errors. I’d appreciate if you could refer me to the page he states something like this. If it’s true, then it is indeed rather silly to claim such a thing and I would disagree with Ehrman on such a claim.

      • “Again, tater, why is a book from a perfect being subject to *any* errors?”

        >These are sloppy variants. Nothing is “incorrect” really.

        “and please do demonstrate that Ehrman is being “baseless”. I know that is not the case since he cites his reasons and evidence.”

        >Please demonstrate that Wallace is being baseless. Wallace has refuted Ehrman, cites various sources, takes into account all of Ehrman’s nonsense, and has countless other scholars to back him up.

        “Again, I will repeate, what can tell Wallace that we have the original wording since we do not have original documents. We have copies of manuscipts but again that does not tell us that they agree with original documents. It only means that they agree largely with each other.”

        >Because these documents are the copies of the originals, and they largely agree. Meaning- they have a very, very small chance of corruption. Metzger (Ehrman’s mentor), notes that “if all other sources for our knowledge of the text of the New Testament were destroyed, [the patristic quotations] would be sufficient alone for the reconstruction of practically the entire New Testament.” For more info, see Wallace’s rebuttal on Ehrman.

        “I am curious about your last claim. I do not recall that Ehrman states that things like Christ Jesus to Jesus Christ are errors. I’d appreciate if you could refer me to the page he states something like this. If it’s true, then it is indeed rather silly to claim such a thing and I would disagree with Ehrman on such a claim.”

        >No, those are ALL counted to be errors. When you count up the errors, those are counted in there. That is why when Ehrman says there are 200,000 errors, he is misleading. Wallace notes these in “Understanding Scripture: An Overview of the Bible’s Origin, Reliability, and Meaning.” and “Is What We Have Now What They Wrote Then?””

        Here’s how Wallace sums up the variations:

        1. Spelling differences or nonsense readings (e.g., a skipped line)

        2. Inconsequential word order (“Christ Jesus” vs. “Jesus Christ”) and synonyms

        3. Meaningful, though non-viable variants (e.g., the Comma Johanneum)

        4. Variants that are both meaningful and viable

      • In fact, look at the Wiki link you gave me, Club.

        “Matthew 1:18
        Χριστου Ιησου (Christ Jesus) — B Origenpt Jeromept
        Ιησου Χριστου (Jesus Christ) — rell”

        You can see that this is counted as an error.

        More-

        “1 Timothy 1:16
        Ιησους (Jesus) — F G 1739 1881
        Χριστος Ιησους (Christ Jesus) — A D* H Ψ 0262vid 33 104 326 365 629 1175 lat
        Ιησους Χριστος (Jesus Christ) — א D2 Byz itar vgmss syr
        Ιησους ο Χριστος (Jesus the Christ) — 614”

        “1 John 4:3
        τὸν Ἰησοῦν (Jesus) — A, B, 945, 1241, 1739
        Ἰησοῦν Χριστόν (Jesus Christ) — 629*
        τὸν Χριστόν (Christ) — copsa, bo”

        And the list goes on.

      • Nice. I do think it’s silly to claim that these mistakes are important. But one mistake makes the claims of a supernaturally influenced book false. One might make the case that a perfect being can make imperfect things if it gives them free will to change. But since you are a Calvinist, and believe in no free will and predestination, you are stuck with the concept of perfect god intentionally making an imperfect book. Perfection is rather like the term sterile, it is an absolute.

      • What I would like to ask is how it pertains to the discussion.

        First, I highly doubt you could seriously say Jesus Christ > Christ Jesus makes the Bible false and contradictory in any way.

        Second, the manuscripts can reconstruct the message the original. No room for variant changes.

        Third, like I noted before most of these variants are not “wrong” and cannot disprove anything.

        Fourth, the originals can be constructed by the mere letters that the Early Church Fathers wrote to each other.

        Sixth, the variants can be corrected.

        Seventh, it’s fallacious to say the Bible is false if the copies have variants. Especially when the variants are either insignificant and uncobtradictory or can be corrected.

      • it is a sad little lie that one can somehow magically reconstruct the “original” message, especially since Christians do not agree on what the bible “really” means. You have no original manuscripts and you have lied about having them. We have repeated claims that the bible is written and/or inspired by a perfect being that wants people to understand it, and we have mistakes left and right. Let’s consider, if there were any such “original manuscripts” then anything that changed them would be “wrong” if they changed what that perfect being wanted. The “early church fathers” also did not have any originals.

        It is rather silly to say that any book in its entirety is false if it has some variants. However, not every book claims to be a perfect product from a perfect being. And I do love how you say “but but the problems can be corrected.” Unfortunately, that’s not true. They can have stories made up by people like you to excuse the problems but all of your little stories require assumptions that cannot be supported by reality. You add and add to the bible to make sense of it and you all add different things to get different answers. I can see that in all of the sect of Christianity. You say they are wrong and they say you are wrong. And I get to laugh and watch Christianity splinter and wither.

      • Major irreconcilable New Testament discrepancies:

        – birth narrative (Mt 2 vs. Lk 2)
        – genealogies (Mt 1:1-17 vs. Lk 3:23-38)
        – John the Baptist’s knowledge of Jesus (Mt 3:13-14 vs. Mt 11:2-3)
        – Judas death (Mt 27:3-10 vs. Acts 1:18-19), plus Mt 27:9 cites the wrong prophet — Jeremiah s/b Zechariah (Zec 11:12-13)
        – postmortem events (Mt 28 vs. Mk 16 vs. Lk 24 vs. Jn 20-21 vs. Acts 1)

        The prophet predicted that the scriptures would be corrupted.

        “How can you say, ‘We are wise,
        And the law of the Lord is with us’?
        But behold, the lying pen of the scribes
        Has made it into a lie.”

        Jeremiah 8:8

      • Bookmarked! Thank Gore for the Internet. Time to retire my binder of handwritten notes from three decades ago.

        Et merci beaucoup for pointing that out, John. You’re a storehouse of useful information.

      • Its brilliant, isn’t it. The good folk over at the Reason Project first compiled the list a few months ago, but some patient bastard went and made it interactive. Praise be his/her Good Nameless Name!

        I particularly like the “god can do anything”, “god can’t do everything” bit. Made me giggle.

      • “Major irreconcilable New Testament discrepancies:”

        >ROFL!

        “- birth narrative (Mt 2 vs. Lk 2)
        – genealogies (Mt 1:1-17 vs. Lk 3:23-38)”

        >tektonics.org/af/birthnarr.html

        “- John the Baptist’s knowledge of Jesus (Mt 3:13-14 vs. Mt 11:2-3)”

        >lolwut

        “- Judas death (Mt 27:3-10 vs. Acts 1:18-19)”

        >Rofl. Contradictions are two things that exclude each other. These don’t. Cliffs were commonly used as a place of suicide. Since Judas was hung in the hot sun, bacteria inside his body would have been actively breaking down tissues and cells. The internal pressure builds up from the gas- which is the byproduct of bacterial metabolism. This begins to swell the abdomen.
        Because hardly any Jew would remove the cursed body of a man from a tree on the Sabbath, Judas had to hang for at least two days. There are other ways. For example, “apanchomai” does not always have to be a physical hanging. Matthew could have also been alluding to Ahithophel in 2 Samuel 17:23. Peter gave the wrong info. Etc.

        “plus Mt 27:9 cites the wrong prophet — Jeremiah s/b Zechariah (Zec 11:12-13)”

        >If I remember correctly, people usually cited the major prophet in reference to a section of work. He alludes to Jeremiah anyway (Jeremiah 11, 18, 19, 32, etc).

        See more: answersingenesis.org/articles/2009/04/27/contradictions-mixed-prophets

        “postmortem events (Mt 28 vs. Mk 16 vs. Lk 24 vs. Jn 20-21 vs. Acts 1)”

        >pb.org/pbdocs/resrecon.html

        Now you may whine “ad hoc” for most of these; it doesn’t even really matter. Anything can be termed as such and “contradictions” cannot happen together in any scenario. If it can, it’s not a contradiction.

      • “- John the Baptist’s knowledge of Jesus (Mt 3:13-14 vs. Mt 11:2-3)”

        >Ah, I think I see what you mean.

        Actually, the latter passage is firmly held to show that John the Baptist experienced doubt. Not much of a contradiction.

      • Matthew has Jesus fleeing to Egypt for several years until Herod dies, while Luke — who claims to have “carefully investigated everything from the beginning” – makes no mention of a flight to Egypt. He states that Jesus was circumcised on the eighth day, presented to the Lord in Jerusalem ~33 days later in accordance with the purification rites required by the Law of Moses (Leviticus 12), and then returned to Galilee. Turkel’s assertion that Luke left out this portion of the story because he was concerned about keeping it “Roman friendly” are ridiculous given the historical events which both preceded and followed the gospel account.

        There’s also no way to harmonize Judas’ alleged suicide, because it’s extremely difficult to “fall headlong” when you’re dangling at the end of a rope. Nor is it likely that his body would have fallen apart so readily after only a few days, because just such a partially decomposed corpse was discovered hanging from a tree in Thailand earlier this year. [Look here if you’re not squeamish]. Furthermore, it’s even less likely that each author would recount only one portion of the event while omitting the other. Stranger still, that none of the other gospels mention this event. (In fact, Paul even claims that Jesus appeared to “the twelve” in 1 Cor 15:12)

        As for the AIG explanations for the misquoted prophecy:

        Excuse 1 (said by Jeremiah but later written by Zechariah) fails because it’s highly unlikely that a major prophet would forget to record his own prophecies. Or was there another papyrus shortage?

        Excuse 2 (Zechariah’s second name is Jeremiah, like “Simon Peter” for Peter) fails because it contradicts excuses (3) and (6). If Matthew prefers attributing works of minor prophets to major prophets, then what reason would he have to suddenly change preferences when it comes to names?

        Excuse 3 (copyist mistake) fails because it not only contradicts excuse (2), but also grants tacit admission to the errancy of the scriptures. If we can’t trust the accuracy of the things we can verify, what faith can we place in the accuracy of the things we can’t verify?

        Excuse 4 (quoting from an apocryphal work of Jeremiah, like Jude quoting from Enoch) fails because it fails to directly identify where these words occur in the apocryphal works of Jeremiah. It also contradicts excuses (1 -3, 5-7) and the second part of excuse (8).

        Excuse 5 (The last four chapters of Zechariah were actually written by Jeremiah) fails because dead men don’t normally author the works of their successors. This also contradicts excuse (1).

        Excuse 6 (the alternate Jewish canon) fails because the collection wasn’t kept in a modern “book” form. The books were written on separate scrolls, and the twelve “minor” prophets were contained together on one scroll apart from the “major” prophets. So why would Matthew attribute something written by a minor prophet (whom he later identifies by name in chapter 23, verse35) on one scroll to a major prophet contained another? Nor is this even logical. Who in their right mind would attribute an Obama quote to George Washington because the latter came first in the chronological succession of US presidents?

        Excuse 7 (context of Jeremiah) fails because the (literally) stitched-together context of the Jeremiah passages is even less relevant than the context of the Zechariah passages later argued for in excuse (8). And claiming theses words were merely “spoken” by Jeremiah? Come on, now! Talk about grasping at straws.

        Contradiction:

        3 a : logical incongruity
        b : a situation in which inherent factors, actions, or propositions are inconsistent or contrary to one another (Merriam-Webster)

        3. a statement or proposition that contradicts or denies another or itself and is logically incongruous.
        4. direct opposition between things compared; inconsistency. (dictionary. com)

        In classical logic, a contradiction consists of a logical incompatibility between two or more propositions. (Wikepedia)

        ”Actually, the latter passage is firmly held to show that John the Baptist experienced doubt. Not much of a contradiction.”

        So you expect us to believe that the same John the Baptist who “leaped in the womb” (when his mother heard Mary’s greeting) and recognized Jesus as the “Son of God” on approach suddenly became racked with severe doubts upon hearing of Jesus’ miracles? **facepalm**

        You’re entitled to your opinions, but not your own facts and definitions.

      • “Matthew has Jesus fleeing to Egypt for several years until Herod dies, while Luke — who claims to have “carefully investigated everything from the beginning” – makes no mention of a flight to Egypt. He states that Jesus was circumcised on the eighth day, presented to the Lord in Jerusalem ~33 days later in accordance with the purification rites required by the Law of Moses (Leviticus 12), and then returned to Galilee.”

        >Now, does “not mentioning” it mean it didn’t happen? No. Ridiculous.

        “Turkel’s assertion that Luke left out this portion of the story because he was concerned about keeping it “Roman friendly” are ridiculous given the historical events which both preceded and followed the gospel account.”

        >

        “There’s also no way to harmonize Judas’ alleged suicide, because it’s extremely difficult to “fall headlong” when you’re dangling at the end of a rope. Nor is it likely that his body would have fallen apart so readily after only a few days, because just such a partially decomposed corpse was discovered hanging from a tree in Thailand earlier this year. [Look here if you’re not squeamish]. Furthermore, it’s even less likely that each author would recount only one portion of the event while omitting the other. Stranger still, that none of the other gospels mention this event. (In fact, Paul even claims that Jesus appeared to “the twelve” in 1 Cor 15:12)”

        >Which actually ignores everything else I said. Good job. Anyway, the Acts passage about Judas falling either headfirst or headlong (depending on the translation) depends on the Greek. The word “prenes” is best rendered as someone who “went on the ground” in the sense of having gone prone, not really in the sense of a high fall. It is debated whether prenes is best translated as “swollen and burst” or “gone prostrate”. But certainly prenes isn’t to be interpreted as “headlong”. The word “pipto” is normally used for “fall” by Luke, but is not used here.

        “Excuse 1 (said by Jeremiah but later written by Zechariah) fails because it’s highly unlikely that a major prophet would forget to record his own prophecies. Or was there another papyrus shortage?”

        >Actually, he somewhat did. And Matthew indicated that it was spoken anyway. When written words are written, they are refered to as such. This assertion mainly ignores the well documented practice of oral tradition.

        “Excuse 2 (Zechariah’s second name is Jeremiah, like “Simon Peter” for Peter) fails because it contradicts excuses (3) and (6). If Matthew prefers attributing works of minor prophets to major prophets, then what reason would he have to suddenly change preferences when it comes to names?”

        >No one is arguing they are all true. Is that your only objection?

        “Excuse 3 (copyist mistake) fails because it not only contradicts excuse (2), but also grants tacit admission to the errancy of the scriptures. If we can’t trust the accuracy of the things we can verify, what faith can we place in the accuracy of the things we can’t verify?”

        >No one is arguing that all the copies are inspired.

        “Excuse 4 (quoting from an apocryphal work of Jeremiah, like Jude quoting from Enoch) fails because it fails to directly identify where these words occur in the apocryphal works of Jeremiah. It also contradicts excuses (1 -3, 5-7) and the second part of excuse (8).”

        >Again, no one is arguing they are all true together.

        “Excuse 5 (The last four chapters of Zechariah were actually written by Jeremiah) fails because dead men don’t normally author the works of their successors. This also contradicts excuse (1).”

        >Again, no one is arguing they are all true together.

        “Excuse 6 (the alternate Jewish canon) fails because the collection wasn’t kept in a modern “book” form. The books were written on separate scrolls, and the twelve “minor” prophets were contained together on one scroll apart from the “major” prophets. So why would Matthew attribute something written by a minor prophet (whom he later identifies by name in chapter 23, verse35) on one scroll to a major prophet contained another? Nor is this even logical. Who in their right mind would attribute an Obama quote to George Washington because the latter came first in the chronological succession of US presidents?”

        >It was indeed a common rabbinical practice. Also, “the Talmudic tradition [e.g., Baba Bathra 14b—DM/EL] shows that the prophetic writings in order of their place in the sacred books was Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Isaiah, etc. This order is found in many Hebrew MSS…. Matthew, then quoted the passage as from the roll of the prophets, which roll is cited by the first book” (Exegetical Studies in Zechariah).

        “Excuse 7 (context of Jeremiah) fails because the (literally) stitched-together context of the Jeremiah passages is even less relevant than the context of the Zechariah passages later argued for in excuse (8). And claiming theses words were merely “spoken” by Jeremiah? Come on, now! Talk about grasping at straws.”

        >At best, Matthew is paraphrasing Zechariah. It is indeed clear that Matthew blended scripture from both.

        Arise and go down to the potter’s house … and there he was, making something on the wheel. (Jer 18:1-3)

        Go and buy a potter’s earthenware jar, and take some of the elders of the people and some of the senior priests. “Then go out to the valley of Ben-hinnom, which is by the entrance of the potsherd gate .. (Jer 19:1-2)

        ‘Buy my field, please, that is at Anathoth, which is in the land of Benjamin; for you have the right of possession and the redemption is yours; buy it for yourself.’ Then I knew that this was the word of the LORD. “I bought the field which was at Anathoth from Hanamel my uncle’s son, and I weighed out the silver for him, seventeen shekels of silver. (Jer 32:8-9)

        If it is good in your sight, give me my wages; but if not, never mind! (Zech 11:12)

        So I took the thirty shekels of silver and threw them to the potter in the house of the LORD. (Zech 11:13)

        And he threw the pieces of silver into the temple sanctuary and departed; and he went away and hanged himself. The chief priests took the pieces of silver and said, “It is not lawful to put them into the temple treasury, since it is the price of blood.” And they conferred together and with the money bought the Potter’s Field as a burial place for strangers. (Matt 27:5-7)

        “In classical logic, a contradiction consists of a logical incompatibility between two or more propositions. ”

        >Which actually, one can show they are compatible.

        “So you expect us to believe that the same John the Baptist who “leaped in the womb” (when his mother heard Mary’s greeting) and recognized Jesus as the “Son of God” on approach suddenly became racked with severe doubts upon hearing of Jesus’ miracles?”

      • Re: postmortem events

        Matthew reports that the women were instructed to tell the disciples to go meet Jesus in Galilee (first by an angel and then immediately after by Jesus himself), and then reports the disciples heading to Galilee and meeting Jesus on a mountain where he commissions them to “go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” The End.

        Mark has the women running away from the the empty tomb and reporting it to no one. The End (since you’ve already acknowledged that the remaining verses were a later addition).

        Luke tells us that Jesus met the disciples in Jerusalem, led them out to the vicinity of Bethany, lifted up his hands and blessed them, “and while he was blessing them, he left them and was taken up into heaven.” led them out to the vicinity of Bethany, he lifted up his hands and blessed them. While he was blessing them, he left them and was taken up into heaven. Then they worshiped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy.” The End.

        John informs us that Jesus first meets the disciples behind locked doors in Jerusalem and then later on standing near the shore of the Sea of Galilee (where they apparently failed to recognize him once again). They have brunch. The End.

      • “Matthew reports that the women were instructed to tell the disciples to go meet Jesus in Galilee (first by an angel and then immediately after by Jesus himself), and then reports the disciples heading to Galilee and meeting Jesus on a mountain where he commissions them to “go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” The End.

        Luke tells us that Jesus met the disciples in Jerusalem, led them out to the vicinity of Bethany, lifted up his hands and blessed them, “and while he was blessing them, he left them and was taken up into heaven.” led them out to the vicinity of Bethany, he lifted up his hands and blessed them. While he was blessing them, he left them and was taken up into heaven. Then they worshiped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy.” The End.

        John informs us that Jesus first meets the disciples behind locked doors in Jerusalem and then later on standing near the shore of the Sea of Galilee (where they apparently failed to recognize him once again). They have brunch. The End.”

        >apologeticspress.org/apcontent.aspx?category=6&article=730

        “Mark has the women running away from the the empty tomb and reporting it to no one. The End (since you’ve already acknowledged that the remaining verses were a later addition).”

        >ROFL. Where does it say they did not report it?

        Doesn’t really answer anything. You merely wasted your time repeating yourself.

      • Potato, please explain why the apostles are hiding from the authorities days after the cruxifiction in one gospel and going right into Jerusalem to the temple to celebrate days after the cruxifiction in another. Are they afraid and hunted or not?

      • Why do I always have this habit or posting before I am finished?

        “Mark has the women running away from the the empty tomb and reporting it to no one. The End (since you’ve already acknowledged that the remaining verses were a later addition).”

        >Verse: “Trembling and bewildered, the women went out and fled from the tomb. They said nothing to anyone, because they were afraid.”

        Initially, yes. After all, Mark 16:8 only tells what happened initially.

        Gill’s Exposition:

        “Neither said they any thing to any man; they met with by the way, till they came to the disciples; to whom they told all, otherwise they would not have acted according to the angel’s orders “

      • again, added and assumed to make modern sense of a bunch of mythic nonsense. You are right, the end of Mark makes no sense. But you desperately need it to do so or you have to admit that your belief that there is a perfect god, that it wrote/inspired the bible and that the bible tells you that you will get a special present after you are dead, is very likely wrong.

        You accept fallible humans telling you that this is how it “has” to end to make sense, even though they are adding things to this bible of yours that is supposedly complete and inerrant. You have no idea if they are correct or not, but as long as they tell you something you want to hear, then it’s okay.

      • To add to what I previously noted- obviously, it cannot be said they *never* told *anyone*; after all, Mark records what they have seen. The passage must be taken in context.

        ““Excuse 5 (The last four chapters of Zechariah were actually written by Jeremiah) fails because dead men don’t normally author the works of their successors.”

        >Actually, some (like Joseph Mede) do argue that those passages date earlier on because of different references. Anyway, this argument is a bit older and it’s not one of the big arguments.

        Also, it was indeed a common practice to list the one who was making the main point (pointed out in ZH Change’s book A Student Guide to the Talmud, for example in 2 Chronicles 36:21, the first part of the verse is drawn from Lev. 26:34-35, the second is from Jer. 25:12, yet only Jeremiah is listed).

        A quote to go along- “A partial answer lies in the fact that in narrative (27, 2-8) and quotation (27, 9-10) passages from Jer exercise their influence as well. Jer 18, 2-3, where a potter is mentioned but no purchase of a field, is often adduced, as well as Jer 32,6-9, where the purchase of a field is dealt with but no potter occurs. A reference to Jer 19 may be more to the point: in front of the elders and priests, Jeremiah has to shatter an earthen potter’s vessel, as a symbol of the disasters which will strike Judah and Jerusalem because of their idolatry, and because “they filled this place with blood of innocents” (Jer 19, 4). The prophet has to do this on the place that is called Tophet but will be called “Valley of Slaughter”, and will be one large burial-place. The points of contact between this passage and Matt 27, 3-10 are obvious.
        Menken thereby asserts that it is an atmosphere, rather than a quotation, that is being evoked: That of Jeremiah as being in Matthew “pre-eminently the prophet of rejection of the Messiah.” Menken, “The References to Jeremiah in the Gospel According to Matthew.

        This, along with Matthews “theme” (Mt. 16:14), explains the “wrong” attribution of the Zech passage to Jerry. Zech may have been the writer, but the whole theme that Matthew is invoking is derived from Jeremiah. (JP Holding)

        “So you expect us to believe that the same John the Baptist who “leaped in the womb” (when his mother heard Mary’s greeting) and recognized Jesus as the “Son of God” on approach suddenly became racked with severe doubts upon hearing of Jesus’ miracles?”

        >Actually, yes. And so did Abraham. And so did Peter. And Thomas. Etc.

      • “To add to what I previously noted- obviously, it cannot be said they *never* told *anyone*; after all, Mark records what they have seen. The passage must be taken in context.”

        Stories do this all of the time. It’s called the omniscient viewpoint and is used in fiction all of the time. This is rather reminiscent of when the author of Acts claims to have access to Roman letters and other authors record dialogue that it is unlikely that the author had access to, e.g. what the Egyptian army said when following that nonsensical exodus, what the high priests were chatting about, etc.

        It’s just more evidence that your “holy bible” is nonsense.

        I’m curious, how did Abraham hear about JC’s miracles? And speaking of Thomas, I’ve asked for the same evidence that he supposedly did. He got it, with no problems. So, again, why no evidence for me from this god of yours? And now folks, be ready for the stock response.

      • The 40-day zombie walkabout is ruinous for Christians. If faith had been the linchpin of belief (as any Christian polemicist would have you believe) then surely Christianity’s central character would never have wasted time prancing about Judea proving the resurrection. The very fact that he did (according to the story) raises some appalling problems for the Christian saddled with nothing but their faith, because faith (we’re told) contradicts the eight-letter word which Jesus quite conspicuously thought indispensible to belief: EVIDENCE.

      • Indeed. If this happened, then where are the witnesses? We have none, only assertions that “no really, this really did happen. Honest.” 40 days of doing so many things that there would not be enough books to record all of the wonderful things JC did. And no one noticed. As you note, John, JC has said, and shown that miracles are what he uses to establish his bona fides. And now, in modern times, where people will question ridiculous claims, suddenly Christianity doesn’t want miracles or questions at all. It’s all “just believe our nonsense, it’ll be fine.” Like nearly every other religion.

      • Now, does “not mentioning” it mean it didn’t happen? No. Ridiculous.

        Birth + 8 days + 33 days + immediate return to Galilee = no time for a detour to Egypt.

        Which actually ignores everything else I said….

        What did I ignore? Your unconvincing attempt to redefine hung himself?

        The word “prenes” is best rendered as someone who “went on the ground” in the sense of having gone prone, not really in the sense of a high fall.

        It means: headlong.

        So the point remains: a head and body separation following a prolonged hanging does not in any way shape or form resemble a “headlong stumble.”

        Actually, he somewhat did. And Matthew indicated that it was spoken anyway. When written words are written, they are refered to as such. This assertion mainly ignores the well documented practice of oral tradition.

        You mean in contrast to the even better documented practice of apologetic mental gymnastics.

        And speaking of oral tradition, how about finally honoring your commitment to answer my question from over a month ago?

        No one is arguing they are all true. Is that your only objection?

        Are you arguing that one can grant equal likelihood to two or more diametrically opposed explanations?

        No one is arguing that all the copies are inspired.

        On what basis can one make such a determination without the “original” manuscripts in hand to make the comparison? Furthermore, of what value is to assert that the originals were correct but the copies are not? Would you readily accept the same explanation coming from anyone else? “I’m sorry, Mr. Potato. That sign which currently reads 75 mph is in error. The original one it replaced said 55 mph — so please sign your speeding ticket and move along, or I’ll have to arrest you for obstruction, as well.”

        Again, no one is arguing they are all true together.

        Entertaining conflicting propositions is – in the words of Mr. Spock – highly illogical.

        At best, Matthew is paraphrasing Zechariah. It is indeed clear that Matthew blended scripture from both.

        Oh, it’s abundantly clear what the author of Matthew is doing, all right – no doubt about that. Lying for Jesus via hermeneutics, eisegesis, “harmonization” and just plain outright deception was just as common then as it is now.

        Which actually, one can show they are compatible.

        Thus far you’ve failed to demonstrate any such compatibility. Constructing a narrative by pasting together unrelated verses pulled from several texts and shouting “Ta-da!” may convince your fellow “Bible breathers” over at Tweb; but if you think that turkey will fly anywhere outside of your tiny bubble of believers, then you’re sadly mistaken.

        ROFL. Where does it say they did not report it? Initially, yes. After all, Mark 16:8 only tells what happened initially.

        Where in Mark 16:8 does it say that they did afterwards?

        Actually, yes. And so did Abraham. And so did Peter. And Thomas. Etc

        Well, if you wish to maintain that the man who purportedly exclaimed, “I saw the Spirit come down from heaven as a dove and remain on him. … I have seen and I testify that this is God’s Chosen One.” (John 1:32,34) still had doubts, then what does that say about Jesus?

        As to your links explaining the postmortem events appear to be little more than the same unconvincing apologetic fare that you’ve served up before. The accounts simply do not mesh so I’ll grant them the same prompt consideration you’ve given my month-old question.

      • Yawn. No real objections? Yes, John the Baptist did experience doubt. Men have done so even when seeing amazing things.

        Looks like ClubS still cannot read. I never said Abraham saw the miracles of Jesus.

        Of course, you are looking at  “they didn’t say anything to anyone.” What does he mean? Does he mean that the women never again spoke, that they remained mute for the rest of their lives? Naturally, you would have to take the passage in context. It’s a complete lack of common sense to argue it is an undeniable contradiction. Since Mark presents it as we know what happened to them, Mark would obviously imply that they eventually told someone. If anything,we also have a rhetorical device saying not to remain silent and to preach the Gospel to the nations._______Vine’s Expository (and others like Teknia and the ESV) note that “became swollen” or “became prone” (STF commentary) is indeed a possible translation and many others point out it is a more likely one (FF Bruce’s commentary; “Pocket Lexicon of Greek New Testament”; other translations like Goodspeed’s translation, Moffatt’s, CJB, Phillips, etc.). I believe the word is also used in the Greek for Wisdom 4:19. Other words were well known for “fall” (Luke 5:8, 5:12, 8:28, Acts16:29 Luke 6:39, 8:5, 10:18, Acts 5:5, 5:10, 9:4,9:18, 20:9) and ginomai is well established to mean “become” (Strong’s Concordance). Many note that it was translated that way to hide ambiguity. Early Christians (like Papias) did seem to have somewhat of an oral understanding of “became swollen” also; though Papias is more than likely exaggerating a bit. Many note that because of ritual purity, hardly anyone would touch the body on the Sabbath, leaving the body to rot for quite a bit under the hot sun (and as some note, humidity).  Even if it meant “headlong” (which is ridiculous), the body falls feet first, but eventually “becomes” (falls) sideways, backward headfirst, or forward headfirst. The corpse normally doesn’t stay standing up. Moreover, like I said before, this isn’t even the only method of reconciliation.

        So, how about TWeb?

      • Hilarious. There are plenty of real objections, Tater. ust because you don’t like them doesn’t mean that they aren’t valid and quite “real”. But please do keep lying intentionally. I do recall you claiming that Ron and I lied, and I asked for evidence of such a thing, exact quotes, things like that. Where are they, Potato? If I’ve missed that post of yours, I apologize and ask you to show me where you have addressed this.

        Alas, Potato, you did claim that Abraham did see JC’s miracles. Here, I shall show Ron’s quote that you used and then your own:
        ““So you expect us to believe that the same John the Baptist who “leaped in the womb” (when his mother heard Mary’s greeting) and recognized Jesus as the “Son of God” on approach suddenly became racked with severe doubts upon hearing of Jesus’ miracles?”

        “>Actually, yes. And so did Abraham. And so did Peter. And Thomas. Etc.”

        So, yes, you did say that Abraham did see JC’s miracles. To explain, Ron questioned your claim that John the B questioned his faith after seeing JC’s miracles. You reply that yes, and so did Abraham, which indicates that Abraham did have doubts even after seeing JC’s miracles. You back this up with claiming that Peter and Thomas also questioned their faith after seeing JC’s supposed miracles “and so did”.

        You may have not meant this, but this is exactly what you wrote. I know you are very afraid of admitting that you are wrong. Admitting that you are wrong isn’t a bad thing, but continuing to lie about it is.

        It is always good to see you claiming that translators, and early Christians were wrong and only Potato is right. Now, Pappias is “exaggerating a bit”. And again, we have the magic decoder ring of a TrueChristian to tell when this is happening and when it’s not. Of course he’s “exaggerating” when the claims made are just too silly for a modern TrueChristian to accept. The bible claims that Judas gave the money back to the priests, he hanged himself and they bought a field, where we get the term “potter’s field’ for the graveyard of the poor. The bible also claims that Judas bought a field, fell headlong (with head foremost, which could mean head directly down or head in the direction of the fall, like if I trip and fall headlong into a bush.) and his intestines burst out. Yes, this last bit is rather silly, but so is the claim that magic handkerchiefs heal people. This story is again another great example where your supposedly magical book shows evidence of the phenomenon of “telephone”. We have some of the same details, but they are screwed up. We got that field, it’s likely paid for by the blood money, but we have diametrically opposite information on who did the buying. Oh yes, and at best we have a corpse hanging for a day, maybe two. If we go with the nonsense that the events of the cruxifiction happened in March or April, then we have an average temp in Jerusalem of around 70 degrees. So much for the heat you claim and therefore, so much for the rapid putrefaction of the body.

        We also have more equivocating by TrueChristians, where other interpretations are “possible”. Nope, they have no idea what their god “really” meant. We have claims of “Many note that it was translated that way to hide ambiguity” but of course no one actually named who support this, and it’s great to see an admission that Christians have intentionally hidden the flaws in their book. So much for it being written/inspired by a magical perfect being. Thank you again, Potato, for showing me more and more problems with this religion.

      • “Turkel’s assertion that Luke left out this portion of the story because he was concerned about keeping it “Roman friendly” are ridiculous given the historical events which both preceded and followed the gospel account.”>How so? You must learn to be more specific. “Excuse 5 (The last four chapters of Zechariah were actually written by Jeremiah) fails because dead men don’t normally author the works of their successors.”>Actually, some (like Joseph Mede) do argue that those passages date earlier on because of different references. Anyway, this argument is a bit older and it’s not one of the big arguments.”Birth + 8 days + 33 days + immediate return to Galilee = no time for a detour to Egypt.”>Actually I believe that them fleeing to Egypt would be well after the birth as it is noted that Herod bothered to kill children even of two years of age. “What did I ignore? Your unconvincing attempt to redefinehung himself?”>The word is sometimes used in Greek literature to mean choking or squeezing one’s self (with great emotion or grief). Audrey Conrad (among others) notes that Matthew is alluding to Ahithophel. “It means: headlong.So the point remains: a head and body separation following a prolonged hanging does not in any way shape or form resemble a “headlong stumble.””>Dealt with.”You mean in contrast to the even better documented practice of apologetic mental gymnastics.And speaking of oral tradition, how about finally honoring your commitment to answer my question from over a month ago?”>So, no real objection. When will you come to TWeb?”Are you arguing that one can grant equal likelihood to two or more diametrically opposed explanations?”>Some are more likely than others. However, if a scenario can be found, its not much of a contradiction.”On what basis can one make such a determination without the “original” manuscripts in hand to make the comparison? Furthermore, of what value is to assert that the originals were correct but the copies are not? Would you readily accept the same explanation coming from anyone else? “I’m sorry, Mr. Potato. That sign which currently reads 75 mph is in error. The original one it replaced said 55 mph — so please sign your speeding ticket and move along, or I’ll have to arrest you for obstruction, as well.””>Rofl. No one argues that all copies are inspired. Some copies have flaws, some are correct. When you compare them, you find the original meanings. “Entertaining conflicting propositions is – in the words of Mr. Spock – highly illogical.”>Merely showing how illogical contradiction accusations are. There are many possibilities.”Oh, it’s abundantly clear what the author of Matthew is doing, all right – no doubt about that. Lying for Jesus via hermeneutics, eisegesis, “harmonization” and just plain outright deception was just as common then as it is now.”>Which really is no objection at all. It proves Matthew gathered from Jeremiah.”Thus far you’ve failed to demonstrate any such compatibility. Constructing a narrative by pasting together unrelated verses pulled from several texts and shouting “Ta-da!” may convince your fellow “Bible breathers” over at Tweb; but if you think that turkey will fly anywhere outside of your tiny bubble of believers, then you’re sadly mistaken.”>Assertions are funny! You’re doing nothing more than that. “Where in Mark 16:8 does it say that they did afterwards?”>Dealt with. If it is so ambiguous as that, it is hardly sensical to jump and say it is a contradiction.”Well, if you wish to maintain that the man who purportedly exclaimed, “I saw the Spirit come down from heaven as a dove and remain on him. … I have seen and I testify that this is God’s Chosen One.” (John 1:32,34) still had doubts, then what does that say about Jesus?”>Why must it be so? Many in the Bible have seen wonders and doubted. Doubt is a common trait among humans.”As to your links explaining the postmortem events appear to be little more than the same unconvincing apologetic fare that you’ve served up before. The accounts simply do not mesh so I’ll grant them the same prompt consideration you’ve given my month-old question.”>Yawn. Cross examination is illegal? Why, then it must be illegal for me to gather info from others sources and “mesh” them into a bio of Abe Lincoln! It can hardly be said that they contradict. After all, the Law of Noncontradiction states that the two cannot be true at the same time. We can show that they can be. Thus, it’s not a contradiction. Awefully simple, Ron.

      • oh my, we’re back to Lincoln. So, please do show me an instance in Lincoln’s biography where two things that seem to be contradictory, e.g. happening at the same time, have ever been claimed. It’s not illegal, but if you want to claim an analogy, you need to show where contradictory events are cited and “meshed”.

        “Yawn. Cross examination is illegal? Why, then it must be illegal for me to gather info from others sources and “mesh” them into a bio of Abe Lincoln! It can hardly be said that they contradict. After all, the Law of Noncontradiction states that the two cannot be true at the same time. We can show that they can be. Thus, it’s not a contradiction. Awefully simple, Ron.”

      • Potato, paragraph breaks would be nice.

        Actually I believe that them fleeing to Egypt would be well after the birth as it is noted that Herod bothered to kill children even of two years of age.

        Why would Herod give orders to kill all the children in Bethlehem long after the family had already visited Jerusalem and returned to Nazareth?

        Matthew:

        The Magi find Jesus in a house in Bethlehem shortly after his birth. They’re warned in a dream to avoid Herod and return home via an alternate route. Right after the Magi leave, Joseph is warned in a dream to get up and flee to Egypt. He packs up during the night and leaves straight for Egypt, where he stays until the death of Herod. There is no mention of any quick stopover in Jerusalem to perform the purification rites (which would be a really bad idea anyways, since Jerusalem is where Herod happened to reside).

        After Herod dies, Joseph has a dream to return to Israel, but he’s fearful of Herod’s son, Archelaus. In a second dream he’s warned not to return to Judea, so he decides to settle to the district of Galilee in a town called Nazareth, and thus fulfills a prophecy that he would be called a Nazarene. (There is no mention that this was ever originally his home town, but that’s a minor side issue.)

        Luke:

        Jesus is born in Bethlehem and visited by shepherds. There is no mention of Magi. Eight days later Jesus is circumcised. About 33 days later Joseph’s family travels six miles north to Jerusalem for the purification rites and then heads back to their home town of Nazareth, which is located ~63 miles north of Jerusalem. There is no mention that they immediately turned around and went back to Egypt. Moreover, Luke claims the family visited Jerusalem every year to celebrate the Passover.

        tl;dr

        According to Matthew, Joseph fled for Egypt shortly after Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem, stayed there until Herod’s death, and then went straight to Nazareth while avoiding Jerusalem altogether.

        But according to Luke, they went from Bethlehem to Jerusalem to Nazareth within a period of less than two months and there is no mention of a side trip to Egypt.

        So please explain how these two conflicting travel itineraries can be merged.

      • The events displayed were not necessarily contemporaneous:

        Matthew 2:1: “After Jesus was born in Bethlehem…”

        Verse 2: “Where is the one who has been born..”

        So, sometime AFTER His birth.

        Verse 16- “…gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old and under, in accordance with the time he had learned from the Magi…”

        So, the child was around the age of two. If Jesus was just born, why kill the children under the age of two?

        From Sam Shamoun-

        “Joseph and Mary went to Jerusalem to present the new born infant in the temple. From there, they went back to their home in Nazareth. A short time later, the holy family decided to return to Joseph’s ancestral hometown and Jesus’ birthplace, namely Bethlehem in Judea. This is where Matthew picks up. When the Magi found the child Jesus, he was already up to two years old. Being told in a dream about Herod’s desire to kill the child, Joseph left his home and took his family to Egypt until the death of Herod. Fearing that Herod’s son Archelaus would search them out if they returned to Bethlehem, the holy family once again returned to Nazareth and settled there.”

      • funny how most Christians don’t actually know that the magi don’t get to JC until he is older. I guess every nativity scene I’ve ever seen is a rather amusing little lie.

        And always love to hear about the supposed “massacre of the innocents”. I am always happy to learn that a god causes this to happen and did not one thing to save children.

      • And so how does that answer my question? If Joseph had immediately fled south from Bethlehem to Egypt after the Magi visited (Matthew) then he wouldn’t have been had time to travel North to Jerusalem and even further north to Nazareth as per Luke, would he? It makes no sense to go from Bethlehem to Jerusalem to Nazareth to Bethlehem to Egypt.

      • “And so how does that answer my question? If Joseph had immediately fled south from Bethlehem to Egypt after the Magi visited (Matthew) then he wouldn’t have been had time to travel North to Jerusalem and even further north to Nazareth as per Luke, would he? It makes no sense to go from Bethlehem to Jerusalem to Nazareth to Bethlehem to Egypt.”

        >As per Matthew, it all took place after the events of Luke.

      • Yawn. ClubS, you still cant pay attention?

        You’re merely making appeals to authority; and failing miserably.

        I gave dictionaries and other translators with the thoughts of early church fathers. Quite a hypocritical accusation from you.

        Moreover, looks like you STILL can’t read. I said Abraham doubted. I didn’t say what for.

      • Wonderful. Still no evidence that the objctions given aren’t “real” ones. Still no evidence of where I have lied or where Ron has lied. And now we have a claim that I am appealing to authority, but of course you can’t actually show where I’ve done that. here’s your chance, Potato. Show where I appealed to authority. And please show where *you* didn’t. 🙂 You have given concordances, and you have given other translators and the thoughts of the early church fathers, all of which shows that TrueChristians do not agree on what their bible “really” says or what you say is the correct version. You pick and choose the ones you like and ignore those you don’t, those people who are just as good of Christians as you claim to be. Some of the Church fathers are perfectly find according to you but others aren’t, and of course the difference is only if they agree with your particular version of Christianity, a version that has no more supporting it than the next version.

        And no, Potato, you did not only say that Abraham doubted. Nice attempt at trying to rewrite history. I’ve explained how you words and punctuation were not correct to convey what you evidently wished. This is what you wrote and the quote you were addressing: ““So you expect us to believe that the same John the Baptist who “leaped in the womb” (when his mother heard Mary’s greeting) and recognized Jesus as the “Son of God” on approach suddenly became racked with severe doubts upon hearing of Jesus’ miracles?”

        “>Actually, yes. And so did Abraham. And so did Peter. And Thomas. Etc.”

        You are saying that “yes, I expect you to believe that JtB suddenly became racked with severe doubts upon hearing of JC’s miracles. And so did Abraham (become racked with severe doubts upon hearing of JC’s miracles). And so did Peter (become racked with severe doubts upon hearing of JC’s miracles. And Thomas (become racked with severe doubts upon hearing of JC’s miracles, Etc.” To avoid this problem, you would have had to say something like “Actually yes. Many people were racked with severe doubts after seeing miracles.” or some such thing. Again, it’s no shame to have miswritten something. I’ve done enough of that myself. What is stupid is to keep insisting that you are right.

      • Rofl.

        Papias has some pretty strong indicators, like his use rhetorical devices like auxesis, along with his strong language.

        Besides the point: I could really just stop by saying the rope snapped (or he snapped). His body falls then tips over.

        It doesn’t matter if it’s ad hoc really; anything can be arbitrarily termed as such and it doesn’t even make it more or less valid. The Law of Noncontradiction would imply there is NO scenario where the two can happen.

      • oh, so you can point out how you know that Papias is using hyperbole intentionally as a rhetorical device. Rather than simply meaning what he says. Please tell me what “strong language” means in this contect.

        It’s great to see you make up things out of whole cloth. Why yes, you can say that the rope that Judas hung himself with snapped. I can also say that aliens cut the rope that Judas used and then his body fell, because well we’re just making things up now. Again, we have two differing stories that TrueChristians must claim are both true since they must play pretend that their magical book is without error. Again, we have two stories. Judas gives the coins back, the Jewish leadership buys a field and calls it the “field of blood” because the coins were blood money. Judas hangs himself and that’s all that is written. Then we get Acts where we get a much bloodier version, where Judas buys the field. He falls there, splits his guts open and since the people of Jerusalem heard all about this ridiculous falling and speading of guts (unless of course you want to claim that translators of the bible used the wrong punctuation?) , *that’s* why it’s called the “field of blood”. We have the same money, being used by two different people. So which is it, Potato? Who used the money to buy the field? Which is the “real” story of why the field is called the “field of blood”? I’ve done a bit of amusing myself with what Christians claims happened. And you know what? Some Christians say that Judas didn’t hang himself at all, and it was just being “choked from grief” or that the author of the gospel was just comparing him with another hanged traitor. Again, we have many variants of what this bible “really” means. And no one with any evidence that their Rube Goldberg version of how Judas died and how the bible is “twue so twue”.

      • Ah yes. Still illiterate.

        Ron was focusing on basically, after all they’ve been through, they still doubted. That’s what I was getting at. Unfortunately, you have no real arguments, so you pick at wording. How sad.

        How about I point out the simple things? Like you claiming Ezra was apocryphal. Or you claiming Jesus was not buried on the same day.

        Read Papias for yourself. It’s more or less self evident. Oh I forgot! You can’t read! Seriously, take note of his essentially satirical language.

        It’s a shame. Bodies are shown to rot and ropes are shown to snap. Your analogy is flawed. Heres a bit from a former homicide detective- “Briefly, once the heart stops beating, blood begins to collect in the most dependent parts of the body (livor mortis), the body stiffens (rigor mortis), and the body begins to cool (algor mortis). As decomposition continues (stages: (1) Fresh, (2) Bloat, (3) Active Decay, (4) Advanced or Post-Decay, and (5) Dry Remains), it creates a gas build up in the body cavities, particularly in the abdomen (putrefaction or the “Bloat Stage” – bacteria begins to break down the tissues of the body, releasing gas that accumulate in the intestines, etc.).”

        Sigh. ClubS again speaks nonsense. Matthew uses “agorazo”, which has connotations of “going to market” (actually making the purchase), while Luke uses “ktaomai” which essentially means to “acquire” (in Judas name).

      • As per Matthew, it all took place after the events of Luke.

        If they were hiding out in Egypt, then how do you reconcile Luke’s claim that they celebrated the Passover in Jerusalem every year (Lk 2:42)?

        And again, why would they need to flee to Egypt if Herod was looking for them in Bethlehem? They could have easily made it back to Nazareth before Herod even realized that the Magi weren’t coming back. In fact, why would a troubled Herod even entrust such a task to a bunch of strangers instead of providing a personal escort and going himself?

        The more I ponder Matthew’s account the less sense it makes.

      • “If they were hiding out in Egypt, then how do you reconcile Luke’s claim that they celebrated the Passover in Jerusalem every year (Lk 2:42)?”

        >This is the only real contradiction accusation. How long did they stay in Egypt? Did they ever return? And lastly (a less significant question), what does it mean by “every”?

      • At what point did I claim it was a contradiction? I simply asked you to explain how Luke’s claim can be resolved with an Egyptian exile. So rather than answering in riddles, please fill me in on how long they stayed and when they returned.

      • “It is always good to see you claiming that translators, and early Christians were wrong and only Potato is right.”

        >Here, ClubS implies appeal to translators (and does so in other places).

        As to Ron: if it’s not a contradiction how does it pertain? And here is the point of my riddles: if it really is that unspecified, you can’t accuse them of conflicting.

      • “oh my, we’re back to Lincoln. So, please do show me an instance in Lincoln’s biography where two things that seem to be contradictory, e.g. happening at the same time, have ever been claimed. It’s not illegal, but if you want to claim an analogy, you need to show where contradictory events are cited and “meshed”.”

        >That wasn’t the point. Please, pay better attention.

        What I was saying is some bios of Lincoln have information that other bios leave out. Thus, it’s not illegal to “mesh” them together.

      • “Potato, please explain why the apostles are hiding from the authorities days after the cruxifiction in one gospel and going right into Jerusalem to the temple to celebrate days after the cruxifiction in another. Are they afraid and hunted or not?”

        >Please explain why the events should be viewed as contemporaneous and contradictory.

      • “it is a sad little lie that one can somehow magically reconstruct the “original” message, especially since Christians do not agree on what the bible “really” means.”

        >it is a sad little lie that one can somehow magically not reconstruct the “original” message, especially since Christians not agreeing on the meaning of certain doctrines does not affect what the manuscripts said at all.

        “You have no original manuscripts and you have lied about having them.”

        >I have never said we had them. You, on the other hand, have brilliantly lied about textual purity and Ehrman.

        “We have repeated claims that the bible is written and/or inspired by a perfect being that wants people to understand it, and we have mistakes left and right.”

        >ClubS makes more baseless claims and cannot show this to be true.

        “Let’s consider, if there were any such “original manuscripts” then anything that changed them would be “wrong” if they changed what that perfect being wanted. The “early church fathers” also did not have any originals.”

        >We can construct the entire NT (minus about 11 verses) with their letters.

        “It is rather silly to say that any book in its entirety is false if it has some variants. However, not every book claims to be a perfect product from a perfect being. And I do love how you say “but but the problems can be corrected.” Unfortunately, that’s not true.”

        >Fortunately, it is true. No significant doctrines are affected by ANY errors (noted by Bart Ehrman, who you failed at quoting. Have you even read his book?), and they can be corrected with context and comparisons to other documents.

        “They can have stories made up by people like you to excuse the problems but all of your little stories require assumptions that cannot be supported by reality. You add and add to the bible to make sense of it and you all add different things to get different answers. I can see that in all of the sect of Christianity. You say they are wrong and they say you are wrong. And I get to laugh and watch Christianity splinter and wither.”

        >Yawn. Rofl. I love watching atheists going “nuh uh!” and “nyah nyah! la la! I can’t hear you!”. Brilliant. Hilarious!

      • again, Potato, tell me how you have reconstructed the “original message” and how you can tell me that others who have claimed the same thing are wrong? I’m waiting. Christians not agreeing on what the original manuscripts said or mean does indeed affect the claims of what the original manuscripts might have said.

        And hilarious, making the claim that I cannot support my evidence that the bible is not written by a magical being and that it is full of falsehoods, errors, etc. The bible does indeed claim to be written/inspired by this god of yours. Or do you want to claim that it doesn’t say that? We have Christians insisting that the bible is inerrant. You know what “inerrant” means, Potato? Yup, without error and again, this doesn’t say “oh well, a few errors are okay”. We know that the city of Tyre still exists, we still know where it is and the claim that your god destroyed it and hid it forever is wrong. We know that there were no millions of Israelites wandering around for 4 decades in an area the size of West Virginia. We have no evidence of a super-wise king and indeed nothing from the supposedly fabulous kingdoms of David and Solomon. Poor Tater, saying that I have no evidence is yet one more lie easily shown to be just that.

        Doctrines are indeed significantly affected if none of the events can be shown to have happened. No cruxifiction, no “savior”.

        I do like this claim “We can construct the entire NT (minus about 11 verses) with their letters”. That’s lovely. So we have these guys writing letters and they have to quote the *entire* NT at each other. And again, we have no original manuscripts at all. At best we have people who know each other having the same copies.

        and finally, such an excellent example of a TrueChristian. Alas, I have not said “nuh uh!” and “nyah nyah! la la! I can’t hear you!”. I have not even said anything even close to it. It doesn’t surprise me that you must lie about this. Making up nonsense wholesale is a TrueChristian’s stock in trade.

        You know, Potato, this entertaining exchange is not about trying to convince you of anything. I know that can’t be done since all of your self-worth is wrapped up in believing you have a special invisible friend and that you know all of the secrets of the universe. You are unable to believe in anything else. You may not be able to acknowledge that your religion is as weak as all others that you don’t believe in, but the example that you set can show others that blind selfish faith is not the way to go.

        A fine young man, Arian Foster(running back, NFL), said this about religion and how he will raise his young daughter: “There are billions of people on Earth with hundreds of religions and sects that trickle off each other. I will never tell her what to believe in. I know parents are very influential on kids’ spiritual beliefs and that can be a positive or negative thing. I can give her a basic understanding of religions when she starts showing interest and asking questions. But I will remain silent otherwise. How can I make a young mind believe this is the truth for them when they don’t yet have the capacity nor the cognitive desire to delve into something like this? If she shows interest I would advise her to fully investigate a religion and see if it fits her. And if she chooses none of the above, I’ll be fine with that as well. The values I instill in her should guide her to her decision. What’s most important, I believe, is to support her decision no matter what.”

        You can keep posting here, Potato. I, and others, will keep responding. And you’ll always be on the wrong side.

      • “again, Potato, tell me how you have reconstructed the “original message” and how you can tell me that others who have claimed the same thing are wrong? I’m waiting. Christians not agreeing on what the original manuscripts said or mean does indeed affect the claims of what the original manuscripts might have said.”

        >Said? No. Mean, maybe. However, that is irrelevant. All manuscript copies attest to a 99.5% purity; no room or evidence for significant changes.

        “And hilarious, making the claim that I cannot support my evidence that the bible is not written by a magical being and that it is full of falsehoods, errors, etc. The bible does indeed claim to be written/inspired by this god of yours. Or do you want to claim that it doesn’t say that? We have Christians insisting that the bible is inerrant. You know what “inerrant” means, Potato? Yup, without error and again, this doesn’t say “oh well, a few errors are okay”.”

        >I never claimed that. Can you show me where?

        “We know that the city of Tyre still exists, we still know where it is and the claim that your god destroyed it and hid it forever is wrong. We know that there were no millions of Israelites wandering around for 4 decades in an area the size of West Virginia. We have no evidence of a super-wise king and indeed nothing from the supposedly fabulous kingdoms of David and Solomon. Poor Tater, saying that I have no evidence is yet one more lie easily shown to be just that.”

        >Rofl. ClubS is all over the place! Focus!

        “Doctrines are indeed significantly affected if none of the events can be shown to have happened. No cruxifiction, no “savior”.”

        >Rofl. Which has nothing to do with the subject at hand! Can you show me it does? Of course not! We were discussing the textual variants. Are you running away?

        “I do like this claim “We can construct the entire NT (minus about 11 verses) with their letters”. That’s lovely. So we have these guys writing letters and they have to quote the *entire* NT at each other. And again, we have no original manuscripts at all. At best we have people who know each other having the same copies.”

        >They all are copies of essentially the same thing; they all agree 99.5%. There’s no reason to believe we don’t have the original wording or at least most of it.

        Here’s a quick, simple read: powertochange.com/blogposts/2012/05/08/we-dont-have-the-original-new-testament-documents-is-this-a-problem/

        “and finally, such an excellent example of a TrueChristian. Alas, I have not said “nuh uh!” and “nyah nyah! la la! I can’t hear you!”. I have not even said anything even close to it. It doesn’t surprise me that you must lie about this. Making up nonsense wholesale is a TrueChristian’s stock in trade.”

        >Rofl.

        “You know, Potato, this entertaining exchange is not about trying to convince you of anything. I know that can’t be done since all of your self-worth is wrapped up in believing you have a special invisible friend and that you know all of the secrets of the universe. You are unable to believe in anything else. You may not be able to acknowledge that your religion is as weak as all others that you don’t believe in, but the example that you set can show others that blind selfish faith is not the way to go.

        A fine young man, Arian Foster(running back, NFL), said this about religion and how he will raise his young daughter: “There are billions of people on Earth with hundreds of religions and sects that trickle off each other. I will never tell her what to believe in. I know parents are very influential on kids’ spiritual beliefs and that can be a positive or negative thing. I can give her a basic understanding of religions when she starts showing interest and asking questions. But I will remain silent otherwise. How can I make a young mind believe this is the truth for them when they don’t yet have the capacity nor the cognitive desire to delve into something like this? If she shows interest I would advise her to fully investigate a religion and see if it fits her. And if she chooses none of the above, I’ll be fine with that as well. The values I instill in her should guide her to her decision. What’s most important, I believe, is to support her decision no matter what.”

        You can keep posting here, Potato. I, and others, will keep responding. And you’ll always be on the wrong side.”

        >Which has what to do with the subject?

      • Oh Potato… “They all are copies of essentially the same thing; they all agree 99.5%. ”

        Really? 99.5%, even for the synoptic gospels? 🙂

        Tell me, Potato, what about all the other canonical works? The Infancy Gospels, the Gospel of Peter which says Jesus was crucified in Rome, not Jerusalem. You never have said why we should dismiss these works. Many, after all, were written at the same time the synoptic works were.

        And Potato, after countless requests, you still haven’t answered my question: why do you think 4th Century Christian saw it necessary to molest the oldest synoptic gospel, Mark, and add a new ending?

        An answer would be welcomed….

      • “tell me how you have reconstructed the “original message” and how you can tell me that others who have claimed the same thing are wrong? I’m waiting. Christians not agreeing on what the original manuscripts said or mean does indeed affect the claims of what the original manuscripts might have said.”

        >A and B are completely irrelevant.

        What the manuscript SAID is different from what the manuscript MEANS. Did you drink too much coffee this morning?

      • “Really? 99.5%, even for the synoptic gospels? :)”

        >The several million pages of the Greek MSS of the NT.

        “Tell me, Potato, what about all the other canonical works? The Infancy Gospels, the Gospel of Peter which says Jesus was crucified in Rome, not Jerusalem. You never have said why we should dismiss these works. Many, after all, were written at the same time the synoptic works were.”

        >Those were written in the mid second century. Why do you not accept Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter as canonical? It is not even +150.

        “And Potato, after countless requests, you still haven’t answered my question: why do you think 4th Century Christian saw it necessary to molest the oldest synoptic gospel, Mark, and add a new ending?

        An answer would be welcomed….”

        >Why does it matter? How does it pertain to the discussion? Especially when other works (by Paul) predate Mark’s Gospel?

      • And there it is again… Deflection.

        Potato, it’s a really very simple question: Why do you think 4th Century Christians saw it necessary to molest the oldest Synoptic work, Paul, and secretly add a new ending?

        May, just maybe, you’ll answer it this time…

      • “>Those were written in the mid second century. Why do you not accept Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter as canonical? It is not even +150.”

        An excellent quote from the Holy Spud. Well, Potato, no one accepts the events of this graphic novel/movie as true since there is no evidence to support them.

        Please consider the following (anyone else watch Bill Nye the Science Guy?). We have no more evidence to support the claims in the Christian stories you approve of than we have of the Christian stories you don’t approve of. They are *all* suffering from having nothing to support them except believers who cherry-pick and use the same criteria to cherry pick different things.

        The reason that John’s question matters is that Christians want to claim that their bible is magical. They want to claim that it’s “inspired/written” by their god. They want to claim it’s inerrant, though they can’t quite agree what they want the word “inerrant” to mean (to anyone else, “inerrant” clearly, and simply, means: “free from error”) or which parts of it they want that term applied to.

        We have the facts that at some point, humans decided to add something to the supposed Gospel of Mark. They did not admit that they were adding something that was perhaps lost, or that they had a revelation. No, they presented it as the original, when we have no idea what the original might have said. It seems that many scholars, if not most, do think that the gospel ended at Mark 16:8. (an interesting claim that this is the real ending is in the wiki article about the ending of gospel of Mark http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mark_16 , saying that it involves the theme of the “messianic secret” found in other places in Mark. We also have a “shorter ending” and a “longer ending”. Which one is the “real” one? If a book can be altered, why believe that it is magical in source or effect? We get the magical jesus from this book, and again we have no evidence that supports this “except” for this book that evidently has nothing protecting its contents. This sequence of comments is under my blog post about evidence for the magical Jesus. I find these posts on topic since it points out that we have no good reason to believe that the claims in the bible are true.

        We know that other Christian documents, including some you don’t consider “authentic”, predate the earliest copy found of the Gospel of Mark. Please expand on what you are meaning when you bring this up in relation to John’s question. I think I know where you think you are going with this, but I’d like to make sure before responding to that bit.

      • And here is the point of my riddles: if it really is that unspecified, you can’t accuse them of conflicting.

        The exact length of their stay in Egypt is inconsequential – if Matthew’s account is true (i.e., they fled to Egypt two years later) then they would have missed at least ten Passover feasts, including the events described by Luke 2:42-50 when Jesus was twelve.

      • “The exact length of their stay in Egypt is inconsequential – if Matthew’s account is true (i.e., they fled to Egypt two years later) then they would have missed at least ten Passover feasts, including the events described by Luke 2:42-50 when Jesus was twelve.”

        >How so? Did they ever return for a short period? Did they stay for one month? 10 years? Did they attend *every* feast or just once a year? What does Luke mean by “every”? Are we required to be uber literalistic?

        “the oldest Synoptic work, Paul”

        >lol

        Speaking of deflections, when will ClubS offer a response to Nick on apotheosis? Seems like all excuses are gone since she posted on his blog.

      • How old are you, Potato, 6? So i miss-typed.

        Now, do please answer the question… Why do you think 4th Century Christians found it necessary to molest the oldest synoptic work, Mark, and secretly insert a new ending?

      • “Already explained here. Second paragraph under the Matthew heading. You’re a smart boy who enjoys riddles. Figure it out.”

        >”And so how does that answer my question?” -Ron

      • “Be a sport… paste it here so i can see it, or are you just deflecting, again, and again, and again…”

        >…? What?

      • weren’t you answering my request for an answer? If not, then disregard last comment. But still, i want an answer to my question. Your evasion cannot last forever… not if you’re an honest person, which i’m seriously beginning to doubt.

        So, again: why do you think 4th Century Christians found it necessary to molest the oldest synoptic work, Mark, and secretly insert a new ending?

      • “weren’t you answering my request for an answer? If not, then disregard last comment.”

        >Read Ron’s last comment.

        “But still, i want an answer to my question. Your evasion cannot last forever… not if you’re an honest person, which i’m seriously beginning to doubt. So, again: why do you think 4th Century Christians found it necessary to molest the oldest synoptic work, Mark, and secretly insert a new ending?”

        >Why does it matter? How does it pertain to the discussion? What is your point?

      • Potato, while your preparing replies to John’s question and figuring out why Matthew’s account conflicts with Luke’s, you might also want to ponder why Matthew deliberately cherry-picked words out of context from the OT to make them look like fulfilled prophecy.

        To wit:

        When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called my son. But the more they were called, the more they went away from me. They sacrificed to the Baals and they burned incense to images.” Hosea 11:1-2 (NIV)

        … gets reduced to:

        Out of Egypt I called my son.” Mt 2:15

      • ClubS also seems to have the inability to focus on the subject. However, she appears to have a taste for Google. Hint.

        I’ll ask again-And so how does that answer my question? 

      • Potato, I linked directly to the answer. If reading comprehension is a problem, perhaps your buddy Nick can help explain it for you.

      • “Potato, I linked directly to the answer. If reading comprehension is a problem, perhaps your buddy Nick can help explain it for you.”

        >All you have is a measly sentence about the festival. No other details. I already answered the post regardless.

      • “An excellent quote from the Holy Spud. Well, Potato, no one accepts the events of this graphic novel/movie as true since there is no evidence to support them.”

        >There’s no evidence for Lincoln either.

        Re Mark: some argue that because Mark was most likely written on a scroll, the end would be the most protected part. So really, saying “some” believe verse 8 is not the end doesn’t go anywhere.

        Re inerrancy: It applies to the originals. You bring up other people’s beliefs? You whined how you didn’t care if you contradicted Ron as those were not your claims. Wikipedia (your favorite site says this: “Biblical inerrancy is the doctrine that the Bible, in its original manuscripts, is accurate and totally free from error of any kind “.

      • “Re Mark: some argue that because Mark was most likely written on a scroll, the end would be the most protected part. ”

        What the hell is that supposed to mean, Spud? Are you serious, that’s your answer? That’s all you could come up with? Who is “some” and what does “most protected part” even mean? And while you’re at it putting some meat on that drivel, how for the love of Great Veles (PBUH) does that answer my question??

      • Welcome back Potato. Got an answer for that Matthew/Luke travel dichotomy yet? Or will you leave me standing at the alter again?

      • Ron, I’ll ask again: what is your evidence that they would miss the events of Luke 2:42, considering the accounts were not necessarily contemporaneous and Herod died shortly after they fled into Egypt?

      • But when he heard that Archelaus was reigning in Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there. Having been warned in a dream, he withdrew to the district of Galilee, and he went and lived in a town called Nazareth.” Mt 2:22-23 (NIV)

        If the passage is correct, then Jesus missed at least ten Passover festivals in addition to the ones he would have missed while living in exile in Egypt.

      • “If the passage is correct, then Jesus missed at least ten Passover festivals in addition to the ones he would have missed while living in exile in Egypt.”

        >Again, how so? Did they never stop by for the festival? They would have blended into the massive crowd.

      • Herod Archelaus was a brutal tyrant who ruled for 10 years. His opening act was a Temple massacre that left thousands dead on the day before Passover. Things quickly deteriorated from there. He was the inspiration for the “Ten Minas” parable found in Luke 19.

      • Did you read the passage? Joseph was afraid and was warned in a dream to stay away from Judea, so he retired to Galilee. Read up on Archelaus. Judea — and especially Jerusalem — were not a safe place to hang out during his tenure.

      • “Did you read the passage? Joseph was afraid and was warned in a dream to stay away from Judea, so he retired to Galilee. Read up on Archelaus. Judea — and especially Jerusalem — were not a safe place to hang out during his tenure.”

        >Their stay would not have been long and there is a massive crowd.

      • Right. Lost in the crowd. A twelve-year old left sitting unaccompanied in the temple amazing everyone with his amazing teaching capabilities for three days after the festival was lost in the crowd. And of course Herod would have remained completely oblivious to all that was happening right next door to his palace — Oh yessiree, Bob!

        You see, Potato, not everything that’s plausible is probable; a fact your friend Nick was reminded of during the debate.

      • “What the hell is that supposed to mean, Spud? Are you serious, that’s your answer? That’s all you could come up with? Who is “some””

        >ClubS provides the “some”. “It seems that many scholars, if not most, do think that the gospel ended at Mark 16:8”; however, it seems I misread her comment. She said that Mark 16:8 is noted to be the original ending. However, regardless of which ending is legitimate affects the message in no way (Mark alludes to the resurrection regardless). However, I find it interesting that she whines of how there is no reason to believe which one is the correct ending (you can see one argument here- tektonics(dot)org/lp/markend.html). She notes the thoughts of scholars. Ron like scholars. ““I think I’ll go with the trained scholar’s opinion…” -Ron. However, like I also noted before, inerrancy is attributed to the originals. In this case, insertions or deletions have nothing to do with the originals being errant or inerrant. Inerrancy has to deal with the originals being true. If ClubS whines and claims that we can’t know what they originally said, she can’t claim it is errant. Since inerrancy applies to the originals, she can’t claim the Bible to be errant if she doesn’t know the central message. Of course, there is news of a first century piece of Mark that was found. It is currently going through the phases of publication. When it is released, I trust that it might answer ClubS’s question a bit more. However, it is unlikely that the addition was done to try to fool people into thinking it was really Mark’s work, as many would have been and were highly familiar with Mark’s Gospel. You can speculate wildly about motives of unknown scribes all you want. In the end, it’s just all just guessing and excuses. As JP Holding notes, “if there was any reason it was added at all, it was in order to make Mark better suited for liturgical use— and there’s not one sign it was done deceptively.” I suppose it made it more “clear” (and “complete”), in a way. But certainly not because early Christians had no resurrection in mind.

        If you have any objections, I suggest you ask him directly here- theologyweb(dot)com.

        “and what does “most protected part” even mean? And while you’re at it putting some meat on that drivel, how for the love of Great Veles (PBUH) does that answer my question??”

        >It’s a common argument. Some say that Mark 16:8 is not the original ending and the original message is lost forever. In more detail, some argue that the part containing the ending fell off or was destroyed. But others note that in a scroll, the end is the most protected part.

        “Right. Lost in the crowd. A twelve-year old left sitting unaccompanied in the temple amazing everyone with his amazing teaching capabilities for three days after the festival was lost in the crowd. And of course Herod would have remained completely oblivious to all that was happening right next door to his palace — Oh yessiree, Bob!”

        >Wasn’t Herod banished around that time?

      • “How can you say, ‘We are wise, and the law of the Lord is with us’?
        But behold, the lying pen of the scribes has made it into a lie.” Jeremiah 8:8 (NASB)

        As stated earlier, mere assertions of inerrancy are not enough. Nor is there any basis for accepting them at face value prior to examining the original manuscripts. So until you can establish the validity of your claims with solid evidence in your favor, you have no basis for making them in support of your argument.

      • The exact date of Herod’s banishment is irrelevant, because it occurred 10 years after his ascension to the throne. So even if Joseph only fled to Egypt for one day before returning, he would have missed at least ten Passover festivals not including those missed while in exile.

      • Jeremiah 8:8 has been dealt with already. Here is one example- answering-islam.org/BibleCom/jer8_8_ss.html

        “The exact date of Herod’s banishment is irrelevant, because it occurred 10 years after his ascension to the throne.”

        >Which is around that time.

        ” So even if Joseph only fled to Egypt for one day before returning, he would have missed at least ten Passover festivals not including those missed while in exile.”

        >Again, how so?

      • Are you daft, or just purposely argumentative? If Joseph is afraid of Herod, and has been warned to avoid Judea, and moves miles away to Galilee — then what reason is there to assume he would risk attending a festival that takes place right under Herod’s nose (especially the first one, which was canceled due to the uprising and Temple massacre) when Matthew makes no mention of them having done so? Your simply reading that into the text based on the passage in Luke’s narrative.

      • On Jeremiah…

        I’m not a Muslim, so your arguments are in vain.

        “I also gave them statutes that were not good and ordinances by which they could not live; and I pronounced them unclean because of their gifts, in that they caused all their firstborn to pass through the fire so that I might make them desolate, in order that they might know that I am the Lord.”Ez 20:25-26 (NASB)

        “For if that first covenant had been faultless, there would have been no occasion sought for a second.” Heb. 8:7 (NASB)

      • “Are you daft, or just purposely argumentative? If Joseph is afraid of Herod, and has been warned to avoid Judea, and moves miles away to Galilee — then what reason is there to assume he would risk attending a festival that takes place right under Herod’s nose (especially the first one, which was canceled due to the uprising and Temple massacre) when Matthew makes no mention of them having done so? Your simply reading that into the text based on the passage in Luke’s narrative.”

        >Again, how do you say so? Annual trips to Jerusalem would not have been a risk, and especially so on this time since the number of people in the crowds making that trip at that time of year would not have made it easy to keep watch. There’s no record of any ongoing search either. Moreover, can we even assume that Archelaus heard things from the temple? Even if he did, what would the report be? How much significance would he attach to the report? Very little, if none. He would not have been able to connect the idea of the messiah with Galilee. The messiah – King of Israel – would be a mighty man of Judah, not (as his upbringing would classify Jesus) some snot nosed kid from the back of beyond. He may look at is as some wet behind the ears Galilean kid is running rings around the temple teachers. Even the temple teachers had that same mental picture of the messiah – they could not have connected mere “exceeding great knowledge” with the expected king. And again, Herod was banished around that time (Luke 2:42).

        Jeremiah- The article is specifically addressed to Muslims, however, it also shows how it doesn’t really have to do with the alteration of the text.

      • *Jeremiah- The article is specifically addressed to Muslims, however, their claim is the same as yours- of one Biblical corruption and errancy.

        That’s probably a better wording.

      • Absent the original manuscripts you cannot even attest to the authorship of the books, let alone their divine inspiration. As such, your claim to inerrancy has no basis in reality.

      • “Absent the original manuscripts you cannot even attest to the authorship of the books, let alone their divine inspiration. As such, your claim to inerrancy has no basis in reality.”

        >Is that really your only objection?

      • On Herod, your interpolation of the narratives is both unwarranted and fallacious — the historians report he kept close tabs on what happened at the temple on account of the numerous uprisings and insurrections which emanated from there.

      • “On Herod, your interpolation of the narratives is both unwarranted and fallacious — the historians report he kept close tabs on what happened at the temple on account of the numerous uprisings and insurrections which emanated from there.”

        >I’ve already answered that.

        “Moreover, can we even assume that Archelaus heard things from the temple? Even if he did, what would the report be? How much significance would he attach to the report? Very little, if none. He would not have been able to connect the idea of the messiah with Galilee. The messiah – King of Israel – would be a mighty man of Judah, not (as his upbringing would classify Jesus) some snot nosed kid from the back of beyond. He may look at is as some wet behind the ears Galilean kid is running rings around the temple teachers. Even the temple teachers had that same mental picture of the messiah – they could not have connected mere “exceeding great knowledge” with the expected king.”

        This would only really account for the events when He was 12, not anything else.

      • Is that really your only objection?

        What further objection do I need? When your entire theology is founded upon appeals to the authority of the scriptures and the copies we’ve been left with are found to contain errors, then what reason is there to believe that they were ever error free to begin with? And how would we possibly ascertain which portions are now in error without reference to the original autographs? Furthermore, how could you possibly assert divine if you could establish the authorship of the texts? It’s all just special pleading and circular arguments.

      • “What further objection do I need? When your entire theology is founded upon appeals to the authority of the scriptures and the copies we’ve been left with are found to contain errors, then what reason is there to believe that they were ever error free to begin with? And how would we possibly ascertain which portions are now in error without reference to the original autographs? Furthermore, how could you possibly assert divine if you could establish the authorship of the texts? It’s all just special pleading and circular arguments.”

        >If you can let me know what that has to do with the topic at hand, that would be great.

        Otherwise, as many, man textual critics would note, inerrancy is a separate issue from textual criticism. It’s simply fallacious to say because the copies have insignificant variants that the Bible’s original manuscripts are errant.

      • And yes, the variants are insignificant.

        Ehrman, probably the man who started all this belief that we have no idea what the originals said, states “Essential Christian beliefs are not affected by textual variants in the manuscript tradition of the New Testament.”

        “I think I’ll go with the trained scholar’s opinion…” -Ron

      • “When your entire theology is founded upon appeals to the authority of the scriptures and the copies we’ve been left with are found to contain errors…”

        “And how would we possibly ascertain which portions are now in error without reference to the original autographs?”

        Based on these two statements, you’ve contradicted yourself. So, how can you say the copies are “found to contain errors” if you say we cannot show “which portions are now in error without reference to the original autographs”? With the copies, we can achieve the original wording of the texts. The manuscripts can be compared to each other, and thus the errors can be corrected.

        Ironically, the one using special pleading is the skeptic. While the NT has an embarrassment of riches (in manuscript evidence), as Dan Wallace notes, we have over 3x as much manuscripts in 200 years from the composition of the NT than the average Greco Roman author has in 2000. Wallace also notes that though conjectural emendation is used all the time for classical writings, Biblical scholars don’t need to do so.

      • “On Herod, there is nothing to “assume” since the historian Josephus informs us directly.”

        >Why would Herod attach any significance to that? But again, tell me what Herod could do around the time of his banishment.

      • Sorry, Potato, but errancy is an issue. Claims to divine authorship of the texts which come unsupported by texts containing evidence of same can be dismissed outright as false. If you wish to divorce yourself from those claims to argue for an historical Jesus, that’s fine, but then you must also confine yourself to the historical evidence and approach the texts in a historical manner, as well.

        The main topic of the opening post — in case you’ve forgotten — was “So, if I agree to a possible historical Jesus, then what?”

      • “Sorry, Potato, but errancy is an issue. Claims to divine authorship of the texts which come unsupported by texts containing evidence of same can be dismissed outright as false. If you wish to divorce yourself from those claims to argue for an historical Jesus, that’s fine, but then you must also confine yourself to the historical evidence and approach the texts in a historical manner, as well.”

        >We never spoke of divine authorship yet; errancy is a separate issue from textual criticism as textual criticism deals with the wording of the text and ANY variants (including insignificant spelling errors which are the majority) while inerrancy deals with the meaning of the text and whether or not it is true.

        “The main topic of the opening post — in case you’ve forgotten — was “So, if I agree to a possible historical Jesus, then what?””

        >In case you’ve forgotten, with ClubS, I was discussing textual criticism. Then you jumped in.

      • On inerrancy: *in it’s original manuscripts.

        Of course, as scholars note, we can retain the original wording and as Dan Wallace notes, as more and more manuscripts/fragments are being found, we can confirm what most scholars have already said is the original text.

      • Based on these two statements, you’ve contradicted yourself. So, how can you say the copies are “found to contain errors” if you say we cannot show “which portions are now in error without reference to the original autographs”? With the copies, we can achieve the original wording of the texts. The manuscripts can be compared to each other, and thus the errors can be corrected.

        How is it a contradiction on my part if scholars themselves acknowledge that two or more extant manuscripts of Mark conflict? You yourself wrote:

        Some say that Mark 16:8 is not the original ending and the original message is lost forever. In more detail, some argue that the part containing the ending fell off or was destroyed. But others note in scroll, the end is the most protected part.

        So if the scholars can’t agree on which copy of Mark’s original ending is correct, how would they possibly reconstruct it without access to the original? And even then how could they be certain the postmortem supernatural events occurred as described without having themselves directly witnessed them? Would you believe Elvis was still alive based on what someone’s written in a book?

        Josephus himself writes how easily a great many people were duped into believing a man who, by the resemblance of his countenance, claimed to be Alexander, the son of Herod (Antiquities, XVII, 12.1 – Concerning a Spurious Alexander. So who’s to say someone resembling Jesus couldn’t have done likewise after the crucifixion? That would certainly be a lot more plausible than a resurrection event.

        Nor is your “abundance of manuscripts” argument any more convincing now than is was the first time you used it. As I stated in my opening post, the manuscript evidence for someone like Alexander is supplemented by historic artifacts attesting to his existence: coins, busts, diaries, letters, and entire cities bearing his name. You’ve provided no further evidence in support of a historical Jesus, or the miracle claims attributed to him. In fact, historians can’t even tell us the exact location of the tomb in which Jesus was supposedly buried.

        But again, tell me what Herod could do around the time of his banish.

        By the time Herod was banished Jesus would have been older than twelve, given that you claimed he left for Egypt when he was two and the high unlikelihood that they would have just turned around and headed back shortly after crossing the border.

        Nor is this the only problem with the story. There is also the issue with the slaughter of the innocents. Josephus reports that Herod the Great was suffering from a severe illness towards the end of his reign. In fact he suffered so much he even contemplated suicide. So why would he be concerned about the birth of a child who wouldn’t come to power until many years after his death? If you wish to claim that Jesus left before Herod became ill, then that would extend the length of time in exile. And if you wish to argue that he wanted to pave the way for his successor, then that fails as well, because he left his estate in complete disarray.

        Plus, what does it say about the moral character of a god who would willingly allow innocent children to be slaughtered just to fulfill a prophecy, especially one that’s been lifted out of context? Because Jeremiah 31:16-17 continues with:

        This is what the Lord says: “Restrain your voice from weeping and your eyes from tears, for your work will be rewarded,”declares the Lord. “They will return from the land of the enemy. So there is hope for your descendants,”declares the Lord. “Your children will return to their own land.”

        And even if this atrocity were the fulfillment of such a great prophecy, why wasn’t it reported by anyone other than Matthew?

        In any case, Luke claims they attended every Passover festival, while Matthew makes it clear they avoided Judea because they feared Archelaus, and no competent historian would try to force harmonization on the narratives by inventing even less plausible new ones.

        In case you’ve forgotten, with ClubS, I was discussing textual criticism. Then you jumped in.

        No, you were the one who entered the appeal to biblical inerrancy in your response to ClubS dated September 13, 2013 at 8:13 pm – so it’s a little late to back away from it now.

      • “How is it a contradiction on my part if scholars themselves acknowledge that two or more extant manuscripts of Mark conflict? You yourself wrote:”

        >Yet, you claimed we cannot know “which portions are now in error”. You should be asking yourself that.

        “So if the scholars can’t agree on which copy of Mark’s original ending is correct, how would they possibly reconstruct it without access to the original? And even then how could they be certain the postmortem supernatural events occurred as described without having themselves directly witnessed them? Would you believe Elvis was still alive based on what someone’s written in a book?”

        >ClubS noted that most scholars agree that Mark 16:8 is the original ending. Do you love contradicting your friends?

        “Josephus himself writes how easily a great many people were duped into believing a man who, by the resemblance of his countenance, claimed to be Alexander, the son of Herod (Antiquities, XVII, 12.1 – Concerning a Spurious Alexander. So who’s to say someone resembling Jesus couldn’t have done likewise after the crucifixion? That would certainly be a lot more plausible than a resurrection event.”

        >Rofl. So is this just another “my objections are dying so I must bring new (old), irrelevant ones11!1!!!”?

        “Nor is your “abundance of manuscripts” argument any more convincing now than is was the first time you used it. As I stated in my opening post, the manuscript evidence for someone like Alexander is supplemented by historic artifacts attesting to his existence: coins, busts, diaries, letters, and entire cities bearing his name. You’ve provided no further evidence in support of a historical Jesus, or the miracle claims attributed to him. In fact, historians can’t even tell us the exact location of the tomb in which Jesus was supposedly buried.”

        >I never used this to determine the historicity of Jesus. I brought it up because of claims we could never know the original wording of the NT. Do all atheists have problems reading? Or is it just you and ClubS? Nice try though.

        “By the time Herod was banished Jesus would have been older than twelve, given that you claimed he left for Egypt when he was two and the high unlikelihood that they would have just turned around and headed back shortly after crossing the border.”

        >Around two, which was also around the time of Herod’s death, which was 4 BC. Ten years later was Herod A’s banishment (around when Jesus was the age of 12)

        “Nor is this the only problem with the story. There is also the issue with the slaughter of the innocents. Josephus reports that Herod the Great was suffering from a severe illness towards the end of his reign. In fact he suffered so much he even contemplated suicide. So why would he be concerned about the birth of a child who wouldn’t come to power until many years after his death? If you wish to claim that Jesus left before Herod became ill, then that would extend the length of time in exile. And if you wish to argue that he wanted to pave the way for his successor, then that fails as well, because he left his estate in complete disarray.”

        >Beats me. Herod was a psychopath.

        “Plus, what does it say about the moral character of a god who would willingly allow innocent children to be slaughtered just to fulfill a prophecy, especially one that’s been lifted out of context? Because Jeremiah 31:16-17 continues with:

        This is what the Lord says: “Restrain your voice from weeping and your eyes from tears, for your work will be rewarded,”declares the Lord. “They will return from the land of the enemy. So there is hope for your descendants,”declares the Lord. “Your children will return to their own land.”

        And even if this atrocity were the fulfillment of such a great prophecy, why wasn’t it reported by anyone other than Matthew?”

        >Not many would have been killed (probably a dozen or so), it was near the end of his reign, and it pails in comparison to other deeds.

        “In any case, Luke claims they attended every Passover festival, while Matthew makes it clear they avoided Judea because they feared Archelaus,”

        >Luke claims they attended the passover festival every year. But again, what do they mean by “every”, exactly? And more over, like I said before, would Herod A attach any significance to the report? Is it easy to keep watch during this festival with a massive crowd? Would Herod A find out? Is it a risk to merely even visit Jerusalem?

        “and no competent historian would try to force harmonization on the narratives by inventing even less plausible new ones.”

        >You mean like the tapestry of the Battle of Hastings?

        “No, you were the one who entered the appeal to biblical inerrancy in your response to ClubS dated September 13, 2013 at 8:13 pm – so it’s a little late to back away from it now.”

        >Do you pay attention? I noted in that post that inerrancy was irrelevant. She started to bring up inerrancy.

      • *Around ten years later (depending on when *exactly* Herod A was banished).

        Regardless, even if we can say he was not banished, it’s unlikely Herod Archelaus would attach any significance to the events which occurred in the Temple. And again, Herod noticing the family could only apply to this specific event, not in the others where they could have well blended into the crowd.

      • *Correction: I didn’t use that to determine the historicity of Jesus.

        In the earlier post, I wrote “never”. It is correct, as I described the post in a more “textual criticism” topic, but ClubS might pick at it because she has nothing better to do. But regardless, that was in response to your objection “And how would we possibly ascertain which portions are now in error without reference to the original autographs? “. In that post, I said nothing about the historical Jesus. Now, you may complain “erm but dis blog post is about that”. In that case, I would like to point you to the second sentence of this post and the picture that corresponds. I would also encourage you to read the context of the lengthy “thread”. You, along with ClubS, have whined of how you cannot know what the originals said. What I said was in response to how because you can use the copies to achieve the original wording, it’s just silly to complain like that. Moreover, I noted the amount of manuscripts. Because of the wealth and textual purity, we can study these and find the original wording. If not, then as Dan Wallace notes, you would have to apply this skepticism a thousand fold for other authors. Then, toss out all info we have on medical ethics, mathematics, ancient history, etc. that we have derived from these ancient authors. I expected this off topic, lazy reading from ClubS, but not from you, Ron.

      • Hilarious. Even more baseless lies about myself and more personal attacks and insults. I’m still waiting for Potato to actually show evidence of these claims of his, but of course he can’t.

        Potato, consider yourself warned. You flirt with the possibility of being banned from this site because your lies continue, you have little more than childish insults, you continue to avoid answering questions honestly asked and your entertainment value is dropping. You’ll likely claim that you’ve won if I ban you and that would be one more unsurprising lie. I suspect you will claim censorship and that I am unwilling to address your baseless claims and that this makes them true. Well, I have more than enough evidence for anyone that cares to show that this is untrue.

        There is no way to know what the original works said. We don’t have them so we have no idea. We have fragments, late copies that we know were altered from earlier copies etc. There is nothing that says that any of these are originals, we don’t even know who the authors are. I’d also mention that considering your claims of how expensive paper, papyrus, parchment, etc was as your excuse on why no one could write anything down, it’s funny how many copies can be cited by you now. 🙂

        Your claim that the originals can be recreated is simply wishful thinking, coming from a theist who wants to claim that his version and interpretation is the only “right” one, that one you’ve declared to be the recreated “original”. The amount of manuscripts is meaningless unless you want to admit that the Qu’ran, Dianetics, etc are just as pure if not more so than your complilation and evidently are more “true” thanks to your own reasoning, good copies equals veracity. It is my opinion, that at best, one can say that there is likely a single source for the various branches of these “true” copies but that does not guarantee that any of these variants was the original autograph. For all of the claims about this compilation of stories that is called the “Bible”, that it is divinely written/inspired, that it is “pure”, we can repeatedly see that there is nothing magical or “pure” about it. It suffers from the same mistakes as any other human product which throws all claims that this is some magically accurate representation of past events into disarray when TrueChristians try to claim that it is inerrant and disagree when doing so. Add to this that there is no other evidence for the essential events of the bible, no magical jesus, no miracles, nothing, and this religion seems as ridiculous as the religions of the ancient Egyptians, the native American cultures, the Norse, etc. All stories and no reality.

        You make the claim that we would have to “toss out all info we have on medical ethics, mathematics, ancient history” from “ancient authors”. No, we don’t. Mathematics is the same no matter what. One will still have the Pythagorean theorem true, though we know that it is likely that he wasn’t the first to discover it. historians already consider ancient historians suspect until we can confirm their claims by evidence. And medical ethics? Not sure why you mention medical ethics, but we know that ethics change and they are human opinions. Now compare all of this to the claims of TrueChristians that the bible is somehow magical and inerrant (again being unable to agree on what bits are inerrant). Since we can show your bible changes, that TrueChristians can’t agree on what the bible “really” means, that there is little (I would say no) evidence to support the claims of the bible, there is plenty of reasons to also consider it suspect just like people already hold other ancient writings. The bible is nothing special, and those who claim to follow it are also nothing special, just more theists who are sure that they and only they are possessed of some magical “truth” and who will get some magical reward.

        Now, again, where is the evidence for the magical Jesus, Potato?

      • Actually, it may be so that Herod A. was banished when Jesus was around 11, not even 12 (because Herod died in 4 BC and Jesus was somewhere around 2 then, and I don’t recall there is a year 0). I’d have to check the numbers again, though.

      • so Potato, tell us exactly when JC was born. Considering that Christian scholars can’t agree should tell you something about your claims in this post about Herod A. You are again making assumptions balanced on assumptions that have little to support them and show that facts are in very short supply when it comes to the existence of a Joshua ben Joseph, much less a magical Jesus Christ.

      • “Christians count 133 contrary opinions of different authorities concerning the year the Messiah appeared on earth” (Encyclopaedia Britannica).

        That’s pretty definitive! 🙂

      • Yet, you claimed we …

        There’s no contradiction on my part for pointing that out we rely on scholars who can’t seem to agree on the ending of Mark.

        ClubS noted that …

        The three questions – which you’ve left unaddressed – followed immediately after a direct quote from you, not ClubS. The “you yourself wrote” portion which preceded it should have been the tip-off, especially since you quoted it in your response.

        With that settled, could you kindly respond to the questions asked?

        Rofl. So is this just another “my objections are dying so I must bring new (old), irrelevant ones11!1!!!”?

        My answer was divided into several paragraphs (for your reading pleasure) with each one leading into the next, and that particular one explores the possibility an impostor might have fooled people into believing Jesus was still alive – a relevant point considering that Josephus reports an actual case of someone having pulled off just such a feat by pretending to be Herod’s (executed) son.

        I never used this to determine the historicity of Jesus. I brought it up because of claims we could never know the original wording of the NT …

        Nice straw man. I originally stated:

        “Furthermore, how could you possibly assert divine if you could establish the authorship of the texts? It’s all just special pleading and circular arguments.”

        While the words “inspiration even” were inadvertently left out, I think the meaning should have been fairly clear given that I had stated pretty much the same thing only two posts earlier.

        Your response — that the skeptic was special pleading because there was “an embarrassment of riches (in manuscript evidence)” compared to what the “average Greco Roman author has in 2000” — had nothing to do with divine inspiration, but rather than repeat myself yet a third time I countered that there were additional artifacts besides manuscripts to establish the historicity of someone like Alexander – evidence you clearly didn’t have for Jesus.

        Not many would have been killed …

        That’s probably because the archaeological digs in that area have found no evidence said town even existed during Herod’s reign. However, they’ve found plenty of evidence that the town of Bethlehem located in Galilee only a few miles away from Nazareth did exist at that time. And it’s also a much shorter trip to go complete a census, don’t you think?

        Of course that still leaves apologists with the prickly problem of having to explain why their “99% textually pure” copy of Matthew contains yet another fabricated account of fulfilled prophecy.

        But again, what do they mean by “every”, exactly?

        According to Merriam-Webster’s dictionary, “every” means: being each individual or part of a group without exception.

        And the words “every year” or “yearly” appear in all of the on-line French and German translations found at BibleGateway, as well. So if you want to lawyer the word “every” into meaning something else, then you’ll also have to explain why so many translations got it wrong.

        And more over, like I said before, would Herod A attach any significance to the report? Is it easy to keep watch during this festival with a massive crowd? Would Herod A find out? Is it a risk to merely even visit Jerusalem?

        The fact that you’re still asking such questions indicates you never read the link I provided, or made any attempt to investigate further.

        You mean like the tapestry of the Battle of Hastings?

        What does that have to do with the gospel narratives?

        Do you pay attention? I noted in that post that inerrancy was irrelevant. She started to bring up inerrancy

        Yes, I do indeed pay attention. And as I recall, you originally chastised me for bringing up inerrancy. To wit:

        “In case you’ve forgotten, with ClubS, I was discussing textual criticism. Then you jumped in.”

        Having pointed out that you were already discussing inerrancy before I “jumped in” you now want to backtrack even further by claiming that CS started it. Your follow-up comment trying to smooth over your falsehood only serves to highlight it further.

        I expected this off topic, lazy reading from ClubS, but not from you, Ron.

        Project much?

        Actually, it may be so that Herod A. was banished when Jesus was around 11, not even 12 (because Herod died in 4 BC and Jesus was somewhere around 2 then, and I don’t recall there is a year 0). I’d have to check the numbers again, though.

        It really doesn’t matter, because Josephus clearly states that Archelaus ruled for ten years in that link you’ve obviously never read. He even claims that Herod had an ominous dream foretelling him his ten years were over.

        “Facts are stubborn things.” ~ John Adams.

      • “There’s no contradiction on my part for pointing that out we rely on scholars who can’t seem to agree on the ending of Mark.”>Yet, you say we can’t make the assumption which is “wrong”; as ClubS notes, most scholars agree that verse 8 is the original ending. So, what is the problem?”The three questions – which you’ve left unaddressed”>Yet, can you answer mine below?”followed immediately after a direct quote from you, not ClubS. The “you yourself wrote” portion which preceded it should have been the tip-off, especially since you quoted it in your response.”>”It seems that many scholars, if not most, do think that the gospel ended at Mark 16:8.” -ClubS”With that settled, could you kindly respond to the questions asked?”>I would request the same.”My answer was divided into several paragraphs (for your reading pleasure) with each one leading into the next, and that particular one explores the possibility an impostor might have fooled people into believing Jesus was still alive”>Rofl. ” – a relevant point considering that Josephus reports an actual case of someone having pulled off just such a feat by pretending to be Herod’s (executed) son.”>Not a relevant point, as we were not discussing the resurrection.”Nice straw man. I originally stated:”Furthermore, how could you possibly assert divine if you could establish the authorship of the texts? It’s all just special pleading and circular arguments.”While the words “inspiration even” were inadvertently left out, I think the meaning should have been fairly clear given that I had stated pretty much the same thing only two posts earlier.”>Which I repeated before was irrelevant as we were not discussing divine authorship. Pay attention, Ron.”Your response — that the skeptic was special pleading because there was “an embarrassment of riches (in manuscript evidence)” compared to what the “average Greco Roman author has in 2000” — had nothing to do with divine inspiration, but rather than repeat myself yet a third time I countered that there were additional artifacts besides manuscripts to establish the historicity of someone like Alexander – evidence you clearly didn’t have for Jesus.”>Nice straw man. Because that post was not for evidence of Jesus, nor was that meant to be in response to inspiration, but the point of the original text (which I noted before).”That’s probably because the archaeological digs in that area have found no evidence said town even existed during Herod’s reign. However, they’ve found plenty of evidence that the town of Bethlehem located in Galilee only a few miles away from Nazareth did exist at that time. And it’s also a much shorter trip to go complete a census, don’t you think?Of course that still leaves apologists with the prickly problem of having to explain why their “99% textually pure” copy of Matthew contains yet another fabricated account of fulfilled prophecy.”>Of course, I have yet to see how these relate to the discussion. You were saying how Matthew and Luke contradict, no? “According to Merriam-Webster’s dictionary, “every” means: being each individual or part of a group without exception.And the words “every year” or “yearly” appear in all of the on-line French and German translations found at BibleGateway, as well. So if you want to lawyer the word “every” into meaning something else, then you’ll also have to explain why so many translations got it wrong.”>But, like I said before, “every” is a general term.”The fact that you’re still asking such questions indicates you never read the link I provided, or made any attempt to investigate further.”>”could you kindly respond to the questions asked?” -Ron”What does that have to do with the gospel narratives?”>It’s an example of secular historians making “ad hoc” reconciliations for an event.”Yes, I do indeed pay attention. And as I recall, you originally chastised me for bringing up inerrancy. To wit:“In case you’ve forgotten, with ClubS, I was discussing textual criticism. Then you jumped in.”Having pointed out that you were already discussing inerrancy before I “jumped in” you now want to backtrack even further by claiming that CS started it.Your follow-up comment trying to smooth over your falsehood only serves to highlight it further.I expected this off topic, lazy reading from ClubS, but not from you, Ron.Project much?”>The post I made that (the last quote) in did not speak of inerrancy. Yet, I also noted to ClubS that inerrancy was irrelevant. So, you essentially tried to re-ignite the topic.”It really doesn’t matter, because Josephus clearly states that Archelaus ruled for ten years in that link you’ve obviously never read. He even claims that Herod had an ominous dream foretelling him his ten years were over.”>Why yes, he did rule for about 10 years. 4 BC to about AD 6.4BC- Jesus was around the age of 2 (since Herod tried to kill the babies of this age); Herod’s death also took place and Herod A started to rule3BC- around age of 32BC- around age of  41BC- around age of 5(there is no year 0, if I am correct)AD 1- around age of 6AD 2- around age of 7AD 3- around age of 8AD 4- around age of 9AD 5- around age of 10AD 6- around age of 11; Herod A’s banishment took place this yearAD 7- around age of 12So, I believe Herod A.’s banishment occurs a year or so before that time (thus Herod Archelaus is not an excuse that Jesus missed the events when He was 12). Matthew says they avoiding really living there >at the time<, but he doesn't say they never went to Jerusalem, not even for the festival. And Luke does not say they attended every festival that every happened; he says they attended every year. But again, *every* is somewhat unclear, as he could mean either *every* as in *every* festival that ever occurred (a bit too literalistic), or *every* once they had time/were able to, or simply just another way to say it was a tradition. Like I said before, attending the festival would not have been a risk as there would be a massive crowd, thus it would be difficult to keep watch. There is not much to say Herod A was keeping an active watch for Jesus' family anyway. And again, the events of Luke2:42 likely took place a year or so after Herod A was banished anyway. 

      • More claims from Potato that show that Christiansn do not agree on what they claim their bible says or what their God “really” means.

        “But again, *every* is somewhat unclear, as he could mean either *every* as in *every* festival that ever occurred (a bit too literalistic), or *every* once they had time/were able to, or simply just another way to say it was a tradition.”

        More claims that a word interpreted as something inconvenient to the TrueChristian is now “a bit too literalistic”, aka, the magic decoder ring is in play again where the TrueChristian is sure that their bible doesn’t mean what it says but something else that doesn’t cause a problem in their version of what their God “really” meant.

      • “Potato, consider yourself warned. You flirt with the possibility of being banned from this site because your lies continue, you have little more than childish insults, you continue to avoid answering questions honestly asked and your entertainment value is dropping. You’ll likely claim that you’ve won if I ban you and that would be one more unsurprising lie. I suspect you will claim censorship and that I am unwilling to address your baseless claims and that this makes them true. Well, I have more than enough evidence for anyone that cares to show that this is untrue.”>Yet, you claimed this with other sites. Why are you so deceitful?”There is no way to know what the original works said. We don’t have them so we have no idea. We have fragments, late copies that we know were altered from earlier copies etc. There is nothing that says that any of these are originals, we don’t even know who the authors are. I’d also mention that considering your claims of how expensive paper, papyrus, parchment, etc was as your excuse on why no one could write anything down, it’s funny how many copies can be cited by you now.Your claim that the originals can be recreated is simply wishful thinking, coming from a theist who wants to claim that his version and interpretation is the only “right” one, that one you’ve declared to be the recreated “original”. The amount of manuscripts is meaningless unless you want to admit that the Qu’ran, Dianetics, etc are just as pure if not more so than your complilation and evidently are more “true” thanks to your own reasoning, good copies equals veracity.”>Assertions are funny! Ron prefers the word of scholars. Why not you? I never argued the Bible is true because we have a lot of copies. That would not be the best argument. Is the Quran carefully preserved in wording? Perhaps. Does that make it true? No. I never once argued that.”It is my opinion, that at best, one can say that there is likely a single source for the various branches of these “true” copies but that does not guarantee that any of these variants was the original autograph. For all of the claims about this compilation of stories that is called the “Bible”, that it is divinely written/inspired, that it is “pure”, we can repeatedly see that there is nothing magical or “pure” about it. It suffers from the same mistakes as any other human product which throws all claims that this is some magically accurate representation of past events into disarray when TrueChristians try to claim that it is inerrant and disagree when doing so. Add to this that there is no other evidence for the essential events of the bible, no magical jesus, no miracles, nothing, and this religion seems as ridiculous as the religions of the ancient Egyptians, the native American cultures, the Norse, etc. All stories and no reality.”>Which again, you can’t seem to pay attention. Why? I never argued textual purity necessarily proves inspiration or proves it to be true.”You make the claim that we would have to “toss out all info we have on medical ethics, mathematics, ancient history” from “ancient authors”. No, we don’t. Mathematics is the same no matter what. One will still have the Pythagorean theorem true, though we know that it is likely that he wasn’t the first to discover it. historians already consider ancient historians suspect until we can confirm their claims by evidence. And medical ethics? Not sure why you mention medical ethics, but we know that ethics change and they are human opinions. Now compare all of this to the claims of TrueChristians that the bible is somehow magical and inerrant (again being unable to agree on what bits are inerrant). Since we can show your bible changes, that TrueChristians can’t agree on what the bible “really” means, that there is little (I would say no) evidence to support the claims of the bible, there is plenty of reasons to also consider it suspect just like people already hold other ancient writings. The bible is nothing special, and those who claim to follow it are also nothing special, just more theists who are sure that they and only they are possessed of some magical “truth” and who will get some magical reward.”>Which evades my point- if you want to apply this skepticism, we couls not know if the ancients  really discovered these formulas, if they actually got it correct, if we have these terms correct, or even other events of history that cannot be shown by archaeology alone. See Dan Wallace on that.”Now, again, where is the evidence for the magical Jesus, Potato?”>I was first dealing with the telephone accusation. Here is also a quote from Wallace- “But the copying of the New Testament manuscripts is hardly like this parlor game [i.e. the “telephone game”]. First of all, the message is passed on in writing, not orally…(NOTE- He is referring to the textual accusation of telephone game) Second, rather than having one line of transmission there are multiple lines or streams of transmission. Third, textual critics don’t rely on just the last person in each line, but they can interrogate several folks who are closer to the original source. Fourth, patristic writers are commenting on the text as it is going through its transmissional history, and when there are chronological gaps among the manuscripts these writers often fill in those gaps by telling us what the text said in that place in their day. Fifth, in the telephone game, once the story is told by one person that individual has nothing else to do with the story. It’s out of his or her hands. But the original New Testament books were most likely copied more than once and many may have been consulted even after a few generations of copies had already been produced.” (Greer-Heard Dialogue 2008)

      • Ah, more walls of copy-pasted text followed with pithy replies and nary a paragraph break.

        Sorry, Potato, but if you can’t be bothered to use the “enter” key, then I can’t be bothered to respond.

      • “Potato, consider yourself warned. You flirt with the possibility of being banned from this site because your lies continue, you have little more than childish insults, you continue to avoid answering questions honestly asked and your entertainment value is dropping. You’ll likely claim that you’ve won if I ban you and that would be one more unsurprising lie. I suspect you will claim censorship and that I am unwilling to address your baseless claims and that this makes them true. Well, I have more than enough evidence for anyone that cares to show that this is untrue.”

        >Yet, you claimed this with other sites. Why are you so deceitful, silly ClubS?

        “There is no way to know what the original works said. We don’t have them so we have no idea. We have fragments, late copies that we know were altered from earlier copies etc. There is nothing that says that any of these are originals, we don’t even know who the authors are. I’d also mention that considering your claims of how expensive paper, papyrus, parchment, etc was as your excuse on why no one could write anything down, it’s funny how many copies can be cited by you now.

        Your claim that the originals can be recreated is simply wishful thinking, coming from a theist who wants to claim that his version and interpretation is the only “right” one, that one you’ve declared to be the recreated “original”. The amount of manuscripts is meaningless unless you want to admit that the Qu’ran, Dianetics, etc are just as pure if not more so than your complilation and evidently are more “true” thanks to your own reasoning, good copies equals veracity.”

        >Assertions are funny! Lackwits provide lots of them! Ron prefers the word of scholars. Why not you? I never argued the Bible is true because we have a lot of copies. That would not be the best argument. Is the Quran carefully preserved in wording? Perhaps. Does that make it true? No. I never once argued that.

        “It is my opinion, that at best, one can say that there is likely a single source for the various branches of these “true” copies but that does not guarantee that any of these variants was the original autograph. For all of the claims about this compilation of stories that is called the “Bible”, that it is divinely written/inspired, that it is “pure”, we can repeatedly see that there is nothing magical or “pure” about it. It suffers from the same mistakes as any other human product which throws all claims that this is some magically accurate representation of past events into disarray when TrueChristians try to claim that it is inerrant and disagree when doing so. Add to this that there is no other evidence for the essential events of the bible, no magical jesus, no miracles, nothing, and this religion seems as ridiculous as the religions of the ancient Egyptians, the native American cultures, the Norse, etc. All stories and no reality.”

        >Which again, you can’t seem to pay attention. Why? I never argued textual purity necessarily proves inspiration or proves it to be true.
        “You make the claim that we would have to “toss out all info we have on medical ethics, mathematics, ancient history” from “ancient authors”. No, we don’t. Mathematics is the same no matter what. One will still have the Pythagorean theorem true, though we know that it is likely that he wasn’t the first to discover it. historians already consider ancient historians suspect until we can confirm their claims by evidence. And medical ethics? Not sure why you mention medical ethics, but we know that ethics change and they are human opinions. Now compare all of this to the claims of TrueChristians that the bible is somehow magical and inerrant (again being unable to agree on what bits are inerrant). Since we can show your bible changes, that TrueChristians can’t agree on what the bible “really” means, that there is little (I would say no) evidence to support the claims of the bible, there is plenty of reasons to also consider it suspect just like people already hold other ancient writings. The bible is nothing special, and those who claim to follow it are also nothing special, just more theists who are sure that they and only they are possessed of some magical “truth” and who will get some magical reward.”

        >Which evades my point- if you want to apply this skepticism, we couls not know if the ancients really discovered these formulas, if they actually got it correct, if we have these terms correct, or even other events of history that cannot be shown by archaeology alone. See Dan Wallace on that.

        “Now, again, where is the evidence for the magical Jesus, Potato?”

        >I was first dealing with the telephone accusation. Here is also a quote from Wallace- “But the copying of the New Testament manuscripts is hardly like this parlor game [i.e. the “telephone game”]. First of all, the message is passed on in writing, not orally… Second, rather than having one line of transmission there are multiple lines or streams of transmission. Third, textual critics don’t rely on just the last person in each line, but they can interrogate several folks who are closer to the original source. Fourth, patristic writers are commenting on the text as it is going through its transmissional history, and when there are chronological gaps among the manuscripts these writers often fill in those gaps by telling us what the text said in that place in their day. Fifth, in the telephone game, once the story is told by one person that individual has nothing else to do with the story. It’s out of his or her hands. But the original New Testament books were most likely copied more than once and many may have been consulted even after a few generations of copies had already been produced.” (Greer-Heard Dialogue 2008)

        “There’s no contradiction on my part for pointing that out we rely on scholars who can’t seem to agree on the ending of Mark.”

        >Yet, you say we can’t make the assumption which is “wrong”; as ClubS notes, most scholars agree that verse 8 is the original ending. So, what is the problem?

        “The three questions – which you’ve left unaddressed”

        >Yet, can you answer mine below?

        “followed immediately after a direct quote from you, not ClubS. The “you yourself wrote” portion which preceded it should have been the tip-off, especially since you quoted it in your response.”

        >”It seems that many scholars, if not most, do think that the gospel ended at Mark 16:8.” -ClubS
        “With that settled, could you kindly respond to the questions asked?”

        >I would request the same.

        “My answer was divided into several paragraphs (for your reading pleasure) with each one leading into the next, and that particular one explores the possibility an impostor might have fooled people into believing Jesus was still alive”

        >Rofl.

        ” – a relevant point considering that Josephus reports an actual case of someone having pulled off just such a feat by pretending to be Herod’s (executed) son.”

        >Not a relevant point, as we were not discussing the resurrection.
        “Nice straw man. I originally stated:

        “Furthermore, how could you possibly assert divine if you could establish the authorship of the texts? It’s all just special pleading and circular arguments.”

        While the words “inspiration even” were inadvertently left out, I think the meaning should have been fairly clear given that I had stated pretty much the same thing only two posts earlier.”

        >Which I repeated before was irrelevant as we were not discussing divine authorship. Pay attention, Ron.

        “Your response — that the skeptic was special pleading because there was “an embarrassment of riches (in manuscript evidence)” compared to what the “average Greco Roman author has in 2000” — had nothing to do with divine inspiration, but rather than repeat myself yet a third time I countered that there were additional artifacts besides manuscripts to establish the historicity of someone like Alexander – evidence you clearly didn’t have for Jesus.”

        >Nice straw man. Because that post was not for evidence of Jesus, nor was that meant to be in response to inspiration, but the point of the original text (which I noted before).

        “That’s probably because the archaeological digs in that area have found no evidence said town even existed during Herod’s reign. However, they’ve found plenty of evidence that the town of Bethlehem located in Galilee only a few miles away from Nazareth did exist at that time. And it’s also a much shorter trip to go complete a census, don’t you think?

        Of course that still leaves apologists with the prickly problem of having to explain why their “99% textually pure” copy of Matthew contains yet another fabricated account of fulfilled prophecy.”
        >Of course, I have yet to see how these relate to the discussion. You were saying how Matthew and Luke contradict, no?

        “According to Merriam-Webster’s dictionary, “every” means: being each individual or part of a group without exception.
        And the words “every year” or “yearly” appear in all of the on-line French and German translations found at BibleGateway, as well. So if you want to lawyer the word “every” into meaning something else, then you’ll also have to explain why so many translations got it wrong.”

        >But, like I said before, “every” is a general term.

        “The fact that you’re still asking such questions indicates you never read the link I provided, or made any attempt to investigate further.”

        >”could you kindly respond to the questions asked?” -Ron

        “What does that have to do with the gospel narratives?”

        >It’s an example of secular historians making “ad hoc” reconciliations for an event.
        “Yes, I do indeed pay attention. And as I recall, you originally chastised me for bringing up inerrancy. To wit:

        “In case you’ve forgotten, with ClubS, I was discussing textual criticism. Then you jumped in.”

        Having pointed out that you were already discussing inerrancy before I “jumped in” you now want to backtrack even further by claiming that CS started it.

        Your follow-up comment trying to smooth over your falsehood only serves to highlight it further.

        I expected this off topic, lazy reading from ClubS, but not from you, Ron.

        Project much?”

        >The post I made that (the last quote) in did not speak of inerrancy. Yet, I also noted to ClubS that inerrancy was irrelevant. So, you essentially tried to re-ignite the topic.

        “It really doesn’t matter, because Josephus clearly states that Archelaus ruled for ten years in that link you’ve obviously never read. He even claims that Herod had an ominous dream foretelling him his ten years were over.”
        >Why yes, he did rule for about 10 years. 4 BC to about AD 6.

        4BC- Jesus was around the age of 2 (since Herod tried to kill the babies of this age); Herod’s death also took place and Herod A started to rule
        3BC- around age of 3
        2BC- around age of 4
        1BC- around age of 5
        (there is no year 0, if I am correct)
        AD 1- around age of 6
        AD 2- around age of 7
        AD 3- around age of 8
        AD 4- around age of 9
        AD 5- around age of 10
        AD 6- around age of 11; Herod A’s banishment took place this year
        AD 7- around age of 12

        So, I believe Herod A.’s banishment occurs a year or so before that time (thus Herod Archelaus is not an excuse that Jesus missed the events when He was 12). Matthew says they avoiding really living there >at the time<, but he doesn't say they never went to Jerusalem, not even for the festival. And Luke does not say they attended every festival that every happened; he says they attended every year. But again, *every* is somewhat unclear, as he could mean either *every* as in *every* festival that ever occurred (a bit too literalistic), or *every* once they had time/were able to, or simply just another way to say it was a tradition. Like I said before, attending the festival would not have been a risk as there would be a massive crowd, thus it would be difficult to keep watch. There is not much to say Herod A was keeping an active watch for Jesus' family anyway. And again, the events of Luke2:42 likely took place a year or so after Herod A was banished anyway.

      • <Yet, you claimed this with other sites. Why are you so deceitful, silly ClubS?>>

        evidence of this, Potato? Again, I’d like you to show that your claims are true and indeed, “in context”. Please do show that I am “deceitful”.

      • *Note: Ron and his dull friends ClubS and Zande may misunderstand Wallace’s first point. Wallace is referring to the textual aspects (as he is a textual critic. Duh) of the NT, not oral tradition.

      • One more reason to ignore poor Potato. More lies and more insults demonstrating that belief in the Christian god does not preclude the propensity to tell falsehoods. I would have to say that I am fairly certain he wants to be banned because he has nothing else but such things. It’s a shame that one can’t actually tell the worth of a person by his professed belief. I know that Christians can be decent loving people. And I know that they can be twits.

        It would be easy to claim that Potato is simply young and ignorant. Alas, many humans can be exactly like Potato without having youth or experience as an excuse.

      • We’re done, Potato, because there is little point in continuing with someone who refuses to be a mensch. Despite extending you every courtesy, you’ve failed to respond in kind. And despite confronting all your answers head on, you’ve demonstrated a lack of willingness to properly address mine or those of others. As such, your demands for further answers from me fall on deaf ears.

      • “evidence of this, Potato? Again, I’d like you to show that your claims are true and indeed, “in context”. Please do show that I am “deceitful”.”

        >”You see, I have done the dance with Christians who claim that they want to debate an atheist and then when the going gets too hard, they ban my posts. I have had a poor Roman Catholic tell me I wasn’ t “charitable” enough when I posted to her blog and that she didn’t want to even read what I said. Nice willful ignorance there. I’ve had Ben who you can see around in comments here say that he didn’t want my posts on his blog because he didn’t want his friends and family to know anything different than what he wrote. These TrueChristians are why I don’t bother much with those who claim to refute me but can’t do it here. There’s a reason why they won’t come here. And it’s never a good one.”

        -ClubS

        You really need to stop lying, ClubS.

        “One more reason to ignore poor Potato. More lies and more insults demonstrating that belief in the Christian god does not preclude the propensity to tell falsehoods. I would have to say that I am fairly certain he wants to be banned because he has nothing else but such things. It’s a shame that one can’t actually tell the worth of a person by his professed belief. I know that Christians can be decent loving people. And I know that they can be twits.

        It would be easy to claim that Potato is simply young and ignorant. Alas, many humans can be exactly like Potato without having youth or experience as an excuse.”

        >More nonsense from the dimwitted ClubS! Bravo!

      • Good for you, Potato, you’ve shown us that you can pay attention to our posts and that when you don’t answer questions posed, it’s just your unwillingness to do so.

        Now, let’s look at what I said about banning you:
        “Potato, consider yourself warned. You flirt with the possibility of being banned from this site because your lies continue, you have little more than childish insults, you continue to avoid answering questions honestly asked and your entertainment value is dropping. You’ll likely claim that you’ve won if I ban you and that would be one more unsurprising lie. I suspect you will claim censorship and that I am unwilling to address your baseless claims and that this makes them true. Well, I have more than enough evidence for anyone that cares to show that this is untrue.”

        And you’ve claimed that: “> Yet, you claimed this with other sites. Why are you so deceitful, silly ClubS?”

        Exactly what you meant by this, I had no idea and asked you to provide evidence of whatever “you claimed this with other sites” means. You’ve now posted the following quotes from yours truly as claims about other sites:

        >”You see, I have done the dance with Christians who claim that they want to debate an atheist and then when the going gets too hard, they ban my posts. I have had a poor Roman Catholic tell me I wasn’ t “charitable” enough when I posted to her blog and that she didn’t want to even read what I said. Nice willful ignorance there. I’ve had Ben who you can see around in comments here say that he didn’t want my posts on his blog because he didn’t want his friends and family to know anything different than what he wrote. These TrueChristians are why I don’t bother much with those who claim to refute me but can’t do it here. There’s a reason why they won’t come here. And it’s never a good one.”

        -ClubS”

        Why yes, I did say this. And this is pretty much what I figured you’d post as your “evidence” which makes this amusing. Now, I am asking you, Potato, please do show where I am banning you because the “going gets too hard” e.g. you have come up with undebatable points, that your comments are so impossible to address that I simply must ignore them since they prove you right. 🙂 Please do tell me why I should allow someone who lies and who makes baseless insults to me and other commenters on my blog.

        I have allowed you to post again and again and I have read what you’ve written, Potato. So, your attempt to claim that I am a hypocrite fails, since I do not use the excuses that the websites and blogs I have described which do not allow my comments through at all because I am not “charitable” enough or that outrightly say that they do not want anyone else’s evidence since he did not want others to see such things. I have refuted your false claims, shown you your logical fallacies, repeatedly asked for and never getting the evidence you’ve claimed to have, shown your analogies to fail, etc. And I have done that allowing all of your posts through.

        Now, again we can look at the reasons I have given for why I may ban you: “your lies continue, you have little more than childish insults, you continue to avoid answering questions honestly asked and your entertainment value is dropping”. I’ve noted when you’ve lied, Potato, and how you’ve lied. I’ve noted your insults, and I have noted that you constantly refuse to answer questions honestly put to you. You have shown nothing new but the same regurgitated arguments from any number of TrueChristian websites. You see, Potato, if you don’t participate in a discussion by answering the hard questions, it becomes obvious that you only want a soap box for your nonsense.

        Your claims that I have lied are again shown to be false. No surprise there.

        You quote me again

        ““One more reason to ignore poor Potato. More lies and more insults demonstrating that belief in the Christian god does not preclude the propensity to tell falsehoods. I would have to say that I am fairly certain he wants to be banned because he has nothing else but such things. It’s a shame that one can’t actually tell the worth of a person by his professed belief. I know that Christians can be decent loving people. And I know that they can be twits.

        It would be easy to claim that Potato is simply young and ignorant. Alas, many humans can be exactly like Potato without having youth or experience as an excuse.”

        and make another claim and another insult.

        “>More nonsense from the dimwitted ClubS! Bravo!”

        You of course can’t show that what I have stated is “nonsense”, you only make more vague claims. But I’ll give you the chance to explain just how “dimwitted” I am and how what I’ve written is “nonsense”. So, Potato, what is “nonsense” about the fact that I have shown your claims to be lies? You’ve claimed that I have not read your posts. That is demonstrably false since I have responded to your posts with exhaustive (to put it mildly) detail. You have called me “lazy” but of course have not shown that this is true. You claim evidence and questions you don’t like are “off-topic” and I have shown how they can be considered on-topic on my blog.

        I like having my own blog since I can control the horizontal and vertical. I can allow the posts of people like you through and preserve them for posterity exactly as you chose to post in your very own words. I can also reply to any comment with as lengthy a post as I care to do without hogging up someone else’s space. I can allow discussions go on as long as I wish and I can kill them when someone gets abusive. There is no reason to put up with a liar, Potato, especially when those lies are often also insults. Not all wannabee apologists do that, though I will say that many do when they realize that their claims are unconvincing and they become scared. You’ve chose to do what you have, Potato, now you have to deal with the consequences. You can correct your trajectory, or you can double down, as you seem to be doing. Your choice.

      • Rofl.

        More baseless lies from ClubS. You have shown my fallacies and lies? I would like you ask you where. Is it when you claimed Ezra was apocryphal? Or when Jesus was not buried the same day? Or preincarnate referring to when Jesus became God? or claiming Ehrman has shown my claims to be false? or claiming variants to be significant?

        More baseless deceit. Bravo!

      • Of course, ClubS is too stupid to answer anything else.

        “More claims that a word interpreted as something inconvenient to the TrueChristian is now “a bit too literalistic”, aka, the magic decoder ring is in play again where the TrueChristian is sure that their bible doesn’t mean what it says but something else that doesn’t cause a problem in their version of what their God “really” meant.”

        >The meaning of every is somewhat ambiguous. That’s my point. Then you can’t make accusations. Thanks for supporting me.

        There is a time span of 6-4 BC that is definitely agreed upon by scholars. I won’t go into specifics now, but you might complain that since we don’t know the month of His birth, He probably doesn’t exist (really? this is a non sequitur). However, I could also point out that the exact milennia of Zoroaster’s birth is uncertain; and even the century of birth for Siddhartha Gautama, Lao Tzu, etc. is debated; the exact year (some not even in the same decade) of Kim Jong Un, Plato, Socrates, Pilate, Livy, Pliny the Younger, Genghis Khan, Rabbi Hillel, Cassius Dio, Agrippa, Archimedes, Aristophanes, Attila the Hun, Hammurabi, Hannibal, Julius Caesar (though most lean towards one date), Barack Obama Sr., Samuel Lincoln, etc. birth is unknown; and Confucius, Anne Boleyn, Jane Seymour, Josephus, Aristotle, Herod the Great, Suetonius, Herodotus, Herod Archelaus, Tacitus, Herod Antipas, many early church fathers, etc. have unknown months of birth; and the exact birth days of say, Alexander the Great, Brutus, or even Shakespeare are also unknown. Of course, you can also see a list full of thousands of real life people here (most of the people in the link have estimates decades apart)- wikipedia(dot)org/wiki/Category:Year_of_birth_unknown Your claim is quite silly, and quite childish, ClubS.

      • No, dear, I’m not supporting you at all. I am pointing out that it’s quite funny, TrueChristian, that you complain that some Christians and atheists take the bible “too literally” when it’s inconvenient for your claims but you insist that the parts you want to be literal are unequivocally so. So, one more attempt at making a false claim on Potato’s scorecard. I love how you want to claim that the meaning of the word “every” is “somewhat ambiguous”. As has been pointed out, it is not.

        Which scholars “definitely agree” on this time span of “6-4 BC”? It is again no surprise that you “won’t go into specifics” now. That happens quite often when you know you haven’t the evidence you claim. nice attempt to make a strawman argument and then answering it yourself. How classic! Oh and I love the addition of Barak Obama Sr. No, dear, no one is saying hat if we don’t know the month a person was born then they may not exist. I am saying that there is no evidence for the existence of the birth of your Jesus Christ, no year, no location, no one noticing any of the events around him, etc. No evidence for a historical Jesus but there is some decent probability that an itinerant rabbi was wandering around claiming to be a messiah or that had such stories attributed to him. No evidence for a magical jesus and very little probability of a god walking around, doing so many miracles that not all the books in the world could hold them, raising from the dead and supposedly conferring magical powers on others. No evidence for any of the essential events of the bible and very little probability of those happening either.

      • “Why yes, I did say this. And this is pretty much what I figured you’d post as your “evidence” which makes this amusing. Now, I am asking you, Potato, please do show where I am banning you because the “going gets too hard” e.g. you have come up with undebatable points, that your comments are so impossible to address that I simply must ignore them since they prove you right.”

        >Rofl. I could ask you the same. Can you show me they stopped speaking because it was too hard, or because they just knew your claims were baseless (like you claim with Nick)? 

        “Please do tell me why I should allow someone who lies and who makes baseless insults to me and other commenters on my blog.”

        >That’s pretty much what the Catholic said about her blog. Nice try, though.

         “I have allowed you to post again and again and I have read what you’ve written, Potato. So, your attempt to claim that I am a hypocrite fails, since I do not use the excuses that the websites and blogs I have described which do not allow my comments through at all because I am not “charitable” enough or that outrightly say that they do not want anyone else’s evidence since he did not want others to see such things. I have refuted your false claims, shown you your logical fallacies, repeatedly asked for and never getting the evidence you’ve claimed to have, shown your analogies to fail, etc. And I have done that allowing all of your posts through.”

        >What are you smoking? Are you on anything? Anything not so legal? Oh right! Like you apparently “showed” my claims to be wrong with Ehrman. That certainly didn’t backfire. Or when you “showed” my claims to be wrong by contradicting your friends. Yup.

         “Now, again we can look at the reasons I have given for why I may ban you: “your lies continue, you have little more than childish insults, you continue to avoid answering questions honestly asked and your entertainment value is dropping”. I’ve noted when you’ve lied, Potato, and how you’ve lied. I’ve noted your insults, and I have noted that you constantly refuse to answer questions honestly put to you. You have shown nothing new but the same regurgitated arguments from any number of TrueChristian websites. You see, Potato, if you don’t participate in a discussion by answering the hard questions, it becomes obvious that you only want a soap box for your nonsense.”

        >Arguments from stone are nice. Very nice. All you have is some pile of dung that you scooped up for an argument. Nothing apologists haven’t already dealt with for the past two milennia. I appreciate that you’re trying. Although, I can’t call Wiki scholarship trying.

        “Your claims that I have lied are again shown to be false. No surprise there.”

        >Oh but you have no evidence! Just whiny complaints! -ClubS

        “You quote me again““One more reason to ignore poor Potato. More lies and more insults demonstrating that belief in the Christian god does not preclude the propensity to tell falsehoods. I would have to say that I am fairly certain he wants to be banned because he has nothing else but such things. It’s a shame that one can’t actually tell the worth of a person by his professed belief. I know that Christians can be decent loving people. And I know that they can be twits.It would be easy to claim that Potato is simply young and ignorant. Alas, many humans can be exactly like Potato without having youth or experience as an excuse.”and make another claim and another insult.“>More nonsense from the dimwitted ClubS! Bravo!”You of course can’t show that what I have stated is “nonsense”, you only make more vague claims. But I’ll give you the chance to explain just how “dimwitted” I am and how what I’ve written is “nonsense”. So, Potato, what is “nonsense” about the fact that I have shown your claims to be lies? You’ve claimed that I have not read your posts. That is demonstrably false since I have responded to your posts with exhaustive (to put it mildly) detail. You have called me “lazy” but of course have not shown that this is true. You claim evidence and questions you don’t like are “off-topic” and I have shown how they can be considered on-topic on my blog.I like having my own blog since I can control the horizontal and vertical. I can allow the posts of people like you through and preserve them for posterity exactly as you chose to post in your very own words. I can also reply to any comment with as lengthy a post as I care to do without hogging up someone else’s space. I can allow discussions go on as long as I wish and I can kill them when someone gets abusive. There is no reason to put up with a liar, Potato, especially when those lies are often also insults. Not all wannabee apologists do that, though I will say that many do when they realize that their claims are unconvincing and they become scared. You’ve chose to do what you have, Potato, now you have to deal with the consequences. You can correct your trajectory, or you can double down, as you seem to be doing. Your choice.”

        >Comedy gold! Keep it up. -John Zande.

      • Spud, are you ever going to give me a satisfactory (adult) answer to my question: Why do you think 4th century Christians saw it necessary to molest the oldest synoptic work, Mark, and secretly insert a new ending?

      • Potato,

        Yes, I can show that it was “too hard” when it comes to the one catholic gal and hmmm, I think it was Ben who was the one who said that he didn’t want any information on his blog that would cause his readers and relatives to know anything but what he tells them. How can I show it, well, they put up not one single bit of evidence that I was wrong. They simply refused to even allow the posts. Now, if they thought they could answer the problem, if the answers were so simple as you claim, then they would have shown how they could trounce a mean ol’ atheist. They didn’t.

        You make many claims but your claims consist of “maybe this is how it was” with any evidence of such a thing or “this interpretation is right and all others wrong” again with no more evidence that your nonsense is right and other Christians who disagree with you are wrong. If they “just knew” my claims were baseless, then they would have put up why if they thought their arguments had any weight.

        Now, let me ask you, Potato, can you show me what I said on my posts to both blogs and point out where my arguments are flawed or how about where I am “charitable” enough or indeed what “charitable” means in this context?

        I do love how you now want to pretend that the Catholic woman “pretty much said” that she was rejecting my post because it was full of lies and baseless insults. No, Potato, she didn’t. She said I wasn’t “charitable” enough. That’s it. Now, please pull out your magic decoder ring and tell me how what she “really meant” by that and how you translated it into direct accusations of lies and baseless insults. Oh well, you pretend that you know what an imaginary god “really meant” so making the same false claims about another human is small potatoes. 

        And more baseless insults. No, Potato, I have not been “smoking” anything, but it’s nice to see you make more false claims in order to try to cast aspersions on what I have written. I guess that is really all you have left. I have indeed showed how your claims have failed. I have occasionally agreed with you, that it is silly to consider transposition an important error, but any error in a book that claims to be magical and from a “perfect” “inerrant” source is always curious. Of course, TrueChristians like you have to attempt to change the meaning of inerrant to make your argument. I have enjoyed allowing your posts through since they demonstrate that Christianity is nothing magical or special. You may try to ignore that I have shown your claims wrong, but the text is right there for anyone to read. Your denial of reality doesn’t affect reality. And again with the claims I have contradicted my friends. Oooh, scary, atheists disagree.  Yep, we do that sometimes, and it still doesn’t make your claims true.

        And still more claims of an argument from stone. Hilarious. More vague claims and no evidence. I’m sure I should be cowed and hurt by claims of “dung”.  Alas, you make the claim but can’t support it. And more insults about Wikipedia, when you’ve not shown that the articles and sources I have cited are wrong in anyway. I am happy to note that there have indeed been apologists trying to deal with their nonsense for the “past two millennia” just like you said, Potato. Funny how a book needed humans to interpret it again and again and again ever since it was compiled, with entire sects of Christianity spinning off thanks to this “inerrant” book supposedly by a magical being. A book that has factual errors, internal contradictions, etc.

        I see you’ve again been unable to come up with your own words and have to quote me again. I guess you can’t mess with perfection, eh?  You have yet to show where I have lied, Potato. I’m still waiting. Since you are the one making the claim, you need to show the evidence that I have lied.

        Aw, and you have to quote John too, since you can’t come up with anything on your own. How nice! I’ll ask the questions and make the requests you’ve intentionally ignored again:
        But I’ll give you the chance to explain just how “dimwitted” I am and how what I’ve written is “nonsense”. So, Potato, what is “nonsense” about the fact that I have shown your claims to be lies?

        Show where I am “lazy”, Potato. Show where I haven’t read your posts. You’ve made those claims but again have not supported them with evidence.

        I’m going on vacation until next week. That’ll give you plenty of time to support your claims, if you can. Until then, you can complain and make more insults and baseless claims. I always appreciate a lot to choose from for an example of TrueChrisitanity.

      • Rofl.

        More nonsense from ClubS, as expected.

        However, ClubS has indeed shown that she is truly pitiful. Yes, the Catholic has not allowed your comment because it was not “charitable”. What does the word mean? Well, it essentially means “kind” or “tolerant attitude”. Of course, you claim that I haven’t done so (eg, by making “childish insults”). So, quite hypocritical on your part. Also, how exactly does the “going get tough” if she never started the conversation? I wonder. Can you substantiate your baseless claims that she has cowardly left?

        Yes, scholars do agree on that date. For example, men like Dunn. However, there are also many others in the field, or relevant ones, that hold to that date (such as JP Holding). The time frame is firmly established. Apologetic sites usually have more on this. And yes, you got my point. Unknown birthdates don’t cause big problems.

        You whine “but I haven’t supported your claims!11!!!!!”; actually, you have. Let’s take a look.  First, you state “More claims from Potato that show that Christiansn do not agree on what they claim their bible says” Of course, this is just absolute horse hockey as I have done no such thing. The word is “every”. I never denied that. More baseless nonsense, as excepted from deceitful atheists like ClubS. Why is it that atheists like to pull strange objections from strange places? Like a cereal box. Or their rear ends. You continue saying, “or what their God “really” means.” This is more specifically where you “supported” me. Here, you directly imply that since Christians disagree the meaning of the text is unknown. Like I previously noted, if it was really unknown, one cannot make any accusations like Ron did.  Of course, your nonsense continues:“More claims that a word interpreted as something inconvenient to the TrueChristian is now “a bit too literalistic”, aka, the magic decoder ring is in play again where the TrueChristian is sure that their bible doesn’t mean what it says but something else that doesn’t cause a problem in their version of what their God “really” meant.” >Rofl. ClubS’s stupidity never ceases to amuse me. And what do I mean “too literalistic”? I meant that the text obviously does not mean they attended every Passover Festival in history (no, sadly no accusations that I tried to rewrite history, ClubS. I said ” *every* festival that ever occurred ..” That’s fairly clear). That doesn’t require any “special” interpretation or any other trashy accusation that you may come up with. It’s simply common sense. I asked Ron as to what “every” meant so that he could try to substantiate his pitiful claim that the account of Luke contradicts the situation in Matthew. Moreover, when I noted the use of the word “every”, it wasn’t even my main point. So nice to see ClubS fail. Again. 

      • And Potato, do you know what I posted to the Catholic women’s blog, so that you can state unequivocally that I was not kind or tolerant? You ask how I know that the going got tough? You know how I post, Potato, I asked questions right off the bat and posted facts that show her great and wonderous church and religion were wrong. I’ll ask you *one* of the questions I asked her, which applies to any version of Christianity: please explain to me a god that you worship and claim to grant miracles, that evidently also allows children to be abused in the very buildings that are supposedly its house.
        Do you find this question “uncharitable”, Potato? Why?

        Let’s see what Potato has said here on this blog in the vein of insults:
        “Of course, ClubS is too stupid to answer anything else.”
        “Assertions are funny! Lackwits provide lots of them!”
        “I expected this off topic, lazy reading from ClubS, but not from you, Ron.”
        “>Lazy, non-contextual Google searches. No scholarship involved.”
        “Unfortunately, with your lack of intelligence and all, I doubt you’ll get my hint in my last post.”
        “>Uh, no, you’re an idiot. Context and literary style dictates it.”
        “>Ezekiel 18 is meant for personal sins. And no one is righteous anyway. Derp.”
        >Funny, how you’re stupid.

        Lies that Potato has told(these found in a few minutes of looking):
        “2) Wiki hardly supplies citations for all of it’s statements. And for the times they do, it’s usually not more than one.”
        “>We have hardly anything of what the ancients had.”
        “History is rarely dependant upon archaeology.”
        “>And its’ so cute to refuse to look a link that shows that Christians think Jesus and Paul agree.”
        ““>Why would they need to mention the event? It wasn’t even the entire army.”” – in reference to the destruction of the Egyptian army in Exodus. (to read what reportedly happed: http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Exodus%2014&version=NIV, note where the author of Exodus uses the omniscient point of view).
        “Inerrancy has to deal with the originals being true.” Which is a redefinition from what Christians claimed inerrancy used to be, which was the bible is inerrant, no invoking “originals”to explain problems with the bible as it is.
        “>There’s no evidence for Lincoln either.”
        “Hilarious that you have responded to many other posts of mine without reading… anything!”
        “>You lie when you say we don’t. We know the early theological views of the Christians and Jews.” – in answer to the statement that we do not know who the authors of the biblical books are or what their agendas were. Yes, we do know some of the early theological views of Christians Jews. This does not say we know the authors.
        “I never argued textual purity necessarily proves inspiration or proves it to be true.”
        Here’s what he has said about textural purity before:
        “Because of the wealth and textual purity, we can study these and find the original wording.”
        “All manuscript copies attest to a 99.5% purity; no room or evidence for significant changes.”
        “>Mhm. Like I said before, was Batman was recorded by over 5,700 Greek manuscripts, composed of several epistles, historical narratives, and Greco-Roman bioi, with a textual purity rate of over 99%? Do you have any real arguments than pure assertions than going “derp I consider it fiction, and all fiction is the same” made up of your fanciful assumptions?”

        “2) The written Gospels were clearly not some telephone game. With over 5,700 Greek manuscripts (24,000 in other languages) having a 99.5% textual purity rate, the notion is absurd.” In response to my ““In the interminable comments on some of my blog posts, we have been hashing out the idea of a historical Jesus. I prefer the mythicist approach (basically ’religious telephone’ as per the cartoon, but with various guys) but Christians are trying every so hard to get me to agree that Jesus was historical.””
        My question “Again, why should I believe in your god and not Poseidon or Athena?”
        And Potato’s response: >Evidence, textual purity, literary style, literary purpose, etc. separate the two by worlds”
        So much for “I never argued textual purity necessarily proves inspiration or proves it to be true.”

        Now onto the rest of Potato’s post. Some scholars agree on the date he claims. The time frame is not firmly established since there is no evidence of this man existing. That is the time frame that fits best what little information we have, assuming those claims are true too. Unknown birthdates do not cause “big problems”, except for a few. They cause minor problems for most, but cause big problems when theists claim that dates are true and significant. For a very long time Christians insisted that they knew when JC was born and that they knew when he was cruxified. As modern scholarship progressed and people no longer accepted nonsense blindly, it became obvious that the “truths” that the Christians claimed were not truths at all. This was a chink in the armor that the religion was only telling the truth. I suspect now you’ll say that it isn’t important that the religion and its leaders made up things.

        Potato, you have indicated that other Christians are wrong in their interpretation. You claim that Calvinism is the only right answer. You claim that your interpretations are the only right ones. You are sure that those Christians that do not believe as you do are not Christians. You cite context, textural purity, etc as your evidence you are right and ignore the fact that other Christians, and other theists, claim the exact same “proofs”.

        You claim that the word “every” is ambiguous. That is your interpretation and other Christians disagree with that.

        You claim that Christians only believe that Jesus and Paul agree. I have shown that not to be the case.

        You claim I imply something that I do not. Sicnce Christians disagree on the meaning of their bible, the meaning of the text is debatable, not unknown. If this book is from a magical source that wants everyone to understand (the shepherd looking for the lost sheep), then it should be clear, yes? If it is to be clear when read, then simply reading it should be enough, not needing thousands of humans who each declare that their version is the only right one.

        Here’s where we get the magic decoder ring. Each Christian has one, insisting that their special brew of context, interpretation, divine revelation, etc gives them and only them the “right” answer. Let’s see what Potato claims (ignoring the insults, of course):

        “Rofl. ClubS’s stupidity never ceases to amuse me. And what do I mean “too literalistic”? I meant that the text obviously does not mean they attended every Passover Festival in history (no, sadly no accusations that I tried to rewrite history, ClubS. I said “ *every* festival that ever occurred ..” That’s fairly clear). That doesn’t require any “special” interpretation or any other trashy accusation that you may come up with. It’s simply common sense.”

        Here we have a Christian saying that his version is obviously the right one and it is “common sense” to agree with him. Yes, and every Christian apologist says this for their version too. The text says “41 Every year Jesus’ parents went to Jerusalem for the Festival of the Passover.” – NIV “41 And his parents were going yearly to Jerusalem, at the feast of the Passover” – YLT “41 Now every year his parents went to Jerusalem for the festival of the Passover.” – NRSVCE “41 Now his parents went to Jerusalem every year at the feast of the passover.” – KJV

        Potato wishes this passage to be ambiguous. Now Potato wants to claim it wasn’t his “main point” as if that excuses him being wrong. He also is apparently trying to claim that everyone else is saying that JC’s parents whet to every Passover in history, when that is not the case. The Gospel of Luke is saying that Jesus parents went to every Passover festival when they are alive (natch). It appears that on his twelfth birthday, Jesus accompanied them, a change in the usual way of things. If they had not attended “every” festival, then this would not be the truth. If they had missed Passovers in Jerusalem, the author could have mentioned it “Every year, except those when they were in exile, Jesus’s parents went to Jerusalem for the Festival of the Passover.”

        have fun!

      • Really? That’s all the dull ClubS can come up with? The fumes must be getting to you!

        “And Potato, do you know what I posted to the Catholic women’s blog, so that you can state unequivocally that I was not kind or tolerant? You ask how I know that the going got tough? You know how I post, Potato, I asked questions right off the bat and posted facts that show her great and wonderous church and religion were wrong. I’ll ask you *one* of the questions I asked her, which applies to any version of Christianity: please explain to me a god that you worship and claim to grant miracles, that evidently also allows children to be abused in the very buildings that are supposedly its house.
        Do you find this question “uncharitable”, Potato? Why?

        Let’s see what Potato has said here on this blog in the vein of insults:
        “Of course, ClubS is too stupid to answer anything else.”
        “Assertions are funny! Lackwits provide lots of them!”
        “I expected this off topic, lazy reading from ClubS, but not from you, Ron.”
        “>Lazy, non-contextual Google searches. No scholarship involved.”
        “Unfortunately, with your lack of intelligence and all, I doubt you’ll get my hint in my last post.”
        “>Uh, no, you’re an idiot. Context and literary style dictates it.”
        “>Ezekiel 18 is meant for personal sins. And no one is righteous anyway. Derp.”
        >Funny, how you’re stupid.”

        >Yes, you are quite stupid.

        ROFL. You haven’t shown ANY of these claims to be false.

        “2) Wiki hardly supplies citations for all of it’s statements. And for the times they do, it’s usually not more than one.”

        >ALL of it’s statements? Really? That is false.

        “>We have hardly anything of what the ancients had.”

        >Because we don’t, idiot.

        “History is rarely dependant upon archaeology.”

        >Because it isn’t…

        “>And its’ so cute to refuse to look a link that shows that Christians think Jesus and Paul agree.”

        >Rofl. And you complained how you didn’t care if you contradicted others because those weren’t your claims. Rofl.

        ““>Why would they need to mention the event? It wasn’t even the entire army.””

        >I pointed out it wasn’t. Only the ones who followed them into the sea were destroyed. Try again.

        “Inerrancy has to deal with the originals being true.” Which is a redefinition from what Christians claimed inerrancy used to be, which was the bible is inerrant, no invoking “originals”to explain problems with the bible as it is.”

        >You’re being stupid again. Wikipedia: “Biblical inerrancy is the doctrine that the Bible, in its ORIGINAL manuscripts, is accurate and totally free from error of any kind”

        “>There’s no evidence for Lincoln either.”

        >Shown this to be false? Nope.

        “Hilarious that you have responded to many other posts of mine without reading… anything!”

        >Because you haven’t. Like when you claimed I said Jesus’ miracles weren’t amazing.

        “>You lie when you say we don’t. We know the early theological views of the Christians and Jews.” – in answer to the statement that we do not know who the authors of the biblical books are or what their agendas were. Yes, we do know some of the early theological views of Christians Jews. This does not say we know the authors.

        >But we know their theological views. So, your claim is baseless.

        ““I never argued textual purity necessarily proves inspiration or proves it to be true.”
        Here’s what he has said about textural purity before:
        “Because of the wealth and textual purity, we can study these and find the original wording.”
        “All manuscript copies attest to a 99.5% purity; no room or evidence for significant changes.”
        “>Mhm. Like I said before, was Batman was recorded by over 5,700 Greek manuscripts, composed of several epistles, historical narratives, and Greco-Roman bioi, with a textual purity rate of over 99%? Do you have any real arguments than pure assertions than going “derp I consider it fiction, and all fiction is the same” made up of your fanciful assumptions?”

        “2) The written Gospels were clearly not some telephone game. With over 5,700 Greek manuscripts (24,000 in other languages) having a 99.5% textual purity rate, the notion is absurd.” In response to my ““In the interminable comments on some of my blog posts, we have been hashing out the idea of a historical Jesus. I prefer the mythicist approach (basically ’religious telephone’ as per the cartoon, but with various guys) but Christians are trying every so hard to get me to agree that Jesus was historical.””
        My question “Again, why should I believe in your god and not Poseidon or Athena?”
        And Potato’s response: >Evidence, textual purity, literary style, literary purpose, etc. separate the two by worlds”
        So much for “I never argued textual purity necessarily proves inspiration or proves it to be true.””

        >Because I didn’t. I said Evidence AND textual purity AND literary style AND literary purpose. Textual purity is only a small part which shows that we can retain the original wording to see if the originals were true or not. Try again, lackwit.

        “Now onto the rest of Potato’s post. Some scholars agree on the date he claims. The time frame is not firmly established since there is no evidence of this man existing. That is the time frame that fits best what little information we have, assuming those claims are true too. Unknown birthdates do not cause “big problems”, except for a few. They cause minor problems for most, but cause big problems when theists claim that dates are true and significant. For a very long time Christians insisted that they knew when JC was born and that they knew when he was cruxified. As modern scholarship progressed and people no longer accepted nonsense blindly, it became obvious that the “truths” that the Christians claimed were not truths at all. This was a chink in the armor that the religion was only telling the truth. I suspect now you’ll say that it isn’t important that the religion and its leaders made up things.”

        >Rofl. More scholars: H. W. Hoehner, B. Messner, John Meier, Rahner, Sanders, Habermas, etc.

        “Potato, you have indicated that other Christians are wrong in their interpretation. You claim that Calvinism is the only right answer. You claim that your interpretations are the only right ones. You are sure that those Christians that do not believe as you do are not Christians. You cite context, textural purity, etc as your evidence you are right and ignore the fact that other Christians, and other theists, claim the exact same “proofs”.”

        >Which has what to do with anything?

        “You claim that the word “every” is ambiguous. That is your interpretation and other Christians disagree with that.

        You claim that Christians only believe that Jesus and Paul agree. I have shown that not to be the case.”

        >Assertions are funny! What’s that? What about 1 Cor 9?

        “You claim I imply something that I do not. Sicnce Christians disagree on the meaning of their bible, the meaning of the text is debatable, not unknown. If this book is from a magical source that wants everyone to understand (the shepherd looking for the lost sheep), then it should be clear, yes? If it is to be clear when read, then simply reading it should be enough, not needing thousands of humans who each declare that their version is the only right one.

        Here’s where we get the magic decoder ring. Each Christian has one, insisting that their special brew of context, interpretation, divine revelation, etc gives them and only them the “right” answer. Let’s see what Potato claims (ignoring the insults, of course):

        “Rofl. ClubS’s stupidity never ceases to amuse me. And what do I mean “too literalistic”? I meant that the text obviously does not mean they attended every Passover Festival in history (no, sadly no accusations that I tried to rewrite history, ClubS. I said “ *every* festival that ever occurred ..” That’s fairly clear). That doesn’t require any “special” interpretation or any other trashy accusation that you may come up with. It’s simply common sense.”

        Here we have a Christian saying that his version is obviously the right one and it is “common sense” to agree with him. Yes, and every Christian apologist says this for their version too. The text says “41 Every year Jesus’ parents went to Jerusalem for the Festival of the Passover.” – NIV “41 And his parents were going yearly to Jerusalem, at the feast of the Passover” – YLT “41 Now every year his parents went to Jerusalem for the festival of the Passover.” – NRSVCE “41 Now his parents went to Jerusalem every year at the feast of the passover.” – KJV”

        >So, it is common sense to claim they attended the passover every year?

        “Potato wishes this passage to be ambiguous. Now Potato wants to claim it wasn’t his “main point” as if that excuses him being wrong. He also is apparently trying to claim that everyone else is saying that JC’s parents whet to every Passover in history, when that is not the case.”

        >You still can’t read? Rofl. I merely said it was ridiculous to claim such a thing. I never said you claimed it.

        “The Gospel of Luke is saying that Jesus parents went to every Passover festival when they are alive (natch). It appears that on his twelfth birthday, Jesus accompanied them, a change in the usual way of things. If they had not attended “every” festival, then this would not be the truth. If they had missed Passovers in Jerusalem, the author could have mentioned it “Every year, except those when they were in exile, Jesus’s parents went to Jerusalem for the Festival of the Passover.””

        >Except, we can see there is no evidence to assume they didn’t attend the Passover every year.

        Still the baseless nonsense? Really? Your stupidity is boring me.

      • A more concise post rebutting ClubS’s nonsense.

        “And Potato, do you know what I posted to the Catholic women’s blog, so that you can state unequivocally that I was not kind or tolerant? You ask how I know that the going got tough? You know how I post, Potato, I asked questions right off the bat and posted facts that show her great and wonderous church and religion were wrong. I’ll ask you *one* of the questions I asked her, which applies to any version of Christianity: please explain to me a god that you worship and claim to grant miracles, that evidently also allows children to be abused in the very buildings that are supposedly its house.
        Do you find this question “uncharitable”, Potato? Why?”

        >Well, you directly accused her church of child abuse and insulted God. So, yes, the Catholic would find that insulting. I believe Richard Dawkins is one who whines about the Catholic church’s abuse, yet he allows pedophilia. Why?

        “Let’s see what Potato has said here on this blog in the vein of insults:
        “Of course, ClubS is too stupid to answer anything else.”
        “Assertions are funny! Lackwits provide lots of them!”
        “I expected this off topic, lazy reading from ClubS, but not from you, Ron.”
        “>Lazy, non-contextual Google searches. No scholarship involved.”
        “Unfortunately, with your lack of intelligence and all, I doubt you’ll get my hint in my last post.”
        “>Uh, no, you’re an idiot. Context and literary style dictates it.”
        “>Ezekiel 18 is meant for personal sins. And no one is righteous anyway. Derp.”
        >Funny, how you’re stupid.”

        >Yes, you are quite stupid. I never said anything false there.

        I find your next bit hilarious. The funny thing is, you haven’t shown ANY of these claims you’ve listed to be false.

        “2) Wiki hardly supplies citations for all of it’s statements. And for the times they do, it’s usually not more than one.”

        >You have merely showed they list citations. But for ALL of it’s statements? Really? That is false. Moreover, the citations are not so big compared to the length of some of their articles.

        “>We have hardly anything of what the ancients had.”

        >Because we don’t, idiot. We hardly have a scrap. For example, there is little evidence that Caesar ever crossed the Rubicon.

        “History is rarely dependant upon archaeology.”

        >Because it isn’t… Archaeology is at times unreliable and requires careful interpretation.

        “>And its’ so cute to refuse to look a link that shows that Christians think Jesus and Paul agree.”

        Two things for this one

        1) Rofl. And you complained how you didn’t care if you contradicted others because those weren’t your claims. Rofl. (in reference to claims Paul and Jesus contradict)

        2) It’s essentially what you said. Do you enjoy applying double standards?

        ““>Why would they need to mention the event? It wasn’t even the entire army.””

        >I pointed out it wasn’t. Only the ones who followed them into the sea were destroyed. Try again. It was a nice try, though. Another one of your lies has been pointed out.

        “Inerrancy has to deal with the originals being true.” Which is a redefinition from what Christians claimed inerrancy used to be, which was the bible is inerrant, no invoking “originals”to explain problems with the bible as it is.”

        >You’re being stupid again. Wikipedia: “Biblical inerrancy is the doctrine that the Bible, in its ORIGINAL manuscripts, is accurate and totally free from error of any kind.” Or, even if you chose to keep being stupid, I could point out your other whine of how it wasn’t my claim, but another’s.

        “>There’s no evidence for Lincoln either.”

        >Shown this to be false? Nope.

        “Hilarious that you have responded to many other posts of mine without reading… anything!”

        >Because you haven’t. Like when you claimed I said Jesus’ miracles weren’t amazing.

        “>You lie when you say we don’t. We know the early theological views of the Christians and Jews.” – in answer to the statement that we do not know who the authors of the biblical books are or what their agendas were. Yes, we do know some of the early theological views of Christians Jews. This does not say we know the authors.

        >But we know their theological views. We can see their literary styles. The early church should have been even remotely close to their theological views. Sure, people stray, but there should be at least some closeness. So, your claim is baseless. On the otherhand, if we truly do know the views of the founding fathers, why is there still continual debate over the interpretation of the Constitution? Even in early on in American history?

        ““I never argued textual purity necessarily proves inspiration or proves it to be true.”
        Here’s what he has said about textural purity before:
        “Because of the wealth and textual purity, we can study these and find the original wording.”
        “All manuscript copies attest to a 99.5% purity; no room or evidence for significant changes.”
        “>Mhm. Like I said before, was Batman was recorded by over 5,700 Greek manuscripts, composed of several epistles, historical narratives, and Greco-Roman bioi, with a textual purity rate of over 99%? Do you have any real arguments than pure assertions than going “derp I consider it fiction, and all fiction is the same” made up of your fanciful assumptions?”

        “2) The written Gospels were clearly not some telephone game. With over 5,700 Greek manuscripts (24,000 in other languages) having a 99.5% textual purity rate, the notion is absurd.” In response to my ““In the interminable comments on some of my blog posts, we have been hashing out the idea of a historical Jesus. I prefer the mythicist approach (basically ’religious telephone’ as per the cartoon, but with various guys) but Christians are trying every so hard to get me to agree that Jesus was historical.””
        My question “Again, why should I believe in your god and not Poseidon or Athena?”
        And Potato’s response: >Evidence, textual purity, literary style, literary purpose, etc. separate the two by worlds”
        So much for “I never argued textual purity necessarily proves inspiration or proves it to be true.””

        >Because I didn’t say it proves it to be true. I said Evidence AND textual purity AND literary style AND literary purpose. Textual purity is only a small part which shows that we can retain the original wording to see if the originals were true or not. Try again, lackwit. But I appreciate that you tried. But you failed, again, sadly.

        “Now onto the rest of Potato’s post. Some scholars agree on the date he claims. The time frame is not firmly established since there is no evidence of this man existing. That is the time frame that fits best what little information we have, assuming those claims are true too. Unknown birthdates do not cause “big problems”, except for a few. They cause minor problems for most, but cause big problems when theists claim that dates are true and significant. For a very long time Christians insisted that they knew when JC was born and that they knew when he was cruxified. As modern scholarship progressed and people no longer accepted nonsense blindly, it became obvious that the “truths” that the Christians claimed were not truths at all. This was a chink in the armor that the religion was only telling the truth. I suspect now you’ll say that it isn’t important that the religion and its leaders made up things.”

        >Rofl. More scholars: H. W. Hoehner, B. Messner, John Meier, Rahner, Sanders, Habermas, etc.

        “Potato, you have indicated that other Christians are wrong in their interpretation. You claim that Calvinism is the only right answer. You claim that your interpretations are the only right ones. You are sure that those Christians that do not believe as you do are not Christians. You cite context, textural purity, etc as your evidence you are right and ignore the fact that other Christians, and other theists, claim the exact same “proofs”.”

        >Which has what to do with anything?

        “You claim that the word “every” is ambiguous. That is your interpretation and other Christians disagree with that.”

        >What other Christians?

        “You claim that Christians only believe that Jesus and Paul agree. I have shown that not to be the case.”

        >Assertions are funny! What’s that? What about 1 Cor 9?

        “You claim I imply something that I do not. Sicnce Christians disagree on the meaning of their bible, the meaning of the text is debatable, not unknown. If this book is from a magical source that wants everyone to understand (the shepherd looking for the lost sheep), then it should be clear, yes? If it is to be clear when read, then simply reading it should be enough, not needing thousands of humans who each declare that their version is the only right one.”

        >This is another stupid claim. No matter how clear it was, people would always be stupid and put it as meaning something else. Of course, how does the meaning of “every” in Luke significantly impact the Bible to this extent?

        “Here’s where we get the magic decoder ring. Each Christian has one, insisting that their special brew of context, interpretation, divine revelation, etc gives them and only them the “right” answer. Let’s see what Potato claims (ignoring the insults, of course):”

        >I suppose you also have one, because you try to interpret scripture too.

        “Here we have a Christian saying that his version is obviously the right one and it is “common sense” to agree with him. Yes, and every Christian apologist says this for their version too. The text says “41 Every year Jesus’ parents went to Jerusalem for the Festival of the Passover.” – NIV “41 And his parents were going yearly to Jerusalem, at the feast of the Passover” – YLT “41 Now every year his parents went to Jerusalem for the festival of the Passover.” – NRSVCE “41 Now his parents went to Jerusalem every year at the feast of the passover.” – KJV”

        >So, it is common sense to claim they attended the passover every year? Are you being serious? Or are the fumes getting to you?

        “Potato wishes this passage to be ambiguous. Now Potato wants to claim it wasn’t his “main point” as if that excuses him being wrong. He also is apparently trying to claim that everyone else is saying that JC’s parents whet to every Passover in history, when that is not the case.”

        >You still can’t read? Rofl. I merely said it was ridiculous to claim such a thing. I never said you claimed it.

        “The Gospel of Luke is saying that Jesus parents went to every Passover festival when they are alive (natch). It appears that on his twelfth birthday, Jesus accompanied them, a change in the usual way of things. If they had not attended “every” festival, then this would not be the truth. If they had missed Passovers in Jerusalem, the author could have mentioned it “Every year, except those when they were in exile, Jesus’s parents went to Jerusalem for the Festival of the Passover.””

        >Except, we can see there is no evidence to assume they didn’t attend the Passover every year.

        Still the baseless nonsense? Really? Your stupidity is boring me.

      • Yes, scholars do agree on that date. For example, men like Dunn. However, there are also many others in the field, or relevant ones, that hold to that date (such as JP Holding).

        BS Alert:

        Robert Turkel (aka James Patrick Holding) is no scholar. He’s president of Tekton Apologetics Ministries. He holds a Masters degree in Library Science and has written articles for the Christian Research Journal and the Creation Ex Nihilo Technical Journal.

        That and two bucks might buy a cup of coffee in Florida. — which is why he e-begs for cash under the protection of his 501(c)(3).

      • Idiot alert:

        “Robert Turkel (aka James Patrick Holding) is no scholar. He’s president of Tekton Apologetics Ministries. He holds a Masters degree in Library Science and has written articles for the Christian Research Journal and the Creation Ex Nihilo Technical Journal.

        That and two bucks might buy a cup of coffee in Florida. — which is why he e-begs for cash under the protection of his 501(c)(3).”

        >I never said he was a scholar. I said scholars AND “others in the field, or relevant ones, that hold to that date “.

        Try again.

      • “Apologetics is as relevant to historical scholarship as tea-cup reading is to CSI.”

        >The defense of the Christian faith is irrelevant to the Bible and Jesus?

        Nice to know.

      • Faith: pretending to know what just ain’t so.

        Or as Hebrews 11 puts it: the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

      • Actually, I confronted her on her question. She objected, however, I answered her and she never responded back to me.

        So, it wasnt Matts fault. Matt didnt even write the article though.

      • Well, I can’t say as I blame her. She probably got tired of hearing your litany of excuses, too.

        And speaking of never responding, I seem to recall a certain apologist promising to address a certain question I raised about 22 days ago. How’s that coming along? Since (according to Christians) my immortal soul hangs in the balance, an answer sometime prior to my demise and Christ’s supposed return would be greatly appreciated — especially if you don’t want to be cast into the lake of fire with me for failing to fulfill your obligations under 1 Peter 3:15.

      • Actually, it wasn’t some excuse thing, but the Laws given to the Theocracy of Israel and their purpose.

        And re your other comment, if you want to know so much, ask Nick. He’s more capable. Also, I’m a Calvinist.

      • Excellent, you’ve admitted you are a Calvinist. So, again please do show that your version is correct. I’m sure if God exists and he approves of you, it should be no problem.

      • “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.”

        >ROFL.

        You still can’t read. We weren’t talking about you. It was by email.

      • I can’t deny that your obsessed with all things Nick. But why should I contact him to find out how you make your decisions? Is he telekinetic?

        And why would a Calvinist waste time arguing with nonbelievers who aren’t considered part of the “elect” and in whom he has no real interest in “converting” anyways? Is it just for the lols?

      • “I can’t deny that your obsessed with all things Nick. But why should I contact him to find out how you make your decisions? Is he telekinetic?

        And why would a Calvinist waste time arguing with nonbelievers who aren’t considered part of the “elect” and in whom he has no real interest in “converting” anyways? Is it just for the lols?”

        >In the words of ClubS, “allowing someone like you to lie to others is against my morals.”

      • Here’s the modern-day equivalent of Nick’s apologetics on unanswered prayer.

        “Dear 9-1-1 operator, please send a fire truck to my house.”

        So what is going on here? This sounds like something reasonable. Surely every call for emergency assistance should be answered tonight. Well, why not?

        An argument like this, in reality, puts the 9-1-1 service at the beck and call of its clients. Now the 9-1-1 service has definitely given us the privilege of being able to call to them, but we are in no place to make demands. Because we want something and because it seems really urgent, that does not mean that the 9-1-1 service is obligated to give it to us.

        “But Nick,” you say, “surely the 9-1-1 service would have nothing against putting out all the fires in the city tonight!”

        And how did you come to know that?

        For instance, we could start with fires today. Tomorrow we’re going to ask for police assistance; the next day an ambulance. We’ll go on and on even to the point of wanting someone to rescue our cats. After that, we’ll just demand that the 9-1-1 service send paramedics for everyone involved in traffic accidents right there on the spot; and oh yeah, please remove all the dead bodies laying all over the road.

        The objection assumes that it’s the 9-1-1 service’s goal to answer all calls and send out help. At City Hall, we even have the idea that the 9-1-1 service’s goal is to improve the response times. It’s not. The 9-1-1 service contract never said that we are to improve the response time. We are to go out and hire 9-1-1 operators.

      • Thanks, but Nick did most of the work for me. I just changed “God” to “9-1-1 service” and modified a few other words and phrases to maintain narrative consistency. Being that it’s a parody of his lame apologetics, I think it falls well within the “fair use” rules — and unless otherwise specified, all my comments are posted under a Creative Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0) License.

        “An it harm none, do as thou wilt.”

  9. Pingback: Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – a return from the past, and more TrueChristian nonsense about women, slavery, and predestination plus an announcement | Club Schadenfreude

  10. FYI, Nick has now posted another wordy screed (“Jesus Is Not Worth Talking About”) on his blog to account for the paucity of contemporaneous works mentioning Jesus. In summary, he attributes it to the following reasons:

    – Jesus never traveled, fought battles or held political office;
    – he was mundane;
    – everyone was skeptical of miracle claims, so no one investigated them;
    – Jesus was considered insane;
    – Jesus was crucified;
    – no one took Jews seriously because Jesus lived in a bizarre land that practiced strange customs and wasn’t known for its political, ethical or philosophical contributions;
    – oral tradition was preferred because everyone was illiterate;
    – paper and ink were expensive;
    – whatever records existed were destroyed;
    – silence is expected.

    So it appears that even the apologists now agree that Jesus was just not worth a sheet of paper.

    Q.E.D.

    • Poor Nick. I do love watching TrueChristians like him insisting that his bible is wrong then, since we obviously can’t trust the bible when it claims that this man/god was doing so much after he was dead and was seen by so many people that there would never be enough books to record all of this amazing nonsense.

      I would say that poor Nick’s excuses do contradict each other. Was JC mundane? Then why would anyone think he was insane? Everyone was skeptical of miracles? So why did supposedly thousands of people follow JC around? No one took Jews seriously? Then why did the Romans listen to them about this “mundane” man?

    • Ahaha! The hoops these people have to jump through to justify their entirely irrational beliefs is astonishing! Good entertainment, though. Got a link to “Nicks” post?

      • I just read Nicks About. I think it explains an awful lot:

        From Wiki: “Asperger syndrome (AS), also known as Asperger disorder (AD), is an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) that is characterized by significant difficulties in social interaction and nonverbal communication, alongside restricted and repetitive patterns of behavior and interests. It differs from other autism spectrum disorders by its relative preservation of linguistic and cognitive development. Although not required for diagnosis, physical clumsiness and atypical (peculiar, odd) use of language are frequently reported”

      • It certainly seems that it does explain a lot about Nicks (and potato’s) behavior. The inability to think about something from a different perspective, the repetitive claims after being shown that the claims are mistaken, and attempts to redefine words.

        Though, of course, those attributes alone do not make a Aspergers candidate. We see them being used intentionally by more than a few theists.

      • One would think so, but see below…. Heck, I might myself show up as having Asperger’s, especially when I was younger, though I know I don’t have it. I was awful at social interactions, and I was rather obsessed with certain subjects (marvel comics and Star Trek were mine), but I don’t fit the other symptoms. If one has a tendency to fixate on a subject, religion certainly is one that lends itself to such things and it rewards being obsessive about it.

        It’s been my experience that a lot of folks claim to have Asperger’s who want to excuse their social ineptness and obsessions when they don’t have the syndrome at all. If you can blame a “syndrome” then it’s easy to feel you don’t have to just learn to deal with humans and get your head out of your selected hole.

      • Nick claims he and his wife have it. As an outsider looking in i think American doctors are a little too loose with their diagnosis of things, and American patients are a little too quick at accepting them.

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