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Peerie Maa
04-23-2009, 02:17 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nanoose http://www.woodenboat.com/forum/images/buttons/viewpost.gif (http://www.woodenboat.com/forum/showthread.php?p=2174448#post2174448)
Back a few pages I mentioned the resurrection, to which a few i.e. Norman, Creeky, PeerieM, TomM, replied along the lines of: "no objective proof is available; based purely on non-contemporary accounts written several decades at least after the fact; impossible to confirm; and, historicity is questionable."

Of similar vein was, shockingly to me, Norman's belief that "time degrades history" and therefore, the founding of the Mormon church is "vastly more reliable", presumable merely because it is a more recent event.

I think there are a few things to consider together, and I would be interested in examining, but not if I'm the only one so interested.

The comments noted above reveal a lack of basic information, misunderstandings easily examined. Based on your comments above, I think it would be good to look at a few things...and where ever these may lead us! ;)...
1. historical work itself - how is it done; how do we determine reliability; does "time degrade history"?
2. resurrection of Christ - what sources of info do we have? what do they tell us? reliability of sources? what are all possible explanations?
3. other reported resurrections - Brother Julius (Schacknow) was mentioned
4. Mormonism's founding is "vastly more reliable" than Christ's resurrection

Is there any interest?

Ok Deb, a starter for ten.


History itself. The scholar needs to understand the context in which the work is written, as well as the "world view" of the author. For example I believe that we are much more academically rigorous than "pre-Enlightenment" scholars. The record of the resurrection was transcribed from an oral tradition some time after the events, in a climate where many people believed in resurrection, hence the number of embalmed internments through out the roman Empire.
Possible explanations. The empty tomb is easy, no supernatural happening is required if we consider that Jesus' large family could easily have recovered his body for burial in the family tomb. The sightings? Mass hysteria; cupidity by the authors who knew the value of miracles? Any one?
I'll leave him to someone who has heard of him.
Latter Day Saints. I did not say that their story was more reliable, I personally think that the whole thing is cowchips. I was having a wee dig at older established chritian churches though. You know the ones, those that say LDS is rubbish, but do believe their equally incredible miracles.

Captain Blight
04-23-2009, 02:24 PM
Furthermore, there is a fairly large and credible body of scholars who believe that the story of the resurrection was added sometime around the time of the Council of Nicea. There is certainly, to my eye, something awfully National Enquirer about it.

James McMullen
04-23-2009, 02:39 PM
The accounts of the resurrection in the Bible itself don't even agree with each other:


1. Was there a guard at the tomb?
a. Yes.
MT 27:62-66
b. Apparently not.
MK 15:42-16:8, LK 23:50-56, JN 19:38-42
c. No guard--the women were planning to anoint the body with spices.
MK 16:1-3, LK 24:12. Why did the woman/women come to the tomb?
a. To anoint the body with spices.
MK 16:1-2; LK 24:1
b. Just to look.
MT 28:1; JN 20:13. When did the woman/women obtain the spices?
a. On Friday before sunset.
LK 23:54-56; 24:1
b. After sunset on Saturday.
MK 16:14. How many and who were the first visitor(s) to the tomb?
a. 2: Mary Magdalene & the other Mary.
MT 28:1
b. 3: Mary Magdalene, the other Mary, & Salome.
MK 16:1
c. 5 or more: Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and other women.
LK 23:55-24:1, 24:10
d. Only 1: Mary Magdalene.
JN 20:15. What time of day was it when the first visitor(s) arrived.
a. Toward dawn.
MT 28:1
b. After sunrise.
MK 16:2
c. Early dawn.
LK 24:1
d. Still dark.
JN 20:16. Was there a stone over the entrance to the tomb when the first visitor(s) arrived?
a. Yes. It was rolled away later.
MT 28:1-2
b. No. It had already been rolled or taken away.
MK 16:4, LK 24:2, JN 20:17. Was there an earthquake?
a. Yes.
MT 28:2
b. Apparently not.
MK 16:5, LK 24:2-4, JN 20:128. Who else was at the tomb?
a. 1 angel who rolled back the stone and then sat on it.
MT 28:2
b. 1 young man sitting inside the tomb.
MK 16:5
c. 2 or more men suddenly appear standing inside the tomb.
LK 24:2-4
d. 2 angels sitting inside the tomb.
JN 20:129. What did the visitor(s) do immediately thereafter?
a. Ran to tell the disciples.
MT 28:8
b. Said nothing to anyone.
MK 16:8
c. Told the eleven & all the rest.
LK 24:9
d. The disciples returned home, Mary remained outside weeping.
JN 20:10-1110. Where were the disciples to first see Jesus?
a. In Galilee.
MK 16:7; MT 28:7,10,16
b. In Jerusalem.
MK 16:14; LK 24:33, 36; JN 20:19; AC 1:411. By whom were the disciples told that they would meet the risen Jesus in Galilee?
a. By the women, who had been told by an angel of the Lord, then by Jesus himself after the Resurrection.
MT 28:7-10; MK 16:7
b. By Jesus himself, before the Crucifixion.
MK 26:3212. Where was Jesus' very first post-Resurrection appearance?
a. Fairly near the tomb.
MT 28:8-9
b. In the vicinity of Emmaus, seven miles from Jerusalem.
LK 24:13-15
c. Just outside the tomb.
JN 20:13-1413. To whom did the risen Jesus first appear?
a. Mary Magdalene alone.
JN 20:14; MK 16:9
b. Cleopas and another disciple.
LK 24:13, 15, 18
c. Mary Magdalene and the other Mary.
MT 28:1, 9
d. Cephas (Peter) alone.
1CO 15:4-5; LK 24:3414. What was the order of post-Resurrection appearances?
a. Mary Magdalene, the other Mary, the eleven.
MT 28:1-18
b. Mary Magdalene, two others, the eleven.
MK 16:9-14
c. Two, Simon (Peter?), the eleven.
LK 24:15-36
d. Mary Magdalene, the disciples without Thomas, the disciples with Thomas, then the eleven again.
JN 20:14-21:1
e. Cephas (Peter?), the twelve (?--one disciple was dead), 500+ brethren (120 in AC 1:15), James, all the Apostles, Paul.
1CO 15:5-815. Did the risen Jesus want to be touched?
a. No.
JN 20:17
b. Yes.
JN 20:27
c. Did not mind being touched.
MT 28:9-1016. Did those who first heard this story believe or disbelieve?
a. Some doubted, but most believed because they followed the revealed instructions.
MT 28:7-10, MT 28:16
b. The initial reaction was one of disbelief--all doubted.
MK 16:11, LK 24:1117. When did Jesus ascend to Heaven?
a. The day of the Resurrection.
MK 16:9, 19; LK 24:13, 28-36, 50-51
Note: the original Gospel of Mark ends at MK 16:8
b. Forty days after the Resurrection.
AC 1:3, 9
c. We are not told that he ascended to Heaven.
MT 28:10, 16-20; JN 21:25 18. When did the disciples receive the Holy Spirit?
a. 50 days after the Resurrection.
AC 1:3, 9
b. In the evening of the same day as the Resurrection.
JN 20:19-2219. Was the risen Jesus recognized by those who saw him?
a. Yes.
MT 28:9; MK 16:9-10
b. Not always.
MK 16:12; LK 24:15-16, 31, 36-37; JN 20:14-1520. Was the risen Jesus physical?
a. Yes.
MT 28:9; LK 24:41-43; JN 20:27
b. No.
MK 16:9, 12, 14; LK 24:15-16, 31, 36-37; JN 20:19, 26; 1CO 15:5-821. How many times was the risen Jesus seen by the disciples?
a. Presumably only once.
MT 28:16-17
b. Twice.
MK 16:12-14; LK 24:13-15, 33, 36-51
c. Three times.
JN 20:19, 26; 21:1, 14
d. Many times.
AC 1:322. How many disciples were present when Jesus appeared to them?
a. 11.
MT 28:16-17; LK 24:33, 36
b. 12.
1CO 15:5I think this must be somewhat troubling if you believe that the Bible is a trustworthy account of historical events--butI don't think that very many people who believe in the accuracy of the Bible have actually done much homework on this.

marshcat
04-23-2009, 02:51 PM
Can the 'peer reviewed' threshold for citations be used here? I would be interested in any scholarly journal articles that provide support for (or against - www.atheist.com (http://www.atheist.com) would also be out of bounds) the resurrection. Hopefully, the journals would be well known (International Journal of Middle East Studies (http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayJournal?jid=MES), for example). If there is a reason not to provide at least some citations from academic journals, I would like to hear it.

oznabrag
04-23-2009, 02:58 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nanoose http://www.woodenboat.com/forum/images/buttons/viewpost.gif (http://www.woodenboat.com/forum/showthread.php?p=2174448#post2174448)
Back a few pages I mentioned the resurrection, to which a few i.e. Norman, Creeky, PeerieM, TomM, replied along the lines of: "no objective proof is available; based purely on non-contemporary accounts written several decades at least after the fact; impossible to confirm; and, historicity is questionable."

Of similar vein was, shockingly to me, Norman's belief that "time degrades history" and therefore, the founding of the Mormon church is "vastly more reliable", presumable merely because it is a more recent event.

I think there are a few things to consider together, and I would be interested in examining, but not if I'm the only one so interested.

The comments noted above reveal a lack of basic information, misunderstandings easily examined. Based on your comments above, I think it would be good to look at a few things...and where ever these may lead us! ;)...
1. historical work itself - how is it done; how do we determine reliability; does "time degrade history"?
2. resurrection of Christ - what sources of info do we have? what do they tell us? reliability of sources? what are all possible explanations?
3. other reported resurrections - Brother Julius (Schacknow) was mentioned
4. Mormonism's founding is "vastly more reliable" than Christ's resurrection

Is there any interest?

Ok Deb, a starter for ten.


History itself. The scholar needs to understand the context in which the work is written, as well as the "world view" of the author. For example I believe that we are much more academically rigorous than "pre-Enlightenment" scholars. The record of the resurrection was transcribed from an oral tradition some time after the events, in a climate where many people believed in resurrection, hence the number of embalmed internments through out the roman Empire.
Possible explanations. The empty tomb is easy, no supernatural happening is required if we consider that Jesus' large family could easily have recovered his body for burial in the family tomb. The sightings? Mass hysteria; cupidity by the authors who knew the value of miracles? Any one?
I'll leave him to someone who has heard of him.
Latter Day Saints. I did not say that their story was more reliable, I personally think that the whole thing is cowchips. I was having a wee dig at older established chritian churches though. You know the ones, those that say LDS is rubbish, but do believe their equally incredible miracles.




I recall a little book that discusses topic #1 neatly: http://www.amazon.com/Jesus-Revolutionary-John-Dominic-Crossan/dp/0060616628/ref=pd_rhf_shvl_1

It is my understanding that 'Historical Proof' requires three independent, first-hand witnesses. Though I have a mild suspicion that Crossan is a Catholic Monk of some sort, one would have a very difficult time of proving it by the contents of this book. He applies the strictest rigor to his examination of the life of this man, and he manages to get the thing to about 150 pages of medium-sized paperback. It doesn't take long to read.

As to possible explanations (2 above), if there were, indeed, sightings, any number of them could have been sightings of imposters. They could also have been complete fabrications by people who had some contemporary motive. What better way to flee the country than by hiding in plain sight disguised as the freshly interred corpse of a person who lots of people had heard about, but comparatively few had met.

Just a few ideas there. I ain no skollah nernuthin.:D

John T

Peerie Maa
04-23-2009, 03:13 PM
I'm quite certain there will be an explanation for all this. Perhaps not one that will be seen as credible to the non-believers, but I think that ANY explanation will be treated as credible by the believers....

...it's in the nature of belief itself.

At the risk of thread drift, and as I was the one who cited the comparison between the book of Moroni and the resurrection story, I'll state that I have no agenda here. If Christians have belief, that's fine by me. I do however believe that what Jesus said is more important than the miracles.

GWB
04-23-2009, 03:20 PM
Did you come up with these yourself or did you Google them?

You realize of course that there are different acounts of the resurrection because more than one person recounted the event..

If every account was exactly the same I would be inclined to believe that the story was manufactured. ("Lets say this")


The accounts of the resurrection in the Bible itself don't even agree with each other:

I think this must be somewhat troubling if you believe that the Bible is a trustworthy account of historical events--butI don't think that very many people who believe in the accuracy of the Bible have actually done much homework on this.

pandelume
04-23-2009, 03:24 PM
Did you come up with these yourself or did you Google them?

You realise of course that there are diffrent acounts of the resurrection because more than one person recounted the event..

If every account was exactly the same I would be inclined to believe that the story was manufactured. ("Lets say this")Ok, but it's not really fair to try and have it both ways. Perhaps we should consider the bible, and the accounts therein, separate from any historically researched material. In other words, the bible in itself isn't historical evidence of the type we're looking for.

GWB
04-23-2009, 03:28 PM
Not true - I think most Christians get very tired of answering all the "prove to me" type questions and sometimes point to the message


1 Corinthians 15:12-19
12 But if it is preached that Christ has been raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13 If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. 14 And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. 15 More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead. But he did not raise him if in fact the dead are not raised. 16 For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. 17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. 18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost

We both know at least one Christian here who doesn't seem to believe that. I always thought that the message was really the only important part of Christianity.

GWB
04-23-2009, 03:32 PM
Maybe so


Ok, but it's not really fair to try and have it both ways. Perhaps we should consider the bible, and the accounts therein, separate from any historically researched material. In other words, the bible in itself isn't historical evidence of the type we're looking for.

GWB
04-23-2009, 03:33 PM
But we don't have 20....if we did I think there would be differences in all 20 but the central part of the story would be the same


It certainly makes the gospels look a lot more like "Rashomon" than evidence: every account true, but every account from a different perspective.

However, rather than validating things, it does tend to cast substantially more doubt. If there were 20 gospels rather than just four, would we have had 20 different accounts?

Peerie Maa
04-23-2009, 03:43 PM
Not true - I think most Christians get very tired of answering all the "prove to me" type questions and sometimes point to the message


1 Corinthians 15:12-19
12 But if it is preached that Christ has been raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13 If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. 14 And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. 15 More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead. But he did not raise him if in fact the dead are not raised. 16 For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. 17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. 18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost

As I replied to Deb, context context context. The population of the time believed in resurrection. It was not a new concept for them unique to their new religion. However we can question what Christ meant by "raise from the dead" in the context of their time. He talked of sitting at Gods right hand. So did he believe that we would be raised to walk on earth and that God would descend to earth, or was He speaking in allusion, that the spirit would be raised to heaven. In which case is the disappearance of the body irrelevant to the message?

GWB
04-23-2009, 03:46 PM
You don't seem to understand.....I don't take every word of the Bible literally....for instance I don't think Genesis is a true account of the formation of the world/universe as no-one was there to witness it. After all, the Bible was written by men




Very true, and on a number of points, they don't agree. Shall we pave over the discrepancies? (I'm guessing that the answer to this question must be 'yes', because doubt is outside the rules).

I also notice, by the way, that the accounts differ, depending on the specific 'edition' of the New Testament. On the site I'm looking at (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=John%2021%20;&version=16;), they list 20 different versions... and those are just the English versions.

The "chumash" normally available in every pew in every synagogue is an English and Hebrew copy of the Old Testament, and half of each page is devoted to footnotes, often explaining the difficulty with which one has to interpret the ancient language. In many cases, the scholars agree that the interpretation of the script is highly questionable, and no accurate translation can be counted upon. Now, I don't know if there's an equivalent (for the New Testament), although I suspect there is... and therfore, it would have to be equivalently ambiguous as to the interpretation of the language... so even the parts of the four gospels that correspond might be cast into doubt, as to their meaning. In any event the 'flavor' of the english translation (with the exception of some 'progressive' editions, reflects a 17th/18th century sensitivity towards English.... antique expressions being very prevalent. Were we to shed that stuff, the literal translation might be VERY different.

GWB
04-23-2009, 03:51 PM
Paul - who wrote the letter to the Corinthians quoted above seemed to think that Christ was raised from the dead physically.
Read the passage I quoted earlier


As I replied to Deb, context context context. The population of the time believed in resurrection. It was not a new concept for them unique to their new religion. However we can question what Christ meant by "raise from the dead" in the context of their time. He talked of sitting at Gods right hand. So did he believe that we would be raised to walk on earth and that God would descend to earth, or was He speaking in allusion, that the spirit would be raised to heaven. In which case is the disappearance of the body irrelevant to the message?

GWB
04-23-2009, 03:52 PM
Oh - sorry. Yes I do believe the Resurrection was literally true.


I never said you did.

However, the point of discussion here is the literal truth of the Resurrection story, so we're not talking about portions of the scriptures that people may consider to be allegorical, rather than literal. It is Deb's contention (and the contention of others who debate here) that the Resurrection was literally true. As has been made clear, not only by Scripture, but also by Deb and others, the Resurrection story MUST be literally true.

Peerie Maa
04-23-2009, 03:52 PM
You don't seem to understand.....I don't take every word of the Bible literally....for instance I don't think Genesis is a true account of the formation of the world/universe as no-one was there to witness it. After all, the Bible was written by men

GWB,
We may be at cross purposes. I should have removed your name from the Corinthians quote of yours. I am not arguing with you, but questioning what the text was intended to convey.

GWB
04-23-2009, 04:01 PM
I read the Bible and think about what each part of it is supposed to mean to ME. I don't rely on other peoples interpretation necessarily.



But not Genesis... do I have it right?

If so, how do you tell apart the portions of scripture that are allegorical from those that are literal?

GWB
04-23-2009, 04:06 PM
Ah... ok. My answer still stands as what I believe the passage means though. If Christ was not raised from the dead then my faith is bunk and I'm to be pitied...but some of you do anyway :D :D



GWB,
We may be at cross purposes. I should have removed your name from the Corinthians quote of yours. I am not arguing with you, but questioning what the text was intended to convey.

GWB
04-23-2009, 04:07 PM
Yes - I believe it is. Kickback from who?



So, it's a matter of personal judgment, then? I think you're going to get some kickback from a few folks....

What if some Christian decided that the Resurrection story was allegorical, and not literal? Are they still good Christians?

ron ll
04-23-2009, 04:07 PM
Hell. Elvis only died forty years ago and look how we've screwed up HIS memory. :D
Just think what we'll remember in 2000 years.


http://media.pegasusnews.com/img/events/2007/Elvis_t520.jpg

Peerie Maa
04-23-2009, 04:12 PM
GWB
Ignore me if this is impertinent, but what is the process that you understand by resurrection.
I put the question before, but not specifically to you.
However we can question what Christ meant by "raise from the dead" in the context of their time. He talked of sitting at Gods right hand. So did he believe that we would be raised to walk on earth and that God would descend to earth, or was He speaking in allusion, that the spirit would be raised to heaven.

GWB
04-23-2009, 04:16 PM
We should wait and see. I might be wrong.

You still haven't explained which portions of the Scriptures can be optionally interpreted as allegorical or metaphorical, and which portions may NOT, such as the Resurrection story.

I think I did above. The part I did not answer was this:



What if some Christian decided that the Resurrection story was allegorical, and not literal? Are they still good Christians?


There is someone in my Bible study group who does not believe the resurrection story was a literal event. He is 80 years old and was a pastor and a psychologist...... he and his wife make coffee for sunday service and faithfully serve the church. I believe he is a good Christian....and after all we are not called to judge. I leave that to unbelievers ;)

peb
04-23-2009, 04:19 PM
Furthermore, there is a fairly large and credible body of scholars who believe that the story of the resurrection was added sometime around the time of the Council of Nicea. There is certainly, to my eye, something awfully National Enquirer about it.

BS, name some of them. No one things the gospels were written as late of 325 AD and certainly not the letters of Paul. Every response by a christian is challenged around here, yet this is posted and ignored.

GWB
04-23-2009, 04:21 PM
Jesus was physically raised from the dead. Good enough?


GWB
Ignore me if this is impertinent, but what is the process that you understand by resurrection.
I put the question before, but not specifically to you.

ron ll
04-23-2009, 04:30 PM
"The night Elvis died, one of his fans came home to find that her Presley records had mysteriously melted. That same evening, a couple discovered that the Elvis statue in their den had inexplicably broken apart. Years later, a police officer tracked his missing son to Los Angeles through information supplied in a dream by Elvis. The singer's face suddenly materialized in the wood paneling of a woman's pantry door. His voice counseled an overweight woman to lay off junk food. The late star, a frequent hospital visitor, has offered words of comfort to a woman giving birth, to another in a near death experience, and to a young girl dying of complications from Down's syndrome, whose last words were "Here comes Elvis!" "

http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,968657,00.html

GWB
04-23-2009, 04:31 PM
Are you an Elvis fan Ron? :D


"The night Elvis died, one of his fans came home to find that her Presley records had mysteriously melted. That same evening, a couple discovered that the Elvis statue in their den had inexplicably broken apart. Years later, a police officer tracked his missing son to Los Angeles through information supplied in a dream by Elvis. The singer's face suddenly materialized in the wood paneling of a woman's pantry door. His voice counseled an overweight woman to lay off junk food. The late star, a frequent hospital visitor, has offered words of comfort to a woman giving birth, to another in a near death experience, and to a young girl dying of complications from Down's syndrome, whose last words were "Here comes Elvis!" "

http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,968657,00.html

Peerie Maa
04-23-2009, 04:32 PM
Jesus was physically raised from the dead. Good enough?

OK, you believe then that the dead will rise from the grave as Spencer depictedhttp://farm3.static.flickr.com/2375/2371112872_6c598661e1.jpgto walk for a period of time on the earth, followed by their ascent to heaven where Christ sits as a literal interpretation of the scripture.
That leads to curiosity as to why that literal process, rather than a more figurative understanding of the text.

ron ll
04-23-2009, 04:34 PM
Are you an Elvis fan Ron? :D

Not really, altho I did like his early music. Just trying to point out some silliness in a thread I have trouble taking very seriously. :)

Peerie Maa
04-23-2009, 04:36 PM
Not really, altho I did like his early music. Just trying to point out some silliness in a thread I have trouble taking very seriously. :)

Cheerio then:D
This is important to some folk in the debate.

GWB
04-23-2009, 04:41 PM
Why do you assume that I believe the dead will rise from the grave "as Spencer depicted"?


OK, you believe then that the dead will rise from the grave as Spencer depictedhttp://farm3.static.flickr.com/2375/2371112872_6c598661e1.jpgto walk for a period of time on the earth, followed by their ascent to heaven where Christ sits as a literal interpretation of the scripture.
That leads to curiosity as to why that literal process, rather than a more figurative understanding of the text.

ron ll
04-23-2009, 04:42 PM
"Cheerio then.
This is important to some folk in the debate."

Fair enough. As long as you don't intend to prove your points by flying a plane into a building. :D

GWB
04-23-2009, 04:44 PM
I have to pick up kids from school and work on a dog fence now.....I'll check in later

Peerie Maa
04-23-2009, 04:54 PM
I have to pick up kids from school and work on a dog fence now.....I'll check in later

I will have turned in by the time the fence is fixed, so catch you tomorrow. Mean while,
Why do you assume that I believe the dead will rise from the grave "as Spencer depicted"? because that is what I though you meant by
Jesus was physically raised from the dead.As I do not yet understand you, can you provide further clarification of "physically raised"?

Peerie Maa
04-23-2009, 04:58 PM
"Cheerio then.
This is important to some folk in the debate."

Fair enough. As long as you don't intend to prove your points by flying a plane into a building. :D

No worries, according to Nick Tin in the Pakistan thread, Christians don't do that.:p

Nanoose
04-23-2009, 05:54 PM
Gosh! I didn't even know I was dead!! :eek: ;)

Peerie Maa
04-23-2009, 06:13 PM
It's 00.10 over here. Have I waited up just for this?
Gosh! I didn't even know I was dead!! :eek: ;)
This thread was your idea, remember?:p

Glen Longino
04-23-2009, 10:52 PM
Bump!
I'll stay out of the conversation so Deb won't become incensed, but I would like to read some of the historical evidence, since I've not seen any so far, although I have looked for it.
Anybody?

Tom Galyen
04-23-2009, 11:53 PM
I have made comments on the 22 questions that James McMullen posted early in this thread. When completed it came to 10 type written pages and I have no idea how to post them on this thread on this forum. If some one can tell me or if they want give me your e-mail address and I send them to you so you can post them. Then all of you may pick them apart at your leisure.

Tom G. (Seaweed)

riptide
04-24-2009, 12:29 AM
Bump!
I'll stay out of the conversation so Deb won't become incensed, but I would like to read some of the historical evidence, since I've not seen any so far, although I have looked for it.
Anybody?

Now there's the rub. There is NO "evidence" for the resurrection that any serious, objective historian would consider to be worthy of any weight.

In the years after Jesus was crucified, there were numerous groups claiming to be his "followers," and many had wildly different and incompatible beliefs. Some believed that Jesus was not resurrected. Some believed that one could not follow Jesus without obeying the strict laws of orthodox Judaism.

There was a fierce power struggle for the control of Jesus' legacy. Pretty much all that remains in the way of "historical evidence" are accounts produced by and endorsed by the victors in that struggle (Paul and his followers), and they literally burned any conflicting accounts they could lay their hands on. (A few scattered fragments survived.)

For anyone who believes in the resurrection, it's ENTIRELY a matter of faith. There is nothing else.

Nanoose
04-24-2009, 01:54 AM
History is the study of unrepeatable events. Historians employ a number of principles in assessing the strength of a testimony including:
1. multiple, independent sources attesting to the event is a strong indication of historicity (in this case there are numerous biblical and non-biblical sources)

2. affirmation by a neutral or hostile source is considered stronger than affirmation by a friendly source

3. degree of authenticity and credibility is increased when the source(s) are 'self-incriminating' i.e. the report embarrasses his cause and weakens his position (people do not lie in order to hurt themselves)

4. eyewitness testimony is stronger than secondhand accounts

5. an early testimony from very close to the event is considered more reliable

Any historical evidence available is gathered and critically investigated; conclusions are peer reviewed to ascertain fit with the evidence. Should later data cast doubt on conclusions, they need to be reexamined in light of the new evidence. Primary and secondary sources, and archaeological information are considered. Documents are subjected to external criticism (both higher criticism, i.e. authenticity of the documents, and lower criticism, i.e. do we have the text as originally composed - issues related to manuscript evidence) and consideration is also given to internal factors i.e. competence/character of author and his/her ability to write historically.

At the end of the process, historians are reasonably certain concerning events and interestingly, there appears to be a surprising amount of consensus among historians on basic facts regarding the past.

Nanoose
04-24-2009, 01:58 AM
A 'minimal facts' approach considers only data so strongly attested historically that they are granted by nearly every scholar studying the subject, even the skeptical ones. Considering only those well evidenced and accepted by nearly every scholar, the 'minimal facts' will hopefully move the discussion along most productively.

The minimal facts:
1. Jesus died by crucifixion (attested by non-Christian sources)

2. people reported seeing him alive subsequent to his death by crucifixion and sincerely believed he rose from the dead

3. the tomb was empty (this does not meet the criteria of a minimal fact; approx. 75% of scholars accept this as historical fact)

4. sudden change of the persecutor Paul

5. conversion of the skeptic James, the brother of Jesus


The early belief held by virtually all the early Christians for whom we have evidence was that Jesus of Nazareth was bodily raised from the dead. We can hold 2 things as historically secure (and at this point, let's not go beyond them) - the emptiness of the tomb, and the meetings with the risen Jesus. The argument can be laid out in 7 steps:
1. second-Temple Judaism held to resurrection, but not until the end; this was totally beyond expectation or conception (they were shocked)

2. neither the empty tomb ITSELF nor the appearances THEMSELVES would have generated this early Christian belief. The empty tomb would have been a tragedy; the appearances visions or hallucinations

3. TOGETHER the empty tomb and appearances of a living Jesus would have given a powerful reason for the emergence of this belief

4. 'resurrection' to these people required a death and subsequently finding that same person thoroughly alive again (i.e. this was a thoroughly physical event)

5. other explanations offered to no possess the same explanatory power

6. it is therefore most probable that Jesus' tomb was found empty on the third day after his execution, and that his followers did encounter him truly alive

7. most importantly: what explanation can be given for these 2 phenomena? Is there a viable alternative to the explanation given by these early Christians?

Some of these 7 steps are necessary conditions for the conclusion to follow, and some are sufficient. Steps 2 and 3 must answer to what extent they are sufficient conditions for the rise of early Christian belief; steps 4 and 5 ask whether they should be seen an necessary conditions. My contention is that the combination of the empty tomb and the appearances yield a sufficient condition for the rise of early Christian belief (2 & 3) and also a necessary condition (4 & 5).

Andrew Craig-Bennett
04-24-2009, 03:49 AM
Oh, well. I've always found the account in John 20 quite convincing because of the odd irrelevant details - the way the cloths were rolled up, Mary "supposing him to be the gardener" ( I love that bit), etc.

One little bit of translation intrigues me.

Here is the KJV, John 20, 16 and 17:

Jesus saith unto her, Mary. She turned herself, and saith unto him, Rabboni; which is to say, Master.

Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.

and here is the ISV:

Jesus said to her, "Mary!" She turned around and said to him in Hebrew, "Rabbouni!" (which means "Teacher").

Jesus told her, "Don't hold on to me, because I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to my brothers and tell them, 'I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.'"

whilst here is the New American Standard:

Jesus said to her, "Mary!" She turned and said to Him in Hebrew, "Rabboni!" (which means, Teacher).

Jesus said to her, "Stop clinging to Me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to My brethren and say to them, 'I ascend to My Father and your Father, and My God and your God.'"

I think what happens here is that Jesus says her name, she recognises him and, very considerably shocked (who wouldn't be?) she just grabs him - which seems entirely what she would do. He then dis-entangles himself, saying "Don't hold on to me..."

Popeye
04-24-2009, 07:15 AM
good lord , we seem to have wiped our aristotle , columbus and nietzsche in one fell swoop

simply based on who they were and what they done

GWB
04-24-2009, 09:45 AM
If you are talking about Jesus being raised from the dead "as Spencer depicted" then yes.....


I will have turned in by the time the fence is fixed, so catch you tomorrow. Mean while, because that is what I though you meant by As I do not yet understand you, can you provide further clarification of "physically raised"?

Andrew Craig-Bennett
04-24-2009, 10:03 AM
Yes, I do think that Jesus was raised from the dead, and no, I don't find it surprising that there is no incontrovertible evidence of this event.

Let us try an alternative version, in which the evidence is incontrvertible:

Jesus is crucified, rises from the dead, nips round to see Pontius Pilate for breakfast...

"Hi, remember me? You executed me last Friday, but since I'm the son of the One God I've come back to life again. Just drop a line to the Senate and the Emperor and tell them to start doing what I say from now on..."

There are just a few problems, aren't there?

For one thing, History comes to a .

;)

Nanoose
04-24-2009, 10:07 AM
Early Christians clearly believed Jesus had been resurrected from the dead.
The issue is accounting for this belief.

History is largely the study of the unusual and unrepeatable. The goal is the best explanation, attained by examining all the possibilities, all the suggestions, and asking how well each explains the phenomena. Currently, first-century scholars affirm Jesus was here, was crucified and 75% affirm the empty tomb. No alternative theories have proven to have the explanatory power the resurrection has in accounting for this early Christian belief.

Keith Wilson
04-24-2009, 10:23 AM
The issue is accounting for this belief. This is not an issue at all. A list of all the extremely improbable, or even demonstrably false things people have believed over the centuries, and still believe today, would be very long indeed. This is just one more, for which there is no better evidence than any of the others. Belief is not evidence. People are very fallible, and are often mistaken or deceived.

GWB
04-24-2009, 10:28 AM
Enter Keith - the self proclaimed purveyor of reason :D



This is not an issue at all. A list of all the extremely improbable, or even demonstrably false things people have believed over the centuries, and still believe today, would be very long indeed. This is just one more, for which there is no better evidence than any of the others. Belief is not evidence. People are often mistaken of deceived.

Nanoose
04-24-2009, 10:29 AM
What alternative account explains the data?

Nanoose
04-24-2009, 10:30 AM
... Belief is not evidence. People are very fallible, and are often mistaken or deceived.

So how (in what way) were these early Christians mistaken or deceived?

marshcat
04-24-2009, 10:33 AM
Nanoose -

You said:


"Currently, first-century scholars affirm Jesus was here, was crucified..."
I am honestly interested in learning more about this - can you suggest a few papers or books written by the first century scholars? I can search on Amazon, but would like to narrow the field a bit. Also, some of the good stuff might not be on Amazon - I may need to get an inter-library loan from a WRLC (Washington Research Library Consortium) library, most of which are local to me.

Also, A few posts ago you said "75% affirm the resurrection", and in post #50 you said:


"the tomb was empty (this does not meet the criteria of a minimal fact; approx. 75% of scholars accept this as historical fact)"
Do you mean that accepting as historical fact that the tomb was empty is the same as affirming the resurrection?

Thanks.

Keith Wilson
04-24-2009, 10:41 AM
So how (in what way) were these early Christians mistaken or deceived? I don't have enough evidence to say in any detail. I think that they were mistaken in believing in Jesus's supposed resurrection.

GWB
04-24-2009, 10:43 AM
Do you think you could be fallible and.........wrong?


I don't have enough evidence to say in any detail. I think that they were mistaken in believing in Jesus's supposed resurrection.

Nanoose
04-24-2009, 10:46 AM
Also, A few posts ago you said "75% affirm the resurrection", and in post #50 you said:
"the tomb was empty (this does not meet the criteria of a minimal fact; approx. 75% of scholars accept this as historical fact)"
Do you mean that accepting as historical fact that the tomb was empty is the same as affirming the resurrection?

My bad. Thanks for catching that mc. Post #50 is correct, the one above is incorrect (now edited).

Let me do some digging for you re your first question. Those I am reading are first-century historians and summarizing work done in the field. N.T.Wright's "The Resurrection of the Son of God" is the best I've read, all 700 plus pages of it (Wright is nothing if not thorough, considering all work done in the field and views of scholars holding to a full spectrum of conclusions). Gary Habermas has also spent a lot of time examining this issue, and his books are definitely faster/easier to digest and still executed with solid scholarship - I'd suggest his "The Historical Jesus" especially for his section on the ancient non-Christian sources of information for Christ.

Kaa
04-24-2009, 10:49 AM
So, Deb, would you say that it's precisely because the historical evidence for the resurrection of Christ is stronger than the historical evidence for Gautama Buddha achieving enlightenment -- because of that you pray in a church instead of sitting in a lotus position meditating..?

Kaa

Keith Wilson
04-24-2009, 10:50 AM
Do you think you could be fallible and.........wrong?
Sure I could.

Evidence - billions of people are alive on earth. Every one of them eventually dies, and none of them come back to life; not as far as we can tell, anyway. OTOH we have some 2000-year old stories about a fellow who supposedly was resurrected.


I could be wrong, but I know which way I'll bet.

GWB
04-24-2009, 10:50 AM
Absolutely.....how about you?


I'm pretty sure that Keith believes he is fallable, and possibly wrong.

How about you?

GWB
04-24-2009, 10:55 AM
OTOH billions of people smoke cigarettes.....they couldnt possibly be wrong could they? :D


Sure I could.

Evidence - billions of people are alive on earth. Every one of them eventually dies, and none of them come back to life; not as far as we can tell, anyway. OTOH we have some 2000-year old stories about a fellow who supposedly was resurrected.


I could be wrong, but I know which way I'll bet.

Nanoose
04-24-2009, 10:56 AM
Evidence - billions of people are alive on earth. Every one of them eventually dies. and none of them are resurrected. OTOH we have some 2000-year old stories about a fellow who supposedly was resurrected.

Exactly, and 2000 years ago, these people also knew dead people stay dead. So that becomes the question: why on earth did they say this.

Kaa
04-24-2009, 10:57 AM
OTOH billions of people smoke cigarettes.....they couldnt possibly be wrong could they? :D

That's not a question of right or wrong -- that's a question of values and trade-offs.

Kaa

Kaa
04-24-2009, 10:58 AM
Exactly, and 2000 years ago, these people also knew dead people stay dead. So that becomes the question: why on earth did they say this.

Made for quite a successful religion, didn't it? :D

But, of course, you know that resurrection myths existed long before Christianity.

Kaa

pandelume
04-24-2009, 10:59 AM
I'm not sure I follow the rationale in this:


The early belief held by virtually all the early Christians for whom we have evidence was that Jesus of Nazareth was bodily raised from the dead. We can hold 2 things as historically secure (and at this point, let's not go beyond them) - the emptiness of the tomb, and the meetings with the risen Jesus. The argument can be laid out in 7 steps:
1. second-Temple Judaism held to resurrection, but not until the end; this was totally beyond expectation or conception (they were shocked)

2. neither the empty tomb ITSELF nor the appearances THEMSELVES would have generated this early Christian belief. The empty tomb would have been a tragedy; the appearances visions or hallucinations

3. TOGETHER the empty tomb and appearances of a living Jesus would have given a powerful reason for the emergence of this belief

4. 'resurrection' to these people required a death and subsequently finding that same person thoroughly alive again (i.e. this was a thoroughly physical event)

5. other explanations offered to no possess the same explanatory power

6. it is therefore most probable that Jesus' tomb was found empty on the third day after his execution, and that his followers did encounter him truly alive

7. most importantly: what explanation can be given for these 2 phenomena? Is there a viable alternative to the explanation given by these early Christians?

Some of these 7 steps are necessary conditions for the conclusion to follow, and some are sufficient. Steps 2 and 3 must answer to what extent they are sufficient conditions for the rise of early Christian belief; steps 4 and 5 ask whether they should be seen an necessary conditions. My contention is that the combination of the empty tomb and the appearances yield a sufficient condition for the rise of early Christian belief (2 & 3) and also a necessary condition (4 & 5).For starters, what exactly are we talking about here? This might serve as an explanation of why the early followers of Jesus believed that he rose from the dead, but I don't see their belief as confirmation of the fact of the resurrection.

Additionally, how much non-biblical corroboration is there for either the empty tomb or the bodily appearance of a risen Jesus?

GWB
04-24-2009, 11:00 AM
You know what I mean


That's not a question of right or wrong -- that's a question of values and trade-offs.

Kaa

Keith Wilson
04-24-2009, 11:00 AM
. . . why on earth did they say this?You can ask the same question about every other improbable story people have claimed to be true over the centuries, whether as part of a religion or not. Why is this one any different?

Again, belief is not evidence.

Tom Montgomery
04-24-2009, 11:01 AM
First century historians? Do you mean historians who have studied the 1st century? Or are there ancient historians of whom I am unaware?

Kaa
04-24-2009, 11:01 AM
You know what I mean

I think you're confusing an objective fact and a value judgement.

Kaa

GWB
04-24-2009, 11:09 AM
It was OTOH...... as I recall. Do you understand what I was inferring? Billions could be wrong or one could be right


I think you're confusing an objective fact and a value judgement.

Kaa

Kaa
04-24-2009, 11:12 AM
It was OTOH...... as I recall. Do you understand what I was inferring? Billions could be wrong or one could be right

I still don't understand your point. Of course the popularity of an idea is not a guarantee of its truth -- that's obvious. But what Keith was talking about was not beliefs -- he was talking about the fact that no dead people come back from the dead. That's a piece of evidence, not a belief of billions.

Kaa

GWB
04-24-2009, 11:16 AM
Apparently someone did - Jesus. We are still talking about it 2000 years later.


I still don't understand your point. Of course the popularity of an idea is not a guarantee of its truth -- that's obvious. But what Keith was talking about was not beliefs -- he was talking about the fact that no dead people come back from the dead. That's a piece of evidence, not a belief of billions.

Kaa

TomF
04-24-2009, 11:18 AM
Reports of Deb's death have been greatly exaggerated.

Kaa
04-24-2009, 11:25 AM
Apparently someone did - Jesus. We are still talking about it 2000 years later.

Not exactly. There are stories of beings (usually gods) coming back from the dead. Lots and lots of them.

One particular story turned out to be very popular in Europe :-)

Kaa

Peerie Maa
04-24-2009, 11:26 AM
In stead of what will probably become a futile argument about belief on the one hand and scepticism on the other about one (the only one) example of resurrection, why not consider why it was thought at the time that Jesus came back from the dead.

I dimly recall from decades ago, listening to a TV debate on whether He actually died, whether the unusual method of crucifixion (His feet were supported, rather than hanging free) and the shorter than usual time on the cross (taken down before the Sabbath, rather than left for days) might have allowed Him to survive.
Can the sceptics come up with any other plausible explanation for His appearance after He was entombed.
As I posted right at the start of this thread, He lived at a time when several religious sects believed in some form of resurrection and afterlife, so the mindset to accept the story was not unusual.

GWB
04-24-2009, 11:33 AM
You do get the point though don't you?


Not exactly. There are stories of beings (usually gods) coming back from the dead. Lots and lots of them.

One particular story turned out to be very popular in Europe :-)

Kaa

Kaa
04-24-2009, 11:46 AM
You do get the point though don't you?

Um... no :-) But maybe I'm just slow today -- could you be quite explicit about the point you're making?

Kaa

GWB
04-24-2009, 11:50 AM
Sure.... do you believe there is a chance of something happening one in a billion times?


Um... no :-) But maybe I'm just slow today -- could you be quite explicit about the point you're making?

Kaa

Kaa
04-24-2009, 11:54 AM
Sure.... do you believe there is a chance of something happening one in a billion times?

Err.. do you mean, can some event with a probability of one in a billion actually happen?

Sure can. So?

Kaa

GWB
04-24-2009, 11:55 AM
Thank you ;)


Err.. do you mean, can some event with a probability of one in a billion actually happen?

Sure can. So?

Kaa

Tom Montgomery
04-24-2009, 11:57 AM
Does this mean a pig could fly?

Kaa
04-24-2009, 11:58 AM
Does this mean a pig could fly?

If you apply sufficient thrust, no problems at all :D

Kaa

Kaa
04-24-2009, 11:59 AM
Thank you ;)

You're quite welcome, though I'm still unsure of what your point is.

You're not trying to say that Jesus' resurrection was some sort of a freak accident, are you? :D

Kaa

TomF
04-24-2009, 12:02 PM
If you think for a little, it's almost comical.

I think evolutionary theory is desperately useful, describing how very primitive life likely evolved from algae slime on up to the very folks sitting on the other side of the pixel screen. My rational friends agree with me - the odds of it occuring in the way it did are so ponderously improbable ... yet its well within our worldview to imagine.

But a God? A Resurrection? pfffft. What are the odds on that?

Gonzalo
04-24-2009, 12:04 PM
The faith of more than one biblical literalist has crashed and burned over trying to reconcile the biblical accounts of the resurrection in the Gospels. As James McMullen pointed out, the irreconcilable details abound. I am not claiming that therefore it didn't happen but it does speak to the unreliability of the eyewitness accounts.

It is well know that eyewitness accounts are often unreliable and often mistaken, even when describing mundane events like car crashes, let along extraordinary events like the resurrection. The unreliability of eyewitness accounts doesn't prove that the events didn't happen, but it does make it hard to argue that the eyewitness accounts, recorded years if not decades later, are proof of much of anything barring external evidence, of which there is none for the resurrection.

Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence, precisely because people are inclined to believe all manner of extraordinary things, Joseph Smith's disappearing tablets are only one modern example.

Deb's points in post #50 demonstrate only that people believed that these extraordinary things happened, not at all that they actually did happen as described, or are explainable as explained. Which leaves us with the question of why we should believe these extraordinary claims when we doubt all others.

marshcat
04-24-2009, 12:05 PM
Nanoose -

Thanks for your reply. I think you are covering Habermas and Licona pretty well with your 5 criteria/5 minimal facts approach, so I will spend my time reading Wright instead. I would have preferred a historian that is not a bishop, but Wright's work will at least have citations to sources that I can read for myself. For balance, are there any non Christian historians that you suggest?

Thanks.

Kaa
04-24-2009, 12:06 PM
But a God? A Resurrection? pfffft. What are the odds on that?

There are no odds involved in that one :-) The two competing views are:

(1) That just didn't happen.

(2) That happened through an act of omnipotent and omniscient God.

In neither case there are any probabilities or odds.

Kaa

GWB
04-24-2009, 12:08 PM
Lets take it further. What are the odds on a universe appearing from....nothing?



If you think for a little, it's almost comical.

I think evolutionary theory is desperately useful, describing how very primitive life likely evolved from algae slime on up to the very folks sitting on the other side of the pixel screen. My rational friends agree with me - the odds of it occuring in the way it did are so ponderously improbable ... yet its well within our worldview to imagine.

But a God? A Resurrection? pfffft. What are the odds on that?

Kaa
04-24-2009, 12:10 PM
Lets take it further. What are the odds on a universe appearing from....nothing?

We don't know. There is no basis from which to estimate such odds.

Kaa

Keith Wilson
04-24-2009, 12:11 PM
My rational friends agree with me - the odds of it occurring in the way it did are so ponderously improbable The important words here are "in the way it did". The odds of it happening in some way are very good. An analogy - we program our random number generator to give us a 9-digit (base 10) number. The odds of any particular number coming up are very small. The odds of a number coming up are very high.

However, that's beside the point. One cannot rationally calculate the odds of something happening which violates a physical law (assuming we understand the physical law correctly) .


What are the odds on a universe appearing from....nothing? No human being knows enough to answer that question, or even to say anything coherent about how it might be answered. That fact tells us nothing except that there are things we don't know

Kaa
04-24-2009, 12:13 PM
One cannot rationally calculate the odds of something happening which violates a physical law (assuming we understand the physical law corretly) .

I don't know... zero is a perfectly good number :D

Kaa

TomF
04-24-2009, 12:13 PM
We don't know. There is no basis from which to estimate such odds.

KaaI'd be curious to know the odds on algae slime ---> cubicle dweller.

Perhaps a shorter hop for some than others?:D

Keith Wilson
04-24-2009, 12:17 PM
I'd be curious to know the odds on algae slime ---> cubicle dweller. Very small. However the odds on algae slime ---> something different - that approaches 100%

Tom Montgomery
04-24-2009, 12:20 PM
If you think for a little, it's almost comical.

I think evolutionary theory is desperately useful, describing how very primitive life likely evolved from algae slime on up to the very folks sitting on the other side of the pixel screen. My rational friends agree with me - the odds of it occuring in the way it did are so ponderously improbable ... yet its well within our worldview to imagine.

But a God? A Resurrection? pfffft. What are the odds on that?

I have absolutely no problem with ACB's position: he believes in the resurrection and is unperturbed by lack of incontrovertable evidence.

ron ll
04-24-2009, 12:24 PM
I have absolutely no problem with ACB's position: he believes in the resurrection and is unperturbed by lack of incontrovertable evidence.

And I get booted out of the conversation by bringing up the possible resurrection of Elvis? :D

Kaa
04-24-2009, 12:26 PM
I'd be curious to know the odds on algae slime ---> cubicle dweller.

Perhaps a shorter hop for some than others?:D

Consider a star. Over its lifetime of millions of years it emits an uncountable number of photons. What's the probability that certain specific photons will make their way over millions of light-years of space, avoiding interstellar dust, black holes, and dark matter, and will precisely hit a specific planet moving around a specific star? And not only that, but will manage to make it inside your eyeball and spend themselves in your retina? The probability is so infinitesimally small as to make the event essentially impossible.

And yet you walk outside at night, look up, and...

Kaa

TomF
04-24-2009, 12:27 PM
Very small. However the odds on algae slime ---> something different - that approaches 100%Agreed.

Remember the Bob Newhart sketch? "To be or not to be -- that is the gezorkenplatt." :D

Tom Montgomery
04-24-2009, 12:31 PM
GWB: Who says the universe appeared from nothing?

Gonzalo
04-24-2009, 12:36 PM
I have absolutely no problem with ACB's position: he believes in the resurrection and is unperturbed by incontrovertable evidence.Nor do I. Faith is faith. It is only when people argue that the historical account is much weightier than it appears that I take issue.

I don't buy it when the Mormons try to sell me on Joseph Smith's disappearing tablets, either. This is in spite of the eyewitness testimony, the privations the early LDS converts underwent for their beliefs, the fervency with which they held to them, and the admirable Mormons I know.

Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. If you believe in the resurrection as a matter of faith, well and good; I respect that, but do not agree. If there are historical accounts and/or archeological evidence that satisfactorily buttress your faith, even better; I'm interested to hear them; some might even be challenging, and I welcome those, too. But no evidence I've seen so far turns the resurrection into a reliable historical account.

GWB
04-24-2009, 12:39 PM
Can you tell me where the universe came from...... or how it came to be ?

GWB: Who says the universe appeared from nothing?

Peerie Maa
04-24-2009, 12:40 PM
I'd be curious to know the odds on algae slime ---> cubicle dweller.

Perhaps a shorter hop for some than others?:D

Sssh, he might hear you and then come and join in.:eek:

Keith Wilson
04-24-2009, 12:41 PM
Can you tell me where the universe came from?No, and neither can anyone else. Human beings are remarkably ignorant about how to create universes.

Tom Montgomery
04-24-2009, 12:42 PM
Can you tell me where the universe came from?

According to the theory of General Relativity, the universe emerged from a singularity. A singularity is a something, not a nothing.

Peerie Maa
04-24-2009, 12:45 PM
Consider a star. Over its lifetime of millions of years it emits an uncountable number of photons. What's the probability that certain specific photons will make their way over millions of light-years of space, avoiding interstellar dust, black holes, and dark matter, and will precisely hit a specific planet moving around a specific star? And not only that, but will manage to make it inside your eyeball and spend themselves in your retina? The probability is so infinitesimally small as to make the event essentially impossible.

And yet you walk outside at night, look up, and...

Kaa
Why are you bothered about a specific photon? As there were "unaccountable number" the probability is as high as you like that quite a few will arrive. I cannot follow the point that you are making.

Kaa
04-24-2009, 12:45 PM
According to the theory of General Relativity, the universe emerged from a singularity. A singularity is a something, not a nothing.

Huh? I don't believe the theory of General Relativity has anything to say about the origin of the universe.

The Big Bang theory uses General Relativity, of course, but that's quite a different thing.

Kaa

TomF
04-24-2009, 12:46 PM
According to the theory of General Relativity, the universe emerged from a singularity. A singularity is a something, not a nothing.Something inherently mysterious, without beginning, and almost certainly unknowable in any direct means. We just postulate that it must exist, or have existed.

Sounds like an incomplete description of God.

GWB
04-24-2009, 12:46 PM
According to the theory of General Relativity, the universe emerged from a singularity. A singularity is a something, not a nothing.

Great!

Kaa
04-24-2009, 12:46 PM
Why are you bothered about a specific photon? As there were "unaccountable number" the probability is as high as you like that quite a few will arrive. I cannot follow the point that you are making.

It's a counterpoint to the point that the chances of evolution producing a cubicle dweller from a single-celled algae are infinitesimally small.

Kaa

Kaa
04-24-2009, 12:48 PM
Something inherently mysterious, without beginning, and almost certainly unknowable in any direct means. We just postulate that it must exist, or have existed.

Sounds like an incomplete description of God.

Sounds like a gap in the knowledge of humans.

Of course, some people like to make gods out of gaps :D

Kaa

GWB
04-24-2009, 12:50 PM
See - I don't believe that we have to know everything now.
God will reveal all in due time :p


Something inherently mysterious, without beginning, and almost certainly unknowable in any direct means. We just postulate that it must exist, or have existed.

Sounds like an incomplete description of God.

TomF
04-24-2009, 12:50 PM
Of course, some people like to make gods out of gaps :D

Kaa...or gaps out of Gods.:D

TomF
04-24-2009, 12:52 PM
It's a counterpoint to the point that the chances of evolution producing a cubicle dweller from a single-celled algae are infinitesimally small.

KaaQuite lovely and poetic too, I thought.

Much moreso than my algae slime...

Peerie Maa
04-24-2009, 12:53 PM
Something inherently mysterious, without beginning, and almost certainly unknowable in any direct means. We just postulate that it must exist, or have existed.

Sounds like an incomplete description of God.

As science gradually fills in the gaps, the only role that may be left for a God is to shout Bang. And I would be happy for Her to fulfil that role whilst giving to those who may be predisposed to believe, a deity to have Faith in. Just as I admire Christ's teaching and think that the miracles distract us from them.

TomF
04-24-2009, 12:55 PM
I agree on the miracles bit.

Tom Montgomery
04-24-2009, 12:56 PM
Something inherently mysterious, without beginning, and almost certainly unknowable in any direct means. We just postulate that it must exist, or have existed.

Sounds like an incomplete description of God.

Well... They exist at the center of every black hole in the universe. Those singularities certainly had a beginning.

Peerie Maa
04-24-2009, 01:04 PM
It's a counterpoint to the point that the chances of evolution producing a cubicle dweller from a single-celled algae are infinitesimally small.

Kaa

That probability is grater than 1. It has happened.

Now why evolve a cubicle dweller is another debate entirely:D

TomF
04-24-2009, 01:08 PM
Well... They exist at the center of every black hole in the universe. Those singularities certainly had a beginning.We suppose and deduce that they do, and if so their existence implies a beginning ... We can calculate what we interpret as proof of their existence.

But really, for all that I also think they exist ... that's a whole lot of caveats, prevarication, and interpretation.

George Jung
04-24-2009, 01:08 PM
Very small. However the odds on algae slime ---> something different - that approaches 100%

Is this true?

Tom Montgomery
04-24-2009, 01:10 PM
Sometimes I imagine that the singularity within every black hole in the universe has the potential of becoming another Big Bang. It's as effective as counting sheep.

Peerie Maa
04-24-2009, 01:12 PM
Is this true?

Not really. Algal slime is a perfect organism fitted to exploit the niche ecology in which it resides. It may mutate and evolve into a different form of flora, but then again, it might not.

Now if we were to consider bacterial slime, who knows?

TomF
04-24-2009, 01:13 PM
Sometimes I imagine that the singularity within every black hole in the universe has the potential of becoming another Big Bang. It's as effective as counting sheep.Cataclysmically exploding sheep.

Leon m
04-24-2009, 01:16 PM
You all are going to be sorry when the great horned one returns. :D

Peerie Maa
04-24-2009, 01:22 PM
You all are going to be sorry when the great horned one returns. :D

Do you have to bring sex into everything?:eek::D

oznabrag
04-24-2009, 01:33 PM
Unquestionably.

Soooo....You could be wrong about that?:D

Sam F
04-24-2009, 01:47 PM
This is not an issue at all. A list of all the extremely improbable, or even demonstrably false things people have believed over the centuries, and still believe today, would be very long indeed. This is just one more, for which there is no better evidence than any of the others. Belief is not evidence. People are very fallible, and are often mistaken or deceived.

Keith's argument from improbability would gain enormous credibility if he actually believed it.

Tom Montgomery
04-24-2009, 01:55 PM
His first post is an accusation that another forumite is dishonest and/or hypocritical.

What a guy!

oznabrag
04-24-2009, 01:55 PM
Keith's argument from improbability would gain enormous credibility if he actually believed it.


Well, so much for this thread.

TomF
04-24-2009, 01:56 PM
Well, so much for this thread.Just think about exploding sheep.

Peerie Maa
04-24-2009, 01:57 PM
Well, so much for this thread.

Focus, stay focused.;)

Gonzalo
04-24-2009, 01:58 PM
Just think about exploding sheep.Not now. I've just finished lunch. Thinking about exploding sheep will make me lose it.

oznabrag
04-24-2009, 02:01 PM
Thanks, fellas. I will endeavor to persevere.:D

ron ll
04-24-2009, 02:04 PM
Not now. I've just finished lunch. Thinking about exploding sheep will make me lose it.

You think exploding sheep will make you lose it, check out Fred's contribution in the "WBF - Amazing community" thread. I'm still laughing out loud and I'm by myself. :D

James McMullen
04-24-2009, 02:09 PM
Getting back to a first century witnessed "resurrection", does anybody else find it plausible that a culture whose medical knowledge did not include the germ theory, cellular biology, neuroscience, genetics or even basic structural anatomy might not be particularly adept at diagnosing a coma, either?

I'm just sayin'. . . .

marshcat
04-24-2009, 02:13 PM
SamF -

Given the subject of this thread is the resurrection, I asked Nanoose the following, when she mentioned "...first-century scholars affirm Jesus was here, was crucified...":

"I am honestly interested in learning more about this - can you suggest a few papers or books written by the first century scholars? I can search on Amazon, but would like to narrow the field a bit. Also, some of the good stuff might not be on Amazon - I may need to get an inter-library loan from a WRLC (Washington Research Library Consortium) library, most of which are local to me."

I would be interested in your suggestions as well. Nanoose helpfully suggested N.T. Wright and Gary Habermas. I am going to take a look at Wright, but skip Habermas for now. Do you have any other suggestions for researching the historical authenticity of Jesus? As I noted in post #94, I prefer some non-Christian sources in addition to Wright.

Thanks.

oznabrag
04-24-2009, 02:38 PM
SamF -

Given the subject of this thread is the resurrection, I asked Nanoose the following, when she mentioned "...first-century scholars affirm Jesus was here, was crucified...":

"I am honestly interested in learning more about this - can you suggest a few papers or books written by the first century scholars? I can search on Amazon, but would like to narrow the field a bit. Also, some of the good stuff might not be on Amazon - I may need to get an inter-library loan from a WRLC (Washington Research Library Consortium) library, most of which are local to me."

I would be interested in your suggestions as well. Nanoose helpfully suggested N.T. Wright and Gary Habermas. I am going to take a look at Wright, but skip Habermas for now. Do you have any other suggestions for researching the historical authenticity of Jesus? As I noted in post #94, I prefer some non-Christian sources in addition to Wright.

Thanks.

I'm not SamF (there must be a God!), but I still recommend 'Jesus: A Revolutionary Biography' as noted in post #6 of this thread.

Sam F
04-24-2009, 03:06 PM
SamF -

Given the subject of this thread is the resurrection, I asked Nanoose the following, when she mentioned "...first-century scholars affirm Jesus was here, was crucified...":

Actually the eyewitnesses were generally lesser lights that "scholars". They were simple folk for the most part; fishermen and other "low-class" people as the account in Acts makes clear.
Saint Paul is the exception being a genuine intellectual - fluent in the concepts of philosophy and several languages.


"I am honestly interested in learning more about this - can you suggest a few papers or books written by the first century scholars?

I don't really know what Deb had in mind, but the relevant documents are from the Church Fathers.
You can view them here:
http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/
Their dates range from the 1st Century to the 400's
For instance, Ignatius of Antioch was born in Syria, around the year 50; died at Rome between 98 and 117 and...
Pope St Clement (CLEMENS ROMANUS) was ordained by St. Peter...
and St. Polycarp (AD 69 - 155)
These guys all overlap at least some of the apostles lives (John the Evangelist who died around AD 100) so they all had access to eyewitness accounts of Jesus resurrected.
(Of course, all these fellows were Catholic which might pose a stumbling block to some Protestants. I don't see why but that's the way it is for some...)
Thus, it's evident that there is thus a continuous historical record from Jesus' time to the present. Some of course prefer to ignore this fact, but the events of early Christianity are, by ancient history standards extremely well documented - far better than any other contemporary events.


I can search on Amazon, but would like to narrow the field a bit. Also, some of the good stuff might not be on Amazon - I may need to get an inter-library loan from a WRLC (Washington Research Library Consortium) library, most of which are local to me."

You'll find lots of secondary and tertiary sources among modern books and some of them may be helpful, but as the copyrights long ago expired on the Church Father's works (;)) you'll find most of what you want on line.


I would be interested in your suggestions as well. Nanoose helpfully suggested N.T. Wright and Gary Habermas. I am going to take a look at Wright, but skip Habermas for now.

I strongly recommend Wright's essay in Appendix B at the end of There is a God by Anthony Flew (the whole book is worth reading as well).
Your local library is sure to have a copy. Even our out-in-the-sticks library has one - but I had a hand in that. ;)

Habermas I'm less familiar with, but his website has lots of info on it:

http://www.garyhabermas.com/


Do you have any other suggestions for researching the historical authenticity of Jesus? As I noted in post #94, I prefer some non-Christian sources in addition to Wright.

Thanks.

My daughters know way more on this subject than I do. One's in Ireland at the moment and I'll ask her when she returns next week. The other I'll ask tonight if I can manage to remember...
But as a basic primer on many related issues I'd suggest The Handbook of Christian Apologetics by Peter Kreeft & Ronald Tacelli. With that being read you'll know that any objection that Christianity is unreasonable or just based on faith with out evidence is entirely false and without foundation.

Sam F
04-24-2009, 03:10 PM
Getting back to a first century witnessed "resurrection", does anybody else find it plausible that a culture whose medical knowledge did not include the germ theory, cellular biology, neuroscience, genetics or even basic structural anatomy might not be particularly adept at diagnosing a coma, either?

I'm just sayin'. . . .

Does anybody else find it plausible that Roman soldiers (who did executions on a regular basis) didn't know their business and would not be particularly adept at diagnosing death?
Why for instance the final spear thrust into Jesus' chest? That wasn't just for giggles, you know
Even setting that aside, if what happened to Jesus happened to you, do you seriously think you'd survive?
Anybody volunteer for an empirical evaluation of that hypothesis?

Kaa
04-24-2009, 03:16 PM
Just think about exploding sheep.

Exploding sheep feature in a number of computer games. Worms and World of Warcraft come to mind :D

Kaa

marshcat
04-24-2009, 03:22 PM
Thanks SamF and Oznabrag for your suggestions. On Fridays I treat myself to a run by one of the local bookstores, so I will start there, and hit a library in the morning. On my list are Wright, Crossan, and Flew. Still a bit heavy on the theist/Christian side, but I am starting to think there won't be any 700 page tomes, about this subject, written by a non-Christian. I was also hoping for at least some kind of refereed journal article.

oznabrag
04-24-2009, 03:44 PM
Does anybody else find it plausible that Roman soldiers (who did executions on a regular basis) didn't know their business and would not be particularly adept at diagnosing death?
Why for instance the final spear thrust into Jesus' chest? That wasn't just for giggles, you know
Even setting that aside, if what happened to Jesus happened to you, do you seriously think you'd survive?
Anybody volunteer for an empirical evaluation of that hypothesis?

Maybe Sean Hannity will step up for this one.

oznabrag
04-24-2009, 03:49 PM
Thanks SamF and Oznabrag for your suggestions. On Fridays I treat myself to a run by one of the local bookstores, so I will start there, and hit a library in the morning. On my list are Wright, Crossan, and Flew. Still a bit heavy on the theist/Christian side, but I am starting to think there won't be any 700 page tomes, about this subject, written by a non-Christian. I was also hoping for at least some kind of refereed journal article.

As I say, I am not certain that Crossan is a monk. It is just a mild suspicion on my part, and I think this speaks well of his scholastic rigor. That book is only about 150 pages, as I recall, because it only deals with the life of Jesus as is represented by historical fact.

Good luck Marshcat! Be sure to let us know what you've learned!

John T

PatCox
04-24-2009, 03:57 PM
The nativity narratives and the resurrection narratives are viewed by most scholars as later editions to the core of the gospels, the stories of his ministry, the Q narrative.

Read closely the resurrection narratives. They are worded very strangely, almost as if by someone seeking plausible deniability. Jesus is not seen as an ordinary human in many descriptions, he glows and seems to materialize and dematerialize. But then the very clumsy and obvious doubting thomas story contradicts those statements.

Whats most likely? The bodies of crucified criminals were not returned to their families, they were left out to be destroyed by scavengers. If someone was a cult figure, they may even have been hidden or destroyed. Its hard to believe that the authorities would return the body to the early christians precisely because they might try to claim a resurrection. One of the gospels mentions that the authorities feared that the disciples would steal his body and then claim he was resurrected, which prompted them to post a guard at the tomb.

The followers would not have buried jesus. They never saw him again.

Did they have visions of "apppearances" of jesus after he left them?

Maybe.

Sam F
04-24-2009, 04:09 PM
Thanks SamF and Oznabrag for your suggestions. On Fridays I treat myself to a run by one of the local bookstores, so I will start there, and hit a library in the morning. On my list are Wright, Crossan, and Flew. Still a bit heavy on the theist/Christian side, but I am starting to think there won't be any 700 page tomes, about this subject, written by a non-Christian. I was also hoping for at least some kind of refereed journal article.

You won't find many non-Christian 1st Century sources. For the most part nobody cared. Christians were too insignificant to bother with.
You get a bit of early stuff from Tacitus. A bit from Pliny the Younger. A mention from Lucian of Samosata. Joesephus of course. Some from the Babylonia Talmud (but surely that religious source doesn't count?)
From Roman sources you can glean some useful information:
Jesus existed. He was revered. People died for their faith in Him. He was crucified. Christians worshiped Him as God. Even these hostile sources pretty much confirm the standard Christian account even while holding the faith in contempt.
Historically speaking it's a slam dunk - Jesus existed. He was crucified. His followers believed He was God.



In comparison, consider the case of Ol' Mohammad who spent years in caravan piracy on the edges of the Byzantine Empire. Mohammad seems to have been proud of his piracy, but nobody else bothered to record any of it. They sure noticed later! But for Mohammad's early days, you must depend on early Islamic sources.

Glen Longino
04-24-2009, 04:13 PM
Thanks SamF and Oznabrag for your suggestions. On Fridays I treat myself to a run by one of the local bookstores, so I will start there, and hit a library in the morning. On my list are Wright, Crossan, and Flew. Still a bit heavy on the theist/Christian side, but I am starting to think there won't be any 700 page tomes, about this subject, written by a non-Christian. I was also hoping for at least some kind of refereed journal article.

marshcat, if you show up here Monday morning a stark raving Orthodox Catholic, we won't be surprised!:eek::D:D

marshcat
04-24-2009, 04:21 PM
We'll see. If the Jesuits couldn't keep me Catholic and theist, I'm not sure any individual or group of people on an internet forum could. One thing the Jesuits did give me was a desire to understand all sides of an argument, even if I had already formed a gut level opinion.

Sam F
04-24-2009, 05:21 PM
We'll see. If the Jesuits couldn't keep me Catholic and theist, ...
I rather doubt that today's Jesuits could keep the Pope Catholic. :D

Glen Longino
04-24-2009, 05:28 PM
I rather doubt that today's Jesuits could keep the Pope Catholic. :D

They can't be all bad then!;)
Tell us more...have they gone soft on sin or something?:eek::)

oznabrag
04-24-2009, 05:33 PM
marshcat, if you show up here Monday morning a stark raving Orthodox Catholic, we won't be surprised!:eek::D:D

Poor, poor, stark, raving, Orthodox Catholic devils. It almost makes yer heart leap when the flames engulf their pitiful, mewling screams, but we are mercifully sending them to their god, and they say he'll know his own, so where's the harm?

Tom Montgomery
04-24-2009, 05:45 PM
Read all of I Corinthians 15: pay close attention to Paul's explanation of the nature of resurrection.
"Tell me, if Christ is preached as raised from the dead, how is it that some of you say there is no resurrection of the dead? If there is no resurrection of the dead, Christ himself has not been raised."

"Perhaps someone will say 'How are the dead to be raised up? What kind of body will they have? A nonsensical question!'"

"What is sown in the earth is subject to decay, what rises is incorruptible."

"A natural body is put down and a spiritual body comes up."

"If there is a natural body, be sure there is also a spiritual body."

"This is what I mean, brothers: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God"


Also note that he [Paul] makes no distinction between his own experience of the resurrected Jesus and that of others.
"I handed on to you first of all what I myself received, that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures; that he was buried and, in accordance with the Scriptures, rose on the third day; that he was seen by Cephas, then by the Twelve. After that he was seen by five hundred brothers at once, most of whom are still alive, although some have fallen asleep. Next he was seen by James; then by all the apostles. Last of all he was seen by me, as one born out of normal course."


There is no evidence that Paul regarded Jesus' resurrection as anything other than a spiritual, rather than a physical, event.

Paul also evidently rejected the idea that Jesus was born of a virgin.
"when the designated time had come, God sent forth his Son born of a woman, born under the law"

"the gospel concerning his Son, who was descended from David according to the flesh but was made Son of God in power according to the spirit of holiness, by his resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord"


I just think Paul means what he says.

Tom Galyen
04-24-2009, 06:36 PM
Marshcat,

A book I can recommend is "The Case For Christ" by Lee Strobel. He is a retired court journalist for the Chicago Tribune. After he retired he decided to prove the story of Christ is fiction because he was an atheist. He used his training as an investigative reporter, and a good one, to get his facts. He was trained and for a brief time practiced as a trial lawyer and this made his Tribune reporting very accurate. The book even has footnotes and a bibliography so you can trace down his sources as well.

Almost all the arguments that have appeared in this thread are covered and discussed in the book.

The introduction alone is worth the price of the book.

Tom G. (Seaweed)

Tom Montgomery
04-24-2009, 07:25 PM
Historically speaking it's a slam dunk - Jesus existed. He was crucified. His followers believed He was God.
I agree. I have no doubt that Jesus existed, that he was crucified, and that his followers believed he was God (or the Messiah, or the Son of Man, or the Son of God).

marshcat
04-24-2009, 07:32 PM
Thanks Tom G., I will check that out too. The bookstore had the Flew book recommended by SamF and the Crossan book recommended by Oznabrag, but not the 800 page Wright book (darn). The two I picked up look like pretty easy reads. The Wright book will have to wait a bit.

Tom Montgomery
04-24-2009, 07:55 PM
Norman: Paul is a real embarrassment to orthodox Christianity. Christians, for the most part, concentrate on the gospel narratives and pay little attention to what Paul, writing decades earlier and who knew the family, had to say about Jesus. They tend to aproach his letters in drips and dribbles.

Part of the problem is that one must read between the lines with Paul: he was not writing narrative but theology. A close reading shows Paul clearly believed that 1) Jesus was a human being conceived and born in the normal way; that 2) Jesus' resurrection was a spiritual/cosmic, not physical, event; and 3) Jesus was elevated by God, through a spiritual/cosmic resurrection, to the status of Christ and Son of God, due to his extraordinary holiness while alive.

It is very difficult for Christians to put aside 1600 years of theology to read Paul objectively and take him on his own terms.

Nanoose
04-24-2009, 07:59 PM
I'm not sure I follow the rationale in this:

For starters, what exactly are we talking about here? This might serve as an explanation of why the early followers of Jesus believed that he rose from the dead, but I don't see their belief as confirmation of the fact of the resurrection.

Additionally, how much non-biblical corroboration is there for either the empty tomb or the bodily appearance of a risen Jesus?

Early Christians said Jesus was resurrected. The question is why on earth would they say that? where would they come up with that, if it wasn't simply so?

There is a solid body of ancient non-Biblical sources for Jesus, events mentioned in the N.T. and the early days of the church - both Roman and Jewish. It is interesting a few of them note the earthquake and darkness that fell when he was crucified.

Nanoose
04-24-2009, 08:01 PM
...no dead people come back from the dead. That's a piece of evidence, not a belief of billions.

Of course; but here's a group proclaiming exactly that. Why?

Nanoose
04-24-2009, 08:04 PM
I

...He lived at a time when several religious sects believed in some form of resurrection and afterlife, so the mindset to accept the story was not unusual.

But this kind of resurrection - bodily, and not at the "end of the age" - was not what they expected/believed. This was not a part of first-century, 2nd temple Judaistic thinking.

Nanoose
04-24-2009, 08:10 PM
Nanoose -

Thanks for your reply. I think you are covering Habermas and Licona pretty well with your 5 criteria/5 minimal facts approach, so I will spend my time reading Wright instead. I would have preferred a historian that is not a bishop, but Wright's work will at least have citations to sources that I can read for myself. For balance, are there any non Christian historians that you suggest?

Thanks.

Wright's treatment is very thorough, and he will put you on to others....he breaks his 40+ page bibliography down into primary - Jewish, Pagan, Early Christian - and secondary sources. I think it will help you find what you need. Let me know how you make out. I'd be up for discussing the book with someone.

Nanoose
04-24-2009, 08:13 PM
Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence


Evidence is evidence.
The question is whether it exists, whether it is solid - the questions the historians ask when researching past events.
If the evidence is shown to be reliable, other questions follow.

Nanoose
04-24-2009, 08:16 PM
I have absolutely no problem with ACB's position: he believes in the resurrection and is unperturbed by lack of incontrovertable evidence.

Incontrovertible exists for very, very few things....some maths, logic...so if that is going to be your standard, you'd best not get out of bed in the morning, Tom.

Tom Montgomery
04-24-2009, 08:19 PM
Didn't I say that I have no problem with Andrew Craig-Bennett's position? Unlike SammyF, I respect Faith.

Nanoose
04-24-2009, 08:21 PM
We suppose and deduce that they do, and if so their existence implies a beginning ... We can calculate what we interpret as proof of their existence.



Whatever comes to exist has a cause.
What was the cause?

Nanoose
04-24-2009, 08:26 PM
Getting back to a first century witnessed "resurrection", does anybody else find it plausible that a culture whose medical knowledge did not include the germ theory, cellular biology, neuroscience, genetics or even basic structural anatomy might not be particularly adept at diagnosing a coma, either?

I'm just sayin'. . . .

Coma....as in when people are still breathing?, as in not dead? that kind of coma?

Tom Montgomery
04-24-2009, 08:36 PM
Early Christians said Jesus was resurrected. The question is why on earth would they say that? where would they come up with that, if it wasn't simply so?

Again, reread I Corinthians 15. Paul clearly considered this to be a spiritual/cosmic, rather than a physical, resurrection. The gospel accounts claiming such things as a virgin birth and a bodily resurrection were written decades later.

Tom Montgomery
04-24-2009, 08:46 PM
As to why two of the gospel authors told a story of a virgin birth and three told of a bodily resurrection... you know my opinion regarding this. The four gospels were all written after the cataclysm of the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple in 70 AD. It was the equivalent of the nuclear destruction of all of the USA's major cities. The various surviving remnants of 2nd Temple Judaism were faced with the task of reinventing the Yahweh faith in the absence of a Temple. One of those remnants were the Ebionites (The Way?). Another were the largely gentile Pauline Christians. Another was early rabbinacal Judaism.

Pagan influences crept into gentile Pauline Christianity despite Paul's teaching. So we end up with belief in a virgin birth, a December 25th birthdate, a bodily resurrection, etc.

oznabrag
04-24-2009, 08:59 PM
While y'all hash this out, remember that there is no such thing as a Pagan, unless you're talking about a biker from Maryland.

On the other hand, there are pagans just about everywhere.

Have fun, kids.

Tom Montgomery
04-24-2009, 09:47 PM
The books of the Old Testament are organized in chronological order. The books of the New Testament are not. Am I the only one who finds this curious?

PatCox
04-24-2009, 09:49 PM
Its neecessary to understand that you cannot judge 1st century palestinian peasants and what they might consider reasonable evidence to believe that jesus was resurrected, and what you or I would consider reasonable evidence. They lived in a different world. They believed in curses and possessions and the daily intervention of God or the Gods in the events of their lives.

Their standard of evidence for the occurrence of something supernatural was way way lower than ours.

To put it simply, they made no distinction between the natural and supernatural, and its hard to understand the worldview of someone who doesn't make that distinction, because that distinction is deeply ingrained in us.

I do believe that there is sufficient historical evidence to believe it is a fact that Jesus lived. That he preached a message that was incredibly powerful and that his career might be best compared to a modern pop star, he attracted crowds, he made a stir in a very short time; from the gospels it appears that his entire career as a preacher-prophet only lasted 2 years max. But its clear from history that this little movement, in a little backwater colony state of Rome, did happen. And it seems certain that his movement so alarmed the authorities that they did crucify him. Since then, the jews and romans have been blaming each other for it, but whoever would have been the moving factor, they did work together anyway and he was crucified.

And I believe it should be considered a historical fact that his followers beleived he was resurrected, sincerely beleived, and their belief has been passed on and continues in an unbroken line to today.

Was it a spiritual resurrection, visions and appearances, or a literal physical raising and restoring to life of the physical body?

I think maybe the reason for what appears to be conflict in the gospel accounts, and Paul's account, with regard to whether it was what we would call "literal" or what we would call "physical" is a result of the fact that THEY MADE NO DISTINCTION. There was no boundary between the supernatural and the natural, there was no distinction in their minds, the way there is in our minds.

We are arguing over shades of meaning that they simply had no awareness of.

There certainly was a jesus, who preached many of the words in red in the gospels, and those quotes are probably pretty accurate. And he was crucified.

As for me, what is truth? I have no problem with the idea that Jesus was closer to God than the vast majority of men, that his message is valid. That its true.

All words are symbols. Every day you can hear someone say something like "he was a son to me" when the person was not literally a son, but still, the truth is that they were a son to that person.

Jesus was the son of God, one way or another.

Arguing over the words, the verbal formulation of the relationship between jesus and god, to me seems pointless, when the reality is no words of men are ever sufficient to describe and define God or God's ways.

Just accept that Jesus was the son of God and follow what he said. Whats so hard about that? Why do so many christians find this an affront and condemn and cry heresy, and insist that you must believe in the very same words they prescribe, and no other words, and you must accept their particular interpretation of each word, and if you don't, you are a heretic?

SamF thinks the freaking Jesuits are not Catholic enough for his tastes. I know why. Its because many jesuit scholars would have little disagreement with what I have said here. To SamF, they are as bad as me. Sam insists that you must believe each and every word in the Nicean Creed, every one of them, in exactly their momst literal meaning, or you are no christian.

Its not exactly a humble position.

Tom Montgomery
04-24-2009, 09:54 PM
Amen, Pat.

PatCox
04-24-2009, 10:03 PM
And Tom, no, modern christians embrace Paul, they are much more Paulites than christians. The sexual puritanism and the misogyny of modern christianity is all Paul.

He is the most obviously real and accesible personality in the new testament. If you read his letters free from baggage, intelligently and critically, you sense a strong, but quirky, flawed, character, a real human character that screams through.

He was a latecomer, unlike the apostles, he never saw jesus "in the flesh." Jesus' family and his closest followers remained in Jerusalem and carried on as a sect within jadaism. Paul went out among the gentiles and converted non-jews to this jewish faith of christianity.

Whenever he discusses the jerusalem church, Jesus' brothers, he is visibly insecure, he protesteth too much that he is just as good a follower of Jesus as they are.

Paul was clearly one of those charismatic men, preachers and mystics, who specialize in courting the attention and support of idle rich women, and his ministry seems to have been well-supported by them. The biggest outcome of the Council of Jerusalem was that Paul would have to send some of the money he was collecting back to the Jerusalem church, in exchange for which they gave approval to his ministry to convert the gentiles.

Jesus preached to the destitute, the very lowest in society. Paul seems to have developed a ministry based on courting the idle rich society women, like spiritualists did 100 years ago, like Rasputin did with the Russian royal women.

He was insecure, sensitivee to criticism, he was not fond of women, I would guess he was homosexual and repressing it. He's a real character, its too bad that so many of his quirks wound up deeply embedded in christian doctrine.

Gonzalo
04-24-2009, 10:06 PM
Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.

Evidence is evidence.Not really. For example, if you tell me you made a cherry pie for dessert yesterday, I'd not doubt it, and take it as evidence of your cooking prowess, hopefully to be experienced later! On the other hand, if you told me that your great-great-grandmother rose from the dead to give you the recipe on golden tablets that have since disappeared, I would look askance and expect a different standard of evidence--and so would you if I made such claims. See the difference? Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.

Long ago on this forum, someone (Sam F, I think) posted an account of the death of Pompey. The standard of evidence of that event is far less than that for the resurrection, because assassinations aren't uncommon in history, and because it doesn't matter. I simply don't care whether Pompey died one way or another, but my if my belief in the evidence of any event is essential to the salvation of my eternal soul (assuming I have one), then the evidence becomes extraordinary important. Remember, belief is a matter of truth, not practicality. I cannot believe in this or that because it benefits me, but only because because I am convinced it is true. I cannot behave otherwise, nor, I suspect, can you.

Deb, I am not trying to disrespect your faith, only to say that (in my opinion) you are convinced of the historicity of the biblical accounts by your faith, not the other way around. There is nothing wrong with this as long as you acknowledge it. I have no argument with the acknowledgment that faith allows you to accept the evidence of the biblical accounts. I object to your claims that it should be otherwise.

Long ago, when I was a young adult at a bible study, my minister asked how we know that Christ is our savior. My answer was "our faith." He rejected that answer, saying that the bible is the reason we are sure. In discussions with my parents (as devout a couple as you could imagine) afterward, they were as disturbed as I was with that answer. Logic says that faith is primary and the bible is secondary in the surety of belief. If faith is not primary, then the evidence of the bible can simply be dismissed.

PatCox
04-24-2009, 10:15 PM
Did Jesus ever say "worship me?" Or did he say, as I recall, "when you worship God, do it this way?"

Oh yes, in the account of the last supper, he said "when you do this, do it in remembrance of me." But what was he saying? Was he telling his lieutenants to carry on his work, and remember him with this ritual?

It seems to me, Jesus told the world how to act, how to worship God, he gave a new definition of "justice" which held the lowly as important in the eyes of god as the great, and taught that above all, love everyone, for everyone is a creature of god, forgive everyone, for everyone is as full of sin as everyone else, that God will judge you with the very same mercy you give when you judge others.

These are to me absolute truths, worthy of devotion to.

But it seems to me that the vast majority of christians have no interest whatsoever in how well you follow the moral teachings of Jesus, how well you live the life he proposed as the moral and good life. They don't care at all if you follow Jesus and do the things he said to do.

They are much more interested in the particular nuances of how you worship jesus. And to them, if you worship him right, if you go around saying "Jesus be praised" and say all the right words, then it doesn't matter what you do.

But if you worship him wrong, if, for example, you believe that salvation requires faith and works, or just faith, this means you are damned or not damned, on this ridiculous sophist point.

This is a crazy way to approach the divine, believing that you can be sure that God saves or damns people based on who beleives in salvation by faith, and who believes in salvation by faith and works.

Craziness, is what it is.

Form over substance.

Tom Montgomery
04-24-2009, 10:30 PM
Pat: I agree that orthodox Christianity is a form of Pauline Christianity. I have posted a number of times about the early conflict between the Jerusalem Church and Paul. An accident of history - the Roman destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple - allowed Paul's version of the Jesus faith to become ascendant. That and the subsequent endorsement by the Roman Emperor Constantine. But orthodox Christianity of the 21st century believes in the virgin birth and the bodily resurrection of Jesus. Paul did not.

I have also posted that the idea that Europe was converted through peaceful, loving Reason by proslytizing missionaries is a myth. Just like Islam later, Christianity prior to 1000 AD was dictated to the population by the sword. The warlord made a political decision that embracing Christianity served his purposes and then gave his subjects a choice: "Live as a Christian or die as a pagan." There were always hold outs, of course, but the path was cleared for missionary's to preach in relative safety, chuches were established in towns and villages, and after a few generations the Jesus-God was more familiar to the young people than Odin, Thor and Loki.

And I agree that Paul was a misogynist.

However, I disagree with you about Paul's motivation for collecting money for the Jerusalem Church. I believe he was raising a "franchise fee" imposed upon him by the elders of the Jerusalem Church. Paul was filled with anxiety about whether the donation he raised would be deemed acceptable. As it turned out, his return to Jerusalem with the donation resulted in his arrest and eventual execution.

Regardless, Paul is a fascinating man.

GWB
04-24-2009, 11:34 PM
Tom - are you a newcomer to reading the Bible?


I don't think so. Paul - not the gospel authors - conducts the earliest discussion of the resurrection. Read all of I Corinthians 15: pay close attention to Paul's explanation of the nature of resurrection. Also note that he makes no distinction between his own experience of the resurrected Jesus and that of others. There is no evidence that Paul regarded Jesus' resurrection as anything other than a spiritual, rather than a physical, event.

Paul also evidently rejected the idea that Jesus was born of a virgin. No doubt he thought the idea smacked of paganism. But that is for another thread....

Tom Montgomery
04-24-2009, 11:34 PM
Nope. I just think Paul means what he says.

Tom Montgomery
04-24-2009, 11:43 PM
How about post #177, GWB? What do you make of that fact?

Nanoose
04-25-2009, 01:07 AM
Thanks Tom G., I will check that out too. The bookstore had the Flew book recommended by SamF and the Crossan book recommended by Oznabrag, but not the 800 page Wright book (darn). The two I picked up look like pretty easy reads. The Wright book will have to wait a bit.

Wright will be at the amazon.com bookstore ;)

Nanoose
04-25-2009, 01:14 AM
Again, reread I Corinthians 15. Paul clearly considered this to be a spiritual/cosmic, rather than a physical, resurrection. The gospel accounts claiming such things as a virgin birth and a bodily resurrection were written decades later.

Yup.
Nope.
Nope.

Nanoose
04-25-2009, 01:22 AM
The four gospels were all written after the cataclysm of the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple in 70 AD. ... The various surviving remnants of 2nd Temple Judaism were faced with the task of reinventing the Yahweh faith in the absence of a Temple. ...

Pagan influences crept into gentile Pauline Christianity despite Paul's teaching. So we end up with belief in a virgin birth, a December 25th birthdate, a bodily resurrection, etc.

Nope.
Judaism had separated itself from Christianity by that time.
Nope...nope...nope, etc.

Nanoose
04-25-2009, 01:24 AM
The books of the Old Testament are organized in chronological order. The books of the New Testament are not. Am I the only one who finds this curious?

Nope.
Nope.
Nope.

Nanoose
04-25-2009, 02:40 AM
Paul understood resurrection to mean what other 2nd temple Jews understood it to be: a physical coming to life after being dead not just a spiritual resurrection. Paul would have chosen a term other than "resurrection" in order to communicate to his readers the idea of a merely spiritual resurrection since this term already had a specific meaning in the cultural Paul wrote to i.e. a bodily rising.

Peerie Maa
04-25-2009, 07:09 AM
As to why two of the gospel authors told a story of a virgin birth and three told of a bodily resurrection... you know my opinion regarding this. The four gospels were all written after the cataclysm of the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple in 70 AD. It was the equivalent of the nuclear destruction of all of the USA's major cities. The various surviving remnants of 2nd Temple Judaism were faced with the task of reinventing the Yahweh faith in the absence of a Temple. One of those remnants were the Ebionites (The Way?). Another were the largely gentile Pauline Christians. Another was early rabbinacal Judaism.

Pagan influences crept into gentile Pauline Christianity despite Paul's teaching. So we end up with belief in a virgin birth, a December 25th birthdate, a bodily resurrection, etc.

Then Deb said:
Nope.
Judaism had separated itself from Christianity by that time.
Nope...nope...nope, etc.Virgin birth, Wiki summarises the discussion, including the argument that in the Isaiah 17:4 prediction of the Messiah youth, not virginity was specified. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virgin_birth_of_Jesus
A Mass to celebrate the fact of his birth, not his birth date on the 25th Dec. I thought that was now accepted.
Mindset for resurrection, Deb, you refuted my timing.

...snip...
But Isis as mistress of magic resurrected Osiris, and thus was superior to him. She conceived her son Horus magically and was superior to him. With her magic, she even had power over Ra the sun god. In short, she was the real power behind the universe, which lead her cult adherents to proclaim her as Mistress of Heaven. More importantly, she had the power over life and death and could resurrect her followers in the same manner that saved her husband from oblivion. As the myth of Isis and Osiris grew, Isis began displacing other deities in the loyalties of the population.
...snip...
There was little danger of the small cult of Mithras, influential though it was, stemming the tide of Christianity and taking over the world. However, the cult of Isis had the numbers and the appeal to mount a serious threat to Christianity. Some scholars assert that the Holy Trinity of Isis, Serapis and Horus were not really defeated - they were merely absorbed into the new Holy Trinity of Christianity. The reverence for Mary among high Christian churches is similar to faith in Isis. We should consider at the very least that many chapels to the Virgin were built purposely on the remains of temples to Isis, and that furthermore the iconography of the Madonna and Christ is quite similar to Isis and Horus. from :http://www.unrv.com/culture/isis.php

Gonzalo
04-25-2009, 09:00 AM
There is a solid body of ancient non-Biblical sources for Jesus, events mentioned in the N.T. and the early days of the church....I'd be interested to hear of a solid body of non-Biblical references to Jesus other than Josephus's vague reference. I've not researched this myself, but my NT prof knew only of that one. Are you referring to non-canonical gospels?

Tom Montgomery
04-25-2009, 10:38 AM
Deb, are you under the impression that the four gospels were written prior to Paul's letters?

Nanoose
04-25-2009, 11:06 AM
Deb, are you under the impression that the four gospels were written prior to Paul's letters?

Not prior.

Nanoose
04-25-2009, 11:21 AM
I'd be interested to hear of a solid body of non-Biblical references to Jesus other than Josephus's vague reference. I've not researched this myself, but my NT prof knew only of that one. Are you referring to non-canonical gospels?

There are Roman and Jewish first-century sources re Jesus and the nature of early Christianity - Josephus is one of them. Habermas in his book, "The Historical Jesus" looks at 17 ancient non-Christian sources of information, 11 of which speak of Jesus' death. Also recorded is the empty tomb (Jewish documents, i.e. hostile sources); various assertions are put forward for this (which lack ultimate explanatory power). These sources also show the birth of Christianity centered geographically where Jesus' death/burial occurred, i.e. exactly where it couldn't possibly have survived without a physical resurrection.

Nanoose
04-25-2009, 11:24 AM
Tom - what is the source of your understanding re Paul/early Christianity?

Sam F
04-25-2009, 12:13 PM
...Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.

IIRC that was Mr. Sagan's objection and it appears in the guise of scientific objectivity. Unfortunately it's loaded with value judgments. What is extraordinary? Can we assign a numerical value to ordinariness? In a vast Universe, how do we even define ordinary? It doesn't really hold up well to close analysis, nevertheless...
The idea would have a more binding quality if it happened to be practiced a bit more often by its adherents. In point of fact, good Materialist Rational (even Liberal!) people believe all sorts of extraordinary things not only without a trace of evidence but quite contrary to available evidence.
Spontaneous generation is one of the most obvious and widespread examples... you do believe that life came from inanimate matter by chance with no outside intervention, don't you? Maybe not...


Long ago on this forum, someone (Sam F, I think) posted an account of the death of Pompey.

Yes, but not in this context. It was used to demonstrate "the immaterial nature of ideas (aka information) is not original with me (it goes WAY back). It's not even controversial Ė except for dedicated Materialists. They canít help it though - by dogma, they refuse to believe in an immaterial anything." (Page 11 Ah the Rapture thread)



The standard of evidence of that event is far less than that for the resurrection, because assassinations aren't uncommon in history,...
I submit that is not exactly sound reasoning. Pompey's assassination is unique in history. While this is a sort of subjectivity:

and because it doesn't matter. I simply don't care whether Pompey died one way or another,...
But the outcome of the Roman Civil wars had a profound effect on the course of Western History. You live, whether you are aware of it or not, with its effects every day. But that you don't care is perfectly within your rights.



but my if my belief in the evidence of any event is essential to the salvation of my eternal soul (assuming I have one), then the evidence becomes extraordinary important. Remember, belief is a matter of truth, not practicality. I cannot believe in this or that because it benefits me, ...

An admirable sentiment! It's also, based on my observation of people, rather rare.
I commend you for it!


...but only because because I am convinced it is true. I cannot behave otherwise, nor, I suspect, can you.

That's exactly right.


Deb, I am not trying to disrespect your faith, only to say that (in my opinion) you are convinced of the historicity of the biblical accounts by your faith, not the other way around.

I can't speak for Deb obviously, but for me that's exactly wrong. Therefore you know of at least one example where someone was in fact convinced of the historicity of the biblical account first. But then, I'm an old History major so what would I know? ;)

As it happens you can not say this of me:
I object to your claims that it should be otherwise [than historical].


Logic says that faith is primary and the bible is secondary in the surety of belief.

Well you have the chronology right, but I'm not sure the logic is. I'll have to think about that for a bit...


If faith is not primary, then the evidence of the bible can simply be dismissed.

I think you're putting the horse before the cart. Faith is certainly pervasive, as I've pointed out here many times. You've got it. I've got it. Everybody's got it.
But primary? I don't think so. I don't even think it's a worthy thing to put faith first - but it sure helps make a skeptic feel superior to believe that's what Christians actually do.
All the stuff I read (mostly Catholic + but some Anglican and Baptist even!) stresses evidence first as a path to faith, not the other way around.

Tom Montgomery
04-25-2009, 01:51 PM
Hmmm... I intended to post a new comment and instead replaced post #158. How did that happen? Strange....

Keith Wilson
04-25-2009, 02:09 PM
Paul would have chosen a term other than "resurrection"No doubt he did use another term, considering he wrote in Koine Greek. Choice of words in translation may be influenced by the viewpoint of the translator.

Nanoose
04-25-2009, 02:25 PM
No doubt he did use another term, considering he wrote in Koine Greek. Choice of words in translation may be influenced by the viewpoint of the translator.

But there is no evidence the anastasis root of resurrection meant anything other than bodily resurrection, either in the paganism that denied it or the Pharisaic Judaism that affirmed it (Wright, p.215).

Tom Montgomery
04-25-2009, 02:34 PM
Perhaps that is precisely why Paul went into great detail in 1 Corinthians 15 explaining his understanding of the spiritual nature of resurrection. He did not want to be misunderstood. The poor guy.

Nanoose
04-25-2009, 02:36 PM
Tom - I think we achieve a more accurate understanding of Paul's view, in this case regarding the resurrection, if we investigate his view throughout his corpus, rather than taking one particular passage, and even further, merely a few verses out of one passage. To build an interpretation of Paul's view of resurrection based on 15:44-46 alone is not good exegesis.

James McMullen
04-25-2009, 02:41 PM
The Roswell UFO cult has a fairly large number of adherents who are absolutely convinced that aliens landed there. Are they right? There are quite a few books which claim all sorts of evidence for the little green (or is it gray?--there's a potential schizm amongst the followers) men who crash landed there. Are they speaking the Truth? Or are they a bunch of people whose personal hopes and dreams that there is something special out there caused them to band together in a mutually supporting society where they can tell each other their government cover-up conspiracy theories amongst a sympathetic audience? What does their absolute, stone-cold, rock-solid belief in extra-terrestrial visitations say? Some of these guys are absolutely convinced! They believe!

Do you accept their evidence, too? Why not? It's been exhaustively documented--though many of us don't find their interpretations of the evidence convincing. Perhaps your personal fear of death and a future of non-existence makes the Jesus Resurrection story much more palatable to you than a story about Visitors from Outer Space. There's no doubt that there are True Believers that will cling to their cherished notions despite any amount of systematic, scientific debunking and clarification--but that just makes it a psychological issue.

The historical record shows that there were people who were absolutely convinced beyond a shadow of a doubt that Jesus rose from the dead. The record also shows people who were certain enough to die for their beliefs in the inevitable triumph of the Marxist/Leninist Glorious Workers Paradise , or that the Divine Emperor was the direct descendant of the Sun-Goddess Amaterasu, or that the Thousand Year Reich was at hand, or even that flying an airplane into the side of an infidel skyscraper would send you straight to Heaven, complete with your full complement of 72 virgins.

That people believe in something proves nothing about whether or not it exists outside their minds.

Tom Montgomery
04-25-2009, 02:43 PM
Tom - I think we achieve a more accurate understanding of Paul's view, in this case regarding the resurrection, if we investigate his view throughout his corpus, rather than taking one particular passage, and even further, merely a few verses out of one passage.

Be my guest. I quoted 1 Corinthians 15 because GWB cited it in claiming that Paul believed in a bodily (physical) resurrection. I do not know how Paul could have been any clearer in stating the difference between the natural (corruptible) body and what he called the spiritual (incorruptible) body... and which of those is resurrected. I am well aware that 1600 years of theology has confused Paul's meaning. In fact, I suspect the books in the New Testament were ordered the way they were (the gospels first, followed by Paul's letters) so that, for the reader, Paul's thought would be viewed in the light of the gospel narratives rather than the other way 'round.

Nanoose
04-25-2009, 03:37 PM
The body is sown a soma psychikon, raised a soma pneumatikon. Paul is discussing the resurrection of Christians, but it is widely recognized he is modelling that on what he understands is true of Jesus.

Ancient thinkers made distinctions between different classes of substances, but they didn't draw the line in the same place we do, i.e. between 'physical' and 'non-physical'. We think in terms of what is observable as oppossed to what is not, i.e. a Diestic separatistic view, a division between 'natural' and 'supernatural'. This is simply untrue to ancient thought in general and to Paul's thought in particular.

The two sorts of 'body', the present corruptible one and the future non-corruptible one are psychikon and pneumatikon - the first derived from psyche (frequently translated 'soul') and the second from pneuma (normally translated 'spirit').

In 1Cor2:14-15 the psychikos person doesn't receive the things of the spirit because they are spiritually discerned, while the pneumatikos person discerns everything. There is no question here of these terms indicating physical vs. spiritual as appropriate translations. They clearly refer to matters other than whether the people concerned are 'physical' as they clearly are. The issue is whether they are indwelt by the creator's Spirit or whether they are living the life common to all mankind (psychikos). Also in ch.12, the pneumatika, the spiritual gifts are certainly not 'spiritual' in the sense of 'non-physical'. They are things which operating within the human body and life enable that body and life to do things which would otherwise be impossible.

Therefore, the psychikos/pneumatikos contrast in 15:44-6 would have to be understood as 'ordinary human life' contrasted with 'a life indwelt by the Spirit of God'. Psyche would have been an extremely strange word to use, within either early Christian, second-Temple Jewish, or late-antique pagan usage if what one wanted to label was the 'physical' as opposed to the non-physical.

Soma pneumatikon (15:44-6) refers to the entire body energized and animated by God's Spirit, and Paul's distinction is between a body which can and will decay, die and ultimately disintegrate altogether (i.e. is corruptible) and a body of which none of this is true. (Wright p.347-351)

Nanoose
04-25-2009, 03:44 PM
The record also shows people who were certain enough to die for their beliefs in the inevitable triumph of the Marxist/Leninist Glorious Workers Paradise , or that the Divine Emperor was the direct descendant of the Sun-Goddess Amaterasu, or that the Thousand Year Reich was at hand, or even that flying an airplane into the side of an infidel skyscraper would send you straight to Heaven, complete with your full complement of 72 virgins.

The difference is these died for what they believed to be true; if the resurrection did not occur, the disciples would have not only maintained the lie throughout their persecuted lives (anyone remember Watergate? only takes 1 to topple the whole pyramid) but died for what they knew to be a lie. Doesn't happen.


That people believe in something proves nothing about whether or not it exists outside their minds.

True. They'd agree with you too. And the fervency of their conviction, their belief, would therefore indicate they did in fact see something - that something actually happened in space/time. It isn't a question of mere 'belief' but of historical occurrence.

Nanoose
04-25-2009, 03:57 PM
...I suspect the books in the New Testament were ordered the way they were (the gospels first, followed by Paul's letters) so that, for the reader, Paul's thought would be viewed in the light of the gospel narratives rather than the other way 'round.

As you noted earlier, Paul's writing is more theological - the gospels/Acts are historical narrative. Paul is discussing Christ - the gospels simply lay the foundation of who he was/events of his life. Seems silly to order the books such that one dives into theological implications of some unintroduced person/material.

The books are ordered by genre: historical/narrative first, epistles second (grouped as Pauline first followed by General) and apocalyptic last. Seems like a pretty logical order.

James McMullen
04-25-2009, 08:07 PM
And the fervency of their conviction, their belief, would therefore indicate they did in fact see something - that something actually happened in space/time. It isn't a question of mere 'belief' but of historical occurrence.

Deb, you can't possibly think that's actual evidence, can you? The UFO fanatics, the Elvis fans, the fundamentalist Marxists all just as fervently believe in things proven demonstrably false to the rest of us. A True Believer can pass a polygraph test with flying colors, just as a paranoid schizophenic can. Fear of death coupled with a downtrodden and persecuted social status can lead to a hope of Glorious Redemption in the Hereafter as a powerfully seductive meme--but that doesn't mean it's true. Have you really never read any of the studies that show unreliable and innaccurate the memories of "eyewitnesses" are compared to a photographic or video record? What people believe is highly subjective and malleable. (link here (http://www.visualexpert.com/Resources/eyewitnessmemory.html) and here (http://ezinearticles.com/?The-Accuracy-of-Eye-Witness-Testimony-and-Its-Flaws&id=328261) for example)

Those Buddhist monks who set themselves on fire to protest the Viet Nam war didn't think they were dying for a lie--neither did the kamikazi pilots dying for the Emperor, or the suicide assasinators of Czar Alexander II. Istishhad is by no means unique to Al Qaeda.

I hate to give any more encouragement to SamF than absolutely necessary, but I'm going to have to quote him here:


Sorry, you'll have to do better than that!

Keith Wilson
04-25-2009, 08:17 PM
If the fervent belief of a lot of people is evidence for the truth of Jesus's resurrection, it must also be evidence for the truth of any other unlikely thing in which a lot of people believe fervently.

But it isn't. Many people fervently believe things that are not true.

Nanoose
04-25-2009, 08:28 PM
Deb, you can't possibly think that's actual evidence, can you? The UFO fanatics, the Elvis fans, the fundamentalist Marxists all just as fervently believe in things proven demonstrably false to the rest of us.

Those Buddhist monks who set themselves on fire to protest the Viet Nam war didn't think they were dying for a lie--neither did the kamikazi pilots dying for the Emperor, or the suicide assasinators of Czar Alexander II. Istishhad is by no means unique to Al Qaeda.


I didn't say the examples you raised thought they were dying for a lie. You'll have to read better than that.

So, show me how you have proven the resurrection demonstrably false.

James McMullen
04-26-2009, 08:36 AM
how you have proven the resurrection demonstrably falseProving a negative is tricksy, my precious, but here (http://debunkingchristianity.blogspot.com/2007/04/why-i-dont-believe-resurrection.html)is an essay that well sums up what I believe to be the salient points against such a thing. It is quite long, so I won't post the whole essay here, but I encourage you to read the whole piece if you are truly interested in an extremely well thought out opposition view. Here's an excerpt:

If I read Livy's history of the founding of Rome and I read that Rome was founded by the twins Romulus and Remus, who had the Roman deity Mars as their father, I will indeed be skeptical of such a claim. The claim is a supernatural claim and unless Romulus, Remus, Mars, or any other Roman deity appears to me and to modern historians and experts of Roman history and provides supernatural evidence that Romulus and Remus, did, indeed, found Rome as a city, I will not believe it. I find it more credible to believe the naturalistic explanations provided by modern historians specializing in Roman history such as what I read in The Roman Republic by historian Michael Crawford. Likewise, when I read Homer's epic poem The Iliad, I see no reason to believe that Apollo really did come down from heaven or that he was inflicting ills upon the Achaeans. Such is a supernatural claim and requires supernatural forms of evidence to validate it. I would need Apollo or even Zeus to reveal themselves to me and confirm it for me with supernatural evidence and why not set the record straight and validate the story according to Homer for all the rest of the Greek historians and classics scholars alive today?

This is one of the chief reasons I disbelieve that miracles have occurred in history. If I read in the New Testament that Jesus rose from the dead, that he was transfigured on a mountain in front of his disciples, that he walked on water, that he raised Jairus' daughter or that he healed folks who were blind, I see no reason to believe that such events occurred because they are supernatural events and to claim such events occurred requires supernatural forms of evidence to validate them. Thus I assign a mixture of natural and human causes to events in history where human forces are at work and operation. The founding of nations, empires, the writings of books, the battles fought, the wars won, I attribute entirely to human and natural causes. To claim that Moses really did receive two stone tablets from Yahweh, that an angel really did appear to Mohammed, or that Jesus appeared to Saul of Tarsus on the road to Damascus or that the Virgin Mary did appear to people at Fatima are supernatural claims that require supernatural forms of evidence to validate them. If Yahweh really did appear to Moses, then for me to believe that this happened, I would require that Yahweh appear to me as well and provide me with supernatural evidence that he really does exist and really did appear to Moses. If an angel from Allah really did reveal himself to Mohammed, then that is a supernatural claim in need of supernatural evidence to validate it. Why doesn't Allah himself appear to me, or likewise, send an angel to me to provide me with supernatural evidence that s/he/it really did appear to Mohammed. That Jesus Christ appeared to Saul of Tarsus is a supernatural claim and I would have to have supernatural evidence to validate such as the risen Jesus appearing to me to provide supernatural evidence for this claim. Likewise, the same is true for the Virgin Mary appearing at Fatima, Romulus and Remus founding Rome, Moses receiving tablets from Yahweh, or Ahura-Mazda appearing to Zoroaster in any visions he might have had.

I don't see any miracles happening today. Nor do I have any evidence that miracles happened yesterday nor do I have any evidence a miracle will happen tomorrow. That any miracles happened is a supernatural claim requiring supernatural evidence to validate it.

Sam F
04-26-2009, 10:50 AM
Here's the Achilles heel of the argument:
"I don't see any miracles happening today. Nor do I have any evidence that miracles happened yesterday nor do I have any evidence a miracle will happen tomorrow. That any miracles happened is a supernatural claim requiring supernatural evidence to validate it."

This is a dogma against miracles happening.
It is most certainly not evidence, since miracles happening are well documented phenomena.
Since that is the case, the author's reasoning is circular "miracles don't happen therefore I know that miracles don't happen."

By the way, the argument from divine lineage for Rome's founding families (Caesar was a descendant of Venus, btw) is in no way analogous. There were no witnesses that came forth to testify to those events - in contrast to Jesus' resurrection which was witnessed by hundreds of people - many of whom were available during the time when Paul's letters and John's gospel were written.

ishmael
04-26-2009, 11:21 AM
I've stayed out of this, in part because I don't know much about nuthin these days. Is physical resurrection from death possible? There are many reported cases of people pronounced dead -- heart stopped, brain activity none -- who then came back. Our science can't explain it, but it happens. Three days in the tomb seems a bit long, but that's likely allegorical.

It's a stranger and more interesting universe than presented by our current science.

Nanoose
04-26-2009, 12:09 PM
It's a stranger and more interesting universe than presented by our current science.

Ya got that one right, Ish...

Nanoose
04-26-2009, 12:32 PM
Let's not put the cart before the horse.

Simply put - there is good evidence (corroborated by non-Biblical sources) for Jesus' resurrection using only the facts so strongly evidenced historically that they are granted by nearly every scholar studying the subject, even the skeptical ones.

If it did happen, yes, it would be miraculous. But the first question must be answered first; and as it is claimed to be a historical event, there must be evidence to support that claim.

The need is to first examine the available evidence - even just 5 minimal facts that are so strongly evidenced they are granted by nearly every scholar on the subject, even the skeptical ones. Then, given the possible explanations, we can consider which is the most reasonable to account for the event.

Peerie Maa
04-26-2009, 12:44 PM
Let's not put the cart before the horse.

Simply put - there is good evidence (corroborated by non-Biblical sources) for Jesus' resurrection using only the facts so strongly evidenced historically that they are granted by nearly every scholar studying the subject, even the skeptical ones.

If it did happen, yes, it would be miraculous. But the first question must be answered first; and as it is claimed to be a historical event, there must be evidence to support that claim.

The need is to first examine the available evidence - even just 5 minimal facts that are so strongly evidenced they are granted by nearly every scholar on the subject, even the skeptical ones. Then, given the possible explanations, we can consider which is the most reasonable to account for the event.

Do you include the empty tomb as one of your evidenced facts, because I think that we can dispose of that very quickly. There are so many plausible reasons for the empty tomb that we do not need a miracle to explain it. I have already suggested that His family might have recovered the body for internment in the family tomb. When one considers that the Priesthood engineered his execution 'cos he was a nuisance to them, they could easily have had the body removed and disposed of to try to put a final end to Him. If we put our mind to it we can surely come up with other non miraculous scenarios for removal of the body.

Nanoose
04-26-2009, 12:57 PM
G'morning, Peerie...(afternoon for you?)...
Let's look at these common objections -

First, the family, took the body: this could explain the empty tomb, but not the disciples subsequent claims of seeing the risen Jesus. It also wouldn't have convinced Paul or James. Paul merely would have suspected foul play and moved on - he wouldn't have converted because he believed the risen Jesus had appeared to him. Same for James. Actually none of the disciples aside from John believed Jesus was risen due to the empty tomb alone - their initial conclusion was someone stole the body. It was only the appearances of Jesus that convinced them.

Second, Jewish leaders/Sanhedrin took the body: if true, they'd have been the first to call "foul" when the disciples started saying they'd seen the risen Jesus. All they had to do was produce the body to prove the disciples liars.

James McMullen
04-26-2009, 12:59 PM
Simply put - there is good evidence (corroborated by non-Biblical sources) for Jesus' resurrection using only the facts so strongly evidenced historically that they are granted by nearly every scholar studying the subject, even the skeptical ones.

WTF? Haven't you been paying any attention? No there isn't! The only "scholars" who consider the Resurrection proven are not neutral observers. If these "facts" were clearly self evident than there wouldn't be any argument about it at all. Scientists, especially in the field of Medicine, would be all over it if it was a verifiable fact. Look, do you only consult sources that coincide with your preconceived notions or what? Do you even bother to actually read my posts?

Deb, SamF, I think I've finally completely lost my faith in your abilities to reason objectively. I'm done with you both. Shouting down a well would be a better use of my precious and limited time on earth.

Toodles.

Nanoose
04-26-2009, 01:10 PM
WTF? Haven't you been paying any attention? No there isn't! The only "scholars" who consider the Resurrection proven are not neutral observers. If these "facts" were clearly self evident than there wouldn't be any argument about it at all. Scientists, especially in the field of Medicine, would be all over it if it was a verifiable fact. Look, do you only consult sources that coincide with your preconceived notions or what? Do you even bother to actually read my posts?



All you're doing is yelling, James.
Yup - read every word of your posts.
You posted a circular article that states because you know miracles don't occur, miracles don't occur.
That's not proof of anything, and not contributive to the discussion.
At issue is whether the resurrection occurred or not, and what historically verifiable information do we have in that regard.
I'm waiting to see what you can put on the table.
What 'cha got?

Historians, regardless of belief, are virtually in agreement with the minimal facts: Jesus died by crucifixion, the disciples claimed he appeared to them after his crucifixion, an adversary/persecutor claimed he appeared to him after his crucifixion and a family skeptic made the same claim. The fifth fact, the empty tomb, is accepted by roughly 75% of historical scholars, and so doesn't meet the 2 criteria (for the sake of the discussion) of being a 'minimal fact'. But there is strong evidence for it and it is accepted by the majority of critical scholars.

I'm curious - what would a medical professional be able to add to prove the resurrection? (we do have JAMA published articles re death by crucifixion.)

Tom Galyen
04-26-2009, 01:35 PM
James,
The only person shouting here is you. When you begin your post with the initials you use you are screaming and I think you know it. You simply use warmed over arguments that small groups of supposed intelligent people have used for over two thousand years to try to explain the un-explainable. The proof exists inside and outside of Christian documentation that Jesus was resurrected. You care not to believe and that's fine for you. But that's not good enough for you, you must convince others of the fact and that is something you cannot do. So you get angry and scream about how other people are not as intelligent as you are.

For two thousand years Plus people a lot smarter than you are have tried and failed at your arguments. The list of people who have tried to prove the resurrection false and have ultimately come to the conclusion that they were wrong is a lot longer than those who have gone to their graves convinced that they had actually proved it wrong. And this started at the very beginning when there were thousands of witnesses available. Down through the centuries millions of people have lived lives of persecution and death when all they had to do was to acknowledge the falsehood of the resurrection, and they wouldn't do it. Now along comes James McMullen angry at those who will not accept his wonderful gift of insight into theories that were abandoned by greater thinker than you long before you were born.

The simple truth is that Jesus died as he predicted he would, as the scriptures for hundreds of years before him predicted he would, he lay in the tomb for three days as he said he would, and he rose from the grave as he said he would. The stone was rolled away not so Jesus could walk out, but so the world could see that the tomb was empty! This was not a "spiritual" resurrection it was totally bodily. The tomb was empty. except for some no longer clothes it was empty. The angel was there to empathize the point that it was empty!

Caiphas, Ananias, Pilate, Herod, all had more than enough reason to prove it otherwise, and separately and most assuredly together they had the resources to prove any hoax and they did not because they could not. The chief priests said it best to Pilate in Luke 27:64 when asking for a guard to be placed on the tomb they said, "Otherwise, his disciples may come and steal the body and tell the people that he has be raised from the dead. This last deception will be worse than the first." If on Easter Sunday they could have proved a hoax then what power they would have had, but they couldn't then and no one, not any one has been able to since. And that my friend is a very true fact.

Tom G. (Seaweed)

George Jung
04-26-2009, 01:40 PM
The authorities calling for Jesus' crucifixion were also familiar with the predictions of scripture, calling for his resurrection, and advised Pilate to post guards at the tomb - they didn't want the very controversy Mr. McMullen is embroiled in! Without a doubt, if they could've produced a body, they would have!

I'd also echo the comments on Roman soldiers and killing - they were professional grade, and a spear in the side.... fatal. As far as Science making a pronouncement - that's not it's realm.

Peerie Maa
04-26-2009, 02:08 PM
G'morning, Peerie...(afternoon for you?)...
Let's look at these common objections -

First, the family, took the body: this could explain the empty tomb, but not the disciples subsequent claims of seeing the risen Jesus. It also wouldn't have convinced Paul or James. Paul merely would have suspected foul play and moved on - he wouldn't have converted because he believed the risen Jesus had appeared to him. Same for James. Actually none of the disciples aside from John believed Jesus was risen due to the empty tomb alone - their initial conclusion was someone stole the body. It was only the appearances of Jesus that convinced them.

Second, Jewish leaders/Sanhedrin took the body: if true, they'd have been the first to call "foul" when the disciples started saying they'd seen the risen Jesus. All they had to do was produce the body to prove the disciples liars.
Deb
My point was that there are feasible explanations for the empty tomb, so why not park that and concentrate on the subsequent appearances. The sightings actually require some work to explain rationally, or to prove true, rationally. However if you insist that the empty tomb is part of the miracle, that may be part of your faith, but to me it weakens your argument in the debate.

Nanoose
04-26-2009, 02:13 PM
Deb
My point was that there are feasible explanations for the empty tomb, so why not park that and concentrate on the subsequent appearances. The sightings actually require some work to explain rationally, or to prove true, rationally. However if you insist that the empty tomb is part of the miracle, that may be part of your faith, but to me it weakens your argument in the debate.

I'm not sure there are 'feasible explanations' for the empty tomb that hold. Neither the empty tomb by itself, nor the appearances by themselves could have generated early Christian belief. But together they are a powerful reason for the emergence of the belief that Jesus had been raised. The other explanations offered for the emergence of the belief do not possess the same explanatory power.

Peerie Maa
04-26-2009, 02:28 PM
I'm not sure there are 'feasible explanations' for the empty tomb that hold. Neither the empty tomb by itself, nor the appearances by themselves could have generated early Christian belief. But together they are a powerful reason for the emergence of the belief that Jesus had been raised. The other explanations offered for the emergence of the belief do not possess the same explanatory power.

I have heard it said that Judea was ripe for a new Messiah, and that Jesus was not the only one around at the time. This was probably due to the country being a colony of Rome. So, just as the other religions of the time created a mind set that "expected" resurrection, the mindset was ready for the Messiah. The growth of Christianity or something like it might have been inevitable even without the resurrection myth.

Nanoose
04-26-2009, 02:35 PM
I have heard it said that Judea was ripe for a new Messiah, and that Jesus was not the only one around at the time. This was probably due to the country being a colony of Rome. So, just as the other religions of the time created a mind set that "expected" resurrection, the mindset was ready for the Messiah. The growth of Christianity or something like it might have been inevitable even without the resurrection myth.

Yes, the Jews were definitely looking for the Messiah to come and rescue them....witness the response to Jesus entering Jerusalem on what we've come to call Palm Sunday....and there were others before Jesus they thought might be the looked for leader. However, when those would-be messiahs were killed, their movements quickly died out.

ishmael
04-26-2009, 02:52 PM
I hate to cut a fart at the punch bowl, but what does it matter?

I'm a Christian, though a bit unconventional, and I could care less about the metaphysical stuff in this context. Sure, the established Church has made a big deal about Jesus' resurrection. As I said before: I don't know, I wasn't there, but it's not completely implausible.

The important thing to me is to try to follow his message. I often fail at that and sin. Nuthin big, but I'm not as kind and forgiving to people as I should be. I don't do enough to reach out to a person who is in difficulty. I'm not as generous as I could be.

I don't hold that Jesus was the son of God -- was God Himself -- except insofar as we all are. The whole flaming thing here on planet earth is an unfolding of the mind of God, and we should do better as stewards and shepherds of it. If you need the metaphysics thrown in, go for it, but don't forget the core message and values this Avatar lived.

Peerie Maa
04-26-2009, 02:55 PM
Yes, the Jews were definitely looking for the Messiah to come and rescue them....witness the response to Jesus entering Jerusalem on what we've come to call Palm Sunday....and there were others before Jesus they thought might be the looked for leader. However, when those would-be messiahs were killed, their movements quickly died out.

So, are you agreeing that the mindset was there that would allow "miracles" to be believed, a suspension of judgement was quite likely. Leading to the promulgation and acceptance of stories that today would not be believed for one moment?

Peerie Maa
04-26-2009, 03:01 PM
I hate to cut a fart at the punch bowl, but what does it matter?

I'm a Christian, though a bit unconventional, and I could care less about the metaphysical stuff in this context. Sure, the established Church has made a big deal about Jesus' resurrection. As I said before: I don't know, I wasn't there, but it's not completely implausible.

The important thing to me is to try to follow his message. I often fail at that and sin. Nuthin big, but I'm not as kind and forgiving to people as I should be. I don't do enough to reach out to a person who is in difficulty. I'm not as generous as I could be.

I don't hold that Jesus was the son of God -- was God Himself -- except insofar as we all are. The whole flaming thing here on planet earth is an unfolding of the mind of God, and we should do better as stewards and shepherds of it. If you need the metaphysics thrown in, go for it, but don't forget the core message and values this Avatar lived.

Other folk posting on this thread do believe that the words He taught are vital, even a non believer like me gives respect to His message. This thread is for the pleasure of debating one specific item of belief. As the title says "resurrection thread". Your post is pushing at an open door, just the wrong door. Still now that you are here, join in why dontcha?:D

George Jung
04-26-2009, 03:02 PM
I'll be curious on the responses to that, PM; my take is that it was not; that most were suspicious of any such claims. Jesus was challenged frequently.

Peerie Maa
04-26-2009, 03:05 PM
I'll be curious on the responses to that, PM; my take is that it was not; that most were suspicious of any such claims. Jesus was challenged frequently.

There might be a cross post, to which of my posts do you refer?

GWB
04-26-2009, 03:11 PM
I hate to cut a fart at the punch bowl, but what does it matter?

I'm a Christian, though a bit unconventional, and I could care less about the metaphysical stuff in this context. Sure, the established Church has made a big deal about Jesus' resurrection. As I said before: I don't know, I wasn't there, but it's not completely implausible.

The important thing to me is to try to follow his message. I often fail at that and sin. Nuthin big, but I'm not as kind and forgiving to people as I should be. I don't do enough to reach out to a person who is in difficulty. I'm not as generous as I could be.

I don't hold that Jesus was the son of God -- was God Himself -- except insofar as we all are. The whole flaming thing here on planet earth is an unfolding of the mind of God, and we should do better as stewards and shepherds of it. If you need the metaphysics thrown in, go for it, but don't forget the core message and values this Avatar lived.

This is pretty close to my personal theology. Why get wrapped up in evolution or creationalism? God could have done it any way he wanted to....its not the issue. The sermon on the mount and other teachings of Jesus are where its at.
Understanding the whole Bible and the society of the time is important because it gives us insight into what things in the Bible mean.

Nanoose
04-26-2009, 03:20 PM
So, are you agreeing that the mindset was there that would allow "miracles" to be believed, a suspension of judgement was quite likely. Leading to the promulgation and acceptance of stories that today would not be believed for one moment?

The naturalism that has become basic to our 'modern' worldview did not exist then, no. The a priori conclusion that X is impossible because of Y was not an issue (as it is now). However, that does not mean they were looking for a resurrection - no one in pagan, Roman or second-Temple Judaism in the first century even conceived of such a thing. The first response upon discovering the empty tomb, even among the disciples, was that someone had stolen the body, not that Jesus had been resurrected. These people weren't stupid. They certainly saw enough of death, and of crucifixions, to know dead people stay dead.

Peerie Maa
04-26-2009, 03:26 PM
The naturalism that has become basic to our 'modern' worldview did not exist then, no. The a priori conclusion that X is impossible because of Y was not an issue (as it is now). However, that does not mean they were looking for a resurrection - no one in pagan, Roman or second-Temple Judaism in the first century even conceived of such a thing. The first response upon discovering the empty tomb, even among the disciples, was that someone had stolen the body, not that Jesus had been resurrected. These people weren't stupid. They certainly saw enough of death, and of crucifixions, to know dead people stay dead.

No, read this link http://www.unrv.com/culture/isis.php that I posted in #192. The concept of life after death as part of the cult of Isis continued right through the period that we are debating.

Sam F
04-26-2009, 03:31 PM
WTF? Haven't you been paying any attention? No there isn't! The only "scholars" who consider the Resurrection proven are not neutral observers...

We may have another circular argument here.
What would the status be of a "neutral observer" who believed in Jesus' resurrection? Not neutral one would assume.
Therefore, the only "neutral" observers who are acceptable are those on James' side. Frankly, that's not much of a neutrality. ;)

downthecreek
04-26-2009, 03:57 PM
However, when those would-be messiahs were killed, their movements quickly died out.

Please excuse one little deviation from the subject. Not enough, I hope, to be accused of "drift".

Nanoose, when I read this I thought about the walk I took this afternoon along the shore of the Blackwater (a fine sweep of an estuary) Isolated amongst the fields and marshes on the opposite shore is a little, plain, stone building. Not very spectacular. Not very impressive. But that is the cathedral of St. Cedd, Bishop of the Saxon shore. It was built around 635 AD on the site of the Roman fort of Othona. Still used for worship, although it was re-consecrated after having been used as a barn many years back. A couple of dear friends were married there this spring. There's space for a congregation of about 20 and, of course a leper's hole.

Christian or non Christian, that is an incredibly atmospheric place.

Our own village church dates back in part to the 11th Century and has in it Roman bricks - they were big on reclamation. The inscription on the font tells how it was donated as a penance for swearing in church. :)

Sorry - all quite irrelevant, except that it doesn't half make you think..............................And I thought you might like to know about our wonderful little cathedral.

Tom Galyen
04-26-2009, 04:57 PM
To Ish and GWB,

Jesus messages are important I agree, but they are just the same messages that other prophets had been giving but much more intense. Sermon on the Mount is a perfect example. "You have heard it said, ----- but I say to you," The empty tomb is the proof of who Jesus said he was. No other prophet died and was seen walking around eating and ascending. The forgiveness for your sins that you seek from him is only there for you because of the empty tomb. Had he not arisen the words that he spoke such as "I am the way the truth and the light, no one comes to the Father except through me" would have no more importance than those of the other prophets. That is why the open very empty tomb is so important. It is the proof positive of who he is. This is why people want to prove the incident false, if it is true then it means that all else about him is true also.

Tom G. (Seaweed)

Nanoose
04-26-2009, 06:24 PM
Nanoose, when I read this I thought about the walk I took this afternoon along the shore of the Blackwater (a fine sweep of an estuary) Isolated amongst the fields and marshes on the opposite shore is a little, plain, stone building. Not very spectacular. Not very impressive. But that is the cathedral of St. Cedd, Bishop of the Saxon shore. It was built around 635 AD on the site of the Roman fort of Othona. Still used for worship, although it was re-consecrated after having been used as a barn many years back. A couple of dear friends were married there this spring. There's space for a congregation of about 20 and, of course a leper's hole.

Christian or non Christian, that is an incredibly atmospheric place.

Our own village church dates back in part to the 11th Century and has in it Roman bricks - they were big on reclamation. The inscription on the font tells how it was donated as a penance for swearing in church. :)

Sorry - all quite irrelevant, except that it doesn't half make you think..............................And I thought you might like to know about our wonderful little cathedral.

Yes - thank you for telling me about it. It sounds wonderful. I am envious of the history you have outside your back door....
Thanks, creeky....
By the way, you asked me to post about my experience a while back...I think it was on the resurrection thread (?)....I didn't hear back from you. Did you see my note?
Deb

Nanoose
04-26-2009, 06:33 PM
No, read this link http://www.unrv.com/culture/isis.php that I posted in #192. The concept of life after death as part of the cult of Isis continued right through the period that we are debating.

Interesting read....I wish the author would have identified both himself and his sources.

Wright devotes a meaty chapter to life beyond death in ancient paganism in which he notes that worshipers in these cults did not hold to a belief that actual human beings, having died, came back to life. He quotes the work of 3 historians, summing up Porter who concludes that 'bodily resurrection is not part' of such cults and their beliefs (if you'd like full sources, I can pass them along to you). One of those he quotes suggest that some of these cults actually show evidence of influence from Christianity, not the other way around.

Tom Galyen
04-26-2009, 08:45 PM
I agree Nanoose here, I don't count anything written by someone who signs his work "Ursus" to be worth quoting in any discussion or debate. If stuff like this is the heart of your argument then there is no point in your continuing.

Tom G. (seaweed)

downthecreek
04-27-2009, 01:32 AM
By the way, you asked me to post about my experience a while back...I think it was on the resurrection thread (?)....I didn't hear back from you. Did you see my note?
Deb

Yes, I replied to your post - to thank you, to make a "very minor" comparison with aspects of my own experience (in a different context) and to remark that there was nothing in what you had written that I would wish to gainsay or deny.

I can't exactly remember which thread it was now. I suspect I haven't been back to that thread, as even with my interest in these matters, I sometimes grow weary...... :)

GWB
04-27-2009, 10:06 AM
To Ish and GWB,

Jesus messages are important I agree, but they are just the same messages that other prophets had been giving but much more intense. Sermon on the Mount is a perfect example. "You have heard it said, ----- but I say to you," The empty tomb is the proof of who Jesus said he was. No other prophet died and was seen walking around eating and ascending. The forgiveness for your sins that you seek from him is only there for you because of the empty tomb. Had he not arisen the words that he spoke such as "I am the way the truth and the light, no one comes to the Father except through me" would have no more importance than those of the other prophets. That is why the open very empty tomb is so important. It is the proof positive of who he is. This is why people want to prove the incident false, if it is true then it means that all else about him is true also.

Tom G. (Seaweed)

Yes Tom - I agree.

Keith Wilson
04-27-2009, 10:23 AM
It is the proof positive of who he is. If this is indeed the case, then agnosticism about Christianity if the only justifiable position. While we know some things about Jesus's life and death, we can say for certain that there is no "proof positive" of his resurrection.

ishmael
04-27-2009, 10:42 AM
Something that has been happening for the last fifty years in America is a realization that this isn't exclusive. Eastern traditions have made a beach head, oh gawd!

Now and then an enlightened human rears his head. I'm not sure what that means these days except quit murdering each other and look to the stars.

I wish I could be alive a hundred years from now. I go there, but only in my dreams.

Nanoose
04-27-2009, 12:18 PM
If this is indeed the case, then agnosticism about Christianity if the only justifiable position. While we know some things about Jesus's life and death, we can say for certain that there is no "proof positive" of his resurrection.

There's "proof positive" of virtually nothing in life, Keith.

"Proof positive" in history is like "proof positive" in forensic science, or in law. One considers the available data, the possible explanations for the data set, and uses reason to arrive at an inference to the best explanation for the occurrence.

Here's an example of "proof positive" in a historical event:
Johnny's mum finds the cookie jar open, several cookies missing and the clean floor marked with small muddy human footprints leading to and from the jar. This is fact set "x" for the purpose of the discussion.

Let's say we conclude there's only 4 plausible explanations to account for X:
explanation 1: Johnny took the cookies
explanation 2: mum ate the cookies and forgot
explanation 3: Johnny's sister took the cookies
explanation 4: Johnny's father took the cookies

There may be other explanations - a homeless person came in and took them, an alien wearing 'Johnny shoes' took the cookies. We can't rule anything out, technically, but these explanations are not among the most reasonable or plausible.

The size of footprints eliminate mum and dad. Besides, dad's been at work all day. Sis has been at a friend's all day, and is allergic to chocolate (poor girl!! :eek: ;)). Also, Johnny loves cookies and had just told mum he was hungry. Given the strong support for 1 and that 2, 3, and 4 are unlikely, mum is justified in believing with a reasonable degree of confidence that 1 is true.

What does "proof positive" look like in regards to the established, 'minimal facts' we're using in this discussion re Jesus' crucifixion?

Peerie Maa
04-27-2009, 12:29 PM
I agree Nanoose here, I don't count anything written by someone who signs his work "Ursus" to be worth quoting in any discussion or debate. If stuff like this is the heart of your argument then there is no point in your continuing.

Tom G. (seaweed)

It might be a fertile line of research to check it out though. His was the first source that I found in Google, I have seen similar on documentaries on the telly.
Try this:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isis#Isis_outside_Egypt
or this: http://encyclopedia.farlex.com/Cult+of+Isis
or this:http://encyclopedia2.thefreedictionary.com/Cult+of+Isis
So perhaps your criticism of me has feet of clay:D

Peerie Maa
04-27-2009, 12:37 PM
Interesting read....I wish the author would have identified both himself and his sources.

Wright devotes a meaty chapter to life beyond death in ancient paganism in which he notes that worshipers in these cults did not hold to a belief that actual human beings, having died, came back to life. He quotes the work of 3 historians, summing up Porter who concludes that 'bodily resurrection is not part' of such cults and their beliefs (if you'd like full sources, I can pass them along to you). One of those he quotes suggest that some of these cults actually show evidence of influence from Christianity, not the other way around.

Part of the debate on this thread has been about what the ancient scribes meant by "resurrection", there being two views, one attributed to Paul. So it may still be a pertinent point of view in a resurrection thread, unless of course your personal believe is in Spencer's point of view.:D
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2375/2371112872_6c598661e1.jpg

Keith Wilson
04-27-2009, 12:44 PM
Deb, "proof positive" was not my choice of words; I was quoting Tom Gaylen.

Your analogy is, with all respect, seriously deficient. Let us add explanation 5: a supernatural being materialized in the middle of the air in the kitchen, and magically caused the cookies to disappear and the footprints to appear. Johnny says that this is what happened. Pardon my skepticism.

We can add an explanation #6 as well - the event in question took place 2000 years ago, the evidence (such as it is) is confused, incomplete, and biased, and we've never once seen any similar event occur. We haven't a clue what happened.

If you didn't already believe in this religion, you would be completely incredulous of such claims. You give no credence at all to similar claims of miracles in other religions. While we certainly can't prove it didn't occur, claiming that the resurrection of Jesus is a well-established literal historical fact on a par with, say, the assassination of Julius Caesar simply does not hold up.

Peerie Maa
04-27-2009, 12:51 PM
There's "proof positive" of virtually nothing in life, Keith.

"Proof positive" in history is like "proof positive" in forensic science, or in law. One considers the available data, the possible explanations for the data set, and uses reason to arrive at an inference to the best explanation for the occurrence.

Here's an example of "proof positive" in a historical event:
Johnny's mum finds the cookie jar open, several cookies missing and the clean floor marked with small muddy human footprints leading to and from the jar. This is fact set "x" for the purpose of the discussion.

Let's say we conclude there's only 4 plausible explanations to account for X:
explanation 1: Johnny took the cookies
explanation 2: mum ate the cookies and forgot
explanation 3: Johnny's sister took the cookies
explanation 4: Johnny's father took the cookies

There may be other explanations - a homeless person came in and took them, an alien wearing 'Johnny shoes' took the cookies. We can't rule anything out, technically, but these explanations are not among the most reasonable or plausible.

The size of footprints eliminate mum and dad. Besides, dad's been at work all day. Sis has been at a friend's all day, and is allergic to chocolate (poor girl!! :eek: ;)). Also, Johnny loves cookies and had just told mum he was hungry. Given the strong support for 1 and that 2, 3, and 4 are unlikely, mum is justified in believing with a reasonable degree of confidence that 1 is true.

What does "proof positive" look like in regards to the established, 'minimal facts' we're using in this discussion re Jesus' crucifixion?

I could not agree more Deb, we are debating explanations that are "reasonable and plausible".
However, some posts on the tread are by people with strong faith, who have "suspended disbelief" about the ideas in their Faith, whereas those with no faith, or whose Faith works differently are searching for explanations that are "natural" not "Supernatural". We are applying the same standard of critical thought to resurrection as mainstream Christians apply to the Latter Day Saints. (please say that you are not of that church, or I am totally stuffed:D)

Nanoose
04-27-2009, 04:22 PM
...2000 years ago, the evidence (such as it is) is confused, incomplete, and biased, and we've never once seen any similar event occur. We haven't a clue what happened.

... claiming that the resurrection of Jesus is a well-established literal historical fact on a par with, say, the assassination of Julius Caesar simply does not hold up.


Historical scholarship disagrees with you, Keith; you are holding to an unsupported position.

There is more evidence for these minimal facts regarding the resurrection of Jesus than Caesar's assassination; so, if you're going to throw out Jesus, you're going to have to throw out Julius and everything else we 'know' about antiquity.

Again, it's your decision; just know you are flying in the face of deductive reason and available evidence.

Kaa
04-27-2009, 04:27 PM
...I don't count anything written by someone who signs his work "Ursus" to be worth quoting in any discussion or debate.

And why is that?

Kaa

Keith Wilson
04-27-2009, 04:34 PM
. . . just know you are flying in the face of deductive reason and available evidence. Nonsense. While some people no doubt disagree, there is no good evidence - none an unbiased observer would credit - for Jesus's resurrection. That does not mean one can demonstrate it didn't happen.

As many people have said, extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Assassinations are all too common. Resurrections have never been observed.

Nanoose
04-27-2009, 04:55 PM
Nonsense. While some people no doubt disagree, there is no good evidence - none an unbiased observer would credit - for Jesus's resurrection. That does not mean one can demonstrate it didn't happen.

As many people have said, extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Assassinations are all too common. Resurrections have never been observed.

Actually, many an unbiased observer, in fact, many an antagonistic observer, have credited the evidence, Keith. So, again, your presumptions are faulty.

And, there is one resurrection that has been observed. ;) But even if there were more, it wouldn't make any difference for you.
Why does 2, or 10, or 50 of something make it more true than 1 occurrence? The universe is full of "ones" that we don't doubt. Perhaps this is about your worldview, your 'pre-decision' that won't allow for a consideration of something beyond your beliefs.

Keith Wilson
04-27-2009, 05:06 PM
Come now - "my presumptions are faulty" because people disagree with me? While I may be wrong, the fact that not everyone agrees is not evidence of that.


Perhaps this is about your worldviewPerhaps. My worldview means I do not accept extraordinary claims of miraculous events on very meager and dubious evidence. If that's an unjustified prejudice, so be it. I'll continue that way until I see a reason to do otherwise.

Tom Montgomery
04-27-2009, 05:10 PM
Actually, many an unbiased observer, in fact, many an antagonistic observer, have credited the evidence....

And many have not. This argument goes nowhere.

Peerie Maa
04-27-2009, 05:12 PM
Actually, many an unbiased observer, in fact, many an antagonistic observer, have credited the evidence, Keith. So, again, your presumptions are faulty.

And, there is one resurrection that has been observed. ;) But even if there were more, it wouldn't make any difference for you.
Why does 2, or 10, or 50 of something make it more true than 1 occurrence? The universe is full of "ones" that we don't doubt. Perhaps this is about your worldview, your 'pre-decision' that won't allow for a consideration of something beyond your beliefs.

Deb,
There is a view that one is a very silly number. The reasoning is thus, and fairly obvious.
If something can occur once, it can occur many times.
So it would be very strange for something to occur only once in a reasonably sized phase space.
This philosophy is why science thinks that it is worth while to look for planets around other stars, and to listen for radio transmissions from other planets.
What weakens the argument for resurrection in the sceptical mind is that there is only one "known" example.

George Jung
04-27-2009, 06:35 PM
One is disputable, eh?

So how many 'Big Bangs' have there been? Doubtful about 'the one'?

Nanoose
04-27-2009, 07:59 PM
Deb,

What weakens the argument for resurrection in the sceptical mind is that there is only one "known" example.

Actually, what weakens the argument is a naturalistic worldview that dismisses a priori any enquiry into what may even be possibly known.

Tom Montgomery
04-27-2009, 08:27 PM
Once we expand our worldview to accept the existence of a vast supernatural realm, anything is possible. Even Spaghetti Monsters.

Glen Longino
04-27-2009, 09:03 PM
Spaghetti Monsters, Tom?

"It's Turtles all the way down!"

Always has been, always will be!:)

Nanoose
04-27-2009, 09:15 PM
Once we expand our worldview to accept the existence of a vast supernatural realm, anything is possible. Even Spaghetti Monsters.

I don't think 'anything' is possible. That aliens created all we know, including the universe, us with our memories, food in our stomachs, 5 minutes ago could I guess, be possible. That Morpheus was right, and we're all in the matrix is possible. Hell, anything is possible. But we have a lot of reasons to discount many theories. We base our knowledge of the universe on observable data. Supernatural occurrences may not be explainable by naturalism, but that doesn't mean they have not left observable evidence of their occurrence. Allowing for the possibility of the supernatural, or, acknowledging there may be more to the universe than naturalism allows, doesn't mean checking one's brain at the door.

PatCox
04-27-2009, 09:57 PM
Well, here is one from left field. I am not what a conservative Christian would call a "believer," because I don't literally believe in many of the tenets, the litmus test, they would impose before admitting someone to their club.

My club has looser membership standards.

I choose not to think about whether Christ literally rose from the dead, whether he is one leg of this "trinity" thing.

I choose to worship christ even though I don't literally, word for word, and in a literal sense, believe those things about resurrection and virgin birth.

Hey, christ started a movement with a message true enough and powerful enough to persist for 2,000 years. Every single day, people repeat his very words in the Mass they partake in in memory of him, as he commanded.

He does live on. This is enough resurrection for me to know, that he does indeed live on in the community of believers in unbroken sucession for 2,000 years, repeating his words, believing his teachings.

There is one thing about my faith. Nothing can alter it. If they invented a time machine, and I could go back and watch the crucifixion and resurrection, if I saw that it was a lie, from the literal standpoint, I would not care a whit. I would still believe. They killed his body, but I know, his spirit is present in the congregations that gather in his name, even if they have strayed from his real true message.

It just doesn't matter to me, it would not matter to me if there was incontrovertable proof jesus was not borne of a virgin and was not resurrected, did not walk out of the tomb, it would not matter to me, because I do not rest my worship on any of these.

But for many much more orthodox christians than me, these things would be a problem.

Peerie Maa
04-28-2009, 06:22 AM
One is disputable, eh?

So how many 'Big Bangs' have there been? Doubtful about 'the one'?

We live on the result of one big bang. Because we cannot see past the surface of the expanding "bubble" we have no way of knowing how many more there are, they could be as frequent as firecrackers at a Chinese new year.

Peerie Maa
04-28-2009, 06:30 AM
Actually, what weakens the argument is a naturalistic worldview that dismisses a priori any enquiry into what may even be possibly known.

No Deb, I thought that this thread was discussing evidence that did not envoke a leap of faith, that would stand up to sceptical scrutiny, that did examine the credibility of the whitness reports.
Rather than "what may even be possibly known" where knowledge includes faith based belief, can we consider knowledge that can withstand a rational test. If we accept "what may even be possibly known" we'll just argue in circles without any conclusion.