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Topic: OT: Did The Historical Jesus Exist? Post ReplyPost New Topic
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John Byrne
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Posted: 10 September 2017 at 6:50am | IP Logged | 1 post reply

"Adam and Eve fucked up…"

••

"…because I created a scenario in which it was virtually impossible for them NOT to. But it's all their fault -- and YOURS, and all generations to come."

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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 10 September 2017 at 7:14am | IP Logged | 2 post reply

I concur. 

Not sure why I should be held accountable for what a man and woman did 6,000 years ago (the earth is 6,000 years old, right? Although that makes me wonder where the dinosaurs fit in - were they on Noah's Ark?).
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John Mariani
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Posted: 10 September 2017 at 8:57am | IP Logged | 3 post reply

IIRC I once heard that dinosaurs never existed and that fossils were planted in order to test our faith.

Maybe someone can be more precise about that? Anyway .. wow! God as a practical joker ...

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John Byrne
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Posted: 10 September 2017 at 9:16am | IP Logged | 4 post reply

IIRC I once heard that dinosaurs never existed and that fossils were planted in order to test our faith.

Maybe someone can be more precise about that?

••

One of my best buds in High School believed that. And that's pretty much all there is to it. Anything that suggests the world is more than 6,000 years old is phony. Who created the fossils and whatnot depends on whether you want God testing us or the devil fooling us.

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John Byrne
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Posted: 10 September 2017 at 9:17am | IP Logged | 5 post reply

Not sure why I should be held accountable for what a man and woman did 6,000 years ago…

••

I utterly reject the suggestion that I am in any way responsible for the actions of my ancestors!!

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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 10 September 2017 at 11:20am | IP Logged | 6 post reply

I utterly reject the suggestion that I am in any way responsible for the actions of my ancestors!!

***

They have an 'answer' for that, too.

Jehovah's Witnesses frequently proselytize around here (knocking on doors). One, when I mentioned that, told me that, just as poor genetics can be passed from parent to child, leading to disease, so Adam and Eve's choices and fall have been passed through the bloodline up to the modern day.

Doesn't convince me!
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Bill Collins
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Posted: 10 September 2017 at 12:59pm | IP Logged | 7 post reply

Regarding Jehovah's...I had some knick my door,showing me
a pamphlet with a picture of black and white
kids,lions,sheep etc in a beautiful scenic setting.One
asked me 'Wouldn't you like to live in a place like
this'? I replied straight faced 'No because the lions
would eat the kids'...they just left!
I know have a 'Give Blood' sticker on the door,it wards
them off like garlic to a vampire.
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Shane Matlock
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Posted: 10 September 2017 at 1:16pm | IP Logged | 8 post reply

I just straight up tell anyone of any Christian denomination that knocks on my door that I'm an atheist and don't believe in any superstitions. They don't even tend to try and debate me and just leave. I doubt it's a response they get very often in a town that is probably close to 90 percent Christian (Paducah, KY). Even the gay folks here go to church and believe in God which seems really odd to me. I only have maybe 2 "real life" friends that are agnostic or atheist. Though most of the so-called believers haven't really practiced their religion in years.

Edited by Shane Matlock on 10 September 2017 at 1:16pm
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Doug Centers
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Posted: 10 September 2017 at 2:24pm | IP Logged | 9 post reply

"... I doubt it's a response they get very often in a town that is probably close to 90 percent Christian (Paducah, KY)...."...

I can vouch for you there, Shane.
I graduated high school near you in Murray and felt like I was on a deserted island with my atheism. Extreme ,extreme minority.Since moving north to Michigan some 30 years ago I've had plenty of people with like minds to talk to.

Edited by Doug Centers on 10 September 2017 at 2:27pm
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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 10 September 2017 at 2:39pm | IP Logged | 10 post reply

You have to ask how many churchgoers are absolutely loyal to the faith - and for some, whether church is simply a "place to go to".

My dad was a Catholic. But for all my life, he rarely attended church. And later in life, he got me to order Richard Dawkins' books from Amazon. He once described Noah's Ark as bullshit and other than occasional Mass and events (e.g. weddings), I don't think he was interested at all. I think for a long time, it was just something he did.

Yet had there been a census of religious believers in the UK, he would no doubt have been included as a 'Christian/Catholic'.

Some who attend church may sincerely believe in Adam/Eve, Cain's wife, Noah's Ark, the coming of Jesus, etc. But how many, who attend church, do so out of routine, peer pressure, family pressure, etc? 


Edited by Robbie Parry on 10 September 2017 at 2:42pm
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Steve De Young
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Posted: 10 September 2017 at 3:40pm | IP Logged | 11 post reply

There is actually, far, far less evidence for the existence of Muhammad than the existence of Jesus.  His name doesn't even appear anywhere until 150 years after he is said to have lived.  And the Patriarch of Jerusalem at the time of Arab conquest of the city wrote a work in which he details everything about their culture, from what they ate to how they dressed to literally how they smelled.  Interestingly, nowhere in it does he say they had a new religion.

A good book on the origins of Islam HERE

The author concludes that there probably was a Muhammad, but that we know next to nothing about his life, except that he lived in a completely different place than the Quran says he did.
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Bill Collins
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Posted: 10 September 2017 at 3:55pm | IP Logged | 12 post reply

I apologise for my poor spelling...vodka is to blame!
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Petter Myhr Ness
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Posted: 11 September 2017 at 1:22am | IP Logged | 13 post reply

None of the four gospels were written by contemporaries of Jesus. It is believed they had a common source, explaining their likeness, but we know nothing of that source. There are non-canonical gospels (like Thomas), which may be older than any of the four included in the Bible. But they're still not contemporary. 

My point is: how reliable can any such information be, handed down decades after the supposed death of Jesus? 

We humans have a propensity for rationalising, exaggerating details, excluding others and even denying matters of fact. We see it daily even in a time when almost EVERYTHING is documented. 
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Warren Scott
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Posted: 11 September 2017 at 10:07pm | IP Logged | 14 post reply

Robbie,be wary of short articles that cite "historians and bloggers." I mean, the latter is right up there in credibility with Facebook, right?
Jewish historian Josephus and Roman politician Tacitus, among others, wrote about Jesus with some contempt but as a real person, nonetheless.
And the author Bart Ehrman is a poor example because he doesn't dispute that Jesus existed. He disputes that he claimed to be the son of God.
The Jews didn't believe he was the son of God because they expected a messiah who would free them from the Romans. If Jesus or his followers were conning the public, why wouldn't they try to live up to its expectations for the Messiah? And what personal gain did he or they receive for perpetuating this "con"?
The Bible does contain contradictions, I can't deny. It's probably due to its many authors or maybe it's life is complicated, and the same rules don't always apply.
But many Christians believe he sent us some basic rules, in the form of The 10 Commandments and the Golden Rule, and a role model in Jesus.
Even Ehrman has said Christ advocated sound ethical principles.
I'm afraid many who aren't Christians assume all Christians judge others and that all Christians believe the same things. Look into the various faiths and denominations, Robbie. It may be interesting to you even if you don't believe in God.
For Marios: I once struggled with the same question regarding those not exposed to Christianity. One answer is the book of Acts states God will judge everyone fairly. So it seems reasonable those who don't know Christ (including the many who came before him) would be given some leeway.
If you consider that the Jehovah's Witness folks believe they are helping to prevent that situation (though not in the most effective way, in my opinion), isn't it easier to just politely say, "No thank you," and let them go on their way?
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Michael Roberts
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Posted: 11 September 2017 at 11:41pm | IP Logged | 15 post reply

Jewish historian Josephus and Roman politician Tacitus, among others, wrote about Jesus with some contempt but as a real person, nonetheless.

-----

Two people born after the events described in the Gospels, mentioning him in works written 60-80 years later that were possibly subject to Christian interpolation. 
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John Byrne
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Posted: 12 September 2017 at 5:28am | IP Logged | 16 post reply

Jewish historian Josephus and Roman politician Tacitus, among others, wrote about Jesus with some contempt but as a real person, nonetheless.

•••

The references in Josephus are generally considered later additions, a problem which besets much of the early writing about Jesus.

No original manuscipt survives for the writing by Tacitus, so again we have the problem of not knowing what he wrote.

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Peter Martin
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Posted: 12 September 2017 at 7:15am | IP Logged | 17 post reply

So what did I see when I went to the cathedral in Valencia and saw the one true grail????
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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 12 September 2017 at 7:51am | IP Logged | 18 post reply

Look into the various faiths and denominations, Robbie. It may be interesting to you even if you don't believe in God.

***

Already have, Warren. Over many years.

Here I have books about Judaism, Mormonism, Catholicism, Christianity, etc. I've read much of the Bible. I've studied the history of early Christians (i.e. Marcionites) and pre-biblical myths, too.

The "For Dummies" imprint has also been a source of information for me. Their books are comprehensive, detailed and informative.

I haven't read much about Islam, Muhammad or the Koran - so am at a loss there, but I definitely feel qualified to talk about Christianity. And the books I have read weren't 20-page pamphlets, but detailed books. 

As for the Ten Commandments, one cannot argue with directives such as "Thou shalt not kill" but some of the commandments are egotistical. I am not sure why an omnipotent being would demand constant and exclusive worship. 

There's a lot, and I don't want to engage too much in thread drift, that bothers me. For instance, Jehovah's Witnesses have their own version of the Bible (New World Translation). An adherent told me that the translation committee is anonymous so that glory be given solely to 'god'. That's very convenient for this 'committee'. No accountability, eh?
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Neil Lindholm
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Posted: 12 September 2017 at 4:49pm | IP Logged | 19 post reply

I once had a Jehovah's Witnesses tell me that dinosaur bones are really just the bones of very large people in the past and scientists were just confused. I walked away since how could I compete with logic like that?
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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 12 September 2017 at 4:58pm | IP Logged | 20 post reply

Confused scientists? Wow. Fire them all, I say! 
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Sergio Saavedra
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Posted: 12 September 2017 at 5:10pm | IP Logged | 21 post reply

I don't know what that JW was thinking, but it's the first time I hear something like that. Our belief is that dinosaur bones are the bones of dinosaurs, animals that lived millions of years ago.
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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 12 September 2017 at 5:41pm | IP Logged | 22 post reply

The problem I have is that some Christians always have answers:

"Oh no, that part is metaphor."
"Oh, yes, you must follow that part because it's literal."
"Oh, incest is wrong - but was necessary after Cain was exiled. He had to marry someone."
"Those dinosaur bones are the work of the devil."

Many are stock phrases. 
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Neil Lindholm
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Posted: 12 September 2017 at 5:41pm | IP Logged | 23 post reply

Sergio, I met him (and his friend) on the street and we started chatting. I quickly realized that he had never read the Bible, only the passages that he was told to read and how to understand him. It was not much of a debate since I knew so much more about the Bible than he did. As soon as he gave me the "large bones" theory, I politely said goodbye and left. 
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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 12 September 2017 at 5:44pm | IP Logged | 24 post reply

It was not much of a debate since I knew so much more about the Bible than he did.

***

Hate to sound cocky, but this has been my experience, too. Mention the basics (Abraham/Isaac, Noah's Ark, Jesus) and they're pretty well-informed, but some of the more obscure/esoteric passages. well they don't seem up to speed with them all. I'm sure some Christians are, but it hasn't been my experience.
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Warren Scott
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Posted: 12 September 2017 at 8:40pm | IP Logged | 25 post reply

Robbie, I hope I didn't sound condescending in suggesting you look into various faiths and denominations. It sounds like you have pretty thoroughly explored religion.
I get what you are saying about God sounding egotistical in the commandment "to have no other Gods before me." But here's another way of looking at it. There have been religions that involved human sacrifice and other practices that go against what Christians believe God wants them to do. Also, people can make a thing, such as money, most important in their lives, above God, which can be detrimental to themselves and others around them.
While I think it's important for representatives of the Christian faith to be able to discuss their religion, I don't think it's fair to expect all of them to be experts anymore than you would expect all supporters of the American Heart Association to know everything about the cardiovascular system.
Even if I could produce books and books with historical references to Christ, that would succeed only in demonstrating that he existed, not that he was the son of God, which is the most important principle for Christians. If God were to come down today and show himself, then atheists would believe. But for whatever reason, he doesn't. Yet I still believe because I feel you can have an intuitive knowledge of him.
I don't have all of the answers to why some things happen in The Bible or why some things happen in the world (I suspect they have more to do with us being humans than being part of God's plan.). But that's how I believe. And that's why my position can't come together with those looking for cold, hard facts.
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