Do you somehow not realize that you are attempting to show that a story is true by citing what characters in the story believed about another character in the story and speculating about why they believed what they believed?
Do you not somehow realize that Paul and Luke are historical figures and are contemporaries of the Apostles?
Your argument rests upon finagling others (me in this case) into accepting the tales as being true and authoritative -- since you have no other evidence that a long-dead body came back to life.
Again, the case is the fact that the Apostles believed that Jesus appeared to them, and that belief is best explained by the literal Resurrection of Jesus.
You haven't made any significant case AGAINST the Resurrection besides "dead bodies remain dead", and I already told you the problem with that, and I haven't seen any other point being made otherwise.
I do not object to people believing WHATEVER they wish to believe; however, if they make claims in public debate I am likely to challenge their claims (which they will likely, understandably, resent -- and go to great lengths to defend and justify).
I want to see you debate a naturalists on whether it is natural for life to come from nonlife. But we both know that ain't happening.
I do NOT say that gospel writers were â€œlying or making stuff upâ€�. Instead, I say that whoever they may have been, they wrote what they evidently heard from others, decades or generations after the claimed events and conversations. Therefore, there is sound reason to question whether what they wrote is an accurate account of happenings in the real world.
Just because the Gospels were WRITTEN a couple of decades after the event doesn't mean that the belief in the Resurrection BEGAN when the Gospels were written. Again, the belief in the Resurrection occurred shortly after Jesus' death.
So not only is your assessment non sequitur, it also contradicts the writings of Paul, who, again, was a contemporary of Jesus and the Apostles.
People BELIEVE they saw Elvis â€“ and they have reasons to believe. Does that mean he came back from the dead?
No, but that mean that they saw something
When a person is writing stories they hear from others about events that supposedly occurred thirty or fifty years earlier, I do not base any life decisions (or debate positions) on the stories being accurate.
The Gospels (a case can be made), were written during the lifetime of the Apostles and early disciples. So if the original eyewitnesses were still alive during the time that the books were written, then that flies in the face of accuracy, considering, as I previously stated, there are people alive today that can still recall the day JFK was killed.
Not only that, but for the umphteenth time, Paul himself was writing about things that happened decades prior when he talked about receiving the creed.
I don't understand why you are making such a big deal about this when all I have to do is give a current example of the exact same thing that you claim is improbable, and that point is a given with the JFK thing.
I make no life decisions based upon historical accounts being accurate or truthful. Some things about past events are nice-to-know or interesting â€“ but not of critical importance in anything I do in real life.
Actually, you are making a life decision...
Okay. Whoever claimed 500 eyewitnesses was ONLY SAYING that. We have no way to know if it is true.
Well, Christianity spread through the Roman Empire based on the 11 Apostles spreading the word, then. Forget about the 500.
Paul/Saul writes that he learned â€œfrom no manâ€� but directly from Jesus â€“ Galatians 1:11 For I certify to you, brothers, that the gospel I preached is not devised by man. 12I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it; rather, I received it by revelation from Jesus Christ.
I've already addressed this.
What is the earliest copy of â€œthe creedâ€� available for examination?
It may have began as a verbal creed with someone writing it at a later time. That was an oral culture, as not everyone couldn't read and/or write, so things were passed along via oral tradition.
The Galatians were in what is now Turkey â€“ 500 miles from Jerusalem. The Corinthians were in Greece â€“ 750 miles from Jerusalem. Thus, any â€œwitnessesâ€� who may have been alive were not likely accessible to the audience.
Yeah, but he gave the names of Peter, James, and mentioned the "Twelve", which means that to the audience, Peter, James, and the "Twelve" were already well known.
Paul/Saul seems to have been adept at preaching far away from people who had known or known of Jesus.
Why not just call him "Paul"? Sheesh.
Do their reasons mean that what they believe is true and accurate?
Depends, if all other hypothesis' fail in giving the explanatory power needed to produce the effect (belief), then it is more probable than not that the said belief is true and accurate.
It is literally a process of elimination
Start with Paul/Saul's â€œvisionâ€� tale. Was â€œLukeâ€� a witness?
Don't know..but whether or not Luke was a witness is irrelevant, considering Paul gave his own personal testimony of Jesus appearing to him (1Corin 15:8).
Luke-Acts does not name its author. According to Church tradition this was Luke the Evangelist, the companion of Paul, but while this view is still occasionally put forward the scholarly consensus emphasises the many contradictions between Acts and the authentic Pauline letters.
I'd like to know the contradictions
The most probable date for its composition is around 80-100 AD, and there is evidence that it was still being revised well into the 2nd century
I completely disagree. The most probable date for ANY of the Gospels are between 59-70 AD. The Gospel of John may have been post-70 AD, but even that is stretching it.
The author is not named in either volume. According to a Church tradition dating from the 2nd century, he was the Luke named as a companion of Paul in three of the letters attributed to Paul himself, but "a critical consensus emphasizes the countless contradictions between the account in Acts and the authentic Pauline letters." (An example can be seen by comparing Acts' accounts of Paul's conversion (Acts 9:1-31, 22:6-21, and 26:9-23) with Paul's own statement that he remained unknown to Christians in Judea after that event (Galatians 1:17-24).)
Acts 9:19 states that "Saul spent several days with the disciples in Damascus", but as verse 26 states, he eventually found himself in Jerusalem.
Acts 22:6-22, in Paul's own testimony to the crowd, he confirmed what Acts 9:19 stated, that "My companions led me by the hand into Damascus
"...and then in verse 19, he states "When I returned to Jerusalem..."
Acts 26:9-33,Paul testified again, to King Agrippa, that he "was going to Damascus
with the authority and commission of the chief priests" and v.19 that he went "First to those in Damascus, then to those in Jerusalem and all Judea, and then to the Gentiles.
Galatians 1:17:24, Paul states that he "went into Arabia. Later, returned to Damascus. Then after three years, he went up to Jerusalem".
The only apparent issue is the fact that his trip to Arabia is no where mentioned in the references in Acts. First off, I am not even sure where Arabia
is/was during that time. Was he referring to the Arabian peninsula?? Was it a town? City? Desert? What?
Either case, the Arabia trip was omitted from Acts. In this article, a proposed explanation is given as to why this trip was omitted.
http://apologeticspress.org/apcontent.a ... rticle=782
The point is, as long as such an explanation is even remotely possible, then that makes it non-contradictory.
He admired Paul, but his theology was significantly different from Paul's on key points and he does not (in Acts) represent Paul's views accurately.
I'd like specifics, sir.
The eclipse of the traditional attribution to Luke the companion of Paul has meant that an early date for the gospel is now rarely put forward. Most experts date the composition of the combined work to around 80-90 AD, although some suggest 90-110, and there is evidence, both textual (the conflicts between Western and Alexandrian manuscript families) and from the Marcionite controversy (Marcion was a 2nd-century heretic who produced his own version of Christian scripture based on Luke's gospel and Paul's epistles) that Luke-Acts was still being substantially revised well into the 2nd century
You have to actually make a case as to WHY time frame 80-90 AD is more viable than the pre 70 AD time frame that is advocated by those like myself. I can make a case as to WHY the pre-70 AD time frame is viable for not just Acts, but all of the Gospels/Epistles.
But I'd like you to make you case first, and then I'll make mines.
No documents from earlier than 30 or 50 years after the â€œresurrectionâ€� survive. How can it be known / shown what was believed or taught before that time? Guesswork? Conjecture? Assumptions?
Must I keep repeating myself? Paul was a CONTEMPORARY to Jesus, and Jesus' apostles. He admitted in his own writings and also in the book of Acts that he came late onto the Christian scene, and is quick to point out the fact that there were apostles before
him and the fact that these apostles were still alive when he converted.
If he was a contemporary to Jesus and Jesus' apostles, and Jesus' apostles were "before" him (chronologically), then it is obviously clear as to what was being believed and taught 30-50 years before the words were actually put in ink.
What did the Apostles believe? Where are their writings?
Note that Christian scholars and theologians do NOT assume or agree that the gospels bearing famous names were written by â€œApostlesâ€�.
Well, a case can be made either way, and I'd like to hear the case as to why not. My stance has been simple; at the very least, the "story" of the Gospels comes from eyewitnesses of Jesus.
If the Apostles did not write the book, it is they
from whom the book was written. In other words, the story originated from the Apostles.
State your case, which we'll discuss...and then we can discuss mines. Lets stop dancing around the issues and get right to the core.
Kindly cite sources to indicate that the consensus of Christian scholars and theologians is that gospels were written any earlier than 60 to 90 CE â€“ thirty to fifty years after the claimed â€œresurrectionâ€�.
Oh, we are in agreement here, to some extent. The difference is, I don't date any Gospel or Epistle after 70 AD, which is just 30 years after. And as I keep stressing, a case can be made
Thirty to fifty years is NOT â€œa few yearsâ€� and IS decades after.
It is a few years
compared to other works of antiquity. The biography of Alexander the Great was written 400 years after his death, and is still considered a reliable piece of historical work. So the dating of the Gospels, even if we are to accept your high 90's
AD date, that would be like a newsflash compared to Alexander the Great, which is currently accepted as a reliable in historical
There are others, too. And I already mentioned (and will keep mentioning), the fact that JFK was assassinated in 1963, and books are still written on him and his assassination this very day. That was over 50 years ago...so please explain to me why you can accept the fact that such a thing can be the case with JFK, but when it comes to Jesus, all of a sudden it is time to be so skeptical about this stuff?
There is really no answer you can give besides "I just don't like that dang Christianity stuff". Double standard.
Perhaps it would be prudent to consider:
Gospels are not biographies of Jesus Christ in the modern sense of a detached, academic account of a person's life. In fact, this genre of literature was unknown to the ancient world. Narratives were written to inspire, teach a lesson, warn, or persuade, not to simply inform. The purpose of the Gospel narratives seems to be twofold: to recount the events in the extraordinary life of Jesus, and do so in such a way that its hearers will respond in faith. The author of Gospel of John affirms the latter motivation explicitly: "Jesus did many other miraculous signs... But these are written that you may believe and that by believing you may have life in his name." http://www.religionfacts.com/gospel
Feel free to disagree with Religion Facts
We need not get technical over something simple. A biography is simply " a detailed description of a person's life."
And the Gospels are a DETAILED DESCRIPTION of Jesus' life on earth, especially taken as a whole (all four).
Shall we credit ALL the Bible storytellers and ALL their sources with excellent memory for detail from thirty or fifty years earlier? Remarkable.
Yes, and while we are at it, we can credit my boss for his excellent memory, too. He is a Vietnam vet (1970) and hasn't been there in 46 years, yet, he can recall being drafted, going thru basic training, missions in Vietnam, etc.
I don't know why you find such a thing so remarkable. I guess if you ask Reverend Jesse Jackson about his memories of MLK and the Civil Rights movements of the 60's...I guess you'd expect his response to be "I don't even remember who MLK was, bro".
How life began is not the topic of discussion.
Neither is the natural decomposition of the human body after death.
Do you dispute forensic biologists who say that dead bodies decompose irreversibly?
No. I refute naturalists who say that inanimate matter can come to life in the first place.
Do you claim exceptions?
Do you claim exceptions to "life can only come from preexisting life"?
If so, show verifiable evidence that exceptions occurred.
If you are basing the Resurrection on verifiabl
e evidence, then in that case, there isn't any verifiable evidence AGAINST the Resurrection (supernaturally) either.
So therefore, since, in your opinion, there isn't any verifiable evidence FOR the Resurrection, and you cannot provide any verifiable evidence AGAINST the Resurrection, it would be best for you to maintain an agnostic position against the Resurrection. Just say, "I don't know if dead bodies can supernaturally come back to life".
That is a more intellectually
honest position on your part. But we both know that you don't maintain such a position, do you?
It is a common ploy for Apologists when confronted with their lack of evidence to support claims they make and stories they tell as truth to resort to â€œyou don't know how life beganâ€�, The difference is that I do not claim to know how life began and do not defend any guesses. I do not pretend to know how dead bodies come back to life.
If you maintain that God does not exist, then by default, you are advocating a naturalistic worldview at which abiogenesis is the only game in town. So you don't explicitly have to state "I believe in abiogenesis", because it is implied after you negate the existence of a Supernatural Creator.
There is no middle ground. To negate one is to grant the other.
However, I am willing to learn how that occurs if someone is able to give a detailed description of the process. If the response is â€œTake my word for it (or his or this book)â€� I am not impressed or convinced. I do not take anyone's word for anything of importance. I always verify. As Ronald Reagan said â€œTrust but verify.â€�
Are you an atheist who maintains there is no God?
Stories and claims should not, however, contradict what we know of the real world.
Ok, cool. So on that note, abiogenesis contradicts what we know of the real world.
Claiming â€œIt was a miracleâ€� does not help unless one can demonstrate that the â€œmiracleâ€� actually occurred (as something more than imagination and/or storytelling and/or belief).
And claiming "life arose naturally from nonliving material" does not help unless one can demonstrate this natural process.
Kindly focus on THIS debate. I make no statements regarding how life began. I do not defend any guesses. That is a stinky fish (red herring).
Then please cease the "nature does not allow it" talk.
Does â€œhereâ€� mean this debate? We are debating HERE, are we not? I have taken no position that can be remotely construed as a double standard.
Never mind. If the "nature does not allow it" talk cease, then so will my critique of naturalism, you know, the default position of theism is negated.
Let he who is without subjectivity and bias cast the first stone (that's rather biblical, isn't it?).
If said â€œAtheistâ€� attempts to coerce me to accept her/his guesses or to pass laws to force others to conform, or attempts to gain tax exemption for her/his group you can bet your bippy that I will be all over them
If anyone in debate claims to KNOW the origin of life I will challenge them to show verifiable evidence.
ANYONE who makes claims of knowledge or truth in debate can EXPECT to be challenged. Those who are uncomfortable having their ideas challenged may feel more comfortable avoiding level-playing-field debate and staying in church, revival meetings, Holy Huddle, Theology, Doctrine and Dogma sub-forums, and other Christians-only environments â€“ where challenges are not permitted.
Try to understand that the origin of life is a different matter from a claim of long dead bodies coming back to life. We are debating the latter â€“ NOT the former. I am aware that Apologists often attempt to derail debates by injecting â€œhow life beganâ€� whenever possible (since they seem to think they KNOW â€“ or pretend to know).
I take no position regarding origin of life. Kindly refrain from trying to use that tired tactic.
I already stated why I went that route.
Is that to claim that Jesus â€œraised from the deadâ€� supernaturally (not naturally) and his body did not decompose?
If so, kindly supply verifiable evidence to show that the event was supernatural.
Because the disciples believed it, and the best explanation for their belief is that it actually occurred.
The bold is for emphasis, because you people have already taken this out of context by only seeing the first part, and not what comes after it.
Is the â€œresurrectionâ€� somehow NOT a claim that a dead body came back to life? Is forensic biology evidence somehow NOT related to long-dead bodies coming back to life?
Forensic biology is SCIENCE. The alleged Resurrection is NOT science/scientific/natural/empirical. Trying to use science to explain something (even if it did occur) that is unscientific is like running on a treadmill.
Running, but not going anywhere.
We're not debating in spiritual land (at least I am not). I live and debate in the real world â€“ in which dead bodies decompose.
There is no contradiction between bodies decomposing in the real world, and a supernatural agent allowing a body to come back to life in the real world.
Conflating the two is futile and disingenuous.
I have proceeded as though debating an educated person capable of distinguishing between â€œof no consequenceâ€� and â€œforbiddenâ€�.
And I have proceeded as though debating an educated person capable of knowing that "real world" does not necessarily exclude supernatural claims or supernatural deities.
I have also proceeded as though the VERY clear statement of theistic position in my signature would not be beyond comprehension level of any reader. Perhaps I overestimate reader capabilities.
What you overestimated was my low level of interest in what is said in your signature.
Kindly refrain from attempting to assign to me any â€œdefault positionâ€� â€“ particularly regards a topic that is NOT part of this debate.
Then kill the "real world" talk.
Exactly WHAT â€œnaturally unverifiable thingâ€� have I actually presented?
Do you believe in evolution? (macroevolution)?
An informed opinion is STILL just an opinion. An educated guess is STILL just a guess.
Decomposition processes presented above are NOT opinion or guess â€“ they are VERIFIABLE records of what actually happens in the real world.
You are but a speck of dust in this vast universe, yet you keep talking about the "real world" as if you know all there is to know about everything within the universe or beyond it. Laughable.
Okay â€“ then WHY is the â€œresurrectionâ€� story true?
Because again, for the umphteenth time, the original apostles of Jesus believed that they saw him post mortem, and that belief is best explained by an actual Resurrection.
Correction: My position is that verifiable evidence has not been presented to show that the â€œresurrectionâ€� occurred. I do NOT claim to know that it did not. I do not make decisions regarding any important matter unless information is sufficient upon which to base an intelligent, informed, reasoned decisions.
So you wasn't giving me the body decomposition
spiel as proof of the impossibility of a dead body coming back to life?
I ASK Apologists to supply verifiable information â€“ and all that comes forth are unverifiable tales, unverifiable testimonials, unverifiable claims, and emotional appeals.
So how would you "verify" the truth value/lack thereof of something that was said in antiquity? How would you do it?
Here is what is clear..
3. For factual claims like the existence of individuals, places, and events, the Bible can be considered as providing evidence, but not necessarily conclusive evidence.
http://debatingchristianity.com/forum/v ... php?t=9741
And for any counter-guideline you appeal to, well, one rule cannot contradict another.
I do NOT attempt to explain why anyone believes anything Those who DO pretend to know who believed what and WHY are welcome to present their case.
Ok, so if you were asked "Why do forensic biologists believe
that life cannot rise naturally from the dead", then I'd would expect you to give me the same answer as it is in the above quote.
Instead, you know EXACTLY why forensic biologists believe this, and you've already made an attempt to explain why
Your scenario indicates assumptions about me that are dead wrong. I am not a fearful person (or easily frightened or intimidated). My response would likely be something along the lines of, â€œHi Uncle John. Good to see you. I guess they buried you prematurely.â€� I would certainly NOT presuppose a supernatural event.
In the scenario, it was clearly stated "after the funeral"..meaning that your uncle was already confirmed dead. Or better yet, how about a scenario at which you find your deceased uncle's body...at which he is clearly deceased?
Now, take updated scenario, and add it to the previous one, since you are obviously grasping at straws here. Lets just remove all doubt.
However, that scenario is NOT analogous to the â€œresurrectionâ€� story â€“ which is more like: Thirty or fifty years later someone says that someone told them that a grave was empty.
Someone told who? You are conflating two concepts; when the story was written on paper, and when the belief in the Resurrection first originated. The mere BELIEF in the Resurrection was held shortly after Jesus' death, as Paul himself is said to have been converted between 33-36 AD.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conversio ... ite_note-1
Just because the story was written 30-40 years after the event doesn't mean this is when the belief was first held. You've already acknowledged that with the Paul Bunyan reference, which states that the "Paul Bunyan story circulated for at least 30 years before finding their way into print."
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Buny ... references
There is no mention of anyone seeing the deceased at or near the tomb.
Oh, I didn't know that "seeing the deceased at or near the tomb" was a requirement. It was my impression that seeing a formerly deceased person anywhere would be suffice.
Later other people are SAID to have seen the deceased alive. There are no documents available from the people supposedly involved â€“ only stories.
Again, not everyone could read/write during that time. That is just the fact of the matter. Since they couldn't read or write, they told the story, and the story was passed down over the years until eventually the story was put on paper.
Second, even if documents were available from "the people supposedly involved", there is very little doubt in my mind that you (and others) would find some way to systematically reject those documents as well.
The more representative scenario easily qualifies as folklore, myth, oral tradition, etc
The scenario was changed to suit your fancy...now please answer the question...giving the scenario (uncle), when you told your family members what you saw, would you be spreading folklore or mythology? Or would you be simply telling the bold face truth.
Do the history profession and professional historians in general regard as truthful and accurate stories about supernatural characters and events?
Some do, some don't. That is subjective.
Correction: My answer would be qualified because I am aware that John Hanson was the first president of the Continental Congress â€“ and in some ways of thinking was â€œthe first presidentâ€�.
Ok, John Hanson
. It really doesn't matter what answer you give, because either way, your answer would be based off of what you were TOLD. The "story" of the history of the presidency was passed down through the centuries (traditionally) until it eventually made its way to you, and now you believe it with no questions asked.
And that is quite ironic, considering the fact that you are far more removed from the 16th century than the first century disciples, which is where the first mention of who wrote the Gospels come from.
Nice try though. This isn't my first rodeo. I am accustomed to trick questions. If it wasn't a trick question it did not come from someone who is credible as an historian since any credible historian should be aware of that situation. Either way â€“ Touche.
My qualified answer would be based upon an overwhelming number of verifiable, disconnected sources including official government documents (domestic and foreign), multiple independent news reports, hundreds or thousands of artifacts, etc.
Right, so you believe that GW or JH was the first President of the United States, and you can give reasons why you believe it. Well, we (Christians) believe that Jesus was resurrected from the dead based upon.
1. We have historical evidence that Jesus existed
2. We have historical evidence that Jesus was crucified
3. We have historical evidence that Jesus was buried
4. We have historical evidence to believe that his tomb became empty
5. We have personal testimony from a former skeptic from a contemporary of Jesus and Jesus' apostles to these things (Paul)
6. We have evidence that Jesus' brother, James, (former skeptic), also came to believe in the resurrection.
7. We have evidence that the apostles came to believe that they saw the resurrected Jesus.
We have our reasons, too.
Fair enough. I ask for an overwhelming number of verifiable, disconnected sources including official government documents (domestic and foreign), multiple independent news reports, hundreds or thousands of artifacts, etc.
1. The Gospels are independent
2. Paul's testimony is independent from the Gospels
3. We have two non-Christian sources who identified Jesus (Josephus/Tacitus)..with Josephus stating that after Jesus was crucified, "those who had FIRST come to love him did not cease", meaning that they (everyone that knew Jesus carried the message on after his death, which harmonizes with what Luke said in his preface.
And again, Tacitus stated that a mischeivious superstition arose as a result of Jesus death...which sound an awful lot like the resurrection
A nice case to build upon.
Assurance of truth and accuracy means it is KNOWN that a writer is speaking or writing truthfully and accurately. We have no such assurance regarding gospel writers.
Speak for yourself. We (believers) believe that we do.
Christian scholars and theologians cannot identify with certainty who wrote the gospels.
I didn't know that we can positively identify who wrote anything in antiquity.
Famous names were assigned later.
Not at all. Actually, that is the point, there were no "famous names". Not entirely. There are only four Gospels. And of the four, only two were alleged apostles of Jesus. Who were the other two? Mark and Luke? Neither one were apostles of Jesus.
I mean, traditionally, if you were going to just toss names out there as authors of these books and you want to give the books a nice push, why not say that Peter wrote the book of Mark? Peter was more famous than Mark in the church. Instead of claiming that Peter wrote the book, the claim has always been that Peter's friend, Mark, wrote the book. How much more geniune/honest can you be?
And then you have Luke, friend of Paul. Instead of claiming that Paul wrote the Gospel, the claim has always been that Luke, Paul's friend, wrote the Gospel. Wouldn't Paul's name give the book more of a push
? Again, sounds rather honest to me.
Not only that, but even throughout all four Gospels, Peter is Jesus' right hand man...yet the apostle Matthew
is the alleged author of Matthew. Why not Peter?
So far from "famous" names. The only "famous" name in the mix is John. Regarding the other 3, you have two dudes that weren't even apostles of Jesus and probably never met the guy (Mark and Luke), and one "lesser" apostle (Matthew).
You call that "famous"?
If / since their identity is unknown, HOW can anyone pretend to know that the people wrote truthfully and accurately â€“ or that they had actual knowledge of the events described?
Again, I doubt that even if the names of the authors were stapled to the book or if each book began with the author stating his name; I doubt that even if that were the case, skeptics would be any close to believing and accept Jesus Christ.
It seems more of a "we wouldn't believe it even if the authors identified themselves as apostles, but however, since they don't, we REALLY don't believe
If anything, the fact that the authors are anynomous makes a case for the traditional authorship, in my opinion. Apparently, the second century didn't see a problem with the anynomous authors. We certainly don't see any bickering amongst the second century disciples or early church regarding authorship of the Gospels...and we also don't see any later christians trying to interpolate the Gospels by adding names into the prefaces.
It seems all-around genuiness to me, but hey.
Best explanation is whose opinion? Do the history profession and professional historians agree that is the â€œbest explanationâ€� for stories about an empty tomb and later claimed sightings?
No. History is all subjective
I am quite aware of and trained in critical thinking â€“ which leads me to say that I have no way of knowing the motivations of others (particularly people living thousands of years ago). In some cases it is possible to observe outward manifestations that may give some indication of motivations if enough information is available. However, even then, critical thinking leads me to conclude that I cannot know with assurance the true or complete motivations of others since I am not qualified to read minds.
Ok, so let me ask you this; do you believe that based on the historical evidence from 33 AD-present, that the Christian movement began based on followers of Jesus believing that they saw him post-mortem?
Yes, or no?
Alternative explanations (whatever they may be and by whomever offered) do not seem likely to be intended to produce belief in the â€œresurrection.â€� So what?
And neither does the explanation of the apostles seeing a physical manifestation of the risen Jesus? That wouldn't produce the believe in resurrection?
Okay, you then understand that a lack of alternative explanations is no assurance that a proposed explanation is correct. Agreed?
Not necessarily. It means that we should accept the BEST explanation and simply go with the flow, while also accepting the fact that future explanations could falsify the accepted explanation...but for now, we will ride the wave in the direction of where the evidence is pointing.
Kind of like how they do in science, ya know?
It is not surprising that supernaturalists would believe that an empty Elvis grave plus unverified accounts of Elvis sightings would indicate he came back to life.
Well, here is the thing; I believe in the possibilty of ANYONE being resurrected based on what I believe to be good solid reasons for belief in a God that can give life, take life, and raise life.
So based on that, if I was to believe such a thing with Elvis, I would base the entire thing on a divine hand. Not only that, but again, bigger issue is raised as to how life began in the first place. I can either believe that there is a divine hand behind this thing we call "life", or I can believe that a mindless and blind process is behind it all (nature).
I believe the former.
Perhaps those are the same people who make many of the reports?
But the claim is never that Elvis was raised from the dead, is it?
There is also a such thing as Elvis impersantors, and some of them looks exactly like the guy. How can you rule out those sightings being actual impersonators? That is the point, no one (that I am aware of) who has had these Elvis sightings immediately jump to "Elvis has risen from the dead". You appeal to the simpler explanations first...and if those explanations aren't suffice, then you appeal to whatever is needed to produce the effect.
The disciples were even smart enough to do that. When the tomb was empty, they didn't conclude "The Messiah has risen". No, they didn't.
Kindly document who knew whom 2000 years ago. Christian scholars and theologians do not know or agree upon who â€œLukeâ€� was â€“ much less who he knew.
I was talking about Paul, actually. And here we go again, the good ole' "moving goal post" tactic. Early you were asking for "documentation from those that were there". Now, we have Paul, based on his own testimony, stating that he met with Peter, apostle of Jesus...and now suddenly you want documentation of "who knew whom"...in other words you are asking how do I know that Paul actually met Peter as he said he did?
Let's consider the standards that professional / academic historians apply to evaluate claims that long-dead people come back to life (and/or other claims of supernatural events). How are those evaluated by professional / academic historians? What standards do they use in such cases?
History is history
, regardless of whether an event is said to be natural, or supernatural, if it happened in time, it is history. Do you NOT agree with that?
Are tales about supernatural characters and events generally regarded by professional historians as verification that such tales are true and accurate? Examples?
Probably not, but I'd bet no historian can offer any good reason as to why not.
EXACTLY â€“ AND reasons to believe are NOT evidence that an event occurred.
The reasons to believe is based on the evidence that precedes the belief. Even in the Resurrection narrative, no one BELIEVED that Jesus had risen until they had evidence. The famous case with Thomas (doubting Thomas), he didn't believe until he had convincing evidence. This isn't blind faith
that is going on here.
Jesus told Thomas "You have seen, therefore you believe; blessed are those who have not seen, and still believe
We (believers), living 2,000 years later, have not seen, but by taking the little that history has given us, we believe.
Anyone can believe anything for any reason.
Agreed. There are good reasons, and bad reasons, but reasons
Speculating about why some people believed 2000 years ago does nothing to assure that the â€œresurrectionâ€� actually, literally occurred in the real world (no matter what anyone believed or why they believed).
Call it historical psychiatry
I would be interested in learning those reasons (in a separate thread).
If I believe that the Bible is true, why would I need the Koran?
You are certainly welcome to all the help you can get.
I am not taking ANY position regarding ANY ancient person. Let's try to debate the â€œresurrectionâ€� if we can ever get to that . . .
Still missing the point, eh?
There is some great ocean front property for sale in New Mexico. The Arizona land is all sold out to previous customers who believed the promotional literature.
Keeping in line with the gospel tales, four accounts. I do not consider the accounts to be independent if they copy from one another or a common source and use extensive wording that is identical.
There are differences within each account, too. I guess if four people do biographies of Shaquille O'neal, I guess the accounts wouldn't be independent if all four accounts include his tenure with the Orlando Magic, huh?
I confronted this sort of thing occasionally when giving tests in university classes â€“ If there are four people involved and the vast majority of what one person says is repeated verbatim or nearly so by two others I was not gullible or naÃ¯ve enough to think the work was independent â€“ most professors are not.
If all four people heard the same thing, why wouldn't it be at least somewhat verbatim?
Actually, at work, I work on a four man team. If I miss a day of work, and one by one, at different times of the day, each of my comrades fill me in on special instructions that my boss gave on the day of my abscence...should I not expect the information to be at least somewhat verbatim?
How much deviation do you think there would be?
Likewise if a research paper reproduces (plagiarizes) previous work or articles, I would not consider it independent.
I don't think that is what is going on with the Gospels.
Have you done so in THIS debate?
â€œThey believed (and had reasons to believe) seems to be all that has been presented (along with some unrelated fluff about origin of life and attacks on â€œthe Atheist positionâ€�).
You are selective in your quotation of what I said regarding "they believed", and that is rather apparent.
The greatest event in human history, according to some, and the â€œevidenceâ€� consists of a few tales by followers . . . Sounds a bit hokey to me â€“ akin to the New Mexico oceanfront real estate promotional literature.
Wait a minute, are you granting that the "tales" originated from followers?