Did the Resurrection of Jesus literally occur as claimed in

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Zzyzx
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Did the Resurrection of Jesus literally occur as claimed in

Post #1

Post by Zzyzx »

.
Did the Resurrection of Jesus literally occur as claimed in the Bible?

Following death human bodies decompose
The first stage begins shortly after death. Once the heart stops beating, the body's cells can no longer maintain homeostasis (a stable equilibrium of temperature, pH, and other factors), so they rupture. "When that happens, you start getting skin slippage" — Wescott mimes the skin falling off his own arm — "and you have putrefaction. This is when the bacteria start feeding on you. All of a sudden, there's this really rich carbon source for them."

Within a few days, this frenzy of feeding leads to the second stage: bloat. As bacteria digest the solid components of the body, they release gases — hydrogen sulfide, carbon dioxide, and methane — which cause the body to swell enormously. When a body at Freeman Ranch is in "full bloat," as the researchers say, it can expand to twice its previous size, in some cases even pushing the metal cage off the ground. During this stage, bacterial production of sulfur also gives the body a strange, yellowish color, part of a process called "marbling."

Bloating also triggers the arrival of flies, which lay eggs in any exposed orifice, including the eyes, ears, nose, and mouth — and for bodies that have been autopsied, the long incision that runs the length of the chest. A couple of days later, these eggs hatch into maggots, which cover the skin in a thick, crawling swarm. Because so many maggots hatch on the face, they consume the flesh there fastest, which creates a strange juxtaposition: a shriveled, blackened skull with carved-open features attached to a still-swollen body. The remains in this stage are the most jarring on the farm — distended, vividly-colored bodies, still fleshy enough to roughly resemble living humans but covered in a carpet of maggots. Get too close and flies will start landing on you, too.

After three days of decomposition, the body moves to the third stage: purge. At this point, it begins to shrink, as skin bursts open to relieve mounting pressure and fluids leak out. "The purge is so rich in nitrogen that it actually kills off all the vegetation around it," Wescott says, pointing to the blackened dead grass surrounding one body. "But if you come back in year, it'll be really high in plant life, because it'll act as a fertilizer."
http://www.vox.com/2014/10/28/7078151/b ... anch-decay
Decomposition begins several minutes after death with a process called autolysis, or self-digestion. Soon after the heart stops beating, cells become deprived of oxygen, and their acidity increases as the toxic by-products of chemical reactions begin to accumulate inside them. Enzymes start to digest cell membranes and then leak out as the cells break down. This usually begins in the liver, which is rich in enzymes, and in the brain, which has a high water content. Eventually, though, all other tissues and organs begin to break down in this way. Damaged blood cells begin to spill out of broken vessels and, aided by gravity, settle in the capillaries and small veins, discolouring the skin.

Body temperature also begins to drop, until it has acclimatised to its surroundings. Then, rigor mortis – “the stiffness of death� – sets in, starting in the eyelids, jaw and neck muscles, before working its way into the trunk and then the limbs. In life, muscle cells contract and relax due to the actions of two filamentous proteins (actin and myosin), which slide along each other. After death, the cells are depleted of their energy source and the protein filaments become locked in place. This causes the muscles to become rigid and locks the joints.

During these early stages, the cadaveric ecosystem consists mostly of the bacteria that live in and on the living human body. Our bodies host huge numbers of bacteria; every one of the body’s surfaces and corners provides a habitat for a specialised microbial community. By far the largest of these communities resides in the gut, which is home to trillions of bacteria of hundreds or perhaps thousands of different species.

The gut microbiome is one of the hottest research topics in biology; it’s been linked to roles in human health and a plethora of conditions and diseases, from autism and depression to irritable bowel syndrome and obesity. But we still know little about these microbial passengers. We know even less about what happens to them when we die.
http://gizmodo.com/this-is-what-happens ... 1702224627
Both articles continue at length.

These conditions are known to exist / occur and can be documented, demonstrated, verified, observed by anyone interested and motivated to study the matter and/or visit a body farm. The decomposition processes are considered by forensic biologists to be irreversible.

If someone contends that they know of exceptions to the above which include a long-dead body coming back to life they are welcome to present verifiable evidence that the claimed exception occurred – in defiance of what is know by modern scientific study.

If someone contends that supernaturalism or “divine action� was involved they are invited to present verifiable information that such interventions or actions actually occurred (something more substantial than ancient stories or modern opinions).

Note: Bible stories cannot be used to verify Bible stories. The Bible is not considered authoritative or proof of truth in these debates. “Millions believe� is invalid – an example of the logical blunder known as argumentum ad populum (a fallacious argument that concludes that a proposition is true because many or most people believe it).
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Re: Did the Resurrection of Jesus literally occur as claimed

Post #2

Post by For_The_Kingdom »

I'd like to thank you, Zzyzx, for agreeing to participate in this debate regarding the question of "Did the Resurrection of Jesus literally occur as claimed in the Bible".

It seems you are basing your entire case against the Resurrection from the standpoint of "dead bodies remain dead". You also explained in detail what naturally occurs to the body once it is deceased, providing links and such in reference to the "stages" of death.

Is this a good case against the Resurrection of Jesus as claimed in the Bible? I don't think so. I will explain why.

Zzyzx wrote: .
Did the Resurrection of Jesus literally occur as claimed in the Bible?

Following death human bodies decompose

The first stage begins shortly after death. Once the heart stops beating, the body's cells can no longer maintain homeostasis (a stable equilibrium of temperature, pH, and other factors), so they rupture. "When that happens, you start getting skin slippage" — Wescott mimes the skin falling off his own arm — "and you have putrefaction. This is when the bacteria start feeding on you. All of a sudden, there's this really rich carbon source for them."

Within a few days, this frenzy of feeding leads to the second stage: bloat. As bacteria digest the solid components of the body, they release gases — hydrogen sulfide, carbon dioxide, and methane — which cause the body to swell enormously. When a body at Freeman Ranch is in "full bloat," as the researchers say, it can expand to twice its previous size, in some cases even pushing the metal cage off the ground. During this stage, bacterial production of sulfur also gives the body a strange, yellowish color, part of a process called "marbling."

Bloating also triggers the arrival of flies, which lay eggs in any exposed orifice, including the eyes, ears, nose, and mouth — and for bodies that have been autopsied, the long incision that runs the length of the chest. A couple of days later, these eggs hatch into maggots, which cover the skin in a thick, crawling swarm. Because so many maggots hatch on the face, they consume the flesh there fastest, which creates a strange juxtaposition: a shriveled, blackened skull with carved-open features attached to a still-swollen body. The remains in this stage are the most jarring on the farm — distended, vividly-colored bodies, still fleshy enough to roughly resemble living humans but covered in a carpet of maggots. Get too close and flies will start landing on you, too.

After three days of decomposition, the body moves to the third stage: purge. At this point, it begins to shrink, as skin bursts open to relieve mounting pressure and fluids leak out. "The purge is so rich in nitrogen that it actually kills off all the vegetation around it," Wescott says, pointing to the blackened dead grass surrounding one body. "But if you come back in year, it'll be really high in plant life, because it'll act as a fertilizer."
http://www.vox.com/2014/10/28/7078151/b ... anch-decay
Decomposition begins several minutes after death with a process called autolysis, or self-digestion. Soon after the heart stops beating, cells become deprived of oxygen, and their acidity increases as the toxic by-products of chemical reactions begin to accumulate inside them. Enzymes start to digest cell membranes and then leak out as the cells break down. This usually begins in the liver, which is rich in enzymes, and in the brain, which has a high water content. Eventually, though, all other tissues and organs begin to break down in this way. Damaged blood cells begin to spill out of broken vessels and, aided by gravity, settle in the capillaries and small veins, discolouring the skin.

Body temperature also begins to drop, until it has acclimatised to its surroundings. Then, rigor mortis – “the stiffness of death� – sets in, starting in the eyelids, jaw and neck muscles, before working its way into the trunk and then the limbs. In life, muscle cells contract and relax due to the actions of two filamentous proteins (actin and myosin), which slide along each other. After death, the cells are depleted of their energy source and the protein filaments become locked in place. This causes the muscles to become rigid and locks the joints.

During these early stages, the cadaveric ecosystem consists mostly of the bacteria that live in and on the living human body. Our bodies host huge numbers of bacteria; every one of the body’s surfaces and corners provides a habitat for a specialised microbial community. By far the largest of these communities resides in the gut, which is home to trillions of bacteria of hundreds or perhaps thousands of different species.

The gut microbiome is one of the hottest research topics in biology; it’s been linked to roles in human health and a plethora of conditions and diseases, from autism and depression to irritable bowel syndrome and obesity. But we still know little about these microbial passengers. We know even less about what happens to them when we die.
http://gizmodo.com/this-is-what-happens ... 1702224627
Unfortunately, your entire case against the Resurrection is a straw man attack. Your case would be an excellent refutation of the Resurrection if and only if the claim was that Jesus rose naturally from the dead. If someone claimed that Jesus rose naturally from the dead, then I would agree with you; that naturally, this isn't possible.

However, the claim isn't that Jesus rose naturally from the dead, but rather; God rose Jesus from the dead. It was a miracle. Now, of course, you can feel free to disagree with even that claim, and you can even make attempts to refute it. However, arguing from the perspective of "naturally, a body cannot rise from the dead" would be a straw man attack.

And to stretch the point even further; the authors of the New Testament, even if what they wrote is false, THEY knew enough to understand that bodies don't rise naturally from the dead, which is why the "supernatural" hypothesis was always there from the beginning.

Third, the fact that Jesus' body did NOT decompose was prophecized by David, who a thousand years B.C stated in Ps 16:9-10

9 "Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices;
my body also will rest secure,
10because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead,
nor will you let your faithfulb one see decay."

The Apostle Peter alluded to this in Acts 2:25-31...and in verse 32 summed it up by saying "God raised this Jesus to life, and we are witnesses of it".

Not only that, but even Martha, Lazarus's sister, knew that once the tomb of her dead brother was open, there would be an "odor". (John 11:39), and Jesus told her to have faith, basically saying "all of that "natural" stuff is fine and dandy, but if you have faith, none of that stuff means a dang thang when you are dealing with the one who has the power to give life, take life, and give it again".

That was the gist of things.

So the the distinction between what can't happen (natural Resurrection) and what can happen supernaturally (Resurrection via divine hand) was made over 3,000 years ago before you are presently concluding that it can't be the case.
Zzyzx wrote: These conditions are known to exist / occur and can be documented, demonstrated, verified, observed by anyone interested and motivated to study the matter and/or visit a body farm. The decomposition processes are considered by forensic biologists to be irreversible.
*Naturally irreversible
Zzyzx wrote: If someone contends that they know of exceptions to the above which include a long-dead body coming back to life they are welcome to present verifiable evidence that the claimed exception occurred – in defiance of what is know by modern scientific study.
Not to get too far left field, but in that case, since we only know of life to come from preexisting life, and we don't have any verifiable evidence to contend with the observation of "life only coming from life", then we shouldn't believe that life came from non-living material, which is what most naturalists believe and what is what one MUST believe if the intelligent design is negated.
Zzyzx wrote: If someone contends that supernaturalism or “divine action� was involved they are invited to present verifiable information that such interventions or actions actually occurred (something more substantial than ancient stories or modern opinions).
The historical evidence for the Resurrection is verifiable. We have historical evidence that the disciples believed that Jesus rose from the dead, and that belief is best explained by Jesus actually rising from the dead.
Zzyzx wrote: Note: Bible stories cannot be used to verify Bible stories. The Bible is not considered authoritative or proof of truth in these debates.
First, I don't necessarily agree with that because based on that logic, King Tut never existed. After all, there is no evidence "outside of Egypt" which states that he ever existed...and "Egyptian stories cannot be used to verify Egyptian stories". If that logical is applied, a lot of things wouldn't be verified.

Second, what you are doing is quite common among Biblical skeptics, and that is treating the Bible as one big book instead of treating it as a collection of independent books, COMPILED together to make one book. If all we had was one independent Gospel which gives the Resurrection narrative, then I could understand the skepticism. But since we have four Gospels, plus Epistles, and a handful of extra-Biblical narratives, then that gives the narrative some historical credibility.
Zzyzx wrote: “Millions believe� is invalid – an example of the logical blunder known as argumentum ad populum (a fallacious argument that concludes that a proposition is true because many or most people believe it).
No fallacy committed here.

Zzyzx
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Re: Did the Resurrection of Jesus literally occur as claimed

Post #3

Post by Zzyzx »

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[Replying to post 2 by For_The_Kingdom]

Thank you for the reasoned reply.

This defense of the resurrection apparently rests upon it being “not natural� but caused by action by God. Correct?

The evidence presented is nothing more than STORIES that make the claim and indications that people believed the stories. As we are aware, not all stories told are truthful and accurate and people believing the stories or parts thereof are not verification that the events claimed “literally happened�.

In reasoned discussion / debate one cannot use stories to verify themselves.

In this case, the stories cited were evidently written by people whose identity is unknown to and/or disputed by Christian scholars and theologians – people who cannot be shown to have had personal knowledge from which to write their stories – with no assurance that their sources were anything more than folklore, legend, myth, fable, oral tradition, etc.
For_The_Kingdom wrote: It seems you are basing your entire case against the Resurrection from the standpoint of "dead bodies remain dead". You also explained in detail what naturally occurs to the body once it is deceased, providing links and such in reference to the "stages" of death.
Agreed. If someone wishes to argue that dead bodies do not remain dead, they are welcome to present verifiable evidence that exceptions occur (not just stories, claims, testimonials).
For_The_Kingdom wrote: Is this a good case against the Resurrection of Jesus as claimed in the Bible? I don't think so. I will explain why.
Readers will decide for themselves . . .
For_The_Kingdom wrote: Unfortunately, your entire case against the Resurrection is a straw man attack. Your case would be an excellent refutation of the Resurrection if and only if the claim was that Jesus rose naturally from the dead. If someone claimed that Jesus rose naturally from the dead, then I would agree with you; that naturally, this isn't possible.
I live and debate in the real world.

Those who wish to argue that some sort of paranormal explains events in question, they are welcome to present verifiable evidence that the event occurred and that paranormal forces were involved.
For_The_Kingdom wrote: However, the claim isn't that Jesus rose naturally from the dead, but rather; God rose Jesus from the dead. It was a miracle.
That is a claim of knowledge and truth. Kindly verify that “a miracle� actually occurred.
For_The_Kingdom wrote: Now, of course, you can feel free to disagree with even that claim, and you can even make attempts to refute it.
I have no need to refute a claim. The maker of the claim has the obligation to demonstrate that the claim is true.
For_The_Kingdom wrote: However, arguing from the perspective of "naturally, a body cannot rise from the dead" would be a straw man attack
Feel free to demonstrate that the claimed event actually, literally occurred as a “not natural� event. .
For_The_Kingdom wrote: And to stretch the point even further; the authors of the New Testament, even if what they wrote is false, THEY knew enough to understand that bodies don't rise naturally from the dead, which is why the "supernatural" hypothesis was always there from the beginning.
Key word is “hypothesis� – an unsubstantiated, unauthenticated guess.
For_The_Kingdom wrote: So the the distinction between what can't happen (natural Resurrection) and what can happen supernaturally (Resurrection via divine hand) was made over 3,000 years ago before you are presently concluding that it can't be the case.
There are many TALES in ancient literature claiming supernatural involvement. Which, if any, of the tales are true? How their truth be determined?
For_The_Kingdom wrote:
Zzyzx wrote: These conditions are known to exist / occur and can be documented, demonstrated, verified, observed by anyone interested and motivated to study the matter and/or visit a body farm. The decomposition processes are considered by forensic biologists to be irreversible.
*Naturally irreversible
Agreed
For_The_Kingdom wrote:
Zzyzx wrote: If someone contends that they know of exceptions to the above which include a long-dead body coming back to life they are welcome to present verifiable evidence that the claimed exception occurred – in defiance of what is know by modern scientific study.
Not to get too far left field, but in that case, since we only know of life to come from preexisting life, and we don't have any verifiable evidence to contend with the observation of "life only coming from life", then we shouldn't believe that life came from non-living material, which is what most naturalists believe and what is what one MUST believe if the intelligent design is negated.
Origin of life is not related to the claimed “resurrection�. Kindly debate what I actually present without wandering into what “most naturalists believe�.
For_The_Kingdom wrote:
Zzyzx wrote: If someone contends that supernaturalism or “divine action� was involved they are invited to present verifiable information that such interventions or actions actually occurred (something more substantial than ancient stories or modern opinions).
The historical evidence for the Resurrection is verifiable. We have historical evidence that the disciples believed that Jesus rose from the dead,
“Disciples believed� is NOT evidence that the event occurred. People believe all sorts of weird things that may well not be true or accurate. Are gospel accounts of disciples believing immune?
For_The_Kingdom wrote: and that belief is best explained by Jesus actually rising from the dead.
Someone believing ANYTHING is not evidence that it actually occurred – as indicated by the multiple reports of people believing they saw Elvis after he died. Those tales are not taken as proof or evidence that he came back to life. Agreed?

Why, then, should a few people 2000 years ago believing someone came back to life be given any more credibility than the Elvis sightings?
For_The_Kingdom wrote:
Zzyzx wrote: Note: Bible stories cannot be used to verify Bible stories. The Bible is not considered authoritative or proof of truth in these debates.
First, I don't necessarily agree with that
Kindly review Forum Rules and C&A Guidelines that govern this debate.
Unsupported Bible quotations are to be considered as no more authoritative than unsupported quotations from any other book.

If you choose to debate in this sub-forum you are REQUIRED to honor the Guidelines. Notice specifically that the Bible can be used ONLY to show what the bible says and what Christianity says. It cannot be used to prove that a statement or story is true.

This sub-forum is intended as a meeting ground for any and all theistic positions – none of which are given preferential treatment. It is a very “level playing field�. Any story, statement or claim of knowledge which is challenged is required to be substantiated with evidence to show that it is true and accurate. “The Bible (or Quran or Bhagavad Gita) says so� is NOT acceptable as proof of truth.
http://debatingchristianity.com/forum/v ... php?t=9741
These Guidelines in the C&A sub-forum (applied also here by mutual agreement) are intended to create a “level playing field� wherein no one's point of view or literature are given preferential treatment. I would not debate in any situation that required that the Bible be accepted as proof of truth.
For_The_Kingdom wrote: because based on that logic, King Tut never existed. After all, there is no evidence "outside of Egypt" which states that he ever existed...and "Egyptian stories cannot be used to verify Egyptian stories". If that logical is applied, a lot of things wouldn't be verified.
We are not debating anything related to King Tut or any other historical figure or event – only the claimed resurrection.
For_The_Kingdom wrote: Second, what you are doing is quite common among Biblical skeptics, and that is treating the Bible as one big book instead of treating it as a collection of independent books, COMPILED together to make one book.
I consider the Bible to be an anthology – a book or other collection of selected writings by various authors, usually in the same literary form, of the same period, or on the same subject
http://www.dictionary.com

The anthology was produced by churchmen selecting documents that reflected certain points of view.
For_The_Kingdom wrote: If all we had was one independent Gospel which gives the Resurrection narrative, then I could understand the skepticism. But since we have four Gospels, plus Epistles, and a handful of extra-Biblical narratives, then that gives the narrative some historical credibility.
If we have several writings from representatives of a company selected by management for inclusion in company literature, do we regard those writings as “independent� narratives?
For_The_Kingdom wrote:
Zzyzx wrote: “Millions believe� is invalid – an example of the logical blunder known as argumentum ad populum (a fallacious argument that concludes that a proposition is true because many or most people believe it).
No fallacy committed here.
Replace “millions believe� with “several believe� (which is claimed) and it is still a fallacy. The fallacy involves offering ANY belief as proof of truth.
.
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Re: Did the Resurrection of Jesus literally occur as claimed

Post #4

Post by For_The_Kingdom »

Zzyzx wrote: .
[Replying to post 2 by For_The_Kingdom]

Thank you for the reasoned reply.

This defense of the resurrection apparently rests upon it being “not natural� but caused by action by God. Correct?
Yes, but in this particular case; only as it relates to the objection that you raised. The main case, however, is based upon the origins of the disciples belief and how it is best explained by the actual Resurrection of Jesus.
Zzyzx wrote: The evidence presented is nothing more than STORIES that make the claim and indications that people believed the stories.

As we are aware, not all stories told are truthful and accurate and people believing the stories or parts thereof are not verification that the events claimed “literally happened�.

In reasoned discussion / debate one cannot use stories to verify themselves.

In this case, the stories cited were evidently written by people whose identity is unknown to and/or disputed by Christian scholars and theologians – people who cannot be shown to have had personal knowledge from which to write their stories – with no assurance that their sources were anything more than folklore, legend, myth, fable, oral tradition, etc.
Your point is well noted. In response, I will raise at least two points.

1. The preface of Luke's Gospel: As it begins (Luke 1:1-2) "1 Many have undertaken to draw up an account of the things that have been fulfilled[a] among us, 2 just as they were handed down to us by those who from the first were eyewitnesses and servants of the word.

Now, as a believer myself, it is hard for me to be unbiased (we all have our biases), however, I will try to be as unbiased as I possibly can when examining these two verses...and maybe it's just me, but there is a certain genuineness/sincerity when it comes to it.

According to the preface, the original stories began by those that were "eyewitnesses and servants of the word". Why is this significant? Because, this would fly in the face of the notion that some guy or group of people decided to concoct a false story down the line. Luke is presupposing that there were eyewitnesses, and if eyewitnesses are presupposed, then the particular event that was witnessed is also presupposed.

If the story originated from eyewitnesses, then the truth value of the event either rises or falls on the testimony of the eyewitnesses. Luke is stating that the story originated from actual servants of Jesus. So it would seem that it comes down to whether the eyewitnesses were lying, or telling the truth. Well?

2. Testimony of Paul: We also have the testimony of Paul, who was indeed a contemporary to the ORIGINAL APOSTLES of Jesus, having met Peter and James (brother of Jesus). In his epistles, Paul was preaching a Resurrection...and what is remarkable about Paul's writings is the fact that most of them predate the Gospels..which means we have a man testifying to a Resurrection before the official biographies of Jesus (the Gospels) was even written!! Paul passed on a creed that was given to him by the apostles (1Corinthians 15:3-7), which means that Paul bridges the gap between the original Apostles who were original Jews, and the contemporary and future Gentiles (non-Jewish Christian converts).

Now, between those two points, we have about a 40 year gap between Jesus' crucifixion and when the Gospels/Epistles were written...which is, from a historical perspective, a very short time frame.

And to put it in modern day perspective, JFK was assassinated in 1963 (over 50 years ago), and not only does documentaries about his death still hit hit airwaves today, but there are people living today that can recall that tragic day very vividly.

So, we can take that same line of reasoning and apply it to Jesus, as there were people living during the time of Jesus' crucifixion that were living during the time that Paul wrote 1 Corinthians (as he alluded too), and Jesus was still obviously the talk of the town even some 40 years after his death, just as JFK's assassination still resonates every other year.
Zzyzx wrote: Agreed. If someone wishes to argue that dead bodies do not remain dead, they are welcome to present verifiable evidence that exceptions occur (not just stories, claims, testimonials).
But see, that is what I find remarkable. It is remarkable that naturalists/atheists, who have such a difficult time accepting the idea that a person can rise from the dead...are the same ones that believe that life can come from non-life.

If and only if you are an atheist (maintaining that there is no God), then by default, life must have come from non-life, as there is no middle ground; either God did it (personal), or nature did it (impersonal).

So in essence, based on our competing worldviews, you have a hard time accepting any postulation of a dead body coming back to life. I, on the other hand, have a hard time accepting any postulation of inanimate matter suddenly/gradually come to life in the first place.

I don't for one minute believe that your worldview of abiogenesis (assuming you are a naturalist) is any more rational/plausible than mines (a believer in miracles). And you certainly can't prove your worldview of abiogenesis (assuming you are a naturalist) with science either more than I can. But then again, my worldview isn't based on the scientific method in this regard, so I am not bound strictly by scientific methodology anyway.
Zzyzx wrote: I live and debate in the real world.
So do I. But I don't assume that the "real world" and "miracles in the real world" are contradictory.
Zzyzx wrote: Those who wish to argue that some sort of paranormal explains events in question, they are welcome to present verifiable evidence that the event occurred and that paranormal forces were involved.
Right, and I believe that "paranormal" forces were involved for physical existence to be possible in the first place, unless one can provide "verifiable" evidence that physical existence is necessary in its existence.
Zzyzx wrote: That is a claim of knowledge and truth. Kindly verify that “a miracle� actually occurred.
I said "the claim is that God raised Jesus from the dead". I am merely stating the claim. The claim is historically verified in my opinion. While there are no absolutes when it comes to historical inquiry, at best we can say is that it is "more likely than not" that any event in history occurred. And in this case, based on the historical evidence, it is more likely than not that the Resurrection occurred.
Zzyzx wrote: I have no need to refute a claim.
Yet, you spent your entire first post refuting the phantom "claims" against a natural Resurrection.
Zzyzx wrote: The maker of the claim has the obligation to demonstrate that the claim is true.
Agreed. And I stated that based on Biblical and extra-Biblical sources, the Resurrection of Jesus is more likely than not to have taken place.
Zzyzx wrote: Feel free to demonstrate that the claimed event actually, literally occurred as a “not natural� event.
We have four independent biographies (Gospels) of Jesus which testifies to the Apostles belief in Jesus Resurrection. We have a contemporary person to the disciples, who testified to the Apostles belief in the Resurrection (Paul), and who himself believed that Jesus appeared to him (1Corin 15:8). We have the writings of Jospehus, who stated that "those who first come to love him did not cease" (Antiquities of the Jews 18:3,3), and we have Tactius, a Roman senator, who stated that a mischievous superstition resulted in Jesus' crucifixion. Sounds like a Resurrection to me.

So again, the historical evidence is clear, that the Resurrection is more likely than not.
Zzyzx wrote: Key word is “hypothesis� – an unsubstantiated, unauthenticated guess.
I used "hypothesis" in the sense of retrospect. Obviously, if what they said is true, then it wouldn't be a hypothesis to them, but rather, to us. Since neither of us living today was there, all we can do is examine the evidence, looking back through history and making hypothesis, which is educated guesses.
Zzyzx wrote: There are many TALES in ancient literature claiming supernatural involvement. Which, if any, of the tales are true? How their truth be determined?
We should examine everything on a case by case basis.
Zzyzx wrote: Origin of life is not related to the claimed “resurrection�. Kindly debate what I actually present without wandering into what “most naturalists believe�.
I must digress. If anything, I am exposing what appears to be an obvious double standard. The same people that are quick to point out how unnatural it is for a Resurrection to take place are the same people that are quick to believe the apparent unnatural phenomena of life from non-life. If you are going to critique my worldview on the grounds of it being unnatural, while also holding on to an unnatural worldview, is quite disingenuous.
Zzyzx wrote: “Disciples believed� is NOT evidence that the event occurred. People believe all sorts of weird things that may well not be true or accurate. Are gospel accounts of disciples believing immune?
No, they are not immune, and it is not as black and white as you may think. It isn't just at face value, or "the disciples believed, therefore, it is true".Rather, it is..

1. The disciples believed in the Resurrection.
2. If the disciples believed in the Resurrection, they had reasons to believe.

So immediately, we know that if they believed in the Resurrection, then they weren't lying. So then, you examine all plausible explanations as to WHY they would believe in the Resurrection of Jesus.

Over the centuries, many explanations have been given, but under close examination, all explanations fall short of having the explanatory value that is needed to explain ALL of the historical facts that surround the entire ordeal.

It is because of this that we conclude that the best explanation for the origins of the disciples belief is that the Resurrection actually occurred.
Zzyzx wrote: Someone believing ANYTHING is not evidence that it actually occurred – as indicated by the multiple reports of people believing they saw Elvis after he died. Those tales are not taken as proof or evidence that he came back to life. Agreed? Why, then, should a few people 2000 years ago believing someone came back to life be given any more credibility than the Elvis sightings?
The difference between the Elvis "sightings" and the post-mortem appearances of Jesus is simple; Elvis was allegedly seen by people. But Jesus appeared to his disciples, talked with them, walked with them, ate with them, etc.

How many people claimed to have talked with Elvis, walked with Elvis, and ate with Elvis over the course 40 days after his death (Acts 1:1-9)? None. And Paul stated that Jesus appeared to 500 people are one time (1 Corin 15:6).

So in other words, the extent at which Jesus appeared to folks goes well beyond just mere "sightings" as with Elvis. Apples and oranges.
Zzyzx wrote:
If you choose to debate in this sub-forum you are REQUIRED to honor the Guidelines. Notice specifically that the Bible can be used ONLY to show what the bible says and what Christianity says. It cannot be used to prove that a statement or story is true.
So before the debate even began, the odds were stacked against me because I am being prevented from appealing to a source that I believe backs up my case.

So much damn partiality on this forum.
Zzyzx wrote:
This sub-forum is intended as a meeting ground for any and all theistic positions – none of which are given preferential treatment. It is a very “level playing field�. Any story, statement or claim of knowledge which is challenged is required to be substantiated with evidence to show that it is true and accurate. “The Bible (or Quran or Bhagavad Gita) says so� is NOT acceptable as proof of truth.
It isn't accepted as proof by whom? From you or anyone else that isn't a believer? Who are you to say whether or not any religious book is of truth value? You call that a level playing field?
Zzyzx wrote:
These Guidelines in the C&A sub-forum (applied also here by mutual agreement) are intended to create a “level playing field� wherein no one's point of view or literature are given preferential treatment. I would not debate in any situation that required that the Bible be accepted as proof of truth.
Then don't debate. As I stated previously, the Bible is a book that is compiled up of independent books..each one stands on its on merit and is open for scrutiny and for all you or anyone else knows, everything in the Bible COULD be true (or false), but whether or not it is true or false; that ITSELF is up for debate..and to immediately dismiss it offhand and have this close-minded approach to it is part of the problem. You could care less about truth value and your only goal is to oppose and attack.
Zzyzx wrote:
We are not debating anything related to King Tut or any other historical figure or event – only the claimed resurrection.
No shit. In order to expose your bad logic, all I had to do was apply the same line of reasoning you gave me regarding the Resurrection to some other alleged event or circumstance in history that I am sure you accept, and since you and I both know that you are willing to accept the existence of King Tut without any extra-Egyptian sources corroborating his existence...that goes to show the obvious double standard that is involved here.
Zzyzx wrote:
I consider the Bible to be an anthology – a book or other collection of selected writings by various authors, usually in the same literary form, of the same period, or on the same subject
http://www.dictionary.com

The anthology was produced by churchmen selecting documents that reflected certain points of view.
Your opinion is well noted.
Zzyzx wrote:
If we have several writings from representatives of a company selected by management for inclusion in company literature, do we regard those writings as “independent� narratives?
Are the accounts different?
Zzyzx wrote:
Replace “millions believe� with “several believe� (which is claimed) and it is still a fallacy. The fallacy involves offering ANY belief as proof of truth.
But that still isn't what is being done here.

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Re: Did the Resurrection of Jesus literally occur as claimed

Post #5

Post by Zzyzx »

.
[Replying to post 4 by For_The_Kingdom]

Let's try to avoid becoming emotional or frustrated – and stick to the topic. We agreed that for this debate:
Did the Resurrection of Jesus literally occur as claimed in the Bible?

Forum Rules and C&A Guidelines apply
No personal remarks
Claims of knowledge or fact will be substantiated with verifiable evidence
That has not changed as far as I am concerned.
For_The_Kingdom wrote:
Zzyzx wrote: This defense of the resurrection apparently rests upon it being “not natural� but caused by action by God. Correct?
Yes, but in this particular case; only as it relates to the objection that you raised. The main case, however, is based upon the origins of the disciples belief and how it is best explained by the actual Resurrection of Jesus.
Thus, the event that supposedly is the most important event in history is supported by “these people believed� and “they had reason to believe�.
For_The_Kingdom wrote:
Zzyzx wrote: The evidence presented is nothing more than STORIES that make the claim and indications that people believed the stories.

As we are aware, not all stories told are truthful and accurate and people believing the stories or parts thereof are not verification that the events claimed “literally happened�.

In reasoned discussion / debate one cannot use stories to verify themselves.

In this case, the stories cited were evidently written by people whose identity is unknown to and/or disputed by Christian scholars and theologians – people who cannot be shown to have had personal knowledge from which to write their stories – with no assurance that their sources were anything more than folklore, legend, myth, fable, oral tradition, etc.
Your point is well noted. In response, I will raise at least two points.

1. The preface of Luke's Gospel: As it begins (Luke 1:1-2) "1 Many have undertaken to draw up an account of the things that have been fulfilled[a] among us, 2 just as they were handed down to us by those who from the first were eyewitnesses and servants of the word.
Yes, “Luke� (whoever he may have been) admits that he writes what others have told him. Thus, he does not claim personal knowledge of events and conversations from thirty / fifty / or more years earlier.
For_The_Kingdom wrote: Now, as a believer myself, it is hard for me to be unbiased (we all have our biases), however, I will try to be as unbiased as I possibly can when examining these two verses...and maybe it's just me, but there is a certain genuineness/sincerity when it comes to it.

According to the preface, the original stories began by those that were "eyewitnesses and servants of the word". Why is this significant? Because, this would fly in the face of the notion that some guy or group of people decided to concoct a false story down the line.
Claiming “there were eyewitnesses� is VERY different from eyewitness accounts.

Could a person telling a tall tale say “there were 500 witnesses� if that was not true? Do people ever exaggerate or make up stories or claims? This is NOT a claim that “Luke� did so but rather an acknowledgment that the possibility cannot be eliminated.
For_The_Kingdom wrote: Luke is presupposing that there were eyewitnesses, and if eyewitnesses are presupposed, then the particular event that was witnessed is also presupposed.
Yes, if one believes they believe. So what?
For_The_Kingdom wrote: If the story originated from eyewitnesses, then the truth value of the event either rises or falls on the testimony of the eyewitnesses. Luke is stating that the story originated from actual servants of Jesus. So it would seem that it comes down to whether the eyewitnesses were lying, or telling the truth. Well?
Since “Luke� admits that he writes hearsay (that heard from others) and his sources are not identified, their and his reliability is open to doubt. He may well have been recording “oral tradition�, folklore, myth, fable, legend.

Stories passed down orally from person-to-person for decades or generations are not known to be accurate, truthful, reliable. The story of Paul Bunyan illustrates the concept. It was probably based on an outstanding Canadian lumberjack and his “exploits� were expanded / exaggerated with repeated retellings until someone finally recorded them.
For_The_Kingdom wrote: 2. Testimony of Paul: We also have the testimony of Paul, who was indeed a contemporary to the ORIGINAL APOSTLES of Jesus, having met Peter and James (brother of Jesus). In his epistles, Paul was preaching a Resurrection...
Paul/Saul admittedly did not ever meet Jesus or witness any of his feats or conversations – except in a “vision� (or hallucination or delusion or fantasy or whatever it was).
For_The_Kingdom wrote: and what is remarkable about Paul's writings is the fact that most of them predate the Gospels..which means we have a man testifying to a Resurrection before the official biographies of Jesus (the Gospels) was even written!!
Agreed. The gospels were written decades after Paul/Saul's writings. Gospel writers may well have been followers of Paul/Saul. It seems likely that they had access to his writings.
For_The_Kingdom wrote: Paul passed on a creed that was given to him by the apostles (1Corinthians 15:3-7),
Correction: Paul/Saul says clearly that he did not get his information from men – but directly from Jesus in the “visions�.

Galatians 1:12 I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it; rather, I received it by revelation from Jesus Christ.
For_The_Kingdom wrote: which means that Paul bridges the gap between the original Apostles who were original Jews, and the contemporary and future Gentiles (non-Jewish Christian converts).
Yes, Paul/Saul's intended audience was composed of Gentiles and Roman officials – hundreds of miles away from Jerusalem.
For_The_Kingdom wrote: Now, between those two points, we have about a 40 year gap between Jesus' crucifixion and when the Gospels/Epistles were written...which is, from a historical perspective, a very short time frame.
The major objection is not the time gap, but the lack of supporting evidence and the lack of assurance that gospel writers had personal knowledge of events they purport to describe.
For_The_Kingdom wrote: And to put it in modern day perspective, JFK was assassinated in 1963 (over 50 years ago), and not only does documentaries about his death still hit hit airwaves today, but there are people living today that can recall that tragic day very vividly.
I am one of the people who can recall the JFK assassination event. I was twenty-three years old and a college student at the time.

I do not have total recall of what I heard / read about the event – and could not write an accurate and truthful account.
For_The_Kingdom wrote: So, we can take that same line of reasoning and apply it to Jesus, as there were people living during the time of Jesus' crucifixion that were living during the time that Paul wrote 1 Corinthians (as he alluded too), and Jesus was still obviously the talk of the town even some 40 years after his death, just as JFK's assassination still resonates every other year.
The “talk of the town� was hundreds of miles away from where Paul/Saul preached. His version was NOT accepted by the Jesus Movement in the areas where it supposedly occurred.
For_The_Kingdom wrote:
Zzyzx wrote: Agreed. If someone wishes to argue that dead bodies do not remain dead, they are welcome to present verifiable evidence that exceptions occur (not just stories, claims, testimonials).
But see, that is what I find remarkable. It is remarkable that naturalists/atheists, who have such a difficult time accepting the idea that a person can rise from the dead...are the same ones that believe that life can come from non-life.
Kindly refrain from trying to detour into “how life began�. I do not debate that topic since I do not pretend to know.

One need not know how life began to understand that dead bodies do not come back to life.
For_The_Kingdom wrote: If and only if you are an atheist (maintaining that there is no God), then by default, life must have come from non-life, as there is no middle ground; either God did it (personal), or nature did it (impersonal).
Again, we are not discussing “how life began�.

My theological position is clearly stated in signature at the bottom of each post. However, that is immaterial in discussion / debate of whether the “resurrection� actually, literally occurred in the real world.
For_The_Kingdom wrote: So in essence, based on our competing worldviews, you have a hard time accepting any postulation of a dead body coming back to life.
Agreed. I do not accept that dead bodies come back to life and do not accept magical (or supernatural) “explanations� for dead bodies coming back to life.
For_The_Kingdom wrote: I, on the other hand, have a hard time accepting any postulation of inanimate matter suddenly/gradually come to life in the first place.
Immaterial and not related to the topic of debate.
For_The_Kingdom wrote: I don't for one minute believe that your worldview of abiogenesis (assuming you are a naturalist) is any more rational/plausible than mines (a believer in miracles).
Your opinion is of no consequence in debate.

I have not stated ANYTHING about abiogenesis – and clearly / repeatedly state that I do not pretend to know how life began. Kindly do not attempt to foist onto me positions that I do not hold. Let's stay with the topic of debate.
For_The_Kingdom wrote: And you certainly can't prove your worldview of abiogenesis (assuming you are a naturalist) with science either more than I can. But then again, my worldview isn't based on the scientific method in this regard, so I am not bound strictly by scientific methodology anyway.
As I clearly state over and over, I do not pretend to know how life began and I point out that has nothing to do with whether the “resurrection� actually, literally occurred.

That others pretend to know origins and beginnings is NOT binding upon me in any way. Let's stay with the “resurrection� topic.
For_The_Kingdom wrote:
Zzyzx wrote: I live and debate in the real world.
So do I. But I don't assume that the "real world" and "miracles in the real world" are contradictory.
Tales of “miracles� are a dime a dozen (common in many religions, ideologies, witchcraft, seances, etc). What is lacking is evidence that such things occur as claimed.
For_The_Kingdom wrote:
Zzyzx wrote: Those who wish to argue that some sort of paranormal explains events in question, they are welcome to present verifiable evidence that the event occurred and that paranormal forces were involved.
Right, and I believe that "paranormal" forces were involved for physical existence to be possible in the first place, unless one can provide "verifiable" evidence that physical existence is necessary in its existence.
When confronted with their inability to verify claims and stories, proponents often resort to grandiose rhetoric about origin of the universe or beginning of life – which are NOT related to the “resurrection�.

Stating that “I believe in miracles� is worthless in debate of the actual topic.
For_The_Kingdom wrote:
Zzyzx wrote: That is a claim of knowledge and truth. Kindly verify that “a miracle� actually occurred.
I said "the claim is that God raised Jesus from the dead". I am merely stating the claim. The claim is historically verified in my opinion.
Opinion noted. In debate one's opinion is meaningless.
For_The_Kingdom wrote: While there are no absolutes when it comes to historical inquiry, at best we can say is that it is "more likely than not" that any event in history occurred. And in this case, based on the historical evidence, it is more likely than not that the Resurrection occurred.
I disagree – and maintain that STORIES about the claimed “resurrection� cannot be shown to be anything more than unverified stories. That people believed the stories and wrote them is NO assurance that the event actually, literally occurred.

It is JUST a matter of belief.
For_The_Kingdom wrote:
Zzyzx wrote: I have no need to refute a claim.
Yet, you spent your entire first post refuting the phantom "claims" against a natural Resurrection.
Refuting claims is an option available to me; however, I am not obligated to refute. The claimant IS obligated to verify – that is NOT optional in reasoned debate.
For_The_Kingdom wrote:
Zzyzx wrote: The maker of the claim has the obligation to demonstrate that the claim is true.
Agreed. And I stated that based on Biblical and extra-Biblical sources, the Resurrection of Jesus is more likely than not to have taken place.
Opinion noted. Kindly cite extra-biblical sources that confirm that the “resurrection� occurred.
For_The_Kingdom wrote:
Zzyzx wrote: Feel free to demonstrate that the claimed event actually, literally occurred as a “not natural� event.
We have four independent biographies (Gospels) of Jesus which testifies to the Apostles belief in Jesus Resurrection. We have a contemporary person to the disciples, who testified to the Apostles belief in the Resurrection (Paul), and who himself believed that Jesus appeared to him (1Corin 15:8).

We have the writings of Jospehus, who stated that "those who first come to love him did not cease" (Antiquities of the Jews 18:3,3), and we have Tactius, a Roman senator, who stated that a mischievous superstition resulted in Jesus' crucifixion.
Each of those examples says nothing more than “people believed�. We are all, presumably, aware that people believing something does NOT verify that it is true.
For_The_Kingdom wrote: Sounds like a Resurrection to me.
Opinion noted. Sounds like folklore or mythology to me. So what?
For_The_Kingdom wrote: So again, the historical evidence is clear, that the Resurrection is more likely than not.
Bold added to emphasize that we are no longer discussing that the “resurrection� occurred, but now discussing what is believed to be “more likely than not� – pure opinion.
For_The_Kingdom wrote:
Zzyzx wrote: Key word is “hypothesis� – an unsubstantiated, unauthenticated guess.
I used "hypothesis" in the sense of retrospect. Obviously, if what they said is true, then it wouldn't be a hypothesis to them, but rather, to us. Since neither of us living today was there, all we can do is examine the evidence, looking back through history and making hypothesis, which is educated guesses.
Okay, Theists make “educated guesses� about what happened. Sermons would be VERY different if that was acknowledged. Instead, statements are made as though it was KNOWN what happened.
For_The_Kingdom wrote:
Zzyzx wrote: There are many TALES in ancient literature claiming supernatural involvement. Which, if any, of the tales are true? How their truth be determined?
We should examine everything on a case by case basis.
Agreed. We are here examining the evidence regarding the “resurrection�. The evidence presented in favor is “some people believed�.
For_The_Kingdom wrote:
Zzyzx wrote: Origin of life is not related to the claimed “resurrection�. Kindly debate what I actually present without wandering into what “most naturalists believe�.
I must digress. If anything, I am exposing what appears to be an obvious double standard. The same people that are quick to point out how unnatural it is for a Resurrection to take place are the same people that are quick to believe the apparent unnatural phenomena of life from non-life. If you are going to critique my worldview on the grounds of it being unnatural, while also holding on to an unnatural worldview, is quite disingenuous.
As noted previously, once Theists discover that they cannot support their contentions with evidence they often attempt to wander off into discussing origin of the universe and beginning of life.

Note carefully that I (the person you are debating) do NOT take a position on either of those matters and do NOT pretend to know either.
For_The_Kingdom wrote:
Zzyzx wrote: “Disciples believed� is NOT evidence that the event occurred. People believe all sorts of weird things that may well not be true or accurate. Are gospel accounts of disciples believing immune?
No, they are not immune,
Thank you. Thus, gospel writers are NOT assured to be truthful and accurate.
For_The_Kingdom wrote: and it is not as black and white as you may think. It isn't just at face value, or "the disciples believed, therefore, it is true".Rather, it is..

1. The disciples believed in the Resurrection.
2. If the disciples believed in the Resurrection, they had reasons to believe.
Exactly. The entire case is based upon “they believed� – with NO assurance that their beliefs assured that an actual, literal event occurred in the real world.

That scores of people believed that they could reach an extraterrestrial spacecraft following Comet Hale–Bopp by drinking poisoned Kool Aid is NO assurance it was true.
For_The_Kingdom wrote: So immediately, we know that if they believed in the Resurrection, then they weren't lying. So then, you examine all plausible explanations as to WHY they would believe in the Resurrection of Jesus.
I do not pretend to know or imagine the motivations for people believing ANYTHING – much less people living thousands of years ago.
For_The_Kingdom wrote: Over the centuries, many explanations have been given, but under close examination, all explanations fall short of having the explanatory value that is needed to explain ALL of the historical facts that surround the entire ordeal.
In reasoned discussion / debate saying “alternatives have not been proved� is regarded as a blunder in logic known as Argumentum ad Ignorantiam
For_The_Kingdom wrote: It is because of this that we conclude that the best explanation for the origins of the disciples belief is that the Resurrection actually occurred.
Opinion noted. I do not agree.
For_The_Kingdom wrote:
Zzyzx wrote: Someone believing ANYTHING is not evidence that it actually occurred – as indicated by the multiple reports of people believing they saw Elvis after he died. Those tales are not taken as proof or evidence that he came back to life. Agreed? Why, then, should a few people 2000 years ago believing someone came back to life be given any more credibility than the Elvis sightings?
The difference between the Elvis "sightings" and the post-mortem appearances of Jesus is simple; Elvis was allegedly seen by people. But Jesus appeared to his disciples, talked with them, walked with them, ate with them, etc.
Thus, if accounts of Elvis sightings include talking, walking and eating with him the accounts are TRUE. Right?
For_The_Kingdom wrote: How many people claimed to have talked with Elvis, walked with Elvis, and ate with Elvis over the course 40 days after his death (Acts 1:1-9)? None.
How can you be so sure that NO Elvis accounts included such things? If someone told stories about walking, talking and eating with Elvis would that verify that their stories were true?
For_The_Kingdom wrote: And Paul stated that Jesus appeared to 500 people are one time (1 Corin 15:6).
That is a CLAIM by someone who admittedly was not there to observe.
For_The_Kingdom wrote: So in other words, the extent at which Jesus appeared to folks goes well beyond just mere "sightings" as with Elvis. Apples and oranges.
This is based upon assuming knowledge of what was claimed in all Elvis “encounters�.
For_The_Kingdom wrote:
Zzyzx wrote:
If you choose to debate in this sub-forum you are REQUIRED to honor the Guidelines. Notice specifically that the Bible can be used ONLY to show what the bible says and what Christianity says. It cannot be used to prove that a statement or story is true.
So before the debate even began, the odds were stacked against me because I am being prevented from appealing to a source that I believe backs up my case.
Is this to suggest that Non-Theists agree to accept the Bible as proof of truth – accept that “The Bible says so� as proof?

That is the policy in some sub-forums – Holy Huddle, Theology, Doctrine and Dogma, etc. There theists can cite Bible passages as proof. I do not debate in those sub-forums because I am unwilling to accept such terms (which gives preferential treatment to religious positions).

However, it IS a problem when one's entire case is based upon a single source (and its derivatives) that cannot be shown to be truthful and accurate.
For_The_Kingdom wrote: So much damn partiality on this forum.
As someone said, “When accustomed to privilege, equality seems like oppression�.

There are sub-forums in which the Bible is considered authoritative; however, many Theists attempt to debate in sub-forums where that is not the case.

Would you (generic term) be willing to debate where the Koran, Book of Mormon, Bhagavad Gita were considered proof of truth? Perhaps that explains why I am not willing to debate where the Bible is considered proof of truth.
For_The_Kingdom wrote:
Zzyzx wrote:
This sub-forum is intended as a meeting ground for any and all theistic positions – none of which are given preferential treatment. It is a very “level playing field�. Any story, statement or claim of knowledge which is challenged is required to be substantiated with evidence to show that it is true and accurate. “The Bible (or Quran or Bhagavad Gita) says so� is NOT acceptable as proof of truth.
It isn't accepted as proof by whom?
Is it difficult to understand that Guidelines SPECIFY that the Bible is NOT regarded as proof of truth or as authoritative in these debates?
For_The_Kingdom wrote: From you or anyone else that isn't a believer? Who are you to say whether or not any religious book is of truth value? You call that a level playing field?
It is not me who sets the Rules and Guidelines for these debates. They are set by Forum Rules and Guidelines. We all agreed to abide by them when joining the Forum.

I understand that it is difficult for many people to adjust to discussing / debating in an environment in which their favorite literature and beliefs are NOT given priority treatment.
For_The_Kingdom wrote:
Zzyzx wrote:
These Guidelines in the C&A sub-forum (applied also here by mutual agreement) are intended to create a “level playing field� wherein no one's point of view or literature are given preferential treatment. I would not debate in any situation that required that the Bible be accepted as proof of truth.
Then don't debate.
I do not debate in Holy Huddle or Theology, Doctrine and Dogma sub-forums where the Bible is considered authoritative and proof of truth.

I DO debate in Christianity and Apologetics where I am not forced to accept the Bible as proof of truth or authoritative.
For_The_Kingdom wrote: As I stated previously, the Bible is a book that is compiled up of independent books..each one stands on its on merit and is open for scrutiny and for all you or anyone else knows, everything in the Bible COULD be true (or false), but whether or not it is true or false; that ITSELF is up for debate..and to immediately dismiss it offhand and have this close-minded approach to it is part of the problem. You could care less about truth value and your only goal is to oppose and attack.
Did we not agree “no personal remarks�?

Kindly refrain from attempting to debate or discuss anything about me except what is said in this debate. I am, however, willing to discuss the evidence regarding Tut vs. the evidence regarding Jesus in a separate thread at another time.
For_The_Kingdom wrote:
Zzyzx wrote:
We are not debating anything related to King Tut or any other historical figure or event – only the claimed resurrection.
No shit. In order to expose your bad logic, all I had to do was apply the same line of reasoning you gave me regarding the Resurrection to some other alleged event or circumstance in history that I am sure you accept, and since you and I both know that you are willing to accept the existence of King Tut without any extra-Egyptian sources corroborating his existence...that goes to show the obvious double standard that is involved here.
Let's not get emotional and use scatological terminology.

We are not discussing my “bad logic� but are discussing the “resurrection�. I made no reference to King Tut so what I accept or do not accept in that regard is not stated and is not a matter of debate.
For_The_Kingdom wrote:
Zzyzx wrote:
I consider the Bible to be an anthology – a book or other collection of selected writings by various authors, usually in the same literary form, of the same period, or on the same subject
http://www.dictionary.com

The anthology was produced by churchmen selecting documents that reflected certain points of view.
Your opinion is well noted.
Do you disagree?
For_The_Kingdom wrote:
Zzyzx wrote:
If we have several writings from representatives of a company selected by management for inclusion in company literature, do we regard those writings as “independent� narratives?
Are the accounts different?
Regardless whether the accounts are different or not, are writings of representatives of the company compiled by management into an anthology promoting the company regarded as “independent narratives�?
For_The_Kingdom wrote:
Zzyzx wrote:
Replace “millions believe� with “several believe� (which is claimed) and it is still a fallacy. The fallacy involves offering ANY belief as proof of truth.
But that still isn't what is being done here.
The theme of what has been presented so far is “They believed�. There is NO other evidence presented to verify that “the most important event in history (according to some)� actually, literally occurred in the real world – only “they believed.�
.
Non-Theist

ANY of the thousands of "gods" proposed, imagined, worshiped, loved, feared, and/or fought over by humans MAY exist -- awaiting verifiable evidence

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Re: Did the Resurrection of Jesus literally occur as claimed

Post #6

Post by For_The_Kingdom »

Zzyzx wrote: Let's try to avoid becoming emotional or frustrated – and stick to the topic.
I hate double standards.
Zzyzx wrote: Thus, the event that supposedly is the most important event in history is supported by “these people believed� and “they had reason to believe�.
Again, it is not black and white as you make it seem. Those that were in a position to either falsify/corroborate the story actually BELIEVED the story. If they believed the story, you can't say that they were lying or that they were making stuff up.

So therefore, there has to be an explanation which explains their belief. That is the point.
Zzyzx wrote: Thus, he does not claim personal knowledge of events and conversations from thirty / fifty / or more years earlier.
Right, he does not "claim" any of those things. What he claimed is the fact that the original source of his material is derived from eyewitnesses, and after careful investigation, this is what he came up with.

You are speaking as if a person had to have "been there" in order to write about history...and I hope you don't hold that position, unless you want to flush the entire genre of historiography down the toilet.
Zzyzx wrote: Claiming “there were eyewitnesses� is VERY different from eyewitness accounts.

Could a person telling a tall tale say “there were 500 witnesses� if that was not true? Do people ever exaggerate or make up stories or claims? This is NOT a claim that “Luke� did so but rather an acknowledgment that the possibility cannot be eliminated.
The 500 eyewitness account doesn't come from Luke...it comes from Paul (1Corin 15:6). Remember, Paul stated that this creed was given to him, meaning that he received the creed when he became a Christian convert.

In the creed, which was an early statement of Christian faith, it gives the names of those that Jesus appeared to post-Resurrection. So if the account of the 500 eyewitnesses is false, then more than likely, so were the appearances to Peter, James, and the Twelve (who were mentioned).

And not to mention the fact that Paul, when speaking about the 500, stated that "most are still alive, though some have fallen asleep". This is one of those off the cuff statements that one would not tend to make if one is telling a tale.
Zzyzx wrote: Yes, if one believes they believe. So what?
People usually have reasons why they believe things.
Zzyzx wrote: Since “Luke� admits that he writes hearsay (that heard from others) and his sources are not identified, their and his reliability is open to doubt. He may well have been recording “oral tradition�, folklore, myth, fable, legend.
Not at all. Luke was actually a friend of Paul (Col 4:14), and Paul personally met with Peter and James (brother of Jesus). All 3 were contemporaries.
Zzyzx wrote: Stories passed down orally from person-to-person for decades or generations are not known to be accurate, truthful, reliable. The story of Paul Bunyan illustrates the concept. It was probably based on an outstanding Canadian lumberjack and his “exploits� were expanded / exaggerated with repeated retellings until someone finally recorded them.
The difference is, this particular "exploit" of Jesus (Resurrection), was not something that was expanded / exagerrated decades or generations down the line. It was a belief that was held shortly after his death, and it was held by his followers, who either propogated the biggest lie in the history of mankind, or simply told the truth, regardless of how silly it made them look or how many people would NOT believe them.
Zzyzx wrote: Paul/Saul admittedly did not ever meet Jesus or witness any of his feats or conversations – except in a “vision� (or hallucination or delusion or fantasy or whatever it was).
Ok, fine, lets say Paul was in fact hallucinating...but that doesn't explain the origins of the Apostles belief, does it?
Zzyzx wrote: Agreed. The gospels were written decades after Paul/Saul's writings. Gospel writers may well have been followers of Paul/Saul. It seems likely that they had access to his writings.
I wouldn't say "decades after"...more like a "few years after" (a case can be made). And it doesn't really make a difference if the Gospels writers had access to Paul's writings. Why? Because the Gospel's are biographies of Jesus, yet Paul did not give a detailed account of Jesus life in any of his Epistles.

So I doubt the Gospels writers were influenced by Paul in that regard.
Zzyzx wrote: Correction: Paul/Saul says clearly that he did not get his information from men – but directly from Jesus in the “visions�.

Galatians 1:12 I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it; rather, I received it by revelation from Jesus Christ.
In the Galatians scripture you are referring to, he specifically said that he did not receive the GOSPEL from man. That doesn't have anything to do with the creed in 1Corin 15:3-7, which was a systematic statement of Christian faith and its purpose was to be easy to read, and easy to recite.

He got THAT from early believers. Just because he received the Gospel from Christ doesn't mean he was forbidden from receiving anything from the Church or early Christian congregations.
Zzyzx wrote: The major objection is not the time gap, but the lack of supporting evidence and the lack of assurance that gospel writers had personal knowledge of events they purport to describe.
Which is contrary to the case I can make which says otherwise.
Zzyzx wrote: I am one of the people who can recall the JFK assassination event. I was twenty-three years old and a college student at the time.
I respect your experience and wisdom.
Zzyzx wrote: I do not have total recall of what I heard / read about the event – and could not write an accurate and truthful account.
No prob. Everyone is different. Some folks have good memories, and some have vivid memories. I, for one, have vivid memories of my past as I am very sentimental...while other folks don't harp on the past as I do...and some vaguely remember.
Zzyzx wrote: The “talk of the town� was hundreds of miles away from where Paul/Saul preached. His version was NOT accepted by the Jesus Movement in the areas where it supposedly occurred.
Actually, the "talk of the town" SPREAD hundreds of miles from where Christianity began, which was in Jerusalem. Paul was writing to early churches in Corin, Colossae, and Galatia..and all three were signficant distances from Jerusalem, where Christianity began. We are talking hundreds of miles...before the days of automobiles and airplanes...and before television, radio, and internet.

I would say word got around quickly.
Zzyzx wrote: One need not know how life began to understand that dead bodies do not come back to life.
And on the flip side, one need not know how God could raise Jesus from the dead to understand that life cannot naturally come from inanimate matter.

Again, the same logic that you use to negate my belief, I can do the same to negate the belief of atheist/naturalism.
Zzyzx wrote: Again, we are not discussing “how life began�.
I am drawing a parrallel, and my mentioning of "how life bega," is quite relevant to the discussion. Now, you based your entire OP on the fact that "science does not support the idea that a dead body can return to life; in fact, science is against it".

And my response to that is simple; no one is claiming that science is SUPPOSED to support any resurrection claim, since no one is claiming that any alleged resurrection claim occurred naturally...so therefore, the scientific method is not worthless. [/quote]

And not only that, but there are beliefs that atheists/naturalists hold to that is also currently not supported by science (abiogenesis), yet, you still believe it. This is meant to point out the obvious double standard that is going on here, and with that double standard often comes a closed-mind...and my attempt is to point out the fact that with this kind of double standard against theological implications, you are unable to look at things objectively.
Zzyzx wrote: My theological position is clearly stated in signature at the bottom of each post. However, that is immaterial in discussion / debate of whether the “resurrection� actually, literally occurred in the real world.
If what I said don't apply to you, I apologize. However, there is still a double standard, because I doubt you've ever critiqued an atheist for believing in abiogenesis, which is something that has yet to be proven by science, yet is believed by many.

But you are quick to DEBATE a Christian on whether something like a Resurrection could ever occur, since "science proves that dead bodies do not rise again".

Still.
Zzyzx wrote: Agreed. I do not accept that dead bodies come back to life and do not accept magical (or supernatural) “explanations� for dead bodies coming back to life.
And I do not accept the idea of inanimate matter coming to life to begin with.
Zzyzx wrote: Immaterial and not related to the topic of debate.
When you began your OP explaining the natural phenomena of death and body decomposition, that was also not related to the topic of the debate, since no believer in the Resurrection ever claimed that Jesus rised naturally from the dead.

So you devoted your entire OP with something "not related to the topic of the debate".
Zzyzx wrote: Your opinion is of no consequence in debate.
I didn't know that in debates, one was forbidden from giving their "interpretation of facts" (opinions).
Zzyzx wrote: I have not stated ANYTHING about abiogenesis – and clearly / repeatedly state that I do not pretend to know how life began. Kindly do not attempt to foist onto me positions that I do not hold. Let's stay with the topic of debate.
And as I previously stated, if you maintain the atheist/naturalistic position of "there is no God", then by default, you are maintaining the physical world is all there is and life would have to therefore come from nonlife.

No gray area. And we can stay with the topic of the debate, just as long as I don't see anything from you regarding what science says/doesn't say or what cannot naturally happen, because that itself isn't the topic of the debate.
Zzyzx wrote: As I clearly state over and over, I do not pretend to know how life began and I point out that has nothing to do with whether the “resurrection� actually, literally occurred.
And the natural decomposition of the human body after death also has nothing to do with whether the "resurrection" occurred, but it was fine and dandy for you to mention that, wasn't it?
Zzyzx wrote: Tales of “miracles� are a dime a dozen (common in many religions, ideologies, witchcraft, seances, etc). What is lacking is evidence that such things occur as claimed.
There are "tales" in science, too...such as multiverses, evolution, and abiogenesis. Those are all "tales", but you have an open door for those things. Why? Because they don't conflict with your worldview.
Zzyzx wrote: When confronted with their inability to verify claims and stories, proponents often resort to grandiose rhetoric about origin of the universe or beginning of life – which are NOT related to the “resurrection�.
It is, because we are trading one naturally unverifiable thing with another.
Zzyzx wrote: Opinion noted. In debate one's opinion is meaningless.
It is an informed opinion...you know, which is what most of historical inquiry consist of.
Zzyzx wrote: I disagree – and maintain that STORIES about the claimed “resurrection� cannot be shown to be anything more than unverified stories. That people believed the stories and wrote them is NO assurance that the event actually, literally occurred.

It is JUST a matter of belief.
Irrelevant, because I didn't claim "because they believed, therefore, it is true"...yet you keep stating "just because they believed it doesn't make it true".

Another straw man.
Zzyzx wrote: Refuting claims is an option available to me; however, I am not obligated to refute. The claimant IS obligated to verify – that is NOT optional in reasoned debate.
Actually, you are claiming that the Resurrection did not literally occur. That is a claim, a statement of knowledge...and the onus is on you to back up your claims as well.
Zzyzx wrote: Opinion noted. Kindly cite extra-biblical sources that confirm that the “resurrection� occurred.
I disagree with the notion that the Bible cannot be used as evidence, and I am in line with Guidelines of the forum, you know, the same guidelines that you appealed to in your earlier post.

http://debatingchristianity.com/forum/v ... php?t=9741.

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.
Zzyzx wrote: Each of those examples says nothing more than “people believed�. We are all, presumably, aware that people believing something does NOT verify that it is true.
While ignoring your straw man attack...my question is; why would the Apostles believe that Jesus rose from the dead? Why?
Zzyzx wrote: Opinion noted. Sounds like folklore or mythology to me. So what?
So, if your uncle died, and 3 days after his funeral you went to his grave to pay your respects, and you discover the grave has been dug and you look down the grave and you see an open casket, and you hear a voice that says "Hey nephew, why are you looking for the living among the dead?" and you turn around and see your uncle standing before you, physically....and you run away and tell your family what you've seen..

Would you be spreading folklore or mythology? Which one? Tell me.
Zzyzx wrote: Bold added to emphasize that we are no longer discussing that the “resurrection� occurred, but now discussing what is believed to be “more likely than not� – pure opinion.
Then I'm sorry, but you have no idea what "historical inquiry" is all about, because if you did, you'd know that we don't deal with absolutes which it comes to what happened/didn't happened in history.
Zzyzx wrote: Okay, Theists make “educated guesses� about what happened. Sermons would be VERY different if that was acknowledged. Instead, statements are made as though it was KNOWN what happened.
Kind of like how, if your son asks you "Dad, who was the first President of the United States", and you answer; "George Washington".

You would make that statement as if you KNOW that GW was the first President, but the fact of the matter is, you don't. You weren't there, were you? All know know is what you've been told by others, right? Rightttt.

Well, if it is good for you, then it is good for those that preach the sermons.
Zzyzx wrote: Agreed. We are here examining the evidence regarding the “resurrection�. The evidence presented in favor is “some people believed�.
Actually, its not. It is much more than that, and I've tried to stress that point time and time again...but I guess it hasn't been stressed enough.
Zzyzx wrote: gospel writers are NOT assured to be truthful and accurate.
Why not?
Zzyzx wrote: Exactly. The entire case is based upon “they believed� – with NO assurance that their beliefs assured that an actual, literal event occurred in the real world.
No. The entire case is that once you examine the many reasons why they would believe such a thing, the best explanation is that the Resurrection actually occured.
Zzyzx wrote: That scores of people believed that they could reach an extraterrestrial spacecraft following Comet Hale–Bopp by drinking poisoned Kool Aid is NO assurance it was true.
No assurance that what was true? The fact that the spacecraft existed, or the fact that they could reach it?
Zzyzx wrote: I do not pretend to know or imagine the motivations for people believing ANYTHING – much less people living thousands of years ago.
It is called "critical thinking".
Zzyzx wrote: In reasoned discussion / debate saying “alternatives have not been proved� is regarded as a blunder in logic known as Argumentum ad Ignorantiam
Um, who is saying "alternatives have not been proven". No one. I am saying that "alternative explanations lack the explanatory value needed to produce the effect (belief in the Resurrection).

Two completely different things.
Zzyzx wrote: Thus, if accounts of Elvis sightings include talking, walking and eating with him the accounts are TRUE. Right?
If Elvis' grave was empty, and there was reported sightings of him which including him talking, walking, and eating with people, then more than likely, I would believe it.

Then again, If I did believe it, I would not conclude that he rose naturally from the dead...it would be more of a confirmation of my faith than anything.
Zzyzx wrote: How can you be so sure that NO Elvis accounts included such things?
You are right, I cannot be sure..however, I am not aware of any such sightings being on the record, are you?
Zzyzx wrote: If someone told stories about walking, talking and eating with Elvis would that verify that their stories were true?
Just "someone" or multiple people? Jesus was not just seen by one person, but multiple people, at different times, at different places.
Zzyzx wrote: That is a CLAIM by someone who admittedly was not there to observe.
But this person knew one of the original Apostles, Peter, who WAS there to observe.
Zzyzx wrote: This is based upon assuming knowledge of what was claimed in all Elvis “encounters�.
?
Zzyzx wrote: Is this to suggest that Non-Theists agree to accept the Bible as proof of truth – accept that “The Bible says so� as proof?
Not at all. First, we have to establish what is the "standard" by which we determine historical truth value...and once we do that, we can hold the Gostiles (Gosples+Epistles) to those standards, and if the content within the book meets the criteria, then we can draw a conclusion.

I, and others that advocate for a literal Resurrection...we are saying that under such scrutiny, the belief in the Resurrection is more likely than not to be true.

And of course, a case can be made either way, which is why I am here and why you are here.
Zzyzx wrote: Would you (generic term) be willing to debate where the Koran, Book of Mormon, Bhagavad Gita were considered proof of truth? Perhaps that explains why I am not willing to debate where the Bible is considered proof of truth.
If I can articulate why the Koran, Book of Mormon, and Bhagavad Gita should not be considered "proof of truth", then I will thereby not consider those books as truth.

As I KEEP stressing, it isn't just about belief and not belief...but rather, the REASONS why one believes, or lacks belief.

If I can give you reasons why I don't consider the Koran a book of truth, then what?
Zzyzx wrote: Is it difficult to understand that Guidelines SPECIFY that the Bible is NOT regarded as proof of truth or as authoritative in these debates?
It is difficult to understand why you are saying something contrary to..

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.

Thanks Wootah.
Zzyzx wrote: Did we not agree “no personal remarks�?
Sure.
Zzyzx wrote: Let's not get emotional and use scatological terminology.
Ok, and lets also not attack positions that our opponent never held.
Zzyzx wrote: We are not discussing my “bad logic� but are discussing the “resurrection�. I made no reference to King Tut so what I accept or do not accept in that regard is not stated and is not a matter of debate.
The point was, if we use your standard (only extra-Biblical sources can give the Bible credibility), then a lot of things that we don't have extra-X of should also be considered unverifiable...and I used King Tut as an example of this.

Now, whether or not you actually accept King Tut in this regard is irrelevant, because there is at least one thing/person/event in history that I am sure you view as historical at which there is NO extra-X of...and all it takes is one for the double standard to show its ugly head.
Zzyzx wrote: Do you disagree?
I disagree with the notion that it is ONLY what you say it is. It is more than that to me. It is the Word of the Living God, in my opinion.
Zzyzx wrote: Regardless whether the accounts are different or not, are writings of representatives of the company compiled by management into an anthology promoting the company regarded as “independent narratives�?
Yes. If 12 people view the same car accident and they are asked to give a statement regarding the accident....wouldn't all 12 accounts be independent?
Zzyzx wrote: The theme of what has been presented so far is “They believed�. There is NO other evidence presented to verify that “the most important event in history (according to some)� actually, literally occurred in the real world – only “they believed.�
I've addressed this numerous times.

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Re: Did the Resurrection of Jesus literally occur as claimed

Post #7

Post by Zzyzx »

.
[Replying to post 6 by For_The_Kingdom]

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?

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.

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).
For_The_Kingdom wrote:
Zzyzx wrote: Thus, the event that supposedly is the most important event in history is supported by “these people believed� and “they had reason to believe�.
Again, it is not black and white as you make it seem. Those that were in a position to either falsify/corroborate the story actually BELIEVED the story. If they believed the story, you can't say that they were lying or that they were making stuff up.
I do NOT say that gospel writers were “lying or making stuff up�. 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.
For_The_Kingdom wrote: So therefore, there has to be an explanation which explains their belief. That is the point.
People BELIEVE they saw Elvis – and they have reasons to believe. Does that mean he came back from the dead?
For_The_Kingdom wrote:
Zzyzx wrote: Thus, he does not claim personal knowledge of events and conversations from thirty / fifty / or more years earlier.
Right, he does not "claim" any of those things. What he claimed is the fact that the original source of his material is derived from eyewitnesses, and after careful investigation, this is what he came up with.

You are speaking as if a person had to have "been there" in order to write about history...
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.
For_The_Kingdom wrote: and I hope you don't hold that position, unless you want to flush the entire genre of historiography down the toilet.
I make no life decisions based upon historical accounts being accurate or truthful. Some things about past events are nice-to-know or interesting – but not of critical importance in anything I do in real life.

Some earlier court cases have been important – but those are officially documented and are not just tales told.
For_The_Kingdom wrote:
Zzyzx wrote: Claiming “there were eyewitnesses� is VERY different from eyewitness accounts.

Could a person telling a tall tale say “there were 500 witnesses� if that was not true? Do people ever exaggerate or make up stories or claims? This is NOT a claim that “Luke� did so but rather an acknowledgment that the possibility cannot be eliminated.
The 500 eyewitness account doesn't come from Luke...it comes from Paul (1Corin 15:6).
Okay. Whoever claimed 500 eyewitnesses was ONLY SAYING that. We have no way to know if it is true.
For_The_Kingdom wrote: Remember, Paul stated that this creed was given to him, meaning that he received the creed when he became a Christian convert.
Paul/Saul writes that he learned “from no man� but directly from Jesus – 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.
For_The_Kingdom wrote: In the creed, which was an early statement of Christian faith, it gives the names of those that Jesus appeared to post-Resurrection. So if the account of the 500 eyewitnesses is false, then more than likely, so were the appearances to Peter, James, and the Twelve (who were mentioned).
What is the earliest copy of “the creed� available for examination?
For_The_Kingdom wrote: And not to mention the fact that Paul, when speaking about the 500, stated that "most are still alive, though some have fallen asleep". This is one of those off the cuff statements that one would not tend to make if one is telling a tale.
The Galatians were in what is now Turkey – 500 miles from Jerusalem. The Corinthians were in Greece – 750 miles from Jerusalem. Thus, any “witnesses� who may have been alive were not likely accessible to the audience.

Paul/Saul seems to have been adept at preaching far away from people who had known or known of Jesus.
For_The_Kingdom wrote:
Zzyzx wrote: Yes, if one believes they believe. So what?
People usually have reasons why they believe things.
Do their reasons mean that what they believe is true and accurate?
For_The_Kingdom wrote:
Zzyzx wrote: Since “Luke� admits that he writes hearsay (that heard from others) and his sources are not identified, their and his reliability is open to doubt. He may well have been recording “oral tradition�, folklore, myth, fable, legend.
Not at all. Luke was actually a friend of Paul (Col 4:14), and Paul personally met with Peter and James (brother of Jesus). All 3 were contemporaries.
Can you state categorically that “Luke� was a witness to the events and conversations he described?

Start with Paul/Saul's “vision� tale. Was “Luke� a witness?
Luke-Acts does not name its author.[5] 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.[6][7] 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


The author is not named in either volume.[5] 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."[6] (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).)[14] 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.[15] He was educated, a man of means, probably urban, and someone who respected manual work, although not a worker himself; this is significant, because more high-brow writers of the time looked down on the artisans and small business-people who made up the early church of Paul and were presumably Luke's audience.[16]

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.[6] Most experts date the composition of the combined work to around 80-90 AD, although some suggest 90-110,[17] 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
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gospel_of_Luke
For_The_Kingdom wrote:
Zzyzx wrote: Stories passed down orally from person-to-person for decades or generations are not known to be accurate, truthful, reliable. The story of Paul Bunyan illustrates the concept. It was probably based on an outstanding Canadian lumberjack and his “exploits� were expanded / exaggerated with repeated retellings until someone finally recorded them.
The difference is, this particular "exploit" of Jesus (Resurrection), was not something that was expanded / exagerrated decades or generations down the line. It was a belief that was held shortly after his death, and it was held by his followers, who either propogated the biggest lie in the history of mankind, or simply told the truth, regardless of how silly it made them look or how many people would NOT believe them.
No documents from earlier than 30 or 50 years after the “resurrection� survive. How can it be known / shown what was believed or taught before that time? Guesswork? Conjecture? Assumptions?
For_The_Kingdom wrote:
Zzyzx wrote: Paul/Saul admittedly did not ever meet Jesus or witness any of his feats or conversations – except in a “vision� (or hallucination or delusion or fantasy or whatever it was).
Ok, fine, lets say Paul was in fact hallucinating...but that doesn't explain the origins of the Apostles belief, does it?
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 “Apostles�.
For_The_Kingdom wrote:
Zzyzx wrote: Agreed. The gospels were written decades after Paul/Saul's writings. Gospel writers may well have been followers of Paul/Saul. It seems likely that they had access to his writings.
I wouldn't say "decades after"...more like a "few years after" (a case can be made).
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 – thirty to fifty years after the claimed “resurrection�. Thirty to fifty years is NOT “a few years� and IS decades after.
For_The_Kingdom wrote: And it doesn't really make a difference if the Gospels writers had access to Paul's writings. Why? Because the Gospel's are biographies of Jesus, yet Paul did not give a detailed account of Jesus life in any of his Epistles.
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
For_The_Kingdom wrote: So I doubt the Gospels writers were influenced by Paul in that regard.
Opinion noted
For_The_Kingdom wrote:
Zzyzx wrote: Correction: Paul/Saul says clearly that he did not get his information from men – but directly from Jesus in the “visions�.

Galatians 1:12 I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it; rather, I received it by revelation from Jesus Christ.
In the Galatians scripture you are referring to, he specifically said that he did not receive the GOSPEL from man. That doesn't have anything to do with the creed in 1Corin 15:3-7, which was a systematic statement of Christian faith and its purpose was to be easy to read, and easy to recite.

He got THAT from early believers. Just because he received the Gospel from Christ doesn't mean he was forbidden from receiving anything from the Church or early Christian congregations.
The term “gospel� has several meanings
Gospel is a term used over 75 times in the New Testament. While it has various nuances of meaning, it's most fundamental meaning from the Greek is "good news." But good news of what? According to the Evangelical Dictionary of Theology edited by Walter Elwell, "the gospel is the joyous proclamation of God's redemptive activity in Christ Jesus on behalf of man enslaved by sin." http://www.faithfacts.org/bible-101/what-is-the-gospel
That seems rather inclusive. Of course, you may wish to supply a different definition that better fits whatever you are trying to say.
For_The_Kingdom wrote:
Zzyzx wrote: The major objection is not the time gap, but the lack of supporting evidence and the lack of assurance that gospel writers had personal knowledge of events they purport to describe.
Which is contrary to the case I can make which says otherwise.
Feel free to begin whenever you are ready.
For_The_Kingdom wrote:
Zzyzx wrote: I do not have total recall of what I heard / read about the event – and could not write an accurate and truthful account.
No prob. Everyone is different. Some folks have good memories, and some have vivid memories. I, for one, have vivid memories of my past as I am very sentimental...while other folks don't harp on the past as I do...and some vaguely remember.
Shall we credit ALL the Bible storytellers and ALL their sources with excellent memory for detail from thirty or fifty years earlier? Remarkable.
For_The_Kingdom wrote:
Zzyzx wrote: The “talk of the town� was hundreds of miles away from where Paul/Saul preached. His version was NOT accepted by the Jesus Movement in the areas where it supposedly occurred.
Actually, the "talk of the town" SPREAD hundreds of miles from where Christianity began, which was in Jerusalem. Paul was writing to early churches in Corin, Colossae, and Galatia..and all three were signficant distances from Jerusalem, where Christianity began. We are talking hundreds of miles...before the days of automobiles and airplanes...and before television, radio, and internet.

I would say word got around quickly.
Preaching reached those places.
For_The_Kingdom wrote:
Zzyzx wrote: One need not know how life began to understand that dead bodies do not come back to life.
And on the flip side, one need not know how God could raise Jesus from the dead to understand that life cannot naturally come from inanimate matter.
How life began is not the topic of discussion.
For_The_Kingdom wrote: Again, the same logic that you use to negate my belief, I can do the same to negate the belief of atheist/naturalism.
Do you dispute forensic biologists who say that dead bodies decompose irreversibly?

Do you claim exceptions? If so, show verifiable evidence that exceptions occurred.
For_The_Kingdom wrote:
Zzyzx wrote: Again, we are not discussing “how life began�.
I am drawing a parrallel, and my mentioning of "how life bega," is quite relevant to the discussion. Now, you based your entire OP on the fact that "science does not support the idea that a dead body can return to life; in fact, science is against it".
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 “you don't know how life began�, 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.

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 “Take my word for it (or his or this book)� I am not impressed or convinced. I do not take anyone's word for anything of importance. I always verify. As Ronald Reagan said “Trust but verify.�
For_The_Kingdom wrote: And my response to that is simple; no one is claiming that science is SUPPOSED to support any resurrection claim, since no one is claiming that any alleged resurrection claim occurred naturally...so therefore, the scientific method is not worthless.
Stories and claims should not, however, contradict what we know of the real world. Claiming “It was a miracle� does not help unless one can demonstrate that the “miracle� actually occurred (as something more than imagination and/or storytelling and/or belief).
For_The_Kingdom wrote: And not only that, but there are beliefs that atheists/naturalists hold to that is also currently not supported by science (abiogenesis), yet, you still believe it.
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).
For_The_Kingdom wrote: This is meant to point out the obvious double standard that is going on here, and with that double standard often comes a closed-mind...
Does “here� mean this debate? We are debating HERE, are we not? I have taken no position that can be remotely construed as a double standard.
For_The_Kingdom wrote: and my attempt is to point out the fact that with this kind of double standard against theological implications, you are unable to look at things objectively.
Let he who is without subjectivity and bias cast the first stone (that's rather biblical, isn't it?).
For_The_Kingdom wrote:
Zzyzx wrote: My theological position is clearly stated in signature at the bottom of each post. However, that is immaterial in discussion / debate of whether the “resurrection� actually, literally occurred in the real world.
If what I said don't apply to you, I apologize. However, there is still a double standard, because I doubt you've ever critiqued an atheist for believing in abiogenesis, which is something that has yet to be proven by science, yet is believed by many.
If said “Atheist� 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.
For_The_Kingdom wrote: But you are quick to DEBATE a Christian on whether something like a Resurrection could ever occur, since "science proves that dead bodies do not rise again".
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 – where challenges are not permitted.
For_The_Kingdom wrote:
Zzyzx wrote: Agreed. I do not accept that dead bodies come back to life and do not accept magical (or supernatural) “explanations� for dead bodies coming back to life.
And I do not accept the idea of inanimate matter coming to life to begin with.
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 – NOT the former. I am aware that Apologists often attempt to derail debates by injecting “how life began� whenever possible (since they seem to think they KNOW – or pretend to know).

I take no position regarding origin of life. Kindly refrain from trying to use that tired tactic.
For_The_Kingdom wrote:
Zzyzx wrote: Immaterial and not related to the topic of debate.
When you began your OP explaining the natural phenomena of death and body decomposition, that was also not related to the topic of the debate, since no believer in the Resurrection ever claimed that Jesus rised naturally from the dead.
Is that to claim that Jesus “raised from the dead� supernaturally (not naturally) and his body did not decompose?

If so, kindly supply verifiable evidence to show that the event was supernatural.
For_The_Kingdom wrote: So you devoted your entire OP with something "not related to the topic of the debate".
Is the “resurrection� 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?

We're not debating in spiritual land (at least I am not). I live and debate in the real world – in which dead bodies decompose.
For_The_Kingdom wrote:
Zzyzx wrote: Your opinion is of no consequence in debate.
I didn't know that in debates, one was forbidden from giving their "interpretation of facts" (opinions).
I have proceeded as though debating an educated person capable of distinguishing between “of no consequence� and “forbidden�.
For_The_Kingdom wrote:
Zzyzx wrote: I have not stated ANYTHING about abiogenesis – and clearly / repeatedly state that I do not pretend to know how life began. Kindly do not attempt to foist onto me positions that I do not hold. Let's stay with the topic of debate.
And as I previously stated, if you maintain the atheist/naturalistic position of "there is no God",
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.
For_The_Kingdom wrote: then by default, you are maintaining the physical world is all there is and life would have to therefore come from nonlife.
Kindly refrain from attempting to assign to me any “default position� – particularly regards a topic that is NOT part of this debate.
For_The_Kingdom wrote: No gray area. And we can stay with the topic of the debate, just as long as I don't see anything from you regarding what science says/doesn't say or what cannot naturally happen, because that itself isn't the topic of the debate.
We agreed to abide by Forum Rules and C&A Guidelines. There is NO prohibition of using scientific information in debates. We are NOT debating according to Holy Huddle or TD&D sub-forum Guidelines. We are not debating in a history forum.
For_The_Kingdom wrote:
Zzyzx wrote: As I clearly state over and over, I do not pretend to know how life began and I point out that has nothing to do with whether the “resurrection� actually, literally occurred.
And the natural decomposition of the human body after death also has nothing to do with whether the "resurrection" occurred, but it was fine and dandy for you to mention that, wasn't it?
Again and again and again, we are NOT debating how life began (no matter how hard you try to inject that straw-man argument). If you cannot or will not debate whether the “resurrection� of Jesus literally occur as claimed in the Bible (the topic of debate), just man-up (or woman-up) and say so.
For_The_Kingdom wrote:
Zzyzx wrote: Tales of “miracles� are a dime a dozen (common in many religions, ideologies, witchcraft, seances, etc). What is lacking is evidence that such things occur as claimed.
There are "tales" in science, too...such as multiverses, evolution, and abiogenesis. Those are all "tales", but you have an open door for those things. Why? Because they don't conflict with your worldview.
I take NO (read again, NO) position regarding such matters – and regard them as pure speculation. Perhaps you think you are debating someone else?
For_The_Kingdom wrote:
Zzyzx wrote: When confronted with their inability to verify claims and stories, proponents often resort to grandiose rhetoric about origin of the universe or beginning of life – which are NOT related to the “resurrection�.
It is, because we are trading one naturally unverifiable thing with another.
Exactly WHAT “naturally unverifiable thing� have I actually presented?
For_The_Kingdom wrote:
Zzyzx wrote: Opinion noted. In debate one's opinion is meaningless.
It is an informed opinion...you know, which is what most of historical inquiry consist of.
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 – they are VERIFIABLE records of what actually happens in the real world.
For_The_Kingdom wrote:
Zzyzx wrote: I disagree – and maintain that STORIES about the claimed “resurrection� cannot be shown to be anything more than unverified stories. That people believed the stories and wrote them is NO assurance that the event actually, literally occurred.

It is JUST a matter of belief.
Irrelevant, because I didn't claim "because they believed, therefore, it is true"...yet you keep stating "just because they believed it doesn't make it true".
Okay – then WHY is the “resurrection� story true?
For_The_Kingdom wrote:
Zzyzx wrote: Refuting claims is an option available to me; however, I am not obligated to refute. The claimant IS obligated to verify – that is NOT optional in reasoned debate.
Actually, you are claiming that the Resurrection did not literally occur. That is a claim, a statement of knowledge...and the onus is on you to back up your claims as well.
Correction: My position is that verifiable evidence has not been presented to show that the “resurrection� 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.

I ASK Apologists to supply verifiable information – and all that comes forth are unverifiable tales, unverifiable testimonials, unverifiable claims, and emotional appeals.
For_The_Kingdom wrote:
Zzyzx wrote: Opinion noted. Kindly cite extra-biblical sources that confirm that the “resurrection� occurred.
I disagree with the notion that the Bible cannot be used as evidence, and I am in line with Guidelines of the forum, you know, the same guidelines that you appealed to in your earlier post.
Kindly review – quoted from C&A Guidelines
If you choose to debate in this sub-forum you are REQUIRED to honor the Guidelines. Notice specifically that the Bible can be used ONLY to show what the bible says and what Christianity says. It cannot be used to prove that a statement or story is true.

This sub-forum is intended as a meeting ground for any and all theistic positions – none of which are given preferential treatment. It is a very “level playing field�. Any story, statement or claim of knowledge which is challenged is required to be substantiated with evidence to show that it is true and accurate. “The Bible (or Quran or Bhagavad Gita) says so� is NOT acceptable as proof of truth.

If you disagree with the Guidelines and/or cannot debate without attempting to use the Bible to prove a point or position true, kindly do not debate in this sub-forum. Instead, use Theology, Doctrine and Dogma OR Holy Huddle sub-forums in which the Bible IS regarded as authoritative and can be used as proof of truth. http://debatingchristianity.com/forum/v ... php?t=9741

What part of that is unclear?
For_The_Kingdom wrote: While ignoring your straw man attack...my question is; why would the Apostles believe that Jesus rose from the dead? Why?
I do NOT attempt to explain why anyone believes anything – much less people living 2000 years ago in a very different culture with a very different information base available.

Those who DO pretend to know who believed what and WHY are welcome to present their case.
For_The_Kingdom wrote:
Zzyzx wrote: Opinion noted. Sounds like folklore or mythology to me. So what?
So, if your uncle died, and 3 days after his funeral you went to his grave to pay your respects, and you discover the grave has been dug and you look down the grave and you see an open casket, and you hear a voice that says "Hey nephew, why are you looking for the living among the dead?" and you turn around and see your uncle standing before you, physically....and you run away and tell your family what you've seen..
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, “Hi Uncle John. Good to see you. I guess they buried you prematurely.� I would certainly NOT presuppose a supernatural event.

However, that scenario is NOT analogous to the “resurrection� story – which is more like: Thirty or fifty years later someone says that someone told them that a grave was empty. There is no mention of anyone seeing the deceased at or near the tomb. Later other people are SAID to have seen the deceased alive. There are no documents available from the people supposedly involved – only stories.
For_The_Kingdom wrote: Would you be spreading folklore or mythology? Which one? Tell me.
The more representative scenario easily qualifies as folklore, myth, oral tradition, etc
For_The_Kingdom wrote:
Zzyzx wrote: Bold added to emphasize that we are no longer discussing that the “resurrection� occurred, but now discussing what is believed to be “more likely than not� – pure opinion.
Then I'm sorry, but you have no idea what "historical inquiry" is all about, because if you did, you'd know that we don't deal with absolutes which it comes to what happened/didn't happened in history.
Do the history profession and professional historians in general regard as truthful and accurate stories about supernatural characters and events?
For_The_Kingdom wrote:
Zzyzx wrote: Okay, Theists make “educated guesses� about what happened. Sermons would be VERY different if that was acknowledged. Instead, statements are made as though it was KNOWN what happened.
Kind of like how, if your son asks you "Dad, who was the first President of the United States", and you answer; "George Washington".
Correction: My answer would be qualified because I am aware that John Hanson was the first president of the Continental Congress – and in some ways of thinking was “the first president�.

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 – Touche.
For_The_Kingdom wrote: You would make that statement as if you KNOW that GW was the first President, but the fact of the matter is, you don't. You weren't there, were you? All know know is what you've been told by others, right? Rightttt.
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.
For_The_Kingdom wrote: Well, if it is good for you, then it is good for those that preach the sermons.
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.
For_The_Kingdom wrote:
Zzyzx wrote: Agreed. We are here examining the evidence regarding the “resurrection�. The evidence presented in favor is “some people believed�.
Actually, its not. It is much more than that, and I've tried to stress that point time and time again...but I guess it hasn't been stressed enough.
Don't just make the claim. Produce the evidence.
For_The_Kingdom wrote:
Zzyzx wrote: gospel writers are NOT assured to be truthful and accurate.
Why not?
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.

Christian scholars and theologians cannot identify with certainty who wrote the gospels. Famous names were assigned later. If / since their identity is unknown, HOW can anyone pretend to know that the people wrote truthfully and accurately – or that they had actual knowledge of the events described?
For_The_Kingdom wrote:
Zzyzx wrote: Exactly. The entire case is based upon “they believed� – with NO assurance that their beliefs assured that an actual, literal event occurred in the real world.
No. The entire case is that once you examine the many reasons why they would believe such a thing, the best explanation is that the Resurrection actually occured.
Best explanation is whose opinion? Do the history profession and professional historians agree that is the “best explanation� for stories about an empty tomb and later claimed sightings?
For_The_Kingdom wrote:
Zzyzx wrote: That scores of people believed that they could reach an extraterrestrial spacecraft following Comet Hale–Bopp by drinking poisoned Kool Aid is NO assurance it was true.
No assurance that what was true? The fact that the spacecraft existed, or the fact that they could reach it?
Beats me what a bunch of nut cases believed or why.
For_The_Kingdom wrote:
Zzyzx wrote: I do not pretend to know or imagine the motivations for people believing ANYTHING – much less people living thousands of years ago.
It is called "critical thinking".
I am quite aware of and trained in critical thinking – 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.
For_The_Kingdom wrote:
Zzyzx wrote: In reasoned discussion / debate saying “alternatives have not been proved� is regarded as a blunder in logic known as Argumentum ad Ignorantiam
Um, who is saying "alternatives have not been proven". No one. I am saying that "alternative explanations lack the explanatory value needed to produce the effect (belief in the Resurrection).
Alternative explanations (whatever they may be and by whomever offered) do not seem likely to be intended to produce belief in the “resurrection.� So what?
For_The_Kingdom wrote: Two completely different things.
Okay, you then understand that a lack of alternative explanations is no assurance that a proposed explanation is correct. Agreed?
For_The_Kingdom wrote:
Zzyzx wrote: Thus, if accounts of Elvis sightings include talking, walking and eating with him the accounts are TRUE. Right?
If Elvis' grave was empty, and there was reported sightings of him which including him talking, walking, and eating with people, then more than likely, I would believe it.
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. Perhaps those are the same people who make many of the reports?
For_The_Kingdom wrote: Then again, If I did believe it, I would not conclude that he rose naturally from the dead...it would be more of a confirmation of my faith than anything.
Apparent confirmation bias
For_The_Kingdom wrote:
Zzyzx wrote: How can you be so sure that NO Elvis accounts included such things?
You are right, I cannot be sure..however, I am not aware of any such sightings being on the record, are you?
Nope – however, it seemed as though the lack of such things was being assumed.
For_The_Kingdom wrote:
Zzyzx wrote: If someone told stories about walking, talking and eating with Elvis would that verify that their stories were true?
Just "someone" or multiple people? Jesus was not just seen by one person, but multiple people, at different times, at different places.
Elvis has been seen by multiple people, different times, different places. There is even an “Elvis Sightings Society�
http://elvissightingsociety.org/
http://elvissightingsociety.org/sightings
http://en.mediamass.net/people/elvis-presley/alive.html
http://www.theholidayspot.com/elvis/apparition.htm

Thus, Elvis sightings are MUCH better documented and widely reported than Jesus sightings.
For_The_Kingdom wrote:
Zzyzx wrote: That is a CLAIM by someone who admittedly was not there to observe.
But this person knew one of the original Apostles, Peter, who WAS there to observe.
Kindly document who knew whom 2000 years ago. Christian scholars and theologians do not know or agree upon who “Luke� was – much less who he knew.
For_The_Kingdom wrote:
Zzyzx wrote: Is this to suggest that Non-Theists agree to accept the Bible as proof of truth – accept that “The Bible says so� as proof?
Not at all. First, we have to establish what is the "standard" by which we determine historical truth value...and once we do that, we can hold the Gostiles (Gosples+Epistles) to those standards, and if the content within the book meets the criteria, then we can draw a conclusion.
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?

Are tales about supernatural characters and events generally regarded by professional historians as verification that such tales are true and accurate? Examples?
For_The_Kingdom wrote: I, and others that advocate for a literal Resurrection...we are saying that under such scrutiny, the belief in the Resurrection is more likely than not to be true.
Opinion noted
For_The_Kingdom wrote: And of course, a case can be made either way, which is why I am here and why you are here.
Okay
For_The_Kingdom wrote:
Zzyzx wrote: Would you (generic term) be willing to debate where the Koran, Book of Mormon, Bhagavad Gita were considered proof of truth? Perhaps that explains why I am not willing to debate where the Bible is considered proof of truth.
If I can articulate why the Koran, Book of Mormon, and Bhagavad Gita should not be considered "proof of truth", then I will thereby not consider those books as truth.

As I KEEP stressing, it isn't just about belief and not belief...but rather, the REASONS why one believes, or lacks belief.
EXACTLY – AND reasons to believe are NOT evidence that an event occurred. Anyone can believe anything for any reason. Speculating about why some people believed 2000 years ago does nothing to assure that the “resurrection� actually, literally occurred in the real world (no matter what anyone believed or why they believed).
For_The_Kingdom wrote: If I can give you reasons why I don't consider the Koran a book of truth, then what?
I would be interested in learning those reasons (in a separate thread).
For_The_Kingdom wrote:
Zzyzx wrote: Is it difficult to understand that Guidelines SPECIFY that the Bible is NOT regarded as proof of truth or as authoritative in these debates?
It is difficult to understand why you are saying something contrary to..
Kindly refer to the red quote above – and refer to C&A Guidelines for verification.
For_The_Kingdom wrote: Thanks Wootah.
You are certainly welcome to all the help you can get.
For_The_Kingdom wrote:
Zzyzx wrote: Let's not get emotional and use scatological terminology.
Ok, and lets also not attack positions that our opponent never held.
That includes “how life began�, “how the universe originated�, and deliberate distortion of my clearly stated theistic position. Right?
For_The_Kingdom wrote:
Zzyzx wrote: We are not discussing my “bad logic� but are discussing the “resurrection�. I made no reference to King Tut so what I accept or do not accept in that regard is not stated and is not a matter of debate.
The point was, if we use your standard (only extra-Biblical sources can give the Bible credibility), then a lot of things that we don't have extra-X of should also be considered unverifiable...and I used King Tut as an example of this.
I am not taking ANY position regarding ANY ancient person. Let's try to debate the “resurrection� if we can ever get to that . . .
For_The_Kingdom wrote: Now, whether or not you actually accept King Tut in this regard is irrelevant, because there is at least one thing/person/event in history that I am sure you view as historical at which there is NO extra-X of...and all it takes is one for the double standard to show its ugly head.
See George Washington above.
For_The_Kingdom wrote:
Zzyzx wrote: Do you disagree?
I disagree with the notion that it is ONLY what you say it is. It is more than that to me. It is the Word of the Living God, in my opinion.
Opinion noted – and worth nothing in debate.
For_The_Kingdom wrote:
Zzyzx wrote: Regardless whether the accounts are different or not, are writings of representatives of the company compiled by management into an anthology promoting the company regarded as “independent narratives�?
Yes.
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.
For_The_Kingdom wrote: If 12 people view the same car accident and they are asked to give a statement regarding the accident....wouldn't all 12 accounts be independent?
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.

I confronted this sort of thing occasionally when giving tests in university classes – 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 naïve enough to think the work was independent – most professors are not.

Likewise if a research paper reproduces (plagiarizes) previous work or articles, I would not consider it independent.
For_The_Kingdom wrote:
Zzyzx wrote: The theme of what has been presented so far is “They believed�. There is NO other evidence presented to verify that “the most important event in history (according to some)� actually, literally occurred in the real world – only “they believed.�
I've addressed this numerous times.
Have you done so in THIS debate?

“They 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 “the Atheist position�).

The greatest event in human history, according to some, and the “evidence� consists of a few tales by followers . . . Sounds a bit hokey to me – akin to the New Mexico oceanfront real estate promotional literature.
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Post #8

Post by Zzyzx »

.
A correction to my post:

Where I say above "No documents from earlier than 30 or 50 years after the “resurrection� survive" that is incorrect.

There are accounts that originate in that time range; however, the earliest documents that survive are from two+ centuries later.
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Re: Did the Resurrection of Jesus literally occur as claimed

Post #9

Post by For_The_Kingdom »

Zzyzx wrote:
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?
Zzyzx wrote: 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.
Zzyzx wrote: 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.
Zzyzx wrote: I do NOT say that gospel writers were “lying or making stuff up�. 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.
Zzyzx wrote: People BELIEVE they saw Elvis – and they have reasons to believe. Does that mean he came back from the dead?
No, but that mean that they saw something.
Zzyzx wrote: 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.
Zzyzx wrote: I make no life decisions based upon historical accounts being accurate or truthful. Some things about past events are nice-to-know or interesting – but not of critical importance in anything I do in real life.
Actually, you are making a life decision...
Zzyzx wrote: 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.
Zzyzx wrote: Paul/Saul writes that he learned “from no man� but directly from Jesus – 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.
Zzyzx wrote: What is the earliest copy of “the creed� 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.
Zzyzx wrote: The Galatians were in what is now Turkey – 500 miles from Jerusalem. The Corinthians were in Greece – 750 miles from Jerusalem. Thus, any “witnesses� 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.
Zzyzx wrote: 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.
Zzyzx wrote: 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.
Zzyzx wrote: Start with Paul/Saul's “vision� tale. Was “Luke� 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).
Zzyzx wrote: Luke-Acts does not name its author.[5] 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.[6][7]
I'd like to know the contradictions.
Zzyzx wrote: 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.
Zzyzx wrote: The author is not named in either volume.[5] 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."[6] (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).)[14]
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.
Zzyzx wrote: 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.[15]
I'd like specifics, sir.
Zzyzx wrote: 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.[6] Most experts date the composition of the combined work to around 80-90 AD, although some suggest 90-110,[17] 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
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gospel_of_Luke


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.
Zzyzx wrote: No documents from earlier than 30 or 50 years after the “resurrection� 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.
Zzyzx wrote: 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 “Apostles�.
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.
Zzyzx wrote: 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 – thirty to fifty years after the claimed “resurrection�.
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.
Zzyzx wrote: Thirty to fifty years is NOT “a few years� 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 circles.

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.
Zzyzx wrote: 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).
Zzyzx wrote: 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".
Zzyzx wrote: How life began is not the topic of discussion.
Neither is the natural decomposition of the human body after death.
Zzyzx wrote: 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.
Zzyzx wrote: Do you claim exceptions?
Do you claim exceptions to "life can only come from preexisting life"?
Zzyzx wrote: If so, show verifiable evidence that exceptions occurred.
If you are basing the Resurrection on verifiable 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?
Zzyzx wrote: 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 “you don't know how life began�, 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.
Zzyzx wrote: 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 “Take my word for it (or his or this book)� I am not impressed or convinced. I do not take anyone's word for anything of importance. I always verify. As Ronald Reagan said “Trust but verify.�
Are you an atheist who maintains there is no God?
Zzyzx wrote: 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.
Zzyzx wrote: Claiming “It was a miracle� does not help unless one can demonstrate that the “miracle� 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.
Zzyzx wrote: 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.
Zzyzx wrote:
Does “here� 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.
Zzyzx wrote: Let he who is without subjectivity and bias cast the first stone (that's rather biblical, isn't it?).
It is.
Zzyzx wrote: If said “Atheist� 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.
Sure..
Zzyzx wrote: 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 – where challenges are not permitted.
Cool.
Zzyzx wrote: 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 – NOT the former. I am aware that Apologists often attempt to derail debates by injecting “how life began� whenever possible (since they seem to think they KNOW – 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.
Zzyzx wrote: Is that to claim that Jesus “raised from the dead� supernaturally (not naturally) and his body did not decompose?
Of course.
Zzyzx wrote: 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.
Zzyzx wrote: Is the “resurrection� 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.
Zzyzx wrote: We're not debating in spiritual land (at least I am not). I live and debate in the real world – 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.
Zzyzx wrote: I have proceeded as though debating an educated person capable of distinguishing between “of no consequence� and “forbidden�.
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.
Zzyzx wrote: 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.
Zzyzx wrote: Kindly refrain from attempting to assign to me any “default position� – particularly regards a topic that is NOT part of this debate.
Then kill the "real world" talk.
Zzyzx wrote: Exactly WHAT “naturally unverifiable thing� have I actually presented?
Do you believe in evolution? (macroevolution)?
Zzyzx wrote: 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 – 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.
Zzyzx wrote: Okay – then WHY is the “resurrection� 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.
Zzyzx wrote: Correction: My position is that verifiable evidence has not been presented to show that the “resurrection� 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?
Zzyzx wrote: I ASK Apologists to supply verifiable information – 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.
Zzyzx wrote: 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.
Zzyzx wrote: 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, “Hi Uncle John. Good to see you. I guess they buried you prematurely.� 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.
Zzyzx wrote: However, that scenario is NOT analogous to the “resurrection� story – 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
Zzyzx wrote: 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.
Zzyzx wrote: Later other people are SAID to have seen the deceased alive. There are no documents available from the people supposedly involved – 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.
Zzyzx wrote: 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.
Zzyzx wrote: 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.
Zzyzx wrote: Correction: My answer would be qualified because I am aware that John Hanson was the first president of the Continental Congress – and in some ways of thinking was “the first president�.
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.
Zzyzx wrote: 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 – Touche.
LOL.
Zzyzx wrote: 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.
Zzyzx wrote: 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 to me.

A nice case to build upon.
Zzyzx wrote: 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.
Zzyzx wrote: 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.
Zzyzx wrote: 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"?
Zzyzx wrote: If / since their identity is unknown, HOW can anyone pretend to know that the people wrote truthfully and accurately – 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.
Zzyzx wrote: Best explanation is whose opinion? Do the history profession and professional historians agree that is the “best explanation� for stories about an empty tomb and later claimed sightings?
No. History is all subjective.
Zzyzx wrote: I am quite aware of and trained in critical thinking – 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?
Zzyzx wrote: Alternative explanations (whatever they may be and by whomever offered) do not seem likely to be intended to produce belief in the “resurrection.� 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?
Zzyzx wrote: 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?
Zzyzx wrote: 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.
Zzyzx wrote: 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?
Zzyzx wrote: Elvis has been seen by multiple people, different times, different places. There is even an “Elvis Sightings Society�
http://elvissightingsociety.org/
http://elvissightingsociety.org/sightings
http://en.mediamass.net/people/elvis-presley/alive.html
http://www.theholidayspot.com/elvis/apparition.htm

Thus, Elvis sightings are MUCH better documented and widely reported than Jesus sightings.
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.
Zzyzx wrote: Kindly document who knew whom 2000 years ago. Christian scholars and theologians do not know or agree upon who “Luke� was – 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?
Zzyzx wrote: 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?
Zzyzx wrote: 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.
Zzyzx wrote: EXACTLY – 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.
Zzyzx wrote: Anyone can believe anything for any reason.
Agreed. There are good reasons, and bad reasons, but reasons, nevertheless.
Zzyzx wrote: Speculating about why some people believed 2000 years ago does nothing to assure that the “resurrection� actually, literally occurred in the real world (no matter what anyone believed or why they believed).
Call it historical psychiatry.
Zzyzx wrote: 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?
Zzyzx wrote: You are certainly welcome to all the help you can get.
LOL.
Zzyzx wrote: I am not taking ANY position regarding ANY ancient person. Let's try to debate the “resurrection� if we can ever get to that . . .
Still missing the point, eh?
Zzyzx wrote: 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.
?
Zzyzx wrote: 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?
Zzyzx wrote: I confronted this sort of thing occasionally when giving tests in university classes – 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 naïve enough to think the work was independent – 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?
Zzyzx wrote: 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.
Zzyzx wrote: Have you done so in THIS debate?
Yeah.
Zzyzx wrote: “They 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 “the Atheist position�).
You are selective in your quotation of what I said regarding "they believed", and that is rather apparent.
Zzyzx wrote: The greatest event in human history, according to some, and the “evidence� consists of a few tales by followers . . . Sounds a bit hokey to me – akin to the New Mexico oceanfront real estate promotional literature.
Wait a minute, are you granting that the "tales" originated from followers?

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Been thanked: 72 times

Re: Did the Resurrection of Jesus literally occur as claimed

Post #10

Post by Zzyzx »

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[Replying to post 9 by For_The_Kingdom]

I will address those parts of your post that pertain to the OP question

Your total argument so far is that 2000 years ago some people are said to have believed that an empty tomb = corpus came back to life and left; and that they believed that they had seen the deceased alive afterward. You claim this is the best explanation for the storied events and evidence that the “resurrection� actually, literally occurred.

That “argument� may appeal to those who already believe the story. However, it depends upon a claim that “supernatural miracles happen� and that the Bible is authoritative and proof of truth. Those assumptions are NOT made under the terms to which we agreed to debate (C&A Guidelines apply and Bible is not authoritative or proof of truth).

You insist on bringing up the origin of life – which has NOTHING to do with dead bodies coming back to life, AND falsely assume that I support abiogenesis (when my actual position is that I have no idea how life began). Again, however, that has nothing to do with the debate and is nothing more than a red herring / straw man.

I trust that very few readers are fooled by evasive tactics masquerading as debate.
For_The_Kingdom wrote:
Zzyzx wrote: 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.
Over and over, people believing something does NOT indicate it is true.
For_The_Kingdom wrote: 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 am here to debate YOU regarding the OP topic.

Over and over – this debate has nothing to do with abiogenesis. I take NO position regarding how life began and do NOT pretend to know.
For_The_Kingdom wrote:
Zzyzx wrote: I make no life decisions based upon historical accounts being accurate or truthful. Some things about past events are nice-to-know or interesting – but not of critical importance in anything I do in real life.
Actually, you are making a life decision...
I make many life decisions – none of which involve any of the thousands of “gods� proposed, worshiped, loved, feared, fought over by proponents.
For_The_Kingdom wrote:
Zzyzx wrote: 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.
Yes, Christianity spread throughout the Roman empire when it was adopted as official, state-sanctioned religion of the empire. That certainly does not prove that a “resurrection� occurred.
For_The_Kingdom wrote:
Zzyzx wrote: 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.
People of that era were evidently quite prone to believe supernatural tales to account for what they did not understand of the environment and events.
For_The_Kingdom wrote:
Zzyzx wrote: 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 am an Army vet from before Vietnam – enlisted 101st Airborne Division 1958 to 1961. I have some memory of events that occurred during those years BUT would certainly not claim to have total recall. I would guess that I remember only perhaps 2% or 5% of events – and do NOT remember exact words of conversations.

Additionally, I realize that memories are NOT infallible – and are subject to distortion over time.
For_The_Kingdom wrote:
Zzyzx wrote: 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.
Try to comprehend that you are NOT debating those “naturalists who say . . . “.

You are debating a Non-Theist who does not pretend to know how life originated AND makes NO claims at all in that regard.
For_The_Kingdom wrote:
Zzyzx wrote: If so, show verifiable evidence that exceptions occurred.
If you are basing the Resurrection on verifiable evidence, then in that case, there isn't any verifiable evidence AGAINST the Resurrection (supernaturally) either.
Correction: Evidence HAS been presented to show that dead bodies do not come back to life.
For_The_Kingdom wrote: 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".
I do not claim any knowledge of supernaturalism. If someone wishes to claim that a supernatural event occurred, they are expected and required (in reasoned and honorable debate) to support their contention with evidence (not unverifiable stories).
For_The_Kingdom wrote:
Zzyzx wrote: 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 “you don't know how life began�, 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,
Correction: I absolutely do not maintain that God or gods do not exist. If you were not so disinterested in reading the very clear statement of my position in signature, you would not repeatedly make that mistake.

Perhaps you think you are debating someone else.
For_The_Kingdom wrote: Are you an atheist who maintains there is no God?
What is beyond comprehension in “My theistic position is Non-Theist tending toward Ignosticism (not Agnosticism). ANY of the thousands of gods proposed, worshiped, loved, feared, fought over by humans MAY exist and MAY influence human lives -- awaiting verifiable evidence upon which to base an intelligent, informed, reasoned decision.�

That statement appears on every post I make.
For_The_Kingdom wrote: 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.
Again and again and again, we are NOT debating “how life began�. You suggested the OP question – which deals with a dead body coming back to life. That has nothing to do with how life began.
For_The_Kingdom wrote: There is no middle ground. To negate one is to grant the other.
False dichotomy. I am not forced to choose between alternatives – but instead acknowledge that I don't know how life began and it has NOTHING to do with dead bodies coming back to life.
For_The_Kingdom wrote:
Zzyzx wrote: Does “here� 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
Would you prefer to debate in Holy Huddle or Theology, Doctrine and Dogma sub-forums?

In those places one need not be concerned about reality or the real world.
For_The_Kingdom wrote:
Zzyzx wrote: Is that to claim that Jesus “raised from the dead� supernaturally (not naturally) and his body did not decompose?
Of course.
Kindly provide verifiable evidence that supernaturalism and absence of decomposition actually, literally occurred.

You can't and you know you can't. The best you can do is “people believed�.
For_The_Kingdom wrote:
Zzyzx wrote: 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.
Thus, the “evidence� that a profound supernatural event, the most important event in human history (according to some) occurred is “people believed it�.
For_The_Kingdom wrote:
Zzyzx wrote: Is the “resurrection� 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.
I agree. The “resurrection� is a STORY told by ancient god worshipers.

Ancient (and modern) god worshipers often believe(d) that supernatural forces are involved in storms, floods, diseases, crop failures, unfortunate (or fortunate) events, etc. Some believe(d) that their favorite supernatural entities are/were involved in daylight and darkness. Evidently many also believe(d) that dead bodies come back to life.
For_The_Kingdom wrote:
Zzyzx wrote: 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.
Many who feel superior or invincible disdain the primary rules of “warfare� or conflict / debate: “Know thy enemy (opponent)� and “Do not overestimate your abilities�. It is not uncommon for Theists to apparently assume that they have superior knowledge and ability (perhaps through supernatural assistance) in these debates – only to learn (some quicker than others) that their “arguments� do not fare well unless they are given preferential status.

But, carry on however you wish.
For_The_Kingdom wrote:
Zzyzx wrote: 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 – 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.
Kindly try to debate the OP question “Did the Resurrection of Jesus literally occur as claimed in the Bible?�
For_The_Kingdom wrote:
Zzyzx wrote: I ASK Apologists to supply verifiable information – 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?
I WOULD NOT attempt to verify something that happened in antiquity. I do not claim to know what happened “once upon a time in a land far away� and do NOT base life decisions on ancient tales or accounts being accurate and truthful.
For_The_Kingdom wrote: Instead, you know EXACTLY why forensic biologists believe this, and you've already made an attempt to explain why.
I quote exactly what people who study such things conclude. If you wish to dispute their findings feel free to enter the field, do the research, and prove them wrong.
For_The_Kingdom wrote: 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.
I trust that readers are aware that stories told from person to person are not expected to be exact after decades or generations.
For_The_Kingdom wrote:
Zzyzx wrote: 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.
Is it difficult to admit that professional historians in general and the history profession do NOT regard as truthful and accurate stories about supernatural characters and events?

Evasion is not likely to go unnoticed by readers – most of whom, I trust, are aware that historians do NOT accept stories of supernatural characters and events as literal truth.

Historians who happen to be Christians MAY accept bible supernatural characters and tales, but are unlikely to accept similar tales from competing religions.
For_The_Kingdom wrote:
Zzyzx wrote: 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
I do not disagree with the first two
For_The_Kingdom wrote: 3. We have historical evidence that Jesus was buried

4. We have historical evidence to believe that his tomb became empty
Correction: You have unverified TALES about burial and an empty tomb.
For_The_Kingdom wrote: 5. We have personal testimony from a former skeptic from a contemporary of Jesus and Jesus' apostles to these things (Paul)
Paul/Saul admittedly never met Jesus but learned from a “vision� (or hallucination or delusion or fantasy or whatever it was).
For_The_Kingdom wrote: 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.
Back to “they believed�
For_The_Kingdom wrote: We have our reasons, too.
Feel free to elaborate.
For_The_Kingdom wrote:
Zzyzx wrote: 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.
Exactly. It also cannot be known with certainty if what was written was accurate and truthful.

Therefore, it would be foolish to maintain that we KNOW something is accurate and truthful.
For_The_Kingdom wrote:
Zzyzx wrote: 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.
And the “best explanation� for an empty tomb is that the deceased came back to life and left and people believed that he did.
For_The_Kingdom wrote:
Zzyzx wrote: The greatest event in human history, according to some, and the “evidence� consists of a few tales by followers . . . Sounds a bit hokey to me – akin to the New Mexico oceanfront real estate promotional literature.
Wait a minute, are you granting that the "tales" originated from followers?
Yes, I am saying that according to accounts, tales of “resurrection� originated from followers.

Do you dispute that?
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Non-Theist

ANY of the thousands of "gods" proposed, imagined, worshiped, loved, feared, and/or fought over by humans MAY exist -- awaiting verifiable evidence

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