Can the resurrection be explained as a case of mistaken identity?

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Paul of Tarsus
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Can the resurrection be explained as a case of mistaken identity?

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Post by Paul of Tarsus »

Can the resurrection of Christ be explained as a case of mistaken identity? Apologist William Lane Craig finds this notion to be absurd. He has explained that he debated a skeptic who, out of desperation to save face in his debate over the resurrection with Craig, argued that Jesus could have had an identical-twin brother who was mistaken for Jesus after Jesus was executed.

I'm not so sure if the idea of Jesus having an identical twin brother is so absurd. No doubt there are cases in which an identical twin is misidentified as his or her deceased twin, and some people, especially those who are unaware that the deceased twin had an identical twin brother or sister, could think the deceased twin has come back from the dead!

But a case of misidentifying Jesus need not involve a twin or even a sibling. Any man who resembled Jesus may have been mistaken for Jesus. In those days there were no cameras, and exactly what Jesus looked like may have been unknown to most people who had heard of him. Consequently, it would not have been hard for them to believe that the man they were seeing was the risen Christ.

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Re: Can the resurrection be explained as a case of mistaken identity?

Post #51

Post by brunumb »

Realworldjack wrote: Thu Jun 10, 2021 11:04 pm
brunumb wrote: Thu Jun 10, 2021 7:46 pm
Realworldjack wrote: Thu Jun 10, 2021 6:05 pm This debate has been raging for 2000 years, including the scholars, and I cannot imagine this much time, and energy being exerted over something which lacked good evidence.
The debate has been raging for 2000 years precisely because there is no good evidence for the alleged resurrection.
Okay? So, you are attempting to tell us, there are numerous scholars who have spent their whole life, studying, and debating against something for which there would be no good evidence to support? Does that even make sense to you?
Yep! Some people are desperate, some people get obsessive, some people dress up in all sorts of fantastic costumes and go to comic book or Star Trek conventions. Human beings are a weird lot. Religion features strongly in society and people just want to know the truth. Snake oil salesmen are always trying to sell the 'truth' and are more than willing to take advantage of every opportunity presented to them.
Christianty: 2000 years of making it up as you go along.

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Re: Can the resurrection be explained as a case of mistaken identity?

Post #52

Post by Realworldjack »

[Replying to benchwarmer in post #0]
It may NOT be nonsense, but when all we have are obviously connected sources which can't even be internally consistent it's hard to call what little we do have 'good'.
This is SO, SO, FUNNY! I mean, on the one hand you seem to complain that the accounts are to similar, which is a reason for our doubt, and then on the other hand, the reports are inconsistent? If the reports are the same, there is reason for doubt. If the reports have inconsistencies, we should doubt. GOOD GREIF!
Some of us bother because people claiming there is good evidence are busy trying to convert people to their religion using what many of us consider 'bad' evidence and promises of an afterlife.
First, I am not attempting to convert anyone at all. Next, if there is no good evidence in support of the Christian claims, then it should be no bother at all. I mean, all one would have to do in your position, is to demonstrate clearly how there would be no good evidence in support, and we could rid the world of this nonsense.
These religions have often tried (and succeeded) in inserting themselves into government, education, etc. That is not acceptable IMO.
I am right there with you. I have, and will continue to fight against any religion, including Christianity, "inserting themselves into government, education". Not sure what your "etc." would be?
Are you unaware of the scholarship that points to some of the gospel text appearing practically verbatim in other gospels? I don't mean the story is the same, I mean the text is the same. Please google the Synoptic Problem if you really haven't heard about this before.
I am completely aware of this! Have you ever thought through what all would have to be involved, in order for these authors to have actually copied from the other? Or, are you simply taking the word of the scholars, in the same way many Christians simply take the word of their parents, Sunday school teachers, and pastors? Have you even thought about the time frame these scholars of yours give for these writings? Have you even thought about the painstaking task it would be to actually write these things down in those days? In other words, they did not have computers. They did not have paper, and pens. Papyrus, would be hard to come by. With all this being the case, it is not like everyone would have the luxury of walking around with their very own copy of these things, since copying this material would have been a painstaking process. However, you, and your scholars would have us believe, not one, but two of these authors would have had the luxury of having their very own copy of another to copy from? Not only this, your scholars would also have us believe that these authors would have also had the same copy of some of other source, they can only refer to as "Q". The reason for this supposed source, is intended to account for the information one may give, which the other does not. So then, now we have two different authors, with a copy of the same two different sources, and you can make this make sense in your mind? This is what is called, "critical thinking". I agree that we all should think critically about what is contained in the Bible. Are you suggesting that I should turn off my critical thinking, and simply accept what the scholars have to say?

Well, how about this? When I was young, my grandpa would tell me certain stories of his life in the military. I was so intrigued by these stories, I would ask him to tell me these stories over, and over again. Because I spent so much time with him, and have heard these stories over, and over, I can tell you these stories, verbatim. So then, if these authors are indeed connected, as I believe they were, and they spent 3 years with Jesus hearing, and witnessing these events, and then after Jesus was gone, they spent their time telling, and retelling, hearing, and rehearing these same stories over, and over, day, after day, for DECADES before writing these things down, would it be of any surprise these men could, and would tell these same things verbatim? I mean, how many folks in the same Church today, can recite certain things verbatim? But, I guess the better explanation is, two of them had the same copy of one of the others, on top of having the same exact copy of some other source, in which they simply picked, and chose, what to copy?

To end here, I am fine with you believing this to be the case, but please do not insist this is the best conclusion, unless you can demonstrate this to be the case.
For contrast, go ask three of your friends to write down a short paragraph about a shared experience. If you find the same text among those three accounts, would you be suspicious they couldn't bother to write their own versions or would you blissfully assume they managed a pretty miraculous feat? There are plagiarism detectors online that teachers can use to detect this kind of stuff.
Again, if we are talking about a number of folks who simply witness the same event, and ask them to give a written report of these events then you would be correct. However, if these men were extremely connected as we have recorded, in that they spent 3 years together following, and hearing Jesus, and then after Jesus is gone, they spend "DECADES" with each other, telling, and retelling, hearing, and rehearing, these same things told over, and over, again, as they told these things to others, would it be of great surprise that they would recite some of these things verbatim? Or, would the better explanation be they somehow had the same copy of another, on top of another source, even the scholars cannot identify?

The point is, I have no problem with you simply taking the word of the scholars, but I cannot imagine you would suggest that all of us should simply follow your lead, without attempting to think through these things ourselves? To be clear, I certainly believe we should all consider what the scholars have to say, but I am certainly not convinced we should simply accept it as fact.
Did they really come to believe based on 'good' evidence or were they just convinced by bad logic and poor reasoning?
This comment is really amazing to me! In other words, if these folks come to a different conclusion than you have, it must, and had to be upon, "bad logic and poor reasoning"? This is amazing to me, because I am not under any sort of delusion that others must have employed, "bad logic and poor reasoning" to come to a different conclusion than I have. Rather, I assume we have looked at the same evidence, and used our logic, and reason, to come to different conclusions, and I am happy, willing, and eager to exchange ideas, beliefs, and opinions, in order for us to all come to understand each other better, along with why, and how we have arrived to the conclusions we have. In other words, my goal is not in any way to convince others to believe what it is I believe, but to better understand what it is others believe, along with why they believe as they do, along with explaining what it is I believe, and why I believe as I do, without casting judgement upon what others believe.

Pointing out the idea that others attempt to come up with alternative explanations in order to explain away the accounts of a resurrection, is simply an attempt to demonstrate that there must be some good evidence in support, otherwise, there would be no reason for these attempts. It is not an attempt to demonstrate in any way there would be no reason, or logic involved in not believing the accounts.
I'm not afraid to admit I was once an unbeliever, became a believer based on what I thought at the time was 'good' reasoning (mostly the shared experiences of people I trusted and some study) and later discovered my original 'study' was not very thorough.


So then, you seem to be admitting that you are easily convinced? In other words, you seem to be admitting that you were easily convinced Christianity was true, and now somehow you want us to believe that things have changed, and your deconversion, was more thoughtful, than your conversion? Can you see the problem I have here? In other words, you seem to be freely admitting to accepting something to be true based upon no good evidence whatsoever, and now you would like me to believe that your new found decision is based upon sound logic, reason, and evidence? This is what I refer to as, "easy in, easy out". In other words, you seem to be admitting that it did not take a whole lot of thinking to convince you Christianity was true, but now we are to be convinced that it was thinking which caused you to reject it?
Well, when I really started looking and examining, you can guess what happened. Really reading and studying the Bible along with going outside the church for information is what led to my eventual deconversion. I tried to become a better Christian and ended up an atheist. My story is not unique.
I am sorry, but your "story" does not sound very much different than the many Christians you seem to criticize? In other words, it seems to have little at all to do with the facts, and evidence, but more to do with your "story". You are very correct that your story is not "unique". There are many here on this site, who freely admit to being convinced Christians at one time, who now claim to have been convinced of something for which they now claim there is no evidence to support what they were once convinced of. However, let us also keep in mind that there are many folks who were at one time unbelievers, who claim to have done the same thing which you claim to have done, which is to claim to have really begin thinking about the facts, and evidence concerning Christianity, and have become convinced it is true based upon such study. But of course, since they have come to a different conclusion than you have, they must not have "really come to believe based on 'good' evidence"? Funny how that works isn't it? My friend, "your story" of how you changed your mind after claiming to have examined what you believed, has nothing at all to do with what the truth may be, anymore than the story of those who were at one time unbelievers, who claim to have studied the evidence and became convinced by this evidence.
There you go again. Where did I say that? Quote?

The only thing I'm confident about is that we have written accounts. I'm also confident that I've never seen dead people rise up after a number of days. The accounts MAY be true, but I have no way to verify them and the utter lack of corroborating evidence tells me that I'm pretty safe to put them beside all other religious claims of other faiths which I'm sure you likewise don't give much credence to.

Am I confident they are false? No. Am I confident there is something fishy about these clearly connected sources (copying amongst themselves)? Yes.

I am confident that until such time I am presented some actual 'good' (to me) evidence, I need not worry about disbelieving those accounts and all the fear mongering that some Christians try to tie to these stories (like burning in hell, etc).


My friend, what you say here doesn't add up in the least! My last quote from you above, clearly states that you are now an "atheist". If you lack a belief in God, then how can you believe that it may be possible that God raised Jesus from the dead, which is clearly what Christianity teaches? So, exactly what is it that you believe?
One reason to come up with alternatives is to point out that maybe the evidence really isn't that 'good' when someone else is trying to convince you that it is.
In my experience, most folks do not spend very much time at all debating things which are obviously true, or false.

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Re: Can the resurrection be explained as a case of mistaken identity?

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Post by Realworldjack »

[Replying to Paul of Tarsus in post #49]

I do not have time to respond to this whole post at this time, but I am compelled to respond to one of your comments here.
I can't speak for others, but I don't debate any claim I think has good evidence for it. I don't debate the assassination of John Kennedy, for example, because the evidence appears to be very good that there was no conspiracy to assassinate him.
You are actually making my point here. Although you have simply reversed the way in which I presented it, it all comes out the same. In other words, since you believe there is a "lack of good evidence" to support the idea Kennedy would have been assassinated, you see no need to debate the subject. However, for some reason, you seem to find reason to believe the Christian claims are worth the debate?

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Re: Can the resurrection be explained as a case of mistaken identity?

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Post by Paul of Tarsus »

Realworldjack wrote: Fri Jun 11, 2021 11:27 am...since you believe there is a "lack of good evidence" to support the idea Kennedy would have been assassinated, you see no need to debate the subject. However, for some reason, you seem to find reason to believe the Christian claims are worth the debate?
I'm not sure what you're talking about. I don't recall posting that "there is a lack of good evidence to support the idea Kennedy would have been assassinated." I don't know what that means.

Anyway, what I am saying is that I don't debate those who say that Oswald acted alone. The evidence is good that he did act alone. However, the claim that there was a conspiracy to assassinate Kennedy has no good evidence to support it. As a result, I sometimes do argue against those who claim there was a conspiracy. So I don't debate claims that have good evidence to support them, but I often debate claims that have little or no evidence to support them.

Exactly like I've been saying all along. Where's the confusion?

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Re: Can the resurrection be explained as a case of mistaken identity?

Post #55

Post by We_Are_VENOM »

Paul of Tarsus wrote: Wed Jun 09, 2021 9:48 am VEN, did you read what I highlighted in bold in the quotation above? You misquoted me.
It wasn't a misquote, it was a paraphrased quote.

we know of no records about Jesus or his resurrection that were written by Romans or Greeks in the first century

And first of all, what you said is false anyway, because we do have records about Jesus AND his resurrection, ever heard of Paul?

Sure you have :D

But of course, it is at that point you have to throw in an additional "but I am talking about external Biblical records".

But then you will have to explain why external Biblical sources would have more virtue than internal Biblical sources...and I don't think your bias will allow you to do that.
Paul of Tarsus wrote: Wed Jun 09, 2021 9:48 am Maybe. If people in the twilight zone don't take care to quote people properly.
See above, as I took care to quote you properly while still being able to maintain the point that I originally made; which is that despite your contention of "we know of no records about Jesus or his resurrection", then why on earth do we need to explain away his post-mortem appearances if we have no "records" written in the first century that Jesus' resurrection is true in the first place?

Makes no sense.
Paul of Tarsus wrote: Wed Jun 09, 2021 9:48 am
Can you cite your source for this information?
No. What you can do is do your homework on the dating of Paul's epistles, and you will find that they were all written between the mid 50's to early to mid 60's CE.

Now, if that doesn't work for you, then kindly cite your reasons why we should believe that Jesus had a twin brother.
Paul of Tarsus wrote: Wed Jun 09, 2021 9:48 am Sorry. I thought you wanted to debate.
Your point was countered, sir.
Paul of Tarsus wrote: Wed Jun 09, 2021 9:48 am I never said that the "twin-brother theory" explained any empty tomb. My twin-brother hypothesis is meant to explain the story of reported sightings of Jesus after he is said to have been executed.
Right, the problem is that the twin-brother theory fails in light to the empty tomb narrative that all four Gospels attest to.

My mentioning of the empty tomb was to demonstrate why your theory fails.
Paul of Tarsus wrote: Wed Jun 09, 2021 9:48 am But I've been justifying my twin-brother hypothesis all along. If it conflicts with anything claimed in the gospels regarding Jesus' alleged resurrection, that's because I'm offering what I think is a more probable explanation for the reported events. After all, I'm disputing what the gospels claim about the resurrection of Jesus, so obviously I'm not going to believe or agree with everything the gospels say.
But you believe in it enough to feel that you need to offer an explanation of why the "resurrection" story was believed and gained steamed.

The byproduct of your hypothesis is the admission that there was a man named Jesus, who had died, and his followers believed that they seen him after he had died.

Good enough for me.
Paul of Tarsus wrote: Wed Jun 09, 2021 9:48 am But you keep telling me not to contradict anything the gospel accounts say about Jesus' resurrection. And it's fine if you don't think the twin-brother hypothesis explains the story, but it's a good idea to come up with some ways to argue against it besides complaining that it's not completely in harmony with the gospel accounts.
Look, you can believe what you want to believe...but at least admit that there is no evidence whatsoever, whether Biblical or extra-Biblical, which even hints at Jesus and a twin brother.

Just do that, and we are fine.

The mere fact that you are willing to come up with this wild, cockamanie theory about Jesus and a twin brother in order to justify what was believed to believe a resurrection, only to just toss aside the empty tomb narrative (which undermines your theory), just goes to show the taxi cab fallacy at its best (or worse).

It blows my mind.
Paul of Tarsus wrote: Wed Jun 09, 2021 9:48 am Actually, the gospels don't tell us that Jesus was not a twin, and now I see that you are adding to the story! I thought you opposed saying anything that's not mentioned in the gospel accounts.
Luke 1:30-31

30 But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. 31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus.

Do you see that? A son. Is that singular, or plural? It is singular.

No one is adding to the story, it is called basic reading comprehension. I don't need to add to the Bible to make my points, I simply let the Bible speak for itself.

I would advise you to do the same.
Paul of Tarsus wrote: Wed Jun 09, 2021 9:48 am Yes. I used to know identical twins, and I did confuse the two of them at least once. I also remember when I was in junior high my brother and I looked so much alike that people sometimes did confuse the two of us, and we aren't twins. It's good evidence that the twin-brother hypothesis, even if it is watered down a bit to just a brother, works well to explain the sightings of a supposedly risen Jesus.
You are being disingenuous here. You said "even if he had no twin brother, the family resemblance might have caused some people to confuse that brother with Jesus".

Obviously, when I asked you have you ever confused a male family friend with one of his brothers, I wasn't talking about if the person had an identical twin, because I am smart enough to understand that identical twins can be confused with one another.
Paul of Tarsus wrote: Wed Jun 09, 2021 9:48 am
Again, I don't believe everything in those stories about the risen Christ.
And again, I don't believe Jesus had a twin brother either. So we both don't believe something.
Paul of Tarsus wrote: Wed Jun 09, 2021 9:48 am
And I'm supposed to just accept that as a fact, correct?
Accept what you want. Your theory fails in light of the empty tomb. Point blank, period. The only reason why you are so unwilling to accept the empty tomb is because you know full well it contradicts your theory.

You clearly didn't think this stuff through.
Paul of Tarsus wrote: Wed Jun 09, 2021 9:48 am
Sure. I'm explaining the story with no need for any miracles or any risen Jesus.
No, you are adding to the story with no basis whatsoever. "Jesus may have had a twin brother" is not part of the story. That is a unwarranted addition to the story.

Sure, Jesus may have had an auntie named "Angelica", too. LOL.
Paul of Tarsus wrote: Wed Jun 09, 2021 9:48 am It appears that you can only argue against my hypothesis by complaining that I don't accept everything the gospels claim.
But you sure accept that part about his followers believing that they saw him alive after he died, right? That part is all gravy for you to accept...but when it comes to that empty tomb, all of a sudden it is time to put on our skeptical hat and start being skeptical.

Please.

This is the most blatantly obvious taxi cab fallacy that I've ever seen in my life. To be honest, it is intellectually disgusting.
Paul of Tarsus wrote: Wed Jun 09, 2021 9:48 am In conclusion I should point out that the twin-brother hypothesis is only necessary if we assume that there were in fact reported sightings of Jesus after his execution, but we don't know if there really were any sightings to explain.
No, in conclusion, there is no evidence to support your theory whatsoever. That is fact is the beginning, and conclusion.
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Re: Can the resurrection be explained as a case of mistaken identity?

Post #56

Post by We_Are_VENOM »

brunumb wrote: Wed Jun 09, 2021 9:02 pm
Just as I thought. You have nothing.
Actually, I asked you a DIRECT question as it relates to the standard (methodology) that you are applying when it comes to establishing fictional/nonfictional characters.

You've yet to answer my question, so it appears that YOU are the one who has NOTHING.
brunumb wrote: Wed Jun 09, 2021 9:02 pm
Oh dear. It's the resurrection story that is the lynch pin of the propaganda. JoA was an element needed to get the poor itinerant preacher a tomb. It makes for a far better story than having the filthy corpse coming back from a mass grave with no one really paying any attention.
Oh dear. Or perhaps they could have just said that Jesus' corpse was simply thrown in any filthy rotten tomb, didn't even have to mention a name...but that wouldn't change the story of Jesus' body coming to life and being seen by folks. Wouldn't stop that at all.
brunumb wrote: Wed Jun 09, 2021 9:02 pm Oh dear, again. You haven't really addressed the point. If he really existed, then why would he just abandon his now empty tomb? If Jesus really was special enough to JoA to warrant being given a tomb, then the tomb of a resurrected Jesus would be pretty special too don't you think? Even now people travel from all over the world to visit the alleged site.
Whether he should/shouldn't have abandoned his now empty tomb is a red herring as much as it is subjective.

In other words, I could care less about his personal feelings towards the tomb.
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Re: Can the resurrection be explained as a case of mistaken identity?

Post #57

Post by benchwarmer »

Realworldjack wrote: Fri Jun 11, 2021 10:50 am [Replying to benchwarmer in post #0]
It may NOT be nonsense, but when all we have are obviously connected sources which can't even be internally consistent it's hard to call what little we do have 'good'.
This is SO, SO, FUNNY! I mean, on the one hand you seem to complain that the accounts are to similar, which is a reason for our doubt, and then on the other hand, the reports are inconsistent? If the reports are the same, there is reason for doubt. If the reports have inconsistencies, we should doubt. GOOD GREIF!
Good grief indeed! You are so quick to jump on me you clearly don't understand the problems I'm pointing out.

Let's have an example:

Account 1: I Fred, on Sunday, July 1 saw a golden apple fall from the largest tree in Harry's orchard. It landed in the fresh cut, green grass and just stared at me like nothing was amiss.

Account 2: I Tom, on Sunday, July 1 saw a copper peach fall from the largest tree in Harry's orchard. It landed in the fresh cut, green grass and just stared at me like nothing was amiss.

Now, is there some cut and paste going on above? Are they consistent? Is it still funny?

Realworldjack wrote: Fri Jun 11, 2021 10:50 am
Some of us bother because people claiming there is good evidence are busy trying to convert people to their religion using what many of us consider 'bad' evidence and promises of an afterlife.
First, I am not attempting to convert anyone at all. Next, if there is no good evidence in support of the Christian claims, then it should be no bother at all. I mean, all one would have to do in your position, is to demonstrate clearly how there would be no good evidence in support, and we could rid the world of this nonsense.
The issue is the subjective word 'good' Clearly you think the evidence is 'good', clearly I do not. The reasoning used to back up each of our judgements is what we are actually debating. Those who think the evidence is 'good' will of course believe it. Those who don't, won't. Obviously the evidence is not 'good' enough to convince the majority of people or they would all be singing the praises of Jesus. In fact, Christianity seems to be waning in many parts of the world. Is that because the evidence is so 'good'?
Realworldjack wrote: Fri Jun 11, 2021 10:50 am I am completely aware of this! Have you ever thought through what all would have to be involved, in order for these authors to have actually copied from the other?
Yes, one guy reads a previous manuscript, likes some of it, but want to insert their own spin. They copy/paste what they obviously didn't witness themselves and add some extra material. Not hard to imagine at all. Especially when taking into account the dates these manuscripts appear to have been written. It's not like they were all written within a year or two of each other, so no need for everyone to have a copy. You pick something up that's been floating around for a decade, add your spin to it and voila.

Realworldjack wrote: Fri Jun 11, 2021 10:50 am
For contrast, go ask three of your friends to write down a short paragraph about a shared experience. If you find the same text among those three accounts, would you be suspicious they couldn't bother to write their own versions or would you blissfully assume they managed a pretty miraculous feat? There are plagiarism detectors online that teachers can use to detect this kind of stuff.
Again, if we are talking about a number of folks who simply witness the same event, and ask them to give a written report of these events then you would be correct. However, if these men were extremely connected as we have recorded, in that they spent 3 years together following, and hearing Jesus, and then after Jesus is gone, they spend "DECADES" with each other, telling, and retelling, hearing, and rehearing, these same things told over, and over, again, as they told these things to others, would it be of great surprise that they would recite some of these things verbatim? Or, would the better explanation be they somehow had the same copy of another, on top of another source, even the scholars cannot identify?
If what you posit is what happened, why are only some parts clearly verbatim and others differ by quite a bit? Wouldn't one expect the entire thing to be at least consistent with perhaps minor differences in how they are worded? After all, if they kept retelling each other the same stories over and over, did one of the authors go 'off script' for giggles?
Realworldjack wrote: Fri Jun 11, 2021 10:50 am The point is, I have no problem with you simply taking the word of the scholars, but I cannot imagine you would suggest that all of us should simply follow your lead, without attempting to think through these things ourselves? To be clear, I certainly believe we should all consider what the scholars have to say, but I am certainly not convinced we should simply accept it as fact.
You are again assuming facts not in evidence to make your argument. Did I say I simply take the word of scholars? Quote please? You are going to run out of straw soon.
Realworldjack wrote: Fri Jun 11, 2021 10:50 am
Did they really come to believe based on 'good' evidence or were they just convinced by bad logic and poor reasoning?
This comment is really amazing to me! In other words, if these folks come to a different conclusion than you have, it must, and had to be upon, "bad logic and poor reasoning"?
Nice spin again. I asked a question. I clearly gave my example showing that I did indeed employ bad logic and reasoning when I first became a Christian. I recognized that later. Perhaps others have fallen to the same bad logic and reasoning. I haven't seen any of this 'good' evidence yet, so at this point it's all I have to go on.
Realworldjack wrote: Fri Jun 11, 2021 10:50 am
I'm not afraid to admit I was once an unbeliever, became a believer based on what I thought at the time was 'good' reasoning (mostly the shared experiences of people I trusted and some study) and later discovered my original 'study' was not very thorough.


So then, you seem to be admitting that you are easily convinced? In other words, you seem to be admitting that you were easily convinced Christianity was true, and now somehow you want us to believe that things have changed, and your deconversion, was more thoughtful, than your conversion? Can you see the problem I have here? In other words, you seem to be freely admitting to accepting something to be true based upon no good evidence whatsoever, and now you would like me to believe that your new found decision is based upon sound logic, reason, and evidence? This is what I refer to as, "easy in, easy out". In other words, you seem to be admitting that it did not take a whole lot of thinking to convince you Christianity was true, but now we are to be convinced that it was thinking which caused you to reject it?
More straw, the field must be almost bare.

I admitted that I initially used faulty logic and reasoning and primarily based my decision on what friends, loved ones, and priests were telling me. I attempted to put some work into my study, but unfortunately I limited myself to what was fed to me from church sources. I studied the Bible and the RCC catechism. They seemed to be consistent with each other and when they appeared not to be, my questions were promptly 'apologized' to my satisfaction at the time.

Then I really started looking into things after a good number of years. This time I did not simply accept what Christians were telling me, I sought out other sources. Guess what? People not trying to promote their own religion tend to have a different take on things and are unafraid to point out issues I was not aware of before. I had no clue there were verbatim copying among the gospels. I never looked that closely before. I had no clue there were no other contemporary accounts of Jesus. I incorrectly assumed (using bad logic and reasoning) that this entire house of cards is not built on a few obviously connected accounts.

I was wrong. I admit it. That's how we grow. When you finally present this 'good' evidence and convince me it's actually good, I will then have no issue admitting I was wrong again. I've been wrong many times in my life. Probably a few times today. Ask my wife :)

When you discover previous faulty thinking, you try to correct it. Having done that, I no longer find the Christian religion convincing. I may yet be wrong again, but all searching so far has not lead me back.
Realworldjack wrote: Fri Jun 11, 2021 10:50 am In my experience, most folks do not spend very much time at all debating things which are obviously true, or false.
They do however tend to debate things that a large portion of the population seem to be enamored with and like to tell other people they 'better believe or else'. Note I'm not accusing you of that, but clearly there are Christians who are in the business of trying to spread their religion. When it's clear to some of us that no good evidence has been put forward, we keep the debate alive. The alternative is to simply let others be possibly convinced and have to go through what I did. I'd prefer to get everyone both sides of the debate up front and let them choose when all the cards are on the table.

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Paul of Tarsus
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Re: Can the resurrection be explained as a case of mistaken identity?

Post #58

Post by Paul of Tarsus »

We_Are_VENOM wrote: Fri Jun 11, 2021 3:31 pm...what you said is false anyway, because we do have records about Jesus AND his resurrection, ever heard of Paul?
Paul being a Roman is problematical. He never mentions his being a Roman in his epistles. We are only told he was Roman in Acts 22 and 23. Some historians like Richard Carrier have concluded that Acts has no historical basis to it, so we cannot rely on it as a source of information about Paul.

Even if Paul was in fact Roman, he was a Christian preacher, so obviously he would mention Jesus as part of his religion rather than for historical reasons. In fact, he says that he only knew about Jesus from revelation.

But I will be generous and grant that yes, we have one first-century Roman who mentions Jesus.
...why on earth do we need to explain away his post-mortem appearances if we have no "records" written in the first century that Jesus' resurrection is true in the first place?
Actually, we have no need to explain any reported sightings of Jesus, or at least I don't. Like millions of other people, I can ignore them as irrelevant.
...on the dating of Paul's epistles, and you will find that they were all written between the mid 50's to early to mid 60's CE.
That appears to be about right although some apologists date them earlier.
...the problem is that the twin-brother theory fails in light to the empty tomb narrative that all four Gospels attest to.

My mentioning of the empty tomb was to demonstrate why your theory fails.
I'm not sure how you come to that conclusion. Whether Jesus' tomb was occupied or not, the reported sightings of Jesus post-execution could still be explained by a case of mistaken identity.
...I'm disputing what the gospels claim about the resurrection of Jesus, so obviously I'm not going to believe or agree with everything the gospels say.
But you believe in it enough to feel that you need to offer an explanation of why the "resurrection" story was believed and gained steamed.
I'm assuming for the sake of argument that there were in fact postmortem sightings of Jesus. My aim is to demonstrate that even if we very generously grant that the gospels get even that much right, then there is still no need to conclude Jesus rose from the dead because there are plausible naturalistic explanations for those sightings.
...but at least admit that there is no evidence whatsoever, whether Biblical or extra-Biblical, which even hints at Jesus and a twin brother.
There's no evidence that his mother changed his diapers either, but any sensible person would conclude that she did. Many other sensible conclusions can be arrived at about Jesus logically without being told.
The mere fact that you are willing to come up with this wild, cockamanie theory about Jesus and a twin brother in order to justify what was believed to believe a resurrection, only to just toss aside the empty tomb narrative (which undermines your theory), just goes to show the taxi cab fallacy at its best (or worse).
So you complain that Jesus having a twin brother is a "cockamamie theory" only to immediately justify the belief that a dead man walked away from his grave.

I'll be happy to consider the empty-tomb story if you can relate it to the postmortem sightings of Jesus reported in the gospels.
It blows my mind.
I'll bet it does.
Luke 1:30-31

30 But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. 31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus.

Do you see that? A son. Is that singular, or plural? It is singular.

No one is adding to the story, it is called basic reading comprehension. I don't need to add to the Bible to make my points, I simply let the Bible speak for itself.

I would advise you to do the same.
Luke does not rule out that Jesus had a twin brother. If Mary gave birth to a son, then she could have birthed another son at that time. You are reading into the text.
...when I asked you have you ever confused a male family friend with one of his brothers, I wasn't talking about if the person had an identical twin, because I am smart enough to understand that identical twins can be confused with one another.
I may have misunderstood your question. I cannot recall confusing a male family friend with one of his brothers, but it's possible. But that's not terribly relevant to my hypothesis. Any Jew living at the time of Jesus' execution except perhaps for those who knew him best may have confused Jesus' brother for Jesus. Those reporting the sightings didn't need to have known Jesus.
Sure, Jesus may have had an auntie named "Angelica", too. LOL.
That would be more likely than a resurrection.
To be honest, it is intellectually disgusting.
It must be very difficult for you.

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Re: Can the resurrection be explained as a case of mistaken identity?

Post #59

Post by bluegreenearth »

[Replying to We_Are_VENOM in post #56]

I'm curious, what would you suggest is a more plausible naturalistic explanation for the resurrection claim?

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Re: Can the resurrection be explained as a case of mistaken identity?

Post #60

Post by brunumb »

We_Are_VENOM wrote: Fri Jun 11, 2021 3:31 pm 30 But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. 31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus.

Do you see that? A son. Is that singular, or plural? It is singular.
Just because it isn't mentioned doesn't mean that Mary couldn't have given birth to twins. It doesn't say she didn't.

If you think that's a ridiculous argument, tell that to all the Christian apologists who use the same tactic to dismiss obvious discrepancies and contradictions in accounts regarding numbers of angels and the like found in the Bible.
Christianty: 2000 years of making it up as you go along.

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