Hundreds, Thousands of Eyewitnesses

Argue for and against Christianity

Moderator: Moderators

User avatar
JoeyKnothead
Under Probation
Posts: 18708
Joined: Fri Jun 06, 2008 10:59 am
Location: Here
Has thanked: 1679 times
Been thanked: 1136 times

Hundreds, Thousands of Eyewitnesses

Post #1

Post by JoeyKnothead »

From Post 7 here:
JehovahsWitness wrote: We have multiple written records of verifiable evidence of the awsome acts of YHWH (Jehovah) the God of the bible. Acts performed before hundreds, sometimes thousands of eye-witnesses such as the parting of the Red Sea, providing of manna in the desert, the test on mount Carmel, as well as countless miracles performed before and/or experienced by witnesses.
For debate:

1. Please offer some means to confirm these alleged events occurred.

2. Please offer some means to confirm there were hundreds, or thousands of witnesses to these alleged events.

Folks're reminded that in this section of the site the Bible ain't considered authoritative.
Discovery is finding things that exist.
Invention is using things discovered.

Create that path and engineer a metamorphosis.

- William

Wootah
Savant
Posts: 7956
Joined: Wed Nov 24, 2010 1:16 am
Has thanked: 65 times
Been thanked: 42 times

Re: Hundreds, Thousands of Eyewitnesses

Post #21

Post by Wootah »

[Replying to JoeyKnothead in post #19]

Historians using the evidence available believe both men existed. From what I gather Joey doesn't.
Proverbs 18:17 The one who states his case first seems right, until the other comes and examines him.

Member Notes: viewtopic.php?t=33826

Looking for head to head debates, especially on contradictions or the Trinity. PM me your topic.

"Why is everyone so quick to reason God might be petty. Now that is creating God in our own image :)."

Edit preferences to remove all the fluff: ucp.php?i=ucp_prefs&mode=view

User avatar
Tcg
Savant
Posts: 7151
Joined: Tue Nov 21, 2017 5:01 am
Location: Third Stone
Has thanked: 1284 times
Been thanked: 1507 times

Re: Hundreds, Thousands of Eyewitnesses

Post #22

Post by Tcg »

JoeyKnothead wrote: Sat Dec 11, 2021 4:09 pm From Post 7 here:
JehovahsWitness wrote: We have multiple written records of verifiable evidence of the awsome acts of YHWH (Jehovah) the God of the bible. Acts performed before hundreds, sometimes thousands of eye-witnesses such as the parting of the Red Sea, providing of manna in the desert, the test on mount Carmel, as well as countless miracles performed before and/or experienced by witnesses.
For debate:

1. Please offer some means to confirm these alleged events occurred.

2. Please offer some means to confirm there were hundreds, or thousands of witnesses to these alleged events.

Folks're reminded that in this section of the site the Bible ain't considered authoritative.
Multiple written records of the parting of the Red Sea? Unless this is referring to multiple copies of the Biblical text, what could this be referring to? Are there any accounts other than that in Exodus?

Same for the account of manna?

What we have unless I've overlooked something is one account that contains claims of numerous witnesses to these events. It boils down to this:

Image

The pretense of witnesses isn't evidence of witnesses.


Tcg
To be clear: Atheism is not a disbelief in gods or a denial of gods; it is a lack of belief in gods.

- American Atheists


Not believing isn't the same as believing not.

- wiploc


I must assume that knowing is better than not knowing, venturing than not venturing; and that magic and illusion, however rich, however alluring, ultimately weaken the human spirit.

- Irvin D. Yalom

User avatar
Difflugia
Guru
Posts: 2303
Joined: Wed Jun 12, 2019 10:25 am
Location: Michigan
Has thanked: 1852 times
Been thanked: 1372 times

Re: Hundreds, Thousands of Eyewitnesses

Post #23

Post by Difflugia »

Wootah wrote: Mon Dec 13, 2021 7:38 pm
benchwarmer wrote: Sun Dec 12, 2021 2:32 pmThis always seems to lead to the same type of apologetic "Well, how do you know Julius Caesar was real?!". The appropriate answer, of course, is that we don't know with 100% certainty, but all written and other physical evidence seems to corroborate the claim.
All Christians ask is that you apply the same standard to historical evidence for Jesus and the Bible.
I'm sure that some do, but most don't.

When scholars make a good-faith attempt to treat the New Testament according to the same standard as other ancient texts, we get what is now the academic consensus: Jesus was a real guy that was executed by the Romans and stayed dead. When we try to evaluate the New Testament as historical evidence, we can barely leave the gate before we're beset by Christian apologists admonishing us against "dismissing supernaturalism" and explaining how, despite the little evidence that we have for Caesar or Plato, we fervenly believe in the existence of each.

If a Christian is willing to present a reasoned argument for which parts of the Bible should not be considered good historical evidence, then I'll treat that as at least a show of good faith. I'd even accept a discussion in which we're asked for more credulity in the overall treatment of the supernatural in ancient documents. It's not a direction I'd personally move in, but that at least shows a consistency. In practice, I have precious few discussions with believing Christians that argue for both Jesus and Caesar having similar births, either both of a virgin or neither of a virgin.

So, where do you lie? Do you think based on the evidence that there were no virgin births in antiquity, a solitary virgin birth, or that there were many such? The extremes of "none" and "many" can at least plausibly arise from applying the "same standard to historical evidence" across many cases, but if you find yourself arguing for only Jesus, you may be applying a bit of a double standard instead.
My preferred pronouns are he, him, and his.

TRANSPONDER
Guru
Posts: 2026
Joined: Thu Apr 29, 2021 8:05 am
Has thanked: 275 times
Been thanked: 967 times

Re: Hundreds, Thousands of Eyewitnesses

Post #24

Post by TRANSPONDER »

nobspeople wrote: Mon Dec 13, 2021 8:52 am
JoeyKnothead wrote: Mon Dec 13, 2021 5:38 am I just don't understand why the theists ain't come flocking in with evidence.

I'm starting to think this bible stuff ain't true.
Sometimes people inflate standards to make it sound more impressive than they are. This is likely the case here. If it's said to have 'hundreds' there is probably a couple dozen, if that. Still, even if there are a couple dozen that can be shown to be true and accurate, that's important - inflating the numbers shouldn't negate that. But, it seems even 'a couple dozen' isn't holding up the standard.
:drunk:

It's interesting that the Sermon on the mount (on a level place in Luke) is to his disciples and no indication that anyone else was there. And yet the assumption is that there was a huge audience ("Speak up! I can't hear a thing!"), and I'd guess it's because this is taken as an address for everyone, not just the disciples.

Of course in Jesus' travels around we get crowds of people. So the lack of a credible mention in the histories is rather curious.
'

User avatar
Difflugia
Guru
Posts: 2303
Joined: Wed Jun 12, 2019 10:25 am
Location: Michigan
Has thanked: 1852 times
Been thanked: 1372 times

Re: Hundreds, Thousands of Eyewitnesses

Post #25

Post by Difflugia »

TRANSPONDER wrote: Tue Dec 14, 2021 3:34 amIt's interesting that the Sermon on the mount (on a level place in Luke) is to his disciples and no indication that anyone else was there. And yet the assumption is that there was a huge audience ("Speak up! I can't hear a thing!"), and I'd guess it's because this is taken as an address for everyone, not just the disciples.
I don't know how much extracurricular reading you do, but if you run across a copy of Robert Fowler's Let the Reader Understand: Reader-Response Criticism and the Gospel of Mark, I recommend it. Fowler explains how the dialog for Mark's Jesus was not written for the audience of characters in the story, but for the audience of readers. In a literary sense, the disciples are foils for a dialog between Jesus, the narrator, and the reader. It's a fascinating book.

Unfortunately, there's no ebook and I don't do paper if I can help it. It's still in print, but it's $40 even as a paperback. If you see it in a library, though, it's worth the efffort to read.
My preferred pronouns are he, him, and his.

User avatar
JoeyKnothead
Under Probation
Posts: 18708
Joined: Fri Jun 06, 2008 10:59 am
Location: Here
Has thanked: 1679 times
Been thanked: 1136 times

Re: Hundreds, Thousands of Eyewitnesses

Post #26

Post by JoeyKnothead »

Wootah wrote: Mon Dec 13, 2021 9:23 pm [Replying to JoeyKnothead in post #19]

Historians using the evidence available believe both men existed. From what I gather Joey doesn't.
Joey makes no claims regarding folks he can't show to exist, or to have existed.

Joey seeks to determine if the claims presented in the OP can be shown to be true and factual.
Discovery is finding things that exist.
Invention is using things discovered.

Create that path and engineer a metamorphosis.

- William

User avatar
JoeyKnothead
Under Probation
Posts: 18708
Joined: Fri Jun 06, 2008 10:59 am
Location: Here
Has thanked: 1679 times
Been thanked: 1136 times

Re: Hundreds, Thousands of Eyewitnesses

Post #27

Post by JoeyKnothead »

TRANSPONDER wrote: Tue Dec 14, 2021 3:34 am It's interesting that the Sermon on the mount (on a level place in Luke) is to his disciples and no indication that anyone else was there. And yet the assumption is that there was a huge audience ("Speak up! I can't hear a thing!"), and I'd guess it's because this is taken as an address for everyone, not just the disciples.
Naw, you got that mixed up with Trump's inaugural attendence claims.
Discovery is finding things that exist.
Invention is using things discovered.

Create that path and engineer a metamorphosis.

- William

TRANSPONDER
Guru
Posts: 2026
Joined: Thu Apr 29, 2021 8:05 am
Has thanked: 275 times
Been thanked: 967 times

Re: Hundreds, Thousands of Eyewitnesses

Post #28

Post by TRANSPONDER »

Difflugia wrote: Tue Dec 14, 2021 7:23 am
TRANSPONDER wrote: Tue Dec 14, 2021 3:34 amIt's interesting that the Sermon on the mount (on a level place in Luke) is to his disciples and no indication that anyone else was there. And yet the assumption is that there was a huge audience ("Speak up! I can't hear a thing!"), and I'd guess it's because this is taken as an address for everyone, not just the disciples.
I don't know how much extracurricular reading you do, but if you run across a copy of Robert Fowler's Let the Reader Understand: Reader-Response Criticism and the Gospel of Mark, I recommend it. Fowler explains how the dialog for Mark's Jesus was not written for the audience of characters in the story, but for the audience of readers. In a literary sense, the disciples are foils for a dialog between Jesus, the narrator, and the reader. It's a fascinating book.

Unfortunately, there's no ebook and I don't do paper if I can help it. It's still in print, but it's $40 even as a paperback. If you see it in a library, though, it's worth the efffort to read.
Almost everything I argue is based on the work of those who went before. I am quite sure that the gospels were written for readers ans perhaps an audience to whom it was read (which was how the Bible was used,later on, and perhaps still is). I don't quite see how that relates, however, to the question of whether Jesus spoke to a lot of people as the gospels claim or it was a more secretive thing inflated by the writers who wanted to make Jesus a big deal. But the silence of later writers calls that claim into question.

My point that the Sermon (in Luke and Matthew) does NOT appear to have been given to a crowd of people (as is the popular scenario today) but just to the disciples. Mark of course does not come into that as he has no Sermon, though Mathew uses some of the material that Mark has (in a different context) to bulk out the Sermon.

TRANSPONDER
Guru
Posts: 2026
Joined: Thu Apr 29, 2021 8:05 am
Has thanked: 275 times
Been thanked: 967 times

Re: Hundreds, Thousands of Eyewitnesses

Post #29

Post by TRANSPONDER »

JoeyKnothead wrote: Tue Dec 14, 2021 12:09 pm
TRANSPONDER wrote: Tue Dec 14, 2021 3:34 am It's interesting that the Sermon on the mount (on a level place in Luke) is to his disciples and no indication that anyone else was there. And yet the assumption is that there was a huge audience ("Speak up! I can't hear a thing!"), and I'd guess it's because this is taken as an address for everyone, not just the disciples.
Naw, you got that mixed up with Trump's inaugural attendence claims.
:) That does perhaps reflect the desire of enthusiastic supporters to inflate the influence their dear leader has on everyone around.

User avatar
Difflugia
Guru
Posts: 2303
Joined: Wed Jun 12, 2019 10:25 am
Location: Michigan
Has thanked: 1852 times
Been thanked: 1372 times

Re: Hundreds, Thousands of Eyewitnesses

Post #30

Post by Difflugia »

TRANSPONDER wrote: Sun Dec 19, 2021 3:46 amI don't quite see how that relates, however, to the question of whether Jesus spoke to a lot of people as the gospels claim or it was a more secretive thing inflated by the writers who wanted to make Jesus a big deal. But the silence of later writers calls that claim into question.
It relates if the Sermon isn't something Jesus historically delivered, but was written into the story and placed into the mouth of Jesus for the benefit of Matthew's readers. Matthew's account didn't worry about making the crowd plausible because it didn't matter to the story.
TRANSPONDER wrote: Sun Dec 19, 2021 3:46 amMy point that the Sermon (in Luke and Matthew) does NOT appear to have been given to a crowd of people (as is the popular scenario today) but just to the disciples. Mark of course does not come into that as he has no Sermon, though Mathew uses some of the material that Mark has (in a different context) to bulk out the Sermon.
I disagree. Matthew 7:28-9:
When Jesus had finished saying these things, the multitudes were astonished at his teaching, for he taught them with authority, and not like the scribes.
Matthew wanted Jesus to deliver a sermon and wanted it delivered to a crowd, who were "astonished" and then followed him (8:1). Historical verisimilitude wasn't particularly important to Matthew, who already had Herod ordering the slaughter of a bunch of babies to avert a prophecy and would later have a bunch of dead people walking around to be witnessed by everyone in Jerusalem.
My preferred pronouns are he, him, and his.

Post Reply