Athetotheist wrote: ↑Thu Nov 02, 2023 8:28 pm
I do not view the Bible as a monolithic entity where everything in it has equal weight and importance. Obviously some things stated in the Bible are more important than others. Even the laws are not equally important. The highest of the laws are to love God and to love others. These are the foundation and core of all the other laws.
Yes, Jesus himself says so......after saying that anyone who breaks even the least commandment will be called least in the kingdom of heaven.
Never said we should break them. Just claiming there is precedence and ordering in the laws of some being more important than others.
When they asked Jesus, which is the greatest of the commandments, he did not say, "There is no greatest. They are all equally the same importance." Instead, he said:
[Mat 22:36-40 KJV] 36 Master, which [is] the great commandment in the law? 37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second [is] like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.
Even here Jesus says there is ordering in the kingdom of heaven. When they asked Jesus, who is the greatest in the kingdom, he did not say, "Everyone is the same and nobody is greater than another." He said:
[Mat 18:1, 4 KJV] 1 At the same time came the disciples unto Jesus, saying, Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven? ... 4 Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
Then why should anything be considered a "core doctrine"?
If there's ordering and precedence, then there exist the most important core things. The question is what should be considered core? It certainly cannot be based on personal preference and what one would like it to be. For me, core contains what one must
believe in order to be a Christian. I don't think any Christian would disagree what Rom 10:9 states is a core belief.
[Rom 10:9 KJV] 9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
Is the virgin birth a core belief? I don't think so. Yes, it's a doctrine, but nowhere is it stated in the Bible one must believe that in order to be saved.
If Matthew and Luke were wrong about the virgin birth, then they may have been wrong about everything else. And that means Mark and John may have been wrong about everything as well.[
No, that's a false dichotomy as I've argued many times.
The textual evidence you cite has a proof "level" of zero, since it doesn't prove a virgin birth.
Never said I can "prove" it. I'm saying I carried the burden of proof
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burden_of ... hilosophy)
The burden of proof is the obligation on a party in a dispute to provide sufficient warrant for its position.
Since testimonial evidence is acceptable evidence in any court, I've carried my burden of proof.
This isn't a court of law. This is the court of logic
, and in the court of logic, extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.
Of course we're not literally in a court of law, I'm speaking metaphorically. Even in the area of logic, my argument is still valid since I brought up evidence.
Yeah, skeptics continually say "extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence". This is not a requirement of "logic", but a requirement of skeptics.
Is there "extraordinary evidence" to support the virgin birth? No, I do not claim there is. All I've produced is testimonial evidence which is sufficient for logical reasoning.
Do people need to believe in a virgin birth because there is only testimonial evidence? They can if they want or they can reject it. And if they reject it, I don't think it matters since it's not a core doctrine.
And even if it were a court of law, its simply being admissible doesn't prove it to be true since testimony can be impeached under cross-examination.
Again, never claimed I can "prove" it to be true. As for cross examination, what testimonial evidence is there that claims Mary was not a virgin?
The only evidence you have is hearsay evidence from gospel writers who may or may not have known the apostles personally.
As you say, since we're not technically in a court of law, so there is no "hearsay evidence". Hearsay evidence only applies in a court where evidence is from an out-of-court statement. But even in a court of law, there are situations where hearsay evidence is allowable.
As for if the gospel writers knew the apostles personally, we don't really know. But the same goes with any historical document. Do those authors personally know those who they wrote about? In the vast majority of cases, no. Do we categorically reject them since they didn't know? No.
That testimonial "evidence" itself must be accepted on faith.
There's always a level of faith involved in believing something since nothing can be proven to be true. But, it's not based on blind faith where there is absolutely no evidence.
And no Messiah was around to do it, so the UN had to do it instead.
Well, it was more complicated than that. But the sheer fact a nation has not existed for thousands of years and then come back to exist is a miracle to me, even if you do attribute it to the UN.
He must rebuild the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem. (Micah 4:1)
Jesus himself is the temple and those in him are also part of the temple.
Q: If you call a tail a leg, how many legs does a dog have?
A: Four. Calling a tail a leg doesn't make it a leg.
It is not speaking literally, but metaphorically.
Ultimately, what is the purpose of the temple? It was the place on earth where the Israelites and Yahweh met and dwelled together. And through Jesus, believers have a union with Yahweh.
Your peace isn't world peace.
Ultimately, God will tabernacle among all men and bring world peace.
[Rev 21:3-4 KJV] 3 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God [is] with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, [and be] their God. 4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.
Christianity is among the top evangelistic religions, if not the top one.
"Among the top" doesn't cut it.
OK, then Christianity is the top one.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_r ... opulations
If the imaginative responses you give above are your idea of what would fulfill the criteria in question, I don't know what to say.
I'll let the jury decide.
Note, we are addressing a Jewish jury. And with your argument, it casts a negative light on all the Jews.
My statement is conditional
, beginning with "if".
You need to be consistent with your argument. If you're going to be conditional with the Jews, then you need to also be conditional with Jesus.
You're the one casting Jews in a negative light by accusing them of rejecting their Messiah.
There's a lot to unpack here. No, I do not cast Jews is a negative light. I honor the Jewish people and the Tanakh. I might not agree with everything they believe, but disagreement does not mean dishonoring.
Also, most of the Jews don't even believe in the Messiah. I'll create another post for more details about this.
And even among the Jews, there are those who do believe in Jesus as the Messiah.
That can be claimed about anyone who's despised and rejected.
Yes, anyone can claim it. And how would one confirm if it was actually true?
It would take more than "testimonial" evidence.
I agree. That's why at the onset I started with empirical evidence.
Again----if Matthew's Egypt story is bogus, how can you trust anything he says?
Based on looking at all the available evidence.
That's all well and good if you're content to believe in Jesus as a symbolic Messiah.
That could be too. It could be Jesus is simply at this point a symbolic Messiah. He certainly never claimed to be "the Messiah". And it could be at the messianic age, he will return again as the literal Messiah.
You're trying to be slippery. Either he's the literal Messiah or he's not, and there's a fairly strong case that he's not, isn't there?
I'm just agreeing with you that he could just be a symbolic Messiah when he was here on earth. But, to be clear, which I've already stated multiple times, I do believe Jesus is the Messiah. And the case I've been presenting is the empirical evidence of the shroud to support it.