Historical Evidence for the Resurrection (Again)

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liamconnor
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Historical Evidence for the Resurrection (Again)

Post #1

Post by liamconnor »

(Preliminary: this thread is not about "The Bible". It is about an historical situation--i.e. the origins of the early church--i.e. the claimed resurrection. No document will be judged "better" or "more reliable" simply on the grounds that "it's in the Bible". We will use the same thing used in all historical investigations--common sense and historical methodology)

It seems that folks on this thread still do not understand how history is done and what amounts to historical evidence; analogies between N.T. studies and present day courtroom scenes are made— since we cannot cross examine so-called eyewitnesses of the N.T., clearly Christianity is a sham. As if we could cross examine ANY historical figure!

As Aristotle pointed out to us, every science yields its own degree of knowledge and to require more is not an indication of the science’s weakness but of your own. History is conducted by analyzing and comparing documents; the degree of knowledge it yields ranges from implausible to beyond reasonable doubt. One can always doubt an historical claim; whether one can do so reasonably is another question. Anybody claiming on a thread entitled “Historical Evidence for the Resurrection� that “eyewitness testimony is not evidence� simply does not know what he is talking about and should refrain from commenting on such threads. There is just no point in debating with such a person on the level of history—stick to geometrical problems.

To reinforce the initial preliminary, I quote DI
The reason that Christianity is a "sham" is because it doesn't merely claim to be history, it claims to be the TRUTH. And it even accuses everyone who refuses to believe in it of having "rejected God" and having chosen evil over good etc.
This is an historical investigation. Please drop all questions about the ancient documents' "divine status"; all assumptions that you know what "Christians believe" or even what "Christianity has believed" about the Bible are to be suspended. We will treat them as we treat Josephus or an anthology of ancient Roman historians.

To begin this thread, I analyze what is probably the earliest Christian creed we have, from 1 Cor. 15. I ask that we do some real, mature history: the kind of history done with all ancient documents.

I care very much for structure, and so here is how I’ve structured my argument: 1) I give the proposition with a defense; 2) I voice a common objection; 3) I meet that objection in a rejoinder; 4) I give my conclusion.

1 Cor 15:1—8: (I have italicized what is probably not part of the original creed—that is, certain phrases which disrupt the rhythm of the Greek, and are “Pauliocentric�. These are most likely editorial or introductory remarks from Paul. I have also emboldened two key words. Everything in plain print I (as well as numerous scholars) believe to be original to the oral tradition.)

Now I make known to you, brethren, the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received, in which also you stand,
2 by which also you are saved, if you hold fast the word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain.
3 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received,


that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures,
4 and that He was buried,
and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures,
5 and that He appeared to Cephas,
then to the twelve.
6 After that He appeared to more than five hundred brethren at one time, most of whom remain until now, but some have fallen asleep;
7 then He appeared to James,
then to all the apostles;
8 and last of all, as it were to one untimely born, He appeared to me also. (1Co 15:1-8 NAS)

Proposition #1 Paul recalls to the Corinthians a list he received of persons whom he claims saw the risen Jesus.

Defense: The two terms in bold are in this context technical terms signifying both the transmission of oral tradition and its reception—Jews highly valued the importance (almost sanctity) of oral tradition; Paul was no different, even when the tradition was regards Jesus and not Torah (Cf. Gal 1:14). The Corinthians received what Paul handed over to them; what Paul handed over to them Paul claims he himself received.

Objection: Paul is lying.

Rejoinder: 1) This is conjecture without any historical warrant: you are just making stuff up. 2) If Paul were lying, he would surely have left out all names, and said that most if not all of the recipients of this encounter were dead. That is how good liars work—leave no room for investigation or keep the circle very, very small. Instead, Paul gives leads for readers to investigate: Peter, James, and just less than 500 whom the Corinthian church could’ve inquired into (i.e. we know they sent him a letter; we know he had visited them). 3) And yet we have no paper trail calling Paul out for a lie. We know that the Corinthian church was not shy of criticizing Paul—yet they never cried out “Liar� regards his list of witnesses. What we do have is at least three independent attestations of one apostle, James (1 Cor, Acts and Josephus). Outside of the Corinthian correspondence we have named apostles who are resident at the letter’s designation (Rom 16:7). People traveled back then more than today; they didn’t have the telephone or the internet; traveling is how information was conveyed—someone somewhere was always traveling with some news. A lie on the level of Paul in 1 Cor. (as well as in other letters where he names apostles) would have exposed him as a sham and the probability of that sham appearing in history is overwhelming--the very fact that Paul's letters continued to circulate as authoritative is evidence that no one called "liar"--and we know from his own letters (GAlatians and Corinthian correspondence) that people were willing to impugn him publicly.
So, 1) We have ZERO paper trail of Paul lying about this list 2) the list itself is vulnerable to investigation—it gives names and is made up of at least 500 individuals.

Conclusion: 1) Paul delivers a list of persons who claim they saw the risen Jesus, and this list includes two explicitly named individuals, and perhaps eleven or twelve implicitly named individuals (that no one in Corinth would've asked "who are these twelve?" is preposterous). 2) This list is prior to Paul’s writing to the Corinthians: scholars (of ALL types) agree that the letter was composed about 50 AD (twenty years after the dead of Jesus); hence the creed itself is prior to 50 AD. 3) The list is comprised of eyewitnesses of post-crucifixion appearances. This list, in light of the considerations above, counts as eyewitness testimony. It is not FROM those eyewitnesses; but then we are not in a courtroom--we are doing history. Most of your historical beliefs are based on eyewitness testimony at multiple removes.

Next Question (after hearing reasonable responses): When did Paul receive this creed and from whom? Is there a paper trail of this transmission?
Last edited by liamconnor on Sat Apr 23, 2016 3:09 am, edited 3 times in total.

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Post #401

Post by OnceConvinced »

For_The_Kingdom wrote:
And where did you get that statistic from? Your anus?


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Society and its morals evolve and will continue to evolve. The bible however remains the same and just requires more and more apologetics and claims of "metaphors" and "symbolism" to justify it.

Prayer is like rubbing an old bottle and hoping that a genie will pop out and grant you three wishes.

There is much about this world that is mind boggling and impressive, but I see no need whatsoever to put it down to magical super powered beings.


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Re: Historical Evidence for the Resurrection (Again)

Post #402

Post by Tired of the Nonsense »

[Replying to For_The_Kingdom]
For_The_Kingdom wrote: Again, its funny you say that. You see, my questions are that of origins. Here are five things that began to exist...

1. The universe
2. Sentient life
3. Consciousness
4. Language
5. Objective moral values

1. The universe

Everything that we observe which has occurred subsequent to the big bang has been a series of effects based on an earlier cause. The big bang happens to currently be the earliest cause that we can observe, or at least postulate, based on the evidence at hand. What evidence can you provide that would indicate that the universe itself is the result of an entirely discreet beginning and not simply yet another effect of that which occurred prior to it?

2. Sentient life

Sentient life is simply a result of the existence of non sentient material that existed prior to sentient life. Sentient life is the effect of earlier cause.

3. Consciousness

Conscience is a product of sentient thought which is a product of the non sentient material that preceded it.

4. Language

Language is a product of sentient thought which is a product of the non sentient material that preceded it.

5. Objective moral values

Objective moral values are a product of sentient thought which is a product of the non sentient material that preceded it.

All you have done is verify what I just said. No discreet beginnings are observed. Every effect is a product of the cause that preceded it.
For_The_Kingdom wrote: If space, time, energy, and matter (STEM) began to exist, then doesn't it follow that whatever gave STEM its beginning is NOT itself a produce of STEM?
Space time and our present universe are an effect of the big bang, at least according to the best current evidence. Energy and matter on the other hand, which are aspects of the same phenomenon, can neither be created or destroyed, according to all observation. This is described in the law of conservation of energy. If energy/matter can neither be created or destroyed it is eternal by definition. And if it is eternal and without creation by definition, what role could the God you imagine exists have possibly played in creating it?
Last edited by Tired of the Nonsense on Wed May 25, 2016 7:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Historical Evidence for the Resurrection (Again)

Post #403

Post by rikuoamero »

[Replying to post 401 by Tired of the Nonsense]
Energy and matter on the other hand, which are aspects of the same phenomenon, can neither be created or destroyed, according to all observation. This is described in the law of conservation of energy. If energy/matter can neither be created or destroyed it is eternal by definition. And if it is eternal by definition, what role could the God you imagine exists have possibly played in creating it?
Theists, notice here that I, TotN and others have no problem believing that energy/matter are eternal. It doesn't make me freak out, I don't start foaming at the mouth because gosh darn it, here's something that's eternal.
Do you know why? I follow the evidence where it leads. I'd similarly have no problem with an eternal god...if one could be produced.
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Some force seems to restrict me from buying into the apparent nonsense that others find so easy to buy into. Having no religious or supernatural beliefs of my own, I just call that force reason. -- Tired of the Nonsense

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Re: Historical Evidence for the Resurrection (Again)

Post #404

Post by Tired of the Nonsense »

rikuoamero wrote: [Replying to post 401 by Tired of the Nonsense]
Energy and matter on the other hand, which are aspects of the same phenomenon, can neither be created or destroyed, according to all observation. This is described in the law of conservation of energy. If energy/matter can neither be created or destroyed it is eternal by definition. And if it is eternal by definition, what role could the God you imagine exists have possibly played in creating it?
Theists, notice here that I, TotN and others have no problem believing that energy/matter are eternal. It doesn't make me freak out, I don't start foaming at the mouth because gosh darn it, here's something that's eternal.
Do you know why? I follow the evidence where it leads. I'd similarly have no problem with an eternal god...if one could be produced.
The truth is, if you give this question some thought, everyone essentially ends up reaching the same conclusion. In the beginning, there was never a beginning. There must have always been a something. Believers have labeled this something "God." But they have simply imagined the concept of God into existence. What is actually observed through all experience and experimentation, is that energy appears to be eternal. Whether one happens to choose to like this answer or not is entirely immaterial.
Image "The word God is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honorable, but still primitive legends which are nevertheless pretty childish. No interpretation no matter how subtle can (for me) change this." -- Albert Einstein -- Written in 1954 to Jewish philosopher Erik Gutkind.

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Post #405

Post by Kapyong »

Gday For_The_Kingdom and all :)

Kapyong wrote: Gday all,
For_The_Kingdom wrote: In other words, the book of Mark is the only one that he [Ignatius] didn't quote in the New Testament.
False.
Ignatius never once formally names a gospel, or says he quotes from one.
Instead he gives passages that are similar to SOME books of the NT :
G.Matthew, G.Luke, Acts, Romans, 1 Cor., Eph., and 1 Thess.
Ignatius certainly does NOT quote G.Mark or G.John or many other NT books.
For_The_Kingdom wrote: Already addressed this.
Really ? Where ?
I looked all over, I could not find where you admitted you were wrong in your claim about Ignatius quoting from all the NT except G.Mark.

Can you please tell us where you did so ?


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Post #406

Post by Kapyong »

Gday For_The_Kingdom and all,
Kapyong wrote: Hmmm, what ?
This is obviously NOT a quote at all.
For_The_Kingdom wrote: When it comes to quotes, there are direct quotes, and indirect quotes. Do you see the difference?
And there are also NOT quotes, and there are also SHARED stories, and there is also the remote possiblity of the Gospel getting stories FROM Ignatius. Do you see the difference ?

Mate - you called it a "quote".
I showed it's NOT a quote.
So now you claim it's an "indirect quote".
What will it be next ?
A "supernatural quote" :)

All you have is a little comment or two in Ignatius that is SIMILAR to a little comment in the Gospel.

You BELIEVE it MUST have come from the Gospel into Ignatius. And you simply ignore other possibilities.

The view of the academy is somewhat split - some think it DID come from G.Matthew, other think it came from a shared background tradition.

I.e. the Jesus Christ comments in Ignatius may have come from the floating oral tradition about Jesus Christ that existed early 2nd century.

Comments which were ALSO found in the as-yet unknown Gospels.

Your task, should you choose to accept it - is to show why you believe these comments HAD to have come from G.Matthew into Ignatius.

You must address issues such as :

* the dating of Ignatius
* the authorship of Ignatius
* the difference between the comments
* the failure of Ignatius to mention any writing, nor any author.

You can see the academy's view here :
http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/ignatius.html

My analysis is here :
http://kapyong.5gbfree.com/Ignatius.html


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Post #407

Post by Kapyong »

Gday For_The_Kingdom and all,
Kapyong wrote: Ignatius does NOT say "according to the Gospel of Luke" ...
For_The_Kingdom wrote: Right, because he was talking to an audience that was already familiar with the Gospel,
Really ?
Why do you believe that ?

There is absolutely NO evidence of ANY Christian writer mentioning ANY of the Gospels before the time of Ignatius.

Somehow you have it all backwards -

Ignatius does NOT mention it, NO-ONE mentions it - so you think that means they all DO know about it ?

This is another example of how NT studies can make black appear white. :)

This argument is obviously nonsense, as we can see simply by looking at the actual evidence concerning mentions of the Gospels. Have a look at the bottom right of this table showing mentions of Gospels :
Image

Note writers from Irenaeus c.185 (who first named the four Gospels) - obviously they know the Gospels and their stories.

According to For_The_Kingdom's argument, these writers should NOT mention the Gospels because everyone already knows them.

But we see the opposite - they mention them many many times, over and over.

We see exactly the same thing through the ages - Christian writers mention the Gospel by name specifically all the time.

We see exactly the same thing to this today - modern Christian writers mention the Gospel by name specifically all the time.

Christians who DO know the Gospels DO mention them all the time.


So -
The claim that early Christians did NOT mention the Gospels because everyone KNEW of them is clearly nonsense.


That would mean Christians all suddenly changed from knowing the Gospels and NOT mentioning them, to knowing the Gospels and OFTEN mentioning them - around the year 180. Why on earth would such a bizarre change happen, For_The_Kingdom ?

The obvious reason for writers like Ignatius NOT mentioning the Gospel(s) is because they did NOT know of them.


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Last edited by Kapyong on Wed May 25, 2016 8:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post #408

Post by Kapyong »

Gday For_The_Kingdom and all,

For_The_Kingdom wrote: So basically, two guys who don't know each other are telling the exact same story about a specific event that neither of them witnessed? Got it.
Actually that is YOUR claim.
YOU claim everyone has the exact same story - I don't.
YOU claim it's a specific event - I don't.
Not sure what your point is actually.
Perhaps you could be more clear explaining simply what your point is - rather than back-handed rejections which leave us guessing.

Like when I pointed out that Paul did NOT mention the Empty Tomb - my interlocutor challenged me : " well, was he buried on someone's ROOF ? " Avoiding the point that it could have been a grave, obviously.

And that my claim was "not earth-shattering" - so what? I never claimed it was. I just like getting to the facts.

Or discussing the spread of the Gospels - I was challenged : "did they send them by email ? " as if that somehow cleared everything up.

So -

I claim that Ignatius got his Jesus Christ stories from an oral tradition of stories told about Jesus.

That Ignatius did not know a written Gospel.


Yes, I understand that you BELIEVE them to be "indirect quotes", For_The_Kingdom.

But I do not believe it, and nor do many expert scholars.

And you don't seem to have much of an argument to support your case yet.

What evidence, or reason, or argument do you have - APART from :
* the passages being similar
* Ignatius probably being after G.Matthew
* you believe it

I look forward to your explanation. :)


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Re: Historical Evidence for the Resurrection (Again)

Post #409

Post by Kenisaw »

Tired of the Nonsense wrote:
rikuoamero wrote: [Replying to post 401 by Tired of the Nonsense]
Energy and matter on the other hand, which are aspects of the same phenomenon, can neither be created or destroyed, according to all observation. This is described in the law of conservation of energy. If energy/matter can neither be created or destroyed it is eternal by definition. And if it is eternal by definition, what role could the God you imagine exists have possibly played in creating it?
Theists, notice here that I, TotN and others have no problem believing that energy/matter are eternal. It doesn't make me freak out, I don't start foaming at the mouth because gosh darn it, here's something that's eternal.
Do you know why? I follow the evidence where it leads. I'd similarly have no problem with an eternal god...if one could be produced.
The truth is, if you give this question some thought, everyone essentially ends up reaching the same conclusion. In the beginning, there was never a beginning. There must have always been a something. Believers have labeled this something "God." But they have simply imagined the concept of God into existence. What is actually observed through all experience and experimentation, is that energy appears to be eternal. Whether one happens to choose to like this answer or not is entirely immaterial.
Well, not everyone. I'm in the camp that says the universe is a free lunch, and finite. But regardless, it doesn't take the supernatural one way or another...

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Re: Historical Evidence for the Resurrection (Again)

Post #410

Post by Tired of the Nonsense »

Kenisaw wrote:
Tired of the Nonsense wrote:
rikuoamero wrote: [Replying to post 401 by Tired of the Nonsense]
Energy and matter on the other hand, which are aspects of the same phenomenon, can neither be created or destroyed, according to all observation. This is described in the law of conservation of energy. If energy/matter can neither be created or destroyed it is eternal by definition. And if it is eternal by definition, what role could the God you imagine exists have possibly played in creating it?
Theists, notice here that I, TotN and others have no problem believing that energy/matter are eternal. It doesn't make me freak out, I don't start foaming at the mouth because gosh darn it, here's something that's eternal.
Do you know why? I follow the evidence where it leads. I'd similarly have no problem with an eternal god...if one could be produced.
The truth is, if you give this question some thought, everyone essentially ends up reaching the same conclusion. In the beginning, there was never a beginning. There must have always been a something. Believers have labeled this something "God." But they have simply imagined the concept of God into existence. What is actually observed through all experience and experimentation, is that energy appears to be eternal. Whether one happens to choose to like this answer or not is entirely immaterial.
Well, not everyone. I'm in the camp that says the universe is a free lunch, and finite. But regardless, it doesn't take the supernatural one way or another...
If you subscribe to the big bang, as I do myself, do you also subscribe to the theory that the energy of the big bang existed as a singularity prior to the big bang? If that is so, then the singularity is a cause and the big bang is an effect. What then caused the singularity? Do you see how cause continues to be a compelling result of effect no matter how much we would like to close the whole thing off? In truth however, there is no compelling reason to close the whole thing off at all, and some reason, at least, to suppose that things are simply a continuation of still other things.
Image "The word God is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honorable, but still primitive legends which are nevertheless pretty childish. No interpretation no matter how subtle can (for me) change this." -- Albert Einstein -- Written in 1954 to Jewish philosopher Erik Gutkind.

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