Rational and civil debate between members of all religions and world views

Goto page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8  Next

Reply to topic
Jagella
First Post
PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2019 9:23 am  Why do we have no writings from Jesus? Reply with quote

I think almost all of us can agree that the writer of the Epistle to the Romans, Paul, existed. Obviously a person needs to exist to write an epistle. So if we understand "Paul" to be the person who wrote Romans, then Paul's historicity is assured. (There are historical problems regarding the details of Paul's life, but that's another issue.)

Unfortunately, we have no such luxury with Jesus because we have nothing he may have written. Real-Jesus apologists explain away this lack of evidence telling us that Jesus, like many other people, could have existed without writing anything. And neither should we expect Jesus to have written anything because he was an illiterate country bumpkin, after all. Besides, Jesus believed the world would soon end, so who needs anything written down for posterity?

I disagree with this reasoning. For starters, explaining why we have nothing written by Jesus isn't evidence. It's just an attempted explanation for why we have no such evidence.

Another objection I might raise is that the Jesus as he is portrayed in the gospel tale is no dummy. He was very erudite and a first-class communicator. He could have been literate and able to write, and if he was illiterate, then he could have recruited a literate disciple to write down what he said.

Finally, Jesus believing that the world would end soon is not necessarily a good reason for his not having anything written down. It wouldn't take that long to commit his ideas to written form. And soon after the time Jesus presumably lived, Paul got busy writing about Jesus. A few decades later more Christians wrote of Jesus in the many gospels. So if these Christians saw the necessity for writing about Jesus even though they believed the apocalypse was near, then it's a mystery that Jesus didn't bother to commit anything to writing.

Question for Debate: Why do we have no writings from Jesus?
Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 51: Mon Feb 18, 2019 3:00 pm
Reply

Like this post
rikuoamero wrote:
Try thinking about your claims for more than a micro-second please,


Warning Moderator Final Warning
Do not accuse people of not thinking.

Please review the Rules.


______________

Moderator final warnings serve as the last strike towards users. Additional violations will result in a probation vote. Further infractions will lead to banishment. Any challenges or replies to moderator warnings should be made via Private Message to avoid derailing topics.

Goto top, bottom
View user's profile 
Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 52: Mon Feb 18, 2019 4:46 pm
Reply
Re: Why do we have no writings from Jesus?

Like this post
Peace to you,

Quote:
[quote="Jagella"]
tam wrote:

To the bold:

IF it could be proven to you that He wrote it, you mean. Right?


Well, of course I would want good reason to believe that the document was actually written by Jesus and not a forgery. Is that too much to ask Christ for?


"Good reason" is quite subjective, though, is it not?


We have good reason to believe that the fourth gospel is written by an eyewitness (and one of the twelve apostles) - the disciple Christ loved - because the author states that he is that person.

But this is accepted by few people.


We have good reason to believe that Revelation is written by John (of Patmos) because the author identifies himself AS John (of Patmos). Yet Rikuamero in this very thread has said this about that book and author:

Quote:
Heck, we don't even have John of Patmos himself...that name is basically a placeholder name since no-one knows who really wrote the book. - Rik



So like I said:

Quote:
Because it is a sure bet that even if He had penned something Himself, there would be people calling that authorship claim into question. And even if it could somehow be proven that He wrote it Himself, there would be people making the exact same claims as they make now about what is written (and about what He said in what is written): such as calling it fiction (pious or otherwise). - tam




You said to someone else a page back:

Quote:
So assuming Jesus existed, it is strange that we have nothing authored by him. - Jagella



I do not think this is strange at all. Christ did not say that His sheep would listen to letters that He has written. He said His sheep would listen to His voice.



So those with faith (His sheep) have no need for such a document. We have Him and the spirit He has given us.



But as yours and others' comments reveal, many others would be unwilling or unable to accept such a document as evidence, even if we had such a document.




Quote:

Quote:
I (me personally) would prefer to hear straight from Him. This is more personal, this is more powerful, and in hearing the voice of the person speaking to you, you are able to hear the love from that person, and you get the proper emphasis and tone. Plus, if you do not understand something, you can ask questions and learn more.


Do you post in this forum what Christ personally reveals to you? It seems a little odd to me that Christ would communicate in such a way that he is indistinguishable from a person who might be making it all up.


Funny. This is exactly what you are asking for when you say we should have a letter written from Him. How exactly are you going to know if a letter was truly written by Him or it it was just a forged letter?

How would you know something like that without hearing from Him, yourself?



(Side point for anyone who thinks that the letters of the NT are just fiction, pious or otherwise: why would those men who made up that fiction not have gone all the way and also written letters, claiming them to be from Christ?)





Peace again to you!

Goto top, bottom
View user's profile Visit poster's website 
Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 53: Mon Feb 18, 2019 5:22 pm
Reply
Re: Why do we have no writings from Jesus?

Like this post
.
tam wrote:

We have good reason to believe that the fourth gospel is written by an eyewitness (and one of the twelve apostles) - the disciple Christ loved - because the author states that he is that person.

We have good reason to believe that Revelation is written by John (of Patmos) because the author identifies himself AS John (of Patmos).

“Take my word for it (or his or this book).”

Statements in a religious book MUST be true, right?

Would that be all religious books or just a select one?

Why?

Goto top, bottom
View user's profile 
Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 54: Mon Feb 18, 2019 6:56 pm
Reply
Re: Why do we have no writings from Jesus?

Like this post
1213 wrote:
...if we take for example the Dead Sea Scrolls, they have been hidden. What would be reason for people to hide scriptures? Wouldn’t that be evidence for that some tried and probably destroyed scriptures?


I'm not sure if the manuscripts found in the Qumran Caves were placed there to hide them. It's possible that the scrolls were placed in those caves to simply store them there. If the scrolls were being hidden at Qumran, they may have been hidden from any of the competing Jewish sects in Israel or maybe even the Romans.

So yes, it's very possible that the Dead Sea Scrolls, stored the way they were in caves, can be seen as evidence that their writers feared their destruction, but most of the Jews need not be implicated as being those feared as their potential destroyers. The Jews as a whole were (at least in the first century) not seen as making a practice of destroying the sacred writings of competing religions.

In any case, I do not think a good case can be made that we have no writings from Jesus because the Jews either destroyed those writings or that Jesus never bothered writing anything fearing the Jews would destroy what he wrote.

Goto top, bottom
View user's profile Visit poster's website 
Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 55: Mon Feb 18, 2019 8:02 pm
Reply
Re: Why do we have no writings from Jesus?

Like this post
tam wrote:
"Good reason" is quite subjective, though, is it not?


Yes, of course, I am a "subject," and I need to rely on what seems to me to be good reason. I do hope you don't expect me to go on what doesn't seem like good reason to believe a document was written by Jesus.

In any case, it is often difficult to judge what really happened two thousand years ago among a secluded religious sect in Israel. It's the nature of Christology to try to come to the most likely conclusions on such weak evidence.

Quote:
We have good reason to believe that the fourth gospel is written by an eyewitness (and one of the twelve apostles) - the disciple Christ loved - because the author states that he is that person.


Can you please cite the passage in which John the apostle identifies himself as the writer of the fourth gospel?

Quote:
We have good reason to believe that Revelation is written by John (of Patmos) because the author identifies himself AS John (of Patmos). Yet Rikuamero in this very thread has said...


I can only speak for myself, but I do accept that this "John of Patmos" was indeed the author of Revelation. I don't know much about him other than that he is the author, though. So his identifying himself isn't very helpful if we know nothing else about him.

Quote:
Christ did not say that His sheep would listen to letters that He has written. He said His sheep would listen to His voice.


Well, I think you may be interpreting "voice" too narrowly. The Greek word φωνῆς translated "voice" in passages like John 10:27 is translated "sound" or "rumor" in Acts 2:6. So "voice" is probably referring to anything Jesus is supposed to have said either orally, or by rumor, or by writing. If we interpret "voice" the way you do, then nobody having read the gospel could be said to have heard the voice of Jesus--only those who were actually there to listen to him.

Oh, and people like you who still hear the voice of Christ even today.

Quote:
So those with faith (His sheep) have no need for such a document. We have Him and the spirit He has given us.


So you don't bother reading the New Testament?

Quote:
But as yours and others' comments reveal, many others would be unwilling or unable to accept such a document as evidence, even if we had such a document.


I'm not so sure. I accept that Paul wrote some of the epistles. So why would I be so skeptical that some documents were written by Jesus? If such documents existed, then I would see what specialists have to say about them and then form my own judgment.

Quote:
How exactly are you going to know if a letter was truly written by Him or it it was just a forged letter?


Well, I guess I wouldn't know for sure if a document was written by Jesus. To come to an informed judgment, I'd need to know that the document could be traced to the early first century in Israel or near Israel. Also, a genuine document written by Jesus would probably be written in Aramaic or possibly Hebrew or Greek. Finally, there should be no reason to believe the document was forged.

Quote:
How would you know something like that without hearing from Him, yourself?


Well, hearing from Jesus would be very convenient, but unlike you I do not have that luxury. As a result, I need to rely on educated guesswork.

Quote:
...why would those men who made up that fiction not have gone all the way and also written letters, claiming them to be from Christ?


They did write such a letter! See THE EPISTLES of JESUS CHRIST and ABGARUS KING of EDESSA.

Goto top, bottom
View user's profile Visit poster's website 
Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 56: Mon Feb 18, 2019 9:40 pm
Reply
Re: Why do we have no writings from Jesus?

Like this post
Peace to you Zzyzx (and welcome back),

Quote:
[quote="Zzyzx"]
.
tam wrote:

We have good reason to believe that the fourth gospel is written by an eyewitness (and one of the twelve apostles) - the disciple Christ loved - because the author states that he is that person.

We have good reason to believe that Revelation is written by John (of Patmos) because the author identifies himself AS John (of Patmos).

“Take my word for it (or his or this book).”

Statements in a religious book MUST be true, right?

Would that be all religious books or just a select one?

Why?


Statements in a religious book do not have to be true, and the same criteria would apply to all books (in or out of the bible).


But I would need much more than guesswork if someone expects me to simply accept that an author of a book lied about their identity. To overturn the self-identified author, there would need to be some real evidence that this was fraud (pious or otherwise). If my Lord revealed it to me one way or the other, then I would take His word for it.



Peace again to you!


Last edited by tam on Mon Feb 18, 2019 10:23 pm; edited 1 time in total

Goto top, bottom
View user's profile Visit poster's website 
Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 57: Mon Feb 18, 2019 9:45 pm
Reply
Re: Why do we have no writings from Jesus?

Like this post
tam wrote:


Christ did not say that His sheep would listen to letters that He has written. He said His sheep would listen to His voice.




You're right, he didn't.


Examining the quote you have ripped out of it's context reveals your misuse of it's meaning. While Jesus was alive, according to the story, he stated that his sheep would listen to his voice.


He wasn't speaking about some future time when his followers would hear a dead man speaking. He was referring to the time he was alive and his followers would listen to his physical voice.




Tcg

Goto top, bottom
View user's profile 
Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 58: Mon Feb 18, 2019 10:19 pm
Reply
Re: Why do we have no writings from Jesus?

Like this post
Peace to you tcg,

[Replying to post 57 by Tcg]


In the same passage:

I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me— 15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep. 16 I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd.


He is speaking about more than just those who are alive at that time. Because the sheep He is speaking about are one flock with one shepherd. That includes all of His sheep, past and present and future. He also said that He lays down His life for the sheep (and that also included more than just those sheep who were alive two thousand years ago).




Then there is also the following, from after His death and resurrection:

Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me. Rev 3:20



(Not to mention all the written examples of those who reported having heard His voice (after His resurrection). Such as Paul, Phillip, Ananias, Peter, John (of Patmos), James, etc. See also Hebrews 3:15.)



Peace again to you.

Goto top, bottom
View user's profile Visit poster's website 
Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 59: Mon Feb 18, 2019 11:21 pm
Reply
Re: Why do we have no writings from Jesus?

Like this post
.
tam wrote:

Peace to you Zzyzx (and welcome back),

Thanks. Good to be back

tam wrote:

But I would need much more than guesswork if someone expects me to simply accept that an author of a book lied about their identity. To overturn the self-identified author, there would need to be some real evidence that this was fraud (pious or otherwise).

If an author self-identified as Vladimir Putin or Pat Robertson would you believe them unless 'real evidence' was presented to the contrary? Or might you be a bit suspicious?

Speaking of suspicious; The Gospel of John was considered by theologians and scholars to have been written LONG after the presumed death of Jesus (perhaps 50 years or more) -- and -- Didn't the author claim to be ‘the Beloved Disciple’ (which is open to speculation) rather than identifying as John? https://www.theopedia.com/gospel-of-john

Goto top, bottom
View user's profile 
Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 60: Tue Feb 19, 2019 12:48 am
Reply
Re: Why do we have no writings from Jesus?

Like this post
Jagella wrote:

Question for Debate: Why do we have no writings from Jesus?


Jesus either did not write any documents, or any documents he wrote have not survived to this day.

Any conclusions beyond that would be an extreme example of the fallacy of an argument from ignorance.

Goto top, bottom
View user's profile 
Display posts from previous:   

Goto page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8  Next

Jump to:  
Facebook
Tweet

 




On The Web | Ecodia | Hymn Lyrics Apps
Facebook | Twitter

Powered by phpBB © phpBB Group.   Produced by Ecodia.

Igloo   |  Lo-Fi Version