Why We should Not Believe the Resurrection Stories even if they were Written by Alleged Eyewitnesses

Image result for image of the resurrection

If you have followed this blog for a while you know that one of the most popular subjects discussed here is the evidence (actually, the lack of evidence) for the resurrection of Jesus belief.  I have repeatedly asserted that the biggest weakness in the evidence for this alleged event is the fact that most historians and scholars doubt the eyewitness/associate of eyewitness authorship of the books that tell this tale (see here).  For all we know, these stories are the theological or literary inventions of their non-eyewitness authors.

But what if these four authors did profess to be eyewitnesses to multiple back-from-the-dead Jesus sightings?  Should we believe them?

No.

Here’s why:  Ask yourself if you would believe that someone today has been resurrected from the dead, appearing in a supernatural body to multiple people; walking through locked doors; teleporting between locations; and levitating into the clouds without mechanical assistance based on the written eyewitness statements of four anonymous people whose testimony is similar to that found in the four Gospels:

–the testimony of Luke and Matthew have absolutely nothing in common in regard to the resurrection story—except the Empty Tomb—which they both could have obtained from Mark.  Almost all experts believe that both Luke and Matthew borrowed extensively from Mark’s eyewitness statement (gospel).

Just how reliable is eyewitness testimony when it is obvious large parts of the testimony is plagiarized from an earlier witness and those few parts of the testimony which are not plagiarized have nothing in common with a third alleged eyewitness who we know also plagiarized much of his testimony from the first alleged eyewitness??

Then we have the (alleged) eyewitness testimony of John.  Although we cannot prove that John had access to the eyewitness statements of Mark, Matthew, and Luke, we do know that these three testimonies (gospels) had been in circulation in the community in which John frequented (the Christian Church), so it is entirely possible that John constructed his eyewitness statement based on the framework of the three previous eyewitness statements.  So when it came to the resurrection appearance stories, John simply amalgamated the appearance statements of Matthew and Luke, keeping Mark’s empty tomb, and then added his own appearance stories, the appearance on the shore of the Sea of Tiberius and the appearance to Doubting Thomas, which are not found in the first three testimonies (gospels).

Does this sound like reliable eyewitness testimony? Of course not.  And notice I haven’t even mentioned the minor discrepancies in the stories (how many angels, which women, before sunrise/after sunrise, etc.) which Christians insist should not be seen as discrepancies.

But what if the four authors all claimed the very same story, with no variation in any of the details?  Should we then believe this ancient tale of dead body reanimation?

No!

Why?

Answer:  Because dead bodies never turn into superheroes with supernatural powers to walk through doors and walls, to teleport, or to levitate into outer space.  Never.  Ever.  Should I say it again:  Never!  So even if the Gospels were written by persons alleging to be eyewitnesses to this event, and even if their stories were identical, no modern, educated person should believe this ancient tall tale.  We wouldn’t believe four people or even five hundred people claiming a similar event happened yesterday among a group of Pentecostals in Appalachia so why should we believe the same event happened among a group of superstitious, fanatical peasants in ancient Palestine?

So when a conservative Christian asks you why you don’t believe in the bodily resurrection of Jesus, you don’t need to argue with him or her regarding the evidence, you can simply respond with one short, simple statement:

Because it’s a silly, ignorant, tall tale.

Period.

Image result for image of just say no to superstition

 

 

 

End of post.

119 thoughts on “Why We should Not Believe the Resurrection Stories even if they were Written by Alleged Eyewitnesses

  1. re: “Because dead bodies never turn into superheroes with supernatural powers to walk through doors and walls, to teleport, or to levitate into outer space. Never. Ever. Should I say it again: Never! ”

    Exactly. A person would have to be totally insane to believe they had seen a dead body that had come out of a tomb, and had magical, mystical powers.

    Sounds like something from the movie “Shutter Island”. Or maybe, “A Beautiful Mind”. Movies about psychotics, or schizophrenics – people totally out of touch with reality.

    Come to think of it, there’s a great line in “Shutter Island”: “Nobody ever believes a crazy man”

    So, a question: After Jesus was crucified and buried, what then?

    Fantastical stories about a dead man coming back to life could have been written at any time, even if there was no such thing as a guy named Jesus of Nazareth, who had been crucified. And, when you think about it, that’s what all the (similar) ancient myths were about.

    But, historically, there was a guy named Jesus who was crucified at the Passover in Jerusalem, at the hands of Pontius Pilate, and per the insistence of the Jewish leadership. And within a short time, the story that this Jesus had been risen from the dead was already circulating.

    How did that work? Were people just believing an absolutely outrageous story of a crazy man?

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      1. Wow. That’s amazing. Especially when you consider that there have been lunatics telling insane stories since who-knows-when.

        Only THIS time, it caught on. That is truly exceptional. Of course, all such explanations always seem to rely on the “exceptional”.

        I asked Ehrman once – [paraphrased] “There were probably a quarter million people camped outside the walls of Jerusalem at the Passover. You don’t think anybody saw whether Jesus’ body had been taken off the cross during the whole week of the Passover?”

        His response: “I have a hunch nobody noticed”.

        Exceptional. I mean, traffic will get backed up for miles because of people gawking at an accident. But, in the case of Jesus – with potentially thousands of people within easy eyesight of the crucifixion (and, even according to Ehrman, the crucifixion being done in a place where it would be most visible to the greatest number of people], “nobody noticed” whether Jesus’ body had been taken off the cross or not.

        DiCaprio’s character, in Shutter Island, says “nobody ever believes a crazy man” – stating the common observation that most all of us would agree with.

        But in THIS case – of Jesus – there is an exception. People believed the “crazy man” who was telling a story that is already entirely unbelievable, in and of itself, whether the storyteller was crazy or not.

        Yeh. Wow. Everybody knows dead people stay dead.

        ” Ask yourself if you would believe that someone today has been resurrected from the dead, appearing in a supernatural body to multiple people; walking through locked doors; teleporting between locations; and levitating into the clouds without mechanical assistance based on the written eyewitness statements of four anonymous people ”

        NO, of course not!!!

        And yet – back then – dang – there were people that believed some crazy man telling such a story, as if they didn’t know “dead people stay dead”.

        Wow. Exceptional. I would have thought people had figured “dead people stay dead” way earlier than the first century CE.

        Maybe it’s because they didn’t have all the “scientific evidence” we have these days that shows dead people stay dead. That must be it.

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          1. Exactly Jim. And to make matters worse for 1st-century thru 8th-century CE Christians/Christologists and all others since, most if not 99% of them just didn’t care if what they believed thru blind faith (to survive persecution or socially ostracized) was bogus, it’s what was mainstream in Western Europe then the Western Hemisphere. No one bothered to look in microscopic scrutiny WHO the Jewish-Arabic Yeshua bar Yosef actually had been within Second Temple Sectarian Judaism. No one can glean or get a hint of his TRUE background strictly thru the Greek-based Canonical New Testament. Period. 🙂

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              1. And Jim, there is one single Christian apologist here commenting that just glaringly exhibits over and over again his own PERSONAL bias for strictly Greek-based Christology which is actually simply traditional Greek Apotheosis of the Hellenic Period of the Mediterranean. He believes that what HE feels is some type of justified proof is actually just his own gut-instinct about what HE wants to believe. This is in spite of the overall, exhaustive, historically contextual evidence and sources of the Second Temple Period. He just REFUSES to look and explore beyond is tiny narrow Greek-based lens. LOL 🙄

                Oh well, we can lead a Christian donkey to water, but we can’t… eh, you know the rest. 😉

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                  1. 😂 Yes! Exactly. When someone is so very emotionally charged about wanting to be RIGHT—despite the fact that there is nowhere near enough independent corroboration to what he FEELS to be true—they will stop at almost anything won’t they? We’ve seen that psychological behavior time and time again haven’t we? 😉

                    Liked by 1 person

                    1. Sorry, that should read… “they will stop at almost nothing” LOL. Was in a rush because I’m trying to watch both the ACLS final game and the Bama v. Tennessee game. I can be horrible at multi-tasking sometimes. 😉

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                    2. It’s really quite simple. Submission, repetition, and beliefs hardwire the neurons. Now you are arguing reason and fact against physiology. It’s important to just first believe without all the info, for them it is much easier to be duped, than to admit to being duped.

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                    3. Btw Jim, notice once again down below this Xian Apologists comment INDIRECTLY addressed to you. This is exactly what I’m talking about—he offers nothing of any significance other than wasting Gary’s comment-section space and everyone else’s time with his tiny horse-blinded goggles. Lol 🙄🤭

                      Liked by 1 person

                    4. I can’t specifically with WordPress’ comment numbering they do, however, if you just scroll all the way down to the bottom, he starts out with this… LOL

                      <

                      blockquote”And Jim –

                      There is one complete clown here [or rather more well-rounded and educated in the topic of STSJM] who spouts out stuff…

                      You can’t miss him. He gets quickly rattled when challenged about his limited knowledge of the ENTIRE contextual history in question. 🙂

                      Liked by 1 person

                    5. But if you feel it is a total waste of your time, then I’d completely understand AND completely agree with you. When he and I first engaged I was very courteous and asked him a few questions for clarification of what he claimed. After only 2-3 exchanges he quickly turned it all into a PERSONAL attack trying to distract the thread away from the cumulative, contextual, INDEPENDENT evidence and sources about the subject Gary raises on his blog.

                      Anyway, just a kind warning to you that he is the typical penny-a-dozen Xian apologist only educated in Greek-based Christianity/Christology. 😉

                      Liked by 1 person

    1. One day you, Gary, and the rest here will realize that there is far more that is real than meets your physical eyes and touches your physical skin, and computes in your physical brains. The thing is, at that point, you probably won’t remember my reply, because all you will be thinking- yes thinking- is about the shock, and then the panic. You could avoid that ‘one day’, but it seems you are determined to stay blind, angry, and prideful. I wonder if Gary will leave this comment up. If he does- well, then congrats on his remaining ethics (both the ‘notify’ boxes will remain unchecked- hopefully his ethics extend to there also). Although I realize that the reason for showing my comment could be to give convenient opportunity for some vehement backlash/sarcasm on the part of the other commenters who need the outlet. I happened upon this site while searching for something else. But my hope, in lingering to comment, is that among you there may be even one that will consider my thoughts. Why do you think that it’s true about the Christian ‘story’ that, in the words of one commenter- ” this time it caught on”? Do we really think humans a mere 2,000 years ago were stupid and gullible? Do we really think they didn’t value their lives then as well. Would all Christ’s disciples give up their lives for a lie? Was Jesus a “complete nut job”, as Gary asserts, yet all those apostles were still so sure of what they observed that they died with that belief? If God is God, do we really expect to understand all supernatural events fully?

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      1. I believe that Odin and his son Thor rule the universe. Thousands of people throughout history have died defending belief in Odin, even when threatened with death by Christian invaders. As a non-believer in Odin, you will suffer unspeakable torment in the underworld for all eternity, while I will enjoy eternal bliss in Valhalla.

        Repent or perish!

        “Charlemagne waged a bloody, three-decades-long series of battles against the Saxons, a Germanic tribe of pagan worshippers, and earned a reputation for ruthlessness. In 782 at the Massacre of Verden, Charlemagne reportedly ordered the slaughter of some 4,500 Saxons. He eventually forced the Saxons to convert to Christianity, and declared that anyone who didn’t get baptized or follow other Christian traditions be put to death.”

        Source: https://www.history.com/topics/middle-ages/charlemagne

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  2. fb, you write, But, historically, there was a guy named Jesus …

    The “history” you refer to is found only in the bible, a book that was written from a place of faith rather than fact.

    Further, if I remember correctly, you previously indicated you “believe” because of what Paul wrote (in the bible) about the resurrection.

    From footnote (a) on Wikipedia (“Historicity and origin of the resurrection of Jesus”) — note especially the bolded part:

    Paul informs his readers that he is passing on what he has been told, “that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, and then to the Twelve. After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep.

    The actual scripture (NRSV) says this: For I handed on to you as of first importance what I in turn had received …

    IOW, Paul was not a firsthand witness. He was simply passing on information. As you yourself indicated, it was a “story that this Jesus had been risen from the dead.”

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    1. The “history” you refer to is found only in the bible, a book that was written from a place of faith rather than fact.

      Nan,

      Only for the sake of fairness, there actually is some very scant history of “a guy named Jesus” outside of Ftbond’s Greek-based Canonical New Testament. Two forged passages in the works of a Jewish author (Flavius Josephus), and two disputed passages in the works of Roman writers Pliny the Younger and Suetonius. Otherwise, out of at least 41 known historians/authors of that time-period and even within 100-years of Jesus’ lifetime, there is no mention of a guy named Jesus Christ. It simply was not news worthy nor worth writing a novel, essay, encyclopedic entry, or history about an ideological cult. In that sense, there is no significant collaborative history. 😉 Therefore, it certainly appears as if that 3rd- and 4th-century CE Greek-based Canonical Gospels put together by non-Hebrew, non-Arabic speaking/writing Gentile Greeks is reaking of heavy embellishments of a Greek Apotheosis genre hijacked, distorted, and defaced from authentic Jewish-Hebrew Messianism.

      Just my two-cents Ma’am. ❤

      Liked by 2 people

        1. Hi reallyDT,

          I think you might have missed the qualifying term/adjective “Canonical” Gospels. The New Testament Canon was not “officially legalized” by the Greco-Roman (Patristic) Archbishops and Emperor Constantine at the Council of Nicene in 325 CE. Knowing what ecumenical means and all the reasons these councils took place over at least 500-years is paramount for intelligent (vs. extreme faith) people to fully understand.

          Prior to the 7 Ecumenical Councils (and following 14 councils depending on an individual’s preference of “authority”) between 325 and 787 CE, stories, rumors, discussions about “The Way” Movement and another failed Jewish Messiah(?) Yeshua bar Yosef (Jesus in Greek), were all mostly oral traditions in circulating, some different, some VERY different than what is in our present-day Protestant & Catholic New Testaments.

          By the mid-2nd century Greco-Roman authorities—NOT Jewish Aramaic-Hebrew authorities, the very people/culture that WOULD know the most about Yeshua’s life, purpose, and reforms—began the tradition of Orthodoxy due to so many conflicting and divisive testimonies circulating about who the Greek Christ was and its Greek nature/purpose! No surprise. Their caricature of “Christ” resembled very little, if anything at all, of the true factual historical Yeshua bar Yoself. Hellenism and Homeland Second Temple Judaism/Messianism are wholly incompatible. Why?

          Because of Greek Gentile Apostolic-Patristic Church Fathers (non-Hebrews, none Aramaic speaking) and the fact that no Aramaic or Hebrew manuscripts existed—or were refused by Greek authorities—the native tongues of Yeshua, let alone his Sectarian Judaic culture that the Greek Gentiles never really understood.

          Therefore, stating the modern present-day New Testament and four Gospels are 3rd – 4th century Greek-based, Greek-influenced canonical narrations from the grapevine is being terribly generous. 😉 The non-stop fragmentation and increased number of denominations of Christianity since 70 CE bears testimony to its convoluted, fraudulent origins.

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        2. Sorry, forgot to address your “early papyri how?” question…

          There were well over 45 testaments (most likely more) about Yeshua and “Christ” in circulation by the end of the 2nd and 3rd centuries. Ironically, NONE of the Mishnaic Hebrew or Aramaic narrations made it into the Greek-based bible we have today. The only pseudo-reliable canonical Gospel that did clear the Greek Gentile authorities’ bias was the Short-version of Mark.

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  3. And I’d like to add to your blog-post Gary that none, not one single 2nd- or 3rd-century CE Gospel copyist, editor/writer, compiler, let alone their overseeing earliest Church Father was a Hebrew-Arabic reading or writing Jew that could accurately translate any Gospels from Hebrew-Arabic oral traditions into Greek, the earliest Gospel copies extant for evangelical Christians. We cannot prove today whether any of these earliest Greek copyists spoke Hebrew-Arabic fluently; most likely no.

    Furthermore, there are known mistranslations these Hellenic (Greek) non-Jews, non-Hebrew-Arabic writers made in the copying/transcribing of their Gospels from oral Hebrew-Arabic! Let me give an example, a MASSIVE example with massive implications. Also, as a relevant side-note, remember that Yeshua bar Yosef (Jesus) and The Way Movement, the Jewish sect he founded, spoke Hebrew and Arabic to his Jewish audiences. Some Jews spoke (basic) (Greek) because it suited their daily engagements with Romans; (Greek) the predominant language of the Hellenistic Roman Empire.

    The Hebrew word for “Messiah” is “Moshiach – משיח.” The literal and proper translation of this word is “anointed,” which refers to a ritual of anointing and consecrating someone or something with oil. (I Samuel 10:1-2) It is used throughout the Jewish Bible in reference to a wide variety of individuals and objects; for example, a Jewish king (I Kings 1:39), Jewish priests (Leviticus 4:3), prophets (Isaiah 61:1), the Jewish Temple and its utensils (Exodus 40:9-11), unleavened bread (Numbers 6:15), and a non- Jewish king (Cyrus king of Persia, Isaiah 45:1).

    In an accurate translation of the Jewish Scriptures, the word “Moshiach” is never translated as “Messiah,” but as “anointed.”

    Some form of the Hebrew word “Moshiach – משיח” is used over 150 times in the Jewish Tanakh. Christians consistently mistranslated this word as anointed, except in the ninth chapter of Daniel. In this chapter evangelicals deviate from this and other correct Hebrew translations in an attempt to prove that their Messiah came before the destruction of the Second Temple. Rather than speaking about “the Messiah,” when read in proper context and with a correct translation this chapter clearly speaks about two different “anointed” subjects hundreds of years apart:

    1) The first is the anointed King Cyrus (Isaiah 45:1) who granted permission to the Jews to return and build the Second Temple 52 years “7-weeks of years” after the destruction of the First Temple;

    2) The second is the anointed priesthood (Leviticus 4:3) that was terminated 434 years “62 weeks of years” later.

    Nevertheless, authentic Second Temple Judaism and modern Judaism has for 3,000+ years always maintained a fundamental belief in an accurate Judean Messianic figure. Since the concept of a Hebrew-Jewish Messiah is one that was given by God to the Jews only, Jewish tradition is best qualified to describe and recognize the expected Messiah by six clear requisites. This tradition has its foundation in numerous biblical references which I cover in my Sept. 2019 blog-post “Christ: The Roman Ruse.” Judaism thoroughly understands the Messiah to be a human being (with no connotation of deity or divinity) who will bring about certain changes in the world and who must fulfill certain specific criteria before being acknowledged as the Messiah. As you can imagine Gary, these TRUE contextual translations—and many, many other problematic Gospel passages as well as those in Acts and the Epistles—completely undermine the validity of the Greek-written, inaccurate Gospels as you are pointing out here and throughout your blog. 🙂

    Excellent stuff Gary!

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  4. Nan –

    re: “The “history” you refer to is found only in the bible, a book that was written from a place of faith rather than fact.”

    Josephus and Tacitus both attest to the historicity of Jesus.

    re: “Further, if I remember correctly, you previously indicated you “believe” because of what Paul wrote (in the bible) about the resurrection.”

    Nope – I don’t believe because of this.

    re: “IOW, Paul was not a firsthand witness. He was simply passing on information. As you yourself indicated, it was a “story that this Jesus had been risen from the dead.”

    Every modern historian I know of would say the same thing: Paul is indeed passing on information. Information that dates to within 1 to 5 years of the crucifixion. A couple of the best-known skeptics, Ehrman and Crossan, are adamant about it. So, you are correct in saying this. And, the fact that this is a creed that has been passed on since that very early time is the VERY POINT Nan.

    You evidently also ignore that Paul adds himself to the end of that creed, as one whom had also seen Jesus. And, you ignore his claim in 1 Cor 9, which he states as a rhetorical question: “have I not seen our Lord”?

    Given that there is historical attestation to Jesus, and given that historians regard seven of Paul’s letters as “historical”, and thus accept Paul’s own attestations to (at least) the existence of Jesus, and given that you have failed to understand that the very value of the creed in 1 Cor 15 is not only it’s content, but, the fact that it has been “passed on”, and given the fact that you don’t even seem to know that Paul himself claims to have “seen our Lord”, I truly don’t know what your point is.

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    1. Here’s the addition to the scripture I provided: Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born.” (Sidenote: wonder what he meant by abnormally born?)

      Paul did not “see” Jesus. He had a vision (as reported by the writer of Acts, not Paul himself) that identified as being Jesus. I thought that fact had already been established.

      All I’ve tried to do is fortify what Gary has presented. There simply is no evidence of a resurrection beyond the scriptures. Of course, millions are convinced that what was written thousands of years ago cannot be disputed. So I suppose in many ways, Gary is fighting an uphill battle.

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      1. Nan –

        re: “Paul did not “see” Jesus. He had a vision (as reported by the writer of Acts, not Paul himself) ”

        As far as I know, no non-Christian scholar accepts Acts as “historical”. All it tells us is what Luke says (as far as a “vision” goes). Paul says “Have I not seen our Lord”, and the Greek verb used in that sentence is the unambiguous verb “to see”, which is used (in Greek) in virtually the same way in every respect as we use it in English. Thus, Paul is saying “I saw our Lord”.

        All I’ve tried to do is fortify what Gary has presented. There simply is no evidence of a resurrection beyond the scriptures.

        And, as I’ve had to point out a half-million times, the “resurrection” – like “hallucinations, or other nonveridical visions” is the “explanation” (as are “hallucinations or other nonveridical visions”) for “what actually happened”: Jesus was crucified, buried… and then…. what?

        The Christians say “resurrection”. The non-Christians say “hallucinations (et al)”. There is no “forensic evidence” for either solution.

        But, whatever “solution” is proposed, it has to explain the 1 Cor 15 creed which, as you have pointed out, was “passed along” – and which I have pointed out (using the overwhelming consensus of scholars) – was “passed along” since a very short time after the crucifixion.

        Those are the two “historical points” that are agreed on: Jesus was crucified – and then – the next historical info we have – is that the 1 Cor 15 creed is being “passed along”.

        So, I hope you can see – the question, from an historians point – is what explains the formulation and the start of circulation of that creed?

        I can only presume YOU must think that creed was formulated, then started getting “passed along”, simply because (and I’m only guessing – correct me if I’m wrong) somebody made the story up.

        As far as your noble attempt to bolster Gary’s case, saying “There simply is no evidence of a resurrection beyond the scriptures”, what you’re really saying is “there is no evidence beyond Paul’s writings” – but, Paul’s authentic writings – (which just by coincidence happened to have been included in a later compilation of writings called the NT) – are considered by historians to be “historical writings”.

        I’m not trying to do a fancy dance routine there. Even Gary would agree with what I just said in that last paragraph. The fact that Paul’s authentic letters were included in a later compilation does not negate their historical value at all. And, even the great skeptics like Ehrman, Ludemann, Funk, Crossan, and others would back me on that, and I’m sure Gary would agree.

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        1. what you’re really saying is “there is no evidence beyond Paul’s writings”

          No, what I’m saying … is what I said. “There simply is no evidence of a resurrection beyond the scriptures.”

          I guess it pretty much boils down to one thing: a person either accepts the scriptures (which include Paul’s writings) as “evidence,” “proof,” “validation,” etc. of what happened in those early days of history … or they don’t.

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          1. re: “I guess it pretty much boils down to one thing: a person either accepts the scriptures (which include Paul’s writings) as “evidence,” “proof,” “validation,” etc. of what happened in those early days of history … or they don’t.”

            Obviously, the non-Christian scholar doesn’t accept the scriptures as any kind of “proof” of a resurrection. They do accept Paul’s writings – and in particular, the creed he cites – as proof of early attestation to the resurrection story.

            And once again – I have to try very hard to make a point, which I haven’t successfully managed to make so far:

            The “resurrection story” is one of several “solutions” to explain the formulation and early circulation of the 1 Cor 15 creed. The other proposed solutions are things like hallucinations or other nonveridical visions.

            THOSE are the choices – unless you think somebody just made up the story out of whole cloth (as do the Mythicists – but – they get virtually no respect from other scholars and historians).

            Otherwise, the story (meaning, the 1 Cor 15 creed) either originated because (a) someone CLAIMED (and please note the word “claimed”) that Jesus was resurrected, but it was only an hallucination or other nonveridical vision – OR – (b) someone CLAIMED that Jesus was resurrected because that’s what they really saw – “Jesus, resurrected”.

            PLEASE NOTICE, IF YOU WILL: There is not a single thing I said in the previous paragraph that has any reliance whatsoever on whether “Paul” has, himself, claimed to have seen anything at all. Not One Mention of that.

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            1. Noted.

              OK, so you call it a “creed” (definition: The written body of teachings of a religious group that are generally accepted by that group) and many (most?) others simply reference this body of teachings as “scripture.”

              In any case, I get where you’re coming from. I really do. What I’m unable to accept is the veracity of the creed, scripture, doctrine, teaching, precept … of the resurrection. For me, it just doesn’t ring true.

              And for this time … that’s all I’m going to say. Have a great Sunday!

              Liked by 1 person

              1. Nan –

                re: OK, so you call it a “creed”

                It’s irrelevant what I call it. Real scholars and historians – including some amazingly skeptical ones – call it a “creed”. I’m only guessing that’s the “industry term” for it. I use that term because they do.

                re: “What I’m unable to accept is the veracity of the creed, scripture, doctrine, teaching, precept … of the resurrection. For me, it just doesn’t ring true.”

                OH, I get that. No problem. Just saying “For me, it just doesn’t ring true” is totally honest. And, that’s fine.

                Lots of people say the same thing about Apollo 11 landing on the moon — it just doesn’t ring true.

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              2. Hey Nan,

                Just to support you in your dialogue here, Ft is incorrect when he states:

                <

                blockquote>Josephus and Tacitus both attest to the historicity of Jesus.</block;quote>

                Tacitus only speaks of a GROUP of Christians in Rome regarding the Great Fire by explaining in his Annals (written in 116 CE btw) WHO those Roman Christians are/represent and their sketchy background. It actually is NOT a specific, precise acknowledgement of an authentic guy named Jesus as Christians falsely claim, only in the broad context of Tacitus’ Roman group called Christians. Big difference.

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        2. Scholars believe that there are seven genuine Pauline letters—seven letters written by the same person who refers to himself as “Paul”—but no one can prove that these seven letters were written by one, Saul/Paul of Tarsus, a student of Gamaliel.

          But, whatever “solution” is proposed, it has to explain the 1 Cor 15 creed which, as you have pointed out, was “passed along” – and which I have pointed out (using the overwhelming consensus of scholars) – was “passed along” since a very short time after the crucifixion.

          Solution: a legend—a silly, ignorant, superstitious legend.

          The Christian claim that first century Jews would never allow inaccuracies and embellishments (legendary elements) to enter into their folk stories is a baseless generalization.

          Throughout human history, poorly educated, superstitious, extremely religious people have come up with some of the most fantastical, preposterous stories imaginable, and many of them in a very short period of time.

          I believe (as do most non-Christians—even theistic non-Christians such as Jews and Muslims) that the resurrection belief most likely arose from illusions, vivid dreams, false sightings, hallucinations, or other tricks of the human brain. Only Christians find these explanations implausible.

          It is a silly, ignorant, tall tale. Period.

          Liked by 2 people

          1. re: “The Christian claim that first century Jews would never allow inaccuracies and embellishments (legendary elements) to enter into their folk stories is a baseless generalization. ”

            If you’re talking about the old “inerrancy of scripture”, I’d agree – that IS a baseless claim.

            Not sure why you’re addressing that to ME, though. I’ve most certainly never pushed that view.

            re: “Solution: a legend—a silly, ignorant, superstitious legend.”

            AHHHHHHH — so, you’ve turned Mythicist on us, have you?

            Well, so much for all your scholastic studies of historians….

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            1. I never claimed that Jesus the man was not historical. I am simply pointing out that just because a “creed” was formulated within 3-5 years after a man’s death is no guarantee that the contents of that creed are historically accurate. It is still plausible that the claims in the Early Creed are legendary.

              Spring, 36 CE
              : “Hey, Peter, John, and James. Get this! My uncle from Persia visited us for a few days last week. He says that five hundred people in Persia saw Jesus all at one time and place. He says that most of these people are still alive if anyone wants to verify the reality of this event. My uncle already went back to Persia, but next time he visits, I’m sure he can give us more details.” The uncle dies on his trip back to Persia.

              And that is how the “five hundred” appearance claim made it into the Early Creed!

              Silly, ignorant, ravings of poorly educated religious zealots.

              Liked by 1 person

          2. We can all be silly,
            We are all ignorant about lots of things.
            The story of Jesus in the Bible is “a tall tale”.
            Some would say “Its the greatest story ever told”.
            Still, men and women gave their lives for their belief in this story, including Paul and most of the first disciples according to the early church leaders.

            I appreciate many of the views expressed, because I’m reexamining my own beliefs about the reliability of the Gospels and want to hear what the evidence is, or the concerns are about the Gospel reliability. You have articulated clearly and indeed have challenged me.

            Like

      1. Sure, that’s your view. I get that. You’ve said that many times.

        I say Jesus was bodily resurrected in an historic event. Now, what that might mean (ie, does it really mean he is the Lord of the Universe?) is a theological question.

        Why, Gary, would you even bother commenting on theology when you don’t believe Jesus was resurrected?

        Like

  5. re: “…no guarantee that the contents of that creed are historically accurate”

    Sure, that’s fine. And, if that’s your argument, then go for it. But, accurate or not, the CREED EXISTS. And the question is STILL THE SAME, Gary: What caused the formulation and circulation of that creed?

    Go ahead and SUPPORT your view, Gary. Show us all what you think the creed REALLY said. Give us some documentation from some real scholars and historians to support your view.

    But, don’t just be throwing garbage at the wall, hoping it will stick.

    Like

    1. How do you know that inbetween the time that the Creed was originally formulated in 36-38 CE and when it was at some point in time “received” by Paul, that as it was passed along from person to person, town to town, country to country, more and more legendary “appearances” were added to the creed? How do you know that Paul didn’t add more than just his name to the Creed? Maybe he is the one who added the “five hundred” appearance.

      It is a silly, ignorant tall tale.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Nan –

    Here’s a quote from Tacitus:

    “Christus, from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of our procurators, Pontius Pilatus,”

    Some people somehow think the whole of the Tacitus passage deals with a group of people in Rome, but, they seem to overlook this line, which is talking about Christus, who “suffered the extreme penalty” (crucifixion)… at the hands of .. Pontius Pilate”.

    I don’t really know what to make of the “scholarship” of those that seem to think the passage just refers to a group

    Others seem to think that a passage refering to Jesus, in Josephus’ writings, is a forgery. However, the vast majority of real historians, scholars, and textual-analyists think this statement (below) is authentic:

    “Now there was about this time Jesus, a wise man. For he was a doer of startling deeds, a teacher of such men as receive the truth with pleasure. And he gained a following both among many Jews and many of Greek origin. And when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men amongst us, condemned him to the cross, those that loved him at the first did not forsake him. And the tribe of Christians, so named from him, are not extinct at this day.”

    I’m not sure why some argue that the passage is altogether a forgery. Whoever argues this, though, is in a minority.

    One is, of course, welcome to adhere to “minority opinion” among scholars. Everybody has a right to just “make up stuff” if they want.

    I tend to go with the broad consensus of scholars on such matters, though. Most of them are very studious types who have worked very hard to develop expertise in their areas of study.

    But, there certainly is no shortage of amateurs who can neither document their claims, nor provide anything but “minority opinion” to support their ideas.

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    1. How odd. The man who turned Palestine on its head; the man who performed greater miracles than Moses and Elijah; the man who raised more people from the dead than all the prophets of the Old Testament combined; the man who entered Jerusalem during Passover with thousands of Jews hailing him as the promised messiah, the king of the restored nation of Israel…only gets one, short, paragraph in Josephus’ massive history of the Jews.

      Odd. Very, very odd.

      Let’s look at Josephus’ statement again:

      “Now there was about this time Jesus, a wise man. For he was a doer of startling deeds, a teacher of such men as receive the truth with pleasure. And he gained a following both among many Jews and many of Greek origin. And when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men amongst us, condemned him to the cross, those that loved him at the first did not forsake him. And the tribe of Christians, so named from him, are not extinct at this day.”

      Notice that Josephus says not ONE word about a resurrection…

      Again. How odd.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. why is that odd? You don’t imagine for a moment that Tacitus believed any of that stuff any more than you, do you? I mean, he refers to it all as “superstition”, just like you. Why on earth do you think he’d mention anything more than he did???

        I really can’t imagine why you think it’s odd at all. But, then, I can’t really imagine why you think most of the stuff you think, anyway.

        Like

  7. Nan –

    Again, what some badly mistaken apologists here postulate falsely is that Tacitus’ complete overall recording in Annals about Christians regarding the Great Fire of Rome rumored to be started by Christians is that Tacitus felt the need to give some very brief background about WHY they are called “Christians.” Tacitus is merely repeating what is circulating among peoples of the Roman Empire and in Rome. That is all that can be claimed by any Christian apologists giving MORE credulity to their Greek Christ than is actually extant. Bottom-line, the non-biblical sources and evidence is horribly scant and ultimately IMPOSSIBLE to delusionally claim there is non-Greek-Christian support/evidence. No, they are simple wrong and if they persist, they are merely reflecting their gross bias and the emotional desire to believe what they want to believe, whether it is historically verifiable or not. LOL 😄

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  8. Just for the record, and as Ive said a million times on this blog: I don’t do Gospels (or Acts)

    The Gospels were all written by Greek-speaking (ie, non-Hebraic) writers (who may or may not even have been Jews, at least in a couple of cases) that each have some particular “theme” – partly religious, partly social, partly political – that they are trying to push.

    The Gospels are, in my view, not at all to be taken as “historically reliable”. Therefore, I never reference them, although, like the majority of scholars, I’d agree that while as a whole, none of the Gospels can be considered historically reliable, each one MAY contain actual historical information. But, gleaning that information from the totality of the text requires a great deal of study, and a very in-depth understanding of Judaism, the Jewish/Judean culture, the Greek language, the Greek culture in the broader area, and so on. I know of NOBODY who contributes to the discussion on this blog that has any credentials whatsoever that allows them to make those kinds of calls – including me.

    I have long asserted that this thing we now call “Christianity” was hijacked by the Greco-Roman culture – a view I have held since the 1970’s, when I first began formal studies in Hebrew and in Judaism at the University of Texas.

    However, unlike a few that hold certain minority views, I do not at all consider Paul as anything but “authentic Jew”, and extremely knowledgable not only in his own Jewish beliefs, but also in the Judeo-Hebraic culture of Judea, and of course, of his own “Jewish-Greek” culture.

    [ NOTE: I only regard seven of Paul’s letters as “authentic”, keeping with the majority consensus of scholars on that matter. ]

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Why didn’t Josephus say ANYTHING about Jesus’ alleged resurrection in the paragraph you quoted??? Why no mention of five thousand people seeing Jesus at one time and place.

      The silence is deafening!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. obviously, Gary, he knew that if he did, then 2000 years later, you would discredit everything else he said on grounds he was a “Christian”…

        Or, maybe he didn’t want to give credibility to the Christian movement.

        Or, maybe he didn’t want to give the Romans a reason to stop sending his paycheck for saying anything about the resurrection, because already the belief had become a thorn in the side for them.

        Or, maybe he figured all those disciples would finally figure out they just saw bright lights, and come to their senses.

        Or, maybe he really did write something about the resurrection, but it was deleted by Roman editors.

        Hey, this kind of speculation is your specialty. I bet you could add to this list.

        Like

  9. 😴

    Gary, I hope you are able to attract other more informed, equitable Apologists here for dialogue than the one that overly frequents with his personal non-sense and who NEVER links to any broad references of what he claims.

    Nonetheless, keep up your excellent work against the essence of modern, Greek-based Christology. 👍

    Like

  10. And Jim –

    There is one complete clown here who spouts out stuff as if he is some kind of mind-reader that knows what “lens” somebody views things from. He uses phrases like “strictly Greek-based Christology which is ACTUALLY simply traditional Greek Apotheosis of the Hellenic Period of the Mediterranean” – AND THIS IS JUST TOTALLY THE CLOWNS ABSOLUTELY UNEDUCATED OPINION. He’ll never quote any “majority consensus” on this view at all – because – there is none. It’s just stuff the Clown has in his head, and only God knows where it came from.

    LOL

    Like

      1. I don’t think he knows how to do that Jim. And he never links to any scholarly or pool of DIVERSE scholars regarding the Second Temple Period. Maybe he doesn’t know how to do it in WordPress comments, but he refuses to start his own personal blog to backup what he randomly comments here and one time on my blog. LOL 😄

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Also, just to bring you up to date on this pseudo-Xian, many weeks ago he and I made a gentleman’s agreement to NOT waste Gary’s comment-section space or any of Gary’s readers time by pointless personal jabs and innuendos. Sadly, but not surprisingly he repeatedly BROKE that agreement here. Because of that I have a very difficult time with his un-Christ-like approach here on Gary’s blog. Hence, I admit here to you and all of Gary’s followers that I sort of put my pinky toe across the line to address his faulty claim about Tacitus. LOL

        Sorry, I am human and I am imperfect sometimes when it comes to ridiculous generalities that are proclaimed as “truth” by apologists. Will you forgive me Jim? 😉 😈

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Speaking of pseudo-Christians, there are no true believers. No signs “greater than these” follow any of them that believe. Either there are no true Christians, or the Bible is a lie. Weird. Easy enough to know if he’s an imposter. He’s got nothing.

          Liked by 1 person

              1. I certainly will my friend. It might be awhile before I comment—Yankees just TIED the Astros in the 9th inning—and I get easily distracted by GREAT sporting games… baseball and futebol/soccer especially. 😉

                Like

      3. Oh, Jim – my goodness, I’d love to counter The Clown directly, but he won’t allow me to talk with him directly here. If I do, he’ll need to run to his “safe space’, and he’ll call to his Mommy (Gary) and complain that “that bad old man doesn’t agree with my nonsense – won’t you please boot him off your blog?”

        But, if you want to see one of the most OBVIOUS bits of his Clownish nonsense refuted, just go look at the post in which I attempt – mind you, only attempt (because The Clown thinks he knows a lot more than he does) – to correct him on his view of first-century Messianic beliefs.

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        1. Well, if you were really a believer instead of an imposter, we’d see some miracles bringing Dwain to his knees. “Greater signs than these” follow them that believe. Either you’re not a real believer, or the Bible is a lie. No amount of Apostolic nostalgia can override that little fact.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. it really doesn’t take a miracle to bring Dwain to his knees. That’s the reason he won’t let me talk to him directly.

            Like

              1. Impostor? OH – I see. You don’t think I do “greater things than these” (ref: I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these)

                What is harder to do? Forgive sins, or raise up the lame? (Jesus asked this, I’m sure you’ll remember). Clearly, the implication was that it is harder to forgive sins.

                But, I forgive sins all the time. So, I guess I do “greater things than these” quite often.

                Like

                1. That’s pretty lame. Forgiving sins is so easy even an atheist can do it. I hold no malice or contempt for anyone. So what. That’s difficult for some, but some should be growing limbs and causing the blind to see. We all have our gifts, you know.

                  Liked by 1 person

                  1. well, Jim, when you decide to become a theologian, then maybe what you have to say about such matters may be of interest to me.

                    but, as things are right now, what you have to say on such theological matters is of no interest at all.

                    Like

                    1. You have no idea what my background is. If what to you say is true, I suppose ex theologians don’t count, but only supporting arguments. That’s ridiculous. Good night.

                      Liked by 2 people

  11. Wow! The Clown posted something that was VERIFIABLE:

    “Judaism thoroughly understands the Messiah to be a human being (with no connotation of deity or divinity) who will bring about certain changes in the world and who must fulfill certain specific criteria before being acknowledged as the Messiah. ”

    This is exactly correct – according to current Orthodox Jewish teachings.

    However, it is entirely incorrect in terms of first-century Jewish thought. In the first century, there were actually a number of sometimes conflicting views of the Messiah. In the first century, “side by side with the traditional idea of an earthly king of the house of David is the new conception of a heavenly preexistent Messiah, from which it follows that in regard to the question of the Messiah the older apocalyptic literature, as well as the younger rabbinical branch, falls naturally into two groups”. [ Jewish Encyclopedia ]

    One of these two basic groups believed in a Heavenly Messiah: “The oldest apocalypse in which the conception of a preexistent heavenly Messiah is met with is the Messiological section of the Book of Enoch (xxxvii.-lxxi.) of the first century B.C. The Messiah is called “the Son of Man,” and is described as an angelic being, his countenance resembling a man’s, and as occupying a seat in heaven beside the Ancient of Days (xlvi. 1), or, as it is expressed in ch. xxxix. 7, “under the wings of the Lord of spirits.” In ch. xlviii. 3, 6, xlix. 2b it is stated that “His name was called before the Lord of spirits before the sun and the signs of the zodiac were created, and before the stars of heaven weremade”; that “He was chosen and hidden with God before the world was created, and will remain in His presence forevermore” (comp. also lxii. 6); and that “His glory will last from eternity unto eternity and his might from generation unto generation” (that “his name” in xlviii. 3 means really “son of man” is evident from verse 6; comp. the similar use of “Shem Yhwh” for “Yhwh” in Isa. xxx. 27). He is represented as the embodiment of justice and wisdom and as the medium of all God’s revelations to men (xlvi. 3; xlix. 1, 2a, 3). At the end of time the Lord will reveal him to the world and will place him on the throne of His glory in order that he may judge all creatures in accordance with the end to which God had chosen him from the beginning. When he rises for the judgment all the world will fall down before him, and adore and extol him, and give praise to the Lord of spirits.” [ Jewish Encyclopedia ]

    The reason I’m posting this is because The Clown, who seems to think he has a handle on the whole of the “Messiah” concept, has evidently failed to look at the primary go-to source, the first place that most any scholar would begin to look – the Jewish Encyclopedia.

    If you want to understand anything about the Messiah, as it was understood by many in first-century Judea, you need to read the book of Enoch.

    Even Jesus alludes to Enoch when he tells some Sadducees ” “You are mistaken, not understanding the Scriptures nor the power of God. For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven. The ONLY Jewish book that was considered scripture (by some) in the first century that addresses the marriage of angels is the book of Enoch.

    But, alas, The Clown is The Clown, and you can’t really expect to have a real CONVERSATION with a Clown…

    Like

    1. @ ft

      The Gospels are, in my view, not at all to be taken as “historically reliable”. Therefore, I never reference them,

      and yet …

      Even Jesus alludes to Enoch when he tells some Sadducees ” “You are mistaken, not understanding the Scriptures nor the power of God. For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven.”

      For someone who never references them ( Gospels) you seem perfectly at ease to use them and quote them when it suits your rather skewed approach to Christianity.

      Why is that, I wonder? Are you simply unable to make your case or define your own special brand of faith without drawing on them?

      Like

          1. just look up “citation vs quote”.

            If you wrote an article in which you quoted a Gospel, and then I wrote in response to your article, I can clearly use the quote you used, but that does not mean I am citing that Gospel passage as an authoritative source to prove a point. And, that’s what a citation (reference) is.

            just go look up the difference between citing and quoting.

            and stop wasting my time. You should have learned this in high school.

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            1. You quoted the Jesus passage to bolster your case. There are probably numerous other examples throughout your commentary.
              You are, therefore, referencing the gospels that you don’t ever reference because, for you they have no serious value other than to confirm everything that you argue for.

              Try to develop a little integrity, ft and stop continually behaving like a disingenuous Nob.

              Like

              1. wrong.

                I clearly stated “If you want to understand anything about the Messiah, as it was understood by many in first-century Judea, you need to read the book of Enoch.”

                I followed this with a Gospel quote in which Jesus alludes to the book of Enoch.

                This was not to “bolster” my case at all. If I were to make a case that racial prejudice was rampant after the Civil War, and said “even Tom Sawyer calls black people the N-word”, I am clearly not using Tom Sawyer, a character from a novel, to “bolster” my case. I am using it purely to illustrate my case. And, I used the Gospel quote to illustrate my case.

                There is clearly a huge difference between illustrating something, and using something as a citation in support of a case.

                But, let’s get real here: All you’re trying to do is just Yet Another Ad-Hominem attack: You’re trying very, VERY hard to find some means to discredit me, personally, in order to give reason to doubt my case. But, my case has been made on very valid information. The illustration I made was hardly necessary for my case at all. It is nothing but an EXAMPLE.

                So, this is just you “attacking the opponent”, rather than “attacking the argument”, and that’s all.

                Like

                    1. Indeed.
                      Citation vs Quote.
                      .Examples: “As Winston Churchill said, ‘I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears, and sweat.'” This is unquestionably a quote. It might be called a citation.

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                    2. “According to Barclay’s Famous Quotations, Winston Churchill once said, ‘I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears, and sweat.” This is both a quote and a citation.

                      Like

  12. Again, you kettle-calling-it-black 😄… you are still NOT including all Jewish sources and not all the ancient rabbinical manuscripts as a whole, or all the modern Judaic scholars of that time period. The Jewish Encyclopedia is merely ONE SOURCE. Why is this obsession, bias and tunnel-vision you have so difficult for you to grasp, break out of, and understand, THEN move beyond of your desire to make your feelings true?

    Give many other Jewish sources because the Jewish Encyclopedia you reference was published in 1901 and 1906. That is more than 114 years old. But hey, I appreciate your efforts, just do more. 😉

    Fyi, from here on out I am ignoring your time-wasting. Your welcome to engage others here.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. To Gary —

      My apologies Sir that I teased and egged this on too much. And I apologize that its pointless banter wasted space in your comment-section. 😦 From here on out I will ignore this person’s comments as originally agreed. The Tacitus claim was just too flawed and incorrect to ignore. Now it has become a WASTE OF TIME because of his bias for his own feelings and to find bits of scholarly work to prove his points instead of taking the ENTIRE body of contextual evidence (independent evidence included) and what all of it reflects versus the Greek-bases Gospels, Acts, and Epistles.

      Anyway, continue with your excellent work Gary. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    2. the Jewish Encyclopedia is one of the most venerated sources of information available. And, being an encylopedia, it lists loads of references – probably far more than you’ve ever seen.

      All you’ve done is just shown that you don’t even have a Judaism 101 level of knowledge of first-century Jewish beliefs. You didn’t even know that the “Heavenly Messiah” concept existed. You talk like you know so much, and now you’re asking for sources for something written in an Encyclopedia, for God’s sake. If it’s written in an Encyclopedia, it’s considered “basic knowledge”.

      I’m sorry, buddy, but I’m gonna let you Clown Off with somebody else. I’m now absolutely convinced you have no idea what you’re talking about when you talk about first-century, Second-Temple Period, Hellenic Judaism… (and blablabla). You didn’t even know this whole other idea of the Messiah was prevalent back then….

      sheesh….

      Oh. and… LOL

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        1. I clearly don’t need to do any more research than look at a common encyclopedic to already have more knowledge of views the Jews held regarding the Messiah in the Second Temple, Hellenic, post-Hasmonean, Herodian, Aramaic-speaking, pre-Christian, post-Septuagint, (and whatever else the rest of your usual descriptors are) Period in Judea.

          It’s clear your whole POV has been stumped on info available in an encyclopedia. You really don’t need me to roll out the rest of my arsenal in order to look more foolish.

          plus – LOL

          Like

  13. ft says he’s ‘said a million times on this blog: I don’t do Gospels (or Acts)’. Neither, as he tells us above, does he set much store in Paul’s visionary experiences.

    So what does that leave us with as far as ‘evidence’ for the resurrection is concerned? Ah, yes, it’s that creed in 1 Corinthians 15 (cited by Paul; seems we can trust him here.) That’s it, is it, ft? Some folks we know absolutely nothing about got it into their heads, we know not how, that shortly after Jesus died he was seen alive again. That’s all you need to convince you? Wow. Can I sell you a used car?

    Or are you just being provocatively contrarian, as I suggested a very long time ago? You just have to argue that black is white, dead is alive and you are right while most everyone else is wrong. Looks that way to me.

    Liked by 4 people

      1. let’s just say I did/do “make up my own religion”.

        why shouldn’t I? I mean, according to YOU guys, the Gospels are bogus. so, sure, I’ll go with that. Heck, even according to ME, the Gospels are bogus (as far as being “history texts”).

        what bugs you guys is that what you’re really arguing against about 90% of the time is the Gospels. It’s like it’s a “big deal” that the Nativity stories in Matt and Luke are different. Or that the accounts of resurrection appearances are different.

        Trouble is – as “historically inaccurate” as the Gospels may be, that has nothing whatsoever to do with whether Jesus was bodily resurrected. I can write a novel in which Lincoln isn’t assassinated, but, that doesn’t change the fact that he was.

        So, you guys just don’t know what to do with a guy who is convinced that Jesus was, in fact, resurrected, and at the same time, doesn’t use or require the Gospels as support.

        The thing is, the earliest “Christians” (followers of “The Way”) didn’t use the Gospels, either – mainly because they were non-existent. So, what do I need them for?

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        1. It’s rather pathetic the way you whine when you are caught out.

          So, what do I need them for?

          Oh, I dunno, so you can reference them to insert Jesus quotes to bolster your ever so lame arguments?

          Liked by 2 people

          1. hey, look – if a debate opponent introduces material, I can certainly use that material as well. It’s YOU guys that bring up the Gospels all the time, not me.

            Like

        2. IMO, you would probably do well in future discussions related to your outlook on Jesus is to simply say that from your own personal studies, you believe he was resurrected. Period.

          Once you start trying to substantiate this belief to others, you’re going to run into trouble. Especially from individuals who don’t place any credibility on the resurrection.

          Of course, there’s nothing that requires you to follow my suggestion. In fact, chances are you will continue to defend your stance … and will end up going back and forth as has happened on Gary’s blog. C’est la vie.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Nan –

            re: “IMO, you would probably do well in future discussions related to your outlook on Jesus is to simply say that from your own personal studies, you believe he was resurrected. Period.”

            Actually, that’s pretty much what I do. My stance is that I am convinced that Jesus was, in fact, bodily resurrected.

            Like

            1. OK, so you’re convinced. Then why bother trying to convince others as to WHY you’re convinced? Seems like a lot of wasted energy to me.

              But then, I’ve found the male species tend to enjoy defending their “turf” (in whatever form that happens to be). So who am I to interfere?

              Liked by 1 person

              1. Nan –

                Almost invariably, Gary will make a posting, positing one thing or another. I, as an avid participant, will respond with my “two cents worth” to whatever Gary has posted.

                This is Gary’s blog, and it’s public. It is an open invitation to participate. I accepted the open invitation.

                And, in fact, if you’ll read my very first message, you’ll find I don’t disagree with what Gary says. Rather, I posit a question:

                “But, historically, there was a guy named Jesus who was crucified at the Passover in Jerusalem, at the hands of Pontius Pilate, and per the insistence of the Jewish leadership. And within a short time, the story that this Jesus had been risen from the dead was already circulating.

                How did that work? Were people just believing an absolutely outrageous story of a crazy man?”

                In this question, I am referring to “historic views” of a majority consensus, of which Gary is well aware.

                I myself have no need to convince anyone of anything. I want them to convince me of their own stated positions.

                Like

                1. But you believe the biblical character Jesus of Nazareth rose from the dead, a belief I might add that is based upon no evidence whatsoever.
                  This begs the question, why on earth do you believe it?
                  Seriously, what possible motive do you have to accept this tale?

                  Liked by 1 person

        3. Ft: Your entire worldview is based on one statement by one man (Paul: “have I not seen the Christ?) and a first century Creed that this same one man could have heavily edited/”doctored”. Is that rational??

          Liked by 3 people

          1. Gary –

            there are two “stories” – both equally ancient – regarding a person named Jesus. One story says that he was resurrected. The other story says he was not.

            What we know, historically, is that this Jesus was crucified. And we know (if we are to go by majority consensus of scholars who do such investigations for a living) that the story that Jesus was resurrected started shortly after his crucifixion.

            What gave rise to that story?

            “Surely, it couldn’t have been an actual resurrection. So, it must have been a ‘mistake’ of some kind, due to someone having had an hallucination or some other type of nonveridical vision” is one explanation.

            The other explanation was that it was due to a number of people having seen Jesus, resurrected (according to an ancient “creed” that conveys the basic story).

            I do not hold to the preconceived notion that “miracles don’t happen”; I (along with everybody else) am far too uninformed about what goes on outside this Universe, or what went on before this Universe even existed. So, I have no “automatic discounting” of miracles. I think it is a very weak position for one to hold to a view that “miracles can not and do not happen”. (Not saying you do or don’t hold to that position).

            So, I look at the “naturalistic” explanations: hallucinations, bright lights, and so on. And, as I’ve said before, I keep finding huge holes in these explanations. Or, I keep finding that they require such exceptionalisms – ie, “the disciples believed an hallucination of a deceased person meant the deceased person was bodily alive, while on the other hand, hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of people have hallucinations of deceased persons, and never think it means the decease person is alive”. Hence, those disciples are the Big Exception. (and, this is just one of many such examples).

            So far, I am convinced that “resurrection” best explains a number of other, subsequent actions, events and attitudes – including the rise of the resurrection story itself.

            Like

            1. Why couldn’t the appearance claims in the Early Creed be based on a combination of events: individuals having vivid dreams and groups experiencing cases of mistaken identity and/or illusions? Why is it always hallucinations or reality?

              Liked by 1 person

                1. It is not up to me to define what a Christian is, and almost every Christian I have interacted with gets upset if an atheist has the temerity to even try to define a Christian / Christianity. Therefore, if you say you are I accept this, no matter what other Christians believe or say about you.
                  I am only interested in why you are a Christian.?

                  Liked by 1 person

                  1. Why am I a Christian?

                    I’m convinced that Jesus was resurrected. I believe that his resurrection has implications. But I would have to go through a very long line of reasoning to begin to understand all the possible implications.

                    Lemme just give you the beginnings of just one train of reasoning that one might possibly bring to bear on the resurrection (and, this is just “winging it” – I’m not at all saying this is terribly well thought through – so, it’s only a possible EXAMPLE):

                    Implications of Jesus’ resurrection

                    there is some kind of “power” that can cause a dead person to be resurrected, which is to say, transformed from a dead person into a person that is alive and will live eternally, unconstrained by the laws of Nature..
                    that “power” may or may not be willful and purposeful – it might be mindless and random.
                    if that “power” is willful, and with purpose, then Jesus’ resurrection was willful and with purpose
                    if that “power” is mindless and random, then Jesus’ transformation (resurrection) “just happened” as a mindless and random act of some type of existent force that we are currently unaware of, and that can potentially act equally mindlessly and randomly in all aspects of Nature with the same “rapidity”. Thus, we should perhaps see things like trees or rocks, or even other stars – something – that also got randomly transformed into a state that was no longer subject to the laws of Nature. However, we don’t seem to see that anywhere.
                    Therefore, it would seem that this “power” is selective – thus indicating will and purpose.
                    For some reason, this “power” chose to resurrect Jesus of Nazareth – in a willful and purposeful act – and not me, or you, or anyone else throughout the history of Mankind.

                    and blablalbalbabla…..

                    OR, we could start with a line of reasoning that goes back to Creation. And that one would be really long, too.

                    But, to cut to the chase – I believe Jesus is the Messiah. But I really can’t think of any reason why you’d care to prattle through all the “steps” I went through to draw that same conclusion that the earliest “believers” put forth.

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                    1. Fair enough, this covers the unemotional aspect of a potential supernatural force. And while I might agree that Jesus was resurrected,that does not mean I would necessarily become a Christian.
                      So, what are the reasons … or circumstances that metaphorically pushed you to become a Christian.

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  14. The authenticity of the so-called Corinthian creed is disputed by several scholars, suggesting it is an interpolation. If so, the implications could be far reaching.
    That this view has support, albeit from a small minority of biblical scholars,is in itself enough to warrant further inquiry.
    I imagine, however, one of the major problems for the current batch of ”pro-creed” scholars in initiating such inquiries is they are likely to be cold-shouldered by colleagues, and when one’s income may be on the line it is a brave individual who’ll put his livelihood at risk.

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      1. Hi RDT. Do you think it is possible that Paul invented the “Words of Institution” (thinking that he had received this info from the resurrected Jesus)? I personally think Paul was probably mentally disturbed.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Well, you’re definitely not alone. According to the author of Luke/Acts, King Agrippa felt the same way.

          From Acts 26:24 At this point, Festus interrupted Paul’s defense. “You are out of your mind, Paul” he shouted. “Your great learning is driving you insane.”

          I just think this is a matter that has been discussed and debated throughout the centuries. The bottom line for me is to make a decision about what I think about Jesus Christ and what He means in my life. Everyone is faced with a choice in this.

          Gary, it seems that you are pretty certain of your view and your decision. None of us can drag people to where we think they should be. It’s an individual choice for all of us. And, I think we have to accept that and care for one another through our differences.

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          1. We should care for each other but I think we must call people out when they are pushing superstitious nonsense. Believing that a first century peasant is the Creator and Ruler of the universe is superstitious nonsense.

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