Christians Deny that Christianity has Pagan Origins. They are Wrong.

The Pagan World: Ancient Religions before Christianity | The Great Courses  Plus

Christian apologists scoff when critics accuse Christianity of having pagan origins. These apologists insist that Christianity is purely of Jewish origin. They are wrong.

No where in the Jewish Scriptures is a human being considered a god. No where in Jewish Scriptures is there any unambiguous statement that the messiah is a god and most definitely there is no unambiguous statement in the Hebrew Scriptures that a human being can be the creator god, Yahweh. Any Christian claims that such prophecies exist in the Jewish Scriptures are blatant ad hoc re-interpretations of the text, desperate attempts to shoe-horn a pagan concept into Judaism.

The idea that a first century peasant can be a god, and in particular, the creator god, Yahweh, is pagan. Period.

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End of post.

71 thoughts on “Christians Deny that Christianity has Pagan Origins. They are Wrong.

  1. I knew it. And, yet this ,”high Christology” found in Paul’s letters is very early, many think reflecting an earlier Christian creed. I mean these were devout Jewish men who in the natural would have rejected pagan influences in this direction. It would have been unthinkable. Do you think they all became delusional in someway, went kind of crazy and then committed blasphemy?

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    1. Nut cases have been present in all religions.

      You don’t have to be mentally ill to believe really nutty things. (Just look at the millions of Trump supporters to prove this point!)

      BTW: I do not doubt that Paul believed that Jesus was divine in some sense, but I don’t think you can find any statement by Paul in any of his authentic epistles where he states or indicates that Jesus is Yahweh himself. Why don’t Christians find that really, really odd? If Yahweh himself appeared to Paul in all of his heavenly glory, why didn’t the Jewish pharisee, Paul, mention this astounding fact???

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      1. I think Phil. 2:5-11 speaks of the incarnation. Gary, if there is a creator who brought the universe into existence from nothing, and you do allow for this possibility, why does it seem so far fetched that He might choose to reveal Himself and reconcile the world in Christ? It’s certainly not something any of us can wrap our finite human minds completely around, but what is impossible for God? This truly does not feel like delusional thinking to me if I allow for the possibility of God to begin with. And, I do think you’re right. Either the apostles were nutcases and liars or they were communicating truth to their time and culture. We all have to decide what we think of Jesus Christ and what part, if any, He plays in our lives.

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        1. Philippians 2:5-11

          Let the same mind be in you that was[a] in Christ Jesus,

          6 who, though he was in the form of God,
          did not regard equality with God
          as something to be exploited,
          7 but emptied himself,
          taking the form of a slave,
          being born in human likeness.
          And being found in human form,
          8 he humbled himself
          and became obedient to the point of death—
          even death on a cross.

          9 Therefore God also highly exalted him
          and gave him the name
          that is above every name,
          10 so that at the name of Jesus
          every knee should bend,
          in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
          11 and every tongue should confess
          that Jesus Christ is Lord,
          to the glory of God the Father.

          Gary: Notice that “God” and Jesus the Christ (the messiah) are never inferred to be one and the same person in this passage. Yes, Paul believed that Jesus was divine in some sense, maybe even equal in power to Yahweh. But Paul never, ever states that Jesus is Yahweh.

          That is a BIG problem for Trinitarian Christians.

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          1. I admit that we are getting into deep waters here around the whole concept and depth of the trinity. How deep was Paul’s understanding?? I don’t think He was worshipping Jesus as God the Father, (Yahweh) either. But, he was acknowledging and worshipping Christ as divine. This speaks to the deity of Jesus Christ. I don’t get why this is a problem for trinitarian Christians. To me, it actually begins to imply what we call the trinity, and illustrates the reality of the incarnation.

            Here is the thing, Gary..You know that my undergraduate major was cultural anthropology. If there’s anything these professors attempt to drill into students is understanding “world view.” Commenting across these blogs, I feel this is at the root of at least part of our difficulty in the discussion. If someone is open to the possibility of God, they will also eventually find themselves at least open to the possibility of the incarnation. But, if there are wholly conditioned to a naturalistic view of the world, they will not.. It would be pretty much impossible for their minds to even go in this direction.

            And, it’s understandable to me, that if someone immersed in this worldview can’t step outside of it or understand their bias, they may naturally feel that all the Christians are “delusional, ” or “fools.” In some cases actually mentally ill.

            But, let’s face it, here. People are human. Many Christian people labeled as delusional and idiots will naturally feel personally disrespected and attacked. They will then retaliate in kind. This is doubly true if they are insecure in their faith at all. And, viola, the conversation is bound to break totally down culminating in folks being banned from the discussion.

            Of course, from my perspective, it’s not about what the other people are doing. I want to intention my own response rather than to be conditioned by someone else’s.. Hopefully, it will reflect the love of Christ. But, I’m sure at times I’ve fallen short, myself. This all goes both ways.

            . But, I’ll tell you what, Gary, if anything has further strengthened my conviction of the “sin nature,” it has to be viewing and participating in discussion on these blogs through the years. Of course, living with my own husband has also strengthened my conviction, although I love the old “sinner” to pieces. 🙂

            God have mercy!!! Every good thing, Gary.

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            1. I admit that we are getting into deep waters here around the whole concept and depth of the trinity. How deep was Paul’s understanding?? I don’t think He was worshipping Jesus as God the Father, (Yahweh) either.

              You would like to believe that God withheld the full doctrine of the Trinity from James, the Twelve, and Paul and only revealed it to later generations of Christians. Why not accept the more probable cause: Christian theology evolved! It was an invention of human beings. A god had nothing to do with it.

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      2. Why would Paul need to reiterate the full Deity of Jesus when He had said in other ways than the strict demands of people like you? He was well aware of places like Zechariah 12:10, where Yahweh Himself declares that the remaining Jews will look upon Him, Whom they had pierced…Yahweh. Do you get that. Jesus = Yahweh. Unless you can come up with some creative slight-of-hand tricks to explain that one away as opposed to taking it for what it says, and acknowledging the obvious implications, your words remain nothing more than personal opinion, which almost always rejects external authorities.

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        1. You have no idea how Paul interpreted Zechariah 12:10. You are making an assumption, and assumptions are the foundation of the conservative Christian belief system.

          Such as:

          –the assumption that the Gospels contain eyewitness information.
          –the assumption that the alleged eyewitnesses in the Early Creed claimed to have seen a walking, talking resurrected corpse. Paul never makes such a claim in his epistles.
          –the assumption that the Septuagint, upon which the Christian Old Testament is based, was not a corrupted Greek translation of the original Hebrew. Only by reading a corrupted Greek translation of the original Hebrew OT can one arrive at the assumption that the Jewish OT prophets prophesied that Yahweh would come in the form of a man to offer himself as a human sacrifice for sins.

          Human sacrifices for sins is pagan, not Jewish. Christianity is a pagan religion.

          and more…

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  2. Interesting to think about how the idea of Jesus being God was coming into being around the same time that the Roman Emperors were starting to claim divinity. Bart Ehrman has said it was probably a case of trying to match Jesus to Caesar divinity wise in the early years. Of course over centuries Jesus got levelled up to full on always existing absolute capital “G” God.

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    1. I find it very interesting that even in the Book of Acts, Christian Jews were still worshipping Yahweh in the Temple. Why? If Jesus was Yahweh who had done away with the need for sacrifices, why were James and the Twelve still offering sacrifices in the Temple!

      Hint: They did NOT believe that Jesus was Yahweh!

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  3. Gary, show where the Gospel writers or the writers of any of the epistles, the writer of Revelation make any reference to pagan literature to validate their belief in the divinity of Jesus.

    Paul only talks to a pagan audiende using their idea of a creator God to show that the Jewish God is the true God.

    The pagans had zero idea of a physical resurrection – they scoff at Paul for this very reason at Mars Hill. Physical resurrection is completely a Jewish idea.

    Pagans only had the idea of gods appearing as humans or geese, usually to have sex with humans. They had the idea of demigods.

    The idea of God in the unique Jewish sense incarnating as a human to love and live and serve His creatures is alien to anything pagan. It just doesn’t exist.

    Deuteronomy 6:4 Hear of Israel, the LORD (YHWH) our God, the Lord is One.

    1 Corinthians – a universally recognised authentic letter of Paul – 8:6

    Yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we live; and there is one Lord (YHWH), Jesus Christ, through whom all things came through whom we live.

    Galatians 1:2 Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord (YHWH) Jesus Christ.

    Romans 1:4 Jesus Christ our Lord (YHWH).

    2 Corinthians 13:14 May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.

    Placing Jesus in front of the Father is as clear a declaration of His divinity as there can be.

    1 Thessalonians 1:1 God the Father and the Lord (YHWH) Jesus Christ.

    Placing Jesus on equal terms with God constantly is also a clear indication of His divinity.

    Philemon 1:1 too.

    Also – Psalm 110:1 is applied to Jesus, sitting at God’s right hand. Only God sits on God’s throne. Jesus is sitting on God’s throne – He is God. Romans 8:34, 1 Corinthians 15:25.

    The earliest Christology is the highest Christology – Jesus was seen as God incarnate ny Paul.

    Gary is wrong about this too. Period.

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    1. Pagans only had the idea of gods appearing as humans or geese, usually to have sex with humans. They had the idea of demigods. The idea of God in the unique Jewish sense incarnating as a human to love and live and serve His creatures is alien to anything pagan.

      In the Christian myth, a god takes the form of a ghost to copulate with a human virgin. The end result of that copulation between god and human is a god/man with magical powers. Sounds pretty pagan to me.

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    2. Yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we live; and there is one Lord (YHWH), Jesus Christ, through whom all things came through whom we live.

      Notice that Paul differentiates between God and Jesus. Paul never refers to Jesus as Yahweh.

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    3. Galatians 1:2 Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord (YHWH) Jesus Christ.

      Yep. Yahweh is God, Jesus is simply “Lord”. “Lord” in Jewish theology does not always refer to God.

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    4. Placing Jesus in front of the Father is as clear a declaration of His divinity as there can be.

      I never claimed that Paul did not see Jesus as divine. But remember, angels are divine in Jewish and Christian theology. My assertion is that Paul NEVER refers to Jesus as Yahweh.

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        1. But neither were they offering worship to Jesus as God himself, at least not in the Synoptics and the writings of Paul. The last Gospel, written 60-70 years after Jesus’ death, is the first Christian text to talk about worshipping Jesus as God.

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  4. I’m sure you guys (Liam and Becky) know better than anyone else. Like Justin Martyr acknowledging circa AD155 how Jesus is just like pagan gods: ‘And when we say also that the Word, who is the first-birth of God, was produced without sexual union, and that He, Jesus Christ, our Teacher, was crucified and died, and rose again, and ascended into heaven, we propound nothing different from what you believe regarding those whom you esteem sons of Jupiter’ (https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/919150-and-when-we-say-also-that-the-word-who-is. My emphasis).
    Or Richard Carrier noting how ancient Jews ‘stole almost everything… that defined them from the pagans: circumcision, pagan; pork taboo, pagan; resurrection, pagan; monotheism, pagan; the apocalypse, pagan; hellfire, pagan…’.
    Then there’s Paul’s use of terminology from pagan mystery cults – the word ‘mystery’ itself, ‘initiation’, ‘gnosis’ (secret knowledge), ‘the Lord’s Supper’ (a pagan ritual) and more
    And then there’s ‘the Logos’ as used by the fourth gospel: a distinctly pagan notion.
    But no, you’re right, Becky and Liam, it would be unthinkable for 1st century Jews and early converts to Christianity to lift ideas from paganism. The very idea!

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    1. Neil, I think it would have been unthinkable for the 1st. century Jews to worship Jesus as divine unless something pretty earth-shaking happened to change their views. It would have been seen as a form of blasphemous idolatry.

      But, I can definitely agree with you, that there was commonality in other areas. I mean, after all, they shared a common culture. But, of course, then we could also get into the debate about who borrowed from who. What about Mithra?

      However, it seems to me there are also real differences. For instance, just to give one example, I don’t think the resurrection of Christ is arbitrarily borrowed from the pagan mystery cults which used stories of continually dying and rising gods as a way to explain the cycle of the seasons. It’s something else.

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      1. Becky, “the 1st century Jews” did not worship Yeshua as divine. Yes, a few of them were taken in by Paul’s “preaching,” but you know as well as I do that “the Jews” do NOT recognize Yeshua as the Messiah and obviously, do not see him as “divine.”

        You mention the pagan mystery cults. Chances are you’ve never read my book, but I address Paul and his association with these mystery cults in considerable detail in my chapter on Paul. It’s been said before but bears repeating … “Christianity” is not derived from the Jews; it’s derived from Paul.

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        1. Nan, I was thinking about the apostles and the earliest Christians who were Jewish. I totally agree with you that Jesus was not the kind of Messiah that the Jewish nation expected.

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          1. According to testimony recorded in the book of Acts, Paul was regarded by the authorities as out of his mind, his “great learning driving him mad.” If the testimony is to be believed, he soberly claimed to be perfectly sane and truthful.

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  5. It’s not surprising that a pagan sees all of Christianity as pagan. After all, pagans reject even the prophets of God. Nothing new about that. So it’s not surprising that they will reject the Deity of Christ Jesus. He was indeed a man, but He also was/is fully God. He was not born of man’s seed having been born of a virgin. So, the portrait painted by the words of this blog post of yours is just that, a portrait painted with purely subjective brush strokes of your own imaginations and desires.

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      1. Gee Gary … doncha’ know? It’s in the book! Nowhere else, mind you, but that highly validated and scientifically verified source of information is all that some people need.

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              1. I have plenty of substance to offer. In fact, I wrote an entire book on that “substance.”

                Besides, being rational means using reason … not projections, opinions, guesses, and personal beliefs.

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      2. What reason do you have for not accepting eye witness accounts? Do you question all eye witness accounts of all things reported? Skepticism is all fine and dandy when it’s rational, so what’s the basis for the rationality behind your doubts?

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          1. Gary, rather than hopping into and out of all the skeptical rabbit holes, why not answer my question so that we can tackle this one item at a time?

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            1. “What reason do you have for not accepting eye witness accounts? Do you question all eye witness accounts of all things reported?”

              Rational people do not accept as fact any and all eyewitness claims just because they are made by alleged eyewitnesses. If someone claimed to have been abducted by three foot tall, antennae-toting Martians and flown in an oval space ship to the Red Planet for an overnight stay, would you believe him or her?

              I hope not.

              For the same reason, I do not believe alleged eyewitness testimony of Bigfoot sightings, Sasquatch sightings, or resurrected corpse sightings. These claims are so preposterous; the likelihood that the alleged eyewitness making the claim is delusional, lying, or simply mistaken so great, that rational people can hand-wave away these claims without spending hours of research to confirm their veracity.

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              1. Gary, I never said anything about accepting any and all of anything. Comparing martians and big foot to a topic totally unrelated is nothing but straw man argumentation. You still have not answered my question with all the shuck and jive nonsense you’ve put forth so far. If you don’t have a rational, articulable reason as to why you disbelieve the testimony about Christ Jesus, then your criticisms are baseless, by your own indirect admission. Your own unwillingness to research the topic enough to derive a reasonable conclusion renders your doubts totally meaningless for all the rest of us, therefore no reason for us to take you seriously. Bandwagoneering is the easy road that most prefer, that way they don’t have to try and defend their chosen beliefs.

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                1. Correct me if I am wrong, but your questions were: “What reason do you have for not accepting eye witness accounts? Do you question all eye witness accounts of all things reported?”

                  And I answered those questions: I do not believe highly unusual/extra-ordinary, laws-of-physics-defying (alleged) eyewitness claims for the same reason that you don’t (except when they involve your religion): They are too improbable.

                  How much time have you spent investigating the supernatural claims of Islam? Of Hinduism? Of Buddhism? Of Shintoism? Of every other religion, sect, and cult on the planet?? I will bet that you have spent little if any time studying these claims.

                  I, on the other hand, have spent years studying the supernatural claims of your religion and find them wanting of any substantial corroborating evidence. The claim that the Gospels are eyewitness accounts is disputed. A large number of scholars doubt that eyewitnesses or associates of eyewitnesses wrote those books. But let’s ignore that fact and assume that the Gospels are eyewitness accounts. Should we believe them? No! First, the accounts are hopelessly irreconcilable. I realize that Christian apologists believe that they can reconcile these differences but to most non-Christians (theists and non-theists) the stories are irreconcilable.

                  But let’s ignore that fact. Let’s assume that 500 first century peasants really did claim to have seen a walking, talking, resurrected corpse all at the same time and place. Should modern, rational, educated people believe their claim? No! The odds that these people saw an illusion (something they believed to be the resurrected Jesus but was not) are much, much more probable based on cumulative human experience than a once in history corpse reanimation (resurrection). It is a silly, preposterous claim. No rational person needs to spend five seconds investigating the “evidence” for this ridiculous claim.

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                  1. Oh? Gary, do you believe in the origins of life as defined by evolutionary theory? If not, then what do you believe about origins? I’m just trying to determine where you set the bar of your acceptance of something you’ve never witnessed for yourself.

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                    1. I accept expert consensus opinion on all issues related to science, technology, and medicine.

                      –I define “experts” as persons certified as specialists by a nationally/internationally recognized field of science, technology, or medicine.

                      –I define “consensus opinion” as the view held by an overwhelming majority of experts in a particular scientific, technological, or medical field (greater than 90%).

                      Since close to 100% of all biologists and other scientists accept Darwinian evolution as a scientific fact, I accept it as fact.

                      Scientists overwhelmingly agree that humans evolved over time, and most Americans are aware that this is the case. Among scientists connected to the American Association for the Advancement of Science, 98% say they believe humans evolved over time.Pew Research Center

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                    2. Gary, when you say, “I accept expert consensus opinion on all issues related to science, technology, and medicine,” Where does your responsibility begin as to which of them you believe since there is no such thing as “consensus”? That’s just another fairy tale easily debunked.

                      Having letters attached to their names doesn’t make them experts of things they have never observed, and it doesn’t mean that they all exclude bias from their observations. Besides all that, where do you see “consensus” apart from the grouping that you subjectively put together of the names who believe somewhat the same things?

                      There are many micro biologists and chemists who don’t buy into the evolutionary fairy tale because they know there is no known mechanism within nature that has the power to form such things as proteins and lipid molecules in order to then from them into DNA, living cells that reproduce, and have all the data available to feed into such a system to succeed in formulating some of the most complex details for successful cell life and division for reproducibility.

                      So, from what you’ve said, YOU believe by faith that they have proven something that most of them are smart enough to know better than to claim having proof for evolutionary origins that would ever pass all peer review. It’s always “consensus” among the faith community that backs evolutionary origins. Consensus is not proof of anything. The scientific method demands testability and reproducibility. None of them can do that where evolutionary origins is concerned.

                      So, in the end, you are still a man of religious faith. You do indeed follow a religion. THAT is what I was getting at, because I have never met a truly intellectual, self proclaimed “atheist” who has ever been able to produce proof for their beliefs (other than by faith) any more than I can produce for you proof for God’s existence at the subjective level for evidence that you demand. All faith communities believe they have “consensus.” That’s the magic wand of the fully initiated bandwagon riders of whatever banner is hanging on the side of their chosen vessel of transport.

                      Pascal’s wager still holds true. If you’re right and I’m wrong, none of us has anything to lose nor to worry about. If I’m right and you’re wrong, you have EVERYTHING to lose. In the end, the truth will always win out. When you stand before the Throne of God, you will know absolutely how foolishly placed your faith was in all those people with funny letters attached to their names and the silliness of that magical and elusive “consensus.”

                      You see, the difference between you and me is that you place your faith in other fallen humans. I place my faith in the One who created it all, and has allowed those parts of His creation who so choose to reject Him, freedom to jump off that cliff. All those people you follow can offer to you is faith in time and chance, neither of which is a force capable of forming anything of themselves. I know you don’t walk along the beach, see the message “John loves Sue,” and exclaim to your friends, “See what random wave action wrote.” You know good and well they would laugh in the hopes that you were kidding, and yet you will point at humanity with the claim that it was all random. Tell your friends that your computer and the programming was all the result of pure randomness in nature, and they will call you a fool. How much more complex are you than your computer?

                      Come on! Seriously?

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                    3. What is your educational level? Did you graduate from college?

                      If you did you would know that the very foundation of any technologically advanced society is trust in expert opinion. If every person in a society believes that he or she is the final authority on all issues (because they’ve spent a few hours studying the issue in question on the internet) our society would crash into chaos. And why should we trust consensus expert opinion? Answer: Because these experts use the most accurate, most reliable method known to humankind for evaluating our universe: the scientific method.

                      There are many micro biologists and chemists who don’t buy into the evolutionary fairy tale…

                      Do you have a source for this statement? You did not give it. You notice that when I stated that almost 100% of scientists believe in Darwinian evolution, I gave a reputable source (Pew Research Center) to support my claim. I did not just throw out a number and expect you to accept it as fact. If you are going to claim that there are “many” micro biologists and chemists who do not believe in Darwinian evolution, then please provide a reputable source for that statement. That is what college educated people do.

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                    4. Gary, you said, “Do you have a source for this statement? You did not give it. You notice that when I stated that almost 100% of scientists believe in Darwinian evolution, I gave a reputable source (Pew Research Center) to support my claim.”

                      Here you go:

                      Give that one a spin.

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                    5. James Tour “has written extensively on his viewpoint that all scientific studies to date are wholly inadequate to account for life.” So essentially, he doesn’t have the final and indisputable answer any more than anyone else.

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                    6. Nan, you said, “James Tour ‘has written extensively on his viewpoint that all scientific studies to date are wholly inadequate to account for life.’ So essentially, he doesn’t have the final and indisputable answer any more than anyone else.”

                      I don’t recall that anyone said anything about Dr. Tour or anyone else having all the scientific answers. If you had watched his video, he calls into question the hyped up media blitzes that have conveyed false information in school science books and in media that “origin of life” researchers have found and know more than they really know.

                      At least watch the video to see if your comment aligns with the reality…

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                    7. Conspiracy theorists and other purveyors of fringe beliefs always insist that skeptics watch a video or read a book by this or that “great” guy on the internet; a guy who is so smart that he has proven all the “mainstream” experts wrong with egg on their faces.

                      This again shows a lack of familiarity with the principles of critical thinking skills.

                      If the overwhelming majority of experts in a particular scientific field have reached a consensus on a subject, there is absolutely no reason why non-experts such as you and me should spend our time reading (conspiracy) theories by fringe experts. If educated people like myself and Nan did that, we would spend every hour of the day reading books and watching videos by every fringe kook on the planet.

                      That is why educated people trust the consensus of experts. Period. Unlike high school educated conspiracy theorists, we do not pretend to know enough ourselves to take sides with a fringe expert just because he can spin a fascinating tall tale on the internet.

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                    8. This is type of thinking is very typical of many high school educated (or less) conspiracy theorists: If I can find one guy on the internet with a PhD or MD after his name, and he (or she) agrees with my far-fetched conspiracy theory, then my conspiracy theory must be respected and seriously considered.

                      The problem is: One can find a quack with a degree after his or her name to support any crazy claim.

                      If you had obtained a university education you would have learned how to use critical thinking skills. A person who understands critical thinking skills knows better than to latch onto ONE expert’s opinion. The opinion of one expert or even a handful of experts who holds/hold a position contrary to the overwhelming majority of experts is considered “fringe”. It is not a respected position. And a college educated person who understands critical thinking skills would never appeal to a fringe position because you know that other educated people would view you as a fool.

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                    9. Gary wrote: “This is type of thinking is very typical of many high school educated (or less) conspiracy theorists: If I can find one guy on the internet with a PhD or MD after his name, and he (or she) agrees with my far-fetched conspiracy theory, then my conspiracy theory must be respected and seriously considered.”

                      Well, I figured your way of communicating would degenerate down to this tit-for-tat nonsense. Very typical indeed among many in your camp. When you can’t get your one-upmanship to work in your favor, and find that you can’t answer the challenges, and then you find that there are no Ph.D’s in your camp who can answer someone like Dr. Tours, you resort to antagonism and ridicule. Even high school forensic teams can do better than what you’ve presented, so I’ll leave you with this: Learn to focus on the topic rather than to try belittling an opponent who actually outclasses you by several steps of magnitude. Seek the Lord before it’s too late.

                      You will hopefully find yourself seeking after him before reaching the end of your life still living in irrational rejection.

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                    10. Seek the Lord before it’s too late.

                      “Believe my superstition, or you will experience gloom and doom, you wicked non-believer! OOOOOOH!! AAAAAAH!”

                      You are a member of a fear-based superstitious cult, Swordmanjr. Wake up. And go get a public university education. It will do “wonders” for your ability to think critically.

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                2. If you don’t have a rational, articulable reason as to why you disbelieve the testimony about Christ Jesus, then your criticisms are baseless, by your own indirect admission.

                  –most of the testimony in this case is disputed (most NT scholars doubt that eyewitnesses or even associates of eyewitnesses wrote the five books that give detailed accounts of this alleged event—the Gospels and Acts).

                  –The only undisputed testimony we have is from Paul in his epistles, and he gives us zero details about what he saw.

                  –The first Gospel written, Mark, in its original form, contains no appearances. The next two Gospels written, Matthew and Luke, are so different in their appearance stories that when compared side by side there is little if anything in common. Finally, the Gospel of John, written at the very end of the first century, appears to be a blending of Matthew’s Galilee appearance claim and Luke’s Jerusalem appearance claim, with a few new claims in each of these locations added in.

                  Anyone who looks at these four stories with an unbiased mind can see that these are NOT eyewitness accounts but invented tales told for the purpose of evangelization, not for the purpose of recounting accurate history.

                  (Atheists like myself are not the only ones who find the four Resurrection stories hopelessly irreconcilable. Check out this critique of the Resurrection Story by a Jewish rabbi: Rabbi Singer points out the many inconsistencies in the four resurrection stories)

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                  1. I’m somewhat surprised that you would think that variations in eye witness accounts, given our differences from person to person, would be reason to subjectively choose which are valid and which are not. If you’re going to charge those writers with falsehood, then where’s your proof for what YOU think is the truth?

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                    1. Have you ever heard of common sense?

                      When describing an auto accident, if the first (alleged) eyewitness says the accident occurred in Texas while the second (alleged) eyewitness says it occurred in New York, one or both were not eyewitnesses.

                      Now, if both (alleged) eyewitnesses describe the accident having occurred at the same location, at the same time, with mostly similar circumstances but one eyewitness claims the cars involved were blue and white while the other eyewitness claims the cars were blue and grey, that minor discrepancy can rationally be dismissed as a difference of perception.

                      Does that make (common) sense to you? In other words, minor discrepancies in eyewitness testimony are common. Major differences, such as in which city or state the event occurred, are not and strongly indicate an alleged eyewitness was not an eyewitness.

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                    2. And no one who is not a Mormon accepts the conclusion that we can trust the 11 witnesses who said they saw the plates Joseph Smith had. The reasons those witnesses would not be believed are pretty obvious. Yet Christians would tell us we should just believe that the gospel writers were actually witnesses, that they wrote without agenda, that they were inspired by God, and that nothing was made up.

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                    3. epicurus said, “And no one who is not a Mormon accepts the conclusion that we can trust the 11 witnesses who said they saw the plates Joseph Smith had. The reasons those witnesses would not be believed are pretty obvious. Yet Christians would tell us we should just believe that the gospel writers were actually witnesses, that they wrote without agenda, that they were inspired by God, and that nothing was made up.”

                      Good point. So, jumping past all the meat of the book to the very last page of the last chapter, it all boils down to personal choice as to what each individual chooses to believe…taking many things by faith.

                      As for me, I’m content to retain my belief that The Sovereign God, the One that some of you folks have chosen to disbelieve, is going to see through all the events to the ending He has already chosen for this creation of His. There have always been, and always will be, those who hate Him for it all, with their chief complaint always and forever leveled against His Sovereignty over His creation. Many simply don’t like the way He has run things, as opposed to simply accepting His ways and His thoughts. Hey, everyone has that freedom. None of the dislikes many have will ever force any effect upon the grand scheme of it all, but the individual has the freedom to even go and stand on a hill and scream out into nature, “I’m god!” to which nature will simply continue on as it is without taking any real notice of the proclamation.

                      If the so-called “athiest” is right, then none of us has anything to worry about. We will all simply cease to exist. Case closed…if that were the way things are and will be.

                      God, however, isn’t letting it be that simple, given that He exists, and laughs at the foolishness of the humanistic, naturalist fair tales about origins of life and such, He also takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked, and wants all to come to Him. Hey, I would understand your objections if I were trying to get you to follow me, but I’m not. I have nothing to gain from you seeking God with a sincere heart, but you have to have a sincere heart to seek Him. Those consumed with pride in their own prowess and high-minded thoughts about their own stance, they will remain impressed with themselves.

                      So, the unbelief can and will remain the god of many, centering upon the assumed highness of the intellect of people with titles that impress the masses. The assumed infallibility so many place upon “consensus” is most remarkable, to say the least. Names and titles seem to impress some. Heck, my own half brother is enamored with those people out there with titles and professorships that ride the bandwagon that helps to preserve their careers for fear of daring to even suggest anything on the other side of the fence. Assumed infallibility is the glitter and sparkle they rely upon to give that glint and gleam in the eyes of ignorant students over which they exercise their craft.

                      Hey, it is what it is. We will all know the truth of it all in due time. When one closes his eyes for the last time, and darkness envelopes him and he ceases to exist, none of it will matter. However, when he looks in surprise at the Light off in the distance that he will not be allowed to enter, knowing as he is known, the anguish will become a horrid reality that is beyond description. What a gamble. That anyone would squander off eternity on such a gamble is beyond my comprehension.

                      Gary is right to question my having a degree in foolishness…no I don’t. My degrees are in math and engineering. As such, I’m not mathematically challenged. I can see that James Tour, in spite of the quacks out there who think they have made something that they clearly have not, and who think they can explain logically how it all came about by random chance, they never seem to answer the challenges James put forth. They cower behind their keyboards, throwing their insults and fallacious at the fence in the hopes it will all paint a portrait of integrity for them, only to see that it doesn’t even qualify as basic graffiti.

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                    4. What good evidence do you have that your god, Yahweh/Jesus is the Creator God? Please provide the same level of quality evidence that you would demand from someone from another religion for the claim that his god is the Creator God. Appealing to your personal feelings and perceptions (in your “heart”) does not qualify as good evidence. I’m pretty sure you would not accept such evidence coming from a Hindu or Muslim.

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                    5. Gary, when you say things like, “When describing an auto accident, if the first (alleged) eyewitness says the accident happened in Texas and the second (alleged) eyewitness says it occurred in New York, one or both were not eyewitnesses,” trying to create that much of a span in testimony in the Bible, that’s just plain dishonest.

                      Please produce specifics as to your objections that are level and well grounded in realistic expectation and comparison. These wild and zany allegations may impress your little buddies out there, snickering amongst each other, but they don’t impress nor intimidate me.

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                    6. The author of Matthew claimed that Jesus’ appearances to his male disciples occurred in Galilee. The author of Luke claimed that they occurred in Jerusalem. In the days of Jesus, it took four days to travel from Galilee to Jerusalem. There is no way that both of these accounts are true, unless you are willing to admit that Jesus did not appear to his male disciples on the day of his resurrection. Both Luke and John state that Jesus appeared to his male disciples on the same day as his resurrection in Jerusalem. Either Matthew is wrong and Luke and John are right or vice versa or all three are wrong.

                      Now, I know what you are going to say: Just because Matthew doesn’t mention an appearance of Jesus to his male disciples on the day of his resurrection does not mean that he didn’t. And that is true. However, it strains credulity to believe that Matthew would pass up mentioning such an important event…if it occurred.

                      It didn’t occur. The appearance in Jerusalem was “Luke’s” invention, plagiarized and expanded further by “John” a decade or two later.

                      One can travel from Texas to New York by car in less time (three days). Therefore, my comparison is appropriate.

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                    7. Gary, you claimed: “The author of Matthew claimed that Jesus’ appearances to his male disciples occurred in Galilee. The author of Luke claimed that they occurred in Jerusalem.”

                      References please.

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                    8. Matthew 28: After the sabbath, as the first day of the week was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb. 2 And suddenly there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord, descending from heaven, came and rolled back the stone and sat on it. 3 His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow. 4 For fear of him the guards shook and became like dead men. 5 But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid; I know that you are looking for Jesus who was crucified. 6 He is not here; for he has been raised, as he said. Come, see the place where he[a] lay. 7 Then go quickly and tell his disciples, ‘He has been raised from the dead,[b] and indeed he is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him.’ This is my message for you.” 8 So they left the tomb quickly with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples. 9 Suddenly Jesus met them and said, “Greetings!” And they came to him, took hold of his feet, and worshiped him. 10 Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid; go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.”

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                    9. Luke 24: But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they came to the tomb, taking the spices that they had prepared. 2 They found the stone rolled away from the tomb…

                      13 Now on that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles[f] from Jerusalem, 14 and talking with each other about all these things that had happened. 15 While they were talking and discussing, Jesus himself came near and went with them, 16 but their eyes were kept from recognizing him…

                      30 When he was at the table with them, he took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. 31 Then their eyes were opened, and they recognized him; and he vanished from their sight. 32 They said to each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us[k] while he was talking to us on the road, while he was opening the scriptures to us?” 33 That same hour they got up and returned to Jerusalem; and they found the eleven and their companions gathered together. 34 They were saying, “The Lord has risen indeed, and he has appeared to Simon!” 35 Then they told what had happened on the road, and how he had been made known to them in the breaking of the bread.

                      36 While they were talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.”[l] 37 They were startled and terrified, and thought that they were seeing a ghost. 38 He said to them, “Why are you frightened, and why do doubts arise in your hearts? 39 Look at my hands and my feet; see that it is I myself. Touch me and see; for a ghost does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.” 40 And when he had said this, he showed them his hands and his feet.[m] 41 While in their joy they were disbelieving and still wondering, he said to them, “Have you anything here to eat?” 42 They gave him a piece of broiled fish, 43 and he took it and ate in their presence.

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    1. I don’t think so. Even FT has some respect for science and would be considered a moderate (Arian) Christian. Here we are dealing with a hardcore (Trinitarian) fundamentalist.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Gary, is labeling others the only weapon in your arsenal? Is that it? You don’t have anything else more compelling?

        “Here we are dealing with a hardcore (Trinitarian) fundamentalist.”

        How long before you degrade your arguments to the level of ad hominem? Why not just skip all the bull and go there now. Surely you have some dicey names you could lob over the fence at me…

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        1. The first paragraph of your reply to my comment seems to say belief comes down to taking things on faith, but then you wrote many paragraphs that I found hard to follow. Could you boil them down for me?

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          1. epicurus wrote: “The first paragraph of your reply to my comment seems to say belief comes down to taking things on faith, but then you wrote many paragraphs that I found hard to follow. Could you boil them down for me?”

            As an accomplished writer, I’m somewhat surprised that there is anything I wrote that’s hard to understand. Perhaps if you quoted the portions you find difficult, I can then provide more clarification.

            Thanks

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            1. An accomplished writer should be able to summarize what he or she has written. Your reluctance to do so while calling yourself an accomplished writer, is disappointing. I think part of the problem is your writing pattern and word choice indicate English is not your first language, so you may be using some patterns from your mother tongue which English speakers are not used to, and can make your writing difficult to follow in places.
              I hope you will change you mind and try to rewrite the six paragraphs in a clearer fashion. An accomplished writer should not find this difficult. Thank you.

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              1. So, epicurus, it appears that you can’t or won’t quote what portions you don’t understand. I’m not going to belittle myself by trying to smear you as you’ve attempted to do me, but I will say that I’d be happy to explain whatever it is you don’t understand.

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