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Does Atheism Have A Truly Convincing Argument Yet?


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#121 Guest_Tommy_*

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Posted 17 February 2010 - 02:40 PM

How many have given their lives by horrendous, torturous and savage deaths (thrown in boiling oil, crucified, burned alive, sawn in half etcetera) rather then recant what they eye-witnessed? In other words, who would go through that, if they knew it was a lie?


Only contemporaries of Jesus could have known if it were a lie. The twelve are not mentioned by Paul and only the deaths of Judas (suicide) and James (martyrdom) are mentioned in the NT. Catholic tradition holds that all the others bar John were also martyred but there is no contemporary independent corroroboration for any of this.

The issue of "why would a martyr die for a lie?" was probably a drive in the spread of the early church.

It takes a lot more than hearsay to cause someone to die for what they know is a lie.

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If they know it's a lie they probably wouldn't be a martyr. Belief in the truth of an afterlife fortifies martyrs to this day.

#122 A.Sphere

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Posted 17 February 2010 - 06:54 PM

How many have given their lives by horrendous, torturous and savage deaths (thrown in boiling oil, crucified, burned alive, sawn in half etcetera) rather then recant what they eye-witnessed? In other words, who would go through that, if they knew it was a lie?


Then we have quite the conundrum. You see...loads of folks from different backgrounds have perished in such manners because they have refused to recant their faith or their eyewitness testimonies. According to your requirements, every religion must therefore be true!

Are there any eye-witness of Big Foot, Elvis, UFO’s (etcetera), that you know of, that were willing to do that?


Maybe for Elvis... :lol: . But there are Hindus, Jews, Buddhists, Shamans, Muslims, etc who have been in the past and probably still are. There are also republicans, democrats, libertarians, socialists, communists, anarchists, etc who would and have given their lives for their political motives. Just because someone is willing to die for metaphysical claims doesn't make the metaphysical claims true.

It takes a lot more than hearsay to cause someone to die for what they know is a lie.


Yes you are right. That hearsay must be coupled to hopelessness and despair and a desire to make things better for your children.

And your blatant denial of all the evidence cannot wash that away…


Hearsay and followers' willingness to give their lives for said hearsay does not make a truth claim any more or less valid. If that is all it takes then the Branch Davidians and the Kool-Aid cult were preachin' gold.

#123 Ron

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Posted 18 February 2010 - 05:53 AM

Absence of corroboration detracts from the credibility of a source describing extraordinary public events. 

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There is no absence of corroboration; the New Testament is rife with corroboration. Just because you don’t like and cannot impugn the eye witnesses or their testimony, you attempt to spread these spurious innuendoes about them. Provide your evidence against said eye-witness evidence, or be exposed in your weak arguments.

One would not expect independent record of a miracle preformed in relative privacy (Wedding at Cana) or a plausible public event (Sermon on the Mount). 

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What is plausible, and what isn’t plausible, based on one’s skewed world view doesn’t erase evidence. Again, provide your evidence against said eye-witness evidence, or be exposed in your weak arguments. Mere opinion isn’t evidence, it is merely opinion.


However, it seems strange that no non-Christian mentions the excitement that would have been generated by the dead rising from their graves or a reseurrected apparation being witnessed by 5000.  This casts doubt on whether the NT constitutes a genuine chronical. Lack of refutation at the time suggests a lack of interest in Judea.

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I would wonder if you have read the Talmuds discussion and dissertations on Jesus…

Tacitus wrote in the second century of a crucifiction a century before and Christian persecution in first-century Rome (historically plausible). 

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Cornelius Tacitus had access to many records (befitting his station), and as a historian, he wrote from all the information he had at his finger tips. And from those records he corroborated the life of not only Jesus, but His followers as well. And on how His followers flourished over that time span. It’s not like he made the records up Tommy. And he is just one of the many “outside sources” that corroborate the life of Jesus and His followers:
“Nero fastened the guilt of starting the blaze and inflicted the most exquisite tortures on a class hated for their abominations, called Christians by the populace. 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, and a most mischievous superstition, thus checked for the moment, again broke out not only in Judaea, the first source of the evil, but even in Rome, where all things hideous and shameful from every part of the world find their centre and become popular” (Tacitus, Annals, 15, 44).

Far more than plausible…

#124 Ron

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Posted 18 February 2010 - 05:53 AM

Joesphus in the Testimonium Flavianum wrote at the end of the first century that Jesus had been the prophesised resurrected Christ.  If Josephus wrote this it must be because he believed it and was a Christian convert born after Jesus's death; if like most Jews he did not then he would not assert in such a manner and the testimonium would be a later addition to the Antiquities.

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Josephus wrote much more than that Tommy. Josephus wrote about Jesus, about the death of brother of Jesus “James” and about John the Baptist. And any of you presuppositions do not detract from those writings. Flavius Josephus a Jewish historian - was born in 37 A.D., died in 100 A.D. he was a trained Pharisee and fought in the Jewish-Roman war (of 66-74 AD) against the Romans. After the siege of Jotapata in Galilee (in A.D. 67), Josephus surrendered to the Romans, won the favor of General Vespasian and later became a Roman citizen. He accompanied General Titus (Vespasian’s Son) when Titus led the Roman Army against Jerusalem (where Jerusalem was destroyed in 70 AD).

Josephus wrote several books that have come down to us today, History of the Jewish War (seven different books) and Jewish Antiquities, to name a few. Josephus was not a Christian himself, but did write about Jesus:

“At this time lived Jesus, a wise man, if indeed it is proper to call him a man. For he was a doer of wonderful works, a teacher of men who receive the truth gladly, and he won to himself both many Jews and many Greeks. This was the Christ. And when Pilate, on the indictment of the chief men among us, sentenced him to crucifixion, those who loved him at first did not cease loving him; for he appeared to them alive again the third day as indeed the divine prophets had foretold these and ten thousand other wonders concerning him. And even to this day the race of Christians named from him is not extinct.” (Antiquities, Book 18, Chapter 3, Section 1).

Josephus also mentioned James, the brother of Jesus (as the brother of Jesus):

“Festus was now dead, and Albinus was but upon the road; so he assembled the Sanhedrim of judges, and brought before them the brother of Jesus, who was called Christ, whose name was James, and some others, [or, some of his companions]; and when he had formed an accusation against them as breakers of the law, he delivered them to be stoned…” Antiquities, Book 18 , Chapter 3



The New Testament writers could only have been eyewitnesses after Jesus began his ministry.  Prior to that their testimonies clash, for instance over genealogies and the date of Jesus' birth (Matthew implies 4BC given we know Herod Philip 1 died in AD 33 and 37 years after his father Herod the Great who masssacred the innocents whereas Luke implies 6AD during the census of Quirinius following the application of direct Roman rule in Judea and Samaria).

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The genealogies do not clash Tommy, I would desire for you to provide the evidence of such a clash (keep in mind, that uneducated argument has been attempted many times, and crushed in its own illogic). There are reasons the genealogies take two differing tact’s, remember; there were two parents, and lineage had to be established.

Also, you may want to quit taking your talking points from sites that haven’t done their homework either. For you to make such claims about Harrods death require you to provide the evidence to back up such clams. And to say Matthew implies, or Luke implies, is to say nothing at all (except that you opine).

It is true that the places meantioned are authentic and several characters are corroborated - the Herods, Quirinius, Pilate etc.  I do not doubt that people called Jesus and John the Baptist were historically real.

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I would not claim to be able refute the gospel testimony. 

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Then quit pretending as though you can.

However, uncorroborated extraordinary public events are implausible and detract from the source's credibility (essential if one is to make a leap of faith).

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There is no absence of corroboration Tommy, and your simply saying its so doesn’t make it so. Antiquity is replete with corroboration for the New Testament, the life of Jesus, His initial followers, and those who followed them. And there are plenty of outside sources, and many of these sources were not only indifferent to the plight of the Christians, outright enemies of them as well. And this alone lends credence to the historicity of Jesus, His followers, and the New Testament as well.

Just because you don’t like and cannot impugn the eye witnesses or their testimony, you then attempt to spread spurious innuendoes about them. So, provide your evidence against said eye-witness evidence, or be exposed in your weak arguments.

#125 Ron

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Posted 18 February 2010 - 06:07 AM

Only contemporaries of Jesus could have known if it were a lie. 

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And that’s where it started Tommy. And you still miss the point!

The twelve are not mentioned by Paul and only the deaths of Judas (suicide) and James (martyrdom) are mentioned in the NT.  Catholic tradition holds that all the others bar John were also martyred but there is no contemporary independent corroroboration for any of this.

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That is incorrect Tommy, the Catholic Church wasn’t even around until after the fourth century (approximately). You may want to spend a little more time in your studies before you attempt to make factual statements. The early church fathers (those who came after the Apostles, and many of whom were their direct students) corroborate much of what happened to the Apostles. Catholic traditions have nothing to do with it.

Therefore there is a vast amount of contemporary corroberarion.

The issue of "why would a martyr die for a lie?" was probably a drive in the spread of the early church.
If they know it's a lie they probably wouldn't be a martyr.  Belief in the truth of an afterlife fortifies martyrs to this day.

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Again, you miss the point, and twist the point. Belief in an afterlife of a man who claimed to be God, but didn’t really rise from the dead, or do all the things the Apostles claimed to have “eye-witnessed” is no one to die for (especially the kind of deaths they died). You do understand that don’t you?

Belief in an afterlife of those today is not on equally standing of the martyrdom of those contemporaries of Jesus, who would know the truth of His ministry. To pretend otherwise is not only a ludicrous claim, but infantile and uneducated as well.

#126 Ron

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Posted 18 February 2010 - 06:13 AM

Then we have quite the conundrum.  You see...loads of folks from different backgrounds have perished in such manners because they have refused to recant their faith or their eyewitness testimonies. 

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Really? Can you provide evidence of even one other leader who made the claims Jesus, made the claims of eye witness testimony and acts of His apostles, and corroborated by the historians of antiquity? Then refused to recant those claims to save their own lives, and died horrendous deaths. And I’m not talking about supposed martyrs from centuries later…

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Posted 18 February 2010 - 10:42 AM

There is no absence of corroboration; the New Testament is rife with corroboration.


A source cannot corroborate itself, corroboration is external, independent and contemporary. No one would argue that the NT didn't mention real people and places and at least some real events.

Just because you don’t like and cannot impugn the eye witnesses or their testimony, you attempt to spread these spurious innuendoes about them. Provide your evidence against said eye-witness evidence, or be exposed in your weak arguments.


As I say in post 120 "absence of corroboration detracts from the credibility of a source describing extraordinary public events". I do not claim to refute the gospel writers' testimony of events two millenia ago but to question the credibility of a source that describes such extraordinary uncorroborated public events.

What is plausible, and what isn’t plausible, based on one’s skewed world view doesn’t erase evidence. Again, provide your evidence against said eye-witness evidence, or be exposed in your weak arguments. Mere opinion isn’t evidence, it is merely opinion.


A completely unprecedented event such as the dead rising from their graves is an objectively less likely news item than a President making a speech. A report of its having happened is implausible and an uncorroborated record of it lacks credibility.

I would wonder if you have read the Talmuds discussion and dissertations on Jesus…


The Talmuds were not compiled before 200 AD. References to "Yeshu" might refer to a first-century Jesus (a common enough name) but do not support any of the gospel narrative.

Cornelius Tacitus had access to many records (befitting his station), and as a historian, he wrote from all the information he had at his finger tips. And from those records he corroborated the life of not only Jesus, but His followers as well. And on how His followers flourished over that time span. It’s not like he made the records up Tommy. And he is just one of the many “outside sources” that corroborate the life of Jesus and His followers:
“Nero fastened the guilt of starting the blaze and inflicted the most exquisite tortures on a class hated for their abominations, called Christians by the populace. 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, and a most mischievous superstition, thus checked for the moment, again broke out not only in Judaea, the first source of the evil, but even in Rome, where all things hideous and shameful from every part of the world find their centre and become popular” (Tacitus, Annals, 15, 44).

Far more than plausible…

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I would not argue against the existance of Christian groups persecuted by Nero.

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Posted 18 February 2010 - 11:01 AM

Josephus wrote much more than that Tommy. Josephus wrote about Jesus, about the death of brother of Jesus “James” and about John the Baptist. And any of you presuppositions do not detract from those writings. Flavius Josephus a Jewish historian - was born in 37 A.D., died in 100 A.D. he was a trained Pharisee and fought in the Jewish-Roman war (of 66-74 AD) against the Romans. After the siege of Jotapata in Galilee (in A.D. 67), Josephus surrendered to the Romans, won the favor of General Vespasian and later became a Roman citizen. He accompanied General Titus (Vespasian’s Son) when Titus led the Roman Army against Jerusalem (where Jerusalem was destroyed in 70 AD).

Josephus wrote several books that have come down to us today, History of the Jewish War (seven different books) and Jewish Antiquities, to name a few. Josephus was not a Christian himself, but did write about Jesus:

“At this time lived Jesus, a wise man, if indeed it is proper to call him a man. For he was a doer of wonderful works, a teacher of men who receive the truth gladly, and he won to himself both many Jews and many Greeks. This was the Christ. And when Pilate, on the indictment of the chief men among us, sentenced him to crucifixion, those who loved him at first did not cease loving him; for he appeared to them alive again the third day as indeed the divine prophets had foretold these and ten thousand other wonders concerning him. And even to this day the race of Christians named from him is not extinct.” (Antiquities, Book 18, Chapter 3, Section 1).

Josephus also mentioned James, the brother of Jesus (as the brother of Jesus):

“Festus was now dead, and Albinus was but upon the road; so he assembled the Sanhedrim of judges, and brought before them the brother of Jesus, who was called Christ, whose name was James, and some others, [or, some of his companions]; and when he had formed an accusation against them as breakers of the law, he delivered them to be stoned…” Antiquities, Book 18 , Chapter 3.

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Josephus' remarks outside of the Testimonium about Jesus, James and John The Baptist are non-contemporary secondary evidence that these were historical characters.

The genealogies do not clash Tommy, I would desire for you to provide the evidence of such a clash (keep in mind, that uneducated argument has been attempted many times, and crushed in its own illogic). There are reasons the genealogies take two differing tact’s, remember; there were two parents, and lineage had to be established.

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I see a clash from my plain reading of Matthew and Luke but if there are aguments reconciling the lists then I shall defer to your greater knowledge on the matter.

Also, you may want to quit taking your talking points from sites that haven’t done their homework either. For you to make such claims about Harrods death require you to provide the evidence to back up such clams. And to say Matthew implies, or Luke implies, is to say nothing at all (except that you opine).


Herod the Great is mentioned in Matthew as the predecessor of Archelaus and Jesus' infancy spans their reigns. The Whiston translation of Josephus' 'Antiquities (book 18, chapter 4) that "about this time it was that Philip, Herod [Archelaus, “the tetrarch”]'s brother, departed this life, in the twentieth year of the reign of Tiberius [whose reign began AD 14], after he had been tetrarch of Trachonitis and Gaulanitis, and of the nation of the Bataneans also, thirty-seven years.” The death of Herod the Great's son Philp after a 37 year reign in AD 34 puts the father's death around 4 BC. Luke clearly ties the nativity to the census of Quirinius which occured after direct Roman rule of Judea had been established in 6/7 AD. That Matthew tells us Herod the Great sought out infants up to two in the massacre gives a disparity of between ten to thirteen years in the two accounts of Jesus' birth.

Then quit pretending as though you can

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I have not claimed other than my comment in post 120.

There is no absence of corroboration Tommy, and your simply saying its so doesn’t make it so. Antiquity is replete with corroboration for the  New Testament, the life of Jesus, His initial followers, and those who followed them. And there are plenty of outside sources, and many of these sources were not only indifferent to the plight of the Christians, outright enemies of them as well. And this alone lends   credence to the historicity of Jesus, His followers, and the New Testament as well.


There is no contemporary independent corroboration of such remarkable public events as the massacre of the innocents or the dead rising from their graves.

Just because you don’t like and cannot impugn the eye witnesses or their testimony, you then attempt to spread spurious innuendoes about them. So, provide your evidence against said eye-witness evidence, or be exposed in your weak arguments.

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I refer you to my prevoius response.



<Tommy; I fixed this post for you (and me, as I had a very hard time reading it) I hope you don't mind. You need to insure that you have the correct quote boxes in the correct places... Ron.>

#129 Ron

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Posted 18 February 2010 - 11:26 AM

A source cannot corroborate itself, corroboration is external, independent and contemporary. 

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As you must realize (at least I hope) the New Testament is a collection of letters. These letters are written numerous different authors that corroborate each other.

Therefore, you assertion is invalid.

No one would argue that the NT didn't mention real people and places and at least some real events.

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There is absolutely NO contemporaneous historical evidence that refutes New Testament writings. There is some assertions that has yet to be validated currently. But, over and over, when ever the skeptic has said “that never happened”, as discoveries have been uncovered, the skeptics were proven wrong.

The New Testament has proven it self over and over

As I say in post 120 "absence of corroboration detracts from the credibility of a source describing extraordinary public events". 

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And your assertion (in post 120) is unfounded and unsupported by anything other then a priori opinion. And you totally ignore ALL the corroborating evidence (because you don’t like the evidence?).

And, as I stated in my first paragraph of this post; the New Testament is a collection of letters. These letters are written numerous different authors that corroborate each other.

But that isn’t the end of it! There are corroborating writings OUTSIDE of the New Testament that corroborate it as well. You just fail to recognize them for no reason.

And these writings are from those who are friendly to the New Testament, indifferent to wards the New Testament, and openly hostile to the New Testament.


I do not claim to refute the gospel writers' testimony of events two millenia ago but to question the credibility of a source that describes such extraordinary uncorroborated public events.

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Actually, you have been attempting to deride, refute and tear down the New Testament with nothing more than opining without evidentiary substantiations. There is nothing wrong with questioning credibility, but you need far more than your mere opinion. Otherwise you have brought absolutely nothing to the table.

And, eventually, the honest person with no refutation will acquiesce to the facts. The only other choice is to further equivocate to keep from admitting the truth.

A completely unprecedented event such as the dead rising from their graves is an objectively less likely news item than a President making a speech.  A report of its having happened is implausible and an uncorroborated record of it lacks credibility.

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Because something is “less likely” in no way makes it “NOT likely”. Just because you don’t like it, doesn’t make it not likely.

The Talmuds were not compiled before 200 AD.  References to "Yeshu" might refer to a first-century Jesus (a common enough name) but do not support any of the gospel narrative.
I would not argue against the existance of Christian groups persecuted by Nero.

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This is a total red herring and you know it Tommy. The Talmud is a document that compiled Jewish historical writings over that period of time prior to 200 AD. And there is only ONE “Yeshu” who fits the description in the Talmud. To argue that it isn’t is to argue from ignorance.

#130 jason78

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Posted 18 February 2010 - 01:02 PM

As you must realize (at least I hope) the New Testament is a collection of letters. These letters are written numerous different authors that corroborate each other. 

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Weren't the books that make up the New Testament selected by the Council of Nicaea because they corroborated each other for the most part?

#131 Ron

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Posted 18 February 2010 - 01:23 PM

Weren't the books that make up the New Testament selected by the Council of Nicaea because they corroborated each other for the most part?

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Nope, ALL the letters currently in our Bible (not the Catholic Bible, that’s a different story) were accepted as scripture, and heavily quoted (verbatim) by the first and second century church fathers… In fact, these letters were heavily quoted by non-believing critics of the followers of Christ, and other critics as well. As another point of fact, if the New Testament were totally lost to antiquity, the “entire” collections of letters that make up the New Testament could be re-written verbatim from the quotes (sans a mere eleven verses) of the first few centuries! This is just another way to check the purity of the text.

So, I would then ask; do you know when the he First Council of Nicaea was convened? Do you know the sum balance in the difference of those years were?

The honest seeker will soon see the misconception built into the “Council of Nicaea” fallacy.

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Posted 18 February 2010 - 03:19 PM

Thanks for fixing my other post, Ron.

As you must realize (at least I hope) the New Testament is a collection of letters. These letters are written numerous different authors that corroborate each other. 

Therefore, you assertion is invalid.


A letter that undermined a fundamental part of the narrative is unlikely to have been included in the canon.

There is absolutely NO contemporaneous historical evidence that refutes New Testament writings. There is some assertions that has yet to be validated currently. But, over and over, when ever the skeptic has said “that never happened”, as discoveries have been uncovered, the skeptics were proven wrong.

The New Testament has proven it self over and over.  And your assertion (in post 120) is unfounded and unsupported by anything other then a priori opinion. And you totally ignore ALL the corroborating evidence (because you don’t like the evidence?).


My assertion is based on the premise that some sources are more credible than others and cases can be made for and against their credibility. I am not in the least surpised that there is corroboration of the New Testament as it is clearly rooted in real places and people and some historical events. However, it also includes three public episodes that are both fantastic and uniquely recorded in the NT.

And, as I stated in my first paragraph of this post; the New Testament is a collection of letters. These letters are written numerous different authors that corroborate each other. 
But that isn’t the end of it! There are corroborating writings OUTSIDE of the New Testament that corroborate it as well. You just fail to recognize them for no reason.
And these writings are from those who are friendly to the New Testament, indifferent to wards the New Testament, and openly hostile to the New Testament.
Actually, you have been attempting to deride, refute and tear down the New Testament with nothing more than opining without evidentiary substantiations. There is nothing wrong with questioning credibility, but you need far more than your mere opinion. Otherwise you have brought absolutely nothing to the table.


Source criticism is not science; it extends beyond empirical falsification. Appraisal of source's credibility is subjective but, like a legal argument, can be restrained by aspiration to objectivity and consistent use of principles, namely: relics are more credible than narratives, credible reports need precedent or corroboration, and primary is more reliable than secondary etc. A reasoned, source-based opinion is a credit to a historian. The evidentiary substantiation is in the handling of the sources themselves - scripture and the early secondary sources.

And, eventually, the honest person with no refutation will acquiesce to the facts. The only other choice is to further equivocate to keep from admitting the truth. 
Because something is “less likely” in no way makes it “NOT likely”. Just because you don’t like it, doesn’t make it not likely.


To equivocate is to fudge or mislead over terms which I am not aware of doing. A major unprecedented event would be less likely than a precedented one.

This is a total red herring and you know it Tommy. The Talmud is a document that compiled Jewish historical writings over that period of time prior to 200 AD. And there is only ONE “Yeshu” who fits the description in the Talmud. To argue that it isn’t is to argue from ignorance.

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The Talmud mentions a sorcerer with five disciples stoned before Passover called "Yeshu". Jesus (Yeshua) seems to have been a common first-century variant of Joshua, I undertand that some texts give Jesus as Barrabas' first name. If the Yeshu of the Talmud is the Biblical Jesus then the stoning contradicts the central emblem of Christianity. At best the Talmud is support for an historical Jesus which we already have from Josephus (and I would assume anyway given I assume an historical Buddha etc.). The critical tone of the Talmud to Yeshu would fit a 200AD rabbinical response to Chritstian missions in the Holy Land.

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Posted 18 February 2010 - 03:31 PM

And that’s where it started Tommy. And you still miss the point!
That is incorrect Tommy, the Catholic Church wasn’t even around until after the fourth century (approximately). You may want to spend a little more time in your studies before you attempt to make factual statements. The early church fathers (those who came after the Apostles, and many of whom were their direct students) corroborate much of what happened to the Apostles. Catholic traditions have nothing to do with it.


Well, the Catholics would claim authority from Peter. Anyhow, the fate of all apostles bar James is based on Christian tradition rather than scripture (and there is no non-Christian corroboration).

Therefore there is a vast amount of contemporary corroberarion.


Not of the three events I originally raised.

Again, you miss the point, and twist the point. Belief in an afterlife of a man who claimed to be God, but didn’t really rise from the dead, or do all the things the Apostles claimed to have “eye-witnessed” is no one to die for (especially the kind of deaths they died). You do understand that don’t you?


But we have no corroboration of the traditional fate of possible eyewitnesses to Jesus' life bar James and Judas and the two thieves.

Belief in an afterlife of those today is not on equally standing of the martyrdom of those contemporaries of Jesus, who would know the truth of His ministry. To pretend otherwise is not only a ludicrous claim, but infantile and uneducated as well.

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It would be easier to have faith if you had personally witnessed a miracle I grant you but the modern phenomenon of suicide bombing suggests that faith still drives martyrdom.

#134 jason78

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Posted 19 February 2010 - 12:05 AM

Nope, ALL the letters currently in our Bible (not the Catholic Bible, that’s a different story)

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Isn't that the same Bible?

So, I would then ask; do you know when the he First Council of Nicaea was convened? Do you know the sum balance in the difference of those years were?

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325CE

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Posted 19 February 2010 - 05:43 AM

Isn't that the same Bible?

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No, the Catholic Bible has extra books. At one point I knew the history behind it, but since it rarely comes up that information has atrophied away :rolleyes: So I'll leave Ron to really explain it.

#136 Ron

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Posted 19 February 2010 - 10:32 AM

Thanks for fixing my other post, Ron.

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No problem. I’ve had these issues myself, and they can be a hassle.

A letter that undermined a fundamental part of the narrative is unlikely to have been included in the canon.

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As I said, “There is absolutely NO contemporaneous historical evidence that refutes New Testament writings. That includes any letters that “suggest via innuendo” undermined fundamental parts of the narrative…

My assertion is based on the premise that some sources are more credible than others and cases can be made for and against their credibility. 

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A supposed case with no evidentiary support is nothing more than innuendo. And, if promulgated with fervor (i.e. dogmatically), is nothing more than baseless slander and normally used because the poster of said innuendo has nothing to add of substance, but still cannot accept the actual facts.

I am not in the least surpised that there is corroboration of the New Testament as it is clearly rooted in real places and people and some historical events.  However, it also includes three public episodes that are both fantastic and uniquely recorded in the NT.

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These public episodes are not refuted simply by silence Tommy; mere silence is not, in itself, a refutation of anything.

#137 Ron

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Posted 19 February 2010 - 10:32 AM

Source criticism is not science; it extends beyond empirical falsification.  Appraisal of source's credibility is subjective but, like a legal argument, can be restrained by aspiration to objectivity and consistent use of principles, namely: relics are more credible than narratives, credible reports need precedent or corroboration, and primary is more reliable than secondary etc. 

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And, like legal proceedings, source criticism can wander creatively far from truth in attempts to justify one’s opinion.

A reasoned, source-based opinion is a credit to a historian.  The evidentiary substantiation is in the handling of the sources themselves - scripture and the early secondary sources.

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That is a fact. But non-source based opinion is a discredit to not only the historian, but history as well


To equivocate is to fudge or mislead over terms which I am not aware of doing.  A major unprecedented event would be less likely than a precedented one.

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Yes, that is a term of equivocating… And an unprecedented event is NOT an unhistorical event.

The Talmud mentions a sorcerer with five disciples stoned before Passover called "Yeshu".  Jesus (Yeshua) seems to have been a common first-century variant of Joshua, I undertand that some texts give Jesus as Barrabas' first name. 

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One thing I want to mention here is to point you toward the literal translation of
Barrabas. And I doubt this would have been intentional by the Rabbi’s (unless it is a literary pun).


If the Yeshu of the Talmud is the Biblical Jesus then the stoning contradicts the central emblem of Christianity.

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I would remind you that the Talmud states that He was “going to be stoned”, but it further states that He was hanged instead. Stoning was a Jewish punishment, and hanging a Roman punishment. When the Jewish leadership first brought Jesus before Pilate, he (Pilate) told them to punish Him themselves, but they said they could not (due to Roman dictum a little earlier in history).


At best the Talmud is support for an historical Jesus which we already have from Josephus (and I would assume anyway given I assume an historical Buddha etc.).  The critical tone of the Talmud to Yeshu would fit a 200AD rabbinical response to Chritstian missions in the Holy Land.

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That would be incorrect because there is no historical “Yeshu” that fits the Talmud but Jesus from (approximately) 1 AD until 33AD.

#138 Ron

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Posted 19 February 2010 - 10:37 AM

Isn't that the same Bible?

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No, the Catholic Bible has inserted additional books between the Old and New Testaments (none of which were even recognized in the first two centuries of Christianity).


325CE

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Do you know what the sum balance in the difference of those years were?

#139 jason78

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Posted 19 February 2010 - 12:15 PM

No, the Catholic Bible has inserted additional books  between the Old and New Testaments (none of which were even recognized in the first two centuries of Christianity).

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Which books are those?

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Posted 19 February 2010 - 12:39 PM

A supposed case with no evidentiary support is nothing more than innuendo. And, if promulgated with fervor (i.e. dogmatically), is nothing more than baseless slander and normally used because the poster of said innuendo has nothing to add of substance, but still cannot accept the actual facts.


The evidence is the source and my case an appraisal of its credibility based on consistent application of principle. It would be a tall order to refute an account of events so distant in time, my approach is to consider the source in the same manner as any other (i.e. possibly credible, possibly not). I would not describe my position as dogmatic in that I would revise it should independent corroboration emerge.

These public episodes are not refuted simply by silence Tommy; mere silence is not, in itself, a refutation of anything.

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Herod's massacre of infants in the Bethlehem area was so shocking and public that news would inevitably have spread to nearby towns such as Jaffa, Jericoh, Jerusalem, Ein Gedi, Hebron or Massada. Lack of independent reference (including by the Jerusalem-born historian Josephus) coupled with the event's convenient resemblence to the Exodus Passover and Luke's placing his nativity ten to thirteen years later detracts from the credibility of Matthew's narrative. I do not refute the account, only question the credibility of the source.




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