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The Historicity Of Jesus And Of The New Testament


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#41 Arch

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Posted 29 July 2009 - 04:28 PM

Although it is far more conclusive than your attempted caricature of reasoning prevalent at this thread Arch, as I stated “it says he carefully investigated and interviewed those eyewitnesses who were there from the beginning to make an orderly account of the life of Jesus and His Apostles”. So, you will need far better evidence to overturn these historical facts of Dr. Luke.

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I agree. I hope you will be cooperative in finding these "historical facts".

Question one: Who was on hand to answer the questions you are asking Arch? You, or the eyewitnesses Dr. Luke interviewed?

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Hopefully that's what we'll find some answers to. Who were these witnesses? Are they trustworthy? Are they first hand witnesses? Did they even exist, or are they entirely fabricated?

Oh, and I got these original dates from Ron. It's not my atheist background that led me to question these dates, but the history that Christians have been teaching.

Question two: Your adopted reference repository http://en.wikipedia....nology_of_Jesus gives the dates of Jesus’ birth between 8 and 6 BC, and the date of Herod’s death at between 5 and 4 BC. The math, according to your Wikipedia fits well, and should satisfy your “thirst for truth”.

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Interesting, Wikipedia is the only source I've ever read that lists these dates. As good historians, I think we'll have to double check these conflicting dates.

As was pointed out earlier Arch, the sources of your “previous” explorative studies are far less reliable, knowledgeable and antiquity based, to mount any kind of defense for the accusations you are attempting here.

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Wow, the arrogant, obnoxious presumptions of this statement are not befitting you Dee. You have no idea what my previous studies were. This is entirely assumptive and, as you say "plain old wantsitnottobetrue"-ism.

They are based on presupposition, circular reasoning, and plain old wantsitnottobetrue!

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Actually they're based on the teachings of the most intelligent, faithful man I've ever met.

So, you can believe anything you have a desire to (because it will still be faith based and not history based), but eventually you’ll either have to accept the truth on the New Testament’s factual historicity, or tell a lie and say it isn’t historical fact.

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I'm not trying to believe anything. I'm collecting dates and putting them in order. The only belief that might come into it would be in the works of those that found the dates in the first place; I can hardly be blamed for that.

I can't help but feel your approaching this the wrong way. It seems every time I pose a question regarding this history, you jump down my throat and chide me for having the indecency to even ask such questions.

What I hope to do is produce as unbiased a timeline as possible, so anyone can come here and learn the historical truths of Jesus. You should be viewing this as an opportunity. There should be very little speculation in this forum; either the dates are there or they're not. You should have no trouble producing evidence to support your position.

Again, I feel the need to emphasis that my previous studies have led me to believe there was an historical Jesus. The only reason I ask these questions is to play devils advocate so that we can get a balanced view on this matter.

With that in mind, can we please continue without the accusations.

Regards,

Arch.

#42 de_skudd

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Posted 30 July 2009 - 05:55 AM

I agree. I hope you will be cooperative in finding these "historical facts".
Hopefully that's what we'll find some answers to. Who were these witnesses? Are they trustworthy? Are they first hand witnesses? Did they even exist, or are they entirely fabricated?

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Arch, the names of most of the witnesses were provided previously, and you know that. Your attempts at equivocation and/or deceitful misdirection here will not go unnoticed for long.

Oh, and I got these original dates from Ron. It's not my atheist background that led me to question these dates, but the history that Christians have been teaching.

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I’d like to see where the post is with these statements so I can check them for contextual integrity Arch. Or, are the dates being mistaken, or are you taking the statements out of context.

Interesting, Wikipedia is the only source I've ever read that lists these dates. As good historians, I think we'll have to double check these conflicting dates.

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Arch, I think you do realize that reconciliation of these dates (like the accuracy of most any dates in antiquity i.e.) can be speculative. And you are attempting to refute (for your own purposes?) said dates.

Wow, the arrogant, obnoxious presumptions of this statement are not befitting you Dee. You have no idea what my previous studies were. This is entirely assumptive and, as you say "plain old wantsitnottobetrue"-ism.

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Not arrogant Arch, I’m going by your posts here, and your attempted refutations of the historical facts using revisionist’s remarks (see page one) as though they carried historical weight.


Actually they're based on the teachings of the most intelligent, faithful man I've ever met.

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Arch, does this faithful man you claim to follow carry any information substantiated by antiquity, or is his opinion based on today’s revisionists attacks.


I'm not trying to believe anything. I'm collecting dates and putting them in order. The only belief that might come into it would be in the works of those that found the dates in the first place; I can hardly be blamed for that.

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Arch, your seeming façade of affability and naïve inquisitiveness is overshadowed by you inability to accept truths. And it is wearing thin.

I can't help but feel your approaching this the wrong way. It seems every time I pose a question regarding this history, you jump down my throat and chide me for having the indecency to even ask such questions.

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There is a big difference between jumping down you throat, and correcting your blatant mistakes and transparent backhanded jibes Arch. Facts have been consistently and regularly placed before you, and you continue to ignore them by prevarication and convoluted variants concerning dates that neither refute nor cast shadow on historical facts.

#43 Arch

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Posted 30 July 2009 - 05:50 PM

Arch, the names of most of the witnesses were provided previously, and you know that. Your attempts at equivocation and/or deceitful misdirection here will not go unnoticed for long.

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I said these are some questions I'd like to answer. I didn't say they haven't been, or wont be addressed. The only deceit is in your own mind, and it's not constructive to this conversation.

I’d like to see where the post is with these statements so I can check them for contextual integrity Arch. Or, are the dates being mistaken, or are you taking the statements out of context. 

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I put the quotes in my first post on this forum. See post 6.

Arch, I think you do realize that reconciliation of these dates (like the accuracy of most any dates in antiquity i.e.) can be speculative. And you are attempting to refute (for your own purposes?) said dates.

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Of course dates can be speculative, that's why they so often overlap.

Currently we have two sets of dates that differ quite dramatically. I would like at least a third source to verify them. If for some reason we can't reach a conclusion we record both sets of dates and consider that either of them could be true.

This way anyone who comes here to read this history can make up their own mind, and do additional research with all information provided. I'm allowing people to speculate.

Not arrogant Arch, I’m going by your posts here, and your attempted refutations of the historical facts using revisionist’s remarks (see page one) as though they carried historical weight.

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If the historical dates I've collected are true, then they do carry historical weight. Why not try attacking the evidence, rather than my integrity?

Arch, does this faithful man you claim to follow carry any information substantiated by antiquity, or is his opinion based on today’s revisionists attacks.

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You are implying that "revisionists attacks" don't "carry any information substantiated by antiquity". Why aren't revisionists entitled their opinions?

Arch, your seeming façade of affability and naïve inquisitiveness is overshadowed by you inability to accept truths. And it is wearing thin.

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Then show me the truths and stop attacking me! If you think I'm behaving naively then teach me. And I don't mean just keep pointing me back to your first post either. Try answering some of my current questions. Not all of them are addressed in your first post. Belittling your students does little to further their knowledge.

There is a big difference between jumping down you throat, and correcting your blatant mistakes and transparent backhanded jibes Arch.

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What mistakes? I've given an different interpretation of the first few passages from Luke, and asked about the validity of the dates for Jesus birth. Each time I ask a new question you start insulting me and calling me names. This is very counterproductive.

Facts have been consistently and regularly placed before you, and you continue to ignore them by prevarication and convoluted variants concerning dates that neither refute nor cast shadow on historical facts.

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I have not ignored anything Dee. Did you miss the post where I made a summary of your works? I'm still hoping someone will get back to me and verify I took it all down correctly. Same with the dates I offered for the Apostles deaths.

By now we could have a timeline just about finished, and for all we know it could match up perfectly with what you've said so far. But for some reason you don't seem at all interested in these. You seem to want to spend your time attacking me and my previous teachers. For the last time Dee, please address my information and stop making this personal. If you can't do this then I'll have to assume you're more interested in making this into a sparring match and not in collecting history, and I will take my education elsewhere.

Regards,

Arch.

#44 Arch

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Posted 30 July 2009 - 07:19 PM

Our only sources of information on Jesus' birth are the gospels of Matthew and Luke of the Bible


I'd like it if we could take the time to verify this claim and then cross-reference the two Gospels with other sources to see how accurate a date we can reach for Jesus' birth and death.

Regards,

Arch.

#45 Arch

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Posted 30 July 2009 - 07:24 PM

The following is a link from the Wikipedia article Dee provided about the dates for Jesus birth and death.

The entire article can be found here: Census of Quirinius

But the following seemed to be the most interesting part.

Regards,

Arch.

The Census of Quirinius refers to the enrollment of the Roman Provinces of Syria and Iudaea for tax purposes taken in AD 6/7 during the reign of the Roman Emperor Augustus, when Publius Sulpicius Quirinius was appointed governor of Syria, after the banishment of Herod Archelaus and the imposition of direct Roman rule on what became Iudaea Province (the conglomeration of Samaria, Judea proper, and Idumea).[1] An account of the census was given by the first century historian Josephus,[2] who associated it with the beginning of a resistance movement that he called the Zealots.

In Christianity, the Gospel of Luke connects the birth of Jesus with this historical census, while the Gospel of Matthew places the birth at least a decade earlier, during the rule of Herod the Great. Bible scholars have traditionally attempted to reconcile these accounts; most modern scholars, according to Raymond E. Brown, regard this as an error by the author of the Luke Gospel.[3]



#46 de_skudd

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Posted 31 July 2009 - 05:07 AM

The following is a link from the Wikipedia article Dee provided about the dates for Jesus birth and death.

The entire article can be found here: Census of Quirinius

But the following seemed to be the most interesting part.

Regards,

Arch.

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I see that you want to paint the edges of the paper I submitted with more equivocations Arch. But you are still missing the bigger point. I only pointed out the dates in Wikipedia because you revere them so, but they actually mean nothing. The fact is this Arch, “there are no exacting dates!”. So your illusion of a timeline to attempt a pulling apart the New Testament can only be speculative at best.

But, more to the point of the above post I’m replying to, speculation is running rampant in every argument you have placed here Arch. For example, the quote you placed stated:

“In Christianity, the Gospel of Luke connects the birth of Jesus with this historical census, while the Gospel of Matthew places the birth at least a decade earlier, during the rule of Herod the Great. Bible scholars have traditionally attempted to reconcile these accounts; most modern scholars, according to Raymond E. Brown, regard this as an error by the author of the Luke Gospel.” (http://en.wikipedia....us_of_Quirinius )

I would then ask you to read the Gospel of Matthew yourself and show me where he dated the birth of Christ on order to "at least a decade earlier". You may be surprised Arch, because he didn’t, he gave a period of time, not a date! He said “After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem (Matt 2:1). Even Luke didn’t give a date, but a period of time. Neither Luke nor Matthew gave a date, but both gave periods of time (i.e. “during the time of King Herod” etc…), so you see Arch, your time line would be based on speculations and presupposing!

#47 de_skudd

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Posted 31 July 2009 - 08:48 AM

I said these are some questions I'd like to answer. I didn't say they haven't been, or wont be addressed. The only deceit is in your own mind, and it's not constructive to this conversation.

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This is an equivocation and misleading on your part then Arch, because you just contradicted yourself. If the questions have been previously answered, then they’ve been addressed. If you return with Ad hominem attacks against the writers of the New Testament, but fail to provide evidence to back up those postulates with facts (other than revisionists opinion), you have failed to do anything other than waste the time of the readers in this thread.

I put the quotes in my first post on this forum. See post 6.

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You said “I got these original dates from Ron” , to which I replied with “I’d like to see where the post is with these statements so I can check them for contextual integrity”. Post #6 has no such information.

Of course dates can be speculative, that's why they so often overlap.

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They are speculative, therefore; it doesn’t matter if they “overlap” or not Arch. This is another case of equivocation, quibbling and time wasting. If you have nothing more to add than equivocation, quibbling and time wasting as input to the conversation, you may want to re-think the highly subjective and speculative timeline, because it will no nothing to support or refute the historical data. It will be nothing more than a foot note.

Currently we have two sets of dates that differ quite dramatically. I would like at least a third source to verify them. If for some reason we can't reach a conclusion we record both sets of dates and consider that either of them could be true.

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Again, the dates are subjective and speculative at best, so verifications will be subjective and speculative as well. Therefore the conclusions will also be subjective and speculative, as will the timeline.

#48 de_skudd

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Posted 31 July 2009 - 08:49 AM

This way anyone who comes here to read this history can make up their own mind, and do additional research with all information provided. I'm allowing people to speculate.

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Speculation is speculation, and does absolutely nothing to add to or subtract from fact Arch.

If the historical dates I've collected are true, then they do carry historical weight. Why not try attacking the evidence, rather than my integrity?

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Again, the point is this: The dates are subjective and speculative at best, so verifications will be subjective and speculative as well. Therefore the conclusions will also be subjective and speculative, as will the timeline. You are doing nothing to add to your integrity by equivocating, quibbling and time wasting, in attempting to attacking the integrity of the New Testament writers with dates you will never be able to verify Arch.

And I am not attacking your integrity, I am pointing out the flaws in your attacks. If your integrity takes a hit, it’s because you are still pushing the falsities built into your attacks.

You are implying that "revisionists attacks" don't "carry any information substantiated by antiquity". Why aren't revisionists entitled their opinions?

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They are entitled their opinions Arch. And they are just as entitled to be wrong in their opinions. When they can bring something of substance to the argument other than opinion, than the time spent on their flimsily argumentation won’t be wasted. That you would attach your argumentation to theirs shows a lack of credibility on your part Arch.

That has been the point all along…

Then show me the truths and stop attacking me! If you think I'm behaving naively then teach me. And I don't mean just keep pointing me back to your first post either. Try answering some of my current questions. Not all of them are addressed in your first post. Belittling your students does little to further their knowledge.

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Stop pretending and equivocating over obvious nonsensical argumentation Arch. If you want to dismantle the integrity of the writers of the New Testament, bring real evidence, not opinion.

#49 Arch

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Posted 31 July 2009 - 06:35 PM

What you don't seem to realise with your talk of "speculation" is that the dates you've provided fall under the same problem. There is no reason for anyone to believe the dates you've listed over the dates I have. Both fall under speculation and deserve the same amount of scrutiny.

But for some reason you keep referring to your dates as "historical facts" and mine as "speculation", but you've provided no reason to differentiate between the two.

If your speculation argument carries any weight then we may as well throw out all the dates we've compiled so far because we can't verify them. Then people could feel free to make up any dates they like and believe them, and this thread will come to an end without achieving a single thing other than ego stroking.

If you're interested in continuing this historical discovery in an unbiased fashion, could you please get back to me about whether I took down your dates correctly, and whether or not you think the dates of the Apostles deaths, to the best of our knowledge, are accurate.

Until then I'll continue my study on my own.

Regards,

Arch.

#50 scott

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Posted 01 August 2009 - 10:11 AM

Actually I don't believe that during a debate that there is a way of being unbiased. A debate is usually caused by bias. Without Bias, there would be no debate, and no one would believe or argue anything. A debate is an arguement, so worrying about your feelings means nothing. Provide some evidence, and move on.

#51 Ron

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Posted 03 August 2009 - 02:19 AM

Actually I don't believe that during a debate that there is a way of being unbiased.  A debate is usually caused by bias.  Without Bias, there would be no debate, and no one would believe or argue anything.  A debate is an arguement, so worrying about your feelings means nothing.  Provide some evidence, and move on.

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Those who wish to tear down and revise so they can live in denial never really provide evidence Scott. They come to places like this to cause chaos by pretending to want to learn, then attack the truth on it's fringes. Hopefully this way they can catch a few unaware.

Didn't Satan confuse Eve by saying "Did God really say, 'You must never eat the fruit of any tree in the garden'?"

His ways haven't changed.

#52 de_skudd

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Posted 03 August 2009 - 05:48 AM

What you don't seem to realise with your talk of "speculation" is that the dates you've provided fall under the same problem. There is no reason for anyone to believe the dates you've listed over the dates I have. Both fall under speculation and deserve the same amount of scrutiny.

But for some reason you keep referring to your dates as "historical facts" and mine as "speculation", but you've provided no reason to differentiate between the two.

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Arch, all attempts to nail down specific dates in antiquity, unless specifically referenced in the documents (not today’s opinion) IS speculation. The dates I gave are generally accepted dates by historians but they are not specific. If you can find me saying otherwise, I’d like to see it. What I did say is this: unless you have hard evidence to the contrary, the historical data still takes precedence. Your attempt to prove Herod died before Jesus was born is highly speculative, and unfounded historically.

The historical facts are these: Luke said what time period Jesus was born in. Matthew said what time period Jesus was born in. There is no historical evidence to the contrary. If you can find historical evidence that refutes their statements, then you might have a case. But that supposed historical evidence will have to stand up against the same withering historical scrutiny that the Gospels have already faced and surpassed with integrity.


If your speculation argument carries any weight then we may as well throw out all the dates we've compiled so far because we can't verify them. Then people could feel free to make up any dates they like and believe them, and this thread will come to an end without achieving a single thing other than ego stroking.

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Throw them out if you like Arch. The Gospels still stand as un-refuted in historical evidence. The only evidences that attempts to bump up against them are those opinions, and presupposed a priori attacks of the revisionist’s history group.

If you're interested in continuing this historical discovery in an unbiased fashion, could you please get back to me about whether I took down your dates correctly, and whether or not you think the dates of the Apostles deaths, to the best of our knowledge, are accurate.

Until then I'll continue my study on my own.

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I have done the historical homework already Arch. As an atheist, I attempted to assail it much the same way you are now. But, in all honesty, and try as I may, I could not find any real evidence that disproved any of it because there is none. You can continue to try, but don’t come here with half baked theories, quibbles and equivocations and not be totally prepared to have them dismantled and exposed post-haste.

#53 Arch

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Posted 05 August 2009 - 08:05 PM

Arch, all attempts to nail down specific dates in antiquity, unless specifically referenced in the documents (not today’s opinion) IS speculation.

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I think even if dates are specifically referenced in documents they should be taken with a grain of salt until verified with other methods. But yes, both our dates are speculative.

The dates I gave are generally accepted dates by historians but they are not specific. If you can find me saying otherwise, I’d like to see it.

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Thanks Dee, I think that's what I was trying to say.

Speculation is speculation, and does absolutely nothing to add to or subtract from fact Arch.


It is quotes like this that make me feel you are trying to put forward your dates as fact, and mine as pure speculation. What 'facts' are you referring to here, if not the dates you've already provided?

If you agree that the dates you've provided are just speculation then we're on the same page. All I ask is that you let me speculate in the same way, and give other people who come here to read this thread the same option.

What I did say is this: unless you have hard evidence to the contrary, the historical data still takes precedence. Your attempt to prove Herod died before Jesus was born is highly speculative, and unfounded historically.

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You see, here again you refer to "historical data". You're presenting it as fact, but it's just as speculative as what I've produced. Yes, the information I've provided so far is speculative, but it's building up. Isn't that what we're attempting to do here? Collecting information to reach a conclusion?

I'm trying to collect information, and I'm presenting it as I find it for people to view, speculate over and produce counter evidence for. But all you seem to want to do is reject it because it's speculative...but the opposing evidence is just as speculative yet you're happy to sit by it.

All I'm asking is that we look at all the evidence, and then speculate on it together.

The historical facts are these: Luke said what time period Jesus was born in. Matthew said what time period Jesus was born in.

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Yes they do. Matthew says Jesus was born during the reign of Herod. Luke says he was born during the Census of Quirinius, which happened some time after Herod's death. This information contradicts and I feel it's worth investigating. Either Matthew, Luke or modern historians got it wrong. I want to try and figure out who is.

There is no historical evidence to the contrary. If you can find historical evidence that refutes their statements, then you might have a case. But that supposed historical evidence will have to stand up against the same withering historical scrutiny that the Gospels have already faced and surpassed with integrity.

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I've been showing that the dates don't add up. That is evidence to the contrary.
And yes, I agree it will have to stand up to the historical scrutiny of the Gospels. Should be fun right? :)

Throw them out if you like Arch. The Gospels still stand as un-refuted in historical evidence. The only evidences that attempts to bump up against them are those opinions, and presupposed a priori attacks of the revisionist’s history group.

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You don't seem to realise that throwing speculative evidence means throwing out all the evidence. At this point in the discussion, that includes the Gospels.

But the thing is I don't want to throw out any evidence. I'm trying to look at all of it.

We've already discussed the revisionists position. They are entitled to it if they can back it up. That is what I'm trying to discuss.

I have done the historical homework already Arch. As an atheist, I attempted to assail it much the same way you are now. But, in all honesty, and try as I may, I could not find any real evidence that disproved any of it because there is none.  You can continue to try, but don’t come here with half baked theories, quibbles and equivocations and not be totally prepared to have them dismantled and exposed post-haste.

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Fantastic! You've already walked this path; hopefully that will make you a good teacher. Just keep in mind that on rare occassions the teacher is not always right, and a good teacher should be open to honest investigation.

If you feel you can dismantle my evidence, then please do so. As I've said I believe in an historical Christ and I'd love to see this evidence put to rest. But so far all you've done is say that it's speculative, and havne't actually addressed whether or not it may hold truth. Can we focus on that please?

Again, I would ask that you take a look at the summaries I've provided above. Did I take down your dates correctly? Is there any evidence you know of that would refute the dates of the Apostles deaths I've provided?

Regards,

Arch.

#54 de_skudd

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Posted 09 September 2009 - 08:27 AM

If you feel you can dismantle my evidence, then please do so. As I've said I believe in an historical Christ and I'd love to see this evidence put to rest. But so far all you've done is say that it's speculative, and havne't actually addressed whether or not it may hold truth. Can we focus on that please?

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I keep looking at you post Arch, and I keep wondering why you still don’t get it. You have not provided any evidence at all. You question dates, when no real dates are given. Any dates for the time periods are arbitrary. And yet you continue to equivocate on the subject.

I have addressed what you asked, but you’ve failed to grasp the truth of it.

You need to focus on your lack of substance, once you get there, we can proceed.

#55 Ron

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Posted 01 February 2010 - 05:53 AM

I keep looking at you post Arch, and I keep wondering why you still don’t get it. You have not provided any evidence at all. You question dates, when no real dates are given. Any dates for the time periods are arbitrary. And yet you continue to equivocate on the subject.

I have addressed what you asked, but you’ve failed to grasp the truth of it.

You need to focus on your lack of substance, once you get there, we can proceed.

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And we find the same kind of equivocation going on here:
http://www.evolution...pic=3001&st=160 (you actually need to read the entire thread to get the full impact of the quibbling and equivocation[ist] wriggling).

When cornered, those who want to deny truth will always attempt to equivocate their way out of the corner they've painted their-selves into by denying said truth.

#56 Ron

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Posted 02 June 2010 - 09:21 AM

A nice resource for the earlier dating of the Gospel of Luke, and the Book of Acts:

http://www.bethinkin...urce.php?ID=233

There are many resources that totally demolish the criticism used to late date the New Testament. And they usually push the dating of it closer and closer to the time of Jesus.

#57 Ron

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Posted 09 December 2010 - 06:02 AM

Although it is far more conclusive than your attempted caricature of reasoning prevalent at this thread Arch, as I stated “it says he carefully investigated and interviewed those eyewitnesses who were there from the beginning to make an orderly account of the life of Jesus and His Apostles”. So, you will need far better evidence to overturn these historical facts of Dr. Luke.

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I agree. I hope you will be cooperative in finding these "historical facts".

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Okay…

Luke mentioned in the very beginning of his gospel that he wrote it with a specific purpose: “Forasmuch as many have taken in hand to draw up a narrative concerning those matters which have been fulfilled among us, even as they delivered them unto us, which from the beginning were eye witnesses and ministers of the word, it seemed good to me also, having traced the course of all things accurately from the first, to write unto thee in order, most excellent Theophilus” Luke 1: 1-3

* Luke indicated that he wrote his gospel in an orderly and concise manner so that Theophilus could understand and follow the life and work of Jesus and his apostles.

* Luke’s two books (the Gospel of Luke and Acts) are the historical accounts of the life and work of Jesus, from the birth of John the Baptist down to about the year AD 60

* These books are historically incredibly accurate - it is so accurate that Luke has been called the greatest historian in history.

* He sets the events by evidencing the dates using the contemporaneously verifiable historical information:

“In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world.” Luke 2:1

“In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar” Luke 3:1

“One of them, named Agabus, stood up and through the Spirit predicted that a severe famine would spread over the entire Roman world. (This happened during the reign of Claudius.)” Acts 11:28

“There he met a Jew named Aquila, a native of Pontus, who had recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla, because Claudius had ordered all the Jews to leave Rome.” Acts 18:2

* He fixed the birth of Jesus in the reign of Emperor Augustus, when Herod the Great was King in Judea, and Quirinius was governor of Syria: “In the time of Herod king of Judea there was a priest named Zechariah, who belonged to the priestly division of Abijah; - Luke 1:5

In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.)” Luke 2:1-2

* He fixed the date of the beginning of the ministry of John the Baptist again by using a series of references to the rulers of the time: “In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar -- when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, Herod tetrarch of Galilee, his brother Philip tetrarch of Iturea and Traconitis, and Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene -- during the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John son of Zechariah in the desert.” Luke 3:1-2

**Absolutely none of the above sounds line anything but an historical account. And an accurate one at that!**

* Not only that but (the honest historian AND lay person) we cannot help but be struck by Luke’s accuracy and his familiarity with the “correct titles” of all the notable persons he mentioned - that is not an easy feat in those days, due to the overall lack of easily accessible records of modern times (encyclopedias, mass media, internet). Which means he had to thoroughly investigate ALL the information BEFORE he wrote it down in his exhaustive accounting.

For example:

In Acts 13:7, Luke addressed Sergius Paulus with the (correct) term "anthupa";, translated "deputy"; or "proconsul.". And in In Acts 16:19, Luke used the correct title "archon", translated "rulers"; or "authorities". And in In Acts 16:35, he used the correct titles "praetors"; and "lictors";, translated "magistrates"; and "serjants"; or "officers".

Also: Luke correctly called Herod Antipas "tetrarch". Herod was never promoted to royal status by the Emperor therefore Luke was using the correct term by addressing him with the lower title "tetrarch".

Other criticisms of Luke’s writings were promulgated by liberal theologians, skeptics and others. For example:

The census in Luke 2:1 – The liberals and skeptics claim that a census like this would never take place at that time. But this has been refuted by a find when edict from C.Vibius Maximus, Prefect of Egypt, dated to the year 104 AD was discovered: “The enrollment by household being at hand, it is necessary to notify all who for any cause soever are outside their nomes (administrative divisions of Egypt) to return to their domestic hearths, that they may also accomplish the customary dispensation of enrollment and continue steadfastly in the husbandry that belongs to them.”


I can continue on, but my time is limited. And the above MORE than refutes the criticism.

#58 Ron

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Posted 23 April 2011 - 08:12 PM

Just some more circular reasoning of the Bible scoffers (atheists, so-called agnostics, so-called skeptic’s etcetera… etcetera…).

If you ever hear someone say "Jesus never existed." You have to wonder where they got their evidence to make such a statement. The overall problem for Bible scoffers like this is the fact that the more they make such statements, the more evidence turns up to squelch their claims. Further; given the bounteous amounts of historical evidence for the life of Christ, how could anyone ever attempt to support the claim that Jesus never existed?

First - The only way you could show that Jesus never existed is to prove that every account of Jesus that exists is false. (Please see the weak argumentation attempted by those in this thread… It’s a good read).

Second - The only way you could prove that every existing account of Jesus is false is if you knew He never existed in the first place! (WHAT!!! Yes, it’s true!)

Conclusion: The skeptics line of reasoning, of course, begs the question!




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