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de_skudd

The Historicity Of Jesus And Of The New Testament

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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And we find the same kind of equivocation going on here:

http://www.evolutionfairytale.com/forum/in...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.

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

 

http://www.bethinking.org/resource.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.

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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 Apostlesâ€ÂÂ. 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.â€ÂÂ

 

 

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

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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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