DISCUSSION OF THE TRIAL SCENE IN THE GOSPEL ACCOUNTS.acPilatecd

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man06

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Oct 12, 2008, 12:03:55 PM10/12/08
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Quote:
TedM: My reason for the release tradition:To reduce the chances of a
Passover insurrection.

Let's dispense with the term "insurrection," shall we? Jerusalem was
an occupied nation and therefore an insurrection already existed. What
you are contending (without evidence that I have noticed) is that
Pilate feared that during one of the most holy festivals of the Jewish
calandar that there would be riots, so to stop them from rioting, he
would ritualistically release a convicted criminal of the "crowd's"
choosing, even if that criminal were a murderer who had committed
murder during an insurrectionist uprising. Instead of, say, fortifying
the area with heavily armed, well trained Roman soldiers, your
contention (that can not be found anywhere in Roman historical
documentation) is that he would instead set free a murderer; only you
don't think the author of Mark meant to say murderer and
insurrectionist, merely a petty criminal.

And this is because of....

Quote:
MORE: The number of people. They would have dwarfed the occupation,
no?


If you mean the number of ineffectual, civilian men, women and
children (from infants to grandparents), yes. If you mean the number
of actual terrorists/freedom fighters (depending on if you're
Americ....I mean Roman or Jewish), then by no means would they
outnumber the soldiers, or there would not have been an occupation.


Quote:
MORE: And you think the Romans would have been happy to trust in
that?
I don't.


So, again, you think the Romans were afraid of the Jewish peasents;
afraid in a military sense and that this fear was so great that the
release of a convicted criminal would be the only thing they could
think of to stop them from rioting? This in turn, of course, is
predicated on the fact that the Romans must have been incredibly
stupid as to think this would actually appease the peasents they were
there to rule as well as on the fact that the peasents were apparently
so easily dissuaded by such a transparent gesture. It also implies
that there had been previous Passover riots that this ritual was
created in order to prevent, so by all means, if you can present any
evidence at all of previous riots, I would appreciate it.

Quote:
MORE: And, if things got bad, do you really think the Jews would have
not gone against the 'forbidden' in order to save their nation? I
don't.

What are you talking about? "Things" were already bad; had been bad
for a long, long time in fact. Do you have any evidence to support any
of these contentions? Extra-biblical evidence, that is?

Quote:
MORE: Why? Perhaps because only with the Jews did you have an
occupied
country which outnumbered the Romans so greatly only at specific
times
during the year.

First of all, we're talking about Jerusalem, where the majority of
Jews already lived; secondly you're not talking about a militarily
disparity between Roman soldiers and Jewish peasents; thirdly, we're
talking about the Roman Empire! The greatest, most bloody, most
vicious, most brutal Empires to have ever existed in human history
and, more specifically, Pilate; one of their most rabid pitbulls from
all accounts that aren't found in the christian cult apologia.

I'm sorry, TedM, but at this point I'm going to have to insist that
you provide extrabiblical evidence for these claims as they are
preposterous when compared to actual history. The Romans treated their
conquerred regions as conquerred regions and Pilate, in particular,
would never appease a crowd of Jewish peasents by releasing a
convicted criminal primarily because he wouldn't give two tiny shits
about what the Jewish slaves beneath his feet wanted or didn't want.
He would, however, I would argue, invite just about any excuse you
could think of to slaughter as many of those Jewish peasents as he
could, if his actions with the Sammaritans are any barrometer, so, no.
History does not support your version of events.

Quote:
MORE: Yes, given the conditions of the feast that may have been a
very
smart thing to have done, too.


Why? What was the fear? That hundreds of thousands of old men, old
women, infant children would suddenly do what they hadn't done for
years before if not for that one criminal release at Passover? That
would be the tipping point that was just too damn hot to risk not
doing? The Romans were that terrified; the Jewish peasents were that
stupid as to be prevented from reallizing every other day of the year
that all they needed to do was band together and riot and overthrow?
Please provide evidence to support such a ridiculous claim and then
let's skip down to the fact that it's entirely irrelevant, since
Pilate did not release Barrabas instead of Jesus; rather that Jesus
being killed by the Romans had nothing to do with any non-existent
ritual to
begin with. Oh, but wait, one more thing in this vein...


Quote:
MORE: What would have mattered to Pilate is whether the Jews would
have been appeased enough to avoid an immediate conflict


With whom? Peasents vs. Roman soldiers? The same people that had
conquered them? The same people who had not banded together and
overthrown their occupiers throughout the rest of the year, Pilate now
fears on this day and thinks that by releasing a convicted criminal,
this will prevent a conflict? He was that afraid; the peasents were
that stupid?


Quote:
MORE: which the Romans would have lost and in which Pilate would have
been killed.


And the release of a convicted murderer/insurrectionist would have
been all Pilate needed to dissuade this fear of being killed, is that
your contention? I'm sorry, Ted but this is all non-sequitur and
clearly borne out of rationalization, IMO.


Quote:
MORE: I reject this objection because there is no reason to conclude
that those two crowds were 'the same'.

So, what crowds are we talking about then? Where did the pro-Jesus
crowd that the Sanhedrin feared so much that they sought collusion
with their enemy, the Romans, to do their dirty work for go? They just
dissappeared when Jesus was trotted out by Pilate; when the plot by
the Sanhedrin had been publicly foiled by Pilate; when Pilate thrice
declared Jesus to not only be innocent, but that he could find no
crime that he supposedly had committed? They were out back of the
Temple getting matzoh balls or something? Didn't Pilate fear that they
would riot and overwhelm him and kill him for killing a completely
innocent man? Pilate seems to only be afraid of a crowd when it serves
your rationalizations. Funny that, don't you think?

Quote:
MORE: I don't think the crowd would have turned against their own
chief priests
That's not what their "own chief priests" feared regarding the crowd
(not Jesus' own personal apostles, which would have been twelve people
and hardly a fearful crowd to anyone). Let's turn to the good book
again:


Quote:
Mark 14:1 Now the Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread were only
two days away, and the chief priests and the teachers of the law were
looking for some sly way to arrest Jesus and kill him. 2 "But not
during the Feast," they said, "or the people may riot."


Now let's jump to the Feast:


Quote:
Mark 15:8 Now it was the custom at the Feast to release a prisoner
whom the people requested.


Same Feast; same people feared in Mark 14.

Quote:
Mark 15:7 A man called Barabbas was in prison with the
insurrectionists who had committed murder in the uprising. 8 The crowd
came up and asked Pilate to do for them what he usually did. In prison
with the other insurrectionists; had committed murder in a previous
uprising, so uprisings, insurrections, not exactly a new thing to
Pilate or the Roman soldiers in the area.

Quote:
Mark 15:9 "Do you want me to release to you the king of the Jews?"
asked Pilate, 10knowing it was out of envy that the chief priests had
handed Jesus over to him. 11 But the chief priests stirred up the
crowd to have Pilate release Barabbas instead.


Same Feast; same people.

Quote:
Mark 15:12 "What shall I do, then, with the one you call the king of
the Jews?" Pilate asked them.

13"Crucify him!" they shouted.

14"Why? What crime has he committed?" asked Pilate.

But they shouted all the louder, "Crucify him!"

15Wanting to satisfy the crowd, Pilate released Barabbas to them. He
had Jesus flogged, and handed him over to be crucified.

---


Why? Because the crowd wanted it. No mention of fear of uprising,
just
he wants to "satisfy" the crowd.

Quote:
MORE: Matthew only calls him a "notorious prisoner". John only says
he
was a robber.


Yes, well, that would make sense, considering they were both written
much later and both a retelling of Mark. See my comments in the
previous post regarding apologia and how that works, as well as the
game of telephone for good measure.

Barrabas starts out as a murder in prison with the other
insurrectionists (closest to the truth of why Jesus would have been
arrested), to a "notorious prisoner" (the initial patching of the
hole) to a simple robber (petty criminal; hole patched completely).

Quote:
MORE: Notice, that neither one throws out the tradition of the
release
even though they do have different descriptions of the man being
released.

That's because the release is the only way to blame "the Jews" and
remove blame for the actual "christ killers;" the Romans. Once again,
the Sanhedrin could have killed Jesus for blasphemy (tried twice,
supposedly) at any time, so it makes no sense that they would take him
to their enemy to try and get him to kill him, which fails and then
succeeds. Look at the reality of what would have happened, which is
that the Romans would only have crucified him if he were an
insurrectionist or a murderer, the two primary capital offenses they
reserved for crucifixion. That makes the Romans "christ killers."
Well, the Romans wrote the history, so they had to come up with a way
to make themselves look good, so that the cult member ignores the fact
that ultimately they killed Jesus.


They weren't brutal oppressors, it was the "Jews" that were the bad
guys. It wasn't us that killed god; it was them. Heck, we even tried
to save him! We gave them a choice and they are the ones who chose to
have us brutally torture and murder god. We used to release one
criminal--any one they chose so it was entirely their fault we
brutally flayed and nailed god to a cross. See? How else do you spin
the fact that you killed god by nailing him to a cross for
insurrection?

That's where you get all the pro-roman crap. Problem is, it's not that
well-written by any kind of critical thinking standard; solution is,
nobody but the cult leaders back then could read and there was little
to no critical thinking going on at all.


Quote:
MORE: Pilate was caving? Don't you see yet what I'm saying? He was
being politically savvy!

First of all, there is nothing "politically savvy" about releasing a
convicted murderer of Roman citizens to a Roman; that would have been
considered, at best, collusion with the enemy! Second, there was
nothing "politically savvy" about Pilate, which, again is why he was
recalled to Rome (and later committed suicide).


You're arguing that he was being politically savvy by releasing a
convicted murderer and killing a man who had done absolutely nothing
wrong. What Political Science course did you take? Rome would have
crucified him (and pretty much did for very different reasons) if they
ever found out that he had allowed conquerred insurrectionists choose
one of their own convicted murderers from the prison of
insurrectionists to be released each year.

Quote:
MORE: Pilate could have first convicted Jesus and then asked the
crowd
who should be released.

But he didn't. He publicly humiliated the Sanhedrin by exposing what
they incongruously thought to be a "sly" little plan; declared Jesus
to be innocent of all accusations and that he could find no crime at
all. He was therefore never in custody of the Romans; never a criminal
under Roman law; and therefore could not be "released" as part of a
Passover ritual.

All of which is irrelevant, however, since Barrabas was not released
"instead" of Jesus; Barrabas was just released and then Pilate
(incongruously) asks what he should do with Jesus, a man he declared
innocent and not a criminal. He would know what to do with Jesus, an
innocent man and not a criminal. Released. Instead, he asks the crowd
for no reason and they say (because they were "riled" by the
Sanhedrin) to kill him and to "satisfy" the crowd, Pilate does so.
Nothing about that makes any historical sense in the slightest and is
instead the obvious wishful, dramatic thinking of cult mythologists.

Quote:

MORE: If you require the conviction first it is nitpicky because the
end result is the same assuming Jesus was eventually written up as
convicted.

BUT HE WASN'T! HE WAS DECLARED INNOCENT OF ALL CHARGES! PILATE
PUBLICLY

DECLARES THAT HE COULD FIND NO CRIME THAT HE HAD COMMITTED.

Clear now? The crowd shouting "Crucify him" does not convict Jesus of
anything, nor does Pilate incongruously saying, "Fine, I'll kill a
completely innocent man and free a convicted murderer, because that's
how politically savvy I am! Now put down your matzohs! Ooooh, they
scare me so."

This fear, however, magically dissappears after they have just been
publicly outed by Pilate. Why?

Quote:
MORE: This validates to some extent any fear by outnumbered Roman
soldiers and their officers of a riot also.


No, it does not. Unarmed old men going against popular opinion and
stoning a Rabbi to death during the Feast is one thing; the occupying
Roman Empire releasing a convicted murderer/insurrectionist because
they want to appease their slaves is just assinine.


Quote:

MORE: If this is correct my argument fails. However, I suspect they
were greatly outnumbered by Jewish people of all ranking during
Passover in Jerusalem.


The Iraqi's greatly outnumber our troops. What's your point?

Quote:

MORE: BTW, you keep calling them 'Jewish peasants'? Is that to make
them seem like less of a threat?

No, that's to make them seem like the actual threat they would have
posed to the Roman soldiers and actually did pose to the Roman
soldiers as evidenced in the fact that they lost to the Romans. Enough
of this sophistry. I'm done. That's easy. Not at all .


Quote:
MORE: To be more precise, I've read that Markan account contains
several errors in regards to the rules of Sanhedrin. Some of those
would be that Sanhedrin didn't met at the Temple (where they would be
supposed to), they met at night, and they met at the passover.

True, but Christian cult apologists just spin that by claiming it was
of such paramount importance and everyone involved intuitively "knew"
this (presumably because of God's influence). But if you're looking
for extra-biblical sources, I believe Elaine Pagels addresses this (or
was it Burton Mack?). Any of their books are good resources anyway, so
I recommend you pick up a couple of theirs.

Quote:

MORE: What I'm also interested is if the "crime" of Jesus was big
enough for the death penalty.

Well, for that you need only go back to Mark. Pilate thrice declares
Jesus to not only be innocent of all accusations, but that no crime
had ever been committed by Jesus. Pilate can't even find a crime to
charge him with, much less convict him over, so he sets Jesus free. It
is only the alleged (and illogical) "threat" of the crowd chanting
"crucify him" that supposedly forces Pilate to inexplicably murder a
man he had just offiically declared innocent (three times). But the
most important point, of course, is that Jesus had committed no crime
against Roman law (as, again, Mark confirms). Claiming you were the
"King of the Jews" was not a crime against Rome and certainly not a
crime deserving the death penalty. First of all, there is no such
title in Jewish dogma and secondly, that would be identical to a
Mormon claiming to be "King of the Mormons." Who gives a shit?

Apologists always try to spin that one with the "threat" to Caesar of
anyone claiming royalty, but, again, it's not a title that the Jews
have, so it would be meaningless to both Romans and Jews. Jews had the
title of "King of Kings," but "King of the Jews" would be utterly
meaningless to them and is far more indicative of a confusion on
behalf of Romans who wished to belittle their captive. But that, of
course, assumes that it was the Romans who desired to capture and did
capture Jesus and found him guilty of crimes against Rome, such as
sedition (crimes against the State), which is one of the other most
typical reasons why they used crucifixion (reserved for seditionists
and murderers). Hanging on a cross until you bleed to death (and often
long after) was meant as an example to all not to do the two worst
things you could do from Roman perspective; kill a Roman citizen or
commit crimes of sedition against the State (i.e., the ancient
equivalent of car bombing a local business or otherwise seriously
disrupting public
interaction; like, say, overturning the money changers' tables at the
Temple, a Roman controlled, profit generating enterprise, no doubt).


But that wouldn't be the only reason they would have nailed him for
sedition (pun intended), of course, so most likely Jesus was doing
more than just ranting theologically in the Temple as he kicked over
some tables for him to have been crucified by the Romans (if, indeed,
that was the case). And rest assured that absolutely no theological
reasons would have been behind Pilate's order (if he even gave the
order) to have Jesus executed by means of crucifixion (as opposed to
say, slain with a knife or head cut off). Pilate would not have cared
one whit whether or not Jesus was the King of the Jews or Yahweh
himself, since such things had absolutely no relevance to his
worldview. And, again, it couldn't have been the result of bribery or
other coercion on behalf of the Sanhedrin (as often alleged), since,
again if you go to Mark, Pilate rejects the Sanhedrin's case three
times (publicly).


That leaves Pilate and the Crowd (a children's book I think I'll
publish ). First of all, no extra-biblical source (that I'm aware of
and I've looked) mentions anything at all about the alleged Roman/
Jewish ritual of setting a guilty man free, but even if that's
granted, there's still
fatal problems. Jesus was not a guilty man at all! He was, in fact,
not just free, but found to have committed no crime at all by Pilate.
He couldn't even find a crime that Jesus was supposed to have
committed, much less a capital offense crime, so he was not just free;
it was the equivalent of Pilate saying, "This never happened."

So, after this has been declared by Pilate, you then have the
"ritual" ....
that never existed, where Pilate asks the crowd who he should
release.
Note the word "release," as in, "set free a convicted criminal."

The crowd responds "Barabas" and Pilate inexplicably asks, "Barabas
and not Jesus?" Why? Jesus has already been declared completely and
utterly exonerated of all accusations to the point where Pilate could
find no crime at all to even accuse him of and set free. So, ok,
ignoring that glaring flaw, the crowd again insists on releasing
Barabas; a convicted murderer, which would have most likely meant a
murderer of a Roman citizen and not, say, of a Jewish slave (as
Romans viewed the Jews). So Pilate would have been releasing a serious
threat--a murderer--and instead killing a man he had just publicly
declared (thrice) to be innocent of all charges, all because he, the
Procurator and ruling Roman authority, was afraid of the crowd?

The same crowd he was there to brutally subdue with ever present Roman
soldiers, who, presumably, would have been out in force that day and
would have had no problems at all spearing and slicing as many
unarmed, under nourished, peasent, Jewish, slaves as they were ordered
to? The same Pilate who later slaughtered the Sammaritans against
Rome's wishes
and was recalled from duty to later commit suicide at the shame of
losing his command? Not to mention the fact that, supposedly everybody
loved Jesus and they all came out to him in "multitudes" when he first
arrived and now, suddenly and for absolutely no reason at all, the
anonymous crowd turn so inexplicably violent against a free man that
they demand he be
killed instead of a murderer...and Pilate says, "Yeah, ok." It's
categorically preposterous based soley on the prima facie "evidence,"
but even if it were true, we have another serious problem
in 1 Thesollonians, where Paul tells the members that it was "the
Jews" that killed Jesus; the same "Jews" who also killed the
"prophets" (plural) and drove the followers of Jesus out of
Jersualem.


No matter how you want argue that the mysterious "crowd" may have
influenced Pilate's decision, it was still completely Pilate's
decision to have Jesus crucified and it was the Roman soldiers who
carried out the inexplicable execution. No "Jews" had anything to do
with it and
certainly not any "Jews" who had also killed "the prophets." According
to Mark (and the subsequent reivsionists of Mark), Pilate kills Jesus.
According to Paul (allegedly pre-dating Mark), it is the "Jews" who
killed both Jesus and "the prophets," so one of them is wrong. You
can't even try to spin Paul as saying that the "Jews" coerced Pilate
to kill Jesus and that's what he meant, since, again, Paul makes it
clear in Thessolonians that it is the "Jews" who killed
Jesus and that these are the same "Jews" who killed the "prophets" and
had the power to drive them out. No mention of Pilate or the Romans or
any connection at all to the events alleged in Mark.


But I digress, so back on track as far as possible Roman crimes
against Jesus. Likewise, blasphemy, which is what the Sanhedrin
accused Jesus of committing (three times, in fact; the first two times
they actually attempted to stone him to death as a result, but Jesus
inexplicably
runs away both times; odd thing to do for a savior of mankind who can
only be that savior once he dies for our sins, don't you think, not to
mention a Rabbi who preached to "turn the other cheek" when struck,
but I digress paranthetically), would not be a capital offense to
Pilate;
the one who allegedly ordered Jesus' death. What would a Roman
Procurator care about a local Rabbi going around claiming he was the
Jewish God?


Quote:
MORE: I've also read somewhere (I'll try to find the source) that
Jews
were allowed to conduct death penalties until 40 C.E. (somewhere
around
that year).


If that is true, than Jesus could have been sentenced to death and
there would be no reason to take that matter to the Romans. Again, you
need look no further than the Bible. In fact, I recently posted about
fifteen different references (including the two specific instances
where "the Jews" attempted to stone Jesus to death, but he
inexplicably ran away) somewhere here within the last month or two. If
you search on my user name and include "Pilate" as a keyword, I'm sure
it will come up. At least according to the authors of the
passionnarrative, "the Jews" already tried stoning and it didn't work,
so they weren't concerned (apparently) with any Roman edicts against
such matters.


Oh, you can also go to Bible Gateway and do a search on
"stone" (specifiy the "gospels" in the advanced search function at the
bottom of the page on the right hand side) and then just sift through
the responses for the passages and you'll find them. I think they're
primarily in Matthew, but it's late and I've been "celebrating" the
end of last year.

*******************


Originally posted by mark9950 : It was all political


How so? If you mean to imply some sort of allegiance or bribery or
coercion by the Sanhedrin (the ruling Jewish "elite") then explain why
it was that Pilate pubicly humiliates them by declaring that he can't
even find a crime to charge Jesus with, let alone find him guilty. If
it were "political," then Pilate would have found Jesus guilty in
order to appease the Sanhedrin.

Quote:
MORE: pilate gave the people what they wanted

There was never a tradition of giving the people "what they
wanted" (that I have ever found corroborated by any extra-biblical
source) Pilate was there to subdue the Jews, who the Romans considered
to be slaves of the Empire (i.e., not people, but property)


Why would "the people" (aka, "the Jews;" presumably the same
multitudes--all of Judea, in fact, according to Mark--who came out to
witness John announcing Jesus as more holy than he and who will
baptize them all with the Holy Spirit, baptizing Jesus and presumably
heard the
voice of God proclaim, ""You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am
well pleased," and witnessed his healing "miracles" and blah, blah,
blah--want Jesus crucified, particularly just after he was found to
have committed no crime? Why would Pilate murder a person he had taken
all that trouble to try (after attempting to dump him off onto Herod,
twice, apparently) and
publicly declare to be innocent three times, to the point that he
couldn't even find a crime to charge him with in the first place, set
him free only to then inexplicably turn around and order his
execution?

Although by all extra-biblical accounts I have read, Pilate was
certainly a brutal, Roman despot and mass murderer (who slaughtered
the Sammaritans against Rome's instruction, apparently, since he was
recalled as a result and committed suicide in disgrace), the
likelihood that he would even address "the Jews," let alone create a
ritual of freeing a convicted criminal of their choosing, just because
he feared them or cared at all about what it is they wanted is simply
not supportable. Particularly after he had bothered (if he did) to
conduct a trial where he finds him innocent of all charges. He had
committed no crime and was pronounced by Pilate to be a free man. Even
if there were a ritual created by Pilate to free a convicted criminal
of the Jews' choosing (incongruously celebrating a Jewish holy day, no
less), Jesus was neither convicted, nor a criminal, by Pilate's on
decree. Thus it makes no sense at all that Pilate asks why they want
to free Barabas and not Jesus. Jesus was already declared a free man
by Pilate.

Quote:


MORE: a killed false prophet according to the torah


But he wasn't considered a "false prophet" by John the Baptist and
"the whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem" who
heard John's words and witnessed John baptizing Jesus and he wasn't
considered a "false prophet" by the whole town of Capernaum who
witnessed his healing miracles and the result was that, "Jesus could
no longer enter a town openly but stayed outside in lonely places. Yet
the people still came to him from everywhere," or the, "large crowd
from Galilee" and the many people who "came to him from Judea,
Jerusalem, Idumea, and the regions across the Jordan and around Tyre
and Sidon," who all cried out, "You are the Son of God," or the total
of nine thousand men who ate of the loves and fishes, or all the
untold many who threw their cloaks on the ground for his "triumphal
entry" in Jerusalem where everyone want around shouting, ""Hosanna!
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Blessed is the coming
kingdom of our father David! Hosanna in the highest!"

Every instance in Mark where Jesus goes anyplace, so gathers the
entire village to witness his miracles and listen to his teachings and
proclaim him to be the son of God or Elijah or "one of the prophets,"
and on and on and on. As Mark 6:56 concludes:

Quote:


"And wherever he went--into villages, towns or countryside--they
placed the sick in the marketplaces. They begged him to let them touch
even the edge of his cloak, and all who touched him were healed. But
the most damning of all is Mark 11:18, where Mark makes it abundantly
clear that "the crowd" in Jeresulam was so taken by Jesus--even after
he had disrupted the Temple and proclaimed them all evil, basically--
that their reaction prompts the Sanhedrin's desires to kill Jesus
themsevles.

Quote:


"The chief priests and the teachers of the law heard this and began
looking for a way to kill him, for they feared him, because the whole
crowd was amazed at his teaching."


This fear of the crowd that Pilate allegedly has is actually the fear
that the Sanhedrin have, as is reiterated later in Mark 11:30-33


Quote:


30 "John's baptism--was it from heaven, or from men? Tell me!"

31 They discussed it among themselves and said, "If we say, 'From
heaven,' he will ask, 'Then why didn't you believe him?' 32 But if we
say, 'From men'...." (They feared the people, for everyone held that
John really was a prophet.)


33 So they answered Jesus, "We don't know."

They feared "the people" because everyone thought John was a prophet
and John proclaimed that Jesus was more than even John was. Hell,
Jesus even teaches in the "temple courts" to "the large crowd [who]
listened to him with delight,"after he had been extensively questioned
by the Sanhedrin the first time around.


And there's Mark 14:1-2

Quote:

1 Now the Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread were only two
days away, and the chief priests and the teachers of the law were
looking for some sly way to arrest Jesus and kill him. 2 "But not
during the Feast," they said, "or the people may riot."

So, we know (if any of this is at all trustworthy) that the Sanhedrin
were afraid of the crowd rioting against them if they tried to kill
Jesus during the feast just two days away.

In two days, all of Jerusalem suddenly and for no reason and
contradicting everything that has been said throughout all of Mark,
turn on Jesus?

What for?


Just two days before the "trial," the Sanhedrin are working on the sly
to kill Jesus (kill him), but they do nothing for fear of "the crowd"
gathered for the Passover feast turning against the Sanhedrin for
doing so. Two days later, Jesus' very life is on the line, supposedly,
and the "crowd" who so reveres him and allegedly has a way to save him
through this Passover "ritual," says they want Barabas freed,
allegedly because the Sanhedrin (who two days prior feared the riot of
the crowd and therefore, presumably, their own lives if they even
dared to kill Jesus), "stirred up the crowd to have Pilate release
Barabbas instead."


(Mark 15:11)

Two days before the Passover "festival" that never was, the Sanhedrin
are so terrified of the "crowd" attacking them and rioting against
them
that they have to plot and plan on "the sly" and then two days later
they're sirring up the same crowd to have Pilate release a murderer
instead?

And they agree, instead of doing precisely what the Sanhedrin feared
so
much that they allegedly conspired to have Jesus killed in the first
place?


Why? It's certainly not because they thought Jesus was a "false
prophet."


All of Judea has spent the better part of two years, allegedly,
following Jesus wherever he goes and begging just to touch the hem of
his garments; a fanatacism in such a large faction that the Sanhedrin
conspires secretly to kill him due to their fear of the crowd and as
soon as Jesus is up on the block, the Sanhedrin are able to overcome
their terror in order to "stir up" the crowd to have them ask for
Barabas' release and Jesus' crucifixion.

And the crowd agrees? Preposterous.

**
And don't give me any of that "God willed the crowd to demand Jesus'
death, because Jesus had to die for their sins" nonsense, because the
Sanhedrin had already tried to stone Jesus to death (twice) before
(but Jesus ran away).


Nor can one claim that God wanted Pilate and the Romans to be blamed
for Jesus' death so "He" orchestrated it that it would be Pilate who
orders Jesus' crucifixion, since Paul makes it clear that it was "the
Jews" who killed Jesus "and the prophets" (and, as a result, had
"finally" acrued the wrath of their own God,) which would have
happened at either of the stonings without any confusion. Paul makes
no mention of Pilate ordering Jesus' death (or the Romans) at all to
the Thessolonians and blames it all on the Sanhedrin (the "jews who
killed our Lord Jesus and the prophets" and who allegedly forced them
out of Jerusalem.

Quote:
MORE: instead of a murderer.


Yes, well, let's look at that, too.


Quote:


Mark 15:7 A man called Barabbas was in prison with the
insurrectionists
who had committed murder in the uprising.


That would mean that Barabbas was not just an insurrectionist, which
would have meant death by crucifixion on its own, but also that
Barabbas was a murderer of Romans.

So, let's recap a little. Pilate, a Roman Procurator, asks what
amounts
to his conquered slaves, who they want released to make them "happy"
(according to you), so he releases someone that had not just dared to
challenge Roman authority through insurrectionist means, but had,
apparently, murdered Roman soldiers in "the uprising!"

He says, in effect, "You all want me to kill an innocent man in place
of someone who murdered my own kind, if not my own soldiers? Sure, no
problem, glad to be of service."


It's patently ridiculous from start to finish.

Quote:

MORE: He did this to make the people happy so not riot occured.


Beside the fact that there would have most likely been garrisons of
Roman soldiers on guard for any such "festival," who would have no
problem at all hacking their way through thousands of malnutritioned
peasent Jews (who they no doubt detested if for no other reason than
they kept rising up), according to the Sanhedrin, the crowd loved
Jesus
so much that they feared even the mention of their plans to kill
Jesus
causing a riot against them not two days prior.


Not to mention the fact that Pilate would certainly have feared the
reactions of his own soldiers for letting a murderer of their own
ranks go free in order to appease the very people they were there to
brutally subdue.

No. Absolutely, categorically false on all counts. Pure fiction and
poorly written at that. If a Rabbi named Jesus had been crucified by
the Romans, then it would have been because he was an insurrectionist
or a murderer. End of story.


No Sanhedrin conspiring with Pilate; no crowd being "stirred up" by
the
Sanhedrin; and certainly not any ritual that celebrated a Jewish holy
day, where a convicted murderer of Romans and insurrectionist against
Rome would be set free in favor of killing a man Pilate had publicly
declared innocent (three times).

It is prima facie false through and through, with so many
contradictions and implausible scenarios (not to mention outright
lies)
that it is effectively impossible to conclude that the trial sequence
as provided is in any way true, for if it is, then everything I
detailed preceding that chapter in Mark is a lie.

Quote:

Originally posted by contracycle : Claiming to be king of the jews
would have very severe repercussions.

Christian apologetic nonsense. There is no such title, "King of the
Jews." It is a meaningless political title to the Jews and it would
have been a meaningless politicaltitle to the Romans, unless an
actual
King, such as Herod, had claimed that he was not just King of Judea,
but now King of All Jews and that this title was recognized in the
same
political manner as the Romans would understand such a claim of
absolute power.

Quote:
MORE: Firstly, the Romans have a mixed history of their own with
kings;
its the kind of thing that sets of warning bells.


To whom? Pilate? If he ever even heard the name of a wandering Rabbi
named Jesus, he would have been nothing more to Pilate than a
preacher
among the slaves and certainly not any kind of politically or
militarily minded usurper of power in the region to be any kind of
serious threat to the Roman empire and dealt with accordingly.

As for Pilate's supperiors in Rome, had they ever heard the name of
"Jesus," it would have been through Pilate in the form of official
Roman dispatches warning them of the political and/or military
threat.
If some local nutcase (which is how the Romans would have viewed it)
had been going around the town claiming he was the "King of the
Jews,"
they would have laughed it off and mocked him precisely as is claimed
to be the case in the passion narratives.


You're talking about the Roman Empire. Unless Jesus were the leader
of
a major political uprising, involved in "terrorist" activities
against
Roman citizens and hell bent on unifying the Jewish population to
lead
them in a military/fundamentalist Jihad attempting to topple the
Roman
Empire (like an ancient Bin Laden) as I personally suspect was
probably
the case (if the Romans actually did crucify Jesus and mocked him
with
that "title"), then, perhaps, there would be "warning bells" that
were
heard all the way to Rome.


But Pilate would have informed them if there were any such threat and,
again according to what was actually written, none of this was the
case. Jesus was nothing more than yet another crazy, Jewish "prophet,"
going around to local villages, preaching a reformed Judaism and would
have raised no "warning bells" of any kind. Again, it would be
identical to someone claiming to be the "King of the Mormons." At
best, it would be an internal matter for the Mormon elders and have
absolutely no bearing in any political/military threat perspective to
our Government; the modern Roman Empire.


"Serious repurcussions" can only come from a serious threat, which a
poor, wandering Rabbi did not possess.

Quote:

MORE: Secondly, its not as if this was only a local sect like the
mormons, this was a territorial nation.

That the Romans had conquered and controlled.

Quote:

MORE: If Pilate, was you say, was there to subdue the Jews


I don't "say" it; history records it.

Quote:


MORE: or at the very least govern it as a Roman province, then
someone
asserting divine right and a form of nationalism is a deadly threat.

First of all, Jesus never asserted any form of "nationalism," and
secondly, how? How would Jesus wandering around villages claiming to
be the "King of the Jews" (a meaningless title) be any kind of "deadly
threat" to the Roman Empire? Paricularly when you take into
consideration the fact that he allegedly preached obediance to earthly
authority and that his followers were to "render unto Caesar, that
which is Caesar's."

You can't be considered a "deadly threat" by a military empire,
unless
you have a significant, organized army and have already committed
several mass murders in the name of your "Kingdom."


Preaching about ethereal, theological "Kingdoms" would be totally
meaningless or irrelevant to Roman authority, unless that theology
resulted in, as I said, an immediate and significant military or
political threat to Roman authority, which Jesus did not. Believe it
or not, and Hollywood aside, not every single human being throughout
history has been an ignorant, fervant believer in divinity, much less
the divinity preached by Jewish slaves of the Roman Empire.

Quote:


MORE: Third, the appeal to kingship would have been dynamite given
the
proximity of mesopotamia and the warring city kings, albeit
historically.


How? Jesus was not a King and had no army and posed no military or
political threat to anybody in the region. The only possible "threat"
would have been to the Jewish orthodoxy and even then the "threat"
would be to losing followers of one cult to another more "reformed"
cult, many of which already existed in the region and had existed for
years.

Quote:

MORE: A term more provocative than king, from the Roman perspective,
could not I think be found.


Only if Jesus actually were a King, which he was not. I don't just
mean
in name or by ethereal, theological claims, but an actual military or
political threat, with an army and the power to actually challenge
military authority in the region; the power to wage actual war and
not
theologically metaphorical "war" (in quotes).

You are the victim of propaganda, written by the victors while at the
same time neglecting to consider the alleged facts. Jesus was not a
King and certainly not the "King of the Jews" (again, a meaningless
political title to both Jews and Romans) and he not only had no army
or
ability to wage war, but went around preaching (allegedly) that his
followers are to obey the Romans in every way.


The most that would have happened is that Pilate would have gotten
word that the followers of a local reformed Rabbi claimed he was a
"King" and he would have sent some officers to investigate. They, in
turn, would have reported back something to the effect of, "He's a
popular Rabbi with the non-orthodox Jews, but the title is purely
metaphorical," and that would be the end of it. Unless and again he
had actually been forming an army of insurrectionist engaging in the
same things that Barabas was allegedly convicted of, in which case,
the whole passion narrative and everything Jesus allegedly preached
was a lie. He would have been a "terrorist" and the blood on his hands
would not be metaphorical either and formed long before any spikes
were nailed into his seditionist/murderer body.


I know it may be hard to understand, but then that's why I used the
analogy of someone claiming to be the "King of the Mormons," or, if
you like, the "President of the Atheists." Those titles are utterly
meaningless to any power structure that might be threatened by such
claims. The President of the United States wouldn't care one tiny
little baby shite if some wandering nutjob went around claiming he was
the "President of the Atheists" now would he? The analogy is one for
one accurate. Had Jesus claimed to be "Caesar" and claimed it within
earshot of the actual Caesar," then chances are good he would have
been publicly eviscerated, but a local Rabbi claiming he was "King of
the Jews" would have been considered "cute" and a laugh, if considered
at all by anybody in Rome.

Originally posted by ConsequentAtheist : I found this interesting.
Interesting, but flawed.


It is a Christian apologetics website devoted to reconciling the
synoptic accounts It assumes Lukan primacy, without reason, other than
they claim it solves certain problems

Luke makes it clear that the chief priests and magistrates and elders
are the ones from the Temple, thus contradicting the idea that they
were not The Great Sanhedrin (i.e., the high mucky-mucks), but merely
a lesser group

We still have the same problem of the crowd inexplicably turning
against Jesus; the same crowd that the chief priests and magistrates
and elders are afraid of and yet now mingle with to incite We still
have the same problem of Pilate listening to the crowd at all We still
have the same problem of there being a Roman tradition of letting a
guilty man go free at Passover


And we still have the same problem of Pilate agreeing to free a
murderer/seditionist against Rome in favor of crucifying a completely
innocent man


Even if there were such a tradition, it would be unthinkable for a
Roman Procurator to let a murderer/seditionist go free in order to
appease a crowd of Jewish slaves.

If Barabas were a murderer/seditionist, it would have meant that he
murdered Roman
citizens or, more probably, Roman soldiers during his seditionist
acts. Just look what we did to David Koresh and a church full of women
and children when he and his group (allegedly) killed ATF agents. And
we're supposed to be civilized.


In fact, I found nothing of substance on that site that answers any of
the problems I raised in Mark (or, by extension, Matthew), other than
an admission that the sequence before Pilate's trial was probably not
an official trial by The Great Sandhedrin (as they put it), but more
of an interrogation.

man06

unread,
Oct 22, 2008, 10:30:12 AM10/22/08
to
"Saul of Tarsus – a witness for Jesus?

One is informed by Acts that St Paul's early day stance was as "Saul,
the Christian persecutor". Yet if Saul really was a vigilante for
orthodox Judaism at the time of Stephen's stoning (Acts 7.58-8.3),
becoming the chief persecutor of Christians, no less – one wonders
just where was Saul, not long before, when a supposed radical rabbi
called Jesus was stirring up whole towns and villages?

Paul's role as religious policeman seems not to have awakened until
shortly after the godman's death. But in itself this suggests Jesus of
Nazareth had no great impact. After all, Saul was a contemporary of
Jesus in time and place, raised in Jerusalem ("at the feet of
Gamaliel" – Acts 22.3) at precisely the time the godman was
overturning moneychangers in the Temple and generally provoking
Pharisees and Sadducees.

Would not Saul, a young religious hothead ("exceedingly zealous of the
traditions" – Galatians 1.14) have waded into those multitudes to
heckle and attack the Nazarene himself? Would he not have been an
enthusiastic witness to JC's blasphemy before the Sanhedrin? And where
was Saul during "passion week", surely in Jerusalem with the other
zealots celebrating the holiest of festivals? And yet he reports not a
word of the crucifixion?

Paul, another "witness for Jesus", saw and heard nothing!"

man06

unread,
Nov 21, 2008, 4:06:24 PM11/21/08
to

man06

unread,
Nov 26, 2008, 4:34:55 PM11/26/08
to
http://debunkingchristianity.blogspot.com/2008/11/son-of-man-as-jesus-from-idq.html

Numbers 23:19 says that God is not a man that he should lie, nor like
a son of man that he should repent


The term messiah, and christ, and the concept of a god in a human form
pre-existed and he could have used them. When he said "who do you say
I am?" he would have been more straightforward to have said "I am the
messiah, the christ, god in a human form. Do you believe that?".

When I go to professional meetings, I introduce myself using my name
and what role I have in the organization, and what role I will play in
the process.

I don't go to meetings and say, "Hi there, my name is Lee, what role
do you think I play in this organization?......Oh, good guess. Now,
don't tell anyone."

Now ignoring that equivocation is not like a parable, but using
reasoning from precedent,
- there were many instances of gods in human form, they were all found
to be mythical.
- there were many instances of writings detailing those gods, but they
were all found to be folklore
- there were many instances of dying and rising gods but they were all
found to be mythical
- there were many instances of Human virgin births, but they were all
found to be mythical

therefore using your reasoning scheme

Why would we change speed and think that this instance of god on earth
is any different?

man06

unread,
Nov 27, 2008, 4:41:02 PM11/27/08
to
The earliest unambiguous, documented claim for a physical resurrection
is Matthew's Gospel c. 80 CE (Mark has an open tomb, but no
appearances). That's 50 years after the alleged event, outside the
average expected lifespan of anyone who would have been old enough to
know what was going on in 30 CE. Another 10-20 years needs to be added
for any sort of significant copying and circulation which further
shrinks the pool of available witnesses and that pool was already
greatly contracted by the destruction of Jerusalem in 70.

It should also be remembered that these Gospels were originally being
read to small audiences, mostly gentiles and slaves, outside of
Palestine, and that the subject, Jesus (if he existed) would have been
an obscure figure even in 30 CE Jerusalem. They were also not written
in the native language of these prospective witnesses, and were not
exactly on display at chain bookstores. When they were read, they were
read in public readings to small and scattered congregations.

The odds of a doddering old Palestinian survivor of the First Jewish
War who was not only familiar with an obscure, crucified insurgent
preacher from the days of Pilate, but also just happened to know what
happened to the body finding himself in the audience of a public
reading of Matthew (or even Mark) 60 or 70 years later is not
impossible but Asia Minor would not have exactly been crawling with
such people.


farther away from jerusalem they found success...

I think you're missing the point. Why is it that Christian
missionaries generally found greater success the farther away from
Jerusalem they went? Since Christians pride themselves that their
religion is an historical one, based on real-world historical events,
why is it that locals to the events in question had a lower conversion
rate?

Suppose residents of Kirtland, Ohio in the mid-1800's converted to
Mormonism at a much lower rate than residents of, say, New York City.
(In fact, the opposite is true.) Would that strengthen or weaken a
Mormon's claims that the supernatural elements of Mormonism are based
on real-world events?

evidence...

Zosimus goes reads well in conjunction with the coin evidence obtained
from Britain. Tacitus goes well with the epigraphic, archaeological
and coin evidence available. The process is one of constructing a past
based initially on materials from the era, coins, epigraphy and
inscriptions, statuary, and anything else in the archaeological record
that sheds light on the period. These are the backbone of history.

However all sources are liable to being challenged and reconsidered
for their value, so you do well to challenge the classical texts. You
know though that texts are not the backbone. They are the flesh that
can be put on the backbone, if they fit the data already available.


mark is in matthew....

You are using an untested tradition which contraverts the facts we
have. Matthew has almost all of the same stories as Mark, but the
language has been improved, certain systemic changes have been made
(eg changing "kingdom of god" to "kingdom of heaven" contra Luke) and
certain details (found in Luke) have been omitted, apparently to
simplify the stories. This shows that the Greek Mark was the major
source. Then one looks at the shared material with Luke and there
leaves nothing coherent as a source for the claim of a sayings source
in Aramaic.


different authours of mark

The writer of Mk was a receiver of tradition, which he shaped and
passed on.

Stylistically the passion narrative is quite different from any other
segment in Mk. It is much longer than any other single topic in the
work, made up of larger blocks of material. It features the oral trick
of threes which I have mentioned before, things mentioned in threes,
which is seen in numerous cultures in oral tradition, three people
waiting at Gethsemane, three returns to them by Jesus, three comments
by Pilate to the crowd, Peter's threefold denial, three people
crucified, etc. What may have happened is that the bulk of the passion
was already a unit when it was stitched onto the end of the little
apocalypse and it was redacted in the process.

*

Certainly not. Both Lk and Mt were written far enough after Mk to need
to change it significantly. Both add theologically motivated material,
manipulate information. Do you think the writer of Mt actually saw
Jesus ride on two animals in the triumphant entry? Do you think that
the writer corrected the words that Jesus cited from Ps 22 during the
crucifixion because he heard them better or did he simply make it
closer to the Psalm? Did Jesus heal one man at Jericho as per Mk
10:46ff or two as Mt indicates? Did Jesus talk about the kingdom of
god or the kingdom of heaven? These changes do not inspire one with
the notion of an eyewitness.

man06

unread,
Nov 28, 2008, 7:51:37 AM11/28/08
to
http://www.freeratio.org/vbb/showthread.php?t=257315&page=3

Did Lazarus die again?

After all, Jesus was teaching about the resurrection with the example
of Lazarus, was he not?

And for Paul, a resurrected body cannot die anymore:


:::1 Corinthians 15:54
"So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this
mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass
the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory." ::::::

If Lazarus died after his resurrection, then Paul is wrong to
attribute immortality to resurrected bodies.

Interestingly, there is no reason whatsoever for a bible-believer to
assume that Lazarus died again. They'd actually have to assume he did
NOT die again, in order to make Jesus' lesson there on resurrection
harmonize with Paul's belief that resurrection creates immortality.

You should ask a fundie: "How could Lazarus have died again? Didn't
Paul teach that resurrected people can't die?"


----

and don't forget about the saints who arose when jesus died. paul does
not mention anything aout the saints who arose.
think about this, the saints were not dead for 3 hours or 3 days or 3
weeks but they were dead for a long time. jesus was dead for 3
days.according to matthew many dead saints arose and appeared to
many.what is 3 days of death compared to a person who has been dead
for 3? here we are just talking about a person not many people.none
of this was a problem for paul?

man06

unread,
Dec 1, 2008, 3:32:27 PM12/1/08
to
http://www.freeratio.org/vbb/showthread.php?t=257661

For example, one could say that the Judeo-Christian doctrine of loving
God before all others entails betraying and destroying anybody, even
your mother and father, if they go against God. In practice it led to
the breaking apart of countless families and the destruction of the
most advanced civilization on Earth (the Roman Empire) causing untold
misery to countless millions for a thousand years.

http://www.freeratio.org/vbb/showthread.php?t=255660&page=7

But they haven't merely deserted his gospel, they've turned to an
alternative gospel. How does that not imply the existence of at least
2 gospels?

man06

unread,
Dec 1, 2008, 4:52:43 PM12/1/08
to
http://www.freeratio.org/vbb/showthread.php?t=159132&highlight=karu&page=2


On Ps 22:17:

Simple facts:
)RY means "lion";
K- indicates "like" as in comparing one thing to be like another;
K)RY clearly means "like a lion"
How were these wicked people? -- K)RY YDY H:RGLY, ie "like a lion [at]
my hand and foot" or in better English, "like lions at my hands and
feet".

More simple facts:

The Nahal Hever copy of Ps 22 has a word K)RW (the last letter appears
to be a WAW);

At around the time of Qumran YODs and WAWs were written in manners
that confuse modern readers (see for example F.Moeller's intro to
1QIsaA on the net);
There is no biblical form of the verb KRH which has an ALEF
(transcribed here as ")") as the second letter and no reason to insert
one here based on Qumran orthography;

The letters at the end of the relevant line get smaller;

The YOD at the end of the next line in the NH Ps.22 (ie BY = "on me")
is basically as big as the last letter of K)RW and is as big as the
WAW at the end of the previous word of that line (YR)W).

This all means it is difficult to push the necessity of the NH
fragment reading a WAW for there is no clear way to be sure that a WAW
was either intended or even read by ancient readers, the upshot a
reading of K)RW from KRH seems unlikely, so the "to dig" approach is
hard to justify.

Even more facts:

The Greek verb wruxan ("they dug, dug up") has forms which are similar
to the Greek word wrugh (w=omega, h=eta), which I gather is partially
onomatopoeic, indicating the sound of some wild animals;

According to Liddell and Scott it is principally an attribute of
wolves, but L & S also give an indication that it can apply to lions
as well, citing Theocritus' Idylls 25:217.

The LXX translator would have had no trouble putting aside the Hebrew
parallelism of dogs/lion assailing the servant and writing his version
so that the wicked howl (like wolves or lions) at his hands and feet
of the speaker. The inventiveness was perhaps lost on a later scribe
who, it would seem not catching the sense, used the nearest word he
knew based on the verb "to dig".

Still more facts:

The English notion of piercing comes from Jn 19:35-37, when a soldier
pierced Jesus' side; This is based on a citation from Zech 12:10,
"they shall look upon me who they have pierced"; The Hebrew word, DBR,
is what was translated into English to mean "to pierce, to run
through"; If that verb is not sufficient, there is also MXC (X = CHET,
C = TSADE), which is often translated as ideas such as "to smite
through, wound", or as in Jdg 5:26 "to pierce" -- and there are other
similarly worthy verbs.

It's not that there was a lack of possibilities for a suitable verb in
Ps 22:17 if the writer really wanted to say something like "pierce".
It's clearly that that was not the concept that he wanted to convey.
Without the usual contortions, the Hebrew text makes sense as it is:
"Dogs surround me; an assembly of wicked ones close in on me, like
lions at my hands and feet."

If a Greek "to dig" reflected a Hebrew "to dig", how on earth would
one get "to pierce"? These are quite different in meaning -- one
involving the formation of a hole by excavation and the other damage
by insertion of a sharp object -- and one has to turn quite a blind
eye to that meaning difference, considering the Hebrew writer had
terms that were more accurate to indicate the desired significance of
"to pierce". You wouldn't expect a metaphorical use in the Greek and L
& S give none, so the LXX translator supposedly giving orussw must
really have been confused as to the meaning of the original Hebrew.
BDB have to conjure up a special entry just to deal with the
phenomenon of K)RY in Ps 22 (see p.468, KWR II.), indicating that the
meaning was dubious -- understandably.

If the Greek translator found KRH in the original and translated it as
"to dig" rather than going for the hypothesized underlying intention
of the original Hebrew, he would be showing as much confusion as a
later scribe might over wrugh. The Greek here seems to be of little
help in clarifying the fact that the Hebrew has "like a lion". But
then, some people want the LXX when it suits them but would prefer it
to disappear at other times.

As to a medaieval understanding of the Hebrew text from the Psalms
Targum, an Aramaic interpretative translation, Edward Cook renders the
relevant verse of the psalm: Because the wicked have surrounded me,
who are like many dogs; a gathering of evildoers has hemmed me in,
biting my hands and feet like a lion. (With the italics Cook indicates
what was added by the targumist.)

It's interesting that when we look at these christianizing
interpretations, the pregnant virgin, the servant Israel, the one like
a son of man, the lion-like digging, they are seldom straightforward,
as though they need to be eked out just to arrive at the christian
view about them. Odd that. Some are just unjustiable.

Over and out. Whizz... Crackle... Splutter.

man06

unread,
Dec 3, 2008, 4:39:15 PM12/3/08
to
5. Paul Never Cites Evidence Available to the Gospels

"Paul's failure to mention an empty tomb does not imply that he was
unaware of one," but it does support that conclusion (especially when
he omits it even from 1 Corinthians 15:4-8). But what's more
conspicuously absent is all the evidence later Christians adduce in
defense of their view of resurrection: actual descriptions of Christ's
risen body and its nature (showing wounds, eating and drinking, being
handled, not glowing but looking ordinary, etc.). In essence, in Paul
we lack testimony "proving" the resurrected Christ to be of the same
body he had in life, for which an empty tomb would also be necessary.
Also missing is anything Jesus said, for instance: "See my hands and
my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see, for a spirit does
not have flesh and bones, as you behold me having" (Luke 24:39).[18]
That Paul mentions none of this, unlike later Christian authors,
suggests none of it existed in Paul's time.

6. Was There an Empty Tomb?

O'Connell's defense of an empty tomb is wrong on the facts. The social
status of women would have no effect on their inclusion in a
fabricated empty tomb report, and Christians had specific reasons to
include them there.[19] So it's not an unlikely feature of the story.
The Gospels are mutually dependent and therefore not 'four independent
sources.' They all ultimately derive their empty tomb from Mark and
embellish it.[20] And besides, multiply attested fiction is still
fiction. That the labors of Hercules are multiply attested does not
make them true. As for contradictions, contrary to O'Connell, these
are so extreme in the Gospel accounts of the empty tomb that we can
have no faith in them.[21] And we have no evidence either way whether
the tomb was venerated (the site was lost or buried before any
relevant texts would inform us).[22] So O'Connell can't assert it
wasn't venerated—nor that it was any more likely to have been if
occupied than if empty. On either account, it would be equally
venerable as the site of the greatest and most important miracle in
history, so if an empty tomb could be ignored, so could a needless
body.

7. The Silence of Acts


O'Connell says "I do not think Carrier has shown that Acts' account is
incompatible with an empty tomb." But it doesn't matter whether a
story can be made "compatible" with a theory. What matters is whether
such compatibility is at all probable. And in the case of Acts, if it
records any history of the earliest Church, its silences are highly
improbable on the theory that the tomb was actually empty.

(1) In Acts the Christians are routinely hauled into court and tried,
and the Jews are constantly looking for excuses to imprison or kill
them—and try everything they can think of to get the Romans to help.
Yet not even once do they ever think of laying the crime of
graverobbing or abetting an escaped felon on any Christians, nor do
any Jews or Romans in these trials ever seem aware of either crime.
[23] Roman judges even repeatedly say the Christians have done nothing
wrong. How could that be? Not only would the trials and accusations
recorded in Acts be different, the history of the Church itself would
have been different, if either of these crimes were suspected—and they
would have been, had there been an empty tomb.

(2) Who would the Jews or Romans try? The Church leaders of course.
They would first interrogate them to ferret out all their accomplices
(and to determine if Jesus was still alive), much like Pliny.[24] This
would surely happen, and would be more important than any other event
in Acts, especially as it would provide powerful evidence for the
Gospel. Therefore, that it didn't happen makes no sense—unless there
was no crime, hence no empty tomb. The Jews would probably fabricate
witnesses to suit their needs as well (as they supposedly did for
Jesus). Since these crimes would guarantee execution by the Romans,
and considerable disgrace and discredit to the Christian mission,
prosecuting them would be the first thing attempted to shut down the
Church. Even if we think a judge would acquit, the means, motive, and
opportunity were still sufficient to argue in court. So that none of
this ever happened (and Acts attests it didn't happen) is inexplicable
unless there was no empty tomb.

(3) The Romans wouldn't believe the Christian claim that it was all a
supernatural act of God. Hence it doesn't matter what the Romans
understood the Christian teaching to be, what matters is what the
Romans would conclude the actual facts were. The body is missing.
People then said they met Jesus, spoke with him, ate with him, and
housed him. So what explanation is left? Either theft of the body, or
aiding and abetting an escaped felon, either of which the Christians
were exaggerating into a claim of miracle. That's what the Romans
would investigate. It's implausible to imagine they wouldn't. So that
they didn't has only one credible explanation: there was no empty
tomb.

(4) O'Connell's argument that the Romans should have prosecuted the
Christians anyway makes no sense. The Jews did prosecute them (even
before Roman judges), and surely leveraging available crimes to win
Roman assistance is exactly what the Jews would have done. That they
didn't entails they couldn't, which entails there were no crimes to
leverage. And if the body of Jesus was still in its tomb, there would
be no crime for the Romans to prosecute. As O'Connell himself says,
Christians would then simply be dismissed as hallucinating religious
nuts (Acts 26:24), guilty, at worst, of violating Jewish laws, which
Roman officials rightly said wasn't a Roman matter (Acts 18:14-15,
23:26-29). O'Connell suggests the Romans would prosecute the promotion
of a pretender to the throne. But not when the pretender was dead.
Many gods of the time were worshipped as Lords and Kings without
incurring Roman wrath, and though venerating a recently deceased man
like this could make some in Rome nervous, there was no actual law
against it. Pliny the Younger, for example, was in the unusual
circumstance of governing a province that at the time outlawed illegal
assembly, but in the period covered by Acts, the Jews actually had the
legal right of assembly. Since the Romans in Acts still see the
Christians as a Jewish sect, they saw the matter as a purely internal
dispute.[25] This would not have been the case if an actual body had
been missing.

http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/richard_carrier/carrier-oconnell/carrier3.html

11. Did No One Trust Women?

http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/richard_carrier/improbable/women.html

man06

unread,
Dec 4, 2008, 3:53:46 PM12/4/08
to

You said,

If you really believe there is no Jesus Christ, then quit making money
off of his name. If you blame Christians for the wrongs of the world,
I would like to point out that the atheist governments of the Soviet
Union and China have not been well known for their humane treatment of
individuals, while the U.S. which was founded on a fundamental belief
in God is undoubtedly one of, if not the most humane society in the
history of the world as we know it.


Christian clergy are largely a bunch of charlatans who make money
hawking the merits of the "Christian" brand while it produces no
results that reflect their claims. Of course, since the Christian
clergy have never been concerned about the truth of their claims, they
content themselves with the free cash. Christians are not better
people than non-Christians.

The statistics, the studies and the demographics all strongly
emphasize that being a Christian imparts people with no special
personal goodness, and no special benefits. From the numbers one might
conclude that the god of the Christian fundamentalists actually wants
to point to their lives as observably worse than those of other
Christians. They have higher crime rates notably including the violent
crimes of rape, murder, armed robbery, child and spouse abuse, and
incest. They have higher rates of marital infidelity, divorce,
abortion, pre-wed pregnancy, and preventable health problems like
obesity. They have lower levels of education, income, home ownership,
and access to healthcare. It is at least of interest to note that non-
believers fare better in all of these categories than do Christian
fundamentalists.

Tommy, not too many who visit this blog would "blame Christians for
the wrongs of the world," especially not all the Christians for all
the wrongs. However, lots who visit here would be quick to note that
Christianity isn't helping the world in the ways or to the extent that
it says it does. Since interventionist prayer is pure superstition, we
need not look to it as a source of assistance to mankind, but we can
look to the 100 percent supernatural-free humanitarian aid that
churches conduct.

To me any aid that actually benefits a person in need is valuable, but
how much aid are US Christians really providing? Currently, US
Christians donate over 200 billion dollars annually to churches and it
is that amount that gets counted as a charitable contribution, but in
reality, after expenses - mortage, salaries, insurances, retirement
accounts, electricity, gas, maintenance, honoraria, books, computers,
office supplies, televisions, advanced lighting and sound systems,
decorations, vehicle leasing and maintenance, professional fees(in
megachurches you can supersize all these expense and then add in
exercise equipment, pool maintenance, game systems and lots more) -
rarely more than 15 percent of donations to churches makes its way to
comforting the needy.

You declared,

Believing that this universe was created via Big Bang requires the
same amount of faith (in my opinion more) than believing that there is
one true God and that Jesus Christ was his son that was sent to earth.


Not so. There exists plenty of consistent data to support the Big Bang
hypothesis. By contrast, there exists no evidence "that there is one
true God and that Jesus Christ was his son that was sent to earth."

Among the tens of thousands of Christianities, the numerous gods and
saviors they describe are so varied that there is no "one true God" or
even one Jesus Christ. From denomination to denomination
Christianity's gods and saviors run the gamut of human wishful
thinking, but Christianity is nowhere near "one" religion or "one"
theology, and it has many gods and many saviors. When Christians want
to exercise political clout, they use the word "Christian" to give the
impression of a unified body. But, in services on Saturday, or Sunday,
or Wednesday night, the true nature of the beast reveals itself as in
the harsh, glaring light of religious sectarianism and human
tribalism, they proclaim their own heaven-bound righteousness while
vilifying the hell-bound practitioners of other Christianities.
Pentacostals are certain that they will peer down from heaven at
Catholics roasting in hell. Roman Catholics have no doubts that the
Eastern Orthodox are doomed. Baptists gloat that God loves them but
not those icky Presbyterians. In their own minds, their own
imaginations, every Christian congregation stacks the deck of their
god's intentions to their favor. ***** ***** ****


source:
http://debunkingchristianity.blogspot.com/2008/12/bart-ehrman-v-mike-licona-debate-can.html

man06

unread,
Dec 4, 2008, 4:01:39 PM12/4/08
to
"Would the apostles have been willing to die for either of the first 2
choices and would we still be discussing someone who fits the
description of the first 2 choices after 2000 years?"

CARR

How strange.

Paul says Christians were persecuted on the issue of circumcision.

Acts has an alleged letter from a Roman. It says Paul was charged with
nothing serious, apart from an internal Jewish dispute over Jewish
laws.

I guess the Jews were just too dumb to think of telling the Romans
that Paul was a follower of a criminal, who his followers claimed had
cheated death and was still alive. If it had occurred to the Jews to
have Paul charged with following a recently executed criminal, claimed
to be still alive by his followers, then Paul’s defense that Jesus
really had been killed would hardly have saved him.

You can imagine the trial scene :-

‘You are charged with following a rebel who claimed to be king, and
who you claim still leads your movement. How do you plead?’

‘Not guilty. Jesus was crucified and is now in Heaven.’

‘Pathetic. If this criminal is still alive and leading your movement,
then he obviously can’t have been killed. Do you think we Romans
believe in people returning from the dead?’

But not even Acts claims Paul was ever charged with anything serious.


---


2 Maccabees 7:Jesus was certainly not the first martyr, not even the
first Jewish martyr. And he didn't suffer for a weekend according to
the story, he suffered for 6 hours.

Even the seven brothers sacrificed more than Jesus:

...but at the very least, according to the stories, in the story of
the seven brothers they certainly suffer more and do it more willingly
and defiantly than Jesus does in his story.

The truth is that the Jews had been cultivating martyrdom for hundreds
for some time due to their occupation by the Romans.

http://www.iidb.org/vbb/showthread.php?t=195540&page=3


The objection that the followers of Jesus "would not have died for a
fraud" is a canard. In point of fact, there is no real evidence that
the direct followers were martyred for ANY reason and there is no
direct evidence that any of them believed in a physical resurrection.
There are no primary or secondary claims of such a belief by any
disciples, and the claim is absent from the earliest strata of
Christian literature. Paul does not say the resurrection was physical
and claims that physical resurrections can't happen. He speaks only of
"appearances" by Jesus and does not distinguish between the
appearances to Cephas and James et al and to himself (Paul). Paul does
not speak of an empty tomb. There is no resurrection of any kind in Q
or Thomas. The first known claim for an empty tomb doesn't come until
Mark, a non-witness, 40 years after the crucifixion and the first
claim for Jesus physically appearing to disciples isn't made until
Matthew's Gospel, 50 years after the crucifxion.


2) Who died for "the cause"? No one knows what happened to Paul, but
he never "met Jesus" anyway. The claims of the martyrdom of Peter are
2nd century or later legends. Who else supposedly "died for Jesus"?


Don't forget that the "heretics" were persecuted too, both by non-
Christians for being "Christian" and by Catholics Christians for
"being heretics".

Why did Marcion and his followers suffer persecution for believing
that Jesus was a phantom?

man06

unread,
Dec 4, 2008, 5:26:05 PM12/4/08
to

bnh_...@hotmail.co.uk

unread,
Dec 20, 2008, 8:55:43 AM12/20/08
to

CARR
I see John is moving the goalposts, and continuing to refuse to
examine the textual evidence such as Romans 10 and Romans 13, or 2
Cor. where Paul claims there were different Jesus's.

How can we know all these different Jesus's were the same person?

How can I learn why Paul seems to be behaving like Benjamin Creme in
Romans 10, if all I get is abuse for even broaching such subjects?


When is there going to be a real debate instead of accusations of
acting like Holocaust-deniers?

Where does Paul claim that people had been 'disciples' of Jesus -
people who had been with him while he preached?

Where is the evidence?

And what is the point of trying to open a debate with somebody who
responds to everything with abuse?

PAUL in 2 Corinthians 11:4

For if someone comes to you and preaches a Jesus other than the Jesus
we preached, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you
received, or a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up
with it easily enough.

CARR
What is the point of debating somebody who does not respect the
evidence?

Paul states flat-out that people were happy to accept different
Jesus's, yet John scoffs at the idea that somebody would write a story
about a Jesus and have Christians believe it, even if it was different
from what they had been told before.

bnh_...@hotmail.co.uk

unread,
Jan 4, 2009, 10:00:50 PM1/4/09
to
http://www.freeratio.org/showthread.php?t=259279

While not perfect, the parallels still make Jesus look like any other
dying and rising god-man of his day, and therefore, the idea that the
gospel authors appear to have been influenced by the dying-rising-god
motiff to beef up their descriptions of Jesus, so that he'd be a good
contender in the first-century's selection of such stories, remains on
the table and a rational option.

His uniqueness among god-men is a non-argument. Osiris was said to be
cut up after death, i don't know of any other god-man stories which
say the hero was cut up after death. Does Osiris's unique description
somehow argue that he truly was revived?


Then again, maybe we shouldn't even grant Jesus' uniqueness in
resurrection, since there were previous stories of resurrected people
in the Old Testament, and of course, the gospel authors minced no
words in their efforts to demonstrate that Jesus was pre-figured in
the Old Testament:

1 Kings 17:17-22
2 Kings 4:32-35

2 Kings 13:20-21

Ezekiel 37:1-11


The Old Testament parallels to bodily resurrection therefore justify
skeptics who say the gospel authors, known already to see Jesus
prefigured in various Old Testament stories, likely drew upon Old
Testament resurrection stories and symbols in their efforts to show
Jesus as a fulfillment of Old Testament themes and stories.


Christians also never quite explained the force of the argument from
uniqueness. Given their above-stated failures to show interdependence
between the pagan god stories themselves, how exactly does the
uniqueness of Jesus contribute ANYTHING to his probable historicity as
god-man? What exactly does the argument from uniqueness prove? As far
as I can see, classic metal lighters.


---

After looking at the history and the origins of Christianity, I think
Christianity would've "borrowed" those concepts earlier *IF* they
could've gotten away with it. The fact will always remain that the
concepts were popular and came long before Christianity was ever
created.

You're admitting that major concepts, motifs and characteristics
found
within Christianity were indeed in existence practically everywhere
before the common era - and that conclusion is in fact the general
premise of Acharya's work.


In order for YOUR premise to work, the creators of Christianity would
have had to live in a hermetically sealed bubble devoid of contact
with the rest of the Mediterranean. In your scenario, Christianity
would thus truly represent divine revelation.


You're suggesting that some miraculous minded Jews just happened to
come up with all these concepts on their own, without any influence
from all of the religions and cults of the Roman Empire surrounding
them? That would be a miraculous genesis indeed!


Logic dictates that the creators of Christianity did not live in a
hermetically sealed bubble but were quite familiar with the plethora
of concepts that existed in the Roman Empire, particularly at
Alexandria, which contained a massive library and which also was home
to many thousands of Jews, Hebrews and Samaritans at the time. The
evidence points to THESE Jews as being the major contributors to
Christianity, and they were surely not oblivious to the very obvious
religious concepts all around them, including and especially as
concerns the highly popular Isis, Osiris and Horus.


In order to uphold this hermetically sealed bubble thesis, we would
need not only to suspend logic but also to remove completely the
milieu of the Mediterranean at that time, leaving the creation of
Christianity within a miraculous vacuum.


One reason we find these concepts all over the


-----


No you're the one who is confused.

1. You claimed -without evidence or citation - that the reason Moses
ordered the killing of men and children was because they represented a
threat of idolatry among the Hebrews. The children couldn't be
integrated into Hebrew society, and since there was no one to care for
them they needed to be killed. Do you plan to cite any verse or
reasoning to prove this?

2. About the children now: you also have not explained yet why
impressionable children, after having lived in a different culture for
seven years, wouldn't adopt that culture - in which case they would
not be idolaters, but worshipping the Hebrew god. And in which case,
your made-up reason for Moses killing them would collapse under the
weight of its own nonsense. I don't have to prove anythign here; it is
your claim that impressionable children would not adopt Judaism while
living as slaves among Jews for seven years. That claim is the
underpinning of your rationalization for Moses ordering their deaths.
Since it's a critical part of your claim about Moses' order to kill
the children, the burden of proof is on YOU to prove that these
children would not have adopted the Jewish religion. I do not have a
burden of proof here.

3. You have also been running from the additional question: if Moses
was so afraid of idolatry in Israel that he felt the need to order the
slaughter of children to avoid having idolatry break out, then why did
he make an exemption for the foreign women? Why did Moses allow them
to be brought back as slaves and wives? Teenage (and adult) women are
far more likely to be active and knowledgeable worshippers of idols,
not impressionable or easily changed like children. If Moses was truly
afraid of idolatry (thus ordering th slaughter or children), then why
the exemption for women?

Answer: the reason the women were spared is because capture of women
from other tribes is a tradition with a long history in the ANE. The
men were killed for obvious reasons; the children were killed to make
sure that there would be no blood feuds or retribution later on - and
to make sure that the women would bear children by their new Hebrew
husbands / slaveowners. With their first set of children dead, the
foreign women would have no ties to their former tribe. So Moses'
order to kill the children had nothing to do with any fears of rampant
idolatry breaking out in Israel. On the contrary, it was an aspect of
ancient Mideast culture playing itself out. So your attempt to
rationalize Moses' order to slaughter the children based on fears of
idolatry is nonsense. The Hebrew slaughter of these children remains
immoral.

This is the admission that you're trying to avoid making.


Quote:

Sadly, I'm afraid it is most certainly about your argument. You've
tossed an ad hoc assumption out here: Moses ordered the slaughter of
innocent children to prevent the spread of idolatry.

1. What do children know about idol worship?
2. Why wouldn't those children simply assimilate the local culture,
esp. since they are children and impressionable?
3. If the Hebrews were just as bad as surrounding peoples, then
foreign children pose no more of a threat of idolatory than native-
born Hebrew children would.

The argument you tossed above isn't history; it's your argument about
a semi-mythical history. Don't confuse the two.

You still seem confused. The law was to protect the Hebrews.


http://jesuspuzzle.humanists.net/CritiquesLicona.htm


I don't need to point out that this is more question begging.
Licona's three points are precisely what we do not find in Paul, who
never links Jesus' death to any specific time or location (without us
lassoing 1 Timothy into Paul's corral), whose "eyewitnesses" are
simply to visionary experiences (like his own) of a scripturally-
revealed dying and rising savior—but that's a matter in regard to 1
Corinthians 15 which I won't go into here. It is the Gospels, and the
Gospels alone during the first century, that make such a placement in
time and location, and if the traditional myths of the mysteries are
placed in a primordial past, it is because they were of ancient
provenance, whereas Christ belief of the Pauline sort was of recent
vintage. When it eventually became historicized in the Gospels, Mark
would have had no reason to set his savior in a distant past. It would
have been very reasonable to tie him to more recent history,
especially as this would have coincided with the time of the earliest,
by now legendary, apostles of the Christ like Peter and Paul.

Such earlier evidence tends to be of the sort I mentioned in the
Harpur book review, artifacts, frescoes, fragmentary texts, or the
writings of ancient historians, playwrights, etc., who happen to deal
with related subjects, and so on. That gods like Tammuz, Adonis,
Dionysus, Osiris had myths which contained many of the same features
as we find in the story of Jesus is simply undeniable. This is not to
say that myths and cults of these gods would not have undergone some
evolution over time; no religion stays static indefinitely, and that
includes Christianity over its first few centuries. And there is
always a certain amount of syncreticism going on, and that too
includes Christianity in its formative processes. But to simply
dismiss the common elements between Christianity and the pagan mystery
religions as a case of direct borrowing from the former by the latter
from the second century on is apologetic nonsense.


First of all, we have the witness of a writer like Celsus, around
160-180, whom Origen did his best to refute. He accused the Christians
of having nothing new, of borrowing or stealing everything from the
widespread myths of the time. Then we have Christianity's own
apologists like Justin and Tertullian being forced to deal with such
accusations, not by denying that the mysteries had possessed such
features before Christianity came along, but by admitting that while
they did predate Christ, they were the responsibility of Satan and his
demons who counterfeited them ahead of time. (We laugh at such
rationalizations today, but some modern apologetic antics aren't much
better.) Licona actually undertakes to address Justin's remarks, which
I will address shortly.


Some of Licona's above-quoted rebuttal involves a common device among
apologists. Find and play up any differences one can find, subject the
material to minute dissection to see where exact comparisons are
lacking, and then claim that this is decisive and disproves the entire
case. (As the saying goes, "If it's not an exact parallel, it isn't a
parallel.") This, too, is nonsense. No one is claiming that the story
of Jesus is a mirror image of every aspect of savior god mythology,
and certainly not of any one particular god's mythology. Rather, what
we see is a commonality of themes and basic ideas, not all of which
are universally shared. Christianity emerged from a broad cultural
segment of the ancient world, with Jewish elements of one form or
another as a prime component. Judaism itself was not monolithic (as
Richard Carrier has laid out concisely in his article "The Spiritual
Body of Christ" in The Empty Tomb, which Licona addresses in his
critique), and some Jewish circles outside Judea were significantly
hellenized. The degree of commonality of themes and elements,
including specifics, between Jesus and the pagan myths is extensive,
even striking; they are enough to justify the conclusion that in many
respects they are indeed cut from the same cloth.

But Justin wrote in the middle of the second century. Are we to
believe that when Justin noted those parallels, the entries were not
yet dry in the mystery cults' books concerning such resurrections and
ascensions, having just been appropriated by these ancient cults from
the newcomer Christianity, not to mention all the other details and
parallels Licona and others suggest pagan religion "copied" from the
Christian story? The idea is ridiculous. The Christians themselves
seem barely familiar with their own traditions, if we are to judge by
the fact that almost nobody before Justin shows any knowledge of the
Gospel events and the features of Jesus' life, that Justin is the very
first to quote from those Gospels, and almost the first to equate the
Son and Logos with a man who had recently lived. Before the time of
Justin, pagan writers, satirists and historians have barely taken
notice of Christians, let alone of an historical Jesus, and most
second century apologists seem to have felt secure in presenting a
"complete" picture of the Christian faith without even mentioning him.
And yet all these ancient cults suddenly felt it necessary or
desirable to adopt features of the Jesus story in wholesale fashion?
Preposterous.


This is how I put it in my "cross-examination" of Gregory Boyd in
Challenging the Verdict (p.89-90):

Before we leave this issue about borrowing, I would like to call the
court’s attention to another point which renders highly questionable
the idea that the mysteries took from Christianity. Let me quote
Celsus as quoted by Origen: “Are these distinctive happenings unique
to the Christians—and if so, how are they unique? Or are ours to be
accounted myths and theirs believed? In truth, there is nothing at all
unusual about what Christians believe.” Now, Celsus was a pagan
hostile to Christianity who wrote in the latter part of the second
century at a time when the mystery cults were flourishing, and he is
not the only one to claim that the Christians believed in nothing new.
Could someone like Celsus have been totally unaware, if your
suggestion is accurate, Dr. Boyd, that within his own lifetime this
new Christianity had been the fountainhead of all the major features
of the mysteries, that scarcely a few decades before he was writing,
those age-old mysteries had revised the myths of their own gods
according to Christian rites and doctrines? This is an idea that is
genuine nonsense, to use your own term. Besides, considering the
hostility which pagans in general held toward the Christian religion,
something attested to by early Christian writers including the second
century apologists, is it feasible to suppose that such pagans would
have been anxious to recast their ancient mysteries according to the
despised Christian doctrine, to reinvent their gods along the lines of
the Jesus faith they were currently bad-mouthing and condemning on all
fronts?

Licona also treats us to the spectacle of himself attempting to
discredit Justin's own discussion of the parallels. He calls them
"weak," pointing out the differences, for example, between the
resurrection of the sons of Jupiter with that of Jesus, since the
manner in which they "rise" from a state of death, and the
circumstances involved, are quite different. Of course they are. They
arise from different cultures, their stories have totally different
settings, much of the underlying philosophies are quite different. But
Justin was able to recognize what Licona refuses to: that the essence
of the theme is the same; both are different expressions of the same
basic idea. Licona would no doubt argue that the tradition of the Star
at Jesus birth is completely unlike the tradition of a comet at Julius
Caesar's birth because one is a star and the other is a comet. That
may be a bit of an exaggeration on my part, but let me make my point
by quoting Robert Price in Deconstructing Jesus (p.89):


Smith's error is the same as that of Raymond Brown, who dismisses the
truckload of comparative religion parallels to the miraculous birth of
Jesus. This one is not strictly speaking a virgin birth, since the god
fathered the child on a married woman. That one involved physical
intercourse with the deity, not overshadowing by the Holy Spirit, and
so on. But, we have to ask, how close does a parallel have to be to
count as a parallel? Does the divine mother have to be named Mary?
Does the divine child have to be named Jesus? Here is the old
"difference without a distinction" fallacy.


Just because I choose to plant roses and you choose to plant
geraniums, or because our two backyard soils may have different
ingredients which favor one or the other, does not mean that they are
not both flowers and gardens, or that we have not indulged our green
thumbs through common motives and impulses. We both come up with the
basic idea under the influence of a traditional practice throughout
our urban society; our own garden's layout may even be at least
partially the result of viewing our neighbors' gardens and being
influenced by what we see.

---

Licona, quoting Twelftree, acknowledges that there are figures who
"perform a single miracle or two during their lifetime, but they are
not to be compared to Jesus." But this is short-sighted on a number of
counts. With one major exception, we don't have an account of a
miracle-worker's career comparable to the Gospels, though we have
surviving traditions about this or that individual performing reputed
miracles in general, such as certain Jewish rabbis. We also have
testimony to the widespread practice of magic and miracle-working,
even if no surviving names are attached to it. (For statements in
principle on this, see for example Burton Mack, Myth of Innocence, p.
209.) And when we offer that one exception, namely Apollonius of
Tyana, whose reputed miracle-working rivalled the reputed miracles of
Jesus, what does Licona do? He imputes that it was all made up by
Apollonius' biographer Philostratus over a century later! As if there
would have been no traditions of miracle-working going back to, or
near to, Apollonius' career which Philostratus could have drawn on.
No, he made up the whole idea himself, and moreover, did it all in
imitation of Jesus of Nazareth. We are not allowed to 'win' on any
count, no matter how unlikely the argument that has to be put forward.


Actually, the tradition that Jesus (even if historical) worked all
those miracles is on no more secure ground than the traditions about
Philostratus. Not a single Christian writer of the first century
outside the Gospels so much as mentions miracles by their Jesus, a
subject often conspicuous by its absence. To find the first reference
to Jesus being a miracle-worker one has to go beyond even Ignatius to
the epistle of Barnabas, and even he fails to give any examples. When
we also consider that miracle working was expected to accompany the
approach of the Kingdom, when we consider that most of the miracles in
the Gospels are midrashically modelled on miracles stories of the Old
Testament, we have reason to believe that nothing goes back to any
recorded historical miracle-working (genuine or not) by Jesus. In
fact, believers and apologists are faced with a dilemma. If miracle-
working was such a rarity, and yet Jesus of Nazareth uniquely performed
—or was reputed to have performed—all or even some of these wondrous
deeds, how can it be that not only contemporary Christian writers are
silent on them, they created no stir which would impel non-Christian
commentators of the time to make any mention of them either?

bnh_...@hotmail.co.uk

unread,
Jan 5, 2009, 8:25:13 PM1/5/09
to
who is the centurion and who are the guards? are they the roman
soldiers?

Yes. In MT 27, they are the Roman soldiers supervising the
crucifixion.

Quote:
how i define verse 53: the centurion and the guards became believers
when they witnessed the events that took place.

Yes.

Quote:
are the guards in chapter 28 the same guards in chapter 27?

No. In MT 27, they are soldiers at the cross. In 28, they are sentries
at the tomb.

Quote:
a christian's response to what carrier said:


Quote:
no
> corpse robbery by the disciples. But for them it was supernatural
> but a trick of the Devil.In Matthew 28:11-15 we have

Jews didn't (and don't) believe in the Devil. That's a Christian
entity, not a Jewish one. Satan, in Judaism, was not (and IS not) evil


> If the soldiers were ROMAN, as it seems, then robbery of a corpse
> while the Roman soldier was on duty was punished by DEATH. The
> Jewish leaders would not have been able to save them but only by
> telling Pilate that the soldiers were telling the truth, a
> supernatural event had taken place, but that it was a trick of
> Satan. It says " we will SATISFY HIM ( Pilate ) and keep you out of
> trouble ".

The idea that Pilate would be "satisfied" by such a fantastic
explanation (which would have seemed just as ludicrous then as it does
now) is laughable.

Also, the Romans had no belief in either the Jewish God or in any kind
of "Devil" deity. Why on earth would Pilate buy such a story for a
second? He wasn't a moron. Roman Governors were no more prone to
swallow tall tales about devils stealing corpses than any random
police detective or governmental authority nowadays.


Quote:
> Exactly what that means is speculation: maybe they meant they would
> have saved the soldiers by giving Pilate also alot of money. Why?
> Because it was better than having good religious Jews be mislead by
> a trick of Satan, it was better to have the story spread that a
> robbery had taken place. On top of that the disciples didnt start
> preaching the resurrection till FIFTY DAYS later.

Once again, the Jews did not believe in Satan as devil, and Pilate
would not have bought the story anyway. Nor could he have been bribed
into ignoring a body theft which would have been personally
embarrassing to him.

Quote:
but what about the centurion and those who were guarding jesus? surely
they would spread what they alledgedly witnessed. why would they not
be interoggated? is it believable that pilate was bought off? is it
believable that a brutal ruler believed in "satans trick" and did not
report "satans trick" to his secretaries?


latest response:
>IN MATT 28 THE ROMAN SOLDIER OR SOLDIERS LEFT BEHIND WOULD NOT HAVE SPREAD NEWS JUST LIKE THAT:

>The reason is that, since, as appears, they were ROMAN soldiers, they could not have ALL abandoned their post, they would have been punished. The text says SOME went to see the priests, so at LEAST ONE soldier was left >behind in his post.

>That means at least 3 soldiers were involved, though it could have been more. The soldier or soldiers left behind >would have waited for news and then got money from those returning.


The final response makes no sense to me. Even accepting the ad hoc
assertion that somebody would have been left at the tomb, why would
that prevent the other soldiers from reporting what they saw or any of
them from being interrogated?

Even going this far with this subject is humoring the apologist, of
course. It's just about impossible to make a convincing case that any
tomb existed at all, and even if we accept the existence of a
historical tomb uncritically, Matthew's guards are found in no other
Gospel, and in fact, all three of the other Gospels strongly imply
that the tomb was unguarded (and are wildly contradictory in other
ways too, of course).

Never mind extra-Biblical evidence, there isn't even any corroborating
Biblical evidence for any guards being posted at the tomb.

" for since through man [is] the death, also through man [is] a rising
again of the dead, for even as in Adam all die, so also in the Christ
all shall be made alive, and EACH in his PROPER ORDER, a first-fruit
Christ, afterwards those who are the Christ's, in his presence "

what are the words/word for "first fruit" in greek and where else is
this "first fruit" used in the nt, and what does it mean? am i correct
to understand that it means earliest in time and order?

The Greek word is απαρχη (which actually contains the word αρχη, which
generally means beginning). It appears in Romans 8.23; 11.16; 16.5; 1
Corinthians 15.20, 23; 16.15; 2 Thessalonians 2.13; James 1.18;
Revelation 14.4. This is also the word commonly used to translate the
Hebrew word ראשית (firstfruits) in the LXX.

In these passages it does indeed appear to mean first in time and
order. Paul, for example, seems to call his first convert in each
district the firstfruits of that district (Romans 16.5; 1 Corinthians
16.15). As I understand it, the Hebrew term denotes the first portion
of the harvest, set aside as holy to God before the rest of the
harvest was taken in or used for human purposes.

Hope this answers your question.


I think you're basically right. I think the original Matthean version
had the saints coming out of th grave contemporaneously with the death
of Jesus and that the words μετὰ τὴν ἔγερσιν αὐτοῦ ("after his
rising") are a later interpolation intended to salvage the passage
from the embarrassment of having other people resurrected before
Jesus. Whether the editor specifically had Paul's first fruits" phrase
in mind, I don't know, but I think having anyone rising before Jesus
would have been seen as problematic even without that knowledge of
Paul.

You don't say what you're quoting from, but I think the author you're
quoting is correct that the Diatessaron most likely preserves the
original Matthean story.

Good question. If Paul's biography is as advertised, he should have
known who Pilate was. He was familiar with Judea at the relevant time.

Why he doesn't mention Pilate is a question that doesn't have a
definitive answer. It's not just Pilate, Paul says virtual nothing
about anything Jesus said or did before the crucifixion at all. He
mentions nothing about Jesus' birth, ministry, miracles except for
(arguably) the Resurrection, nothing about an empty tomb, etc.

This absence of any detail about Jesus' physical life is one of the
key arguments used by Jesus Mythicists. It's not a question I have an
answer for. Typically Historicists will argue that just because Paul
doesn't mention it in the 7 letters we have from him doesn't mean he
didn't know or talk about them at all, only ythat he had other
concerns in those letter.

My personal opinion is that Paul didn't know very much about the
historical Jesus and that some of the elements in the story were
invented by Mark after Paul's death.

Pilate IS mentioned by Josephus and Tacitus, though, so it has extra-
Biblical corroboration (whatever you think that corroboration may be
worth).

One strong possibility why Paul might not have mentioned Pilate is
that he found it embarrassing. He was talking to a Gentile audience,
and crucifixion in Judea was used primarily against insurgents. Those
who were crucified were esssentially viewed as terrorists by Gentiles,
especially by Romans.

Trying to sell a crucified insurgent as a savior to a Gentile Audience
was roughly equivalent to a modern day preacher trying to convince
Americans that an Iraqi insurgent or a Gitmo prisoner was great, new
religious prophet.

That's just speculation, though. Hope it helps.


----


Fascinating! I never heard of this stuff! Carrier's reasonings are
excellent, as always!

And, as you say, to assume that, being doughty Romans, they would have
left at least one guard behind, seems purely gratuitous.

And the notion of the Sanhedrin "satisfying" Pilate is as ambiguous as
that other peice of specious Matthean glossing, Jesus' vague excuse to
John the Baptist as to why he is receiving baptism. Huh?

And there is absolutely no call to identify the centurion andguards
from the cross with those atthe tomb. The latter are said to be
recruited afresh after the crucifixion: "Take some guards and secure
it as best you can."

What a farce!

Roger Pearse

unread,
Jan 6, 2009, 7:09:37 AM1/6/09
to
This is a very long post full of vague allusions and positive
statements. Perhaps we can discuss a few.

On 5 Jan, 03:00, bnh_2...@hotmail.co.uk wrote:
> http://www.freeratio.org/showthread.php?t=259279
>
> While not perfect, the parallels still make Jesus look like any other
> dying and rising god-man of his day,

Who precisely are we discussing?

> and therefore, the idea that the
> gospel authors appear to have been influenced by the dying-rising-god
> motiff to beef up their descriptions of Jesus, so that he'd be a good
> contender in the first-century's selection of such stories, remains on
> the table and a rational option.

Not considering their Jewish origins and the heavily-documented
hostility of both Jews and Christians to paganism.

> You're admitting that major concepts, motifs and characteristics
> found within Christianity were indeed in existence practically everywhere

What precisely are you asserting?

> before the common era - and that conclusion is in fact the general
> premise of Acharya's work.

Acharya is not thought well of on the FRDB forum you referenced
earlier, incidentally.

> You're suggesting that some miraculous minded Jews just happened to
> come up with all these concepts on their own, without any influence
> from all of the religions and cults of the Roman Empire surrounding
> them? That would be a miraculous genesis indeed!
>
> Logic dictates that the creators of Christianity did not live in a
> hermetically sealed bubble but were quite familiar with the plethora
> of concepts that existed in the Roman Empire,

This pair of paragraphs looks to me like a classic logical fallacy;
post hoc ergo propter hoc. That is, because something is later than
something else, the first thing is derived from the second. Don't do
this. It also contains the obvious error of fact of refusing to deal
with the hostility of the authors of Christianity to paganism; and the
well-recognised differences between Judaism and Paganism.

> particularly at Alexandria, which contained a massive library and which also was home
> to many thousands of Jews, Hebrews and Samaritans at the time. The
> evidence points to THESE Jews as being the major contributors to
> Christianity,

Which Jews in particular, documented in which texts?

> and they were surely not oblivious to the very obvious
> religious concepts all around them, including and especially as
> concerns the highly popular Isis, Osiris and Horus.

Perhaps you would document the influence of these Egyptian cults on
Alexandrian Judaism; specifics, please.

> In order to uphold this hermetically sealed bubble thesis,

This straw man. You have to demonstrate that someone adopts an idea
from someone else, not merely assert repeatedly that they 'must' have
done so.

> time and location, and if the traditional myths of the mysteries are
> placed in a primordial past, it is because they were of ancient
> provenance, whereas Christ belief of the Pauline sort was of recent
> vintage.

Which rather points out the difference between the two.

> When it eventually became historicized in the Gospels,

Eventually meaning how long?

> Mark would have had no reason to set his savior in a distant past. It would
> have been very reasonable to tie him to more recent history,
> especially as this would have coincided with the time of the earliest,
> by now legendary, apostles of the Christ like Peter and Paul.

Instead of this rather counter-historical speculation, perhaps the
events of the life of Mark, Peter and Paul can be discussed as found
in the only historical texts that discuss them?

> That gods like Tammuz, Adonis, Dionysus, Osiris had myths which contained many of the same features
> as we find in the story of Jesus is simply undeniable.

In my experience claims of this sort are usually made by people
unfamiliar with classical mythology and intent on telling a falsehood
by selection and omission. Perhaps you would be specific with
whatever your claim is?

> evolution over time; no religion stays static indefinitely, and that
> includes Christianity over its first few centuries. And there is
> always a certain amount of syncreticism going on, and that too
> includes Christianity in its formative processes.

The hostility of the Fathers to syncretism and this kind of evolution
is a matter of historical record.

> But to simply dismiss the common elements between Christianity and the pagan mystery
> religions as a case of direct borrowing from the former by the latter
> from the second century on is apologetic nonsense.

Why?

> First of all, we have the witness of a writer like Celsus, around
> 160-180, whom Origen did his best to refute. He accused the Christians
> of having nothing new, of borrowing or stealing everything from the
> widespread myths of the time.

Reference, and specifics? This is a fairly deep travesty of Celsus'
position. He certainly doesn't consider Christianity to be the same
as paganism!

> Then we have Christianity's own apologists like Justin andTertullianbeing forced to deal with such


> accusations, not by denying that the mysteries had possessed such
> features before Christianity came along, but by admitting that while
> they did predate Christ, they were the responsibility of Satan and his
> demons who counterfeited them ahead of time.

Erm, which arguments are J and T 'forced to deal with'? That
Christianity was like paganism? Ancient pagan writers did not assert
this as a point against Christianity.

The description above misrepresents fairly thoroughly the arguments of
Justin and Tertullian.

> (We laugh at such rationalizations today,

Usually because 'we' haven't much knowledge of history.

> case. (As the saying goes, "If it's not an exact parallel, it isn't a
> parallel.")

Those of us with a smidgeon of critical sense know that argument from
parallel to prove connection is a fallacy. It is the same argument
used by Atlantis cultists to prove, from pyramids in Egypt and in
Mexico, that Atlantis must have existed. Please think for yourself
here, hmm?

> This, too, is nonsense. No one is claiming that the story
> of Jesus is a mirror image of every aspect of savior god mythology,
> and certainly not of any one particular god's mythology. Rather, what
> we see is a commonality of themes and basic ideas,

The question, however, is whether the same argument, by omitting
unconformtable differences, would 'prove' that Julius Caesar was
George W. Bush. Again, please look critically at these ideas -- they
are *such* rubbish.

> But Justin wrote in the middle of the second century. Are we to
> believe that when Justin noted those parallels, the entries were not
> yet dry in the mystery cults' books concerning such resurrections and
> ascensions, having just been appropriated by these ancient cults from
> the newcomer Christianity,

Syncretism does indeed involve such things. That pagans were prepared
to mix Christian themes into their own ideas can be shown from reading
gnostic texts, or Plotinus (who objects to it).

> The idea is ridiculous. The Christians themselves
> seem barely familiar with their own traditions, if we are to judge by
> the fact that almost nobody before Justin shows any knowledge of the
> Gospel events and the features of Jesus' life, that Justin is the very
> first to quote from those Gospels, and almost the first to equate the
> Son and Logos with a man who had recently lived.

This argument from the non-preservation of literature outside the New
Testament relies on the fact that few people know that 99% of ancient
literature is lost. It is a rather basic fallacy as well.

Please don't be upset that I critique these ideas fairly strongly. I
realise that you are just repeating them in good faith. But they are
very, very bad. The atheist forum in FRDB where the scholars lurk
won't have anything to do with most of these, because they are simply
uneducated.

> Before the time of Justin, pagan writers, satirists and historians have barely taken
> notice of Christians, let alone of an historical Jesus,

Erm, **in surviving texts**. But Christianity was not an important
movement before the end of the second century anyway, so quite what
this is supposed to prove is unclear.

> and most second century apologists seem to have felt secure in presenting a
> "complete" picture of the Christian faith without even mentioning him.

Most *surviving* apologists. Minucius Felix explains why they did
this, as does the Alaxamenos graffiti -- Jesus, a crucified criminal,
was an embarassing figure.

> And yet all these ancient cults suddenly felt it necessary or
> desirable to adopt features of the Jesus story in wholesale fashion?
> Preposterous.

Perhaps we could get an explanation then why the Historia Augusta
records just such syncretism, where an emperor ca. 200 (iirc) had a
chapel full of gods including Jesus? Syncretism of this kind did
exist.

> Before we leave this issue about borrowing, I would like to call the
> court’s attention to another point which renders highly questionable
> the idea that the mysteries took from Christianity.

Read some gnostic texts. See the borrowings for yourself.

> Let me quote Celsus as quoted by Origen: “Are these distinctive happenings unique
> to the Christians—and if so, how are they unique? Or are ours to be
> accounted myths and theirs believed? In truth, there is nothing at all
> unusual about what Christians believe.” Now, Celsus was a pagan
> hostile to Christianity who wrote in the latter part of the second
> century at a time when the mystery cults were flourishing, and he is
> not the only one to claim that the Christians believed in nothing new.

> **Could** someone like Celsus have been totally unaware, if your


> suggestion is accurate, Dr. Boyd, that within his own lifetime this
> new Christianity had been the fountainhead of all the major features
> of the mysteries,

Which major features of which mysteries?

Appealing to what people today find 'probable', with rhetoric, is not
a valid method to determine what happened in antiquity.

> Besides, considering the hostility which pagans in general held toward the Christian religion,

But not, according to you, Christians to paganism? :-)

> Licona also treats us to the spectacle of himself attempting to
> discredit Justin's own discussion of the parallels. He calls them
> "weak," pointing out the differences, for example, between the
> resurrection of the sons of Jupiter with that of Jesus, since the
> manner in which they "rise" from a state of death, and the
> circumstances involved, are quite different. Of course they are. They
> arise from different cultures, their stories have totally different
> settings, much of the underlying philosophies are quite different. But
> Justin was able to recognize what Licona refuses to: that the essence
> of the theme is the same; both are different expressions of the same
> basic idea.

The idea that Justin was asserting that the resurrection was derived
from pagan myth is rather risible.

> Smith's error is the same as that of Raymond Brown, who dismisses the
> truckload of comparative religion parallels to the miraculous birth of
> Jesus. This one is not strictly speaking a virgin birth, since the god
> fathered the child on a married woman. That one involved physical
> intercourse with the deity, not overshadowing by the Holy Spirit, and
> so on. But, we have to ask, how close does a parallel have to be to
> count as a parallel?

Pretty close, since with enough vagueness anything can be considered
"parallel" to anything else.

> Licona, quoting Twelftree, acknowledges that there are figures who
> "perform a single miracle or two during their lifetime, but they are
> not to be compared to Jesus." But this is short-sighted on a number of
> counts. With one major exception, we don't have an account of a

> miracle-worker's career comparable to the Gospels...


> And when we offer that one exception, namely Apollonius of
> Tyana, whose reputed miracle-working rivalled the reputed miracles of
> Jesus, what does Licona do? He imputes that it was all made up by
> Apollonius' biographer Philostratus over a century later!

Are you asserting different? If so, on what basis?

> Actually, the tradition that Jesus (even if historical) worked all
> those miracles is on no more secure ground than the traditions about
> Philostratus.

Apparently not, then. Please keep your argument consistent, hey?
Surely it is unacceptable to condemn someone for holding a view
*identical* to your own!

> Not a single Christian writer of the first century
> outside the Gospels so much as mentions miracles by their Jesus, a
> subject often conspicuous by its absence. To find the first reference
> to Jesus being a miracle-worker one has to go beyond even Ignatius to
> the epistle of Barnabas, and even he fails to give any examples.

Which other extant texts are you complaining 'must' (in your opinion)
mention them?

May I be frank? You're very, very ignorant about history, and far too
eager to believe this rubbish to evaluate it. It's all anti-
historical crap, aimed squarely at people who are interested but not
well educated. Christianity may or may not be true; but it is not
false on these grounds.

All the best,

Roger Pearse

bnh_...@hotmail.co.uk

unread,
Jan 14, 2009, 9:50:20 AM1/14/09
to
Jesus appeared to over 500 Christians at once.

Let me see. The Romans crucify a Messianic candidate, presumably
believing a Jewish Messiah was somebody supposed to instigate a
violent revolt.

Presuambly any Roman governor worth his salt would have had somebody
infiltrate such a movement, or 'persuade' one of them to become an
informer, or find some way of keeping tracks on them.

And then over 500 of these followers of a crucified rebel meet at one
place and time.

Surely a mass gathering of over 500 followers of a recently crucified
Messianic candidate would have been attacked by the Roman soldiers in
Palestine.

What else were these soldiers there for except to put down mass
gatherings of followers of rebels?

This story just can't be historical.

http://www.freeratio.org/showthread.php?t=260230

that the story may be a creation of Matthew. What's more is that there
is no independent Jewish attestation, from that particular time period
if that, this is, indeed, what happened. Funny but I never read about
Josephus mentioning something like this. I have never read anything
from Pilate or any Roman government official that confirms what
happened in Matthew 27. Matthew may simply be creating the story from
whole cloth.

But let's grant believers what the want for the sake of argument.
Well, that would mean that the centurian who witnessed the events,
witnessed the dead rising from the grave. He just didn't witness some
terrifying earthquake; he witnessed the dead coming out from graves.
He wouldn't be terrified if he just saw an earthquake. Indeed, the
verse says that when he witnessed the earthquake "and the things that
happened" he was terrified. Indeed, the things which happened were the
graves opening up and the dead rising up. Only after the resurrection
of Jesus does it say that the dead came out, alive, and appeared to
many people.

So why don't we have any independent attestion that this happened? We
have a centurian and others who witnessed this and yet no one came
forward and attested to this? Yeah, sure, right. Why do we not find
any mention of this event in 1st Corinthians 15 in the list of
postmortem appearances of Jesus or the discussion of the resurrection
of the body?

As for the guards who reported to Pilate what happened- the whole
thing smacks of fiction. Why would Pilate, who was not Jewish, believe
that "Satan" existed or that such a being was involved in some kind of
lie? Pilate wouldn't have been bought, either. We have to remember
that Pilate had a low view of the Jewish community. To have been
offered money by a inferior people or bribed by them in any way was
insulting to his sense of honor as a Roman. Pilate wouldn't have been
bought and neither would Jewish centurions for that matter. So,
historically, it's out of the question that any Romans would've been
bribed to spread a lie or even a rumor by anyone Jewish (whether Greek
or Hebrew).

Lastly, if it was Roman guards who were posted at the tomb, then
they would've reported what they saw. If there was an empty tomb, to
have fallen asleep was considered a lazy direlection of duty for
guards who were highly trained to keep awake, stand guard all through
the night, and br ready for defense. I doubt that the disciples of
Jesus would've overpowered the guards and beat the snot out of them or
even rolled away the tomb; according to the gospels, they were hiding
out of fear for the Jews. So if an angel did come down from heaven and
pulled away the stone, making the guards faint from fear, they
would've reported it. To come clean and be honest about what they saw
and heard was better than a dishonest defense of something that
would've happen such as laziness on the job or something like that.

Do we have such testimony from any such guards? No. Do we have
independent testimony from Joseph of Arimathea regarding the tomb, the
guards, any such earthquake or the dead rising from graves? No.
Carrier is absolutely right. He seems to have disappeared from the
scene without so much as a trace. Arimathea would've been brought in
for questioning as would any guards. But even then, the guards might
have been dismissed as crazy had they reported seeing an angel and if
anyone else had, they would've been thought of as insane. Why do we
not hear any mention of this? Because it probably did not happen. The
best conclusion for me is that Matthew 27 is entirely fiction, but not
necessarily dishonest.

I hope this helps!

bnh_...@hotmail.co.uk

unread,
Jan 17, 2009, 10:12:48 AM1/17/09
to
Now a question for you is who took the Burden for Jesus ?


Children are sinless unless you believe children who don't survive go
straight
to Hell for not declaring Jesus as their savior.


Since children are sinless, then if we look into the Gospel of
Matthew, all
the children of Bethlehem bore the burden of Jesus, they died in the
place of
Jesus.

In Matthew 2:8 we see the jealous king Herod send out people to hunt
down and
locate Jesus.


"Then he sent them to Bethlehem with these instructions: "Go and make
a careful
search.."


In Matthew 2:13, a angel warned Jesus and his family that Herod was
trying to
find and kill Jesus;


"An angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph and said, "Herod
will be
looking for the child in order to kill him"


In Matthew 2:14, Jesus and his family hide in a different country to
avoid
being killed, now King Herod is still searching for Jesus and can not
find
Jesus so King Herod orders every boy in Bethlehem killed in a attempt
to kill
Jesus.


"He gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its neighborhood
who were
two years old and younger-this was done in accordance with what he had
learned
from the visitors about the time when the star had appeared." Matthew
2:16


King Herod in the Bible did not go after Jesus in Egypt (which could
easily
have been done), because he assumed Jesus was still in Bethlehem, so
King Herod murdered all the innocent boys in Bethlehem in hopes to
also kill Jesus while Jesus safely stayed in Egypt.


Therefore there were Many who were sinless and bore the burden of
others. Jesus
was saved with the blood of the children of Bethlehem according to the
Bible.
They died so that Jesus could live according to the Bible.

bnh_...@hotmail.co.uk

unread,
Jan 25, 2009, 4:35:03 PM1/25/09
to
http://www.freeratio.org/showthread.php?t=260862

The problem is, Transient, that the Gospel stories were written late,
and in a Gentile environment and language, (Greek) while they deal
with a Hebrew culture and language.

The apparent name change comes about through two factors working in
concert, the first having to do with the differences between the
Hebrew alphabet and language and the Greek alphabet and language.

The second factor in the change is what is called "Hellenization" the
deliberate change of foreign sounding names to conform to Greek
standards, as Greek culture was deemed superior to all others. Thus
one wanting to "fit in", and not be immediately recognized as being an
Xeno (outsider) would put aside their actual given name, for an
equivalent, or entirely different Greek name.

There are many examples of this to be found in the Bible, it also
occurs in the Old Testement in books such as Daniel where the Jews
either take on, or are given Babylonian names.

The Hebrew name יהושע "Yah'shua" which is indicated by the text, is a
pronunciation that almost impossible to convey using the Greek
alphabet, which does not have letter(s) to represent the "sh" sound,
and lies outside of the normal range of Greek speech and
pronunciation. Thus making it more convenient to supply a Greek
"equivalent". As the Greek language LXX (Septuagint) Bible used the
Greek form of "Jesus" and the NT was primarily addressed to the
Gentiles and a predominately Greek speaking audience it was a natural
that the written form would follow the Greek practice.

However, weighed against this is the factor that the original context
was in Hebrew;
(as when Miriam and Y'oa'sef took their son to The Temple, and gave
him the name designated by the angel- "Yah'shua", because YAH through
him would "shua"=save His people. The idea is one of "self existent
salvation" in and by a name, IE. "Whosoever should call upon" His name
"would be saved" without any exception; The name alone being fully
sufficient to support the guarantee.
And the original preachers of the Gospel went forth preaching an -
oral- Gospel and could pronounce this name in accord with their
conscience.


The written Gospels were not composed until much latter, and then in
the Greek language where naturally the form "Jesus", Ἰησοῦς = "Iēsous"
would predominate and supplant the more difficult (to the Greeks) to
pronounce or spell Hebrew original.


And as the Gentile (read Greek/Roman) church gained ascendancy (and
the early "Jewish/Hebrew" church virtually disappeared) it was
inevitable that subsequent translations into other languages would
follow the Greek model, and thus it was that to most peoples the
actual given name has became virtually forgotten outside of scholarly
discussions.

The letter J is really a non player as it does not (any longer)
accurately represent either the Greek or the Hebrew pronunciations
(although hundreds of years ago when The Bible was first translated
into English, it was pronounced like the Greek iota somewhat the
equivalent of our modern letter I or Y, but finally morphed into our
letter J with a completely different sound than either Greek or
Hebrew.
I hope you find this of help.

bnh_...@hotmail.co.uk

unread,
Jan 25, 2009, 6:21:02 PM1/25/09
to
on page 204 in mj dr ehrman says,

"There are other changes in the textual tradition that appear to be
driven by the desire to show that Jesus, as true son of God,could not
have been "mistaken" in one of his statements, especially with regard
to the future (Since the son of God, after all, would know what was
to
happen). It may have been this that led to the change we have already
discussed in Matthew 34:36, where Jesus explicitly states that no one
knows the day or the hour in which the end will come, "not even the
angels of heaven nor even the son, but the Father alone." A
significant number of our manuscripts omit "nor even the son." The
reason is not hard to postulate; if Jesus does not know the future,
the Christian claim that he is a divine being is more than a little
compromised. "


The particular variant you refer to above (which is Mt. 24:36, BTW)
is
a good example, not so much of sects, but of how the concept of Jesus
grew over time. From righteous man to divine son to god himself. The
earlier manuscripts include the words OUDE O UIOS (not even the son)
but the later in time the manuscripts get, the more it starts to
disappear. Thus, we see the words in Sinaiticus (aleph 01) but the
later corrector removed them. The words also appear in Vaticanus (B),
D and the latins and others. The words are taken out in the later
manuscripts of the Byzantine line, the ones used as the basis for
Textus Receptus and our King James version. At that point, of course,
Jesus and god were one. It would seem that that was not how he was
regarded early on. What we know as orthodoxy today was never part of
the beginning and grew only slowly in the first few centuries.


Any ancient authority that didn't attack the phrase is not likely to
have survived. Remember, orthodox monks copied manuscripts. Why would
they copy anything that spoke of heresy. This is the reason why
'heresy' is still a grey area. In this case, the phrase was cited by
Jerome but we find both variants in various manuscripts. See, when a
church father who quoted the bible was copied, the scribe would
frequently use his version of the bible text that was quoted even
though he copied the authors comments. Sometimes he just replaced it
with a more 'correct' version, sometimes he just jotted down what he
probably knew by heart, and sometimes he wrote faithfully what the
author had quoted. This is why the manuscripts of the church fathers
count very little in textual criticisms. I can check the passage in
SQE but I am too tired for that at the moment and I am going to
Manhattan for a couple of days, but when I get back I can take a
look.


Also, remember that they didn't generally deal with the bible as one
book until much later. They dealt with individual books and had
individual christian beliefs. As the Byzantine text type started to
take over we are starting to see the polish that characterizes many
modern versions but that wasn't the case in the early days. You can
remove a passage from one gospel but you may not be copying the
others.


It is a highly complex topic and many books have been written on
this.
Maybe if you try to very specific questions I can give you a more
precise answer. For a good overview, try Ehrman and Metzger's The
Text
of the New Testament.


nor even the son...


It's not in the Byzantine texts, which means the phrase is excised
from the majority of early, extant manuscripts. It's in the
Alexandrian texts, which are earlier and more accurate but fewer in
number. The fact that the phrase is omitted in the Byzantine texts
means that it was omitted from the Textus Receptus (which was
compiled
from the Byzantine sources) which means that it didn't make it into
the KJV.


why omit if the phrase was in mark?


I think that your first hypothesis is most likely. The omission in
the
Byzantine line of transmission probably occurred before there was a n
established canon and either the scribes did not know Mark or they
considered Matthew to have more authority. If they saw Mark as a
competing text, the contradiction would not have bothered them.


Whoever made the redaction Matthew was only working on Matthew, not
the whole NT. The assumption that they would have made the same
redaction in Mark assumes that the same people were copying both
Gospels. They weren't. Most of the early copyists were only working
on
one book. They were not being disseminated as a collection or a Canon
but as individual books. Why does he think anybody would have been
able to make changes in both Gospels? If he doesn't understand that,
then he just doesn't really want to understand it.


...


Read the relevant section here where all the sayings are examined in
detail and where divergences between them are noted:


http://www.vincentsapone.com/writings/mark.html


divorce contradiction
...


In short, Matthew has made certain changes to the story related in
Mark Mark 10:2-12. According to Mark, the pharisees question Jesus
about divorce and Jesus asks them about about the command in this
regard given by Moses. Jesus then explains why this command was given
-- "It was because your hearts were hard that Moses wrote you this
law." Jesus goes on to say that, "what God has joined together, let
man not separate." Later, once in the house, the diciples also
question Jesus to which he replies: "Anyone who divorces his wife and
marries another woman commits adultery against her. And if she
divorces her husband and marries another man, she commits adultery."
Period, end of story.


Matthew relates the above story in Matthew 19:3-12, but he makes some
changes. The placement is changed -- rather than asking the pharisees
"What did Moses command you?" as Jesus does in Mark, in Matthew Jesus
starts off by referring to Genesis. It is the pharisees who, in
reaction, ask Jesus to explain the command of Moses and Jesus then
gives his reply to that. Furthermore, while in Mark the disciples get
to question Jesus "in the house," -- away from the pharisees -- in
Matthew the scene appears to be unchanged and the disciples simply
offer the suggestion, in light of Jesus' earlier verdict regarding
divorce, that it is better not to marry at all, to which Jesus later
comments. Jesus' verdict on divorce in Matthew, which includes the
exception clause, is formulated in the midst of his discussion with
the pharisees and not "in the house" when he is with his disciples.


bnh_...@hotmail.co.uk

unread,
Jan 25, 2009, 6:24:31 PM1/25/09
to
came v
past tense of COME
COME
move towards a place, ARRIVE.
Arrive
reach a place or destination

Oh, the women were there in time to see the whole show allright!
Problem is that these xians are determined to twist the meaning of the
words as far as they can in order to not see the obvious.

The english lexicon entries may not convince sschichtler, since he
will look up the greek word used: ēlthen. So you need to do that
yourself beforehand. Here's a link to an interlinear resource:

http://interlinear.biblos.com/matthew/28.htm

Click the greek word in blue to see all the oher places it has been
used, then the "Strongs Number etc" line (near the top) to see the
meanings.

Interestingly, he made exactly the opposite claim about Matt 28:8
where he makes it out that the women arrive at the destination they
set out for when the word apelthousai only means "left" or "departed".
If Matthew had used the words opposite of the way he actually did,
then what scchichter said would have been true.

bnh_...@hotmail.co.uk

unread,
Feb 8, 2009, 4:53:13 PM2/8/09
to
Paul is the primary witness for the assertian that Jesus was crucified
but lacks the credibility to prove this assertian by himself for the
following reasons:

Quote:
1:15 But when it was the good pleasure of God, who separated me,
[even] from my mother`s womb, and called me through his grace,

1:16 to reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the
Gentiles; straightway I conferred not with flesh and blood:

1:17 neither went I up to Jerusalem to them that were apostles before
me: but I went away into Arabia; and again I returned unto Damascus.

JW:
Paul makes a point of saying that after revelation he did not check
his revelation with any human. The implication is that there would be
no need to because the divine is a higher source and checking with a
human source would be an insult to the divine. Another implication is
that there are differences between Paul's revelation and historical
witness. And another implication is that Paul than started promoting
Jesus. We also have an implication that Paul avoided promoting Jesus
in Israel because he knows there are differences between his
revelation and historical witness (his best chance for success is
promoting his revelation away from historical witness).

Also note that the potential motivation for Paul to go to Jerusalem is
explicitly because he acknowledges there were apostles (not disciples)
before him and not because they were historical witness. It's an open
question regarding why Paul thought of the Jerusalem apostles as some
type of authority. Was it because they were historical witness or just
because they had revelations before Paul.

http://www.freeratio.org/showthread.php?t=236929&page=7

"Mark" appears to have used Paul's figurative use of "crucify" in
Galatians to subdue and extinguish passion as a key idea for "Mark's"
Passion narrative. To the extent it can be demonstrated that the
original crucifixion narrative ("Mark") has major elements of fiction,
such as "Mark's" Jesus' lack of passion during the Passion being based
on Paul's advice to followers to subdue and extinguish their passions,
this undermines the historical potential of all elements of the
Passion, including the crucifixion itself.

10) Paul's followers, late first century, who presumably would have
been in the best position to know what the historical Paul and his
writings meant, never mention Peter.

11) The first known crucifixion narrative, in "Mark", in general has
an anti-historical witness attitude and specifically casts the best
potential first-hand witness, Jesus' Disciples, as opposing the idea/
prediction of Jesus' Passion, never understanding/accepting the need
and not witnessing the crucifixion or subsequently promoting Jesus
after.

12) There's general agreement that the ending of "Mark" showing
disciples as aware of the crucifixion is forged. The other Canonical
Gospels using original "Mark" as the basic story, have differing
disciple awareness of the crucifixion. This suggests that there was no
historical witness of the crucifixion available to the Canonical
authors.

13) Christianity is blessed with multiple forged claims of first-hand
witness to the crucifixion (I have Faith that every Ruler of the Age
is covered here, Peter, Caiphais, Herod, Pilate as well as the ending
of "Mark", Amen).

14) "Mark's" related narrative is smeared with implausibility
indicating a lack of historical details.

15) Subsequent crucifixion narratives closely follow "Mark" indicating
lack of available historical witness.

..........
16) Common sense, always the best argument, tells us that if Jesus was
crucified in Jerusalem it's unlikely his movement would have been
permitted to promote him in Jerusalem.
.........................................
17) Statistics (most people, even than, did not die from crucifixion).

18) Possibility that Christianity censored evidence disputing
crucifixion.

19) Paul is a very bad witness in general making it more likely that
he asserts what was not historical for the following reasons:

1) Age - 2,000 years creates doubt all by itself.

2) Subject matter

a) Religion is a poor source for history.

b) Religion utilizes the figurative more than history (so Paul's use
may be figurative).
3) Impeached credibility - A primary argument of Paul is that his
Jesus is the logical conclusion of the Jewish Bible which is clearly a
wrong conclusion.

4) Source - Paul clearly states that his primary source is revelation
and explicitly denies any significant human source.

5) Variation

a) Marcion, a comparable witness to Paul verses the orthodox, saw a
significantly different Pauline corpus.

b) Paul's writings contain contradictions and ambiguity.

c) The orthodox version of Paul (Acts) differs significantly from
Paul's Paul in that orthodox Paul is a partner with first-hand witness
while Paul's Paul is a competitor.
6) Institutional discount - The orthodox have preserved the extant
evidence and had motive and opportunity to make changes which improved
orthodox assertians. Therefore, any orthodox assertian, such as
crucifixion is less likely than the extant evidence indicates.

7) Second hand witness at best


bnh_...@hotmail.co.uk

unread,
Feb 8, 2009, 6:00:11 PM2/8/09
to

I am genuinely amazed by this discussion. You are all working form
hopelessly incorrect translations and 2000 years of hypothesis based
on wishful thinking. Just read and research the available historical
documents from the time. Josephus' quote is accepted by all as a
fraud. The early Christian writers merely copied each others mistakes,
lies and wishful myths - and contradicted one another incessantly. The
Aramaic NT was rapidly dropped because the Jews could read it and
laughed themselves silly at its misquotes and plagerisms, missmash of
borrowed half understood ideas and nonsense. They all knew the source
perfectly. So Paul had to ensure it was Greek and sold the ignorant
Romans. Paul "Answered Jewish Objections to Jesus" by forgetting the
Jews and moving to easier prey. Of course tortue, money and ignorance
has led to thousands converting - but those with knowledge could never
take Christianity seriously.

Why? Because no orthodox Jew is going to fall for such nonsense, just
as they still have not fallen for such nonsense for over two thousand
years! Look, you can't win this. Paul was a liar if the synoptic
accounts are true and if they aren't, well, then, you tell me where
that places your cult. Regardless, he was more than likely just
another in a long series of scam artists who was trying to form his
own cult; a cult he either made up from whole cloth or he simply
became the Malcolm X of an already growing cult to brainwash other
ignorant sheep into hating their original masters and loving a new
one. When that didn't work and none of the more mainstream Jewish
factions bought his nonsense about a resurrected Messiah (since they
all knew the scriptures and no such prophesy had been fulfilled by
anything they saw in their time) he FOCUSED instead on the Gentiles.
They didn't know what the "prophets of old" prophesied, so Paul could
get away with a hell of a lot more bullshit, as is evidenced today by
your fumbling apologetics.

The mainstream Jews wouldn't follow his cult; the radical, reformist
Jews wouldn't follow his cult; so, he travels FAR from any of it and
focuses on the Gentiles, aka, pagans, who are so desperate to believe
anything that they believe just about everything. After all, was
Jesus
(as depicted in the NT we have today, anyway) preaching judaism? No.
Not in the slightest. He changes every orthodox law (including what
is
permitted on the holiest of all holy days, the Sabbath) and his
ministry is all about feeling great about being oppressed, because it
means you'll win the big prize when you're dead. We're all immortal!
Hooray! When you die, you get to live forever! Hooray! So long as you
do what you're told to do by everyone on Earth (including your
priests
and cult leaders, of course) you never have to think at all about
anything, ever. It's all taken care of.

There are things about 1st century Judea you appear to not be aware
of. Shortly after the supposed events of the gospels there was heavy
unrest in Judea. War etc. Jews were dispersed and the temple
destroyed. Even assembling anyone who was a witness to the events
around 30-40 years earlier would be difficult and assembling a group
large enough to debunk the claims would be impossible. In addition
the
christians didn't go to Jerusalem and make their claims, they went to
Greece, Rome etc far away and told about this guy who got crucified
in
the far away city of Jerusalem only to be resurrected 3 days after.
It
was next to impossible to debunk their claims. In addition few people
cared. The early christians was a small group of radical fanatics who
preached among the poor, the uneducated and the disposessed. The
educated rich people couldn't care less about a fringe cult and their
claims.

By the time the christian cult had moved up in the hierarchy and
reached the richer and more influential people any persons left who
could debunk their claims was long gone and if one long lived person
stood up and said "I was there, I never saw this Jesus fella do those
things as you said" the christians would simply ignore him.


http://www.freeratio.org/showthread.php?t=259323


man06

unread,
Feb 9, 2009, 3:31:31 PM2/9/09
to
1. The NT is not evidence. It is religious writing, with no indication
that it was meant to be real history. Ignatius wrote letters that were
interpolated and revised by later Christians, so of course they
support Christian doctrine. Tacitus, even if his work was not forged,
is only repeating second hand information. We don't know if he had
doubts or not.

Again, Ignatius was not an eyewitness to the crucifixion. He was only
rehashing what was popularly and widely known and accepted by his
time.


That Ignatius is coming 77 years after the crucifixion and is,
allegedly, ‘closer’ to events of Jesus’ (P) life than the ‘best
documentation’ which exist for Muhammed’s (P) life, being ‘three times
closer’ to the event alleged than Bukhari, does not make Ignatius
‘more’ or ‘completely’ accurate/historical and does not transform him
into an eyewitness. It still remains that he was merely repeating that
which was widely accepted in his time. Ignatius is not an independent
source of information on the crucifixion.

Ignatius’ writings and Bukhari’s hadith collection are two very
different type of documents and to compare them in this simplistic
manner only betrays White’s lack of understanding of hadith.

White is simply wrong about the Bukhari hadith collection. The date of
compilation of the Bukhari hadith collection is not the same as the
date of its contents. The ahadith within Bukhari go back much earlier.
They already existed and were in circulation long before Bukhari came
to the scene. Bukhari simply collected some of the already existing
authentic ahadith and gave them a certain arrangement/order in his
collection. White appears to believe that the contents of Bukhari
originated and saw daylight for the first time when Bukhari produced
his collection! Bukhari did not ‘compose’ the ahadith; he is only a
collector of ALREADY EXISTING ahadith.

Briefly, Imam Bukhari travelled far and wide to gather hadith. He
travelled to Egypt, Hijaz, Syria, Iraq, and met traditionists in order
to learn and acquire ahadith.

White offers no reason and argument for one to doubt the authenticity
of Bukhari’s hadith collection.

Besides Bukhari, earlier collections of hadith also exist. I will
briefly note three examples here:

1. The Sahifa of Hamam Ibn Munabbeh is probably the earliest known
hadith collection whose authenticity is also accepted by non-Muslim
Islamic scholars in general. It comes from the student (Hamam Ibn
Munabbeh d. 110/719) of the companion of Muhammed (P), Abu Hurairah.

There are 138 narrations in the Sahifa, 98 of which are faithfully
reproduced in the later collections of al-Bukhari and Muslim, thereby
demonstrating their careful transmission. Thus we read:


“… the texts in Hammam and those recorded in Ibn Hanbal, Bukhari and
Muslim with the same isnad show almost complete identity, except for a
few omissions and interpolations which do not affect the sense of the
reports. On the other hand, the same ahadith as told by other
transmitters in the three collections studied show a rich variety of
wording, again without changing the meaning of the reports.” (R. M.
Speight, “A Look At Variant Readings In The Hadith”, Der Islam, 2000,
Band 77, Heft 1, p. 170).


For details, see this.

2. Another early collection is that of the Musannaf of `Abd al-Razzaq
al-San`ani (d. 211 AH), which is treated as a source of authentic
hadith of the 1st century. H. Motzki writes:

The works of ‘Abd al-Razzak are extremely important for the study of
early Islamic jurisprudence, hadith and exegesis of the Kur’an because
they contain older sources or materials which have otherwise been
lost. ‘Abd al-Razzak had direct access to authors of the first
extensive compilations of traditions arranged according to
subject . . . like those by Ma’mar b. Rashid, Ibn Djuraydj, Sufyan al-
Thawri and Sufyan b. ‘Uyayna. His own Musannaf is to a large extent
compiled from materials received from these four scholars, and it is
very probable that these materials came for the most part from their
books. In general, ‘Abd al-Razzak’s transmission from these teachers
of his seems to be reliable . . . (H. Motzki, “al-Sanani, Abd al-
Razzak b. Hammam b. Nafi, Abu Bakr al-Yamani al Himyari (IX 7a)”, in
Encyclopaedia of Islam CD-ROM Edition v. 1.0© 1999 Koninklijke Brill
NV, Leiden, The Netherlands).


See also: H. Motzki, “The Musannaf Of `Abd al-Razzaq Al-San`ani As A
Source of Authentic Ahadith of The First Century A.H.”, Journal Of
Near Eastern Studies, 1991, Volume 50, p. 21. And this.

3. There is also the The Muwatta’ of Malik bin Anas - d. 179/795 -
although not intended to serve as a collection of ahadith, it may be
viewed as a brief yet authoritative collection of legally oriented
ahadith (Abdal Hakim Murad (Editor), Muhammad Zubayr Siddiqi, Hadith
Literature: Its Origin, Development & Special Features, 1993, Revised
Edition, Cambridge: The Islamic Texts Society, p. 8).

Among non-Muslim scholars of Islamic studies, there are multiple views
on the authenticity of the hadith. There are the sceptics, who doubt
the authenticity of much, if not all, of the hadith corpus (Schacht,
Goldziher, Guillaume, H. Berg); there are those who view the hadith
corpus as largely/substantially authentic and whose views are very
similar, if not identical, to the traditional Muslim stance (N.
Abbott, J. Robson, G. Schoeler, J. Fuck); and finally we have scholars
adopting the middle position, who, while neither accepting nor
rejecting the hadith in its entirety, accept the authenticity of the
‘core’. They consider the hadith on a case by case basis and then
attempt to determine their grade of authenticity (which was also the
attitude and outlook of classical Islamic scholars). This camp would
include H. Motzki, G.H. Juynboll, W. B. Hallaq, and D. Santillana.

White does not explain which particular position he supports and why?
Although he has not outright said so, from his tone we can infer that
he probably adopts a sceptical outlook towards the hadith (just as he
does towards the authenticity of the Quran). But did he come to adopt
this sceptical position after sincerely going through the discussion
on the subject? This seems unlikely. It is more probable that, from
the outset, without knowing much about the subject himself apart from
the bits and pieces he came across on polemical Christian websites,
White decided to adopt a sceptical stance. Here White fails to rise
above the level of a shoddy polemicist, who is quick to adopt instant
scepticism towards the historicity/authenticity of writings belonging
to other religions – despite having barely a superficial understanding
of the issues – and who is, likewise, quick to adopt the most
accommodating/considered view towards the historicity/authenticity of
his own writings, often willing to exert much effort in ‘clearing
away’ apparent difficulties and problems in the way.

White wants to prey upon the ignorance of his readers (and listeners)
most of whom, like him, know little about the subject of hadith apart
from what they have occasionally read in polemical sources.


man06

unread,
Feb 10, 2009, 3:26:35 PM2/10/09
to

Ah, yes, but at funerals, the mourners know that their friends and
relatives are permanently dead as far as this life--which is the only
life anyone has any guarantee of--is concerned, but Jesus was telling
his disciples that he would be killed but would rise again the third
day. Now they were hearing this from the man I described earlier, whom
they had seen "feeding multitudes with just a few scraps of food,
restoring sight to the blind, healing the lame, walking on water,
quelling storms, casting out devils <snicker, snicker>, zapping fig
trees, being 'transfigured' with Moses and Elijah, and raising the
dead," so having witnessed all of these extraordinary deeds, why
shouldn't they have believed that when Jesus said he would be killed
but would rise on the third day, he would make good on that promise? I
have been very distressed when relatives and friends died, but if I
had had good reason to think that they would have remained dead for
only three days, I think I could have handled the sorrow much better.


.................

While it is true that Paul explicitly mentions a burial, there's no
mention at all of where or by whom he was buried. As far as we know,
Paul has never heard of JoA. One can, of course, make the claim that
Joseph's involvement in the passion story was well known to Paul's
audience and that therefore it was unnecessary to mention him. If so,
however, how does one explain the very detailed list of appearances to
specific people that immediately follows? Would the people that Jesus
appeared to after his resurrection not have been common knowledge as
well to Paul's readers?

Sorry, but you cannot cite any Pauline letter to lend valifity to the
JoA story. Toss exhibit A right out.

..........


- a - The empty tomb story is part of the very old source material
used by Mark.


This is not evidence. This is an assertion. Once again, I ask Dr.
Craig to produce textual evidence that would indicate how old the
material is (he says it's "very old" - how old? - more importantly, By
what criteria is he basing this guess?). The empty tomb, it seems to
me, is but the natural postulation that resulted from a
misunderstanding of a difficult metaphor (i.e. the resurrection). That
is, once the belief in a physical raising started to spread within the
growing communities of gentile converts (who were not unfamiliar with
rising gods, by the way), then, an empty tomb was necessary to fill in
the gaps in the story.
How old is the tradition? It's hard to say, but I think it does not go
back very far beyond Mark. Paul (who perhaps either had a hand in
developing, or otherwise rightly understood, the metaphor of the
resurrection) does not mention any empty tomb.


c - The story is simple and lacks any sign of legendary
embellishment.

I think it's a little humorous to say that a story about a group of
women coming to a tomb, finding the stone rolled away
(supernaturally?), stepping inside, seeing an angelic figure in
radiant white clothing (Was it a disciple? Why not name him? Why is he
specifically seated on the "right"? Why does he specifically wear
bright white? - Symbolic language is obviously being used here) who
speaks to them and causes them to run away in terror lacks signs of
legendary embellishment (and this is only to mention Mark's version).
To not see the symbolic language used here is to be in denial of some
sort.
Brevity is not synonymous with simplicity.


- d - The fact that women's testimony was considered worthless in
first-century Palestine counts in favor of the historicity of the
women's discovering the empty tomb.

Is this statement a "fact"? Was the testimony of women really
worthless in Judea and the Galilee?


Certainly, life in Judea in the first century was patriarchal and
androcentric (what contemporaneous culture wasn't?). However, while
social roles and responsibilities did differ for women and men, there
is no reason to believe that second-temple Judaism, in all its various
forms, epitomized misogynism in such an extreme way. While Josephus
(Antiquities iv. 8. 15) does expressly say that women should not be
allowed to testify in court, the Pentateuch says not a word about the
exclusion of women as witnesses. Moreover, a study of rabbinic law
concerning divorce shows that there were certain conditions (see
Miriam Peskowitz, Stories About Spinners and Weavers: Gendering the
Everyday in Roman-period Judaism) under which a man was obligated by
the court to grant a woman a divorce and to pay her a divorce
settlement. My question here then is: How is this possible if she is
not allowed to testify in court?

This is all really beside the point, however, since the women's claim
to witnessing the empty tomb is not legal testimony. Was everything
that women said not believed simply because they were women? Are we to
believe that Jewish men in first-century Judea didn't believe a word
that women said? What were the limits to this mass misogynous
incredulity?

I think that any attempt at negatively highlighting some imagined
radical misogyny as somehow being intrinsic to the Judaism of the time
is simply unsupported by historical evidence.


It is simply bad history and bad theology. I would even say that it is
a shameful practice, revealing an endemic anti-semitism (whether
conscious or sub-conscious I cannot say).


e - The early Jewish allegation that the disciples had stolen Jesus'
body presupposes that the body was in fact missing from the tomb.

What early Jewish allegation? Is he referring to Matt. 28?

In my view, citing Matt. 28 as evidence of early Jewish gossip is
spurious from the git go because it is circular, self-referential.

Also, when Matthew wrote his gospel (the current scholarly consensus
is circa 80-85 C.E.), Jews may very well have countered the
resurrection claim by claiming that the body must have been stolen,
but by that time Jews neither knew (nor probably cared) where Jesus
had been buried. If they heard claims of Jesus' resurrection, it was
only natural that they would counter with an accusation of exhumation
by his followers.

Tertullian wrote a short passage (De Speculatis, 100.30) in which he
describes Jewish mockery of the Christians and of Jesus. Much of what
Tertullian accuses the Jews of saying and doing is taken straight out
of the NT, though there is some additional material which reflects
what would later be found in a sixth century polemical Jewish text
called the Toledoh Yeshu (in this work, the body is even found!).
Tertullian wrote the passage sometime in the late second century.
Thus, this is not an "early" Jewish allegation at all.

(I'd like to add here that the modern term "Jewish" is an anachronism
in this context, but I won't belabor the point further.)

*But why doesn't acts list this accusation?

*why doesn't no other christian mention this accusation in the 1st
century?


*Why doesn't no Jewish document include this accusation?


*why isn't it in any actual enemy source?


*When we do find Jewish polemic in the Talmud it never mentions
this...


*It always mentions other attacks on crosstianity.


*acts does not mention this accusation
even though acts records a lot of the Jewish attacks against the
church...


*The gospels themselves show signs of an increasing rate of a
legendary development. They get more fabulous and polemical overtime.
The whole flesh polemic appears in luke... but gets his original
basic
story from mark which doesn't contain that polemic...mark tended to
look at the 2 body view of the resurrection...


*Mark and matthew don't mention jesus being touched or eating food or
whooshing up into heaven before the crowds... only later sources of
luke and john contain such details.


*Paul never mentions the empty tomb; never mentions any of the
details
regarding flesh and yet we would expect him to when he is talking
about the nature;the nature of the resurrection of the body...
Gospels tell us jesus appeared and disappeared and sometimes wasn't
recognised.
More consistent with visions than a physical body...


- b - The Gospel traditions provide multiple, independent attestations
of these appearances.

(I have reversed the order of these first two pieces of evidence
posited by Dr. Craig for the sake of exposition and clarity.)

Are there really multiple independent attestations of the different
post-Easter appearances?

As I survey contemporary scholarship, to my eyes it seems pretty clear
that the consensus view overwhelmingly favors not only Marcan
priority, that is, the fact that Mark's gospel was the first to be
composed, but it is also almost unanymously accepted that this gospel
was subsequently used by the later evangelists ( i.e. the authors of
Matthew and Luke) as a model both for the form and the content of the
story they tell. If this is so, then what were once thought to be
three independent attestations in the synoptics is now reduced to one
evolving tradition. Furthermore, though admittedly not as
overwhelmingly a consensus view (currently right about about
50%-50% ), it is probable that the fourth evangelist also knew of and
used the synoptic tradition in composing his own gospel (I think he
did). If this is so, then what we have are variants of one single
evolving tradition.


This leaves us with only two "independent" attestations, then. Namely,
that contained in the gospels and the one in 1 Cor. 15.

And these two traditions tell different stories. The synoptics say he
appeared to Mary and some women first. Paul says he appeared to
Cephas.

No multiple attestation here.


man06

unread,
Feb 11, 2009, 1:00:57 PM2/11/09
to

But it is unclear from the text whether he himself had contact with
such eyewitnesses or whether they are at the other end of an
intervening chain. There are problems either way which France never
addresses. The tone fits the latter interpretation, as does the
reference to ‘many writings’; it feels like a passage of time is
involved. This would pretty well rule out Luke, the companion of Paul
(whom Paul himself never mentions), as the author. On the other hand,
if the writer had access to these eyewitnesses, and he is at pains to
assure “Theophilus” of the accuracy of his research, why does he not
identify them? Why does he not identify himself and his connection
with Paul? There seems no feasible reason why he would not.


Correct. Also 1 Cor. 15 and 1 Thess. 4 support the same picture: only
two resurrection events: Jesus, then everyone else at the end of the
age.

> or about elijah's ressurection of the boy in the book of kings.

Technically Paul would not be thinking of incidental OT resurrections
(also mentioned in Hebrews) since those fall into a different context.
He would certainly know of them (he was well aware of the book of
Kings, for example). But those people all died again and then stayed
dead. When Paul is talking about "the" resurrection from the dead, he
means permanently.


christians faced with this problem will try to reinterprete "first >
fruit" to mean rank/status, quality of ressurection and >
importance.is this supported by the greek ?

That doesn't make any sense to me. The first pertains to the first
sheaf reaped at a harvest. It may be first in rank or importance, but
it's only called first because it is, literally, the first reaped, not
because it's more important. And Paul's entire argument in 1 Cor. 15
(and elsewhere) is that our resurrection will be identical to Jesus'
in quality (so there is no distinction of that kind), and he
explicitly says he's talking about sequence (first the body of flesh,
then the body of spirit; first
Adam and last Adam; etc., just read the whole chapter thru).

> christians who except the version in the Diatessaron try to > reinteret "...EACH in his PROPER ORDER, a first-fruit ">>> "The word " first-fruit " does not mean literally first but the > MOST IMPORTANT of those who have resurrected before Jesus and even > after.">>> "It is not because later on the text uses the phrase " proper order > " meaning according to rank. The word first-fruit means the FIRST > of the fruits in order of importance."


Whoever wrote that doesn't know what they are talking about. The
Festival of Firstfruits is also known as Pentecost. The first bit of
the harvest (like the first born) was dedicated to God, it begins the
harvest year (see Ex. 34:22). The whole point is that God gets first
dibs. Thus sequence is clearly meant. There is nothing in Paul's
discourse about rank. And nothing in the Greek entails anything like
that (apo-arche = from the beginning; tagma = orderly arrangement,
sequence, as in lines of soldiers on the battlefield, or a sequence of
items on a shelf, etc.). --


I think you are exactly right, though I suspect none of the NT writers
would have been worrying about Elijah rasisng people from the dead.
Either because,with other ancients, they recognized the intent of such
stories as being the awakening of someone from a coma, or because 1
Corinthians has reference to the Judgment Day scenario. At any rate,,
I adopt the suggestion in my Pre-Nicene NT that "after his
resurrection" is indeed a harmonizing gloss intended to make it match
the 1 Cor. text you sight.

As for the apologetical dodge you mntion, I have up to now heard that
one only in connection with the Colossians referece to Jesus as
"firstborn of creation," which obviously means he was the first
created being. Isn't it just disgusting and pathetic to see people who
make the Bible into an almighty totem, and then spemd all their time
twisting it?

And R1125 behold, the R1126 veil F605 of the temple was torn in two
from top to bottom; and the R1127 earth shook and the rocks were
split. 52 The tombs were opened, and many bodies of the saints F606
who had fallen R1128 asleep were raised; 53 and coming out of the
tombs after His resurrection they entered the R1129 holy city and
appeared to many. 54 Now R1130 the centurion, and those who were with
him keeping R1131 guard over Jesus, when they saw the R1132 earthquake
and the things that were happening, became very frightened and said,
"Truly this was the R1133 F607 Son of God!"


57 When R1138 it was EVENING, there came a rich man from Arimathea,
named Joseph, who himself had also become a disciple of Jesus


62 Now on the NEXT DAY, the F609 day after the R1141 preparation, the
chief priests and the Pharisees gathered together with Pilate, 63 and
said, "Sir, we remember that when He was still alive that deceiver
said, `After R1142 three days I am to rise again.' 64 "Therefore, give
orders for the grave to be made secure until the third day, otherwise
His disciples may come and steal Him away and say to the people, `He
has risen from the dead,' and the last deception will be worse than
the first." 65 Pilate said to them, *******"You HAVE a guard;*******
R1143 go, make it as secure as you know how." 66 And they went and
made the grave secure, and along with the R1144 guard they set a seal
R1145 on the R1146 stone.


Now R1147 after the Sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day
of the week, Mary R1148 Magdalene and the other Mary came to look at
the grave.

Now while they were on their way, some of the R1158 guard came into
the city and reported to the chief priests all that had happened. 12
And when they had assembled with the elders and consulted together,
they gave a large sum of money to the soldiers, 13 and said, "You are
to say, `His disciples came by night and stole Him away while we were
asleep.' 14 "And if this should come to the R1159 governor's ears, we
will win him over and keep F613 you out of trouble." 15 And they took
the money and did as they had been instructed; and this story was
widely spread R1160 among the Jews, and is to R1161 this day.


why didn't the cheif priests ACCUSE THE GUARDS of STEALING the body?
why would the chief priests tell the guards to make up a bull s**t ?
why does the narration read as if the cheif priests believed in the
report but did not ? its reliabilty?
where did the new born again believers who said " this is truly the
son of god " dissappear to?

man06

unread,
Feb 12, 2009, 1:40:54 PM2/12/09
to
who is to blame? pilate or chief priests?

The entire sequence is meant to exonerate Pilate and blame the Chief
Priests of the Jews for the death of Jesus. The text suggests five
times that Pilate is not to blame, but the Chief Priests are to
blame.


----


The Jews tell Pilate that Jesus is evil and should be put to death.
Pilate doesn't want anything to do with it. They should judge him
themselves.


The Jews then tell Pilate that they want to put him to death, but
need
his approval. Pilate interviews Jesus and finds him innocent.


The Jews still demand that he be killed. There is some kind of custom
(unknown historically, but highly theatrical) where Pilate gives the
Jews a choice about whom to crucify. They choose Jesus.
---


Pilate tries a fourth time. He has Jesus roughed up. The Jews aren't
satisfied. They must have him killed because they have a law saying
that anyone who says they are the son of god must die. Pilate again
interviews Jesus. Jesus exonerates Pilate as someone just doing his
job, but blames the Jews for his impending death. Pilate again seeks
to free Jesus for the fifth time.


-------------------------------


The Jews now threaten to accuse Pilate of treason. Only when faced
with a threat that could result in his own death does Pilate give in
and order the death of Jesus.


--------------


the author deeply hates the cheif priests....


It appears clear to me that the author deeply hates the Chief Priests
and blames them for the death of Jesus. It appears quite likely to me
that Pilate was, in fact, entirely responsible. The entire scene is a
rhetorical and theatrical presentation. We may doubt every detail.
Did
the chief priests hand over Jesus? This is unlikely as the text
suspiciously tell us they NEVER entered the Praetorium. The text
feels
compelled to explain why nobody saw the chief priests inside the
Praetorium. The text makes up some nonsense about the Priests not
entering because of some cleanliness restriction (unknown
historically) Could it be rather, that they were never inside the
Praetorium because they never delivered Jesus to Pilate?

---------------


excellent!


The person with the power to try and execute Jesus doesn't do it and
the people without the power to do these things are given the power
to
do it. We are dealing with a theatrical fiction that turns historical
fact upside down.


http://iidb.infidels.org/vbb/showthread.php?t=187750&highlight=Of+all...


---


they turn on jesus in 2 days...


Deceit? This is presumably the same Jewish crowd that the Sanhedrin
were so terrified of just two days prior that they supposedly decided
to inexplicably get the Romans to kill Jesus to begin with; for fear
that if they attempted to kill him (as they supposedly already tried
twice before to do, btw) the crowd of Jews would turn on them and
kill
them.


----


powerful authority like pilate is helpless?


Helpless? Pontius Pilate, their oppressor is "helpless to resist
them?"


You simply must be joking as that is utterly and incontrivertibly
preposterous. Pilate, if you'll recall, was so brutal and so anti-
semitic that he slaughtered almost an entire town and was recalled to
Rome as a result, where, in his shame, he later committed suicide.


----


But that's just it, why in the hell would the Jewish crowd so feared
by the Sanhedrin just two days prior due to their undying love of
Jesus now want him killed for no reason?


-----

2 days prior....


ETA: If they didn't want to "rock the boat," then why would they take
Jesus to Pilate in the first place (since he had limited judicial
authority and Jesus had committed no Roman crime), threaten Pilate
with a riot for not doing their bidding when Pilate thrice pronounced
him innocent, and risk their own lives (as they feared just two days
prior) by attempting to rile up this miraculous crowd of apparently
two-faced robots into somehow forcing Pilate into murdering a man he
just officially declared innocent?

----


did they enter into the praetorium?


First compare this to our other gospels:


John:18.28 Then they led Jesus from the house of Caiaphas to the
praetorium. It was early. They themselves did not enter the
praetorium, so that they might not be defiled, but might eat the
passover.


18.29 So Pilate went out to them and said, "What accusation do you
bring against this man?"


Mark: 15.1And as soon as it was morning the chief priests, with the
elders and scribes, and the whole council held a consultation; and
they bound Jesus and led him away and delivered him to Pilate.


Matthew: 27.2 and they bound him and led him away and delivered him
to
Pilate the governor.


Luke: 23.1 Then the whole company of them arose, and brought him
before Pilate.


Note that in the synoptics, there is no mention of the Jewish priests
not entering the Praetorium. The implication is exactly the opposite
that they "brought" or "delivered" Jesus directly to Pilate. When one
hears these words, one immediately thinks that they entered into
Pilate's Palace or administrative place of work and brought Jesus to
him. Without John, nobody would have suspected any differently.


In the John account, we are asked to believe that Pilate without
being
told the charges against the man, left whatever he was doing, and
went
outside to meet the priests who would not come inside with Pilate
because it would make them unclean.


As you mention, there were numerous and often cited priestly rules
regarding impurity. However, as far as I know, there is no text that
mentions Jewish priests not entering into Roman places to avoid
ritual
impurities. If anybody has such relevant text, I would be quite
interestested in it. The Jews had been living under Roman occupation
for some 80 years at this point. I would imagine that if a there was
a
law prohibiting priests from entering Roman houses before Passover
and
other holidays, somebody might have mentioned it. Lacking that
evidence, we may just as well assume that the writer is making up
such
a restriction in order to explain why no priests were seen
"delivering" or "bringing" Jesus to Pilate. It is far easier to
believe that than to believe in Pilate being so deferential to the
Jewish Priests as to come out to them and hold a trial at their
request.


-------------------------------------------


tried to stone him twice....


If the Sanhedrin truly feared riots from "the crowd" if they tried to
kill Jesus (which they supposedly already tried to do by stoning him
twice before) then why wouldn't they fear riots when they attempted
to
rile "the crowd" up to get them to inexplicably force Pilate into
killing him, just after Pilate announced the Sanhedrin's betrayal of
Jesus by proclaiming he was not just innocent, but that he could find
no crime against him in the first place?


And what is the deal with this mythical "crowd" of anonymous Jews
that
are so easily riled up en masse to threaten their oppressor into
killing a completely innocent man? They were magically bewitched into
not just demanding Jesus be imprisoned, but that Pilate crucify him
all due to the influence of the very people who were so terrified of
influencing them two days before?


-----------------------------------

different jewish sects...
why would "king of the jews" matter?


There were many different non-orthodox sects in the area each
preaching their own version of Judaism, so the Sanhedrin wouldn't
have
cared if one Rabbi among them claimed to be a title that doesn't
exist
in any significant, actionable way


No Roman official (including Caesar, I would argue) would have given
a
shit if some local Jew were going around claiming to be the "King of
the Jews" no matter what Caesar decreed, as is evidenced in the
narrative when Pilate allegedly says it's not his problem, take him
to
Herod, so how could he be "blackmailed" by "the crowd" the next day?


-------------


Neither Pilate, nor "the crowd," apparently, considered Jesus to have
been the "King of the Jews" that you are making a case for.


So why would the Romans mock a man that Pilate had declared innocent
(let alone kill him) by calling him by a title that no one claimed he
actually had, including Jesus?


---

Pilate did not, historically, fear either a riot, or his inability to
stop one. In fact, he anticipated them and took military steps to
brutally quell them as he absolutely would have done on Passover.


----


prevention of riots...


Phoenix, my apologies, but I'm growing very tired of having to cover
ground I already did and you have not addressed. Josephus recounts
how
Pilate not only anticipated a riot during the aquaduct debacle, he
did
not fear one, but instead took covert steps to ensure that if any
riot
broke out, there would be a sufficient multitude of soldiers posing
as
a part of the crowd to quell it efficiently (and did so, no less,
when
one erupted).


That would be a part of his job, incidentally; to control the region
and be prepared at all times for any uprising. The Passover festival,
for an obvious example, would most certainly have been a time when
Pilate was absolutely concerned and therefore likewise prepared for
any kind of uprising, particularly if he did not have the troop
support he thought he needed.


---------------------------------


But, again, you have not addressed the fact that for Pilate to have
been susceptible to blackmail, he would have had to have believed
that
"the crowd" had something on him to blackmail him with.


He publicly declared that Jesus had committed no Roman crime (that
would include Caesar's decree), so he could not possibly have
believed
that "the crowd" could blackmail him with something he had already
officially declared as a duly authorized representative of Rome that
which was not a crime in his mind.


Pilate would have had to have believed that "the crowd" would be able
to prove to Caesar that Jesus had claimed to be the "King of the
Jews."

-------------------------------------------------------------


..publically confirmed that no one considered jesus to be king of....


He did not; Pilate knew this, allegedly ruled on it and then publicly
confirmed that no one considered Jesus to be the "King of the Jews,"
so there would be no grounds in Pilate's mind for any kind of
blackmail, if, indeed, such a man as Pilate feared such sophistry
from
a crowd of subjugated Jews.


------


Look bad? "The Jews" as you put it denounced Jesus as a "King of the
Jews," thereby concurring with Pilate's findings that Jesus was not
and never claimed to be (as you concede) the "King of the Jews."


"I have found this man has commited no Roman crime. He does not claim
that he is your king, your Sanhedrin claimed he claimed that and I do
not beleive them. Is he your king?"


"We have no king but Caesar, but if you don't kill Jesus, we're going
to tell our mortal enemies and our oppressors that you refused to
kill
him for claiming he was the King of the Jews."


excellent!


"You just publicly declared that you don't consider him to be the
King
of the Jews; he has publicly declared he is not the King of the Jews;
and I have officially, publicly declared that he has committed no
Roman crime. The record is clear, fuck you."


"Then we shall riot!"


"Beside the fact that I already anticipated such a possibility on
this
day particularly, because I'm not a fucking idiot, you mean you're
going to riot if I don't kill the completely innocent man that you
all
agree is not your 'King' even though you all supposedly love him so
much that if you found out that your leaders had conspired to try and
kill him (as I just told you was precisely what they did) you'd riot
against them, but now, inexplicably are not going to, because you're
all just so susceptible to 'office politics' that don't yet exist?
Gee, I never thought of that possibility on this the most militarily
prepared day of the year for such a contingency. GUARDS!"

---------------------------------------------------------------------------


terrified of the crowd 2 days before....


I asked why were the Sanhedrin terrified of "the crowd" (presumably
the same festival crowd that was there two days prior for the
Passover) that prompted them to concoct a false charge that Jesus had
claimed to be the King of the Jews and then not terrified of the
crowd
two days later when they allegedly walked among them and somehow
convinced them to demand that Pilate murder an innocent man; a man
that they evidently did not consider to be the "King of the Jews?"


---


where were the multitudes hiding???


The (gospel) sum of the circumstances behind the arrest and trial
betrays the fable behind the man-god. To wit:


Two days before a most holy feast, Matthew has the high priests et al
declining to subdue and kill the man of whom they object so as not to
raise the ire of the Jewish citizenry. (26:1:4). Obviously Matthew in
portraying the Jewish powers that be, felt that the crowd is more
inclined to rail against the breaking of doctrine than to be riled at
a man charged with political crimes.


But then we witness a total about face per Matthew. The man Jesus who
sat and ate his Passover meal which can only happen on the advent of
this most holy day, is subsequently arrested by the minions of the
Jewish leaders. (26:47:57)


These same leaders, priests; elders; scribes, as Matthew would have
us
believe, shirked their duties to the laws of Moses as well as the
flock in deference to hearing testimony against the man-god and held
trial against him on the very same high holy day they arrested him.
Finding him guilty, they advanced his conviction to two governing
personages which obviously had nothing better to do in tumultuous
Judea than to hear the case of Jews against another Jew--post haste.


By morning, he is found guilty; is assaulted and paraded in front of
a
crowd of Jews who should have been observing the Passover; is marched
through a few hundred feet of the Jerusalem streets; hung on a cross
and conveniently dies at 3pm, long enough to bury him in Jewish
custom
before sunset.


Of all of the throngs of believers the gospels would have us think
followed Jesus and greeted him in his excursions throughout their
towns, it would only have taken two to maintain the credibility of
the
man. But they all stayed home! Peter--the pontiff yet, lied to save
himself, James, Matthew, John, Mary, Mary and Mary, Joseph, Lazarus
and all the rest are nowhere to be found as character witnesses.


Two witnesses! That is all that was required of Jewish law to
proclaim
one's innocence. And not one from the multitude came forward.
Instead,
they all supposedly condemned the man to die. All the throngs who
cheered on his arrival; all the familial members of those whom he
raised from the dead, all the healed and fed--they all stayed home!


Is this believable? Only to those who do not understand that the
Romans under Pilate, as was succinctly stated by another poster, gave
not one wit about the sensibilities of the Jews. Pilate, as was the
governor, was all about Rome, appeasing his emperor and concerned
only
about those who threatened Roman rule. Some upstart who claimed to be
king of the Jews and opposed by Jewish elders, hardly qualifies.


The gospels as we have them are but the undated writings of authors
unknown--a reflection of propaganda during the first few centuries of
the common era.


man06

unread,
Feb 12, 2009, 5:01:09 PM2/12/09
to
Yawn! There is his same old "different-purpose" dodge again. He has
yet to explain how the "different purpose" of Old Testament writers
accorded them the luxury of wasting as much space as they wanted to on
repetitions but the "purpose" of gospel writers like "John"--whose
avowed purpose was to report "signs" that would lead readers to
believe that Jesus was "the Christ" (John 20:30-31--wouldn't let him
report the important "signs" that Matthew claimed had caused the Roman
pagans to declare that Jesus was surely the son of God (Matt.
27:51-54). If "John's" purpose was to report "signs" that would cause
people to believe that Jesus was "the Christ," why would he have left
these signs out? I have driven this point into the ground, but I did
so with the hope that Turkel would be so embarrassed by it that he
would try to reply to it, but I really don't expect him to.

In narrating a single story, the author(s) of Judges found it
necessary to tell readers twice that this tale took place in the days
when there was no king over Israel.

Judges 18:1 And it came to pass in those days, when there was no king
in Israel, that there was a certain Levite staying in the remote
mountains of Ephraim.

Judges 21:25 In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did
what was right in his own eyes.

A curious thing about this tale of the rape and slaughter of the
Levite's concubine is that the writer(s) of Judges had thought it
necessary to say just seven verses before the narration of the story
began that there was no king in Israel in those days.

Judges 17:6 In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did
what was right in his own eyes.

Hey, I get the idea: There was no king in Israel in those days. I
suppose the writer(s) thought, for some unknown reason, that it was
vitally important to let readers know that there was no king in Israel
in those days, but it does seem strange that Yahweh would have
"inspired" such repetition as this but then would inspire his chosen
writers to leave out important details in other parts of his
revelation to the world in order to save scroll space. If Yahweh had
just inspired "John" to take an inch or two of extra linear space in
his scroll to add that Jesus carried the cross until he collapsed,
John 19:17 would never have become the issue that it now is.

Turkel's evasion above gives no plausible explanation at all for why
repeating that there was no king in Israel in those days was a
necessary "memorization/orality function" but that none of the other
information in this lengthy tale about the maltreatment and fate of
the Levite's concubine needed the aid of Turkel's perceived
"memorization/orality function." After all, why would it have been so
hard to remember a fairly simple statement like "there was no king in
Israel in those days"? Notice now the continuation of Turkel's
evasions. (Next up on X's list of Goofy Things to Say:) Speaking of
goofy things, I just have to ask if anything can be more goofy than
Turkel's claim that unidentified "different purposes" allowed Old
Testament writers to engage in frequent repetitions of sometimes
lengthy passages, but the "different purposes" of gospel writers did
not allow "John"--whose avowed purpose was to report "signs" that
would make readers believe that Jesus was "the Christ" (John
20:30-31)--to report even the very signs that had caused pagan Romans
to declare that Jesus was surely the son of God (Matt. 27:51-54). I
have learned that Turkel doesn't like repetition when I keep hammering
him with rebuttal points that he has repeatedly ignored, but if he
would ever answer a rebuttal, I wouldn't need to repeat so often.

And once again, the same rebuttal applies. Why would a "different
purpose" in a time of scarce and expensive scroll materials have
allowed, in this case, the author(s) of Leviticus to waste precious
space repeating that which had just been reported, but a "different
purpose" in New Testament times did not allow writers like "John" to
report information that was directly related to his avowed purpose? He
himself said that he had written about "signs" that would make readers
believe that Jesus was "the Christ" (John 20:30-31), yet he left out
the very signs that, according to Matthew, had caused Roman pagans to
declare that Jesus was surely the son of God (Matt. 27:51-54). Why?
Why on earth why? The Turk, of course, will say that the gospel
writers had to be concerned with the need for "multiple copies" to
spread the gospel around the world, whereas Leviticus, like other Old
Testament books, was intended for a limited audience, but I have
hammered this quibble to pieces here and in various other places. The
link just given contains links to those other places where I took
Turkel's damaging admission that one copy would have put "no burden"
onto Isaiah and dumped it back into his lap by pointing out that if
making one copy would not have burdened Isaiah financially, then a
scribe who undertook to make a copy of Isaiah's scroll would not have
been financially burdened either, and likewise a scribe who copied the
copy wouldn't have experienced any burden, and so on. These links also
show that when organized religious groups, like the colony at Qumran
and congregations and monasteries that sprang up after the rise of
Christianity, undertook to make copies of scrolls, they would have
been able to share the expense of making multiple copies. Besides all
of these holes in his "multiple-copies" quibble, I remind readers that
I pointed out here in Part One of this series and also here in "Turkel
Rides--Er--Stumbles Again - Part One" that Turkel is on-again-off-
again concerning whether the gospels were evangelistic in their
intent. When it is advantageous to whatever doctrine du jour he is
defending, they are evangelistic, but when it is disadvantageous to
his position, they aren't evangelistic, so Turkel's "multiple-copies"
quibble has backfired in his face and left it covered with soot. (And
again: memory, memory, memory.) And again, as I just explained above,
repetitive memory devices were used primarily to faciliate oral
transmission of information, but it wasn't nearly as important in
written texts, which depended on transmitting information to those who
could read.

http://www.theskepticalreview.com/JFTBobbyPaperTrail5.html

man06

unread,
Feb 12, 2009, 5:23:49 PM2/12/09
to
So rather than the women's having to run to tell the apostles about
the empty tomb they had found, one would think that the apostles would
have been on the scene themselves that third-day morning at least
waiting to see if Jesus would come forth.

I think that is a reasonable conclusion to draw about a group of
disciples who had allegedly witnessed the fulfillment of five specific
predictions that their cult leader had made, but Turkel has different
ideas. Let's look at his quibble, which even he had to say was
"facetious" after he had wasted our time on silly "fluff."


I guess I will have to change Turkel's moniker from Robert "No Link"
Turkel to Robert "Snip-and-Skip" Turkel. I'm going to reinsert the
entire paragraph from which Turkel snipped the two-sentence partial
quotation above. To highlight how much he snipped, I'll emphasize in
bold print the part that he quoted above. The first sentence of the
paragraph connects to the sentence that I reinserted above after
Turkel's truncation of another of my paragraphs that he only partially
quoted.


But they weren't there (according to the story). They had to be sought
out and told, and even then they considered the news the women brought
to them to be only "idle talk" (Luke 24:11). The women were telling
them exactly what Jesus had said would happen, and they thought their
words were just idle talk!

I had made a very significant contrast in the women's reaction and the
reaction of the apostles, who had also been with Jesus when he told


his disciples that he would be killed but would rise again the third

day. Just a little reminder from the angel enable the women to
remember immediately what Jesus had said about rising again, but the
apostles seemed to walk around with a "duh" expression on their faces
unable to remember much of anything. Peter and John saw clear signs in
the empty tomb that Jesus had risen, as he had predicted he would, but
they turned away and went back to their homes, not yet "understand
[ing]" the scripture that he must rise from the dead." As I said
earlier, why they wouldn't have understood the scripture that Jesus
must rise from the dead is perfectly understandable, because there is
no such scripture. (If Turkel denies this, then I remind him that I am
still waiting for an inerrantist to reply to my article "What Third-
Day Prophecy?".) Then when the women told them what they had seen and
what the angel(s) had said, they dismissed it as "idle talk."


man06

unread,
Feb 27, 2009, 6:28:34 PM2/27/09
to
But, your post is full of speculation.

First of all, you cannot speculate that "Christus" means "Christ", it
could mean just as it is written a name, that is, some one called
"ChristUS", just like some-one being called TiberiUS or AugustUS.

Secondly, you cannot speculate that Christus means Jesus of Nazareth.
There is absolutely no information about where Christus actually
lived.

Next, you cannot speculate that Christus refers to Jesus when it is
really not known how and when Christus was executed.

Was Christus executed the first or last year of the governorship of
Pilate, was there a trial?

You can answer if you want to continue to speculate.

http://www.freeratio.org/showthread.php?t=262291&page=7

The red I added to Roger's statement (actually wording) and the green
is for my emphasis. So Tacitus clearly says the Christians get their
name from a person 'Christus.' There is no historical inference that
this is Jesus of Nazareth or Jesus of the Gospel stories. THis
statement only says the name derives from 'Christus.'

http://www.freeratio.org/showthread.php?t=262291&page=8


Christ means "messiah" in Ancient Greek. It is a title and not a name
no matter who uses it and Tacitus' treatment of it as if it is a name
shows that he has limited understanding of the supposed historical
figure.

Which part of that did you not understand?

The person who would have been crucified would have been Jesus
(possibly 'of Nazareth') not 'Christ'. The Romans would have crucified
a person by name, not by religious title. Since Tacitus only refers to
religious title he is clearly referring to a religious belief, not to
records of Roman crucifixions.

There's no subtle trickery here. This should be plain and obvious!


I'd guess the argument here is that Tacitus gives no indication of
roughly when the crucifixion is meant to have happened. He simply
claims 'it happened' which could easily be a reference to what he has
heard of Christian belief rather than the reporting of an actual event
in history.


man06

unread,
Mar 24, 2009, 8:56:29 AM3/24/09
to
test

man06

unread,
Apr 6, 2009, 11:53:07 AM4/6/09
to

man06

unread,
Apr 6, 2009, 11:57:21 AM4/6/09
to
>DR
>I told you to look no further than 1 Samuel 15:18.
>And the LORD sent thee on a journey, and said, Go and utterly destroy the
>SINNERS the Amalekites, and fight against them until they be consumed.
>Did you read the word "SINNERS"?
>Ezekiel 18:4 Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also
>the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die.
>Ezekiel 18:20 The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear
>the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of
>the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the
>wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him.

TILL
And I have answered your quibble. To save the time of rehashing it,
I'm
just going to cut and paste my reply below and ask you again to show
us
where the language of the text gives any reason for the command to
destroy
the Amalekites except the attack on Israel 400 years earlier.
***********************

So I will ask my question again. Where does the biblical text give a
single
reason for the command to utterly destroy the Amalekites except the
Amalekite attack on Israel 400 years earlier?


What you quoted does not give a reason for the command. It simply
states
that Samuel told Saul that Yahweh had told him to go and utterly
destroy
"the sinners" the Amalekites. I assume that since you believe in the
inerrancy of the Bible you will agree that any person or any group of
people
could have been referred to as a "sinner" or "sinners." If that were
the
reason why people should have been killed, then Yahweh, to be
consistent,
should have ordered the Israelites to kill everyone in the world and
then
turn their swords on themselves, because there would be no one that
could
not be described as a "sinner."


The justification that you simplistic biblicists have given for
Yahweh's
command to massacre the Amalekites has been that they were so morally
corrupt that it was necessary to exterminate them. However, there is
no
text that you can point to that will justify this claim. How does the
fact
that the Amalekites were called "sinners" prove that they were any
more
morally depraved than other tribes, including even the Israelites?


Try to address the issue, DR. What language in the text gives any
REASON
for the command to destroy the Amalekites except the reference to the
Amalekite attack on Israel 400 years earlier? I'm going to quote the
text
again. Try not to snip it this time.

>2 Thus says YAHWEH of hosts, 'I will punish the Amalekites for what they did in opposing the Israelites when they came up out of Egypt. >3 Now go and attack Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have; do not spare them, but kill both man and woman, child and infant, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.'" >4 So Saul summoned the people, and numbered them in Telaim, two hundred thousand foot soldiers, and ten thousand soldiers of Judah. >5 Saul came to the city of the Amalekites and lay in wait in the valley. >6 Saul said to the Kenites, "Go! Leave! Withdraw from among the Amalekites, or I will destroy you with them; for you showed kindness to all the people of Israel when they came up out of Egypt." So the Kenites withdrew from the Amalekites.


I again call your attention to verses 2 and 6, so will you please
answer
three questions: (1) What reason did verse 2 give for the command to
destroy the Amalekites? (2) What reason did verse 6 give for the safe
passage out of the city that Saul gave to the Kenites? (3) What
language
in the text gives any other reason for the massacre except the
Amalekite
attack on Israel 400 years earlier?


..

TILL
So DR is up to his old tricks again. When he encounters something he
can't
answer, he just snips it and calls it "a lot of nonsense." I'll just
repost
that nonsense so that we can see if Dr will evade it again. (When one
snips
an opponent's arguments and doesn't answer them, is he a "coward"?
**************

So I will ask my question again. Where does the biblical text give a
single
reason for the command to utterly destroy the Amalekites except the
Amalekite attack on Israel 400 years earlier?


What you quoted does not give a reason for the command. It simply
states
that Samuel told Saul that Yahweh had told him to go and utterly
destroy
"the sinners" the Amalekites. I assume that since you believe in the
inerrancy of the Bible you will agree that any person or any group of
people
could have been referred to as a "sinner" or "sinners." If that were
the
reason why people should have been killed, then Yahweh, to be
consistent,
should have ordered the Israelites to kill everyone in the world and
then
turn their swords on themselves, because there would be no one that
could
not be described as a "sinner."


The justification that you simplistic biblicists have given for
Yahweh's
command to massacre the Amalekites has been that they were so morally
corrupt that it was necessary to exterminate them. However, there is
no
text that you can point to that will justify this claim. How does the
fact
that the Amalekites were called "sinners" prove that they were any
more
morally depraved than other tribes, including even the Israelites?


Try to address the issue, DR. What language in the text gives any
REASON
for the command to destroy the Amalekites except the reference to the
Amalekite attack on Israel 400 years earlier? I'm going to quote the
text
again. Try not to snip it this time.

>2 Thus says YAHWEH of hosts, 'I will punish the Amalekites for what they did in opposing the Israelites when they came up out of Egypt. >3 Now go and attack Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have; do not spare them, but kill both man and woman, child and infant, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.'" >4 So Saul summoned the people, and numbered them in Telaim, two hundred thousand foot soldiers, and ten thousand soldiers of Judah. >5 Saul came to the city of the Amalekites and lay in wait in the valley. >6 Saul said to the Kenites, "Go! Leave! Withdraw from among the


Amalekites, or I will destroy you with them; for you showed kindness
to all
the people of Israel when they came up out of Egypt." So the Kenites
withdrew from the Amalekites.


I again call your attention to verses 2 and 6, so will you please
answer
three questions: (1) What reason did verse 2 give for the command to
destroy the Amalekites? (2) What reason did verse 6 give for the safe
passage out of the city that Saul gave to the Kenites? (3) What
language
in the text gives any other reason for the massacre except the
Amalekite
attack on Israel 400 years earlier?


DR


> They were called Sute in the Babylonian inscriptions, in those of Egypt
Sittiu, >and the Amarna tablets include them under the general name
of
Khabbati, or >"plunderers."

TILL
Which, if so, proves what? "Plunderers" were not at all uncommon in
those
days. Could you tell us, for example, how David lived during the time
that
he was in flight from King Saul?


I'll give you a hint. Read 1 Samuel 20-31 to find the answer, and
notice
chapter 27 in particular. After you have found the answer, would you
mind
telling us what it is?


My point is that you are implying above that the meaning of a name by
which the Amalekites were known tell us something about their
character, but you fail to realize that even if the name did mean
"plunderers," that would in no way indicate that the Amalekites of
Saul's time were plunderers. The tribal name could have been acquired
in earlier times and remained with them even though the later
generations had turned from "plundering." So we are still waiting to
see you prove that the Amalekites of Saul's time were as morally
degenerate as you and others have claimed.


Also keep in mind that if "plunderers" deserved extermination, then
David and his band of marauders deserved extermination, because they
survived by plundering villages in the territory where they had taken
refuge from Saul.


DR


>Their kings bore the hereditary name of Agag (Num. 24:7; 1 Sam. 15:8).


TILL
Which would prove what about their moral character?

DR


>Therefore lets refer to 1 Samuel 15:8 for hints on the character of the
Amalekites >and for clues on why they incurred in the wrath of God.
>1 Samuel 15:23 For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness
>is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the
>LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king.

TILL
As you noted below Samuel said this to Saul and not to the
Amalekites.

DR

>The text hints at two sins that must have been relevant to the Amalekites
>comdemnation by Yahweh i.e. WITCHCRAFT & IDOLATRY.


TILL
Why does this statement have to have been "relevant" to the
Amalekites? Saul had disobeyed Yahweh by keeping Agag and some of the
prime livestock alive instead of "utterly" destroying them as
commanded in verses 2-3. Witchcraft and idolatry were both condemned
in the law, so Samuel merely used them in a simile to express to Saul
how serious his act of disobedience was. There is nothing at all in
the statement that even implies that the Amalekites were in some way
extremist in their practicing of witchcraft and idolatry.

Sorry, but you'll have to try again.


DR

>Though the accusation is directed to Saul,


TILL
So even you recognize the weakness of your quibble.

DR


>it is clear from this context that this is at the heart of the controversy


between >YAHWEH and the Amalekites.


TILL
It is? Then why don't you do a literary analysis of the context to
show us what makes it so clear that witchcraft and idolatry were at
"the heart of the controversy between Yahweh and the Amalekites? I
taught college literature for 30 years before I retired, so I think I
will have some ability to recognize any linguistic reasons for
concluding this if you'll just point them out.

Meanwhile, why don't you explain to us why the context didn't make it
plain
that the witchcraft and idolatry of the Amalekites were the reasons
for
Yahweh's command? Let's notice again two verses that you and the
other
defenders of this moral atrocity don't seem too eager to address.

>1 Samuel 15:2 Thus says Yahweh of hosts, 'I will punish the Amalekites for
what they did in opposing the Israelites when they came up out of
Egypt...."

If witchcraft and idolatry were "at the heart of the controversy," why
didn't Yahweh say, "I will punish the Amalekites for their witchcraft
and idolatry"? Why did he leave out completely "the heart of the
controversy" and bring up something that had happened 400 years ago
and didn't have anything to do with the Amalekites of that time?

Will you address this issue, or will you ignore it again? In other
words, will you be a coward again?

>5 Saul came to the city of the Amalekites and lay in wait in the valley.
>6 Saul said to the Kenites, "Go! Leave! Withdraw from among the
Amalekites, or I will destroy you with them; for you showed kindness
to all
the people of Israel when they came up out of Egypt."


*******So if witchcraft and idolatry were "at the heart of the
controversy," why didn't Saul tell the Kenites they could go because
they weren't practicing witchcraft and idolatry? Why did he bring up
something that wasn't even "the heart of the controversy"? ********

DR

>1 Samuel 15:32 Then said Samuel, Bring ye hither to me Agag the king of the >Amalekites. And Agag came unto him delicately. And Agag said, Surely the >bitterness of death is past. >1 Samuel 15:33 And Samuel said, AS THY SWORD HAS MADE WOMEN CHILDLESS, SO >SHALL THY MOTHER BE CHILDLESS AMONG WOMEN. And Samuel hewed Agag in pieces
>before the LORD in Gilgal.

>Samuel did not say, what TILL wants us to believe, that this was a vendetta >because of something that happened 400 years before. Samuel said something >different but TILL knows better (so he thinks). Amalekites were corrupt and >and lived from plundering the resources of others. They had no mercy and >they received an approriate Divine retribution.

TILL
If the Amalekites actually existed and if they had a king named Agag,
we would expect them to be no different from the Israelites, Moabites,
Philistines, Assyrians, etc., who all had barbaric customs. That isn't
the issue at all. The issue is the claim made by you and others that
the Amalekites were so totally corrupt and morally depraved that
Yahweh really had no choice but to exterminate them from the face of
the earth. You have been challenged to post biblical and extrabiblical
evidence that would prove the Amalekites were any more barbaric and
morally depraved than other tribes living in that time. I will be glad
to do a search and repost this challenge if you deny that this was
what I defied you and the others to show.

So the fact that Samuel said that Agag's sword had made other women
childless would not in any way indicate that the Amalekites were any
more corrupt than the Israelites or the Moabites or the Assyrians,
etc., whose swords had also made women childless. We want to see you
prove your claim that the Amalekites were so extremely wicked that
they had to be exterminated, whereas other tribes were allowed to
continue living.

Well, please notice, DR, that I said "if so," so why don't you explain
to us how you know that the Amalekites were nomadic shepherds? You are
making an assertion here that I am asking you to prove. Furthermore,
I'd like for you to explain to us why it would necessarily follow that
nomadic shepherds would be "plunderers." Is it your position that all
nomadic tribes were plunderers? If so, how did you arrive at this
conclusion?

You quoted a source, but your source doesn't give any information to
justify its claim that the Amalekites were "as plundering and
dangerous as the Bedouin Arabs." Your source simply asserted that they
were. The rest of the quotation clearly shows that this source is just
another inerrantist group trying to justify a Yahwistic massacre of
children and babies on grounds that cannot be sustained by any kind of
evidence.


You cannot sustain your case with non sequiturs, so please tell us
what evidence you or Jamiesson, Fausset & Brown or anyone else has to
justify the fundamentalist claim that the Amalekites were so morally
corrupt that the "God of Israel" had no choice but to order their
"removal." (I just love the euphemistic ways that biblicists have of
referring to this massacre. It wasn't a massacre; it was just a
"removal.")


Furthermore, if we are going to accept what the biblical record says,
then your case for the nomadic custom of the Amalekites is weak
indeed. In their wilderness years, the Israelites encountered the
Amalekites at a place called Rephidim (Ex. 17:8). The exact location
of this place is not known, but it was apparently in the proximity of
Mount Horeb (Sinai), because the two verses prior to this refer to the
incident where Moses brought forth water from a rock at Horeb (Mt.
Sinai). Mount Sinai or Horeb would certainly have been located south
of Canaan, which later became Israel, so the Israelites' encounter
with the Amalekites occurred south of Canaan, somewhere in the Sinai
wilderness.


When Saul was commanded to utterly destroy the Amalekites (1 Sam.
15:2-3), he "defeated the Amalekites, from Havilah as far as Shur,
which is east of Egypt" (v:7). These locations were south of Israel
and would therefore have put the Amalekites in the same region where
the Israelites encountered them on the way out of Egypt, so if they
were "nomadic shepherds," who went about "plundering," they were still
wandering and plundering in the same region they had been in 400 years
earlier in their engagement of the Israelites. We also see that these
"nomadic shepherds" lived in a city, because 1 Samuel 15:5 says, "Saul
came to the CITY of the Amalekites and lay in wait in the valley."


Did nomadic shepherds build cities, DR? We'll eagerly wait to see your
answer and to see just how many verbal knots you can twist yourself
into in order to deny the obvious: 1 Samuel 15:2-6 gave ONE reason and
one reason only for the massacre of the Amalekites. It was a pay back
for something that their ancestors had done 400 years earlier. If the
primary reason for this massacre was what you claim it was, then how
do you explain the Bible's complete silence on the wickedness of the
Amalekites as the reason why yahweh ordered their massacre? Can you
understand plain language, DR? If so, read the following and see if
you can find THE reason and the ONLY reason that was given for the
command to massacre the Amalekites.

>1 Samuel 15:2 Thus says Yahweh of hosts, 'I will punish the Amalekites FOR WHAT THEY DID IN OPPOSING THE ISRAELITES WHEN THEY CAME UP OUT OF EGYPT. >3 Now go and attack Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have; do not spare them, but kill both man and woman, child and infant, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.'"

>4 So Saul summoned the people, and numbered them in Telaim, two hundred thousand foot soldiers, and ten thousand soldiers of Judah.
>5 Saul came to the city of the Amalekites and lay in wait in the valley.
>6 Saul said to the Kenites, "Go! Leave! Withdraw from among the
Amalekites, or I will destroy you with them; FOR YOU SHOWED KINDNESS
TO ALL THE PEOPLE OF ISRAEL WHEN THEY CAME UP OUT OF EGYPT."

You can find NOTHING in the Bible or in extrabiblical evidence to
support
your fundamentalist claim that these people were so utterly wicked
that they
had to be utterly destroyed. If you could cite evidence to support
this
claim, you would have done so long before now.

Isn't it pathetic when a person becomes so emotionally attached to
irrational religious beliefs that he will take complete leave of his
senses
in order to defend those beliefs?


TILL
What do I think of the NLT translation of Judges 3:13? No more than
what I think of other translations that say the same thing, except
that "city of
palms" is used instead of Jericho.

But I have a question, and I would like to know what you think about
it. You claimed earlier in this posting that you knew that the
Amalekites were "plunderers" because they were "nomadic shepherds." In
reply to that I pointed out, among other things, that the Amalekites
of Saul's time lived in a city (1 Sam. 15:5). I asked you if "nomadic
shepherds" built cities, but I haven't had time to get your answer.
I'll look forward to it. When you send it, tell us if you think it
very likely that "nomadic shepherds" would have armies that could ally
themselves with tribes that weren't "nomadic shepherds." In other
words, if the Amalekites allied themselves with the Ammonites to
battle against the Israelites, wouldn't they have been a people
settled enough in their culture to have a concern about Israelite
activities to the extent that they would form an alliance? These are
problems for your position besides the crass assumption that "nomadic
shepherds" would necessarily have been "plunderers." You have yet to
sustain this assertion.


Furthermore, Judges 3:13 relates an incident that allegedly happened
early
after the Israelite conquest of Canaan, so this would have been
something
that had also happened around 400 years before the time of Saul. How
can
you use this to make an evaluation of the morality of Amalekites who
lived
400 years after this time? You seem to be arguing that the Amalekites
of
about 1400 BC were a barbarous people; therefore, the Amalekites who
lived
400 years later were also a barbarous people. Can you say non
sequitur?
Could you judge the morality of people living in modern Europe on the
basis
of what their ancestors may have been 400 years ago?

You do have trouble with rational thinking, don't you, DR?


>DR
> 1 Samuel 14:48 (The New Living Translation)
>14:48 He did great deeds and conquered the Amalekites, saving Israel from
>all those who had plundered them.

TILL
Then are you saying that on the basis of this verse, the massacre of
the
Amalekites was justified on the grounds that they had "plundered"
Israel?
Let's look at the statement in context.


>1 Samuel 14:47 When Saul had taken the kingship over Israel, he fought against all his enemies on every side--against Moab, against the Ammonites, against Edom, against the kings of Zobah, and against the Philistines; wherever he turned he routed them. >48 He did valiantly, and struck down the Amalekites, and rescued Israel out of the hands of those who plundered them.


So if the mere fact that the Amalekites had "plundered" the Israelites
was reason to eradicate them, including even children and babies, why
did Yahweh single out only the Amalekites for extermination? Why
didn't he also order the extermination of the Moabites, the Ammonites,
the Edomites, the Philistines, and all others who had "plundered" the
Israelites. Why don't we let the Bible itself tell us why?


>1 Samuel 15:2 Thus says Yahweh of hosts, 'I will punish the Amalekites FOR WHAT THEY DID IN OPPOSING THE ISRAELITES WHEN THEY CAME UP OUT OF EGYPT. >3 Now go and attack Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have; do not spare them, but kill both man and woman, child and infant, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.'" >4 So Saul summoned the people, and numbered them in Telaim, two hundred thousand foot soldiers, and ten thousand soldiers of Judah. >5 Saul came to the city of the Amalekites and lay in wait in the valley. >6 Saul said to the Kenites, "Go! Leave! Withdraw from among the Amalekites, or I will destroy you with them; FOR YOU SHOWED KINDNESS TO ALL THE PEOPLE OF ISRAEL WHEN THEY CAME UP OUT OF EGYPT."


Let's juxtapose this passage with Deuteronomy 25:17-19.


>17 Remember what Amalek did to you on your journey out of Egypt, >18 how he attacked you on the way, when you were faint and weary, and struck down all who lagged behind you; he did not fear God. >19 Therefore when Yahweh your God has given you rest from all your enemies on every hand, in the land that Yahweh your God is giving you as an inheritance to possess, you shall blot out the remembrance of Amalek from
under heaven; do not forget.

***

There's your reason, DR, for any person open-minded enough to see it.
Your
inspired, inerrant word of God alleges that Moses told the Israelites
in the
wilderness, over 400 years before Saul, never to forget what the
Amalekites
had done but to "remember what Amalek did to you on your journey out
of
Egypt." So 400 years later, Yahweh (presumably) sent a prophet to Saul
and
said to him, "I remember that which Amalek did to Israel, how he laid
wait
for him in the way, when he came up from Egypt" (1 Sam. 15:2).

This was a grudge, DR, and anyone who has not been blinded by a
fanatical
belief in the absurd premise that the Bible is inerrant can see that
it was.
Some nations carry grudges like this, as we have seen in the modern
conflicts between ethnic groups in the former republic of Yugoslavia.


You just won't admit that this was the reason for the massacre,
because you know how morally despicable this would paint your
presumably morally perfect Yahweh.

> TILL
>> Also keep in mind that if "plunderers" deserved extermination, then David
>> and his band of marauders deserved extermination, because they survived by >> plundering villages in the territory where they had taken refuge from >>Saul.


TILL
Why did you pass over this without comment, DR? If "plundering" was
grounds for exterminating an entire nation, including even children
and babies, then why didn't Yahweh order the extermination of David?
Look at what your inspired, inerrant word of God said about this "man
after God's own heart."


>1 Samuel 27:7 The length of time that David lived in the country of the
Philistines was one year and four months. >8 Now David and his men
went up and made raids on the Geshurites, the Girzites, and the
Amalekites; for these were the landed settlements from Telam on the
way to Shur and on to the land of Egypt. >9 David struck the land,
leaving neither man nor woman alive, but took away the sheep, the
oxen, the donkeys, the camels, and the clothing, and came back to
Achish. >10 When Achish asked, "Against whom have you made a raid
today?" David would say, "Against the Negeb of Judah," or "Against the
Negeb of the Jerahmeelites," or, "Against the Negeb of the Kenites."
>11 David left neither man nor woman alive to be brought back to Gath,
thinking, "They might tell about us, and say, 'David has done so and
so.'" Such was his practice all the time he lived in the country of
the Philistines.


Talk about "plunderers," DR, the Amalekites didn't compare to David,
who
raided cities and "left neither man nor woman alive." So try to answer
the
question this time, DR. If the "plundering" of the Amalekites was
justification for exterminating them, why did Yahweh allow David to
plunder
and go unpunished?


>> DR
>> >Their kings bore the hereditary name of Agag (Num. 24:7; 1 Sam. 15:8).
>> TILL >> Which would prove what about their moral character?


TILL
You didn't answer this question, DR. Why? Are you ignoring the tough
issues that you have no response to?


DR
>The text hints at two sins that must have been relevant to the Amalekites
>comdemnation by Yahweh i.e. WITCHCRAFT & IDOLATRY.


TILL
Why does this statement have to have been "relevant" to the
Amalekites?
Saul had disobeyed Yahweh by keeping Agag and some of the prime
livestock
alive instead of "utterly" destroying them as commanded in verses
2-3.
Witchcraft and idolatry were both condemned in the law, so Samuel
merely
used them in a simile to express to Saul how serious his act of
disobedience
was. There is nothing at all in the statement that even implies that
the
Amalekites were in some way extremist in their practicing of
witchcraft
and idolatry.

Sorry, but you'll have to try again.

> DR
>Though the accusation is directed to Saul,


TILL
So even you recognize the weakness of your quibble.

DR

>it is clear from this context that this is at the heart of the controversy
>between YAHWEH and the Amalekites.


TILL
It is? Then why don't you do a literary analysis of the context to
show us
what makes it so clear that witchcraft and idolatry were at "the heart
of
the controversy between Yahweh and the Amalekites? I taught college
literature for 30 years before I retired, so I think I will have some
ability to recognize any linguistic reasons for concluding this if
you'll
just point them out.

Meanwhile, why don't you explain to us why the context didn't make it
plain
that the witchcraft and idolatry of the Amalekites were the reasons
for
Yahweh's command? Let's notice again two verses that you and the
other
defenders of this moral atrocity don't seem too eager to address.

>1 Samuel 15:2 Thus says Yahweh of hosts, 'I will punish the Amalekites
>for what they did in opposing the Israelites when they came up out of
>Egypt...."


If witchcraft and idolatry were "at the heart of the controversy,"
why
didn't Yahweh say, "I will punish the Amalekites for their witchcraft
and
idolatry"? Why did he leave out completely "the heart of the
controversy"
and bring up something that had happened 400 years ago and didn't
have
anything to do with the Amalekites of that time?

Will you address this issue, or will you ignore it again? In other
words,
will you be a coward again?

>5 Saul came to the city of the Amalekites and lay in wait in the valley.
>6 Saul said to the Kenites, "Go! Leave! Withdraw from among the
> Amalekites, or I will destroy you with them; for you showed kindness to
>all the people of Israel when they came up out of Egypt."


So if witchcraft and idolatry were "at the heart of the controversy,"
why
didn't Saul tell the Kenites they could go because they weren't
practicing
witchcraft and idolatry? Why did he bring up something that wasn't
even
"the heart of the controversy"?
**********************
TILL
DR passed over all of this without comment, so I will ask him to
answer the
question above. If witchcraft and idolatry were "at the heart of the
controversy," why didn't Yahweh say this when he gave his command to
Saul,
and why didn't Saul say to the Kenites that they could leave because
they
weren't practicing witchcraft and idolatry?

Why didn't DR answer this question? Why is he evading it? Why didn't
he,
as I requested, point out specific language in the text that would
show that
the witchcraft and idolatry of the Amalekites were the reasons why
Yahweh
ordered them exterminated?


Anyway, after skipping all of this and leaving it unanswered, DR went
on as
follows.

>> DR >> >1 Samuel 15:32 Then said Samuel, Bring ye hither to me Agag the king of
>the >> >Amalekites. And Agag came unto him delicately. And Agag said, Surely the
>> >bitterness of death is past. >> >1 Samuel 15:33 And Samuel said, AS THY SWORD HAS MADE WOMEN CHILDLESS, SO >> >SHALL THY MOTHER BE CHILDLESS AMONG WOMEN. And Samuel hewed Agag in >pieces >> >before the LORD in Gilgal.
>> >Samuel did not say, what TILL wants us to believe, that this was a vendetta
>> >because of something that happened 400 years before. Samuel said
>> >something different but TILL knows better (so he thinks). Amalekites were
>> >corrupt and and lived from plundering the resources of others. They had
no >> >mercy and they received an approriate Divine retribution.


>> TILL
>> If the Amalekites actually existed and if they had a king named Agag, we >> would expect them to be no different from the Israelites, Moabites, >> Philistines, Assyrians, etc., who all had barbaric customs. That isn't >> the issue at all. The issue is the claim made by you and others that the >> Amalekites were so totally corrupt and morally depraved that Yahweh really >> had no choice but to exterminate them from the face of the earth. You have >> been challenged to post biblical and extrabiblical evidence that would prove >> the Amalekites were any more barbaric and morally depraved than other >> tribes living in that time. I will be glad to do a search and repost this >> challenge if you deny that this was what I defied you and the others to >show.


>DR
>Their Rebellion and Witchcraft was evident earlier when the Amalek dared to
>raise their hands (fist) against Yahweh's throne. Do you need it more >explicit than rendered by THE NEW LIVING TRANSLATION? >Exodus 17:15,16 (The New Living Translation) >17:15 Moses built an altar there and called it "The LORD Is My Banner." >F28 >17:16 He said, "They have dared to raise their fist against the LORD's >throne, so now F29 the LORD will be at war with Amalek generation after >generation." >FOOTNOTES: >F28: Hebrew Yahweh Nissi. >F29: Or Hands have been lifted up to the LORD's throne, and now.

TILL
Is DR so dense that he cannot see that his answer above merely
confirms what I have been saying? Saul's massacre of the Amalekites
was a payback for something that their ancestors had done 400 years
earlier. For the sake of argument, I am conceding the historicity of
the Amalekite attack on Israel as claimed in Exodus 17, BUT THAT HAD
HAPPENED 400 years before the time of Saul. How could a morally
perfect deity hold a tribe of people responsible for something their
ancestors had done 400 years before? That's the problem, and DR won't
confront it.

For the sake of argument, I'll concede the historicity of this
Amalekite
attack in Exodus 17 and even concede that this was an act of raising
their
fist against Yahweh's throne. So with that concession, DR, I want you
to
explain to us the morality of exterminating the Amalekite nation 400
years
LATER for the incident recorded in Exodus 17.


Are you going to do that, DR, or are you going to continue evading
the
issue? What is morally right about killing people for something their
ancestors did 400 years earlier?


Answer the question or else admit that you can't.

man06

unread,
Apr 6, 2009, 4:04:40 PM4/6/09
to
originial exceprts from an article


quote:


1 Kings 22:19-23: Then Micaiah said, "Therefore hear the word of
Yahweh: I saw Yahweh sitting on his throne, with all the host of
heaven standing beside him to the right and to the left of him. And
Yahweh said, 'Who will entice Ahab, so that he may go up and fall at
Ramoth-gilead?' Then one said one thing, and another said another,
until a spirit came forward and stood before Yahweh saying, 'I will
entice him.' 'How?' Yahweh asked him. He replied, 'I will go out and
be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets.' Then Yahweh
said,
'You are to entice him, and you shall succeed; go out and do it.' So
you see, Yahweh has put a lying spirit in the mouth of all these your
prophets; Yahweh has decreed disaster for you"


From the heavenly host around his throne, Yahweh asked for volunteers
to propose a plan by which Ahab could be enticed to go up and fall at
Ramoth-gilead. One suggested one thing and another still another,
until "a spirit" came forward with a plan to go forth as a lying
spirit in the mouths of Ahab's prophets. In response to this,^**^
Yahweh said to the spirit, "Go out and do it." Does this sound as if
Yahweh was doing nothing but allowing Ahab to be deceived by the
lying
spirit in the mouths of his prophets? No, it doesn't. It specifically
says that Yahweh commanded the spirit to "go out and do it."
Furthermore, this story has the prophet Micaiah concluding the
recital
of his vision with this statement: "So you see, the LORD (Yahweh) has
put a lying spirit in the mouth of all these your prophets." He did
not say that Yahweh had allowed a lying spirit to enter the mouths of
Ahab's prophets; he clearly said that Yahweh himself had put the
lying
spirit into their mouths. **That would have made Yahweh an active
participant in the deception.


If I actively enlisted the help and advice of friends on how I could
lure Tom to invest money in a con game that would bilk him of his
savings, would I be a guilty party to the deception and fraud if I
later ordered one of these friends to carry out the deception? Or
could it be said that I had only allowed Tom to believe the
deception?


*


The vision implied that Yahweh, the alleged creator of the universe,
couldn't think of a way to entice Ahab to go to Ramoth-gilead, so he
had to enlist the help of the heavenly host around his throne. One
would think that these heavenly beings would have been exceptionally
intelligent creatures, but, like Yahweh, they themselves seemed
momentarily stumped. One proposed this, another proposed that, until
finally an enterprising "spirit" came forth and volunteered to become
a lying spirit in the mouths of Ahab's prophets.


*


Yahweh liked the plan and commanded this "spirit" to go do it. The
whole idea was to deceive Ahab into going to his doom at Ramoth-
gilead. So if the plan was to work, one would think that secrecy
would
have been of the utmost importance, yet right in the middle of the
conspiracy, while the prophets who were under the influence of the
"lying spirit" were telling Ahab that victory was assured if he
decided to go up to Ramoth- gilead, along came Micaiah to blow the
whistle on the plan. Yahweh had gone to great lengths to come up with
a plan, and then right in the middle of its execution, he let one of
his own prophets come onto the scene and give it away. This makes
Yahweh look like an absolute nincompoop, and anyone who could believe
the story has to be an even bigger nincompoop.


Threatened by a message from king Sennacherib of Assyria whose army
had laid siege to Jerusalem and other Judean cities, king Hezekiah
rent his clothes, put on sackcloth, and went into the house of
Yahweh.
The prophet Isaiah sent word from Yahweh for the king not to be
afraid. "Behold, I will put a spirit in him (Sennacherib)," said the
message from Yahweh, "and he shall hear tidings, and shall return to
his own land; and I will cause him to fall by the sword in his own
land."


The chapters end with an account of Sennacherib's assassination by
his
own sons, but that is only incidental to the story. The important
thing is that Isaiah, as did Micaiah, depicted Yahweh as a god who
dealt with troublesome men by putting lying spirits into them to
deceive them and lure them to their deaths.


Another problem passage concerns the intertribal dispute between
Israel and the Benjamites. Outraged at the rape and murder of a
Levite's concubine at Gibeah by a group of Benjamite homosexuals, the
other Israelites demanded that the tribe of Benjamin deliver up to
them the "base fellows" who had done this thing so that they could be
put to death (Judges 20:12-13).


When the Benjamite leaders refused the demand, the Israelites took an
army of 400,000 against the Benjamites, who numbered only 26,700. It
looked as if it were going to be a complete rout, so the Israelites,
apparently seeing no need to send their entire army out to battle,
went up to Bethel to ask "counsel of God":


Who shall go up for us first to battle against the children of
Benjamin? And Yahweh said, Judah shall go up first (20:18).


Well, Judah did go up first, and lost 22,000 men in a resounding
defeat! So what happened here? The Israelites had asked counsel of
Yahweh, and he told them to send Judah out to battle first. One
would
have to be completely idiotic to think that the Israelites had asked
"counsel of Yahweh" to find out which army to deploy in order to be
defeated. Obviously, they wanted to know what army would secure a
victory for them. So if anything like what is related in this story
ever happened, we can conclude only one of two things: (1) Yahweh
deceived the Israelites into thinking the forces of Judah could win
the battle or (2) Yahweh is not omniscient. Either way the inerrancy
doctrine suffers irreparable damage.


But this story didn't end with the defeat of the Judean army. In
great
distress, "the children of Israel went up and wept before Yahweh
until
evening; and they asked of Yahweh, saying, Shall I again draw near to
battle against the children of Benjamin my brother?" And what answer
did they receive? "And Yahweh said, Go up against him" (v:23). So on
this "counsel" from Yahweh, the Israelites went to battle the next
day, and this time the Benjamites "destroyed down to the ground of
the
children of Israel again eighteen thousand men" (vv:24-25).


In profound anguish, the Israelites had asked their god Yahweh if
they
should again go to battle against the Benjamites, and he told them to
go. If that was not deception, then someone should explain why it
wasn't.


If I absolutely knew that John Jones had infallible ability to look
into the future and see what was going to happen and, knowing that, I
asked him if I should buy stock in company A, would Jones be guilty
of
deception and lying if he said, "Yes, buy it," and then, after I had
bought the stock, the company went bankrupt?


end quote


"1 Kings 22:19-23: Then Micaiah said, "Therefore hear the word of
Yahweh: I saw Yahweh sitting on his throne, with all the host of
heaven standing beside him to the right and to the left of him. And
Yahweh said, 'Who will entice Ahab, so that he may go up and fall at
Ramoth-gilead?' Then one said one thing, and another said another,
until a spirit came forward and stood before Yahweh saying, 'I will
entice him.' 'How?' Yahweh asked him. He replied, 'I will go out and
be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets.' Then Yahweh
said,
'You are to entice him, and you shall succeed; go out and do it.' So
you see, Yahweh has put a lying spirit in the mouth of all these your
prophets; Yahweh has decreed disaster for you"


zev: You seem to miss the fact that Micaiah, the only one here who is
called a "Prophet of God", is telling the kings the truth.


******************************************
I will try to draw a picture here that even you might be able to
understand. Let's suppose that someone who doesn't like you should
conspire to lure you into a situation where you would probably be
killed. To do this, he has a third party, whom he knows you will
trust, go to you and tell you that you will be successful if you,
say,
fly a hot air balloon across the Atlantic Ocean when in reality he
knows that an atmospheric disturbance in the mid-Atlantic is
developing into a severe storm that will have hurricane force. Since
you trust this third party and are eager to make a name for yourself,
you embark on the journey, run into the hurricane, crash into the
ocean, and die.


In this scenario, the man you disliked died because of a deception
that you instigated when you sent the third party to lure him into an
undertaking that you knew would probably result in his death. In
that
case, are you guilty of lying, even though you didn't personally
speak
to the man who was killed? If you can't see that you were guilty of
deception and lying in this scenario, then you need help.


*******************************************************************


zev: Even Ahab, who takes astonishing precautions to avoid the fate
that Micaiah had predicted for him, seems to understand that.
Jehoshaphat suspects that Ahab has surrounded himself with sycophant
"prophets", doesn't trust them, and asks for a real prophet. Ahab
admits that he doesn't want to hear a prophet who speaks against him.


***********************************************************
**********


So? Your point is what? The fact that Ahab didn't like Micaiah
doesn't change the fact that, as this little yarn was spun, he chose
to believe the lying spirit in the mouths of his prophets and take
his army to Ramoth-gilead, where he was killed. As the yarn is also
spun, Jehoshaphat chose to go to Ramoth-gilead too (1 Kings 22:29),
so
he, despite his original doubt, apparently chose to believe the lying
spirit that Yahweh had put into the mouths of "all these your
[Ahab's]
prophets" (v:23). If Yahweh put the lying spirit into the mouths of
these prophets, then Yahweh lied to Ahab and Jehoshaphat. If not,
why
not?


Don't bother to reply unless you answer that question and explain why
the deity who put the lying spirit into the mouths of the prophets
was
not himself guilty of lying. The prophets who, as this yarn was
spun,
had the lying spirit from Yahweh in their mouths had said to Ahab and
Jehoshaphat, "Go up [to Ramoth-gilead] for Yahweh will deliver it
into
your hands" (v:6). The outcome of the battle at Ramoth-gilead
clearly
shows that this statement was not true; it was a lie, so explain to
me
why it was not a lie that had come from Yahweh if indeed he was the
one who had sent the lying spirit into the prophets to have them tell
the kings this lie.


*************************************** *************
For once in your life, try to answer an argument.


quote:
Threatened by a message from king Sennacherib of Assyria whose army
had laid siege to Jerusalem and other Judean cities, king Hezekiah
rent his clothes, put on sackcloth, and went into the house of
Yahweh.
The prophet Isaiah sent word from Yahweh for the king not to be
afraid.


"Behold, I will put a spirit in him (Sennacherib)," said the message
from Yahweh, "and he shall hear tidings, and shall return to his own
land; and I will cause him to fall by the sword in his own land." The
chapters end with an account of Sennacherib's assassination by his
own
sons, but that is only incidental to the story. The important thing
is
that Isaiah, as did Micaiah, depicted Yahweh as a god who dealt with
troublesome men by putting lying spirits into them to deceive them
and
lure them to their deaths.


end quote


zev:


It would have been more dramatic if lightening would have struck him
on a clear, cloudless day, but what's wrong with the way it happened?
Isn't life frequently like that?


************************* *********
Well, I am not concerned with what would have been more dramatic if
such and such had happened. I am interested in the way this yarn was
spun by the biblical writer, and as he told the tale,Yahweh "put a
spirit" into Sennacherib that lured him back to Assyria, where he was
assassinated. the verse says a "spirit" lured Sennacherib back to
Assyria, and I doubt that Isaiah meant for us to think that the
spirit
told Sennacherib to go home so that he could be killed, so whatever
Isaiah had in mind about what the "spirit" told Sennacherib, the
story
implies that it was something that Sennacherib thought would be to
his
advantage to return. Hence, the story implies that Yahweh sent a
"spirit" to tell Sennacherib a falsehood.


If you can't see that, then you are too far gone for me to help you.


****************** **********************

> Another problem passage concerns the intertribal dispute between > Israel and the Benjamites. Outraged at the rape and murder of a > Levite's concubine at Gibeah by a group of Benjamite homosexuals, the > other Israelites demanded that the tribe of Benjamin deliver up to > them the "base fellows" who had done this thing so that they could be > put to death (Judges 20:12-13).
> When the Benjamite leaders refused the demand, the Israelites took an > army of 400,000 against the Benjamites, who numbered only 26,700. It > looked as if it were going to be a complete rout, so the Israelites, > apparently seeing no need to send their entire army out to battle, > went up to Bethel to ask "counsel of God":
> Who shall go up for us first to battle against the children of > Benjamin? And Yahweh said, Judah shall go up first (20:18). > Well, Judah did go up first, and lost 22,000 men in a resounding > defeat! So what happened here? The Israelites had asked counsel of > Yahweh, and he told them to send Judah out to battle first. One would > have to be completely idiotic to think that the Israelites had asked > "counsel of Yahweh" to find out which army to deploy in order to be > defeated. Obviously, they wanted to know what army would secure a > victory for them. So if anything like what is related in this story > ever happened, we can conclude only one of two things: (1) Yahweh > deceived the Israelites into thinking the forces of Judah could win > the battle or (2) Yahweh is not omniscient. Either way the inerrancy > doctrine suffers irreparable damage.


zev:
The lesson here, which recurs throughout the OT, is that if you take
God for granted, if you think God needs you more than you need Him,
you're in trouble.

************************* *************************** **************
No, the lesson here is that the Israelites asked Yahweh who should go
up first against the Benjamites, and the text clearly says that
Yahweh
SAID--Yahweh SAID--"Judah shall go up first." You conveniently
ignored this statement in the article.


*
The Israelites had asked counsel of Yahweh, and he told them to send
Judah out to battle first. One would have to be completely idiotic
to think that the Israelites had asked "counsel of Yahweh" to find
out which army to deploy in order to be defeated
*


Having received "counsel of Yahweh," Judah went up first and
suffered
a defeat that resulted in the deaths of 22,000 men. Hence, Yahweh
deceived the Israelites into believing a lie. If not, why not?


Don't bother to reply to this unless you answer that question. I
have
had enough of trying to correspond with inerrantists who won't answer
arguments.


******************** ********************


zev:


Of course they expected to win.


**************************** *******************
If their god Yahweh was indeed omniscient, then he would have known
their expectations, so his answer was misleading. It lured 22,000 of
them to their doom. If such as this could actually happen, would you
not consider it to be an event that happened because of the deception
of an omniscient deity?


Don't bother to answer, unless you answer this question.


*************************** ******************* ********
zev:
But they didn't ask if they would win, even though that was the most
important question.


******************** *************


Well, let's imagine another scenario. Let's suppose that I am an
expert on racing horses who has a record of never losing a bet on a
race. Knowing this, you ask me which horse you should bet on in the
next race. "Bet on Greased Lightning," I tell you, and you put all
of
your money on him. The race is run and Greased Lightning loses. You
then learn that I had bet heavily on the winner Galloping Georgie. If
you confronted me after learning that I had bet on the winner, would
you contend that you had not deceived me because I had not asked you
who would win the race?


*********************


zev:
They thought it was inevitable!


*******************************************************
Of course, they did, just as you, in the scenario above, would have
thought that I was telling you that Greased Lightning would win the
next race. I seriously doubt that you would have had much respect
for
my honesty if I had said, "Well, you asked me what horse to bet on;
you didn't ask me which one would win."


*********************** **********************************
******************


"One would have to be completely idiotic to think that the Israelites
had asked "counsel of Yahweh" to find out which army to deploy in
order to be defeated. Obviously, they wanted to know what army would
secure a victory for them. So if anything like what is related in
this
story ever happened, we can conclude only one of two things: (1)
Yahweh deceived the Israelites into thinking the forces of Judah
could
win the battle or (2) Yahweh is not omniscient. Either way the
inerrancy doctrine suffers irreparable damage.


But this story didn't end with the defeat of the Judean army. In
great
distress, "the children of Israel went up and wept before Yahweh
until
evening; and they asked of Yahweh, saying, Shall I again draw near to
battle against the children of Benjamin my brother?" And what answer
did they receive? "And Yahweh said, Go up against him" (v:23). So on
this "counsel" from Yahweh, the Israelites went to battle the next
day, and this time the Benjamites "destroyed down to the ground of
the
children of Israel again eighteen thousand men" (vv:24-25).


To believe that this ridiculous tale is part of the verbally
inspired,
inerrant word of God is too absurd to deserve comment, but to argue
that if it did happen as recorded no deception was involved on
Yahweh's part would be even more absurd. In profound anguish, the
Israelites had asked their god Yahweh if they should again go to
battle against the Benjamites, and he told them to go. If that was
not
deception, then someone should explain why it wasn't.


Usually, when the Israelites experienced military defeat, pestilence,
famine, or other calamities, the Bible attributed it to some sin or
disobedience. When Joshua's army was routed at Ai, for example, it
turned out that Yahweh was punishing his people for the sin of one
man
who had kept some of the spoils for himself after the battle of
Jericho (Josh. 7).


David sinned in numbering Israel (2 Sam. 24:1-10), but Yahweh
punished
all of Israel for it by sending a pestilence that killed 70,000
people
(vv:15-16). As unjust as it is to punish someone for the "sins" of
another, that was clearly the practice in Old Testament times, and
bibliolaters dutifully defend it as justification for Yahweh's having
on occasion retracted his promises. There is nothing in Judges 20,
however, that even suggests the Israelites were guilty of some
offense
that would have "justified" Yahweh's retraction of his implied
promise
of victory. To the contrary, the Benjamites were the offenders. They
were harboring a group of men who had committed a despicable crime.
Yet the Israelites were losing all the battles--and that after they
had asked "counsel of Yahweh" and had been told to go against
Benjamin! It had to be either deception or a pathetic lack of
foreknowledge on Yahweh's part.


After their second defeat, the Israelites went up to Bethel again
"and
wept, and sat there before Yahweh, and fasted that day until evening;
and they offered burnt-offerings and peace-offerings before
Yahweh" (v: 26). None other than Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the
son
of Aaron, was the priest who stood before the ark of the covenant
while all of this counsel-seeking was going on, and for the third
time
the Israelites asked Yahweh, "Shall I yet again go out to battle
against the children of Benjamin my brother, or shall I cease?" The
answer? "And Yahweh said, Go up; for tomorrow I will deliver him into
your hand" (v:28). They went to battle the next day, and, by luring
the Benjamites into an ambush, finally defeated them, if suffering
40,000 casualties in order to kill 25,000 Benjamites could in any
sense be considered a victory. Maybe it was the fasting and offering
of sacrifices before the third battle that finally brought victory to
the Israelites, or maybe it was just that the third time was charmed.
At any rate, the Israelites finally won, according to the story, but
at the cost of considerable damage to Yahweh's reputation for
honesty.


An inerrantist once told me (with a straight face) that Yahweh did
not
specifically say until the third inquiry was made (v:28) that he
would
deliver the Benjamites into the hands of Israel. So to his warped way
of reasoning, there was no deception in the answers that Yahweh gave
to the first two inquiries of the Israelites. He had just told them
to
go to battle without indicating either way how the battles would go.
Can you imagine an inerrancy defense any lamer than that? If I
absolutely knew that John Jones had infallible ability to look into
the future and see what was going to happen and, knowing that, I
asked
him if I should buy stock in company A, would Jones be guilty of
deception and lying if he said, "Yes, buy it," and then, after I had
bought the stock, the company went bankrupt? To ask the question is
to
answer it."

man06

unread,
Apr 6, 2009, 4:55:03 PM4/6/09
to
>DR
>I told you to look no further than 1 Samuel 15:18.
>And the LORD sent thee on a journey, and said, Go and utterly destroy the
>SINNERS the Amalekites, and fight against them until they be consumed.
>Did you read the word "SINNERS"?


>Ezekiel 18:4 Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also
>the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die.
>Ezekiel 18:20 The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear
>the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of
>the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the
>wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him.


TILL


And I have answered your quibble. To save the time of rehashing it,
I'm just going to cut and paste my reply below and ask you again to
show
us where the language of the text gives any reason for the command to
destroy the Amalekites except the attack on Israel 400 years earlier.


***********************

So I will ask my question again. Where does the biblical text give a
single reason for the command to utterly destroy the Amalekites except
the
Amalekite attack on Israel 400 years earlier?


*********What you quoted does not give a reason for the command. It


simply
states that Samuel told Saul that Yahweh had told him to go and
utterly
destroy "the sinners" the Amalekites. I assume that since you believe
in the
inerrancy of the Bible you will agree that any person or any group of
people could have been referred to as a "sinner" or "sinners." If that
were
the reason why people should have been killed, then Yahweh, to be
consistent, should have ordered the Israelites to kill everyone in the
world and
then turn their swords on themselves, because there would be no one
that

could not be described as a "sinner." *****************************

..

**************


DR


DR

DR