Research on Belief in God

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Maaaaaaaarten said:
The gospels.

And as for this one:


I'd feel it better to stick with the historical sources. If Jesus was illiterate and could not debate scripture or whatever, how do you explain that the account we have of his live all describe doing exactly that?

So yes, it may be remarkable for Jesus to have learned how to read, considering his background. But if all our historical sources portray him as discussing scripture as a fundamental part of his public ministry, then what's the more likely conclusion? That all of that stuff is just made up, or that he learned to read, because he wanted to read the scriptures?
The episode of the young Jesus discussing theology at the temple is actually mentioned only in Luke. I don't remember other episodes in which he explicitly does that (so if someone could point them out, I'd appreciate it).

Also I'd be hesitant to call the gospels "historical sources".
 
Jun 10, 2013
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As pathetic and intellectually outrageous the Halal is, it is not much different from West, industrial mass meat production and consuption. Ultimately, the rusult is the same. Death.

It goes beyond my comprehension how someone can believe this sort of stuff. A book that tells one to kill their 'food' the proper way... the holy way. Unbelievable.

Relativism my ****.
 
Maaaaaaaarten said:
The gospels.

And as for this one:


I'd feel it better to stick with the historical sources. If Jesus was illiterate and could not debate scripture or whatever, how do you explain that the account we have of his live all describe doing exactly that?

So yes, it may be remarkable for Jesus to have learned how to read, considering his background. But if all our historical sources portray him as discussing scripture as a fundamental part of his public ministry, then what's the more likely conclusion? That all of that stuff is just made up, or that he learned to read, because he wanted to read the scriptures?
Of course that all depends on what you regard as "historical source.” A few books selected from many produced in antiquity, because considered more "authentic" by a class of theologians arbitrarily out to establish a doctrine about a philosopher-teacher of a mystery faith; can hardly be considered "historical" by today’s standards and not even by those of a Tacitus, or a Plutarch at the time.

Which means the literacy debate is moot: according to the narrative he was, regardless if there is anything historically truthful in it or not. Then again to people of faith this should be of no concern, because belief in the supernatural and transcendental destiny goes beyond the constraints of rational historiography and textural criticism.
 
Oct 23, 2011
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Eshnar said:
The episode of the young Jesus discussing theology at the temple is actually mentioned only in Luke. I don't remember other episodes in which he explicitly does that (so if someone could point them out, I'd appreciate it).
Well, the passage where he read scripture in a synagogue has been discussed, which is attested in Mark, Matthew and Luke. Furthermore in a lot of instances Jesus is clearly referencing to scriptures, suggesting he has a good knowledge of them. Maybe I overstated it a little bit, but there is no doubt all gospels portray Jesus as having significant knowledge of the Hebrew scriptures. It seems difficult to imagine pharisees etc. coming to him with questions about divorce or what the greatest commandement is and Jesus being seemingly aware of these discussions and answering them referincing to the Hebrew scriptures, without even being able to read them.

rhubroma said:
Of course that all depends on what you regard as "historical source.” A few books selected from many produced in antiquity, because considered more "authentic" by a class of theologians arbitrarily out to establish a doctrine about a philosopher-teacher of a mystery faith; can hardly be considered "historical" by today’s standards and not even by those of a Tacitus, or a Plutarch at the time.
From which group of books did theologians choose the gospels as being somehow 'more authentic'? Can you even name me other 1st century accounts of the life and public ministry of Jesus? I can only think of a mention by Josephus, but theologians certainly don't disregard Josephus.

Last time I checked, extensive accounts of somebodies life, written only a few decades after his life, in a time in which there were still many eye witnesses to his life, were still considered relevant historical sources. Sure, regard them with all the scepsis you want, if you feel their content is unlikely, but that's quite another thing from completely disregarding them as historical sources......
 
Maaaaaaaarten said:
Well, the passage where he read scripture in a synagogue has been discussed, which is attested in Mark, Matthew and Luke. Furthermore in a lot of instances Jesus is clearly referencing to scriptures, suggesting he has a good knowledge of them. Maybe I overstated it a little bit, but there is no doubt all gospels portray Jesus as having significant knowledge of the Hebrew scriptures. It seems difficult to imagine pharisees etc. coming to him with questions about divorce or what the greatest commandement is and Jesus being seemingly aware of these discussions and answering them referincing to the Hebrew scriptures, without even being able to read them.
Indeed I do agree with the theory I mentioned earlier, that Jesus simply was not a carpenter. EDIT: Thanks for the mentions anyway, already forgot those.
Maaaaaaaarten said:
From which group of books did theologians choose the gospels as being somehow 'more authentic'?
From the Apocrypha...
 
Oct 23, 2011
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Eshnar said:
From the Apocrypha...
And which of those are written are not written significantly later than the canonical gospels?

There are for instance books like the gospel of Thomas, which got some hyping in popular media when some scholars claimed it might be dated in the 1st century. However, that is very much a minority position. In fact, the reason why even very critical scholars, that absolutely don't care about any christian dogma, still mostly use the canonical gospels as sources, is because all those apocryphal gospels are dated later by the vast majority of scholars.

Btw, I'm certainly not claiming all those critical scholars feel the canonical gospels give a very accurate description of the life and ministry of Jesus, I know they don't. But they still use the canonical gospels as a starting point for their 'quest for the historical Jesus', because even the most critical scholars feel there is a historical basis to the gospels and that at least some of the traditions represented in the gospels are historically accurate.

If we go back to the issue at hand. How is it possible, that all first century accounts of Jesus portray him as showing significant knowledge of the Hebrew scriptures, which is difficult to imagine if he couldn't read them, or even explicitely mention him reading, if he couldn't actually read? Even the apocryphal gospels all portray Jesus as having significant knowledge of the Hebrew scriptures. Could the authors of the gospels just made up Jesus' public ministry involving discussions about the Hebrew scriptures, when there were still a lot of eye witnesses to his public ministry alive? I certainly feel it is more likely that Jesus just learned to read somewhere along the course of his life.
 
Maaaaaaaarten said:
Well, the passage where he read scripture in a synagogue has been discussed, which is attested in Mark, Matthew and Luke. Furthermore in a lot of instances Jesus is clearly referencing to scriptures, suggesting he has a good knowledge of them. Maybe I overstated it a little bit, but there is no doubt all gospels portray Jesus as having significant knowledge of the Hebrew scriptures. It seems difficult to imagine pharisees etc. coming to him with questions about divorce or what the greatest commandement is and Jesus being seemingly aware of these discussions and answering them referincing to the Hebrew scriptures, without even being able to read them.



From which group of books did theologians choose the gospels as being somehow 'more authentic'? Can you even name me other 1st century accounts of the life and public ministry of Jesus? I can only think of a mention by Josephus, but theologians certainly don't disregard Josephus.

Last time I checked, extensive accounts of somebodies life, written only a few decades after his life, in a time in which there were still many eye witnesses to his life, were still considered relevant historical sources. Sure, regard them with all the scepsis you want, if you feel their content is unlikely, but that's quite another thing from completely disregarding them as historical sources......
The earliest manuscripts of the New Testament that we have date from the 4th Century, so Carbon-dating does not help. The earliest external mentioning of these gospels by name is by Irenaeus around AD 180, which means that they were written sometime between AD 30 and AD 180.

Whatever the case the general consensus among specialists places them between 60 and 90 (though even this is greatly debated). Between that time and the fourth century, a number of apocryphal texts were produced and some may have been contemporary such as the Nag Hammadi texts, or slighly later as with other hermetica. As far as early Christian art is concerned, these Apocrypha were still being used as legitimate historical subject matter in places like Santa Maria Maggiore, Rome, Ravenna, Aquileia, Trier, Byzantium and elsewhere in the V-VI centuries. Hence, as far as antiquity is concerned, it is difficult to give the canonical gospels any greater historical validity.
 
Jan 20, 2013
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The Hitch said:
Its about stopping animals from unnecessarily suffering, not about stopping them from being killed.

So no its not hypocrticial in the slightest. Its 100% the right thing to do. And I hazzard a guess that if it was the US Christian Right who were advocating slaughtering animals in a more painful way because their god told them so, you would be the most vocal opponent of it on the internet.
Ad hock hominem, hate religion so everything they do is bad? Rhubroma made a good point actually. What about psychological trauma. Ever seen a truck load of pigs stop at the traffic lights and listened to them screaming? The way animals get taken for slaughtered every week.

Have you ever seen a sheep living happily on a farm, get picked out of the herd and had its throat cut without stressful travelling or stunning, very quick. Take your pick or turn vegetarian.
 
Mar 13, 2009
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Maaaaaaaarten said:
The gospels.

And as for this one:


I'd feel it better to stick with the historical sources. If Jesus was illiterate and could not debate scripture or whatever, how do you explain that the account we have of his live all describe doing exactly that?

So yes, it may be remarkable for Jesus to have learned how to read, considering his background. But if all our historical sources portray him as discussing scripture as a fundamental part of his public ministry, then what's the more likely conclusion? That all of that stuff is just made up, or that he learned to read, because he wanted to read the scriptures?
Personally, I don't regard the gospels as a historical source. In the interview with Reza Aslan, he also points out that the Gospel of Luke was written approximately 70 years after the death of Jesus, but where he gets this information from, I don't know.
 
Mar 13, 2009
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rhubroma said:
Which means the literacy debate is moot: according to the narrative he was, regardless if there is anything historically truthful in it or not. Then again to people of faith this should be of no concern, because belief in the supernatural and transcendental destiny goes beyond the constraints of rational historiography and textural criticism.
This sums it up pretty well I think!
 
Feb 23, 2014
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Christian said:
Personally, I don't regard the gospels as a historical source. In the interview with Reza Aslan, he also points out that the Gospel of Luke was written approximately 70 years after the death of Jesus, but where he gets this information from, I don't know.
The gospels are a historical source. Matthew and John were both disciples of Jesus and were "eyewitnesses" of everything they spoke about. Mark and Luke were not "eyewitnesses", but they were with the disciples of Jesus. All four of these men wrote the gospels under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. We know that we can trust these accounts because God has preserved His Word. No other book of antiquity has as many manuscripts to validate it as the Bible has. If you really want to get some good facts on this subject this is an excellent presentation: http://www.wretchedradio.com/store/product_details.cfm?id=465
 
Feb 23, 2014
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rhubroma said:
Of course that all depends on what you regard as "historical source.” A few books selected from many produced in antiquity, because considered more "authentic" by a class of theologians arbitrarily out to establish a doctrine about a philosopher-teacher of a mystery faith; can hardly be considered "historical" by today’s standards and not even by those of a Tacitus, or a Plutarch at the time.

Which means the literacy debate is moot: according to the narrative he was, regardless if there is anything historically truthful in it or not. Then again to people of faith this should be of no concern, because belief in the supernatural and transcendental destiny goes beyond the constraints of rational historiography and textural criticism.

Faith is the first and most important reason of why I believe in God and His infallible word. But, it is NOT blind faith. In no other book can you see prophecies fulfilled the way you can in the Scriptures. We have an overwhelming amount of manuscripts from which we can know that the Bible we have today is the Bible they had 2,000 years ago. The Bible has been scrutinized more than any other book in history, but it has always stood the test of time. People where saying, "we can't trust the bible...there's not enough evidence." Then they found the dead sea scrolls. From beginning to end you can trust what the bible says....It's very rational. :)
 
Of course the gospels are a historical source. That doesn't mean they're historically accurate, but they're still valuable texts to shed light on 1st century AD Judaea.
Matthew and John were both disciples of Jesus
Eh, no. That's how the Christian tradition goes, but there's nothing in the Bible indicating this is the case, and indeed there are many textual and chronological problems. Most scholars reject the traditional authorship for these gospels.
 
The Hitch said:
Its about stopping animals from unnecessarily suffering, not about stopping them from being killed.

So no its not hypocrticial in the slightest. Its 100% the right thing to do. And I hazzard a guess that if it was the US Christian Right who were advocating slaughtering animals in a more painful way because their god told them so, you would be the most vocal opponent of it on the internet.
Perhaps you can testify as to whether or not the modern industrial methods of slaughter are, in fact, any less traumatic for the animal than the archaic one. Horsinabout takes the words right out of my mouth.

What is clear, however, is that there is a world of difference between commercial production and sacred rite. In the final analysis raising animals solely in function to a market logic, can in no way be considered more humane.

If that's what's at stake then condemning the Jews or Muslims for their traditional methods is ideologically incentivized, beyond patent hypocrisy, which in this moment is utterly tasteless.
 
BigMac said:
As pathetic and intellectually outrageous the Halal is, it is not much different from West, industrial mass meat production and consuption. Ultimately, the rusult is the same. Death.

It goes beyond my comprehension how someone can believe this sort of stuff. A book that tells one to kill their 'food' the proper way... the holy way. Unbelievable.

Relativism my ****.
Relativism indeed, but nobody is telling the West its death is "unethical."

If we want to bring that question into it, then you certainly need to revise your position. Bearing in mind that the so called advanced societies created the market in which that death was taken to an unprecedented scale, beyond the basic communal needs such rites (once used here too) were employed. Though now wants to pronounce judgments.

This is ideologically motivated in the most stupid way: unbelievable.
 
Feb 23, 2014
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hrotha said:
Of course the gospels are a historical source. That doesn't mean they're historically accurate, but they're still valuable texts to shed light on 1st century AD Judaea.

Eh, no. That's how the Christian tradition goes, but there's nothing in the Bible indicating this is the case, and indeed there are many textual and chronological problems. Most scholars reject the traditional authorship for these gospels.
There's nothing in the Bible indicating this? Well sir next time, before you say something like this, check your bible. In Matthew 10:2-4 it says,

"2 Now the names of the twelve apostles are these: The first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; and James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother; 3 Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus; 4 Simon the Zealot, and Judas Iscariot, the one who betrayed Him."

There it is, John and Matthew were disciples of Jesus. In John 21:24 it says,

"24 This is the disciple who is testifying to these things and wrote these things, and we know that his testimony is true.(bold added)
25 And there are also many other things which Jesus did, which if they were written in detail, I suppose that even the world itself would not contain the books that would be written. "

Could you please mention some specific chronological and textual problems. Don't google it, look it up in a Bible, and show me some. Often times people like to say, "oh there's all these contradictions," when in fact they just haven't studied the scriptures enough to really learn what they are saying.

People often reject the Bible because it confronts them with their sin. The Bible has a great way of calling things out as they are....people don't always like this. For people who know and understand that they are sinners, there is great hope....the Gospel. We can run to the True and Living God our Savior.
 
There it is, John and Matthew were disciples of Jesus
Your quote just establishes that there were two disciples named Matthew and John. Nothing in Matthew's gospel points towards Matthew being the author. The identification is entirely traditional. Same with John's gospel, which being generous might allow you to credit it to an unspecified disciple.

The chronological problems are obvious when you realize the gospel of John was most likely written around 100 AD. Of course this dating isn't in the Bible itself, but I didn't claim it was.

Your faith needs not be diminished because the gospels (which you're supposed to believe were divinely inspired anyway) were not written physically by the two specific guys Christian tradition attributed them to. It's immaterial as a matter of faith and doctrine, so you might as well look at it from a rational point of view.
 
Feb 23, 2014
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hrotha said:
Your quote just establishes that there were two disciples named Matthew and John. Nothing in Matthew's gospel points towards Matthew being the author. The identification is entirely traditional. Same with John's gospel, which being generous might allow you to credit it to an unspecified disciple.

The chronological problems are obvious when you realize the gospel of John was most likely written around 100 AD. Of course this dating isn't in the Bible itself, but I didn't claim it was.

Your faith needs not be diminished because the gospels (which you're supposed to believe were divinely inspired anyway) were not written physically by the two specific guys Christian tradition attributed them to. It's immaterial as a matter of faith and doctrine, so you might as well look at it from a rational point of view.

John 21:24 says, "This is the disciple which testifies of theses thing, and wrote these things." Who was this disciple? It was the one referred to several verses earlier....the one who Jesus loved and who had leaned on Jesus' chest during the last supper. You are correct that in the book of John it does not say, "I John the apostle wrote this book." But, we know that it was a disciple of Jesus who wrote the book of John. An eye witness....still very important. The Bible is very neat in that you can see the different author's styles in their writings....If you read the book of 1 John(which we know from the text that John wrote), than you will see that the style of writing is the same as the gospel of John.

With the book of Matthew, you are correct that nowhere in the text does it say that Matthew wrote it. It is tradition, but it is not some new idea that Matthew wrote the gospel of Matthew. Early church fathers as early as the 2nd century understood Matthew to be the author.

So I believe(that if you are rational) if you look at all of the evidence, then it is not at all crazy to believe that these are the authors of these gospels.

The book of John was written around 90 AD. How are the chronological problems obvious....I'm trying to understand...you say they are obvious, but you didn't state any contradictions.
 
May 5, 2011
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quite a few contradictions in the bible if that is what you are looking for.

War or peaceful?
EXO 15:3 The LORD is a man of war: the LORD is his name.
ROM 15:33 Now the God of peace be with you all. Amen.

Who was Jesus dads dad?
MAT 1:16 And Jacob begat Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ.
LUK 3:23 And Jesus himself began to be about thirty years of age, being (as was supposed) the son of Joseph, which was the son of Heli.

In this boardgame we have to guess who was at Jesus tomb

MAT 28:1 In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre.
MAR 16:1 And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him.
JOH 20:1 The first day of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulchre, and seeth the stone taken away from the sepulchre.

Now I am tired, but I can probably show another 200 if you give me time and if I am bothered enough.
 
Jun 10, 2013
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Descender said:
Here's a proposal that would automatically get rid of most human-made unnecessary suffering of animals: stop eating them.
Quoted for truth.
 
Feb 23, 2014
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Vino attacks everyone said:
quite a few contradictions in the bible if that is what you are looking for.

War or peaceful?
EXO 15:3 The LORD is a man of war: the LORD is his name.
ROM 15:33 Now the God of peace be with you all. Amen.

Who was Jesus dads dad?
MAT 1:16 And Jacob begat Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ.
LUK 3:23 And Jesus himself began to be about thirty years of age, being (as was supposed) the son of Joseph, which was the son of Heli.

In this boardgame we have to guess who was at Jesus tomb

MAT 28:1 In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre.
MAR 16:1 And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him.
JOH 20:1 The first day of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulchre, and seeth the stone taken away from the sepulchre.

Now I am tired, but I can probably show another 200 if you give me time and if I am bothered enough.


War or peaceful?
God is a righteous God. He is just, and holy, he must judge the wicked. The Egyptians had enslaved the Israelites, and Pharaoh would not let them go. He finally did, and the Israelites started to leave. Pharaoh changed his mind and went after them with his army. The Lord God parted the Red Sea, let the Israelites pass, and then destroyed the Egyptians. The passage you are referring to is a song that the Israelites sang afterwards praising God for His goodness towards them. He had helped them in battle....He had fought for His children.

At the same time God is merciful and loving. It is His desire that we would all humble ourselves, repent and turn to Him. The Egyptians could have, at any time repented, and God would have spared them. God is perfectly just, and at the same time, He is perfect in mercy. Maybe you can't understand that...but, it is not a contradiction. It simply shows how amazing God is. This is why He sent his Son Jesus Christ to die for our sins. Because He is holy, he can't be around sin....he must judge it. So He put our punishment on His son, so that whosoever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life. If you and I accept that gift, then we are free.

Who was Jesus dads dad?

Matthew traces Jesus through Joseph (his legal father- remember Mary was conceived by the Holy Spirit) to David's son Solomon. Luke traces Jesus, through his mother Mary, to Nathan .(Another son of David's). Luke does not say he is giving Jesus' genealogy through Joseph. He notes that Jesus was “as was supposed” (Luke 3:23) the son of Joseph, the son of Heli, while in reality he was actually recording Mary's genealogy in Luke.

Who was at the tomb?
Well if you read all the accounts and harmonize them you will be able to see who was at the tomb. There isn't any contradiction, they are simply telling different accounts of the same story....it all adds up. Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome came to the tomb.
 

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