Where are the secular accounts of the life and miracles of Jesus?

When making an argument for Jesus’ reported miracles and resurrection the first place most people will turn is the Gospel accounts.  These documents contain the majority of information we have on the person of Jesus though certain details can be found elsewhere.  Often when citing the Gospel accounts, the skeptic will object to their use as verification of Jesus and His ministry.  The claim is that in order to be a valid citation for the person of Jesus, it must come from outside the Bible, i.e., a secular source, in order to be credible.  The Bible is biased and therefore we must use independent sources which are untainted by religious motivation in order to get accurate accounts of Jesus’ reported miracles and resurrection.  Is the skeptic right, is it valid or reasonable to require only independent source material outside the New Testament (NT) when considering whether Jesus performed miracles or rose from the dead?

For one thing we have four independent sources of significant length, which is pretty good as far as ancient accounts for a single person goes.  As biographies of Jesus, I think it could be reasonably argued that they were not likely intended to be religious texts in the same way we view them today as they are used for religious purposes.  They record who Jesus was and the things He reportedly did and taught.

There is a fundamental misunderstanding of what the Bible is when demanding independent material.  By preferring “independent” materials over the NT sources it overlooks that the Bible is merely a collection of independent sources.  Unfortunately, there is now a tendency to look at the Bible as a single work because it is now under one cover.

For the sake of argument, let’s say the Gospels were intended religious, texts.  Why are they considered religious texts?  Because they contain miracles?  Reference Jesus’ teachings about God?  Ok, I get that.  But now here’s the problem.  This means, therefore, that there doesn’t exist by definition any non-religious accounts for Jesus’ life and miracles.  If any account features what He taught and what He did, it counts as a religious text if “religious text” means it records Jesus performing miracles.  Has the skeptic ever considered that if there were a “non-religious” secular work with as much detail as the Gospels include, they would consider it a religious text?

It just seems that this request is impossible to fulfill.  There are plenty of extra-biblical accounts which ought to be adequate for anyone making this request, but since the demand for non-religious accounts persist, it would seem they are not.  But why not?  They don’t record Jesus’ miracles or His teachings?  Are we seeing the circularity here?

Comments

  1. John, you hit on a key point, that if Jesus was a Jewish rabbi that performed miracles, an account of his public teachings and actions would be, by nature, religious.

    There’s another complication: it’s very unlikely that a person would testify that Jesus rose from the dead but remain ambivalent about Jesus’ identity. A non-partisan account of the Resurrection is just as unlikely as a non-religious account of Jesus’ pre-trial ministry.

    • Perhaps, but there are plenty of other incidents that would have been noticed.
      Herod’s slaughter of the innocents and the Zombie Apocalypse are two prime examples that are not mentioned anywhere in history.
      You would think that at least one account of a bunch of Zombies wandering around Jerusalem would have been noticed and recorded by at least one person.
      If you can interpret Thallus as the same as what was written in the bible than surely it is acceptable to expect an account of Zombies?

  2. Honestly, what a load of apologetic garbage.
    There is no real dispute that there may well have been a Ist century character named Yeshua
    running around Galilee.
    But do you honestly believe I have not read every one of these silly sources you link to? Really?

    Seriously, the more you write the more you demonstrate beyond a doubt your complete indoctrination and sheer ignorance of what you consider constitutes verifiable evidence.

    That you would use Wallace, a reborn Christian as your source is also underhand. Why not a secular scholar for your ”material”?

    Let’s be perfectly clear. There is not a single contemporary account of the biblical character Jesus of Nazareth, the miracle working god man you genuflect to and claim is the creator of the universe.

    So, John, evidence for your god man …. got any?

  3. I forgot to add: Please explain why Philo, who lived before during and after the time Jesus of Nazareth was supposed to have been active, wrote over three quarters of a million words contained in thirty extant manuscripts, not once mentioned your man god.
    Not a single solitary word.

  4. Arkenaten,

    “… a bunch of Zombies wandering around Jerusalem would have been noticed and recorded by at least one person.”

    The Bible doesn’t mention reanimated corpses wandering about – at all. You’re purposely ignoring metaphoric language so as to score a cheap non-point.

    But do you honestly believe I have not read every one of these silly sources you link to? Really?

    I honestly believe that you quote-mine atheist websites which give no context.

    Seriously, the more you write the more you demonstrate beyond a doubt your complete indoctrination and sheer ignorance of what you consider constitutes verifiable evidence.

    And you’ve demonstrated – what? An inability to recognize rhetoric, for one. In absolutely no sense is Zechariah describing reanimated corpses walking the earth. In NO SENSE.

    That you would use Wallace, a reborn Christian as your source is also underhand. Why not a secular scholar for your ”material”?

    Argumentative fallacy.

    Let’s be perfectly clear.

    In noticing your inherent idiocy? Yep. Already clear.

    There is not a single contemporary account of the biblical character Jesus of Nazareth, the miracle working god man you genuflect to and claim is the creator of the universe.

    There may exist contemporary accounts of Jesus that have yet to be discovered. Or, they may have been destroyed. Or, for reasons that shouldn’t need explanation, word of Christ was passed by mouth. The Jews & Romans certainly weren’t about to write anything down. They wanted this man gone and out of memory. Why would they record the life and times of a man that challenged their authority?

    And while not technically a contemporary source, Paul is pretty close. He claims that Jesus appeared to him. Why is this not an acceptable source?

    So, John, evidence for your god man …. got any?

    And though this site is riddled with evidence, you still ask. Proof that nothing will satisfy atheists. It’s fashionable these days to be a putz, I guess.

    • If you are truly now going to cherry pick your responses then all you will do is demonstrate a total lack of integrity and intellectual honesty.

      No evidence. If you also are unable to differentiate between verifiable evidence and hearsay, then you are simply nothing more than a fan boy for the the theists and can be summarily dismissed.
      As this entire issue with John and his fellow believers is about evidence for the divinity of the character Jesus of Nazareth then, please feel free to provide any verifiable evidence you have and I will apologies unreservedly.

      • None of your jive flowed with any consistency so I responded to each main idea. And by “idea,” I’m being generous.

        Plenty of evidence, whether you accept it as such or not. And “hearsay”? Are you serious? So Paul made up his account because he wanted to be – what? Subjected to torture, ridicule, and then executed? Yeah. Makes perfect sense, you moron.

        • Why would you think it was not made up?
          Do you honestly think the idea of martyrdom is unique to Christianity?
          What is ”known” about Paul is limited to the bible also so I dont believe I or anyone else has to pay that much attention to a cocksure Christian hand waver, Terrence. Not really.

          Best go and do some serious study. Try to learn something, all right? Excellent! Give me a heads when you think you have earned something, okay?

          • You realize that the Bible was not originally one book, right? You realize that it’s several books and letters compiled into one volume, right?

            Martyrdom isn’t unique to Christianity, no. But if these early Christians put themselves in the line of fire for absolutely no good reason, for nothing but sheer delusion, then you have to believe in perhaps the largest display of mass psychosis in the history of the world.

            Yep. Strong argument.

            • Oh, please stop, Terrence. You are sounding like a petulant child.
              You sound as if you are reading this off the back of Cheerios packet.
              Now, go and do some serous bible study and couple this with some reading in human psychosis & neurology.

  5. Please explain why Philo, who lived before during and after the time Jesus of Nazareth was supposed to have been active, wrote over three quarters of a million words contained in thirty extant manuscripts, not once mentioned your man god.
    Not a single solitary word.

    Nor did Philo mention the Founder of the Church of Alexandria, Mark. Does this mean that Mark didn’t exist and there was no Church in Alexandria?

    Your entire response to this thread is face-palmingly asinine, you realize.

    • Not just this thread, T.

    • If you wish to behave like a complete dickhead then go ahead, it is a free country, after all, and there are still plenty of places in the line next to marshallart. And I am sure he would truly welcome the company and so far you are doing a sterling job!Good for you.

      • Oh. No real response, ‘eh? I figured it would be something impotent and lacking in imagination. Typical of the atheists that visit this blog.

        • If you were prepared to offer a reasoned response then I would have responded likewise.
          Meantime, go and do a bit of homework and afterwards, maybe, you will be able to have a grown up conversation rather than behaving like a christian echo chamber, Terrence
          First, though I strongly suggest you go and read your bible. Properly, this time. From page one to the end. Okay?
          Super … off you go then. Speak to you later.

          • Hmm hmm. And the “liar, liar pants on fire” response you gave John is what grown-ups call “reasoned.”

            Excuses. Typical of atheists on this blog.

            • Oh,I believe he is a liar. I was merely using a childlike phrase that I thought he would probably understand.

              • Or merely illuminating your relative lack of knowledge regarding this issue. Hence further evidence you do nothing but quote-mine atheist websites, and then boast, “Har, har, har, go do some research, dirty Christian!”

                Idiot.

              • Yes, if you say so. And I suppose you hang out on Fundamentalist websites because it gives you a warm tingly feeling and makes you feel like an adult.

            • paynehollow says:

              Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect…

              ~Paul, of Tarsus

              (formerly, the bitter killer of those who he judged to be heretics… but he repented and changed his ways, or so the story goes)

              • Actually, I haven’t been to a Church or a “fundamentalist” website in like six-months. You’re just a jackass who doesn’t know what he’s talking about and is searching for an out.

  6. paynehollow says:

    Terrance…

    The Bible doesn’t mention reanimated corpses wandering about – at all. You’re purposely ignoring metaphoric language so as to score a cheap non-point.

    I believe that Ark is referencing Matthew 27 and the resurrected people following Jesus’ resurrection…

    And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice, and yielded up His spirit. And behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth shook and the rocks were split. The tombs were opened, and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised; and coming out of the tombs after His resurrection they entered the holy city and appeared to many.

    …which many inerrantists would say means that these dead saints were literally re-animated. Is that what you mean by metaphoric language? That you don’t think this passage is talking about a literal resurrection of dead people?

    If so, be care: They’ll be calling you a heretic with that kind of thinking…

    Or were you just unaware of that story? It’s an odd one, to be sure, and rarely talked about, in my experience, so one can not be too harshly blamed if they’re not aware of it.

    I think Ark’s bigger point (he can correct me if I’m mistaken) is that, while Jesus almost certainly existed, that the miracles he is supposed to have done probably did not happen, that while historians may have ignored a small time preacher – even one with a large following – who got himself a state execution after three years, but that miracles and people raising from the dead would probably have received some mention in someone’s histories of the day.

    ~Dan

    • There is literally no reason for anyone in the first – third centuries to be a christian if Jesus was just some guy who lived in the area. Zero reason for committed Jews to convert and worship him if he hadn’t performed miracles and was raised from the dead and seen after. No reason at all.

      • Bullshit! If this is your argument then there is absolutely no reason why there are 1.5 billion Muslims simply on the say so of a deranged pedophile who claims he was visited by the angel Gabrielle with a message from ‘God’.
        Jesus H, what a total numb-skull you are! And as I mentioned, every comment you write simply confirms your utter ignorance and complete indoctrination.

  7. …which many inerrantists would say means that these dead saints were literally re-animated. Is that what you mean by metaphoric language? That you don’t think this passage is talking about a literal resurrection of dead people?

    No. A Zombie is a reanimated DEAD corpse. If someone is resurrected, they are no longer dead. Big difference. Second, I’m pretty sure he was talking about Zechariah, hence the mention of “zombies walking around Jerusalem.” Someone who is resurrected doesn’t fit the definition of “zombie.” Either that or he doesn’t know what he’s talking about.

    • T, I seriously doubt Ark is at all familiar with other parts of the bible not mocked on other atheist blogs. He probably was talking about the long ending of mark, which is not found in the oldest copies of mark, which is why it’s in parentheses and noted as such in bibles.

      • If indeed he’s talking about Mark, then he doesn’t know what a Zombie is because someone that is resurrected is brought back to life. A Zombie, by definition, is a reanimated DEAD CORPSE. I figured Zechariah because it talks about people with tongues rotting out of their mouths, eyeballs rotting, et cetera…Something that at least suggests a dead corpse.

      • You are unbelievable! A dismal excuse for a christian and an intellectual moron.

        • This coming from the guy who doesn’t know what “Zombie” means? Right.

          • I know what a Zombie is. There are several on this site.
            And it is widely used to describe the event in question and I have already explained it for you. I am unable to type a better reply in bigger letters or in crayon, Terrence. Sorry.

            • It is only used by atheists to describe the event. And you admitted already that it’s a “pejorative phrase.” So, will you also admit that the use of it indicates a clear bias on your part, and that this will result in your dismissal of any and all Christian responses, regardless their actual merit?

              Basically, will you admit to being a lackey?

              • Bias? What are you talking about? You aren’t suggesting it actually happened are you? Really? Is this what you are hinting at, Terrence. Oh, please, say it isn’t so.
                I will respond positively and with respect to any honest christian argument that presents genuine evidence for the divinity and god clams for the biblical character Jesus of Nazareth. Even you, Terrence.
                So if you have any then now’s the time to present it, I’d say.

              • Come on Terrence. Surely you must have evidence? I mean you are vociferous in your criticism which suggests you have heaps of it just waiting to rub my atheist skeptic nose in it, yes?
                I’m waiting ….

              • Okay. Your response is an utter joke, you realize.

                You’re the ignorant fool who came to this blog and said, “Oh. Well, if this happened, then why didn’t So-And-So and Who’s-A-Putz write this and that?”

                I mean, you have nothing but assumptions. You’re assuming that, for example, because ‘What’s-His-Snoz’ didn’t write this or that, then Jesus doesn’t exist. Pathetic.

                Seriously, that’s your argument in a nutshell and it’s pathetic. The fact is, you came to THIS BLOG with your self-proclaimed “pejorative phrases” and then expected to be greeted with respect. Fact is, you came to THIS BLOG with your dismissive rhetoric and expected to be engaged kindly. You are a joke, plain and simple. Your arguments are obviously plagiarized from atheist websites, and your responses to their criticism is about as strong as anything a flea could muster. Basically, your responses are nothing but insults. You wax thusly, “Oh, well, maybe you should just read and study the Bible. Har, har, har,” as if that is supposed to mean anything —– at all!

                And any evidence you’re given is dismissed, which I knew from the get-go. You began this discussion with a complete disruption of intelligent dialogue. You already have your answer and nothing we say we’ll matter.

                You’re a joke, period. And I’m sure you’ll no doubt come back with more nonsense because that is in your nature. You’re no doubt a petulant, zit-faced teenager who thinks he’s got something to show the world. In reality, you’re just a petulant, zit-faced teenager who doesn’t yet realize that he doesn’t know shit.

              • And any evidence you’re given is dismissed, which I knew from the get-go. You began this discussion with a complete disruption of intelligent dialogue. You already have your answer and nothing we say we’ll matter.

                But you haven’t provided any evidence … yet. And if you ever took the time to actually read the request properly you would know this. In actual fact, I believe you do know this but are unable to fulfill the request because it is an impossibility as the biblical character we are discussing, Jesus of Nazareth, is a narrative construct. And this is the damn fact of the matter, isn’t it Terrance?

              • John has in fact offered sources which you refuse to acknowledge because of their Christianity. You’re asking for people who don’t believe in Jesus to say, “Oh, yeah, Jesus exists and is God.”

                You’re being an absurd little child.

    • The term ”Zombie Apocalypse” is the pejorative phrase used for the ridiculous notion denoting the risen saints at the time of the crucifixion. I am surprised you were unaware of this?
      And this appears in Matthew 27, not Mark.
      Good grief, the ignorance is astounding!

      • No. It’s merely a phrase used by those who scream bias while exhibiting an incredible amount of it themselves. By using the phrase you’ve shown before any debate begins that you’re biased and have no intention of changing your views. You do not approach the issue with an open-mind, which is odd for an atheist. I mean, aren’t you atheists supposed to be open-minded and without belief? Or, is that just a lot of bullshit, too?

        Excuse John for being human and saying Mark instead of Matthew. And excuse me for not catching the mistake.

        And I knew what you were talking about. But I figured someone as astute as yourself would have better sense than to refer to a resurrected being – meaning, no longer dead – as a zombie. But I was wrong. Or, was I?

        • Bias? RFLMFAO!
          You are the ones that cherry pick your way through the entire cuffing bible.

          Why should I excuse you for it?
          You are supposed to be au fait with the gospels and yet you all behave like chuffing buffoons.

          Stop trying to justify your plonker mistake; you are just making yourself look an even bigger arse.Simply have the balls to recognise you screwed up and simply apologise and be done with it, Terrence. That’s what grown ups do.

  8. “…that the miracles he is supposed to have done probably did not happen,…”

    Dan, are you suggesting that this is Ark’s position or are you stating that this is your position?

    • Are you a dickhead also? Of course it is my position and not his.

      Can you lot not read? Do you perhaps take non-comprehension skills at your bible classes too?

      • So, in atheist world asking a question constitutes being a “dickhead”. I’m continually impressed by the level of discourse from y’all.

        As has been pointed out numerous times, Dan has an unconventional take on many aspects of Christianity, I was trying to determine if this was one of those instances.

        • Then perhaps you ought to brush up on your basic comprehension and reading skills before you venture out into the grown up world, Craig, hmm?
          Just a thought.
          And why not start with the bible as you don’t seem to have a very good grasp of this, now do you? … y’ all.

          • Ark, it wasn’t off base that Craig should ask. For goodness sake, Dan doesn’t even think the bible unmistakably teaches tjat God exists.

            • Of course it was off base. All he had to do was read the comment properly. Even I picked up what he meant.
              His comment was typical of the manner in which you go out of the way to impugn his Christianity and distort every thing.
              Like this post.
              Not a scrap of evidence just the usual suspects’that have been touted for years. And now you have your chum trying fighting you r battles for youy trying to disparage Philo, one of the glaring holes in your evidence and witness program and you haven’t the integrity to answer for yourself.
              You really don’t know your theological history do you John, but simply accept what your pastor or bible says.

              • Ark, can you demonstrate that you k ow anything about first century middle eastern history? How many extant documents do we have from the first century? What’s the number?

              • We are not talking about some itinerant illiterate escatological preacher,o whom Josephus mentions a number of and devotes a fair amount of text to And you would know this if you took the time and made the effort to study. No we are talking about the creator of the universe. A miracle performing man god born of a virgin who had a following in his own time of many thousands. Who brought Jerusalem to a standstill on Easter Weekend. Who had the Jewish and Roman authorities so scared they had him crucified and the he supposedly came back from the dead in a flurry of activity that included earthquakes and dead saints walking around Jerusalem.
                For this character we have not a scrap of evidence, not a whisper, not a hint not a murmur not even an allusion.

                This is who we are talking about John and not a soul mentions him. There is not one scrap of contemporary evidence. Not one.
                But if you do have evidence for this character, for the love of the gods, please present it.

              • I do know. I’m asking you, in total, how many documents of any subject do we have from the first century?

              • Why do you believe this is relevant for evidence for your man god?

              • John is like a Black Widow. Epic.

  9. paynehollow says:

    I’m saying that I believe that is Ark’s position. You can tell by the way I started that very sentence with “I think Ark’s bigger point…”

    You’re welcome.

    ~Dan

  10. paynehollow says:

    Terrance…

    If indeed he’s talking about Mark, then he doesn’t know what a Zombie is because someone that is resurrected is brought back to life. A Zombie, by definition, is a reanimated DEAD CORPSE.

    I believe he is speaking broadly in terms of someone who was dead who is now alive and walking around. I rather doubt that Ark believes in either resurrected people OR reanimated corpses, so it’s all about the same to him. Besides, it’s a funnier (if perhaps more childish) way of speaking of raised dead people, to use “zombie” rather than “a man who was dead but who is now living again…”

    But he can speak for himself.

    ~Dan

  11. paynehollow says:

    John…

    Zero reason for committed Jews to convert and worship him if he hadn’t performed miracles and was raised from the dead and seen after. No reason at all.

    ummm, how about his wonderful teachings of the Way of Grace?

    John, I’m sure I’m mistaken, but it sure sounds like you’re downplaying those “wonderful words of life…” as if the teachings of Jesus, the Way of Grace he preached, would not be worth anything if he didn’t also do magic tricks.

    Perhaps you’ll want to rephrase that?

    ~Dan

    • Dan,

      If Jesus is not God, then His teachings aren’t so much “truth” as it is that which sounds pretty to you. Without God, I find much grace and goodness in slapping the crap out of an punk like Arkie. But because I seek to please God and follow the teachings of His Only Begotten Son, who died for us and was raised so that we could be given a pass on our own sinfulness, I try to love even someone as despicable and low class as he. It ain’t easy, but I try.

      Without the “magic tricks”, how does He display His deity, His being God’s Only Begotten? Apparently, His being God doesn’t matter a wit to you. Thus, your “faith” in Christ is worthless as you have faith in just another dead guy.

      • So explain to me the evidence that convinced you, marshal. If you converted as an adult (I don’t know you but i’m assuming you are one) there must have been something pretty major for you to believe Jesus is the creator of the universe. What was it? And why did you change?
        I see no merit at all in this stuff, and that is the truth, but I am genuinely fascinated by it all the same and would be interested in your particular story.

      • paynehollow says:

        Wow. Okay. I disagree.

        I think the Truth is Truth, regardless of any miracles or magic tricks. I don’t “slap the crap” out of people not because of God or the Bible, but because I think the Truth is a soft answer does turn away wrath and that it is better to overcome evil with good.

        I follow Jesus because I think his teachings are sound, if challenging. I believe in love and mercy and working for justice and for the least of these.

        If I behaved “good” only for the sake of fear of a vengeful god, is that really being good?

        I guess that’s one of the difference between you and I. I would follow Jesus’ teachings even if it were proven he was not God’s Son or if it was proven that God does not exist.

        It seems you all are saying you follow the “christian way” only out of fear of a miracle working, angry god who might punish you in eternity of suffering if you didn’t, whereas folk like me follow the Christian Way because we believe it is the right way to live.

        Go figure.

        I’d really hope you might change your mind on that some day, Marshall, but you do what you think is best, in your opinion… (unless your opinion is that you ought to smack people who disagree with you…)

        ~Dan

  12. I believe he is speaking broadly in terms of someone who was dead who is now alive and walking around.

    No. He’s just being a smart ass and proving that atheists aren’t as open-minded as they claim. This “zombie” jive is nothing but dismissive language that poisons the debate before it even begins. John is sincere in his beliefs, as am I. And I think we’d both appreciate a higher level of debate than what we get from the atheists that visit this blog.

    That, I think you’ll find, is my point.

    • @Terrence
      Of course atheists are open-minded you fatuous twit. How many more times must I invite you – any/all of you to simply present the evidence you have that confirms that the biblical character, Jesus of Nazareth is the man-god you all genuflect to.
      How much more open minded and accommodating can I get?
      I am an atheist for your god’s sake, what do you expect? I must simply take what you say on faith?
      Are you frakking kidding!

      And I think we’d both appreciate a higher level of debate than what we get from the atheists that visit this blog.

      Then all you have to do is present a higher level of intellectual honesty in your arguments, Terrence.

      • Because you seem to think that a lack of non biblical documentation is a liability. In fact there’s hardly anything from the second half of the first century regardless of conent. Such a lack that militant skeptics tried to deny the historicity of Pilate. It wasn’t until relatively recent that a plaque bearing his name was unearthed that confirmed his place in history. Same with Ciaphus, the Pharisee who orchestrated Jesus’ execution until they found his osuary.

        The point is that the lack of extra biblical documentation isn’t that nefarious. You nitwit.

        • It is when we are talking about a man -god, John.
          And that is what is nefarious – you nitwit. And the reason you have no frakking evidence to present is because there is no evidence

          You are a hand waving apologetic hypocrite simply peeing in the wind who hasn’t the decency or intellectual integrity to admit that what you believe is based on faith, as a result of indoctrination. And these are the facts, John.

          Oh, and if you would like a list of texts you could try this site. It’s quite comprehensive .
          You won’t find a single contemporary account of your man god.

          Have fun. Maybe you’ll become enlightened.

          http://www.tlg.uci.edu/

          • How many figures from the first century do we have contemporary writings about?

            • Are you going to continue with this asinine nonsense?
              We are talking about contemporary evidence for a god man.
              If all we had was Philo that would be enough under the circumstances and he mentions not a word of Jesus of Nazareth.
              Now please stop hand waving John and be gown up enough to admit you have nothing and all you are doing is trying to convince yourself with your pathetic apologetic argument.
              If you cannot even think for yourself then you really don’t deserve any respect at all.

              • Did Philo mention the Emperor of Japan?

              • Lol. what a plonker!
                Did the Emperor of japan do miracles, walk on water, raise the dead, have a following of thousands running round Judea.
                Did the Emperor of japan arrive in Jerusalem on a donkey and bring it to a standstill ?

                What a dickhead you truly are, John.
                That is a classic response,m by the way. I may well use it in the future. I am sure even Dan is hosing himself laughing at the sheer stupidity of his christian brethren, while cringing in front of his laptop.
                You are a lost cause.
                The gods help your kids …

              • Ark, whether the Emperor did miracles or not is besides the point. We have four accounts of the life and miracles of Jesus. You just dismiss them because they’ve been compiled into a religious text. I have no doubt whatsoever that if Philo recorded the same data as the Gospels, you’d reject it as well because it’s just religious text. What makes Philo and not Luke credible?

                Luke said he was essentially recording what happened. He wasn’t a religious disciple. There’s not even any evidence he was a follower. He was a companion of Paul..eventually in order to record what was going on.

              • The gospels are accounts (stories, basically) of an unverified non-historical character. They are neither independent or historical accounts and the authors are unknown.
                One gospel ( Matthew) is blatantly plagiarized from Mark and this in turn has suffered interpolation.
                I do not reject anything because it is ”religious text”. How disingenuous of you.
                I reject it because it is riddled with falsehood and gross inaccuracies.
                You have no damn evidence that the writer of Luke was a companion of ”Paul” and Acts is largely a work of fiction.

                You are just shooting off the fundamentalist clap trap you have been indoctrinated with.
                Why don’t you do some proper research without dogma for once?
                What the hell are you afraid of?
                Find some genuine evidence for your religious polemic and i will gladly consider it.

              • Why are the Gospels not historical?

              • They are historical documents but are not reflections of historical accounts.
                Do you understand the difference?
                They are not accounts of actual historical events.

              • How have you determined that they are not reflections of historical accounts?

              • There is no evidence for the events they describe.
                They have been subject to interpolations and forgery. What historian can you name that will back any of the gospel claims?

              • The Gospels provide testimony as to what happened. You don’t like it because they are “religious”. You are too biased to see it. You are so biased that you can’t even see that the only reason you reject them is because they contain supernatural claims. You are so biased that you reject any supernatural claim out of hand because you believe God doesn’t exist. You are so biased that you don’t seem to realize that any document containing the info you claim to want to see would be dismissed for the same reason you dismiss the Gospels.

                You should let go of your presuppositions.

              • The gospels are fiction, nothing more. I dismiss them in the same way you dismiss Jewish, Muslim and Hindu claims of the supernatural.
                I dismiss them in the same way we would both dismiss supernatural claims from any person in history, such as certain Roman Emperors and even, ironically, claims that the Japanese Emperor was a divinity.

                You have yet to be honest on a single post regarding this subject and continue to put forward spurious evidentiary claims to support your indoctrinated belief.

                ….you believe God doesn’t exist.

                I ask once again: WHICH damn god are you referring to?

                The day you display an ounce of intellectual honesty, on this or any other related topic then I will accord you the respect you will have earned.

                Until such time all you are doing is to clearly demonstrate you are nothing but an ignorant, hypocritical fundamentalist deserving of all the scorn one can muster.

              • That’s how little you really k ow. I don’t dismiss those accounts for the same reason you dismiss Christian claims. You dismiss without thinking because you’re already the smartest person in the room.

              • I may well be the smartest person in the room but this is incidental.
                You dismiss the claims because of lack of evidence. The very same reason I dismiss your claims.
                Put up some verifiable evidence and we can discuss it like adults.

              • Wrong

              • Evidence , John. When you have some we can talk. til then…carry on peeing in the wind.

              • You’re exposing your inability to reason and be reasonable.

              • lol…yeah, right!

      • And as I’ve pointed out, you aren’t about to consider ANY evidence or argument we offer. Seriously, you began this debate with a self-professed “pejorative phrase.” Now, do you know what “pejorative” means, or did you just quote-mine that from an atheist website as well?

        • Of course I will consider evidence, but you haven’t presented any evidence for the biblical character, Jesus of Nazareth whom you consider was a man god and the creator of the universe.
          What is it you are unable to comprehend?
          Are you so thick, so totally indoctrinated that you cannot read and comprehend simple straightforward English?
          You have yet to present a single scrap of evidence for your claims.
          Now stop being an infantile idiot and go away until you can provide evidence for your claims. Capiche?

          • The Gospels themselves are evidence. The letters by Paul are evidence. We have all the evidence and more required in order to label something historical fact. To this you say, “Oh, well, uh, the Bible doesn’t count.”

            Yeah. Real strong argument.

            • There is nothing to back these documents as factual. Not a single thing.

              Furthermore, many of the letters claimed to be written by Paul are known to be spurious. This is fact.
              Paul does not feature anywhere in contemporary writings outside the bible. This also is fact.
              Acts has been shown to be work of fiction.
              This also has been shown to be fact.

              What history are you reading Terrance?
              S in fact you have precious little at all to label fact, do you?

              Anything else?

              • Since they are four separate gospels, even if some used a common precirculated written source, they corroborate each other. You however reject this only because they were collected and put into a collection. Prior to the bible being the bible, the Gospels were four separate documents. Historians understand this, recalcitrant atheists such as yourself dont.

                Another point of fact: some of Pauls letters are SPECULATED to be authored by someone else, not known to be.

                And again, and I suspect again and again, your demand for extra biblical accounting is meaningless since you’ve already tacitly admitted that you reject the NT documents because of their inclusion of supernatural events. Thus any other document, Contemporary or otherwise would also be dismissed by you for the same reason. That’s the explicit intellectual dishonesty showing.

              • There is no evidence for a Q source.
                yes I am aware of the composition f the bible, thank you.
                You seem a bit vague on its history though.
                The writer of Matthew plagiarized 600 verses of Mark.
                Some of ”Paul’s” letters are known to be spurious. You want a damn list of those too?

                Of course I reject the Gospels because of supernatural events. So too the OT.
                So too claims that Julius Caesar was born of a virgin.

                The difference is I accept that Julius Caesar was a real historical person and there is evidence to show this. There is none for the biblical character, Jesus of Nazareth,

              • So when you say “Of course I reject the Gospels because of supernatural events.” you admit that youre not being honest. When you ask for extra-biblical verification, that verification would also contain supernatural events, which you readily admit you reject. So by definition you’ll accept nothing. You’re a tool. An intellectually bankrupt tool.

              • Smile …. There is no evidence of supernatural events, anywhere, John. Please stop trying to be clever,it doesn’t suit you.

  13. paynehollow says:

    You are certainly welcome to your opinion. For my part, coming from an atheist who does not believe in people coming back to life, I can appreciate the humor of calling the resurrected saints “zombies…” it’s a joke and I take no offense at it.

    Why wouldn’t a person who doesn’t believe in resurrection refer to the resurrected as zombies? Why would I take offense at it?

    Well, just speaking for myself, I don’t.

    There are serious things to get angry about. “Zombie” isn’t one of them.

    One man’s opinion.

    ~Dan

  14. Dan,

    Are you saying that you currently don’t believe in resurrection?

    • paynehollow says:

      ? No, I’m not saying that. Why?

      What I said is WHY would we expect someone who does not believe in miracles or resurrections WOULD believe in one? Why wouldn’t they tease it with a name like Zombie? Why should that upset us?

      ~Dan

      • If they simply DIDN’T BELIEVE in a thing, why would they insult the very idea of it? I don’t believe in aliens but I don’t insult the idea of aliens existing. And why would I insult the idea or tease it? I don’t believe in aliens or, for that matter, honest women. But I wouldn’t insult those who do.

        Stop defending the indefensible. ;-)

        • I insult it because you preach it as truth. A factual occurrence that you indoctrinate children with. If you kept it to yourself then that would be fine. You are entitled to believe whatever you like . I would not have it any other way. But you do not have the right to hammer this religious junk into kids.
          That , arsehole, is why I will insult you blind until you have the the simple decency to present verifiable evidence for your outlandish claims.

          • You don’t have the right to determine what is true. How petulantly arrogant for you to presume to tell me that I should keep my convictions to my self.

            • Of course I have the right
              Children are being taught that dinosaurs lived alongside humans that the earth was flooded and re-peopled by a single incestuous family. They are being indoctrinated they are born into ‘sin” are unworthy and require being saved by a man god you have no Frakking evidence for!

              Religious fanatics are strapping bombs onto children because of the supernatural crap you lot believe in!
              So yes, you sanctimonious ignorant ass, I have every right to tell you to keep it to yourself.

              • This is HIS BLOG, you arrogant jackass. You have NO RIGHT to tell him or any of us what we can and can’t say. You don’t have to like it or agree with it, but you will acknowledge our right to say it.

              • Of course it is his blog, you insufferable moron. But it is also a public platform and while he may say whatever he likes I have the right to tell him how much rose fertilizer it is.
                And he has no right to indoctrinate this crap into children, or do you believe that children have no rights?

              • Actually, this isn’t a public forum, it’s a private one. I reserve the right to permit or restrict anything I so choose. Work on underatanding that.

              • I stand corrected. It is a public platform. You may say whatever you like .
                You have no right to indoctrinate children.

              • Luckily, you dont decide what entails indoctrination. You havent established that you are correct and I am incorrect. You’ve merely communicated that I havent convinced you that I’m correct, which isnt the standard of measure.

              • No, John there is plenty of evidence to demonstrate that you are wrong. Very wrong indeed.
                Evolution for a start.

                We can start with Genesis and work right through if you like?

              • And yet curiously, you’ve failed to present this evidence that is so plentiful.

                You’re a damn joke, Ark.

              • I will concede I am sometimes funny, Terrance, but the only joke here is your religion and sadly, those who kowtow to it.
                But never fear, the world is moving away from Bronze Age superstitious nonsense, albeit slowly. But humanity will get there. Probably not in out lifetime but eventually, nonetheless. And future historians will look back at idiotic beliefs such as Christianity just as you look back at the Aztec religion or the Babylonian and wonder at the sheer stupidity of it.
                It’s only a matter of time.
                Something to look forward to I’d say.

              • And John, this simpleminded adolescent will never be convinced regardless the evidence, overwhelming or otherwise. It’s becoming a bore just to read his balderdash. He doesn’t even take the time to familiarize himself with a person’s beliefs before criticizing them.

                For example, you’ve said on more than one occasion that you reject YEC and see no reason why Christians need to believe it. Yet this twit lumps you in with the “dirty evangelicals.”

                He’s a jackass.

              • And you are an inveterate liar. I never used the term dirty evangelicals. And evangelicals are not necessarily YEC, dickhead. Although around 60% of American evangelicals do adhere to YEC beliefs.

              • I was being facetious with the “dirty evangelical” remark, you halfwit. But it’s clear you have no love in your heart for them whatsoever.

                Sure, some Churches use the term in their name but they are not members of the American Evangelical movement as it is portrayed. I’m talking about a specific group of people who are politically oriented and most assuredly YECs. John and I have battled many of their members on this blog.

              • Well, halfwit is better than a quarter-wit, I suppose and at least you didn’t say a five eights.wit.
                I am already at my wits end dealing with you witless lot. To wit, the only thing missing in reference to the bunch of hicks that you are is a capital ‘T’.

                So what was your point again?

              • Are you noticing something about Ark? He begins the insults once he runs out of responses.

              • I can start with by insulting you if you prefer?
                Perhaps you would like me to begin by calling you an ignorant jerk and then afterwards tear you ridiculous comment to shreds?
                Your choice … let me know, okay?

              • You have no argument, Ark, as has been pointed out. You are suffering from delusions of grandeur. You’re not that bright.

              • Yep, and I guess I’ll shall leave you and the other inmates to run the asylum by yourselves.
                Best of luck.

              • What? Leave before actually making an argument? Shocking.

              • I think there comes a time Terrance, when the asylum inmates must be left to play with themselves. But remember, Jesus is watching you…

              • Oh, another liberal who thinks that getting the last word – no matter how utterly pathetic the word happens to be – wins an argument. Sorry, pal. It doesn’t work like that around here.

              • No of course not …. dickheads like you need to bang that drum. We get it. ..you are a sunbeam for jesus

              • And yet you posted another meaningless comment, full of the usual humdrum we’ve all come to expect out of you.

          • “I insult it because you preach it as truth.”

            You insult because you have no class, are of low character, are a cretin. Don’t try to pretend you’re serving some public good by refusing to treat others with respect. If this is manifestation of morality without God, its the very self-serving pap observed so often by defenders of the faith. It’s worthless.

            • paynehollow says:

              AAARRRRGGGGHHH…

              [the sound of Irony dying, off screen…]

              • Where’s the irony, Dan? Does not my continued interaction with you demonstrate a level of respect? Do I ever rely on name-calling as an argument, or do I give reason why I might label you one thing or another. If you don’t concede the latter, then you would need to back up the assertion, because I always give reason. You have, however, accused me of bad behavior, and I wouldn’t go so far as to say I am the perfect reflection of Christ’s teachings. Indeed, I’m pretty certain I’ve admitted to being a rather poor one. But I am not of Arkie’s ilk at all, using insult as a routine. He’s obviously of low character and his constant use of insults is the proof. My labeling of him as low class is thus supported.

            • @Marshalart

              Lol. Hey, dickhead, you have yet to demonstrate that morality is derived from god. Once you do then we can argue the merits.
              Your call … off you go. Demonstrate it.

              • I don’t need to demonstrate it, Arkie. It’s a foolish request. But for you to argue that morality even exists without him would be a better way of attacking the issue. I’m saying that you can’t. I’m saying that there is no such thing, that the concept is fantasy, without God. Instead, what passes for morality, especially for such as yourself, is merely self-serving consensus opinion. Nothing is right or wrong, but only the cause of consequences one might prefer or prefer not to endure. Murder might not be something you’d like to endure or see happen to a loved one, or to anyone else. But it would not be immoral, especially to the murderer. The existence of the concept of morality depends upon the existence of God, otherwise it’s just you fending off what you’d not want to see happen. Selfish self preservation and comfort. Nothing more.

        • paynehollow says:

          Terrance, the mistakes are right there, we can go back up and see your repeated references to Zechariah and then your and John’s simple mistaken reference to the end of Mark (although, I’m not at all clear what John meant by that, since there’s nothing like that at the end of Mark that I can see… I guess he was referring to Matt 27, but he was emphatic about the end of Mark with its parenthetical uncertainty…

          Also, we can see your mistake about what Ark intended re: itinerant preacher Jesus vs Man God Jesus. It’s no big deal, mistakes happen, but it’s the refusal to acknowledge the mistake that undermines your credibility. I made a mistake, John corrected me, I graciously and quickly acknowledged the mistake. No biggee.

          Terrance…

          If they simply DIDN’T BELIEVE in a thing, why would they insult the very idea of it?

          Perhaps you don’t see the irony in this Terrance, but let me try to help you understand…

          The pagans, atheists, Mormons, Muslims, etc often say the very same thing about more evangelical types:

          “If they don’t believe what we believe, that’s fine, but they don’t leave it at that. They come after us, telling us we’re wrong and not only are we wrong, but we’re going to hell for being wrong… and they state all of this as if it were a fact, not an opinion. They know best and want to tell everyone else that they know best…”

          Do you see the irony there?

          Are some atheists out there becoming more antagonistic, pugnacious and “evangelical” in their non-belief? Yes. But do you see how this comes, at least in part, from a pushback against that very same sort of behavior from the last hundreds of years of Christian “evangelism…” I mean, going from door to door, knocking on complete strangers’ doors and asking them if they died tonight, would they be going to hell? Trying to push evangelical morality via legislation? Yes, people are pushing back at that.

          The irony is that these more fundamentalist types are taking offense at the very sort of behavior they’ve been engaged in for years and years.

          When you sow the wind, you reap the whirlwind.

          For a man will reap whatever he sows.

          ~Dan

          • I meant matthew, it was a mistake. Remember when you repeatedly attributed Peter to Paul? Sometimes that happens. I wasn’t emphatic however.

          • Terrance, the mistakes are right there, we can go back up and see your repeated references to Zechariah…

            Since resurrected people are not reanimated dead corpses, then Ark’s “zombie” nonsense only makes sense if he’s referring to Zechariah 14:12, “And this shall be the plague with which the Lord will strike all the peoples that wage war against Jerusalem: their flesh will rot while they are still standing on their feet, their eyes will rot in their sockets, and their tongues will rot in their mouths.”

            That was my point, Dan. But I see it went over your head.

            …and then your and John’s simple mistaken reference to the end of Mark (although, I’m not at all clear what John meant by that, since there’s nothing like that at the end of Mark that I can see… I guess he was referring to Matt 27, but he was emphatic about the end of Mark with its parenthetical uncertainty…

            John misspoke and I didn’t catch it. No mistaken reference on my part. I just didn’t catch John’s error.

            I see no irony, Dan. I see you describing a bunch of childlike fools who haven’t yet learned that the best way to ignore something is to actually ignore it.

            • @Terrance

              Since resurrected people are not reanimated dead corpses, then Ark’s “zombie” nonsense only makes sense if he’s referring to Zechariah 14:12,

              What we have clearly learned here is that you are an insufferable dickhead who is unable to recognise and acknowledge a simple mistake.
              For your edification, hot shot
              http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Gospel_of_Matthew#Unique_in_Matthew

            • So, a site like answers in genesis is run by intelligent people?
              lol…are you looking to point score here, Terrance? Oh dear….

              • Answers In Genesis is run by very intelligent people who believe very deeply that the Bible is to be taken literally. I don’t consider them stupid simply because they disagree with me.

              • Then you are as stupid as they are, because the evidence that refutes every one of their arguments abounds, Terrance.

              • And curiously you don’t bother listing their arguments and the refutation of it. More insults and assertions with nothing to back them up. Pathetic Aussie you are.

              • Hey , dickhead, everyone knows they believe in the Flood and dinosaurs walking with humans etc.
                What else is there to say, other than you are a farking idiot too?
                Aussie? What a chump.
                Aren’t you supposed to be doing your school homework,Terrance?

              • Um, there is ample evidence for a worldwide flood. Perhaps you should read some of those books you typically encourage others to read. Or, don’t Aussie’s have access to those?

                And second, their views are due to deeply held religious beliefs, which I can respect. Sometimes our beliefs can defy logic, and we’re okay with that because of how strongly those beliefs are held. It’s called faith.

                Now, your views are quite different. Fine. Your thoughts on us Christians are less than charming. Cool. But what percentage of a flying fuck do you imagine your words matter to me, John, or any of us Christians?

                Just curious.

              • RFLMAO!

              • Strong argument.

      • “Why wouldn’t they tease it with a name like Zombie?”

        I dunno. To be respectful of the beliefs of others, perhaps? To indicate a higher level of class maybe? To avoid any perceptions that one is an arrogant ass? Just a few possibilities.

        • paynehollow says:

          Good reasons, all. For all of us.

          ~Dan

          • Again, Dan. I do not engage in disrespectful behavior. That I might become emotional (also not typical) does not equate to disrespect. If I refer to an opinion or question as stupid, for example, I explain why. Is it the language you prefer altered? How sugar coated need it be before you discontinue your charges regarding Christian grace, or the lack thereof? You assume bad intent. I’ve asked you to assume otherwise until legitimate evidence can be presented (though it’s been a long time since I’ve last bothered asking).

            Arkie’s another story. He’s clearly intending to “show them Christians” and it is a common tactic to provoke the Christian in order to use their anger against them and the faith, pretending there’s no such thing as “righteous anger”. He thinks its cute to insult, that he’s clever or funny. He’s neither. He’s boorish, and clearly so.

            • paynehollow says:

              I find the notion of calling the “raised saints” on Jesus’ resurrection day, “zombies” mildly humorous, myself. But to each his own.

              ~Dan

        • @ Marshhallart

          ….people of honor will simply offer up counter evidence from Scripture to argue against what is put forth as Scriptural. That’s how it’s supposed to work

          You mean like showing people like you where the writer of Matthew blatantly plagiarized the Virgin Birth story?
          And now that you have been shown the truth of this you will naturally acknowledge that the story is a fabrication, right?
          Honor, marshal, remember?

          …I dunno. To be respectful of the beliefs of others, perhaps? To indicate a higher level of class maybe? To avoid any perceptions that one is an arrogant ass? Just a few possibilities.

          Hey, Dickhead, you don’t think that claiming the biblical character, Jesus of Nazareth is the creator of the entire known universe and then teaching t to kids as irrefutable truth without ever supplying a single piece of verifiable evidence to back such a preposterous claim is arrogant?
          lol …and you wonder why you are such an arrogant Dickhead and deserve every bit of scorn.
          You are just too ridiculous.

          • “You mean like showing people like you where the writer of Matthew blatantly plagiarized the Virgin Birth story?”

            And you did this, when? Am I to simply take your word for it? Am I to simply concede based on some claims of plagiarism simply because Matthew’s report is similar to other virgin birth stories? “Evidence” and “proof” is that which is absolute, based on your own demands for such for our claims. Yet, you offer nothing that is no better than speculative and suggest that tells the tale and ends the game. Sorry, Arkie. Your one-sided notions of what constitutes proof and evidence doesn’t convey a level of integrity and honest discussion that compels my respect.

            “… you don’t think that claiming the biblical character, Jesus of Nazareth is the creator of the entire known universe and then teaching t to kids as irrefutable truth without ever supplying a single piece of verifiable evidence to back such a preposterous claim is arrogant?”

            No. I don’t. It’s called “love for one’s child”. It’s a concept with which I’m not convinced you are the least bit familiar. “Arrogant”, however, is the attitude you display in mocking the faithful as if you have absolute proofs and evidence for your opposition. You don’t have such proofs and thus your attitude of arrogance is delusional.

  15. I think we’ve clearly learned from this thread that Ark has nothing but assumptions. He has no evidence proving that Paul is a nut, or that any of these other early Christians were nuts making up stories. No. All Ark has is the assumption that Jesus doesn’t exist because So-And-So didn’t write this…

    It’s absolutely ridiculous, and unbecoming of a true atheist. Look, there are atheist scholars that have written books ARGUING IN FAVOR of Christ’s existence. They certainly believe He existed; they just don’t believe He was God. I mean. what’s his name. Bart Ehrman or something. And I’m not saying that Ehrman’s writings are gold or anything. But his disagreement with basically everything Ark said proves that these people (atheists) haven’t yet mastered a clear response. They’re scrambling. You have a 100 of these idiots on this blog and all of them have different arguments, which greatly depends on whatever particular atheist site they decided to quote-mine from.

    These people are pathetic.

    • ” I mean. what’s his name. Bart Ehrman or something. ”

      Oh, that is just too cute! Ehrman or ”something”. You disingenuous arsehole.

      there are atheist scholars that have written books ARGUING IN FAVOR of Christ’s existence.

      No atheist argues for Christ’s existence. ”Christ” is a title not a name!

      • It’s obvious I meant the existence of Jesus Christ as described in the Bible. You claim that this character is a work of fiction, but not according to Ehrman and others. They reject Jesus’ divinity, no doubt. But they at least acknowledge that the Biblical character, Jesus, existed, preached, and had a band of followers. All you’re willing to say is, “Oh, har, har, yeah, there was some guy named Jesus that lived at the time, sure.”

        How pathetic.

        • No. Ehrman claims that there was likely someone called Yeshua – he may use the name Jesus, just so plonkers like you understand, but of course his mum and dad would not have called him that neither any of his disciples or any of his relatives or … in fact anyone.

          Without the miracles there is no biblical character, Jesus of Nazareth, just some smelly itinerant eschatological preacher, you halfwit.
          If it was obvious then why not simply say Yeshua then?
          You act like a petulant child.
          In all seriousness, how come they you join up and became a christian?
          I would have slung you on your bloody ear!
          You are disgraceful, ignorant, graceless and an idiot; qualities that you and your ilk generally identify with atheists – no probs with this – but it seems the Crispyuns are pretty good at being shit faces as well, hey. Terrance?
          lol …

          • Case in point regarding the low class of Arkie: How can he continue to refer to Jesus as “smelly”? By what standard does he assume that ANYONE of that time was smellier than the next? Because he might have been “itinerant”? No. He is purposely trying to be provocative in his choice of words because of the same cowardly reasons of the typical anti-Christian: Arkie believes there is a low probability of of retaliation. And should retaliation take place, it is somehow a sign that the religion is false. While no Christian believes himself to be beyond temptation, and many of us recognize our own failures to live up to the teachings of Christ, people like Arkie are always one insult away from getting their sorry asses kicked. And no doubt he would not have the blogger balls to speak in such a manner directly, but only behind the safety of his keyboard. This is another indication of his low character.

            • I say smelly as that’s how I get after an afternoon in the garden. Now Jesus did not have access to deodorant and good old soap so I just take it for granted that he sweated ( all gods sweat , Marshal, didn’t you know this?) thus he probably ponged like the inside of a pro footballer’s jock by the end of a tiring day curing lepers, blind guys and sorting out the morality issues for whores and what have you. Hell, maybe I’m wrong? Perhaps he smelled like jasmine and roses after a light Middle-eastern shower while going for a stroll across Lake Tiberius?

            • paynehollow says:

              sigh.

              I would suppose that one can reasonably conclude that in different times and places, where people work hard in great heat and do not bathe regularly, they would be, factually, likely to have a tendency to smell – if not bad, at least different than we who bathe regularly and do not toil for hours in the heat. We’re humans, that’s what happens to us when we’re hot, working hard and not bathing.

              Do you take offense at this?

              Is it kind of him to point this out? I don’t know, I guess not.

              But it does humanize Jesus, remind us of his humanity and that he would, like we do, start sweating in the heat when he is working hard, or just walking for miles in the heat, as he did.

              It’s not anything that troubles me greatly. There are serious things to be unhappy about moreso than whether people who might have body odors.

              ~Dan

  16. paynehollow says:

    Ark has said he’s not denying the existence of an itinerant preacher named Jesus. He’s saying you’ve produced no evidence that he did miraculous stuff. He’s questioning, “IF ‘many’ dead people were raising from the grave, wouldn’t that have made the news?” It’s a reasonable question.

    Why do you need to label “these people” as pathetic?

    You all are asking them to believe something rather extraordinary. IF you want to insist that it’s fact, the burden is on you to prove it.

    Reasonable questions – however rudely asked (and Ark, you are being rude… and I know, there’s rude aplenty to go around here) – deserve reasonable answers, not name-calling.

    ~Dan

    • Um, no, Dan. Ark in fact said,

      Let’s be perfectly clear. There is not a single contemporary account of the biblical character Jesus of Nazareth…

      And then he said,

      I forgot to add: Please explain why Philo, who lived before during and after the time Jesus of Nazareth was supposed to have been active, wrote over three quarters of a million words contained in thirty extant manuscripts, not once mentioned your man god.
      Not a single solitary word.

      Now, either this guy is a poor debater. Or, he’s a moron who forgets conflicting remarks. Either he believes Jesus existed, or he doesn’t. Because right now, all I see is a lot of double-talk which you’re defending.

      And I’m damn ashamed of you, Dan. I have defended you time and again when other people said you weren’t a “real” Christian. Now I see they may have been right.

      • To be clear, Ark has said he believes some guy lived around that time named Jesus but he wasn’t as presented in the NT. However, this doesn’t make sense given the Genesis of the Christian church in a region and culture (first century Israel where the temple is located).

        • And yet he’s said twice on this blog that he doesn’t believe Jesus existed. He said, “Let’s be perfectly clear. There is not a single contemporary account of the biblical character Jesus of Nazareth, the miracle working god man you genuflect to and claim is the creator of the universe.”

          Then he says, “I forgot to add: Please explain why Philo, who lived before during and after the time Jesus of Nazareth was supposed to have been active, wrote over three quarters of a million words contained in thirty extant manuscripts, not once mentioned your man god.
          Not a single solitary word.”

          In the first phrase, I assume he means that there is no evidence that a miracle-working Jesus existed. But in the second sentence, he suggesting that Jesus didn’t exist because so-and-so didn’t write about him.

          I mean, pick an argument. Which is it, Ark? Put your entire argument together and let’s go from there.

          Because right now, I see a lot of rhetoric that proves nothing, outside of your own idiocy.

          I mean, if you’re just a dummy that doesn’t recognize the difference in those statements, then not my fault. I shouldn’t have to teach you proper English grammar.

          • Hey, dickhead, maybe you ought to learn basic comprehension skills. John figured this one out all by himself.
            Let me spell it out for you. The biblical character, Jesus of Narrative is a narrative construct.
            Got it? Good. ( Unless you would like to dispute this by presenting verifiable evidence?)
            And this is why Philo or any other contemporary witness or contemporary writer does not mention him. ( go research how many writers of this period there were. You might be quite surprised)
            With me so far? Excellent!
            Now, there may well have been some itinerant, eschatological smelly little preacher running around at this time called Yeshua – after all, it was quite a popular name, but there was no Jesus of Nazareth as recorded in the bible.
            Are we clear?
            Super!
            Now, run along a play with your rosary or something.

            • Lol… oh for an edit function. ”Jesus of Narrative”. Oh, well. I am sure you can figure that one out for yourself.

            • I’m sorry that you need John to translate your jive into something that makes sense. Perhaps you should focus more on expressing yourself clearly and less on what we decide to teach our children.

              Now, you’ve given us absolutely no reason why the Gospels and the letters of Paul should be ignored. You’ve given us no reason whatsoever. But you people never do.

              • Oh, there are hundreds of thousands of words by biblical experts who can tell you why they are fiction.
                You might want to start with Ehrman. Then maybe The Acts seminar.
                I don’t have to give you anything, it has already been done.
                Your indoctrination prevents you from viewing anything that contradicts your fundamentalist worldview with any sort of objectivity, otherwise you would soon be a n on Christian.This is faith. This is indoctrination.
                That is fact.

              • Please, show us some of these words. You made the claim that the Biblical Jesus is pure fiction, and you’ve yet to support this claim. You say you have but you haven’t. You’ve given us names. I’m not about to do your research for you, child.

              • Please, show us some of these words…

                I just did. Bart Ehrman. How much of him would you like me to quote/reference or would a video link suffice?
                How about Robert Price & Bishop John Shelby Spong? John Dominic Crossan.
                That’s four.
                How many would you like?

              • Ark,
                So, you refuse to even consider anything W.L. Craig says, by mocking and deriding him without actually refuting anything specific that he has said, but you trot out Ehrman, Spong, and Crossan as the best you’ve got.

              • Craig is a defender of Divine Command Theory. I have nothing else to say about him.
                You have a problem with the scholars have listed?
                I thought being biblical scholars you would appreciate them. Tell me why you don’t like them and I’ll find more that will state how much fiction is contained in the gospels.

              • Why did you cite the most liberal and skeptical scholars? Why not Craig Blomberg, FF Bruce, or Daniel Wallace?

                Bias much?

              • Because we are looking for scholars that are not indoctrinated and who will examine the texts with due honesty.
                I am not likely to pick someone like Licona, Craig or Habermas now am I? They are rank apologists like you and begin with a presuppositional agenda. Like you.
                I want people who look at the text honestly with as much of a neutral perspective as possible.
                I could also have chosen Saunders.

              • So only scholars who are more inclined to hold your view are not indoctrinated and unbiased?

                And you’re not a tool?

              • No, I reiterate. Scholars who will not show bias either way. You can hardly say Crossan is an atheist and neither is Ehram. or Spong.
                Surely as a seeker after truth you would also want as unbiased approach to biblical investigation as possible?

              • Crossan…Spong? You might as well cite Dan Trabue.

              • Ah … then I call foul for the scholars you cite.
                Your move …

              • As I said t Craig, if you are not happy with these scholars then suggest a selection of completely neutral scholars and lets see what they have to say.

                Offer up three. I have no issues with this. None whatsoever. As long as they are not devout Christians.

              • The problem is to you, Ark, neutral means someone inclined NOT to believe the text is accurate. Which is laughable. In fact..LMAO! !

              • Really?

                It is only fundamentalists of the Habermas ,Craig, Licona fold that insist on a literal understanding of the bible. Like you in fact And this is based on not a scrap of verifiable evidence . Just faith from a presuppositional worldview.

                The general consensus of biblical scholars – across the entire board – is that Jesus existed, preached and eventually was crucified for sedition.
                The miraculous stuff the genuine scholars admit is a matter of faith.
                Which is what I have been telling you from the get go, you chump.

                And we can trot out any number of top of the pile recognised biblical scholars who uphold this view.

                So, for the last time.
                If you wish to offer up a single neutral biblical scholar for the divinity of the biblical , Jesus of Nazareth I am more than willing to investigate.
                Up to you.

              • So, you throw out three incredibly biased scholars as your defenders, but will summarily dismiss any who you perceive to be biased or Christian. No thanks.

              • You consider Ehram , one of the foremost scholars in this field ”biased”?
                Okay, then, offer up ( what you consider) two neutral biblical scholars.

              • Who is this Ehram you keep referring to?

              • Lol ….

              • Am I missing something? Where are the words of Bart Ehrman?

        • Evidence, John. Got any for this christian church claim? Nope, didn’t think so.

    • Sorry, Dan. You’re right. I will take time out for some penance and self-reflection
      Perhaps I should just lurk in the background and watch you try to squeeze non-answers form these people?
      But, damn … they are funny!

  17. Look, Ark is an utter moron, which he’s proven in this thread alone. So, Dan, for your own sake, stop defending him. Let’s all move on to real debate with real arguments. What is the problem with John’s post, Dan? Do you have one?

    • Lol…and this folks is from one who thought the Zombie Apocalypse referred to a passage in the gospel of Mark! Go talk to Mike Licona, maybe he can help you out. After all, he lost his job because he claimed it was not to be taken literally in his 2010 book and he is an evangelist!
      Ah …gotta love these Fundies, right?
      Are you this dumb because of natural selection or did you take classes, Terrance?

      • John said Mark, you fool. He misspoke. Are we going to drag this on as though it means something?

        And I don’t care who used the phrase. You admitted that it’s a pejorative phrase, thus proving my point that you aren’t here to debate anything. You already have your answers so nothing we say will matter. .

  18. paynehollow says:

    Terrance, I’ve been trying to be helpful, trying to help you keep your foot out of your mouth. You began with an attack on Ark for his use of the word Zombie, but you were missing the point he was making (about Matt 27). I just offered a clarifying and polite comment letting you know you had misunderstood his point/his reference.

    As it turns out, I was correct. If you had just accepted the correction, you could have moved on to make a point about how using the word zombie, in your opinion, is an offensive way to make the point… or you could have moved on to provide some data to support your contentions. Instead you just kept harping on the mistaken understanding you had.

    Then, later on, I just offered another clarifying comment to let you know that Ark is not saying that an itinerant preacher named Jesus did not exist, he’s saying that there is no evidence for the Man-God, Jesus. Again, it was just to help correct a misunderstanding you are/were having.

    As to the point of the post, I have no great qualms and have not made any negative comments about John’s post, I was just trying to offer some helpful corrections about some factual misunderstandings. Is that a problem?

    Rather than being so defensive, perhaps an humble, simple “Oh, sorry, I misunderstood” would go much further in following Paul’s admonition to be prepared to give a defense for your beliefs with respect and gentleness.

    Do you think Paul’s admonition is a good one, Terrance?

    Take a breath, man.

    ~Dan

  19. paynehollow says:

    Yup, my bad. Thanks, John!

    And, like that, Terrance. That’s all I was doing, what John just did for me. An easy correction over a minor mistake.

    ~Dan

  20. I think it’s positively pathetic that Ark would “cite” Spong and Crosson but refuse to accept William Lane Craig as an acceptable source. This is the type of arrogance only atheists are capable of exhibiting.

    Spong and Crosson are fellows of the Jesus Seminar, a left-wing “think-tank” started by Robert Funk in 1985. Funk began the project with the assumption that Jesus was not a divine being, and Funk chose all the fellows who were to be involved in this organization.

    Yet, this isn’t an example of bias. Nope. Not at all. It’s the typical, “Nothing to see hear folks. Move along,” attitude that liberals are so fond of displaying. Yep. Craig is clearly biased, but Spong and Crosson, members of an organization with the stated purpose of disproving the divinity of Jesus, are perfectly acceptable.

    And has anyone noticed that Ark hasn’t actually cited anything? He’s merely mentioned some names. This guy is nothing but a troll. He’s not interested in debate. He’s just an angry Aussie suffering with, no doubt, latent homosexual feelings and finds release by insulting people. He doesn’t actually argue a point, I hope you folks have noticed.

    • Ark’s stated position is that since the people he cites have already made the arguments he doesn’t need to repeat them. I had asked for summaries of his citation’s views and he wouldn’t even do that. Not only wouldn’t do it, he refused to do it. This really can only mean that he saw some other Internet atheist cite those names and some other atheist claimed something. Ark is a parrot who has done nothing more than read some atheist blog. He doesn’t summarize or bullet point the arguments because he cant. He doesn’t know them. All he knows is some other atheist said “Smith and Jones have proven that…” so he repeats it.

    • What would you like to debate?
      Make your case, offer evidence and then we can chat like adults.
      So far you have flapped your gums, pissed in the wind and offered not a shred of relevant evidence.
      Nothing. Sweet fark all.

      You make the claim, I call foul. It is your responsibility to demonstrate the veracity of your claims, especially as you wish to see your worldview imposed on the country, institutions and children.
      It is you and your disgusting ilk that went door to door telling people if they weren’t saved tey would burn in hell. Some still do!
      It is your and your disgusting ilk that demand this crap is taught in schools.
      It is you are you ilk that condemns every other Christian that doesn’t follow your version, that considers every other human on the planet is doomed because you say they follow the wrong god.
      So yes, I think it is perfectly reasonable for me to demand that you show some humility and intellectual integrity and produce this evidence that you keep ranting on about the saviour of mankind, the man god Jesus of Nazareth.
      Lets’ see some …

      • Ark, you given no indication that you will chat like an adult. From your first comment to present, it’s been mockery and derision.

        • Are you saying the points above are not true? That you don’t consider every other human who does not follow your faith is doomed to hell?
          Yes or No?

          • That’s actually irrelevant to whether what I believe is true or not.

            • It is relevant as you wish your worldview to take precedent.
              So, do you consider that I am doomed to hell if I do not ask to be saved by your god? Yes or No?

              • That’s where you’re wrong. I don’t need you to believe what I do. I dont need my theology to take precedent. If you havent noticed, im not a muslim.

              • Answer the question, John. Do you believe I am doomed to hell if I do not accept your savior and ask for forgiveness for my sins.
                Yes or no?

              • Absolutely you are. Not even a question.

              • Then don’t you believe it is incumbent on you and your fellow believers to do all in your power to demonstrate the veracity of the claims you make?
                After all, when you began asking questions there were people who explained things to you, yes?

              • I do. You however demonstrate an uncooperative and unreasonableness that most atheists don’t exhibit. You k ow the drill. You claim to have researched. You claim to have read the bible, so you’ve heard its message. You’re now consciously rejecting. I don’t need to cast my pearls before swine. You’re informed.

                It’s not my job to force you to concede, it’s my job to tell you the way it is. What you do with it is on you. Good luck!

              • I am not suggesting you force me. I have read the bible, cover to cover and continue to read it for research. Yet for me it is merely a book (s).

                I am asking for you to explain what caused the change in you and to please demonstrate the evidence that convinced you.

                .Are you able to do that?

  21. paynehollow says:

    John…

    Absolutely you are [Ark is going to hell]. Not even a question.

    Jeez.

    John, do you speak for God on this point or is it merely a human opinion – your opinion?

    If you speak for God, on what basis do you presume to do so? What is your data to support such a bold (arrogant?) claim? Where has God said “Ark is going to hell, not even a question…”?

    Or has God never, not once, said such a thing? If not, then on what extrapolated data are you basing this claim? Do you have any objective data to support such a claim? Where is it?

    Or, can we safely presume you think that every opinion you hold is equivalent to “fact” and “god’s word…”?

    Earlier, Terrance (and I believe you) took exception to Ark’s mocking your points as unsupported and asinine. You all object to Ark saying such a thing, Terrance said…

    If they simply DIDN’T BELIEVE in a thing, why would they insult the very idea of it?

    Do you not see that the same thing can be said of you all? If you merely don’t believe in Ark’s beliefs, then why would you not only insult it, but claim that he’s going to suffer an eternity in misery and torture for his errors?

    Do you think it’s okay for you to mock and condemn their beliefs for reasons that you can’t support with hard data but not okay for them to do the same for you?

    Jiminy Cricket, guys, you’re embarrassing yourselves…

    ~Dan

  22. paynehollow says:

    So, John, just answer the question: Is this a fact? Do you, John Barron, speak for God on this point?

    It’s a heretic to ask this question?

  23. paynehollow says:

    And so, you can not be mistaken in how you interpret God?

    John, this is the heart of the problems that people have with fundamentalist-types. They presume too much, they are too arrogant in their positions. They are convinced that they are the ones who understand “god” and “right,” and that they can not be mistaken in their opinions.

    IF you are saying, “I personally take these parts of the Bible that use phrases like this pretty literally. It is my opinion that this is God saying that people who don’t accept Jesus in the right way will end up in hell. Now, it IS a human opinion and, as such, prone to being mistaken. Perhaps I’m wrong… I don’t think so, but I have no way whatsoever of proving that I am right… so, ultimately, it’s my unprovable opinion… but I do think I am correct…”

    If you are saying that, then it becomes fine. You are certainly welcome to your opinions and, while others might hold opinions that are different, that’s okay, no harm no foul. We all disagree on some points and on some points, we simply can’t prove our opinions one way or the other. So, holding an opinion – even firmly – is fine.

    It’s the moving from “it’s my opinion, I can’t prove it and I could be mistaken…” to “It’s a fact. I am just repeating what God has said to me…” that one moves from a normal person with an opinion to an irrational and arrogant person with delusions of grandeur.

    So, John, can you be mistaken in how you are interpreting these texts? Or is it, in your head, a “fact…”?

    Do you even get that this is the problem that people are having with the apparent arrogance of fundamentalists?

    ~Dan

  24. paynehollow says:

    So, are you incapable of being mistaken on this point, John?

    I’m not asking “Do you personally think it is clear?” I’m asking if you can be mistaken on this point or not? Is it a demonstrable fact?

    Why not answer the question that is asked of you?

    ~Dan

    • I think the answer you seek, Dan, is “No. There is no mistaking that Jesus referred to Himself as the only way to God.” Do you have some Biblical evidence to counter this clearly revealed truth? You know…from the Book of Truths?

  25. John,

    I used to think that Dan’s conception of human fallibility meant that man could be wrong about literally anything — with the obvious exception of Dan’s conception.

    From a discussion that was far longer than it needed to be, I learned that Dan believes that nothing can be known with true confidence unless it can also be proven or “demonstrated,” and though he acted as if his own position was knowable, he never tried to prove it.

    He denies the conclusion that God mumbles, but if he thinks that we cannot have any confidence about what we hear from God, the result is effectively the same.

    As I wrote in my last comment in that thread, “In being dogmatic on what the Bible clearly teaches, we’re not presuming to speak for God or His prophets and apostles: we’re preserving what they’ve already quite clearly communicated. We’re defending the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints.”

    But Dan seems adamant in denouncing us for doing so.

    Presumably he would be fine with our couching our position as some sort of tentatively held opinion, but he objects to our acting on the conviction that we can truly know any aspect of God’s revelation to man, beginning with God’s existence.

    Christians who act like philosophers speculating about the divine? That’s fine.

    Christians who act like evangelists and heralds, proclaiming what God has clearly communicated to us through Christ, His prophets, and His apostles? We’re arrogant fundamentalists.

    And if Dan wants to balk about my phrasing his position in a way he would not use himself, I’d point out that he routinely accuses me of treating the Bible as a rule book despite my emphatic objections. Consistency would require him to allow others to treat his position with the same contempt he has for the positions of others.

  26. paynehollow says:

    Bubba…

    “In being dogmatic on what the Bible clearly teaches, we’re not presuming to speak for God or His prophets and apostles: we’re preserving what they’ve already quite clearly communicated.

    Bubba, please demonstrate – with charts and pictures, if need be – the practical difference between “I’m just teaching what the Bible clearly teaches about what God wants…” and “I’m speaking for God and telling you the facts…” because it sounds like you’re saying the same thing I’ve said.

    Do you speak for God on these issues where you think the Bible “clearly teaches” something?

    Is it a fact that you have ascertained God’s view correctly?

    Bubba…

    Presumably he would be fine with our couching our position as some sort of tentatively held opinion

    I’ve never said “tentative” but yes, I am fine with you couching your opinions AS your opinions, not as fact or as God’s Word.

    Do you think that is irrational?

    Is it okay with you if I offer my opinions as being equivalent to fact and/or God’s Word? I mean, I read the Bible, too, and have for decades now.

    The fact is, our opinions about the Bible and our interpretations are our opinions. As long as you acknowledge this and you’re saying, “Well, this is my opinion,” then people will not object to you all nearly as much as when you move from that to, “I speak for God…” or even “I speak what God has clearly revealed… because when I speak about those things, it is the same as what God has said, because, after all, God clearly revealed it… to me…”

    When you try to claim opinions as facts and/or God’s Word, people will push back against that sort of arrogance and call it for being arrogant/presumptuous at best and delusional at worst. You ought not be surprised when people don’t bow down to your interpretations as if you are the messiah.

    pfff.

    ~Dan

    • “When you try to claim opinions as facts and/or God’s Word, people will push back against that sort of arrogance and call it for being arrogant/presumptuous at best and delusional at worst.”

      But people of honor will simply offer up counter evidence from Scripture to argue against what is put forth as Scriptural. That’s how it’s supposed to work, not by attacking the character of the opponent. Yes. What I say is what Scripture teaches and thus what God says. If I am wrong, demonstrate how. Don’t waste my time with this crapola regarding how it sounds to fictitious people you think comprise the majority of potential readers. You oppose my position. No kidding. Give an actual reason why it is wrong. You ought not be surprised when people don’t bow down to your whining about grace and such put forth instead of actual evidence to counter our position.

  27. paynehollow says:

    Marshall…

    But people of honor will simply offer up counter evidence from Scripture to argue against what is put forth as Scriptural.

    No. As a point of fact, no. That is not the only option for people of honor.

    People who treat the Bible as a Holy Magic 8 Ball will do this, but not people who don’t believe it to be “the book” from which we pull “rulings” on various topics. We just don’t treat the Bible that way, as it seems irrational and disrespectful.

    Indeed, why would an atheist “simply offer up counter evidence from Scripture…”? That’s just silly. People of good faith do not all treat the Bible the way you do.

    This gets back to the whole problem you all have of entering into these sorts of conversations with some personal, cultural presumptions in place and then you get unhappy if someone tries to discuss things with you if they don’t also share those presumptions.

    “That’s how it’s supposed to work…”???? Says who?!

    What is your source for that? You all just pull these presumptions out of your netherworld and expect people to bow to your claims as if they held some weight outside your own circles. They don’t.

    On what basis do you make the claim that “this is how it’s supposed to work…”?

    Do you have anything at all?

    Marshall…

    What I say is what Scripture teaches and thus what God says. If I am wrong, demonstrate how.

    I’ve done so. You are mistaken, as a point of fact, because you enter into reading the Bible and reasoning your way to moral values in a mistaken and irrational manner. That IS demonstrating how you are wrong.

    Look, I’ll even give you an example: If a person says “Hey, the bible teaches that we should not cut the hair on the side of your heads… ‘God Says…’ it, so we should not do it. It’s right there in Scripture!”

    …if they say that, they are mistaken because they are appealing to a verse from an ancient text, presuming that the text is a modern ruling. They are mistaken in doing so, there is no rational reason to think they are correct.

    You agree with this. But then, you grab other rulings and want to insist that those rulings are “facts…” but you err in the exact same way: In presuming a rule where it is not rational to find a rule.

    Done and done.

    ~Dan

  28. paynehollow says:

    Bubba…

    Presumably he would be fine with our couching our position as some sort of tentatively held opinion

    The hubris and presumption of privilege inherent in this statement is telling. It’s as if Bubba (and by extension, his more fundamentalist-type brethren and sistren) resents that people would dare insist that they treat their unprovable and sometimes quite questionable opinions as opinions, rather than facts. “But-but-but… of course our opinions are facts on these points. We can’t be mistaken… the Bible!”

    And the great irony is that they just don’t see the arrogance inherent in this approach to polite, respectful discourse.

    ~Dan

    • There is absolutely no arrogance is standing by an “opinion” or position supported by facts, such as the reference to passages and verses that say exactly what is said by the person making the comment. You would take this position as well if you had any passage or verse that did as much for you. Since you don’t, you spend your time questioning the source of authority or basis for accepting our meaning of the clearly understood words on the page. Our “opinions” are “facts” as they align with what Scripture says. If you disagree, then present your evidence as you demand that we do, and have done. It’s really that simple, Dan.

  29. ““That’s how it’s supposed to work…”???? Says who?!”

    Says someone who’s speaking of dealing with other alleged Christians. Not atheists. Try to focus. When I deal with such people, such as yourself, on questions of “God’s Will”, I refer to our only source for knowledge of that Will, the Holy Bible. Why would I go elsewhere when there is no other source for such information. Or do you have another source of info regarding the Will of God? What other method is available to us for basing ANY discussion on the Will of God? Don’t say “our reason”, because yours is suspect and even if it wasn’t, it would still rely on Scripture for any notion of what God might want for us.

    You again appeal to foolishness in your argument here. I’ve given reason from Scripture why some OT laws do not apply. These reasons are supported by Biblical scholars of all sorts from throughout history. But I have also pointed to NT verses that demonstrate why some laws do not apply and others that not only support why others do, but how they go farther than what people of that time believed before Christ explained it to them. Again, I have provided Scripture to support my position. To this you run with your now favored “by whose authority”, as if I need special permission to understand the plain teaching of Scripture.

    And you also default to the irrelevant “some people might believe” nonsense when you should be focusing on what I stated I believe only and attempt to show where I go wrong. It doesn’t matter in the least what other people believe, and I never use that useless ploy in demonstrating the falseness of your beliefs. I use Scripture.

    As for dealing with atheists, I rarely refer to Scripture in explaining my position on an issue, such as abortion, for example, until they choose to bring it up as a means of demonizing me in the hopes doing so will mitigate the truth of my position. ( and as for hacks like Arkie, he’s a waste of time because in his mind, the only sources and evidence that is legitimate is that which favors his position and he rejects all else that does not ).

  30. Hubris, arrogance, resentment, and the presumption of privilege: why, Dan, if I didn’t know any better, I’d have to conclude that you’re not being entirely honest when you take exception to people drawing negative conclusions about a person just from his writing.

    It’s almost as if your refrain about my presuming to take God’s place in reading people’s minds is horseshit.

    Do I dare face the possibility that someone, somewhere, will consider me arrogant for believing that God has clearly revealed Himself, and that the Bible clearly teaches God’s existence, Jesus’ historicity, the saving work of His death, and the necessity of His Resurrection?

    I guess I do. I guess that’s a risk I’m willing to take.

    • paynehollow says:

      As I keep making clear, I’m talking about your claims: IF you hold an unsupported and unproven opinion and you claim that this personal human opinion is equivalent to fact and/or God’s will, mental health workers will call that a delusion of grandeur. You’re supposing your perfection is more than reality will bear out.

      The claim is insane.

      ~Dan

      • But don’t you claim God is cool with loving homosexuality, based on the bible? And when discussing it you don’t give any indication that you aren’t speaking for God

        • paynehollow says:

          John, my claims about my opinions are always my opinions. I do no speak for God, nor do I claim my opinions are as facts.

          So, now that I’ve clarified that again: are your opinions about God’s will similarly your opinions or are they equal to God’s will and you can not be mistaken on them?

          ~Dan

          • And I’ll clarify for you yet again, Dan. Your opinions are assumed to be opinion or taken as a given. It is never at issue. What is at issue is how you support holding those opinions when they are in stark contrast to any and all references to the issue in Scripture. So, please stuff such talk about opinion and stop dodging the real challenge of how you defend those opinions. Your attempts to explain, as in your posts on SSM describing your “journey”, do not provide the persuasive detail you’d like to think it does. You balk at more in depth inquiry and default to “opinion” and “on whose authority”.

  31. paynehollow says:

    Marshall…

    Try to focus. When I deal with such people, such as yourself, on questions of “God’s Will”, I refer to our only source for knowledge of that Will, the Holy Bible.

    On what basis do you think the Bible is the “only source for knowledge of God’s will…”? Certainly not the Bible, because not only does the Bible not directly teach that, it teaches that there are multiple ways of knowing about God, including our much maligned God-given reasoning.

    Marshall…

    Why would I go elsewhere when there is no other source for such information.

    This claim is not supported by the actual data. It’s a false claim.

    Marshall…

    Or do you have another source of info regarding the Will of God? What other method is available to us for basing ANY discussion on the Will of God?

    This particular thread grew from my comment…

    “When you try to claim opinions as facts and/or God’s Word, people will push back against that sort of arrogance and call it for being arrogant/presumptuous at best and delusional at worst.”

    To which you responded with your…

    people of honor will simply offer up counter evidence from Scripture to argue against what is put forth as Scriptural. That’s how it’s supposed to work

    I was/am speaking of people claiming some religious belief/unsupported opinion as a “fact” or as being equivalent to “God’s Word…” When people of honor (including atheists, including people of other faiths, including Christians who disagree with your opinions) disagree with your claims of “facts” that are not facts, but opinions, none of us are obliged to go to the Bible to point out that your “facts” are not facts, but opinions.

    We’re talking about your words, not God’s Will. We don’t conflate your words with God’s Will. Do you? Because you keep using them interchangeably, as if they were one in the same.

    And that, Marshall, is insane, on the one hand, and blasphemous, on the other, so it’s not a good place to be arguing from. Perhaps you’ll want to clarify that these are your opinions, and that you don’t confuse your opinions with God’s Word or facts.

    ~Dan

  32. “On what basis do you think the Bible is the “only source for knowledge of God’s will…”? “

    There you go again with that deceitful “on what basis” crap. But OK. To answer: on the basis of your complete inability to name any other reliable source for that information. You would insist that our “God-given reasoning”, which in your case does not in the least bit impress, would reason out the the existence of the God of Scripture if there was never Scripture for us to study. I defy that as incredibly ludicrous and without basis. The most ludicrous aspect of it is your ironic statement that Scripture teaches it. And of course, you have demonstrated that what is likely is that without Scripture existing, your “God-given” reasoning would default to human understanding, such as the sciences, as it already does in telling you Genesis is not likely. In other words, you easily dismiss Scripture in favor of science, as if if human ability is god-like.

    “I was/am speaking of people claiming some religious belief/unsupported opinion as a “fact” or as being equivalent to “God’s Word…””

    So where’s your problem? I ain’t making shit up. I’m taking it directly from Scripture, citing passages and verses to support my position. I’m not, as you do, extrapolating based on corrupt and defective reasoning to come up with something that can be overturned by other passages or verses or you would have provided that game ending passage or verse. This isn’t rocket science here, Dan. Get serious.

    When people of honor disagree with the facts I’ve provided, they are compelled to look at the fact provided and deal with them on the same basis. If the fact I present is Scriptural, but not actually a fact, it should be easy enough to provide counter evidence from Scripture to dispel the notion. This is how it works. I give fact and the reason why I believe it to be so by providing Scriptural evidence, and my “honorable” opponent examines that evidence to see if it indeed supports my fact. Then, we can discuss the evidence. Honorable people don’t waste time with “on whose authority” questions, but get down to it. At worst, such people will back off as admit to be less sure but unable to say why at present, shelving the issue until an argument can be formulated or concession is given. This is how it works. So yes, you are indeed obliged to go the Bible to dispute my facts if I present my facts as based on the Bible’s teachings. The reality is that you lack that honor necessary to admit when you are wrong or you lack the knowledge and understanding of Scripture to prove I am.

    “We’re talking about your words, not God’s Will. We don’t conflate your words with God’s Will.”

    Good for you. Unfortunately for this idiotic and irrelevant point, my words are only God’s words when I can point out Gods’ words in Scripture that I am merely repeating for the edification of confused and ignorant people. I don’t suppose I know God’s will on any subject without Scriptural support to which I can reference, which I always do and you rarely do. And example of “conflating” would be in suggesting that the homosexual alternative for the definition of “marriage”, the union of any two people regardless of gender, is how marriage is understood by any of the authors of any book or letter in Scripture, and insisting then that God would approve of a “marriage” of two of the same gender. THAT is conflating your opinion with God’s will. As there is no indication of such a notion being in any way possible be a study of Scripture and the times in which it was written, this constitutes something far less credible than even a wild hunch. It is a lie. It is both insane AND blasphemous and is not an example of anything I ever do as regards speaking of God’s will. I defy you to provide an example of such conflation on my part. Good luck with that.

  33. A reply to https://siftingreality.com/2014/10/14/where-are-the-secular-accounts-of-the-life-and-miracles-of-jesus/#comment-133239

    Sometimes our beliefs can defy logic, and we’re okay with that because of how strongly those beliefs are held. It’s called faith.

    There you go, Ark – the entire problem with religion in a nutshell.

    Religious beliefs are not facts – just what you feel to be true, despite any evidence to the contrary. No amount of reason will budge a religious person from an unreasonable position.

    • Z,

      It might be unsatisfying for an answer like that. That’s not what I’d offer. However, you see that and conclude the belief is false. But that’s an unwarranted conclusion. For example, I could believe drinking bleach is toxic and could kill me because I had a dream where a turtle told me that. That’s a poor reason to believe drinking bleach is toxic, but the belief is true.

      I could believe the sun is 93 million miles from Earth either because I read it in a science book or because I read it while practicing voodoo rolling chicken bones. The relevant question is: is the sun actually 93 million miles away?

      Why someone believes something is true doesn’t have any impact on WHETHER it is true or not.

      • For example, I could believe drinking bleach is toxic and could kill me because I had a dream where a turtle told me that. That’s a poor reason to believe drinking bleach is toxic, but the belief is true.

        A dream would not suffice as evidence for that conclusion, and I think you’re smart enough to realize that. Our conclusion that drinking bleach is unhealthy can be easily demonstrated and doesn’t have to be taken on faith.

        Likewise, I don’t have to take it on faith that the sun is 93 million miles away – it can be proven with science.

        Why someone believes something is true doesn’t have any impact on WHETHER it is true or not.

        Yes, religious followers illustrate this perfectly. Faith, dreams and hearsay are not evidence for one’s beliefs – yet that seems to be all that is ever presented. Just because you want it or believe it to be true doesn’t make it true.

        • You seem to be missing something. I said dreams and faith doesnt prove it’s true, but thats not whats important. Whats important is whether its true.

          We both believe the sun is 93 million miles away. that the sun is that far away is true no matter why we believe it or whether we can prove it to someone else’s satisfaction.

          • But if I were to assert that the sun is only 1 million miles away, would you believe me? Would you take it on faith or would you ask me to prove it?

            Claims require evidence.

            It doesn’t matter what you believe – it matters what you can prove.

            • Then you can’t make any assertions about the sun’s distance because YOU can’t prove any distance as you have not measured it. You’d be taking your info 2nd hand hearsay by people who made estimates, not actual measurements.

              • That’s a legitimate rebuttal for someone who clearly doesn’t understand what constitutes actual evidence. I pity you, John.

              • @John
                But Zqtx could learn how to measure the distance – using …wait for it …science.
                How the hell (sic) are you going to demonstrate the claim that the biblical character Jesus of Nazareth is the creator of the universe?
                I am almost convinced there must be special classes for the level of stupidly you lot repeatedly demonstrate.

              • Ark

                But Zqtx could learn how to measure the distance – using …wait for it …science.

                Unless he experiences it himself, he is relying on the testimony of people he deems credible.

              • No, He can learn, just as you have learned ) I assume you have) to add and take away.
                The speed if light etc …. You know about this right?

              • so whats the exact distance

              • Sorry? Are you asking a science question John?
                How is that related to the statement you made previously?

              • It relates because you do what you condemn the religious for. You know the speed of light because someone else told you what it is. You didnt calculate anything. Then you had to presume their trustworthiness.

                You claim science is all powerful and all knowing. (where have I heard that before?). My point is that judging Christianity to be false simply because many people blindly believe it is an unwarranted conclusion. In fact, people believe many things for a variety of reasons that doesnt make the object of their belief, or their conclusion, false.

              • But the speed of light can be shown, demonstrated tested,
                I can learn it. It is maths and the same criteria applies to everyone. Even you, believe it or not.

                I have NEVER, ever in my life claimed science is all powerful,and all knowing and if you state this you are a chuffing lying SOB.

                Christianity is judged to be false largely because of its core tenets : that the person you genuflect to, the biblical character, Jesus of Nazareth is the creator of the universe.
                There are of course biblical and other scientific issues, but this is one of the main things.

                When you have the balls to step up to the plate and offer a scrap of evidence for this claim then people will sit up and listen.
                So, evidence , John. Got any?

              • What are the biblical and scientific issues ark?

                And whats the exact distance to the sun, surface to surface?

              • Lol… Creationism is your friend. Hug a vegetarian dinosaur today!

                Exact distance? Phew ….you planning a trip?

              • And whats the exact distance to the sun, surface to surface?

                Sorry, John. I forgot to answer your question. The distance is 1 AU.

  34. paynehollow says:

    The difference being, John, that we could demonstrate to the person who wants to drink bleach that doing so is, indeed, harmful and not a wise idea. If he accepts demonstrable data, he won’t drink it.

    But, if he places more confidence in his dream than in hard, demonstrable data, he may well choose to ignore reality in favor of his dream. Which is fine if he’s making that fatal choice for himself, no problems (well, except for him).

    But when you insist that your opinions about your unprovable hunches are equivalent to facts and/or God’s Word and are true – regardless of data – and everyone should (or must, if you legislate the ideas) agree with your unprovable opinions, you’ve moved to a different place.

    We don’t mind you holding your unprovable opinions for yourself, but you should have the decency to admit you have no hard data to suggest we should agree with you and to not try to legislate it or intimidate others into agreeing with you with the threat of hell.

    If you’re merely saying, “This is my unprovable opinion, but you should believe whatever makes most sense to you…” then that is fine.

    If you’re saying, “No, I can’t prove this, but it is a fact and I’m speaking for God/what God has said… and I may even implement these beliefs by law…” that is not okay.

    Which are you saying, John? Are these notions your unprovable opinions, or do you think they are equivalent to facts and/or God’s Will?

    it’s time to answer to demonstrate if you’re a bleach drinker – and one who wants to pus that on others – or a rational person, grounded in reality.

    ~Dan

Any Thoughts?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: