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User: Benjamin Williamson

2007-09-10
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Posted in Christianity (enought proof??) on 2009-11-02 23:36:00

First of all, you make a serious error in saying that the gospels were not contemporaries of Jesus in which they are because they are written by eyewitness accounts or were directed by eyewitnesses of Jesus' life and ministry. They cover things about Jesus that are known to have happened in the 1st century that is also shown from other outside sources such as Josephus and Tacitus and others as well. It is true that some of the accounts of Josephus suffered from interpolation, but the majority of scholars today will concede that most of what he writes of is compatible with 1st century AD history. He not only writes of Jesus on 2 occasions but also mentions other people that are mentioned in the Gospels such as, Herod the Great, Caiphais, and John the Baptist and others as well. Tacitus for example, lived in the early second century or late first century and covered a great deal of the history of Rome especially during the time of Emperor Nero who was the first to persecute Christians. He mentions the Christians by also making a reference to Jesus in the following words, "called Christians [or Chrestians; see below] by the populace. Christus, from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of our procurators, Pontius Pilatus, and a most mischievous superstition, thus checked for the moment, again broke out not only in Judaea, the first source of the evil, but even in Rome...". One Arabic translated manuscript of Josephus' work was found a few centuries back and was dated to the tenth century and has a more accurate rendering of what Josephus said, "For he says in the treatises that he has written in the governance of the Jews: "At this time there was a wise man who was called Jesus, and his conduct was good, and he was known to be virtuous. And many people from among the Jews and the other nations became his disciples. Pilate condemned him to be crucified and to die. And those who had become his disciples did not abandon their loyalty to him. They reported that he had appeared to them three days after his crucifixion, and that he was alive. Accordingly they believed that he was the Messiah, concerning whom the Prophets have recounted wonders" - Shlomo Pines' translation, quoted by J. D. Crossan. To say there is no evidence that says that Jesus never existed. To say such a thing is speaking from ignorance. Pontius Pilate by the way did exist in the first century as he is also referenced by Josephus, the New Testament writers, and an archaeological discovery also confirmed his existence. It is a limestone that has his name on it with an inscription to Caesar.

There is no hearsay about the miracles that Jesus did because they are recorded by people who were eyewitnesses of his life or were guided by eyewitnesses (Luke and Mark).

Saying Jesus was just a legendary figure invented by his disciples is only a theory. No offense but you obviously have not seriously looked into the background of the New Testament and are not familiar with ancient history in terms of accuracy and historical facts. I am sorry, but if you compare the New Testament (which is by the way ancient history) to other works written about other famous people in the past (Alexander the Great, Mohammed, etc) the New Testament completely embarresses other ancient works in its reliability because of the following reasons: The New Testament has been amazingly corrobarated by archaeological discoveries, has been corrobarated by other ancient sources of people, places, and events, and is overwhelming in manuscript reliability. The New Testament with Greek manuscripts, alone, has 5,700 manuscripts and the closest ancient work that comes the closest is Homer's Illiad which has 643 manuscripts and the earliest copy of the manuscript from the time it was written is away from about 900 years from the original writings. The New Testament on the other hand, is dated much earlier and has more manuscripts to back up its reliability in this case: One manuscript fragment was found and its called the John Papyrus fragment it's the earliest copy of the Gospel of John which scholars say was written in 90 AD. The earliest copy has been placed to possibly 23 years after the original was written!

Dude, there is no other ancient works that has that many corroborations other than the New Testament. It is not my opinion but is the fact that is held to by the vast majority of scholars today on the New Testament. By the way, not all New Testament scholars are Evangelical Christians. There are skeptics as well.

You mentioned about Jesus being a legend and all. There was a study done on ancient history in terms of different works and such and figures mentioned in the works on how much time would be needed for legendary corruption to creep in. Several scholars have said that you would have to go beyond 2-3 generations or centuries before reaching legendary corruption. To say that Jesus was a mythical figure and not a historical person is an argument from ignorance and lack of education in ancient history, with all due respect. Before you make objections, make sure you consult sources that are not tainted with anti-supernatural bias and who have an atheistic agenda. All that I just mentioned is completely supported by Modern day New Testament scholarship irregardless if you're a Christian or not. it's completely objective historical analysis. Let me know what you think.

Posted in What do you think about...? on 2009-07-24 07:40:58

You also have to understand that there were certain cultural standards Paul felt compelled to meet. Like when he said it's a shame for a man to have long hair. He never implied it's a sin but rather something one would not do in public or even in that culture. "Long hair" is strictly preferential and cultural because every culture has its own standards and traditions in regards to that. I believe there's a huge difference between teaching and preaching. Going back to cultural standards, you have to realize what kind of social standing women had in Jewish culture. It was even said to Rabbis that it would be better if the Torah be burned than to be in the hands of a woman. Women were not counted on to deliver any message in whatsoever shape or form. I think Paul still held fast to some cultural traditions even when he had the purest intentions. I don't believe that is mean to fully apply to women in our society because of 1 - the cultural differences and 2 - how we go about in different ministries in church. I strongly believe that women should or rather must teach because who is going to teach and help the younger women in the Lord? There are issues that only women can talk about with women only. That's why we have women counselors, Sunday School teachers, and etc. There's a big difference between doing that and being the pastor of the flock! That's where the man in his natural leadership role comes into play and does what has been designated by God for him to do. That's my take on the whole women's role in church.

Posted in Christianity (enought proof??) on 2009-07-23 20:10:04

Dan, you seriously need to do your research of historical facts that completely back up the Bible in a historical setting. One, a cuneiform tablet was discovered in the late 1800s by a Italian archaeologist with an inscription mentioning Jerusalem's capture by Babylon by Nebuchadnezzar II in 597 BC. I have personally researched many events and have found it to be true. You have to remember that not everything that has happened in history itself has been documented. And just because you and I weren't there does not mean it didn't happen. There are many records of proving Jesus' existence. I can send you many different historic accounts of that. I am the kind of guy who cannot believe in something just to make myself feel better about it. It has to be tested and validated to be seen whether it can be trusted or not. Yes there are uncertainties in the Bible that I am aware of and that I am not able to validate at this moment. But what I can validate is that Jesus was a historical figure, people did see Him perform miracles, Roman sources confirm that He was indeed crucified by Pontius Pilate during the reign of Tiberius Caesar (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pontius_Pilate#The_.22Pilate_Inscription.22_or_.22Pilate_Stone.22_from_Caesarea), and that He was resurrected from the dead three days later. All those events are recorded in historians' handwritten accounts. And keep in mind that the majority of these historicans were not even Christians. They just merely reported the facts. Take the gospels for themselves! If someone was going to fabricate a story about Christ being resurrected, then why would he use a woman to do that? Woman had no legal standing in Jesus' day. They were not even allowed to testify in a court of law. But once again, even skeptics who were willing to research the evidence with an open mind ALL came to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. One last fact, did you know that the New Testament has more manuscript evidence than ANY other piece of ancient literature? It alone has over 5,000 Greek manuscripts. I hope and pray that you will consider the facts with an open mind and be willing to consider all the factors.

Posted in For Christians on 2007-09-11 07:23:51

Yeah guys it's sad to know about these facts being so true in our so called "Christian" society today. But I personally believe that we don't have to be persecuted in order to have a passion to tell others about Christ but thanks you all for your responses! I appreciate it and please anyone post a message and express your thoughts.