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Thread: jesus in genesis?

  1. #16
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    Default Re: jesus in genesis?

    The problem is that these entities possess independent identities (or persons) which manifest in the form of separate wills. (i.e. Luke 22:42 "Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.")

    If all three minds are free agents with the ability to manifest separate wills according to their own personal dispositions, in what way are they truly contingent upon this "ultimate mind"?.....And if indeed they exist as separate, independent entities possessing separate wills, can we truly say that three independent entities are in fact one entity without committing an error in logic? Without demonstrating a more concrete contingency between the sub minds in relation to the "ultimate mind", I'm disinclined to agree that these separate entities are indeed three congruous expressions of one singular mind.

    Christ possesses two separate and distinct wills you say? One earthly and one divine? If so, I find it striking that the human will was able to triumph over the will of the divine so thoroughly and manifest itself to such an extent that Christ fails to drawn any distinction whatsoever between these two supposed wills. Moreover, he goes further to distinguish his own will as separate from that of the father's (a separate entity)...again, making no reference to a divine will inside himself, which somehow remains both the father's, the spirit's and his own simultaneously. Instead he states a resolve to deny his own personal will in order to adhere to a will which is, yet again, by his own admission, not his own.. His words were not "Not my human will but OUR divine will be done." but "Not MY will (singular, possessive) but YOUR will (again, in reference to a will apart from his own) be done." The references to separate yet co-existing wills demonstrates, rather conclusively, that no one shared will existed between the father and the son. Siting doctrines may indeed seem a convenient way to avoid this discrepancy in your argument, but the context of the passage offers testimony against your position and seems to speak unambiguously of the fact that Christ possessed but one will...his own. This coupled with other sections of scripture where Christ draws distinctions between his will and the father's, such as:

    Christ's supposed human will overpowers his divine will to the point that he is moved to issue a request contrary the divine will of the father (which Christ supposedly also shares). In the moment the request is issued, the divine will is suppressed in order to make provision for the human will to convey its desire. I find that interesting.

    Then perhaps the passage ought to have read "Not my human will but my divine will be done"? The fact that Christ references the father's (divine) will as a will separate and distinct from his own does not speak well for your argument.

    God split himself into three entities so he can keep himself company? Sounds like some cosmic equivalent of multiple personality disorder.

    This is not the same at all. The Trinity is presented as three physically/mentally separate entities, not simply three aspects of the same person. Jesus is alleged to have walked the earth as a man who prayed to God as a being apart from himself. I certainly would not describe myself like this (unless I had a multiple personality disorder).

    Didn't the 'nature of man' know he was also 'the son' and would as such be praying to himself?

    Three persons who exist apart from one another in three separate forms are three separate entities by definition....

    1. A thing with distinct and independent existence.

    The fact remains that we are still referring to three separate and distinct HUMAN BEINGS Tom. Three entities. To state that all three are ONE human being would be an error in logic.

    In other words, we have three entities, separate and distinct by virtue of their personal, independent, and idiosyncratic will.. A will, which in turn prompts, independent and varied actions performed of each entity's own volition.

    Are you saying that divinity does not consist of certain attributes or qualities which define it? How then is it distinguishable? Consider the essence of humanity. Its properties are what render it distinguishable from other essences. The capacity for language, artistic creativity, great feats of ingenuity, bi-pedal motion...all of these, and more, combine to form the essence which defines humanity. In the same way, omnipotence, omnipresence and omniscience, are at least key properties of the essence which defines divinity

    Two separate wills, one intent. 2 Gods, one essence. Not 2 persons, one God.

    Curious....What exactly did Christ "empty himself" of? Surely not his divinity...right? That would make your claim that Christ was fully divine and fully man a bit absurd.

    This is emblematic of the two minds dilemma...Logic dictates that two separate and distinct minds ( one possessing knowledge the other does not) cannot exist as one person (person hood being a product of mind).

    Do the logical fallacies never cease? Tom, 3 separate consciousnesses ( or minds) cannot be one mind, lest they cease to be 3 separate minds. 3 minds can be privy to the same knowledge, and possess equal power, and even possess omnipresence (so long as they are immaterial in nature) without actually becoming one mind. If your intention is to say that these minds are "one" in the sense that they are equal in knowledge, power, and presence then yes, they are "one"...but strictly in a poetic sense. If you assert that these 3 minds are truly 1 mind in a literal sense then logic will not support your conclusion.

    Divinity is a property common to all three, but it is not a shared property. Annie, Betty and Charlie all have blue eyes, a common property — if it were a shared property, they'd have one pair of blue eyes between the three of them.

    That is EXACTLY the point I'm making Thomas and the context of my rebuttal, along with the analogy I presented, clearly demonstrate it. I submitted that you refer to one SHARED common essence or property. If you must nit pick, then for your satisfaction I will defer to the precise terminology you fancy. Make no mistake however, the intent behind my use of the word "shared" aligned perfectly with what you've posted above.

    Wrong. The father, son and spirit share a common intent, yet their wills remain distinctly their own by virtue of their individuality. Thus they are three separate individuals who separately will with common intent. They are not one, literal God possessing one singular will. Like it or not Thomas, we are in accord.

    Then you assert that God can lack these attributes while remaining divine? If so, how could such a being be the creator of all things? How can a being exist infinite in its totality if not for the presence of these attributes? A total and absolute infinite nature demands these qualities Thomas.

    Two wills represent two separate and distinct minds (which as you stated in your previous post, posses differing degrees of knowledge), they therefore cannot logically exist as one complete person. 2 cannot be one. To suggest that two minds, possessing differing degrees of knowledge, can exist as one person (personality being a product of mind) is a flagrant violation the law of non-contradiction. Or are you suggesting that Jesus suffered from multiple personality disorder? Even this defies logic given that one suffering from multiple personality disorder cannot exist FULLY as two personalities simultaneously.

    Three wills (minds), one intent....One God?! Where on earth do you derive that notion. 3 separate and distinct persons, each possessing a separate and distinct mind, cannot exits as one being (God). They are three not one. You can't just throw "one God" in there and expect that I'll over look the brazen logical fallacy you require in order to argue for your preferred doctrinal interpretation of the trinity.

    Inhabiting a body does not make two minds one person, for personality is a product of the is the will. Thus both 2 minds and 2 wills cannot exist as one person in any literal sense. Regardless of whether you stuff them into one body. The separate knowledge and will reflected by one mind will produce a personality separate and distinct from the personality produced by the other. The two can never be one, according to logic.

    Wow're digging deep here. What is a mind? The capacity to know. Thus a mind is prior to knowledge. What is a will? It is intent instructed by knowledge. Can I will to do something I don't know about Thomas? Could Christ "will" to go to the Cross if he didn't KNOW what salvation was....or what a cross was for that matter? You're being silly, its quite obvious that minds will what they know. Thus, a will is predicated upon knowledge, which, in turn, is predicated upon a mind. If a mind does not know, it cannot will. Are you sure it is I who lacks understanding here?

    Good, then omnipotence, omnipresence, and omniscience are necessary qualities God must possess in order to exist as a infinite being with the capacity to be powerful, to be present, and to know. These characteristics define the biblical God's infinitude...without them, God is not the biblical God as you have defined him.

    God cannot be totally absolute if he lacks even one of these qualities. Consider omnipotence, if God lacks omnipotence, then God is not infinitely powerful...therefore God is not absolutely infinite to the fullest degree. The absence of one, effects the whole of what God is said to be. It is the presence of ALL the elements which comprise God's infinite nature, which make him absolutely whole.

    why would the creator of the universe utilize violence, apply it on himself to cool down ? cool down because all humans in his eyes from unborn to babies to adults = "your deeds are like menstrual blood"
    if sabath was created for man and sacrifice was also created for man, how does it apply to a god who can't LOSE anythi ng? the whole point of sacrificing your billions of dollars and then living in a card board box is LOSING your billions of dollars and living in a card board box not for 7 minuites but for your entire life.
    Last edited by ali; 20th January 2012 at 11:14.

  2. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by ali View Post
    Substitutive Sacrifice

    As a result of original sin we cannot pay for our crimes and survive the process, which is to say that we deserve hell for our corruption and disobedience. Fortunately, Jesus ‘bore the sins of the whole world on the cross.’ A sinless person was allowed to undergo the (spiritual) death penalty that we deserve for our sins. This despite the fact that a moral debt, unlike an abstract monetary one, can’t be transferred. There are two conceivable parts of a monetary debt: the money owed, and the moral obligation the debtor might feel that would turn to guilt were the debtor incapable of paying the money and to suffer a conscientious reaction. In a sense, a debtor who finds herself incapable of returning the money owes both money and guilt, a kind of psychological recognition of fault. Were a debtor to find herself broke, and to fail to produce both the money and the consequent guilt the creditor would feel doubly cheated: first for the lack of the proper monetary payment, and second for the lack of the proper emotional response to the debtor’s fault. A debtor might try to substitute for the money owed a recognition of fault with overflowing guilt.

    Imagine a wealthy and selfless replacement debtor (RD) who offers to pay what a destitute debtor owes. The RD could conceivably offer to supply both the money and the guilt. The creditor would have no trouble accepting the money, as long as the money were legally obtained. Money, after all, is abstract: the value attached to a hundred dollar bill has nothing to do with any qualitative superiority of the bill over a mere one dollar bill. The value of money is fixed in abstraction. But would the creditor accept the RD’s display of guilt on behalf of the poor debtor? The moral value of guilt, unlike the value of money, is fixed by the context in which the guilt is expressed. Imagine a hero who after saving twenty children from a burning building responds to her own heroism with a heart-aching display of guilt. Since guilt would be a misplaced emotion under these circumstances, the guilt would have no moral value. On the contrary this "guilt" would be evidence of a disturbed mind. The moral value of guilt, like any emotion, depends on the circumstances under which it’s displayed.

    The primary condition of the moral value of guilt is that the person who displays it must be the same person who owes it. To test this, imagine the RD producing a fine torrent of guilt, complete with tearful eyes and a shame-faced apology, all on behalf of the real debtor, the one who entered into a contract to return a sum of money, who shook hands with the creditor, taking on a personal as well as a legal responsibility. What value could the creditor place on this display of guilt, even if it appeared genuine and heartfelt, so long as it issued, as it were, from the wrong heart? The reason the RD’s guilt would be morally worthless is that guilt is the recognition of one’s own wrongdoing. A thousand other people could be well aware of the debtor’s fault, but only the debtor’s own sorrowful self-acknowledgement would be properly called "guilt." The notion of stand-in guilt is incoherent. Such guilt could at best be a simulation, at worst a fraud, a bogus, superficial display.

    Likewise the value of punishment, again unlike monetary value, depends fundamentally on the identity of the punishment’s recipient. A replacement convict might offer to undergo the criminal’s punishment, and might succeed in producing genuine suffering. But this suffering would have no moral value, because the fundamental point of punishment is to pay back to the criminal what she is owed. This is the element of retaliation at the heart of all punishment, even of the sort that may serve other functions, such as rehabilitation, vindication of the law or the appeasement of a watchful deity. Retaliation is central to many Christian theories of the atonement. Instead of repaying sinners the harm we have caused with our disobedience, a substitute is produced who offers to accept our ‘sin debt,’ ‘bear our guilt,’ and fulfil our responsibility with his own life. Jesus’ death was God’s payback for our sin, and that’s why the atonement took the form of a violent execution: the misery our sin causes is returned to the sin bearer. Even granting that Jesus was innocent, produced genuine suffering, and died, there is still the problem of the uselessness of his whole endeavour. What is the moral value of a replacement punishment, inflicted not on the offender but on someone who has nothing to do with the crime and who is in fact guiltless? Again, the notion of substitutive punishment is incoherent because punishment, even as defined by many Christian theories of the atonement, involves repayment, which means returning to the offender what is owed her. The "re" in "repayment" and "retaliation" refers to the aiming of punishment towards the offender, the one to whom punishment is owed. Hence the concept of substitutive retaliation is incoherent.

    ...... ..

  3. #18
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    Default Re: jesus in genesis?

    christians INSULT GOD

    Functional laws

    You can't help being naughty and god sent the law to help, but it didn't, meaning you have to die, so he sent his son to die in your place because god couldn't just send functional laws or change his mind or know what he was doing in the first place

    DO the JEWS SEE solomon, abraham, moses jovb and other prophets SYMBOLICALLY killing/burning/cutting/SACRIFICING god to god in thier ANIMAL offerings?

    A god sacrificing himself makes sense??

    If G-d doesn't need anything then why are there sacrifices at all? The answer is that MANKIND needs sacrifices to understand the value of life. By giving something of value and realizing that it could easily have been our life that was forfeit instead of the sacrifice. Via kosher sacrifice we experience the emotional response that mortal life is fleeting and can be gone in an instance. We may only sacrifice things we OWN -- thus giving up something of value for the betterment of our spiritual selves.

    The value in sacrifice is in giving of ourselves (the best of our selves, read Genesis 4:7) and the understanding that we owe everything, including our very lives, to Him.

    This is why we sacrifice to G-d. Man is the one who NEEDS, not G-d. If the value in sacrifice is in the experience of giving of OURSELVES how does a god sacrificing himself for some nebulous reason make sense?


    Did God decide that blood is the antidote for sin or did he discover it had special powers after he created it? Or was this some kind of cosmic rule that God utilized for his own means?

    God felt grief?

    Additionally, how can an immutable and timeless God feel grief? Such a being would have to change states and enter time to perform any action, including feeling something.

    Also, how can an infinite being be harmed? If God is infinite and we are finite, then shouldn't our harms be finite? After all, Bill Gates is almost not harmed at all by the loss of a dollar. How should God be harmed if he has infinite value?

    “God is grieved when we sin against Him.”

    An infinitely wise and all knowing God feels distress? Really? Is this the same God would be no less great and would be lacking nothing had he not created us? The same God who can destroy us like a potter breaking the pots he made?

    Would the potter feel distressed breaking the pots he made? Would God feel distress for not having created us? Then why would he feel distressed if we disobey his rules?


    God the Father is re-directing his wrath away from us and turning it instead against god the son.

    This is 'absorption' only in the sense in which a self-abuser 'absorbs' the knife blade with which he is slicing his own flesh!

    So what do we conclude?

    Well, it looks like jesus did not die on the cross so that God could forgive us.

    Forgiveness had nothing to do with it.

    Instead, he died so that god could let off some steam.

    …next time, it might be easier if you just booked in to see a therapist.


    It's kind of like telling your kids to clean their messy room and that if you find one speck of dust anywhere you will ground them for a week. Do you really think anyone believes the child is capable of cleaning his room to that extent? Of course not. But you have made perfectly clear to the child that you want a spic and span room.


    How is God harming Himself conducive to forgiveness? I mean, if a person is forgiven there is generally no harm ever needed. But in God's case, He is so constrained as to need to hurt himself and pay an infinite price? That seems absurd

    "His innocence is offended."

    God knows all crimes that have happened, will happen, or even all of the crimes that could happen. Additionally, the nature of a sin is based upon His decree…What do you mean by "innocence"? Additionally, if He can stop all acts or change their nature then why must His innocence ever be harmed in the first place? If He defines guilt, then innocence is just an arbitrary mood. If He knows all things, then he knows all evils, so an actual evil is only different by its physical instantiation, but not any matter of knowledge as it is with human beings and our own perception of innocence. Additionally, God isn't helpless, so it is not as if He could not defend Himself, or even prevent all evils from ever coming to pass


    Forgiveness, which is a virtue, is letting go or dismissing a wrong done against you without exacting any payment or punishment. God apparently cannot do this. He can only "forgive" you if someone else makes the payment or takes the punishment in your place. Then he "forgives" you. In my opinion, that is not true forgiveness. It is getting even. It is getting reimbursed. It is getting recompensed.

    will you NAIL the innocent EVEN IF THEY ARE WILLING?

    To test this conclusion, imagine you are charged with the task of locating a convicted criminal so that punishment might be inflicted on her. The criminal, however, has hid herself in a large crowd of a thousand innocent people who all happen to be perfectly willing to accept the criminal’s liability and undergo her punishment. To get a better view you fly over the crowd in a helicopter. Looking down at the crowd, knowing that all but one of the people below would gladly accept the payment, and that you could swoop down and snatch any of these willing people instead of the criminal, would you not still burn the helicopter’s fuel searching for that one guilty person who actually deserves the punishment? Anyone who would continue the search despite the multitude of would-be lambs of God would seem to believe that punishment is worthwhile only if it’s carried out against the right person, the criminal whose misdeed should be repaid in kind

    It glorifies suffering and encourages a victim mentality.

    Fifth, a rising chorus charges that Christian ideas of atonement foster toxic psychological and social effects. [...] In exalting Christ's death, do we not glorify innocent suffering and encourage people to passively accept roles as surrogate sufferers for others, "in imitation of Christ"? What earthly despot would not be glad to have the weak and oppressed adopt this as their spiritual ideal? By making the cross God's recipe for salvation, do we validate violence as a divine way of doing business? A theology that has the heavenly Father punish his innocent son to redeem the world looks uncomfortably to some like a charter for child abuse, with an innocent son sent to bear the wrath of a "heavenly father" to make things right for the entire extended family.

    Its main feature, a bloody sacrifice, is foreign and repulsive in our culture.

    First, such doctrine always trades in the language of sacrifice. Increasing numbers of people find this language empty, literally unintelligible, or actively offensive. The first time I visited the Kali temple in Calcutta, I literally stepped in pools of blood from a sacrificed goat. I felt revulstion, and yet I saw the irony in that reaction. I have attended worship services all my life in which people talked and sang about blood shed for me. I never walked away with any on my shoes before. If I was comfortable with the abstract idea, why did I shrink from the reality? (p. 23).

    Only the one who commits the offense can atone for it.

    Suppose my watch has been taken from my pocket; I lay hold of the thief; he is dragged before the magistrate, proved guilty, and sentenced to a just imprisonment: must I walk home satisfied with the result? Have I had justice done me? The thief may have had justice done him—but where is my watch? That is gone, and I remain a man wronged. Who has done me the wrong? The thief. Who can set right the wrong? The thief, and only the thief; nobody but the man that did the wrong. God may be able to move the man to right the wrong, but God himself cannot right it without the man. Suppose my watch found and restored, is the account settled between me and the thief? I may forgive him, but is the wrong removed? By no means. But suppose the thief to bethink himself, to repent. He has, we shall say, put it out of his power to return the watch, but he comes to me and says he is sorry he stole it and begs me to accept for the present what little he is able to bring, as a beginning of atonement: how should I then regard the matter? Should I not feel that he had gone far to make atonement—done more to make up for the injury he had inflicted upon me, than the mere restoration of the watch, even by himself, could reach to? Would there not lie, in the thief’s confession and submission and initial restoration, an appeal to the divinest in me—to the eternal brotherhood? Would it not indeed amount to a sufficing atonement as between man and man? If he offered to bear what I chose to lay upon him, should I feel it necessary, for the sake of justice, to inflict some certain suffering as demanded by righteousness? I should still have a claim upon him for my watch, but should I not be apt to forget it? He who commits the offence can make up for it—and he alone.

    In saying that the suffering of an innocent makes satisfaction to God's justice, one is saying that God's justice requires that someone suffer. It then becomes the suffering itself that somehow satisfies God.

    But what shall we say adequate to confront the base representation that it is not punishment, not the suffering of the sinner that is required, but suffering! nay, as if this were not depth enough of baseness to crown all heathenish representation of the ways of God, that the suffering of the innocent is unspeakably preferable in his eyes to that of the wicked, as a make-up for wrong done! nay, again, ‘in the lowest deep a lower deep,’ that the suffering of the holy, the suffering of the loving, the suffering of the eternally and perfectly good, is supremely satisfactory to the pure justice of the Father of spirits! Not all the suffering that could be heaped upon the wicked could buy them a moment’s respite, so little is their suffering a counterpoise to their wrong; in the working of this law of equivalents, this lex talionis, the suffering of millions of years could not equal the sin of a moment, could not pay off one farthing of the deep debt. But so much more valuable, precious, and dear, is the suffering of the innocent, so much more of a satisfaction—observe—to the justice of God, that in return for that suffering another wrong is done: the sinners who deserve and ought to be punished are set free.

    I know the root of all that can be said on the subject; the notion is imbedded in the gray matter of my Scotch brains; and if I reject it, I know what I reject. For the love of God my heart rose early against the low invention. Strange that in a Christian land it should need to be said, that to punish the innocent and let the guilty go free is unjust! It wrongs the innocent, the guilty, and God himself. It would be the worst of all wrongs to the guilty to treat them as innocent. The whole device is a piece of spiritual charlatanry—fit only for a fraudulent jail—delivery. If the wicked ought to be punished, it were the worst possible perversion of justice to take a righteous being however strong, and punish him instead of the sinner however weak. To the poorest idea of justice in punishment, it is essential that the sinner, and no other than the sinner, should receive the punishment. The strong being that was willing to bear such punishment might well be regarded as worshipful, but what of the God whose so-called justice he thus defeats? If you say it is justice, not God that demands the suffering, I say justice cannot demand that which is unjust, and the whole thing is unjust. God is absolutely just, and there is no deliverance from his justice, which is one with his mercy. The device is an absurdity—a grotesquely deformed absurdity.


    And, more importantly, how can something be "truly God" and "truly man," when "truly God" trumps "truly man" and what does that mean in terms of a redemptive sacrifice of one's own self, even if that self is just a lesser part? I cut off my arm as a sacrifice to myself in order to save you from my wrath? Is that the thrust here? Because I require a sacrifice in order to save you (a blood sacrifice, no less) and that sacrifice has to be "pure" in order for it to work in my mind, I therefore cut off my own arm (a "pure" arm) in order to satisfy my own requirments, therefore making the requirement larger than myself?

    The death of the flesh has nothing to offer the world of the spirit.

    how does the death of the flesh alter the world of the spirit? And how does the death of the flesh effect the world of the flesh? This is the part of the passion narrative which makes absolutely no sense. We return back to the idea of the sacrificial goat; if you sacrifice a goat to God, as stated in Leviticus 16, what does that death accomplish? How is the decay of matter effecting the outside world? How is that same decaying matter interacting with the world of the spirit? What influence can that possibly have and, more importantly, why would you want that action–the decay of matter–to be your link to something supremely amazing?

  4. #19
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    WEll, they got their god doing his "righteous self abuse of the flesh" for dirty teleevangelists and they (teleevangelists) can always DEPEND on god using his WRATH on himself and BELIEVE init without receiving any punishment because 2000 years ago god created flesh , hid in it, did his WORKS to himself and rewardhimself and all this works as an SHIELD /GUARD /intermediary for the teleevangelists who go on sinning and are STAINED with sin.isn't it funny that when teleevangelists do these funny business/nitty gritty they got TO LOOK AT THE WORKS of the PAST PROPHETS TO REFORM themselves HAHAHAHAHAAHAAHAHAHAHA AHAHA

  5. #20
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    history kills christianity. hundreds and thousands of people have WILLINGLY GIVEN up thier lives to SAVE others. was god trying to be a competitive olympics god by trying to say to people, "you can't give up your life like i can give up my life to myself for my pleasure/satisfaction/appeastment"

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  9. #24
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    did the ot predict the christian gods brutal murder?

    Did Ehrman Fail to Mention that Some Sources Attest a Christian Belief That Jesus Died a Century Before Pilate?

    Yes, he did. Ehrman doesn’t deny this. He simply claims that when he said “the view of all of our sources that deal with the matter at all” (on p. 251) he didn’t mean all of our sources that deal with the matter at all. (See a trend here?) Even if we believe Ehrman “knew” that all those sources existed and date Jesus as they do, and he just chose not to mention them (even though they are directly pertinent to the hypothesis Wells was arguing), because he was “only” referring to the sources he had previously enumerated (even though the Talmudic passages were one of those sources–see pp. 66-68–so his excuse doesn’t even hold up on his own internal logic), even granting all that (which I find hard to do), he still mislead his readers into thinking no such sources exist, and that Wells was just pulling this idea right out of nowhere. Which kind of thing happens repeatedly throughout his book. And that still makes his book an unreliable failure.

    Ehrman also (again) deploys an argument in his reply that should have been in the book: that he discounts those sources on this point because they are late; which is in itself a fallacy, since late sources can preserve early tradition, and therefore you have to make an argument for why this is not occurring in this case. Indeed, that this was the belief of what appears to be ( a) a pre-Pauline sect of Christianity (the Nazoreans still being Torah observant and having a name similar to what Chrisians were sometimes called in Paul’s time, if we are to trust Acts 24:5) and (b ) the only sect of Christianity apparently known to the Babylonian Jews, argues against this being some recent novelty. Even the late existence of such a tradition is hard to explain on Ehrman’s theory of Jesus’ historicity (how could such a tradition have arisen?), and thus requires explanation, it can’t just be ignored. Ehrman would prefer to ignore it. Possibly he would even prefer you not to know of it.


    Ehrman’s constant emphasis on “hearing” about what Jesus said and did as the basic channel through which the Gospel content passed is not only curious, it’s quite misleading, especially regarding the later evangelists. The old view that the Gospels are basically a recording of oral traditions circulating in Christian communities is no longer in vogue — indeed, it’s untenable. A compromise might have been that Mark was dependent largely on oral tradition, but that the later evangelists essentially redacted Mark (with the exception of John’s ministry), with Matthew and Luke inserting the contents of a written collection of sayings into that redaction.

    However, even that can no longer be held now that it is realized that the bulk of Mark is not built out of oral traditions, but as a type of midrashic construction out of scripture. Did oral tradition remember and transmit the miracle of the loaves and fishes by casting it entirely in terms of similar miracles attributed in the Hebrew bible to Elijah and Elisha? Was not a single historical detail of the crucifixion scene available to Mark that he was forced to splice together scriptural lines like “They divided my garments among them and for my raiments they cast lots” (Psalm 22;18), and chopped-up bits of Psalm 22:7-8: “All who see me jeer at me, make mouths at me and wag their heads.” If nothing was remembered with any details, forcing Mark to render things this way, what constituted ‘oral tradition’?
    Last edited by theman09; 1st May 2012 at 19:37.

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    Why only one version?

    As noted before, if oral tradition held sway, we should have wildly different Gospels reflecting the oral traditions which reached, were sifted, then cobbled together by different communities. Matthew, Luke, and John in his Passion should not have followed in virtual lock-step with the structure and content created by Mark. The way Ehrman presents it, often with language that looks purposely designed to lead the uninitiated reader down the garden path, the Gospels are essentially independent, each drawing on oral traditions. (I thought he was concerned with letting the public in on what scholars have known for a long time? It certainly isn’t that the Gospels are independent compositions out of oral tradition.)

    We have already seen that historians, who try to establish that a past event happened or that a past person lived, look for multiple sources that corroborate one another’s stories without having collaborated. And this is what we get with the Gospels and their witness of Jesus. (p. 75 of DJE?)

    Oh yes, and maybe along the way they had a glance at Mark.

    It is almost (but not quite) universally thought among New Testament scholars that both Matthew and Luke had access to the Gospel of Mark and used it for many of their stories of Jesus. (p. 75 of DJE?)

    For many of their stories? Matthew and Luke’s story of Jesus is Mark’s story. Since both clearly had Mark open on their writing tables, apparently along with a copy of Q, this is indeed “collaboration,” even if Mark wasn’t around to know what part he played in it. As for the so-called “special material” assigned to both Matthew and Luke (“M” and “L”), there is no good case for regarding it as anything but their own constructions. (In an article in Free Inquiry, Robert Price judges Matthew’s parables to be from his “own hand” while Luke’s parables “share similar narrative features,” indicating that there was no “L” source either.)

    Indeed, how could we independently identify what Luke may have “heard” which he then wrote down? The entire non-Gospel record of the first century is silent on virtually all the Gospel material, on any crucifixion of Jesus on earth or by an earthly agency (outside of the widely acknowledged interpolation in 1 Thess. 2:15-16). No oral traditions about Jesus’ Passion are in evidence anywhere before Mark; nor are the characters of his Gospel story: Mary, Joseph, Mary Magdalene, Judas, Joseph of Arimathea, any apostles who are identified as having been disciples of Jesus. Nothing is in evidence to be “heard,” by Luke or any other Gospel writer.

    Ehrman singles out the motif of “Nazareth” as Jesus’ home town, criticizing mythicists for denying that Nazareth even existed in Jesus’ day, and “refusing to take Luke’s and the other Gospels’ word for it. . . . But the reality is that Luke inherited oral traditions about Jesus and his connection with Nazareth, and he recorded what he had heard.” One wonders where he ‘heard’ it, because there is no mention of Nazareth outside Mark and his redactors, and there is besides no archaeological support for Nazareth in the first century. But I apologize on behalf of all mythicists for “failing to take the Gospels’ word for it.”

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    Default Re: jesus in genesis?

    As for Philostratus, there are notable similarities between his Life of Apollonius of Tyana and the Gospels, in that both contain supernatural and miraculous claims about their subject, and both contain mythic and romance elements. To the extent that Philostratus contains such things, we are much exercised to extract reliable history from him, just as we are from the Gospels. However, we have reason to know that he used existing biographical sources. Nor did Philostratus fabricate every feature of his ‘biography’ from earlier writings on other topics and figures. Moreover, this author is not anonymous, and we know a fair amount about him, including where and when he wrote, providing some basis on which to judge his writings. In fact, we have other writings of his, other “Lives,” so we can assume a much greater degree of confidence that their subjects did live, however embellished they may have been.

    Who will role away the stone?

    Mark notes that the ladies DID take into account physical problems associated with getting to Jesus’ body. “Who will roll away the stone for us?” Mark 16:3.

    They weren’t worried about the men with swords and spears and shields, there specifically to keep people like them out of the tomb. No, that wasn’t going to be the problem. They weren’t worried about breaking a seal that apologists inform me would result in the penalty of death. Naw, who would worry about that? The thing they were worried about is having the physical strength to roll back a stone.

    But the most important reason, is the excuse—“We fell asleep.” (Mt. 28:13) When apologists like to bolster how impossible the “stolen body” theory is, they trot out the fact that if a Roman guard fell asleep on his watch, the entire squad would be killed. “How it would have been possible for the disciples to sneak around the guards, since they would never have slept?” claims the apologist.

    Assuming this for a moment—isn’t the dumbest reason in the WORLD for the guards to use for not fulfilling their job is to say, “We fell asleep”? I was just told that this excuse would result in a death penalty. Now they dredge it out. (And, if it would result in a death penalty, they would owe their lives to the priests to convince their commanding officer not to kill them. Hence, no bribery of money would have been necessary; the soldier’s very lives were in the priests’ hands.) No soldier, thinking that if they were to be accused of falling asleep at the job they would be killed, would ever use that excuse. Their response to the priests would have been, “You ignorant dolt. We say that, we are walking dead-men.”

    Besides, why forget the earthquake? If “we fell asleep” would work, why not “the earthquake knocked us out”? It is there, it is convenient, and it won’t get them killed. Better, more believable, and gets around that nasty death penalty. It is as if they just completely forgot about the earthquake happening. Other Gospels do not account for it, Romans reporting to Jews, earthquakes forgotten about, excuses that result in death penalties—credibility is at the breaking point.

    Unless, of course, the guards weren’t Roman. If they were temple guard, they would be under no such penalty, bribery would be necessary (since they could have fallen asleep), they would report to the priests—it all falls nicely in place.

    Except one thing. If the priests were willing to pay Judas to betray Jesus, were willing to go to extraordinary lengths to have him killed, they equally could go to extra-ordinary lengths to pay off guards to say whatever they wanted them to say. Again, caught in the quandary. The apologist wants them Roman, so they could not be bribed, and then the apologist says they spread lies because…they were bribed!

    We have three gospels that indicate there were no guards, no seal. One that claims there was. In the one that claims there was, we have priests, bribing their own guards to say whatever the priests want them to say. The credibility of this story of guards is now gone

    Jesus provided just the controversy need to substantiate the Pharisees’ position. Look what happened to him! By the time of his death, he had no followers, a mob had just chanted to kill him, and his religion was effectively wiped out. Pharisees proven again to be correct that violating YHWH’s laws only brings condemnation.

    Then Peter steps up and preaches for the first time. And attracts 3000 followers. Acts 2:41. This is no longer controversy, it is becoming competition. By his second recorded sermon, the Priests and Sadducees (Luke had the right sect in power) arrest them. (Acts 4:1-3) The priests were concerned about the growing numbers. (Acts. 4:4)

    What to do? What to do? Wait a minute! About two months ago, the priests had bribed their own soldiers to spread the rumor that these very men had committed a capital offense. Doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out what to charge them with—desecrating a tomb and stealing a body. (And, don’t forget, we are assuming a resurrection. It isn’t like the disciples can have one of their own, Joseph, open up the tomb and show a body there. Not very likely Joseph or his family had time to bury another there in two months. The tomb would be empty—proof enough of a stolen body.) The priests have opportunity, motive, and witnesses. They want the disciples out of the picture? Easily done.

    But what does Luke say? “They could find nothing as to how to punish them.” (Acts 4:21) Hey, Luke, why couldn’t the priests have used the crime of grave-robbing? Oh, that’s right. You didn’t write that; Matthew did. You didn’t find the guards important to the story.

    The priests arrest Peter again. (Acts 5:28) Again they can’t remember using the grave-robbing accusation. Amazingly a Pharisee comes to their rescue, and recommends the Sadducees leave this growing religion alone. They did. For one chapter. The religion grew, the priests forgot the advice of Gamaliel, and execute Stephen

    Now we get the start of the persecution against the church by the Jewish authorities. At this point it became acceptable to kill them. Now, finally, can we see the Jewish authorities bring out the grave-robbing accusation? They want the Christians dead, they have a capital crime proof sitting right in their pocket, do they bring it out? Nope.

    We have one witness, the author of Matthew, contending there were soldiers guarding the tomb. Every other witness does not include these soldiers. Every other participants in the story act as if these soldiers and seals are completely invisible. When it would be necessary to deal with their presence, they are ignored. When their existence would be helpful to the Jewish authorities, they are forgotten.

    empty tomb, women testimony, guards at the tomb, stolen body ect
    WILLING to die for a lie??
    A time where mistaken identity was common

    empty tomb claims

    Produced the body? Taken critics to the tomb?

    died for their beliefs

    Guards at the tomb invention
    location of body
    STOLEN body

    Secondly, you would have to demonstrate that they died for a belief. Not just because they were Christians. According to Tacitus, Nero blamed Christians for setting fire to Rome, and killed them. Understand—they were not dying for their beliefs! They were dying as fall-guys for a Caesar’s blame. Even if they recanted, it was too late. Herod killed James with a sword, but only continued because he saw it made the Jews happy.

    Deciples were poor?

    we have 11 men, and jesus’ family all move to Jerusalem. Their jobs and families were in Galilee. What did they use to buy food? Fishing is a bit scarce in Jerusalem. In their initial contacts with the community, they obtain 5000 converts. (Acts. 4:4) Landowners sold land and put the possession at the disciples’ feet. (Acts 4:37)

    And the church was afraid, because of hearing about Ananias and Sapphira not providing all of the funds of the land they sold. Acts 5:11. How many heard that it was from lying to the Holy Spirit, and how many heard it was that they didn’t bring all the money?

    We have a large congregation, we have the Jews angry about the competition, we have 11 men and a family able to give up their employment and move into Jerusalem. We have contributions from wealthy landowners. By the time Paul visits Jerusalem, Peter has his own place (Gal 1:18) He even ropes Paul into going around getting contributions. (Rom. 15:26) What could possibly lead you to the conclusion they were poor and impoverished

    In fact, they had every material reason in the world to promulgate this belief.

    Women could have…

    Women You “suppose” the women would have been let through? Based on what? A desire (I almost said, “blind desire”) to explain the problems I presented? And persuade the guards? What are the chances of a First Century Jewess even talking to a temple guard? And asking a favor? To violate their duty?

    Deciples stealing the body

    Disciples Stealing Body As I said, I don’t hold to that theory, but I can at least postulate numerous reasons. Maybe they wanted to take it to Galilee, maybe they wanted to bury it elsewhere, maybe they truly were thinking of staring a religion. Maybe they hoped he was still alive. “Fraud” is only one of many, many possibilities.

    Don’t forget, these stories were written 50+ years after the events. Plenty of time to modify the original reason to a “resurrection.” Perhaps the religion started off more as a fluke, and they had no idea how well it would go.

    Grave-robbing accusation

    “Disciples scattered”? Not according to Acts 1:13. As I pointed our originally, they arrested Peter twice, and never brought it up. Why would it be “too late”? Matthew claims that the rumor was still circulating to the day he wrote the Gospel. Are you saying Matthew was written before Peter’s first arrest? Don’t forget, according to Acts, the priests were arresting the disciples, priests were killing Christians, and the priests could not come up with a reason to accuse the disciples.

    I think it extremely unlikely the author of Matthew was a religious Jew. He used the Septuagint, and did not understand Jewish idioms. He used the Gospel of Mark (written in Greek) as his basis for the story of Jesus

    Disciples scattered. Such a minor point, but still. If this is to be our last exchange, may as well cover it. Luke 24:13 are the two disciples on the road to Emmaus. After they see Jesus, who do they report to? Why, in vs. 33, we see they report to eleven who were “gathered together.” Acts 1:13 they are all living together in the upper room. And I am not talking about charging them immediately. I agree that would be useless. Only when the religion is growing would it come into play.

    The pentecoust events would have caused difficulties for the jews to charge deciples of grave robbing

    Rather than “all the disciples” how about “any of the disciples”? And what, were the significant difficulties

    The verses I cite, clearly state they arrest Peter. This was not a difficulty. They were looking for a crime to charge him with. This is not a difficulty. They were killing other Christians. They had the ability to issue a death sentence simply for being a Christian, according to Acts. All they needed was an accusation. Not a truthful one, just an accusation.

    And, according to Matthew, they had JUST bribed guards to tell people the disciples had been grave robbers—a capital offense.

    How do you deal with Mark and John’s women not concerned about the Guards and seal, but concerned about other things? How do you deal with the soldiers not using the earthquake as an excuse? How do you deal with Luke not using the accusation in Acts? I am not going to repeat all the verses and arguments, they are there to review.

    The guards were brided . this crushes their claims

    The problem with bribes is that it destroys their credibility. If they were bribed to say the disciples stole the body, could they also be bribed to say they were at the scene at all? Remember, it is the Christian apologists that use the guard to say that the body could not have been stolen. What if the guard was never there in the first place? Are you going to proof out how we must believe the guards were telling the truth about one thing they were bribed about, but not on another? Or, is this just another argument from silence

    Thank you for pointing out that the bribe rumor may have been more common knowledge. Rumors abound. How much MORE did Matthew write that was just rumor? That perhaps did, or did not happen? He is following Mark. Are these additions historical facts, or just rumors? Legends? Myths? One person responds that it can take 100 years to develop legend, and you very admirably demonstrate how quickly it can be done in such a short time.

    We have bribed soldiers, partly-lying, partly telling the truth, who Matthew heard about from a buddy of a buddy, etc. That other authors seem completely unaware, and have their characters doing things contrary to the fact the guard was there. This is the defense? Of the Guards at

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    Default Re: jesus in genesis?

    But if Luke had his own distinct source channels, why did they not include variants and notably different ‘takes’ on the central components of the Jesus tradition that he took from Mark? Why was his hearing so limited? Why is he dependent entirely on Mark for those central components, simply improving and tweaking what he found in his predecessor? Incorporating Q was his other major source, but this was not part of his ‘unique material’ since it was shared with Matthew.

    Consider Luke’s other unique material concerning the Nativity and elements of the death and resurrection scenes. Was his entire pre-natal scene (chapter 1) derived from source material, oral or written? I know of no scholar who suggests such a thing. Its scriptural basis is recognizable; the whole business is patently not something that was formed and passed on in oral tradition. When we get to chapter 2, was the world-wide census and travel to Bethlehem, giving birth in a manger, all the features of the Nativity unique to Luke, something he gained from a source (in extensive contradiction to Matthew’s ‘source’)? Or was it simply his own construction (as was Matthew’s considerably different version of a nativity)?

    What about the hearing before Herod during Jesus’ trial, which no one else records and can be seen as illustrating the ‘prophecy’ of Psalm 2:2? Or the Road to Emmaus appearance of Jesus, utterly unlike any other post-resurrection scene? Were they products of tradition Luke “heard”? Or were they his own literary invention, as is most likely the case with all of the special “L” materials? Certainly Ehrman’s unexamined declaration that they “record independent traditions about Jesus’ life, teachings and death” is completely without supportive justification.

    And John ‘corrects’ Synoptic elements in his own preferred and obvious way: for Jesus’ silence before Pilate he substitutes a defiant accused; for Mark’s fearful Jesus in Gethsemane asking for removal of the cup of suffering, John’s Jesus declares himself fearless and purposeful; Simon of Cyrene is tossed out in favor of a firm statement that Jesus carried his own cross. And did John ignore Jesus’ establishment of the Eucharist in his Last Supper scene because such a tradition failed to reach his ears? Or did he remove it because he wanted no sacrificial atonement attached to Jesus’ death, a meaning he never gives it? (The “flesh and blood” motif of chapter 6 relates instead to ingested ‘knowledge’ of God which Jesus brings from heaven.) Even in the ministry portion, the occasional dependence on Mark can be demonstrated (see Robert Price, The Incredible Shrinking Son of Man, p.227-8).

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    Default Re: jesus in genesis?


    Third, even though we have lots and lots of manuscripts, the vast majority of them are comparatively late in date and not the kinds of manuscripts we would need to know with confidence that we have a very, very close approximation of the “original” text. 94% of our surviving Greek manuscripts of the New Testament date from after the ninth Christian century. That is 800 years (years!) after the so-called originals. What good do these late manuscripts do us? They do us a lot of good if we want to know what text of Mark, Paul, or 1 Peter was being read 800 years after the originals were produced. But they are of much less value for knowing what the authors themselves wrote, eight centuries earlier.

    As I will explain in my next post, the kinds of manuscripts we would really need to be able to say with some assurance that we know what the “originals” said – very early and very extensive manuscripts – simply don’t exist.



    I do want to comment further on a few of Holding's "Undebatable" openers. As was noted later, yes, there are thousands of NT texts - but most are from the 8th century or later. What we don't have are ANY complete texts from the most crucial period, all the way up to the first 2-3 centuries of Xty.
    And the evidence we DO have shows that at every stage, there was rampant tampering by Christian scribes altering scripture to say what they wanted it to say. And while we can find most of the changes that occurred from the 4th century on, we know that there are changes we haven't caught, and we have no way at all to check with anything close to the originals to be able to declare that our texts today are a reasonable representation. That is simply wishful thinking.

    And Holding's claim that Bart Ehrman agrees that the ancient world had a much different attitude towards forgery is so absurdly wrong that Carrier missed it until I mentioned it afterward. In fact, Ehrman says the exact opposite, and gives examples of how strongly forgery of the sort we see in the NT was condemned. Seeing how Ehrman's new book is about this very issue, I'm amazed that either Holding could misread it so badly or think that he could get away with saying something so blatantly untrue. As I pointed out in Q&A, even the NT itself gives evidence that there was forgery right from the beginning, and warns against it with severe disapproval - even in epistles we now know are forgeries themselves!

    Corruption of nt

    Second, the claim that Jesus and the disciples would have prevented error from accruing, which is a common evangelical argument, is disproved by the contents of the gospels themselves and contrary to what our expectations would be. In the gospels we're told that Jesus himself couldn't prevent listeners from telling tales he didn't want told. The gospels tell us that false reports concerning Jesus circulated widely and in fact Jesus directed the disciples to not bother correcting them. Making up things was considered pious and acceptable in this culture. Gnostic teaching was accepted widely. Gospel reports indicate erroneous resurrection belief. John the Baptist was thought to be raised but this is a case of mistaken identity. This is proof that this error is easy to make. In the Gospel of John we're told that Jesus did say he'd destroy the temple in 3 days, but John allegorizes the story. Mark and Matthew tell us that Jesus said no such thing and only false witnesses say he did. Luke says that Steven is reported to have said it. Look at every day experience. What preacher hasn't been chagrined to learn what others have thought him to have said? Look at the fact that rabbis can't keep straight who it is that supposedly uttered a statement, attributing the same wise saying to various sages. Why does Mt 10 tell us that Jesus wanted the gospel to go only to the Jews, Mt 28 says he wanted it spread far and wide, and yet at Acts 15 they're debating whether the gospel should go to Gentiles as if they've never heard of the great commission?

    gospels,crucifixion, polycarp, iraneus,

    Think of it like this. If it were possible to make textual amendments in the third century when there were already highly evolved and sophisticated and sizable literate Christian communities with such intellectuals as Origen, Tertullian and others what is the likelihood of changes and amendments taking place in the first century when the Christianities were still fledgling communities with little to no literacy? Was it not easier to fudge things and even make things up undetected? Who would be the wiser when you are with the pen and the rest are dumb? Corruption even in the time of the intellectual Christians persisted which means that it must have been even more common place in the earliest epochs. The problem is compounded further by the fact that we don’t know who these authors were and what affiliations they had.

    Oral speeches

    It is important to realize that not everything which was preserved in the oral tradition automatically made its way into the written texts.

    Before I am lambasted by how the story HAD to come first—I would note that many apologists change methods and DO implement the method the story is invented at the time of the writing. Take the infancy Gospel of Thomas and Jesus killing a boy who bumped into him. Many apologists would claim the author made up the tale—i.e. the writing came before the story. Or take the Gospel of Peter. Why is it claimed the author made up the tale of the two people carrying Jesus out of the tomb?

    Why does the method change? Why is it “story before writing” when it comes to the Gospel of Mark; but “writing before story” when it comes to the Gospel of Peter.


    Those were people who knew people who knew Christ? According to whom? According to them? Well, Marcion claimed to have followed the true teachings of Jesus. Did he really? Ignatius’ letter to the Smyrnaeans was written in 107. That’s more than 50 years after the fact. Clement and Polycarp also came in the 2nd century(the latter became Iranaeus’ teacher in the 2nd century if indeed the tradition is authentic). As a point of fact, you do realise that the idea that Polycarp knew Papias and was himself converted by apostles are things that were solely claimed by Iranaeus right? How do we know that Iranaeus was telling the truth or even if he was that the information given to him was accurate? The gospels were already in circulation during their time which means that they were simply reiterating what they had been told by those who claimed to know those who came from Jesus, but I have already proven that the sources from which this idea is derived are themselves unknown and anonymous. The following is an excerpt from my article on Psalms 22:

    Raymond E. Brown cites John 20:25,17, Luke 24:39, the Gospel of Peter 6:21 where it says,”the nails from the hands of the Lord.”, Ignatius who says Jesus was “truly nailed”(Smyrneans 1.2), and the Commentary on the Diatessaron 20.31 (Armenian; SC 121.365) speaking of Jesus’ hands as nailed and his feet tied. After mentioning all those references he concludes, “…none of the above passages that refer to nails only in hands echoes the LXX wording or imagery of the psalm.” He goes on to say that some scholars are puzzled by the failure of the authors of the gospels “to exploit” the scriptural passage.[11] Brown also cites J. W. Hewitt who wrote, “There is astonishingly little evidence that the feet of a crucified person was ever pierced by nails.”

    Papius and appearance to paul...

    So if you are looking for the chain of witnesses, it goes like this:
    Eusebius said...that Papius said...that a follower of Mark said...that

    Mark said...he was the interpreter of Peter..

    It is clear from the context of Eusebius's quotation (that is, if he
    quoted EOL accurately), that Papias did not admit to being a hearer of
    the original disciples. He only admits that he gathered information
    from their followers.

    How one word can change and entire sentence

    I could easily rewrite the United States Constitution with only a couple of changes in meaning, the rest being my own typos, save for a few parts I leave out entirely and others where I insert a small phrase which entirely results in a different rule (compare text notes and manuscripts on Matthew 5:22, and that’s just one example),and I might still have it all result in the document not nearly maintaining the integrity it has now. Indeed, it could theoretically overturn the way the government itself works. A minority of change is still not necessarily the same thing as an insignificant change.


    Some hadith narrators are known by different names and this can give rise to error and confusion; hence a branch of hadith sciences is devoted exclusively to the knowledge of those who are known by different names (ma ‘ rifat man dhukira bi—asma’ mukhtalifa) .This is not just a function of the fact that Arabic names often consist of long series of attributions to father, son, mother, etc., but also that pen-names, nicknames and appellations were sometimes used by those who might have known the individual narrator by any of his other attributes or names.

    Another branch of hadith sciences, known as ma’rifat al-mu ‘talif wa’l-mukhtalif min al-asma (knowledge of the look-alike but different names and genealogies) discusses names which are written similarly but pronounced differently. There are numerous names of this type, so much so that some have written individual works on the subject. Names such as Salam Sallam , ‘Umara and Imara, Kurayz and Kariz, Safr and Safar, etc., are written similarly in the Arabic script and text which may not provide the vowelling and declensions of words; and most often they are not given, hence the possibility of confusion of one name or narrator for another. Resembling this last branch of hadith sciences , there is yet another branch of hadith which addresses hadith narrators that had identical names and could easily be confused with one another. There were, for example, no less than six hadith narrators by the name Khalil ibn Ahmad , and four Ahmad b.Ja’far b Hamdan, all of whom lived in the same generation, and many other cases of this kind. These have been isolated and identified by reference to other indicators such as the father’s name, locality, teachers and disciples of the narrator in question, etc.

    hadith studies by H Kamali page 7-8

    multiple attestation:

    We have the writings of Xenophon. Xenophon was known as a historian but his writings about Socrates are not histories. They portray a very different sort of teacher from the one we read about in Plato.

    Both Plato and Xenophon are clearly writing as devoted followers of Socrates, and classicists have often remarked that the teachings they attribute to Socrates are really their own and not those of a real Socrates at all. So we are still have one source type represented by both of these authors, and historicity cannot be settled by appealing to their “multiple attestation” alone.

    the quest for the ...

    Since not one of the disciples stuck around to watch the crucifixion, there weren't even any eye-witness reports in any of the gospels who say that they actually watched jesus die. Only (3) women stuck around to watch, but their testimony is ignored everywhere else - the women first report the missing body but none of the disciples believe them.

    Memory lapses

    A witness 10 feet from an occurrence is more credible than a witness 1000 feet away, due to ability to observe .Both can be earnestly honest; yet the closer witness is considered more credible. Writing down accounts even 1 year after an event can be inaccurate, because of memory lapses, or external influences. Now imagine if the account was 5 years later. Or 10. Or 30.


    Basically, the issue is that our manuscriptsof Tacitus date from the MIDDLE AGES,
    and so we cannot always be sure what has been added or changed by Christians
    who controlled the transmissions of his copies.

    So the issue does not revolve around on the medium on which Tacitus manuscripts
    were written, but on (among other issues):

    1. How close to their original date of supposed publication those manuscripts are;

    2. How much we can corroborate from OTHER sources from the time the actual events related in Tacitus (or other Roman authors) are said to have occurred.

    This, of course, depends on what you mean by “in order to write history.” We certainly cannot rely on Middle Age manuscripts ALONE to VERIFY historical occurrences that happened in Roman times.

    I go through one example in detail regarding what we know of the story of the killing of Julius Caesar in 44 BCE (see EOBS pp. 113-121). It turns out we know very little or nothing about this from contemporary sources.

    A lot of “history” of the Roman period simply has reproduced what LATER sources say, but most modern historians cannot tell you how they can verify if those sources are correct. It DEPENDS on how much corroboration we have from other sources FROM the actual time of the event. It depends on which SPECIFIC event you are discussing.

    “Damage” to manuscripts is not really so much the only issue. The bigger issue is: How do we know what has been changed between, for example, ca. 14 CE to 1000 CE. Sometimes we can corroborate certain occurrences, and sometimes we can’t.

    Gharib is defined as a hadith which is narrated by only one narrator at any one link of its isnad, be it the middle, lower or upper end. So long as there is a link in the isnad which consists of a single narrator , this would qualify the hadith as Gharib.

    omission of narration

    Al - hakim al- Nasburi wrote concerning this hadith that no one except Muhammad b. Suqah reported it from Muhammad b. al- Munkadir.

    Authenticity and soundness according to hadith experts is not determined on the quantitative factor of the number of the transmitters, nor indeed on how well-known , or less well-known , a hadith might be. Attention is paid instead to the reliability of the narrators, whether one , two or more, and strength and weakness of hadith is evaluated on that basis.

    It is possible,as experience shows, that a person is most pious and trustworthy yet weak in respect of rentention and memory. Hadith transmitted by such persons may not be admitted on the merit only of thier piety. It is also possible, as hadith scholars have noted,that a person is sound and reliable at one time and his condition changes due to personal situations ,adoption of controversial views, illness and the like which may cast doubt on his reliability ,and his transmission,therefore,of hadith.The 'ulama' of hadith are normally careful not to accept narration of hadith from unknown people and persons of obscure identity and character.

    Isnad is defective if the narrator omits a link that may be unknown and replaces it with another name so as to make it look more reliable.

    kamali's book page 101

    on page 31 in

    Ehrman's book forged

    he quotes an ancient pagan scholar named David

    "If someone is uninfluential and unknown , yet wants his writing to be read, he writes in the name of someone who came before him and was influential, so that through his influence he can get his work accepted."

    a person says that he heard his father say x, y and z in person

    later it is revealed that he didn’t hear his father say x, y and z but
    he found in writing which resembled his fathers WRITING that his father said x , y and z.

    empty tomb story

    Craig tries to argue that Christians could not have invented the story because "everyone, especially their Jewish opponents," would have known it was a falsehood. But that would depend on when and where the story was invented, to say nothing of where it was being told. Even most conservative scholars accept the consensus that Matthew's gospel was not written until nearly 80 CE, almost 50 years after the crucifixion. How many people would still have been around with firsthand knowledge that there were guards at the tomb? How many of them were living in the communities where Matthew's gospel was being circulated? How many people, anywhere in that part of the world, were even aware of that book's existence before every last possible witness to its events was dead?

    The Christian documentary record contains no unambiguous references to the gospels before the middle of the second century. Some earlier documents do include quotations attributed to Jesus that also show up in the gospels, but there is no good reason to assume that everything Jesus said was known to the entire Christian community before the gospels were written. This is not an argument against their early composition. It is an argument against any presupposition about Christians everywhere being aware of their existence anytime during the first century.

    Datings texts.....

    The expressions ‘in the form of God’, ‘grasping equality from God’, and ‘emptying himself’ echo mythological concepts familiar from the Gospel of John* and from later heretical Gnostic speculation. If so, chronologically they point to the early second century AD rather than the age of Paul. The hymn makes much better sense if it is taken as an existing liturgical composition inserted into the letter of the Philippians not by Paul himself but by a later editor. The fact that this poem can be removed without spoiling the general meaning of the chapter strongly favour the theory of its post-Pauline origin. (pp. 78-9)

    Are the gospel writers independant witnesses or are they taking stories from the old testament and rewriting them in the crosstian era?

    verbal /action AGREEMENT

    First, it cannot explain the differences among the writers—unless it
    is assumed that verbal differences indicate different events. In that
    case, one would have to say that Jesus was tempted by the devil twice,
    that the Lord’s Supper was offered twice, and that Peter denied the
    Lord six to nine times! In fact, one might have to say that Christ was
    raised from the dead more than once if this were pressed!

    Second, if Jesus spoke and taught in Aramaic (at least sometimes, if
    not usually), then why are these verbal agreements preserved for us in
    Greek? It is doubtful that each writer would have translated Jesus’
    sayings in exactly the same way so often.

    Third, even if Jesus spoke in Greek exclusively, how is it that not
    only his words but his deeds are recorded in verbal identity? There is
    a material difference between remembering the verbiage of what one
    heard and recording what one saw in identical verbiage.

    ...the writer is saying that it's not only the words of Jesus that are quoted identically in Greek, but the framing narratives around them. It would be one thing if both authors were merely quoting the same person verbatim, but they also use the exact same words in Greek to describe his actions and set up the attributed sayings.

    It's possible that two reporters might accurately record what they heard another person SAY, but not plausible that they would independently use the exact same words to describe what they SAW.

    The gospel variations of the story of the Greatest Commandment exist not because the gospel authors didn't know what Jesus really said. They did not have faulty memories of the event. They in fact had no memory of any such event. The variations exist not because the Holy Spirit couldn't inspire an accurate dictation of Jesus's words. The reason the gospel authors do not agree on the wording of the second half of the Great Commandment is because they were doing what the Greek scholars three centuries before were doing, what the translators of the KJV Bible were doing, what current scholars continue to do, and that's struggle with trying to translate Deuteronomy 6:5 into a language other than ancient Hebrew. They were trying to incorporate the passage from Deuteronomy into their gospels to demonstrate the legendary status of their story's hero. The gospel authors, as evidenced by this struggle with word choice in the text, were not recalling a memory of Jesus being quizzed by his religious enemies on the Hebrew Scriptures. The gospel authors were not bathed in the inspiration of the Holy Spirit to accurately write a history of Jesus's ministry on earth. They were merely involved in a literary fiction and ran into a translation difficulty as they tried to incorporate the passage from Deuteronomy 6:5 into their own gospels.

    Apologists may argue that the differences in the wording don't reflect a struggle with the translation of the text of Deuteronomy and claim instead that the stories actually reflect different occasions during Jesus's ministry when he replied to quizzes about the greatest commandment. Of course, such an assertion ignores the same struggle shared by the scholars of the Septuagint and modern translators. It also doesn't explain why Jesus (or the lawyer in Luke) would have verbally struggled with the second half of Deuteronomy 6:5, choosing different words for the ending on different occasions but properly using the same words for the first half. In other words, if these storied differed only because they occurred at different times in Jesus's ministry, why would Jesus not struggle with the first word pair in the commandment, always using the same pattern of "heart/soul" (or "body/mind") but freely mix and match only the last word, choosing either "mind" on some occasions, "strength" on others and combining both "mind" and "strength" on other occasions?
    What other sources did the gospel writers have?

    isn't it obvious that "Matthew"/"Luke" used "Mark" as a base because it was not only the original Jesus' narrative but the only Jesus narrative of their time. "Mark" has a primary theme of discrediting disciple witness. "Matthew"/"Luke" both have primary themes of crediting disciple witness yet they both retain the bulk of "Mark's" detail discrediting the disciples. Why? Because there was no other source for a Jesus' narrative at the time.

    the gospel writers

    how to date the texts?

    No, Mark is much later. The writer of Mark probably knows Josephus War, writes from a time when Christians were persecuted, knows the temple has been destroyed, uses second century terminology in several cases, etc. My own view is that Mark dates from the 130s; the author apparently knows that there is a statue of Jupiter/Zeus in the Temple, the one Hadrian put there.


    No, doesnt need to. When Independence Day copied its ending from Star Wars (1977) it added a bunch of stuff and removed other stuff, but it's still a copy. Likewise, Luke expanded Mark's text -- partly because s/he understood Mark was creating off the OT and so added additional details in some passages that represent parallels off the OT that Mark himself did not add.

    Trial scene...
    Craig Evans (1995:108) analyzed Josephus's account of Jesus ben Ananias. Like Jesus, he predicted doom on Jerusalem and the Temple, even referring to Jeremiah's prophecy of judgment against the temple (Jer 7:34), just as Mark did in Mk 11:17. Note that the Jewish authorities arrest and beat Jesus ben Ananias and hand him over to the Roman governor, who interrogates him. He refuses to answer the governor, was scourged and then released. Although Jesus was not released, Pilate asks the crowd in 15:9 whether they want Jesus released, and eventually does release Barabbas, who, though Evans does not make the connection, is a double of Jesus. Lawrence Wills (1997, p160) further fleshes out the parallels:

    *he enters Jerusalem for a pilgrimage festival (Sukkot)
    *he delivers an oracle against Jerusalem, the Temple, and the people
    *he is seized by leading citizens
    *he is beaten, later scouraged
    *he offers no answer to interrogators
    *he is taken by them to the Roman procurator
    *he is considered a madman (exestokos; compare Mark 3:21 exeste, and also John 7:20)
    *he prophesies his own death
    *he dies

    One should add, of course, that his name was "Jesus."

    Weeden came up with an even greater number of correspondences, 24 in all, as I recall. I don't know if he published yet; I saw his paper privately. He is/was a ranking Mark scholar

    A time where mistaken identity was common

    who governed the kristian god?


    The later copies are irrelevent and the citing of the 24,000 manuscript number (most of which are fragments) is deceptive.

    The situation may be compared to Erich Von Stroheim’s “Greed” In Dec. 1923, he showed a 45 reel, ten hour version of the film to friends and associates. He cut this down to 42 reels which he sent to the MGM studio. They demanded further cuts. He cut it to 24 reels, 4 hours and hoped the studio would release it in two parts. The studio took it away from him and cut the film to 10 reels, two hours. Apparently the other reels of Greed were burned in a fire. In 1999 Turner Movie Classics, using still photos, and descriptions of Von Stroheim’s 4 hour cut, produced a four hour version similar to Von Stroheim’s four hour version.

    Now there have been DVD copies of the two hour 1925 released version, probably a million of them. We can say that they are 99.95% the same. We can say that therefore there is no descrepency between what we watch and the people in 1925 watched.

    But this obscures the real problem that we don’t have Von Stroheim’s 4 hour, 8 hour or 10 hour versions of the film. We can say that the earlier versions of the film were tremendously different experiences, but we can’t produce them.

    We know that the early versions of the biblical manuscripts have the most descrepancies in them as opposed to later manuscripts. Based on these early manuscripts and the different readings that the Church Fathers give us, we can say that the earlier manuscripts were significantly different from what we now possess, whether 99.5% different or only 50% different is hard to say.

    Taking the whole mass of manuscripts that we have, from the 4th century to the 15th century, where 90% of them were written after the 10th century, and then saying that the variation among all these manuscripts is small is completely deceptive.

    The major variation is between the manuscripts from the 4th to 8th centuries, and who knows what variations there were prior to that, we only have hints in the writings that say things like there being a 14, 15, and 16 chapter version of the Letter to the Romans, and a totally different version of Luke, etc., none of which we have access to anymore



    When we include words such as speculator (6:27), denarius (6:37), legion (5:9), modius (4:27), census (12:14), etc., we find that Latin material is spread throughout the gospel, suggesting that the text was Latinate, despite Matthew Black and Maurice Casey. Why is the woman in 7:26 Syrophoenician? In Rome there was a distinction between east (original) and west (colonial) Phoenicians that would make no sense in the east of the Mediterranean. Matthew has her as a Canaanite woman (mystifying her origin).
    I can give you a lot more examples of Latin syntactic substratum. If I show you Latin syntax in 3:10 and 9:18, which are ostensibly in your "Twelve-Source from Levi", I guess that also would be your fictitious late redactor.

    Remember, Roman words, Roman idioms, Roman syntax all point to a strong Roman influence.

    The sandwiching is widespread.

    Unsandwiched in the other accounts...

    paul of acts v paul of galatians

    Joseph B. Tyson, _ Marcion and Luke-Acts: A Defining Struggle_ demonstrates that Luke/Acts were second century works written to refute Marcion. It is argued that Marcion's Gospel was not derived from canonical Luke, but from an earlier version much more similar to Mark than canonical Luke. It is also argued that Acts was written to combat the Paul of the Marcionite PE which identified Paul as the exclusive apostle. The author omitted any direct mention of the Epistles, and teamed Paul up with Peter to create a mythical false harmony between the two.

    HYPocrite of kristianity



    the key piece of information usually overlooked is the TIME GAP.

    The Gospels and their stories don't become known, even to CHRISTIANS, until early-mid 2nd century (I think Ignatius was forged around the 130s.)

    Jerusalem was razed, Judea was erased, and many Jews were dead.

    How could there be anyone left - after a century later, and 2 wars - who would have known everything, and everyone in Jerusalem from a century before ?

    As we currently possess none of Paul's original monographs, there is now no telling exactly letter for letter, (or symbol) what the original Paul may have written, or what level of reverence (or conformity) he may have practiced with regards to these Names and titles, although we may well speculate, reason, and theorize.


    create words then attribute to God

    Or as demonstrated by the author of the Gospel of Luke, where the author’s intent was to document Jesus’ worldly ministry but somehow Christians made it into an inerrant scripture:

    Many have undertaken to draw up an account of the things that have been fulfilled among us, 2 just as they were handed down to us by those who from the first were eyewitnesses and servants of the word. 3 With this in mind, since I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning, I too decided to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, 4 so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught.- Bible : Luke (1) : 1 – 4.

    One moment this is an account for a person by the name of Theophilus, the next Christians are assuming it’s the word of God, inspired and inerrant. Therefore in this regard, this is what Muslims refer to as corruption of God’s word. People write documents and the masses are led to believe it’s from God. God’s word didn’t change, but people’s belief in a word of God changed.

    isnad system

    The proliferation of the isnad in the early centuries is electrifying.
    Suppose that in the first generation a single companion was privy to a
    statement made by the Prophet. In the second generation there would
    presumably be at least two or three, perhaps ten, students of his
    transmitting this incident, such that by the fifth generation (the
    period of the classical authours) we may uncover thirty or forty
    people relating the same subject through different channels
    crisscrossing the entire Islamic world, with a few relating the
    information from more than one source. The pattern of proliferation is
    not constant for all hadiths: in certain cases there may be only a
    single authourity transmitting a statement through each generation,
    though this is a rarity 13

    13 For a detailed study of the 50 hadiths see studies in Early Hadith
    literature, pp. 14-103

    Here is an example of hadith relating to prayer:
    Abu Huraira reported that the Prophet said: “The Imam must be
    followed .So recite takbeer when he recites it, and bow down when he
    bows. And when he says ‘Allah hearkens to him who praises Him’ , say
    ‘O Allah , our Lord , praise be to You’ . And when he prostrates, you
    should prostrate. When he raises [his head] you should raise yours,
    taking care not to raise [your head] till he raises his. If he prays
    sitting, you should all pray sitting.”

    This hadith, recorded at least 124 times, is reported by 26 third-
    generation authourities who unanimously trace its origin to Companions
    of the prophet. In this same form or with the same meaning , its found
    at ten locations simultaneously: Madina, Makah, Egypt, Basra, Hims,
    Yemen, Kufa, Syria, Wasit, and Taif. Three of the 26 authourities
    heard it from more than one source.Existing documentation shows that
    this hadith was transmitted by at leaste 10 companions ; details of
    the transmission chain for seven of these , who eventually settled in
    Madina, Syria, and Iraq, are available to us . See Figure 12.1
    Limiting ourselves to just one companion, Abu Hurarirah, we note that
    atleast seven of his students transmitted this hadith from him, four
    of these belonged to Madinah, two to Egypt, and one to Yemen. They in
    turn transmitted to atleast twelve others : five from Madinah, two
    from Makkan, and one each from Syria, Kufa, Taif, Egypt , and Yemen.
    Similar patterns from the other companions indicate that the hadith
    marked its presence in other lands (Basra, Hims, and Wasit) while
    reinforcing itself in Madinah, Makkah, Kufa, Egypt , and Syria. The
    following figure , illustrating these massive chains of transmissions,
    is only for one hadith out of tens of thousands.

    Azamis Book The history of the Qur’anic text page 169
    how to find out if a narrative is AUTHENTIC?

    Supposing Hammad b Salama narrated a hadith from Ayub, from Ibn Sirin,
    from Abu Hurayra, from the Prophet. The hadith is found to be somewhat
    doubtful and needs to be confirmed. Firstly we look if any other
    reliable narrator, that is, other than Hammad, has narrated the same
    hadith from Ayyub. The search here may take the researcher to the six
    collections and the Muwatta' etc. If someone else is found to have
    also transmitted the same hadith from Ayyub then a confirmation is
    found, and this is known as a complete follow-up. But if no one other
    than Hammad is found to have transmitted the same hadith from Ayub,
    then one looks one level up to find if anyone other than Ayyub might
    have reported it from Ibn Sirin. If a confirmation is found at this
    level , it would be less than complete as it does not decend all the
    way down but it is located at a higher level, which is why it is
    called a deficient follow-up. But if the follow-up is unsuccessful at
    the level of Ayyub, then one tries to ascertain whether anyone other
    than Ibn Sirin might have reported the same hadith from Abu Hurayra,
    and if such confirmation is found, it would still be known as a
    deficient follow up. And lastly the search may be taken up to the
    highest level to find out whether any other Companion , that is other
    than Abu Hurayra, might have reported the same hadith from the

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    Join Date
    Nov 2011

    Default Re: jesus in genesis?

    Do you actually study all of this? :O

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