Mythology is not a certainty.
Mythology isn’t, but History is.
Actually, it is not mythology. Christ’s existence is too well documented from non-sympathetic sources - Roman literature, Jewish literature all confirming the history. Of course there is sympathetic literature, but you obviously reject that - but a court of law would not - those would be eyewitness accounts. Additionally there was no one writing that He did NOT exist or that the followers were lying - instead then they would have been killed for a lie and surely they one would have rather switched than die. There are thousands of documents available to support Christ historically. Here is a link to some facts for you to consider: http://www.pleaseconvinceme.com/index/pg79644
By the way - the article is by a cold case homicide detective out of LA.
DerekA: all of the “evidence” mentioned on that site - ALL of it - is either from the New Testament itself (hardly an unbiased source) or from people writing considerably after the fact - in other words, they weren’t there, how do they know?
There are no direct descriptions of Jesus extant, if there ever were such a thing, nor is there any supporting evidence of other kinds, such as contemporary reports of the events as described in the Bible.
The fact of Jesus’ existence is, in fact, mythology - which does not necessarily mean false, but certainly doesn’t mean true, either.
So you are saying that the authors Thallus, Pliney the Younger, Suetonius, Tacitus, Mar-Bar Sarapion, Josephus, Phlegon, Lucian, Celsus were all supporting documents. Maybe you think the Talmud writing was not against Christ? You see 4 Biblical quotes and make sweeping generalizations. Well it appears you have an issue with eyewitness accounts both pro and con. If there had been false tales written within the 100 years of His death, there would have been outcry of deception. It would be like me denying John Kennedy ever lived let alone was assassinated. So what you are saying is if anyone who lived at the time of the assassination wrote about and that writing was read by others and they wrote about Kennedy in 2200 AD and that original writing quoted from was then lost you would deny the latter authors ability to read and quote the information since you personally don’t have a copy. Because then you must believe Kennedy was a myth. I guess Hannibal or Ghengis Khan are part of your mythology since you have no direct first hand proof. Or maybe you are just selectively prejudiced. In a court of law - all the evidence is heard - even stuff you don’t like - witnesses and contemporaries - people who agree with what they saw and people who disagreed with what they saw. The document I referenced is fair and balanced.
By the way, Josephus was a contemporary Jewish general in the Roman army who was also an historian. The many of the other authors are contemporary with people who lived in those times and if what they wrote were untrue there would have been an outcry against the false writings. I would pose the question in reverse. Where are all the authors in those contemporary times claiming Jesus was a myth?
It is a real pity that christians do not practice what they seek to force others to believe.
Actually if you understand the theology - there should be no forcing of other “to believe”. Christ in John 3 was trying to explain to Nicodemus that it is not him but the Spirit that causes the change - the belief. Only after regeneration (“born again”) can one believe. Regeneration provides the gift of faith (mechanics of this are in Ephesians 2:8-9). No one is ever forced to believe. The problem is that people do not like the fact that it takes communication as the method and as the Bible indicates that mankind considers that method as foolishness.
Doc, I agree to a point. If a person is living a life that is different and I assume it has something that appeals to a higher rather than baser level for the observer, then yes a person would want - in theory - what that person has - but that is secondary communication. Another could just mimic or imitate - that goes on in churches all the time and for the wrong reasons (personal gain, status, power). We talking about immaterial things here. And if you are in frequent contact with that person that example may have an impact. However whether it is a regular meeting of the two or a one time meeting, the mechanism for conveying the information is not the life but the Word of God as explained in Romans 10 :17 “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.”(ESV) Now a little further on we find out why some cannot hear or see or understand Rom 11:7 God gave them a spirit of stupor, eyes that could not see and ears the would not hear, down to this very day.” (ESV) So no amount of life lived in front of others or words said to other will have any effect on some - and it is not expected by Christians that that would happen. Consider the pharaoh of the Exodus - He hardened his own heart and also God hardened his heart - pharaoh was never intended to become a believer. Same with Esau.
The “before you can share it” is bothersome as there is no time limit constraint that I know of in the Bible before witnessing can take place. Of course it helps if a new believer has spent some time learning scripture first. It is not unusual for someone who is regenerated to immediately tell others.
doctortoon. Many a fine Muslem would live a life good enough to look Christian- but they don’t believe in Jesus the Son of God, the same yesterday, today and tomorrow-Amen
thanks DerekA for your informed comments.
P.S. DerekA- why do you pose as a wolf in sheep’s skin? Something we should worry about?
The old pre-biblical stories were not written by just historians, politicians, sages, prophets or news media. There are no proofs except for historical coincidences which could have been written to coincide with historical events. All interesting stories to guide the beliefs of the “flock”.
Explain death. What happens to the body after death. How is it reversed and rejuvenated to a point where it can be “restarted o resurrected”. Unless, it wasn’t dead. Miracle is just a word that means “WOW!! I don’t have an answer, I don’t know, It’s like magic, It just happened”. Either it’s a lie or technology beyond our comprehension which was not even mentioned in any of the stories. Although Ezekial described what could have been an aircraft of sorts and the fabled Arc of the Covenant could have been a radio for communication. There is no mention of extra-terrestials unless we consider God, Jesus and his invisible friend, not to mention another contengency referred to as Satan or Lucifer and his horde of demons. The Bible certainly does talk about them as though they are occasionally in contact even after Satans removal from “Heaven”. How does this tie in with archealogical finds such as those in Aztec and Mayan temples and other sites around the world as described by Erich Von Doniken.
Why were so many of the HEROS of the Bible either murderers, thieves, polygamists like Moses, Joshua, Saul/Paul, David, Solomon, the brothers of Joseph, or Abraham sending away Hagar his mistress and his first son Ishmael to die in the desert which in turn brings us the Muslim religion. Oh, God told him to, and you believe the word of a man who abandoned two people in the desert to die.
I think I’d prefer a different role model for my kids rather than a religion that screams DO WHAT I SAY, NOT WHAT I DO!!!
I’m not saying I don’t believe in God. I’m saying that over two thousand years, stories being retold and interpreted take on a life whether true or imagined for reasons of morality or prosperity. I’m saying I don’t believe the interpretation of a bunch of stories which were written over a span of 500 years, in various languages and in different countries about a single religion. If this is a living religion, it is changing because mankind is changing and religion is evolving to keep pace with mankind. God is the same today as He was in the beginning and as He will be in the end. Religious interpretations change with the times and therefore are not what they were when written by these illustrious authors so named in earlier posts.
This is a subject to maintain the utmost of an open mind. And the person with the most selfish and closed mind will tell me and others like me to sit down and shut up because I dare to question their comfort zone and it scares them because they have no answers other than old stories that make them feel good.
On the other hand, there could be a God that resides within each of us. Some people refer to this God as the “Holy Spirit” of God which is our conscience because we know right from wrong and that conscience is continually admonishing us of our follies and thriving for us to do what is morally right and proper. Jesus is the mortal entity that possessed an abundance of that conscience and worked for everyone to live with the same compassionate zest for life and inner peace so to dwell harmoniously with everyone else in GODLIKE fashion. His actions were most commendable but also very naive. God may not be this “Old Man” entity that sits in the clouds with winged people flying around with little harps and circular lights above their heads. That picture is the fabrication of earthly men like the religion they fabricated from selected stories to control the minds and soul of the common person.
Live the life of God and let that example speak to others rather than regurgitating words and religious doctrine which someday you may find a bitter taste when you have to eat those words. I personally find all religions equal in that they say what people want to hear. The best religion is one of peace and respect for everyone and THEIR beliefs regardless of what it’s called. Religion is what you make it, it’s not divinely created. Nowhere in GENESIS or anywhere else did God create religion. Jesus said on this rock (of faith) I will build my church.
MB - No nothing to worry about - actually it is more how I see others and their comments as attempts to discourage believers. For you I will change it.
Radical - coincidences - not what you would hear on CSI.
Death - the body for us - it is inconsequential - biblically you can atomize it. For Lazarus as you recall the comment was that Christ waited too late and the body was in decay - stinking. It was Christ’s command that caused the body to rejuvenate and hear - just like when an unbeliever is regenerated. For Christ the physical death on His body was a surprise to the guards. Their job was to ensure those on the cross were dead and pulled down before end of day. They were breaking the legs of the other two to ensure they could no longer push up and take another breath and therefore after the leg braking they suffocate. Christ however was already dead and the proof was the soldier plunging the spear into Him. Since God is the agent in this case of resurrection, the body was restored to life. It was not technology, magic or any human means. But I can see for many it is beyond their comprehension. You say “other stories” - what are those (I assume you mean letters or writings - are you referring to secular)?
All have sinned and come short of the glory of God. Therefore all that God chooses to work with are sinners - and yes - even after believing they continue to sin - David was a man after God’s own heart yet he stole another man’s wife, had the husband killed. But he repented and that is always available. As for Ishmael, read the promises that God gave to him - he was abandoned by Abraham because God had him do that, but God also assured Hagar.
It is not do what I say not what I do. God is consistent - man is the inconsistent one. We have trouble obeying God. We refuse to believe in Him to inherit eternal life - because we don’t want to listen or even search it out.
Actually you are saying you don’t believe. And really it is not 2000 years - it is much more than that - the Hebrew scriptures have little variation in them and translation can be compared the the Septuagint. Similar can be said of the large number of NT manuscripts. The copying errors over the two thousand years you refer to are very minor and grammatically have little impact on the text. I am aware of the dual endings of Mark and that has been well documented.
The open mind is a two fold impossibility. Biblically we are told that man’s thought are continually evil and there is no good in him apart from God. So man starts with a closed mind. Think of it like this - everyone is in a box and as happy as they can be sinning and doing anything they want - some lead “nicer” lives than others - but none have any love fore God and they have no desire to. When God regenerates a person - now that person is outside the box. He sees the folks in the box and tries to tell them there is a lot more Good stuff outside the box. Since they only know inside the box and they cannot move themselves outside the box, they do not understand and so reject the guy outside the box. I would never tell you to sit down and shut up because I do not know if God is moving you outside the box. My comfort zone is outside the box and I have nothing to fear from people. Rev 14:7 “Fear God and give Him glory, because the hour of His judgment has come, and worship Him who has made heaven and earth, the sea and the springs of water.”
Response to your edits - Yes we all have a conscience - but no that is not God or the Holy Spirit. Your conscience is a functioning part of what remains from the fall of Adam. I will agree as I noted the Holy Spirit does restrain people (pharaoh), but not indwelling unbelievers - or all people. The Holy Spirit’s work is external. Christ was fully Deity and fully human. He was not a “New Age” mishmash. He did not promise harmony but brother against brother. Your criticism of how people portray heaven is very correct - that is not how the Bible describes heaven and we certainly are NOT told that believers will have wings. Read the last chapters of revelation to get a better picture. I would say the picture you characterize is not for believers but for unbelievers to turn them off. I don’t know of any people who are believers that think they will have wings and a harp.
Genesis - well, God, I agree did not create religion - He created a relationship. And that relationship is available today. In John 14:6 Christ clearly says “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
Understand Derek - God is not the problem. Religion and man’s self righteousness is the problem. I stand firm in what I said. ‘Nuff said.
I fully agree on your point God is not the problem. My point is though that man is the problem. Why? Man broke the relationship with God by sinning, the fallen mankind filled that relationship with religion. God still offers the relationship - but as you say - man’s self righteousness gets in the way and he resorts to either religion - which is NOT a relationship with God which is a substitution. The other choice is a rejection of any relationship with God. Both of those are done by folks inside the box.
DerekA- It has been a true pleasure and a delight to speak with you today. I think we may have further discussions if you are so inclined. I find your responses both enlightening and informative. I would like to clarify only one statement you made -
Actually you are saying you don’t believe. And really it is not 2000 years - it is much more than that -
I’m going to assume your comment is incomplete in that I said: “I’m saying I don’t believe the interpretation of a bunch of stories which were written over a span of 500 years,…. Actually I should have said ”I don’t accept the interpretations”. There are several other references I made which I didn’t elucidate, but that is for another discussion.
Radical - I have enjoyed the discussion as well. You are also correct my mind was going faster than my fingers. I appreciate your responses.
DerekA. I like your new “face.” Thank you for your informed responses to Radical-Knight, who has intelligent arguments, if not all the facts. However, R-K I respect your willingness to dialogue- not many do so without resorting to name-calling or insults. It is refreshing to have this discussion in a comic’s forum.