Do you say this of your own accord? (John 18:34, ESV)



One of the most well-known events in Scriptures is Jesus' exchange with Pontius Pilate at his trial as described in John 18. In verse 38 of that chapter, Pilate asks the question that may be the most ironic in the history of the world, "What is truth?"

A less known but equally intriguing saying of Jesus from an apologetics viewpoint can be found in Jesus' response to an earlier question in the same trial. It is a question that is not often quoted, but on those rare occasions when it is quoted, Jesus' response is often overlooked as not particularly important or relevant to today's world. However, it is my experience (as well as the experience of many people who have truly spent time studying the Scriptures) that little, if any, of what Jesus said in the Bible lacks significance across time.

To best understand the response, it's important to see the response in context. The situation is this: Jesus has been arrested following His betrayal by Judas Iscariot. He has appeared before the Annas, the father-in-law of the High Priest, and is being brought by the Jews to stand trial before Pontius Pilate. Pilate, for his part, appears to be rather shrewd, and discerns that the Jews are bringing Jesus to him with some unspoken, ulterior motive. Pilate asks, "What accusation do you bring against this man?" (John 18:29) Pilate wants to know what charges justify Jesus' appearance before Pilate, but it is reasonable to conclude that he really wants to know why the Jews are bringing Jesus before him instead of handling the situation on their own. The Jews answer in rather vague language, "If this man were not an evildoer we would not have delivered him to you." (John 18:30) Not much in the way of specifics are stated in their response - just an assurance that Jesus is evil and his appearance before Pilate was appropriate. Pilate tries to dismiss their efforts to involve him and responds, "Take him yourself and judge him according to your law." (John 18:31a)  The Jews, however, argued that Jesus deserved death for what he had done and he could not be killed without the Pilate's consent. More specifically, they want Jesus crucified under Roman law as an example to the people of the cost of standing up to the Pharisees.

Although the text does not specifically say everything that Pilate and the Jews said in their exchange, it is apparent that either Pilate already knew that Jesus was called the King of the Jews or the Jews accused Jesus of being the King, because Pilate went in and asked Jesus, "Are you the King of the Jews?" If Jesus were leading a rebellion, that might constitute grounds for crucifying him under Roman law. Thus, it appears clear that Pilate is asking Jesus the question because he is trying to get him to say something to justify crucifixion.

What Jesus says next is actually quite significant even though it can be (and has been) treated superficially. According to John 18:33-34:

33 So Pilate entered his headquarters again and called Jesus and said to him, “Are you the King of the Jews? 34 Jesus answered, “ Jesus answered, “Do you say this of your own accord, or did others say it to you about me?"
Most commentaries interpret this verse as Jesus calling out Pilate for being a puppet of the Jews. In other words, they suggest that a good restatement of what Jesus is saying here would be: "You wouldn't be asking me that question if the Jews had not put you up to it." This is a perfectly legitimate interpretation of Jesus' words, and if that is how people understand/interpret it, I won't tell them that they're definitively wrong. But, at the same time, I don't think that that interpretation is the only way to understand Jesus' words, and it may be a rather shallow understanding of what Jesus meant. Just as many Bible verses have more than one layer of meaning, so too can Jesus' words in verse 34 be read as having a deeper application.

Instead of simply accusing Pilate of being a mouthpiece for self-righteous Jews who were seeking to gain political cover for his execution and have Jesus crucified as an example, perhaps Jesus was also asking a question of Pilate about the importance of the question to him personally. When Jesus asks Pilate if he is asking this of his own accord, perhaps a better interpretation of his words might be, "Are you asking because you want to know for yourself, or are you asking because you are seeking justification to hurt me?" In other words, Jesus was asking Pilate to confront his own heart. "Are you wanting to know if I am the King of the Jews because you want to know the truth about me, or are you asking on behalf of those who hate me?"

In this age of Internet evangelism, there are lots of people who spend time on discussion boards and who write or comment on blogs who are asking the question that has been asked since Jesus first asked the question of his disciples: Who is this Jesus? ("Who do you say that I am?) Is Jesus really God incarnate (God with us) or is he just a religious myth or fraud? As I have pointed out repeatedly, the problem is that many times those asking the questions in the toxic environment of the Internet are not serious when asking questions. They don't really care if he is the divine redeemer sent by God to redeem mankind from sin. Their motivation for asking questions about the Bible isn't to discern the truth, but to seek to dismiss him and to find fault with his body (which is his church, i.e., Christians).

Pilate, for his part, wasn't asking Jesus if he was the King of the Jews in order to find the truth of the claim. He was asking Jesus if he was the King of the Jews to establish a basis to do what the Jews were asking him to do - crucify him. Jesus, who had the ability to see into men's hearts (Luke 9:47), knew why Pilate was asking the question, and he was definitely not interested in the truth. In fact, when Jesus later tells Pilate that he has come to testify to the truth, Pilate responds with the aforementioned infamous question: "What is truth?" How can he be interested in truth when he doesn't know what truth is?

After years of engaging in discussions of the truth of Christ on-line (I have been engaging in Internet apologetics on-and-off for 17 years), it has become apparent to me that many (not all) unbelievers arguing against Christianity are very similar to Pilate. They ask questions - lots and lots of questions - but they ask not to learn the truth, but to attack Him or those who believe in Him. I expect that if they had ears to hear and asked honestly and openly, Jesus might give them the answers they seek and they might be open to actually hearing the truth. But alas, that is not what they do since that is nowhere near their heart.

The truth is Jesus is the truth. The truth is Jesus is the King. Search your heart and ask yourself, am I really asking these questions to seek the truth or to crucify Christ?

Comments

Joe Hinman said…
here's something I've always wondered about, I'd like your thoughts. Why didn't Jesus make it all obvious? He defends himself without defending himself. he knows he has to die, but he doesn't just say Ok lets go. He also dons;'t say I have not done anything wrong. so why didn't he say "Yes I am the king put me to death?"
BK said…
That's a really deep question, Joe. I will give you a couple of shallow answers right now, but I will probably address the deeper question in a future post to see if you agree.

The shallow answer is this: Jesus came to be put to death. He did not come to commit suicide. That is a fine line, but an important distinction. Jesus told his disciples that he had to be put to death and rise on the third day (Matthew 6:21). In his death, he bore the sins of the world. He needed to carry our sins on the cross (1 Peter 2:24), and he needed to be the spotless lamb. (Hebrews 2). If Jesus had said, "kill me" then it would not have been our sin that put him on the cross. If Jesus had confessed that he was a king without clarifying that his kingdom was not of this world, then Pilate could have justified the crucifixion.

I think that it had to be that it was the evil of the world that put him on the cross both in the big picture and in the immediate situation.

Besides, answering them clearly would give every atheist Scriptural justification for their assertion that Jesus has to answer their demands for proof clearly. (Talk about a snowball effect. We already know from experience that many unbelievers will keep demanding more and more proof. I can see it already, "Sure, you have shown X and Y are true, but you haven't shown Z is true...." Oh wait, we have that happening already.)

No, God has already given everyone enough information to invite Him to be their king. Pilate had enough information and the Jews had enough information. They just chose to reject what they knew.
Joe Hinman said…
I think your answer is fine, something like mine. He had to be the victim of social sin not the instigator of his own demise. That way he's in solidarity with us.
Gary said…
" am I really asking these questions to seek the truth or to crucify Christ?"

What Christians really mean by this statement is this: Unless unbelievers accept the Christian claims immediately when presented to them, it is obvious that they don't really want to know the truth; it is obvious they simply hate God; hate Jesus; and are out to destroy Christianity.

But again, turn the question back on Christians and ask them this question: "Dear Christians: Are you really seeking the truth about Islam or are you only out to destroy Allah?"

Ridiculous, huh?



Gary said…
Joe and BK: How many books written by Muslim scholars have you read to feel that you have given a fair assessment of the claims of Islam and therefore you feel sufficiently informed to reject the teachings of Islam as unsubstantiated?

Here is a list of books I have read regarding the truth claims of Christianity. And I continually read more books on the subject. I consider it a fascinating subject. However, after reviewing the Christian evidence, I believe the case for the veracity of the central claims of Christianity are very, very weak:

1. "The Resurrection of the Son of God" by NT Wright
2. "Jesus and the Eyewitnesses" by Richard Bauckham
3. "Making the Case for Christianity" by Maas, Francisco, et al.
4. " The Resurrection Fact" by Bombaro, Francisco, and others
5. "Miracles" , Volumes 1 and 2, by Craig Keener
6. “The Case for the Resurrection of Jesus” by Gary Habermas and Michael Licona
7. “Why are There Differences in the Gospels” by Michael Licona
8. “Resurrection Reconsidered” by Gregory Riley
9. “John and Thomas---Gospels in Conflict?” by Christopher Skinner
10. "The Argument for the Holy Sepulchre" (journal article) by scholar Jerome Murphy-O'Connor
11. "Israel in Egypt" by James Hoffmeier
12. “The Bible Unearthed” by Finkelstein and Silberman
13. "The Resurrection of Jesus in the Light of Jewish Burial Practices" by Craig Evans, (newsletter article) The City, a publication of Houston Baptist University, May 4, 2016
14. "Has the Tomb of Jesus Been Discovered?" by Jodi Magness, SBL Forum
15. "Genre, Sub-genre and Questions of Audience: A Proposed Typology for Greco-Roman biography" (article) by Justin M. Smith, St. Mary’s College, University of St. Andrews, Scotland
16. “Twenty-Six Reasons Why Jews Don’t Believe in Jesus” by Asher Norman (not a work of scholarship per se, but it is endorsed by Talmudic scholars for its accuracy in presenting a Jewish perspective of Jesus and the Christian New Testament)



Joe Hinman said…
That's great that you read all of that. But it's all the same kind of stuff, none of it is really theology per se, and none of it is by any of the major thinkers of Christianity.

I dare say you probably read it with the attitude that here's the enemie's big guns and I'm going to take them out. So that's not a right attitude, of course I don't know your attitude, but going by myself, that's what I do.

as for the Muslim question I had a friend who was a Muslim we used to discuss religion all the time. He provided me with several things including an Islamic study New Testament, NT with notes by Islamic scholar talking about what the Christians got wrong. It said that Jesus was not crucified in the book of Luke. I showed my fiend the passage in Luke where he is crucified he converted. It didn't last.

My list of book I wish would read but only if you manage to actually just want to know what they say not to disprove them, these are what I call real theology:

Fear and trembling and the sickness unto death, by Kierkegaard.
concluding unscinetific postscript _____________.


History of Christian thought, Paul Tillich
Systematic Theology vol 1 ___________.

Adventures of ideas by Alfred North Whitehead
Process amd Reality___________
Science and modern world___________.


The Trace of God, Joesph Hinman (hey what's that doing on there?)





Joe Hinman said…
What Christians really mean by this statement is this: Unless unbelievers accept the Christian claims immediately when presented to them, it is obvious that they don't really want to know the truth; it is obvious they simply hate God; hate Jesus; and are out to destroy Christianity.

That is totally false, you need to be where we have been, Read all my posts on Atheist watch to see what I've been through give you some idea of why i say most atheists don't want answers.

you want to feel good about yourself and to do that you need to put down others so you have a sense of superiority. and if religious people hurt you so much the better. I have studies to back that up that atheism is linked to self esteem. There is a religious side to the same phenomena so it's not just atheists.

I was an atheist,


But again, turn the question back on Christians and ask them this question: "Dear Christians: Are you really seeking the truth about Islam or are you only out to destroy Allah?"

I am seeking truth,I do ask myself critical questions about truth and about my motives.I don't to think abut atheism because I was an atheist,that is over in my life,I know God is real.

as for other faiths please read y essays about other faiths,



Demographiscsof Salvatiom

Salvation and other faiths
BK said…
Gary,

You say that what Christians really believe is this, " Unless unbelievers accept the Christian claims immediately when presented to them, it is obvious that they don't really want to know the truth; it is obvious they simply hate God; hate Jesus; and are out to destroy Christianity."

I can't speak for every Christian, but I don't believe your statement is a correct characterization of what most Christians are saying. I certainly don't believe it to be a correct characterization of what I am saying.

BTW, if you have read all of those books (and I really hope you have; I haven't read all of them) and still find the evidence to be weak, then in my view you are cavalierly dismissing some pretty impressive evidence and arguments. I suggest you don't bother reading my posts because I am not going to give you anything that is of a higher level than what you have already read and dismissed. For my part, I don't see where you have presented anything of greater substance in your comments than what is in the books so apparently the type of arguments and evidence I present or I find compelling will be woefully inadequate for your high evidentiary standards.

Go ahead and argue with Joe. He likes to play on a different battlefield than I do, and perhaps you two can argue on some stratospheric level that I do not know. Personally, I don't engage you because I see no reason in banging my head against a wall with you. My arguments are intended to reach people who haven't already prejudged any evidence that I might present as "weak."
Gary said…
Ok, well, I really do appreciate that both of you have addressed my comments. I'm not sure it is a good idea that I continue to comment here. I seem to be simply be an irritation. So I will TRY to make this my last comment on Cadre:

Joe at least has stated that my naturalistic explanation for the early Christian Resurrection belief is plausible, even though he doesn't believe it is probable. I appreciate that he is willing to even go that far. Many Christians I encounter will not even admit that a naturalistic explanation is plausible. But I suggest that Christians consider this:

Even if there were guards at the tomb, it is still possible that someone took the body of Jesus before the guards were stationed. And if there were no guards, the odds that the empty tomb was due to someone moving or stealing the body go way up.

Second, it only takes one disciple having a vivid hallucination of Jesus appearing to him for the Resurrection belief to start. If Jews in Asia Minor could believe in the Resurrection based on Paul's report, Jews in Palestine could believe based on Peter, or Andrew's, or John's, etc., report.

Third, a very bizarre conversion does not prove that the new belief system is true. Paul is not the first person to convert to a new belief system based on a "vision" and he won't be the last.

At one time, the religion of Zeus and Jupiter dominated the western world. That belief system slowly died out and was replaced. I believe we are beginning to see the same phenomenon in regards to the religion of Yahweh and Jesus. These are fascinating times.
Joe Hinman said…
you don't have to leave,I'm glad to have you here, you are welcome on Metacrock. keep responding to my posts all you like.
BK said…
You know, Gary, if you were to write in that tone more often, I would be more inclined to comment back. I am not asking you to leave altogether, but I am convinced that I am not going to provide what you want. Joe probably can.

But let me respond to what you wrote. First, of course it is possible that there is a naturalistic explanation. Anyone who says otherwise is the blind person you are mentioning. The question is whether the naturalistic explanation is the best explanation, and it is my contention that the naturalistic explanation is not the best given the totality of the evidence.

Is it possible the body was stolen before the guards were posted. Sure, it is possible. Matthew makes it clear that it was the "next day" when the Pharisees went to Pilate and asked for a guard. But, of course, sundown was the beginning of the next day, so it is not clear how quickly the guards went to go secure the tomb. It could have been almost immediately, but it also could have been later.

What I would find hard to believe (in fact, on the verge of strikingly stupid) would be if they had not checked the tomb to make certain Jesus was still in the tomb at the time that they sealed the tomb and posted the guard. To me, that makes the "disciples stole the body" theory not particularly plausible.

Also, you have to completely dismiss the fact that there was not one but multiple appearances of Jesus following the resurrection. You say that one person could have had a hallucination and convinced others to have seen him too. While the first is possible, I don't believe the second is -- especially when the disciples would have known for certain that it wasn't true if they were the ones who stole the body. The texts - which are the most reliable evidence available (I know you don't agree with that, but I do believe that's true) - do not support the spreading hallucination by a single follower at all.

Zeus and Jupiter have faded because they had no day-to-day impact on people's lives. What is unaccountable in your understanding of Christianity is the testimony of people like me who have seen God's hand working in their lives, and knows of other people who have had God work in their lives. Could some of the things that have happened by coincidences? Sure, but these coincidences have always led me closer to Christ and never further away because they are always teaching moments that reveal Him. Even the way my mother passed away, while sad, was a celebration of God, his power and his goodness. Zeus never affected anyone like God can.
JBsptfn said…
Good point, BK. There is this desire by people like Gary and Skep to compare Christianity to mythological characters (or to say that it's a copy of Sumerian myths. I read something similar to that online yesterday). Even when it's debunked, they keep running that same old canard out there. They can't accept that Christianity exists and is true.
Gary said…
I think Yahweh is a mythological character, but not Jesus. I believe that Jesus was very much an historical figure. The job of a good historian is to figure out how much of what was written about him is fact and how much is fiction. I think that both mythicists and fundamentalist Christians make the same mistake when it comes to Jesus and the Bible. They both seem to believe that it is either all true or it is all false. That is not how history works or how Greco-Roman biography was written.

BK: Your comments about your personal experiences with your faith are very important. I believe that it is these personal experiences which tip the scales of evidence, for you and many Christians, in favor of the bodily resurrection as the best explanation for the evidence. When I was a Christian I had similar experiences which made me feel as if there was a presence within me...but other times I didn't feel that presence and was confused by that fact. I suggest that without these personal experiences, you might not feel the evidence for the Resurrection is as strong as you believe it to be.

This is why Christians and skeptics discuss this issue for hours and end up scratching their heads wondering how the other side can see things so differently. Both sides judge each other as just being obstinate. I know it is hard for you to believe, but I am really am open to evidence. But it has to be good evidence, not conjecture and assumptions. For instance in Richard Bauckham's book, the best evidence he can present for his belief that the Gospel of Mark contains the recollections of Peter as retold to John Mark is a hidden literary clue, the "inclusio". Seriously?? That's your evidence, Mr. Bauckham? Sure, it is possible that John Mark imbedded this clue in his Gospel to tell us SECRETLY who the source of his Gospel was, but this is pure conjecture.

And that is the kind of evidence I see all the time when I read the books of Christian scholars. It is as if they are DESPERATELY grasping at any and all straws to hold their belief system together. Christians can't even agree on who wrote the Gospels, for Pete's sake! Bauckham believes that someone named John the Elder wrote the Gospel of John, not John the son of Zebedee. Bauckham doesn't believe that Matthew the Apostle wrote the Gospel of Matthew. Yet other conservative and moderate Christian scholars are certain that Matthew the Apostle and John the Apostle wrote the Gospels named for them. However, the majority of scholars believe that no eyewitness or associate of an eyewitness wrote the Gospels. The infamous NT Wright is quoted as saying, "I don't know who the authors of the Gospels were, nor does anyone else."

I truly believe that it is perceived answered prayer and perceived personal experiences that serve as the strongest evidence for the validity of Christianity for most Christians. The question is: Are these truly miraculous events or are they coincidences? I think the only way to answer that is to compare the number of miracles (odd events) and health recoveries in the life of the average Christian compared to those in the life of a non-believer. If Christians have a dramatically higher incidence of odd events and health recoveries, then that is something we skeptics should take into serious consideration. However, if there is no statistical difference in these events between Christians and non-Christians, then Christians should consider the strong possibility that the existence of miracles and answered prayers exist only in their minds.

BK said…
Actually, I agree with you on quite a bit (not all) of what you wrote, but the emphasis is different. What you have written makes it sound like the entire lynchpin of my belief is my personal experience. In other words, your writing leads me to conclude that you believe that but for my personal experience I would not believe the Biblical account. I would say it is more like this: my personal experience is part of the evidence that must be taken into account when determining truth. I would not believe in Christianity if it contradicted the evidence because (as I said in a prior post) I would not believe Christianity if it were untrue. But what I find is that the evidence and reason confirms my personal experience.

Is it a stretch for me to come to that conclusion? I don't believe so at all. Again, I haven't read all of those books that you have (and I have read a number of other books that are not on your list, but of the books on your list that I have read (Jesus and the Eyewitnesses, for example) none of them seemed to be stretching at all. I believe that those who are making the case at high levels have made their case quite effectively without stretching at all. I have also read and considered atheist writings. In many ways, I feel the same as Dave Gipson did when he wrote:

"I distinctly remember picking up Bertrand Russell’s';Why I Am Not A Christian' with great fear and trembling. An atheist professor challenged me to read it, claiming it would utterly wreck my faith (what a coincidence…another arrogant atheist!). How stunned I was to find myself giggling with delight as I finished it, realizing how very weak his arguments were. To this day, I keep the book in my library as a kind of faith trophy.

"Though I know you’d like to think we believe only out of ignorance, the truth is often the opposite. Many of us came to Christ PRECISELY BY LOOKING AT THE FACTS, not by looking away from them! The scenario of the atheist who sets out to disprove Christianity only to end up coming to Christ is almost a cliche now. That’s because it’s been repeated in the lives of so many doubters who eventually ended up believers (C.S. Lewis and Christopher Hitchens own brother come screamingly to mind, among many others)."


I have spent lots of time on Infidels.org. I formerly argued on discussion boards and dealt with dozens of arguments that were thrown at me until time constraints led me to abandon that practice. I am familiar with the arguments, and I have yet to see anything raised by any unbeliever that has shaken my faith. After 20 years of this, I don't expect to see anything now.

Are there passages in the the Bible that have caused me heartburn? Heck yeah, at first. But invariably, when I take the time (a scarce commodity in my world) to do the research and think/pray about troubling passages, I come to satisfactory responses. In some cases, there are things that I don't know and I don't believe that I can discover in this world because God has not chosen to explain them fully. But so far I have never encountered an objection to the Bible or the Christian faith that does not have an answer - and in most every case the answer is very good in my viewpoint.

(continued in next comment)
BK said…
(continued)


I will accept that you were a Christian and that you sought to make sense of your faith, but your comments on this blog make me believe that your loss of faith wasn't based on the Bible but rather on your misinterpretation of what the Bible teaches. For example, on my last post, you wrote: "If Yahweh is the Creator God and the only way for me to avoid eternal suffering is to get on my knees and worship him, I would be a moron not to do that. If on the other hand, the only consequence of not worshiping the vindictive, genocidal Yahweh is 'eternal separation' from him (void any form of punishment or discomfort) I would not hesitate to select that option." If you were a Christian, you must recognize (1) how inaccurate that is, and (2) how offensive that is. If you truly think that your language represents an accurate characterization of God from the Bible, then I don't blame you for abandoning Christianity because I would abandon that type of God, too. But, of course, no Christian believes that what you said is accurate, and I would argue that you have to ignore broad swaths of the Biblical teaching to believe it is true.

One last thought - I don't agree at all that statistical measurement of miraculous events will go anywhere. What I am talking about would not be considered miraculous events, but they are certainly well-timed events. The key characteristics of these events is not how miraculous they may be, but how much they confirm and reinforce lessons that the Bible sets forth. I don't know how you would test/measure that at all.

Still, I thank you for a few moments of genuine conversation. As Joe pointed out on the other thread, I don't take part in these comments much because I don't sense from the way people comment that they have any real desire to actually engage in conversation, and I would rather spend my time writing the posts themselves rather than writing comments that few people actually read. So, again, thank you for a few moments of real conversation.
Gary said…
Thank you for your detailed comment, BK. Yes, it is nice to have an actual conversation with someone from "the other side" and not just hurl insults back and forth.

I did not mean to insinuate that Christians such as yourself believe the Christian claims irrespective of the evidence, based only on subjective experiences. I, in fact, agree that there IS evidence for the Christian position.

I believe that the best evidence comes from Paul. In Paul's writings, we have actual eyewitness testimony of someone who claims to have "seen" a resurrected dead person. Unfortunately, Paul himself does not give any details of his experience, we are left assuming that the author of the Book of Acts correctly described this event, but since we aren't sure who the author of the Book of Acts was, we really can't know. Regardless, Paul converted from Judaism based on his belief that the resurrected Jesus had appeared to him.

I also accept that the belief that Jesus was bodily resurrected developed very soon after his death. I accept that the Creed in First Corinthians 15 was formulated within a few years of Jesus' death. In this Creed, it isn't just one disciple claiming to have seen a resurrected Jesus, it was several individuals and several groups. I believe that these people genuinely believed that they had seen the risen Jesus. I do not believe that these stories were fabricated. The question is, however, WHAT exactly did these individuals and groups see?

Unfortunately, the Early Creed gives very few details about these appearances. It does not describe what Jesus looked like; what Jesus did; nor what Jesus said. Could these appearances have been the appearances as described in the Gospels? Sure. But based on the scant details given in the Creed, all of these appearances could have been static images of Jesus, similar to what many Roman Catholics today claim to see of the Virgin Mary.

Because of the Gospel appearance stories, Christians ASSUME that the appearances in the Early Creed involved appearances in which Jesus talked, moved, ate food, and ascended into heaven. But there is no mention of any of this in the Early Creed.

I just finished reading Volume 2 of Christian theologian, Craig Keener's, work, "Miracles", and in that book he describes several incidents within the last 70 years in which groups of (Charismatic) Christians claim to have "seen" Jesus. But when the details of these events are given, they all were of a static image of Jesus.

Is this what the groups of Christians recorded in the Early Creed "saw"?

If the Gospel authors were writing in the literary genre of Greco-Roman biography, it would have been perfectly acceptable for them to "flesh-out" the historical appearance claims found in the Early Creed and turn them into what we find today in the detailed accounts of the four Gospels. First century readers would not have found this offensive or unusual. They would have recognized these "embellishments" as customary literary techniques for the retelling of a good story. These literary embellishments to the appearance stories would not have changed the core facts about Jesus which is what matters in a biography of that time period: that he was crucified; that he was buried; and that on the third day he rose again and shortly thereafter was seen by his disciples.
Gary said…
Another piece of evidence that Christians have is Paul's statement that he met with Peter and Jesus' brother, James, in Jerusalem for two weeks. If true, and I see no reason to believe that Paul made it up, this would confirm the existence of these characters mentioned in the Gospels and would also be evidence for the existence of Jesus.

Although Paul doesn't tell us, we assume that he, Peter, and James discussed their individual appearance experiences. If only Paul had told us the details! If Paul could describe the Jesus he saw exactly as the Jesus that Peter and James knew, this would be tremendous evidence for the Christian claim that Paul saw more than just a bright light on the Damascus Road. But he doesn't. Therefore, for all we know, the appearance experiences of all three men may have been no different than the visions and vivid dreams that tens of thousands of Christians have experienced about Jesus over the last two thousand years, some of which Craig Keener discusses in his book "Miracles".
Joe Hinman said…
Another piece of evidence that Christians have is Paul's statement that he met with Peter and Jesus' brother, James, in Jerusalem for two weeks. If true, and I see no reason to believe that Paul made it up, this would confirm the existence of these characters mentioned in the Gospels and would also be evidence for the existence of Jesus.

right and myther counter arguments are ridiculous,involving a multiplicity of Peters,

Although Paul doesn't tell us, we assume that he, Peter, and James discussed their individual appearance experiences. If only Paul had told us the details! If Paul could describe the Jesus he saw exactly as the Jesus that Peter and James knew, this would be tremendous evidence for the Christian claim that Paul saw more than just a bright light on the Damascus Road. But he doesn't. Therefore, for all we know, the appearance experiences of all three men may have been no different than the visions and vivid dreams that tens of thousands of Christians have experienced about Jesus over the last two thousand years, some of which Craig Keener discusses in his book "Miracles".


even without that it's still real good evidence,
Joe Hinman said…
If the Gospel authors were writing in the literary genre of Greco-Roman biography,

no they weren't, that is a 19th century argumnet that was discorded way back in the early 20th century then dug up again by the new atheist movement. Like the Jesus myther movement itself. It's gained some currency because so many new atheists used it on the net but it's not valid and it'is not the consensus of scholars.


it would have been perfectly acceptable for them to "flesh-out" the historical appearance claims found in the Early Creed and turn them into what we find today in the detailed accounts of the four Gospels.

creeds came after the Gospels because they were answering questions raised in he gospels or by the gospels


First century readers would not have found this offensive or unusual. They would have recognized these "embellishments" as customary literary techniques for the retelling of a good story.

The early readership of the Gospel knew nothing of these Greaco-roman stories, they did not have a publishing industry they did not have popular books that the masses consumed. They wrote for small elite audience in Roman s made up rich people and nobility,

These literary embellishments to the appearance stories would not have changed the core facts about Jesus which is what matters in a biography of that time period: that he was crucified; that he was buried; and that on the third day he rose again and shortly thereafter was seen by his disciples.

That is just an extension of the thinking of modern liberal scholarship,It's ok with me I agree with it to some extent but it's just a shaping of the facts in the image of the modern scholar.
Gary said…
"no they weren't, that is a 19th century argumnet that was discorded way back in the early 20th century then dug up again by the new atheist movement. Like the Jesus myther movement itself. It's gained some currency because so many new atheists used it on the net but it's not valid and it'is not the consensus of scholars."

I would suggest that if even conservative, evangelical Christian NT scholars like Mike Licona are saying that it IS the consensus of scholars, you just might be incorrect in your assessment of this issue.
Joe Hinman said…

I would suggest that if even conservative, evangelical Christian NT scholars like Mike Licona are saying that it IS the consensus of scholars, you just might be incorrect in your assessment of this issue.

you can;t argue consensus the basis of what you guess would indicate a consensus you have to show some kind of quantitative Malaysian like a survey. You are basing that on the idea that evangelicals are backward. That;'s not proof.

Another thing you need to do is stop arguing every thing is a consensus, that doesn't prove anything. Why it is consensus is really ore important than that the fact that it is. In Germany in 1939 the consensus among sociologists was that Jews caused trouble and were inferior. They did not really have such scientific reasons for saying that.
Joe Hinman said…
when O argue historical Jesus has presumption i base that upon the lack, of positive evidence against historicity, if there was a bunch of evidence I would not argue presumption even if the majority agree with historicity. What I am saying is it's why it is consensus that matters.
Joe Hinman said…
The modern industrialized world operates by respecting expert, consensus opinion even if no "quantitative Malaysian-like survey" exists. If multiple respected experts in a field state that such and such a claim is the consensus of the field and no one (with similar status in that field) refutes that claim, it is considered the consensus.

Those are just the facts, Joe. I'm not going to debate the point with you.

where do you gt of thinking you know this stuff better than I do? How dare you speak as though you are teaching me. where did you do your Ph.D work? I did mine at UT Dallas. Did you present papers at conferees? I have presented papers at conferences at regional competitive of the American Academe of Religious studies in both philosophy and history.I asked to be reference by guy what ran an academic journal on globalization,I cleanly have a better understanding of how academia works than you do. I've been in it since 1987.

No expert in any fiddle can just declare a consensus without without being able to back it up with some kind of documentation. Why some position is consensus matters.many times the consensus is proven wrong.
Joe Hinman said…
I am sorry g
Gary I wiped out your post.kt was a mistake. has to do with computer problem i am having, the content of it is still in my answer to it, sorry.

Habermas says 75% of scholars today say that resurrection or something like it occurred.

Here
Joe Hinman said…
that should say I WAS ASKED to be a referee for an academic journal,
Gary said…
I am currently reading William Lane Craig's "The Son Rises". He surprised me with his position regarding the Roman custom regarding the disposal of the bodies of those crucified. Check this out:

Was it or was it not the custom of the Romans to hand over the body of persons executed for major crimes (such as treason) to the victim's family or to other persons or parties?

Conservative New Testament scholar Craig Evans assures us that it was the custom of the Romans to hand over the body of such persons to their families or to other parties. Therefore the story in the Gospels of Pilate handing over the body of Jesus to Joseph of Arimathea would not have been unusual.

"Not so!" says infamous conservative Christian apologist William Lane Craig (WLC):

"Mark says that he [Joseph of Arimathea] went in bravely to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. The authorities did not ordinarily give over the corpse of a victim executed for a major crime, so it took courage for Joseph to ask for Jesus' body. According to Mark, Joseph apparently gave Jesus a proper burial." ---WLC in "The Son Rises", p. 54

Gary: So WLC admits here what many skeptics argue: It would be highly unusual for the Romans to hand over the body of someone executed for a major crime to be given a proper burial. And if that major crime were treason against Caesar, as it was in Jesus' case, the idea that Pilate would allow the body of such a criminal to be given an honorable burial would be highly improbable.

Yet scholar Craig Evans would have us believe that his research says otherwise! Bart Ehrman, by the way, has done a very good job of demonstrating the errors in Evans thinking on this point and would agree that William Lane Craig is correct.

So although Craig is correct on this point, it weakens his argument that Arimathea was a real historical character who buried Jesus. The burial of Jesus by J. of A. is certainly possible, but highly improbable based on Roman execution customs.
Joe Hinman said…
read my essay i posted this morning. l I'm giving some of the empirical data from my book, you should read my book too, really if you want to see some of the best empirical evidence for belief in God it;s my book,Not becauseof my efforts I just collected the data but 50 years of great social science research such as Dr. hood,
Gary said…
Does you book distinguish between evidence for a Creator God and evidence for the ancient Hebrew god, Yahweh. I personally do not assume that evidence for one necessarily correlates with evidence for the other.
Joe Hinman said…
Gary said...
Does you book distinguish between evidence for a Creator God and evidence for the ancient Hebrew god, Yahweh. I personally do not assume that evidence for one necessarily correlates with evidence for the other.

yes it does.God must be eternal,necessary and ground of being,Anything not like that bout that is talking about God a priori there can only be one. Cant be two grounds of being.

You might think god of OT doesn't have those features yes he does,I can prove it, according to Bible passages he does. they are talking about God, does that mean all Biblical texts are accurate? No they are not. Not need to pretend they are.

you are hing behind the bible. You have shaped your atheist view in rejection of 'bible god, so your atheism depends upon frighting Bible God. But Bible God is myth. the realty is God.Parts of the Bible that really are inspired attest to the reality of God the rest is just cultural.
Gary said…
"God must be eternal, necessary and ground of being. Anything not like that bout that is talking about God a priori there can only be one. Cant be two grounds of being."

That's pretty non-specific. Couldn't that describe a Creator God who has not yet been identified?
Joe Hinman said…
Gary said...
"God must be eternal, necessary and ground of being. Anything not like that bout that is talking about God a priori there can only be one. Cant be two grounds of being."

That's pretty non-specific. Couldn't that describe a Creator God who has not yet been identified?

Sure but then if we have an innate sense of God we can assume it's planted with the idea of community with God in mind on God's part. Then you seek the tradition that speaks to you,
Gary said…
Hmm. This is why I consider myself an agnostic. I am willing to concede that there might be a Creator, but if he (or she) exists, the evidence suggests to me that he created the laws of nature to NEVER be violated, he is indifferent to suffering, and he has little or no interest in being identified.

That doesn't sound like Yahweh/Jesus to me.
Joe Hinman said…
you are still working in an antiquated model of physical law, Your statement implies prescriptive laws, science now thinks of physical as mere descriptions of what happens, But that means that unless observations are 100% curate there can be behaviors that differ from our view. To say "violation" implies real laws, real law.
Gary said…
Ok, it is not a proven fact that any "law" (they are all actually just theories)of nature has ever been broken.
Gary said…
Again, I am perfectly willing to accept the existence of evidence for a Creator, I just don't see good evidence for your god, Yahweh. Is it possible that the THEORIES otherwise referred to as "Natural Laws" are sometimes violated? Sure. But if they are, the evidence for such violations is poor.

I believe that Yahweh is an ancient myth.

To me the evidence suggests that the Creator, whoever he (or she) is, is a brilliant scientist, tucked away in his laboratory somewhere, madly concocting this and that invention, without any care in the world for the end result of his inventions, as long as he finds the process entertaining.
Joe Hinman said…
Gary said...
Again, I am perfectly willing to accept the existence of evidence for a Creator, I just don't see good evidence for your god, Yahweh.

I believe in Jesus because of the things person I know told me that Jesus did in her life. I did not just believer her but since she was very intelligent it got my attention and I began searching. I was. I was therefore, disposed to call for Jesus aid when I needed it and he answered. I can;t make that happen in your life. All I can do is tell you it worked in mine.

I understand how the OT would be off putting. Really I see the OT as just a cultural artifact that is there to make the mission of Messiah meaningful. Please read my page on Biblical inspiration because I am not an inerrantist I don;t accept all of the OT.

Jesus is the revelation the Bible is just the record of some people's encounters with the Divine.



Is it possible that the THEORIES otherwise referred to as "Natural Laws" are sometimes violated? Sure. But if they are, the evidence for such violations is poor.

you are still thinking in terms of violating laws, they are not laws, they are only descriptions of how the universe behave since not 100% there's room for other descriptions.

Lourdes evidence is good, people who haven't studied it act like they know all aout it most of what they say about it is Bullshit.



I believe that Yahweh is an ancient myth.

J is the place holder they used because they could not speak his name. They wrote a lot of stuff using their tribal religion to radicalize the political situation. But When J sought to show us first hand what "he" really is like and want "he" became Jesus to do it,

To me the evidence suggests that the Creator, whoever he (or she) is, is a brilliant scientist, tucked away in his laboratory somewhere, madly concocting this and that invention, without any care in the world for the end result of his inventions, as long as he finds the process entertaining.

you are deifying science because you think is accessible to you and God is not, Science is not the mediator between us and God. I can see why you would use science because it reveals 'God;s work, in that way some of god';s mind, but Jesus is
God's mind.Loogos =ratoojal, Logos is is the rational of God.
Gary said…
I think that Jesus was a good man but I see nothing about him that indicates that he was a god. After all, if the Gospels are correct, and of course there is no way to be certain they are, Jesus believed that Noah's flood and the Exodus were real historical events. The evidence strongly indicates that these alleged events never happened. Therefore, Jesus was wrong. If Jesus was wrong, he is not the perfect, all-knowing God the Bible claims he is. He was a good man. He taught some wonderful humanistic teachings. We should honor him for those teachings and not try to turn him into a deity.
Joe Hinman said…
Gary said...
I think that Jesus was a good man but I see nothing about him that indicates that he was a god. After all, if the Gospels are correct, and of course there is no way to be certain they are, Jesus believed that Noah's flood and the Exodus were real historical events.

Two answers, either be limited omniscience for the purpose of being truly human, or it could be he was speaking within the multiracial assumptions and within the myth,Like using Star trek as an example and talking about Spock as though he's real. I've done that for effect.



The evidence strongly indicates that these alleged events never happened.

wrong it's extreme well documented that they probably did. The parables and pericopes of the Gospels are probably arranged so nanny times as sermonize devices that they have no real breaking in sophistry but the major outlines of the story are highly likely. Jesus was from Nazm claimed to be Messiah,worked :wonders" and taught and people followed him he crcified and empty tomb and calimed he was seen risen, Tht musch is solid,


Therefore, Jesus was wrong. If Jesus was wrong, he is not the perfect, all-knowing God the Bible claims he is. He was a good man. He taught some wonderful humanistic teachings. We should honor him for those teachings and not try to turn him into a deity.

that's weak. saying he was wrong because he doesn't tell us about the lack of flood is like saying he;s wrong because he didn't tell them he theory gravity,

that's kike saying when he said washing your hands doesn't change what;s inside you he doens'tknow the tghoery of germs.
Gary said…
"Two answers, either be limited omniscience for the purpose of being truly human, or it could be he was speaking within the multiracial assumptions and within the myth,Like using Star trek as an example and talking about Spock as though he's real. I've done that for effect."

Or a third option, he was wrong, proving he was just human, no different from you or me.

The overwhelming consensus of experts says that the Flood and Exodus did not happen. The consensus of experts can of course be wrong, but it is much more likely that you the non-expert is wrong.

Why don't you just admit it, Joe. No amount of external evidence will ever prove to you that Jesus did not rise from the dead and is not currently Ruler of the Cosmos. The reason: Your subjective feelings of a presence within you and your subjective personal experiences are all the proof you need.

It really is a waste of time for us to debate "evidence".
Joe Hinman said…
Joe:Two answers, either be limited omniscience for the purpose of being truly human, or it could be he was speaking within the multiracial assumptions and within the myth,Like using Star trek as an example and talking about Spock as though he's real. I've done that for effect."

Gary:Or a third option, he was wrong, proving he was just human, no different from you or me.

We've already excluded that option given all the other stuff we an argue about him such as the resurrection. He rose from the dead and worked miracles and said all this great stuff but he missed this one crucial thing? hardly,

The overwhelming consensus of experts says that the Flood and Exodus did not happen. The consensus of experts can of course be wrong, but it is much more likely that you the non-expert is wrong.

I don't believe i the flood and exodus, haven't you listed to anything I said? please go look up the meaning of "liberal theology."


Gary:Why don't you just admit it, Joe. No amount of external evidence will ever prove to you that Jesus did not rise from the dead and is not currently Ruler of the Cosmos.

Before if can take that seriously you need to give me some evidence that seeks to prove he didn't, there is none, there is no evidence, sang that there;s a consensus is not evidence you have not documented it you cant even prove why they hold it if they do.



The reason: Your subjective feelings of a presence within you and your subjective personal experiences are all the proof you need.

they are backed by 200 empirical studies,so you have no room to talk, you no counter study you can't beat a single argumnent I have on that issue.

GaryIt really is a waste of time for us to debate "evidence".

sure because you want to believe something so you choose to disjunctive the evidence when you can't beat it. That means your views are irrational. Rational means you use reason to dekicde thjgns,you don't. You dump reason when you don't like where kit leads.
Gary said…
Hey, Joe. I am currently reading Roman Catholic scholar Raymond Brown's book, "The Virginal Conception and Bodily Resurrection of Jesus". Very interesting book. I am coming to the conclusion that Roman Catholics and moderate/liberal Protestants such as yourself have a lot in common in regards to how they view "evidence". Check this out:

“That the [Catholic] Church’s grasp of truth changes and develops is another insight that has become respectable in the aftermath of Vatican II. …while the Scriptures are the word of God, they do not escape the limitations of history. The Scriptures reflect the limited views current in specific periods of human history, and this historical context must be taken into account in interpreting the weight and import of their inspired message.

“In the last one hundred years we [the Roman Catholic Church] have moved from an understanding wherein inspiration guaranteed that the Bible was totally inerrant to an understanding wherein inerrancy is limited to the Bible’s teaching of “that truth which God wanted put into the sacred writings for the sake of our salvation.”

—Catholic scholar, Raymond Brown, The Virginal Conception and Bodily Resurrection of Jesus, pp. 7-9

Gary: How convenient. How can anyone know what exactly was placed within the “sacred writings” for the sake of our salvation and what was not? Doesn’t this explanation make it possible to excuse any and all future discoveries of error within the Bible, including the Bodily Resurrection itself? If we could find the very bones of Jesus, couldn’t the above excuse be used to say that as long as the message of salvation still exists within Scripture, it is irrelevant if the bodily resurrection of Jesus really occurred in human history or not? If the Christian God exists, who knows what He placed in the Bible as fact and what he allowed in as human error. Who knows the mind of God?

Oh, yes. I forgot. The magisterium of the Holy Mother Church knows the mind of God! They will tell us what is truth and what is not truth.

“[Roman Catholic] theologians are quite aware that the evidence they offer must be assessed within the wider context of the Church’s life guided by the Spirit and are only too happy to put their evidence at the service of the magisterium.” p. 12

Gary: Silly (former) Protestant, me.

The Theory of Evolution:

“The Church has infallibly taught the doctrine that God was specially involved in creating man in His image and likeness. For almost 1900 years that theological doctrine was interpreted to include the how of man’s creation, namely, by direct divine action forming man’s body from the earth, and woman’s body from man’s. Today, no serious theologian accepts this understanding of the how, because of the scientific evidence favoring evolution; yet the changed understanding of the how has not negated the infallibility of the Church’s teaching, for we have learned to distinguish between the theological insight and the physical imagery in which it was clothed.” p. 9

Gary: Right… And the (naked) Emperor really was wearing clothing made of invisible thread that only the most discerning and refined could see!

(cont'd)

Gary said…
(cont'd from above)

Come on, Dr. Brown! Why not just admit that the entire Christian Church had been wrong for 1900 years! Why concoct theological psycho-babble (“spin”) which makes you look silly to the entire non-Christian world?

Discussion: I believe that Roman Catholics and conservative/moderate (non-fundamentalist) Protestants share a commonality when it comes to dealing with apparent errors in the Bible. A Roman Catholic simply looks to the Magisterium of the Catholic Church for a new interpretation of the Bible: The previous interpretation was simply human error. When, for example, the Bible said that God made the universe in six days he didn’t mean six literal “days”. The Magisterium cannot be wrong, after all, Church tradition says so.

It is a little more difficult for the Protestant. The Protestant must convince his brain of the probability that the Creation Story was originally written as an allegory. It was never meant to be understood as historical…or some other such rationalization. But unlike the Roman Catholic, each individual Protestant must concoct his (or her) own personal rationalization, he cannot depend on a group of old men in Rome doing it for him.

So you see, dear Reader, both the Catholic and the Protestant Christian can ignore the evidence (or lack thereof) for the Christian supernatural claims. The evidence doesn’t matter. In the end, it is what the highest authority in their respective belief systems tells them is truth: for the Catholic, it is the Magisterium. For the Protestant, it is that “still, small voice” inside of him: his subjective feelings and personal experiences; in other words: HIMSELF—each individual Protestant talking to himself, convincing himself that his supernatural worldview is the one and only Truth.
Joe Hinman said…
Gary: How convenient. How can anyone know what exactly was placed within the “sacred writings” for the sake of our salvation and what was not? Doesn’t this explanation make it possible to excuse any and all future discoveries of error within the Bible, including the Bodily Resurrection itself? If we could find the very bones of Jesus, couldn’t the above excuse be used to say that as long as the message of salvation still exists within Scripture, it is irrelevant if the bodily resurrection of Jesus really occurred in human history or not? If the Christian God exists, who knows what He placed in the Bible as fact and what he allowed in as human error. Who knows the mind of God?

He's talkie about reading the text of the bile we can understand from scholarly methods what is in the text and what was original and was emendation. We can see from our exegesis what matters deal with salvation. That's no problem.

Oh, yes. I forgot. The magisterium of the Holy Mother Church knows the mind of God! They will tell us what is truth and what is not truth.

I think he's talking about scholarship

“[Roman Catholic] theologians are quite aware that the evidence they offer must be assessed within the wider context of the Church’s life guided by the Spirit and are only too happy to put their evidence at the service of the magisterium.” p. 12

Gary: Silly (former) Protestant, me.

seems reasonable what;s wrong with it? if we assume God i real why should we not assume he working in our lives?

The Theory of Evolution:

“The Church has infallibly taught the doctrine that God was specially involved in creating man in His image and likeness. For almost 1900 years that theological doctrine was interpreted to include the how of man’s creation, namely, by direct divine action forming man’s body from the earth, and woman’s body from man’s. Today, no serious theologian accepts this understanding of the how, because of the scientific evidence favoring evolution; yet the changed understanding of the how has not negated the infallibility of the Church’s teaching, for we have learned to distinguish between the theological insight and the physical imagery in which it was clothed.” p. 9

Gary: Right… And the (naked) Emperor really was wearing clothing made of invisible thread that only the most discerning and refined could see!

(cont'd)

He is saying there is no final conflict between evolution and belief in 'god. you know I think you want him to say there is.you are actually criticizing him for being reassemble because it makes it more difficult to deal with and make religion look bad,
Joe Hinman said…
Come on, Dr. Brown! Why not just admit that the entire Christian Church had been wrong for 1900 years! Why concoct theological psycho-babble (“spin”) which makes you look silly to the entire non-Christian world?

wrong about what? they didn't have evolution for 1900 years,

Discussion: I believe that Roman Catholics and conservative/moderate (non-fundamentalist) Protestants share a commonality when it comes to dealing with apparent errors in the Bible. A Roman Catholic simply looks to the Magisterium of the Catholic Church for a new interpretation of the Bible: The previous interpretation was simply human error. When, for example, the Bible said that God made the universe in six days he didn’t mean six literal “days”. The Magisterium cannot be wrong, after all, Church tradition says so.

the did not write the bible it only picked out texts that were written by certain communities within the crutch. why are you unwillingness to allow them to deal with the conflict in their own way? that says to me you are not wiling to learn or to allkow peple to think differently than you,

It is a little more difficult for the Protestant. The Protestant must convince his brain of the probability that the Creation Story was originally written as an allegory. It was never meant to be understood as historical…or some other such rationalization. But unlike the Roman Catholic, each individual Protestant must concoct his (or her) own personal rationalization, he cannot depend on a group of old men in Rome doing it for him.

So you see, dear Reader, both the Catholic and the Protestant Christian can ignore the evidence (or lack thereof) for the Christian supernatural claims. The evidence doesn’t matter. In the end, it is what the highest authority in their respective belief systems tells them is truth: for the Catholic, it is the Magisterium. For the Protestant, it is that “still, small voice” inside of him: his subjective feelings and personal experiences; in other words: HIMSELF—each individual Protestant talking to himself, convincing himself that his supernatural worldview is the one and only Truth.


you are ignoring the evidence. I just pointed out how your attitude is anti intellectual and anti-free thought. you feel the dissonance,you know your arguments were defeated you are trying to recover your anti'god attitude and feel kike a God Hatter again,
Gary said…
You keep listening to your "inner voice", Joe. I'll accept the evidence, and allow the evidence to determine what is true and what is not, regardless of which "side" it supports.

I really like Raymond Brown's scholarship, by the way. Even though he believes in the supernatural, he accepts the evidence without trying to force it into a presumed dogmatic position. For instance he believes that both Matthew and Luke's birth narratives are fiction. He points out that some early Palestinian Jewish Christian groups believed that Jesus had been fathered by Joseph, that he was not virgin conceived. However, there were other Palestinian Jewish Christian groups who did believe that he was virginally conceived. I like the honesty. He doesn't try to harmonize. He allows the evidence to speak for itself. I intend to read more of his work.
Joe Hinman said…
You keep listening to your "inner voice", Joe. I'll accept the evidence, and allow the evidence to determine what is true and what is not, regardless of which "side" it supports.

but you see you are not listening to the evidence. the evidence proves the inner voice works, did you not pay attention when I showed that? I quote studies,

I really like Raymond Brown's scholarship, by the way. Even though he believes in the supernatural, he accepts the evidence without trying to force it into a presumed dogmatic position. For instance he believes that both Matthew and Luke's birth narratives are fiction. He points out that some early Palestinian Jewish Christian groups believed that Jesus had been fathered by Joseph, that he was not virgin conceived. However, there were other Palestinian Jewish Christian groups who did believe that he was virginally conceived. I like the honesty. He doesn't try to harmonize. He allows the evidence to speak for itself. I intend to read more of his work.

I think the references to the virginal conception is a midrash, I like Brown a lot too for that same reasom.

the evidence vastly supports resurrection and other things I say this using only guys like Brown no fundies,
Gary said…
One thing to think about, Joe:

If I were really a "God-hater" I would be a mythicist and deny Jesus altogether. But I'm not. I DO accept good evidence for ANY truth claim. If there is good evidence that supports the traditional Christian position, I will accept it. I seek the truth, regardless of what that truth might be. What I don't accept are assumptions, conjecture, and subjective feelings as evidence.
Joe Hinman said…
Obviously not true because yo can't eventuate the evidence favors the res. Now in making that statement I'm not counting the philosophical assumptions of naturalism as evidence because it's not proof of itself, that would be begging the question.

I may be unfair calling you God hater, I amend that.would you not agree you are not overly fond of Christianity? I can say I don;t see the point after Nov 2016.
Gary said…
I'm not fond of conservative/orthodox Christianity, but I have a lot of respect for the humanitarian good done by liberal Christianity.

Back to the Resurrection. Here is a question for you, Joe. In the Gospel of Mark, the author says that on Easter morning, the women were going to the tomb with spices to anoint the body of Jesus. In the Gospel of Matthew, whom most scholars believe was dependent on Mark, the author changes the purpose of the women's visit to the tomb. Matthew says the women went "to see the sepulcher" not to anoint the body. Why do you think the author of Matthew changed Mark's story on this point?
Joe Hinman said…
Maybe they talked to different witnesses.
the author/redactors of Matthew may have had a witness in their community who went to see the sepulcher and that is the reason she gave. The Markan community had one who went to anoint the body. The more women who went the more reasons for going.
Gary said…
Why would the women (plural) from the Markan community take spices to anoint the body if Matthew's guards had sealed the tomb and were standing guard in front of the sealed door?
Joe Hinman said…
Gary said...
Why would the women (plural) from the Markan community take spices to anoint the body if Matthew's guards had sealed the tomb and were standing guard in front of the sealed door?


why do you think they would be privy to the guarded schedule? they probably didn't even know there would be guards,the Romans did not consult them,
Gary said…
It's always possible to find a harmonization,isn't it Joe?

Raymond Brown says in, "The Virginal Conception and the Bodily Resurrection of Jesus" that this variation from Mark on Matthew's part is one of several reasons why "most scholars" do not believe that the guards at the tomb pericope is historical.
Joe Hinman said…
you don't understand what the's sang, you also keep ignoring th effact tht Brown Sweeney have two independent early attestations to the guards, they are in the Passion narrative and show upin Peter,

quote him,He's arguing not that there were no guards but that they aret derivative of Matthew they are from an endpoint source used by Peter,
Gary said…
"Most scholars regard the story of the guard as a Christian apologetic response to the contention that the body had been stolen."

---Raymond Brown, "The Virginal Conception and the Bodily Resurrection of Jesus", page 115, footnote 192

I have now give you two scholars, one a conservative Protestant and one a moderate Roman Catholic, who both state that most/almost all (a consensus) of scholars do not believe in the historicity of the guards at the Empty Tomb.
Joe Hinman said…
as I suspected Gary you were elbowroom pout what Craig thinks:

on Reasonalbe Faith

quote:

"Meanwhile the church historian Hans Freiherr von Campenhausen in an equally epochal essay defended the historical credibility of Jesus' empty tomb. During the ensuing years a stream of works on the historicity of Jesus' resurrection flowed forth from German, French and English presses. By 1968 the old skepticism was a spent force and began dramatically to recede. So complete has been the turn-about during the second half of this century concerning the resurrection of Jesus that it is no exaggeration to speak of a reversal of scholarship on this issue, such that those who deny the historicity of Jesus' resurrection now seem to be the ones on the defensive. Perhaps one of the most significant theological developments in this connection is the theological system of Wolfhart Pannenberg, who bases his entire Christology on the historical evidence for Jesus' ministry and especially the resurrection. This is a development undreamed of in German theology prior to 1950. Equally startling is the declaration of one of the world's leading Jewish theologians Pinchas Lapid, that he is convinced on the basis of the evidence that Jesus of Nazareth rose from the dead. Lapide twits New Testament critics like Bultmann and Marxsen for their unjustified skepticism and concludes that he believes on the basis of the evidence that the God of Israel raised Jesus from the dead.

Read more: http://www.reasonablefaith.org/jesus-resurrection#ixzz4gUFCp9yk"
Gary said…
I never claimed that Craig does not believe in the historicity of the Empty Tomb. In fact, I never claimed that Craig does not believe in the historicity of the Guards at the Tomb. What I did state is that both Craig and Brown agree that the overwhelming majority of scholars believe that the Guard at the Tomb story is NOT historical. I therefore have two prominent scholars, one a conservative Protestant and one a moderate Catholic, both stating that overwhelming majority (the consensus) of NT scholars do not believe in the historicity of the Guards at the Tomb.

You are welcome to believe that there WERE guards at Jesus' tomb, Joe, but your position is a minority position; a very small minority position.
Gary said…
So, I have given convincing evidence that it reasonable, plausible, and rational for someone to believe that the reason that Jesus' tomb was empty that Sunday morning was because someone had stolen/moved the body.

The next question is, what is the most probable explanation for the belief by some of Jesus' followers that he appeared to them shortly after his death? I believe that my scenario presented previously is much more plausible/probable: one of the disciples, most likely Simon Peter, had an hallucination in which he believed that the risen Jesus appeared to him. He then convinced the other disciples that his appearance experience had been a reality. They in turn, then had their own experiences of various natures (vivid dreams, false sightings, hallucinations, etc..). And voila...the Resurrection belief was born.
Joe Hinman said…
Gary said...
I never claimed that Craig does not believe in the historicity of the Empty Tomb. In fact, I never claimed that Craig does not believe in the historicity of the Guards at the Tomb. What I did state is that both Craig and Brown agree that the overwhelming majority of scholars believe that the Guard at the Tomb story is NOT historical. I therefore have two prominent scholars, one a conservative Protestant and one a moderate Catholic, both stating that overwhelming majority (the consensus) of NT scholars do not believe in the historicity of the Guards at the Tomb.

You are welcome to believe that there WERE guards at Jesus' tomb, Joe, but your position is a minority position; a very small minority position.


you did not really focus on what the said. The point is not what Craig believes the point is he said there's a huge change in attitude toward the resurrection and the skeptics are on the defensive. that makes it a lot less likely that he said the consensus is against the guards.I still think the context was about a select group not all scholars.''You have not yet quoted that quote, why?

quote it. let's see what it really says,
Joe Hinman said…
So, I have given convincing evidence that it reasonable, plausible, and rational for someone to believe that the reason that Jesus' tomb was empty that Sunday morning was because someone had stolen/moved the body.

you have not given any evidence you merely alluded to it, quote the quote,

The next question is, what is the most probable explanation for the belief by some of Jesus' followers that he appeared to them shortly after his death? I believe that my scenario presented previously is much more plausible/probable: one of the disciples, most likely Simon Peter, had an hallucination in which he believed that the risen Jesus appeared to him. He then convinced the other disciples that his appearance experience had been a reality. They in turn, then had their own experiences of various natures (vivid dreams, false sightings, hallucinations, etc..). And voila...the Resurrection belief was born.

5/08/2017 09:08:00 AM Delete


Plausibility is a function of the evidenced,you are merely allowing your own prejudices,
wishes and presups to guide you thinking and using that as evidence.
Gary said…
What quote?? I have given you both Craig and Brown's quotes.
Gary said…
William Lane Craig:

"[T]his is a question that I think is probably best left out of the program because the vast majority of New Testament scholars would regard Matthew’s guard story as unhistorical. I can hardly think of anybody who would defend the historicity of the guard at the tomb story, and the main reasons for that are two. One is because it’s only found in Matthew and it seems very odd that if there were a Roman guard or even a Jewish guard at the tomb that Mark wouldn’t know about it nor would there be any mention of it. The other reason is nobody seemed to understand Jesus’s resurrection predictions. The disciples who heard it most often had not an inkling of what he meant and yet somehow the Jewish authorities were supposed to have heard of these predictions and understood them so well but they were able to set a guard around the tomb. And again that doesn’t seem to make sense so most scholars regard the guard at the tomb story as a legendary Matthean invention that isn’t really historical."
Gary said…
Source for above WLC quote: http://youcallthisculture.blogspot.com/2013/06/matthews-guards-and-evolution-of.html
Gary said…
Raymond Brown:

"Most scholars regard the story of the guard as a Christian apologetic response to the contention that the body had been stolen."

---"The Virginal Conception and the Bodily Resurrection of Jesus", page 115, footnote 192

What more objective evidence do you need, Joe?
Joe Hinman said…
repeat the Craig quote please
Joe Hinman said…
Craig seems to be unaware of the independent early nature of the guards in PMPN. stop ignoring that reality. I've pointed it out every time and you act like it means noting. It toatlly changes the value of Craig[s quote.
Joe Hinman said…
Most scholars regard the story of the guard as a Christian apologetic response to the contention that the body had been stolen."

---"The Virginal Conception and the Bodily Resurrection of Jesus", page 115, footnote 192

What more objective evidence do you need, Joe?

do you not get t? he's the one did the original work in uncovering the independent early isomerism in Gpete, His statment is in lue of his own work. In other words he;s saying they need to read this book
Gary said…
???

No amount of objective evidence is EVER going to overturn the subjective evidence in your "heart", will it, Joe? The "spirit" that speaks to you and gives you comfort within is all the evidence you need to believe.

There is another word for that concept, Joe. It's called: an imaginary friend. Imaginary friends provide very REAL comfort and a very real sense of security but the friend itself is NOT real, Joe. It is an illusion.

I believe our discussions have reached an impasse.

I wish you well.
Joe Hinman said…
No amount of objective evidence is EVER going to overturn the subjective evidence in your "heart", will it, Joe? The "spirit" that speaks to you and gives you comfort within is all the evidence you need to believe.

You are still working in that mistaken dichotomy between subject.object. There is no objectivity, an objective standard is merely less subjective, There is no perfect objectivity and cultivation of that illusion is merely something to hide behind.

personal experience is true compromise. The scientific data of my studies prove the assertions of my subjective experiences,200 studies you have none, none at all,I have 200 backing my world view. Backing my experiences of God.


Learn this term. Inter=subjective, Not merely subjective but INTER-subjective. Objectivity is a sham but inter-subjectivity means it's confirmed and validated even though subjective.

There is another word for that concept, Joe. It's called: an imaginary friend. Imaginary friends provide very REAL comfort and a very real sense of security but the friend itself is NOT real, Joe. It is an illusion.


that is a mockery of the God hater club,an attempt to disvalue and degrade personal experiences and the reality of God, But you have nothing like the vast body of confining data I have backing my views,you have noone single study reproving your view.

science does not offer you a body of conferring data, it's an excavate you are not scientific, there is no scientific basis for disbelief in God,


when you say we've reached an impasse you really mean you want to quite before you have e comnfronted with more reality that blows your ideology out of the water,,
Joe Hinman said…
you are still pretending there is no independent older source on the guards and you have no answer for it you are still oping ignoring it makes it go away.
Gary said…
Joe, I know this will be hard for you to consider, but please think about this:

I believe that you have constructed an elaborate, very sophisticated façade in an unconscious attempt to give respectability to an ancient tale that in reality is nothing more than a ghost story.

Empty graves prove nothing, and, people claim to see ghosts all the time.

Ghosts aren't real, Joe. They aren't real when you think you "see" one, and they aren't real when you "feel" that one is living inside your body. Ghosts don't talk to you in a "still, small voice". Ghosts don't protect you from car crashes and cancer. Ghosts are not building a mansion for you in outer space. And ghosts cannot magically make you live forever. You are living in an elaborate delusion, Joe.

Come out of the darkness of superstition and into the light of reason, rationality, and science.
Gary said…
It really is very simple:

Modern, educated people know that people today who have been brain dead for three days do not come back to life; dead people today do not walk out of their graves to hook up with former friends for a broiled fish lunch. It NEVER happens.

So why on earth would modern, educated people believe that such an event happened in Antiquity in an age of rampant superstition and scientific ignorance?

I believe it is ONLY because our western culture, for 18 centuries, has condoned and enforced the belief in this far-fetched tall tale that it is conceivable that modern, educated people would believe in the historicity of this fable. Just as culture is the reason that many modern, very educated Muslims still believe that a man rode a winged horse to heaven, and culture is the reason that many modern, very educated Hindus believe that a man caused a water buffalo to speak in a human language, it is culture that gives acceptance for modern, educated westerners to believe that a dead corpse walked out if its first century tomb, ate a broiled fish lunch with its former fishing buddies, and then that evening, levitated into outer space when it currently sits on a golden throne on the edge of the Cosmos.

It is a ghost story, folks. It is not reality. No amount of sophisticated-sounding mumbo jumbo changes that fact.
Joe Hinman said…
Joe, I know this will be hard for you to consider, but please think about this:

I believe that you have constructed an elaborate, very sophisticated façade in an unconscious attempt to give respectability to an ancient tale that in reality is nothing more than a ghost story.


I did not invent that sophistication, it's there and it has been there for hundreds of years. I sent to Perkins school of theology at Southerner Methodist University where I got MTS degree.I found there a whole seminary full of people from major universities around the wrold who exhibited that kind of sophistication. They were students of Baultmann, Kasemann, Pelikan, Moltmann, Reinhold Niebuhr, John Rawls, and many others.Yale,Oxford, Tubeingin, McGill, Princeton, so on. It's im every major university around the world, Every major university has a theology department, or religious studies.

Empty graves prove nothing, and, people claim to see ghosts all the time.

you are speaking in generalities. In general terms true but not when we consider the evidence in Jesus' case,

Ghosts aren't real, Joe. They aren't real when you think you "see" one, and they aren't real when you "feel" that one is living inside your body. Ghosts don't talk to you in a "still, small voice". Ghosts don't protect you from car crashes and cancer. Ghosts are not building a mansion for you in outer space. And ghosts cannot magically make you live forever. You are living in an elaborate delusion, Joe.

Your reasoning in that bit of flim flam involves the following fallacies: Black is white slide,guilt by association, begging the question, and, emotional blackmail.

Come out of the darkness of superstition and into the light of reason, rationality, and science.

you should be totally embarrassed that is such a slip shod it of reasoning then to follow up with a sounding slogan based upon prejudicial ignorance is just ludicrous. That argumemt is a poster child for fallacious reasoning, you really expect that to mean something to someone who spend seven years searching 200 studies? those studies back my God arguments on religions experience.

Please read my book and do some thinking about it. see link:

The Trace of God


we need to close this thread,let;s move o nto new aruments,


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