Page 2 of 26 FirstFirst 123412 ... LastLast
Results 21 to 40 of 505

Thread: He never ...

  1. #21
    Administrator squirt's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Dallas, TX
    Posts
    731,907
    Rep Power
    16254

    Default Affirming the Gospels ...

    on the whole, the gospels are excellent sources of historical reliability, as a matter of fact, they're the most trustworthy, complete and reliable sources for Jesus, the incidental sources really don't add much detailed information; however, they are valuable as corroborative evidence, let's be honest, some people scoff at how much corroborative evidence there really is, for example, in 1979 Charles Templeton wrote a novel called Act of God, in which a fictional archaeologist made a statement that reflects the beliefs of alot of people ...

    The [Christian] church bases it's claims mostly on the teachings of an obscure young Jew with messianic pretentions who, let's face it, didn't make much of an impression in his lifetime, there isn't a single word about him in secular history, not a word, no mention of him by the Romans, not so much as a reference by Josephus ...

    now that doesn't sound as if there's much corroboration of the life of Jesus outside the bible, Templeton's archaeologist is simply mistaken, because we do have very, very important references to Jesus in Josephus and Tacitus, the gospels themselves say that many who heard him - even members of his own family - did not believe in Jesus during his lifetime, yet he made such an impression that today, Jesus is remembered everywhere, whereas Herod the Great, Pontius Pilate, and other ancient rulers are not as widely known, so he certainly did make an impression on those who believed in him, he did not of course, among those who did not believe in him

  2. #22
    Administrator squirt's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Dallas, TX
    Posts
    731,907
    Rep Power
    16254

    Default Testimony by a Traitor ...

    Josephus was a first century historian who's well known among scholars but whose name is unfamiliar to most people today, he was a very important Jewish historian, he was born in AD 37, and he wrote most of his four works toward the end of the first century, in his autobiography, he defended his behavior in the Jewish-Roman war, which took place from AD 66-74, he had surrendered to the Roman general Vespasian during the siege of Jotapata, even though many of his colleagues committed suicide rather than give up, Josephus decided it wasn't God's will for him to commit suicide, he then became a defender of the Romans, he was a priest, a Pharisee, and he was somewhat egotistical, his most ambitious work was called The Antiquities, which was a history of the Jewish people from Creation until his time, he probably completed it in about AD 93, as you can imagine from his collaboration with the hated Romans, Josephus was extremely disliked by his fellow Jews, but he became very popular among Christians, because in his writings he refers to James, the brother of Jesus, and to Jesus himself, in The Antiquities he describes how a high priest named Ananias took advantage of the death of Roman governor, Festus - who is also mentioned in the New Testament - in order to have James killed, he convened a meeting of the Sanhedrin and brought before them a man called James, the brother of Jesus, who was called Christ, and certain others, he accused them of having transgressed the law and delivered them to be stoned, there has been no scholar who has successfully disputed this passage, so here you have a reference to the brother of Jesus - who had apparently been converted by the appearance of the risen Christ, if you compare John 7:5 and 1 Corinthians 15:7 - and corroboration of the fact that some people considered Jesus to be the Christ, which means "the Anointed One" or "Messiah" ...

    Edwin M. Yamauchi PH.D.

  3. #23
    Administrator squirt's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Dallas, TX
    Posts
    731,907
    Rep Power
    16254

    Default "There Lived Jesus ..."

    Josephus had written an even lengthier section about Jesus, which is called the Testimonium Flavianum and it is among the most hotly disputed in ancient literature bcause on it's surface it appears to provide sweeping corroboration of Jesus' life, miracles, death and resurrection ...

    About this time there lived Jesus, a wise man, if indeed one could call him a man, for he was one who wrought surprising feats and was a teacher of such people as accept the truth gladly, he won over many Jews and many of the Greeks, he was the Christ, when Pilate, upon hearing him accused by men of the highest standing among us, had condemned him to be crucified, those who had in the first place come to love him did not give up their affection for him, on the third day he appeared to them restored to life, for the prophets of God had prophesied these and countless other marvelous things about him, and the tribe of Christians, so called after him, has still to this day not disappeared ...

    scholarship has gone through 3 trends about this passage, the early Christians thought it was a wonderful and thoroughly authentic attestation of Jesus and his resurrection, then the entire passage was questioned by at least some scholars during the Enlightenment, but today, there's remarkable consensus among both Jewish and Christian scholars that the passage as a whole is authentic, although there may be some interpolations, that means that early Christian copyists inserted some phrases that a Jewish writer like Josephus would not have written, for instance, the first line says, "about this time there lived Jesus, a wise man ..." that phrase is not normally used of Jesus by Christians, so it seems authentic for Josephus, but the next phrase says, "if indeed one ought to call him a man", this implies Jesus was more than human, which appears to be an interpolation, the bottom line is that the passage in Josephus probably was written about Jesus, Josephus corroborates important information about Jesus: that he was the martyred leader of the church in Jerusalem and that he was a wise teacher who had established a wide and lasting following, despite the fact that he had been crucified under Pilate at the instigation of some of the Jewish leaders

  4. #24
    Administrator squirt's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Dallas, TX
    Posts
    731,907
    Rep Power
    16254

    Default The Importance of Josephus ...

    why didn't a historian like Josephus say more about such an important figure of the first century? if Jesus did exist, one would have expected Josephus to have said more about him, it is unexpected that Josephus mentioned him in passing while mentioning other Messianic figures and John the Baptist in greater detail, from time to time some people have tried to deny the existance of Jesus, but this really is a lost cause, there is overwhelming evidence that Jesus did exist, and these hypothetical questions are really very vacuous and fallacious, Josephus was interested in political matters and the struggle against Rome, so for him John the Baptist was more important because he seemed to pose a greater political threat than did Jesus, these two references by Josephus are highly significant, especially since his accounts of the Jewish War have proved to be very accurate, for example, they've been corroborated through archaeological excavations at Masada as well as by historians like Tacitus, he's considered to be a pretty reliable historian and his mentioning of Jesus is considered extremely important

  5. #25
    Administrator squirt's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Dallas, TX
    Posts
    731,907
    Rep Power
    16254

    Default A Most Mischievous Superstition ...

    Tacitus recorded what is probably the most important reference to Jesus outside of the New Testament, in AD 115 he explicitly states that Nero persecuted the Christians as scapegoats to divert suspicion away from himself for the great fire that had devastated Rome in AD 64 ...

    Nero fastened the guilt and inflicted the most exquisite tortures on a class hated for their abominations, called Christians by the populace, Christus, from whom the name had it's origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of our procurators, Pontius Pilate, and a most mischievous superstition, thus checked for the moment, again broke out not only in Judaea, the first source of the evil, but even in Rome ... accordingly, an arrest was first made of all who pleaded guilty: then, upon their information, an immense multitude was convicted, not so much of the crime of firing the city, as of hatred against mankind ...

    it is speculated that when Tacitus says this "mischievous superstition" was "checked for the moment" but later "again broke out" he was unconsciously bearing testimony to the belief of early Christians that Jesus had been crucified but then rose from the grave, regardless of whether the passage had this specifically in mind, it does provide us with a very remarkable fact, which is this: crucifixion was the most abhorrent fate that anyone could undergo, and the fact that there was a movement based on a crucified man has to be explained, how can you explain the spread of a religion based on the worship of a man who had suffered the most ignominious death possible? of course the Christian answer is that he was resurrected, others have to come up with some alternative theory if they don't believe that, but none of the alternative views are very persuasive, characterizing the weight of Tacitus's writings concerning Jesus is very important testimony by an unsympathetic witness to the success and spread of Christianity, based on a historical figure - Jesus - who was crucified under Pontius Pilate, and it's significant that Tacitus reported that an "immense multitude" held so strongly to their beliefs that they were willing to die rather than recant

  6. #26
    Administrator squirt's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Dallas, TX
    Posts
    731,907
    Rep Power
    16254

    Default Chanting "As If To A God" ...

    there was another Roman, called Pliny the Younger, who also referred to Christianity in his writings, he was the nephew of Pliny the Elder, the famous encyclopedist who died in the eruption of Vesuvius in AD 79, Pliny the Younger became governor of Bithynia in northwestern Turkey, much of his correspondence with his friend, Emperor Trajan, has been preserved to the present time, in book 10 of these letters he specifically refers to the Christians he has arrested ...

    I have asked them if they are Christians, and if they admit it, I repeat the question a second and third time, with a warning of the punishment awaiting them, if they persist, I order them to be led away for execution; for, whatever the nature of their admission, I am convinced that their stubbornness and unshakable obstinancy ought not to go unpunished ... they also declared that the sum total of their guilt or error amounted to no more than this: they had met regularly before dawn on a fixed day to chant verses alternately amongst themselves in honor of Christ as if to a god, and also to bind themselves by oath, not for any criminal purpose, but to abstain from theft, robbery and adultery ... this made me decide it was all the more necessary to extract the truth by torture from 2 slave-women, whom they called deaconesses, I found nothing but a degenerate sort of cult carried to extravagant lengths ...

    this reference was written about AD 111, and it attests to the rapid spread of Christianity, both in the city and in the rural area, among every class of persons, slave women as well as Roman citizens, since he also says that he sends Christians who are Roman citizens to Rome for trial, and it talks about the worship of Jesus as God, that Christians maintained high ethical standards, and that they were not easily swayed from their beliefs

  7. #27
    Administrator squirt's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Dallas, TX
    Posts
    731,907
    Rep Power
    16254

    Default The Day the Earth Went Dark ...

    one of the most problematic references in the New Testament is where the Gospel writers claim that the earth went dark during part of the time that Jesus hung on the cross, wasn't this merely a literary device to stress the significance of the Crucifixion and not a reference to an actual historical occurrence? after all, if darkness had fallen over the earth, wouldn't there be at least some mention of this extraordinary event outside the bible? Dr Gary Habermas has written about a historian named Thallus, who in AD 52 wrote a history of the eastern Mediterranean world since the Trojan War, although Thallus's work has been lost, it was quoted by Julius Africanus in about AD 221 - and it made reference to the darkness that the gospels had written about, could this be independent corroboration of this biblical claim? in this passage Julius Africanus says, "Thallus, in the third book of his histories, explains away the darkness as an eclipse of the sun - unreasonably as it seems to me" so Thallus apparently was saying yes, there had been darkness at the time of the Crucifixion, and he speculated it had been caused by an eclipse, Africanus then agrees that it couldn't have been an eclipse, given when the Crucifixion occurred, quoting what scholar Paul Maier said about the darkness in a footnote in his 1968 book Pontius Pilate, he said ...

    this phenomenon, evidently, was visible in Rome, Athens, and other Mediterranean cities, according to Tertullian ... it was a "cosmic" or "world event" Phlegon, a Greek author from Caria writing a chronology soon after AD 137 reported that in the 4th year of the 202nd Olypiad (ie AD 33) there was "the greatest eclipse of the sun" and that "it became night in the 6th hour of the day (ie noon) so that stars even appeared in the heavens, there was a great earthquake in Bithynia and many things were overturned in Nicaea ...

    so there is, as Paul Maier points out, non-biblical attestation of the darkness that occurred at the time of Jesus' crucifixion

  8. #28
    Administrator squirt's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Dallas, TX
    Posts
    731,907
    Rep Power
    16254

    Default A Portrait of Pilate ...

    some critics have questioned the accuracy of the gospels because of the way they portray this Roman leader, while the New Testament paints him as being vacillating and willing to yield to the pressures of a Jewish mob by executing Jesus, other historical accounts picture him as being obstinate and inflexible, doesn't this present a contradiction between the bible and secular historians? Maier's study of Pilate shows that his protector of patron was Sejanus and that Sejanus fell from power in AD 31 because he was plotting against the emperor, this loss would have made Pilate's position very weak in AD 33, which is most likely when Jesus was crucified. so it would certainly be understandable that Pilate would have been reluctant to offend the Jews at that time and to get into further trouble with the emperor

  9. #29
    Administrator squirt's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Dallas, TX
    Posts
    731,907
    Rep Power
    16254

    Default Other Jewish Accounts ...

    do any other Jewish accounts besides that of Josephus verify anything about Jesus? what about references to Jesus in the Talmud, an important Jewish work finished in about AD 500 that incorporates the Mishnah, compiled about AD 200? Jews, as a whole, did not go into great detail about heretics, there are a few passages in the Talmud that mention Jesus, calling him a false messiah who practiced magic and who was justly condemned to death, they also repeat the rumor that Jesus was born of a Roman soldier and Mary, suggesting that there was something unusual about his birth, so in a negative way these Jewish references do corroborate some things about Jesus, Professor M. Wilcox put it this way, in an article that appeared in a scholarly reference book ...

    the Jewish traditional literature, although it mentions Jesus only quite sparingly (and must in any case be used with caution), supports the gospel claim that he was a healer and miracle-worker, even though it ascribes these activities to sorcery, in addition, it preserves the recollection that he was a teacher, and that he had disciples (five of them), and that at least in the earlier Rabbinic period no all of the sages had finally made up their minds that he was a "heretic" or a "deceiver"

  10. #30
    Administrator squirt's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Dallas, TX
    Posts
    731,907
    Rep Power
    16254

    Default Evidence Apart From the Bible ...

    shouldn't we have expected to find more about Jesus in ancient writings outside the bible? when people begin religious movements, it's not often until many generations later that people record things about them, but the fact is that we have better historical documentation for Jesus than for the founder of any other ancient religion, for example, although the Gathas of Zoroaster, about 1000 BC, are believed to be authentic, most of the Zoroastrian scriptures were not put into writing until after the 3rd century AD, the most popular Parsi biography of Zoroaster was written in AD 1278, the scriptures of Buddha, who lived in the 6th century BC, were not put into writing until after the Christian era, and the first biography of Buddha was written in the 1st century AD, although we have the sayings of Muhammed, who lived from AD 570-632, in the Koran, his biography was not written until 767 - more than a full century after his death, so the situation with Jesus is unique - and quite impressive in terms of how much we can learn about him aside from the New Testament, let's pretend we didn't have any of the New Testament or other Christian writings, even without them, what would we be able to conclude about Jesus from ancient non-Christian sources, such as Josephus, the Talmud, Pliny the Younger and others? we would still have a considerable amount of important historical evidence; in fact, it would provide a kind of outline for the life of Jesus, we would know first, Jesus was a Jewish teacher; second, many people believed that he performed healings and exorcisms; third, some people believed he was the Messiah; fourth, he was rejected by the Jewish leaders; fifth, he was crucified under Pontius Pilate in the reign of Tiberius; sixth, despite this shameful death, his followers, who believed that he was still alive, spread beyond Palestine so that there were multitudes of them in Rome by AD 64; and seventh, all kinds of people from the cities and countryside - men and women, slave and free - worshiped him as God, and not only can the contours of Jesus' life be reconstructed apart from the bible, but there's even more that can be gleaned about him from material so old that it actually predates the gospels themselves

  11. #31
    Administrator squirt's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Dallas, TX
    Posts
    731,907
    Rep Power
    16254

    Default Corroborating Early Details ...

    the apostle Paul never met Jesus prior to Jesus' death, but he said he did encounter the resurrected Christ and later consulted with some of the eyewitnesses to make sure he was preaching the same message they were, because he began writing his New Testament letters years before the gospels were written down, they contain extremely early reports concerning Jesus - so early that nobody can make a credible claim that they had been seriously distorted by legendary development, Luke Timothy Johnson, the scholar from Emory University, contends that Paul's letters represent "valuable external verification" of the "antiquity and ubiquity" of the traditions about Jesus, there's no question that Paul's writings are the earliest in the New Testament, and that they do make some very significant references to the life of Jesus, he refers to the fact that Jesus was a descendant of David, that he was the Messiah, that he was betrayed, that he was tried, crucified for our sins, and buried, and that he rose again on the 3rd day and was seen by many people - including James, the brother of Jesus who hadn't believed in him prior to his crucifixion, it's also interesting that Paul doesn't mention some of the things that are highly significant in the gospels - for instance, Jesus' parables and miracles - but he focuses on Jesus' atoning death and resurrection, those, for Paul, were the most important things about Jesus - and indeed they transformed Paul from being a persecutor of Christians into becoming history's foremost Christian missionary, who was willing to go through all sorts of hardships and deprivation because of his faith, Paul also corroborates some important aspects of the character of Jesus - his humility, his obedience, his love for sinners, and so forth, he calls Christians to have the mind of Christ in the second chapter of Philippians, this is a famous passage in which Paul is probably quoting from an early Christian hymn about the emptying of Christ, who was equal to God, yet took the form of a man, of a slave, and suffered the extreme penalty, the Crucifixion, so Paul's letters are an important witness to the deity of Christ - he calls Jesus "the Son of God" and the "image of God", the fact that Paul came from a monotheistic Jewish background, worshiped Jesus as God is extremely significant and it undermines a popular theory that the deity of Christ was later imported into Christianity by Gentile beliefs, it's just not so, even Paul at this very early date was worshiping Jesus as God, all this corroboration by Paul is of the utmost importance and we have other early letters by the eyewitnesses James and Peter too

  12. #32
    Administrator squirt's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Dallas, TX
    Posts
    731,907
    Rep Power
    16254

    Default Truly Raised From the Dead ...

    we also have volumes of writings by the "apostolic fathers" who were the earliest Christian writers after the New Testament, they authored the Epistle of Clement in Rome, the Epistles of Ignatius, the Epistle of Polycarp, the Epistle of Barnabas, and others, in many places these writings attest to the basic facts about Jesus, particularly his teachings, his crucifixion, his resurrection, and his divine nature, the 7 letters of Ignatius is among the most important of the writings of the apostolic fathers, Ignatius, the bishop of Antioch in Syria, was martyred during the reign of Trajan before AD 117, he emphasized both the deity of Jesus and the humanity of Jesus, as against the docetic heresy, which denied that Jesus was really human, he also stressed the historical underpinnings of Christianity; he wrote in one letter, on his way to being executed, that Jesus was truly persecuted under Pilate, was truly crucified, was truly raised from the dead and that those who believe in him would be raised too, put all this together - Josephus, the Roman historians and officials, the Jewish writings, the letters of Paul and the apostolic fathers - and you've got persuasive evidence that corroborates all the essentials found in the biographies of Jesus, even if you were to throw away every last copy of the gospels, you'd still have a picture of Jesus that's extremely compelling - in fact, it's a portrait of the unique Son of God

  13. #33
    Administrator squirt's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Dallas, TX
    Posts
    731,907
    Rep Power
    16254

    Default Truth That Sets Us Free ...

    in The Verdict of History, Gary Habermas details a total of 39 ancient sources documenting the life of Jesus, from which he enumerates more than one hundred reported facts concerning Jesus' life, teachings, crucifixion and resurrection, what's more 24 of the sources cited by Habermas, including 7 secular sources and several of the earliest creeds of the church, specifically concern the divine nature of Jesus, these creeds reveal that the church did not simply teach Jesus' deity a generation later, as is so often repeated in contemporary theology, because this doctrine is definitely present in the earliest church, the best explanation for these creeds is that they properly represent Jesus' own teachings, that is stunning corroboration for the most important assertion by the most influential individual who has ever lived
    "Ye shall know the truth and the truth will make you free"

  14. #34
    Administrator squirt's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Dallas, TX
    Posts
    731,907
    Rep Power
    16254

    Default The Scientific Evidence ...

    scientific evidence can also make important contributions to the question of whether the New Testament accounts of Jesus are accurate, the discipline of archaeology has great bearing on the reliability of the gospels, sometimes called the study of durable rubbish, archaeology involves the uncovering of artifacts, architecture, art, coins, monuments, documents, and other remains of ancient cultures, experts study these relics to learn what life was like in the days when Jesus walked the dusty roads of Palestine, hundreds of archaeological findings from the first century have been unearthed, do they undermine or undergird the eyewitness stories about Jesus? what can it NOT tell us about the reliability of the New Testament? even if archaeology can establish that the cities of Medina and Mecca existed in western Arabia during the 6th and 7th centuries, that doesn't prove that Muhammed lived there or that the Koran is true, archaeology has made some important contributions, but it certainly can't prove whether the New Testament is the word of God, if we dig in Israel and find ancient sites that are consistent with where the bible said we'd find them, that shows that it's history and geography are accurate, however, it doesn't confirm that what Jesus Christ said is right, spiritual truths cannot be proved or disproved by archaeological discoveries, Troy was found but that didn't prove that the Iliad was true

  15. #35
    Administrator squirt's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Dallas, TX
    Posts
    731,907
    Rep Power
    16254

    Default Digging For the Truth ...

    if a man were telling about a trip he took from St Louis to Chicago and he mentioned that he had stopped in Springfield, Illinois, to see the movie Titanic at the Odeon Theater and that he had eaten a large Clark bar he bought at the concession counter, investigators could determine whether such a theater exists in Springfield as well as if it was showing this particular film and selling this specific brand and size of candy bar at the time he said he was there, if their findings contradict what the person claimed, this seriously tarnishes his trustworthiness, if the details check out, this doesn't prove that his entire story is true, but it does enhance his reputation for being accurate, in a sense, this is what archaeology accomplishes, the premise is that if an ancient historian's incidental details check out to be accurate time after time, this increases our confidence in other material that the historian wrote but that cannot be as readily cross-checked, does archaeology affirm or undermine the New Testament when it checks out the details in those accounts? there's no question that the credibility of the New Testament is enhanced when you excavate and find that the author was accurate in talking about a particular place or event, as an eample, for a long time people questioned the validity of a statement by Josephus, the 1st century historian, that the Harbor of Herod the Great was as large as the one at Piraeus, which is a major harbor of Athens, people thought Josephus was wrong, because when you see the stones above the surface of the water in the contemporary harbor, it's not very big, but when we began to do underwater excavation, we found that the harbor extended far out into the water underground, that it had fallen down, and that it's total dimensions were indeed comparable to the harbor at Piraeus, so it turns out Josephus was right after all, this was one more bit of evidence that Josephus knew what he was talking about, so what about the New Testament writers? did they really know what they were talking about?

    JOHN MCRAY PH.D

  16. #36
    Administrator squirt's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Dallas, TX
    Posts
    731,907
    Rep Power
    16254

    Default Luke's Accuracy as a Historian ...

    the physician and historian Luke authored both the gospel bearing his name and the book of Acts, which together constitute about 1/4 of the entire New Testament, consequently, a critical issue is whether Luke was a historian who could be trusted to get things right, when archaeologists check out the details of what he wrote, do they find that he was careful or sloppy? the general consensus of both liberal and conservative scholars is that Luke is very accurate as a historian, he's erudite, he's eloquent, his Greek approaches classical quality, he writes as an educated man, and archaeological discoveries are showing over and over again that Luke is accurate in what he has to say, in fact, there have been several instances, similar to the story about the harbor, in which scholars initially thought Luke was wrong in a particular reference, only to have later discoveries confrim that he was correct in what he wrote, for instance, in Luke 3:1, he refers to Lysanias being the tetrarch of Abilene in about AD 27, for years scholars pointed to this as evidence that Luke didn't know what he was talking about, since everybody knew that Lysanias was not a tetrarch but rather the ruler of Chalcis half a century earlier, if Luke can't get that basic fact right, nothing he has written can be trusted, that's when archaeology stepped in, an inscription was later found from the time of Tiberius, from AD 14-37, which names Lysanias as tetrarch in Abila near Damascus - just as Luke had written, it turned out that there had been 2 government officials named Lysanias, another example is Luke's reference in Acts 17:6 to "politarchs" which is translated as "city officials" by the NIV in the city of Thessalonica, for a long time people thought Luke was mistaken, because no evidence of the term "politarchs" had been found in any ancient Rome documents, however, an inscription on a 1st century arch was later found that begins "In the time of the politarchs ..." and then, lo and behold, archaeologists have found more than 35 inscriptions that mention politarchs, several of these in Thessalonica from the same period Luke was referring to, but in his gospel, Luke says that Jesus was walking into Jericho when he healed the blind man Bartimaeus, while Mark says he was coming out of Jericho, isn't this a clear cut contradiction that casts doubt on the reliability of the New Testament? it only appears to be a contradiction because you're thinking in contemporary terms, in which cities are built and stay put, but that wasn't necessarily the case long ago, Jericho was in at least 4 different locations as much as a quarter of a mile apart in ancient times, the city was destroyed and resettled near another water supply or a new road or a nearer mountain or whatever, the point is, you can be coming out of one site where Jericho existed and be going into another one, like moving from one part of suburban Chicago to another part of suburban Chicago, both Luke and Mark could be right, Jesus could have been going out of one area of Jericho and into another at the same time, again archaeology had answered another challenge to Luke, and given the large portion of the New Testament written by him, it's extremely significant that Luke has been established to be a scrupulously accurate historian, even in the smallest details, one prominent archaeologist carefully examined Luke's references to 32 countries, 54 cities, and 9 islands, finding not a single mistake, here's the bottom line: if Luke was so painstakingly accurate in his historical reporting, on what logical basis may we assume he was credulous or inaccurate in his reporting of matters that were far more important, not only to him but to others as well? matters, for example, like the resurrection of Jesus, the most influential evidence of his deity, which Luke says was firmly established by "many convincing proofs" (Acts 1:3)

  17. #37
    Administrator squirt's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Dallas, TX
    Posts
    731,907
    Rep Power
    16254

    Default The Reliability of John and Mark ...

    archaeology may support the credibility of Luke, but he isn't the only author of the New Testament, what would scientists have to say about John, whose gospel was sometimes considered suspect because he talked about locations that couldn't be verified? some scholars charged that since he failed to get the basic details straight, John must not have been close to the events in Jesus' life, that conclusion, however, has been turned upside down in recent years, there have been several discoveries that have shown John to be very accurate, for example, John 5:1-15 records how Jesus healed an invalid by the Pool of Bethesda, John provides the detail that the pool had 5 porticoes, for a long time people cited this as an example of John being inaccurate, because no such place had been found, but more recently the Pool of Bethesda has been excavated - it lies maybe 40 feet below ground - and sure enough, there were 5 porticoes, which means colonnaded porches or walkways, exactly as John had described, and you have other discoveries - the Pool of Siloam from John 9:7, Jacob's well from John 4:12, the probable location of the Stone Pavement near the Jaffa Gate where Jesus appeared before Pilate in John 19:13, even Pilate's own identity - all of which have lent historical credibility to John's gospel, so this challenges the allegation that the gospel of John was written so long after Jesus' death that it can't possibly be accurate, archaeologists found a fragment of a copy of John 18 that leading papyrologists have dated to about AD 125, by demonstrating that copies of John existed this early and as far away as Egypt, archaeology has effectively dismantled speculation that John had been composed well into the 2nd century, too long after Jesus' life to be reliable, other scholars have attacked the gospel of Mark, generally considered the first account of Jesus' life to be written, Mark is accused of being ignorant about Palestinian geography, which some say demonstrates that he could not have lived in the region at the time of Jesus, specifically, Mark 7:31 is cited, "then Jesus left the vicinity of Tyre and went through Sidon, down to the Sea of Galilee and into the region of the Decapolis", it has been pointed out that given these directions Jesus would have been traveling directly away from the Sea of Galilee, what these critics seem to be assuming is that Jesus is getting in his car and zipping around on an interstate, but he obviously wasn't, reading the text in the original language, taking into account the mountainous terrain and probable roads of the region, and considering the loose way "Decapolis" was used to refer to a confederation of ten cities that varied from time to time, a logical route can be traced on a map that corresponds precisely with Mark's description, has there ever been an archaeological finding that blatantly contravened a New Testament reference? archaeology has not produced anything that is unequivocally a contradiction to the bible

  18. #38
    Administrator squirt's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Dallas, TX
    Posts
    731,907
    Rep Power
    16254

    Default Puzzle 1: The Census ...

    the birth narratives of Jesus claim that Mary and Joseph were required by a census to return to Joseph's hometown of Bethlehem, this seems absurd on the face of it, how could the government possibly force all it's citizens to return to their birthplace? is there any archaeological evidence whatsoever that this kind of census ever took place? actually, the discovery of ancient census forms has shed quite a bit of light on this practice, quoting from an official governmental order dated AD 104 ...

    Gaius Vibius Maximus, Prefect of Egypt (says): Seeing that the time has come for the house to house census, it is necessary to compel all those who for any cause whatsoever are residing out of their provinces to return to their own homes, that they may both carry out the regular order of the census and may also attend diligently to the cultivation of their allotments ...

    as you can see, that practice is confirmed by this document, even though this particular manner of counting people might seem odd to you, and another papyrus, this one from AD 48, indicates that the entire family was involved in the census, however, Luke said the census that brought Joseph and Mary to Bethlehem was conducted when Quirinius was governing Syria and during the reign of Herod the Great, this poses a significant problem because Herod died in 4 BC and Quirinius didn't begin ruling Syria until AD 6, conducting the census soon after that, there's a big gap there; how can we deal with such a major discrepancy in the dates? an eminent archaeologist named Jerry Vardaman has done a great deal of work in this regard, he has found a coin with the name of Quirinius on it in very small writing, or what is called 'micrographic' letters, this places him as proconsul of Syria and Cilicia from 11 BC until after the death of Herod, what does that mean? it means that there were apparently 2 Quiriniuses, it's not uncommon to have lots of people with the same Roman names, so there's no reason to doubt that there were 2 people by the name of Quirinius, the census would have taken place under the reign of the earlier Quirinius, given the cycle of a census every 14 years, that would work out quite well, Sir William Ramsay, the late archaeologist and professor at both Oxford and Cambridge Universities in England, had come up with a similar theory, he concluded from various inscriptions that while there was only one Quirinius, he ruled Syria on 2 separate occasions, which would cover the time period of the earlier census, other scholars have pointed out that Luke's text can be translated, "this census took place before Quirinius was governing Syria" which would also resolve the problem, while this matter is not precisely pinned down, there are plausible explanations, we can conclude with confidence that censuses were held during the time frame of Jesus' birth and that there is evidence people were indeed required to return to their hometowns

  19. #39
    Administrator squirt's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Dallas, TX
    Posts
    731,907
    Rep Power
    16254

    Default Puzzle 2: Existance of Nazareth ...

    many Christians are unaware that skeptics have been asserting for a long time that Nazareth never existed during the time when the New Testament says Jesus spent his childhood there, in an article called, "Where Jesus Never Walked", atheist Frank Zindler noted that Nazareth is not mentioned in the Old Testament, by the apostle Paul, by the Talmud (although 63 other Galilean towns are cited), or by Josephus (who listed 45 other villages and cities of Galilee, including Japha, which was located just over a mile from present day Nazareth), no ancient historians or geographers mention Nazareth before the beginning of the 4th century, the name first appears in Jewish literature in a poem written about the 7th century AD, this absense of evidence paints a suspicious picture, is there any archaeological confirmation that Nazareth was in existence during the 1st century? Dr James Strange of the University of South Florida is an expert on this area, and he describes Nazareth as being a very small place, about 60 acres, with a maximum population of about 480 at the beginning of the 1st century, Strange notes that when Jerusalem fell in AD 70, priests were no longer needed in the temple because it had been destroyed, so they were sent out to various other locations, even up into Galilee, archaeologists have found a list in Aramaic describing the 24 'courses', or families, of priests who were relocated, and one of them was registered as having been moved to Nazareth, that shows that this tiny village must have been there at the time, in addition, he said there have been archaeological digs that have uncovered 1st century tombs in the vicinity of Nazareth, which would establish the village's limits because by Jewish law burials had to take place outside the town proper, 2 tombs contained objects such as pottery, lamps, glass vessels and vases from the 1st, 3rd and 4th centuries, in a book by renowned archaeologist Jack Finegan, published by Princeton University Press, he says, "From the tombs ... it can be concluded that Nazareth was a strongly Jewish settlement in the Roman period." there has been discussion about the location of some sites from the first century, such as exactly where Jesus' tomb is situated, but among archaeologists there has never really been a big doubt about the location of Nazareth, the burden of proof ought to be on those who doubt it's existance, even the usually skeptical Ian Wilson, citing pre-Christian remains found in 1955 under the Church of the Annunciation in present day Nazareth, has managed to concede, "Such findings suggest that Nazareth may have existed in Jesus' time, but there is no doubt that it must have been a very small and insignificant place." so insignificant that Nathanael's musings in John 1:46 now make more sense: "Nazareth! he said. "Can anything good come from there?"

  20. #40
    Member pladecalvo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Valencia, Spain
    Posts
    701
    Rep Power
    284

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by squirt View Post
    Scripture: Matthew 21:42
    “Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner” KJV

    He never wrote a book --- yet libraries can not hold all the books about him

    He never wrote a song --- yet more songs are written about him than anyone

    He never founded a college --- yet he has more students than all the schools

    He never practiced psychiatry --- yet healed more broken hearts than doctors

    He never boasted for notoriety --- yet abounds more than all philosophers

    He never asked to die --- yet the grave could not hold him

    He never joined the religious leaders of the time --- yet angels acknowledge him

    He never joined the religious leaders of the time --- yet demons fear his name

    He never went to medical school --- yet he healed multitudes

    He never traveled far --- yet is known throughout the entire universe
    He never existed----but many fell for the con-trick.

    Sorry Squirt, just couldn't resist. Don't worry! I won't spoil your posts of fabricated evidence to support JC.....carry on!
    The only difference between being clinically insane and religious .... is the marketing.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •