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Christianity Johnson on 03 Apr 2009 12:33 am

The logic of Faith

A Christian explains the logic of faith:

See also:

86 Responses to “The logic of Faith”

  1. on 03 Apr 2009 at 1:00 am 1.anonymous said …

    That guy in the video, he’s just trolling, right…? Right?! :-( There’s no way he can reduce a matter of burden of proof to a simple 2-outcome independent random event. Hell, by his arguments, judicial proceedings would be decided by a toss of a fair coin.

  2. on 03 Apr 2009 at 3:59 pm 2.anybody said …

    If you want proof of the brain existing, get an X-ray. No one questions the existence of air, or a brain, because scientists have proven it, because if you want, you can get good hard evidence of it. With god, you’ve got these strange occurences which noone alive today has bearn witness to.
    Anyways, dog or cat? What about the other animals at a pet store like birds and turtles.

  3. on 03 Apr 2009 at 4:28 pm 3.Lou said …

    Actually, it is pretty widely accepted that everything is circular reasoning. It is just a question of how large is the circle?

    300 prophecies in the OT pointing to the Messiah in the NT all coming true is pretty strong.

    Over 25,000 manuscripts of the Bible all accurate with 99.9% accuracy of one another is also quite strong. The next closest is the Iliad with only about 600 manuscripts.

    Good Stuff


  4. on 03 Apr 2009 at 5:23 pm 4.Athiest Jew said …

    What 300 prophecies? Considering Big J didn’t manage to convince many jews during his (supposed) lifetime, they must not have been particularly impressive. Or more likely, added to the story after the fact in order to make the Jesus character seem more Messiah-like.

    Read ‘Misquoting Jesus.’ You’re 99.9% number is BS.

  5. on 03 Apr 2009 at 6:40 pm 5.Lou said …

    How many denominations of Atheism are there? Wow, how can you be a Jew and an atheist without renouncing Judaism?

    The prophecies are actually 330. Many sources out there supporting that number.


    The OT books were written many centuries before Jesus came. They could not have been added to support the coming Messiah. The dating of the scrolls negates such an accusation.

    From – Companion to the Greek Testament and English Version, page 177.

    “Most other ancient books are not so well authenticated. New Testament scholar Bruce Metzger estimated that the Mahabharata of Hinduism has been copied with only about 90% accuracy and Homer’s Iliad with about 95%. By comparison, he estimated the New Testament is about 99.5% accurate.”

    My apologies, I did say 99.9%, it should have been 99.5%.

    Everyone have a great weekend.


  6. on 03 Apr 2009 at 7:13 pm 6.Anonymous said …

    Jesus never did anything he was supposed to do.

  7. on 04 Apr 2009 at 1:36 am 7.Hermes said …

    Two things about Jesus;

    1. Nothing was written about him during his lifetime.

    2. Jews weren’t convinced a Jewish messiah had come, and still aren’t;


    “Judge for yourself: Did Jesus fulfill ALL these criteria?

    The Jewish tradition of “The Messiah” has its foundation in numerous biblical references, and understands “The Messiah” to be a human being – without any overtone of deity or divinity – who will bring about certain changes in the world and fulfill certain criteria before he can be acknowledged as “The Messiah”.

    First of all, he must be Jewish – “…you may appoint a king over you, whom the L-rd your G-d shall choose: one from among your brethren shall you set as king over you.” (Deuteronomy 17:15)

    He must be a member of the tribe of Judah – “The staff shall not depart from Judah, nor the sceptre from between his feet…” (Genesis 49:10)

    To be a member of the tribe of Judah, the person must have a biological father who is a member of the tribe of Judah.

    He must be a direct male descendant of King David and King Solomon, his son – “And when your days (David) are fulfilled, and you shall sleep with your fathers, I will set up your seed after you, who shall issue from your bowels, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for my name, and I will make firm the throne of his kingdom forever…” (2 Samuel 7:12 – 13)

    The genealogy of the New Testament is inconsistent. While it gives two accounts of the genealogy of Joseph, it states clearly that he is not the biological father of Jesus. One of the genealogies is through Nathan and not Solomon altogether!

    He must gather the Jewish people from exile and return them to Israel -“And he shall set up a banner for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.” (Isaiah 11:12)

    Are all Jews living in Israel? Have all Jews EVER lived in Israel since the time of Jesus?

    He must rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem – “…and I will set my sanctuary in their midst forever and my tabernacle shall be with them..” (Ezekiel 37:26 – 27)

    At last check, there is NO Temple in Jerusalem. And worse, it was shortly after Jesus died that the Temple was DESTROYED! Just the opposite of this prophecy!

    He will rule at a time of world-wide peace – “…they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore.” (Micah 4:3)

    Have you seen a newspaper lately? Are we living in a state of complete world peace? Has there ever been peace since the time of Jesus?

    He will rule at a time when the Jewish people will observe G-d’s commandments – “My servant David shall be king over them; and they shall all have one shepherd. They shall follow My ordinances and be careful to observe My statutes.” (Ezekiel 37:24)

    The Torah is the Jewish guide to life, and its commandments are the ones referred to here. Do all Jews observe all the commandments? Christianity, in fact, often discourages observance of the commandments in Torah, in complete opposition to this prophecy.

    He will rule at a time when all people will come to acknowledge and serve one G-d – “And it shall come to pass that from one new moon to another and from one Sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before Me, says the L-rd” (Isaiah 66:23)

    there are still millions if not billions of people in the world today who adhere to paganistic and polytheistic religions. It is clear that we have not yet seen this period of human history unfold.

    All of these criteria are best stated in the book of Ezekiel Chapter 37 verses 24-28:

    And David my servant shall be king over them; and they shall all have one shepherd. they shall also follow My judgments and observe My statutes, and do them. And they shall dwell in the land that I have given to Yaakov my servant, in which your fathers have dwelt and they shall dwell there, they and their children, and their children’s children forever; and my servant David shall be their prince forever. Moreover, I will make a covenant of peace with them, it shall be an everlasting covenant with them, which I will give them; and I will multiply them and I will set my sanctuary in the midst of them forevermore. And my tabernacle shall be with them: and I will be their G-d and they will be my people. Then the nations shall know that I am the L-rd who sanctifies Israel, when My sanctuary will be in the midst of them forevermore.

    If an individual fails to fulfill even one of these conditions, then he cannot be “The Messiah.” A careful analysis of these criteria shows us that to date, no one has fulfilled every condition.

    Certainly NOT Jesus.”

  8. on 04 Apr 2009 at 1:39 am 8.Hermes said …

    Oh, and for anyone who disagrees with the two points I made, they have an easy way to address them. With facts.

    1. Show me contemporaneous writings discussing Jesus Christ.

    2. Answer the comments that I linked to from Jews for Judaism.

    Do you have other comments? Personal attacks? They are really beside the point, aren’t they? Why not deal with reality instead?

  9. on 04 Apr 2009 at 2:45 pm 9.Steve said …

    Contemporaneous writings discussing Christ. Look here


    So Hermes you accept religion when it meets your needs eh? You might garner some respect if you researched both sides rather than posting what fits your argument. Very poor….

    -He was Jewish.
    -He was a member of the tribe of Judah.
    -He was a direct descendant of David
    -All Jews will be gathered together when he returns. In other words, He is coming back to set up His Kingdom. Also, Israel is now a nation again.
    -The 1000 yr reign will be a time of peace. He will rule
    -There are two ancestral accounts. One for Mary and one for Joseph.

    Look up Jews for Jesus for another Jewish perspective if you dare….

  10. on 04 Apr 2009 at 2:49 pm 10.Steve said …

    For those who want to see what other Jews are saying….look here


  11. on 04 Apr 2009 at 6:22 pm 11.Grimalkin said …

    Just because you’re presenting two possible outcomes doesn’t mean that the chance of each is actually 50%.

    For babies, you are actually more likely to conceive a male, but more likely to carry a female to term. The end result is slightly in favour of females.

    For pets, an overwhelming majority of households with pets in North America have dogs, not cats. Dogs are by far the more popular pet choice (at least in this culture). So if someone says that they just bought a new pet, you are more likely to guess correctly if you guess a dog.

    Even if you are flipping a coin, the designs present on the front and back are different and therefore weigh different amounts. Depending on the coin being flipped, you may be slightly more likely to get a heads or a tails.

    And finally, how can the existence or non-existence of god be a 50-50 chance? If, as he believes, the entire universe speaks to creation, then the fact that we are here talking about it means that his god’s existence is a 100% chance. If, on the other hand, we take the more realistic view that religions (that’s a plural, for any who didn’t notice, so what does factoring in multiple gods and saying that only one can exist do to our probabilities?) are geographically distinct, culturally informed, and make very little sense even when only compared internally, that probably drops down really fast. On a generous day, I might say that we’re down to maybe a 1 in a million chance that deities exist.

    Poof! Next?

  12. on 04 Apr 2009 at 7:39 pm 12.Hermes said …

    Steve, I thought you were more knowledgeable than that. Citing CARM as a resource? If you hang your head in shame, I’ll forgive you for your indiscretion and we can forget about the whole incident.

    As for Jews for Jesus, I’ll grant you that they have some credibility above CARM, yet the link you provided did not do a point by point analysis of the Jews for Judiasm organization’s comments. As such, since they are unaddressed, I’m at a loss about what you expect me to do — dig through Jews for Jesus till I prove your point of view? That seems a bit much to ask.

    Yet, so as not to be accused of shooting the messenger, I’ll go back to the CARM link. After all, as is said, even a broken analog clock is right 2x a day, and, additionally, even if a moron were to say 2 + 3 = 5, that would not cause math to break. Let’s give what they say some *tentative* credit, even if CARM themselves deserve none….

    1. Flavius Josephus – Please. Not contemporaneous. Even CARM gives a date of 37CE for his birth. (Note my message # 8, question 1 above.)

    2. Same.

    3. Same.

    4. Same.

    5. Same.

    6. Thallus. 52CE. Not contemporaneous.

    7. Pliny the Younger. 112CE. Not contemporaneous.

    8, The Talmud. See my comment (currently unchallenged) from Jews for Judaism in message # 7.

    9. Lucian. 120CE. Not contemporaneous.

    What else do you have?

  13. on 04 Apr 2009 at 7:59 pm 13.Steve said …

    Nostradamus’ cat, you must feel a little slighted here in America. Your ramblings are ridiculous with no supporting evidence. I provided one account of what did happen. Where you get this “presenting two possible outcomes” is beyond even your owner.

    Poof!, back to your master’s astrology.


    Hermes,whats wrong? CARM doesn’t fit your presuppositions? You asked I provided sources outside the Canon. You quote a religion that was hostile toward Jesus and even had him killed. Are you still waiting on the Messiah? What else do you have?

    Hermes, for arguments sake say that no contemporaneous work exists (To satisfy you). What would this prove? Anything? Please Explain.

    Jesus ministry was three years in a small outpost of the Roman Empire. Do you expect contemporary historians to be doing a lot of writing about Jesus Christ? Why? This not unusual for a man who poured His life into 12 disciples and then was crucified at 33. There is none on my grandfather either but he existed.

    I already refuted your other points. Please use an unbiased source.

  14. on 04 Apr 2009 at 8:14 pm 14.Hermes said …

    Steve, I was clear and provided verifiable information, while you provided sources that were ineffective. In reverse order;

    2. The comments from Jews for Judaism were not addressed.

    1. None of your sources from your CARM link were contemporaneous. (Look up the word.)

    Do you have anything contemporaneous?

    Do you have a point by point refutation or addressing of the Jews for Judaism analysis?

    If not, stop requesting special treatment and concede the point so we may move on. After all, anyone who knows the JF reference doesn’t want to be associated with it even once the lack of contemporaneousness is acknowledged as an issue.

    As of now, I’m wondering if I should take your comments seriously or not. Was I mistaken to think you might be a step above those who normally post here? Don’t insist that I am mistaken in that matter as well. Let us deal with facts honestly and with full acknowledgement of our own failings. As such, please either support your POV with facts or retract your objections to mine. Agreed?

  15. on 04 Apr 2009 at 8:16 pm 15.Hermes said …

    For the consideration of everyone;


  16. on 04 Apr 2009 at 8:18 pm 16.Hermes said …

    Error in post #14. JF should have been FJ.

  17. on 04 Apr 2009 at 9:15 pm 17.Steve said …

    “The comments from Jews for Judaism were not addressed.”

    Addressed and refuted. Go to post #9. Also, you did not provide a credible source. Please try again. A biased religious source is unacceptable

    “None of your sources from your CARM link were contemporaneous.”

    Noted: Now explain why this is an issue. Surely a figure of your inestimable intelligence should be able to provide some sort of answers rather than relying on biased sources.
    Note: I provided an explanation. See post #13.

    If you are unable to provide sources or an explanation for the importance of contemporaneous sources I understand. Your submission will be accepted without attacking the messenger.

    OK now for the clincher. Please Please Take me Seriously!! There I feel better. What would I do if Hermes does not take me seriously! Really Hermes, you overs estimate your position here. What chutzpah.


  18. on 05 Apr 2009 at 2:30 am 18.Hermes said …

    Steve, do you even read your own posts? #9 dealt with my comment on contemporaneousness, while the Jews for Judaism reference dealt with issues noted starting with Deuteronomy and then listing other areas of the Bible. Post #10 from you did not address the first reference from Jews for Judaism either.

    #13 from you gives a dig at Jews. Strangely, Jesus was a Jew, and your OT comes from them. So, are you saying that (for you) that the Jews actually provide nothing in support of your religious point of view? I would be interested to know if this is the case, but it would be better to clarify what you are saying as I suspect you did not mean to go that far. After all, it is their book and they have a claim to be ‘the chosen people’.

    Please exhibit some humility and acknowledge the unsupportable as unsupportable. From there, we can move on to what we may agree upon and not the artificial protests that usually happen in these conversations.

    [ Note the lower quality of this message. Consider it a reply in kind. ]

  19. on 05 Apr 2009 at 10:44 am 19.Steve said …

    Comment #9 posted again that refute your link. I’m pretty sure this about covers it. If not, be specific since you posted a pretty length link.

    -He was Jewish.
    -He was a member of the tribe of Judah.
    -He was a direct descendant of David
    -All Jews will be gathered together when he returns. In other words, He is coming back to set up His Kingdom. Also, Israel is now a nation again.
    -The 1000 yr reign will be a time of peace. He will rule
    -There are two ancestral accounts. One for Mary and one for Joseph.

    It is all in the NT. See in order to study Jesus life one must use the NT. Might I add, he claims to be the Messiah. in the NT but note that Jews do not accept it. That is why you cannot use an unbiased source.

    You think I may a dig at the Jews by stating that the Jewish religious leaders had Him crucified? They are hostile towards Jesus and disown their own family members who accept Him as the Messiah. Those are facts, not digs. I can respect and disagree with a people group.

    I still await an answer. I didn’t recognize any lower quality in your message but thanks for the effort.


  20. on 05 Apr 2009 at 11:56 am 20.Hermes said …

    Steve, I’ve mentioned this now 3x including the original post that covers it. The Samuel quote is another non-starter. If you think you addressed that as well, though obliquely, walk me through it. I’ve lost any motivation to treat you seriously. After all, it would be rude of me not to return the favor you have so generously performed for me.

    Bottom line, I’ve given you all you need and you’re ignoring it;

    * Read it.
    * Address it.
    * Get back to me.

    If not, blow.

  21. on 05 Apr 2009 at 12:59 pm 21.Dave said …

    Steve is clutching at straws. It’s a shame god didn’t create him smarter. I am happy I dot dedicate any time trying to defend my position because I know I’m right. God is imaginary.

  22. on 05 Apr 2009 at 2:11 pm 22.Hermes said …

    Indeed. All the answers on this subject are summarized in The God FAQ anway;


  23. on 05 Apr 2009 at 3:33 pm 23.Lou said …

    Steve my friend, beware of those who falsely express a desire to dialogue but secretly have a desire to persecute.

  24. on 05 Apr 2009 at 3:43 pm 24.Lou said …

    “1. Nothing was written about him during his lifetime.”

    Hermes do you have proof? 2000 years is a long time. You are only speculating.

    “2. Jews weren’t convinced a Jewish messiah had come, and still aren’t;”

    Hermes are you familiar with Messianic Jews? Careful on making such decietful statements

    Seventeen verses in the New Testament describe Jesus as the “son of David.” So how is Jesus the the son of David if David lived approximately 1000 years before Jesus? The answer is that Christ is the Messiah and was the fulfillment of the prophecy of the seed of David.

  25. on 05 Apr 2009 at 3:46 pm 25.Lou said …

    Steve, hang in there buddy. Hermes rarely actually answers a question, well, none on mine to date. I don’t think it is personal, just his way of holding his cards “close to the vest”.

    Enjoy the rest of the great weekend.

  26. on 05 Apr 2009 at 11:08 pm 26.Tiberius said …

    We actually have very little information from first-century sources to begin with. Not much has survived the test of time from A.D. 1 to today. Blaiklock has cataloged the non-Christian writings of the Roman Empire (other than those of Philo) which have survived from the first century and do not mention Jesus. These items are:

    * An amateurish history of Rome by Vellius Paterculus, a retired army officer of Tiberius. It was published in 30 A.D., just when Jesus was getting started in His ministry.
    * An inscription that mentions Pilate.
    * Fables written by Phaedrus, a Macedonian freedman, in the 40s A.D.
    * From the 50s and 60s A.D., Blaiklock tells us: “Bookends set a foot apart on this desk where I write would enclose the works from these significant years.” Included are philosophical works and letters by Seneca; a poem by his nephew Lucan; a book on agriculture by Columella, a retired soldier; fragments of the novel Satyricon by Gaius Petronius; a few lines from a Roman satirist, Persius; Pliny the Elder’s Historia Naturalis; fragments of a commentary on Cicero by Asconius Pedianus, and finally, a history of Alexander the Great by Quinus Curtius.

    Of all these writers, only Seneca may have conceivably had reason to refer to Jesus. But considering his personal troubles with Nero, it is doubtful that he would have had the interest or the time to do any work on the subject.
    * From the 70s and 80s A.D., we have some poems and epigrams by Martial, and works by Tacitus (a minor work on oratory) and Josephus (Against Apion, Wars of the Jews). None of these would have offered occasion to mention Jesus.
    * From the 90s, we have a poetic work by Statius; twelve books by Quintillian on oratory; Tacitus’ biography of his father-in-law Agricola, and his work on Germany.

  27. on 05 Apr 2009 at 11:24 pm 27.Dave said …

    thing is.. we dont need to prove anything its obvious.. so we dont…

  28. on 06 Apr 2009 at 1:02 am 28.Lou said …

    Thanks for the post Tiberius. I was unaware that little had survived. It would stand to reason most were not written during their lifetime in the 1st century.

  29. on 06 Apr 2009 at 2:46 am 29.Hermes said …

    Tiberius, Blaiklock, an impartial source for those partial to apologetics. Why look elsewhere?

    The question I have to you is simple; did you … look elsewhere? If not, do you consider that an honest position to take; to arrive at a conclusion because it seems to support a presupposition?

    By all means, if anyone out there is a presuppositionalist do let me know. It will make reading comments that much quicker, as I’d know where one more solipsist is and give them the same attention that they give to others.

  30. on 06 Apr 2009 at 11:03 am 30.Steve said …

    He is every bit as impartial as the Jews for Judaism. Ha Ha Ha…

    Lou, its not difficult to pin down Hermes. His motivation is obvious. Until you make HIS conclusions, the question is unanswered. Nothing less will do. Notice he provides no argument against Blaiklock’s point, only nonsense. I would think his point would be easy to prove incorrect.

    Great refutations to his points at #24 I might add. Once again, unanswered……..

  31. on 06 Apr 2009 at 12:33 pm 31.Lou said …

    LOL, yes I do find it ironic Hermes is chastising another poster for not looking elsewhere for a contradictory position. Have mercy, will the irony never stop.

  32. on 06 Apr 2009 at 8:36 pm 32.Hermes said …

    Steve, Jews for Judaism are up front about their bias — and yet you have yet to refute the one page I referenced from them.

    Blaiklock was referenced by Tiberius without commentary on the bias he had. The burden was left to the readers to find that bias. As such, it is deceptive.

    The question I have for you is do you really believe that what he said accurately reflects reality?

    * If not, your support is nothing but cheerleading.

    * If you do agree with him, and the claim is refuted, would you stubbornly stick with it — facts be damned?

  33. on 06 Apr 2009 at 8:37 pm 33.Hermes said …

    Lou, your response affirms my good judgment not to put effort into replying to your comments.

  34. on 06 Apr 2009 at 9:37 pm 34.Hermes said …

    Steve: “Great refutations to his points at #24 I might add. Once again, unanswered……..”

    Well, now I know the depth of your intellectual curiosity.

    1. To disprove my contention that there were no contemporaneous accounts, all anyone has to do is provide one that is credible.

    Anything else is shifting the burden; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russell's_teapot

    2. I’m accused of deceit, while the Jews for Judaism page is not addressed.

    Why bother with Lou’s posts if they are of such low quality?

  35. on 07 Apr 2009 at 3:36 am 35.Marcus Aurelius said …

    To all who posted above,

    I think its interesting how many people are so bent on proving others wrong when clearly they have all the evidence they need to refute anything said.

    The truth of the matter is, one has to have an open mind to the possibility of the Messiah. Jesus said himself when he was in his own village were he was born and raised, “Only in their own towns, among their relations and in their own homes are prophets without honor.” (Mark 6:4)He knew that he wasn’t accepted because He came in a way His people the Jews were not expecting. Amazingly enough, the surrounding areas who did not have much knowledge of the prophecy had more faith then the Jews who had all the knowledge they needed to see that Jesus was indeed the Messiah.

    Consider this:

    At the time of Christ, the Jews were being oppressed by Rome. For several hundred years their was this rumor, this prophecy circulating (especially amongst the scholarly priests who knew the words of the prophets inside and out)around how their was going to be a messiah to come and redeem their people. Well if I had been in their shoes I would have been looking for some guy leading a rebellion against Rome. Someone to free me from the brutal oppression of an empire that had its reach to the far corners of the earth. A king like David who overthrew the giant Goliath.

    The thing is, when we expect God to move in a certain way we take away the potential for God to be creative. If we expected Him to do the same thing twice, because that’s what we know, then we limit His capacity to do anything in our lives.If Christ had been out for glory, fame, power then it would have defeated the purpose of why He came to Earth.

  36. on 07 Apr 2009 at 11:04 am 36.Lou said …

    “Lou, your response affirms my good judgment not to put effort into replying to your comments.”

    Hermes my fiend, it doesn’t take a lot of effort not to answer. I think Steve probably nailed down your motivation pretty well.


    Of course God would not operate in the way we expect. If He acted as weak and fallible men then He would not be an omnipotent God. Look at the way man acts? Hardly in an exemplary manner. The fact He often acts contrary to what we expect provides evidence that He does exists.

  37. on 07 Apr 2009 at 12:29 pm 37.Hermes said …

    Marcus Aurelius, I liked your book. Sorry I did not take the time to drop by in the old days. How are modern times treating you?

    As for proving anyone wrong or right, I’m open to facts. If the two items I mentioned were shown to be mistaken, I would accept that and incorporate that new knowledge into my understanding of the world.

    That those responding to my allocution have decided to offer up baby babble in the question and answer period can not be tolerated as acceptable behavior forever. At some point, the rascals have to be told what’s what.

    The two items I mentioned do not disprove that a person as described in the Christian Bible did not exist at all. Others have quite detailed examinations of that. Yet, that subtlety is lost here; polemics sell to the dogmatists.

    The support for a real flesh and blood Jesus Christ is weak. Then again, if you have any sense of what mythology means, flesh and blood are often a secondary scaffold and usually not necessary.

    As for our expectations, if they are based on speculations, they should be given less credence than ones based on facts and current knowledge. Just because we imagine something does not force it to pop into existence.

  38. on 07 Apr 2009 at 12:39 pm 38.Hermes said …

    Lou (unread), as a man with a distilled personality — a fervent and tumultuous soul — once said; “Go away kid, ya bother me.”

  39. on 07 Apr 2009 at 4:41 pm 39.Marcus A. said …

    I find you sir Hermes quite funny.

    Why do you think that the evidence of Christ is weak? Because their aren’t any reference to him during his life? That their aren’t any writings of him while he lived outside the Bible?

    Lets say the Bible was never canonized, their would still be four separate accounts of the life of Christ would their not? The earliest manuscript of the gospel of Mark is found to date around 65-70 A.D with the subsequent gospels written within twenty years of that. You have to think about the fact that not many people were educated enough to read let alone write. Plus you’d had to find the materials to put pen to paper so to speak.

    Lets say for the sake of argument that these were made up. Why then have so many people died for the message of Christ? Willingly in terms of having an opportunity to recant their faith but choosing not to. If i was in their shoes I would want to make sure that what I believed was worth it.

  40. on 07 Apr 2009 at 5:15 pm 40.Steve said …

    Not to mention 11 of the disciples who would have known better than anyone if he was a phony. They wouldn’t have died for a phony.

  41. on 07 Apr 2009 at 5:39 pm 41.Anonymous said …

    They’re delusional?

  42. on 07 Apr 2009 at 6:25 pm 42.Marcus A. said …


    How can we make that argument? Are you saying that all the intelligent intellectual individuals with professional jobs and big degrees that believe in the Messiah are DELUSIONAL?

    As for the disciples they knew that what they were seeing was divine. Yes they were uneducated, poor fisherman, tax collectors, farmers,etc. And actually many times throughout the gospels you see the disciples questioning what was going on. These guys were human beings just like the rest of us with questions, doubts, concerns and fears. Many of the disciples could not understand why Jesus was on earth and only by his death and resurrection, did everything make sense to them.

  43. on 07 Apr 2009 at 7:27 pm 43.Anonymous said …

    Are you saying that all the intelligent intellectual individuals with professional jobs and big degrees that DON’T believe in the messiah are delusional?

  44. on 07 Apr 2009 at 7:35 pm 44.Steve said …

    Only a few of those. Delusional is one of the favorite atheist words derived from the teachings of Dawkins. That is the word to use when they can no longer carry on their arguments.

  45. on 08 Apr 2009 at 2:30 am 45.Marcus A. said …

    Actually no I don’t believe those who are intellectual, intelligent professionals with big degrees are delusional. Quite the opposite actually. I really respect people who have a healthy doubt of the idea of God. Not only does it keep me in perspective but it strengthens my own belief in Him.

    The truth of the matter is that believing in a higher power takes more than intelligence. In stating the obvious, it takes faith. Faith is a scary concept because its taking a huge risk in something we don’t know is there.

    Not only that but faith is giving up ones need to control everything and placing trust in an outside source. Its very difficult to do because by our very nature, human beings want to be in control over every aspect of their lives. But how much in control are we really? Over our circumstances, relationships, our jobs, the economy, the government,etc. We really only have a small amount of control over ourselves in how we react to things, making decisions, the friends we choose, and what we like and dislike.

    I can say from personal experience that faith has got to be one of the hardest things to practice. Not because its a form of delusion, no its letting go of my need to control everything (which control itself is a delusion) and say that you God have to take over because ultimately the outcome is really up to Him.

  46. on 08 Apr 2009 at 3:11 am 46.Hermes said …

    Marcus Aurelius: “I find you sir Hermes quite funny.”

    [ tips hat at the compliment and not the potential slight ]

    Marcus Aurelius: “Why do you think that the evidence of Christ is weak? Because their aren’t any reference to him during his life? That their aren’t any writings of him while he lived outside the Bible?”

    Well, when you put it that way.

    As for the rest of your comments, they just emphasize what we know; that if a living god (not a regular person) walked among humans for years, that it would be highly improbable that someone with a pen and papyrus wouldn’t have noticed. (Well, if not that, maybe they would have noticed zombies crawling out of tombs. Those things are kinda worthy of a note home to Mom and Dad.)

    I don’t doubt that there were flesh and blood messiah figures before and through and after the supposed life of Jesus Christ. They could be the mythic basis for Jesus Christ of the Bible. Yet, that’s speculation. What we know is he supposedly was born, lived 33 years — nobody wrote anything — and then after a few decades stories started to be written down.

    For example, consider the sermon on the mount. When do scholars consider that was added? Additionally, where was Nazareth?

    In either case, let us deal with facts as facts and speculations as just that.

  47. on 08 Apr 2009 at 3:16 am 47.Hermes said …

    Steve: “Not to mention 11 of the disciples who would have known better than anyone if he was a phony. They wouldn’t have died for a phony.”

    Consider Hale Bopp and Heaven’s Gate;


    Consider the 9/11 hijackers.

    Reality bends only so far under the weight of belief.

  48. on 08 Apr 2009 at 3:19 am 48.Hermes said …

    Marcus Aurelius: “How can we make that argument? Are you saying that all the intelligent intellectual individuals with professional jobs and big degrees that believe in the Messiah are DELUSIONAL?”

    No more than other followers of different religions and beliefs.

    Expertise in one area does not result in wisdom in others, let alone of the universe, no matter what folks in the medical profession think of themselves.

  49. on 08 Apr 2009 at 9:11 am 49.Steve said …

    Not comparable Hermes. The disciples would have know that Jesus was a liar when He claimed He would come back from the dead and he did not. The cults and terrorist you mention did not have that luxury.

  50. on 08 Apr 2009 at 8:31 pm 50.Marcus A. said …

    Sir Hermes to answer a few questions you have…

    Nazareth is the largest city in Northern Israel. It hasn’t moved since the time of Christ.

    I honestly don’t know why we do not have writings at the time of Christs exsistence. I understand your question. If Christ claims divinity how come more people weren’t jumping on the band wagon to write this down. It could be we haven’t found them or like I’ve said before not too many educated people at that time could write.

    Also by the time these guys were writing down their accounts of their experiences, the numbers of Christ followers was taking off which falsifies the notion that they had to have these writings in order to believe in his exsistance.

    I’m not sure why you think the Sermon on the Mount was ‘added’. Who says that? Their are descrepencies between the different gospels yes, however I like this because it gives the more credibility. If you witness a car accident with ten different people everyone is going to have a different version of what happened.

  51. on 08 Apr 2009 at 9:01 pm 51.Anonymous said …

    Wasn’t it written by god and not “ten different people”? There should be NO discrepancies for the word of god.

  52. on 09 Apr 2009 at 3:38 am 52.Marcus A. said …

    I apologize. My word choice was very poor and misleading. What I meant in my statement above is that these four men wrote their own separate book and in doing so brought a different perspective on what happened at the sermon of the Mount.

  53. on 09 Apr 2009 at 3:41 am 53.Anonymous said …

    My point is that god’s supposed to have dictated it. “Different perspectives” might excuse discrepancies, but that doesn’t make them go away.

  54. on 09 Apr 2009 at 4:40 am 54.Marcus A. said …

    I think you misunderstand “god dictating”.

    God did not sit there and write the Bible. However, the Word is God breathed. During the canonization of the Bible the scholars and leading theology experts with the guidance of God looked at scripts such as the Septuagint, the Torah, the Masoretic Text etc. and chose which texts best demonstrate and explain the relationship of the Father with those He created. Amazingly throughout the entire Bible (despite the different authors) the underlining theology, the fundamentals of the Christian faith, the persona of God, historical references among the different books (and more) remains consistent.


  55. on 09 Apr 2009 at 5:04 am 55.Anonymous said …


  56. on 09 Apr 2009 at 4:02 pm 56.Marcus A. said …

    How many of these contradictions have you read in the context of where they were taken out? I ran through the first twenty contradictions to get a feel of what this was about and their is a common theme to about half of them, humans are being humans and so God has to deal with us, and the other half is simply misunderstanding the context of the verses. Its the same thing with misunderstanding what someone says, when you hear them without having them explain the thought process behind why they said it. Some of these actually make no sense in how they were used to contradict another verse.

  57. on 09 Apr 2009 at 4:37 pm 57.Steve said …

    Marcus if one is dead set on finding a contradiction they will find one. The tick is as old as the Bible itself.

  58. on 09 Apr 2009 at 4:54 pm 58.anonymous said …

    So Marcus A., I’d like to know your take on this question.

    Since the biblical god is claimed to be omnipotent and omniscient, then he would know that people would misunderstand his bible that he allegedly inspired. Many people including myself have read the whole bible in context and still consider it to be full of contradictions, bigotry and condoned genocide. Why didn’t he create an unambiguous bible that the meaning was clearly conveyed no matter who read it from whatever time period and culture? This would be within his capabilities as an omnipotent god.

  59. on 09 Apr 2009 at 10:40 pm 59.Hermes said …

    Steve: “Not comparable Hermes. The disciples would have know that Jesus was a liar when He claimed He would come back from the dead and he did not. The cults and terrorist you mention did not have that luxury.”

    Steve, keep in mind I’m not a Christian and as such I do not give the Christian beliefs any special considerations.

    To support what you say completely, multiple non-trivial issues should be addressed;

    1. No contemporaneous accounts of Jesus Christ; we’re dealing with hearsay, including disciples that appear ex post facto.

    2. The ‘cults and terrorists’ (people who personally did not consider themselves as such) did follow claims that they thought were true. Claims you have not shown to be in error. (I could, but what would be the point — you’d ignore the uncomfortable fact that it applies equally well or poorly to a Christian afterlife as well.)

    Other issues, such as Nazareth, and the addition of the Sermon on the Mount are issues for you to investigate. I’m not paid to teach you.

    As for the context issue you bring up in attempting to address Anonymous’ posts, I suggest some time looking at the link Anonymous provided you with and then crack open a long session with Biblegateway.com;


    Protesting ‘context’ and not doing that work is a knee-jerk reaction.

  60. on 09 Apr 2009 at 10:43 pm 60.Hermes said …

    Steve: “Marcus if one is dead set on finding a contradiction they will find one. The tick is as old as the Bible itself.”

    Well, the Bible is a giant Rorschach test. Feel free to carefully review the link Anonymous provided before claiming that your view is the most likely one.

    In addition, if the Bible has two passages and they contradict each other that’s a problem for Christians to address, not non-Christians.

  61. on 09 Apr 2009 at 10:47 pm 61.Hermes said …

    Anonymous, good comments!

    I hope that you get honest and informed replies, or at a minimum interesting ones — even if they interest you only because of the unintended humor or your personal discovery of a new type of malformed idea.

  62. on 09 Apr 2009 at 11:22 pm 62.Steve said …

    “No contemporaneous accounts of Jesus Christ; we’re dealing with hearsay, including disciples that appear ex post facto.”

    Matthew, Mark, Luke & John. That is 4 books before they became the Bible. Contemporaneous is irrelevant as far as I am concerned. If you have problem with that, then that is something you must deal with.

    “The ‘cults and terrorists’ (people who personally did not consider themselves as such) did follow claims that they thought were true.”

    Its not my job to prove cults in error. Take that up if you wish. Jesus lived with the disciples. They saw first hand his claims and saw that he followed them out. The disciples did not rely on hearsay, they saw the evidence first hand. The “terrorist” do not have that luxury. All but one died a martyr. Men do not willing die for lies ans they would have KNOWN for a FACT it was a lie.

    Being that I’m not atheist, you must realize I don’t give such links much credence. If you would like to review a particular discrepancy, post it. I’ll be glad to discuss but I’m not paid to chase your rabbits.

    I mean really, do you guys think this is new stuff that hasn’t been addressed in the last 2000 years. If you were as diligence looking for the answers as you are looking for errors you would find explanations. But explanations, I fear is not what you desire.

  63. on 09 Apr 2009 at 11:26 pm 63.Steve said …

    Disregard everything I just said. I didn’t pay attention to anything you just said because of my admitted bias. I’m sorry.

  64. on 09 Apr 2009 at 11:43 pm 64.Lou said …

    That’s okay. I’m sorry too. We can grow as people. Together.


  65. on 10 Apr 2009 at 12:08 am 65.Lou said …



  66. on 10 Apr 2009 at 4:05 pm 66.Anonymouse said …

    I give Steve you win. All I have left in personal attacks! Please I give!!!! Uncle Uncle!!!

  67. on 10 Apr 2009 at 4:42 pm 67.Marcus A. said …

    I can’t answer for God. I can’t pretend to know all the answers either because I really don’t and I’d be lying to say I did. Anonymous you have a great question about the Bible being the way it is.

    Steve is correct in addressing the fact that you can look for errors or answers depending on which side of the fence you are at. I am not here to convince anybody of what to believe. I’m here to get a better understanding of why atheist and non Christians view the world as they do.

    All these facts and technicalities can be important if that’s what one wants to dispute. But the Christian walk is and should be more about our relationship with the Father and loving our neighbors as ourselves.

    I will be the first to admit that Christians, myself included, are not perfect and we have done a very, very poor job of representing ourselves and God to the rest of the world. We can be such a judgmental, argumentative, hypocritical, graceless, and close minded, mass of individuals its no wonder people refuse to associate with us. Because if God is like Christians then why would we want to believe in Him? For this I am so so sorry. Father forgives us because we have no clue what we have done to those you have called us to love.

  68. on 10 Apr 2009 at 5:04 pm 68.Anonymous said …

    I suppose this is good a first step, admitting to not having all the answers.

    66, you are a weak anony. Therefore, the rest of us have decided to kick you out of the union.(Also, there’s no E in anonymous! It’s even given to you: Name (or enter “anonymous”) under leave a reply… tsk tsk.)

    Appreciate anony

  69. on 10 Apr 2009 at 9:30 pm 69.Steve said …

    Yeah, it’s not like I had any points to discuss that weren’t already… Man, I need to pay attention.

  70. on 11 Apr 2009 at 1:40 pm 70.Hermes said …

    Steve: “Contemporaneous is irrelevant as far as I am concerned.”

    Then you want special treatment that you would not grant anyone else. Correct?

    As for the link that you turn your nose up to, it’s to Biblegateway — a site owned by Zondervan Corporation. You know, the ones who publish Lee Strobel’s books, as well as many other Christian materials including how to study the Bible in Greek as well as other texts.

    You can use Biblegateway to check anything else posted about your religious book. Refute it if you want. Yet, you’ve already made up your mind. You are only preaching at me and others, and not interested in an actual discussion.

    It was wise of me not to bother with responding to you more frequently.

  71. on 11 Apr 2009 at 5:12 pm 71.Steve said …

    Actually, no Herems I don’t expect special treatment and it is equally true I have never asked anyone for contemporaneous literature on anyone. Especially considering the time frame discussed and the social order of the subject matter.

    My remark to the link I “turned my nose up to” was not Biblegateway. I actually use it quite a bit. Then again, I feel certain you knew that if you actually read my post in context. It seems very little actual reading takes place.

    Sigh, since you and the anonymous did provide any discrepancies from the “evil bible”, I suppose there is nothing left to discuss.

    Hermes, if you chose not to respond I understand. I’ll assume you have taken to one of you alter specters once again.

    Got a lot to do. So chow.

  72. on 11 Apr 2009 at 5:47 pm 72.Anonymous said …

    It’s “ciao.”

    If you really want to talk to Hermes, GO TO THE FORUM.

    Appreciate Anony

  73. on 12 Apr 2009 at 12:07 am 73.Burebista said …

    What does the atheist position offer people? How has it improved your life? Why will it improve others’ lives?
    This question stumped Richard Dawkins, so maybe you have a better answer.

    I imagine it’s something along the lines of, “I’m free from a silly delusion!” which I would reduce to, “I used my enormous intellectual powers of intelligence to conclude that I am right!” I also believe that what follows is a comfortable level of superiority over all of those misguided, stupid Christians who are obviously not nearly as smart as you are. If that helps you sleep at night, I guess. But in what I’ve seen, at least of the vocal atheists floating about the internet, this is almost unilaterally the case.

    Just watch any one of the atheists on YouTube. They give off such a condescending vibe it makes your head spin. Of course, to admit that this is true for you is pretty impossible especially since you’ve probably gone over this in your head so many times that you truthfully believe that you are merely right, not merely arrogant. And maybe you aren’t arrogant, but if you aren’t, you should have a good answer to this question.

    I don’t. And while I admit that Christianity has been the cause of great suffering for many people over the years, I also believe that it has been the cause of great happiness for many people over the years. Does the good outweigh the bad? I am inclined to think yes. Personally, I’d rather take the good with the bad than take nothing at all, which is the atheist position as I see it.

  74. on 12 Apr 2009 at 9:35 am 74.Lou said …


    I couldn’t have stated any better. Both positions tend to be vocal and evangelistic about their message. Both claim I have it right! when in reality they both have issues. That is why both are religions according to the SC. That is the reason I make the calm Theism is justifiable and refuse to argue the existence of God. It is such an exercise in futility.

  75. on 12 Apr 2009 at 7:47 pm 75.Anonymous said …

    Oh yeah Burebista! You are ugle and yor mom drsses you stuped.

  76. on 13 Apr 2009 at 9:02 pm 76.Anonymous said …

    “What does the atheist position offer people? How has it improved your life? Why will it improve others’ lives?
    This question stumped Richard Dawkins, so maybe you have a better answer.”
    1)freedom of ignorance
    2)can now use time wasted on boring christian nonsense for more productive avenues like…
    3)advancements in medicine

    I didn’t bother with the rest as it seemed all I had to do was interchange ‘atheist’ with ‘christian’ and change ‘evidence’ to ‘faith’ and I could have the same argument.

  77. on 13 Apr 2009 at 9:03 pm 77.Anonymous said …

    All the christian position offers is a lifelong fear of hell. GREAT JOB, GUYS.

  78. on 13 Apr 2009 at 9:15 pm 78.Lou said …

    LOL, freedom of ignorance? OK

  79. on 13 Apr 2009 at 9:23 pm 79.Maxwell said …


    Would “freedom from ignorance” have been better?


  80. on 14 Apr 2009 at 2:24 am 80.Hermes said …

    Steve: “Hermes, if you chose not to respond I understand. I’ll assume you have taken to one of you alter specters once again.”

    *BZZZZT!* Wrong, try again.

    If I post here, I always use the same avatar, or immediately offer a correction.

    A few times, I’ve posted as Anonymous by mistake, and in each of those cases I’ve noticed the error and posted a message claiming the message as my own. In one case, I posted as someone else and … once again … immediately fessed up to it. That last one could be seen as mischievous, but not deceptive.

    That people have posted a few times using my avatar was their choice. I haven’t seen much of that abuse in a while.

    So, why are there so many high-quality posts appearing that I happen to agree with? Maybe it’s because I’m not alone in the conclusions that I’ve reached? Wow! Independently reaching the same conclusion! How can that happen without nuns with rulers, or evangelists screaming?

    See, the high quality comments from the folks on the invisible man cheer leading side of things have inspired me to only dabble here as a curiosity.

  81. on 14 Apr 2009 at 2:48 am 81.Hermes said …

    Burebista, atheists aren’t theists. That is, theists have a belief in one or more deities. Atheists do not have a belief in one or more deities. Nothing more, nothing less.

    The people who think that being an atheist grants them immediate rationality are mistaken. Thankfully, there are only a few that I’ve encountered, though they grate at me quite a bit. The Amazing Atheist, for example, has some very good videos and some others that are cringe-worthy.

    As for what atheism offers, you kinda miss the point. Not being a theist still leaves you with yourself — for good and for bad. Turn your nose up at that if you want, but make no mistake; I personally like me. Well, most of the time.

    What I find is that the silence of most Christian theists when their own members and churches make moral mistakes. There are good people, and bad, yet look at the % of good vs. bad. Why aren’t more Christians standing up and doing something when other Christians do bad deeds?

    Consider the recent genocide in Canada and the involvement of different church leaders and organizations;


    Very shocking stuff. Tip of the hat in gratitude to a Christian that stood up and paid a price for his efforts; Kevin Annett.

  82. on 16 Apr 2009 at 5:11 am 82.Marcus A. said …

    I completely agree with Hermes on the point on why don’t Christians verbalize their disappointment with the mistakes that fellow Christians make. But then maybe he hasn’t listened very closely to how many people in the church when the scandal involving Ted Haggard hit, were 1) Very disappointed and extremely upset that such a highly esteemed highly publicized figure would do such a thing 2) Glad that his ass was kicked out of the pulpit 3) Understand that if I wasn’t careful the same thing could happen to me because really who am i to judge?

    Now as for other things yes, not too many people are vocal in their disappointment in past mistakes. We fine tune the craft of passivity. Crusades anyone?

    As far as Anonymous addressing our lovely fire and brimstone routine. Yeah I really wish I could hit those preachers upside the head, not very Christ-like I know. This just isn’t the way to reach people!!!!! I mean its just as bad as the Jihad preaching terrorism as a way to cleanse the world of Jews and Americans. So ineffective and also ruins the appetite. Maybe that was an extreme example but hopefully you catch my drift.

    My apologies to you Anonymous for those of us who have only offered fear when they should have been providing love, grace, and acceptance.

  83. on 16 Apr 2009 at 3:29 pm 83.Anonymous said …

    I think you missed the point. Your bible says people are going to hell if they don’t believe in god and whatnot. That doesn’t sound like love, grace, and acceptance.

  84. on 16 Apr 2009 at 4:13 pm 84.Marcus A. said …

    And you anonymous are missing my point. :) The Bible does say that if you don’t believe in CHRIST then you will perish in the fact that Christ is the way to the Father, the truth and life. This isn’t the only thing that Christ talks about. He really emphasised humility, humbleness, love, grace, and acceptance of those who are not like myself.

    However, this wasn’t my point. Brow beating people over the head with the fear of hell is not the way to reach out to someone effectively. You said in your posting that all Christians offer is a lifelong fear of Hell. Well this is my response to that. We are supposed to be more about loving those around us, and loving God, not inflicting condemnation upon those who don’t believe in God. Who am i to judge the reasons why you don’t?

  85. on 26 Mar 2010 at 3:39 am 85.New Jordan said …

    Great articles and it’s so helpful. I want to add your blog into my rrs reader but i can’t find the rrs address. Would you please send your address to my email? Thanks a lot!

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