The Bible is true in certain aspects and I think that's where we're missing each other. The Bible can be verified on many claims through the use of different disciplines of science. The majority of history contained in the Bible, for example, has been proven correct by archaeology and nonbiblical historical records (ie: Hittites, the Merneptah Stele nonbiblical reference to Israelites, and the countless number of cities and peoples excavated over the last few hundred years).
Just because stories take place in real cities does not mean... not for one second... that the stories therein are true. Did you not read Omen's post? Harry Potter takes place in London England. That matters little to the facts surrounding the rest of the stories. BTW, archeology doesn't back up the majority of the history of the bible. I can think of several things off the top of my head that aren't backed up. The exodus, the great flood, the census surrounding the birth of Jesus, etc.
At best, all we can say is the stories might have taken place in real spots. That makes none of them true, however.
I understand not believing the entire, cover-to-cover collective work known as the Bible, but there has to be some consensus here that we're dealing with a reliable source of history that was written as an historical narrative and not a storybook piece of fiction.
Actually, no, Penman. We aren't. I do not agree that the bible is a reliable source of history any more than I agree the Koran is, given that some of the names and places in that book have been found legitimate as well. It very well may be a piece of fiction. In fact, there are many, MANY reasons to believe it is.
Unfortunately, everything within the realm of history that precedes either of us has to be taken on the account of someone else's personal experience that was then recorded and must be verified as much as possible through what physical evidence still remains. In fact, most of what we know to be "true" is taken on the reliability of someone else's personal experience. I've never done, seen, or experienced many things personally, yet that does not discount the validity of someone else's personal experience that they've relayed to me or others.
It depends upon the claims they make as to whether or not we can accept something at face value. If the claim is that some guy lived a decent life, was arrested, tortured and killed on a cross 2000 years ago, then yeah we could probably buy that one. It's not extraordinary in any way. It probably happened a lot. But when you are relying on (in this case) second, third, fourth or maybe fifth hand information to swing the pendulum of belief in the direction of an invisible sky man sending his child down to earth to be a human sacrifice so that we could all be free to sin and still get to be with God in his happy place when we die, then going on someone else's experience is stupidity at best.
Here are some facts about the gospel writers.
1. We have no idea who they were.
2. They were not eyewitness accounts, nor were they claimed to be.
3. They offer 4 different versions of Jesus.
Knowing this, why anyone would ever think of the gospels as truthful is beyond me.
ID simply says to examine the evidence and come to a conclusion. Much of the recent evidence, especially given the amount of molecular biology at work, continually points to intelligent design.
This is false. It just is. You are not looking at what science is actually doing if you are saying this. You are only looking at what religious people are saying. Name a nonreligious scientist that says there is a good amount of evidence for intelligent design. Now, keep in mind, they do not have to believe in your god, another god, or any god. They could believe in intelligent aliens for all we know. But you don't see scientists (again unless they are religious) pointing to the notion that the universe had to be intelligently designed.
Evolution, on the other hand, is losing traction because the more hypothesis it puts forth, the more they end up with contrary conclusions (ie: mutation producing additional genetic information).
Now this one is a major loss for you. It's completely wrong. Evolution is a fact and one of the most well supported theories in the world.
Not a strawman. It was you who insisted this marflarg existed, demanded love, and expected to be taken seriously without explanation. I gave explanations on why your marflarg would not be taken seriously on insistence alone by giving examples of why the Biblical God is taken seriously by believers. There is a strong disconnect between your make-believe marflarg and the Biblical writings revealing the God. That was my only point.
Funny stuff. You're god needs evidence but not mine! lol.
To not even understand the basic elements of Biblical truths (see first paragraph) is your own pitfall. Your unbelief in the contents of the books where the supernatural is concerned is understandable, the rest is not. They are obviously tied together coherently if you read all of them. I am not going to coddle you on this issue because the information is readily available where this is concerned.
The bible is fiction. Sorry. You can do all the theological gymnastics you want, but it's fiction. 100%. God isn't real.
So the countless names, places, events, and so forth that have been verified through archaeology and nonbiblical sources mean what to you?
It means places can exist and names can exist. Archaeology, history, and other sciences can verify them empirically. Of that we can agree. It depends upon the evidence for them. If it is sufficient, then it's not hard to believe. The events are a completely separate matter.
It's hardly an "at best" classification when the majority of historical events/places recorded have been verified and when recent discoveries continually strengthen the Bible's case for an accurate portrayal of history and not the other way around.
So you're saying you believe in an historical Jesus, just not a word of what He said or did as was recorded by those around Him?
A man named Jesus going around saying stuff 2000 years ago about the Jewish God isn't that hard to believe. A man named Jesus being the SON OF AN INVISIBLE GOD, and coming down to the planet to sacrifice himself for us IS hard to believe. It just is. It's ridiculous to believe that when we consider the evidence we have.
Personal stories (see paragraph 2). Again, personal stories/experience are often what we rely on for the majority of things we will not and cannot experience/test ourselves. This does not invalidate the claims or information relayed to us by them.
If I told you that my great grandfather died and rose from the dead 3 days later, what would you say to me?
Prophecy in the Bible stands alone compared to any religious or doomsday writings specifically because of the specificity involved. Not only Daniel, but Isaiah and others. In fact, one prophecy book I often reference contains 340 pages dedicated to the OT alone. I suppose you should let the thousands of 1st century Jews, who knew the scriptures more intimately than you and I ever will, know that Jesus is/was not their Messiah.
I think you should take a listen to the reasons behind why the vast, vast majority of first century Jews rejected it.
Probably ought to let all the messianic jews know too. Just as you won't take my word for it at face value, neither will I with you concerning the assertion that Jesus did not fulfill judaic messianic prophecies.
Jesus man. Look around the forum a bit for information on this. There are plenty... PLENTY of prophecies that Jesus didn't fulfill. And BTW, if you think the prophecies are really useful, consider this. The OT was written prior to the NT, correct? So if you, as a NT writer, wanted people to think that Jesus was the messiah, and you were writing LONG after Jesus died, how hard would it be to make up the details about a guy that fit with the prophecies of a previous book? That's exactly what happened.
From what I've studied and from the overwhelming evidence of Jewish believers dating from the 1st century forward, you are quite wrong.
Christianity was a nothing religion for the first 300 years. Nobody cared. The vast majority of Jews rejected the notion that Jesus was the messiah. You are wrong.
As for Daniel, the traditional view is that it was written in the late 6th century B.C. and this is based on the evidence we have obtained from the DSS, linguistic evidence (the aramaic used), and historical evidence of accounts given within the book. This is the MAINSTREAM view, not the fringe as you assert. The mainstream relies on evidence and the critical view (your view) relies on the denial that such prophetic accuracy could be written hundreds of years in advance of the events they record.
My only point is that a religion based on an historical event that either did/did not occur would have a hard time escaping extinction within a short timeframe if said event did not actually occur. I'm not arguing popularity.
Well, that's completely wrong in just about every way. All a belief system has to have is an invisible, all powerful being to back it up and suddenly everything is possible. Any event that occurred in the world at that time would only have been able to be witnessed by a few people. It is EASY to understand how a story like the Jesus story could survive if it never happened. All you have to do is convince one person that it did, and voila, off it goes. You could say something as silly as Jesus took off on a flying horse and went to heaven after he died. Oh, wait. That was Mohammed. I guess, by your take, that must have happened too then? After all, it's hard to see how an event like that could survive the test of time if it didn't really happen.... right? Riiiiiight.
Biblical proofs (see paragraphs 1 and 6). Existence of God can be seen through prophetic writings, humanity, and creation of all things (again, I will try to get over to the ID/Evolution area eventually).
You'll get lambasted there.
I don't simply think because a few places or historical figures are mentioned that any story is completely true.
Um... is that not what you were saying above? You want us to believe that just because something was written down in a place that was real, that the events that are described to have happened in those places, are real.
However, it is very obvious that the authors of the Biblical books intended to write an accurate historical narrative using many types of literary styles and not a work of fiction for entertainment purposes.
I don't think anyone doubts that the stories were being circulated as if they were true. That doesn't make them true, though. Anymore than the stories of Joseph Smith were meant for entertainment.
However, before eating of the tree, Genesis records that man was made in God's image/likeness and was given dominion over all the rest of creation. God instructed man to work and watch over the garden. The dealings between God and man even before the eating of the tree require an intelligent, rational being with whom God could converse and give direction to. The idea that they posessed no knowledge before eating of the tree of knowledge is not supported by scripture and isn't the logical conclusion.
The genesis account is false. That is the most logical conclusion.
If my religion requires people who already believe, where did the first believer come from and how did he/she convert anyone else? Silly, non-sensical statement.
Where did the first believer in any religion (besides yours) come from? To think that a story has to be true in order for people to believe it is lunacy.
You've barked up the wrong tree, Penman. The Christian God isn't real. Sorry.