First of all, this "cliff notes" version of yours has nothing to do with my original argument and case for answering the question of this very thread which is: "Did a man named Jesus rise from the dead"?
So? You churned out three posts worth of chum on a topic you're now trying to decree by fiat to be irrelevant. Why not just say "You guys aren't allowed to respond to what I say, so that way I can say I win!"
As everyone can see, this is a question that we are debating. We are not debating a proposition, "Be it resolved that...," but a question, "Did a man named Jesus rise from the dead?" If we were debating a proposition, then one person would bear the burden of proof (the affirmative side) and the other would have merely to refute it to win (the negative side). But in debating a question, each advocate has to shoulder the burden of proof for why their answer is the correct one. Thus I have to present a case for an affirmative answer to the above question and refute the atheist's or non-believers objections to it. Which I think I have done... or at least attempting to do it.
Why don't you stop rules-lawyering and produce some actual evidence for your Four Assertions About History?
You want our evidence against the resurrection of Jesus? Very well. Our evidence is as follows:Every single thing we have ever discovered about physics and biology.
Out of billions of human deaths (that is, real deaths, rather than NDE's or mistaken diagnoses), every single time, the person has remained dead instead of suddenly springing back to life. Every funeral home and coroner and morgue on Planet Earth can and does safely treat dead bodies as dead
, to the point that they do not need to worriedly wait for at least three days before embalming, cremating, or autopsying a body after it's assumed room temperature. Once the metabolism stops, the body is dead and stays dead, repeatedly, demonstrably, 100% of the time. Likewise, bodies (alive or dead) cannot teleport or walk through solid doors or resume full function despite having suffered mortal wounds and blood loss. Nor do undead bodies shape-shift so that close friends of the deceased cannot recognize them during extended conversations (conversation being something else dead bodies never engage in).
You are claiming that at least once in recorded history, there was an exception to this otherwise universal pattern. Based on what we know about physics and biology, a resurrection of a dead person back to life, followed by the the person possessing the ability to teleport and/or phase through solid objects, shape-shift, float into the sky, etc., would require either Sufficiently Advanced
technology or a miracle/magic.
Presumably you favor "miracle" as the explanation. By definition, a "miracle" is something that overturns/repeals/transcends (use whatever semantics you prefer) the generalized operating principles of Universe. Which means, a miracle by definition must conflict with everything we have discovered about the natural operation of Universe (i.e., about non-magic, non-miraculous natural existence) or ever will.
So far, every single phenomenon we have ever come to understand has turned out to be Not Magic (or Miracle). This means there's an enormous weight of evidence that we live in a non-magic, non-miraculous Cosmos, one that operates according to natural regularities. Evidence for a miracle must be so complete, so overwhelming, that we are forced to conclude that Everything We Know Is Wrong.
This is a false either/or claim. There is a 3rd alternative.. which is that the Jewish concept of the Messiah was not entirely correct to begin with. And that is exactly the claim that Christians make. So there is no contradiction or an either/or argument as you are claiming. Christians have been saying all along that one of the major reasons for an unbelief in Jesus as the Messiah was because they simply got some of their "signals" or "clues" wrong.
A "prophecy" (in the sense of "Messianic prophecy") is a claim to predict the future. The only way to test a prophecy (or any other prediction of future events, such as Einstein predicting that light from stars behind the Sun would be bent around the Sun if relativity theory is correct) is to lay out in advance what the prediction is, i.e., what is supposed to happen. Christian retcons
of passages in the Hebrew Scriptures, re-interpreted to fit with "the Jesus story" do not count as prophecy because the claim is only made after the fact, i.e. after the event or narrative being "predicted." Example:
Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel.
This is one of the passages that Christians claim is a "prophecy" of Jesus. But take a look at the context:
Curds and honey He shall eat, that He may know to refuse the evil and choose the good. For before the Child shall know to refuse the evil and choose the good, the land that you dread will be forsaken by both her kings. The LORD will bring the king of Assyria upon you and your people and your father's house--days that have not come since the day that Ephraim departed from Judah."
Clearly the child being predicted here is not Jesus, but a child to be born within Isaiah's own time. The prophecy here is that a child will be born and named Immanuel, and that by the time this child is old enough to make moral choices, the nations of Israel and Syria will no longer be threatening Judah. The child is not even a Messiah, much less a virgin-born Incarnate God to be born centuries after Isaiah's time. Christians simply wrenched verse 14 out of its context and plugged it into "the Jesus story." That's not prophecy, that's a retcon.
Your search for the Messiah is dependent on the quality of your "clues". That should be obvious.
And who, according to Christian belief, is responsible for providing the "clues?" Why, Yahweh, Lord of Heaven and Earth. Too bad he provides such crappy clues, eh?
And there were many Jews who did believe that Jesus was the Messiah. You have 3 groups of people AT THAT TIME. Those that believed he was the Messiah. Those that were not sure. And those that did not believe he was the Messiah. And these come from CONTEMPORARY Jews at the time of Jesus.
You missed my point. To count as a prediction of the future, the prediction or expectation must be something laid out and understood as such before
the event being predicted. Since there were no Christians before
Jesus, no uniquely Christian understanding of Messianic prophecy can count as actual prophecy--that is, prediction of the future
. To test whether or not Jesus meets the prophetic qualifications of the Jewish
Messiah, we must compare his alleged biography to Jewish
Messianic predictions as made and understood as
Messianic predictions before
Jesus or Christianity came on the scene.
If I want to claim that Nostradamus predicted the success of Elvis Presley, I can't go back and just pick out something from his quatrains that seems sorta Elvis-like and re-interpret it (especially disregarding context as with Isaiah 7:14 in Christian theology) as a reference to Elvis and declare victory. To demonstrate that it's a real prophecy (prediction of the future) that came true and that Elvis is its fulfillment, I would have to demonstrate that people understood the prophecy to be referring to someone just like Elvis before Elvis came on the scene
. Otherwise I'm just "predicting" the past, and that's easy.
Well now... anyone could, but not everyone would... unless you want to uncritically and arbitrarily call these people liars who deliberately twisted and twisted and shaped the language into their pre-conceived biases.
We don't know anything about the integrity or lack thereof of the Gospel writers. We don't even know who they were. However, as a matter of probability, it is far more likely that a person can lie or be mistaken, than that they can have psychic knowledge of the distant future. And, given the example of how Christians abuse Isaiah 7:14, we've got at least one demonstrable dishonesty so far.
But this is what I mean when I say that because we are debating a question and not a proposition... it is your burden to give evidence for your belief that the prophecies were interepretated after the fact to make it fit events in their own past. Just saying so doesn't make it so.
But in an attempt to tie this into the minimal facts argument... how could this mis-interpretation be sustained if there were eyewitnesses to counter this mis-interpretation? Unless you are trying to argue that the Gospels were written AFTER all the eyewitnesses were dead. Are you? And if so, how would you argue that point?
As I understand it, the general consensus of scholars is that GMark was written sometime around 70 C.E., and the others appearing later, with GJohn appearing around 90 C.E. or so. Some scholars argue for later dates, as late as the mid-Second Century. The Jewish War of 66-70 C.E. pretty much creamed the whole country of Judea, killing or scattering whatever handful of eyewitnesses there may have been to a historical Jesus. Since the only eyewitnesses you appear interested in are the small coterie of early Christians mentioned in the Gospels
"eyewitnesses" would not be much of a problem. They were either killed off/died by the time the Gospels got wide circulation, or they never existed in the first place.
Besides, you haven't even provided any evidence for any eyewitness testimony about Jesus whatsoever.
Indeed, the minimal facts does not depend on the general reliability of the NT or even the Gospels themselves... but on the documents BEHIND the Gospels. I outlined all this on page 22 in REPLIES #655 and #656
Lovely! Who wrote these pre-Gospel documents? How many copies of the manuscripts do we have to compare with one another to test their quality? What is the earliest carbon-date for one of these "documents BEHIND the Gospels?"
Oh. That's right. We don't have
any such documents. Presumably you're talking about something like Q, right? Well, Q is not an actual manuscript that we have any copies of. It's a document whose contents scholars deduce from...the Gospels. This is not to say that these deductions are false necessarily, only that we cannot assert that a scholarly reconstruction of what Q might have contained is more reliable than the Gospel manuscripts the scholar is reconstructing Q from.
But let's just say for the sake of discussion that we had the perfectly-preserved original autograph of Q, written in the author's own hand. At best, it's an account of stupendous supernatural goings-on that no one else (i.e. thousands of literate Jews and Gentiles living in Jerusalem and its environs at the time of the alleged events) noticed or wrote about. Apart from any supporting evidence, it's no more credible than the average UFO report or Chupacabra sighting.
I disagree that they were retrofitted. Can you at least bring to bear ANY evidence at all for this claim of yours?
And now you will have to explain and satisfy the burden of proof for making the claim that the Resurrection is a "weird idea" which is logically and rationally impossible..
So you think the resurrection of a dead person isn't
"weird?" It's just an everyday occurrence in your universe? Do people fly to work on broomsticks where you come from? Don't leave home without your shotgun, or the zombies will get you.
You can't simply dismiss the question or the resurrection as a "weird idea" without supplying something for reasoning... something that goes beyond your personal quirks and biases.
In my universe, dead people tend to stay dead. I wouldn't call that a personal quirk or bias on my part, it's just the way things work around here.
I have at least laid out an affirmative case. Maybe it would be more profitable to just stick with rebutting that.
No, you've just stated four assertions and called them "Facts."