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Now, concerning NTS’s claims.  There is no reason to assume that “Luke” is any kind of a historian than there is to claim that Homer was a historian and Greek gods are real too since Troy now seems to be a quite real place.  There may not be any thing better out there but that is absolutely no reason to think that Luke is somehow right about anything.  Sir William Mitchell RamsayWiki was a archaeologist who died in 1939.  He may have said that Luke was a historian “of the first rank” but there is no evidence supporting this claim.  Ramsay’s claims that the bible must be true if he could find cities of the same name would also make Spiderman comics true since they also mention cities that really exist.  He would claim that the events in Acts were totally supported but of course, they have not been.  There is no contemporary record of men doing magic as Acts describes.  No Simon Magus, no contests between apostles on who were the “real” ones, etc.  What is more interesting is that even the book of the bible disagree on events in Acts where Paul and the Apostles claims don’t match up.
Hmmmm, do you know any books that talk about Luke not being a good historian?  If they happen to be on Google Books (maybe my favorite internet invention), please pass the link along, I would like to read them.  Scholarly articles would work too.
  ROFL.  Oh oh my.  :D  Hmmm, we have 19th century books that says that Luke was such a fabulous historian. Most authors don’t consider “Luke” a historian at all, good or bad, but the author of the gospel of luke and perhaps Acts.  As soon as the historicity (or accuracy of reality) of the bible is brought up, many Christian authors insist that  wasn’t “meant” to be historical (even your Ramsay, see below).  Unfortunately, as I have stated, Ramsay’s hypothesis would make Spiderman as real as Jesus.  This is something I have mentioned earlier and that you have not rebutted.  NTS, can you explain to me why the gospel should be considered more historical and accurate than greek mythology which does the exact same things as the gospel does, mentioning real places, very likely versions of real people etc?

Ramsay says “Is it consistent with human nature that a writer who claims to earnestly setting forth the simple facts should begin with so impudent a series of fabrications?”  IMO, this can be reduced to “How can you dare disbelief the bible, it says it’s true”.  But that’s my opinion.  However, yep, it sure is consistent, Ramsay.  First, we have no idea of the character of “Luke”.  It is only Ramsay’s assumption that he is honest.  So we are faced with two possibilities (there may be more, please feel free to give them), that “Luke” is telling a fish story to make his religion seem better using bad information that he likes (like so many creationists do today), or that he has a malicious intent.  Giving the author the benefit of the doubt, there is nothing in human nature to preclude his wanting to make his story better and being inept at it. We see that all of the time. 

Ramsay make a horrible argument, that the Roman census must have been done as the bible says since that’s what God needed to have it fulfill prophecy.  There is no evidence supporting that the Romans suddenly changed their minds for a one off event.  The one piece of evidence for some new kind of census comes from a century after the supposed events and from a different country.  This is a case of Occam’s razor.     

Since the book was written so late, one cannot know that the writer was not retconning the story to fit OT prophey, and going it badly since they ignore various prophecies and get some wrong by mistranslation.  Ramsay’s work is full of the usual excuse, that suddenly when convenient, the gospels are magically not supposed to be a biography but “their completeness is moral and spiritual” but oh the parts he wants to be accurate must be evidence that Luke was telling the truth about everything else he wants to be true too.  I’ve wandered the internet looking at what  Christians claim are rebuttals to Eherman and they all come down to the same arguments, all wishful thinking with their magic decoder rings. I always enjoy the sudden reversal of claims when a Christian initial claim, that the gospels are accurate about history fails. 

Then we have books saying repeatedly that the gospels are nonsense.  Let’s see what evidence do we have that the gospels are questionable in their historicity:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historical_reliability_of_the_Acts_of_the_Apostles  needs cleaned up but the references to verses, history and how they don’t match, like the province of Cilicia and the dates claimed for events, are all here.  Check out the reference cited. 

Various books by Bart Ehrman.  Have you read any of those, NTS?  I know they’ve been recommended to you.  He, and I admit, that yep, there are historical references in the gospels.  The problem is that they are not supported and again, have as much reference to real events as Spiderman swinging around Wall Street.   I know that Christians need JC to be born in Bethlehem and then move to Nazareth to make nice with the prophecies they have chosen to belief, but there is nothing to say that any of this happened, not per Ramsay or Strobel or anyone.  They all base their claims on unsupported assumptions to support their presumptions. 

As a quick read of these, any assumption of any historical accurace of Luke is built on assumptions, for example that the Romans would be concerned about the feelings of the Jews.  Really?  The Romans being concerned enough to throw an entire occupied country into an uproar because were concerned with the Jewish interest in their ancestry.  No evidence of this either.

We see no evidence that their claims are supported by contemporary works.  No census where everyone had to return to the place of their birth (Luke has the manger story, no one else does and again it makes little sense since the census would not require people to travel), your own gospels can’t get details straight with Matthew missing this whole episode completely (funny how he forgets to mention the host of angels, etc),  no mass meetings in occupied Palestine, no magical events related to the cruxifiction, no evidence of any magical apostles being executed, Luke makes claims about Paul and Paul refutes them (some historian, eh? can’t even agree with one of your own subjects), etc.  These all should have been noticed by people but they weren’t.  What Christians have to do is to try to find anything remotely similar to what is claimed, and that has Christians disagreeing on dates, contradicting each other depending on what misinformation they have glommed onto   

I tend to trust Ramsay on this one.  He wrote an excellent treatment on the subject.  See:
I’m sure you do think it’s “excellent” since it is a book that starts with a supposition, that the gospels were accurate and that they were written by whom he thought, the actual apostles. and has no evidence to support its conclusions.  It’s a shame that you have to rely on superseded information for your claims, NTS.  Your book was written in 1898.  It’s been a century of research since then and it has shown that his claims are flawed.  He had no idea that they weren’t what he thought. 
Furthermore, I followed you wiki link, and after reading it, I feel that I would even moreso trust the opinion of someone who was "educated at Oxford, held several prestigious professorships, including "First Professor of Classical Archaeology" and "Lincoln and Merton Professorship of Classical Archaeology and Art" at Oxford, and "Regius Professor of Humanity" at the University of Aberdeen, who received gold medals from Pope Leo XII, the University of Pennsylvania, the Royal Geographical Society, and the Royal Scottish Geographical Society, and who was the first Professor of Classical Archaeology at Oxford University, and pioneered the study of antiquity in what is today western Turkey."

Ooooh, an appeal to authority.  Nice, NTS.  Unfortunately, that does nothing to support his claims.  It shows he was tope of his field a century ago.  Quite a valid comment but essentially meaningless in the light of further research.  He can still be wrong and since it’s been quite a few decades since he died, that isn’t a bad thing. Peole thought there was a chance of a hollow earth then too.  He simply didn’t know that what he has claimed was not supported.  You see, science and archaeology change when evidence arises to make one reconsider.  Your inability to go beyond one dated book that supports you shows that you are not interested in actual evidence and following where it leads.

EDIT: love that last post of yours, NTS.  wow, more excuses and ignorance.   And nice ot see that you can never take responsibility for what you say, NTS.  Sorry, but it's not my fault that you are willfully lazy and ignorant. 
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Brakeman You're great Velkin - You have a beautiful mind! February 16, 2012, 05:42:33 PM