Author Topic: New Testament accuracy...  (Read 1516 times)

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Offline ryanviolence

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New Testament accuracy...
« on: February 16, 2009, 03:57:41 AM »
not sure if this has been debated before...



IF the NT were a false document, i would have been proven false and abolished before the end of the second century.



defense:

manuscripts of the new testament date back to the year 100.
not even 70 years after the events described. to say that the new testament is entirely or even mostly false would be the same as saying that today we could write that the holocaust never happened and that hitler was a generous german leader and everyone would accept it without opposition.


if the new testament were false, the jews and other non-christians would have opposed the stories and had them destroyed rather than re-written (almost 15,000 times, more than any other peice of ancient literature) and widely distributed.


if you believe it was all made up, then test this. write a book about WWII and omit the holocaust and hitler's hatred of the jews. if it becomes widely accepted, then you may be right.

Offline gold_digging_ants

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Re: New Testament accuracy...
« Reply #1 on: February 16, 2009, 04:13:41 AM »
False premise.  Could have been kept for other reasons, including power and just plain historical interest.  Also, delusion counts for a great deal.

The assumption is also proven wrong by many other documents which are older and far more ludicrous.  Aristophanes' Birds (just to pick one of Aristophanes' plays).  Hesiod's Theogony.  Herodotus' Histories, although a useful document, was regarded by many as folly for a long time.  Homer's Iliad.

Also, by your argument, the humour theory of medicine (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hippocrates#Humorism_and_crisis) must also be true, because not only did Hippocrates' work survive well beyond the late sixth century BCE in which it was written (predating the new testament by a long way), but Hippocratic ideas continued to be influential in Western medical practice until at least the mid 18th century (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Modern_medicine#History).  Those heretical doctors and that wretched germ theory!  What would they know?
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Offline Emergence

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Re: New Testament accuracy...
« Reply #2 on: February 16, 2009, 05:42:34 AM »
The NT didn't deny anything of the previously recorded or accepted history. It added to it. Your comparison to holocaust denial therefore doesn't hold for the kind of document the NT represents. It didn't pose a problem to the historians at that time, because it did not try to alter anything bygone but represented a belief of what was then a fringe group within the Jewish faith set out to alter the present and future society.  There has been opposition from within the Jewish faith, and there was struggle. But the real impact Christianity made was not until much later and it would not have been possible - I dare say - without the collapse of the Roman empire and the changes in the political and traditional landscape this brought forth.

Documents in recent times that would be comparable to the NT would be e.g. the Book of Mormon or Dianetics. Those documents are so far out, that virtually no reputable historians occupy themselves with an investigation or verbose opposition of the claims within the writings, but only - if at all - with the history of the documents themselves. If now - due to a global social and political change - a Mormon or Scientologist leader or group would become most influential in world politics, the outcome might be comparable to the route Christianity took, in terms of general acceptance of the teachings. Though such a scenario is not as likely now as it has been in the past, because almost all people today have access to much more information and tools of investigation of all kinds than the majority of people ever had throughout history. The "coup" Christianity [in large parts inadvertently] landed with the NT might not be repeatable for any religious belief, if humanity as whole can keep the information saturation within societies as high as today or even increase it some more.
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Offline alwight

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Re: New Testament accuracy...
« Reply #3 on: February 16, 2009, 06:50:08 AM »
I’m not going to accuse the NT of being entirely false but to accept it as in any way reliable enough for the purposes it is actually put to for me is just plain daft. A religion needs to have it’s doctrine and the Bible exists solely for that reason.
 
The NT as such did not exist until the fourth century when it was compiled from various selected documents for a political agenda and not for entirely religious reasons under Constantine I.

The Gospels were written anonymously at different times starting with G Mark written after 70 AD. All the others were written at different times based on G Mark being adjusted to suit the particular audience of the time. Paul if he actually existed was not contemporary and would seem to have his own agenda.

My main point is that you would have to assume under any circumstances that a certain level of embellishment and ratcheting-up of NT stories over time would have occurred. Combine this with people's own political or religious intentions at the time then verbatim accounts imo are a virtual impossibility. Without supporting evidence for any of it from other sources then you simply have to disregard any supernatural elements at least as just fanciful notions designed to keep your interest.

The NT, I suggest that the real and possibly humdrum truth did not survive untainted by fictitious exaggeration and embellishment was because it would not have been even nearly interesting enough. This then leaves us with the more unlikely fanciful bits that we should all these days take with a large pinch of salt, not just blindly believed.
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Offline bertatberts

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Re: New Testament accuracy...
« Reply #4 on: February 16, 2009, 09:37:49 AM »

IF the NT were a false document, i would have been proven false and abolished before the end of the second century.
Why! Not until they had the proof and where with all to investigate the claims, would believe it to be false. and remember way back then, it would have been far harder to prove a story false. information was mostly past by word of mouth, thus people where less likely to call anybody a liar, even the story teller was told it from someone who was told it for another etc etc.... it is how myths are made, Nobody disbelieved the stories of Zeus, Hercules, Apollo, until centuries later. And nobody abolished them either.
Quote from: ryanviolence

manuscripts of the new testament date back to the year 100.
not even 70 years after the events described.
NT Authorship
 The New Testament alone consists of twenty-seven books written by at least eight different authors. Furthermore, of those eight, only three (Matthew, Peter, and John) were a part of the original twelve disciples. Of the remaining five, two were originally skeptical concerning Jesus' identity. One was a great persecutor of Christians and even consented to the execution of the first New Testament martyr. One was a gentile, and one was a young boy when Jesus lived and taught. Additionally, these New Testament authors came from a wide variety of backgrounds and experiences. One was a tax collector, another a physician. Another was a highly educated Pharisee. At least two were fishermen while two others grew up as the children of a carpenter and most likely learned that trade."
 
The NT must be judged on its merits like any ancient writing - and it HAS been so judged and evaluated, it is one of the most studied works in Western culture
 
With the exception of some of the letters of Paul, we do NOT KNOW for sure who wrote ANY of the remaining books of the Bible - all we know is what we find IN the books. (Bear in mind there is no external evidence of any kind about Paul either, but some one person wrote most of those letters and we call him Paul mostly for convenience.)
The Gospels were originally anonymous documents of unknown origin - the earliest mentions of Gospels are as UN-NAMED works, the current titles were not attached to the four Gospels until late 2nd century by Iraneus based on a few earlier scraps and speculations. Before then we see various references to Gospels without authors - by Aristides, Justin, Ignatius, Polycarp, Theodotus, Hegesippus, Melito, Polycrates, Autolycus - all make reference to anonymous Gospel(s).

Papias does make some unclear comments possibly in about 130CE which refer to writings by Mark, and writings by Matthew - however his comments do NOT match our modern Gospels, and he does NOT use the word "Gospel", and he makes it clear he holds such writings in LOW regard.
http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/papias.html

Justin in about 150CE is the first to make lengthy quotes of Gospels almost like the modern ones - but he calls them "memoirs of the apostles" as well as "Gospels" but gives NO authors' names.
http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/justin.html

Aristides, possibly just before Justin, described a singular, un-named Gospel that had "been preached for a short time". This is an important clue - a church father who mentions "the Gospel, as it is called" - showing that is what it is called "the Gospel", no name, just one. Furthermore he explcitly says it had only been preached for a "short time", perhaps a few years - evidence for when the Gospel became known in Christian circles.
http://www.earlychristianwritings.co...tides-kay.html

Tatian possibly wrote an important work called the "diaTessaron" (literally "from four", implying a harmony of four, meaning a harmony of four Gospels) about 172 (after he split from the early Christian. This numbering of the Gospels as four sems to occur slightly before they are actually named, and may have come about because Tatian inherited the "memoirs of the Apostles" from Justin, and there were four of them, but they had not yet been named.
http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/diatessaron.html

It was not until about 185CE that the Gospels received their current names with Irenaeus.
http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/irenaeus.html

And none were eye witness accounts it just go's to prove that everything was by word of mouth.
thus Chinese Whispers creep in..
 
Quote from: ryanviolence
if the new testament were false, the jews and other non-christians would have opposed the stories and had them destroyed rather than re-written (almost 15,000 times, more than any other peice of ancient literature) and widely distributed.
So the Jews actually believe in Christianity do they, the Muslims too, what about the Hindus, them too?
Of course they opposed them. There has been countless wars fought to destroy the bible.
Your bible even tells you to kill unbelievers ( those of other religions, are unbelievers of yours.) as does the Muslim Qu'ran, and the Jewish Tanakh.
 
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Offline Omega

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Re: New Testament accuracy...
« Reply #5 on: February 16, 2009, 09:42:14 AM »
NT has lots of contradictions.

for example one book talks about shepherd who visit Jesus, and another book about kings.
so which one is correct? of course clerics found brilliant solution, they are both correct.

also there is story how Jesus kills 5000 pigs. it could be plausible if not fact that nobody eats pig meat in that area. why do they keep so many useless animals then?

NT includes some semi real historical facts, for example king Herod really existed, but a way before all these events that NT talks about him had chance to happen.

Biggest problesm id that none of facts mentioned in NT have any independent proof. it is hard to believe that such great events were completely unnoticed.

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Re: New Testament accuracy...
« Reply #6 on: February 18, 2009, 11:06:26 PM »
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Offline Airyaman

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Re: New Testament accuracy...
« Reply #7 on: February 18, 2009, 11:43:42 PM »
IF the NT were a false document, it would have been proven false and abolished before the end of the second century

Why? Its not like publications in that era were subjected to much scrutiny. Heck, you can still publish unsubstantiated trash in the 21st century and some will believe you.
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Offline JTFC

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Re: New Testament accuracy...
« Reply #8 on: February 18, 2009, 11:58:08 PM »
defense:

manuscripts of the new testament date back to the year 100.
not even 70 years after the events described. to say that the new testament is entirely or even mostly false would be the same as saying that today we could write that the holocaust never happened and that hitler was a generous german leader and everyone would accept it without opposition.

Wow.  You've never actually tried to write any kind of historical essay, have you?  Here's the difference between the events in the Bible and the holocaust: sources.  For the holocaust we have written records (shipping manifests, train schedules, worker output, etc), photographs and film, oral histories from both the Germans and the Jews, physical remnants of the camps still standing today, etc.  For the stories in the New Testament, we have only the New Testament saying they happened, and those stories were taken from 70 years later. 

This is still quite prevalent in modern historiography as well, where 70-year old oral histories are used, but the difference between modern historiography and the New Testament is that in modern historiography, those oral histories are backed up by other evidence from widely varied sources.  The New Testament relies solely on itself, with no supporting evidence.
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