New Testament hymns and creeds

How would you teach a mostly illiterate group of people about Christianity in the first century? Most were either illiterate farmers, fishermen, or slaves. Even if they had a Bible, they couldn’t read it. Of course, they didn’t have the Internet, or video and audio recordings either. The dissemination of information in the ancient cultures relied mainly on oral tradition. 

So how did the early church teach biblical truths? They created hymns (songs) and creeds that were easy to remember. To understand the concept, does a small child need to know how to read the lyrics in order to sing, “Mary Had a Little Lamb?” Of course not. They learn by singing along with others.

You may or may not be aware of this, but the New Testament is filled with such hymns and creeds (See 1 Cor.8:6; 15:3-7; Gal.1:23; Rom. 1:3-4; 10:9-10; 1 Tim. 2:5-6; Phil.2:5-6; Col.1:12-20; 2:9-15; 1 Pet.3:18-21; Luke 24:34; John 1:1-5, 10-14,16-18). This is how people were taught Christological and New Testament truths in the first few centuries. They sang them and committed the creeds to memory.

Here’s what historian and New Testament scholar, Gary Habermas, says about the 1 Cor.15:3-7 creed:

An increasing number of exceptionally influential scholars have very recently concluded that at least the teaching of the resurrection, and perhaps even the specific formulation of the pre-Pauline creedal tradition in 1 Corinthians 15:3-7, dates to AD 30!  In other words, there never was a time when the message of Jesus’ resurrection was not an integral part of the earliest apostolic proclamation.  No less a scholar than James D. G. Dunn even states regarding this crucial text: “This tradition, we can be entirely confident, was formulated as tradition within months of Jesus’ death.” (Habermas, “Tracing Jesus’ Resurrection to Its Earliest Eyewitness Accounts,” God is Great, God is Good (InterVarsity Press, 2009), p. 212. Emphasis Added)

In another article, Dr. Habermas says this…

Critical scholars generally agree that this pre-Pauline creed(s) may be the earliest in the New Testament.  Ulrich Wilckens asserts that it “indubitably goes back to the oldest phase of all in the history of primitive Christianity.”[7]  Joachim Jeremias agrees that it is, “the earliest tradition of all.”[8]  Perhaps a bit too optimistically, Walter Kasper even thinks that it was possibly even “in use by the end of 30 AD . . . .”[9]

Indicating the wide approval on this subject, even more skeptical scholars frequently agree.  Gerd Ludemann maintains that “the elements in the tradition are to be dated to the first two years after the crucifixion of Jesus. . . . not later than three years. . . . the formation of the appearance traditions mentioned in I Cor.15.3-8 falls into the time between 30 and 33 CE. . . .”[10]  Similarly, Michael Goulder thinks that it “goes back at least to what Paul was taught when he was converted, a couple of years after the crucifixion.”[11] Thomas Sheehan agrees that this tradition “probably goes back to at least 32-34 C.E., that is, to within two to four years of the crucifixion.”[12]  Others clearly consent.[13]” (Full article and numbered citations found here. Emphasis added).

We can see from Habermas that both skeptic and conservative scholars agree that many of these hymns and creeds (especially, 1 Cor.15:3-8) go back to shortly after the crucifixion. This refutes the skeptic’s “Development Theory” that the Gospel was fabricated over time. (See video on this point here.)

And what does 1 Cor.15:3-7 say? (I will exclude verse 8 since Paul mentions Himself):

For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. After that He appeared to more than five hundred brethren at one time, most of whom remain until now, but some have fallen asleep; then He appeared to James, then to all the apostles…” (1 Cor.15:3-7 NASB)

Notice that the very heart of the gospel message is included in this earliest creed.  Jesus died for our sins according to the Scriptures, He was buried and was raised on the third day. Then it goes on to list eye-witnesses to His post-resurrection appearances. This is how the early church gave evidence to what they believed.

I will conclude with the following video from the “Reliability of the New Testament” playlist I referenced in my last post. This short clip talks about the oral tradition of the ancient world of first century Christianity. It’s very educational in understanding how and why the early hymns and creeds were used before the New Testament was written down.

NOTE: Please confine your comments to the subject matter of the post and video. Also, please keep your comments concise (under 500 words, preferably much shorter).

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About Mel Wild

God's favorite (and so are you), a son and a father, happily married to the same beautiful woman for 36 years. We have three incredible adult children. My passion is pursuing the Father's heart in Christ and giving it away to others. My favorite pastime is being iconoclastic and trailblazing the depths of God's grace. I'm also senior pastor of Cornerstone Church in Wisconsin.
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70 Responses to New Testament hymns and creeds

  1. Amen! Loved that video. Science has taught us that our brains will retain music,songs,rhythm,and also smells and rituals, with remarkable clarity. Even when we are very old we can remember songs from our childhood. So if we imagine all the walking and singing that went on and also all the feasting, you have scripture written on the tablet of your heart, preserved in the most effective way that stimulates memory.

    • Mel Wild says:

      Thanks, IB. It’s just plain common sense when you think about it. And I agree, what is memorized (written on the heart) is far better and more transformational that just reading text.

      Btw, I had heard that Rabbinical students were expected to memorize the Hebrew Scriptures by age 14 before, but it’s still astounding! I think this is where modern technology actually makes us dumber and lazier.

    • Something really interesting about memorizing by age 14, something happens to our brains at that age,there’s a two yr window where we are really implanted like little sponges. That is why we remember every word of the love songs we listened to as teen agers, why the music of the day always draws us back, why the scary movies we watched can still haunt us some 50 yrs later. It’s also why it’s so much easier to learn a foreign language as a kid. Sadly the more negative things get implanted too, addiction, toxic secrets, family scripts.

      What amazes me is that we’re just discovering that today, science is just now figuring out what ancient people have known all along.

      I used to tease my teens, tell them it seems as if they have no frontal lobe and the rest of their brains have gone all mushy. Turns out there is some truth to that. 🙂

    • Mel Wild says:

      Interesting. No wonder there’s still garbage I’m trying to forget that I listened to when I was 14! 🙂

    • sklyjd says:

      insanitybytes22 You suggest “Even when we are very old we can remember songs from our childhood.” Science also tells us that our memories are not that accurate and some details are remembered better than others. I think it is disingenuous to imply that the memory is perfect enough to be able to accurately record stories over several decades.

      “New research into the human memory has found that it is possible to plant false memories in the human mind that can have significant long-term effects on behaviour. The work by psychologists at the University of St Andrews shows that the human memory can be remarkably fragile and even inventive when it comes to remembering past events, often completely rewriting ‘autobiographical belief’” Check it out here.
      https://medicalxpress.com/news/2008-08-accurate-memory.html

      “Neuroscientists have shown that each time we remember something, we are reconstructing the event, reassembling it from traces throughout the brain. Psychologists have pointed out that we also suppress memories that are painful or damaging to self-esteem. We could say that, as a result, memory is unreliable. We could also say it is adaptive, reshaping itself to accommodate the new situations we find ourselves facing. Either way, we have to face the fact that it is flexible.” Check it out here.
      https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/hidden-motives/201203/unreliable-memory

    • Mel Wild says:

      Again, you are trying to connect random articles to dispute what all New Testament scholars, Christians or atheists, do not dispute. And we’re not talking about one person trying to remember something in their past. The early creeds and hymns were learned in large groups, taught and sung together, over and over, corrected, memorized verbatim, then written down within the same generation. I think if you got 500 people together to try to reconstruct, “Mary Had a Little Lamb,” after having sung it daily for 30-40 years, they could do it. Your memory argument is an extremely weak one.

      All of your other arguments you linked here have been refuted at the academic level, but that will have to wait until next week when I actually begin on the subject of the resurrection. I don’t want to write a whole post in response here in the comments section.

    • sklyjd says:

      “Random articles” you say. You should research what professionals are doing with the brain. It is pretty clear that the memory is not as you believe. You are speculating that the information was sung every day by people for 30-40 years and no more complicated than “Mary Had a Little Lamb,” how many do you mean and did they all have a hand in writing the Bible? The scholars at the academic level you mention do not come near to the people who do the research at a scientific level. Please give me a link to those expert academics who refute this.

    • “New research into the human memory has found that it is possible to plant false memories in the human mind that can have significant long-term effects on behaviour.”

      If the brain where truly that malleable, we would not have problems like PTSD and life long childhood trauma. We would simply replant ourselves with new memories and be miraculously healed. Left out of the discussion is the emotional, spiritual, supernatural elements of memory. Even people who totally repress painful memories are effected, impacted by them.

      The bible is like that too,it has an emotional and supernatural element to it, healing lives, speaking to people’s souls for thousands of years. It is not a flat,two dimensional history or “memory,” it is a carefully preserved collection of books that people have sacrificed their very lives to protect and preserve, and the truth of those words is in the testimonies of all the people who have innately recognized it for what it is,who have allowed those “memories” to speak to them and heal them. The truth is not words that we can just chant in ritualistic repetition and make it so, the truth is something we recognize deep within our souls and our psyche, and it is something that exists outside of ourselves, beyond the things we claim are true or the “memories” that may have been implanted.

    • sklyjd says:

      The brain is where everything you know exists. You cannot do anything and you cannot believe anything without the brain. This brain is where anxiety and stress exists, where love and hate exists, where good and bad exists, where morals, anger and compassion exist, everything we do and feel exists in our brain, including your god.

      This is not an attack on your belief, this has been a recent insight to the cognitive investigations into our most complex organ.

      “While there’s still much to be learned about the neuroscience of religious belief, they’ve already made some intriguing discoveries that may help us to better understand this powerful force in many of our lives.”
      http://channel.nationalgeographic.com/brain-games/articles/your-brain-on-god/

      “According to recent findings published in Social Neuroscience as part of an ongoing study called the Religious Brain Project, researchers have found evidence that when a brain is “on God,” its reward circuits are activated—just as they are when listening to music, having sex, getting high, or falling in love.”
      https://health.good.is/articles/neuroscience-of-religion-brain-on-god

    • “The brain is where everything you know exists. You cannot do anything and you cannot believe anything without the brain.”

      So if a log falls in the forest and there is no one around to see it and hear it,did it really fall? Is truth and reality defined only by our brains? I suggest it is not, as in the world will go right on existing with or without us. That means there is truth and reality that exists outside of and beyond our brains.

      I’ve also seen far too much in the way of traumatic brain injury,strokes, dementia, coma,and I have learned that people are far more than our brains. There is an essence to us that transcends our biology.

      As to a brain being “on God,” oh absolutely. “He who has the Most High, needs no other high.” The very fact that we have been designed to seek God, our reward centers activated the closer we move towards Him, speaks to a deliberate design, and a Designer.

  2. Great post Mel. I am just returning to the bloggisphere. I have had many discussions with skeptics about the oral tradition and its importance out here in the past. Your post along with the video is very informative and gives people a starting point for understanding this important issue. The oral tradition was essential for the preservation and formation of The New Testament. It is also hard to grasp the common argument that when the Gospels were written down starting in AD 70 that the story could be suddenly changed to suit the needs of that group.

    • Mel Wild says:

      I agree. It is hard to believe that the gospels would be suddenly changed when written down. And, of course, the creeds and hymns refute this development theory.

      Thanks for your comments, Chaplapreneur. Blessings to you.

  3. sklyjd says:

    Mel, you have stated these Dr. Habermas quotes on your site:

    “In other words, there never was a time when the message of Jesus’ resurrection was not an integral part of the earliest apostolic proclamation.” And “indubitably goes back to the oldest phase of all in the history of primitive Christianity.”

    He may have forgotten about pre-Christian history and was out by thousands of years because Jesus was not exclusive or the first one to pave the way for this reserectional phenomenon.
    “Examples of gods who die and later return to life are most often cited from the religions of the Ancient Near East, and traditions influenced by them including Biblical and Greco-Roman mythology and by extension Christianity.”

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dying-and-rising_god

    In historical analysis, biblical criticism and comparative mythology, this is known as parallelomania. This refers to a phenomenon where authors perceive apparent similarities and construct parallels and analogies allegedly without historical basis. We have artifactual evidence for resurrections of gods well before Christ. What is the absolute logic here?
    I

    • Mel Wild says:

      Thank you for your comments, sklyjd. If you’re trying to connect this reference to the Christian resurrection, dismissing it as parallelomania, you’re not in a agreement with almost all textual scholars. Here’s another Habermas statement from an article by Ryan Turner:

      Despite having popular appeal on the Internet, the idea that the resurrection story of Jesus was borrowed from pagan mythology has been abandoned by the vast majority of critical scholars today.  In fact, one noted resurrection expert named Gary Habermas said that he could count on one hand of the 2,000 or so publications that he surveyed from French, German, and English written during 1975 to the present of how many scholars attribute the story of the resurrection of Jesus as being borrowed from pagan mythology.”
      Full article here.

      To say that you have artifactual evidence of resurrections of various gods is pure conjecture. The evidence we actually have of supposed pagan gods coming back to life is very vague and has no resemblance to the Christian resurrection.

      I will talk more about this myth when I cover the resurrection in future posts.

  4. sklyjd says:

    On top of the other Biblical controversies many Christians believe that written stories, eye witness accounts and news would not change over thousands of years being rewritten multiple times not only in well over a thousand different languages and dialects, but by scribes especially in the first 100 to 200 years written by hand that led to many errors and omissions, along with their adjustments to suit personal, social, political and religious ideologies.

    You may also believe the traditional stories repeated over many centuries by primitive and superstitious people handed down from generation to generation are perfectly repeated exactly as the original eye witness accounts but you would be sadly mistaken.

    You would do well to look at the fact that Catholics have 46 books in the Old Testament and Protestants have 39 with shorter versions of Esther and Daniel. The Catholic Church didn’t add books, the Protestant Reformers took them out, and this would be a good example to weigh up the logic and reconsider any position that believes the Bible is the word of God.

    • Mel Wild says:

      You obviously didn’t watch the video if you’re trying to use the “telephone game” argument, saying the oral tradition changed over time. You clearly don’t understand how the ancient world preserved oral tradition. In addition to this, we have it actually written down within 40 years of events, even by most skeptical estimations. Compare this to hundreds, and even thousands, of years before other works of antiquity were written down. Nothing comes even close to what we have with the New Testament.

      I’ve already covered the variant argument in the post, “Why we can trust the New Testament.” The “variants” argument is a very weak one as I shown in the post. From the 25,000+ manuscript copies and growing, we can construct original intent up to 99.5% accuracy. Even agnostic textual scholar, Bart Ehrman, would agree with this.

      And the 46 books in the Catholic Old Testament? Of course. Any Bible student would know this. The Greek Orthodox and Roman Catholics include books that the Protestants do not. The Orthodox uses the Greek Septuagint (which is what Greek speaking people would’ve used in Hellenist Judea in Jesus’ day); Catholics and Protestants use the Masoretic Hebrew text for the Old Testament. Most all Bibles footnote the differences. No secret there, and it has no bearing on the authenticity of the text.

    • sklyjd says:

      It is ridiculous to believe that nothing exists about the earlier pagan religions or Greek and Roman gods and this is typical of your Christian blindfold. In fact, you cannot just wave away the evidence just because the Christian web sites do not acknowledge it.

      You stated, “To say that you have artifactual evidence of resurrections of various gods is pure conjecture.”

      “Contemporary knowledge of old pagan religions comes from several sources, including anthropological field research records, the evidence of archaeological artefacts, and the historical accounts of ancient writers regarding cultures which were known to the classical world.” Quoted from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paganism

      “English Egyptologist Arthur Weigall argues that the essential doctrines of Christianity have been influenced by paganism, or European occultism.”
      Check out his credentials and his unbiasedness here.
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arthur_Weigall

      “The first written records of Egyptian religious practice come from around 3400 BCE in the Predynastic Period in Egypt (c.6000-c.3150 BCE). Deities such as Isis, Osiris, Ptah, Hathor, Atum, Set, Nephthys, and Horus were already established as potent forces to be recognized fairly early on.”
      Quoted from http://www.ancient.eu/religion/

      I have watched the video about the “Uncontrolled oral tradition and controlled oral condition” and as technical as it sounds and meets your Christian requirements it is nothing but complete hogwash. Your memory has the telephone game attributes whether you like it or not. Notwithstanding everybody’s brain is different in how it collects information and experiences, such as what you say may be interpreted differently by someone else. Check out these web sites, but of course you will have to have some belief in science.
      https://news.northwestern.edu/stories/2012/09/your-memory-is-like-the-telephone-game

    • Mel Wild says:

      Sklyjd, I’m sorry but you’re just parroting popular myths here, not actual scholarly opinion. You can give me all the links you want, the idea that the Christian resurrection was borrowed from paganism is not supported by any New Testament scholarship. This is only popular on blogs among laymen. When you actually understand what the resurrection claim is, you would see that they’re not even close. The Christian doctrine of the resurrection from the dead is unique, unlike anything else in either pagan or Jewish thought.

      Here’s a short video clip that clearly makes this argument with scholarly sources.

  5. Arkenaten says:

    And, of course, the creeds and hymns refute this development theory.

    Not, of course, if they are interpolation.

    • Mel Wild says:

      Of course, interpolations that these eye-witnesses were willing to die for, within a few decades of the fact. No one dies for something they know is a lie, Ark.

    • Arkenaten says:

      Really? How do you know that it wasn’t a lie?

    • Mel Wild says:

      Ark, no one knows with absolute certainty because we weren’t there. You cannot run scientific tests on testimonies. You infer to the best possible explanation. That’s how historicity works. And no one would be willingly tortured and killed for a known lie. This not the same as nut-jobs today who strap bombs to their chest for a cause they were taught. They weren’t eye-witnesses. I will get more into refuting this argument when I actually talk about the resurrection next week.

    • Arkenaten says:

      And the best possible explanation is an itinerant Jewish Rabbi who walked on water, drove demons put of pigs and eventually rose from the dead after being crucified for sedition is it?

      Okay then ….
      It’s in the bible so it must be true.

      Those writers would tell fibs would they?

    • Mel Wild says:

      All you are saying here is that you automatically dismiss anything that is supernatural because you have an a priori naturalist bias against it. You’re not actually refuting anything. And you don’t have to believe it. That’s your choice.

      Why would the apostles make up this resurrection story? It’s totally contrary to what they expected or their own worldview at the time. And Paul and James were hostile witnesses at the time. There is no one who anticipated Christ’s resurrection in this way.

    • Arkenaten says:

      Of not… I mean we all know the supernatural happens all the time, don’t we?
      Didn’t Moses get the Ten Commandments from Yahweh and Noah build a great big boat …. ask Ken Ham!
      Oh .. an Mohammed went to heaven and back on a winged horse.

  6. Arkenaten says:

    And there was probably an oral tradition that began with Thor, as well.

    • Mel Wild says:

      Thanks for another irrelevant comparison. Thor? Really. I would like to see the comparable attestation, internal and external evidence, early eye-witnesses, etc., to that of the New Testament.

      You can make any nonsensical statement you want, it does not refute anything. Whether something started with oral tradition (ALL works of ancient antiquity started orally, sacred or otherwise) is totally irrelevant.

    • Arkenaten says:

      What eye witnesses, Mel?

    • Mel Wild says:

      “…and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. 6 After that He appeared to more than five hundred brethren at one time, most of whom remain until now, but some have fallen asleep; 7 then He appeared to James, then to all the apostles…” (1 Cor.15:5-7)

      Again, many were martyred for believing this, which liars won’t do.

    • Arkenaten says:

      Once again … hearsay.
      it would not likely be accepted in a court of law so why do you give the bible special dispensation?

      And while we’re at it, what evidence do you have for all these martyres?

    • Mel Wild says:

      “…it would not likely be accepted in a court of law so why do you give the bible special dispensation?”

      How ironic that you would say this, Ark. Actually, the opposite is more likely true, as former atheist and cold-case homicide detective, J. Warner Wallace, has seen many times in his investigations and court cases. Most of his cold-case homicides were solved with circumstantial evidence, and many were long after the crime and long after the witnesses themselves had died. He argues a cold-case court analogy for his eventually believing in the resurrection, and he pretty much sums up your problem at the end of this short video clip.

    • Arkenaten says:

      Circumstantial evidence is not quite the same as hearsay. Surely you know this?

      And someone standing up in court stating that:
      ”My friend’s cousin’s younger brother definitely saw this bloke called Yeshua walk on water, and it happened about twenty years ago.” would in all likelihood be laughed out of court.

      Wallace also believes that the gospels are written by MMLJ and are eyewitness accounts. He is also an evangelical fundamentalist apologist. So therefore … he is not biased at all right?
      Do secular biblical scholars and historians consider him a worthy ”witness”?

      I am not American so certain laws differ,I’m sure. But here is an interesting link governing Federal Rules. I am not sure if it is an American site.

      http://criminal.findlaw.com/criminal-procedure/hearsay-evidence.html

      Maybe there is an example that would make your case?
      Let me know. I’d be interested.

    • Mel Wild says:

      Of course, I know the difference and I wasn’t commenting on hearsay but on putting the resurrection to a courtroom test. And, as always, you commit the genetic fallacy by dismissing anyone who is a Christian.

      This is just your version of “hand-waving” so you can ignore the data. The fact is, J. Warner Wallace was not some unqualified evangelical Christian trying to justify what he believed. Quite the opposite. As an atheist, Wallace applied his cold-case forensic methods to the eye-witness testimonies and found them valid. As he said on the video, even this wasn’t what make him a believer, so your fallacious response is invalid. The point is, he proved to himself that the eye-witness accounts were valid using abductive reasoning, which is the same type of reasoning he often used when working cold-case homicides.

    • Arkenaten says:

      I know who Wallace is, thanks all the same.
      I am expecting Strobel any time soon as well … the gods forbid, Mel, please don’t, okay?

      No one witnessed a resurrection ( unlike Lazarus of course) so this is a flat out lie. They bible describes that they saw the character Jesus some time after he was crucified.
      That is a very important distinction.

      Yes,of course Wallace found them valid. What about every other forensic specialist and archaeologist? If it was such a sure fire method don’t you honestly think every criminal specialist in the world who had any religious leanings or simply out of curiosity would not have come running?
      You have to begin to look at Christianity in the Big Picture and stop cherry picking your favorite bits and ”Doing them to Death”.
      The resurrection account has been done by more apologists than I’ve had hot dinners and every argument leaks like a sieve.
      Wallace and his approach is a novelty and he appeals to fundamentalists . His day on the sunshine will pass. Meantime he gets to go on TV and sells lots of books. Good for him.

      So did you actually read the link about the admissibility of hearsay evidence I posted and the examples contained in it, or not?

    • Mel Wild says:

      Well, just continue on with your fallacious argument. Fair enough, I will just dismiss all skeptics and atheists from now on.

      Read the link? Did you watch the video?

    • Arkenaten says:

      Dismiss the evidence if it doesn’t pan out. Sure. And you should. Until, of course, more evidence comes along and demonstrates the veracity of any particular claim

      But you haven’t presented evidence that can be verified.
      In its place you accuse me of refusing to accept the supernatural and saying my arguments are fallacious.

      Tell me, Mel, do you believe in Noah’s Ark as it is told in the bible?
      Or how about Jonah and the Whale?
      What about Lot and Sodom and Gomorrah?
      YECs do.
      But I suspect you don’t.
      So why do you expect me to accept the supernatural claims that are crucial to your brand of the Christian faith?
      Maybe you could explain why you do not accept the supernatural claims of Noah and the Flood?
      That would be a fair comparison and I would be interested in your reasons for rejecting a literal flood story.
      Or will you, say,”Okay … whatever” then lambaste me for not staying on topic?

      I watched most of the video. Remember I am aware who Wallace is and have seen a couple of his videos before.
      I did like the couches, though. Very posh.

    • Mel Wild says:

      What would you consider “evidence” for a resurrection that allegedly occurred 2,000 years ago? And, more importantly, what would be the basis of your counter-claim? And don’t you give me your “no evidence” hand-waving either. What is the evidential basis for this conclusion?

    • Arkenaten says:

      As a bare minimum ….
      1. medical confirmation of death.
      2. medical confirmation of death three days later, including confirmation that the body confirms with the general state of all three day old corpses.All preferably in writing
      3. multiple visible independent witnesses and their accounts to the body apparently coming back to life.

      I could probably think of a more comprehensive list if I sat down, this is off the top of my head.

      And of course we have current miracle claims from other cultures, which i am sire you are aware of, yes?

    • Mel Wild says:

      Wow…amazing. If you’re serious, this just shows your utter ignorance about how historic data is verified. Medical evidence? In first century Judea? Haha…

      And on #2. There is NO corpse! That’s pretty much the uncontested conclusion of most scholars.

      Here’s Aviezer Tucker on how historicity actually works…

      “Historiography does not reconstruct events; it cannot bring Caesar back to life of reannact the battle of Actium. Historiography does attempt to provide a hypothetical description and analysis of some past events as the best explanation of the present evidence.” (Aviezer Tucker, Historiographical Counterfactuals and Historical Contingency, p.258)

      In other words, according to your criteria, we would have NO history whatsoever. Congratulations for bringing us back into the Dark Ages! This is just another case in point why no one should take you seriously.

    • Arkenaten says:

      Exactly… well you asked. And this is why the entire episode relies on you suspending reality and saying, as Wallace does. ”Am I prepared to accept the possibility that the supernatural is involved?”
      Does he apply this criteria when he investigates every crime scene? And if not, why not?
      How about when the last beer disappears from his fridge?

      Are you prepared to accept the supernatural claims of Islam or Hindi?
      Yes or No?

      And what about Noah’ s Ark, Mel?
      Or Adam and Eve?
      Literal or figurative.
      And the Virgin Birth?
      Answer these questions honestly before you start going off at me.
      After all I don’t believe in any of it.
      But just how selective are you, Mel?
      How Honest are you over the virgin birth for example?
      And Noah’s Ark?

    • Mel Wild says:

      More hand-waving, Ark? Changing the subject again? I want you to face your own standard of judgment and apply the same criteria to every other historic person in antiquity. For instance, I want you to produce medical evidence to prove Julius Caesar was stabbed and died. Produce the actual evidence or stop blathering on with your nonsense.

    • Arkenaten says:

      No hand waving at all.
      We want to establish truth based on evidence.
      And does Wallace apply the same criteria to all his cases? Yes or no?

      For the record every other person in antiquity is not claimed to be god incarnate.
      THAT is the baseline we must begin from, surely?

      I have no need to worry about most historical characters as there isn’t someone trying to evangelize my kids or me or my friends or work colleagues into believing in the Jesus and a dire need to confess our sins(sic) or we will be going to burn in hell for eternity.
      You see the difference?
      If someone knocks at my door and says the same things about Julius Caesar or Buddha or Mahatma Gandhi or Herod the Great then we have something to discus and to compare data.
      And I am waiting for your answer regarding the supernatural events surrounding the Flood and the Virgin Birth, Mel, please.

    • Mel Wild says:

      For the record every other person in antiquity is not claimed to be god incarnate.

      No, Ark. This is just another fallacious argument. History is history. Period. Historians don’t treat the historicity for Jesus differently than they would for Julius Caesar. You need to face the music for the ridiculous statements you keep making. Give me “medical evidence” for Julius Caesar’s death. We’ll start there to see if your evidential standard measures up anywhere else in ancient history.

      And stop changing the subject and honestly deal with the statements you keep making. Again, watch the video that exposes your circular reasoning and a priori bias against anything supernatural.

    • Arkenaten says:

      Historians don’t treat the historicity for Jesus differently than they would for Julius Caesar.

      Absolutely correct. Historians don’t, which is why they dismiss all the supernatural elements that feature in the gospels. Just as they do for every other figure in history … past and present. Julius Caesar included.

      Caesar was claimed to have been stabbed to death.
      The character Jesus of Nazareth is claimed to have been crucified.
      I have no particular issues with either of these historical claims.

      My bias against the supernatural is no more than yours is for it.

      ”What are you holding in your hand that prevents you from looking at the evidence.”

      Wallace spelled it out perfectly. I applaud him for that.

    • Mel Wild says:

      Wallace spelled it out perfectly. I applaud him for that.

      Right, and what he had to admit as an atheist, and what the video proves (“Are Miracles Improbable?”), is that what you’re holding in your hand that prevents you from looking at the evidence is an a priori bias against anything miraculous, not what actually infers to the best explanation. At least Wallace was honest about it.

      Still waiting for you to produce the same kind of medical evidence for Julius Caesar’s death.

    • Arkenaten says:

      and what the video proves

      It proves nothing of the sort.
      There are plenty of modern day claims of miracles.
      From Yogis and other assorted eastern mystics.
      How about Saki sai baba?
      Many, many people have claimed they have witnessed miracles through him.
      Check out one of his videos.
      I think they are funny.

      Do we honestly accept this testimony?
      Well, I don’t! I can’t say where you stand. but Ill venture you will reject them even before investigating such claims. And he has been exposed as a fraud, but thousands will tell you he was genuine.

      What I find perplexing about Wallace, and maybe you can help me out here, is that as when he claimed to be an atheist something prompted him to become a Christian. And it could not have been simply curiosity to apply some forensic test to the resurrection. What else was there, do you know?

      Even if it turned out that the biblical character Jesus of Nazareth was real in every sense the bible claims I would say… so what?
      I have no emotional need, do you get it?
      So what was it with Wallace that made him suddenly become an evangelical and a minister (yes?).

      Still waiting for you to produce the same kind of medical evidence for Julius Caesar’s death.

      What does the video say? Reductio ad absurdum?

      I am not in the least concerned about the death of the character Jesus of Nazareth any more than I am for Julius Caesar.
      I explained that.
      It would be very different if it was claimed Caesar came back from the dead.
      And for the record, I regard any divine claims about Julius Caesar or any other Roman Emperor, exactly the same way I regard such claims for the Jesus character … I dismiss them …. as do historians.

      So, how do you see the supernatural aspects of Noah’s Ark?

    • Mel Wild says:

      Even if it turned out that the biblical character Jesus of Nazareth was real in every sense the bible claims I would say… so what?

      And we’re finally getting to the truth. You wouldn’t believe if Jesus appeared to you and slapped you in the face.

      I have no emotional need, do you get it?

      Actually, I don’t get it because, obviously, you have some emotional need, otherwise you wouldn’t be commenting on my site about ten times more than any other blogger has. You wouldn’t be making your vitriolic statements and bullying other commenters who believe. If you had no emotional need, you would not have a need to comment on any Christian site. No, Ark, you’re deeply emotionally invested in this.

      Btw, got to go. Won’t be back on my computer until late tonight, or tomorrow.

    • Arkenaten says:

      And we’re finally getting to the truth. You wouldn’t believe if Jesus appeared to you and slapped you in the face.

      You are misunderstanding what I wrote.
      Let me try again. If it turned out that he was what Christians claim, a real historical person and divine, I would say, so what?

      How would it/should it impact my life?
      And why on earth would he slap me in the face?

      I have explained time and again why I have an interest.
      I would like religion to end, or at least for people such as you and the Wallys of the world to stop indoctrinating kids.
      And my reservations are toward ALL religion. Your religion holds no special place, believe me.

      So, do you know what was Wallace’s issue that caused him to develop the emotional need to ”confess” … is this the correct word? and become a full on evangelical?

      So, do you accept the supernatural accounts of the Noah’s Ark story, Mel?

    • Mel Wild says:

      I have explained time and again why I have an interest.
      I would like religion to end, or at least for people such as you and the Wallys of the world to stop indoctrinating kids.

      And I would like anti-theists to stop making wild conjectures, saying God is superstitious nonsense and making fun of something they know nothing about, but that’s life, Ark. Everyone has a right to their own opinion. You and I are just going to have to live with it.

      So, do you know what was Wallace’s issue that caused him to develop the emotional need to ”confess”…”

      From what he said, it was what Scripture said about him (human nature) that convinced him. But in the final analysis, believing is a faith thing and a heart issue, not evidential.

      So, do you accept the supernatural accounts of the Noah’s Ark story, Mel?

      I honestly have no idea what actually happened. I wasn’t there. I did see the Russell Crowe movie, though. 🙂 I believe in the supernatural because I believe in God, so I believe something probably happened. But we have no way to prove it or disprove it. Could something like the Flood story have happened? Yes, I believe it’s possible. But exactly how I don’t know. Dr. Hugh Ross believes there was a flood but it only covered the known world, which would basically be the Levant. There are flood stories among other ancient cultures in the Middle East, so something like this probably happened.

    • Arkenaten says:

      And I would like anti-theists to stop making wild conjectures, saying God is superstitious nonsense and making fun of something they know nothing about, but that’s life, Ark. Everyone has a right to their own opinion. You and I are just going to have to live with it.

      Opinion, yes, sure. No probs.
      We all do this.
      Declaring said opinions to be solid fact and/or absolute truth without an equal amount of solid supporting evidence … well no, I’m afraid you do not have that right, and want to convince others indoctrinating others and especially not when it comes to indoctrinating young children. At this juncture you cross the line. It is as simple as that.
      And we know only too well the potential devastating effects across all forms of belief … including my own values where they are enforced, no matter how benign the reason.
      Oh, and I know a fair bit about ”it”, don’t you worry about that, Mel.
      🙂

      From what he said, it was what Scripture said about him (human nature) that convinced him. But in the final analysis, believing is a faith thing and a heart issue, not evidential.

      Doesn’t it almost always seem this way with religious converts? There is always some sort of emotional issue – often crisis, unfortunately – that precedes this sudden ”leap of faith,” which has nothing to do with evidence as you rightly point out.
      Under such circumstances, don’t you think it is highly likely that the emotional ”kick in the head” ( for want of a better term) might influence a person’s reasoning powers, especially those powers that govern cold, hard scientific logic and basic experience – based common sense? (Though I fully realise the term ”common sense” is treading on eggshells, but you can appreciate what I mean by it, I’m sure, yes? As in knowingly- put-your- hand-on-a-hot-stove-and-get-burned common-sense)

      But we have no way to prove it or disprove it

      Er … yes we do. It’s called science. And it has been disproved. The Noachim global flood story is a Jewish foundational myth. Nothing more.
      To even suggest otherwise is disingenuous, and you should know this, very well.
      So this seems like a blatant hand wave on your part, then?
      Surely you are not afraid to commit? Or are you nervous in case you are called to account n other on other supernatural claims that you also have less conviction over?
      So what about the Virgin Birth that the originators of your formal religion, the Catholic Church have stated through the likes of Raymond Brown that it is not to be taken as a literal biological event?
      What’s your take?

      Yes, I’ve read Ross’s flood theory. But this doesn’t actually have to involve any sort of Supernatural occurrence and especially or intervention from your god.
      Seems plausible and, all perfectly natural and rather puts the damper on the whole Yahweh destroying his creation because of sin thing doesn’t it, Mel?
      Tell you what …. research the TTI- That’s the Time Temperature Index ( of rocks).
      Fascinating geology.
      It is often used in modern day oil exploration.
      When you have, ask yourself why there are no Young Earth Creationist geologists ( as far as I have been able to ascertain) working in the geology departments of oil companies?

      And, yes, most of us with an interest are aware there was a localized flood. Science again … and also that old story of Gilgamesh which precedes the bible and where the writers of Genesis got their idea from.

    • Arkenaten says:

      And I would be genuinely interested in how you think Jesus of Nazareth would impact my life( and very other non christian) if it turned out that everything claimed about him in the bible was fact, and could be demonstrated?
      How exactly do you think I would/should react?
      Please bear in mind very closely that there would now be no more ”Faith”.
      What are your personal thoughts on this matter?

    • Mel Wild says:

      What I’m trying to do here is show that our faith is not just based on personal experience but on reasonable historicity and textual evidence, based on the best scholarship in these disciplines. These are things the average Christian doesn’t know and, therefore, are susceptible to the arguments made against Christianity on blogs and the Internet. Since anti-theists have taken it upon themselves to go on Christian blogs and say whatever they want, some making extreme and baseless conjectures, I will dispute them with authoritative sources.

      If everything were proven to be true, I would hope you would open your heart to it and believe. But it still takes faith. Believing is not a evidential issue, but a heart issue. Interestingly, both Ehrman and Wallace went in opposite directions, apart from the evidence. Ehrman became an agnostic, Wallace became a Christian. So, it’s a heart issue in the end. If you choose not to believe, you should at least accept it as true history and move on. And, believe me, I’m with you on abusive ways people have used and still use Christian doctrines. I’m just as hard on Christian beliefs that condone un-Christ-like behavior or paint God as a monster. But, again, this is a free society where people can evangelize their beliefs in the marketplace of ideas.

    • Arkenaten says:

      What I’m trying to do here is show that our faith is not just based on personal experience but on reasonable historicity and textual evidence, based on the best scholarship in these disciplines.

      Excellent! The best textual evidence and the best, most accurate history is generally presented by those who have no religious bias whatsoever and who are prepared to alter their view based on the evidence.

      These are things the average Christian doesn’t know and, therefore, are susceptible to the arguments made against Christianity on blogs and the Internet. Since anti-theists have taken it upon themselves to go on Christian blogs and say whatever they want, some making extreme and baseless conjectures, I will dispute them with authoritative sources.

      Then why do you present evidence that almost always has some form of theological bias? This only makes your apologetic presentation look tawdy.

      If everything were proven to be true, I would hope you would open your heart to it and believe.

      If the biblical claims were proven true as I stand now it would have absolutely no discernable impact whatsoever on me personally. I already stated this and also said faith would now not be an issue. So if I have already acknowledged the biblical claims regarding the character’s divinity, what exactly do you mean by ‘’Believe.’’

      But it still takes faith. Believing is not an evidential issue, but a heart issue.

      If faith is the crux, then every other religion has as much right …. maybe more so … to make claims for itself. And why hen do you send an inordinate amount of energy trying to demonstrate the validity of your faith with supposed evidence?

      Interestingly, both Ehrman and Wallace went in opposite directions, apart from the evidence. Ehrman became an agnostic, Wallace became a Christian. So, it’s a heart issue in the end.

      So effectively you are admitting there is no genuine discernible evidentiary truth to the claims you make, only interpretation.

      If you choose not to believe, you should at least accept it as true history and move on.

      But this is simply a contradiction of everything you wrote above. It cannot possibly be accepted as historical fact if you cannot demonstrate it as such. More than this it is simply opinion and in some cases very dangerous opinion at that. We know for fact that such things as Noah’s Ark and the Exodus are simply Jewish Foundational Myths. They did not happen as described in the bible.
      To say: ‘’We weren’t there’’ makes you sound like one of Ken Ham’s idiotic Creationist flunkies. And the same goes for Adam and Eve, Jonah and the whale, the virgin birth etc. And this does not even begin to address the known incidents of fraud in the bible.
      As you believe it is your duty to evangelize then you should have the integrity to provide the evidence to back your claims or allow people to come to their own conclusions without any sort of moralizing or tacit Damnation Ideology. But you have stated in the end t is a heart issue not an evidential one. So why not stick with this?

      And, believe me, I’m with you on abusive ways people have used and still use Christian doctrines. I’m just as hard on Christian beliefs that condone un-Christ-like behavior or paint God as a monster. But, again, this is a free society where people can evangelize their beliefs in the marketplace of ideas.

      Freedom is a relative term. In Saudi, for example, you would never get away with so much freedom regarding your beliefs. And in a Christian country such as Ireland, people have died because of birth complications and the church’s refusal to allow an abortion.
      And why, in the long run, is indoctrinating young children from the knee any less insidious or harmful?

    • Mel Wild says:

      The best textual evidence and the best, most accurate history is generally presented by those who have no religious bias whatsoever and who are prepared to alter their view based on the evidence.

      While someone can certainly be non-religiously unbiased, there is no such thing as no bias. We must take people’s bias (anti-supernatural or religious) and deal with the data. We don’t live in some imaginary world where there is no bias.

      So effectively you are admitting there is no genuine discernible evidentiary truth to the claims you make, only interpretation.

      No, I’m making inferences to the best explanation based on the data. This is how historicity works. The truth is, we have very little evidence for anything in ancient history.

      But this is simply a contradiction of everything you wrote above. It cannot possibly be accepted as historical fact if you cannot demonstrate it as such. More than this it is simply opinion and in some cases very dangerous opinion at that.

      No, it’s not. We discern historical fact by making the best inference on the data. You have not made a better case for the data. And you deny anything supernatural, which is an a priori supposition and circular reasoning. Miracles are true because you don’t believe miracles can be true. Your opinion is myopic, at best.

      As you believe it is your duty to evangelize then you should have the integrity to provide the evidence to back your claims or allow people to come to their own conclusions without any sort of moralizing or tacit Damnation Ideology. But you have stated in the end t is a heart issue not an evidential one. So why not stick with this?

      Have I not done this? You see, this is where you are dishonest, Ark. I have allowed Tildeb’s anti-theist site to be posted in the comments. I have allowed your opinion and other skeptics to provide links. I have shown videos by Bart Erhman and have quoted atheist scholars. How is this not integrous?
      And “tacit Damnation theology?” Where have I brought that up? You’re the one who keeps bringing it up.

      Freedom is a relative term. In Saudi, for example, you would never get away with so much freedom regarding your beliefs. And in a Christian country such as Ireland, people have died because of birth complications and the church’s refusal to allow an abortion.

      True, but you and I don’t live in Saudi Arabia. We have freedom of speech. We can write just about anything we want on a blog. That’s the point.
      The moral issues like abortion, etc. are argued out in a free marketplace. That’s how freedom works in a society of diverse people. So, in that way, it’s relative. But we can’t all have what we want. One person’s freedom may cause great harm to another person. We have to work it out.

    • Arkenaten says:

      While someone can certainly be non-religiously unbiased, there is no such thing as no bias. We must take people’s bias (anti-supernatural or religious) and deal with the data. We don’t live in some imaginary world where there is no bias.

      Fine, then I shall amend my reply to simply this: … only scholars or historians who have no religious ties.
      So effectively you are admitting there is no genuine discernible evidentiary truth to the claims you make, only interpretation.

      No, I’m making inferences to the best explanation based on the data. This is how historicity works. The truth is, we have very little evidence for anything in ancient history.

      Based on the data, the ‘’best inference’’ for Noah’s Ark is simply it did not happen as described. And this is based on geological evidence. By the way did you look up TTI ( Tim Temperature Index)?
      Based on the data, the ‘’best inference’’ for the virgin birth is that it is a theological motif that we know has been adapted from Isaiah by the writer of Matthew to explain claimed prophecy. In other words, it did not happen.
      Based on the data, ‘’the best inference’’ for the Adam and Eve tale and the Exodus tale as reflected in the bible are they are simply Foundation Myths and the scientific and archaeological evidence demonstrate this.
      In actual fact, there really is no need to infer regarding the above examples as the scientific evidence flatly refutes any claims to the contrary.
      Do you finally agree this is so?
      But this is simply a contradiction of everything you wrote above. It cannot possibly be accepted as historical fact if you cannot demonstrate it as such. More than this it is simply opinion and in some cases very dangerous opinion at that.

      No, it’s not. We discern historical fact by making the best inference on the data. You have not made a better case for the data. And you deny anything supernatural, which is an a priori supposition and circular reasoning. Miracles are true because you don’t believe miracles can be true. Your opinion is myopic, at best.

      I have just made a better case for the data based on expert scientific and archaeological evidence as demonstrated in the above examples. It is not only myopic to dismiss this but blatantly anti-science.
      As you believe it is your duty to evangelize …etc But you have stated in the end it is a heart issue not an evidential one. So why not stick with this?

      Have I not done this? You see, this is where you are dishonest, Ark. I have allowed Tildeb’s anti-theist site to be posted in the comments. I have allowed your opinion and other skeptics to provide links. I have shown videos by Bart Erhman and have quoted atheist scholars. How is this not integrous?

      The evidence you provide to back your claims is fallacious and in large parts anti-science/scientific, and continues to push a theist agenda rather than establishing historical or archaeological fact.
      Allowing ‘’air-time’’ to contrary views does not diminish the spurious nature of your assertions in this regard. You have pointed out often enough that the heart and Faith are the overriding considerations.

      And “tacit Damnation theology?” Where have I brought that up? You’re the one who keeps bringing it up.

      It is an integral party of your Religion. I don’t have to mention Charles Darwin every time I use the word evolution.
      Wally has admitted his fundamentalist beliefs in this area on your blog and I stand under correction, but I do not recall you taking him to task over this doctrine. If you did … then I retract and apologise.
      Freedom is a relative term. In Saudi, for example, you would never get away with so much freedom regarding your beliefs. And in a Christian country such as Ireland, people have died because of birth complications and the church’s refusal to allow an abortion.

      True, but you and I don’t live in Saudi Arabia. We have freedom of speech. We can write just about anything we want on a blog. That’s the point.

      Ireland has freedom of speech. A great many evangelicals vilify homosexuals. Do you agree with this behaviour? It is your religion after all.

      The moral issues like abortion, etc. are argued out in a free marketplace. That’s how freedom works in a society of diverse people. So, in that way, it’s relative. But we can’t all have what we want. One person’s freedom may cause great harm to another person. We have to work it out.

      Some of the worst examples of ethics and morals are contained in the books of your bible, which has been used, and continues to be used, to justify a great many vile things.
      Humans do not need a book to teach them morality and there are societies that demonstrate they function well enough without such literature.
      And still waiting for you to reply about the supernatural elements of the supposed Noachim Flood and if you accept them, and why or why not?

    • Mel Wild says:

      Here’s another clip for you that points out your a priori bias and circular reasoning.

    • Arkenaten says:

      ”What are you holding in your hand that prevents you from looking at the evidence.”

      I LIKE that!

  7. Kristi Ann says:

    All Sixty Six Book of the Holy Bible are Inspired by our ONE TRUE GOD the FATHER who art in Heaven Above and HIS SON Jesus-Yeshua Christ Forevermore!!

    I Love you all Everyone through Jesus-Yeshua Christ, because HE LOVED 💕 EVERYONE FIRST!!

    Love 💕 Always and Shalom ( Peace ), YSIC \o/

    Kristi Ann

  8. sklyjd says:

    In contrast to the video Mel, in ancient Greek religion many men and women were made physically immortal as they were resurrected from the dead. Asclepius, Achilles, Adonis, Attis, Dionysus, Persephone, Osirus and many more even if it was not exactly as Jesus. All of these gods came from regions close to Israel such as Mesopotamia, Greece and Egypt and were worshiped well before the Christians who wrote the Biblical scriptures.

    Of course, you will say I am “just parroting popular myths” and your videos are supported by “scholarly sources” but your video that does have some realistic points is no more authoritative than any scientific or Wikipedia web sites I have referenced. It is patently obvious that Christians such as yourself with a life time investment that involves such a strong commitment to their faith is going to have the freedom of thought to be detached enough to believe anything that disagrees with their ideology. Science has always been swamped with religious and social ideological claims and conspiracies distorting and blurring the truth as much as the many so-called scholars and experts who are pushing their own agendas.

    • Mel Wild says:

      Sklyjd, it is patently obviously that you have a lot invested in trying to make this point. And I have a commitment to counteract atheist and skeptics myths and false concepts they believe about Christianity.

      You don’t know what you’re talking about here. Your argument is simply not one that anyone who actually deals with New Testament textual criticism or historicity would ever make. These scholars are not just Christians, but many are skeptics, agnostics and atheists. And even the most liberal atheist scholar does not make this point you’re trying to make. So how can you say an atheist New Testament scholar would be pushing a Christian agenda? Only skeptics who are pushing their own agenda, and who don’t study this area professionally, try to make this point.

      It doesn’t matter if there were pagan myths where gods were made alive somehow as metaphors for weather patterns, etc. These are not the same thing at all. Again, no New Testament scholar, Christian or atheist, holds your position. In the end, you will believe whatever you want so we will have to leave it there.

    • sklyjd says:

      Ok, before we leave it, you obviously believe you have the authoritative scholarly weight in numbers behind you for this argument and you are dismissive of non-professional sceptics. Of course, you may have the numbers, but this issue is not definitive and cannot be resolved by a handful of scholars and probably never will be. Since your emphasis was on professional scholarly knowledge will you “walk the talk” regarding biological evolution as an undisputed fact? I know it is off topic and I do not know your stand on this issue and I am not after a debate, but do you recognise 95% of scientists as the authority in this issue?

  9. sklyjd says:

    insanitybytes22. You claim “So if a log falls in the forest and there is no one around to see it and hear it, did it really fall? Is truth and reality defined only by our brains? I suggest it is not, as in the world will go right on existing with or without us. That means there is truth and reality that exists outside of and beyond our brains.”

    I think you either have misunderstood or are trying to make a point that does not exist. The log falls and it will, you do not have to see it but it happened. Your brain must be defining your own reality because what other organ in your body could do this? There is no reasons to believe otherwise or that our own reality exists outside and beyond our brains? Think carefully about this, if this is what you claim, how can we acknowledge or believe such a thing exists if it is not recorded by our physical brain? Our brain inside our head is all we have, we do not have evidence of another secret brain, you are just complicating this simply explained issue with your imagination.

    Reality is your brain, and is the key to your own life, truth and existence. I have seen my own wife die from a brain aneurysm at 37 that made her a vegetable for a year so I have seen firsthand that you can be reduced from a lovely vibrant human into a struggling inert lifeform.

    God belief has evolved with us as all the emotions we humans have and it has been part of our survival doctrine since Homo sapiens walked the Earth or even earlier when our direct ancestor was Homo habilis who evolved about 2.5 million years ago. Do not believe me? Then take a science lesson.

    • I am so sorry to hear about your wife and your loss. That is a tragedy indeed.

      I often believe things that exist out side my own brain, the testimony and witness of others for example. Having not seen it,heard it,or been there, I still accept that it is real enough, existing outside of me, beyond my brain’s ability to perceive it. The same is true of things we imagine and dream about, eventually bringing into existence. “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Faith has a substance,it is tangible,and it exists outside of us. We don’t have another brain but we sure do have soul, a spirit,an aspect to us that exists beyond our brains.

    • sklyjd says:

      Thank you for your understanding and caring comment. It was 8 years ago now, but I cannot help but feel from the scientific progress today that brain medicines and surgery will be available in the near future to cure such brain malfunctions.

      Your comment “I often believe things that exist out side my own brain,” This, I find as quite impossible because it is your brain that creates this belief of something outside your brain in the first place, just as the brain creates your imagination and your dreams.

      Your comment “I still accept that it is real enough, existing outside of me, beyond my brain’s ability to perceive it.” Your brain may not be able to perceive what you imagine as existing, but the brain has full control of your emotions and can create realistic visions that suit the imagination and belief.

      A new study from a team of neuroscientists shows that the brain lights up during religious experiences by activating the brain’s reward circuits that control our ability to feel pleasure. It is also the part of the brain associated with sex, drugs, music and love.

      Scientists have discovered DMT, the Class A hallucinogenic drug, naturally occurs in the body, and may explain what happens when we die and why people see weird things and explain the belief in life after death. We will probably always agree to disagree but here is some information from http://littleatoms.com/science/psychedelic-drug-could-explain-our-belief-life-after-death

    • Mel Wild says:

      @sklyjd.
      I’m also very sorry to hear about your loss.

      We’re getting off subject here, but studies are showing that the brain doesn’t produce the mind (conscious, moral decisions). In Wilder Penfield’s studies, he found that he could stimulate the motor cortex of a person’s brain to force involuntary motor functions, but he could not involuntarily force patients to act. In other words, he could not stimulate the will. He said, “There is no place in the cerebral cortex where an electrical stimulation will cause a patient…to decide” (“The Mystery of the Mind”, p.77)

      Here’s an introductory video clip (part of a three-part playlist) on the soul and mind versus the brain:

  10. You might get some traffic here. I have been referenencing this article for a Facebook discussion

  11. Pingback: The resurrection of Jesus Christ – Part One | In My Father's House

  12. Pingback: The resurrection of Jesus Christ – Part Two | In My Father's House

  13. Pingback: The resurrection of Jesus Christ – Part Five | In My Father's House

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