The resurrection of Jesus Christ – Part Two

In part one, we looked at the historical data for Jesus’ resurrection from the dead that most scholars agree on. I did not treat the Bible as inspired (even though I believe it is) but as a history book, to see if the resurrection theory is the best explanation that provides explanatory scope and power for the evidence. I used articles and a video from experts in the field to show this. 

A New Testament book that no textual scholar, theist or atheist, disputes the validity of is Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians. And in that letter, he writes:

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; and last of all, as to one untimely born, He appeared to me also. ” (1 Cor.15:3-8 NASB)

It’s agreed that the ancient creed Paul is quoting here goes back to around the time of the resurrection (see my post, “New Testament hymns and creeds.”). To be clear, this doesn’t mean that skeptical scholars believe Jesus actually rose from the dead, but that the creed is very early and the letter is authentic.

And in this earliest creed are all the elements of the gospel, along with Paul’s attestation of resurrection appearances.

The video I included in part one (“Historical Evidence”) compiled the case for Jesus appearing to disciples after His crucifixion and death:

  • His disciples said Jesus appeared to them alive
  • Skeptics (Paul, James) reported Jesus appeared to them
  • Conversion of skeptics Paul and James
  • Expectation of the Gospel to the surrounding world
  • Low status of women in the ancient world
  • Immediate proclamation in Jerusalem
  • Voluntary suffering of the disciples and witnesses
  • Empty tomb

The video also compared this resurrection claim to popular counterclaims by skeptics, which includes the Mythic theory, Conspiracy Theory, and Hallucination Theory. We saw that these theories fail to provide a better explanation for the data.

Again, simply saying a claim is false does not refute the claim. The person must provide a better explanation that provides explanatory scope and power for all the data, not just for some of the points. And the burden of proof is always on the one making or refuting the claim.

In this part, I will simply show part four of the InspiringPhilosophy resurrection series titled, “Advanced theories.” These deal with some of the more advanced arguments that skeptical scholars Bart Ehrman and Gerd Lüdemann make for a better explanation of the evidence. We will see how their argument holds up to our claim.

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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189 Responses to The resurrection of Jesus Christ – Part Two

  1. Its always about genuine faith. The bible says God has given every man a measure of faith to repent. The world is enough proof that God exists.

  2. I’ve been reading along,Mel. Something I find interesting, in the modern world we don’t really like to accept the honest testimony of a few good men. They’re all lying and out to get us. LOL, I blame politics. The thing is, all our personal issues aside, the simple testimony of good men is actual evidence, binding in court even. Some guy tells us his house was robbed and he saw who did it, the cops comes, everybody responds as if his word actually means something. Few demand some more empirical data, the opinion of experts, force the guy to take a lie detector test,etc, etc. We trust the simple testimony and witness of men. There were good men who bore witness to the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ, and there are good men today who bear witness to his power to change lives.

    • Mel Wild says:

      Sad but true. It seems that ad hominin attacks are preferred to actually dealing with what is said in a respectful way. Things have gotten very polarized which, ironically, has made us not able to hear one another and communicate effectively in the information age!

      As I’ve said before, if skeptics and atheists treated other ancient history by the same standard they use on Jesus and Scripture, we would have no history at all!

  3. I invite you to check out my blogs ♡

  4. Arkenaten says:

    A New Testament book that no textual scholar, theist or atheist, disputes the validity of is Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians.

    Not quite accurate ….I think you forgot the parts that are interpolation.

  5. sklyjd says:

    Historic figures are believed as real even if some of the stories are doubtful for accuracy and often unverifiable but these historic figures actually did things that normal humans are capable of doing and have been expected to do.

    Jesus is recorded as a super human individual and a son of a god with super human stories that are similar to many gods of previous mainstream religions. The scriptures are controversial as they were written by many unknown individuals and these purportedly recorded events were witnessed by what is a group of people in the one region who were generally supporters of Jesus and had a very real agenda. Therefore, religious history is obviously not going to get the same traction as any real historic individual such as Alexander the Great in 300s BC from Macedonia.

    • Mel Wild says:

      It’s true that Jesus’ history is controversial because of the miraculous nature of a lot of it, even though it’s better attested than a lot of other history we don’t question. But much of the classical history we have comes from people who had an agenda, especially Roman and Grecian, so we can’t discount it on that basis. And there is solid, agreed-upon evidence among scholars that we can look at historically and make inferences to the best explanation. The events surrounding the claimed resurrection is one of those cases.

  6. Arkenaten says:

    And there is solid, agreed-upon evidence among scholars that we can look at historically and make inferences to the best explanation. The events surrounding the claimed resurrection is one of those cases.

    How many scholars?
    Which scholars?
    Do these include all recognised historians?
    Do these include all Muslim scholars?

    • Mel Wild says:

      I don’t have a complete list of scholars, but I can show that we have agreement from atheist and skeptic scholars. Keep in mind, there is no such thing as 100% agreement from scholars on anything. But even your beloved anti-theist radical historian, Richard Carrier, knows enough not to refute this claim. In answering one of his “fans” about refuting it, this is what he said:

      “The answer is no. Because there is no refutation of this claim—other than “maybe possibly it originated later,” which is the logical fallacy of possibiliter ergo probabiliter (“it’s possible, therefore it’s probable,” see Proving History, index). In fact the evidence for this creed dating to the very origin of the religion is amply strong; and there is no reasonable basis for claiming otherwise.”

      http://www.richardcarrier.info/archives/11069

      Others include:
      Ulrich Wilckens declares that this creed “indubitably goes back to the oldest phase of all in the history of primitive Christianity.” Joachim Jeremias calls it “the earliest tradition of all.”

      Non-Christian scholar Gerd Ludemann says:
      “I do insist that the discovery of pre-Pauline confessional foundations is one of the great achievements in the New Testament scholarship.”

      Co-founder Jesus Seminar member John Dominic Crossan, writes:
      “Paul wrote to the Corinthians from Ephesus in the early 50s C.E. But he says in 1 Corinthians 15:3 that “I handed on to you as of first importance which I in turn received.” The most likely source and time for his reception of that tradition would have been Jerusalem in the early 30s when, according to Galatians 1:18, he “went up to Jerusalem to visit Cephas [Peter] and stayed with him fifteen days”

      Robert Funk, co-founder of the Jesus Seminar,” said:
      “The conviction that Jesus had risen from the dead had already taken root by the time Paul was converted about 33 C.E. On the assumption that Jesus died about 30 C.E., the time for development was thus two or three years at most.”

      Skeptic E.P. Sanders also says: “Paul’s letters were written earlier than the gospels, and so his reference to the Twelve is the earliest evidence. It comes in a passage that he repeats as ‘tradition’, and is thus to be traced back to the earliest days of the movement. In 1 Corinthians 15 he gives the list of resurrection appearances that had been handed down to him.”

      Here’s an article here that lists more from them and others: https://beliefmap.org/bible/1-corinthians/15-creed/date/

    • Arkenaten says:

      Ah, my apologies. I did not realise you were referring to the Creed, I was under the impression you were making another case for a physical resurrection.

    • Mel Wild says:

      No problem. It is a little ambiguous. To clarify, the creed is the central point for the minimal facts argument. Of course, scholars disagree on the resurrection event itself. They do agree that the claim itself is early and authentic.

    • Arkenaten says:

      Did you read the rest of Carrier’s article?
      This stood out for me.

      So, yes, 1 Corinthians 15:3-5 is almost certainly a pre-Pauline text composed within a few years of when Jesus was believed to have died. But no, it is not therefore good evidence Jesus actually rose from the dead. It is, rather, evidence he didn’t. For someone who really rose from the dead would not be appearing on brief incidental isolated occasions, and only ever be seen by choice fanatics. This looks like an ecstatic experience, and not a reanimated corpse walking around—just like countless other spates of visions in countless other religions (OHJ, pp. 124-37, 159-63). As I wrote in The Christian Delusion (pp. 308-09):

    • Mel Wild says:

      Yes, Carrier’s position seems to be a combination of mythic and hallucination theories. However, these are weak arguments, as been refuted in the video.

      I will look at the origins tomorrow.

      Btw, I also listened to several lengthy debates and lectures by Carrier. I would say that while his historical expertise is extensive, his theological understanding is appalling. He jumps to all kinds of conclusions that no textual scholar would jump to. That’s why his position is considered fringe among textual scholars.
      He should stick to classical history.

    • Arkenaten says:

      You think these are weaker arguments compared to a reanimated corpse? Are you serious!
      His argument against the resurrection was not solely focused on the hallucination factor.
      You did bother to take in ALL of his argument I hope, and are not simply cherry picking once more?
      Do you need me to point out the specifics for you?

    • Mel Wild says:

      Yes, most definitely! We have all the apostles seeing him and touching him, eating with him, and over 500 people having the same hallucination at the same time, people seeing Him at various times, over a period of 40 days. And these were all visual hallucinations, which is extremely unlikely. All of this together would be a bigger miracle than simply raising Jesus from the dead! We have no psychological data for mass hallucinations like this.

      The only obstacle we have for the resurrection is belief in God, which is the case Christians are making. Miracles, by definition, are not dependent on the laws of nature. We believe God raised Jesus from the dead, so natural probability is irrelevant. And since the hallucination theory depends on psychological issues within the laws of nature, it is a much weaker argument.

      Interestingly, this theory was rejected by scholars over a 100 years ago and has popped up again recently among skeptical scholars like Carrier. The video I already showed effectively debunks both the mythic and hallucination theories, here’s another video that does the same about the hallucination theory:

    • Arkenaten says:

      No, no no! That is just hearsay and once again the 500 witnesses is simply nonsense.
      Why didn’t he appear to 500 Chinese? At least they were more literate.Senate in Rome.
      Or even to the Sanhedrin and convince them once and for all?
      ”Did anyone get his name?” (To paraphrase Life of Brian)
      Carrier’s argument against this is sound and it carries a lot more weight if you want to tout that JC was a god!

      Your arguments are all apologetic, a way to try to justify a silly argument to justify your reason for belief, otherwise if it’s not true then of course it make you look like a damn credulous fool.

    • Mel Wild says:

      That’s nonsense, Ark. Again, if you want to side with extremist, fringe scholars like Carrier, that’s fine. But you won’t have any credibility here.

    • Arkenaten says:

      No. Not nonsense at all.
      You cannot wave hearsay in everyone’s face and cry … ”See…. it says so in the bible,therefore it must be true” when in fact most of the bible is NOT true, and we can pick it to pieces book by book any time you like and you know damn well you will be left with practically nothing to support your faith.
      In fact, I’ll wager it would be in tatters, just by applying the scientific and archaeological knowledge we already possess.

      But you would be scared out of your wits to so that now wouldn’t you?

    • Mel Wild says:

      No. Not nonsense at all.
      You cannot wave hearsay in everyone’s face and cry …

      Hearsay, Ark? So, according to your standard, we cannot accept anything in history.

      ”See…. it says so in the bible,therefore it must be true” when in fact most of the bible is NOT true, and we can pick it to pieces book by book any time you like and you know damn well you will be left with practically nothing to support your faith.
      In fact, I’ll wager it would be in tatters, just by applying the scientific and archaeological knowledge we already possess.

      Not if you’re using Carrier’s theological reasoning! Again, it was horrendous. Honestly, he sounds like an extreme Gnostic nut job. Again, he should stick to classical history where his expertise is. And scientific and archeological knowledge we already possess? This is just a stupid argument that no New Testament textual scholar would ever make. It’s amateurish nonsense. We would have NO HISTORY at all by your standards.

    • Arkenaten says:

      There is plenty of history. And always will be.
      But proper historians do not regard miracle claims.
      How many more times are you going to refuse to acknowledge this?

      And this is all that we are interested in, surely?
      I offered you Apollonius of Tyana, but you have yet to come back to me on this one.
      You refuse to look at the other miracle claims in the bible as Not On Topic or Ark’s Fallacies etc.
      It’s as if you are scared stiff of having to deal with the reality of what you are truly faced with.

      You just seem to want to put all your eggs in one basket, prove your argument, and not give a shit about the rest of the bible because now you can sit back all smug and full of yourself, safe in the belief that you have scored enough brownie points to say ”See…Gotcha! I win”

      Do you honestly beleive that I give a rat’s backside?

      This is about you, Mel. Not me. As I have said before, you desperately need this to be true.And I really mean desperately. For if you cannot remain convinced … or conned, then as Paul said, if it is wrong: ”Well don’t we look like a bunch of bloody idiots, then?”

      This is why you refuse to entertain the big picture, for fear that outside evidence will simply trash this belief in minutes.
      And it will, and you damn well know it will.
      So we can’t talk about the bona fides of Habermas to find out if he has any reason to be overly biased ( he is an innerantist so he has).
      We can’t question the flawed logic that a god would only appear to a select few fanatics.
      We are obliged to assume the reliability of the gospels.
      We can’t even raise the subject of other resurrections or miracles in the bible to check their plausibility in case it negatively influences the Main Argument.

      And you want me to watch Licona videos? Are you chuffing serious?
      The man who was drummed out of school …. twice … because of his run in with Geisler over his Dead Saints claim that it didn’t happen.
      But the resurrection of the character Jesus of Nazareth did?
      He is a hypocritical dingbat and a lousy apologist.
      Watch his debate with Matt Dillahunty.
      I am surprised he didn’t burst into tears the way Dillahunty mauled his argument and spat him out.

      We would have loads and loads of history. And always will.
      You are just whining because your make beleive god- man and his supposed resurrection won’t feature any more.

      I wonder how you will eventually deal with this fact?
      The same way every other deconcvert deals with it I suppose?

    • Mel Wild says:

      But proper historians do not regard miracle claims.
      How many more times are you going to refuse to acknowledge this?

      Sure, I already acknowledged this. You don’t seem to read my responses. I said, of course, they classically don’t cite them, but that doesn’t mean they don’t exist.

      I offered you Apollonius of Tyana, but you have yet to come back to me on this one.

      I did answer this one. You apparently didn’t read that one either. This is what I said:

      And starting with Appolonius of Tyre? What? Now you’re spouting utter nonsense! First, this myth showed up around the sixth century AD! If anything, this was a copycat of the Christian resurrection.

      And, again, this is the Reductio ad Absurdum fallacy, saying that if one thing can be true then we must accept all other claims. This is fallacious because it does not follow that all other claims are true. We must view them one claim at a time based on the evidence. And even if other miracle claims prove to be true, it does not negate our argument because we believe in miracles. The argument is weak no matter how you look at it.

      You refuse to look at the other miracle claims in the bible as Not On Topic or Ark’s Fallacies etc.

      No, Ark, I refuse to have you avoid my questions by bringing up other subjects. No one practices avoidance more than you when asked a challenging question! Like when you found a Carrier article so you could bash Habermas rather than answer the question. The fact is, you still have not given a better explanation for the resurrection claim than it was some form of mythic or hallucination. That argument has already been refuted.

      You refuse to look at the other miracle claims in the bible as Not On Topic or Ark’s Fallacies etc.

      Yes, they are “Ark’s fallacies,” as I have shown. Your tactic is to employ fallacious arguments and drive the conversation to your agenda instead of answering my questions.

      Watch his debate with Matt Dillahunty.

      Oh, Dillahunty, the ex-pastor, magician? Right. So, if you think Dillahunty is a New Testament textual scholar, whatever….excuse me if I don’t take your opinion on what makes a good apologist argument seriously!

      You are just whining because your make beleive god- man and his supposed resurrection won’t feature any more.
      I wonder how you will eventually deal with this fact?
      The same way every other deconcvert deals with it I suppose?

      Now you sound just like what naïve Fundamentalist Christians say about winning over atheists! You really have no clue about what’s going on here, do you? You’re thinking on me becoming a deconvert is also a fantasy. Don’t hold your breath.

    • Arkenaten says:

      I said, of course, they classically don’t cite them, but that doesn’t mean they don’t exist.

      In that case you must consider all miracles from every religion.
      And you don’t, and you won’t.
      And this is because they fall foul of the same problems as your claims and why you cannot demonstrate they have any veracity. You only have faith. And we know how useless that is don’t we?
      And thus they can all be summarily dismissed. … as historians do dismiss them.

      I did answer this one. You apparently didn’t read that one either. This is what I said:

      No, it is you that does not read as I apologized for citing the wrong Appollonius and re-wrote in a later comment Appollonius of Tyana.
      Google him.
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apollonius_of_Tyana

      Oh, Dillahunty, the ex-pastor, magician? Right. So, if you think Dillahunty is a New Testament textual scholar,

      Where the hell did I even allude to Dillahunty being an NT scholar?. And this has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that he trashed Licona and reduced his Resurrection argument to tatters.

      You really have no clue about what’s going on here

      Of course I do, Mel. Everyone know what’s going on.
      Ask all those folk over at Nan’s blog and every other deconvert/ non-believer that you have engaged.
      This is the reason you skipped right over all the other objections to your argument and refuse to allow any debate on them in relation to the Minimal Facts argument.

      People don’t become Christian or Muslim or Hindu because of facts or evidence but because of faith. Because of some form of indoctrination preceded by either culture or some massive guilt trip.

      Which is what your issue is I suspect. It is because you believe that you are sinner and you have to believe in Jesus as a god to ensure you get to go to heaven for eternity.

      And for that, your death cult required a human sacrifice apparently.

      Does this truly sound like the type of thing an omniscient deity would do?
      Does it make any logical sense at all?

      That the most powerful entity in all of existence could really give a shit about YOU, so he allowed himself to be brutally butchered just so’s he could come back to life a couple of days later and say:
      ”See, I’m back … and screw you too, Pilate!”

      Just how credulous are you, Mel?
      But more the point , how arrogant are you?

    • Mel Wild says:

      No, it is you that does not read as I apologized for citing the wrong Appollonius and re-wrote in a later comment Appollonius of Tyana.
      Google him.

      That one is bogus, too.

      “It is also a philosophical and religious work that for a long time rivalled Christianity and Jesus Christ. In The Life of Apollonius of Tyrana, the Athenian author Philostratus, a sophist who lived from c.170 to c.247, tells the story of Apollonius of Tyana, a charismatic teacher and miracle worker from the first century CE who belonged to the school of Pythagoras.”

      There was no such actual person in the first century, Ark. That silly argument went in the ash heap of the Middle Ages where it belongs. The “story” of the Life of Apollonius by Philostratus not only postdates Jesus by nearly 200 years, it is also thought by some to be the product of a conscious reaction against Christianity.

      And for that, your death cult required a human sacrifice apparently.
      Does this truly sound like the type of thing an omniscient deity would do?
      Does it make any logical sense at all?

      I don’t believe that for a minute! You don’t know what you’re talking about! You’re describing some pagan perversion of Penal Substitutionary Atonement. That is not my view at all. The Jews and Romans killed Jesus, not God. God had nothing to do with His death other than allowing us to kill Him because of love. You are projecting pagan notions about God on to the Christian view.

    • Arkenaten says:

      He is recognised as an actual pythagoran sage. Please cite your source that has shown he was not a real person.
      Ehrman even cites the bloke so I am now more than a little curious to know what makes you think he was bogus.
      Please supply your source. Thanks.

      I don’t believe that for a minute! You don’t know what you’re talking about!

      You’re describing some pagan perversion of Penal Substitutionary Atonement. That is not my view at all. The Jews and Romans killed Jesus, not God. God had nothing to do with His death other than allowing us to kill Him because of love. You are projecting pagan notions about God on to the Christian view.

      So your god … who is Yahweh in his human disguise, allowed himself to be crucified so you could have the blood sacrifice your death cult required.
      What sort of sick religion do you follow?
      This doesn’t sound a very intelligent option from an omniscient deity now does it?

      Kill him for love?
      You are not a well man. Truly you are the one that is perverted..

      Really, you sound so befuddled in the head you can’t even recognise the signs.

      And there is no ”us” here, Mel.
      You weren’t there, believe it or not so you really do not have to feel any sort of guilt over the Crucifixion of an eschatological itinerant rabbi for sedition.

      Period.
      Again, just how arrogant are you?

      So once more,… your argument is left in tatters and you are forced to retreat to theology and faith.

      Give it up. Seriously.

      Just stick with ”I believe ” and providing you can bite your tongue you’ll remain employed as a conduit for Yahweh’s messages.

    • Mel Wild says:

      He is recognised as an actual pythagoran sage. Please cite your source that has shown he was not a real person.
      Ehrman even cites the bloke so I am now more than a little curious to know what makes you think he was bogus.
      Please supply your source. Thanks.

      Gladly. The fact that a reputable textual scholar like Ehrman stooped so low as to cite Apollonius as a credible comparison is both sad and hypocritically biased. He loses a lot of credibility with this one. Especially, when he has made such a big case that Jesus’ story was forged. But the evidence for Appollonius is far more suspect! We have no gospel account of Appollonius, NO eyewitness accounts, NO EVIDENCE whatsoever that he existed from any first century writing. Even if he existed as a person, his story was fabricated to mythical proportions,, obviously in an attempt to copy Jesus in the second century.

      You want sources?

      F. C. Baur postulated that Apollonius never existed, much in the same vein as our modern Christ-mythers. [Mead.ApT, 48]

      Philostratus copied what was in the gospels; although it is not necessary to think that he did. As Mead puts it [Mead.ApT, 35]: “…as a plagarist of the Gospel story Philostratus is a conspicuous failure.”

      Philostratus’ source, the diary of Damis, is “full of historical anachronisms and gross geographical errors.” [Meie.MarJ, 576-8] Elsewhere, Philostratus makes use of imaginary official letters, inscriptions, decrees and edicts…. Furthermore, Philostratus was PAID to write his work – by Julia Domna, the mother of the emperor Caracalla, who had donated funds to build a temple dedicated to Apollonius.[Cart.DSG, 205]

      The Life of Apollonius of Tyana was written no earlier than AD 217. The author, Philostratus, was born around 172 AD. This means that whereas there were still people alive when the Gospels were written who could confirm or deny their historicity, in the case of Apollonius, everyone who knew him was long dead and buried. This makes a substantial difference when comparing the texts.

      SOURCES
      Burr.WAG Burridge, Richard. What are the Gospels? Cambridge: Cambridge U. Press, 1992.
      Cart.DSG Cartlidge, David and David L. Dungan. Documents for the Study of the Gospels. Philadelpia: Fortress, 1980.
      Helm.GosFic Helms, Randall. Gospel Fictions. Buffalo: Prometheus Books, 1988.
      Meie.MarJ Meier, John P. A Marginal Jew: Rethinking the Historical Jesus. New York: Doubleday, 1991.
      Mead.ApT Mead, G. R. S. Apollonius of Tyana. Chicago: Ares Publishers, 1980. (Originally published 1819.)
      Ph.LAT Philostratrus. The Life of Apollonious of Tyana. Cambridge:Harvard U. Press, 1912.
      Talb.WIG Talbert, Charles H. What Is A Gospel? Philadelphia: Fortress, 1977.
      Vota.GCB Votaw, Clyde W. The Gospels and Contemporary Biographies in the Greco-Roman World. Philadelphia: Fortress, 1970.
      http://www.tektonics.org/copycat/apollonius.php

      So, why don’t YOU produce evidence that Appollonius existed from first century sources? That ought to be fun.

    • Arkenaten says:

      Historical facts[edit]
      With the exception of the Adana Inscription,[clarification needed] little can be derived from sources other than Philostratus. As James Francis put it, “the most that can be said … is that Apollonius appears to have been a wandering ascetic/philosopher/wonderworker of a type common to the eastern part of the early empire.”[23] What we can safely assume is that he was indeed a Pythagorean and as such, in conformity with the Pythagorean tradition, opposed animal sacrifice, and lived on a frugal, strictly vegetarian diet.[24] A minimalist view is that he spent his entire life in the cities of his native Asia Minor (Turkey) and of northern Syria, in particular his home town of Tyana, Ephesus, Aegae, and Antioch,[25] though the letters suggest wider travels, and there seems no reason to deny that, like many wandering philosophers, he at least visited Rome. As for his philosophical convictions, we have an interesting, probably authentic fragment of one of his writings (On sacrifices), in which he expresses his view that God, who is the most beautiful being, cannot be influenced by prayers or sacrifices and has no wish to be worshipped by humans, but can be reached by a spiritual procedure involving nous (intellect), because he himself is pure nous, and nous is the greatest faculty of humankind.[26]

    • Mel Wild says:

      It’s all speculation with no evidence. No first century sources, no eye-witnesses. Nothing remotely close to Jesus’ account. Just a desperate and historically failed attempt by anti-theists to discredit Christianity. It’s pathetic. Not worth the paper it’s printed on. These people ought to learn from history that this argument comes and goes, found again and again to be unsubstantiated and untenable. I’m not going to waste any more time talking about it. Believe whatever you want. Pretty hypocritical, actually, considering the comparison of historical evidence between the two.

    • Arkenaten says:

      I referenced it because of your claim that the Jesus story is unique.
      It isn’t.

    • Mel Wild says:

      But your claim does not refute the Christian claim since there is no proof that Apollonius existed before the second century. No evidence whatsoever to back up the story. The only thing we can surmise is quite the opposite, that Philostratus was paid to come up with a story to copy what was in the gospels in order to generate funds to build a temple dedicated to Apollonius in the late second century.

    • Arkenaten says:

      So you didn’t read the piece I cut and pasted … okay.

    • Mel Wild says:

      Yes, I did. But everything there is based on the story by Philostratus, written either late second century, possibly early third century. The rest is pure speculation. It changes nothing I’ve said.

    • Arkenaten says:

      Then you missed the bit about the original document and this …. what we can safely assume is that he was indeed a Pythagorean and as such, in conformity with the Pythagorean tradition, opposed animal sacrifice, and lived on a frugal, strictly vegetarian diet.

    • Mel Wild says:

      What original document, Ark? You need to prove that one. There is no verified document before Philostratus, and he was born around 172 AD, paid to write the tribute somewhere around the end of the second century (no earlier than 217 AD), so it’s suspect, at best.

    • Mel Wild says:

      Correction: no earlier than the third century, that is.

    • Arkenaten says:

      Hey, I am only relaying what the scholars write.
      I’d never heard of him until I heard Ehrman. I could really care less.
      And It is just to show there was nothing unique about your man god

    • Mel Wild says:

      I understand what you’re saying. And Ehrman gave the story a lot of credibility, unfortunately.

      But, again, it doesn’t “show” that Jesus’ resurrection is not unique upon further inspection. The only thing we can honestly surmise is that Jesus’ story was plagiarized by Philostratus after the fact (third century).

    • Arkenaten says:

      We can’t surmise it was plagiarized at all.
      It can be speculated, yes, I can agree to that.
      Although Ehrman didn’t seem to think so and he’s a pretty good scholar.

      However, what scholars have surmised is that Matthew plagiarized the virgin birth nonsense from Isaiah and claimed it was a prophecy of the birth of Jesus.

    • Mel Wild says:

      It shows that Ehrman was pretty desperate use Apollonius (or perhaps using it to be provocative and sell books). I think it really hurts his credibility as a respected scholar.

      Matthew is FAR more reliable, even though skeptics criticize it. But this makes the like of Ehrman and others hypocritical and only shows how biased the argument is, to prop up Apollonius and criticize Matthew.

      And to say something is fabricated because of miracles like the virgin birth only shows a bias against miracles, not an actual refutation.

    • Arkenaten says:

      Yes, you keep saying about Ehrman’s credibility.
      Compared to Licona’s I’d say Ehrman was on safer ground.

      Matthew’s tale of the virgin birth is a complete fabrication and has nothing to do with my lack of belief on miracles but its source..
      It was ripped off from Isaiah 7:14 to claim fulfillment of prophecy.

      You aren’t seriously touting for any sort of veracity over this I hope?

    • Mel Wild says:

      Believe whatever you want about Ehrman and Licona. You will anyway if you think appealing to Apollonius is credible.

      Ripped off from Isa. 7:14? Now, you’re just giving me bad theology. Was it connected on purpose by Matthew? Yes, of course. Matthew’s goal was to show Jesus through the Hebrew lens. Many OT prophecies have fulfillments like this in the New Testament. It’s both historical and symbolic, pointing to its ultimate fulfillment in Christ. This is Christology 101. But these are spiritual things that I don’t expect you to understand.

      But if you were honest you would admit that the only reason they say this about Matthew and the virgin birth is because of their bias against the miraculous. But it’s circular reasoning. They don’t believe in anything miraculous because they don’t believe miracles are possible (or highly improbable, which is just a nuanced way of saying the same thing.)

      And, no, I’m not seriously touting that anyone who is a hardened anti-theist will admit anything, no matter what evidence is given. My audience is much wider than your myopic naturalist worldview.

    • Arkenaten says:

      No, the miraculous thing is a separate issue altogether.
      What is at stake here is the author of Matthew desperately trying to convince his audience that the character Jesus of Nazareth was born of a virgin and he simply raided Isaiah for the material to try to demonstrate a supposed fulfillment
      That’s dishonest. That’s fraud

      But you do acknowledge that he did raid Isaiah don’t you?
      I mean you do know the Isaiah prophecy has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with the character Jesus of Nazareth?
      You do know this yes?

    • Mel Wild says:

      And I disagree with you.

    • Arkenaten says:

      What do you disagree with me?

    • Mel Wild says:

      What do I disagree with?

      What is at stake here is the author of Matthew desperately trying to convince his audience that the character Jesus of Nazareth was born of a virgin and he simply raided Isaiah for the material to try to demonstrate a supposed fulfillment
      That’s dishonest. That’s fraud

      I totally disagree with you here. That is just very bad theology given in the most skeptical light possible, as I said before. And if you actually watched the videos, the “ransacking Scripture” claim is untenable. I don’t have time to go over and over this with you. The subject of Matthew and the virgin birth is not the subject of the post and I am very busy today.

    • Arkenaten says:

      Every decent biblical scholar acknowledges that the author of Matthew raided Isaiah for his virgin birth nonsense.
      It was a prophecy directed at King Ahaz so where the hell does the character Jesus of Nazareth come into it?
      Because t is so blatantly obvious fundies tried to insist it was then a duel prophecy.
      Have you lot no shame or do you think those who fawn over you preaching are just dumb as ducks?
      Ray Brown acknowledges that it is not to be taken literally just like the other one of Mathew’s little tales that are made up. You rememnber? The one Licona eventually lost his job for denying its veracity?
      Out of curiosity, you don’pt believe the Dead Saints saga was a real historical event like Geisler and co do you?.

      And the Gospels were written in Greek if memory serves.

      How do you expect anyone but flat out fundamentalists to trust the honesty of anything you write when you cling on to falsehoods like this?

    • Mel Wild says:

      Every decent biblical scholar acknowledges that the author of Matthew raided Isaiah for his virgin birth nonsense.

      Every decent scholar, Ark? Right, like you have no bias on deciding who is “decent.”

      Again, you’re just spinning a lot of popular myth theories that I don’t have time to unravel all our extremist assertions. It will have to wait for another time.

      And before you accuse me of avoiding the subject, you are the one changing the subject to the gospel of Matthew and Licona and “dead saints.” I’m using my very limited time to stay on subject instead of going down every rabbit hole with you. I’ve given you a lot of latitude to do this on occasion. You’re just going to have to leave it at that.

    • Arkenaten says:

      Oh, for the gods’ sake! If you cannot acknowledge someone like Raymond E Brown then there is no farking hope for you.

      By decent I mean, of course, those with either no christian bias and those Christian scholars who have a high enough degree of integrity to admit at least as much of the truth as they dare.

      So how can this be extremist?

      At least ten of the most up to date bibles do not use the term ”Virgin” and have replaced it with the correct translation of Young Woman.

      You asserted that Appolonius of Tyana was a plagiarized story and this is not fact at all. YOu can only speculate.
      I stated that the author of Matthew’s interpretation of Isaiah 7:14 is definitely rubbish and all decent biblical scholars are aware what the writer of Matthew did when he ripped it off to claim prophecy.

    • Mel Wild says:

      Oh, for the gods’ sake! If you cannot acknowledge someone like Raymond E Brown then there is no farking hope for you.

      That just shows much you’ve totally succumbed to extremist radical anti-theist propaganda! The likes of Raymond E Brown is exactly what I’m talking about! He was a fringe Catholic theologian that the Catholics soundly refuted. Hardly in the center of scholarship, clearly he was biased against the miraculous, among many other problems.

      Here’s Pope Paul II’s response to his fringe teachings back in 1996.

      “The uniform Gospel witness testifies how faith in the virginal conception of Jesus was firmly rooted in the various milieux of the early Church. This deprives of any foundation several recent interpretations which understand the virginal conception not in a physical or biological sense, but only as symbolic or metaphorical: it would designate Jesus as God’s gift to humanity. The same can be said for the opinion advanced by others, that the account of the virginal conception would instead be a theolo-goumenon, that is, a way of expressing a theological doctrine, that of Jesus’ divine sonship, or would be a mythological portrayal of Him.

      “As we have seen, the Gospels contain the explicit affirmation of a virginal conception of the biological order, brought about by the Holy Spirit. The Church made this truth her own, beginning with the very first formulations of the faith.

      “The faith represented in the Gospels is confirmed without interruption in later Tradition. The formulas of faith of the first Christian writers presuppose the assertion of virginal birth, a real, historical virginal conception of Jesus. . . . The solemn definitions of faith by the ecumenical councils and the papal Magisterium, which follow the first brief formulas of faith, are in perfect harmony with this truth.”

      Source: https://www.catholicculture.org/culture/library/view.cfm?recnum=525

      Please don’t make me take the time to refute every spurious scholar you want to bring up. I don’t have the time. We’ll just have to leave it at that.

    • Arkenaten says:

      http://www.simpletoremember.com/vitals/Christian_Credibility.htm

      https://outreachjudaism.org/dual-prophecy-virgin-birth/

      Please feel free to take all the time in the world to attempt to refute anything you like.
      You haven’t even got to first base yet.

    • Mel Wild says:

      Now you’re giving me Jewish apologist refutations? Why don’t we just get some Pharisees and Sadducees while we’re at it! I suppose you’ll be sending me Islamic sources next. OF COURSE, they won’t believe it! They didn’t believe Jesus either. Nothing’s changed there.

      You haven’t even got to first base yet.

      I don’t ever imagine getting to “first base” with you, Ark. Obviously, nothing would. You’ve only shown you’re prepared to go to any ridiculous length to deny Christ. I told you to please stop wasting my time with this.

    • Arkenaten says:

      Oh, so you didn’t read the response by Ray Brown in the first link? How is that Jewish for chrisake?

    • Mel Wild says:

      Oh, so you didn’t read the response by Ray Brown in the first link? How is that Jewish for chrisake?

      How is that Jewish?

      First link: Judaism Online: http://www.simpletoremember.com/
      It says this right on their main page:
      “Hand-picked Jewish articles, MP3’s, and Videos”

      Second Link:

      About Outreach Judaism
      Outreach Judaism is an international organization that responds directly to the issues raised by missionaries and cults, by exploring Judaism in contradistinction to fundamentalist Christianity.

      https://outreachjudaism.org/about-us/#About-Outreach-Judaism

    • Arkenaten says:

      Ray Brown’s response is not Jewish!
      He is explaining the Catholic position.
      Or are you now going to say that Catholics aren’t really proper Christians!
      LOL!

    • Mel Wild says:

      Ray Brown’s response is not Jewish!
      He is explaining the Catholic position.

      Of course, Brown is not Jewish. That’s not the point! But he personally taught in contradiction to the Catholic position on the virgin birth, etc. The article you referenced was actually by Lawrence Kelemen, using Brown’s views on a Jewish apologetic site to refute Catholic position. Don’t you get this? Sure, all kinds of anti-Christians and anti-theists prop up Brown’s radical and heterodoxical views to serve their own end.

      Or are you now going to say that Catholics aren’t really proper Christians!

      This just shows how ridiculous you get. I just quoted Pope Paul II refuting Brown’s position in a previous comment. Sheesh!

      Please just let it go. You’re wasting my time with this ridiculously inane argument.

    • Arkenaten says:

      Sorry, did you not not notice he was responding with authority to do so?

      Brown’s response perfectly outlines the official Catholic position.

      And why should a Jewish site have the last say on the Isaiah passage?
      It is the Jewish Torah after all.
      As I wrote … which you carefully ignored, Most modern bibles use the correct translation of Young Woman, and not virgin.
      Which reflects the correct position as it should have been done in the first place if they were honest when the collection of documents were cobbled together.

      You seem stuck in the nets .
      I’m not a baseball fan but isn’t three miises a strike out?
      I think you have one more swiung at this …
      Off you go.
      Perhaps if you tell the truth I might let you run to first base.

    • Mel Wild says:

      Brown’s response perfectly outlines the official Catholic position.

      So the Catholic position now is to deny the virgin birth? Are you on drugs?

      As I wrote … which you carefully ignored, Most modern bibles use the correct translation of Young Woman, and not virgin.

      Now you’re a Bible expert. That’s hardly true! I haven’t seen one but it would be the most liberal translation.

      Look, I understand the argument by liberal and skeptic scholars, but it doesn’t hold water. First, in NO New Testament translation that I’m aware of does it translate Matt.1:23 as “young woman.” Second, it’s debatable and even doubtful that Isaiah 7:14 meant “young woman.” The apostles used the Greek Septuagint for their text, not the Hebrew manuscripts we have. The Septuagint is actually much older than any Hebrew manuscript copies we have.

      Here’s Isa. 7:14 in Greek. I will highlight the word for “virgin” for you:

      διὰ τοῦτο δώσει Κύριος αὐτὸς ὑμῖν σημεῖον· ἰδοὺ ἡ παρθένος ἐν γαστρὶ ἕξει, καὶ τέξεται υἱόν, καὶ καλέσεις τὸ ὄνομα αὐτοῦ ᾿Εμμανουήλ·

      Here’s Matthew 1:23 In English (NASB) and Greek (Mounce):

      Matthew 1:23 – NAS – “BEHOLD, THE VIRGIN SHALL BE WITH CHILD * AND SHALL BEAR A SON, AND THEY SHALL CALL HIS NAME IMMANUEL,” which translated means, “GOD WITH US.”
      Matthew 1:23 – WH – ιδου (5640) η παρθενος εν γαστρι εξει (5692) και τεξεται (5695) υιον και καλεσουσιν (5692) το ονομα αυτου εμμανουηλ ο εστιν (5719) μεθερμηνευομενον (5746) μεθ ημω

      You should be able to pick up that it’s exactly the same Greek word in both. Furthermore, this same word is used 15 times in the New Testament, and it always means an unmarried women who has not had sexual intercourse with a man.

      I’m not a baseball fan but isn’t three miises a strike out?
      I think you have one more swiung at this …

      Haha…actually, if the Catholic Pope were the umpire, he would’ve said all your pitches were wild. Looks like I get first base after all. 🙂

      Got to sign off for now…

    • Arkenaten says:

      Now you’re a Bible expert. That’s hardly true! I haven’t seen one but it would be the most liberal translation.
      Which just goes to show what a disingenuous arse you really are. The dual prophecy link listed a dozen bibles:

      Isaiah 7:14
      Revised Standard Version
      New English Bible
      Revised English Bible
      New Revised Standard Version
      The Message of the Bible
      The Layman’s Bible Commentary
      The Bible: A New Translation
      The Bible: An American Translation
      The New Jerusalem Bible (Catholic)
      International Critical Commentary
      Good News Bible
      World Biblical Commentary
      The Bible in Basic English

      It’s not debatable at all.
      Pathenos is not Almah.

      And this is why the NT is a cock up.
      The Torah was written in Hebrew not Greek

      Looks like I get first base after all. 🙂

      ‘Fraid not dipshit.
      But you get to sit on the naughty step for trying to lie your way out of the situation.
      Fundamental apologetics don’t hold water with genuine scholarship and they sure as Gehenna won’t wash with a laymen like me.

    • Mel Wild says:

      It’s not debatable at all.
      Pathenos is not Almah.

      First, you really don’t know what you’re talking about. You should stop. Pathenos is the Greek transliteration and almah is Hebrew transliteration. They are two different languages, Ark.

      Second, we don’t have any Hebrew manuscripts that are older than the Greek Septuagint (Second century BC). It predates the Masoretic Hebrew manuscripts by about 1,000 years (Masoretic is the main Hebrew Bible used for the Old Testament in Protestant Bibles). Not only was the Septuagint the Bible of the first century Christians, the Eastern Orthodox never stopped using it, so it’s authoritative and relevant when comparing to the New Testament Greek texts, like in Matthew.

      Third, the word can mean “young woman” or “maid,” but that usually also means a virgin young woman. Almost all young unmarried women were virgins in that culture. For instance, when Isaac was looking for a wife, he was to wait for a virgin (almah/pathenos)… (Gen.24:43). It doesn’t simply mean young woman. Isaac would not have considered marrying someone who was not a virgin. Some Bible translations say “young woman” here but it certainly means “virgin.” So the argument is bogus. Young woman does not negate virgin.

      Fourth, perhaps some modern translators use “young woman” to keep in context with the original setting but it’s not any trend as you are saying. I noticed some of your modern list weren’t actually Bible translations but commentaries. They are not the same thing. Here is a partial list of modern BIBLE translations that still translate the word “virgin” in Isaiah 7:14. These are all within the last 30-35 years. Newer editions are noted in parentheses:
      Amplified Bible (2015) – virgin
      BRG Bible (2012) – virgin
      Christian Standard Version (2017) – virgin
      Contemporary English Version – virgin
      English Standard Version (2001) – virgin
      God’s Word Translation – virgin
      Holmen Christian Standard Bible (2009) – virgin
      International Standard Version (2014) – virgin
      Jubilee Bible (2010) – virgin
      Lexham English Bible (2012) – virgin
      Living Bible – virgin
      The Message Bible – virgin
      Modern English Version (2014) – virgin
      Names of God Bible (2011) – virgin
      New American Standard Bible – virgin
      New Century Version (2005) – virgin
      New International Version (2011) – virgin
      New King James Version – virgin
      New Living Translation (2015) – virgin
      Orthodox Jewish Bible (2011) – virgin
      Tree of Life Version (2015) – virgin
      World English Bible – virgin

      Finally, you have the issue backwards. Jesus proved to the apostles to be the Messiah by being raised from the dead. It was AFTER this unanticipated event that the writers searched the Scriptures to see the hidden mystery. It wasn’t so they could make up some story! It was so that they could explain what happened (this was pointed out in the videos). The Old Testament doesn’t trump Jesus who is the ultimate end of Scripture. Matthew gives the ultimate meaning of the prophecy regardless of how the Jews interpreted it before.

      You’re not giving me “genuine scholarship.” You’re giving some hack job on trying to explain the extreme liberal and skeptical scholarship (and non-Christian apologists) position that denies miracles of any kind, so they need to revise the Bible to fit their worldview.

    • Arkenaten says:

      I know very well, thanks all the same.
      The Hebrew word for virgin … or sexually pure would be Bethulah.
      And all you are doing is regurgitating apologetic nonsense.
      I think maybe you have jumped in at deep end here.
      I am of course referring to bibles that use the correct term in Isaiah … not what is written in Matthew.

      You did figure this out I hope?
      Furthermore…. whatever word you wish to try and convince yourself should be there it does not alter the fact one iota that the supposed prophecy …. the sign Yahweh was going to show King Ahaz has absolutely nothing at all to do with the character Jesus of Nazareth.
      Surely you realise this?
      The Virgin Birth narrative is, much like the raising of the dead saints, simply a plot device.
      Everything else you write on this topic is simply polemic.
      ”Jesus proved ….”’
      Yeah, if you say so!

      You’re not giving me “genuine scholarship.” You’re giving some hack job on trying to explain the extreme liberal and skeptical scholarship (and non-Christian apologists) position that denies miracles of any kind, so they need to revise the Bible to fit their worldview.

      Oh, really? Well, let’s see shall we?
      So those Christian scholars who lambaste Ken Ham over the ark are extreme liberals are they?

      How about those extreme liberals or mildly moderates who dispute the Exodus story, or who try to insert their own figures and dating for Jericho etc etc.

      What about the Mike Licona’s of the word who ask not to interpret the Raising of the Dead Saints as a literal event?
      Are Licona followers extreme or liberal,Mel?
      They must reject the miracle of the dead saints but accept Jesus walking on water?
      Who decides? Licona, Geisler or You?
      But somehow those who say the Virgin Birth is a narrative fiction not to be taken literally are liberal and extreme are they?

      And what about those eminent Christians who flatly reject a literal Adam and Eve?
      Are they Liberal and extreme, Mel?

      Oh, and let’s not forget those hypocritical Christians who flat out disagree with a literal Hell and want to offer us their own interpretation about what happens to non-believers when they die.
      Those Fringe Christians who ditch religion but still hang on to all the bits of doctrine they think make them look just a little superior to their fellow Christian?
      Mustn’t forget those folk, now must we, Mel, hmm?

      So, are you a proper Christian, Mel or a bit liberal and extreme?

    • Mel Wild says:

      The Hebrew word for virgin … or sexually pure would be Bethulah.

      Yes, and so is almah! I proved this with Gen.24:43. I could show several other cases. Almah is a more broadly used word but it’s mostly used the same way as bethulah, for young women who have not had sex. And almah certainly never means married woman. That would be bâ‛al or shêgâl. And the older manuscript in Greek, the Septuagint, used the word panthenos, which always means virgin. This is exactly the same word Matthew used. It’s just a weak argument.

      You need to be honest and realize that the reason modern revisionist attempts to discredit Matthew’s testimony about the virgin birth is because they have a biased worldview that doesn’t believe in miracles. It is not good scholarship.

    • Arkenaten says:

      lol …. As I stated , in the end it matters not what word is used , as the supposed prophecy was for King Ahaz so all you are doing is mental masturbation and simply piddly in the wind.

      And once again you blithely skip over the bulk of the comment …. you must be a soul mate for that Divine Command Theory proponent and all round arse-hat Lane Craig. He does it often.
      YOU need to be honest and accept that the gospel writers, whoever they were, simply dug back into the Torah and pulled out whatever they needed to create their own version.
      Your personalized interpretation of hell is a perfect example and is another glaring illustration of the rampant hypocrisy found in religion and especially Christianity. 40,000 denominations plus is it?
      Did you watch that video I sent you by the way?

    • Mel Wild says:

      I blithely skip over the irrelevant topics because I don’t have the time to answer everything you want to bring up! It’s not all about you, Ark. I directly dealt with your mythology on the word, virgin.

      And I need to accept anti-theist’s revisions and myths and legends that they believe about the Bible? Haha…I don’t think so, Ark. It’s bad theology, weak argumentation, and I’m not drinking the Kool-Aid. I know better.

      My personalize version of hell? You mean the four versions I gave you that have been believed by Christians since the beginning? You will just say anything, won’t you?

      I watched the propaganda video. Not impressed. Not relevant.

    • Arkenaten says:

      So Mike Licona is a liberal or an extremist, Mel?
      How about Norm Geisler?
      Was the raising of the dead saints a real event or was Licona spot on?

      Come, on, put your unbiased scholarly hat on and let’s see just how honest you truly are …
      if you dare!

    • Mel Wild says:

      So Mike Licona is a liberal or an extremist, Mel?
      How about Norm Geisler?

      So, now you’re saying they don’t believe in the virgin birth? Or, are you just going on yet another diversionary rabbit trail? What does raising dead saints have to do with the virgin birth, Ark? And, regardless, it doesn’t mean they don’t believe in miracles and you know it. Again, more fallacious arguments.

      Why don’t you be honest for once here. All you ever do is change the subject when you can’t handle the topic.

    • Arkenaten says:

      I am referring to the Dead Saints.
      Is Licona a liberal or extremist?

      Come on … let’s see how honest you are
      real or analogy?

    • Mel Wild says:

      If you’re referring to Licona’s comments on Matthew 27:54, I personally don’t care one way or the other. It doesn’t affect my understanding of the New Testament. It’s possible it’s a spurious story and, besides, it’s not consistent with the resurrection doctrine of the apostles, as Paul laid out in 1 Cor.15:23-24. So, either way, it affects nothing with essential Christian doctrines.

      There’s nothing liberal or extreme about Licona’s position. It’s certainly not an inherent Fundamentalist position. And I don’t believe he’s dogmatic about it, anyway. It’s not a verse one can be dogmatic about. It could be true. We have no supporting evidence for it like we do for the central tenets of the faith.

    • Arkenaten says:

      But he lost his position because of his published views on it. Twice, apparently.
      And refused to offer a retraction.
      Geisler considered it undermined the bible, and his own teaching position which I beleive views the bible as innerent.
      Much the same way as Habermas does.

      So, If you consider Licona’s position neither liberal or extreme how would you consider Norman Geisler’s position, as he was instrumental in forcing Licona out of his job.

    • Mel Wild says:

      I disagree with Geisler that it undermines the Bible. It undermines no central tenet of the Christian faith. Licona’s position on Matt.27:51-53 only undermines it if you think we have the exact copy of the original, and he was working for an organization that believes that so he was forced out. But as I said at the beginning of this series of posts, that’s an untenable position since we don’t have the original manuscripts. But we do have reason to believe we have a 99% degree of accuracy to the original from the copies we have.

      I would call neither position extreme. One is based in inherency, the other is not. The Bible claims neither of itself, and both positions can be seen among conservative textual scholars.

    • Arkenaten says:

      Far enough. You disagree with him and all those who bayed for Licona’s blood …metaphorically.

      But Geisler’s stance is technically the same as Licona’s. Statements of Faith are de rigeur at many theological places of employment.
      There are several Christian sites that actually explain what happened to the saints after they were raised.
      How they worked this out I have no idea.

      If you consider the position of innerency untenable, then why does Habermas agree to sign an innerency clause in his contract at Liberty?

      And if you consider neither position extreme why do you consider the virgin conception narrative to be an historical fact?

    • Mel Wild says:

      Technically, an inerrantist believes we have the original intent of the Bible preserved without doctrinal error, etc. So, perhaps if someone does not take a wooden literal approach, they could still be considered one. I know Habermas believes there’s scribal errors and interpolation. Other than that, I don’t know his exact reasoning for his position.

      I consider the virgin birth differently because we have attestation and unbroken testimony of the church from the first century onward. Because the Jews considered Him illegitimate (both in the New Testament and later Jewish writings), because Joseph was going to put her away before having the dream (which is what they normally did when a betrothed woman had sex before marriage in that culture). We don’t have the same kind of testimony with Matt.27:51-53. And it’s not consistent with the doctrine of the resurrection. But, again, I don’t have to not believe it either. It could’ve happened. I just don’t know with the same degree of certainty that I would with other resurrection events.

    • Arkenaten says:

      With respect, you are once again cherry picking.
      You lambaste me all the time for fallacious arguments and only putting forward the position of either extreme or very liberal scholars and here you are playing loose and fast with a part of scripture that at one time almost ruined a man’s career at the insistence of a biblical scholar ( and many many believers) who are adamanet these verses are inviolate.

      You have a similar view regarding Hell, a position not shared by the vast majority of Christians.
      As for central/core tenets; there are quite a number of views in this regard and several variations as to what is and what is not critical, and I am sure you are aware of this.
      Thus your position on a number of these issues not only becomes open to question, especially quoting scholars that do not agree with your interpretations.
      Look at the woman arguing with SKLD ?
      Therefore why should I … or anyone else consider your arguments have any serious validity when you are obviously at odds over certain doctrine?

    • Mel Wild says:

      None of what you said is true. My argument is neither fallacious nor outside the Christian view. Licona was fired for disagreeing with a particular form of Fundamentalism. That does not make him liberal. It only puts him at odds with popular American evangelicalism.

      My non-dogmatic view of hell is only outside of popular American evangelicalism, not historic Christianity.

      Therefore why should I … or anyone else consider your arguments have any serious validity when you are obviously at odds over certain doctrine?

      Ironically, this is a Non-Sequitur fallacy! One claim does not necessarily negate another claim. Just because Christians have differing views about hell does not mean that the virgin birth or the resurrection of Jesus Christ is false. Again, most all Christian believers agree on the central tenets of the faith.

    • Arkenaten says:

      I am not saying it is false or not, but that your position is at odds with the majority of Christians.
      Therefore, your position or arguments carry no more weight that Geisler’s. less in fact as he has formal theological qualifications whereas you don’t.
      And your view of hell is not in line with historic Christianity.

    • Mel Wild says:

      Actually, my view is in line with many early church fathers, all of the Orthodox church, and many others in church history. The Dante-version is just that, a Medieval Western view of hell. Geisler is no more qualified than the theologians like George MacDonald, all of Orthodox theologians, and other scholars who have one of the other three views. Many modern theologians, like N.T. Wright, don’t have the Dante version of hell either. And, again, I told you I’m not dogmatic about it. I just don’t think you can be absolutely certain which one is the right one. And it’s not a central tenet of the faith.

      But whether my view of hell lines up with popular Western evangelicalism, or not, makes absolutely no difference in what is the best explanation that explains the evidence for the resurrection. It’s not a matter of scholarly weight.

    • Arkenaten says:

      And it’s not a central tenet of the faith.

      To a great many it is.
      As I pointed out what you think is core is not necessarily what others think.

      By mainstream standards YOU are liberal. You dont even toe the line in your own church so you said.
      So why should I consider you an authority on any doctrine?
      Ansd Habermas, who you seem to think knows his stuff isn evangelical fundamentalist.
      He doesn’t even beleive in Evolution for the gods sake!
      How can you cite someone who is basically a Creationist?
      And for this reason why shopuld I take any notice of what you reference as good scholarship? From a person who denies evolution!

      The Dante version of Hell is believed and taught to millions!
      Wally fully believes is and by the sounds of it so does the woman arguing with SKLD
      Why haven’t you told she is dead wrong?
      It is your duty to correct such vile interpretation. You are a Pastor dammit! You have a responsibility.
      If you do not believe in the Dante version why do you not at least make an effort, for Chrissake to criticize this position, for the sake of kids if for no other reason?

    • Mel Wild says:

      How can you cite someone who is basically a Creationist?
      And for this reason why should I take any notice of what you reference as good scholarship? From a person who denies evolution!

      Because Habermas is an expert in textual New Testament criticism, especially with regard to the resurrection (he did his dissertation on the resurrection). Again, it’s a fallacious argument to say we must agree with everything else someone believes in order to cite them. Why should you listen to Ehrman, and quote him, when you don’t agree with everything he says? I can agree with science and biology without being a naturalist. I can also be a creationist without having to be a young earth creationist. These are all legitimate positions within Christianity.

      Wally fully believes is and by the sounds of it so does the woman arguing with SKLD
      Why haven’t you told she is dead wrong?
      It is your duty to correct such vile interpretation. You are a Pastor dammit! You have a responsibility.

      No, I don’t have that responsibility! And if I’m not even dogmatic about my own position on hell why in the world would I argue against someone else’s position? Again, all four positions are held by orthodox Christians. The greatest theologian in Scripture other than Jesus, Paul, never once taught on hell in all of his writings. He didn’t seem to think it was an essential doctrine. He said we are compelled by love (not hell) to live for Christ (2 Cor.5:14). John said God’s perfect love casts out our fear of punishment (1 John 4:17-18), so why should I focus on it?

      You seem to think that lock-step doctrinal agreement is central to the faith. It isn’t. It’s our relationship with Jesus Christ that matters.

    • Arkenaten says:

      But all four positions cannot be correct.

      And if you do not believe in the Dante version, and know this is not in the bible then why the hell don’t you criticize it?

      Young Earth Creationism is a disgusting joke.
      Many Christians not only criticize this but also condemn it and consider it anti science. And rightly so!
      So if Saul of Tarsus did not think the Hell doctrine an essential part of your faith why don’t you condemn it?
      Although Saul thought Original Sin was essential and he was dead wrong there, wasn’t he?
      So tell me, do you have a conscious? Are you perfectly happy knowing many, many children will be traumatized by the vile doctrine of Hell? That as we write many are going to be terrified because of what they have been indoctrinated with about Hell.
      Have you seen the video The Cage?
      Watch it then you will know why you might devote a little time to focusing on it. After all … you are supposed to be a minister are you not?
      Suffer little children and all that. Right?
      Or are you going to go through your entire Christian life being a fucking hypocrite?

      And who says I disagree with Ehrman?

    • Mel Wild says:

      But all four positions cannot be correct.

      Of course, but we cannot be sure which one is. That’s the point. I don’t demonize people because I disagree with them on these things. They could be right.

      I’ve explained why I disagree with various theories of atonement and doctrines that make God into a monster on this blog many times. I’ve been very hard on these positions. But I don’t say they have no right to believe them.

      Although Saul thought Original Sin was essential and he was dead wrong there, wasn’t he?

      Saul of Tarsus did not teach original sin. That doctrine was invented by Augustine in the fourth century. This was because Augustine couldn’t read Greek, only Latin (which he admitted). The Latin (Vulgate) which he used is ambiguous on the wording of Rom.5:12 about Adam’s legacy. It got translated “in whom all sin,” when in Greek it means “because all sin.” There’s a big difference. Most major (non-Catholic) theologians today only give the Medieval doctrine lip service. The doctrine of Original Sin is not essential.

      No, I haven’t seen the Cage, unless you’re talking about the Star Trek episode. 🙂

      I know your pet peeve is what fearmongering doctrines do to children. I understand your point, but it’s a bit overstated. I know a lot of Christians who were brought up on Dante-hell and were not traumatized. Again, I do come against any kind of Christian fearmongering on this blog in many other posts.

    • Arkenaten says:

      Saul of Tarsus did not teach original sin.

      I didn’t say he taught it.
      Why don’t you ever read properly?
      I know Augustine based his doctrine on his interpretation of Romans.
      I think it was Ireneus who first suggested it.

      I know a lot of Christians who were brought up on Dante-hell and were not traumatized.

      Perhaps they weren’t True Christians then in that case?

      Would you like to read a few stories from those that were True Christians who were brought up on this doctrine.

      I don’t demonize people because I disagree with them on these things. They could be right.

      Meaning you could be wrong, yes?

    • Mel Wild says:

      I didn’t say he taught it.
      Why don’t you ever read properly?

      You said: “Although Saul thought Original Sin was essential and he was dead wrong there, wasn’t he?”

      So, how in the world can you make the claim that Saul thought Original Sin was essential if he didn’t teach it?

      Would you like to read a few stories from those that were True Christians who were brought up on this doctrine.

      I’ve read some of the stories and I don’t question their experience. I’m sure there are abusive cases where children were traumatized. But that’s a human problem, not a doctrinal problem. Some people project their own guilt and fears onto God and use it to manipulate their kids. But it doesn’t follow that all people who believe in a punitive hell do this to their children. I just don’t think it’s as pandemic as you think it is. Most parents don’t scare their kids with fire and damnation. This isn’t the Middle Ages.

      Meaning you could be wrong, yes?

      Yes, of course. That’s why I’m not dogmatic about it.

    • Arkenaten says:

      But that’s a human problem, not a doctrinal problem.

      If the doctrine is considered valid, then it of course it is a doctrinal problem. What a ridiculous thing to say?
      Unless of course you are suggesting all doctrine is man made?
      As you seem emphatic there are four interpretations then the Dante version could just as easily be correct.

      I just don’t think it’s as pandemic as you think it is. Most parents don’t scare their kids with fire and damnation. This isn’t the Middle Ages.

      Never once have I suggested it is a pandemic but it is still taught as rel by a great many Christians.
      But you seem to be suggesting there is an acceptable number of kids who are poisoned bv this vile doctirne. Sort of collateral damage as it were.
      So did you have a figure in mind?
      10,000 100,000 1,000,000?

      Or maybe a half dozen?
      What would you find acceptable enough for you not to come out an condemn it ….
      Oh, of course, you think it just might be real don’t you?

      Yes, of course. That’s why I’m not dogmatic about it.

      Can you then give me sme idea of which things you are dogmatic about and those you treat with a take it or leave it laissez faire attitude?

      Adam and Ever for example?
      Noah’s Ark, the Exodus? the Pauline forgeries?
      The Johannine Comma.
      The percentage of genuine words spoken by Jesus of Nazareth?
      How much leeway are you prepared to give here, Mel?

    • Mel Wild says:

      If the doctrine is considered valid, then it of course it is a doctrinal problem. What a ridiculous thing to say?

      It’s not ridiculous at all. It’s a human problem because it brings out the dysfunctional in unhealthy human beings. They will use it to abuse and control by fear. But it doesn’t matter if the subject is hell or football (my grandfather used to punch his kids over arguments about Notre Dame football). It’s a human (psychological) problem. Admittedly, believing that people are tortured forever in a literal lake of fire is not a doctrine that can easily be broached. I think most parents would not present it that way, if at all while a child is young. But IF the doctrine is true, then the subject is valid.

      But you seem to be suggesting there is an acceptable number of kids who are poisoned bv this vile doctirne. Sort of collateral damage as it were.

      I’m suggesting no such thing! That would be absurd and insensitive. I would want 100% of parents to be relationally healthy and whole and not abuse their children by any means. No child should ever be abused, but you can’t blame religion on that. Only when it’s used abusively by dysfunctional people. Again, it’s not the doctrine itself, it’s abusive people! Take this doctrine away and they would STILL abusing their children in other manipulative ways.

      Can you then give me some idea of which things you are dogmatic about and those you treat with a take it or leave it laissez faire attitude?

      Of course. I’m dogmatic on the central tenets of the faith, like Jesus vicarious death, burial, and resurrection for the salvation of all humankind, that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, that He created all things, sustains all things in the cosmos, His Lordship, that He will judge all humankind. That salvation is by grace through faith, not good behavior. I will also not compromise on the unfathomable, unconditional love of God, or the goodness of God, nor will I compromise on the Trinitarian nature of God. On all other things, I don’t read the Bible indiscriminately, as if Jesus never happened. I interpret the Bible through the “lens” of Jesus Christ. He is perfect theology. He defines the nature of God. This is how the apostles read the Bible.

      I give leeway where there’s honest disagreement in Scripture (which there is a lot) on non-essential doctrines and where we cannot know with reasonable certainty. I can disagree without demonizing the person who believes it. I understand that we all only know in part.

    • Arkenaten says:

      If the religion/doctrine is abusive then how can teaching such vile crap also not be abusive?
      In Islam apostasy is punishable by death.
      I have never heard a Muslim state this should be abolished from the Koran or that it is an abusive doctrine?

      Christianity is little different regards it stance on certain doctrine and if you do not openly condemn the Dante version of Hell -as you won’t because you think it just might be true – then you are as much at fault as those who actively terrorize children with this garbage.
      Worse actually as you are a leader in a Church. Shame of you!

      And for this reason and many others you are a disgusting hypocrite.

    • Mel Wild says:

      Christianity is little different regards it stance on certain doctrine and if you do not openly condemn the Dante version of Hell…

      It’s called grace, Ark. There is no grace in Islam, just strict adherence to the rules or be punished. Authentic Christianity is first and foremost about relationship in Christ and with one another. It’s not about forcing everyone else to believe exactly the way you do.

      …then you are as much at fault as those who actively terrorize children with this garbage.
      Worse actually as you are a leader in a Church. Shame of you!

      Sure, if these parents were actually abusive to their children, I would come down on them. But it’s just prejudicial and judgmental to say that all people who hold those views are abusive. It’s just not true, just like not all Muslims are terrorists.

      And for this reason and many others you are a disgusting hypocrite.

      Ark, from my limited experience with you it seems that you love to throw out “hypocrite” to anyone who doesn’t share your views. And then you add your moralizing by trying to shame, or call names, using adjectives of distain. Fair enough if that’s how you feel. But it doesn’t make it true. A hypocrite is someone who pretends to be something they are not. So, I would truly be a hypocrite if I were come down hard on people’s convictions about a thing I don’t not have strong convictions on myself. I would be a hypocrite if I lived according to your convictions instead of my own. Disagreeing, even vehemently disagreeing, does not make one a hypocrite.

      I’ve been very straightforward with you, Ark. I have given you reasons for what I believe. I’ve answered all your relevant questions, even some that weren’t relevant (like this subject). So your dismissive name-calling, like “disgusting hypocrite” (or worse at other times), not only rings hollow but it’s uncalled for in mature and intelligent conversation. You are free to disagree with me, and you certainly don’t have to even care about what I believe. But calling me, or Wally, or anyone else who has honestly held convictions a hypocrite not only says nothing at all, but also makes you lose any credibility you might have otherwise had with thinking people. It’s viewed by most as nothing more than a rant.

    • Arkenaten says:

      I see Wally has popped over.
      Another ignorant hypocrite to the core.
      Oh goody. All we need is Citizen Tom and the Whole Gang will be here.
      A

    • Wally Fry says:

      That’s a very compelling argument Ark

      You win

      I am an ignorant hypocrite therefore Christianity is false

      Have a nice day!

    • Arkenaten says:

      Christianity is real. There are over a billion Christians.
      What the religion is based upon, the claimed evidence, is false.
      Yes, you are ignorant and yes you are a hypocrite.
      Have a day.

    • Wally Fry says:

      You are correct because you have declared it . My ignorance proves all evidence to support faith is wrong. Lol.

      Look Ark. Your biggest argument is that we are stupid.

      That’s……a stupid argument

      Have a nice day!

    • Arkenaten says:

      No I am correct because you demonstrate it …. often, I am sorry to say.

      If you continue to behave like a dumb hick from the sticks then there is little need for me to say much at all as you light your own Silly Beacon for all to see,
      Let’s be perfectly honest, Wally, how is one supposed to react to a grown man who thinks the earth is no more than 10,000 years old and the tale of Noah’s Ark as recorded in the bible is an historic fact?
      That Adam and Eve were real people as the bible depicts?
      Should I pity you or sympathise?
      Would you like to explain why you believe T-Rex ran around with human beings?
      Perhaps I could help you and offer you some excellent links to paleantology?
      Or maybe links to geology sites to info on plate tectonics?

      Have you ever heard of the Time Temperature Index?
      It is used by Oil companies to analyse the age of rocks thus aiding them to locate oil.
      Do you know there are no YEC ”geologists” working in this field? ( that I am aware of)

      Do you wonder why not?

    • Wally Fry says:

      Truly your avatar of a stone head fits

      That fits with the topic of this post how exactly?

      Perhaps now that your unrelated blabbering about my shortcomings is out of your system you are prepared to provide your proofs of assertions you have made in regards to the actual post?

    • Arkenaten says:

      And what exactly would those assertions be my dear dinosaur hugger?

    • Wally Fry says:

      Ark. I’m not chasing you around in circles.

      You have been repeatedly asked to provide actual evidence based arguments for many things. The fact that you don’t even know what those things are is proof you don’t actually listen to even yourself.

    • Arkenaten says:

      Then provide evidence for the Resurrection.
      As far as many people are concerned you have nothing. Only faith.
      Provide evidence for a global flood
      Provide evidence for creationism

      Evolution destroys every argument you can put against it.
      Geology and paleontology utterly refutes creationism. Every single aspect of it.

      You make the claim… provide the evidence.

    • Wally Fry says:

      This is not about any claims I have made here.

      You bring nothing but insults and distractions

      Answer Mel’s repeated challenges to you

      If you can

    • Arkenaten says:

      He hasn’t challenged me yet …
      He just put up a post.

      You want me to answer your question then demonstrate you have the bona fides to even understand the question/s you wish to ask.
      I want to know that you are intellectually capable before I bother to spend my time with you, Wally.

      So … provide the evidence for your Young Earth Creationism … or at least demonstrate that you understand WHAT you believe instead of sucking at the bosom of those that have repeatedly demonstrated they have been corrupted by religious indoctrination.
      If you cannot provide evidence to back your religious view then you have no grounds whatsoever to demand of me anything at all.

    • Mel Wild says:

      He hasn’t challenged me yet …
      He just put up a post.

      @Ark. If you’re talking about me, you haven’t answered my question with a better explanation yet. I hope you know that sounds delusional. And here you are again, with Wally on another rabbit trail about dinosaurs and young earth! Major red herrings, totally irrelevant to this series of posts. The fact that you don’t get this is astounding, really. I guess there’s no challenge if you’re not even aware that your avoiding the question, or that you have not provided a legitimate counterclaim that better explains the data.

    • Arkenaten says:

      I have. Numerous times. It is a work of fiction.
      is there another way you can think of that I could write this that you would comprehend?
      Maybe if I type in crayon?

    • Mel Wild says:

      You could actually provide a better explanation than simply dismissing it. Why should anyone believe you, Ark? You have proven nothing.

    • Arkenaten says:

      I don’t have to.
      I am a non-believer.
      Unfortunately, the responsibility to convince the credulous and gullible fall to you I thought?
      That is what you are paid to do isn’t it?
      You seem to be doing a very poor job convincing me. perhaps I am not so gullible or you are not as good a teacher as you would like to beleive?
      Or maybe, just maybe … you do not believe it as strongly as you think?

    • Mel Wild says:

      I guess you just don’t care to listen to anything that’s been said. Yes, you are free to be a non-believer, but you are NOT free to refute a claim without providing a better explanation. Otherwise, the claim stands. You have not refuted it, so we have no reason to take you seriously. Believing or not believing is a different thing altogether.

    • Arkenaten says:

      I did.. it is fiction.

    • Mel Wild says:

      Not an answer. Try again.

    • Arkenaten says:

      Why is it not an answer? Just because you don’t like it …

    • Mel Wild says:

      Well, let’s just say it’s an answer without substance.

      And if you’re going with the “mythic” argument was already refuted in the videos.

    • Arkenaten says:

      Habermas’s argument has less substance .. and he comes from a position of not believing in evolution.
      He has no credibility for me.
      he does not even deserve to present an argument designed to convince the credulous when he does not accept the majesty of evolution.
      And yet, you, an adult living in the 21st century refuse to acknowledge the fact of evolution.
      That is a dreadful shame.
      Truly.

    • Mel Wild says:

      Habermas’s argument has less substance .. and he comes from a position of not believing in evolution.

      That is total nonsense and fallacious argumentation, as I’ve shown you over and over again. Habermas’s position on evolution has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with his position on the resurrection. He is a respected expert in His field, a historian and textual scholar whose particular area of expertise is the resurrection. Should we then dismiss Richard Dawkins’s views on biology because he says stupid things about God?

      So just dismissing the evidence as “fiction” has more substance to you? Your argument is absurd and irrelevant. Again, why should we take you seriously when you say these inane things?

    • Arkenaten says:

      It has everything to do with it. Belief in the supernatural means he is able to turn a blind eye to things no normal person would do.
      It is like expecting me to believe the claims of a creationist astronomer.

      So no matter how clever his argument, Habermas still has no credibility.

    • Mel Wild says:

      It has everything to do with it. Belief in the supernatural means he is able to turn a blind eye to things no normal person would do.

      No, it’s a fallacious argument.

      A: Habermas’s expertise is as a scholar in historical and New Testament textual criticism, especially with regard to the resurrection (religion/philosophy).
      B: Habermas does not believe in evolution (science/biology)
      C: Therefore, Habermas is wrong about his evidence for the resurrection.

      That is a classic False Analogy fallacy. Following your logic, we shouldn’t believe anything Dawkins has to say about biology because he’s been wrong about theological things.

    • Arkenaten says:

      A. He is an expert on a text that is known to suffer from corruption and contains interpolation and forgeries, yet he works for an organisation that obliges him to acknowledge it is inerrant. Not only is his objectivity compromised his whole argument becomes suspect.
      B. As Habermas does not believe in evolution he will therefore afford more credence to the supernatural thus, his bias is inevitable.
      C.Therefore, Habermas’s argument , though clever, has no merit for the genuine biblical scholar in search of historical and archaeological evidence, and will therefore , only appeal to those already predisposed to Christianity who are more inclined towards faith rather than fact.

    • Mel Wild says:

      A. He is an expert on a text that is known to suffer from corruption and contains interpolation and forgeries…

      The evidence he gives with the minimal facts argument is not corrupted, and acknowledged by skeptics as authentic, so this is false.

      …yet he works for an organisation that obliges him to acknowledge it is inerrant. Not only is his objectivity compromised his whole argument becomes suspect.

      Whether he believes the rest of the Bible is irrelevant. This argument is a False Analogy fallacy.

      B. As Habermas does not believe in evolution he will therefore afford more credence to the supernatural thus, his bias is inevitable.

      More fallacious argumentation. His scientific prowess is not in question. Having a bias is also irrelevant. ALL skeptics are also biased. You must deal with the actual data and refute the claim with a better explanation regardless of the bias.

      C. Therefore, Habermas’s argument , though clever, has no merit for the genuine biblical scholar in search of historical and archaeological evidence…

      That is both false and dismissive. The fact is, Habermas IS a genuine Bible scholar, respected even by atheist Bible scholars. And it’s also false because his minimal facts argument IS based on the historical evidence that most scholars agree on.

      …and will therefore , only appeal to those already predisposed to Christianity who are more inclined towards faith rather than fact.

      And I could say exactly the same thing to you. You have “faith” that it didn’t happen because you don’t believe in miracles, yet that, in and of itself, STILL doesn’t explain the data. It’s just circular reasoning (I don’t believe in miracles, therefore it’s not true). Your dismissive appeal is based on an a priori prejudice against miracles, and God, not based on the best explanation of the facts. So, your argument will only appeal to those who don’t want to believe in God. It’s not any more logical, or less faith-based, than someone who believes in God.

    • Arkenaten says:

      The bible is corrupt!
      The argument stops there …

    • Mel Wild says:

      What part of 1 Corinthians 15 is corrupt, Ark? Or even Galatians? This was Habermas’s argument for the resurrection. And give me the list of actual New Testament textual scholars that say this text is corrupted and not authentic.

    • Arkenaten says:

      So you do at least finally acknowledge that a fair amount of the bible is corrupt, then, yes?

    • Mel Wild says:

      That is not what I said and beside the point. I said that the text Habermas is appealing to is not considered corrupt by even skeptical scholars. You are just trying to change the subject again. I am not arguing what I believe to be true about the Bible but according to the lowest common denominator among scholars.

    • Arkenaten says:

      Fair enough but there is corruption in the bible, this is fact, and you do acknowledge this, yes?
      All the top Old and New testament scholars acknowledge this so I presume you agree with them. You do, don’t you?

    • Mel Wild says:

      Yes, there are arguable texts and apparent scribal interpolations, which are well known among scholars, as you said. But as even Bart Ehrman admits, it doesn’t affect any important Christian doctrine. Most modern reference Bibles make note of these discrepancies or variations.

    • Arkenaten says:

      Not ”arguable” or ”apparent”. They are forgeries so let’s not quibble over terms.
      And the corruption runs deep as well you know if you are prepared t be brutally honest.
      No, it does not affect the doctrine, you are quite correct. And this is simply because it is based solely on faith. You have stated as much on numerous occasions. And continue to so so,
      This is not verifiable historical evidence. And proper historians have no way of investigating supernatural claims so they do not consider them.
      Your claims are all theological, and this particular argument carries no more weight than if you were trying to punt that Jesus walked on water. How the Gehenna would you argue that I would like to know?
      And this is why no genuine historian will ever touch this stuff with a ten foot barge pole and why you will never find the bible in the history section of any library or book store.

      The bible ,Old and New , simply contains too much historical fiction as well as corrupt text, forgeries and interpolations to be taken seriously by any one not already predisposed.
      Therefore, what you are selling is tainted and thus there is no evidence you could possibly present that will demonstrate the veracity of any claim you wish to be viewed in any serious light. Just accept this fact.
      You are making theological arguments and trying to claim they are archaeologically and historically sound.
      Once and for all, understand that they are not the same thing.

    • Mel Wild says:

      Or maybe, just maybe … you do not believe it as strongly as you think?

      Why would you think that? You have given nothing whatsoever that refutes what I believe. And why does it seem to matter to you so much that you post hundreds of comments here? Methinks Ark doth protest too much. 🙂

    • Arkenaten says:

      Yes… you found me out. I am dying to throw myself at the feet of the biblical character Jesus of Nazareth and beg for mercy for the sin of believing in science.

      Well you are an endless source of curiosity.

    • Mel Wild says:

      …and beg for mercy for the sin of believing in science.

      Haha…believing in science is not a sin, it’s a noble pursuit. I believe in science. It’s just narrow-minded, even delusional, if you think it will answer every question about reality and life.

    • Arkenaten says:

      And tell me what believing in Jesus answers?

    • Mel Wild says:

      Actually, I will be posting on that subject soon. Jesus Christ is the reason for everything (the logos). That’s about as thorough as the answers you’ve been giving me, so that will just have to do for now.

    • Mel Wild says:

      @Ark.

      If you cannot provide evidence to back your religious view then you have no grounds whatsoever to demand of me anything at all.

      And we would say exactly the same thing to you, Ark. You either provide a better explanation for the historical evidence we do have for our resurrection claim or you have no grounds whatsoever to say you’ve refuted the claim. We’ll just assume your position is based on faith.

    • Mel Wild says:

      Then prove it with a better explanation.

    • Arkenaten says:

      I thought the term fiction was the better explanation?

    • Mel Wild says:

      I like Monty Python as much as anyone else. They are funny. But I wouldn’t appeal to them for authoritative rebuttal. It doesn’t mean anything in this conversation.

    • Arkenaten says:

      Of course it is. Their humour was more inciteful than an arse-hat like Habermas could ever be.
      They showed through humour just how incredibly corrupt Christianity was/is.
      As well as just how gullible people allow themselves to be.
      Like you and Wally for example.

      If you can convince a 21st century adult that dinosaurs roamed the earth less than 10,000 years ago with humans then they’ll pretty much accept anything.

    • Mel Wild says:

      Okay, whatever. If all you can do is ridicule then we have nothing to talk about.

    • Wally Fry says:

      Mel Said

      “You made the claim that the resurrection is fiction. You MUST provide a better explanation for the evidence that has explanatory scope and power or our claim stands. It sounds to me like all you have is faith that it’s fiction.”

      Yes, Mel has challenged you.

      Point. I don’t have to prove jack to you in terms of my qualification in order for you to answer a question. That’s absurd. My question is valid even if I am a moron.

      So, you have two things to prove now. First, Mel’s repeated challenge to you to provide better evidence against the resurrection than the evidence that has been presented for it. Second, you have just clearly made and assertion that no Creator exists and the paleontology and geology prove that.

      I am afraid the onus is on you now.

      Have a nice day!

    • Arkenaten says:

      It is mrely fiction.
      That is the simplest and best answer.
      Why look for something more complicated?

      You surely don’t believe the Angel Gabriel recited the Qu’ran to Mohammed in a series of visions, yet over a billion Muslims beleive exactly this!
      Are they delusional, just plain silly, mistaken or indoctrinated? You tell me, you’re the religious one.
      So why on earth would you think that a similar nonsensical episode such as the Resurrection could not have the same or similar results among a superstitious and largely illiterate Middle East population of the first/second century?

      You are a reasonably well-educated man in the 21st century and you believe dinosaurs roamed the earth with humans for frak’s sake! And that is plainly nuts!

      So if you believe this and also reject evolution, accepting a dead man came back to life to absolve you of the sin of whatever it was should be a bloody doddle!
      Compared to the supernatural, believing in reality … science …must be excruciatingly hard for you.

    • Mel Wild says:

      Ark, you are totally missing the point. We are giving you HISTORICAL EVIDENCE that is commonly agreed to by even atheist scholars! You keep making fallacious comments about Gabriel and other irrelevant topics.

      Consider what atheist Antony Flew said:

      “The evidence for the resurrection is better than any other for claimed miracles in any other religion. It’s outstandingly different in quality and quantity…” (“Did the Resurrection Happen?”, p.85)

      Antony Flew was honest enough to become a deist before he died, based on the evidence.

      So, when you say things like “no evidence” or “fiction”, you not only are saying nothing, you prove you don’t know what you’re talking about.

      Your answer may be simple but it does nothing to explain the data.

    • Arkenaten says:

      This still does not make it fact!

      You use the term data as if we are talking about a scientific hypothesis! LOL

      You have the words in a collection of spurious texts. and an argument put forward by someone who does not believe in evolution!
      Yeah, the average non-believer is going to convert immediately because of Habermas … or you… or gag… Wally.

    • Mel Wild says:

      You use the term data as if we are talking about a scientific hypothesis! LOL

      Data is data, Ark, whether it’s historical or scientific.

      You have the words in a collection of spurious texts. and an argument put forward by someone who does not believe in evolution!

      First of all, the evidence I’ve given is not based on spurious texts, as I have shown. Secondly, attacking someone because they don’t believe in evolution is irrelevant and totally fallacious. I don’t answer the question.

      I’m not proving this to convert someone who doesn’t want to believe, Ark. I’m providing it to show how hollow your argument against it truly is. And you have only proven me right with all these comments. You are free not to believe it.

    • Arkenaten says:

      Of course I do not believe it.
      And most of the world do not believe it.
      So simply based on this we can dismiss it with impunity.
      Considering what you believe is at stake -you soul sic) it is incumbent on you to present an airtight case. Offering an argument from a man who does not even believe in evolution who works at a theological facility that
      requires its staff to sign a faith statement re the bible is not good grounds for objectivity.

      A professor from Hogwarts might be a better option.

    • Mel Wild says:

      Of course I do not believe it.
      And most of the world do not believe it.
      So simply based on this we can dismiss it with impunity.

      And that’s called circular reasoning. I don’t believe it, therefore I can dismiss it with impunity! You have not dismissed anything, Ark. You only proved that you have no real answer for the evidence. And it’s not even true! Most of the world believes in a God of one kind or another.

      Considering what you believe is at stake -you soul sic) it is incumbent on you to present an airtight case.

      I have no need to prove anything to you. You will believe whatever you want to believe, regardless of what I say. And demanding an “airtight case” is utter nonsense with historical data. Now you’re being hypocritical because you don’t apply that same standard to anything else you believe in history and you know it.

      All one can do is prove something beyond a reasonable doubt. The believing is entirely up to you. But if you would rather believe in the professor from Hogwarts, that’s up to you. I would prepare to be disappointed though.

    • Arkenaten says:

      The same conditions do not apply to the character Jesus of Nazareth because of the claims made about him, so therefore one should expect the criteria to be of a much more rigorous standard.
      You would demand as much from a Muslim would you not?

    • Mel Wild says:

      The same conditions do not apply to the character Jesus of Nazareth because of the claims made about him, so therefore one should expect the criteria to be of a much more rigorous standard.

      That is absolutely false. History is history, Ark. You must use the SAME standard for all forms of historical evidence. Otherwise, it’s nothing more than prejudicial bias. And I have not been arguing here for the inspiration of Scripture, or personal revelation, but only looking at the historicity of the resurrection. And as I quoted from the video:

      Mere skepticism and setting the bar extremely high will not challenge a historical case for the resurrection…. If I say that Jesus rose from
      the dead then I need to demonstrate such a theory best explains the evidence and other theories cannot. However, it’s a double-edged sword…. Because if one wants to counter the argument that they have a better explanation of the data, then the burden of proof is on them to prove that the resurrection is insufficient to explain the data.”

      Believing in Jesus is a matter of faith. I have not been talking about that. But I am wanting you to provide a better explanation for the historical data (other than just dismissing it as fiction). I have no valid reason to believe you.

    • Arkenaten says:

      Nope. Not false at all. .
      And there is no verifiable historical evidence for the Resurrection.
      And no other resurrection is given the time of day neither any other miracle from other religions so why should this particular example be given any more credence?

      You have offered a man who does not believe in evolution, who is schooled in Christian apologetic who is PAID to defend the faith and all he has is a clever argument. And that, in essence is all he has.
      If it were a worthwhile argument then why is the internet not awash with testimonials of how Habermas’s clever argument converted no non Christians to become believers?

      If the argument you provide is fallacious … which it is … then the only response I need to provide is … ”Fiction.”

    • Mel Wild says:

      And there is no verifiable historical evidence for the Resurrection.

      What lack of verifiable historical evidence are you talking about? And how would you say it’s to be verified?

      All you’re really saying is that you don’t believe in miracles. But that’s circular, prejudicial, a priori, and biased, not based on the evidence at all. And you still cannot provide a better explanation for the historical evidence we actually do have.

    • Wally Fry says:

      Ark. As smart as you obviously are, your rote declaration that something is fiction does not make it so. Try again. Provide better explanations. I get it. I am a moronic hick. Mel is a raving hypocrite. Even if both of those things are true, they aren’t actually better evidence to support your position.

      Have a nice day!

    • Arkenaten says:

      I think the best piece of straightforward advice I could give you would be …
      Fuck off.
      It is the simplest to understand and takes the minimum amount of brain power on your part. And as a bonus, not an ounce of critical thinking required.
      How cool is that?
      Have a day.

    • Wally Fry says:

      THAT’S a convincing rebuttal!

    • Wally Fry says:

      Ark, it’s very sad that anytime you get pushed back on, that your only response is to resort to high school tactics.

      You are a bully.

      Of course, you could prove me wrong by addressing the questions that have been asked with something besides your declaration that it is so.

      Have a nice day!

    • Arkenaten says:

      The moment you show you are willing enough to recognise that maybe … just maybe your YEC worldview could be wrong , then you and I will begin to get on like normal people do and even have a meaningful conversation.
      I am not here to convince you, as you have to at least acknowledge that this YEC belief is so far fetched it does not even find acceptance among the majority of Christians.You have never shown the slightest inclination to consider you may be wrong, are adamant that a real Dante’s Inferno Hell exists and kids need to be warned of it, that there was a global flood and Noah’s Ark was real as were Adam and Eve.
      These notions are simply not compatible with normal adult conversation.
      Such beliefs are, to me, indefensible.
      You want my indulgence?

      Then start to think…

    • Wally Fry says:

      I don’t give a happy rat’s hind end about your indulgence, Ark. All I am looking for is you to answer the questions.

      Your problem is not with me, although you want to think that. Your problem is you have no answers to these questions.

      You don’t, and you know you don’t, and that is why you stalk Christian blogs. You surely see that you convince no one by your antics. Your reason for being here is far, far more than that.

      Give it up Ark, come on over. The Father waits.

    • Arkenaten says:

      ”The father awaits”
      Are you talking about Allah?

    • Wally Fry says:

      Still no answers?

      Interesting

    • Wally Fry says:

      “Geology and paleontogody refutes creationsism.”

      Interesting. No, those things don’t prove the universe was not created.

      Hmm…seems you have gone from simply disbelief in a Creator to an assertion one does not exist.

      Oopsy. Ready set go. Prove it.

    • Mel Wild says:

      @ Ark.

      Then provide evidence for the Resurrection.
      As far as many people are concerned you have nothing. Only faith.

      Haha…that’s really funny, Ark. All I’ve done in four posts now is give you the evidence for our resurrection claim. You have given no response, other than endless rabbit trails that have nothing to do with it, or just declaring that it’s fiction. Well, Ark, that dog won’t hunt. And calling it fiction is a claim, so YOU have the burden of proof to prove that the evidence (historical data that most scholars and historians agree on) has a better explanation. And try to do that without making fallacious arguments.

      You made the claim that the resurrection is fiction. You MUST provide a better explanation for the evidence that has explanatory scope and power or our claim stands. It sounds to me like all you have is faith that it’s fiction.

    • Arkenaten says:

      No. Not evidence. Merely actions of deluded individuals who have accepted the words in a collection of ancient texts that are known to have suffered interpolation,corruption and forgery.
      You have offered as your expert a man who does not accept evolution, whose employer, Liberty, obliges its staff to sign a faith clause stipulating the inerrancy of the bible, something you have admitted is untenable.
      Time and again you have demonstrated you penchant for being disingenuous.

      Therefore, while you may hold on to the belief ’til the metaphorical cows come home, you have only presented a faith argument based upon a presuppositional belief.
      One that has no verifable evidentiary basis whatsoever.
      Your objective was never to demonstrate the truth or the factual historical nature of your argument as you can not do that, as well you realise, but merely to arrive at a point where you could say ”Gotcha”!

      And you still haven’t arrived at that point.

      Your entire apologetic comes across as though your are actually trying to convince yourself rather than me.

      If you wish to understand how the world really works then study two things.
      Your bible and science.
      At the moment you do not appear to understand either.

      But I am sure you are a fast learner?

    • Mel Wild says:

      No. Not evidence. Merely actions of deluded individuals who have accepted the words in a collection of ancient texts that are known to have suffered interpolation,corruption and forgery.

      You see, this is where you lose all credibility. You dismiss them as deluded but then don’t provide a better explanation. “No evidence?” Based on who’s opinion, Ark? Based on which historical standard? Internet know-it-alls? Radical atheists? I really don’t care about all your atheist talking points. So, which New Testament textual scholars calls 1 Corinthians 15 a forgery? I’ve already proven to you that most agree that it’s early and genuine. Who has said Jesus did not exist or that He was not crucified? Who has proven that the tomb was not empty? Or given better reasons why Christianity thrived while other Jewish Messianic cults died with their leader. Or the fact that the apostles were willing to die for something they themselves witnessed (liars won’t die for a lie). Or the unbroken testimony from the church from that point forward.

      No, Ark, your answer does not address the evidence. The ironic truth is, you have not even challenged our position.

    • Arkenaten says:

      Smile.
      You are such a good christian.
      Saul of Tarsus would be so proud of you.
      Jesus on the other hand … hmmm not so sure.

    • Mel Wild says:

      More fallacious passive aggressive behavior from Ark. Okay, whatever…just don’t expect anyone to take you seriously in any real discussion.

    • Arkenaten says:

      Like you expect anyone but indoctrinated believers to take you or Habermas seriously?

    • Mel Wild says:

      Or radical atheists like Richard Carrier, or the circular reasoning of Bart Ehrman. Indoctrination goes both ways.

    • Arkenaten says:

      Here you go, Wally. Read this absolutely amazing story of a dinosaur find.
      If you cannot get blown away by something like this then I really don’t know what to say

      https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2017/08/a-dinosaur-so-well-preserved-it-looks-like-a-statue/535782/?utm_source=fbb

    • Wally Fry says:

      Just do it Mel! Condemn me, insult me, cuss me out LOL. Give poor Ark some peace.

    • Mel Wild says:

      Haha…Never, Wally. He’s just going to have to stay frustrated with that. Besides, peace is a fruit of the Spirit. 🙂

    • Wally Fry says:

      Yes it is. I would like to add, on a serious note. Yes, we probably don’t agree on the doctrine of Hell, and that’s okay. I admit freely to leaning towards a more punitive version of it. Having said that, this narrative of fear mongering is, in large part, a false narrative. When I teach, I teach what I believe about it, but I can state with certainty that the fear of Hell does not generally drive people into a saving relationship with Jesus. It’s the love, freedom, and forgiveness that does that. I hope that makes some sense. Fear of Hell certainly didn’t provide the impetus I needed to come to salvation. It was the freedom from the slavery of my sin that did it, not the abject fear of punishment.

    • Mel Wild says:

      I would like to add, on a serious note. Yes, we probably don’t agree on the doctrine of Hell, and that’s okay. I admit freely to leaning towards a more punitive version of it.

      That’s the funny thing, Wally. I don’t necessarily disagree with your position. I don’t see why Ark doesn’t get this. Not being dogmatic about it means that I don’t have a strong position on it. There are good arguments for at least three of the four positions (I’m not a universalist). I lean toward George MacDonald’s position, but again, I am not dogmatic.

      When I teach, I teach what I believe about it, but I can state with certainty that the fear of Hell does not generally drive people into a saving relationship with Jesus. It’s the love, freedom, and forgiveness that does that.

      Amen! And I totally agree with you there. 🙂

    • Arkenaten says:

      I was referring to Matt 27 51-53

    • Mel Wild says:

      Okay, you’re right. But we’re talking about the same thing then.

    • Arkenaten says:

      So, what do you consider Geisler’s position is then? Extreme?

    • sklyjd says:

      Was Mary not a 12-14 year old girl, so should be called a tweeny?

    • Mel Wild says:

      You did bother to take in ALL of his argument I hope, and are not simply cherry picking once more?
      Do you need me to point out the specifics for you?

      Yes, I read his article and listened to him extensively. And, no, my point is not cherry picking. I’m stating his general answer to the evidence for the resurrection. It’s based in the mythic and hallucination theories. I’m staying on topic. I will probably hit other arguments he makes in other posts in the future.

  7. thewayonline says:

    I am enrolled in an apologetics course at Christian Leaders Institute. I as a believer find apologetics interesting to say the least but at the same time to those who believe no proof is necessary other than the transformational work we see in our lives and the lives of others who believe. I’ve seen people so addicted to drugs they would sell their food stamps to get high be delivered and turned into some of the most amazing God glorifying people. He is real. He is risen!

    • Mel Wild says:

      Amen. Jesus is more real than the air we breathe! And I agree, the transformed lives are more important than trying to prove something to people who aren’t open to it.

      But, also, as Paul said, “We use God’s mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to knock down the strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy false arguments. We destroy every proud obstacle that keeps people from knowing God….(2 Cor.10:4-5)

      So, again, congratulations for taking the class and learning how to tear down “strongholds of human reasoning” and “false arguments” that keep people from the truth. Blessings.

    • sklyjd says:

      thewayonline.Take a minute to consider that It is within your mind that God is real and exists. God’s presence is as real as burning pain and the most emotional feeling they have ever had. This is an evolved survival method and people like Tony Robins have utilised the brains power in a similar way for many thousands of people to comfort and mentally assist them to face the reality of changing their behaviours. Believe it for what it is, not for what you are told it is by very primitive thinking ancient people.

    • thewayonline says:

      Take a moment to consider that the only thing you are remotely able to say with even questionable certainty is that your own mind exists. You cannot even be sure I exist. When you die you will see for yourself. If you end up in hell you will be extremely sorry.

    • sklyjd says:

      “If you end up in hell you will be extremely sorry.” As that is the only real basis of your response, to try and scare me, and it shows that if you took the time to really examine the reasons why you believe in a pure fantastical ancient God I think you understand that you would be upset emotionally, spiritually and bitterly disappointed and it is much easier to stay within the confines of the ideology.

    • thewayonline says:

      No. Because my Bible tells me that “seeing they shall not see and hearing they shall not hear”… the Spirit is required to even understand what the Bible says. A Sovereign God determines who the elect are, not I. But I am able to trust His decisions on such matters.

    • thewayonline says:

      Hell is something you may not believe in now…but you will. It’s not me trying to scare you. It’s me telling you the truth. In the darkness after you have left your body…they will come for you. Sheol is full of people who wanted no part of God…so he lovingly created a place so that you can live your eternal life without him as you decided in this lifetime. That is all.

    • sklyjd says:

      I do not believe you would recognise the truth if you fell over it, I understand only too well that you are totally dependent and chained to your faith even though the divine events in the Bible have been exposed as credulous events by a primitive and superstitious people who believed that lightning was the wrath of God. Eternal life, heaven and hell are all impossible man-made myths just as they are in all other religions.

      You must be strong and irrepressible enough to think outside the box that you are imprisoned within to find the truth of how the world works. And no, I am not the mythical devil in disguise or his lackey as the scripture and your peers would have you believe.

    • thewayonline says:

      Just in this short rebuttal I can tell you have never actually even read the Bible for you know nothing of its contents. Without the Spirit you cannot even understand the words anyways….

      “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world. Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world. They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them. We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.”
      ‭‭1 John‬ ‭4:1-6‬ ‭KJV‬‬

      “Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand.”
      ‭‭Matthew‬ ‭13:13‬ ‭KJV‬‬

      “Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word. Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.”
      ‭‭John‬ ‭8:43-44‬ ‭KJV‬‬

      “They have not known nor understood: for he hath shut their eyes, that they cannot see; and their hearts, that they cannot understand.”
      ‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭44:18‬ ‭KJV‬‬

      “Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand. And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive: For this people’s heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them. But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear.”
      ‭‭Matthew‬ ‭13:13-16‬ ‭KJV

      “And he said, Unto you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God: but to others in parables; that seeing they might not see, and hearing they might not understand.”
      ‭‭Luke‬ ‭8:10‬ ‭KJV‬‬

      “Son of man, thou dwellest in the midst of a rebellious house, which have eyes to see, and see not; they have ears to hear, and hear not: for they are a rebellious house.”
      ‭‭Ezekiel‬ ‭12:2‬ ‭KJV‬‬

      “For the heart of this people is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes have they closed; lest they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.”
      ‭‭Acts‬ ‭28:27‬ ‭KJV‬‬

    • sklyjd says:

      Similarly, in your reaction, I can see you are unrestrainedly indoctrinated, possibly from childhood and this appears to position you beyond the ability of rational thinking. Throwing Biblical passages at atheists are a sure giveaway of this inability and is a feeble explanation of anything when your faith is challenged.

      Your life revolves around superstitious and emotional ideals such as mythical creatures such as devils and spirits while grasping desperately onto the empty promise of an eternal life that is based on no realistic evidence but primitive superstitions.

      Think about this, if heaven and hell were not part of the Biblical story how many Christians would there be?

    • thewayonline says:

      I don’t know I always felt God even before I had knowledge of heaven or hell. I didn’t grow up in the church as you assume. I actually had more to do with Wicca and the Occult than God in my formative childhood years. Until one morning I woke up and there was a man sitting on my bed rubbing my hair. He said “she is going to be ok” he stood up and disapated out my window. He was as real as any person in the flesh and blood. Not bright and shines or with wings. He was a blonde haired blue eyed man. Later when I actually did learn something of the Bible, I learned that in the Bible all of the angels were male…and my experience was confirmed. I believe in a Calvinistic type of predestination. I have had an experience in this life with the supernatural. It’s not a matter in heaven and hell existing because we believe. DNA existed before we had the microscope powerful enough to see it. It exists, one day you will have the capability to see it. Between Sheol and heaven is a great schism where those in Sheol can see heaven…you don’t want to be on the Sheol side.

    • Mel Wild says:

      @sklyjd:

      Think about this, if heaven and hell were not part of the Biblical story how many Christians would there be?

      Now you’re just appealing to bad theology and fearmongering forms of evangelism. It’s a fallacious argument and not actually true. It’s fallacious because it would be like saying, if there were no forest there would be no trees. One does not follow the other. Second, it’s not true because, even without an afterlife, the central theme of Christianity is that we have a real transforming life in Christ, today and everyday of our lives. Eternal life is not about a place but a Person. It’s not about heaven or hell, but about “participating in the divine nature” (2 Pet.1:4), knowing God in Christ (John 17:3).

      I personally did not come to Christ for the benefit of heaven or the fear of hell. I came to Him because I wanted to know Him. Heaven is only good because of Who’s there, and He lives in us, it’s not because we live forever in a place.

    • thewayonline says:

      It wouldn’t be heaven if Jesus wouldn’t be there. And who would want to be anyplace for all eternity without Jesus. Great post!

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

  9. Pingback: Yep – Truth in Palmyra

  10. dcummuta says:

    Interesting if you think about it, there might not be very many secular accounts of Jesus because everyone that actually knew him or of him didn’t stay secular very long. 🙂

    • Mel Wild says:

      There’s some truth to that! 🙂

      But even so, there are far more accounts of Jesus’ life than just about anyone else in ancient history. It’s totally prejudicial to say we don’t have evidence when we accept far less from just about everything else in ancient history,

  11. sklyjd says:

    thewayonline. Your story is very much the same as people who see apparitions and I have no doubt about how real it was for you. One of your first comments to me on this site was “the only thing you are remotely able to say with even questionable certainty is that your own mind exists. You cannot even be sure I exist.” If this is vindictive of your spiritual mindset surely you would not be fast so claim your angel really existed and investigate other ways this phenomenon could manifest in your bedroom.

    People like yourself have claimed to have seen the Virgin Mary and even God himself and literally thousands of people have seen ghosts of dead relatives. Just because you have not knowingly generated an apparition it does not mean that your brain is incapable of dragging up from the depths of a forgotten subconscious memory a ghost or religious identity.

    Have you ever wondered about people who have acquired savant syndrome from a bang on the head, struck by lightning, in a coma or suffered subarachnoid brain haemorrhages and they wake up to become a maths and physics genius, a great painter, a classical music genius or can suddenly speak fluent Mandarin?

    Some patients who had a degenerative brain disease gained incredible artistic abilities as their condition worsened. These examples are what the brain is capable of doing, we may think we are in control but we are not, and one-day maybe humans will learn to unlock this treasure trove inside our heads without suffering the trauma.

    In my opinion, you have generated your own apparition of an angel and that has obviously been a key to your well-being and without understanding how you did it your emotional state at the time must have triggered something brain science is now starting to explore and understand.

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

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