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Thread: Name Correspondence in the Gospels

  1. #1 Name Correspondence in the Gospels 
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    I've been reading Richard Bauckham, and he claims that the names in the gospels correspond well to the relative popularity of names from that period and time of 0-30CE when Jesus apparently lives, he does say that the names in Greece (when and where the Gospels were written) were considerably different in popularity. He argues that this is grounds to take the gospels seriously since if the names were made up they would be quite different than those that were popular previously.

    What do you think of this?


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    this coupled with other sound historical research are the reasons so many new converts are found in acedemics today


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    It would be helpful if we knew which names in particular he was referring to and when. The gospels were written after 70 CE -a full generation after the death of Jesus.
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    The earliest physical evidence of written copies are from about 68-70 CE, but the date they were first written is unknown.
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    His point was that the names in the gospels correspond to those found in Ilan's "Lexicon" for the time period when Jesus supposedly lived. Not 70CE but around 30CE.

    From the Lexicon:

    15.6% of men named Simon or Joseph
    28.6% of women named Marynand Salome

    From the Gospels:

    18.2% of men named Simon or Joseph
    38.9% of women named Mary or Salome

    He gives other statistics but there are no corresponding names (for example the Lexicon has 41.5% bearing one of the 9 most popular names and the Gospels 40.3%)

    It should be noted that he cites Greco-Egyptian diaspora (Alexandria?) to show that it does not correspond to Greek diaspora, but apparently there is little data available on the names in Greek diaspora.
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    Except the only written accounts are from after 70 CE, so they could have been written to say whatever the anonymous authors of the gospels wanted them to say. There's no validation built in to them and suggesting so begs the question.
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    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    The earliest physical evidence of written copies are from about 68-70 CE, but the date they were first written is unknown.
    And, thus, irrelevant. The gospel myths don't appear, even linguistically, to have been invented much earlier than 70 CE. There's no evidence to suggest they do nor reason to think this would be the case.
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    It is very relevant because it is presumptive of you to assume they were first written 35 years after the fact and it is presumptive of you to assume they were invented. There is reason to consider them genuine since they are corroborated by early Christian tradition and early Christian historians who had direct unbroken relationships to the claimed authors. Whether we believe the claims or not, let's at least try to be factual about what is known.
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    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    It is very relevant because it is presumptive of you to assume they were first written 35 years after the fact and it is presumptive of you to assume they were invented. There is reason to consider them genuine since they are corroborated by early Christian tradition and early Christian historians who had direct unbroken relationships to the claimed authors. Whether we believe the claims or not, let's at least try to be factual about what is known.
    What we know is that several anonymous authors wrote down inconsistent accounts of a man they referred to as Jesus on or after 70 CE. We have no "unbroken relationships" that are demonstrable. We have nothing more. Those are the facts.
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    Skin you have a terrible propensity to change the facts to suit your prejudices. What we know is that several anonymous scribes transcribed largely consistent accounts of a Jewish preacher with a sizable following near and after 70 CE. We have early Christian historians and early church leaders corroborating that some of the Apostles verbally told these stories while on missionary trips and had them put in writing for the churches they established to use. When these were first put into writing is unknown since the accounts did not mention any specific time.
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  12. #11  
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    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    We have early Christian historians and early church leaders corroborating that some of the Apostles verbally told these stories while on missionary trips
    Where?
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    Sorry skin I have grown tired of playing your games months ago. I am not a Christian Apologist and do not wish to defend their religion, I have however studied enough to know what facts do exist. The web is now a great place to look up this information, but I am not going to play this suckers game with you again about what source is credible and what sources are not. I know I won't change your mind and I won't try. If other readers are interested they will ask.
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    Either you have a source or you don't. And, the thing is, my mind is always open to change. In fact, it has on numerous occasions. I once held far different beliefs than I do now, but changed and revised them over time with evidence.

    So either you have a source for you claim or you don't.
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    Your mind is so open that you can and have deleted my positive responses to other threads that you did not care for at your whim on several occasions. It is the kind of thing that discourages open dialog.

    The factual evidence of my statement is well known to anyone who has studied this topic, and there are, I am sure, many sites that will provide the information you pretend to seek.
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    If other readers are interested they will ask.
    I am interested in those sources.
    Disclaimer: I do not declare myself to be an expert on ANY subject. If I state something as fact that is obviously wrong, please don't hesitate to correct me. I welcome such corrections in an attempt to be as truthful and accurate as possible.

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  17. #16 Re: Name Correspondence in the Gospels 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Golkarian
    What do you think of this?
    Nonsense.
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    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER
    If other readers are interested they will ask.
    I am interested in those sources.
    Really? You have previously claimed that "educating" me is "hopeless". Have you had a change of heart?

    The first place to look is at the writings of Luke in Acts. At the time of these missionary trips, and the writings of Luke, the various material was not compiled and therefore independent. Luke was said to be a physician and historian and recorded the activities of several of the Apostles.
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    Really? You have previously claimed that "educating" me is "hopeless". Have you had a change of heart?
    That was on another topic. I don't know much about this one. I am interested.

    The first place to look is at the writings of Luke in Acts. At the time of these missionary trips, and the writings of Luke, the various material was not compiled and therefore independent. Luke was said to be a physician and historian and recorded the activities of several of the Apostles.
    Those aren't sources. Said by whom?
    Disclaimer: I do not declare myself to be an expert on ANY subject. If I state something as fact that is obviously wrong, please don't hesitate to correct me. I welcome such corrections in an attempt to be as truthful and accurate as possible.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER
    The first place to look is at the writings of Luke in Acts. At the time of these missionary trips, and the writings of Luke, the various material was not compiled and therefore independent. Luke was said to be a physician and historian and recorded the activities of several of the Apostles.
    Those aren't sources. Said by whom?
    Not sources? Luke's historical recordings is not corroboration that some of the Apostles told the gospel narrative on missionary trips? I can't see how not.

    Early Christian tradition from the churches Paul established around the Mediterainian records that Luke was a physician and historian.
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    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    The first place to look is at the writings of Luke in Acts. At the time of these missionary trips, and the writings of Luke, the various material was not compiled and therefore independent. Luke was said to be a physician and historian and recorded the activities of several of the Apostles.
    Is this the same "Luke" that said Annas and Caiaphas were High Priest at the same time. Even though they were separated by several years and several other High Priests? At the very least, this tells us to take the narrative as myth more than history. It very likely reveals the narrative to be propaganda for the early Christian cults emerging in Roman territory.

    Regardless, the actual author(s) of Acts are as anonymous as the authors of the gospels.
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    You can't have it both ways Skin. You are cherry picking. Either Luke is an actual person or he is not, make up your mind.

    Edit: Furthermore there is no contradiction in the narrative. The question has been dispatched long ago. Many Apologetics sites cover it in detail. But for argument sake, let's say the narrative is in error on this minor point. If one minor error is sufficient to discredit the source, then your errors and inconsistent arguments in this thread alone make your point unworthy of consideration.

    As I said before this is a suckers game. If KALASTER does not come back, then he is a party to it.
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  23. #22  
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    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    You can't have it both ways Skin. You are cherry picking. Either Luke is an actual person or he is not, make up your mind.
    Then let me rephrase: is this the same author alleged to be Luke...?

    Edit: Furthermore there is no contradiction in the narrative. The question has been dispatched long ago. Many Apologetics sites cover it in detail.
    They do so poorly. The best I've seen is the Catholic church simply state, "there's no problem." Yet no one accounts for the discrepancy with satisfaction one might expect of a document that is supposed to be the divine word of an alleged god.

    But for argument sake, let's say the narrative is in error on this minor point. If one minor error is sufficient to discredit the source, then your errors and inconsistent arguments in this thread alone make your point unworthy of consideration.
    My alleged divinity notwithstanding (and also not actually alleged), if we allow for minor "errors" and discrepancies, where then do we draw the line? Moreover, the claim by those that hold this document to be "truth" and "factual" is that it isn't merely an account of events, but a divinely inspired account of events. At the very, very least, this disproves any divinity involved (which shouldn't have been assumed to begin with). To a reasoned mind, this should also demonstrate the nature of the narrative, which is that it isn't a first-hand account, but one penned by someone who may or may not have actually interviewed an original observer. Indeed, such an error is consistent with what one might expect of a story handed down orally for more than a single generation before being penned.

    Finally, what errors and inconsistencies have I made in this thread? I should like the opportunity to admit my error or revise my positions as necessary to fit any evidence you have.
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    Okay, I'm not a moderater but as the initial author of this thread I'd appreciate if people stayed on topic.

    Quote Originally Posted by SkinWalker
    Except the only written accounts are from after 70 CE, so they could have been written to say whatever the anonymous authors of the gospels wanted them to say. There's no validation built in to them and suggesting so begs the question.
    I'm not sure what you mean, but I think Bauckham's point was that the gospels were consistent with other sources that contained factual names not from 70 CE but from 30 CE or so. Also I am talking about names mentioned in the gospels not about the authors themselves.

    To elaborate on Bauckham's views, it seems that he believes that the gospels were based on oral tradition (though only going through one or two people before being written down) but that facts such the name correspondence show them to be accurate, however, he does believe John to be an eyewitness account.
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  25. #24 Were the Gospels written in 70CE? 
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    I removed this post and made a new thread
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  26. #25  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Golkarian
    I'm not sure what you mean, but I think Bauckham's point was that the gospels were consistent with other sources that contained factual names not from 70 CE but from 30 CE or so. Also I am talking about names mentioned in the gospels not about the authors themselves.
    I still don't understand how is this significant.
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    Golkarian - PBS Nova did a nice special on this a while back. It's probably worth your time given your interest.


    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/bible/

    In this landmark two-hour special, NOVA takes viewers on a fascinating scientific journey that began 3,000 years ago and continues today. The film presents the latest archeological scholarship from the Holy Land to explore the beginnings of modern religion and the origins of the Hebrew Bible, also known as the Old Testament.

    This archeological detective story tackles some of the biggest questions in biblical studies: Where did the ancient Israelites come from? Who wrote the Bible, when, and why? How did the worship of one God—the foundation of modern Judaism, Christianity, and Islam—emerge?

    "'The Bible's Buried Secrets' is both a scientific detective story and dramatic adventure that digs deeply into the Bible and the history of the ancient Israelites through the archeological artifacts they left behind," said Paula S. Apsell, NOVA Senior Executive Producer.
    Filmed on location throughout the Middle East, the film transports viewers into the world of the Old Testament through guided explorations of ancient ruins and advanced digital animation techniques, which bring sacred places, including the long-lost Temple of Solomon, to life.



    You can watch it online yourself at the following: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/bible/program.html
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  28. #27 Re: Were the Gospels written in 70CE? 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Golkarian
    Quote Originally Posted by SkinWalker
    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    The earliest physical evidence of written copies are from about 68-70 CE, but the date they were first written is unknown.
    And, thus, irrelevant. The gospel myths don't appear, even linguistically, to have been invented much earlier than 70 CE. There's no evidence to suggest they do nor reason to think this would be the case.
    Based on literary (not details!) similarities between Matthew and Luke are thought to be based on a document called 'Q' could this mean that the gospels were based on another that predates them? Meaning the gospel was written prior to 70CE?
    Christian tradition records that Luke was a physician, historian and Paul's travel companion. By this record, Luke's account would be a written transcription of the gospel narrative. Similarity to other writings and omission of minor details should be expected. Likewise tradition does not have Mark as a direct eye witness to most of the narrative events either. Luke's records of missionary trips corroborated by Paul's letters indicate the Gospel narrative was being told prior to 50 CE.

    I'm not sure what to make of the idea for an earlier written narrative.
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  29. #28  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Twit of wit
    Quote Originally Posted by Golkarian
    I'm not sure what you mean, but I think Bauckham's point was that the gospels were consistent with other sources that contained factual names not from 70 CE but from 30 CE or so. Also I am talking about names mentioned in the gospels not about the authors themselves.
    I still don't understand how is this significant.
    It is claimed that the gospels were written in 70CE in diaspora. If true this would be quite the problem (especially considering the destruction of Jeruesalem in 70CE). However the name correspondence sugggests that at least some of the information was correct (the names of the people involved in each story). Bauckham argues this would be unlikely if the names were just made up.

    Perhaps the names were correct but the stories got exaggerated over time? This would make more sense I suppose because it would be hard to argue that the gospels were just made up.
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  30. #29  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Golkarian
    I'm not sure what you mean, but I think Bauckham's point was that the gospels were consistent with other sources that contained factual names not from 70 CE but from 30 CE or so. Also I am talking about names mentioned in the gospels not about the authors themselves.
    What, then, is the significance of names? Even if we are to take the Bauckham view that the names used in a 70 CE+ text are consistent with the names used just 40 years prior (one maybe two generations in a culture that has a strong tradition of naming children after grandparents), what would be the significance of this? How, exactly, does it show other information in the gospel narrative to be accurate?

    To elaborate on Bauckham's views, it seems that he believes that the gospels were based on oral tradition (though only going through one or two people before being written down
    This seems reasonable. Many if not most cultures of the world have oral narratives that are used to explain culture history or to promote cultural significance. Some of these stories are very elaborate, complex narratives that grow and evolve with the culture. The King Arthur legend is an example of one of those narratives that hasn't made the jump to "history," but has come very close. Indeed, there are those who consider themselves to be "Arthurians scholars," with a belief that either the legend is true or at least has a potential to be true. While there may be some kernel of truth to the Arthurian legend (or the Robin Hood story, the Gilgamesh story, the Ramayana, Native American trickster stories, the Popul Vuh, etc.), it doesn't mean that the heroic feats and supernatural acts are historical.

    but that facts such the name correspondence show them to be accurate,
    How is his assertion not a non-sequitur?
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    Moderator Note: since this isn't a Christian forum, but since the two topics on the literary value of the Christian gospels have some small value scientifically (at least as far as rationally examining these documents, which have supernatural claims about the world), I've merged the two topics.
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  32. #31 Were the gospels older than 70CEÉ 
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    Quote Originally Posted by SkinWalker
    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    The earliest physical evidence of written copies are from about 68-70 CE, but the date they were first written is unknown.
    And, thus, irrelevant. The gospel myths don't appear, even linguistically, to have been invented much earlier than 70 CE. There's no evidence to suggest they do nor reason to think this would be the case.
    Based on literary (not details!) similarities between Matthew and Luke are thought to be based on a document called 'Q' could this mean that the gospels were based on another that predates them? Meaning the gospel was written prior to 70CE?
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    Bauckham argues this would be unlikely if the names were just made up.
    Why? Is it not reasonable to expect a story written describing events that happened one or two generations ago would contain names that were common at the time? Considering that if the stories were embellished and was to be presented as actual events, why would they not use the correct names? I would rather think it obvious that they would use the correct names, or is it suggested that they would somehow have been ignorant of them?
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  34. #33 Re: Were the Gospels written in 70CE? 
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    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    Christian tradition records that Luke was a physician, historian and Paul's travel companion. By this record, Luke's account would be a written transcription of the gospel narrative.
    That the gospel titled "Luke" shares the name of the "Luke" you speak of doesn't mean this is the same Luke that wrote it. The three synoptic gospels are, for all intents and purposes, anonymous as is John -in spite of "Christian tradition."

    Luke's records of missionary trips corroborated by Paul's letters indicate the Gospel narrative was being told prior to 50 CE.
    There's a fair bit of literary evidence that suggests the author of Luke and the author of (at least part of) Acts were the same person but not that this was the Luke who was alleged to be the companion of Paul. The claim of physician for Paul's companion is mentioned in Colossians, but there's no good reason to believe this is the author of the synoptic gospel. In fact, that this gospel and acts date to about 80 CE would seem to indicate otherwise, as would the fact that Luke is largely copied from earlier narratives. In addition, if the author of Luke and Acts was the same "Luke" that traveled with Paul, then there wouldn't be the inconsistencies between Paul's letters and Luke/Acts that exist. They differ in the number of times Paul is to visit Jerusalem and the accounts of his conversion are also different enough to suggest at least one account wasn't from an eye-witness perspective.

    I'm not sure what to make of the idea for an earlier written narrative
    Its a matter of logic. But you would be right to be suspicious since there is no written example of the story. The logic, in a nutshell, goes like this: Matthew and Luke both contain many sayings and parables of and about Jesus that are nearly word for word the same as found in Mark. But both Matthew and Luke also contain sayings and parables that are consistent between each other but not found at all in Mark. Given that these sayings are consistent between Matthew and Luke, yet missing in Mark, where then did they originate? The missing gospel is referred to has the Quelle document and is independent of any of the four gospels that were voted into the bible or any of the ones that didn't make the cut.
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  35. #34 Re: Were the gospels older than 70CEÉ 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Golkarian
    Quote Originally Posted by SkinWalker
    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    The earliest physical evidence of written copies are from about 68-70 CE, but the date they were first written is unknown.
    And, thus, irrelevant. The gospel myths don't appear, even linguistically, to have been invented much earlier than 70 CE. There's no evidence to suggest they do nor reason to think this would be the case.
    Based on literary (not details!) similarities between Matthew and Luke are thought to be based on a document called 'Q' could this mean that the gospels were based on another that predates them? Meaning the gospel was written prior to 70CE?
    I can agree with that. But again, the Quelle wouldn't have been "much more" than 70 CE. Certainly closer to 70 CE than 30 CE.

    And, let's please try to keep threads on the literary analysis of Christian mythology to this and already existing threads. This is a science forum and not a theological one.
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    It seems irrational to disregard early Christian tradition that has been documented and passed on since the early 2nd century by the very churches established by the Apostle missionaries and instead rely on form critical analysis (literary analysis first conducted in the 19th century) of transcribed and translated texts several hundred years later. Those who are prejudice against Christian tradition would do such a thing, beyond that, it makes no sense unless one can establish by evidence that these Christian historians are untrustworthy.
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    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    It seems irrational to disregard early Christian tradition that has been documented and passed on since the early 2nd century by the very churches established by the Apostle missionaries and instead rely on form critical analysis (literary analysis first conducted in the 19th century) of transcribed and translated texts several hundred years later. Those who are prejudice against Christian tradition would do such a thing, beyond that, it makes no sense unless one can establish by evidence that these Christian historians are untrustworthy.
    Isn't this another way of saying the Bible is correct because the Bible says so?
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    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER
    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    It seems irrational to disregard early Christian tradition that has been documented and passed on since the early 2nd century by the very churches established by the Apostle missionaries and instead rely on form critical analysis (literary analysis first conducted in the 19th century) of transcribed and translated texts several hundred years later. Those who are prejudice against Christian tradition would do such a thing, beyond that, it makes no sense unless one can establish by evidence that these Christian historians are untrustworthy.
    Isn't this another way of saying the Bible is correct because the Bible says so?
    I might agree with you if it was a single document from the beginning but it was not first compiled until the late second century. In addition early Christian oral and written tradition plus 2nd century Christian historians and theologians corroborates the account independently.

    None of this speaks to the accuracy of the (non historical) bible claims per se. You should argue those points with the Christian apologist. This speaks to the origin of the oral and written narratives and the historical accounts of the Apostles and it corroborates with the analysis that the OP mentions.

    I remain curious though why, except by prejudice and presumption, someone would choose to disregard early Christian historians and tradition without any evidence that these historians are unreliable? Do you have a good answer for that?
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    I remain curious though why, except by prejudice and presumption, someone would choose to disregard early Christian historians and tradition without any evidence that these historians are unreliable? Do you have a good answer for that?
    They're only disregarded for their supernatural and divine claims. Claims that have nationalist and theological agendas, making their works propaganda to be taken with many grains of salt. What's more curious is the insistence that "historians" were involved in the second century when, in fact, most of the biblical authors are completely anonymous and their works are copies of one another. Their writings are necessarily unreliable. Every bit as unreliable as Herodotus and others who are considered to be historians. We readily accept their writings with grains of salt -why shouldn't we apply the same caution to the writings of the early Christian cults?
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    Yes, thank you the reason is presupposition and prejudice.
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    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    Yes, thank you the reason is presupposition and prejudice.
    Agreed. We should make no presupposition that they are factual (extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence, after all). And we should consider the prejudices of both the early Christian cult leaders and those who were opposed to them. The need for effective propaganda was great.

    Its good that we find agreement at last.
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    Skinwalker consistently has problems with the time lines on the New Testament writings.

    He will suggested the first know copies of Gospels as being around 70 AD as though this is centuries after Jesus walked the Earth. Sometimes he suggests the earlies copies were written 300 AD when carbon dating places the earliest extant copies as existing around 100 AD. In truth, if the earliest known copies of the Gospels is around 100 AD, then they had to be written prior to that meaning the writings we have would have to be dated, at most, within 70 years of the Crucifixion.

    Secondly, the death of Paul is estimated to be around 60-65 AD. Luke, his physician and traveling companion and historian wrote the book of Acts almost contemporaneously with their travels and completed prior to Paul's death. That book followed his compilation of material for his Gospel as noted in his addressment to Theophilus at the start of Acts stating it is an addendum to his "former treatise."

    This suggests that Luke wrote his Gospel well before 60 AD and skinwalker is well consumed with the idea that Luke "copied" his version from Mark or Matthew or both meaning they must have been written even before that.

    Thirdly, skinwalker is fond of suggesting that the synoptic Gospels were predated by the "Q" document(s) which, again, would have predated the writings of the Gospels of Mark and Matthew, placing their origins even closer to the time of Jesus.
    The idea that the synoptic Gospels came into being well after Jesus died is just pure poppycock.

    Finally, I quite doubt skinwalker's scholarship on this topic. Plus I am not at all impressed with his math skills in adding and subtracting from the fairly well established dates of Pauls travels, the writings of Luke and their close proximity to the time of Jesus life and death.

    If there was period literature even remotely suggesting denial that there was such a person as Jesus, it would be far more weighty than the denial rantings of an anti-religious zealots living some 2,000 years later, who were not there and do not know anybody who was and have no evidenced from that time period.
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    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    Skinwalker consistently has problems with the time lines on the New Testament writings.

    He will suggested the first know copies of Gospels as being around 70 AD as though this is centuries after Jesus walked the Earth.
    How so? Where is it that I've made any implication that such is the case? The obvious issue of a text written nearly a lifetime after the alleged death of the alleged messiah is that the intervening years (a full generation or two, as I have said more than once -not the "centuries" your apparently poor comprehension skills infer) gave plenty of opportunity for the natural embellishment and mythologizing that is expected with such a yarn.

    Sometimes he suggests the earlies copies were written 300 AD when carbon dating places the earliest extant copies as existing around 100 AD.
    What we have here is an example of gross mis-characterization, which sums up your post here quite nicely. I challenge you to quote the post where I suggested "earlies [sic] copies were written 300 AD."

    Of course, no such post will be found since I never wrote such a thing. Which now leaves me to wonder what the motive would be for such an obvious fabrication (here in Texas, we call these lies. Perhaps they call them something else where you are).

    My personal opinion is that this is a fabrication inspired by desperate need to justify your irrational beliefs and superstitions, which are being held under the tight, relentless scrutiny of science and rational inquiry. Questions are being asked that make believers uncomfortable; criticism is raised that offends. These are all natural psychological reactions, but don't take it out on me.

    In truth, if the earliest known copies of the Gospels is around 100 AD, then they had to be written prior to that meaning the writings we have would have to be dated, at most, within 70 years of the Crucifixion.
    You're not getting the point. The point is that in every single literary tradition on the planet there exists a propensity to embellish stories or, at the very least, change narratives to fit desired outcomes and desired historical perspectives. The myths of Christianity are not exceptional in this regard. That there is a 30-50 year gap (one or two full generations) between the time of the events and the time of the earliest known written versions of these events supports that the opportunities for embellishment, mythologizing, propagandizing, and error of transmission exist with enormous probability. Moreover, there is evidence of these very changes (see the Bible as Mythology thread, this subforum).

    Secondly, the death of Paul is estimated to be around 60-65 AD. Luke, his physician and traveling companion and historian wrote the book of Acts almost contemporaneously with their travels and completed prior to Paul's death.
    What is the evidence for this? Literary analysis of the works shows otherwise.

    This suggests that Luke wrote his Gospel well before 60 AD and skinwalker is well consumed with the idea that Luke "copied" his version from Mark or Matthew or both meaning they must have been written even before that.
    Anyone not blinded by superstition who reads these works with an objective eye can see that Mark and an another, unknown, source are the progenitors of Matthew and Luke. The anonymous authors of both of these 'gospels' copied Mark and "Q."

    Thirdly, skinwalker is fond of suggesting that the synoptic Gospels were predated by the "Q" document(s) which, again, would have predated the writings of the Gospels of Mark and Matthew, placing their origins even closer to the time of Jesus.
    The literary evidence is there. When one applies to biblical literature the same literary criticism one is willing to apply to other great works of literature, one can see the literary evolution present within. It helps if one is first objective -that is to say, not biased by superstition related to the so-called 'divine authority' of the myths being critically examined.

    The idea that the synoptic Gospels came into being well after Jesus died is just pure poppycock.
    That will depend on what you define as "well after." If, as you have complete lied about me stating, you think they were invented around 300 CE, then I would agree this to be poppycock. If, however, you think, as I do, one or two generations is "well-after" the alleged death of the alleged Christ, then it most certainly is not poppycock since objective literary analysis and reason dictate the 'gospels' were invented well-after Jesus began his dirt nap.

    Finally, I quite doubt skinwalker's scholarship on this topic.
    Of course you aren't. But the scholarship isn't mine -it belongs to nearly every legitimate scholar of biblical literature and ancient texts. Its the scholarship of literary academics all over the world. It is not only well-documented and supported, but well-received and accepted.

    But not by the superstitious. They reject such objective and unbiased perspectives wholesale as if there were some organized conspiracy out to get them.
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    skinwalker said:

    Of course, no such post will be found since I never wrote such a thing.
    You're probably right. I may have mixed you up with someone else who did claim that not so long ago.

    skinwalker said:

    You're not getting the point. The point is that in every single literary tradition on the planet there exists a propensity to embellish stories or, at the very least, change narratives to fit desired outcomes and desired historical perspectives. The myths of Christianity are not exceptional in this regard. That there is a 30-50 year gap (one or two full generations) between the time of the events and the time of the earliest known written versions of these events supports that the opportunities for embellishment, mythologizing, propagandizing, and error of transmission exist with enormous probability. Moreover, there is evidence of these very changes (see the Bible as Mythology thread, this subforum).
    Actually, it is you who is attempting to avoid the obvious and clear message of the Bible by obsuring it with irrelevent minor objections, mostly the differences in accounts of the same event by different witnesses or different reporters. This is not unusual -- minor differences in accounts and people making mountains out of such molehills. As I said before, my wife and I have been at the same event at the same time and we will disagree on when it happened and just exactly what happened. The fact that we may have different versions does not negate the fact that the event occurred, that we were there or that we each have memories of the event. You would use these discrepancies to invalidate every aspect of the event.

    The fact is, we do not know exactly when any of the events of the Bible were first put into writing and passed around. A week later, a month later, six months later, a year, five years? Who knows? We can make somewhat educated guesses that all the Gospels were written prior to 70 AD because that is when the temple was destroyed which seems like a significant event which would have been mentioned. That puts them within 40 years of Jesus death.

    The actual textual discrepancies in specific books (other than obvious spelling errors) number fewer than a dozen and for some of those it is questionable as to whether text was added or text was removed. Usually it is suspected text was added at a later date and such is often noted in newer versions of the Bible.

    Next, there are about 3,000 copies of texts and fragments of texts extant, many complete copies of both Old and New Testaments. They do not all come from the same original document. They come from copies of copies such that we have copies of copies of copies all going back to different copies. It is not like there were printing presses or an internet to quickly mass disseminate information. The agreement among extant copies which can be traced back to earlier, but different copies, attest to their continuity.

    When you say, "change narratives to fit desired outcomes and desired historical perspectives," you have provided the answer to your own objection. Mathew was written to unconverted Jews, Mark to converted Jews and Luke to non-Jews. For that reason there are different emphases in each of these Gospels.

    I have agreed with you that there could be some embellishments in some accounts and even provided you with the best example -- who was at the empty tomb. One account says a gardner, one account say an angel and a third account says two angels. This kind of embellishment does not detract one bit from the important part of the story on which they all agree -- Jesus was NOT there. It does not detract from the truth that several of Jesus' followers went to the tomb nor that someone else was there to confirm their finding that the tomb was empty. So when you point to this kind of discrepancy it is like disagreeing on the final score of the Superbowl. lt does not change the result.

    This is true of any of these informational or textual discrepancies -- they are insignificant and do not, in the least, change the message which is that Jesus lived a righteous life, died a sacrificial death on the cross, arose from the dead and now sits a the right hand of God the Father. A person who repents of his rebellion against God and believes this receives eternal life with God.

    This message is never embellished nor diminished. The things to which object are not problems for believers only for non-believers.

    skinwalker said:
    (as to date of Paul's death)
    What is the evidence for this? Literary analysis of the works shows otherwise.
    Now this boils down to wishful thinking. Even Wikipedia, that bastion of reliable information, puts the date of Paul's death at mid 60's AD.during the latter years of Nero's rule. Tradition suggests that it was shortly after the burning of Rome in 64 AD while Rome was highly anti-Christian and which is plausible.

    Skinwalker relentlessly reiterates previously rebuked non-argument:

    Anyone not blinded by superstition who reads these works with an objective eye can see that Mark and an another, unknown, source are the progenitors of Matthew and Luke. The anonymous authors of both of these 'gospels' copied Mark and "Q."
    Even assuming Matthew and Luke had access to Mark or whatever materials Mark may have used -- SO WHAT? I just don't understand why you think this significant. Each of these three accounts has events or details which do not appear in the other two which is evidence of independent and additional investigation or recollections. If you have three people writing about the same things, you would expect them to be similar whether or not they were using the same source materials.

    If there is any questionability as to the authorships, Luke is the least questionable. He takes credit for writing the Gospul under his name as he begins the book of Acts.

    skinwalker says:

    The literary evidence is there. When one applies to biblical literature the same literary criticism one is willing to apply to other great works of literature, one can see the literary evolution present within. It helps if one is first objective -that is to say, not biased by superstition related to the so-called 'divine authority' of the myths being critically examined.
    This is unadulterated male bovine feces. The truth is that if one applies equally unbiased scholarly criticism, there is no other ancient text which is better documented in both numbers of texts available and agreement among the different extent copies and fragments. When one applies the same literary criticism one applies to other ancient writings, there is no other document so well supported in accuracy and adherance to the original writings. It helps if one is first objective -- that is to say -- not biased by raging anti-religious sentiment related to internal rebellion against God for which he is in need of forgiveness.

    skinwalker said:


    That will depend on what you define as "well after." If, as you have complete lied about me stating, you think they were invented around 300 CE, then I would agree this to be poppycock. If, however, you think, as I do, one or two generations is "well-after" the alleged death of the alleged Christ
    This is, of course, a reiteration of your opening salvo which I previously admitted I probably quoted the wrong person. Nevertheless, do I correctly assume we agree that carbon dating sets the probable date of the earliest extant copies of New Testament texts is about 100 AD? That is, the earliest copies (not originals) date to within 70 years of the death of Jesus.

    If you believe Luke was written after Mark and that Mark was writting after gaining access to the Q document(s), it is a valid process to go back from when Luke was likely written.

    If Paul died in the mid 60's as the overwhelming preponderance of estimations place it, we have a starting point.

    Acts was written before this time and we know this because it does not record Pauls death or release from imprisonment, which I would say are rather significant incidents which Luke would not have inadvertantly overlooked making it highly likely that Paul's death came after Luke completed Acts. Luke states that he had already compiled his Gospel. I doubt this was two weeks prior to the demise of Paul, but probably either before he joined Paul or early in their journeys together.

    Paul's first journey was in about 45 AD, this is 15 years after the death of Jesus. It is reasonable to assume that Luke's investigations into the life and death of Jesus is what led him to Paul, suggesting that most of his materials, which easily could have included Mark, the Q document(s) and his own investigation, perhaps interviews with people in the stories, place all of this within the timeframe of the lifetimes of people who were there, less than 15 after Jesus was crucified.

    This puts Luke's collection of information far more than one or two generations after the death of Jesus and the writing of Mark also within the lifetimes of people who were with Jesus.

    You can disagree with this timeline, but there is as much evidence for this as there is for yours. The main difference is that the overwhelming support for known dates supports this one, not yours.
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    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    skinwalker said:

    Of course, no such post will be found since I never wrote such a thing.
    You're probably right. I may have mixed you up with someone else who did claim that not so long ago.
    Apology accepted.

    You're not getting the point. The point is that in every single literary tradition on the planet there exists a propensity to embellish stories or, at the very least, change narratives to fit desired outcomes and desired historical perspectives. The myths of Christianity are not exceptional in this regard. That there is a 30-50 year gap (one or two full generations) between the time of the events and the time of the earliest known written versions of these events supports that the opportunities for embellishment, mythologizing, propagandizing, and error of transmission exist with enormous probability. Moreover, there is evidence of these very changes (see the Bible as Mythology thread, this subforum).
    Actually, it is you who is attempting to avoid the obvious and clear message of the Bible by obsuring it with irrelevent minor objections, mostly the differences in accounts of the same event by different witnesses or different reporters. This is not unusual -- minor differences in accounts and people making mountains out of such molehills. As I said before, my wife and I have been at the same event at the same time and we will disagree on when it happened and just exactly what happened. The fact that we may have different versions does not negate the fact that the event occurred, that we were there or that we each have memories of the event. You would use these discrepancies to invalidate every aspect of the event.
    And you're still not getting it. I'm not proposing that there are just "minor objections" or differences in the biblical narratives. I'm saying that there are likely to be HUGE chunks that are fabricated out of whole cloth. I'm saying there are probably huge chunks that are lies. And I'm saying there is no good reason to accept the biblical narratives as anything more than mythology. Interesting mythology. But mythology nonetheless. This isn't the case of two people giving slightly different accounts of a rock concert they attended or even something as significant as a hit-and-run. We're not debating whether Freebird was played last or next to last; or that the car that struck the bicyclist was blue or purple. Its interesting that you admit the problems of eyewitness accounts even soon after the observed events. Yet you don't seem to think it a problem that is compounded over time and space. The further one gets from the events in time and space, the less accurate the account. That there are no surviving records prior to 70 CE is significant. If there were significant copies prior to this, they would show up in the way the 70 CE fragments do. Certainly they would have been held in high-regard. Certainly they would have been valued.

    And I think there were some progenitors prior to 70 CE -but I see no reason to believe these copies existed much earlier than a decade or so prior. And it is far more likely that the narratives existed in oral form prior to written, which nearly demands that we expect embellishment and bias to enter the narratives.

    And the differences and discrepancies between the 'synoptic gospels' are not insignificant. The differences between the three 'synoptics' and John are more significant still.

    The fact is, we do not know exactly when any of the events of the Bible were first put into writing and passed around. A week later, a month later, six months later, a year, five years? Who knows? We can make somewhat educated guesses that all the Gospels were written prior to 70 AD because that is when the temple was destroyed which seems like a significant event which would have been mentioned. That puts them within 40 years of Jesus death.
    40 years is a lifetime even today. People simply aren't good at remembering details. We can quickly scan the bookshelves of Barnes and Noble to see the nature of human cognitive fallibility. On certain shelves you'll find book after book of personal accounts of UFO/Alien abductions, ESP and remote viewing, magical spells, and so on. Television shows like Ghost Hunters regal us with personal accounts of meeting ghosts and goblins in spooky houses and buildings. These people, with modern science educations available to them, believe in all sorts of wacky stuff. And they have memories and recollections of it all happening, often to the extent that they support each other's claims.

    If this can happen to modern populations, it must certainly have happened to historic ones.

    The actual textual discrepancies in specific books (other than obvious spelling errors) number fewer than a dozen and for some of those it is questionable as to whether text was added or text was removed. Usually it is suspected text was added at a later date and such is often noted in newer versions of the Bible.
    They number far more than a dozen. Hell, I've mentioned a half-dozen in three threads mostly off the top of my head!

    Next, there are about 3,000 copies of texts and fragments of texts extant, many complete copies of both Old and New Testaments. They do not all come from the same original document. They come from copies of copies such that we have copies of copies of copies all going back to different copies. It is not like there were printing presses or an internet to quickly mass disseminate information. The agreement among extant copies which can be traced back to earlier, but different copies, attest to their continuity.
    Starting at what date? At 70 CE? 100 CE? 1000 CE? Other apologists like to say around 25,000. Why are your numbers so low? The Dead Sea Scrolls number about 250 in fragments that relate to biblical cannon, thought these are all OT. What of just the NT? How many NT texts are there that date to 100 CE or before? Of what use could any dating to a point after this be to our discourse here?

    When you say, "change narratives to fit desired outcomes and desired historical perspectives," you have provided the answer to your own objection. Mathew was written to unconverted Jews, Mark to converted Jews and Luke to non-Jews. For that reason there are different emphases in each of these Gospels.
    I totally agree since my objection all along has been that there are those that superstitiously and ignorantly rely on biblical mythology as being worth imposing on the rest of the world. Particularly when the authors of biblical mythology in the OT and NT were interested not in truth or world peace but promoting their own self-interests, cult hierarchies and personal gain. Its no coincidence that cult leaders of both Jewish and Christian cults amass wealth and that their acolytes attain status and power. These are, indeed, all reasons for changing narratives to fit desired outcomes and desired historical perspectives -particularly to the unconverted and non-cult members. Increased membership provides increased wealth, power and status as well as opportunities for each.

    I have agreed with you that there could be some embellishments in some accounts and even provided you with the best example -- who was at the empty tomb.
    I ignore this one because it is among the silliest. Of course its an embellishment. It was probably made of whole cloth and there's not a single reason to accept it as anything but an embellishment, particularly in light of the many "empty tomb" claims of ancient history. This is but one of many examples of the sort of plagiaristic embellishment that was popular and a norm among ancient story tellers. Very likely the biblical embellishment comes from an earlier Greek tale called the story of Chaereas and Callirhoe by Chariton. In this early Greek novel (often cited as one of the earliest two), there is an "empty tomb" story that is remarkably like that found in synoptic gospels. The novel is variously dated between the first century BCE and the 2nd Century CE, so there is a possibility that the story was lifted from the biblical narrative rather than the other way around. But since there isn't any evidence that these gospels were known to even Christians prior to about 100 CE, there's little chance of it. The important thing to note here, however, is that an "empty tomb" was considered a mythical feat of a good hero tale. Greek authors of the synoptics would certainly have been learned and literate men (unlike the apostles themselves) and, thus, had access to the Greek novels.

    This is true of any of these informational or textual discrepancies -- they are insignificant and do not, in the least, change the message which is that Jesus lived a righteous life, died a sacrificial death on the cross, arose from the dead and now sits a the right hand of God the Father. A person who repents of his rebellion against God and believes this receives eternal life with God.
    If you equate this with "the message of Tom" or "the message of Ishmael" or even "the message of Scout," then we can say the same of Huck Finn, Moby Dick, and To Kill a Mockingbird, each of which carried useful life messages from characters who are worthy of praise in spite of their fiction. Indeed, I find the latter text to be a far better life message for young people than the bible. This is, however, a personal preference which I readily admit and will not admonish those who chose other fictional sources to admire or draw life messages.

    This message is never embellished nor diminished. The things to which object are not problems for believers only for non-believers.
    I'm not entire sure of the meaning of this passage due to the syntax errors, but I think I understand. And, if I do, then I disagree. There are many things the characters of biblical mythology say in the various novels within the bible which I find highly agreeable and valuable. The only objection I have are the supernatural and magical claims that are accepted as fact. Its as goofy as Harry Potter fans claiming there really is a Hogwarts. Or Star Wars fans claiming they can really "use the Force." Still, I can empathize and agree with characters in all three. Obi Wan's character was wise. Hermoine challenged her peers to excel in spite of their short-comings. Jesus was a cool cat that healed the blind and spoke about turning the other cheek.

    But lets not lose ourselves in fantasy. Take what we need as humans in reality from good literature and move on. "Eternal life," "the Force" and "Wingardium Leviosa" each have no place in reality.


    skinwalker said:
    (as to date of Paul's death)
    What is the evidence for this? Literary analysis of the works shows otherwise.
    Now this boils down to wishful thinking. Even Wikipedia, that bastion of reliable information, puts the date of Paul's death at mid 60's AD.during the latter years of Nero's rule. Tradition suggests that it was shortly after the burning of Rome in 64 AD while Rome was highly anti-Christian and which is plausible.
    Now its my turn for an apology. If you go back and look at my original quote, there was another line. I really could care less about "Paul's death" and see no reason to question it at this time. My request for evidence was for the latter part of the quote. What's the evidence that Luke was Paul's "physician and traveling companion and historian [who] wrote the book of Acts almost contemporaneously with their travels?" What is the evidence that this is the same person that wrote the gospel of Luke? The best we can say is that the author used the same sources as the Luke author -multiple sources and, thus, not an actual eyewitness to the accounts. Indeed, the very style and discrepancies between Acts and the epistles of Paul are consistent with someone who was *not* a close companion.

    If there is any questionability as to the authorships, Luke is the least questionable. He takes credit for writing the Gospul under his name as he begins the book of Acts.
    The authorship of Luke is very questionable. It is, in fact, completely anonymous. If he's the author, please cite the chapter and verse of Acts where this is the case.

    skinwalker says:

    The literary evidence is there. When one applies to biblical literature the same literary criticism one is willing to apply to other great works of literature, one can see the literary evolution present within. It helps if one is first objective -that is to say, not biased by superstition related to the so-called 'divine authority' of the myths being critically examined.
    This is unadulterated male bovine feces. The truth is that if one applies equally unbiased scholarly criticism, there is no other ancient text which is better documented in both numbers of texts available and agreement among the different extent copies and fragments. When one applies the same literary criticism one applies to other ancient writings, there is no other document so well supported in accuracy and adherance to the original writings. It helps if one is first objective -- that is to say -- not biased by raging anti-religious sentiment related to internal rebellion against God for which he is in need of forgiveness.
    "Internal rebellion against god?" LOL. That's the sum of your ignorance, eh? Anyone who disagrees or questions the wild, wacky claims of those who claim Harry Potter and the Holy Bible to be fact are rebelling against Dumbledore and God!

    You seriously don't get it. I'm the objective one. I always have been. I'm swayed by evidence and it was evidence that swayed me against the divine (a.k.a. wacky) claims about biblical mythology. It is mythology. Interesting mythology. But mythology.

    I have no general "anti-religious" sentiments. I only speak out against the claims of biblical authority where it is presented as the only authority of an only god. When people say its a good way to live their lives or they follow teachings from it that give them meaning, I say more power to you. When they say their story is how I should live my life and that it matters to government policy, I say hold on. When it gets defended as fact on a science forum, I say put your money where your mouth is. So far, you and others have been all mouth and no money.

    Biblical narrative is interesting. But it is myth. Those that follow it as fact are superstitious.
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    skinwalker said:

    Yet you don't seem to think it a problem that is compounded over time and space. The further one gets from the events in time and space, the less accurate the account. That there are no surviving records prior to 70 CE is significant.
    I think this statement shows a bit of lack of understanding as to how studies on these kinds of documents work.

    Let us start with an example of Aunt Minnie's superduper cinnamon rolls. (Dang they are good!) Anyway, Aunt Minnie writes out a copy of her recipe and gives it to her daughter, Violet. Violet's five cousins, who for brevity's sake I will not name, also want copies. So Violet writes out five copies of the recipe, but makes an error on one of them. We now have a total of six recipes which have been produced, one with an error.

    The five cousins then each share their recipe with five other people and each of them also make one mistake from the recipe they received, but not the same error as Violet made.

    We now have a third generation total of 31 recipes that have been produced. Nine of them have one error in them and one has two errors in it. Now, let us assume that Violet's original has been lost or destroyed and all but one (any one) of the second generation recipes has been lost and only 10 (any 10) of the third generation recipes are extant.

    This give us 11 of the 31 recipes that were written. By comparing those 11 documents, it would be easy to reproduce the original recipe even if all 10 of the flawed documents were among the 11 extant documents. Six, or more than half, will not have the error Violet made on one of her documents and only one document will have each of the other errors.

    You need to be able to understand that that is how copies of documents were transmitted up until the invention of the printing press. Only hand copied documents were available and each copier was not able to make copious quantities of copies of long documents. You must ask yourself how long you think it would take you to make a copy of one of the gospels using the primitive writing utensils they had in the first century. They did not have ball point pens which were developed only within my lifetime! They did not have erasers and when they noticed a mistake on a page, they threw it away and started anew. That is why extant copies show few crossouts or blackouts.

    While an error by one copyist might appear in subsequent copies of his erred copy, it would not appear in any documents made from other copies. By using this process of comparing documents, no matter how many are extant or how many generations of documents exist, even a huge number of errors can be easily dismissed. The massive changes you seem to suggest are not only impossible, they would (and have been) easily detected and eliminated or noted. For that reason, we can know that the current texts from which our English Bible versions has been translated are virtually word for word what was originally written.

    So being relatively certain of the textual accuracy of the documents, we are down to your objections as to the factual accuracy of the events described. Your objections include these convincing arguments:

    . . .there are likely. . .there are probably. . .there is no good reason. . .I see no reason. . .I think there were. . .it is far more likely. . .oral form [negates reliability]. . .we [atheists] expect. . .
    To which I reply: there are not likely. . .there probably aren't. . .there is good reason. . .I see many reasons. . .I don't think there were. . .it is highly unlikely. . .early written form [enhances reliability]. . .we [Christians] do not expect. . .

    My question here is what makes you think your opinions more valid than mine? I think mine are more valid that yours because this is an area in which I have done a lot of reading.

    You are correct elsewhere, however, that nearly 6,000 copies or fragments of New Testament texts are extant. I was writing off the top of my head and I am not sure what 3,000 represents -- perhaps complete copies of New Testament books. Whatever, 250,000 would be a gross overestimate.

    Meanwhile as to dating the earliest extant copies of texts:

    Carbon-14 relates to Christianity and Judaism in four ways. First, we have New Testament manuscripts dated from <70 A.D. (Cave 7 of the Dead See Scrolls), 110-125 A.D. (John Ryland’s Papyrii), 150 A.D. (the three Chester Beatty Papyrii), and 175-200 A.D. (the three Bodmer II Papyrii), to authenticate the reliable transmission of the New Testament. For the Old Testament we have 200 different Dead Sea Bible manuscripts) (Exodus 250 B.C, Isaiah 100 B.C.), all others before 70 A.D., as one means to show the reliable transmission of the Old Testament from the time of Christ to the present. On the Dead Sea scrolls, it should be mentioned that even without carbon-14 dating, it is certain that all scrolls were written before the site was abandoned 70 A.D., when the Romans reconquered Palestine. More information on Dead Sea scroll dating can be found in the journal Radiocarbon vol.3 1993. (from http://www.christian-faith.com/bible...adiocarbon.htm )
    I ignored quoting the other three relationships but in short form, the article suggests carbon dating refutes the Shroud of Turin and young earth theory while verifying much of the archeology of the Bible.

    You also say:

    They [New Testament discrepancies] number far more than a dozen. Hell, I've mentioned a half-dozen in three threads mostly off the top of my head!
    Well, I am not sure what kinds of discrepancies you are referring to. I must have missed the half dozen in other threads. But I would still like to see a list of discrepancies which you consider significant and why they are significant other than to feed your desire to disbelieve.

    You say:

    I'm not entire [sic] sure of the meaning of this passage due to the syntax errors
    As Pat Paulson used to say, "Picky, picky, picky."

    I dropped the word "you" and if someone would be so kind as to tell me how to get my old office 97 spell check to work with Windows 7 like it did with Windows XP, i could find those errors. Plus I would be eternally grateful. Oh, wait, you don't believe in eternity.

    Finally, you claim:

    I'm the objective one.
    I really don't think so. You remind me of my neighbor who swears by everything Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck say and claims he is objective and that he is close to the middle of the political spectrum and, moreover, he is correct. He is really a right wing extremist. And I have no compunction about telling him that.

    I don't think anybody in these kinds of discussions can legitimately claim to be unbiased. And anyone claiming to be is either knowingly lying or is self-deluded.

    I am pressing the submit button without proofreading this because it is past my bedtime.
    Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind. -- Albert Einstein

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    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    skinwalker said:

    Yet you don't seem to think it a problem that is compounded over time and space. The further one gets from the events in time and space, the less accurate the account. That there are no surviving records prior to 70 CE is significant.
    I think this statement shows a bit of lack of understanding as to how studies on these kinds of documents work.
    It is not about how these documents work, but instead how the human memory does. Would you consider changing your position if I came forth and supported SkinWalker's (very accurate) point about the degradation of information and recall over time, and how those contents are impacted by social experience and false memory, using neuroscientific and psychological literature?

    I'm just trying to find a way to help you. Let me know if the above would do so, or if that would just be ignored, too . I don't want to waste my time. Cheers.
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    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    You need to be able to understand that that is how copies of documents were transmitted up until the invention of the printing press. Only hand copied documents were available and each copier was not able to make copious quantities of copies of long documents. You must ask yourself how long you think it would take you to make a copy of one of the gospels using the primitive writing utensils they had in the first century. They did not have ball point pens which were developed only within my lifetime! They did not have erasers and when they noticed a mistake on a page, they threw it away and started anew. That is why extant copies show few crossouts or blackouts.
    I get how documents were transmitted until the printing press. More than you know.

    What you're not getting is there are two additional factors. Two which you don't care to acknowledge or consider due, probably, to your preconceived conclusions and the bias they create for you. Preconceived conclusions I'm not bound by -I'm very happy (eager, in fact) to see the wild, fantastic claims of biblical mythology shown true.

    Those factors are 1) intentional error, and 2) fallible memories.

    Not all the stories were copied and passed on. Not all of them were copied and passed on in whole. Many of them were very likely remembered versions of the story heard orally then written. Even if we are to accept that the actual "eyewitnesses" wrote down the tales, we have no reason to believe they were written down immediately or even soon after the alleged events. During the intervening years, embellishments of memory happen. As well as intentional changes.

    Which brings us to the former factor: intentional error. The early Christian cult had every reason to spin events in the way they wished. Early writers had at their disposal many different Greek novels and oral traditions to work from (as evident in the Greek novel cited above). They had political and economic reasons. They had status and power to attain. They were human and every bit as corruptible as any other. Indeed, the Christian cults have changed little through time -one need only browse the pages of newspapers to see scandal after scandal affecting both Catholic and Protestant cults. There's no reason to believe the early Christian cult leaders were any different in their personal motivations.

    My question here is what makes you think your opinions more valid than mine? I think mine are more valid that yours because this is an area in which I have done a lot of reading.
    I think mine are more valid because I'm objective where you are not. I have no dog in the hunt. I gain nothing from showing Christianity to be based on mythology except truth. I'd be just as happy to defend the facts of Christian dogma where they exist -and I often do. Moreover, I'm far more read on the subject than you. I don't limit myself to those authors that I only agree with but also read those with whom I disagree. I evaluate the claims; compare and contrast the differences. I'm far better educated on the material than you seem to be. Your opinions are less valid because, while you may believe you've "done a lot of reading," you really haven't read enough.

    You asked.

    You are correct elsewhere, however, that nearly 6,000 copies or fragments of New Testament texts are extant. I was writing off the top of my head and I am not sure what 3,000 represents -- perhaps complete copies of New Testament books. Whatever, 250,000 would be a gross overestimate.
    Good thing I didn't say that other apologists say 250,000. Still, I would agree that the 25,000 claim is also a gross overestimate.

    Meanwhile as to dating the earliest extant copies of texts:

    Carbon-14 relates to Christianity and Judaism in four ways. First, we have New Testament manuscripts dated from <70 A.D. (Cave 7 of the Dead See Scrolls), 110-125 A.D. (John Ryland’s Papyrii), 150 A.D. (the three Chester Beatty Papyrii), and 175-200 A.D. (the three Bodmer II Papyrii), to authenticate the reliable transmission of the New Testament. For the Old Testament we have 200 different Dead Sea Bible manuscripts) (Exodus 250 B.C, Isaiah 100 B.C.), all others before 70 A.D., as one means to show the reliable transmission of the Old Testament from the time of Christ to the present. On the Dead Sea scrolls, it should be mentioned that even without carbon-14 dating, it is certain that all scrolls were written before the site was abandoned 70 A.D., when the Romans reconquered Palestine. More information on Dead Sea scroll dating can be found in the journal Radiocarbon vol.3 1993. (from http://www.christian-faith.com/bible...adiocarbon.htm )
    I think what's being referred to in the first line of the quote above is the 7Q5 fragment of the Dead Sea scrolls, which is certainly dated to at least 68 CE. There is, however, a lot of contention as to whether or not this fragment is actually NT -and its the only fragment that is suggested to be so that I'm aware of. The suggestion by some is that the 13 or so characters on maybe 4 or 5 lines is from Mark. There just isn't enough of the fragment to correlate it strongly enough to say with certainty and there are some questions about the characters which are alleged to correlate with Mark 6:52-53.
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    OK, both inow and skinwalker are focusing on the idea that the Gospels are unreliable because of human memory degradation.

    Do you understand the idiocy of your contentions? You denigrate the accounts of the Gospels because they were written or compiled (at the latest) 40-70 years following the death of Christ either from the recollections of people who were witnesses to the events or had communicated with people who witnessed the events. But then, here you are nearly 2,000 years later, with absolutely no first hand or second hand information claiming you know more than they did about the events.

    I have no problem in understanding that our brains deteriorate over years and that memory recall is slower and can contain fewer details as we age and as the event becomes more distant in past time. I have certainly experienced that myself. Plus my mother lived with us for the last 10 years of her life and I observed her go from moderately mild dimentia to somewhat severe dimentia. Even so and at her worst, she had very good detailed recall of some events, especially those which had occurred early in her life.

    Memory degradation generally starts with immediate recall. I have much more difficulty remember things which have happened in the recent past than I do recalling things which happened in my youth.

    If I were going to recall a conversation I had or a speech which someone had made, I might not recall the exact words the person said, but I think I can recall the gist of what they said to a degree that I would not significantly distort what they said or what they did. Probably, the more impressed I was with what was said or done, the more accurate my recollection of that event would be.

    But I am sure if I put my memoirs down on paper, no one other than those familiar with the events, would know which ones were accurate and which one were distorted and to what degree. Certainly, you would not know unless I said I voted for Herbert Hoover who was president before I was born. I could say I voted for Harry Truman and that would be both true and false. It was in a mock election in grade school. So, technically, I did not cast a counting vote for Harry, but I did vote for him.

    I am equally sure that if those of us who were involved in a recent working trip to a foreign country were to each write an account of what happened while we were there, we would all have different accounts. Sometimes this would be because we were not all together all the times, and other times this would be because things that happened impressed each of us differently. Sometimes we would have the same recollection. This does not mean any of us has disremembered or remembered inaccurately -- only that we perceived the events from a different viewpoint.

    The thing is, in my own personal memoirs or in the accounts of the trip, you would not be able to sort out which events were accurately represented and which ones were somewhat inaccurate or which ones were imbellished or ones for which some details were omitted and probably not know if some event were made up based on the fact that none of the other accounts included it.

    First of all, we have no idea when people began setting things down in writing. Maybe some things were put into writing even before Jesus was crucified. I suppose if you can show and attest to the idea that these things were not recorded in writing until 70 AD, you would have a stronger argument for slight inaccuracies than I would have if I could show these things were in writing long before they were brought together and compiled by the Gospel writers.

    Now then, back to the evidence that Luke wrote Luke and Acts and was in the traveling party of Paul. Well, Paul does mention him in three of his letters. Plus there are several extra Biblical writings that say he was at least a sometimes traveling companion to Paul. http://www.guidedbiblestudies.com/Fi...r_Evidence.pdf

    This does not, of course, "prove" that Luke was the writer. Because of the "we" sections in Acts it is, certain that whoever wrote these books was a sometimes companion with Paul. (The above link provides suggestions as to potential other authors.) But, to play along, let's say Luke did not write these books -- so what? There are those today who claim William Shakespeare did not write the plays under his name. To what end? Would that make them less significant plays?

    Just because you and other like minded people don't want to believe Luke wrote those books, that is not evidence that he did not write them. That is merely opinion born in your need to feed your non-belief.

    Luke's authorship was accepted by early Christian leaders and their was no opposition to this position. While this is, perhaps, rather thin evidence, there is nary a shred of evidence, not one iota of evidence to the contrary. The Christian position would actually be that no matter who put the words to the writing medium, it was under the direction of God.
    Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind. -- Albert Einstein

    If God DID do all of this, is He not the greatest scientist of all? -- dt, 2005
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    Yeah, I was pretty sure that even if I were to share the evidence in support of my point you would continue to miss it. Thanks for the confirmation.

    Memory is inherently fallible, in numerous ways and for numerous reasons, and those flaws magnify as the amount of time after the event grows... even on a scale of minutes to hours, let alone decades or generations.

    You only accept these stories because you want to, not because there is good reason to.
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    The problem with suggesting that in less than 35 years time memories fail and the story could change so dramatically is equivalent to suggesting some significant local event in a particular town could over the course of 35 years could be significantly altered and nobody in that town would not be around to correct the record or dispute it.

    I challenge you to provide examples of large scale myth development that took less than 90 years to develop. You are all about the evidence Inow, so let's have it. Is your story supported by evidence or prejudice?
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    inow, it is up to you as to whether you want to preach to the choir or not. I have not registered any particular disagreement with the idea of memory degridation. However, it does not apply to everybody and we do not know how long it was before people began writing down their recollections.

    Your degridation statistics in and of themself are not indicative as to whether they apply to specific people, only a population in general. If you can show that Matthew, Mark, Luke and John were specifically affected by memory degridation and the exact time frame of when they set down their writings, you might be able to establish some connections.

    But if Mark was written in about 40 AD in accordance with the earliest estimates as to when he may have written his gospel, then degridation stats are hardly applicable. Mark is generally thought to be John Mark who was with Jesus' followers in the Garden of Gethsemane and is said to be the young man who had his cloak ripped off as he tried to escape and left in only a loin cloth. The reason this is thought to be the case is because he is the only one who tells that story. If all of that is true, he is thought to have been a teenager at the time which would have put him in his 20s when he wrote his book. Most of his information would have been gathered from Peter.

    You can cite all the statistics in the world but until you can directly apply them to the specific people and circumstances, they are pretty much indicative of nothing except your incessant need to denigrate the Bible due to your rebellion against God. You could cite statistics as to the average education of people at that time, but they would tell you nothing about the education of a specific person. Neither will your memory degridation statistics. They may give you an average, but hardly anyone is average.

    You guys are desperately grasping at straws as usual.
    Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind. -- Albert Einstein

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  53. #52  
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    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    I challenge you to provide examples of large scale myth development that took less than 90 years to develop. You are all about the evidence Inow, so let's have it.
    You'll only reject it, but you'll be mistaken for doing so. I have a response to your challenge which comes to mind immediately.

    You need to read up on John Frum, a WWII serviceman who landed on an island and had a religion created about him... and several large scale myths which developed WELL within 90 years.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Frum


    Challenge answered.
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  54. #53  
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    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    If you can show that Matthew, Mark, Luke and John were specifically affected by memory degridation and the exact time frame of when they set down their writings, you might be able to establish some connections.
    TBH, I don't feel I have to. SkinWalker has done a fine job showing the other problems with the texts, and rather robustly at that.

    Anyway, as pertains to "preaching to the choir," I appreciate the reminder. Watch this:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H57Z0yE3Qgw
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    To be fair dayton, Inow is suggesting that the population of early christians are possibly the collective authors of the early narratives and that this social group collectively altered the oral and then written narratives over the 70 year period between the time the events occurred and the oldest largely full text. They were able to alter it because the group as a whole suffered from memory degradation which allowed the narrative to change without anyone complaining. To support this hypothesis he only needs to show that a modest sized and rapidly increasing social group of early Christians has the characteristics his conjecture ascribes to them. I look forward to his evidence.

    Working against him are the stern warnings from the letters of Paul to his churches from 45 CE through 60 CE specifically to correct alterations that these young churches attempted to work into the narrative. It will be interesting to see how he resolves this without resorting to the familiar prejudice and presupposition Inow and SkinWalker are now famous for.
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    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    To be fair dayton, Inow is suggesting that the population of early christians are possibly the collective authors of the early narratives and that this social group collectively altered the oral and then written narratives over the 70 year period between the time the events occurred and the oldest largely full text. They were able to alter it because the group as a whole suffered from memory degradation which allowed the narrative to change without anyone complaining.
    Sure, that's pretty close. I won't argue that. Also, I'll add... Ever played the phone game? You seat people side by side, and you whisper a message to the first person, who then turns and repeats the message in a whisper to the person beside them, who then turns and whispers the message to the person beside them...

    You only need about 7 people to totally change the content of the message, and that's within a 60 second time frame.

    Human memories are flawed... a lot... and for many reasons.


    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    To support this hypothesis he only needs to show that a modest sized and rapidly increasing social group of early Christians has the characteristics his conjecture ascribes to them.
    Were they human? If the answer is yes, then they had the characteristics needed for my point to be valid.
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    Quote Originally Posted by inow
    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    I challenge you to provide examples of large scale myth development that took less than 90 years to develop. You are all about the evidence Inow, so let's have it.
    You'll only reject it, but you'll be mistaken for doing so. I have a response to your challenge which comes to mind immediately.

    You need to read up on John Frum, a WWII serviceman who landed on an island and had a religion created about him... and several large scale myths which developed WELL within 90 years.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Frum


    Challenge answered.
    I don't see the any narrative or claims about what John did change over time. This is a familiar example of how cults get established and perpetuate. The LDS Church is a far better example of this kind of thing. If you were claiming that the Apostles were cult leaders that fabricated the story from the beginning and it just stuck then your example would work. Let's not move the goal post.

    Your conjecture was that the story changed over time, that the earliest followers had one story that may have been historically accurate but within 70 years the story had changed to a myth that included miracles and prophesy. Please don't change your story, it makes you seem slimy.
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    Quote Originally Posted by inow
    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    To be fair dayton, Inow is suggesting that the population of early christians are possibly the collective authors of the early narratives and that this social group collectively altered the oral and then written narratives over the 70 year period between the time the events occurred and the oldest largely full text. They were able to alter it because the group as a whole suffered from memory degradation which allowed the narrative to change without anyone complaining.
    Sure, that's pretty close. I won't argue that. Also, I'll add... Ever played the phone game? You seat people side by side, and you whisper a message to the first person, who then turns and repeats the message in a whisper to the person beside them, who then turns and whispers the message to the person beside them...

    You only need about 7 people to totally change the content of the message, and that's within a 60 second time frame.

    Human memories are flawed... a lot... and for many reasons.
    The phone game works because only one person has direct knowledge of the "truth" .... There was a very large crowd of followers, an entire town, thousands who knew something about it and hundreds who know about the life of Jesus.

    As usual apples and oranges.


    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    To support this hypothesis he only needs to show that a modest sized and rapidly increasing social group of early Christians has the characteristics his conjecture ascribes to them.
    Were they human? If the answer is yes, then they had the characteristics needed for my point to be valid.
    Sorry Inow your argument is pathetic. I wonder if you even believe it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    Now then, back to the evidence that Luke wrote Luke and Acts and was in the traveling party of Paul. Well, Paul does mention him in three of his letters. Plus there are several extra Biblical writings that say he was at least a sometimes traveling companion to Paul. http://www.guidedbiblestudies.com/Fi...r_Evidence.pdf
    I haven't had a chance to look at the PDF in your link, but I'm aware of really three places that some say Paul speaks of Luke. The problem is, only one can truly be said to belong to Paul. The 2 Timothy passage is widely held by scholars to *not* be written by Paul at all. The authorship of Colossians is hotly debated, so it's left to Philemon 24. Paul certainly wrote this and he doesn't refer to Luke as either a gentile or a physician. And there just isn't any reason to think that this person wrote either Luke (the gospel) or Acts. Its simply assumed by those that wish it to be so because it fits their preconceived conclusions.

    But, to play along, let's say Luke did not write these books -- so what? There are those today who claim William Shakespeare did not write the plays under his name. To what end? Would that make them less significant plays?
    I agree. Completely. The authorship of either the plays and sonnets of Shakespeare or the plays and poems of the bible do little to devalue either artistically. The literature of either is interesting (Shakespeare arguably more so).

    But then no one suggests that Shakespeare was a god or that his collected works should be codified into the government and policy of public life.

    Just because you and other like minded people don't want to believe Luke wrote those books, that is not evidence that he did not write them. That is merely opinion born in your need to feed your non-belief.
    I have no need to "feed" my "non-belief." Indeed, I was raised to believe in all this superstition. Not rigidly or fanatically, but it was an assumption that was pressed upon my as a lad. It wasn't until I started objectively evaluating these stories and tales in light of other stories and tales around the world, then questioning the assumptions that created my preconceived notions about the cult superstitions I was raised, that I finally shed myself of the superstitions altogether.

    The hilarious thing is that those who come to science forums to posit their superstitions as fact somehow think the godless they encounter are either "angry" at a god that doesn't exist or "rebelling" against it. Let me be clear: I think it so unlikely that your god exists that I have not compulsion with saying the Holy Ghost can kiss my ass. I do not fear the superstition you do about eternal damnation and "unforgivable sin." I can only wonder if those that are superstitious enough to believe in holy ghosts are also willing to believe such entities can separate their thoughts from my words, lest this "ghost" think they thought it when they read "kiss my ass."

    Luke's authorship was accepted by early Christian leaders and their was no opposition to this position. While this is, perhaps, rather thin evidence, there is nary a shred of evidence, not one iota of evidence to the contrary. The Christian position would actually be that no matter who put the words to the writing medium, it was under the direction of God.
    "Not one iota," eh? You clearly don't read anything other than those who believe the same superstitions you do.


    Further Reading (i.e. many iotas of evidence to the contrary)

    Donelson, L.R. (1986). Pseudepigraphy and Ethical Argument in the Pastoral Epistles. Tubingen: Mohr/Siebeck.

    Harrison, P.N. (1921). The Problem of the Pastoral Epistles. Oxford: Humprey Milford.

    Keck, Leander and J. Louis Martyr, eds. (1966). Studies in Luke-Acts. Nashville: Abingdon.

    Powell, M.A. (1991). What are they saying about Acts? New York: Paulist.
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    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    I challenge you to provide examples of large scale myth development that took less than 90 years to develop. You are all about the evidence Inow, so let's have it. Is your story supported by evidence or prejudice?
    What about man-made global warming?
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    Seriously, though. The best example of a large-scale myth that took less than 90 years to develop is alien visitation and UFOs.

    It began in the 1940s with one pilot who described "saucer-shaped" objects "skipping" among the clouds. By 1990, Whitely Streiber was regaling us with tales of alien abduction and visitation from his "Visitors" and the virtual shelves of Amazon are replete with "eyewitness accounts" of space aliens of every kind.

    Doubtless you'll either invalidate this example with some weak justification or simply just agree that UFOs are a real problem and Roswell and Area 51 really were human bases where the aliens were landing and crashing.

    But I'm most curious to see you wiggle out of the man-made global warming myth. Is this not a major myth developed in less than 90 years? Or is it scientifically valid.

    http://goo.gl/dsUM
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    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    It will be interesting to see how he resolves this without resorting to the familiar prejudice and presupposition Inow and SkinWalker are now famous for.
    <...>
    Please don't change your story, it makes you seem slimy.
    <...>
    Sorry Inow your argument is pathetic. I wonder if you even believe it.
    Goodbye, Cypress.
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    You seem to be forgetting that the earliest known COPIES which are dated at 70-100 after the events. This tells us little about when they were first written other than that they had to be written before that time.

    Document comparison of later copies indicates that there were many different sourse copies from which new copies were made. This, in turn, tells us that there were several generations of copies in existence. We can know this by the process I explained earlier relating to Aunt Minnie's cinnamon roll recipe.

    The dates of the original writings are unknown, but most certainly were prior to the destruction of the temple in 70 AD. Had they been written after the destruction of the temple, much ado and expansion would have been made of Jesus statement, "Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up," of which the Jews thought he was talking about the Jewish temple whereas he was actually talking about his own body.

    This suggests all the Gospels were completed within 40 years of Jesus death and more likely even prior to that for the earliest writings. l suppose inow should tell us how much degradation can take place in that period time.

    He is also wrong about the whisper a story thing. These things were not passed on person to person in whispers. To the extent they were passed on orally, it was usually one person telling different groups what they had seen and heard -- Peter, for example. Then these people would have told other groups of people. This is not like the whisper line.

    Because of this, when these stories were put into writing, they were again read by groups of people together. If they were significantly different in their written form, somebody would have been saying, "Hey, that's not what I heard. That's not what (insert any Apostle's name) said." But even the non-canonized writings do not significantly disagree wherein they cover the same materials. The major differences in non-canonized documents are that they added other elements which were deemed questionable.

    There is just no way the whisper game can be played into the transmission of the Bible either in oral or written format.
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    And, regardless of when any of these texts were written, there is simply no good reason to believe they are anything more than propaganda and hyperbole. Intentional embellishments of possibly genuine events.

    The claims of biblical mythology are extraordinary. But the evidence supporting it is circular, trivial, and anecdotal.

    Such claims, to be accepted as anything more than mythology, require extraordinary evidence. Such evidence is completely and utterly missing.
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    Quote Originally Posted by SkinWalker
    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    I challenge you to provide examples of large scale myth development that took less than 90 years to develop. You are all about the evidence Inow, so let's have it. Is your story supported by evidence or prejudice?
    What about man-made global warming?
    Not myth as you describe it, It did not start as an historical account that morphed over time. It is an uncertain scientific hypothesis. Not even a clever joke.
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    LOL... I really could care less about it. It was just fun having a piss.
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    Quote Originally Posted by SkinWalker
    Seriously, though. The best example of a large-scale myth that took less than 90 years to develop is alien visitation and UFOs.

    It began in the 1940s with one pilot who described "saucer-shaped" objects "skipping" among the clouds. By 1990, Whitely Streiber was regaling us with tales of alien abduction and visitation from his "Visitors" and the virtual shelves of Amazon are replete with "eyewitness accounts" of space aliens of every kind.

    Doubtless you'll either invalidate this example with some weak justification or simply just agree that UFOs are a real problem and Roswell and Area 51 really were human bases where the aliens were landing and crashing.
    The pilot's original account has not evolved or morphed over time. None of the original accounts have changed over time. Only the incredulity of individual events themselves were different. Hardly an analog for the conjecture you would have us accept.

    I would be interested in a case that matches the conjecture, where the history is initially recorded but within 70 years the history is completely altered and now the narrative of the same event includes incredible claims. Please don't move the goalpost again.

    But I'm most curious to see you wiggle out of the man-made global warming myth. Is this not a major myth developed in less than 90 years? Or is it scientifically valid.
    It is neither myth nor validated. It is a hypothesis that is still being debated. If it is found to be false it will not be called a myth (though some will use the word to make a point) it will be a falsified scientific hypothesis. Your concept of a myth is not even consistent, no wonder it is impossible to nail you down.
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    See. Told you so.
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    Yes when you offer an irrelevant example that does not fit the claim you are making you can expect the opposition to reject it. Typically you make claims based on absolute presumptions of yours which cannot be falsified only rejected and then you declare success when your opponent fails to succeed at the impossible task of disconfirming it. When asked for evidence you just move the goal post. What's funny is that it seems to fool yourself and it does work on Inow.

    You claimed the narrative morphed over time and you said 35 years was more than enough time for a narrative such as this to change over time. I asked for evidence of that and you offered something different. apples and oranges. Nice.
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    Of course it's "different." There is only one Christian cult that developed over time, mythologized (probably intentionally) to reach the current pinnacle of mythic achievement.

    So naturally you'll reject any analogy that isn't also Christianity.

    Regardless, the mythic qualities of UFO culture very closely parallels that of the Christian culture. We have a perceived set of events that may or may not have happened (evidence indicates "not") and many tales and legends that are shared in both written and oral form since them. Many of the stories and narratives that resulted can be seen to evolve over time as the acolytes in UFO "religion" claim to be privileged to new "information" which is every bit as anecdotal as Christian cult dogma.

    They're both superstitions with cult followings.

    But I'm not surprised you will deny any analogy since this runs contrary to what you want to believe. You, therefore, are not an objective observer as I am.
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    No, Skin. Your conjecture is that witnesses develop a narrative about an historical event or biography in this case and over the course of 35 short years that biography has totally morphed. If it is truly possible for a myth about a biography to develop in 35 years given the billions and billions of lives, it should happen millions of times and not just once. But you can't even come up with a second case. You can't because these kinds of morphed narratives do in fact take more than two generations to begin to develop because the eye witnesses must first pass away.

    Edit: I deny the analogy because that is the only option you allow. It is presumption that cannot be proved or disproved. I am left to accept it or deny it. this is your debate method. It is cheap and slimy.

    You presume Christianity is superstition, there is no way to falsify your presumption because to you it is foundational, it is an absolute. You have defined superstition in a way that it cannot be argued against and yet we as humans understand so little about how this universe actually works, we have no good idea what is and is not possible. We have no idea what is truly superstition, but you somehow do.

    I don't know if the Christian narrative is correct. It certainly is incredible, but however it developed and whatever did happen, it did not develop according to your conjecture.
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    No, Skin. Your conjecture is that witnesses develop a narrative about an historical event or biography
    My conclusion (based on solid premises) is that there is no evidence that there exists a "biography" or "eyewitness" account -nor is there good reason to believe, if one is being objective, that either exists in the case of biblical mythology.

    My conclusion is that these narratives are myth. It is evident through page after page of embellishment and literary tracks as well as discrepancies and contradictions between accounts -consistent with written accounts that are based on oral anecdotes.

    My conclusion is, therefore, that no good reason exists to place biblical mythology above any other world myth or religious doctrine and, indeed, well below many in its ability to inform or show any sort of "truth."

    And it is my conclusion that the supernatural and magical feats attributed to apparent "sorcerers" like Jesus and others are tall-tales, the acceptance of which creates a superstition.

    These conclusions are derived from an objective viewpoint -I have no interest in an outcome either way. In fact, I'd rather that the superstitions were not superstition at all but true. The idea of magical beings, afterlives, angels and the would be nice to have in reality. I have no "hatred" or "resentment" for your god or anyone elses (there are, after all, many thousands of gods invented by humanity).

    The superstitions you apparently hold to be true are the "conjecture:" they are speculations without good reason to believe.
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    Sorry SkinWalker you are chasing your tail. You have nothing. You can't support your claim with anything but conjecture and presumption and the advantage for your side is I can't disprove it because it is not falsifiable.

    Furthermore you attribute superstitions to me that I do not subscribe to. My purpose here is to point out to the readers the facts and to show you for the fraud you are.

    You are the party guilty of morphing your presumptions to try to pass them as evidence and fact.
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  74. #73  
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    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    Sorry SkinWalker you are chasing your tail. You have nothing. You can't support your claim with anything but conjecture and presumption and the advantage for your side is I can't disprove it because it is not falsifiable.

    Furthermore you attribute superstitions to me that I do not subscribe to. My purpose here is to point out to the readers the facts and to show you for the fraud you are.

    You are the party guilty of morphing your presumptions to try to pass them as evidence and fact.
    "Chasing my tail?" "Nothing?"

    I given plenty. Moreover, my "claim" is that the biblical "history" claim is unsupported and without evidence. I haven't so much a claim as a challenge to a claim.

    There are some extraordinary claims by supporters of biblical mythology that have only anecdotal and suppositional evidence. I've made solid conclusions based on valid premises and evidence. In addition, I specified that you appear superstitious since the only way these conclusions can be continuously referred to as "conjecture" and characterized as "nothing" is if you're head is buried in the sands of superstition. These aren't premises and conclusions that I've arrived at by myself, rather those of many scholars over the past few decades who have dedicated their lives to the study of ancient literature and biblical studies.

    My interests in these are coincidental in my studies of cognitive archaeology and early cult and ritual in prehistory and history across all cultures. I share them here because of their relevance and because of the misinformation and superstition perpetuated by religionists and creationists (like yourself) who post at science boards to obfuscate and provoke rather than be constructive or inquisitive.

    Your's is a position of bias and pre-conceived conclusion, supported by superstition and ignorance. Mine is one of empirical observation, inquiry and a desire for truth -whatever that truth might be. If evidence that my conclusions are wrong is revealed, I'm more than willing to revise those conclusions. As is evident by the fact that I have, over time, revised my conclusions to arrive at a position of realism and reality over the supernatural as I began looking at evidence.

    There's no convincing the devoutly superstitious. I fully expect you to continue justifying, excusing, apologizing, and projecting for as long as you're able.
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    Quote Originally Posted by SkinWalker
    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    Sorry SkinWalker you are chasing your tail. You have nothing. You can't support your claim with anything but conjecture and presumption and the advantage for your side is I can't disprove it because it is not falsifiable.

    Furthermore you attribute superstitions to me that I do not subscribe to. My purpose here is to point out to the readers the facts and to show you for the fraud you are.

    You are the party guilty of morphing your presumptions to try to pass them as evidence and fact.
    "Chasing my tail?" "Nothing?"

    I given plenty. Moreover, my "claim" is that the biblical "history" claim is unsupported and without evidence. I haven't so much a claim as a challenge to a claim.
    You lie like a rug. Your claims are clear from your previous two posts.

    Your's is a position of bias and pre-conceived conclusion, supported by superstition and ignorance.
    My position is only what the direct evidence shows. We have the narratives and historical writings corroborated by Jewish and Roman records and Christian tradition, the very group that is the best position to know. Just the facts. You can try to cover these facts in your prejudice but you are only fooling yourself.

    There's no convincing the devoutly superstitious. I fully expect you to continue justifying, excusing, apologizing, and projecting for as long as you're able.
    When your presupposition fails you, you resort to mislabeling.... NIce.
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  76. #75  
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    I finally got around to looking up skinwalker's thinly veiled "proofs" that Luke was not the writer of Luke or Acts to wit:
    Donelson, L.R. (1986). Pseudepigraphy and Ethical Argument in the Pastoral Epistles. Tubingen: Mohr/Siebeck.
    Harrison, P.N. (1921). The Problem of the Pastoral Epistles. Oxford: Humprey Milford.
    Keck, Leander and J. Louis Martyr, eds. (1966). Studies in Luke-Acts. Nashville: Abingdon.
    Powell, M.A. (1991). What are they saying about Acts? New York: Paulist
    The first two have nothing to do with Luke as they are arguments attempting to debunk that Paul wrote the pastoral epistles (the Timothys and Titus). I did enjoy the first one in a sense in that it is aptly named "Pseudepigraphy." I'm not sure what it actually was trying to say other than the pseudo part seem applicable to the argument which is so complicated by words I have never seen before that it can only appeal to the psuedo intellectuasl who, upon reading it, must think, "Wow! This is so full of big words, it must mean something." If one wants to communicate, one does not use this kind of language. When I worked at the newspaper, I had a sign on my desk that said: "An intellectual knows all the big words; a smart person does not use them."

    The third link was to a book listing on Amazon but not all that much about the content of the book while the last one was something of critique of Acts which did not, at any point of that which was available, challenge Luke's authorship.

    The problem I see here is that skinwalker (and the two authors in the first two links) try to maintain that there is a huge controversy going on in literary circles about these authorships when most of these authorship questions are huge only in the minds of the infinitessimally few people who subscribe to them.

    Now then, there is some dispute of the authorship of Hebrews but not a raging argument. It is generally accepted that it does not seem to even be close to Pauline writing but there is no settled concensus on who may have written it. For most of the rest of the New Testament there just isn't that much argument among main-stream literary critics. There are some issues which generate discussion but, for the most part, they are neither heated nor controversial -- just discussion.

    As to recent cults that have grown, I think the best example might be Roswell, N.M. I am not all that up on how this story has morphed in the 60 years since it began.

    Skinwalker consistently says in many different ways:

    My conclusion (based on solid premises) is that there is no evidence that there exists a "biography" or "eyewitness" account -nor is there good reason to believe, if one is being objective, that either exists in the case of biblical mythology.

    Well, they are not solid premises, and premises in and of themselves are hardly evidence. The Bible itself is evidence of a biography and eyewitness accounts. You discount this evidence which allows you to come to YOUR (personal?) conclusion. Many, many more, viewing the very same evidence you have at your disposal, come to the opposite conclusion.

    There must be good reason to believe in view of the fact that far more people believe than disbelieve. You are suggesting that only the people who agree with you are being objective. Your continual reference to the Bible and Christianity as mythology, in an of itself, shows a prime bias and disdain for a huge segment of population. I think if you were on a podium with a good (maybe even mediocre) Christian apologist, he would turn you inside out. (I am not qualified under either of those degrees of apologistic degrees.)

    Your argument always seems to boil down to the idea that any evidence which undermines your preconceived "conclusion" that the Bible is myth is not acceptable to you and, therefore, it should not be allowed into the discussion.

    Your consistent claim that the Bible and Christianity are mythology shows a bias that testifies to your inability to be objective as you claim you are. (Edit: It seems that you are allowed to use the Bible to discredit it, but others are not allowed to use the Bible to support it.)

    There are a number of non-Christians who post here who show far greater objectivity that skinwalker -- Cypress, Kalster and (In)Sanity come to mine. About the only time I think (In)Sanity has shown a lack of objectivity was when he let skinwalker, with his total lack of objectivity, take control of this most popular segment of the forum.

    I will say, however, that some really uncivil and obnoxious contributors have gone missing in the subsequent cleanup. For that, I suspect we are indebted to skinwalker. And, if that is true, I do sincerely say thank you. But I still don't think skinwalker is even 50 percent as objective as he thinks he is.
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    Let's put it to a vote. A peer-review.

    I'll start a poll on one of the existing threads.
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    To: skinwalker

    Where is it written or inferred in Acts that there were two high priest at the same time named Annas and Caiaphas (hope I have the names right)?
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    Nevermind I found its place in Luke
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    Skinwalker said:
    Is this the same "Luke" that said Annas and Caiaphas were High Priest at the same time. Even though they were separated by several years and several other High Priests?

    You said that these two men were separated by several other High Priests, can you please cite your source?
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    There are several texts which mention this, but this is probably the most accessible: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/01536a.htm

    This link admits that scripture is the source for believing them to have been "high priest" concurrently, but the reality is that independent Jewish sources indicate Annas to have been high priest at around 6 - 7 CE and Joseph Caiaphas at around 18 - 36 CE, with several incumbent high priests in between them (Ishmael ben Fabus 15-16, Eleazar ben Ananus 16-17, Simon ben Camithus 17-18 ).

    Additional references:

    http://www.livius.org/caa-can/caiaphas/caiaphas.htm

    The Biblical and American Archaeologist

    The Four Gospels as Historical Records
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    Quote Originally Posted by SkinWalker
    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    The first place to look is at the writings of Luke in Acts. At the time of these missionary trips, and the writings of Luke, the various material was not compiled and therefore independent. Luke was said to be a physician and historian and recorded the activities of several of the Apostles.
    Is this the same "Luke" that said Annas and Caiaphas were High Priest at the same time. Even though they were separated by several years and several other High Priests? At the very least, this tells us to take the narrative as myth more than history. It very likely reveals the narrative to be propaganda for the early Christian cults emerging in Roman territory.

    Regardless, the actual author(s) of Acts are as anonymous as the authors of the gospels.
    To: Skinwalker

    The verse in question (Luke 3:2) doesn't indicate who or how many of the high priests were on active duty, only that Annas and Caiaphas were the high priests at that time, which is true for they were both high priests.

    You missunderstood the author and assumed he or she meant that both of the men in question were actually in office at the same time. Your reasoning however is sound for if there be any fault found with what is said to be true then it's not true and shouldn't be received as true. I would only advise you to be slow to conclude anything before having thoroughly examined it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by SkinWalker
    There are several texts which mention this, but this is probably the most accessible: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/01536a.htm

    This link admits that scripture is the source for believing them to have been "high priest" concurrently, but the reality is that independent Jewish sources indicate Annas to have been high priest at around 6 - 7 CE and Joseph Caiaphas at around 18 - 36 CE, with several incumbent high priests in between them (Ishmael ben Fabus 15-16, Eleazar ben Ananus 16-17, Simon ben Camithus 17-18 ).

    Additional references:

    http://www.livius.org/caa-can/caiaphas/caiaphas.htm

    The Biblical and American Archaeologist

    The Four Gospels as Historical Records
    Thanks for the info.
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    Ok, back to the original point, do you think it is possible that all the points degraded over time except the names? Or the names degraded but still bare a resemblance to the originals? Or the names were made up?
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    No, I don't know, and no. You might consider my answers to be bais because i recieve the text in its entirety as sacred and a source of the truth not truths, but the truth. Note: The previous sentence doesn't completely express my mind.
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    The percentage rates regarding the names in that study, don't yield any info that could possibly lead a person who is thinking right to believe that the names weren't made up.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Old Son
    The percentage rates regarding the names in that study, don't yield any info that could possibly lead a person who is thinking right to believe that the names weren't made up.
    Why? If the names were made up they wouldn't correspond, or do you think the correspondence is that great?
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    I think I had a criticism that didn't get answered of that assumption, but maybe I forgot to post it.

    Why is it necessarily so that if the names were made up they wouldn't correspond?

    If I were making up a story about eventst that happened several generations ago, I'm going to be inclined to use names of that era. There would likely be some Grovers, Ethals, Ediths, and Eleanors in my story. Perhaps even a Bartholomew or Meriwether or two.
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    and to add to that, if I heard your story and planned to write a similar story, I may even base mine off of what I heard about yours (ie. names, places, times, etc.)
    Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools, because they have to say something.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Golkarian
    Quote Originally Posted by Old Son
    The percentage rates regarding the names in that study, don't yield any info that could possibly lead a person who is thinking right to believe that the names weren't made up.
    Why? If the names were made up they wouldn't correspond, or do you think the correspondence is that great?
    Flavius Josephus was a historian who wrote of the plite of the jews in great detail and is therefore a source for common names of the time. Josephus also mentions that genealogy records (a source for common names of the time) were accessible publicly among jews even after the destruction of Jerusalem. Jews also, as someone else stated almost ritualistically named their child after their ancestors and this custom is yet prevalent today. In the gospel named John there is mention of the custom of naming children after their ancestors. There is also great significant in the meaning of names tided into alot of the narratives of both testaments, one could suppose that they were intentionally maintaining the format of the old testament.

    I don't quite get what your asking saying, "or do you think the corresondence is that great?"
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    I wonder if like Arabs today, many of the Jews of the time could name their ancestors for up to a dozen generations. If that was the custom, they wouldn't even need a written record to refer back to, they'd just recite their lineage back a couple centuries and know the common names back then.
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    It's very likely. Lineage was an important thing up until a few centuries ago in modern countries, and as you note, it's still important in countries that value the family tree or aren't very modern (middle eastern countries).
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    Quote Originally Posted by SkinWalker
    I think I had a criticism that didn't get answered of that assumption, but maybe I forgot to post it.

    Why is it necessarily so that if the names were made up they wouldn't correspond?

    If I were making up a story about eventst that happened several generations ago, I'm going to be inclined to use names of that era. There would likely be some Grovers, Ethals, Ediths, and Eleanors in my story. Perhaps even a Bartholomew or Meriwether or two.
    But there seems to be inconsistency here, do you think the gospels were made up or just a product of faulty recollection/transcription?
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    A lot of people are mentioning the fact that Jews named there kids after grandparents or something similar, this my be the case, but the gospels were presumed to be written in the Jewish diaspora in Greece, not Israel, so it might be that the names there do not match. Indeed the Jewish diaspora in Greek Egypt had a different ratio of names (apparently). Or does that make it a null issue since we do not have data from the Greek diaspora?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Golkarian
    do you think the gospels were made up or just a product of faulty recollection/transcription?
    Probably a little bit of both.
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  96. #95  
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    Quote Originally Posted by SkinWalker
    Quote Originally Posted by Golkarian
    do you think the gospels were made up or just a product of faulty recollection/transcription?
    Probably a little bit of both.
    Honestly, I'm willing to believe the entirety of the gospel's are faulty recollection and embellishments. I doubt there are any original stories in the bible, and the majority of it is misrecollection, and adaptations of 'fair tales' passed from one generation to the next until we hit the written word, and it all coalesces into the bible.
    Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools, because they have to say something.
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  97. #96  
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    SkinWalker, so you believe someone made the names up to correspond?

    Sorry it just seems like an awful lot of work, people would have believed this stuff anyways (seems to me)
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  98. #97  
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    What is the point to this thread, made up or not what's the point? Are you all trying to understanding something? I mean- people usually investigate matters for a reason, so what's the reason?
    Staying focused
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  99. #98  
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    ... and what can we conclude?
    Staying focused
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  100. #99  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Old Son
    ... and what can we conclude?
    There there are several reasons for "Name Correspondence in the Gospels," and at least several of them don't add any more weight to the credibility of the details in those stories.
    Meteorologist/Naturalist & Retired Soldier
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  101. #100  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox
    Quote Originally Posted by Old Son
    ... and what can we conclude?
    There there are several reasons for "Name Correspondence in the Gospels," and at least several of them don't add any more weight to the credibility of the details in those stories.
    but credibility was the idea behind the thread, to be honest I don't like the idea of giving too much credit to the gospels and was looking for some alternate explanations
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