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Thread: Distortions of Evidence is Evidence for the truth of Christianity

  1. #1 Distortions of Evidence is Evidence for the truth of Christianity 
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    I started this response to Pavlos but was tied up with life so I was slow in posting and the thread was shut down.
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    Pavlos, I hold you up and your sources as one of the evidences of why I believe in Christianity. The bible tells us there will be a hatred of the truth.
    [QUOTE] If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belong to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you (John 15:18,19 NIV).
    And you will be hated by all for My name's sake. But he who endures to the end will be saved (Matt. 10:22 NKJ).
    Also, the world will have a negative intellectual response to Christianity, because they find the message distasteful.
    For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written:
    I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, And bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent (Is 29:14).
    Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this age? Has not God made foolishness the wisdom of the world? For since, in the wisdom of God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe. For Jews request a sign, and Greeks seek after wisdom; but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the Wisdom of God. Because the foolishness of God is wiser than man, and the weakness of God is stronger than man (I Cor. 1:18-25.
    So we see the bible predicts this negative and sometimes irrational hatred of God’s truth found in the Bible. Specifically, looking at those who study the texts composing the Christian Bible, we see a significant double standard. The liberal and unbelieving theologians are a case in point. They will accept any document at face value and give it the benefit of the doubt if it is not the documents related to the Christian Bible. But not so the Bible!

    Let us look at Pavlos’ post about the Gospel of Mark.
    1) She/He claims that the writers were not contemporaneous/eye witnesses based on very flimsy evidence
    a. G.Mark shows ignorance of Palestine geography.
    My Comment: This comment is based on whose evidence? Some guy living today sipping a latte? The writer’s objectives were not “geographically centric”, where they were trying to give us a geography lesson. The focus was on communicating the teachings of Jesus, in this case directed toward the gentiles. To say that we really know the geography during the time near Christ and that Mark somehow didn’t know it, thus showing that his writing was not contemporaneous, is a huge leap. Never are other old books or historical documents put under such unreasonable review!
    b. G.Mark shows dependence on oral tradition
    My Comment: How do you know that this is the case? Could it be that Mark spoke with the living eye witnesses of his time and recorded events, which were later passed down as oral tradition? Notice how they automatically assume the negative - it not being authentic. This is typical liberal or unbelieving mumbo jumbo.
    c. G.Mark was most likely written for a Roman audience
    My Comment: It was written for a gentile audience given that it left out many of the Old Testament prophecies. This in no way supports that it was not based on eye witness accounts.
    d. Ireneus says G.Mark was written in Rome
    My Comment: Likely, John Mark (not G. Mark) spoke with many eye witnesses (including his own memories of the events), wrote down notes, and later actually wrote the gospel of Mark in Rome. The statement by Ireneus is neutral on whether the writings were contemporaneous or based on eye witness accounts. Again notice the liberal/unbelieving mumbo jumbo where they assume that which goes against the traditional scholars - many who hold a Christian viewpoint.
    e. G.Mark was largely crafted from the whole cloth of the OT
    My Comment: Again, this is speculation which holds little evidence.
    2) Pavlos makes the statement, “It is sometimes argued that Mark was the secretary of Peter, but this seems unlikely for several other reasons.” Again, it is very easy to see the subjectivity of the statements. Here is the evidence that Pavlos presents and my criticism of it.
    a. There is no evidence in the NT stories to support Mark being Peter's secretary
    My Comment: It says in 2 Tim 4:11-13 “Only Luke is with me. Get Mark and bring him with you, because he is helpful in my ministry. I sent Tychicus to Ephesus. When you come, bring the cloak that I left with Troas, and my scrolls, especially the parchments.” Notice the highlighted section where he talks about Mark and later his scrolls and partchments. There is debate among Christian scholars if the main writer was Peter, where John Mark acted more as the assistant, or if John Mark was the main writer. Hieron says, “Mark the disciple and interpreter of Peter, being sent from Rome by the brethren, wrote a concise gospel.” Tertullium says, “Mark, the interpreter of Peter, delivered in writing the things which had been preached by Peter.” Either way this shows the contemporaneous writing with Peter and/or Mark both who were disciples of Jesus (either one of the 12 or of the larger 70). I point this out to show that the sources Pavlos uses make false and/or misleading statements.
    b. G.Mark shows the structure of literature crafted from the Jewish scriptures, not recorded conversations,
    My Comment: All one has to do is read through the gospel of Mark and see the many quotes made by Jesus, who was well educated in the scriptures (Old Testament) even to the point where he impressed the Jewish teachers with his questions and understanding as a boy (Luke 2:41-52). So yes, you would expect the teaching of Jesus, which is the Word of God, to be flavored by previous scripture given by God. In fact, another reason I am convinced of Christianity is the unity of the Bible – Old and New Testaments. Mark includes many stories of Jesus which he got from disciples and many other eye witnesses, which is evident by the vivid and picturesque writing style containing details that none of the other gospels have. The implication of the statement made by Pavlos is that this gospel is some fraudulent piece of fiction, which again is shown to be idle speculation, and shows the unreasonableness of the criticism.
    c. G. Mark includes many scenes in <which> Peter was NOT present, which can only mean they are fiction.
    My Comment: This statement is so outlandish that it is laughable! Does Pavlos and his/her sources think that the witnesses testimony should be written down in a 21st century style prepared for a legal trial? Again, this is totally unreasonable and shows the lunacy of the critics of Christianity! The assumption that if Peter did not see it, then it is fiction, again shows irrationality. The gospels where a compilation of many testimonies from different witnesses and not just one. The requirement that the writer had to witness everything to show that the facts presented were true is a standard that would never be put on another manuscript. Don’t you see how irrational and bias this is! This shows me that the Word of God is accurate, since the haters and critics of God (and His Word) have an irrational bias against the Bible.


     

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    d. Peter is a cowardly dullard in G.Mark which ends with Peter un-redeemed after having betrayed Jesus (G.Mark ended 16:8 with the empty tomb - G.Mark 16:9-20 is merely the most popular of one of a number of later endings which were attached to the abrupt end 16:8.). A secretary recording the words of a hallowed elder would hardly portray him like that.
    My Comment: On the contrary, I would say that this writing gives evidence of its accuracy, since a con artist – which you say the writer was – would never portray Peter in an unfavorable light. A writer inspired by God would try to give an accurate testimony even if it presented Peter and the other disciples as you say “cowardly dullards”. Throughout the gospels the disciples are presented many times in an unfavorable light (Here is a quick look at Matthew - Matt. 15:15,16 Jesus rebukes the disciples for being so dull; Matt. 16:22,23 Peter foolishly tries to teach Jesus; Matt. 17:4 Peter speaks foolishly at the transfiguration; Matt. 17:14-21 the disciples could not cast out the demon; Matt. 19:13-15 disciples try to prevent children from seeing Jesus but Jesus corrects them; Matt. 20:24-28, the disciples become indignant at woman and Jesus gently instructs them; Matt. 28:1, women were the first to go and look for Jesus after his death – the disciples did not). The reason for this is to point us (believers) toward our need of God and His redemption by Jesus’ death on the cross. Even at the beginning with the hallowed elders, they were less than desirable, but only became something as they died to themselves and rested in the grace of God. This should cause us to give pause and reflect on how we should not become too enamored with our leaders in the church because they, like the early disciples and church fathers, will sometimes let us down, even at times in major ways. I do think your comment of Peter being portrayed as unredeemed is way overboard and not what scripture says as seen in Acts.
    There are many possible reasons why the end of the gospel of Mark was left off so abrupt. We are not given the reason but there are many possibilities, such as Peter and/or Mark had to leave abruptly and the gospel was finished by some of the early church fathers or possibly by Peter and/or Mark many years later. Of course, this is speculation but either way, the gospel is not harmed if the ending is added in or left out. Typical Bibles today add it in with a comment that the earliest manuscripts don’t have the ending verses.

    e. It is also sometimes noted that Papias gives early evidence of G. Mark (and is the source of the Peter connection) - but Papias refers to G.Mark being the recollections of Peter but "adapted as needed" ... "but not in order". This just does not match at all well with G. Mark, which is in chronological order, and shows no sign of being the adapted words of Peter.
    My Comment: To claim that we really know the order of the gospel events and stories is a very ignorant statement. The writers wrote to communicate Jesus’ teachings and gospel message – not to meet some chronological standard. The claim that the gospel of Mark is in chronological order is completely unfounded, and based on speculation.


     

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    Since the thread title alone shows such a stunning lack of logic I doubt the actual OP is worth reading.

    And I can show it's not worth reading since there'll now be a flurry of comments, or (having seen this) just non-posted thoughts, from the OP regarding MY comment.
    I.e. the fact that he disagrees with, and will come up with arguments against, me will be, by his own logic, prove that I'm right.
    Last edited by Dywyddyr; October 18th, 2013 at 01:59 AM.
    "[Dywyddyr] makes a grumpy bastard like me seem like a happy go lucky scamp" - PhDemon
     

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    There's a reason the other thread was locked.

    It was getting too heated.
    It had little to nothing to do with the science of religion.

    Closed. And don't even think of starting another for a while.

    If you choice to discuss the historiography of a religion plan to bring some credible peer-review articles to the table...otherwise don't bother.
    Cogito Ergo Sum likes this.
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