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Jesus, God and miracles - is this what we would expect?

Discussion in 'Christian Apologetics' started by InterestedAtheist, May 13, 2019.

  1. cloudyday2

    cloudyday2 Generic Theist Supporter

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    Here is a Wikipedia page on the topic. In the ancient near east, if you were the ruler of some city whose patron God was "Whatchamacallit" then one of your honorifics would be "son of Watchamacallit", denoting your role as Watchamacallit's faithful steward of his city and people.
    Son of God - Wikipedia

    On the bible quotes, you can probably search the bible yourself. I believe there is a Psalm where King David is called the "son of God" or the "son of the Most High" or something. King David of course is considered a foreshadowing of Jesus the Messiah.

    Anyway, "Son of God" was like saying "representative of God". The title didn't mean the person was divine.

    "Son of Man" on the other hand, would have been claiming a more heavenly nature. Interestingly, there are some sayings of Jesus where he refers to the Son of Man without suggesting that he is the Son of Man. Some scholars think that these sayings are more authentic than the other sayings where Jesus claims to be the Son of Man.

    "Messiah" is another word with differing meanings. Originally any king was considered to be a "messiah", because he was anointed at his coronation. By the time of Jesus, the Jews had become more apocalyptic and they were expecting "THE Messiah" promised by Moses in Deuteronomy. Basically "Messiah" and "Son of God" and "King of the Jews" were the same title and didn't NECESSARILY imply divinity. ... "Son of Man" could either mean "just an ordinary man" or it could refer to the vision in Daniel and the Book of Enoch.

    Sorry that is disorganized, and I am certainly not claiming to be an expert on it.
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2019 at 7:43 AM
  2. Sanoy

    Sanoy Well-Known Member

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    Richard Carrier? He's the one that thinks Jesus himself was a myth.
     
  3. Tom Farebrother

    Tom Farebrother Optimistic sceptic Supporter

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    Yes! That's the guy. It's more how he arrives at that conclusion I think is weak, he just ignores too much stuff. He's not the only one with the Jesus myth idea, although you might think he is with the amount of self-promotion involved.
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2019 at 9:16 AM
  4. Sanoy

    Sanoy Well-Known Member

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    He apparently thinks his sexual harrasment allegations are a myth too, citing "no evidence", as if it would be reasonable to have it. I don't know if he did or didn't but it would be interesting to look back 2 thousand years from now, under his methods, to see what we would decide about it.
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2019 at 10:42 AM
  5. Tom Farebrother

    Tom Farebrother Optimistic sceptic Supporter

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    I didn’t hear about that. Overall it’s a good thing that people seem to being gaining more freedom to report abuse, seems like it’s been going on in every area of life for decades. Scratch that, millennia. People still laugh at the idea of ‘sin’ though, as though it were some unrelated idea.
     
  6. cvanwey

    cvanwey Well-Known Member

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    Then how in the world would you elect to believe the many stories from the Bible specifically, over any of the other competing stories of god(s), from which you would most likely classify or chalk up as myth or legendary tales?

    I mean, it's one thing to believe that a person (Jesus) was born, lived, said stuff, and died. But it's an entirely new set of special circumstances to elect to believe the stuff, which transcends nature as we 'know' it.

    Furthermore, please do not try and attempt to 'level the playing field' for all said history... I trust you are aware all claims in history/antiquity are NOT apples for apples.

    And finally, if you would not mind, I highlighted the one point in red, for a specific purpose.... The Catholics wrote of such stories. Thus, it seems fairly 'obvious' of the conformation bias related as such, wouldn't you agree?
     
  7. Kenny'sID

    Kenny'sID Well-Known Member Supporter

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    It's also one thing to believe a big bang, or nothing made something.

    And speaking of transcending nature, how bout the entirely new set of circumstances where after that big bang, all life just created itself, I mean you have GOT to be kidding me.

    So you see, considering what we both can/cannot prove to one another, it's an even stand off, yet you are here on a Christian website telling us we are wrong, why is that?

    Atheism is like flat earth to me, I just don't need to bother tying to disprove it. Also, I'm so secure with God being the answer to it all, I don't need to go to Atheist websites in order to reinforce the fact...how bout yourself?
     
  8. cvanwey

    cvanwey Well-Known Member

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    Where in the heck are you getting the 'big bang' in all of this? When did I mention anything about this scientific endeavor? I didn't.

    If you wish to actually address ANYTHING in which I have brought forth, great. If not, I care not to chase you down your provided rabbit hole. But just so I can lay your last response to rest, let it be known that if the 'big bang' were demonstrated false, would have absolutely nothing to do with anything I have brought forth. (I.E.) The apparent conformation bias seemingly necessary to write of the Gospels.
     
  9. redleghunter

    redleghunter Thank You Jesus! Supporter

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    Show me the manuscript evidence for other works.
     
  10. cvanwey

    cvanwey Well-Known Member

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    I feel you are missing my point entirely. Believers wrote of the original stories. Later believers recopied those stories again and again. We have, starting many centuries later, thousands of recopies. However, this really does not amount to any type of 'evidence', does it? We just have thousands of recopies of unfounded claims.

    If you go back to post #87, I stressed one key element of extreme focus.... Are such reports politically and/or socially bias? In this case, the answer is an astounding yes! You yourself even stated 'manuscripts preserved by Catholic monastics'.


    You then must ask yourself.... Whom is reporting such stories, and what might be the motivation(s) behind such writings?

    You again must evaluate many elements, not just one...

    - Are these records first hand accounts? Well, they do not appear to be... But even if they were, does that make anecdotal claims credible on their own? But more importantly, why hinge 'truth' upon non-verifiable anecdotal claims in the first place? Why present such to a mass of people with no ability to write about it? Appears odd...

    - Are such claims plausible under the laws of physics? Well, they do not appear to be; just like the many you most likely reject as factual from other such claimed supernatural arenas of belief.

    - Do we have contemporary reports? Well, we really don't. It also seems odd that if Jesus was going around performing many miraculous feats, we would at least have contemporary attestation outside of the published bias works, don't you think? (i.e.) Matthew 27:52

    I'll stop here again...
     
  11. redleghunter

    redleghunter Thank You Jesus! Supporter

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    So?

    The historical accounts of Alexander the Great were written by people in his inner circle. They called him “Great.” Should I dismiss their accounts?

    The History of the Peloponnesian War was written by
    Thucydides an Athenian. Should I discard his accounts because he was Athenian?

    History was written by conquerors. There were no neutral sources in antiquity.

    Which is why the Scriptures are unique in its historical accuracy. The Hebrews reported the good, the bad and the ugly. The Christians in the NT reported their poverty, lack of political power and persecution and martyrdom. Not to mention women as direct witnesses to the Risen Christ.
     
  12. Kenny'sID

    Kenny'sID Well-Known Member Supporter

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    OK, what is your particular choice for how we got here, don't know? little bang? Tinker bell? If you'll read carefully, you'll see it doesn't matter what you "think" it is.

    Anyway, seems I've hit nerve so, don't worry about it... carry on cutting down, and letting us know what we have is not real and so terrible, while you have nothing better....see the connection to the subject, and some of the arguments here?

    I am addressing it/getting to the root of the issue...clearly not what you want to hear.
     
  13. gadar perets

    gadar perets Messianic Hebrew

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    Pagan nations, probably. Israel, I don't see it in Scripture.

    "son of God" is only used one time in the OT pertaining to the 4th person in the fiery furnace who was not David. "Son of the most high" is never used in the OT.
     
  14. InterestedAtheist

    InterestedAtheist Veteran

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    We don't know much about what hell is supposed to be like, and basically everything we do know comes from the Bible. We know it's a dark and fiery place, where God sends people He thinks have broken His rules to be tormented forever. And that's about it.
    So no, I didn't make it up. When you start asking me questions like "What, specifically, is in hell?" then I just have to assume that you are unfamiliar with the basic tenets of your own religion. If you want to learn what hell is, why ask an atheist?

    It's completely fair, completely honest and completely logical. I don't know why the Big Bang took place. Therefore, I say that I don't know. And if someone says that they do know, and that it was God, I ask them what evidence they have. And if they don't have any evidence, then I tell them - honestly, fairly and logically - that I don't - can't - believe them.

    There are plenty of very good reasons for atheists and other non-Christians to be concerned about Christianity. Here is a link to a short article which explains them. I'm posting it because it's simpler and easier than writing them out myself; it is, therefore, a logical use or resources to refer you to people who have already answered the question. Feel free to ask follow-up questions if you wish.

    It was not a cop out. I am of the opinion that a vast majority of the scientific community support evolution, because that is where the evidence points, overwhelmingly. If you think otherwise, presumably you can point me to some lists of scientists who support creationism.
     
  15. InterestedAtheist

    InterestedAtheist Veteran

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    Tom, I would like to begin by saying that I admire you for writing as you did. You did so courteously and fairly.
    I am afraid that, although I shall try to reply courteously and fairly myself - as I am trying to do whenever I post - the substance of my reply will have to be that I disagree with you and consider your arguments to be invalid. I hope you won't take this personally.

    So, I'm sorry, but all there is to say in answer to you is that if Christians were able to point to clear, valid evidence for their claims then they would, as they should. Because they are unable to, apologists take various paths. Some try to pass off their poor-quality evidence as strong; and others - as it seems to me you are doing - try to invalidate the idea of evidence.

    I'm sorry, but that's all I have to say on that. If you have evidence for God, then state it. If you don't, then I am not able to believe in God.


    The thing is, not all questions are equally worth arguing. For example, is Santa Claus real? Can octopuses speak English? Can you fly if you flap your arms really hard? The answer to these questions are of course, "No".

    Now, if someone were to come up to you and seriously advance any of these ideas, you would not take them seriously for a moment. And if they accused you of being close-minded, and said that you ought to read books on their point of view, would you feel the need to?

    Now, the question "Does God exist" could be an intensely important one, if there was any reason to think that He might. But the fact of the matter is, there is no such evidence. Yes,many people believe that God exists, but if we cannot show that they believe with good reason, this can be discounted.
    Since you bring up Richard Dawkins, I shall quote from him:

    “I am tempted to go further and wonder in what possible sense theologians can be said to have a province. I am still amused when I recall the remark of a former Warden (head) of my Oxford college. A young theologian had applied for a junior research fellowship, and his doctoral thesis on Christian theology provoked the Warden to say, 'I have grave doubts as to whether it's a subject at all.'

    What expertise can theologians bring to deep cosmological questions that scientists cannot? In another book I recounted the words of an Oxford astronomer who, when I asked him one of those same deep questions, said: 'Ah, now we move beyond the realm of science. This is where I have to hand over to our good friend the chaplain.' I was not quick-witted enough to utter the response that I later wrote: 'But why the chaplain? Why not the gardener or the chef?' Why are scientists so cravenly respectful towards the ambitions of theologians, over questions that theologians are certainly no more qualified to answer than scientists themselves?...I suspect that neither the Cambridge nor the Oxford astronomer really believed that theologians have any expertise that enables them to answer questions that are too deep for science. I suspect that both astronomers were, yet again, bending over backwards to be polite: theologians have nothing worthwhile to say about anything else; let's throw them a sop and let them worry away at a couple of questions that nobody can answer and maybe never will.”

    There are plenty of useful and worthwhile fields of study when it comes to religion. Literature, the study of the English language, history, sociology, and lots more. But when we come to the question of whether or not God exists, and you tell me I need to study more before I am able to join in the debate, I must simply ask you for some reason why the field of study is worthwhile in the first place.

    In other words, give me some evidence that there exists a God to study.


    Look back at the context. @Sanoy said this to me:
    "I invite you to confirm the historical reliability of the Bible and let it's conclusion lead you on the path to life."
    This seems to me to mean that Sanoy believes that the Bible is historically reliable. Therefore, it would seem to be a reasonable request that he demonstrate its reliability to me. Perhaps you disagree with him, and think that the Bible is not historically reliable?

    Prove that I know nothing about this by refuting the argument I made in the OP, or explaining why it is invalid. Explain its mistakes, and prove me wrong. If you think that you, or someone else, has already done that in this thread, please refer me to their post, by number.
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2019 at 8:55 AM
  16. InterestedAtheist

    InterestedAtheist Veteran

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    It was actually ad hominem. @Kenny'sID said "I think it's funny how some have to search out an answer for that in which they will naturally claim to agree with because they couldn't think of anything on their own"; in other words, rather than refute the arguments posted, he prefers to attack the character of the person posting them.

    While I am quite capable of defending my own arguments, I recognise that some people say things more effectively, more clearly or more memorably than I can myself, as I'm sure we all do. I have no compunctions about quoting from others (correctly attributing them, of course). It's a perfectly sensible approach, and if you disagree with my arguments, whether in my own words or in quotes from others, then all you have to do is explain what's wrong with them. In short, it doesn't matter who said it; can you disprove what they said?


    I shall do my best to keep my comments polite and professional, of course. As to being an embarrassment, all you have to do is point out my mistakes.


    Not at all. Obviously, I (a twenty-first century person) was born many centuries after the Bible was written. If, in the Bible, there is a proof of some kind that can be confirmed as a genuine miracle, then my attacks on it wouldn't work; indeed, I wouldn't even be attacking it, because I would be convinced by it.


    Perhaps you need to think about how to explain it more clearly. What I am getting from you is "At some point in the future, every knee will bow. You should accept this as a clear proof of God's existence". The problem with this, of course, is that there is no evidence that I will, in the future, be confronted by God, so as evidence for God's existence, it fails completely.

    If that was not what you meant, please tell me exactly what you did mean.


    I shall do my best to explain exactly what I mean.


    But I was not talking about the disciples. I was talking about you, here, now, in the twenty-first century. Are you saying that if someone came up to you and said, "I'm the Son of God" then you would simply believe them?

    Perhaps you would say that if this was Jesus who came up to you, he would have something convincing about Him - an aura of some kind, the way he spoke - that would convince you on his say-so alone. Fair enough, perhaps he might. But we people who read about him today, we do not experience that. All we have is a story from two thousand years ago about a man who multiplied bread, healed the sick and came back to life, and you consider that story to be credible evidence. Would you hold other people to the same "If you say it, that's good enough for me" standard of evidence? A person who contacted you by email asking you for your bank details, for example?

    If you say that you would hold to such a low standard for proof in general, I would simply point out to you that people today demonstrably don't; and the few who do are rightly considered to be foolish.


    No, the example in the OP is not "a story about him performing miracles". It is a story about Jesus performing miracles that turns out to be true and scientifically verifiable. The miracle is communicated through the story to us, where we can examine it, test it and prove it. Needless to say, none of the miracles actually attributed to Jesus come anywhere near this level of evidence.

    Also, "impressive" may be a subjective term, but I think we can agree that some thing are impressive compared to others. A story about Jesus turning water into wine is substantially less impressive, whoever you are, than Jesus performing an actual miracle which we can test and verify.


    You've just repeated exactly what I said. I said that if someone claimed to be God today, you'd never believe them, but billions of people believe the ancient stories about Jesus; and you just responded that you believe the ancient stories about Jesus, and so does a friend of yours, as well as most Christians. In other words, you just agreed with me, and proved my point.


    No, it's not the No Scotsman fallacy. I said "we would not believe that anyone was God today without concrete proof," and indeed Christians do not believe that any person living today is Christ.

    You've agreed with me and proved my point again. It's time now for you to follow up on the second point: Jesus should not get a pass just because he lived two thousand years ago. Christians should apply the same standards of critical thinking to Jesus that they do whenever they hear anyone today proclaim that they are God.
     
  17. Sanoy

    Sanoy Well-Known Member

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    You are conflating historical reliability with proof. Your example requires the historical reliability of the Bible because your example is written in the Bible. I don't need to prove the reliability of the Bible to you. You are in the ironic position of needing to confirm the reliability of the Bible to transmit your example to future generations. Deny it and your example fails to work. Pick your poison.

    (@Tom Farebrother )
     
  18. Sanoy

    Sanoy Well-Known Member

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    As I stated, you put yourself into your own argument by stating that the example is what it takes for you belief. By doing so you opened yourself up do denials of your genuines based on your behavior. So it's not an ad hominem, but relevant to the argument (@Kenny'sID). In regards to your embarrassing behavior I do not submit that it's due to your mistakes but your unwarranted self flattery and egotism.

    You are misrepresenting my statements about scripture. My statement about the reliability of scripture is in reference to the example you gave. If your example is riding on scripture to reach the future than it succeeds or fails upon the reliability of scripture.

    Revelation provides a miracle, which would represent a miracle that is indubitable. You hypothesize a reduntant, less effective, and unneeded miracle. That should complete your understanding of how Revelation is being invoked.

    You have rejected my statement that the diciples believed without miracles on the grounds of when it occurred but I don't see how that is relevant. You ask if someone came up to me and said "I am the son of God" would I follow, I already stated that it depends on who I am and who they are in relation. Yes I would, and most Christians have become Christians because they heard His voice and followed. We already know His voice because He is our creator and His nature and voice is already known in our moral intuitions and duties. Truth is the correlation between intellect and the external world and our intellect was created by Him to point toward Him if we allow it. Those that are Christians have allowed it.

    If your example about Jesus performing miracles stands apart from the Biblical Jesus you are equivocating. All you are changing here is the way in which you are breaking your own argument. The concern over the subjective nature of impressiveness in relation to the miraculous is it's range not it's limitation. To me God's nature is more impressive than turning water into wine.

    You are not paying attention and just slapping together replies out of your duty to atheology rather than constructive conversation. I did not just say that I believe the ancient stories about Jesus, and so does my friend. I stated that we believed without any external miracle. I didn't even mention anything about a friend either. You are deeply confused. I don't believe in Jesus because of the Bible, I believe the Bible because I believe in Jesus.

    The statement "For any normal, rational person, the reason is obvious -- God is imaginary" is a purity fallacy. You don't get to restate it in your own words to deny that. As stated in your source it is a fallacy. Get a better source.
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2019 at 1:12 PM
  19. cloudyday2

    cloudyday2 Generic Theist Supporter

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    Psalm 2:7 is another, and I believe there are a few more. The phrase may not always be "son of God", so that is probably why you are not finding more.
     
  20. cvanwey

    cvanwey Well-Known Member

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    I agree antiquity is a different 'animal', verses modern historical accounts.

    I pose the following....

    Writings of Alexander express his living, fighting in war, and how he died. BUT, writings also expressed him being the 'son of Zeus'. If we can somehow reasonably conclude he did indeed live, fight in war, and die of fever in Babylon, then I guess he WAS really the son of Zeus too, right?

    I gather many would call him 'Great' for conquering vast lands at an early age. But it doesn't really matter...

    It does not really matter, in the sense, that yes, there is a big possibility that what was written about Alexander might very well be inflated to a small (or) large degree. That's how oral tradition usually works. Legendary tales, which inflate as they are retold.



    Being unique does not render a story true. Reporting itemized events is one thing. Adding 'spin' to them is another. Meaning, as stories get retold, over and over, likely become inflated/modified/embellished/etc.... And like I stated, which you have failed to acknowledge, if the the stories exclusively come the the bias lens, in which they seem to have stemmed from, then of course you will read what you read and also believe.


    All true. However, the ones whom wrote of such were already believers in this specific man as a claimed god. Thus, the authors/writers of such impose their own a priori conclusions to the stories in which they wrote about. Or at least, were told to write about by others of influence.

    In regards to the 'women', I've always found this attempted justification ridiculous. Believers will suggest that if the Bible was lying, it would not have used women as claimed witnesses in an attempt to justify an empty tomb; as women were considered second class citizens during this time. Believers will assert this story line suggests the narrative is more truthful, as if the story was a lie, the author provided characters would instead have been men, for more validity.

    If God's goal was to spread truth by way of eyewitness attestation in a resurrection, why then would God choose to present Himself in resurrection form to individuals whom carry no authority over the masses? It seems more logical to fully represent his resurrected self to vast non-believing individuals, whom are affluent in language, and with the ability to write and travel abroad to spread the messages globally and immediately. Because, after all, the Bible was god's preferred method to spread God's truth. And also, eyewitness testimony is really the only method to verify the supernatural claims to Jesus. And since eye witness testimony was paramount, and women's testimony carried little weight, this method for attempts in spreading 'truth' appears bazaar.



    Furthermore, it seems logical and reasonable that Jesus might have appeared to humans globally, and not just locally. And also to do so to very large crowds across the world. If truth is universal, why only rely upon local eyewitnesses within the same region? God chose to rather allow for oral tradition to eventually spread 'truth' over a very long period in time, meanwhile allowing millions to rot in hell, merely because they were not aware of the true revelation from the Bible specifically? This again appears illogical.



    Isn't one of the purposes of a resurrection to present proof He is the Messiah? If so, if one chooses to present truth, via eyewitness attestation, wouldn't this entity choose to do so to maximize the number of witnesses? Regardless of what witnesses saw, other people, whom never even heard of Jesus Christ, would at least report they saw a figure and describe similar details globally. Mongolians would report similar characteristics about a man with holes in his hands, stating he has returned from the dead. Similar stories would have been written from many global locations. Many may not even believe it, but many would report this event, if they at least saw such an event. In doing so, at least the skeptic would then need to wrestle with the documented fact that global locations all report a witnessed spirit flying around claiming to be a Messiah. This might raise an eyebrow or two. Otherwise, what would be the point to reveal himself to exclusive groups, in exclusive locations only? And yet, all we have are second hand accounts, from unverified claimed eyewitnesses, in a single biased publication. This method does not appear rational.



    Getting back to the fact that the first claimed resurrection witness is a female... Well, it's not just any female. It is claimed to be Mary Magdalene; one of the followers of Jesus. She was thought to be just as integral as the disciples in the main story of the New Testament. But this still begs yet another similar question. Why present proof to someone whom is already bias to the claim, and also has absolutely no power to spread the message globally, and successfully? This again makes no sense? Even if the claim were true. She has no authority, and already believes in some capacity. Proving oneself to biased individuals would not prove the best mechanism to convert non-believers. A biased person, whom claims to have received divine revelation, reporting their experience to a non-believer carries even less weight than a skeptic making the same claim.



    To add insult to injury, the Bible itself also agrees with the cited misogynistic consensus of the region at the time; as in 1 Timothy 2:9-12. So for believers to use this apparent observation validates they too believe females were treated like second class citizens. And yet, their own Bible acknowledges women are not equal as well, according to Jesus Christ. Again, it's almost as if the Bible was written by humans, with their personal human based opinions; and were actually not inspired by a never changing and all loving being, whom might instead advocate for equality; if actually claiming objectivity.
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2019 at 11:18 AM
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