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Old 13th June 2011, 09:50 PM   #161
dropzone
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Originally Posted by Akhenaten View Post
Please try to pay more attention.
Shut up, you worshiper of a false god. And take back your damned Psalm 104. I get in too much trouble at church explaining, "This isn't REALLY about 'God,' as you understand Him...." Lutherans aren't all that open to your heresies. Or non-heresies. Or something Egyptian they don't really get, but which could be an excuse for a pot luck dinner.

Okay, the latter provides common ground. Did ancient Egyptians eat deviled eggs? Cuz that's what my wife usually makes, because most people assume they are hard to make. And I sometimes make them instead of her because they are stupid-easy, but I'm not putting in any crocodile poo just to satisfy your followers. Though they are welcome to play the broom toss or funny hat contest. I'd just prefer they wash their hands before lunch.
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Old 13th June 2011, 09:54 PM   #162
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Originally Posted by phelix View Post
Originally Posted by pakeha View Post
You raise an intersting point there, phelix.
The fact is much of the Nt deals with the early church.
But only through Paul's letters.
The fact is this thread has centred on the NT in relation to the life and acts of Jesus, as a quick overview of it would show you.
I think if you want to discuss Paul's letters in terms of church history you'd do well to start a thread on the subject.


The problem with focusing on the life and acts of Jesus is that we cannot establish very much at all.


To the extent that his very existence is open to dispute.

Thanks a bunch, Brigadier General Obvious.


Originally Posted by phelix View Post
The thread will have lingered on this point because apologists will defend it, and atheists will have fun swiping at the low-hanging fruit.


Perhaps you should try to climb a bit higher.


Originally Posted by phelix View Post
The thread though is about whether the New Testament writers told the truth. Sometimes they did, and the letters of Paul play a big part of that.


You'll be telling us about these times when they were telling the truth any day now, will you?


Originally Posted by phelix View Post
Originally Posted by pakeha View Post
But, ultimately, it's just speculation.
This thread is about evidence.


Do you think the references provided to support the claim that Paul had a disciple called Timothy do not constitute evidence? It's speculation because the conclusion is not definite, but we still have two pieces of evidence that lead to the conclusion that Paul probably had a disciple called Timothy.


We aren't really claiming that every word in the NT is a lie.

Trivial stuff like this and Sir Luke's famed geographical references aren't really important enough to even consider, unless the thread is having a slow day.

We want to see some evidence for all the god-man stuff.


Originally Posted by phelix View Post
Originally Posted by pakeha View Post


In relation to this particular thread, yes, they are useless.
But mind, I say this particular thread.


Howso useless? It is from the NT writers alone that we know John the Baptist worked in the river Jordan. The NT writers were probably telling the truth here.


My use of the plural in this thing finally makes sense.


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Old 13th June 2011, 10:18 PM   #163
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Originally Posted by dropzone View Post
Shut up, you worshiper of a false god. And take back your damned Psalm 104. I get in too much trouble at church explaining, "This isn't REALLY about 'God,' as you understand Him...." Lutherans aren't all that open to your heresies. Or non-heresies. Or something Egyptian they don't really get, but which could be an excuse for a pot luck dinner.

Okay, the latter provides common ground. Did ancient Egyptians eat deviled eggs? Cuz that's what my wife usually makes, because most people assume they are hard to make. And I sometimes make them instead of her because they are stupid-easy, but I'm not putting in any crocodile poo just to satisfy your followers. Though they are welcome to play the broom toss or funny hat contest. I'd just prefer they wash their hands before lunch.


Your ideas are relevant to my interests and I wish to subscribe to your newsletter.
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Old 13th June 2011, 10:27 PM   #164
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Fancy that I was considering starting one. Except I have dealt with both mimeographs and hectographs in my younger days and a blog just seems less messy.
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Old 13th June 2011, 11:25 PM   #165
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Originally Posted by dropzone View Post
Except I have dealt with both mimeographs and hectographs in my younger days and a blog just seems less messy.
Oh, I love the smell of a mimeograph in the morning.

We're still on-topic, right?
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Old 13th June 2011, 11:29 PM   #166
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I think we dropped off-topic 20,000 posts ago. Or stopped being repetitious. But that happened 20,300 posts ago.
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Old 13th June 2011, 11:32 PM   #167
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Originally Posted by DOC View Post
Also, if the history was faked by several authors they could have smoothed over their accounts so their wouldn't "appear" to be some inconsistencies or difficult passages. But as I've said, I've never seen an alleged inconsistency in the Gospel accounts that can't be rationally explained.
Welcome back, DOC!
Here are two alleged inconsistencies I'd be glad if you could rationally explain:
The differences between Matthew's and Luke's geneologies for Jesus.
Mt 1:16, Lk 3 and I Chronicles 3:10-12
The differences between Matthew and Luke's accounts of Judas' death.
Mt 27:3-10 and Acts 1:18-19

Giving an answer to ddt's comments on Luke 2:2 would be good, too.
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Old 14th June 2011, 12:43 AM   #168
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Originally Posted by dropzone View Post
I think we dropped off-topic 20,000 posts ago. Or stopped being repetitious. But that happened 20,300 posts ago.
Wooo boy. Hey everybody! Check out post #3.

Especially you, phelix!

Last edited by Larechar; 14th June 2011 at 12:45 AM.
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Old 14th June 2011, 01:03 AM   #169
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Originally Posted by Larechar View Post
Wooo boy. Hey everybody! Check out post #3.
Sorry, we're to the point where we only traffic in logarithms of post numbers. This mythical "#3" has the same status as DOC's "evidence"
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Old 14th June 2011, 01:25 AM   #170
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Originally Posted by SezMe View Post
Sorry, we're to the point where we only traffic in logarithms of post numbers. This mythical "#3" has the same status as DOC's "evidence"
Aww! I new I missed something.

Last edited by Larechar; 14th June 2011 at 01:26 AM.
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Old 14th June 2011, 01:59 AM   #171
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Originally Posted by carlitos View Post
So the cross-source agreement, and presentation of history, of the Lord of the Rings trilogy, should convince you that Gandolf is real. Great. Super logic there. You don't seem to get the Gone with the Wind or other examples. I wonder why? Again, how did you determine that these books were non-fiction so that you could apply (your interpretation of) the historical method?
For Lord of the Rings, there is not cross-source agreement or a presentation of history. On the cross-source agreement bit, the counterargument has been that there are multiple LOTR fanfictions, and if the original was lost what we would be left with is something resembling the new testament. There is no real need to make this leap, and it does seem to require that the only remaining fanfictions are ones written pretending to be historical, or ones written by people who believed the original LOTR was correct.
Additionally, the composition of the different gospels suggests a number of sources (see the synoptic problem) with John and Paul completely separate. This would require quite a bit of intellectual gymnastics to fit the one source model being proposed.

Originally Posted by carlitos View Post
And HOW did you rule those things out please? How? My question was how, in case you missed it. How?
You do not understand the fallacy of special pleading, I'm afraid. Here's a good summary. http://www.nizkor.org/features/falla...-pleading.html
I've said. I do not "rule them out". They are possible. It's just that they create unnecessary strains on reasonableness.
I consider it special pleading because the possibility of every source being faked (or based on fakes) is not one that would be given so much mental airtime in other cases.
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Old 14th June 2011, 02:01 AM   #172
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Originally Posted by Larechar View Post
That's evidence for probability of truth in some points, not evidence for truth. This is pointless. You keep saying the SAME THING over and over and over and over and over, and we keep telling you that isn't proof based on your system over and over and over and over and over. I'm out 'til DOC comes back with some more assertions.
"evidence for probability of truth" and "evidence for truth" are the same thing. Evidence necessitates probability. If probability were not involved, then it would be "proof of truth", which is impossible.
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Old 14th June 2011, 02:06 AM   #173
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Originally Posted by phelix View Post
"evidence for probability of truth" and "evidence for truth" are the same thing. Evidence necessitates probability. If probability were not involved, then it would be "proof of truth", which is impossible.
Unwittingly promoting Solipsism, are we?
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Old 14th June 2011, 02:11 AM   #174
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Originally Posted by pakeha View Post
Come, come, phelix.
Read the thread.
See what it's about.
None of what you've written has anything to do with it.
Be honest.
I addressed this in the first paragraph. The thread is concerning whether or not the NT writers told the truth. My posts cover this issue. Many people would prefer to steer the conversation onto matters like Jesus' purported miracles, because it is a case where they obviously were not "telling the truth", even though apologists would be willing to defend it as such.
Nevertheless, it is clear that there are some times when the gospel writers were telling the truth. I've mentioned a few of these and provided the arguments commonly given for them. I consider the critical historical approach to be much more interesting than the one you have suggested the thread went down. I mean, why would you want to spend hundreds of pages on the actions of Jesus? Of course the vast majority of the story is wrong. He goes about contradicting science every 5 minutes. If every author was sincere, it's still wrong. If every author was an eye-witness, it's still wrong. If every source was contemporary, it's still wrong. If every source were in its original format, it's still wrong.
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Old 14th June 2011, 02:11 AM   #175
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I am sorry, but what cross source are we speaking ehre ? Josephus ?
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Old 14th June 2011, 02:14 AM   #176
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Originally Posted by phelix View Post
I addressed this in the first paragraph. The thread is concerning whether or not the NT writers told the truth. My posts cover this issue. Many people would prefer to steer the conversation onto matters like Jesus' purported miracles, because it is a case where they obviously were not "telling the truth", even though apologists would be willing to defend it as such.
Nevertheless, it is clear that there are some times when the gospel writers were telling the truth. I've mentioned a few of these and provided the arguments commonly given for them. I consider the critical historical approach to be much more interesting than the one you have suggested the thread went down. I mean, why would you want to spend hundreds of pages on the actions of Jesus? Of course the vast majority of the story is wrong. He goes about contradicting science every 5 minutes. If every author was sincere, it's still wrong. If every author was an eye-witness, it's still wrong. If every source was contemporary, it's still wrong. If every source were in its original format, it's still wrong.
I must have missed the part where clarity came into effect.
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Old 14th June 2011, 02:18 AM   #177
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Originally Posted by Aepervius View Post
I am sorry, but what cross source are we speaking ehre ? Josephus ?
Probably the same ones you didn't cover here:
Originally Posted by Aepervius View Post
Heck, let us assume I do this :
* I take some the bookn "the call of cthulhu". I call that the "book of lovecraft"
* I take a few other "the book of Blake" "the book of Derleth".

All the writing they have done on the great Cthulhu.

That is my "good book" in 3 part.

And Bam ! Now we have 3 book speaking of the same stuff, and with some criterion of embarassement probably appliable.

Therefore : Cthulhu exists even if he does not have all the power described in the book.

We could due that fun thing with all the subject where more than 1 author worked on, and used a few historical fact.

Fact is : if you use a criteria, then you have to demonstrate that that criteria is able to distinguish real fact from fiction. The criteria of embarassement ,as well as a few others are certainly NOT able to do that, which is why people keep hinting to use them on Harry Potter. Do you understand now Phelix ?
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Old 14th June 2011, 02:19 AM   #178
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Originally Posted by Larechar View Post
Unwittingly promoting Solipsism, are we?
Not at all. I just emphasise the difference between mathematical proof, logical proof, even scientific evidence, and historical evidence.
With the first two, only 100% certainty (or near as damnit) is good enough.
With scientific evidence, you can be pretty sure of something with less than that. 99% certainty is good enough. It has the advantage of being able to repeat the test.
With history, you cannot do this. You have to work with what you're given, and all you can ever conclude is probability. The Spanish civil war probably happened. It's not as certain as much in science which can be tested and so on, but it's extremely unlikely that it didn't happen. If you go back in time further, you have to rely on less and less evidence, so we become less certain in our probabilities. Did Jesus exist? Probably, but it's not the same level as the Spanish civil war by any shot. Did Pythagoras exist? Probably, but it's not the same level as Jesus. Did Homer exist? Maybe. We don't really know.
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Old 14th June 2011, 02:22 AM   #179
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Originally Posted by Larechar View Post
Wooo boy. Hey everybody! Check out post #3.

Especially you, phelix!
Yup. My first post in this thread was in agreement with that one
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Old 14th June 2011, 02:25 AM   #180
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Originally Posted by Aepervius View Post
I am sorry, but what cross source are we speaking ehre ? Josephus ?
No. Well, yes for some parts. I used Josephus in my analysis of John the Baptist, for instance. Mostly though, I mean Mark, Q, L, M, John and Paul.
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Old 14th June 2011, 02:26 AM   #181
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Originally Posted by phelix View Post
Yup. My first post in this thread was in agreement with that one
So you agree with the notion that you're not providing any founded evidence even though you continually portray that you believe you are?
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Old 14th June 2011, 02:31 AM   #182
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Originally Posted by Larechar View Post
So you agree with the notion that you're not providing any founded evidence even though you continually portray that you believe you are?
You what? I have done for a number of things. The existence of John the Baptist for instance.
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Old 14th June 2011, 02:48 AM   #183
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Originally Posted by phelix View Post
You what?
Huh? I anything..? I was never mentioned in the comment I posted.
Quote:
I have done for a number of things. The existence of John the Baptist for instance.
I must have missed the post you made that provided founded evidence that established that as, "fact."
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Old 14th June 2011, 03:04 AM   #184
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Originally Posted by phelix View Post
Not at all. I just emphasise the difference between mathematical proof, logical proof, even scientific evidence, and historical evidence.
With the first two, only 100% certainty (or near as damnit) is good enough.
With scientific evidence, you can be pretty sure of something with less than that. 99% certainty is good enough. It has the advantage of being able to repeat the test.
With history, you cannot do this. You have to work with what you're given, and all you can ever conclude is probability. The Spanish civil war probably happened. It's not as certain as much in science which can be tested and so on, but it's extremely unlikely that it didn't happen. If you go back in time further, you have to rely on less and less evidence, so we become less certain in our probabilities. Did Jesus exist? Probably, but it's not the same level as the Spanish civil war by any shot. Did Pythagoras exist? Probably, but it's not the same level as Jesus. Did Homer exist? Maybe. We don't really know.
prob·a·bly   


–adverb in all likelihood; very likely




Why do you insist on using this word. As you can see from it's definition, it doesn't mean what you think it means.

May I suggest you do a 'find-replace' and use 'It is highly unlikely, but can't be ruled out absolutely' for all of your 'probably' Jeebus, the empty tomb and Luke's eyewitness' existed nonsense.
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Old 14th June 2011, 03:06 AM   #185
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Originally Posted by Larechar View Post
Huh? I anything..? I was never mentioned in the comment I posted.

I must have missed the post you made that provided founded evidence that established that as, "fact."
You are asking a different question now. The evidence regarding John the baptist is a mixture of the NT and Josephus. Ancient history doesn't tend to declare "fact".
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Old 14th June 2011, 03:09 AM   #186
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Originally Posted by phelix View Post
You are asking a different question now. The evidence regarding John the baptist is a mixture of the NT and Josephus. Ancient history doesn't tend to declare "fact".
I didn't ask a question.
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Old 14th June 2011, 03:10 AM   #187
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Originally Posted by phelix View Post
You are asking a different question now. The evidence regarding John the baptist is a mixture of the NT and Josephus. Ancient history doesn't tend to declare "fact".
I suppose the biggest issue with your idealism is that you're promoting probability on a scientific forum.
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Old 14th June 2011, 03:11 AM   #188
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Originally Posted by welshdean View Post
prob·a·bly   


–adverb in all likelihood; very likely




Why do you insist on using this word. As you can see from it's definition, it doesn't mean what you think it means.

May I suggest you do a 'find-replace' and use 'It is highly unlikely, but can't be ruled out absolutely' for all of your 'probably' Jeebus, the empty tomb and Luke's eyewitness' existed nonsense.
No, and I get the impression you aren't following my positions on various things/are unaware of the common academic views. I don't think Luke had an eyewitness, and I would be unable to say one way or the other where the story of the empty tomb came from.
With regards to "Jesus", if you mean Jesus' existence, then yes it's a probably. "It is highly unlikely but can't be ruled out absolutely" is the state of the one-faked-source model.
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Old 14th June 2011, 03:13 AM   #189
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Originally Posted by phelix View Post
No, and I get the impression you aren't following my positions on various things/are unaware of the common academic views. I don't think Luke had an eyewitness, and I would be unable to say one way or the other where the story of the empty tomb came from.
With regards to "Jesus", if you mean Jesus' existence, then yes it's a probably. "It is highly unlikely but can't be ruled out absolutely" is the state of the one-faked-source model.
Whatever gave you that idea?
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Old 14th June 2011, 03:19 AM   #190
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Originally Posted by Larechar View Post
I suppose the biggest issue with your idealism is that you're promoting probability on a scientific forum.
Maybe, yes. I've said, if people want to rule out historical beliefs based on historical probability, then that's fine. It's really just a difference of perspective regarding the level of likelihood required for different beliefs.
It could become something of a boundary in attempts to get the religious (and people in general) to adopt a more rational outlook though. If someone comes across atheism and begins discussing things with atheists, then I am a bit optimistic but I think that would generally lead to a conversion to atheism. However, if the person discovers that the weltanschauung also involves disbelief in Pythagoras, Socrates or Galileo, then this could well lead to dismissal.
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Old 14th June 2011, 03:19 AM   #191
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Originally Posted by phelix View Post
No that's nonsense. Try proving the validity of the battle of hastings sources... without using the battle of hastings sources...
If you rule out every available source, then how can any argument be made at all?
All I've been doing is applying the historical method to the sources available. What sort of argument would you expect me to make?
Phelix, let me put it this way. What we are doing in this thread is trying to find evidence that the NT writers told the truth. To use your Battle of Hastings analogy, that would be akin to trying to find evidence that the makers (or commissioners) of the Bayeux Tapestry told the truth.

To do that, we have to use sources other than the Tapestry itself, because it's the truth of what is in the Tapestry we are trying to establish. Saying "Alfgyva was at the meeting between Harold and William, and we know this because the picture in the Tapestry shows it" doesn't establish the truth of the meeting, it establishes that it's in the Tapestry. We need extra-Tapestry sources to confirm why Alfgyva (if it is she) is in the Tapestry at that point.

We're not ruling out all the available sources, we're ruling out Biblical sources, because it's the truth of the Biblical sources we are trying to establish.
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Old 14th June 2011, 03:25 AM   #192
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Originally Posted by Larechar View Post
Whatever gave you that idea?
He was implying I believed that Luke probably had an eyewitness, and that Jesus' tomb was probably empty.
Edit: By "not following" I meant "not being fully aware of"

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Old 14th June 2011, 03:30 AM   #193
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Originally Posted by Agatha View Post
Phelix, let me put it this way. What we are doing in this thread is trying to find evidence that the NT writers told the truth. To use your Battle of Hastings analogy, that would be akin to trying to find evidence that the makers (or commissioners) of the Bayeux Tapestry told the truth.

To do that, we have to use sources other than the Tapestry itself, because it's the truth of what is in the Tapestry we are trying to establish. Saying "Alfgyva was at the meeting between Harold and William, and we know this because the picture in the Tapestry shows it" doesn't establish the truth of the meeting, it establishes that it's in the Tapestry. We need extra-Tapestry sources to confirm why Alfgyva (if it is she) is in the Tapestry at that point.

We're not ruling out all the available sources, we're ruling out Biblical sources, because it's the truth of the Biblical sources we are trying to establish.
Originally Posted by phelix View Post
Maybe, yes. I've said, if people want to rule out historical beliefs based on historical probability, then that's fine. It's really just a difference of perspective regarding the level of likelihood required for different beliefs.
It could become something of a boundary in attempts to get the religious (and people in general) to adopt a more rational outlook though. If someone comes across atheism and begins discussing things with atheists, then I am a bit optimistic but I think that would generally lead to a conversion to atheism. However, if the person discovers that the weltanschauung also involves disbelief in Pythagoras, Socrates or Galileo, then this could well lead to dismissal.
Your conflagration has been extinguished. Cease with the reincarnation of its cohorts. Provide non-falsifiable evidence.
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Old 14th June 2011, 03:33 AM   #194
phelix
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Originally Posted by Agatha View Post
Phelix, let me put it this way. What we are doing in this thread is trying to find evidence that the NT writers told the truth. To use your Battle of Hastings analogy, that would be akin to trying to find evidence that the makers (or commissioners) of the Bayeux Tapestry told the truth.

To do that, we have to use sources other than the Tapestry itself, because it's the truth of what is in the Tapestry we are trying to establish. Saying "Alfgyva was at the meeting between Harold and William, and we know this because the picture in the Tapestry shows it" doesn't establish the truth of the meeting, it establishes that it's in the Tapestry. We need extra-Tapestry sources to confirm why Alfgyva (if it is she) is in the Tapestry at that point.

We're not ruling out all the available sources, we're ruling out Biblical sources, because it's the truth of the Biblical sources we are trying to establish.
We can find numerous times when the various books in the NT are likely to have been correct, owing to other books in the NT, and sources from outside it. The thing is that isn't always especially productive, as only fairly unimportant bits can be verified (the existence of John, the status of Felix and Festus as procurators). I have talked about this to some extent, but it's mostly fruitless as the likely truths are already garnered from Roman governmental sources.
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Old 14th June 2011, 03:35 AM   #195
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Originally Posted by Larechar View Post
Your conflagration has been extinguished. Cease with the reincarnation of its cohorts. Provide non-falsifiable evidence.
In history, non-falsifiable evidence is impossible
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Old 14th June 2011, 03:38 AM   #196
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Originally Posted by phelix View Post
In history, non-falsifiable evidence is impossible
Thank you. Thread=complete.
Until DOC finds more.
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Old 14th June 2011, 03:56 AM   #197
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Originally Posted by phelix View Post
We can find numerous times when the various books in the NT are likely to have been correct, owing to other books in the NT, and sources from outside it. The thing is that isn't always especially productive, as only fairly unimportant bits can be verified (the existence of John, the status of Felix and Festus as procurators). I have talked about this to some extent, but it's mostly fruitless as the likely truths are already garnered from Roman governmental sources.
In the latest season of Dr Who there was a storyline about Richard Nixon (whose existence can be verified from other - non Dr Who sources), Cape Canaveral (whose existence can be verified from other - non Dr Who sources) and a bunch of aliens (whose existence cannot be verified from other - non Dr Who sources). So an element of verifiable truth in a story does not make the whole story true.

The Dr Who stories of late have been largely internally consistent (but like the bible, there are major inconsistencies in earlier episodes) so finding Daleks in series 10 AND series 15 does not mean that they really exist. So finding verification within a multi-episode story does not verify the story itself.

There is a lot of Dr Who fan-fiction which also contains the same "facts" as the core Dr Who stories. Finding reference to Daleks in fan-fiction and Dr Who does not make Daleks true. Finding verification in partial sources does not verify the story itself.

That's why it's important to verify the KEY points from independent sources. In the case of Jesus' life, there simply isn't enough evidence from independent sources to validate the key claims of:

- Son of God
- Rose from the dead
- Performed miracles

There may not be enough evidence to conclude that he existed at all
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Old 14th June 2011, 04:13 AM   #198
phelix
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Originally Posted by The Don View Post
In the latest season of Dr Who there was a storyline about Richard Nixon (whose existence can be verified from other - non Dr Who sources), Cape Canaveral (whose existence can be verified from other - non Dr Who sources) and a bunch of aliens (whose existence cannot be verified from other - non Dr Who sources). So an element of verifiable truth in a story does not make the whole story true.

The Dr Who stories of late have been largely internally consistent (but like the bible, there are major inconsistencies in earlier episodes) so finding Daleks in series 10 AND series 15 does not mean that they really exist. So finding verification within a multi-episode story does not verify the story itself.

There is a lot of Dr Who fan-fiction which also contains the same "facts" as the core Dr Who stories. Finding reference to Daleks in fan-fiction and Dr Who does not make Daleks true. Finding verification in partial sources does not verify the story itself.

That's why it's important to verify the KEY points from independent sources. In the case of Jesus' life, there simply isn't enough evidence from independent sources to validate the key claims of:

- Son of God
- Rose from the dead
- Performed miracles

There may not be enough evidence to conclude that he existed at all
I've covered the parallels with fiction already. As for key points, it really depends what you consider to be "key". The claims you have brought up are theological ones, which can never be validated by history as historians are not permitted to draw on the supernatural. Thus it is paramount that a distinction is drawn between the historical importance and the theological one. It may well be that the NT gives us more accurate historical information concerning John the Baptist than it does concerning Jesus, even though he isn't the centre of attention at all.
What are the key claims of our sources for Mohammed? Him being God's messenger? Him flying to Mecca on a winged horse? No. From a historical point of view it would more likely be the battles he fought in. They would (I'm guessing here) find some of the battle accounts to be likely, some to have been exaggerated, and some to be unlikely. But the theological baggage isn't what historians are concerned with.
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Old 14th June 2011, 04:24 AM   #199
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Originally Posted by phelix View Post
We can find numerous times when the various books in the NT are likely to have been correct, owing to other books in the NT, and sources from outside it. The thing is that isn't always especially productive, as only fairly unimportant bits can be verified (the existence of John, the status of Felix and Festus as procurators). I have talked about this to some extent, but it's mostly fruitless as the likely truths are already garnered from Roman governmental sources.
About the underlined : there is next to no source outside the NT which evrify the key point of the NT. trivial details, sometimes, but nothing important. heck even the trivial details are inconsistent sometimes which what we know of history.

Bolded : That is the whole point isn't it ? The trivial bit can sometimes be confirmed, but the bulk cannot. To jump from that to "the NT wrote the truth" is there for fully unwarranted. The same could be told for many other fictions !

Also I feel like watching "groundhog day" a lot , a trully lot of what you said was discussed critized in the first 100 pages.

Last edited by Aepervius; 14th June 2011 at 05:38 AM.
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Old 14th June 2011, 04:56 AM   #200
Agatha
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Originally Posted by phelix
Originally Posted by Agatha View Post
Phelix, let me put it this way. What we are doing in this thread is trying to find evidence that the NT writers told the truth. To use your Battle of Hastings analogy, that would be akin to trying to find evidence that the makers (or commissioners) of the Bayeux Tapestry told the truth.

To do that, we have to use sources other than the Tapestry itself, because it's the truth of what is in the Tapestry we are trying to establish. Saying "Alfgyva was at the meeting between Harold and William, and we know this because the picture in the Tapestry shows it" doesn't establish the truth of the meeting, it establishes that it's in the Tapestry. We need extra-Tapestry sources to confirm why Alfgyva (if it is she) is in the Tapestry at that point.

We're not ruling out all the available sources, we're ruling out Biblical sources, because it's the truth of the Biblical sources we are trying to establish.
We can find numerous times when the various books in the NT are likely to have been correct, owing to other books in the NT, and sources from outside it. The thing is that isn't always especially productive, as only fairly unimportant bits can be verified (the existence of John, the status of Felix and Festus as procurators). I have talked about this to some extent, but it's mostly fruitless as the likely truths are already garnered from Roman governmental sources.
We can't use other books of the NT to confirm the truth of the NT - that would be like looking at the scene of Harold's journey to Normandy in the Bayeaux Tapestry and using it to confirm the historicity of Harold rescuing soldiers from quicksand. What we can use are other sources of information about the events surrounding the Battle, for example the works of Orderic Vitalis or the Anglo-Saxon Chronicles. If we can get broad agreement, we can say that these events did happen. What we can't say is that if something is in the Tapestry and in no other source, that event (for example Alfgytha's appearance) is likely. It might have happened, it might be pure invention, or it might be something allegorical which has since lost meaning.

Might have, likely and probable are not enough for evidence of truth.
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