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Old 20th October 2011, 02:05 PM   #1
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Evidence that substantiates ANYTHING that happened in the Bible.

I believe I have made a thread similar to this one for the existence of Jesus, but is there any evidence outside of the Bible that substantiates any events that supposedly occurred in the Bible? Whether they were outlandish events or small ones, what kind of outside sources are there to back up the Bible's validity in any way as a factual source?
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Old 20th October 2011, 02:07 PM   #2
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I believe there is evidence that Quirinus held a census, and that Pontius Pilate existed.
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Old 20th October 2011, 02:21 PM   #3
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OT or NT? I think there is evidence for the Babylonian exile.
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Old 20th October 2011, 03:06 PM   #4
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There is no evidence for the miracles but there is evidence for a few events described in the bible. Moses following the pillar of fire by night and a pillar of smoke by day is a good description of the eruption of the volcano at Santorini Island.
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Old 20th October 2011, 03:19 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Cainkane1 View Post
There is no evidence for the miracles but there is evidence for a few events described in the bible. Moses following the pillar of fire by night and a pillar of smoke by day is a good description of the eruption of the volcano at Santorini Island.
I know the Minoan eruption gets credit for a lot of (a)historical tales, most notably the sinking of Atlantis, but this is quite too much. Do you know how far away Santorini is from the events of Exodus 13? And frankly, if he was following a pillar if fire/smoke in the direction of the Aegean, he'd be heading the wrong way!
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Old 20th October 2011, 03:27 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by hgc View Post
I know the Minoan eruption gets credit for a lot of (a)historical tales, most notably the sinking of Atlantis, but this is quite too much. Do you know how far away Santorini is from the events of Exodus 13? And frankly, if he was following a pillar if file/smoke in the direction of the Aegean, he'd be heading the wrong way!
Although the timing of the erruption does not fit the early date of Exodus, there is no doubt the eruption would have been observable from the Eygptian coast
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Old 20th October 2011, 03:34 PM   #7
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This book might be of interest. It is about the Old Testament, not the New Testament, though.

Some points:

- The tales of the patriarchs were compiled long after they supposedly took place, and contain plenty of anachronisms.
- The exodus probably did not happen.
- The Jerusalem that David (who probably was a historical figure) ruled was a village.

Originally Posted by Cainkane1 View Post
There is no evidence for the miracles but there is evidence for a few events described in the bible. Moses following the pillar of fire by night and a pillar of smoke by day is a good description of the eruption of the volcano at Santorini Island.
Actually, there is no evidence that the exodus took place, or that the Israelites were slaves in Egypt. Moses, if he at all is based on some historical figure, was very different from the Biblical one.
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Old 20th October 2011, 03:58 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by MG1962 View Post
Although the timing of the erruption does not fit the early date of Exodus, there is no doubt the eruption would have been observable from the Eygptian coast
Really? Observable in what sense? High atmosphere ash cloud? At a distance of 440 miles from the Nile delta, an observer on the ground there has a direct line of sight to 115,000 ft above the Thera volcano (by my back of envelope calc -- could be wildly inaccurate). That's about the upper limit of possible assent of the ash cloud.
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Old 20th October 2011, 04:02 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by hgc View Post
Really? Observable in what sense? High atmosphere ash cloud? At a distance of 440 miles from the Nile delta, an observer on the ground there has a direct line of sight to 115,000 ft above the Thera volcano (by my back of envelope calc -- could be wildly inaccurate). That's about the upper limit of possible assent of the ash cloud.
Yeah I think the envelope has issues. The Krakatoa explosion threw ash 50 miles straight up. It was heard 1600 miles away - checking references for the first visual confirmation of the ash cloud
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Old 20th October 2011, 04:31 PM   #10
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There's still the issue that they'd be heading in the awfully wrong direction, and that's just the beginning of problems.

The coordinates for Thera are 36°25′N 25°26′E, or roughly between Turkey and Greece. Look on a map. Seriously. E.g., zoom out here: http://www.bing.com/maps/default.asp...3_Santorini___

It's not just NORTH of Egypt, it's North-WEST from the Nile delta. Claiming that some guys going EAST were following the plume of an eruption that was NORTH-WEST is as ridiculous as it gets.

Not to mention that on top of conflicting with geography, that hypothesis is also a case of conflicting with history. The world-wide evidence for the Santorini erruption places it somewhere between 1645–1600 BC. But wait a darned minute, that's also in the beginning the Hyskos dynasty (15'th dynasty.) There were not semitic populations running OUT of Egypt at the time of the Santorini eruption, they were coming IN. They were invading Egypt.

There's no sane way to reconcilde an invasion of Egypt with a story about them running OUT of Egypt, if you want to have them both happen at the same time. The latter can't have happened at the time of the Santorini invasion, and in fact the closest time when something like that happened was the expulsion of the Hyskos about 100 years later.

Sorry, those guys would not be following the plume of a volcano from 100 years before them. The ash just didn't stay up that long. Try following the plume of the 2010 eruption in iceland, and that's a mere one year ago. Following the plume of a volcano from 100 years ago is right out.

We also know that Exodus can't have happened much earlier than the Hyskos expulsion anyway, because that's really when (A) Egypt got the horses and chariots described in Exodus, and (B) that's when it became possible for large groups of people to cross the desert.

So, really, to reconcile exodus with the Thera eruption you have to somehow:

- give Egypt some chariots and horses that it never had and didn't know about (the lack of Egyptian cavalry and obsolete army was why the Hyskos just rolled over them)

- have them fail to notice a whole invasion and war rolling over Upper Egypt just as Moses and the Pharaoh are exchanging pleasantries

- have them somehow follow the plume by going almost in the opposite direction

- manage to cross that desert with some logistics that Egypt just didn't have yet (again, that was brought over by those Hyskos)

Etc.

At that point you might as well throw your hands up and just involve extraterrestrials and Batman too.

And that basically is why it's not really possible to make up a good historical explanation based on not knowing much more than the name of a volcano

The more mundane fact is that there simply was no eruption to follow or to cause the plague at any time when such an exodus would be possible at all. (Though even then, not really, since we'd notice if 90% of Egypt's total population had left at any point.) They're not distorting some spectacular event, because there was none. They're simply making up a buch of fantastic bull-crap. A bunch of BS-ers were just lying their ass off to a bunch of marks who didn't know any better. That's it. It's as much as depiction of history as the events of Star Wars are, which is to say, not at all.

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Old 20th October 2011, 07:36 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
There's still the issue that they'd be heading in the awfully wrong direction, and that's just the beginning of problems.

The coordinates for Thera are 36°25′N 25°26′E, or roughly between Turkey and Greece. Look on a map. Seriously. E.g., zoom out here: http://www.bing.com/maps/default.asp...3_Santorini___

It's not just NORTH of Egypt, it's North-WEST from the Nile delta. Claiming that some guys going EAST were following the plume of an eruption that was NORTH-WEST is as ridiculous as it gets.

Not to mention that on top of conflicting with geography, that hypothesis is also a case of conflicting with history. The world-wide evidence for the Santorini erruption places it somewhere between 1645–1600 BC. But wait a darned minute, that's also in the beginning the Hyskos dynasty (15'th dynasty.) There were not semitic populations running OUT of Egypt at the time of the Santorini eruption, they were coming IN. They were invading Egypt.

There's no sane way to reconcilde an invasion of Egypt with a story about them running OUT of Egypt, if you want to have them both happen at the same time. The latter can't have happened at the time of the Santorini invasion, and in fact the closest time when something like that happened was the expulsion of the Hyskos about 100 years later.

Sorry, those guys would not be following the plume of a volcano from 100 years before them. The ash just didn't stay up that long. Try following the plume of the 2010 eruption in iceland, and that's a mere one year ago. Following the plume of a volcano from 100 years ago is right out.

We also know that Exodus can't have happened much earlier than the Hyskos expulsion anyway, because that's really when (A) Egypt got the horses and chariots described in Exodus, and (B) that's when it became possible for large groups of people to cross the desert.

So, really, to reconcile exodus with the Thera eruption you have to somehow:

- give Egypt some chariots and horses that it never had and didn't know about (the lack of Egyptian cavalry and obsolete army was why the Hyskos just rolled over them)

- have them fail to notice a whole invasion and war rolling over Upper Egypt just as Moses and the Pharaoh are exchanging pleasantries

- have them somehow follow the plume by going almost in the opposite direction

- manage to cross that desert with some logistics that Egypt just didn't have yet (again, that was brought over by those Hyskos)

Etc.

At that point you might as well throw your hands up and just involve extraterrestrials and Batman too.

And that basically is why it's not really possible to make up a good historical explanation based on not knowing much more than the name of a volcano

The more mundane fact is that there simply was no eruption to follow or to cause the plague at any time when such an exodus would be possible at all. (Though even then, not really, since we'd notice if 90% of Egypt's total population had left at any point.) They're not distorting some spectacular event, because there was none. They're simply making up a buch of fantastic bull-crap. A bunch of BS-ers were just lying their ass off to a bunch of marks who didn't know any better. That's it. It's as much as depiction of history as the events of Star Wars are, which is to say, not at all.


Very true...


Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
The more mundane fact is that there simply was no eruption to follow or to cause the plague at any time when such an exodus would be possible at all. (Though even then, not really, since we'd notice if 90% of Egypt's total population had left at any point.) They're not distorting some spectacular event, because there was none. They're simply making up a buch of fantastic bull-crap. A bunch of BS-ers were just lying their ass off to a bunch of marks who didn't know any better. That's it. It's as much as depiction of history as the events of Star Wars are, which is to say, not at all.

Absolutely.....well said....
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Old 20th October 2011, 07:45 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
There's still the issue that they'd be heading in the awfully wrong direction, and that's just the beginning of problems.

The coordinates for Thera are 36°25′N 25°26′E, or roughly between Turkey and Greece. Look on a map. Seriously. E.g., zoom out here: http://www.bing.com/maps/default.asp...3_Santorini___

It's not just NORTH of Egypt, it's North-WEST from the Nile delta. Claiming that some guys going EAST were following the plume of an eruption that was NORTH-WEST is as ridiculous as it gets.

Not to mention that on top of conflicting with geography, that hypothesis is also a case of conflicting with history. The world-wide evidence for the Santorini erruption places it somewhere between 1645–1600 BC. But wait a darned minute, that's also in the beginning the Hyskos dynasty (15'th dynasty.) There were not semitic populations running OUT of Egypt at the time of the Santorini eruption, they were coming IN. They were invading Egypt.

There's no sane way to reconcilde an invasion of Egypt with a story about them running OUT of Egypt, if you want to have them both happen at the same time. The latter can't have happened at the time of the Santorini invasion, and in fact the closest time when something like that happened was the expulsion of the Hyskos about 100 years later.

Sorry, those guys would not be following the plume of a volcano from 100 years before them. The ash just didn't stay up that long. Try following the plume of the 2010 eruption in iceland, and that's a mere one year ago. Following the plume of a volcano from 100 years ago is right out.

We also know that Exodus can't have happened much earlier than the Hyskos expulsion anyway, because that's really when (A) Egypt got the horses and chariots described in Exodus, and (B) that's when it became possible for large groups of people to cross the desert.

So, really, to reconcile exodus with the Thera eruption you have to somehow:

- give Egypt some chariots and horses that it never had and didn't know about (the lack of Egyptian cavalry and obsolete army was why the Hyskos just rolled over them)

- have them fail to notice a whole invasion and war rolling over Upper Egypt just as Moses and the Pharaoh are exchanging pleasantries

- have them somehow follow the plume by going almost in the opposite direction

- manage to cross that desert with some logistics that Egypt just didn't have yet (again, that was brought over by those Hyskos)
I can just imagine a fundamentalist reading this and saying "ah ha! all these unlikely things happening at once PROVES its a miracle from God!"
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Old 20th October 2011, 07:53 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Quad4_72 View Post
I believe I have made a thread similar to this one for the existence of Jesus, but is there any evidence outside of the Bible that substantiates any events that supposedly occurred in the Bible? Whether they were outlandish events or small ones, what kind of outside sources are there to back up the Bible's validity in any way as a factual source?
Well, the foundations of the Temple are still in Jerusalem, so yes it was built. There are also the records of Josephus, however some of them are in doubt. There are also the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Nag Hammadi Library, with much extra-Biblical material. I am not familiar with the pre-Roman material corroborating material however I am sure someone else can chime in.
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Old 20th October 2011, 08:35 PM   #14
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An interesting one, the Hittite Empire was entirely unknown outside the Old Testament until discoveries made in the later half of the 19th century.
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Old 20th October 2011, 08:50 PM   #15
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I believe that the planet Earth really exists, it's mentioned in the Bible many times.

I'm pretty sure about the Red Sea, too.
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Old 20th October 2011, 09:20 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
There's still the issue that they'd be heading in the awfully wrong direction, and that's just the beginning of problems.

The coordinates for Thera are 36°25′N 25°26′E, or roughly between Turkey and Greece. Look on a map. Seriously. E.g., zoom out here: http://www.bing.com/maps/default.aspx?v=2&cp=36.416667~25.433333&style=r&lv l=12&sp=Point.36.416667_25.433333_Santorini___

It's not just NORTH of Egypt, it's North-WEST from the Nile delta. Claiming that some guys going EAST were following the plume of an eruption that was NORTH-WEST is as ridiculous as it gets.

Not to mention that on top of conflicting with geography, that hypothesis is also a case of conflicting with history. The world-wide evidence for the Santorini erruption places it somewhere between 1645–1600 BC. But wait a darned minute, that's also in the beginning the Hyskos dynasty (15'th dynasty.) There were not semitic populations running OUT of Egypt at the time of the Santorini eruption, they were coming IN. They were invading Egypt.

There's no sane way to reconcilde an invasion of Egypt with a story about them running OUT of Egypt, if you want to have them both happen at the same time. The latter can't have happened at the time of the Santorini invasion, and in fact the closest time when something like that happened was the expulsion of the Hyskos about 100 years later.

Sorry, those guys would not be following the plume of a volcano from 100 years before them. The ash just didn't stay up that long. Try following the plume of the 2010 eruption in iceland, and that's a mere one year ago. Following the plume of a volcano from 100 years ago is right out.

We also know that Exodus can't have happened much earlier than the Hyskos expulsion anyway, because that's really when (A) Egypt got the horses and chariots described in Exodus, and (B) that's when it became possible for large groups of people to cross the desert.

So, really, to reconcile exodus with the Thera eruption you have to somehow:

- give Egypt some chariots and horses that it never had and didn't know about (the lack of Egyptian cavalry and obsolete army was why the Hyskos just rolled over them)

- have them fail to notice a whole invasion and war rolling over Upper Egypt just as Moses and the Pharaoh are exchanging pleasantries

- have them somehow follow the plume by going almost in the opposite direction

- manage to cross that desert with some logistics that Egypt just didn't have yet (again, that was brought over by those Hyskos)

Etc.

At that point you might as well throw your hands up and just involve extraterrestrials and Batman too.

And that basically is why it's not really possible to make up a good historical explanation based on not knowing much more than the name of a volcano

The more mundane fact is that there simply was no eruption to follow or to cause the plague at any time when such an exodus would be possible at all. (Though even then, not really, since we'd notice if 90% of Egypt's total population had left at any point.) They're not distorting some spectacular event, because there was none. They're simply making up a buch of fantastic bull-crap. A bunch of BS-ers were just lying their ass off to a bunch of marks who didn't know any better. That's it. It's as much as depiction of history as the events of Star Wars are, which is to say, not at all.
Good info and very well put.
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Old 20th October 2011, 10:10 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by gnome View Post
I believe that the planet Earth really exists, it's mentioned in the Bible many times.

I'm pretty sure about the Red Sea, too.


also Egypt and Babylon.... not sure about Eden and Nod though...
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Old 20th October 2011, 10:17 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Quad4_72 View Post
I believe I have made a thread similar to this one for the existence of Jesus, but is there any evidence outside of the Bible that substantiates any events that supposedly occurred in the Bible? Whether they were outlandish events or small ones, what kind of outside sources are there to back up the Bible's validity in any way as a factual source?
Pontius Pilate existed. Caiaphas is recorded as existing by Josephus. A least some of the letters appear to have been written by their claimed authors. A settment of some kind existed at nazareth but it wasn't a city. Crucifiction was certainly in use at the time.

Beyond that though? Thing is there appear to have been a whole bunch of rabble rousers in the area and unless they were recoreded by Josephus we don't know about them.
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Old 20th October 2011, 11:02 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by geni View Post
Pontius Pilate existed. Caiaphas is recorded as existing by Josephus. A least some of the letters appear to have been written by their claimed authors. A settment of some kind existed at nazareth but it wasn't a city. Crucifiction was certainly in use at the time.

Beyond that though? Thing is there appear to have been a whole bunch of rabble rousers in the area and unless they were recoreded by Josephus we don't know about them.

I was there in person standing in 221B Baker Street. London exists and Queen Victoria and Scotland Yard..... so is Sherlock Holmes a real person?

I personally was in King's Cross Station and stood on platform 8 and there was platform 9 right across. I could not find platform 8.5 but hey...give us time.....so is Harry Potter a real Wizard?

I was in Greece and I saw many statues of Zeus and Athena and Delphi is actually a real place....so are the prophecies of the Oracles Of Delphi true...all of them came true by the accounts of the ancient Greeks....why would they lie?

I was in Crete and went in the cave of the Minotaur but did not see him...but he could have just been shy that day.....so is the story of Theseus true?

I never went to Mecca but I am told that Medina and the Kaaba are real and the rock of the dome is real enough... I can attest to that last part.....so is Mohammad truly the prophet of Allah?

I went to the Medieval Times in Florida and saw Excalibur with my own Eyes and of course England is a real place....recently I saw a documentary on the History channel about King Arthur and that he may have actually existed..... So was Merlin really a wizard?


Does the fact that a Myth or Fictitious story refer to real places and real people make that story real and the events in it true and the protagonists of the narrative flesh and blood or Gods as the case might be?
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Old 20th October 2011, 11:17 PM   #20
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Wait, I think I have this one:

No.
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Old 20th October 2011, 11:25 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by LSSBB View Post
Well, the foundations of the Temple are still in Jerusalem, so yes it was built. There are also the records of Josephus, however some of them are in doubt. There are also the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Nag Hammadi Library, with much extra-Biblical material. I am not familiar with the pre-Roman material corroborating material however I am sure someone else can chime in.

There are thousands of TEMPLES of the gods Amun and Athena and Zeus and Jupiter and Vishnu and Quetzalcoatl and Molech and Baal and they are not barely identifiable....they are almost fully intact.

So YHWH was not able to leave any substantial trace of his ONE AND ONLY ABODE ON EARTH while all those other gods were much better guardians of their NUMEROUS places of worship.

It was not even a unique architecture...Look at this excerpt
Quote:
Architectural description

Several temples in Mesopotamia, many in Egypt, and some of the Phoenicians are now known. The description given of Solomon's Temple is not a copy of any of these, but embodied features recognisable in all of them. Its general form is reminiscent of Egyptian sanctuaries and closely matches that of other ancient temples in the region.[13][14][15]

The detailed descriptions provided in the Tanakh and educated guesses based on the remains of other temples in the region are the sources for reconstructions of its appearance. Technical details are lacking, since the scribes who wrote the books were not architects or engineers.[14] Nevertheless, the recorded plans and measurements have inspired Replicas of the Jewish Temple and influenced later structures around the world.

You would think that YHWH could have devised a UNIQUE structure the like of which never existed instead of a standard fair copy of temples for OTHER GODS.

Also notice how the description in the Tanakh is quite a joke when it comes to actually doing any kind of REAL construction....you would think Solomon would have had a better detail from the mouth of YHWH himself.
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Old 20th October 2011, 11:26 PM   #22
geni
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Originally Posted by Leumas View Post
I was there in person standing in 221B Baker Street.
Meaningless. We know that 211 Baker Street didn't exist untill 1932

Quote:
I personally was in King's Cross Station and stood on platform 8 and there was platform 9 right across. I could not find platform 8.5 but hey...give us time.....so is Harry Potter a real Wizard?
Complete plans of kings cross station at the time of it's constuction and various reconstructions exist. No platform 8.5 exists.

Quote:
I never went to Mecca but I am told that Medina and the Kaaba are real and the rock of the dome is real enough... I can attest to that last part.....so is Mohammad truly the prophet of Allah?
It is generaly accepted that Mohammad existed.

Quote:
I went to the Medieval Times in Florida and saw Excalibur with my own Eyes and of course England is a real place....recently I saw a documentary on the History channel about King Arthur and that he may have actually existed..... So was Merlin really a wizard?
There is no meaningful definition of wizard and you would need to specify which merlin.

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Does the fact that a Myth or Fictitious story refer to real places and real people make that story real and the events in it true and the protagonists of the narrative flesh and blood or Gods as the case might be?
Whats that got to do with the price of eggs?
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Old 20th October 2011, 11:34 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by gnome View Post
Wait, I think I have this one:

No.

Pass....you only get a B however because you did not show all the working out.

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Old 20th October 2011, 11:44 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by geni View Post
Meaningless. We know that 211 Baker Street didn't exist untill 1932
What does that have to do with 221B Baker Street?



Originally Posted by geni View Post
Complete plans of kings cross station at the time of it's constuction and various reconstructions exist. No platform 8.5 exists.
It is not supposed to be on any Muglle plans...it is magical.


Originally Posted by geni View Post
It is generaly accepted that Mohammad existed.
That was not the question....the question was is he the prophet of Allah (a.k.a YHWH a.k.a Jesus)? The story says he was.



Originally Posted by geni View Post
There is no meaningful definition of wizard and you would need to specify which merlin.




Originally Posted by geni View Post
Whats that got to do with the price of eggs?
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Last edited by Leumas; 20th October 2011 at 11:59 PM.
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Old 21st October 2011, 12:40 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by Dessi View Post
I can just imagine a fundamentalist reading this and saying "ah ha! all these unlikely things happening at once PROVES its a miracle from God!"
Well, it's already happened for other things, so there is precedent. E.g., Matthew's solar eclipse on a full moon was already known to be a physical impossibility, as it needs the sun to be on BOTH sides of the moon at the same time. Medieval theologians took that as proof that it's a true miracle from God
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Old 21st October 2011, 12:55 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by Leumas View Post
What does that have to do with 221B Baker Street?
Due to the way house numbers in england work 211B isn't going to surface before 211. Arthur Conan Doyle knew what he was doing. At the time books were written the street numbers only went up to about 100.

Quote:
It is not supposed to be on any Muglle plans...it is magical.
I doubt victorian engineers cared about such matters.


Quote:
That was not the question....the question was is he the prophet of Allah (a.k.a YHWH a.k.a Jesus)? The story says he was.
What does that have to do with anything relivant to this thread?


Quote:
Celtic mythology is complicated. The reality is that the prophecies of merlin tend to be accurate right up to the point where they claim that the welsh will beat the english.


Quote:
The question at the start of the thread was "I believe I have made a thread similar to this one for the existence of Jesus, but is there any evidence outside of the Bible that substantiates any events that supposedly occurred in the Bible? Whether they were outlandish events or small ones, what kind of outside sources are there to back up the Bible's validity in any way as a factual source? "

Your comments are completely irrelivant to this.
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Old 21st October 2011, 05:59 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by Leumas
Originally Posted by geni View Post
Whats that got to do with the price of eggs?
Look up 'moving the goalposts'.
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Old 21st October 2011, 08:54 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by geni View Post
Originally Posted by Leumas View Post
I personally was in King's Cross Station and stood on platform 8 and there was platform 9 right across. I could not find platform 8.5 but hey...give us time.....so is Harry Potter a real Wizard?
Complete plans of kings cross station at the time of it's constuction and various reconstructions exist. No platform 8.5 exists.

Platform 8 3/4, on the other hand, may yet exist...
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Old 21st October 2011, 10:04 AM   #29
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There have been many false messiahs, just as Jesus predicted.

But no real one.

Oh well. One out of two ain't bad.
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Old 21st October 2011, 10:41 AM   #30
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As to the Old Testament, we have no outside verification of the patriarchal tales that make up the majority of Genesis. Abram, whose name was changed to Abraham, is cognate with the east Semitic Abu-ramu, which can either mean "exalted father" or, since the verb "to be" was often not stated, but understood, "father is exalted." Abu-ramu was a title born by Anu, the patriarch of the east Semitic pantheon. The name of his father, Terah, was also the name of the Aramean moon god.

Neither the Exodus nor the conquest of Canaan as portrayed in the Book of Joshua can be made to fit the evidence of history or archaeology, whether the Exodus is set at ca. 1450 or in the 1200s BCE.

We have the Tel Dan inscription ca. 850 BCE referring to the "king of the House of David;" but no way to back up the claim that this royal house once ruled both Israel and Judah. That said, the pocket empire of David and Solomon, occurring during a power vacuum, just before the Iron Age Assyrians began expanding, and quickly succumbing to centrifugal tendencies, seems plausible.

There are preserved Assyrian records of many of the kings of Israel and Judah, among them, Omri, Ahab, Ahaz (Yehoahaz) and Hezekiah. The Assyrians not only documented Hezekiah's disastrous revolt, but the deportation of about 27,000 people from Samaria, the capitol of the northern kingdom of Israel. So, 1 & 2 Kings are fairly historical. 1 and 2 Chronicles, constituting a later rewrite of this history are not.

The history of the return of the exiles from Babylon (Books of Ezra and Nehemiah), replete with its glorification of the petty bullying by Nehemiah and the forced separation of families of men who had married foreign wives, is probably reasonably historical.

About the only thing historical in the gospels is (probably) that there was a messianic pretender named Jesus, who taught a theology based on an apocalyptic world-view, and that he was crucified. Those Pauline epistles tat are genuine, such as Galatians, give a probably accurate history of the split between Paul and James, and the creation of a new religion. Acts is a whitewashed version of the contentions between Paul and James. It also features two stories of prisoners (Peter in one story, Paul and Silas in the other) miraculously freed, both of which were lifted from the play, The Bacchae by Euripides.
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Old 22nd October 2011, 09:54 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by Dessi View Post
I can just imagine a fundamentalist reading this and saying "ah ha! all these unlikely things happening at once PROVES its a miracle from God!"
I've actually seen exactly this "argument" put forward. It was in what at first I took to be a skeptical document, explaining in great detail exactly how many people left during the exodus from Egypt, how much space their camp would have taken up, what they'd have needed in terms of supplies (ISTR the numbers were given in terms of freight-carloads per day), the not inconsiderable chore of camp sanitation for a party so big it could not travel its own length in a day. I was expecting it to lead up to the obvious conclusion that this incident, as describe in the Bible, physically could not have happened ... but the punchline was (I paraphrase), "Seeeeeeeeee? This only proves how wondrous and awesomely powerful God is!"
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Old 22nd October 2011, 10:11 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by Quad4_72 View Post
I believe I have made a thread similar to this one for the existence of Jesus, but is there any evidence outside of the Bible that substantiates any events that supposedly occurred in the Bible? Whether they were outlandish events or small ones, what kind of outside sources are there to back up the Bible's validity in any way as a factual source?
You're kidding, right?

Everything?

The existence of Jerusalem, for example?

I mean, seriously....

Do you mind if I ask you, what is the purpose of this thread?
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Old 23rd October 2011, 12:33 AM   #33
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Originally Posted by MG1962 View Post
An interesting one, the Hittite Empire was entirely unknown outside the Old Testament until discoveries made in the later half of the 19th century.
I've been hearing this for a decade and it appears to be an apologetical urban legend. The way it's usually bandied about is - archaeologists scoffed at the Hittites because they were mentioned in the Bible, but had to eat their words when Hattusas was unearthed in the late 1800s. That doesn't appear to be accurate and I'd also note that Rameses II wrote a lot about the Hittites on his temples, and the Rosetta stone has allowed translation of heiroglyphs decades before Hattusas was unearthed.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biblical_Hittites

Originally Posted by TimCallahan View Post
Those Pauline epistles tat are genuine, such as Galatians, give a probably accurate history of the split between Paul and James, and the creation of a new religion. Acts is a whitewashed version of the contentions between Paul and James. It also features two stories of prisoners (Peter in one story, Paul and Silas in the other) miraculously freed, both of which were lifted from the play, The Bacchae by Euripides.
To the OP, I was going to mention the letters in the NT which represent communication between early churches and church fathers. Also the seven churches listed in Revelation not only existed, but exist to this day.
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Old 23rd October 2011, 03:48 AM   #34
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Originally Posted by gnome View Post
I believe that the planet Earth really exists, it's mentioned in the Bible many times.

I'm pretty sure about the Red Sea, too.
Reed Sea. Red is a mistranslation.
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Old 23rd October 2011, 03:51 AM   #35
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Myrddin,not Merlin.
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Old 23rd October 2011, 05:29 AM   #36
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Well, I think the better question is whether anything of substance there can be supported. That they would use some RL props and locations for their BS fanfic is not very interesting, because we already know that people do that all the time. E.g., we can also say that New York from Spiderman comics does exist, but that's just because they used a real city as location.

I think it's important to distinguish between (A) the major events that are part of the plot and (B) the props and trivia, because keeping it fuzzy is what allows people to assume that if some trivia can be supported then they can take the other stuff as true or probably based on true stuff too. And really that's bogus. Just because Spiderman is set in a 20'th century New York, doesn't mean that the actual deeds of Spiderman (or, shall I say, Acts Of Spiderman) are anything but fiction. Similarly, just because there was a guy calling himself Paul who did write a letter to the Galatians mentioning Jerusalem and Damascus, doesn't mean we should take the actual events in there as gospel (those are different chapters, you know?)

So, while conceding the point that a lot of props and settings are indeed based on RL ones, I'd find it a more important question if any of the more important events actually happened. Was there an exodus? Was there a guy with balls of steel who took it upon himself to teach Cyrus about other gods what he, umm, already knew anyway as a devout Zoroastrian? Did the mighty capital of the Assyrian empire actually convert to Judaism just because some nobody called Jonah told them to?
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Old 23rd October 2011, 08:17 AM   #37
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What used to always kill me were people that would claim "Why would the ancients write about something if it wasn't true?". I also see this attitude with modern writers of psuedo-sciences (such as Von Daniken saying "Why would the ancients draw a picture of what appears to be an ancient astronaut unless it wasn't based on something they actually saw?"). Of course, by this reasoning, you can't discount all the other Gods and myths from around the world either, but true believers will always pick and choose what they want to be true.
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Old 23rd October 2011, 08:23 AM   #38
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
Well, I think the better question is whether anything of substance there can be supported.
This is my problem with the claim that everything in the Bible (or the Koran or Vedas) is a lie from word one to the final sentence. It simply isn't true. There are a number of verifiable historical references in every holy book that obviously reference actual persons or events. The question is do those actual persons and events reflect a supernatural influence on the world.

In the late '90s I noted in response to an apologist, that Schiemann had used the Iliad to find the supposedly legendary remnants of Troy. That archaeological fact didn't validate the Greek theology about Olympus, Achilles, etc. The mundane archaeological discoveries don't validate the supernatural claims. I might not have been the first to make such an observation in writing, nor the first to make it on the Internet, but it's one I came up with on my own and I'll stand by it.

Clearly the question to the OP is yes. The much more important question is do any of the supernatural questions stand up to scrutiny, and for me, the answer is no.
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Old 23rd October 2011, 01:31 PM   #39
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Originally Posted by Quad4_72 View Post
I believe I have made a thread similar to this one for the existence of Jesus, but is there any evidence outside of the Bible that substantiates any events that supposedly occurred in the Bible? Whether they were outlandish events or small ones, what kind of outside sources are there to back up the Bible's validity in any way as a factual source?

Depends on what you mean by 'events'. For the OT, the existence of Cyrus is well attested, and of course the cities that are mentioned. The Hittites existed, but that doesn't mean that the Hittite referred to in Genesis did. The Babylonian exile is also attested AFAIK.

For the New Testament I'm not sure any event is confirmed outside of Christian writings. There are, perhaps, references to James and Jesus in Josephus, but one has clearly been tampered with if not wholly invented and the other is ambiguous at best; and neither of these refer to events in the NT. It's possible that Seutonius' reference to a disorder caused by Chrestus is reflected in one section of Acts that mentions the ejection of Jews from Rome by Claudius -- but that is only base speculation at best.

Probably the only 'event' that one could mention in the NT being reflected in non-Christian sources from around the time is the general mention of persecutions in Paul's letters and Peter's letters amongst other places. We have good documentation of spotty Christian persecution from the second century.
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Old 23rd October 2011, 05:44 PM   #40
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Originally Posted by Piggy View Post
You're kidding, right?

Everything?

The existence of Jerusalem, for example?

I mean, seriously....

Do you mind if I ask you, what is the purpose of this thread?
No idea what you are talking about. Everyone else was able to get the purpose of the thread and answer intelligently. Appears that you missed the bus though.
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