Hello Fellow Atheists: So here's a question. It's been bothering me for some time now and I just want to get your perspectives. When I first became a believer I was handed the book "The Case for Christ" by Lee Strobel. I read it and at the time it made sense to me. I didn't question it much at the time. Now that I am an Atheist I'm curious what others think about it. There are only three options given in this book. Jesus was either a liar, a lunatic, or the true son of God. Of course I know some of you believe that he never existed at all, (I do not). So I want to explore this further. 

Which is it? 

Or

Is it none of the above?

Why? (back yourself up with evidence)...

I hope this discussion can be educational in nature for those of us who are still learning. Thanks!

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So the apocalyptic theme I get, but balance that with all the other radical teaching and speaking against the Pharissees and there's more to it. While he does mention apocalyptic themes it is by far not the only thing he talks about. What now?

So who are these people, Belle, who say he existed, and you can't count Paul, because he admittedly never met him and didn't even enter the picture and take over Christianity until well after the cruci-fiction - emphasis on the fiction.

Who were Matthew, Mark, Luke and John? Did they write the Gospels named after them? If so, when did they write them? Aren't these questions you should be asking yourself if you want to search for the truth? I could answer those questions for you, but then, you'd only be taking my word for it - look up the answers yourself and come back and tell us what you find - and please, don't anyone else answer them for her, otherwise, how will she learn?

And while you're at it, tell us who "Q" was, and I don't mean they guy who made all of the "wonderful toys" (thank you, Jack Nicholson!) for James Bond.

Imagine yourself in a court of law, attempting to get a judge to render a decision that Yeshua was real. Your opposition, who's attempting to show he wasn't, has stipulated that it's OK to use the eyewitness testimony of witnesses who have been dead for two thousand years, under the "death-bed confession" exclusion, assuming that the witnesses in question believed that if they lied, they'd go to hell, and therefore must have been telling the truth.

BUT - and here's the caveat - you can't use hear-say testimony - if the person didn't see it, he doesn't get to say it. Nothing that wasn't personally witnessed by the storyteller, makes it into the record. Example: virgin birth? Who's telling the story? Did he say he was there? Did he see shepherds in the field and angels singing? Did he meet the three magi? Did he state that he personally examined Mary's hymen to ascertain that it was intact? If not, the story's out, no miraculous virgin birth - next!

Up for the challenge, Belle? If so, investigate these guys and make your case.

So who are these people, Belle, who say he existed,

Here's a start Arch: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vMo5R5pLPBE

See 3:50 minutes especially and that may begin to answer your first question.

 

Who were Matthew, Mark, Luke and John?

Common names. Very common names, even to this day.

And Arch: To answer your question to me about

And while you're at it, tell us who "Q" was

The only reason this would be relevant is if I were trying to prove or disprove the Gospel writings in and of themselves and to understand the source of and validity of the translation of them. My question is much broader than that. The fact is that it's not only the Gospels we have to contend with here, but the entire Old and New Testament which according to Biblical Doctrine from beginning to end point to and reveal Jesus as the Son of God. If you really want to throw the baby out with the bath water you need a very large dumping ground.

But to answer your question, Q is hypothesized as being a writer of atleast 2 of the Gospels and mainly as a way to keep a list of great Jesus sayings in preservation. No such person/writer has been confirmed, perhaps it was a scribe, and the arguments are there on both sides, but it doesn't disprove Jesus's existence.

I continue to operate on the premise that Jesus existed, and so who was he?

I still like the hippie answer.

Well, it would seem you actually did do at least some research and now know who Q was.

Yes, it is, "only the Gospels we have to contend with here" - the Bible is full of prophecies of a coming Messiah, and the entire Jewish population of the world is still waiting for him. Only the New Testament claims it to have been Yeshua.

And when you remove all of the writings of Paul, who admits to never having met the man, how large a book do you have left?

And when you remove all of the writings of Paul, who admits to never having met the man, how large a book do you have left?

Enough to be dangerous, including Hebrews, which is a mammoth in and of itself.

But "Hebrews," Belle, was written by Timothy, a follower of Paul, who also, like Paul, never met Yeshua, and whose testimony therefore cannot be counted, one mammoth down --

I thought the author of Hebrews was generally considered 'unknown', although dating by intended audience strongly indicates someone who was either 80 years old or who could not possibly have witnessed events - the former being incredibly unlikely.

Clearly, you've declined to accept the challenge, Belle, and have done no research - Matthew, Mark, Luke and John are common names today precisely because many parents named their children after biblical characters.

Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, had you bothered with any research at all, are the English translations of the Greek translations of the Hebrew/Aramaic names, and you have no idea whether they were common in those times or not, as you've done no research. I thought this would be fun and that you'd learn something, but obviously that isn't going to happen.

And the real purpose of asking who were Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, was to allow you to present the credentials of these four people, and convince us that they really were there, really saw and heard what they say they saw and heard, and how credible they were as witnesses.

But I do understand it's much easier to sit back and watch a YouTube video than to actually do any real research - why think for yourself, when you can get someone on YouTube to do it for you?

I thought this would be fun and that you'd learn something, but obviously that isn't going to happen.

This is fun Arch! Don't get all hurt. I ain't mad atcha. The title of the books is irrelevant as far as I'm concerned but I will do some more research and re-evaluate what I said and get back with you. Forgive my mouthiness today.

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