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Re: Are you sure?


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3/30/2003 5:43 AM
Ross M.
Re: Are you sure?
I said that in reference to what I heard in my concurrent enrollment Humanities class from a nearby college, I assumed it was adequately backed up to be in print in my book as well as unchallenged by the (christian) professor.  
 
I'll be reading at the sites you've pointed about, but I'm a bit weary of taking for fact texts at christian websites, it's hard to believe that they have an unbiased opinion, as compared to an agnostic/atheist who has nothing to gain or lose by saying that Jesus was added into the Bible at a later date. There is no question that parts of the bible are true, and parts are false, at least in my eyes.
 
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3/30/2003 8:08 PM
Skreddy

On what basis do you suggest that a Christian is biased, yet an agnostic/atheist is unbiased?  
 
Hypothetically speaking, wouldn't it make sense that, if the Bible were true, that people familiar with the facts would tend to believe in it? Wouldn't that tend to make them Christians, then?  
 
So, your statement that Christians are biased is really just evidence of your own bias against the Bible, isn't it? Especially if you have already decided ahead of time, before you even bother to check the facts, to give weight to agnostics/atheists and to mistrust Christians.  
 
If a college textbook uses "it is believed..." and "...a well-known fact..." as logical arguments, chances are it was written by someone with an axe to grind and little else in the way of evidence.
 
3/31/2003 4:54 AM
Ross M.

On what basis do you suggest that a Christian is biased, yet an agnostic/atheist is unbiased?  
 
If Jesus were written into the bible origionally or later on, it makes no difference to me, so long as we know the truth about it in the end, it's our history. I don't care if I'm wrong about that, it wouldn't rip away my lifes beliefs and transform my world, but it would for a Christian who spent their whole life believing in Jesus. That is the ultimate bias.  
 
Hypothetically speaking, wouldn't it make sense that, if the Bible were true, that people familiar with the facts would tend to believe in it? Wouldn't that tend to make them Christians, then?  
 
I'm not sure what you're getting at here. Of course Christians believe in the bible, until something in it doesn't suit their lifestyle and so they find an excuse to mold it into what they'd rather it say. This is typical of about 80% of people in my area, anyways, in the bible belt! Your typical Christian is a world away from being "familiar with the facts" the main teachings are just to have faith. In contrast, the Scientific Method requires you to have a genuine hypothisis with a factual base before it's even looked at by other people with a smidgen of belief.  
 
So, your statement that Christians are biased is really just evidence of your own bias against the Bible, isn't it? Especially if you have already decided ahead of time, before you even bother to check the facts, to give weight to agnostics/atheists and to mistrust Christians.  
 
I have no bias against the bible, I just don't believe it's true. I think it was something used to keep society in order by making them fear consequences of evil actions in the afterlife. And as I mentioned, I had been taught that in a college course, not something I just decided to make up, did you even read my post? I clearly stated my Proffessor is Christian!  
 
If a college textbook uses "it is believed..." and "...a well-known fact..." as logical arguments, chances are it was written by someone with an axe to grind and little else in the way of evidence.  
 
I didn't pull quotes directly from the textbook, I just wrote the general assumption it made. I used my own wording, "it is believed" would be saying that someone believes that, and someone does. "A well known fact" is that a king of England wrote in divorce. What would stop previous kings from doing it? It wouldn't be as hard as you seem to think it is for it to be modified and end up with several different versions. So far as having little else in the way of evidence, check through the sites linked from the page you mentioned. They are chock full of explanations that sound perfectly reasonable until they run into a wall and have to guess part of the story with no actual evidence. Sure, it's done in evolutionary science too, but if christians are so adamant that they are right and are going to point fingers at evolutionists for assuming things, why be hypocrites? In contrast, it looked as if they were trying really hard to validate it all in a scientific way, I'll give it that. The page you linked regarding the New Testament made it look as if they are fairly origional. I would still like to take some time to read an opposing argument though. There are things you and I wouldn't even think of or have access to that would be used to prove that wrong.  
 
In closing, here is my origional post that you totally blew out of proportion with your misreading:  
 
This is not at all unlikely, the Bible's origional versions are not available to us presently, and it's believed that Jesus was migrated from the paegans. (Note that this is mis-spelled, "Pagans" is correct) A well known fact that the Kings of various countries modified the bible for their own purposes, and I've heard the Dead Sea Scrolls make no mention of Jesus, although I haven't backed that up by checking up on it.  
 
By saying "..unlikely" I still leave open the possiblity of my being incorrect, I didn't say "it is a fact." I do strongly believe it though, thus the wording, but not as absolute. "It is believed" also doesn't label as a fact. It was a theory presented in my book. As I explained earlier, it is a fact that the bible has been modified in the past. Debate that, and I'll doubt YOUR research into the subject. And finally, the only thing I mentioned that I hadn't checked up on was the Dead Sea Scrolls theory, so why didn't you waste your time arguing about that?
 
3/31/2003 5:20 PM
Skreddy

Ok, you didn't get my hypothetical question. When I said 'hypothetical' I meant to suspend your own view of reality for just a second and consider what it would be like if the situation posed by the question were true. That means that you're supposed to answer the question based ONLY on the information given in the question; don't bring in any facts from outside of the question. A hypothetical question isn't meant to decide whether an issue is true, it's only a logical illustration, a tool for understanding a principle.  
 
Let's try it again. This time, make no assumptions other than the ones posed by the question.  
 
IF the Bible WERE TRUE (note the "IF"!!)...  
(I.e.; authorship, dates of writing, events described, etc., all authentic, accurate, and correct)  
 
Wouldn't the people familiar with THE FACTS...  
(I.e.; archaologists, historians, etc.)  
 
Tend to BELIEVE in it?  
(since they are intimate with the facts and details and confirm that it's actually true)  
 
Wouldn't that tend to make them Christians, then? (by definition?)  
 
--End of hypothetical question--  
That question was only for the purpose of illustrating that you CANNOT discount evidence or research JUST BECAUSE it's offered by Christians. That's known as the Ad Hominem attack, and it's a common logical fallacy. Please avoid using it.  
 
Here's some homework for you. Please post the verse you're claiming the the King of England added to the Bible. This should be easy, since it's a 'fact'...
 
3/31/2003 11:18 PM
Ross M.

Your hypothetical question shows you don't realize that most of the highly educated scientists, archaologists, historians, etc., are probably not Christian, from my experiences. People who believe in the bible are Christians, but that doesn't make them familiar with the facts, once again. These are all simple concepts.  
 
Here is a link explaining modifications Henry the eighth made, actually by removing entire books. It affected only the church of England, now Protestant. My point here was, what stops the Pope from having bibles not suiting his tastes at the time destroyed, to put new ones in their place? Major modifications don't have to be made to change major parts of the religion.  
 
http://www.captelco.qc.ca/churchofjesus/_disc1/00000130.htm  
 
Suspend your view of reality and ask yourself, "Could Saddam change the views of his people on Islam if he wanted?" Of course he can! He's a dictator! The Pope and Kings were in the same position. How could the bible NOT have been modified by a tyrant at some point or another, that's what I'd like to know.
 
4/1/2003 1:01 AM
Skreddy

For what it's worth, if you take a tour of Jerulsalem or visit its museums or holy sites, there's a chance you might get to meet one of Israel's eminent archaologists. Not a Christian, but he can still point out to you the very stones upon which Jesus walked and where many of the gospel stories took place around his beloved city.  
 
If you visit the International History Project web site http://ragz-international.com/ and read the history of Christianity, you will find a man more knowledgable about history than you or I discussing the early Christian church from the context of what he knows as a historian. He would never admit to you that he is a Christian. But what he believes about Jesus qualifies him in my opinion.  
 
quote:
"How could the bible NOT have been modified by a tyrant at some point or another, that's what I'd like to know."
That's a perfectly valid question. It stands to reason that if the Bible could have been corrupted by a tyrant, it probably would have been.  
 
The simple, short answer is that the books that eventually came to be collected together into the modern New Testament had never been under any one group or ruler's control. They simply circulated and were copied and spread and flourished all over the world along with Christianity as a whole. Any church leader or government head who attempted to make textual changes to the manuscripts might theoretically have a bit of success in the short term. But the thousands of other copies of the text would be available to witness against the reliability of the changed versions, and they would never have survived or been accepted by the church at large. In fact, there are only a very few, minor variations in the thousands of ancient manuscripts found all over the world. Most Bibles will make a footnote about such passages. One is the story in John chapter 8 of the woman taken in adultery in which Jesus tells her accusers "He that is without sin among you, let him cast the first stone at her." Some manuscripts omit this story, but to me, it just sounds like something Jesus would say, and I have a hard time believing somebody could have just made it up.  
 
In order to be accepted as scripture, the Christian writings had to have been written by someone directly close to Jesus and also pass the following tests: 1.) Authorship known? 2.) Considered divinely inspired by other apostles or early church leaders? 3.) Uncorrupted, complete, and reliable? There are many fine books that simply didn't make it because they failed one of the tests or were considered heretical or divisive.  
 
It should serve to bolser your confidence in the authority of the Bible that tough criteria were applied to the books that came to be accepted into the canon of scripture.  
 
Here are a couple of informative pages about the early history and canonization of the New Testament scriptures...  
http://gbgm-umc.org/umw/bible/jc.html  
http://www.ministriesofgrace.bravepages.com/id8.htm  
 
If you want more in-depth information, I highly recommend Josh McDowell's books, such as "More than a Carpenter" and "Evidence that Demands a Verdict".  
 
The information, both pro and con, is out there. I'll leave you to deal with it yourself, however you choose.
 
4/1/2003 6:43 AM
Ross M.

For once, I don't disagree with anything you said.  
 
Looking back on what I've written and said in the past, sometimes without thinking about it extensively enough I say things just for the purpose of putting it on the table to debate. My friends and I do this all of the time, and I suppose it's just a personality trait. There is lots of factual evidence supporting a LOT of the bible, but in my opinion it really still can't prove everything and thus my atheism/agnosicism. Places in King Arthur are real, but the story isn't real. I would see it as a real possibility that someone once claimed to be the son of god and did things that seemed like miracles. I recall hearing a story in Church (I used to go, as recent as two years ago) about an Egyptian magician who was able to perform every miracle that Jesus was up to some point where he made the river run red or something. I know that given the recources, I could probably do that with a little help from prophets. ;) In the past, it was my stance that Jesus was a real person, just not a son of God. I wish my Humanities teacher had worded the thing about Jesus differently, it seems more likely that the Pagans copied Jesus or were referring to the same person in the first place.  
 
Seriously, I think that some day we're going to all know one way or the other, and in the meantime I'm just in it to have fun and live morally anyways, for the obvious benefits that come from that. Anytime I see a kid handed a beer, they say this is against my religion. Then they end up doing it anyways. Me, I'm allergic to it. Makes me vomit uncontrollably and become disoriented, I haven't tried it personally but I have observed the symptoms in several family members.  
 
One day I hope to visit all of the important historical places in the world, starting with Rome, moving to Bejiing, London, and so on. I think it's rather dangerous to go to Israel right now, but hopefully one day I can go there. I'm not as close-minded as I appear.
 

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