Is the New Testament Accurate and Reliable? Archaeology?

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posted on Aug, 16 2005 @ 11:16 PM
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I am a God Fearing man, not wanting to see anyone condemned. I can no more prove God to someone like you scientifically anymore than you can prove no God in the same manner.




posted on Aug, 17 2005 @ 08:20 AM
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Hi Marge:

The "Testimonium Flavium"passage in the mediaeval copies of Josephus' Antiquities show that many foreign Greek words have been added to the original ur-text, as you suspected, and Josephus'original Greek wording was more fluent and stylistic (although he drafted the first version of his Antiquities in Aramaic).

As you pointed out, here is the text in English as it appears in most mediaeval copies, with the CAPITALISED words being spurious additions, which interrupt the flow of his normally very fluent koine Greek:

"Now, there appeared around this time a man named Iesous, a wise teacher IF IT BE POSSIBLE TO CALL HIM A MAN AT ALL FOR HE WAS A WORKER OF MIRACLES who surrounded himself with men pre-disposed to the miraculous (lit. "heard miracles with eagerness") who drew into his circle both Jews and god-feariers among the gentiles who regarded him as the Messiah (lit. "Christos"). When Pilate, at the behest of the leading men amongst us, had condemned him to the cross for sedition against the state, those that revered and followed him from the beginning never forsook his memory FOR HE APPEARED UNTO THEM ALIVE AGAIN ON THE THIRD DAY AS THE DIVINE PROPHETS HAD FORETOLD AND TEN THOUSAND OTHER WONDROUS THINGS CONCERNING HIM and this tribe of Christians, so named from him, have not been eradicated even to this very day. --Josephus, Antiquities, Book XVIII, Chap.iii,sec.3

Notice how the CAPITALISED words, when removed, show the original text as it appeared before the Christianisation of the manuscripts during the middle ages took place...

Just a thought or two on this for the group...!



posted on Aug, 17 2005 @ 08:25 AM
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OK so maybe that one has been altered,

what about this one?

One of the most important Romans historians is Tacitus. In 115 A.D. he recorded Nero's persecution of the Christians, in the process of which he wrote the following:

Christus, from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of our procurators, Pontius Pilatus, and a most mischievous superstition, thus checked for the moment, again broke out not only in Judea, . . . but even in Rome.{3}



I get it, discredit as much as you can and maybe it will go away........Thankfully that will not happen.



posted on Aug, 17 2005 @ 08:35 AM
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Hey Eddie:

Tacitus' Latin uses very biting language when talking of Jews and the Christiani: he writes :

"Christus, from whom this group gets its name, was executed during the reign of Tiberius ("under Pilatus the procurator", recte: PRAEFECTUS) so that this vile superstition once checked has managed to again re-surface, not only in Judaea, but also in the City (i.e. of Rome)..."

hardly a testimonial for the "divinity" of R. Yehoshua bar Yosef the Galilean (BC 12 to AD 36) !!



posted on Aug, 17 2005 @ 08:54 AM
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NEOAMADEUS,

I had not idea that the more modern references to Josephus words has been altered that much as to make emphasis on particular sentences.

Josephus was a Jewish man and as a intellectual man he knew the Jewish people, laws and believes very well.

He was a very strong follower of his Jewish roots.

Ed, you know, you think that I am desecrating the bible because I seek the truth rather than the faith.

But I will confess that I have no problem with the Jesus of Antiquity, yes he may have been a man, perhaps a believer of convictions, a teacher and also his views on the politics of the time got him in trouble with the government of the time.

My problem is . . . why he was taken by the Church and turned into a divinity, that is my problem a mere man that perhaps accomplished something for his people that were in need of guidance at the time, after his death he was manipulated and turn into a divinity for the sole purpose of to help the political agenda of another government the under the rule of Constantino.

If you go back in the historical accounts of how Christianity came to be and it has the earlier Church and Constantino signature all over.

All for political gain even at that time. Politics and Religion has gone hand in hand and not always for the good of the believer.



posted on Aug, 17 2005 @ 09:09 AM
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Hi Marge:

I merely CAPITALISED the words of the "Testimonium Flavium" that were spurious later Christian (bowlderised) additions to the mediaval copies of the Antiquities to show what parts had been added by "pious" Christian scribes---most modern editions of Josephus tend to use ITALICSto show the parts that are "hapax legomena" i.e. words that Josephus would not have used (i.e. they do not match his style or Weltanschauung in the rest of his writings taken as whole) but were added o the text by Christians for their own agenda regarding the purported "divinity of their hero.



posted on Aug, 17 2005 @ 09:17 AM
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Ed, Ed, Ed Ed, Ed!?

Even Paul does not claim any Holy Spirit.....his writing is peppered with ' have no teachings along this line...,' 'I believe....,' and 'I think...'

Am I understanding what you are saying is we should believe Paul because Paul says so?

Is Paul not the one who tells us to follow the leaders of a nation because they are put in charge by God? How do you explain the recent elections?

Is it half the people are not listening to God?
Or is it that God can't make up his mind?

Paul wrote for man. He tried to fill the gap making arguments for mankind with his sweet words. Not to say he was not honorable in his intent, just fallable in his knowledge.

On the serious side, it wouldn't matter what you removed from the Bible. A man is left to his own salvation.



posted on Aug, 17 2005 @ 11:38 AM
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Originally posted by spamandham


Originally posted by edsinger
All of the New Testament was written by either those who witnessed the events first-hand or recorded direct eyewitness accounts.


, you're kidding right? If you can't even get this much correct, why should anyone bother reading the rest of your post?


Just becuase someone gets one or two facts wrong or misphrases something so it seems wrong in their entire post, you will discredit absolutley everything they say? That to me means that you just have to scrutinize that much more the things that they say, not write them off completely. IMHO you should never believe everything that someone says whether you agree with there stance on a subject or not, and you should always do further investiagtion into what they are saying.



posted on Aug, 17 2005 @ 11:48 AM
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I though Paul was considered a "Heretic" by Jews and early Christian's church.

One of the Problems with Paul is that he was too influenced by Mithra ism, and he die waiting for Jesus to comeback in his life time, like many other Christian followers of the time.

Paul was from Tarsus, and Tarsus was also one of the centers of Mithra worship, even if the cult was already wane their believes were still strong among the people.



posted on Aug, 17 2005 @ 12:02 PM
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Originally posted by edsinger
Readily admits he was not an eyewitness to Jesus? Huh? Ignorance is bliss.


Yes, why don't you crack that silly book of yours open to 2 Corinthians 12 and join along:

2I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven. Whether it was in the body or out of the body I do not know—God knows. 3And I know that this man—whether in the body or apart from the body I do not know, but God knows— 4was caught up to paradise. He heard inexpressible things, things that man is not permitted to tell.

Here, Paul tells us the nature of his revelation. It is the form of a vision of inexpressible things. This is hardly the same as being an eyewitness to Jesus.


Originally posted by edsinger
Acts 9:1 Meanwhile, Saul was still breathing out murderous threats against the Lord's disciples. He went to the high priest
Acts 9:2 and asked him for letters to the synagogues in Damascus, so that if he found any there who belonged to the Way, whether men or women, he might take them as prisoners to Jerusalem.
Acts 9:3 As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him.
Acts 9:4 He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, "Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?"
Acts 9:5 "Who are you, Lord?" Saul asked. "I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting," he replied.

Well that means he has met the Christ in PERSON.


Acts was not written by Paul. It is irrelevant if the writer of Acts claims Paul met Jesus if Paul himself does not make such a claim. Paul was likely dead for decades already by the time Acts was written.



posted on Aug, 17 2005 @ 12:07 PM
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Originally posted by edsinger
1 Cor 15:4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures,
1 Cor 15:5 and that he appeared to Peter, and then to the Twelve.
1 Cor 15:6 After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep.
1 Cor 15:7 Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles,
1 Cor 15:8 and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born.
1 Cor 15:9 For I am the least of the apostles and do not even deserve to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.


emphasis mine of course....



Notice that Paul makes no distinction between the nature of his knowledge of Christ and the nature of the knowledge of Christ of other figures of the Church? Notice also that Paul himself claims his knowledge in the form of a vision (2 Corinth 12+)? The clear implication from Paul's own words is that NO-ONE knew a bodily Jesus.



posted on Aug, 17 2005 @ 12:13 PM
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Originally posted by sinta_ilfirin
Just becuase someone gets one or two facts wrong or misphrases something so it seems wrong in their entire post, you will discredit absolutley everything they say?


If they are easily verifiable facts, and are essential facts, then yes. The lack of due diligence proves the author is merely trying to push an agenda rather than partake in a legitimate discussion.


Originally posted by sinta_ilfirin
IMHO you should never believe everything that someone says whether you agree with there stance on a subject or not, and you should always do further investiagtion into what they are saying.


I've seen these arguments a thousand times already. I've learned to recognize an apologist from a truth seeker.



posted on Aug, 17 2005 @ 12:27 PM
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I can only add this much about paul, here.

He change his accounts few times.

He claimed to be an Apostle (ICor. 15:9), he claim to have been instructed by the risen Christ, (To have seen Christ) and also to have resceived his authority from him (IICor. 12:1ff)

But all his claims were taken and disputed by the rest of the Apostles and Jewish believers.

They didn't accept him as a true believer, but they though he was a telling lies.

Paul, actually ignored the teachings of Jesus as by the Gospels, and took his own believes that preached to the people of mystery in which, Jesus was turned into a divine spirit who existed before the world began and who went away to prepared the kindom of God, that was not to be for this world but for the after life, more like Mithraism.

Funny how all this believes were entangle to form the modern christianity believes of today.



posted on Aug, 17 2005 @ 12:37 PM
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Most of the New Testament was written while first-hand witness to Jesus’ miracles and resurrection were still alive. If the events that are described in the gospels are not true those who knew better had the ability to speak out against their reliability.


Then my question is and remains-Why if individuals knew Jesus was the messiah, witnessed the crucifiction, witnessed the resurrection, and witnessed the ascension WHY was it not recorded during the time period and in some cases took over 50 years to be written? Written by men who supposedly were witnesses. Written by man who would have aged considerably, and lived WAY beyond the normal life span for man at the time?

I believe if If had seen a man crucified, risen from the dead, and rising into the heavens I would be writing fast and furious.

This is not a knock on the Bible. I write this for good answers to the question. I remember events that happened 30 years ago. Some of it, the jist of it, well..maybe not so much of it.



posted on Aug, 17 2005 @ 01:07 PM
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Originally posted by madmanacrosswater

Then my question is and remains-Why if individuals knew Jesus was the messiah, witnessed the crucifiction, witnessed the resurrection, and witnessed the ascension WHY was it not recorded during the time period and in some cases took over 50 years to be written? Written by men who supposedly were witnesses. Written by man who would have aged considerably, and lived WAY beyond the normal life span for man at the time?



I think I can answer that one, if I may.

During the fifty years after “Jesus death” Paul was death without witnessing his kingdom established and prophecy fulfilled.

The Romans destroyed the Jewish temples in Jerusalem, wiped out the Jewish Essene at Qumran.

The last Jewish hold “Masada” fell under the last Roman assault.

In order to survive, Judaism and Christianity, had to do something to keep their believes alive.

The letters that were the earliest NT writings, Paul didn’t talk much about Jesus life, and nobody to this day can actually say what was been circulating in references of Jesus, his life and work, birth and so on.

Around the year 70 CE, the Gospel of Mark appeared, whatever the writer was he made an account of an adult Jesus in Jordan for the baptism by John.

This author never wrote anything of Jesus birth or childhood.

Then the Gospel of Matthew and Luke appeared with very nice details of Jesus and expanded to show more details of his origins.

But this was ten years later. Now the two accounts are suspicious in a way that they are separated accounts and conflict with each other. When it comes where and when Jesus was born.

It seems that the story of Jesus from a humble account sounded so good and was readily accepted that more expansion was needed.

Interesting how the great Jesus of divinity started to take form.



posted on Aug, 17 2005 @ 01:37 PM
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Originally posted by marg6043
The letters that were the earliest NT writings, Paul didn’t talk much about Jesus life, and nobody to this day can actually say what was been circulating in references of Jesus, his life and work, birth and so on.

Around the year 70 CE, the Gospel of Mark appeared, whatever the writer was he made an account of an adult Jesus in Jordan for the baptism by John.

This author never wrote anything of Jesus birth or childhood.

Then the Gospel of Matthew and Luke appeared with very nice details of Jesus and expanded to show more details of his origins.

But this was ten years later. Now the two accounts are suspicious in a way that they are separated accounts and conflict with each other. When it comes where and when Jesus was born.

It seems that the story of Jesus from a humble account sounded so good and was readily accepted that more expansion was needed.

Interesting how the great Jesus of divinity started to take form.




Precisely!


If you read the writings in chronological order rather than the order they appear in the NT, you can see details being added over time. This is how myths evolve.

The earliest records of Christ depict him as a spiritual intermediary between men and the unapproachable Platonic god. Then he becomes a human teacher, then he starts performing miracles, then details are added about his birth, then he is deified.

If you permit yourself to read noncanonical Christian writings, you can see the strain between competing sects as well.

The Church would have us believe that just 20 years after the purported crucifixion (the time of Paul's writings), there are already well established churches with competing fundamentally differing doctrines! This simple fact by itself proves that Christianity must have predated the supposed time period of Jesus' ministry, or was not based on a singularly common set of teachings as would be expected if the Gospels existed in oral form at the time.



posted on Aug, 17 2005 @ 02:22 PM
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You know talking about the time line of the Gospels, most historians place the destruction of Jerusalem between 50 to 80 AD, with the first Gospel of Mark to appear about 70 Ad, followed by Luke about 80 AD and Matthew and John 80 to 100 AD.

Plenty of time to elaborate of Jesus life.

Now how this Gospels contradict each other?

Well Matthew claimed that Jesus was born in Bethlehem during Herod the Great and explain the exodus of Jesus family to Egypt and then back to Palestine when Herod died.

Now Josephus a well know Jewish historian wrote that Herod died after a lunar eclipse.

Now is an account of a lunar eclipse that was visible in Palestine on March 14, in 4 before the common era, and another one on January 10 in 1 BCE. So depending which eclipse it was it could have been between 1 or 4 BCE, actually this not help when it comes to the time that Jesus may have been born.

The Gospel of Luke also has Jesus born during Herod's, but he links the birth to a story of a world wide census done by Caesar Augustus, but he ruled during 30 BCE and 14 CE. The problem is that he did not performed one but many census during his reign. Again not very reliable sources to put Jesus brith time.

Then Matthew and Luke said that Jesus was born in Bethlehem, Matt also pin the birth to a prophecy found in the book of Micah (5:2) But this passages were added to the writings of Micah, by another writer that didn't live during the Prophet Micah time in the 8 th BCE but was a 6th century BCE.

The Jews at this time were in exile in Babylon, and during this time the stories of a monarch from the lineage of David was their hope to restore Judah.

The addition to the prophecies of Micah matched that dream, and even when it didn't had to do with Jesus, later the writers of Matt reinterpreted it and applied to Jesus.



posted on Aug, 17 2005 @ 10:55 PM
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Originally posted by NEOAMADEUS
Hey Eddie:

Tacitus' Latin uses very biting language when talking of Jews and the Christiani: he writes :

"Christus, from whom this group gets its name, was executed during the reign of Tiberius ("under Pilatus the procurator", recte: PRAEFECTUS) so that this vile superstition once checked has managed to again re-surface, not only in Judaea, but also in the City (i.e. of Rome)..."

hardly a testimonial for the "divinity" of R. Yehoshua bar Yosef the Galilean (BC 12 to AD 36) !!



Hey Amadues, no kidding? It wasnt meant to, it was to show that ROME knew HE existed, so many in here think he was made up and not REAL.





Originally posted by marg6043
I though Paul was considered a "Heretic" by Jews and early Christian's church.


He sure as heck was when he had his 'visit'. He had some problems with the leader of the Church (James) when Paul was trying to convince them that the salavation offered was to Gentiles also.........which it was.







Originally posted by spamandhamYes, why don't you crack that silly book of yours open to 2 Corinthians 12 and join along:

Here, Paul tells us the nature of his revelation. It is the form of a vision of inexpressible things. This is hardly the same as being an eyewitness to Jesus.



Well you can think that if you wish, but it seems to me Paul was explaining his 'thorn' and how he does not boast.




Originally posted by spamandhamActs was not written by Paul. It is irrelevant if the writer of Acts claims Paul met Jesus if Paul himself does not make such a claim. Paul was likely dead for decades already by the time Acts was written.



Oh you are wrong, its VERY relevant indeed, it tells that the Christ CAME to Paul Personally...He chose the very one that was killing His people. Luke was explaining how Saul became Paul...simple as that. But since you do not feel that the Word is inspired, you do not understand that.



2 Tim 3:16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,



[edit on 17-8-2005 by edsinger]



posted on Aug, 18 2005 @ 12:58 AM
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Originally posted by edsinger
Well you can think that if you wish, but it seems to me Paul was explaining his 'thorn' and how he does not boast.


Huh? Did you even read it? The story of "the man" who was caught up in the 3rd heaven is Paul's testimony of his own experience! For cripes sake please tell me you know at least that much about this silly collection of books you are defending??!!!???



Originally posted by edsinger

Originally posted by spamandhamActs was not written by Paul. It is irrelevant if the writer of Acts claims Paul met Jesus if Paul himself does not make such a claim. Paul was likely dead for decades already by the time Acts was written.



Oh you are wrong, its VERY relevant indeed, it tells that the Christ CAME to Paul Personally...




No it doesn't. It tells that's what the writer of Acts claims.

Let's try an experiment. I say that you said that Jesus is a myth. According to your own standards of evidence, whereby the author of Acts (not Paul and could not reasonably have ever even met Paul) can make claims for Paul, you must accept my claim about your position.

If you do not accept my claim about your position, then you are compelled to either explain why you accept the author of Acts claims about Paul's position or be accused of special pleading.


Originally posted by edsinger
2 Tim 3:16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,


"Everything spamandham writes is inspird by god".

By your own standards of evidence, you are now compelled to accept that statement or be accused of special pleading.



posted on Aug, 18 2005 @ 02:00 AM
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Spam dude I stand corrected. The Lucan authorship of Acts is plainly in front of me now. Thank you.

With that corrected I would also point out the synopsis of Acts explains that Luke was a close travelling companion of Paul.





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