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Is the New Testament Accurate and Reliable? Archaeology?

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posted on Aug, 25 2005 @ 11:00 PM
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There is a great deal of scholarly inquiry into the veracity of the New Testament. Even a simple search results in many such references.

Please refer to my previous post, especially regarding the Codices I mentioned. To reiterate: Now if the oldest known and most complete renditions contain forgeries and other alterations, how can versions passed on by tradition be trusted?

One of my heroes is Thomas Jefferson. To quote one of his letters, "I have examined all the known superstitions of the world, and I do not find in our particular superstition of Christianity one redeeming feature." Other of the Founding Fathers of America were equally disenchanted with the religion. A particularly harsh critic of the New Testament, Thomas Paine, asserted, "The four books called the Evangelists, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, which give, or pretend to give, the birth, sayings, life, preaching, and death of Jesus Christ, make no mention of what is called the fall of man; nor is the name of Adam to be found in any of those books, which it certainly would be if the writers of them believed that Jesus was begotten, born, and died for the purpose of redeeming mankind from the sin which Adam had brought into the world. Jesus never speaks of Adam himself, of the garden of Eden, nor of what is called the fall of man."

Though the New Testament critics are many, that does not in itself give weight to to their opinion. But it is the clarity of their arguments that does.



D

posted on Aug, 26 2005 @ 02:26 AM
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Originally posted by spamandham

Originally posted by D
And you better look in Mithradatic religion a bit more. One of the intiation rituals consisted of slaughtering a cow and bathing in its blood and guts before cooking and eating it. Doesn't exactly sound similar to Christianity.


Rev 1:5
And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,

Sounds pretty darn similar to me.


No it doesn't. I don't see how bathing in a cows blood and guts can be similar to someone believing that Jesus died and rose from the dead and acknowleding Jesus as their own personal Saviour. That to me has no similarities physcially or spiritually. If you believe that then you're deluding yourself.



posted on Aug, 26 2005 @ 07:15 AM
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I am still waiting for someone to send me to a location where I can observe VALID evidence on the accuracy and reliability of the New Testament.

By VALID evidence I mean evidence that can't be conjured up in the mind, or used like the Bushies to crunch into one's own thinking.



posted on Aug, 26 2005 @ 09:26 AM
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Originally posted by D

Originally posted by spamandham
Rev 1:5
And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,

Sounds pretty darn similar to me.


No it doesn't. I don't see how bathing in a cows blood and guts can be similar to someone believing that Jesus died and rose from the dead and acknowleding Jesus as their own personal Saviour. That to me has no similarities physcially or spiritually. If you believe that then you're deluding yourself.


I suppose these two religions just came up with the idea of bathing in blood independently. One chose the blood of a cow, and one chose the blood of a Jesus.

...and I'm the one whos deluded?


D

posted on Aug, 27 2005 @ 12:40 AM
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So when's the last time someone killed Jesus and literally bathed in his blood eh?



posted on Aug, 27 2005 @ 10:28 AM
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You must also understand the concept of manna, it fed the Jews for 40 years. It was spiritual food as is the Lord's Supper.....

Here one compares it with 'bathing' in blood? Not even in the same ballpark.

A side note here, some Christians say that the Lord's Supper represents the body and blood , while others say it IS the body and blood.

I feel that it IS...but I can understand why some would think it 'sick' tobe drinking blood like a vampire or something. I do not, I feel it is spiritual food, that strengthens ones faith as we humans are sinful creatures and need all the help we can get.



posted on Aug, 27 2005 @ 12:06 PM
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Originally posted by D
So when's the last time someone killed Jesus and literally bathed in his blood eh?


Never ago.



posted on Aug, 27 2005 @ 09:25 PM
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So we continue the journey, has archeology provne the bible right while the skeptics stood in awe of the Book?

Lets take a look,




By 1960, in a book endorsed by an editorial board consisting of American Liberal Clergymen, John Elder had written:

It is not too much to say that it was the rise of the science of archaeology that broke the deadlock between historians and the orthodox Christian. Little by little, one city after another, one civilization after another, one culture after another, whose memories were enshrined only in the Bible, were restored to their proper places in ancient history by the studies of archaeologists. . . . Contemporary records of Biblical events have been unearthed and the uniqueness of Biblical revelation has been emphasized by contrast and comparison to newly discovered religions of ancient peoples. Nowhere has archaeological discovery refuted the Bible as history



Is the Story of Adam and Eve older than Genesis?



Some of the most startling archaeological finds bear upon the historicity of the first eleven chapters of Genesis, a portion of the Bible that even some Bible-believing scholars have had difficulty accepting at face value. Among these is the Temptation Seal, found among ancient Babylonian tablets, and presently in the British Museum, depicting the Garden of Eden story. In its center is a tree, with a man on the right, and a woman on the left plucking fruit. Behind the woman is a serpent, standing erect, as if whispering to her.4

The "Adam and Eve" seal depicts a naked man and a naked woman walking as if utterly downcast and brokenhearted, followed by a serpent. Presently in the University of Pennsylvania Museum in Philadelphia, this seal was found in 1932 by Dr. E. A. Speiser near the bottom of the Tepe Gawra Mound, 12 miles north of Nineveh. He dated the seal at about 3500 B. C. and called it "strongly suggestive of the Adam and Eve story."



And Babel?


A stele (or monument) discovered at the site of Ur in ancient Babylon depicts the various activities of Ur-Nammu, who was king of Ur from 2044 to 2007 B.C. According to the stele, he began construction of a great tower. According to a clay tablet unearthed at the same site by George Smith of the British Museum, the erection of the tower offended the Gods, who "threw down what they had built. They scattered them abroad, and made strange their speech."6 This is very similar to the account of the tower of Babel found in Genesis 11:1-9.

Other archaeologists, including E. A. Speiser and S. N. Kramer of the University of Pennsylvania, and Oxford cuneiformist Oliver Gurney, have found evidence that the ancient Sumerians believed that there was a time when all mankind spoke the same language and that at a particular time, the God of Wisdom confounded their speech.7




How about Sodom?



The Biblical account of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah has been corroborated by surface surveys undertaken on the east side of the Dead Sea, which have revealed a series of five ancient cities dating back to the Middle Bronze era. There is strong evidence that various layers of the earth were disrupted and hurled high into the air. Because much of this material was bituminous pitch, these five cities were covered with it. The layers of sedimentary rock at these sites were molded together by intense heat, as is evident on the top of nearby Jebel Usdum (Mount Sodom). Geologists have hypothesized that an oil basin beneath the Dead Sea ignited and erupted, causing a rain of fire and debris upon these cities


ARCHAEOLOGY AND THE BIBLE






Many people attempt to say that archaeology does not prove the Bible to be true. Yet, any forgery containing enough specific historical details will quickly betray its own speciousness when compared with other evidence bearing upon the times, places, and events that it describes. If you study the archaeological evidence in confirmation of the Biblical accounts, you find such a correspondence between the events described and the artifacts, inscriptions, and monuments bearing upon them as to leave very little room for doubt about the historical trustworthiness of the Bible. If you bear in mind the vastness of the possibilities for historical error for any ostensibly accurate historical account, and add to it the realization that all historical events are inextricably intertwined, it strains your credulity to be told that the archaeological evidence in corroboration of the Bible is not conclusive.


WHY THE BIBLE CANNOT BE LEGEND






[edit on 27-8-2005 by edsinger]



posted on Aug, 27 2005 @ 09:39 PM
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Josephus. The sole non-gospel reference to the NT account of Jesus and his ministry. The Jewish historical texts mention none of it. Not one disciple, or miracle, but that proves naught. The only characters in the NT confirmed by any other source are the famous, prominent ones, like Herod, Caesar, and Pilate. No members of Jesus' circle can be found outside Josephus and the gospels. Such scarce support is hard to call proof. I feel he did live, but am not absolutely positive. Josephus could have written all four gospels himself, in which case he would be the founder of Christianity. I doubt that is the case, or his intent. His children rose to prominence in Rome, though, thanks to his writings, which contain very suspect claims, imho. Jesus may be fiction, I doubt it, but he may be.



posted on Aug, 27 2005 @ 09:45 PM
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Originally posted by BlackGuardXIII
Josephus. The sole non-gospel reference to the NT account of Jesus and his ministry.




I guess you have not read through the whole thread, here is one for you.



Originally posted by edsinger
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]



posted on Aug, 27 2005 @ 09:54 PM
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115 AD is the date you cite. How old was Tacitus? I meant that there are an absence of contemporary records. This one, though old, is not. Tacitus may have been one of the many who read and swallowed fellow Roman Josephus's sometimes very tall tales.



posted on Aug, 27 2005 @ 10:27 PM
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Originally posted by BlackGuardXIII
115 AD is the date you cite. How old was Tacitus? I meant that there are an absence of contemporary records.


Thats not what you said, you said only the NT and ol Jo had any comments of the Christ....I proved that wrong.



posted on Aug, 27 2005 @ 10:32 PM
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But you didn't quote me as a source. I said I believe he lived, so my opinion is as valid as any. You did prove your point, but I fail to see any meaningful reason to prove that later writers wrote about him. Who on earth would dispute that? Half the books in the world are about him.... well maybe not that many. That proves zip. But you are right and I was wrong.



posted on Aug, 27 2005 @ 10:36 PM
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Thanks for your honesty, its rare in here.

As to why there are no other documents, I am not sure. the Gospels were written long after the fact and I think it might be that they were persecuted by the Romans. I am not really sure. There might be some that have yet to be found, but the New Testament is one of the most documented books in the 100-200AD time frame.

Even its critics acknowledged its existence....



posted on Aug, 27 2005 @ 11:02 PM
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I appreciate the reply, and thank you for teaching me a few things about the record. I find the lack of any contemporary records still extant to be totally understandable. It is certainly not hard to believe that in 2000 years they have all been lost or destroyed. Or, in certain libraries, like say the Vatican Library, or private European Royal family libraries, there may be something. I would love if people were able to check anyway. I have many questions, and very few answers. To me, most facts are illusions, and many conspiracies have more evidence supporting them than do the official versions. My views are very eccentric, and few other people agree with them, which is no problem for me. But, often it is a problem for them.
But, life is a mystery, and its all good. It is kind of comforting to not have answers, gives me something to do. If I was God, and knew everything, I would imagine boredom would be a serious concern. What would the point of doing anything more if it was all already known? It is like cheating at solitaire, sure you can win every time, but it gets boring after awhile



posted on Aug, 27 2005 @ 11:20 PM
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Originally posted by BlackGuardXIII Or, in certain libraries, like say the Vatican Library, or private European Royal family libraries, there may be something. I would love if people were able to check anyway.


Wouldn't this be great? I would like to know what was in the library at Alexandria before it was destroyed.

Hopefully another grand find such as the dead sea scrolls will come along some day.



posted on Aug, 28 2005 @ 12:40 AM
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Another tragic loss that I wonder about is the Mayan and Aztec texts that were destroyed, very few were saved. Carthage had a library that was large, too. And China must have lost a lot when the emperor of the time 1200's? burned all the books.
Where would we be now if those losses had not happened?



posted on Aug, 28 2005 @ 09:37 AM
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Originally posted by madmanacrosswater
I am still waiting for someone to send me to a location where I can observe VALID evidence on the accuracy and reliability of the New Testament.

By VALID evidence I mean evidence that can't be conjured up in the mind, or used like the Bushies to crunch into one's own thinking.


I suggest you pack your bags and travel to Jeruselam. Take a momment to observe the temple, go east and see the mount of olives, look back over to the west back over jeruselam, try to do this in the morning so the lighting is right and the air is clear. If your lucky you can look at the location where they discoverd the pool of siloham. You could probly have a tour guide show you the other sites in the area that cooicide with parts of the gospel since there are too numerous for this feeble mind to remember.

but this would probly not be good enough for you since you wouldnt even want to make the trip on the off chance you could be proven wrong



posted on Aug, 28 2005 @ 02:55 PM
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Originally posted by Jehosephat chance you could be proven wrong


Or one could research the history of the New testament documents, there is a lot of good information to help one understand just how the books came to be...



posted on Aug, 29 2005 @ 12:48 AM
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If you are convinced that solid proof of the validity of the information in the NT is the fact that landmarks in Jerusalem, such as the mount of olives, etc., then would you also give the same credit to the books Hawaii, The Source, Chesapeake, Centennial, Poland, Texas, Alaska, and Space?
This list of lengthy and well written books are all filled with vivid, detailed descriptions of places, events, and cultural behaviors, clothing, societal norms, etc. which are very accurate to the time and place, and all very real. You can go to these places, or research the information and find it is all true. If I used this as proof that these books are the true record of real history, then I would have to accept that all these examples of James Michener's novels are not novels, but nonfiction. Which they are not. They are fiction, and most fiction contains real places. Michener is a master of researching his settings for his tales. Does that make them true? No. It is just the mark of a good writer. Josephus could have done the same. I am not saying he did. It is possible he did, and it would not have been hard for him to do. I cannot claim that I know what went on 2 millenia ago, but I am certain of one thing, and that is that I know I do not know what went on.



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