Challenge Match: AshleyD vs whatukno: Was Jesus God?

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posted on Aug, 12 2008 @ 04:48 PM
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The topic for this debate is "Jesus was 'God' according to Christianity".

AshleyD is arguing the pro position and will open the debate.
whatukno will be arguing the con position.

Each debater will have one opening statement each. This will be followed by 3 alternating replies each. There will then be one closing statement each and no rebuttal.

Character limits are no longer in effect. You may use as many characters as a single post allows.

Editing is strictly forbidden. This means any editing, for any reason. Any edited posts will be completely deleted. This prevents cheating. If you make an honest mistake which needs fixing, you must U2U me. I will do a limited amount of editing for good cause. Please use spell check before you post.

Opening and closing statements must not contain any images, and must have no more than 3 references. Excluding both the opening and closing statements, only two images and no more than 5 references can be included for each post.

The Socratic Debate Rule is in effect. Each debater may ask up to 5 questions in each post, except for in closing statements- no questions are permitted in closing statements. These questions should be clearly labeled as "Question 1, Question 2, etc.

When asked a question, a debater must give a straight forward answer in his next post. Explanations and qualifications to an answer are acceptable, but must be preceded by a direct answer.

Responses should be made within 24 hours. One single 24 hour extension can be used by a member by requesting it in the thread. If 24 hours passes without response, you may proceed with your next post. Members who exceed 24 hours run the risk of losing their post, but may still post up until their opponent has submitted their next response.

This is a challenge match. The winner will receive 2 ranking points, the loser will lose two ranking points unless the loser does not have two ranking points to wager.




posted on Aug, 12 2008 @ 07:44 PM
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Many thanks to MemoryShock for hosting this debate and many, many thanks to Whatukno for choosing the topic and offering to have this debate with me in what will be my very first official ATS debate.

 

OPENING STATEMENT

THE DEBATE

This debate concerns the discussion between skeptics and believers regarding the divinity of Jesus. The three most common arguments from skeptics include:
1) Jesus Himself never claimed nor did He imply divine status.
2) Jesus' earliest followers either never claimed Jesus was divine or misunderstood His claims regarding His divine status.
3) The divinity of Christ was later decided by the church centuries after the life of Jesus and His followers.

In this debate, I will show beyond reasonable doubt the above is untrue by using internal biblical and external extrabiblical evidence to verify the following:

1) Jesus did acknowledge His own divinity in several different ways.
2) Jesus' earliest followers believed, taught, acknowledged that Jesus was not only the Son of God but that He was also God the Son.
3) Authors during the Ante-Nicene period, both Christian and pagan, thoroughly documented early beliefs that Jesus claimed divinity and that He was divine.

THE EVIDENCE & SOURCES

We will be examining the available Biblical texts themselves to see exactly what Jesus and the authors of the Bible claim regarding Jesus' divinity. Was Jesus merely an anointed prophet and spiritual teacher or did He actually claim to be divine? Do the frequent titles 'Son of God,' 'Son of Man,' 'Rabbi,' or any other New Testament title given to Jesus or used by Jesus negate His divine status? What do other authors of the New Testament say concerning Jesus' position? Finally, we will also examine what the ante-Nicene extrabiblical authors, both religious and pagan, had to say about Jesus' divinity and Jesus' claims of divinity.

For the duration of this debate, I will be using the New International Version (NIV) English Translation as it is believed by the majority of scholars to be the most accurate in terms of translation and created from some of the oldest and most reliable New Testament texts in existence. In the case of controversy or if a higher critical analysis is needed, I will be resorting to the assistance of Greek New Testament lexicons and Greek-English dictionaries for the course of this debate.

PLACING RELIGIOUS BIAS ASIDE

I ask that the judges and readers of this debate put aside all preconceived religious beliefs to examine the facts. This debate is not to prove the God of the Judeo-Christian faith and Bible is the one true God on a spiritual level or that Christianity is the true religion. Rather, it is to examine the evidence and facts available to us to determine whether or not Jesus was actually God according to the early Christian faith and the Bible or if His status was misunderstood or later exalted during church councils. One does not need to be a Christian to accept the pro position. For this debate, I will be interested in facts, just the facts, and facts substantiated by the available evidence.

POST CONTENT

Throughout the course of this debate, I will be breaking up supportive evidence of my position in numbered points and all reply posts will consist of introductory evidence affirming my position as well as refuting the arguments of my opponent or offering the answer from the Christian perspective supported by evidence.



posted on Aug, 13 2008 @ 12:36 AM
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Is Jesus God? This is an interesting question and one that has plagued Christianity for over two millennia now. Is the savior Christ actually God incarnate? I will in this debate try and answer this question.
 



What I am not going to do in this debate is try to sway belief. Belief itself is not fact. It may be based on some truth, but it is not fact.


The fact is, Jesus is the Son of God, according to the bible, and Jesus was God’s sacrificial lamb to form a new covenant with mankind, after of course man had all but destroyed the original covenant with god.


God had made quite clear what the commandments That Thou Shall Put No Other Gods Before Me Written in Stone by the hand of God given to Moses on the mountain. These were Gods laws.


However, mankind throughout the bible lost track of that covenant. God having set forth the rules for the covenant had to reestablish the bond between him and mankind.


In the ancient Hebrew custom a sacrificial lamb was slaughtered for as to pay offering unto God. It was the blood sacrifice that was required to pay homage to God and to keep the covenant between God and man.


Jesus Christ, Son of Mary and Joseph, The only begotten son of God. God’s right hand, Jesus, the spirit that replaced Lucifer after his fall. Jesus, The Lamb of God, the Almighty’s sacrifice to his wayward children. Was not God, Is not God, and never was God.


My opponent obviously will use the Holy Trinity as a basis for her argument. However this basis is flawed as I will show that God the Father, God the Son and God the holy spirit is a misstatement, A indivisible trinity has been shown by the church and has for millennia been inaccurately touted as meaning The man Jesus was God.

 


I will also show in this debate how Jesus being touted as the son of God is a theft from Roman religion, incorporated into the new Christianity in order to allow Romans that were converting to the new religion to more easily be able to accept the idea of a singular god instead of their normal pantheon of gods.

 



Throughout the ages, the bible itself has been bastardized, rewritten, and edited in order to fulfill the political climate of the age. The bible as it stands now is a far cry from the books as they were written. Even after the new testaments assembly by the early church through the dark ages the original script of the bible has been copied and translated by illiterate (often drunk) monks working hours at a time to rewrite page after page of a manuscript that was hand written before them.

Upon the invention of Gutenberg’s moveable type, Bibles were finally copied and printed in bulk allowing many people access to a standardized version of the book. This slowed the damage to the original text, however it is likely that the bible as it stands today is still a bastardized and watered down version of its original self. Most biblical scholars recognize that the New Testament was officially recognized by the Council of Trent in 1546. Up until that point the bible was a loose confederation of several gospels, and clergy were using whatever gospel that they deemed best suited the flock they were trying to teach.

This leads back to our main focus for this debate, Was Jesus God? While Jesus may have been the Son of God, He was not the God of the Old Testament nor is he the almighty as he is inaccurately portrayed in modern Christianity.

 


Finally I will show how it may even be possible that Jesus was the product of either Mary and Joseph’s own procreation or even Mary being the victim of a rape. Also I will show how miracles attributed to Jesus may have been lifted from older religions texts.

I leave my opponent with my Socratic Questions…

1) As depicted in the commercially accepted Christian bible, was Jesus most often and repeatedly known as the Son of God?

2) Was Christ also referred to as The Lamb of God.

3) Is God, the Alpha & the Omega, Immortal?

4) In modern Christianity do the ten commandments of God to Moses still apply?

5) Who was witness to Christ’s resurrection?

To sum up my position, while Christ may have been a great religious prophet, he may also have been the son of god. Jesus was not God.



posted on Aug, 13 2008 @ 03:08 AM
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My opponent raises some interesting points that he says he will be introducing into the debate and I look forward to reading them, his supporting evidence that will be examined and dissected closely by myself, and, of course, refuted with vigor. I will now present the first part of my case, followed by the answers to Whatukno's five Socratic questions.

 


WHAT THE GOSPELS SAY REGARDING THE DIVINE STATUS OF JESUS

POINT ONE: JESUS ACCUSED OF BLASPHEMY FOR CLAIMING DIVINITY

"I and the Father are one." Again the Jews picked up stones to stone Him. Jesus answered them, "I showed you many good works from the Father. For which of them are you stoning Me?" The Jews answered Him, "We are not stoning you for any of these but for blasphemy because You, being a mere man, claim to be God."
-John 10:30-33

This is absolutely crucial. Remember, the main reason the Sanhedrin (the Jewish court system) rallied for Jesus' death in the first place was due to the accusation of blasphemy. In their eyes, Jesus was guilty of blasphemy because He claimed to be God.

In the above scene, the court encircles Jesus ready to attack Him but Jesus asks why they would wish to stone Him for verifying His identity through miracles. The court replies point blank the reason they wanted to condemn Him was not because of His miracles but due to the fact Jesus claimed to be divine.

POINT TWO: THOMAS ACKNOWLEDGES JESUS AS GOD AND JESUS ACCEPTS THE TITLE

Thomas said to him, "My Lord and my God!" Then Jesus told him, "Because you have seen me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed."
-John 20:28-29

Two interesting points are to be made here.

1). Upon seeing Jesus post-resurrection, the skeptical Thomas came to the final realization that Jesus was God incarnate. Although the Gospel accounts state even the apostles were skeptical after the crucifixion, all doubt was removed upon the resurrection. So here we see 'Doubting Thomas' encountering Jesus for the first time after His crucifixion and vocally acknowledging Jesus' divinity. Instead of Jesus correcting Thomas, Jesus acknowledges Thomas' exclamation.

2). In the original Greek, Thomas does not use the words 'despoteß' or 'kurieuo' for Lord, which are both common titles like Sir, Mister, or another title of honor and renown. Instead, Thomas uses the word 'qeoß' [theos] twice which strictly denotes divinity. The fact remains Thomas was fearlessly acknowledging Jesus as God in the flesh and Jesus subsequently confirming Thomas' double proclamation that Jesus was 'Theos.'

POINT THREE: JESUS WAS THE LOGOS MADE FLESH, GOD INCARNATE

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning... The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.
-John 1:1-2, 14

As most are aware, Jesus was referred to as 'Logos' in Greek which translates as 'Word' in English. This deep theological reference has very important implications in this debate.

Logos = Jesus.
Logos = Eternal.
Logos = With God (very important).
Logos = God.
Logos = God in the Flesh.

The fact that Jesus was the logos who was both God and with God is very important because it is going to nip a potential argument against my position in the bud.

Like my opponent who implies such a thing in his post above, skeptics will try to say that Jesus was merely the 'Son of God' or perhaps an elevated prophet above all others. They will claim because He is different than God, Jesus cannot be God. However, this passage in John decimates that argument by claiming Jesus, the Logos, was not only God/divine but that He eternally coexisted with God. Two separate entities that make up the triune God of the trinity. Separate entities, as one Godhead.

It shows a distinction between God and God's Son while at the same time showing God's Son is God as well. Jesus was with God, Jesus is God.

POINT FOUR: JESUS DECLARES HIMSELF TO BE THE I AM

"I tell you the truth," Jesus answered, "before Abraham was born, I Am!" At this, they picked up stones to stone him.
-John 8:58-59

Another huge point that is more than meets the eye. To fully understand this, we must understand the Old Testament cross reference, Jewish history, and what angered the Jewish court yet again to the point of wanting to stone Jesus.

In this scene, the people were appalled at the claims Jesus was making by stating He was greater than Abraham and by Jesus' use of the words 'I Am.' Why? Three reasons:

1). Abraham was the head patriarch of the Jewish people. It was God's covenant with Abraham that set the Jews apart as a people and Abraham was considered the highly esteemed father of the Jewish people. Yet here Jesus is saying He is greater than Abraham, their earthly patriarchal father.

2). Not only is Jesus implying that He is greater than Abraham, Jesus is stating He existed before Abraham. That Jesus Himself was eternal.

And here is the clincher:

3). In Exodus 3:14 when Moses is asking what God's name is, God response is, 'I AM.'

Moses said to God, "Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, 'The God of your fathers has sent me to you,' and they ask me, 'What is his name?' Then what shall I tell them?" God said to Moses, "I am who I am. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: 'I AM has sent me to you.'"
-Exodus 3:13-14

So Jesus is not only stating He was greater than Abraham and that He existed eternally and before Abraham, but Jesus Himself claimed He was the 'I AM.'

Any remaining skepticism as to what Jesus meant is completely removed once we see the reaction of the Jewish court. They knew full well what He was saying and immediately attempted to kill Him for His blasphemy of claiming to be God, The I AM, the eternal existence, the divine Eimi.

POINT FIVE: JESUS ACCEPTS WORSHIP

In order to fully understand the implication of Jesus accepting worship, let's look at the following verse as one example where the attempt of worshiping a non deity was were halted:

Then the angel said to me, "Write: 'Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!' " And he added, "These are the true words of God." At this I fell at his feet to worship him. But he said to me, "Do not do it! I am a fellow servant with you and with your brothers who hold to the testimony of Jesus. Worship God! For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy."
-Revelation 19:9-10

This is highly important. In Revelation, John receives a visit from an angel. When John tries to worship the angel, the angel immediately stops him and admonishes him to worship God alone because only God receives worship.

Here is another verse where Jesus Himself states only God is worthy of worship:

Jesus answered, "It is written: 'Worship the Lord your God and serve him only.'"
-Luke 4:8

During the temptation of Christ, Jesus refuses to bow to Satan and emphatically states while quoting Old Testament scripture that only God is worthy of worship.

Does this ruin my case being that Jesus said only God should be worthy of worship? Actually, it helps my case immensely. We will now look at the following passages where Jesus fully accepts worship because He is God. Jesus states only God is worthy of worship but Jesus fully accepts worship as God:

Suddenly Jesus met them. "Greetings," he said. They came to him, clasped his feet, and worshiped him.
-Matthew 28:9

The above takes place after the resurrection when Jesus accepts worship from the women at the tomb.

Here is yet another example:

When they saw him, they worshiped him but some doubted. Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."
-Matthew 28:17-19

The above passage is fascinating for two reasons:

1). Jesus not only accepts worship, but He focuses His attention on the skeptics who were not worshiping Him!

2). Extremely important: Jesus places Himself on the same level as the other two entities of the Godhead: God the Father and the Holy Spirit.

So we have Jesus accepting worship, turning His attention to those who are hesitant to worship Him, and placing Himself equal and included in the Godhead.

And finally one last example:

Then the man said, "Lord, I believe," and he worshiped him.
-John 9:38

In the context, a man is asking Jesus if He is the Messiah, the Christ. Jesus acknowledges this and tells the man he is correct. However, if we look at verse 35, Jesus only refers to Himself as the Son of Man. Yet, He still accepts the man's worship in verse 38. This is extremely important in this debate because, like the above Logos passage, this is one of many examples where Jesus' title as the Son of Man or the Son of God does not contradict or negate His divinity. It is simply one of His many titles.

I repeat: Jesus being referred to as the Son of God, the Son of Man, Teacher, or anything else is not mutually exclusive with His divinity.

The above passages are only a few examples of Jesus accepting worship in the New Testament. Not once does Jesus ever rebuke someone who attempts to worship Him.

So we have:
1) One example of a non-divine being halting an attempt at being worshiped.
2) Jesus stating only God is worthy of Worship.
3) Jesus accepting worship.
4) Jesus never rebuking someone who attempts to worship Him.

POINT SIX: JESUS ACTS WITH AN AUTHORITY NOT ONLY GIVEN TO HIM BY GOD BUT AS GOD HIMSELF

When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, "Son, your sins are forgiven." Now some teachers of the law were sitting there, thinking to themselves, "Why does this fellow talk like that? He's blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?"
-Mark 2:5-7

Once again Jesus is accused of blasphemy for doing something only God can do, and that is the forgiveness and removal of sin. We see Jesus performing an act of God, the people acknowledging that Jesus is acting as God, and the people accusing Jesus yet again for asserting His divinity.

 


ANSWERING THE SOCRATIC QUESTIONS

Socratic Questions 1 & 2: As depicted in the commercially accepted Christian bible, was Jesus most often and repeatedly known as the Son of God? Was Christ also referred to as The Lamb of God?

Answer: I am answering these two questions collectively because I believe their purpose is to make the same statement: Being the Son of God and the Lamb of God does not necessarily equate with actually being God. Also, if Jesus has a role separate from the God, the Father, then this will supposedly, according to the skeptic, contradict with His divine status. However, throughout the course of this debate, I will prove this is completely untrue. Jesus was known by many figurative titles that revealed both His personality and position. Being known as 'the Son of God' and the 'Lamb of God' absolutely does not mean He cannot be divine. Although I will be going over this in depth further into the discussion and although I mentioned and anticipated this argument above, a brief example would be the following:

Who was declared the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead, according to the Spirit of holiness, Jesus Christ our Lord [Theos].
-Romans 1:4

Like I mentioned above, here we see the use of the word 'Theos' from the original Greek, denoting divinity. This does not call for leaps of logic or any dramatic connections as we can plainly see Jesus is referred to as both The Son of God and God in the very same passage. The same principle applies for all of Jesus' descriptive titles. More on this subject to come but the definitive answer to your question is yes, Jesus is often, if not most often, referred to as the 'Son of God' and occasionally referred to as the Lamb of God but let's not forget He is also called... The Shepherd.

Socratic Question 3: Is God, the Alpha & the Omega, Immortal?

Answer: Yes.

It must also be noted that both God the Father and God the Son, Jesus, are given this title in the book of Revelation and God is given this title in Isaiah repeatedly. The creator and the completer, the Alpha and the Omega, meaning 'The First and the Last.' This is yet another piece of evidence that points to Jesus' eternal and divine status.

It must be pointed out this is not to say God has a beginning and an end but that He is the creator and the completer in the plan for humanity, as is proven by the context in Isaiah and Revelation, referring to both creation and the completion of this plan and the world. Both terms used in the Greek New Testament and in the Hebrew Old Testament translate into the 'First and the Last' or the 'Beginning and the End' and both the Father and the Son are described with this divine title.

That is the answer to your question and I will be expounding upon this point later on as support of my position. However, here is an example of each passage from the New and Old Testament supporting my position:

Jesus, the Son, as the First and the Last: Behold, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to everyone according to what he has done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End. –Revelation 12:22-13

God, the Father, as the First and the Last: Who has done this and carried it through, calling forth the generations from the beginning? I, the Lord – with the first of them and with the last- I am he... Listen to Me, O Jacob, even Israel whom I called; I am He, I am the first, I am also the last. – Isaiah 41:4, 48:12

Socratic Question 4: In modern Christianity do the ten commandments of God to Moses still apply?

Answer: This is a very in depth theological question pertaining to Christianity so I will do my best to keep it brief. In short, nine of the ten commandments are repeated in the New Testament, except one: Keeping the Sabbath. However, what Jesus did was summarize the ten commandments into two. If you look at the ten commandments closely, you will see they can be divided into two parts. The first commandments involve our view and treatment of God and the second commandments involve our view and treatment of our fellow man. Jesus made it simple and summarized the commandments into two 'laws.' And those are, love God and love your fellow man.

That is the 'cliff notes' version but I will be happy to expand on the subject if needed or if you can explain to me how it pertains to the topic so we can keep the answer focused on the topic at hand: The divinity of Jesus, and not a separate debate entirely, the abolishment of the Old Testament laws and commandments in place of the New Testament Covenant.

Socratic Question 5: Who was witness to the resurrection of Christ?

Answer: Your question could possibly be asking who witnessed the actual resurrection of Jesus or who were the witnesses of Jesus after His resurrection. Because your question could refer to both, I will answer both.

As to who witnessed the actual event, we are told no one was at the tomb with the exception of the guards who had fallen asleep and witnessing angels. As to who came into contact with Jesus after the resurrection, we are given specific names, including the women attending the tomb, the original disciples with the obvious exception of Judas who was deceased, as well as a crowd of 500.



posted on Aug, 14 2008 @ 12:39 AM
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What’s in a Word?

My opponent has shown that Christ had claimed divinity on several occasions. My opponent has also shown that Christ was referred to as Logos. Logos in Greek can mean several things depending on the context of how it is used. Λóγος, which translates to "word", "wisdom" or "reason". Θεός, which literally translates into God is not used in this context. What my opponent has shown is used is the word qeoß also translates into God however it also is used secondly to translate into Face or Presence. However one must note, I could not find a reliable translation for the word qeoß outside of Christian websites. Λóγος, as I have stated above does have the translation of Logos, or word, wisdom, or reason. The context of the entry of the word would change the definition of the word considerably.

Attributing this to Christ is easy to explain. If we are to take quotes in the bible as actual quotations and not remembrances, and mistranslations of what was said. We can see how instead of being referred to as the word, it could have meant that he was referred to as reason or wisdom. If Christ’s words as written in the gospels are correct quotations of Christ. We can plainly see that this was a man of wisdom and reason. One must obviously take into account that the biblical gospels of Christ are in fact hearsay evidence by a third party. Not one book of the New Testament is said to have been written directly by Christ. All are interpretations of the teachings of Christ and not all gospels are currently included in today’s bible.

One must also remember that the translation from Greek, to Latin, to English is a difficult process, a process that is compounded in these facts.

1) The New Testement was written by the apostles in a language they knew. Aramaic. This was then translated into a more acceptable Hebrew, then Greek, Then Latin, and finally English. Along the way words were mistranslated, as my opponent has shown in her post above.

2) Before the advent of the Gutenberg Bible, Bibles were hand written, hand copied, and transcribed by human hands. Errors often occurred. Errors that may have never been recognized. Penmanship was crucial for a hand copied text, a doggish placed in the wrong spot may completely change a words meaning.


3) The Hebrew Alphabet contains 22 letters, and is written from right to left. The Greek Alphabet consists of 24 letters and is written left to right as we in western society write today. Then finally we come to the en.wikipedia.org... " target="_blank" class="postlink" rel="nofollow">Latin Alphabet contained originally 21 out of the 26 letters we know and use today. As we can see, different alphabets and the accompanying languages certainly could and probably was difficult to work with.

Christ’s Blasphemy
My opponent has pointed out the blasphemy of Christ against the Hebrew faith. Where Jesus states I AM, However let us look at this text in its context for a moment. In a broader text than my opponent will show you.

53 "Surely You are not greater than our father Abraham, who died? The prophets died too; whom do You make Yourself out to be?"
54 Jesus answered, "If I glorify Myself, My glory is nothing; it is My Father who glorifies Me, of whom you say, ‘He is our God’;
55 and you have not come to know Him, but I know Him; and if I say that I do not know Him, I shall be a liar like you, but I do know Him, and keep His word.
56 "Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad."
57 The Jews therefore said to Him, "You are not yet fifty years old, and have You seen Abraham?"
58 Jesus said to them,"Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am."
59 Therefore they picked up stones to throw at Him; but Jesus hid Himself, and went out of the temple.


Source:John 8

Why did they pick up stones? The simple reason is translation. I AM as it is translated could be translated incorrectly. The word YHVH was a sacred word to the Hebrew. If uttered it would have been due cause for a stoning. This is why Jesus ran, Not because he claimed divinity, but because he uttered the ineffable name of God.

Let us take Jesus’ quote from John 8 verse 58 and think about the difference between written word and the spoken word. In speaking one can change the entire meaning of a sentence in how the sentence is punctuated, and uttered. If we were to retranslate the phrase I am back to YHVH and speak it thus.. Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, YHVH.

YHVH was there before Abraham is born. Obviously, God was there before Abraham, he is of course the beginning and the end.

My opponent tells you this,

1). Abraham was the head patriarch of the Jewish people. It was God's covenant with Abraham that set the Jews apart as a people and Abraham was considered the highly esteemed father of the Jewish people.


This is absolutely correct, this is absolutely what is accepted as fact. However this part…


Yet here Jesus is saying He is greater than Abraham, their earthly patriarchal father.


Is not correct, as Jesus himself points out in John 8 Verse 54
"If I glorify Myself, My glory is nothing; it is My Father who glorifies Me, of whom you say, ‘He is our God’;

Also in this passage, Jesus does claim to be the son of god as depicted in John 8 verse 54. However this does not claim divinity, this claims that Jesus is the Son of God. Jesus does not state that he is greater than Abraham, he states that he is the Son of God. He states simply that before Abraham was God.


YHVH or the τετραγράμματον “word of four letters” is the most common use for the word god in Hebrew. In the link I have given you is a clear picture of what names for God are acceptable to be written , what are acceptable to be said, even what names are acceptable to be read. The Hebrew were strict in the usage of God’s name and adhered to it so strictly, that anyone who was brought up under Jewish law to write the name of God would have been unheard of. This includes the writers of the gospels.

 


Jesus is tempted by Satan

Ah Lucifer, Christians just can’t get enough of the old light bearer, Lucifer Morningstar. Lucifer the Archangel exalted above all other angels. Well that is of course till old Lucifer made a play for the throne. God didn’t appreciate this one bit. Well here we go, Lucifer is back and talking to The Son of God. Heck, you think that Lucifer would have known what he was up against if Jesus had been God incarnate. If Jesus had been God Incarnate then this would have been a boneheaded move to even attempt. Ah but if Jesus was not God Incarnate, what does that mean? Could that possibly mean that Satan’s attempt at temptation may have worked, if Jesus’ faith in his father who art in heaven, wasn’t solid? What does this say about Jesus’ Divinity?

Let us examine this shall we?


1 And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness,

2 Being forty days tempted of the devil. And in those days he did eat nothing: and when they were ended, he afterward hungered.

3 And the devil said unto him, If thou be the Son of God, command this stone that it be made bread.

4 And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.

5 And the devil, taking him up into an high mountain, shewed unto him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time.

6 And the devil said unto him, All this power will I give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it.
7 If thou therefore wilt worship me, all shall be thine.

8 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Get thee behind me, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.

9 And he brought him to Jerusalem, and set him on a pinnacle of the temple, and said unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down from hence:

10 For it is written, He shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee:

11 And in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.

12 And Jesus answering said unto him, It is said, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.

13 And when the devil had ended all the temptation, he departed from him for a season.


Source: Luke 4 Verses 1 – 13

So here what do we learn? Jesus cannot be tempted because his faith in God is unwavering, Jesus also keeps the first commandment, and a reminder to not tempt God.

What is interesting as well to note is that miracles in this day and age are not considered aspects of the divine, but rather aspects of the holy.



posted on Aug, 14 2008 @ 11:34 AM
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This post will consist of new introductory evidence again proving the position that Jesus' divinity was believed, acknowledged, and taught by early Christians. Whereas my last post consisted of Gospel evidence and Jesus' own words and actions, we will now examine the proof in the Epistles. However, first things first: Addressing my opponent's arguments in his above post.

 

REFUTING THE ARGUMENTS OF MY OPPONENT

REBUTTAL ONE: REGARDING LOGOS

My opponent is grossly misrepresenting my previous point, appears to miss the obvious as to what the description of Logos means in reference to Jesus and His divinity as described in the passage of John, and, ultimately, ends up agreeing with me, unintentionally I am sure. I will explain all of these points now:

First, I direct the reader to point three in my above post concerning the Logos evidence. My opponent is trying to use an irrelevant argument by scrutinizing the meaning of the word Logos. However, this makes no difference to what the passage in John is implying as I will now prove. Replace Logos With 'X' and the implication is the same:

X = Jesus.
X = Eternal.
X = With God (very important).
X = God.
X = God in the Flesh.

Replace X with ANY word and my point still stands. To use the examples my opponent used: Wisdom or Reason. Or we can replace Logos with Son of God, Christ, or even apple or boat. The fact remains, whatever the X factor is, (in this case it is Logos), it was a title used for Jesus that was then described as eternal, with God, God, and God incarnate.

My opponent's concern is misleading and pointless. Substitute any definition for the Greek word logos shown from here (or any other site or Greek-English dictionary) and my point will stand. I selected the below because it is the most relevant to the discussion as it is an actual New Testament Greek lexicon:

bible.crosswalk.com...

Or look up the word on any site of your choosing as it makes no difference. The connections I used will still prove my original argument in point three of my above post.

My opponent then claims he cannot find a reliable translation for the word qeoß 'outside of any Christian website.' I am forced to ask… Really? Because I found dozens of secular Greek to English translation sites that translate the word exactly as I have described. Allow me to give you an online collection of secular translation sites that will show that I am correct:

www.multilingualbooks.com...

But it gets better. My opponent doesn't know it but he has unwittingly agreed with me and verified my research. The word he used and the word I used for 'Theos' is the same word. He was ignorant of the Greek and the actual Greek symbols, transliterated symbols, and translation into English using English characters. I repeat: They are the same word. Here are two screen shots I took to prove my point. The same verse and the same site. One screen shot is of the actual Greek characters, the other is of the symbols. Please be aware I cannot view the specialized fonts on my computer in text format (only image format) which is why the ß character shows as a 'V.'

Compare SCREENSHOT 1 to SCREENSHOT 2.

My opponent was wrong and only ended up further validating my previously submitted evidence. All of my opponents arguments and his criticism of my logos evidence must be dismissed. My point stands and the Logos evidence is solid.

REBUTTAL TWO: THE ORIGINAL LANGUAGES OF THE NEW TESTAMENT

My opponent now makes the claim that the New Testament was written in Aramaic (utterly false), then translated into Hebrew, Greek, and Latin (very misleading), and finally into English.

This is absurd on so many levels. First of all, my opponent is wrong because the New Testament texts were originally penned in Greek. And yes it is true that the New Testament has been translated into many languages including those listed by my opponent above and hundreds more. However, the implication my opponent is trying to make by stating such a thing is misleading. He is trying to say the texts were translated one into the other in a row until the final modern English versions that we have today were produced. We are now taken from the point of a misleading argument into an argument that is now completely untrue. We have approximately 5,500 New Testament texts in existence in the original Greek languages and those are what is used to create the modern English translations. Our Bibles are not a chain reaction of translations. It is from the original Greek (New Testament) and Hebrew (Old Testament) into modern English.

My opponent seems to be unaware of a very basic and widely known fact concerning this debate. His point is debunked and dismissed.

REBUTTAL THREE: ALLEGED BIBLICAL ERRORS DUE TO HANDWRITTEN REPRODUCTION

And now my opponent tosses speculation into the works with the statement 'errors that may have never been recognized.' Because he has mentioned no specific examples and has only presented a 'what if' scenario, this leaves me with no specific facts to refute. However, throughout the remaining course of the debate I will show how the passages I am referencing for this topic have maintained their integrity. To spare my opponent and the audience, I will currently refrain from going into a long winded lecture and offering evidence that verifies the New Testament as a reliable textual source because I understand that is another debate entirely. Instead, I will be introducing supportive evidence of the integrity of the relevant passages pertaining to this topic in my next post.

REBUTTAL FOUR: DISCREPENCIES BETWEEN GREEK AND LATIN ALPHABETS

As I have already stated, it is not the case of modern English Bibles being translated from Latin that were translated from Greek. There is not necessarily a 'middle man' translation so the argument based on character discrepancies between the Latin, Greek, and English texts must be thrown out as irrelevant. Furthermore, this point is simply silly because all languages have differing characters or an amount of characters in their alphabet. If my opponent's argument is to be taken seriously, we would never be able to trust any document, religious or secular, that was originally written in any other language but English.

To further prove the silliness of this argument, I would like to make a point. Let’s use the Spanish word 'muchacho' and the English word 'boy.' They mean the exact same thing in both languages. Just like the amount of characters in words from differing languages do not affect the meaning of the word, so is the same with the number of characters in varying languages.

My opponent's argument is dismissed.

REBUTTAL FIVE: THE CAUSE OF THE CHARGE OF BLASPHEMY AND WHY JESUS RAN

And now my opponent presents another absurd argument but it is also somewhat humorous. He states in his post, 'This is why Jesus ran, Not because he claimed divinity, but because he uttered the ineffable name of God.'

My humorous correction: No, actually, Jesus fled because He was about to be stoned! And He was about to be stoned for the reason I already mentioned: He claimed to be God!

The other point I want to make is that my opponent obviously did not resort to the Greek texts before making his argument like I have done and will do throughout the course of this debate. I will explain how this is obvious to me right after I make this point: Again, my opponent displays ignorance regarding the languages of the Bible. Although he attempts to raise a good point, his point fails because he is trying to place a Hebrew word into the texts that were written in Greek. The Greek expression stated in the text is, 'egw eimi' or, I am.

My opponent’s argument is proven erroneous based on his misunderstanding and is therefore dismissed. And to spare him from making the same mistake he did above with the Greek word for God, please be aware the above Greek is transliterated and not the Greek symbols that are unavailable on my computer.

REBUTTAL SIX: SATAN AND THE TEMPTATION OF CHRIST

My opponent begins this argument claiming that surely Satan would have known better than to go against Jesus if he knew Jesus was God incarnate. He then asserts, based on this very weak argument, that Jesus was not God. Although I could immediately dismiss this argument as speculation as to what Satan would do or think and be done with it, I would rather be thorough.

So you believe had Jesus been God, Satan would not have gone up against him. How quickly we forget that according to the Christian faith, the reason Satan fell from grace in the first place was because he went up against God. Therefore, my opponent's argument is not only speculative, it can be soundly refuted as well because we have another incident depicted within the Christian texts showing such an action would have been 'in character.'

With the rebuttals out of the way, let's move along to more supportive evidence that Jesus was considered divine according to Christianity.

 

WHAT THE EPISTLES SAY REGARDING THE DIVINE STATUS OF JESUS

I now submit some examples of passages that show Jesus' earliest followers acknowledging and teaching that Jesus was divine. This post will also contain even more evidence that Jesus being the Son of God absolutely does not cancel out or contradict His ability to be divine or a part of the trinitarian Godhead. I will do this by providing proof that Jesus is described by both titles. I urge the reader to keep in mind there are literally dozens of references attesting to Jesus' divinity throughout the New Testament texts. However the following will be limited to examples which offer a variety of verses that will allow us to address all major points relating to this debate.

POINT SEVEN: REFERENCES FROM THE EPISTLES OF PETER:

Passages Fundamentally Verifying an Early Belief of Jesus' Divinity:

Like in my second thread post above, we again see the use of the Greek word, 'Theos,' meaning 'God.' The author is directly proclaiming Jesus to be Theos (God), and not merely the ambiguous Greek honorable title of Lord, (which would be 'kurios' or 'despotes') that can denote divinity or an honorable title. However, I am not interested in possibilities, assumptions, or 'can.' I am only interested in 'is' because the evidence and facts supporting my position are so solid there is absolutely no need to require you, the reader, to jump to conclusions or connect any dots.

Not just a human, not strictly a powerful Messiah or 'anointed one,' not only the Son of God, but conclusively divine. Please pay close attention to the fact both God the Father and Jesus the Son are described with the term 'Theos.'

To those who through the righteousness of our God and Savior, Jesus Christ, have received a faith as precious as ours. Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. -II Peter 1:1-2

I selected this passage as my example from Peter for very specific reasons. For one, as already mentioned, they show Jesus and God both being described as theos. Secondly, in verse one we see Jesus strictly being described as theos while in verse two we see him being described as kuriou. Due to the close proximity of the passages, this has serious implications concerning Jesus' status as believed by early Christians. He was the theos, He was the kuriou, with neither status contradicting the other.

POINT EIGHT: REFERENCES FROM THE PAULINE EPISTLES

Passages Explaining How Titles Such as the 'Son of God' are Not Mutually Exclusive With Jesus' Divinity:

Again we see a distinction clearly being made between God the Father and God the Son yet Jesus is indeed still God. Two separate entities, two separate roles, one God, with Jesus being included in the Godhead. The below passages are vital to this debate. Not only is Jesus being referred to as the Son of God, Jesus is also being referred to as God and God the Father is also described as God. This is more proof that various titles used to refer to Jesus do not cancel out His divinity and only prove the duality of Jesus' position as believed by the early church.

Who was declared the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead, according to the Spirit of holiness, Jesus Christ our Lord. -Romans 1:4

To all who are beloved of God in Rome, called as saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. -Romans 1:7

While we wait for the blessed hope, the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ. -Titus 2:13

The above examples were again selected for specific reasons. They describe the Father God as Theos, they describe Jesus the Son of God, they describe Jesus as Theos, and they also describe Jesus as Lord to prove it is possible He can be one and the same. Yet more evidence proving my position that Jesus was believed to be divine.

POINT NINE: REFERENCES FROM THE BOOK OF REVELATION

The Alpha and the Omega Title:

As mentioned above in my first post, 'The First and the Last' was a divine title given to Jehovah in the Hebrew Old Testament. Yet, we see Jesus being described using the same divine title in the Greek New Testament. The Book of Revelation is interesting because it contains over two hundred Old Testament references. The Greek title 'Alpha and Omega' is a direct allusion to the Hebrew 'First and the Last.' God the Father and Jesus the Son are both the First and the Last, the eternal, the instigator and the completer. Jesus is being given the status of a deity just as Jehovah was in the Old Testament.

Examples from both the Old and New Testaments referring to both Jesus the Son and God the Father:

I am the Alpha and the Omega," says the Lord God, "who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty." -Revelation 1:8

Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. I am the Living One. I was dead, and behold I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades. -Revelation 1:17

Behold, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to everyone according to what he has done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End. –Revelation 12:22-13

Who has performed and accomplished it, Calling forth the generations from the beginning? I, the Lord, am the first, and with the last. I am He. -Isaiah 41:4

Listen to Me, O Jacob, even Israel whom I called. I am He, I am the first, I am also the last. -Isaiah 48:12.

I ask the reader to pay special attention to Revelation 1:17 because in this passage's context, Jesus is described as 'The Son of Man,' then in the above quoted passage He states He is eternal, then He mentions His death experience when He existed in human form. God and human, the Son of Man, and divine.

POINT TEN: REFERENCES TO THE TRINITY

It is a very common accusation among skeptics to claim that the concept of the trinity is not in any biblical texts but instead was a concept later created at various church councils centuries after the fact. They claim Jesus was not divine, never claimed to be divine, was not believed by His earliest followers to be divine, and was never considered part of the divine Godhead. However, I am going to lay such an argument to rest for good by showing references to the trinitarian God of the Christian faith from the Bible and how Jesus is most definitely included. In this post I will be debunking the myth that only a unitarian God was taught in the New Testament writings. In my next post, I will be debunking this myth using references found in the works of ante-Nicene authors.

Again, we are only touching on a few examples although many more passages exist.

Although we have already mentioned the following passage in the above post concerning Gospel evidence, I am going to quickly reiterate the following verse in Matthew before moving on to evidence in the Epistles:

All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. -Matthew 28:19

May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. -II Corinthians 13:14

Who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and sprinkling by his blood. -1 Peter 1:1-2

Clearly a trinitarian concept is taught within the Christian texts.

 

In my next post we will be stepping away from Biblical texts to examine the texts of ante-Nicene authors, both pagan and Christian, that conclusively prove the divinity of Jesus was a concept in Christianity.



posted on Aug, 15 2008 @ 12:25 AM
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Instead of clarifying my earlier statements, I am going to continue on. This tactic being used by my opponent is, while clever, meant to keep me from expounding on evidence that proves that Jesus was not God. I stand by my previous remarks and evidence as I believe that they are correct.
 


The Earliest form of the New Testament
What is interesting from my perspective is that the earliest known form of the bible in existence is the Codex Sinaiticus As my opponent will point out this manuscript is indeed in Greek. However this manuscript was also penned sometime in the 4th century. This would be fine except that Christ and all of his disciples lived and died sometime in the 1st century AD. No known text exists penned specifically by the disciples.

The number of the books in the New Testament in Codex Sinaiticus is the same as that in modern Bibles in the West, but the order is different. The Letter to the Hebrews is placed after Paul's Second Letter to the Thessalonians, and the Acts of the Apostles between the Pastoral and Catholic Epistles.

My opponent is correct that the linguae francae of the Middle Eastern Roman Empire was indeed Greek; However Aramaic was the language of Jesus and of the disciples. The manuscripts from the apostles would have first and foremost been in their native language, then translated into the linguae francae which was indeed Greek.
 


God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit

Now I shall show the holy trinity as it is often touted in the Christian religion is flawed. First and foremost, Christianity is a monotheistic religion, it believes in a singular God. The creator, the being that created the heavens and the Earth with the word. Also there is not a point in the bible where it specifically states about the Holy trinity What is stated and my opponent has pointed out for us is these passages from the bible…
Matthew 28:19
II Corinthians 13:14
1 Peter 1:1-2
This does not show God the Father, God the Son & God the Holy Spirit. My opponent shows she wants us to be specific on the definition of the term “Logos” as having only one possible meaning of “Word” and thus her point of Jesus being Devine, but will claim a variation on the meaning given in her above statements about the holy trinity.

This shows my point of Jesus being the sacrificial lamb, As stated in 1 Peter 1: 2. So if we are to be specific in only the definition of certain words and phrases and not others, then the quotes above do not clearly state a trinity godhead, rather the opposite is true and God the Father being the only god in the group is paramount. The Holy Spirit and Jesus are not an indivisible and equal part of the godhead. They are separate entities, Important, but not the indivisible trinity of The father, the son and the holy spirit God that is the holy trinity. My opponent’s argument for the trinity above does more to prove my point than to prove hers.
 



Post resurrection Jesus and the case of Habeas corpus
Now as my opponent is aware, Jesus was crucified by the Romans. He was taken by Joseph of Arimathaea and prepared for burial. Let us look at this passage…

58 He went to Pilate, and begged the body of Jesus. Then Pilate commanded the body to be delivered.
59 And when Joseph had taken the body, he wrapped it in a clean linen cloth,
60 And laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn out in the rock: and he rolled a great stone to the door of the sepulchre, and departed.
61 And there was Mary Magdalene, and the other Mary, sitting over against the sepulchre.
62 Now the next day, that followed the day of the preparation, the chief priests and Pharisees came together unto Pilate,
63 Saying, Sir, we remember that that deceiver said, while he was yet alive, After three days I will rise again.
64 Command therefore that the sepulchre be made sure until the third day, lest his disciples come by night, and steal him away, and say unto the people, He is risen from the dead: so the last error shall be worse than the first.
65 Pilate said unto them, Ye have a watch: go your way, make it as sure as ye can.
66 So they went, and made the sepulchre sure, sealing the stone, and setting a watch.

Source: Matthew Chapter 27, Verse 58-66
It is interesting to note that the body of Christ was in the hands of one of his disciples. It is interesting because this is when the body was stolen. Prior to Jesus ever being put into the tomb. Joseph had ample motive to ensure that his leaders’ prophecy would come true. He had the remains; he was in charge of the care of the remains, and was alone with them. Remember, Christ was apparently wrapped up; his corpse could not be identified when Joseph put whatever into the tomb. This was the setup for the conspiracy to ensure that Jesus would not only be a martyr but also appear to rise. This is of course leaving out the obvious fact that a body is not needed in the kingdom of heaven according to Christian faith.

In my opening statement I had asked my opponent a simple question. A question that was answered indirectly,

…As to who witnessed the actual event, we are told no one was at the tomb with the exception of the guards who had fallen asleep and witnessing angels…


This is correct, the guards fell asleep there is a period of time when the remains of Christ were left unguarded. If that is the remains were even in the tomb in the first place. The body was placed in the charge of a loyal disciple of Christ, placed in a tomb made by that disciple, and was handled and was alone by those that sought to ensure that Christ’s resurrection prophecy held true.

We also see in the resurrection event that an earthquake took place. This is interesting to note as this may have been the cause of both the guards inability to remain awake as well as how the stone was moved.

Pockets of gas below the surface of the Earth during an earthquake can be released. These gasses can have a psychotropic effect on the human body, causing hallucinations, this is evident and is a major theory of how the Oracle at Delphi priestesses went into a trance and made predictions.

Note also that the tomb of Christ is recognized as being the spot where the modern day Church of the Holy Sepulchre is located. This location is in the old walled city of Jerusalem. Now according to the account in Matthew, Jesus told his followers to go to Galilee, well that’s all well and good. BUT WHERE IN GALILEE? New Testament Map of Israel The bible is not specific to which mountain Jesus appeared. This is important to note, because Galilee is a region not a city. Jerusalem is a city in the region of Judea, 40 miles away.
 

And God said “Who’s your Daddy?”
As I said in my opening statement Joseph was probably the biological father of Jesus. This is due to the word παρθένος in Greek can mean either maiden or virgin. Mary was pregnant before Joseph and her were married. Most likely by Joseph, and because people in the ancient world seemed to love to throw rocks at others for doing wrong. Mary and Joseph hid the fact of her pregnancy, and because people know the general gestation rate of a human baby to be 9 months (even in biblical times) The God as the father story was adopted. Therefore Joseph was most likely the father, either that or Mary was a victim of rape by a Roman soldier, this was a common occurrences in the eastern Roman Empire. The children that were brought forth from these rapes were often called the son’s of god; this implied that the father was not known and that the woman was not at fault because of adultery.

The Son of God myth has various legends attached to it, In the Greek Pantheon, Zeus in the form of a white bull abducted Europa, took her to the isle of Crete, ravished or raped her and thus the king Minos was born. Sound familiar? Perhaps the Christian story of the conception and the birth of Christ is a bit less violent but the story is much the same.
Romans, Egyptians, Greeks, and many ancient cultures believed that the rulers of their lands were descended from Gods. This is of course common knowledge, the pharos of Egypt were the incarnation of Ra on Earth. These living gods as rulers on earth, was a common occurrence. Even through the dark and middle ages Kings cited divine mandate in order to proclaim themselves king by divine right.

Caesar, proclaimed himself a god; many, many others did as well. Jesus however never directly said of himself that he was god. As my opponent so carefully pointed out, while Jesus was alive he rebuked those that would attempt to worship him. This is important to note as my argument is whether or not Jesus was god. This shows that during his life he did not claim to be divine.
 


In my next post I will show the timetable for the adoption of the New Testament scriptures into the book we know today. Rome was not built in a day and the New Testament wasn’t written in a day either. I will show in my next post how the Council of Trent selected adopted and secured the Biblical canon. How by committee the rules and regulations of the church were prescribed, and not by divine edict.



posted on Aug, 15 2008 @ 04:35 PM
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INTRODUCTION TO PART III: WHY THIS POST WILL ULTIMATELY PROVE MY CASE

We will now be examining the proof presented by a sample of ante-Nicene authors, both Christian and pagan, who document the early belief of the divinity of Christ. This evidence is crucial to building a slam-dunk case as it thoroughly debunks the worn out canard that early Christianity did not teach, acknowledge, or believe in the divinity of Christ until after the Council of Nicaea in 325 A.D. The samples listed below all take place prior to the council.

The Christian authors are important to this discussion as they show the belief being taught and accepted by early Christianity and the pagan authors are important because although they did not accept the divinity of Jesus on a spiritual level, they fully acknowledged and documented the early Christian belief of Jesus' divinity on a theological, factual, and doctrinal level. And that is what we are interested in: THE HISTORICAL DOCTRINAL FACTS. They also cannot be accused of having any pro religious agenda regarding this matter because they were unbiased parties who still attested to the fact the belief existed among early Christianity. And THAT is what this debate is about: Is Jesus God According to Christianity. My two previous posts and this post will be the final proof that shouts an emphatic 'Yes!'

Furthermore, because we will now be venturing away from the Biblical texts as evidence, my opponent will no longer be able to resort to his last line of defense and the tired, catch-all, inevitable, and cliche argument, 'The Bible is not reliable.' I will also be going one step further in this post by showing samples of how the relevant Biblical passages relating to this topic presented throughout this thread are indeed reliable because they were documented to have been in circulation during early Christian history. This is external historical confirmation of the New Testament's reliability and it cannot be ignored. This time I will be introducing my evidence first and then address the glaring errors and inconsistencies in my opponent's previous post. Let's begin.

 

THE FINAL BLOW: WHAT THE ANTE-NICENE AUTHORS SAY REGARDING THE DIVINE STATUS OF JESUS

POINT ELEVEN: REFERENCES FROM IGNATIUS:

Ignatius of Antioch references Jesus as God sixteen times in his writings. Because there are so many examples of Ignatius proclaiming Jesus' divinity, here are a few excerpts and examples from his works: 'God existing in flesh, true life in death, both of Mary and of God, first possible and then impossible, even Jesus Christ our Lord... There is then one Teacher, who spake and it was done. While even those things which He did in silence are worthy of the Father... Let us therefore do all things as those who have Him dwelling in us, that we may be His temples, and He may be in us as our God... God Himself being manifested in human form for the renewal of eternal life. And now that took a beginning which had been prepared by God.'

Here is what we can conclude from the above:
1) Jesus Christ was believed by early Christians to be God incarnate.
2) Jesus' title as Teacher does not negate any level of divinity.
3). The Son of God and the Father God can coexist as deities according to early Christian beliefs because both God the Son and God the Father are mentioned in the above excerpts as God.

POINT TWELVE: REFERENCES FROM MATHETES TO DIOGNETUS:

Truly God Himself, who is the almighty creator of all things, has sent from heaven, and placed among men the truth and the holy and incomprehensible Word... He did not send to men any servant, or angel, or ruler, or any one of those who bear sway over earthly things, or one of those to whom the government of things in the heavens has been entrusted, but the very Creator and Fashioner of all things... As a king sends his son, who is also a king, so sent He Him; as God He sent Him, as to men He sent Him as a Saviour.

Many things proving my position that early Christians believed in the divinity of Christ are shown in the above passage:
1). That God the Father coexists with God the Son with the Father's divinity and the differing roles of the Father and the Son not canceling out the divinity of the Son.
2). Jesus was the Word, the Logos, as shown above in my previous post, which also serves as external confirmation to further defend my previous Logos evidence against my opponent's earlier point. Jesus was the eternal Logos. This is also extrabiblical documentation and support of the biblical texts.
3). Jesus was not on the level of men, merely a servant, or even an earthly ruler or immortal angel. He was greater than even those. This is very important because it proves that Jesus could come as a servant, which He did, without it impacting His ability to be divine.
4). God is compared to a king who sends His Son who is also a king. This analogy is huge. Although Jesus is often referred to as a prince being that He is the Son of God, He is also referred to as a King because He is also God.
5). Jesus was God in the flesh.
6). Jesus can be a savior and servant without negating his status as God.

POINT THIRTEEN: REFERENCES FROM JUSTIN MARTYR:

And Jesus the Christ, because the Jews knew not what the Father was, and what the Son, in like manner accused them and Himself said, "No one knows the Father except the Son nor the Son but the Father..." Now the Word of God is His Son, as we have before said... As our Lord Himself says, "He that hears Me, hears Him that sent Me." Now by the will of God having become man for the human race. Who also, being the first-begotten Word of God, is even God.

Once again, we see some facts in the above statement that are of vital importance:

1). As my opponent has said from the beginning in order to cast doubt on my sources, skeptics claim the Bible has been distorted through time. However, for this debate, we can see the passages of Jesus aligning Himself with God and asserting His divinity were documented above by Justin Martyr. This shows that even with the speculation that the texts have been distorted, relevant passages concerning Jesus' divinity and association with the Father remain unmolested.
2). Again we see Jesus being referred to as the Logos. Like the above passage from Diognetus, we see external confirmation of the biblical passages attesting to the reliability of the relevant Biblical information.
3). Jesus is referred to as Christ, the Son, and the Logos but at the same time is also referred to as God as well.
4). Jesus was God incarnate.

POINT FOURTEEN: REFERENCES FROM IRENAEUS:

The Word of God, who became flesh for them. For it was for this end that the Word of God was made man, and He who was the Son of God became the Son of man, that man, having been taken into the Word, and receiving the adoption, might become the son of God... The Son of man, this is Christ, the Son of the living God. He is Himself in His own right, beyond all men who ever lived, God, and Lord, and King Eternal, and the Incarnate Word... He is the holy Lord, the Wonderful, the Counsellor, the Beautiful in appearance, and the Mighty God. God, our Lord, being the Word of the Father, and the Son of man, since He had a generation as to His human nature from Mary-who was descended from mankind, and who was herself a human being-was made the Son of man. "God with us."

More points to prove my case as well as officially debunk the fact Jesus' many titles do not negate His divinity. In the above excerpts Jesus is referred to by many titles: The Word of God, The Son of God, The Son of Man, The Christ, Lord, and The Incarnate Word. All of these titles given to Jesus are along with the divine titles: God, King Eternal, and God with Us. It should be very clear at this point, the early Christians were convinced that Jesus was divine.

POINT SIXTEEN: REFERENCES ATTESTING TO THE TRINITY:

Let us now quickly examine some examples of early testimony documenting the belief of the trinitarian Godhead in which Jesus is included. Like in my above post which showed Biblical passages proving the concept of the trinity existed in biblical texts, the below samples also show extrabiblical confirmation that early Christians believed in a trinitarian Godhead prior to the official church councils. I would also like to take the time to note that the Didache in a separate passage also documents the passage from Matthew 28:19 twice referring to the trinity which states, 'Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.' Once again the relevant passages from the Bible pertaining to this debate are verified as reliable and confirmed by external historical texts.

From the Didache: And concerning baptism, baptize this way: Having first said all these things, baptize into the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, in living water... Pour out water three times upon the head into the name of Father and Son and Holy Spirit.

From Ignatius: Whatsoever you do in flesh and spirit, by faith and by love, in the Son and Father and in the Spirit.

From Athenagoras: The Son is in the Father and the Father in the Son by the unity and power of the Spirit... We speak of God, of the Son, his Word, and of the Holy Spirit and we say that the Father, the Son, and the Spirit are united in power.

 

Because the works of the ante-Nicaean church fathers and authors are even more numerous and extensive than the New Testament writings themselves, we could literally come up with hundreds of excerpts similar to the evidence above. Because I have proven the early church fathers believed, acknowledged, documented, and taught the divinity of Jesus, let us now examine some examples from pagan historians and authors attesting to the fact early Christians believed Jesus was a deity.

 

POINT SEVENTEEN: REFERENCES FROM CELSUS:

Before we begin examining Celsus, we must know why he wrote the voluminous works that he did. It was for one purpose alone: to challenge the claims of Jesus' divinity! This cannot be stressed enough. Celsus' goal was to construct a polemic in an effort to disprove the early Christian claims that Jesus was God. I repeat: To disprove the early Christian claims that Jesus was God. If the Christians in his time had not been proclaiming the divinity of Christ, we would not have Celsus' work! He repeatedly documents the belief of early Christians and their acceptance of Jesus as a deity even though Celsus, a pagan, did not personally believe Jesus was divine. And again, THAT is what this debate is about: What Christianity believed.

Another fascinating point concerning Celsus' works that must be taken into consideration by the reader is that Celsus is refuting specific details in the Gospels. As in, these accounts were known and in circulation. As in, another chink in the armor of my opponent's attempt to claim we cannot come to a definite conclusion in this debate because the texts have been distorted. I am stating emphatically that the texts relevant to this discussion are documented to have been in existence at this time.

Let's now examine some actual excerpts from Celsus' polemic that prove early Christians believed Jesus was divine: Jesus, on account of his poverty, was hired out to go to Egypt. While there he acquired certain [magical] powers... He returned home highly elated at possessing these powers, and on the strength of them gave himself out to be a god.

In the above excerpt, Celsus documents that Jesus Himself claimed to be God and that He used His miracles to confirm his identity. Interestingly, the Bible also states Jesus used His miracles to confirm His identity. Even more evidence that the texts and information relevant to this discussion existed and were in circulation. Although Celsus personally rejects Jesus' divinity, he confirms the topic of this thread: Jesus was God according to Christianity. Let's continue.

"One who was a God could neither flee nor be led away a prisoner... What great deeds did Jesus perform as God? Did he put his enemies to shame or bring to an end what was designed against him? No calamity happened even to him who condemned him... Why does he not give some manifestation of his divinity, and free himself from this reproach, and take vengeance upon those who insult both him and his Father?"

In his misunderstanding concerning the spiritual significance of Jesus' death, Celsus attempts to ridicule Jesus for not stopping the crucifixion. Celsus is asking his audience how a deity could not stop this event or bring retribution against His persecutors. The fact remains: Celsus is an invaluable witness who documents the fact early Christians believed the divinity of Christ and that Jesus claimed to be divine.

Yet again Celsus documents the beliefs of early Christianity. Once again Celsus confirms the integrity of the Christian texts by bringing against Jesus the very accusation the detractors of His day brought against Him as documented in the New Testament: If you are God, why don't you save yourself? Neither they nor Celsus understood the spiritual implications of Jesus' death and how He had the authority to stop it but did not. We could write a book concerning Celsus' confirmation of Jesus' believed divinity due to the sheer volume of his work that had the sole intention of addressing the divinity of Jesus. However, the above examples prove my position with flying colors: Jesus was God according to Christianity.

POINT EIGHTEEN: REFERENCES FROM OTHER PAGAN AUTHORS:

Because we have made our point clearly with Celsus above, I will briefly present two more quick examples of early pagan authors documenting the early belief that Christians believed Jesus was divine:

Pliny The Younger states: They [Christians] were accustomed to meet on a fixed day before dawn and sing responsively a hymn to Christ as to a god.

Lucian states: The wondrous lore of the Christians... revered him as a god... whom they still worship, the man who was crucified in Palestine... For all by denying the Greek gods and by worshiping that crucified sage himself and living under his laws.

I absolutely love the way Pliny words the above and I now ask the reader to pay special attention to the wording 'as to.' Pliny is stating something very simple but something that also has very important implications in this debate. What Pliny is essentially saying is that Christ was a human but He was worshiped as if He were a God. And of course as I have proven throughout this debate in all three of my posts, early Christianity believed Jesus was God in human form. And then we see from Lucian that early Christians revered Jesus as God and worshiped Him as God. Case closed.

 

REFUTING THE ARGUMENTS OF MY OPPONENT

I would like to call the reader's attention to a very odd thing my opponent keeps doing. Since his opening statement, he has repeatedly claimed the Bible is unreliable. Although I have refuted such claims repeatedly with evidence regarding the passages relative to this debate, I must ask that if his argument is true and the texts cannot be considered definitive, then why does he keep using Scripture in an attempt to prove his point? He has essentially claimed the very source he is using to make his argument is unreliable. He is refuting his own statements in an unwise attempt to have his cake and eat it too.

The Bible is either a reliable source to be used in this debate or it is not. I say that it is reliable, have presented evidence to verify it is reliable concerning relevant passages, and have based some of my arguments on it. However, my opponent is saying it is unreliable yet then assumes it is a valid source on which to base his arguments. He is canceling out his own argument. That is a major issue to consider and something my opponent will not be able to excuse at this point in the debate. Furthermore, in light of the external evidence above, it can no longer be used as his last resort or main defense as my evidence is not only found in the Bible but in writings of external historical sources. Now let's continue.

REBUTTAL SEVEN: REGARDING GREEK OR ARAMAIC?

My opponent is simply wrong in this matter yet again. The New Testament texts were originally written in Greek and more specifically what is known as Koine [Common] Greek. Here are three quick pieces of evidence, both internal and external, to prove this once and for all so we can move past 'Biblical texts 101.'

1). The historical background: Similar to what English is today, Greek was the common language in the very multicultural Roman Empire. The New Testament texts were written in Greek for this reason of a common language in order to spread the Gospel to all people regardless of their primary spoken language.
2). The internal evidence: Even in the Gospel writings we have examples of Jesus being quoted in Aramaic and then the Greek authors of the texts telling us what it means. They would not have done this had they been writing in Aramaic!
3). This is such a simple and basic fact we really need to look no further than the following Wiki articles to find our answer: Koine Greek, New Testament AKA the GREEK Testament, and The New Testament Was Originally Written in Greek. A simple glance of the first three paragraphs in each link will hit this point home.

The New Testament was originally written in Greek. This is a historical fact.

REBUTTAL EIGHT: REGARDING THE EARLIEST FORM OF THE NEW TESTAMENT

My opponent is attempting to turn this debate into a discussion of the reliability of New Testament texts. Allow me to explain why his argument is irrelevant and erroneous and must be dismissed:

1). His argument has become ineffective in light of the above evidence in the first section of this post that doesn’t even come from the Bible but instead from external historical evidence!

2). He attempts to discredit the Bible but in his very next argument, He uses the Bible he just criticized in order to make his point!

3). He uses Hebrews, Thessalonians, and Acts as examples in his external quote. However, I have not used any passages from those books in this debate! As I have repeatedly said throughout this debate in an effort to keep us on topic (The divinity of Jesus), I am only interested in the reliability of the passages relevant to this debate topic. And those have proven themselves to be reliable as they are reflected in early, external, and historical sources. As I have stated previously on ATS, the reliability, authorship, and dating of the Biblical texts (both Old and New Testaments) is something I have researched for a decade and I will gladly have this full debate at another time. However, the reliability of Biblical texts as a whole or the canonization process is not what this debate is about.

What my opponent does not realize is that the Biblical passages I submitted throughout this debate were carefully and specifically selected based on meticulous research. The passages I used have early external historical confirmation. I refrained from submitting just any random Biblical passage that confirms my case. If the passage was not confirmed externally, I didn't even post it. I did such a thing because I knew my opponent would bring up this inevitable argument and I wanted to leave him without a leg to stand on regarding the argument that 'The Bible is unreliable.'

4). The main point of his argument shown in the external quote is the order of the books placed in certain compilations. This makes no impact on the relevant facts or what the manuscripts state! I am not concerned about the order of the texts but the content of the texts. Not only that, but the content of the texts relevant to this discussion.

5). My opponent bases his case on the events that took place during various church councils in later centuries. However, as I have emphatically stated since my opening statement is that all of my evidence comes from the ante-Nicene period!

The cog my opponent attempts to throw into the works fails, must be dismissed as an irrelevant deflection attempt, and only comes back to haunt him when he attempts to use the Bible as evidence in his very next point!

REBUTTAL NINE: REGARDING LOGOS... AGAIN

My opponent yet again misrepresents my argument which I must admit bewilders me. He claims:


My opponent shows she wants us to be specific on the definition of the term 'Logos' as having only one possible meaning of 'Word'


This is so utterly false that I am shocked my opponent would even say such a thing. I direct the reader to 'Rebuttal One' in my previous post. I made it quite clear Logos could be replaced as an X factor and my point would still flawlessly stand. I then presented an external link showing all the definitions of Greek 'Logos' in that 'Word' is the main English translation but that it also can hold other definitions. My facts in 'Point Three' of my first post and the logic in 'Rebuttal One' in my second post stands solid and my opponent's argument is dismissed as erroneous.

REBUTTAL TEN: REGARDING THE TRINITY AND CREATION

My opponent states:


First and foremost, Christianity is a monotheistic religion, it believes in a singular God. The creator, the being that created the heavens and the Earth with the word.


I'm glad to see my opponent mentions such a thing because I was itching to present the following passages:

Jesus as the Creator: Through him all things were made. Without him nothing was made that has been made. -John 1:3. And: For by him all things were created: Things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities. All things were created by him and for him. -Colossians 1:16

Yet here we see Father God (Jehovah) being responsible for creation: In the beginning God created the Heavens and the Earth. -Genesis 1:1

Jesus and Jehovah = Creator. Jesus and Jehovah = God. Based on the creation route my opponent decided to use, we can clearly see Early Christians believed in a trinitarian God. My opponent's argument attempting to negate the trinity by using creation is therefore not only refuted and dismissed but is instead even more evidence confirming my position. My opponent then claims the alleged weakness of Trinitarian passages in the Bible but this is easily and immediately countered by my evidence above of external and historical evidence of the Trinity by ante-Nicene authors. He then brings up the 'sacrificial lamb' argument again but I have already pointed out Jesus was also referred to as 'The Shepherd.' Case closed.

REBUTTAL ELEVEN: REGARDING THE RESURRECTION

I am baffled as to why my opponent uses this irrelevant argument in this debate. First of all, the resurrection event is so solidly documented in historical texts that famous apologists such as C.S. Lewis and Josh McDowell even stated the evidence of the resurrection is what ultimately led to their conversions from atheism to Christianity. The evidence confirming the resurrection account is astounding. However, I won't be pulling the debate off topic like my opponent has done and will instead stick to the issue at hand: What did early Christians believe? The fact of the matter is early Christians believed Jesus Christ was resurrected. As proof, I will now show two examples (although there are literally hundreds of examples) from ante-Nicene Christian authors that document the belief held by early Christians.

He was born of a virgin as a man, and was named Jesus, and was crucified, and died and rose again, and ascended into heaven... After He was crucified, all His acquaintances denied Him. But once He had risen from the dead and appeared to them and explained the prophecies which foretold all these things and ascended into heaven, the apostles believed. -Justin Martyr

Having therefore received a charge, and being fully assured through the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. -Clement.

My opponents has introduced irrelevant speculation into the debate concerning gas and geography regarding the resurrections while I have presented relevant facts. Early Christians believed the resurrection event and the resurrection event was taught during the ante-Nicene era. My opponent's argument is refuted and dismissed.

REBUTTAL TWELVE: REGARDING THE VIRGIN BIRTH

My opponent again presents more irrelevant and speculative evidence into the debate. This is apparent by his repeated use of terminology such as 'probably' and 'most likely.' As I have stated multiple times before, I am interested in the facts, just the facts, and the facts supported by evidence. I have also completely refrained from using speculative evidence throughout this debate or any evidence that would require the reader to have a solid theological knowledge of the Christian faith in order to follow along. If it was only 'likely' or 'possible' or it required any type of complicated connection, it never even entered my posts as evidence.

Now I will show how his argument is irrelevant: The debate is: 'Was Jesus God according to Christianity.' I have already proven beyond all doubt this is so. The fact of the matter is early Christianity taught the concept of the virgin birth and it is historically documented in both external and internal texts. Some of the quotes I mentioned above already pertain to the virgin birth but I will present yet one more piece of evidence not mentioned above:

He is truly of the race of David according to the flesh but Son of God by the Divine will and powered, truly born of a virgin and baptized by John that all righteousness might be fulfilled by Him, truly nailed up in the flesh for our sakes under Pontius Pilate and Herod the tetrarch... That He might set up an ensign unto all ages through His resurrection. -Ignatius.

My apologies to my opponent but he is off topic. Early Christianity taught the virgin birth and this is proven by early historical ante-Nicene documents. My opponent's argument is refuted and dismissed as irrelevant, speculative, and erroneous.

REBUTTAL THIRTEEN: REGARDING SONS OF GOD IN PAGAN BELIEFS

I am excited my opponent finally introduced this argument into the debate. Ever since mentioning in his opening statement that he would use this argument, I couldn't wait for my chance to refute it because it solidifies my case! For starters, this argument has nothing to do with the topic. Why? Because my opponent is talking about the beliefs of Roman, Greek, and other pagan cultures and their 'sons of god' when this debate is what the Christians believed. It does not matter if the Christians took this idea from the pagans, the ancient Hebrews, or invented it at the time. The fact is: THEY BELIEVED IT!

However, I am going to go one step further than just claiming my opponent's argument is irrelevant because I will also show it is wrong. I would like to direct the audience to this article regarding The Messianic Prophecies Fulfilled By Jesus. In the article, it showed how Jesus fulfilled the prophecies from the Jewish Tanakh or what would be more familiar to the reader as the Christian Old Testament. The beliefs concerning Jesus were absolutely not borrowed from pagan concepts!

I implore the audience to not allow personal bias to get in the way. It does not matter if you believe Jesus fulfilled the Messianic prophecies nor does it matter if you believe He did not. The issue is, did early Christians believe it. The answer is Yes! Instead of giving a 'sermon' on the general Messianic prophecies, I am only going to address the the ones that imply he would be the Son of God. Observe these two passages from the Old Testament which are believed by Christianity (the topic of the debate) to be Messianic prophecies:

I will declare the decree: The Lord has said to Me, 'You are My Son, today I have begotten You.' - Psalms 2:7 AND I will be His Father, and He will be My Son. I will never take My love away from Him as I took it away from your predecessor. I will set Him over My house and My kingdom forever. His throne will be established forever.' -I Chronicles 17:13-14

Compared to the New Testament passages believed by Christains to be the Messianic fulfillments: And suddenly a voice came from the heavens saying, 'This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.' -Matthew 3:17 AND For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. -John 3:16

And to hit my point out of the ballpark, the following comes to us from the Gospel of Matthew where an Old Testament prophecy concerning the Son of God is directly tied in to a fulfillment by Jesus: And so was fulfilled what the Lord had said through the prophet [Hosea] : 'Out of Egypt I called my son.' -Matthew 2:15

The author of Matthew references the prophecy from Hosea 11:1 and directly associates it as a fulfillment from Jesus. Again, it does not matter if you or I consider this a fulfillment (although I personally do) because all that matters is that early Christianity believed, acknowledged, and taught that it was. And of course I have already thoroughly proven throughout this debate that Jesus being the Son of God does not negate His divinity. My opponent's argument is refuted and dismissed.

REBUTTAL FOURTEEN: REGARDING JESUS ACCEPTING WORSHIP

Much to my shock and amazement, my opponent says this:


As my opponent so carefully pointed out, while Jesus was alive he rebuked those that would attempt to worship him.


I beg my opponent to please read my posts! In Point Five of my post concerning Gospel evidence, I completely prove Jesus accepted worship and how he did not rebuke anyone who tried to worship Him as a testament to His divinity! Yikes! My opponent's argument is dismissed as fallacious.

 

And thus sums up my presentation of evidence. I look forward to my opponent's next submission although I am surprised he will be going as late as the Council of Trent (16th century) when I have already debunked such a case as early as the Council of Nicaea (4th century). Let's see what he has up his sleeve. Next to come, my final rebuttals of my opponent's next post as well as my closing arguments. Thank you.



posted on Aug, 16 2008 @ 02:08 AM
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One single 24 hour extension can be used by a member by requesting it in the thread.


At this time I am requesting a 24 hour extention, as per the rules. This extenton will be effective for 24 hours starting on 8/16/2008 @ 05:34:59 PM, EST. one second before my next post is due. My next post will not be due untill 8/17/2008 @ 05:35 PM EST. Edit to specify.


[edit on 8/16/2008 by whatukno]



posted on Aug, 17 2008 @ 12:04 AM
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Ladies and Gentlemen: My opponent’s posts, while lengthy, have scarcely little real substance to them. The readers and the judges of this debate should note this. I have previously shown exactly how a subtle change in wording can greatly affect the meaning of a word. While my opponent will refute this, as it is not the case, simply stated it is.

In this debate we have a simple question. Is Jesus God? It is in the answering of this question my opponent has made sure to dodge the issue and made sure to obfuscate you the reader by lengthy posting and minimal context. She has made sure to refute anything I have told you in her effort to turn the tide of this debate to her side. She has not offered contradictory evidence to refute my case but has only refuted it out of hand.

This refusal to recognize the facts is compounded by selective quotations that highlight her argument in a poor way. I have shown and will continue to show precise links to the entire chapter of whatever book my opponent chooses to provide showing the entirety of the chapter so that you the reader and the judges of this debate can see for yourselves exactly what is said and what is actually meant by the passage.

 

Point by Point Examination of my Opponent’s Argument

Point One
Jesus was indeed accused of Blasphemy; my opponent is scared to link you to the text because she wants you to believe her testimony itself without collaborating outside sources. We cannot establish my opponent as a credible expert in this debate, so we must ask for outside credible cooperative testimony.

Please readers and judges of this debate, be sure to note why my opponent is scared to link you to this chapter of the book of John..

John Chapter 10 Verses 34 – 38


34 Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods?
35 If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken;
36 Say ye of him, whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God?
37 If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not.
38 But if I do, though ye believe not me, believe the works: that ye may know, and believe, that the Father is in me, and I in him.

Again Jesus does state that he is the Son of God, but not God himself any more than anyone else is God.
Point Two
Again, and this should become clear that this is a reoccurring theme in this debate, my opponent will show you bits and parts of a chapter but doesn’t want you to see the entire chapter, because of two lines that clearly show the truth in this chapter that Jesus is the Christ and the son of God but not God.

John Chapter 20 Verses 30 and 31
30 And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book:
31 But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.

Point Three
Are you all seeing a pattern emerge here? Again my opponent does not link to the entire chapter but wants us to believe her when she gives us a snippet of text to bolster her claim. But leaves out what completely refutes her side of the argument.
John 1 Verses 17 – 18

17 For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.
18 No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.


Point Four
While I have already completely refuted point four of my opponent’s argument. I want to make sure that our readers understand why this is important. Jesus in this statement says that God is before Abraham. Not that he himself is the I AM.

Point Five
As I have pointed out the flaws in this argument already I won’t repeat what I have said. But it is interesting to again note how my opponent has not given us a link to prove her point. We are to assume that her expert testimony is enough to sway our opinion on the subject.

Point Six

Once again Jesus is accused of blasphemy for doing something only God can do, and that is the forgiveness and removal of sin. We see Jesus performing an act of God, the people acknowledging that Jesus is acting as God, and the people accusing Jesus yet again for asserting His divinity.


Apparently in the Catholic Church of today a priest can absolve anyone of sin. So to take my opponent’s argument as fact, this must mean that all priests are God?

Point Seven
My opponent tries to show us that God an Jesus are one and the same with a passage from 2 Peter 1 1-2 but this clearly shows a separation between God and Jesus. It states, God, and our savior Jesus Christ. Not God our savior Jesus Christ. Can we see the difference and separation in this passage?

Point Eight
My opponent seems to misunderstand royalty. Jesus was considered of the line of King David. The title Lord would have been quite appropriate for him to hold because of his noble birthright. According to Romans 1, 3

3 Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh;


So Jesus was of the nobility, which gives him the right to be called Lord. But does not show Divinity. Also I believe my opponent needs to check her sources because I believe that at this point her argument is so weak she is actually starting to alter scripture in order to prove her point. Titus 2, 13


Point Nine
Revelations is a prophetic book in the bible. One must read Revelation 1, 1 carefully to understand who is talking. Let us read it together now shall we?


1 The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John:


And yet again this does not prove that Christ was divine. It shows that he is holy unto the lord. It shows that Jesus was Gods servant and his sacrifice to man.


Point Ten
And the double jeopardy question is; Who is God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit? I am sorry AshlyD your answer was incorrect, but we do have some nice parting gifts for you.

Point Eleven
In this point my opponent is using a martyr from the very early days of Christianity to prove her point about Jesus being God. However Theophorus, never met Jesus. He was taught by the apostle John.

Bishop Meow Mix here cannot qualify as a legitimate witness to Jesus being God as he hadn’t met Jesus and was only a student of the Apostle John. This is a clear-cut case of third party hearsay testimony and cannot be relied on as fact.

Again however my opponent won’t link us to any appropriate source article on this subject but wants us to take her word for this that it is fact.

Point Twelve
Same as above, no external sources to credit this point with. We are to take my opponent’s word for fact. We also have to take as fact third party hearsay evidence from someone who has never met Jesus.

Point Thirteen
Same as above, no external sources to credit this point with. We are to take my opponent’s word for fact. We also have to take as fact third party hearsay evidence from someone who has never met Jesus.

Point Fourteen
Same as above, no external sources to credit this point with. We are to take my opponent’s word for fact. We also have to take as fact third party hearsay evidence from someone who has never met Jesus.

Point Fifteen
The secret information proving my opponent’s point is so secret she won’t list it here.

Point Sixteen
Same as above, no external sources to credit this point with. We are to take my opponent’s word for fact. We also have to take as fact third party hearsay evidence from someone who has never met Jesus.

Point Seventeen
Same as above, no external sources to credit this point with. We are to take my opponent’s word for fact. We also have to take as fact third party hearsay evidence from someone who has never met Jesus.

Point Eighteen
Same as above, no external sources to credit this point with. We are to take my opponent’s word for fact. We also have to take as fact third party hearsay evidence from someone who has never met Jesus.
 


Can we detect a pattern here? We have testimony stemming from my opponents sources that she neglected to site. There are no links to show the legitimacy of my opponent’s points and we are left only to assume that she is telling the truth and stating facts. How can we make sure that the testimony stated in my opponent’s posts are correct when we have zero external cooperative testimony. We are left to either take it at face value or refute it due to lack of evidence.

The people that are the most reliable sources to quote from about the idea of Jesus being God are his disciples. These 12 men are the primary witnesses to Jesus’ life and can testify to whether or not the Son of God is in fact God himself.

However no original record survives to clearly establish the question of Divinity in Jesus. Not one shred of scripture written originally by one of the twelve disciples remains. Copies of copies of copies remain our only link to that time. Our only sources whether or not Jesus was God according to Christianity are unreliable second hand accounts after the fact.



posted on Aug, 17 2008 @ 10:02 PM
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CLOSING REBUTTAL

I see my opponent decided to not post his argument concerning the Council of Trent so I will now refute the errors and presumptuous ad hominem attacks made in the above post, this time limiting my rebuttals to only one paragraph each for this closing post.

REBUTTAL 15: I've noticed a frequently employed tactic is to claim your opponent has provided 'no evidence' or 'proof.' Because such an accusation could not be said in my case which consisted of much evidence, my opponent now accuses my posts of having 'scarcely little real substance.' However, one look at my posts shows this is untruthful. If the reader reviews my previous posts, they will notice they do not contain seductive, persuasive oratories or aggrandizing filler material but instead consist of straight forward relevant evidence. Even the rebuttals of my opponent's errors often opened the floor for me to provide even more evidence that not only showed my opponent was in error but that the argument he attempted to make was actually evidence in my favor. A couple examples of this would include the Trinity's relation to creation or the Lamb of God title vs. the Shepherd title. To say I have scarcely presented any real evidence is not true.

REBUTTAL 16: In one of my opponent's earlier posts, he claimed my rebuttals of his posts were an attempt to distract him from presenting his case. Because his false accusation was off topic, I decided to let it slide and instead focus on the facts pertinent to the debate. However, because he brings this up yet again, I am forced to defend myself against this accusation. Since my opening and all subsequent posts, I made it known before hand my posts would contain 'vigorous' rebuttals of my opponent's arguments. Is that not what is done in a debate? Each side presents evidence as well as refuting their opponent's material? To accuse me of using the correction of my opponent's many errors as a distraction attempt is not only unfair but untruthful. My opponent must be getting desperate if he has to resort to this as an argument. He then states I have offered no counter evidence to his case. This is beyond false because half of my posts consist of doing just that. On one hand he tells me I am refuting everything as a distraction attempt but on the other hand he says I have presented no counter evidence. This is an absurd contradiction.

REBUTTAL 17: I am then accused of quote mining for not providing contextual links. This is completely petty because it seemed to me quoting the text, book, chapter, and verse of the passages was sufficient due to the Bible's fame and easy accessibility but apparently not according to my opponent. Did it ever occur to my opponent that since I am a Christian I would own a Bible and not have to resort to cut and paste search results? This debate was taken very seriously by myself and I did not restrict my research to online resources although they were sometimes referenced as verification in the case of a dispute. I find this criticism from my opponent very silly however because my opponent is making such an issue out of it, throughout this closing statement he will be given his links. I am then not only criticized for not presenting a flood of links but I am twice accused of being too 'scared' to do so! This is false and highly presumptuous of my opponent. His accusation of fear will also be completely refuted because I will show throughout the closing rebuttals the full context only helps my case.

REBUTTAL 18: John 10. I again feel compelled to clean up after my opponent's errors and that he is trying to hold me responsible for something he does not understand concerning the Bible. It has already been proven throughout this debate ad nauseum the title Son of God does not cancel out Jesus' divinity. The fact my opponent tries to bring this issue up yet again astounds me. Not to mention he completely misses the point of what is occurring in this passage. Jesus is pointing out the hypocrisy of the court and using their own scriptures against them by referencing the symbolic Psalms passage to outwit his accusers. And before my opponent misunderstands the Psalms passage as well, allow me to explain this now since this is my last post in this debate and I can't correct him later. As the context of Psalms 82 proves, the term gods is symbolically referring to authorities and judges of Israel who were designated by divine authority to administer justice and rule the people. When the Jews accused Jesus of blasphemy, He played a semantics game with them in order to outwit them as He does frequently throughout the Gospels. I cannot be held responsible for my opponent's lack of knowledge concerning Biblical exegesis. In John 10, Jesus claims to be one with the Father, the Jews accuse Him of blasphemy for claiming to be God because they recognize the idiom my opponent does not, and Jesus outwits them using a symbolic Old Testament passage. My opponent is only looking at what he wants to see and is ignoring the double references concerning Christ's duality.

REBUTTAL 19: John 20: Again my opponent is stuck on the title Son of God regardless of how many times it was emphasized Jesus' status as God's Son is not mutually exclusive to His divinity but only shows His position in the Christian Godhead. I have proven this repeatedly and have backed it up with internal and external evidence. The most basic analogy to help my opponent understand this concept would be comparing the Son and Father to a marriage between a man and a woman according to Christian principles. Although a man and a woman are two separate physical entities, they are spiritually considered 'one flesh.' And although this might turn off some readers, I am not going to ignore fact to spare sensitiveness: Just as the man is appointed as head of the marital union and the wife is submissive to the husband, so is the Father God the head of the trinity and Jesus submits to Him. Separate entities, one spiritually united flesh. Jesus being the Son does not negate His divinity. This is also not taking into consideration the contradicting method my opponent is again using. He has repeatedly claimed the Bible is not reliable but uses the Bible to validate his arguments. He also ignores the fact Thomas called Jesus God and Jesus did not rebuke him.

REBUTTAL 20: John 1: Did my opponent read the two verses he posted (17-18) before submitting? I ask because it is supportive of my position! As most know, we are told in the Old Testament no human being can bear to look upon God in His divine form. This passage is confirming this fact but states Jesus has because Jesus is also God. I'm not sure why my opponent essentially accuses me of subterfuge for not linking to the entire context when the entire context only confirms my position.

REBUTTAL 21: John 8: My opponent claims this passage is not referring to Jesus' eternal existence but only to Jehovah. This is false as the context proves. In the preceding verse 57 it states, "'You are not yet fifty years old,' the Jews said to him, 'And you have seen Abraham!'" To which Jesus replies and as I quoted above, "'I tell you the truth,' Jesus answered, 'before Abraham was born, I am!'" My opponent is criticizing me yet again and accusing me of purposely leaving out the context. However, his accusation absolutely cannot stand because the context proves my position.

REBUTTAL 22: Regarding Jesus accepting worship: My opponent then becomes dishonest to the point I have to honestly say it frustrates me. He says he 'pointed out the flaws in this argument already' when he has done no such thing. The 'flaws' he pointed out was a case of him terribly misrepresenting my statements. I already pointed this out in rebuttal 14 of my previous post.

REBUTTAL 23: II Peter 1. As I clearly stated originally, verse one is a reference to Jesus and verse two is a reference to both God the Father and Jesus. My opponent is trying to make it seem like I claimed both passages referred to Jesus as God when I never said anything of the sort and already made a very clear distinction between both verses. To remove any remaining doubt concerning this passage, we are going to cross reference this passage with the Titus passage below where Jesus is again referred to as God and Savior. The second coming context confirms this is indeed one single reference to Jesus and not two separate references to God and Jesus.

REBUTTAL 24: Titus 2: My opponent resorts to the ultimate low blow: Accusing me of altering scripture to win this debate. This extends past civil discourse because it is essentially claiming I am committing a very grave offense according to my Christian faith. That is something I take extremely seriously. However, the reality is I have not altered anything but this is yet again a case of my opponent not understanding the Bible and forcing me to resort to 'Biblical Concepts 101' to refute his error. Even as most non-Christians are aware, Christians currently await the second coming of Jesus. Not to mention, Jesus is frequently referred to as The Blessed Hope in the Epistles (including this Titus passage) due to His promise of return. This passage is clearly referring to Jesus' second coming, refers to Him as the Blessed Hope, and the context proves this passage is specifically referring to Jesus as God who is coming back. My opponent then claims I distorted scripture because of a 'weak' argument. Not only is my opponent wrong on this issue, he resorts to presumptuous and serious accusations. Distorting scripture is something I would not risk simply to win a debate. He hits me below the belt and accuses me of an act the Bible strictly prohibits before even considering the possibility he is wrong. Poor form, my friend.

REBUTTAL 25: The Strawman that broke the camel's back. My opponent quotes Revelation 1:1 as if I had submitted it as evidence of Jesus' divinity at some point in this debate. He then claims there is nothing in that verse that claims Jesus is God. And I completely agree with him! However, I never even cited that passage or claimed it was evidence of Jesus' divinity! Total strawman. What I did quote is Revelation 1:17-18. Jesus is obviously the one who is speaking because He states He was dead (referring to His crucifixion) but that now He is alive forever more (referring to the resurrection). Then He refers to Himself as The First and the Last. My opponent has stated several times in this debate that since Jesus was the sacrificial Lamb that He could not be God. But here Jesus Himself is acknowledging His own death (therefore sacrifice) and is still ascribing Himself a divine title. My opponent was wrong again and resorted to a logical fallacy to make his point.

REBUTTAL 26: My opponent ignores the entire reason the external sources were provided in this debate although I clearly stated the reason several times. In the debate 'Was Jesus God according to Christianity' a canard repeated by skeptics is that Jesus' divinity was never believed until the church invented the concept at the Council of Nicaea in 325 A.D. The whole reason for those excerpts was to debunk this myth. We had already gone over the Biblical evidence so we then ventured into early external sources in an effort to leave no stone unturned, to prove the early church believed, taught, and acknowledged Jesus as a God, and to debunk the critics' claims. My apologies to my opponent but that is a pretty obvious point to miss especially when I already explained it.

REBUTTAL 27: My opponent again protests the lack of links so here are the links per his request with sources. I felt I had been thorough but instead of simply asking for more information, he resorted to more personal accusations and assumptions that I must be hiding something. He made the same accusation above for providing contextual Biblical links when it turns out the contexts only further proved my position. To accommodate his request, I will again provide the names of the authors and the links. Although I originally took most of the quotes from my own anthology of ante-Nicene authors I frequently reference in my apologetics ministry and a variety of websites, the only way for me to get past the 'three link loophole' is to find all the sources for my opponent on one site. They are sometimes worded slightly different since the site was not mostly used as a reference but here they are. Numbered by previous points: [11] Ignatius, Ignatius' Epistle to the Ephesians (VII, XV, XVIII, XIX). [12] Mathetes to Diognetus, Aptly Called: The Epistle of Mathetes to Diognetus (VII). [13] Justin Martyr, I Apology (LXIII). [14] Irenaeus, Adversus Haereses (XIX). [16] Didache, Aptly Called: The Didache (7) | Athenagoras, Aptly called: Athenagoras of Athens (X) | Ignatius, Ignatius' Epistles to the Magnesians (XIII). [17] Celsus, Origen's Contra Celsus Book II). [18] Pliny, Pliny On Christians (also sometimes referred to as 'Pliny's Epistle to Trajan') Letter 10 | Lucian, The Death of Peregrinus (XI, XIII). I hope my opponent finds those sufficient. The reader will see there is a lot more evidence that what I was even able to post.

 

CLOSING SUMMARY

DELIVERED AS PROMISED

In my opening statement, some pretty bold promises were made. Those included debunking the three most common accusations of skeptics against the early belief of Jesus' divinity as well as providing evidence to affirmatively answer the question posed in the title of this debate: Was Jesus God according to Christianity? This was done as promised. We reviewed the Gospel accounts, the Epistles, ante-Nicene church fathers, and even the writings of early pagans hostile to Christianity. Their testimonies are unanimous: Jesus was God according to Christianity.

Skeptics claim the divinity of Jesus was not believed before the First Council of Nicaea but it was proven throughout this debate using external historical sources, both pagan and Christian, that Jesus' divine status was believed, acknowledged, and taught prior to the first official church council. I also promised to show how Jesus' many titles including 'The Son of God' did not in any way contradict his ability to be God incarnate but expressed His spiritual duality. This was done. The case has been proven, the arguments against my position have been thoroughly refuted, all promises were fulfilled, and no stone was left unturned.

WAS JESUS GOD ACCORDING TO CHRISTIANITY?

This question must be answered with a 'Yes!' in light of the evidence presented throughout this debate. Not merely assumptions or possibilities but solid evidence. It has been confirmed as a historical fact Christianity believed, acknowledged, and taught the divinity of Jesus. I have asked the readers to make no assumptions, jump to no conclusions, have submitted nothing as possible or probable. The evidence submitted has only been factual.

My opponent continuously resorted to speculation, misrepresenting my earlier statements, committed serious factual and historical errors I had no choice but to correct, repeatedly attempted to take the debate off topic, displayed a lack of knowledge regarding the topic, and ultimately resorted to personal attacks. Because this is my last post and I will not be able to correct any errors, misrepresentations, or personal attacks in the next post, I am forced to allow them to fester without rebuttal. So many errors were committed that I feel like the next post is a horror movie where I just want to cover my eyes and not watch because it will be too frustrating to see his tactics employed again only this time I cannot refute them.

On the other hand, the evidence is so much in my favor that there was never a need to resort to topic deflection, 'possibilities,' or to seduce the readers and judges with eloquent wording. The difficulty for my position was not finding evidence to support my case but in trying to narrow down what evidence to present. There is so much evidence verifying my position that it is impossible to post it in a 5 post debate. The facts speak for themselves and like I said in my opening statement, I am interested in the facts, nothing but the facts, and the facts supported by evidence. And those facts emphatically state, 'JESUS WAS GOD ACCORDING TO CHRISTIANITY.'

 

Many thanks to MemoryShock for hosting the debate, to the readers who took interest in this topic, to the judges who will be reviewing the case, and to Whatukno for challenging me to this debate and deciding the topic. Many thanks to God who guided me through this debate as this was not a subject matter I knew too much about only a week ago and for His guidance and wisdom. With full confidence in the facts I have presented throughout this debate, I now rest my case.




posted on Aug, 18 2008 @ 01:06 AM
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In Perspective

Here we are at the end of one of the most unprecedented debates I have ever been a part of. My opponent AshleyD through this debate brought forth something unique and never before seen in this forum. Judges I hope that you will put forth the effort to clear your mind of any religious bias (pro or con) and judge this debate on the merits of the context presented here. Why consistently quote the scriptures if I believe they are flawed? Simple really, The New Testament is the central reference point in the belief of modern day Christians, flawed or not, this book is the definitive source for the beliefs of modern day Christians.
 


What I have hoped to prove in this debate is as follows;

Jesus while being the Son of God is not in fact God incarnate, Jesus had not ever directly stated that he is in fact God. But Christians, before you go burning your bibles, remember, For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. Jesus did not need to be God incarnate in order to be the Savior. The new covanant between man and god remember? In my opening statement I had made clear that my intention was not to sway faith, but to present facts and to debate this important issue.

While to be sure that Jesus is the Lamb of God, The Son of God, Royalty of the bloodline of David, a great teacher and religious leader. Jesus is not God himself. To state so is heresy to the Catholic Church established by Peter .

The Holy Trinity of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit has never been written in the biblical texts. It has not been alluded to, nor has it ever been stated. My opponent, so desperate to prove this point even went so far as to alter scripture (Point 8) in order to try and fool everyone into believing this fact. A point I had made certain to clarify and provide a link in order to prove my point.
 


It’s all Greek to me

In this debate we have learned an important lesson, The meaning of the word Logos. We now know that Logos can mean Word, Wisdom or Reason. Jesus of course was a reasonable man, it can even be stated that he held much wisdom. But what cannot be stated is that Jesus is The Word “In the beginning the Word already existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God.”. If this was referring to Jesus, (remember according to my opponent, Jesus was The Word) Then Jesus would have been before God therefore it would refute the first commandment of “Thou shall have no other gods before me”. A point I tried to raise with my Socratic questions, however my opponent skirted the issue and answered indirectly.

The Usual Suspects

The only people that were with Jesus and were able to document his life’s work were Peter, James son of Zebedee, John, Andrew, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James son of Alphaeus, Thaddeus, Simon the Zealot, & Judas Iscariot. Peter, the future first pope denied Jesus three times, Judas betrayed him, and then subsequently hung himself out of guilt. Not all of the Disciples had written gospels about Jesus, If they had, no record of this exists today.

These are the ones who can clearly state for the record whether or not Jesus was God incarnate. But throughout the New Testament they don’t. They were quite careful in that respect. The reason is, while Jesus was the Son of God (by his own words) he never claimed to be God.

The reason for this is simple; to claim to be the almighty, Jesus would have broken the first law set forth by God to Moses. (1) You shall have no other gods before Me.
 


The Evidence

Secondly I have hoped to have conclusively proven that the New Testament texts are flawed by centuries of revision and that the text as it stands today is a watered down version that has little resemblance to the texts as they originally were written. This is important to note in this debate because, without the original text to refer to we are left with second hand third party testimony that is unreliable. This throws into question all that is written within the body of the New Testament.

The bible as it stands today was ratified by the Fourth Session of the Council of Trent, it convened in Trent between December 13, 1545, and December 4, 1563 in twenty-five sessions for three periods, acknowledging the legitimacy of the bible as it stood at the time and exactly what was to be used as gospels. The vulgate edition is the official version that was ratified by this committee. Untill that ratification, the scriptures were not officialy sanctioned by the Church. So we must remember


DECREE CONCERNING THE EDITION, AND THE USE, OF THE SACRED BOOKS


Moreover, the same sacred and holy Synod,--considering that no small utility may accrue to the Church of God, if it be made known which out of all the Latin editions, now in circulation, of the sacred books, is to be held as authentic,--ordains and declares, that the said old and vulgate edition, which, by the lengthened usage of so many years, has been approved of in the Church, be, in public lectures, disputations, sermons and expositions, held as authentic; and that no one is to dare, or presume to reject it under any pretext whatever.
Reference 1

This is important to note as well as it puts into context the amount of time between when the apostles wrote their gospels and when the Church officially sanctioned the New Testament. This allowed over 1500 years of revisions and edits to be condoned by the new Christian church before a committee sanctified and ratified. Thus previous works must be considered heresy including any text that would be found today that could be directly attributed to the Apostles own pens.
 

Habeas Corpus

My opponent has not shown definitive proof of her claim to the divinity of Jesus. She has not shown conclusive proof from the biblical texts that Jesus ever claimed Divinity. Though her posts and rebuttals in this debate were very lengthy there is little substance to them. I have shown conclusively that she has often throughout this debate relied on small bits of scripture without linking to them so that you the judges and readers of this debate would be fooled into believing her side of the issue. She claims this is because the bible is well known and readily available, which is true, except in this forum we as fighters pride ourselves on bringing to bear not only facts, but relevant links in order to justify and prove those facts. This is something that my opponent did not do, even though she apparently has the advantage of an unlimited character count.

My opponent has also cited sources without relevant links to back up her point. This should be taken into consideration as well. We cannot take just my opponent’s word as fact without authoritative review of outside testimony complimenting and collaborating her posts as fact. I have throughout this debate shown conclusively through my opponent’s tricks and shown exactly the context of the text that she has provided.

Also early on in this debate I had asked my opponent simple straightforward Socratic questions, a few of these questions weren’t answered directly. This also must be reviewed by a potential Judge in this debate.
 


To Set Precedent?

Finally, a judge in this debate must decide the legitimacy of my opponent’s posts. The rule that is in question here is listed at the top of this thread (as it is listed at the beginning of every debate)

Character limits are no longer in effect. You may use as many characters as a single post allows.
how many characters does a single post allow?
Also the Judges must take into account the Terms and Conditions where it clearly states.

5a) Unauthorized Access: You will not attempt to access any protected sections of the message board, nor make use of any hacks, cracks, bug exploits, etc. to bypass or modify the features of the forum software or to obtain information beyond the allowed features of your account status. Doing so will result in immediate termination of your account.


As this is an unprecedented debate because of AshleyD’s ability to go beyond the natural post count limit of 10,000 characters, this ruling must be taken into account. As it will set a precedent for all future debates. While I certainly do not want my opponent to be banned or disqualified for this. Truthfully IMO, AshleyD is a great member of this site and has contributed greatly to the quality of the forums she frequents. My argument is simply has she acted in a fair manner and not cheated because of a board exploit? Or is this a newfound tool that can be utilized by fighters in this forum.
 


AshleyD, this has been a fantastic debate, I thank you for volunteering for what had to be a frustrating exercise. I do realize that you must have thought you were debating Satan himself after a while. I hope you had a great time during this debate and hopefully came away with new found Logos.
Of course after Judging is complete, you may indeed if you wish refute anything I have said in this closing argument. This thread will be opened to all fighters for comment after the debate has concluded and been judged.

[edit on 18-8-2008 by MemoryShock]



posted on Aug, 18 2008 @ 04:45 PM
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Well done, Lady and Gent...


We are off to the judges, who will pay no mind to the character limit in any post, per the following:



Character limits are no longer in effect. You may use as many characters as a single post allows.


The stipulation is clear.



posted on Aug, 23 2008 @ 10:17 AM
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Again, I want to congratulate both opponents. I don't want to keep this any further, so, the winner is....whatukno by split decision.

The judges comments...



Before I begin, I would like to tell you how I based my decision. I scored each on a point system, where I wrote down notable points, and assigned either a -1, a 0, or a +1 value to it. After I finished, I tallied the points. What you'll see below is my point by point breakdown, along with their respective point allocation.

 


AshleyD:

- She made it a point to not speculate on anything that she presented. She presented the facts, and explained how they supported her side. Not only that, but she refused to stray from the topic. ( +1 )

- She seems to have gotten a bit confused on when Jesus became divine. According to scripture, He never allowed anyone to worship Him before He was crucified. Only after He was resurrected did He allow anyone to even consider worshiping Him. There is a big point here, and that is that He wasn't divine until He came back. The topic of this debate is whether Jesus was God. This presumes that we're talking about while He was alive, and not after He was resurrected. She pointed this out herself. Good catch!! ( 0 )

- Referencing the previous point, she references Romans 1:4, which suggests that Jesus wasn't fully divine until He was resurrected. ( 0 )

- In the final post, Rebuttal 17, stating that it is not, in her opinion, important to include at least a good portion of surrounding material that emphasizes a particular passage, for context sake, is startling. One verse can be taken completely out of context, if read by itself without the supporting commentary. whatukno caught this, and called her on it. She responded by including all of her supporting evidence. Good response. ( +0 )

- In Rebuttal 19, she makes a VERY good point, using an easy-to-understand analogy. WELL DONE! ( +1 )

So, +1 + 0 + 0 + 0 + 1 = +2

 


whatukno:

- Claims that the monks and scribes that transcribed the Biblical texts were drunk while doing so. Proof? Where did this come from? Was this a joke? ( -1 )

- Point 6: Rebuttal makes solid point which merits a reply. If God is the only one that can absolve sin, then how is it that the Catholic Church is doing it now? VERY valid and pertinent point! ( +1 )

- AshlyD's Point 8 in fact contained quotes that have been altered between versions. She herself stated that she was using the NIV, and not the KJV. There are subtle differences in scripture passages, but the Titus 2:13 quote does merit some looking into. There is a very distinct change in the wording of said passage that seems to support AshleyD's side. However, if we look at the KJV version, we see the following:



13: Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ


Emphasis mine.

whatukno makes a valid point here. There is clearly a distinction made between God the Father and God the Son. ( +1 )

- 'The Usual Suspects': Jesus' purpose here was to fulfill the Old Testament prophecies and to abolish the old covenant. He had to do this by adhering to it's tenets until He was unjustly crucified. So, yes He would have broken the 1st Commandment by claiming to be God, prior to His resurrection. It should be noted here that in Matthew: Chapter 22, verses 42 - 46, we see an interesting exchange where Jesus states that He is indeed the Son of God. He does not say that He IS God; merely that He's the Son. There is a marked division here. ( +1 )

- whatukno pointed out in his closing that AshleyD didn't answer 4 out of 5 of his Socratic questions directly before expounding upon them, as is necessitated by the Socratic Rule of the debate. ( +1 )

So, we have -1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 = +3


In my opinion, whatukno has the more compelling argument, and with the +3 points, gets my nod.

 


I would at this point like to take a brief moment to give my honest thanks to both AshleyD and whatukno for all of their time in debating this topic. You two actually got me thinking again about something that I've not thought about in a LONG time, and this has me going back and doing more research of my own! THANK YOU for such a great debate you two!

Ashley, while I think the same way that you do, there were a couple of key points that you didn't capitalize on, and that hurt you, in my humble opinion. You did well though, for a newbie to the debate forum. I can't wait to see your next debate!


whatukno, I'm impressed man! To have someone defend a view that I oppose, and to have me questioning my own understanding of the topic by the end of the debate is a task that not many have ever done before. Consider this a sincere compliment.




I deem whatukno the winner.

I believe AshleyD has a wonderful debate ability but didn’t use it to the fullest. AshleyD’s posts were very detailed and lengthy, but did not provide much insight into the debate topic after the initial post. Whatukno provided some good insight and always answered and rebutted the points raised by AshleyD in relation to the subject matter. On the other hand, I felt that AshleyD spent more time criticizing whatukno’s post themselves than refuting the claims put forth within. This was an excellent debate from both members and they should feel proud of their work here. Congrats to whatukno and I’m sure (and hope) we will be seeing much more of AshleyD around here!




This debate was refreshing in the scope and reach the fighters strove for. It should be particularly noted that neither fighter attempted to deny the existence of Jesus, as one would expect in a debate such as this, instead correctly arguing the actual debate topic.

I would also like to point out that this debate is one of the finest debates it has been my pleasure to read. Regardless of the outcome, both fighters should be well applauded.

AshleyD strikes right out on the attack using the direct words of Jesus, as stated in the Bible, as her base. She also gives a good accounting of the translations and their specific meanings as they relate to the debate topic.

Then whatukno counters very effectively with biblical quotes of his own and several very interesting takes on the same translation issues brought up by AshleyD. Specifically that of the word “Logos” and it’s implications as to the divinity of Jesus.

AshleyD’s rebuttals were fierce and to the point. She addressed each and every post of her opponent and refuted those posts with referenced and sourced material.

Whatukno lost some valuable ground when he resorted to speculation as to what actually occurred during the resurrection. It would have sufficed to mention that there are several theories, and his “Gas Pocket” theory sounded hollow and almost desperate.

Also of note are whatukno’s references as to the translations and lack of original manuscript from the time of Jesus life. As a researcher would know, the validity of any text that does not exist in it’s original form, is the similarity of existing manuscripts and as the Bible has more existing manuscripts than any other existing book, that all match within accepted guidelines of comparison; I would have expected whatukno to be aware of this.

AshleyD’s use of “Large Text” made reading some of her opening statements problematic.

Whatukno did a good job of separating Jesus from God in his last rebuttal, using scripture to his advantage. Yet in the debate whatukno did reference the Bible to prove certain points and then went on to try and prove the unreliability of the bible. This proved problematic to his case.

Also whatukno’s reference to the word count sounded quite the “Sour Grapes” as it is not his place to judge or moderate the debate.

Now the meat.

Both fighters presented wonderfully interesting arguments that were a joy to read; even three times..

Yet in the end, one fighter stuck to the references and source provided and never deviated from what was presented. One fighter showed a massive amount of knowledge, quite more than the opponent, and the ability to express that knowledge in the debate.

In the end, one fighter had the more convincing argument. This is always the case no matter how well the fight was fought.

A debate should always be judged on how well the fighter presented their case. Not whether or not it was believed by the judge; only that it was believable. The personal opinions of the judge on the subject matter can not be factored in.

While this debate was close, there did emerge a clear victor.

AshleyD won this debate.



posted on Aug, 23 2008 @ 10:27 AM
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Wonderful debate AshleyD, simply wonderful! You are one HECK of a debater and certainly will make a fine and tenacious addition to the fighters club here on ATS.

Thank you so much for this debate. It was both a pleasure and quite the challenge. You fought well and I look forward to reading any further debates you are in



posted on Aug, 23 2008 @ 10:39 AM
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Great job everyone -- thank you both for this debate. My vote: +2 points for all. It was also very interesting to read what the judges found relevant.

As an aside, here's the 'overlapping text' issue one judge mentioned. Perhaps some kind of ATS or browser-specific formatting bug? It doesn't look like it was taken into account, in determining the outcome, but here's what it looked like on my browser (Firefox), for future reference:




posted on Aug, 23 2008 @ 11:19 AM
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Wow. I have to say I am shocked, especially after reading why.

But congratulations, Wukky!


We both received a ton of stars (104 and 50), this thread currently has 19 flags (pretty impressive for this forum), and over 3,000 views (although I am sure 1,000 of those views were from me sitting on pins and needles refreshing the page waiting for the judgment to come in
).

On a side note, I do have some good news. I received a publishing offer through my website from one of my readers who was keeping up with this debate as a guest. That makes me happy so I said I would reorganize my research and submit it to him. (Edit for clarification: It's not a book- just an article series
).

So we had quite the audience, Wukky!


Anyways, intense and passionate, debate! I'm glad you suggested this topic and am thankful you challenged me. Truthfully, I never wanted to debate something so heated as religion in this forum because I've never seen anyone come out ahead regardless of how solid their case was but how could I say no once asked? It was a very productive learning experience as I never really delved into this specific subject before in depth. However, I learned a ton. Thanks again. Not only did my feet get wet but I found myself totally submersed! Thank you for giving me the privilege to test the waters of this forum! You're the best.


 


Originally posted by whatukno
Of course after Judging is complete, you may indeed if you wish refute anything I have said in this closing argument. This thread will be opened to all fighters for comment after the debate has concluded and been judged.


Don't mind if I do.
Just some minor corrections and clarifications. Nothing tedious pertaining to the topic. Just wanted to touch on some things since this was my first debate. No biggie.

Regarding: the Word Excerpt & The Trinity. You cut off the rest of the passage in your closing statement. The full passage ends with saying 'And the Word was made flesh.' As in, Jesus being God Incarnate. I cited the full passage in Point Three because that is what tied it into Jesus without a doubt. Also allusions to the trinity were mentioned in Point Ten.


Regarding: The Ten Commandments & the Socratic Question. I found this somewhat frustrating.
You asked the quesion, 'In modern Christianity do the ten commandments of God to Moses still apply?' You asked a very general question so I gave a very general answer. But I didn't stop there and stated, '...I will be happy to expand on the subject if needed or if you can explain to me how it pertains to the topic...'

You asked the question in your opening statement and I answered and asked for clarification in my very first actual post. So it surprised me you never clarified throughout the entire course of the debate but then finally mentioned it at the very end in your closing statement when I could no longer reply. If you had told me that was the specific commandment on which you wanted to focus (About other gods), I would have tailored my answer to that specific commandment.


It was even more frustrating to have this be used in a judgment against me when I was never even asked the question.

Regarding: Links & References. Since this was my first debate, I was confused by this rule until asking for clarification while writing my closing statement. My fault completely for being a newbie forum dunce. I thought the 3-5 reference limit was speaking of actual links. I couldn't figure out why you kept asking me for links if you knew we were limited. I was then told it's that we are limited to actual websites. As in, we can have 3-5 reference sites while I was thinking 3-5 reference links. Once the rule was clarified, that is why I went on my little link rampage for you in my closing statement and provided several links that only linked to two sites total. I simply misunderstood the rule. If it wasn't for that, I would have been a linking fool throughout the thread. That was my misunderstanding.


 


Judge 1:


She seems to have gotten a bit confused on when Jesus became divine. According to scripture, He never allowed anyone to worship Him before He was crucified. Only after He was resurrected did He allow anyone to even consider worshiping Him. There is a big point here, and that is that He wasn't divine until He came back. The topic of this debate is whether Jesus was God. This presumes that we're talking about while He was alive, and not after He was resurrected. She pointed this out herself. Good catch!!


Er... No I didn't. Furthermore, not all of my examples of Jesus accepting worship happened post resurrection. One of the examples I provided shows Jesus accepting worship after he healed a man while still alive. Second, I was not 'confused' but you seemed to have missed a huge point that completely dismisses your argument: The Logos reference. Jesus was always divine even before His incarnation according to the Bible. Jesus was God who became human. Not a human who became God. This was clearly stated multiple times in the debate so I have no idea why this was even part of the judgment. Furthermore, this objection was never even mentioned in the debate, nevertheless is the objection even correct. If this objection had been brought up in the debate, I would have explained it just as I have now. :shk:


He never allowed anyone to worship Him before He was crucified. Only after He was resurrected did He allow anyone to even consider worshiping Him.


Incorrect. There are several accounts of Jesus accepting worship prior to His death and resurrection throughout the Gospels. One example of this was already provided. It would have been really nice to have been judged on what took place in the debate instead of things that not only didn't take place in the debate but on things that are simply wrong. Jesus was worshiped before His death as well as the New Testament clearly states.


If God is the only one that can absolve sin, then how is it that the Catholic Church is doing it now?


Emphasis on now. That is also Catholic dogma later introduced into the church about 1,000 years later. Most Christians do not believe anyone can absolve sins except Jesus and this was taught from the onset, is also Biblical, and was believed during Jesus' time and He used this to assert His divinity. During that time, ONLY God could forgive sins and Jesus was going around forgiving sins. Not sure why this irrelevant argument was even brought up, nevertheless used in the judgment.

Much more I would like to correct but I'll silence myself. lol That judgment was very frustrating to read, to be honest and I hope you now realize why. Sigh.

Judge 2:


Whatukno provided some good insight and always answered and rebutted the points raised by AshleyD in relation to the subject matter. On the other hand, I felt that AshleyD spent more time criticizing whatukno’s post themselves than refuting the claims put forth within.


I strongly disagree with this. So strongly I better not even explain why because it should be obvious to anyone who reads this debate without bias. Very frustrating indeed.

 

That's all. The rest can be left alone as the facts speak for themselves. Over and out and many thanks again to everyone. It's nice to be able to breathe again even if I strongly disagree more than I can express. More than anything, I'm just happy it's over! Please excuse me if I sound sour- I don't mean to come across that way at all because that is just how it goes. This was just a very frustrating experience, especially after seeing how many of the things held against weren't even accurate. No worries, though. I still enjoyed the practice and am thankful to the judges who were a captive audience to a very tediously long thread.


Take care everyone.

[edit on 8/23/2008 by AshleyD]



posted on Aug, 23 2008 @ 11:27 AM
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Originally posted by AshleyD
On a side note, I do have some good news. I received a publishing offer through my website from one of my readers who was keeping up with this debate as a guest. That makes me happy so I said I would reorganize my research and submit it to him. We had quite the audience, Wukky.



That is AWESOME! Congradulatons AshleyD! You really did an outstanding job in this debate, and if it helped you in your personal endevors that is even better



posted on Aug, 23 2008 @ 11:34 AM
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You both did fantastic.

Ashley: Every pro in the debate forum has lost several debates. As far as I can tell you did so well I dont think you actually "lost". Congratulations on your offer...well deserved.

Congratulations whatukno. 15 more wins and you rank #1



posted on Aug, 23 2008 @ 11:39 AM
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reply to post by whatukno
 


Aw thanks. But all income from my ministry goes to charity. My paychecks come from my actual job.


reply to post by Skyfloating
 


Thanks a bunch.

 


Now who wants to take me up on Zeitgeist? The historical Jesus perhaps? Biblical prophecy?


Just kidding... I'm going to bed for ten years after this!


[edit on 8/23/2008 by AshleyD]





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