Board index Miracles

Did the miracles really happen? Are they happening today?

Re: Is there any proof that Jesus walked on water?

Postby Lucky » Wed Oct 03, 2018 12:01 pm

These people weren't wackos?

Mt 18:9 And if your eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It's better to enter eternal life with only one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into the fire of hell.

"But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart." (Matthew 5:28)

"For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man's foes shall be they of his own household. He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me." (Matthew 10:35-27)

"And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also." (Matthew 5:40)

1 Peter 2:18 Servants, be submissive to your masters with all fear, not only to the good and gentle, but also to the harsh.

Here is one of my favorites.

50Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost. 51And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in two from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent; 52And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, 53And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared to many. 54Now when the centurion, and they that were with him, watching Jesus, saw the earthquake, and those things that were done, they feared greatly, saying, Truly this was the Son of God. Matthew 27:50-54

So you're telling me that zombies walking around isn't just freaking crazy? That's not in the other books by the way. In the other books everyone is just impressed by him. Although in some of them Jesus asks god why he's forsaken. In others he just accepts it and seemingly willfully gives up his body.
Lucky
 

Re: Is there any proof that Jesus walked on water?

Postby jimwalton » Wed Oct 03, 2018 1:37 pm

I'm glad you brought these up. Love to talk about it.

Matthew 18.9

If you read Jesus objectively (neither as a cynic or an apologist), he language is replete with literary forms: simile, parable, hyperbole, synecdoche, metaphor, allegory, analogy, etc. He's a brilliant, creative and varied teacher. In this text he uses analogy, simile, and hyperbole.This text (Mt. 18.1-9) is about: "Don't give offense that makes others stumble away from the kingdom of God; work out all offenses to live in peace with each other, and forgive when others have offended you."

In the verse in question, as in vv. 6 and 8, Jesus uses hyperbole—a very common technique in their culture—to get his point across. Jesus uses hyperbole a lot. Just as with many of us, it helps to know the personality of the person and their communication style to discern when they are exaggerating and when not. Such overstatements are not intended to be taken literally. They are obviously not reasoned ethical positions. It is virtually unanimously recognized that Jesus was speaking hyperbolically when he said:

1. Sell everything you have and give it to the poor (Mk. 10.21 and par.)

2. It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle… (Mt. 19.24 and par.)

3. Straining out a gnat and swallowing a camel (Mt. 23.24).

4. The log in your own eye (Lk. 6.42)

5. Hate your parents, wife and children… (Lk. 14.25)

6. Gouge out your eye (Mt. 5.29; 18.9)

These are not the rantings of a wacko, but rather of a creative teacher using communication methods to make his point and dislodge people from their dull states of lethargy.

Matthew 5.28

The Sermon on the Mount is basically Jesus's manifesto for a meaningful life: your invitation to a life correctly lived. What Jesus is saying is that a life well lived is not characterized by attacking people, treating people as sexual "things", hypocrisy, pride, and materialism; instead it is a community of truth, respect, self-control, love, and trust. There’s nothing wrong with finding someone else sexually attractive; the problem is treating other people pornographically ("lust"): the misdirected will to take, use, and abuse. It's wise, not wacko.

Matthew 10.35-37

It's just the truth. Jesus's own family opposed him. His friends and townspeople turned against him. The same was true of Paul, as many people tried to kill him. The rabbis had taught the same thing: "In the period when the Son of David shall come, a daughter will rise up against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. The son despises his father, the daughter rebels against the mother, the daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law, and a man’s enemies are they of his own household." Truth is divisive. It always has been. There is always tension between good and evil.

Matthew 5.40

What the text is talking about is about being gracious people instead of greedy people, to be generous rather than stingy. What's so wacko about that?

Matthew 27.50-54

Oh my. You have not understood. Sorry, but zombies is a wacko fictional creation of our world, not theirs—a product of 19th-century superstition. The early church fathers, some of whom had access to the apostles themselves and the eyewitnesses of the crucifixion, regarded the event as historical, not symbolic, poetic, apocalyptic, or wacko. The event is significant in that it gives evidence that Jesus's resurrection has the power to raise all his saints, as he promised, that He is the firstfruits of those who are "asleep" (dead), and it's true that people who died in the Lord will be raised to new life. This was just a tiny glimpse of all that was promised, even to verify that it was all true. I've studied the text deeply, but I'd have to write a wall of text to give you all my thoughts on it. The short version is that the account passes the the intention text, the ability test, the character test, the consistency test, the bias test, the cover-up test, the corroboration test, and the adverse witness test. Taken all together, it's unlikely that Matthew made it up or that he was just being superstitious.
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Re: Is there any proof that Jesus walked on water?

Postby Lucky » Wed Oct 03, 2018 3:02 pm

You know why that's one of my favorite verses? Because it is literally ridiculous. It's a massive supernatural event. The sky is turning dark and the graves are opening up. The dead are waking up. You can make a bunch of statements about Jesus's small miracles. Turning water into wine? Sure, everyone saw it. Raising the dead from a tomb? Okay, maybe that guy didn't know how to write. Feeding 5k people? Super sketchy that we have no record of this, but maybe that wasn't something they felt was super impressive, but this is worth writing about. I notice that you don't consider this hyperbole either. He didn't raise four guys or something. You realize how massive it was. You realize how supernatural it is. Yet there is no historical account for this. It's not even in the other 3 books. That's wacko.
Lucky
 

Re: Is there any proof that Jesus walked on water?

Postby jimwalton » Wed Oct 03, 2018 3:27 pm

Each Gospel writer chooses what to include and what not. There are many events that are only in one of the 4 Gospels. That doesn't discredit them, but rather indicates they were selective as author/historians. Every historian is selective; no one can include everything.

The sky turning dark is no big deal. Skies regularly turn dark for short periods of time. Heavy cloud cover for 3 hours. Heck, we have that today in my part of the country.

Earthquakes are also common in Jerusalem. It lies near a fault line. Josephus (War VI. 299) tells of a quaking in the temple before the destruction and the Talmud tells of a quaking 40 years before the destruction of the temple.

So you want to talk about this event (the dead walking around) more. Sure. I told you I've done quite a bit of study in it. You say "Yet there is no historical account for this," but Matthew has a historical account of it, so we have 1 account, but no corroboration (sort of like Dr. Christine Ford: her account, but no corroboration, and yet people consider her a credible witness. Go figure.)

What did Matthew have to gain by making up such a story? Its ludicrous nature would make him a laughingstock, cause doubt to the rest of his Gospel, and possibly call into question his claims about the resurrection of Jesus. This, in my opinion, given a "criteria of embarrassment," speaks to the historicity of the event. Matthew lived in Jerusalem. He wouldn't dare manufacture such a thing if it were going to jeopardize the fledgling Christian movement, which it would if it were a ludicrous, wacko, sketchy story.

If we examine 8 normal kinds of tests to disprove a thing, possibly we can better evaluate Matthew's story.

ONE. The Intention Test. Can we responsibly look at Matthew's Gospel as his attempt at historiography? Luke claims to have written what actually happened (Lk. 1.1-4), and Matthew is close to Luke in genre. It seems that his historical intent would be similar to Luke's. His Gospel is written in a sober and responsible style, with accurate incidental details, obvious care in the telling of it, and some exactitude in his details. Generally speaking, you don't find outlandish flourishes and blatant mythologizing that is common in many other ancient writings.

Remember also that Christianity was born out of Judaism, known historically as careful preservers of sacred words. Given that Jesus's followers looked upon him as being even greater than a prophet, it seems very reasonable that they would have tried to preserve his words and actions reliably, as well as the events surrounding his life and especially his death.

There were plenty of controversies in the early church that could have been conveniently and efficiently resolved by the early Christian writers fictionalizing the account. This doesn't seem to have happened, or to have been on their minds. The continuance of these controversies demonstrates that Christians were interested in distinguishing between what happened during Jesus's lifetime and what was debated later in the churches.

TWO. The Ability Test. So what if they intended to write reliably historiography, were they able to do so? Can't we expect faulty memories, wishful thinking, theological insertions, and the development of legend?

In a culture where almost all teaching was by word of mouth and memory rather than by books, oral tradition placed a great emphasis on accurate memorization. They took care to memorize and pass such stories along accurately, especially of a person they truly considered to be the Son of God. The community would constantly be monitoring what was said and intervening to make corrections along the way to preserve the integrity of the message.

THREE. The Character Test. Is there anything in Matthew's writing to make us think he's a loony toon or a demented or hopelessly inaccurate source? We don't have much information to go on here, but neither do we have any reasonable evidence to suggest they were anything but people of integrity. After all, they are reporting on Jesus, who called them to as exacting a level of integrity as any religion ever known. The records we have say many of them were willing to die for what they were claiming. In terms of honesty, truthfulness, virtue and morality, these people had a track record that should be envied.

FOUR. The Consistency Test. There was obviously no collusion among the Gospel writers, especially about this episode. They were unarguably independent narrators of many of the same stories, but each Gospel also contains unique stories. There is no contradictory evidence against Matthew's account.

There is a logical fallacy called "Appeal to Ignorance." It mistakenly assumes that if a premise hasn’t been proved, it is therefore false. But that’s a fallacy of weak induction. We cannot conclude something is false just because it hasn’t been proved to be true.

FIVE. The Bias Test. Did Matthew have reason to skew the material? It's obvious the disciples weren't neutral observers, but it was part of their Christian worldview to show their love for Jesus by recording his life with integrity. Besides, they had nothing to gain from false reports except criticism, ostracism, and martyrdom. They certainly had nothing to win financially.

SIX. The Cover-Up Test. Might Matthew be covering up something that would be embarrassing to himself, the other disciples, or to Jesus? Just the opposite. Telling this story makes people look askew at his whole story. Telling this story is not in his self-interest. It's not even necessary to the Gospel. If it were left out, no one would know or care. It speaks to the truth of the account.

SEVEN. The Corroboration Test. We only have slight corroboration of this event in the Church Fathers, but there is at least some. It was considered historical, and not symbolic, by the Church Fathers.

EIGHT. The Adverse Witness Test. Were others present who would contradict or refute this story? There's no evidence of such. The early Christian movement was subjected to great persecutions, first from the Jews and later from the Romans. Critics were not shy about attacking the young faith system. We have no records of this event being contested.

Taken all together, I don't think it's likely that Matthew made up the story.

But were the disciples and the people of that time just gullible superstitionalists who would grab onto any nonsense and consider it real? Even a cursory reading of the Gospels shows that they weren't just fools:

    * Andrew and Philip insisted on spending a whole day in conversation before they would buy into what John said about Jesus (Jn. 1.37-42).
    * Nathanael was skeptical at first hearing (Jn. 1.46)
    * The Jews demanded more than just a fit of prophetic rage (Jn. 2.18)
    * The Jews questioned that he knew what he was talking about (Jn. 2.20)
    * Nicodemus wouldn't just fall for his terminology but demanded explanation (Jn. 3.4)

And on and on it goes. Jesus was doubted, questioned, grilled, scorned, and ultimately rejected and killed. I wouldn't consider this to be a flighty and gullible response of the population.

In other words, as wacko as this event sounds, we have many plausible reasons to consider it to be historiography of an actual event.
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Re: Is there any proof that Jesus walked on water?

Postby Lucky » Thu Oct 04, 2018 9:43 am

> The sky turning dark is no big deal. Skies regularly turn dark for short periods of time. Heavy cloud cover for 3 hours. Heck, we have that today in my part of the country.

Straw man

> Earthquakes are also common in Jerusalem. It lies near a fault line. Josephus (War VI. 299) tells of a quaking in the temple before the destruction and the Talmud tells of a quaking 40 years before the destruction of the temple.

Straw man.

> So you want to talk about this event (the dead walking around) more. Sure. I told you I've done quite a bit of study in it. You say "Yet there is no historical account for this," but Matthew has a historical account of it, so we have 1 account, but no corroboration (sort of like Dr. Christine Ford: her account, but no corroboration, and yet people consider her a credible witness. Go figure.)

Very poor analogy considering that this contradicts 3 other accounts.

> What did Matthew have to gain by making up such a story? Its ludicrous nature would make him a laughingstock, cause doubt to the rest of his Gospel, and possibly call into question his claims about the resurrection of Jesus. This, in my opinion, given a "criteria of embarrassment," speaks to the historicity of the event. Matthew lived in Jerusalem. He wouldn't dare manufacture such a thing if it were going to jeopardize the fledgling Christian movement, which it would if it were a ludicrous, wacko, sketchy story.

Considering the state of the church right now... and for the last 1.8k years... there was a lot to gain.

> ONE. The Intention Test. Can we responsibly look at Matthew's Gospel as his attempt at historiography? Luke claims to have written what actually happened (Lk. 1.1-4), and Matthew is close to Luke in genre. It seems that his historical intent would be similar to Luke's. His Gospel is written in a sober and responsible style, with accurate incidental details, obvious care in the telling of it, and some exactitude in his details. Generally speaking, you don't find outlandish flourishes and blatant mythologizing that is common in many other ancient writings.

Opinion. Obviously his intention was to grow the church. The difference is you assume righteous motives.

> Remember also that Christianity was born out of Judaism, known historically as careful preservers of sacred words. Given that Jesus's followers looked upon him as being even greater than a prophet, it seems very reasonable that they would have tried to preserve his words and actions reliably, as well as the events surrounding his life and especially his death.

Then why would these 4 accounts differ in such an important way?

> There were plenty of controversies in the early church that could have been conveniently and efficiently resolved by the early Christian writers fictionalizing the account. This doesn't seem to have happened, or to have been on their minds. The continuance of these controversies demonstrates that Christians were interested in distinguishing between what happened during Jesus's lifetime and what was debated later in the churches.

Counter theory. They tailored the story for the audience. Some people would like the "saints coming back to life" thing. Others wouldn't.

> TWO. The Ability Test. So what if they intended to write reliably historiography, were they able to do so? Can't we expect faulty memories, wishful thinking, theological insertions, and the development of legend?

We absolutely should expect faulty memories.

> In a culture where almost all teaching was by word of mouth and memory rather than by books, oral tradition placed a great emphasis on accurate memorization. They took care to memorize and pass such stories along accurately, especially of a person they truly considered to be the Son of God. The community would constantly be monitoring what was said and intervening to make corrections along the way to preserve the integrity of the message.

This is just your biased opinion.

> THREE. The Character Test. Is there anything in Matthew's writing to make us think he's a loony toon or a demented or hopelessly inaccurate source? We don't have much information to go on here, but neither do we have any reasonable evidence to suggest they were anything but people of integrity. After all, they are reporting on Jesus, who called them to as exacting a level of integrity as any religion ever known. The records we have say many of them were willing to die for what they were claiming. In terms of honesty, truthfulness, virtue and morality, these people had a track record that should be envied.

Yeah... if you go off the book that they wrote about themselves.

> FOUR. The Consistency Test. There was obviously no collusion among the Gospel writers, especially about this episode. They were unarguably independent narrators of many of the same stories, but each Gospel also contains unique stories. There is no contradictory evidence against Matthew's account.

> How is this "consistent"? You're describing contradiction, not consistency.

There is a logical fallacy called "Appeal to Ignorance." It mistakenly assumes that if a premise hasn’t been proved, it is therefore false. But that’s a fallacy of weak induction. We cannot conclude something is false just because it hasn’t been proved to be true.

You have that wrong. It's a lack of evidence, not a lack of premise. Except we don't have a lack of evidence on this account. We have contradicting eye witnesses.

> FIVE. The Bias Test. Did Matthew have reason to skew the material? It's obvious the disciples weren't neutral observers, but it was part of their Christian worldview to show their love for Jesus by recording his life with integrity. Besides, they had nothing to gain from false reports except criticism, ostracism, and martyrdom. They certainly had nothing to win financially.

Again... considering the state of the church now... It's sort of ridiculous. By this standard Joseph Smith should look like a saint. He literally was thrown out of his town. Are you a Mormon?

> SIX. The Cover-Up Test. Might Matthew be covering up something that would be embarrassing to himself, the other disciples, or to Jesus? Just the opposite. Telling this story makes people look askew at his whole story. Telling this story is not in his self-interest. It's not even necessary to the Gospel. If it were left out, no one would know or care. It speaks to the truth of the account.

Or he put it in because he thought it would convince people, not considering that some day they might codify the bible so that you could read each chapter one next to the other.

> SEVEN. The Corroboration Test. We only have slight corroboration of this event in the Church Fathers, but there is at least some. It was considered historical, and not symbolic, by the Church Fathers.

k

> EIGHT. The Adverse Witness Test. Were others present who would contradict or refute this story? There's no evidence of such. The early Christian movement was subjected to great persecutions, first from the Jews and later from the Romans. Critics were not shy about attacking the young faith system. We have no records of this event being contested.

Now you're trying to commit an argument from ignorance. You are saying that we don't have evidence, so therefore we can conclude something, which is how the fallacy should be used. Except, like I said before, we have conflicting evidence.

> But were the disciples and the people of that time just gullible superstitionalists who would grab onto any nonsense and consider it real? Even a cursory reading of the Gospels shows that they weren't just fools:

What you're talking about is a theme. It's all over the gospels. "Oh ye of little faith, do you still not believe?" This question is literally a meta question addressed at the readers of the bible. Historical documents don't have themes.
Lucky
 

Re: Is there any proof that Jesus walked on water?

Postby jimwalton » Thu Oct 04, 2018 10:17 am

> Straw man

My statements about the darkness and earthquake aren't straw man arguments. They are details peripheral to the conversation at hand and easily explainable by normal events of nature. We don't have to resort to "miracle" to explain an intensely cloudy day or an ear quake on a fault line. There was possibly some miracle going on in their timing, but such natural events don't require extraordinary explanations, whereas the resurrection of the dead (different than zombie infestation) does.

> Very poor analogy considering that this contradicts 3 other accounts.

This is a place where you are wrong. Matthew's account provides no contradiction to the other Gospel accounts because this episode is not included in the other Gospels. There's no contradiction in the least; the other Gospel writers never claim that this display of resurrection never happened.

> Considering the state of the church right now... and for the last 1.8k years... there was a lot to gain.

If you're claiming that Matthew was writing with the knowledge that he'd be greatly respected 2000 years later, I consider your thought process has gone greatly askew. Matthew was writing to a 1st-c. audience with no clue where all this was going.

> Opinion. Obviously his intention was to grow the church. The difference is you assume righteous motives.

Possibly opinion, but one based in research. Scholarly opinion gets a closer consideration than flippant opinion. I agree that Matthew's intention was to grow the church. Writing from Jerusalem when the eyewitnesses of Jesus's life and ministry were still alive would constrain him to write credible historiography and not flagrant fiction. May I ask why you assume unrighteous motives? Usually people's motives orbit around increased power, increased fame, increased money, or some sexual benefit. None of their fit Matthew's context. By writing a story like this, or even writing his Gospel, he has no prospect of gaining any of the four. Why are you biased to see Matthew as prone to distortion?

> Then why would these 4 accounts differ in such an important way?

This is not an important text, in that sense. As I mentioned, Matthew could have left it out and no one would have cared or thought the worse of his Gospel. It is not particularly central to his thesis or significant to his purpose. It's an add-on that he uses to speak prophetically of resurrection. It's no surprise at all that the other 3 didn't include it.

> They tailored the story for the audience. Some people would like the "saints coming back to life" thing. Others wouldn't.

Of course they tailored the story for the audience. All good writers do. One of the purposes of communication is to connect with the audience and to be a person of influence in what and how they think. That doesn't mean what was selected for inclusion is false.

> We absolutely should expect faulty memories.

Possibly, but three factors weigh against it: (1) they lived in a culture, constraining ours, where memory was trained into them, (2) momentous events and people in our lives are often well-remembered, and (3) their Judaistic culture honored the idea of correct theological propagation.

> This is just your biased opinion.

Oh, not at all. This is well-ratified scholarship about the era.

> Yeah... if you go off the book that they wrote about themselves.

This is just a skewed criticism. They didn't write the book about themselves. Matthew as an individual barely appears in the book. He shows up only 3 times in the whole book. It's another reason to think there's no reason his name would be put on the Gospel unless he were actually the author. Matthew was not one of the major players, and he's obviously not trying to make himself look good.

> How is this "consistent"? You're describing contradiction, not consistency.

There is no contradiction. That the other writers don't include this event is a matter of editorial choice. There is nothing the other Gospel writers say to contradict what Matthew has written.

> You have that wrong. It's a lack of evidence, not a lack of premise. Except we don't have a lack of evidence on this account. We have contradicting eye witnesses.

A lack of evidence doesn't mean something is false, it just means it can't be proved true on the basis of evidence. And, again, There is no contradiction. That the other writers don't include this event is a matter of editorial choice. There is nothing the other Gospel writers say to contradict what Matthew has written.

> Again... considering the state of the church now... It's sort of ridiculous.

You attribute to Matthew a motive of pride because he can see 2 millennia into the future when a vibrant church would respect him. Now that's a ridiculous proposition. The church was being persecuted. Nero was killing Christians. Both the Roman and Jewish population were hostile to Christianity. There's no way to brush off my point by thinking, "Oh, Matthew knew some day he'd be a real star for this."

> Or he put it in because he thought it would convince people, not considering that some day they might codify the bible so that you could read each chapter one next to the other.

Of course he put it in to convince people. I would naturally assume that's why he included every element of his story that he did. But did he include this particular piece to cover up something embarrassing? Most assuredly not, and that's my point.

> Now you're trying to commit an argument from ignorance.

No I'm not. I'm playing down all 8 tests, not ignoring any of them, which would be the logical fallacy of suppressed evidence: leaving out something important so it would make my case look better.

We have to take all eight tests as a composite whole. Together, they speak to the veracity and historicity of the event.

> Except, like I said before, we have conflicting evidence.

You're wrong about this every time. It seems to be your primary axiom, which is a false foundation. The accounts don't contradict because the other authors didn't choose to include it. John has many things in his Gospel that are not in the other 3; they doesn't necessarily make John's a false account. He just has a different thesis and includes different pieces of the pie. Matthew also has a unique thesis and includes unique elements. This is not a contradiction or conflicting evidence. For the others it's an issue of editorial exclusion, not one of proposing a contradictory description.

I fear, and it seems apparent, that your a priori bias is preventing you from engaging the material and the evidences with any objectivity.
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Re: Is there any proof that Jesus walked on water?

Postby Lucky » Thu Oct 04, 2018 2:16 pm

> My statements about the darkness and earthquake aren't straw man arguments.

You obviously don't understand straw man arguments. You said that they were natural events that could have occurred, and I never said they weren't. The bible certainly implied that the centurion was in awe because of this series of events. In other three gospels the centurion is in awe for some other reason. You're trying to write this off as some "natural event", and while I'm completely willing to believe that there is nothing divine about it, the bible is implying otherwise.

> This is a place where you are wrong. Matthew's account provides no contradiction to the other Gospel accounts because this episode is not included in the other Gospels. There's no contradiction in the least; the other Gospel writers never claim that this display of resurrection never happened.

Just ridiculous. This is another miracle. Not only could he raise the dead, but he could mass raise the dead. To omit that is absurd. Let's take this to its natural ridiculous conclusion. If the gospels authors could just omit things like the resurrection of lots of people, then obviously none of the miracles were remarkable to them anymore. To omit such a miracle would mean that it was as common as breathing. That isn't actually seen in the bible though. The bible is specific in all four gospels that they tried to feed Jesus vinegar on a sponge. How is that consistent while the miracle of raising the dead is not? You're being ridiculous.

> If you're claiming that Matthew was writing with the knowledge that he'd be greatly respected 2000 years later, I consider your thought process has gone greatly askew. Matthew was writing to a 1st-c. audience with no clue where all this was going.

By this logic then no one who was ever persecuted by the consequences of their choice to become a prophet would have ever done it. Therefore they all must have been right, according to your conclusion. So guys like Joseph Smith and Charles Manson? How about the Buddhist monks who lit themselves on fire? How about the Muslims who died fighting for their cause? "People never die for their religion unless they know it's true" is clearly an absurd claim.

> Scholarly opinion

Then go get scholarly opinion.

> Possibly, but three factors weigh against it: (1) they lived in a culture, constraining ours, where memory was trained into them, (2) momentous events and people in our lives are often well-remembered, and (3) their Judaistic culture honored the idea of correct theological propagation.

Ridiculous. Even if they recited the stories every single day, they'd probably still have massive changes.

> This is just a skewed criticism. They didn't write the book about themselves. Matthew as an individual barely appears in the book. He shows up only 3 times in the whole book. It's another reason to think there's no reason his name would be put on the Gospel unless he were actually the author. Matthew was not one of the major players, and he's obviously not trying to make himself look good.

Straw man. Just because he doesn't appear in the book doesn't mean that you are basing your opinions about him on anything other than a book written by him.

> I fear, and it seems apparent, that your a priori bias is preventing you from engaging the material and the evidences with any objectivity.

Ironic. You have the bias. You ask me why I assume that he has some evil plan? I'm not. I'm saying he could have stood to profit off his claims. Obviously religion was a major part of the politics of the day. Changing the religion to a more progressive version very well may have been their intentions. You're the one who is fervently disagreeing with me simply because it contradicts your pre-supposed world view. And your only defense has been, "it's well written." The fact that I also find superstitious things to be untrue just makes it easier to see. The idea that the dead rose all over the city and nobody but one guy wrote about it... well that's absurd. You might as well believe every supernatural story ever written.
Lucky
 

Re: Is there any proof that Jesus walked on water?

Postby jimwalton » Wed Oct 31, 2018 3:49 pm

> You obviously don't understand straw man arguments.

Puh-lease. Of course I do.

> You said that they were natural events that could have occurred, and I never said they weren't.

Then it was just part of the scenario, not part of my argument, which is what I have been saying.

> The bible certainly implied that the centurion was in awe because of this series of events.

We've never been discussing the centurion. None of my comments have referred to him, tried to explain or justify his reactions, or had anything to do with him.

> Just ridiculous. This is another miracle.

This is a misdirection. The conversation was about the other Gospel accounts contradict Matthew, not about whether this was a bona fide miracle or not. Here's your contention: "this contradicts 3 other accounts," not anything about "miracle."

> If the gospels authors could just omit things like the resurrection of lots of people

John is the only one who mentions the resurrection of Lazarus. Luke is the only one who mentions the resurrection of the only son of the widow of Nain. And Matthew is the only one who mentions the resurrection of the saints at the crucifixion. In other words, all of the Gospel writers were selective about their material, even the resurrection of dead people.

> then obviously none of the miracles were remarkable to them anymore

This is a non sequitur. They didn't all mention all the miracles, but only the ones pertinent to their thesis. It doesn't follow to conclude what you have. In other words, you have made a false conclusion from the evidence at hand.

> By this logic then no one who was ever persecuted by the consequences of their choice to become a prophet would have ever done it.

Another non sequitur. They wrote believing that it was legitimate, not because they'd be famous in 2000 years.

> Then go get scholarly opinion.

I have, and I am.

> Even if they recited the stories every single day, they'd probably still have massive changes.

You assume that the memory shortcomings of our era were also typical of their era. It's an anachronistic, regressive position to take. They lived in a very different kind of culture where their memories were far better trained and functional than ours are.

> Straw man. Just because he doesn't appear in the book doesn't mean that you are basing your opinions about him on anything other than a book written by him.

You're moving the goal posts again. Your comment was, "if you go off the book that they wrote about themselves." My response was tuned to your comment and direction. I haven't made a straw man argument but rather one pertinent to your theme. You were talking about him writing a book about himself (your own words), and now you've changed it to being able to evaluate the author of the Gospel by the content of the Gospel.

But, by the way, it is possible to learn about people and to evaluate all kinds of things about their person from their writings.

> And your only defense has been, "it's well written."

Straw man.

> The fact that I also find superstitious things to be untrue

I agree that superstitious things are to be greatly doubted and are probably untrue.

> The idea that the dead rose all over the city and nobody but one guy wrote about it... well that's absurd.

That's what this conversation is about, but you seem to refuse to open your mind to the evidences at hand, which I have proposed.

> You might as well believe every supernatural story ever written.

Now that's absurd, and another non sequitur.

I'm not sure there's any benefit to our continuing this conversation. As much as I enjoy dialogue, I'm not convinced that more rounds are going to accomplish anything. Thank you the conversation, though. I'm sure we'll talk again before too long.


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jimwalton
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