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Atheists still can't explain the miracles of JESUS!

Posted by PalinIsTheTruth 
Jun
Re: Atheists still can't explain the miracles of JESUS!
December 29, 2009 03:32AM
There were completely sincere letters detailing UFO encounters too.

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"Don't judge other people just because they sin differently from you!" ~ Anon

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pb
Re: Atheists still can't explain the miracles of JESUS!
December 29, 2009 03:34AM
Jun Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> There were completely sincere letters detailing
> UFO encounters too.

So, Wade, what in the letters of Paul has the ring of UFO sightings?
Re: Atheists still can't explain the miracles of JESUS!
December 29, 2009 03:49AM
Can you imagine that you might get a better picture of who I am if you could read an email I sent to my wife or to a close friend?-pb

certainly. lets say that i read an email that you sent to your wife in which you claim that you could make yourself become invisible at will. i would get a clear picture that you were at best irrational at worst insane. about the last picture of you that i would get from reading such an email is that you were a level headed commonsensical person who just so happened to have the ability to actually make himself become invisible.

thats just the kind of picture that any reasonable person would draw after reading paul's letters featuring supernatual claims. its a picture that would paint paul as being the kind of person typical of his era and location. the kind of person who believes in magic and superstition.

pauls letters are not evidence that supernatural events actually occurred in the first century in the middle east. they are evidence that many people including paul believed that such events occurred. miracles of the kind paul writes about were commonly reported in that era and earlier. miracles performed not just by jesus but by many many other individuals as well. you shouldnt believe the miracles reported by hindus, mormons, muslims, black magic devotees and you shouldnt believe the miracles reported by christians.
Jun
Re: Atheists still can't explain the miracles of JESUS!
December 29, 2009 04:04AM
pb Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Jun Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > There were completely sincere letters detailing
> > UFO encounters too.
>
> So, Wade, what in the letters of Paul has the ring
> of UFO sightings?

Contents which requires something more than just letters itself could substantiate.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
- Juni {^á´¥^}


"Don't judge other people just because they sin differently from you!" ~ Anon

Three things you (probably) don't know about Islam
[www.youtube.com]

Welcome To Belgistan -- The New Muslim Capital Of Europe
[www.youtube.com]

Re: Atheists still can't explain the miracles of JESUS!
December 29, 2009 04:59AM
I'd encourage you to read one of the letters of Paul in the Bible and tell us what you even suspect of being an exaggeration or lie.-pb

alright. how about this . . .

The things that mark an apostle—signs, wonders and miracles—were done among you with great perseverance.-paul

no they werent. no one should believe based only on a letter written by some man in the first century that miracles were performed among any group of people. i doubt that you believe the numerous other miracles that were reportedly performed by non christians from that era so why would you believe these?

that you actually believe this stuff based on nothing more than a few letters does not speak well for your ability to reason.
Re: Atheists still can't explain the miracles of JESUS!
December 29, 2009 02:31PM
"Letters are honest and forthright."---pb

Letters are not always honest and forthright, sometimes they are, and sometimes they're definitely not. Even when they are sincere, what is said in them in not always factual, nor should we always assume that what is being said is factually true even though the writers themselves might assume it is or think it's true.

"If you want to deny that miracles we common in the early Christian movement you have to explain how, in conversation, they had come to develop different categories for miracles."

Explaining how language evolved in ancient tribes enabeling them to describe events that they could not, at that time, explain, does not, in any way, compel one to believe that certain events must have occurred that had no (natural) explanation.

"2. There is the fact that early in the Christian movement the ‘marks’ that separated a genuine apostle from a false apostle was the ability of the person claiming to be an apostle to perform signs, wonders and miracles."

We have the same thing today. If you've ever studied any anthropology you know that primitive tribes have their shamans and witch doctors who perform, what those people believe, are signs, wonders and miracles. And of course, we have versions right here that can even be seen on TV such as when the televangelist puts his hand on a person's head and the person swoons, faints, and is miraculously cured of his or her ailment.You can go to the Marian shrine at Lourdes in southwest France, where countless 'miraculous healings' are alleged to have occurred...there is a large pile of crutches, pallets, etc, left by those who were cured...curiously, as with all miraculous healings, there are no wooden legs or glass eyes. Just out of curiosity...do you assume all these miracles seen by many must be miracles? How about the miracles at Fatima, Portugal? Do you think they must be true? They certainly meet and exceed the criteria you use to assert that the miracles described in the Old and/or New Testaments should be accepted at face value.

The evidence you present is scant and when you say you "[h]ave contended here many times that the best explanation of the facts known to us, is that the claims of the early believers are true." I'd have to disagree and say that when interpreting evidence, the best explanation is not the one that is impossible, rather, it would be one that is possible.To attempt to use the historical method with the presupposition that things that we know are impossible could have happened 'back then' does not make for a good historian. As I said earlier, "It's why, once we've ascertained that a person has died on a particular date, that George Washington died in 1799, for instance, we'd discount reports that he was one of the negotiators of the Treaty of Ghent, signed on December 24, 1814. Either one or the other could be an historical event...but not both. It's how 'good' history is done!"



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/29/2009 03:33PM by islander.
pb
Re: Atheists still can't explain the miracles of JESUS!
December 29, 2009 03:48PM
indy Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Can you imagine that you might get a better
> picture of who I am if you could read an email I
> sent to my wife or to a close friend?-pb
>
> certainly. lets say that i read an email that you
> sent to your wife in which you claim that you
> could make yourself become invisible at will.

How many times do you suppose I've written, "Beans and franks for supper, hon, and, oh, by the way, I now can make myself invisible at will. You truly are a hoot.

> pauls letters are not evidence that supernatural
> events actually occurred in the first century in
> the middle east. they are evidence that many
> people including paul believed that such events occurred.

True. And, for you, indy, a remarkably insightful comment. Give me a moment to allow my head to clear.
.
.
.
.
.

Sorry, I think I passed out for a moment. spinning smiley sticking its tongue out

You are precisely correct, indy! And, as a historican, you have to deal with the fact that people in that time and place had that understand. But, here's where you will have your problem. And, it's what I said to isle that my training as a historian has permitted me to do better than I could have without my training and experience.

Once one makes the kind of observation you have made, then one has to set aside his own presumptions about truth and allow the person in that time and place to be a person in that time and place. You are a modernist with a cynical, rather closed-minded, view of the universe. You have to deal with that and your unfounded assumption that the early members of the Christian movement had to have been wrong about how they understood their existence because you know better.

This will be hard for you to do. But, you have to respect the life and experiences of people in a different time and place. Good luck with that. You don't seem to respect people in your own time and place who are different than you are.

But, I'll say again that your observation is a good one.

Congratulations.

> miracles of the kind paul writes about
> were commonly reported in that era and earlier.
> miracles performed not just by jesus but by many
> many other individuals as well. you shouldnt
> believe the miracles reported by hindus, mormons,
> muslims, black magic devotees and you shouldnt
> believe the miracles reported by christians.

You should take care in foisting your modernist know-it-allism on everyone who has ever lived in every place and time. You're probably not actually that wise.
pb
Re: Atheists still can't explain the miracles of JESUS!
December 29, 2009 03:54PM
I'd encourage you to read one of the letters of Paul in the Bible and tell us what you even suspect of being an exaggeration or lie.-pb

alright. how about this . . .

The things that mark an apostle—signs, wonders and miracles—were done among you with great perseverance.-paul

no they werent. no one should believe based only on a letter written by some man in the first century that miracles were performed among any group of people. i doubt that you believe the numerous other miracles that were reportedly performed by non christians from that era so why would you believe these?

Apart from the fact that you hold a modernist belief system and assume that miracles are impossible, prove to me that nothing can happen that is supernatural in essence.

See, indy, you are merely imposing your modernist prejudices on people in a different time and place.

You BELIEVE that there can't have been miracles because you believe that miracles are impossible. You have no reason to reject the validity of those claims apart from what you predetermine to be truth. You are prejudiced. You are as openminded to the possibility that miracles may have happened as Nathan Bedford Forest was to the notion that negroes can be equal to whites.

Your mind is closed. You are operating on the level of prejudice.

that you actually believe this stuff based on nothing more than a few letters does not speak well for your ability to reason.

That you reject is out of unthinking prejudice demonstrates that your ability to reason is far less developed than mine.
Re: Atheists still can't explain the miracles of JESUS!
December 29, 2009 04:20PM
"That you reject [ ] out of unthinking prejudice demonstrates that your ability to reason is far less developed than mine." -pb

Oh that's a keeper. That... is a definite keeper.

pb
Re: Atheists still can't explain the miracles of JESUS!
December 29, 2009 04:33PM
islander Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> "Letters are honest and forthright."---pb
>
> Letters are not always honest and forthright,
> sometimes they are, and sometimes they're
> definitely not.

isle,

Granted, a letter can be written with guile in mind. You may send one to your mistress promising her that any day now you're going to dump your wife and marry her. I understand that there are those rare exceptions in which the purpose of a letter may be to mislead.

Do you have any reason to believe in the passage at hand, as Paul reminds these people of events they shared together that he has such a purpose in mind?

> Even when they are sincere, what
> is said in them in not always factual, nor should
> we always assume that what is being said is
> factually true even though the writers themselves
> might assume it is or think it's true.

All I'm suggesting is true in this passage is that it was the honest recollection of Paul that he had performed signs, wonders and miracles in the presence of these people and that those acts validated his belief that he was an apostle.

> "If you want to deny that miracles we common in
> the early Christian movement you have to explain
> how, in conversation, they had come to develop
> different categories for miracles."
>
> Explaining how language evolved in ancient tribes
> enabeling them to describe events that they could
> not, at that time, explain, does not, in any way,
> compel one to believe that certain events must
> have occurred that had no (natural) explanation.

Agreed.

But, it does require one to acknowledge the existence of the events that were labeled as, in this case, signs, wonders and miracles. What I've read on this board over and over and over again is the ignorant claim (and I'm not saying that you have made it) that every reference to a miracle, even in the Epistles, was metaphorical. Hank did that as a matter of course. Pond does that as one of her dodges of truth that doesn't fit her prejudices.

My point here is merely that there were actual events that early followers of Jesus experienced which they understood to be signs, wonders and miracles. These were real historical events and, one of the ways that a person like Paul established authority in the community was to be the person responsible for making them happen.

>
> "2. There is the fact that early in the Christian
> movement the ‘marks’ that separated a genuine
> apostle from a false apostle was the ability of
> the person claiming to be an apostle to perform
> signs, wonders and miracles."
>
> We have the same thing today. If you've ever
> studied any anthropology you know that primitive
> tribes have their shamans and witch doctors who
> perform, what those people believe, are signs,
> wonders and miracles. And of course, we have
> versions right here that can even be seen on TV
> such as when the televangelist puts his hand on a
> person's head and the person swoons, faints, and
> is miraculously cured of his or her ailment.You
> can go to the Marian shrine at Lourdes in
> southwest France, where countless 'miraculous
> healings' are alleged to have occurred...there is
> a large pile of crutches, pallets, etc, left by
> those who were cured...curiously, as with all
> miraculous healings, there are no wooden legs or
> glass eyes.

> Just out of curiosity...do you assume
> all these miracles seen by many must be miracles?
> How about the miracles at Fatima, Portugal? Do you
> think they must be true? They certainly meet and
> exceed the criteria you use to assert that the
> miracles described in the Old and/or New
> Testaments should be accepted at face value.

Good questions.

No, I don't ASSUME they must be miracle.

Now, do you ASSUME that they cannot be?

No, I don't think they MUST be true.

Do you possess a worldview that prohibits you from considering the possibility that they MAY be true?

>
> The evidence you present is scant and when you say
> you "ave contended here many times that the best
> explanation of the facts known to us, is that the
> claims of the early believers are true." I'd have
> to disagree and say that when interpreting
> evidence, the best explanation is not the one that
> is impossible, rather, it would be one that is
> possible.

And, your cynical modern worldview defines, merely as a matter of your own modernist faith, what is and what is not possible. I'm not a modernist.


> To attempt to use the historical method
> with the presupposition that things that we know
> are impossible could have happened 'back then'
> does not make for a good historian.

Wow! You're entering into the real issue here. I'm actually trying to set aside my worldview. What is clear, however, is that you are proudly and boldly, though honestly probably unintentionally, foisting your own presuppositions on this text.

Don't think for a moment, isle, that you are not bringing presumption into your interpretation of this passage. You are guilty my friend, of doing precisely what you accuse me of.

This is precisely what I told you you'd have trouble with. I know very well what my presumptions are. I've been dealing with historical texts for years. I've had brilliant scholars analyze the manner in which I impose my presumptions on a text if ways that are more brutal and where the stakes were much higher than what we do playing around on this board.

Just understand that you are using the terms possible and impossible in a way that you are not justified in doing. You are imposing your worldview--your own belief system--on people in another time and place in a way that grossly disrepects them.

This Paul whose text we are examining possessed a brilliance so profound that his letters are still the topics of Ph. D. dissertations at places like Harvard. His courage was so great that he was able to withstand the 39 lashes given to Jesus multiple times because he refused to recant his claim to have been an apostle who could demonstrate his calling by performing signs, wonders and miracles. That brilliant and courageous man put his life on the line daily for his belief in, among other things, the fact he saw and performed miracles.

And, your response to reading a text describing that is to simply foist your worldview on him and disrespect him and his understand of his reality.

Well, that's not good history and it's not very careful nor respectful thinking.

> As I said earlier, "It's why, once we've ascertained that a
> person has died on a particular date, that George
> Washington died in 1799, for instance, we'd
> discount reports that he was one of the
> negotiators of the Treaty of Ghent, signed on
> December 24, 1814. Either one or the other could
> be an historical event...but not both. It's how
> 'good' history is done!"

Indeed. But, then, there's no evidence at all that he was one of the negotitor of that Treaty.

What there is EVIDENCE of is what your worldview determines is impossible and because your worldveiw determines it is impossible, you dismiss it because you don't believe in it. You are bringing prejudice to the text and, to this point, are unwilling to do anything else.

And, that's fine. I can't require you to be openminded.

All I can do is demonstrate that you have imposed your, as Hank'd say, unjustifiable, belief on an ancient text and on a person whose brilliance is historic and whose courage about his beliefs you can't imagine.

And, if you're satisfied with living in your prejudice then, I guess this conversation is over.

You failed on the point I warned you would be most difficult for you. I'm not surprise and I'm not disappointed. But, I have to honestly say that I had some hope.
Anonymous User
Re: Atheists still can't explain the miracles of JESUS!
December 29, 2009 05:00PM
pb Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> No, I don't ASSUME they must be miracle.
>
> Now, do you ASSUME that they cannot be?
>
> No, I don't think they MUST be true.
>
> Do you possess a worldview that prohibits you from
> considering the possibility that they MAY be
> true?

Indy & Isle,

I think if you guys could just admit this - that you have a worldview that assumes that miracles can not happen - all our other differences on this issue would melt away. For some reason (perhaps fear of the unknown?) your minds just seem stuck in this way of thinking even though you can't justify it in any way. I know it'd be pretty much impossible to convince youse that these miracles actually happened, but I think if you could just admit that your assumption is just that - an assumption - we may have gotten somewhere.
Jun
Re: Atheists still can't explain the miracles of JESUS!
December 29, 2009 05:51PM
Juerg, could you provide ONE instance where "supernatural" events having occurred and verified beyond the doubt?

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
- Juni {^á´¥^}


"Don't judge other people just because they sin differently from you!" ~ Anon

Three things you (probably) don't know about Islam
[www.youtube.com]

Welcome To Belgistan -- The New Muslim Capital Of Europe
[www.youtube.com]

Anonymous User
Re: Atheists still can't explain the miracles of JESUS!
December 29, 2009 06:13PM
Beyond whose doubt?
Jun
Re: Atheists still can't explain the miracles of JESUS!
December 29, 2009 06:57PM
Figure of speech. Beyond YOUR doubt I guess. But do also supply us with what you think qualify as supporting evidence and we shall discuss and judge if those said "evidence" is suffice to establish and justify a believe of said "supernatural" claim.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
- Juni {^á´¥^}


"Don't judge other people just because they sin differently from you!" ~ Anon

Three things you (probably) don't know about Islam
[www.youtube.com]

Welcome To Belgistan -- The New Muslim Capital Of Europe
[www.youtube.com]

Re: Atheists still can't explain the miracles of JESUS!
December 29, 2009 07:32PM
Ok kiddies, sorry about the delay. I've been flat out at work.

Let me start by writing... Here we go again.

However.... I have to say... pb almost reads like a scholar.Almost. I think that's a plus for this forum. Don't you? Ok i'm gonna pick my favourite response..hummm ok this is an oldie but a goodie... Prepare for the WORLD WEEKLY NEWS of bible studies grinning smiley



I think more can be verified than that.

No one was or has ever been able to produce the body of Jesus. The rise of the Christian movement was vexing to Jews and Romans alike and the movement we built on the claim that Jesus rose from the dead, appeared to some of His followers and returned to heaven.

Second Corinthians 11 contains an account of all that that Jews and Romans did to thwart Paul's claims to have witnessed Jesus alive after the crucifixion.


Firstly, Second Corinthians 11 does nothing of the sort. Paul gives no reasons why he was lashed and stoned and beaten. All he is does is boast about how he has suffered. He’s letter makes absolutely no mention that he suffered because of his belief that Jesus had risen from the dead.

Second ,Paul claims to have seen the risen in Christ 1st Corinthians 9:1 and 15:8 but in Acts it clearly state in all three stories (Acts 9, 22, 26) he only sees a bright light.

Luke was a far superior historian than Paul so what we have here is a case of exaggeration on Paul’s part. It’s clear from reading his letters that Paul has a knack for exaggeration.

This account was written fairly early in the movement and covers events that would have taken place over a period of quite a few years. As much as the opponents of the Christians did to silence individuals who claimed to have seen Jesus alive after His death on the cross, they didn't ever just take the body of Jesus out of the tomb and show it around.

Firstly, opponents of the Christians such as the Pharisees did not try to silence individuals because they were claiming Jesus was still alive, only the Sanhedrin did. And there’s only one account of Paul being put in trial for preaching the resurrection of the dead. But he wasn’t jailed for preaching the resurrection of the dead he was put in jail for inciting violence between the those that believe in the resurrection of the dead and those that didn’t.

Pharisees DID believe in the resurrection of the dead yet they were the major persecutors of the early Christians. Why? Because early Christians were antagonistic towards them. Early christians went around blaming the Pharisees and the Jews for the death of Christ. The
Acts of apostles is littered with this type of anti jewish rhetoric. For example;

You stiff-necked people, uncircumcised in heart and ears, you are forever opposing the Holy Spirit, just as your ancestors used to do. Which of the prophets did your ancestors not persecute? They killed those who foretold the coming of the Righteous One, and now you have become his betrayers and murderers. You are the ones that received the law as ordained by the angels, and yet you have not kept it (7:51-53).

It’s obvious from reading the Acts that early christians were hard core fanatics who walked into synagogues and temples and started to preach that Jesus was the Messiah and disrespecting the jewish faith.
Of course this would piss people off.
There’s a number of accounts that state the specific reasons why people like Paul were always threatened with violence. According to the Acts one of the reasons was... for persuading people to worship God in ways that are contrary to the law (Acts 18:13)

Or They have been told about you that you teach all the Jews living among the Gentiles to forsake Moses, and that you tell them not to circumcise their children or observe the customs.(Acts 21:20)

Or Fellow-Israelites, help! This is the man who is teaching everyone everywhere against our people, our law, and this place; more than that, he has actually brought Greeks into the temple and has defiled this holy place.’ (Acts 21:28)

Yet most of the early Christians were killed by mobs not by official action. No one was executed for purely religious reasons. It was all based on sectarian violence.

I don’t know why Resurrection apologists keep on using there so called “Where was the body?!” trump card. How easy would had it been for Jesus' supporters to steal the body to help perpetuate the myth? Pretty darn easy. This whole case about the missing body is the weakest evidence for the claim that Jesus had risen from the dead.

On top of that, none of the people who claim to have seen the resurrected Jesus acted like people who were telling lies.

1. There are no first person accounts of any of the people who claim to have seen the resurrected Jesus except for Paul the exaggerator.
2. There is very little historical evidence on the way the people, who claimed to have seen the resurrected Jesus, acted.

The Acts of the Apostles only focuses on Peter and Paul and mentioned the execution of James but it doesn’t state why James was executed


Paul claims, in 2 Corinthians 11, to be experiencing only what others in the Christians movement are experiencing in terms of oppression at the hands of the Romans and Jews.

no he is exaggerating to impress his audience.

I think you are stretching it more than a little bit to say that this evidence doesn't serve to verify the claims of the early believers that Jesus rose from the dead.

I think you are stretching it more than a little bit to say this evidence DOES serve to verify the claims that the early believers that Jesus rose from the dead

I have contended here many times that the best explanation of the facts known to us, is that the claims of the early believers are true. Jesus rose from the dead and ascended into heaven. "He is not here, He is risen."
You have never offered an explanation of the fact that Paul and others would endure the suffering they did and that no opponent of Jesus ever produced His body.


That’s the easiest thing to explain but first let me state the accounts of the persecution of earlier Christians by the Jews was probably exaggerated. Most of the accounts of the martyrs are all legends or apocrypha as I’ve stated that early.

Why is it easy to explain early Christian fanaticism? First reason, the psychological make up of a cult is based on pure self deception and in the first century self deception was almost as good as currency .. The 1st century AD was filled with self deluded fanatics. And the cult of self delusion is so powerful it flourishes even today. We have seen several that match the MO in our life time. Recent history is littered with cults that match the the reformed Jews of the 1st century AD in fanatacism Jim Jones, David Koresh, Bin Ladin for example. Or the successful ones like John Smith jr. I guess David wasn't as close with the FBI as Paul was with the roman legions or politicians of the time. Paul escaped out of more jails than Harry Houdini. Thanks to the Romans.

But the beauty of the 1st century AD is that… wait for it…. there is no science(well hardly). People believed any sort of crap... and despite pb trying to claim that Christians had the market on miracles, miracles like jesus’ or the apostles were a dime a dozen in 1st Century Asian Minor and Major and in Rome, even India . (Buddha walked on water). Miracles, wonders, portents, omens, sorcery, magic tricks, call it what you will.. it was .as common and accepted as ATMs are now.

I’ve explain why Christianity took off in the Ancient World. It had nothing to do with miracles or messiah’s coming back from the dead. ( Ok about maybe 20%). Christianity's wildfire of the 1st and 2nd century was all about being ALL INCLUSIVE. And in the Ancient World that was a radical concept. That’s why I think Paul not Jesus was genius, with out Paul Jesus would have been another David Koresh. Paul was the ultimate sales man. Preach to the lowest common denominator and you will get conversions. He's letters are the equivalent of American infomericals at there best. Hey anyone can join our club. It's Free! The Jews, the Romans, the Corinthians, Gentiles, the uncircumcised - ANYONE… the meek, the poor, the sick (ok ok I’m repeating myself but hey I bet I’m gonna get my favourite ( repeative) come back line - "pearls for the swine"

Oink Oink



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 12/29/2009 07:42PM by Fascinated_foreigner.
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