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Posted: 18 April 2009 12:58 PM   [ Ignore ]
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Can anybody prove that Any Event in the bible took place on this planet? rolleyes

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Posted: 18 April 2009 04:12 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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OK I’ll bite.  Why are you asking for proof? The same question can be asked in reverse too.  In other words, I don’t believe any of the events happened and somehow I miss read your question the first time around.  IMO, they did not happen.

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Posted: 18 April 2009 10:42 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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The problem with questions like that is that we can’t go back in time.  Can anyone prove that Columbus sailed to the New World, or that we fought the British in the late 1700s?  Sure there a great many documents, but we know many books are biased or are pure fiction. 

I think a far more rational question about the stories in the bible is, “Who cares?”  Nothing in it is useful in my life other than as a source of metaphor just as Shakespeare’s plays are.  So, I have no interest in it and don’t care whether or not it is mythology or a sloppy record of various events that occured 2,000+ years ago.

Occam

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Posted: 22 April 2009 09:06 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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I basically agree with Occam, but there are some independent sources from Biblical days who also mention some of the events in the Bible.  One of the better known sources is a jewish historian named Josephus (sp?)  He wrote on a number of secular topics such as the Roman occupation.  He also described the ministry of John the Baptist and that John was killed by Herodas.  Missing in Josephus’ account is the titilating story of Salome’s dance and a request for John’s head on a platter but from what I understand of people better versed in ancient sources, there’s no reason to doubt Josephus’ writing.

I found an internet source for Josephus writing about John, but also found a wikipedia site describing Josephus’ alleged description of Christ.  I wasn’t aware that he may have written about Christ, I always thought there was no direct historical evidence of Jesus outside of the Bible.  But it appears that Josephus may have mentioned Jesus.  If you read the article you will see the difficulties in determining the authenticity of even the texts themselves but I found the part about the 3rd century Christian Origen’s writings to be interesting.

If nothing else, hopefully this article will echo the point that proof of the existence of anyone in the past is circumstantial and dependent on the credibility of often reproduced and translated writings of people long dead. 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Josephus_on_Jesus

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Posted: 22 April 2009 01:26 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Can anybody prove that Any Event in the bible took place on this planet?

Well, not technically… But several of the stories agree with the Xena Scrolls, so maybe that helps? wink

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Posted: 24 April 2009 03:33 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Occam - 18 April 2009 10:42 PM

The problem with questions like that is that we can’t go back in time.  Can anyone prove that Columbus sailed to the New World, or that we fought the British in the late 1700s?  Sure there a great many documents, but we know many books are biased or are pure fiction. 

I think a far more rational question about the stories in the bible is, “Who cares?”  Nothing in it is useful in my life other than as a source of metaphor just as Shakespeare’s plays are.  So, I have no interest in it and don’t care whether or not it is mythology or a sloppy record of various events that occured 2,000+ years ago.

Occam

This sums up my thoughts on this subject exactly.  Well put.

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Posted: 27 April 2009 02:31 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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hypeblackdog - 18 April 2009 12:58 PM

Can anybody prove that Any Event in the bible took place on this planet? rolleyes

Isn’t that the whole point of Biblical Archaeology Review and the like?  I’m sure they’ve gotten things right.  It would be ridiculous to assume otherwise. The Mississippi River isn’t fiction simply because Mark Twain wrote about it.

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Posted: 27 April 2009 12:04 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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No, the Missiissippi isn’t fiction because we can go there and see it.  By that reasoning Tatoem isn’t fiction simply because the Star Wars’ author wrote about it. 

Re: the Biblical Archaeology Review.  You’re sure they got things right.  I’m sure that much of what they assume is unprovable.  In other words, assertions are not valid arguments. 

We accept things describing the past when we have present day evidence of their truth, but we have to question those events which don’t have this evidence.  As the saying goes, “History is written by the victors.” 

Occam

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Posted: 27 April 2009 03:12 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Kellan - 27 April 2009 02:31 AM
hypeblackdog - 18 April 2009 12:58 PM

Can anybody prove that Any Event in the bible took place on this planet? rolleyes

Isn’t that the whole point of Biblical Archaeology Review and the like?  I’m sure they’ve gotten things right.  It would be ridiculous to assume otherwise. The Mississippi River isn’t fiction simply because Mark Twain wrote about it.

It depends on the definition of proof (to paraphrase a famous president)....

To pick an example, HANUKKAH is based on historical events—namely, there actually was a Maccabean Revolt
That doesn’t mean a miracle actually occurred (i.e. the key ‘event’).

The New Testament makes reference to Romans and indeed the Romans controlled that area around the time of Jesus.  Does “Roman occupation of palestine” count as an ‘event’?

I think in general I agree with Kellan that most of the events in the Bible are documented only in the Bible, so don’t get me wrong—I took it as sort of a challenge to find something.

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Posted: 29 April 2009 01:44 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Maybe for things much more than 100 years in the past it makes more sense to talk about PROBABILITY than PROOF.  And that is still going to involve somebody’s judgment.

psik

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Posted: 29 April 2009 02:48 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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This thread seems to be drifting away from what may be historical about the Bible towards how can we know what happened in the past.  I think we can be sure of a lot of things in the historical record.  I didn’t see the Civil War but I can find photos, first hand accounts, battlefields, trenches, remnants in the soil, etc.  This starts to sound a little like “young earth” theory on dinosaur fossils and “misleading” evidence of the age of the Earth. 

There are things we don’t know of course and some big gaps in the record of course.  In particular I was intrigued by the recent story that the Egyptians believe they may have discovered the tomb of Cleopatra.  This tomb will be a few more details of her life and may give us some interesting if trivial details like whether she was a ravishing Liz Taylor-like beauty.  But we don’t need the grave to prove she and Mark Antony battled Octavian for control of the Roman Empire and lost.

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Posted: 29 April 2009 06:14 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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I think a far more rational question about the stories in the bible is, “Who cares?”  Nothing in it is useful in my life other than as a source of metaphor just as Shakespeare’s plays are.  So, I have no interest in it and don’t care whether or not it is mythology or a sloppy record of various events that occured 2,000+ years ago.

Occam

What a Gem!! Talk about articulation! This first sentence above ... I almost fell off my chair. LOL

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Posted: 29 April 2009 10:03 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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It continues to amaze me how many times this question and associated questions (such as the historicity of Jesus) are asked.  Among Atheists I would have thought they were put to bed a long time ago.  Ah well.  Here are four references (each of them is written by a different type of individual whose interests differ, and whose sources differ, and who wrote their books at different times.) 

It would be great if people who tried to answer these questions did their homework first instead of saying things like “I heard that…....”.  A question for you: most of you profess to be secularists of one form or another - doesn’t that assume that you know something (perhaps a fair amount) about the religious books that describe gods where you say there are none (or there may be none) and you are therefore able to discount them?

Here is some information about the Bible. 

A.  Earl Doherty (1999): “The Jesus Puzzle,” Canadian Humanist Publications, Ottawa.

Page VII: “This list is a summary overview…........

1.  Jesus of Nazareth and the Gospel story cannot be found in Christian writings earlier than the Gospels, the first of which (Mark) was composed only in the late first century [my statement: no comments by eyewitnesses].
2.  There is no non-Christian record of Jesus before the second century.  References in Flavius Josephus (end of first century) can be dismissed as later Christian inserts.
<snip>
8.  All Gospels derive their basic story of Jesus of Nazareth from one source: whoever wrote the Gospel of Mark.  The Acts of the Apostles, as an account of the beginnings of the Christian apostolic movement, is a second century piece of myth-making.
9.  The Gospels are not historical accounts, but constructed through a process of “midrash”, a Jewish method of reworking old historical passages and tales to reflect new beliefs.  The story of Jesus’ trial and crucifixion is a pastiche of verses and scriptures.
10. Well into the second century, many Christian documents lack or reject the notion of human man as an element of their faith.  Only gradually did the Jesus or Nathareth portrayed in the Gospels come to be accepted as historical.
<snip>

The full text of this book is worth reading and it is easy reading.

[My comment: about the timeline - bible compiled as we know it today between approximately 325AD and 375AD]

B.  Michael Martin (1991): “The Case Against Christianity,” Temple University Press, Philadelphia.  [My comment:  Michael Martin is an academic who was a professor of Philosophy at Boston University.  He also wrote a much more complex volume for those who find academic philosophical analyses edifying: “Atheism: A Philosophical Justification”.]

Chapter 2: “The Historicity of Jesus,” is particularly helpful.  Martin deals with all the extant writings that are supposed to mention Jesus and are supposed to reinforce the authenticity of the Bible.

C.  Dan Barker (1992): “Losing Faith in Faith: From Preacher to Atheist,” FFRF, Inc., Madison, Wisconsin. [My comment: Dan Barker’s book is for the average reader, but it deals with the Bible as myth in detail.]

Part 3: “Re-Examining The ‘Good Book’.”
Part 8: “History or Myth?”

D.  Joseph Wheless (?): “Forgery in Christianity,” Kessinger Publishing Co, Montana.

The bottom line is that the New Testament is a series of myths written long after the events described and filled with contradictions (even with one part contradicting another, as in the Gospels).  None of the myths’ veracity is reinforced by external sources - written or archaeological.  The Old Testament?  Who cares; make up your own mind.  Probably a mixture of myths and real stories - I mean I’m sure Adam and Eve existed and the sea opened up for Moses to walk through!  Right?

[ Edited: 29 April 2009 10:36 PM by Fat Man ]
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Posted: 30 April 2009 05:45 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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E. l’infamie-

It would be great if people who tried to answer these questions did their homework first instead of saying things like “I heard that…....”.  A question for you: most of you profess to be secularists of one form or another - doesn’t that assume that you know something (perhaps a fair amount) about the religious books that describe gods where you say there are none (or there may be none) and you are therefore able to discount them?

Many of us secularists, with whatever knowledge we have of religious texts are simply able to say: “Who cares?” That’s one of the foundations of atheism/secularism. Life is too short ELI, many don’t want to waste too much time exploring the writings and texts of religious books. Many of us have differing ranges of interest in the origins of these religions, some of us have none.
Are you saying that all atheists or agnostics must study religion, and familiarize themselves with history and texts, in order to be a true atheist/agnostic? Because that’s totally wrong. One can simply “dis”-believe! And when one has additional practical logic skills and basic physical understandings then the disbelief compounds. No one needs to study the dead sea scrolls in order to be an atheist.
Like Occam said above… if a non-interested, agnostic is asked about the bible, or it’s history, the most rational response would be “Who Cares!” Really? Who gives a hoot?

[ Edited: 30 April 2009 06:06 AM by VYAZMA ]
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Posted: 30 April 2009 07:38 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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Ezekiel has some useful economic information regarding trade.

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