Thought of the day

There really is no good evidence that shows anything in the Bible is both true and not trivial. And, yes, I know it’s a popular thing nowadays to insist that Jesus was a real historical figure, but that evidence is not notably better today than it was any time in the past.

And while I’m on this, C.S. Lewis and a number of other Christians actually try to put forth an argument that the resurrection of Jesus is proof of his existence, his divinity, his saving of the world, and probably cute puppies. Or at least they say “Well, IF it really happened, then it must all be true!” So? So the hell what? If the Pope poops golden blueberries that enrich and feed the world, then he’s a heck of a guy, but that doesn’t mean he has done it.

29 Responses

  1. I know it’s a popular thing nowadays to insist that Jesus was a real historical figure

    Biblical scholars are more convinced now that he never existed.

  2. You’re kidding right? You can bellyache about a great deal of stuff in the bible, but it has been the map that has led to many historical sites that otherwise would have been very unlikely found.

    Some events may be up in the air as far as you are concerned, but times, places and yes even some events are historical in nature and some things have even been uniquely recorded in the bible.

    The sack of Jericho comes to mind. You can debate whether it was the Israelite’s blowing thier horns and such that knocked the walls down, but that was the only account of the city being sacked at that time. Someone decided to run with it and do some digging.

    Low and behold, they find a period wall, destroyed. appeared to be by earthquake, but there were also signs that pointed toward human action.

    You can call this type of thing trivial if you like, but the bible is littered with historical events and like I said, many of them are unique. Archeology won’t be proving or disproving any theological issues from the bible. Supernatural events aren’t going to be proved or disproved. But it’s a heck of a statement to say that there is absolutely nothing in the bible that is true, and an incorrect one.

  3. If by “unique” you mean “unsubstantiated,” you’re correct.

    And science HAS disproven many issues from the Bible, such as the notion that a population of Jews lived in Egypt at the time of the Exodus, or that they traveled the desert before reaching their destination.

    “God: The Failed Hypothesis.” Good read. I recommend it.

  4. I don’t mean unsubstantiated at all. I mean just what I said, unique.

    It’s important to note that the bible was never meant to be a history book at all, writing objective history is a modern discipline. With that said, when the writers of the bible were telling history, they did a great job.

  5. There is no evidence whatsoever that Jesus existed. Bart Ehrman and many other biblical scholars have shown that the NT is nothing but forgeries written 80 to 400 years after the alleged resurrection. There were many local written records at the time and none mentioned any of the Jesus stories. Commerce and politics were well covered, including crops and rainfall.

  6. That’s all well and good. I’m glad to see you aren’t trying to say the whole thing is worthless though. For a secular, archeological point of view, the old testament is a gold mine.

  7. Fool’s gold. Archeology proves that the Bible’s history is wrong far more often than right.

  8. Hey, I’m not going to argue with you all day over this. Have fun.

  9. Of course the Bible is going to contain real towns and cities. That doesn’t make it anything of a special book, nor does that give us any reason to believe anything in it is true.

  10. It’s interesting how often Nate announces that “discussion is pointless, no one on either side will ever be convinced”–as soon as some logic or evidence is presented.

    Makes me wonder why he comments at all.

  11. You notice that too. Since he disagrees with 90% of all posts here and 90% of the commenters, then this could be his way of giving up lost causes (otherwise he turns to ad hominems).

  12. Copyleft, I didn’t say it was pointless, but it’s not that interesting that I’m going to make dozens of comments on it.

    And as is typical for both you and Bob you seem to invent this “logic or evidence” thing every time I get tired of going back and forth. You didn’t present any logic or evidence that went against anything I said.

    Michael’s original statement of: “There really is no good evidence that shows anything in the Bible is both true and not trivial.” is completely wrong. There are many many, non supernatural events and places that have been discovered in the modern day by piecing things together from the bible.

    It’s not special Michael? You know a lot of other texts older than 2500 years detailing daily life, military engagements, migrations, etc? I don’t know of many. That’s pretty special as far as I’m concerned.

    And Bob and Copyleft, I really have to wonder why you guys comment if you are typically in agreement with the Michael. Is there anything less useful than your typical mumbling about evil tea parties and imagined racism under every single comment?

    And sorry if you think I’m “giving up a lost cause”, but I have to go be a productive member of society now. We can’t all retire early.

  13. You didn’t present any logic or evidence that went against anything I said.

    Except references to Stenger and Ehrman books. That is you biggest problem – you don’t recognize evidence.

    I didn’t read the rest of your comment after the above quote since I know it is just you patting yoursef on the back, therefore completely useless, troll.

  14. That don’t cover much but a few sections of the bible, a few specific instances. I didn’t say the entire bible is verifiable, nor did I say it was all truth. I have said there is a lot there that is true and has helped in the finding of historical sites and some events that have been verified that were only known from the bible.

    So Moses in the bible doesn’t match up with the Israelites being in Egypt. I believe that was a point given. How does that counter what I said?

    Do either of those books present enough evidence to counter what I said? They really can’t, because there have been many discoveries using the bible as a road map, and that’s all I’ve been claiming.

    So again, I say no evidence or logic has been presented countering what I said. Evidence has been presented though. I would have thought that would have been clear from the wording.

  15. Everything in the NT is fictitious. Including Jesus.

    Most of what is in the OT is fictitious and the rest is trivial.

    You cherry pick a few things. Feh. So what? Apologetics have used that diversionary tactic for 2000 years.

    The bibles (all 3 abrahamic ones) have been shown to be fairy tales. Erhman proved it for the NT, Stenger and others by the dozens have proven it for the OT and the Koran is just disgusting and self contradictory and villainous.

  16. PS: you have shown no evidence for any of your cherry picks at all. Produce some or be quiet.

  17. You consider major archeological finds trivial?

  18. Or else what Bob?

  19. I don’t threaten. Theists do that because god is behind them. It’s a delusional thing. They have faith, instead of evidence and logic.

    Or else: everyone sees How your opinions are worthless since they are never backed up.

  20. I was just curious.Thank you generalization man.

    This is actually an interesting example. At one point this “Sargon” was known only from the bible. It’s not like they mention him a lot, but he was assumed to have been non-existent by many. Than, they find his palace.

    I have a lot of notes about the place. One of my professors did some digs over there, and loved to talk about it. One of those places that is completely forgotten to history, so it hasn’t been pilfered for its artifacts.

    I’d also mention that the Hittites were presumed to be only legend until their capital was found in turkey.

    Again, I’m not claiming the bible is a book full of nothing but historical facts, but in a lot of ways it contains the only records of a great deal of things.

    Believe what you want though, it really doesn’t affect me at all.

  21. Sorry I meant to include a bit about these guys:

  22. So the OT talked about some real people and cities.

    How does that make 10 commandments engraved by god on tablets?
    How does that part the Red Sea?
    How does that make killing all first born and locusts plagues from god?
    How does that make a staff into a snake?
    How does that make Jesus walk on water?
    What relevance is “Sargon” to any of the bible fairy tales?

    Who is gullible enough to believe these children stories?

  23. None of it has any relevance to any of that. I’m not talking about the supernatural at all. That’s a matter for religion, not history.

    But the original assertion was that nothing in the bible is true and what little there might be is trivial. Later Michael says the bible is not special.

    I’ve just been saying that that’s not right, the OT is one of very few surviving texts from that era, making it very special indeed, and valuable. Like I demonstrated with just those two examples, there is much recorded in the bible that was not recorded anywhere else.

    If you want to attack religion, that’s one thing, but the bible is more than just a the holy book of the Jews and Christians though. That’s all I’ve asserted here. Nothing more, nothing less. You might as well dismiss the Chronicles of Alexander or the some of Homers works as having no truth or value. Which no one would think of doing of course, but the bible is somehow susceptible because it contains stories of the supernatural? So do most texts from this era.

  24. One other thing, Jesus did probably exist. Even Dawkins says so.

  25. No one prays to the Chronicles of Alexander or some of Homers works. The bible is still mostly fairy tales.

    Where is the evidence of the existence of Jesus? The NT is where almost all of the references reside and it is proven to be phony. The evidence says otherwise. There is nothing written at the alleged time but so many other significant and trivial things were written.

    Dawkins is not a biblical scholar. Dawkins said it is trivial since the bible is myth.

    John Lennox lied in this audio. Many, many historians dispute the existence of Jesus.

    Sorry, no Jesus and the NT is a forgery.

  26. The guy probably still existed, whether or not he was god might be up for debate, as is whether he existed or not, but he probably did.

  27. Nate: The guy probably still existed, whether or not he was god might be up for debate, as is whether he existed or not, but he probably did.

    The Jesus of the Gospels did not exist (or, at the very least, cannot be justified from the evidence we have). Whether or not the mythical and legendary material we have is based upon some person or people doesn’t seem particularly relevant for Christianity – the basis of Christianity is unwarranted either way.

  28. Did you click your heels together 3 times as you chanted “he did, he did, he did”? Wishing it so does not make it happen. Read Richard Dawkins’ “the God Delusion” for an adult perspective.

  29. The fact that some things in the Bible may have happen in some form or another, or that it in many cases features real people or places, is perfectly congruent with Michael’s original argument that there isn’t anything in the Bible that is true but not trivial. Mundane historical events do not a holy text make. This battle, that palace, that ruler, etc., are trivial. The Bible is revered because of its claims about the divine, not because it’s a historical archive.

    The most important parts in the Bible are well-established as myth. There was no Eden, no Adam and Eve, no Flood, no Exodus, and there probably wasn’t a Jesus either.

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