User Name:

Password:

FAQ Donate Join

General Discussion
Bible misunderstood

I kind of believe that maybe there are other worlds, and other inhabitants of these worlds, and perhaps we are decendants of these people, one way or another. If you read the bible, there are many references to things that could be explained by UFO's, Moses followed a column of clouds through the desert, (they had no other way to describe an alien craft). Charriots of fire, (the only means of transportation was a charriot, they had no word for aircraft)and these crafts were seen in the sky, so perhaps these were UFO's. To a undeveloped mind of someone of the early ages, anyone being of a advanced civilization would be considered a "higher being" of sorts. And so I believe that perhaps we are decendants of another planet, and from time to time they may check up on us. An undeveloped mind, may perceive this as a "GOD", or ultimate being. I think we as humans would be ignorant to believe that we are the only "beings" existing in a universe so vast. Look at paintings from the early ages, there are "crafts" in the skies, of course undeveloped minds would consider them "not of this earth, and possibly gods" because of the technology they displayed. But yet even if we were to go to undeveloped tribes around the world, and share some of our technology, would they not consider us to be "GODS", or witches? Just my idea, I think we exist because we do. No, I am not a heavens gate believer. I just think it makes more sense to read between the lines of the bible, and to think of what these primitave minds were trying to convey with their limited vocabulary. Not that I actually believe in aliens, but to me this makes a whole lot more sense. Consider the Pyramids of Egypt, Easter Island, Stonehendge, etc. Not to mention all the earth carvings that stretch for miles, displayed around the world as people, and creatures, that are only visable from the sky at high altitudes. What do you think?

There may be other worlds and other inhabitants of those worlds, but you're going to have to come up with better evidence than the Bible and a bunch of unproven new age nonsense to convince this reader. There are serious scientists looking for life on other planets. Check out SETI (the Search for Extra-Terrestrial Life.) While you're there, ask yourself why they're looking for life on radio wavelengths from space and not from ancient artifacts.

I've called the Bible a Rorschach (inkblot) test for the morally challenged. It really could be a Rorschach test for most things. You can find in it "evidence" of anything you want since it's really a test of what's in the interpreter's head. Want to kill Jews by the millions, no problem. Want to exploit others as slaves, no problem. Want to create global war so that Jesus will come back and true believers get a snuff porn orgasm with their object of desire, no problem. Given this, I'm sure you can find space aliens and whatever else you can imagine in there. The trouble is, if you can find anything at all in there, Biblical evidence becomes meaningless. Sadly, this seems to be the best "evidence" people have for their religious beliefs.

Those ancient creations are interesting, to be sure, but I don't think that any of them are evidence of advanced technology. Perhaps today, with our emphasis on individuality, we can't fathom the manpower and sense of purpose and dedication that the civilizations had to have that created them. If there were advanced civilizations that had visited the Earth and left evidence behind, don't you think we'd have some examples of technology that we pitiful humans still couldn't understand and create today? Now that would be interesting, but we don't have an example of such a thing.

Given what we know about physics, which is a lot, the distances of space are just too great for alien visitation.

--Don

>Moses followed a column of clouds through the desert

Read more closely: Exodus 13:21-22 -- "By day the LORD went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud to guide them on their way and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so that they could travel by day or night. Neither the pillar of cloud by day nor the pillar of fire by night left its place in front of the people."

Exodus 19:16-18 -- "On the morning of the third day there was thunder and lightning, with a thick cloud over the mountain [this references Mt. Sinai--their destination during their travels in chapter 13], and a very loud trumpet blast. Everyone in the camp trembled. Then Moses led the people out of the camp to meet with God, and they stood at the foot of the mountain. Mount Sinai was covered with smoke, because the LORD descended on it in fire. The smoke billowed up from it like smoke from a furnace, the whole mountain trembled violently..."

-New International Version

This is not an alien space craft. It's a volcano. Active volcanoes can blow huge plumes of smoke and spit fire. In current times, some are even favorite tourist sites in some areas, that go off as regularly as the Old Faithful geiser in Yellow Stone Park in the U.S.

This story is describing the Hebrews moving forward toward an active volcano, that is spouting a column of smoke that is forever "ahead" of them. It's off in the distance, but it's in the forward direction in which they're heading. And, of course, at night, the light from the volcanic debris would be more visible as fire rather than mere smoke (in the same way we can see stars at night, but not during the day--when they are more obscured by sun and atmosphere).

Anyone who needs further convincing need only read that further description in chapter 19, where it describes the mountain making a loud sounding blast, shaking and blowing out fire and smoke--like a furnace. This is no divine miracle from god; and it's nothing alien to our planet--it's a very common active volcano described in the story.

O.k. What about the rest of their venture? I suppose Mt. Sinai followed them until they arrived at the land they were promised. Where did you discoverer that the mountain was in (forever) ahead of them? I'm certain that many theologians would be impressed with your rational. What about the cloud that was contantly produced in their presence when god spoke?

I didn't say I believed it or that it was even real. I just said it's a description that fits something we see all the time, but may be more rare in some areas. I don't believe any of the supernatural claims in the stories told by the ancient Hebrews any more than I believe Charybdis was a monster and not someone anthropomorphizing a very natural whirlpool.

Just because I believe in whirlpools and that Charybdis was a whirlpool description, I don't then accept all the Greek mythological tales.

Skepticism is a virtue - A challenge to an opinion is not an attack on the concept. Everyone has their own ideas, and everyone thinks that they're right. The standard should be finding out the authenticity of what you believe. The Sumerians believed that man was created to be slaves by gods from another planet. Zecharia Sitchin has written many books on the subject, and quotes extensively from his translations of the Sumerian tablets to prove that human beings were created to be slaves by alien gods. Zecharia Sitchin's book The 12th Planet is about this subject. He believed that the "Nefilim" is from a Semitic root NFL, meaning "to be cast down," this is found in the Book of Enoch. The Book Of Enoch was in the Bible. Dr. Sitchin believed it meant cast down to earth from heaven. These could not have been angels or ethereal beings because they were mating with human women and producing offspring. The gods from the realms where the Nefilim originated created human beings in a scientific laboratory. Man was created to be a slave. Dr. Sitchin says that the biblical story of creation, and other stories of the beginnings in Genesis, stems from Sumerian origins, condensing many gods into a single one. That's what he believes - and it's fine with me he speaks the language and I don't. Very few people speak ancient Sumerian. But I do think that it is interesting to note the similar theme of slavery, salvation, and a covenant in the Sumerian writings, and a lot of other ancient writings.

Many things are not as we once thought, and that's alright, because reality is better than fantasy. If there are no facts to prove something there are those who become desperate to prove the validity of it. For instance the Bible Code that has no validity. Other writers are suggesting that if we put passages in the Bible into modern day context we would realize that they were probably describing UFO's; and this could be the proof that a being from another planet started life on this planet.

I don't believe that anyone can prove that life exist on other planets by these methods. In order to prove something you have to first prove its validity. We know that life on earth precedes the Bible, and that the Bible is not a complete work. They can't even agree on how many books should be in the Bible. There are many different versions of the Bible. The standard Protestant Bible of sixty-six canonical books was not settled upon until a few centuries ago. Many different authors wrote it over a very long period of time

It might be easier to use the Bible to prove that much of the life on earth is not intelligent. There are all kinds of books being written by those who yearn to prove the fallibility of science, because they think it will prove the validity of the Bible. They have only succeeded in proving that over time technology improves and scientist know more; therefore theories can change, but science is still based only on facts. Those who prefer Bible education to science want people to stop thinking and just believe. They prefer creationism to science and want it taught under the guise of intelligent design. The burden of proof lies with the theists; that a God exist who created everything. There well may be life on other planets, but that has nothing to do with the truth of the Bible, or any ancient civilizations writings. There have always been myths and story telling about the origins of life.

The scientific method for studying life on earth and/or other planets is done by the use of observations that are based only on things that can be proven. Scientific theories still have to be proven by scientific methods, and not by speculation with no basis in fact.

to prove the fallibility of science, because they think it will prove the validity of the Bible. They have only succeeded in proving that over time technology improves and scientist know more; therefore theories can change, but science is still based only on facts. Those who prefer Bible education to science want people to stop thinking and just believe. They prefer creationism to science and want it taught under the guise of intelligent design. The burden of proof lies with the theists; that a God exist who created everything. There well may be life on other planets, but that has nothing to do with the truth of the Bible, or any ancient civilizations writings. There have always been myths and story telling about the origins of life.

Linda

Well said. You must have had the same philosophy 101 that many others have taken. I will honor your stated correlation/attepted defiition of skepticism and virtue. However, the readers must also be aware that in Latin virtue refers to manliness. Just poking fun there. As you suggest: "doubting" is "good". I whole heartedly agree that "the standard should be finding out the authenticity of what you believe". I might also add and challange you and others to investigate the authenticity and historicity of what Christians believe.

In response to similar themes... attempts to prove the bible was created after the Pagan religions and stories, [Attis, Adonis, Osirs, Mithras (the new catch in town)] have been historically proven incorrect.

When I've discussed/dabated issues of Jesus and God, I've noticed my non-believing friends refer back to "the creation of ...". "Prove to me that God exists". I usually refer to a mere 5 simple facts.

1) Jesus was kill by crucifixtion 2) His tomb was empty 3) His desciples believed that he rose from the dead and appeared before them and many others 4) The conversion of Saul of Tarsus (Paul) who once persected the believers 5) The conversion of His half-brother James who didn't believe...

These simple questions, I believe must be investigated and answered by the best possible solution. Without the most intellegent and investigated possibility, I feel that our conclusion is not honorable.

While many of the other issues may be debated at another time, I also suggest non believers reconsider their reasoning and accountablity of:

1) Morallity 2) Rationality 3) Your own existence

One last thought... I noticed that you don't believe and scoff at many different ideas. I guess that means that your uncertainty lends your heart to an "Faithistic" point of view.

I hope to hear from you

God Bless

Jeff

The televangelists who believe that women can't preach also believe that virtue is a male characteristic. Even though these men are Gods gift to the world (a few of them have turned out to be gay) while they railed out against gays. Tee! Hee! (Hypocrites!) The Christian cult is made up of those who are followers (subordinates) to authoritative flamboyant preachers not (educationalist) with no accountability. Integrity or ethics are demonstrated when people live up to their own words and deeds. Everyone has their own ideas, and everyone thinks that they're right. The standard should be finding out the authenticity of what you believe.

The earliest writings of man tell where the trinity begins. Records of early Mesopotamian and Mediterranean civilizations show polytheistic religions. Theologians assert that earliest man believed in one god archeologist, scientist, and scholars know that there were the Babylonians original belief in one god was replaced by the triads of paganism which were eventually absorbed into Christian dogmas. An Egyptologist, Erick Hornung, refutes the original monotheism of Egypt: 'Monotheism is a phenomenon restricted to the wisdom texts,' which were written between 2600 and 2530 BC; but there is no question that ancient man believed in one creator, supreme over all (and in a multitude of gods at a later point.) There is no doubt that the most common grouping of gods was a triad. Archaeological expeditions in ancient Mesopotamia have uncovered the culture of the Sumerians, which existed over 4,000 years ago. Though Sumerian was overthrown first by Assyria, and then by Babylon, its gods lived on in the cultures of those who conquered. The historian S. H. Hooke tells in detail of the ancient Sumerian trinity: Anu was the primary god of heaven, the 'Father', and the 'King of the Gods'; Enlil, the 'wind-god' was the god of the earth, and a creator god; and Enki was the god of waters and the 'lord of wisdom. The historian, H. W. F. Saggs, explains that the Babylonian triad consisted of 'three gods of roughly equal rank... whose inter-relationship is of the essence of their natures. In the unity of one God of the Babylonians there were three persons, and to symbolize that doctrine of the Trinity, they employed... the equilateral triangle, just as it is well known the Church does today.

Dr. Gordon Laing, retired Dean of the Humanities Department at the University of Chicago, agrees that (the worship of the Egyptian triad Isis, Serapis, and the child Horus' probably accustomed the early church theologians to the idea of a triune God, and was influential 'in the formulation of the doctrine of the Trinity as set forth in the Nicaean and Athanasian creeds.) These were not the only trinities early Christians were exposed to. The historical lecturer, Jesse Benedict Carter, tells us of the Etruscans. As they slowly passed from Babylon through Greece and went on to Rome, they brought with them their trinity of Tinia, Uni, and Menerva. This trinity was a new idea to the Romans, and yet it became so typical of Rome that it quickly spread throughout Italy. Even the names of the Roman trinity: Jupiter, Juno, and Minerva, reflect the ancestry. (Christianity did not destroy paganism; it adopted it.)

linda

with all due respect, lets not group all Christians into the same catagory as the "evil" televangeists. i think most people are intelligent enough to realize that all "believers" are not as the CROOKS you are talking about. these people are cheats and liars; they are not Christians.

Also, with all due respect, you need to do a lot more research on understanding the trinity. you are talking about triads.....

also you say

-archeologist, scientist, and scholars know that there were the Babylonians original belief in one god was replaced by the triads of paganism which were eventually absorbed into Christian dogmas. really? all of them? which ones? are you choosing only those that meet you ideals?

all of the nonsense that is quoted and cited is just a ramble to confuse the original issue. just state your defense and be done. your ramble only talked about many gods and triads.

>I might also add and challange you and others to investigate the authenticity and historicity of what Christians believe.

Done and done. I was a Christian when I began to look up the origins of the Bible. Prior to that, I simply believed what Josh McDowell said he had learned through his research. Unfortunately, he didn't say a lot of other things that I'm sure must have come up in his research. After my friends questioned the validity of what I'd been told, I went to the library at my university where I looked up reference books (not atheist books making anti-Xian claims or books by apologists trying to prove their own views)--and found that my friends were correct. The Bible was a hodge podge put together here and there by person X and person Y, revised, edited, and eventually canonized in the form we have today...with seemingly no divine instruction anyone could point to that it should be created. All done on man's initiative. When I brought my concerns to my preacher--as a good Xian should--I was told that I had to just trust that god's hand guided the process. In other words, I had to accept that what men did was god's work, without anything from god indicating that was actually the case. This is where my "faith" in the Bible began to fall apart.

Since then I've learned of at least two significant passages that have been forged and added to the texts that are still in there to this day. In versions that contain editors' notes, this is actually called out as a forgery. The one I came across on my own was John 7:53 through 8:11, where the New American Standard Bible states, "Later mss add the story of the adulterous woman, numbering it as John 7:53-8:11"; and the New International Version states, "The earliest and most reliable manuscripts and other ancient witnesses do not have John 7:53-8:11." Later someone else pointed out the same issue in another passage, ironically, the Great Commission verses. In the NIV it says, "The most reliable early manuscripts and other ancient witnesses do not have Mark 16:9-20"; in the NASB it states, "Later mss add vv 9-20."

These are two very scholarly translations that are academically solid, using teams of translators with significant degress and knowledge between them. These people had access to the Qumran scrolls, and so has far more texts available to scrutinize than, for example, the King James translators. And they agree that the Bible contains passages that have been added in later years. And they are in Xian Bibles to this day.

Josh McDowell claimed the books were meticulously copied and that no such errors could be in the Bible. He's flat out wrong. It's not atheists defying him; the marginal notes in the Bible itself defy his claim. The texts are not original and are not trustworthy. They are compilations that have been revised at will by people unknown over hundreds and hundreds of years. The claims within the book should not be considered historically reliable by anyone, which is not to say that there is nothing within its pages that could ever be or is not now historically accurate. It's only to say that it's not exactly a historic reference text I'd want to rely on too heavily.

>In response to similar themes... attempts to prove the bible was created after the Pagan religions and stories, [Attis, Adonis, Osirs, Mithras (the new catch in town)] have been historically proven incorrect.

However the findings at Ugarit nearly 100 years ago, showed that the Canaanites used the same gods prior to the Jews incorporating them into Jewish theologies. El and Asherah particularly are described in the Old Testament long after the Jews spent time dwelling in and around Canaan--where these gods existed many years prior. And historically the Jews worshipped El and Asherah side by side--as even the Old Testament describes (and archaeology also doesn't contradict). According to the Bible itself, it wasn't until the time of Hezekiah that Asherah was denounced and El was set up as an umarried, monotheistic deity.

Also, the Jews incorporate the goddess Sophia in the OT (where she claims she was with god when he framed the world), and the god/demi-god Nehushtan, which was likely borrowed from the Midianites. Even "The Law" is borrowed from the laws of surrounding older cultures.

Start looking at the actual archaeology, and get your nose out of McDowell's biased, half-truths, then see what you think.

Tracieh _ I thought this very interesting…The New Testament, the Church, and Christianity, were all the creation of the Calpurnius Piso (pronounced Peso w/long "E") family. (I will come back to this later but )….

The Christian and the ancient Hebrew and Egyptian religions have their roots in ancient Sumer, a country in southeastern Mesopotamia, and birthplace for the first civilization in world history. The history of Sumer is counted as lasting from about 3500 BCE until 2000 BCE, where after other cultures, based upon the Sumerian, continued the civilization. These cultures were principally the Assyrian and the Babylonian.

Study the history of the common people, the politics and the attacks by invaders who lived around the period 2000 BC - the time of ABRAHAM, the father of three modern-day religions: Judaism, Christianity and Islam.

In addition to that, there is evidence of counterfeit and forgery that is interesting and believable. It goes right along with a great deal of other information too voluminous to mention. Mssr. Abelard Reuchelin an earnest researcher of historic genealogies concluded that Christianity is fake. The New Testament, the Church, and Christianity, were all the creation of the Calpurnius Piso family, who were Roman aristocrats. (The New Testament and all the characters in it...are all fictional.) Abelard Reuchelin, an earnest researcher of historic genealogies who specialized in ancient families began to zero in on one family in particular, the Piso family of Roman Patricians, who dominated the Roman aristocracy over several generations, producing caesars, consuls, generals, statesmen, philosophers, historians, scholars and bishops of the early Church. Blood and marriage relations within the Piso family included Tacitus, Pliny the Younger, Suetonius, Trajan, Vitellius, Vespasian, Julius Caesar's uncle. Lucius Piso, Galba Caesar, and etc…The same tribe essentially ruled Rome directly for over two hundred years, and indirectly via the Church up to the present.

Mssr. Abelard discover that the authorship of the New Testament, and hence Christianity, was an ongoing Piso family project for over two generations, utilizing some of the best literary minds of the age as a battering ram against a series of alarmingly effective Jewish revolutions primarily in Judea, but also spreading to Egypt. The Pharisee party was in a powerful geopolitical position to choke trade routes and a powerful ideological position to challenge a variety of what they viewed as idolatries, with a monotheism that was at its core anti-slavery. Roman abuses and the abuses of their puppet regimes had created a tinderbox that could easily be fanned into a full-scale insurrection of the Eastern provinces. It was obvious to the patrician strategists that the Jewish ideology had to be countered on its own terms. Judea preached a pacifist message; the writings of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, the subsequent Epistles, the personages including the Christ figure, the apostles, the later important converts, Simon Peter, Saul/Paul, etc. were fabricated out of various Eastern mythologies, and in some cases, the biographies of the conspirators, themselves.

This argument is made stronger by a glaring and obvious body of supporting historic fact, although fact by omission. One of the great conundrums to Biblical research has been the nagging lack of independent contemporary documentation making any reference whatsoever to a nascent Galilean religion. All extant literature dating from before 100 A.D., which makes reference to early Christianity, is from the pen of the conspirators, often writing under pseudonyms. Reuchelin claims that the contemporary Jewish General and historian Flavius Josephus is, in fact, Arius Calpurnius Piso. The real support to this case of vacant references to early Christianity is to be found in the strange silence that surrounds researches into the famous Dead Sea Scrolls; leather, parchment and metal scrolls written in Hebrew which have been unearthed in the hundreds, often complete and in excellent condition. The records of religious events, important commentaries and chronicles by a sect of Essene scribes and scholars writing in Judea for a hundred years up to 70 A.D. And nowhere is mention made of a new religion, a Messiah, a worker of miracles, a preaching to multitudes, a trial and crucifixion. Nothing. this silence is a great embarrassment to Biblical scholars and is treated extremely cautiously by the Biblical academic community.

The Church is nothing more than a corrupt institution that has no ability to forgive or redeem anyone. And has no power to judge you.

Linda: Thanks for an interesting post.

Wow. Over a month to finally get your eggs together? Looks like you have a little dillusional support. Busy right now, I'll get back. Great responses. I still wonder why no one can refute the pts. I offered? Ohh, I for one am not up Josh's...

WOW! I noticed you didn't answer anything.! I assume by "points" you are referring to ….QUOTE 1) Jesus was kill (ED) by crucifixtion 2) (CRUCIFIXION) His tomb was empty 3) His disciples (DISCIPLES) believed that he rose from the dead and appeared before them and many others 4) The conversion of Saul of Tarsus (Paul) who once persected (PERSECUTED) the believers 5) The conversion of His half-brother James who didn't believe... I answered all of this! I hope I got the right words! Of coarse apologists will dispute this!

Any claims of an event that happened in the past cannot evade historical scrutiny of that claim (nobody has to believe anything on "faith.") The Roman crucifixion is a fictional add-on, which came upon the stage for political reasons. The so-called "virgin birth" myth was also a very late addition to the Christian mythologies. Last but not least, the resurrection of the Jesus mythos came some 70 years after, but nevertheless were included in the canonized book of myths some 300 years later. Philo lived during the time of Jesus in Jerusalem, from 20 BCE to 50 CE. Philo was there when Christ made his triumphal entry into Jerusalem. Philo was living right there when Christ was supposed to have been crucified. He was in town when the earthquake, supernatural darkness, and resurrection of the dead took place. Philo was there when Christ himself rose from the dead and, in the presence of many witnesses, ascended into heaven. Philo never once mentioned Jesus. Must have been out of town. Josephus, the renowned Jewish historian. Josephus was also a native of Judea and was born in 37 AD, making him a cohort of the Apostles. Everyone knew Josephus. He served as Governor of Galilee, which was the province in which Christ lived and taught. Josephus knew and had traveled throughout every part of Galilee, the very same place where Christ had performed his prodigies just a few years back. In fact, Josephus lived in Cana, which is the very city in which Christ is said to have wrought his first famous and renowned miracle. In his writings, Josephus takes great pains to mention every possible important and unimportant event (his work is extensive) comprising twenty books. He dedicates whole pages to petty robbers and cult leaders. The life of a single King took up forty chapters. And yet, Josephus never once mentions Jesus nor even so much as hints of such a personage. (There were two paragraphs which have now been proved to have been forged in the 4th century by Bishop Eusebius.) There is an extensive list of writers living in the same place and time as Christ is said to have lived, and none of them mention anything about him. In fact, the four Gospels we are so familiar with were completely unknown to the early Christian Fathers. Justin Martyr not only never quotes or mentions any of the four Gospels, he never even mentions the writers, Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John. Few Christians know that the name "Jesus Christ" was not formally adopted until after the first Council of Nicaea. Furthermore, that there is no cross in early Christian art before the middle of the 5th century. In fact, the first clear crucifix does not appear until late in the late 7th century. They were not unaware of the crucifixion! No rational person would believe that Jesus was ever crucified on the Roman cross. It was a fiction, which was added in the year 367. It is amazing that the anyone still believes these myths. Even Christian mythologies (like John 8:3-11) say Jesus was stoned to death and then hung on a tree. The cross is a later addition, which has been soundly debunked. (And there is sinister motive for the John's story). Christian mythologies say he was Christ; and when Pilate, at the suggestion of many of the principal men amongst us, had condemned him to the cross (April 3, AD 33), those that loved him at first did not forsake him, for he appeared to them alive again the third day (April 5, AD 33) Most modern scholars deny the authenticity of the passage, and claim it was wholly worked over by Christian hands. Or in plain English, it is a forgery. Origen, a Church historian of the third century is emphatic that Jesus was not regarded as Christ, which would thus contradict the whole passage. But it fits a sinister pattern by shifting the blame for the death of Jesus from the Romans to the Jews, and claiming 'many of the principal men amongst us' in the passage just quoted (implying that the Jews had caused Jesus to be executed.)

"The Bible" is a modern source of scriptures about Jesus' death (which states it was on a tree.) The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree." (Acts 5.30.)"And we are witnesses of all things which he Jesus did both in the land of the Jews, and in Jerusalem; whom they slew and hanged on a tree" (Acts 10.39.) "And when they had fulfilled all that was written of him, they took him down from the tree, and laid him in a sepulcher." (Acts 13.29.)"Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness" (Peter 2.24.) Now if Jesus was hung on a tree, why say in Mark 8.34 "Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me." It would seem Jesus was allegedly saying this long before he was crucified. And since Jesus was hung on a tree, what would this mean to his followers? For it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree" Galatians 3:13. The numerous Gnostic Knowledge Gospels of Christ were burned by the Church Fathers because they made the four Gospels, which they put in the New Testament in 325 AD look ridiculous. The Gnostic Gospels pre date the four Gospels kept in the New Testament. The Gnostic Gospels also tell a difference story of the death of Jesus. (He was not crucified.) The Gospel of Judas was one of the Christian Gnostic "Knowledge" Gospels burned by the Council of Nicaea in 325 AD and discovered in Egypt in Naj Hammadi in 1945. When the Gospel of Judas was made public Judas was found to be Jesus most trusted disciple. Gnostics believed that the way to salvation was through secret knowledge ...Not through any person's Crucifixion.

Pauline Christianity was the result of a successful power struggle waged by Paul against the sect known among other names as 'Keepers of the Covenant', 'Congregation of the Poor', and 'Ebionites'. Its leader was James, known as the 'Righteous'. Jesus was peripheral to this movement and the struggle, while James was its real leader. Over the centuries, the importance of James was gradually diminished by Christian writers until he came to be known simply as the 'Lord's brother'. Jesus became all-important and presented as the source from which Christianity sprang. He wanted a simpler doctrine that would find wide acceptance, especially among the Gentiles. For this purpose Paul coined the doctrine of 'Faith in Jesus' repudiating the Law and the prophets. Paul essentially overthrew "the Law" all-important to Jesus replacing it with his doctrine of 'Faith.' As Paul sees it, "If Righteousness is through the Law, then Christ died for nothing" (Galatiam, 2.21). Of course it was for something, to establish the "New Religion." And so Paul (inspired by the example of the expansionist Roman Empire) could throw out the all-important Law of the Prophets and replaced it with a much simpler doctrine of Faith in Jesus that he could more easily sell to a larger audience, especially the Gentiles. This is something that the Jews of Qumran (the real companions of Jesus) who were wholeheartedly for the Law would never have accepted. Paul's expansionist vision was more Roman than Jewish, and this brought him into immediate and violent conflict with the Qumran community. This becomes clear upon studying the Acts of Apostles alongside the Qumran texts. Biblical scholars and historians that the Gospels, the source from which what we are told of the life and teachings of Jesus is drawn, are highly unreliable as history generally recognize it. James fell victim to an attack while engaged preaching in the Temple. Researchers say that the Dead Sea Scrolls indicate an attack on James led by his rival Paul. It has also been noted that Josephus mentions one 'Saul' as having acted as an intermediary in inviting the Romans to attack Jerusalem; Saul of course was the name of St Paul before his conversion. In the circumstances, it would be entirely in order for Christian scribes to shift the blame for the death of James from Paul to the Jews. Otherwise it would be a major problem if James, the 'Lord's brother', was assassinated in the Temple by St Paul and his followers!

The Ebionites (early Christians) did not hold Jesus to be divine. (Proclamation of the divinity of Jesus at the Council of Nicea in AD 325 was a political act by Constantine and Eusebius. Much of Church "history" is part of the effort by later Christian scribes to reduce the importance of James and exalt Jesus. They created an exalted version of a Jesus and made him tower over James who was the real leader of the early Christians and the Church of Jerusalem. For it is James, not Jesus who finds mention as a martyr in the works of early authors (as known to Eusebius and others) as well as the ancient works 'Recognitions of Clement '.

They make Jesus into a figure of great importance in the Holy Land, but contemporary historical records take little notice of him. This is even more surprising because they find that James is mentioned in both Christian and non-Christian sources. The Qumran texts identify Jesus as a 'Teacher of Righteousness.' The usage found in the works of all non-Christian authors suggest that the word Christ or Chrestus (from Greek Cristoz meaning messiah) was a generic term applied to members or leaders of a messianic cult which the Dead Sea Scrolls identify with the Qumran Sect; it was not by any means the unique title of Jesus. It certainly cannot be taken to mean the 'surname' of Jesus. Most scholars of The Dead Sea Scrolls realize the fact that there was nothing unique about the title Christ. Christ was a generic title used by the leaders of a sect like those of Qumran, the followers of an extremist Jewish sect, these were the men responsible for the Jewish Wars of AD 66-74 and AD 132-5 in which both they and their faith perished.

It was the Christians who introduced religious persecution on a large scale that they later went on to attribute to everybody else, especially Jews. One very important fact is that since the original "faith" perished in the Jewish Wars, the struggles was between Rome and the Essenes. The modern Church descended from Pauline Christianity that never opposed Rome, and not the early Church of Jerusalem. Paul, the founding father of modern Christianity, was himself privileged Roman who was seen as a traitor by the early Christians, including their leader James. The modern Church has built fables of martyrdom around Nero's supposed persecution of Christians while suppressing this important historical distinction. And it is one reason for the suppression of the Qumran material that is now coming out.

The Church itself should be seen as the successor to the Roman Empire, not the 'Congregation of the Poor' (also a Qumranian term) as the early Church called itself; absurdly, so too does the Vatican today. The Pope is the modern Caesar (more Nero than St Peter.) He even dons the resplendent purple robe of the Caesars in preference to the simple fisherman's attire of Peter, and rightly so. He even carries the title 'Pontifex Maximus' of the pagan emperors.

so to sum it up,urs sayng that as its fiction,paul who had political motives wasn't beheaded ,there was no extermination by nero against christians,no apostles ,infact no witnesses to say " hang on the story of piso is fabricated"

I just love it when people need to justify themselves by insulting others. Quote -" Looks like you have a little dillusional support." If that was about tracieh post, it was not (DELUSIONAL) (correction of misspelled insult!) It was superior to anything you've said. Your posts show nothing but ignorance on all levels.(She disagrees with you!) And I don't need any help. You really should take a look at the situation. You tried to use the meaning of a word from ancient history (and insults) to justify your views. Basically, you have used insults, the Bible, apologists, and the ancient Greeks concept of the word virtue trying to make a point. I used the word virtue meaning "good quality" and it does mean that! The Greeks who thought it meant manliness also thought women were less than human. This is something that was also intrinsic in Christianity. Van Baer discovered the female ovum in 1827, the first time that the woman's equal role in conception was realized. Such is the influence of language on the shaping of our thoughts. Christian teachings derived from Augustine, Aquinas, Gratian, and other founders of Christian precepts grounded in the Aristotelian conviction that females are defective males. The ancient Greeks contrived the myth of the birth of Athena from the head of Zeus. (Speaking of delusional!) I am always fascinated by ancient history, but to justify your position, I think you could use some evolution.

The transforming of the female apostle Junia into the male name Junias in the sixth century illustrates one way the testimony of women leaders was purposely erased from church history. This cover-up of women leaders in the early church fortified the male hierarchy in their consolidation of power; the exclusion of women from priesthood and the imposition of mandated celibacy by the canons of the fifth and sixth centuries. Augustine locates the source of original sin in the male erection and women are the cause of it. Augustine formulated the idea that women were good only for reproduction and unqualified for anything connected with mind or intelligence. There is a cover-up or omission of female images in Scripture. We can find the omission of women from the texts of early Christian history from Junia the Apostle to priests like Leta, recovered by Otranto of Italy. To such an extent women have been erased from texts that we must resort to archaeological clues, such as the catacomb painting of women celebrating the Eucharist (with a modern reproduction transforming the women into men), and locating a bishop Theodora in the Church of St Prassede in Rome (with the last part of her name scratched out).

Recognize the seeds of the biological construction of woman's inferiority in two of the most influential Greek philosophers of all time: Plato and Aristotle. In the Laws, Plato concludes that a woman has less potentiality for virtue than a man; he says further that it is women's weakness and timidity that make them sly and devious. Again Plato shows his contempt for women: "Human nature being twofold, the better sort was that which should thereafter be called man." And twice he says: "Evil and cowardly men are reborn as women, that being the first step downward to rebirth as animals." Aristotle sees woman as a misbegotten male. Perhaps caused by some adverse circumstance, such as a southeast wind that is moist.

I know about the 'modus operandi' of resorting to heavy-handed insults to put someone in their place if they disagree with Chorus members. You don't have any arguments as far as I'm concerned, and I have no interest in playing your silly little abusive game! I'm also tired of correcting the misspelled words!#@!

Linda,

Happy Christmas. Long time no type. I have been working 72-80 hours a week since I last posted. I guess you missed the "just poking fun there" part. By your response, I would hate to tell you a joke that you did not understand. By the way, I stated the Greek definition of virtue. You stated, "the ancient Greeks concept of the word virtue". I noticed you added concept. Definition and concept are different (of course yu know that). I'm very sorry for offending you so much with my spelling. Bad time to tell you about my handicap. I see that you got the intended meaning. I'm also very sorry to read about the "anti-male" issues that you have gone on & on & on about. As you stated, "I know about the 'modus operandi' of resorting to heavy-handed insults to put someone in their place if they disagree with Chorus members"; I do not recall being heavy-handed. This began as a light engagement. It is now I who am being vigorously attacked. This should prove to be a friendly/testing engagement.

Peace, Love, and God Bless

Well, if you thought that was bad, dig this! Your jokes aren't funny! I'm referring to what I assume you are calling a joke.

QUOTE "Wow. Over a month to finally get your eggs together? Looks like you have a little dillusional support. Busy right now, I'll get back." Great responses. I still wonder why no one can refute the pts. I offered? Ohh, I for one am not up Josh's…"

I guess (Linda) is the one you thought didn't answer in a timely manner! (I assume that was directed at me) Ha! My so-called support ( tracieh ) was answering you! QUOTE -"I might also add and challange you and others to investigate the authenticity and historicity of what Christians believe." She ( tracieh ) assuming you meant was the dillusional (Wrong about something obvious.) support.

QUOTE - "I guess you missed the "just poking fun there" part."

The humor is completely absent since there is not a grain of truth in that comment. Also this "joke" was supposed to get a laugh at the expense of another person! A person who had done nothing to deserve it.

QUOTE - "By your response, I would hate to tell you a joke that you did not understand."

Well, the natural closing statement to save face after an unsuccessful attempt at being "funny" such as this is usually: "I guess you had to be there," but there is a world of difference between someone trying to make fun of a person who is different (thinking) than themselves and a joke! If you think it changes anything because someone says (I'm just kidding,) it doesn't! There's nothing "funny" about perpetuating stupid prejudices!

QUOTE - "By the way, I stated the Greek definition of virtue. You stated, "the ancient Greeks concept of the word virtue". I noticed you added concept. Definition and concept are different (of course yu know that)."

As to the word virtue - The etymology the origin or history of a word is necessary to explain how the Greeks definition of the word virtue was manliness. (The Homeric concept of manly virtue.) I gave the Greeks concept of women absolutely accurately. (The Greeks considered Women defective and evil.) Therefore, women could not be virtuous. Here is another word that comes from the Greek (misogynists)! It comes from the Greek words misein, meaning to hate, and gune, meaning women. ... History tells us that the Greek attitude toward women was definitely adopted by the Christians.

QUOTE - "I'm also very sorry to read about the "anti-male" issues that you have gone on & on & on about."

No, they were the "anti-women" issues of the Greeks and Christians. It is well documented that the Greek manly men hated women! I wasn't trying to raise disinformation to a disgusting art form. (It isn't difficult for most people to read a few pages in a very short time.) Read what I have already written about obliterating the role of women in the early church. (Christian historicity as you call it.) Here's some more. In 1415, the church of Rome destroyed all destroy all knowledge of two Second Century Jewish books that contained 'the true name of Jesus Christ.' The Antipope Benedict XIII firstly singled out for condemnation a secret Latin treatise called 'Mar Yesu' and then issued instructions to destroy all copies of the Book of Elxai. No editions of these writings now publicly exist, but church archives recorded that they were once in popular circulation and known to the early presbyters. The Jesus (Messianic) God that we read about in the Bible is not the same Jesus as the "Brother of James," but as Paul said, "My Christ" and "another Jesus."

This is not a new idea. Emperor Julian, who, coming after the reign of the fanatical and murderous "good Christian" Constantine, returned rights to pagan worshippers, stated, "If anyone should wish to know the truth with respect to you Christians, he will find your impiety to be made up partly of the Jewish audacity, and partly of the indifference and confusion of the Gentiles, and that you have put together not the best, but the worst characteristics of them both." Pope Leo X, privy to the truth because of his high rank, made this amazing statement, "What profit has not that fable of Christ brought us!"

ave atque vale

Jeff said: "Looks like you have a little dillusional support." Was that one of your jokes or your typing disability? To dillute is to water something down,. Delusional is when someone sees or hears that which isn't really there (such as Christians often do). Jeff said: "I still wonder why no one can refute the pts. I offered?" What "pts" Jeff? These?: Jeff said, "When I've discussed/dabated issues of Jesus and God, I've noticed my non-believing friends refer back to "the creation of ...". "Prove to me that God exists". I usually refer to a mere 5 simple facts. 1) Jesus was kill by crucifixtion 2) His tomb was empty 3) His desciples believed that he rose from the dead and appeared before them and many others 4) The conversion of Saul of Tarsus (Paul) who once persected the believers 5) The conversion of His half-brother James who didn't believe…" .Well Jeff, on point number 1, how do you know this is historically true? Point 2, Again, how do you know this is historically true? Point 3,4,and5: same thing-the Christian thing was very profitable for people like Paul. As for the DISCIPLES, those that were murdered for their belief, I used to believe this was evidence that they really believed in something in order to die for it. But the problem is, Jeff, what did they really believe? What did Jesus really say and do? Why did the government and established religious order want these people to shut up and die? You have to ask yourself this question: "If they wanted to rid the world of Jesus, his disciples, and everything they taught, WHY WOULD THEY TURN AROUND AND SELL IT, BELIEVE IT, PROMOTE IT, AND TEACH IT? Is it possible that what they are selling is a lie?" Peace, Love, and Flower Power, Emily

There is no problem as to why they believed. "We" know what Jesus really said and did. After that you kind of lost me... If you want to answer a question with a question... "Well Jeff, on point number 1, how do you know this is historically true? Point 2, Again, how do you know this is historically true? Point 3,4,and5: same thing", I quess we never really will get to the true /false answers.

I think you girls are being a little harsh on Jeff. It appears that he was try to have an honest discussion with a little bit of humor. I began to enjoy his initial issues. However, I feel the discussion went away from the initial points.

Well, Spud people are entitled to their opinions. You 'guys' have a mutual admiration society whose beliefs are beyond criticism. .... But I read all the material that was posted and I find, Of course, that we answered his points soundly. Moreover, if you have read all the posts we were not demeaning anyone… I took umbrage at remarks such as…."Looks like you have a little dillusional support." As if believing in an invisible designer/decider is so rational..… I'm sure the motivation was humor, but can he back up his claims? Not at all (ignores the issue and raises another) that I missed the "just poking fun there" part. I thought his answers were lacking in substance and depth, and (instead of addressing our rebuttals) were long on opinion and snide remarks.

I guess the "girls" didn't see things your way. Furthermore, I don't think I could get my head up my ass far enough to see anything your way.

Spud, I specifically addressed Jeff's points-I pointed out that they are all very debatable as to whether or not we have all the facts historically accurate. He has yet to respond with a reason. I think it is sad when "boys" (especially named Spud) have to deal with women who think for themselves.

I appreciate your kindness in past responses. I feel that the questions that you asked are ones that you need investigate further. They are the reasons that His followers were willing to die for their beliefs. People have died for a lie. What individuals have given their life, (while understanding that their death will be the result of their own lie) in defense of another? 1,2...12? None

God Bless You

Many people put their lives on the line everyday for you and me, (in underpaid jobs). Everyone who died in the American Revolution was fighting for our freedom. People can read a book without believing that what it says is true. I have studied history and religion as a pastime. I have found many lies in both. We don't celebrate Easter because it was the time that Jesus rose from the dead. We celebrate Easter because it is a carryover from paganism. Read Ezekiel the eighth chapter, verse fourteen, and you'll see that Ezekiel referred to the women who were standing before the gate of the house of Jehovah, weeping over Tammuz. Tammuz was born of a virgin, Sumerian-Babylonian, savior-god, who died and was resurrected, and each spring, in this ceremony, the women wept and wailed over his death, and then a few days later, they celebrated his resurrection. It's a pagan custom. Nevertheless, the deception continues.

Who does believe there is a god who sends people to hell for pursuing facts! Furthermore, forcing something fantastic on people through fear, bullying and intimidation doesn't make sense (why not just tell them it's great?) Because it didn't work that way in the beginning, people who knew the truth were killed. Mssr. Abelard Reuchelin an earnest researcher of historic genealogies concluded that Christianity is fake. The New Testament, the Church, and Christianity, were all the creation of the Calpurnius Piso family, who were Roman aristocrats. (Go back and read what I wrote on this thread about the Piso family.)

No reputable biblical theologian today, Catholic or Protestant, treats the virgin birth stories in Matthew and Luke as history. The problem is that this information hasn't reached the people. The birth of Jesus, as important as it is to the Christian belief system, is described in only two places in the entire Bible, the first chapter of the Gospel according to Matthew and the second chapter of the Gospel according to Luke. The writers of the Gospels of Mark and John neither apparently deem the miraculous virgin birth and the circumstances surrounding it worthy of mention, nor did Paul who said simply that, "Jesus was born of a woman, born under the law" (Galatians 4:4). Maybe they never heard of it? Outside of the two birth narratives, Jesus' parents are practically ignored. Joseph is mentioned only three times, once in Luke 3:23 and twice in the Gospel of John, 1:45 and 6:42. In these passages Joseph is referred to as "the father" of Jesus. Mary, his mother, is also mentioned only three times outside the birth narratives, Mark 6:3, Matthew 13:55 (obviously copied from Mark) and Acts 1:14. In none of them is she referred to as a "virgin."

The Pauline Epistles, the verse that mentions a virgin is found in the KJV. It is incorrectly translated. Other Bibles such as the NEB, RSV and the Jerusalem Bible (Catholic Version) do not give credence to the belief in a virgin birth. It has been long-established false by the fact that existing early Christian writings neither mention it nor show any awareness of it prior to the writing of the Gospel of Matthew sometime after 80 C. E. It appears nowhere in the authentic epistles of Paul. The writers of Matthew and Luke, although they drew heavily from Mark, wisely omitted this enlightening little detail. (See Matthew 12:46-50 and Luke 8:19-20.) The author of John, who gives the description of the Christ figure, overlooks the birth narrative that he must certainly have known of since he wrote so late. But on two occasions, 1:45 and 6:42, Jesus is referred to simply as "The son of Joseph". In Romans 1:3 Paul tells us without proof that Jesus was in fact a direct descendant of King David. The subject surfaces again in Galatians 4:4 where he says in reference to Jesus that, "When the fullness of time had come, God sent his son, born of a woman, born under the law." These are extremely helpful statements, because Paul's writings predate the gospels of Matthew and Luke by some twenty five to thirty years. He was a contemporary of Jesus yet he obviously never heard of the virgin birth touted as one of Christianity's most important miracles. The only conclusion we are left with is that the virgin birth of Jesus was a fantasy concoction of the writers of Matthew and Luke inserted in their gospels probably for the purpose of converting Pagans.

Jesus is reported to have put a question to the twelve apostles in the original simple narrative told in the earlier writer Mark, and copied almost verbatim into Luke. Jesus saying to them, "Whom do men say that I am?" The answer showed a very superstitious belief in reincarnations or "second comings" of dead persons to earth; for "they answered, John the Baptist: but some say, Elias; and others, One of the prophets, or Jeremiah. Jesus himself shared this reincarnation superstition, for he had positively asserted that John the Baptist was Elijah: "This is Elias, which was for to come," (Matthew 11:13-14); though John, being questioned about it, "Art thou Elias?" contradicted the Christ, "and he saith, I am not."(None of this was said by Jesus.) (John 1:19-21) The later Church Father who wrote the original of the "gospel according to Matthew," copied Mark's story verbatim, Mark's verses 27-33, being nearly word for word reproduced in Matthew's 13-16, 20-24 of chapter 16; the only material verbal difference being in Peter's answer, in verse 16, where Peter's words are expanded: "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the Living God," obviously throw in by the interpreter of verses 17-19. Over time the fervor of the Cleric to exalt Peter increased; there are many admitted forgeries of documents having that purpose in view. So it was, obviously, a forging Cleric who took a manuscript of "Matthew," and turning to the above verses copied from "Mark," added in, or made a new manuscript copy containing, the notable forgery of verses 17-19. There, onto the commonplace and unnoticed reply of Peter, "Thou art the Christ," tacked on.

After the crucifixion and burial of Jesus, and the discovery on the third day of his empty grave by the Magdalene, which she immediately reported to Peter and John, they ran doubting to the grave, looked in, and "saw, and believed"; and John positively swears: "For as yet they knew not the scripture, that he must rise again from the dead." (John Chapter 20) But this inspired assertion contains a thought-provoking historical missing entry: for "as yet" there was, of course, no "scripture" about the death and resurrection at all, nor for well over a century afterwards. Apostle Paul mentioned in First Corinthians the fifteenth chapter he had seen Jesus in a vision after he had died. People with visions, and a hidden agenda, are very unreliable evidence. Furthermore, eyewitnesses did not write the gospel accounts. On top of that there are no writings of the so-called eyewitnesses. Bible scholars know this and the evidence indicates it is a certainty. If you think that an apostle Matthew wrote Matthew, or the apostle John wrote the Gospel of John, you are not fascinated with specifics. Luke even in the beginning of his gospel said that he was not an eyewitness to these things but that he had made inquiries into the subject.

John did not write the gospel that bears that name. Bible scholars know that. The evidence is overwhelming. Go to your library, get the information, and study it for yourself, and you'll see that John who wrote the book of John was certainly not an eyewitness to the resurrection. As for the Apostle Paul, he had a vision, and visions don't count. It's that simple. Jesus Christ never establishes any new religion, or even a newfound Jewish religion! Jesus never made the forged statement in Matthew: "Go ye into all the world, and teach all nations." The avowed mission of Jesus, was exclusively to his fellow Jews: "I am not sent but to the lost sheep of the house of Israel"; and he expressly commanded his disciples not to preach to the Gentiles, nor even to the near-Jewish Samaritans. It is impossible, therefore, that Jesus could have so flagrantly contradicted the basic principles of his exclusive mission, and could have commanded the institution of a permanent and perpetual religious organization or "Church," to preach his exclusively Jewish Messianic doctrines to all nations of the earth, which was to perish within that generation. This is conclusive proof of the later forgery of this passage. It is recognized by reputable scholars that what the so-called historians were doing was recounting what Christians already believed. Josephus did not write about Jesus, very reliable theologians admit it's a forgery. As for as eyewitnesses, what did they ever write? You don't know if they really said that they saw the resurrection, or whether they said they saw the empty tomb, or Jesus after he was resurrected. You have the word of someone who wrote a gospel account who said that they said. You have the account of the Apostle Paul's vision, and said that Jesus appeared to five hundred witnesses. There is not one word written about this happening that is not a forgery. It is nothing but hearsay evidence. People don't believe that Jesus rose from the dead any more than they believe that Osiris rose from the dead.

Linda,

I've notice the length of many of your responses and really appreciate them. I'm just curious as to how you get so many facts, quotes, figures, dates, names and spelling... perfectly accurate without the session timing out. I've tried a few times to respond w/great addage to the subject(s), only to get "your session has timed out".

You wrote, "What individuals have given their life, (while understanding that their death will be the result of their own lie) in defense of another? 1,2...12? None." Martin Luther King and Malcolm X died in defense of another, those people who ran into the towers on 9-11 died in defense of another-many people have. I don't understand the comment ,"(while understanding that their death will be the result of their own lie)", unless that is your way of saying "the penalty for sin is death." That is a very debatable theory-many sinful people thrive while good people suffer. One thing I think should be said is that atheists don't "hate Jesus." If there were tangible proof of a god who loves, loves, loves me and has a golden castle waiting for me for eternity, that would be pretty damn sweet, and I wouldn't have a problem with that. But logic tells me it probably isn't so. It is a lot harder in this society to be a non-believer, so most atheists are not motivated to become atheists because it is going to benefit them in some way, whether in this life or the next. Emily

Emily: If I understand apologists, the question this person is putting forward is this: It's one thing to die for a lie; it's another thing to die for a lie YOU KNOW is a lie. Would you be willing to die for your testimony if YOU didn't even believe what you were saying?

The significance to this person is the idea that if the people who claim they saw Jesus & miracles were lying--outright--they wouldn't have martyred themselves over it, they'd have recanted.

What Linda is pointing out is that we don't have any eyewitness testimony, so it's impossible to say what the people who actually walked with Jesus (assuming he's an actual historical character) actually claimed they saw. We have people who recorded what other people said they heard from those who walked with Jesus. And even those statements have been altered by later individuals who felt it was important to beef them up a bit to be more in line with the then-current doctrines.

My personal response is that we have so many myriad exmaples of people dying for delusions, that I don't even have to put forward that they know they're lying. Why can't they simply be deluded? And I think you're heading in that direction as well. The idea of the 9-11 pilots is a great example. No Xian would claim Allah is real--so these men died for their god, who is no more than a delusion to the Xian mind. In fact, we see Muslim martyrs daily. They will all attest to their experience with their god in their own lives. Are they liars? It's similar with Nazis. Many good people died even on the side of wrong in that war. I'm sure some German soldiers were completely convinced they were doing the best thing for the best cause--dying for love of country and family and the German way of life. It was a lie. They were manipulated by a very brilliant but very disturbed leader, who let them die for his lies. And ultimately he died as well as a result of his own lies and deeds.

Today, we have a prime example of people who are persecuted for a delusion: People who claim they have been abducted by aliens. There are more people making this claim today than texts that claim to record the acts of Jesus. These people are very much mocked and ridiculed. They lose friends and family who think they're nuts. But they stick to their stories. Why? Simple. They believe it's true. Many people believe this delusion is true. And they are willing to endure ridicule and personal losses for it.

People will suffer for delusions. We see it all the time. I don't need to ever go so far as to call the Gospels lies; I can stop at delusions, which is a view that is constantly reinforced as I see more and more people claiming to have seen ghosts, aliens, monsters, have OBEs...and it never ends. People are easily deluded, and very convinced by delusions, and they can and do suffer for them quite willingly.

Tracy wrote, "Why can't they simply be deluded? And I think you're heading in that direction as well. The idea of the 9-11 pilots is a great example. No Xian would claim Allah is real--so these men died for their god, who is no more than a delusion to the Xian mind. In fact, we see Muslim martyrs daily. They will all attest to their experience with their god in their own lives" I agree with you-many people have convinced themselves to wholeheartedly believe in all kinds of delusions, but my original statement was referring to the firefighters and rescue workers who ran in to save people without thinking of themselves-"dying for another"-not the pilots. But you are right- mentally ill people like Andrea Yates (or Bin Laden) probably do believe in their cause, and their belief is in no way proof of their accuracy. Emily

If they knew that they were promoting a lie, why would they be willing to go to a horrid death in defense of it? Do you not think it would have been easier to say.. oops, you caught us in a fib! We take it all back. Just kiddin'.

RE: "They are the reasons that His followers were willing to die for their beliefs. People have died for a lie."

Jesus didn't teach that he was in any way divine, nor did any of his followers; he did not teach 'atonement' (forgiveness of sin by rituals, or crucifixion) this novelty came from Paul of Tarsus. It is to Paul that Christianity should trace its roots. The origins of Christianity came from Paul not Jesus. The leadership and importance of James (the brother of Jesus) was suppressed by the developing Gentile Church. It is through James that we would most likely be able to trace the original teachings of the earthly Jesus. The original followers, the successor to James and the apostles of Jesus, were the Ebionites, who never preached of the heavenly divine Jesus. They fought Pauline Christianity to the end of their days.

The epistle of James, (a pen name) an epistle written around 85 CE, seems to have originated from a Jewish community that kept the Mosaic laws, exalted James (the brother of Jesus) and belittled Paul. On the other hand the epistles of the Gentile Christian bishop, Ignatius of Antioch, written around 110 CE, his epistles show us that Pauline Christianity was hitting back, calling Jewish Ebionites a thing of the past.

We know that from the early second century onwards, the region of Transjordan (before World War I, Transjordan was not a single administrative entity. It was a collection of Vilayets and Sanjuks of the Ottoman Empire) was populated by Nazarenes and Ebionites. Unlike the Gentile Churches that was quickly gaining strength elsewhere, they revered James. In their writings they considered Peter subordinate to James. While the Pauline corpus (the collection of his epistles) was quickly gaining canonical status in the Gentile church, the Jews continued to oppose the influence of Paul the self-proclaimed "Apostle to the Gentiles." The Gentiles were spread out geographically and of course, they were called Christians.

The Gentile Christians did not have the characteristics of the original congregation in the Church of Jerusalem founded by James the brother of Jesus. In other words they were the true theological descendants of Jesus. The gentile church was not only different; they advocated positions (such as the importance of Pauline theology) that were actively repudiated by the original apostles of Jesus. It is easy to see, in perception after the fact, who the real heretics are.

By around 90 CE, the Ebionites or Nazarenes (original followers of Jesus) were excluded from the Jewish community who called them minim (a Hebrew plural form - are, in Talmudic terminology, outsiders within the Jewish community) and excluded them from synagogue service. By the time of the second Jewish Revolt of 132-135 CE, the Bar Kochba Revolt, the Nazarenes were no longer considered part of the developing Rabbinic Judaism.

The Gentile churches, the original heretical followers of Paul, instead of recognizing the Nazarenes and Ebionites for who they actually were, branded them heretics and began to persecute them. They twisted the meaning of their name, Ebionites (Church of the poor), into (those of poor understanding.) By the fifth century CE, the true followers of the historical Jesus fade away. The real story of Jesus ended with them. The other story, the one told by the "apostle" Paul, continues to this day.

Just curious. Why do you think it is sad when "boys" (especially named Spud) have to deal w/women who think for themselves? I don't think anyone was threatened by thinking women (especially the one named spud). And why the "boys"comment?

Spud writes, "And why the "boys"comment?" To counter your smarmy "girls" comment. But this is just your way of turning this exchange into a petty squabble about semantics instead of really examining the main issue-where is the tangible evidence for your belief in God?

Spud, did you say? - " I think you GIRLS are being a little harsh on Jeff."

Jeff didn't answer any of our counter points that were backed up by facts. He just found some obscure little issue like "I was just poking fun" to address.

Spud did you say? - "However, I feel the discussion went away from the initial points."

Not because we didn't address the issues.

Spud did you say? - "It appears that he was try to have an honest discussion with a little bit of humor."

I do appreciate humor. I have a sense of humor (a sense of spelling is what Jeff needs).

Spud did you also say? - "I began to enjoy his initial issues. However, I feel the discussion went away from the initial points."

The (short attention span humor) got off the initial issues; not we didn't address the issues. If that's what you consider humor I'd hate to see what you call disrespect.

Wow! I just realized (thanks to a friend of mine), the individuals that provided the lengthy rebutals were not actually typing their responses. I was unaware that I was reading others research and quotes. I hope that the author(s) gets get recognition next time it is done.

I have read many posts that were taken from the arguments of apologist. However, they offer little or no archaeological or scientific research to support their ridiculous claims. Their mentality is obvious; they do not decide facts based on study or research. I have never said that biblical scholars claim that the bible is literally true. Most of them don't. Few biblical scholars believe that the description of creation in Genesis is literally true. I also find it hard to believe that any scholar would believe in unicorns. The King James Version mentions "unicorns" in several different places: "God brought them out of Egypt; he hath as it were the strength of an unicorn." Numbers 23:22

There are several article that state that much of the U.S. population is functionally illiterate It further states, that our population does not read books, or newspapers anymore, and 1/3 of high school graduates never read another book for the rest of their lives.

It takes very little time to type or read a few paragraphs that look much longer in a narrow string. It is not difficult to read many pages in a short time. I find "sound bites" very boring. When discussing any subject you combine your own thoughts with facts and ideas you have gathered from a variety of sources (and tell how that information was established.) Science fiction writers do research when they write a story because they do not want to use incorrect scientific facts. Most writers get the information (or facts) to write a story unless it is fiction (like the bible.) They also organize ideas and conclusions so that they can convey their message accurately. For instance: A story set during the World War II era would be pretty lousy if the writer didn't know when, where, or why it happened. This information can be found in any world history book. However, some things about WW II may not be easy to find, and for that you have to do far-reaching research. An assumption is not proof of anything. Without a doubt some scientific theories come from an original idea (like evolution) (but the idea was proven with facts) by doing research, experiments and making observations, over a very long period of time.

The idea that claims without any validation is information is baloney. Any claim of an event that happened in the past cannot evade historical scrutiny of that claim (nobody has to believe anything on "faith.") It is easier to just have "faith" that something is true, and far more difficult to dispute facts.

An example of this is Joshua commands the sun and moon to stand still (such an event never happened.) I know that from every science book or scholarly writing I have ever read. I also know that evolution (is the result of natural selection) I know what has been written about evolution in many science books. Most of the people who dispute evolution obviously do not understand the theory.

Also, the idea that there are no errors in the bible can be proven wrong by most any scholarly writing. There are also strange contradictions. The Book of Jasher was not considered scripture (although it is mentioned in several places in the bible.) The book of Jasher is referred to in Joshua. In the book of Jasher this is written "And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness, and God created man." (Our image is plural?)

There are many facts or concepts on any given subject, which is why people read more than one book before they decide what the truth is. The fact that some people form opinions with only one source is suspect. It implies that they don't want any arguments from scientist, archeologist or scholars. If the bible is inerrant then the earth is 6000 years old, (any archeologist knows that is false.) There is no such thing as evolution (prove that to be a fact.) To prove that something is a fact people have to find information on the subject (this requires confirmation from many sources) or a consensus of opinion. For instance global warming was denied by right-wing-fundies for years until a consensus of opinion by the scientific community established it's a facts. Global warming is true. Looking at all the facts (pro and con) and then making a decision is called "critical thinking," and is the only way to get to the truth. In most instances the truth about "sacred cows" are not found easily or in one place. It is very common to find errors in history because of the revisionist. Many people have written and quoted sources that claim that America was founded as a Christian Nation. But if they had done research they would find that (in 1797 America made a treaty with Tripoli, declaring, "The government of the United States is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion.") This information is in any American history book. Those men who fought in the American Revolution founded this Nation, and most were not Christian. I also recently found an article written by a historian who claimed that only about 10 percent of the United States was Christian at that time. Not founded as, nor was it ever intended to be, a Christian nation.

Finding the facts on any subject necessitates comparing many facts against your own common sense. One considers something to be "possible" based on requirements, or criteria. They use their own best judgment (not hearsay which provides no proof or good evidence of anything.) Apologists prefer to believe that the bible is true, and that there is really no good reason to reject any of it. The merit or accurateness of the bible, which has been established by a set of findings and interpretation from experts in many fields of science, is of no value to them. And if this is the way we find out what the facts are then anything can mean anything. And anything can be a god. REBUTTALS - looking up words in the dictionary is also a good idea.

Answered all the pts. soundly? I have not read a sound answer refuting his first post! The only thing I read was a group effort (although a two person group) to dodge his pts. You two are all over these message boards copying other peoples works (without qouting them), replying to one another, and giving high fives. It reminds me of a Mormon discussion. What you effectively do is "verbal carpet bombing". The initial pts. have gotten so far lost that they will be almost impossible to retrive. So sad.

In response to your written "carpet bombing"... Some critics of Christianity teach that the Christian religion was not based upon divine revelation but that it borrowed from pagan sources, Mithra being one of them. They assert that the figure of Mithra has many commonalities with Jesus, too common to be coincidence. Mithraism was one of the major religions of the Roman Empire which was derived from the ancient Persian god of light and wisdom. The cult of Mithraism was quite prominent in ancient Rome, especially among the military. Mithra was the god of war, battle, justice, faith, and contract. According to Mithraism, Mithra was called the son of God, was born of a virgin, had disciples, was crucified, rose from the dead on the third day, atoned for the sins of mankind, and returned to heaven. Therefore, the critics maintain that Christianity borrowed its concepts from the Mithra cult. But is this the case? Can it be demonstrated that Christianity borrowed from the cult of Mithra as it developed its theology? First of all, Christianity does not need any outside influence to derive any of its doctrines. All the doctrines of Christianity exists in the Old Testament where we can see the prophetic teachings of Jesus as the son of God (Zech. 12:10), born of a virgin (Isaiah 7:14), was crucified (Psalm 22), the blood atonement (Lev. 17:11), rose from the dead (Psalm 16:10), and salvation by faith (Hab. 2:4). Also, the writers of the gospels were eyewitnesses (or directed by eyewitnesses as were Mark and Luke) who accurately represented the life of Christ. So, what they did was write what Jesus taught as well as record the events of His life, death, and resurrection. In other words, they recorded history, actual events and had no need of fabrication or borrowing. There will undoubtedly be similarities in religious themes given the agrarian culture. Remember, an agriculturally based society, as was the people of the ancient Mediterranean area, will undoubtedly develop theological themes based upon observable events, i.e., the life, death, and seeming resurrection of life found in crops, in cattle, and in human life. It would only be natural for similar themes to unfold since they are observed in nature and since people created gods related to nature. But, any reading of the Old Testament results in observing the intrusion of God into Jewish history as is recorded in miracles and prophetic utterances. Add to that the incredible archaeological evidence verifying Old Testament cities and events and you have a document based on historical fact instead of mythical fabrication. Furthermore, it is from these Old Testament writings that the New Testament themes were developed. Following is a chart demonstrating some of the New Testament themes found in the Old Testament.

Theme Old Testament Reference New Testament fulfilled in Jesus Ascension of Jesus to the right hand of God Ps. 110:1 Matt 26:64; Acts 7:55-60; Eph. 1:20 Atonement by blood Lev. 17:11 Heb. 9:22 Begotten Son, Jesus is Psalm 2:7 Acts 13:33; Heb. 1:5 Crucifixion Psalm 22:11-18; Zech. 12:10 Luke 23:33-38 Eternal Son Micah 5:1-2; Psalm 2:7 Heb. 1:5; 5:5 God among His people Isaiah 9:6; 40:3 John 1:1,14; 20:28; Col. 2:9; Matt. 3:3 Incarnation of God 1)Ex 3:14; 2)Ps. 45:6 Isaiah 9:6; Zech. 12:10 1)John 8:58; 1:1,14; 2)Heb. 1:8; Col. 2:9; Heb. 1:1-3 Only Begotten Son Gen. 22:2. See Typology John 3:16; Heb. 11:7 Resurrection of Christ Psalm 16:9-10; 49:15; Is. 26:19 John 2:19-21 Return of Christ Zech. 14:1-5; Mic. 1:3-4 Matt. 16:27-28; Acts 1:11; 3:20 Sin offering Ex. 30:10; Lev. 4:3 Rom. 8:3; Heb. 10:18; 13:11 Son of God Psalm 2:7 John 5:18 Substitutionary Atonement Isaiah 53:6-12; Lev. 6:4-10,21 Matt. 20:28; 1 Pet. 2:24; 2 Cor. 5:21; 1 Pet. 3:18; Virgin Birth Isaiah 7:14 Matt. 1:25 (For a more complete list please go to Are the New Testament themes found in the Old Testament?)

As you can see, there is no need for any of the Christian writers to borrow from anything other than the Old Testament source in order to establish any Christian doctrine concerning Jesus. If the argument that pagan mythologies predated Christian teachings and therefore Christianity borrowed from them is true, then it must also be truth that the pagan religions borrowed from the Jewish religion because it is older than they are! Given that all of the Christian themes are found in the Old Testament and the Old Testament was begun around 2000 B.C. and completed around 400 B.C., we can then conclude that these pagan religions actually borrowed from Jewish ideas found in the Old Testament. Think about it, the idea of a blood sacrifice and a covering for sin is found in the first three chapters of Genesis when God covered Adam and Eve with animals skins and prophesied the coming of the Messiah. Furthermore, those who wrote about Jesus in the New Testament were Jews (or under the instruction of Jews) who were devoted to the legitimacy and inspiration of the Old Testament scriptures and possessed a strong disdain for pagan religions. It would have been blasphemous for them to incorporate pagan sources into what they saw as the fulfillment of the sacred Old Testament scriptures concerning the Messiah. Also, since they were writing about Jesus, they were writing based upon what He taught: truth, love, honesty, integrity, etc. Why then would they lie and make up stories and suffer great persecution, hardships, ridicule, arrest, beatings, and death all for known lies and fabrications from paganism? It doesn't make sense. At best, Mithraism only had some common themes with Christianity (and Judaism) which were recorded in both the Old and New Testaments. What is far more probable is that as Mithraism developed, it started to adopt Christian concepts.

"Allegations of an early Christian dependence on Mithraism have been rejected on many grounds. Mithraism had no concept of the death and resurrection of its god and no place for any concept of rebirth -- at least during its early stages...During the early stages of the cult, the notion of rebirth would have been foreign to its basic outlook...Moreover, Mithraism was basically a military cult. Therefore, one must be skeptical about suggestions that it appealed to nonmilitary people like the early Christians."1

What is more probable is that with the explosive nature of the Christian church in the 1st and 2nd century, other cult groups started to adapt themselves to take advantage of some of the teachings found in Christianity.

"While there are several sources that suggest that Mithraism included a notion of rebirth, they are all post-Christian. The earliest...dates from the end of the second century A.D."2

Therefore, even though there are similarities between Christianity and Mithraism, it is up to the critics to prove that one borrowed from the other. But, considering that the writers of the New Testament were Jews who shunned pagan philosophies and that the Old Testament has all of the themes found in Christianity, it is far more probable that if any borrowing was done, it was done by the pagan religions that wanted to emulate the success of Christianity.

Any more questions? ____________

Your entire argument and the chart is an almost verbatim copy of "(Doesn't the religion of Mithra prove that Christianity is false?)" Christian Apologetics & Research Ministry (www.carm.org)

It is perfectly acceptable for anyone to read a book/article or several books/articles on a subject and then give the pertinent facts and their own opinion in their own words. Then the reader can decide if their opinion holds up. As tracieh did when she wrote in her post about the accuracy of the bible "Josh McDowell claimed the books were meticulously copied and that no such errors could be in the Bible." "He's flat out wrong. It's not atheists defying him; the marginal notes in the Bible itself defy his claim." She also gave many examples from her own investigation with specifics that dispute the accurateness of the bible.

A rebuttal is a credible argument written through an analysis of that subject pro/con and then forming an opinion and writing it in your own words. It's perfectly acceptable to write a summary (from many sources) and include dates or facts that you look up. To find the validity something you look at all the research.

tracieh - answered - >Moses followed a column of clouds through the desert - >I might also add and challange you and others to investigate the authenticity and historicity of what Christians believe. (Without a name) However, anyone knows she is answering a question from a previous post because (she can spell CHALLENGE). Many people (including me) do this all the time.

You did the same thing. Whose question? "Well Jeff, on point number 1, how do you know this is historically true? Point 2, Again, how do you know this is historically true? Point 3,4,and5: same thing" You can answer a question with a question, because her question indicates that if you can't validate your source of information (prove it's true) it's not an argument.

You have to look at everything before you can give an educated opinion. Pagan religions preceded Christianity, and have been established through serious studies on religion in a social-science context. There are hundreds of books on the subject, and scholarly work about Christianity's Pagan Origins. I have read most of them. Most people interpret what they have read/studied and then put it into their own words.

Many scholars have found through extensive research that miracle-working sons of God, born of a mortal woman were common elements of Pagan religion that preceded Christianity. Mithras had Dionysus, Attis, Osiris, and Orpheus etc. And they were around centuries before Jesus.

Heaven, hell, prophecy, sacrifice, baptism, communion, monotheism, the Holy Spirit and immortality can be found in earlier Pagan faiths. They came from ancient Mediterranean culture.

When the Roman Empire adopted Christianity the festivals and stories were merged with the traditions of the earlier Roman pagan religion. Everyone knows that (Christmas trees and Easter eggs were originally Pagan.) Constantine himself worshipped both Jesus and the sun god Sol Invitus, the Romanized version of Mithra, until he died.

Mithras accepted the immortality of the soul, the triumph of good over evil, judgment day, and the resurrection of the dead. Mithras, the sun god, was born of a virgin on December 25, and worshipped on Sunday. He was a savior-god. (Sound familiar?)

What's sad is that the original post of G was lost because of all of this drivel. I praised G for looking into the realm of other possibilities (he's thinking) even though I would look at more than writings of ancient civilizations for that proof. I know what the original subject was because I could read an entire book and not lose track of the original subject. That's why I don't have any interest in continuing this discussion what so ever. G might want to post the original subject on another thread.

>Christianity borrowed from them is true, then it must also be truth that the pagan religions borrowed from the Jewish religion because it is older than they are!

It would also be true that Judaism borrowed from Ugarit. The god El, as in Elohim and referrenced in most of the "el" names of people and places (such as Beth-EL, and Isra-EL) predates the OT writings and is found in Ugarit texts, which would be what the OT references as Canaan. The OT indicates that the Hebrews spent significant time there in their history. They spent time in a land with a pantheon of gods including El, and later recorded their own religion and history and incorporated El.

El was married. His wife's name was Asherah. King Hezekiah (as recorded in the OT) removed the poles of Asherah from "the high places" of worship where El was worshipped (alongside Asherah) by the Hebrews. This would pretty solidly tie Hebrew El to Canaanite El. Hezekiah was a Hebrew reformist, moving the group from henotheism to monotheism. He also had Nehuschtan's symbols removed from the places of worship (a symbol of a snake god on a pole found mainly in the area of Midian--another place and group [Midianites] the Hebrews were familiar with.)

I think you had better let Tracie h. do the talkin'. You still have more to learn.

Following are some of the approaches I use when dealing with atheists in conversations that deal with alleged lack of evidence for God's existence. Now, no argument is fool-proof and no single argument answers all the objections. Nevertheless, it is important to have thought out some of the implications of the statements and bring them up during conversations. Of course, conversations rarely follow a logical format. They usually take tangents and detours. That is normal and good. But we need to be prepared as much as possible. I don't see any convincing evidence for the existence of God, That does not mean there is no God. Since you cannot know all evidence, it is possible that evidence exists that proves God's existence, or at least supports his existence. Therefore, it is possible that God exists. If it is possible, then faith has its place. If it is possible that God exists, then you should be an agnostic (an agnostic holds that God may exist but no proof can be had for His existence.) It is possible that there is no evidence at all for God. But this cannot be stated absolutely, since all evidence would need to be known to show there is no evidence. Therefore, since all evidence cannot be known by any one person, it is possible that evidence exists that supports theism. Then what kind of evidence would be acceptable? If you have not decided what evidence would be sufficient and reasonable, then you cannot state that there is no evidence for God. If you have decided what evidence is sufficient, what is it? Does Christianity fit within that criteria? If not, why not? Is it possible that your criteria for evidence is not reasonable? Does your criteria put a requirement upon God (if He exists) that is not realistic? For example Do you want Him to appear before you in blazing glory? Even if that did happen, would you believe he existed or would you consider it a hallucination of some sort or a trick played on you? How would you know? Does your criteria put a requirement on logic that is not realistic? Do you want him to make square circles, or some other self-contradictory phenomena or make a rock so big He cannot pick it up? If God exists, the laws of logic would be a product of his nature since he is absolute, transcendent, and truth (logical absolutes are conceptual, absolute, and transcendent which reflect a logical, absolute, and transcendent mind). He did not create the laws of logic. We simply recognize them because God exists. Therefore, God cannot violate those laws because he would violate his own nature -- which he cannot do. Are you objectively examining evidence that is presented? Granted, objectivity is difficult for all people, but are you being as objective as you can? But, do you have a presupposition that God does not exist or that the miraculous cannot occur? If so, then you cannot objectively examine the evidence. Therefore, the presuppositions you hold regarding the miraculous may prevent you from recognizing evidence for God's existence. If so, then God becomes unknowable to you and you have forced yourself into an atheistic/agnostic position. Do you define the miraculous out of existence? If so, on what basis do you do this? If you assume that science can explain all phenomena then there can be no miraculous evidence ever submitted as proof. If you made that assumption, it is, after all, only an assumption.

I am answering all the remarks in this post and including all the references I gave. However, it is clear that no answer will satisfy them if it does not agree with scriptures (Closed logic). There is nothing being stated that has not been stated by 'apologists.' I do not see any references to scholars, scientists, or archaeologists. Many archaeologists, scientists and biblical scholars refute most of the bible's claims.

My first post was to answer - G who wrote - "I kind of believe that maybe there are other worlds, and other inhabitants of these worlds, and perhaps we are decendants of these people, one way or another." I wrote that ZECHARIA SITCHIN has written many books on that subject, and quotes extensively from his translations of the Sumerian tablets to prove that human beings were created to be slaves by alien gods. Zecharia Sitchin's book The 12th Planet is about this subject. I do not think Sitchin has proven his theory. The Ancient Sumerians used religion to explain and solve mysteries. Life may exist on other planets, but an ancient civilization's writings do not prove that. Southern Mesopotamia is known as the cradle of civilization. The development and central ideas of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam can be found in ancient Mesopotamia, Egypt, Israel, Persia, and Greece. This is where the early development of Christianity, Judaism, and Islam start. In order to prove something you have to first prove its validity. Only the exploration of space and other planets could provide that proof. I also attacked the idiotic intelligent design fraud. Then…..

Jeff - Posted - "Linda Well said. You must have had the same philosophy 101 that many others have taken. I will honor your stated correlation/attepted defiition of skepticism and virtue." What is attepted defiition? Is it the same as attempted definition?

I answered this only because it was addressed to me. - With all the references - DR. GORDON LAING, retired Dean of the Humanities Department at the University of Chicago, agrees that "the worship of the Egyptian triad Isis, Serapis, and the child Horus' probably accustomed the early church theologians to the idea of a triune God, and was influential 'in the formulation of the doctrine of the Trinity as set forth in the Nicaean and Athanasian creeds." These were not the only trinities early Christians were exposed to. The historical lecturer, JESSE BENEDICT CARTER, tells us of the Etruscans. As they slowly passed from Babylon through Greece and went on to Rome, they brought with them their trinity of Tinia, Uni, and Menerva. This trinity was a new idea to the Romans, and yet it became so typical of Rome that it quickly spread throughout Italy. Even the names of the Roman trinity: Jupiter, Juno, and Minerva, reflect the ancestry. (Christianity did not destroy paganism; it adopted it.)

Tracieh also answered (chapter and verse) G's post about "Moses followed a column of clouds through the desert" …and John asks? "Where did you discoverer that the mountain was in (forever) ahead of them? I'm certain that many theologians would be impressed with your rational. What about the cloud that was contantly produced in their presence when god spoke? As far as I can tell she answered this already. (Is that constantly?)

Trachieh also answered Jeff - "I might also add and challange you and others to investigate the authenticity and historicity of what Christians believe. She gave examples of "passages that have been forged and added to the texts.' She also states "Josh McDowell claimed the books were meticulously copied and that no such errors could be in the Bible. He's flat out wrong. It's not atheists defying him; the marginal notes in the Bible itself defy his claim." THIS WAS NEVER ANSWERED BY ANYONE OR DISPUTED.

Then I wrote - The Christian and the ancient Hebrew and Egyptian religions have their roots in ancient Sumer, a country in southeastern Mesopotamia, and birthplace for the first civilization in world history. I also wrote about the findings of MSSR. ABELARD REUCHELIN a researcher of historic genealogies concluded that Christianity is fake. The New Testament, the Church, and Christianity, were all the creation of the Calpurnius Piso family, who were Roman aristocrats.

Jeff's post - "Wow. Over a month to finally get your eggs together? Looks like you have a little dillusional support. Busy right now, I'll get back. Great responses. I still wonder why no one can refute the pts. I offered? Ohh, I for one am not up Josh's…"

I also wrote that PHILO (a historian) lived during the time of Jesus in Jerusalem, from 20 BCE to 50 CE. never once mentioned Jesus. JOSEPHUS, the renowned Jewish historian. Josephus was also a native of Judea and was born in 37 AD. Josephus lived in Cana, which is the very city in which Christ is said to have performed his renowned miracle. (By the way I know the rulers in those days were also said to have performed miracles.) Josephus never once mentions Jesus. JUSTIN MARTYR not only never quotes or mentions any of the four Gospels, he never even mentions the writers, Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John. The name "Jesus Christ" was not formally adopted until after the first Council of Nicaea. Furthermore, there is no cross in early Christian art before the middle of the 5th century. (John 8:3-11) Jesus was stoned to death and then hung on a tree. The crucifixion was added in the year 367. The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree." (Acts 5.30.)" If Jesus was hung on a tree, then why say in Mark 8.34 "Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me." Jesus was allegedly saying this long before he was crucified. Any biblical scholar already knows all of this.

I wrote what EMPEROR JULIAN stated - "If anyone should wish to know the truth with respect to you Christians, he will find your impiety to be made up partly of the Jewish audacity, and partly of the indifference and confusion of the Gentiles, and that you have put together not the best, but the worst characteristics of them both." (I also wrote about Pope Leo X statement, "What profit has not that fable of Christ brought us!")

Jeff - "I still wonder why no one can refute the pts. I offered?" - We all did; anyone read them? We all gave plenty of information to prove the inaccuracy of the pts. Emily asked how do you know this is historically true? NO ANSWER! I would like to know what your references are and how you establish or confirm that something is true. Please don't tell me that you know it in your heart!

Those who make claims do carry the burden of proof. In science the burden of proof rests on those making claims. If a scientist or scholar cannot provide proof of what they claim it is not validated. No one has proven that the scripture is the word of God. The validity of miracles, the bible, or the existence of any deity has not been proven. I gave references to the facts and studies done on the subject. These are just some of the facts that support my non-belief. I am an atheist.

Mormonism is by definition a Christian belief. Atheists do not believe in god for many of the same reasons that theists do not believe in Mormonism, or the gods of other religions. Many theists don't believe the gods of other religions, and those people would consider them atheist. The theist must realize that prayers are "answered" in every other religion. Furthermore, I am really sure that those in other religions judge themselves better than those who do not believe in their god.

To address what appears to be an attack from some sort of Christian Men's Association- James- you don't have the courage to actually name who the people are you are criticizing. I can only speak for myself-I write all of my responses. You said, "I hope that the author(s) gets get recognition next time it is done." If Linda is one of the people you are attacking, she always gives credit where credit is due and has never taken credit for others' quotes.

Paul said, "The only thing I read was a group effort (although a two person group) to dodge his pts. You two are all over these message boards copying other peoples works (without qouting them), replying to one another, and giving high fives. It reminds me of a Mormon discussion. What you effectively do is "verbal carpet bombing". The initial pts. have gotten so far lost that they will be almost impossible to retrive. So sad."

Paul, another coward-who are the "two people" you are criticizing? I have never copied anyone else's work, dear. And please learn to spell-RETRIEVE. So sad.

Jeff, there certainly were pagan religions that could not have stolen or borrowed anything from the Old Testament, because they LONG predate the Old Testament.

Jim said, "I think you had better let Tracie h. do the talkin'. You still have more to learn." My goodness, no courage. Who are you addressing? And what more do they have to learn?

Otis said, "Does your criteria put a requirement upon God (if He exists) that is not realistic? For example Do you want Him to appear before you in blazing glory? Even if that did happen, would you believe he existed or would you consider it a hallucination of some sort or a trick played on you? How would you know?" I can only speak for myself-you bet my criteria puts a requirement on proving the accuracy of something before I will turn my mind, life, and children over to it's authority. If a stranger tells me they have a million dollars waiting for me across town, and all I have to do to get it is to go off in the car with them, sorry Charlie, I'm not going. Bring me the money or go to hell.

This is supposed to be an atheist message board. Just because there are post by fanatics all over this message board in different pseudonyms doesn't mean that you rule. We are not intruding on your turf pal. I would like to suggest a few approaches when dealing with atheists; give up the stupid overbearing attitude! This is a perfect example of the kind of ignorance, nastiness, and bigotry that goes hand in hand with fanaticism. All the spiteful remarks that were made against atheists were suppose to be ignored; while they quoted the bible. Their overbearing attempts to support something through domination is very familiar. I am so glad that I will never have to be around them again.

I took some of the information off of a post that I 'Linda' wrote on another thread because it was on the same subject and I had already written it. I would have no reason to copy what anyone else has written on this board.

I'm not a fanatic. As far as the nastiness... you may want to go back through some of the content posted by the atheist community. Also, it not that we are invading your space (so to speak), it's meant for discussion.

Follow us on:

twitter facebook meetup

blip.tv ustream.tv

Join us for the Bat Cruise Lecture, 1:15pm September 27th at Trinity United Methodist Church, at 40th and Speedway. Lecturers will be Richard Carrier and Chris Johnson.

The ACA Bat Cruise is set for Saturday, September 27th, 6-8pm. Purchase tickets in advance here.

The audio and video from Dr. Shahnawaz August lecture is now available.