Saturday, October 18, 2008

A Brief Overview of the Evidence of the Resurrection

Historians are in consensus that Jesus died by crucifixion. The great debate surrounds his resurrection from the dead. Christianity hinges on this great truth for if Christ did not rise from the dead, all of Christianity is in vain. But if it is true that He did indeed rise from the dead all of the amazing claims of Christianity must be true and if true we must examine what that means for our lives.


It is not difficult to find conclusive evidence that Jesus did rise from the dead.


Empty Tomb: The tomb was indeed empty. If the body was still in the tomb the Roman Soldiers would simply have produced the body and all the disciples claims would have ceased right there on the spot. Instead, the Romans accused the disciples of stealing the body.


Torture/Death: We can be certain the disciples did not steal the body for they endured torture for the message they proclaimed and eventually gruesome death. Consequently, they had nothing to gain by false testimony concerning Jesus Resurrection. It can therefore be determined that the disciples believed Jesus had risen and had not stolen the body. People will die for a sincerely held belief, but no one dies for something they know to be a lie. The disciples were in a unique position to know the truth and had nothing to gain by lying.


Embarrassing Testimony: When someone is fabricating a story they always make it sound as good as possible. First century women were not seen as credible sources. They could not even testify in court. However, the Gospels recount that it was women who first brought back the news of the empty tomb and that Christ had risen. Only a true recounting of an event would include embarrassing information that could harm the story rather than help it.


Eyewitness: There are early oral creeds that date back to within three years of the Resurrection that tell of Christ being raised from the dead. Also all the disciples were eyewitnesses to this truth. Also the first church began in Jerusalem. It would not have flourished there unless the people trusted the plethora of living witnesses of the ministry and Resurrection of Christ. Indeed, many of the members of the first church would have been eye witnesses themselves.


Enemy Testimony: Saul of Tarsus, a Jew, was a staunch enemy of the church even killing Christians. However, one day the Resurrected Jesus showed up to him and he, with the new name of Paul, became a follower of Christ and an apostle to the Church. He wrote a third of the New Testament. Only an experience with the truth could change such an opponent to a proponent of Christ.


The evidence for the Resurrection of Christ is far more extensive than the basic overview above, but it is easy to see that it demands thought and if believed it demands that one really think about the ramifications of such a belief.


C.S. Lewis wrote: "I am trying here to prevent anyone from saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: "I'm ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don't accept his claim to be God." That is one thing we must not say. A man who said the sort of things that Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic—on a level with the man who says he is a poached egg—or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to."


Therefore, Jesus is either a Liar, a Lunatic, or He is Lord. There are no other options. If he did rise from the dead as the evidence suggests He didn't lie, nor was He a lunatic. That only leaves one option. He is Lord.

Recommended Reading:

The Case For the Resurrection of Jesus by Mike Licona
Paul Meets Muhammad: Resurrection Debate by Mike Licona
The Case For Christ by Lee Strobel

38 comments:

Anonymous said...

"Historians are in consensus that Jesus died by crucifixion."

Some believe this, others don't.

"But if it is true that He did indeed rise from the dead all of the amazing claims of Christianity must be true and if true we must examine what that means for our lives."

Like all the zombies that got up out of their graves and wandered the streets after Jesus died? Why did no one chronicle that?

"Empty Tomb: The tomb was indeed empty."

If the reports of people who weren't there more than 40 years after the fact are true you mean? The Romans might have never produced a body for a couple reasons. 1. They might not have cared. 2. It might never have happened at all, so how could they produce a body that was never there? 3. If there was a body, it could have been stolen. Why would the Romans guard it anyway?

"Torture/Death: We can be certain the disciples did not steal the body for they endured torture for the message they proclaimed and eventually gruesome death."

Not only have I pointed out to you in the past that this claim is fallacious, but others have as well. How "honest" of you to continually trumpet this claim without regard for the arguments against it.

"Embarrassing Testimony: When someone is fabricating a story they always make it sound as good as possible."

How many gospels say that women found out first?

"Eyewitness: There are early oral creeds that date back to within three years of the Resurrection that tell of Christ being raised from the dead."

No, there are not. Please provide evidence for these. And, no, the gospel writers were not eyewitnesses. Please familarize yourself with the latest scholarly views on the gospels.

"Also the first church began in Jerusalem."

You do realize that people claim Elvis is still alive and that all kinds of false claims about Elvis abound all over the country, right? These beliefs have been around from the time of his death. How could these beliefs survive if they weren't true, considering that there were people around who knew the truth?

"Enemy Testimony: Saul of Tarsus, a Jew, was a staunch enemy of the church even killing Christians. However, one day the Resurrected Jesus showed up to him and he, with the new name of Paul, became a follower of Christ and an apostle to the Church. He wrote a third of the New Testament. Only an experience with the truth could change such an opponent to a proponent of Christ."

So, anyone who converts to a new religion proves that the new religion is true? Then, all religions as well as non religion are truth according to your logic.

"Therefore, Jesus is either a Liar, a Lunatic, or He is Lord. There are no other options."

Or the multitude of other options that have been given to you by others and that you have so honestly considered and recounted here...oh wait, you didn't.

"If he did rise from the dead as the evidence suggests He didn't lie, nor was He a lunatic."

This is a non-sequitor. Even if some god did decide to raise Jesus from the dead (and if his words as recorded in the Bible are correct) he could still be a liar or a lunatic. He could also still be simply mistaken, or maybe it never happened, or...oh yeah, I forgot that you aren't honest enough to take on other possible options.

Karla said...

anonymous, I really don't apreciate your sarcasm. I am more than willing to discuss any point and I don't expect it to be accepted just because I wrote a post about it.

The contention that Jesus may have never lived at all and never died by crucifixion simply isn't supportable. The disciples were indeed eye witnesses. I understand I haven't proved this to your satisfaction.

As for the martyrs I have defended the position in my post where I said that someone dying for something they sincerely believe is different than someone who was knowledgable of the truth or falsehood of what they were dying for. But since you don't believe they were eyewitnesses then you won't agree with this defense either.

Mike said...

Anonymous,

Starting from the top;

Just like some believe in evolution and some don't - doesn't prove it one way or another, I can agree with that...

The zombie thing was chronicled; just by the writers of the journals that became the books of the New Testament in the collection of books we now refer to as the Bible...

The empty tomb thing created quite a stir. There are several perspectives on this that the varying parties hold to - basically, Jews hold to the story that the followers of Jesus removed him, the Romans were ticked and killed their guards but ultimately believed that the followers of Jesus pulled off some kind of secret removal of him from the tomb, and then there is the Christian view that he was raised from the dead, and witnessed by over 500 witnesses - recorded by his followers, the Romans, and some historians/scribes of the day. The fact that his body is missing from the grave is the one thing that they all agree on

Side note: You can't be selective in your purusal of history and call yourself a person who is educated in history - all history was recorded using relatively similar methodologies - eye witness accounts for the most part - so your selective discounting of the writers of the journals that became the books of the Bible puts you in a bad position to argue that you are really qualified to offer an opinion on the matter. They wrote stuff that may be debatable by you, thats OK, but you can't completely dismiss what they wrote, because they wrote what they witnessed and how they interpreted what they witnessed none the less, just like every other past history recorder...

If I may point out that there would be good reason for the Romans to post guards. Jesus was a highly politically contentious fellow who caused an uproar in Jerusalem with his teachings. The Romans had heard his claims of resurrecting from the dead, and wanted to ensure that nobody that was a part of his sect did anything devious to cause any doubt that they had crucified him and killed this entire thing off - it was causing the Romans more aggravation than they wanted - obviously, or they wouldn't have authorized his crucifixion...

Many people over the years that have died torturous deaths have had their stories recorded - many haven't - again, you can't discount what was written unless you were there (pretty much doubt that)and you can prove by your own witness that what they wrote wasn't true - even in that case, you'll end up with some that agree and some that don't. They recorded their observations and thoughts just like all the writers and historians and philosophers in the annals of history - just because you don't like it, you can't discount it or you prove that you haven't completely considered all the possibilities...

I'm sure that folks won't be claiming Elvis is still alive in 2000 years - and I'm pretty sure that the following of Elvis' teachings won't grow into a massive wave of people numbering into the Billions over the course of time and history - your lack of solid reasoning is proof that you don't really think things out as well as you pretend to...

I agree with you that just because a convert to a religion can't prove that the religion is true - but again, your missing the entire context - Christianity wasn't a 'religion' yet - I quote from the wikipedia "his conversion took place ('conversion' not in the sense of changing religious identity since the early Christians were viewed as members of a sect of Judaism not as members of a different religion", so there goes that argument...

Saul of Tarsus was a real person, who really existed and had a very strong experience with a living Jesus - he records his experiences - most historians put him at around the age of 33 when he went to Arabia, maybe a bit younger when he experienced his conversion. There is so much material available to support all of this - you just gotta spend some time reading it. Ever heard of Google..? ;)

There have been, over the course of history, literally hundreds of thousands of people, educated people who have been seeking all these truths, who have their own opinions, who have historically, archeologically, via literature, via testimony, etc., been studying this stuff - sure there are many opinions, but there are central themes that emerge out of all of this that systematically prove that an aweful lot of people experienced and are experiencing something very real with regard to the Lord Jesus Christ.

If you're going to disagree with what Karla is saying, you may want to start by bringing some real evidence to the table to disprove what she is saying - at this point there seems to be a lot more on her side, than against - do some real homework will ya..? MM

CyberKitten said...

Mike said: you may want to start by bringing some real evidence to the table to disprove what she is saying..

Normally it is for those making extraordinary claims to provide proof of *their* assertions - rather than relying on others to *disprove* what they say. I could make a number of unfounded claims and then declare victory when you fail to disprove them. I'm afraid that's not how things work.

Mike said...

Cyberkitten,

Actually, that is how things work. Ever worked for the Government..? ;)

Having worked in a research capacity at some points in my life, I can tell you that is exactly how it works in the real world. I bring something to the table; if you can't disprove it, we all sing kumbayah (or however you spell it) and we resource it and implement policies and programs to support it - until we blow it up and somebody else puts something else more substantial on the table...

My response to the previous posting was laden with provable facts written in historical documents housed in places called libraries; and albeit online as well. So..?

Next..? MM

Karla said...

cyberkitten that's true, but just responding with we can't know Jesus ever lived doesn't work either. It doesn't engage the evidence. When the topic of the Resurrection is debated people come to the table with sources and arguments for both sides and both claims are considered in light of the evidence presented. I'm really just asking for people to consider the evidence and not dismiss it without good grounds.


I'd really like to see some more atheist apologetics. Instead of talking about how impossible the claims of Christians are -- I'd like to see more on the possibility of the atheist worldview being truth. Does it work philosophically, is it livable practically and can it be communicated logically? Anybody want to right a post on their site giving a straightforward apologetic for atheism without simply attacking theism?

Karla said...

Mike I thank you for your added information and insight, but please be careful to present it respectfully without any sarcasm. I really want to foster a respectful kind environment to exchange worldview perspectives in hopes at gaining a truer perspective about life.

Anonymous said...

"The contention that Jesus may have never lived at all and never died by crucifixion simply isn't supportable."

Considering that it hasn't been proven that he did live, and the burden of proof is on those who assert that he did...

Besides, no contemporary accounts exist that talk of Jesus. You can put all your eggs in the basket of the Bible and Josephus if you want, but those aren't good sources. Josephus doesn't talk about a real Jesus, but more describes the beliefs of those who believe in Jesus. This is more an account of the existence of Xians than of Jesus. And, the Bible is not good evidence either, considering all the time lapses between the period in question and the writings.

"The disciples were indeed eye witnesses. I understand I haven't proved this to your satisfaction."

Nice goal post shift and bait and switch. If the disciple existed and if Jesus existed, then they probably were eye-witnesses, but they did not write the gospels and the gospel writers were not eye-witnesses. Your position is the minority position on this one, considering most scholars have accepted that the texts were written well after the supposed death of Jesus and not by eye-witnesses.

"As for the martyrs I have defended the position in my post where I said that someone dying for something they sincerely believe is different than someone who was knowledgable of the truth or falsehood of what they were dying for."

You can't show that they died at all due to untoward causes or were tortured. We have very little information on the disciples and what happened to them. Further, you consistently ignore that people die for their beliefs all the time. It's special pleading to assert that somehow these people had absolute knowledge that was somehow better or more complete than those that died for Allah/Mohammed or any other deity or belief.

Anonymous said...

Mike,
"Just like some believe in evolution and some don't - doesn't prove it one way or another, I can agree with that..."

If people believe in evolution, it doesn't prove it. We can agree. Of course, I see what you are doing here, and it's not the same, because evolution actually has scientific and evidentiary support.

"The zombie thing was chronicled; just by the writers of the journals that became the books of the New Testament in the collection of books we now refer to as the Bible..."

A bunch of zombies got out of their graves and walked around in the city and no one thought to write about it until decades later when the writers of the NT, who weren't even there, decided to "chronicle" it? Yeah right.

"The empty tomb thing created quite a stir."

According to whom?

"The fact that his body is missing from the grave is the one thing that they all agree on"

No, the fact that the Xians have asserted that these groups say this is the one thing that we can all agree on. What records do we have of the Romans killing their guards? What records do we have of the Jews claiming that Jesus's body was removed?

"Side note: You can't be selective in your purusal of history and call yourself a person who is educated in history - all history was recorded using relatively similar methodologies - eye witness accounts for the most part - so your selective discounting of the writers of the journals that became the books of the Bible puts you in a bad position to argue that you are really qualified to offer an opinion on the matter."

It's not selective discounting, because none of the Bible writers were eye-witnesses. That you think they were, in contradiction to the latest scholarly work, indicates that it's not my qualifications that should be questioned.

"...you can't discount what was written unless you were there..."

Really? Do you really want to argue this? Yesterday, I saw a cow flying. I was there and I saw it. Were you there? Nope. So, you can't discount what I say, and you should believe that a cow was actually flying, just as I say I saw. In fact, considering that the gospels are not eye-witness accounts, you have more reason to believe in flying cows now than you do in Jesus.

"...you can't discount it or you prove that you haven't completely considered all the possibilities..."

What? If I discount something, that means that I haven't considered all the possibilities? This makes no sense.

"I'm sure that folks won't be claiming Elvis is still alive in 2000 years..."

Perhaps not, but that's not the point. Did you really not get the point that urban legends, myths, and stories can spring up immediately after someone passes away, even in this day and age? What do you think could happen 2000 years ago?

"...and I'm pretty sure that the following of Elvis' teachings won't grow into a massive wave of people numbering into the Billions over the course of time and history..."

Argument ad populum.

"...your lack of solid reasoning is proof that you don't really think things out as well as you pretend to..."

That might be true if your strawman account of my argument were accurate and if your fallacious reasoning weren't so fallacious.

"Saul of Tarsus was a real person, who really existed and had a very strong experience with a living Jesus..."

Did I say that Saul didn't exist? We know he wrote the letters in the Bible. Why, however, can't corroborate that he met Jesus in any form. He never claims to have met a living Jesus anyway. The Jesus he claims to have met was in a spirit[ual] form. And, yes, I've heard of google, but it's unnecessary in this case since your condescension is unfounded and misplaced.

"There have been, over the course of history, literally hundreds of thousands of people, educated people who have been seeking all these truths..."

More argument ad populum. There have been many people who have simply accepted Xianity without thinking about it. There have also been many people who have rejected Xianity for the same reasons you post. None of it provides support for your god.

"If you're going to disagree with what Karla is saying, you may want to start by bringing some real evidence to the table to disprove what she is saying..."

Yup, and Karla get a free pass to spew her unevidenced assertions because you believe as she does, is that it? What evidence do you need? Is it not evident that there are no contemporary accounts or the scholars agree for the most part that the gospels were written well after the alleged events? What evidence am I supposed to present that shows that none of your assertions are true, that I can prove a negative? If you wish to assert that these things are true, then it is up to you to give your evidence. If you want evidence of evolution, I'll gladly give it, since that is my assertion. But, until such time as I make assertions that are not supported, then you can chide me. Until then, perhaps you should be even-handed and ask Karla for her evidence as well, because she has scant evidence.

"...do some real homework will ya..?"

Meaning: 'I will continue to say that you are wrong and haven't studied enough until such time as you agree with me.'

Anonymous said...

Mike,
"Actually, that is how things work."

I hope you are never accused of any wrongdoing, because according to your logic you'll be guilty unless you can prove you didn't do it. And, this isn't how science works or how we verify things in the real world.

"My response to the previous posting was laden with provable facts written in historical documents housed in places called libraries; and albeit online as well."

Please provide them.

Anonymous said...

"cyberkitten that's true, but just responding with we can't know Jesus ever lived doesn't work either. It doesn't engage the evidence."

No, that is precisely what engaging the evidence is if the evidence really doesn't show that Jesus lived! How does one engage non-existent evidence?

"When the topic of the Resurrection is debated people come to the table with sources and arguments for both sides and both claims are considered in light of the evidence presented."

The only source you have for this "evidence" is the Bible, which is a publication written well after the alleged events by people who were not there. This does not constitute strong evidence for the events recorded therein.

"I'm really just asking for people to consider the evidence and not dismiss it without good grounds."

First you have to present some actual evidence.

"I'd really like to see some more atheist apologetics."

Stop lying. I've presented some materials for you - have you even looked at them?

"Instead of talking about how impossible the claims of Christians are -- I'd like to see more on the possibility of the atheist worldview being truth."

Is there any question as to the possibility of the "atheist worldview" that isn't full of logical holes? You certainly haven't presented any.

"Does it work philosophically, is it livable practically and can it be communicated logically?"

Yes. Quite simply yes. How could you think that it is not philosophically sound or "livable practically?" What is it about "no good evidence for god has been presented, so it is rational to hold that god does not exist until such evidence is presented" that isn't practical? What part of that is not philosophically sound?

fatblue said...

Anonymous,

The support (and spreading) of ignorance on this blog is un-believable. These people already ignore truth for fantasy and telling them the truth does no good.

I think its good to come to places like these to take a stand for the truth so that these people will have a harder time spreading their awful message to people who aren't shown the alternative.

Mike said,
"Just like some believe in evolution and some don't - doesn't prove it one way or another, I can agree with that..."

Mike, Evolution IS A DOCUMENTED FACT. Evolution happens. It is happening right now. Do you want me to tell you some sources? 'Give you some books to read?

NO?! But of course, you want all of us to read _your_ book, the bible.

I've read your book AND real science books and my informed opinion is that your book's explanation for man's existence is completely ridiculous.

Stop trying to marginalize/discredit science in your round-a-bout way. You are uniformed. Also, your writing style lacks economy and direction which makes reading your posts too difficult for people that care to understand them.

Karla,
I am calling you out. This page benefits you because it helps you feel self-righteous. You are using other people's tithing's to pay for your house, your children's school, clothes, etc. You MUST believe what you say without choice, because the credibility of your life is at stake, because otherwise you are nothing but a con and a shuckster.

You can never know what your objective mind would think about life, because you are not free to negate the last 20 years of it that you've spent. The person you are manipulating in a most damaging way is yourself.

If you know _nothing_ about science, stop telling scientists what to think and believe. Some level of competency is necessary before you can have an opinion.

Last week, you wrote about Karl Marx and Freud as though you had some authority on their philosophy. You hadn't read anything by either author. This is seriously damaging to people who may be influenced by you.

Start contributing something useful to humanity. Stop being so ignorant and destructive. Stop having kids, -you are lowering the quality of the gene-pool.

Karla said...

fatblue said: “I am calling you out. This page benefits you because it helps you feel self-righteous. You are using other people's tithing's to pay for your house, your children's school, clothes, etc. You MUST believe what you say without choice, because the credibility of your life is at stake, because otherwise you are nothing but a con and a shuckster.”

I don’t know where you get this from. I don’t live on anybodies tithes. I don’t have children. I don’t own a house. And I don’t receive any donations of any kind. I host this blog because I love truth and I am committed to sharing the truth with others because I think it will be beneficial to them and to the world at large.


fat blue said ”If you know _nothing_ about science, stop telling scientists what to think and believe. Some level of competency is necessary before you can have an opinion.”

I don’t recall speaking much on the topic of evolution or science. I spoke about the philosophy of science—that’s different. That’s talking about first principals not scientific theories.

fatblue said “Last week, you wrote about Karl Marx and Freud as though you had some authority on their philosophy. You hadn't read anything by either author. This is seriously damaging to people who may be influenced by you.”

I am sorry. I read a little about them and summed up very simply and not thoroughly their positions and just posted my thoughts from that. I was not claiming to be an expert or authority. I will try and be more careful next time not to give that impression.

”Start contributing something useful to humanity. Stop being so ignorant and destructive. Stop having kids, -you are lowering the quality of the gene-pool.”
My life is in service to God and through Him to humanity. Truth spoken in love is not destructive. Just the same, I have no desire to offend you or anyone else. I find it an odd position to believe that believing in God is somehow of lower intelligence. Like I said above, I have no children.

Mike said...

Karla, Sorry, I'll try to be more nice... ;)

Fatblue - ummm, I've worked with real scientists and the "theory of Evolution" - which is what it is, is not a documented FACT, it is a documented "THEORY" - 150 +/- years old and has some sound basis in terms of following a theory for 150 years or so - it has helped society in many ways, but I would point out it is still a theory in development. That is why I can claim that some choose to believe it and some don't.

I believe that my desk; if left alone to 'evolve' would - however its condition would worsen, not get better, or smarter -without human intervention to my desk; or divine intervention within creation; the whole thing goes down hill, degrades, diminishes, etc. Like I said, the theory itself has its own merits and has helped our society along, I will not deny that - but claiming it as FACT could be interpreted by others that know better to give evidence of the author's ignorance of such matters. (was that nice?)...

As for the other claims - I know you folks seem to think that I actually have the time to link all the literature to these comments - I think when we post what we post, we are sort of assuming the you folks will actually put forth some effort and go check it out for yourselves. If we do all the work, what good is that? It would take weeks and would tie up inordinate amounts of space on Karla's comments to respond to your inquiries for proof - we are trying to play along by pointing you to the sources without actually reading them for you - I'm not sure what else we can do.

I think that Karla and I have tried very hard 'not' to quote too much of the actual Bible documents or even Josephus' documents to show that there is substantial and plenty of other evidence available if you go and dig for it. We have actually done our homework, believe it or not; we went and dug around for it, found it, read it and are still doing the same. It would be refreshing it you'd show the same consideration - otherwise, your arguments appear weak to me (was that nice..?) ;)

Empty tomb having the potential to create a stir - purely historical answer (go look it up and use that God given imagination as well). Here is the setting; you have a guy, could be any guy, who through his teaching and open air meetings has created a possible local security situation with the common people - you are the captain of those charged with keeping the peace while this province is under Roman rule. You see the situation for what it is and are aware that there are many claims by him and his followers that he will be killed and will be raised from the dead. What do you do? How do you handle it? I could teach this in the Military Academies and still not mention the name of Jesus at all. This is basic occupation doctrine - we use and practice it today in our military.

The easy answer is you protect the integrity of the process to ensure the guy dies, and stays dead. You post guards, you put out your spies, you stay on hightened state of alert until the storm passes. When you discover that your guy is missing, you go into full damage control mode - just so happens back in that time, the guards would have been killed for failing their mission - welcome to the Roman Army boys, you failed, you're dead... Figurative language added for effect... ;)

Again, I'm wondering if you folks are actually interested in discovering why we believe what we believe, or are just here to harass. That is probably why I get a little edgy - sorry for that. MM

Anonymous said...

Mike,
"I've worked with real scientists and the "theory of Evolution" - which is what it is, is not a documented FACT, it is a documented "THEORY" - 150 +/- years old and has some sound basis in terms of following a theory for 150 years or so - it has helped society in many ways, but I would point out it is still a theory in development."

Sigh. Yes, evolution is a theory, built of facts. So, it is correct to say that evolution is fact and theory, both. Also, theory in the scientific sense is much stronger than theory in the colloquial sense. A theory in science is something that is well supported by multiple lines of evidence.

"That is why I can claim that some choose to believe it and some don't."

Choosing not to "believe" in it is pure folly, because you are choosing not to believe in reality and hundreds of years of scientific study and empirical results.

"I believe that my desk; if left alone to 'evolve' would - however its condition would worsen, not get better, or smarter -without human intervention to my desk..."

Nice try, but your example here is very weak, since no one is saying that desks evolve.

"...or divine intervention within creation; the whole thing goes down hill, degrades, diminishes, etc."

There is no reason to suspect this as no evidence points to this conclusion. Sorry, but you are most likely wrong on this score and completely unsupported.

"...but claiming it as FACT could be interpreted by others that know better to give evidence of the author's ignorance of such matters."

Sorry, but your own ignorance is so apparent that you don't get to condescend to anyone about evolutionary subjects, especially when you are wrong.

"If we do all the work, what good is that?"

From where I'm sitting, you are Karla aren't doing any work. How much work does it take to simply make stuff up? How much work does it take to simply make assertions without support?

"It would take weeks and would tie up inordinate amounts of space on Karla's comments to respond to your inquiries for proof - we are trying to play along by pointing you to the sources without actually reading them for you - I'm not sure what else we can do."

You could actually point out some sources and use them correctly. When you point to Josephus and the Bible and you are wrong, it's not quite the feather in your cap that you seem to think it is.

"I think that Karla and I have tried very hard 'not' to quote too much of the actual Bible documents or even Josephus' documents to show that there is substantial and plenty of other evidence available if you go and dig for it."

And those documents are? I'm sure you'll refer to Pliny or something else that was written even later than Josephus.

"We have actually done our homework, believe it or not; we went and dug around for it, found it, read it and are still doing the same. It would be refreshing it you'd show the same consideration - otherwise, your arguments appear weak to me..."

BS. You've trolled the apologists sites which are notorious for lying and deception. Then, you have the gall to accuse me of not knowing anything when I probably know more about the actual state of the scholarly research than you do.

"Empty tomb having the potential to create a stir - purely historical answer (go look it up and use that God given imagination as well)."

You are still assuming/asserting that this all happened. That Jesus was alive and was crucified and that the tomb was empty. You have no evidence for any of that.

"Again, I'm wondering if you folks are actually interested in discovering why we believe what we believe, or are just here to harass."

I'm here for honest debate. Seeing as how that is impossible, I'm here also to correct all the lies and errors that come forth from Karla and yourself lest unsuspecting people come along and actually believe these falsehoods.

Karla said...

Anonymous wrote regarding Jesus having lived and died by crucifixion "Some believe this, others don't."

Anonymous wrote regarding evolution "Choosing not to "believe" in it is pure folly, because you are choosing not to believe in reality and hundreds of years of scientific study and empirical results."


You want us to accept that evolutionary theory is proven and you won't even accept a historical fact of Jesus having lived and died by crucifixion when even many of the most liberal scholars accept this as fact.

The dating of the Gospels are also during the disciples life time even on the longer dating methods.

Even the Smithsonian issued a statement regarding the Bible saying that it was a valid historical source even more so than many other documents of it's time. I just sent off to get an official copy of this statement.

Anonymous said...

"You want us to accept that evolutionary theory is proven and you won't even accept a historical fact of Jesus having lived and died by crucifixion when even many of the most liberal scholars accept this as fact."

Nice try. We have verifiable, empirical facts that speak to the truth of evolution. It's not a question of whether evolution happened or not, it's a question of the fine details of how it happened. As for Jesus, however, we have much less evidence. In fact, we don't have anything concrete or even remotely approaching the evidence that we have for evolution. And, no, scholars do not believe that it is a fact that Jesus lived and died by crucifixion. Many believe that Jesus probably lived (much different from "fact") and less believe that Jesus was probably crucified (again much different from "fact"). That you can't even understand the difference doesn't speak highly of you and your "scholarship." Finally, there is no tit for tat going on here. Simply because you should accept the mountains (literally mountains) of evidence for evolution doesn't mean that I present doesn't mean that it is fair for me to accept your ideas about Jesus.

"The dating of the Gospels are also during the disciples life time even on the longer dating methods."

Not really. Scholars do not accept that the gospels were written by eye witnesses. Maybe they were, but the evidence is against it. You're fighting an uphill battle.

"Even the Smithsonian issued a statement regarding the Bible saying that it was a valid historical source even more so than many other documents of it's time. I just sent off to get an official copy of this statement."

I find that highly doubtful. Please provide it when you have it. Some things, I'm sure, are correct and accurate, but others are not. I would say that the letters from Paul to others probably are pretty accurate for most of their claims, considering that we have many of those letters in pretty early forms. This does nothing to show that Jesus was real, however, or that god exists or Jesus was divine.

We also know that some parts of the Bible were completely made up. The flood story for one was stolen from earlier Sumerian myths. The Exodus never happened either, as a group that large spending that much time in the desert would leave behind some traces, but they are nowhere to be found. Instances like this make it hard to take the Bible as a reliable historical document. One needs to evaluate the claims individually and provide corroborating evidence.

Karla said...

There is a lot of scientific evidence for the Flood and most cultures have a Flood story not because it came from an earlier text but because it happened. I've read Gilgamesh -- it reads like mythology. The Biblical account reads like history. You don't get history from mythology. You don't get details from exaggerations. Noah's Ark would float the box boat of Gilgamesh's story would never do so.

Anonymous said...

"There is a lot of scientific evidence for the Flood and most cultures have a Flood story not because it came from an earlier text but because it happened."

No Karla, there is no scientific evidence for the Noachian flood. And, yes, there are earlier texts that have a flood story that the Jews took and changed slightly. When Abraham was in Ur, he learned the myths of the locals there and adapted them to the tales of the OT.

"I've read Gilgamesh -- it reads like mythology. The Biblical account reads like history. You don't get history from mythology."

They both read like mythology. Simply because you believe in the one and not the other doesn't mean that it is historical.

"You don't get details from exaggerations. Noah's Ark would float the box boat of Gilgamesh's story would never do so."

Noah's ark couldn't possibly have held all the animals of the world. We couldn't possibly have re-evolved or the animals in the short time-span that would have happened after the flood. For someone who denies evolution, you're putting your stock in a super-fast evolution in order to make your story work. Face it, it never happened. It's a myth and nothing more. There was probably a local flood (as sometimes happened in the river valleys there) and it got mythologized into some great flood that had some sort of moral message (which ends up being very immoral for god in the end).

Karla said...

Anonymous, when you say that there is "no" evidence for things you lose credibility. I have never said there is absolutely "no" supporting evidence to point to evolution or atheism. I don't think the preponderance of evidence points that direction logically, but there is at least enough evidence that many people believe it to be true. That doesn't make it true, but that's a far cry from saying there is no evidence.

Truly you can't say there is no evidence for the Flood or no evidence for Jesus because there is evidence. You may not accept it as enough evidence, but there is some.

There are major differences between Gilgamesh and the Biblical flood account, not just a few changes. And the Ark could have easily housed animals from every group. The Bible doesn't say they were full grown adult animals.

But if you think there is no evidence then nothing I could ever say would convince you otherwise. For there is no evidence, right?

Anonymous said...

"Anonymous, when you say that there is "no" evidence for things you lose credibility."

What is the evidence then? The global flood is an impossibility. There is no support for it. The only "support" drummed up for it is by well-known and well-debunked creationist claims that are colored by their well-known penchant for shoe-horning facts into their preconceived conclusions...something you are quite fond of doing yourself.

"There are major differences between Gilgamesh and the Biblical flood account, not just a few changes."

They both read like the mythologies of the writers and time period in which they were written.

"And the Ark could have easily housed animals from every group. The Bible doesn't say they were full grown adult animals."

Even if they weren't adults it would be too difficult. How did Noah get them (especially if they weren't adults)? How did he feed them? What do you mean by "groups?" I suspect you mean "kinds" here, which suggests that macroevolution of an amount larger than the scale you reject would have been needed in order to account for the diversity of life that we see today on the planet. You can't have it both ways.

"But if you think there is no evidence then nothing I could ever say would convince you otherwise. For there is no evidence, right?"

Well, instead of sulking, you could actually try presenting some. I mean, that's how most people try to prove points.

CyberKitten said...

karla said: Anonymous, when you say that there is "no" evidence for things you lose credibility.

Sorry karla but I agree with Anon. There is certainly no credible *scientific* evidence for the worldwide flood that I am aware of.

Do you believe that it literally happened as described? When exactly was it supposed to have happened?

Oh, and if it was world wide - and only Noah and his family survived... how do other cultures have flood myths? Are they descendants of Noah too? The idea of the Ark containing every kind of life is quite frankly ridiculous. I really don't think that the story is meant to be taken seriously.

Anonymous said...

OK, I'll pile on some more...

There's literally not enough water on the Earth for it to rain 40 days and 40 nights and cover the entire planet - including Mt. Everest. Where did the water come from? Where did it go? If the whole planet was covered, how did it recede, by evaporation? How long would that take? And, how much water do you think the atmosphere could hold?

What does it say about god that he's willing to flood the whole Earth to destroy every living thing except for two of every animal and Noah and his family? Did the newborn children that had done nothing wrong deserve to die in this way? Why was it unsuccessful at rooting out evil? Why did god say that he was repentant at having done that? Etc. etc. etc.

Face it Karla, your fairy tale is full of holes and isn't even a good moral tale for your god.

Karla said...

cyberkitten, there's a certain kind of tree, I believe it's called Methuselah, I'm not sure on that, that scientist believe could live for a great many years beyond 6,000 or so. Yet the oldest tree known to man is in California and it dates to about 6,000 years old which is approximately I think the time frame the flood is said to have happened. And yet there are no trees older than this. What happened to wipe them all out?

There are fossils of fish and ocean life on mountains.

Yes, I believe the real event happened and it was passed down through stories until it was written by the various cultures. Jews are meticulous in record keeping and keeping historical details. The biblical account is written historically where the others are written mythologically.

Honestly I think that if the scientific worldview was aligned with truth science would correspond much closer to the Bible. I am not saying science ought to conform to the Bible, I am saying that it would naturally if there were an alignment to learning about God's world. Much of what is popularly accepted is not true or is half truths. So I don't put much stock in the theories you'll hear on PBS or the Discovery Channel or the History Channel.

CyberKitten said...

OK.... [takes deep breath]

So how old exactly do you think the Earth is?

Just a ball park figure will do....

Anonymous said...

"Yet the oldest tree to man is in California and it dates to about 6,000 years old which is approximately I think the time frame the flood is said to have happened."

Actually, the oldest living tree is approx. 4700 years old. We do have dead trees, however, that have been dated to almost 9000 years old.

"bristlecone chronologies have been established almost 9,000 years into the past."

"There are fossils of fish and ocean life on mountains."

From talk origins:

"A flood cannot explain the presence of marine shells on mountains for the following reasons:
Floods erode mountains and deposit their sediments in valleys.
In many cases, the fossils are in the same positions as they grow in life, not scattered as if they were redeposited by a flood. This was noted as early as the sixteenth century by Leonardo da Vinci (Gould 1998).
Other evidence, such as fossilized tracks and burrows of marine organisms, show that the region was once under the sea. Seashells are not found in sediments that were not formerly covered by sea."

"Yes, I believe the real event happened and it was passed down through stories until it was written by the various cultures."

And, somehow all those other cultures recorded it before the Jews.

"Jews are meticulous in record keeping and keeping historical details."

Which is why they recorded the exodus in such great detail...the exodus that didn't happen.

"The biblical account is written historically where the others are written mythologically."

You're going to persist with this claim aren't you? What makes the Biblical account historical while the others are not?

"Honestly I think that if the scientific worldview was aligned with truth science would correspond much closer to the Bible."

You mean that if we all did "science" like Answers in Genesis where we decide our conclusions (Biblically based conclusions) before actually looking for any evidence, then we'd be able to make all of our "science" match to the Bible?

"I am not saying science ought to conform to the Bible..."

Yes you are. This is the only way that science will ever line up with the Bible, if we force it to conform to the Bible. Unfortunately for you, nature doesn't conform to the Bible and you can't make it conform.

"Much of what is popularly accepted is not true or is half truths."

For instance? And, how would you know? What scientific knowledge do you actually possess? You've demonstrated a complete lack of it.

"So I don't put much stock in the theories you'll hear on PBS or the Discovery Channel or the History Channel."

Because you arrogantly think you know all the answers.

Karla said...

Anonymous, I will try and find time to study up on the information concerning the Flood and do a post on it later on. Thank you for the date regarding the tree-- as I said I couldn't remember it for sure.

Also I am not suggesting that scientist just say that well the Bible says it so that's how it has to be. I know you think that's what I am saying, but it's not. I want them to stop disregarding the miraculous or supernatural answers in doing science. Science may be able to only study nature, and that's fine, but to say science has ruled out the metaphysical is not true.


I really don't want to argue with you. It's my policy not to. I am all for discussions but when the tone sounds emotionally heightened it concerns me that it's not good for me to continue. I really don't wish to irritate you further.

Karla said...

cyberkitten,

I'm not sure how old the earth is. I don't think it is billions or even millions of years old. How old it is, I don't know.

CyberKitten said...

karla said: I'm not sure how old the earth is. I don't think it is billions or even millions of years old. How old it is, I don't know.

How old do you think/believe it is?

100,000 years? 50,000? 10,000? As I said a 'ball-park' figure will do....

Science has determined it to be 4.5 *Billion* years old. I guess that you don't believe that? Why not? Do you think God designed the Earth to *appear* older than it is?

I'm guessing that you also don't believe that the dinosaurs died out 65 million years ago? Do you think that dinosaurs & humans co-existed?

Karla said...

I most certainly do believe dinosaurs and humans coexisted. There's this archaeological book called Forbidden Archeology that someone told me about that addresses the evidence for it. It is not written by Christians.

There are plenty of drawings and paintings in ancient pottery and artifacts of dinosaurs that are quiet accurate. This would be impossible if they hadn't observed them.

I think I lot of the science that points to such an old earth is seen that way because it must be old to support evolutionary origins.

I don't pretend to be a scientist. I was an English major and American history minor in college. I just read a lot and I see that things aren't always as culture accepts them to be.

Karla said...

Oh and I remember years ago seeing a picture of a dinosaur looking carcass in a National Geographic magazine taken by Japanese fishermen who caught it in their fishing nets and dragged up out of the water. It still had skin rotting on it. Unfortunately the picture is all that survives because they dropped it back in the water, I think. Who knows what could be in the depths of the oceans.

CyberKitten said...

karla said: I most certainly do believe dinosaurs and humans coexisted.

Wow......................... I mean..... wow....... [looks stunned]

karla said: I think I lot of the science that points to such an old earth is seen that way because it must be old to support evolutionary origins.

So you think thousands of scientists are basically lying?

If you're *really* looking for the truth of things you're going to need to be a lot more in touch with reality.

I'm afraid that you've just lost all credibility with me.....

Karla said...

No I don't think they are lying. At least not most of them. I think they see things according to their worldview and their worldview is faulty which leads to a faulty way of seeing the natural world.

I really don't understand why my thoughts about dinosaurs are so incredible. Like I said we do have pictures and pottery depicting dinosaurs before there were scientist to construct computer models of what we think they might have looked like. Even then the scientist say we can't really be sure without having seen one what they looked like, yet there are detailed drawings of them in cave walls, potter, and other items of antiquity. It only seems logical its because people saw them.

Anonymous said...

"Thank you for the date regarding the tree-- as I said I couldn't remember it for sure."

Do you admit that it does not support your assertion and is not evidence for your views?

"Also I am not suggesting that scientist just say that well the Bible says it so that's how it has to be. I know you think that's what I am saying, but it's not."

Yes, actually it is, because that's the only way that science will support the fantastic stories in the Bible.

"I want them to stop disregarding the miraculous or supernatural answers in doing science. Science may be able to only study nature, and that's fine, but to say science has ruled out the metaphysical is not true."

Science can not study the supernatural and the miraculous, so I fail to see how scientists can "stop disregarding the miraculous or supernatural answers." I also don't see what those "answers" are. Are they of any utility? What practical purpose do they serve?

And, to top it off, no one is saying that science disproves or rules out the metaphysical. What we are saying is that the empirical claims made by religions are being disproved, like the global flood and the exodus for just two examples.

"I really don't want to argue with you. It's my policy not to. I am all for discussions but when the tone sounds emotionally heightened it concerns me that it's not good for me to continue. I really don't wish to irritate you further."

What you really want to do is run away because someone is showing that your myths are false. That way you can ignore all the counter evidence and re-present your claims later as if no counter-evidence ever existed. This is one reason why I say you are morally and intellectually bankrupt. You've already done it, as I've pointed out, and you're just going to do it again.

"I most certainly do believe dinosaurs and humans coexisted."

They didn't.

"There are plenty of drawings and paintings in ancient pottery and artifacts of dinosaurs that are quiet accurate. This would be impossible if they hadn't observed them."

What you are referring to are the Ica Stones, which are fake.

"I think I lot of the science that points to such an old earth is seen that way because it must be old to support evolutionary origins."

Maybe you should read up and learn something before you display your ignorance.

"I don't pretend to be a scientist."

Good, because it's obvious that you know nothing about it.

CyberKitten said...

karla said: I don't pretend to be a scientist.

May I suggest you plan some time in your reading shedule for some basic science books - not Christian 'interpretation' of science. I'm sure that will really help in your understanding of the world.

Karla said...

Dinosaurs

The problem is cyberkitten that the worldview science is being done through makes a world of difference.

CyberKitten said...

karla said: The problem is cyberkitten that the worldview science is being done through makes a world of difference.

Well, I can only suggest that you read some *real* science on the subject.

Though I guess that I'm wasting my time suggesting that.

Anonymous said...

Karla,
You do realize that everything on your dinosaurs page has been debunked, right? For instance, I've already mentioned the Ica stones. Also, the dinosaur and human footprints (for just another example) were similarly debunked. Some of the "human" prints were actually dino prints. Also, it was found that unscrupulous creationists altered some of the prints to make them look human.

See here.

Still the larger problem is your insistence that science is somehow done incorrectly with some sort of worldview in mind. This is a fundamental misunderstanding of what science is (which I've previously corrected you on and you've obviously ignored). Science is a process of studying the natural world. Assuming one's conclusion is antithetical to science, which is what you are suggesting we do by adopting the worldview of the people who make the fallacious and dishonest webpages like that one you linked to. They think up their conclusion (goddidit) and then try to fit the facts and evidence to somehow support their preconceptions. Science, when properly done, is about eliminating preconceptions, not using them as fact.