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  1. #81
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    People believed they had witnessed some type of resurrection. It doesn't mean they actually did--there are many theories on what they actually experienced. But scholars don't really argue that some believed some sort of resurrection event took place.

    As a parallel, it wouldn't be contested that some people today believe the world is 6,000 years old. It would be contested that world is actually that young, but not that some people believe that.

    Hope that makes sense.

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    Quote Originally Posted by IceAlisa View Post
    I have always wondered how Christian antisemites reconciled the notion with their belief in Jesus. "They killed OUR Jesus!" was/is the popular accusation. Do people ever stop and think that Jesus was a Jew or does it fall by the wayside?
    My belief in Christianity in no way has been a "then I must hate/vilify" anyone else's belief system (or not belief) to validate that my religion is better than yours.

    I have several friends, who I respect for many reasons, who believe that the ONLY way into heaven is through the belief that everyone must accept Jesus as their savior and really can't understand why I am ok with my niece converting to Judaism or my sons being agnostic.

    For them, they recognize that Jesus was a Jew but that he is the light that other Jews refuse to see. In that faulty reasoning - the Jews who have (had) the opportunity to see the light are not worthy. And the "recorded actions" of the Pharisees - like being elite in the Jewish society, somehow translates to all Jews who have not seen the light.

    Please, understand that this is not my view - but something that I am trying to describe to you.

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    It may have been clearer had it been described as a Resurrection experience. Not capitalizing the word confused me - as written I thought it meant his followers believed they had experienced resurrection themselves.
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    Quote Originally Posted by MacMadame View Post
    So the fires (and human incompetence) managed to destroy every piece of evidence that Jesus existed but not every piece of evidence that other historical figures existed? That reminds me of the arguments of the Italian police that Amanda Knox was able to destroy only her DNA in her apartment.

    And the argument that Jesus' crucifixion was such a political hot potato that it would be destroyed always amuses me because it presumes he was a much more important figure than he actually was at the time.
    Who said that other historical figures' records were not destroyed? We don't know that they were not. The "hot potato" records of Jesus' crucifixion could, very well, have been deliberately destroyed. If Rome was trying to lay blame on the Jews for Jesus' death, that is a great motive.

    I have never understood Jews being blamed for Jesus' death.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cruisin View Post

    I have never understood Jews being blamed for Jesus' death.
    At the time the Gospels were written, that area was under Roman control. And the Jews had just staged an uprising. It was politically expedient to hold the Jews accountable and not blame the people in charge.

    That's how I see it, anyway.

  6. #86
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    Quote Originally Posted by cruisin View Post
    I have never understood Jews being blamed for Jesus' death.
    According to the Gospel, Pilate offered to release either Jesus or a murderer named Barabbus (sp.?), believing the Jews would naturally choose Jesus over a murderer. However, the Jews chose Barabbus, which is why they have historically been blamed for Jesus death. Although that is kinda like blaming all of Islamic faith for 9/11.

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    Quote Originally Posted by numbers123 View Post
    My belief in Christianity in no way has been a "then I must hate/vilify" anyone else's belief system (or not belief) to validate that my religion is better than yours.

    I have several friends, who I respect for many reasons, who believe that the ONLY way into heaven is through the belief that everyone must accept Jesus as their savior and really can't understand why I am ok with my niece converting to Judaism or my sons being agnostic.

    For them, they recognize that Jesus was a Jew but that he is the light that other Jews refuse to see. In that faulty reasoning - the Jews who have (had) the opportunity to see the light are not worthy. And the "recorded actions" of the Pharisees - like being elite in the Jewish society, somehow translates to all Jews who have not seen the light.

    Please, understand that this is not my view - but something that I am trying to describe to you.
    I grew up in a Jewish neighborhood. I was raised Baptist. My best friends were always Jewish. I went to their holiday ceremonies. I went to my best friend in High School's confirmation. I dated the Rabbi's son. I have always had a very soft spot in my heart for Jewish people, their religion and their culture.

    When I was about 10, I started worrying about this issue-were my friends going to hell? I could not accept that at all. I asked my precious Daddy about it. He's an incredibly beautiful soul and wonderful Christian. He loves everybody, regardless. I asked him if my friend Carol was going to hell when she died, and he said, "Oh, I don't think so. I think God has a plan for everybody." I have believed that until this day. I know the Bible is interpreted differently by most, but in the words of Frank Sinatra, "My heart just won't buy it." God is a big God. I definitely believe God has a plan for everyone. Even bad people. I think the love Christ described is big enough to accommodate everyone who ever lived. Obviously I don't go by a literal translation of the Bible, but I do try to go by the spirit of it as I interpret it for myself. That's my belief, and I'm sticking to it.

  8. #88
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlueRidge View Post
    MacMadame, why do you think most scholars in the field believe Jesus did exist historically, if you think it is clear that evidence for that does not exist? (I'm asking this seriously not snarkily.)
    It's because their arguments for why they accept the evidence they accept seem weak to me.

    For the most part, the argument seems to be "we all agreed to accept this level of proof so, if you don't, you're a moron". [See ag's comments about birthers as a prime example.]

    If you want to convince me, you have to do better than that...

    What amuses me about this debate is that I don't feel strongly about the subject. I'm quite willing to believe that Jesus was an historical figure. But I want to see some contemporary record of his existence. That's all I'm asking for. And no one has given me that.

    Until you do... I will remain skeptical.

    Quote Originally Posted by cruisin View Post
    Who said that other historical figures' records were not destroyed?
    You are not understanding my point. My point is, if there are 50 years of records of various censuses in the area but they aren't complete, how can you credibly argue that only records that mentioned Jesus and his family got lost? Sure, some years are missing. And maybe some pages within the years that exist are missing or illegible. But, if someone lived for 25-50 years then they should have been caught in at least one of the censuses that took place during that time and that we still have a record of.
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    Quote Originally Posted by MacMadame View Post
    It's because their arguments for why they accept the evidence they accept seem weak to me.

    For the most part, the argument seems to be "we all agreed to accept this level of proof so, if you don't, you're a moron". [See ag's comments about birthers as a prime example.]

    If you want to convince me, you have to do better than that...

    What amuses me about this debate is that I don't feel strongly about the subject. I'm quite willing to believe that Jesus was an historical figure. But I want to see some contemporary record of his existence. That's all I'm asking for. And no one has given me that.

    Until you do... I will remain skeptical.
    This is interesting because I think that we all are faced with many, many issues that we can either try to evaluate the evidence for ourselves or lean on those who have specialized in studying them to guide us. I generally do the latter on many issues. Do you usually reject what you hear until you can determine for yourself the evidence? This seems difficult to me given the sea of information out there.
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    I tend to like to confirm things. For example, when my neurologist told me to take magnesium and B2 for my headaches, I did a quick Google search first. I wanted to see where this recommendation was coming from (and if there were any gotchas that he failed to mention).

    I don't do this for everything but I do it for a lot.
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    Quote Originally Posted by MacMadame View Post
    I tend to like to confirm things. For example, when my neurologist told me to take magnesium and B2 for my headaches, I did a quick Google search first. I wanted to see where this recommendation was coming from (and if there were any gotchas that he failed to mention).

    I don't do this for everything but I do it for a lot.
    But if you do a quick google search about whether Jesus existed historically you get a great deal of information that points to his historical existence. Why do you trust what you googled on B2 and magnesium?

    I really think at some point in areas we are not experts we end up relying on what we might not like to call "authority." I'm really interested in skepticism and in epistemology, so I find in interesting to look into how we really know things and at what point we feel accepting a proposition is warranted.
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  12. #92
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlueRidge View Post
    This is interesting because I think that we all are faced with many, many issues that we can either try to evaluate the evidence for ourselves or lean on those who have specialized in studying them to guide us. I generally do the latter on many issues. Do you usually reject what you hear until you can determine for yourself the evidence? This seems difficult to me given the sea of information out there.
    This is exactly how I feel. I found it interesting in regards to the material I found earlier. I keep an open mind in regards to many issues, but I do not believe that Jesus was a myth.

    I was raised Baptist, and was baptized when I was 21 years old. My dad was raised as Catholic and converted to Baptist when he and my mom were married. They were also married in the Baptist church.

    I was around 4 years old when the priest came to visit my dad at our home. The Catholic priest told my dad and mom that they weren't considered married since they didn't get married in the Catholic church. The priest also went as far to say that my brother and I were considered illegitimate because they weren't married in the Catholic church.

    Of course, I am not illegitimate nor is my brother since my mom and dad were married in the Baptist church and have a marriage license. I don't know if those Catholic 'laws' still apply today, but they did back in 1962.

    The point is I do have an open mind to different beliefs and theories, but to say "our religion is right and yours is wrong" is a whole other ball game. I also have many Jewish friends, Catholic friends, Methodist friends, etc., and I don't criticize them for their beliefs. As far as I'm concerned, it's all good and about God.
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  13. #93
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    Quote Originally Posted by agalisgv View Post
    People believed they had witnessed some type of resurrection. It doesn't mean they actually did--there are many theories on what they actually experienced. But scholars don't really argue that some believed some sort of resurrection event took place.

    As a parallel, it wouldn't be contested that some people today believe the world is 6,000 years old. It would be contested that world is actually that young, but not that some people believe that.

    Hope that makes sense.
    It absolutely does. So what are some of the theories that try to explain their experience?

    numbers, in no way did I mean to suggest anything about all Chrstians--but I did grow up in a country where prior to the commie rule, many Christians were antagonistic to Jews. Same applies to Europe--not the most historically Jew-friendly place.

    Thank you for your perspective.
    Last edited by IceAlisa; 09-20-2012 at 08:45 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Simone411 View Post
    The Catholic priest told my dad and mom that they weren't considered married since they didn't get married in the Catholic church. The priest also went as far to say that my brother and I were considered illegitimate because they weren't married in the Catholic church.

    Of course, I am not illegitimate nor is my brother since my mom and dad were married in the Baptist church and have a marriage license. I don't know if those Catholic 'laws' still apply today, but they did back in 1962.
    Not sure how this story illustrates your point of open minded tolerance. That value usually precludes pointing fingers at any faith.

    The priest was not representing the actual position of the church. The Church does not consider the marriage of a baptized and confirmed Catholic valid unless it takes place in a Catholic church and is blessed by a priest or deacon. However, as is the case when a marriage is annulled (declared "invalid"), the children of such a marriage are not considered illegitimate per canon law number 1137 which states that children of a valid or "putative" (presumed valid) marriage are legitimate. Having left the church, your father, mother and the pastor who married them would have "presumed"/considered the marriage was valid. Additionally, most experts in canon law would point to the marriage's legality as a factor as well.

  15. #95
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    I understand what you're saying, but the priest actually did state that my parents weren't considered married since they didn't get married in the Catholic church and that my brother and I were considered illegtimate. Of course, I didn't understand what the word, "illegitimate" meant at the age of four, and my parents sent my brother and me to our rooms after the Priest said that. My parents explained what the word meant when I was a little older.

    The point I was making is that the Catholic Priest truly believed what he was saying was right regarding the Catholic religion when he said that my parents weren't considered married. He also wanted them to get married again in the Catholic church where it would be official. It's not about pointing fingers in a sense. It's about whose religion is right and whose is wrong. I never understood why the priest even did that.
    Angie
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    Quote Originally Posted by DAngel View Post
    why is lacking a belief in God a leap of faith?
    Because you can't prove there is no G-d anymore then you can prove there is one..... so you simply, on faith, choose to believe one or the other ;-)
    Last edited by AxelAnnie; 09-21-2012 at 01:47 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by AxelAnnie View Post
    Because you can't pro e there is no G-d anymore then you can prove there is one..... so you simply, on faith, choose to believe one or the other ;-)
    Or you choose not to claim to know either way, which seems to be the most honest response based on your statement.

    Usually, though, we don't make faith claims about unicorns or life in outspace based on the provable reasoning.
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    Quote Originally Posted by MacMadame View Post
    For the most part, the argument seems to be "we all agreed to accept this level of proof so, if you don't, you're a moron". [See ag's comments about birthers as a prime example.]
    Actually the word was ignorant, which I thought was a bit strong. But, it was only one person who said that, not "we all".

    You are not understanding my point. My point is, if there are 50 years of records of various censuses in the area but they aren't complete, how can you credibly argue that only records that mentioned Jesus and his family got lost? Sure, some years are missing. And maybe some pages within the years that exist are missing or illegible. But, if someone lived for 25-50 years then they should have been caught in at least one of the censuses that took place during that time and that we still have a record of.
    I still think it was possible, he could have avoided the census.

    Quote Originally Posted by Simone411 View Post
    I understand what you're saying, but the priest actually did state that my parents weren't considered married since they didn't get married in the Catholic church and that my brother and I were considered illegtimate. Of course, I didn't understand what the word, "illegitimate" meant at the age of four, and my parents sent my brother and me to our rooms after the Priest said that. My parents explained what the word meant when I was a little older.
    My father was Catholic, my mother Episcopalian. They were married in an Episcopal church because my mother did not want to raise the children Catholic.
    My father was told the same thing your parents were, that was 62 years ago. In addition, my father's cousins went to Catholic school and the Nuns told them that they could not go into the Episcopal church, for the wedding, or they would go to hell. PDilemma, it is unfortunate, and maybe doesn't represent the Church (in general) but these kind of things were said by representatives of the Church.

  20. #100
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlueRidge View Post
    But if you do a quick google search about whether Jesus existed historically you get a great deal of information that points to his historical existence. Why do you trust what you googled on B2 and magnesium?
    For the health stuff, I have a lot of history of prior research so I have a good feel for which websites have which biases and which ones are total quacks to avoid.

    For this area, I haven't got that feel but every web site I've gone to has either said this:

    "Jesus is not a historical figure because there are no contemporary references to him in the historical documents we have."

    or

    "Jesus is absolutely an historical figure. It's just so accepted that if you don't believe that, I'm not going to bother trying to convince you as only openly idiots and extremists don't believe it! Oh and there are these documents that were written 90-150 years after he was alive that mention him. So there."

    What can I say? I don't find the later argument all that compelling and I'm not willing to wade through diatribe after diatribe about what an idiot I am for even entertaining the idea that he wasn't an historical figure to get into the meat of why mainstream scholars accept that he is on evidence I find flimsy. If they can't make their point succinctly without all that rhetoric, then I've got better things to do with my time. For one thing, it has absolutely no impact on my quality of life whether Jesus was a real person or not. That limits how much work I'm willing to put into coming to a conclusion.

    In the area of the headaches, my neurologist suggested B2 and magnesium over Topamax which he felt was too risky given my symptoms. He said I had to get at least 100 mg to be effective and that many OTC multivitamins had more like 10mg which just wasn't enough. What I wanted to know is if the former had actually been found to be effective in clinical studies and if they had any bad side effects, particularly at those doses, and also how much I should take. (I already knew Topamax had a lot of risks so I didn't bother to google it.) When I googled "magnesium for headaches" and "B2/riboflavin for headaches", I found many, many websites on migraines and they almost all had pages that listed effective vs. ineffective vs. "suspected of being effective but not proven effective" treatments for them and B2 and magnesium was on every list in the effective column. On top of that, I found some links to actual studies on PubMed and the abstracts also showed the magnesium and B2 had been found effective at higher doses. That seemed reasonable enough to me because now I had my doctor agreeing with WebMD agreeing with published studies. Plus, there didn't seem to be any downsides to taking the supplements so it was a no-brainer to try them. If I had found a lot of articles about being careful not to take to much or you could die, I'd probably have looked harder or gone back to my doctor to discuss it some more.

    For the whole Jesus thing, what I want to see is a list of sources that were written in Jesus' time that mention him. I would find that credible probably no matter what the source of the list was though I'd probably Google the listed sources as well for a spot check, particularly if the original list was on a site that felt kind of crackpot.
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