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Some points to bring up
« on: July 16, 2017, 10:02:28 am »
It's unsure why the Romans would even allow the body to be taken down and given a proper burial as crucifixion was meant to be humiliating. Given what Jesus was claiming Pontius Pilate would have no reason to be merciful to him. It's possible the empty tomb was just a later addition to the story. I think given what we know about it and the inconsistencies of the resurrection account it seems more plausible that Jesus died an average death back then and the authors made up an account to justify it.

1

HectorVG

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Re: Some points to bring up
« Reply #1 on: March 23, 2018, 08:07:27 am »
Dear,

A superficial analysis shows us the inconsistency of his argument. An inconsistency given the wrong relationship of two statements:

1. You question the reasons why the Romans allowed a degree of "mercy" regarding the treatment of the body of Jesus after his death.

2. You, based on the above, discredit the resurrection and affirm that it was a later invention.

Regarding affirmation No. 2: The resurrection of Jesus Christ is considered as the most plausible hypothesis to explain some events such as: a) the empty tomb, b) Post-death apparitions and c) Conversion of Saulo de Tarso. To discredit the resurrection you must analyze the available evidence and weigh it against other hypotheses that are raised (such as the one you mention about the "invention").

Regarding affirmation No. 1: The reasons why a certain degree of mercy was allowed (whether known or not) did not undermine the evidence for the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

In conlusion, the relation between your affirmations is not correct; so his deduction is not good.

Blessings from Chile.

2

Relativist

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Re: Some points to bring up
« Reply #2 on: March 26, 2018, 06:24:04 am »
The information we have on Roman crucifixion indicates bodies were typically left on the cross to rot, to make a visible example of them. We're aware of a handful of cases where exceptions were made, but they entailed personal relationship between the requestor and a compassionate Roman official, Neither of these conditions are present in Jesus' case.

This does not discredit belief in the Resurrection, it merely casts doubt on whether or not an empty tomb was found. There is a tradition about "appearances" of Jesus, dating to within a few years of his death ( early 30's), and this was interpreted as a resurrection. On the other hand, the earliest empty tomb story we have is in Gospel of Mark, written around the year 70.

The natural explanation for the "appearances" were that they were subjective experiences, perhaps triggered by cognitive dissonance. But it's possible Jesus really did rise from the dead- so this still doesn't "discredit" the resurrection. But it does show the resurrection is not verifiable from the historical evidence -you need faith to believe.

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HectorVG

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Re: Some points to bring up
« Reply #3 on: March 26, 2018, 08:38:43 am »
But it does show the resurrection is not verifiable from the historical evidence -you need faith to believe.


Dear,

Regarding his last statement, that "the resurrection is not verifiable by historical evidence," I commented by analogy:

Taking the case to a police investigation where the investigators look for the most plausible explanation of the facts. Their hypotheses are tested based on the existing evidence of a "historical fact". The hypothesis will probably not be presented with absolute certainty, but rather as the most plausible option over the others.

In the same way, the historical evidence leads us to evaluate different hypotheses regarding the resurrection of Jesus. In this case, the resurrection is the most viable option. If we call this faith, then many of our verdicts regarding past events are based on faith.

Chapter 8 "The Resurrection of Jesus", from the Book Reasonable Faith, by Dr. Craig shows us a series of scenarios evaluated.

Blessings!

4

Relativist

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Re: Some points to bring up
« Reply #4 on: March 28, 2018, 07:42:43 pm »
HectorVG - The problems with Craig's analysis are: 1)he treats narrative elements as fact. 2) he ignores the false information contained in the Gospels and the implication this has on evaluation of the historicity of the narrative. 3) He assumes independence of sources that are likely to actually have  a dependency.

Regarding #1: the alleged empty tomb.
Regarding#2: consider the incompatible (and prima facie implausible) nativity narratives, the incompatible nativity narratives, and Mathew's resurrection of the many (Matthew 27:51-53).
Regarding #3: there is an obvious literary dependency among the synoptic Gospels, and critical scholars have identified elements in John that reflect knowkedge of the synoptic tradition.

In short, all that Craig does is to show that the data ia consistent with a Resurrection; he fails at showing it to be the best explanation of the actual evidence (actual evidence: an empty tomb tradition existed from year 70 forward). Don't let yourself be fooled into believing there's a compelling case to justify the belief; you need faith. Nothing wrong with that, so embrace it.
« Last Edit: March 28, 2018, 07:46:41 pm by Relativist »

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HectorVG

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Re: Some points to bring up
« Reply #5 on: March 29, 2018, 09:37:38 am »
Dear Relativist,

It is interesting for me to analyze his point of view and the objections he presents. Without a doubt these allow me to delve more and strengthen the arguments that can be presented.

With respect to the work of Dr. Craig, in "Reasonable Faith", I think he elaborates a very good argument, progressive and systematic in favor of Christianity, obviously presenting defense and objections to post-modernist proclamations.

However, and considering its points, I can argue the following:

1) "The alleged empty tomb".
How do we know that something really took place? Can we have this certainty?
Josh McDowell in his book "More Than a Carpenter" points out how we can treat a past event, which is not scientifically verifiable; as also Dr. Craig presents his objections to the relativist argument against the certainty of historical events: "the lack of direct access", in the chapter "The problem of the Historical Knowledge".

Let's analyze it from a practical case: Since we know that in 1962 the Soccer World Cup was developed in Chile, where Brazil was the champion, let's imagine that all of us in Chile agreed to unanimously report that Brazil was not the world champion but Chile. On the one hand we have the real facts, Brazil was the champion; and on the other hand we have the information expressed by national sources, that Chile is a champion. What happened is (or can be) an event of the past, not subject to scientific verification, but subject to the Historical Verification.

We consult, did this event really take place? We have sources, both local and international, that manifested such an event; and there is a glass that was delivered. These are evidences that support such an event.

How was it developed? In this, the sources begin to differ, and it is necessary to subject them to critical analyzes in order to really determine what happened.

Now, considering the "empty tomb", we have historical sources that first speak of the Historical Jesus, his life, impact, death and resurrection. The information that could be alleged is not the fact of the "empty tomb", since it is indirectly assumed to be something that happened, but it is the resurrection. As in the case of the World Cup, it is not the event that is in question, but rather how it developed.

If the tomb had not been empty, we would have informative sources contrary to such an event. However, Judaism that rejects Jesus does not question the empty tomb, but rather tries to justify such an event.

Are there historical sources that stipulate that the tomb was not empty? In the case of the Fubol World Cup, there would be sources that differ from who the champion is, but not from such an event.

How can you argue that you had breakfast (in case you did it) 1 month ago? Through the reports of the witnesses and the circumstances that surrounded you and that were generated after that event.

In the case of Christianity, and the empty tomb (closely related to the resurrection), the behavior analysis of the same movement is part of a later effect worthy of being analyzed, also considered as an argument of true events.

2) Dr. Craig, in his book Reasonable Faith, especially in the chapter "The Problem of Historical Knowledge", analyzes the sources available under the "authenticity criteria". These criteria are established, although not necessary, to analyze any historical statement.

3) Considering that the sources were dependent on each other, in the case of the Gospels, why do the questions to the empty tomb go in the direction of justifying the explanation and not of counteracting such an event? Why would the disciples die for a lie? How could a skeptic like "Saul of Tarsus" have been convinced? What sources do we have that differ from such an event? In the example, we have Chile and the rest of the world stipulating that such an explanation to the event is false.

In conclusion, the various analyzes that can be applied, based on the available evidence, allow us to elaborate a sustainable hypothesis of the Christian faith. Postmodernism, which in its essence is not so relative, has permeated part of current thinking, leading them to question what they do not want to believe.

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Relativist

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Re: Some points to bring up
« Reply #6 on: April 17, 2018, 09:28:46 pm »
HectorVG -

Your World Cup analogy fails.  Let's pretend there actually was World Cup in 1960 (which there wasn't).  There would have been tens of thousands of people in attendance, and millions watching or listening to the event on television and radio, and witnessed and reported by news media from most nations of the world. This is in stark contrast to the empty tomb tradition, which can be traced to its chronologically earliest appearance: the Gospel of Mark, which is estimated to have  been written in the year 70, which is about 40 years after the alleged event.  (All other narratives of an empty tomb seem derived from Mark's account - they are not independent)  So the only reason to think Jesus was given an honorable burial in an identifiable tomb is because one unknown writer, writing outside of Palestine, has written a story that depicts such a burial and discovery of an empty tomb. 

The fact is, when Rome crucified criminals, the criminal was left on the cross for many days - to rot, and be eaten as carrion. The rotting corpse served as a warning to other would-be criminals - it was the ultimate punishment.  Since this was the usual practice, it is highly unlikely that the Roman prefect would have permitted his body to have been removed as depicted in the Gospels.  (The basis for my assertions about Roman Crucifixion are based on  this book,, wherein New Testament scholar Martin Hengel examines all the historical information we have on Roman crucifixion).

Why would Mark invent an empty tomb narrative?  Keep in mind that Mark was a Christian, and Christians believed Jesus was resurrected.  Some Christians did not believe it to be a physical resurrection while others did (this is apparent from 1Corinthians, where Paul tries to "correct" the "misconceptions" of some of the Christians at Corinth about the nature of the Resurrection).  Clearly, Mark believed in a physical resurrection.  Given this belief, it would be natural for Mark to assume that a physical resurrection would mean that Jesus' body was no longer in the place it was buried.  He wished to convey his belief, so he wrote the story to convey it.  This is not a "lie" - Mark would be conveying something he believed to be true.  We can't really know this is what happened, but it is a plausible explanation for an the appearance of such a story.  The notion that a criminal would have been given an honorable burial and that this criminal's body would have gone missing from the tomb (whether for supernatural reasons, or natural reasons) is less plausible. 

In this paper, Craig proposes a criterion for evaluating alleged miracles in history:

Quote from: Craig
The historian ought first perhaps, as a methodological principle, to seek natural causes of the events under investigation; but when no natural causes can be found that plausibly account for the data and a supernatural hypothesis presents itself as part of the historical context in which the events occurred, then it would not seem to be illicit to prefer the supernatural explanation

Apply Craig's criterion to the stories about Jesus' Resurrection: there is indeed a natural explanation for the existence of these stories: they were written to convey belief.


« Last Edit: April 18, 2018, 10:17:05 pm by Relativist »