To Pope or Not to Pope?

scout3dave

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Have you seen Norte Dame’s uniforms tonight? That is blasphemy. Everything else is just details.
 

40A

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First, you're getting defensive. Relax.

1: I wouldn't ask my accountant friend for medical advice. I would ask my doctor friend. A saint's patronage is directly tied to the ministerial work they did during their earthly lives.

2: Fine

3: For the record, I am not denying the Trinity. I suspect you might be thinking something along those lines so if you are then let me stop you right there. Also, stop cherry-picking verses, man. Just pony up and show me where God, Christ, the Holy Spirit through either the New Testament writers or else through the prophets lays out the Trinity. Your supporting passage doesn't support the idea of the Trinity. Anyone can quote a couple of verses (cherry-picker!) and say, "See? There it is."

You're also missing my point entirely. I am not conflating the Trinity with the Papacy. I am only pointing out that the doctrine of the Trinity - it is a doctrine, sorry to tell you - is one that does find biblical support, but was pieced together over centuries. It is, therefore, extrabiblical since it required more than scripture alone to be laid out. This is exactly how Church doctrine, a.k.a. Catholic belief, came to be. If its a legitimate method for what you believe, why isn't it legitimate for me?

4: I didn't realize that Pope Francis validated eisegesis at Vatican II. Didn't know he had that authority all the way back then. Also, as I have stated before and as has been stated by much smarter and more faithful people than me, Vatican II was sort of a disaster for the Church. It's like a trainwreck that reoccurs every hour on the hour. And if the passage your quote is referring to the Tanakh, please show me where it says that. There are no footnotes in my Bible to make that point. Am I, then, to take any mention of scripture in the New Testament as referring to the Tanakh? That seems awfully convenient that, like Protestants, the Epistle writers would choose to only focus on a very few books on the religious canon while ignoring the rest.

Yep, Christ does warn against the traditions of men. This is taken up again in Mark 7 and Col. 2. And yet, the Holy Spirit says through the Epistle writers in 2 Thes 15 that believers are to hold fast to sacred traditions. And again in 2 Thes 3, that those who choose not to live in accordance with sacred tradition are to be shunned. In 1 Cor, Paul commends the Corinthians for maintaining the traditions handed down to them. Funny enough, Paul also says in Romans 10 that faith comes through hearing. I won't share the money verse because that would be cherry-picking.

Finally, you say, "My contention is that the tradition of the Catholic Church does not stand up to scrutiny against the Word. Both Christ and His Apostles warn against this." And yet when I provide scriptural support to dispute your contention, which I have done more than once now, you come back with a couple of verses (cherry-picking) and call it a day.

What you don't seem to understand, or choose not to, is that what the Catholic Church believes is drenched in scripture. Unlike Protestants, who believe with increasing popularity in the idea that the Holy Spirit stopped engaging with mankind after the Apostolic era, the Catholic Church believes that the Holy Spirit still does work through mankind.

And here's the funny thing. You believe that the Bible is the inerrant word of God. I do too. However, by affirming that as a Protestant you are affirming two things that you are also arguing against. First, you are affirming Papal infallability. Peter was the first pope, and he wrote a few books that made it into the Bible as authoritative. If you believe that the Books of Peter are inerrant, then you affirm that though Peter was a sinner, he was capable of being the conduit for the infallible word of the Lord to be spoken and written. If you do believe that, then you believe that, at least twice, Peter was infallible. By affirming the inerrancy of the Bible, you are also acknowledging that a collection of many sinners - the men who were ultimately responsible for the compilation of the Bible as we know it, were also capable of an infallible act. As you believe, the Bible is all that is needed, and it was miraculously put together by sinners, which means that either they all got lucky, we all believe a lie, or they were divinely and perfectly inspired.

It follows, logically, that if these men were all capable of infallibility, then others thorughout history, if they are open to the Holy Spirit, might also be capable of it.
I'm not defensive at all. What I'm dealing with is a professed Christian asking me to defend the Trinity like it's in the same ballpark as his Catholic dogma. It's unbelievable.

Your #1 response is silly and a terrible defense for patron saints and intercessory prayer.

#3 - And you're calling me defensive? This response makes no sense. Please explain how the doctrine of Trinity was "pieced together over the centuries". Please explain how it requires more than Scripture to be laid out?

#4 Again makes no sense. Where did I say anything about Pope Francis in relation to Vatican 2? Are you making a distinction between Popes because you weren't alive at that time? OK I guess. So that stuff doesn't matter? Ok, so it was a disaster. Is it now invalid?

You refer to footnotes in your Bible to form an exegetical principle? I was simply giving you context. The Tanakh was formed at that time and included prophecy not only from the first five books of the Hebrew Bible (Torah) as you said. Got to get on a level playing field here. Are you saying Paul was not aware of the Torah and the Tanakh? What I'm saying is that when Paul says the Scriptures made him wise to salvation, it was because there were many more Scriptures at that time, rather than just the Torah. Do you really need for me to point out to you that, as one example of a book in the Tanakh and not the Torah, that Paul refers back to the Book of Isaiah in Romans, 1 Corinthians, 2 Corinthians, Galatians, & Ephesians? Just one example. Did you need me to point this out, or are you being obtuse? "That seems awfully convenient that, like Protestants, the Epistle writers would choose to only focus on a very few books on the religious canon while ignoring the rest." This leads me to believe you don't know what you're arguing.

2 Thessalonians - context, context, context. 2 Thessalonians is an admonishment to cling to the traditions they had been taught about the return of Christ. The letters to the Thessalonians were to a persecuted Church who had a misunderstanding of the Lord's return. The trick is to understand how Paul writes. "So then" or "Therefore" proceeding a passage as it does in 2 Thes 2:15 is a clue that the proceeding writings all link up to this final say on the matter, for lack of better term. So you MUST interpret the whole book leading up to this in its correct context. It's not a letter for the Church in Thessalonians to cling to tradition in the way you understand it.

Forget that context for a second. Just use common sense here. The Church of Thessalonica was not a long-established church. It wasn't a Jewish church. It was a church in Greece. What tradition do you think he was referring to? They had NO church tradition OUTSIDE OF what they had very recently believed in Christ.

This verse is used by an entire church to validate their traditions, but it simply isn't there. Yes, you may have provided the Scripture in "support" as I could read on catholicism.com, but like on the website, it simply doesn't stand up to scrutiny when you apply the proper context to the Scriptures. And hey, that's not just a knock on Catholicism, either. Many, many Protestant churches refuse to apply the proper context to both the Old Testament (ancient near east context) or the New Testament (1st Century Jewish) Scriptures. It's a problem in the Church as a whole.

But I digress.

Your last paragraph is an attempted linkage from Peter to Francis, maybe? I'm not getting what you're trying to do here. I guess I don't see it as a response to anything I said so let me know what you mean by that. Yes, I believe the Scriptures were divinely inspired.

BTW, I take none of this personally, and I hope you don't either. I treat this as two brothers talking Christ over a beer or whatever. Iron sharpens iron. Nothing more.
 
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40A

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No no no, not to post verses supporting the Trinity. I know they are there. Sola scriptura stipulates that scripture alone is all that's needed. Verses to support require man's ability to reason them out. That's the whole crux of the Catholic/Protestant divide on the issue - scripture alone versus scripture+reason.

And also no, I didn't join a corrupt team. I joined a team populated by humans who, last time I checked, were sinners and thus liable for corruption. I know that may sound like splitting hairs, but if we're going to blame institutions and the things they stand for for the actions of those who run them, then Protestants are no better off. Three words - Westboro Baptist Church. Granted, they're an outlier, but they are still Protestant. I wouldn't ever make the sincere suggestion, though, that they represent in any way, shape, or form the Protestant structure of belief. That same principle applies to secular civic engagement, too. And if we really want to avoid moral stain by associating however distantly with corrupt men and women, then we should probably avoid buying anything made in a factory, particularly factories in China, where working conditions are generously described as hellish.

Or, we can all look past our prejudices and consider that not every single choice made by a person is a reflection upon each and every professional, personal, or religious association in their lives, particularly when those choices are carried out by the slimmest of minorities (0.01% of the priesthood).
Westboro Baptist Church is not a Protestant Church.
 
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40A

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Yeah I can teach my 4 year old the Bible before they can read, but that doesn't mean it needs to stop there. Mentally disabled people can have a beautiful faith, but if God gives a person the capacity for further understanding, he expects them to study and grow. I don't understand this line of reasoning at all. Protestants listen to preachers expound the Word every week. The Bible tells us to do that. The Holy Spirit works through teachers, preachers, and our own reading. Why is this so hard?

We have some responsibility for our own growth and sanctification. We don't get to just be spoonfed every now and then. When the church forbade the Scriptures being translated into the common languages of the time, why did they do that? Same reason the old pagan mystery religions did - ignorance and secretiveness were job security.

ETA: "Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true".

That's sola scriptura. I listen to good teachers, and learn from and respect them, but I don't just take their word for it.
This is much better than anything I've said.
 

40A

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I believe @40A would have something to say against your using a single verse to prove your point. At least, he did when I did it. Maybe different rules apply here.

Second, they were Berean Jews. What scriptures do you think they were examining? Obviously not Acts. Probably not the Gospels, since those were not written down yet. Neither were really any of the epistles. The scriptures they were examining were the Old Testament scriptures. But they didn't come to faith in Christ just by reading the scriptures, did they? They came to faith in Christ by reading the scriptures and lining them up with what they had been taught. So again, scripture is not acting alone, but scripture (tradition)+reason. But don't take my word for it. Here is a Protestant site: https://www.gotquestions.org/who-Bereans.html - pay particular attention to the fourth point the article makes.
My contention with you has not been that using singular verses is wrong. My contention is that you refuse to apply proper context to the verses you choose. I feel like I've tried to make that clear. But if not, here you go.
 
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40A

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Just for fun, here is the Hail Mary:
"Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou amongst women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and in the hour of our death."

And here is the abridged exchange between the Archangel Gabriel and Mary, and later between Mary and her cousin Elizabeth (mother of John the Baptist):
"The angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city in Galilee named Nazareth to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the house of David. And the virgin's name was Mary. And he came to her and said, 'Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee!'... Do not be afraid, for you have found favor with God." ... "And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit, and she exclaimed with a loud voice, 'Blessed is the fruit of thy womb. And why is this granted to me that the mother of my Lord should come to me?'... Blessed art thou that hast believed, because those things shall be accomplished that were spoken to thee by the Lord."

And then from the Magnificat:
"For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed."

We've been debating, among other things, the traditions of man vs. sacred traditions. Here is a tradition instituted by God, announced by the Archangel Gabriel, and laid out in scripture, which we all believe is the infallible word of God. Do we really want to call this a tradition of man? Or are some scriptures more infallible than others?
Question, how many Hail Marys need to be prayed? Does it depend on the situation?
 
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scout3dave

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That was behind a pay site.

Try the Post.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/religion/2018/11/12/vatican-asks-us-bishops-not-vote-sexual-abuse-proposals-they-planned/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.f32743bc4a62

BALTIMORE — The Vatican stymied a plan by America’s Catholic leaders to confront sexual abuse, insisting in a surprise directive on Monday morning that America’s bishops postpone their effort to hold bishops more responsible in the abuse cases that have scourged the church.

At the same time, the Vatican’s ambassador to the United States suggested that bishops should not look to lay people in the church or law enforcement to confront the church’s sexual abuse crisis.
 

HornsWin

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No comment necessary.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/vatican-bars-action-by-u-s-bishops-on-sex-abuse-reforms-at-conference-1542043668

Vatican Bars Action by U.S. Bishops on Sex-Abuse Reforms at Conference
Last-minute change surprises bishops who planned votes to address crisis
That was behind a pay site.

Try the Post.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/religion/2018/11/12/vatican-asks-us-bishops-not-vote-sexual-abuse-proposals-they-planned/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.f32743bc4a62

BALTIMORE — The Vatican stymied a plan by America’s Catholic leaders to confront sexual abuse, insisting in a surprise directive on Monday morning that America’s bishops postpone their effort to hold bishops more responsible in the abuse cases that have scourged the church.

At the same time, the Vatican’s ambassador to the United States suggested that bishops should not look to lay people in the church or law enforcement to confront the church’s sexual abuse crisis.
Yeah, this is beyond the pale. The "reason" if you can call it that, is that Francis wants to prohibit any sort of official statement or whatever from being made until a conference that is being planned for February. No one - no one - is happy about this. Liberals and conservatives are both, rightly, losing their minds over this, and for the same reasons. That should tell you something right there.
 
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HornsWin

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Question, how many Hail Marys need to be prayed? Does it depend on the situation?
Depends. It's a powerful prayer. Since my priest gave me a rosary last week, I've been saying them almost constantly, at my desk, in the elevator, walking to and fro. One is great. 1,000 are also great.
 

scout3dave

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Yeah, this is beyond the pale. The "reason" if you can call it that, is that Francis wants to prohibit any sort of official statement or whatever from being made until a conference that is being planned for February. No one - no one - is happy about this. Liberals and conservatives are both, rightly, losing their minds over this, and for the same reasons. That should tell you something right there.
It is a glaring example of how an organization puts self preservation above the people they serve. Whether it is a corporation screwing it's shareholders or a Church screwing it's parishioners. Sorry for the poor choice of words.
 

HornsWin

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I'm not defensive at all. What I'm dealing with is a professed Christian asking me to defend the Trinity like it's in the same ballpark as his Catholic dogma. It's unbelievable.

Your #1 response is silly and a terrible defense for patron saints and intercessory prayer.

#3 - And you're calling me defensive? This response makes no sense. Please explain how the doctrine of Trinity was "pieced together over the centuries". Please explain how it requires more than Scripture to be laid out?

#4 Again makes no sense. Where did I say anything about Pope Francis in relation to Vatican 2? Are you making a distinction between Popes because you weren't alive at that time? OK I guess. So that stuff doesn't matter? Ok, so it was a disaster. Is it now invalid?

You refer to footnotes in your Bible to form an exegetical principle? I was simply giving you context. The Tanakh was formed at that time and included prophecy not only from the first five books of the Hebrew Bible (Torah) as you said. Got to get on a level playing field here. Are you saying Paul was not aware of the Torah and the Tanakh? What I'm saying is that when Paul says the Scriptures made him wise to salvation, it was because there were many more Scriptures at that time, rather than just the Torah. Do you really need for me to point out to you that, as one example of a book in the Tanakh and not the Torah, that Paul refers back to the Book of Isaiah in Romans, 1 Corinthians, 2 Corinthians, Galatians, & Ephesians? Just one example. Did you need me to point this out, or are you being obtuse? "That seems awfully convenient that, like Protestants, the Epistle writers would choose to only focus on a very few books on the religious canon while ignoring the rest." This leads me to believe you don't know what you're arguing.

2 Thessalonians - context, context, context. 2 Thessalonians is an admonishment to cling to the traditions they had been taught about the return of Christ. The letters to the Thessalonians were to a persecuted Church who had a misunderstanding of the Lord's return. The trick is to understand how Paul writes. "So then" or "Therefore" proceeding a passage as it does in 2 Thes 2:15 is a clue that the proceeding writings all link up to this final say on the matter, for lack of better term. So you MUST interpret the whole book leading up to this in its correct context. It's not a letter for the Church in Thessalonians to cling to tradition in the way you understand it.

Forget that context for a second. Just use common sense here. The Church of Thessalonica was not a long-established church. It wasn't a Jewish church. It was a church in Greece. What tradition do you think he was referring to? They had NO church tradition OUTSIDE OF what they had very recently believed in Christ.

This verse is used by an entire church to validate their traditions, but it simply isn't there. Yes, you may have provided the Scripture in "support" as I could read on catholicism.com, but like on the website, it simply doesn't stand up to scrutiny when you apply the proper context to the Scriptures. And hey, that's not just a knock on Catholicism, either. Many, many Protestant churches refuse to apply the proper context to both the Old Testament (ancient near east context) or the New Testament (1st Century Jewish) Scriptures. It's a problem in the Church as a whole.

But I digress.

Your last paragraph is an attempted linkage from Peter to Francis, maybe? I'm not getting what you're trying to do here. I guess I don't see it as a response to anything I said so let me know what you mean by that. Yes, I believe the Scriptures were divinely inspired.

BTW, I take none of this personally, and I hope you don't either. I treat this as two brothers talking Christ over a beer or whatever. Iron sharpens iron. Nothing more.
No offense taken.

Once again, I am not comparing the Doctrine of the Trinity to anything. What I am comparing is how it was formed - over hundreds of years (historical fact) by men combining the scriptures in which they have placed their faith, and from which they have learned their faith, with their God-given ability to reason out complex things. Think about it reasonably. How can God be three-in-one? That is about as abstract as ideas come. It will naturally require a fair bit of thought and explanation. It isn't laid out clearly and concisely in the New Testament and obviously not in the Old. It was only reasoned out because over the course of hundreds of years, some men made some very good points about it, and others made some very bad points. Look up adoptionism, Sabellianism, or Arianism. Look up the Capadocian Fathers. All major players in the development of what we now understand to be the Trinity. Founded on scripture, clarified by men.

I say this because, once again, this is how so many other Catholic beliefs (the Trinity was formed in the context (HA) of the Catholic Church). You take your biblical support, and you walk it out reasonably. What you get at the end is the truth. So, when Christ gives to Peter the keys of the kingdom, what might that mean? What might it mean in the context (ha!) of Christ having also told Peter to tend his sheep and protect his flock? What might it also mean in the context (ha!) of saying that upon the rock of Peter would Christ build his Church? Christ was not talking in parables in these instances. He was talking very directly to one man, and to this one man he gave many charges that he gave to no one else. Now, nowhere in the scriptures does it say, "Peter is the Pope." It also doesn't say, "The Trinity is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit." Both of these things are supported by history, albeit extrabiblical history, but still, they are supported. That doesn't take away from their being true. It just means that they do not rely solely on scripture to be true. That shouldn't be an offensive idea, but it seems to be for some.

Westboro Baptist Church is not a Protestant Church.
That is kind of my point.

My contention with you has not been that using singular verses is wrong. My contention is that you refuse to apply proper context to the verses you choose. I feel like I've tried to make that clear. But if not, here you go.
Who decides the "proper" context? That sounds like something into which a certain level of subjectivity (see: relativity) might be introduced.
 

bHero

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Like what? The Josephus stuff is possibly an interpolation.
The back half of the statement looks like a clear interpolation, but the beginning of the statement is in line with Josephus’ writing.

Tacitus’ writings are much more authoritative.
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tacitus_on_Christ

I cite Wikipedia only because I’m too lazy to pull references. They summarize it well enough.

These two extra-biblical references alone are major reasons why most scholars today accept the historicity of Jesus.
 

bHero

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Like what? The Josephus stuff is possibly an interpolation.
The Jewish Talmud also has a few references, like this (hanged is synonymous with crucifixion - like hung from a cross):

“On the eve of the Passover Yeshu was hanged. For forty days before the execution took place, a herald ... cried, "He is going forth to be stoned because he has practiced sorcery and enticed Israel to apostasy."


This is widely accepted as well. The spelling is different because it’s in their native language.

Also a popular commentary is that the Jews say he was executed for sorcery, which lends some authenticity to the witness of his performing miracles.

There are a few other references to Jesus, mostly indirect by mention of the origin of his followers (Lucin, Pliney the Elder).
 
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Duke Silver

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The back half of the statement looks like a clear interpolation, but the beginning of the statement is in line with Josephus’ writing.

Tacitus’ writings are much more authoritative.
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tacitus_on_Christ

I cite Wikipedia only because I’m too lazy to pull references. They summarize it well enough.

These two extra-biblical references alone are major reasons why most scholars today accept the historicity of Jesus.
Yes, but none of these are contemporaneous.
 

bHero

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Yes, but none of these are contemporaneous.
There is no contemporaneous attestation of most people of antiquity.

He’s the most widely attested person in all of antiquity if you include the oldest manuscripts of the Bible found.

Realistically, you wouldn’t expect to find much contemporary evidence. And we don’t have it most historical figures during that era. Even the writings of the Quran are dated to hundreds of years after the life of Muhammad.

Like Tacitus said, it was widely regarded as a superstition (Christianity), checked for the moment (Jesus executed). But then it broke out (after his death) and spread through Israel and into Rome.

Check out early BC and up to the classical period. The writings and attestation of the life of Jesus are a news flash. It just doesn’t happen this quick anywhere else.
 
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Duke Silver

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In the end, most scholars don’t doubt that Jesus lived or was baptized under John the Baptist. There is more consensus for this than global warming.

It’s what He did in outside of those two events that is disputed.
I know. Still, maybe it's all a hoax. It amuses me to think that.
 
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bHero

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Yes, but none of these are contemporaneous.
I do not.
Here’s one of the more compelling points made to me by Dr Gary Habbermaus. He wrote his Doctoral thesis on searching for evidence of Jesus outside of the Bible. He asked if there was an argument to be made that he actually was who he said he was.

He said if you consider the early Josephus writing (pre-interpolation, which is accepted) which says:

“and brought before them the brother of Jesus, who was called Christ, whose name was James, and some others, [or, some of his companions]; and when he had formed an accusation against them as breakers of the law, he delivered them to be stoned.”

This is accepted by almost all scholars as authentic. James was Jesus’ half-brother. The Bible mentions James being embarrassed of Jesus claims to divinity.

The earliest writings of the church make reference to the James death in more detail. He was thrown down from the top of a temple and then stoned (he survived the fall), and then eventually beaten with a club on the ground.

So what would have to happen to go from James being embarrassed of half brother, to being willing to die for the same person? That’s a drastic change.

Made me think.
 
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bHero

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I do not.
One other extra-biblical point Gary makes. Tacitus mentions the superstition being put in check (by Pilate executing Christus - Greek name for Jesus), but then breaking out again and spreading all over. Tacitus was not a Christian. Nor was he a Christian sympathizer. He blamed them for the burning of Rome under Nero and spoke of them in perjorative terms. So when he says the superstition breaks out, it begs the question.

If many saw the leader of the superstition executed and it was well known that He was crucified by Pilate, enough that the Romans documented it, why would the superstition break out again? And in greater force? Their whole story was about this guy being God, but clearly He wasn’t, they saw Him put to death in Jerusalem? There were still many witnesses to his death alive when it spread again. So why would this superstition catch on and spread under these circumstances? It’s very peculiar on the surface.
 
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Duke Silver

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Here’s one of the more compelling points made to me by Dr Gary Habbermaus. He wrote his Doctoral thesis on searching for evidence of Jesus outside of the Bible. He asked if there was an argument to be made that he actually was who he said he was.

He said if you consider the early Josephus writing (pre-interpolation, which is accepted) which says:

“and brought before them the brother of Jesus, who was called Christ, whose name was James, and some others, [or, some of his companions]; and when he had formed an accusation against them as breakers of the law, he delivered them to be stoned.”

This is accepted by almost all scholars as authentic. James was Jesus’ half-brother. The Bible mentions James being embarrassed of Jesus claims to divinity.

The earliest writings of the church make reference to the James death in more detail. He was thrown down from the top of a temple and then stoned (he survived the fall), and then eventually beaten with a club on the ground.

So what would have to happen to go from James being embarrassed of half brother, to being willing to die for the same person? That’s a drastic change.

Made me think.
Meh. Not that convincing.
 

Duke Silver

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One other extra-biblical point Gary makes. Tacitus mentions the superstition being put in check (by Pilate executing Christus - Greek name for Jesus), but then breaking out again and spreading all over. Tacitus was not a Christian. Nor was he a Christian sympathizer. He blamed them for the burning of Rome under Nero and spoke of them in perjorative terms. So when he says the superstition breaks out, it begs the question.

If many saw the leader of the superstition executed and it was well known that He was crucified by Pilate, enough that the Romans documented it, why would the superstition break out again? And in greater force? Their whole story was about this guy being God, but clearly He wasn’t, they saw Him put to death in Jerusalem? There were still many witnesses to his death alive when it spread again. So why would this superstition catch on and spread under these circumstances? It’s very peculiar on the surface.
I guess Jews didn't get the memo.

(Also, that's not what begs the question means. Pet peeve of mine.)
 
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bHero

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Meh. Not that convincing.
It doesn’t prove that Jesus was God, but it is strong evidence that Jesus existed, and told people he was God, and that his family thought he was crazy, and that his brother did a 180 after His death.

It was compelling to me in the sense that it showed a family member didn’t believe his own brother, but then changed his belief so much that he was put to death for that belief. That’s not normal history in any era or for any family.
 

bHero

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I guess Jews didn't get the memo.

(Also, that's not what begs the question means. Pet peeve of mine.)
Many Jews did get the memo. The Jewish rabbis slammed Jesus as a sorcer, but Jerusalem was a major center for conversation from Judaism to Christianity until the Romans ran the Jews out later that Century. It started to split around 50 AD after the council in Jerusalem, but Christian converts worshipped in Jewish synagogues for centuries.

At the time of Jesus there were many different Jewish “denominations,” with 4 being major. The Pharisees are the most well known today, but there was also the Zealots, the Sadducees and Essenes. At first on the macro view Christianity was just another denomination of Judaism.

Then there was a Jewish revolt in Jerusalem to Rome in 66 AD, the temple was destroyed in 70 AD, and the Jews were ran out. This left a void in Jerusalem filled by Gentile converts to Christianity later. So while the political dynamics didn’t allow for a neat conversation campaign, slowly but surely many Jews did convert.

It started moving really fast after Constantine got involved, but that’s not a Jewish movement.
 
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Duke Silver

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It doesn’t prove that Jesus was God, but it is strong evidence that Jesus existed, and told people he was God, and that his family thought he was crazy, and that his brother did a 180 after His death.

It was compelling to me in the sense that it showed a family member didn’t believe his own brother, but then changed his belief so much that he was put to death for that belief. That’s not normal history in any era or for any family.
Like I said, meh. The sources are extremely sparse or self-serving. And people do lots of weird **** for all sorts of weird motivations.
 

bHero

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As a general rule, religions that spread like wildfire usually fizzle out relatively quickly. Mainly because they are “so your own thing” religions like the New Age stuff today and Mitrathicism or Gnosticism back the. The substantive religions tended to be adopted over time.
 

bHero

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Like I said, meh. The sources are extremely sparse or self-serving. And people do lots of weird **** for all sorts of weird motivations.
For sure, just look at the mass Elvis citings since his death.

I think for me it was that these kinds of points opened the door for a rational understanding of how Jesus came to be known and the personal impact he had on people. The human side and the logical side. This, in turn, opened the door for me to accept that he was real, mattered to people around Him, and eventually that He was divine. I skipped a few dozen steps in my story but I was pretty thorough in getting evidence on this religion before I hit a point in my life where I knew it was true experientially.

In the end it was my analytical approach that gave the possibility credence so that when I hit a certain place emotionally I converted.
 
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Shane3

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Yes, I didn't believe in Christ until I was in college.
I worked with a guy who had a similar experience. He had been raised in a church, but they functioned more like a social club. If you can imagine this huge failure, they never told him how to become a Christian! He got saved after talking to a Christian at college.
 
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Shane3

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It doesn’t prove that Jesus was God, but it is strong evidence that Jesus existed, and told people he was God, and that his family thought he was crazy, and that his brother did a 180 after His death.

It was compelling to me in the sense that it showed a family member didn’t believe his own brother, but then changed his belief so much that he was put to death for that belief. That’s not normal history in any era or for any family.
I’m thinking most of us would probably react the same way if our older brother told us he is God.
 
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Shane3

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In the end it was my analytical approach that gave the possibility credence so that when I hit a certain place emotionally I converted.
Your conversation has reminded me of Lee Strobel’s conversion.

https://www1.cbn.com/cbnnews/us/2017/april/the-case-for-christ-story-of-atheist-turned-christian-hits-big-screen

ATLANTA – Lee Strobel was an atheist -- and sworn enemy of religion -- when his wife became a Christian. Her faith put him on a two-year investigation to prove that her faith was a work of fiction. He never could have predicted how that journey would end and the real life tale is now a major motion picture.

"There were so many reasons why I did not want there to be a God, because I did not want to be held accountable," Strobel said.
 

Duke Silver

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As a general rule, religions that spread like wildfire usually fizzle out relatively quickly. Mainly because they are “so your own thing” religions like the New Age stuff today and Mitrathicism or Gnosticism back the. The substantive religions tended to be adopted over time.
First, whose "general rule" is this? Christian apologists?

Second, how was Christianity not "adopted over time"? It took much of western Europe 500-1000 years to Christianize. And it only spread like wild fire after it was adopted as the official religion of the Roman Empire, so there is an enormous political element to it.

One little side note that was always cool: The Anglo-Saxon word Wednesday was, like most of our days of the week, related to Norse gods--in this case the god of gods himself, Odan, or Wodan. The German word for Wednesday is Mittwoch--translation middle week. Why? Because their religion was so entrenched that the evangelizers didn't want to remind the newly-converted of their old main God.
 
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