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January 14, 2016

Comments

Brett,

I hate to say this, but that was really disappointing. You made no effort whatsoever to understand the objections being raised, instead blithely asking the challenger to meet his burden of proof. But the common lines of reasoning for these claims are well-known, and all it would have taken was a quick Google search to discover them. Or heck, you just could have read some of the comments in the challenge blog post. And then you could have actually given some thoughtful responses to the concerns underlying the objections.

But as for the repetitive "what follows?" questions, I think you have missed the point. It is not enough to simply grant the objections for the sake of argument. Instead, think of what it would mean to you if you actually accepted those objections. How would you feel if you thought the gospels were written by unknown second- or third-generation Christians? Would you be so confident in your faith if you really believed that, say, Matthew's and Luke's alterations to Mark and Q were based not on a commitment to historical accuracy, but rather on religious and literary preferences? Etc.

If you *really* accepted those objections, then I think you would begin to honestly and critically re-evaluate your faith. That is what the objections are best aimed at, IMO. Granting them for the sake of argument is, as you note, largely unhelpful.

Ben,

Accepting the objections would require sufficient reason to do so.

Hence they're not accepted.


The "Legend Theory of Jesus" just doesn't cohere with what historicity's satisfaction brings to the table -- nor does the "Legend Theory of Jesus" cohere with the canopy of Jew, Gentile, Word of Mouth, First Century, Style, and heck, even Prophecy bring to the "Genre" that is the NT. The thread in the original challenge has a few links looking in that direction.

The assertion that no one could talk and discuss X or X2 with any of the thousands upon thousands.... upon thousands.... upon thousands... of Jews and Gentiles from all walks of life who witnessed Jesus' three years of (painfully) public ministry, as well as such events post-ressurrection, and all multiplied by 1st degree relatives in one's own household, inside of Roman territories soaked in "world" travel in every direction is, obviously, an assertion soaked in ignorance.

Ben states [A] and just inexplicably equates it to [B],

[A]"How would you feel if you thought the gospels were written by unknown second- or third-generation Christians? Would you be so confident in your faith if you really believed that, say, Matthew's and Luke's alterations to Mark and Q were [B] based not on a commitment to historical accuracy, but rather on religious and literary preferences?"

As if a case of [A], which historicity's arena is loaded with in all sorts of non-disingenuous writings, just ipso facto equates to [B].

But such a false identity claim has such a high frequency of counter examples that the assertion (A = B) cannot be considered without evidence.

No serious historian takes such a superficial and unjustified assertion (A = B) at face value.

Archeological finds have affirmed all sorts of writings which, for the longest time, were oral traditions passed along.

Hence Brett is factually justified to just grant "no 1st generation fact-checking" (which is comical) for the sake of discussion because granting [A] never can count as evidence for [B]. If and when *other* lines of evidence come in and help construct that assertion (A = B) or help deconstruct it, well then the conversation can progress.

It's a whole science. That science even has a name.

Fortunately today's technological advances have helped the proliferation of said science.

Earlier (in the initial challenge OP/thread) there was a reference to Richard Baulkham’s “Jesus and the Eyewitnesses” which is a tome of over 500 pages.

“………Part of Bauckham’s intention is to show that the old form-critical ways of looking at Gospel traditions were wrong. According to classic form criticism (the basis of the work of the Jesus Seminar), early Christian traditions circulated anonymously in communities that were viewed as if they were faceless collectives (for example, the “Q community”). Bauckham thinks this theory is deeply flawed and suggests instead that there were personal links from the Jesus tradition to known and named tradents (carriers of tradition) throughout the period of transmission right down to when these traditions were included in the Gospels. Bauckham is quite right to insist that analogies with modern folklore to explain how ancient Gospel traditions were handled are simply wrong and anachronistic. The period between the time of Jesus and the writing of the Gospels is relatively short (between 30 and 60-some years, depending on the Gospel), and during that entire time there were still eyewitnesses who could act as checks and balances to the formation of the early Christian tradition. The “period between the ?historical’ Jesus and the Gospels was actually spanned, not by anonymous community transmission, but by the continuing presence and testimony of eyewitnesses, who remained the authoritative sources of their traditions until their deaths,” Bauckham writes.”


At over 500 pages it’s dense. The kindle version is nice for “searching” key words and so on.

The "assured results of modern (liberal) scholarship" are anything but assured. The conclusions are only as good as the assumptions that make up the premises, and those assumptions and premises have been challenged, weighed, measured and found wanting by other scholars.
The only thing that the skeptical scholars are in agreement on, over against Christian Bible scholars, is that critical thinking means rejecting the supernatural - scientism and metaphysical naturalism are the a priori hidden assumptions.

There's no valid philosophical, scientific, or metaphysical reason to deny observational reality and the f.a.c.t that syntax of the form "X brought Y back to life" is seamlessly coherent with reality. Science affirms the contingent status of death's non-static definition as such relates to Mind(s) and Person (s) and Knowledge. Truth correspondence amid perception and verification affirm that the Hebrew, the Christian, and the NT authors got it right.

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