“Take and eat; this is my body.” MT 26:26

“Take and eat; this is my body.” MT 26:26

Tuesday, 2 September 2014


I came across this article, and I thought you'd like to see it. In fact, I know you need to see this; It needs to be shared. Here, you have another mainstream media attempt to try and pull Christians away from Jesus and validate atheist ideology. Two very dangerous things when you mix them together.


Now, I'm not usually one to make long posts, but I thought I'd share one of the online comments from the Salon website where this article is from. Actually, I'm kind of surprised to see this. The comments are not mine. I'm simply re-posting what I think are some brilliant answers to some rather ignorant points. If you care to join the debate in their comments section, feel free.


At first I had to double check that I was on the website of The Onion. This faux scholarship tries far too hard and obviously strains the limited intellect of the author. Even a cursory first read uncovers grotesque factual and logical errors. Since I only have a few minutes, let's go point by point. (Note that the author's ambiguities sometimes make it unclear whether claims are her own or those of purported scholars. Where ambiguity exists, I default to assuming the author did not plagarize--i.e. the claims are her own.)

1. No first century secular evidence whatsoever exists to support the actuality of Yeshua ben Yosef.
-There's no clear reason why a secular ethnic Jew like Josephus isn't considered evidence (he explicitly refers to the Crucifixion shortly after the fall of Jerusalem). Perhaps the author is just unfamiliar with one of the most famous works of ancient history.
-Birth certificate? Trial transcript? Death certificate? Who is this person? Does she know anything about legal recordkeeping practices in Roman Palestine during the first century? Most Americans born in the early 19th Century didn't even have official birth certificates.
-Contrary to the author's claims, there are very few written primary sources still extant from two thousand years ago. Those that do exist are principally documents from centers of civilization such as Rome and Athens. The author deceptively implies that the documentary record of first century PALESTINE is extensive. That's decidedly untrue, and the Roman Conquest destroyed many of the records that did exist.

2. The earliest New Testament writers seem ignorant of the details of Jesus' life, which become more crystalized in later texts.
This argument makes me wonder if the author has actually ever read Paul. The plain meaning of the text of the Pauline letters directly and explicitly rejects every single major point she makes. Since reading might be too difficult a task for some commentators, even a Google search can confirm my point here quite easily.

3. Even the New Testament stories don't claim to be first-hand accounts.
-The author actually says something borderline intelligent on this point. Yes, historians believe that much of the NT was written pseudonymously. But that impinges their factual claims or makes them "sketchy" how? No U.S. President writes his own speeches. Nor do most federal judges write their own opinions (outsourcing the task to their clerks).
-There's the further point that the Gospel of John does, in fact, claim to be an eyewitness account. But such factual details don't seem to fit the author's narrative.

4. The gospels, our only accounts of a historical Jesus, contradict each other.
-C'mon girl, really? The different copies of Shakespeare's folios contradict each other in minor details. So do copies of the U.S. Declaration of Independence and the Gettysburg Address. So I assume that you're intellectually consistent believe that Shakespeare, Jefferson, and Lincoln did not exist. (Notice that the leap in logic here parallels the author's.) There are so many logic flaws here that I don't even know where to begin.
-The author shows a complete ignorance of ancient Semitic historiography, which is thematic rather than chronological. Minor details are allowed to vary in biographical accounts as long as the major details are spot on and the major themes are clear. We actually see this in biographical writing to this very day by non-professional historians and biographers. For instance, consult President Obama's autobiographies, which he has admitted create composite characters and shift timelines to better capture an overall narrative theme.

5. Modern scholars who claim to have uncovered the real historical Jesus depict wildly different persons.
Um, so the argument here is that skeptics come to varying conclusions so, ergo, the subject matter is false. I wonder which store in Bangkok the professor bought his degree at.​

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