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.
READ MORE HERE
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
-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
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.