Jesus Was Deranged, Deceptive, Or The Divine Son

About a year after Christ coming to me, during the summer before my freshmen year in college, I found myself on a short term mission trip to Hawaii (I know pity me). During a bus ride in Oahu a few in our group struck up a polite conversation with an outgoing group of college aged girls. When the dialogue turned to why we were there the discussion turned to spiritual matters. One girl claimed boldly:

“Jesus never once claimed to be the Son of God”

A leader in our group then brought up Matthew 16. In that passage Jesus asks Peter “Who do you say I am?” Peter responds “You are the Messiah, Son of the living God” (Matthew 16:16) Jesus in turn responds to Peter: “Blessed are you, Simon, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you but my Father in Heaven.”

I thought to myself, well that is a strange way for Christ to NOT claim divine Sonship. If He weren’t the Son of God He should have rejected Peter’s confession. But instead Christ not only calls Peter “Blessed!” he says in effect, “This is not fabricated in your own mind, rather it is a revelation from God Himself.”

If I asked a student in my math class, “Who do you say I am?” and he/she responds “The very Son of God.” How certifiably crazy would it be for me, merely a man and math teacher, to refute that by saying: “Blessed are you, for God Himself has revealed and confirmed that to you!”

A few months later into my freshmen year of college I found myself conversing with a pleasant group of Jehovah Witnesses. One of the proof texts JW’s use (and skeptics in general) to prove Christ denied His own deity is Mark 10:18, where Christ responds to the inquiring young ruler:

“Why do you call me good? No one is good but God.”

Apparently to some Jesus was not only calling Himself not God here, he was also calling Himself not good. But He is clearly doing neither (Christ calls Himself the “Good Shepherd” in John 10:11). Read the context of the story all the way through. It is a bit ridiculous for Christ to command the Rich Young Ruler to forsake everything and follow Him in obedience in verse 21 if He just called Himself not good. To the contrary, Christ is teaching by questioning as He commonly does. By this question Jesus is actually inviting the prideful man to consider the fullness of who He really was. The young man initially calls Christ “good teacher”, yet the chap clearly doesn’t affirm His deity. Christ is in effect saying, don’t call me “good” unless you’re ready to accept the full implications of such a claim. I’ll show you how good I am when you make me Lord of your life and forsake everything holding you back from believing on me (Mark 10:21) Mark 10:18-21 shows that both goodness and God-ness dwell in the person of Christ. Unfortunately, it is clear the only goodness the young man affirmed was his own inherent goodness (10:19).

This shows that Christ doesn’t just want to be called a mere “good teacher”, He wants to be the absolute sovereign Lord over our whole lives (another claim to deity).

To The Ancient Jewish Ear He Claimed Deity

A casual reader of Scripture would concede that the firsthand followers of Christ claimed Him divine (like John in John 1:1, or the skeptic Thomas in John 20:28). Even God Himself claims the Son to be “God” in Hebrews 1:8 (there is no greater endorsement than that!). But skeptics of the doctrine want Christ to literally have said “I am God.” Well, interestingly He doesn’t say “I am Jewish” or “I am man” either. He also never said “I am actually the archangel Michael” (as JW’s do) or “I am actually a manifestation of the pagan myth of Mithra-ism” (as skeptics do). So I’m glad He cleared those modern day claims up for us too, right?

Right?

Actually, Christ still claimed deity, and He did it in a way that would have left no wiggle room of objection for those listening.

In reality, even the uneducated peasants and fishermen of Israel knew exactly what Christ was claiming; and He didn’t keep it much of a secret at all.

I would say in terms of ancient Jewish law, the charge of blasphemy (claiming himself to be equal to God) was one of the very reasons Jesus Christ was put to the Roman cross. The Jews had no moral or legal grounds to charge Him with, save for that one claim.

For example in John 10, Christ says:  “I and the Father are one.” The leaders of the Jews were ready to kill Him right there. Why? “Because you,” they said, “a mere man, claim to be God” (John 10:33).

It’s interesting that Christ never rebukes them of this charge though it comes up again and again in the gospels.

On another occasion (this may be the most scandalous one), Christ used the personal name of Israel’s God–the sacred name revealed to Moses (“I AM that I AM” in Exodus 3:14)–to refer to Himself. And He even used the Torah for context, so no one would misunderstand Him. Christ said: “Before Abraham was, I AM” (John 8:58). Not only is Christ claiming to pre-exist the ancestral father of the Jewish nation, He is claiming equal divinity with the God of Israel, the Lord of heaven and earth. The utterly shocked Jewish leaders knew exactly what He was claiming, because after bowing in reverence to the personal holy name of God, they then “took up stones to kill Him” (John 8:59) 

This would be about as crazy as telling a Muslim, “I am your God, Allah.”

Again, Jesus never rebukes the charge of blasphemy.

“Son Of Man” Is a Claim To Deity

Jesus claimed to be the “Son of Man” numerous times in the gospels which was a claim to deity itself (Matt 26:63-64) . Son of Man is an OT reference that comes from Daniel 7:13-14, just read the insane implications of Christ’s deity from that reference :

“In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence. He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all peoples, nations and men of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed.”

Jesus says He was the One given this authority, glory, and sovereign power in this Old Testament verse, and the Jews of the day, even the common man knew what “Son of Man” meant: He was identifying Himself as the divine Messiah figure of Daniel 7.

Consider the case before the Sanhedrin high court, where Jesus is being questioned right before His execution (Mark 14:60-63)

   Again the high priest asked him, “Are you the Messiah, the Son of the Blessed One?”

“I am,” said Jesus. “And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.”

The high priest tore his clothes. “Why do we need any more witnesses?” he asked. “You have heard the blasphemy.”

The High priest and everyone in attendance knew what Christ was claiming. Christ’s message about His own divinity is clear and simple in the gospels. Those who would persist otherwise have revealed they would rather cherish a lie than find truth.

This isn’t really even the tip of the iceberg

We could go on all day with Christ’s divine claims. On top of regularly receiving public worship and never rebuking the people for it (Luke 5:20-24) Jesus also personally claimed:

He is the “Lord of the Sabbath” (Mark 2:28) Blasphemous!

He is “Living Water” (John 7:38)  Blasphemous!

He is “The Bread Of Life” (John 6:35) Blasphemous!

He is “The Way, The Truth, and The Life” (John 14:6) Blasphemous!

He has God’s authority to “forgives sins” (Mark 2:10) Blasphemous!

He is “The resurrection and the life” (John 11:25) Blasphemous!

One of His more audacious prophetic claims to deity that Christ made was that though man may destroy His body “in three days I will raise it up.” (John 2:19) What mere man promises to raise Himself from the dead? And most importantly, He made good on that promise (post forthcoming as to why I believe that).

Wow.

Either this was a deluded blasphemous insane schizoid or lying possessed demoniac…OR He was who He said He was: The divine Son of God. There is nothing “good” or “moral” about making such claims if they are all patently untrue. I’ll defer to the words of the indispensable CS Lewis in conclusion:

“A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic – on the level with a man who says he is a poached egg – or he would be the devil of hell. You must take your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God: or else a madman or something worse.

You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.”

Bryan Daniels

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Author: Bryan Daniels

I am a follower of Jesus, a husband to Jessica, and a father of three boys: Josiah, Gideon and Judah. I teach high school math as a job, read reformed theology as a hobby, and write this blog just for kicks. With the rest of my time I coach football and track.

122 thoughts on “Jesus Was Deranged, Deceptive, Or The Divine Son”

  1. I like your very first sentence: “About a year after Christ coming to me…” Our preacher just reminded us yesterday we don’t go find God and make salvation happen. It is all Christ.

  2. “Either this was a deluded blasphemous insane schizoid or lying possessed demoniac…OR He was who He said He was: The divine Son of God.”

    Ah, the wonderful words of semantics.
    Rather post the etymology of these claims and not merely the standard (mis)interpretation.

    However, the most important issue is not really whether you interpret Jesus’ words to suit your belief but rather was he an historial person?
    And, like Moses, based on the evidence (secular as well as biblical) the answer is a resounding and emphatic, no.
    If you ..or anyone reading this has any evidence to the contrary then please provide. Akthough I would caution anyone who is certain to copyright this evidence before announcing it.
    Maybe someone should start with clearing up the erroneous claim of ‘Jesus of Nazareth?’

    Anyone up for the challenge?

    1. I can see why you would think the way that you do. I have no intention of disrespecting you, or even trying to convince you of what I believe. Rather I want to simply present some evidence as asked for. 🙂

      I really don’t have time to properly present what you have asked for. However, I know of an excellent documentary film that presents some of the best evidence I’ve ever heard put together. This film is called The Case For Christ, by Lee Strobel. You can find it on Netflix.

      Are you willing to watch it with an open mind? I’m not judging you in any way, I was in your position years ago. 🙂

      1. I wouldn;t give Lee Strobel the time of day. Well, this is not true, I have in the past, but although he claims to be agnostic his methodology is flawed,basing his assumptions on known material t substantiate his claim of an historical Jesus and he cannot provide a single piece of contemporary evidence.
        I am surprised you would pick Strobel as a ‘witness’ for your case as although he believes Jesus existed (but provides NO evidence, other than what can be called at best,circumstantial) he doesn’t believe Jesus performed miracles.
        So, you pick a man to ‘back’ your historicity belief but in the same breath would dismiss and probably deride him because he doesn’t believe JC was your god.
        Somewhat hypocritical, albeit par for the reborn course , I am sorry to say.

        Anyone else you’d like to offer up?
        And let’s forget Josephus, Tacitus and Seutonious; all three accounts have more holes than a kitchen sieve.

        1. Wrong again.
          Strobel began as an agnostic but became a believer (evangelical one at that) after doing his investigation of the claims of Christianity. He definitely believes in miracles, I know that in the “Case for Faith” he has a chapter dedicated to just that.

          1. You 100% correct. My humble apologies. I was actually thinking of Bart Ehrman.
            Why I got confused with Strobel I don’t know. Old age maybe?:)
            I still wouldn’t trust Strobel, btw. But I shall look into the film.

      2. I must apologise. I was thinking of Bart D. Ehrman. I shall look into Stroble’s film, yet have read him and can’t say he bring anything new at all to the party.

    2. I’m not intepreting Jesus words, I’m letting Him speak for Himself with an abundance of Scriptural references. One of your arguments a few days back was that Jesus never claimed divine Sonship based on his words in Mark 10:18. Now you’re making the illogical jump that He never even existed?

      Well, then who uttered the words of your proof text in Mark 10:18?

      Ark you are a true minority, even among secular scholarship, if you make the claim that the historical man named Jesus didn’t even exist.

      Peace and grace.

      1. These two issues are not related. The fact that Jesus did not say he was god has nothing to do with the fact that based on evidence he did not exist.

        My assertion concerning the erroneous claim is based on what is contained in Mark.
        Mark 1O:18 still stands,’as is’ and no amount of ‘interpretation’ will resolve another answer.

        There is no illogical jump. One is based on literary merits the other based on historical evidence. Two seperate issues.

        “Ark you are a true minority, even among secular scholarship, if you make the clam that the historical man named Jesus didn’t even exist.”

        You think so? *Smile*

        Maybe in the 19th century, but not these days, I’m afraid. You ought to read more.

        1. Wrong. Absolutely no verse stands alone (context is king when interpreting). Every verse is a part of an intricate passage, book, Testament, and redemption story. You are basing nothing on “literary merits” if you ignore this. The literary evidence of Christ’s claims overwhelmingly stands against you here. Your whole hermeneutic is faulty.

          The point of bringing it up is this: If there is no historical Christ then why debate the literary merit of His fake words?

      2. chiefofleastFollowingApr 16, 11:47 am
        “Wrong. Absolutely no verse stands alone (context is king when interpreting). Every verse is a part of an intricate passage, book, Testament, and redemption story.”
        Sorry. This is incorrect. The gospels are small stories originally passed on from oral tradition and often use ‘connecting phrases’ such as “Straight away” or “Immediately” – go through the gospels, you will see. This was done to create the impression of continuity. There is no sense of real time in the narrative, thus dates are merely alluded to in most cases, and nothing can be verified.

        “You are basing nothing on “literary merits” if you ignore this. The literary evidence of Christ’s claims overwhelmingly stands against you here. Your whole hermeneutic is faulty.”
        I am basing my assertion on what is written. Nothing more, nothing less. Jesus’ supposed quote in Mark is not ambiguous at all, whereas almost every other referral to his supposed divinity is.

        “The point of bringing it up is this: If there is no historical Christ then why debate the literary merit of His fake words?”
        I see no conflict here as the issues are separate. One can criticize the merit of the contents of any book. Just because I do, does not mean that I believe the figures in the book are real people. And for the record, I do not believe Jesus existed, he was merely a narrative construct. Maybe he was a composite from other mythological characters from Jewish history or similar, but an actual historical character? Not a chance.

        1. Son of Man is an unambiguous reference to deity unless you ignore Daniel 7. “I AM” is an unambiguous reference to deity unless you ignore Exodus 3:14. You ignore everything and persist to isolate one verse (where Christ certainly doesn’t say “I am not God”) for your own claims.

          “Not a chance” of Christ’s existence? I’m sorry ark, but all your claims will have little weight with such absolute statements based on internet research or faulty Discovery Channel pronouncements. I can at least understand Nate’s view that Jesus probably existed and some facts of His life picked up some supernatural elements over time.

          But yours I’ll have to continue to reject. Peace and grace if you want the last word on it.

      3. “Son of Man is an unambiguous reference to deity unless you ignore Daniel 7. “I AM” is an unambiguous reference to deity unless you ignore Exodus 3:14. You ignore everything and persist to isolate one verse (where Christ certainly doesn’t say “I am not God”) for your own claims.”
        There is NO evidence for Moses, – plus the full quote is ambiguous – and the Daniel ref.? What’s the connection or relevance to Jesus?

        “Not a chance” of Christ’s existence? I’m sorry ark, but all your claims will have little weight with such absolute statements based on. I can at least understand Nate’s view that Jesus probably existed and some facts of His life picked up some supernatural elements over time. ”
        “internet research or faulty Discovery Channel pronouncements” Hmm, now who’s getting a bit ad hominem?
        I’ll meet you half way. Find me a secular piece of writing that backs your claims of Deityship based on the Son of Man claim.

        “But yours I’ll have to continue to reject. Peace and grace if you want the last word on it”.
        Of course you will reject it. To do otherwise would shatter the illusion. Again, it matters not in the end as we are debating the merits of a narrative construct.

    3. Ok, fair enough, although you are wrong about Strobel. Don’t listen to him, listen to and evaluate what the other people say about Christ in that documentary.
      As for Christ claiming to be God, its right there in black and white…in the bible. There are many goof references in the above article you share.
      At the end of the day, you don’t want to look at the evidence with objectivety. I can give you all the “evidence” I want to, it won’t matter if you are not willing to objectively look at it.

      Think about this…no other writing in history, including secular has more copies preserved than the New Testament. No other writing has more sources outside of itself that corroborate it either.

      Look at archeological evidence…the more that’s excavated, the more they find that confirms what the bible has said all along. This is public knowledge.

      1. Re: Strobel: If tghe doccy is anything like the book then Strobel only talks with apologiests. If this is not the case , please list the names of those people. I will investigate any SECULAR reference.
        Chriust did not one claim to be god. Wht oh why do chrristians assert this? Nowhere in the Bible is Jesus quoted as satying “I AM GOD”
        I do not care what might be interpreted from what he is claimed to have said, this is subjective, but he did not say he was god.
        If you can direct me to the exact passage in any gospel where the character of jesus says, “I am god” I shall eat the bible- all of it.

        “Think about this…no other writing in history, including secular has more copies preserved than the New Testament. No other writing has more sources outside of itself that corroborate it either.”

        Then think about this: There are 30 million copies of Terry Pratchetts novels currently in circulation. At least ten million of them mention the city of Ankh Morpork and the character Sam Vimes. In England there is a housing estate in the south of England where the streeet names are named after streets in Ankh Morpork.
        Using this factual evidence it is, therefore, reasonable to conclude that in two thousand years scholars will assert that there really was a town called Ankh Morpork.
        Furthermore of the miniscule number of writers that mention anything about christianity there were at least 40, including historians, and philosophers writing at the same time that mention nothing at all.
        Would you like a list?
        You are a reborn (probably) and definitely an apologist Your belief stems from faith, not verifiable evidence.
        The bible is mostly erroneous, Jesus (based on the evidence) did not exist.
        The onus is on you(and other believers) to prove me wrong. And the fact is…you cannot. And no believer has ever been able to, even as far back as Saul of Tarsus.

      2. This isn’t my business, because it’s not my blog. But it seems to me we’d all get a lot further if we’d watch our tone a little more.

        Arkenaten, I’m also an atheist, but I feel like your comments have been just a little too inflammatory — you may not mean for them to be, so I just wanted to let you know.

      3. I’d also like to add this:

        I don’t know if Jesus ever claimed to be God or not. I tend to think the Bible makes the claim for him, but I have reason to doubt the Bible on several things, so it wouldn’t surprise me if it’s wrong here.

        As far as manuscript evidence goes, it is important that we have so many manuscripts for the Bible. But it’s also important to know that about 95% of them come from the 9th century or later. We have such an abundance because the most educated people of the time tended to be Catholic monks. It’s no wonder they spent most of their time copying scripture.

        Archaeology also tends to be a mixed bag for the Bible.

        In other words, those are all important points to consider, but I don’t think either side should act as though these are slam-dunk issues.

        Just my opinions — I’ll back out now. 🙂 Thanks for stirring such a great discussion, Bryan.

        1. For the record, Nate, I think you’re pretty spot on about archaeological claims. Everything I read from the past 100 years of work first supports the Bible’s record, then denies it, then supports it, etc. etc. That circle will probably keep spinning on in to eternity. I believe the biblical record to be historical but our “evidence” in the archaeological field seems to be cyclical in meaning about every 25 years.

      4. You cherry pick verses and then say they support your argument. You have to read the bible in context, which you are not doing.

        Moses asked God in the O.T. what he should call Him. God replied, “I AM”. Now in the N.T., Jesus clearly called Himself I AM. If that is not a clear declaration of Deity, then I don’t know what is. Because you choose to view it as false because Jesus did not use the words, “I am God”, makes it no less true.

        I notice you did not reply to the archeological stuff either.

      5. @ Nate.
        Inflammatory, Me? I think the Christians have got this one down pat, I’m afraid, Nate. Any group that will outright condemn any non-believer to ‘hell’ is pretty much asking for trouble. If this isn’t a challenge to any normal person’s sensibilities then I don’t know what is.

        @Writinggomer
        “You cherry pick verses and then say they support your argument. You have to read the bible in context, which you are not doing.”
        There IS no context to the bible. It is a pastiche, with little or no historical merit whatsoever.

        “Moses asked God in the O.T. what he should call Him. God replied, “I AM”. Now in the N.T., Jesus clearly called Himself I AM. If that is not a clear declaration of Deity, then I don’t know what is. Because you choose to view it as false because Jesus did not use the words, “I am God”, makes it no less true.

        I notice you did not reply to the archeological stuff either.”

        The I AM translation in the OLD T is also ambiguous, as well you should know.
        Furthermore there is absolutely no evidence (Secular OR Biblical) to support the character of Moses anywhere.outside of the bible. Neither is there any corroborating archaelogical evidence either.
        Please do NOT bring in the Merneptah stele, unless you are honest and state you have read all the evidence of this artifact.
        Albright couldn;t find any evidence for Moses and he was a devout Christian. Have you ever read Prof. Ze’ve Herzog? Deconstructing the Walls of Jericho.

        And if the name Ron Wyatt features on your list of archaeologists (chariot wheels on the Red Sea..sheesh!) then we might as well call this discussion quits.
        Oh, and there is no archeilogcal evidence for the character of Jesus.
        The partial Pilate engraving does not count as evidence for Jesus.
        Anything else?

  3. I haven’t taken the time jump in to say anything, as I often read on the fly, but I wanted to compliment you on this post as well as your body of work as a whole. I really enjoy reading your posts!

  4. Great thoughts and insight, Bryan! Makes me think more and more about how Christ speaks about Himself through the Gospels and though I may have noticed that he never denied his deity and divine claims… it is so helpful to see them all organized in such a clear explanation! 🙂 Thanks!

  5. Nice job on your post — I enjoyed reading it. Though to be fair, CS Lewis did leave out the “legend” possibility. Or to fit your alliteration, I guess we could go with “doctored.” I do think Jesus was probably a real person, but it’s possible that the gospels aren’t 100% reliable. He may not have said the things these writers attribute to him.

    But if you leave that possibility aside, then you’re right: “deranged, deceptive, or divine” is about all your left with.

    1. Thanks Nate. I don’t want to make you blush but you maybe the most sensible atheist I’ve ever come in contact with : ) CS Lewis maybe did leave that point out in the above quote BUT he did address the “legend” claims in his other writings. I’ll look around to see if I can scrounge anything up. Peace and grace.

      1. Thanks! I might have blushed a little… 🙂

        I plan to read Mere Christianity soon as well as <The Great Divorce. I don’t know if he addresses the legend issue in there, but I know those are supposed to be very good books. If you do run across another book or article that addresses it, please let me know.

        Thanks again

      2. @ The Chief.
        Ah, Nate’s an old smoothie. I love it.
        A “sensible atheist”. Well, if that isn’t a christian oxymoron I don’t know wnat is!
        Maybe he’ll win you over with his devilish(sic) wiles and softly softly touch?
        You’ll be agreeing with himbefore long.

        1. I have no problems with being complimentary over a person’s gracious tone. I may even throw a few compliments your way, Ark, if you send me one those cake’s you keep posting pictures of! : )

      3. @ Nate.
        You’ll be waiting a long time I fear, unless the church is prepared to release the proof they have about where those stepping stones were that JC used.

  6. Bryan, thanks for the post. I think a lot of people misinterpret the “Son of Man” title. I think if we understand the Jewish roots, we will see many references that Jesus made to His deity. I believe He wasn’t holding back that fact because He didn’t want people to know, but didn’t go around shouting that He was divine because then people would become accountable to that truth; some weren’t ready. So He lovingly served and revealed Himself at the right moments.

  7. Found this on a site about the jewiash encyclopedia
    http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/13913-son-of-man#anchor3

    In the Gospels the title occurs eighty-one times. Most of the recent writers (among them being II. Lietzmann) have come to the conclusion that Jesus, speaking Aramaic, could never have designated himself as the “son of man” in a Messianic, mystic sense, because the Aramaic term never implied this meaning. Greek translators coined the phrase, which then led, under the influence of Dan. vii. 13 and the Logos gospel, to the theological construction of the title which is basic to the Christology of the Church. To this construction reference is made in Abbahu’s controversial saying in Ta’an. 65b. Indeed, examination of many of thepassages shows that in the mouth of Jesus the term was an equivalent for the personal pronoun “I.”

    E. G. H.

    Seems pretty concise.

    1. I love that you use a Jewish source to refute a Christian claim. Never would have figured you a Jewish/Monotheist apologist : ) What if I quote from the “Christian” encyclopedia that has a different rendering of “Son of Man” would you accept that translation? No. Oh, but a Jewish source (that of course would deny Christ’s claim to divinity) is more objective than a Christian one I guess?

      Alas, no one has a dog in the race but Christians (you may believe)

      If we are accepting the scholarship of said encyclopedia then let’s digest this together under the tab “Moses”:

      “The great majority of modern scholars, however, though differing in details, hold not only to the reality of Moses as a historical character, but to the reality of his magnificent work as stated. This is the position of Wellhausen (“I. J. G.” pp. 13 et seq.), W. R. Smith (“Old Test. in the Jewish Church,” 2d ed., pp. 333 et seq.), Kittel (“Hist. of the Hebrews,” i. 238 et seq.), Cornill (“Hist. of the People of Israel,” pp. 41 et seq.), Budde (“Religion of Israel to the Exile,” pp. 12 et seq.), Guthe (“Gesch. des Volkes Israel,” pp. 19 et seq.), A. B. Davidson (“Theology of the Old Test.” p. 110), McCurdy (“History, Prophecy, and the Monuments,” ii. 92 et seq.), Kent (“Hist. of the Hebrew People,” i. 36 et seq.), Barton (“Sketch of Semitic Origins,” pp. 272, 291 et seq.), J. P. Peters (“The Old Test. and the New Scholarship,” pp. 116 et seq., and “The Religion of Moses,” in “Jour. Bib. Lit.” 1901, xx. 101 et seq.), Paton (“Early Hist. of Syria and Palestine,” pp. 137 et seq.), and H. P. Smith (“Old Test. History,” pp. 55-65). Such a consensus of opinion is significant”

      Seems pretty concise. And damning to your previous claims about the Moses myth.

      This Jewish Encyclopedia speaks of Christ as a historical figure too, because it is an historical fact impossible to deny, even amongst Jews who would reject His divine messiahship.

      The JE also shares a few interesting thoughts about ancient Jewish burial customs that may not jive with your Necropolis/No Nazareth conspiracy theory too. Read the work all the way through. When you convert to Judaism we at least got you pointing in the right direction.

      1. Yes, offering up the Jewish Encyclopaedia quote was a tad naive and somewhat silly; a bit like offering up a sacrificial lamb to a vegetarian and I had my backside chewed because of it – and rightly so!
        This discussion is rapidly becoming circular so I suggest we stay as close to recognised, verifiable facts as we possibly can.
        Re: the Nazareth claims. This you will find interesting, I’m sure: http://www.nazarethmyth.info/scandalsix
        In particular the section pertaining to the claims of a house from the time of Jesus’ . Please read it through. It really is worthwhile, especially the mention that the official archaeological report has been withdrawn.
        So, as far as facts go, can you produce any irrefutable evidence to substantiate your claims about Jesus? Namely:
        He existed
        He was god incarnate
        He has resurrected and ascended to heaven.
        I realise you don’t have to, as what you believe is based on faith, but it would be nice if you would.

      2. BTW. Read as much as I could, but couldn’t find the ref. to ancient Jewish Burial rites. Could you be more specific?
        The stuff about Jesus is mostly legendary and appears to derive from the Talmud, if I’m not mistaken.
        If you could point me to a contemporary Jewish account of Jesus this would help.
        Far as I know there isn’t any, but i may be mistaken.

        1. I think it was under the “Burial” tab of the JE. It seemed to indicate to me that ancient Jews didn’t really have any qualms about burying their dead and living in close proximity to it (regardless of ritual “uncleanness). I’ll look into the other things you posted, I’ve got two jobs during the day and two boys to take care of at night so don’t worry if my response lags from time to time (it’s enough for me to attempt to blog a post semi daily).

      3. I found this.under the buriel tab you suggested in the JE.

        the rule was that the burial-place should be at least fifty cubits distant from the city (B. B. ii. 9; Luke vii. 12); but it was often placed in a garden (John xix. 41), with flowers planted around (Ṭoh. iii. 7). In those old family sepulchers of Palestine the interment did not take place immediately, but the body was left in the sepulchral chamber for some time until it was reduced to a mere skeleton, and then the bones were collected anew, wrapped in linen clothes, tied closely together like mummies, and then solemnly interred (Yer. M. Ḳ. i. 80d; Sem. xii., xiii.).

        “Most writers believe the Biblical cubit to be 18 inches (457mm)” (Ref 1, p181).”

        Therefore, a minimum of 22.85 metres away.

        or:

        1 royal Egyptian cubit = 20.59 inches or 523 millimeters – 26.15 metres.

        Maybe Rene Salm was onto something?

  8. Chief,Nate,
    The oldest complete manuscript was not from the 9th century, but the 3rd century A.D.- The Codex Sinaiticus. It is now available to view online, as well as the Dead Sea scrolls, in digitzed format. You can link it from my post, on Ancient Manuscripts and the Accuracy of the Bible.
    This would also mean that Christ’s claims about Himself as God are true.
    From a literary standpoint, nobody would make up stories about a leader who rode a donky’s colt, cried, “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me!”,write and record that the leader of thier religion was accused of being fatherless, and then die for Him if it was not true. They would have never written it that way unless it was true. “A Story So Fantastic it Must Be True”.

    1. Why? The story of Hercules reads as if it could be about an actual person, as do many characters from history – Jason is another that comes to mind – yet they are merely myth, and you would never suggest otherwise, would you?
      And what about Mithra?
      Only Christians take this myopic, blinkered approach to their own religion and the histrocity of Jesus.
      To quote a line from the movie, Life of Brian: “Because it’s written, that’s why.”

    2. “From a literary standpoint, nobody would make up stories about a leader who rode a donky’s colt, cried, “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me!””

      I don’t recall the character of Jesus crying, ‘My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?’ whilst riding a donkey? Do you have a different bible to me?
      But then,perhaps JC was hoping for a horse?
      Probably this was it, yes?
      Didn’t want to make an ‘ass’ of himself as he rode into Jerusalem.
      Shouldn’t have trusted those darn disciples then, should he? Sigh, it’s the same story everywhere: You want something done right, do it yourself.

    1. I think you meanTutankamen was the son of Akhenaten, don’t you? Unless Tut produced kids at such a young age?
      And yes, it is an odd choice, I agree. But life is like that sometimes, I guess.
      Long live Aten….LOL!

    1. I’ll check it out — thanks for the link. I already have a long history with Christianity though, just so you know. I was a devout Christian for many years and took it very seriously. It was my further study into it that finally led me out of it. However, I do think it’s important to always keep an open mind, so I’ll definitely check out the link.

      Thanks again

  9. Powerful words.. I’ve enjoyed reading..
    However, I’ve almost more enjoyed reading through the comments below.. you’ve sparked some great conversation and I think you’d agree

  10. Stupidly I pressed ‘enter’ by mistake!
    I enjoyed your post and enjoyed the conversation below.. for me, there is no question of Jesus’ historical existence, and I have to say I’ve not been aware of these arguments… However, arguing the historical accuracy is one thing, but the real evidence we have, and that can be experienced by anyone who asks for it, is the relational evidence of current experience with this figure of God through Faith… There’s a reason we need Faith.. because it requires trust and choice.. everything God said he’d give us… Yeah, He could just appear and the choice would be taken from us, but that’s not what He wants..
    It’s important to understand our history… but as well as historical context, we have the context of our relationship today…
    Thanks Bryan, really enjoyed your post! Beccy

    1. “There’s a reason we need Faith.. because it requires trust and choice.. everything God said he’d give us… Yeah, He could just appear and the choice would be taken from us, but that’s not what He wants.”

      May I ask what exactly does this comment mean?

      1. arkenaten,
        Here are answers to your previous arguments that you would not post on your sight, Unlike what Bryon is doing, you would not post my answers on your site.
        A loving God does not send people to Hell, Satan wanted to be ,”Like God”, as recorded in Isaiah 14 and lead a rebellion, He and 1/3 of the angels were banished from heaven and Hell was created for their eternal judgement. Then Satan, used pride to lure mankind into the same eternal judgement as himself by tempting mankind to commit the same error. He told Eve the forbidden fruit would make her and Adam, “Like God”, and now our just Creator must condemn man to the same eternal fire as Satan.
        Then God, who operates not first and foremost from power, but from love, came to become a man Himself in the personage of Jesus Christ, to live a perfect life that we cannot, and be worthy to pay the debt that we cannot. And He paid the debt we owed Him and satisfied His perfect Holiness for us by going to a cruel cross and letting those He died for crucify Him.
        You see, you had no choices before Jesus came.
        Now you have an escape. But you are not forced to take it.

        A just God made Hell for Satan.
        The same God is love, and died for us.
        This is also a partial answer to the question of suffering, which has also come up.
        Now we live in a fallen cursed and temporary world filled with longing and care.
        Since God lived as a human being and died to pay our debt because He ,”so loved the world”, we at least know He is not insensitive to our condition.

        What else do you have ark, this is fun.

        1. “Here are answers to your previous arguments that you would not post on your sight, Unlike what Bryon is doing, you would not post my answers on your site.”
          Er…excuse me? I am supposed to put up answers on my own blog site? Don’t follow. I always understood it was good manners to answer questions on the same site and follow the thread.
          Maybe I’m missing something here?
          You know atheists are a bit slow on the uptake, not believing in gods and all that. It must cause a form of dementia, perhaps?
          Right, where were we?
          “A loving God does not send people to Hell,” A direct quote from you.
          I think I’ll stop right here if you don’t mind as the rest of your comment is nothing more than polemic, and all the info re: Satan, His Knibbs, etc is mostly gleaned from the bible and church teaching. So, one can’t really trust either. Well, one can of course, but it would be a little silly to do so at face value.
          To respond, then:
          So if I don’t believe in God – which I most certainly do not – you consider that it will be ‘just deserts’ that your loving god sends me to Hell?
          Or, because he is a loving god he will merely shrug his metaphorical shoulders, have a little tantrum and say, “Tough-Titty for you fish face” and simply bar me entry in Heaven?
          Please excuse me if I sound flippant, but I am struggling to type and keep a straight face.
          Anyhow, over to you…..

      2. Hi CCT,

        It seems to me that the problems you’re addressing are much more complicated than you made them seem. In the same paragraph, you said that God operates from love, but that he also must send sinful man to Hell because he’s just. I’ve yet to run across a definition for Hell that makes me think sentencing someone there would be either just or loving — but hey, that’s just me. Maybe eternal torture justifies as “tough love” for some people. Of course, since most Christian traditions believe that there’s no escape from Hell, it’s hard to see what purpose it serves other than to inflict agony.

        To say that Jesus gives us a free choice between Heaven and Hell is a little silly. Who would purposefully choose the latter? If I tell my child that she can choose what we have for dinner, but then tell her that if she chooses anything other than chicken she’ll be grounded for a month, have I really given her a free choice?

        These comments would probably work better in another thread. Sorry Bryan, if we’re hijacking your post.

        1. I thought only the religiously inclined went in for hijacking for religious reasons?
          As atheists,you and I are model citizens.
          At least Bryan is getting zillions of hits. 🙂

      3. It means that I believe that we have a choice…
        Live as WE wish here on Earth and receive our rewards now (money, power, whatever) OR… wait, live according to how He has shown us and receive our rewards later in a better place…

        Each of us has a choice in what we wish to believe. I have no right to demand that you change your views to mine, as you do not have the right to insult or make demands of me…

        My statement is saying that I have found that there are times in life when we all need a little faith. And the rewards for my faith have been great, that is my experience.

      4. Ah, fair enough. Each to his or her own as the saying goes. No probs.
        Everyone is entitled to believe what they wish. It only becomes an issue when said beliefs impact on others against their will.
        Like 9/11 for example.
        Or when Creationists inculcate childeren and demand a change in Law to promote an erroneous belief system.
        Belief does not always equal truth.
        My main issue with religon, and in this case Christianity , is the credo that if one does not believe one is going to hell. Now for me, I take this nonsense with a pinch of salt, but when it is promoted to children who do not know any better this is insidious, and should be stopped.
        Even Chief f the Least (Bryan) subscribes to this view and should his kids ask he will tell them that they will go to Hell if they do not believe in the christian credo that Jesus is god.
        I find this very difficult to swallow.

  11. “It is sobering to realize that in all of recorded history, for the first century the closest we have to historical support for the Gospels’ picture of Christ are an outright forgery [Josephus’ Testimonium], and a single disputed line that in all likelihood refers to someone else entirely… they are quite literally all there is [emphasis in original] to historically support the Bible’s account of Jesus in the first century. Yet how can this be? Jesus was supposed to have been bigger than the Beatles, single-handedly capturing the attention of all Judea and Galilee, and as far afield as Syria and the Decapolis. The gospels claim his teachings enraptured multitudes and outraged the establishment… if nothing else his (allegedly) controversial, (allegedly) new teachings alone should have left an impact in the historical record.”
    David Fitzgerald: Nailed: Ten Christian Myths that show Jesus did not exist at all.

    1. Since you insist we use secular/atheist sources here is one from your team. Ehrman calls himself an “agnostic with atheist leanings” (def not a reborn as you say) You really should read his book, Ehrman makes the point, as I do, that the Jesus mythers are still a very small minority in real secular scholarship (though maybe not on the internet debate boards).

      “The fact that [the gospel writers’] books later became documents of faith has no bearing on…whether the books can still be used for historical purposes. To dismiss the Gospels from the historical record is neither fair nor scholary.” (p 73)

      1. I think you should check my comments; I’m pretty sure I said Ehram was a christian apologetic, not a reborn.
        The fact that Jesus mythers are a small minority means what? That they are wrong merely because of concencus? Naughty Bryan. I credited you with a bit more savvy than to throw something like this in the pot.
        Remember, the burden of proof is on the one who claims, no the one who rebuts.
        And the quote pertaining to the veracity of the gospels? What is that for?
        It is merely an opinion. Besides, no one, least of all me, is dismissing the Gospels from the historical record. And neither do I dismiss Hercules from the historical record. Or Alice in Wonderland for that matter. In fact I hold all three in the same regard.
        And in each there is historical merit.
        But this isn’t what you are driving at, I know.
        I suggested you go read Rene Salm, the myth of Nazareth.
        If you haven’t yet, then he is well worth the effort.
        You might not agree – in fact you probably wont, but his argument is impeccable.

        1. So now you are admitting you are a true minority? Beautiful. You just said earlier when I referenced this:

          “You think so? *Smile*

          Maybe in the 19th century, but not these days, I’m afraid. You ought to read more.”

          I’m glad I’ve convinced you otherwise at so soon a juncture, there is hope after all.

          I “ought to read more” what (as you say)? Atheist message board fodder you count as absolute truth? Or actual historical biblical scholarship? I’ll cast my lot with historical biblical scholarship, both secular and otherwise, that says the Jesus mythers are still a fringe minority with little or no claim on historical truth (that scholarship matters no matter how you deflect its implications).

          Price is not on my team. He identifies as an atheist so I don’t see how this is even a comparison to Ehram who CURRENTLY identifies as an atheist.

          I thought you to be more savvy then that when interpreting why I shared the quote.Read the book and you will see Ehram is not just saying you can glean some things from the Bible historically like you can Alice and Wonderland. Bart is saying you can use the Bible as a reliable historical source to prove there was a historical figure named Jesus. And he doesn’t just say that, but as an agnostic gives a litany of other reasons.

          The only reason I bring up Ehrman is because of your begging for “secular sources” and past assertion that any biblical history scholar that identifies with a Christian worldview is already disqualified from being “objective.” Just trying to play nice within Ark’s rules….

      2. Oh, re: the secular assertion. Here’s one for your side, in a manner of speaking. Robert M. Price.
        Go look him up.

      3. Yes, this is the problem with writing, one must be extremely careful what one commited to text. Sigh.
        You wrote that Jesus mythers were, “Jesus mythers are still a very small minority in real secular scholarship (though maybe not on the internet debate boards).”
        I paid particular attention to the phrase : “very small minority…” and my ref. to the 19th century suggested this was in true fact.
        I did NOT say they are still not in the minority -a ridiculous assertion otherwise your religion would have already crumbled around your ears- I am stating that there are a lot more people who accept the likliehood that the Jesus of the bible was a mythical character .
        I hope this has cleared up any ambiguitry on my part. I apologise if you grabbed hold of the stick and went beating about the burning bush with it.
        I will try to be exact in my phrasing in future – but thanks for pointing it out.
        We learn as we grow.

      1. Hold your horses CCT, we’re still debating biblical issues. We’ll get to philosphy a bit later. But you go ahead and contemplate all the flowers you want.

      2. Okay Ark.
        I will.When we observe nature we feel a connection.

        But I fear many go through life looking away from beauty and try to avoid the message evoked through natural wonders.

        Yet, If we contemplate natural beauty long enough, we can hear it calling to a deep longing within our souls.

        It is God, creator of all that is, calling us back to Him through His attributes that are reflected in His creation.

        So when you look at a flower, try to take it all in.

        Try to let all its meaning fill your soul.

        Consider the fact that God made it for a reason, and that you see something in each flower that resonates meaning to you.

        Such beauty defies our ability to describe it fully.

        Add to that the cent of the Rose, Gardenia, or that of many kinds of flowers, and we are well beyond a logical description of the purpose and reason for the existence of flowers.

        The purpose for the beauty and fragrant cent of the Rose is for you to know that our creator is calling each of us to Himself.

        God is love, and flowers are a universal way for mankind to communicate our love to others with flowers.

        We have already made the connection.

        We already know the message and meaning for why flowers exist.

        God made them as a means to communicate a message to each of us.

        The message flowers convey to us is, ”God is Love, and He longs for you to know and Love Him as He loves you. “

        As the flowers pedals beckon, so God’s arms are open wide and He beckons us to Him.

        He has shown the full measure of how much He loves us in the Cross of Christ.

        “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)The link below is a perfect example of the natural message communicated to us through creation.

        Go ahead, Dare to Contemplate the Universal Sense of Meaning in A Flower.

        Click the link below.

        http://vimeo.com/vorobyoff/flowers

      3. Hi CCT,

        I’d also ask what message we’re being sent by things like the digger wasp, which paralyzes but doesn’t kill other insects, so that its larva can feed on them? The venom doesn’t contain an anesthetic, so the victim is sure to feel everything.

        Or what about the Japanese giant hornet? 30 of them can wipe out a hive of 30,000 European honey bees in a matter of hours. And if you’re stung by one (and better hope it’s just one), you have to be hospitalized. About 40 people die from their stings each year, making it the most deadly animal in Japan.

        What’s the sense of meaning in those animals? What’s the sense of meaning in a tsunami? If we’re going to say the beauty in the world proves God, what does the horror in it prove?

    1. Nate,
      Good info.
      Christians know the condition you call into question,”The Curse”.
      When mankind sinned our perfect world was marked by death, suffering and toil.
      But God made a way to escape by offering Himself in the personage of Christ.
      You believe when you die, that’s the end, right?
      We believe we go from life to life.
      We call it our blessed hope.
      Nothing that happens in this life can touch that.
      We are secure even though we suffer here.

      Nate, How do you cope with the lack of meaning and hopelessness of your worldview?

      1. Hi CCT,

        Are you saying you believe these animals exist because of man’s sin? Does that mean mankind also has the power to create life?

        I appreciate your question about hopelessness and lack of meaning, because I think you are sincerely curious. But I can assure you that I don’t find life hopeless or devoid of meaning. My wife is a nurse in a labor and delivery department. A few months ago, a family came in because they could no longer feel their baby move. They were right at the end of the pregnancy — about 36 weeks. So far, the pregnancy had been great; the mother and baby both appeared healthy at every visit. In fact, just a day or two before, they had come in for a visit, and the baby was doing great. But one night, the mother noticed that she hadn’t felt her baby move for a little while. When they got to the hospital, they found out the baby was dead. No one knew why. She still had to go through labor, but all the while knowing that her child wasn’t alive. It was very sad, as I’m sure you can imagine. The family and the nursing staff were all crying during the ordeal.

        To me, it’s hard to see God in that scenario. It’s hard to understand why things like that happen. How do you rationalize a good and loving God with that kind of sorrow and suffering (I’m asking rhetorically — you don’t have to answer)?

        From my perspective, this is a horribly tragic event. I was very sad when my wife told me about it. But at the same time, I don’t believe there’s someone watching over all of this. So I don’t find it surprising that things like this sometimes happen — it’s just the way life works. Understanding that actually makes me feel better.

        Thanks

  12. Ark,
    Flowers are natural, right?
    We can look at them from a biological or scientific perspective, right?
    So why is it that we give them as tokens of love?
    Where did that come from Ark?
    And why do we all come to the same conclusion in regards to the meaning conveyed as we gaze at them?
    There must be a single source to it all.
    At funerals, we pay our respects and offer them as a means to console those who grieve.
    Ark, tell me you understand what I’m trying to say, because all of us know this about these natural wonders.

  13. God left signs in His creation that point us to Him.
    We make painting of such, and photographs of such.
    We gaze and are filled with wonder at something we recognize, but we fail to make the connection.
    All these reflect the creator’s attributes that are a residual of the original creation in its perfection.

    1. No. This is all primarily polemic. Polemic based on a belief; a primary assumption that a) God exists, and b) You think I believe but am merely denying god’s existence.
      None of this is remotely true.
      I say to you what I say to most believers who enjoy proselytizing. Whatever your problem was, and 99.9% of people normally have SOMETHING before turning to Jesus, I sympathise.
      Nate is the perfect example of a Christian who has seen the light, realising that everything that has been almost force fed him since he was a kid is nothing more than hogwash..especially the Christian/Apostle creed.
      Suggested Study: Eusebius.Church History

      1. Yeah, I have to agree. My de-conversion was not easy, and it’s not something I was looking for. I used to teach Bible classes (all age groups, including adult), I used to preach, I was in charge of scheduling teachers for our classes, I was even one of the authorized users on our checking account. I was deeply involved. In fact, I only feel like I lost my faith because I took it so seriously. The more I studied, the more problems I began to find.

        Another suggested book: The Little Handbook of Atheist Spirituality. It’s not offensive at all, and it would probably help you understand the atheist perspective a bit more.

      2. @ Nate
        Okay, checked the book out -or at least a couple f reviews and susequent comments.
        By the sound of it it is ‘soft-core’ atheism. I don;t do the tip toe approach. It is almost apologetic. And when one considers what religion has done/is still doing in the name of its ‘god’, and not just Christianity, I could care two hoots.

        “…It would probably help you understand the atheist perspective a bit more.”
        As I am an atheist I find this a bit odd that you would think I am unfamiliar with atheism. I know what atheism is, and am quite content with my own understanding. Now, where are my matches and firewood? 😉

    2. @ Nate.
      I can’t imagine what it was like for you; most conversion stories are from the other way round. But I guess, having read a few comments from your dad, amongst others, it must have been tough going for you at home (if you were still there, that is)
      I could never discuss this stuff with my mother, who is devout and wouldn’t really give me the time of day whenever I asked a question. My dad, who always had misgivings, became completely atheist after my kid brother passed many moons ago. To this day he becomes quite impassioned if the topic of religon or god is raised, yet he and mum work around their differences. She goes to church, he goes to the golf course!
      Based on his handicap, I think he needs mircales more than my mother.
      I’ll check out the book you suggest.

      1. Very sorry — I just realized how my comment looked. I was actually talking to CCT, not you. I think the book I mentioned would be good for him, since it does take a “softer” approach.

      2. Very funny about your dad’s handicap! 🙂

        I was 30 when I started to hard-core question things, and I already had 3 kids of my own by then. But my parents are very religious, and that’s how they raised us. They also taught us to study things for ourselves and not just take someone’s word for something. I really appreciate that about the way I was raised, though they never intended for me to question the actual Bible…

      3. @ Nate .
        I did wonder as I pressed Enter. No problemo, it made me laugh.
        We only have to worry when we get as many differing cults as the Christians…35,000 at the last count…and splitting all the time.
        “My non-god is better than your non-god…so there….” Smile…you gotta love religion, it is so funny.
        ‘Dominos, septicmus and whatever…”

      4. @CCT.
        Of course I feel wonder at nature. I think it is amazing.

        “If you are an accident of nature, what is your basis for moral law?
        God said He wrote it in your conscience.”
        What hyperbole; what absolute peurile drivel.
        The Jewish Law code is just one of several such codes that were around during this time.
        Have you never heard of Hammurabi?
        Moral? Lol. A christian, espouses a moral lesson to an atheist? Oh your god! What utter hypocrisy, what delusional self-centred reborn tripe.

        I would submit that a praying mantis has more sense of morality than the average christian and it is streets ahead of your average reborn.

        Your whole faith is built upon a god(Yahweh) who is portrayed in the bible as little more than a genocidal egotistical maniac.
        His ‘right-hand man’, the character, Moses, was little better. And Joshua, with Yahweh’s help, liquidated every living thing in Canaan.
        And lets not get started on the Inquisition, Crusades etc and all your wonderful Catholic buggering priests.
        And there are some modern day classics that make one’s stomach turn.
        Not least of all that nice reborn chap who murdered all those children because he was convinced of the end of the world.
        Morals? You wouldn’t understand a moral virtue if it leapt up and bit you in the backside.
        Go soak your head, you hypocritical ignoramous.
        Silly person.

        1. Maybe you would like to rephrase that Ark.
          All of us speak from a consciousness of right and wrong that can’t be denied.
          You obviously feel it to the degree that would justify outrage.
          Lets reason together.
          What say ye?

      5. Hi CCT,

        I won’t get into the morality argument here, because it’s much to big a topic. I plan to write about it soon anyway. But as far as beauty goes, I do feel awe and wonder when I look at nature. In fact, if you have time, check out this video. It’s not anti-religious in tone, but I really identify with its message, and it might help answer your question a little more.

        Thanks

        1. I’ll have a look at it Nate.
          I’m glad you and Ark both can experience awe and wonder at nature.

          Guys, just think about this.
          What is this, “wonder”, that is universal to humans?
          Where did it come from.
          This is a question for logical reasoning.

          I too apologize to Chief for getting off his original post. I simply wanted to find some common ground.
          Tough as its been getting here.

        2. Thanks Nate,
          I like Tyson’s comment that, “what we all want is connectivity. ”
          He said this in regards to collapsed stars exploding and scattering the ingredients for life that will evolve by random chance out of chaos and will one day comment on Bryan’s blogs. 🙂
          Tyson is speaking of an event that, in his thinking, would bring complex, organized intelligence into being by random chance.
          Granted, Darwin believed this happened over millions of years, but Darwin did know what we know about the complex, intelligent language at the core of all living things that we know as DNA.
          In fact, DNA is a very new scientific discovery as compared to Darwin’s theory.
          But I digress, Tyson’ s comment that we all want connection with something is exactly the same point I’m attempting to make about the universal sense of awe and wonder we all feel when we see Hubble deep space images or Columbine.
          We sense a connection to something we can appreciate, but can’t identify.
          Bono sang, “I still haven’t found what I’m looking for. ”
          John Meyer has a song with a similar lyric.
          Beethoven had his, “Immortal Beloved. ”
          And all of us feel this longing and desire for something.
          propose that our sense of awe and wonder that we experience is the part of us that God created in His image that recognizes God ‘s attributes that are reflected in His creation.

          Peace and Grace

          Thanks again for the great video Nate.

          1. Thank you — glad you enjoyed it. I would only add that scientists don’t classify evolution as random chance; natural selection isn’t merely random. DNA also provides even further evidence for evolution, but I know those weren’t the points of this thread. We can discuss some other time. 🙂

            1. “Nate,
              As far as getting off track frpm Bryans original blog, your first comment did that so why not continue?
              Good quote for you on evolution and DNA since you wanted to comment on those subjects .
              After all, Christ’s claims seem to be related to the validity of the Bible claim of God as creator.
              “It seems to me that Richard Dawkins constantly overlooks the fact that Darwin himself, in the fourteenth chapter of The Origin of Species, pointed out that his whole argument began with a being which already possessed reproductive powers. This is the creature the evolution of which a truly comprehensive theory of evolution must give some account. Darwin himself was well aware that he had not produced such an account. It now seems to me that the findings of more than fifty years of DNA research have provided materials for a new and enormously powerful argument to design.” The Late Anthony Flew- Atheist turned Theist

              1. Antony Flew actually turned deist — pretty big difference there.

                But to the point, I’m not familiar with the 14th Chapter in Origin, so I’m not completely sure what being Flew is referring to there. And I’m no expert on this subject; it’s not what led me away from Christianity. But I can tell you that gene sequencing has given a lot of support to evolution. There are long sections of our genes that we don’t use: genes for an improved sense of smell, for instance. Those genes are switched off in humans, but switched on in more primitive animals. It helps support the theory that our ancestors once used those genes. Why would a creator give us whole gene sequences that we’ll never use?

                That being said, I think one can accept the evidence for evolution and still be a Christian — many do. Maybe the theory of evolution is wrong; but the overwhelming majority of evidence (some would say all of it) supports it. Right now, it’s the best explanation.

  14. Apparently I offended someone as the last comment I made is gone.
    To Ark, and Bryan, if I offended either of you, I apologize, I certainly never meant to.
    What I said was sincere and not meant to offend or slander anyone.
    Again…I apologize for offending anyone, such is not ever my intent.

    Greg

    1. Ha ha…Me offended? You worry too much. This is cyberspace, it isn’t real and should never be taken too seriously. So, insult away..no problem.

      1. I don’t know… I differ here. I agree with Bryan’s post this morning. These issues are complicated enough as it is — if we want any chance of making an impact with our positions, we should be as tactful as possible. At least that’s how I see it.

        Of course, if you are one of the rare people who can take the offensive stuff without letting it get to you, that’s impressive. A lot of times people end up taking it too personally.

        By the way, let me add how much I’ve enjoyed all the comments on this thread. I know they’ve gotten away from Bryan’s original post, but I’ve really enjoyed everyone’s thoughts.

        1. If one considers that millions of words have been written on the subject of why ‘Only Wallys Believe in Christianity’ and millions of nitwits still believe it, then what the likes of you and I write here will likely have zilch effect.
          If a law is proscribed to force frontal lobotomy or better still, preventing kids under seventy (this age can be negotiated) from being exposed to the insidious wiles of religion, Naughty Priests and Randy Vicars then there may be hope. Until then, we will just have to put up with Veggie Dinosaurs and Ron Wyatt and his chariots on the bottom of the Red Sea. Sheesh, pass me a beer for god’s sake!

          1. Ark, I appreciate your input (I’ve let every one of your comments stand to date), but if you persist to generalize a whole group with differing opinions as “nitwits” “stupid” “traumatized” “idiots” and the like, then I will start deleting your posts. I will take the same exact action against any Christian who would do this to you.

            Peace and grace.

            1. You are absolutely right. Not every person that is a christian has been traumatized. This is an unfair generalisation. Sorry.

      2. Actually, I would take it seriously. I really do not want to insult you Ark. Talk yes, insult no. This comes from the fact that I follow Christ.
        I know you don’t believe, and that is to bad. Following Him has changed me as a person for the better, think what you want.

        As for the net, I see what you are saying, but if I am a jerk online, I’m probably going to be one in person too. I’m ONLY referring to me here, no one else.

        As for the missing comment, I now freely admit that I am an idiot…I found it! right on this post. OOOOOPS.
        Did I say I was an idiot? 🙂 🙂
        More tired then I thought I was.

  15. This is an awesome post – thank you for sharing it. May I just ask permission from you so that I could translate it into Hungarian and to put it on my blog with the original source, etc.? Writings like this are so much needed here in my country. Thank you and God bless you.

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