Kathy Part 4

I may live to regret this, but I’ve decided to extend this never-ending conversation once again.

Kathy, this time, it would be a nice change of pace if you would actually address what William has repeatedly been saying to you:

I have. Not saying i’m perfect at it or that I’m right, but the “evidences” you listed arent real evidences. And since you refuse to look at things that are counter to your current beliefs, how can you honestly speak to me about evidences?

here’s all I’ve seen you provide:

1) martyrs, even though every religion and many non-religions have them.

2) our very existence – which no one knows how that started, but even if you must land on god(s), you must go back to that book of claims to get to jesus.

3) there were miracles, but as it turns out, those dont happen today, and end up being more claims by the same men who claim they speak for god.

4) the fulfilled prophecies we’ve discussed weren’t really prophecies at all, or had to be viewed so figuratively that it’s difficult to show anything precise about them other than location (maybe) in order to claim they’re actually fulfilled.

5) 40 authors taking 1500 years to write the bible. But there’s nothing miraculous about men writing books, editing books, and being inspired to write a book or letter after reading an older book.

About that last point, if the Bible had been written by 1500 people scattered across the globe, who didn’t know one another, and they did it in 40 days, then you’d really have something incredible. But 40-ish people, all familiar with the Jewish god, and writing over a long period of time with the previous writings as reference, is not that impressive.

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1,038 thoughts on “Kathy Part 4”

  1. C’mon, Nate … do you really think anything more/new will be accomplished this time? Oh well, it keeps Arch out of trouble. ; -)

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  2. I don’t get no respect —

    My email is temporarily down, so I had to get WP to send future comments to my <in His own image email addy, but that left about 10 or so still on Yahoo, that I couldn’t access, so I got the idea to go to Nate’s site, read the ones I still hadn’t seen, and respond to them, but when I got to Kathy-3, comments were closed. SO, I’m bringing these over to Kathy four. I should be able to get all future comments.

    @Nate – “I agree, kc. I’ve seen Karen Armstrong refer to it as something similar to the ‘royal we.’” – I mentioned it as well in my second chapter of in His own image – the translation was done for King James – who, writing for a king, would leave out the concept of the Royal “We”? It would imply that their god was a lesser ruler than their king.

    @KC – “I have enjoyed the comments made by the girls here at you ! Priceless ! – They gotta sleep SOMEtime —

    And YOU, you traitor, deserve to be thrown off the highest mountain in Kansas!
    (No one who’s never been there, will ever get it –)

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  3. Nate & Kc,

    How do you explain this verse:

    Gen 1:26 Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky,..”

    kc, you said:

    ” Kathy , you are correct that Elohim has a plural usage in the OT. Show us where the Plural Usage points to a Son and a Holy Spirit ? This is certainly your intent by mentioning it at all. ”

    You take into account the other passages.. you find the CONTEXTUAL meaning. And when you do that, you see the Trinity.

    Arch,

    ““Elohim” was the collective title of the Canaanite pantheon of gods – there’s no “blatant conflict” there. The “Yahwist Source” that wrote much of Torah, came from the Southern Kingdom, closer to where the earlier Israelites joined forces with the Midianites for a time, likely 50-60 years (personified by the fictional character, “Moses” – “Baby,” in Egyptian), and acquired the Midianites’ obscure desert god, YHWH, while the “Elohist Source,” from the Northern Kingdom, located in Shechem, up near Canaan, were more heavily influenced by the Canaanite’s religion, and hence the name, “Elohim” was more often used.”

    There you go again, spouting “facts” without any back up. Post your references for these claims. I’ve already told you I don’t trust your judgment.. YOU LACK OBJECTIVITY. There are tons of books out there targeting you and everyone else here.. all who choose to reject God. They NEED to get creative in their explanations/ aka anti God propaganda.. the more convincing they are, the more books they sell.

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  4. Not sure if it’s best to reply to Kathy’s comment, or if we should all shut up to let her respond to the post… Nate, feel free to advise us.

    Kathy,

    [To KC:] You take into account the other passages.. you find the CONTEXTUAL meaning. And when you do that, you see the Trinity

    SHOW. US.

    Not “trust me, go look”. Show.

    [To arch:] There you go again, spouting “facts” without any back up. Post your references for these claims. I’ve already told you I don’t trust your judgment.. YOU LACK OBJECTIVITY. There are tons of books out there targeting you and everyone else here.. all who choose to reject God.

    I’m also interested to know where arch for this info, and you make a good point that someone making a positive claim has the burden of proof. And yet:

    – Look at the double standard you’re applying here. You’re making infinitely more grandiose claims.
    – You’ll just handwave away any sources he cites anyway, and cry “liberal atheist propaganda!” Even if it’s from a deist or something.

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  5. Nate you must be a glutton for punishment. In the event that you get a substantive response from Kathy and her small brigade, I will be waiting for that post. Till then, adios!

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  6. There you go again, spouting ‘facts’ without any back up. Post your references for these claims. – I’ve done that at least three times, Kathy, I’m tired of posting evidence you can’t be bothered to read.

    Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky,..” – clearly you’re trying to point out the “our” references, that’s how royalty speaks when they mean first person singular – read a book, Kathy, that isn’t the Bible —

    Speaking of, “so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky,..” – how good, exactly, have we gotten at telling either one of those animal groups what to do? Some rulers, huh?

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  7. About your last point Nate: “if the Bible had been written by 1500 people scattered across the globe, who didn’t know one another, and they did it in 40 days, then you’d really have something incredible.”

    Interestingly, that’s reminiscent of the Septuagint legend (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Septuagint#Legend).

    If the legend was true, it would be quite telling evidence in favour of some sort of divine hand at work. Unfortunately, the legend has nothing to do with the historical processes forming the LXX (and indeed very few Christians or Jews would say that it was a reflection of reality at all).

    The myth is where we get the name Septuagint (or LXX) from, though.
    Interestingly, Muslims have their own legends about the perfection of the formation of the Quran, which they argue points to its divine origin (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_Qur%27an)
    Unfortunately, the Bible has nothing so impressive. 😦

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  8. Ruth, shouldn’t you and Carmen and Neuro be off in the woods somewhere, stirring a big pot and chanting, “Bubble, bubble, toil and trouble –“

    No, no, no. Witchery doesn’t work that way. Be careful there, arch. You never know what might happen to you…

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  9. On a more serious note:

    I think as long as Kathy is of a mind that it is our comprehension/pride/ego and not her “evidence” there won’t be much progress in discussions.

    I would ask, though, that if my comprehension is faulty is that a thing I can be faulted for? My inability to comprehend say, theoretical physics, isn’t considered a character flaw. And it for darn sure won’t send me to hell.

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  10. “You take into account the other passages.. you find the CONTEXTUAL meaning. And when you do that, you see the Trinity.”

    Come on Kathy. At least your buddy Mike would take the time to list the other passages he was referring to even if they weren’t valid examples.

    I would agree with Nate that you should devote your entire time here in answering William’s questions.

    Don’t just say there is evidence. Provide the evidence, Kathy !

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  11. “And YOU, you traitor, deserve to be thrown off the highest mountain in Kansas!
    (No one who’s never been there, will ever get it –)”

    I’m afraid of heights, Arch ! That’s why I left Kansas for Springfield, IL. LOL

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  12. “No, no, no. Witchery doesn’t work that way. Be careful there, arch. You never know what might happen to you…”

    Great clip, Ruth ! I think Jack could play Arch in the Sequel . 🙂

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  13. Why aren’t my comments posting?” – because your god is really, REALLY pissed at you!

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  14. Cracking – if you like legends, you’re gonna love Legends of the Jews, by Louis Ginzberg. Did you know that when, in Gen 14, Abraham and his 300 ninja-shepherds chased those five, seasoned, battle-hardened Mesopotamian armies nearly the length of the Levant, 100+ year old Abe grew to nearly 80 feet tall. Each of his steps was a furlong, and by the time the ninja-shepherds caught up to him, he had the armies pretty much licked all by himself.

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  15. Geez, arch, you’re calling us (w)itches like it’s a BAD thing! 🙂” – Not at all, Carmen, I was merely suggesting that you and your cove – Ladies Aid Society might possibly have better things to do than thinking of denigrating things to say about my poor hose.

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  16. Ratamacue – when I tried your link, I got:

    Notice: Undefined variable: _reserved_categories in /nas/wp/www/cluster-2699/jewsforjudaism/wp-content/themes/jewsforjudaism/single-article.php on line 5

    Fatal error: Call to undefined function get_the_main_title() in /nas/wp/www/cluster-2699/jewsforjudaism/wp-content/plugins/jews-for-judaism/centers-helpers.php on line 123

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  17. Don’t just say there is evidence. Provide the evidence, Kathy !

    KC, you’ve been gone, and obviously didn’t see my list:

    Words that Kathy Doesn’t Understand

    1. Objectivity
    2. Proof
    3. Fact
    4. Evidence
    5. Compelling
    6. Debate
    7. Truth

    Would you believe that while you were gone, I was accused of “Jackassery“? A new phrase was coined, just for me!

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  18. I think their site is having issues. In the meantime you can try the Google cache:

    http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?hl=en&ei=kCj_U-XoCInKggTYgYGgDg&q=cache%3Ajewsforjudaism.org%2Fknowledge%2Farticles%2Fjesus%2Ftrinity%2Fwhat-is-the-meaning-of-god-said-qlet-us-make-man-in-our-image%2F&oq=cache%3Ajewsforjudaism.org%2Fknowledge%2Farticles%2Fjesus%2Ftrinity%2Fwhat-is-the-meaning-of-god-said-qlet-us-make-man-in-our-image%2F&gs_l=mobile-gws-serp.3…16295.18793.0.19797.6.6.0.0.0.0.0.0..0.0….0…1c.1.52.mobile-gws-serp..6.0.0.FnOvLTz5N40

    Or try pasting the original URL in the wayback machine at archive.org.

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  19. Kathy, this is from the Wikipedia page on Elohim. It pulls this info from sources that you can check out at the bottom of the wiki page. I’m going to underline what I think are some of the more important points in this section.

    When used with singular verbs and adjectives elohim is usually singular, “god” or especially, the God. When used with plural verbs and adjectives elohim is usually plural, “gods” or “powers”.[1][2] It is generally thought that Elohim is a formation from eloah, the latter being an expanded form of the Northwest Semitic noun il (אֵל, ʾēl[3]). It is usually translated as “God” in the Hebrew Bible, referring with singular verbs both to the one God of Israel, and also in a few examples to other singular pagan deities. With plural verbs the word is also used as a true plural with the meaning “gods”.[3] The related nouns eloah (אלוה) and el (אֵל) are used as proper names or as generics, in which case they are interchangeable with elohim.[3]

    Mark S. Smith said that the notion of divinity underwent radical changes throughout the period of early Israelite identity. Smith said that the ambiguity of the term Elohim is the result of such changes, cast in terms of “vertical translatability” by Smith (2008); i.e. the re-interpretation of the gods of the earliest recalled period as the national god of the monolatrism as it emerged in the 7th to 6th century BCE in the Kingdom of Judah and during the Babylonian captivity, and further in terms of monotheism by the emergence of Rabbinical Judaism in the 2nd century CE.[4] A different version was produced by Morton Smith. Despite the -im ending common to many plural masculine nouns in Hebrew, the word when referring to the Name of God is grammatically singular, and takes a singular verb in the Hebrew Bible.

    The word is identical to the usual plural of el meaning gods or magistrates, and is cognate to the ‘l-h-m found in Ugaritic, where it is used for the pantheon of Canaanite gods, the children of El and conventionally vocalized as “Elohim”. Most use of the term Elohim in the later Hebrew text imply a view that is at least monolatrist at the time of writing, and such usage (in the singular), as a proper title for the supreme deity, is generally not considered to be synonymous with the term elohim, “gods” (plural, simple noun). Hebrew grammar allows for this nominally-plural form to mean “He is the Power (singular) over powers (plural)”, or roughly, “God of gods”. Rabbinic scholar Maimonides wrote that the various other usages are commonly understood to be homonyms.[5]

    It is a fact that El was the supreme god of the Canaanites, and Elohim is a form of that word. El’s wife was Asherah, and if you remember correctly, the Israelites were often criticized by the priests for continuing to worship Asherah in addition to their “true” god — coincidence?

    To say that Elohim, in its plural form, references Jehovah, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit rather than being a reference to the Canaanite pantheon has no basis. Just like the notions of Heaven and Hell were later additions to the Jewish religion (they believed in Sheol — a single realm of the dead that all people went to, good or evil), not showing up until the Jews had been under Persian and then Greek rule, the idea of a divine trinity can’t be found until the New Testament, if then.

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  20. Yeah, ratamacue’s first link seems to be right — they’re just having a problem with one of their php files. Thanks for finding the cached link, ratamacue!

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  21. In reference to Jesus/Messiah being part of the God-head: I searched out in the OT and could find NOWHERE that it was admonished to worship Messiah nor where Messiah is considered a god in any form or fashion.

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  22. Thanks, Ruth. Isaiah 44:28 even refers to Cyrus as a messiah, which also shows that there’s no reason to think the OT prophecies about a future messiah would be talking about someone divine.

    And Kathy, you should definitely read ratamacue’s link. It’s a good article that references several passages, and it’s pretty short.

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  23. I may regret commenting, but I do have something to add. I’m a Christian, so I probably agree with Kathy on certain issues. But when I read through the list of “evidences” she’s provided, I don’t find them compelling, either.

    Martyrdom is no sign that the person believed (and died for) something absolutely true; they believe it to be true, but that doesn’t make it true.

    Miracles? Well, some people think miracles still happen (even in the obvious manner described in the Bible), others believe that miracles are more subtle (such as changes in someone’s heart), and others (including some Christians) cast a skeptical eye on both. And many miracles can be interpreted from either supernatural or natural causes, depending on the viewer’s presuppositions.

    Prophecies don’t work, either. Whether someone believes them to be proof depends on whether that person believes the text (in this case, the Bible) to be true. And yes, some of those prophetic passages are difficult for even me to see as prophetic, even after multiple readings.

    The length of time and number of authors doesn’t work for me, either. It really doesn’t mean much; it’s interesting, but it’s not proof of anything in particular.

    As far as our existence as proof and evidence of a god, I can sort of buy, though I can see where another person wouldn’t.

    I know there are some Christian apologists who offer better philosophical arguments and scientific arguments. I can’t possibly do justice to them. But Hugh Ross has interesting scientific ideas, and I’ve heard some good material from Ravi Zacharias and his organization.

    Not trying to make anyone angry…just wanted to point out that not every Christian finds this particular list of evidences to be compelling.

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  24. Thanks for the comment, Laura! I think I’ve seen you over on Enough Light before, but never here, so thanks for stopping by!

    Every worldview has difficulties. I’m an atheist, but I acknowledge there are some difficulties with atheism as well. It’s always nice to run across people like you who seem to be able to look at all the information objectively, even if we come to different conclusions about it.

    I’m hopeful that Kathy will eventually reach a point where she no longer denies or dismisses information that doesn’t agree with her position, but will honestly consider and accept it. Even if she never changes her overall outlook, just coming to terms with all the facts can help her become a more well-rounded person.

    Thanks again for adding to the conversation!

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  25. Laura, I’m not agree, but relieved.

    Many of us here, if not all, were once christians. For me, I can understand how existence would lead many to believe in intelligent design – but to which god or gods it points to, I cannot tell.

    Now, personal experiences make a lot of sense – to the person experiencing them. But for myself, without my own experience, I remain doubtful of a person’s supernatural or divine experience… and i am also typically doubtful of claims that are not supernatural nor divine but that seem highly unlikely – like a 16 year old boy bragging about having sex with two of his teachers – not impossible, or even unheard of, but i’d still doubt his claims without substantial proof.

    And I guess, so far, my own personal experiences lead me to believe the bible is only a product of man.

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  26. ah, I should really proof read. I meant to type, “I’m not angry…”

    I’m a constant embarrassment to myself – sorry. I may as well add than when i was a christian, Kathy’s evidences weren’t convincing to me either. Why did I ever believe? Several reasons, and one of them being that I had not been shown the problems.

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  27. Not trying to make anyone angry…just wanted to point out that not every Christian finds this particular list of evidences to be compelling.

    I don’t think anyone here (on the atheist side) would be angry. I can [obviously] see how or why Christianity might be compelling, just not on the basis of the evidence given. The compulsion, shall we say, might be more one of personal experience and quite subjective.

    It’s refreshing to have a Christian come along and say “hey, I’m a believer but I can see where you’re coming from.”

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  28. Awesome, a new Kathy post – so excited. 🙂

    I think Ryan (Portal001) is right about these posts being full of people talking past one another. Hasn’t been too helpful to me, but I guess every once in a while a gem of a unique perspective or even some education might slip through.

    Speaking of gems – I also appreciate Laura Droege’s comment as well as the follow-up comments. Laura is not alone within Christianity – I have a lot of Christian friends who have the same kind of understanding and more balanced perspective that she expressed and I have great respect for them.

    I agree with the many people who have said on these threads that the word objective has been not only over-used by Kathy but also terribly mis-used. And then of course the obvious incorrect assertion that being un-objective is the same as being a liar.

    Laura has described even from a Christian perspective how one could objectively conclude that this list of “evidence” provided by Kathy is not compelling. We are not being dishonest when we say they aren’t compelling to us – even some Christians agree with this.

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  29. That worked, Rata!

    Does no one find it just a little strange, that the Bible’s god can create an entire, multi-billion-star universe from outside space and time, yet when it comes to checking out towers or confounding Man’s language, he has to “come down“?

    “Come, let us go down, and there confound their language” (Genesis 11:7).
    “And the Lord came down to see the city and the tower.”

    And while we’re here, Rata – my email conked out on me last night at just about the time you were saying to Kathy that I should provide evidence of my earlier comment, and that you’d like to know the source as well. Most of it comes from the Documentary Hypothesis, which is well-documented in a myriad of sources, including Ehrman and Friedman, and should be easy to check out.

    The other, involving my suspicions that the original god of the Hebrews was the Amorite god, “Amurru,” from northern Mesopotamia, specifically Aleppo, Syria (the ancient capital of the Amorites – or Amurrites ), who ruled Mesopotamia from the late second to the mid-first-millennium BCE, is a personal theory of mine, which I’m developing (and which I’ve been in discussion with Steve Dimattei about) and which was more thoroughly developed on my website, in His own image, which, as I’ve said, is temporarily down while I search for a new provider. We see the transition to Yahweh in the early part of Genesis, after th fictitious Moses – who could have represented a people, rather than an individual – married into the Midianites (Kenites), by wedding the daughter of Jethro, which could have symbolized a merging of two tribes for an indeterminate time – the Midianites/Kenites worshiped an obscure desert god named YHWH, and we see “god” telling Moses that his name was Yahweh, but that he was known to Abe, Ike and Jake as “El Shaddai” – if you’ll look into Amurru, you’ll discover that he, too, was known as El Shaddai, and had a wife named “Asherah,” which it is later intimated in the OT, that Yahweh may have had, as well, although in the time of Jeramiah (not the bull-frog), religious leaders of the time tried Orwellian re-writing of history by removing as much evidence of her and her association with Ya as possible, including pulling down her fertility symbols, the Asherah poles. It’s in the book —

    Although there is no evidence that Abraham ever existed, it is know that often, in ancient writing, an individual sometimes represented not an individual, but an entire people – the character Abraham may have represented an entire tribe that moved from Mesopotamia to the Levant in the late second millennium. The Bible tells us that Abe came from Ur – a major city in Southern Mesopotamia – but the same chapter also calls it the land of the Chaldees, and the Chaldeans were a tribe that wouldn’t live in Southern Mesopotamia for more than 1500 years! Clearly, those writing that portion of Genesis were of the Priestly Source, who wrote parts of Torah from their captivity in Babylon, and would have been familiar with the Chaldeans, but not necessarily with the fact that they hadn’t been there 1500+ years earlier. There IS a city, however, in what would have been Northern Mesopotamia, on the border of Syria and Turkey, called “Ur-fa” (“Ur” was simply Sumarian for “City”), and Genesis tells us that Abe, et al, left “Ur” – or in my opinion, “Ur-fa”- and moved to Haran. Interestingly, Haran is only 20 miles from Ur-fa – which city, BTW, to this day, bills itself as “the birthplace of Abraham” – while Ur is a full 700 miles to the south. Now if you were betting your money on accuracy, would you place it on the “Priestly Source” writers, who believed the Chaldeans lived in the area 1500+ years before they actually did, or the Ur-fa-ites?

    A nomadic tribe of Semites, the Amurrites (AKA the Amorites), so named because they followed the god Amurru, split – part of these remained nomadic, while the rest settled into what is now Syria and took up agriculture, eventually building cities, then later, conquering all of Mesopotamia, defeating the Akkadians. The last great Amurrite king was Hammurabi (Hammurapi), the great law-giver, after whom the character of Moses was modeled.

    Amurru was known as El Shaddai, god of the mountain, who had a wife/consort, Asherah, and as mentioned, their stronghold, and place of origin in Mesopotamia, was Syria. Throughout Genesis, Abe’s nephew, who remained behind in Haran, is referred to – without exception – as “Laban the Syrian.” If Laban were Syrian, – in that time period – and that is the period in which most sources say Abe lived – the odds greatly favor the likelihood that Laban was also Amurrite. If Nephew Laban was Syrian and/or Amurrite – how could his Uncle Abe not be?

    It’s all included in a Zip file my old provider sent me when they discontinued the format I was using, but I REALLY don’t want to open that can of worms, just for this thread. Not trying to be evasive with my evidence, just don’t have time to expound on it. But it wouldn’t make any difference to Kathy anyway, she never looks at evidence that doesn’t support her biased view.

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  30. Arch,

    Just skimmed your comment for now. A few quick notes…

    I’m not too fond of “rata” as a nickname. Hope you won’t mind just sticking to ratamacue.

    Thanks for explaining the sources. And I appreciate that you delineated between what’s theory/speculation and what’s better established.

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  31. WHOOSH!
    Did everybody hear that? It was the sound of everything Nate said, going right over Kathy’s head —

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  32. Laura Droege,

    Thanks for sharing your perspective,

    I also respect that you have shared your perspective, while also being to your convictions 🙂

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  33. “El” actually goes back even further than that, Nate – it was the Akkadian word for “lord,” as in “El’l’il,” the chief god of the Akkadian pantheon. The Akkadians, under the leadership of their greatest king, Sargon (not to be confused with the other Sargon, featured in Return to Tomorrow, episode #49 of the original Star Trek series), opened the corridor between Mesopotamia and the Mediterranean, allowing Akkadians to migrate to Canaan, taking their pantheon with them, which evolved, with time and distance, into what we think of today as a strictly Canaanite culture.

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  34. Laura, you seem a bit fearful – trust me, we are not barracudas – well, Ark is, but he hasn’t been here in a while. Most of us are just frustrated at Kathy refusing to even consider any other point of view but her own, and calling everyone Liberals and liars, who don’t agree with her. YOU, obviously, are searching for truths, and you’re wise enough to know that you have to look in a lot of places to find it. We can ALL respect that. You have nothing to fear from any of us, speak your mind.

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  35. even some Christians agree with this” – ah, yes, Howie – but are they “TRUE” Christians –?

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  36. I’m not too fond of “rata” as a nickname. Hope you won’t mind just sticking to ratamacue.” – sorry about that, but “ratamacue” is rather long, and I was looking for a way to shorten it, and yet, I didn’t want to call you “rat” – then when NeuroNotes called you “rata,” on her blog, and you didn’t object, I went for it. I have no problem with anyone calling me “Arch,” as I know that “archaeopteryx” is simply too long, but “ratamacue” it is —

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  37. I may live to regret this

    RFLO …

    Or as Jeremy Clarkson is want to utter: ‘How hard could it be?”
    Or as General Custer said: ‘Ah, to hell with it, what have we got to lose? It’s only a few Injuns.’
    Or as Jesus really said: ‘Stop whining, I’ll see y’all Sunday.’

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  38. Portal – loved it, bookmarked it, and I WILL use it again – just wish I’d had it last week, when ark was going through his 5-year old phase (on his site), and everyone was deliberately misspelling everything.

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  39. KC – from Part 3:
    Kathy, you are correct that Elohim has a plural usage in the OT. Show us where the Plural Usage points to a Son and a Holy Spirit ? This is certainly your intent by mentioning it at all.

    KC, I neglected to update you on Kathy’s latest dictum, regarding evidence – if it’s something that (in her opinion) “everybody knows,” you don’t have to provide evidence, since everybody knows it’s true. I take it she has no plans to practice law. Or walk and chew gum.

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  40. Whew, I’m relieved that y’all aren’t angry at me! I never know how I come across in writing and whether I make sense. I’ve been following this blog for a while, Nate, and I find it intriguing. I’m of the mindset to “seek first to understand and then to be understood,” so I’m trying to understand where many atheists and agnostics are coming from. (I’ve grown up in the Bible Belt and in evangelical churches, so I’m practically wallowing in Christianity. Makes it hard to understand others’ perspectives.)

    Thanks for the welcome. I look forward to hearing more from y’all. (There’s some Southern for you.)

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  41. But Arch, feathers that may be, but apparently your not strictly a bird though right? 🙂

    I always pictured you as a fellow human being. If you are a bird though, that’s cool, no stress.

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  42. Aw cheez – IT’s back —

    (Did I say that out loud?) Oh, Hi Ark –

    Wotcha, Feather Brain. In between bouts of Kathy-Bashing, here is a site I can almost guarantee you will love to play on. Like a Pig in Muck, in fact. These people were tailor-made for the Ark</del) … Arch.

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  43. I always pictured you as a fellow human being. If you are a bird though, that’s cool, no stress.” – Let’s just say I’m a transitional species —

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  44. Ark, what site? Looks like your comment got cut off.” – He probably forgot all about it, he tends to fade in and out.

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  45. Nate,

    Messiah actually just means anointed, and there were a lot of anointed ones in the Tanakh.

    Just an interesting side note, Paul says the anti Christ will sit in the temple, but according to the Tanakh this is the true messiah.

    Isaiah chapter 2, 11, and 42. Also Jeremiah 23, 30, 33 and Zechariah 6:12,13.

    Messiah is called the branch, and YHWHs righteous servant. He will build the temple, and be a king and priest. He will offer the temple offerings to YHWH.

    Christians are waiting for Jesus to come and swoop them away, but Torah teaches the messianic era is here on earth.

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  46. I’ve heard a lot of Christians say they would know it was the Anti Christ, cause Jesus won’t touch the ground, and we will be caught up in the air to meet him, and so will we ever be with the Lord. Hmm Lord? That comes from the word Baal right?

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  47. Christians are waiting for Jesus to come and swoop them away, but Torah teaches the messianic era is here on earth.

    Sho’ ’nuff does!

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  48. Lord? That comes from the word Baal right?” – LONG before that – it dates all the way back to the Akkadian empire in Mesopotamia, 3rd millennium BCE.

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  49. Like the Ark calls himself Arkenaten, which in Egyptian means, “Lord Arkena (“ten” meant “Lord”), so “Setten,” which evolved to “Satan,” meant “Lord Set,” the evil brother of the Egyptian god Osirius. Baal is actually, “Ba’al,” or “Lord Ba,” the “al” evolved from the Akkadian “el,” which in Sumarian (the people the Akkadians took Mesopotamia from), took the form of “en.” Sumarian “Enlil” (chief god of the Sumarian pantheon), became “El’lil” in Akkadian.

    Hope you’re paying attention, it WILL be on the final exam.

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  50. I look forward to hearing more from y’all. (There’s some Southern for you.)" – we have more than a few here who can readily understand, "All a y'all," and "Ya et yet?" We've got one who says, "Crikey!" and a transplanted South African who says "Pip Pip, Cheerio!" and "T'ra!" – a definite smorgasbord.

    You might want to start, Laura, by familiarizing yourself with the Documentary Hypothesis – few theists actually study the background behind their own religion – I don't care what you believe, as long as you REALLY know what it is you're believing, and why.

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  51. One little omitted “>,” and I get two paragraphs of italics! Sorry, Laura, it’s WordPress —

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  52. Nate, in response to your comment on part 3 concerning the point about Dan…

    Scroll down to “Answering a few objections”.

    “For one thing, the two different creation accounts in Genesis 1 and 2 show that more than one author was involved.

    Why can’t BOTH be written by Moses?

    “In places like Deut 31, we’re told that Moses wrote the law, but it’s spoken of as though it’s in a different book than the one we’re reading: ”

    sorry, I’m not following this point.. ?

    “Furthermore, Deuteronomy contains the death, burial, and period of mourning for Moses. How did he write that?”

    Obviously someone else wrote this part.

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  53. Finally I got my comment above to post.. but I had to remove the Answers in Genesis link.. did you block Answers in Genesis links Nate? or links all together?

    Here’s what was in the link..

    “Answers in Genesis / did Moses write Genesis?”

    “Answering a Few Objections

    A number of objections have been raised by the proponents of the documentary hypothesis. Space allows us to respond to only a few of the most common ones. But the other objections are just as flawed in terms of logic and a failure to pay careful attention to the biblical text.
    1.Moses couldn’t have written about his own death, which shows that he didn’t write Deuteronomy.

    The death of Moses is recorded in Deuteronomy 34:5–12. These are the last few verses of the book. Like other literature, past and present, it is not uncommon for an obituary to be added at the end of someone’s work after he dies, especially if he died very soon after writing the book. The obituary in no way nullifies the claim that the author wrote the book.18

    In the case of Deuteronomy, the author of the obituary of Moses was probably Joshua, a close associate of Moses who was chosen by God to lead the people of Israel into the Promised Land (for Moses was not allowed to because of his disobedience), and who was inspired by God to write the next book in the Old Testament. A similar obituary of Joshua was added by an inspired editor to the end of Joshua’s book (Joshua 24:29–33).
    2.The author of Genesis 12:6 seems to imply that the Canaanites were removed from the land, which took place well after Moses died?

    Genesis 12:6—”Abram passed through the land to the place of Shechem, as far as the terebinth tree of Moreh. And the Canaanites were then in the land.”

    So the argument is that an author after Moses had to have written this statement to know that the Canaanites were removed in the days Joshua who began judging the Canaanites for their sin after Moses died.

    Two things can be said in response. First, Moses could have easily written this without knowing that the Canaanites would be removed after his death, because due to warring kingdoms or other factors, people groups did get removed from territories. So, it was just a statement of fact about who was living in the land at the time of Abraham. But secondly, it could also be a comment added by a later editor working under divine inspiration. The editorial comment would in no way deny the Mosaic authorship of the book of Genesis. Editors sometimes add to books by deceased authors and no one then denies that the deceased wrote the book.
    3.Genesis 14:14 mentions the Israelite region of Dan, which was assigned to that tribe during the conquest led by Joshua after Moses died. So Moses could not have written this verse.

    Genesis 14:14–15—”Now when Abram heard that his brother19 was taken captive, he armed his three hundred and eighteen trained servants who were born in his own house, and went in pursuit as far as Dan. He divided his forces against them by night, and he and his servants attacked them and pursued them as far as Hobah, which is north of Damascus.”

    Genesis 14:14 mentions Dan. However, Dan in this context is not the region of Dan, that Israelite tribe’s inheritance given when the Jews took the Promised Land, but a specific ancient town of Dan, north of the Sea of Galilee that was in existence long before the Israelites entered the land. Jewish historian Josephus, just after the time of Christ, says:

    “When Abram heard of their calamity, he was at once afraid for Lot his kinsman, and pitied the Sodomites, his friends and neighbours; and thinking it proper to afford them assistance, he did not delay it, but marched hastily, and the fifth night attacked the Assyrians, near Dan, for that is the name of the other spring of Jordan; and before they could arm themselves, he slew some as they were in their beds, before they could suspect any harm; and others, who were not yet gone to sleep, but were so drunk they could not fight, ran away.”20

    This specific place was known to Abraham as one of the springs of Jordan. It is possible that Rachel was already aware of that name, as it meant “judge,” and used it for the son of her handmaiden (Genesis 30:6). It seems Rachel viewed this as the Lord finally turning the tide in judgment and permitting her a son. In the same way, this was where the Lord judged his enemies through Abraham.

    But again, even if “near Dan, for that is the name of the other spring of Jordan” was added by a later inspired editor, this would not mean that it was inaccurate to say the Moses wrote Genesis.21″

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  54. 2nd half of my comment..

    “The Books of Moses also use the phrase “to this day” quite a bit, and it’s used to show a long passage of time. The phrase is even used when talking about things within Moses’ own lifetime (Deut 2:22; 10:8; 34:6), which would make no sense if he were the author.”

    We can certainly say “to this day” within our lifetime. If a person carves their initials in a tree as a child, they can certainly say “to this day they are still there”.. see Nate? you make assumptions without seeking possible answers that you might not like. That’s a lack of objectivity.

    “So who wrote these books, and when were they written? And if Moses really did write something, why don’t we have it?”

    Why don’t we have something that was written 5,000 years ago? We don’t have a lot of things from that long ago.

    “The fact is, these kinds of context clues are found throughout the entire Old Testament, not just the first 5 books.”

    They’re not clues.. there are explanations for all of these.

    “Maybe that’s information that you just weren’t aware of, but that’s why we keep asking you to actually research your own religion. In fact, The Age of Reason covers some of these very points and many more.”

    Again, I AM researching.. I don’t know a better place to learn about the argument from the other side than on a blog. The popular claim that everyone is making that I’m not open to other points of view fails miserably.. I wouldn’t be here if that were true. Again, I’m the only one here who is actually asking questions.. very rarely do any of you.. you just attack my points of view when I give possible answers to the only questions being asked… THE questions at the root of this topic.

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  55. Obviously someone else wrote this part.

    Yes, but how much more than that did they write? Who were they? How do we know they were inspired and authorized to write down the word of God?

    “In places like Deut 31, we’re told that Moses wrote the law, but it’s spoken of as though it’s in a different book than the one we’re reading: ”

    sorry, I’m not following this point.. ?

    Thanks for the question — I’ll try to clarify. Consider this passage from Deut 31:24-26:

    When Moses had finished writing the words of this law in a book to the very end, 25 Moses commanded the Levites who carried the ark of the covenant of the Lord, 26 “Take this Book of the Law and put it by the side of the ark of the covenant of the Lord your God, that it may be there for a witness against you.”

    Deuteronomy is typically considered to be one of the books of the law. Moses supposedly wrote it. Yet this passage in Deuteronomy talks about something Moses did once he finished writing the book — yet how could that be recorded if this is the book in question? Obviously it was still being written. Do you see the point I’m making?

    So what we’re reading is obviously not what’s being talked about in this passage. It must have been a different book. But where is it? Why don’t we have it? And who wrote this one?

    Finally, the 2 creation accounts in Genesis probably weren’t written by the same person, because they say two different things. Chapter 1 says that plants were created on the 3rd day and animals and man were created on the 6th. But chapter 2 says that man was created before there were any plants in the land. Scholars have long thought that these two different stories come from two separate creation myths that had both been recorded by the Jews. When they were put together to form the book of Genesis, the scribes of the time didn’t feel that their pay grade was high enough to decide which of these stories was the right one… so they included both. Had there been one single writer, this section would have been put together a bit better so it didn’t lead to such confusion.

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  56. No, I haven’t blocked anything. If you include more than 3 links, it will hold your comment in moderation, but yours was apparently moved straight to spam. Not sure why…

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  57. @Moses

    Why can’t BOTH be written by Moses?

    Er … because, Kathy, Moses did not exist. He was made up. There was no real live walking talking writing down stuff on papyrus leaves and camel’s bottom biblical character-person called Moses.

    Even Martin Noth recognised this was not a real person and thought at best it was a composite.
    Ask the Jews. The majority of them know he wasn’t a real person either.Read Finkelstein or Wolpe.
    Neither was Abraham. So …. No Abraham, no Moses … therefore, no Ten Commandments. Therefore no Yahweh and … wait for it …no Jesus of Nazareth.

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  58. Here’s some background info, Laura – understand, I am NOT trying to turn you into an atheist, just show you a few things you won’t learn in church, about how, why, and by whom the Bible was written. Most Christians believe that Moses wrote the first five books of the Bible, the ones that say, “According to Moses.” Many biblical scholars believe that he did not, that those five books were written at widely differing times, locations, and by writers with often conflicting agendas, and that a Redactor (editor) wove many, if not most, of the stories together like a patchwork quilt. This is extremely important if you’ve spent your life believing that the Bible is seamless and inerrant.

    By the seventeenth century a number of scholars had wrestled with the problems of the Mosaic authorship of the Pentateuch. Carlstadt, a leader of the Reformation movement in Germany, wrote a pamphlet in 1520 arguing that Moses did not write the Pentateuch, for the style of writing in the verses reporting Moses’ death (Deut. 32:5-12) was that of the preceding verses. In 1574, A. Du Maes, a Roman Catholic scholar, suggested that the Pentateuch was composed by Ezra, who used old manuscripts as a basis. Thomas Hobbes, the English philosopher, concluded in 1651 that Moses wrote only parts of Deuteronomy (Leviathan III:33). In Tractatus theologico-politicus (1677), Baruch Spinoza, the Jewish philosopher, recognized as one of the founders of modern biblical criticism, reached a conclusion much like that of Du Maes, that Ezra compiled Genesis to II Kings from documents of varying dates. Shortly afterward, Richard Simon, a Roman Catholic priest, often called “the father of biblical criticism,” gathered together the substance of critical analyses up to his time and raised the problem of literary history, thus opening the door to the application of techniques used in the study of non-sacred literature to the Bible.

    In the eighteenth century Jean Astruc, a celebrated physician, published a treatise on Genesis in which he postulated that Moses used two major sources in writing the book of Genesis. The source in which the name “Elohim” is used for God, Astruc called “A,” and that which used “Yahweh” was labeled “B.” Ten fragmentary sources were also recognized and given alphabetical designations. Additional criteria for defining sources were worked out by J. G. Eichorn, sometimes called “the father of Old Testament criticism” or, on the basis of his five volume “Introduction” to the Old Testament, “the father of the modern science of introductory studies.”

    Others built upon these foundations. In 1806-7 W. M. L. DeWette, a German scholar, published a two volume introductory study of the Old Testament in which he suggested that the book found in the temple in 621 B.C., during the reign of King Josiah of Judah (II Kings 22-23), was the book of Deuteronomy. In the work of Julius Wellhausen, who built upon the research of K. H. Graf and Wilhelm Vatke, the most significant analysis of the Pentateuch was made. The thesis known as the Graf-Wellhausen theory, or as the Documentary Hypothesis, still provides the basis upon which more recent hypotheses are founded.

    The Graf-Wellhausen analysis identified four major literary sources in the Pentateuch, each with its own characteristic style and vocabulary. These were labeled: J, E, D and P.

    The J source used the name “Yahweh” for God, called the mountain of God “Sinai,” and the pre-Israelite inhabitants of Palestine “Canaanites,” and was written in a vivid, concrete, colorful style. God is portrayed anthropomorphically, creating after the fashion of a potter, walking in the garden, wrestling with Jacob. J related how promises made to the patriarchs were fulfilled, how God miraculously intervened to save the righteous, or to deliver Israel, and acted in history to bring into being the nation.

    E used “Elohim” to designate God until the name “Yahweh” was revealed in Exod. 3:15, used “Horeb” as the name of the holy mountain, “Amorite” for the pre-Hebrew inhabitants of the land, and was written in language generally considered to be less colorful and vivid than J’s. E’s material begins in Gen. 15 with Abraham, and displays a marked tendency to avoid the strong anthropomorphic descriptions of deity found in J. Wellhausen considered J to be earlier than E because it appeared to contain the more primitive elements.

    The Deuteronomic source, D, is confined largely to the book of Deuteronomy in the Pentateuch, contains very little narrative, and is made up, for the most part, of Moses’ farewell speeches to his people. A hortatory and emphatic effect is produced by the repetition of certain phrases: “be careful to do” (5:1, 6:3, 6:25, 8:1), “a mighty hand and an outstretched arm” (5:15, 7:19, 11:2), “that your days may be prolonged” (5:16, 6:2, 25:15). Graf had demonstrated that knowledge of both J and E were presupposed in D, and having accepted DeWette’s date of 621 B.C. for D, argued that J and E must be earlier. J was dated about 850 B.C. and E about 750 B.C.

    The Priestly tradition, P, reveals interest and concern in whatever pertains to worship. Not only does P employ a distinctive Hebrew vocabulary but, influenced by a desire to categorize and systematize material, develops a precise, and at times a somewhat labored or pedantic, style. Love of detail, use of repetition, listing of tribes and genealogical tables, does not prevent the P material from presenting a vivid and dramatic account of Aaron’s action when an Israelite attempted to marry a Midianite woman (Num. 25:6-9) or from developing a rather euphonious and rhythmical statement of creation (Gen. 1). The Graf-Wellhausen hypothesis noted that P contained laws and attitudes not discernible in J, E, or D and reflected late development. P was dated around the time of Ezra, or about 450 B.C.

    The combining of the various sources was believed to be the work of redactors. Rje, the editor who united J and E around 650 B.C. provided connecting links to harmonize the materials where essential. Rd added the Deuteronomic writings to the combined JE materials about 550 B.C., forming what might be termed a J-E-D document. P was added about 450-400 B.C. by Rp, completing the Torah.

    Most present-day scholarship accepts the basic premises of the documentary hypothesis – namely, that different source materials are to be found, that the labels J, E, D, P, are acceptable for major sources, and that the order of development is that proposed in the Graf-Wellhausen thesis.

    But much development away from the hypothesis has taken place too. Back of each of the four sources lie traditions that may have been both oral and written. Some may have been preserved in the songs, ballads, and folktales of different tribal groups, some in written form in sanctuaries. The so-called “documents” should not be considered as mutually exclusive writings, completely independent of one another, but rather as a continual stream of literature representing a pattern of progressive interpretation of traditions and history. Perhaps this idea can best be illustrated by reference to the account of the plagues in Egypt in Exod. The J account tells of the hardening of Pharaoh’s heart, of Yahweh’s threat to befoul the waters of the Nile and kill the fish, and of the execution of this threat (Exod. 7:14-15a, 16-17a, 18, 21a, 23-25). The E writer reinterpreted the story, adding to the account the rod of the wonder-worker and Moses’ threat to strike the water and turn the Nile to blood – a threat which he fulfills (Exod. 7:15, 17b, 20b). The Priestly author made other changes: Aaron, not Moses, is the wonder-worker, and it is Aaron who waves the rod not only over the Nile but other rivers, canals, ponds and pools, and all waters are turned to blood, including water stored in containers. The P writer explains that this terrible plague did not change Pharaoh’s mind, for Pharaoh’s priests can perform the same miracle. The important change made by the P editors is that Aaron, the symbol of the high priesthood in Israel, acts as the priest-magician-agent of God, performing the divine will. The interpretive pattern can be traced quite easily through the subsequent plagues by reference to the lists which delineate the contents of the various sources.

    The process of progressive interpretation did not exclude the incorporation of new materials, and some of the new material may have had a long history – oral or written – in circles outside of those which produced the earlier writings. For instance, in 1929 a Canaanite temple library, which can be dated from the fourteenth century B.C., was discovered at Ras es-Shamra, a site on the Syrian coast. The religious documents were found to contain words most familiar to us through Priestly writings of the Pentateuch, suggesting that part of the P material may be based upon sources as ancient as those used in J. Thus, we are confronted with a literary problem that is more difficult than the simple straight line analysis would suggest. Not only do we have materials coming from different periods of time and from different groups within society, and not only are these materials brought together and blended at different periods of history, but those who added the extra materials employed an interpretive principle in accordance with their theological convictions expanding, and, in a sense, expounding the writings with which they worked. Further, at some points the fusion of materials is so complete that it is impossible to distinguish sources – particularly where J and E are combined.

    Because the documentary hypothesis is the most widely accepted of all theories of Pentateuchal analysis, this book will utilize, in principle, the conclusions reached by this method of research. One important change in the thesis accepted by many scholars will be observed: J and E, dated in Wellhausen’s time in the ninth and eighth centuries respectively, will both be placed in the tenth century, for reasons to be discussed later. Such a change does not deny that additions were made to each in the years before they were combined, but implies that the time of Solomon’s reign best fits the period for the accumulation of the core of J, and the early years of the divided kingdom are most appropriate for the writing of E.

    It should be remembered that the documentary hypothesis, no matter what form it takes, is nothing more than an hypothesis – a proposition – assumed to explain certain facts (in this case doublets, contradictions, etc.). which provides the basis for further investigation. There is no way of proving that a J collection ever existed. Such a body of writings is assumed on the basis of evidence previously discussed.

    When you wade through this, and do some looking on your own, get back with me, we’ll kick it around.

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  59. what if none of it was inspired?

    and what, other than the bible saying so, makes you think it was inspired, and that isn’t just the claims of men?

    And let’s consider some of the HUGE claims.

    1) A virgin birth. I don’t think this one quite sinks in because we’ve been raised around the notion of this, but a virgin giving birth is completely outside the norm. It is so crazy that there is no way we’d believe it if anyone else claimed it to have happened to anyone other than mary and jesus. What proof is there? what evidence? I don think there is any. I think it’s just taken on faith, on a “said so.”

    2) people raising from the dead and flying into heaven… No photo graphs. No video. we have claims that there were witnesses… Eyewitness testimony is far from the best, and we’re skeptical of bigfoot photos and video and bigfoot isn’t even supernatural…

    3) Dead bodies coming out if their graves at jesus’ crucifixion and walking around, and no one else thought this was significant enough or at all noteworthy to record?

    4) the sun moving backward a few degrees as a sign to Hezekiah. No one else recorded this? none of the astronomy anal cultures of that day bothered recording the sun moving east instead of west?

    5) the sun standing still for joshua to fight? same questions as above.

    there of course are more. So many questions. So many many pieces that should be there, and so many outrageous claims without substantial backup. instead we’re given lines about “the wise of this world will think it foolishness,” etc – which to me is just a real life version of the “emperor’s new clothes” children story.

    again, if there is no evidence, then okay. you believe i dont. Maybe you’ve witness miracles or maybe god’s spoken directly to you or maybe… whatever, but the point is I dont have any of that, and so far, I dont have evidence either.

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  60. Kathy, I haven’t read your second post of info from ApologeticsPress yet, but are you honestly comfortable with their explanation that some of that info could have been added by an “inspired editor”? That’s not an idea I would have been comfortable with when I was a Christian.

    If God’s inspiring the original author, why would anything need to be edited? And why should we think such an editor was actually inspired? Anyone at a later time could have written those details, because they would have been known — no inspiration necessary.

    This seems like a very weak argument… Do you honestly find it the most likely explanation? Especially since none of these books actually claim to be written by these authors anyway?

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  61. Why don’t we have something that was written 5,000 years ago? We don’t have a lot of things from that long ago.

    You’re missing my point.

    If Moses was truly inspired by God, and he really did write something down, why wouldn’t we have it? Obviously it would have been something that God wanted people to have access to — I mean, it was God’s law, right?

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  62. Ratamacue – I mentioned my theory earlier, regarding the Amurrites (Amorites) – Amurrite information is readilyh available, but here’s a source linking the Amurrite “El Shaddai” with the Bible’s “El Shaddai”:
    Wm. F. Albright, “The Names Shaddai and Abram,” Journal of Biblical Literature, LIV (1935)

    What are the odds that Mrs. Shaddai had TWO boys and named them both “El”? – “Hi, I’m Larry – this is my brother El, and that’s my other brother, El!”

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  63. We can certainly say “to this day” within our lifetime. If a person carves their initials in a tree as a child, they can certainly say “to this day they are still there”.. see Nate? you make assumptions without seeking possible answers that you might not like. That’s a lack of objectivity.

    But Kathy, even with your example it indicates a substantial period of time. You wouldn’t say that about your initials the next day, or even a year later. If you came back to the tree 20 years later and showed your children, then that might be appropriate.

    As a contrast, consider this passage from Deut 34:

    So Moses the servant of the Lord died there in the land of Moab, according to the word of the Lord, 6 and he buried him in the valley in the land of Moab opposite Beth-peor; but no one knows the place of his burial to this day.

    If your earlier article is right in saying that Joshua added this just after Moses’ death, how much sense would it make to include “to this day”? When did he write this? A week later? A month? Years??? How do we know it was even Joshua?

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  64. Now let’s see, Kathy – you expect US to read all of your propaganda, while you ignore our information – is THAT how it works?

    Why should we?

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  65. Laura,

    First, I’m not angry that you don’t agree, I LOVE sincere (insult free) disagreement.. I would like to give counter arguments to your points and I hope that you don’t see that as me being angry.

    You said:

    “I may regret commenting, but I do have something to add. I’m a Christian, so I probably agree with Kathy on certain issues. But when I read through the list of “evidences” she’s provided, I don’t find them compelling, either.
    Martyrdom is no sign that the person believed (and died for) something absolutely true; they believe it to be true, but that doesn’t make it true.”

    Laura, I don’t claim that martyrdom is proof of Christianity’s Truth. I do call it very compelling evidence (which “evidence” is not necessarily “proof”.. it’s evidence) I don’t know how anyone can claim that someone giving their life for their belief wouldn’t be compelling. Of course, if the person has serious mental issues.. if they give their life for Santa Claus … it’s not going to be compelling. But when you combine Christian martyrdom with all the other evidence that supports Christianity, it’s amazingly compelling. People wouldn’t give their lives if it weren’t powerful testimony.. there’d be no point.

    “Prophecies don’t work, either. Whether someone believes them to be proof depends on whether that person believes the text (in this case, the Bible) to be true. And yes, some of those prophetic passages are difficult for even me to see as prophetic, even after multiple readings. ”

    You don’t have to believe in the Bible to see prophecy fulfillment. If historians can establish/ have a consensus the dates of the writings that is enough. Prophecies are most certainly powerful compelling evidence for the Truth of Christianity.

    “The length of time and number of authors doesn’t work for me, either. It really doesn’t mean much; it’s interesting, but it’s not proof of anything in particular. ”

    Again, it’s very compelling evidence.. the odds are heavily against dozens of authors over 1500 years spread out over thousands of miles agreeing on the doctrine / message.

    You may not see any of this as compelling evidence but it’s believed to be compelling by the overwhelming majority of Christians.. what makes it compelling is the odds. The odds of a rational person taking their life for a lie or something that they don’t see as having compelling evidence is almost none. It makes no sense.

    “As far as our existence as proof and evidence of a god, I can sort of buy, though I can see where another person wouldn’t.”

    Again, it’s comes down to the odds. There is no other more valid explanation for our existence.

    ” I know there are some Christian apologists who offer better philosophical arguments and scientific arguments. I can’t possibly do justice to them. But Hugh Ross has interesting scientific ideas, and I’ve heard some good material from Ravi Zacharias and his organization.”

    Could you post some examples?

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  66. I’m the only one here who is actually asking questions.. very rarely do any of you..” – Kathy, I’ve asked you a myriad of questions, you’ve ignored all except those few you felt comfortable answering. Don’t EVEN go there —

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  67. Finally, your article said that the reference to Dan in Genesis 14:14 might have been referring to a city already named Dan at that time. But there’s NO evidence of any such town. And we know that in Judges 18, the town that the Danites took and named “Dan” was formerly known as “Laish.”

    You might also find this interesting. Check out this passage from Genesis 36:31-43:

    These are the kings who reigned in the land of Edom, before any king reigned over the Israelites…

    It goes on to list the Edomite kings. The first interesting thing about this is that it shows an awareness of kings in Israel, which didn’t occur until long after Moses. First of all, in Moses’ day, Israel was still called Canaan. Secondly, Moses wouldn’t have referred to this prophetically because it wouldn’t make sense to his immediate audience. It would be like referring to “ground zero” before Sept 11, 2001 — it would make no sense. Also, if you remember, God was initially against the Israelites having kings. How could he have blamed them for choosing a king, if this passage had already foretold that they would have them? It only makes sense that this portion of Genesis was written sometime after Israel had had kings.

    Secondly, this exact passage can also be found in 1 Chron 1:43-54. The book of Chronicles wasn’t written until after the Babylonian captivity. Is it possible that some of the “Books of Moses” weren’t written until then as well?

    Some of this information likely comes as quite a blow, so I would recommend you take a little time to think about it all before you respond.

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  68. Gen 1, Nate, was written in Babalonian captivity by the Priestly Souce, with the intention that it would totally replace the more anthropomorphic Gen 2, written by the Yahwist Source in the Southern Kingdom of Judea, 450 years earlier. The editor decided, “I ain’t takin’ that risk, they don’t pay me enough!” and left them both in.

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  69. but yours was apparently moved straight to spam. Not sure why…” – I think I bit my tongue off!

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  70. Nate,

    “As a contrast, consider this passage from Deut 34:

    So Moses the servant of the Lord died there in the land of Moab, according to the word of the Lord, 6 and he buried him in the valley in the land of Moab opposite Beth-peor; but no one knows the place of his burial to this day.”

    I do see your point here.. but there could be explanations for this.. being inspired by God, Joshua could have known that Moses place of burial would be kept secret, that this was God’s will. Or, yes, it could have been written years later by Joshua.. he did have a lot on his plate after Moses died. For some situations, like Moses burial, stating “to this day” could mean months later.. if it was a huge issue to the Israelites which I would imagine it would be.

    It’s not enough Nate, to dismiss the belief that Moses and Joshua were the authors. And again, how does not factually knowing who the authors were even matter?? How does this disprove the truth of what was written? Clearly the authors of the books of the Bible were not pertinent to what was actually being written/ said. If this is all a fabrication, why wouldn’t they insert author names?

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  71. kathy, here’s what i’ve seen you give for evidence:

    1) martyrs, even though every religion and many non-religions have them. If they’re compelling evidence then they’re compelling for every religion – santa excluded.

    2) our very existence – which no one knows how that started, but even if you must land on god(s), you must go back to that book of claims to get to jesus.

    3) there were miracles, but as it turns out, those dont happen today, and end up being more claims by the same men who claim they speak for god.

    4) the fulfilled prophecies we’ve discussed weren’t really prophecies at all, or had to be viewed so figuratively that it’s difficult to show anything precise about them other than location (maybe) in order to claim they’re actually fulfilled. if you have better ones than tyre, please provide.

    5) 40 authors taking 1500 years to write the bible. But there’s nothing miraculous about men writing books, editing books, and being inspired to write a book or letter after reading an older book.

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  72. Kathy, when I first found out that the Book of Daniel had actual historical problems, I first thought that there’s no way that alone could overturn the mountains of evidence in the Bible’s favor. But then I started to ask myself what all those “mountains of evidence” really consisted of. What actual prophecies were there? Which ones could actually be shown to be fulfilled? Were there other areas where history, archaeology, or even other parts of the Bible contradicted something the Bible claimed?

    After spending some time doing some hard research, I found that all those “mountains of evidence” had really just been a house of cards. It’s not easy to come to terms with, but try to open yourself up to that possibility.

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  73. Kathy,

    I do see your point here.. but there could be explanations for this..

    You are having to do an awful lot of explaining for a text that’s supposedly inspired and inerrant. That’s kind of a red flag to me.

    If this is all a fabrication, why wouldn’t they insert author names?

    I don’t think that anyone is suggesting that it is a fabrication. Just that it isn’t inerrant nor inspired by God. As has been suggested before much of the OT could be allegory. Maybe the Israelites did believe a god was communicating with them. Maybe that was the best explanation they could come up with for some things. Maybe they really did believe that a god told their leader to conquer nations and kill people. That doesn’t mean that a god actually did tell their leader this. Just that their leader, for some reason, believed that a god was speaking to him and, in turn, his followers believed that too.

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  74. Much of it seems to have been sensationalized. If God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow, why doesn’t he operate in the world in the same way today that he did in the OT?

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  75. If this is all a fabrication, why wouldn’t they insert author names?” – in ancient times, there were no plagiarism laws, because there was no significant money to be made from writing unless you were a scribe. Often, when someone of no great repute had something to say that they felt people needed to know, but realized that no one would likely read, they would stick the name of someone famous on their work, and present it as having been written by that person – granted, the actual authors would get no real recognition, but if getting the message out there was really important, then they didn’t care.

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  76. I might add that those who run such websites as AIG, get paid well for what they do – if they fail to come up with twists and turns that make the Bible seem true, they’re out looking for a real job.

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  77. Nate, I posted a link on another thread by accident, is it possible to move it? Thanks even if you can’t! Gotta run!

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  78. Laurie meant to post these here:

    I didn’t read all the comments yet, and I have to get to work, but wanted to post this link.

    http://www.aishdas.org/toratemet/en_bereshit.html

    It is on the Genesis account, and also briefly mentions the documentary hypothesis that arch likes to post so much! He’s so predictable! Lol! But then again, so am I!

    Also, at the risk of sounding completely crazy (I’m sure that’s already happened) , I experienced a miracle this week. A friend has had a heart murmur all his life, and it recently started to get bad ( he is older). He was told he had to have surgery, and they scheduled it. My niece who is 10 layed her hands on him and said he was healed by the blood of the lamb, and proceeded to pray for him. They checked the murmur again before surgery, and were completely speechless. It was gone, and the surgery was cancelled. They said they had never seen anything like this before.

    I am trying to get some documentation of this to show here, we shall see.

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  79. Kathy, I wanted to call your attention to something else in relation to your question about why these authors would make all this up if it wasn’t legit. As others have said, I’m sure the authors (at least most of them) truly believed what they were recounting.

    Archaeologists have found a relic that I find very fascinating. It’s called the Mesha Stele, as well as the Moabite Stone. You can read about it here.

    It’s something that king Mesha of Moab had inscribed. He’s mentioned in the Bible (2 Kings 3), and he was a contemporary of Israel’s king Omri. What’s interesting is that Mesha served the Canaanite god Kemosh. Whenever something good happened to Mesha or Moab, it was because of Kemosh’s blessings. Whenever something bad happened, it was because Kemosh was punishing them. In other words, it reads just like something a Jewish king might have written about Yahweh.

    We can all agree that Kemosh isn’t real, but Mesha obviously was completely convinced that he was. Thus, it’s not hard for people to write this stuff, believe it, and it still be wrong.

    Here’s an excerpt:

    And Chemosh said to me, Go take Nebo against Israel, and I went in the night and I fought against it from the break of day till noon, and I took it: and I killed in all seven thousand men, but I did not kill the women and maidens, for I devoted them to Ashtar-Chemosh; and I took from it the vessels of Jehovah, and offered them before Chemosh. And the king of Israel fortified Jahaz, and occupied it, when he made war against me, and Chemosh drove him out before me, and I took from Moab two hundred men in all, and placed them in Jahaz, and took it to annex it to Dibon.

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  80. Nate, I find it very interesting that you back up your statements with scripture from the bible that Kathy believes in.. Yet all she can come back with is how un-objective you are.

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  81. Nate,

    “I’m sure the authors (at least most of them) truly believed what they were recounting.”

    Nate, please pick any page of the Bible and elaborate on this… how it could be false but they could believe what they are writing as true.

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  82. Nate,

    “We can all agree that Kemosh isn’t real, but Mesha obviously was completely convinced that he was. Thus, it’s not hard for people to write this stuff, believe it, and it still be wrong.

    Here’s an excerpt:

    And Chemosh said to me, Go take Nebo against Israel, and I went in the night and I fought against it from the break of day till noon, and I took it: ..”

    Nate, I don’t deny that people believed in false gods and believed they spoke to them in various ways. Your example is a description of what Mesha did because he believed his god spoke to him. I don’t know the detail of how he claims his god spoke to him but the claims in the Bible can’t be confused. Either it did happen or all the authors were have delusions.. or they were all lying.

    Your example is of one man’s testimony of his god communicating with him.. it doesn’t compare to the claims of the multiple authors of the Bible. And it doesn’t make sense that they were all having delusions or that they were all lying. This is why it makes for compelling evidence.

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  83. Hope you won’t mind, Nate …

    Matthew (26:36-56) talks about Jesus praying in the Garden of Gethsemane.

    Note that there are three instances in which Jesus retreats into the garden of Gethsemane to pray. Each time he requests the disciples to stay awake while he is gone … and each time he returns to find them sound asleep. Yet the bible records Jesus’ prayers. How can this be when the only witnesses are asleep?

    I have been told (among other things) that Jesus’ prayers were short so the disciples heard the prayers before they fell asleep. But this is speculation. When you take the bible at its word, there is no way the disciples could have heard Jesus pray. This story is false.

    Kathy claims the gospel writers were actual witnesses. So the question becomes — were they the disciples in the garden? If not, how did they find out about the story? Did they stand and watch? If they were the disciples mentioned, how can they record something they did not hear?

    Much more likely, the gospel writers heard about the incident through word-of-mouth. They believed that they heard was true and included it in their made-up stories about Jesus.

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  84. Don’t mind at all, Nan. Thanks.

    Let’s consider another. Joseph is sold into slavery and rises to become pharaoh’s right hand man. Whoever wrote this certainly believed it was true, but how could they have known? They didn’t have to lie or have delusions, they were just writing down stories they had heard.

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  85. the documentary hypothesis that arch likes to post so much! He’s so predictable! ” – ya can’t start with the roof, ya gotta start with the foundation.

    Also, at the risk of sounding completely crazy” – that ship has sailed.

    I experienced a miracle this week.” – there has to be a rational explanation.

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  86. Further, Nate, Kathy is using as evidence that 40+ authors over 1500 years wrote a consistent story – Superman was created by writer Jerry Siegel and artist Joe Shuster, high school students living in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1933 – over 80 years ago. Since then, hundreds of writers have written Superman stories for the comic book, and others for the radio, TV and motion picture versions. They have all written consistent stories (except Superman II, which was stupid*). Once a concept is developed, one story builds on the next. And Superman is no more real than – well, Yahweh.

    The Priestly (P) Source, writing parts of Genesis in Babylon, had JE, the combined Yahwhist/Elohist version to work from, as just one example.

    *(The screenwriter has Superman, in the Fortress of Solitude, battling General Zod and the Kryptonians, appearing to be in one place, while actually being in another, and has him saying to Lois, “It’s a child’s game we used to play on Krypton.” – Superman was sent to earth as a baby, and never played ANY games on Krypton! I take my Superman seriously – Yahweh, not so much.)

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  87. please pick any page of the Bible and elaborate on this… how it could be false but they could believe what they are writing as true.

    Kathy, Nate just showed you how King Mesha of Moab TRULY BELIEVED that the Canaanite god, Chemosh, handed him a victory over the Israelites – are you saying that Chemosh is real? Or are you so dense that you can’t see the similarity between a believer of one religion, writing about what he TRULY BELIEVES, yet isn’t true, and Bible authors doing the same?

    It HAS to be one or the other!

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  88. Then Jacob took fresh rods of poplar and almond and plane trees, and peeled white stripes in them, exposing the white which was in the rods. And he set the rods which he had peeled in front of the flocks in the gutters, even in the watering troughs, where the flocks came to drink; and they mated when they came to drink. So the flocks mated by the rods, and the flocks brought forth striped, speckled, and spotted. And Jacob separated the lambs, and made the flocks face toward the striped and all the black in the flock of Laban; and he put his own herds apart, and did not put them with Laban’s flock. Moreover, it came about whenever the stronger of the flock were mating, that Jacob would place the rods in the sight of the flock in the gutters, so that they might mate by the rods, but when the flock was feeble, he did not put them in; so the feebler were Laban’s and the stronger Jacob’s. So the man became exceedingly prosperous, and had large flocks and female and male servants and camels and donkeys (Genesis 30:37-43).

    Does anyone seriously believe this story ?

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  89. Does anyone seriously believe this story ?” – clearly written by a people who knew nothing about genetics – but inspired by a god who created EVERYthing?

    And who was there, recording it? Was he a guest of Laban the Syrian? If so, why didn’t he tattle? If not, where did he stay, that he could come over to Laban the Syrian’s early every morning to see what Jake would do next? And how did he know that Jacob, a seemingly simple field hand, was doing anything worth writing home about? Am I the only one who wonders about the details?

    Genesis tells us that Jacob fled to Haran, to his uncle, Laban the Syrian, fearing for his life. A rabbi from Chabad.org, in a personal correspondence with me, informed me that Jake stopped off for 16 years and studied Torah, before proceeding to Haran. Show of hands, who wouldn’t do that when running for their life?

    Further, Torah hadn’t been written yet – does NO one think of these things? Complete, blind acceptance, without thought – it boggles the rational mind. My mind can’t take a lot of boggling —

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  90. “Let’s consider another. Joseph is sold into slavery and rises to become pharaoh’s right hand man. Whoever wrote this certainly believed it was true, but how could they have known? They didn’t have to lie or have delusions, they were just writing down stories they had heard.”

    Nate, this doesn’t address Jesus’ disciples.. again.. either they were all delusional or they are lying.

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  91. Nan,

    “Note that there are three instances in which Jesus retreats into the garden of Gethsemane to pray. Each time he requests the disciples to stay awake while he is gone … and each time he returns to find them sound asleep. Yet the bible records Jesus’ prayers. How can this be when the only witnesses are asleep?
    I have been told (among other things) that Jesus’ prayers were short so the disciples heard the prayers before they fell asleep. But this is speculation. When you take the bible at its word, there is no way the disciples could have heard Jesus pray. This story is false.”

    Why couldn’t Jesus have told them what He prayed?

    Again, what you are claiming is that the authors of the Gospels were lying. And then they allowed themselves to be martyred for these lies.

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  92. “please pick any page of the Bible and elaborate on this… how it could be false but they could believe what they are writing as true.”

    First you challenge Nate with “ANY PAGE” . Now that several poepl have given you examples , you want to ignore them and get specific about Jesus’ disciples ????

    I think you need to address the responses to your challenges first Kathy. Nice dodge move. NOT !

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  93. Check out what our hero, Jacob, did when he thought his brother Esau was coming to kill him, with 400 troops at his side. First, he cut out a portion of his herd and had them sent to Esau as a bribe – gift. Then he divided his camp. He put the rest of the herd between Esau’s path and Jake’s entourage, then he placed his servants out in front, behind the cattle, so Essau would have to hack his way through them. Then he placed his wives and children next, as additional protection from his brother, then finally, himself. Does this sound like a man who trusted his god to protect him?

    Turned out his brother didn’t need the blessing that Jacob stole from him, he had become a mighty man entirely on his own, and wanted nothing more than to hug his brother and welcome him back. EVEN THEN, paranoid Jacob, again demonstrating no faith in his god, promised his brother he would follow him to his home in Edom, but more slowly, because of the cattle and children, then when Esau was out of sight, changed course and hurried to the northern Levant.

    This, and Abe and Ike, who lied about their wives being their wives – again, out of fear for their lives – are the kinds of heroes the entire Bible was built on – imagine a pyramid, built with these guys on the bottom. None of them trusted that their god could protect them.

    And some say the Bible is where morals come from.

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  94. Yeah, arch — that story about Jacob and Esau always bothered me. In fact, every story about Jacob and Esau shows Esau to be the more honorable! He comes home from hunting for several days, is famished, but his brother won’t give him anything to eat without first selling his birthright. Then Rebecca helps Jacob trick Isaac into bestowing the firstborn’s blessing onto him instead of Esau.

    What does it say about God’s character that “Jacob have I loved”?

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  95. Jesus’ disciples.. again.. either they were all delusional or they are lying.” – which disciples of Yeshua wrote anything, Kathy?

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  96. Kathy,

    KC is right. You asked about any page from the Bible. Several of us have given you a number of examples.

    Furthermore, if you want to talk about the gospels, simply show me where one of them says who its author is. Chapter and verse, please.

    Thanks

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  97. Hey Arch , don’t forget Ol Jacob’s reverse tithing scheme. He asks God to bless him FIRST then says he will give back a tenth. Wow , that took a lot of faith.

    Gen 28 :20 Then Jacob made a vow, saying, “If God will be with me and will watch over me on this journey I am taking and will give me food to eat and clothes to wear 21 so that I return safely to my father’s household, then the Lord[b] will be my God 22 and[c] this stone that I have set up as a pillar will be God’s house, and of all that you give me I will give you a tenth.”

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  98. Kathy,

    The scriptures do not say anything about Jesus “telling” the disciples what he prayed. Stick to the Word. You are doing exactly what you accuse everyone else of doing.

    I did not accuse the Gospel authors of lying. You are putting words into my mouth/writing. I asked some pertinent questions that come naturally to a person’s mind when they read this story. Can you answer them? Especially since you consistently
    insist the gospel writers were actual witnesses to what they wrote about.

    If they were not witnesses, then it’s a made-up story. If they were the actual disciples, we’re back to the original question. How did they know what Jesus prayed?

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  99. Kathy, imagine that you were a Christian in the year 70 AD. You never knew Jesus or his immediate disciples, but you were brought into the fold by your association with some other Greek Christians living in Asia Minor (where you live). Imagine that in your group, you’re one of the only Christians who can write. So far, you haven’t seen much of Jesus’ story written down, maybe just a collection of his sayings, but nothing that actually contains the full gospel story as you’ve heard it.

    Can you see how such a person might feel compelled to write down this all-important message? Can you see how a person like that might write it all down, believing it to be true and accurate, yet have no actual first hand knowledge of any of it?

    Believe it or not, most scholars believe the gospels were written by such people. Well-meaning, devout, but not in a position to actually know if what they wrote was true. They’re much like Christians today, who write commentaries or blogs that talk about the truth of Christianity, but they never knew Jesus or his disciples.

    And scholars don’t believe this because they want to, but because of evidence. None of the gospels were written in the first person, and all of them are anonymous. Matthew and Luke borrow verbatim from Mark, and Matthew shouldn’t have needed to if he were an actual disciple that knew Jesus. The gospels contradict one another in certain details, they were written about 40 or more years after Jesus’ death, and they all seem to have been written in Greek, while the original disciples were illiterate men who spoke Aramaic.

    There’s really no reason to think the gospels were actually written by disciples, yet you hold that as the default position. I get it — it’s what I was taught too. But it doesn’t match the evidence.

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  100. Nate and Kathy,

    This is what the Great Humanitarian and Devout Christian Dr Albert Schweitzer was taught too. And yet there were questions which nagged him enough he did his own research and wrote a book, “The Quest for the Historical Jesus”.

    Here is the jest of his book. “Schweitzer wrote that Jesus and his followers expected the imminent end of the world.[2] He became very focused on the study and cross referencing of the many Biblical verses promising the return of the Son of Man and the exact details of this urgent event, as it was originally believed that it would unfold. He noted that in the gospel of Mark, Jesus speaks of a “tribulation,” with nation rising against nation, false prophets, earthquakes, stars falling from the sky, and the coming of the Son of Man “in the clouds with great power and glory.” Jesus even tells his disciples when all this will happen: “Verily I say unto you, that this generation shall not pass, till all these things be done.” (Mark 13:30) The same story is told in the gospel of Matthew, with Jesus promising his rapid return as the Son of Man, and again saying: “Verily I say unto you, this generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.” Even St. Paul believed these things, Schweitzer observes (e.g. 1 Thessalonians 4), and Schweitzer concludes that Christians of the first century theology literally believed in the imminent fulfillment of Jesus’ promise.

    Schweitzer concludes that critical 1st century theology has been ignored by the faithful. Almost all early followers are known to have been illiterate. Only those few literate leaders, then in power, could be aware of the critical unfulfilled First Century promise indivisible from the original theology of Jesus. Schweitzer observes that the early church leaders introduced a modified theology, once the prompt return of Jesus failed to occur. Obviously, the early leaders would surely lose power, and their employment, if they failed to modify the original theology.

    Schweitzer writes that the many modern versions of Christianity deliberately ignore the urgency of the message that Jesus proclaimed. Each new generation hopes to be the one to see the world destroyed, another world coming, and the saints governing a new earth. Schweitzer thus concludes that the First Century theology, originating in the lifetimes of those who first followed Jesus, is both incompatible and very different from those beliefs later made official by the Roman Emperor Constantine in 325 CE.

    Schweitzer established his reputation further as a New Testament scholar with other theological studies including The Psychiatric Study of Jesus (1911) and his two studies of the apostle Paul, Paul and his Interpreters, and the more complete The Mysticism of Paul the Apostle (1930). This examined the eschatological beliefs of Paul and (through this) the message of the New Testament.”

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  101. Schweitzer observes that the early church leaders introduced a modified theology, once the prompt return of Jesus failed to occur. Obviously, the early leaders would surely lose power, and their employment, if they failed to modify the original theology.

    Why do you think that for a thousand years – 500-1500 CE, The Church, upon penalty of death, forbade the possession of any Bibles written in any language than Latin. in a Europe where few people read, and far fewer read Latin?

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  102. Nate,

    “Kathy,

    KC is right. You asked about any page from the Bible. Several of us have given you a number of examples.

    Furthermore, if you want to talk about the gospels, simply show me where one of them says who its author is. Chapter and verse, please.

    Thanks”

    No one has given me a page.. please give me a specific page, I’ll read it and see if your claim that even though what they’re writing is a lie (according to you), they can believe it as truth.

    And I don’t claim that the authors of the Gospels are identified in the books. Again, I ask.. so?

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  103. Yes you do, Kathy. You maintain that the gospels were written by Jesus’ immediate disciples. So which ones, and where do we get this information?

    You want an actual page of the Bible? Then let’s just use the first one. Look at Genesis 1 and tell me how it would be impossible for someone to write that without knowing for sure that it was completely accurate.

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  104. Nan,

    “How did they know what Jesus prayed?”

    You assume something didn’t happen because scripture didn’t mention it? Just think about.. while I answer more challenging questions.

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  105. And I don’t claim that the authors of the Gospels are identified in the books. Again, I ask.. so? – then how can you say they were martyred, if you don’t know who they were?

    Observe, Laura, how Kathy evades questions – this is a lesson on how NOT to be a Christian.

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  106. “No one has given me a page.. please give me a specific page, I’ll read it and see if your claim that even though what they’re writing is a lie (according to you), they can believe it as truth”

    Kathy , do you suffer from A.D.D. or are you really this ridiculous ????

    Nate used (2 Kings 3),
    Nan used Matthew (26:36-56)
    KC and Arch used (Genesis 30:37-43

    Get real !

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  107. Nate,

    “Yes you do, Kathy. You maintain that the gospels were written by Jesus’ immediate disciples. So which ones, and where do we get this information?”

    I don’t deny that.. yes, I believe the authors are those named in the title of the books. But I never claimed it was explicitly stated in the gospels who the authors were. And we get the information by the clues in the gospels. Those names are the MOST likely authors based on what we do know. Hence the names of the books.

    “You want an actual page of the Bible? Then let’s just use the first one. Look at Genesis 1 and tell me how it would be impossible for someone to write that without knowing for sure that it was completely accurate.”

    Can you rephrase that please? I’m starting to get confused. You are claiming that the authors of the Bible can be sincere, believing what they are writing as the truth even though it’s false.

    ok.. the 1st page of the Bible. Please explain how the author can write all those details as truth, even though it’s all a lie. Your claim isn’t feasible Nate.

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  108. Kathy, you’ve just opened Pandora’s box with your latest posting to me. Can’t you see the fallacy of your reasoning? *sigh* I suppose not.

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  109. Kathy, are you serious???

    If I ask a 5 year old what happens when he loses a tooth, and he tells me a story about the Tooth Fairy, is he lying, or is the Tooth Fairy real? According to you, it can only be one of those two possibilities.

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  110. I don’t deny that.. yes, I believe the authors are those named in the title of the books. But I never claimed it was explicitly stated in the gospels who the authors were. And we get the information by the clues in the gospels. Those names are the MOST likely authors based on what we do know. Hence the names of the books.

    First, I’d like an answer to my Tooth Fairy question, but then I’d love to see you back up this statement. I just gave you all the reasons why most scholars (even a number of Christian ones) don’t believe the names given to the Gospels are accurate. So please tell me how those people are the “MOST likely authors”?

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  111. You at least question things, Laura – stay the kind of Christian you are, but never turn into a Kathy.

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  112. Kathy,

    Re – August 28, 2014 at 5:07 pm:

    how it could be false but they could believe what they are writing as true.

    How could so many people believe in the Quran and Islam if it’s false? How could so many people believe they were abducted by aliens? Or that they’ve had visions of the virgin Mary?

    Many people believe all kinds of crazy things. I don’t think we even need to understand the mechanisms of delusion, deception, and false beliefs in order to acknowledge that it does happen, and consequently to rightly insist on extraordinary evidence before believing extraordinary claims.

    What excludes you and me from possibly having been mistaken for many years about our religious beliefs?

    Re – August 28, 2014 at 5:20 pm:

    Nate, I don’t deny that people believed in false gods and believed they spoke to them in various ways. Your example is a description of what Mesha did because he believed his god spoke to him. I don’t know the detail of how he claims his god spoke to him but the claims in the Bible can’t be confused. Either it did happen or all the authors were have delusions.. or they were all lying.

    Your example is of one man’s testimony of his god communicating with him.. it doesn’t compare to the claims of the multiple authors of the Bible. And it doesn’t make sense that they were all having delusions or that they were all lying. This is why it makes for compelling evidence.

    This is special pleading.

    Also, they didn’t all have to be one thing or the other, nor does everything need to be so strong as “delusion”. I suspect some parts were rumors and stories that grew, and were spread among the people, and eventually some wrote them down. Some people added things, some details got mixed up along the way, some embellished…probably some lied…

    BTW, ever play “Whisper Down the Lane”? (I think most people call it the game of “Telephone”.)

    Re – August 28, 2014 at 8:42 pm:

    Again, what you are claiming is that the authors of the Gospels were lying. And then they allowed themselves to be martyred for these lies.

    As Nan pointed out, you’re putting words in our mouths.

    Now maybe some were lying. Or maybe they just wrote down the stories that they had heard.
    We don’t know who wrote the gospels, but (1) they don’t make claims to authorship, (2) they are written in a language (Greek) that Jesus’ (alleged, Aramaic-speaking) disciples likely didn’t know, and (3) they (peasants) were almost certainly not able to write, anyway.

    It seems implausible to me that an all-powerful, all-knowing, loving deity–who wants to reveal himself to us so that we can fellowship with him–would perform that revelation through anonymous writers, writing in a different language from the characters in the stories. This suggests they were far removed from any possible witnesses to the alleged events. Who knows how much the story was changed before it got the writers?

    Now all that seems strange, but by itself, maybe still possible. (Maybe.) However, don’t forget, that the (ostensibly) “good book” speaks of grave consequences for those who don’t believe.

    I see no way to reconcile the proposition of a just and loving god with the claims of eternal punishment as a consequence of simple disbelief of the resurrection hypothesis, which is not evidently true.

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  113. “Kathy, are you serious???

    If I ask a 5 year old what happens when he loses a tooth, and he tells me a story about the Tooth Fairy, is he lying, or is the Tooth Fairy real? According to you, it can only be one of those two possibilities.”

    Yes Nate, I’m serious.. please tell me your theory of how the author of page 1 of the Bible can believe what they are writing even though it’s “fiction”.

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  114. “Believe it or not, most scholars believe the gospels were written by such people. Well-meaning, devout, but not in a position to actually know if what they wrote was true. They’re much like Christians today, who write commentaries or blogs that talk about the truth of Christianity, but they never knew Jesus or his disciples.”

    Nope, this is where you go wrong Nate.. here’s another example of not applying context. Again, if you’d pick a specific page, we could debate this easier.. but, basically the CONTEXT of the Gospels and the rest of the Bible is in a factual context.. they are statements of fact.. with many details. Remember, Christians are supposed to be truthful.. so if, as you say, they aren’t lying, then they couldn’t write these things as fact without themselves having reasonable verification.
    But your claim insists that they are using heresay.. “FICTIONAL” heresay, meaning they CAN’T have reasonable verification.. yet they are reporting it as fact. This isn’t a reasonable claim.

    And it’s not like people who write commentaries or blogs today.. this is in a SPECULATIVE context. They are entirely different contexts.

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  115. “If I ask a 5 year old what happens when he loses a tooth, and he tells me a story about the Tooth Fairy, is he lying, or is the Tooth Fairy real? According to you, it can only be one of those two possibilities.”

    Yes Nate, I’m serious.. please tell me your theory of how the author of page 1 of the Bible can believe what they are writing even though it’s ‘fiction’.

    How can you POSSIBLY, Kathy, read Nate’s paragraph above, and not see the connection? Are you TRYING to prove that you lack intelligence? If so, you’re doing a bang-up job!

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  116. Nate, cont..

    ” And scholars don’t believe this because they want to, but because of evidence. None of the gospels were written in the first person, and all of them are anonymous.”

    Again, so? That’s not very good evidence that the traditional authorship is incorrect. And again, it doesn’t matter who physically wrote the Gospels.. it only matters if it’s true or not.

    from Tektonics.org

    “We will examine and dispose of the common arguments for dating the Gospels late, and for rejecting their traditional authorship. With this, I will also offer two caveats:
    1. Authorship and date are important; but equally important, if not more so, is whether what is in the Gospels is true.
    Regardless of who wrote the Gospels and when, if they reflect reality correctly, then it points to their being written by eyewitnesses, or having eyewitnesses as their source. Thus, even if the traditional authorship and earliest dates are disproved – and it is my contention that the arguments against them are inadequate – it matters very little, we may surmise, who wrote them and when. (Hengel [Heng.4G, 6] notes that we have only one biography of Muhammed, written 212 years after his death, which used a source from about 100 years after his death, and yet “the historical scepticism of critical European scholarship is substantially less” where Muhammed is concerned.)

    2. Critical arguments about authorship and date of the Gospels revolve around the same data, and have revolved around it, for a long time.
    With very, VERY few exceptions, critics and Skeptics have used the same arguments against the traditional data over and over and over. In my survey of the literature, I have found that the standard critical arguments have been overused by Skeptics and sufficiently answered by traditionalists; yet the critics have not deigned to answer the counter-arguments, except rarely and then only with bald dismissals. ”

    Boy.. I’ve found that last part to be especially true.

    http://www.tektonics.org/ntdocdef/gospdefhub.php

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  117. Arch,

    “How can you POSSIBLY, Kathy, read Nate’s paragraph above, and not see the connection? Are you TRYING to prove that you lack intelligence? If so, you’re doing a bang-up job!”

    Arch, I fully understand why the child believes in the tooth fairy.. but I’m pretty sure that isn’t the same case with the author of Genesis.. stop trying to cover for Nate. I want to know the “theory” of how page one of Genesis was written by someone who was honest even though what they wrote was all lies.

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  118. Regardless of who wrote the Gospels and when, if they reflect reality correctly ” – what an absurd response, when no one can say that they do!

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  119. Arch, I fully understand why the child believes in the tooth fairy..” – it’s not an issue, Kathy, as to WHY a child believes in the tooth fairy, it’s one of how a child who does, can honestly say without lying, that the tooth fairy exists, and still be wrong. PLEASE tell me that your apparent denseness is some sort of strange tactic, that you’ve erroneously convinced yourself is debate – I would not like to believe that ANYone is that dense.

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  120. “it’s not an issue, Kathy, as to WHY a child believes in the tooth fairy, it’s one of how a child who does, can honestly say without lying, that the tooth fairy exists, and still be wrong.”

    Sorry Arch, as inconvenient as it is.. it most certainly IS the issue. The issue is determining the Truth of the Bible. I’m pretty sure the author of Genesis was not a naïve child. But apparently you are (naïve) (and definitely a lot like a child) since I had to point that obvious fact out to you.

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  121. I’m pretty sure the author of Genesis was not a naïve child.” – no, he was a naive priest, living in captivity in Babylon, trying to make sense of things. He believed the BS all his life, that his god would protect his people, yet here he was, in captivity in a strange land, having witnessed his temple, the center of his life, being torn down, stone by stone, and he wondered why. Like you, it never occurred to him that he had spent his life following a fairy tale, and like you, in his mind, the god he believed in could do no wrong, so the fault, he decided, MUST lie with the Hebrews. So he (and others with him) decided to revamp the JE portion of Torah, that had been written down hundreds of years earlier by priests in both the Northern and Southern Kingdoms, and to try and make the god depicted there appear more godly, more dignified, so that people would have more fear and respect for him and obey his commands, so that this could never happen again to his people. He knew nothing of science, of how the universe ACTUALLY came to be, so he used his imagination, and made up a scenario, as thousands of cultures before him had done, intending for it to replace the JE version, but the redactor instead, placed both versions, Gen1 and gen2, side by side.

    He may not have been a naive child, he was worse – he was a naive man who was making it up as he went along, which by itself, wouldn’t have been so bad, as writers have been composing fiction since the Epic of Gilgamesh and possibly even before, but he was passing his fiction off as truth, truth inspired by a god, and that was just wrong.

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  122. KC: “”Kathy, you are correct that Elohim has a plural usage in the OT. Show us where the Plural Usage points to a Son and a Holy Spirit ? This is certainly your intent by mentioning it at all.”

    Kathy: “You take into account the other passages.. you find the CONTEXTUAL meaning. And when you do that, you see the Trinity.

    Could you line up those passages, Kathy, in some kind of order, and show us how to see the Trinity in the word, “Elohim”? Is it anything like seeing the face of Jesus on a grilled cheese sandwich?

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  123. “Kathy, are you serious???

    If I ask a 5 year old what happens when he loses a tooth, and he tells me a story about the Tooth Fairy, is he lying, or is the Tooth Fairy real? According to you, it can only be one of those two possibilities.”

    Yes Nate, I’m serious.. please tell me your theory of how the author of page 1 of the Bible can believe what they are writing even though it’s “fiction”.

    I haven’t read the latest comments yet, but this isn’t good enough, Kathy. Is the child lying about the Tooth Fairy, or is the Tooth Fairy real? I’d like for you to answer this question.

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  124. Okay, so I see where you’ve conceded the child just believes in the Tooth Fairy without the Tooth Fairy being real — no lying required.

    That’s exactly what I’m saying happened with the writers of Genesis. You don’t have to be a child to do this same thing — we’re all guilty of it from time to time. When my first two children were born, my wife and I told them how God created the world and sent his only son to die for our sins. These were things we felt they should know, so they could grow up to be godly Christians. But we had no independent knowledge of any of that. We could have written it down, but there was no need as it was already contained in the Bible. We believed it was true for a number of different reasons, but one of the biggest is that it’s what we were raised to believe as well. Cultural tradition plays a huge part in determining what someone believes.

    Many, if not most, of the stories in the Bible began as oral traditions. They had been passed down for generations, and everyone in that culture believed them without question. None of them needed first hand knowledge of the actual events. This isn’t some crazy theory — it’s what anthropologists have known for centuries about all cultures. The Arthurian legends were oral traditions until they were finally written down, centuries after the events in question (if Arthur was even real). Native American traditions were passed down orally.

    This is just how human societies developed. It’s not hard to see how the stories in the Bible were just the written accounts of stories that had been long held as true among the Jewish people. In fact, that’s the most likely scenario, considering it’s how every other culture in the world has operated. If you want to believe that the Jews were different — that their written stories didn’t start as oral legends but were handed down from the one, true God, then you need evidence to back it up. But when we examine the scriptures, we find all kinds of clues that point to the former explanation as being the most likely. We’ve been giving you those clues, and it forms the basis of the documentary hypothesis.

    Again, instead of trying to shoot off a reply, I’d recommend you take some time to research these issues further. Ask more questions if you want — we’ll be happy to help. But when you try to argue these points without really researching them first, most of your responses end up being little more than “nuh-uh”.

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  125. 2. Critical arguments about authorship and date of the Gospels revolve around the same data, and have revolved around it, for a long time.
    With very, VERY few exceptions, critics and Skeptics have used the same arguments against the traditional data over and over and over. In my survey of the literature, I have found that the standard critical arguments have been overused by Skeptics and sufficiently answered by traditionalists; yet the critics have not deigned to answer the counter-arguments, except rarely and then only with bald dismissals.

    Boy.. I’ve found that last part to be especially true.

    Not so. You first have to give actual counter-arguments. Just denying our arguments without providing something solid to back up what you’re saying isn’t a “counter-argument,” it’s just denial. And that’s why the same arguments keep being made — they haven’t been overturned. Note that the article you’re quoting says the arguments have been “sufficiently answered,” but that’s obviously his opinion. It’s a nice phrase to make anyone reading it assume he’s right, but he hasn’t shown the evidence for this statement. What he finds “sufficient” may not meet anyone else’s definition. That’s what I discovered when I began doing my own research into these things. But again — that’s my assessment, and you shouldn’t take it at face value without doing your own.

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  126. I haven’t had time to catch up on all the comments but is it being proposed that when adults make statements about their beliefs that there can be only 2 possibilities:

    1) They are lying
    2) They are correct

    ?

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  127. Regardless of who wrote the Gospels and when, if they reflect reality correctly, then it points to their being written by eyewitnesses, or having eyewitnesses as their source.

    No one would deny this. But there are many issues in the gospels (as we’ve repeatedly shown) that indicate they doesn’t reflect reality correctly.

    we have only one biography of Muhammed, written 212 years after his death, which used a source from about 100 years after his death, and yet “the historical scepticism of critical European scholarship is substantially less” where Muhammed is concerned.

    This isn’t really accurate, but similar claims are made quite often. For one thing, the earliest non-Muslim sources that talk about Muhammad date to within about 5 years of his death. Secondly, and most importantly, historians actually acknowledge that there are real issues in figuring out the historicity of Muhammad. So your author’s entire premise is false.

    Furthermore, the historicity of Jesus is not nearly as contested as the author is trying to make it appear. There are certainly some mythicists, but most scholars believe that Jesus was a real person who lived in the 1st century, had a group of followers, was known as a preacher and healer, and was killed by the Roman authorities. That’s fairly well accepted. Do most historians believe he could walk on water and rose from the dead? No. But neither do they believe Muhammad rode a winged horse to Jerusalem.

    Your author is trying to make fellow Christians think there’s some unfair conspiracy aimed at Christianity, but it’s just not true. Its historicity is treated just the same as any other subject’s, which is exactly how it should be.

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  128. “Again, what you are claiming is that the authors of the Gospels were lying. And then they allowed themselves to be martyred for these lies.” – kathy

    isn this what you claim about the martyrs of every other religion?

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  129. “How did they know what Jesus prayed?”-nan

    “You assume something didn’t happen because scripture didn’t mention it? Just think about.. while I answer more challenging questions.” – kahty

    when would jesus have had time to tell them? When he was being arrested? Did he fill them in as he was putting the ear back on malcus?

    You’re suggesting something “might” have happened, when there was no time for it to have occurred, and when the bible doesn’t say that it did happen, because you actually see the issue presented, but don’t want it to be true – so you just make something up and pretend that your fabrication covers the problem enough to justify you ignoring it.

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  130. I haven’t had time to catch up on all the comments but is it being proposed that when adults make statements about their beliefs that there can be only 2 possibilities:

    1) They are lying
    2) They are correct

    ?

    That’s just about the size of it, I think, Howie. Which begs the question: if someone actually believes what they are saying to be true are they lying if it isn’t?

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  131. You’re suggesting something “might” have happened, when there was no time for it to have occurred, and when the bible doesn’t say that it did happen, because you actually see the issue presented, but don’t want it to be true – so you just make something up and pretend that your fabrication covers the problem enough to justify you ignoring it.

    And this from the person who was criticizing others for inserting the word “all” into a certain prophecy that it is pretty clear from the context that “all” was actually the meaning.

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  132. “Yes Nate, I’m serious.. please tell me your theory of how the author of page 1 of the Bible can believe what they are writing even though it’s “fiction”.” – kathy

    what? first tell us how muslims, catholics, witches, buddhists, sihks, etc, etc do it.

    This is stupid. You have to be smarter than this. cant you see what you’re doing?

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  133. “But your claim insists that they are using heresay.. “FICTIONAL” heresay, meaning they CAN’T have reasonable verification.. yet they are reporting it as fact. This isn’t a reasonable claim.” – kathy

    you’re a christian right? How do you believe this stuff? Did you see jesus die on the cross, raise from the dead and fly into heaven?

    Did you see god create everything in 6 days?

    …or did you read about it in a book? a book that claimed all this was true? as in… hearsay?

    do you know what “hearsay” is?

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  134. “Again, so? That’s not very good evidence that the traditional authorship is incorrect. And again, it doesn’t matter who physically wrote the Gospels.. it only matters if it’s true or not.” -kathy

    lol

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  135. “Arch, I fully understand why the child believes in the tooth fairy.. but I’m pretty sure that isn’t the same case with the author of Genesis.. stop trying to cover for Nate. I want to know the “theory” of how page one of Genesis was written by someone who was honest even though what they wrote was all lies.” – kathy

    because they were told these stories as children, and were told they were true. They didn’t have the scientific understand of these modern times, so it still somehow made sense to them as they grew.

    they really believed in god and really believed he created the world as they were told when children. They wanted others to know how god created the world, so when they learned tow write, they wrote it down…

    is this really difficult to grasp?

    are you aware about the studies done on false memories? if not, i suggest googling it.

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  136. I have a thought to add about the “are they lying” or “are they correct” possibilities. There’s a third possibility, which is that the person is insane; a psychotic person can truly believe that “their” reality is true, when it doesn’t bear any resemblance to objective reality according to sane people. A more mild version of insanity would be delusion (like the kid who believes in Santa or the Tooth Fairy) because someone else has lied to him/her. Just throwing that out there . . .

    I’ve got a more general question for everyone, though. When you say “evidence” or “proof”, what do you mean by that? (I’m trying to make sure that we’re all using the same definitions for words and communicating clearly.)

    What would you consider as evidence or proof that something–anything, not just religion-related things–is true?

    Is something true only when it’s backed up by scientific data or eyewitness testimony or scholarly research or what? What if the science backing a particular claim is later shown to be false because new data has emerged? Or what if the witnesses aren’t accurate in their assessment of what they saw? What if the scholars researching aren’t careful enough? What if the evidence conflicts with other evidence?

    I’m thinking along these lines because I read a magazine article that described how an innocent man was put in prison for 2+ decades, simply because “forensic evidence” convinced the jurors of his guilt. This, despite 20-odd witnesses collaborating his alibi. The forensic evidence was later shown to have been processed sloppily, and the “hairs” that linked him to the crime scene were dog hairs! So, sometimes scientific evidence can be inaccurate, and the eyewitnesses can correct.

    I hope you understand how these things are linked in my mind.

    Enjoying reading this discussion. I’ve got lots to research. Thankfully, I like research!

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  137. Hi Laura!

    I meant to tell you yesterday that I’m also in the Bible belt — I live in the Birmingham, AL area. So “y’all, shucks, reckon,” and “grits” are all words I use quite regularly. 😉

    First, I agree with you that insanity is always an option. So is delusion, though I would add “mistaken” as one of the more probable explanations — not quite to the level of delusion. And that’s where I think many of the writers of the Bible fall.

    As to evidence, you raise some great questions. I don’t know that it’s ever possible to get 100% accuracy on any issue. It’s true that science sometimes overturns its own findings — in fact, that happens quite a lot. But at every stage, the findings are based on our best understanding of all the facts. Can we really do better than that? And even if the current consensus is wrong, should it be a crime to accept it? After all, it’s where the best evidence is currently pointing.

    But to finally answer your question, I don’t think my standards for evidence are all that different from anyone else’s. For something like advanced science, I try to learn what I can about the issue, but I also put stock in the consensus opinion of the experts, since I can’t be an expert on everything.

    I think eye-witness testimony is very valuable, but I also know that it can sometimes be wrong for a variety of reasons. I think that anything that can go back to actual scientific results is usually on the best footing. For instance, when scientists get back radiometric dating results from several samples of an object, and they all corroborate, I think that’s pretty solid evidence.

    When it comes to the gospels, I tend to agree with most historians in thinking that Jesus was a real person who had followers and was killed by the Romans. But if I were to believe the supernatural aspects of the story, I would need very strong evidence. I don’t see any evidence of divine inspiration in any book of the Bible (I can give details, if you’re interested), and I’ve never experienced anything supernatural, so I simply have no reason to believe that the fantastical elements of the story are true.

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  138. Hi Laura,

    I’ll take a stab at this. I’m sure others will weigh in and be able to better answer you. The actual definition of evidence has been supplied a few times.

    Full Definition of EVIDENCE
    1 a : an outward sign : indication
    b : something that furnishes proof : testimony; specifically : something legally submitted to a tribunal to ascertain the truth of a matter
    2: one who bears witness; especially : one who voluntarily confesses a crime and testifies for the prosecution against his accomplices

    For this particular discussion we are all looking at what would most likely be termed as circumstantial evidence because we lack much, if any, primary evidence.

    Is something true only when it’s backed up by scientific data or eyewitness testimony or scholarly research or what? What if the science backing a particular claim is later shown to be false because new data has emerged? Or what if the witnesses aren’t accurate in their assessment of what they saw? What if the scholars researching aren’t careful enough? What if the evidence conflicts with other evidence?

    These are all issues that must be considered when dealing with historical documents. It is entirely possible that even eyewitness testimony can be inaccurate. That’s where the “special pleading” that we talk so much about comes in. It has been determined by Biblical inerrantists that somehow Yahweh has preserved what he wanted written in such way that the supposed eyewitness testimony it entirely 100% accurate. That they only recorded what Yahweh intended for them to record. That their testimony is in no way tainted. I’m skeptical of that claim.

    Furthermore, in other historical and scientific fields when conflicting information is given no one claims to have a certain knowledge. And, like in your forensics case, albeit not good for the man in question, once new evidence does come to light course corrections are made. Not so with the Bible. With other areas of academia we are not expected to take those things at face value and we certainly don’t face any horrific consequences for being skeptical of claims being made or even testing and researching conclusions drawn from information that is available.

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  139. Laura,

    another possibility is that they’re simply mistaken. whether it’s overly gullible, predisposed to certain beliefs based on upbringing or something else, or under-educated, or whatever… I’m sure we can all think of instances where we’ve been wrong, but we weren’t insane or lying – just honestly mistaken…

    I would think that most of us have had situations where a loved one swore something was one way, so we stood by them, believing them to be true, only to find out that were wrong or even lying themselves. People are mistaken all the time, which is why i don’t understand the issue with this.

    “What would you consider as evidence or proof that something–anything, not just religion-related things–is true?” Laura

    I dont have a specific example I guess, but I have something to offer.

    Shooting from the hip here, I’d say that “proof” is indisputable fact with indisputable evidence, where “evidence” is merely a thing or things that imply something, but do not necessarily mean indisputable or complete.

    What evidence is required? I believe this depends on what’s being claimed or discussed, and who’s pushing it. If i heard that someone got in a car wreck, I dont think I’d require photographs or video tape before I believed it. Car wrecks happen all the time and are not supernatural.

    If someone told me that they saw a deer in the woods with 5 tines on one antler but one nub on the the other, I would believe that too, even though it’s nothing I’ve ever seen. If the guy telling me this story was known for making stuff up, I’d be skeptical, but if i knew him to be good guy, then I’d buy it because it’s not out of the realm of possibility. I’ve seen deer, and i can imagine ways for there to be an injury or a birth defect…

    If someone told me that they saw bigfoot, i’d be skeptical. I’ve never seen one, and there’s been so much in circulation surrounding them and talk about hoaxes, that it would take quite a lot to convince me, if not a first hand personal experience of my own.

    I think it boils down to the source and the likelihood or uniqueness of the event.

    So when a virgin has a baby, it should take more that “someone said so” for it to be believable, because that doesn’t happen. 1 exception in all of mankind, and we’re supposed to believe that as easily as being told about it?

    I don’t know the authors. and I have seen a lot of the stuff claimed. I wouldn’t believe this stuff if it came from any other source.

    what do you think? Do you think grand claims should have grand evidence or are you more like others here, who think it requires grand evidence unless it’s in the bible, then only only requires the bible to claim it?

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  140. Has anyone asked Kathy to name one eyewitness who says that he or she saw the resurrected Jesus?

    The Gospels were written anonymously. We don’t know who wrote them, where they wrote them, or even when they were written. The Apostle Paul states in Acts 26 that all he saw was a bright light…in a “vision”. There are no non-Christian accounts of Jesus resurrection, only his life and his crucifixion. Josephus, an enemy of the Jews, mentions Jesus, but never says a word about a resurrection, or dead people walking through Jerusalem when Jesus “gave up the ghost” as stated in Matthew.

    There is no evidence for the Resurrection. Kathy declines to give any evidence because there is none for her to give.

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  141. and you know, sometimes the absence of evidence is evidence that something is [not] true.

    Kathy, there’s spiders in your hair. Oh, what’s that? no there isnt? so because you dont see any evidence of spiders in your hair, you’re really okay in thinking there arent any?

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  142. Has anyone asked Kathy to name one eyewitness who says that he or she saw the resurrected Jesus?

    The Gospels were written anonymously. We don’t know who wrote them, where they wrote them, or even when they were written.

    Her contention seems to be that the Gospels were not written anonymously. She seems to believe that the writers are the names the books are attributed to.

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  143. Kathy, there’s spiders in your hair. Oh, what’s that? no there isnt? so because you dont see any evidence of spiders in your hair, you’re really okay in thinking there arent any?

    Well that’s just great! Now I feel things crawling in my hair and it wasn’t even my hair you were talking about. *shivers*

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  144. Hi Laura,
    “What would you consider as evidence or proof that something–anything, not just religion-related things–is true?”

    For me evidence can be summed up in in one word:
    interaction.

    For examples of earthly interactions, I also interact with my dog, she sitting by me now,
    This interaction does not necessarily have to be measurable,

    my dog wants to jump on my lap. we have a connection. she shows affection in her own way, by just spending time with me. and over time we have learned things about her, since she was a puppy. She collects sticks and leaves, and loves meeting new people. Her favourite things in the world is her yellow ball, it is her bestest thing.

    She has a different personality to our last dog. But in both cases we value who they were and are in our lives. What they shared of themselves with us.

    Since some of the most valuable interactions I have shared with others, have included conversations and connections with family and friends.

    My life is what it is because of the interactions I am so fortunate and blessed to have.
    Fortunate, because they give my life meaning and value. Blessed because if God has given this life to me, then I am certainly blessed.

    Communication can also go beyond words. There are many forms of language,
    body language, letters, verbal, sign language… ect.

    But providing there is an exchange of communication, and that communication is an interactive relationship, then I consider this to be a form of evidence.

    I am open to interaction.

    And this also includes me being open to not just earhtly interaction, but also Divine Interaction.

    I am not comparing the two, I understand that divine interaction is completely different. But I believe divine interaction also involves interaction,

    This interaction could be completely different to that of a human interaction that I am familiar with.

    Even so, the interaction, even if different, would need to be expressed in a definite way for me to not misunderstand it. For me evidence involves interaction. But vague interaction confuses me.

    For example, if my brother was texting me mixed messages, that contradicted one another, that to me would be confusing. Either I was misunderstanding the texts, or my brother was not effectively and clearly expressing what he wants to tell me.

    Furthermore, if my brother used vague, non specific language to convey his texts, unless they were explained to me, I could read into them and completely misunderstand what he was asking or informing me about.

    So interaction to me also needs to involve a clear communication, I think its important,
    so things are not confused and misunderstood. Otherwise I might think my brother was asking me to buy him some socks, when he really was inviting me over to play a board game.
    Its the same reason I’m not a great fan of vague poetry or pop songs,

    No matter how pretty the images are expressed, or how strong the emotions they trigger through this imagery. take bands like Cold play for example, its rarely specific, and can be open to countless different interpretations.

    Have you looked up the lyrics to “Clocks” or “yellow” what the Heck is Chris Martin singing about?! Although admittedly in another way I love these songs because I love the imagery and poetics painted, Although my point is I probably should not seek life guidance from these songs, they are vague and the intent of the song is not well defined. I could assume anything.

    These art forms are so open-ended that anyone can attach their own impressions on them, which is probably partly why they are so successful and popular,
    since they become “my” song to thousands if not millions of people, to mean so many different and contradictory things to different people.

    So because I don’t want to fall into such a trap of guessing and possibly misunderstanding…
    interaction to me should involve clear explanations (like Jesus did when he shared with His disciples what He actually meant in those parables).

    I don’t think this is testing God, I hope it isn’t. I think its more not wanting to misunderstand God if He chooses to interact with me.

    Does that make sense?

    And mind you, a lack of interaction or exposure does not necessarily mean that something or someone does not exist.

    For example, I may have a long lost brother somewhere, and because I have not interacted or connected with him yet, I just don’t have the evidence that he is out there, even though he is currently living in Brisbane…

    But I am open to the possibility.

    So again, for me evidence involves interaction. And after all, didn’t Jesus say, seek and you will find? He did I think 🙂

    If God is all knowing and intentional, as I believe. Then God knows where to find me.

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  145. And mind you, a lack of interaction or exposure does not necessarily mean that something or someone does not exist.

    For example, I may have a long lost brother somewhere, and because I have not interacted or connected with him yet, I just don’t have the evidence that he is out there, even though he is currently living in Brisbane…

    I think you’re absolutely right, Ryan. But do you believe you have a long lost brother just because it’s possible?

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  146. I still intend to be seeking though, but I need any correspondence to be more well defined than a Coldplay song 🙂

    Otherwise I might misunderstand it. Where does faith come into all of this?

    that’s another interesting question 🙂

    All the best

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  147. right, laurie. So even if he had mentioned the resurrection, it would have only been hearsay, and not a first hand, eyewitness account – which is why i never understood it when christians would cite josephus as some sort of evidence, even when i was a christian.

    Like

  148. But do you believe you have a long lost brother just because it’s possible?

    I see what your saying Nate,

    to be honest, for me personally, it also involves the fear of denying God

    I can deny I have a long lost brother, but this brother also didn’t write me a huge letter and teachings that states that its from him, compiled over centuries as revelation.

    The analogy breaks down, because my “long lost brother” is not eternal, all knowing, and the the only consequences of denying him would be the shame that I never had an opportunity to connect, and for him that he never got to be reunited with the family.

    Like

  149. “I can deny I have a long lost brother, but this brother also didn’t write me a huge letter and teachings that states that its from him, compiled over centuries as revelation.” – kathy

    and neither did god. even if you believe the bible, it was written by men.

    So, isn’t it essentially claims of men, that god wanted them to write his word? Claims that god is eternal, all powerful, etc… which i guess brings us back to evidence.

    But i totally get the fear. I actually appreciate your honesty in this. Certain motivators are greater than others.

    Like

  150. OK, Laurie – it’s raining, and I can no longer work in my yard, so I finally have time to review your material on camels.

    The Domestication of the Camel: Biological, Archaeological and Inscriptional Evidence from Mesopotamia, Egypt, Israel and Arabia, and Literary Evidence from the Hebrew Bible” – a 68-page downloadable PDF? REALLY? Girl, how much time do you think I HAVE?!

    The author of your article begins with:

    “I will give an account of the most important zooarchaeological evidence and, more specifically, of the inscriptional evidence. Finally, to come to a tentative conclusion, I will try to combine the data which are available today.

    “According to one of the most important commentaries on Genesis, by C. Westermann, the enumeration of Abram’s possessions, who lived according to the Biblical chronology somewhere at the beginning of the 2nd millennium BCE, belongs to the theme ‘the wealth of the patriarchs’, which can be encountered throughout the Patriarchal narratives. This theme ‘is to be understood functionally, not statistically, and is meant to portray the wealth of the patriarchs for listeners of a later age; the later elaboration and the anachronism (camels) are to
    be explained in the same way’.

    “Most commentators are of the opinion that mention of domesticated camels in the Patriarchal narratives constitutes an anachronism and was added at a later time. As will be seen during the discussion, this question is left open, and a hypothesis is proposed which tries to combine archaeological, inscriptional and literary evidence.

    “The story narrated in Gen 12 has partly been transmitted from earlier sources, but additional material (such as the ‘servants’ or the ‘camels’) has been added before the time of its final composition, or during the transmission after it had been written down. Therefore, this additional material, added with good intentions (or whatever reasons) by those who transmitted the Abraham narrative, may be regarded as anachronistic from our point of view.

    “The story narrated in Gen 12 has no historical core at all. It was composed shortly before its final form was written down, perhaps somewhere at the beginning of the first millennium BCE or later (cf. Van Seters, 1975, 17. 310).”

    Or about 950 BCE, at the time of the writing of the Yahwist (J) Source, in the Southern Kingdom of Judea, as (it has been pointed out) I have mentioned so frequently. Whose side are you on, MINE?

    The author adds: “Most commentators point out the fact that these verses look as if they have been enriched by later additions.

    “It is often referred to as a fact that camels were not domesticated until late in the 2nd millennium BCE, centuries after the Patriarchs were supposed to have lived. Even the great William F. Albright, well known for his support of the historicity of the Patriarchal narratives, concluded that references to camel domestication in the book of Genesis are spurious: ‘Any mention of camels in the period of Abraham is a blatant anachronism, the product of later priestly tampering with the earlier texts in order to bring them more in line with altered social conditions’ (Albright, 1942, 96). The Semites of the time of Abraham, he maintains, herded sheep, goats, and donkeys but not camels, for the latter had not yet been domesticated and did not really enter the orbit of Biblical history until about 1100–1000 BCE with the coming of the Midianites, the camel riding foes of Gideon.”

    He goes on to give data regarding bones of wild camels that were butchered and eaten in situ, and continues: “All these data suggest that the dromedary, at least in south-east Arabia, did not appear in its domesticated form before the end of the 2nd millennium.” – 1000 BCE. He finishes the paragraph with: “More specific evidence of when and where the dromedary was domesticated is largely unknown.

    He notes: “Curiously, the earliest known inscriptional references to camels in Egypt are
    not from Egypt but from Mesopotamia. On the famous Black Obelisk of Shalmaneser III (9th century BCE), two Bactrian camels are depicted on relief No 9 as the “tribute of the land of Musri” (Egypt).
    – emphasis, mine.

    He DOES mention possible domestication of the camel in the 3rd millennium: “Some Early Bronze Age finds of clay camels attached to miniature clay carts in the same area suggest that the two-humped camel was already employed in Southern Turkmenistan by the early 3rd millennium BCE (Peters / von den Driesch, 1997, 658–660; Kohl, 1984, 186)“, but Turkmenistan, located on the Caspian Sea, separated by the Zagros Mountains from Iran and Afghanistan to the south, is a far cry from Egypt, and the fact that they are shown pulling carts, implies the Egyptians never got the news, as the Egyptians had no wheeled transportation until the Hittites introduced them to the chariot in 1500 BCE, well past Honest Abe’s time. He continues, “With the beginning of the first millennium, the use of the domesticated Bactrian camel in trade and war is well attested, which does not need any further explanation“, which brings us back to my original, first millennium, assertion.

    I was amazed to learn, however, that our English word, “camel,” dates all the way back to ancient Akkadian, the group who overcame the Sumarians, the original inhabitants of Mesopotamia, – the word was “gammalu,” and has not evolved that much!

    The author admits, “The earliest known Mesopotamian lexical evidence of the camel is provided by an animal list from Fara of the Early Dynastic Period (ca. 2600–2500 BCE),
    where the Sumerian term “am. si . har .an” (Sumarian, for camel – me) occurs again . In this list, “am. si har .an” is found in the proximity of terms for wild animals, such as the elephant, the water buffalo, the bear and the wolf.
    ” Though he presents a few pieces of evidence, the clay camels mentioned above and a love poem that speaks of drinking camel’s milk, he acknowledges that, “At the end of the 2nd millennium, however, the Bactrian camel was again regarded as a curious animal, although the royal administration had enough know-how to breed Bactrian camels. Ashur-bel-kela (1074–1054 BCE) presented herds of Bactrian camels and other curiosities to the people of Assyria. They are listed between leopards, bears, wild boars, wild asses, deer and wolves on the one side, and apes and crocodiles on the other side.” Did they fall out of use? He doesn’t say.

    Further, at another point, he admits that, “The explicit mention of (Gen 32) ‘thirty milking camels and their colts’ implies that these camels were seen as a particular milk-source“, and so, the Sumarian love poem regarding the sharing by the lovers, of camel’s milk, may not have been evidence of any domestication, other than as a milk source.

    The above related primarily to the Bactrian (two-humped) camel. Of the Dromedary (single-humped), he says: “For the domestication of the dromedary, the zooarchaeological evidence
    points to the beginning of the first millennium, and the inscriptional evidence to the 13th century at the latest.

    Additionally: “…the faunal remains point to the appearance of the domesticated dromedary in south-east Arabia towards the beginning of the first millennium.” – and – “From the beginning of the first millennium onwards the usual form of the domesticated camel was seen as the Dromedary. This is the reason why the Bactrian camel in texts from the 9th century BCE and later was sometimes described as an ‘anše.a.ab.ba with two humps’ or in similar terms.

    He continues, in what we can only hope is the wrap-up, although we seem to still have 26 pages to to go:

    “Already Walz (1956, 196, footnote 27) suggested that at least some of the occurrences in Genesis might imply Bactrian rather than Arabian camels. If we suppose that all references to camels in Genesis are the outcome of a later elaboration of the text we will not gain any new insight into the question of the camel’s domestication from Genesis. In that case, the general circumstances of a later age (end of the second / begin of the first millennium or later?) have been superimposed on the Abraham narrative. In the following, the references to camels in Genesis will be taken on a trial basis in their contextual time-frame, as if referring to the beginning of the 2nd millennium. In this discussion, camels and their use will be the only point of interest. Finally, a tentative conclusion will be drawn.”

    He then launches into wild speculation that Abram “might (shades of Kathy!) have brought them with him. He points to Gen 24 and 31 as other indications of Abe’s camel usage, as though using the Bible to prove the Bible, proves anything.

    Joseph’s brothers, we see (Gen 43), the product, if we can believe the Abraham story, of three generations of camel jockeys, used donkeys when they went to Egypt to buy grain, to wit:

    “When Jacob had settled down in Canaan, camels seem not to have been in his use any more, because all the goods which were sent down to Egypt during the famine were transported by donkeys (Gen 42:26–27; 43:24; 44:3.13).

    “The donkey was also the common transport animal in Mari in the 19th–18th centuries BCE, and between Southern Syria (Amurru) and Egypt some 500 years later during the Amarna period (EA 161:23). Neither the Egyptians nor the family of Jacob are viewed as possessing camels in Egypt by the Genesis narrator (Gen 45:23; 47:17; 50:8). (Even HE doesn’t say it was Moses! – me)

    “The Hebrews themselves apparently did not esteem the camel very highly after the time of the Patriarchs. There are only two events reported where camels were owned by the later Hebrews of the united Israelite kingdom. When David was made king in Hebron, camels are mentioned among the animals that brought food for the celebration (1Chr. 12:40). David had a herd of camels which were under supervision of Obil, an Ishmaelite (1Chr 27:30). His name is a Hebrew transliteration of the Arabic word for camel (ibil) and may be regarded as a nickname. This means that the Israelites of the united Israelite kingdom, seemingly without know-how in camel breeding and camel use, relied on Arabian specialists. We know from cuneiform sources that the later Assyrians likewise did not always have the know-how of camel breeding and camel use. From later times, we have the intriguing information that Esarhaddon (ruled Assyria, 681 – 669 BCE – me) asked ‘the kings of the Aribi’ to provide for transport camels for his campaign against Egypt.”

    He then makes an incredible, flying leap:

    “The archaeological evidence points to the fact that the Bactrian camel was
    domesticated before the dromedary and was put into use by the middle of the 3rd millennium or earlier. The gradual spread of the Bactrian camel from the areas east of the Zagros Mountains to the west seems to have reached the Mesopotamian civilization sporadically by the middle of the 3rd millennium and more frequently at the end of the 3rd / beginning of the 2nd millennium.

    While the clay statue of a camel drawing a cart may indeed indicate that at least in some area of Turkmenistan, someone may have used a camel as a transportation system, he has certainly given no evidence that I’ve seen, that it spread over the Zagros Mountains gradually or otherwise, during the 3rd millennium, or even the 2nd.

    Although he argues that the patriarchs used camels because the Bible says they did, he admits, “In the daily life of the patriarchs, however, the camel played a minor role. The later Hebrews never adopted it and regarded it as unclean (Lev 11:4).” Yes, well, Leviticus didn’t have the same ghost-writer that Genesis did, that could account for a lot.

    He further admits, “It is also important to make a distinction between domestication and
    widespread use of the camel. There is no evidence for a wide-spread adoption of the camel into Near Eastern economies until the beginning of the first millennium BCE.

    Then he does a soft-shoe: “One explanation is that the process of domestication
    lasted a long time and that dromedaries were brought under some human control well before 1000 BCE but were not used for widespread trade and transport until later. Another explanation offered is that dromedary domestication occurred independently at various locations and times.

    I earlier quoted Albright’s “Any mention of camels in the period of Abraham is a blatant anachronism, the product of later priestly tampering with the earlier texts in order to bring them more in line with altered social conditions” – your author partially dismisses this assertion by quoting another historian, “C. H. Gordon had an anecdotal way of explaining Albright’s opinion on the camel. He claimed that Albright ‘abominated camels and adored donkeys. This had a subconscious effect on his pronouncements and publications concerning the patriarchal age. He got rid of the camels by turning their very mention in the patriarchal narratives into anachronisms.’” – a rather cheap shot, in my estimation.

    While he claims, “Bactrian camels, however, must have been available in Mesopotamia more
    than 1000 years earlier
    ” (than 1000 BCE), he admits in the same paragraph, “But also the Bactrian camel is not often mentioned in Mesopotamian literature…While the elephant (not to speak of the omnipresence of the donkey, the horse and the ox) seems to have been present in all kinds of literature, the camel is rarely mentioned. Those people who used the camel as a means of transport probably avoided to enter the cities and preferred to park them outside.(” I found that more than a bit lame, in terms of an explanation.

    He concludes:

    After all, additional finds of both archaeological and inscriptional evidence are necessary to have a more precise understanding of the camel’s role in the Ancient Near East before the first millennium BCE.”

    I have no more time today to check out the second source you offered, but as promised, I will. I also have no time to offer my own evidence, as this review has totally consumed my morning, and contrary to popular opinion, I DO have a life.

    I trust I have completed this review Laurie, with a minimum of jackassery. Are you sure you wouldn’t like me to review War and Peace? After all, I DO have a long weekend coming up —

    Like

  151. Ryan,

    No matter how pretty the images are expressed, or how strong the emotions they trigger through this imagery. take bands like Cold play for example, its rarely specific, and can be open to countless different interpretations.

    …I still intend to be seeking though, but I need any correspondence to be more well defined than a Coldplay song

    to be honest, for me personally, it also involves the fear of denying God

    I can deny I have a long lost brother, but this brother also didn’t write me a huge letter and teachings that states that its from him, compiled over centuries as revelation.

    I appreciate the honesty inherent in these comments. I do have a question, though. It seems to me that, since a whole lot of people disagree about it, the Bible is rarely specific and can be open to countless interpretations. If you need any correspondence to be more well defined than a Coldplay song what kind of correspondence have you gotten from God that fits that description? Is the fear of denying that it might be possible that a God who would punish you for not believing what is driving your belief? These statements from you seem conflicted.

    I hope none of that came across as snarky. It isn’t meant that way at all.

    Like

  152. And with the brother analogy, I don’t think its even really denying I *could* have a long lost brother,

    its more just saying, “I don’t know” considering the evidence and interactions I have currently been exposed to. I could still be open to having such a long lost brother, and if I do I’d love to very much meet him, since it would so valuable to me and hopefully to him that he would get the opportunity to interact with his family and connect, and we could learn more about one another and live life together.

    That being said, until I received such interaction I could seek it, but it probably wouldn’t be healthy and possibly deceptive to pretend I definitely had a long lost brother, when I have not received such an interactions.

    But for me, God is not like this long lost brother analogy. For one thing.

    He is The Creator of The Universe. The beginning and the End.

    I continue to believe in God, because I also want to continue to be open to God.

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  153. Going back to the long lost brother analogy though,

    If I went around telling people that I had a long lost brother, they would probably eventually begin to ask me how I knew this. How had I interacted with him? through letters? through phone? through other people telling me he was alive and well?

    I could still be open to the possibility of me having a long lost brother. But I would still have to be honest about the interactions I have had with him,

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  154. Hi William,

    Although you quoted me as Kathy, I assume your addressing that to me 🙂

    I think that’s where trust comes into it (faith). And people have their own evidence and reasons for believing that the Bible is Inspired, or that God has interacted with them in a specific way.

    The Bible was compiled by men, there are people who believe those writers were inspired by God. And that God has personally interacted with them also in various ways.

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  155. I can’t say if other people have or have not had Divine interactions, since there is no way I can step inside their past experiences. That’s between them and God.

    All I can do is try to be honest with my own experiences, assess the available evidence honestly, and seek truth, and be open to interaction in this life 🙂

    Like

  156. I also remember the parable you speak of….admittedly it was vague, which kind of contradicts the rambling I was going on about above…but it expressed some of what I was feeling at the time.

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  157. Oops – new list time —

    Words that Kathy Doesn’t Understand

    1. Objectivity
    2. Proof
    3. Fact
    4. Evidence
    5. Compelling
    6. Debate
    7. Truth
    8. Hearsay

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  158. The beauty of science, Laura, lies in the fact that scientists aren’t afraid to say, “I don’t know,” they don’t feel the need to fill in the gaps in their knowledge with “magic.” Further, when new evidence emerges, they aren’t afraid to change their positions, or even reverse course.Evidence is one of those nebulous terms that’s difficult to define. There are many here who may have definitions for you, but I prefer examples.

    Let me tell you a story about an archaeologist – a scientist in his own right – William G. Dever – this, from the press release for his book:

    William G. Dever is the son of a fundamentalist preacher. From a small Christian liberal arts college in Tennessee he went to a Protestant theological seminary that exposed him to “critical study” of the Bible, a study that at first he resisted. In 1960 it was on to Harvard and a doctorate in biblical theology. For thirty-five years he worked as an archaeologist, excavating in the Near East, and he is now professor of Near Eastern archaeology and anthropology at the University of Arizona. In his book What Did the Bible Writers Know and When Did They Know It, he tells where scholarship regarding archaeology and the Bible has been in past decades and where it is now.

    Dever associates himself with what he calls the new archaeology, something more than thirty-years old and devoted to good field work, use of the latest and most reliable dating methods and interdisciplinary analysis. His conclusions about what this archaeology tells us about the Bible will not be accepted by fundamentalists. I gather that Dever and his colleagues of high standing dismiss fundamentalists who want to consider themselves scholars without accepting that which good scholars must do: engage in extensive critical analysis.

    Dever writes that the central proposition of his book is very simple. “While the Hebrew Bible in its present, heavily edited form cannot be taken at face value as history in the modern sense, it nevertheless contains much history.” He adds: “After a century of exhaustive investigation, all respectable archaeologists have given up hope of recovering any context that would make Abraham, Isaac, or Jacob credible ‘historical figures.'” He writes of archaeological investigation of Moses and the Exodus as having been “discarded as a fruitless pursuit.”

    About the historical Moses he writes:

    “…the overwhelming archaeological evidence today of largely indigenous origins for early Israel leaves no room for an exodus from Egypt or a 40-year pilgrimage through the Sinai wilderness. A Moses-like figure may have existed somewhere in southern Transjordan in the mid-late13th century B.C., where many scholars think the biblical traditions concerning the god Yahweh arose. But archaeology can do nothing to confirm such a figure as a historical personage, much less prove that he was the founder of later Israelite region.”

    Here’s a man of science, who was raised a fundamentalist, BY a fundamentalist, and whose early education was ENTIRELY religious, yet over the course of 35 years of living and working in the land the Bible describes, has come a full 180 degrees in his thinking, because he review the evidence he found and came to conclusions that do not support the Bible, as it was written. He is now an atheist.

    His life story, for me, is evidence that these people likely did not exist. Were these statements to have come from an atheist, I’d not be surprised, but to go from one entire pole to the other, especially for a fundamentalist, takes a great deal of persuasion, and I would believe what he has to say about his experiences and his conclusions.

    He’s not the only one, I could point you to Walter E. Rast, or Robert M. Best, but I wouldn’t want to be accused of directing your search. I’m only glad you’re searching.

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  159. Arch,

    ““I’m pretty sure the author of Genesis was not a naïve child.” –

    no, he was a naive priest, living in captivity in Babylon, trying to make sense of things. He believed the BS all his life, that his god would protect his people, yet here he was, in captivity in a strange land, having witnessed his temple, the center of his life, being torn down, stone by stone, and he wondered why. Like you, it never occurred to him that he had spent his life following a fairy tale, and like you, in his mind, the god he believed in could do no wrong, so the fault, he decided, MUST lie with the Hebrews. So he (and others with him) decided to revamp the JE portion of Torah, that had been written down hundreds of years earlier by priests in both the Northern and Southern Kingdoms, and to try and make the god depicted there appear more godly, more dignified, so that people would have more fear and respect for him and obey his commands, so that this could never happen again to his people. He knew nothing of science, of how the universe ACTUALLY came to be, so he used his imagination, and made up a scenario, as thousands of cultures before him had done, intending for it to replace the JE version, but the redactor instead, placed both versions, Gen1 and gen2, side by side.

    He may not have been a naive child, he was worse – he was a naive man who was making it up as he went along, which by itself, wouldn’t have been so bad, as writers have been composing fiction since the Epic of Gilgamesh and possibly even before, but he was passing his fiction off as truth, truth inspired by a god, and that was just wrong.”

    Fascinating Arch.. just FASCINATING! Now, could you please provide the evidence that supports this “claim”? thanks!

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  160. Kathy, I don’t know why you have such trouble understanding this. The evidence has been laid out several times now.

    I don’t know if arch is saying that it happened exactly as he laid out, but the evidence suggests it was something like that. The evidence certainly points against the idea that the individual Moses actually wrote all (or any) of it down.

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  161. Arch,

    “KC: “”Kathy, you are correct that Elohim has a plural usage in the OT. Show us where the Plural Usage points to a Son and a Holy Spirit ? This is certainly your intent by mentioning it at all.”

    Kathy: “You take into account the other passages.. you find the CONTEXTUAL meaning. And when you do that, you see the Trinity.”

    Could you line up those passages, Kathy, in some kind of order, and show us how to see the Trinity in the word, “Elohim”? Is it anything like seeing the face of Jesus on a grilled cheese sandwich?”

    http://biblestudyplanet.com/the-trinity-in-the-old-testament/

    Like

  162. Nate,

    You (all) accuse me of rejecting evidence for the other side’s argument but when I ask for the evidence, you (all) never give it to me.. what does that tell you???

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  163. Nate,

    “I haven’t read the latest comments yet, but this isn’t good enough, Kathy. Is the child lying about the Tooth Fairy, or is the Tooth Fairy real? I’d like for you to answer this question.”

    I haven’t denied that people can believe something that is false. But I AM denying it of the authors of the Bible. I’m asking for specifics on how this theory holds up for the Bible, and especially the Gospels. And again, I would like actual specific text to work with.

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  164. I haven’t gone through the whole thing yet, but there are some real issues with the article you posted to support the idea of the trinity. A number of passages are being misused. I’ll point them out once I’ve gone through the whole thing.

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  165. “Fascinating Arch.. just FASCINATING! Now, could you please provide the evidence that supports this “claim”? thanks!” – kathy

    and early you asked for someone to give a scenario as to how someone could write something they thought was true, but was actually not true…

    you asked for this possible scenario and then complain there’s no evidence? You’re not making sense and you haven’t given any evidence for your position.

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  166. “You (all) accuse me of rejecting evidence for the other side’s argument but when I ask for the evidence, you (all) never give it to me.. what does that tell you???” – kathy

    tells me you’re either dishonest, stupid or blind, because lots if us have given lots of evidence. ignoring it doesnt make it go away you know.

    Like

  167. I haven’t denied that people can believe something that is false. But I AM denying it of the authors of the Bible. I’m asking for specifics on how this theory holds up for the Bible, and especially the Gospels. And again, I would like actual specific text to work with.

    Kathy, please explain exactly what you’re looking for. What do you expect these texts to look like? I mean, we’ve already given you specific examples. Are you expecting the text to say “nah, none of this stuff has much evidence — I’m just writing it because I’ve been duped”?

    When Mormon tells you about the lost tribe of Israel coming to America, they don’t do it with a wink or with their fingers crossed. They honestly believe it. Therefore, it looks no different from something true that they might say, because to them, both things are true! Of course the writers of the Bible (or most of them) honestly believed what they wrote, but this doesn’t make them right.

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  168. Nate,

    “Okay, so I see where you’ve conceded the child just believes in the Tooth Fairy without the Tooth Fairy being real — no lying required.

    That’s exactly what I’m saying happened with the writers of Genesis. You don’t have to be a child to do this same thing — we’re all guilty of it from time to time.”

    I’m not saying that either.. Nate, you weren’t “testifying” to your children. Again, you fail to acknowledge the differences. The writers / authors are testifying.. based on first hand accounts.

    You are using a child as an example of how an adult, who lived and died for his beliefs, would be fooled. It’s not comparable. Just like telling your children about God is comparable to those who actually lived it telling us about God. It’s not the same. You aren’t looking at specifics.. you’re trying to tie it all up in a neat rational bow.. but it doesn’t work when you look at the specific details.

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  169. “You are using a child as an example of how an adult, who lived and died for his beliefs, would be fooled. It’s not comparable. Just like telling your children about God is comparable to those who actually lived it telling us about God. It’s not the same. You aren’t looking at specifics.. you’re trying to tie it all up in a neat rational bow.. but it doesn’t work when you look at the specific details.” – kathy

    allah, then. Or zues. or any god people believed in past, present or future. Do you really not get analogies?

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  170. “You (all) accuse me of rejecting evidence for the other side’s argument but when I ask for the evidence, you (all) never give it to me.. what does that tell you???” – kathy

    tells me you’re either dishonest, stupid or blind, because lots if us have given lots of evidence. ignoring it doesnt make it go away you know.

    Like it or not, Kathy, but William is absolutely right.

    Since you’ve apparently missed it, here are just a FEW of the evidences we’ve given you just from THIS thread:

    https://findingtruth.wordpress.com/2014/08/27/kathy-part-4/#comment-17518

    https://findingtruth.wordpress.com/2014/08/27/kathy-part-4/#comment-17501

    https://findingtruth.wordpress.com/2014/08/27/kathy-part-4/#comment-17464

    https://findingtruth.wordpress.com/2014/08/27/kathy-part-4/#comment-17440

    https://findingtruth.wordpress.com/2014/08/27/kathy-part-4/#comment-17439

    https://findingtruth.wordpress.com/2014/08/27/kathy-part-4/#comment-17420

    https://findingtruth.wordpress.com/2014/08/27/kathy-part-4/#comment-17416

    https://findingtruth.wordpress.com/2014/08/27/kathy-part-4/#comment-17407

    https://findingtruth.wordpress.com/2014/08/27/kathy-part-4/#comment-17395

    https://findingtruth.wordpress.com/2014/08/27/kathy-part-4/#comment-17389

    https://findingtruth.wordpress.com/2014/08/27/kathy-part-4/#comment-17387

    https://findingtruth.wordpress.com/2014/08/27/kathy-part-4/#comment-17386

    https://findingtruth.wordpress.com/2014/08/27/kathy-part-4/#comment-17384

    https://findingtruth.wordpress.com/2014/08/27/kathy-part-4/#comment-17383

    https://findingtruth.wordpress.com/2014/08/27/kathy-part-4/#comment-17380

    https://findingtruth.wordpress.com/2014/08/27/kathy-part-4/#comment-17326

    https://findingtruth.wordpress.com/2014/08/27/kathy-part-4/#comment-17312

    https://findingtruth.wordpress.com/2014/08/27/kathy-part-4/#comment-17311

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  171. Nate,

    “When Mormon tells you about the lost tribe of Israel coming to America, they don’t do it with a wink or with their fingers crossed. They honestly believe it. Therefore, it looks no different from something true that they might say, because to them, both things are true! Of course the writers of the Bible (or most of them) honestly believed what they wrote, but this doesn’t make them right.”

    You keep avoiding/ evading the specifics Nate. Again, Mormon theology fails miserably.. they DON’T have the evidence to back up their beliefs.. just like the child with the tooth fairy.

    You want to give me examples that are not comparable.. instead of just addressing the specifics of what we are discussing.. the Truth of the Bible… not the tooth fairy or Mormonism.

    “Kathy, please explain exactly what you’re looking for. What do you expect these texts to look like? I mean, we’ve already given you specific examples. Are you expecting the text to say “nah, none of this stuff has much evidence — I’m just writing it because I’ve been duped”?”

    I’ve told you what I’m looking for.. you are attempting to obfuscate again Nate. I want specifics.. you gave page 1 of the Bible, I’m asking for your theory on how the author of THIS text.. not a child’s belief or a fooled Mormon’s belief.. but how the author of Genesis could be writing those detailed “false” claims while believing it.

    I’m trying to tell you that your claims don’t fit when applied to scripture.

    Like

  172. ok, the first 2 links above are to Laurie.. not me.. I’m struggling just to keep up with the comments to me. You now want me to read all those comments to get the answers that you COULD have just posted (reposted?) and it would have taken less time/ effort.

    Game playing (and insults).. that’s why this blog is such a waste of time.

    Like

  173. I’m not saying that either.. Nate, you weren’t “testifying” to your children. Again, you fail to acknowledge the differences. The writers / authors are testifying.. based on first hand accounts.

    You are using a child as an example of how an adult, who lived and died for his beliefs, would be fooled. It’s not comparable. Just like telling your children about God is comparable to those who actually lived it telling us about God. It’s not the same. You aren’t looking at specifics.. you’re trying to tie it all up in a neat rational bow.. but it doesn’t work when you look at the specific details.

    Kathy, how are you not getting this? Did Moses live at the time of creation? Did he live during the time of the flood? Did he live during Abraham’s life, or Jacob’s, or Joseph’s? No. Even if Moses had really been the one to write all this he couldn’t have known it firsthand either. Just as I would have died for my (erroneous) Christian beliefs when I was a believer, I’m sure Moses would have died for his beliefs as well. That doesn’t make either one of us right.

    Like

  174. I just wasted MORE time clicking on a random link at the bottom.. to Rata!

    Just give the SPECIFICS of your claims.. the EVIDENCE to back up your claims and the specific text that you are making the claims about.

    Like

  175. ok, the first 2 links above are to Laurie.. not me.. I’m struggling just to keep up with the comments to me. You now want me to read all those comments to get the answers that you COULD have just posted (reposted?) and it would have taken less time/ effort.

    ???

    Maybe you haven’t gotten to those particular posts yet, but it shouldn’t matter who they were addressed to. The information is just as problematic for your view.

    The point is that plenty of evidence has been laid out here that you’ve completely ignored or dismissed. Only a very few points have you bothered to respond to, and you usually do that by just posting links. Which is fine — we don’t mind checking them out. But at least we check them out.

    Like

  176. Again, Mormon theology fails miserably..

    How do you know the angel Moroni didn’t appear to Joseph Smith? His claim that an angel did appear to him is no less valid than angels appearing to people in the Bible.

    I’m asking for your theory on how the author of THIS text.. not a child’s belief or a fooled Mormon’s belief.. but how the author of Genesis could be writing those detailed “false” claims while believing it.

    The same way that other religions believe their own various creation myths and have written them down. A theory: perhaps the original teller of the tale had a dream…a vision if you will. Perhaps they were using medicinal herbs. Who knows really? Where did any religion or culture get their creation myths? But the people of those religions and cultures believe them. And they believe they were given to them divinely. So why is it so hard for you to apply that same scrutiny to Genesis’ creation account?

    Like

  177. “You keep avoiding/ evading the specifics Nate. Again, Mormon theology fails miserably.. they DON’T have the evidence to back up their beliefs.. just like the child with the tooth fairy.” – kathy

    LOL, and like christianity…

    oh yeah, christians have martyrs

    Like

  178. “Kathy, how are you not getting this? Did Moses live at the time of creation? Did he live during the time of the flood? Did he live during Abraham’s life, or Jacob’s, or Joseph’s? No. Even if Moses had really been the one to write all this he couldn’t have known it firsthand either. Just as I would have died for my (erroneous) Christian beliefs when I was a believer, I’m sure Moses would have died for his beliefs as well. That doesn’t make either one of us right.”

    Like I am not aware of Moses not being alive at the time of creation.. clearly either he was given Divine inspiration or he was given false information. The entire Bible and what it stands for is my argument that it’s Divine inspiration.. now I’m asking for YOUR evidence that argues your claim.

    Like

  179. You keep avoiding/ evading the specifics Nate. Again, Mormon theology fails miserably.. they DON’T have the evidence to back up their beliefs.. just like the child with the tooth fairy.

    You want to give me examples that are not comparable.. instead of just addressing the specifics of what we are discussing.. the Truth of the Bible… not the tooth fairy or Mormonism.

    I’ve told you what I’m looking for.. you are attempting to obfuscate again Nate. I want specifics.. you gave page 1 of the Bible, I’m asking for your theory on how the author of THIS text.. not a child’s belief or a fooled Mormon’s belief.. but how the author of Genesis could be writing those detailed “false” claims while believing it.

    I’m trying to tell you that your claims don’t fit when applied to scripture.

    WHAT?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!

    OF COURSE my claims don’t fit with scripture — I think scripture is bogus! And I’m not obfuscating anything. When I point out specific problems in specific passages, you just say they’re not big deals (as you did with my very first “Kathy” post), or you say that we may not fully understand God, or some other kind of empty excuse. So I then go to examples that you’ll likely agree with, hoping it gets us on the same page so I can make an analogy to better show you my point. But you seem to misunderstand this very common technique that humans use with one another.

    I’m completely at a loss with how to communicate effectively with you, and I’m obviously getting pretty frustrated with trying.

    Can someone help a brother out? Where am I going wrong?

    Like

  180. Ruth,

    “Again, Mormon theology fails miserably..

    How do you know the angel Moroni didn’t appear to Joseph Smith? His claim that an angel did appear to him is no less valid than angels appearing to people in the Bible. ”

    Um.. the lack of EVIDENCE… maybe??

    Like

  181. Fascinating Arch.. just FASCINATING! Now, could you please provide the evidence that supports this “claim”? thanks!

    I did – three or four times – maybe you should have read it when it was presented to you, instead of ignoring it as you usually do.

    Like

  182. Can someone help a brother out? Where am I going wrong?

    No. I don’t think the problem is with you. She asks for theories or examples and then when they are given she moves the goal posts to either the dead disciples or “evidence”. A theory and an example is neither of those things.

    Like

  183. kathy, you cant be serious…

    if you are, please stop posting for the weekend. For real. Read through these threads and look at yourself. really.

    Like

  184. “OF COURSE my claims don’t fit with scripture — I think scripture is bogus! And I’m not obfuscating anything. ”

    … you just obfuscated again, and then your comment continues to obfuscate.. that line was pure obfuscation Nate. You KNOW what I meant. Your claims that the writers of the Gospels believed what they were writing FAILS when you look at specific scripture. You might find a few examples where it works but the overwhelming majority could NOT have been written by someone who was “fooled”.. they were either lying or delusional.. ALL of them.

    Shame on you Nate. And then, of course you recruit help.. like I’ve never seen that before either.. the Atheists do that all the time on Twitter.. when they get stuck they retweet your comments so you get bombarded by their fellow atheists/ followers.

    Like

  185. Wow! I mean WOW! I can’t keep up, and it really seems like there’s no point.

    Why argue about things like the author of Torah? It is oral tradition. This is the Torah that Moshe delivered to his people. The instructions for living. If Joshua took his Torah and wrote down the story later, how is it even relevant?

    This argument is pointless.

    Arch, I didn’t read what you wrote, but after Shabbat tomorrow evening I will.

    Sorry for being cranky, these circles are giving me a headache. Have a good weekend everyone.

    Like

  186. kathy, i dont know about twitter, but you came to an active blog and joined in an active discussion, and now you’re complaining that nate has “recruited” others to attack you…

    you really need to take a break and reread these threads and actually think about what you’ve been saying.

    Like

  187. “I’ve already addressed this.. it’s the same evidence that YOU use to dismiss it.” – kathy

    oh, like the stuff we use to dismiss the bible…

    Like

  188. Btw, here are a couple of the points from the article Kathy referenced:

    God Mentioned As Two Distinct Personalities

    For example:

    Psalm 110:1:

    The LORD said to my Lord, “Sit at My right hand, till I make Your enemies Your footstool.”

    God anoints God in Psalm 45:7:

    You love righteousness and hate wickedness; Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You with the oil of gladness more than Your companions.

    God is speaking and says He’ll save Israel by the Lord, their God in Hosea 1:7:

    “Yet I [God] will have mercy on the house of Judah, will save them by the LORD their God, and will not save them by bow, nor by sword or battle, by horses or horsemen.”

    Psalm 110 is not an example of God talking to himself, but talking to the Messiah. And nothing in this passage says the messiah would be divine.

    Psalm 45 is talking about a king, not God talking about himself. If he was, who would God’s companions be? Other gods?

    And Hosea 1 is saying that God will deliver them himself, not by their own power.

    I haven’t read the rest yet, but some of these are being stretched pretty badly.

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  189. You (all) accuse me of rejecting evidence for the other side’s argument but when I ask for the evidence, you (all) never give it to me.. what does that tell you???

    What goes around, comes around –?

    Like

  190. The writers / authors are testifying.. based on first hand accounts

    So you’re saying that Matthew (or pseudo-Matthew, as I prefer to call him) was “testifying” when he copied 60+% of his entire book, word for word, from Mark (pseudo-Mark) – right?

    Like

  191. REFRESH!

    Words that Kathy Doesn’t Understand

    1. Objectivity
    2. Proof
    3. Fact
    4. Evidence
    5. Compelling
    6. Debate
    7. Truth
    8. Hearsay
    9. Analogy

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  192. Kathy,

    The writers / authors are testifying.. based on first hand accounts.

    So, in the example I gave about the sleeping disciples, you are saying Matthew was one of the sleeping disciples since this would be the only way it could be a first-hand account, right? So … back to my question … how did he know what Jesus prayed if he was asleep? Of course, if he wasn’t one of the sleeping disciples, then the story is not based on a first hand account, which obliterates your claim.

    …they [Mormons] DON’T have the evidence to back up their beliefs

    Yes, the Mormons DO have evidence to back up their beliefs. It’s called the Book of Mormon. Not too unlike the book Christians use to back up their beliefs.

    “Just give … the specific text that you are making the claims about.”

    I gave the specific text … Matthew 26:36-56. Then you tried making an end run by saying that Jesus told them what he prayed. Who is double-dealing here?

    Like

  193. Where am I going wrong?” – you’re going wrong, Nate, by thinking there’s a right way to do this. I don’t know if Kathy is being deliberately obtuse, or whether she simply has a comprehension problem.

    Like

  194. It’s OK, William, really it is – if any theists are watching, they’re getting a good lesson on what NOT to be. Kathy is doing more harm to theism than any of us ever could. she could deconvert a theist all by herself.

    Like

  195. …you get bombarded by their fellow atheists/ followers” because everyone can see how baseless your comments are.

    Like

  196. Arch, I didn’t read what you wrote, but after Shabbat tomorrow evening I will.” – Yup, Laurie, can’t do anything on Shabbat – g-d’ll get you for that! WhatEVER you do, do NOT pick up sticks! Aren’t you glad you and I don’t have those petty squabbles? I’m VERY understanding – I never hold it against you for being wrong —

    (Jackassery, my achin’ tokhes –!)

    Like

  197. I forgot to include “diversion tactic” in my last comment..” – well, we certainly can’t leave that out, considering the degree of expertise you appear to have in that area.

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  198. you really need to take a break and reread these threads and actually think about what you’ve been saying.” – she’ll never do it, William. I’ll bet she prays everyday for the strength to go on. She would love to see Nate close this thread down while she’s still here – she’d be all over the net, telling everyone how she forced us to capitulate.

    Like

  199. Words that Kathy Doesn’t Understand

    1. Objectivity
    2. Proof
    3. Fact
    4. Evidence
    5. Compelling
    6. Debate
    7. Truth
    8. Hearsay
    9. Analogy
    10. Obfuscate

    Like

  200. Jumpin’ Jupiter! You’re still slugging it out?

    Some wise person once observed that the definition of insanity is: doing the same thing over and over again but expecting different results.

    Oh well… carry on!

    Like

  201. Why is this, Kathy?

    Paul seems unaware of any virgin birth – no wise men, no star in the east, no miracles. Historians have long puzzled over the “Silence of Paul” on the most basic biographical facts and teachings of Jesus. Paul fails to cite Jesus’ authority precisely when it would make his case. What’s more, he never calls the twelve apostles Jesus’ disciples; in fact, he never says Jesus HAD disciples – or a ministry, or did miracles, or gave teachings. He virtually refuses to disclose any other biographical detail, and the few cryptic hints he offers aren’t just vague, but contradict the gospels. The leaders of the early Christian movement in Jerusalem like Peter and James are supposedly Jesus’ own followers and family, but Paul dismisses them as nobodies and repeatedly opposes them for not being true Christians!
    Surprise! It’s Possible Jesus Never Existed

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  202. Some wise person once observed that the definition of insanity is: doing the same thing over and over again but expecting different results.

    Ron, at no time, no place, no how, have I EVER even REMOTELY intimated that I was sane.

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  203. Why is this, Kathy?

    I’ll tell you why, Kathy – because during Paul’s lifetime, the fairy tales invented by pseudo–Mark, pseudo-Matthew, pseudo-Luke and pseudo-John hadn’t yet been fabricated. A lot of work went into going back through the OT and finding passages that would appear to point to a Messiah, then warp them to fit into the life of Yeshua, who may, or may not have ever existed.

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  204. Laura,

    In regards to what I shared with you before above

    I’m not rejecting God, or leaving Him. I am open to Gods interactions. Whether that be through scripture, interaction through prayer, interactions with people or/and the world around me.

    Or it may be in ways I have not even thought about. I believe its important to seek and be honest and open with what and Who is found.

    I want to look at reality in the face, I think its important. Get as close to an understanding of truth and reality as I can. Reality changes though, and I’d like to follow wherever it leads.

    Like

  205. These excerpts from your article, Ron, aptly describe what is going on here, both with us and with Kathy:

    Once something is added to your collection of beliefs, you protect it from harm. You do it instinctively and unconsciously when confronted with attitude-inconsistent information. Just as confirmation bias shields you when you actively seek information, the backfire effect defends you when the information seeks you, when it blindsides you. Coming or going, you stick to your beliefs instead of questioning them. When someone tries to correct you, tries to dilute your misconceptions, it backfires and strengthens them instead. Over time, the backfire effect helps make you less skeptical of those things which allow you to continue seeing your beliefs and attitudes as true and proper.

    Psychologists call stories like these narrative scripts, stories that tell you what you want to hear, stories which confirm your beliefs and give you permission to continue feeling as you already do.

    Contradictory evidence strengthens the position of the believer. It is seen as part of the conspiracy, and missing evidence is dismissed as part of the coverup.

    What should be evident from the studies on the backfire effect is you can never win an argument online. When you start to pull out facts and figures, hyperlinks and quotes, you are actually making the opponent feel as though they are even more sure of their position than before you started the debate. As they match your fervor, the same thing happens in your skull. The backfire effect pushes both of you deeper into your original beliefs.

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  206. I found this interesting, from Dr. Tony Nugent, scholar of world religions. Dr. Nugent is a symbologist, an expert in ancient symbols. He taught at Seattle University for fifteen years in the Department of Theology and Religious Studies and is an ordained Presbyterian minister:

    …consider the idea that Mary is a virgin. The Greek writer of Matthew quotes Isaiah as saying: “a parthenos shall conceive and bear a child.” The Hebrew word in Isaiah is “almah,” which means simply “young woman.” But the Greek word parthenos can mean either a virgin or a young woman, and it got translated as “virgin.” Modern Bible translations have corrected this, but it is a central part of the Christmas story.

    It is no accident all New Testament books were written in Greek. In Hellenistic culture, when a man did something extraordinary there was the assumption that he did this because he was different, either divine or semi-divine. They would make up a story about how he came to be divine. Almost all Greek heroes were said to be born of a human woman and a god–even Alexander the Great, Augustus and Pythagoras.

    Jewish Christians, the first Christians, didn’t believe in the virgin birth. They believed that Joseph was the biological father of Jesus. Part of their Christology was “adoptionism”–they thought Jesus was adopted as the unique son of God at some time later in life. There were disagreements about when – Mark suggests the baptism, Paul suggests the resurrection.

    Over time, gentile Christianity replaced Jewish Christianity. There were Jewish-Roman Wars. The Jewish Christians were marginalized and oppressed. The Gentile branch became dominant. Eventually we get the gospel of John which pushes the sonship of Jesus back to the beginning of time. This writer is at the other end of the spectrum from the Jewish Christians.

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  207. Has Kathy left us? I will weep (tears of joy!)

    Sun’s down, Laurie – all vampires and people of the Jewish persuasion, are free to come out —

    Like

  208. Kathy,

    Re – August 29, 2014 at 3:16 pm:

    “Kathy, what’s your EVIDENCE that Mormonism is false?

    Be specific, please.”

    I’ve already addressed this.. it’s the same evidence that YOU use to dismiss it.

    We apply those same standards of evidence to Christianity, which led to us rejecting it, too–and yet when we’ve shared specific instances of such evidence and reasoning, you cry foul.

    This seems like a pretty clear admission from you that you’re engaging in special pleading.

    Re – August 29, 2014 at 3:04 pm:

    I just wasted MORE time clicking on a random link at the bottom.. to Rata!

    I’m not sure what exactly you’re objecting to here. Sounds like you have a grudge against me or something.

    BTW, as I mentioned, I’m not too fond of “rata” as a nickname. (“Rat” is worse, though.)

    Like

  209. Nan,

    “…they [Mormons] DON’T have the evidence to back up their beliefs” ~me

    “Yes, the Mormons DO have evidence to back up their beliefs. It’s called the Book of Mormon. Not too unlike the book Christians use to back up their beliefs.”

    You are so silly Nan.. what have I been explaining all this time?? That the Bible has the evidence to back up it’s Truth.. MORE than any other book including the book of mormon .. catch up please.

    “Just give … the specific text that you are making the claims about.”

    “I gave the specific text … Matthew 26:36-56. Then you tried making an end run by saying that Jesus told them what he prayed. Who is double-dealing here?”

    sigh.. I never said that Jesus told them anything.. it was a question.. a possibility. You don’t know that’s not what happened, so deeming the story “false” is a “fail”.

    I don’t believe that Jesus told them what He said.. and fyi, I and probably everyone who reads that scripture wonders about how the writer can know what Jesus said and did during that time and others.. like what Jesus was thinking in some instances. You all continue to ignore that God is involved in all of this. He CAN give the writers this information… He created all of existence after all. It’s so funny how liberals, who claim to be open minded, are the most closed mined of all… the only time you are not is when it’s something that goes against God’s will.

    Like

  210. Why is this, Kathy?

    Paul seems unaware of any virgin birth – no wise men, no star in the east, no miracles. Historians have long puzzled over the “Silence of Paul” on the most basic biographical facts and teachings of Jesus. Paul fails to cite Jesus’ authority precisely when it would make his case. What’s more, he never calls the twelve apostles Jesus’ disciples; in fact, he never says Jesus HAD disciples – or a ministry, or did miracles, or gave teachings. He virtually refuses to disclose any other biographical detail, and the few cryptic hints he offers aren’t just vague, but contradict the gospels. The leaders of the early Christian movement in Jerusalem like Peter and James are supposedly Jesus’ own followers and family, but Paul dismisses them as nobodies and repeatedly opposes them for not being true Christians!

    That is because Paul was not and could not be one of the apostles, like he so frequently claimed. In fact, in Acts 2 Peter set forth specific requirements for the election of the new 12th apostle, that would replace Judas. They had to have seen Yahusha’s baptism, walked with him during his ministry, and witnessed his resurrection. Since Paul doesn’t meet any of those requirements, he can not be one of the 12. There were only 12. 12 apostles, 12 thrones, 12 gates, 12 pillars and 12 foundations. If Paul wasn’t one of the twelve, then he had to be one of the false apostles that Yahusha called liars in revelation 2.

    Sticks arch! Really? You are ridiculous.

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  211. “the Bible has the evidence to backup it’s (sic) Truth.”

    This is what you choose to believe, but there is no more evidence (as several on this blog have pointed out) that the bible contains any more “truth” than the Book of Mormon.

    Yes, it was a question, but it was a leading question, and it most certainly was your way of deflecting your claim that the gospel writers were first-hand witnesses. As is your most recent comment that God provided the information about the prayer. You’re grasping at straws, Kathy.

    Like

  212. Arch,

    “Why is this, Kathy?

    Paul seems unaware of any virgin birth – no wise men, no star in the east, no miracles. Historians have long puzzled over the “Silence of Paul” on the most basic biographical facts and teachings of Jesus. Paul fails to cite Jesus’ authority precisely when it would make his case. What’s more, he never calls the twelve apostles Jesus’ disciples; in fact, he never says Jesus HAD disciples – or a ministry, or did miracles, or gave teachings. He virtually refuses to disclose any other biographical detail, and the few cryptic hints he offers aren’t just vague, but contradict the gospels. The leaders of the early Christian movement in Jerusalem like Peter and James are supposedly Jesus’ own followers and family, but Paul dismisses them as nobodies and repeatedly opposes them for not being true Christians!”

    A sad article Arch.. those 5 “reasons” are extremely weak and the article doesn’t even bother
    to mention all the reasons to believe Jesus DID exist.. very one sided, as is always the case with liberals/atheists.

    For example.. why does Paul *NEED* to mention the wise men, the virgin birth etc?? That wasn’t his agenda, his agenda was clear by what he did write… which was in regards to his ministry of teaching God’s grace and His will.

    And I’d like to know what “contradictions” of Paul that the author is referring to and also this..”Paul fails to cite Jesus’ authority precisely when it would make his case”… what case?? What scripture is this in reference to?

    Same for the remainder of the paragraph.. no details.. no specifics, just unsupported statements of “fact”.. this must be where you get all your information from since you do the exact same thing.. no wonder you never back anything up. You are so gullible.

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  213. Kathy,

    As much as I hate to agree with anything arch says, he is right.

    Paul contradicts Yahusha when he says it is okay to eat meat sacrificed to idols, and Yahusha points this out in the letters to the 7 churches. He also contradicts on divorce, and circumcision, and several other things that aren’t coming to mind.

    Let me know if you need verses, and I will post them tomorrow.

    Like

  214. Nan,

    “the Bible has the evidence to backup it’s (sic) Truth.”

    This is what you choose to believe, but there is no more evidence (as several on this blog have pointed out) that the bible contains any more “truth” than the Book of Mormon.”

    Sorry Nan, you are factually wrong. Why don’t you list the evidence that supports the truth of the book of Mormon, and then I’ll do the same for the Bible.. then we can determine who is .. confused? in stubborn denial? just plain ignorant?

    “Yes, it was a question, but it was a leading question, and it most certainly was your way of deflecting your claim that the gospel writers were first-hand witnesses. As is your most recent comment that God provided the information about the prayer. You’re grasping at straws, Kathy.”

    And I never even stated that the Gospels were all first hand accounts.. post my words if you disagree. What I stated was that they were either first hand accounts or received from someone who was a witness.

    So, stating that God could have given divine insight to the author is grasping at straws?? Even though He created the entire universe?

    Don’t you think that if it was all a hoax, all made up, don’t you think the liars would have NOT written such an event? Which would give them away?

    Again, an excellent example of lack of objectivity. Another example of the “open minded” liberal NOT able to think outside the box.

    Like

  215. Hi Kathy,

    I’m very surprised that you do not know the verses that Laurie are referring to, as though you have never read it before. I’m pretty sure that other atheists like Nate and Nan would immediately know what Laurie is referring to.

    This leads me to believe that your bible knowledge is actually rather weak, and I am even suspecting that you have never done any in-depth bible study or read the holy book cover to cover.

    Just a quick question – do you even know how many number of books are there in Old Testaments and New Testaments off hand? Checking google after reading this question does not count.

    I will take your word for it if you tell me I am entirely wrong about you, and I will gladly apologize. But remember you are the one keep badgering about honesty, so the least I would expect from you would be to at least answer my question in truth.

    Cheers

    Powell

    Like

  216. Sticks arch! Really? You are ridiculous.

    Numbers 15:32 – And while the children of Israel were in the wilderness, they found a man that gathered sticks upon the Sabbath day.

    33 – And they that found him gathering sticks brought him unto Moses and Aaron, and unto all the congregation.

    34 – And they put him in ward, because it was not declared what should be done to him.

    35 – And the Lord* said unto Moses, The man shall surely be put to death: all the congregation shall stone him with stones without the camp.

    36 – And all the congregation brought him without the camp, and stoned him with stones, and he died; as the Lord* commanded Moses.

    *This would be, for those Christians in the audience, the god who “so loved the world” – except for guys who pick up sticks on the Sabbath, or Shabbat, or Holy-crap-did-I-drank-the-WHOLE-thing-last-night?-Day, depending upon to which fairy tale you subscribe —

    So Laurie – AM I ridiculous –? Then why is it you didn’t pick up any sticks yesterday? Hmmm?

    (I’ve got jackassery I haven’t even used yet!)

    RE: “Why is this, Kathy?

    Paul seems unaware of any virgin birth – no wise men, no star in the east, no miracles.</em"

    That, Kathy, is because pseudo-Mark, pseudo-Matthew and pseudo-Luke hadn't written their fairy tales – gospels yet, so Paul was unaware of it. You’d have thought that Jesus – or whatever that bright light was calling itself – would have filled him in.

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  217. RE: “A sad article Arch.” – I believe you’re responding to Laurie’s comment, Kathy – please try to keep us straight, I’m the good-looking one —

    Like

  218. RE: “As much as I hate to agree with anything arch says, he is right.” – Oh come now, Laurie – SURELY it must feel good to be on the side of the right at least ONCE in your life —

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  219. Hi Laurie.. yes if you could post the verses, I’ll gladly read them.” – Translation addendum: “…IF they agree with what she believes! If not, you’re SOL!

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  220. You need not quote Torah to me arch, I was very well aware of the passage you spoke about. You lack understanding, and because you don’t really care to know, you will never understand.

    Kathy, acts 15:29 21:25, 1 Corinthians 8, Revelation 2:14, and 2:20. There are others of you need them.

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  221. Hi Laurie,

    While Arch may not care there could be others reading that really would be interested in your thoughts on the whole stick thing.

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  222. Laurie,

    I’m with Howie. Please, if we lack understanding in the matter, tell us what that means. My understanding was that it was because the man didn’t give God proper awe and reverence by doing what was considered work on Shabbat.

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  223. @arch

    When I was young, my family played pick-up sticks practically every weekend. But we never got stoned, because drugs and booze were strictly off limits in our Christian household.

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  224. I started a post and it either got deleted by accident or its going to post, and this will be redundant.

    Anyhow, this comes from parsha shelach. If you Google that, you will find many in-depth articles about this specific incident.

    The Torah is not in chronological order. Most often stories that are placed beside each other are relevant to one another in some way. The stories told in this parashat are the stories of the spies, the mitzvot about tzitzit (fringes), and the story of the stick gatherer. At this point, Yahuah has freed them from captivity, protected them from the plagues, parted the red sea, and given them the commandments. This story is unique, and poses a lot of interesting questions. Why is this included in Torah? What was the mekoshesh “sin” , and why were they uncertain of the punishment? The commandments are clear on breaking the Sabbath.

    This story is not about him, and his personal transgression, but about the people and how they dealt with the sin. I don’t have time to go into detail, but with further study you will see that this was not a one time event for him. The congregation had set watchmen, and he had been warned before. It is set with the spies and mitzvot about tzitzit, because they all pertained to the reason that this generation would not enter into the promised land.

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  225. You need not quote Torah to me arch, I was very well aware of the passage you spoke about.” – then you know that warning you not to pick up sticks on Shabbat, was the neighborly thing to do – you’re welcome!

    You lack understanding, and because you don’t really care to know, you will never understand.” ,,, about an invisible entity that created us in it’s own image, and lives beyond space and time – you fail to make it clear, Laurie, how that’s a bad thing —

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  226. Actually, Ron, I was looking for a good wise-ass crack about “Pick-Up Sticks,” but couldn’t find one. Too late now, timing is everything.

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  227. …the reason that this generation would not enter into the promised land” – I’d always figured the 40-year wandering in the desert (for which there is no evidence, not even a tossed Spam can or a porkchop bone), was so that the older ones, with old Egyptian ways, would die off, leaving only those who had been freshly and firmly indoctrinated.

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  228. “Sorry Nan, you are factually wrong. Why don’t you list the evidence that supports the truth of the book of Mormon, and then I’ll do the same for the Bible.. then we can determine who is .. confused? in stubborn denial? just plain ignorant?” – kATHY

    kathy, that’s sort of the point. The mormons have as much evidence for their book as you do for yours – which is why we havent seen any yet. Nan isn’t a mormon, so she doesn’t think there’s good evidence for it either, she’s pointing out that mormons defend their faith in the same way you’re defending yours.

    See?

    so again, you say there’s good evidence for the bible’s truthfulness, then provide it.

    but you should know that the below aren’t good or credible evidences:

    1) martyrs, even though every religion and many non-religions have them.

    2) our very existence – which no one knows how that started, but even if you must land on god(s), you must go back to that book of claims to get to jesus.

    3) there were miracles, but as it turns out, those dont happen today, and end up being more claims by the same men who claim they speak for god.

    4) the fulfilled prophecies we’ve discussed weren’t really prophecies at all, or had to be viewed so figuratively that it’s difficult to show anything precise about them other than location (maybe) in order to claim they’re actually fulfilled.

    5) 40 authors taking 1500 years to write the bible. But there’s nothing miraculous about men writing books, editing books, and being inspired to write a book or letter after reading an older book.

    Things like a huge rock monument with god’s word inscribed on it, that is made of unknown elements, that can be dated back to the time of Moses or Abraham, would be something to consider.

    Mayans or Sumerians or Babylonians or someone not in Israel recording events like the sun moving backwards or the sun standing still would be an impressive bit of evidence.

    Roman historians recording the dead walking out of their graves at jesus’ death would be something too

    and of course, pointing god and having him just say which is or is not his word would also be nice, i guess.

    stuff like that.

    Do you have any real, legitimate evidence? anything other than the 5 above bad points you keep making?

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  229. Nan isn’t a mormon, so she doesn’t think there’s good evidence for it either, she’s pointing out that mormons defend their faith in the same way you’re defending yours.

    I have repeatedly said, William, that Kathy is completely incapable of seeing ANYthing through the eyes of another.

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  230. I know you’re right… again…. but I’m insane, you see, so I must carry on.

    I’m not sure that i have ever been in a conversation with one so… touched by the gods as kathy…

    In a way, i feel honored.

    and somehow, her presence is more evidence for god than anything she’s actually presented…

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  231. Laurie,

    I did Google that. It took me to Chabad.org.

    http://www.chabad.org/parshah/TorahReading.asp?AID=45586&p=7&showrashi=true

    It doesn’t appear to say anything about him doing it before that Sabbath. In fact the commentary says they’d only observed Sabbath for one Sabbath before. This would have been the second Sabbath. I copied and pasted the pertinent scripture. Each verse is followed by Jewish commentary.

    32. When the children of Israel were in the desert, they found a man gathering wood on the Sabbath day.

    [When the children of Israel] were in the desert, they found: Scripture speaks disparagingly of Israel, for they had kept only one Sabbath, yet on the second one, this man came and desecrated it. — [Sifrei Shelach 52]

    33. Those who found him gathering wood presented him before Moses and Aaron and before the entire congregation.

    Those who found him gathering: [This redundant clause means to say that] they warned him, but he did not stop gathering even after they found him and warned him. — [Sanh. 90a, Sifrei Shelach 55]

    This part I have a question about: Why does this redundant clause mean to say that they warned the man? That phrase doesn’t appear to say that, so there must me some oral tradition? Some other reading?

    34. They put him under guard, since it was not specified what was to be done to him.

    since it was not specified what was to be done to him: With which method he should be executed. But they did know that one who desecrates the Sabbath is put to death. — [Sifrei Shelach 57]

    Can you tell me what Sanh. 90a and Sefrei Shehelach 55 are? I’m assuming they are supplements to Tarah? I tried Googling them but that wasn’t very fruitful. Are these commentaries coming from those references?

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  232. William – while I can’t speak to YOUR claims of insanity, I strongly suspect that your diagnosis of Kathy as being, “touched,” is likely spot on.

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  233. Laurie,
    I think 1 Corinthians 8 explains the context that shows Paul is not going against Jesus’ teachings. And I would think the same is true of the other seeming contradictions.
    If you want to choose 1 or 2 specific examples, I’d be glad to debate those in more detail to show what I mean about context.

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  234. I’d be glad to debate* those in more detail to show what I mean about context.
    *(see list, below):

    Words that Kathy Doesn’t Understand

    1. Objectivity
    2. Proof
    3. Fact
    4. Evidence
    5. Compelling
    6. Debate
    7. Truth
    8. Hearsay
    9. Analogy
    10. Obfuscate
    11. Context?

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  235. William,

    “kathy, that’s sort of the point. The mormons have as much evidence for their book as you do for yours – which is why we havent seen any yet.
    Nan isn’t a mormon, so she doesn’t think there’s good evidence for it either, she’s pointing out that mormons defend their faith in the same way you’re defending yours.”

    William, read this sentence of YOURS.. slooooowly.. “Nan isn’t a mormon, so she doesn’t think there’s good evidence for it either,”

    Note the adjective “GOOD”.. in “good evidence”. You do realize that you’ve acknowledged that evidence exists for both. This is where you are stumbling really badly William. All I’m asking is for a comparison of the evidence.. whether it’s “bad” or “good” or anywhere in between.

    But you clearly don’t want to do this.. which is completely understandable.

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  236. Kathy, did you read the passages that Laurie provided?

    I think she’s showing where in Acts 15 and 21, the apostles said among other things, not to eat meat offered to idols.

    She even provided passages in Rev 2 that showed where god condemned those that tricked others into eating meats offered to idols.

    She showed you those passages to illustrate her point that paul, in 1 Cor 8, is tricking others into eating foods offered to idols, despite the earlier apostle’s teachings that said otherwise.

    sort of like serpent in the garden of eden telling eve “you shall not surely die…” despite what god had said…

    her comments were specific and included specific scriptures. If you’d like to debate her, you may want o start by addressing those scriptures she gave.

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  237. Arch, it’s so funny, I just realized that your list of your own self projection. Those are all the words that YOU and the majority of liberals fail to understand.. I hope you don’t mind if I “borrow” it….. thanks.

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  238. KathyNow concerning things offered to idols: We know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffs up, but love edifies. 2 And if anyone thinks that he knows anything, he knows nothing yet as he ought to know. 3 But if anyone loves God, this one is known by Him.

    4 Therefore concerning the eating of things offered to idols, we know that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is no other God but one. 5 For even if there are so-called gods, whether in heaven or on earth (as there are many gods and many lords), 6 yet for us there is one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we for Him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, through whom are all things, and through whom we live.

    7 However, there is not in everyone that knowledge; for some, with consciousness of the idol, until now eat it as a thing offered to an idol; and their conscience, being weak, is defiled. 8 But food does not commend us to God; for neither if we eat are we the better, nor if we do not eat are we the worse.

    9 But beware lest somehow this liberty of yours become a stumbling block to those who are weak. 10 For if anyone sees you who have knowledge eating in an idol’s temple, will not the conscience of him who is weak be emboldened to eat those things offered to idols? 11 And because of your knowledge shall the weak brother perish, for whom Christ died? 12 But when you thus sin against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ. 13 Therefore, if food makes my brother stumble, I will never again eat meat, lest I make my brother stumble.

    New King James Version (NKJV)

    Please read this text again, and take note that not only does he say if your conscience isn’t weak you can eat it, but he also places the supposed person in an idols temple eating.

    Paul may think that an idol is nothing, but the rest of scriptures clearly doesn’t agree, as it is clearly stated to obstain from it

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  239. “Note the adjective “GOOD”.. in “good evidence”. You do realize that you’ve acknowledged that evidence exists for both. This is where you are stumbling really badly William. All I’m asking is for a comparison of the evidence.. whether it’s “bad” or “good” or anywhere in between.

    But you clearly don’t want to do this.. which is completely understandable.” – kathy

    let me clarify, you’ve been using “evidence” very liberally. You present old books and dying people as your evidence. Mormons do too.

    several have already explained why these aren’t evidences for the validity of your book, but you continue to say that they are. Instead of arguing over terms, and since there is a difference between good and bad evidences anyways, and seeing as how you think these types of things qualify as evidences, nan and I and others are saying, and have been saying that many other religions, such as Mormonism, boasts the same level of “evidence” and you do for your religion – in a further attempt to show you how bad your evidences are as well as how bad you even think they are when applied to other religions.

    so you didnt catch me slipping up, admitting there were evidences for the religions. And even if there were, it only appears to be evidence for the particular religion if you ignore the mountains of evidence that they’re all false.

    furthermore, you keep saying “but Christianity has better evidence,” or something like that, yet you never, ever, back it up with anything beyond your claims.

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  240. I’m sorry Ruth, I have tried to respond with links 5 times or more, and my posts are not coming through.

    Try googling parasha shelach stick gathering.
    Vbm-Torah.org is one, and text.rcarabbis.org is another

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  241. All I’m asking is for a comparison of the evidence*.. whether it’s ‘bad’ or ‘good’ or anywhere in between.

    In both instances, their Book is the only evidence they have:

    • Moroni – no evidence
    • Adam/Eve – no evidence
    • Noah – no evidence
    • Abraham – no evidence\
    • Isaac – no evidence
    • Jacob/Israel – no evidence
    • Joseph – no evidence
    • Moses – no evidence
    • Joshua – no evidence
    • New Testament authors – no evidence

    *(see list below):

    Words that Kathy Doesn’t Understand

    1. Objectivity
    2. Proof
    3. Fact
    4. Evidence
    5. Compelling
    6. Debate
    7. Truth
    8. Hearsay
    9. Analogy
    10. Obfuscate

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  242. I hope you don’t mind if I ‘borrow’ it….. thanks.” – Borrow it? You LIVE it!

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  243. No, Kathy, I’m not “factually wrong.” Williams said it perfectly: I’m simply “pointing out that mormons defend their faith in the same way you’re defending yours.”

    THEY believe their book contains “truth.” YOU believe the bible is “truth.” YOUR evidence is no better than THEIR evidence, no matter how much you may argue to the contrary.

    Besides, as William has said, the “evidence” you have presented so far is full of holes. Who is “confused? in stubborn denial? just plain ignorant?” I’ll give you three guesses and the first two don’t count.

    And I never even stated that the Gospels were all first hand accounts.. post my words if you disagree. What I stated was that they were either first hand accounts or received from someone who was a witness.

    Kathy, I’m not going back over 5,049 comments (Kathy, Kathy 2, Kathy 3) to post your words. However, even if you didn’t say it in so many words, you intimated it at every turn. Besides, it’s a common belief among conservative believers that the accounts are from independent eye-witnesses. Your added “received from someone who was a witness” is nothing but CYA.

    You wrote to Laurie: “I think 1 Corinthians 8 explains the context that shows Paul is not going against Jesus’ teachings. And I would think the same is true of the other seeming contradictions.”

    Kathy, there is no “context” to show Paul went against Jesus’ teachings. He flat out went against not only Jesus’ teachings (Matthew 5:19), but the command of God “himself” (Deuteronomy 27:26) when he abolished the Law (which included restrictions against eating things offered to idols). In fact, he even told the Jews they were under a “curse” if they followed the law (Galatians 3:10). Paul was a sheep in wolves’ clothing. There is nothing in his writings that propagates the teachings of Jesus (except maybe his discourse on love).

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  244. Ruth,
    I have attempted to answer you over, and over, and over, and It’s not going through!

    Argh!!!!!

    To make this short, Sifra and sifre are midrash (commentary) on leviticus, numbers, and Deuteronomy. Sanh, is short for sanhedrin, and the number is a reference to the talmud.

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  245. Laurie,

    If your comment has three or more links it automatically goes into moderation. I suspect you have several comments hung up in there. Nate will release them when he’s back around. He must be taking the weekend off. 🙂 Who in the world could blame him?

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  246. Three of the major collections of midrash halakhah are Sifra – va commentary on the book of Leviticus, and two collections both known as Sifre – one on the book of Numbers and the other on the book of Deuteronomy. The word “sifra” simply means “book” in Aramaic. the midrash, as well as the Sifgra and Sifre, are nothing more than opinions. Opinions are like rectums, everyone has one.

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  247. Well to be perfectly honest, arch, I don’t think any of them would convince me that Yahweh is a real god. But always enjoy learning new things. Religion now fascinates me in a way it never did before. Not because I believe there is a god or gods but because people believe this.

    I am aware of midrash but hadn’t been aware of Sifra. When I googled this earlier I did find out the Sandh. was short for Sanhedrin, which I had already deduced. I just couldn’t find any access to whatever text it was referring to; only commentary about it. You know, commentary on the commentary.

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  248. From a guest blogger on Mak’s site, whom I found amusing:

    In the beginning, YHWH summoned Angel Seraphiel – Head of the Seraphims, Protector of Metatron, and the Chief Quantum Engineer of the Primordial Firmament:

    YHWH: I would like to create an infinitely small ball of matter that can explode to form an entire universe. Thoughts?

    Angel Seraphiel: Well, to do that, you’d need to create a Singularity that can break down into hadrons and leptons. Further, the hadrons have to be able to subdivide themselves into various mesons and baryons. All within a millionth billionth trillionth of a second.

    Short Pause.

    YHWH: Uh… What?

    Angel Seraphiel: Additionally, the leptons – that is, the Tau Neutrino, the Electron Neutrino, and the Muon Neutrino – all have to propagate through metastable Calabi-Yau Manifolds at luminal speeds – no less, no more. The hadronic baryons should ideally congrutinate from the quark-gluon plasma immediately the singularity explodes.

    YHWH: Uh… What?

    Angel Seraphiel: I will shortly submit to you the topographical equations detailing the necessary Ricci Flatness needed in the Calabi-Yau spaces. All related, trivial canonical bundles must remain holomorphic – never vanishing – and the overall Kahler Metrics should retain a universal holonomy.

    YHWH: Uh… What?

    Angel Seraphiel: But don’t worry about the nitty-gritties of the exploding singularity. After I set it up, all you’ll have to do is say: “Let the universe be!”, and it will manifest automatically.

    YHWH (Visibly relieved): Oh, I see. That is cool then, I guess. Get to work.

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  249. William,

    “let me clarify, you’ve been using “evidence” very liberally. You present old books and dying people as your evidence. Mormons do too.”

    Never denied this. I deny that the evidence Mormons have is nothing by comparison to what the Bible has. Again, William, it really shouldn’t be that complicated, just list THE evidence, don’t tell me it’s not “good” evidence or that I’m using “evidence” “liberally”.. these are excuses.

    Just list the evidence so I can show how you and Nan are factually wrong.

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  250. Laurie,

    Right in what Paul is explaining is that some ARE sinning by eating food sacrificed to idols, but also, some are not. And that is because they understand/ have the knowledge that it’s not about the physical aspect of eating the food to a non existent god, food that God created for us to eat, it’s about what is in their hearts, what they are thinking while eating God’s food. If people are eating food sacrificed to idols and believing in those gods or believing that they are doing something wrong, then they ARE doing something wrong.

    This is similar to Jesus explaining how the Pharisees followed all the laws on the outside but not in their hearts. Jesus did away with those strict laws and rules. He wanted us to focus on our motivation in doing God’s will. Paul is completely in line with what Jesus taught. He is expanding on Jesus’ message.

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  251. Nan,

    “However, even if you didn’t say it in so many words, you intimated it at every turn.”

    And that’s precisely the liberal’s problem.. lack of objectivity. What I SAID and what you heard due to your prejudging/bias and lack of objectivity are two entirely different things. I can’t help any of you until you learn how to apply honest objectivity.

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  252. Kathy, don’t you think we see through you by now? Any “evidence” that we might list would be categorically DENIED by you as being fallacious, not based on “truth,” and certainly not God-favoring.

    It would be a an exercise in futility because any attempt by us to give you what you ask for is immediately discounted as being “liberal.”

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  253. Kathy, the way you fling around the words “objectivity,” and “liberal” would make any ignorant person think you knew what they meant.

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  254. Yahusha did not do away with the law. Separate out all 13 of Paul’s books and read the words of mashiach again. If he did away with the law, then he is the false prophet of Deuteronomy 13.

    Many will say to me in that day “lord lord, did we not prophecy in your name and cast out demons in your name”, and he will say to them “depart from me you who commit lawlessness”

    This word is anomina and it means to teach the negation of the law.

    Christians are the ones using his name and teaching the law was done away with.

    The law is perfect and unchanging

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  255. Paul is completely in line with what Jesus taught. He is expanding on Jesus’ message.” I am not touchin’ that with a nine-foot Hungarian, much less a ten-foot Pole!

    Laurie – all yours – oy! —

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  256. Laurie, I’m not claiming that Jesus did away with the law…but He often explained that it wasn’t about the law.. like working on the Sabbath…. it is about God’s love.

    I don’t fully understand your beliefs.. do you accept the Gospels or no?

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  257. Yes, I believe in the scriptures as a whole. Ya said he would send a false prophet to test his people and see if they would keep the commandments, I believe that person was Paul

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  258. RE: “Laurie, I’m not claiming that Jesus did away with the law…

    Kathy (@kayms99) says:
    August 31, 2014 at 6:56 pm

    “Jesus did away with those strict laws and rules.”

    No, of course you didn’t —

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  259. Laurie,

    “Yes, I believe in the scriptures as a whole. Ya said he would send a false prophet to test his people and see if they would keep the commandments, I believe that person was Paul”

    Many of the laws of the OT were abolished by Jesus.. like the need for sacrifices and the laws
    that go along with that. Many of those laws of the OT were for that specific time for that specific group of people. Jesus came and told us that it wasn’t about the laws, it’s about what is in our hearts.

    I don’t see Paul as a false prophet based on the evidence you’ve given so far. He provides powerful testimony for Christianity.. his miraculous turn around is more of the powerful evidence that I have been putting forth for others here.. who are struggling to understand this kind of evidence.

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  260. Jesus reinforced THE law.. the 10 commandments.” – There are SO many more laws than the Ten Commandments, which includes the commandment, “Thou shalt not kill,” after which, in Leviticus and Numbers, your god tells us all of the people who need to be killed.

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  261. …his (Paul’s) miraculous turn around is more of the powerful evidence that I have been putting forth for others here.
    Kathy, he said he saw a light – exactly what is that proof of?

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  262. The Pharisees sit in Moses seat, whatever they tell you, that you shall do – Matthew 23” – if I might translate: “The Pharisees sit in Moses seat, about whom there is absolutely no evidence, but if you’re inclined to accept a myth, whatever they tell you, that you shall do.

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  263. I don’t believe that Jesus told them what He said.. and fyi, I and probably everyone who reads that scripture wonders about how the writer can know what Jesus said and did during that time and others.. like what Jesus was thinking in some instances. You all continue to ignore that God is involved in all of this. He CAN give the writers this information…

    I’m glad you mentioned this, Kathy. And I’m not being disparaging here — this is how I viewed it when I was a Christian too. I believed that this was part of the inspiration process — God told the writers things that they wouldn’t have been able to know on their own. And for the things they witnessed, he helped them remember those things perfectly. This is how they were able to recount Jesus’ prayer, or his temptation in the wilderness, or Mary’s virginity.

    BUT this creates another problem. If God were inspiring them in this way, then there’s no room for error. When the gospels disagree about what day Jesus died, or what time, or what his ancestry was, there’s no good way to reconcile it with the authors being inspired. We can’t chalk inconsistencies up to the way people remember things differently, because God’s inspiration should correct all those little flaws.

    But the flaws exist. Why?

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  264. Nate, you make an assumption that God is inspirational with all the writers, 100% of the time. Why is it all or nothing? I believe that God has allowed the Bible to be just as it is. Some things as they are written do cause us to question, and I believe that God chose not to intervene. He leaves it to us to work it out. Those who don’t want to work it out won’t. And those who do, will find the answers.

    About the Sabbath.. I don’t work on Sundays but I don’t believe it’s wrong to work if it is necessary. Just like Jesus healing a person on the Sabbath.

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  265. Kathy,

    Messiah said that there was no new law, and that everything is the same as it was in the beginning.

    There are no sacrifices because there is no temple.

    According to the prophets, messiah will come and rebuild the temple and he will be a king and priest. He will offer sacrifices, to include the sin offering.

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  266. Paul’s writings are in the scriptures because YHWH said he was going to send a false prophet to test his people.

    Yahusha spent a good portion of his ministry warning of this very thing. It is the sifting of the wheat from the tares.

    You can follow Yahusha (Torah) or you can follow Paul, but you can not follow both.

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  267. I’ll rephrase that,

    How do you determine what’s accurate and right in the Bible? since you seem to believe Paul is wrong.

    And if you think this, why do you think the Bible would contain such “deceptive” letters as Paul’s?

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  268. Laurie,

    “There are no sacrifices because there is no temple.”

    Can you cite the passages that support this?

    “According to the prophets, messiah will come and rebuild the temple and he will be a king and priest. He will offer sacrifices, to include the sin offering.”

    Also for this? And, why did Jesus die on the cross if we still have to atone for our sins?

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  269. Sorry about that. I am on a cell phone with horrible service, and by the time my post has gone through and my phone has refreshed, there are 10 more comments!

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  270. So are you saying that you think God sent a false prophet into His own scriptures? Are not scriptures meant to be instructions on how to obey God? How does this make sense to you?

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  271. Or at least, Laurie, are you saying God allowed a false teaching in His 66 books of Scripture? That’s sounds confusing. Is God an author of confusion? The Bible states that He’s not.

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  272. Kathy,

    Take some time to study the feasts in depth, and you will understand. There are spring feasts and fall feasts, and the fall feasts have yet to be fulfilled. Although Passover has been fulfilled, Yom Kippur has yet to happen. This will take place when mashiach comes again.

    Hosea 6:3 supports the two comings of mashiach, and prior to Paul’s anti law writings, Jews believed in two comings as well. But because “Jesus” is associated with Paul, and therefore must have done away with the law, Jews won’t readily admit that. Now their main argument is that he didn’t fulfill the role of mashiach.

    Here are a few verses to get you started

    Isaiah 4,11, 42, 51-53
    Jeremiah 23, 33
    Zechariah 3, 6,
    Ezekiel 34, 40-46

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  273. Laurie, thanks for the passages.. but I’m not clear on what I’m searching for. I don’t understand what you mean that the fall feasts have yet to be fulfilled.. etc etc. I’m not familiar at all with much of what you are saying or the words you are using. I haven’t studied in depth like everyone else here. And I just want to point out that I don’t believe God would make all of this
    so complicated. Jesus simplified it all perfectly.

    Also I was hoping you could answer this..

    ” And, why did Jesus die on the cross if we still have to atone for our sins?”

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  274. Hi Portal.. I hate to disappoint you but I will never never NEVER take a break from typing “liberals”.. 🙂

    Liberals are the tools that satan uses to accomplish his goal. I won’t ever stop pointing out how destructive liberalism is and how destructive pride is to the liberal.

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  275. Kathy, there is NO SUCH THING as ‘the debbil’ – that’s a made-up concept for people who refuse to take responsibility for their own actions. Furthermore, anyone who tells such things to children ought to be realize it’s emotional abuse.

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  276. I see I made a slip there. I wanted to finish that sentence, “. .anyone who tells such things to children ought to be . . . (fill in the blank yourself, but I can think of a few nasty consequences myself). I’m sure you get my drift.

    I mean it sincerely. Kathy, there is no such being – it’s in your fevered, fundamentalist imagination.

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  277. And, why did Jesus die on the cross if we still have to atone for our sins?

    Because of BS concocted by Bronze Age witch doctors, to explain natural phenomena they didn’t understand.

    Like

  278. So are you saying that you think God sent a false prophet into His own scriptures? Are not scriptures meant to be instructions on how to obey God? How does this make sense to you?

    Portal, I think my question would have to be, why would a superior being play such stupid games with the collective fates of heaven or hell hanging in the balance, and why would anyone feel compelled to worship such a nimrod, unless out of fear? And what kind of superior entity would get off on that kind of worship?

    Like

  279. I won’t ever stop pointing out how destructive liberalism is and how destructive pride is to the liberal.

    You sound rather proud of that —

    Like

  280. Never denied this. I deny that the evidence Mormons have is nothing by comparison to what the Bible has. Again, William, it really shouldn’t be that complicated, just list THE evidence, don’t tell me it’s not “good” evidence or that I’m using “evidence” “liberally”.. these are excuses.” – kathy

    You dont deny that all you’ve presented as evidence are the 5 things I’ve been listing and that appear at the write up starting this thread?

    and you’re telling me to provide such “evidence” for Mormons?

    check out this website for mormon apologetics: http://www.shields-research.org/

    and http://eom.byu.edu/index.php/Martyrs

    and

    http://www.jefflindsay.com/LDSFAQ/FQ_prophecies.shtml

    it’s important for you to remember though, that I dont find any compelling evidence for your religion or any other, so if you’re claiming that yours has compelling evidence, you should maybe share it, instead of asking me to show where mormons have bad evidence.

    Like

  281. “And that’s precisely the liberal’s problem.. lack of objectivity. What I SAID and what you heard due to your prejudging/bias and lack of objectivity are two entirely different things. I can’t help any of you until you learn how to apply honest objectivity.” – kathy

    So kathy, just to be clear, you DONT think the gospels were written by first hand eye-witnesses?

    I had thought that you had said they were earlier as well, but like the others, I have no intention of going back through this many posts to cut and paste – if you can clarify now, this would be enough for me.

    thanks

    Like

  282. Kathy,
    There is no short answer to your question, I wish there was. You believe that Yahusha was the lamb of God, but you don’t understand what that means? The feasts are the complete story of redemption. When messiah was here the first time he fulfilled the spring feasts, Passover, unleavened bread, first fruits, and Pentecost. The fall feasts have not been fulfilled yet, which includes the day of atonement.

    I have a really busy day today, and won’t be around, but I’ll be back tomorrow.

    Portal,

    I’ll try to answer your question tonight, sorry for the delay.

    Like

  283. I’m sure that it may surprise some to hear me say this, but I’m glad that Laurie has joined us – she brings a new perspective to the table that, to the best of my knowledge, we’ve not dealt with before. I’m always up for learning new things, even things I may not agree with – that’s what being OPEN-MINDED and OBJECTIVE is all about.

    Plus she tolerates a fair amount of my “jackassery,” so she couldn’t be ALL bad —

    Like

  284. one possibility that no one has touched on yet, with the exception of the history channel, is that there is a high (or no) possibility that the bible is a result of ancient people’s interactions with extra terrestrials.

    could jesus have been the offspring of an extra terrestrial and human crossbreeding? it’s the obvious (or most ridiculous) explanation.

    Like

  285. One thing has always seemed odd to me – and that is that god and jesus are all knowing and all powerful.

    Matt 24:36 shows that even Jesus doesn’t know all that god (the father) knows… so then how is jesus every bit the same as god? How is jesus all knowing when he admits to not knowing all?

    and god himself seems bound by time. Take the flood for example. If god regretting making man, then why not simply make it to where he never made them? why kill them if he’s all powerful? I think it’s because if god is real, he cannot overturn time. Once he’s done something it’s done, it’s in the past. Once he lights a candle, then he has lit it. He can blow out the candle so to speak, but he, like us, is incapable of making it to where he never lit the candle in the first place.

    As long as there is a past and present and future, then there is time. And if you are incapable of existing without those, without time, then you are powerless against it.

    If there must be an intelligent designer, who then designed time that confines even god?

    Like

  286. so then how is jesus every bit the same as god?

    Think about it William, have you ever seen them both in the same room at the same time –? I THOUGHT not! THAT oughta tell you something!

    Like

  287. Great thoughts, William…

    Kathy,
    You believe the Mosaic law is still in effect, yet you don’t know when the Sabbath is? Like Portal said, it’s Saturday, not Sunday.

    I also think you’re mistaken about what the Sabbath’s restrictions are. Jesus wasn’t saying it was totally cool to work on the Sabbath — he was saying that just as there were provisions in the law for emergencies (like a donkey falling into a ditch), then his healing someone is on that same level. Work is not. Therefore, if you believe you should “keep the Sabbath holy” then you’d better find a job that won’t make you work on Saturday. Also don’t try to do yard work. Or cook. Or go buy groceries. Or travel.

    Portal,
    Christians worship on Sunday, because the NT teaches that they assembled on the first day of the week (as opposed to the Sabbath being the last day). And Paul teaches in Galatians and Hebrews that the old law has been done away with — Christians aren’t bound by it anymore.

    Of course, folks like Laurie believe that Paul was a false teacher. And folks like Kathy apparently don’t realize that Paul was saying the 10 commandments (and all the others) have served their purpose and are no longer necessary.

    In other words, Christianity is just another one of those “choose your own adventure” religions. Everybody points to the same text but thinks it says something different.

    Like

  288. I think it’s because if god is real, he cannot overturn time. Once he’s done something it’s done, it’s in the past.

    How do you know you haven’t said that before?

    Like

  289. And Kathy, do you really think that “God inspires them sometimes, but lets them make mistakes at other times” is honestly the most logical explanation?

    More and more, it’s clear that you’ve accepted your conclusion and are just bending the evidence to suit. Not a good way to find truth…

    Like

  290. “How do you know you haven’t said that before?” – arch

    whoa, and since I cant prove that I haven’t, it must be true. Thanks, Arch, now I know, and knowing is half the battle… the other half is declaring “liberal” and “nuh-uh.”

    Like

  291. In other words, Christianity is just another one of those “choose your own adventure” religions. Everybody points to the same text but thinks it says something different.

    Sounds more like a Chinese take-out menu to me. – “One from column A, two from column B, and don’t forget the eggrolls….”

    Like

  292. there is a lot of confusing stuff in there. Like in matt 5 where jesus says that he didnt come to chnage the OT, and that until heaven and earth pass away,m nothing will be removed from the OT…

    Yet in Matt 12 (I think) where jesus and his disciples are gathering corn on the sabbath (saturday), he’s essentially breaking the OT because Leviticus says not to gather manna on the sabbath, because gathering food is working and is breaking the law, the OT.

    Then in acts, once the gentiles are saved, the apostles seem to be confused and declare that for now, they should only be taught to avoid meats offered to idols, from things strangled and from blood.

    then of course herbrews says your justified by your faith and not your works while james says the opposite.

    Some places say that baptism saves, while others say that confession saves, or that faith saves and then others say that only god’s grace saves you – is it all of the above or one or the other? I get that each person likely feels certain that they have the correct understanding, but with so many differing sects of Christianity, it’s far from clear.

    and with all that, plus mountains more, it’s really just a compilation of men’s claims… so you really should just trust it without question.

    Faith. It’s much more than belief, it’s belief devoid of reason, driven by fear and desperate hope.

    Like

  293. Reminds me of that quote,

    “I’ve never seen faith move mountains, but I’ve seen what it can do to skyscrapers!”, or something like that. Fear and desperate hope. . . Yes, William – exactly.

    Like

  294. It’s magic, People – as soon as you hear that a belief system requires belief in magic, it’s time to say, “Talk to the hand –“

    Like

  295. Carmen,

    “I mean it sincerely. Kathy, there is no such being – it’s in your fevered, fundamentalist imagination.”

    You sound convinced.. can you share your references or evidence for this? Or is this just something YOU decided all on your own? I don’t even know you Carmen, yes you said you were/ are? a teacher.. but that doesn’t help at all, it actually makes it worse considering that so many today are liberals and horrible teachers because the unions protect them.. they don’t have to be good…. yet I’m supposed to take your word for something over the word of people who gave their lives to testify to their belief? Think about that Carmen.. seriously.. what do you base your belief on?? How can you be so sure??

    Like

  296. Laurie,

    “Kathy,
    There is no short answer to your question, I wish there was. You believe that Yahusha was the lamb of God, but you don’t understand what that means? The feasts are the complete story of redemption. When messiah was here the first time he fulfilled the spring feasts, Passover, unleavened bread, first fruits, and Pentecost. The fall feasts have not been fulfilled yet, which includes the day of atonement.”

    I’m sorry Laurie, but I’m more confused now.. what do the feasts have to do with Christ’s sacrifice to pay for our sins? I’m not seeing the connection.. can you cite some NT passages that will explain this?

    And I noticed that you still didn’t answer my question.. which again, still leaves me confused..

    ” why did Jesus die on the cross if we still have to atone for our sins?”

    Like

  297. Kathy, it’s called using the brain you have. For instance, just reading all the information that has been presented on these over-5000 comments – I have learned many, many facts that help to clarify my non-belief. There’s absolutely no way that I’m going to go on that merry-go-round with you about providing references/evidence. It’s obvious that, just like arch and others have suggested, you have no idea what this actually means.

    There you go again, making baseless assertions that you accuse others of doing. “. . .so many (teachers) are liberals and horrible teachers because the unions protect them” That is a SUBJECTIVE opinion on your part – and yet you level that same criticism to discredit what I say. Can you see what you are doing here??

    TAKE THE BLINDERS OFF. START THINKING.

    Like

  298. Nate,

    “Kathy,
    You believe the Mosaic law is still in effect, yet you don’t know when the Sabbath is? Like Portal said, it’s Saturday, not Sunday.”

    It’s Sunday for Christians. It’s not about the day, it’s about the MEANING of taking a day of rest as God commanded. A day to worship Him.

    “I also think you’re mistaken about what the Sabbath’s restrictions are. Jesus wasn’t saying it was totally cool to work on the Sabbath —..”

    Some people have to work on Sunday in order to survive. You took no note of my point about necessity.

    What you and Laurie fail to see is Jesus’ message. It’s not about the rigid rules.. it’s about what is in our hearts.

    Like

  299. Nate, cont..

    “And Kathy, do you really think that “God inspires them sometimes, but lets them make mistakes at other times” is honestly the most logical explanation? ”

    Yes, Nate, I do. And I’ve explained why I believe my answer is logical. You, on the other hand, have not explained what you think is more logical and why.. you just posed a question to me asking what I thought.. ??

    “More and more, it’s clear that you’ve accepted your conclusion and are just bending the evidence to suit. Not a good way to find truth…”

    I’m sorry.. but this just makes me laugh.

    Like

  300. Portal,

    I don’t entirely agree with Laurie that Paul was a false prophet — he may or may not have been. I do believe, however, that his teachings are false. I go into considerable detail about Paul in my book, but here are some things I discovered.

    — Did you know he was the first one to say that Jesus was the messiah/savior? Do you know why he said this?
    — Did you know he was the one who came up with the doctrine of “original sin?”
    — Did you know he felt his encounter with the blinding light and phantom voice on the road to Damascus gave him a higher standing with God than the original companions to Jesus — to the point that he wrote in Galatians they were “accursed?” (Galatians 1:6-9)
    — Did you know he never met Jesus?

    It’s important to remember whenever you read the New Testament that Paul’s writings pre-date the gospels. What this means is that much of what you read in M,M,.L, & J are directly from Paul’s teachings.

    Kathy,

    It’s very apparent from your questions to Laurie and your comment about the “Sabbath” that you have little to no concept of the history behind Christianity. You would do well to do some reading. There are tons of “non-liberal” books out there that discuss the relationship between the OT and the NT.

    Like

  301. Carmen..

    There are actual statistics that show that the quality of public education has consistently
    declined over the years.. and at the same time, the unions have grown and so has liberal beliefs and indoctrination.

    Now, AGAIN, what is your evidence for YOUR claim Carmen?

    This is why I won’t ever stop railing against liberals.. your deliberate ignorance and arrogance never fails to show itself… and as I pointed out, it’s permeating society in the worst way.. with our children, who are the future leaders of our country(s).. it leaves little hope for future generations.

    Like

  302. Nan,

    “Kathy,

    It’s very apparent from your questions to Laurie and your comment about the “Sabbath” that you have little to no concept of the history behind Christianity. You would do well to do some reading. There are tons of “non-liberal” books out there that discuss the relationship between the OT and the NT.”

    What exactly do I “need” to know that I don’t already? I know enough. I am interested in learning more so please feel free to share your knowledge.. but you seem confused about what Christianity means. It’s not about knowing the history.. it’s about knowing Jesus and what He did for us.

    Like

  303. “I know enough.”

    After a comment like that, why would anyone take the time and effort to share their knowledge with you? Besides, it’s become very apparent throughout the course of these blog comments that you are not interested in “learning more.”

    You say it’s about knowing Jesus and what he did. That’s Christian-ese for “Don’t confuse me with the facts.”

    Like

  304. Like I said in the last comment, Kathy, I will not get on that merry-go-round with you. It wouldn’t matter how many stats I came up with, or linked, or cited from, to prove that you’ve been misled – you’d dismiss them with your “liberal, lying, indoctrination” judgement.

    It’s clear to everyone on this thread just who’s been indoctrinated, Kathy. Like I have said before, I feel very bad for you. The thing about the indoctrination you’ve been subjected to is this – your rote comments prove to everyone here that, not only WILL you not think for yourself, you CANNOT.

    Like

  305. “I know enough.”

    After a comment like that, why would anyone take the time and effort to share their knowledge with you? Besides, it’s become very apparent throughout the course of these blog comments that you are not interested in “learning more.”

    You say it’s about knowing Jesus and what he did. That’s Christian-ese for “Don’t confuse me with the facts.”

    carmen
    September 1, 2014 at 3:13 pm

    Like I said in the last comment, Kathy, I will not get on that merry-go-round with you. It wouldn’t matter how many stats I came up with, or linked, or cited from, to prove that you’ve been misled – you’d dismiss them with your “liberal, lying, indoctrination” judgement.

    It’s clear to everyone on this thread just who’s been indoctrinated, Kathy. Like I have said before, I feel very bad for you. The thing about the indoctrination you’ve been subjected to is this – your rote comments prove to everyone here that, not only WILL you not think for yourself, you CANNOT.

    **********************************

    Typical liberals with typical excuses. I asked, and instead of answers I got excuses. What else can I do?

    Like

  306. No, Kathy – not excuses. Statement of facts, based on your own words. Now THINK.

    What else are WE to think?

    Like

  307. NO KATHY! You are and have been getting ANSWERS. Carmen is right. You just don’t want to accept them because they come from “liberals.” I personally have given you SCRIPTURE to research that will justify my comments. You ignore them. Others have provided links to articles that justify their beliefs. You ignore them. Time and time again you have been given the “evidence” you seek, but you dismiss it out-of-hand because it’s all from individuals who don’t believe as you do (i.e., “liberals”).

    I truly hope Nate does not extend this fiasco any further. My head is sore from beating it against the wall.

    Like

  308. Kathy, you are young. I expect you are a lovely person. You have told us you have a young daughter, whom I’m sure you love. We can identify with you to a certain degree. Many people on this thread have been where you are now. They educated themselves, they studied, they looked at the information OBJECTIVELY. Then they made an intellectual decision about religion that boils down to one statement – MAN MADE GOD, not the other way ’round.

    I think I am twice as old as you are. I am a teacher and I work with adolescents. The most important concept in public schools that the majority of professionals want to impart to their students is this: they want to produce critical thinkers. Why do you think that there are fewer and fewer ‘believers’ as time goes on? I like to think that one of the reasons is because we are doing a good job (in public schools, anyway) of making sure that students are equipped with skills to research, read, and think critically.

    That’s what makes me sad to hear your glib retorts, your rote statements, and your poisoned outlook on humanity. I wish you would think critically about the things that most people on this thread have been trying to tell you – good, decent, kind, sensible, intelligent people who DO care about humanity.

    I wish you well.

    Like

  309. Nan,

    I asked you for the evidence of Mormonism that you claim is equal to Christianity..

    I still haven’t gotten it.. nothing.

    Carmen,

    I’ve asked you for your evidence or references that supports your certainty that satan doesn’t
    exist.

    I still haven’t gotten it.. nothing.

    I’ve accused both of you of coming up with excuses.. and what do you both do?

    Come back with more excuses, dishonest obfuscation, and self serving lectures.

    Carmen, “critical thinking” is exactly what I am doing.. I’ve ASKED you SPECIFIC questions.. because I am THINKING. It’s you who doesn’t want to think. You just want to make baseless ignorant judgments without any supportive evidence .. you just “know” it.

    Like

  310. Laurie,

    “Kathy,
    There is no short answer to your question, I wish there was. You believe that Yahusha was the lamb of God, but you don’t understand what that means? The feasts are the complete story of redemption. When messiah was here the first time he fulfilled the spring feasts, Passover, unleavened bread, first fruits, and Pentecost. The fall feasts have not been fulfilled yet, which includes the day of atonement.”

    I’m sorry Laurie, but I’m more confused now.. what do the feasts have to do with Christ’s sacrifice to pay for our sins? I’m not seeing the connection.. can you cite some NT passages that will explain this?

    And I noticed that you still didn’t answer my question.. which again, still leaves me confused..

    ” why did Jesus die on the cross if we still have to atone for our sins?”

    “Behold the lamb of God” John 1
    “My son, God will provide himself a lamb”
    Gen 22
    “The lamb who was slain” Revelation 5:12

    The feasts in the old testament are prophetic. They point to messiah. There are 7 feasts, only four have been fulfilled. If they were all fulfilled at his first coming, he wouldn’t need to come again. You can’t understand the new testament if you don’t understand the old. I guess I am not really sure what is confusing you? You understand the connection between the Passover lamb and Messiah right? That is just one of the seven feasts. The second is unleavened bread and represents removing sin from our lives. The third is first fruits, and it symbolizes the final harvest, messiah being the first of resurrected. The fourth was Pentecost, our the outpouring of the holy spirit.

    When he comes again the next three will happen. Trumpets, (a warning and call to repentance), Yom Kippur (the day of atonement), and finally tabernacle (when messiah will reign on earth for 1000 years, and tabernacle among us. If that didn’t help, and I completely missed your point, let me know!

    Like

  311. It’s not about the rigid rules.. it’s about what is in our hearts.
    Question, Kathy – When in Exodus, your god told the non-existent Moses to tap a rock once and water would come out, but he tapped it twice instead, and as punishment, was not allowed, after doing everything he was told for over 40 alleged years, to cross the Jordan and enter the “Promised Land,” was that about what was in his heart, or was it the rigid rules?

    Like

  312. Words that Kathy Doesn’t Understand

    1. Objectivity
    2. Proof
    3. Fact
    4. Evidence
    5. Compelling
    6. Debate
    7. Truth
    8. Hearsay
    9. Analogy
    10. Obfuscate
    11. Logical

    Like

  313. @Kathy, RE: “the unions have grown” – unions have grown because rich, Republican, conservative fat-cats have traditionally tried to take advantage of the little guy and get the most labor for the cheapest price they can. If these people would treat others fairly, and pay a fair wage, along with fair benefits, instead of the rich trying to get even richer, using poor man’s sweat, there would be no need for unions. Unions are the only way the little man has of controlling, to a degree, his working conditions, by uniting (union?) en masse. Someone’s been feeding you a load of crap, and you’ve been buying it by the shovelful! “Could I have some more crap, please –?”

    Like

  314. …you seem confused about what Christianity means. It’s not about knowing the history.. it’s about knowing Jesus and what He did for us
    Then you’re out of luck, as you only have the words of people who never met him.

    Like

  315. I asked you for the evidence of Mormonism that you claim is equal to Christianity..
    I still haven’t gotten it.. nothing.
    — Kathy

    I did not claim that Mormonism is equal to Christianity. What I said was: “Yes, the Mormons DO have evidence to back up their beliefs. It’s called the Book of Mormon. Not too unlike the book Christians use to back up their beliefs.”

    Please note: I did not claim their evidence was any better or worse than the bible. I simply made a statement that they use the Book of Mormon as evidence to back up their beliefs and you (Christians) use the bible as evidence to back up your beliefs.

    Then you asked: “Why don’t you list the evidence that supports the truth of the book of Mormon, and then I’ll do the same for the Bible..”

    Why should I do this? I’m not a Mormon. Once again, you’re missing the point.

    BTW, definition of “critical thinking”: Thinking critically involves seeing things in an open-minded way and examining an idea or concept from as many angles as possible. This important skill allows people to look past their own views of the world and to better understand the opinions of others.

    I have not seen any indications that you are looking past your own views to better understand the opinions of others.

    And finally … even though this request was directed at Carmen, I would like to once again call attention to my book where I devote an entire chapter to Satan. Even though I know you won’t read it, I can assure you I provide extensive evidence and references that support his “non-existence.”

    Like

  316. Typical liberals with typical excuses. I asked, and instead of answers I got excuses. What else can I do?
    Oh, I don’t know – maybe you could go back and answer some of the dozens and dozens of questions we’ve asked you over the past two months, that you’ve ignored, or provide some of the evidence we’ve requested but never gotten – that should keep you busy for a while.

    Like

  317. I truly hope Nate does not extend this fiasco any further. My head is sore from beating it against the wall.
    So why, Nan, do you continue to read and respond? It’s like a train or car wreck, isn’t it – you know it’s going to be horrible and gruesome, but you just can’t turn your head away – you feel compelled to look – the rabbit and the snake phenomenon.

    But it’s not the topic’s fault (or Nate’s – although he DID invite her –) – I’m just surprised that after two months, it still has so much steam left in it.

    Like

  318. What can I say, Arch? Glutton for punishment.

    It’s just that she says makes so many misleading statements, I feel compelled to respond.

    BTW, I notice you’re still hanging around as well. 🙂

    P.S. Need to add “critical thinking” to your list.

    Like

  319. @Kathyh, RE: “You just want to make baseless ignorant judgments without any supportive evidence .. you just ‘know‘ it.

    Does this sound familiar to you:

    “…you don’t have to provide evidence, if everybody knows it’s true.”
    ~~ Kathy ~~


    I like to save little snippets like that, for future use – I’m actually getting quite a collection —

    Like

  320. The third is first fruits, and it symbolizes the final harvest, messiah being the first of resurrected.</em" – What about the Roman general's daughter, Laurie, and Lazarus – wouldn't that make messiah the third of resurrected?

    Like

  321. BTW, I notice you’re still hanging around as well. 🙂” – Yeah, but I’M not complaining! I’m in hog heaven!

    And that feast Laurie mentioned, of the Passover Lamb – a little mint jelly, maybe a baked potato, a garden salad, and a cold beer, now THAT sounds like a feast I’d find it hard to walk away from!

    Sorry, Laurie – I can only hold off the jackassery for so long —

    Like

  322. Those people died again arch, and are still in the grave.” – Nobody said them was the rules —
    Besides, we really don’t know, do we? I mean, just because that little girl and Lazarus weren’t important enough to write a book about, do we reallyknow they didn’t fly up to heaven too?

    You knew what I meant though didn’t you” – (sheepishly hangs head, digs toe in the dirt, hands behind back, drawls): Yes ma’am, I did —

    Like

  323. Speaking of crucifictions, Mesopotamia originally ran from Kuwait, on the Persian Gulf, through Iraq, all the way to southern Turkey, and was first settled by the Sumerians, who, after 4,000 peaceful years, were conquered by the Akkadians, who were later conquered by the Amurrites, then the Babylonians, then the Persians, then the Greeks.

    From the Sumerians, comes this story, thousands of years BCE:

    The Sumerian goddess Inanna is the personification of the planet Venus the “Queen of Heaven” and a major deity in the Sumerian pantheon. A long, long time ago, before humans are even created, Inanna, takes a journey to the Underworld, a realm under the control of her sister Ereshkigal. Before heading out Inanna gives instructions to her assistant about rescuing her if she runs into trouble, which she does. In the underworld, she enters through seven gates, and her worldly attire is removed. “Naked and bowed low” she is judged, killed, and then hung on display.

    Like

  324. “When in Exodus, your god told the non-existent Moses to tap a rock once and water would come out, but he tapped it twice instead, and as punishment, was not allowed, after doing everything he was told for over 40 alleged years, to cross the Jordan and enter the “Promised Land,” was that about what was in his heart, or was it the rigid rules?”

    Arch, I always thought that was a command the Bible God used to try and mess with Old Man Moses. He did tell him the first time to take his rod and strike the rock. Then the 2nd time Bible God again told Moses to take his rod and speak to the rock.

    Heck, I would probably have made the same mistake !

    Bible God definitely liked playing “Gottcha”

    Like

  325. “Goodnight, Kathy, wherever you are –”

    Now you sound like Jimmy Durante saying good night to Mrs Calabash. I wonder how many people even know what I’m talking about. LOL

    Like

  326. Arch,

    ““It’s not about the rigid rules.. it’s about what is in our hearts.”
    Question, Kathy – When in Exodus, your god told the non-existent Moses to tap a rock once and water would come out, but he tapped it twice instead, and as punishment, was not allowed, after doing everything he was told for over 40 alleged years, to cross the Jordan and enter the “Promised Land,” was that about what was in his heart, or was it the rigid rules?”

    In the OT, BEFORE Jesus, it WAS about the rigid rules. The OT was about the importance of obeying God. Jesus took the focus away from the rules and put the focus on God’s love demonstrated by Jesus’ sacrifice, and our love for Him because of His sacrifice.

    Like

  327. Laurie,

    Sorry to keep asking so many questions but I still don’t understand..

    ““Behold the lamb of God” John 1
    “My son, God will provide himself a lamb”
    Gen 22
    “The lamb who was slain” Revelation 5:12”

    Is this supposed to answer why we still have to atone for our sins even though Jesus died on the cross to pay for our sins?

    “The feasts in the old testament are prophetic. They point to messiah. ”

    Is there Biblical scripture that supports this belief? Is there scripture that explains this??

    All we have to understand in the NT is that God’s Son died to pay for our sins. It makes no sense that we must continue to atone for our sins.. there’s nothing in existence that can pay that price except Christ, and He did.

    Like

  328. Nan,

    “And finally … even though this request was directed at Carmen, I would like to once again call attention to my book where I devote an entire chapter to Satan. Even though I know you won’t read it, I can assure you I provide extensive evidence and references that support his “non-existence.”

    Can you give the most compelling evidence and reference for satan’s non existence here??

    I’ll gladly read it.

    Like

  329. oh and Nan… you don’t have to be a Mormon to give the evidence they have to support their claims.

    The excuses continue.. shocking..

    “I did not claim that Mormonism is equal to Christianity. What I said was: “Yes, the Mormons DO have evidence to back up their beliefs. It’s called the Book of Mormon. Not too unlike the book Christians use to back up their beliefs.”

    Then what exactly was your point if it wasn’t to claim comparable evidence? Please explain, because you aren’t making any sense.

    Like

  330. I see the confusion now, I apologize.☺

    When John said ” behold the lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world” he was referencing the sacrificial system of the old testament, and basically saying that the innocent lamb that was used on the altar was a representation of messiah and the sacrifice he would make.

    When he was crucified on the 14th of Nissan, that was the Passover, and a fulfillment of the first feasts. The day of atonement is the last feasts of the seven and has yet to be completed. This will take place when he comes again. I am not saying that you need to atone for your sins. What I am saying is that the feasts of YHWH are a picture of the plan of salvation, and that is not completed yet. If you study it, you will understand the whole of scriptures more clearly.

    Like

  331. Here is another example that might help you see the thematic connections.

    When Adam and Eve sinned in the garden and realized their nakedness, they tried to make clothes out of fig leaves to cover themselves. But they couldn’t cover their sins so YHWH made them garments out of skin. This was the first sacrifice.

    In Egypt before the death angel killed all the first born, the Israelites took the blood of a lamb and put it on their lintel and door posts. Then the angel passed over them and they lived. Likewise the blood of Yahusha makes the judgement for our sins Passover us.

    The scapegoat in Torah had all the sins of the congregation prayed over it, and then was taken away from the camp never to return, symbolizing the sins being removed. This is the same as messiah taking your sins away as far as the east is from the west. Palms 103

    Like

  332. Laurie, I’m not going to understand anything unless you reference the Bible.. if it’s not supported in the Bible, I can’t / won’t agree with your claims.

    You claim that Paul is a false prophet but you haven’t given any compelling evidence for that.. his devotion and suffering are also powerful testimony to him and to the Truth of Christianity. I don’t know what your evidence is to support your claims against him. You did give examples of seeming contradictions between Paul and Jesus but when I explain that you aren’t applying the correct context, you don’t respond with an argument that defends your chosen context. Context is key.. as much as the Biblical scripture is key.. if it’s not backed up by scripture.. in the correct context, which I’ll gladly debate any challenges about the accepted/ traditional context, it’s not worth the time required to “understand” it.

    “Laurie

    September 1, 2014 at 12:01 am

    Kathy,

    Messiah said that there was no new law, and that everything is the same as it was in the beginning.

    There are no sacrifices because there is no temple.

    According to the prophets, messiah will come and rebuild the temple and he will be a king and priest. He will offer sacrifices, to include the sin offering.”

    Again, I ask, why is a sin offering necessary when Jesus paid the price for our sins??

    Like

  333. I did give you scriptures Kathy. They may have been chapters and not individual scriptures but you want context right? When I say prophets, I am referring to books in your bible like Jeremiah, Isaiah, ezekiel, Hosea etc, which I gave you chapters to read.

    I did not take Paul out of context. He said it was okay to eat meat sacrificed to idols. He even said you could sit in the temple of an idol, and eat meat sacrificed to that idol as long as your conscience is clear. But according to the true apostles and messiah himself, that is false.

    Like

  334. Laurie, here is an article that explains what I believe is the correct context..
    does it make sense to you?

    http://www.gotquestions.org/food-sacrificed-idols.html

    Also, I’m still confused about your position on Jesus’ sacrifice to pay for our sins.

    It’s THE whole point of the Bible but from your responses, I have no idea what you are
    trying to convince me of concerning this. I keep having to ask this same question.

    “Again, I ask, why is a sin offering necessary when Jesus paid the price for our sins??

    Like

  335. Just to elaborate.. Mormons claim that Jesus paid for our sins, just like I think you are claiming.. BUT, they ALSO claim that good works are ALSO necessary. This is a fundamental contradiction. Mormonism is a dangerous cult because of this lie and others. It tries to devalue what Jesus did for us. I’m trying to determine/ clarify YOUR exact views on this.

    Like

  336. Jesus took the focus away from the rules and put the focus on God’s love demonstrated by Jesus’ sacrifice, and our love for Him because of His sacrifice.
    It always amazes me, how theists will warp all bounds of reality, to make it fit their image.

    Like

  337. Can you give the most compelling evidence and reference for satan’s non existence here??
    How about you provide evidence that he/she/it DOES exist? I’ll gladly read it.

    Like

  338. arch,

    Here’s a quote from my morning reading which address the puzzling ‘mind gymnastics’ you speak about –

    “There is nothing more telling of a person’s fundamental lack of perspective and humility than an insistence that if they cannot reconcile their beliefs with reality, than reality itself must be wrong.”
    – Anonymous

    Like

  339. Then what exactly was your point if it wasn’t to claim comparable evidence? Please explain, because you aren’t making any sense.

    Her point was that each fairy tale comes with its own set of alleged “evidence”. Clearly, very little makes sense to the dense.

    Like

  340. If you study it, you will understand the whole of scriptures more clearly.
    You really haven’t gotten to know our Kathy very well yet, have you? If you don’t tell her what to understand, she won’t understand it – even then, it mustn’t contradict that which she’s ALREADY been given to understand. Understand?

    You’d really have to be into robotics to get the full picture.

    Like

  341. This is the same as messiah taking your sins away as far as the east is from the west. Palms 103” – Soo – that’s his Kryptonite? He can only remove sins up to 12,500 miles? After that, on a 25,000-mile planet, you’re headed east again – of course, an omniscient god would know that —

    Like

  342. Words that Kathy Doesn’t Understand

    1. Objectivity
    2. Proof
    3. Fact
    4. Evidence
    5. Compelling
    6. Debate
    7. Truth
    8. Hearsay
    9. Analogy
    10. Obfuscate
    11. Logical
    12. Context

    Like

  343. I did give you scriptures Kathy. They may have been chapters and not individual scriptures but you want context right? When I say prophets, I am referring to books in your bible like Jeremiah, Isaiah, ezekiel, Hosea etc, which I gave you chapters to read.

    By the frustration in your written “voice,” I can see that the light is beginning to dawn – Kathy looks to be spoon-fed her knowledge from a Gerber’s jar – you can’t give her a T-bone and expect her to know what to do with it. “A chapter? You want me to read a whole CHAPTER??!

    I feel your pain, Laurie, I feel your pain.

    Like

  344. RE: http://www.gotquestions.org/food-sacrificed-idols.html:

    In the letter to the church of Thyatira, Jesus rebukes them for tolerating a prophetess who ‘misleads my servants into sexual immorality and the eating of food sacrificed to idols’. (Revelation 2:20).</em"

    Actually, Revelation doesn't say Yeshua wrote ANYthing – as the son of a carpenter, he would most likely have been illiterate, if he ever existed – in fact, the hallucination that John speaks in Revelation of having, of a man with a double-edged sword coming out of his mouth and brass feet, told John to write these things, though it must be really hard to talk with a double-edged sword in your mouth.

    Like

  345. This statement says what we already knew:

    Laurie, I’m not going to understand anything unless you reference the Bible.. if it’s not supported in the Bible, I can’t / won’t agree with your claims.

    If whatever we provide as evidence isn’t supported in the Bible Kathy won’t agree with it. If it contradicts her precious scripture it can’t possible be right. Even if there is a mountain of evidence proving that it is. Evolution is one such example.

    Like

  346. Is this supposed to answer why we still have to atone for our sins even though Jesus died on the cross to pay for our sins?

    No, you really don’t understand, Kathy. We do still have to atone/answer for/pay a price for our sins regardless of Jesus’ sacrifice according even to your theology. What the hell is Hell for if not for that?

    Like

  347. “What you and Laurie fail to see is Jesus’ message. It’s not about the rigid rules.. it’s about what is in our hearts.” – kathy

    whew, that’s a relief. My heart and my mind tell me all this bible stuff is a bunch of hooey.

    and if this is how you felt about it, why have you been making such a huge production?

    Like

  348. What the hell is Hell for if not for that?” – she was up most of the night, but when she comes back on, Ruth, she’s likely going to say, “for those who don’t believe in him.”

    Like

  349. she was up most of the night, but when she comes back on, Ruth, she’s likely going to say, “for those who don’t believe in him.”

    Exactly. Because the wages of sin is still death. One must pay the price for their sin.

    Like

  350. Hi Kathy,

    in response to some of your points, I have cut and paste what I plan on replying to, and have labeled them to help ensure you don’t overlook them.

    A)
    “There are actual statistics that show that the quality of public education has consistently
    declined over the years.. and at the same time, the unions have grown and so has liberal beliefs and indoctrination.” – Kathy

    What does this have to do with the bible’s validity?

    And what do you mean? What do you mean by “quality” and are you speaking about the USA as a whole or only speaking about certain states in regard to both your union and quality remarks?

    You’re still confusing me with how you use “liberal.” Before you have said that a liberal was someone who went against your god, but now it looks like you’re using somewhat correctly by tying it into politics. And do you think all non-believers are liberals and that all believers are not?

    B)
    “but you seem confused about what Christianity means. It’s not about knowing the history.. it’s about knowing Jesus and what He did for us.” – Kathy

    I think you have a fractured understanding. If it does not also include the knowledge of the history and the scriptures, then what does 2Tim 2:15, matt22:29 (jesus here says its error to not know), John 14:15 (love and obedience through knowledge are the same), and 1 Thess 5:21?

    C)
    “I asked you for the evidence of Mormonism that you claim is equal to Christianity..I still haven’t gotten it.. nothing.” – Kathy

    Kathy, I provided at least three links on mormonism, but now you’re just going to ignore them so you can chastise nan?

    D)
    “I’ve asked you for your evidence or references that supports your certainty that satan doesn’t
    exist.I still haven’t gotten it.. nothing.” – Kathy

    Look, there he isn’t.
    If you have compelling evidence for his existence, I’;; gladly read it – but if you just say the bible, then I’m just gonna ask for your evidence to support that, and if you “martyrs” again… I swear…

    E)
    “I’ve accused both of you of coming up with excuses.. and what do you both do? Come back with more excuses, dishonest obfuscation, and self serving lectures.” – Kathy

    You describing yourself or someone else?

    F)
    “Carmen, “critical thinking” is exactly what I am doing.. I’ve ASKED you SPECIFIC questions.. because I am THINKING. It’s you who doesn’t want to think. You just want to make baseless ignorant judgments without any supportive evidence .. you just “know” it.” – Kathy

    Kathy – come on, here. Is that what Carmen is doing or what you have been doing? Be honest.

    G)
    “You claim that Paul is a false prophet but you haven’t given any compelling evidence for that.. his devotion and suffering are also powerful testimony to him and to the Truth of Christianity.” – Kathy

    Kathy, again, anyone’s devotion is merely evidence of their belief, and anyone’s suffering is only evidence for their devotion – neither have anything to do with validating what they believe it. This is stupid. You get this kindergarten concept with people of other religions… are you being intentionally moronic?

    H)
    “Mormons claim that Jesus paid for our sins, just like I think you are claiming.. BUT, they ALSO claim that good works are ALSO necessary. This is a fundamental contradiction.” – Kathy

    Read the book of James. “Justified by works, and not by faith only.”

    Like

  351. William,

    “When I use a word,” Kathy said in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.”

    Like

  352. One must pay the price for their sin.” – Ruth, this is like arguing which brand of boots Santa Claus wears, and yes, I get the irony of me defending what likely is Kathy’s position, but isn’t it logical (I don’t know if I can get through this bat-barf) that the wages are paid only for the believers? And that “hell” is reserved for the Non’s?

    Like

  353. Kathy said, “Mormons claim that Jesus paid for our sins, just like I think you are claiming..BUT, they ALSO claim that good works are ALSO necessary. This is a fundamental contradiction. ”

    Kathy, are you saying this is an error in Mormonism or was the Apostle James a Mormon ?

    James 2:14-26New Living Translation (NLT)

    Faith without Good Deeds Is Dead
    14 What good is it, dear brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but don’t show it by your actions? Can that kind of faith save anyone? 15 Suppose you see a brother or sister who has no food or clothing, 16 and you say, “Good-bye and have a good day; stay warm and eat well”—but then you don’t give that person any food or clothing. What good does that do?

    17 So you see, faith by itself isn’t enough. Unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless.

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  354. Ruth, this is like arguing which brand of boots Santa Claus wears, and yes, I get the irony of me defending what likely is Kathy’s position, but isn’t it logical (I don’t know if I can get through this bat-barf) that the wages are paid only for the believers? And that “hell” is reserved for the Non’s?

    Believers of what, though, arch? Kathy’s belief? Laurie’s belief? Catholic’s belief? Jewish belief? Reformed theology? Calvinism? Arminianism? Do you get a purgatory where you can change your mind?

    I once believed that what is likely Kathy’s position was the logical position. The more I’ve read about Universalism the more that seems logical to me as well. Interpretations vary wildly on this topic.

    By the way, Santa wears boots that the elves cobble themselves. They’re straight from his very own workshop.

    Like

  355. “There are actual statistics that show that the quality of public education has consistently
    declined over the years..
    ” – This is true, William, and you can expect even more degradation, as some states try to sneak Creationism into the curriculum and remove evolution – in those states, the quality of education is lower than in the rest of the US and most all of Western Europe. Graduates of those schools will be far less likely to find anything other than blue-collar jobs, and certainly won’t be able to compete with Europeans in the World Market.

    And the Texas State Board of Education is trying its damnedest to insert Christian philosophies into school books across the nation, which it can do, as Texas orders more schoolbooks than any other state, and since book publishers want to save money, they print their books according to whatever the Texas Board comes up with, unless a state specifically opts out – so far, only California and one other state has, as it’s more expensive to do otherwise. The books are only revised every ten years, so a student will go from First through Tenth Grades (or Third through Graduation) on the Texas system before further revisions – that means an entire generation of US school kids will grow up not knowing the importance of Thomas Jefferson, for example, because references to him as a Founding Father have been replaced by another FF who was a Calvinist.

    Like

  356. By the way, Santa wears boots that the elves cobble themselves. They’re straight from his very own workshop.” – well I’m glad we cleared THAT up!

    Like

  357. Kathy,

    Can you give the most compelling evidence and reference for satan’s non existence here?? I’ll gladly read it.

    Kathy, the “compelling evidence” I discovered cannot be stated in one or two sentences — that’s why I devoted an entire chapter to this subject! As for references, I would be willing to list a few of the books and/or websites I researched, but only if you will read them and respond — preferably on my http://escapefromreligion.wordpress.com blog as I don’t want to take up Nate’s blog space. Are you willing to do that? (I will even make a page just for our “discussion.”)

    ,,, you don’t have to be a Mormon to give the evidence they have to support their claims.

    Kathy, please! I can’t believe how you continue to miss the point. Once again … all I said was “Yes, the Mormons DO have evidence to back up their beliefs. It’s called the Book of Mormon. Not too unlike the book Christians use to back up their beliefs.” My POINT is that THEY believe their book offers evidence. YOU believe the bible offers evidence. I never claimed that their evidence was better, worse, or comparable. One more time … THEY believe their book provides evidence; YOU believe the bible provides evidence. Period. End of story.

    Like

  358. Guys, it’s so clear that Christianity is better than Mormonism.

    For instance:

    Mormons claim that a lost tribe of Israelites sailed across the Atlantic and founded America. Do they have archaeological evidence of this? Of course not.

    Christians, on the other hand, claim that Moses led the Children of Israel out of Egyptian bondage and wandered in the wilderness for 40 years. Do they have evidence of this? Of course they do — actually, um… we’ll have to get back to you on that one.

    Mormons say Joseph Smith translated the Book of Mormon from mystical golden plates. But can they present those golden plates as evidence? Nope.

    Christians, however, say that Moses was given the law on stone tablets. As evidence, they are able to — crap! Seriously?! We don’t have those either?

    As you can see, the differences are striking.

    Like

  359. ““There are actual statistics that show that the quality of public education has consistently
    declined over the years..” – This is true, William” – arch

    yeah, but how is it measured. Standardized test scores? a lot of this stuff was altered under bush – and as you have pointed out, texas tends to rule the text books… and kathy wants to say it’s a liberal problem.

    But besides that, private schools typically have wealthier parents, who either have more time, or just devote more time to ensuring their kids do their homework, and go to school, etc.

    there are also more public schools. Some are really good and do very well. Some have bad teachers and some have good ones. Not all mandate that a teacher join the union, but teacher unions have made it hard to fire teachers because often parents want to blame the teacher because their kid is a lazy student and just isnt prepared – kathy seems to be focusing on the flip side, that in protecting the good teachers, there are some bad ones that get saved as well.

    but seriously, how does kathy mean “quality?” test scores? in competition with other nations? in religious curriculum? in math and science?

    regardless, it is clear that kathy didnt go to a public school, because her reasoning and comprehension skills indicate that she has been sheltered from the world at large and has been spoon fed christian evangelical dogma and specific doctrine apologetics for a long, long time…

    to her it doesnt matter what the truth or evidence says, because she only will consider what is in the bible – what wacky religious institutions push as being “objective.”

    “Laurie, I’m not going to understand anything unless you reference the Bible.. if it’s not supported in the Bible, I can’t / won’t agree with your claims.” – kathy

    Like

  360. Arch,

    “By the frustration in your written “voice,” I can see that the light is beginning to dawn – Kathy looks to be spoon-fed her knowledge from a Gerber’s jar ”

    As if you have a clue what she’s talking about. If anyone does know please feel free to explain it.. because I don’t get it.

    Like

  361. Ruth,

    “If whatever we provide as evidence isn’t supported in the Bible Kathy won’t agree with it. If it contradicts her precious scripture it can’t possible be right. Even if there is a mountain of evidence proving that it is. Evolution is one such example.”

    How does evolution contradict the Bible Ruth?

    Like

  362. Kathy,

    Please read these passages. They are all from Yahusha (jesus) and are about eternal life.

    Luke 10:25-28
    The Parable of the Good Samaritan
    25 And behold, a certain lawyer stood up and tested Him, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?”

    26 He said to him, “What is written in the law? What is your reading of it?”

    27 So he answered and said, “ ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind,’[a] and ‘your neighbor as yourself.’”[b]

    28 And He said to him, “You have answered rightly; do this and you will live.”

    Matthew 19:16-22
    Jesus Counsels the Rich Young Ruler
    16 Now behold, one came and said to Him, “Good[a] Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life?”

    17 So He said to him, “Why do you call Me good?[b] No one is good but One, that is, God.[c] But if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments.”

    18 He said to Him, “Which ones?”

    Jesus said, “‘You shall not murder,’ ‘You shall not commit adultery,’ ‘You shall not steal,’ ‘You shall not bear false witness,’ 19 ‘Honor your father and your mother,’[d] and, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ ”[e]

    20 The young man said to Him, “All these things I have kept from my youth.[f] What do I still lack?”

    21 Jesus said to him, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.”

    22 But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.

    Matthew 25:14-46
    The Parable of the Talents
    14 “For the kingdom of heaven is like a man traveling to a far country, who called his own servants and delivered his goods to them. 15 And to one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one, to each according to his own ability; and immediately he went on a journey. 16 Then he who had received the five talents went and traded with them, and made another five talents. 17 And likewise he who had received two gained two more also. 18 But he who had received one went and dug in the ground, and hid his lord’s money. 19 After a long time the lord of those servants came and settled accounts with them.

    20 “So he who had received five talents came and brought five other talents, saying, ‘Lord, you delivered to me five talents; look, I have gained five more talents besides them.’ 21 His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’ 22 He also who had received two talents came and said, ‘Lord, you delivered to me two talents; look, I have gained two more talents besides them.’ 23 His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’

    24 “Then he who had received the one talent came and said, ‘Lord, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you have not sown, and gathering where you have not scattered seed. 25 And I was afraid, and went and hid your talent in the ground. Look, there you have what is yours.’

    26 “But his lord answered and said to him, ‘You wicked and lazy servant, you knew that I reap where I have not sown, and gather where I have not scattered seed. 27 So you ought to have deposited my money with the bankers, and at my coming I would have received back my own with interest. 28 Therefore take the talent from him, and give it to him who has ten talents.

    29 ‘For to everyone who has, more will be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away. 30 And cast the unprofitable servant into the outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’

    The Son of Man Will Judge the Nations
    31 “When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy[a] angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. 32 All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. 33 And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. 34 Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: 35 for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; 36 I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’

    37 “Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? 38 When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? 39 Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ 40 And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’

    41 “Then He will also say to those on the left hand, ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels: 42 for I was hungry and you gave Me no food; I was thirsty and you gave Me no drink; 43 I was a stranger and you did not take Me in, naked and you did not clothe Me, sick and in prison and you did not visit Me.’

    44 “Then they also will answer Him,[b] saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to You?’ 45 Then He will answer them, saying, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’ 46 And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

    1 John 2:1-7New King James Version (NKJV)

    2 My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. 2 And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world.

    The Test of Knowing Him
    3 Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. 4 He who says, “I know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. 5 But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him. 6 He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked.

    7 Brethren,[a] I write no new commandment to you, but an old commandment which you have had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word which you heard from the beginning.[b]

    As for your question on atonement, please read my previous comments again. I answered this question already.

    Like

  363. “How does evolution contradict the Bible Ruth?” kathy

    i guess because genesis 1 and 2 say that god formed them, and brought them out of either the water or the earth on specific days…

    do you think evolution and the bible are compatible?

    Like

  364. Kathy, you don’t “get” what Laurie says because (1) you have not read the OT, and (2) you have not read books and other resources that explain what she’s talking about.

    Question: do you even have a clue on what “messiah” means to the Jewish people?

    (Just as an added note, I discuss some of this in my book.)

    Like

  365. yeah, kathy, I’d have to agree with nan. Laurie could be better understood if you knew your bible better, but also if you tried to think about things from differing perspectives.

    I dont agree with laurie, but I find her perspective fascinating and new.

    Like

  366. Does anyone understand what I am talking about with the feasts? I know that most of you don’t believe, but do you understand? Kathy doesn’t, and I’ll admit I am not really the teacher type.

    I just don’t want to keep going around in circles. If you don’t read Torah, how can you expect to understand?

    Kathy,

    Do you realize that when Yahusha said” I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life” that these are all hebraic idioms for Torah. That means that he said he was Torah, and nobody gets to the Father except through him (Torah).

    You can not understand the new testament, apart from the old. They go together.

    Like

  367. @Arch & William,

    In regards to my teacher union comments.. Arch, while you are correct that unions do serve a good purpose.. sometimes.. in many cases where govt. is involved, they are destroying our free market system. Teachers are an excellent example. Our poor children are STUCK with bad teachers because they are protected by the unions. And that’s the way liberals want to keep it. Because the unions support their liberal views.

    William, I’m speaking about the USA as a whole.. we are way down on the list and have been for quite a while. Liberals are literally “dumbing down” this country, not only in our schools but in are govt. Just look at Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi, Biden and Obama.. it’s pathetic what is happing to thi