No Bible = No God?
I read your link on mass hysteria/hallucinations. This has been suggested before as a possible explanation and is a skeptic favorite. There are some pretty big absurdities with this explanation:
Such hallucinations, if this is what they were, are quite unique and should warrant careful psychological scrutiny. These [supposed hallucinations of the disciples] were experienced by a considerable number of different individuals, all seeing the same vision, but in different groups, at different times, both indoors and outdoors, on a hilltop, along a roadway, by a lakeshore, and other places. Furthermore, they were not looking for Jesus at all. Several times they didn't recognize Him at first, and at least once actually believed it was a ghost until He convinced them otherwise. He invited them to touch Him and they recognized the wounds in His hands (John 20:27; Luke 24:39). They watched Him eat with them (Luke 24:41–43). On one occasion, over 500 different people saw Him at one time (1 Corinthians 15:6), most of whom were still living at the time when the evidence was being used.5
Still more problems exist for this popular skeptical view. How does one explain the appearance of Jesus to Paul on the road to Damascus? Surely Paul was not grieving over the death of Jesus. He was zealously persecuting followers of Christ and “still breathing threats and murder against the disciples” (Acts 9:1). He was not in any state of mind to experience a hallucination of Jesus, particularly one that would transform his life so drastically. Yet Paul’s experience is one of the five key evidences, meaning it is well-evidenced and accepted by the vast majority of scholars on the subject.
Also among the key evidences are the empty tomb and the conversion of James due to a purported post-Resurrection appearance of Jesus. The mass hallucination theory cannot account for the empty tomb .
Nor can the hallucination view make sense of the conversion of James. While James may have grieved the loss of his half-brother, the death of Jesus would have confirmed his skeptical view of the Lord’s claim to be the Savior. Only upon seeing the risen Lord did James come to believe in Jesus as the Jewish Messiah.6
I think that if a defeated, disillusioned & ragtag group of disciples could pretty much overnight be transferred into a dedicated & energetic faith movement through mass hysteria, self-deception, & dedication to living and dying for a KNOWN LIE; then that would be a greater miracle than the resurrection itself.
Hume argued that the wise man “proportions his belief to the evidence,”8 so he thought the evidence would always favor a naturalistic explanation over a supernatural one. Yet in this case, it would be a far greater miracle for entire groups of people in different mental states to undergo shared hallucinations on different occasions, in different places, and for different reasons.9
I guess we all choose the miracles we believe in. For many, the resurrection is the more believable.
Perry did you have look at this video by Richard Carrier ?
A known academic historian on ancient history, particularly on mythological practices.
Any advertisement serves its purpose when it is published just before the arrival of the product, not centuries in advance. If it was God’s plan to advertise Kingdom through the preaching and miracles using Jesus He would have done it in our time when everything Jesus speaks and does could be live-telecast to the whole world. This would have spared all confusions, doubts and debates of over 2000 years, and all people of the earth would have accepted Jesus as the Messiah.
To use the bible to prove the bible is circular reasoning.
Arguments in favour of the bible are the same arguments one could use to prove the quran or the Flintstones are true.
Venus, P of N,
It seems that the problem is not that empirical exists, but rather that you all were not there personally to witness the spear thrust in his side, eat fish with him on the shore and to touch his side. But that is just silly. We believe many things that we personally haven't witnessed.
P of N , the bible is not a single source book. It is made up of many writers (witnesses). ... not circular reasoning.
Also, there are many extra biblical sources that support the supernatural accounts. As previously mentioned, Caesar had to issue a proclamation shortly thereafter banning bodies from being "stolen" from Jewish graves .... the exact kind of grave that had a rolled stone in front of it is mentioned. Rome never had a problem with their enemies staying dead before. (grave robbers don't steal bodies, they steal valuables buried with the bodies)
Jesus did miracles in front of witnesses, was beaten to a bloody pulp in front of witnesses, was hung on a cross and had a spear thrust into his side in front of witnesses, was buried in a tomb by witnesses, appeared again three days later (and for many days after that) in front of witnesses, and did more signs in front of witnesses.
Jesus calls the people to “look and see.” "See the people I healed. See me raised from the dead. Feel my hands.
Touch me, speak to me. Believe because I have given you very good reasons to believe."
Perry makes the usual Christian mistake of assuming what's written in the bible is actually true. There were no eye witnesses to the resurrection. It never happened and the only source for it are scrolls written decades later that contradict each other and are obvious fiction
But Perry why didn't he appear and start his new kingdom when he spoke to his then followers that many if you will not experience death, all of those people who he was speaking to died and his kingdom was never established. ?
Many ancient history scholars think that the Jesus god came from out of a person who was a Hebrew Rabi/ teacher who preached about the coming Messiah but was latter on euhemerzied into a spiritual deity or the Messiah himself years after his death and stories were embellished and sensationalized to a higher level of believable acceptance..
Pezzer - P of N , the bible is not a single source book. It is made up of many writers (witnesses). ... not circular reasoning.
Good point. I see where you're coming from.
I would ask, is this why there are so many inconsistencies and contradictions because it is just a collection of books? Therefore, rendering it unreliable and not of divine origin.
I read the Caesar thing but it doesn't provide any evidence of the Jesus myth. It's simply about nicking bodies irrespective of what they usually 'alf-inched. We could just as easily say it proves Frankenstein existed at that time. (Which would be cool....really cool).
I think with respect, this article is an attempt to crowbar the Jesus myth into real history. It was interesting, I'll grant you but smacked of desperation.
2000 years on and no Armageddon or 2nd coming. I'm over the false promises of money grabbing religion.
However, it's not for me to trash your beliefs (beliefs I also held dear once). I just can't see it. It all seems such a waste of life holding on to a delusion because ultimately we don't want this life to be all there is.
Sadly that's the truth of it.
If Jesus really lived, then problems are more because it would mean the subject of what is called redemption by the death of the Son of God originated from God. Without any conditioning, anyone would revolt at the recollection of what he reads in the Bible that it was making God Almighty act like a passionate man who killed his son when he could not revenge himself in any other way. I am sure a man who did such a thing would be hanged.
God is too good to do such an action, and also too almighty to be under any necessity of doing it. Any system of religion that has anything in it that shocks the mind of a child, cannot be a true system. But the Biblical concept of God the Father putting his son to death, or employing/permitting people to do it, cannot be told by a parent to a child with conviction; and to tell him that it was done to make mankind better is making the story still worse—as if something greater would be achieved through the murder of the innocent [a logic today’s terrorists resort to]; and to tell our children that all this is a mystery is only making an excuse for the incredibility of it.
Account of Adam and Eve is contradictory to the original creation account given in Genesis 1 where we find God creating mankind, not just a couple. Even if first couple sinned their sin would not be passed on to their children: "Fathers shall not be put to death for their sons, nor shall sons be put to death for their fathers; everyone shall be put to death for his own sin.” (Deuteronomy 24:16)
Hence if at all Jesus did come, that might not have been to perform miracles or to perform sacrifice "to take away the sins of the world." He might have lived like a great prophet, preached very elevated teaching such as Mathew 5:44-48 and disappeared only to appear as a mighty teacher again somewhere on earth as prophet Elijah reappeared as John the Baptist. (Mathew 11:14)