An Expert Explains the Beginning of Christianity with Dr Richard Carrier

by Rocketman123 48 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • Phizzy

    It is now accepted by a consensus of Scholars that the verses in Chapter 14 of 1st Corinthians, saying that women should not speak in Church, are a later Interpolation.

    Why then would it be impossible that Chapter 15 was added later , and not penned by Paul, or rather dictated by Paul ? It is more than likely he did have something to say on the Resurrection, but we cannot be sure that what we have in the earliest MS we have, which are 4th Century, is exactly what Paul dictated.

    To be categorical that what is in 1st Corinthians 15 was written at Paul's behest is to make an assertion for which there is no proof.

    Which is the problem that Bible believers have, we only have Copies of many many previous copies, we know that Interpolations, Editing, Redacting etc occurred before those Copies were made.

  • Sea Breeze
    Sea Breeze

    Polycarp was a student/disciple of the Apostle John, right? That's pretty early. The majority of scholars already accept the empty tomb anyway.

    The bottom line is that there aren't really any good alternative explanations for the 12 points that Dr. Habermas lists.

    This doesn't prove the resurrection happened, it just means that, at least at the present it may be the most plausible explanation compared to the alternatives.

    It makes no difference to me what people choose to believe. Like I mentioned, counselors find great value in getting people to just get in touch with their higher power.... if for no other reason to lessen their self-focus.

    Jesus said he would die and then he would resurrect himself. If he did it, that's a pretty high power!

    "I lay down my life, that I might take it again....No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself... I have power to take it again. There was a division therefore again among the Jews for these sayings. And many of them said, He hath a devil, and is mad; why hear ye him? Others said, These are not the words of him that hath a devil. Can a devil open the eyes of the blind"?

    Whether he did it or not, Jesus was one cool person (or the greatest psychopath & con artist who ever lived). But, I believe he did it.

  • john.prestor

    Polycarp claimed to be a disciple of the apostle John, yes. I don't accept that claim and I'm skeptical of it but that's what he said. He told some story about him and John fleeing the heretic Cerinthus in a bathhouse in Ephesus.

    Anyway, I don't take those 12 claims as facts, which is the problem we're having.


    • john.prestoran hour ago

      Polycarp claimed to be a disciple of the apostle John, yes. I don't accept that claim and I'm skeptical of it but that's what he said. He told some story about him and John fleeing the heretic Cerinthus in a bathhouse in Ephesus.

      Anyway, I don't take those 12 claims as facts, which is the problem we're having.

      How about Clement of Rome, Ignatius of Antioch, Irenaeus of Lyons or Justin Martyr? Do you accept any of those writers? They all write about the early church and the widely accepted facts of the time and reference the biblical 500 witnesses. There are literally 10s of thousands of written pages [intact] of early Christian writers from the 1st 3 centuries of AD Their writings answer many of these questions.


  • john.prestor

    TTWSYF: to respond to your post...

    Irenaeus of Lyons: did not know apostles, he wrote around 175CE; he's only repeating what he heard from Polycarp, who he knew when he was a boy

    Justin Martyr: did not know apostles, he only repeats what he's been taught and read in the "memoirs of the apostles," i.e., canonical gospels; wrote around 150CE

    Ignatius: fake letters, probably forged by Polycarp himself

    Clement of Rome: in 1 Clement he never claims to have known apostles, he speaks of them at a distance

    But even if these people knew apostles, that would only make their claims early, not true. Early claims could still be lies. Within days of 911, I was being shown pictures of Satan's face in the smoke of the twin towers, and shown pictures of "missiles" the US had supposedly fired at the planes.

    Early does not equal true.

  • Disillusioned JW
    Disillusioned JW

    pistolpete,by "one more in line with agnosticism and atheism" I didn't mean closer to agnosticism and atheism than theism and the belief that the Bible is a god's word. I meant somewhat closer to agnosticism and atheism than it previously was. By saying some parts of the Bible are no longer considered literally true, but now only considered true in an allegorical sense, the Christian view has moved in a direction towards an atheistic view, since atheists have been saying for centuries that parts of the Bible are not literally true.

    By theologically modernist view I am referring to what in the early 1900s became called "Modernism". See which says "Modernist theologians approved of radical biblical criticism and were willing to question traditional Christian doctrines, especially Christology." In doing so, even while believing the Bible is inspired by God, their ideas are closer to atheism to a greater extent than were those theologians who were not modernist in their theology. That is what I mean.

    Though some sources suggest that Modernism was confined to some Catholic theologian, in actuality Modernism was also embraced by some Protestant theologians. See which says "By the end of the 1930s proponents of Theological Liberalism had, at the time, effectively won the debate,[2] with the Modernists in control of all Mainline Protestant seminaries, publishing houses and denominational hierarchies in the United States."

  • Disillusioned JW
    Disillusioned JW

    slimboyfat, when one considers that the first president (Russell) of the WT corporation was a skeptic for a period of time before founding the WT and when one considers that the the second president (Rutherford) of the WT corporation was an atheist for a period time before becoming affiliated with the WT, it is not very surprising that some liberal scholars, reading the New Testament without a faith commitment to uphold, come to some conclusions that are similar to JWs. Consider the following evidence of the above claims about Russell and Rutherford.

    The WT book from 1959 called Jehovah's Witnesses In the Divine Purpose, which is about the WT's/JW's history, on page 14 quotes Charles Taze Russell as having said the following about himself: "Brought up a Presbyterian, indoctrinated from the Catechism, and being naturally of an inquiring mind, I fell a ready prey to the logic of infidelity, as soon as I began to think for myself. But that which at first threatened to be the utter shipwreck of faith in God and the Bible was, under God's providence, overruled for good, and merely wrecked my confidence in human creeds and systems of Bible interpretations." Russell also said that listening to a speaker of the Second Adventists enabled Russell to reestablish his "... wavering faith in the Divine Inspiration of the Bible ...."

    The 1955 edition of the WT book called Qualified To Be Ministers on pages 298-299 say regarding Russell : "... although brought up a Presbyterian he joined the nearby Congregational Church, because it was more liberal. ... The doctrines of predestination and eternal punishment gave him particular difficulty, and by the time he was seventeen he had become an avowed skeptic, discarding the Bible and the creeds of the churches." Page 299 also quotes the same content I quoted above from the Divine Purpose book.

    The 1974 WT book book called 1975 Yearbook of Jehovah's Witnesses on page 35 says the following about Russell when Russell was in between the ages of 12 and 17: '... Russell was spiritually troubled. Especially was he concerned about the doctrines of eternal punishment and predestination. He reasoned: "A God that would use his power to create human beings whom he foreknew and predestinated should be eternally tormented, could be neither wise, just nor loving. His standard would be lower than that of many men." (1 John 4:8) Nonetheless, young Russell continued to believe in God's existence. His mind beleaguered by concern over doctrine, he examined the various creeds of Christendom, studied leading Oriental religions--and experienced grave disappointment. Where was truth to be found?'

    See also pages 42-43, 122, and 126 of the 1993 WT book called Jehovah's Witnesses--Proclaimers of God's Kingdom.

    Regarding Joseph F. Rutherford the October 1, 1997 issue of "The Watchtower" on page 6 says the following under the heading of "Atheism No Bar to Jehovah's Personal Interest (note that in the quote below I have added bold face for emphasis)":

    'Joseph F. Rutherford was the second president of the Watch Tower Society. He was baptized in 1906 as a Bible Student--the designation Jehovah's Witnesses were then known by--was appointed the Society's legal counsel the following year, and became its president in January 1917. Yet, at one time this young lawyer was an atheist. How did he become such a motivated Christian servant of Jehovah?

    In July 1913, Rutherford served as chairman of an International Bible Students Association convention held in Springfield, Massachusetts, U.S.A. A reporter from the local newspaper, The Homestead, interviewed Rutherford, and the account was reprinted in the souvenir report of that convention.

    Rutherford explained that at the time he planned to marry, his religious views were those of the Baptist denomination, but those of his wife-to-be were Presbyterian. When Rutherford's pastor said that "she was going to hell fire because she had not been immersed and that he was going straight to heaven because he had been, his logical mind revolted and he became an atheist."

    It took Rutherford several years of careful research to rebuild his faith in a personal God. He worked, he said, from the premise that "that which cannot satisfy the mind has no right to satisfy the heart." Christians "must be sure that the Scriptures in which they believe are true," Rutherford explained, adding: "They must know the foundation on which they stand."--See 2 Timothy 3:16, 17.

    Yes, it is possible even today for an atheist or an agnostic to search the Scriptures, build up faith, and develop a strong personal relationship with Jehovah God. After a careful study of the Bible with the aid of the Watch Tower publication Knowledge That Leads to Everlasting Life, one young man confessed: "I did not believe in God when I started this study, but now I find that knowledge of the Bible has turned my whole thinking around. I am beginning to know Jehovah and to trust in him." ' [The next section (under the heading of' "The Fool" and God') of that WT article bashes atheists, suggesting that in all cases that their atheism stems from a "moral deficiency" and a "lack of sense".]

    It was by reading that article in 1997 that I learned that Rutherford had been an atheist for a period of time before he became baptized as a Bible Student and before he became the second president of the WT corporation. A few years later I stopped attending JW congregational meetings, except on rare occasions (such as the Memorial for a number of years), largely in order to do an independent minded study of the Bible and of the WT/JW history. That research was so I could find out if the WT/JW religion has a number of false doctrines and so I could discover more doctrines of the Bible than I already knew.

    As a side note, WT literature sometimes depicts nudity (sometimes full nudity and sometimes partial nudity). For example page 7 of the WT article has an illustration which includes a depiction an adult female angel in heaven with bare (and not obscured) firm breasts. Revealing examples (in regards to women) are shown on pages 29, 117, the full color illustration page immediately before page 193, and 324, of Rutherford's 1937 book called Enemies. A another revealing example is on page 316 of Rutherford's 1940 book called Religion, and the illustration of demons on page 72 of the same book.

  • HowTheBibleWasCreated

    The issue as always is taking paul's letters as dating to the 50s. The earliest allusion or recognition of these letters is mid second century. Galatians likely has at least two authors and 1 corinthians was reworked 3 times as seen by the position on speaking in tongues or women preaching.orveven the resurrection. There are no sources outside the bible about jesus until tacitus and by then there are a lot of oral traditions of christianity floating around

  • Rocketman123

    Rutherford got involved with the IBSA out of personal interest and he became deeper involved with Russell when he choose him to do some legal work representing him and the WTS.

    One should keep in mind that the IBSA then was making bold proclamations that Christ has returned plastered on the front page of the Watchtower.

    When he eventually took control over the WTS he made himself into a crooked self serving religious charlatan and used the money for himself that Russell had left in the WTS.

    I guess you could say he could see the advantage and opportunity for himself, the power, control and money was all there.

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