quote: You deny that the Biblical witnesses are fair and trustworthy, but those who believe the Bible judge them to be so, millions of us back 2000 years. So you've eliminated that evidence from usefulness to you. Witness evidence IS evidence, but if you distrust the witnesses that's the end of that.
Of course quite a bit of the Bible ISN'T "witness evidence". We can be pretty sure that none of the three Synoptic Gospels were written by witnesses, for instance.
And it would be foolish to deny the prejudices of the Bible authors, too.
quote: But this isn't just a FEW witnesses of a questionable kind. God is quite aware that extraordinary events need extraordinary evidence, and has provided it far beyond the requirement. The Bible is made up of 66 separate testimonies by over forty separate writers, over something like 1500 years, most of them historical in nature, that all testify to Him and to the miracles that attest to Him and to thousands of other facts that all work together to support the whole.
Not all the Bible is testimony, you exaggerate the time period involved and assume that a selective and biased collection of writings constitutes "extraordinary evidence". Do you believe in the miracle stories associated with Catholic Saints ? For modern Saints there's investigation beyond anything that likely went into the Bible.
quote: But once you start denying this part or that part eventually you'll make it all useless to you. That's what most people here have done. The rule is simple: Believe. That's exactly what you all refuse to do.
By that one statement you admit that the evidence does not support you. Evidence-based reasoning requires investigation and questioning. If your "evidence" does not stand up to that, too bad for your "evidence".
quote: True but this came up in answer to the challenge whether there is evidence for God or not, and my claim is that the great number of witnesses is strong evidence, especially the witnesses in the Bible but also those who believe in it -- and I'd even say that it ought to be special evidence that so many believe in it still these days considering all the ridicule we have to put up with.
Of course it isn't that amazing at all. Especially once you exclude the Catholics who account for about half of those considered Christian in the usual counts. Lots of people believe things that aren't true for various reasons.
quote: The Bible IS evidence, but of course you can discount it. There's been an awful lot of effort to undermine the Bible's credibility
A lot of people have gone to find the truth and the Bible was found to fail. I know that contradicts the preachers and theologians you choose to believe but, as I already said, a lot of people believe things that aren't true.
Really it seems to me that what you say really amounts to the idea that we must set up men as false Gods and worship them, even placing them above the Bible - or even God. That certainly is not Biblical teaching, nor is it in any way truly Christian.
quote: It's ALL witness testimony, and CERTAINLY the Synoptics are. You've just bought the lies of the unbelieving "scholars" who dedicated their lives to destroying the Bible. How sad for you. Why not try doubting THOSE idiots and believing what the true believers believe instead? What sort of twisted pride makes you have to trust the debunkers?
I trust the people who disagree with your "authorities"- who are not all "debunkers" by any means - in part because they have relevant expertise and in part because when I do check them out they tend to be right. Which is more than can be said for you or your "authorities"
For instance I doubt that you could consider Proverbs to be even largely "witness testimony". And the earliest account of Mark that I know of attributes it to follower of Peter working from his memories of Peter's teaching but sometimes getting events in the wrong order. Neither eye-witness testimony, nor infallible. And let's not get into the conflicts between Luke and Matthew.
The rest, pretty much better describes your position than mine.
quote: God doesn't support trusting the "experts," He said simply "Believe" -- Believe HIM, believe His word -- and He HAS given sufficient evidence for that. But you'd rather believe self-appointed experts apparently. Too bad.
Your posts certainly contain plenty of evidence that your religion is false. Which is one more reason for not joining it. If you aren't even aware of the evidence enough to discuss it , why should I take your opinions seriously ?
quote: The evidence is what the Bible itself says, just as written, just as understood by Bible believers down the centuries.
Nobody with any sense assumes that any old document must be taken as absolutely literally true. If you want to use the Bible as evidence in THAT way, you need rather more than "my traditions say so!". Even worse, you actually want to let your traditions overrule the Bible.
quote: It takes effort to undo that evidence and make something else out of it.
Well no, it doesn't. It takes a lot of effort to find the actual truth of things, but disbelieving your traditions takes very little effort at all. They're only traditions, after all.
quote: You actually believe the "experts" who SUBJECTIVELY decide how to date the Bible. You deserve what you'll get for that.
In Christian belief NOT worshipping false Gods doesn't get any punishment. It's people like you who ought to worry.
quote: Right. Well, people will believe either your tradition or mine then. I can only hope some of them make the right choice.
I'm not blindly following tradition. The choice is between blind belief in men - your position - and trying to find the truth - mine.
quote: Calling the Bible "any old document" is such proof of your failure of judgment it takes the breath away. But then I do know that only believers can judge any of this rightly because it takes the Holy Spirit to open it to us.
If your "evidence" is only truly available to people who already believe it isn't much good as evidence. But really all you're doing is labelling your own prejudices "the Holy spirit"
quote: I used to think, before I became a believer, that there was such a thing as rationality and that people were able to make accurate judgments, or some were.
Of course that IS true, but you hate it. In this very thread you object very strongly to the idea of rationally evaluating the Bible. Even something as simple as comparing Matthew and Luke/Acts is going too far for you.
quote: I still must believe something along those lines, unfortunately. even to be trying to persuade anyone here. Most of you seem to have gone beyond the point of no return so that even if thousands prayed for you there's no hope you'd ever wake up. I would like to believe I'm wrong and that God may yet have mercy on you.
Pray for yourself. At BEST you are driving people away from your religion with your pride and your arrogance and your hate.
Trying to bully people into agreeing with you - when they know more than you and have good reasons for their beliefs - will not work.
quote: But it is you who are far from the truth because the truth was given by God and you are instead trusting in your own fallible mind.
As you rely on your mind, and your pride makes your mind even more fallible than mine.
quote: There ARE no alternatives. I'm being very honest about that. The Bible is the standard, if you discredit it by the "experts" you are only deceiving yourself about the supposed "evidence." It's simply an elaborate deception.
So it is impossible to read and study the Bible for yourself ? We must submit to the dictates of your theological masters to tell us what it says ? It is impossible to study the word and see how it matches up to your master's claims ? How can you claim to be honest when you say things which even you can't truly believe?
quote: God said to "Believe," believe the testimony of His word and His witnesses, and I've argued here that the Bible gives all the evidence you should need to believe it, and if you don't, it's not I speaking against you, as you know very well -- it is God Himself through His word that says you MUST believe. Everybody would rather hear something else but this is what God says, it's not something I'm making up.
Putting words into God's mouth isn't an argument. The reality is that the evidence is poor and you don't even understand it enough to make a real argument. If you could actually show that it was God speaking you might actually have a case, but you can't and you don't.
quote: No, I do not rely on my mind in the sense I mean that you do. I started with believing it and learned from there what I didn't know at first, SUBMITTING my own opinions to the Bible.
Even if that is true you had to come to that decision in some way. And you also need to interpret the Bible. Even if you rely on what other people tell you the Bible says then you have to decide who to trust.
quote: The first thing is not to judge the Bible but let it judge you, but you judge it instead, you start from your own doubts and follow experts because they say things you agree with basically.
Actually that sounds a lot more like what you do. Except that you don't believe the real experts. Not everyone is as prejudiced and as proud as you.
quote: You insist on evidence it doesn't offer instead of submitting to the evidence it does offer.
You mean that I insist on real evidence instead of mindlessly believing people who TELL me what to believe. I've read the Bible. I claim no special expertise but it still seems that I know it better than you. And that is very telling. If you were REALLY following the Bible you should be able to discuss it at least on my level. Apparently you can't - or at least you can't rationally refute my points.
quote: .I had become willing to be wrong -- about everything I'd ever thought. That's a form of humility, not pride.
You forget that I've read a good many of your posts here. You arrogantly pontificate on subjects you know almost nothing about. I've seen you get violently angry and complain how people are "stupid" just for disagreeing with your opinions. Don't try to boast about your humility in front of me.
quote: The command is to "Believe," and that's where you have to start or you're going to end up loster than ever. Seems to me you have to give up your pride in order to believe, rather than the other way around.
You tell me where the Bible says to reject the truth and worship men as false gods because that is what you are really asking for.
quote: Fortunately Dorothy Sayers was a much better judge of things historical than you
No Faith, coming to an irrational and wrong conclusion is not a sign of good judgement at all. Even you should be able to realise that. Although given that you are known to boast of your own “good” judgement, perhaps not.
Re: The true threat from the folk like Faith is clear.
It’s pretty hard to misread:
They should not be allowed to say anything about the Bible
quote: Because what I meant is that unbelieving scholars should not be given any AUTHORITY over the Bible.
By which you mean that nobody should be allowed to disagree with your beliefs about the Bible.
But, for instance if you actually look at the Book of Daniel the end times prophecies do agree remarkably well with the period of the Maccabean revolt. Daniel 8 even tells us that the end times will occur while the Diadochi kingdoms still exist. It all fits and it all makes sense. Trying to chop it up and say that these bits are about the period leading up,to the Maccabean revolt and these bits are about Jesus and these bits are about our future doesn’t fit well and doesn’t make sense. The scholars are right.
You’re free to dislike or refuse to accept those facts - but they are facts.