Monday, September 28, 2009

Free money

Matthew 17
When Peter came into the house, Jesus was the first to speak. "What do you think, Simon?" he asked. "From whom do the kings of the earth collect duty and taxes—from their own sons or from others?"

26"From others," Peter answered.

"Then the sons are exempt," Jesus said to him. 27"But so that we may not offend them, go to the lake and throw out your line. Take the first fish you catch; open its mouth and you will find a four-drachma coin. Take it and give it to them for my tax and yours."

The creator of the universe is incarnated as a man, and tells his friends how to get free money by looking in the mouth of a fish.

What childish nonsense is peddled by Christians.....

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Back to Church Sunday

Today was Back to Church Sunday.

I wonder how much the church raised in extra donations by people returning to church and putting money in the collection plate.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Richard Bauckham - 'Jesus and the Eyewitnesses'

On pages 132 to 137 of Jesus and the Eyewitnesses, Richard Bauckham shows some of the detailed provenance that can be given for ancient works of literature.

Richard Bauckham tells us about Lucian, when he was born, that he wrote many things, who commissoned one of his works, why it was written.

Bauckham applies the well known Christian principle of trusting his sources, and giving them the benefit of the doubt.

Oh sorry, my mistake, Bauckham writes '... we can hardly put much trust in a biographer determined to damn his subject.'

Bauckham tells us how Lucian knew Publius Mummius Sisenna Rutilianus, a source for much of it.

Of course, Bauckham has doubts , and does not always give his source the benefit of the doubt '... depiction of Rutilianus hardly portrays him as likely to be a very trustworthy witness.'

How different from the Gospels, where the mere suggestion that something came from an eyewitness automatically means that every detail is historically reliable.

Bauckham can see that '(Lucian) is a skeptical historian not taken in by the stories of his credulous informant....'

How different from the Gospels, where if an 'eyewitness' source says the fetus John the Baptist leapt for joy in the womb when the fetus Jesus entered the room, then 'Luke' reports it as sober fact.

It is amazing that this work by Lucian has far greater provenance than the Gospels, which are anonymous works which never name sources, written by authors of whom we have no other works to see how reliable they are.

Compare that with the detailed provenance that Bauckham can give for one of Lucian's works.

And compare Bauckham's credulous acceptance of the Gospels, with his legitimate scholarship when it comes to non-Christian works.

No wonder mainstream Biblical scholarship is a mess.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

David Robertson

Paula Kirby skewers David Robertson's book 'The Dawkins Letters' at Robertson

It is excellent.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Gary Habermas and the conversion of James, brother of Jesus

Gary Habermas claims it is a fact that James was converted by the resurrection of Jesus and that James was a witness to the resurrection.

Acts 1
14They all joined together constantly in prayer, along with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers.
15In those days Peter stood up among the believers....Therefore it is necessary to choose one of the men who have been with us the whole time the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, beginning from John's baptism to the time when Jesus was taken up from us. For one of these must become a witness with us of his resurrection."

So they proposed two men: Joseph called Barsabbas (also known as Justus) and Matthias.

So the very brothers of Jesus were believers and they weren't even in consideration to become witnesses to the resurrection?

So how did James make the list in 1 Corinthians 15?

Why did Luke introduce the brothers of Jesus only to immediately disqualify them as even being considered as candidates for witnesses to the resurrection?

How could James have been a witness to the resurrection, when Acts says the entire church discussed the matter and chose between two other people to become witnesses to the resurrection?

If Habermas is convinced of the resurrection by the 'fact' that James, the brother of Jesus was converted by this alleged resurrection, why does Acts rule out every brother of Jesus as a candidate for the position of 'witness to the resurrection'?