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Thank you for the effort you have taken to create your posts.
Good lesson in that.
> You seem to
> be under the mistaken impression that there
> are no third-party works that comment on the
> historicity of Jesus Christ & His
> teachings. Aside from non-NT Christian
> sources (which you, no doubt, would
> discount), there are extra-biblical,
> non-Christian sources for information that
> supports biblical statements about a) Jesus'
> living at a certain time in history, b)
> circumstances around his
> trial/crucifixion/burial & the empty
> tomb, c) culture & customs of the time,
> and d) early Christian beliefs &
> practices, which reflect Jesus' teaching.
Let me make it clearer...
I do not believe Jesus was a figment. I believe he was very real. He existed.
My point is: The "proof" put forth as to the Bible's accuracy is based on bits of it being also recorded elsewhere.
Read what you write above once again.
*He lived at a certain time in history.
*Circumstances surrounding his trial/apparent death and apparent resurrection.
*Customs and cultures of the time.
*Christian beliefs which REFLECT Jesus' teachings.
I do not doubt these things. But just because those items match is no reason to thus assume all of the rest of the texts are accurate.
This point is made in "Hank." Just because many of those ten points are true and make sense, doesn't mean the other points are true... or literal.
Just because other Works show a man call Jesus walked the Earth at that point in time, and that certain customs and cultures were around, is no reason to also assume everything else in the Bible is literal.
> Since when is the Bible all narrative? Take
> a look at Psalms & Proverbs, for
> example. Or instructions for building the
> Temple. Or genealogical passages.
> In regards to narrative, some details are
> essential while others are considered minor
> or incidental, and yet others may have
> bearing on the story (or on the case, to
> give it a legal spin) but not be considered
Ok. I've got to throw in a Hang On here.
My point was in your use of the term "Details in a narrative" as if a difference on details was a minor thing. With the main thrust of that being the word DETAILS. As in... all we have is details.
The devil is in the details, yes.
Without details we really have nothing much. It is the details which makes an event important. Don't you agree? It is the details which makes some people conclude Jesus was God incarnate. Those same details interpreted in other ways enable other people to draw different conclusions.
The point is NOT whether the Bible is a narrative or not. It is in your dismissal of something because it is only details. Yet details are the most important part.
All details must be considered important otherwise they would not have been included when the scrolls were written. To dismiss some as not amounting to much while others are considered crucial, is deliberately selecting bits and pieces to serve whatever purpose you want served at the time.
> Alright, I'm confused. Would you be more
> skeptical of the truthfulness or reliability
> of a story told *exactly* the same, to every
> detail, by 4 different people? (I would,
> though perhaps less so if by, say,
> investigative journalists or police
> detectives.) Or, of 4 accounts that were
> essentially the same, obviously of the same
> event, but differed in some of the details?
> Would that make you more reasonable, or less
Umm. Ok. Time to make this clearer...
Each of the Gospels has different DETAILS regarding Jesus' birth, for instance. Yet the details of ONE of those Gospels has become the accepted "truth" of the event. Even though the other three Gospels are not in agreement.
For instance... the accepted "truth" of the birth is that Joseph and Mary stayed in a barn with the animals and Jesus was born and slept in a animal food troff. BUT, not all four Gospels say this.
Thus, the Church has chosen what must be the most lowly description possible to put forth.
MY opinion is to the draw attention away from the true status of Mary, Joseph and Jesus, lest the "flock" begin to question the Church's authority.
That is... if the Gospels showed that family to be anything other than peasants of no importance, readers of the Gospels would question why the Church was the authority on the religion and not its founder or those more closely related to the founder.
Hope that makes it clearer.
Continued on in your other post...
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