Atheists Do Not Exist: Part 2

In Part 1 of this 3 part series, we examined the claim by atheists that they have examined the evidence which exists and have concluded that God does not exist. We learned in part 1 that a majority of atheists have not examined the scientific evidence that is available, and simply choose to define themselves as atheists based upon their emotional response to the idea of God or gods.

In part 1, we examined the evidence for God from the Universe itself; the scientific and know properties of the universe which proves that it exists by intelligence, not by random acts, or any natural process.

In this second part, we examine the evidence from the Bible, which gives us empirical evidence from the historical record that God predicted events which are not possible by human intellect or knowledge.

Most atheists, decide that they will not believe that God exists, strictly because they choose not to believe, not because they have conducted an extensive search.

When you hear an atheists claim that there is no evidence for God, understand that this is a disingenuous statement. The person who is asserting this statement has not done the work necessary to make an informed decision. They have simply decided they don’t want to believe.

The actual evidence for God is quite substantial.

  1. The universe exists as empirical evidence for God.
  2. The Bible exists as empirical evidence for God.
  3. The arrival of Jesus on earth exists as empirical evidence for God.

This is Part 2 of 3 of the article: “Atheists Do Not Exist.”

The Bible As Evidence For God:

It’s important to understand that there is no empirical evidence to support the idea that what is written about Jesus in the New Testament is not true. There is no proof that anyone fabricated the narratives of the four gospels which describe Jesus as performing miracles, or His claim to be God. These conclusions are based primarily upon the opinions of Theologians, most of which are either agnostics or atheists.

Because these Theologians don’t believe God exists, they assert that the writers of the New Testament made up their stories about Jesus. This is the basis from where they conclude that He cannot be God, nor capable of the miracles that are ascribed to Him in the New Testament.

Let’s examine a few facts of the New Testament manuscripts we do have today to validate Jesus:

There are no ancient works of literature, secular or religious, which have more surviving manuscripts than the New Testament.

  1. In the 24,593 extant copies of the New Testament that we have today, these texts are virtually identical to our current New Testament.
  2. All of the texts where Jesus claims to be God and performs miracles to validate this claim are in these ancient manuscripts.
  3. A frequent argument that is often made by atheist Theologians is that the New Testament was written too far from the time when the events took place.
  4. Some of the surviving New Testament manuscripts we have today were written as early as 60 A.D., just 28 years after Jesus was crucified and resurrected.
  5. In a later chapter, I will show you a manuscript fragment of Matthew’s Gospel that has been scientifically dated to just 28 years after Jesus was crucified and resurrected.
  6. This means that the New Testament was written closer to the time when these events took place than any other literature of antiquity.
  7. The surviving manuscripts of the New Testament are dated at various times throughout history, but they are all virtually identical to each other in their certainty that Jesus claimed to be God and His miracles prove this claim.
  8. In truth, there are no ancient manuscripts in existence which have been dated closer to the time when the events took place, other than the New Testament.

Not one of these texts of the New Testament which were written at these early dates, nor any which were copied after, differ from our current New Testament in describing the miracles of Jesus and His claims to be God.

The minor discrepancies that are found in these surviving manuscripts are in spelling, punctuation, or grammar. Less than 400 of the 138,000 words in the New Testament are in question. Not one of these words changes the descriptions of Jesus performing miracles or the text where He claims to be God.

Textual Variants

Assertions are made that there are many inaccuracies in the New Testament, which are referred to as “Textual Variants.”

Critics of the Bible often use the number, “200,000,” in describing how many variants there are in the existing copies of the New Testament. In fact, these critics are quite disingenuous in their statements as a single word which is misspelled in thousands of manuscripts—may be counted as thousands of variants, although only one word has been misspelled.

In “A General Introduction to the Bible,” by Dr. Norman Geisler and Dr. William Nix, these astute scholars make the following observations regarding any variations between the ancient copies of the New Testament and the Bible we have today:

“There is an ambiguity in saying there are some 200,000 variants in the existing manuscripts of the New Testament, since these represent only 10,000 places in the New Testament (out of 138,000 words). If one single word is misspelled in 3,000 different manuscripts, this is counted as 3,000 variants or readings.”6

Biblical Scholar Dr. Philip Schaff, in his book: “Greek Testament and the English Version,” noted that there are really only 400 variants out of the entire 25,000 copies of the New Testament that are in existence. Not one of these variants are of any significance, nor affect any major doctrine of the Christian faith.

“Not one of these variations altered “an article of faith of a precept of duty which is not abundantly sustained by other and undoubted passages, or by the whole tenor of Scripture teaching.”⁠7

In other words, in the very limited variants of the text within the many thousands of copies of the New Testament which are in some dispute—the issues are predominately a question of spelling or punctuation. In just 50 cases, even the text that is in doubt does not change the basic tenets of the gospels which substantiate that Jesus Christ was observed by more than 500 eyewitnesses as risen from the dead, after having been crucified—His death being verified by the Roman government, the Jewish Talmud, and the disciples of Jesus.

Can An Atheist Teach New Testament Theology?

Do you find it extraordinary that someone could be distinguished as a New Testament Scholar when they don’t believe God exists? Precisely how this person is qualified to teach others about the Bible, when they don’t believe the Bible, is uncertain.

Would you trust the words of a man who claims to be a doctor but doesn’t believe in medicine?

Would you trust the conclusions of an atheist who says that the disciples of Jesus made Him God, or the actual testimony of men who were there when these events took place?

We have what these men wrote and they said Jesus claimed to be God, performed miracles and was raised from the dead.

If these men did invent the story that Jesus is God, where is the evidence of this? Dr. Ehrman, the Jesus Seminar Scholars, and all other Liberal Theologians never provide us with any textual evidence of fraud; only their personal feelings and observations.

Written As Historical Narratives

Bart Ehrman asserts that the four Gospels are not eyewitness accounts of the events which transpired during the time when Jesus was on earth.

“Our next earliest sources of information about the historical Jesus are the Gospels of the New Testament. As it turns out, these are our best sources. They are best not because they happen to be in the New Testament, but because they are also the earliest narratives of Jesus’s life to survive. But even though they are the best sources available to us, they really are not as good as we might hope. This is for several reasons. To begin with, they are not written by eyewitnessesBut in fact the books were written anonymously—the authors never identify themselves…”2

Does this statement sound surprising to you? If you read Dr. Ehrman’s books you will quickly notice that statements like this, which begin with the certainty that the New Testament is “our best sources,” immediately digress into, “ they are not written by eyewitnesses.”

How does Ehrman know that the New Testament narratives are not written by eyewitnesses? He is guessing. He assumes that because the four Gospels do not have the name of the writers attached to them, they cannot be relied upon.

In fact, the reason that these names were omitted was purposeful. The authors did not want to receive personal recognition, they wanted Jesus to be recognized.

The evidence proves that the four Gospels are written by eyewitnesses. In fact, when you read these narratives for yourself, you will see that these men state specifically that they are eyewitness.

For we did not follow cunningly devised fables when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of His majesty. For He received from God the Father honor and glory when such a voice came to Him from the Excellent Glory: “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” And we heard this voice which came from heaven when we were with Him on the holy mountain.  ~2 Peter 1:16-18

Ehrman’s conclusions are based solely upon his idea that the stories about Jesus are too spectacular to be true; God doesn’t exist and miracles are not possible; therefore, the disciples of Jesus made up these stories.

Most people who have read Dr. Ehrman’s New York Times Bestsellers assume that he made these conclusions based upon evidence. When we read his books, we find that conclusions are made by conjecture and there is no evidence in the historical record which support his ideas.

Ehrman began with the assumption that God does not exist; therefore Jesus cannot be God; therefore Jesus did not do what is recorded of Him in the New Testament.

Now you see how the world has arrived at a place where an atheist dictates to us whether Jesus is represented correctly in the New Testament.

Notice Ehrman’s statement regarding the accounts of Jesus:

“The reason we need books like these (the book Ehrman wrote) is that the Gospels cannot simply be taken at face value as giving us historically reliable accounts of the things Jesus said and did.3

Dr. Ehrman stipulates that if the New Testament were considered reliable, it would be all that anyone would need for historical scholarship to prove that Jesus is who is described by the New Testament.

“If the Gospels were those sorts of trustworthy biographies that recorded Jesus’s life “as it really was,” there would be little need for historical scholarship.4

The problem is that Dr. Ehrman states that the New Testament is not trustworthy, while all the evidence proves that it is reliable. As we progress through this book you will see this evidence and understand why Ehrman is wrong.

This is what happens when a person starts with a bias that God does not exist. Every conclusion and statement that comes afterwards becomes inaccurate. The evidence from history provides us with tremendous evidence that what we have in our Bible today, is exactly what was written about Jesus when the events took place.

All we would need to do would be to read the Bible and accept what it says as what really happened. That, of course, is the approach to the Bible that fundamentalists take.”5

By “fundamentalist,” Ehrman means men like myself, who have, for hundreds of years, documented and written to bring evidence of Jesus’ Narrative as “trustworthy biographies that recorded Jesus’s life.”

Ehrman’s book is filled with inaccuracies which allege that Jesus never intended to present Himself in the manner that these men describe Him as in the New Testament. If you read Dr. Ehrman’s conclusions carefully you will notice that he believes that he is in a better position today to tell us whether the New Testament narratives are true, rather than the actual men who wrote these historical accounts 2,000 years ago.

After learning that Dr. Ehrman does not know that Matthew, Mark, and Luke’s Gospels contain clear references by Jesus to be God as He is before the Pharisees and about to be killed for Blasphemy, it is doubtful we can trust his judgment that the New Testament has misrepresented Jesus.

It is Dr. Ehrman that is inaccurate and making untrue conclusions based upon his feelings instead of the evidence.

The following is what the text of the four Gospels actually present, in direct contradiction to Ehrman’s claim:

The New Testament Claims Eyewitness Accounts

John writes that he has both seen and testified that the evidence contained in the Gospels is true and he knows that he is telling the truth because he was there and saw Jesus do these things.

And he who has seen has testified, and his testimony is true; and he knows that he is telling the truth, so that you may believe.  ~John 19:35

John tells us the reason he is writing, to give us evidence to conclude that what is written by the four Gospels is eyewitness testimony. The reason that John says this narrative was written and preserved for us is so that anyone might read it and believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God—equal to God.

And truly Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.  ~John 20:30-31

John was the only disciple of Jesus, never to abandon Him. Even at the cross, John stood close by—not afraid to be identified with Jesus. The other disciples were hiding away while John remained faithful to Jesus. For His steadfast love, John was given the privilege of writing the most magnificent Gospel of all. The very words which John penned in his narrative of Jesus should be written in Gold.

The intent of John’s narrative of Jesus is to prove that He is God. For this reason, John’s Gospel is different than the other three.

Matthew, Mark, and Luke tell us about what Jesus said and did; John tells us why He did these things.

We proclaim to you the one who existed from the beginning, whom we have heard and seen. We saw him with our own eyes and touched him with our own hands. He is the Word of life. This one who is life itself was revealed to us, and we have seen him. And now we testify and proclaim to you that he is the one who is eternal life.

He was with the Father, and then he was revealed to us. We proclaim to you what we ourselves have actually seen and heard so that you may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. We are writing these things so that you may fully share our joy.  ~1 John 1:1-4 (NLT)

Jesus said that He called these men to write and bear witness of what they saw.

And you also will bear witness, because you have been with Me from the beginning.  ~John 15:27

Paul records the purpose of the four Gospels of Jesus as historical narratives of actual events, recounted by eyewitnesses.

Therefore, of these men who have accompanied us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, beginning from the baptism of John to that day when He was taken up from us, one of these must become a witness with us of His resurrection.  ~Acts 1:21-22

As Peter stands before thousands of people from all over the world on the Day of Pentecost, he describes David as a prophet, predicting the Messiah who would come from his line of descendants. Peter said that David predicted the Messiah would be killed and resurrected and the men who saw these things would be His witnesses.

Men and brethren, let me speak freely to you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his tomb is with us to this day. Therefore, being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him that of the fruit of his body, according to the flesh, He would raise up the Christ to sit on his throne, he, foreseeing this, spoke concerning the resurrection of the Christ, that His soul was not left in Hades, nor did His flesh see corruption. This Jesus God has raised up, of which we are all witnesses.  ~Acts 2:29-32

There is a pattern here that we should not miss. The New Testament was written as a historical narrative, not as unsubstantiated stories. The evidence for this is disbursed throughout the twenty-seven books that were written to act as a witness for Jesus.

The assertion of those who seek to discredit the New Testament is that these accounts should not be seen by the reader as historical, nor reliable. When we read the text for ourselves, it is impossible to maintain this stance.

Clearly, Paul, Peter, John, and the other writers of the New Testament understood that Jesus had called them to tell the truthful details of His life, death, and resurrection. The reason? So that a historical record could be preserved for every generation. These men did this so that people could know about the incredible salvation that God has provided for all people.

The reason that this should be important to you is understood by what is being attempted today by Liberal Theologians. These men and women have launched a full scale assault on the credibility and reliability of the New Testament. They have caused the whole world to sit up and take notice.

If the accounts that are found in the New Testament about Jesus are misrepresented to the world as not true, then everything that Jesus died to give the world will be lost.

The facts of evidence prove they are true.

One of the reasons I wrote this book was so that people might know that there are individuals who are held up today as New Testament scholars, who do not believe that God exists. The world doesn’t know this. They see that these men and women have the credentials to make credible commentary on the New Testament. They believe that these individuals know what they are talking about. They hear from these deceptive scholars that what is written about Jesus in the New Testament is not true. They stop believing that Jesus came to die for the sins of the world. They miss the eternal life that God has freely made available.

Written As Eyewitness Narratives

The writers of the New Testament make numerous statements in the text that it was their goal to be witnesses of what they had seen and heard about Jesus.

When Peter went into the temple and began to pray at 3pm, he saw a man who was crippled. He lifted the man by the hand and he was immediately able to walk. The crowd looked to Peter as something spectacular and he told them that this power to perform miracles came from Jesus whom they crucified and God raised to life.

Peter said that his purpose was to bear witness of Jesus and point people to Him.

So when Peter saw it, he responded to the people: “Men of Israel, why do you marvel at this? Or why look so intently at us, as though by our own power or godliness we had made this man walk? The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the God of our fathers, glorified His Servant Jesus, whom you delivered up and denied in the presence of Pilate, when he was determined to let Him go. But you denied the Holy One and the Just, and asked for a murderer to be granted to you, and killed the Prince of life, whom God raised from the dead, of which we are witnesses.  ~Acts 3:12-15

Paul records that Peter and the other Apostles stood before the captain of the temple, with the chief priests, the Jewish high council, and the esteemed Gamaliel. Peter again confirmed that all of the men who wrote in recording what Jesus had said and done were witnesses that He was crucified and raised on the third day.

But Peter and the other apostles answered and said: “We ought to obey God rather than men. The God of our fathers raised up Jesus whom you murdered by hanging on a tree. Him God has exalted to His right hand to be Prince and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins. And we are His witnesses to these things.  ~Acts 5:29-32

When Peter came to the Roman Centurion, Cornelius and his household, he testified that he and the other men who had been with Jesus for the last three years of His life were witnesses to “all things which He did.”

Then Peter opened his mouth and said: “In truth I perceive that God shows no partiality. But in every nation whoever fears Him and works righteousness is accepted by Him. The word which God sent to the children of Israel, preaching peace through Jesus Christ—He is Lord of all— that word you know, which was proclaimed throughout all Judea, and began from Galilee after the baptism which John preached: how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.

And we are witnesses of all things which He did both in the land of the Jews and in Jerusalem, whom they killed by hanging on a tree. Him God raised up on the third day, and showed Him openly, not to all the people, but to witnesses chosen before by God, even to us who ate and drank with Him after He arose from the dead. And He commanded us to preach to the people, and to testify that it is He who was ordained by God to be Judge of the living and the dead.  To Him all the prophets witness that, through His name, whoever believes in Him will receive remission of sins.” ~Acts 10:34-43

The Purpose Of The New Testament Is Clear

Since there is such a great body of evidence within the New Testament to validate that what was written came to us by eyewitness testimony, there is no valid reason to doubt that what is written about Jesus is true.

When we compare all of the records which have survived history, we find that they agree that Jesus was both capable of miracles, was crucified, and raised on the third day. There is no ambiguity in these important facts. What is at question are 40 lines, containing about 400 words out of nearly 200,000 words which make up the New Testament. Not one of these lines or words brings into question the miracles of Jesus, His death by crucifixion, or the resurrection that took place afterwards.

Of the 40 lines in question, 75%, or about 300 words, are all found in the last portion of Mark’s Gospel, Chapter 16, verses 9-20. The other 100 words are very minor and do not alter the testimony of Jesus’ miracles, His crucifixion, or the resurrection.5.5

Because of the evidence presented by the surviving New Testament manuscripts, and these being uniform in their descriptions of Jesus’ miracles and the text where He makes it clear that He is God, the objections of Dr. Ehrman and others who dispute these text as reliable, have no evidentiary validity.

The entire purpose for writing the Gospels in the first place, was because the world had seen Jesus’ miracles as acts of God who came to our world, to show Himself and redeem us from sin and death.

The disciples saw the miracles Jesus performed and later realized that what He was doing, the prophets had foretold. Because of the validation of the Old Testament, these men were confident that what they had written had the support of the Hebrew historical record.

Jesus’ disciples did not understand these things at first; but when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that these things were written about Him and that they had done these things to Him.  ~John 12:16 RCR

What Would You Do?

If an event of this magnitude took place in your life, what would your response be?

There is a line in the popular movie Déjà vu where Denzel Washington tells a woman about the things he has seen. He asks her what she would do if she saw things that were so incredible she was sure no one would believe her. She said, “I would try.”

The events these men described in the narratives of the New Testament were beyond belief. They understood that people were going to find it hard to accept their testimony. It was for this reason that they said things such as John 19:35, And he who has seen has testified, and his testimony is true; and he knows that he is telling the truth, so that you may believe.

There is no other event in the history of the world that has left us with greater written evidence than that of the New Testament.

If we evaluate the events of history we see that the testimony about Jesus in the New Testament was written closer to the time of these events than any other event in the history of the world, just 28 years. We have more surviving manuscripts of the New Testament than any other event of antiquity, 24,593. Our Bible today is a virtual copy of the text that was originally written, 2,000 years ago.

The closest secular manuscripts that have survived time and decay are those of the Iliad, with a 500 year gap between the time the events took place and the first copies. There are only 642 surviving copies of the Iliad.

Strangely, no one disputes the authenticity or accuracy of the Iliad, while vigorously refuting the New Testament.

This is because Homer’s Iliad does not call the salvation of people into question. The Gospel of Jesus Christ requires our repentance and surrender to Jesus as our Savior. This is the reason why people are resistant to define the New Testament as accurate and reliable as it deserved.

Jesus said that the reason people do not come to Him is because He testifies that their works are evil. People love their life the way it is and they don’t want God anyone else to interfere.

The world…hates Me because I testify of it that its works are evil. ~John 7:7

But you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life.  ~John 5:40

Our Premise Determines The Outcome

If we begin with the idea that God does not exist, then this premise will affect many other parts of our life. We see this best illustrated by Bart Ehrman who began writing books with the idea that God cannot exist.

Based on a fundamental error from the start, every work that proceeded afterwards was in error. Imagine an entire lifetime wasted because of one error which ruined everything that came after.

When we don’t accept the surviving Manuscripts of the New Testament for what they are, historical documents which were copied from originals that were written near the time when these events took place, our trouble begins.

Simply looking at the evidence and not the opinions of people who are asserting that what we are seeing is not true, can change our view.

For myself, the final convincing pieces of evidence to believe the authenticity of the New Testament narratives of Jesus consisted of three things:

One: The events which are described for Jesus do not reside in the historical record alone. There is a vast history of Hebrew text which supports the certainty that a person exactly like Jesus would come into the world scene.

Jesus literally said and did precisely what the Hebrew prophets said the Messiah would say and do.

This means that the New Testament is supported by a very long history of events and evidence which stated beforehand that the events we read in the New Testament would take place.

Two: Years ago I began a course in fraud detection for written testimony. These are the principles that are used by the Federal Bureau of Investigation everyday to detect untrue testimony by people who claim to be witnesses.

Near the end of this course I began to take what I had learned and apply these principles to the four Gospels. I was stunned by what I found.

When we use intelligent procedures which have been proven to detect fraud in written testimony and apply them to the text of the four Gospels, we are able to validate these texts as authentic accounts by evidence that proves these testimonies are absolutely reliable. I will present evidence for how these techniques can be applied to the New Testament narrative, in the next chapter.

Three: The shear magnitude of surviving manuscript evidence that has been left to us from the events that took place in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ are empirical and compelling. If we simply take these texts as they are and examine them as preserved evidence, we cannot conclude that they were altered or embellished. Exaggerated and untrue stories do not survive 2,000 years of history without being discovered as frauds. They do not survive in the sheer numbers we have for the New Testament. Most surprising of all, they match the Bible we have in our possession today.

These reliable narratives of the Bible contain over 400 predictions which precisely described the coming of a Messiah. When we compare what these 400 Prophecies predict, with the actual events of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection, we see that they are virtually identical.

Validation Of New Testament Authenticity, 1,800 Years Ago

Writing early in the second century, Greek Scholar, Origen, stated the following:

In saying: “The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, as it is written in the prophet Isaiah,” Mark shows that the beginning of the gospel is intrinsically connected with the Old Testament. (Against Celsus 2.4.)

In other words, nearly 1,800 years ago, the four Gospels of Jesus Christ, His crucifixion, resurrection and claim to be God, were all known and understood by the most intelligent persons of antiquity.

Origen understood that these 400 prophecies of Messiah, were written and fulfilled by Jesus. Jesus ability to precisely complete every one of these prophecies, fully validates His claim to be God and proves to the world that God does exist.

Despite this empirical and stunning evidence, the atheists of today, deny that Jesus is a genuine person, or that any of the events written in the New Testament are true.

This is because atheists are not searching for evidence to believe that God exists; they choose by their emotions to deny what is proven and remain naive.

See Part 3: “Atheists Do Not Exist:” Arrival Of Jesus

The Preceding Is From The Book: “Why Jesus Is God, And Others Are Not.”


NOTES:

a Eighty-five percent of the words ascribed to Jesus in the gospels were not actually spoken by him, according to the Jesus Seminar.

1 Ehrman, Bart D.. How Jesus Became God: The Exaltation of a Jewish Preacher from Galilee (p. 1). HarperCollins. Kindle Edition.

1a Robinson, Robert Clifton. Messianic Prophecy Bible: The Complete Old And New Testament Scriptures, With 400 Messianic Prophecies And Commentary (Kindle Locations 73570-73572). Teach The Word Ministries Inc. Kindle Edition.

1b Ehrman, Bart D.. How Jesus Became God: The Exaltation of a Jewish Preacher from Galilee (pp. 86-87). HarperCollins. Kindle Edition.

2 Ehrman, Bart D.. How Jesus Became God: The Exaltation of a Jewish Preacher from Galilee (pp. 89-90). HarperCollins. Kindle Edition.

3 Ehrman, Bart D.. How Jesus Became God: The Exaltation of a Jewish Preacher from Galilee (p. 88). HarperCollins. Kindle Edition.

4 Ehrman, Bart D.. How Jesus Became God: The Exaltation of a Jewish Preacher from Galilee (p. 88). HarperCollins. Kindle Edition.

5 Ehrman, Bart D.. How Jesus Became God: The Exaltation of a Jewish Preacher from Galilee (p. 88). HarperCollins. Kindle Edition.

5.5 General Introduction to the Bible, Geisler & Nix, Chicago: Moody, 1968, p.367

6 Norman Geisler and William Nix, “A General Introduction to the Bible,” Moody Press, New Addition, 1986, ISBN: 0802429165, Page 361

7 Philip Schaff, “Companion to the Greek Testament and the English Version”. Revised edition, New York: Harper Brothers,1883, Page 177

 



Categories: Atheists, Atheists, Agnostics and Skeptics, Historical Validity of the New Testament, Messianic Prophecies, Messianic Prophecy Bible, Prophecies Fulfilled by Jesus, Reliability of the Bible, Robert Clifton Robinson, Salvation is a free gift, The Importance of the Bible

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16 replies

  1. A well poisoned well, not much more.

    Like

    • I adjure you, repent and believe the Gospel so that your sins might be removed and eternal life can be yours.

      Jesus came to earth as God and showed us that He exists. He died for each one of us on the cross and paid the penalty we owed for our sins, just as the the prophets predicted. He was raised from the dead three days later, just as the prophets predicted.

      God has come to us and offered the world salvation that is free of cost to any who will believe it. I pray that your heart might be changed and you would receive the love God has offered you.

      Like

      • So, since your prayer hasn’t worked, Rob, what are we to think? That your god doesn’t like you? That your god likes an honest atheist more than a lying Christian? That you didn’t pray correctly? Or that your god doesn’t exist? Why did your prayer fail? You don’t have very many good choices here. You can pray for me too, and it will again have no effect at all, just like every other prayer in the world.

        Like

      • It is hard to know where to begin. I read both of your comments and can see that you are very confused about many things. Rather than take each of your objections one at a time, I would like to ask you a question:

        You refer, many times, in your comments to me and in your own articles, to how many lies that you allege that Christians have told.

        I am wondering if you have ever told a lie?

        Let me answer that question, since it is certain that I know the answer. You have lied hundreds of times, likely thousands of times in your life. How is it that you condemn anyone else for lying while excluding yourself? It seems that much of your problem in understanding other people and God, is that you know so little about yourself.

        If you truly would examine your own heart, and what comes out of your mouth, you would have to see that you are a sinner, just like me and every other person. It appears that you do not think that you are like other people, because at the most basic foundation of understanding self, it the certainty that all human beings are liars.

        You seem to think that you are not in this category, and this is very revealing in that it shows that you do not see yourself as you really are.

        You need a Savior who can expunge all your sins, and only Jesus can do this. If you humble yourself and come to Him, believing that He died for your sins and ask Him to take your sins away, you will be perfect and ready for heaven. Then you can see that to condemn anyone else for any sin, you are also condemning yourself.

        Like

      • Again, Rob, since your prayers have failed, what is your explanation? I’ll address your other comments tomorrow.

        Like

      • This is one of your difficulties, you assume many things that you have no way of knowing or that you do not have a correct understanding of.

        Every prayer I have prayed in the 44 years that I have know Jesus, He has answered.

        Like

      • Rob,

        I’m not confused but Christians like you want to claim that since you think that your version of your religion is the one and only “right” one. I was a Christian (Presbyterian), and grew up with the bible, etc. And yes, I know you’ll insist that I couldn’t have been a real Christian, because I’m not one now. Considering that Christians depend on people to change their minds in the “great commission”, that’s a rather silly position to take. Furthermore, Rob, every other sect of Christianity and religion says you are “very confused about many things”. How do you show them that you and only you are correct?

        Christians have told lies, many many of them. They ignore their own supposed holy book that repeatedly says not to lie, not even if you think it is *for* this god (Romans 3). The only time I find a lie acceptable is when one might be hiding a girl and her family from Nazis or some similar situation. Have I told lies? Probably, when I didn’t know any better as a child. Do I tell lies now? No. I don’t like lies because it is stupid to try to remove someone’s ability to make an informed choice. I was once a extra-gullible child. I suffered for that. I hate lies and liars now.

        It seems that all you have is an attempt to claim if I point out your lies, I can’t judge them because I may have lied at some point in the past. Sorry, doesn’t work that way. And it’s great fun to see you lie again insisting that I have supposedly told hundreds and thousands of lies. No, I haven’t, and that’s a lovely example of bearing false witness by a self-proclaimed Christian who supposed cares about his god’s commandments. It’s rather telling that this is all you have, rather than any ability to show that Christians haven’t lied exactly as I have shown, showing that they don’t have any more belief in their bible than I do.

        No, Rob, I wouldn’t agree that I’m some “sinner”. That’s an invention by humans to try to make believe that some god agrees with their own personal hates and desires. I know myself quite well, and again, you have to make up nonsense to try to convince yourself otherwise. I also know quite a lot about the god of the bible. It is little different than the other gods of the Bronze/Iron Age, needy, vicious, petty and little more than a powerful human. You need to pretend that you are a sinner and that everyone else is a sinner to support your version of the god presented in the bible. You need to make up that human beings are “all” liars because that is the baseless nonsense in your book. You may have lied hundreds and thousands of time, just like that idiot Trump. That does not mean that anyone else has or does.

        The problem for you, Rob, is that I’m not like you need me to be. My mere existence as a happy, content, compassionate atheist means that you are wrong in the most basic ways. Your bible fails when it tries to claim that the only people of worth are those that believe in it. This supposed savior can’t even been shown to have existed, much less being able to “expunge” the invented “sins”. And in that all Christians don’t agree with you, how do I know that your version is the right one? How do you prove that? I know already that this god doesn’t answer your prayers, so there must be something wrong with you. When Christians claim that they are “perfect” because they worship an imaginary being, that’s just silly. You certainly aren’t.

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      • YOUR COMMENT: I’m not confused but Christians like you want to claim that since you think that your version of your religion is the one and only “right” one. I was a Christian (Presbyterian), and grew up with the bible, etc. And yes, I know you’ll insist that I couldn’t have been a real Christian, because I’m not one now.

        MY ANSWER: There are many people who go to church, sing the songs, go on missions, pay a tithe, and do good works and believe they are a Christian.

        The facts of the New Testament and Jesus words, demonstrates that doing these things does not make a person a Christian. One who is like Christ.

        The name itself lends to what is required. Jesus said that all human beings are born physically into this world. He said that in order to enter into a true relationship with Him, where sins are forgiven and eternal life is given, a person must also enter into a second birth where God’s Spirit comes to take up residence with us. Jesus explained this to Nicodemus in John 3.

        In your case, as with Judas Iscariot, and many others over the course of history, you did not experience the second birth and did not receive the Spirit of God, where Christ comes to live in you. The reason is that He knew that your heart was not right towards Him, and you really did not turn from your sins, to Him. Only God can see whether or not this has taken place, but the external evidence for us who live in the world is understood by what we see happens in the life of those who claim to believe.

        Paramount is an abiding trust, that never ends. Jesus said that only those who endure to the end will be saved. John wrote that some people had left the Christian church at that time, he said, because they never were a part of Christ in the first place.

        Jesus told the parable of the wheat and the tares and said that there are many pretend believers in His church who look and sound just like the true believers.

        It is clear in your case, that you never entered into a new life with Christ by His Spirit. Unless we experience this Spiritual second birth, Jesus does not come to live in us, and we are not born again. John wrote that if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ living in them, they are not saved, regardless of what these individuals might think themselves.

        Now, you are in a precarious position because you have denied Jesus and have counted the blood of His sacrifice for your sins as a common thing and have trampled the Son of God under your feet. Paul wrote in Hebrews that it is impossible to restore people like you back to Jesus because you crucify Him again and put Him to open shame.

        It appears that your unbelief has now placed you in a position where you cannot be saved. Not because God will not, or is not able to save you, but because your heart has become too hardened to Christ and you will never receive Him and be saved.

        This is unfortunate, but there are many millions who do this to themselves and are lost eternally. From my vantage point, it tells me that nothing I can say to you will make any difference, regarding evidence.

        Your dilemma is not caused by a lack of evidence, but a hard heart. No evidence can ever break up a hard heart. Only the Holy Spirit, speaking to your heart and you responding in repentance from your sins and turning to Jesus to experience a new Spiritual rebirth, can ever change your plight.

        You said that you are not a sinner. This statement was described by 1 John as the comments of a person who has made God a liar, for He has said that all of us have sinned and fall short of God’s perfect requirements.

        I will continue to pray that your heart will be changed by the Holy Spirit, but to try and give you any evidence to convince you, this will not ever work for you.

        I pray that you will receive the love of God’s truth regarding Jesus’ death for your sins, and be saved…

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  2. sory to say, Rob, but I am an atheist and yep, I exist. You seem terrified of atheists, to the point you have to convince yourself we don’t exist and to convince yourself that we “really” agree with you. Why would you try to lie to others like this, when your bible says that lies, no matter what, are not to be told?

    and this ” actual evidence for God is quite substantial.
    The universe exists as empirical evidence for God.
    The Bible exists as empirical evidence for God.
    The arrival of Jesus on earth exists as empirical evidence for God.”
    Oh my. Most, if not every, religion claims that the universe is the evidence for their religion. How are we to know who has the valid claim?

    The bible is a mess, so if your god had anything to do with it, it is incompetent. And any good Muslim would make the same claim about the Qu’ran and every Jew would make the same claim about the Torah, and point out that you were wrong. Again, how do we know who has the valid claim?

    And there is no evidence for Jesus Christ, Son of God’s existence at all. We have evidence for Christians, that’s it. And if the presence of worshippers is “evidence” for the existence of a god, then every god every worshipped is just as valid as your god.

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    • Your comment: “And there is no evidence for Jesus Christ, Son of God’s existence at all.” tells me that you have no education that would permit you to make such a comment. It is clear that you don’t know that there is greater evidence in the historical record for the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, than any event in the history of the world.

      I am always amazed at the lack of knowledge by atheists, particularly because they consistently tell me that they are the most highly educated people on the planet.

      Before you return tomorrow to answer, please go back and read the three parts of this article, since it appears that you have not done this. I have listed the numerous pieces of scientific, historical, and archeological evidence that proves that God exists.

      If you had read parts 2 and 3, they list all of the evidence for the historical Jesus and the reliability and authenticity of the New Testament.

      At the beginning of the first article: “Atheists Do Not Exist,” I state that a majority of atheists like yourself are not educated in the matters they seek to refute. They have not examined all of the evidence that exists to prove God, yet they state that there is no evidence for God.

      This is why Atheists do no exist, in the literal sense. You are really an Agnostic, you don’t know if God exists.

      Your comments here have proven that my statements are true. You clearly have not examined the evidence that exists for God. You didn’t even read my article, that contains many evidences, yet you made comments about the article.

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      • Rob,
        So, what is the supposed evidence for your supposed savior? I’ve read your nosense and again, there is no evidence. You conveniently avoiding my points that all of your claims in this last post are what are claimed by nearly all religions. Why should I believe your version over theirs?
        There is no historical evidence for Jesus Christ. There are mentions of Christians, and historians have repeated claims of Christians. Christians can’t even agree on what happened and when, including the Gospels. No one noticed a day where there was a major earthquake, the sun darkening (and the bible doesn’t agree on this either), or the dead walking the streets of Jerusalem. Are mentions of Christians evidence for your god,Rob? Then why isn’t the mention of other believers of other gods evidence of those gods?
        Yep, you certainly did say that a majority of atheists are not educated in the matters they seek to refute. You lied in this claim so I’m not impressed. I have indeed looked at the evidence and unsurprisingly, billions of people reject your claims of evidence. You also lie again when you claim that I’m supposed an agnostic. Funny how so many Christians decide that they are psychic and can know what other people think. I’m really an atheist, and I know that your god doesn’t exist. That you have to lie about this tells me all I need to know about your religion. It depends on lies, fear and ignorance.
        It’s always interesting that you have tried to claim that since I don’t agree with you, that this somehow means I didn’t examine the evidence. I did, and I came to a different conclusion that you did. I did read your articles, and no, they don’t contain “many evidences”. Again, my disagreeing with you doesn’t mean I didn’t read every silly piece.

        Now, what out of that mess do you find the most impressive supposed evidence? What should impress me the most?

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      • YOUR COMMENT: So, what is the supposed evidence for your supposed savior? I’ve read your nosense and again, there is no evidence. You conveniently avoiding my points that all of your claims in this last post are what are claimed by nearly all religions. Why should I believe your version over theirs? There is no historical evidence for Jesus Christ. There are mentions of Christians, and historians have repeated claims of Christians…

        MY ANSWER: It is not surprising that you are not aware of the massive evidence for Jesus existence and all the events which happened in Israel during the time that He is described in the New Testament.

        Many atheists are willfully ignorant of these facts and their lack of knowledge causes them to make false statements which have no support in the historical record.

        I have written extensively on the subject of the historical Jesus in several publications. Three of these books are in the 3,000 page range, with substantial historical citations for the Historical Jesus. I have over 100 secular references to Jesus from non-biblical sources. Perhaps you should educate yourself a little better on this subject.

        The New Testament alone stands as empirical evidence for Jesus’ existence and all of the events of His life, death, and resurrection. We have 24,593 surviving copies of the original autographs in our possession today as manuscript evidence that the entire narrative of Jesus in the New Testament is true and accurate.

        1. The New Testament survives today in greater numbers than any other ancient literature in the history of the world.
        2. The New Testament was written closer to the events they describe than any other ancient literature, secular or religious.
        3. The New Testament has survived 2,000 years intact with all of the same text that it was first written in. The claimed textual variants or alterations to this text are merely misspelled words, incomplete words, grammatical errors, or omitted words. Not one of the claimed variants changes the text that is in the New Testament which describes Jesus’ claim to be God, the miracles that prove He is God, His crucifixion, and resurrection.
        4. There is no event in the history of the world, nor a single person in antiquity, who has better surviving literary evidence than Jesus and the New Testament.
        5. Both the Jews and the Romans record Jesus in Jerusalem, crucified and resurrected from the dead. The evidence in our possession today to prove these facts is overwhelming. No credible scholar today denies these facts, only the naive and grossly misinformed make statements that Jesus did not exist, nor is the New Testament reliable.

        See: “These Things Were Written: An Expositional Treatise Of The Life, Death And Resurrection Of Jesus.” This book has 2,700 pages of evidence, facts of history, and empirical validation of Jesus as a genuine person of history and the facts of His crucifixion and resurrection.

        See: “Why Jesus Is God, And Others Are Not,”: for specific evidence from the historical record for the validation of Jesus’ miracles and why His unique qualifications as God and only true Savior, are detailed in great quantity.

        These are two of the 31 books I have written which full validate, from evidence, that Jesus is an valid historical person, and that the New Testament narratives of Him are accurate and reliable.

        I have spent 44 years researching, writing, and publishing these facts. I know that they are true because I have done the hard word necessary to either prove them or refute them.

        You, on the other hand, have apparently not done your own research but are relying upon other atheist publications for your facts. I see this all of the time and it is not surprising that you have written to me with the very same unsubstantiated claims that I have heard hundreds of times.

        One final word:

        I have debated hundreds of atheists in these matters in the past 30 years. Not once have I ever seen a single atheist, who has been presented the facts of history about Jesus and the New Testament, stipulate that this evidence is true or even compelling. Why is this? A pre-bias that exists in all atheists which does not want to believe. Once the heart decides that God does not exist, it is nearly impossible to ever convince the mind.

        Evidence for God is not a barrier to knowing He exists. It is the human will and lack of desire to know if God exists, which prevents a majority of atheists from believing.

        A majority of atheists are not on a search for evidence to prove God. They are satisfied with their denial. There are a very small number, perhaps 1 in a thousand, who will sincerely consider the evidence, find that it is true, and change their minds. I have only known a few who have done this. These individuals were leading scientists and historical scholars who could not maintain their atheism after they followed the evidence to it’s conclusion. They decided, based on the evidence, that the New Testament is true and represents an honest and accurate narrative of true events.

        The majority of atheists in the world today, although they have told me repeatedly that they are amongst the most intelligent and highly educated people in the world, are grossly informed regarding the true facts of the historical Jesus. It is my opinion that atheists are not interested in whether God exists.

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      • Rob,

        I’m aware of what is called evidence for Jesus. I’ve read apologetics books when I was a Christian and when I was not. What are claimed as evidence are the existence of Christians, and historical figures mentioning the stories that they heard from Christians. There is no contemporary evidence for the character described in the bible, nor any record of the events around him, including the gathering of a legion’s worth of men (plus women and children) just outside of a Roman-occupied city twice, or a day that the sun darkened, there was a major earthquake and that the dead were walking the streets. Not to mention, that if you want to claim that Christians existing is evidence for your god, that means the existence of other worshippers means that other gods are as real as yours. So, your claims of my supposed willful ignorance don’t work. Now, if you think one of these claims is particular compelling, please tell it to me, and we can discuss it. 9,000 pages, eh? That’s interesting, and my, the plentiful use of space in your books. I’ve seen what you’ve written and you use nothing different than other apologists. That the bible needs so many explainers, including those who contradict each other, is telling.

        The “new testament” is not evidence. It is a story and thus a claim. Many Christians get those things confused. We have nothing that corroborates the claims in the NT, and if one reads the NT, one knows that it contradicts itself, especially in the story of the cruxifiction and resurrection. For example, we have the thieves both mocking JC and then we have one of them believing in him. We have that one can touch JC out of the tomb and we have that it is forbidden. You can’t have both. You also try to claim that number of copies means something is true. That’s laughable. If this were true, then Scientology is just as true as your version of Christianity. All having a bunch of copies shows is that the story was recorded; it has nothing to do with its truth, and we know that even in the gospels, it certainly isn’t the same story repeated accurately.

        We do no know if the NT was written closer to the events, because we have no evidence that the events took place. The NT did not survive “intact”. We do know that the bible was picked and chosen by politics and various books were left out, etc hundreds of years after the suppose events. That you would try to make false claims about what is known does not reflect well on you or your religion.

        You also try to claim that JC has better “literary evidence” than anyone else. Again, the NT is just a story with nothing to back it up. I could say that Harry Potter has better literary evidence than Jesus. It wouldn’t make the story true.

        No, the Jews and Romans didn’t record JC in Jerusalem or his cruxifiction or resurrection. We have some stories recorded by historians of the period who mention Jesus as a figure that Christians believed in. We also have that notorious forgery in Josephus. And plenty of scholars deny your claims. You try to claim that anyone who doesn’t agree with you isn’t “credible” and you try to make false statements that anyone but you is “naïve and grossly misinformed”. Those are nothing more than your opinion and your anger that anyone disagrees with you.

        I see in your first book, you simply quote others who also don’t have evidence for their claims. So much for the page count being impressive. The trilemma of “lord liar lunatic” fails rather dramatically when one adds “legend” to the three other words. You also try to mangle the OT into being the prophecy you want, rather than what it actually says, just cribbing again from others who came before you. All your books are just repetition of the same unsupported claims. Nothing special at all and no, they don’t “fully validate” any of your claims. You may have spent decades harvesting information from other unsupported books, but that doesn’t make your claims true. It’s quite amusing to see you claim that I’ve not done my own research, when your books underline that about you quite well. Unfortunately for you, you are wrong again.

        I’ve debated hundreds of Chrsitians in these matters in the past 30 years. It’s bemusing that you think that since atheists don’t agree with you, and find your stories compelling, is because of some bias that you want to invent. No, Rob, the reason that they don’t agree with you is that there is nothing to support your claims and Christians can’t even convince each other on what this god is, wants, etc. And one could accuse you of bias too, that you have a “pre-bias” that exists in all theists who are desperate to be right. Can you convince me that you aren’t biased?

        There is no evidence for god, so yep, it’s not a barrier to knowing this god exists. I could say that about any god, and accuse you of not believing in Vishnu because you have a lack of desire to know that he exists. Do you see how silly you sound? You also try the Christian tactic of claiming that only the “sincere” will believe and agree with the Christian. That’s just you trying to play pretend that anyone who doesn’t agree with you is somehow “insincere”, a lovely bit of bearing false witness against others. Alas for you, things don’t work that way. I’ve followed the claims of evidence to their conclusion and I don’t agree with you. You have to lie about me to convince yourself that you and only you are right.

        You may have the opinion that atheists aren’t interested in whether your version of your god exists. It may be true since we have many many atheists, and non-Christians, and Christians who don’t agree with Rob. However, those of us who are interested know that your claims don’t add up and we know history, the bible, etc as good or often better than the apologists.

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      • You continue with unfounded statements about matters you know nothing about. You claim to be an expert in the Bible, well enough that you are able to refute what it presents.

        Let me question you to see if you really know what you allege to be in possession of:

        1. What is the entire purpose of the Bible?
        2. What evidence do you possess to refute the testimony of the writers of the New Testament, who emphatically state that they saw Jesus, heard His words, saw Him perform miracles, was crucified, was alive again after three days, and was seen by over 500 eyewitnesses during a period of 40 days.?
        3. What qualifications do you have to dismiss the Historical evidence of 24,000 surviving manuscripts which state that what is written about Jesus is accurate and true?
        4. How do you explain the records of the Roman Senate which calls Jesus, “Chrestus,” or Christ, creating a massive disturbance in Jerusalem during the same period which the New Testament places Him there.
        5. How do you explain numerous references in the Jewish Talmud to “Jesus, the Nazarene,” from the same period of Jewish history that the New Testament narrative was written?
        6. If the surviving manuscript record of the New Testament is not a reliable artifact of true events, what criteria are you using to evaluate other works of antiquity and validate them?
        7. If the New Testament manuscripts are mere an embellished story filled with myth, how do you explain that a majority are actually personal letters written between persons, and not composed as a story?

        These seven are merely a fraction of the questions that I would like to ask you, if you are, in fact, and expert who is able to refute Jesus and the historical evidence for Him.

        Your tactic is common amongst atheists: simply state that these things are not true but provide no evidence to support your assertions. Let me see if, “after 30 years of debating Christians,” if you have the education, evidence, and ability to refute just these seven.

        I will predict that you will not attempt to prove any of the above, and will simply restate that these points prove nothing.

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      • Unfortunately for you, Rob, I do know quite a bit about Christianity, Christian apologetics, other religions and why they fail. All you are trying is the “you can’t possibly know anything unless you agree with me” nonsense that many theists of all types try. I am well-versed in the bible and yep, I can refute what it presents.

        Love your questions, they are quite the hilarious attempt to pretend that you and only you have the right answers. No matter what I answer, you will claim it is wrong, and that claim will again be baseless. Nice try and thanks for underlining my points for me.
        1. What is the entire purpose of the Bible?
        A collection of books written by bronze/iron age humans to convince people that this god is real, that the authors are special and correct, and that people should worship it by behaving in certain ways or be harmed. Of course, over the years, Christians have never agreed on what those certain ways really are, each having their own magic decoder ring to invent their god and religion in their own image. The bible shows this by being full of contradictions.

        2. What evidence do you possess to refute the testimony of the writers of the New Testament, who emphatically state that they saw Jesus, heard His words, saw Him perform miracles, was crucified, was alive again after three days, and was seen by over 500 eyewitnesses during a period of 40 days.?
        All of those are claims, not evidence, and written not by eyewitnesses. There are no copies of the claims of the gospels earlier than 6 or more decades past the supposed events. We have no contemporary evidence of any of the essential events of the bible, including the cruxifiction or resurrection. No one noted a day that there was a major earthquake (unsurprisingly these do leave evidence), the sun darkening, and the dead hanging out in Jerusalem. Christians can’t even agree on what day this may have happened. What we do have is the usual trade in a city that was occupied by Rome for any time period claimed by Christians, with no major earthquakes and no phenomena in the sky and no Jewish people suddenly being surprised to see Abraham, etc. We have competing claims of where the “tomb” is. And we have the contradictions within the gospels themselves that are quite silly (what did the thieves do? What did the apostles do? Etc). In the bible it also says that JC did so many things after he was dead, that all of the books in the world couldn’t contain it. Funny how no one noticed these things at all. It’s quite a fish story.
        3. What qualifications do you have to dismiss the Historical evidence of 24,000 surviving manuscripts which state that what is written about Jesus is accurate and true?
        Again, Rob, the existence of 24K copies of a myth doesn’t make that myth true., that holds the same for yours too. You need corroborating evidence for the claims in the bible. You don’t have any. I don’t have to be an expert in anything to know that much. That you think that the sheer number of copies makes a difference again makes you support the idea that Scientology and its book Dianetics is just as valid as your bible.
        4. How do you explain the records of the Roman Senate which calls Jesus, “Chrestus,” or Christ, creating a massive disturbance in Jerusalem during the same period which the New Testament places Him there.
        Chrestus was a regular name in the Roman empire and isn’t spelled like Christus for a reason; it isn’t the same name. That’s like saying that “red” and “read” must mean the same thing because they sound like each other. Chrestus was claimed to have caused a massive disturbance in Rome, not Jerusalem, by Suetonius: “As the Jews were making constant disturbances at the instigation of Chrestus, he expelled them from Rome”. You’ve mangled this common apologist claim even worse than usual.
        5. How do you explain numerous references in the Jewish Talmud to “Jesus, the Nazarene,” from the same period of Jewish history that the New Testament narrative was written?
        There are not “numerous references” in the Talmud to “jesus the nazarene”. The reference that apologist try to use is are these: A reference to Jesus aka Joshua/Yehsua (a very common Jewish name) as a sorcerer with five disiples, who was stoned and hanged. A Jesus aka Joshua/Yeshua who was trying to shag an innkeeper’s wife. And a Jesus aka Joshua/Yeshua who was a spirit summoned and who said his afterlife was being boiled in poop. No “Jesus the nazarene” at all. Why you decided to lie about this when it is so easy to look up is beyond me, other than you simply thought you could get away with it. The talmud and similar texts also claimed that there was a failed messiah who was the son of a roman soldier named Pantera. Do you want to accept that as true of your messiah too?
        6. If the surviving manuscript record of the New Testament is not a reliable artifact of true events, what criteria are you using to evaluate other works of antiquity and validate them?
        Manuscripts, contemporary reports, antagonistic contemporary reports, archaeology, etc. And I’m not trying to prove that magic happened as you are, which makes a difference. If I’m off a bit about Julius Caesar, it really doesn’t matter too much; we know that Roman generals and emperors existed. For you, having no evidence means that your religion is a failure, only something invented by humans.
        7. If the New Testament manuscripts are mere an embellished story filled with myth, how do you explain that a majority are actually personal letters written between persons, and not composed as a story?
        Paul’s letters are no evidence that Jesus or your god exist, only that a certain type of Christian believed in certain things. They are no more evidence of your god’s existence than letters back and forth from Roman soldiers talking about their gods, or Chinese bureaucrats making records about their gods. We may as well believe that what the Heaven’s Gate idiots said was true because they had letters and believed so much that they cut their own genitalia off.
        Those seven were some of the worst, and mangled even by someone who fancies himself a great apologist, bits of nonsense I’ve seen in a while.
        It’s great to see you again try to make false claims, especially in light of your attempts above. And sorry, your prophecy fails. Of course, you’ll try to move the goalposts to avoid acknowledging what I wrote.

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      • 1. What is the entire purpose of the Bible?


        YOUR RESPONSE:

        A collection of books written by bronze/iron age humans to convince people that this god is real, that the authors are special and correct, and that people should worship it by behaving in certain ways or be harmed. Of course, over the years, Christians have never agreed on what those certain ways really are, each having their own magic decoder ring to invent their god and religion in their own image. The bible shows this by being full of contradictions.

        MY ANSWER:

        The reason that I asked this question first is that people like yourself who assert that they are “experts,” upon examination, are found to not know the most basic answers to the questions they claim to be experts in.

        This is not what the Bible is about, and in fact you didn’t attempt to answer the question at all. You made criticism but apparently have no knowledge about the entire purpose of the 66 books.

        This tells me that you cannot possibly know anything at all about what you claim to be an expert. If at least, you were some degree of scholar who understood the basic premise of the Bible, I could talk to you intelligently. In light of your lack of knowledge, this will greatly limit my ability to explain the answers to the rest of these questions.

        2. What evidence do you possess to refute the testimony of the writers of the New Testament, who emphatically state that they saw Jesus, heard His words, saw Him perform miracles, was crucified, was alive again after three days, and was seen by over 500 eyewitnesses during a period of 40 days.?

        YOUR RESPONSE:

        All of those are claims, not evidence, and written not by eyewitnesses.

        There are no copies of the claims of the gospels earlier than 6 or more decades past the supposed events.

        We have no contemporary evidence of any of the essential events of the bible, including the cruxifiction or resurrection.

        MY ANSWER:

        These are the classic atheist answers, ad nauseum.

        You made statements of criticism, where is the evidence to refute the points that I made? There was none provided by you. You told me what you think, but did not refute the record of the New Testament.

        The existence of this massive record from the historical record, is proof that these events took place. You show your ignorance of the content of the New Testament by statements that there are no eyewitnesses. In fact, throughout the New Testament, there are numerous references by the writers that they know they are telling the truth, and they saw these things with their own eyes. We see that all of the disciples did not believe that Jesus was God, until after they saw Him crucified and raised from the dead.

        This is an extant record of history, which survives in greater manuscript evidence than any other event in history, secular or religious.

        Of course this is the evidence which supports these events. This is where atheists make a fatal error; not understanding what constitutes valid historical narratives of true events.

        Your lack of ability to understand this evidence tells me that you have no qualifications to evaluate historical evidence, nor to understand what you are reading. It appears clearly that you have never really studied the text of the New Testament. If you had, you would not have made statements of errors regarding you conclusions for the text.

        It seems that your only reason for not accepting the written extant record of the New Testament is because you don’t believe it. You offered no prooff that the text is not accurate or reliable, only that you don’t believe it.

        3. What qualifications do you have to dismiss the Historical evidence of 24,000 surviving manuscripts which state that what is written about Jesus is accurate and true?


        YOUR RESPONSE:

        Again, Rob, the existence of 24K copies of a myth doesn’t make that myth true., that holds the same for yours too. You need corroborating evidence for the claims in the bible.

        MY COMMENTS:

        What does 24,593 extant manuscript copies of the original autographs tell you exactly? From your comments, you clearly don’t understand what this number of surviving documents means.

        You believe these narratives are myths, but how do you know this? What evidence is there in the text that causes you to conclude that it is fraudulent? I would be eager to hear your new scholarly exegesis, since thousands of scholars like myself have examined the surviving manuscripts and have found no evidence of fraud.

        The manuscripts are the evidence, and no amount of criticism or denial changes the empirical evidence of what is written in these documents.

        4. How do you explain the records of the Roman Senate which calls Jesus, “Chrestus,” or Christ, creating a massive disturbance in Jerusalem during the same period which the New Testament places Him there.


        YOUR RESPONSE:

        Chrestus was a regular name in the Roman empire and isn’t spelled like Christus for a reason; it isn’t the same name. That’s like saying that “red” and “read” must mean the same thing because they sound like each other. Chrestus was claimed to have caused a massive disturbance in Rome, not Jerusalem, by Suetonius: “As the Jews were making constant disturbances at the instigation of Chrestus, he expelled them from Rome”. You’ve mangled this common apologist claim even worse than usual.

        MY COMMENTS:

        I placed this question in this list because I expected this answer. You are following a flawed conjecture that is commonly disseminated amongst atheists.

        If you had studied the Suetonius records for yourself, instead of relying upon the conclusions of others, you would know that the Chrestus that is referred to in the citation, was written by Suetonius during the reign of Claudius. This is the section of the Suetonius record where it comes from. Claudius reigned during the period when the Jews were dealing with the massive disturbance that was taking place in Jerusalem, which eventually resulted in Jesus’ crucifixion under Pilate.

        Suetonius, is writing about the time when Claudius was forced to deal with this problem, there is no ambiguity in stating that this Chrestus was Jesus. There were no other persons who were known by this name, whom Tiberius and the Jews were dealing with at that time, who caused such a disturbance that caused all the Jews to be expelled from Rome by the Romans.

        SUETONIUS TEXT:

        “He banished from Rome all the Jews, who were continually making disturbances at the instigation of one Chrestus”

        The text above from Suetonius, describing the expulsion of Christians from Rome, is also reported by the New Testament Book of Acts:

        “After these things Paul departed from Athens and went to Corinth. And he found a certain Jew named Aquila, born in Pontus, who had recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla (because Claudius had commanded all the Jews to depart from Rome); and he came to them.” —Acts 18:1-2

        This serves as further evidence for the precise nature of the New Testament accounts of Jesus and the influence He presented in both Jerusalem and Rome. The fact that Suetonius recorded the expulsion of Christians in Rome, while Luke writes in describing the same event, is incredible proof of Biblical accuracy.

        We have:

        1. The expulsion of the Jews from Rome, mentioned by Suetonius, while Claudius is in power.
        2. We have the counterpart of the Book of Acts, which confirms the same event.
        3. This impeaches the conjecture that Christians were an obscure reference.
        4. It was the tumult that Jesus caused with the Jews in claiming to be God, and Messiah, that caused Pilate to be terrified that the Emperor would remove him from power.
        5. There were no other persons during this period of history, in any record, that were also called “Chrestus,” who were in Judea, during the time of Tiberius, causing a problem of this magnitude in Jerusalem.

        There is no question that the Suetonius reference to Chrestus is Jesus.

        5. How do you explain numerous references in the Jewish Talmud to “Jesus, the Nazarene,” from the same period of Jewish history that the New Testament narrative was written?


        YOUR RESPONSE:

        There are not “numerous references” in the Talmud to “jesus the nazarene”. The reference that apologist try to use is are these: A reference to Jesus aka Joshua/Yehsua (a very common Jewish name) as a sorcerer with five disiples, who was stoned and hanged.

        MY ANSWER:

        How convenient that in any case where Jesus is mentioned in a secular or non-interested third party, you assert that it was a different Jesus or some other person all together. Please place the evidence for this HERE:

        There is no other person in Jerusalem, during this time, who causes so many problems for the Jews that they were in fear of losing their remaining control over Jerusalem. The reason the Suetonius record is present, is the same reason there is a record in the Jewish Talmud. Both the Jewish and Roman leaders, Pilate and the Sanhedrin, were terrified that Jesus continued presence in Israel would cause the Emperor to remove them all from office. This is precisely what happened not long after they crucified Jesus.

        The Jewish Talmud was not written for Christianity. It is purely Jewish in origin, and contains commentary for the Hebrew scriptures. However, the Talmud does contain verifying evidence that the person described as Jesus of Nazareth in the New Testament narrative was, in fact, a real person from that period of history.

        There can be no doubt that the references in the Talmud to Jesus, as confirmed by noted scholars, reveal that Jesus of Nazareth was in Jerusalem during the same period of history when the New Testament places Him there. The following are specific references to Jesus of Nazareth, as found in the Talmud under passages on execution in Sanhedrin 43 a-b.⁠

        * Herzog 1: On the eve of Passover, they hanged Jesus the Nazarene.
        * Vatican 130: He went and brought up Jesus the Nazarene.
        * Vatican 140: He went and brought up Jesus.
        * Munich 95: On the eve of the Passover, they hanged Jesus of Nazareth.
        * Firenze 11.1.8-9: On the Sabbath eve and the eve of Passover, they hanged Jesus the Nazarene.
        * Karisruhe 2: On the eve of Passover, they hanged Jesus the Nazarene.
        * Barco: On the eve of Passover, they hanged Jesus of Nazareth.

        THERE ARE MANY OTHERS!

        How did a myth find itself recorded and preserved in the records of uninterested third parties who are both hostile to early Christianity?

        The ancient scribes of Israel who chronicled Jesus in their writings had no interest in preserving any historical information about Him nor Christianity. The Jews who recorded their commentary about Jesus in the Talmud regarded Him and His followers as the latest of many cult religions of their day. These leaders of Israel had no desire to document the existence of Jesus, His crucifixion, nor those who followed Him—yet this is precisely what they accomplished by their adversarial comments regarding His arrest and execution. These records were written during the period of history in which Jesus is reported to have been in Israel, as described by the narrative of the New Testament scriptures.

        Both the Jews and the Romans would rather that Jesus had not existed, yet they found themselves recording many of the events of His life and death in their preserved records of history. The evidence of antiquity demands that Jesus existed as a real person in Israel during the period of history in which the New Testament describes Him.

        6. If the surviving manuscript record of the New Testament is not a reliable artifact of true events, what criteria are you using to evaluate other works of antiquity and validate them?


        YOUR RESPONSE:

        Manuscripts, contemporary reports, antagonistic contemporary reports, archaeology, etc. And I’m not trying to prove that magic happened as you are, which makes a difference. If I’m off a bit about Julius Caesar, it really doesn’t matter too much; we know that Roman generals and emperors existed. For you, having no evidence means that your religion is a failure, only something invented by humans.


        MY COMMENTS:

        The reason I asked this question is because, if we use your criteria for determining whether an ancient set of extant manuscripts are reliable artifacts of true events, then all of the other ancient manuscripts, secular or religious, would also be disqualified.

        If we use the criteria that all ancient manuscripts are judged by, the New Testament passes every test for reliable texts of true events which took place during that period of history.

        Your insistent references to “magic” is a description of the miracles that Jesus performed to prove that He is God. What many critics fail to understand is that everything that Jesus said and did, all of the miracles He performed, were required of the Messiah in order to prove His identity.

        The facts are, the Old Testament scriptures predicted that the Messiah would perform miracles as proof that He is God. Jesus was simply performing what had been written for Him.

        When John was arrested by Herod and sentenced to death, John began to have doubts about whether Jesus really was the Messiah. He sent word to Jesus through one of John’s disciples to ask Jesus if He was the Messiah whom the Prophets foretold.

        Jesus’ response tells us a great deal about His identity:

        And when John had heard in prison about the works of Christ, he sent two of his disciples and said to Him, “Are You the Coming One, or do we look for another?” Jesus answered and said to them, “Go and tell John the things which you hear and see: The blind see and the lame walk; the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear; the dead are raised up and the poor have the gospel preached to them.” ~Matthew 11:2-5

        Jesus was reminding John that the Messiah would have a ministry of healing to validate His identity. John should know that Jesus is the Messiah because He is performing miracles exactly as the Messiah was predicted to accomplish.

        Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, And the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. Then the lame shall leap like a deer, And the tongue of the dumb sing. For waters shall burst forth in the wilderness, And streams in the desert. ~Isaiah 35:5-6

        The facts are, the Old Testament scriptures predicted that the Messiah would perform miracles as proof that He is God. Jesus was simply performing what had been written for Him.

        We have, not only the testimony of men who saw Jesus perform miracles, but also the prophets of the Old Testament who said that the Messiah would perform miracles.

        These prophets had been told by God to write prophecies for the Messiah that would describe Him as, the eyes of the blind shall be opened, And the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. Then the lame shall leap like a deer, And the tongue of the dumb sing, in Isaiah 35:5-6. When we examine the text of the New Testament, we see Jesus doing precisely what Isaiah wrote. These men had written their predictions hundreds of years before Jesus arrived.

        This becomes an even greater proof of evidence that the atheist cannot impeach: the existence of nearly 400 Messianic Prophecies that were written from 1400, to 700 years before Jesus was born, all of which, Jesus fulfilled in the narrative of the New Testament.

        How is it that 40 men, writing over a 1,500 year period of history, composing 66 separate books, all write about just one subject?: The coming of a Messiah who will die for the sins of the world and be resurrected from the dead to prove that He is God and the only Savior of the world. This answers the first question, which you clearly did not know, though you claim to have read the Bible and understood it.

        You not only don’t know what the Bible is about, you do not have any real knowledge about what constitutes valid historical evidence, worthy of acceptance. According to your criteria, if it is supernatural and seems impossible, it is “magic” and not believable.

        How exactly do you think that a Being with the technology to create the universe we observe, would prove to us that He is God, unless He came to earth and demonstrated power over all the physical laws of the universe?


        7. If the New Testament manuscripts are merely an embellished story filled with myth, how do you explain that a majority are actually personal letters written between persons, and not composed as a story?


        YOUR RESPONSE:

        Paul’s letters are no evidence that Jesus or your god exist, only that a certain type of Christian believed in certain things. They are no more evidence of your god’s existence than letters back and forth from Roman soldiers talking about their gods, or Chinese bureaucrats making records about their gods. We may as well believe that what the Heaven’s Gate idiots said was true because they had letters and believed so much that they cut their own genitalia off.

        MY COMMENTS:

        I see by your answer, that you have no literary knowledge of these letters, but are simply guessing.

        Of course Paul’s letters are literary, historical evidence, they can be nothing else.

        Paul, Peter, and John, all refer to Jesus crucifixion and resurrection many times in their letters, not withstanding the evidence of the four Gospels. Even if we didn’t have the four gospels, we could still fully validate Jesus’ resurrection by the letters that were written by these men, to the various churches in Asia during that time in history.

        The results of disbursing these letters all over Asia, was a massive writing frenzy, and change in the method whereby text was preserved and transmitted, to the Codex, which only began during the end of the first century, because Christians needed as new method of distributing their scriptures to the world. These are known facts of history.

        How is it that a “myth” generated tens of thousands of copies of the original writings and allowed us to find these surviving manuscripts all over the known world at that time? If we have 24,593 surviving copies, there must have been many tens of thousands written in the years after the resurrection.

        How could a myth survive so long and cause over 56% of the worlds population by 300 A.D. to believe that Jesus rose from the dead?

        There is no myth in the history of the world that has survived for 2,000 years and today affects the lives of more people than any other event, that happened on earth.

        For you to assert that these letters are not empirical evidence of the events they describe is preposterous and shows that you have much to learn.

        You claim that you are knowledgeable about all of these matters, yet you were unable to answer even the most basic question; what the Bible is about. It is possible for you to know that what is written in the New Testament about Jesus is the truth. I think that you very well may already know this. I sincerely hope that you can find that what is written will satisfy the deep longing of your heart and give you a new and eternal life in Christ.

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