So below you'll find the latest email from Beth, which I posted the other day. After chilling out and thinking happy thoughts, I am ready to tackle it with your help. My replies, mixed with your comments, are added below. I am wondering though, why Beth is still talking to me? What is your opinion? Is she trying to get me to change my mind and find the lord? It's obviously not to learn anything. What could be her motivation? I have no idea. Your suggestions are welcome, as usual.
I will never agree with you that I am “cherry picking” as I am not. In fact I was discussing it with another person of no faith and they even wondered how you drew such a conclusion. The Bible, as I stated in earlier messages, is nothing more then a compilation of documents put together by men. As we both concurred, the Holy Book is not without fault and was subject to being edited wrongly. Therefore I turn to history and science to determine what books are authentic and which are not. I do intend to look at what you suggested. I’ve honestly never come across it before. It will definetely be an asset to my research.
Whether you agree to the label or not is irrelevant. It doesn't make it any less true. What history and science resources are you looking at to come to these conclusions? How are you so sure that you are getting the whole story? Please give some of your resources. I am quite curious as to what you're reading to come to such wild opinions. For instance, name one contemporary document from Jesus' time that refers to him. Better yet, name one person who wrote about meeting him, outside of the gospels. You can't because no such documents or evidence exists. Since you insist that he existed, that he was magical and had special powers and rose from the dead, the Burden of Proof is on you, as you are making the positive claim. Please provide references. Simple inflammatory statements are baseless.
Why didn't jesus write anything down himself? He was a god-man after all. Why not document his life and teachings to share for future sheep to get his message accurately? Why rely on flawed men to write things down 40-80 years after his supposed death? This doesn't bother you in the slightest? You don't find it odd?
The Jesus Myth, as it is titled, is a contention that is absurd. I told you this is not a debate, however, so I won’t go into details as to why unless you really want to. I am convinced this man existed. Thus far, according to what I have studied, nothing points to this Jew not being real. I have read many arguments, most insisting that the documents that refer to him are forgery, but I have yet to see any of those claims to be backed by facts. Now, I realize that you did not just decide there was no Jesus without reason, so please, I encourage you to link me to any sources you may have that refute his living.
I think it's time you explain in clear terms why the Jesus Myth is absurd. Making such claims without any kind of backup is groundless. You have a belief that jesus existed because you were indoctrinated into the mindset. You then look for evidence to support that belief and discard any and all history or science that may threaten such an idea. I have already linked you to a great article that spells things out clearly and concisely, with references. I also recommend reading Bart Ehrman. Here is his Wikipedia page as well.
The plagarism argument honestly should be dead. There are so many flaws in it, such as overexagerrations that it’s ridiculous people keep using it. Mithras I’ve heard much about. I looked that Persian God up and found that Mithraism itself, one of those called a “mystery religion”, was not established until well after Jesus’s death, so it had no real influence on Christianity. Osiris, another one cited for the copycat theory, has similar characterisitics to Jesus, however it’s a stretch to make the connections many atheists have tried to make. His resurrection was not anything like Jesus’s, in fact, it was more a zombification then anything else. While it was true he was restored by Isis, he was brought back to govern over the netherworld, not brought back to life on earth as Jesus was. Oh, and might I add this was only after his chopped up 14 body pieces were collected? Hardly sounds like he “rose from the dead” to me. I can go on about the other dieties he was compared to, but really, it seems pointless. I cannot even regard such an accusation like that as plausible anymore.
Again, your lack of documentation or references makes for a groundless argument. You provide zero resources, yet you attack everything that doesn't agree with your presuppositions. Thomas Kuhn said in his book, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, "The man who rejects one hypothesis without simultaneously proposing an alternative is rejecting science itself. He will be known to his colleagues as the carpenter who blames his tools."
Most myths and religions are far from pure, borrowing heavily from other stories and legends. For example, there is no concept of Hell in the old testament, yet the loving jesus talks incessantly about people burning in hell in the new testament. Where did that come from? It may have come from the Greek concept of Hades. Just because the details are changed a bit does not negate the fact that christianity is entirely borrowed or stolen from other myths dating before the time of jesus' supposed life to a few hundred years after. This is when Mithras really gained in popularity and they borrowed extensively from each other.
This might interest you. The Epic of Gilgamesh is the oldest known writing to exist. In it you have a child of god, prophet dreams, curses from god, a great flood, walking on water and a resurrection.
Or how about Horus from Egyptian mythology? This is a handy chart for easy comparison.
Ahh, I see, so it is speculated Jesus (THE JEW, emphasized because HAHA I KNEW THIS-okay, done acting childish now) was versed in the Old Testament writings. This is why you believe that the laws he spoke of where of those there. This is brand new information to me so I thank you for it. However, Jesus’s teachings were so contradictory to the Old Testament laws that I cannot help but doubt that is the case. From my perspective, Jesus may have been taught these laws, but that does not mean he agreed with them, do you understand? If the Bible is written by man, that makes it flawed, God more then likely sent his son for clarification on what is sinful and what just. In what you quoted, he says that he has not come to abolish the old laws so assuming that what you said is true he is establishing that although he may challenge them they continue to hold authority? Since he spoke of Moses then I will agree the Ten Commandments are valid, but all else does not fit with his lessons. In that way, I believe I can still be right.
If god made the old testament laws why would he send his son down as a man to change those laws without clearly stating that? It makes no sense. Jesus doesn't clarify or rewrite the laws. He says himself (not that he existed) that he came to uphold the law, as I have quoted before. And that "one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law" until the end of time. That's pretty clear.
So since Jesus mentioned Moses, the old testament is good, but not the rest of the old testament? That makes no sense whatsoever, since Moses was around for a large part of the pentateuch, if I recall. In fact, didn't he supposedly write the first 5 books himself, inspired directly by god? I think so.
So you like the 10 commandments, but which set? The first batch, which is never called commandments, or the second? Notice they are different. Which do you follow? I guess the second set would make more sense since it's later and god obviously changed his mind. Why then does everyone know the first batch and not the second? If they are still relevant even after Jesus, why wasn't god clear which batch was the right one?
Oh, as for the wise man, it still never specifically says “THREE WISEMAN.” That is what general comparison is often made and that was what I was explaining to you. The Bible never said how many attended Jesus’s birth so to try and make that connection is ridiculous. That is a wrong idea that was accepted into the media and so that is why you see it in pictures, figurine scenes, etc.
There were multiple wise men, but they came bearing 3 gifts. It is probably safe to conclude they each had a gift. Not that it matters one bit since the story is completely fabricated. The first book of the gospels to be written was Mark, and there was no virgin birth story. It started with Jesus getting baptized by John the Baptist. The virgin birth was added decades later by whoever wrote Matthew, borrowing from the other myths as I have stated many times.
~ At the end of the email I added:
I am curious why you are having this (non)debate with me. What do you hope to gain from such discourse? You mentioned above that you can be right and it seems that proving me wrong is very important to you. Unfortunately you provide no evidence, documentation or proof of any sort for your arguments. They are simply your feelings and beliefs, which you have clearly shown to be immutable and inflexible. So what is the point of this exercise? I'd love to understand what you hope to get from this exchange.
~Thanks again to everyone who commented with such helpful information. GMNightmare, Antimattr, Brigno, Jenny and Johnny, you are really awesome. I hope I did justice to your points above. I just sent the email off. Let's see if she replies.