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Old 02-25-2018, 03:24 PM   #576
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Re: A Manual for Creating Atheists

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Originally Posted by walkby View Post
I think the verses clearly demonstrate that Jesus is God, biblically, given that Jesus is the Word mentioned in those verses. If you want to further understand who God is, then understanding the concept of the Trinity will most definitely help since God exists as three persons. The Trinity is definitely a difficult thing to fully understand (perhaps impossible, since we are finite and trying comprehend an infinite and eternal God), but I do think those verses clearly and directly identify Jesus as God (which was essentially the claim that I was making).
How can you claim they clearly and directly identify Jesus as God, if this identification requires understanding and accepting a later Christian doctrine that is "definitely a difficult thing to fully understand (perhaps impossible...)"? I can't claim to understand in any kind of clear or direct sense the claim that Jesus is God if I don't also understand what this passage means by "God" (let alone "the Word").
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Old 02-25-2018, 05:06 PM   #577
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Re: A Manual for Creating Atheists

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How can you claim they clearly and directly identify Jesus as God, if this identification requires understanding and accepting a later Christian doctrine that is "definitely a difficult thing to fully understand (perhaps impossible...)"? I can't claim to understand in any kind of clear or direct sense the claim that Jesus is God if I don't also understand what this passage means by "God" (let alone "the Word").
John 1:1-3

1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.

John 1:14

14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

Would you agree with me that Jesus is the one who is being identified as the Word in these verses? Would you also agree with me that the Word is being identified as God in these verses?

The gospels are a revelation and introduction to who Jesus is and the work He did as God to reconcile mankind to Himself. If you don't understand (or are curious) about what these passages mean by God, man, I encourage you to read on. Gotquestions.org is also an awesome resource if you have specific questions about things that are related to the Bible.
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Old 02-25-2018, 05:45 PM   #578
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Re: A Manual for Creating Atheists

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John 1:1-3

1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.

John 1:14

14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

Would you agree with me that Jesus is the one who is being identified as the Word in these verses? Would you also agree with me that the Word is being identified as God in these verses?

The gospels are a revelation and introduction to who Jesus is and the work He did as God to reconcile mankind to Himself. If you don't understand (or are curious) about what these passages mean by God, man, I encourage you to read on. Gotquestions.org is also an awesome resource if you have specific questions about things that are related to the Bible.
Please place the letter/word (a) at the end of verse #1 "and the word was a God". If you don't do that then verse #2 is befuddling as it states that He (Word) was with God at the beginning.

Think of all the structures/forms of the Cosmos/Universe and you have the work of the "Word" the "Cosmic Word" also known as the "Logos" in ancient Greek parlance.

The "Word" or the "Logos" or the "Christ Being" is eternally existent known to the ancient Indians as "Vishva Karmen", to the ancient Persians as "Ahura Mazdao", to the Egyptians as "Osiris" and of course as above to the Greeks.

To continue the hoo hah He appeared to Moses in the Burning Bush and led the Israelite's out of Egypt .

Tell your referents that its time to begin comprehending the Christ Being as a Cosmic Being, meaning not only earth bound, and not as a being that fits into a preconceived notion of "what can you do for me Jesus ?"

The Christ Being just didn't begin 2100 years ago or when your referents were born in order to suit their earth bound preferences. The Christ Being is about the eternal spirit to which we are all the external expression of to which we are developing in order to live within the spiritual world in clear consciousness.

We work to recognize the spirit through a science of the spirit which to the materialistic ethos of today is fantastic but none the less true; yes there is more than our senses and its scientific illusion and we have and can gain the abilities to reach the spiritual world, our home of beginnings and endings; also known as religion or religare "to reunite" with our home.

QED
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Old 02-25-2018, 06:13 PM   #579
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Re: A Manual for Creating Atheists

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Please place the letter/word (a) at the end of verse #1 "and the word was a God". If you don't do that then verse #2 is befuddling as it states that He (Word) was with God at the beginning.

Think of all the structures/forms of the Cosmos/Universe and you have the work of the "Word" the "Cosmic Word" also known as the "Logos" in ancient Greek parlance.

The "Word" or the "Logos" or the "Christ Being" is eternally existent known to the ancient Indians as "Vishva Karmen", to the ancient Persians as "Ahura Mazdao", to the Egyptians as "Osiris" and of course as above to the Greeks.

To continue the hoo hah He appeared to Moses in the Burning Bush and led the Israelite's out of Egypt .

Tell your referents that its time to begin comprehending the Christ Being as a Cosmic Being, meaning not only earth bound, and not as a being that fits into a preconceived notion of "what can you do for me Jesus ?"

The Christ Being just didn't begin 2100 years ago or when your referents were born in order to suit their earth bound preferences. The Christ Being is about the eternal spirit to which we are all the external expression of to which we are developing in order to live within the spiritual world in clear consciousness.

We work to recognize the spirit through a science of the spirit which to the materialistic ethos of today is fantastic but none the less true; yes there is more than our senses and its scientific illusion and we have and can gain the abilities to reach the spiritual world, our home of beginnings and endings; also known as religion or religare "to reunite" with our home.

QED
Well, carlo, the verses I used in that post are from the NIV and John 1:1 in the NIV doesn't include the word "a" at the end it (where you wanted to include it).

I would stick to Scripture (the Bible) as the source of what is true when trying to learn about Christ.

2 Timothy 3:16-17

16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

(these verses are also from the NIV, here's a link to read them on biblegateway.com)
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Old 02-25-2018, 07:22 PM   #580
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Re: A Manual for Creating Atheists

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John 1:1-3

1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.

John 1:14

14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

Would you agree with me that Jesus is the one who is being identified as the Word in these verses? Would you also agree with me that the Word is being identified as God in these verses?
I do think that Jesus is the person who is being referred to as "the Word" in these verses. I don't know what it means by that phrasing without doing more study (i.e. it is not clear and direct). I wouldn't agree with you that the Word is being identified as God in these verses because I don't know what you mean by God, or what these verses mean by God, especially given the confusing way in which this is expressed. I'm not saying your interpretation is wrong, just that it isn't clear to me what is meant.

Quote:
The gospels are a revelation and introduction to who Jesus is and the work He did as God to reconcile mankind to Himself. If you don't understand (or are curious) about what these passages mean by God, man, I encourage you to read on. Gotquestions.org is also an awesome resource if you have specific questions about things that are related to the Bible.
I'm really only interested in contesting your claim that John 1 is clear and direct in saying that Jesus is God.

Last edited by Original Position; 02-25-2018 at 07:29 PM.
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Old 02-25-2018, 10:06 PM   #581
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Re: A Manual for Creating Atheists

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Well, carlo, the verses I used in that post are from the NIV and John 1:1 in the NIV doesn't include the word "a" at the end it (where you wanted to include it).

I would stick to Scripture (the Bible) as the source of what is true when trying to learn about Christ.

2 Timothy 3:16-17

16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

(these verses are also from the NIV, here's a link to read them on biblegateway.com)
OK
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Old 02-26-2018, 08:33 AM   #582
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Re: A Manual for Creating Atheists

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Ok. Well, I'm just going to post John 1:1-3 & John 1:14. I think the clear and logical reading of the verses is that Jesus is God.

John 1:1-3


John 1:14


These verses are from the NIV.
Then again, you also have this thing called the first commandment. Not to mention the strange evolution of the term messiah.

Which is what non-trinitarians would typically argue.

According to you the bible is clear on this, according to them the bible is clear on this. For someone like me it doesn't really seem like the Bible is clear on this at all, but that instead it is the various denominations who tend to be very clear on it.
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Old 03-01-2018, 03:37 PM   #583
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Re: A Manual for Creating Atheists

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I'm really only interested in contesting your claim that John 1 is clear and direct in saying that Jesus is God.
Please, if you have more to say (or write), go on.
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Old 03-01-2018, 05:04 PM   #584
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Re: A Manual for Creating Atheists

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Please, if you have more to say (or write), go on.
I don't have anything else to add really. I like John 1 - I find it very beautiful - but I don't think it is a example of a clear statement of Jesus being God.
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Old 03-02-2018, 03:45 PM   #585
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Re: A Manual for Creating Atheists

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I don't have anything else to add really. I like John 1 - I find it very beautiful - but I don't think it is a example of a clear statement of Jesus being God.
I'm going to post Acts 16:16-32.

Acts 16:16-32 New International Version (NIV)
Paul and Silas in Prison
16 Once when we were going to the place of prayer, we were met by a female slave who had a spirit by which she predicted the future. She earned a great deal of money for her owners by fortune-telling. 17 She followed Paul and the rest of us, shouting, “These men are servants of the Most High God, who are telling you the way to be saved.” 18 She kept this up for many days. Finally Paul became so annoyed that he turned around and said to the spirit, “In the name of Jesus Christ I command you to come out of her!” At that moment the spirit left her.

19 When her owners realized that their hope of making money was gone, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the marketplace to face the authorities. 20 They brought them before the magistrates and said, “These men are Jews, and are throwing our city into an uproar 21 by advocating customs unlawful for us Romans to accept or practice.”

22 The crowd joined in the attack against Paul and Silas, and the magistrates ordered them to be stripped and beaten with rods. 23 After they had been severely flogged, they were thrown into prison, and the jailer was commanded to guard them carefully. 24 When he received these orders, he put them in the inner cell and fastened their feet in the stocks.

25 About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. 26 Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everyone’s chains came loose. 27 The jailer woke up, and when he saw the prison doors open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself because he thought the prisoners had escaped. 28 But Paul shouted, “Don’t harm yourself! We are all here!”

29 The jailer called for lights, rushed in and fell trembling before Paul and Silas. 30 He then brought them out and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”

31 They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household.” 32 Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all the others in his house.

If the jailer's son believed he belonged to the jailer's household and believed Jesus was the truth would he be saved?
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Old 03-06-2018, 09:06 PM   #586
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Re: A Manual for Creating Atheists

Inasmuch as anyone can rely on the Gospels as history, Mark is far ahead of the rest:

Mark was the first Gospel, written between 66-70 AD (at least 30 years after Jesus' death)

in Mark, there is no account of the virgin birth, and resurrected Jesus is not seen except in forged text added later.

the three later Gospels all built upon Mark, with added details to bolster the messianic status their early church ascribed to Jesus. Specifically, Matthew is self-consciously written to make Jesus appear as the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy, and John is written to emphasize that their messiah Jesus was the only path to salvation e.g. John 14:6

the additions made to Matthew, Luke and John have to rely on faith to be believed, otherwise they appear to be humans twisting a pre-existing story (Gospel of Mark) to be more grandiose in order to better evangelize their upstart church.
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Old 03-06-2018, 10:12 PM   #587
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Re: A Manual for Creating Atheists

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Inasmuch as anyone can rely on the Gospels as history, Mark is far ahead of the rest:

Mark was the first Gospel, written between 66-70 AD (at least 30 years after Jesus' death)

in Mark, there is no account of the virgin birth, and resurrected Jesus is not seen except in forged text added later.

the three later Gospels all built upon Mark, with added details to bolster the messianic status their early church ascribed to Jesus. Specifically, Matthew is self-consciously written to make Jesus appear as the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy, and John is written to emphasize that their messiah Jesus was the only path to salvation e.g. John 14:6

the additions made to Matthew, Luke and John have to rely on faith to be believed, otherwise they appear to be humans twisting a pre-existing story (Gospel of Mark) to be more grandiose in order to better evangelize their upstart church.
HS, this is about you, and only you.
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Old 03-06-2018, 10:19 PM   #588
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Re: A Manual for Creating Atheists

I don't know what HS means.
the Gospel of John is being cited repeatedly but there's no good reason to accept it's departures from Mark as being true.
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Old 03-07-2018, 12:32 AM   #589
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Re: A Manual for Creating Atheists

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I don't know what HS means.
the Gospel of John is being cited repeatedly but there's no good reason to accept it's departures from Mark as being true.
Why?
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Old 03-07-2018, 01:12 AM   #590
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Re: A Manual for Creating Atheists

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Inasmuch as anyone can rely on the Gospels as history, Mark is far ahead of the rest:

Mark was the first Gospel, written between 66-70 AD (at least 30 years after Jesus' death)

in Mark, there is no account of the virgin birth, and resurrected Jesus is not seen except in forged text added later.

the three later Gospels all built upon Mark, with added details to bolster the messianic status their early church ascribed to Jesus. Specifically, Matthew is self-consciously written to make Jesus appear as the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy, and John is written to emphasize that their messiah Jesus was the only path to salvation e.g. John 14:6

the additions made to Matthew, Luke and John have to rely on faith to be believed, otherwise they appear to be humans twisting a pre-existing story (Gospel of Mark) to be more grandiose in order to better evangelize their upstart church.
This is only partially correct. There are some almost verbatim passages found in both Matthew and Luke, but not in Mark. As a result, most Biblical scholars believe that the authors of these gospels used an additional source aside from Mark, called the "Sayings Source," or Q for short (most of these passages are sayings of Jesus, eg the sayings collected in the Sermon on the Mount). This missing gospel also has some independent historical validity apart from the evidence from Mark. So it is not the case that accepting the additions in Matthew and Luke is just a matter of faith.

Second, John is substantially different from Mark. While the Johannine author might have been aware of Mark, his gospel is not based on it in the way Matthew and Luke are. We don't know what the basis of his information is, but we can't just assume that it is made up or unreliable. I do think the Gospel of John is the most theological and mystical and so plausibly less concerned with historical accuracy than the other gospels. But it has recognizably different stories and a different theology than the earlier gospels, and so arguably at least somewhat independent of them.
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Old 03-07-2018, 11:38 AM   #591
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Re: A Manual for Creating Atheists

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Inasmuch as anyone can rely on the Gospels as history, Mark is far ahead of the rest:

Mark was the first Gospel, written between 66-70 AD (at least 30 years after Jesus' death)

in Mark, there is no account of the virgin birth, and resurrected Jesus is not seen except in forged text added later.

the three later Gospels all built upon Mark, with added details to bolster the messianic status their early church ascribed to Jesus. Specifically, Matthew is self-consciously written to make Jesus appear as the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy, and John is written to emphasize that their messiah Jesus was the only path to salvation e.g. John 14:6

the additions made to Matthew, Luke and John have to rely on faith to be believed, otherwise they appear to be humans twisting a pre-existing story (Gospel of Mark) to be more grandiose in order to better evangelize their upstart church.
Pretty much everything that's being asserted as fact in this post is disputed by many legitimate scholars. (This isn't to say that the assertions might not in fact be true, but to assert this stuff as if it isn't controversial is just plain disingenuous. )
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Old 03-07-2018, 02:16 PM   #592
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Re: A Manual for Creating Atheists

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Why?
John was written last among the Gospels. If items found only in John, such as: "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." are true, why would the earlier Gospels not record such seemingly important information?

in the Synoptic Gospels, Jesus' last supper is a Passover meal. His crucifixion and resurrection occur after Passover.

in John the crucifixion takes place before Passover:
Quote:
John 19:4 It was the day of Preparation of the Passover; it was about noon.
Jesus is made to die on a different day in the Gospel of John probably because lambs would have been slaughtered on the "day of Preparation of the Passover," so too "the Lamb of God". John has a different timeline in order to make that allusion. If the author is changing dates to serve his purpose he might also distort/invent other events and quotes.
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John 1:29 The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!
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This is only partially correct. There are some almost verbatim passages found in both Matthew and Luke, but not in Mark. As a result, most Biblical scholars believe that the authors of these gospels used an additional source aside from Mark, called the "Sayings Source," or Q for short (most of these passages are sayings of Jesus, eg the sayings collected in the Sermon on the Mount). This missing gospel also has some independent historical validity apart from the evidence from Mark. So it is not the case that accepting the additions in Matthew and Luke is just a matter of faith.

Second, John is substantially different from Mark. While the Johannine author might have been aware of Mark, his gospel is not based on it in the way Matthew and Luke are. We don't know what the basis of his information is, but we can't just assume that it is made up or unreliable. I do think the Gospel of John is the most theological and mystical and so plausibly less concerned with historical accuracy than the other gospels. But it has recognizably different stories and a different theology than the earlier gospels, and so arguably at least somewhat independent of them.
I tend to believe in the Farrer hypothesis, which denies the existence of a written Q (a minority view, as your link says. I can't see past the paywall why Ehrman believes in Q). afaik early Christians did not cite to Q, and any suggestion that because Q's contents were copied by Matthew and Luke therefore Christians allowed Q to be lost is not compelling imo. If Q were important enough to be used by Matthew and Luke we should expect direct references to it and preservation.

The similarities between Matthew and Luke not found in Mark can be explained by one of Matthew/Luke having access to the other (probably Luke copying Matthew). Where they vary, we should expect that if someone is writing a book it won't be an exact copy of an already published book.

You're right that John is different than the other three Gospels, and we can't know precisely why. Written decades after the other Gospels, different stories may have developed about Jesus in the intervening time. That, and the author of John intending to spread a particular dogma in opposition to other contemporaneous religious teachings such as gnosticism, seem as good an explanation as any. When we have a basic story in Mark, and decades later much new material appears in John, the simplest explanation is that human myth-making has progressively added ahistorical content.
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Old 03-07-2018, 03:33 PM   #593
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Re: A Manual for Creating Atheists

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I tend to believe in the Farrer hypothesis, which denies the existence of a written Q (a minority view, as your link says. I can't see past the paywall why Ehrman believes in Q). afaik early Christians did not cite to Q, and any suggestion that because Q's contents were copied by Matthew and Luke therefore Christians allowed Q to be lost is not compelling imo. If Q were important enough to be used by Matthew and Luke we should expect direct references to it and preservation.

The similarities between Matthew and Luke not found in Mark can be explained by one of Matthew/Luke having access to the other (probably Luke copying Matthew). Where they vary, we should expect that if someone is writing a book it won't be an exact copy of an already published book.
Sure, I think it is reasonable to reject the Q hypothesis, but since it is the majority view of Biblical scholars it is inaccurate to say that "the additions made to Matthew, Luke and John have to rely on faith to be believed." Presumably these scholars (which includes critical Biblical scholars like Ehrman) who accept the Q hypothesis are not just relying on faith.

I can't really argue for the Q hypothesis vs either Matthew or Luke instead being the source for the other. The arguments I've seen for Q mostly rely on plausible enough speculations about how the authors of Matthew and Luke would handle other sources and arguments that require understanding Greek. None of the hypotheses seem very strongly supported to me, and since there isn't a strong consensus in the field, I'm content to remain mostly agnostic about the existence of Q.

If you care, here is Ehrman's (short) argument for Q:

Quote:
Bart Ehrman:
It is unlikely that one of the authors used Mark, added several stories of his own, and that his account then served as the source for the other. If this were the case, we would not be able to explain the phenomenon noted above, that these stories found in Matthew and Luke but not in Mark are almost always inserted into a different sequence of Mark’s narrative: why would an author follow the sequence of one of his sources, except for stories that are not found in his other one? It is more likely, then, that these stories were drawn from another source that no longer exists, the source that scholars have designated as Q.
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You're right that John is different than the other three Gospels, and we can't know precisely why. Written decades after the other Gospels, different stories may have developed about Jesus in the intervening time. That, and the author of John intending to spread a particular dogma in opposition to other contemporaneous religious teachings such as gnosticism, seem as good an explanation as any. When we have a basic story in Mark, and decades later much new material appears in John, the simplest explanation is that human myth-making has progressively added ahistorical content.
Again, I think this is a reasonable hypothesis and more or less the view I think is most likely. I just think our confidence level in these kind of explanations should be low as they are mostly just speculations based on little to no information other than the text itself. For instance, it also doesn't seem implausible to me that the Johannine community out of which we get this gospel was relatively independent of the more mainline Jesus followers and preserved a few different authentic sayings or stories from Jesus' life that the other Christians didn't care to emphasize. Who knows?
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Old 03-07-2018, 05:27 PM   #594
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Re: A Manual for Creating Atheists

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I don't know what HS means.
the Gospel of John is being cited repeatedly but there's no good reason to accept it's departures from Mark as being true.
To evaluate the gospels as to which is the more correct or "top of the mountain" will lead nowhere. This is modern historical guesswork .

The four Gospels stand on their own as different perspectives gained through a mystery knowledge in which the gospel writers displayed some amount of clairvoyance, describing the walk of Christ Jesus through their Lodge(s) knowledge for want of a better name.

As you may have read in the Revelation of John, and I believe in the Old Testament, there are the four beasts:

"with eyes before and behind which were: the lion, the calf, face of a man, flying eagle. Each had six wings and full of eyes within who rest not day and night saying "Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty, which was and is and is to come".

The Gospel of Mark was of the Lodge of the Lion which can give perspective of the Cosmic Christ.

The Gospel of Matthew, is as you noted best appreciated by the Old Testament Hebrews as it speaks to the Lodge of the Man as his progression above his animal nature.

The Gospel of Luke , with its richness of healings, as written by a Doctor,Luke, is the Lodge of the Bull or Calf.

Finally the Gospel of John is the gospel of the Future and the Philosopher, the Lodge of the Eagle.

Each gospel offers much to all men and it would be bad form to compare as has been done by conventional history at some time, if not now. If a man wishes to gain Christ Knowledge then each Gospel offers the greatness of the Divine and none should be gainsayed . To only recognize and read one would in essence be an impediment to future comprehension.

Of note the Gospels are not historical writings and can never prove any existence as mandated by some historians, historians of watery soup. The three synoptic Gospels Mark, Luke and Matthew were written by men living after the Event of Golgotha occurred.

The fourth Gospel, that of John was actually written by John, the disciple whom Jesus Christ loved, who laid on his lap and asked who would betray Him, or Lazarus . John the writer of this Gospel and the Acts of the Apostles and the Revelation is the "Risen Lazarus", not the son of Zebedee. This is Lazarus, born anew.

By the bye, HS , my only and unlikely use of abbreviation(s) which I hate is "horse ****" for which I apologize profusely.
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Old 03-08-2018, 01:13 AM   #595
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Re: A Manual for Creating Atheists

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John was written last among the Gospels. If items found only in John, such as: "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." are true, why would the earlier Gospels not record such seemingly important information?
We're pretty blessed to have all of God's Word available to us right now. You might want to consider that God guided the writing of Scripture over the course of many years. And by God's Word I mean what's written in the Bible.

Last edited by walkby; 03-08-2018 at 01:31 AM.
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