Uncommon Sense

September 25, 2022

Oh, Boy . . .

I was reading a Medium.com post with the intriguing title “Why You Cannot Respect All Religious Beliefs and Why Christians Must Not Do So.” (Of course, the title was in all caps which everyone by now knows is the way we shout in type!)

The author went on to make his point that you cannot believe those other religion’s nonsense because it conflicts with our nonsense, but along the way he states:

Islam views Him as merely a prophet and claims He never died on the cross as the event on the cross (which was reported by eye witnesses in the Bible as well as historians from all ages) was one big illusion (Surah 4:157).

“Him,” of course, is Jesus. And, according to the blogger Jesus dying on the cross was “reported by eyewitnesses and historians from all ages.” Again, the question to be asked is “how would he know?” The historians aspect is obvious because if the event had not been recorded, we wouldn’t know of it now, but historians can only report what they read and hear, no? I will focus in the “eyewitness” aspect from here on.

The earliest account of this crucifixion event was in the Gospel of Mark, gMark, written sometime shortly after 70 CE, so 40 years later than the story says that the crucifixion occurred. Now, whoever wrote this gospel (the label “Mark” was added by Church officials some time later) does not claim to have been an eyewitness to the event, nor does he claim to have received eyewitness accounts of the event. Only when we get to the even later Gospel of Luke, gLuke (the label “Luke” being added by Church officials some time later) do we get a claim that the gospel is using eyewitness accounts, although not a single eyewitness is named, even though naming them was a common practice of historians of the time.

If one assumes the crucifixion event to have taken place, there would have been eyewitnesses in that someone needs to have carried out the act and there is enough physical labor involved that a crew was probably needed. Plus the Romans used crucifixions as a form of propaganda, they wanted them to be seen because they were a stark statement saying “Don’t let this happen to you!” so spectators were to be expected. So, if it happened, the probability that there were eyewitnesses is almost certain.

Needless to say, Jesus’s mission was interrupted. His message incomplete. And while many say that the remaining Jesus followers were expecting the Kingdom to come soon, would not Jesus’s words be worthy of being recorded, if for no other reason than to tell Jesus when he returned that “See, we listened and heard!” And modern scholars keep referring to a document not in existence, called “Q” which stands for “Quelle” the German word for source. The Q document is the source, they say, of the sayings of Jesus that appear in the gospels after gMark that didn’t show up in gMark, so somebody thought to write something down (if the Q document is not an imaginary thing, there being no physical evidence of its existence).

There were a few wealthy Christians in Jerusalem. Would not one of these people, hoping for an accurate capture of the all-important message, have hired a scribe to interview all of the eye-witnesses of Jesus work (not the spectators, the participants). And would not that scribe distinguish the words of the Apostle Peter, from the Apostle James? He wouldn’t just dump all of Jesus’s sayings in one big pile, would he?

If this had happened, then we would have had eyewitness accounts, but apparently it did not. Since it did not, or at least we do not have a copy of that record, apologists always claim there was a robust “oral record” in the Christian culture. But what is the source of this so-called, unprovable oral record? Is it eyewitnesses or gossip? Gossip is more likely and even gossip about eyewitnesses aren’t eyewitness accounts.

And the behavior of Christians going down the ages thereafter, selling pieces of the True Cross, selling pieces of Jesus’s cloak, selling nails that were used to crucify Jesus, etc. that they are perfectly willing to make up stuff, believe stuff that wasn’t or couldn’t be true.

But you can see what has happen, don’t you. The blog author here believes the accounts to be true. And, how could they be true if they were not eyewitness accounts? So, they must be eyewitness accounts, no? Again, Christian apologists argue back from their conclusions toward their data, and if the data aren’t there, they make it up: oral traditions, eyewitness accounts, etc.

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11 Comments »

  1. To quote from Life of Brian:
    “He’s making it up as he goes along.”

    Liked by 3 people

    Comment by Ark — September 25, 2022 @ 10:55 am | Reply

  2. The blog author here believes the accounts to be true. — And, as we know, not only this blog author!

    When one considers all the “holes” in the gospel stories, it’s no wonder there are so many apologists trying to fill them! It’s a ongoing source of income.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Nan — September 25, 2022 @ 11:04 am | Reply

    • But the cognitive dissonance is staggering. These are real spiritual warriors! :o)

      Liked by 2 people

      Comment by Steve Ruis — September 25, 2022 @ 11:23 am | Reply

    • Because of all the problems surrounding the claims of Christianity, and the multiple interpretations, Apologists are famed for trying to fill each other’s holes.

      Liked by 2 people

      Comment by Ark — September 25, 2022 @ 1:12 pm | Reply

  3. Hi Steve. Can it be that Christ intended this gospel be TOLD, not written? So that his Spirit live in men and women, not books.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Arnold — September 26, 2022 @ 3:20 am | Reply

    • Which gospel are you referring to,Arnold?

      Like

      Comment by Ark — September 26, 2022 @ 5:57 am | Reply

    • Sure it is possible, but it is an admission of lack of judgement. The history of oral transmission of knowledge is very spotty and, well, people tend to exaggerate. For example, the attendance at the game when Hank Aaron hit his record breaking homerun was well under 60,000 people but within a few short years, over 250,000 people were claiming to have been there to witness the feat.

      Writing was invented for commercial reasons mostly, because people’s memories were reliable and were subject to coercion.

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by Steve Ruis — September 26, 2022 @ 12:04 pm | Reply

      • Not only that … as has been demonstrated on numerous occasions throughout the years … there is no definitive definition of “Christ’s spirit.” Moreover, without the written word, how would you (or anyone) know that it’s “Christ’s spirit” that you feel?

        Arnold, I know nothing we say will change your mind, but your reasoning is lacking by all reasonable parameters.

        Liked by 1 person

        Comment by Nan — September 26, 2022 @ 12:15 pm | Reply

  4. As far as Jesus’ childhood & his mother Mary, the Koran has more about that & her than the Christian Bible. Amazing, huh?

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by silverapplequeen — September 26, 2022 @ 7:14 am | Reply

    • well, when you make things up wholesale, others feel they have the right to join in. Look at all of the fantasy novels and whatnot placed in “worlds” invented by others.

      Liked by 2 people

      Comment by Steve Ruis — September 26, 2022 @ 9:19 am | Reply

  5. Ah, the old argument that “my faith or belief is obviously true because I believe it.”

    1. Does not hold water folks. In fact it makes you look ridiculous.

    2. There are some who take it a step further, “my faith or belief is obviously true because other people believe it too.” In that case see #1.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by shelldigger — September 30, 2022 @ 7:13 pm | Reply


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