The authors of the Gospels fail to name themselves, describe their qualifications, or show any criticism with their foundational sources — which they also fail to identify. Filled with mythical and non-historical information, and heavily edited over time, the Gospels certainly should not convince critics to trust even the more mundane claims made therein. The criterion of embarrassment says that if a section would be embarrassing for the author, it is more likely authentic. Unfortunately, given the diverse nature of Christianity and Judaism back then things have not changed all that much , and the anonymity of the authors, it is impossible to determine what truly would be embarrassing or counter-intuitive, let alone if that might not serve some evangelistic purpose.
The criterion of Aramaic context is similarly unhelpful. Jesus and his closest followers were surely not the only Aramaic-speakers in first-century Judea. The criterion of multiple independent attestation can also hardly be used properly here, given that the sources clearly are not independent. Even when discussing what appear to be the resurrection and the last supper, his only stated sources are his direct revelations from the Lord, and his indirect revelations from the Old Testament. In fact, Paul actually rules out human sources see Galatians 1: There are no existing eyewitness or contemporary accounts of Jesus.
Little can be gleaned from the few non-Biblical and non-Christian sources, with only Roman scholar Josephus and historian Tacitus having any reasonable claim to be writing about Jesus within years of his life. And even those sparse accounts are shrouded in controversy, with disagreements over what parts have obviously been changed by Christian scribes the manuscripts were preserved by Christians , the fact that both these authors were born after Jesus died they would thus have probably received this information from Christians , and the oddity that centuries go by before Christian apologists start referencing them.
Namely, that the belief in Jesus started as the belief in a purely celestial being who was killed by demons in an upper realm , who became historicised over time. Humans — the murderers according to the Gospels — of course would still have killed Jesus, knowing full well that his death results in their salvation, and the defeat of the evil spirits.
This astonishment springs from the recognition that the universe doesn't have to behave this way. It is easy to imagine a universe in which conditions change unpredictably from instant to instant, or even a universe in which things pop in and out of existence.
Richard Feynman, a Nobel Prize winner for quantum electrodynamics, said, "Why nature is mathematical is a mystery The fact that there are rules at all is a kind of miracle. All instruction, all teaching, all training comes with intent. Someone who writes an instruction manual does so with purpose. Did you know that in every cell of our bodies there exists a very detailed instruction code, much like a miniature computer program? As you may know, a computer program is made up of ones and zeros, like this: The way they are arranged tell the computer program what to do.
The DNA code in each of our cells is very similar. It's made up of four chemicals that scientists abbreviate as A, T, G, and C. These are arranged in the human cell like this: There are three billion of these letters in every human cell!! Well, just like you can program your phone to beep for specific reasons, DNA instructs the cell. DNA is a three-billion-lettered program telling the cell to act in a certain way.
It is a full instruction manual.
Why is this so amazing? One has to ask These are not just chemicals. These are chemicals that instruct, that code in a very detailed way exactly how the person's body should develop. Natural, biological causes are completely lacking as an explanation when programmed information is involved. You cannot find instruction, precise information like this, without someone intentionally constructing it. I was an atheist at one time. And like many atheists, the issue of people believing in God bothered me greatly. What is it about atheists that we would spend so much time, attention, and energy refuting something that we don't believe even exists?!
What causes us to do that? When I was an atheist, I attributed my intentions as caring for those poor, delusional people To be honest, I also had another motive. As I challenged those who believed in God, I was deeply curious to see if they could convince me otherwise. Part of my quest was to become free from the question of God.
If I could conclusively prove to believers that they were wrong, then the issue is off the table, and I would be free to go about my life. I didn't realize that the reason the topic of God weighed so heavily on my mind, was because God was pressing the issue. I have come to find out that God wants to be known. He created us with the intention that we would know him. He has surrounded us with evidence of himself and he keeps the question of his existence squarely before us.
It was as if I couldn't escape thinking about the possibility of God.
In this unique book, sceptical Religious Studies scholar, Raphael Lataster, seeks to merge the accessibility of popular atheistic writings, with the rigorous. Editorial Reviews. Review. "Although I am not a Jesus mythicist, I do think that Lataster makes a good case that one cannot simply dismiss all versions or all.
In fact, the day I chose to acknowledge God's existence, my prayer began with, "Ok, you win I am not the only one who has experienced this. Malcolm Muggeridge, socialist and philosophical author, wrote, "I had a notion that somehow, besides questing, I was being pursued. Lewis said he remembered, " I gave in, and admitted that God was God, and knelt and prayed: Lewis went on to write a book titled, "Surprised by Joy" as a result of knowing God.
I too had no expectations other than rightfully admitting God's existence. Yet over the following several months, I became amazed by his love for me. Look throughout the major world religions and you'll find that Buddha, Muhammad, Confucius and Moses all identified themselves as teachers or prophets.
Thus, these many different cultures celebrated the "sun of God's" birthday on December 25th. A brief interlude then leaves no doubt that the existence of the Christ of Faith is virtually impossible, and concludes that even the existence of a stripped-down Historical Jesus is uncertain. This omits many of the subtleties, and the entirety of the Bayesian analysis he discusses for simplicity - please don't take the below as the totality of the work - just the summary. Richard Carrier on infidels. Unfortunately, given the diverse nature of Christianity and Judaism back then things have not changed all that much , and the anonymity of the authors, it is impossible to determine what truly would be embarrassing or counter-intuitive, let alone if that might not serve some evangelistic purpose. There is reason for thinking that the original hero of the Legend was Enlil Bel , the great god of Nippur the Nafar, or Nufar of the Arab writers , and that when Babylon rose into power under the First Dynasty about B. The Conversation is a non-profit.
None of them ever claimed to be equal to God. That is what sets Jesus apart from all the others. He said God exists and you're looking at him. Though he talked about his Father in heaven, it was not from the position of separation, but of very close union, unique to all humankind. Jesus said that anyone who had seen Him had seen the Father, anyone who believed in him, believed in the Father.
He said, "I am the light of the world, he who follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life. Unlike other teachers who focused people on their words, Jesus pointed people to himself. He did not say, "follow my words and you will find truth. What proof did Jesus give for claiming to be divine?
The first part of the book takes up the bulk of the text and covers the main thrust of Lataster's hypothesis - that there is insufficient evidence to conclude Jesus Christ existed and was the messiah, and that this provides a problem that's difficult for Christianity. He argues that there are three possible, relevant hypotheses about Jesus Christ: He then goes on to show that the evidence normally presented for 1 and 2 is flawed, and so we cannot reach those conclusions.
We would expect other writings to detail the miracles, the darkness upon his execution, and the fact that the messiah had returned. From this, he goes on to argue that without sufficient evidence for Jesus, and by disproving many of the Philosophical arguments the second main thrust of the text , there's insufficient evidence to support the existence of the Christian God.
All in all, it provides a compelling case that must, at least, be considered. I do disagree with his critique of the secondary sources - I don't think he proves that widespread evidence tampering that he hypothesises actually took place and as he's introducing this, the burden falls upon him , however it does raise a doubt.
I also feel that the book is definitely written from a sceptical standpoint, with all the attendant assumptions that entails as a sceptic I don't necessarily disagree, but do see how discounting 'direct line to god' as primary source might be objectionable to some people. Nevertheless even without the strands I disagree with, the argument seems solid, and is far better written than my crude summary would suggest, and definitely worth reading if what I've pulled out suggested above seems interesting to you. Jul 26, Victor Manuel rated it liked it.
Lataster book is a short primer on the strong and rather recent tendency among modern scholars to take a closer look to the mythicist theory of Christian origins.
His style is repetitive and not very scholarly. It can be read in a few hours at the most. If you want just a very short primer on this theory go ahead and read it but I would recommend best Earl Doherthy's: Jesus, not God, Nor Man. On the Historicity Lataster book is a short primer on the strong and rather recent tendency among modern scholars to take a closer look to the mythicist theory of Christian origins.
On the Historicity Of Jesus.
Richard Carrier is simply a genius and scholar of the highest order and his book will leave you convinced without a doubt on the mythicist theory I know Raphael personally so this is very much a biased review; however I did want to knock off half a star for the couple grammatical mistakes I found, and the sometimes informal tone. Overall I found the book a good introduction to Jesus mythicism, and a good way to tie together the current proponents and opponent views on the matters. Raphael tries to be somewhat conciliatory, saying if people want to believe on faith then he is not going to stop them, I guess I agree.
But he does lay out the I know Raphael personally so this is very much a biased review; however I did want to knock off half a star for the couple grammatical mistakes I found, and the sometimes informal tone. But he does lay out the case for doubt in Jesus and doubt in God. Aug 02, Dr. Ann Coker rated it liked it. Dry stuff here The reader of this scholastic effort should be prepared to work through what is obviously a rewritten doctoral thesis. Lancaster certainly spent a great deal of time in his review of literature. Very well documented and written if a bit repetitive at times.
I particularly enjoyed the deconstruction of the philosophical demonstration of the existence of God. I would call them the Ten Steps to Wisdom and will try to use them in the future. Jan 09, Barbara Mayer rated it really liked it. Information I can use. A lot to digest and contemplate,which is why I read.
If you are like me and like to examine different views you will find this book very interesting. I liked it a lot. It did what books are supposed to do, which is make me think. Aug 10, Kerry rated it liked it. Very methodical if a little pedantic. The bayesian approach was interesting I quite enjoyed it although it took a bit of getting into.
Preaching to the unconverted in my case but some interesting points. Apr 15, Steven Williams rated it it was amazing. Even thought Lataster claims the book was not intended to convert believers into unbelievers, I can't imaganine someone with a least a partially opne mind would not question there belief in Jesus and god. I would suggested to anyone. Although I felt the book to be a bit repetitive I think is a good compendium of the existent or non existent evidence for Christianity, as well as a good review of how the logical and historical arguments used by Christian apologist work and fail.
A "couldn't pick it up" type book. Apr 19, Scott chapman rated it it was amazing.