Originally Posted by corastaur
Yes. At the risk of sounding arrogant, I am probably the single most knowledgeable person on these forums when it comes to the Bible.
Yes. The Bible mentions King Herod, and also the Slaughter of the Innocents. You think Herod killing all those babies would be mentioned somewhere in historical records, and yet, funny enough, it's not. So the mention of Herod is in fact a strike against the Bible's historical accuracy. It would be like if I wrote a short story where President Obama killed every single baby in America except one, who grew up to be my main character, and you tried using that to claim my main character existed, despite not a single historical document anywhere in the world mentioning Obama's slaughter of infants.
1. I'm not sure where you're getting these two dates from... As far as I know the dates of his birth aren't explicitly given anywhere in the bible, although in Matthew and Luke it is stated that it was during the time of King Herod who was in charge of that region of Jerusalem under Caesar Augustus... Both of these people are documented as having existed. Also here
And according to Luke, Christ was born during Quirinus' time as governor of Syria, which was not until nine years after the death of Herod. So, like I said, the Bible gives two dates for the birth of Christ. The story is so confused, muddled, and poorly told that they cannot even agree on such trivial details as when the guy was born.
The apocryphal gospels aren't included in the Bible because a council of early church leaders decided not to include them. That's it. That's all. What metric exists by which you can determine that the canonical books are more 'accurate' than the apocryphal ones? What method are you - or did the early church fathers - use?
3. Once again have you really read the bible? The "teachings of jesus" are grouped in the gospels, the apocrypha (which I admit I haven't fully read) doesn't have anything to do with it, and normally isn't even considered part of the Bible.
And the teachings of Christ in the gospels are inconsistent and confused. And also worthless. None of the authors of the gospels even knew the man. They are all anonymous hearsay.
Anonymous testimony is worthless testimony unless it can be corroborated by evidence. And it can't. And as for the teachings being consistent, no, they are not.
The bible itself is in fact written by a ton of different people, which I'm sure you already know... The actual teachings attributed to Jesus, especially his parables, are generally consistant in their message.
Here's an easy and good one - should Christians follow the laws of the old testament? The Old Testament says countless times that the law is eternally binding, so first of all, anything Jesus or anyone in the NT says to the contrary should be dismissed as inconsistnt. But let's just look at the gospels alone, shall we?
According to both Matthew 5:18-19 and Luke 16:17, the OT still applies to Christians. But Luke 16:16, however, says otherwise. The gospels literally manage to contradict themselves within the space of a single fucking line. Plus numerous times in the epistles to the Romans, Galatians, Ephesians, and Colossians it is reiterated that Christians need not follow the rules of the Old Testament.
Oh, or how about divorce? Modern Catholics say its a no-no, but what about the gospels? Matthew 19:6, Mark 10:11, and Luke 16:18 say that marriage is an eternally binding agreement which can never be put asunder. But according to Matthew 5:32, and Matthew 19:9, divorce is okay if the wife is unfaithful. And, of course, it's almost as if the authors of the NT never even read the OT, because Deuteronomy says it's okay to divorce your wife if you just get bored of her. So which is it?
Or hell, what about peace? Is Jesus here to give peace? In John 14:27 he says he is, but then in NMatthew 10:34 and in Luke 12:51 he says he's not. And in Luke 22:36 Jeus says that owning a weapon is so fucking important that if you don't have one, you should sell your clothes just to buy one.
Jesus' message is generally as inconsistent and as much of a clusterfuck as the rest of the Bible.
Yes. And we know Pontius Pilate existed, so what? Stephen Colbert has appeared in numerous Marvel Comics, does this mean Spider-Man is real? It's not an uncommon thing for people to mention historical figures alongside fictional ones to lend their works a degree of verisimilitude.
4. See link, but also are you sure about that? Granted I haven't read anything about it, but I have seen several books at my school's bookstore that seemed to be addressing this. I can't say anything on that now but I'm not sure that that is true.
Also it's worth noting that he characterization of Pontius Pilate in the Bible is, from what I recall of history, wrong. They portray him as sort of wishy-washy but going along with it. But in reality, IIRC, dude was a fucking barbarian. I believe he was so goddamn bloodthirsty that we even have letters from his higher-ups telling him to quit executing so many people and stop being such an asshole.
Dude was a violent jerk by Roman standards, and that says something.