Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Response to War On Error regarding Jesus 2

Though It has been sometime that I have responded to the claims made by War on Error, I intend to try and respond to his claims as best I can in this article


I sketched an argument a long time ago on a xanga blog far away concerning the likelihood (taking most of Christian mythology for granted) that Jesus worshipped Satan in the desert and forfeited everyone's salvation.  I argued that this would better explain why Jesus' prediction of the end of the world in his generation failed, it might explain his bizarre behavior throughout the gospels, and especially why the spread of a non-magical Christianity 2,000 years later is impressive from only a human standpoint.  Answering-Judaism (abbreviated AJ here) responded to that argument.  For round 2, I responded to his response and he responded to my response.  I am now going to respond to his latest response which begins round 3.

TL:DR:  AJ is in total "Bible tells me so" mode and supplements that with uncritical applications of traditional explanations for bizarre things found in scripture that might work to some other effect.  He doesn't tell us why we should trust every part of the Bible.  He doesn't tell us why the traditional explanations for the bizarre things found in scripture are more probable than alternative explanations which might support my "Jesus worshipped Satan" hypothesis.  He merely reminds us of a party line as though we didn't already know what it was and ignores carefully adding up each issue in terms of relative probability.  Having an explanation, whether it is more probable or not, is the same to him as winning the argument.  Nothing has changed between rounds 1 and 2 and I suspect that if there is a completion to round 3 that we'll still just get more "Bible says so" nonsense."

I keep going back to the Bible to demonstrate that War on Error is abusing the context rather than actually quoting the passage accurately in context. If you actually exegete the text, you find War on Error's claims about Jesus are found wanting.

"AJ says:
The problem with War On Error's conclusion about Jesus falling victim to Satan, is the very same context he quotes, Jesus not just once, but three times repudiates Satan and Satan goes away. [...] While I believe in Biblical inerrancy, The reason I made my point was a demand for consistency. If the same Bible is good enough to demonstrate your point that Jesus worshipped Satan, it is also good enough to refute your point as well. The very context which you quote from even shoots your thesis in the foot to begin with. [...] Still, his point about Satan being worshipped by Jesus, is refuted by the context of the passage where Jesus' temptation takes place.
Everyone sing, "...because the Bible tells me so..." "

It is not immediately saying "because the Bible says so", I am simply asking, if not demanding, that you quote the Bible in context and not take it out of context. If you are going to use the Bible to prove your case, I can use it to refute you.

"In reality-land we don't always have to trust everything a source tells us.  We can and should be critical with virtually any source to whatever degree is warranted.  They may tell us some things that are important to them and leave out other important information that would matter to us.  They may twist some aspects of the story that make them uncomfortable.  They might forget how it really happened and haphazardly try to put it back together and do it wrong.  They might lie about some things, but tell the truth about other things for a variety of reasons.  They might embellish an account that they feel needs more kick to be as authoritative in the eyes of other believers as they already feel it is.  They might make lots of unjustified assumptions about their source materials and/or use bad methodologies for sorting through them.  They may be religious people who have visions they trust which tell them "how it really happened" even though the account they have makes no such claims.  They may have been suffering from dehydration and hunger for 40 days and 40 nights and been subject to memory loss, hallucination, general mental fatigue, and the super clever deceptions of an evil super being who had 4,000 years of experience manipulating even the strongest human minds.  Clearly, people have tons of reasons to misrecord history."

You are assuming the disciples deliberately misrecorded history rather than demonstrating it. They wouldn't embellish, distort or lie about the death and resurrection of Christ if they knowingly knew that Jesus was indeed dead. A liar makes a poor martyr. All I can see regarding hallucinations or memory loss is just throwing anything at the Bible just simply as an excuse not to believe.

It is one thing for someone who is sincere to believe and propagate false things (Which is bad enough), but it is quite a different matter if the person KNOWS that they are not holding to truth and yet still propagate their views as the ultimate truth.

Furthermore, I am NOT saying blindly believe any source and shouldn't always trust what the source says. That's why we need to be discerning when it comes to all sources, be they inspired or not.

"I suspect AJ has all or at least many of those tools of discernment when they are applied to something else other than the Bible.   He might try exercising them here.

Please note that the gospels are separate books and they do not even claim to be inerrant individually.  Just because someone collected them and put them in another bigger book and then decided they were inerrant because perhaps some other books make such claims doesn't prove anything.  Because we then have to ask ourselves why we should trust those claims?  AJ does not get into any of those defenses...perhaps because he cannot."

The assumption of Atheism ladies and gentlemen, There cannot be a God who can inspire and bring together texts of scripture. Somebody sing "...because I say so...".

"If there was a real threat that Jesus could actually sin (hence making the story make sense), most of it could have gone just as recorded with some confusion at the end when Jesus would have been at his weakest (near the end of the 40 days of fasting).  AJ has not even tried to make a "we have four sources attesting to the same thing" claim.  But even if he did, this individual story would be exempt because only a delirious Jesus was there.  And his testimony about what went on in the desert would not qualify as very trustworthy given the conditions he had subjected himself to and the likely cognitive bias that of course he was going to win. "

If you ask me, the argument that Jesus was somehow delirious in the desert is just an argument to throw at Christ.

"AJ says:
Temptation itself is NOT a sin, it's dwelling ON the temptation and acting it out, Neither did Jesus actually do. The comparison to Superman to be honest is unwarranted and is not even a relevant comparison.
No...the comparison is to someone like me being tempted to fly around like Superman.  The schoolyard bullies could taunt me to fly all they wanted.  If it's impossible for me to do it, they're just being extremely irrational and it wouldn't make much sense to say I was actually being tempted to fly.  They'd be more likely to taunt me to stick my tongue to a cold pole because that's something I could actually do.  It would be extremely irrational for Satan to attempt to tempt Jesus if he knew he was the Christian god who could not even possibly sin.  Satan would then sound like a complete buffoon every time he opened his mouth in the story.  It would also be irrational for the story author to construct a story such as we have where the plot device of tempting the untemptable is taken for granted.  Hence, it makes more sense if the author(s) believed that Jesus could actually sin and was actually proving something.  Hence there's the logistical possibility in Christian mythology that Jesus could have sinned and messed salvation up for all of us.  That is...if we let the context speak for itself.  And then we add in the evidence I've been talking about."

No the Superman comparison is irrelevant and why would you expect Satan to be very careful in approaching Jesus? He approached God in the book of Job. YOU CAN be tempted at yet not sin and the author doesn't even implicitly believe that Jesus was a sinner. It's funny how hypocritical you are when it comes to context, since you won't allow the Bible to actually be read in context.

"It is important to note that my argument is not, "The Bible indicates Jesus worshipped Satan."  No, my argument encompasses more evidence than just the Bible.  Jesus being a failed prophet and there being an unmiraculous spread of the religion for the next 2,000 years heavily weighs on what might have actually happened in the gospels (if we are taking all the other supporting arguments for Christianity mythology for granted).  And then as a cherry on top, we find Jesus acting bizarrely in the gospels themselves as though he slowly loses his cool and gives up entirely on the cross (in our earliest gospels)."

Growth of a religion depending on speed is not the criteria of a true religion and No where does Jesus even remotely act bizarrely as you claim and even if you are depending on other evidences than just the Bible itself, How does that refute the context of Luke 4 and what I have said?

"AJ says:
Satan was the one who did mess around with Job and God allowed it to happen to demonstrate his point that Job would remain faithful to him despite the hell that Satan would put him through.
Yahweh clearly gave in to Satan's "temptation" to molest Job.  Apologists should know better since someone acting on behalf of a ruler in that cultural context is considered synonymous with that ruler's will (and they use this to excuse contradictions between the gospels).  Satan taking over upon Yahweh's request is the same thing as Yahweh stretching out his hand against Job.  And morally speaking, when the mob sends a hitman to murder someone we morally blame the mob boss as well as the hitman.  Yahweh can't possibly be off the hook since he said yes, did not say no, and he did not stop the crime in progress.  What Yahweh had inflicted by proxy on Job was evil.  Believing that getting a replacement family in the end actually makes up for anything is also evil.  Gambling with Job's soul to begin with was evil.  Honestly these are the kinds of shenanigans we expect from the Greek and Roman pantheons that Christians will scoff at.

So yeah...even Yahweh can and did sin in the Old Testament.  But that's a different issue.  Satan got his way in the Job story, but ultimately lost that battle.  If anything, it proves that Satan can likely win some battles and perhaps even the war with Yahweh.  If he had no fighting chance, like mainstream Christianities would prefer, these stories make Satan's character make zero sense.  The theory that Satan at least could have actually won is therefore more probable.  The temptation of Jesus in the desert is an obvious candidate for that ultimate win."

Satan was making a claim that Job was only loyal to God because of what he had be given to him, rather than loving God unconditionally. God allows it to happen to show that Satan was wrong and that Job would remain loyal to God. YHWH is no sinner and does NOT sin when he allows an evil spirit to oppress someone to test them. There is nothing even like this in Greek and Roman pantheons to the best of my knowledge.

War on Error is one to talk about evil, since he as an atheist has no moral compass other than himself and cannot derive his morality from a higher authority, namely scripture. What YHWH does is consistently good and anyone claiming he isn't, has, I am sorry to say this, a twisted view of morality. This is not an ad hominem, I am simply making a point.

"AJ says:
I response to a question, Satan did know better, but he is rather careless in boldly challenging God the way he did in the first place.
When your theory entails extremely improbable behaviors and mine entails much more probable behaviors, that means I'm in the lead on this point."

Or so you claim, You are assuming my position is improbable.

"AJ says:
The word used for Generation (genea) can be used of a race or people and their offspring and Jesus may have been referring to the Jews not passing away until all has been accomplished. Such a similiar point has been made here: http://www.thingstocome.org/whatgen.htm.
Mark 9:1, Matthew 10:23, 16:28, and Luke 9:27 say the same thing in a different way (as I already mentioned).  AJ is going to need more ad hoc excuses.  It's a good thing Christianity has had 2,000 years of cognitive dissonance to attempt to explain it all away."

No argument present, just an accusation and insult. Defence of a Biblical text is not "ad hoc excuses". My point still stands.

"AJ says:
There is nothing in the Bible about making it to North America and South America in the first century.
If the Great Commission in Matthew tells them to tell everyone, that requires them to tell everyone on the timetable given which is within the death of their generation.  Hence all the continents with people on them would be targets.  That necessarily includes North and South America."

No, still nothing, Jesus doesn't say to accomplish the task within the first century and the great commission is for all Christians to obey, myself included. Where does it say even implicitly that it has to be accomplished before the 1st century ends? It's not there.

"AJ says:
It is not a failure on God's part nor a copout whatsoever on the part of Christians when the scripture which War On Error quoted from that there will be false Christians or people who call themselves Christians are not truly regenerate. God preserved a righteous remnant of Jews in the TANAKH or the Old Testament and no doubt he has done the same thing with Jewish and Gentile followers of Jesus. He has preserved remnants among Christendom who only do his will and follow him to the end.
I'm well aware of Yahweh's low standards for success that I've ridiculed in a previous post of mine: http://double-woe-seven.blogspot.com/2013/10/jesus-desires-all-to-be-saved-just-not.html  The problem of course is an evil inversion of good expectations.  We're sold one thing.  We get another.  Whereas we get parables where a "good shepherd" is willing to go out of his way for 1 lost sheep out of 99, the actual reality of Christian mythology is that Jesus is willing to settle for pretty much just that one lost sheep.  Of course, we don't normally blame the sheep when a "good shepherd" comes home with 1% of his flock. And shepherds who blame the sheep rather than their own shepherding skills get fired."

If you are going to resort to ridicule, there is no point in continuing. For that matter, God is more concerned with the QUALITY of the sheep, NOT the QUANTITY. Quantity is useless unless you have the Quality up to a high standard. It is better to have ONE righteous man than 1000 wicked unregenerate men.

The parable that Jesus tells is referring to an apostate WHO HAS GONE ASTRAY, not referring to who is going to heaven and who isn't. Jesus the shepherd may seek after one who has gone astray to bring him back into the flock.

"AJ says:
Heresies and divisions need to happen in order to sift the true Christians from the false and prepare the true Christians for heaven. There is no failure on the part of God, he is still preserving a remnant to this day.
Preserving a remnant?  You mean, "settling for less."  You don't suppose that if Yahweh left all of humanity up to their own devices, that merely by chance alone a "remnant" might be pleasing to him on Judgement Day?  These standards are synonymous with having virtually zero standards for Yahweh's goodness and providence."

Settling for less would be gathering many people with poor fruits, not a few with quality good fruits. YHWH has very high standards of fruit demanded of his people.

YHWH is SO GOOD, that he cannot tolerate sin in his presence. The Father sent the Son to die on the cross in order to atone for your sins so that we may be holy and suitable for living in his heavenly abode.

One sin is enough to keep you from going to heaven and man needs someone to pay that fine, or they pay it themselves. Leaving things to chance, is not one of God's traits.

"What should Yahweh have been doing (you might ask)?

To quote myself elsewhere:
From our human perspective, at least, based on the kind of moral background knowledge that any parent has to trust, one would expect in a positive sense that proper divine management of moral and spiritual agents would entail that all humans would have a fair, fighting chance in this life for a mature salvation before Judgement Day.  And so it would require, at the very least, that everyone had a sufficiently long life, that we all had properly functioning brains (bred predisposed to maximal positive, healthy behaviors), that we were all encultured with the correct moral values and spiritual teachings from a very young age, that no one else’s free will would ever be allowed to infringe or significantly violate our autonomy, and that we’d be given all the support we would ever need throughout our lives so that in all likelihood (with an omnipotent, omniscient, and omnibenevolent shepherding god at the helm) no one would be lost to damnation.
We're given the advice in Proverbs to "raise a child up in the way that he should go and he will not depart from it."  But then Yahweh turns around and doesn't bother to raise all humans up in the way that they should go."

Putting aside the issue of original sin which I do hold to as biblical, God allows man to reject him or not should he come to them. He is not going to force man to love him and lets man make the decision to accept him or reject him.

War on Error fails to take into consideration that a proverb is NOT a promise. A proverb is only genuinely true depending on the situation and the context. There are families FROM ALL walks of life that have rotten apples in their families, despite raising them well. This doesn't mean the parents fail, unless the parents themselves are deliberately useless. The proverb however is referring to those who are NOT useless.

"AJ says:
Regarding the growth of other religions, Jesus in his parables speaks of letting the wheat and tares growing together. God allows the bad people to exist for the sake of preserving the good, then he will judge all of mankind and dispose of the evil ones into hell.
That's the official excuse alright.  It's just a really bad one.  It's like the cops saying, “We shouldn’t arrest anyone, because then good people would be hurt...”  Riiiight...that’s called negligence (surprise!) and Jesus is caught making really bad excuses for it."

The point about the cops is irrelevant, a red herring and a distortion of what I was saying. Jesus is not making a contrived excuse, he is warning the apostles not to hastily rush in to pick the tares out at the cost of damaging or pulling the wheat out.

Jesus also said you know an individual by their fruits and the disciples had to carefully discern which person had good fruit and who didn't, a practice which Christians are to carry out to this day.

"AJ says:
Having high numbers in a religion is not the criteria of truth and I never use the highest population factor to determine Christianity being true.
There shouldn't even be religion.  There should just be the Christian god and everyone else involved in a healthy, respectable, straightforward relationship with him as I described in my quote from myself above.  But we don't have anything like that, do we?  Just what can hide under the radar of reality."

God is allowing man to either reject him or not if he comes to them. He places man in a place where they can seek him and find him if they truly believe. A restoration of mankind to YHWH will not happen until the return of Christ, so for now, God is preparing the kingdom of heaven and getting individuals ready for it.

By I restoration I am not saying the atonement is futile, I am referring to FULL restoration when there is no more sin in the world.

"Of course, obviously the Christian god has been this negligent all along.  But if we accept the unlikely premise that it "made sense" for an all powerful god to focus on just one nation in the ancient world (which it doesn't), but then Christianity was for everyone, worldwide, and things were supposed to be different...then Christianity should have been for everyone.  Instead it's just a successful, endlessly fractured religion amongst other successful, fractured religions.  All the true believers should have had miraculous powers to heal the sick and instantly communicate in all the missionary languages.  But instead they have all the same non-miraculous powers every fake religion has.  Maybe the prophets had real powers back in the Old Testament.  But doesn't it at least call into question whether anything divine is going on today if science is doing better in the miracle department than any Christian denomination?"

"The answer of course is "No," because you're a Christian.  And like the vast majority of Christians and religious people everywhere, you've been conditioned to dumb down all your standards and expectations of the evidence on behalf of actually demonstrating the realities of your supernatural worldview.  This opens the Pandora's box of epistemology where someone like me can demonstrate contrary religious mythology is actually more probable.  Even if "Jesus worshipped Satan" is nearly as improbable as anything else Christians believe."

Even if one were to present evidence to you War on Error, it is clear to me you would not be interested in hearing us out and considering the possibility of there being a God. You have a conscience, which isn't merely moulded by your background and somewhere in your conscience, you are hoping that there isn't a God, so you don't have to be held accountable to a higher authority than yourself.

Miracles are not the automatic proof of a religion, the message of a religion has to be consistent with what God has revealed.

Even if a miracle was true, it doesn't lead everyone to automatically believe. War on Error would be among the people who didn't witness Jesus do miracles because of unbelief.

Science doesn't call into question anything divine, it is just a tool of man. If it wasn't for science, you wouldn't be able to house so much information on the internet. If it wasn't for science, War on Error and I would NOT have the means to set up a blog post, since a computer requires science to exist, if one gets the point I am making.

It is a fallacy to suggest that science should automatically call the divine into question.

"AJ says:
Satan didn't give Jesus ANYTHING, Jesus flat out refused what Satan had to offer. Jesus also warns the disciples about false miracles, as does the TANAKH in Deuteronomy 13.
Mark 13:22, Matthew 24:24, and 2 Thessalonians 2:9 say something very similar to Deuteronomy.  Satan is powerful enough to produce all the counterfeit miracles Jesus would need to appear to complete his mission.  Jesus wouldn't even have to know it was Satan's doing.  So maybe we should treat Jesus with the same skepticism that Deuteronomy and other passages warn us about, lest we be deceived by a false messiah?  Like maybe when Jesus predicts the end of the world, and it doesn't happen, we don't try to wiggle out of it with unlikely definitions of words and ignoring the supporting verses."

Jesus was fully aware of who Satan was and what he is capable of and considering he is YHWH, Jesus would not be caught off guard by Satan. Read Luke 4 carefully and you'll see he actually succeeds AND CHASTISES Satan for trying to deceive and mislead him. Jesus isn't a fool to be caught off guard.

Jesus can and should be tested by Deuteronomy 13 and hence if the resurrection is true, he passes the test and his claims can be accepted. There is no wiggling out of anything here, it is just simply the refusal on the part of War on Error to actually read the scripture carefully.

"AJ says:
If Satan inspired the stories to "be written as such since he would then be in charge of the Christian god's abandoned "holy scripture."  So...it'd just be fake stories" as War on Error puts it, Why is he using these "abandoned" documents as his means of trying to demonstrate that Jesus was a sinner who bowed the knee to Satan?
I didn't say he was.  The idea is that Satan's trying to keep the religion going for dubious purposes.  Like continuing to gloat and humiliate Jesus and Yahweh with his win.  Showing up as Satan just being Satan isn't as insidious.  But parading around an undead gospel, laughing your ass off behind the scenes, works wonders."

Satan isn't using Christianity for a nefarious purpose or even for a dubious reason, not sure where that even came from.

"AJ says:
Also, The word Meizon or greater in John 14:12-14 refers to the disciples doing greater works in terms of quantity because of Jesus going back to the Father, but it doesn't necessarily mean that every disciple will be performing miracles here and there.
John 14:6, 14:12, and 14:23-24 are generalizable statements to "anyone" despite the overall context of chapter 14 being aimed at the disciples.  Jesus says "you" to refer to just the disciples and "anyone" to refer to um...anyone.

And even if the one aspect means greater quantity rather than quality (which I don't concede since regardless Jesus says they can do "anything" and the power of "God" would be unlimited), there's still the "equal to" part which is more than sufficiently damning.  Even if not every disciple should be able to spew out miracles, why would we expect any given genuine Christian community to have zero?  Jesus and then his disciples can do them all the time and then they suddenly stop for the next 2,000 years like the issue wouldn't matter?  It's just not plausible."

Not every Christian is required to have miracles, again, it is greater in terms of quantity, that is what the word Meizon OR greater means in this particular context. You cannot just simply assert a word has a meaning unless you back it up by the context. Also, It doesn't necessarily refer to performing miracles only, it can also refer to preaching and living the holy life as a witness to the people of the world. There are two churches, false and true. Genuine Christianity can have many miracles or little and false religions or even heretical movements can have many miracles or little. Miracles are only valid if the person's doctrine doesn't violate the scriptures they claim to believe.

"AJ says:
What kind of Jesus has been fed to those? What world are they living in?
Maybe not every Christian has the miraculous ability to excuse absolutely everything they find in the Bible?  Lots of people actually struggle over these issues.  Putting up a false front of confidence before an ideologically hostile opponent does nothing to obscure that."

No excuses, just simply an acknowledgement that Jesus is not a laid back hippy or liberal.

"AJ says:
If you think that Jesus was some laidback carefree lovey dovey so and so, then you are not even getting an accurate picture of Jesus. Jesus was not being rude to his family.  [...]  Are you saying that Jesus CANNOT be angry? That is absurd. You can be justified in anger if there is a just cause in being angry.
He cursed a fig tree.  Most people would find that a bit much.  It is more likely that Jesus was getting inappropriately angry, did something stupid, and the writers of the gospels decided to turn it into some kind of symbolic message to attempt to smooth such a bizarre story over.  Resorting to violence in the temple was equally wild behavior since it would not have changed anything about the temple practices. They would have simply gone back to doing what they were doing after his violent outburst.  And there's just no reason Jesus could not have been found to be consistently kind to his mother and disciples even when they were slightly out of line.  But instead he's just a jerk.  It is possible to criticize without name-calling, right?  That's what modern Christians expect of each other, typically.  But Jesus gets away with it.  Because reasons."

It appears that when ever Christians are giving a defence for Jesus, War on Error seems to think that this is simply "excusing" Jesus or trying to smooth things over.

The fig tree and "violence" is already covered here: http://answering-judaism.blogspot.co.uk/2014/03/response-to-war-on-error-regarding-jesus.html

Insisting that Jesus behaviour is irrational or mad is simply a lack of understanding on the part of War on Error and refusal, to actually listen.

War on Error doesn't understand the difference between an ad homenim and simply calling someone for what they are. Jesus when he referred to the Pharisees as snakes and vipers, he was referring to what they were characteristically.

Indeed one should respect their leaders and others and not speak evil of them. However, one calling out a leader as a hypocrite when it's the truth, is not a sin and is not unchristian. Furthermore, Isaiah refers to his people as a brood of vipers because of their wickedness, which would include the scribes, judges and religious leaders who were encouraging their people in their idolatry.

"Isaiah 57:1 The righteous perish,
    and no one takes it to heart;
the devout are taken away,
    and no one understands
that the righteous are taken away
    to be spared from evil.
2 Those who walk uprightly
    enter into peace;
    they find rest as they lie in death.
3 “But you—come here, you children of a sorceress,
    you offspring of adulterers and prostitutes!
4 Who are you mocking?
    At whom do you sneer
    and stick out your tongue?
Are you not a brood of rebels,
    the offspring of liars?""

Calling someone a hypocrite because of the fact they are doing evil in the sight of the Lord is not disrespect to any leader if they are responsible for instructing people in the ways of God. In the days of the NT, the Pharisees, though not guilty of worshipping statues, were certainly guilty of Avodah Zara or alien worship. They substituted the commands of God for the traditions of men, just as the people of Israel (many but not all) in Isaiah 29 did and Jesus quotes this passage to condemn the Pharisees in Matthew 15.

"Isaiah 29:9 Be stunned and amazed,
    blind yourselves and be sightless;
be drunk, but not from wine,
    stagger, but not from beer.
10 The Lord has brought over you a deep sleep:
    He has sealed your eyes (the prophets);
    he has covered your heads (the seers).
11 For you this whole vision is nothing but words sealed in a scroll. And if you give the scroll to someone who can read, and say, “Read this, please,” they will answer, “I can’t; it is sealed.” 12 Or if you give the scroll to someone who cannot read, and say, “Read this, please,” they will answer, “I don’t know how to read.

13 The Lord says:

“These people come near to me with their mouth
    and honor me with their lips,
    but their hearts are far from me.
Their worship of me
    is based on merely human rules they have been taught.[b]"

Also, the same can be said of individuals who are not teachers. To character assassinate an individual is attack them on a personal level rather than deal with what they said.

There is a difference in calling someone a liar to attack them and calling them a liar when you have exposed them for giving false information.

Jesus did NOT resort to character assassination, he was calling out the Pharisees as evil, reprobate and vile individuals AND REFUTING them at the same time. Learn the difference.

"AJ says:
But no answer was provided as to WHY God was no longer with him, One what basis does Jesus having little knowledge indicate the Father was not with him?
We could have evidence where Jesus always knew everything.  If he was fully the Christian god, that would have made the most sense.  Instead we have evidence of Jesus getting away with being ignorant.  What other ignorant things did he get away with that we know nothing about?  This evidential situation makes the official story less probable and an alternative hypothesis like "maybe Yahweh had left Jesus to his own devices" more probable.  [Note: And then Luke comes along after the precedent of Jesus being ignorant of various things is established in other earlier gospels and he decides Jesus could have even been ignorant of things even as a child.  Even though Jesus had access to all knowledge up until the point where he failed in the desert.  And then Satan sent him delusions of knowledge when it was requested and Jesus couldn't tell the difference.]"

Again, Jesus growing in wisdom and stature is a result of him becoming a true flesh and blood man, but he remained God and merely veiled his glory, not ridding himself of his deity. Such can be found in Philippians 2:5-11. There isn't anything wrong with Jesus growing in wisdom and stature, We can expect this if God took on flesh and laid his divine prerogatives.

If you have a problem with the God-Man growing in wisdom an stature, that's your problem. Furthermore, Jesus didn't lose knowledge and let himself be mislead by Satan. Again READING the context, JESUS DOES NOT ACCEPT ANY DECEPTION FROM SATAN.

Stop giving me this excuse of "Everyone sing, "...because the Bible tells me so...", that isn't getting us anywhere.

"AJ says:
[Jesus] predicts that Peter will die A FAITHFUL MAN.
Lucky guess? The power of suggestion?  Untrustworthy accounts of virtually all the martyrdom stories?  A combination of these?  Pick one."


"As further evidence of Jesus' ignorance, in Mark 7:1-5 Jesus doesn't know that washing your hands is actually a good thing.  Even if it is just with water.  This would have been a great time for the Holy Spirit to reveal that washing your hands is a good thing as well as having a religious lesson about mental purity.  Instead we get the latter without the former.  Busted."

Jesus wasn't dismissing the washing of hands in and of itself nor was he ignorant of washing the hands being a good thing, read the context.

"7 The Pharisees and some of the teachers of the law who had come from Jerusalem gathered around Jesus 2 and saw some of his disciples eating food with hands that were defiled, that is, unwashed. 3 (The Pharisees and all the Jews do not eat unless they give their hands a ceremonial washing, holding to the tradition of the elders. 4 When they come from the marketplace they do not eat unless they wash. And they observe many other traditions, such as the washing of cups, pitchers and kettles.[a])

5 So the Pharisees and teachers of the law asked Jesus, “Why don’t your disciples live according to the tradition of the elders instead of eating their food with defiled hands?”

6 He replied, “Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you hypocrites; as it is written:

“‘These people honor me with their lips,
    but their hearts are far from me.
7 They worship me in vain;
    their teachings are merely human rules.’[b]
8 You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to human traditions.”

9 And he continued, “You have a fine way of setting aside the commands of God in order to observe[c] your own traditions! 10 For Moses said, ‘Honor your father and mother,’[d] and, ‘Anyone who curses their father or mother is to be put to death.’[e] 11 But you say that if anyone declares that what might have been used to help their father or mother is Corban (that is, devoted to God)— 12 then you no longer let them do anything for their father or mother. 13 Thus you nullify the word of God by your tradition that you have handed down. And you do many things like that.”"

Jesus is against the washing of the hands itself, it is the hypocrisy of the Pharisees that is his main focus and the fact they were focused more on outward rituals rather than inward purity that leads to holy living. He is going after them for the reason of being corrupt inside.

Of course, War on Error will dismiss this as another contrived excuse.

"AJ says:
There isn't any retconning on the part of the authors, they only record details relevant to their point, hence why certain statements are added or omitted.
Asserting your theory at the expense of mine without explaining why it is more probable does not win the point.  Our earliest accounts of Jesus saying something embarrassing as though something has gone wrong. [Note, you can quote your favorite psalm to complain that something has gone wrong.]  Later accounts don't appear to like this and suspiciously put Jesus more in charge of his own destiny."

I don't have to explain WHY they omitted a detail. It is only for the reason of demonstrating a specific point to their audience. Show me where in the Gospels that Jesus did something embarrassing.

"It appears AJ is not even considering seriously the weight of arguments for legendary development and polemical embellishment and would not recognize the evidence of it even if it were there all over the place.  [BTW, it's all over the place.]  That's not a fair fight."

Or maybe you are assuming the apostles had some political embellishment rather than demonstrate such. Once again, Liars make poor martyrs.

"AJ says:
If they were hallucinations, then the disciples were dying for a lost cause and genuinely believed it was still true, rather than know it was false and deceive. While a hallucination can affect all five senses, it isn't necessarily the case in all circumstances. It can be visual, heard or even touched or a combination of those things.
In this time period hallucinations weren't typically understood as hallucinations according to ancient background knowledge.  They were considered visions and appearances of real divine beings.  We have plenty of pagan accounts of pagans having visions of pagan gods.  They may have been considered "really there" and made of real "heavenly materials."  Just as Jesus would have "really been there" and had a new glorious body made of "heavenly materials."

I am not interested in the pagan religions at this point, you are going off into a tangent. How do you even know they were hallucinations to begin with?

"AJ says:
The disciples DID see the risen Jesus, a hallucination cannot adequately explain his post mortem appearances to 500 individuals over 40 days.
Unless it was Satan masquerading as Jesus.  Or Paul bs-ing an audience who couldn't so easily verify such a claim many countries away (Greece to Israel, you know).  Or a vague claim equivalent to a modern Assemblies of God church on any given Sunday morning where everyone "witnesses" an appearance of the Holy Spirit and/or Jesus through collective ecstatic trance.  1 Corinthians 15 is just not specific enough to even bother to debate."

Satan didn't masquerade as Jesus, If he did, there wouldn't be any reason for him to oppose the apostles, he would simply allow them to continue their business rather than impede their progress and to be honest comparing the 500 to a modern Assembly of God congregant is another irrelevant comparison like the Superman comparison earlier.

1 Corinthians 15 is one of the earliest creeds that we have for the Christian church and to dismiss it is just irresponsible.

"AJ says:
What reason would the apostles have to lie? They wouldn't have any reason to lie or create fanciful delusions deliberately if they knew that what they said is a lie. The disciples were terrified after Jesus' death, but when they saw him, they proclaimed his death and resurrection with a courageous streak. What changed men who were abject cowards into brave spiritual warriors? It is actually War On Error assuming that there is a conspiracy on the part of the disciples to mislead others into supporting a lost cause.
Satan must be very persuasive with all that deception and all those miraculous powers of his.  It's amazing that AJ doesn't seem to think Satan is at all good at his job."

I am not denying that Satan is VERY good at deception and persuasion, he is very good. But it is non-nonsensical for Satan to stop the apostles, when in the first place according to War on Error, Satan is responsible for deceiving the apostles. The NT records Satan actually being a nuisance and trying to destroy the church, rather than let it go.

"AJ says:
And why would Satan fake the resurrection and for what reason would he?
If Jesus were claiming all along that it was supposed to happen (like the gospels claim), then faking the resurrection to keep the religion going as a living farce would likely be the reason.  It's humiliation.  Plain and simple.  Why do you think Satan invented Islam and Mormonism?  Well...that might be boredom.

The only reason Islam and Mormonism would exist is to deceive the world. Satan is using these two religions as a mighty tool to bring many people to their knees, as with any false religion, atheism and agnosticism included.


Perhaps AJ will at least learn something about arguing outside the box.  Or maybe not.


Yeah continue with the ad hominem, real cool. How about actually not distort the Bible hmm?

Answering Judaism.

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