I met a Theology Student

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Cognostic's picture
I met a Theology Student

Walking home from university the other day, I met a theology student from a local Christian collage. Initially I blew him away and told him Jesus was a myth, the bible was worthless and I did not believe in magical flying sky beings. But... the little shit was persistent and he spoke good English.

He asked me why the bible was worthless and so I asked him "Who wrote Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. He actually told me it was the apostles. I didn't think they made them that stupid any more. I directed him to the page in the bible that told him the authorship was unknown. He was surprised and asked if I would be willing to sit and talk with him. He he he he he ...... I think he wants to practice his English. So talk about what? He did not know. So I suggested, the existence of Jesus.

So. this coming week is midterms but the following week he will give me a call and we will go to a coffee shop and discuss the existence of Jesus. Bart Ehrman and Richard Carrier have just become my best friends. Who else is out there with research based objections to the existence of Jesus?

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watchman's picture
Try this site.....

Try this site.....


Use the search facility …. its not a conventional lay out …. but very good.... and its all in there..

Cognostic's picture
@Watchman: I'll check it

@Watchman: I'll check it out. I am doing a little 3x5 note card thing with dates and references so I am not just talking out of my ass. I don't want to just say Tacitus never met Jesus. I want it referenced.

Nyarlathotep's picture
Do you know what (Christian)


I realize your looking for sources and I'm not offering any in this post:

Do you know what (Christian) denomination (if any) this student is? Might be useful, as sources from the denomination in question tend to have a bigger impact in my limited experience. That is why I love to quote the Catholic Encyclopedia to Catholics; for example.

After reading your quick summary of your conversation; the question that popped into my head that I would like to ask that student is: how long do you think it will be before your theology classes discuss this inconvenient fact about the dubious authorship of the Gospels?

Or perhaps rephrased: why was this not covered on the first day, of the first theology class?

Or perhaps phrased: how many times have your theology professors contradicted this fact about the authorship of the Gospels; how many times have they lied about the existence of eyewitness accounts that do not in fact exist.

David Killens's picture


Yup, first you sow the seeds of uncertainty and mistrust before you drive a knife through the core of their beliefs. Just like a good boxer, first you must weaken you opponent before you can catch them with their hands down and plant a good one on the chin.

Cognostic's picture

We are certainly thinking along the same lines. The first thing I plan on doing upon our next meeting is checking in with him to see if he verified the authorship of the Gospels. Once I toss those out, refer to Paul's version of the Angel Jesus. Paul knows nothing at all about an Earthly or Virgin born Jesus. -

Old man shouts at clouds's picture
@ Cog

@ Cog

Simply put you cannot 'disprove" the existence of a very human jesus figure.

The late 1st century stories in the gospels, as you well know, are fanciful tales of magical figure written for separate audiences by anonymous authors. That evidence from the Church Fathers themselves that early versions of both Luke and Matthew did not contain the birth narrative and both texts contained adoptionist verses should send alarm bells shrieking in any rational persons brain...but you are talking to a theology student...

Each author(s) wrote THE gospel for their own audiences. They were not meant to be compared, anthologised and presented as a single text.
The Syriac codexes did contain a single combined gospel which was later declared heretic. The authorship was mid second century and all the contradictions were removed to produce an homogenous narrative.

If your friend has any definite historical questions you may need confirmation of your own research, PM me as you well know how.

Love kisses and a big smooch *holds out banana wearing a pig mask*

EDIT: I am not going to send you all my research..unless you send a jumbo jet to Perth to pick it up!

cranky47's picture
A theology student? That must

A theology student? That must have been fun.

I once had a quite good friend who started to study theology. We are no longer friends .I'm afraid I was indiscreet. What I said was "pity; waste of a good mind"

From The Devil's Dictionary: "Theology: the effort to explain the unknowable in terms of the not worth knowing" (H L Mencken)

Algebe's picture
Theists often cite Josephus

Theists often cite Josephus as an independent source about Jesus. If your theologian friend brings that up, you might refer him to the story in the "Life" of Josephus about someone who was crucified and recovered. Xtians are convinced that crucifixion is always fatal, but as we all know, it's really a doddle.

"I saw many captives crucified and remembered three of them, as my former acquaintances. I was very sorry at this in my mind; and went with tears in my eyes to Titus, and told him of them. So he immediately commanded them to be taken down, and to have the greatest care taken of them in order to aid their recovery. Yet two of them died under the physicians' hands while the third recovered."


Cognostic's picture
I've got Josephus, Pleny,

I've got Josephus, Pleny, Tacitus, and Lucian, completely covered. Paul is covered. The Gospels are covered.

@ Old man shouts ... Proving Jesus was a man would also be difficult. There were probably loads of people named Jesus. My best guess is that the stories are a compilation of many traditional saying in folklore that were later attributed to the Jesus Character. It makes perfect sense as there are at least 4 different versions of Jesus in the bible itself.

Old man shouts at clouds's picture
@ Cog

@ Cog

Certainly a feasable hypotheses. Bearing in mind the hotbed of rebellion, expectation and foment Palestinia was between 30Bce and 80bce , messiahs came and died, the true messiah was expected every day.
Like the legend of failed Prince Charles ( bonnie prince charlie) stories grew and were told about him in cottages and castles until they were written down many years after the events with much nostalgia. The fact is he couldn't speak the language of his subjects, he was arrogant, vain and ultimately a coward. It took historians to uncover the truth.
That 'Mark' the greek copyist cobbled together some tales of a magic messiah that never truly died is not surprising. That the story was copied, embellished and rewritten by others then added to by 'John's gospel" where he introduces wholly fictitious interviews with eye witnesses ( who must gave been dead at the time of writing) much later than the synoptics, is mirrored today with fan fiction that copies or expands on Tolkeins original work.

Simon Moon's picture
I have found, that people who

I have found, that people who go to 'legitimate' theology schools. like: Harvard, Oxford, Princeton, etc, almost always end up less devout, or agnostic after attending.

This is pretty much what happened to Ehrman when he attended Princeton.

But what it seems like most people mean when they say they are going to theology school, is they are going to schools (like Liberty), to learn apologetics.

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