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Lance's picture
Do you really want an answer

Do you really want an answer or just to argue?

Old man shouts at clouds's picture
@ Lance

@ Lance

You offered answers. When they are plain wrong what do we do?

Do you really want an answer or just to argue?

Also:

I would like to know what questions y’all have regarding the birth story of Jesus or Christmas in general. Thanks

So when you are asked a critical question you backpedal and strawman? What did you expect here?

I suspect looking at your OP you did not expect to find so many on these forums with the expertise and knowledge to correct you and your assumptions.

Unfortunately for your missionary efforts these boards are alive with people with the knowledge of both pagan and christian traditions and history. I suspect you will be left breathless and certainly less uninformed than you are now.

(Edit: Last para added)

Cognostic's picture
@Lance: RE: "The short

@Lance: RE: "The short answer is convenience." Are you really Christian at all? Christmas is celebrated to remember the birth of of Jesus Christ. The Early Christians, indeed NO CHRISTIAN, has ever been mandated by scripture, dogma, or any teaching I am aware of, to celebrate the birth of Christ. How in the hell did they ever come up with the idea? NOT OUT OF CONVENIENCE, THAT'S FOR SURE. If we actually try to pinpoint the birth of Christ, one thing we know for sure, he was not born in DECEMBER. We don't even have a birth year. Jesus could have been born any time between 4 BC and 6 BC according to the theologians. I have no idea at all how you arrived at an idea of convenience when Christmas is not and never was a part of the Christian faith.

It was a pagan celebration that Christians began to enjoy. I am betting that in an effort to lessen their feelings of guilt, over doing exactly what the bible told them not to do, they began lying to themselves and pretending that they were celebrating the birthday of their God instead of some Pagan god. Germanic Yule and Roman Saturnalia were two of the Winter holidays. Sol Invictus, the “Birthday of the Unconquerable Sun, was celebrated in drunken brawls of laughter, whoring, gift giving, fights to the death and more. It was the original "Purge."

You want to contend that it was convenient for the good Christians to start a lie to participate in the celebrations and pretend that the sun was the son? Is that really where you are going? That they invented a holiday just to participate in the whoring, brawling and drinking that went on? It was convenient? Do you know anything at all about early Christianity?

Algebe's picture
@Lance: If they coincided the

@Lance: If they coincided the celebration with pagan celebrations there was less chance of persecution.

I think that by the time Christmas was instituted as a festival, it was Christianity that was doing the persecution.

The truth is that nobody even knows for sure the year in which Jesus was supposedly born (if he existed at all), let alone the date. Christmas is and has always been a midwinter festival, just as Easter has always been a spring fertility festival named after the Germanic goddess Eastre. If Christians have falsified these things, what else are they lying about?

Lance's picture
I only asked because I stated

I only asked because I stated i wasn’t here to argue, But, here you go - warning you won’t like the answer: Each of the gospels are written for a specific audience. Matthew has a primarily Jewish audience so he goes to great lengths to show how Jesus fulfills Old Testament prophecy. If you notice his lineage goes through Joseph (Judaism is patriarchal) to Abraham (father of the Jewish faith). Luke- a gentle writes to show Jesus is savior of the world. He traces lineage through Mary (could talk about true lineage vs adopted lineage, but too much to type) ultimately to God. The variations in generations are consistent with other ancient writings that prove a point over listing exact lineage. As far s leaving pieces out- the earliest and most accurate manuscripts do include them, not much else to add

Tin-Man's picture
@Lance Re: "...to show how

@Lance Re: "...to show how Jesus fulfills Old Testament prophecy. If you notice his lineage goes through Joseph (Judaism is patriarchal)..."

Really?... *shaking head sadly*... Am I really the one who has to point out the obvious here? ME? Really?... *shrugging shoulders*... Well, okay, I suppose...

Ummmmm..... Why in the great name of Peter Pan peanut butter would the lineage of Jesus be traced through JOSEPH??? Because, according to YOUR bible, JOSEPH was not the actual father of Jesus. At the very most, Joseph was a stepdad. If I recall correctly, it was GOD who impregnated sweet little innocent darling Mary. Therefore, that would make GOD the father of Jesus. Joseph just stepped in to raise the little brat, while God stepped back and waited for the day he could hang his son on a cross as a sacrifice to himself. Seems to me the lineage of Joseph should have absolutely NOTHING to do with the heritage of Jesus. But, hey, what do I know?... *rolling eyes*...

Lance's picture
Joseph because of patriarchal

Joseph because of patriarchal society (Matthew), Mary for bloodline (Luke)

Tin-Man's picture
@Lance Re: "Joseph because

@Lance Re: "Joseph because of patriarchal society (Matthew), Mary for bloodline (Luke)"

...*face palm*... Ummmm, one more time again... *speaking slowly*... But... Joseph... was... not... the... father.... of... Jesus.

Cognostic's picture
@Lance: Each of the gospels

@Lance: Each of the gospels also has a different version of the mythical Jesus. And then you have Paul's version of Jesus as well. None of them match up. The authors tell different stories about different men named Jesus. Each Jesus has his own personality and distinctive traits.

RE: Jesus fulfills Old Testament prophecy. Pleas prove that Jesus fulfilled a single prophecy. You do understand that the authors of the new testament were completely familiar with the Old Testament. You do know that Jesus himself, if he existed was completely familiar with the Old Testament. You do know that mages and prophets all over the first century were fulfilling Old Testament Prophecies. How difficult do you imagine it would be to fulfill an Old Testament Prophecy?

Now you are engaging in hermeneutics right after indicating you did not want to go there. Are you a liar or just being disingenuous. FACT we do not have a reliable linage of Jesus. You don't even know when he was born. PLEASE STOP THE BULLSHIT. There is no exact linage. BULLSHIT!

Lance's picture
We completely agree that we

We completely agree that we are not sure when when Jesus was born. Probably late Spring or June, but there is not hard evidence. I think you have to at least acknowledge he was a real person. There are writings outside the Christian Bible that affirm a man name Jesus in that area around that time. No reason to write it from a hostile source perspective if it weren't true. In ancient genres, that's extremely credible evidence.

Cognostic's picture
@Lance: We are in agreement

@Lance: We are in agreement. "We do not know when Jesus was born because the BIBLE itself is NOT HARD EVIDENCE." The writers of the Bible could have simply lied about Jesus's birth just like they lie about nearly everything else. WE AGREE.

THERE ARE NO WRITINGS CONTEMPORARY TO THE LIFE OF JESUS THAT CONFIRMS JESUS HE EXISTED. NONE.

Algebe's picture
Lance: There are writings

Lance: There are writings outside the Christian Bible that affirm a man name Jesus in that area around that time.

Name one.

Old man shouts at clouds's picture
@lance

@lance

Now you are just making stuff up.

Examples of contemporary hostile writing about the jesus figure please.

David Killens's picture
@Lance

@Lance

"I think you have to at least acknowledge he was a real person."

Was Robin Hood, Hercules, or King Arthur one real person or possibly an amalgamation of various folk takes into one convenient story of inspiration?

Old man shouts at clouds's picture
@Lance:

@Lance:

Each of the gospels are written for a specific audience.

Each of the two other synoptic gospels were based largely on Mark. Both Matthew and Luke were writing THE gospel for their audiences. They were not meant to be anthologised, compared or tested against reality.
The errors of jewish tradition and Law were largely corrected in Matthews gospel;, but the same errors were continued in Mark and Luke.
John was a much later addition and written in a greek narrative fiction style.

Paul does not mention the birth narrative.

Both Matthew and Luke had the birth narratives added, I suggest you research the Adoptionists of the early 1st century. Their gospels are noted in the early second century as not including the birth Narrative by the early church fathers.

Marcion used the gospels of Luke without the birth Narrative as well....as did other early sects

As far s leaving pieces out- the earliest and most accurate manuscripts do include them, not much else to add

You really do not know what you are talking about do you? The earliest fragment of Mark you have is dated to 160 CE, the earliest of John to 125CE. You have no certain knowledge of the contents of your gospels before the mid Third century.

We KNOW that early versions of both Matthew and Luke without the birth narrative existed because their enemies (the Roman Church fathers) tell us so....even though the actual texts have not survived. Here is a hint look up Ebionites, Marcionites and the Syriac gospels. They all predate the texts you use.

Tin-Man's picture
By the way, Lance, for the

By the way, Lance, for the sake of avoiding confusion, you might want to indicate specifically who it is you are addressing. Makes things much easier to follow. (See examples on current posts.)

cranky47's picture
2 cents

2 cents

@ Lance

For this atheist, the New Testament is the mythology of Christianity.IE Unreliable as history.

The date of December 25 was stolen from the Roman Deus Sol Invicta (the sun god)

The historicity of Jesus has not been established conclusively, Perhaps start with the fact that there are no contemporary accounts about Jesus. None.

MY position: ( I don't speak for others) It's probable that in First century Judea ., there was an itinerant rabbi called something like Yesua bar Yusuf,. That he founded a small Jewish sect . That he upset the wrong people and was crucified. A jew being crucified by the Romans in first first century Judea was not a noteworthy occurrence .(the Romans crucified thousands of Jews during their occupation)

That the religion which was called Christianity (from the late fourth century,) contains no new ideas and has little if anything to do with a poor little rabbi who was crucified .

Had Christianity not become state religion under Theodosius, it would have faded into a well deserved oblivion, Probably to be replaced by Mithraism , a much older religion with some familiar ideas ..

You said you don't to argue..Fine, I will say nothing further on this topic to you

Old man shouts at clouds's picture
@ Lance

@ Lance

Here is another question for you:

Do you think that the gospels of Matthew and Luke are eyewitness accounts?

Who told you that?

Lance's picture
Matthew would be an

Matthew would be an eyewitness, Luke was a gentile physician traveling with Paul. He was not an eyewitness, but records the history told by the Disciples

Cognostic's picture
@Lance: I'm sorry dude ---

@Lance: I'm sorry dude --- What the fuck do you mean "Matthew was an eye witness? How in the hell did you come to that conclusion? Records of history told by the disciples? WTF are you talking about. You have no records of history told by the disciples. Where are you getting these ideas from?

Please show one record of history shown by a disciple.

Lance's picture
@Cognostic not sure what

@Cognostic not sure what other records you need. There are more ancient manuscripts of the Bible than anything else (over 5000 Greek New Testaments vs 600 Homer's the Iliad). The good news according to Matthew would be his account would it not?

Cognostic's picture
@Lance: Dude you have lost

@Lance: Dude you have lost your mind. Please present the scrap of manuscript written by Matthew. 5000 Greek New Testaments??? Where in the fuck are you getting information from. Codex Sinaiticus is the oldest Greek New Testament. The codex is an Alexandrian text-type manuscript written in uncial letters on parchment in the 4th century. The other 4999 Greek Old Testaments are later than the oldest.

Please show some writings by the Apostles. I can't wait to see them....

Old man shouts at clouds's picture
@ Lance

@ Lance

The earliest fragment of Mark we have is P132 dated to the earliest at 160CE (Mid Second Century) the earliest fragment of John is fragment P52 dated at the optimistic earliest to 125CE .

All the other fragments of any gospels are much much later:These are copies of copies. In the process of recopying, variations slipped in, different regional manuscript traditions emerged, and corrections and adjustments were made. Modern textual scholars collate all major surviving manuscripts, as well as citations in the works of the Church Fathers, in order to produce a text which most likely approximates to the lost autographs.Wiki

The good news according to Matthew would be his account would it not?

Obviously not.....

Old man shouts at clouds's picture
@ Lance

@ Lance

On what do you base the following assertion?

Matthew would be an eyewitness, Luke was a gentile physician traveling with Paul. He was not an eyewitness, but records the history told by the Disciples

Matthews verses (at least 600 of them) are identical to Mark, written after 70CE of that we are certain. 'Matthew' another anonymous scribe dating to about 80CE corrects Mark's ignorance of Jewish Law and practice and adds detail. So not AN EYEWITNESS.

'Luke' is again based largely on Mark, but, importantly commits the same egregious errors when talking about Jewish law and custom. Again written AFTER Mark would date it between 70CE to 85CE. This would suggest that the author was at the very least an Hellenic Jew or more likely a Greek adapting 'Mark' (again an anonymous Greek speaking author) to a majority Hellenic audience. not AN EYEWITNESS.

Once again it seems that both 'Matthew' and 'Mark' disagree on the date of this Jesus figure's birth (by some 400 years). Why the 'parents' of the jesus figure travelled in the first place, and where they went subsequent to the alleged birth. They could not even agree on who or what was present at the birth.

This is not simple 'eye witness error' these are major discrepancies in the tale that indicate the insertion of the birth narrative by separate people for distinct audiences at much later dates.

Simply put...it was made up by people writing many many years after the alleged events, each with their own agenda for 'proving' the divinity of the jesus figure.

These dates of the synoptic gospels are agreed by nearly every biblical and historical scholar save the evangelists.

There is a growing school of thought in the scholarly world, that Mark is largely based on the Pauline texts ( the first three, we know the others are not original or are downright forgeries like Titus) which would indeed make a lot of sense. Of course the tales were embellished by the author of Mark for his audience and like Topsy, the stories just keep on growing. We see that happening in a multitude of folk and 'saviour' tales throughout history.

AND TO REALLY PUT YOU TO THE SWORD, THE TEXTS THEMSELVES TELL YOU THEY WERE NOT 'EYEWITNESS ACCOUNTS' you should read them properly sometime. Then go back to whoever sold you this broken down old nag of a story and smack them hard.

Cognostic's picture
@Lance: Are you even aware

@Lance: Are you even aware of the fact that Matthew, Mark, Luke or John did not write Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John. Your own bible should tell you that.

Old man shouts at clouds's picture
@ Cog

@ Cog

Read the bible? That would make him a very odd sort of christian indeed....

David Killens's picture
@Lance

@Lance

"Luke was a gentile physician traveling with Paul. He was not an eyewitness, but records the history told by the Disciples"

First point: even if he was the author, we should be believe a second-hand tale? That would not be admitted in a court of law because it was hearsay.

Second: Luke does not fall into the classification as a witness because he can not be cross-examined. At best, one who wrote some shit down almost two thousand years ago.

Third, all of the earliest documents related to Luke were ALL anonymous.

Nyarlathotep's picture
Lance - I really want to know

Lance - I really want to know what you would have trouble believing, what do you think Christians are stupid for believing etc.

Well we could start with the fantastic stories, like say Noah's Ark and the flood.

Grinseed's picture
This ex-christian atheist

This ex-christian atheist still thinks a Jesus, or a Yeshua, probably was born in Palestine 2000 years ago, but this is only because Joseph Campbell maintains that there is a kernel of truth at the heart of every great myth.
As for the tinsel that passes as an historical account of the divine birth of Jesus in the gospels, its all paganlike, superstitious nonsense.

The gospels were written by jews but certainly not apostles. The literary structure for each gospel, including John and Acts, is based on the annual liturgical worship of the synagogue, not history or historical events. The gospels aren't the eyewitness accounts of apostles. They are carefully constructed programs of worship based on the weekly readings of the Pentateuch, utilising the unsubstantiated legends of that notable ascetic Jewish rabbi who was deliberately linked to earlier prophets and prophecies in the first five books of the Torah to establish his authority as the representative and later as the one and only son, of Yahweh, God of the Children of Israel, formerly known as Jacob. The details of events from birth to death of Yeshua contravene known recorded historical and social circumstances at the time. The gospels are not historically accurate at all. Even theist bible academics acknowledge this.

The gospels of Mark, Matthew, and Luke, were consistently included in the earliest collections of accepted scripture because of their similarities. Even Marcion, the famous excommunicated heretic, included them in his collection. They were beleived to be divinely inspired because of their synoptic character. What had been forgotten was that those similarities had come from following the Hebrew liturgical format when they were written. And so, Jewish Luke copied from Jewish Matthew who copied from Jewish Mark and the similarities in the story they each told was held by much later Christians to be proof positive of their undeniable veracity and not because they were cribbed from each other. I have read some theists insisting that none of the gospel authors ever even knew each other or were even aware of their writings, which is a greater fiction than the bible itself, but as Eusebius insisted, lying for god is a virtue.

This familiarity between the gospels authors was keenly forgotten by the new christians in their bid to declare the legitimacy of their new religion as they busily submerged themselves in deep and profound, if misguided, Platonic philosophical interpretations of the bible and new testament, egotistically stringing out as many tenuous arguments and profundities as their god would allow them.

And after getting the official nod from Constantine and having vanquished the Jew, the atheist and the pagan, they started on each other, most memorably warring against and murdering fellow christians, who disputed hair-splitting aspects about the nature of God's essence and the messy details of his relationship with Yeshua, not to mention the dubious qualities of the Holy Ghost. There were also bloody exchanges as to who could forgive whom of sins against the laws of God as well, but that was a long time ago. Sixteen hundred years of terrorism, war, pogroms, witch hunts and innocent blood, mostly based on unsettled issues concerning the Trinity. Jesus wept alright.

It can't be known if Christianity today has anything to do with the simple teachings of a rabbi from Nazareth or where ever. It has more to do with the passionate and violent disputations of ordinary arrogant men who claimed through elegant word soups to understand the complexities of an omnipotent deity and over other issues of which they could have had no true understanding.

The Torah is bad enough, but the Holy Bible and the New Testament are abominations.

I am only one atheist and I don't expect any other atheist to agree with this little rant.

Lance's picture
well thought out arguments.

well thought out arguments. I would add most scholars believe there is a document Q which the synoptics draw from. That's up for debate however as it has not been discovered yet. Just curious why do think the apostles would not have written the gospels?

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