Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Will the real JC stand up? SJ takes on the gospels

The Third Objection

My third objection was basically the poor evidence for the gospel Jesus. Given what it is possible to preserve or record for historical figures, what we have for the gospel Jesus is actually quite lacking.  I've used Julius Caesar as my benchmark, as despite being a minor historical character by Christian standards, we seem to have some quite good records.

To stop things getting too tedious, I've summarised the responses from Stephanie here:

The Tally Sheet

SJ Rebuttal
...the gospels written well after the alleged events
Though scholars disagree on the precise dates in which the gospels were written due to their presuppositions, we have good evidence to suggest that the vast majority of the New Testament was written prior to the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D…
That we have difficulty identifying even when the gospels are written is prima facie evidence they’re problematic! Mark is typically dated at 65-70 CE, Luke and Matthew 80-85 CE and John 90-100 CE.

However you want to look at it, the gospels are composed 1-3 generations later than the alleged life of Jesus.  
…they contradict each other in key details. The nativity of Luke and Mark Matthew describe entirely different events.

(Oops, why did I write Mark?)
Next, I will turn to Kaimatai’s assertion that the gospels contradict one another. The gospels do not contradict one another on the most important points related to Jesus’ ministry, crucifixion, death, and resurrection. …
  1. J. Warner Wallace examined the gospel accounts forensically, applying his years of work as a police detective to good use.* He states, “The accounts puzzled together just the way one would expect from independent eyewitnesses. When one gospel eyewitness described an event and left out a detail that raised a question, this question was unintentionally answered by another gospel writer (who, by the way, often left out a detail that was provided by the first gospel writer).”
Some of the many examples Wallace provides are as follows:
(deleted as not germane)
Red Herring Fallacy
The nativity contradiction is not addressed. This is a key detail. The virgin birth and alleged divine origin of Jesus is important.  The nativity stories have Jesus born once, on two occasions, years apart!  

False Authority Fallacy Alert!
Wallace is not an historian. To pretend the gospel accounts are from independent eyewitnesses is every colour of stupid. They are hearsay accounts. 

They’re not independent either. The synoptic gospels (Mark, Matthew and Luke) all share the same source material!

(Oh, and the resurrection stories have major problems)
Unlike Julius Caesar there are no writings of Jesus (Even Julius Caesar left stuff he wrote)
Not only did Caesar write the Gallic Wars, his authorship is confirmed in the contemporaneous letters of Cicero.  The battlefield of Alesia has been excavated and conforms to his account. 
No contemporaneous historian, of which there were several in this era, noticed any of the fantastic things described in the gospels
Even later historians (Tacitus etc) who wrote much later, cannot corroborate the extraordinary stories of the gospels.
One feels an omniscient (all-knowing) deity would know this would reduce the confidence non-believers would have in the Jesus-mission

* Parenthetically, forensic techniques are employed when an event is know to have occurred. Like a murder. The life of the gospel Jesus (and I carefully say this to separate it from a possible historical Jesus) is a disputed event.  It's not a known event.  There's no point synthesising say, the different accounts of the resurrection, if the resurrection never happened.


There's not any way you can say my objections have been satisfied. This thing of just avoiding what I write and throw a lot of bible-talk at me, isn't how rebuttals work. It's just fail from start to finish.

Julius Caesar provides us with a good benchmark of what is possible. For an individual who is supposed to be more important than Caesar (at least according to Christianity), it's reasonable to expect something as good.  Julius Caesar gives us his own writing, confirmation from contemporaneous sources (like Cicero) and backings from archaeology (Alesia).  This just does not happen for the gospel Jesus.

Caesar also was recognised as a god in the Roman pantheon. This tells us that in ancient times, people had a low bar for what could be a deity.  That the claim to divinity was common. 


  1. Of the writers, only Matthew may have been a native Jew. Mark's gospel has Latinism, suggesting that the writer was a native Latin speaker, writing most likely in Rome. His mistakes in Levantine geography and customs also point to someone who wasn't an eyewitness. Luke admits he wasn't an eyewitness, and John, being the latest of all, is highly theologised and apparently aware of Birkat ha-minim, the test benediction used to root out heretics, including Early Christians. It was included into service much later, circa 86 CE, than during the lifetime of Jesus unlike what John implies.

  2. Since you omitted parts of my rebuttal you know provide evidence of Jesus and validate the Bible, your rebuttal isn't comprehensive or honest. Since you've blocked me on Twitter, I think my arguments in support of Jesus have planted seeds in your mind that you would like to burn. Sorry. Darkness is always driven out by the light. 😜

    1. You weren't engaging my objections to the gospel's reliability. There's no good reason to reproduce material that's not relevant. It just reduces the readability of the blog.

      You were blocked today for being an obnoxious bigot. Which on top of already being an open liar, and manipulative, is too much. It's partly a shame as I was hoping to get around to your brave Xtian gambit eventually. I'll finish going through your rebuttals still.

      You must be on cloud-cuckoo land if you think you're planting any seeds. Sadly, I've come to hold you in complete and utter contempt. You arrogance has blinded you.

  3. How about unblocking me? I haven't achieved my goal of converting you yet. 😜😉

    1. At least let me know on my blog when you offer your rebuttal on early disciple bravery. Thanks. I wish the best for you Kaimatai (aka biology specialist).

  4. The Gospels are contradictory therefore must contain lies. In Matthew Jesus was born in a B&B guest house and from there they descend into full scale eyewash with no historical evidence of any sort. The literary standard was about right for the period in human history when people who thought the earth was flat couldn't fathom where the sun disappeared to at night.

    1. Exactly. They told stories that were supposed to be entertaining and insightful. They used rhetorical devices like parables. They had little idea of the objective standards of reporting we'd expect to see today.

  5. Isaiah 40:22, written ~ 700BC says that the earth is a circle, yet its original translation of khug is a vault or sphere. How did he know?

    As for the gospels,they piece together like a puzzle. See J. Warner Wallace and Cold Case Christianity.

    1. 1) This has nothing to do with the gosepls
      2) Isiah also says the earth is on pillars and has 4 corners.
      3) Any idiot can look toward the horizon and see it curving. You don't need a line of communication with a super-intelligent being to deduce the planet might be circular with that.
      4)Circle is not the same as sphere. That's why Christianity still has persistent flat-earthers in their ranks.
      5) The bible also says insects have 4 legs and rabbits chew their cud. For 80% of your religion's history it was a crime to profess that the earth orbited the sun- because of the biblical passages.
      6) Not even Wallace can explain how Jesus was born in the reign of Herod the Great, and years later after Herod the Great was dead.

  6. The bottom line is that I've witnessed both Jesus and Mother Mary, personally. The Bible explains their stories, yet personal experiences fortify the truth in my mind. God also allowed me to witness a most evil spirit. That's why I'm so persistent. I make no profit from my pursuits.

    1. 1) A few years ago I encountered a women who'd also seen Satan and was so close to your god, she thought she was his prophet. She also became an erotomaniac stalker and made my life hell for 3 years. You'll understand how unconvinced I am by the claims of people who know god.
      2) Here a woman who also knew god slashed her 5 yr old son’s throat & crushed his chest cavity to rid him of demons. It beggars belief your deity would choose such a dangerous and unreliable way for people to confirm his existence.
      3) This does not resolve the problems in the gospels I identified