Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Second Responding Post to Jonathan Pearce on the Veneration of Jesus' Tomb

Jonathan Pearce wrote a blog post making a point that a lack of veneration of Jesus' tomb as evidence that there was no tomb from which Jesus rose from the dead three days after the Crucifixion. I disagreed. You can read the original response I posted at the end of this post. There has been some back and forth in the comments section on that post. Pearce's latest comments brought up some issues that I think takes more space than are appropriate for the comments sections which is why I started another blog post. I had written: Better folks have already ripped such arguments [that there were no guards at the tomb] to shreds, It's been 2000 years do you really think that none of those ideas have been trotted out or answered before?

"ripped to shreds"? By who?

Please don't tell me you refer to Craig who all but admits agnosticism in his article, and this is the article which is used to defend this position by so many other apologists!

I have seen much of the same muddled thinking on the Debunking Christianity blog many times. Do people like Pearce really believe that William Lane Craig is the only Christian scholar that  has ever lived? Dr William Lane Craig is indeed brilliant and respected and correct in much of what he says and teaches but he doesn't speak for all Christians and he is not right about everything. The Bible is right. God is right. You, me, and him are only right when we obey God and speak the truth.  I find it shocking that Pearce is not better acquainted with the work of Christian scholars. 

No Offense intended but in addition to William Lane Craig, I'd count Gary Habermas, Timothy McGrew, Mary Jo Sharp, Michael Licona,  Darrel Bock,   Craig Evans, James White, and J.P. Holding as knowing more about the Resurrection than Pearce and whose scholarship carries considerable more weight! If you want to see such anti-Resurrection arguments, you can start with them and branch out. There have been many people in the past 2000 years ripping such drivel to shreds.

Why would Paul, Peter, John or any of the first Christians would venerate a tomb of a man they knew to be alive and had told them to get busy doing evangelism?
One would assume that all the Apostles would have known the whereabouts, as well as the various Marys and Salomes and others who the various Gospels disagree as visiting.

Disagree? How do the Gospels disagree? If I tell you that Sally, Jane, and Martha went to the store, but tell another person that Martha went to the store how is that a contradiction? It might be a disagreement but it's not a contradiction. So we don't know how many women were at the tomb Easter morning. So what? 
We don't have their names or titles. That does not mean they were not there. Not worth basing an argument against the Resurrection on.

The fact that the evidence points towards Joseph of Arimathea being fictional should lead one to conclude that his tomb most probably is too, especially given the utterly improbable scenario of sentencing a man to death and then asking the people who sentenced him to death for the worst possible crime to release his body for an honourable burial!

Evidence? How does Pearce know Joseph of Arimathea was fictional? He can't  prove that. There is evidence that tells us Joseph of Arimathea was a real person. And we know that if a man had enough clout he could ask for the body of an executed person. Josephus was allowed to stop the execution of  his three friends who were being crucified.

 A tomb to which women seemed to know, visit but have NO WAY of being able to roll away the stone, and no forethought to find a way, but HEY, luckily angels are on hand to help.

That really is a really not the only assumption you could make. They would have known the soldiers had been  placed there at the tomb. I would think they thought that they could ask the guards to open the tomb for them enough to enter and take care of Jesus' body. 

 A tomb to which they are travelling to anoint an already anointed body. A tomb at which guards are incredibly unlikely to be posted, who contrive to be bribed (a fate worthy of execution) to deny the most incredible thing they ever would have seen (and yet not be converted by).

Miracles themselves are not enough to convert a man from a sinner to a child of God. With all the evidence around us of God's existence and power, people still continue to disbelieve. Why would the guards be better or smarter than Atheists today? Wait. Maybe some of them did become Christians because of the experience. Pearce is wrong. We can't say one way or the other.

Around which an earthquake unattested by any other source takes place. And during which, according to Matthew again, a parade of resurrected dead Saints swan around a municipal city without anyone else noticing or reporting it.

I wonder if Pearce ever really read the Gospels. The texts do not tell us how far outside of Jerusalem was the earthquake felt. And other people around Jerusalem did notice the dead saints walking around.

51 At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split 52 and the tombs broke open. The bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. 53 They came out of the tombs after Jesus’ resurrection and[e] went into the holy city and appeared to many people. - Matthew 27:51-53

And so, this tomb, the most holy place on earth (for if that happened now, given that Graceland, without bones, is venerated; and given that other such places, with no body or bones, are venerated such as Međugorje; Basilica of the Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida; Lourdes; Shrine of the Three Kings; Mount Tabor; House of Peter; Mount Carmel; Nazareth; Bethany (resurrection of Lazarus)!!!; the Jesus Trail; Galilee etc etc), is forgotten for 300 odd years. And this is not odd to you. This, with all the other odd information, half of which I have not mentioned, is not odd?

I find it odd that you would think that Pearce would imagine any of those places as holy. Venerating a place or an object does nothing to deepen my relationship with God or helps anyone. I'm sure the first Christians thought the same way. Notice that in the New Testament there is nothing and no one venerated but Jesus Himself. We don't see all the fodder examples Pearce props up until Christianity becomes the state religion and people join bringing in their paganism without being converted.  And some people compromised and added other ideas and concepts into Christianity in order to get converts. You know...same thing happens today.

You are exhibiting an extraordinary amount of cognitive dissonance here. Wow!

That said, nothing I say will ever convince you as a dyed-in-the-wool, head-in-the-sand sort of person.

I just find it sad that people such as yourself spend so much time accepting possible over probable so that your belief-system is a tapestry of possibilities absent of any kind of strong plausibility.

 I often wonder if people like Pearce ever really stop and think about what they believe. On one hand admitting that Christianity may be true but rejecting it because in their opinion it isn't plausible. Further opining that they can't reason it as being probable. Hello!? A miracle, by definition, cannot be probable. So you cannot use that determine if it's true or reasonable. I don't think my head is in the sand. I have sifted through evidence. Studied a lot of Science and History, and I have concluded that the Bible is true. And if that makes one who disagrees a liar, then they are a liar. I have to say that one who find  arguments like the ones Pearce uses compelling should look very closely without the arrogance of thinking that you get to determine what is enough evidence and just look at what God has provided for us objectively. You will find that Jesus was right. 

19 This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. 21 But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God. - John 3:19-21

What had happen' was.....: FacePalm of the Day - Debunking Christianity: Why was Jesus' tomb not venerated?

31 comments:

  1. "I'd count Gary Habermas, Timothy McGrew, Mary Jo Sharp, Michael Licona, Darrel Bock, Craig Evans, James White, and J.P. Holding"

    Fair enough, give me an account of each of where they refer to the guards at the tomb, without relying on Craig's thesis.

    Evidence? How does Pearce know Joseph of Arimathea was fictional? He can't prove that.

    And this is the problem with your shoddy apologetic. You mischaracterise everything. Here were my words:

    "The fact that the evidence points towards Joseph of Arimathea being fictional should lead one to conclude that his tomb most probably is too"

    Where did i say prove? I can't prove he was fictional just like you can't prove he wasn't. However, on an analysis of the Koine Greek (Arimathea as a symbolic neologism, derived from doing a littel more thorough analysis of the lexical breakdown than might be in a Liddel & Scott lexicon)), of historical contexts, of Markan motifs, it seems fairly probable. I am sure you have done the relevant research, rather than assume, as you always do, charitably that the bible merely reports historical fact.

    Since you obviously never even entertain reading critical analyses, let alone engaging with them, it seems rather pointless talking to you. Your rather paltry accusations about my knowledge of the Gospels is simply ad hom rubbish when you have nothing substantive to say. You might like to read my book on the critical analysis of the Gospel accounts of the infancy narratives.

    the rest of what you say is further assertive nonsense, using no critical analysis skills, no reference to anything but the bible.

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  2. Fair enough, give me an account of each of where they refer to the guards at the tomb, without relying on Craig's thesis.

    It's called Google


    I can't prove he was fictional just like you can't prove he wasn't. However, on an analysis of the Koine Greek (Arimathea as a symbolic neologism, derived from doing a littel more thorough analysis of the lexical breakdown than might be in a Liddel & Scott lexicon)), of historical contexts, of Markan motifs, it seems fairly probable. I am sure you have done the relevant research, rather than assume, as you always do, charitably that the bible merely reports historical fact.


    So it really isn't a fact that Joseph of Arimathea was fiction and therefore not a reason to conclude that tomb was probably fiction too. Thank you.

    Since you obviously never even entertain reading critical analyses, let alone engaging with them, it seems rather pointless talking to you. Your rather paltry accusations about my knowledge of the Gospels is simply ad hom rubbish when you have nothing substantive to say. You might like to read my book on the critical analysis of the Gospel accounts of the infancy narratives.

    Then why do you keep saying that the Bible says things it does not say? Either you keep lying or you are ignorant. I don't see what is ad hominem about that. I assumed ignorance not malevolence. You don't wanna see ad hominem from me.

    You might like to read my book on the critical analysis of the Gospel accounts of the infancy narratives.

    Um no thank you. Why should I think you're any better at the pseudo gospels than the Canonical Gospels?

    he rest of what you say is further assertive nonsense, using no critical analysis skills, no reference to anything but the bible.

    It is your assertion that you can show that one would expect that Jesus' tomb should have been venerated and you further claim to use the Bible to support your premises and conclusions. If you are going to do that, you ought to be more careful to get what is written in the Bible correct. And you don't.

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  3. You don't wanna see ad hominem from me.

    This is precious.

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  4. This is just terrible.

    "Fair enough, give me an account of each of where they refer to the guards at the tomb, without relying on Craig's thesis.

    It's called Google"

    So i quote Craig and source it. You ASSERT truth of Matthew's guards saying the falsity thesis has been ripped apart by all these academics, and then when asked / called out on it to name the sources in which they 'rip to shreds' the thesis, you say 'Google'.

    Do you really see how amateur and pathetic that sounds? Do some work. Defend your position properly, or stop posting this hogwash.

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  5. "So it really isn't a fact that Joseph of Arimathea was fiction and therefore not a reason to conclude that tomb was probably fiction too. Thank you."

    Oh dear, you really don't understand things do you. I state a thesis (J of A is fiction), you claim i claim it as fact, I call you out on misquoting me, rather than apologise you them derisorily claim that 'so it isn't fact' without seemingly understanding the philosophy or epistemology of the term 'fact'.

    This is why conversations with you are utterly pointless, and presumably why no one seems to have (apart from the eminently patient Ryan) conversations with you. You have no idea of humility, rather the opposite of Jesus really. You cannot accept when you are empirically wrong, you assert things with no foundational basis, etc etc.

    "pseudo gospels than the Canonical Gospel"

    FYI infancy narratives in the canonical Gosepls (you know, only in two of them, contradictory, historically unattested, evidentially incorrect - those ones).

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  6. So i quote Craig and source it. You ASSERT truth of Matthew's guards saying the falsity thesis has been ripped apart by all these academics, and then when asked / called out on it to name the sources in which they 'rip to shreds' the thesis, you say 'Google'.

    Do you really see how amateur and pathetic that sounds? Do some work. Defend your position properly, or stop posting this hogwash.


    Originally you said you wanted names of scholars and academics who support the Resurrection and the guards being at the tomb. I named several - all of which are better than you. I think that's plenty. If you want more information I suggest you educate yourself. I suggested starting with Google. I don't have time to hold your hand on this one. You claim to know so much, I would have thought that means you would have some familiarity with their works. Turns out you really can't recognize your own pathetic scholarship.

    Oh dear, you really don't understand things do you. I state a thesis (J of A is fiction), you claim i claim it as fact, I call you out on misquoting me, rather than apologise you them derisorily claim that 'so it isn't fact' without seemingly understanding the philosophy or epistemology of the term 'fact'.

    Not sounding as confident as you originally did. You based much of everything you said on the the premise that Joseph of Arimathea is a fiction. I said that it seems to me that you were arguing that he was a fiction and therefore you could conclude that the tomb was too. That's shoddy. If you wanna back up and say that you weren't saying that Joseph was a fiction you should back up and say that you weren't saying that there was no tomb and offer a better argument.

    This is why conversations with you are utterly pointless, and presumably why no one seems to have (apart from the eminently patient Ryan) conversations with you. You have no idea of humility, rather the opposite of Jesus really. You cannot accept when you are empirically wrong, you assert things with no foundational basis, etc etc.

    I'm not right and you are wrong. I'm saying God's right and we are both wrong. Just because I see your problems and inconsistencies, doesn't mean I don't think I have any. That is why I'm throwing in with Jesus. He is right. We are wrong. Yes, let's talk about humility. You think that you can sit in judgment of the Bible, twist it, misrepresent it, and then claim that your imagined Bible is false. Yup, that's humble.

    FYI infancy narratives in the canonical Gosepls (you know, only in two of them, contradictory, historically unattested, evidentially incorrect - those ones).

    There are so many scholars much more qualified than you and me who disagree with you. Google them, you have a list to start with. You'll learn something.

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  7. I would have thought that means you would have some familiarity with their works. Turns out you really can't recognize your own pathetic scholarship.

    What Marcus means to say here is he shot off his mouth, he doesn't actually know if any of those other scholars actually base their arguments on Craig's or not and he's sorry.

    I said that it seems to me that you were arguing that he was a fiction and therefore you could conclude that the tomb was too.

    Seems to follow that if there is evidence that the bequeather of a tomb is fictional, then that is evidence that the tomb is also fictional.

    There are so many scholars much more qualified than you and me who disagree with you.

    I think you'd need to read Jonathan's book before you could make a claim like this.

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  8. What Marcus means to say here is he shot off his mouth, he doesn't actually know if any of those other scholars actually base their arguments on Craig's or not and he's sorry.

    What I am sorry about is that Ryan is just as unfamiliar with the works of the scholars I mentioned as he is with what the Bible actually says. Really pathetic. As an example, James White does not base his work or Apologetic on William Lane Craig's work. William Lane Craig is not the end all or be all. I would not base everything on his work in the slightest.

    Seems to follow that if there is evidence that the bequeather of a tomb is fictional, then that is evidence that the tomb is also fictional.

    Pearce already conceded that it isn't a fact. It's conjecture. I don't think the evidence is strong enough at all to think that this man was not a historical person.

    I think you'd need to read Jonathan's book before you could make a claim like this.

    What part? That there are better scholars than him or that there are many scholars who disagree with him? Learn to be clearer.

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  9. What I am sorry about is that...

    How about you just post your summary of which arguments for the truth of the tomb guards that are not derived from Craig and then we will all know you are not full of shit.

    Pearce already conceded that it isn't a fact.

    Yes and he let you demonstrate you have no idea what a "fact" is.

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  10. I will post what I want when I want To post it on my blog. Oh yeah you don't know what it is like having your own blog. Sorry about that. I will be posting on the guards at a point of my own choosing. I agree that Pearce does not use facts. it is abundantly clear.

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  11. Oh yeah you don't know what it is like having your own blog. Sorry about that.

    Why do you think one's blog must be tied to their blogger account? I was under the impression you are a computer "scientist"? You have no idea what you don't know and I have serious doubts you even know what you think you know.

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  12. Remember when you posted that someones blog post was great when you hadn't even read it? That was great...

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  13. Ryan, I like the way you pointed out his inability to understand fact, and he just came out with another Marcus assertion. J of A is fictional. Can I prove it? No. Can Marcus prove antithetically? No.

    That is why history, of all epistemological claims, is thesis. I am sure you are well versed in the philosophy of history: history as art vs science.

    Let me just sum up again.

    I talked of the guards at the tomb in Matthew and used Craig as an example of an apologist who believed it. I provided counter evidence and an alternate thesis. Marcus then claimed my thesis had been ripped to shreds. When I asked by whom, he provided these names: William Lane Craig, I'd count Gary Habermas, Timothy McGrew, Mary Jo Sharp, Michael Licona, Darrel Bock, Craig Evans, James White, and J.P. Holding

    However, when asked what works such shred-ripping could be cited in, Marcus balked and refused to give any citations, claiming he was too busy and google should do it for me.

    He then attacks my academic prowess.

    Ha.

    This is just shoddy. Really shoddy. And I can't imagine he will apologise, or even provide citations to independent work from Craig. I picked one such name - McGrew, and used google to find evidence of his shred-ripping apologetics on Matthew's guard.

    Not a sausage.

    You sure know how to win these arguments, Marcus!

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  14. Yes, indeed let's recap.

    Ryan, I like the way you pointed out his inability to understand fact, and he just came out with another Marcus assertion. J of A is fictional. Can I prove it? No. Can Marcus prove antithetically? No.

    So we both agree that you can't prove your hypothesis. You tried to write a check you don't have enough evidence to cash. Remember Pearce wrote:

    The fact that the evidence points towards Joseph of Arimathea being fictional should lead one to conclude that his tomb most probably is too, especially given the utterly improbable scenario of sentencing a man to death and then asking the people who sentenced him to death for the worst possible crime to release his body for an honourable burial!

    Really sloppy and imprecise. He claims that it is a fact that the evidence points to Joseph of Arithmathea is fictional and not a real person but then accuses me of saying that he said he had proven that fact. Which is it? Let's be clear. He should have said something such that the thinks there is enough evidence to say that Joseph of Arithmathea was fictional. He could have said he was making a hypothesis instead of arrogant posturing.

    However, when asked what works such shred-ripping could be cited in, Marcus balked and refused to give any citations, claiming he was too busy and google should do it for me.

    I didn't refuse to ever provide the citations. It's going to take time to gather them together. I said I will post them when I have a better opportunity. I still suggest "Google" if you don't want to wait.


    This is just shoddy. Really shoddy. And I can't imagine he will apologise, or even provide citations to independent work from Craig. I picked one such name - McGrew, and used google to find evidence of his shred-ripping apologetics on Matthew's guard.


    I find it very strange that Pearce found nothing from Dr Timothy McGrew. Pearce's web search skills is no better than his scholarship. Here, start here (they're are even videos): http://www.apologetics315.com/search/label/Tim%20McGrew Much on that site that will help you.

    You sure know how to win these arguments, Marcus!

    Only God can fix what is wrong with you. Loosing an argument isn't gonna do it. Lost you have. You first make the mistake of assuming that only Dr William Lane Craig has ever said or written anything relevant to the Resurrection - in 2000 years. You seem to think that anyone who argues for the Resurrection of Christ must draw on his work. You really should get out more.

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  15. OK, rather than just summarize McGrew's argument for why he believes there were actually guards at the tomb (which you are no doubt incapable of doing), you again, do the minimum amount required and simply post a link. I'll assume (erroneously) that you have actually done your homework and listen to this, compared it to Craig's argument and found it to be unrelated. I'll report back tomorrow or Wednesday unless Jonathan would like to.

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  16. OK, rather than just summarize McGrew's argument for why he believes there were actually guards at the tomb (which you are no doubt incapable of doing), you again, do the minimum amount required and simply post a link.


    $5 an hour if you want me to do that. I have more than showed I can do it. I just don't have the time to do your legwork. I post the link as a start because you have obviously not read or listened to everything I have and you need some remedial reading.

    I'll assume (erroneously) that you have actually done your homework and listen to this, compared it to Craig's argument and found it to be unrelated. I'll report back tomorrow or Wednesday unless Jonathan would like to.

    The link isn't just a single post or a single presentation. It's several. I'm saying that Tim McGrew makes a comprehensive and cumulative case for the Resurrection. I hope you do look at, read, and listen to all of them. You'll be better for it. I also didn't say that none of the scholars are not related to Craig's work. I said that it's not based on his work. The point is that there are a lot of scholars other than William Lane Craig. Refuting him (and neither of you have) would not be enough.

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  17. $5 an hour if you want me to do that.
     
    Well, you certainly do get what you pay for.  However, if you weren’t just shooting off your mouth, you should be able to do this for us in no more than 10 minutes.  I’ll paypal you 83 cents if you like?
     
    I have more than showed I can do it.
     
    No, you have only showed that you were just shooting off your mouth and now you don’t want to admit it.  I’ve never seen anyone dig their own grave while simultaneously shooting themselves in the foot.  It’s been fascinating though.
     
    I also didn’t say that none of the scholars are not related to Craig’s work.
     
    Great.  Now you need to go back and reread Jonathan’s posts and see where you screwed up.
     
    The point is that there are a lot of scholars other than William Lane Craig.  Refuting him (and neither of you have) would not be enough
     
    DING DING DING!!!  (hint: Jonathan didn’t refute Craig, he didn’t try to, and that’s the point you so blatantly missed!!!)

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  18. Well, you certainly do get what you pay for. However, if you weren’t just shooting off your mouth, you should be able to do this for us in no more than 10 minutes. I’ll paypal you 83 cents if you like?

    If you really think that it takes only 10 minutes to prepare a good blog post on such an important subject, you should add "blogging" to the list of things you are ignorant about.

    DING DING DING!!! (hint: Jonathan didn’t refute Craig, he didn’t try to, and that’s the point you so blatantly missed!!!)

    I didn't say that Jonathan was trying to refute William Lane Craig in the post I am referring to in this fled. I was referring to refuting anyone in general against Christianity in general. The point originally was that venerating Jesus tomb was pointless and not on the first Christians To-Do list. Then we got onto whether or not there were guards at Jesus' tomb when he was resurrected. I still say that Jonathan Pearce did not demonstrate that there were no guards at Jesus' tomb. Hypothesis failed - both of them.

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  20. 2 quick points.

    1) "I find it odd that you would think that Pearce would imagine any of those places as holy"

    Patently ridiculous. Medjugorje has had 30 million pilgrims since 1981. No body. That's not holy?> Are they going there because they're bored. You have no idea what you are talking about! The same applies for the other holy places, venerated (worshiped, visited etc) consistently. Also, it's about how holy people THINK a site would be, not how holy it is (not that you can measure that).

    2) your rather pathetic attempt to give me an example of where McGrew rips my thesis to shreds was to link to apologetics 315 and a list of McGrew articles. None, which i can see, mention the tomb and guards. The only result that showed in a search using those key words was an article by you.


    So, recapping again. I claim that the tomb was not venerated (visited, worshipped etc) until it was apparently 'found' by Constantine. Let me quote you from the Life of Constantine, in case your research has not quite got that far:

    ""This sacred cave certain impious and godless persons had thought to remove entirely from the eyes of men ... these devices of impious and wicked men against the truth had prevailed for a long time ... the monument of his most holy Passion, so long ago buried beneath the ground, should have remained unknown for so long a series of years.""

    Hmm, so Constantine admits no one knew where it was.

    Now, I posit that seeing that all other holy sites, whether with relics or not, are venerated by humans of every religion (even Uluru causes Aborignes to venerate it and frown when tourists climd it). You special plead that these early Christians just weren't interested in doing so, despite all the evidence showing that they would and should (especially since when it was 'found' it was venerated straight away.)

    That was connected to another thesis - that there was an issue with Matthew's account of guards at the tomb. You claimed it was ripped to shreds by a list of apologists. I called you out. You told me to google. I googled one of them and found nothing. You linked to a general website for him, I find nothing again. when asked to cite, you claim it takes a long time to gather sources and citations. Yet to know that all those people rip a given theory to shreds, you would think that you knew maybe one of their books or chapters.

    Nope. Nothing. Still not a sausage. Or apology. And the audacity to continue to claim the intellectual and academic high ground. You are starting to embarrass yourself now.

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  21. Furthermore, AS Babinski says of Mike Lcona's work directly:

    "But Licona neglects to continue asking questions about other events listed only in Matthew’s telling of the resurrection. Only Matthew features an earthquake that opens the tombs of many saints who arise, features the Roman centurion and soldiers with him seeing this and being so frightened by it as to say aloud together that “surely this is the Son of God,” and only Matthew has guards at the tomb of Jesus and another earthquake and an angel that comes down out of heaven to sit on the stone outside the tomb, and has the Jews pay the guards to lie about what really happened. So Matthew has two earthquakes where the other Gospels have none. Matthew alters the reaction of the centurion, adding his fright, and that of other soliders, adding even their chorus of recognition of Jesus instead of a singular soldier saying so. Neither do any other Gospels have guards and an earthquake at Jesus’ tomb, and an angel coming down out of heaven and sitting on the rock outside, and lying Jews with hush money. Doesn’t the addition of all that raise even an eyebrow from Licona? Mark has no sealed tomb, and in fact the women are carrying spices to anoint the body and their only concern is who will move the rock for them. No fear of guards being there. Matthew changes the women’s motivation from anointing to just “see the tomb.” Why? Because he’s added the guards. Heck, comparing Mark then Matthew then Luke and John one might also note that Mark only has a young man inside the tomb when the women reach it, Matthew is the first to introduce and angel, then Luke and John each introduce two angels. That would be the chronological succession of the story if Markan priority is true as many assume. Furthermore, keeping Markan priority in mind, Mark’s story resembles a host of ancient translation stories involving missing bodies found throughout the Hellenistic world and that is how Hellenistic readers would certainly have understood the ending of Mark’s Gospel. See “Mark’s Empty Tomb and Other Translation Fables in Classical Antiquity” by Richard C. Miller, JBL 129, no.4 9 (2010) If Licona can point out all the ancient stories of miracles accompanying someone’s death and hence question Matthew’s “raising of the many” tale, then let’s go back a bit further to Mark, upon which Matthew was based, and look at the wealth of similarities between the empty tomb and missing body story in Mark and other heavenly translation legends in classical antiquity."

    Interesting - he is criticising precisely FOR NOT DEALING WITH AN ISSUE THAT YOU CLAIM HE HAS RIPPED TO SHREDS!!!

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  22. Notice also from McGrew's Historicity of the REsurrection talk, the powerpoint pages 30 and 31 that he NEGLECTS TO MENTION the guards, only talking about grave-robbing. He does not, in the PP or PDF at any rate, deal with the thesis that he is supposed to have "ripped to shreds".

    I could go on, but it seems that you may simply have rhetorically overstepped the mark, but are too proud and stubborn to admit your mistake.

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  23. I could go on, but it seems that you may simply have rhetorically overstepped the mark, but are too proud and stubborn to admit your mistake.


    I listed a bunch of scholars that today are dealing with such topics. I thought I remembered Tim McGrew dealing with the guards. I was wrong I can't remember what I saw that shredded the thought that there were no guards at the tomb. This does not mean that there is no scholarship supporting Matthew that there were guards at the tomb. It will take me more time that I have now to provide that. Me prideful and stubborn? No. But let's see if you are willing to admit you are wrong: What does it matter that Constantine (4 centuries after the Resurrection) did not know where the tomb is? It doesn't. And how does it follow that if Constantine did not know where the tomb was that Peter, Paul, or any of the first century Christians did not know where the tomb was? It doesn't. Your best arguments against the tomb (veneration and location) seem to be from silence. And if you saw and heard Dr Tim McGrew's lecture on the Resurrection, you know he did a really good job showing how truly pointless it is to argue from silence. Great job there.

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  24. I appreciate your honesty, Marcus.

    So why was the tomb not venerated


    You have 2 choices. The one most theists seem to opt for is that they didn't care to for some reason (like because there was no body there). However, as Jim Jones on Dc pointed out "If they didn't care why did they save his foreskins (all 18 of them), the "true cross" (which the Romans kindly donated to them), the nails (all thirty of them - also donated despite the cost), the sign affixed above his head stating "Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews" (in three languages), the crown of thorns, the shroud he was wrapped in (an object which Jews would be repulsed by), and many other 'relics'?"

    So it seems odd that, at the same time, they didn't give a fig about the tomb.

    The second option the theist has is that they did worship the place, but we have no evidence of it.

    This is perhaps even more incredulous since 1) Constantine admits no one knew where it was. 2) People now debate whether it is the real tomb or not - ie they don't know 3) there is no evidence of it, probably because the first most people heard of it was when the Gospel writers, non eyewitnesses, cobbled the accounts together 4 decades plus after he resurrected. It seems rather odd that we have the name of the tomb owner, a Sanhedrin no-less (which is interesting, since the temple records were destroyed after the temple destruction so the claim, 40 years after, is unverifiable - see Carrier, Not The Impossible Faith, in which Carrier, how shall I say, rips Holding to shreds ;)). we also know that the main proponents of the early church, important women and others were privvy to the information. Thus the early church would have known the location. It seems that the tomb would have been located by the early church and venerated had those people really known where it was.

    Hence the conclusion that they didn't know where it was.

    If you haven't already, it is worth reading Byron McCane's excellent article (for a Christian scholar!) in B.D. Chilton and C.A. Evans (eds.), Authenticating the Activities of Jesus (NTTS, 28.2; Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1998) p. 431-452.

    eg

    "The problems surrounding Jesus' burial are extremely difficult, for reasons which are all too familiar to scholars of the historical Jesus: the event took place long ago, the sources are scarce, and most of the textual evidence is heavily shaded in Christian ideologies...
    The shame of Jesus' burial is not only consistent with the best evidence, but can also help to account for an historical fact which has long been puzzling to historians of early Christianity: why did the primitive church not venerate the tomb of Jesus? Joachim Jeremias, for one, thought it inconceivable (undenkbar) that the primitive community would have let the grave of Jesus sink into oblivion. [36] Yet the earliest hints of Christian veneration of Jesus' tomb do not surface until the early fourth century CE. [37] It is a striking fact--and not at all unthinkable--that the tomb of Jesus was not venerated until it was no longer remembered as a place of shame. "

    The whole piece is a very good example of critical academia from a Christian. i suggest you read it. You may have second thoughts about facepalming such scholastics.

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  25. However, as Jim Jones on Dc pointed out "If they didn't care why did they save his foreskins (all 18 of them), the "true cross" (which the Romans kindly donated to them), the nails (all thirty of them - also donated despite the cost), the sign affixed above his head stating "Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews" (in three languages), the crown of thorns, the shroud he was wrapped in (an object which Jews would be repulsed by), and many other 'relics'?"

    So let me get it straight: you deny that there were guards at the tomb although you can't prove it as a fact and that it's okay to argue on the grounds of Joseph of Arethia not being real. How is just assuming anyone had his foreskins, pieces of the "true cross", any of the nails,any piece of the crown of thorns, or any relics during the 1st Century Church era or that they cared about any of that a good argument? I would assume that after about 400 years when people started seeking out such relics including venerating the tomb that all of those were faked for financial gain - not worship or piety. In my opinion, it's more of a faceplant than facepalm.

    I still don't see any reason to assume that Peter, Paul, or any of the first century Christians would have wasted their time venerating an empty tomb whtn they knew Jesus was Resurrected.

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  27. My thesis is he was dishnourably buried (the clearly far more plausible and coherent account - see McCane for eg) so that the tomb, guards and what have you did not exist (fabrications or embellishments). No one knew where he was buried because it would have been a shallow grave for the type of criminal he was - the worst (blaspheming and claiming to be the Messiah).

    People obviously did not own these things, but their claims show that they were ready to venerate Jesus and things associated with him.

    If people knew where the tomb was, then why was it suddenly found after being forgotten many centuries later. Why did people venerate anything to do with Jesus at a later date but not before?

    The only reasonable answer to this conundrum, as detailed by McCane, is that people simply didn't know where the tomb was. It wasn't until Constantine 'invented' / 'discovered' the tomb (Church of the Holy Sepulchre) that people could finally venerate. And they did.

    So, as mentioned, you have 2 options if you do not want to deny the tomb:
    1) they did venerate, but there is no evidence. This does not fit with absence of evidence and actual evidence (eg Constantine saying people did not know where it was).
    2) they did not venerate though they knew where it was. This clearly does not fit with received evidence of every other faith AND the Christian faith where everything to do with anything about Jesus and the Saints and the bible is venerates. Jews venerated tombs, and Jesus ' early followers were Jews (they did not see themselves as non-Jewish since Jesus was the Jewish Messiahs). So everyone we know has always venerated. to believe this option, you would have to special plead that the early church was entirely different from everyone else in the world over time, even though this site is EVEN MORE special.

    I go for option 3 - the tomb did not exist, guards and all.

    What is your option?

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  28. I was wrong I can't remember what I saw that shredded the thought that there were no guards at the tomb. This does not mean that there is no scholarship supporting Matthew that there were guards at the tomb.

    This is simply stunning. Marcus is correct, in fact, even though no one here is aware of any, it does't mean there isn't any scholarship that supports the idea that there were guards at the tomb. There's lots of scholarship out there. But the problem here is that Marcus is operating as if this scholarship is known to him and does exist. It's like an inversion of the argument from silence mixed liberally with an argument from the possibility of authority.

    It's like saying "Why do I believe the holocaust was faked? Well, I'm sure there are good arguments to that effect, there just have to be".

    Absurd, right?

    Marcus is letting his desire that something be true drive his belief that it is true.

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  29. My thesis is he was dishnourably buried (the clearly far more plausible and coherent account - see McCane for eg) so that the tomb, guards and what have you did not exist (fabrications or embellishments). No one knew where he was buried because it would have been a shallow grave for the type of criminal he was - the worst (blaspheming and claiming to be the Messiah).

    There are a couple of problems with this hypothesis. One is that the tomb burial is just well accepted as the crucifixion itself. It's a minority position that there was no tomb. You can't prove that there were wasn't a tomb and two given that the earliest opponents of Christianity did not provide a corpse or state that Jesus was not buried in a tomb that is very shaky ground on which to build an argument. Even Bart Ehrman and Marcus Borg agree that Jesus was buried. John Dominic Crossan agrees with you but even he agrees that he is in the minority. It smacks of an attempt to circumvent a Resurrection by denying a burial which you can't do.

    They didn't know where the tomb had been in the fourth century. So what? Does that mean that Peter did not know where the tomb was? Paul? Priscilla? Aquilla? Apollos? Timothy? Barnabas? Phoebe? How do you know they didn't know it in the first century? Today there is debate on the exact place where the Second Temple stood in Jerusalem - Does that that mean there was no second temple or no Temple built by Solomon? Nope.

    I wonder if the tomb even actually still exists. It's been 2000 years. Since we don't know the exact location, how we know it wasn't venerated? They did not know where it was in the fourth century. That does not mean they did not know during the lifetime of the eyewitnesses. It's not like we can do much excavation anywhere we want in that area today. Maybe we just haven't found it yet.

    2) they did not venerate though they knew where it was. This clearly does not fit with received evidence of every other faith AND the Christian faith where everything to do with anything about Jesus and the Saints and the bible is venerates. Jews venerated tombs, and Jesus ' early followers were Jews (they did not see themselves as non-Jewish since Jesus was the Jewish Messiahs). So everyone we know has always venerated. to believe this option, you would have to special plead that the early church was entirely different from everyone else in the world over time, even though this site is EVEN MORE special.

    Just because people in the fourth century were trying to venerate everything they could get their hands on does not mean the people who knew Jesus were doing the same. We have little evidence at all of such things between the start of Christianity and the fourth century being venerated. All the examples cited here are relatively late. The first Christians began doing thing quite differently than the Jews from the beginning. Appealing to them is not very meaningful. Given that Jesus chastised the veneration of tombs of prophets taking place in his own time, combined with the persecution, and the resurrection itself and Jesus blessing of those who believed and had not seen, I would not expect venerating the tomb would be high on the priority list.

    I go for option 3 - the tomb did not exist, guards and all.

    What is your option?


    The tomb was not venerated because the first Christians knew Jesus was alive and did not feel the need to elevate it to any importance. It was more important to tell as many people about the Gospel and live it out than making an empty monument. Sometimes people put more faith in the object of veneration than in what it is supposed to symbolize. Peter, James, John, Paul, Phillip, and all of the leader would have wanted to avoid that. Our faith and worship is in Jesus not in an empty tomb.

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  30. Marcus is correct, in fact, even though no one here is aware of any, it does't mean there isn't any scholarship that supports the idea that there were guards at the tomb. There's lots of scholarship out there. But the problem here is that Marcus is operating as if this scholarship is known to him and does exist.

    I remember some material and I can't quite put my hands on it. But I will be posting it as soon as I find it again. Just because you aren't aware of it does not mean it does not exist. There is a lot you are not aware of.

    Marcus is letting his desire that something be true drive his belief that it is true.

    How do you know that you are not letting your desire that there is no good evidence for the Resurrection of Christ drive your belief and tainting your reason? If Jesus really was raised from the dead and the Bible is true in its accounts, what are your prepared to do?

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  31. Just because you aren't aware of it does not mean it does not exist.

    Correct, and totally besides the point.

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