The “Problem” With Mark 13:30?

28 “Now learn this parable from the fig tree: When its branch has already become tender, and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near. 29 So you also, when you see these things happening, know that itis near—at the doors! 30 Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place. 31 Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.

– Mark 13:28-31

The (Supposed) Problem

If you’ve been a Christian for any amount of time, I’m sure you’ve come across this hackneyed “argument” against the Deity of Christ, and the validity of His claims and ministry. The “argument” typically goes like this:

“Jesus? Pfff! Didn’t He believe that the people during His own lifetime would see Him return? He wasn’t anything but a mere man, a good man (maybe), and an apocalyptic prophet, sure, but not God. If He was God, then why did He get this prophecy wrong?”

The verse they point to is Mark 13:30, as quoted above:

“Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place.”

And the point is to try to cast doubt on Jesus’ divine nature, thereby showing His lack of credibility and, hence, the human origin of Christianity. But does this work?

Not at all.

There are a variety of exegetical problems with understanding the phrase “this generation” to mean only the generation to whom Christ was addressing this discourse. But in addition to those, there are methodological problems with picking this verse as an example of Jesus’  (supposedly) imperfect and  “human all too human” (and thereby faulty) prophetic behavior. To put it in a brief question that summarizes the problem, we should answer such critics with a simple question:

“Considering that you believe that what is written about Jesus has been tampered with in order to make Jesus look divine, when in reality He wasn’t, on what basis do you isolate this verse as being a true statement coming from the mouth of Christ?”

They may refuse to say this aloud, for fear of revealing their own presuppositions to you and themselves, but the answer is pretty simple: It looks like a mistake, so they attribute it to Christ in an attempt to discredit Him. Now, to be fair, there are some who truly are seeking to understand this verse in light of the fact that “that” generation to whom the Lord was giving His discourse has passed away and Christ has not returned, so I’m not lumping all skeptics together. I just have encountered many, many unbelieving individuals who wish to remain so, and who try to stump believers with decontextualized  fragments of Scripture. So this is mainly for them ;)

When confronted with Mark 13:30, therefore, I respond by asking about their methodology in assessing whether or not (i.)Christ is the real author of the prophecy, and (ii.)He was mistaken in stating that “this generation shall not pass away.” Anyone interpreting the Bible has a particular method whereby they assess such things. So, it must be asked of them: What is your method?

This question is poignant, when one considers the presuppositions these individuals typically hold to in an attempt to show that the Gospels are the hybrid offspring of true history and superstitious legend. For instance, here are some presuppositions that are typically connected to the “problem” of Mark 13:30.

1. The Gospels were written after the destruction of the Temple in AD 70, seeing as they deny the supernatural as exhibited in prophecy and Jesus obviously makes reference to this calamitous event.

2. The Gospels largely consist of fabrications about Christ, which have been inserted into a basic story about Him, in order to make Him appear Divine. That is to say, they assert that Christ was “made into God” by the later church who had formed legends about Him.

And here is why the “problem” of Mark 13:30 is not a problem for believers, but for these skeptics. Addressing the above two presuppositions:

1. & 2. If the Gospels were after the destruction of the Temple in AD 70, why would the authors include such a phrase if it were indeed a prophetic failure? Even if we assume that the writers were completely incompetent (as the majority of godless scholars – see Ehrman, the Jesus Seminar, and a host of others – do), can we reasonably believe that they were dumb enough to include a phrase that would completely overturn Christ’s credibility? Would this not directly take away from their assumed goal (i.e. to make Jesus appear to be Divine)?

I guess we could assume that the Gospel authors weren’t consistent enough in their wholesale fabrication of the life of Christ Jesus, but that would be inconsistent with the logic of skeptics who would argue that Jesus made a mistake in prophesying about “this generation.” Did they push the date back for their audience? If the Gospel writers merely included v. 30 for the sake of addressing their contemporary audience, then Jesus didn’t say it and their accusation that He was a prophetic failure is meaningless. We should then have to deal with the authors who, supposedly, made this mistake; for it says nothing of the Lord Jesus.

They want to have their cake and eat it too, but they simply cannot.

So Which Generation is Christ Referring to?

This is the principal question, I guess. And the answer is simple:

The Lord Jesus is referring to the generation which sees “all these things come to pass” (i.e. the generation that sees all of  the events the body of His prophecy covers, see here). Since the events cover the future, He is referring to the future. Since the events cover a time period that extends beyond the destruction of the Temple, He is referring to the distant generation that sees the culmination of all of the events.

“This generation,” therefore, is not the group of disciples to whom He is giving His discourse, but a later generation that sees the fulfillment of all He prophesied.

Simple?

Yes.

This is a hackneyed subject, but one that needs to be addressed.

Be blessed.

-h.

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25 thoughts on “The “Problem” With Mark 13:30?

  1. James says:

    I read it and thought you were spot on, as usual. The part about how it couldn’t have been written after 70 AD unless the “writers (or people trying to create a religious system)” were (paraphrased) morons. It reminds me of a guy I met a while ago who said that Pilate was impeached for being too cruel, trying to argue that his “washing his hands” from Christ’s trial wasn’t true to character, thus false. But again, if the people writing it weren’t inspired by God and they were just trying to create a religious system, they wouldn’t be so dumb as to put something that doesn’t sound exactly as the person would behave, but on the contrary, the boldness in which Pilate’s persona had such a change of heart shows that something must have changed his heart specifically for this cause, like God maybe.

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  2. Hiram says:

    Thanks for the kind words, James!

    I know what you’re saying, man. The overall inconsistency – i.e. the illogicality – of some of these guys is just incredible.

    -h.

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  3. Craig says:

    Too abrupt an analysis of something so complex. This verse, after all is contained within Jesus’ response to his apostles question concerning the destruction of the temple. So why would he speak about the future? He even says that those in Judea should run to the hills when they see the end coming.
    Not very simple at all.

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  4. Zabriel says:

    matthew 16:28 “Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom…. ok now explain that one

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  5. Hiram says:

    Zabriel, have you read the entirety of the New Testament? If you have, then how can this verse be a problem for you? In the context of Christ’s teaching of what the Kingdom of God is, what judgment is, and how He will mete out judgment to His enemies, the answer to this verse is a little bit more nuanced than you want it to be.

    The Kingdom of God is Christ’s rule over all as exalted King to be sure, but there is also another sense that we are given in John 17:1-2, Acts 7:55-56, and Hebrews 1:3-4, and 2 Peter 1:16-18. These refer to Christ’s “coming” with majesty and glory and power – while He was still on the earth. Christ is speaking of His transfiguration in the immediate context of the quote you give, but He is also pointing to is exaltation over all men as Sovereign King and Savior of those whom He has chosen out of the world (again, John 17:1-2), and this takes place via the institution of the church subsequent to His ascension.

    He is also speaking about the judgment that would fall upon Jerusalem in AD 70. Sight isn’t always meant literally; however, we can say that it may in fact be literal, seeing as Stephen saw the heavens open and saw Christ standing in majesty before the Father. There is nothing in the Bible to keep us from understanding the “seeing” of which Christ speaks as not being symbolic (cf. Matt 12:14-17, for instance).

    Because the Bible is God’s Word, moreover, the Lord Jesus’ words also refer to His second coming to judge the living and the dead. You and I are still alive and, consequently, may in fact see Him return with the angels, etc.

    I believe that all three of these are meant by Christ.

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  6. Kala says:

    Just thought to leave you some encouragement. I am a Christian and came upon this verse a little disheartened because I couldn’t understand it’s meaning. After a little ‘google research’ I found this article. Thank you for shedding some light on the mysteries of His precious Word.

    Blessings to you,
    Kala

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  7. Bart B. Van Bockstaele says:

    Actually, Mark 13:30 is by no means the only verse that says this. There are several verses in different gospels that say exactly the same thing.

    I also would not use these verses to discredit Jesus himself. That makes sense only in the sense that one talks about -say- Captain Kirk in Star Trek. Fun speculation on a fictional story.

    I would use those verses to discredit the claim that the Bible is inerrant. It obviously is not. Which helps bringing into question the reality that he ever existed in the first place. There is no proof he did, there is no evidence he did, except for the rather circumstantial evidence that a religion was built around him. Let’s not forget that Zeus and Hera and Poseidon and Aphrodite also had a religion built around them and that there were fascinating stories about them as well. Their existence was never proven. Nor was Jesus’. The religion of the Gods of the Olympus went extinct. As Christianity almost certainly will.

    The fact is that almost everything in the Bible has to stand on Biblical credentials as there is almost no evidence or proof external to it that corroborate the very fallible Biblical claims. As a consequence, continuously reinterpreting the Bible to make it mean what the current generation of apologists wants it so say, is dishonest, and highly questionable. Even solving Sudoku puzzles is more likely to sharpen one’s power of critical thinking.

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  8. Hiram says:

    “Thanks for stopping by, Bart :)

    Here are my responses to your response….

    “Actually, Mark 13:30 is by no means the only verse that says this.”

    Who said that it was/is?

    “There are several verses in different gospels that say exactly the same thing.”

    Ok….

    “I also would not use these verses to discredit Jesus himself. That makes sense only in the sense that one talks about -say- Captain Kirk in Star Trek. Fun speculation on a fictional story.”

    Lame. You guys need a new routine. Seriously.

    “I would use those verses to discredit the claim that the Bible is inerrant. It obviously is not.”

    Great argument. The Bible obviously is not inerrant because it contains something that looks like an error; therefore, any attempts to understand these words in their literary, historical, grammatical and theological contexts doesn’t need to be taken seriously, because you know that the Bible is not inerrant. Right?

    So the Bible is inerrant because you’re ignorant and don’t want to study the issue in a little more depth. No offense meant, but that is just a lame excuse for unbelief.

    “Which helps bringing into question the reality that he ever existed in the first place.”

    This is another brilliant argument:

    The Bible is not inerrant because it contains what you think is an error.
    Therefore, Jesus never existed.

    How does the second proposition follow from the first?

    “There is no proof he did, there is no evidence he did, except for the rather circumstantial evidence that a religion was built around him.”

    I know, right? I mean, who cares if even hard-nosed agnostics like Bart Ehrman and John Dominic Crossan affirm that Jesus existed, preached, had disciples, lived in the middle east, etc etc etc….I guess those guys are just plain dumb.

    “Let’s not forget that Zeus and Hera and Poseidon and Aphrodite also had a religion built around them and that there were fascinating stories about them as well.”

    Who’s forgetting? I continually keep them in my mind in order to compare and contrast their stories with the historical records of the Bible.

    I am often astounded by how different they are.

    “Their existence was never proven.”

    Who was trying to prove their existence? And how do you know that “they” failed to prove their existence?

    I need some proof for this claim.

    “Nor was Jesus’.”

    I need clarification on this since it would be silly to claim that people living during the time that Christ “allegedly” lived were trying to prove that He existed and yet failed to do so. If they did, wouldn’t they have said something to the apostles? Or did the apostles not exist either?

    If you’re referring to the present anti-Christians who deny Christ’s existence, well I’m glad that you are wise enough to reject the New Testament by assuming, axiomatically, that religion is stupid and the Bible is not inerrant, concluding your reasoning, therefore, by thinking that the four Gospels, as well as the extra-Biblical documents that corroborate some of the most basic elements of the four gospel narratives, as well as the apostolic epistles, as well the Patristic writings, as well the testimony of churches which were founded by the apostles are all worthless sources of historical information about Jesus Christ.

    “The religion of the Gods of the Olympus went extinct. As Christianity almost certainly will.”

    I didn’t know that the gods of Olympus had a religion. But I will take your word for it. Wait…if they never existed, and the mysterious group of people who tried to prove their existence failed to do so, then how could they have had a religion that went extinct?

    If you meant to say that Greco-Roman polytheism went extinct, and Christianity almost certainly will, then that is more comprehensible.

    The problem is, again, that you’re assuming that Christianity is mythological and then comparing it to Greco-Roman polytheism. And that, dear friend, is called a category error.

    Not only that, but the tenuousness of your second sentence here kinda weakens the attempt at sobriety and mockery.

    Will Christianity go extinct?

    Or will it “almost” certainly go extinct?

    Either way, I want some hard evidence of your claim. I can’t just accept your statement on the basis of blind faith.

    “The fact is that almost everything in the Bible has to stand on Biblical credentials as there is almost no evidence or proof external to it that corroborate the very fallible Biblical claims.”

    Once again, your reasoning here is sheer genius.

    The fact is, you say, that “almost” everything in the Bible has to stand on Biblical credentials. And I’m not really sure what that means, seeing as the Bible, to you, has no credentials whatsoever. Right?
    What do you mean to say here?

    So, the Bible is fallible, but Christians want it to appear to be infallible, so they appeal to the fallible Bible in order to make it appear to be infallible?

    What is the Bible? Do you know? Or are you just regurgitating Sam Harris, Chris Hitchens, or any of the other of the philosophically inept “militant atheists”?

    “As a consequence, continuously reinterpreting the Bible to make it mean what the current generation of apologists wants it so say, is dishonest, and highly questionable. Even solving Sudoku puzzles is more likely to sharpen one’s power of critical thinking.”

    So “science” can reinterpret data, but theologians cannot?

    That’s what you’re saying, isn’t it?

    And “science” can dogmatically claim that “x” is true of “all” “y,” which is, btw, a logically fallacious for any inductive “science” to make, and then completely junk said proposition (viz. “‘x’ is true of ‘all’ ‘y'”) when more data emerges?

    Perhaps the “scientists” need to start doing Sudoku puzzles?

    How about a good game of mancala?

    Or will chess do?
    ———————————————————————————————-

    I mean no disrespect to you, but your comments reflect an arrogance that is, unfortunately, completely unfounded.

    You are a sinner under the judgment of God and, well, that’s why you reject His existence but can’t even do so in an intelligible manner.

    The good news, however, is that Christ died for atheists as well.

    I know. I used to be one.

    “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved.”

    “Whoever does not believe, the wrath of God abides on him.”

    Those are the two options left to you.

    I will pray for you.

    -h.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Howard Schweitzer says:

    I have officially given up coming to Christian forums for “explanations” of bible verses. It’s clear that Christians themselves can’t figure this stuff out. This is rather ironic since God is not the “author of confusion.” I originally came here to see the “Christian perspective”, after hearing one of the world’s top New Testament scholars, Bart Ehrman make the claim that Mark, unlike John, portrays Jesus as apocalyptic. It seems to me that the typical Christian responses to these issues is to claim that the words (kingdom, this generation etc) don’t mean what they mean in the dictionary, or to point out other passages that contradict the passage in question (Matt 5:17/Luke 16:16), or circular reasoning (“since I think the “events” referred to will occur 2000+ years later, “this generation” must be the generation 2000+ years later”) Perhaps the Christian god is a jokester god, who is in heaven, laughing at the over 33,000 denominations worldwide that have sprung out of one book. The more I learn about Christiianity, the more I realize that Christianity only makes sense from the perspective of the atheist.

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  10. Hiram says:

    Howard, thanks for the visit :)

    Here’s some food for thought.

    1. “I have officially given up coming to Christian forums for “explanations” of bible verses. It’s clear that Christians themselves can’t figure this stuff out.”

    This is a bad reason to give up on Christian forums when seeking answers to difficult questions regarding the Biblical texts.

    2. “This is rather ironic since God is not the “author of confusion.”

    God is not the author of confusion, you’re right. Sinners like me and you are, however.

    3. “I originally came here to see the “Christian perspective”, after hearing one of the world’s top New Testament scholars, Bart Ehrman make the claim that Mark, unlike John, portrays Jesus as apocalyptic.”

    Two things:

    (a.)Why do you come to Christian forums, where there are probably enough scholars to count on 1.5 hands in all of the internet and do so in response to the claims of “one of the world’s top New Testament scholars”?

    Seems a little imbalanced.

    If you’re looking for scholars who refute Ehrman with the same amount of effort exerted it takes to kill a fly, I can link you to some stuff.

    (b.)It is ironic to me that you accept Ehrman’s grandiose view of himself when he is too blind to see that John certainly DOES show Jesus as the Son of Man in an eschatalogical sense. I’m no scholar, moreover, and I can refute that asinine claim of his (see, The Son of Man in the Gospel of John).

    4. “It seems to me that the typical Christian responses to these issues is to claim that the words (kingdom, this generation etc) don’t mean what they mean in the dictionary,”

    So Miriam-Webster is the infallible definer of the words kingdom, generation, etc? Really?
    Christians define their understanding of the words on the basis of how they are used in the Scriptures. How is that problematic?

    5. “or to point out other passages that contradict the passage in question (Matt 5:17/Luke 16:16),”

    These passages don’t contradict the passage in question.

    6. “or circular reasoning (“since I think the “events” referred to will occur 2000+ years later, “this generation” must be the generation 2000+ years later”)”

    I didn’t do this once in this post. I’m sorry if that was your experience elsewhere, but as the original intention of my post clearly shows: This is precisely how atheists treat this text.

    7. “Perhaps the Christian god is a jokester god, who is in heaven, laughing at the over 33,000 denominations worldwide that have sprung out of one book.”

    Perhaps the Christian God is not laughing at the sin that causes denominational differences. Perhaps the problem isn’t the one book but the divided ambitions of sinful men and women that cause unnecessary divisions within the church. Perhaps you are yourself being laughed at for mocking Him. Perhaps. Perhaps.Perhaps,,,,

    “The more I learn about Christiianity, the more I realize that Christianity only makes sense from the perspective of the atheist.”

    The more I learn about Christianity, the more I realize that I was a fool for being an atheist for over nine years of my life…

    -h.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Howard Schweitzer says:

    Hiram, thanks for the response. Here is my response to some of your response.

    “This is a bad reason to give up on Christian forums when seeking answers to difficult questions”

    I don’t think many of these are terribly difficult to understand. Scholars have been studying the bible in it’s original languages, and history for many years. It is true that there are some disagreements over the interpretation of many verses. However, the real trouble starts when Christians come along and try to impose their paticular theology onto scriptures. This is when words begin to change meaning, some passages are emphasied while others are ignored, and bizarre arguments appear. This is also why I decided to focus my attention on what trained scholars/historians with their reputations on the line, like Bart Ehrman, and Dale Martin opine regarding these issues, rather than entertaining the intellectual gymnastics of internet Jehova’s Witnesses, Mormons, etc. As a philosophy professor of mine once said, “being educated is not always knowing all the answer; it’s knowing when the other person does not know the answer.” In short, I am much more satisfied with the intellectual rigior of explanations from agnostic/athist scholars like Ehrman and some theistic scholars, that what is generally available on the web.

    “you’re right. Sinners like me and you are, however”

    I don’t see how this addresses the point. I did not write the bible and I don’t think you did either. If I had done so for the presumed purpose, I would have seen to it that the message was neither ambiguous nor contradictory. Anyone today with a little legal or philosophical training can write a book that is unambiguous and and logically sound.

    “Why do you come to Christian forums, where there are probably enough scholars to count on 1.5 hands in all of the internet and do so in response to the claims of “one of the world’s top New Testament scholars”?”

    I like to hear many viewpoints on an issue before I make up my mind about it. I’m not going to believe something Ehrman says simply because he said it. However, so far, I think he is “spot-on” with regard to Mark 13.

    “So Miriam-Webster is the infallible definer of the words kingdom, generation, etc? Really?
    Christians define their understanding of the words on the basis of how they are used in the Scriptures. How is that problematic?”

    I did not say that was problematic. Words may have several meanings. The problem arises when Christians choose a meaning for a word (kingdom, etc) that does not fit the context of the passage in order to make it fit their own theology. It’s easy for internet Christians to do this. It’s not as easy for scholars to do so without negative consequences to their career.

    “Perhaps the problem isn’t the one book but the divided ambitions of sinful men and women that cause unnecessary divisions within the church”

    I fail to see how this follows. I happen to think that most Christians are sincere. Each believes that his/her reading is correct and that others are mistaken. When you consider that the bible was written over the course of several centuries by many different authors with different theological beliefs and a bronze age understanding (misunderstanding) of the world, the fact that there are 33,000+ denominations of Christians makes perfect sense. No need to postulate the supernatural.

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  12. Solomon says:

    Wow, if we spent this much time reaching a lost world we wouldn’t need the time to explain ourselves…for the people that don’t believe in Jesus, I’ll shake the dust off my feet as I make my exit. Thanks for the explanation Hiram.

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    • Dylan says:

      I just happened upon this forum because of a thirst for knowledge concerning the inerrance and infallibility of the Bible. It would seem that some people that are already firmly grounded in Christianity don’t always see the need to articulate their position, but for the people who are honestly searching for some firm answers as to why they must believe in Christianity, this articulation is crucial…after all if we are to reach the “lost”, it implies that we are “found” and can prove it.
      Also, I’m a bit put off by the implied tone in some of Hiram’s responses. It would seem as if he is displaying some of the same arrogance that he is accusing atheists as having. If one were to use his responses as an indicator of the essence of being a Christian, they would come away disappointed.

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  13. hiram says:

    Dylan, I appreciate your interacion here :) However, I think you’re misunderstanding where I’m coming from. There is a cultural form of Christianity that encourages Christians to engage in milquetoast “dialogues” with venomous opponents of their faith. I reject that false form of apologetics because it is not at all what the Scriptures teach.

    I have responded to the above atheist responders in the way that I have because I think it is appropriate given the content of their posting. When Christ encountered the woman at the well (cf. John 4:1-26), He didn’t speak to her in the same way that he spoke to the Pharisees and Sadducees.

    Different contexts require different responses.

    Now, it may be that I have misinterpreted the responders’ words as being vicious or venomous or vigorously oppositional. If that is the case, then I am willing to admit that my responses were inappropriate/uncalled for, and also repent.

    Otherwise, I haven’t acted in sin.

    -h.

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    • Dylan says:

      I appreciate your response and accept that you have to be firm when defending Christianity. I didn’t and won’t venture to say I completely understand where you’re coming from, but I can only tell you my perception of your response and respond to you based only on that. I also appreciate how you link the situation of Jesus adjusting His approach based on the specific situation. It is probably akin to Paul saying that he must be all things to all men so that he may win some, but one important fact to point out is that whenever and wherever Jesus spoke, it was from, according to the Bible a point of complete and perfect knowledge of the inner workings of mens’ hearts. We do not and cannot ever have that perfect knowledge of peoples’ motives, so any response from us is based soley on assumptions, which can be wrong.
      That is why, I would guess, that the Bible essentially teaches us to base our actions not on what we think is appropriate, but rather on the guidelines contained in the Word, so that we may draw people in, rather than further agitate them.

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      • hiram says:

        William, my defense is valid. It may not be what you were expecting, but it is valid. The question I have for you, though, is this: If you desire a scholastic response to this supposed problem, why not read a scholarly publication on the matter? I’m not a scholar, just some dude with a blog. You can find tons of free scholarly commentaries online at Google Books or at Monergism.com. Those commentaries may be more to your liking than my blog post.

        -h.

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  14. Shawn says:

    Forgive my lack of eloquence, and punctuation.
    What’s wrong with vigorously opposing a view
    that’s not based on reality?
    It seems that christianity has borrowed many of its core beliefs from much older faiths, traditions
    and claimed them for its self, the dieing and rising god, judgment after death, eternal life, the flood, Adam and eve, I mean Akenaten is the guy that said “no one comes to the aten (sun god) but through me”. How then can all the faiths it borrowed from be wrong but it be right?
    I like what Bart said about Hera and Zeus,
    But there are so many more figures who
    were written into stories of real places and times,
    Historicized to authenticate them, you can visit Zeus birthplace, a cave somewhere in Greece.
    Just like the birthplace of jesus, a barn somewhere in Bethlehem.
    Is it posible that when these nt stories were being
    written and preached that people asumed they were true because they themselves couldn’t read or write to verify their authenticity?
    The same way that people believe Internet scams
    they don’t know any better, and they are really hoping to get that 10,000$ they were promised.

    I don’t claim to have otherworldly knowledge,
    You do, that’s why your wrong hiram.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Hiram says:

    Shawn, you ask: “What’s wrong with vigorously opposing a view that’s not based on reality?”

    There’s nothing wrong with doing that. In fact, that’s what I do when I oppose atheism, agnosticism, and every other non-Christian “ism.”

    You then go on to say:

    “It seems that christianity has borrowed many of its core beliefs from much older faiths, traditions and claimed them for its self, the dieing and rising god, judgment after death, eternal life, the flood, Adam and eve, I mean Akenaten is the guy that said “no one comes to the aten (sun god) but through me”. How then can all the faiths it borrowed from be wrong but it be right?”

    Let’s suss this out. Christianity has not borrowed any concepts from foreign belief systems. There may be a formal similarity between Christianity and religion x (take your pick), but that is far from a material similarity. So this is not an objection to the faith, just an escape hatch for those who don’t want to delve too deeply into study to see if the claims of the Zeitgeist movie, and even the tomfoolery of men like Dan Brown and Bart Ehrman, are based on reality or not.

    [Side Note: Zeitgeist, Dan Brown, and Bart Ehrman are wrong regarding history, the textual transmission of the Bible, and the history of the Christian church.]

    If you want to vigorously oppose a view that’s not based on reality, vigorously oppose Bart Ehrman’s assumption of what is called “The Bauer Hypothesis of Christian Origins” (see http://www.tektonics.org/af/bauerhyp.php for more info).

    If you want to vigorously oppose a view that’s not based on reality, vigorously oppose those who promote the long-refuted pseudo-scholarly “parallelomania” that attempts to claim that Christianity “borrowed” its core beliefs from other religions (see here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parallelomania for more info).

    Regarding Akenaten…really? C’mon bro.

    Anyway, you continue:

    “I like what Bart said about Hera and Zeus, But there are so many more figures who
    were written into stories of real places and times, Historicized to authenticate them, you can visit Zeus birthplace, a cave somewhere in Greece. Just like the birthplace of jesus, a barn somewhere in Bethlehem.”

    The documents comprising the New Testament were written fairly early on in the hstory of the post-resurrection church by men who had seen Christ after he raised himself from the grave. The documents, in other words, were not written in a historical blank space where no one could call the apostles out for lying about what they were writing.

    Christ was seen by over 500 eyewitnesses. Christ remained with his people on earth 40 days after he was raised from the dead. If Christ did not raise himself from the dead, what did the five-hundred eyewitnesses see? Note: The eyewitnesses were seeing Christ, as far as we can tell from the NT documents, for the forty days after he raised himself from the dead.

    I’d be a fool to NOT believe the text of Scripture.

    “Is it posible that when these nt stories were being written and preached that people asumed they were true because they themselves couldn’t read or write to verify their authenticity?”

    Jewish illiteracy was not as widespread as contemporary skeptics and antichristian rhetoricians make it out to be. The Jews had to be literate for one main reason: God commanded them to read and write the law. If the Jews were to be obedient to God, therefore, they had to be able to read and write, at the very least, the commandments of Yahweh.

    Jesus was certainly not illiterate. Neither were his disciples. The church leaders were not scholars (with the exception of Saul of Tarsus/Paul the apostle), but they were not illiterate.

    The churches were also NOT illiterate. If they were, then why would the apostles write them letters and then command them to read them aloud, or transmit them via copying?

    The very text of the NT refutes the idea that the churches were widely illiterate. They weren’t.

    “The same way that people believe Internet scams they don’t know any better, and they are really hoping to get that 10,000$ they were promised.”

    This is an assertion that is itself based on ignorance, Shawn. As I’ve hinted at above, you are ignorant of the scholarly work that refutes the objections you pose.

    So I vigorously oppose what is not based on reality: The views you and other skeptics espouse.

    I claim to have historical knowledge of the God who sustains all things. He reveals the otherworldly in time and space, through the writings of his prophets and apostles, and no one can oppose him.

    -h.

    Like

  16. Bart B. Van Bockstaele says:

    >>Christ was seen by over 500 eyewitnesses.
    This is a highly interesting claim. On what is it based? Do you have official and/or verifiable records, affidavits, court reports? Please provide links to information that confirms this.

    Like

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