So I had a conversation on http://www.thinkingchristian.net/posts/2013/01/rationalizing-christian/. You can find it at the bottom (or close to it, if people have been commenting). At any rate, here is what was said:
ME: I wouldn’t say the Bible is unhistorical. Its just not representative of the Christian religion until the New Testament. The Old Testament is taken from Mesopotamian, Egyptian, Greek, and other more ancient religions. The Old Testament is a horrible representative of Christian religion, historically speaking, because it is direct plagarism from other religions. The New Testament, is a farce at best. Let me explain. The NT, when all the documents were gathered, were like merky water. There is so much that is left out of the NT because it didn’t ‘fit’ with how some powerful people believed in it. So they put this merky water through purification to have it declare only what they want it to. Is it a first hand account of Jesus? Not even close. The NT was written in 150 A.D. That is over 100 years after Jesus was crucified. Was Josephus a first hand account? No. He was born around 37 A.D. which is after Jesus was Crucified as well. At best the NT is a 3rd or 4th hand account of the life of Jesus. That doesn’t prove that Jesus rose from the dead any more than a blog about Elvis proves that Elvis never died. It just means that it is plausable that Jesus might have existed around the 1st century. Well so did Arthrongs, Appolonius of Tyana, and many more messiahs so other Jewish sects.
RESPONSE: You first, Gary. Give us reasons as to why anyone should think your assertions are true. Here are some that you made.
Gary asserted that the following is true:
1) There is so much that is left out of the NT because it didn’t ‘fit’ with how some powerful people believed in it. So they put this merky water through purification to have it declare only what they want it to.
2) Is it a first hand account of Jesus? Not even close.
3) At best the NT is a 3rd or 4th hand account of the life of Jesus.
4) The Biblical stories (ask a really good theologian) in the OT are taken directly from ancient Mesopotamian religions.
5) Really, I am an ancient historian. I know what I’m talking about.
I skipped a few things, but the above information is what is more important (pertinent to the question at least).
Here is the answer:
2. The NT was written OVER 100 YEARS AFTER JESUS DIED. Take a history class and you will soon learn what a first hand account is.
4. Ask a theologian. Google the epic of Gilgamesh. Also google the name “ziusudra” Let me give you some back ground. All the flood stories occur around a river called the euphrates, which floods every spring. around 2900 BCE there was a 6 day storm which made the river flood even more and it killed a lot of people. Our king, ziusudra, comandeered a local barge, filled it with valuables and rode the river downstream to the Persian Gulf. He laded on a hilltop and gave thanks to God because he was still alive. There is Noah’s Ark for you. There are also many other flood stories along side these two. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epic_of_Gilgamesh
5. I have spent the last 5 years studying ancient history, archeology, anthropology (human evolutionary process).