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Old 04-18-2012, 04:14 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike555 View Post
Every so called contradiction has been addressed by theologians in the past and can be easily researched.

For instance, the claim by skeptics that Luke says that Jesus was born in 6 A.D while Matthew places Jesus' birth around 6 B.C to 2 B.C and therefore presents a contradiction is shown to be false.

Here are just a few sites which address this particular so called contradiction and present solutions.

Luke 2:2 Bible Commentary

BIBLE STUDY MANUALS: THE BIRTH DATE OF JESUS CHRIST

The First Census and Quirinius (Luke 2.2)

But what a waste of time to bother debating the issue with skeptics who have shown that they have no interest in getting to the truth of the matter but whose only desire is to discredit the word of God.
I read the apologetic. It is trash. It is a mixture of untruths, irrelevancies, raising supposed skeptic objections that are actually just easy to knock down strawman objections, while overlooking the real problems.

I would address them all but this an 'Acts' thread.

So as my small contribution, I would point out one I rather like, which shows how unreliable and untrustworthy Luke is (Luke was of course the author of Acts) In Acts 9 23. it is claimed that Saul/Paul had to escape from Damascus (in the basket- lowering episode) because the 'Jews' wanted to kill him, but Paul himself says in Cor.II 1.33 that it was the threat of the approaching Nabatean army that caused him to flee.

Acts 9.22 "Yet Saul grew more and more powerful and baffled the Jews living in Damascus by proving that Jesus is the Messiah. 23 After many days had gone by, there was a conspiracy among the Jews to kill him, 24 but Saul learned of their plan. Day and night they kept close watch on the city gates in order to kill him. 25 But his followers took him by night and lowered him in a basket through an opening in the wall. 26 When he came to Jerusalem, he tried to join the disciples, but they were all afraid of him, not believing that he really was a disciple...."

2Cr 11:31 (Paul writes) "The God and Father of the Lord Jesus, who is to be praised forever, knows that I am not lying. :32 In Damascus the governor under King Aretas had the city of the Damascenes guarded in order to arrest me. :33 But I was lowered in a basket from a window in the wall and slipped through his hands."

Of course, Paul himself is hardly to be believed when he claims that Aretus' general had the slightest interest in Paul.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MysticPhD View Post
I echo your praise and would include you in the group, Arequipa.
Thanks Mystic. Your generous words Heap Coals a bit considering some of the run - ins we have had on your Universal Field theory.

Last edited by TRANSPONDER; 04-18-2012 at 04:30 AM..
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Old 04-18-2012, 07:46 AM
 
Location: Oregon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike555 View Post
Every so called contradiction has been addressed by theologians in the past and can be easily researched.

For instance, the claim by skeptics that Luke says that Jesus was born in 6 A.D while Matthew places Jesus' birth around 6 B.C to 2 B.C and therefore presents a contradiction is shown to be false.

Here are just a few sites which address this particular so called contradiction and present solutions.

Luke 2:2 Bible Commentary

BIBLE STUDY MANUALS: THE BIRTH DATE OF JESUS CHRIST

The First Census and Quirinius (Luke 2.2)

But what a waste of time to bother debating the issue with skeptics who have shown that they have no interest in getting to the truth of the matter but whose only desire is to discredit the word of God.
RESPONSE:

Yes. Fundamentalist apologists go to great lengths to try to get around the fact that Matthew has Jesus born during the lifetime of King Herod the Great but Luke has Jesus born in 6 AD during the Roman census of Judea.

One of the frequently used claims is that Quirinius was really governor of Syria twice, although consulting a list of Roman governors of Syria shows this isn't true.

But this is an argument beside the point. The key time marker is when the Roman census took place. Archlelaus in Judea and Antipas in Galilee would have conducted censuses and collected taxes as long as they were client rulers in these areas.

But it is well established that Archelaus was exiled by the Romans in 6 AD (see Josephus, Antiquities) and the Romans conducted a census and began taxation directly. The riot led by Judas of Galillee as a result of the new Roman taxation is yet another time marker and is even mentioned in Acts 5. "After him Judas the Galilean rose up at the time of the census and got people to follow him; he also perished, and all who followed him were scattered." If one looks up the uprising of Judaas the Galilean, one finds this occurred in 6 AD.

Still the Fundamentalists can't accept the well established facts of history and continue untenable and convoluted arguments to the contrary.

Last edited by ancient warrior; 04-18-2012 at 07:57 AM.. Reason: typo
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Old 04-18-2012, 07:24 PM
 
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That reminds me of another error in Acts.

Acts 5.36 "Some time ago Theudas appeared, claiming to be somebody, and about four hundred men rallied to him. He was killed, all his followers were dispersed, and it all came to nothing. 37 After him, Judas the Galilean appeared in the days of the census and led a band of people in revolt. He too was killed, and all his followers were scattered."

So Acts claims that Gamaliel said that Theudas appears before the revolt of Judas the galilean against the 6 AD census. But Theudas (Josephus tells us) was killed by the procurator Cuspius Fadus

"Cuspius Fadus was an Ancient Roman eques and procurator of Iudaea Province in 44–46 AD.
After the death of King Agrippa, in 44 AD, he was appointed procurator by Claudius. During his administration, peace was restored in the country, and the only disturbance was created by one Theudas, who came forward with the claim of being a prophet. But he and his followers were put to death by the command of Cuspius Fadus, as Josephus recounts:

"It came to pass, while Cuspius Fadus was procurator of Judea, that a certain charlatan, whose name was Theudas, persuaded a great part of the people to take their effects with them, and follow him to the Jordan river; for he told them he was a prophet, and that he would, by his own command, divide the river, and afford them an easy passage over it. Many were deluded by his words. However, Fadus did not permit them to make any advantage of his wild attempt, but sent a troop of horsemen out against them. After falling upon them unexpectedly, they slew many of them, and took many of them alive. They also took Theudas alive, cut off his head, and carried it to Jerusalem.". (Jewish Antiquities 20.97-98)" (Wiki)

And Cuspius Fadus was procurator after the tax revolt - whether or not one argues that it occurred when the Romans took over or in the days of Herod (which actually historically can't be the case).

Theudas came long after Judas the Galilean, not before. Luke's history is again faulty and so is Acts.
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Old 04-18-2012, 09:39 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AREQUIPA View Post
That reminds me of another error in Acts.

Acts 5.36 "Some time ago Theudas appeared, claiming to be somebody, and about four hundred men rallied to him. He was killed, all his followers were dispersed, and it all came to nothing. 37 After him, Judas the Galilean appeared in the days of the census and led a band of people in revolt. He too was killed, and all his followers were scattered."

So Acts claims that Gamaliel said that Theudas appears before the revolt of Judas the galilean against the 6 AD census. But Theudas (Josephus tells us) was killed by the procurator Cuspius Fadus

"Cuspius Fadus was an Ancient Roman eques and procurator of Iudaea Province in 4446 AD.
After the death of King Agrippa, in 44 AD, he was appointed procurator by Claudius. During his administration, peace was restored in the country, and the only disturbance was created by one Theudas, who came forward with the claim of being a prophet. But he and his followers were put to death by the command of Cuspius Fadus, as Josephus recounts:

"It came to pass, while Cuspius Fadus was procurator of Judea, that a certain charlatan, whose name was Theudas, persuaded a great part of the people to take their effects with them, and follow him to the Jordan river; for he told them he was a prophet, and that he would, by his own command, divide the river, and afford them an easy passage over it. Many were deluded by his words. However, Fadus did not permit them to make any advantage of his wild attempt, but sent a troop of horsemen out against them. After falling upon them unexpectedly, they slew many of them, and took many of them alive. They also took Theudas alive, cut off his head, and carried it to Jerusalem.". (Jewish Antiquities 20.97-98)" (Wiki)

And Cuspius Fadus was procurator after the tax revolt - whether or not one argues that it occurred when the Romans took over or in the days of Herod (which actually historically can't be the case).

Theudas came long after Judas the Galilean, not before. Luke's history is again faulty and so is Acts.
Also easily refuted.

Did Luke make a mistake involving Theudas and Judas the Galilean?

Theudas - Smith’s Bible Dictionary - Bible Dictionary
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Old 04-19-2012, 02:04 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike555 View Post
Also easily refuted.

Did Luke make a mistake involving Theudas and Judas the Galilean?

Theudas - Smith’s Bible Dictionary - Bible Dictionary
Nice try! Of course 'Theudas' was not an uncommon name in Judea as neither was Joshua and Miriam. But a Theudas who led some sort of uprising and was killed is a very particular Theudas indeed.

Since 'some time ago' in the context of Acts when written means any time from 30 odd to 60 AD, we look in vain for any Theudas who gave out that he was somebody, gathered followers and was killed. And his attempt was interpreted as threatening revolt, otherwise Fadus would not have sent out cavalry to kill him.

Fadus was procurator in 44 -46. AD. Gamaliel the Elder was a leading authority in the Sanhedrin in the mid 1st century CE. and died twenty years before the destruction of the Second Temple in Jerusalem (70 CE). So he'd be talking about this 'Theudas' around the 50 AD's not long before his own death.

'Some time ago' though vague, would surely be ten years before in the governorship of Fadus, not back in the days of Herod, which would be the case with a Theudas gathering followers and being killed 'before' the 6AD tax revolt. Josephus writes in some detail about Herod but does not mention a revolt by any Theudas similar to the one he does mention, under Fadus. Further it is surely needful for for Gamaliel to speak of that Theudas 'in the days of Herod' in order to distinguish him from the the one who led a similar revolt in living memory.

So, while it is possible to argue that it must be an unknown Theudas in order to make Acts correct, it has not a shred of evidence to support that suggestion and a solid case against it. It is the same 'explaining away' that we get in the Nativity Census - dating with convoluted arguments to postulate some sort pre- census census conducted by Quirinus in the time of Herod - simply to try to wangle Matthew to fit in with Luke, and the same explaining away of the dust - up in the temple placed by John even before Jesus had begun his ministry as a different one from the one we find in the synoptics - even though it reads like the 'second' one that John should have described as well (at 12.20, in fact) but in fact doesn't even hint at it.

Thus it it clear that these attempts to invent earlier censuses, earlier Temple cleansings and an earlier Theudas revolt are simply not in accordance with the evidence and are no more than faith - based attempts to cover over the uncomfortable truth that the Gospels stories are full of mistakes, discrepancies and contradictions.

What is more, under the 'clean hands' principle, when you find such errors, mistakes, contradiction and (as in the Johannine shifting of the Temple - disturbance), deliberate falsification of the gospel - story, any similar apologetics efforts to reconcile discrepancies, such as the different accounts of Judas' death, the contradiction of whether Jesus appeared before the Sunday evening and whether the disciples went to Galilee to meet him or not have to be regarded, not as explanations, but as attempts to cover up and explain away unsettling evidence that the Gospels are full of holes and to avoid facing the unwelcome fact that the Gospels really cannot be taken as gospel.

Like I say, Nice try, but no cigar.

Last edited by TRANSPONDER; 04-19-2012 at 03:06 AM..
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Old 04-19-2012, 02:16 AM
 
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Those links did not refute anything - the 1st one just said there could have been another Theudas. Yeah! And Luke could have just been wrong.

The 2nd one actually said there had to be another Theudas (no evidence offered) simply because Luke cannot be wrong - and we know why they think that - theological bias. Once again, like the Quirinius problem, as it stands it contradicts know facts about history. Either the known history is wrong or you just have to hope for something that is not there.

Frankly, this is why I try avoid finding contradictions with external history, because,

1) Believers could always claim that new historical facts will arrive, although for some events that is most likely not possible - like the Quirinius problem, or

2) Believers could just throw out wild speculations and possiblitiy arguments with nothing to back it up - like the links Mike provided.

This seems to be satisfactory for believers yet it does nothing to solve the problem and certainly not refute it as Mike said.

The better contradictions are those that are within the text itself - like Matthew and Luke's account of the birth narrative or Acts and Paul's account, in Galatians, of his visiting Jerusalem - as already noted herein.

There is one historical aspect that is worth noting and that is the return of the Lord. You can compare that to history itself because it is already past and therefore you can say it does contradict history knowing that there is no way to slove it if the Lord was to return soon and within a generation of his death. That ship has sailed and there is no way to fix that with speculations and new historical facts.
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Old 04-19-2012, 02:43 AM
 
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Of course it is always possible that these explanations are correct, but the more one has to explain away unwelcome evidence rather than adduce supporting evidence, the more one has to opt for the possible explanation rather than the obvious one, the more it just looks like - as you say - theological bias.
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Old 04-19-2012, 02:53 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AREQUIPA View Post
Of course it is always possible that these explanations are correct, but the more one has to explain away unwelcome evidence rather than adduce supporting evidence, the more one has to opt for the possible explanation rather than the obvious one, the more it just looks like - as you say - theological bias.
Exactly, they will latch onto anything, even possibilities, and waive it around like it solved something and stand on it like it's the Rock of Gibralter and then mock you as if you have nothing all the while threatening you with eternal scorn and damnation. It's to much for the rational skeptic
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Old 04-19-2012, 06:53 AM
 
Location: Oregon
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"Response: This claim has been circulated on several Web sites. The people who make this claim, whether they realize it or not, are assuming that there can only be one person named Theudas, when in fact there might have been more than one person with that name. In other words, Luke, the author of the book of Acts, and Josephus, a first century historian, could simply be talking about two different people named Theudas"

RESPONSE:

What nonsense!. How many persons were named Jesus?

In this case Luke is talking about one person who led a revolution and was executed by the Romans for doing so.

Do you have any evidence that this happened to more than one person named Thadeus at that time?

Last edited by ancient warrior; 04-19-2012 at 06:55 AM.. Reason: typo
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Old 04-19-2012, 07:58 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ancient warrior View Post
"Response: This claim has been circulated on several Web sites. The people who make this claim, whether they realize it or not, are assuming that there can only be one person named Theudas, when in fact there might have been more than one person with that name. In other words, Luke, the author of the book of Acts, and Josephus, a first century historian, could simply be talking about two different people named Theudas"

RESPONSE:

What nonsense!. How many persons were named Jesus?

In this case Luke is talking about one person who led a revolution and was executed by the Romans for doing so.

Do you have any evidence that this happened to more than one person named Thadeus at that time?
As a matter of fact, AW (we have to be fair about this so as to avoid handing a cheap point to the apologists ) There were other people called Jesus (Yeshua/Joshua) including the one in Josephus who toured the walls of Jerusalem wailing 'Woe, woe!' until the Roman army catapults finally got their range.

But of course (as I have argued in connection with the Tacitus historical reference) how many Jesuses have been executed by Pilate? Really only one, so, if some gospel writer had claimed that Jesus was executed by Pilate at the request of the ruling King Herod Agrippa, that would clearly be wrong.

Thus the Theudas who attracted his followers and was killed, while not utterly lock - down (if Acts had said by Fadus or even traipsing to the Jordan hoping the river would part, that would make the identification certain) does seem unlikely to have had many namesakes who did the same kind of thing thing - and managed to miss being mentioned in the history books while doing it.
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