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Old 09-03-2007, 07:19 AM
 
Location: Midwest
5,615 posts, read 13,528,985 times
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I've been reading the bible (New Testament) and am amazed at the sheer number of people who reportedly witnessed the various miracles that Jesus did.

But, my question is this: Do we have any other written documents (aside from the Bible) from people who may have witnessed these miracles? Surely, if it was such an important and supernatural event, people would have at least mentioned it in some journals, diaries or whatever. I would imagine, that if they did, most probably did not survive over the years. How many of us have notes and papers left over from our ancestors that lived in the 1700s? Surely, some of our great ancestors saw George Washington, but did they write this down? Only the great documents were saved..the US Constitution, papers written by politicans, etc...and even those documents are vastly dwarfed by the number of documents written about Jesus.

So, I'm curious. What else do we have besides the Bible that shows Jesus working his miracles?
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Old 09-03-2007, 07:36 AM
 
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How many people that witnessed those miracles:
1. could write
2. had something to write on
3. did write, but what ever they wrote on was reused, thrown away, or still to be discovered

Or maybe the thousands were really more like the numbers that see UFOs and the numbers keep getting larger with each retelling of the stories.
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Old 09-03-2007, 07:52 AM
 
Location: Baltimore, MD
897 posts, read 2,194,106 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TexasNick View Post
I've been reading the bible (New Testament) and am amazed at the sheer number of people who reportedly witnessed the various miracles that Jesus did.

But, my question is this: Do we have any other written documents (aside from the Bible) from people who may have witnessed these miracles? Surely, if it was such an important and supernatural event, people would have at least mentioned it in some journals, diaries or whatever. I would imagine, that if they did, most probably did not survive over the years. How many of us have notes and papers left over from our ancestors that lived in the 1700s? Surely, some of our great ancestors saw George Washington, but did they write this down? Only the great documents were saved..the US Constitution, papers written by politicans, etc...and even those documents are vastly dwarfed by the number of documents written about Jesus.

So, I'm curious. What else do we have besides the Bible that shows Jesus working his miracles?
In the year 325 CE, Constantine (a non-baptized Pagan) convened the Council of Nicea to settle disputes in the Church. The council changed Jesus from man to God in the flesh, they changed the Sabbath from Saturday to Sunday, and the Passover was changed to Easter. Among the nearly 200 Gospels circulating in the first three hundred years of this era, the Catholic Church canonized only four. Origen, the great Catholic father, confirms this fact: "And not four Gospels, but very many, out of which these we have chosen."

A partial list of the different books considered by the Church for inclusion were a gospel written by Jesus’ own hand; letters and other correspondences written by Jesus; letters written by the "virgin" Mary; Pilate’s official report to the emperor of the trial and crucifixion of Jesus, with Pilate’s confession of faith; the reply to this from Tiberius, and the trial of Pilate; official documents of the Roman Senate about Jesus; Gospels, epistles, acts, by every single one of the twelve apostles; and official documents of church law and government, written in Greek by the apostles. In his book, Answering Christianity's Most Puzzling Questions, Christian apologist Richard Sisson states:


"In fact, after the death of Jesus a whole flood of books that claimed to be inspired appeared.... Disputes over which ones were true were so intense that the debate continued for centuries. Finally in the fourth century a group of church leaders called a council and took a vote. The 66 books that comprised our cherished Bible were declared to be Scripture by a vote of 568 to 563."

There is no reference to Jesus' death having any redeeming function; in fact, there is no mention of the crucifixion at all. John E. Remsburg's The Christ: A Critical Review and Analysis of the Evidence of His Existence, lists the following writers who lived during the time, or within a century after the time, that Jesus is supposed to have lived:

Josephus
Philo-Judææus
Seneca
Pliny Elder
Arrian
Petronius
Dion Pruseus
Paterculus
Suetonius
Juvenal
Martial
Persius
Plutarch
Pliny Younger
Tacitus
Justus of Tiberius
Apollonius
Quintilian
Lucanus
Epictetus
Hermogones Silius Italicus
Statius
Ptolemy
Appian
Phlegon
Phæædrus
Valerius Maximus
Lucian
Pausanias
Florus Lucius
Quintius Curtius
Aulus Gellius
Dio Chrysostom
Columella
Valerius Flaccus
Damis
Favorinus
Lysias
Pomponius Mela
Appion of Alexandria
Theon of Smyrna

Enough of the writings of the authors named in the foregoing list remains to form a library. Yet in this mass of Jewish and Pagan literature, according to Remsburg, "aside from two forged passages in the works of a Jewish author, and two disputed passages in the works of Roman writers, there is to be found no mention of Jesus Christ." Nor, do any of these authors make note of the Disciples or Apostles -- increasing the embarrassment from the silence of history concerning the foundation of Christianity.

Messiah Truth: A Jewish Response to Missionary Groups
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Old 09-03-2007, 07:55 AM
 
Location: Midwest
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Thanks padgett, but even the educated saw his miracles (Pharisees, teachers, etc). Surely, someone would have written something down and would have done everything in their power to keep it safe so their descendents can know the truth.

Also, the Bible wasn't written at the same time these miracles were happening...so I don't expect other witnesses to write down everything they saw right away. But you know how many Billy the Kid stories were written many years after his death? I like your analogy of the UFO stories...yes, more tends to be written long after some great event has passed.
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Old 09-03-2007, 08:08 AM
 
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TexasNick, we have to remember also that at the time, there was not a realization that this man was going to become what he later did. There would be no reason to save any papers.

Also, this was a time of magicians. Men who went about doing sleight of hand tricks so that even the educated were dumbfounded. We see them performing on stage today. The difference is that we KNOW that there are tricks. Back in those days, it would have been difficult for even the educated man to know that he was actually seeing a God-guided miracle.

Do you ever watch those TV evangelist do healing? Is everyone convinced that it really happened.

I'm being cynical this morning. I didn't have enough coffee or something. But I often look at this sort of thing as if I were there, in that culture, among those people. It changes the viewpoint.
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Old 09-03-2007, 08:17 AM
 
Location: Midwest
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Padgett,
I understand what you are saying, but people saw Jesus turn water into wine, create fish and bread out of nothing and heal the sick that could not be physically healed. A man, paralyzed for 35 years, got up from the floor in front of hundreds of people at a pool for the sick. This is just a sampling.

Despite all of this, some people still did not believe--and they even thought Jesus was a magician, like you said. Even miracles could not turn the unbelievers into believers. Today, a man flying in the sky with nothing will still be doubted as real no matter what. I was watching CSPAN this morning and heard that Bush is in Iraq. Many people called into the show and said they still don't believe it--despite video showing Bush there!!

If people dont' want to believe, they won't.

Shibainu, all I can say is this: The fact that every one of Jesus’ disciples was willing to suffer and die for his beliefs. These men spent the rest of their lives witnessing about Christ. They frequently went without food; they were mocked, beaten, and thrown into prison. In the end, all but one died a painful martyr’s death. Would they have done this for a lie? They did it because they were convinced beyond a doubt that they had seen the risen Christ.

Last edited by doss1; 09-03-2007 at 08:33 AM..
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Old 09-03-2007, 12:27 PM
 
Location: Maryland
3,540 posts, read 5,907,765 times
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Either Christ and his followers were the most successful con men in history
( 2,000 years, billions of followers ), or they are on to something.
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Old 09-03-2007, 12:55 PM
 
3,086 posts, read 5,515,773 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TexasNick View Post
If people dont' want to believe, they won't.
How true. People ask "prove this" or "prove that to me", "prove to me God is real", but unless they recognize the proof they already have, nothing anyone says or does will make a difference, IMO.

Another slant to why we don't have more "written proof" of Jesus' miracles, most of the Jewish people whom He walked among, IMO, would have been under pressure from the "higher ups", the religious leaders, to keep this hush-hush. For example, consider what happened when the soldiers came and told the chief priests that Jesus' body was gone from the tomb:

Matthew 28:11 ¶ Now when they were going, behold, some of the watch came into the city, and shewed unto the chief priests all the things that were done.
12 And when they were assembled with the elders, and had taken counsel, they gave large money unto the soldiers,
13 Saying, Say ye, His disciples came by night, and stole him away while we slept.

Those who didn't want to believe, didn't care how hard the evidence was. And people haven't changed.
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Old 09-03-2007, 01:53 PM
 
Location: Baltimore, MD
897 posts, read 2,194,106 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TexasNick View Post
Padgett,
I understand what you are saying, but people saw Jesus turn water into wine, create fish and bread out of nothing and heal the sick that could not be physically healed. A man, paralyzed for 35 years, got up from the floor in front of hundreds of people at a pool for the sick. This is just a sampling.

Despite all of this, some people still did not believe--and they even thought Jesus was a magician, like you said. Even miracles could not turn the unbelievers into believers. Today, a man flying in the sky with nothing will still be doubted as real no matter what. I was watching CSPAN this morning and heard that Bush is in Iraq. Many people called into the show and said they still don't believe it--despite video showing Bush there!!

If people dont' want to believe, they won't.

Shibainu, all I can say is this: The fact that every one of Jesus’ disciples was willing to suffer and die for his beliefs. These men spent the rest of their lives witnessing about Christ. They frequently went without food; they were mocked, beaten, and thrown into prison. In the end, all but one died a painful martyr’s death. Would they have done this for a lie? They did it because they were convinced beyond a doubt that they had seen the risen Christ.
So people died for a cause does that make it correct. Thousand of people have died for "Good Causes". That doesn't make it right. My post was an excerpt from the webpage that was cited. There is no evidence outside the bible that descibes jesus. We also have no records of the disciples ever existing except for the bible.So I think this thread is going to have a very hard time showing outside the bible that jesus was who he claimed to be. But why would the creaters of the bible leave out the written words and letters of jesus if he was so important? example= correspondences written by Jesus; letters written by the "virgin" Mary; Pilate’s official report to the emperor of the trial and crucifixion of Jesus, with Pilate’s confession of faith.
Messiah Truth: A Jewish Response to Missionary Groups

May be it is hard to believe because it never really Happened.
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Old 09-03-2007, 02:26 PM
 
Location: Between Here and There
3,684 posts, read 10,767,751 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shibainu View Post
So people died for a cause does that make it correct. Thousand of people have died for "Good Causes". That doesn't make it right. My post was an excerpt from the webpage that was cited. There is no evidence outside the bible that descibes jesus. We also have no records of the disciples ever existing except for the bible.So I think this thread is going to have a very hard time showing outside the bible that jesus was who he claimed to be. But why would the creaters of the bible leave out the written words and letters of jesus if he was so important? example= correspondences written by Jesus; letters written by the "virgin" Mary; Pilate’s official report to the emperor of the trial and crucifixion of Jesus, with Pilate’s confession of faith.
Messiah Truth: A Jewish Response to Missionary Groups

May be it is hard to believe because it never really Happened.
People in glass houses shouldn't throw stones. There is no historical proof outside the Old Testament that Moses existed either...yet millions of Jews profess to follow the law handed down to him. Imagine that.
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