I have spoken about Joseph of Arimathea before, in the videos linked below. Just reading a chapter by Robert M. Price in The End of Christianity, I came across this very simple aspect which shows, to me at any rate, that Matthew’s sole job seemed to be to contrive as many random prophecy fulfilments from the Old Testament as humanly possible.
Marlene Winell, an ex-Christian, in Leaving the Fold, wrote, The most serious demand for unquestioned belief is, of course, the atonement. …
Some weeks back I wrote a piece on the general incoherence of the Holy Trinity from a logical and philosophical point of view, taking into account existence properties and the like. In this post I want to return to the subject, though to look at it from a theological perspective.
Gah! I posted my Trinity piece with some alterations on John Loftus’ Debunking Christianity where I used to be a more full-time contributor. It was picked up by some Catholic chap who tried to critique it, except that he really didn’t deal with the substantive points.
The Holy Trinity has had a problematic history, partly evidenced by point of fact that theologians still don’t agree on how it works, and partly seen from its ex post facto evolution, shoehorned into the scant evidence of the biblical texts. From Ignatius of Antioch onwards we see development of the idea in early church thinking, until it is codified at the Council of Nicaea in the 4th century CE. There will be more talk later on what was creedally set out.
Thanks again to Andy Schueler for finding this. Good way of showing that those oft-used analogies to describe the Trinity…
Why is it more probable that your god exists than man made him up?
We have an exceptionally high prior probability that your god is false given that we both believe that every other god claimed to be true (before and after) is false. Thus, on prior probability, the JC God is HIGHLY unlikely to exist. How does the Christian overcome this? They have to provide high CONSEQUENT probability. ie Evidence. But this is poor. Let’s take the four Gospels, written by unknown people at unknown dates in unknown places with ex post facto agendas to evangelise, at least 40 years after the person they are writing about and whom they have never met, has died.
I’ve never written a book review before. Occasionally I’ve considered reviewing books and essays I found to be not only interesting, but enjoyable and enlightening.
So I’ve decided that once in a while, when I’ve read something I consider really well done, I would write about it here that I might convince a few of you to spend your money and time trusting that you would have a similar experience as I have.
As part of the continuing efforts to get the message out about the Star of Bethlehem and the failure to explain it with astronomy, I was interviewed on the Exposing Pseudoastronomy podcast, run by Stuart Robbins, an young planetary scientist and skeptic. In the past, the podcast has tackled lots of material from Coast to Coast AM and some of their top guests, such asRichard Hoagland, in great but comfortable detail. That should be enough reason to subscribe to this skeptical outlet.
Just to topically remind people of my last authored book, on the Nativity, called The Nativity: A Critical Examination. I…
Here’s a reminder about my debate with Randal Rauser which took place last year over the historicity of the nativity accounts. Listen in and enjoy! The post from last year. My nativity book is available from the sidebar over there!
Be there, or be square. Jonathan Pearce: The Nativity Hi all, This Monday, 2nd December, local skeptic and author Jonathan Pearce will…
Quote of the Day from Andy Schueler:
Oh, and I also like the “my mom” argument, which I just made up :-D
Here is another piece, this time on the atonement and sin, from a friend who supplies adverts and what have you to the Free Inquiry magazine amongst others. He has a special interest in the fascinating life of Robert Ingersoll.
This is the sort of stuff I talk about in my book The Nativity: A Critical Examination, available from the sidebar over there on your right!
From Bart Ehrman’s blog: – Christianity In Antiquity (behind a members only wall):
Aaron Adair, as you well know, has recently written a book which I edited and which is getting rave reviews. Here is a presentation on the historicity of Jesus which he recently gave which looks at the whole broad topic, touching on the Star later in the talk. This is a fascinating talk, though am only part way through so far. Check it out!
Biblical scholar Bart Ehrman wrote this article for the HuffPo. The gist of the article is that portions of the New Testament were written by people who lied about their identity. Ehrman also explains why this matters.
This is Part 3 of a critical examination of the MMEL hypothesis of the Star of Bethlehem. Go to the index here.
So far in this critical appraisal of the MMEL hypothesis, there has not been much attention paid to the actual theory of what the Star of Bethlehem was other than to say it deals with conjunctions of Jupiter and Venus in the years 3 and 2 BCE. While already it is falsified as an explanation of Matthew’s account since it takes place after the death of Herod the Great (see Part 1 & Part 2), I shall not ignore what possible astronomical or astrological explanations are here. Perhaps they can explain the Star in another way (including helping create the narrative based on a back-calculation rather than an authentic historical tradition), or the conjunctions of another type can be related to what the Magi were interested in.
Here is a good talk from Richard Carrier as it sets out his thesis from start to finish and it is recent. See what you think. Are you a mythicist? Are you a historicist? Or are you, like me, somewhat agnostic?
Joseph of Arimathea used to be used by William Lane Craig as a pillar of his truth claims for the Resurrection, itself one of the four cornerstones of his apology. Richard Carrier, amongst others, has provided some very interesting viewpoints on the historicity of this figure (or lack thereof). Craig no longer seems to reference J of A, quite possibly the result of the weakness of any positive evidence and the strength of negative evidence for his historicity.