Tag The Nativity: A Critical Examination

The Nativity – a talk, and a debate with apologist Randal Rauser

On Thursday night I gave another talk on the Nativity to the Portsmouth Skeptics in the Pub. The talk was a great success. I was able to establish the case in some good detail as I set out in my last book The Nativity: A Critical Examination. There was a good turnout for the relaunching of PSITP and it was a nice touch that I gave the lats talk to PSITP 1.0 and the first to PSITP 2.0! However, there was a Winchester Skeptics in the Pub event on the same night which was a shame and attracted away a few key members.

The Pope’s New Book on Jesus’ Birth. Now He’s in Trouble!

There has been a fair bit of press about the newest publication from the current head of the Catholic Church, Joseph Ratzinger, better known now as Pope Benedict XVI (don’t you just hate sequels?). There was even a humorous take on some of the aspects of the new book from the colossus of comedy Stephen Colbert.

Three Speaking Events Booked for December and a Radio Debate!

So, with the release of The Nativity: A Critical Examination this year, I have several speaking events arranged in the local area, with another potential date in the pipeline too. I will be delivering a talk on the reliability of the nativity accounts to the Association of Humanist Societies at Southampton University. The Atheist Society have kindly asked me to talk during a conference they are putting on for other student atheist societies (on how to run them effectively). The talk is penciled in for the afternoon of Saturday 1st December at 3pm at Southampton University, though it is not only for students – the general public can get in on the action too!

The hoops the Christian has to jump through to believe the Nativity

I thought I’d re-post this thread from when I was regularly contributing to John’s original Debunking Christianity blog. See what you think:

I was recently talking, an a thread or two, about the historical implausibility of pretty much all of the claims in both Luke and Matthew with regards to the infancy accounts of Jesus’ birth.

The situation is this. I maintain that, to hold to the notion that the accounts are historical, one has to jump through hoops. However, the Christian might say that one or two claims in the accounts may be false, but that does not mean that the other claims are false. But in this approach lie many issues. For example:

1) If we accept that some claims in the accounts are false, does the Christian special plead that the other claims are true?

2) The claims are so interconnected that to falsify one or two of them means that the house of cards comes tumbling down.

3) If we establish that at least some of the claims are false, how does this affect other claims within the same Gospel? How can we know that claims of Jesus’ miracles are true given that the reliability of the writer is accepted as questionable?

And so on.