Abandon All Fear

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Archive for January 27th, 2008

Unless I Saw It On TV, It Never Happened

Posted by Lex Fear on January 27, 2008

Dan Phillips of Pyromaniacs responds to a commenter, asks is Jesus made up?

"Nothing"? You say, "nothing was even really written about [Jesus] for some 40 or 50 years after his death (a date I base on the current earliest known scrap of New Testament writing.

This is simply a naked assertion. Not only does it have no supportive evidence, but it is contrary to a huge pile of evidence. The New Testament Epistles write about Jesus, and they were written as early as twenty years after Jesus’ resurrection. Luke was almost certainly written before the mid-sixties (thus within 30-35 years of that event), and he refers to earlier written accounts (Luke 1:1-4). Thus, your premise is incorrect.

Nihilism? But let’s put that aside for a moment. Have you thought this through at all? Your assumption is, "We cannot know anything about something documented 40-50 years after the event." Do you realize that no remotely credible historian alive would agree with you? Do you realize that this would lead to total historical nihilism?

Put it another way. When you read David McCullough on, say, John Adams or George Washington, or 1776, do you reject the whole as bosh because it is written more than two centuries after the events? Or when you read of the Pharaohs, or the Battle of Carchemish, do you shrug and say "Whatever" because everything is written millennia after the occurrences? Not likely. Do you realize that most historians would (metaphorically, I trust) kill to have the sorts of resources, the staggering wealth of early manuscript evidence, that the NT historian has about the life of Jesus?

I guess, if we’re going to determine historical truth by how long it was written after, then we need to start agreeing with people like David Irving and Heribert Illig. Heck, approaching history like this even screws with science, I mean if Georges Lemaitre came up with the Big Bang theory in 1927, an estimated 13.7 billion years after the even actually happened, can we not say that it was nothing… it never happened?

And what about all those police investigations that discover crimes more than 20 years old due to ‘new’ evidence. I guess there should be law made that dismisses evidence over 20 years because it’s clear that once it’s gotten old, it never happened.

I guess all that time spent studying philosophy gets in the way of science and history.

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Posted in Analogies, Apologetics, Religion & Science, Warring Memes | 2 Comments »