jeudi 3 mars 2016

Answering Barbara Smoker's Path from Rome

1) somewhere else : Answering Barbara Smoker's Path from Rome, 2) Assorted retorts from yahoo boards and elsewhere : ... to Bart D. Ehrman, 3) somewhere else : Answering Barbara Smoker, Part II

Commenting on
thefreethinker : “My Path from Rome”
My Atheism
Barbara Smoker | Fri 24 Jul 2015 / Atheism

Read up to where I comment.

Barbara Smoker
In my last year at school I was awarded the religious knowledge medal by the diocesan inspector because, when he unexpectedly departed from the set catechism questions and asked for a proof of Christ’s divinity, I was the only pupil ready with an answer.

Hans Georg
And she gave the same as I give to that one.

Btw, is she sure this one was OUTSIDE the Catechism? I think it is in it.

Barbara Smoker
To me it was obvious that God would not otherwise have given Jesus the power to perform miracles, since this would mislead people as to his divine claims.

Hans Georg
Correct. Especially the Resurrection.

Since it came after a claim of Him resurrecting Himself ("I will tear down this temple and in three days build it up again").

Barbara Smoker
It did not occur to me at the time that it was an unproved assumption that the gospel stories were true. And no one pointed this out.

Hans Georg
Well, it is a PREVIOUS assumption, but not an UNPROVEN one.

It is proven by the testimony of the Church, and its testimony is proven both by miracles (proven by further testimonies within the Church, distinct from the first ones about Jesus, and going on down to our days) and by the impossibility of either lie or mistake.

  • Mistake being impossible, since if the story was not a lie, the circumstances are such that mistake was impossible to original witnesses.

  • Lie being impossible, because those claiming to be original witnesses were laying down their lives by martyrdom. Not a quick death in battle, but slow martyrdom.

And if we assume she were to say these stories "are not proven", the answer is, it is very difficult for any community existing in public (as Christian Church did in the time of Nero, in Rome, vide Tacitum) to be mistaken about who started it.

Let us assume St Linus started the Church from Rome. How would he go about saying St Peter and St Paul had been there before him?

He could only say that if St Peter had really been there before him, with St Paul.

Or, assuming Sts Peter and Paul were really there before him, did really initiate St Linus to Christianity which St Linus accepted in good faith, while Sts Peter and Paul were crooks, who never intended to die as martyrs, and in fact didn't, how could they arrange their death so it became believable to St Linus?

Especially as St Linus was taking care of their relics.

Or assuming the first Christians came only after the times of St Linus, and that he never existed, how did anyone in the time of St Irenaeus convince anyone else, not just that people like St Linus and St Peter and St Paul had existed, but that they were newcomers to a community which had already tens or hundreds of thousands of adepts and some hundreds or thousands of martyrs?

Obviously, the further back and closer to Jesus we get, the less possible it becomes to be mistaken about His miracles and resurrection - and the further on and further away from Jesus we put the first CHristians, the more impossible it becomes they should believe in being the thousand and first recruits to a faith of which they were only the first ones.

Hence, either way, the Gospel stories are proven.

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