Thanks for at least coming clean about the virgin birth. I respect your right to faith and do not question that, even tho I would demand evidence of anyone who claims that event was fact, rather than myth.
uberarcanist wrote: nevertheless I believe the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ are more important, and are provable in light of the fact that the Jews could have easily debunked this theory had it been fable, as the Gospels were produced in a very narrow time frame after the events they depicted, nonetheless the Jews never did such a thing.
I would like to review any evidence that anyone thinks supports this claim. Just like in dissecting UFO claims, we can often look at the eyewitness accounts and find elements of those accounts that can support an alternate conclusion. Towhit:
No on argues that the record shows that Jesus Christ began his passion and allegedly died on the cross all in the same day. And yet, the typical story of anyone who was crucified by the Romans tells us that these people would actually live up there on the cross for days, in agony. Indeed, when one examines the "engineering" of crucifixtion by Rome, it was devised specifically for this purpose. It would thusly serve as a "message" to any passers-by that were thinking of challenging Roman rule.
So the question becomes: If the average person lasted for more than one day, why did Christ "die" in a matter of hours? Isn't is POSSIBLE that he was not, in fact, dead when his body was removed from the cross? And then we have an account of a soldier offering Jesus gaul in a sponge on a stick. Isn't it POSSIBLE that there was a drug in that gaul that rendered him unconscious?
The following is a URL which explores a lot of these (more plausible) explanations for what is reported in eyewitness accounts:http://www.no-god.com/article/jesusdie.html
The Gospel writers disagree on many points, such as the hour of the crucifixion, who arrived at the tomb, when they arrived, whether it was dark or light, and so forth. One point of agreement is the time of Jesus' "death". In Matthew 27.48-51, Jesus dies, or passes out, almost immediately after taking a drink from a soaked sponge. Mark 15.36 tells us that Jesus gave up a loud cry, and died, after taking a drink from a sponge. John 19.30 also verifies this.
Was the sponge soaked with vinegar, as the gospels report? Vinegar would have had a stimulating effect. It would have woke him up, rather than rendered him unconscious. The sponge was not soaked with vinegar.
Was there a drug, readily available, with which Jesus could have simulated death?
The Drug: Opium.
All sorts of drugs were available to the ancients, including opium. Opium is mentioned in the first century A.D., by Dioscorides in De Materia Medica. Assyrian writings mention opium. Opium was well-known in the first century A.D., and the poppy flower(Papaver Somniferum) was commonly available in the first century Israel, as it grew wild all over the Mesopotamian region. Jesus, therefore, had the opportunity, if he desired, to acquire Opium.
Opium is a source of various natural narcotics including morphine. Opium is a particularly good choice of a drug for one wishing to simulate his own death. The narcotic effect on the central nervous system would have caused respiratory depression. Jesus would have appeared not to be breathing. Actually, his breath would have been very slow. The depressive effects would have lowered his heart rate, slowing that, also. His heart would not have appeared to be beating. The cumulative depressive effects would have lead to unconsciousness. Jesus would have appeared dead, but would have been merely asleep.
My point here has been pretty consistent (IMO): We must apply the SAME process to extraordinary claims of the life and death of Jesus that we apply to UFOs. Rather than simply "having faith" that the more extraordinary claim is the actual truth, it is more instructive to examine the more plausible explanations...and see if there is enough traction to believe these as truth in the absence of solid evidence to prove the more extraordinary claims.
If we follow this process for UFOs, and we chastise those who believe the extraordinary claims in the face of more mundane explanations, how does it look if we abandon this process just because one of OUR beliefs is the one being scrutinized?
This is the logic that I began to move through in my high school years. It is the logic that caused me to renounce my Catholicism, BUT NOT MY BELIEF IN A GOD. Instead, I turned to scientific investigations and my ultimate focus on complex systems engineering as a "path towards a proof of a Creator". Myths and stories no longer hold any traction in my mind, for the very fact that they HAVE been used to control people and influence what they believe.