The Journey   3 comments

Our inquiring band of scientifiic/philosophical researchers had a really scientific way of determining our journey. We threw questions in a bowl and asked a small child to draw them. We numbered them and decided to investigate them in that order. Because they had included me, I had a question in the pool and mine was drawn first.

“Is there sufficient evidence of Jesus’ historical existence?”

We found that there was. I used Josh McDowell”s Evidence That Demands a Verdict and other materials. David used a variety of sources. We presented our papers and Rick the researcher asked his wife, who was a history professor, to judge our sources and arguments. She ruled my sources to be more historicallly accurate. David had used John Dominic Crosson, Kenneth Davis, and members of the Jesus Seminar. Kate checked them for scholarship and use of primary sources. My research was more solid.

When we look at The historicity of Jesus almost all scholars agree that someone named Jesus lived and died in Jerusalem. They may argue with the miracles and the ressurrection, but the essential fact of Jesus’ existence Β hasn’t been in question.

Twenty-five years is a long time. We research topics in order and we have three months to present our arguments. Sometimes we seek outside judging. One of the professors at the Geophysical Institute attends my church. Rick knows a lot of medical researchers. Bai and I both use the theologians we know. We’ve wandered widely in our inquiries, but we can always count on David to keep us circling around the topic of science and the metaphysical.

Over the years I’ve learned a lot of science and I’ve been called upon to defend my faith often. So has Bai. David and Rick have agreed that Bai is not distorting science. He convinced David that the presuppositions of paleontology are not as solid as he originally believed. The lack of transitional fossils (those that link species) bothers him. He now calls himself an agnostic because he admits atheism is a hard core stance that he can no longer validate.

“Atheism says there is no god and shuts the door there. It gave me permission to mock believers, but I’ve come to realize that believers can be rational and intelligent and view the same evidence and arrive at different conclusions. I don’t agree with the conclusions, but I’m not sure now if I am always right. Agnosticism is a more honest stance.”

Rick has become a Christian. As an agnostic he was always honest in not ruling out what he couldn’t see. His team’s would renown breakthrough in neurochemistry had been based on a leap of logic that worked out – someone who saw something the rest of the research world did not. He sees his decision to accept Christ was the logical progression of reasonable analysis of the evidence.

Bai is now a science teacher because the prejudices of the scientific world against scientists who are believers frustrated him to the point where he decided to stop fighting it. He loves his second career where he can teach students that a scientist’s greatest tool is a mind that questions authority – including scientific dogmas.

More later on our individual stories and some of our conclusions.

3 responses to “The Journey

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  1. Reblogged this on That Mr. G Guy's Blog.

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  2. Have you read “James the Just” by Robert Eisenman? or any of the other scholars who argue that Jesus may have been an amalgamative character created by early Orthodoxy?

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    • I have read Eisenman’s book. It’s pretty controversial stuff filled with circumstantial evidence. In attempting to reconstruct the origins of Christianity, he ranges pretty far afield from both the Bible and the extra-biblical history.

      He links people who weren’t even in the same country at the same time and claims they are the same people. Paul becomes a Herodian revolutionary operating in Jerusalem at the same time Paul was being martyred in Rome. Eisenman claims James the brother of Jesus who became the leader of the Jerusalem church was a leader of the Qumran community. The base premise of the book is that Christianity was actually a continuation of a pre-existing Judaic messianic cult of violence that was tamed by Paul at the request of the Herodian dynasty.

      Paul would have been very young when Herod died and it’s unlikely he could have been active in Jerusalem at the same time he was writing letters from Rome and being martyred there.

      We all agreed he sounded like a conspiracy theorist with a degree in Middle Eastern religions. David (atheist paleontologist) called him the “Alex Jones of Middle Eastern Studies.”

      We read another book more recently “James the Just and Christian Origins” edited by Craig Evans. It’s a compilation of essays on various subjects relating to this topic and one of them deals extensively with Eisenman’s theories.

      We’ve also read some of Robert Price’s books suggesting that Jesus was based on the Mythos myth. He’s less conspiracy theory than Eisenman, although there is actual scholarship that refutes much of his theories.

      What I’ve found in most of these theorists is that they really don’t want to admit to a historical Jesus because, it seems, they fear that a historic Jesus might turn out to also be a Savior Jesus. In the 1880s, it was fashionable for scholars to insist that Jesus never existed, that the Bible was written in the 4th century and insist that archeology completely disproved the Bible. Modern archeology, carbon dating, the Dead Sea Scrolls, and textual criticism have largely shown those theories to be incorrect. How, for example, could 1st John be written in the 2nd century if we have a scrap of it that carbon dates to AD 90-100?

      Most mainstream historians, even atheists, agree that a man named Jesus who founded a sect of Judaism that became known as Christianity did exist. Beyond that, we can argue.

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