Monday, 11 February 2008

Response by Steven Carr 08/03/2008

It seems that James has no evidence at all for any corpse rising from the grave.

His only evidence is that Mark wrote shoddy Greek, and that the Dead Sea Scrolls show that out of the 38 Old Testament books which were found there, either whole or in part , one manuscript of Isaiah is very close to a later copy.

What about the other 37 Old Testament books found among the Dead Sea Scrolls? They show little sign that the text was fixed, so James concentrates on the one from the 38 which he thinks is relevant. But what relevance is it to show that there were no more changes 600 years after Isaiah allegedly wrote chapters 1 to 66 of his book, than there were 1500 years after Isaiah allegedly wrote all 66 chapters?

James claims the point of citing the 5,000 Greek manuscripts , of which 4000 date more than 4 centuries after any alleged resurrection is to show what the early church believed.

How can making a thousand copies of a manuscript 400 years after the people lived provide proof of what those people believed? How would it be relevant if we had a million copies from 4 centuries after they lived? What does writing the same thing out over and over again make it true?

In any case, we know what the early church believed. We know from 2 Corinthians 11 that Christians were fabricating stories about Jesus. We know that the church in Thessalonia was clearly getting worried about the fate of Christian corpses. We know from 1 Corinthians 15 that early converts to Jesus-worship were scoffing at the idea that God would choose to raise a corpse.

We know from Romans 7:24 that Paul wanted to be rescued from his body. In 2 Corinthians 5, Paul says 'For we know that if our earthly dwelling, a tent, should be destroyed, we have a building from God, a dwelling not made with hands'.

Paul preached the destruction of the body, and preached that we moved from our present body to a new body.

The Christians he was writing to also believed in the destruction of the present body, which is why they doubted that they could live after they died. Paul thinks this is foolish, because they do not know that there are two bodies 'If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body'

Paul did not believe in corpses rising from tombs. He believed that there was a spiritual, heavenly body which would be our home in the resurrection. He believed that our present body was the body inhabited by 'psyche' , (by which he seems to mean life), and that it was useless once we lost our psyche. So it would perish. Paul never mentions anything about a dead body rises, even to people who doubted that dead bodies rise. Paul claims only that the dead rise, and that they will have new bodies. If Paul believed dead bodies rose , he would say so. Instead, he says 'You do not plant the body that will be, but just a seed.' What rises from the ground is not the seed . The seed is simply there to tell God what to create. Plant seeds of wheat and God gives it a body of wheat. Plant human corpses, and God creates spiritual bodies, made out of entirely different material to our present bodies.

This contradicts the Gospels where the body that was planted was the body which came out of the ground, complete with wounds.

Now we turn to the Gospels. Paul preached the destruction of the body, not its salvation. The Gospels preach the salvation of the body, not its destruction.

The Gospels are anonymous works, of no historical value. They clearly plagiarise each other and the Old Testament.

James calls this 'typology'. This is a meaningless word.

The Gospels simply contain Old Testament stories rewritten to become stories about Jesus.

Jesus in Luke 7 raises the son of a widow from the dead. In 1 Kings 17, Elijah raises the son of a widow from the dead. Both stories employ exactly the same words - and he gave him to his mother.The Greek is 'kai edoken auton te metri autou', copied word for word from the Septuagint version of 1 Kings 17.

Did Luke use 1 Kings 17 as a basis for his story? Jesus met the widow at the gate of a city. Elijah met his widow in 1 Kings 17:10. It should come as no surprise that it was at the gate of a city. Luke 7 also copies other phrases from the Septuagint version of 1 Kings 17.

Luke copies 'kai egeneto' (and it came to pass). 'Kai egeneto' is used many, many times in the Greek Old Testament and Luke used this phrase from the Septuagint so much that it has become a cliche. When writing the Book of Mormon, Joseph Smith also used 'and it came to pass' a lot. Here he was copying from the King James Bible , but we can see that the writer of Luke's Gospel copied in a very similar manner to Joseph Smith.

Luke writes 'tay pulay tays poleos kai idoo' (to the gate of a city and behold), which is almost identical to the Old Testament Greek of 'tou pulona tays poleos kai idoo'.

Luke often used the Greek Old Testament for his stories. In Acts 10, Peter is told in a dream to eat unclean animals. In the Old Testament, Ezekiel 4 also has a story of somebody who is asked to eat unpalatable food.

According to Acts , Peter, an Aramaic-speaking Jew managed, in a moment of terror, to remember the exact phrase from the Greek translation of Ezekiel 4:14! Was it realistic for somebody described in Acts itself as ignorant (idiotes) and illiterate to bring to mind a Greek translation that he would not have known? I think not. I suspect Luke 'borrowed' words from the Greek translation of Ezekiel 4:14 to put into the mouth of Peter. It is not as though it is a common phrase which Peter might have hit on himself. 'Medamos, Kyrie' (By no means,Lord) is used only here and in Acts 11:8 , which is basically the same story again.

James calls this 'typology'. It is not. It is fraud and lies. It is as fraudulent as when Joseph Smith took Old Testament stories and rewrote them to become stories in the Book of Mormon.

James claims Luke gives hints as to his sources. He does not. All he ever claims is that some written accounts were based on eyewitnesses, (whom he never names), and that these anonymous accounts from anonymous eyewitnesses have been passed down to 'us' (ie Christians of his time), and that he has read them and is now rewriting them.

We can take a real historian , Josephus, and compare him with the fake historians of the Gospels.

Josephus mentions his sources frequently, among them: Berosus, Jerome, Mnaseas, Nicolaus, Manetho, Moschus, Hesiod, Menander, Dios, Herodotus, Megasthenes, Philostratus, 1 Maccabees, Polybius, Strabo, Livy, etc. Not all these sources are good but at least we can see where Josephus is coming from. Some of these sources are still extant and we can see how Josephus used them. We can see where Josephus changed from one source to the next, as his knowledge gets more or less detailed.

James says that Mark isn't as good as modern historians.

James has hit the nail on the head. The anonymous author of Mark isn't any good.

That is why James cannot find any evidence for the resurrection. For some reason, the God James worships has had people write works which look just like every other fraudulent religion based on lies, and which look nothing like any decent history.


  1. How can making a thousand copies of a manuscript 400 years after the people lived provide proof of what those people believed?

    Like by proving there had been some thousand earlier copies, or the thousand extant would not have been there? Like by providing evidence that the old authorship was by 400 not a controverted maybe, but firmly established?

  2. James calls this 'typology'. This is a meaningless word.

    The Gospels simply contain Old Testament stories rewritten to become stories about Jesus.

    Simply? Or - as we mean by typology - with the complexity added, that the stories were true and therefore rewritten by the author of all history, God, before being rewritten in words.

    That much about "re-use" of stories as a whole. As for clichés ...

    If an author from WW-I re-used clichés from the Iliad - would that prove WW-I never happened?

    If the author of Pharsalia re-used clichés from Homer and Virgil - does that mean that there never was a battle of Pharsalus?

  3. Your treatment of what St Paul believed by the way differs widely from your - personal or at least generally atheist - treatment of what Galileo believed.

    When a Geocentric today explains daily movement of the Universe by an act of God almighty and periodic movements of sun, moon, planets, planetary satellites, et c by angels moving them: would you assume Galileo would have called that superstitious nonsense, answering as Laplace did Napoleon?

    "I have no need for that hypothesis."

    But Galileo was not contemporary of Laplace, he was contemporary of St Robert Bellarmine.

    Well, St Paul was contemporary of St Peter. What about not reading St Paul's words about resurrected bodies in isolation, except very maybe as a mere preliminary exercise, what about taking a hint from St Peter on "glorified bodies" in the sense he referred to Transfiguration, and also from same St Peter about same St Paul not being clear though always correct once you understood him correctly?