Experiencing Tragedy? Your Sin Caused It.

Some religious organizations, and religious people, do wonderful work in our society.  Religion also is the source of some of the cruelest most hurtful ideas imaginable.  One is that a person’s, or group’s, suffering happens because of sins they have committed.

This idea has its origins in both Christian and Jewish faiths.  Its enthusiasm with some Jews can be matched by that of some Christians.

The link between religion and abuse surely must be one reasons religion does not caputre everyone in our society.  Sometimes people in abusive marriages leave, so also in religion.

Slavery and segregation was based on the Bible.  That is, God did not condemn slavery, said some groups are inferior to others and said the races should not intermarry.

It’s now been transferred to same sex attractions.  If you are attracted to the same sex, that is your fault and you are a sinner destined to hell, the faith tells us.  And, we all know of believers who blame storms and illnesses on the sins of the victims.

When Christians or Jews say to nonbelievers, “Where do you get your moral values?” it is fair  to wonder the same thing about believers.  How could believers be proud of this practice of blaming people who are blameless, sometimes even helpless?

This is not to say nonbelievers, as a group, are better people as a group than religious people.  But, there is one difference.  Nonbelievers do not have a faction who blames disease, random events and storms on the victims.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rabbi-shmuley-boteach/religions-must-repellent-idea_b_2478914.html?utm_hp_ref=religion

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About Jon Lindgren

I am a former President of the Red River Freethinkers in Fargo, ND, a retired NDSU economics professor and was Mayor of Fargo for 16 years.
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98 Responses to Experiencing Tragedy? Your Sin Caused It.

  1. Wanna B Sure says:

    So many fallacies here, and so convoluted, that an adequate response is almost impossible on a blog site such as this.

  2. Hey Jon. You write: “God … said the races should not intermarry.” Where do you find this in the Bible?

    • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

      Shane 3:49 Thanks for the question. Gosh, there are so many used by those who favored segregation. So far as I know, all of them are challenged as not being anti racial intermarriage. Just as all passages today condeming homosexuality are challenged as not applying to gay marriage.

      The general case I’ve heard about interracial marriage goes something like, “God put black people in one place, yellow in another, white, red etc. so it’s obvious His intenetion was they are supposed to remain as the are, separate.

      Being a life long student of the Bible as I know you to be, you probably do not really need my references used by anti interracial marriage groups, but a few would be Dueteronomy 7:3-4, Corinthians 6:14, Exodus 34 ? 2 Corinthians 6:14 Acts 17:26-30 Levitians 19;19. I know a common interpretation is the “others” worship different gods and that what the prohibition is about. Perhaps some groups were both different races and different gods. I’m just saying there are people who are self-proclaimed Christians who use their faith to justify anti interracial marriage.

  3. Steve says:

    It is sadly true that all too often we make our own bed and must sleep in it. It is also sadly true that all too often the church has been too quick to condemn, whether the condemnation is deserved or not. There is, after all, such a thing as grace, though it is important to keep the truth about one’s situation in the equation as well, lest we continue down a destructive path. When a woman caught in adultery was brought before Jesus by some religious leaders, something quite notable occurred:

    …but Jesus went to the Mount of Olives.
    At dawn he appeared again in the temple courts, where all the people gathered around him, and he sat down to teach them. The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?” They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him. But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground. At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”
    “No one, sir,” she said.
    “Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”
    John 8:1-11 (NIV)

    Did you catch that? Jesus mixed truth with grace. There is an acknowledgment of fact that sin did occur when He says, “Go now and leave your life of sin.” But there is also an extension of grace and forgiveness when He says, “Then neither do I condemn you.” Yes, sometimes we make our own bed and have to sleep in it.

    And sometimes we find grace.

    • entech says:

      Virtually every translation of the English Bible, this side of the 1611 King James Version, at least footnotes the passage, calling attention to the weak manuscript evidence behind the section embraced by John 7:53-8:11. All of the best Greek manuscripts, including the two oldest papyri (P66 and P75—dating from about A.D. 200) omit it. Most scholars—including many conservative ones—doubt that this section was a part of John’s original Gospel

      • Steve says:

        Hi entech. Your observation is an astute one, although I don’t think it negates the validity of the passage being placed in scripture. I think the only possible contention may be WHERE it was placed in scripture. There is a pretty good discussion of the subject of John 7:53-8:11 at:

        Biblegateway.com
        It not only addresses the placement of this passage within scripture, but also provides some wonderful insight into the passage itself.

        • entech says:

          This particular story is a useful addition/interpolation whatever you want to call it (later discovery?) it demonstrates a part of the story that is good thinking for anyone Christian or Atheist.
          Unfortunately there are many changes that quite obviously are simply to develop the story line and dogma required by the Church, the one and only vague suggestion of a trinity is one such item, found in the Latin but not the Greek.

          • Stanta says:

            Entech, at Christs baptism by John we have Jesus, God and the Holy Spirit all in one place.

            The Baptism of Jesus

            13 Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John. 14 But John tried to deter him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?”

            15 Jesus replied, “Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness.” Then John consented.

            16 As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. 17 And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”

            To most of us this shows the Trinity.

          • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

            Stan 1:04 “At that moment heaven was opened..and a voice…”

            I hope you admitt the guy who wrote that was not there when it happened. I’ve come to wonder how many miracles there are in Bible, OT and NT. Would it be a couple hundred? Three hundred? It’s as if the Bible editors said, “OK writers, make up miracles. They sell. We can’t have too many of them.”

          • entech says:

            Stan, this line is used by Christians, adoptionists, who claim that there is but one God (same as Jews and Muslims) and that Jesus became the “adopted” son of God when baptized.
            They claim the Trinitarians are polytheists.

            Who can say who is right and who is wrong, probably both, we have only unverified words from long ago. Scholarship shows that many of the words are not as old or original as others.

          • Stanta says:

            You will have to excuse me for believing then, because many of the things I have seen or heard WAS NOT heard or seen by others and you would consider me a liar, idiot or insane if I were to relate them to you.

            Your lose, I may be poorer in actual wealth but richer in my emotional and spiritual wealth then anytime in my life. I am having fun and I know many others who have found Christ are enjoying thier new path.

          • entech says:

            Stan, you would consider me a liar, idiot or insane if I were to relate them to you.

            I don’t think you have ever said anything like that to you, if I have given that impression I apologise.

            That I do not believe a word of the Bible does not mean anything, even if I became convinced by the cosmological argument as proposed by WL Craig (I think it is the nearest to a convincing argument) I can see no reason to assume the creator required by that argument is your God, and especially not your three in one God.

            I am pleased for you that you find joy in your new path, the only thing I know is that when we have prayer and meditation Catholic nuns have visions of the Virgin Mary and Buddhist nuns have Buddhist visions. I do some meditation but all I get is relaxation, peaceful and soothing but nothing else.

    • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

      Steve 3:55 Nice post. Thanks for the considerable effort it took to post.

      Just a question. Are we supposed to read something in to Jesus writing on the ground? Or, is it like we would protray someone pondering today as stroking their beard?

      • Steve says:

        It is not likely Jesus was pondering, Jon, as God does not have opinions. Quite possibly, though, he was etching something (the Ten Commandments, maybe?) that would prick the consciences of the accusers when he got up to say, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.”

      • Stanta says:

        Names and sins(unethical practices) of the crowd?

  4. entech says:

    I have always liked what Rabbi Boteach has had to say. Some of the best debates I have seen involve Shmuley and Christopher Hitchens, intellectual enemies but personal friends to the end.

    Compare to the WBC and the likes of Pat Robertson.

  5. Matt says:

    Jon “the Faith” does not claim anywhere that if you are a homosexual you are condemed to hell…at least my Catholic faith does not. I am sorry for whatever has sparked such hatred in your heart for the truths of christianity. You only hurt yourself by attacking it. I pray for you…someday you will understand.

    • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

      Matt 11:01 “The faith does not claim anywhere that if you are homosexual you are condemned to hell..at least my Catholic faith does not.”

      So, you are saying the Catholic Church is now endorsing gay marriage? I think what you are saying is that in the Catholic Church there are tons of rules and technicalities. I would guess it’s something like this. If one is a practicing homosexual one has various “legal” options to avoid hell. They might include renouncing their sins, continueing their sins leaving their eternity “uncertain”, etc. etc. I don’t think my protrayal of going to hell was far off the mark.

      Let me be clear, I do not have “such a hatred in” my heart of the truths of Christianity. I just don’t find them to be true.

      • Matt says:

        My friend the Catholic church does not condem anyone, God alone knows what is in a persons heart, and God alone will Judge them. You run down and persecute something you know nothing about. You obviously do not know a single thing about the Catholic faith. I recomend you go out and buy a Cathecism of the Catholic church. You just spread ignorance and lies because you are ignorant of the Churches teachings, this doesnt do anyone any favors.

        • entech says:

          Pomponio Algerio. Semper edem

          • Matt says:

            There have been corrupt leaders within the chruch…not even the Pope will not deny that. But the church itself is infallible. Its teachings are truth with athority handed down by Jesus Christ himself.

          • entech says:

            Believe that if it makes you feel better. It does not make it true, it does nothing to verify any of it or even make it plausible. It is simply what you believe just as my total rejection of it is what I fail to believe.
            Where I live there is a big inquiry going on into ongoing child sexual abuse in various public institutions and churches, the local Catholic Bishop responded by sending a letter to his diocese saying we must do more against gay marriage – ignore the denial of abuse but explain how the anti-gay propaganda does not constitute condemnation.

          • Matt says:

            entech, just like Jon you talk about something you aparently dont understand. pick up a chatecism and learn the true Catholic teachings before you attack them. just because you hear something or read something that may even be from a bishop or priest does not necesarily mean it is a teaching of the church.

          • entech says:

            “I say that the Church deviates from the truth in so far as it says that a man could not do anything in any way good on his own, since nothing praiseworthy can proceed from our corrupt infected nature except to the extent that the lord God gives us his grace… the Roman Catholic Church is a particular Church and no Christian should restrict himself to any particular Church. This Church deviates in many things from truth.”

            Pomponio was a University student studying Civil Law, as such he had the right to free expression. When he spoke the above words at his trial it was not anti-religious, anti-God merely the suggestion that a man, a Christian man, could find his own way to God without the Catholic Church. Perhaps even a Lutheran way!
            You say But the church itself is infallible. Its teachings are truth with athority handed down by Jesus Christ himself., was it on the basis of a challenge to this belief that a new way of death by torture had to be invented, boiling in oil, he could have saved himself the torture if he recanted his words, if he repented, it would not save his life but he would be strangled before boiling alive, as it was it took 15 minutes for him to die.

            Pomponio was not speaking blasphemy (for that offense see the murder of Thomas Aikenhead by the Presbyterians, see not only Catholics protestants can be just as wrong) but for saying that the church itself is infallible. Its teachings are truth with athority handed down by Jesus Christ himself. was not true. A natural extension to this is that all non-Catholic Christians should die.

            You say Jon hurts his case by attacking the Church, there was no attack on the Church, no mention of any denomination (only that some Jews and some Christians embraced the catastrophe as punishment) until you introduced it, it is you giving your cause a bad name. How many of the varieties of Christian that read and/or respond to Jon’s blog would appreciate it when you say that yours is the only infallible and authoritative doctrine and they are wrong, probably not even “real” Christians.

            A year or so ago I was having a discussion with a young earth evangelical (and other labels) Christian, during the course of this I was defending a couple of Catholic points, I think one would have been on evolution, when he said “I wish you would stop referring to Catholics as Christians”. The denominational conflict can be as circular as the theology.

            We don’t hate Christianity or Christians but you must be very insecure if any hint of criticism can invoke such real invective. A final point homosexuality was not part of this topic until you introduced it

            … methinks.

  6. Paul says:

    Jon’s general thesis was well laid out by Rabbi Harold Kushner in his famous book When Bad Things Happen to Good People … You’d all enjoy it … cheers!

  7. Margaret Walsh says:

    I will never forget how upset my 8 year old niece was when a tornado decimated the small town near their farm and destroyed the school. She was sobbing that the people of “whoville” weren’t evil so why was the town destroyed. My sister had filled their religious teachings with hell and damnation, sin, and God strikes down areas through weather disasters as punishment. My sister had no explanation to give her terrified daughter.

    • Matt says:

      I am very sorry for their loss, this is a very common misguided view of God. God never destroys, He is life and love. All lies, death, and destruction come from one place only, the evil one himself. The book The Healing Of Families by Fr. Yozefu B. Ssemakula does a very good job in explaining this. It will really help explain what we have such a hard time understanding.

    • Henry says:

      Luke 13:4-5
      Or those eighteen, upon whom the tower in Siloam fell, and slew them, think ye that they were sinners above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem?
      I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.

      • Avatar of Grandma Grandma says:

        Of course. And the Black Death was the result of sin, as most thought at the time…

        • Henry says:

          You did not follow. Luke 13:4-5 indicates the men’s individual sins did not cause their death. One is left to believe it was a random event, an accident. However, when taken in the context of Original Sin, one can see we live in a corrupt world where accidents occur.

          • Matt says:

            Another aspect to consider is the fact that we are all interconnected. On a spiritual level we are tied to all of our relatives, and because of that spiritual tie there is also a physical tie. The sins that were commited by even distant relatives can very much affect us in our own lives, even though we ourselves did not commit the sin.

          • entech says:

            Henry, I often feel that there is something intrinsically sick about the idea of original sin.

            There was a topic about Moses and Christianity, there is obviously no relationship:
            Jews (Moses) born pure.
            Chistists (Henry) born in sin

            Jews struggle to remain pure, atone for misdeeds.
            Christists struggle to escape the threat of hell imposed by being born.

            Jews God is just and you will be judged on your deeds.
            Christists God is just and you will be judged, not on what you do but on how you accept the words of the preachers etc that told you you were a sinner and they could show you the way out.

          • Henry says:

            entech: “there is obviously no relationship:”

            You obviously were not paying attention.

  8. Avatar of Mac Mac says:

    Recently I shared a link criticizing Dr James Dobson, for saying the recent school massacre was God’s wrath for a sinful society that kills unborn babies and encourages gay people to get married.

    The facts are, in the past 2o years, violent crime has decreased dramatically as abortion rates have decreased and society has begun open discussion on gay marriage.

    Dr Dobson’s logic supports God being pleased rather than angered.

    • Henry says:

      Mac: “The facts are, in the past 2o years, violent crime has decreased dramatically as abortion rates have decreased and society has begun open discussion on gay marriage.”

      cum hoc ergo propter hoc

      • entech says:

        cum hoc ergo propter hoc
        Another variation on this fallacy.

        Henry doesn’t agree, therefore it is wrong

        Observation would imply that if there is a God, it is more like the deist God – doesn’t interfere and doesn’t care.

        • Henry says:

          non sequitur

          • entech says:

            Oh very sequitur, the sequence of argument is always the same – blah, blah, blah this is not what I believe therefor it is wrong. For example, I believe man was created by God in his own image therefore anything that suggests that there is a different possible sequence of events, even if believed by my many Christian leaders (Popes, archbishops etc.) is wrong. Henry doesn’t like the idea that it is even possible so it is ipso facto wrong.

          • Henry says:

            Ignoratio elenchi

          • entech says:

            I, of course, would disagree.

    • Stanta says:

      Wait a minute there on abortions, PPH had a record 333,000 abortions in 2011.

    • Matt says:

      God is not pleased with abortion or homosexuality, however it is not Gods wrath that destroyed those lives, rather God allowing people to exercies free will to make the decision to do evil to others. We need to understand that God will never interfere with our free will.

      • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

        Matt 2:26 “God is not pleased with abortion or homosexuality…”

        I thought it was a sin to pretend to know the mind of God.

        • Henry says:

          We don’t need to pretend when we have logos.

          • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

            Henry 6:24 “logos??? You’ve driven right past me again.????

          • entech says:

            You mean like the cross and the crescent, or that funny little fish with legs?

          • entech says:

            Jon, perhaps Henry was driving one of those London buses that Dawkins likes so much. That is why he is so relaxed lately, the message has finally sunk in.

          • Henry says:

            For entech and Jon – Willful ignorance or “bound” ignorance…..I can’t tell the difference.

          • entech says:

            Perhaps you have a different interpretation of the word logos ( ;) ) there are several going back several hundred years before the NT. Perhaps it is yet another that you want to usurp for the sole use of Christianity.

          • Henry says:

            entech: “there are several going back several hundred years before the NT.”

            Your reliance on nonextant documents is puzzling in light of your previous criticisms of the Bible. I guess whatever makes your argument, you’ll use.

          • entech says:

            Logos. The Greek term for “reason” for “giving an account” (Plato). The verb lego both to speak and to put together. Thus Plato’s emphasis is on the living dialogue as the only context for the unveiling of logos. Socrates claims that the logos speaks through him in the Platonic dialogues. The Latin translation is ratio, and this had led to a more strict use of reason in the confines of mathematics, science and logic

            The idea of the logos in Greek thought harks back at least to the 6th-century-bc philosopher Heraclitus, who discerned in the cosmic process a logos analogous to the reasoning power in man. Later, the Stoics, philosophers who followed the teachings of the thinker Zeno of Citium (4th–3rd century bc), defined the logos as an active rational and spiritual principle that permeated all reality. They called the logos providence, nature, god, and the soul of the universe, which is composed of many seminal logoi that are contained in the universal logos. Philo of Alexandria, a 1st-century-ad Jewish philosopher, taught that the logos was the intermediary between God and the cosmos, being both the agent of creation and the agent through which the human mind can apprehend and comprehend God. According to Philo and the Middle Platonists, philosophers who interpreted in religious terms the teachings of the 4th-century-bc Greek master philosopher Plato, the logos was both immanent in the world and at the same time the transcendent divine mind.

            A long history and several possible meanings before the Gospel of John took it and narrowed its meaning to something that would support the Christian viewpoint.

          • Henry says:

            You take a lot of stock in Plato. A man who has no extant documents. The oldest Plato documents were tanscribed about 900 A.D. Quite a large gap from his life 427-347 BC. You apparently have varying standards of acceptance. Very inconsistent of you.

  9. Ahhh. By your statement that anti-interacial marriage positions were “based on the Bible,” I thought you meant that the Bible teaches that. Having looked at your reply and then back at the statement, I think I misunderstood what you were writing. You were saying that the Bible was used to support that idea. In other words, you weren’t making a statement on what the Bible does or does not say about the issue, but about the fact that it has been used to support that position by some. Is that right?

    But I will take time to address the passages you mentioned. The Corinthians 6 passage is a case of the Apostle Paul telling Christians not to marry non-Christians. It’s unrelated to race. I don’t doubt that some have used it to denounce interracial marriage. But it has nothing to do with that. That’s just poor (and perhaps opportunistic) interpretive method.

    Deuteronomy 7:3-4 deals specifically with the Israelite people, and there’s no indication that it applies to any group of people beyond them. Israel was certainly not to intermarry with the people of Canaan, but to take that and apply it to all nations and peoples for all times would be strange interpretive method. The Leviticus passage has nothing to do with marriage specifically, though the symbol of being separate and set apart may be there. If so it would be related to Israel as a people apart from the rest of the world and not a for-all-times-and-places sort of instruction. Similar comments would apply to the Exodus passage.

    I suspect that the Acts passage would draw on the phrase “he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands” and make the case that those boundaries should not be crossed in marriage. The passage is simply a statement by the Apostle Paul (this is during one of his sermons) about what God had done. It is descriptive; not prescriptive.

    • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

      Shane 2:27 “Israel was certainly not to intermarry with the people of Canaan, but to take that and apply it to all nations and peoples of all time would be a strange interpretive method.”

      You may well be right. Often in this blog we come up against is how one person, trained in the Bible as you are, reads some passage(s)in a certain way but those in the pews and on the street use it in another way. I maintain the street cred of any part of the Bible is as important as that of better trained people–or–maybe more important.

      When a prosegration Governor, such as the late Lester Maddox of GA, kept in his desk drawer several copies of some scripture he thought justified segregation and handed copies to anyone who brought up the topic, it really doesn’t matter how many academic suits disagree.

    • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

      Shane 2:17 More about interracial marriage. At least if one interrprets the words “strange wives” in a “strange” country as referring to race. We know the old language makes it always open season on what some passage means:

      Ezara 10: 10-11 And Ezra the priest stood up and said unto them, ye have transgressed and taken strange wives to increase the transgress of Israel. Now, therefore make confession unto the Lord of your fathers, and do his pleasure and separate yourselves from the people of the land and from strange wives.

      Surely this is against interracial marriage.

  10. Steve says:

    Consider this passage from the gospel of John, Chapter 9:

    As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” “Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him. As long as it is day, we must do the works of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work. While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” After saying this, he spit on the ground, made some mud with the saliva, and put it on the man’s eyes. “Go,” he told him, “wash in the Pool of Siloam” (this word means “Sent”). So the man went and washed, and came home seeing. His neighbors and those who had formerly seen him begging asked, “Isn’t this the same man who used to sit and beg?” Some claimed that he was. Others said, “No, he only looks like him.” But he himself insisted, “I am the man.” “How then were your eyes opened?” they asked. He replied, “The man they call Jesus made some mud and put it on my eyes. He told me to go to Siloam and wash. So I went and washed, and then I could see.”

    • Margaret Walsh says:

      The miracles portrayed in the New Testament were not added until the early church was trying to jazz up the PR for their new religion…..about 150-225 AD (can’t remember the new initials…for AD, but you know what I mean.) Thus, there were no miracles attributed to Jesus . I don’t believe in miracles.

      • entech says:

        To quote David Hume (again) “the only miracle is that people still take this stuff seriously”.

      • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

        Margaret 11:10 “The miracles portrayed in the NT were not added until the early church was trying to jass up the PR for their new religion…there were no mriacle attributed to Jesus. I don’t believe in miracles.”

        As entech quotes Hume, “the only miracle is that people take this stuff seriously.”

        Well stated by both of you. In my reading of liberal theologians, they explain away the fact that no one saw Jesus do this stuff. They don’t deny the miracles are unlikely, but they don’t reject the religous package either. Their way of explaining all is that the made up stories about miracles was part of the “development” of the faith, and, because the miracles having been repeated for two centuries, we should treat them as “traditions”. Creative explainations, bobbing and weaving, are part of the industry.

      • Stanta says:

        Sorry, I believe that all four Gospels were written by 100 AD. Well within the timeframe where people who were still alive at the time of Christ could have refuted them.

        Buzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz! Wrong answer.

        • entech says:

          Contemporaries of Yeshua would have been somewhere in the region of 120 years old in 100 AD, life expectancy, what 40, 50 max?

          • Henry says:

            You know that? 40 or 50? Where do you get your information? You seem to be assuming.

            A 20 year-old man in AD 33 would be 87 in AD 100. Not a stretch at all. I had rellies around 1900 achieve ages into their late eighties. This was when we know the life expectancy was in the 40-50 year old range.

        • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

          Stan 6:31 “Sorry, I believe all four Gospels were written by 100 AD. Well within the timeframe where people who were still alive at the time of Christ could have refuted them.”

          And, you are saying that people who wrote something refuting the miracles and superhumanism of Jesus would have seen what they wrote put right there in the Bible?? PLEASE!!

          Besides that, there is considerable agreement that what finally went into the Bible was writing that had been passed down through many recopies. Margaret’s reference, I would guess is to when the period when the Bible was being put together.

          There is no known pipeline from the original writers to what appears in the Bible. There were two sources of drift. One was whatever the original copy said, it was copied many times during its lifetime, with the normal variations people would make to fit there mistakes or their personal takes on what they wanted it to say. We don’t know which, or, how many copies were recopied many times until they arrrived in the Bible.

          Then, the recopying over time allowed for wider variations.

          It would be wishful thinking to treat any of the Bible stuff as first person, or even second, third or fourth.

          • Stanta says:

            Jon, investigate how new translations are made and how they go to the oldest existing copies and compare them to bring the greatest accuracy. If you think that the bible we read today is a single line from the first document copied and re copied over the years you would be wrong. We have more information from an earlier period of Christ then we have of Julius Cesare.

            The earliest copies of Plato were from hundreds of years after his death but secularists believe those are accurate. The biographies of Alexander the Great were hundreds of years later but we accept them as truth. But the Gospels and copies of Paul’s letters are within 50 years of Christs deaths but they are full of mistakes and inaccurate. At least be consistent.

          • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

            Stan 4:54 “..to bring the greatest accuracy.”

            Believe what you will. The earliest copies believed to have existed about the same time have larger differences than those recopied by scribes later on. The disagreements of the 1611 scholars listed pages of words and terms they had no idea of the meaning.

            As to Plato and Julius Ceasare, why are they relevant to toss in? Are things they alledgedly wrote or said being put into our laws simply because the wrote or said them? Have not heard of any.

          • Henry says:

            Santa: “The earliest copies of Plato were from hundreds of years after his death but secularists believe those are accurate.”

            Over a thousand years. The atheist/agnostic has blind acceptance of them, while having a beyond critical and very subjective approach to the Bible codex. Barth Erhman is a classical example of this.

          • Henry says:

            Jon: “As to Plato and Julius Ceasare, why are they relevant to toss in? Are things they alledgedly wrote or said being put into our laws simply because the wrote or said them?”

            Yes. Western Civ, baby! All the way.

            By the way, I believe our aussie friend was the first to bring up Plato.

          • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

            Henry 9:32 “Yes. Western Civ. baby. All the way.”

            What did Plato have to say about gay marriage?

          • Henry says:

            Jon: “What did Plato have to say about gay marriage?”

            That homosexuality should be strictly platonic. :)

          • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

            Henry 9:42 I had not heard that there are groups using Plato to advocate platonic gay marriages. But, I don’t hear all the news.

          • entech says:

            Henry, here we are again with your deliberate distortions, Plato was brought up in the context of the various meanings of “Logos”. Plato was not mentioned in any form of mythology that you take as gospel truth. Anything to change the subject.

          • Henry says:

            entech: “Plato was not mentioned in any form of mythology that you take as gospel truth. Anything to change the subject.”

            Uhm…entech….Jon asked if Plato’s writings were put into our laws. Talk to him.

          • Henry says:

            Jon: “I had not heard that there are groups using Plato to advocate platonic gay marriages.”

            Uhm…Jon….that claim was not made. Nice try.

          • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

            Henry 10:32 “Uhm..Jon..that claim was not made. Nice try.”

            Besides playing slight of hand with Entech, you do it with me. Our thread started by me bringing up Plato as a source of public policy. re mine, 8:49. As you say, “Nice try.”

          • entech says:

            Stan, 4:54 Plato etc are totally irrelevant, there is a lot of writing from early Greek philosophy, a lot is found from what other writers say about what their predecessors said and thought. They are only of interest to students of the period. I don’t think Socrates ever wrote a single word any more than Yeshua did. The difference is that no one says that they had infallible answers to the origin of the universe or of mankind and especially not that the laws of the land should be based on what modern people interpret as the meaning of the second hand words of, say, Heraclitus.
            You talk of the oldest existing copies, they were quite a few years later and already had errors in copying and translation. They are mainly fragments. The oldest that are anywhere near complete are Codex Vaticanus and Codex Sinaiticus around the year 350.
            http://library.duke.edu/rubenstein/scriptorium/papyrus/texts/manuscripts.html

          • entech says:

            Henry 10:30 you continue with your deliberate distortions, my 10:26 was clearly in answer to your 9:32. Where you said By the way, I believe our aussie friend was the first to bring up Plato.
            Do truth and honesty mean nothing if they get in the way of making a point?

          • Henry says:

            Jon: “Besides playing slight of hand with Entech, you do it with me.”

            Uhm…Jon….Again….that claim was not made from your previous. Nice slight of hand.

          • Henry says:

            entech: “you continue with your deliberate distortions, my 10:26 was clearly in answer to your 9:32.”

            In fact, you were the first…..in another thread which similarly discussed the validity of the plato texts being they were transcribed so much later. Please approach this with a little honesty.

          • entech says:

            Henry the true sophisticate, gives the impression that this is something current, when pulled up on his lies he says oh you misunderstood I was talking about something you said last year.

            I don’t remember ever suggesting that the Greeks were 100% accurate and the Gospels 100% wrong.
            The lack of continuity and much lost documentation makes all of ancient history a little speculative at best, guess work at worst.

            There is an advantage with scripture in that so much more remains extant, a lot in fragmentary form, but a huge variety. The unfortunate part is that quite a lot shows changes over time to match the changing dogma, things in early versions no longer written and things missing from the early versions appearing later – some things in the Latin that were never found in the Greek – a changing body of work to match the changing orthodoxy.

          • Henry says:

            entech: “Henry the true sophisticate, gives the impression that this is something current, when pulled up on his lies he says oh you misunderstood I was talking about something you said last year.”

            Again, you were the first to bring Plato up (January 19, 2013 at 6:12 am). No lie on my part. You have lied trying to spin this to your advantage. Keep digging.

          • entech says:

            Yes, I did post something that mentioned Plato and Greek philosophy in general.
            Context, context, context.

            Henry says: January 18, 2013 at 6:24 pm
            We don’t need to pretend when we have logos.

            It was in reply to your 6:24 – what do you mean by “logos”?, I was merely pointing out that it has more meanings than the one in John. The only thing about Plato was using his words as an example of other uses.

            Most audacious that you, of all people, would accuse me of lying in order to hide your dishonest and deliberate misrepresentation. I know it is deliberate because you are not stupid, even though you manage to hide that fact very well when it suits your purpose.

          • Henry says:

            You are now thoroughly confusing.

          • entech says:

            and you still dishonest

          • Henry says:

            Your accusation is not true.

      • Henry says:

        Magaret: “I don’t believe in miracles.”

        I do. Babies are born. My mother kicked brain cancer, recovering from a point where she could no longer speak or write. Miracles happen every day.

        • Henry says:

          P.S. My mother didn’t need a “faith healer” either. There were a tremendous amount of people praying for her. She eventually succombed, but was very much a blessing to others with her extension of life. And she was no different than anyone else, Christ worked through her.

        • entech says:

          Invoking David Hume, again.

          My heart was stopped for 4 hours, not a miracle – MEDICINE.

  11. Shane Mercer’s second post explains the fuzziness of Jon’s lack of real knowledge about the Bible. Jon uses the Bible to club people over the head with what he thinks are its “inconsistencies”. Anyone who truly studies the Bible knows that God is not inconsistent and also that ultimately, God will not be mocked.
    Those who do have a real shock coming.

  12. Thank you Steve..I was about to look up that passage about “who sinned? this man or his parents?”

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