Bible Discussion: Re: Biblical Authenticity

Re: Biblical Authenticity
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Pastor Frank
2004-08-22 23:08:58 EST
There is an ongoing debate among scholars regarding the historical accuracy
of the Bible. Some feel that the Bible is a fictitious work and should be
read as a work of literary fiction. Others feel it is an accurate historical
work divinely inspired by God. Archaeology has played a major role in
determining the trustworthiness of the Bible. In this article, we will look
at the archaeological discoveries that have confirmed the historical
accuracy of the New Testament. There is a great deal of evidence
outside of the Bible that confirms the account of Jesus as written in the
Gospels.It is important to realise, however, that it is unrealistic to
expect archaeology to back up every event and place in the New Testament.
Our perspective is to look for what evidence exists and see whether or not
it corresponds with the New Testament.

Pastor Frank

Historical Confirmation of Jesus:

The first evidence comes from the four Gospels which, themselves, are proven
to be accurate.{1} Outside the biblical text are several witnesses as well.
Jewish historian Josephus (37 A.D.-100 A.D.) recorded the history of the
Jewish people in Palestine from 70 A.D. to 100 A.D. In his work Antiquities,
he states:

"Now there was about this time, Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call
him a man, for he was a doer of wonderful works, a teacher of such men as
receive the truth with pleasure. He drew over to him both many of the Jews
and many of the gentiles. He was the Christ and when Pilate, at the
suggestion of the principal men amongst us, had condemned him to the cross,
those that loved him at the first did not forsake him. For he appeared alive
again the third day, as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten
thousand other wonderful things concerning him; and the tribe of Christians,
so named from him, are not extinct to this day."{2}

Although he mentions Jesus in a sarcastic way, Josephus confirms the facts
that Jesus did do many great miracles, drew a following, was crucified, and
was proclaimed alive on the third day.

Pliny the Younger, Emperor of Bythynia in northwestern Turkey, writing to
Emperor Trajan in 112 A.D. writes:

"They were in the habit of meeting on a certain fixed day before it was
light, when they sang an anthem to Christ as God, and bound themselves by a
solemn oath not to commit any wicked deed, but to abstain from all fraud,
theft and adultery, never to break their word, or deny a trust when called
upon to honor it; after which it was their custom to separate, and then meet
again to partake of food, but ordinary and innocent kind."

One of the most important Romans historians is Tacitus. In 115 A.D. he
recorded Nero's persecution of the Christians, in the process of which he
wrote the following:

"Christus, from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty
during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of our procurators, Pontius
Pilatus, and a most mischievous superstition, thus checked for the moment,
again broke out not only in Judea, . . . but even in Rome."{3}

There are over 39 extra-biblical sources that attest to over one hundred
facts regarding the life and teachings of Jesus.


Accuracy of the Gospels:


The accuracy of the Gospels has been supported by archaeology. The names of
many of the Israelite cities, events, and people described in them have now
been located. Here are a few examples.

The Gospels mention four neighboring and well-populated coastal cities along
the Sea of Galilee: Capernaum, Bethsaida, Chorazin, and Tiberias. Jesus
performed many miracles in the first three cities. Despite this testimony,
these cities rejected Jesus and therefore were cursed by Him (Matt.
11:20-24; Luke 10:12-16). These cities eventually disappeared from history
and their locations remained missing for centuries. Their demise fulfills
the prophetic condemnation of Jesus.

Only recently has archaeology recovered their possible locations. Tell Hum
is believed to be Capernaum. (A "tell" is a mound or elevated land that has
arisen by repeated and long-term rebuilding of the same site. Layers of
civilizations can be found at different strata). The locations of Bethsaida
and Chorazin still remain unconfirmed, but the present site at a tell 1.5
miles north of the Galilean shoreline is believed to be Bethsaida, while
Tell Khirbet Kerezah, 2.5 miles northwest of Capernaum, is thought to be
Chorazin.

Matthew 2 states that Jesus was born during the reign of Herod. Upon hearing
that a king had been born, the frightened Herod ordered all children under
the age of two to be killed. His slaughter of innocents is consistent with
the historical facts that describe his character. Herod was suspicious of
anyone whom he thought may take his throne. His list of victims included one
of his ten wives, who was his favorite, three of his own sons, a high
priest, an ex-king, and two of his sister's husbands. Thus, his brutality
portrayed in Matthew is consistent with his description in ancient history.

John's accuracy has also been attested to by recent discoveries. In John
5:1-15 Jesus heals a man at the Pool of Bethesda. John describes the pool as
having five porticoes. This site had long been in dispute until recently.
Forty feet underground, archaeologists discovered a pool with five
porticoes, and the description of the surrounding area matches John's
description. In 9:7 John mentions another long disputed site, the Pool of
Siloam. However, this pool was also discovered in 1897, upholding the
accuracy of John.

Evidence for Pontius Pilate, the governor who presided over the trial of
Jesus, was discovered in Caesarea Maritama. In 1961, an Italian
archaeologist named Antonio Frova uncovered a fragment of a plaque that was
used as a section of steps leading to the Caesarea Theater. The inscription,
written in Latin, contained the phrase, "Pontius Pilatus, Prefect of Judea
has dedicated to the people of Caesarea a temple in honor of Tiberius." This
temple is dedicated to the Emperor Tiberius who reigned from 14-37 A.D. This
fits well chronologically with the New Testament which records that Pilot
ruled as procurator from 26-36 A.D. Tacitus, a Roman historian of the first
century, also confirms the New Testament designation of Pilate. He writes,
"Christus, from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty
during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of our procurators, Pontius
Pilatus. . . ."


Confirmation Regarding the Crucifixion:


All four Gospels give details of the crucifixion of Christ. Their accurate
portrayal of this Roman practice has been confirmed by archaeology. In 1968,
a gravesite in the city of Jerusalem was uncovered containing thirty-five
bodies. Each of the men had died a brutal death which historians believe was
the result of their involvement in the Jewish revolt against Rome in 70 A.D.

The inscription identified one individual as Yohan Ben Ha'galgol. Studies of
the bones performed by osteologists and doctors from the Hadassah Medical
School determined the man was twenty-eight years old, stood five feet six
inches, and had some slight facial defects due to a cleft right palate.

What intrigued archaeologists were the evidences that this man had been
crucified in a manner resembling the crucifixion of Christ. A seven-inch
nail had been driven through both feet, which were turned outward so the
nail could be hammered inside the Achilles tendon.

Archaeologists also discovered that nails had been driven through his lower
forearms. A victim of a crucifixion would have to raise and lower his body
in order to breathe. To do this, he needed to push up on his pierced feet
and pull up with his arms. Yohan's upper arms were smoothly worn, indicating
this movement.

John records that in order to expedite the death of a prisoner, executioners
broke the legs of the victim so that he could not lift himself up by pushing
with his feet (19:31-33). Yohan's legs were found crushed by a blow,
breaking them below the knee. The Dead Sea Scrolls tell that both Jews and
Romans abhorred crucifixion due to its cruelty and humiliation. The scrolls
also state it was a punishment reserved for slaves and any who challenged
the ruling powers of Rome. This explains why Pilate chose crucifixion as the
penalty for Jesus.

Relating to the crucifixion, in 1878 a stone slab was found in Nazareth with
a decree from Emperor Claudius who reigned from 41-54 A.D. It stated that
graves must not be disturbed nor bodies to be removed. The punishment on
other decrees is a fine but this one threatens death and comes very close to
the time of the resurrection. This was probably due to Claudius
investigating the riots of 49 A.D. He had certainly heard of the
resurrection and did not want any similar incidents. This decree was
probably made in connection with the Apostles' preaching of Jesus'
resurrection and the Jewish argument that the body had been stolen.

Historian Thallus wrote in 52 A.D. Although none of his texts remain, his
work is cited by Julius Africanus' work, Chronography. Quoting Thallus on
the crucifixion of Christ, Africanus states, "On the whole world, there
pressed a most fearful darkness, and the rocks were rent by an earthquake,
and many places in Judea and other districts were thrown down."{4} Thallus
calls this darkness, "as appears to me without reason, an eclipse of the
sun."{5}

All the discoveries made are consistent with the details in the crucifixion
account given by the writers of the Gospels. These facts lend indirect
support for the biblical accounts of Jesus' crucifixion and that the tomb
was empty.


Historical Accuracy of Luke:


At one time, scholars did not view Luke's historical accounts in his Gospel
and Acts as accurate. There appeared to be no evidence for several cities,
persons, and locations that he named in his works. However, archaeological
advances have revealed that Luke was a very accurate historian and the two
books he has authored remain accurate documents of history.

One of the greatest archaeologists is the late Sir William Ramsay. He
studied under the famous liberal German historical schools in the
mid-nineteenth century. Known for its scholarship, this school taught that
the New Testament was not a historical document. With this premise, Ramsay
investigated biblical claims as he searched through Asia Minor. What he
discovered caused him to reverse his initial view. He wrote:

"I began with a mind unfavorable to it [Acts], for the ingenuity and
apparent completeness of the Tubingen theory had at one time quite convinced
me. It did not then in my line of life to investigate the subject minutely;
but more recently I found myself often brought into contact with the Book of
Acts as an authority for the topography, antiquities, and society of Asia
Minor. It was gradually borne in upon me that in various details the
narrative showed marvelous truth."{6}

Luke's accuracy is demonstrated by the fact that he names key historical
figures in the correct time sequence as well as correct titles to government
officials in various areas: Thessalonica, politarchs; Ephesus, temple
wardens; Cyprus, procouncil; and Malta, the first man of the island.

In Luke's announcement of Jesus' public ministry (Luke 3:1), he mentions,
"Lysanius tetrarch of Abilene." Scholars questioned Luke's credibility since
the only Lysanius known for centuries was a ruler of Chalcis who ruled from
40-36 B.C. However an inscription dating to be in the time of Tiberius, who
ruled from 14-37 A.D., was found recording a temple dedication which names
Lysanius as the "tetrarch of Abila" near Damascus. This matches well with
Luke'saccount.

In Acts 18:12-17, Paul was brought before Gallio, the proconsul of Achaea.
Once again archaeology confirms this account. At Delphi an inscription of a
letter from Emperor Claudius was discovered. In it he states, "Lucius Junios
Gallio, my friend, and the proconsul of Achaia . . ."{7} Historians date the
inscription to 52 A.D. which corresponds to the time of the apostle's stay
in 51.

In Acts 19:22 and Romans 16:23, Erastus, a coworker of Paul, is named the
Corinthian city treasurer. Archaeologists excavating a Corinthian theatre in
1928 discovered an inscription. It reads, "Erastus in return for his
aedilship laid the pavement at his own expense." The pavement was laid in 50
A.D. The designation of treasurer describes the work of a Corinthian aedile.

In Acts 28:7, Luke gives Plubius, the chief man on the island of Malta, the
title, "first man of the island." Scholars questioned this strange title and
deemed it unhistorical. Inscriptions have recently been discovered on the
island that indeed gives Plubius the title of "first man."

"In all, Luke names thirty-two countries, fifty-four cities, and nine
islands without error."{8} A. N. Sherwin-White states, "For Acts the
confirmation of historicity is overwhelming. . . . Any attempt to reject its
basic historicity must now appear absurd. Roman historians have long taken
it for granted."{9}


The Shroud of Turin:


The Gospels record that after His crucifixion Jesus was wrapped in a long
linen cloth and placed in the tomb (Matt. 27:59). John records that when
Peter investigated the empty tomb, he found the burial cloth folded neatly
next to where Christ once laid (20:6-7).

A linen shroud called the Shroud of Turin, on display at the Vatican, has
been claimed to be that burial cloth. It is 14.25 feet long and 3.5 feet
wide. On it is an image with pierced wrists and ankles believed to be that
of Christ.

The shroud first appeared for public display sometime after 1357 in Lirey,
France. A knight named Geoffrey de Charny brought the shroud to France. In
1453 de Charny's granddaughter gave the shroud to the Duke of Savoy who then
in 1578 brought it to Turin, Italy. In 1983, it was willed to the Vatican.

In 1898, Secondo Pia photographed the shroud and believed the image was a
negative image like that of a photograph. This added to the mystery of the
shroud since photography had not been invented during medieval times. In
1973 a group of experts confirmed the fact that no pigment of paint was
found even under magnification. For many, this was proof of the shroud's
authenticity.

The most extensive study was undertaken in 1977. An international team of
Swiss, American, and Italian scientist studied the shroud for five days at
the Savoy Royal Palace at Turin. They used six tons of equipment and 2.5
million dollars for their research. It has been one of the most intensely
studied artifacts of all time.

The study could not determine the authenticity of the fabric. Experiments
that followed proved the image contained blood as well as aragonite, a
particular calcium carbonate that is found in Jerusalem's first century
tombs. Swiss criminologist Max Frei found forty-eight samples of pollen, of
which seven could have come from plants in Palestine. The weave of the cloth
was herringbone twill, a style that existed in ancient times.

Although these findings supported the authenticity of the shroud, other
findings testified otherwise. In 1987, the shroud was carbon 14 tested to
verify its date. Laboratories in Oxford, Zurich, and the University of
Arizona tested the cloth. The result indicated a fourteenth century date for
the shroud. This conclusion continues to be challenged and future tests are
sure to follow. Another problem is that coins minted by Pontius Pilate were
placed over the eyes of the figure. This was not a Jewish custom, nor does
it seem likely that Joseph of Arimathea or Nicodemus would have placed on
Jesus' eyes a coin with the image of the leader who condemned him.

Despite the fourteenth century date, scientists are still unable to explain
how the negative image was created. The shroud remains a mystery as well as
a lesson for us as believers that we should not put our faith in mysterious
articles.


Notes:

1. See "Authority of the Bible" at www.probe.docs/auth-bib.html.
2. Josephus, Book 18, Chapter 3:3
3. Tacitus, Annals, 15.44
4. Julius Africanus, Chronography, 18:1.
5. Ibid.
6. William Ramsay, St. Paul the Traveler and the Roman Citizen (Grand
Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 1982), 8.
7. John McRay, Archaeology and the New Testament (Grand Rapids, MI.: Baker
Books, 1991), 227.
8. Norman Geisler, Baker Encyclopedia of Apologetics (Grand Rapids, MI.:
Baker Books, 1999), 47.
9. A. N. Sherwing-White, Roman Society and Roman Law in the New Testament
(Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1963), 189.



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Terrell D Lewis
2004-08-23 01:46:23 EST
On Sun, 22 Aug 2004 23:08:58 -0400, "Pastor Frank"
<*F@Christfirst.com> wrote:

>The first evidence comes from the four Gospels which, themselves, are proven
>to be accurate.{1} Outside the biblical text are several witnesses as well.
>Jewish historian Josephus (37 A.D.-100 A.D.) recorded the history of the
>Jewish people in Palestine from 70 A.D. to 100 A.D. In his work Antiquities,
>he states:
>
>"Now there was about this time, Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call
>him a man, for he was a doer of wonderful works, a teacher of such men as
>receive the truth with pleasure. He drew over to him both many of the Jews
>and many of the gentiles. He was the Christ and when Pilate, at the
>suggestion of the principal men amongst us, had condemned him to the cross,
>those that loved him at the first did not forsake him. For he appeared alive
>again the third day, as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten
>thousand other wonderful things concerning him; and the tribe of Christians,
>so named from him, are not extinct to this day."{2}
>
>Although he mentions Jesus in a sarcastic way, Josephus confirms the facts
>that Jesus did do many great miracles, drew a following, was crucified, and
>was proclaimed alive on the third day.


This is a well known fraud, added, probably by a CHristian, at a later
date.


©¿©
Terrell

Pastor Frank
2004-08-23 06:42:43 EST
"Terrell D Lewis" <composer7NOSPAM@sbcglobal.net> wrote in message
news:941ji0t94uesutk70l88sjktlp40ds1kq8@4ax.com...
> On Sun, 22 Aug 2004 23:08:58 -0400, "Pastor Frank"
> <PF@Christfirst.com> wrote:
> >
> >The first evidence comes from the four Gospels which, themselves, are
proven
> >to be accurate.{1} Outside the biblical text are several witnesses as
well.
> >Jewish historian Josephus (37 A.D.-100 A.D.) recorded the history of the
> >Jewish people in Palestine from 70 A.D. to 100 A.D. In his work
Antiquities,
> >he states:
> >"Now there was about this time, Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to
call
> >him a man, for he was a doer of wonderful works, a teacher of such men as
> >receive the truth with pleasure. He drew over to him both many of the
Jews
> >and many of the gentiles. He was the Christ and when Pilate, at the
> >suggestion of the principal men amongst us, had condemned him to the
cross,
> >those that loved him at the first did not forsake him. For he appeared
alive
> >again the third day, as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten
> >thousand other wonderful things concerning him; and the tribe of
Christians,
> >so named from him, are not extinct to this day."{2}
> >Although he mentions Jesus in a sarcastic way, Josephus confirms the
facts
> >that Jesus did do many great miracles, drew a following, was crucified,
and
> >was proclaimed alive on the third day.
>
> This is a well known fraud, added, probably by a CHristian, at a later
> date.
>
Should we all be glad you added so much evidence for your assertion,
even if only to identify yourself as an atheist true-unbeliever?
But yes. ANY evidence other than the proverbial "Giant Talking Face In
The Sky" would be considered "a fraud" by atheists, an unsupported assertion
they invariably "add at a later date". LOL

Pastor Frank

THE GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST
Jesus in Matthew. 5:38 Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye
for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: (Exodus 21:23-24)
39: But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall
smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.
40: And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let
him have thy cloke also.
41: And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain.
42: Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee
turn not thou away.
43: Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour,
and hate thine enemy.
44: But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do
good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you,
and persecute you;
45: That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for
he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on
the just and on the unjust.
46: For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? Do not even
the publicans the same?
47: And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? Do
not even the publicans so?
48: Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is
perfect.
---------------------
His teaching is a humongous step up from Judaism's Exodus 21:23-24
"If any harm follows, then you shall give life for life, eye for eye, tooth
for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound,
stripe for stripe."



-Hector-
2004-08-23 07:58:47 EST
On Mon, 23 Aug 2004 05:46:23 GMT, Terrell D Lewis
<*M@sbcglobal.net> wrote:

>On Sun, 22 Aug 2004 23:08:58 -0400, "Pastor Frank"
><PF@Christfirst.com> wrote:
>
>>The first evidence comes from the four Gospels which, themselves, are proven
>>to be accurate.{1} Outside the biblical text are several witnesses as well.
>>Jewish historian Josephus (37 A.D.-100 A.D.) recorded the history of the
>>Jewish people in Palestine from 70 A.D. to 100 A.D. In his work Antiquities,
>>he states:
>>
>>"Now there was about this time, Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call
>>him a man, for he was a doer of wonderful works, a teacher of such men as
>>receive the truth with pleasure. He drew over to him both many of the Jews
>>and many of the gentiles. He was the Christ and when Pilate, at the
>>suggestion of the principal men amongst us, had condemned him to the cross,
>>those that loved him at the first did not forsake him. For he appeared alive
>>again the third day, as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten
>>thousand other wonderful things concerning him; and the tribe of Christians,
>>so named from him, are not extinct to this day."{2}
>>
>>Although he mentions Jesus in a sarcastic way, Josephus confirms the facts
>>that Jesus did do many great miracles, drew a following, was crucified, and
>>was proclaimed alive on the third day.
>
>
>This is a well known fraud, added, probably by a CHristian, at a later
>date.
>

Who has definitively demonstrated that it is a well known
fraud?

Respectfully,
Hector

Pastor Dave
2004-08-23 08:15:39 EST
While skydiving off of the Empire State Building on
Mon, 23 Aug 2004 05:46:23 GMT, Terrell D Lewis
<*M@sbcglobal.net> screamed out:

>On Sun, 22 Aug 2004 23:08:58 -0400, "Pastor Frank"
><PF@Christfirst.com> wrote:
>
>>The first evidence comes from the four Gospels which, themselves, are proven
>>to be accurate.{1} Outside the biblical text are several witnesses as well.
>>Jewish historian Josephus (37 A.D.-100 A.D.) recorded the history of the
>>Jewish people in Palestine from 70 A.D. to 100 A.D. In his work Antiquities,
>>he states:
>>
>>"Now there was about this time, Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call
>>him a man, for he was a doer of wonderful works, a teacher of such men as
>>receive the truth with pleasure. He drew over to him both many of the Jews
>>and many of the gentiles. He was the Christ and when Pilate, at the
>>suggestion of the principal men amongst us, had condemned him to the cross,
>>those that loved him at the first did not forsake him. For he appeared alive
>>again the third day, as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten
>>thousand other wonderful things concerning him; and the tribe of Christians,
>>so named from him, are not extinct to this day."{2}
>>
>>Although he mentions Jesus in a sarcastic way, Josephus confirms the facts
>>that Jesus did do many great miracles, drew a following, was crucified, and
>>was proclaimed alive on the third day.
>
>
>This is a well known fraud, added, probably by a CHristian, at a later
>date.

Not true. It is not KNOWN to be a fraud. And even if
it were, it is only PARTS of it that are under
question. Josephus does indeed make reference to Jesus
and His works. However, the part where it says, "He
was the Christ", is under question, as an example.



Pastor Dave Raymond

"Were they ashamed when they made an abomination?
They were not at all ashamed, nor did they know
to blush. So they shall fall among those who fall.
At the time I visit them, they shall be cast down,
says Jehovah." - Jeremiah 6:15

"And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of
the Spirit, which is the word of God:" - Ephesians 6:17

/
o{}xxxxx[]::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::>
\


"Prevent truth decay. Brush up on your Bible."



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Libertarius
2004-08-23 11:17:57 EST
MORE LIES BY THE FAKE "PASTOR".

Pastor Frank wrote:

> There is an ongoing debate among scholars regarding the historical accuracy
> of the Bible. Some feel that the Bible is a fictitious work and should be
> read as a work of literary fiction. Others feel it is an accurate historical
> work divinely inspired by God. Archaeology has played a major role in
> determining the trustworthiness of the Bible. In this article, we will look
> at the archaeological discoveries that have confirmed the historical
> accuracy of the New Testament. There is a great deal of evidence
> outside of the Bible that confirms the account of Jesus as written in the
> Gospels.It is important to realise, however, that it is unrealistic to
> expect archaeology to back up every event and place in the New Testament.
> Our perspective is to look for what evidence exists and see whether or not
> it corresponds with the New Testament.
>
> Pastor Frank
>
> Historical Confirmation of Jesus:
>
> The first evidence comes from the four Gospels which, themselves, are proven
> to be accurate.{1}

===>Not only are they not "proven", the four "Gospels" contradict
one another and even contain well known forgeries, e.g. the last segment
of MARK (16:9-20) and the entire last chapter (Ch. 21) of JOHN.
(Note that Ch. 20 concludes the book with v. 30)

> Outside the biblical text are several witnesses as well.
> Jewish historian Josephus (37 A.D.-100 A.D.) recorded the history of the
> Jewish people in Palestine from 70 A.D. to 100 A.D. In his work Antiquities,
> he states:
>
> "Now there was about this time, Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call
> him a man, for he was a doer of wonderful works, a teacher of such men as
> receive the truth with pleasure. He drew over to him both many of the Jews
> and many of the gentiles. He was the Christ and when Pilate, at the
> suggestion of the principal men amongst us, had condemned him to the cross,
> those that loved him at the first did not forsake him. For he appeared alive
> again the third day, as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten
> thousand other wonderful things concerning him; and the tribe of Christians,
> so named from him, are not extinct to this day."{2}

===>This is also a well known forgery, not available to the earliest Church
writers.

> Although he mentions Jesus in a sarcastic way, Josephus confirms the facts
> that Jesus did do many great miracles, drew a following, was crucified, and
> was proclaimed alive on the third day.
>
> Pliny the Younger, Emperor of Bythynia in northwestern Turkey, writing to
> Emperor Trajan in 112 A.D. writes:
>
> "They were in the habit of meeting on a certain fixed day before it was
> light, when they sang an anthem to Christ as God, and bound themselves by a
> solemn oath not to commit any wicked deed, but to abstain from all fraud,
> theft and adultery, never to break their word, or deny a trust when called
> upon to honor it; after which it was their custom to separate, and then meet
> again to partake of food, but ordinary and innocent kind."

===>This only confirms that the earliest known "Christians" worshipped the
deity called "Christos". NOTHING about Jesus and the Gospels or the
"New Testament" or the "Bible" (which did not yet exist, but was compiled
some two centuries later).

> One of the most important Romans historians is Tacitus. In 115 A.D. he
> recorded Nero's persecution of the Christians, in the process of which he
> wrote the following:
>
> "Christus, from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty
> during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of our procurators, Pontius
> Pilatus, and a most mischievous superstition, thus checked for the moment,
> again broke out not only in Judea, . . . but even in Rome."{3}

===>Again, Tacitus simply tells us what an abominable cult was being
worshipped under the name of "Christos". NO PROOF of "Biblical authenticity",
NOTHING about Jesus and the Gospels or the "New Testament" or the "Bible"
(which did not yet exist, but was compiled some two centuries later).

> There are over 39 extra-biblical sources that attest to over one hundred
> facts regarding the life and teachings of Jesus.

===>Really?
Why don't you LIST THEM, LIAR???

> Accuracy of the Gospels:
>
> The accuracy of the Gospels has been supported by archaeology. The names of
> many of the Israelite cities, events, and people described in them have now
> been located.

===>ALL historical fiction contains names of actual cities, references to events
and
real people. That does not PROVE "Biblical authenticity".

> Here are a few examples.
>
> The Gospels mention four neighboring and well-populated coastal cities along
> the Sea of Galilee: Capernaum, Bethsaida, Chorazin, and Tiberias.

===>So, what?
The fictional stories take place in that area. Any good writer would at least
tie his stories to those locations.

> Jesus performed many miracles in the first three cities.

===>What "miracles"???
Where is your "evidence"???

> Despite this testimony,
> these cities rejected Jesus and therefore were cursed by Him (Matt.
> 11:20-24; Luke 10:12-16).

===>So the story goes.

> These cities eventually disappeared from history
> and their locations remained missing for centuries. Their demise fulfills
> the prophetic condemnation of Jesus.

===>How many cities of the 1st century C.E. are still standing,
Sheepherder?

> Only recently has archaeology recovered their possible locations. Tell Hum
> is believed to be Capernaum. (A "tell" is a mound or elevated land that has
> arisen by repeated and long-term rebuilding of the same site. Layers of
> civilizations can be found at different strata). The locations of Bethsaida
> and Chorazin still remain unconfirmed, but the present site at a tell 1.5
> miles north of the Galilean shoreline is believed to be Bethsaida, while
> Tell Khirbet Kerezah, 2.5 miles northwest of Capernaum, is thought to be
> Chorazin.
>
> Matthew 2 states that Jesus was born during the reign of Herod. Upon hearing
> that a king had been born, the frightened Herod ordered all children under
> the age of two to be killed. His slaughter of innocents is consistent with
> the historical facts that describe his character. Herod was suspicious of
> anyone whom he thought may take his throne. His list of victims included one
> of his ten wives, who was his favorite, three of his own sons, a high
> priest, an ex-king, and two of his sister's husbands. Thus, his brutality
> portrayed in Matthew is consistent with his description in ancient history.
>
> John's accuracy has also been attested to by recent discoveries. In John
> 5:1-15 Jesus heals a man at the Pool of Bethesda. John describes the pool as
> having five porticoes. This site had long been in dispute until recently.
> Forty feet underground, archaeologists discovered a pool with five
> porticoes, and the description of the surrounding area matches John's
> description. In 9:7 John mentions another long disputed site, the Pool of
> Siloam. However, this pool was also discovered in 1897, upholding the
> accuracy of John.
>
> Evidence for Pontius Pilate, the governor who presided over the trial of
> Jesus, was discovered in Caesarea Maritama. In 1961, an Italian
> archaeologist named Antonio Frova uncovered a fragment of a plaque that was
> used as a section of steps leading to the Caesarea Theater. The inscription,
> written in Latin, contained the phrase, "Pontius Pilatus, Prefect of Judea
> has dedicated to the people of Caesarea a temple in honor of Tiberius." This
> temple is dedicated to the Emperor Tiberius who reigned from 14-37 A.D. This
> fits well chronologically with the New Testament which records that Pilot
> ruled as procurator from 26-36 A.D. Tacitus, a Roman historian of the first
> century, also confirms the New Testament designation of Pilate. He writes,
> "Christus, from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty
> during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of our procurators, Pontius
> Pilatus. . . ."
>
> Confirmation Regarding the Crucifixion:
>
> All four Gospels give details of the crucifixion of Christ. Their accurate
> portrayal of this Roman practice has been confirmed by archaeology. In 1968,
> a gravesite in the city of Jerusalem was uncovered containing thirty-five
> bodies. Each of the men had died a brutal death which historians believe was
> the result of their involvement in the Jewish revolt against Rome in 70 A.D.
>
> The inscription identified one individual as Yohan Ben Ha'galgol. Studies of
> the bones performed by osteologists and doctors from the Hadassah Medical
> School determined the man was twenty-eight years old, stood five feet six
> inches, and had some slight facial defects due to a cleft right palate.

===>So, they found Jesus!
CONGRATULATIONS.

NONE of the material you cite proves "Biblical authenticity".
No more than details, say, in GONE WITH THE WIND prove that the
story is "authentic".

Oh, well...........

So much for another LIE by Sheepherder Frank. -- L.

====================================================

> What intrigued archaeologists were the evidences that this man had been
> crucified in a manner resembling the crucifixion of Christ. A seven-inch
> nail had been driven through both feet, which were turned outward so the
> nail could be hammered inside the Achilles tendon.
>
> Archaeologists also discovered that nails had been driven through his lower
> forearms. A victim of a crucifixion would have to raise and lower his body
> in order to breathe. To do this, he needed to push up on his pierced feet
> and pull up with his arms. Yohan's upper arms were smoothly worn, indicating
> this movement.
>
> John records that in order to expedite the death of a prisoner, executioners
> broke the legs of the victim so that he could not lift himself up by pushing
> with his feet (19:31-33). Yohan's legs were found crushed by a blow,
> breaking them below the knee. The Dead Sea Scrolls tell that both Jews and
> Romans abhorred crucifixion due to its cruelty and humiliation. The scrolls
> also state it was a punishment reserved for slaves and any who challenged
> the ruling powers of Rome. This explains why Pilate chose crucifixion as the
> penalty for Jesus.
>
> Relating to the crucifixion, in 1878 a stone slab was found in Nazareth with
> a decree from Emperor Claudius who reigned from 41-54 A.D. It stated that
> graves must not be disturbed nor bodies to be removed. The punishment on
> other decrees is a fine but this one threatens death and comes very close to
> the time of the resurrection. This was probably due to Claudius
> investigating the riots of 49 A.D. He had certainly heard of the
> resurrection and did not want any similar incidents. This decree was
> probably made in connection with the Apostles' preaching of Jesus'
> resurrection and the Jewish argument that the body had been stolen.
>
> Historian Thallus wrote in 52 A.D. Although none of his texts remain, his
> work is cited by Julius Africanus' work, Chronography. Quoting Thallus on
> the crucifixion of Christ, Africanus states, "On the whole world, there
> pressed a most fearful darkness, and the rocks were rent by an earthquake,
> and many places in Judea and other districts were thrown down."{4} Thallus
> calls this darkness, "as appears to me without reason, an eclipse of the
> sun."{5}
>
> All the discoveries made are consistent with the details in the crucifixion
> account given by the writers of the Gospels. These facts lend indirect
> support for the biblical accounts of Jesus' crucifixion and that the tomb
> was empty.
>
> Historical Accuracy of Luke:
>
> At one time, scholars did not view Luke's historical accounts in his Gospel
> and Acts as accurate. There appeared to be no evidence for several cities,
> persons, and locations that he named in his works. However, archaeological
> advances have revealed that Luke was a very accurate historian and the two
> books he has authored remain accurate documents of history.
>
> One of the greatest archaeologists is the late Sir William Ramsay. He
> studied under the famous liberal German historical schools in the
> mid-nineteenth century. Known for its scholarship, this school taught that
> the New Testament was not a historical document. With this premise, Ramsay
> investigated biblical claims as he searched through Asia Minor. What he
> discovered caused him to reverse his initial view. He wrote:
>
> "I began with a mind unfavorable to it [Acts], for the ingenuity and
> apparent completeness of the Tubingen theory had at one time quite convinced
> me. It did not then in my line of life to investigate the subject minutely;
> but more recently I found myself often brought into contact with the Book of
> Acts as an authority for the topography, antiquities, and society of Asia
> Minor. It was gradually borne in upon me that in various details the
> narrative showed marvelous truth."{6}
>
> Luke's accuracy is demonstrated by the fact that he names key historical
> figures in the correct time sequence as well as correct titles to government
> officials in various areas: Thessalonica, politarchs; Ephesus, temple
> wardens; Cyprus, procouncil; and Malta, the first man of the island.
>
> In Luke's announcement of Jesus' public ministry (Luke 3:1), he mentions,
> "Lysanius tetrarch of Abilene." Scholars questioned Luke's credibility since
> the only Lysanius known for centuries was a ruler of Chalcis who ruled from
> 40-36 B.C. However an inscription dating to be in the time of Tiberius, who
> ruled from 14-37 A.D., was found recording a temple dedication which names
> Lysanius as the "tetrarch of Abila" near Damascus. This matches well with
> Luke'saccount.
>
> In Acts 18:12-17, Paul was brought before Gallio, the proconsul of Achaea.
> Once again archaeology confirms this account. At Delphi an inscription of a
> letter from Emperor Claudius was discovered. In it he states, "Lucius Junios
> Gallio, my friend, and the proconsul of Achaia . . ."{7} Historians date the
> inscription to 52 A.D. which corresponds to the time of the apostle's stay
> in 51.
>
> In Acts 19:22 and Romans 16:23, Erastus, a coworker of Paul, is named the
> Corinthian city treasurer. Archaeologists excavating a Corinthian theatre in
> 1928 discovered an inscription. It reads, "Erastus in return for his
> aedilship laid the pavement at his own expense." The pavement was laid in 50
> A.D. The designation of treasurer describes the work of a Corinthian aedile.
>
> In Acts 28:7, Luke gives Plubius, the chief man on the island of Malta, the
> title, "first man of the island." Scholars questioned this strange title and
> deemed it unhistorical. Inscriptions have recently been discovered on the
> island that indeed gives Plubius the title of "first man."
>
> "In all, Luke names thirty-two countries, fifty-four cities, and nine
> islands without error."{8} A. N. Sherwin-White states, "For Acts the
> confirmation of historicity is overwhelming. . . . Any attempt to reject its
> basic historicity must now appear absurd. Roman historians have long taken
> it for granted."{9}
>
> The Shroud of Turin:
>
> The Gospels record that after His crucifixion Jesus was wrapped in a long
> linen cloth and placed in the tomb (Matt. 27:59). John records that when
> Peter investigated the empty tomb, he found the burial cloth folded neatly
> next to where Christ once laid (20:6-7).
>
> A linen shroud called the Shroud of Turin, on display at the Vatican, has
> been claimed to be that burial cloth. It is 14.25 feet long and 3.5 feet
> wide. On it is an image with pierced wrists and ankles believed to be that
> of Christ.
>
> The shroud first appeared for public display sometime after 1357 in Lirey,
> France. A knight named Geoffrey de Charny brought the shroud to France. In
> 1453 de Charny's granddaughter gave the shroud to the Duke of Savoy who then
> in 1578 brought it to Turin, Italy. In 1983, it was willed to the Vatican.
>
> In 1898, Secondo Pia photographed the shroud and believed the image was a
> negative image like that of a photograph. This added to the mystery of the
> shroud since photography had not been invented during medieval times. In
> 1973 a group of experts confirmed the fact that no pigment of paint was
> found even under magnification. For many, this was proof of the shroud's
> authenticity.
>
> The most extensive study was undertaken in 1977. An international team of
> Swiss, American, and Italian scientist studied the shroud for five days at
> the Savoy Royal Palace at Turin. They used six tons of equipment and 2.5
> million dollars for their research. It has been one of the most intensely
> studied artifacts of all time.
>
> The study could not determine the authenticity of the fabric. Experiments
> that followed proved the image contained blood as well as aragonite, a
> particular calcium carbonate that is found in Jerusalem's first century
> tombs. Swiss criminologist Max Frei found forty-eight samples of pollen, of
> which seven could have come from plants in Palestine. The weave of the cloth
> was herringbone twill, a style that existed in ancient times.
>
> Although these findings supported the authenticity of the shroud, other
> findings testified otherwise. In 1987, the shroud was carbon 14 tested to
> verify its date. Laboratories in Oxford, Zurich, and the University of
> Arizona tested the cloth. The result indicated a fourteenth century date for
> the shroud. This conclusion continues to be challenged and future tests are
> sure to follow. Another problem is that coins minted by Pontius Pilate were
> placed over the eyes of the figure. This was not a Jewish custom, nor does
> it seem likely that Joseph of Arimathea or Nicodemus would have placed on
> Jesus' eyes a coin with the image of the leader who condemned him.
>
> Despite the fourteenth century date, scientists are still unable to explain
> how the negative image was created. The shroud remains a mystery as well as
> a lesson for us as believers that we should not put our faith in mysterious
> articles.
>
> Notes:
>
> 1. See "Authority of the Bible" at www.probe.docs/auth-bib.html.
> 2. Josephus, Book 18, Chapter 3:3
> 3. Tacitus, Annals, 15.44
> 4. Julius Africanus, Chronography, 18:1.
> 5. Ibid.
> 6. William Ramsay, St. Paul the Traveler and the Roman Citizen (Grand
> Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 1982), 8.
> 7. John McRay, Archaeology and the New Testament (Grand Rapids, MI.: Baker
> Books, 1991), 227.
> 8. Norman Geisler, Baker Encyclopedia of Apologetics (Grand Rapids, MI.:
> Baker Books, 1999), 47.
> 9. A. N. Sherwing-White, Roman Society and Roman Law in the New Testament
> (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1963), 189.
>
> ---
> Outgoing mail is certified Virus Free.
> Checked by AVG anti-virus system (http://www.grisoft.com).
> Version: 6.0.566 / Virus Database: 357 - Release Date: 22/01/2004


Libertarius
2004-08-23 11:19:17 EST


Terrell D Lewis wrote:

> On Sun, 22 Aug 2004 23:08:58 -0400, "Pastor Frank"
> <PF@Christfirst.com> wrote:
>
> >The first evidence comes from the four Gospels which, themselves, are proven
> >to be accurate.{1} Outside the biblical text are several witnesses as well.
> >Jewish historian Josephus (37 A.D.-100 A.D.) recorded the history of the
> >Jewish people in Palestine from 70 A.D. to 100 A.D. In his work Antiquities,
> >he states:
> >
> >"Now there was about this time, Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call
> >him a man, for he was a doer of wonderful works, a teacher of such men as
> >receive the truth with pleasure. He drew over to him both many of the Jews
> >and many of the gentiles. He was the Christ and when Pilate, at the
> >suggestion of the principal men amongst us, had condemned him to the cross,
> >those that loved him at the first did not forsake him. For he appeared alive
> >again the third day, as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten
> >thousand other wonderful things concerning him; and the tribe of Christians,
> >so named from him, are not extinct to this day."{2}
> >
> >Although he mentions Jesus in a sarcastic way, Josephus confirms the facts
> >that Jesus did do many great miracles, drew a following, was crucified, and
> >was proclaimed alive on the third day.
>
> This is a well known fraud, added, probably by a CHristian, at a later
> date.

===>A LIAR like Sheepherder Frank relies on such fraudulent "evidence".
Are you surprised? -- L.


Libertarius
2004-08-23 11:42:51 EST


-Hector- wrote:

> On Mon, 23 Aug 2004 05:46:23 GMT, Terrell D Lewis
> <composer7NOSPAM@sbcglobal.net> wrote:
>
> >On Sun, 22 Aug 2004 23:08:58 -0400, "Pastor Frank"
> ><PF@Christfirst.com> wrote:
> >
> >>The first evidence comes from the four Gospels which, themselves, are proven
> >>to be accurate.{1} Outside the biblical text are several witnesses as well.
> >>Jewish historian Josephus (37 A.D.-100 A.D.) recorded the history of the
> >>Jewish people in Palestine from 70 A.D. to 100 A.D. In his work Antiquities,
> >>he states:
> >>
> >>"Now there was about this time, Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call
> >>him a man, for he was a doer of wonderful works, a teacher of such men as
> >>receive the truth with pleasure. He drew over to him both many of the Jews
> >>and many of the gentiles. He was the Christ and when Pilate, at the
> >>suggestion of the principal men amongst us, had condemned him to the cross,
> >>those that loved him at the first did not forsake him. For he appeared alive
> >>again the third day, as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten
> >>thousand other wonderful things concerning him; and the tribe of Christians,
> >>so named from him, are not extinct to this day."{2}
> >>
> >>Although he mentions Jesus in a sarcastic way, Josephus confirms the facts
> >>that Jesus did do many great miracles, drew a following, was crucified, and
> >>was proclaimed alive on the third day.
> >
> >
> >This is a well known fraud, added, probably by a CHristian, at a later
> >date.
> >
>
> Who has definitively demonstrated that it is a well known
> fraud?
>
> Respectfully,
> Hector

===>EVERYONE who studied it.
It is a forgery, probably by Eusebius, largely repeating the
passage from LUKE
Lk 24:19b-20 "He was a prophet, powerful in word and deed
before God and all the people. The chief priests and our rulers
handed him over to be sentenced to death, and they crucified him."
NOTE:
a) Irenaeus, the very influential bishop of Lyons at the end of the
second century and a prolific author, knew about Josephus and
'Antiquities':
"Josephus says, that when Moses had been brought up in the royal
palaces, he was chosen as general against the Ethiopians;"
"Lost Writings", XXXII
b) Clement of Alexandria, a contemporary of Irenaeus, and also an author,
"who cites the Antiquities of Josephus but never cites the testimonies now
before us ..."
Wm. Whiston, 'The complete work of Josephus', Dissertation I, XI
c) "Fieldman names two Fathers from the second century,
seven from the third, and two from the early fourth,
all of whom knew Josephus and cited from his works, but
"do not refer to this passage [the TF] ..." (Josephus, p. 695)"
'The Jesus Legend', G.A. Wells

SEE: The Testimonium Flavianum
(Josephus' Antiquities, XVIII, III, 3) at
http://www.geocities.com/b_d_muller/appe.html




Libertarius
2004-08-23 11:46:33 EST


Pastor Dave wrote:

> While skydiving off of the Empire State Building on
> Mon, 23 Aug 2004 05:46:23 GMT, Terrell D Lewis
> <composer7NOSPAM@sbcglobal.net> screamed out:
>
> >On Sun, 22 Aug 2004 23:08:58 -0400, "Pastor Frank"
> ><PF@Christfirst.com> wrote:
> >
> >>The first evidence comes from the four Gospels which, themselves, are proven
> >>to be accurate.{1} Outside the biblical text are several witnesses as well.
> >>Jewish historian Josephus (37 A.D.-100 A.D.) recorded the history of the
> >>Jewish people in Palestine from 70 A.D. to 100 A.D. In his work Antiquities,
> >>he states:
> >>
> >>"Now there was about this time, Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call
> >>him a man, for he was a doer of wonderful works, a teacher of such men as
> >>receive the truth with pleasure. He drew over to him both many of the Jews
> >>and many of the gentiles. He was the Christ and when Pilate, at the
> >>suggestion of the principal men amongst us, had condemned him to the cross,
> >>those that loved him at the first did not forsake him. For he appeared alive
> >>again the third day, as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten
> >>thousand other wonderful things concerning him; and the tribe of Christians,
> >>so named from him, are not extinct to this day."{2}
> >>
> >>Although he mentions Jesus in a sarcastic way, Josephus confirms the facts
> >>that Jesus did do many great miracles, drew a following, was crucified, and
> >>was proclaimed alive on the third day.
> >
> >
> >This is a well known fraud, added, probably by a CHristian, at a later
> >date.
>
> Not true. It is not KNOWN to be a fraud. And even if
> it were, it is only PARTS of it that are under
> question. Josephus does indeed make reference to Jesus
> and His works. However, the part where it says, "He
> was the Christ", is under question, as an example.

===>The entire passage is probably produced by Eusebius,
largely based on a passage in LUKE.
NOTE THAT:
a) Irenaeus, the very influential bishop of Lyons at the
end of the second century and a prolific author,
knew about Josephus and 'Antiquities':
"Josephus says, that when Moses had been brought up
in the royal palaces, he was chosen as general against the
Ethiopians;"
"Lost Writings", XXXII
b) Clement of Alexandria, a contemporary of Irenaeus,
and also an author,
"who cites the Antiquities of Josephus but never cites the
testimonies now before us ..."
Wm. Whiston, 'The complete work of Josephus', Dissertation I, XI
c) "Fieldman names two Fathers from the second century,
seven from the third, and two from the early fourth,
all of whom knew Josephus and cited from his works,
but "do not refer to this passage [the TF] ..."
(Josephus, p. 695)" 'The Jesus Legend', G.A. Wells
The Testimonium Flavianum
(Josephus' Antiquities, XVIII, III, 3)
http://www.geocities.com/b_d_muller/appe.html



Libertarius
2004-08-23 11:55:51 EST


Pastor Frank wrote:

> "Terrell D Lewis" <composer7NOSPAM@sbcglobal.net> wrote in message
> news:941ji0t94uesutk70l88sjktlp40ds1kq8@4ax.com...
> > On Sun, 22 Aug 2004 23:08:58 -0400, "Pastor Frank"
> > <PF@Christfirst.com> wrote:
> > >
> > >The first evidence comes from the four Gospels which, themselves, are
> proven
> > >to be accurate.{1} Outside the biblical text are several witnesses as
> well.
> > >Jewish historian Josephus (37 A.D.-100 A.D.) recorded the history of the
> > >Jewish people in Palestine from 70 A.D. to 100 A.D. In his work
> Antiquities,
> > >he states:
> > >"Now there was about this time, Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to
> call
> > >him a man, for he was a doer of wonderful works, a teacher of such men as
> > >receive the truth with pleasure. He drew over to him both many of the
> Jews
> > >and many of the gentiles. He was the Christ and when Pilate, at the
> > >suggestion of the principal men amongst us, had condemned him to the
> cross,
> > >those that loved him at the first did not forsake him. For he appeared
> alive
> > >again the third day, as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten
> > >thousand other wonderful things concerning him; and the tribe of
> Christians,
> > >so named from him, are not extinct to this day."{2}

"Attempts have been made to refute the objections brought against this passage
both for internal and external reasons, but the difficulty has not been
definitively
settled. The passage seems to suffer from repeated interpolations."
-- "Flavius Josephus" in CATHOLIC
ENCYCLOPEDIA

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