When I was in undergraduate and graduate school, certain facts about Christianity were totally glossed over. We students were led to believe the scholarly opinions of most all Ph.Ds working in seminaries and universities training mostly Christians on how to make a living in the religious profession were solidly founded on facts and not faith. Looking back now, basically I paid tuition to professors who were more interested in selling a religion than finding out if the Biblical source was indeed true (That is, their faith theory that the Gospels began to be written down about forty years after Jesus’ death (Mark) which begs the question as to why it took so long, forty years for a major event in history to get recorded?).
Fact is, if you did question this Gospel claim by objecting to it either in class and on term paper, you should not expect to pass the course much less graduate for the school. After all, such objections could and would destabilized not only a class, but an entire school running on faith plus, one also be calling into question the professors academic training, a huge no, no. (Here I would suggest TL Thompson own personal academic account ). This is the very same mentality I find in churches today where now even ministers with a D.Min (Doctor of Ministry or a doctorate in pastoral care) makes the pastor an authority on Christian origins.
Moreover, for all you Christian apologists, I did not leave Christianity on any moral (ethical) lapses, nor did I leave because I “hated God” due to a personal crisis’s in my life which I blamed God for not helping me. The fact is, I walked away from Christianity due to one major point and one point alone; Christianity’s foundation, the Bible as a book of true historical facts. Sadly, I had to dig this fact out for myself despite after having paid tens of thousands of dollars to professors who themselves either did not know and / or want to inform us about the Bible's historical reality apart from faith.
Secondly, I’m sick and tired of Bible quoting Christian apologists leaving comments on this blog using the Bible to prove the Bible (circular reasoning, par excellence), all the while equating faith with historical facts. No, I don’t hate the Biblical God (nor do I believe he ever existed because of the very text that reveals him has little to no credibility). However, I do hate the lies and falsehood that faith makes believers mentally swallow hook, line and sinker as a promise for Heaven or Hell! So if a text like the Bible makes claims that certain people existed historically (such as the Patriarchs) without any external textual credence, then the Bible defines itself: “A liar and the father of all (Judeo-Christian-Islamic) lies.” (John 8: 44)
In this sense, the salvation of faith is clearly evil due the fact that lies (unfounded religious claims) are sold to excited new believers as provable historical facts (God’s Truth).
Now, if you are a Christian and you know that that Christianity has a solid grounding in historical reality, then you’ll have no problem answering any the follow demands:
A. Christian origins depend on a number of factual (historical) characters in the Old Testament for its theology and dogmas. As such and apart from the Bible, we should find solid proof in other contemporary or earlier ancient textual documents that confirm the claims that at least a small part of the Genesis account is historical. Please list any textual evidence apart from ancient Near Eastern religious myths that support the Genesis accounts.
B. Please list any extra Biblical textual sources(s) (factual data not based upon the Biblical tradition) for such major Jewish, Christian and Islamic figures as Moses, Joshua, Samson, Saul, David, and Solomon.
C. Of the roughly 23,145 verses in the Old Testament, please list just one verse that can be dated before 250 BCE.
D. Please list one New Testament Greek manuscript that can be dated before 200 CE found in Rome Palestine; the supposed birthplace Christianity. Based on the place of discovery of the earliest Greek New Testament manuscripts, please explain why Egypt (the center of ancient allegory (home of the Jew, Philo) should not be considered the birthplace for the invention of the Jesus traditions and thus Christianity. (The facts about whether a Historical Jesus ever existed were discussed by me HERE)
E. Please explain how a resurrected Jesus could appear for 40 days to nearly 600 people in Roman Palestine (1 Corinthians 15: 3-8) and yet not a single eyewitness (apart from several apostles, if we are to trust the New Testament) bothered to record such a miraculous historical event especially when such an event would bring salvation and rapid conversions to Christianity.
F. Please explain how the very cradle of Christianity, Roman Palestine, produced no Christian writers (Aristo of Pella and Hegesippus?) working and building churches in the area for over 200 years apart of the Bible’s own claims in the Book of Acts and Epistles.
G. Apart from the New Testament (plus the worthless Apocryphal Gospels, Acts and Epistles), along with the two short paragraphs in Josephus, please list any document that mentions the name of Jesus (the Christian Christ) written before 200 CE.
While faith (trust) may convince the believer that religious dogmas are true, faith IS NOT synonymous with truth and in fact, faith is most often ironically oppose to truth. For me, being honest should take precedence over faith (trust) also in your religion too if truth is to be historically and not emotionally based.
If the above requests can’t be answered (either all or in part), then all Judaic, Christian and Islamic outsiders should clearly see that these Book Religions' historical foundations certainly are built on lies and dishonesty paraded as truth by both ignorant believers and their academic community!