Saturday, March 31, 2007

Embellished Tales

Rook Hawkins from the Rational Response squad has a new blog about Jesus Mythicism. He knows his shit about the bible. I don't really have much interest in biblical history as I am sure as I am sitting here that it is no more valid than the Iliad. But in rummaging through it tonight, I read something interesting taken from a Richard Carrier debate. It seems that even a casual glance can debunk the bible in a way I didn't even realize. When my faith crumbled at age 18-19, it was in large part because someone said that the number of angels at the tomb varied between accounts. Also, I learned that the gospels were not written by people who knew Jesus. Overnight I lost the faith. Not that this would assuage the believers. Whatever it is that makes them believe is immune to reason.
"The first Gospel - Mark - tells a simple story about women going to the tomb and finding it open, meeting a single boy in white then running off. The whole account is probably a parable and never intended to be read as history. But in the Gospel of Matthew, which simply borrowed from Mark and added to it, the boy has become an Angel descending from Heaven, the women experience a massive earthquake and watch the Angel descend, and open the tomb. Guards have been added to the story, and the women run off and now get to meet Jesus on the way. Can we doubt that we are looking at extensive legendary embellishment upon what began as a much more mundane story? We can see the same trend in Luke. Mark's one boy in white has been multiplied into two men who suddenly appear in dazzling apparel. Now we hear that Peter went to check the tomb and confirmed it was empty. And Jesus appears in the flesh and invites his disciples to touch him and eats fish to prove he's real, then whooshes up into heaven before their very eyes. That again sounds like a pretty fancy embellishment of Mark's far more humble story. In John, Jesus receives an absurdly fabulous burial. Peter again goes to see for himself, but this time yet another disciple goes too. Luke's two men now become two Angels and we get the elaborate tale of the doubting Thomas putting his fingers inside the wounds on Christ's body and Jesus declaring 'Blessed are they who believe without seeing.' All of this certainly looks like a growing legend." (Carrier, Licona vs. Carrier: On the Resurrection of Jesus Christ)


Frank Walton said...

Rook Hawkins hardly knows the Bible at all. Is it any wonder I caught him plagiarizing? And that he's too much of a coward to debate the "Christ Myth" fiasco with JP Holding?


Amdocs is blackmailing America's "leaders." That's why they seem to be making such insane decisions:

Aaron said...

Just curious Frank. Speaking as a former devout Christian fundamentalist how does it make you feel that I am as certain as I am sitting in this chair that Jehovah does not exist?