The evidence for a historical Jesus is unconvincing
If a person accepts hearsay and accounts from believers as historical evidence for Jesus, then shouldn't they act consistently to other accounts based solely on hearsay and belief?
To take one example, examine the evidence for Hercules of Greek mythology and you will find it parallels the "historicity" of Jesus to such an amazing degree that for Christian apologists to deny Hercules as a historical person belies and contradicts the very same methodology used for a historical Jesus.
Note that Herculean myth resembles Jesus in many areas. The mortal and chaste Alcmene, the mother of Hercules, gave birth to him from a union with God (Zeus). Similar to Herod who wanted to kill Jesus, Hera wanted to kill Hercules. Like Jesus, Hercules traveled the earth as a mortal helping mankind and performed miraculous deeds. Similar to Jesus who died and rose to heaven, Hercules died, rose to Mt. Olympus and became a god. Hercules gives example of perhaps the most popular hero in Ancient Greece and Rome. They believed that he actually lived, told stories about him, worshiped him, and dedicated temples to him.
Likewise the "evidence" of Hercules closely parallels that of Jesus. We have historical people like Hesiod and Plato who mention Hercules in their writings. Similar to the way the gospels tell a narrative story of Jesus, so do we have the epic stories of Homer who depict the life of Hercules. Aesop tells stories and quotes the words of Hercules. Just as we have a brief mention of Jesus by Joesphus in his Antiquities, Joesphus also mentions Hercules (more times than Jesus), in the very same work. Just as Tacitus mentions a Christus, so does he also mention Hercules many times in his Annals. And most importantly, just as we have no artifacts, writings or eyewitnesses about Hercules, we also have nothing about Jesus. All information about Hercules and Jesus comes from stories, beliefs, and hearsay.
Should we then believe in a historical Hercules, simply because ancient historians mention him and that we have stories and beliefs about him?
Of course not, and the same must apply to Jesus if we wish to hold any consistency to historicity.
Thank you Bess and Gene, for such strong points. I got a real problem I am unable to say no that I am sda and I do not believe in Christmas celebration. Jesus is not born on a 25 of Dec..Yet here they would ask me how come you do not accept his birth and yet you are getting ready for his coming.
I am force to be in while my brain does not accept it. I am suppose to contribute to buy gifts and donate food to the vulnerable children for this peri of thime and do things that same pagan people do.
Now when you cast a glance at church some departments are preparing Christmas just anyone else. Even at church they keep asking for things to give to vulnerable children in these festive time.
Where do I belong? to be with my colleagues and do pagan practices or my church who are pumping things that do not belong to our church practice.
That where the issue is as that date.
giving things to the poor, the helpless and family members is pagan?
you have no idea why her conscience does not sit well with the festivities.
about giving to the poor and helpless and family members, any other day can apply and it must not only be done on christmas.
Personally, i think the spirit surrounding the giving at christmas is almost always wrong. Pple exchange gifts, as in, i give to recieve. That is very unbiblical.
Luke 14:12-14 says:
He said also to the man who had invited him, “When you give a dinner or a banquet, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbors, lest they also invite you in return and you be repaid. But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you. For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the just.” How many of us practise this when giving in the chrismas spirit?
and about visiting the needy and helping them, the bible says, do not let your left hand know what the right hand gives.
Matthew 6:1-4 teaches this:
'“Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven. Thus, when you give to the needy, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.'
Giving in secret.....not during chrismas while everybody is doing it and is expected to give.
i don't see this being practised in the spirit of chrismas.
I believe, giving is required of us, but should not be for the purposes of conforming to the world and most definately, it should be done with a clear conscience and out of faith, otherwise, it will be sin (ref: Rom 14:23)
So you are saying that giving to the poor and needy can be sin >????
you said: I believe, giving is required of us, but should not be for the purposes of conforming to the world and most definately, it should be done with a clear conscience and out of faith, otherwise, it will be sin (ref: Rom 14:23)
read it in context and read the text reference Rom 14:23
'And he that doubteth is damned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith: for whatsoever is not of faith is sin.'
if her conscience is troubled, then she would not be doing it in faith. She is already troubled by the chrismas festivities, why then indulge in the festivities?
taking the teaching of Rom 14:23;
He/she that doubts is damned if he gives, because he/she gives not of faith: for whatsoever is not of faith is sin
to answer the question, 'So you are saying that giving to the poor and needy can be sin >???? '
Yes, it can be sin if done out of faith, and for selfish purposes. It can be sin.
Are you saying that it cannot be sin, Jason ?
Yes I know everything for you is sin: for you it's a sin to eat clean meats, a sin to have fun , a sin to give to the poor and helpless on certain days, a sin to wear pants , a sin to laugh, a sin to have fun or play football or go running, a sin to ...
We do not have to do what pagans do in order to honor God. Some will not understand no matter what we do because they are of the world. We do the best we can to help them but the reality is, many we cannot help. There are things we can do like give gifts that are good books. Jesus attended weddings where perhaps not everything was kosher. Having said that we do not get together with unbelieving family for Christmas because there is not the slightest evidence of Jesus there. Nothing to eat at the table, football, smoking, gifts to the extent that you cannot see the floor for paper.
I understand what you have described above. As Christians, we experience the same in various instances.
Even Paul went throught this, but his case was on eating foods offered to idols. He dedicates Romans 14 to discussing this.
As the chapter comes to a conclusion, it is recorded like this: Rom 14:23
' And he that doubteth is damned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith: for whatsoever is not of faith is sin. '
I have learnt to apply this principle in life. If something feels wrong to me, and my conscience suffers guilt, I choose to stay away from it and have a guilt free conscience.
Similarly, if you feel compled to do something that your conscience condemns you, it is best not to do it. Simply because, you will not be doing it in faith, which will then be sin if we follow what the above quoted verse teaches.
You loose nothing by missing out on the christmas and other festivities. By having a guilt free conscience, you will better experience the joy of salvation and will better serve your Lord.
For those who question you waiting of the Lord's return, maybe you can have them understand the origin of Christmas through a bible study and a walk through history.
In all you do, do it in faith and for the glory of God. Personally, i don't believe christmas has anything to do with salvation, and therefore Christians loose nothing in not observing it. Instead, they stand out for the old fashioned truth in not confroming to the world and its pleasures.
God be with you and guide your steps. may He also increase your faith and cause you to be a light shining through the darkness.
One of the problems is that many sda do keep Christmas, and the body is confused over this issue. Are we to worship our religion or worship God? There’s absolutely nothing wrong with giving to those that are in need anytime of the year, and I give as well during this time. But I do not keep Christmas as a day to recognize Jesus was born. Jesus told his disciple what to do in remembrance of him. I don’t put up trees, I don’t buy presents, and I just don’t honor the day in any regard as respected day for God because it’s not. I understand that it is difficult because I use to keep it as well; but when God open my eye, there was a conscious awaking that I had to act upon. When the time come and your sprit is pricked, you will act; and the people around you will respect you decision. God Bless!
vim which one shall you believe in
remember it was the roman scholars that wrote those historical events too
i know you are just asking questions here
nope believe in the bible