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11 comments | Saturday, May 06, 2006

There’s a lot of credence given to the Jesus Myth lately. However, the attack on the historicity of Jesus is no surprise. What better way to debunk Christianity that to take away Jesus? Christianity is built upon the person of Jesus. Christianity is not like any other religion in that it rests not on teachings, but rather, Christ Himself.

Though there is plenty of hype given to the Jesus myth; it’s mostly just conspiracy theory. One needs a lot of imagination to come to the conclusion that Jesus never existed. The Jesus myth seems more of hypercritical skepticism—skepticism about everything except skepticism. Nevertheless, since the Jesus myth has taken such a welcome acceptance, I thought I might address some of the issue (though not comprehensively).

From searching the net, an often sited or referenced article on the subject of the Jesus Myth (pro skeptic) was Marshall J. Gauvin’s article called, "Did Jesus Christ really live?." I read Gauvin’s article looking for a solid argument for his case. It was very interesting; however, flawed. Below, I will comment on some of the things of Gauvin’s article I disagree with. There are parts that I left out because they did not warrant response (see link for entire article):

In the beginning of Gauvin’s article he states:

Not only has the divinity of Christ been given up, but his existence as a man is being more and more seriously questioned. Some of the ablest scholars of the world deny that he ever lived at all. A commanding literature dealing with the inquiry, intense in its seriousness and profound and thorough in its research, is growing up in all countries, and spreading the conviction that Christ is a myth.

Gauvin is completely incorrect about historical scholarship. Though admittedly much of scholarship has given up the divinity of Christ; to the contrary, scholars of the world” have reached the opposite of Gauvin’s conclusion. In fact, the issue seems quit dead. Perhaps, if the proponents of the myth theory consisted of competent scholarly historians, then the realm of historical scholarship might be more persuaded.

Christopher Price has already done the research for me and outlined all persuasions of scholarship with supporting quotes in “Scholarly opinions on the Jesus Myth.” In addition to the already devastating outline, Price also provides A “History of Scholarly Refutations of the Jesus Myth,” just incase one had some restrained doubts.

Gauvin’s motive becomes evident abruptly after his first statements. He obviously has no respect for any intellectual foundation for Christianity. He states:

[Christianity] has stayed the march of civilization, and made martyrs of some of the noblest men and women of the race: and it is to-day the greatest enemy of knowledge, of freedom, of social and industrial improvement, and of the genuine brotherhood of mankind. The progressive forces of the world are at war with this Asiatic superstition, and this war will continue until the triumph of truth and freedom is complete. The question, "Did Jesus Christ Really Live?" goes to the very root of the conflict between reason and faith; and upon its determination depends, to some degree, the decision as to whether religion or humanity shall rule the world.

As can be seen, Gauvin has mad some degrading remarks toward Christianity. It appears that his motives go beyond some inquiry into history, and for whatever reason, into some personal agenda contra Christianity. I find his aforementioned statements a deciding factor in his conclusion regarding the Jesus Myth rather than any historical inquiry.

Gauvin’s first attack is on the gospels themselves:

What, then, is the evidence that Jesus Christ lived in this world as a man? The authorities relied upon to prove the reality of Christ are the four Gospels of the New Testament -- Matthew, Mark, Luke and John… the Gospels themselves do not claim to have been written by these men. They are not called "The Gospel of Matthew," or "The Gospel of Mark," but "The Gospel According to Matthew," "The Gospel According to Mark," "The Gospel According to Luke," and "The Gospel According to John." No human being knows who wrote a single line in one of these Gospels. No human being knows when they were written, or where.

The trick here is that Gauvin has automatically presupposed that there is no objective basis for determining if the Gospels are a reliable source of history. There are methods of dating and using textual analysis of contemporaneous vernacular, recorded events or omission of events, forensic analysis, corroborating patristic writings etc. Gauvin is overstating his case, which becomes a palpable motif of his. The fact that there is no signature or photograph attached to the Gospels doesn’t make them unreliable.

Biblical scholarship has established the fact that the Gospel of Mark is the oldest of the four. The chief reasons for this conclusion are that this Gospel is shorter, simpler, and more natural, than any of the other three. It is shown that the Gospels of Matthew and Luke were enlarged from the Gospel of Mark. The Gospel of Mark knows nothing of the virgin birth, of the Sermon on the Mount, of the Lord's prayer, or of other important facts of the supposed life of Christ. These features were added by Matthew and Luke.

The dating of Mark prior to the other Gospels is a theory based of similarity rather than an established fact as Gauvin asserts. Scholars infer that Mark is used as a reference or source since much of the material is contained in Mathew and Luke. In fact, many scholars infer a document called “Q” as a secondary source for material not in Mark, but found in both Mathew and Luke (however, that’s another trail). Though there are many similarities, there are numerous differences. I don’t particularly take the position that Mark is later than the other Gospels though.

The Gospel of John is admitted by Christian scholars to be an unhistorical document. They acknowledge that it is not a life of Christ, but an interpretation of him; that it gives us an idealized and spiritualized picture of what Christ is supposed to have been, and that it is largely composed of the speculations of Greek philosophy.

Scholars may have differing opinions about the specifics of the Gospel of John; however, Gauvin makes it sound like a complete consensus is contra historical. The Gospel of John is far from unhistorical. His criticism erroneously dismisses the entire corpus of the text based on alleged tampering by early Christians. The dispute within the majority of scholarly circles revolves around theological implications, rather than centering on complete fabrication of the entire text.

There is not the smallest fragment of trustworthy evidence to show that any of the Gospels were in existence, in their present form, earlier than a hundred years after the time at which Christ is supposed to have died.

Though we don’t have any original manuscripts; we do have copies. Papyrus tends to decay after so long; nonetheless, we do have a papyrus fragment called P52 with portions of Johns Gospel. Since it’s is the general consensus that John is the latest Gospel; it can be inferred that there were earlier manuscript of the other Gospels (Mathew, Mark, Luke). This would date the earlier Gospels in time period contra Gauvin’s thesis.

We are told that Mark was written some time after the year 70, Luke about 110, Matthew about 130, and John not earlier than 140 A.D. Let me impress upon you that these dates are conjectural, and that they are made as early as possible.

Gauvin’s dates are highly conjectural. He states that the dating is “as early as possible” for the Gospels. However, I believe he is being disingenuous to other scholarly dating here. Again, with the P52 papyrus fragment, this would push the dates of Mathew, Mark, Luke and John much earlier than he prescribes.

Every leading Christian scholar since Erasmus, four hundred years ago, has maintained that [the Gospels] were originally written in Greek. This proves that they were not written by Christ's disciples, or by any of the early Christians

Gauvin assumes that contemporary Palestinians did not speak or write Greek at the time Jesus was alive, or shortly after. However, this alleged proof is given without any benefit of argument.

In the fifth chapter of J.P. Moreland’s book “Scaling the Secular City” he offers six arguments for the earlier dating of the Gospels. Below is the excerpt:

Six arguments, taken together, provide a powerful case for dating Acts at 62 to 64. First, Acts has no mention of the fall of Jerusalem in 70, and this is quite odd since much of the activity recorded in Luke-Acts centers around Jerusalem. A large section unique to Luke focuses on Jesus' last movement to the Holy city the resurrection appearances occur around Jerusalem (see Luke 24:13), and Jerusalem plays a key role in the structure of Acts. The omission of any mention of the fall of Jerusalem makes sense if Luke-Acts was written prior to the event itself.

Second, no mention is made of Nero's persecutions in the mid-60s and the general tone of Acts toward the Roman government is irenic. This fits the pre-65 situation well. Neither the tone of Acts nor the omission of an account of Nero's persecutions can be adequately explained by saying it was an attempt to appease the Roman government. It was not the nature of the early church to appease anyone-witness conflicts with Judaism and the Pharisees which are recorded in Luke's writings.

Third, the martyrdoms of James (61), Paul (64), and Peter (65) are not mentioned in Acts. This is also surprising since Acts is quick to record the deaths of Stephen and James the brother of John, leaders in the early church. These omissions are even more surprising when one realizes that James, Peter, and Paul are the three key figures in Acts. The silence in Acts about these deaths makes most sense if, again, we assume that Acts was written before they occurred.

Fourth, the subject matter of Acts deals with issues of importance prior to the fall of Jerusalem in 70. The falling of the Holy Spirit on different people groups (Jewish, Samaritan, Gentile), the divisions between Palestinian Jews and Hellenistic Jews, Jewish-Gentile relations centering on circumcision and the law of Moses, and other themes make sense prior to 70. At that time Jewish Christianity was wiped out and the importance of a record of how Gentile pagan converts are to relate to Jews in the church would be much lower than the importance of such a record prior to 70.

Fifth, several of the expressions in Acts are very early and primitive. More will be said about this later. But the phrases the Son of man, the Servant of God (applied to Jesus), the first day of the week (the resurrection), and the people (the Jews) are all phrases that readers would understand without explanation prior to 70. After 70, they would need to be explained. These phrases, therefore, indicate that Acts was intended for an audience which would remember these terms and their usage.

Sixth, the Jewish war against the Romans (from 66 onward) is not mentioned in Acts. As Hugo Staudinger argues, "The Jewish war is an important part of the history of the early Church. The original followers in Jerusalem lose their significance through the war. With the destruction of Jerusalem Jesus' prophecy is moreover fulfilled. If Luke had been writing after 70, it would be incomprehensible that he should break off his narrative shortly before the fulfillment of Jesus' prophecy, and not indicate the fate of the followers in Jerusalem."

So a strong case can be made for dating Acts at 62 to 64. But this means that Luke should be dated just prior to that. Further, Matthew and Mark should be dated even earlier, perhaps from the mid-40s to mid-50s. The picture of Jesus presented in the Synoptics is one that is only twelve to twenty-nine years removed from the events themselves. And they incorporate sources which are even earlier.

I find Moreland’s six points persuasive. For me, the omissions of certain historical facts give credibility to an earlier dates since many of them would have been profitable to add to the text had it been written later.

Gauvin actually makes some valid points about textual transmission. However, again, he ignores scholarship of textual critics on the transmission of biblical texts.

The oldest Gospels that we have are supposed to be copies of copies of copies that were made from those Gospels. We do not know who made these copies; we do not know when they were made; nor do we know whether they were honestly made. Between the earliest Gospels and the oldest existing manuscripts of the New Testament, there is a blank gulf of three hundred years. It is, therefore, impossible to say what the original Gospels contained.

Gauvin is piggybacking on the optimism that his late dating is accurate. However, the content of the Gospels clearly shows contemporaneous eye witness data, culture, geography and so forth that provide ample reasons why they are historically valid. It’s the way they are written that’s gives historical validity. In addition, the papyri fragments we have corroborate with later manuscripts available. Moreover, the amount of manuscript we have (over 5,000) helps to distinguish what was in the original manuscript. The fact is that manuscripts copied from different individuals or groups spread over diverse parts of the Middle East and Mediterranean regions actually concur remarkably with each other.

If there were significant allowances of autonomy to add to or take away considerable writings from previous manuscripts, there ought to be a vast amount of departure in later or geographically distant tests. However, what we find is the complete opposite.

If Gauvin or other Jesus Myth proponents applied their hypercritical skepticism to other historical texts, we would have to discard Homer (Iliad), Sophocles, Aristotle, Caesar’s (Gallic Wars) etc. The NT text fair far better (with flying colors) than much of what we would consider history.

If Christ was an historical character, why was it necessary to forge documents to prove his existence? Did anybody ever think of forging documents to prove the existence of any person who was really known to have lived? The early Christian forgeries are a tremendous testimony to the weakness of the Christian cause.

Again, Gauvin overstates his case. Gnostic writings were not written to “prove the existence of Jesus.” Rather, they were heretical spin offs of the original Gospels. These Gnostic gospels and writings were countered heavily. Why would such objection arise if Jesus never existed? For example Origen, in Contra Celsius (Chap. LXI) wrote the following :

And let it be admitted further, that there are some who give themselves out as Gnostics, in the same way as those Epicureans who call themselves philosophers: yet neither will they who annihilate the doctrine of providence be deemed true philosophers, nor those true Christians who introduce monstrous inventions, which are disapproved of by those who are the disciples of Jesus…and these are the twofold sect of Ebionites, who either acknowledge with us that Jesus was born of a virgin, or deny this, and maintain that He was begotten like other human beings

Gauvin moves on to an alleged geographical error regarding Nazareth.

His home was Nazareth. He was called "Jesus of Nazareth"; and there he is said to have lived until the closing years of his life. Now comes the question -- Was there a city of Nazareth in that age? The Encyclopaedia Biblica, a work written by theologians, the greatest biblical reference work in the English language, says: "We cannot perhaps venture to assert positively that there was a city of Nazareth in Jesus' time."

This seems to be Gauvin’s most powerful argument—an obvious argument from silence and an overstatement. Nazareth was no New York, or Los Angeles city. In fact, it was a small and insignificant geographical location. Event in the NT it states, "Can any good thing come out of Nazareth?" (John 1:47). One should not expect compilations of references to Nazareth by early century historians. Historians tend not to write about rat holes, but significant places. Nevertheless, Metacrock, from Christian CADRE (A historian and Ph.D candidate) dismantles this theory in his article The History of Nazareth.

Moreover, Richard Carrier, who is a prominent skeptic and sympathetic to the Jesus Myth writes the following in thread on the infidel’s website begging here:

[A]rchaeology has confirmed a stone building in Nazareth of the size and type to be a synagogue, and it dates from the time of Christ. See the entry in the Archaeological Encyclopedia of the Holy Land...

The evidence is insurmountable that there were numerous permanent structures--most of Nazareth's buildings even before the 1st century were partially carved from the rock of the hill, in a manner similar to Pella...

I was able to track down on my own the most extensive report, that of Bagatti (Excavations in Nazareth, vol. 1, 1969), and I looked through all the subsequent reports on Nazareth from Excavations and Surveys in Israel, and this is what I found:

(a) Very little of Nazareth has been excavated, and therefore no argument can be advanced regarding what "wasn't" there in the 1st century.

(b) Archaeological reports confirm that stones and bricks used in earlier buildings in Nazareth were reused in later structures, thus erasing a lot of the evidence. Therefore, it is faulty reasoning to argue that there were no brick or stone structures simply because we have not recovered them from the relevant strata (i.e. one of Hoffman's sources assumed that the absence of this evidence entailed mud-and-thatch housing, but that is fallacious reasoning--especially since no clear evidence of mud-and-thatch housing has been found, either).

(c) One example of the above includes four calcite column bases, which were reused in a later structure, but are themselves dated before the War by their stylistic similarity to synagogues and Roman structures throughout 1st century Judaea, and by the fact that they contain Nabataean lettering (which suggests construction before Jewish priests migrated to Nazareth after the war). This is not iron clad proof of a 1st century synagogue (since the pieces had been moved and thus could not be dated by strata), but it does demonstrate a very high probability--especially since calcite bases are cheap material compared to the more expensive marble of structures archaeologists confirmed started appearing there around a century later, i.e. by the end of the 1st century AD (or early 2nd century at the latest, since marble fragments have been found inscribed in Aramaic that is paleographically dated to this period), and more extensively again in the 3rd century (when a very impressive Jewish synagogue was built there, this time using marble, which was later converted to Christian use).

(d) I confirmed beyond any doubt that Nazareth was built on a hill--more specifically, down the slope of a hill, with a convenient "brow" roughly one city block away from the edge of the ancient town as so-far determined archaeologically. Because the town was built down the slope of a hill, we have found numerous examples of houses, tombs, and storage rooms half cut into the rock of the hill, leaving a diagonal slope for structures to be built up around them to complete the chambers (as I described above). Since these structural elements were so completely removed and apparently reused by later builders, no evidence remains of what they were composed of (whether mud, brick, or stone).

The bottom line: there is absolutely no doubt that Nazareth existed in the time of Jesus.

Following, Gauvin becomes overly generous regarding the nobility of the Roman government:

Nothing could be more improbable than the story of Christ's crucifixion. The civilization of Rome was the highest in the world. The Romans were the greatest lawyers the world had ever known. Their courts were models of order and fairness. A man was not condemned without a trial; he was not handed to the executioner before being found guilty… Is it thinkable that the master of a Roman court in the days of Tiberius Caesar, having found a man innocent and declared him so, and having made efforts to save his life, tortured him of his own accord, and then handed him over to a howling mob to be nailed to a cross? A Roman court finding a man innocent and then crucifying him? Is that a picture of civilized Rome? Is that the Rome to which the world owes its laws? In reading the story of the Crucifixion, are we reading history or religious fiction? Surely not history.

Philo ((20 BC- 40 AD), has somewhat of a dissimilar opinion. In fact, he states Pontius Pilate was very hostile and unfair. Moreover, it appears that Pilate feared that the Jewish people would cause uproar resulting in his dismissal by Tiberius. Philo States [Source]:

"But when [Pilate] steadfastly refused this petition (for he was a man of a very inflexible disposition, and very merciless as well as very obstinate), they cried out: 'Do not cause a sedition; do not make war upon us; do not destroy the peace which exists. The honour of the emperor is not identical with dishonour to the ancient laws; let it not be to you a pretence for heaping insult on our nation…But this last sentence exasperated him in the greatest possible degree, as he feared least they might in reality go on an embassy to the emperor, and might impeach him with respect to other particulars of his government, in respect of his corruption, and his acts of insolence, and his rapine, and his habit of insulting people, and his cruelty, and his continual murders of people untried and uncondemned, and his never ending, and gratuitous, and most grievous inhumanity. (303)

Therefore, being exceedingly angry, and being at all times a man of most ferocious passions, he was in great perplexity, neither venturing to take down what he had once set up, nor wishing to do any thing which could be acceptable to his subjects, and at the same time being sufficiently acquainted with the firmness of Tiberius on these points.

So we get a different picture of the practice of Roman law and Pilate’s supposed civility. As I stated earlier, Gauvin likes to overstate his case and at times presents things in a manner that distort the historical record that we have available to us.

Gauvin not only stretches things, he is completely ignorant of Christian theology. He even goes so far as suggesting that Christian art of a lamb on a cross suggests the mythical figure of Jesus emerging out of that caricature. Moreover, he completely disregards the scriptural references on why Jesus is crucified when he states the following:

And let us ask, if Christ performed the miracles the New Testament describes, if he gave sight to blind men's eyes, if his magic touch brought youthful vigor to the palsied frame, if the putrefying dead at his command returned to life and love again -- why did the people want him crucified? Is it not amazing that a civilized people -- for the Jews of that age were civilized -- were so filled with murderous hate towards a kind and loving man who went about doing good, who preached forgiveness, cleansed the leprous, and raised the dead -- that they could not be appeased until they had crucified the noblest benefactor of mankind? Again I ask -- is this history, or is it fiction?

Jews were civilized, but take their religion seriously. Has Gauvin never heard of a Pharisees? They were the religious cream of the crop and were outraged to think that Jesus who accused them of being “hypocritical”, “brood vipers” “blind leaders of the blind” and who threw them out of their own temple, would also claim to forgive sins, and say that God was His Father, and even go as far as saying He was one with God. The Pharisees tried to stone Jesus more than once and kill him saying, "For a good work we do not stone You, but for blasphemy, and because You, being a Man, make Yourself God" (John 10:33). What does Gauvin think Paul (as formerly Saul) did before he became a Christian? Is the whole persecution of early Christians by the Jewish leadership fables? No, if there is any fiction, it’s in the mind of Gauvin to explain away history.

Some of the further exaggeration that Gauvin’s supposes, like Paul knowing nothing of Jesus sayings are too nauseating to address. He even goes so far as to suggest that the “very existence of Paul is questionable”. Though he only allows Paul as a historical figure to accommodate his argument. Moreover, he completely discredits the entire corpus of the Gospels because they contain miracles. Prima facie evidence is unnecessary to qualify as history. Every single statement need not be proved with corroborating evidence to support it. What’s even more interesting is that Gauvin relies heavily (again) on the argument of silence—mentioning things that Paul never stated about Jesus in his writings and assuming he never mentioned it in his travels.

If Christ lived, if he was a reformer, if he performed wonderful works that attracted the attention of the multitude, if he came in conflict with the authorities and was crucified -- how shall we explain the fact that history has not even recorded his name? The age in which he is said to have lived was an age of scholars and thinkers. In Greece, Rome and Palestine, there were philosophers, historians, poets, orators, jurists and statesmen. Every fact of importance was noted by interested and inquiring minds. Some of the greatest writers the Jewish race has produced lived in that age.

There are references to Jesus outside of the Gospels, such as Thallus and Josephus. But of course Gauvin is going to disregard any reference to Jesus by Josephus do to some later tampering insertions by some Christians. However, Christopher Price has done a review of Josephus’ reference to Jesus and irrefutably demonstrates that though there were some additions to the text, Josephus did make an original reference to the historical person of Jesus. For anyone who doubts this, they must read “A Thorough Review of the Testimonium Flavianum.” Regardless of Gauvin’s assertions, scholarship is in the majority that there was an original reference to the person of Jesus of Nazareth by Josephus (apparently reverse when the article was written). Also see Extra Biblical Witness to Jesus before 200 AD and “The Reliability of the Secular References to Jesus For further extra biblical references to Jesus.

Gauvin leaves his article in arrogant confidence over his alleged case against the historicity of Jesus. In his closing statement he says:

The Jesus Christ of the Gospels could not possibly have been a real person. He is a combination of impossible elements. There may have lived in Palestine, nineteen centuries ago, a man whose name was Jesus, who went about doing good, who was followed by admiring associates, and who in the end met a violent death. But of this possible person, not a line was written when he lived, and of his life and character the world of to-day knows absolutely nothing. This Jesus, if he lived, was a man; and if he was a reformer, he was but one of many that have lived and died in every age of the world. When the world shall have learned that the Christ of the Gospels is a myth, that Christianity is untrue, it will turn its attention from the religious fictions of the past to the vital problems of to-day, and endeavor to solve them for the improvement of the well-being of the real men and women whom we know, and whom we ought to help and love.

Gauvin hasn’t nearly made his case. He begs the question the entire course of his article. Unfortunately, he must ignore or come up with creative diversionary tactics to explain away history. There are too many issues to write off with the wand of hypercritical skepticism. Gauvin cannot explain to the satisfaction of historians why, Christians would invent Jesus Christ sometime after 100 and have no pagans and Jews who historically have opposed Christianity denied the existence of Jesus. In fact, it’s never even questioned.

Gauvin has artfully tried to claim the alleged theological development (which is an issue that has been disputed) qualifies the entire corpus of the NT as a wholesale invention. More perceptibly, Gauvin has quote mined critical sources and taken his conclusions beyond anything that the critics would have concluded.

Gauvin has misrepresented the apostle Paul claiming he preached a different Jesus than the Gospels. He late dated the Gospels to his convenience. Conveniently, the late dating of the Gospels is the crux of his entire position. He obviously over did it. With the wave of the skeptical wand, Gauvin completely dismissed non-Christian evidences of the historicity of Jesus. His conspiracy theory fails to give a better explanation than acknowledging that Jesus was a real person. I don’t know if any one can—it appears more to be an insurmountable obstacle.

Gauvin reminds me of Holocaust deniers, who deny despite the vast evidence to the contrary. One major problem to deal with is if the Church created Jesus, who created the Church? The fact is, Gauvin and other Jesus myth advocates have to have a lot more imagination than anyone who believes in his existence.

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11 Comments:

Blogger The Intolerant One said...

BF:

I really want to read your entry in it's entirety but all of Gauvin's qoutes are "blank grey boxes" from my end. Is it just my computer(I doubt it) or has something gone awry here when you were piecing together your posting?

5/06/2006 3:10 PM

 
Blogger Beowulf said...

ITO,

It works fine in internet explorer. What kind of browser are you using? I went into the html and changed the font color from slate grey to white. Maybe the font wasn’t bright enough. Or, maybe it’s because you’re a Canadian ;-)

Anyways, let me know.

5/06/2006 3:41 PM

 
Blogger Beowulf said...

Oh, I see what you mean. I checked it out in firefox. Heh, and I thought it was because you were Canadian!!!! . I haven’t used firefox, so in IE, the there is no grey in the boxes (it’s just the black background), so the font showed. After I changed the font color to white it seems to show up in the firefire fox browser along with the grey filled in the boxes. (I made the font the same color as the box—doh!). Anyway—not sure I like it.

5/06/2006 3:54 PM

 
Blogger The Intolerant One said...

I use Opera. I am a little wary of Internet "Exploder" ever since I got a virus from it.

A part of it also has do with me being Canadian. Our "immoral" governing laws only allow us to see things in "shades of grey" LOL

But, Yes, I can read it just fine now thanks. You must have fixed it with a Canadian made solution. :)

5/06/2006 4:23 PM

 
Blogger The Intolerant One said...

By the way, I love the new banner. How does one set up something like that? I have all the photo's and background that I want but have no idea how to put it together?!?!?!?

I wanted to put in a background with another photo incorporated and some line type. Is there a place on the web that would give you step by step instructions "for Intolerant dummies"?

5/06/2006 7:33 PM

 
Blogger Beowulf said...

TIO,

There are several ways to put text over pics. Photoshop gives the best effects—though I am not too familiar on how to use it. However, there are other ways. You can write over images in powerpoint and when you get the image you want press the “print screen” key. Open bitmap (standard with windows), paste, cut out your image (there is a tool). Open another bitmap paste and save as a JPEG.

It sounds more complicated than it is. I am not aware of any step by step walk through on the net, but I am sure you can find something fairly easy.

If you need some help with it just email me (contact link on the side bar).

5/06/2006 9:04 PM

 
Blogger Jim Jordan said...

Hi, bf
Great compilation of info. Gauvin has published yet another bundle of anti-Christian presuppositions. There should be a "Anti-Christian Bias of the Month" Club. I also like your new look and thanks for the instructions.
Take care.

5/07/2006 8:49 PM

 
Blogger The Intolerant One said...

Thanks for your help bro. I have posted a pathetic attempt at a new banner. I am still playing around with it but I like it better then the one I had.

I used my MGI photosuite. Hard to figure out but I will get it eventually.

5/07/2006 11:43 PM

 
Blogger Beowulf said...

Jim,

The "Anti-Christian Bias of the Month" Club would be a great series. However, there are not enough months in the year to do it justice :-}

TIO,

NOT pathetic; coooooool. I dropped a comment on blog.

5/08/2006 9:33 AM

 
Blogger GooseHenry said...

What a great post.

How could i miss this earlier?

What strikes me is that supporters of the "Jesus-myth" don't have one scrap of evidence to build their case on.

Not one historical document with contesting claims, nothing contradicting the claims of the gospels or "unveiling" the hoax. Not even any oral traditions...

6/07/2006 2:40 AM

 
Blogger Beowulf said...

Goose,

The best evidence for the existence of Jesus is in the Gospel narratives and the Epistles. If we want to know what Jesus did in His life, or what He said, what documents do we use?

The most irritating aspect of historical Jesus deniers is that the Gospels and Epistles are automatically discounted because it is "biased". But why are they deemed biased?

According to the historical Jesus deniers, the authors of the Gospels were Christians; so they actually believed what they were testifying to. But if they actually believed that Jesus resurrected, or was God, they must be making such a claim only because they are Christian. So if an Apostle claims to have seen the Jesus risen from the dead, they will not be trusted because they are biased, but the bias results because they claim to believe that Jesus rose from the dead—this is circular reasoning.

The “bias” accusation is also over rated. A bias does not have the control over an outcome of whether the claims are truthful. It would be the same as to discount the disbelief of a testimony because they disbelieved.

The act of the matter is, though, that it seems to me that if they really believed what they were saying—then it gives their testimony more weight. Belief would actually be in favor of the authenticity of the testimony.

Ciao

6/07/2006 5:41 PM

 

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