Two items appear below:

1 Miracles of the Christian Faith Demolished   B De Kretser
2 Miracles Confirmed                                          Anonymous




Pillars of the Christian Faith Demolished

Part 1 Miracles

Brian de Kretser

(Investigator 130, 2010 January)



When Christians are asked for proof of the divinity of Jesus Christ, they point to his miracles — acts, transcending human power and the laws of nature.

Christianity is not the only religion which cites miracles as proof of its divine authorship.

More than 300 systems and sects recorded in history claim to be in support of the truth of the divine authenticity of their various belief systems. History is thickly studded with miracles in all ages and countries, their respective religious books are loaded down with stories of marvellous prodigies wrought by their gods.

A few examples well before the Christian era-

Gods of the pagan/heathen era are reported to have performed the very same miracles attributed to Jesus, such as astonishing cures, casting out devils, raising the dead, etc. These happened long before Jesus' time and easily proves copying. Christianity is copied almost in entirety from earlier pagan religions, and falsely claims that theirs is the only genuine religion, all others are myth and fiction, but the whole system of Christianity is fiction. This can be proved.

As for Jesus Christ the fact is that not one of the 300+ historians of that age makes the slightest allusion to him or any of the miraculous incidents grafted on to his life.

The fact is that Jesus finds no place in history of the era in which he lived, that not one event of his life is recorded by anyone except in the Bible by his own prejudiced biographers. This proves beyond doubt that Jesus is fable and fiction.

Historians look in vain for any contemporary notice of the Gospels or Jesus outside of the New Testament. It should be noted that Jesus' famous biographers Matthew, Mark, Luke and John are not noticed in history till 190 years after the birth of Jesus and then only by a Christian writer of dubious reputation named Irenaeus.

Who can believe that a god sent from heaven to appear on earth, performing the most astounding miracles ever recorded, to be finally publicly crucified near a great city, and yet all histories written, pass over without the slightest notice of any of these extraordinary events?

We find it impossible that this omission was so absolute that no record was made of the day or year of Jesus' birth by any person in the era in which he lived. We are driven to the conclusion that Jesus received but little attention outside of the circle of his own credulous and interested followers and consequently stands on a level with Krishna of India, Mithra of Persia, Osiris of Egypt and other mythical gods of antiquity, all whose legends were grafted in their histories long after their deaths.

With Jesus none of his evangelical biographies were written till long after his death.

Believers find it difficult to accept the fact that the numerous miracles ascribed to him in the Gospels are merely the work of fiction, fabricated without a basis of truth. But we have now found the true explanation. It is admitted also by Christian writers that no history of Jesus' life was ever written by a person claiming to have been an eyewitness of events reported.

Jesus' miracles are reconstructions of former miracles from earlier times. Several seem to have grown out of the "messianic prophecies" which were manufactures in order to fulfil the prophecies. Hence the history of gods, including Jesus, were loaded with miraculous feats, each trying to outdo the other.

Every religious country has their miraculous legends and the performance of their gods, these have come down from time immemorial, all had become mixed and blended together, until it was impossible to know whence they originated, where they belong to, or to which god they appertained.

Great numbers of every age and every religion have been guilty of systematic fraud and falsehoods to support their religions. Models of each and every miracle had already been constructed and was already a part of the history or tradition of older gods. It was easy to adjust these to whatever religion or god that was being promoted.

However, the age of miracles is gone and belief in them has receded before advancing science and superior general intelligence. It is the most illiterate and ignorant nations that still struggle with superstitions. But the light of science and advancing knowledge will win out over mythical gods in the end.  

Prof. Brian de Kretser
Institute for Research into Religions
Darwin, N.T. Australia





 

BIBLE MIRACLES CONFIRMED

Anonymous

(Investigator 131, 2010 March)


My approach to Bible miracle stories is the same as with other Bible topics — I test what is testable. I check whatever can be checked by referring to modern science, modern discovery, rules of logic, and common sense. This method avoids circular reasoning, makes no assumption about the truth or falsity of the Bible, and lets evidence speak for itself.

I also use inductive reasoning; that is I generalize. We know that one day has always followed another, but this knowledge is useless unless we generalize this information by anticipating tomorrow. Science is useless unless we use it to make inferences/predictions.

In The Ten Plagues of Egypt (#78) we saw that the plagues have a largely natural explanation. In The Red Sea Crossing (#14) meteorologist Allan Brunt gave a natural explanation to the Red Sea Crossing. In Seven Bible Miracles Explained (#58; $59) the seven miracles again had a natural component. Additional to these I've given plausible explanations for the Star of Bethlehem, the darkness at Jesus' death, the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, and several others.

The miracle of Jesus healing a blind man (Mark 8:22-26) is plausible because the story hinted at a medical discovery made 19 centuries later. (#26) Prior to about 1930 it was assumed that the ability to recognize simple shapes is innate, unlearned. This was proved wrong as medical science increasingly restored sight to blind people. Those who had been blind for decades or since birth required months to learn to recognize what they were seeing, even simple shapes. The blind man Jesus healed, similarly, could not even distinguish people — he thought they were trees. To set this right required a second miracle, one which accelerated the ability to recognize what is seen.

Jesus walking on water (Matthew 14; Mark 6; John 6) has modern counterparts who used attachments to their feet, "water shoes", and walked across rivers, harbours, and even the Atlantic. (New Scientist, December 19/26, 2009) Perhaps Jesus, being a carpenter, fashioned such items and practiced. Some Churchgoers might be horrified by this suggestion and claim I'm accusing Jesus of trickery. But the three gospel accounts don't specify how Jesus walked on water. The skill level required might itself have been miraculous — so I'm substituting one miracle for another. If, however, a natural component to a miracle is demonstrated, then we have a testable "fact" which adds plausibility to the claim that the supernatural component also took place.

With dozens of miracles proved plausible, I do what I've done with Bible statements in almost 20 scientific disciplines (such as astronomy, biology, archaeology, etc) — I generalize. I predict on the basis of millions of people having been wrong in their criticisms of the Bible that more of the same results will occur and more of the Bible (including more miracles) will be proved (or made more credible).

We could even generalize to the extent of declaring the entire original scriptures to be without error. Since this generalization is established on evidence we have Biblical inerrancy as a scientific hypothesis.  

De Kretser refers to alleged miracles of Bacchus and Zoroaster and claims Bible miracle-stories are copies of these and therefore myth. This is as mistaken as the argument that Bacchus myths are the source of modern medical "miracles" in hospitals and the surgeons are lying. We need to examine miracle-stories, whether by Jesus or surgeons, without prejudging them through arbitrary comparisons with Bacchus.

De Kretser tacked on to his critique of miracles his previous argument that no contemporary historian wrote about Jesus, therefore Jesus' life is myth. I answered that argument in #130; it's simply a fallacy to make the non-mention of something the proof of non-existence.

The fact that an ancient book almost everyone declares wrong has turned out correct hundreds of times, is itself miraculous. And it's a testable miracle!

In conclusion it's not the miracle stories that are "pillars of faith" but the scientific facts.



The Bible investigated skeptics and atheists versus Bible believers on this website:


http://users.adam.com.au/bstett/

http://ed5015.tripod.com/