Does God Exist?
Debate Rounds (5)
Also one thing that is important I would like to know to continue this debate is whether you believe the creation story in the Bible to be literal.
Supposedly, Matthew, Luke, and John give conflicting information about where Jesus was born. Dawkins wrote:
A good example of the colouring by religious agendas is the whole heart-warming legend of Jesus" birth in Bethlehem.... John"s gospel specifically remarks that his followers were surprised that he was not born in Bethlehem.... Matthew and Luke handle the problem differently, by deciding that Jesus must have been born in Bethlehem after all (p. 93, emp. in orig.).
Exactly where did the apostle John indicate that Jesus was "not born in Bethlehem?" Dawkins quoted from John 7:41-42, wherein the apostle recounts how, "Others said, This is the Christ. But some said, Shall Christ come out of Galilee? Hath not the scripture said, That Christ cometh of the seed of David, and out of the town of Bethlehem, where David was?" (KJV, emp. added). Does this passage teach that Jesus was not born in Bethlehem? Not at all. John merely pointed out that some in the crowd who were listening to Jesus asked if the Messiah would come from Galilee or Bethlehem? These individuals knew that Jesus had grown up in Galilee (just as all of the gospel accounts teach: Matthew 2:22-23; Mark 1:24; 10:47; Luke 2:39-40; 4:16; John 1:45-46; 7:27). This group simply made the assumption that, because Jesus had grown up in Galilee, he was born in Galilee. But, that simply was not true (Matthew 2:1; Luke 2:4). These individuals were ignorant of the place of Jesus" birth.
Similarly, Richard Dawkins is ignorant of what constitutes a genuine contradiction, if he actually believes that this statement in John"s gospel account really contradicts what Matthew and Luke wrote. Were John to write that Jesus was not born in Bethlehem, or that Jesus was born in Galilee, only then would there be a contradiction. But John never wrote that he believed that Jesus was born in Galilee rather than Bethlehem. The apostle merely reported how some of those who listened to Jesus imagined that He was born in Galilee.
Your hometown/census problem, see http://www.comereason.org...
The virgin birth problem
This is a familiar criticism of the credentials of Jesus to be the Messiah. This comes, of course, despite the fact that Jesus fulfilled the messianic prophecies of being crucified (Psalms 22), being pierced, rejected and silent before accusers (Isaiah 53), being born in Bethlehem (Micah 5), riding into Jeruslaem on a donkey, being betrayed for 30 pieces of silver (Zechariah) and many more. Given that Jesus wonderfully and, indeed, spectacularly fulfilled all the prophecies of the Messiah (Luke 24:44), we should not be at all surprised to learn that Jesus did indeed fulfill the prophecy that he would be of the line of David as well. Let me get to the question. It is true that Jesus was the son, biologically, only of Mary. That is true. In fact, it was prophecied that the Messiah would be born of a virgin (maiden) in Isaiah 9:14. Now, if this critic of the messianic claims of Jesus is right, then, on the one hand, the Messiah must be born of a virgin, but on the other hand, he must NOT be born of a virgin in order to fulfill the requirement to be the physical seed of the line of David. Clearly, this is not a correct understanding of the text. Here is how I see it. Joseph adopted Jesus as his son, making Jesus, technically, only the adopted son of David. But then, all of us Gentile Christians are exactly the same thing. We, too, are not legitimate heirs of the promise of Abraham, yet, like Jesus, we are adopted into sonship with the Father. Ephesians 2:14-22 talks about us being real children of Abraham through adoption. I see evidence and a prophecy of the grace of God in that we are chosen as adopted sons and Jesus was chosen as well as an adopted son of the line of David. Your critic friend says that the Holy Spirit was Jesus" father and, in a sense, he was, but will this person deny Joseph the right to adopt the son of Mary and give him a father? This is a weak argument. By the way, it may well be true that the Jewish people accounted family through the father, but Jewishness was passed on through the mother. Mary was also descended from David, as is shown by the dual genealogies of Matthew and Luke. Scholars believe that most likely the two genealogies are through Mary (Luke) and through Joseph (Matthew). I believe the ones bringing this charge are making their case look stronger than it really is. For example, Leviticus 24:10 does not at all say that tribal affiliation is only conferred through the physical father. In fact, it is not even talking about that. Even Numbers 1:18-44 does not prove that one cannot be considered a member of Judah if only the mother was a Jew. It only demonstates that this was how tribal numbers were accounted. I believe that the argument is based at least as much on Jewish tradition as on any stated law of Moses. However, in any case, if God chooses to adopt Jesus into the line of Judah as a sign of his grace"if God considers Jesus the legitimate son of Joseph, then who am I to argue with this? God can do whatever he likes, and logical arguments by Jewish critics of Christianity do not change this fact. Like I already said, the Bible contains dual prophecies that the Messiah would be the son of a Virgin and that he would be a direct descendant of David. Jesus fulfilled both prophecies is a way which none of us could have conceived on our own. He is the physical descendent of David through his mother. He is the adopted son of David through his father, by an adoption consistent with the Christian message of our adopted sonship, and he also fufilled the prophecy to be born of a virgin. I believe we should turn this argument on its head and show how wonderfully this all shows the messianic glory of Jesus and the grace of the Father to accept us as his sons. One more point. Jesus" descent in Luke is indeed through Mary. Yes, it is true that the genealogy mentions Joseph, not Mary. One more time, this shows the grace of God. Obviously, Luke was well aware of the genealogy in Matthew. This line of descent through Mary was no accident. Nevertheless, the list consists of male descendents. In the last step, Luke chooses to mention Joseph, not Mary because he was indeed the adopted father of Jesus. One more time, what the critics feel is proof that Jesus is not the legitimate Messiah turns out to be further evidence of God"s grace. Certainly Luke saw it that way. The idea that this was some sort of mistake does not work. Obviously, the careful historian Luke was not going to make a mistake about the name of the grandfathers of Jesus!!! Jacob was the father of Joseph (Matthew 1:16) and Heli was the father of Mary (Luke 3:24).
Luke may be mistaken about which census but they would follow Egypts practices.It is Roman practice to assess taxes province by province. These undocumented papyri give the practice for Egypt. Egypt, at the time of the incorporation into the Roman world, was made an imperial province, whose revenue went to the Emperors, and not to the Senate. Any practices in Egypt would not apply elsewhere.There is absolutely no support to Luke's implication of worldwide census or a empire-wide tax. In fact, it is quite contrary to well-documented practice.
Ephesians 2:14-22 does't talk about being adopted children of Abraham, not even close. Paul points his readers to the Church as the Body of Christ, making the gathered people the locus of religious practice. That the Church is no longer a people waiting in the Temple for the immediate return of Christ, but are themselves the sign of Christ's salvation, they are the new temple.
Both the first chapter of Matthew and in the third chapter of Luke contain a putative genealogy of Joseph alone. Although these two genealogies completely contradict each other, neither suggests that Mary was a descendant of king of David. Nowhere in the third Gospel, or in the entire New Testament, for that matter, is there a claim that Mary was a descendant of the House of David. On the contrary, Luke plainly asserts that it is Joseph who was from the House of David, not Mary.(Luke 1:27)
Again I I would like to know to continue this debate is whether you believe the creation story in the Bible to be literal.
One last point I wanted to make was that the creationist story in the Bible is totally contradicted by what we know about Evolution and the age of the Earth. There are those who take it literally, most likely people who have never been educated about Evolution or are just delusional. But many people claim it is a metaphorical story, which begs to ask the question where did original sin come from? We know the creationist story is certainly not true but why are we born in sin then? What did Jesus die on the cross for?
ImAJesusFreak forfeited this round.
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ImAJesusFreak forfeited this round.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by tejretics 1 year ago
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Reasons for voting decision: This is a neutral vote. Both Pro and Con had deeply flawed arguments, using the Bible as their sole source. They also both forfeited the final rounds.
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