The Instigator
SkepticsAskHere
Pro (for)
Winning
16 Points
The Contender
socialpinko
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

The Bible is a reliable historical document

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/24/2011 Category: Religion
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 5,034 times Debate No: 16682
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (21)
Votes (4)

 

SkepticsAskHere

Pro

The Bible is a reliable historical document.

I will be Pro, 5 rounds but the first is acceptance, 8,000 characters, 72 hours, and I do have a few requests for my opponent.

Please limit your arguments to only one or two that you feel strongly about. Also, please no dropping or adding arguments throughout the debate.

This is not a debate for the existence of God, the identity of Christ, or the inspiration of scripture. This is the question of are the Biblical scriptures reliable documents. Is what was originally written down what we posses now? Has it been changed? Can we trust the Bible? So the first round is just to accept the debate, and then we'll proceed with the actual debate. Good luck and God bless whoever my opponent is going to be.

I look forward to the debate.
socialpinko

Con

Definitions

Reliable: that may be relied on; dependable in achievement, accuracy,honesty, etc.[1]

Historical: of, pertaining to, treating, or characteristic of history orpast events[2]

Bible: the collection of sacred writings of the Christian religion,comprising the Old and New Testaments.[3]

Burden of Proof

My opponent's burden will be to affirm the resolution and show that the Bible is indeed a reliable marker of the beginning of the world, ext. My burden will simply be to refute my opponent's arguments and bring some of my own to show that the Bible does contain false historical information.

Good luck and Satan be upon my opponent.

[1] http://dictionary.reference.com...
[2] http://dictionary.reference.com...
[3] http://dictionary.reference.com...
Debate Round No. 1
SkepticsAskHere

Pro

I thank my opponent for accepting this debate and look forward to it.

My opponent’s definitions are good for the most part but I reserve the right to bring up new definitions if my opponent tries to win the debate on topicality.

Bible: the collection of sacred writings of the Christian religion, comprising the Old and New Testaments.[3]

I do say that I am using the Protestant Bible. This excludes added books such as from the Mormons, Catholics, etc.

Burden of Proof


My opponent's burden will be to affirm the resolution and show that the Bible is indeed a reliable marker of the beginning of the world, ext.

Well I’m not going to focus on the creation of the universe and I hope that this will not become an evolution verses creation debate.

My burden will simply be to refute my opponent's arguments and bring some of my own to show that the Bible does contain false historical information.

Agreed, but I reserve my right to refute this in later rounds.

Good luck and Satan be upon my opponent.

I do understand that this is a casual debate and jokes are made, however, this is insulting. I hope that the audience will take this into account when voting on the issue of who had better conduct.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Now on to my case

Contention 1: The Bible is the most documented ancient text in the history of the world. We obviously don’t have the original books written in the Bible. So how do we know if what we have carries any resemblance of the original? We you look at the earliest copies that we have and we compare them. Let’s say someone wrote an essay that was 100 words. The problem is that the original essay is nowhere to be found, but there are two hand copies of the essays. Every word in the essay is the same except the last. So we would have a 99% pure text in the two manuscripts. It’s the same process when dealing with any ancient document. So let’s see how the New Testament Scriptures compare to other ancient documents.

Author

Date
Written

Earliest Copy

Approximate Time Span between original & copy

Number of Copies

Accuracy of Copies

Lucretius

died 55 or 53 B.C.

1100 yrs

2

----

Pliny

61-113 A.D.

850 A.D.

750 yrs

7

----

Plato

427-347 B.C.

900 A.D.

1200 yrs

7

----

Demosthenes

4th Cent. B.C.

1100 A.D.

800 yrs

8

----

Herodotus

480-425 B.C.

900 A.D.

1300 yrs

8

----

Suetonius

75-160 A.D.

950 A.D.

800 yrs

8

----

Thucydides

460-400 B.C.

900 A.D.

1300 yrs

8

----

Euripides

480-406 B.C.

1100 A.D.

1300 yrs

9

----

Aristophanes

450-385 B.C.

900 A.D.

1200 yrs

10

----

Caesar

100-44 B.C.

900 A.D.

1000 yrs

10

----

Livy

59 BC-AD 17

----

???

20

----

Tacitus

circa 100 A.D.

1100 A.D.

1000 yrs

20

----

Aristotle

384-322 B.C.

1100 A.D.

1400 yrs

49

----

Sophocles

496-406 B.C.

1000 A.D

1400 yrs

193

----

Homer (Iliad)

900 B.C.

400 B.C.

500 yrs

643

95%

New
Testament

1st Cent. A.D. (50-100 A.D.

2nd Cent. A.D.
(c. 130 A.D. f.)

less than 100 years

5600

99.5%

The New Testament is the best documented ancient text in the world, and the Old Testament has a 99% accuracy when we compare the Dead Sea Scrolls to each other.

It should be obvious that the biblical documents, especially the New Testament documents, are superior in their quantity, time span from original occurrence, and textual reliability. People still question if the documents are reliably transmitted to us, but they should rather ask if the biblical documents record actual historical accounts.

Contention 2: The Bible documents the world, and the world vice versa. The Roman historian Josephus mentions several people from the New Testament along with other writers who confirm the story.

Flavius Josephus (AD 37?-101?) mentions Jesus - Antiquities, Book 18, ch. 3, par. 3.

  1. Now there was about this time Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call him a man; for he was a doer of wonderful works, a teacher of such men as receive the truth with pleasure. He drew over to him both many of the Jews and many of the Gentiles. He was [the] Christ. And when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men amongst us, had condemned him to the cross, (9) those that loved him at the first did not forsake him; for he appeared to them alive again the third day; (10) as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning him. And the tribe of Christians, so named from him, are not extinct at this day.

Here are the rest of the non-biblical accounts.

http://carm.org...

And also the Bible is a book of history.

It could be said that the Bible is a book of history -- and it is. The bible describes places, people, and events in various degrees of detail. It is essentially an historical account of the people of God throughout thousands of years. If you open to almost any page in the Bible you will find a name of a place and/or a person. Much of this can be verified from archaeology. Though archaeology cannot prove that the Bible is the inspired word of God, it has the ability to prove whether or not some events and locations described therein are true or false. So far, however, there isn't a single archaeological discovery that disproves the Bible in any way.

Nevertheless, many people used to think that the Bible had numerous historical errors in it such as Luke's account of Lysanias being the tetrarch of Abiline in about 27 AD (Luke 3:1). For years scholars used this "factual error" to prove Luke was wrong because it was common knowledge that Lysanias was not a tetrarch, but the ruler of Chalcis about 50 years earlier than what Luke described. But, an archaeological inscription was found that said Lysanias was the tetrarch in Abila near Damascus at the time that Luke said. It turns out that there had been two people name Lysanias and Luke had accurately recorded the facts.

Also, the walls of Jericho have been found, destroyed just as the Bible says. Many critics doubted that Nazareth ever existed, yet archaeologists have found a first-century synagogue inscription at Caesarea that has verified its existence. Finds have verified the existence of Herod the Great and his son Herod Antipas. The remains of the Apostle Peter's house have been found at Capernaum. Bones with nail scars through the wrists and feet have been uncovered as well demonstrating the actuality of crucifixion. The High Priest Caiaphas' bones have been discovered in an ossuary (a box used to store bones).

There is, of course, a host of archaeological digs that corroborate biblical records on places such as Bethsaida, Bethany, Caesarea Philippi, Capernaum, Cyprus, Galatia, Philippi, Thessalonica, Berea, Athens, Corinth, Ephesus, Rome, etc. For more on this see, http://carm.org...

There are many such archaeological verifications of biblical events and places. Is the Bible trustworthy? Absolutely! Remember, no archaeological discovery has ever contradicted the Bible. Therefore, since it has been verified over and over again throughout the centuries, we can continue to trust it as an accurate historical document.

Good luck to my opponent in the next round and just so you know, I have a lot of info under my contentions and I only really expect you to attack my contentions. The info is what my arguments represent. I do this so that I don’t have to use all 8,000 characters in each round.

Sources:

http://carm.org...

http://carm.org...

http://carm.org...


socialpinko

Con

As to me insulting my opponent by wishing that Satan be upon him, how is that insulting? My opponent said "God bless whoever my opponent is going to be." I was incredibly offended by what my opponent said here but I did not mention it because that is his religious beief and I didn't want to mess with that. But then he feels that he has the right to tell me I can't say the same thing but with my religion I'm going to say something? Listen up people, Satanists are being unfairly discriminated against!* Now on to my opponent's actual argument. He says that he does not want this to turn into an evolution vs. creation debate. I can respect that. But it will need to be brought up when we're treating the Bible as a historical document. If the world was created in seven days then it is a reliable historical document. If it wasn't(and it wasn't) then the Bible is not a reliable historical document. So I will be bringing the topic up.

C1

First, I would like to call into question my opponent's source where he gets most of his information from. When I clicked on his link, it took me to a page that said, "Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry". We are looking at the Bible in a historical context though, so we need to be objective. My opponent's only source is clearly not objective and obviously biased towards the affirmation of the resolution.

But to look at his specific point, he does not write much. He copied and pasted a graph from the obviously biased website, carm.org and then writes about two paragraphs of summary. But he does not actually write anything to back up his assertion or defend the information in the graph. Of the two small paragraphs he writes, 3/4 of it is describing how reliable the Bible is. He writes:

""The New Testament is the best documented ancient text in the world, and the Old Testament has a 99% accuracy when we compare the Dead Sea Scrolls to each other.""

But where does he bring the evidence that they are the same. All he brought wa his graph that claims 95% accuracy of the Bible without showing how or why. He then writes:


""It should be obvious that the biblical documents, especially the New Testament documents, are superior in their quantity, time span from original occurrence, and textual reliability.""

It might be obvious if my opponent backed up his assertions with a little more than copying what was written on an obviously biased website. My opponent literally brings absolutely no more than this. I will say that he should bring some objective evidence before we can get this debate underway.

C2

Now as to my opponent's second argument, look it up in his source, he completely copies and pastes everything from his source word for word. If my opponent brings his own argument or even a summary of the argument he copied, then I will respond to it.

I will choose not to bring an argument this round and will bring one after my opponent does.

*To readers and my opponent, that was kind of tongue in cheek. I'm making fun of the fact that my opponent would take something like that seriously. Take the conduct point away if you wish but I'm going to have some fun if I'm doing such a played out debate topic.
Debate Round No. 2
SkepticsAskHere

Pro

But then he feels that he has the right to tell me I can't say the same thing but with my religion I'm going to say something? Listen up people, Satanists are being unfairly discriminated against!*

I only meant God Bless you as simple manners; I apologize if I legitimately offended you. However, it seems as if my opponent isn’t taking this debate very seriously.

But it will need to be brought up when we're treating the Bible as a historical document. If the world was created in seven days then it is a reliable historical document. If it wasn't (and it wasn't) then the Bible is not a reliable historical document. So I will be bringing the topic up.

Well actually my opponent takes the first chapter of Genesis out of context. If you look at the root word in Hebrew for the word day, it has four meanings: a 24 hour day, all of the daylight hours, part of the daylight hours, and finally a long but finite piece of time. Now if you read the chapter you will see that each day begins and ends, however not the seventh day in which God rests does not end. This would lead us to believe that we are now in the seventh “day” so to speak. It’s merely a misinterpretation of the original language, and I can assure you that the Bible is parallel to the 4 billion year old Earth model.

First, I would like to call into question my opponent's source where he gets most of his information from. When I clicked on his link, it took me to a page that said, "Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry". We are looking at the Bible in a historical context though, so we need to be objective. My opponent's only source is clearly not objective and obviously biased towards the affirmation of the resolution.

Well my opponent has offered no sources at all and no evidence to show that this is biased at all (except for the fact that it contains Christian in its name)

But where does he bring the evidence that they are the same. All he brought was his graph that claims 95% accuracy of the Bible without showing how or why.

It was 99.5% accurate and my evidence is the 5,000 manuscripts that correlate to show that the New Testament is the most documented book in the history of mankind. He does not refute this whatsoever.

I will say that he should bring some objective evidence before we can get this debate underway.

Every piece of evidence in the world will be biased in some way or another, there is no avoiding this. It seems as if my opponent has failed to attack any of my actual arguments and simply attacked my evidence. I find people do this when they are faced with a claim that they cannot refute.

Now as to my opponent's second argument, look it up in his source, he completely copies and pastes everything from his source word for word.

The majority of the information was factual evidence for my case. I gave the source, I did not claim I wrote it, and this is an online debate. I’ll write a brief summary of what my argument was, however I remind the readers that my opponent once again did not attack my case due to invalid reasons.

In my second contention I provided evidence supporting the Bible as a book of history. I made the claim that no archaeological discovery has ever contradicted the Bible. I then gave a list of non-Biblical sources that confirmed people, places, and events in the Bible. I then gave a source indicating that Luke was a historian and recorded several things that happened in the past (making the Bible a book of History, Acts is actually the history of the early church. My evidence was that from the sources I gave and they back up this claim.

My opponent is not debating at all; he is ignoring the obvious fact that the New Testament is a reliable document. Whether or not you believe what it says is a different issue, however, is a completely different matter. But, it would be illogical to disregard the Bible as a historical document.

My opponent has failed to attack a single piece of my case. He calls my sources biased with no reason but his subjective opinion to back it up.

My opponent disregards all of my evidence because of my biased sources, using nothing but his biased opinions.

This is the video that gave me the information for the original language of genesis:


socialpinko

Con

socialpinko forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
SkepticsAskHere

Pro

My opponent's account has been closed for some reason. he has forfeited.

I extend my arguments, Vote Pro
socialpinko

Con

socialpinko forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
SkepticsAskHere

Pro

My opponent's account has been closed for some reason. he has forfeited.

I extend my arguments, Vote Pro
socialpinko

Con

socialpinko forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 5
21 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by quarterexchange 6 years ago
quarterexchange
I would have liked to see SocialPinko's responses.
Posted by SkepticsAskHere 6 years ago
SkepticsAskHere
Haha I guess not
Posted by Man-is-good 6 years ago
Man-is-good
I guess that means he can't respond for a while...
Posted by SkepticsAskHere 6 years ago
SkepticsAskHere
Dang it! Socialpinko's account is no longer active :(
Posted by SkepticsAskHere 6 years ago
SkepticsAskHere
True very true, good point. I respect that, it depends on the supernatural's existence. however, that's an entirely different debate :)
Posted by Man-is-good 6 years ago
Man-is-good
Well, that all depends whether or not the supernatural exists. If you believe so, then the bible is a true historical text. But from the common man's viewpoint, it isn't. Nevertheless, I find your response very fititng, SkepticsAskHere.
Posted by SkepticsAskHere 6 years ago
SkepticsAskHere
Man-is-good:

1. Well let's pretend for a second that the God of Christianity was real, then the unreasonable things in the Bible become somewhat logical. Also, the miracles were used to affirm people's faith in that time because they saw the evidence for themselves. The inclusion of the supernatural does not downgrade it's historical accuracy.

2. I see your point but its Con's burden of proof to provide historical contradictions (which he hasn't done so far), however I'm just showing that it hasn't been changed.
Posted by Man-is-good 6 years ago
Man-is-good
I am often displeased by the fact that:
1. arguing the fact that the Bible is a historical document is flawed due to its unreasonable nature (Jesus' virgin birth, the inclusion of imaginary and supernatural characters far more than any other historical document)
2. the Bible's long history, and textual history, is not proof of its historical value either.
(Nevertheless, I am impressed by what SkepticsAskHere has said though)
Posted by SkepticsAskHere 6 years ago
SkepticsAskHere
"A Christian should never lose a debate, they do all the time don't get me wrong. However, we have the evidence on our side, you just have to research. So when your debating, speak to them lovingly while destroying them" - one of my favorite quotes from Josh McDowell. :)
Posted by Dimmitri.C 6 years ago
Dimmitri.C
I like your enthusiasm SkepticsAskHere.
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by 1Devilsadvocate 4 years ago
1Devilsadvocate
SkepticsAskHeresocialpinkoTied
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Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: F.F.
Vote Placed by jewgirl 6 years ago
jewgirl
SkepticsAskHeresocialpinkoTied
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: F.
Vote Placed by NewCreature 6 years ago
NewCreature
SkepticsAskHeresocialpinkoTied
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro won hands down.
Vote Placed by quarterexchange 6 years ago
quarterexchange
SkepticsAskHeresocialpinkoTied
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Total points awarded:60 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro did not forfeit, Pro's arguments about the validity of the bible were not challenged well at all by Con and therefore stood, and Pro had numerous relevant sources