The Instigator
saj.ahmed
Con (against)
Losing
3 Points
The Contender
OtakuJordan
Pro (for)
Winning
5 Points

The Gospels portray a consistent picture of Jesus peace be upon him.

Do you like this debate?NoYes+4
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
OtakuJordan
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/27/2013 Category: Religion
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,012 times Debate No: 41296
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (7)
Votes (2)

 

saj.ahmed

Con

I begin a brief statement of argument to disagree with the subject title.

What I will attempt to demonstrate in this debate is that the canonical gospels we read today in the New Testament - Matthew, Mark, Luke & John - are inconsistent accounts of Jesus' life.

One may read the gospels one after the other and find that they are hugely similar, but if we carefully cross analyse all of the four gospels, we can see there are differences between all of them in regards to Jesus. These differences are so clear and obvious that they cannot be missed out on an evidential basis. Some are improvements to Jesus' status; some are changes to a particular event or absence of a particular part from an event in a later gospel. I will go through these differences in more detail. But before I do that, I believe I should provide some specific background information about the gospels for those that are not aware.

In the New Testament we find the gospels in the order of: 1st Matthew, 2nd Mark, 3rd Luke and 4th John. Many scholars such as F.F.Bruce[1] have concluded that actually Mark was written first, then Matthew and Luke somewhere in the middle and then John being written last. Since Mark is believed to be the earliest of the synoptic gospels, it is plausible to believe that the writers of Matthew and Luke used Mark as a source for their gospels.

If we look at the gospels in this order (Mark being the earliest and John being the Last) we see how the image of Jesus differs and changes throughout the gospels and evolves into a divine character nearer to the latest gospel John.

Popular differences such as the date of the crucifixion and the length of Jesus" ministry etc are well documented and debated, for the purpose of avoiding repetitiveness,, I will not be proof texting such common contentions. Instead below are some examples of inconsistency which might be less commonly discussed but of equal importance.

a. In Mark 9:5, the story of the transfiguration, Peter addresses Jesus as "rabbi", but in Matthew 17:4 (a later gospel) in the same story we read that Peter calls him "Lord".

b. Mark 8:29 Peter"s confession of Christ, Jesus asks him "who do you say that I am?" and Peter replies "you are the Christ". In Matthew Peter gives a bit more in his answer, his reply according to Matthew is "you are the Christ, Son of the living God".

c. When Jesus calms a storm he is addressed a "teacher" in Mark 4:38 but in Matthew 8:25, the same event, he is worshipped and addressed as "Lord".

d. Mark 10:18, Jesus dislikes the idea of being called good; he said "why do you call me Good? No one is good except God alone". But in Matthew"s account of this event Jesus doesn't refuse to be called good, he simply says: "why do you ask me of what is good? There is only One who is good" - Matthew 19:17.

e. The story of the fig tree, in Mark"s account 11:12, wanting some fruit Jesus saw a fig tree from a far only to find no fruit when he went closer to it, Mark is very clear why Jesus found no figs on the tree - "because it was not the season for figs". However the same incident in Matthew 21:18, it does not mention whether it was or was not the season, so to allow room for interpretation because a divine being would know the seasons. Whereas Mark"s account of the story seems like a perfectly human mistake.

f. We see edits and alterations and deletions in certain events in the later gospels so to make Jesus seem more divine. For example, we read Mark 12:18, after an interesting discussion about marriage in the afterlife, Jesus was asked about the greatest commandment of all. To which he replied, "The most important one is this: "Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with your entire mind and with all your strength."- 12:29. We can turn to Matthew's account of the same story and see it has been slightly changed, the entire story is there but Jesus doesn't say "The Lord our God, the Lord is one" here, this saying has been missed out - 22:34. Why this has been missed out remains to be discussed in the coming rounds rounds hopefully. Moving on to Luke's account of the same story in chapter 20, we see he wasn't even asked about the greatest commandment here, after the discussion on marriage and after life no one dared to ask any more questions according to Luke 20:40. So we see three different versions of the same event among the synoptic Gospels.

These are differences which enable readers to adopt particular opinions and interpretations depending on which gospel they read, however. On an evidential basis the differences are there and clear and render Jesus" image in the Gospels inconsistent and therefore unreliable in my humble understanding.

As this is an introduction, so far I have kept to a brief start. I hope to build on these points more as the discussion goes further.

I do not wish to offend any Christian with this debate, such is not my intention, but a rigorous discussion and respectful intellectual discourse is what I seek. Thank you.

...

[1] The New Testament documents - Are they reliable? By F.F..Bruce
OtakuJordan

Pro

I would like to open by thanking my opponent for challenging me to a debate on this very interesting topic.

Con opened by advocating the theory of Markan Priority, or that the Gospel of Mark was written before the other three gospels. I am not knowledgeable enough on the subject of biblical manuscripts to be able to refute such a claim, nor do I have any desire to try to refute it. I also believe, as Con does, that the New Testament contains errors. Although I am a Christian, I consider biblical inerrancy to be an indefensible man-made doctrine.

What I do contest is that Mark presented a Christological system in which Jesus Christ was merely a man or a prophet and that later gospel writers then ascribed deity to Christ through insertions and deletions.

The audience of the gospels
Many biblical scholars believe that the gospels were each written to a different audience, explaining why different aspects of the earthly ministry of Christ are more heavily emphasized by each authors.

Matthew
Audience: Jews
Perspective: Jesus as the Messiah, the King of the Jews

Mark
Audience: Romans
Perspective: Jesus as the suffering servant

Luke
Audience: Gentiles
Perspective: Jesus as the savior of all mankind

John
Audience: All of mankind
Perspective: Jesus as God incarnate(1)

Evidences that Mark was writing for a Roman audience include:
1. His omission of Jewish genealogies, which would have been of little interest to the Romans
2. His care to describe Jewish places and customs
3. His use of Roman rather than Jewish time
4. His translation of some words into Latin(2)

If there was anything that the militaristic Romans understood, it was power and duty. This is why Mark focuses on Jesus' role as the suffering servant. The Romans would have little understanding of Jesus' role as the Messiah or as the Hebrew God incarnate. Mark tried to win the Romans to Christ by presenting the side of Jesus that they would best relate to to them.

Evidences of Christ's divinity in Mark
All of this is not to say that Mark does not present the divine side of Christ, as my opponent has claimed. Let's look at some of the ways that Jesus' divinity is apparent in Mark.

Evidence #1 - Mark opens his gospel by referring to Jesus as the Christ, the Son of God(3)

Evidence #2 - Mark references an Isaiah/Malachi prophecy that identifies Jesus as God
In the opening chapter of his gospel, Mark cites an Isaiah prophecy, saying "As it is written in Isaiah the prophet: 'Behold, I am sending my messenger ahead of you; he will prepare your way. A voice of one crying out in the desert: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths.’"(4) Mark does this to identify John the Baptist as the messenger spoken of.(5)

A Malachi prophecy parallels the Isaiah verses quoted by Mark, saying "'I will send my messenger, who will prepare the way before me. Then suddenly the Lord you are seeking will come to his temple; the messenger of the covenant, whom you desire, will come,' says the Lord Almighty."(6) Thus the messenger (whom Mark identifies as John) precedes God himself. The Isaiah passage confirms this: “Prepare the way of the Lord; make straight in the desert a highway for our God.”(7)

Evidence #3 - A voice from heaven calls Jesus his beloved Son(8)

Evidence #4 - Jesus forgave sins, something that only God has the authority to do
Jesus forgave the sins of a paralytic, which the scribes said was blasphemy.(9) The scribes rightly understood that the forgiveness of sins was for God to perform.(10)

Evidence #5 - Jesus referred to himself as Lord of the Sabbath(11)

Evidence #6 - Many evil spirits call Jesus the Son of God and he does not rebuke them(12)

Evidence #7 - A voice from a cloud refers to Jesus as his beloved Son(13)

Evidence #8 - When asked "Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?" Jesus replies that he is(14)

Evidence #9 - Mark refers to Jesus as "the Lord Jesus" at the end of his gospel(15)

Responses to Con's examples of inconsistency

A through C are simple errors where words or phrases are missing or mistaken. They are quite possibly copyist errors or perhaps just lapses of memory or hearing on the part of the gospel writers. They are not significant.

The two verses cited in D have the same essential meaning. There is no real inconsistency here. Again, insignificant copyist or author error.

In response to E, saying that there was no fruit on the tree because it was not the proper season is not the same as saying that Jesus did not know it was not the proper season. This is most likely just one of the many extraneous details that Mark put into his writing (e.g., the people sat on "green grass").(16) It is illogical to believe that Jesus would not have known in what season trees grew their fruit by the time that he was in his thirties.

F is just a listing of a few more examples of what could be either errors or an example of the gospel writers leaving details that they felt were unnecessary. Either way, they do nothing to harm orthodox Christology. If anything, they are simply weak arguments for New Testament errancy, which I have already conceded.

I look forward to reading Con's response.

Sources
1. http://davidsonpress.com...
2. http://www.lifeofchrist.com...
3. Mark 1:1
4. Mark 1:2-3
5. Mark 1:4
6. Malachi 3:1
7. Isaiah 40:3
8. Mark 1:11
9. Mark 2:5-7
10. Isaiah 43:25
11. Mark 2:28
12. Mark 3:11
13. Mark 9:7
14. Mark 14:61-62
15. Mark 16:19
16. Mark 6:39
Debate Round No. 1
saj.ahmed

Con

I thank Pro - Otakujoran for accepting my challenge, I look forward to a lively and friendly discussion/debate.

Quick note, anything in quotations and italics “like this” are Pro’s statements from the previous round.

Below I will be addressing Pro’s contentions from round 1:

“I also believe, as Con does, that the New Testament contains errors. Although I am a Christian, I consider biblical inerrancy to be an indefensible man-made doctrine.”

Pro has an interesting view on this on this topic. I’m not sure how many Christians subscribe to his type of reasoning. Neither am I sure this is the best motion for us to debate since he has already confirmed the first part of my argument, that the gospels are inconsistent in regards to Jesus, the second part being, the inconsistencies render the Gospels unreliable. So my first question to Pro is, while he believes the New Testament contains man made errors, does he consider the gospels as reliable documents on Jesus’ life? If so, how?

“What I do contest is that Mark presented a Christological system in which Jesus Christ was merely a man or a prophet and that later gospel writers then ascribed deity to Christ through insertions and deletions.”

Mark’s gospel is by far the shortest one and the ‘suffering messiah’ theme is present in his writing. But Jesus is more clearly a prophet than a deity in the book, in fact in a passage of Mark he clearly distinguished himself from God by refusing to be called good and referred to God as the only Good (10:18).

“Evidences of Christ's divinity in Mark”

Pro has provided a list of evidences which he claims prove Christ’s divinity in Mark’s gospel. Before I start to address them, I would like to point out that it is only logical to prove the reliability of the gospels before dealing with the matter of Jesus’ divinity. Any evidence to prove a case must first be provided from a source which is reliable and trustworthy.

Dealing with Pro’s evidences:

a. Many called Jesus ‘Son of God’ in the Mark. This isn’t an argument which holds any water. We know of course that many other prophets have been recognised as ‘Son of God’ in the Old Testament, so much so that ‘as many led by the spirit of God are the Sons of God’ (Romans 8:14).

b. It is true, Mark opens his Gospel by referring to an Isaiah/Malachi prophecy and identifies John the baptist as the ‘messenger’ spoken of and Jesus as the ‘Lord’. But the the prophecy is unfullfilled in the New Testament. Malachi 4:5 identifies Elijah as the messenger/prophet to prepare the way for the Lord. John the baptist denied he was the Elijah mentioned of in the Old Testament (John 1:21), he even denied to be a prophet. Mark got the Isaiah/Malachi prophecy wrong. Thus another inconsistency, Jesus’ divinity cannot be proven from this prophecy.

c. Jesus forgave sins in Mark 2:5, does that imply divinity? Based on verse 5 alone it might do, but it’s not as simple as Pro explains it. Jesus gives his reason for forgiving a few verses later, “that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins”. This is his reason, from which another question arises, from where did he get the power? Was it his own or given? The answer lies in another Gospel. John 17:6-8, states that everything that he has been given were from God. John 5:30 confirms that he is helpless by himself. Also not forgetting Matthew 28:18, it says all authority was given to Jesus, given by who? God of course as we read in John 17:6-8. There are other verses like these and they all clearly confirm his powers were given by God. So we can see by cross checking between different gospels, forgiving sins doesn’t prove Jesus’ deity.

d. Jesus referred to himself as ‘Lord of the Sabbath’ (Mark 2:28). I have three contentions to mention as to why I believe this doesn’t give Jesus a God-status. 1. One can simply argue ‘Lord of the sabbath’ is merely a title like Abraham was the ‘Friend of God’. Abraham’s title didn’t mean every other prophet were enemies of God, similar with Jesus’. 2. As a human, Jesus had the right to break the sabbath according to the new testament. Matthew 28:18 says all authority has been given to him. 3. The Jews would throw stones to hit Jesus with whenever they thought they heard him utter blasphemy i.e. claiming to be God, this is apparent in the gospels. However on this occasion they did not stone him nor accuse him of blasphemy. Again by cross checking between different gospels we can see this title doesn’t validate Pro’s claim of Jesus’ divinity in Mark.

Quick note, Pro does not subscribe to the view of Jesus’ image been evolved to divinity though the gospels, rather he believes the divinity of Christ exists in all four gospels, I have therefore seen no problem in cross-checking between different gospels to prove his evidences of Jesus' divinity in Mark wrong.

e. Mark 16:19 where Jesus is referred to as ‘Lord’ is problematic simply due to the fact that it’s part of a section of verses (9-20) which are nonexistent in the earliest manuscripts[1]. This means they most probably were later insertions and therefore not the original writings of Mark.

“Responses to Con’s examples of inconsistency”

The story of the fig tree. Pro argues that it is illogical to believe Jesus would not have known the season in which trees grew fruit in his thirties. If he was God then yes it would be illogical, but as a human error on Jesus’ part it is perfectly valid no matter how improbable it may seem. Mark 11:13 clearly states that he went to ‘find out’ if the tree had any figs and he didn’t find any because it wasn’t the season. It is obvious from this passage of course Jesus didn’t know the season. This story was then revised by Matthew (21:18) and written in more of an ambiguous sense by not identifying if it was the season, and so allows much more room for interpretation, whereas Mark’s account is strict and rightfully limits Jesus as a human who was mistaken of the season.

Pro says the the differences and alteration and edits I have pointed out throughout the gospels are merely errors and do not harm orthodox Christology. Whether they are errors by mistake or intention, they are still differences which haunt and question orthodox Christology. Here’s an example of why, addressing someone as teacher or rabbi isn’t the same as addressing them as Lord, the latter means something totally different to what is meant by ‘teacher’.

When Jesus teaches people about the first commandment. Of this incident we see three different contradicting accounts in three gospels. In Mark, Jesus teaches the first commandment to be of the Lord being one God. In Matthew it’s different, the first commandment is to love God with all heart and soul. In Luke's account Jesus didn’t teach the first commandment. I ask Pro how he see’s these three differing accounts as simple errors and justify them as unnecessary details which writers chose to leave out. Does he consider the first comandment an unnecessary detail?

With all these biblical ‘errors’ and contradictions which Pro has conceded as he says, how does he then believe the gospels present and accurate or reliable case for Jesus’ divinity I must ask?. How many errors and contradictions have we found in the gospels and how many more will we find? If the foundation of what you present is weak i.e. the gospels, how do you expect whatever you present to be of any validity?

So I after thoroughly analysing Pro’s argumentations, I conclude that he has not yet successfully shown to us that the gospels portray a consistent picture of Jesus, nor is he yet successful in proving the divinity of Christ in Mark. I’ve shown the differences and inconsistencies I have listed from the gospels in round 1 are not merely insignificant errors as Pro says, but of great importance, because on an evidential basis consistency is crucial and a foundation.

I am eager to hear Pro’s answer to my first question, while he believes the New Testament contains man made errors, does he consider the Gospels as reliable documents on Jesus’ life? If so, how?

I hope i have understood all of Pro’s argument correctly, if i have fallen short in understanding any I trust he will correct me.

I look forward to Pro’s reply, I believe it will be an interesting one which will help us dig deeper in the subject matter.

...

[1] New International Version 2004 edition

OtakuJordan

Pro

Thank you to Con for his detailed and intelligent reply.

I would like to begin by pointing out to Con that his resolution places no burden on me to prove the gospels to be reliable in order to win this debate. I need only prove that they are not inconsistent.

Con seemed curious about my view on the topic of biblical inerrancy, so I will expound upon them before moving into my rebuttals. I hope that the voters will understand that these are not arguments I am making but rather biographical information about myself.

The position I take is one of biblical infallibility. To quote Wikipedia, this is the belief that "the Bible is completely trustworthy as a guide to salvation and the life of faith and will not fail to accomplish its purpose." This is an orthodox view, though not the fundamentalist one. Biblical inerrancy, on the other hand, is the belief that "the doctrine that the Bible, in its original manuscripts, is accurate and totally free from error of any kind."

I do consider the gospels to be a reliable narrative of Jesus' life. I will explain why within my actual rebuttals.

Rebuttals

If the gospels contain errors, how can they be a consistent narrative of Christ's life?
Minor discrepancies within the biblical text do not make it an unreliable or inconsistent source. The school textbooks we used to learn history no doubt had minor historical errors here and there. Does this mean that none of them were reliable sources for historical truth? If the author mistyped a date does that mean that the entire narrative is compromised? Of course not, and it is the same with the gospels. Just because there were mistakes on minor issues does not mean that the overarching narrative of Christ's life is unreliable or inconsistent with other accounts.

It is worth quoting Christian philosopher Dr. William Lane Craig at length on this issue:

We can extend the point by considering the proposal that the Gospels should be understood as different performances, as it were, of orally transmitted tradition. The prominent New Testament scholar Jimmy Dunn, prompted by the work of Ken Bailey on the transmission of oral tradition in Middle Eastern cultures, has sharply criticized what he calls the “stratigraphic model” of the Gospels, which views them as composed of different layers laid one upon another on top of a primitive tradition. (See James D. G. Dunn,Jesus Remembered[Grand Rapids, Mich.: William B. Eerdmans, 2003].) On the stratigraphic model each tiny deviation from the previous layer occasions speculations about the reasons for the change, sometimes leading to quite fanciful hypotheses about the theology of some redactor. But Dunn insists that oral tradition works quite differently. What matters is that the central idea is conveyed, often in some key words and climaxing in some saying which is repeated verbatim; but the surrounding details are fluid and incidental to the story.(1)

In other words, it was the overall message that was of primary importance to the gospel writers, not complete accuracy in minor details. Let us remember that the Jewish people did not even have the equivalent of quotation marks in their language at this time.(2)

Does Christ clearly state that he is not God in Mark 10:18?
Jesus denies neither his goodness nor his godhood in this verse. Rather, he is asking the young man a question in order to make a point and cause him to think more deeply about the nature of Jesus' goodness. Did he mean good (agathos) in the absolute sense that God is good? In other words, Jesus was asking the man to view him as God, the exact opposite of what Con claimed.(3)

Defending my evidences

On the nuances of the phrase "Son of God"
While it is true that Jewish religious literature is replete with references to "sons of God," Jesus' use of this phrase is unique. This can be seen by the way Jesus refers to God as "Father." In the Hebrew Bible no individual ever addresses God as "my Father". Even the one partial exception to that universal negative does not have David directly saying to God "you are my Father." Rather, this is a prayer which God puts in the mouth of the king.

Also, the Christ is uniquely referred to as the "begotten son" of God.(4)

One must also admit that it seems strange for the disciples, themselves sons of God, to refer to Jesus as "the Son of God" unless the title were imbued with an authority they themselves did not exist. The use of the definite article is also quite inexplicable unless one considers it to be a unique title.

On the Isaiah/Malachi prophecy
First of all, even if Mark was incorrect in his interpretation of biblical prophecy, this is not an inconsistency but an error. One must admit that Mark's intent was to prove Christ's divinity using Isaiah as a proof text. Since I have no burden to prove that Mark was not in error but only that he believed Christ to be divine, I have won this debate. Whether Mark was right or wrong is irrelevant.

However, my opponent is wrong in his treatment of this passage and I would like to correct his error. First of all, John the Baptist never denies being a prophet, but rather denies being "the Prophet," meaning Jeremiah. As to his denial of being Elijah, Gill's commentary sheds great light on this subject:

Wherefore these messengers inquire, that since he had so fully satisfied them that he was not the Messiah, that he would as ingenuously answer to this question, if he was Elias, or not:

And he saith, I am not; that is, he was not Elijah the prophet that lived in Ahab's time, and was called the Tishbite; for John's answer is to the intention of their question, and their own meaning in it, and is no contradiction to what Christ says of him, Matthew 11:14 that he was the Elias that was to come; for he was the person meant by him in Malachi 4:5 though not in the sense the Jews understood it; nor is it any contradiction to what the angel said to Zacharias, Luke 1:17
for he does not say that John should come in the body, but in the power and spirit of Elias.(5)

On Jesus' forgiveness of sins
I will concede that this is not a good proof text.

On Jesus' use of the title "Lord of the Sabbath"
I would like to quote John MacArthur on this topic:

Clearly then, from Genesis 2 and verse 3, the Sabbath was ordained by God. It is God Himself who is the Lord of the Sabbath, Lord meaning sovereign. It is God Himself who is the sovereign over the Sabbath who rules over the Sabbath, who defines the Sabbath...

To claim then to be Lord of the Sabbath was essentially to claim to be God. And anyone who does that is either God or a blasphemer of the rankest kind. And there really is no middle ground. You cannot say of Jesus that He was a good teacher who got a little bit carried away with certain things, He is either God as He claimed to be, or He is the supreme blasphemer. You don't have any option in the middle.(6)

Simply because I, as a Christian, do not consider myself to be under the civil and dietary laws of Old Testament Israel, does not mean that I am Lord of the Law. To say that I am would border on blasphemy (if it didn't cross the line entirely), just as Jesus' saying that he is the Lord of the Sabbath would be blasphemy were he not God.

On Mark's reference to Jesus as Lord
I will also concede this point. However, I would like to point out to Con that his statement is somewhat imprecise. Mark 16:9-20 is not present in the earliest complete manuscripts.(7)

Responses to Con's examples of inconsistencies

On Jesus and the fig tree
Again, it is patently absurd to believe that a grown man living in an agrarian society would not know in which season trees bore their fruit. But regardless, Christian orthodoxy teaches that Jesus sometimes limited his supernatural attributes while on earth, including his omniscience. Even if Jesus truly did not know, no violence is done to the doctrine of his deity.

On the teachings of the greatest commandment
I am confused as to what inconsistency Con is saying exists between the following two passages:

"Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment."—Mark 12:30

"Jesus replied: 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.'"—Matt. 22-37

The great commandment is unnecessary in the sense that it is not essential to the Christian faith. It is, of course, important. But is Luke's omission of it an inconsistency? Certainly not. If I were to write a biography about President Obama's childhood and you wrote one about his political career would they be inconsistent? Of course not. They would simply be focusing on different things.

Also, it is unfair to expect the gospel writers to have written down every detail of Jesus' life and teaching. John himself said that "Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written."(8)

I look forward to Con's rebuttal.

Sources
1. http://www.reasonablefaith.org...
2. ibid.
3. Robertson, Archibald Thomas. 1997. Word Pictures in the New Testament. 1997. Cedar Rapids, IA: Parsons Technology.
4. Psalm 2:7
5. http://biblehub.com...
6. http://www.gty.org...
7. http://en.wikipedia.org...
8. John 21:25
Debate Round No. 2
saj.ahmed

Con

I shall further deal with Pro’s arguments from the previous round.

Pro begins his response with a disclaimer.

“I would like to begin by pointing out to Con that his resolution places no burden on me to prove the gospels to be reliable in order to win this debate. I need only prove that they are not inconsistent.”

Recall from my first round, I concluded it by stating ‘on an evidential basis the differences are there and clear and render Jesus’ image in the gospels inconsistent and therefore unreliable.’ Let me break down this statement and make it easier to understand what exactly I am challenging Pro on. a. The statement clearly points out how I am arguing my case, on an evidential basis, and it is this type of basis I ask my opponent to respond with. But Pro manages to fall into the habit of rebutting my arguments with what can only be described as common interpretations, some of which I shall point out throughout this response. Interpretations will simply remain interpretations until they are proven by evidences. b. I specifically mentioned that the gospels’ inconsistencies render them unreliable. Pro is mistaken to think that my resolution allows him to only prove that the gospels are not inconsistent, rather it burdens him to prove the gospels are consistent in order to prove they’re are reliable.

Pro has already admitted the inconsistencies I’ve listed in round 1 are in fact errors and mistakes “I also believe, as Con does, that the New Testament contains errors.” Pro says “If anything, they are simply weak arguments for New Testament errancy, which I have already conceded.” By this admission Pro has confirmed my case that the gospels are inconsistent regarding Jesus. After all, when two individuals mistakenly report an event in two differing ways, that is what is called ‘inconsistency’.

“In other words, it was the overall message that was of primary importance to the gospel writers, not complete accuracy in minor details.”

I hope it is clear that my case I have presented so far isn’t regarding the ‘overall message’. I am arguing that the writers of the gospels do not portray a consistent and accurate picture of Jesus, i.e. what he said and did and how people saw him to be etc.

“In other words, Jesus was asking the man to view him as God, the exact opposite of what Con claimed (regarding Mark 10:18).”

It is clearer than daylight, Jesus did not ask the man to view him as God simply because the only question he did ask the man was “why do you call me good?” followed by disclaiming anyone to be good but God alone without stating he is an exception to the rule. How Pro concludes that Jesus was trying prove his divinity by this is astonishing to me I must admit.

“Rather, he is asking the young man a question in order to make a point and cause him to think more deeply about the nature of Jesus' goodness (regarding Mark 10:18)”

This is an example of Pro’s habit of arguing with common interpretations. What or where is the factual basis of what Pro argues here? How does he know Jesus asked this question to “make a point”? Pro isn’t arguing anything evidential here. What is evidential is that Jesus stated no one is good but God alone without stating that he may be exception to the rule.

“While it is true that Jewish religious literature is replete with references to "sons of God," Jesus' use of this phrase is unique. This can be seen by the way Jesus refers to God as "Father." In the Hebrew Bible no individual ever addresses God as "my Father"

According to Jeremiah 31:9 God refers Himself a father to Israel, a nation of people and Ephraim was His firstborn. From this it is clear the Father/Son of God relationship with God isn’t unique to Jesus in the Bible.

“Also, the Christ is uniquely referred to as the "begotten son" of God.”

This again is a method of speculation and interpretation to prove Jesus' divinity from this phrase. What is meant by the “only begotten son” can be understood by noticing how Isaac was titled Abraham’s “one and only son” or “only begotten son” in Hebrews 11:17. Not because Isaac was the only son, Abraham had two sons. The Bible uses such titles to glorify or elevate one’s status amongst people like Isaac and similarly Jesus’ the “only begotten son”.

Quick note: This statement of the begotten son is in John 3:16 and not in Mark. Reminder to Pro that he is trying to prove Jesus’ divinity in Mark specifically.

“One must admit that Mark's intent was to prove Christ's divinity using Isaiah as a proof text.”

That may be so, but let me explain my position on Mark’s gospel further. Mark may have had the intent to prove Jesus’ divinity by using the Malachi/Isaiah prophesy. However, I hope it is clear I am not arguing Mark’s personal interpretation of who Jesus was. Rather, I'm arguing that Mark’s portrayal of Jesus (i.e. what Jesus said, did and how people saw him etc.) isn’t divine at all. There's a difference in how Mark ended up portraying of Jesus to be, and Mark’s interpretation of who he was. Regardless of what Mark believed Jesus to be, he portrayed him as human prophet. For example, Mark’s account of the story of the fig tree clearly portrays Jesus as a human who was ignorant of the season.

“However, my opponent is wrong in his treatment of this passage and I would like to correct his error. First of all, John the Baptist never denies being a prophet, but rather denies being "the Prophet," meaning Jeremiah. As to his denial of being Elijah, Gill's commentary sheds great light on this subject.”

Apologies for this error, John the baptist did indeed deny being “the Prophet” and not a prophet. Though I disagree still that it refers to another prophet, I shall leave it at that. Proving this won't benefit nor harm my argument that he already denied to be Elijah (John 1:21). Gill’s commentary is an interpretation one can take but there is no “spirit or power” mentioned in Malachi, 4:5 is specific by stating “Elijah the Prophet” will be sent. Definite article. The Jews were right in understanding that Elijah should come in body.

“On Jesus' use of the title "Lord of the Sabbath"

Does mean Jesus is divine? Recall my contentions on this issue from round 2, Pro does not attempted to tackle any of them here rather, he writes about how blasphemous it is to claim such a thing, of which I have refuted - as a human, Jesus had the right to break the sabbath according to the new testament. Matthew 28:18 says all authority has been given to him.

“Again, it is patently absurd to believe that a grown man living in an agrarian society would not know in which season trees bore their fruit.”

Absurd as it may seem, I ask pro is it logically an impossibility?

“Christian orthodoxy teaches that Jesus sometimes limited his supernatural attributes while on earth, including his omniscience. Even if Jesus truly did not know, no violence is done to the doctrine of his deity.”

Another question, where is this specific teaching in the Bible? That Jesus had the ability to “limited his supernatural attributes while on earth”. Unless pro can provide evidence of this from the Bible, this another example of Pro arguing his case with a common interpretation.

“I am confused as to what inconsistency Con is saying exists between the following two passages.”

In round 2, Pro quotes Mark’s (12:30) and Matthew’s (22:37) accounts of the first commandment and asks where the inconsistency lies. Pro should re-read Mark’s account and he will see in fact Jesus teaches the first commandment from verse 29 which states “And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord.” then verse 30 “And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.” The first part of Jesus’ answer which is ‘Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord’, isn't in Matthew’s account of the story. This is the inconsistency, Matthew saw fit to edit this part out.

“But is Luke's omission of it an inconsistency?”

Luke’s account isn’t a simple case of omission as Pro says. Luke 22:40 clearly states that no one ‘dared’ to ask Jesus anymore questions. This is a clear contradiction compared to Mark’s (12:28) and Matthew’s (22:35-36), because in these accounts someone did ask a question, about the first commandment. This is an inconsistency.

So I conclude for this round, Pro is yet to succeed in proving the gospels are consistent and reliable regarding Jesus. I hope Pro realises that many of his arguments in round 2 were based on interpretations without any under-lining evidences.

I hope I have understood all of Pro’s argument correctly, if i have fallen short in understanding any I trust he will correct me.

I look forward to Pro’s reply, thank you.
OtakuJordan

Pro

"Recall from my first round, I concluded it by stating ‘on an evidential basis the differences are there and clear and render Jesus’ image in the gospels inconsistent and therefore unreliable.’"

Con's resolution, which is what he must argue against, is that "The Gospels portray a consistent picture of Jesus peace be upon him." Also, in the second paragraph of his 1R he states, "What I will attempt to demonstrate in this debate is that the canonical gospels we read today in the New Testament - Matthew, Mark, Luke & John - are inconsistent accounts of Jesus' life."

It is not until the second sentence of his thirteenth paragraph that he says "On an evidential basis the differences are there and clear and render Jesus" [sic] image in the Gospels inconsistent and therefore unreliable in my humble understanding." Until my opponent cited this in his last speech it was not apparent to me (nor would it have been to anyone) that he defining his resolution with it.

It is clear from Pro's resolution and his opening statement that it is the consistency of the gospels that we are arguing, not their reliability. I urge the voters to hold my opponent to his resolution.

"Pro has already admitted the inconsistencies I’ve listed in round 1 are in fact errors and mistakes 'I also believe, as Con does, that the New Testament contains errors.' Pro says 'If anything, they are simply weak arguments for New Testament errancy, which I have already conceded.' By this admission Pro has confirmed my case that the gospels are inconsistent regarding Jesus. After all, when two individuals mistakenly report an event in two differing ways, that is what is called ‘inconsistency’."

Granted, there are inconsistencies within the New Testament. But does that mean that the picture the gospels present of Jesus is inconsistent? Not necessarily. What my opponent claimed early in the debate was that "If we look at the gospels in this order (Mark being the earliest and John being the Last) we see how the image of Jesus differs and changes throughout the gospels and evolves into a divine character nearer to the latest gospel John." This serves as a definition of the sort of inconsistencies we are looking for.

Clearly, what we are debating is not whether there are errors of a general nature within the gospels, but whether they are inconsistent to the degree that the gospel of Mark portrays Christ as human while later gospel portray him as divine.

"That may be so, but let me explain my position on Mark’s gospel further. Mark may have had the intent to prove Jesus’ divinity by using the Malachi/Isaiah prophesy. However, I hope it is clear I am not arguing Mark’s personal interpretation of who Jesus was. Rather, I'm arguing that Mark’s portrayal of Jesus (i.e. what Jesus said, did and how people saw him etc.) isn’t divine at all."

And here we reach the ultimate weakness in Con's arguments. Having admitted that Mark affirms Jesus' divinity, he has technically already admitted defeat.

Because I am sure that my arguments for this round will be heatedly contested and because the outcome of this debate now rests on them, I shall not rebut my opponent's now irrelevant statements from R3. If anyone, including Con, is interested in hearing my response to them, please send me a private message.
Debate Round No. 3
saj.ahmed

Con

I thank Pro for his response.

So as we narrow down nearing the end of this debate, it is apparent that Pro has chosen a less effective and much simpler method of response in round 3.

I say ‘less effective’ because it is the best description for what he has done. He has summarised and taken out of context what I responded with in Round 3, some of which I shall point out throughout this round. He has only responded to three of my contentions from the previous round which is why I’m rather dissatisfied.

“I shall not rebut my opponent's now irrelevant statements from R3. If anyone, including Con, is interested in hearing my response to them, please send me a private message.”

I am interested in hearing Pro’s response, but not in private. I would like him to address them here in this debate. I believe it is unfair to the time scope and beyond the rules on which this debate is formatted to profess having a response available elsewhere. If Pro has any responses to my contentions (I disagree on Pro’s description “irrelevant statements”) he must address them, otherwise concede them.

“It is clear from Pro's resolution and his opening statement that it is the consistency of the gospels that we are arguing, not their reliability. I urge the voters to hold my opponent to his resolution.”

It is obvious which parts of my introduction (round 1) Pro wishes to address and which parts he ignores. Regardless of in which paragraph I've challenged the reliability of the gospels, the challenge is there in the introduction, so to highlight the severities of the inconsistencies of which we have been debating.

But the interesting part here is, while Pro denies it is his burden to prove the reliability of the gospels, he took the burden. In round 2 Pro wrote “I do consider the gospels to be a reliable narrative of Jesus' life. I will explain why within my actual rebuttals.” and if we read carefully, it led Pro to explain “It was the overall message that was of primary importance to the gospel writers, not complete accuracy in minor details.” My reply to the this was in round 3, I wrote ‘My case I have presented so far isn’t regarding the overall message. I am arguing that the writers of these gospels do not portray a consistent and accurate picture of Jesus, i.e. what he said and did and how people saw him to be etc.’ and if something isn’t consistent and accurate then it definitely isn’t reliable. Logically speaking.

Quick note: Pro has managed to contradict himself during the course of this debate. In round 2 Pro wrote “Minor discrepancies within the biblical text do not make it an unreliable or inconsistent source.” later in round 3 he wrote “Granted, there are inconsistencies within the New Testament.” Pro seems confused on the topic of inconsistency. I shall provide a brief definition of it later in this round.

“Clearly, what we are debating is not whether there are errors of a general nature within the gospels, but whether they are inconsistent to the degree that the gospel of Mark portrays Christ as human while later gospel portray him as divine.”

Yes, this is exactly what we’re debating. Pro has provided his evidences to prove Mark’s portrayal of Jesus to be divine, which I have given further refutations in round 3. Pro so far has left them unanswered. Also the the inconsistencies/differences I’ve highlighted throughout my introduction, into round 2 and 3 show how Jesus’ image has evolved and portrayed closer to a divine nearer to the latest gospels.

“And here we reach the ultimate weakness in Con's arguments. Having admitted that Mark affirms Jesus' divinity, he has technically already admitted defeat.”

This is Pro’s response to only half of a paragraph I wrote in round 3, he failed to quote the second part of the paragraph and thus summarised my position out of context. Here is the second part to which I would like to read Pro’s response, ‘There's a difference in how Mark ended up portraying of Jesus to be, and Mark’s interpretation of who he was. Regardless of what Mark believed Jesus to be, he portrayed him as human prophet. For example, Mark’s account of the story of the fig tree clearly portrays Jesus as a human who was ignorant of the season.’ I believe I given sufficient reasoning here to clarify my position on Mark’s gospel so far.

What is inconsistency?

‘If two statements, etc. are inconsistent, or one is inconsistent with the other, they cannot both be true because they give the facts in a different way.’ - Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary

Just like Luke’s (22:40) contradiction to Mark’s (12:28) and Matthew’s (22:35-36) account of the first commandment and Matthew Mark’s. Pro incorrectly insist these are simple omissions and not inconsistencies. I believe I have proven these to be inconsistencies and contradictions in the previous round, to which Pro has no reply as of yet.

Such inconsistencies, contradictions and ‘omissions’ give rise to some important questions, why did Luke contradict Mark and Matthew? Why did Matthew omit the Jewish Shema ‘Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord’ from his writing (22:37) when it was clearly present in Mark’s (12:29)? I argue, Matthew and Luke made improvements/changes to reduce Jesus’ emphasis on one God as he says ‘our God’ and to allow room in their writings to interpret Jesus as divine. I wonder what Pro’s response this would be?...

I hope I've understood all of Pro’s argument correctly, if i have fallen short in understanding any I trust he will correct me.

I look forward to Pro’s reply, thank you.


OtakuJordan

Pro

As anticipated, my last speech has been met with a heated rebuttal. I thank Con for what has been an extremely interesting debate that grows even more interesting as we continue.

On the resolution
Con's assertion that the line of argument I have chosen is "less effective" is a clear case of begging the question. If it can be shown that Con's resolution requires of us what I claim it does, then this debate is essentially over.

Again, I am willing to answer the points my opponent has raised in another medium where my answer will not distract from the main issue of the debate. Saying that I must either address or concede these points is another case of begging the question and is not his place to decide.

I did not "choose to ignore" any part of Con's introduction. Rather, I contest that the second sentence of the thirteenth paragraph may be used to nuance one's resolution and opening statement. If I am wrong in this, then it is permissible to change or modify one's resolution without clearly bringing it to the attention of your opponent. And regardless, while an introduction may nuance a resolution, it is unfair to use it to add a completely new clause.

Contrary to Con's claim that I took on the burden of proving the reliability of the gospels with my statement in R2 that "I do consider the gospels to be a reliable narrative of Jesus' life. I will explain why within my actual rebuttals," I was careful to say "Con seemed curious about my view on the topic of biblical inerrancy, so I will expound upon them before moving into my rebuttals. I hope that the voters will understand that these are not arguments I am making but rather biographical information about myself."

On consistency
Yes, I have said that there are inconsistencies in gospel accounts. No one, not even those who hold to biblical inerrancy, would dispute this. Because of this and because of the way that Con phrased his resolution and introduction, it seemed that what he was arguing was, as I stated earlier, “Clearly, what we are debating is not whether there are errors of a general nature within the gospels, but whether they are inconsistent to the degree that the gospel of Mark portrays Christ as human while later gospel portray him as divine.” If I had thought he was arguing anything else, I would have never accepted Con's debate challenge as it would have been no debate at all.

To my surprise, Con cited the above quote and then said "Yes, this is exactly what we’re debating," thereby affirming everything I have said thus far in this round.

On Jesus' divinity
I agree with Con that I cannot win this debate based on Matthew's opinion of Christ, that it is his portrayal of him that matters. Did Mark portray Jesus as divine? I have shown and my opponent has admitted that the opening of Mark's gospel casts Jesus as God incarnate.

For me to prove that there is any further evidence of Christ's divinity in the gospel is unnecessary, as this introduction lays the framework for how we are to understand Jesus throughout the rest of the book. In other words, Mark's depiction of Christ is of God come to earth to save mankind.

I look forward to hearing Con's response. If he would like to hear my response to the alleged and (to this debate) irrelevant inconsistency he presented at the end of his R4, I invite him to private message me.


Debate Round No. 4
saj.ahmed

Con

I shall provide a brief rebuttal to Pro’s previous round.

“Con's assertion that the line of argument I have chosen is "less effective" is a clear case of begging the question.”

By claiming Pro’s 3rd round less effective, have I committed a case of ‘begging the question’?. I don’t believe so. I have given reasons (round 4) as to why I think his 3rd round wasn’t so effective which support my claim as a valid contention rather than a fallacy. I further support my reasons by an example within the same round.

“Again, I am willing to answer the points my opponent has raised in another medium where my answer will not distract from the main issue of the debate.”

The ‘main issue’ of this debate is the consistency in the gospels regarding Jesus (especially in their portrayal of his divinity). My burden a. is to prove the gospels are not all consistent in this regard and b. to rebut Pro’s evidences of Christ’s divinity in Mark. Both of which I have continued to do so only up until round 3 and a bit of 4, because Pro simply refuses to continue or offer anymore rebuttals, answer them or concede. Rather he claims he has a response available to be provided elsewhere. I’ve already explained how this is an unfair tactic in my previous round. There is a reason why this debate is formatted at maximum flexibility (10000 characters, 72 hours to respond, 5 rounds), to allow the best and complete rebuttals and arguments without compromise.

“...it is unfair to use it to add a completely new clause.”

There is no new added clause. From the very first round I have been questioning the reliability of the gospels due to their inconsistencies regarding Jesus and his portrayal, which I have spent much time proving.

“Contrary to Con's claim that I took on the burden of proving the reliability of the gospels with my statement in R2…”

It is clear beyond daylight that Pro took on this burden, because he went on explaining why he believed the gospels to be reliable in his actual rebuttal, “I will explain why within my actual rebuttals.” (round 2)

“To my surprise, Con cited the above quote and then said "Yes, this is exactly what we’re debating," thereby affirming everything I have said thus far in this round.”

Pro also is yet to address exactly what I said after that sentence. Which is ‘Pro has provided his evidences to prove Mark’s portrayal of Jesus as divine, which I have given further refutations in round 3. Pro so far has left them unanswered. Also (Pro has left unanswered) the in the inconsistencies/differences I’ve mentioned in my introduction, round 2 and round 3, (they) show how Jesus’ image has evolved and portrayed closer to a divine nearer to the latest gospels.’

Quick note: another example of Pro summarising my position out of context.

“Did Mark portray Jesus as divine? I have shown and my opponent has admitted that the opening of Mark's gospel casts Jesus as God incarnate.”

In fact I have not made any such admission. Pro has not yet addressed what I’ve brought to his attention in the 3rd and 4th round, It explains why I have not made such admission. And again I bring what I said to his attention, ‘There's a difference in how Mark ended up portraying of Jesus to be, and Mark’s interpretation of who he was. Regardless of what Mark believed Jesus to be, he portrayed him as human prophet. For example, Mark’s account of the story of the fig tree clearly portrays Jesus as a human who was ignorant of the season.’ (one can read this in context of the rebuttal in round 3).

“If he would like to hear my response to the alleged and (to this debate) irrelevant inconsistency he presented at the end of his R4, I invite him to private message me.”

I would like to hear his response within this debate avaliable for me, the voters and readers to see. Pro may or may not choose to offer his response in his next and final round. If he chooses not to, then it is clear he has refused to address my key arguments. If he chooses to, then it is unfair that it has taken him three rounds to address as I wouldn't be able offer any more rebuttals.

In conclusion of this debate.

For a number of reasons, Pro has been unsuccessful in holding his case for the motion, some of which I have listed below.

a. Pro has failed to provide any further rebuttals or refutations to my evidences of inconsistencies and differences (in round 3) regarding Jesus and his divinity in the gospels.

b. Pro has failed to provide any further rebuttals or refutations to my continued scrutiny (round 3) of his evidences for Christ’s divinity in Mark.

c. For part of the debate Pro had fallen into a habit of arguing with common interpretations of certain verses without any evidential basis.

d. Pro has been consistent in summarising my position on certain issues out of context.

e. He has managed to contradict himself on whether the gospels are consistent or not. I pointed this out in round 4.

f. Pro has repeatedly ignored to address certain issues I repeatedly brought to his attention.

g. Pro claims he has his responses ready elsewhere outside of this debate.

For these reasons I still hold to my comment from an earlier round, ‘Pro has not yet successfully shown to us that the gospels portray a consistent picture of Jesus, nor is he yet successful in proving the divinity of Christ in Mark.’

I believe I have given sufficient reasons, throughout the debate, to support my case against the motion. I have proven the gospels are inconsistent in regards to their portrayal of Jesus and his ‘divinity’. I have proven that Mark portrays Jesus as a human Prophet regardless of his own personal interpretations, and I've proven the following gospels portray Jesus as a 'divine', contrary to Mark's portrayal. Therefore I conclude, on an evidential basis the gospels do not hold any credentials of reliability.

It is obvious that Pro has put his effort into this debate, I thank him for a vigorous and lively and engaging debate, and I hope maybe there are other topics we can have a discussion on. I also thank our readers.

I hope I have understood all of Pro’s argument correctly, if i have fallen short in understanding any I trust he will correct me.

Thank you.
OtakuJordan

Pro

Rebuttals

"The ‘main issue’ of this debate is the consistency in the gospels regarding Jesus (especially in their portrayal of his divinity). My burden a. is to prove the gospels are not all consistent in this regard and b. to rebut Pro’s evidences of Christ’s divinity in Mark."

This is what I have been claiming.

"
Both of which I have continued to do so only up until round 3 and a bit of 4, because Pro simply refuses to continue or offer anymore rebuttals, answer them or concede. Rather he claims he has a response available to be provided elsewhere. I’ve already explained how this is an unfair tactic in my previous round. There is a reason why this debate is formatted at maximum flexibility (10000 characters, 72 hours to respond, 5 rounds), to allow the best and complete rebuttals and arguments without compromise."

What I have been doing is not a "tactic." It is not as though I am saying that I have hidden answers somewhere and am using that as my argument. Rather, I have chosen not to respond to certain points that you made that have become irrelevant due to the nature of the debate at this point.

"There is no new added clause. From the very first round I have been questioning the reliability of the gospels due to their inconsistencies regarding Jesus and his portrayal, which I have spent much time proving."


An added clause to the resolution. The resolution, which is what is argued in a debate, mentions nothing about the reliability of the gospels.

"It is clear beyond daylight that Pro took on this burden, because he went on explaining why he believed the gospels to be reliable in his actual rebuttal, “I will explain why within my actual rebuttals.” (round 2)"

As I have stated each time that this point has been raised, as well as in my original statements on the subject, what I said then was merely biographical information. Saying that I would explain why I held those beliefs within my rebuttals does not bind me to proving those beliefs to be true to win the debate (especially since the resolution never mentions such a topic).

"In fact I have not made any such admission [that Mark casts Jesus as divine in the opening statement of his gospel]. Pro has not yet addressed what I’ve brought to his attention in the 3rd and 4th round, It explains why I have not made such admission."

My opponent certainly did nothing to refute it, and went on to make arguments that were based on it being true.

"a. Pro has failed to provide any further rebuttals or refutations to my evidences of inconsistencies and differences (in round 3) regarding Jesus and his divinity in the gospels.


b. Pro has failed to provide any further rebuttals or refutations to my continued scrutiny (round 3) of his evidences for Christ’s divinity in Mark.

c. For part of the debate Pro had fallen into a habit of arguing with common interpretations of certain verses without any evidential basis."

Again, this is irrelevant due to my central point at this stage in the debate.

"d. Pro has been consistent in summarising my position on certain issues out of context."

I could make the same assertion about Con. Regardless, this certainly does not mean that I have lost the debate.

"e. He has managed to contradict himself on whether the gospels are consistent or not. I pointed this out in round 4."

Correction: I said that the gospels contain inconsistencies, something that any Christian (even those who believe in inerrancy) will admit. What I have contested from the beginning of the debate is that the gospels are inconsistent to the degree that Mark portrays Christ as human while later gospels portray him as divine.

"f. Pro has repeatedly ignored to address certain issues I repeatedly brought to his attention.

g. Pro claims he has his responses ready elsewhere outside of this debate."

More of the same confusion and attempts to exploit my desire to preserve the integrity of the debate by focusing on the main issue.

Conclusion

I would like to conclude this debate by thanking my opponent for what has been an intellectually stimulating conversation and by offering a summary of the debate.

    1. 1. The resolution says that we are to debate whether or not the gospels portray a consistent picture of Christ.

    1. 2. My opponent's opening statements confirm this.

    1. 3. I acknowledge that the gospels contain inconsistencies but contest that they are inconsistent to the degree that Christ is not portrayed as divine in Matthew.

    1. 4. I raise the point that Mark opens his gospel by portraying Christ as divine and the fulfillment of a prophecy.

    1. 5. My opponent never attempts to refute this point and implicitly affirms it.

    1. 6. Because Mark's gospel portrays Christ as divine in its opening, it can be said to be consistent with the other gospels in that it portrays Christ as divine.

    1. 7. This cannot be said to be Mark's personal belief that did not affect the account, since we learn of this belief within the account.

Thank you again for a great debate.
Debate Round No. 5
7 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Posted by OtakuJordan 3 years ago
OtakuJordan
I wrote "they themselves did not exist" rather than "they themselves did not possess." Frustrating.
Posted by OtakuJordan 3 years ago
OtakuJordan
I'll probably accept the challenge later on today once some of my other debates have ended if the challenge is still open.
Posted by saj.ahmed 3 years ago
saj.ahmed
I hope you'll bite with 5 rounds Gorgentrek, I don't intend to lessen the rounds :)
Posted by Gordontrek 3 years ago
Gordontrek
Shorten it to three or four rounds and I'll bite.
Posted by Romanii 3 years ago
Romanii
The New Testament does portray a consistent picture of Jesus, but the Bible as a whole most definitely does NOT portray a consistent picture of God.
Posted by saj.ahmed 3 years ago
saj.ahmed
Still have 6 days ... :)
Posted by OtakuJordan 3 years ago
OtakuJordan
An interesting topic. I would debate it with you were I not already up to my ears in debates.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by Silentsvc 3 years ago
Silentsvc
saj.ahmedOtakuJordanTied
Agreed with before the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:-Vote Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:32 
Reasons for voting decision: This was an extremely well debated topic by both parties. I was impressed by the knowledge shown by both. As a person that believes in inerrancy I was impressed by the great care given to not offend, which is easy to do in these debates. Con, you had amazing arguments but little resource citing. Pro, your documentation was flawless, but I believe Con slightly beat you out in delivery. Again, very well done on both sides!
Vote Placed by janetsanders733 3 years ago
janetsanders733
saj.ahmedOtakuJordanTied
Agreed with before the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: This was a really good debate. However, I think Pro showed how the Gospels are not inconsistent, since they are adressing a different audience which means that some gospels will omit things. And others will add things depending on of the audience is Jewish or Gentile. Con seemed to go off topic, and kept talking about the reliability of the gospels instead of the consistency of the gospels in portraying Jesus as God.