The Instigator
gothate
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
larztheloser
Con (against)
Winning
24 Points

john the baptist

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/30/2011 Category: Religion
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 1,190 times Debate No: 16225
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (3)
Votes (5)

 

gothate

Pro

the story of john the baptist is a complete fabrication
larztheloser

Con

I will argue that the story is not a complete fabrication, and is likely to be true.

The story: That a man named John the Baptist went around the desert living simply and baptizing people into his religious ministry. He rebuked the established religious order who supported Roman authority, but baptized them anyway. He rebuked a preacher named Jesus, probably because he saw his ministry as a rival one, but baptized him anyway. He then changed his mind and accepted Jesus, citing a message from God. Finally King Herod got pissed off at him and had him executed. This was because his wife saw the dangers of a widespread desert cult that criticised state authority, and their marriage. He was beheaded.

Here is my evidence:
1. That the story is documented in the Bible, written shortly after the event happened.
2. There are extra-biblical sources, Christian and non-Christian, confirming almost all of the elements of the story.
3. There is no written historical material that contradicts the narrative.
4. There is no archeological evidence that contradicts the narrative.

I can provide further detail on the above if that's what you want.

I look forward to my opponent's reply.
Debate Round No. 1
gothate

Pro

I think my opponents first point is a great place to start this debate. I agree the story is documented in the bible,however most scholars believe that the earliest recordings of the new testament were not written until 90 years after the "fact". How could one record any event accurately after 90 years, especially in those times? I feel my answer to point one effectively covers point two so i will now tackle #three and four together as well. My opponent states that there is no written historical material or archeological evidence that contradicts the narrative. The fact of the matter however is that there exists numerous accounts of the religions in that area at that time and they say Judaism and the pagan cult of mithra were the dominant religions of that time. The jews do not baptize nor does the religion of mithraism, so the question presents it self, what was john baptizing people in to? Christianity did not yet exist so i really doubt people would flock to the river to be baptized by some bug eating anarchist.
larztheloser

Con

First, the Gospel of Mark was probably written 40 years after the "fact." Some evidence exists that the Q source for Matthew and Luke was in circulation 25 years after. These were both in turn based on fragments - some written, some oral - which went even further back. That was well within the living memory of his followers. So far as we know, not one person doubted one element of the narrative.

As to baptism, John practiced the ancient Jewish tradition of Mikvah. The word used in the original Hebrew for "baptism" is Mikvah.

I look forward to hearing what my learned opponent brings up next.

Sources
http://en.wikipedia.org...
http://en.wikipedia.org...
http://en.wikipedia.org...
Debate Round No. 2
gothate

Pro

ah yes mikvah, the jewish ritual of purification to be done after any activity that would be considered to make one unclean, for instance the emission of semen, abnormal bodily fluids, menstruation ect. ect. I feel the best argument for this is to quote the bible its self. mark 1:4 says "john the baptizer appeared in the wilderness, preaching a baptism of repentance of sins. And there went out to him all the country judea and all the people of jerusalem; and they were baptized by him in the river jordan, confessing their sins." The jewish people did not use mikvah to atone for sins so to believe that all of judea and all of jerusalem came out to an upstart to participate in a foreign practice is naive.
larztheloser

Con

I was going to post a more through refutation of my opponent's case, and then I noticed that it is self-refuting.

First he says: "ritual of purification to be done after any activity that would be considered to make one unclean"
Then he says: "repentance of sins"

Both are cited as definitions of mikvah. Now, what activities make one ritually unclean - sinful acts or righteous acts? Of course it is the sinful acts. Now what is repentance? Repentance is an action - one must "repent." A series of acts is called a "ritual." Removing sinful acts through the means of a ritual is called "purification."

Therefore it follows that the two statements are logically equivalent. It is only different words expressing the same idea. My opponent's argument fails because he admits the Jews repent their sins.

The bible does not say the ritual cleansing was ATONING for sins. Atoning is something different from repenting - repenting is acknowledging the sin, atoning is putting it right. John did not do atoning, he did mikvah, repenting. His call was "Repent!" not "Atone!" My opponent gives no analysis that John preached atonement through baptism.

And so, ladies and gentlemen, the moot must fall.
Debate Round No. 3
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by ReformedArsenal 5 years ago
ReformedArsenal
Cliff.Stamp - "Con could have carried the BoP, Pro "it was wrote a long time after" is not much of an argument. Trivial win for Con." It's especially weak when its untrue...

The dating for Mark's Gospel is around 40BC, Matthew was probably close after, and Luke was probably in the mid-60s. The only one that was potentially as late as Pro argues is John (probably early 90s) doesn't have an accuracy problem because it has Mark, Matthew, and Luke to check the facts against.
Posted by ReformedArsenal 5 years ago
ReformedArsenal
Pro...

Your arguments are amateur at best.
Posted by wizkid345 5 years ago
wizkid345
interesting debate, cant wait to sea how this ends
5 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Vote Placed by Lionheart 5 years ago
Lionheart
gothatelarztheloserTied
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Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: I feel that some of the stories in the bible are fabricated or distorted versions of the truth. The fact is that most of us will never know what truth can be found from the bible, not unless you have a special relationship with the spirit world and can ask the universe directly.
Vote Placed by ReformedArsenal 5 years ago
ReformedArsenal
gothatelarztheloserTied
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Total points awarded:07 
Reasons for voting decision: All points go to Con. Pro has a sloppy argument, with no source support. He launches his final round argument with a sarcastic move which lost him conduct, and his giant wall of text and lack of a single capital letter in his final argument loose the spelling/grammar vote.
Vote Placed by Cliff.Stamp 5 years ago
Cliff.Stamp
gothatelarztheloserTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Con could have carried the BoP, Pro "it was wrote a long time after" is not much of an argument. Trivial win for Con.
Vote Placed by HandsofManos 5 years ago
HandsofManos
gothatelarztheloserTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: while reading the debate i simply felt that pro wasn't trying hard enough.
Vote Placed by Charles0103 5 years ago
Charles0103
gothatelarztheloserTied
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Total points awarded:05 
Reasons for voting decision: Con definitely won this. He knocked away any attempt of an argument that pro said.