This is one just one post that is part of a point by point discussion regarding whether the New Testament writers were lying or not. Each point being its own post. All the points that I’ve published so far are found in this post: Are The New Testament Writers Lying? : A Point By Point Discussion. This is an ongoing discussion, so please be patient and com back often
Robin Harrison comments in blue
Dan Muhlenkamp in black
Point 4: The conspiracy would have been immense and incredibly difficult to concoct and maintain.
You have 7 or 8 separate writers, and the one who wrote the most didn’t believe in Jesus till after he was dead. To make this work the group of men need to steal a body, destroy it, and develop an entire theology based upon that body not being there. If that were all, it would be conceivable. However, if you read the text it is not a simple theology written at the same time and in the same place. The writings are written by people at many different places in the world and many different times with no cell phones to help them “keep their story straight”. Yet the theology is consistent, deep, and highly philosophical. If you read it carefully and consider where and when each book was written I find it impossible to believe these 8 men could have created such a complex conspiracy and maintained it over a 60 or 70 year period scattered all across the known world.
This event happened 2000 years ago. How many old wars, how many memoirs, how many historical documents tell a tale that sheds a completely false image of king, war hero, or story? Historians look at many historical texts from the viewpoint that although there is no evidence to counter this version of the story, we believe it may be inaccurate because there is an incentive for the writers or people of power to lie about it. We should take the same view towards the Bible, as we all have the greatest incentive to believe it’s version of the story: Christianity was the first religion to offer equality in afterlife. Christianity spread like fire for this reason – not because of the “miracles” and it’s “truth”. Further the Bible contradicts itself hundreds of times: validity is not the reason it has been remained a central religion in the world today. Brief article on the comparisons of Christianity to other religions: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christianity_and_other_religions Great website for discovering thousands of contradictions in the Bible: http://skepticsannotatedbible.com/index.htm
The topic in question is whether the New Testament is a lie or not. In previous points I believe I have shown, beyond reasonable doubt, that answering the honesty question is of primary relevance and importance. It seems Robin’s answer above completely ignores the honesty question. I agree 100% that we should look at the Bible just as we do other historical documents. I long for the day that historians, scientists, and atheist do that. I agree that there are many other questions about the New Testament that need answered, but all of them depend on whether it is likely a lie, or likely honest.
I absolutely intend to discuss the other items brought up by Robin in another post, but it is not the purpose of this post and it is impossible to logically discuss these items if the entire New Testament is just a conspiracy and a lie. The fact that Robin makes no attempt to answer the point actually made, that the conspiracy was too immense to be maintained or even considered, makes one wonder if he is conceding the point. Also, Robin wants to discuss what he believes are the reasons Christianity spread, and what he sees as contradictions and absurdities in the Bible, but neither arguments are at all necessary if it is just a big lie! If it is a lie, there is no reason to discuss these items. They are only relevent if we concede that the authors were honest. If the witness to a crime is obviously lying, is there any reason to investigate whether he is sane or not?
Lastly, I am not conceding that Robins statements about Christianity are true, or that they are false. Since I believe the authors of the New Testament are being honest, I must consider Robin’s statements and investigate them…and I will. But that is another discussion (actually several discussions). Lets take things one step at a time.
I wrote a post explaining why I believe the New Testament is NOT a lie. I received 2 thoughtful responses from Thomas Muhr and Robin Harrison. Thomas’ response was shorter and more general, but very good. Robin’s response is a point by point essay. I believe each point and his comments are worth considerable discussion and decided to make each point its own post by merging the two papers and adding my comments. Additional comments by Robin or anyone else is encouraged. Links to all related discussions are in the discussion center post below.
Other Posts In This Series
- If I Were God: I would have made it impossible to think the New Testament was a lie.
- God Made It Clear That The New Testament Is Not A Lie
- The New Testament Is A Lie Because…# 2
- The New Testament is a lie because…# 1
- Is The New Testament A Lie: Point 1 – You Can’t Prove Anything
- Is The New Testament A Lie: Point 2 – Whether It Is A Lie Or Not Is Irrelevent.
- Is The New Testament A Lie: Point 3 – Just because it isn’t a lie, doesn’t make it true
- Is The New Testament A Lie: Point 4 – The conspiracy would have been immense and incredibly difficult to concoct and maintain.
- Are The New Testament Writers Lying? : A Point By Point Discussion
- Is The New Testament A Lie: Point 5 – No liar would have had Jesus appear to women first.
- Is The New Testament A Lie: Point 6 – The writers would not have any discrepancies in their stories.
- Is The New Testament A Lie: Point 7 – The writers would not have made themselves look so bad.
- Is The New Testament A Lie: Point 8 – The writers would use "Jesus said…" to solve their problems.
- Is The New Testament A Lie: Point 9 – Liars would never have created a religion that was so difficult to believe or follow.
- Is The New Testament A Lie: Point 10 – Liars would never imagine such a twist of belief.