NEED HELP, PLS: question about the bible's falseness

just a thought, since every time religious people ask me about my side of being an atheist...there is one question that i actually do not know the answer to..

If the bible is a big chunk of lie and is just a work of fiction, who are the people who 'wrote' the accounts in the bible? Like Luke, Mark, John,etc. Is there a political or historical proof that they were real people or if they actually lived in their respective timelines? Is there a proof we can put forward to say that they, or at least the stories that they are telling about the life of jesus, are not true?
Please forgive my lack of information regarding this, since honestly i did not study theology that much..(i feel sick just thinking about it.lols) i just want u guys' opinions here in AN.. any at all would be appreciated.thanks much.:)

Tags: bible's, falseness, question

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Another good resource is the Skeptics Annotated Bible - available HERE

Cheers...
Another good source: www.religioustolerance.org

The earliest credible dating I've seen puts the canon gospels at 70-120 years after Jesus was supposed to have lived. This is before you get to the centuries of revision. Important notes to keep in mind about that time and place in history:

- What we now call Plagiarism was not only common, it was very much accepted. Take the same story and add your own twist to it.

- It was common practice to attribute authorship to someone else, often a mentor or someone who influenced you. Case in point: at least 7 of the 14 letters of Paul in the NT are dated after he died. (History channel did a great series "Who wrote the Bible?")

- It also makes common sense in a state where you can be executed for subversive writings to keep your name off it and/or attribute the writing to someone who is already dead.
As to proof of Jesus' non-existence, a widespread fallacy is failure to contextualize the evidence:

- "Christ" is not a name, it is a title meaning the christened/anointed one. As you might expect in Ancient Rome, lots of people bestowed this title upon themselves and others. So when a historical reference says "The Christ spoke at a gathering," it could be referencing a political leader, a priest, someone the author really admires.

- References to Yeshu/Yeshua ben Nazareth also need context. Yeshua was a very common name. There does exist a court record of the right time and place of a Yeshua (common name) being tried for heresy, (common crime). That would be like saying "Sometime in the 1990s, a man named John in Toledo was tried for burglary." This doesn't narrow things down much.

Then, there is the conspicuous lack of evidence.

- The Romans kept pretty decent records. If Jesus made as big a splash in real life as he did in the bible we should see a plethora of secular, empirical evidence to that effect; court records, personal letters, journals. Even when the state attempts to erase someone from history, we see a trail of evidence of that erasure.

- The earliest known historical references to Jesus where we know it really is THE Jesus they're talking about are the writings of Paul/Saul of Tarsus, at least 30 years after Jesus is supposed to have died. Paul states quite clearly that he never met Jesus in real life, but only as a vision on the road to Damascus. "I saw a ghost named Jesus who told me to start a new church."

- The historian Josephus is often cited as the other best reference. But his writings come even later than Paul's, could easily have been influenced by Paul, or references to Jesus could easily have been added later.

"Could easily have been." For all the missing evidence it is also notable that in a time of an itinerant street preacher on every corner, this one name eventually took hold. It could have been that there really was a specific street preacher named Jesus who, in the right place at the right time inspired just the right people who would later inspire more of just the right people and a movement is born. Many also speculate Jesus is a conglomerate of several just-the-right-persons-at-just-the-right-time.

Consider today the case of Neda quickly becoming the icon of the political unrest in Iran. Here is a woman who probably had nothing to do with the protests - wrong place, wrong time, shot by police. Yet she is already in many ways the martyred face of the opposition. Toss in a few rumors that she really was a protester ... add to it that she was an organizer ... add to it that she was a leader ... and you can see how the facts get lost in the myths so easily in the information age. Imagine this happening without Google and YouTube as references!
This is too large a question to answer in short messages. There is really no satisfactory short answer, except to say that most of it was written by various people with the same name: anonymous. They were not trying to tell lies. They were telling it like they thought it was, or like they thought it should be, or like they thought it must be to appeal to the locals.

You will need to read at least one book. Or listen to some audio tapes. Suggestions: Sheenan: The Historical Jesus (free audio lectures courtesy of Stanford U). Do a Google search for it. Download it and listen to the collection of them while you are doing something which leaves you free to listen and comprehend.

Another is "Misquoting Jesus". Forget the author. I think you can find video or audio chapters of it on the Net for free.
They were not trying to tell lies. They were telling it like they thought it was, or like they thought it should be, or like they thought it must be to appeal to the locals.

Thanks - you said it better than I!
Mathew, Mark, Luke, and John are only the alleged authors of the parts that are, y'know, called the gospels of Mathew, Mark, Luke, and John; the rest is from some other people supposedly-'specially the Old Testament.

Just say "We don't even know if those are actually the guys who wrote them!" and that'll be in line with reality since, y'know, books and people can lie and simply be wrong about who the author is and the burden to prove who wrote something is on anyone making a distinct claim as to it being this or that person.
Read "Who Wrote the Gospels" and "Ken's Guide to the Bible." Also listen to The Non-Prophets and The Atheist Experience, both available online.

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