I get email

February 22, 2012 • 12:37 pm

The note came in the morning’s e-post.  I was advised by a friend to go easy on the writer, because that writer might not be quite sane. But really, it’s hard to tell with the hyper-religious.  They could be delusional about only the subject of faith, or a a loose cannon in general.  Without meeting the person, one can’t judge.

The contention that the absence of human remains constitutes evidence for divinity of that individual—I call this The Argument From No Bones—is a new one to me.  It could, of course, be used to argue for the existence of many religious figures, including the Peshotanu, Ramalinga Swamigal, and the Islamic Madhi, as well as just about everyone in the Bible, including Adam and Eve.

Anyway, on to the madness:

Jerry,

This is written out of Christ’s concern for you soul.

This writer read your article saying that science and religion don’t mix.

Tell you what.

Find the bones of Jesus Christ and I’ll be your staunchest supporter.

The Roman watch was the first witness Christ’s resurrection and they were under the death penalty if they allowed the body to be stollen by the “cowards” who were already hiding for their lives. Needless to say, when they took the bribery money from the Pharisees to spread the “lie” that the disciples came and stole him from “crack” legionaires, who had thousands of reinforcements at their disposal, headed for the hills with the loot and for their lives (they did fail their mission you know).

Look, if Satan (I know, you probably don’t believe he exists) could have produced the Body of Jesus Christ (look how the Catholic church does it with the bodies and bones of their “saints”???) he would have it on display for all the world to see with perfect documentation.

And don’t think for one minute wicked men have not tried to find the Body of Christ.

Find them bones and you win hands down, game set match.

FIND THE BONES OF JESUS CHRIST AND YOU GOT YOURSELF ANOTHER ALLY.

The fool hath said in his heart there is no God. Psalm 14:1.

I know you probably don’t think there is such a thing as sin, so why would you get angry if some of your “friends” came over to your place and plundered all your goods, wiped out your bank accounts, beat you to a pulp, then burned down your dwelling. Hitler, Marx, Lenin, Mao, the popes, the Jesuits, etc. did/do it all the time.

Would you get mad at them for acting like the animals you claim we came from and are???

Let me guess, you are probably a “disallusioned” former catholic or protestant who has been sucked into the Jesuit educational belief system.

How do you folks pay for your sin debt??? Remember your “friends” above??

Would you send them to prison??? How can you punish an animal acting on his instincts?

I[f] you say “yes” then are you not testifying to the “Law” Jesus wrote on all of our hearts.

Romans 1 – 2 in the AV please.

Praying for you, I was once in your camp and “religion” (which evolution really is since it takes a lot of “faith” to believe that stuff) did not save me, but a “living” Christ that dwells in my heart.

Explain why I no longer desire drugs, sex, theft, etc., and have a “hope” which Christ haters and rejecters don’t have.

Explain the “changed lives” Christ accomplishes.

“The love of money is the root of all evil” and that is what I notice in the Luciferian/Jesuitish evolutionairy system of education/indoctrination we have today.

http://www.chick.com

http://www.icr.org          http://www.vaticanassassins.org        http://www.arcticbeacon.com

Give me a call when you find the bones of my Lord/God/Saviour Jesus Christ.

You will remember this e-mail for all eternity when you die.

Either with Christ as your Saviour. Or Christ as your Judge. I pray the former for you.

[Name and phone number regretfully redacted]

____

I think I found them!

Jesus Nazarenus Rex Castorum

169 thoughts on “I get email

  1. I’m especially fond of this bit:

    …you are probably a “disallusioned” former catholic or protestant…

    I think that this bit explains a lot, perhaps?

    Explain why I no longer desire drugs…

    This person has my sympathies.

    Cheers,
    Norm.

  2. Wow – this guy really misunderstands the meaning of the word sin. It means breaking a covenant with a god – so of course we don’t believe in “sin.” Doesn’t mean we’re okay with being “plundered.” These people really entertain me – thanks for posting.

  3. “Look, if Satan … could have produced the Body of Jesus Christ … he would have it on display for all the world to see with perfect documentation.”

    God must exist, because if he didn’t, Satan would have shown us proof that god doesn’t exist. He has not thought it through.

  4. came over to your place and plundered all your goods, wiped out your bank accounts, beat you to a pulp, then burned down your dwelling. Hitler, Marx, Lenin, Mao, the popes, the Jesuits, etc. did/do it all the time.

    Sort of suggests the person hasn’t a clue who Marx was, doesn’t it? Other than a name flung around by Glenn Beck and the AFA, of course.

    1. Every time I see a photograph of an angry white mob in the pre-civil rights movement south, it occurs to me most of the white people in the photograph are born again Christians.

    2. When I was a graduate student at CMU I used to keep my volume of Marx’s work (used in the 19th century philosophy course I did as an undergraduate) around in my office on campus just on the off chance it raised eyebrows amongst Americans … Alas, never did.

      There’s a lot wrong about what Marx claims and did, but to put him with the rest of those guys – “one of these things is not like the others …”

  5. Besides this being your usual disturbing comedic email, I just wanted to point out that it’s quite amazing what technology has done to bring us atheists together… and kinda driven theists apart.

    btw love your material Jerry! Wish you could come speak at my university!

  6. Sorry, [Name and phone number regretfully redacted], but your obsession with Jesus’s bones is as childishly idiotic as an obsession with Harry Potter’s scar. You can’t explain that scar without Voldemort’s magic wand, can you? Huh? Huh?

    What you need to understand is that what you take for the utmost in journalistic standards — the Bible — is nothing more than a very late anthology of anonymously-authored stories that did nothing more than reset well-worn Greek mythology in Judea.

    And you can very easily confirm that by examining the actual evidence for yourself.

    You’d think that the people living in the area at the time the greatest story ever told happened might have noticed something, no? And yet, though we’ve got copious documentation from just those people, not a one noticed even a hint of everything. The Dead Sea Scrolls are literally an entire library’s worth of original pieces of paper written before, during, and after the time by Jews living in and around Jerusalem; not a hint of Jesus or the events of the Gospels. Same story with Philo, brother-in-law of Herod Agrippa (the King Herod the Gospels mention as reigning at the time of the Crucifixion), the philosopher who first incorporated the Logos from Hellenism into Judaism, Jewish ambassador to Rome, and a prolific author. Or the Roman Satirists, whose stock in trade was political intrigue and humiliation (think of the fodder Pilate offered!), or Pliny the Elder, or any of dozens of others.

    Instead, what we have are the Gospels, which talk about events that didn’t happen until the Roman conquest of Judea in 70 CE and which were, most realistically, written a century or so later still. And we have the Pauline epistles, apologetically dated to a number of decades after the “facts,” and in which the author describes his hallucinations and offers up as biography rituals indistinguishable from then-common pagan religious ceremonies.

    And we have a small smattering of fifth-hand (or worse) accounts from pagans not even born until well after the “facts” and who are only describing the beliefs and practices of Christians — Christians whom they described the same way you’d describe a modern lunatic whack-job cult like the Raelians.

    So, sorry to break the news to you, but Christianity is pure bullshit. The only thing it’s got going on all those other religions you don’t even have to think about to know they’re bullshit is that the lunatics took over the Roman Empire, got their cult turned into the state religion, and made membership compulsory with the power of the greatest pre-modern empire the planet has ever seen.

    The good news is that, if you stop wasting your life on that childish nonsense, you’ll free up a great amount of your own resources and have the opportunity to make the world a better place. And chances are good you’ll be happier for it, too. Growing up is scary, but only to those who’ve yet to grow up.

    Cheers,

    b&

    1. Oh and [name and phone number regretfully redacted] here is a bible verse you might want to re-read: “When I was a child I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; when I became a man, I gave up childish things.” Go thou and do likewise, my son.

      1. That would be one of the specials at Tom’s. If I remember right, it’s pulled pork, rib tips, brisket, and smoked sausage with your choice of a couple sides. Damned good, even if it’s enough to give heart attacks to a family of four….

        b&

        1. Dang, that “Find a Store Near You” didn’t work too well for me! Depending on one’s definition of “near…”

          1. That’s strange…they’re only a mile and a half away — I’d think that qualifies as “near,” in almost anybody’s dictionary!

            …unless you’re talking about the one in Casa Grande, of course. That’s, like, halfway to Tucson. But I’m still not convinced that either is an actual location (and not just some sort of myth), so that doesn’t count.

            b&

            1. I’d strongly suspect the Italian Beef is not up to Chicago standards, either. I hope they offer hot giardiniera at least.

    2. @Ben Goren

      “…the Bible — is nothing more than a very late anthology of anonymously-authored stories that did nothing more than reset well-worn Greek mythology in Judea.”

      Following on from your recommendation (to me) of the First Apologia of Justin Martyr, the chutzpah is even more brazen, Ben.

      I spotted that in chapter 54, Justin says that the coming of Christ was prophesied by Moses and Isaiah. But that all the pagan miraculous stories of gods and semi-gods which pre-dated Jesus were misinterpreted steals from Moses and Isaiah themselves! So for example (amongst many), the story of Perseus, born of a virgin and who ascended to heaven before Jesus, effectively plagiarises (according to Justin Martyr) the story of the Messiah, who post-dates him!

      Given the quality of the argument, I think we can assume that the ‘Martyr’ is not a surname.

  7. Whence this disdain for our beautiful English language? How come none of these religious fucknuts can spell or construct a coherent paragraph ?

  8. So, Jerry: How did you enjoy your Jesuit education? I’ve heard it can be excellent, notwithstanding….

    Definitely a few bricks short of a load, there — first reference is to Chick Tracts? (Helps explain the anti-Catholicism) Methinks all the drugs he did long-term damage.

  9. You can’t find the remains of somebody who didn’t exist.

    Also, this writer is as sane as your typical fundamentalist. No doubt about that.

  10. To find the bones of Jesus Christ you would have to find a way to manufacture them first. I have a blog I am going to publish Monday which pretty much sums up why these type of nematodes exist.

  11. As a LOLz, it would be interesting to speculate on how christianity would cope with an authenticated find of JC’s remains (not that it is going to happen). I can see how it would have to change this writer’s world view. His entire belief system is founded on christ being resurrected, so those bones would have to make him think, perhaps for the first time.

    1. Found human skeletal remains in my back yard wrappen in cloth years ago. They had a Post-It note on them that said “JC.” I just put them in the recycle bin. After all these years, I never dreamed that anyone would care…

    2. Antonio Banderas was in a movie a few years back based on exactly that concept. ‘The Body’ was about a tomb being discovered that matched all the requirements for Jesus’s tomb, except that it wasn’t empty. So of course the Catholic church worked with the archaeologist who discovered it, to try to determine it’s authenticity. To cut to the ending, a priest killed himself over his doubts, religious fanatics blew up the tomb, and unseen by anyone (as the tomb collapsed) was proof that it belonged to one of Jesus’s followers and was a copycat tomb.

      If it actually happened, the believers would just reject the evidence that it was Jesus’s tomb, or worship it anyway. William Lane Craig even stated that if he was taken backward in time and shown that the Bible was wrong, he would still believe anyway.

      1. Ah, the philosophical paradox of giving irrefutable proof to people who are going to deny it at all cost…

        I think if the proof were truly irrefutable, a few people might die of cognitive dissonance but not many. Many (probably most) of the True Believing Christians would decide that Resurrection was not really bodily but “spiritual”. Many would also assume that at Jesus’ other coming the bones will become fleshy and alive. There would be an incredibly massive relic worship cult.

        Other people would give up Jesus’ divinity but not their basic monotheism. They’d take their Jesus as a holy prophet, Mohammed-style. Some people would give up religious belief altogether but Christianity in general would survive as a major religion.

      2. Robin Cook has a novel, the name of which escapes me at the moment, where the remains of Virgin Mary are found in some secret Vatican crypt. This sets off a Dan Brownesque plot where RCC has to cover it all up so that their dogma of Mary’s bodily ascension should not be proven false.

        What? No, I haven’t read the drivel. The spouse did. 🙂

  12. This is just a small variation on the same type of childish nonsense you always get from these people. Yet I never cease to be amazed by such things…Insanity!

  13. My mind has a hard time reading these kinds of things. Reading this person’s email is exactly like (I am not being hyperbolic) watching gears of a machine slowly start to fall apart, looking as though I can address the malfunctions, and then watch resigned as more and more parts fall off in at an ever increasing rate to the point of no repair possible.

              1. Perhaps it is a chaste man-beaver?

                (he said, trying to be as accommodating as possible)

                Kind of reminds me of a song… sorry for the pointless bleeps in this version.

              2. I can’t be the only one thinking that there’s a very interesting interaction between “beavers” and chaste men?

                Lousy joke, I know, but I couldn’t not say it.

  14. So if I did produce bones that I claimed were Jesus’, I wonder how your correspondent would go about determining they weren’t? What are the criteria for authenticity?

    1. Only if he changes the settings on his iPad. The default is to only keep emails for three days. I guess only advanced users go to hell.

      1. The email resurrects after three days. If you want proof, just check your inbox. If the email isn’t there, it must be real.

  15. This is one of those people who probably grew up in bad circumstances, has little formal education, and got heavily involved in drugs, sex, the usual. Then they hit rock bottom, either in jail or during a really bad drug overdose or their welfare checks run out and suddenly they find God and go to the other extreme end of life. Feel sorry for them and thank – who? – that you are not this person.

    1. That’s very much my thought: guy’s neither terribly bright nor terribly stable. The best he can do is exchange one drug for another, ie. religion (hopefully one that allows him to be hold a job and refrain from notably anti-social behaviour, though the thought that he probably votes Republican bothers me).

      1. Reminds me of the old Cheech & Chong routine…

        “You know, before I found the Lord, I was all messed up on drugs. Now that I’ve found the Lord, I’m all messed up on the Lord.”

  16. The really scary thing is that there are MILLIONS in America alone who think and act just like him. Humans just cannot deal with being part of a technological society. We are still best suited for the small tribe living in a cave. Makes me wonder if we will make it at all?

  17. The fool hath said in his heart there is no God

    Jesus said, “Whosoever shall say Thou fool, shall be in danger of hellfire.” —Matthew 5:22

    Shorter Jesus: “Burn in hell, thought criminal.”

  18. Even when I was a Christian, I’ve never understood how the story that the Roman guards took a bribe to say that Jesus’ disciples stole his body made any sense. Wouldn’t they have failed in their duty in that case, too?

    1. What I remember is that Jesus appeared from the tomb in a blaze of light and scared the pecunia out of the Roman soldiers guarding the place, who then naturally ran for their lives.

  19. Ironically, some scholars feel that if there was a historical Jesus, the disappearance of his body may have been just what catapulted him from being an itinerant preacher that nobody deemed worth writing about in his lifetime to the most famous individual in the world. If his corpse really did disappear while his handful of followers weren’t looking, that could have heralded the transition of the group from being focused on morality to being an immortality cult. And promising immortality is really what made them big.

    1. “If his corpse really did disappear while his handful of followers weren’t looking….”

      Or while almost all of his followers weren’t looking….

    2. Even when I was a Christian, I always thought a reasonable hypothesis, assuming that the people mentioned even existed and the stories have some slim connection with reality, was that Joseph of Arimathea (who supposedly donated the tomb) moved the body but was unable or unwilling to admit it. Perhaps he never intended the tomb gift to be permanent, but merely a holding place, or perhaps he decided he didn’t want any part of the whole Jesus group after all, and he moved the body out of his expensive tomb. Then someone found out that tomb was empty. Oops! What’s he going to do, tell his former Jesus friends that he dragged the body out to the paupers communal grave at the edge of town? Continuing with the improvisational skills pioneered by Mary… pregnant? Oh, um.. that was God… Joseph offers, “I guess he must have come back from the dead and left…” (Or more likely, he just feigns ignorance and the followers take it from there).

      Of course, a million other things are possible, including that it’s all fiction. Somehow, though, I like this story.

  20. It could, of course, be used to argue for the existence of many religious figures, including the Peshotanu, Ramalinga Swamigal, and the Islamic Madhi, as well as just about everyone in the Bible, including Adam and Eve.

    You’re not thinking big enough.

    This argument proves that Heracles existed. And is a god.

    After all, it’s clearly reported that:

    * Heracles was a man – the son of a god in fact and
    * After he died, he was taken up into heaven by his father and turned into a god.

    So why shouldn’t I believe in the divinity of Heracles by this argument? Nobody can produce his bones either. AND – if Hera COULD produce his bones, why, she’d have them out there in a museum to prove to everyone that Heracles is no god.

    Also since nobody can produce the bones of Arthur son of Uther Pendragon, that must mean that he lies sleeping waiting for when Britain’s greatest crisis comes.

    1. Oh no – I saw the Disney version: Hercules gave up being a god to be with the woman he loves. It’s got James Woods as Hades, what more do you need?!

      1. Zeus: So Hades, how are things in the Underworld?

        Hades: Oh you know, the usual – a little dark, a little gloomy, and as always, full of dead people. Hey whaddya gonna do?

      2. Ah but see that’s just the prequel. See, the woman he ends up with in the Disney version is Megara. He and Megara end up having a couple of kids, and then Hera drives him mad, he kills his kids and Megara and then goes off to perform his Twelve Labors.

        Family friendly! I can’t imagine why Disney hasn’t done a sequel yet…

        1. The other scary thought – if Hercules and Megara remain mortal, then when they die they end up Hades’ Underworld! Or maybe Zeus comes along and brings ’em up to Mount Olympus cause he is the Chief Head Honcho Deity after all and can pretty much do whatever he wants. Just ask the mortal babes he seduced.

  21. You all laugh, but in the part of Washington State where I live, I encounter these arguments all the time from otherwise sane and functional citizens with jobs and families.

  22. I did especially like the part about JAC being a “disallusioned” former catholic or protestant. I also like the Catch 22 of having to produce bones to prove JHMFC wasn’t divine. What if he just never existed? Or the bones were destroyed?

    Unfortunately, I don’t think he’s off his meds. Not enough CAPS. I think he really believes this kind of crap, and imagines he has just unloaded a big “gotcha!”

      1. Whoops! Typo. I meant JHOPC, aka Jesus’ House of Pancakes Christ. I sincerely regret any confusion this error may have caused.

        1. Yes, but there wasn’t any “J” in the Roman alphabet, leaving us with “IHOPC.” And since all pancakes get anointed (even if with butter instead of oil), the “C” is itself redundant and customarily left off….

          Cheers,

          b&

    1. All right, I can’t resist this one:

      …a “living” Christ that dwells in my heart.

      If that shows up on an ultrasound, I’ll buy a hat just so I can eat it.

          1. The earliest depictions of Jesus, which are still several centuries after his lifetime, show a young, beardless man. The long hair and the beard came later.

            BTW, the Shroud of Turin has been proven a 13th Century forgery, but that doesn’t stop people from thinking it is the Real Deal.

            1. For anyone old enough to remember the TV series Good Times, there was an episode where JJ (Dy-no-MITE!) painted a Black Jesus. Everyone debated whether it was a true depiction or not. Wouldn’t Jesus have been dark-skinned anyway?

              1. “The Ethiops say that their gods are flat-nosed and black,
                While the Thracians say that theirs have blue eyes and red hair.
                Yet if cattle or horses or lions had hands and could draw,

                And could sculpture like men, then the horses would draw their gods
                Like horses, and cattle like cattle; and each they would shape
                Bodies of gods in the likeness, each kind, of their own.”

                — Xenophanes (who was no atheist, but had a point)

  23. A casual stroll through the lunatic asylum shows that faith does not prove anything.
    Friedrich Nietzsche

    ——

    Perhaps he should pray to the saviour for free English lessons.

    1. Sadly, Mr. Nietzsche went crazy at the end of his life. Which just goes to show if you try to think about the ultimate meaning of existence too much, your transistors will get blown out. We have not evolved past the caves and savannahs, people, no matter how many iPads we produce.

        1. He did. (Probably contracted in his first sexual encounter.) So, I wouldn’t say he went nuts rather he was made nuts.

  24. “ook, if Satan (I know, you probably don’t believe he exists) could have produced the Body of Jesus Christ (look how the Catholic church does it with the bodies and bones of their “saints”???) he would have it on display for all the world to see with perfect documentation.”

    Funny how some Christians think Satan planted all the dino fossils but this Christian doesn’t think the “Great Deceiver” could fake the bones of Jesus. Given the way creationists are I think we can say with reasonable certainty that this Christian is full of it. There is no evidence on earth that he/she would accept that the bones were authentic, just as there is no evidence that creationists will accept that evolution is true because they are religiously precluding from accepting any evidence that contradicts their religious preconceptions.

  25. Of course, the argument could also be made that since Jerry’s correspondent can’t produce the bones of Jesus (alias Christ, alias Jesus H. Christ, alias Jesus H. Tap-Dancing Christ [my favorite]), therefore, he didn’t exist. As has been pointed out, we don’t have bones for most people who existed; we have even fewer for people who didn’t exist.

  26. Things I remember from glancing over the email: 1. There is a site called Vatican Assassins. 2. Jesus Christ ascended to heaven but must have fallen back down to earth since he’s buried somewhere, ergo performing multiple resurrections proved too difficult. 3. Jesus is a talking skeleton, how else would anyone figure out who the bones belong to? 4. Roman legionnaires were on crack, now the conundrum of why Christianity became the official state religion of the Roman Empire is solved.

  27. No one can produce Jimmy Hoffa’s bones, therefore he was resurrected.

    I’m sure that Satan could just produce a fabricated Christ, with one set of chromosomes cleverly omitted. I’d think that this would be a piece of cake for a guy who populated the Earth’s crust with fake dinosaur fossils.

    Yeah, this boy is certainly a doughnut or two short of a dozen. I’ll that bet PZ gets 20 of these emails a day so you’ve got a long way to go, Jerry.

  28. Ergo Jesus. Therefore science and religion mix.

    … okay, this reversal of the usual order of religious arguments gets points for newness.

    If not for sanity.

  29. Dr. Coyne, as an evangelical Christian it disturbs me to actually read such a horrific email directed towards you without any kind of respect and love towards one another even of a different belief system. This is not Christian or Christ-like at all and in no way do his comments represent what Christianity is all about. I apologize for you receiving such horrific comments.

    D.D. Espinoza

    1. I don’t think anyone is really upset or surprised at the tone. This is pretty standard fare from a certain subset of evangelicals. What’s blowing all our minds is the…bombastically incompetent style of argumentation employed.

      1. Yeah, the only way someone could be surprised by the tone is is they’ve had absolutely no contact with evangelicals before.

  30. A slightly better version of the argument is that, if Christ had not been resurrected, the Romans would have produced his body and demoralized Christ’s followers before the religion could have burgeoned. Because they could not find his remains, Christ really was resurrected. Of course, this argument rests upon the enormous assumption that the gospel account is true (and, given the discrepancies between the different accounts, it most certainly is not). Because of history’s silence on the matter of the resurrection, I think that we can assume the Romans had no interest in offering a critique of the Christian faith or destroying it in its infancy. It’s impossible to tell how Jesus really died or the circumstances surrounding his death. And without any evidence, the arguments based upon what people would or would not have done at the time are pointless. There is no way anyone could find this convincing. It is pure apologetics and nothing more. People want to believe, so they find any reason to believe.

    1. if Christ had not been resurrected, the Romans would have produced his body and demoralized Christ’s followers

      But the Christians weren’t significant at all to the Romans until many decades after alleged Jesus’ alleged death — it was a tiny cult for a long time.

      It’s kind of like saying that the Austrians clearly had no problem with Nazism because they didn’t strangle Hitler at birth.

      1. Indeed, the earliest Roman notice of anything Christian wasn’t until the second century, when a small number of lunatic whack-job fringe cultists became annoying enough to warrant a bit of official torture in order to stop the spread of a new heresy amongst faithful pagans.

        Even amongst Christian “scholars” using apologetic dating methods, nothing in the Bible except the Pauline epistles was written before the Roman conquest of Judea…and the only way you get a pre-Masada date for Paul is if you start by assuming the truth of the Christian story, timeline and all.

        As far as actual physical evidence goes, the absolute best the Christians have to offer is a tiny fragment of papyrus, Rylands P52, which is a copy of G. John. Using the laughably optimistic method of handwriting “analysis” — they’ve consistently refused to submit the papyrus dust in the bottom of the drawer to radiometric dating — they’ve come up with an age of ~125 CE. Absurdly early, yes, but even that puts it at a century after the “fact.”

        Cheers,

        b&

        1. @Ben Goren

          “…and the only way you get a pre-Masada date for Paul is if you start by assuming the truth of the Christian story, timeline and all.”

          Got any references/books, Ben, for this idea? Interesting.

          1. Not off the top of my head…but, once you realize that everything else dates to well after the fall of Jerusalem, there’s nothing left to suppose that Paul was writing to these well-established churches decades before anybody even noticed that these churches existed.

            Remember, the Gospels were written long enough after the war that memories were fuzzy enough that people weren’t upset at the anachronisms…call it at least a couple generations, or sometime in the second century — which is also about the time that the Christians started showing up on Pagan radars. That would put the earliest cells of the cult springing up shortly after the war, with Paul writing his letters in the 80s or 90s after the offshoots had had the better part of a generation to spread. The Gospels (of which Paul had no knowledge, including the stories and biographies contained therein) wouldn’t get written for another few generations…which puts us right back at my initial guesstimates of sometime in the second century.

            Cheers,

            b&

      2. Most likely, yes, which probably means that most of the Gospels and Acts are largely embellished (for example, the sheer numbers of people who follow Jesus in the Gospels and the apostles in Acts are clearly fictitious, and most of the events are likely myth built upon half-truths). If Jesus was executed by the Romans, then it was probably attended by only a very small group of followers, whom the Romans would have barely taken notice in. His followers then came up with a rationalization to explain his death, which became a story susceptible to the embellishment of later writers. This is the most likely explanation for the resurrection. There is no reason to think that the Romans would have been interested in exposing the lie (if they even knew about it in the first place).

        1. Actually, all of the Gospels and Acts are pure fiction, transparently recycled from Pagan myths. (Well, okay — they do mention a few well-known historical figures and locations, but what historical fiction doesn’t?)

          Don’t believe me? Just read Justin Martyr’s First Apology in which he goes into excruciating detail of just which myths the Christians stole and from where. Of course, he blames evil time-travelling demons for stealing future stories in order to trick Pagans away from the truth of Christ, but that’s because he was an insane lunatic cultist.

          If you want to know how the Gospels got manufactured, just read Lucian’s delightful short story about the passing of Peregrinus. Even if it’s pure fiction, it’s an accurate description of how religions both then and today get their “Truths.” And it’s not entirely out of the question that Peregrinus himself authored one of the four canonical Gospels, or perhaps one of the heretical Apocrypha. No way to ever know, of course, but I’d bet lunch on it.

          Cheers,

          b&

    2. John Spong (retired Episcopal bishop) pointed out in one of his books that for a criminal like Jesus, there would have been no tomb anyway — just a rubbish heap. No recovery of the body would have been at all likely.

      The Joseph of Arimethia story was added as an explanation for the existence of a tomb. However, since ‘Joseph’ was the name of Jesus’ father (as well as the patriarch), the name is probably symbolic rather than historical: Joseph brings him in, and Joseph takes him out.

  31. @JAC’s e-mail correspondent:

    “The love of money is the root of all evil.”

    From 1 Timothy, whose authenticity, as being written by Paul, is doubted by liberal biblical scholars. A measure of irony.

    Speaking of which, why does our friend want a biologist to dig for the bones of Jesus? Surely an archaeologist would do the job? Israel Finkelstein? Imagine the e-mails he gets.

    It still shocks me, the dreadful things these Christians say; thanks for posting this under ‘LOLz’, Jerry; I know I would be enraged and find it difficult to retain my equanimity, if I received that e-mail.

  32. Wate, don’t tehy find Jezus bonze evree year or so over n teh holeie lande?

    Sorry, can’t seem to keep the cat off the computer.

  33. Two weeks of dialogue with a well-intentioned Christian came down to this statement by him, after which I simply cut off the dialogue. I realized I was speaking to a crazy person:

    “All that we experience, therefore, is designed and managed by God. A miracle is simply an alteration in the normal pattern of what we experience. To give an example, the God who gave Jesus the power to walk on water is the same God who made Him to sink in water and gave Him the power to swim in water. It’s all a wonder to me. The only difference is the degree of routine involved. God is “intervening” just as much whether you walk on, sink into, or swim through water. None of it takes place without His superintendence.”

    I always thought the charge that religious people are delusional to be over-the-top hyperbole, but some of them are truly insane.

    As for your email, the idea that “Satan” would yield the bones of Jesus as a disproof of his resurrection demonstrates just how uncompromisingly delusional these folks can be. He cannot even conceive of a world without satan, even when offering a potential refutation of his worldview.

  34. To the writer: Your claim that you would give up your belief if shown the bones of Christ is a lie. If you truly believe in Christ there is no evidence that could possibly change your mind. This question has been addressed by great religious leaders of the past. Jesuit Saint Ignatius Loyola wrote, “To be right in everything, we ought always hold that the white which we see is black, if the church so decides it.” Henry Morris, Creationist spokesperson wrote, “No geological difficulties, real or imagined can be allowed to take precedence over the clear statements and inferences of scriptures.” I challenge you to identify any true believer who would allow one scientific fact, such as Christ’s bones, destroy his belief in the afterlife. You make the claim because you know this identification is impossible to make. It is a silly challenge. Besides, no one can prove that Christ existed or God exists. Doesn’t it bother you that you can’t? You have received the attention you hoped for. I suspect you are not sincere in the first place, and are enjoying this stupid debate as much as I am.

  35. “Let me guess, you are probably a “disallusioned” former catholic or protestant…”

    LOL, a little off the mark I think…

  36. He’s given us all a pretty sound theological thrashing. It’s obvious we have been duped by the guy with little red horns! I know where I will be Sunday.*

    He really is quoting straight from his biblical studies. I don’t know how many times I heard this kind of (il)logic from church leaders/teachers.

    *yup, that’s sarcasm.

      1. I think it’s just the angle of the shot…if you look closely, you can see a large orange incisor to the left (the skull’s right) side.

  37. Better watch yourselves, punks. My incredibly powerful golem could kick your ass.

    Where is my golem?

    It’s holy, duh.

  38. It is intriguing how the religious person on the street quotes the Bible as proof of god. They argue that after all the Bible is infallable because it was written through the divine inspiration of god himself. They dare you to come up with better proof than that. At that point if you are smart you step away from the irreparably deluded and beat a hasty retreat.

  39. Bones? Isn’t your e-mail correspondent aware that much more interesting parts of Jesus were being venerated in churches across Europe in the Middle Ages?

    No less a figure than the Emperor Charlemagne gave Pope Leo III Christs’s foreskin. which he had apparently obtained from the Byzantine Empress Irene.

    A foreskin surviving intact for 800 years! What better proof of divinity could you want? Much better than a few dusty bones.

    Except that several other places claimed that they had the genuine holy foreskin – everywhere from Santiago de Compostela in Spain to Atwerp in Holland to the Auvergne in France.

    Oddly enough, all the holy foreskins appear to have vanished – and the Catholic church became so embarassed by the multiple penises of Christ, that in 1900 it forbade anyone from speaking about the subject any more on pain of excommunication.

    Of course, dedicated christians can also worship the very nails used to crucify Jesus. They can be found in Rome, Vienna, Trier, Milan and several other cities. Thre are 30 of them. So either Jesus had dozens of limbs, or he was crcuified by a singularly incompetent and wasteful group of Romans.

    1. “No less a figure than the Emperor Charlemagne gave Pope Leo III Christs’s foreskin”

      “Oddly enough, all the holy foreskins appear to have vanished – and the Catholic church became so embarassed by the multiple penises of Christ, that in 1900 it forbade anyone from speaking about the subject any more on pain of excommunication”

      Gee, I never learned this in Catechism class. I wonder why.

      Hysterical email. Just when I think that I have begun to reach the bottom of the stories of Catholic idiocy, gems like this pop up.

  40. Sorry, I realise it must be hard to get emails all the time from all sorts of deranged people, but I think it’s beneath you to offer one as obviously disturbed as this for mockery. And it’s also saddening to see so many subscribers piling on the guy.

    Stick to going head to head with the writers and thinkers whose opinions you oppose, which is where your talent lies, and leave poking the lonnies through the bars to someone with no pretensions to seriousness. I find this sort of bear-baiting quite distasteful.

    1. This sort of letter is quite common; I get them occasionally. The author is likely perfectly sane in most of his life — the insane part is religion.

      There’s no reason to treat him as mentally deficient.

  41. There is an Host of reasons why Jerry can’t present the Holy Bones; as the Giant says:

    “I’ll grind His bones to bake your Bread!”

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