Counteracting these "Arguments" Against Christianity

*Please redirect me if I am in the wrong forum.

Hello all. I came across these two images while I was on the internet. Normally, I would not bring such things to attention on a Catholic Answers Forum, but lets just say I am stumped on how to counteract these “arguments” against Christianity.

The first one seems to imply that the Bible as we know it is completely wrong.

i.imgur.com/5koIA.gif

The second one implies that Christmas is “just another barbaric product of the evil that is Christendom.”

bearebel.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/1460126_564585350289432_1632100447_n.jpg

I want to be able to argue against these claims, but I am not an expert on Church history, the Bible, and such. I would appreciate any help. Please cite your sources. I thank you all in advance.

you can google ‘where did we get the catholic bible’, and you’ll get a lot of information. but i’m not sure how you’re going to argue with a link like that?

lol at the first one. just lol

There are manuscripts of the bible are from around the second/ third century. (Now, I don’t know how reliable the KJV is, I read the Douay-Rheims version.)

Also, who in the world would call Christmas barbaric? :confused:

if i said, ‘there are hundreds of biographies of abraham lincoln, but no two are exactly alike’, would that make the wrong? would that mean that lincoln never lived?

The Christian celebration of Christmas has a basis in the Jewish Festival of Lights - Hanukkah - as documented in the Bible. The Festival of Lights is the celebration of the dedication of the Temple after it was rebuild by Judas Macabbeus. Jesus is the new temple built without human hands.

***So they celebrated the dedication of the altar for eight days, and offered burnt offerings with gladness; they offered a sacrifice of deliverance and praise. **(1 Maccabees 4:56)

Then Judas and his brothers and all the assembly of Israel determined that every year at that season the days of dedication of the altar should be observed with gladness and joy for eight days, beginning with the twenty-fifth day of the month of Chislev. (1 Maccabees 4:59)*

The Jewish month of Chislev is roughly Novemeber into December. One can hardly call Hanukkah a pagan holiday.

It was the feast of the Dedication at Jerusalem; it was winter, and Jesus was walking in the temple, in the portico of Solomon. (John 10:22-23)

We have to remember that the first Christians were Jews. They understood the events of Christ in terms of Judaism, as should we. Obviously the people who think Christmas is a bastardization of a pagan holiday are ignorant of these facts.

-Tim-

:slight_smile:

Neither of them are cited, just to begin. I can put words on pictures, too, it doesn’t mean they hold any weight.

The first one, against the validity of the Bible. The KJV is not the only translation of the Bible. The seeming contradictions are mostly mis-readings stemming from a misunderstanding of the culture, a poor translation from the original language, or a misunderstanding of what kind of writing is going on which would dictate how you read it. And the fact that it has been translated so many times is a negative thing? If I was a published author and my book had been translated multiple times, I would be flattered.

Besides, handing it down over the years does not equate to “invalid.” handing it down, like I said above, is more of a testament to the books importance and the weight it carries.

For the second one, it is true that the Christmas tree comes from pagan ceremonies. So what? As a way to help explain the Faith many different cultures have been adopted into to the celebration of the Faith. That does not discount the Faith, but again only emphasizes the weight and, in this instance, the universality of it.

Both of these arguments at their base actually make arguments FOR Christianity. It is just the way they are framed.

THIS is what I was looking for, the origin of the Christmas tree.

It is a story of conversion TO Christianity,-

catholic.com/blog/steve-weidenkopf/st-boniface-and-the-christmas-tree

:slight_smile:

As a modern Christian, I use modern translations that rely on modern scholarship. There is even an updated or “New King James Version”.

The second one implies that Christmas is “just another barbaric product of the evil that is Christendom.”

bearebel.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/1460126_564585350289432_1632100447_n.jpg

There is some truth in the second image. Consider the fate of the pagan religions.

Catholics overran pagan cities, towns and lands, bought and occupied pagan buildings and temples, altered pagan art, music and literature, absorbed and replaced pagan harvest festivals and religious feasts, and, above all, won over and converted the pagan people themselves. In doing so, Catholics brought all things under the dominion of the one true God, Jesus Christ.

Isn’t that what He wanted us to do (cf. Mt 28:19)? :yup:

But at the point of the sword? Yeah, tell that to the martyrs who were dragged into the Roman coliseum. Rome was converted by the witness of those who died, not by those who had bigger armies.

The first one says:

The King James version of the New Testament was completed in 1611 by 8 members of the Church of England.

So far it seems true enough.

There were (and still are) no original texts to translate. The oldest manuscripts we have were written down hundreds of years after the last apostle died. There are over 8,000 of these old manuscripts, with no two alike.

It is my understanding that all the early manuscripts are alike, about 99.5% alike. What I think the author means is that they are not exactly alike. I think this complaint illustrates that the author does not know much about the science of textual criticism. I can’t imagine a good textual critic doing anything but laugh if he heard someone say that 8000 early copies of ancient letters with 99.5% likeness should not be trusted because the copies are not 100% alike.

The King James translators used none of these, anyway. Instead, they edited previous translations to create a version their king and Parliament would approve.

It is my understanding that they did use ancient manuscripts because they used the Textus Receptus. This was a critical edition of the ancient Greek texts and was one of the best resources of the time for translating from the most ancient manuscripts available at the time. The KJV translators did compare prior translations to help them make translation decisions, but that does not mean they did not use the original texts as well. Plus, it’s reasonable to see what other translators have done. That’s just good translation practice, and it’s still done today.

So, 21st Century Christians believe the “Word of God” is a book edited in the 17th Century

No, most Christians don’t think the KJV is the Word of God. It’s just a decent translation of the Word of God.

from 16th Century translations

And a critical edition of the ancient manuscripts.

of 8,000 contradictory copies

I don’t know if 8,000 was the exact number of manuscripts they used, but I don’t think it’s fair to characterize the ancient manuscripts, which are 99.5% alike, as “contradictory copies.”

of 4th Century scrolls that claim to be copies

The consensus of modern scholars is that that claim is reasonable and true.

of lost letters written in the 1st Century.

They’re not lost because we have copies of them.

That’s not faith. That’s insanity.

For the reasons given, it is not insane.

The second one says:

The War on Christmas is Real.

True enough.

It happened centuries ago

A war on Christmas did happen centuries ago, in fact many wars on Christmas have occurred over the years. One that comes to mind is: during the French revolution in the late 1700s, traditional Catholic holidays were replaced by pagan alternatives. That was a war on Christmas, and Easter, and even Sunday.

when Christian armies invaded Europe, stole pagan traditions, and renamed their holiday

The author needs to give an example of a Christian army that invaded Europe. In fact, a Christian army invading Europe that early in history is unlikely on the face of it. Christianity wasn’t even legal until 313 A.D., and until then they did not have armies under their control.

Perhaps the author means that Catholic armies after 313 A.D. invaded other parts of Europe. But Christmas was already a Catholic holiday by then. Since Christmas was being celebrated before Christianity had any armies, it is impossible that the Church stole Christmas by means of armies that didn’t exist yet.

I’d also like to know exactly which Christian army he thinks invaded a pagan land, and what he means by “invade”. The only examples I can think of don’t seem to fit the description of this author. It is my understanding that Empress St. Pulcheria declared war against the Persian empire in the mid-400s, but I think that was a defensive war after Persia had attacked Catholic lands, and Christmas was an ancient Catholic holiday by then. I think that Emperor Charlemagne invaded pagan Saxon territory in the late 700s or early 800s, but Christmas was ancient by that time as well. Thus, I’d really like to know what army he is referring to, because none that I know fits the description he gives.

after forcing them to convert at the point of a sword.

Early Catholic doctrine forbade forced conversions. When some Catholic rulers tried to force people to convert, faithful Catholics stood up against it. The author ought to provide examples of instances otherwise, because without them he is just making unfounded assertions.

I hope that helps.

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