Historically correct?


That is your problem, not mine. If one makes a positive assertion then one needs to present evidence for it.

No, it did not. Was there and actual, physical Garden of Eden, with the Tree of Knowledge and the Tree of Life in it? Did Jesus actually feed a multitude of people with one loaf of bread and one fish? (These are only two questions among the many that need to be answered.)

I have no problem with that. The question is to separate the historically accurate ones from the others. The basic problem is the question of divine origin. If there was no resurrection of Jesus, then Christianity is unfounded. I understand and accept that for Christians this presents no problem - it is accepted on faith.

But Jesus gave the task to spread the Gospel to all people and all nations. However, no one can expect non-Christians to have the same kind of faith. They need more, they need actual evidence. It would help the apologists in their endeavor if they could present actual evidence.


That’s just the point. The events of antiquity in the Bible are ‘proven’ in the same way that all events of antiquity are. That standard of proof is far different than, for example, the standard for the moon landings or the Battle of the Bulge is. :wink:

Yes, this was already answered. Pay attention, BH… :wink:

The events of Genesis 3 are explicitly mentioned in the Catechism as being figurative language. The miracle of the feeding of the multitudes (in which Jesus started with more than one piece of bread and one fish, btw) is in the NT, so we’d assert it as truly historical.


Actually no, logic will not suffice. See Luke 16:19-21

Abraham replied, ‘They have Moses and the prophets; they should listen to them.’ He said, ‘No, father Abraham; but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’ He said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the prophets, neither will they be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.’"


Umm… by definition, wasn’t everyone a “non-Christian” at some point, even those who were present at Pentecost in Jerusalem in 33AD? :wink:

Again, you’re the one demanding evidence. So… what kind of evidence do you think is possible (and reasonable) to demand?


If this were true, then no one would have ever converted to Christianity from any other (or no) religion. It may (or may not - I don’t know) be accurate in your case, but it is definitely not a universal truth.


That even seems high according to my research. The majority of the ancient world were peasants working in the field.


but it isn’t BLIND faith. It is faith supported by reason. As for evidence of the miracles that Jesus performed, including the resurrection, we have eyewitness accounts.


Um, somebody has probably pointed this out by now… But close reading reveals that the Last Supper was a Passover meal, and that other feasts of sacrificed lambs during the week (like on the Sabbath after Passover) were also called Passover lambs.

Brant Pitre goes into great detail about this, in his book about The Jewish Roots of the Eucharist.

Apparently it is not new info, and comes from ancient Jewish sources, but was just not prominent enough for most people to “get.” But John was there, so of course he talks about it like a first century Jew.

So yes, Jesus ate the Passover on Passover, and then suffered on the Friday preparation day for the Passover sabbath, while the second batch of Passover lambs were being killed. Palm Sunday, the 10th of Nisan, was the day when the Passover lambs were chosen from the flock.

Basically, the more one carefully studies history, the more one sees the Bible as reliable. (And the more one understands literary conventions and their meaning, the less trouble one has in understanding what the Bible is talking about, and how.)


Also, of course there was a real Garden of Eden. Spoiler alert: Eden is Israel, unfallen. Everything mentioned about Eden is Biblical stuff that is used elsewhere to refer to Israel, or its watershed and surrounding area. When Joshua marches into Israel, he meets an angel with a flaming sword.

The narrative of most of the OT histories is all about coming to the Promised Land when you please God, and being thrown out when you don’t.

I hope this helped. Steven C. Smith has a big academic book called The House of the Lord, that talks a lot about the relationship of Eden and the Jerusalem Temple, Adam as the original high priest, and so on.


Well, close, but no cigar. Not all events are of equal importance. Whether Caesar actually said: “Alea iacta est (the die is cast)”, when he crossed the Rubicon is of no importance. No one would insist that you must base your whole life on such an event. The more significant a claim might be, the more supporting evidence is required.

So the whole Garden, the serpent, the Tree, the disobedience are figurative. There was no actual “fall”, no cherub with a flaming sword… I have no problem with that.

Look at the post by @Mintaka, who disagrees with this.

You are right. It is definitely not universal. In the days of yore people were much less demanding in terms of “sufficient evidence”.

Let’s try it today, and see what happens.

What do you call “blind faith”? I am afraid our definitions are not the same. As for the alleged eye-witnesses, there is no evidence for them either. Only “hearsay” evidence.

Looks like we are not getting any further. But it was interesting to see the different approaches. Thanks for the participation. If some new argument would be presented, I will be happy to entertain it. If not, I consider this thread completed.


The “vending machine” accusation probably comes from the mechanical way you present the obligation. I personally would not use that language for that reason. There are obligations, maybe even promises, that reflect a deeper relationship than mechanical dispensing.

If you have a relationship with God, if God promises you something, then you have committed yourself to a relationship with someone whose ways are not your ways. If you ask for a miracle, you have to admire the response. It may require some patience, or some insight, or some compassion, or something else from you. Quite unlike a vending machine, relationships call for more than mechanical responses.

The hard part is saying this without acting as if you are at fault. It is not that, but it is a richer relationship than you allow. If you promise your wife a present for Valentines Day, and give her a toilet brush, you are not living up to the relationship. If you ask God for something, and do not appreciate the response, you may not be living up to the relationship.

Idk. I do not have any of this figured out.


maybe you are not in the right state of mind or aren’t ready.

I think you should read about St. Theresa’s Long Dark Night of the Soul.


their writings are evidence and their graves are evidence.

says who? we have evidence that Jesus existed, that he performed miracles and that he rose from the dead. Also it is well known that oral histories are very reliable so the history that was taught by the apostles and later written down is reliable.


I think also you have to throw into the mix the presence of subjectivity in historical recording and interpretation. Even professional historians today argue about interpreting history especially regarding things such as motivation, cause and affect and grand narratives.


“Maybe” is not an argument. I say that I would love to get a clear signal from God, who KNOWS exactly what kind of signal is sufficient for me. If you doubt it, there is nothing to talk about.

That is all hearsay evidence. And the oral histories are extremely unreliable. Have you heard of the Chinese whisper game? And are you aware that “hearsay” testimonies are not accepted in serious trials? The more serious the case is, the higher the standard of acceptable evidence. In the most serious cases only evidence “beyond any reasonable doubt” is accepted.


This is an improper usage of the axiom. Carl Sagan asserted that “extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.” It’s a good assertion… properly applied. Sloppy application leads to poor conclusions.

Whether or not Caesar said a particular phrase isn’t what’s in play, here. What’s in play is whether events happened. “Extraordinary evidence” simply isn’t available for events in antiquity. Asserting that they didn’t happen, merely because the evidence at hand doesn’t rise to an individual’s standard of what he considers “extraordinary”, doesn’t require a different standard. Whether an event is later considered significant doesn’t change the standard of evidence that is reasonable. Asking that it should… is simply a smokescreen for attempting to claim “I don’t want to believe it.”

As you might say… “close, but no cigar.” The Church teaches that the narrative of Genesis 3 teaches an event that actually occurred – our first true human parents decided to ignore God and make their own rules. Their pride – that is, their sin – is emblematic of the sinful decisions that all their children make. The consequences of their sin are the consequences of the sins we all commit.

There was a fall. There are consequences. Whether a narrative tells these truths figuratively or historically, these are the facts of our human nature.

Umm… what else – other than what you characterize as ‘hearsay evidence’ – do we have for any of the events of antiquity? You can’t dismiss the claims of the OT by appealing to a standard that you do not apply to the events of the histories of their contemporaries.

Anachronism. We’re not talking about the standard of modern jurisprudence. By that standard, nothing that happened in antiquity really happened.


You’re asking for a map of Chicago to navigate streets of New York

Bible not written in that context. Some parts are historical but much of it, particularly Old Testament never intended for literal interpretation


Good post.

But Sagan was a popularizer. Quod gratis asseritur, gratis negatur. is far older than he.


Historians use the same methods whether studying Christianity or any other ancient group. So when they determine Adonis’ act of coming back to life is myth or when Zeus impregnating a human woman is myth, they use methods when determining the Jesus’ resurrection is myth.


So… what methods do historians have for ascertaining the truth of claims of a supernatural event in antiquity? Do tell! :popcorn:

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