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Religion: Respect? Ridicule!

Who on Earth was Jesus?

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Who on Earth was Jesus?

Henry Wansbrough reviews Who on Earth was Jesus? by David Boulton O Books (Winchester). 2008. 420 pages. ISBN: 978-1-84694-018-7. £14.95. (On the Sea of Faith Network.)

An enthusiastic foreword by Richard Holloway (retired/resigned Bishop of Edinburgh and fierce critic of the conventional church). American-style paperback. Cheerfully irreverent style — ‘Jesus as celestial policeman’, ‘a magical Jesus “beyond the bright blue sky”. It all looks like one more of those clever, debunking popular rants produced in newspapers at Christmas and Easter by journalists who are slightly out of their depths. In any case, a book of this kind is difficult to review, the larger part of a reviewer’s task being to introduce a book and its contents, only the smaller part being to assess and criticise it. Boulton sets out to summarise a long-standing debate in which a range of opinions needs to be presented, and summaries of summaries make tedious and indigestible reading. The debate about the possibility of discovering the historical Jesus began between the pagan Celsus and the Christian Justin Martyr barely a century after the death of Jesus, brandishing many of the arguments used in the revival of the debate a millennium-and-a-half later. It cuts at the heart of traditional Christianity, for no serious reader of Paul and of the gospels can deny that the New Testament and other contemporary writers present their stories about Jesus in a way widely different from that of modern historians. Yet, if we cannot establish some historical truth about Jesus, if the stories of his teachings, miracles, death and resurrection are pure myths, then Christianity dissolves into dust.

First of all it must be said that respect for the author and his competence as an investigative journalist grow steadily as he works tenaciously through the involved and complicated debates. At no level, popular, student or specialist, have I encountered so comprehensive and comprehensible a presentation of the issues involved. The persevering reader ends with a grasp of the questions that need to be asked and of the answers that have been given. Whether these answers are right or wrong is another matter. The reader is left to make a personal choice of weapons, techniques and coaches in the duel, for it is a book which should not merely be read, but fought over until it is dog-eared and tattered (then in the second edition perhaps some of the schoolboy spelling-howlers might be corrected!).

The personalities are well presented, with an adequate account of their position and credentials. The range is comprehensive and up-to-date, including even the Pope’s book, which he handed to me on publication day in April 2007. The views are well summarised, with lengthy and carefully-chosen quotations presenting the nub of their arguments. The great purple passages from Albert Schweitzer, Sanders and Vermes are there to inspire the reader, though the author’s own final purple passage (p. 404-7) falls rather flat. Ever and again there occur refreshing little details which I found enlightening: the synoptic gospels are so called not because (an awkward derivation) they can be ‘seen together’, but simply because they are included in Griesbach’s Synopsis, and it was a delight to learn that Strauss’ great work was translated into English by George Eliot. Above all, the assessments of the positions held by scholars are judicious and well explained. Boulton goes out of his way to be fair and even-handed. Every now and then the reader is offered a little light entertainment, such as the neat and fair presentation of Secret Gospel of Mark, with its homoerotic suggestions about Jesus, ‘discovered’ in the 1950s (p. 58 ) or the uncompromising sermon of Fr Cantalamessa to the papal household (p. 192). There is even a bit of the thrill of the detective novel: in a good whodunnit all the clues point increasingly to the wrong suspect until the final dénouement reveals the real killer. In this book one candidate seems to be scoring all the points — only to be left at the end hanging limply on the ropes.

Outstanding is the discussion of the Jesus Seminar, which has so often been mocked and caricatured. Here its principals and principles are sympathetically presented, together with the valuable related work on non-canonical gospels and other texts on which it is founded. One Christian reader may fear that the Jesus Seminar has won the day, as it doggedly strips the wallpaper, piece by piece, off the cosy traditional Christian home; another may reckon to glimpse comforting light through holes in the argument. Then comes the counterpoint in the varied interpretations put on these data by distinguished scholars who continue to find in the historical Jesus enough basis to support their religious commitment. Is there a deliberate crescendo in the order Marcus Borg, Ed Sanders, John Meier, Tom Wright and Josef Ratzinger? All these are presented with masterly courtesy and clarity, with only a gentle hint of mockery at the papal attribution of John’s Gospel to the son of Zebedee, ‘following (or swallowing) a somewhat tortuous argument elaborated by Martin Hengel’ (p. 294).

Intriguing is the thread running through the book, Jesus’ teaching on the coming end of the world. Both John the Baptist (the predecessor and possibly mentor of Jesus) and Paul (the earliest follower of Jesus whose writings we possess) are dominated by a conviction of an approaching ‘end of the world’. Was not Jesus similarly dominated and was he not simply wrong? Did he not simply ‘goof it up’ on this point? Did he really teach that the stars would fall from heaven and how soon? This becomes almost a test-case. Some gospel texts indicate a speedy end, others substitute a kingdom-within. What did Jesus teach? If he was wrong on such an important point, he can hardly be a reliable leader, let alone ‘son of God’ (in whatever sense this is meant) or divine. The constant return to this point is justified, but the failure to appreciate the context and genre of Jesus’ sayings is the one serious fault of the book. Seen against the background of first-century Jewish literature, the eschatological sayings (and especially the ‘apocalyptic’ ones) of Jesus must be heard as images and ciphers of the decisive action of God which Christians see effective in the Resurrection of Christ. Christians do believe that the world was changed for ever by these events.

Any number of questions remain, principal among them — to my mind — being the evaluation of the factuality of the story of Jesus’ passion, death and resurrection. These (or at least the acceptance of them) are, after all, the facts earliest and most crisply attested by both Christian and non-Christian witnesses. Perhaps these will serve for another book, but David Boulton has already performed an important service to gospel studies which will be appreciated and argued over by Christians and non-Christians alike.

Dom Henry Wansbrough is a monk of Ampleforth. He is General Editor of the New Jerusalem Bible and for a dozen years was on the Pope’s Biblical Commission. He has been Chairman of the Oxford Faculty of Theology and from 1990-2004 was Master of St Benet’s Hall.

Written by Nathan Bond

August 1, 2008 at 14:30

30 Responses

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  1. Daan, jou voorbeeld van die ou wat dink dit is aanvaarbaar om sy vrou te slaan bevestig my punt omtrent objektiewe redelikheid. Selfs die ou wat dink dit is aanvaarbaar weet dit is nie redelik nie. Hy is gewoonlik skaam daaroor en sal dit nie maklik vrywillig erken nie.
    Die probleem is dat gelowiges so stompsinnig geword het dat enige absurditeit in hulle koppe redelik is – die bybel,koran ens se dan dit is.
    Hulle dink inderwaarheid dat dit onredelik van ons is om die geringste objektiewe bewys te vereis vir die absurde gelofies.
    Jy wil weet wat die gevaar is? Dit is die die meedoenlose kondisionering, van jongs af, wat iemand so stompsinnig maak dat hy kan glo hy gaan n beloning in die hemel kry as hy homself en ander mense opblaas!!!
    Persoonlik kan ek nie die aantrekking aan n ewigheid in die hemel sien nie – die kerkdienste wat gewoonlik hoogstens n uur duur is so donners vervelig dat ek eis by die gedagte aan n ewigheid daarvan.


    December 30, 2011 at 10:42

  2. Maar natuurlik is daar iets soos objektiewe redelikheid. Kyk byvoorbeeld weer na die titel van hierdie draad.

    Volgens alle beskikbare bronne is Jesus van Nasaret NIE in ‘n stal in Betlehem gebore nie, en beslis NIE uit ‘n maagd nie.

    Deur al hierdie historiese en biologiese feite van die tafel af te vee, en net te steun op die evangelies van Mattheus en Lukas, is inderdaad objektief gesproke, onredelik. Dan kom jy uit by die “2 + 2 = 5” sindroom waarvan Con praat.

    My punt is egter dat die begrip “redelik” ook subjektief kan wees. Voorbeeld: Volgens my is dit “onredelik” om aan enige vrou te slaan. Ek was in my lewe geskok oor hoeveel “beskaafde” mans van oordeel is dat dit heeltemal “redelik” is om per geleentheid sy vrou ‘n pakslae te gee.

    Wat hierdie blog betref, Con. Waar is Nathan Bond? Kom ek sê jou. Arme ou Nathan het moed opgegee. Hy het self gesê hy skryf nie meer oor godsdiens nie.

    Maar ek stem saam dat wat godsdiens betref, die skrif aan die muur is. Al hoe meer mense kom daagliks tot die besef dat dit wat ons almal as kind geleer het, naamlik dat die Bybel die volledige en onfeilbare woord van God is, eenvoudig net nie korrek kan wees nie.

    En hulle kom tot hierdie besef sonder beledigings, “profanities”, ens.

    Daan Van der Merwe

    December 30, 2011 at 07:37

  3. Daan, consider this: Shazee expressly, explicitly and unmistakably requests that Hanswors not cite bible verses in support of the bible’s veracity until he has substantiated the bible’s veracity through independent means.

    What is Hanswors’s immediate, first and only reaction?

    Yes, he cites bible verses.

    That’s both eminently unreasonable and obstinate. You can call that “subjective” as much as you like but I doubt you’ll find too many people agreeing with you on that point.


    December 29, 2011 at 23:28

  4. Daan, ek moet saam met con -tester stem, daar moet eenvoudig iets soos objektiewe redelikheid wees.
    As daar nie is nie, is die konsep van redelikheid sinloos. Redelikheid moet aan een of ander objektiewe standaard wat deur alle redelike mense erken en herken word, gemeet word.
    Indien redelikheid bloot subjektief is maak dit geen sin om Hans en sy trawante se belaglike sienings af te lag nie.
    Blinde geloof lei nie alleen tot belaglike lewensbeskouings nie, maar is ook n gevaar vir ons almal.
    Onthou, Hans en sy medegelowiges huldig nie hulle absurde opinies in privaatheid nie, nee, hulle wil he ek en jy moet dit ook glo en baie van hulle (ek se nie noodwendig Hans nie) is bereid om jou keel af te sny as jy nie presies glo soos hulle doen nie.
    Nou as jy nie erens in so n senario iets sien wat aan enige redelike standaard gemeet on- redelik is nie, verduidelik asb vir my waarom nie.
    Onthou Hitchens se konsentriese sirkels van onredelikheid; Hans sal jou moontlik nie wil vermoor omdat jy nie soos hy glo nie, maar sy “subjektief” redelike geloof maak dit makliker vir iemand wat wel sal.
    Ek het Hans krediet gegee omdat hy minstens probeer om sy absurde siening te verdedig, nie omdat eek enigsins simpatie of begrip daarvoor het nie. My ondervinding is dat baie gelowiges eenvoudig skuim om die mond ontwikkel by die geringste sweempie van kritiek en jou eenvoudig probeer dood ignoreer – hulle raak hulle kak kwyt en weier dan om enige debat daaroor te voer wat die absurde onnoselheid en onkunde van hulle sienings aan die kaak kan stel.
    Jy kan eenvoudig nie se dat daar nie skade daarin is om elke persoon maar sy eie twak te laat glo nie – gelowiges is net ten gunste van “live and let live” as hulle op die agtervoet is, anders gaan jy glo soos hulle glo, of jy daarvan hou of nie.


    December 29, 2011 at 23:20

  5. Shareez, ek verstaan jou punt dat jy die bron wat ek gebruik ongeldig vind en tog sou jy sien hoe verstaan ek wat in die Bybel staan, sou jy kan verstaan hoekom ek die bron geldig vind.
    Wanneer en hoe was jou leermeesters se verstand geopen om die skrifte te verstaan? (Luk. 24 v 45)
    Kyk ook na Rom. 8 vanaf vers 5 (Die King James, Ou Vertaling stel dit beter nl: carnally minded.)
    In jou begin, het alles wat vir jou hemels is en jou aardse bestaan, deur die woord ontstaan. (Joh. 1 v 1.) God is die woord. Sy seun bestaan vandag nog uit vele lede, tog een liggaam. (1 Kor. 12 v 27)

    Hans Matthysen

    December 29, 2011 at 23:09

  6. Go back a few comments in some of the other threads you’ve been active in over the past few days. You’ll find my questions right there, Hanswors. Maybe instead of these silly and transparent evasions, you could rather answer my questions.

    It’s true that I wrote stuff about religion. Predictably, it doesn’t apply to you. Ho hum, what else is new? The fact is that you keep making claims about reality that you cannot provide any good reason or evidence or argument for. Now you’re dodging my questions too. Why Hanswors?

    You should be able to address them effortlessly and completely satisfactorily since “[you] understand more of the Bible than what you ever can know or understand” (Discombobulation thread, December 22, 2011 at 23:20). Or are you also going to “rest [your] case with [me]” and “from here on out [I] will for the largest part be ignored by [you]”?

    Which reminds me: Hey Bollocksed Goofs ( 😆 😳 ), what’s your answer, “yes” or “no”? (Crickets chirping and chirping and chirping and chirping and chirping and chirping and chirping…)


    December 29, 2011 at 22:54

  7. Con-Tester, again just a lot of crap and no question. I am waiting.
    I see you have written a lot about religion to Daan, that is not true about the religion I am part of although it could be applicable to most other religions.

    Hans Matthysen

    December 29, 2011 at 22:38

  8. Daan, the upshot of your view that reasonableness is subjective is that there are no objective norms of what is reasonable and what isn’t, and that the rules of evidence and the rules of inductive and deductive logic are just a matter of personal preference. That’s pure postmodern relativism. Are you sure you want to go down that track? If so, you must also agree that it must be properly true for some people that “2+2=5”. If not, then someone who persistently subverts reason in order to cling to outmoded ideas can properly and objectively be said to be obstinate, just as someone who persistently asserts that the earth is flat is properly and objectively unreasonable and obstinate.

    Did you follow the link I provided? Did you read the article? It shows what is facilitated by the day-to-day practice of rituals underwritten by evidence-free propositions, unsustainable illogicalities and fundamentally unintelligible notions. These are irrationalities and atrocities that are happening right now all around us. Demanding respect for this is akin to demanding that the law respect casual/occasional cocaine users but actually prosecute only suppliers and dealers who use violence to promote their product. If there was a reliable way for religion itself to act as a substantial deterrent against the kinds of insanities we see all too much of, I’d perhaps be inclined to agree with you. As it is, religious precepts are far too often the impetus and rationale behind hostilities and the carnage they precipitate.

    (As a side note, there is of course a colossal schizophrenia [meaning 2.] inherent in religiots/crediots/bibliots/godiots who commit acts of violence in the name of their faith. If their god will in any case eventually inflict supreme punishment on the wicked and give a supreme reward to the faithful, what’s the point in killing someone who’s wicked? What’s the point in hastening that and imperilling your own “immortal soul” in the process? What’s the point in protecting the innocent if their god will welcome them all the sooner?)

    As to what this blog has achieved, I think you dismiss it way too easily. As you well know, a huge social shift doesn’t happen overnight, and this blog is just one cog in a much larger machine. No, the typical responses of religiots/crediots/bibliots/godiots are revealing in two significant ways. First, they demonstrate just how deeply unreason and faith are entwined, and how easily the professed values of religiots/crediots/bibliots/godiots are dropped at a moment’s notice whenever conveinient, which happily works against faith. Second, the responses reveal that at least some religiots/crediots/bibliots/godiots are beginning to realise that their position is quite a bit more precarious than it was a few decades ago. All in all, those are in my view worthwhile forward strides.


    December 29, 2011 at 19:46

  9. Nee, Con. Ek dink nie ek mis die punt deur dikkoppigheid en redelikheid aan te merk as subjektief nie. Wat jy as dikkoppig beskou, word nie deur almal as dikkoppig beskou nie. Selfde met redelikheid. Wat vir een man redelik is mag vir baie ander onredelik wees. So what?

    Kom ons wees eerlik en realisties. Dis nou bykans 4 jaar wat ek hier deelneem. As ek reg onthou, ‘n paar maande langer as jy. En wat het in hierdie 4 jaar gebeur? Gelowiges het gekom en gegaan sonder om hulle geloof te verloor. Ten spyte van beledings, “profanity” en Nathan Bond se leuse ” Religion. Respect? Ridicule!”

    En jy is verkeerd rondom my uitkyk op die gevare van godsdiens. Ek was die eerste een om destyds teenoor Nathan toe te gee dat die kruistogte destyds godsdienstig geinspireer was en dat dit regstreeks tot die bloedvergieting van onskuldige vrouens en kinders gelei het. Maar dit was ‘n duisend jaar gelede!!! Dieselfde met die Palistynse aanval op Amerika in 2001. Kan dit nie nou, meer as 10 jaar later, as ‘n geisoleerde voorval beskou word nie?

    Ek kan nogsteeds nie sien hoe die daaglikse godsdiensbeoefening van Christene, Moslems, Jode, Hindu’s, Shinto’s, ens. ‘n gevaar vir die mensdom inhou nie.

    Daan Van der Merwe

    December 29, 2011 at 18:08

  10. Hey folks!
    Want a hearty laugh at a bunch of priests? This is hilarious!

    Click here :

    Bunch of assholes……..


    December 29, 2011 at 16:13

  11. Daan, it’s your good right to respect whatever you wish. I just find it curious that you will vocally applaud what clearly is faith of the blindest and most persistent sort, but apparently have no esteem for an equal perseverance in confronting unreason whenever it is publicly expressed. That just smacks of a double standard.

    To simply write off the terms “reasonable” and “obstinate” as “subjective concepts” is not only wrongheaded but also rather misses the point. If someone continues to believe something for which there is no good argument or evidence or reason, and for which much countermanding argument and evidence and reason has been presented to them, then that is a clear case of obstinacy and unreasonableness. You would no doubt feel the same about a person who won’t jettison belief in the tooth fairy, plus perhaps a little pity for them. Consequently, I don’t see how it is reasonable to dismiss the aforesaid as “subjective” unless you’re advocating an inconsistent kind of postmodern relativism, in which case your view also becomes instantly dismissible with a simple, “Well, it’s true for you but not for me,” and we have no further basis for fruitful discussion of the topic. So, your position in this regard just won’t hold water.

    As for the dangers, I’ve addressed that many times before but it seems you’re not in the least open to it, having consistently swept it aside without due consideration. In a nutshell, religion encourages, even celebrates, uncritical belief in evidence-free propositions, unsustainable illogicalities and fundamentally unintelligible notions. It does this by exulting blind acceptance as a supreme virtue, and condemns questioning. This is an approach we would not condone in any other sphere of a person’s life because of the risks it potentially exposes themselves and others to. You cannot build, run and maintain a nuclear power plant with prayer and a so-called “holy” book. So how does it make any sense to condone it in the case of religion? Because it’s tradition? Because it speaks to people’s emotional needs? Because it’s the product of brainwashing from the earliest age? Because everyone else expects that we must? Because we might upset people? Those are bad reasons, all of them. As Voltaire observed, “Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.” But you can read more about the present reality of it at the link Google provides here.


    December 29, 2011 at 11:45

  12. Con!!! Dagsê.

    Ek weet nou nie of die “tweegatjakkalsstreke”-lyn teen my gemik is nie. Indien wel, so be it.

    Die terme “dikkoppigheid” en “redelikheid” is beide natuurlik subjektiewe begrippe. En dit is sekerlik elke ateis se goeie reg om enige mate van weerstand teen geloof te bied. Ek verstaan net nie wat sodanige ateiste hoop om daarmee te bereik nie.

    Ons het oor die jare baie geargumenteer oor die sogenaamde gevare wat godsdiens inhou. Ek kan steeds nie sien hoe dit gevaarlik is as:

    1. Hans die Bybel interpreteer soos hy wil, en daarvolgens lewe nie. Ek het die hoogste agting daarvoor;

    2. ‘n Groep Moslems Vrydaemiddae in die moskee bid nie. Ek het die grootste respek daarvoor.

    3. ‘n Groep Jode Vrydae na sonsondergang die Sabbat vier. Hoekom moet dit enige iemand pla?

    Daan Van der Merwe

    December 29, 2011 at 08:25

  13. Hans, ek stem saam dat n mens nie die bybel kan uitsluit in n debat oor christelike geloof nie, maar jy verstaan my argument klaarblyklik verkeerd.
    As jy n bron aanhaal in n argument en ek bevraagteken die outentiekheid van jou bron, kan jy nie weer bloot dieselfde bron aanhaal om die egtheid van die betwiste bron te bewys nie. Dit is ek bedoel met selfverwysende argumente.
    Daarom se ek, moet asb nie vir my bybelbversies gee om om die egtheid van jou boodskap te probeer bewys nie, jy kan dit slegs doen as ons beide van die standpunt uitgaan dat jou bron eg is, maar ons debatteer bloot n teologiese punt. Oortuig my eers jou bron is eg want ek bevraagteken die fundamentele rasionaal van jou geloof, insluitende die kenbron daarvan – capish?

    Ek sal ook graag wil verneem waar my “leermeesters” die bybel verkeerd verstaan het en my dus mislei het.
    Hulle het my geleer dat god die hemel en aarde met alles daarin geskep het, dat daar n sondeval was, dat god sy seun aarde toe gestuur het om vir my sondes te sterf en dat ek slegs gered kan word as ek dit glo en aanvaar (god moet darrem n baie lae selfbeeld he om my vir ewig te wil braai net omdat ek hom nie glo nie)
    As die bogemelde enigsins noemenswaardig verskil van wat jy glo, laat weet maar jong.


    December 29, 2011 at 02:57

  14. Tweegatjakkalsstreke op ’n kant (ateïste se toegewyde weerstand teen geloof is duidelik nie loofwaardig nie), dikkoppigheid tel aansienlik meer as redelikheid.

    Dìt wys jou nou net weer een groot rede uit baie uit hoekom godsdiens gevaarlik is.


    Hanswors, you haven’t brought any reasoning my way, just a bunch of evasions and contrived excuses. Now I’m fallow ground because your “answers” are inadequate.

    Fine, if you say so.

    But any teacher worthy of that title would blame themselves for their student’s failure, not the student.

    Since your sabbatical came to an end, I’ve asked you questions, Hanswors, not slung mud, in case you hadn’t noticed. Please answer my questions properly. Maybe then contradiction will occur quite naturally without my help.


    December 29, 2011 at 00:18

  15. Con-Tester, test me and don’t sidestep as I have no interest in mega societies because I am but a humble human being.
    You have made up your mind to reject whatever reasoning is brought your way and fail therefore to be truthful unto yourself. You would be referred to in the Bible as the roadside the seed of the sower fell upon.
    When last have you been in a church as you don’t seem to remember what preaching is? You are the one that is not discussing as you are just attacking and slinging mud. It is for you to prove me wrong, yet you have not been able to contradict what I understand in Bible verses you, myself or others have mentioned.

    Hans Matthysen

    December 29, 2011 at 00:08

  16. Daan, dankie. Ek kan net aanvaar wat vir my sin maak en hardloop nie weg vir wat nie vir my sin maak nie. Ek worstel met die engel (blye boodskap draer) tot dit dag (verstaanbaar) word.

    Hans Matthysen

    December 28, 2011 at 23:48

  17. Shazee, ek stem saam met die wetenskaplikes en daarom het ek reeds vir jou uitgewys dat daar baie simboliek in die bybelverhale is. As jy debat wil voer oor die Christelikegeloof, dan kan Bybel verse nie uitgesluit word nie. Dit is werklik nie my skuld dat julle die Bybel leer ken het, van onkundige leermeesters wat daartoe gelei het, dat julle in ongeloof geval het. Ek het ook onder hulle groot geword, altyd bevraagteken en bly soek totdat ek by die waarheid van die Bybel uitgekom het.

    Hans Matthysen

    December 28, 2011 at 23:44

  18. Hanswors Matthysen wrote (December 27, 2011 at 21:27):

    Die flou verskoning dat [die bybel] ‘n gediskrediteerde bron is, is bloot omdat julle nie een die materiaal kon verstaan nie en daarom probeer julle dit nou systap.

    … which, by direct implication, means that Hanswors is way more intelligent than any non-Crushtian, whether atheist or not. Hanswors needs to apply post-haste for membership of the Mega Society. They could surely use such a razor-sharp intellect.

    Hanswors Matthysen wrote (December 27, 2011 at 21:27):

    Dit behoort julle sterkste wapen te wees teen gelowiges indien julle van mening is, dat dit ‘n klomp snert is.

    It is — right after the principles of reason and empiricism. The trouble is that one man’s blatant contradiction is another man’s invitation to compound it through confabulating feeble inanities.

    Hanswors Matthysen wrote (December 27, 2011 at 21:27):

    Ek het bereik wat ek wil en probeer eerder met julle gesprek voer, tog is julle so bevooroordeeld en dit maak dit nogal moeilik ja.

    Good for you, except you’re not discussing because you are not even remotely able to conceive of the possibility that you might be wrong. Ergo, you’re constantly just preaching.


    December 28, 2011 at 23:18

  19. “Wat ek jou wel krediet voor moet gee is dat jy bereid is om die onverdedigbare te probeer verdedig al vat jy houe vir onsamehangende redenasies – baie gelowiges is nie eens bereid om hulle bygeloof te verdedig nie, hulle glo wat hulle glo klakkeloos en dit is dit.”

    Hoor! Hoor!! Ek stem saam. Mooi so, Hans.

    Daan Van der Merwe

    December 28, 2011 at 22:26

  20. Ja Hans,as n mens n onderwerp navors gebruik n mens inderdaad die bronne wat daaroor geskryf is.
    Daar is egter n korrekte manIer en n verkeerde manier om met n bron om te gaan.
    Die korrekte manier is om ook navorsing en ontleding te doen na die geloofwaardigheid van die bron;
    – is dit intern samehangend – jou bron (Die bybel) is duidelik nie, en dit is oor en oor op die blog uitgewys.
    – strook dit met met ander bronne oor dieselfde onderwerp – nee, as bv die feite en datums rondom jesus se geboorte met kontemporere bronne vergelyk word is die datums en geskiedkundige feite verkeerd.
    – hou die gebeure water as dit teen huidige, onbetwisbare wetenskaplike kennis getoets word – nee, die sondvloed het nie plaasgevind nie, die aarde is nie 6000 jr terug geskep nie, lewende wesens is nie volmaak en volledig geskep nie (al van Darwin gehoor?), die son het nie vir 24 uur stilgestaan nie, ens,ens…..
    Ek weet dat elke gebeure wat onhoudbaar met die wetenskap word skielik allegories word en simbolies word of geinterpreteer moet word en dan ” verstaan” ons nie die bybel korrek nie of ons interprteer dit nie korrek nie – pla dit jou nie? Laat dit jou nie vir n oomblik twyfel nie?.
    Dan is daar nog pleinweg gesonde vestand ook man, maak dit vir jou sin dat slange praat en hulle bene weggevat word as straf (nevermind evolusie). Maak dit sin dat die hele mensdom uit een man en een vrou kom? – praat van bloedskande! – en moet asb nie vir my se die storie is simbolies nie want dan het jesus vir n simboliese sonde gesterf.

    Die bybel word verder ook nie vermy in argumente met gelowiges nie, inteendeel.
    Volgens navorsing onder atteiste is die bybel die geskrif wat die tweede meeste atteiste van geloof genees het ( na die “god delusion”)

    Wat ek jou wel krediet voor moet gee is dat jy bereid is om die onverdedigbare te probeer verdedig al vat jy houe vir onsamehangende redenasies – baie gelowiges is nie eens bereid om hulle bygeloof te verdedig nie, hulle glo wat hulle glo klakkeloos en dit is dit.

    Moet asb nie vir my bybelversies aanhaal om te bewys die bybel is waar nie. Dit is selfverwysend en sinneloos in n argument omtrent die historiese en feitlike korrektheid van die bybel


    December 28, 2011 at 17:57

  21. Shazee, wanneer jy ‘n onderwerp navors gebruik jy bronne wat daaroor geskryf is en dit wil voorkom dat wanneer ons oor God gesprek voer, deelnemers nie die toepaslike bronne wil gebruik nie. Die flou verskoning dat dit ‘n gediskrediteerde bron is, is bloot omdat julle nie een die materiaal kon verstaan nie en daarom probeer julle dit nou systap. Dit behoort julle sterkste wapen te wees teen gelowiges indien julle van mening is, dat dit ‘n klomp snert is. Charismatiese lede is geneig om deur gevoel gedryf te word en dus is ek nie in tel onder hulle nie. Daar is van die sogenaamde Christelikegelowe wat ontstaan het deur die wat op verlate plekke stemme gehoor het en ek tel nie onder hulle nie, want ek is nie en volg ook nie skiedsofrene nie. Ek het bereik wat ek wil en probeer eerder met julle gesprek voer, tog is julle so bevooroordeeld en dit maak dit nogal moeilik ja.

    Hans Matthysen

    December 27, 2011 at 21:27

  22. Hans,dankie vir die bybelversie, maar ek wil jou iets vra wat ek seker is jy is al baie op die blog gevra;
    Jou bybelversie is fine, maar waarom dink jy dit het enigie relevansie in die regte wereld?
    Jy moet tog teen die tyd weet dat min van die deelnemers op die forum enige waarde gaan heg aan n aanhaling uit n bronstyd fabel.
    Ek probeer regtig agterkom hoe jy dink. Is dit dat jy dink jy gaan iemand oortuig deur bloot dieselfde gediskrediteerde bron oor en oor te herhaal? Voel jy gedryf om dit te doen? Hoor jy stemme wat jou opdrag gee om dit “mindlessly” oor en oor te herhaal? – vra maar net want ek sien nie juis wat jy probeer bereik nie.


    December 26, 2011 at 22:51

  23. 1 Kor. 12:27 Maar julle is die liggaam van Christus en lede afsonderlik.
    Wie Jesus Christus was, beteken vir ons nie veel omdat ons nie daardie tyd gelewe het nie. Wie Jesus Christus vandag is, het vir ons baie betekenis.
    Rom 6:6 aangesien ons dit weet dat ons oue mens saam gekruisig is, sodat die liggaam van die sonde tot niet gemaak sou word en ons nie meer die sonde sou dien nie.

    Hans Matthysen

    December 26, 2011 at 22:07

  24. Shazee!!! Dagsê.

    Nee, daar was nooit ‘n Damascus oomblik in my lewe nie. 🙂 My verwerping van die Christelike geloof was ‘n proses wat oor 20 jaar gestrek het.

    Daan Van der Merwe

    December 26, 2011 at 07:51

  25. Good advice Verifanie,thanks. I will also add RD’s “The magic of reality” to your reading list.


    December 26, 2011 at 04:59

  26. Shazee,
    About your little nine year old boy:

    Parents are always worried that a spoken word or two will “severely affect a child”, rendering him/her neurotic and all anxious. This is not true at all. It takes a fixed attitude from either or both of the parents, over a period of time, to wear down a child’s resistance or defence mechanism, especially if the child had not been allowed to cry, get angry, argue, talk back or express all his feelings openly. Anxious parents are forever robbing children of their feelings.

    Your little boy is growing up in world with a lot of craziness and shit out there. If he can talk openly to you about it, then you do not have anything to worry about. You are his dad. You are his hero. He believes in you. He looks up to you. Everything you say is OK to him. That is, provided you have had that sort of relationship with him up to now, where he has always felt safe to talk to you about anything at all, and provided that you have been a very good listener, more so than someone who explains things.

    Most parents also tend to get on the “explain” band-wagon, because of their own anxiety that the child will “go wrong” suddenly. Most of the time, children just want someone to listen and to hear. Hold your child, pick him up, play with him. Get down to his level, on the carpet, and wrestle with him. Enter his world. Be a child again, with him there. He will grow up strong and clear-minded.

    Talk little. If you must, then simply say to him that there are a lot of people out there who believe things. Tell him you don’t. Also tell him that one day when he is an adult, he can decide for himself if he wants to believe in anything. As soon as he is old enough, buy him books to read about important issues in life. Summerhill by A.S. Neill is a great one. Also The Feeling Child by Arthur Janov. Introduce him (and yourself) to the wonderful works of Alice Miller.

    Enable your child to express all of his feelings and emotions by doing so yourself. Tell him that sometimes you feel sad, or angry, or confused, or hurt, or scared, lonely etc. He will realise that it is OK to feel that way, and that he does not have to hide his real self. Make it OK for him to just feel the way he does at a particular moment. Do not try to cheer him up.
    Let him just be.


    December 25, 2011 at 18:07

  27. Daan, ek het van jou vroeere “postings” gelees en jy was toe duidelik n gelowige met ernstige voorbehoude. Volgens wat ek kan aflei het jy nou die virus afgeskud. Dit sal interresant wees om te hoor wat jou “Damaskus oomblik” was, as daar spesifiek een was.

    Ek self worstel met die probleem van n klein seuntjie wat my laatlam is (7 jaar).
    Ek wil verhoed dat hy geindoktrineer word met onlogiese nonsens maar die omgewing waarin hy grootword is deurdrenk daarvan.(Skool,ma,sussies,grootouers ens.)
    Hoe leer n mens so n kind dat hy vir homself mag dink en mag bevraagteken sonder om emosionele konflik by hom te veroorsaak agv konfliterende boodskappe van verskeie gesagsfigure?
    Ek is seker ek is nie die enigste persoon met so n probleem nie en sal graag wil hoor indien iemand al aan n sinvolle wyse gedink het om so n situasie te hanteer.


    December 25, 2011 at 09:58

  28. Shazee!!!! Dagsê.

    Baie dankie. ‘n Geseënde kersfees vir jou ook.

    Wie was Jesus regtig? Hou gerus Discovery Channel dop. Daar was Vrydagmiddag ‘n program op, “Jesus: The Man behind the Myths”. Dis ‘n uitstekende program en ek is seker dit sal binnekort weer opkom.

    Daan Van der Merwe

    December 25, 2011 at 08:41

  29. God kruisig homself (jesus is ook god – deel van drie eenheid) vir sonde wat nooit plaasgevind het nie ( genesis is net simbolies)
    Jip, dit maak sommer baie sin.
    Geseende kersfees more vir almal.


    December 24, 2011 at 22:22

  30. Nathan, when I came to knowing the true gosple, my world came to and end and I became part of a heavenly calling, yes a whole new world.

    Hans Matthysen

    November 27, 2008 at 20:30

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