1. SubscriberFMF
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    02 May '18 02:04
    Then, behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth quaked, and the rocks were split, and the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised; and coming out of the graves after His resurrection, they went into the holy city and appeared to many. (Matthew 27:51–53)

    How is one to ascertain whether these things actually happened?
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    02 May '18 02:24
    Originally posted by @fmf
    Then, behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth quaked, and the rocks were split, and the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised; and coming out of the graves after His resurrection, they went into the holy city and appeared to many. (Matthew 27:51–53)

    How is one to ascertain whether these things actually happened?
    I suppose an atheist or skeptic could investigate whether an earthquake occurred in Jerusalem around 30 or 33 AD. That would be where I’d start.
  3. SubscriberFMF
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    02 May '18 02:26
    Originally posted by @romans1009
    I suppose an atheist or skeptic could investigate whether an earthquake occurred in Jerusalem around 30 or 33 AD. That would be where I’d start.
    How is one to ascertain whether the other things mentioned actually happened?
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    02 May '18 02:29
    Geologists say Jesus, as described in the New Testament, was most likely crucified on Friday, April 3, in the year 33.

    The latest investigation, reported in International Geology Review, focused on earthquake activity at the Dead Sea, located 13 miles from Jerusalem. The Gospel of Matthew, Chapter 27, mentions that an earthquake coincided with the crucifixion:

    “And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit. At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split and the tombs broke open.”

    To analyze earthquake activity in the region, geologist Jefferson Williams of Supersonic Geophysical and colleagues Markus Schwab and Achim Brauer of the German Research Center for Geosciences studied three cores from the beach of the Ein Gedi Spa adjacent to the Dead Sea.

    Varves, which are annual layers of deposition in the sediments, reveal that at least two major earthquakes affected the core: a widespread earthquake in 31 B.C. and a seismic event that happened sometime between the years 26 and 36.

    The latter period occurred during “the years when Pontius Pilate was procurator of Judea and when the earthquake of the Gospel of Matthew is historically constrained,” Williams said.

    "The day and date of the crucifixion (Good Friday) are known with a fair degree of precision," he said. But the year has been in question.

    In terms of textual clues to the date of the crucifixion, Williams quoted a Nature paper authored by Colin Humphreys and Graeme Waddington. Williams summarized their work as follows:

    All four gospels and Tacitus in Annals (XV, 44) agree that the crucifixion occurred when Pontius Pilate was procurator of Judea from A.D. 26 to 36.

    All four gospels say the crucifixion occurred on a Friday.

    All four gospels agree that Jesus died a few hours before the beginning of the Jewish Sabbath (nightfall on a Friday).

    The synoptic gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke) indicate that Jesus died before nightfall on the 14th day of Nisan, right before the start of the Passover meal.

    John’s gospel differs from the synoptics, apparently indicating that Jesus died before nightfall on the 15th day of Nisan.

    When data about the Jewish calendar and astronomical calculations are factored in, a handful of possible dates result, with Friday, April 3, 33, being the best match, according to the researchers.

    In terms of the earthquake data alone, Williams and his team acknowledge that the seismic activity associated with the crucifixion could refer to “an earthquake that occurred sometime before or after the crucifixion and was in effect ‘borrowed’ by the author of the Gospel of Matthew, and a local earthquake between 26 and 36 A.D. that was sufficiently energetic to deform the sediments of Ein Gedi but not energetic enough to produce a still extant and extra-biblical historical record.”

    “If the last possibility is true, this would mean that the report of an earthquake in the Gospel of Matthew is a type of allegory,” they write.

    Williams is studying yet another possible natural happening associated with the crucifixion — darkness.

    Three of the four canonical gospels report darkness from noon to 3 p.m. after the crucifixion. Such darkness could have been caused by a duststorm, he believes.

    Williams is investigating if there are dust storm deposits in the sediments coincident with the earthquake that took place in the Jerusalem region during the early first century.
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    02 May '18 02:34
    Originally posted by @fmf
    How is one to ascertain whether the other things mentioned actually happened?
    An atheist or skeptic could research whether any contemporaneous writings mention what the Gospels record happened at the time of the crucifixion.

    You have to remember the time that took place - there was no Internet, no newspapers, no printing presses, no cameras and the only way to record something happening was to write it by hand and if copies needed to be made, the copies had to be recorded by hand.

    Also, the supernatural and supernatural events back then were much more accepted by broader society.
  6. SubscriberFMF
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    02 May '18 02:36
    Originally posted by @romans1009
    An atheist or skeptic could research whether any contemporaneous writings mention what the Gospels record happened at the time of the crucifixion.

    You have to remember the time that took place - there was no Internet, no newspapers, no printing presses, no cameras and the only way to record something happening was to write it by hand and if copies nee ...[text shortened]... , the supernatural and supernatural events back then were much more accepted by broader society.
    What other accounts are there?
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    02 May '18 02:41
    Originally posted by @fmf
    What other accounts are there?
    I don’t know if there are any, and, if there were, if they survived the passage of 2,000 years.

    If the crucifixion took place in 33 AD as the article I posted suggests, it took place nearly 2,000 years ago. It’d be interesting to know how many first-hand accounts we have of events that date back 2,000 years. In other words, if there were contemporaneous accounts outside the Gospels, how likely would their survival be to the present-day.
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    02 May '18 02:45
    Originally posted by @romans1009
    I don’t know if there are any, and, if there were, if they survived the passage of 2,000 years.

    If the crucifixion took place in 33 AD as the article I posted suggests, it took place nearly 2,000 years ago. It’d be interesting to know how many first-hand accounts we have of events that date back 2,000 years. In other words, if there were contemporaneous accounts outside the Gospels, how likely would their survival be to the present-day.
    And not even the other three Gospels mentioned all these things?
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    02 May '18 02:47
    Originally posted by @fmf
    And not even the other three Gospels mentioned all these things?
    Not sure about that. The Gospels don’t all record the same information and/or events.
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    02 May '18 02:48
    Originally posted by @romans1009
    Not sure about that. The Gospels don’t all record the same information and/or events.
    You're "not sure"?
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    02 May '18 02:49
    Originally posted by @romans1009
    I don’t know if there are any, and, if there were, if they survived the passage of 2,000 years.

    If the crucifixion took place in 33 AD as the article I posted suggests, it took place nearly 2,000 years ago. It’d be interesting to know how many first-hand accounts we have of events that date back 2,000 years. In other words, if there were contemporaneous accounts outside the Gospels, how likely would their survival be to the present-day.
    This bit:

    "the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised; and coming out of the graves after His resurrection, they went into the holy city and appeared to many."

    How can one be sure this is true?
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    02 May '18 03:02
    Originally posted by @fmf
    This bit:

    "the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised; and coming out of the graves after His resurrection, they went into the holy city and appeared to many."

    How can one be sure this is true?
    I’m sure it’s true because I have faith in the Bible as the inerrant Word of God.

    I already said how an atheist or skeptic could look into it - see if there are contemporaneous writings in addition to the Gospels that mention those events. If not, determine how likely it would be that, had there been such writings, they would have survived the passage of 2,000 years.

    Also bearing in mind the difficulty in recording events (everything “permanent” had to be recorded by hand so oral transmission of information was likely the most common way information was shared) and the fact that the supernatural was much more prevalent and accepted back then so the “news value” in such an event may not have been that high.
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    02 May '18 03:03
    Originally posted by @fmf
    You're "not sure"?
    Yes, that’s correct. Do you find that statement to be puzzling?
  14. SubscriberFMF
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    02 May '18 03:07
    Originally posted by @romans1009
    I’m sure it’s true because I have faith in the Bible as the inerrant Word of God.
    But isn't this just a case of you believe it because you believe it?
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    02 May '18 03:09
    Originally posted by @romans1009
    Yes, that’s correct. Do you find that statement to be puzzling?
    I find it unsurprising.
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