The next thing a critic needs to remember is the “parol evidence rule” which says, “External, oral testimony or tradition will not be received in evidence to add to, subtract from, vary, or contradict an executed written instrument such as a will. This rule insists that the New Testament documents should be allowed to 'interpret itself' and not be twisted to external, extra-biblical data.”
The other rule to follow is “The hearsay rule” which states, “A witness must testify 'of his own knowledge', not on the basis of what has come to him indirectly from others i.e. hearsay. Were the writers on the New Testament documents eyewitnesses of the events that they recorded?”
You also need to follow “The cross-examination principle” which says, “The more a witness is subjected to close and searching cross examination, the more confidence we can place in their testimony. Were the witnesses of Jesus and his life subjected to severe opposition - hostile cross-examiners who would destroy the case of Christianity if the early Christian's testimony been contradicted by the facts?”
When you apply these principles to the New Testament, you will find that the New Testament is accurate and valid.
Plagiarism is a new concept that is only talked about in modern times. It definitely wasn’t an issue when the Bible was written. Matthew wrote first, later Luke wrote his Gospel and then Mark wrote his Gospel. The Atheist already has it wrong because Mark wrote his Gospel last. He used the Matthew and Luke books to write his Gospel, but so what? If someone is writing a reference book today, they might quote or use information from someplace else too, but does that mean the book is inaccurate? Luke was writing on his own understanding of the events. Just because he got some another source doesn't make his document inaccurate. Luke was a close friend of the apostles and that would make his testimony valid.
The Atheist website goes on to attempt to discredit the letters written by Saul. It looks like they forgot to discuss his conversion. They talk about how the letters don’t talk about the Gospels, but they forget to mention if the story of Paul is accurate. Paul was converted to Christianity after he persecuted Christians by a vision he had of Jesus. Apparently that evidence wasn’t important enough for them to mention.
Looking around at the Atheists website, they talk a lot about how no prominent Atheist ever converted to Christianity. However, that is not the case. I guess in there mind a prominent Atheist is someone who actually wrote something on Atheism. I think most people that are big time Atheist to the point where they invested their life to disprove Christian probably are lost causes anyway. The person who writes for the Atheist website I am sure would never be converted to Christianity. Someone who is that far into their hatred for Christians probably won’t ever convert. Like I said before, the Atheists are usually someone who had a bad experience with Christianity so they do everything they can to discredit it. They even go so far as to attempt to convince people that the most prominent man that ever lived didn’t even exists. However, there are many people who were Atheist, and who didn’t believe in God at some point in there life that did convert to Christianity. It is probably because they realized that there has to be something more to life then what we have today. There has to be a better place in this world then the killing, terrorism, and hatred that goes on in today’s world. These Atheists below are people who didn’t believe in a God, but didn’t sink so far into the hatred for Christianity that they became a lost cause. They eventually saw the truth and converted.
1) Steve Beren who was a former member of the Socialist Workers Party who became a conservative politician
2) Anders Borg
3) Whittaker Chambers who was a Communist and became a conservative writer
4) Francis Collins who was a Geneticist atheist until 27
5) Andre Frossard
6) Eugene D. Genovese who was a Historian Stalinist7) We also know that Madalyn Murray O'Hair's son became a Christian. The athiest will say that he wasn't a famous atheist. What is the definition of a famious atheist? An atheist is someone who doesn't believe in God. I guess they say that it only matters if the atheist wrote books about being an atheist and then converted. To me, an atheist is someone who was brainwashed into hating religion or God. Madalyn Murray O'Hair's son was completly brainwashed. He converted to Christianity because he realized, at a low point in his life, that there has to be someone smarter then man in this universe. Have you noticed that all of the famous atheist had a deep hatred for Christians? The atheist website will deny this, but every atheist website I have ever been to talks alot about trying to disprove Christianity. Jesus taught that it is hard for a rich man to enter the kindom of heaven. It is also hard for an arrogant atheist who denies that an the extremely complex universe was created my intelligence and not by some random chance to enter the kindom of heaven. The fact is that many people of all walks of life have converted to Christianity because they came to the realization of the truth.
You can see many more at this site: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_former_atheists
Some information is taken from:
The fact of the matter is this, Jesus did exist and he is a historical figure and anybody who attempts to say he isn't is ignorant of the facts.
Now Faith...is the art of holding on to things your reason 'has once accepted, in spite of your changing moods. For moods will change, whatever view your reason takes. I know that by experience. Now that I am a Christian I do have moods in which the whole thing looks very improbable: but when I was an atheist I had moods in which Christianity looked terribly probable. This rebellion of your moods against your real self is going to come anyway. That is why Faith is such a necessary virtue: unless you teach your moods where they get off, you can never be either a sound Christian or even a sound atheist, but just a creature dithering to and fro, with its beliefs really dependent on the weather and the state of its digestion. Consequently one must train the habit of Faith. - C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity
>> Monday, October 6, 2008
The Atheists who do not believe that Jesus even lived completely discount the Old Testament Prophecies concerning him. Why would they take into consideration the Old Testament Prophecies concerning a man they don't even believe existed? The fact that Jesus didn't exist must be the greatest hoax in the history of man. Not only because he was lying about who he said he was, but that he didn't even exist. If they believed that he existed, then they would have to consider that he fulfilled these prophecies.
Some important prophecies he fulfilled:
1) He was betrayed by a friend (Psalm 41:9->Matthew 10:4)
2) He was sold for 30 pieces of silver (Zechariah 11:12->Matthew 26:15)
3) Forsaken by his disciples (Zechariah 13:7->Mark 14:50)
4) Spit upon (Isaiah 50:6, Micah 5:1->Mathew 26:67)
5) Crucified with thieves (Isaiah 53:12->Matthew 27:38)
6) The conversion of the Gentiles to him (Isaiah 11:10, 42:1 ->Mt 1:17)
If Jesus existed, and these prophecies were written before they happened, then this is something that is very significant to the world. There are around 2500 prophecies that were fulfilled by Jesus. The mathematical chance of them being fulfilled are 10 to the 2000 power.
Many of these prophecies were outside his control such as what his name would be called, where he was born etc. Before you can think these Prophecies could be true, you would have to consider that the Bible is accurate. You have to believe that the Old Testament was written before the New Testament, that Jesus existed, and that the text is reliable and hasn't been changed over time.
"All of the many examples of OT "predictions" of Jesus are so silly that one need only look them up to see their irrelevance". This quote is taken from the Atheist website at:
The Atheist completely discount these prophecies by calling them silly. It is more silly to think that this complex universe came into existence by chance and so many religions are based on a man that never existed. Now that is silly.