It's time for the 2008 Platinum Screwball Awards, and those will be at the bottom of this page. Now for our bright start to 2009....see the rest of the best here.

From the Mailbag

As last year at this time, it seems January produces a lot of screwy email. Maybe it's because everyone is inside from the cold?

To start, one omail from the Self-Righteous Brothers:

Your responses to James Buckner are so unChristianlike. Where's the humility? Treating others with respect? Many of your rebuttals weren't educated answers, but rather, were just 5-year-old blurt-outs… "You're just stupid, that's why." Followed by sticking out your tongue.

Are we not to lead with love? And not use Scripture as a battleground?

From the same cloth, this from the Blindly Arrogant Pharisee League (personal details left out):

I just stumbled onto you website and have read a few of your articles.

At one point you suggest that no one even consider that any part of any book that criticizes the Bible (and you have a broad definition of criticism ) as having any validity whatsoever. They are not worth reading, in your opinion. Such works and areas of scholarship can add no understanding or insight.

Christians have done everything you could throughout history to ban any person or burn any writing that did not conform to their narrow beliefs. I am glad they can no longer burn heretics. Book burning has gone out of style, too. For now. All you have left is rhetoric. Thank God.

I apologize. I am using the same rhetoric that I am criticizing you of using.

During my retirement I have read about twenty of such books you find of no value. They have added to my understanding of the Bible and how it came to be written.

And I have read half a dozen books refuting the twenty. They too have added to my understanding and helped me see both sides.

I live in a university town and often attend debates sponsored by the Socratic Club. Although they represented different views, the speakers generally gave each other respect and their viewpoints respect. I even watch one professor of the history of religions tell an outright lie (Jesus was the only savioir who ...) and the other professor he was debating said nothing to challenge this. During the question and answer session, I did raise the issue and the first professor did concede that other cultures had saviors with similar stories as Jesus. I did not accuse him of lying but he was.

The rhetoric you use discourages me from reading any more of your writings. And I would not attend a debate in which you participated.

I cannot remember the author, I think it was Jim Wallace, but he wrote that discussions are needed about religion and spirituality from various perspectives. He leads such groups, in his church, that he calls Heretics Anonymous. A factor he stresses: this discussion is not like a football game where you try to run over your opponent. Think of it more like a game of friendly volleyball. The object isn't to smash the opponent. The object is to keep batting the ball in the air. In this case, the ball is an idea.

You must not have read Blowing the Lid off the God Box. You appear to think you know everything about God, based strictly on your interpretation of the Bible. And as the author states, there are many sources to learn about spirituality in addition to the Bible. Your box seems to be closed.

I have no doubt that you are sincere in your beliefs. I am just writing to let you know that your rhetoric can be a turn off to some readers, including this one.

p.s. I had a lawyer friend who worked for the (an activist group) and focused on the (hate group). They knew her activities, sent threats, slashed her tires, and burned down her parents home. She quit her job. But not because she was afraid. She quit because she came to hate her opponents so much that she became just like them - full of hate and rage. I know some secular/agnostic/atheists can be hateful toward religion and religious people. You are a fierce opponent, but it appears that you, too, have become hateful. Take a breath. Tone it down. You will be more effective.

Oh well. We'll miss that one. Next, from the Lunacy Fringe:

I have just read your article called Walk Like an Egyptian: Comparing Osiris, Horus, and Jesus on your Tektonic site and I feel I must point out that it is infact the JESUS and Cristianity STORYS that have been created and copied from the Egyptian history. There is not one shred of single evidence on this planet that jesus was real, all we have is the bible which is made up from gospels that offer us no proof. It seems so much more likely that the writers of these gospels heard a version of the Egyptian History and decided to translate it into a STORY that people of their times can relate too. There is SOLID proof that Osiris, Horus, Isis and Set are real, infact if you investigate spirtual awakenings that are happening more and more right now you, will come across something called the equinox that is all to do with earths rotation and star alignment. This will ultimatly lead you back to what the Egyptians believed and it's happening NOW, in our lifetime, a global spiritual awakening. Anyway Christianity (if followed correctly and not seeking power) is a peace loving religion so if this is your belief I am not trying to change it but I would just like you to understand the facts before you dismiss Egyptian History as a copycat story.

A good source of reasearch for you to start with is here

Here's one from a Skeptic who still hasn't heard about my name change, even a year and a half later:

Hello Robert Turkle. I see your ministry is still up and running. Excellent work. Your site has become more populous, less scholarly, over the last decade. You have a talent for rhetoric and an ability to effectively persuade a certain subset of the population. I think you could argue a secular perspective just as well, or nearly as well, as a Christian perspective. Do you? As long as you argue better than your opponent, it doesn't who is correct. We could do an exercize where I argue Christianity and you argue atheism. Is that something you're interested in doing?

Much of your content --your life's work?-- has become slightly antiquated, but you gotta go where the money is, and most people who proselytize really aren't able to grasp the subtleties of Raymond Brown or John Crossan. When you talk to people outside of your religious circle and tell them your vocation is Apologist, do you feel a slight tinge of ignominy? You have a masters in library science, right? You used to work in a prison, so you have some verifiable work experience. Unless you messed that up, somehow? That could explain why you aren't being a librarian anymore? Get a job. Have you seen this video:

I don't even know what to say.

Later he sent me messages telling me about how he was smoking pot so much he was seeing double. There you go. The best of atheism.

Here's an email that wins an Incoherence Medal...

I have been looking into Mr. Pisos' claims and it is a very interesting and logical argument, whether NT is true or a construction. I would liken it to the teaching of a school child the nursery rhyme "Ring around the Posey", with its' double meaning (occult) hidden from recognition. Certainly the rhyme is harmless to the child, right isn't it, or is it? We all see language in ways that we might know will become harmless(but in reality more promiscuous as example) as word slang softens with time. How do we know harm wasn't done to us this way from the past, poisoning our psyches and indeed our Spiritual growth. If Christianity is indeed fake, this should show up as facts in evidences that eventually are exposed to us, such as these Piso arguments of today, their use of planting double meanings and coding its' true authors by alias identities, abbreviating and using slang and Greek synonyms are clues. Once the text is cyphered, the truth is exposed, and for good timely reason, can you guess? Dig and you'll find the answer, if your mind is open to seek the truth. Nobody cares if you don't look, but logic dictates that we singly must seek to be wiser for it. My view is the REAL CREATOR that gave us everything we need to succeed- is located within our bodies, you know the one that was made in his image-(image also describes info in a computer hard-drive to copy/re-find) to be used to find our destiny that becomes revealed by our own logical study and pondering that must be completed to find it! I think any creator that would expect obedience and the need to follow a dogma, would think we weren't in our right minds! What a failure we were to not figure it out ourselves!

That is my interests in my pondering. And so is Mr. Pisos' family history! A history important to reveal, but is also a very assault on humanity itself. Nothing should be hidden any longer, no matter what it may reveal about our collective ignorance's.

Another email from a fundy atheist:

At you claim that because Dan Barker is an atheist, he couldn't be expected to understand giving up for religious purposes. Obviously you either aren't familiar with Mr. Barker or are trying to deceive your readers.

Dan Barker simply learned that the honesty and liberation of freethought is so much better!

They don't read too well. Here's what I actually said:

"Barker as an atheist is of course in a position where sacrifice of physical pleasure for a spiritual purpose would be meaningless. In a religious context, it might not be."

Not that he didn't "understand" but that his current ideology makes such sacrifice foolish.

Next, from the Pithy What in Hades Department:

Your brain is like a parachute,it works better when it opens up!

Here's an early at-large email nominee for 2009 Platinum:

I have read your article "Shattering the Christ-Myth," and had a few questions. I wanted to know where is the physical evidence that a Jesus did exist in you article. The only thing that is written is an argument against the experts arguing Jesus did not exist. What could add credibility to your argument is physical evidence that a "Jesus" existed. What kind of building style did he use in building chairs (he was a carpenter) and other items? Is there any carvings/papers with Jesus' name on it? I mean, the name Jesus was an influential name obviously, where can we find that he did exist with his name on cave engravings and so on, any type of coin, or what other article? What evidence do you have?

There is considerable evidence that the Roman Emperor Constantine attempted to wipe all pagans off of the face of the planet, how do you discredit the pagan temples, which predate the supposed dates of Jesus? The earliest versions of Christianity came to existence in the mid to late 300s AD, how do you discredit the executions of the pagans whom was forbidden from worship at their temples by Constatine and Constatine followers? How do you argue against Constatine's creation of Christianity to take control of the country?

Wow. New rules for historical epistemology, folks! We can't say that eg, Gamaliel existed unless someone provides us with the chalk he used on the classroom blackboards, or with student papers he graded and signed, etc. I guess the rule is, if you can't win the argument, set the bar arbitrarily as high as you can. So I replied:

Since when do historians demand such things to determine if a person existed, hmmm?

I want Socrates' teaching pointer, Alexander the Great's spear, and Pliny the Elder's test tubes. Got 'em? No? Then none of them existed either.

Sorry, little child...YOU do not set the rules for historical epistemology

And here's the Platinum-nominating reply:

Final answer, yes I do.....It's funny because the people you mentioned have even more evidence they existed than a physical Jesus.

WOW. How can he and John Loftus both fit their heads on to the same planet at one time?

Next...this person first quoted my Calculated Contempt article:

"Isn't that refreshing? Well, enough for now. Bud is on the line and his scholarship has turned out to be directly in opposition to his capacity to use words like "bullsh*t". For the crowd I have in mind, such verbiage represents the height of their scholarship."

And then said:

Right. And your inability to write a paragraph with one of those insipid and childish smiley face emoticons doesn't speak to your, um, what did you call it, the height of your scholarship.

The bible can be without error (as it pertains to cross-validation) and not contradict itself, just like any novel on the library bookshelf, but that doesn't mean it isn't a work of fiction. A bullet-proof story is a wonderful accomplishment, whether it was written by 1 or 1000. Doesn't make it true. The only thing that matters is the why ws it written - errant or not. You have your "why" and non-Christians (the majority of people on this planet) have theirs.

Enjoy your delusion -- which, by the way, makes it impossible to see (or accept) even the mere possibility of error. THIS is why apologetics exists. That is to say, you can't afford to be wrong. And so you won't allow that to happen.

This this, re my article on Philistines in Genesis:

It doesn't really matter whether a later redactor made a mistake or whether it was simply wrong or any of the other explanations that have been put forward to explain away the anachronism.

If what the Bible says is wrong, it is wrong. Obviously, it's not literally true.

It would appear that God didn't anticipate what later redactors, translators, etc. were going to do.

For the reader, however, mistakes like this make it impossible to take the Bible as anything other than a series of sometimes interesting, sometimes horrifying and cruel, stories. Stories, and definitely not the Word of God. What we're looking at are human mistakes and ignorance.

This set came from someone inquiting about whether I had read Thomas Paine; I said yes, and they said:

Thank you for your reply. I am just amazed at how one could read those accounts and still believe in Jesus. None are so blind as he who will not see.

I cannot believe that you have read Paine's treatise on Prophecy and still believe that Jesus was a fulfillment of prophecy and is the expected Messiah of the Jews. Wow!

I have several books that you probably have not read that I would love to see your rebuttal of those irrefutable facts and arguments against the devinity of Jesus. Care to accept my challenge?

First, let me know if you have actually read Paine on prophecy before I offer you anything else.

I told him I had, and that they sucked, and so did he if he thought they were any good...and I get this back:

I wouldn't go putting labels on me yet, if I were you. I am not your average opponent. I have been researching the Bible and other religions for over 40 years and am working on a book that will finally put the nail in the coffin of Jesus. I just want to know the extent of your reading and exposure to the materials that are out there. I have been able to collect many rare books that were suppressed by the church and thus, are not known by you Apologists. So, those materials, along with my keen insige and research, I can take on the Pope and never miss a stride!

Get a belly laugh because I shall have the last laugh!

You stated also that [a certain work by Paine] was so bad that it was not worth commenting on. That leads me to suspect that you DID NOT read it because it was a PROFOUND piece of work and I just don't think that you would ignore refuting it if you could do so. Fact is, if you did read it and failed to comment on it, it is because you HAVE NO REBUTTLE!

Just what IS your definition of prophecy anyway? If it is different from mine , Paine's or Webster's, then you are trying to re-define the term and that is a common trick of those who try to explain the unexplainable. I have read much of the Josh Mc Dowell crap and that is what he does with a lot of specious explanations and arguments that can be refuted in an instant. I suspect your arguments fall in the same school of BS.

In close, a few screwy emails received by readers are recorded:

J.P. gets screwy e-mails. I get screwy comments on my blog. Like this one, in response to my contention that life in prison isn't too harsh a punishment if abortion were illegal (and considered murder):

Originally posted by Daniel Florian Nah, of course I know some will follow the logical conclusion. I mean some people blow up abortion clinics, too. That's pretty logical, I guess, given a certain crazy set of presuppositions.

So, anybody up for stoning some homosexuals? No? How about adulterers? Disobedient children?

(Sorry, I thought at first you followed all the Bible, but it looks like you disregard some of the more inconvenient parts.)

There's also one at that's a hoot, and finally, this a reader got, which makes an early run at Atheist e-mail Platinum:

A man was born of a virgin named Mary. He was called the Son of God. He led slaves out of Egypt. He killed a giant. He was blinded on the road to Damascus. Finally, he was crucified, died, and rose three days late, destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, and ascended into the moon. Sound familiar? It should. This is the story of the one you Christians call "Jesus." You know who's story that is directly copied from? The story of the Norwegian god Quetzalcoatl. He was born of a virgin named Svarog (the Old Norse name for Mary), and was called the Son of God. He led Slavs (note the lack of an "e", a Christian plot to deceive inattentive listeners) out of Ørken (the Norse version of "Egypt" a mythical land with a story so powerful that the Christians made a real area called Egypt), killed a Giant (the Christians were less subtle this time, the name "Goliath" remained across all the cultures), was blinded on the road to DÅM ÅSCUS (An ancient Norse city). DÅM ÅSCUS was destroyed by Christian terrorists in the first century to cover up the evidence of their tale, but recent archaeological discoveries have proved the existence of it. Quetzalcoatl was finally nailed to a tree, died, and rose 3 days later, just like the Jesus story. Before Quetzalcoatl ascended to the Heavens (or Moon in Christian mythology), he destroyed Sødøm and Gåmmøråh.

Face it, you pathetic Christian sheep, your religion is a lie based on the pathetic mythology of drunken Vikings.

The Norwegian god Quetzalcoatl? Huh...

The January 2009 John Loftus Collection

For January 2009, Loftus pulls over and inflates his head to 700 lbs of pressure:

Call me arrogant if you will, but I am one person who has the arguments that can be the undoing of Christianity. [BTW, Keith Parsons emailed me recently and said: "Humility is a Christian virtue. Be proud of your accomplishment!"] I'd like for CFI and Paul Kurtz to send me on a speaking tour, allow me to revise my book one more time (if I had time I could condense it and make it more accessible to the masses), fund me to debate some high profile Christians, make me a research scholar for the CFI institute. These requests have been made by me to them, with one important person who is advocating on my behalf, and maybe some or all of these requests will pan out in the near future. But my goal is not just to understand the world, as Marx said, but to change it.

The there was this awesome display of historical scholarship:

I know Frank Zindler is considered as much of a scholar as you are on the opposite side of the fence, but he sent me his book "The Jesus the Jews Never Knew." It contains the strongest argument I've seen against the authenticity of the Testimonium. Have you seen it?

Loftus' delusions of grandeur return as he apparently took up my jibes concerning what Jenkins says re the growth of Christianity in the Third World, and now realizes he and his ideological buds are going to get their rears kicked:

[What Jenkins says] is a dire warning to be heeded and worth looking at very closely. If true this is one more reason to support the people who argue against Christianity and Islam and for translating our books into these other languages. If you can translate this Blog into Spanish, Korean, or other languages, that is a real need! To this same end I also need your support here at DC. There is a donate button to your right. Please use it to help. If you don't have the means to do the research, I do, but only if I don't have to get a second job. If you have financial means to do so that's how you can help out. Whatever you do, do something for the future of peaceful free loving people and the the planet itself.

Christianity is growing among the people of the southern hemisphere and in Asia by leaps and bounds. It's doing so among superstitious thinking people who are already prone to believing in superstitious things.

Reason and scientific literacy make people less superstitious, period. It took centuries for science and reason to reduce superstitious thinking in Europe (and other things like WWI, WWII), but it eventually did. Europe's Christian population now seems to be at all time lows. Scientific reasoning and freethinking are showing evidence of having its effect on the American continent too, as recent polls show. Christianity flourishes among superstitious people, period. The Christian gospel story is just a more wonderful story as told when compared to other superstitious contenders (God's son died for me? How wonderful!). That's why superstitious people embrace it, not because of the evidence. For if the evidence were behind the Christian story the most scientifically literate people would be the ones embracing it in the industrial West.

So the fact that Christianity is growing in places like Africa and Asia doesn't surprise me at all. Although, sooner or later scientific literacy will catch up to these Christian people and they too will move in the direction Europe has and where America is headed. If we do our best it probably won't take as long for them to become enlightened as it did for the industrial West, maybe just 150 years. But only if we put more effort into this and ban together for the cause of freedom and the planet itself. In the meantime if Jenkins is correct, brace yourselves and your children and your children's children for an escalation of more religious violence in the world.

Good luck, John. Your arguments are just as stupid in Spanish and Korean as they are in English.

Now for the Useful Idiot side. Fellow apostate John Beversluis said this of Loftus' book and its discussion on the problem of evil:

[It] strikes me as one of the most penetrating and no-nonsense discussions of the problem that I have ever read. After reading these two chapters, the proposed solutions of theists like St. Augustine, C. S. Lewis, William P. Alston, Norman L. Geisler, Richard Swinburne, John Hick, and, yes, even Alvin Plantinga, seem superficial and little more than pious irrelevancies.

And he says of his treatments of the Bible, Resurrection, etc.:

Loftus reads the texts with a fine-tooth comb and uncovers massive error and astounding inconsistency and contradiction. After reading these chapters and absorbing their sobering lessons, no intellectually honest Christian could ever reread the stories of the birth and resurrection of Jesus without acute embarrassment. And he closes:

I can pay Loftus no higher compliment than to say that his accuracy, thoroughness, and attention to detail are reminiscent of Thomas Paine (The Age of Reason) and David Friedrich Strauss (The Life of Jesus Critically Examined). He has done for the 21st Century what they did for the eighteenth and nineteenth. That is quite an accomplishment


Pfffft. Yeah, it sure does remind me of Paine and Strauss....and how accurate and thorough they were....!

A reviewer called Former Believer also wrote a revuew of Loftus that wins an award:

I recently completed reading Why I Became an Atheist and would highly recommend this book to both Christians and Atheists. Loftus is a brilliant thinker who methodically and poignantly addresses controversial issues regarding the Christian faith. In doing so, he demonstrates courtesy to Christians and their faith as he thoughtfully and painstakingly addresses a myriad of apologetic arguments, acknowledging their merits while at the same time exposing their flaws. The book is truly a scholarly work, one that I plan to review many times in the future.

Useful Idiot Harry "Obscene Phone" McCall gets an early start on Platinum for 2009, with a touch of anti-Semitism too:

Let me be frank here. I strongly feel the average person (religious or not) including any "Joe the Atheist", who is married (supporting a wife and / or children) is one hell of a better person than the jobless wondering irresponsible single wisdom preacher the Gospels call Jesus.

This we do know about Jesus as drawn form the Gospels traditions:

Jesus was a jobless drifter who avoided work. Although, Matthew's tells us Jesus father was a "Tekton" or one involved in a technical trade (??? ????? ????? ? ??? ???????? ????), there is no evidence Jesus ever hit a lick at a snake or did an honest day's work in his life! 55 "Is not this the carpenter's son? Is not His mother called Mary, and His brothers, James and Joseph and Simon and Judas? 56 "And His sisters, are they not all with us? Where then did this man get all these things?" 57 And they took offense at Him. But Jesus said to them, "A prophet is not without honor except in his hometown and in his own household." 58 And He did not do many miracles there because of their unbelief." (Matt. 13: 55 - 58)

Jesus only recruited men who would also leave their jobs which in turn meant leaving their families destitute to be feed by and cared for by Jews who honored the Torah. "16 As He was going along by the Sea of Galilee, He saw Simon and Andrew, the brother of Simon, casting a net in the sea; for they were fishermen. 17 And Jesus said to them, "Follow Me, and I will make you become fishers of men." 18 Immediately they left their nets and followed Him. 19 Going on a little farther, He saw James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, who were also in the boat mending the nets. 20 Immediately He called them; and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired servants, and went away to follow Him." (Mark 1: 16 - 20).

Jesus tells his disciples to be irresponsible bums just like him: 3"Go; behold, I send you out as lambs in the midst of wolves. 4 "Carry no money belt, no bag, no shoes; and greet no one on the way. 5 "Whatever house you enter, first say, 'Peace be to this house.' 6 "If a man of peace is there, your peace will rest on him; but if not, it will return to you. 7 "Stay in that house, eating and drinking what they give you; for the laborer is worthy of his wages. Do not keep moving from house to house. 8 "Whatever city you enter and they receive you, eat what is set before you; 9 and heal those in it who are sick, and say to them, 'The kingdom of God has come near to you.' 10 "But whatever city you enter and they do not receive you, go out into its streets and say, 11 'Even the dust of your city which clings to our feet we wipe off in protest against you; yet be sure of this, that the kingdom of God has come near.' 12 "I say to you, it will be more tolerable in that day for Sodom than for that city. (Luke 10: 3-12).

Irresponsible free loading is what Jesus expects of all who want to follow him: "57 As they were going along the road, someone said to Him, "I will follow You wherever You go." 58 And Jesus said to him, "The foxes have holes and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head." 59 And He said to another, "Follow Me." But he said, "Lord, permit me first to go and bury my father." 60 But He said to him, "Allow the dead to bury their own dead; but as for you, go and proclaim everywhere the kingdom of God." 61 Another also said, "I will follow You, Lord; but first permit me to say good-bye to those at home." 62 But Jesus said to him, "No one, after putting his hand to the plow and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God." (Luke 9: 57- 62).

And as to Jesus' complaint "The foxes have holes and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head." My reply: Get a job you free loading bum!

Be a responsible Jew for once in your life!...

Jesus sends his disciples into Jerusalem to find FREE room and board for them to free load on for the Passover: 12"On the first day of Unleavened Bread, when the Passover lamb was being sacrificed, His disciples said to Him, "Where do You want us to go and prepare for You to eat the Passover?" 13 And He sent two of His disciples and said to them, "Go into the city, and a man will meet you carrying a pitcher of water; follow him; 14 and wherever he enters, say to the owner of the house, 'The Teacher says, "Where is My guest room in which I may eat the Passover with My disciples?"' 15 "And he himself will show you a large upper room furnished and ready; prepare for us there." 16 The disciples went out and came to the city, and found it just as He had told them; and they prepared the Passover. (Mark 14: 12 - 16 any God fearing responsible Jew would have worked and earned his Passover lamb!)...

I'd explain to Harry about patronage's role in Jesus' ministry (Luke 8:2-3), but he'd likely reach for a business dicationary.

Atheist Miscellany

PitchforkPat wins (and noms for Platinum) for comments like these:

Even though moral relativism is a fact, that doesn't mean I espouse, promote, or advocate moral relativism.

Actually, he wins for everything in this thread:

jimbo (Brooks Trubee) is back briefly for 2009:

It seems to me that "graded absolutism" is just an idea that was made up by Christians who recognized that moral absolutism doesn't work.

"Sockpuppetsfromhell" worries about his self-esteem:

Quit pretending that being able to toss out a few multisyllabic words like "epistemology" makes you logical and rational. It does not!

Tassman goes for Gold:

I guess you are aware of the fact that the USA has one of the highest illiteracy rates in the industrialized world and is consequently vulnerable to the influence of superstition in the form of aggressive Christianity and therefore more likely to put high-functioning morons into power provided they are 'born again'. AND that this grim fact has affected the entire world resulting in the much cheered shoe-throwing incident.

In reality, the holy see is the most literate nation in the world. So much for religion (aka Christian), making you stupid, eh?

SeaofRed doesn't get it:

Paul was merely a former killer of Christians,hardly a skeptic.

Nor does Dhorptan, apparently, as he offers this simple solution to the Christian problem:

If you showed Jesus was real, and indeed divine, then that confirms that the Laws of Logic are able to be violated and trampled on.

godlessmessiah rants and raves:

Outside of the Bible there remains NO accounts of Jesus

There are NO first hand witness accounts written within the Bible, seeing as the first Gospel was written in approximately 70 A.D at the earliest.

There are no specified dates of actions which supposedly took place, CONTRARY TO ANY historical figure.

NO details of his appearances

There are no indications of ANY existence , outside the concept to that of an ordinary man.

The only "EVIDENCE" of Jesus is an empty tomb

Codex Sinaticus 400 A.D DOES NOT contain ressurection claims,and yet the never verson does. hhmmmm. When you weight up the evidence...

-There is less evidence than that of any important human being of that time

-No evidence outside of the bible, and not written by any witnesses.

-and the only thing that can be concluded as any kind of evidence is an empty tomb which contains no evidence at all.

The belief that Jesus (if anyone existed) was no more than a common man.

I Honestly cannot imagine how people can claim Jesus to be the "son of God" based on such little evidence of an existence. or even worse, when they claim he WAS god.

It boggles the mind. lets imagine a man... we dont know much of his name, or when he was born, or where he died, or sure on how he died, no witnesses, no non contradictory claims, nothing that he wrote , no personal belongings of his and the only "evidence" is an empty coffin which no indication that he was ever in there...


its ludicrous to say that there even a man, let alone the claims you people are making!

John Powell keeps drifting deeper into incoherence and egomania; the second one noms Platinum:

To use 24 hours to refer to days helps to avoid confusion when their readers don't know how to count integral days. The ancients weren't smart enough yet to do that. We learned from their challenges.


You post a laughing smilie, but your words are correct. A modern standard encyclopedia (or wiki) is the right kind of source for a modern person to rely on to answer a historical question if any of the following 3 conditions do not apply:

1. The question is very important to the person.

2. The core evidence on which expert opinion (i.e. the writers of the Encyclopedia Britannica) is based is available to the person.

3. The core evidence on which expert opinion is based is understandable to the person.

If all three conditions do not apply then the person is fine to rely on the opinion of experts. If all three conditions do apply then the person should consider the core evidence for themselves to determine the truth for themselves rather than merely relying on the opinions of experts.

The 3 conditions do apply for me and I've concluded Jesus was not a historical figure despite the fact that it's accepted as a historical fact by the experts (historians).

Pai Geacademe says it was all about him:

If I were to give one reason why I left Christianity, it's because my life gave no indication of my "chosenness," and no deity ever bothered to assure me I'd been adopted.

jassi4010709 says almost these exact words in a video which is just text and a picture.

After many years of being told to find Jesus an atheist seeks to find him. In my first effort to find Jesus, I looked to the face which every Christian adored. [Shows the picture of Jesus holding a lamb] But He couldn't have long hair because of 1 Corinthians 11.14. and he couldn't have been white skinned because according to the Bible, Jesus had fled to Egypt to avoid Herod from seeking the new born king and killing him. The Egyptians were not white skinned and Jesus could not have hidden amongst them. What year was Jesus born? No one knows. What date was he born? No one knows. When did he die? Presumed around 37 AD. But no one knows. What was his name? Jesus or Immanuel? What is his last name? Christ is a title. No one knows. How did he die? Presumed by crucifixion through the hands. But it isn't possible for a human body to hold its weight if the nails a through a persons hands. The nails would rip through. Is there a body of Jesus? No one knows. Is there any evidence of Jesus? No. Are there any writings from the hand of Jesus? No. are there any first hand witness accounts of Jesus? Only one. One of the early founders, St. Paul. He claims he met Jesus and that he never existed as a human being and knows nothing of the life he is said to have lived. Isn't it amazing how so many people can have a personal relationship with him and not know a single thing about him. It's as if he never existed.

A YouTube commenter also wins:

And when I refer to evidence I mean the credible kind. So Pliny, Tacitus, Lucian, the Talmud, Josephus, etc. aren't gonna cut it. The NT isn't going to cut it either since the earliest documentation of Jesus in there is Paul's vision, which Mark could've worked off of, and of course the rest of the gospels could've worked off of Mark. And I just can't take Paul's vision as credible evidence for Jesus as a historical figure.

As does a Skeptic trying to explain the resurrection of Jesus:

grave robbers see that rich man's tomb has just been sealed. they remove the stone and start to try to find any valuables. jesus begans to regain conciousness and starts to move. the grave robbers flee in panic. Jesus scrambles out from the tomb but doesn't get far but falls to unconciusnes. wild animal (I.E Lion,leopard,hyaena.) finds the body and drags it to safer place to consume it.

Another youtuber tries to respond to a resurrection argument with the Argument from Tolkein, and noms for At-Large Platinum

So you're first accepting that the Gospel account is accurate, and using that basis to extract witnesses from the story. Thousands of witnesses were at the battle of Minas Tirith. They witnessed Gandalf's magic firsthand. That proves he was a real wizard right? No.

And last, Aisiatonas wins the non-answer award for this respose to Impossible Faith:

This is not a detailed counter-argument, and it does not go over the essay point for point. I have no specific credentials in this area other than the head on my shoulders and the shape of my mind. I don't even know if I'm posting this in the right place. But my complaint is this: the proposition on which the whole argument is founded is proposterous. J. P. Holding does not have priviliged access to the secret formula for starting a religion in first century Judea. The only true test of how well-equipped a religion is to have been able to take off at that time and that place is whether or not it actually did. No matter how unpalatable to a contemporary observer Christianity might appear to a modern scholar, the fact is that by this measure it succeeded spectacularly. It should be patently obvious to anyone that Christianity got it spot on. You compile a list of things it got 'wrong', then it can only serve to show that the presumptions you made to start off with were wrong. Because I'm telling ya, they lapped it up.
The Christian and Theist Collection

Caspian earns some for this monologue:

Don't believe it?

Paul said it would happen, and well... it has!

But don't take my word for it:

Christianity teaches that Jesus Christ is the Saviour

No! It teaches that He only made salvation possible. You save yourself by believing!

Christianity teaches that Jesus Christ died

No it doesn't! It teaches that His body "died" but He didn't actually die, He went to minister to spirits in prison.

Wrong! He was dead as death itself! Had His Father not raised Him He would still be dead. He died!

Man has a free will

Wrong! It is not of him who is willing, nor of him who is racing, but of God. (Rom.9:16)

No one is saved after this life

Wrong! After this life, in time, all are saved! (1Cor.15:22-28)

Death is eternal

Wrong! Death is abolished, removed from office, at the consummation of the ages! (1Cor.15:26). When there is no more death, what else can there be but life?!

God only saves those who believe now

That's wrong! God saves all, especially those who believe now! (1Tim.4:10)

Adam lost more than Christ will gain

No! Christ is more successful than Adam! (Rom.5:18-19) Death will be abolished and all will be made alive beyond the reach of death.

God will be All in some

Wrong!! God will be All in all! (1Cor.15:28)

God cannot save the irreverent unless they quit being irreverent long enough to believe

Not true! God justifies the irreverent while they are irreverent! (Rom.4:5)

Men are saved by their own faith

It's a foundation of Christian teaching - it's wrong! Men are saved by Jesus Christ's faith! (Rom.3:22; Phi.3:9)

God allowed that bad thing to happen to you

False!!! God created evil!!! (Isa.45:7)

Men choose to be stubborn

False!!! God locks up all together in stubbornness!!! (Rom.11:32)

Sin is stronger than grace (it must be if some will be damned for eternity)

That is false! Grace is stronger than sin! (Rom.5:20)

Christianity's foundational teachings are the opposite of truth! How could this be happening?

Well, Paul said it would... get out now!!!

Inhumanevitae nominates Platinum for TWeb no00b, with statements like these:

Why do I say the Reformation is so key to all this murder and mayhem? Because it all happened directly after the Reformation. There are no accidents here.

TyRockwell also noms for Veteran again (already!) with statements like these:

A network like TBN that has a 99.9 % good track record shouldn't be attacked like you are doing. NOBODY is perfect. Not especially YOU.

spauline gets little nutty:

Therefore, Christ, in HIS CRUCIFIXION, bears the mystery of the sources of Divine Truth in His very body and position!

I will do the fingers later, but let us see what you guys come up with.

Come on, you can do it. Think theologically. Analyze the hand and the fingers and draw parallels between the sources of truth.

Furay dismisses non-Catholic scholarship with a handwave:

There are footnotes on every page of the book, but every single statement doesn't come with a citation. Personally I don't consider NT Wright or James D. G. Dunn to be authorities in anything having to do with Christ. Being as how they are protestant heretics I take their work with a grain of salt, perhaps you might feel the same way towards Fr. Meagher. So be it.

In the non-Christian realm, Islam2009 made this comment on David Wood's blog, responding to David after calling him desperate. Wood said: "The false "gospel" that Paul referred to had nothing to do with a book. This is a misunderstanding Muslims get from Muhammad (who obviously had no clue what the word "gospel" meant). The word "gospel" (euangelion), in Greek, simply means "good news." Islam2009 said:

So what you're saying is that it's ok for Christians in the very 1st century to have entirely different Gospels.. As long as they didn't write them down in a book?

Here's a Mormon item called Getting a Testimony that wins:

Often we approach testimony in an intellectual way. We study a doctrine, check it against scripture, consider its plausibility, and ask for affirmation. We must set aside our stubborn demand for proof and full knowledge. We must have a suspension of self-will and disbelief if we are to grow faith and spiritual knowledge. As we do this, we are rewarded with heavenly aha's. The doctrine begins to swell within us, enlarge our souls, enlighten our understandings, and becomes delicious to us (See Alma 32).

"DW-Static", a commenter on an article on abortion says:

Ever notice how these anti-abortion people don't give a crap about a child once they're born?

And why don't they go after the egg industry for selling aborted chickens?

Seems to me that the truly stupid have just exposed themselves.

Finally, in response to a reader mockingly referring to the president as "the messiah", someone replied:

Messiah? What kind of racist name is that? Platinum book nomination for The Positive Bible

Screwball to Perry Stone on his TV program, desperately trying to find parallels between US and Rome to support his nutty apocalyptic claims. He drew one "parallel" that Rome had its chariot races, the US has NASCAR. Christian website Platinum nominee, for content such as:

What fruit has come from Paul, but schism and immoral lives? He called us away from the sermon on the mount to a false and immoral doctrine of justification by faith alone, and you see the result! Homosexuality running amock! Fornication up the wazzoo! Mountains of aborted "fetuses." Millions of children with no respect for their parents, or anyone else! Thanks alot Paul! Its time to drop the false apostle and return to Christ. Its time to go to the sermon on the mount, not the lie of easy believism. No more faith alone-now faith + morality! No more Paul, not only Jesus! "I Paul, the best apostle, who spit on Peter, James, and John, testify to you that you can be saved without loving God, without obeying him at all, without any morality!" No, Paul you are a liar who will burn in hell with your father the devil. Just give me Jesus! Not just a lame stripped down watered down whipping boy Jesus, but the real Jesus with a moral doctrine that challenges men to live right and who says unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees you can't make it to heaven. There's the real Jesus, and I find him in the gospels, not Paul. This world is hurting because way back in 160 AD or so, a bunch of Moron Catholics got together and added Paul to the canon, resulting in an apostasy from Christ that we still haven't recovered from! They covered the world in blood! They filled the world with immorality! Their new "apostle" destroyed the faith. Atheism is at an all time high! And its all Paul's fault. His god is hard to believe in, a god who sends good people to hell for not believing a specific doctrine and takes evil people up to heaven for merely beleiving that doctrine, never requiring them to change their lives and live right! What? How can salvation or damnation be all or nothing? How can it be that good people go to hell for all eternity for having one little doctrine wrong? and evil people go to heaven still practicing their evil just because they got one little doctrine right? how can that be, if God is just and loving? It cannot be! Paul is a liar. We must throw Paul away and go back to the gospels, learn the gospel anew and afresh from the mouth of Christ Himself, and stop trusting in fictional characters like Paul who was invented by the heretic Marcion and legitimized by the Roman Catholic Church.

Judge Jamie Tabor of the UK nominates for an At-Large Platinum:

A yob accused of robbing a driving instructor walked free from court - after a judge ruled that the victim was too believable as a witness.

Judge Jamie Tabor praised Denise Dawson as 'honest, utterly decent and brave' when she identified a man as her alleged attacker and gave evidence against him.

But moments later he halted the trial and ordered a not guilty verdict on Liam Perks, 20.

The judge said Mrs Dawson's good character and compelling evidence could sway the jury, even though she had had only a fleeting glimpse of her attacker.

He said: 'Denise Dawson was a particularly impressive witness because she showed courage, clarity of thought and was undoubtedly honest. The jury may lend more weight to her evidence than the facts allow. You cannot be sure she got it right.'

Guy Stroumsa wins for trying to resurrect Morton Smith's Secret Mark by proving it wasn't a forgery (at least, not a modern forgery by Smith). Plat skep for a reference list of YouTube atheists/ Here's an example of why. A reader told us of his debate on "Christ-myth" stuff at the YouTube boards, and was talking with a guy who had this to say:

Between 1601-1611 at the council of Nicea, King James ordered the writing of the Bible. People were killed to accept this monumental fruad....I hope one day you'll be grateful to us who spends so much time trying to educate you.

2009 Platinum Screwball Award Winners

Mike Wright wins a Special Award for either Best Parody or Dumbest Atheist. Highlights:

Several years ago i was explaining to an xian how their illogical belief in the trinity was stolen from plato. They asked me for evidence for this and so after some quick googling I found a reputable historian called Kersey Graves. Did they accept it? No. They ridiculed me and called my source stupid (as you do when you know you've lost a debate) Then more recently I get the xians who tell me hat zeitgeist the movie or wikipedias aren't reliable sources. There really is a worring trend amongst xians to just dismiss my sources as invalid.

So what do xians use as their source? The bible. You know, that book full of talking donkeys, errors and contradictions. Nuff said. Give me kersey graves and wikipedia any day.

This version uses the word whale - you obviously have the church approved version with all the contradictions edited out. The SAB is the more reliable translation...*

Obviously (the Da Vinci Code is a) novel and so there is a lot of fiction in it but in terms of historical facts it's reliable.

Monty Python's life of brian is based on history.

a historian is an expert in history. Rook Hakins is the rational response squad's expert on history

and hat's why dan brown often gets historians coming up to him telling him how factually accurate his books are? Stop reading your narrow band of deluded xian historians.

Are you saying than dan brown is lying when he says lots of historians agree with him? For a start his wife is an art historians and she agrees with him.

does someone hve to have published peer reviewed papers to be a historian? why? who says so?

Baigent and Leigh peer reviewed each others work

[ Alister McGrath is a] "retarded theologian"

Nobody believed that golden plates were hidden in a wood before mormonism so it must be think not. Where id the mormon belief of the golden plates come from? We must also remember that this was a time before TV, nintendo wiis and yhe internet and so people got bored and made up stories of reserected friends for fun.

Well what about robert price - he thinks they ripped of the reserection from pagan myths. now robert price is proberly the top scholar on this subject in the world. As indiana jones is to a good action movie, einstein is to science and mr bean is to comedy Robert Price is to biblical scholarship.

For some strange reason xians seem to think that we cant question their skydaddy as in order to do so we'd have to be a sky daddy. But we can turn that around, if I can think of something I could do better how do we know im not correct. Who says that a sky daddy doesnt have to adhehere to my standards?

did jebus feed 5000 people? Often people ask how jebus fed the 5000 however if the fish was mouldy then nobody would have taken any and thats how there was enough to go around. Or maybe they chopped the fish into 5000 tiny pieces and nobody was that hungry that day. Maybe its a myth and the fish represented star signs. Maybe jebus was the david blaine of his day. Theres all kinds of rational explanations. Let me reply to that one with his style of language, "he uzed teh skydaddy powerz"

Is God a Coke Dealer? Recently god was arrested for dealing drugs. Now xians will say 'oh, this guy was just pretending ti be god' but then how do we know the same isnt true for jebus? now why does the bible say its wrong to get drunk i think its quite fun really i got drunk and i can still blog intelligent posts des[pite it. horaay those people who belives in stuff dont kow how to have fun

As Richard Dawkins pointed out to John Lennox in their discussion, the fact you believe in the resurrection shows that your an idiot and if your an idiot then your wrong. the resurrection is clearly a myth.

Firstly didnt god get bored before he made the universe, but if god is perfect how did he get bored? But before god had made anything how can god think about anything?

well i'm getting my argumens from some of the greatest thinkers of all times: Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, Bertrand Russell, Robert Price, Sam Harris, Brian Sapient etc etc and getting my facts from reliable sources such as Wikipedia

Why does god give some men a bigger penis than others if god loves everyone the same?

Now you seem to argue that pepsi is better than coke however this is clearly not true. I have tasted both and all my friends agree with me. Coke also sells more and is more well know and i drink it. If your judgement on such a simple matter as this is wrong how can we trust you on anything else?

I see, just call anyone who disagrees with you stupid. Ignore the fact most people on IMDB think its a great movie, you must just be more intelligent and knowledgeable than them. How do you know that you arent the stupid one and that the makers of zeitgeist are correct?

I cant imagine that a reputable achdemic such as Jordon Maxwell would be wrong.

If you read the begining of luke is says that many other people have written gospels before luke. Now dont forget that this was a pre computer age when nobody had word processors and so couldnt edit their gospel or use spell checkers so it would take decades to write a a result it must be second century.

C S Lewis is often given by gullible xians as one of there most intelligent apologists. Well I thought that today id demonstrate how he was a complete thicko by examing one of his most famous arguments. Namely that narnia could be hidden in a wardrobe.

How big is a wardrobe? 2 meters by 1 meter seems like a good estimate. How big is narnia? thousands of kilometers by thousands of kilometes. So how could a massive place like narnia fit into a tiny wardrobe?

Now some people might jump to C S Lewis defense and claim that he didnt really believe narnia existed however that is not the point. If he couldnt get his maths correct in a story, fictional or not, the how could he anywhere else? And is beliving in a sky daddy and less stupid than beliving narnia is in your wardrobe?

Aparantly JPHolding (Bob Turkel) has written a book called blowing the doors off Now Im not certain how he intended it to be taken however in a world of religious terrorists, crusaders and spanish inquisistions his book could easy be understood as an instruction manual on how to blow doors of things. Now maybe he only meant his book as a joke however will he be laughing when an abortion clicnic bomber buys his book and decides to go around their town blowing the doors of all the atheist houses in there area. I think that people like JP Holding (who is rude and obnoctious anyway) should be encouraging people not to do do terrorism rather than writing books encouraging people to blow doors of buildings.

I often stump the xians who post here on this issue. Here is a new devastating rebutal to the resurection which I recently came across and thought Id share.

When people get up in the morning they are often said to have risen from there sleep. Moreover when someone is fast asleep they are often said to be dead. Thus when people said that jesus is risen they simply meant that jesus woke up from a deep sleep.

My next point is that being crucified is pretty boring. Sometimes they would sing songs like on monty pytons life of brian to keep spirits up however this was not an option when only a few people were crucified. Thus jesus got bored being crucified, fell asleep and when he woke up everyone said 'he has risen'

Im not saying that this is definately what happened however a naturalistic explanation always trumps a supernatural explnation


An unnamed YouTube commenter:

According to to Islam Judas replaced Jesus on the cross, according to others his bones have been found, but he never existed because he's a sun-god as we well know. So what REALLY happened is that The disciples stole the body of Judas thinking he was Jesus and tried to revive him. They succeeded. Since he was now divinely transformed, he put his bones in an ossuary and they are now mistaken for Jesus' bones. We dont know where Jesus is, but Judas ascended and became the sun we now orbit.

Christian E-Mail

God said THOU SHALL NOT KILL that's exactly what he means. There are no exceptions or bylaws whatsoever. It's people like you who deceive the world with your garbage. If you knew God you would know He has never killed a single person or animal. It is satan and people like you who give God a bad name. God is total pure love and has never sinned at all. I pray that some how God can reach you before it's too late for you.

Non-Christian Theist

Mormons visiting two of our readers -- served some blue gatorade, one said this:

"Well let me put it this way. If the prophet told me this blue gatorade was red, I'd believe it."

At-Large E-Mail

Dear Customer,

My name is Mr.John Cullen and i have Contact you regarding some of Tyres.Below is the size's that am Intrested.

( Dunlop Tyre) 235/70 R15 102S Grandtrek AT20 Tyre width : 235 mm Tyre aspect ratio : 70% Tyre diameter : 15" Tyre load index : 102 Tyre speed symbol : S 180 km/h Tyre usage : 4x4 Tyre season : All season

So i will like you to go ahead and let me know the price base on that and also the method of Payment that you do accept. If possible i may have your Full name and your Contact number so that i may be able to give you a call for any further assistant. Once again thank you for the business.Hope to hear from you Shortly.

Best Regards

Mr.John Cullen

Guess my article on Tyre in Ezekiel got his attention.

John Loftus

This is the date seven years ago that Sam Harris started writing his book, The End of Faith. At least something good came from that horrible and despicable cowardly act of terrorism.

At-Large Website

Skeptic Website

Evangelical Realism blog

TWeb veteran


Christian website

The 26 Dec 2004 tsunami was caused by a nuke ordered by the Vatican!

Skeptic E-Mail

hello [delted] stupid [deleted]

your site is crap. if you type tekton into google it isn't even near the top of websites its so [deleted]. I saw your illogical article on religulous (you spelt it wrong in the title of the article.) I then saw this [deleted] argument:

The word for "jealousy" in Joshua used less than half a dozen times in the OT, and always is used to describe God. Nowhere is this word described as a sin.

Well, lets see shall we:

1 John 4:8 -"God is love."

1 Corinthians 13:4 -"Love is not jealous."

Exodus 20:5 -"I, the Lord thy God, am a jealous God."

If i were you i'd give up apologetics or go away and teach yourself logic.

Famous Skeptic --- Bill Maher

Famous Christian - Todd Bentley

Christian Statement

Someone was gettium mg into a hissy because one version of the KJV changed the spelling of "Saviour" to "Savior" and "thoroughly" to "throughly". A more reasonable member (who I can call so from his posts in the other thread I linked to) asked "So do you think spelling changes change the overall message? Obviously, it they change the meaning there is a problem."

To which MC1171611 posted this little gem:

Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him. (Proverbs 30:5) I've never been too concerned about the "message" or the "meaning." It's the words that I'm concerned about.

TWeb noob - Hyperbrain

Skeptic Statement: TIE

Commenter on Vox Day's blog

My $.02,

Many of the purported miracles Jesus performed can be ascribed to commonly known phenomenon in "healing" situations. The blind man who can suddenly "see" may simply have been highly cataracted before and his amazing cure was him getting caught up in the fervor of the group setting. I would love to have had the opportunity to interview this man a day after his cure. Multiplying food. This one seems like an easy explanation. An assembling group of people are with very little food. Jesus arrives and soon after a supply van arrives with fish and bread. Not too hard to see how that one might have got started.

Poster replying to a YouTube video

Just a small point Kabane, ppl are ressurected on Earth every 40 seconds, either by cpr and or a defibulator, it has also been know to happen without assistence. Seek medical evidence of a solo ressurection and you will find your evidence.

Told that CPR and defibrillators did not exist in the first century, he replied:

Ok this has to be th stupidest reply i have ever gotten, lol. U must think ppl are really stupid... plus it makes absolutely no sense. I am pretty sure ppl realize cpr wasn't used back in the time of Jesus you stupid ****. That wasn't my point o Edited by a Moderator o. Ressurection on their own would be considered swoon, what? Due to the nature of crucifixion...what? Ressurection is dieing and coming back to life, prove it happens and you prove ressurection period you stupid ****.
Ok I realioze u r a kid with no brain so I will explain in better detail. Jesus was crucified and stabbed with a spear, they did not know to check a pulse at the time period he was killed, so he could have easily been unconsious when they put him in his tomb, the spear could have missed all vital organs and he could have awakened in the tomb. All these events happen all the time, ppl getting nailsa in their heads, ppl coming back to life, use the evidence we have today to prove it..

Loftus' Useful Idiots

Harry McCall Demands 37 Miracles

This past Sunday night, the National Geographic Channel aired a program based on the documented facts that there were 42 failed attempts to kill Hitler in: 42 Ways to Kill Hitler.

While attempting these 42 failed assassinations to kill this monster; six millions Jews, Jehovah Witnesses and other "undesirables" died in Nazi concentration camps along with millions of civilians and hundreds of thousands of soldiers...

If there is a God seated on his Royal Throne in Heaven, why did he not let at least 38 of these assassination attempts succeed since the death of Hitler could have stopped the Nazi machine or the latter of the 38 attempts would have ended the war?

38 successful assassination attempts? Now that would indeed take a miracle (actually 37 miracles)!