Do we prevent somebody being hurt by superstition or faith by rejecting and challenging those things? 

Is it mistaken to support organised religion in membership or donations?

If people do good because they are human, not because God prompts them then is it right to risk giving God any credit when they alone own their good?

 


JESUS' TEMPLE PROPHECY

In John 2, Jesus causes trouble in the Temple and claims authority to put the buyers and sellers and their animals and stock out. The Jews asked him where he got this authority and what evidence he had to show he had it. He replied that they should destroy this Temple and in three days he will raise it up. He didn't say what he meant by that. John says he meant the temple of his body which would die and be raised up again three days later. The Jews assumed he meant he would demolish the Temple and rebuild it in three days. From this they concluded that he was mad. Jesus is declaring that the resurrection is his big proof that he is the Messiah, Son of God and whatever else he claims to be. Would Jesus have misled them that way and made them think he wished to demolish the Temple? What other interpretation could they take of him? Maybe that is what he meant. Especially when he was attacking the Temple physically. It is tempting to think that the resurrection story could have started with a missing tomb. Then the apostles remembering the prophecy about the Temple decided it was his body he meant not the real Temple and decided they had enough to go on to proclaim a resurrection. In any case, Jesus was claiming the right to meddle even violently in Temple affairs without giving any evidence that he had authority to do so. He needed that evidence before he could act. But he didn't let that stop him. John puts this episode at the start of Jesus' ministry when he hadn't even started his ministry with its alleged miracles which worsens it all. He was not to be trusted.

The resurrection failed to be his big proof for nobody saw him rising. That can be taken as support for a literal interpretation of his Temple prophecy.


FURTHER READING

Christianity for the Tough-Minded, Ed John Warwick Montgomery, Bethany Fellowship Inc, Minneapolis, 1973
Conspiracies and the Cross, Timothy Paul Jones, Front Line, A Strang Company, Florida, 2008Evidence that Demands a Verdict, Vol 1, Josh McDowell, Alpha, Scripture Press Foundation, Bucks, 1995
He Walked Among Us, Josh McDowell and Bill Wilson, Alpha, Cumbria, 2000
Jesus and Early Christianity in the Gospels, Daniel J Grolin, George Ronald, Oxford, 2002
Jesus: The Evidence, Ian Wilson, Pan, London, 1985
The First Easter, What Really Happened? HJ Richards, Collins/Fount Glasgow, 1980
The Historical Evidence for Jesus, G A Wells, Prometheus Books, New York, 1988
The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail, Michael Baigent, Richard Leigh and Henry Lincoln, Corgi, London, 1982
The Jesus Event, Martin R Tripole SJ, Alba House, New York, 1980
The Jesus Inquest, Charles Foster, Monarch Books, Oxford, 2006
The Passover Plot, Hugh Schonfield, Element, Dorset, 1996
The Resurrection Factor, Josh McDowell, Alpha, Scripture Press Foundation, Bucks, 1993
The Resurrection of Jesus, Pinchas Lapide, SPCK, London, 1984
The Unauthorised Version, Robin Lane Fox, Penguin, Middlesex, 1992
The Second Messiah, Christopher Knight and Robert Lomas, Arrow, London, 1998
The Virginal Conception and Bodily Resurrection of Jesus, Raymond E Brown, Paulist Press, New York, 1973
The Womb and the Tomb, Hugh Montifiore, Fount – HarperCollins, London, 1992
Verdict on the Empty Tomb, Val Grieve Falcon, London, 1976
Who Moved the Stone? Frank Morison, OM Publishing, Cumbria, 1997
 
THE WWW

Still Standing on Sinking Sand, Farrell Till,
www.infidels.org/library/magazines/tsr/1997/1/1sink97.html

Why I Don’t Buy the Resurrection Story by Richard Carrier
www.infidels.org/library/modern/richard_carrier/resurrection/index.shtml

A Naturalistic Account of the Resurrection, Brian Marston
http://www.phlab.missouri.edu/~c570529/PhilosoStop/resurrection.html
This site argues that somebody unknown stole the body to stop the apostles stealing it or venerating it and lost it and argues that the witnesses of the risen Jesus were lying because no effort was made by them to preserve first hand reports of what was seen and how and when. It argues that since the apostles had followed Jesus at great personal sacrifice and now he was dead they invented the resurrection to save face. Also the inclination of people at the time to believe in dying and rising gods may have overwhelmed them and made them lie to themselves that Jesus had risen. He answers the objection that a lie like that would need a large-scale conspiracy for lots of lies start off with a small group of people and if the lies are attractive other people will believe them. Plus he says that Jesus could have rigged events to make sure he would fulfil Old Testament prophecy so the Christians should not be saying the gospel story is true for it fits old prophecy. When a story fits something like a prophecy or another story, the story is made up. End of. And especially when it fits prophecy that isn’t prophecy at all.  I would add that owing to the total absence of evidence that Jesus was nailed to the cross and the fact that the gospels never say any of his friends were close to the cross that Jesus might have been tied to it and the Christians later assumed he was nailed because the psalm seemed to say so.

The Case For Christianity Examined: Truth or Lies?
www.askwhy.co.uk/awstruth/ChristianCase.html

Historical Evidence and the Empty Tomb Story, A Reply to William Lane Craig by Jeffrey Jay Lowder
www.infidels.org/library/modern/jeff_lowder/empty.html

The Resurrection, Steven Carr
www.bowness.demon/co.uk/resr.htm

Did Jesus Really Rise from the Dead? Dan Barker versus Mike Horner
www.ffrf.org/debates/barker_horner.html
 
Craig’s Empty Tomb and Habermas on the Post-Resurrection Appearances of Jesus
www.infidels.org/library/modern/richard_carrier/indef/4e.html

Did a Rolling Stone Close Jesus’ Tomb by Amos Kloner
www.bib-arch.org/barso99/roll1.html