The QuasiChristian

Critical Thinking and Spiritual Reasoning

Forged: Writing In The Name Of God


Bart Ehrman takes you on a journey to the ancient world and the forgery battles that have raged through the centuries. Ehrman contends that the New Testament is riddled with contradictions about the life of Jesus and his significance. He has provided compelling evidence that early Christianity was a collection of competing schools of thought and that the central doctrines we know today were the inventions of theologians living several centuries after Christ.

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January 5, 2012 Posted by | Atheism/Agnosticism, Biblical Criticism (Video) | Leave a comment

How Archaeology Killed Biblical History


The more we discover about the ancient world, the less reliable we find the Bible.

Hector Avalos calls for an end to biblical studies as we know them. He outlines two main arguments for this surprising conclusion.

First, academic biblical scholarship has clearly succeeded in showing that the ancient civilization that produced the Bible held beliefs about the origin, nature, and purpose of the world and humanity that are fundamentally opposed to the views of modern society. The Bible is thus largely irrelevant to the needs and concerns of contemporary human beings.

Second, Avalos criticizes his colleagues for applying a variety of flawed and specious techniques aimed at maintaining the illusion that the Bible is still relevant in today’s world. In effect, he accuses his profession of being more concerned about its self-preservation than about giving an honest account of its own findings to the general public and faith communities.

January 1, 2012 Posted by | Atheism/Agnosticism, Biblical Criticism (Video), Biblical Scholarship | , , , , | Leave a comment

The “Evidence” for Jesus’ Resurrection, Debunked in One Page


Chris Hallquist

Among Evangelical Christians, it’s become popular to claim that Jesus’ resurrection can be proved
with historical evidence. This is nonsense. Here’s why:

1. There is no evidence for the resurrection outside the Bible. Non-Christian historical references
to Jesus don’t occur until about six decades after the time when Biblical scholars think he probably
died. When these non-Christian sources refer to Jesus’ miracles, there’s no reason to see them as
anything more than a report of what Christians of the time believed.

2. There is little evidence that the Gospels were written by eyewitnesses, or based directly on
eyewitness accounts. Most of what the Bible says about Jesus’ life and supposed resurrection is in
the first four books of the New Testament: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, (a.k.a. the Gospels).
But Biblical scholars now agree these books were originally anonymous, their names added later.
The traditional Christian claims about who wrote them is now widely doubted by scholars.

3. This means that the Gospels can’t be trusted as evidence for miracles. Imagine someone trying
to convert you to another religion based on the “proof” of the miracles worked by the religion’s
founder… in the form of a handful of anonymous tracts recounting his life. Would you accept that
“proof”? Of course not. Among other things, the stories could just be legends.

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There are counter arguments to this. How would you respond to Chris?

October 14, 2010 Posted by | Apologetics, Atheism/Agnosticism | , , , | 1 Comment

What Does Prayer Achieve?


Andrew Brown (The Guardian)

If praying for someone else does them no good, what is the point of all those words and all that longing?

When I consider my Christian academic friends – people who are smarter, better read and harder working than I am – it’s clear that Christianity is a very dangerous profession. Three have daughters who died in their 20s; another has a daughter who is a drug addict. Parents and spouses get Alzheimer’s disease when they don’t get cancer. I imagine they all prayed for these things not to happen. I know they all still pray.

So what is going on here? What is the point of all that prayer? This is hardly a new question. It has been around at least since Job. Nor is there any hope of finding an answer that will convince everyone. But it is possible to tease out a couple of questions. The first is whether intercessory prayer works better than chance. There aren’t any reputable studies suggesting that it does, which is, I suppose another example of unanswered prayer, since at least some of these studies must have been commissioned in the hope that they would prove prayer is a worthwhile medical intervention.

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October 4, 2010 Posted by | Atheism/Agnosticism | , , | Leave a comment