Is there a God?
Reliable information for those asking life's big questions
Comments on pages in the Belief section. You can find older comments here.
20 November, 2016 at 8:29 pm
There is actually no evidence outside of the Bible to support the existence of God, Jesus, Human Souls, Satan, demons, angels, & many more religious topics. This lack of evidence is the reason that it’s called “Faith.” Many human beings find themselves unable to believe due to this absence verifiable evidence.
21 November, 2016 at 4:47 am
Hi Rocky, thanks for reading. I wonder if you’re interested in discussing this further? For example, what evidence would you give to support the idea that Jesus never existed?
6 January, 2017 at 3:07 pm
Full disclosure. I am angry at religion and frustrated by the mystery of existence.
The idea of “knowing god” discussed by some believers makes me most angry. I believe that it is impossible to know or have a relationship with god if that’s what started the universe, and that people who talk this way are arrogant.
If you believe the bible then it is simple, god only accepts charity to widows and orphans.
If you believe like Islam (total surrender) you are right as religious fervour surrenders your control over your frontal lobe, therefore your reason, logic and rational decision making.
If you believe Jesus died to save us, then we are saved. No man made religions are needed.
7 January, 2017 at 12:35 am
Hi thanks for reading and commenting, and thanks for the “full disclosure”.
Can you tell me why you are angry at religion and frustrated by the mystery of existence? Is it because you want to know about truth and God, but believe we cannot know what is true?
Hatem Yahia Saad says
31 January, 2017 at 10:38 pm
Very good topic. The answer to the question ‘how can we recognize God and the rightful religion’ is: by instinct and logic, BOTH. It would be unjust if God made finding the rightful religion hard and then punished people for not finding it. On the other hand, if there is a God who created us but doesn’t care about what religion we follow, then He would’ve created us pointlessly. God is highly exalted from being unjust or doing something pointlessly.
Long path made short: Islam fits the bill, being both totally sensible about every issue plus meeting human instinct on what is right and wrong. On a side note, Islam is the succession to Christianity as was Christianity a succession to Judaism, so Islam is currently rightful religion that is decreed by God.
Please read the Quran and assess this by yourself, don’t take anyone’s evaluation about it (including me). If you are interested, I have gathered almost all the logical arguments presented in the Quran into a book:
Or contact me for a free copy no problem.
Roger Reynolds says
1 February, 2017 at 6:48 pm
I am an active participant in Muslim Christian debate sites. I had recently posted a comment on that all reputable scholars know that Jesus died on the cross and I always cite other evidence as well. I need some help responding to the response from one Muslim. The response:
“THERE ARE NO REPUTABLE SCHOLARS IN EXISTENCE THAT DENY CHRIST WAS CRUCIFIED! ZERO!
Even ATHEIST scholars say Jesus died on the cross!”
This argument is completely BOGUS!
You people just stumbled across such a bogus claim over the internet and you are confidently repeating it without personally undertaking to check it up against facts!
The fact is there are many many “reputable scholars” that deny not only the alleged crucifixion but even the existence of New Testament Jesus himself due to lack of HISTORICAL evidences not only for the crucifixion but for the existence of Jesus of the New Testament !
Let me cite very few of such reputable scholars that denied not only the alleged crucifixion but everything that the New Testament says about Jesus as evidently literary fiction:
** Bruno Bauer (German: [ˈbaʊɐ]; 6 September 1809 – 13 April 1882) was a German historian. Beginning in 1841, in his book “Criticism of the Gospel History of the Synoptics”, Bauer argued that Jesus of the Gospels was primarily a literary fiction.
** In his two-volume, 867-page book “Anacalypsis” (1836), English historian Godfrey Higgins said that the Jesus of the New Testament is not historical at all.
** In 1909, German philosophy professor Christian Heinrich Arthur Drews wrote The Christ Myth to argue that Christianity had been a Jewish Gnostic cult that spread by appropriating aspects of Greek philosophy and life-death-rebirth deities. In his later books (The Witnesses to the Historicity of Jesus (1912) and The Denial of the Historicity of Jesus in Past and Present (1926)) Drews reviewed the biblical scholarship of his time as well as the work of other myth theorists, attempting to show that everything about the historical Jesus had a mythical character.
** In 1927, British philosopher and historian Bertrand Russell stated in his lecture “Why I Am Not a Christian” that “historically it is quite doubtful that Jesus existed, and if he did we do not know anything about him, so that I am not concerned with the historical question, which is a very difficult one”.
** English professor history German George Albert Wells insisted that Biblical Jesus did not exist. He argued that stories such as the biblical virgin birth, THE CRICIFIXION around A.D. 30 under Pilate, and the resurrection, should be regarded as fiction.
** In 2012, the Irish Dominican priest and theologian, Professor Thomas L. Brodie, holding a PhD from the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas in Rome and a co-founder and former director of the Dominican Biblical Institute in Limerick, published “Beyond the Quest for the Historical Jesus: Memoir of a Discovery” in which he showed that everything about the New Testament Jesus is fictional.
** The Canadian Earl Doherty has a bachelor’s degree in Ancient History.
Earl Doherty argued in his book “Jesus: Neither God nor Man—The Case for a Mythical Jesus” (2009) that Jesus of the New Testament originated as a myth derived from Middle Platonism with some influence from Jewish mysticism, and that belief in a historical Jesus emerged only among Christian communities in the 2nd century.
** Richard Cevantis Carrier was an American born on December 1, 1969 (age 47). He has B.A. (History), M.A. (Ancient history), M.Phil. (Ancient history), Ph.D. (Ancient history). Historian Richard Cevantis Carrier concludes:
“There is no independent evidence of Jesus’s existence outside the New Testament. All external evidence for his existence, even if it were fully authentic (though much of it isn’t), cannot be shown to be independent of the Gospels, or Christian informants relying on the Gospels. None of it can be shown to independently corroborate the Gospels as to the historicity of Jesus. Not one single item of evidence. Regardless of why no independent evidence survives (it does not matter the reason), no such evidence survives.”
Dr. Carrier pointed out the following:
– “The Gospels come decades later and are the first we hear of an earthly story for Jesus.”
– “The Gospels are wildly fictitious in their content and structure.”
– “Every story has discernible allegorical or propagandistic intent.”
– “The first (Mark) looks like an extended meta-parable (outsiders are told a story, while insiders are told what it really means).”
Carrier contends that apart from the hero archetype pattern, nothing else in the Gospels is reliable evidence for or against the historicity of Jesus.
** Professor Robert M. Price is a Professor of New Testament. Price questioned not only the alleged CRUCIFIXION and RESURRECTION of the New Testament Jesus but the historicity of Jesus in a series of books, including Deconstructing Jesus (2000), The Incredible Shrinking Son of Man (2003), Jesus Is Dead (2007), and The Christ-Myth Theory and Its Problems (2012), as well as in contributions to The Historical Jesus: Five Views (2009).
Above are just very few of the reputable scholars that denied not only the alleged crucifixion as historical but Jesus of the New Testament himself.
So much for the ignorant repeated claim that “zero” scholars deny the alleged crucifixion!”
Can you help me with a response?
1 February, 2017 at 7:22 pm
Sorry my previous comment was so long. My main question is that what constitutes a “reputable scholar?” I have a solid understanding and defense for the crucifixion but I have no idea who these other so called scholars are or if they are legitimate or not. Just needing some wisdom here..Brother to brother.
2 February, 2017 at 2:35 am
Only a brief reply now, because I am away from home, and have limited time online, but should be able to give a fuller reply tomorrow.
My first question would be whether it’s worth arguing with this person? I think sometimes it is better to walk away. But if you are now involved, then maybe you have to reply.
Some of those names mentioned, just a few, are or were reputable scholars, and some did/do deny that Jesus ever existed. Some are not reputable scholars at all. I could help you define which is which, but not right now.
The more cautious statement to make would be “the vast majority of scholars, and the consensus of scholars, is that Jesus did exist and his crucifixion is the most certain fact of his life. The only scholars I know who would deny his crucifixion would also deny his existence”, which of course a Muslim doesn’t agree with. I think that is a point worth making.
More soon. Best wishes.
Kenechukwu Asogwa says
2 February, 2017 at 6:34 pm
I’d like to know where majority of the apologists come from. Are they from among the converts or are they from among the native Christians (those born as Christians)?
2 February, 2017 at 8:48 pm
“I’d like to know where majority of the apologists come from. Are they from among the converts or are they from among the native Christians (those born as Christians)?”
Hi, thanks for your question, but I don’t know any way to know that. For a start, it may be easy in your country to distinguish between those born into Christian families and those born into Muslim families, but in many countries people can be brought up with no belief, or with a nominal belief.
Most christian apologists I know about who were brought up in christian countries, and most explicitly converted to personal belief in Jesus at some time (e.g. CS Lewis, William Lane Craig, Alister McGrath) but I know of at least one apologist who was born Muslim and converted to Christianity (Nabeel Qureshi).
3 February, 2017 at 6:28 am
Hello again, Roger,
Here’s a slightly more detailed answer.
1. As far as I can see, no-one on that list believes that Jesus lived but doubts he was crucified – they all believe he never lived. Now the Koran says that Jesus was a prophet and so obviously he lived. So any Muslim should not accept what any of those people say. Any Muslim should accept that Jesus was a historical figure, and the challenge for any Muslim is to find any experts who believed he lived but was not crucified. I don’t know of any. Most scholars I have read accept that Jesus death by crucifixion is the most well established fact of his entire life. I could give references on those who specifically accept the crucifixion, and it includes all the big names – Sanders, Wright, Ehrman, Casey, Bauckham, Evans, Grant, Fox, Hengel, Fredriksen, Meier, etc.
2. That is a very limited selection of scholars, and neither very expert nor representative.
Bauer and Higgins wrote about 2 centuries ago, and since so much more is known these days about ancient history, their views can be considered hopelessly outdated.
Russell was an eminent philosopher but had no expertise in history. Drews was also a philosopher, not a historian and wrote more than a century ago. Wells likewise has no credentials in history, and anyway he has since changed his view. Doherty is not recognised as a NT scholar – to be generally recognised would require a PhD qualification in a relevant area, to be working in the field at a recognised university or other institution, and to have published in peer reviewed journals. I don’t think Doherty has done any of those things.
So that leaves Price, Carrier and Brodie. Price is a recognised scholar but his views are highly criticised by his fellow historians. He no longer works at a respected university. Carrier has a PhD in history and has published a couple of times only, has never been able to gain an academic position and is not respected by any of his “peers”. I know little about Brodie, but his views are not accepted by the Catholic church even though it continues to employ him.
So we have three credentialled historians but none of them much respected by their peers (I could point you to examples of this). Against this we have literally thousands of historians who say otherwise (i.e. that Jesus was a historical figure who was crucified) – Christians, Jews, atheists, agnostics.
I have summarised the arguments at Was Jesus a real person? and provided about 20 quotes from historians at Quotes on Jesus as a historical person.
So I think you can make 2 points.
(1) The vast majority of historians and New Testament scholars conclude that Jesus existed and was crucified. Against this only 3 scholars, who are not highly respected, think otherwise.
(2) Muslims believe that Jesus existed, just as the scholars do, so the references offered should be rejected by any Muslim. So who is left to deny the crucifixion?
5 February, 2017 at 8:28 pm
Rocky should go and look up the Shroud of Turin for a start on extra biblical evidence of the existence of Christ.
7 February, 2017 at 11:08 pm
The shroud was debunked.
The only evidence that Jesus existed is that Pilot crucified him and Josephus recorded it.
8 February, 2017 at 11:32 am
Hi limivi, thanks for visiting again.
I am not someone committed to the shroud being genuine, in fact I am slightly doubtful about that, but I don’t think it has been debunked at all – see my discussion at The Turin shroud: fake or genuine?. What evidence makes you think it has been totally debunked?
Josephus recorded a little more than that, and so do the gospels. Historians accept the gospels contain at least some historical facts. Do you think they contain none?
8 February, 2017 at 1:13 pm
Just because YOU don’t believe the shroud has not been debunked does not mean that it hasn’t.
Once again, I am not going to provide sources or evidence for this as a 2 second search will provide for you whatever you choose to believe.
Yes Josephus recorded more but here only the crucifixion is relevant.
In order for a fact to be historical it has to be recognized by 2 historians with opposing beliefs, says Carl Sagan. The two historical facts in the gospels are that Jesus was baptized by John and was crucified.
8 February, 2017 at 11:55 pm
“Just because YOU don’t believe the shroud has not been debunked does not mean that it hasn’t.
Once again, I am not going to provide sources or evidence for this as a 2 second search will provide for you whatever you choose to believe.”
I guess you didn’t read the link I sent? I have actually searched for, and read, dozens of papers (quite likely much more than 50) on this topic, so it is likely I “know” more than you apparently do. And I have found that there are more papers, and better written papers, on the side of the shroud being ancient, than against it. I am still doubtful that it could be genuine, but I can see the strength in both sides of the question. Perhaps you should read my reference – The Turin shroud: fake or genuine? – and see for yourself. And see that I have been quite fair and even-handed in my assessment.
“In order for a fact to be historical it has to be recognized by 2 historians with opposing beliefs, says Carl Sagan. The two historical facts in the gospels are that Jesus was baptized by John and was crucified.”
I have (good?) news for you. There are many, many facts that are agreed upon by most historians, whatever their religious belief or lack of belief. This quote comes from one of the most respected New Testament scholars of the past 30 years, EP Sanders, who is an agnostic (from The Historical Figure of Jesus, p10-11):
“I shall first offer a list of statements about Jesus that meet two standards: they are almost beyond dispute; and they belong to the framework of his life, and especially of his public career. (A list of everything that we know about Jesus would be appreciably longer.)
Jesus was born c 4 BCE near the time of the death of Herod the Great;
he spent his childhood and early adult years in Nazareth, a Galilean village;
he was baptised by John the Baptist;
he called disciples;
he taught in the towns, villages and countryside of Galilee (apparently not the cities);
he preached ‘the kingdom of God’;
about the year 30 he went to Jerusalem for Passover;
he created a disturbance in the Temple area;
he had a final meal with the disciples;
he was arrested and interrogated by Jewish authorities, specifically the high priest;
he was executed on the orders of the Roman prefect, Pontius Pilate.”
I have read a lot of New Testament history, and I could nominate many historians of all religious viewpoints who would agree with all that, and more. I can even show you evidence that many non-believing and believing scholars accept that Jesus was known as a miracle worker (some believe he actually did miracles, some believe he performed natural “folk” cures, some make no comment) and that his disciples had some visionary experience of Jesus after his death that led to them believing he was alive (yes, many atheist scholars believe that!).
So a lot more is known than you might have thought.
9 February, 2017 at 2:16 am
It’s okay, you don’t have to show me anything. I’ve got access to the Internet and I know how to use it.
That’s how I found out the shroud was debunked and there are only 2 historical facts to prove Jesus existed.
Sathya Sai Baba was known as a miracle worker.
I too believe Jesus disciples had visions after his death.
9 February, 2017 at 10:12 am
OK, thanks. I guess if you have made up your mind and don’t want to see any more information, even if it challenges what you think, I have little more to say, except – thanks for reading and commenting.
9 February, 2017 at 12:24 pm
I have seen the information. Ridiculous ideas don’t challenge what I think. Profound ideas do.
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