Alberta Atheism Theism Deity Jesus Myth Part Three Archeology

Archeology is providing information that Jesus of Nazareth was not and is not a myth, but walked our planet some 2000 years ago for about 33 years, died and was resurrected.

The blog of August 28, 2015 addressed the issue of whether Jesus was a ‘copycat’ version of some other so called deity of the past. The October 29, 2015 blog noted what historians from the past recorded about him.

The bottom line for all the blogs is to answer the question, is there a God? In order to determine a valid conclusion one needs to look at all the evidence. As was mentioned in a previous blog, Satan, going back to the distant past, rebelled which had very negative ramifications for all life on earth. As humans we were not and are not exempted. However, we know from scripture that Jesus came to address the evil that came from Satan’s actions.

Palestine in Jesus’ time had a population of about a half million. The average life span reportedly was only about 40 years and many children died at an early age. The scriptures tell us that droves of people followed Jesus to receive help. Medical knowledge was minimal so there was a great deal of suffering.

Jesus healed the sick and the demonized wherever he went. There were others with the name Jesus, but it was only Jesus of Nazareth who could bring relief for the suffering, die, be resurrected, and provide redemption for all mankind. If Jesus had died and not been resurrected he would be considered to be just another philosopher, mentioned briefly in University introductory philosophy courses. However, he was God in the flesh and is alive. This is difficult for non-believers to grasp because of the belief that nothing incorporeal exists.

History tells us that after Jesus’ resurrection he told his followers to go and preach the good news everywhere. In addition there were times when Christians were persecuted and many martyred. Many moved on to other locations. At first Christians worshipped in their homes. As their numbers grew they built small churches where they could meet and worship. Archeologists are finding some of the churches from early Christian times. Over time these churches disintegrated and often destroyed by invading armies. Jerusalem, for example, although not a minor centre, has been overrun by seven different armies and usually rebuilt.

Recently, an ancient church has been unearthed in Jordan. If you enter into your computer, World”s Oldest Christian Church, Jordan, you can view the floor mosaic laid down in about 230 CE. A dedicatory phrase was found that reads, ‘to God Jesus Christ’. According to current information at least 40 such ancient churches have been discovered. The early Christians knew that information passed down to them by previous Christians was reliable, because miracles were still happening as they did in Jesus time and as they did in the time of the apostles. All the early churches being discovered today are evidence that Jesus was not a myth.

With Constantine as Roman Emporer (306-337) the Christian faith was tolerated and larger churches became more common. Enter, ‘Constantine and Churches’, and you can view the larger churches of that time.

As churches were established in the early years of Christianity, church leaders wrote letters as there was no bible as we know it today. The letters were written on papyrus, a plant material, or on parchment made from animal skins and formed into a scroll. All the originals, it seems, are lost, but early copies have been found.

In 1934 an Oxford Scholar, while sorting through unpublished papyrus belonging to the John Rylands library recognized a fragment in Greek containing part of four lines from the gospel of John 18:37-38. The fragment, among other items, had been found by a farmer in a town along the Nile River in Egypt. Scholars have dated it to be from about the beginning of the second century. Since it is a copy of an original, the original very likely was written by John, an eye witness of Jesus. There is no evidence from this piece of archeology that Jesus was a myth.

An author, Josh Mcdowell, in his book, ‘Undaunted’, tells he was an atheist and was going to prove Christianity was a sham. He went to Europe to talk to scholars to get the information he needed. He also went to the John Ryland museum and there he saw the fragment mentioned in the above paragraph. The fragment when matched with our modern bible said in part, with Jesus speaking, “I have come into the world to testify to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears my voice….and (Pilate) going again to the people said to them, “I find no fault in him”. (John 18:37-38).

The fragment mentioned above is on display in the John Rylands University Museum. You can see it by entering into your search engine: John Rylands University Library, Papyrus P52.

Jesus said, “I came down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of him that sent me. (John 6:38)

Jesus speaking said, “For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost”. (Luke !9:10)

Archeology is one indicator, among others, that Jesus is not a myth. He is looking for you and if you look for him he will become your friend.

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Alberta Atheism Theism Deity Jesus Myth Part Two

This blog continues to address the question of whether Jesus is a myth, as some philosophers would want one to believe. For the benefit of those who are readers for the first time, some information will be reviewed from the blogs of July and August, 2014.

A Roman historian, Cornelius Tacitus, in his writing speaks of  “Christus” who suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius and Pontius Pilate.  (The Annals, Book 15:440).  There is no reason for him to have made up a story about Jesus if Jesus didn’t exist. Jesus was not and is not a myth. Also, Jesus and Pontius Pilate are mentioned in the bible in the book of Luke. The scriptures are historically reliable.

Pliny the Younger, in about AD 112, wrote a letter to Emporer Trojan asking how he should deal with followers of Jesus who met before daylight and sang verses as a hymn to Christ, as a god. (Wikipedia:Pliny the Younger; Epistle Concerning the Christian Religion).  This request for advice, by Pliny the Younger, was after the death and resurrection of Jesus. The christians knew exactly who they were worshipping. Pliny and the Emporer, one can be certain, also knew who Jesus was. Between the death and resurrection of Jesus and the rule of Trojan was only about 100 years.  During that time period christians were martyred for their belief in Jesus Christ.

Josephus (b.37-d.100) attested Jesus existence when he wrote ,”Now there was about this time Jesus…. he was a doer of wonderful works”. ( Josephus, ‘Antiquities of the Jews’, Book 18, 3:3)  Josephus is considered a reliable historian and provides information that Jesus did exist.

Suetonius (A.D. 69-122) wrote in his publication, ‘Lives of the Caesars’,  “Punishment by Nero was inflicted on the Christians, a class of men given to a new and mischievous superstition.”   Obviously, since Christians were being punished for their faith in Jesus this provides proof that Jesus existed. They would not have been prepared to become martyrs if they considered Jesus a myth.

Lucian of Samatosa (AD 115-200) a second century writer, mentioned Jesus as a man people worshipped and that he was crucified in Palestine because he introduced a new cult into the world. Lucian did not speak positively of Jesus but it does show that he existed. ‘Life and Writings of Lucian of Samatosa’,  by W. Tooke.

Justin Martyr (100-160) states in,  ‘Dialogue with Trypho’ , that John, one of the apostles was an eye witness of Jesus.

Polycarp, (69-150? A.D) an early church father knew the apostle John and said that he was a disciple of Jesus. It is generally held that John was banished to the Isle of Patmos where he wrote the Book of Revelation. He was eventually allowed to leave the island and became a Christian leader at Ephesus.

Irenaeus, (A.D. 130-200)  provided further information and said  that Polycarp had personal contact with the apostle John and with others who had seen Jesus. (Eusebius V.XX).  Also see on the internet, ‘The Historicity of Jesus Christ’,  W. Jackson.

Polycarp and the christian martyrs before him believed that Jesus was God in the flesh, was crucified, died and resurrected. There is recorded an interesting verbal interchange between the Roman proconsul and Polycarp who was about to be martyred. The proconsul kept threatening Polycarp what he could do to him if he didn’t renounce his christian faith. Polycarp replied saying, “Eighty and six years have I served him and he never once wronged me; how then shall I blaspheme my King who has saved me ?’.  After a further short verbal exchange he was taken to a stake and burned before all the people in the Stadium. ( pp, 25-26, ‘Foxe’s Book of Martyrs’, Spire Edition, 1998.)

The Talmud, Sanhedrin 43a, (Jewish Scriptures) say that on the eve of the Passover Yeshu was hanged which means he was crucified. The christian scriptures also use the word “hanged”,in Galations 3:13. It has the same meaning in this case as the word “crucified”.

The catacombs in Rome give witness to the existence of Jesus of Nazareth and the christian faith. During Roman times many people were buried in underground corridors. Many of these were of the christian faith as shown by their “art work”. This art work reflected their understanding and faith in what Jesus accomplished on the cross and by his resurrection. If you enter,  ‘Christian Artwork in Roman Catacombs’, on your computer you will be taken to this material.

In Revelation 1;18 John quotes Jesus who said, “I am he who lives and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore,…. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death.”

In John 11-25, Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me, though he may die, he shall live”.

The christians buried in the catacombs left a witness, through their art, that their spirit/soul went to heaven when they died. They further believed that in the future they would experience a resurrection.

Jesus is not a myth, and has made a way for us to receive forgiveness. All one has to do is ask.

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Alberta Atheism Theism Deity Myths Part One

Much has been written to prove that Jesus never existed, that he was nothing more than a “myth” from the past. Furthermore, many argue that he was just a “copy cat” version of other gods and any facts about him can be found in other ancient and present day religions.

The individuals who are convinced that Jesus is just a myth would be pleased, perhaps, if it were true, because it would be a step closer to prove that there is no God. However, it is crucial to look at the facts to evaluate the evidence.

What becomes obvious as one studies the ancient religions is that none seem to end up with only one god. The gods seem to have been created by the active minds of persuasive people, and so more gods were generated to suit their culture as time progressed. Many of the gods were personified and became images and objects of worship. Statues of many gods were formed. For example, in Egypt the god Khnum took on the form of a statue. The god Horus took on the form of a sculpted hawk. Later in time, in the Greco-Roman mystery religions, numerous gods also were worshipped. Some of these gods were Bacchus, Ceres, Mithra, Zeus etc.. What needs to be noted here is that none of these gods ever existed in flesh and bone form. They were fictional, lifeless, supposed gods. They had no spiritual components that could positively affect the lives of people who worshiped them. These non existent gods may have had an emotional impact on worshipers but had nothing to offer of long term spiritual value. Whatever spiritual nature they might have had would have been negative and the type described in my posts of May 26, 2014 and June 22, 2014. Almost all the gods of  past civilizations were myths, except Jesus Christ. They provided no spiritual benefits then and they provide no spiritual benefits now.

Some of the myths mentioned above still seem to be important to some people today. Freemasonry places value on gods of the past such as Venus, Isis, Bacchus, Ceres and Mithra. A brief laudable overview of Masonry beliefs and practices can be found in the book,  ‘The Gods of the Lodge’, by Reginald C. Haupt, JR.

The “copy cat” issue is an important one because non believers argue that there is no significant difference between Jesus and other deities and so he too was a myth. They hold that aspects about Jesus were taken from other deities and applied to him. Scholars have researched this claim and found that it is erroneous. The scholars went to the original texts of the religions in question and found that most similarities claimed did not exist.One could guess that later writers assumed this would not ever be checked out so information was added to the later texts. To find the details for this research on your computer enter, “Investigating the Similarities between Jesus and Pagan Figures,  The Divine Evidence’.

Jesus was not some kind of mythical copy cat version of some other small gods. The scriptures say, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God…and the Word was God…All things were made by him… And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us…” (John 1:1, 3, 14)

Jesus said…” I AM the bread of life…the living bread which came down from heaven”. (John 6:35, 51)  Two thousand years ago Jesus came as God in the flesh, was crucified, resurrected and now offers salvation. All other gods are insignificant and are of no help when our life is over.

You can talk to Jesus from anywhere and he will hear you. Perhaps you live in a busy city or perhaps you live where there are few people. Talk to him and he will hear you. Ask him to come into your heart and be your savior, Lord and friend. Millions upon millions have found him to be that and that he is not a myth.



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Alberta Atheism Theism Miracles Deity Moral Evil

This post is about moral evil and follows the previous post about natural evil.

Moral evil is the result of an agent who has the capability to create harm, pain and suffering. We are all familiar with the pain, physical and/or emotional that others may have caused us.  On a larger scale we know of the many dictators who caused unbelievable suffering and death to millions. Probably most of these dictators did not believe that there was a God taking note of what havoc they were creating.

Both atheists and theists can agree that moral evil exists but differ in their belief on what causes it. Both see our human condition and all the problems that can be caused by wrong thinking. Education and counselling ,of course, is available that can hopefully lessen harm to self and to others. However, there is one major difference between the belief systems of atheism and theism.

The problem with the atheistic perspective, about moral evil, is that it does not allow for incorporeal existence of any kind. No Supreme Being, no evil spiritual beings or benevolent ones. Those who hold this belief have not gone to where the evidence is. This evidence was clearly laid out in a previous post or two. Just as it is impossible to prove that God does not exist, so it is impossible to prove that incorporeal beings do not exist. Those holding to atheism need to do the research and go where the evidence leads. Avoiding information that is available is hardly scientific.

One reliable source of information about the beginning of moral evil is given in the Christian scriptures. Much has been said about Adam and Eve and the error they made in the Garden of Eden, but to understand the source of moral evil one needs to go back in time, presumably before their appearance.

Lucifer, later called Satan, was created the most beautiful and powerful angel. This resulted in arrogance and to his downfall as quoted below.

“You said in your heart, ‘I will ascend to the heavens. I will raise my throne to above the stars of God….”(Isaiah 14:13).

“How you have fallen from heaven, morning star of the dawn! You have been cast down to the earth”. (Isaiah 14:12).

According to Revelation 12:9 there was a war in heaven, “And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil and Satan, which deceives the whole world, he was cast out to the earth and his angels were cast out with him”.

Now that Satan and his angel followers were turfed out of heaven and have access to our earth, what is their goal? Jesus as quoted in John 10:10, said, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy”. Further the scriptures say, “Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” (1 Peter 5:8)

It would seem, based on scripture, that certainly some moral evil is due to the influence of the evil one and his evil followers. One need only observe current events to see that something evil is transpiring caused by what Jesus explained, as quoted in John 10:10 above.

Jesus in John 10:10 is also quoted as saying, “I have come that they may have life and that they may have it more abundantly “. This Jesus can do because of his death on the cross and his resurrection.

In the Lords Prayer there is a portion that says, “deliver us from evil”. Some translations say, “deliver us from the evil one”.

God can forgive us and deliver us if we ask him to! Do research and follow where the evidence takes you.






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Alberta Atheism Theism Miracles Deity Natural Evil

A great deal of debate by philosophers and theologians has taken place about the topic of evil.

Different viewpoints have been expressed determined by whether there is the belief that God exists. All agree that there are two basic types of  evil namely, natural and moral. This post will address the issue of natural evil and the next moral evil.

Anyone who pays attention to the news media soon realizes that there are frequent natural catastrophes happening in the world, some major and some minor, all of them causing suffering and pain. Such catastrophic events have a long history. For example, ten million died in India in 1769 because of a famine. On million starved in Ireland in 1845. A 1887 flood in China caused a million deaths. We all know about the big earthquake which caused great damage to SanFrancisco in more recent times. In addition, of course, are the more personal catastrophes that can happen to us. Over time, as knowledge has increased, we have learned to control the environment around us to some extent, but it seems the big natural disasters are and will be beyond our reach. Certainly these kind of natural evil events will continue until the Creator brings about  a change.

The universe is massive, but our immediate concern is our solar system of which we are a part. As the earth, revolves and orbits, hurdling through space, it follows natural laws. In doing so, seasons come and go with concomitant movement of air masses that can create hurricanes, tornadoes etc. which cause so much pain and suffering. Another example, paramount in our existence, is the force of gravity. It keeps our solar system in place but can also give rise to pain and suffering as in earthquakes, causing buildings to fall to the earth and destroy anything and anyone beneath. However, without gravity our earth and   the rest of the solar system would have been flung into outer space and we would not exist.

The big question then is how is one to view these natural evil disasters?  From an atheistic viewpoint, as best I can determine, the perspective is you do the best you can for yourself and for others and when you expire its over, forever. The first part is realistic and laudable, but the “forever” portion is questionable because there is no proof that God does not exist. More about this towards the end of this post.

The scriptures say, “God saw all that he had made and it was very good” (Genesis 1:31). From God’s perspective, at that point in time, he was pleased with what he had done. However, there were some negative aspects that will someday be done away with.

Paul in the scriptures is quoted as saying, “For we know that the whole creation groans and travails in pain together until now” (Romans 8:22). He was quite aware of this given he almost drowned in a shipwreck and when he did reach land he was bitten by a snake.


John, a prisoner on the small island of Patmos, had a vision recorded in Revelation 21:1 which says, “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away….”  The creation of a new heaven and a new earth can only happen if there is a God to do it. He is the only one that can create a world without natural evil. This, will happen sometime in the future, beyond our lifetime, so it is important that we get to know him now and accept the salvation he provided for us by dying on the cross.

A philosopher that readers may want to become familiar with is Anthony Flew. Flew was a predominant atheist philosopher following the Second World War. In 2007 he published a book,  ‘There is a God: How the World’s Most Notorious Atheist Changed his Mind’

Thanks for visiting.






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Alberta Atheism Theism Miracles Deity Easter

Easter is not of equal importance to all people. For those who hold to atheism, agnosticism or humanism it may be just a holiday. For christians, all over the world, it is a time to remember Jesus’ victory over death and a means to have our sins absolved and a guarantee of life with him in the future. Jesus’ resurrection is proof that God exists and loves his creation.

Most everyone is familiar with what happened with Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. Just as an aside, historians think that the Garden of Eden was situated in what is today Iraq. The apostle Paul said,  Romans 5:12,  sin entered our world by Adam and Eve not following the instructions given by God. If taken literally it was a serpent that mislead them. In any case the serpent was evil, a concept they did not understand. The scriptures relate in Ezekiel, how Lucifer, a long time ago, became arrogant and was turfed out of heaven onto the earth and became Satan. Adam and Eve, God’s creation, one can be sure, were Satan’s prized targets. Some readers at this point may wonder about the question of Adam and Eve versus early man. This will not be pursued now. The main stress here is that evil exists due to the actions of Satan. The posts of May 2014 and June 2014 have some related information.

Because Adam and Eve failed to follow God’s instructions they sinned. The result of this was and still is, that everyone is subject to both physical and spiritual death. Satan and his angels, now evil, do their best to destroy humans. Satan does not like humans, so tries his best to prevent people from accepting God’s forgiveness.

Adam and Eve having broken God’s law and having been mislead by Satan, created a situation that needed addressing. What they did was a serious matter. The scripture in Hebrews 9:22, explains God’s perspective about sin, where it states, “Without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins,”. God for Old Testament times established a procedure to follow to receive forgiveness by sacrificing animals.

The shedding of blood was an extreme action which was a strong reminder that sin had serious consequences. It spoke of life and death. Easter was in the distant future but for a time it was a way of receiving forgiveness. Some may wonder whether God was pleased with all the sacrifices. He wasn’t. Isaiah 1;11 records God’s perspective when he said, “What to me is the multitude of your sacrifices? I have had enough of burnt offerings of rams and the fat of well- fed beasts; I do not delight in the blood of bulls, or of lambs, or of goats”. These sacrifices would have continued indefinitely but God had another plan. He knew there would be an Easter in the future.

The Godhead, namely, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit implemented a plan that would provide a permanent means of forgiveness for all humanity. John 3;16 explains the plan. It says, “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believed on him would not perish but have everlasting life”. God’s son, Jesus, would come to earth and become a sacrifice so that all people for all time could receive forgiveness, if they asked for it. Jesus was the “Son of God”. The sacrifice of a mere man or an angel would not have been adequate to provide forgiveness. The death of Jesus, the Son of God, as deity, meant that the blood of deity was shed and always available to do away with our sins. This forgiveness is available to us today no matter who we are or where we are. It doesn’t matter if one is currently perhaps espousing theism, agnosticism, atheism, humanism, or some other belief system, Jesus died and was raised from the dead to provide forgiveness for everyone if it is accepted.

A simple model prayer might be, “Father God, I believe Jesus died on the cross for me and I ask that you forgive me for all my sins. I believe you raised Jesus from the dead and I receive Him now as my personal savior and friend.

Talk to God in your own words too, and invite ‘Jesus into your heart’.

Always remember that Easter tells us that a great miracle happened about 2000 years ago. Jesus died and rose from the dead, so we can have forgiveness now and when we die we will be with him for all eternity. If you accept him he will never leave or forsake you!

Thanks for visiting.

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Alberta Atheism Theism Miracles Deity Miracles Today Part Two

This post continues to address the question whether God works miracles today outside what is termed ‘natural laws’.

As one who has had an interest in the topic of miracles for many years, I have followed the evidence which has led me to conclude that God does indeed work miracles today. Check back to the last post for data that proves that this does happen. For more proof that God works healing miracles today refer to,  ‘The International Order of St. Luke the Physician’, with the main office in San Antonio, Texas, and with branch offices in several locations in North America. They publish a magazine, ‘Sharing, A Journal of Christian Healing’.

In researching the topic of miracles/healing over the years it has become apparent that those who have experienced a healing don’t go rushing to the local news media looking for a spot on the evening newscast. Rather than make a big issue out of their experience they quietly go on living their lives.

An interesting aspect of whether miracles can happen today is that some christian denominations hold to the belief that that’s not for today, it’s not valid in our modern times. This flawed belief is because they give a questionable interpretation of 1 Corinthians 13:8. There Paul lists some manifestations in the church of his time and states that these would stop in the future. However, if you read carefully, the word ‘miracle’ and ‘healing’ does not appear in the list, so in other words it is reasonable to believe that miracles can still occur today. After Jesus’ resurrection, he told his followers to go and tell people what he accomplished on the cross and to heal the sick. There was no suggestion that that was to cease.

Even though there is ample evidence that physical miracles occur today, and you can find them if you look for them, does not mean that they are common place. Just because not everyone who asks God for a miracle gets one, doesn’t mean he doesn’t care about them. Further, if one receives God’s intervention once, does not mean that such a person will not need medical attention in the future. The point of this post is to simply show that miracles do happen and it only takes relatively few to provide evidence that God exists and cares about us.

From our human perspective, a perhaps negative aspect of our existence is that eventually some negative physical illness will cause us to pass from this earthly scene. Until that time we get help from what medical science has to offer and in some cases God might intervene with a miracle. Scripture states, and miracles provide evidence, that a supreme being exists, and is benevolent, so I think it prudent to establish a positive connection with him.

Luke 18 tells of a tax collector who wouldn’t even look up to heaven but beat his chest and said, “God, have mercy on me a sinner.” Jesus speaking said, “I tell you that this man… went home justified before God.” That is the kind of attitude and the kind of words, in your own words, that can begin a relationship with God you never had before.

Remember, Jesus as God, exists, is alive, and still works miracles today.

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