How to Separate the Facts from the Myths?

Some excellent points from Ark in yesterdays post, and some unanswered questions from Mel, who is not taking a fundamental approach to believing the Bible, such as the Adam and Eve story or Noah’s ark, but we are to believe in the virgin birth and the resurrection. Other than some place names in the Bible that we know exist, how can we determine which is fact and which is fable?

Author: jim-

One minute info blogs breaking the faith trap.

83 thoughts on “How to Separate the Facts from the Myths?”

  1. I got lost … there’re a lot of words up there. But one landmark was the use of the word ‘supernatural’. At what point does the SN become merely N?

    So thunder is no longer Thor (or whoever) … but I’d say that a virgin conceiving without having known a man by lying with him is entirely feasible in any age. Without getting grubby about it, here in Southland we have many thousands of such immaculately conceived cows that would fit that definition, every year, no bull. (Pun …)

    I think ol’ Joseph was a wee bit unworldy if he accepted her story—one might even say gullible—but a girl has to defend herself, no? (“It was two angels, Joe, honestly …”) and so the scene was set. Sure beats getting rocked to sleep, or being stoned; good on ya, Ma’am—fast thinking, well done.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. I believe that contradictions are impossible. No such thing, just false premises.
        So if there are contradictions in The Bible—
        —miracles! Boom boom! He’s done it again!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. As I wrote to Mel yesterday, applying the same criteria to the supernatural claims of the New Testament will bring you to only two possible conclusions. They are false ( myth /fiction) or Don’t know. It is impossible to make a positive claim in their favour. If one wishes to beleive then one has to be brutally honest and acknowledge it is a question of faith, and nothing else.

    Biblical tales such as Yahweh creating Adam and Eve and Yahweh enacting the flood were once claimed as fact, and still are by biblical literalists, are perfect examples of supernatural events – Yahweh interfering in the normal natural process – and both examples have been shown to be false, nothing more than stories.

    He acknowledged that belief in the Virgin Birth is purely a matter of faith so why should the Resurrection be considered any differently?

    This is where the lack of integrity and blatant dishonesty of apologists such as Mel is laid bare.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. By the time a guy gets to be a minister it is usually obvious that the ministry is unsupportable with facts and logic. Unless you really live in Lala land you already know it’s no good. That’s why you have to keep convincing others, so you can come up with reasons to stay in faith. That is a big part of apologetics. Finding a reason to stay requires all of you effort and devotion. I take it you two are not mates? Lol.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I know him from a bar of soap, Jim, but have had run-ins with similar types. Unklee is one.

        It invariably gets to the point where he levels the ”You (science) can’t prove that the supernatural does not exist” , ( but it can when it comes to the bible) or flings the words ”scientism” and Naturalist/Materialist Atheist as pejoratives. It is just so silly.

        His tone is slightly more high brow when answering you and Prof Taboo, but he reveals his true character when he leaves his lofty perch and descends down the ladder several rungs and high fives and back slaps with Branyan and co, who has to be the most asinine Christian I have ever read.

        Ever piece of evidence that even marginally challenges Mel’s worldview he will throw out, or hand waved away.
        He, like unklee, has stated that the O.T. does not affect his belief in Jesus being his god, saviour and creator of the universe.
        Yet he admits that Yahweh is part of the Triune god he worships!
        And they spend so much time and effort defending it!
        As if an omniscient god could care two hoots about the opinions of piss-willy humans, or would require them to defend Him in any way whatsoever. The mere idea is ridiculous.

        There is a perfectly good reason why an organisation such as the Clergy Project was formed.
        I just hope that Mel becomes a member one day, then perhaps we can have a laugh together.
        Meantime, if he wants to try to raise his ”stock value” and at least retain a modicum of integrity he should avoid aligning himself with arseholes like Branyan like the plague.

        Liked by 2 people

    2. Since I am new here and on some other blogs all of you participate in and I have had a brief “looking” at comments from Mel, JB, colorstorm (only a couple) and a few others. JB seems mostly to enjoy the game and answer a question with a question and just be very circular and mostly gibberish. Colorstorm…well just seems out there. But Mel strikes me as the most intelligent and the most likely to some day “see the light.” And he’s polite.

      I feel very fortunate that I’ve never been a believer and was not raised in a religious household and in general, religion seemed to be more in the background when I grew up. And now it is front and center and crazy.

      I was first really exposed to religious people 15 years ago when I lived in NC. But I was in Asheville, so it was still a good progressive mix. Now in central Fla. I see it blatantly exposed.

      So I have always wondered and questioned how on earth these people believe this stuff! Can’t they see it’s just mythology and there have been thousands of religions and various gods.

      It’s a book for Jeebus sakes!

      Written over several hundred years by numerous authors, taken from earlier religions ( like Greek, Pagan, Celtic), controlled by the religious elites to leave in, ad or change anything and everything at their whim in order to control the masses at any given time.

      Are people just so needy and lazy and afraid they might be wrong or love the idea of lording it over other people and being justified in the condemnation of others who are different or believe different.

      Seems a huge ego boast that these people desperately need.

      It is all so ridiculous that it just blows my mind. And I’m no genius, but my goodness…THINK

      Liked by 4 people

      1. Mary it easily fills an void that people have been taught to wonder about. If you decide to believe it then you struggle for years to make sense of the details. When you finally do, you realize you’ve been duped but it’s hard to admit, and it has also has become your complete way of life and it’s hard to swim against the current. At some point you have to face it with anger and disgust, or just live with it. Apologetics is spawned by doubt. Doubt is what fuels the tireless explanations to try and justify your beliefs.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Like you, I was brought up a christian by name only. Aware of all the stories, but never really believing in the miracle nonsense and everything else merely passed me by.
        I was initially blown away when first encountering some of these people and then after running into the evangelical fundamentalists I was gobsmacked.

        Mel is polite when he feels like it.
        In discussions with atheists and non- believers he becomes much more doctrine oriented and will do what it takes to ensure there is minimal wiggle room when presenting his arguments.
        The problem with such dialogue is that he ALWAYS enters the fray with his presuppositional worldview cemented in place and has no real interest in fact or truth but merely in trying to undermine any naturalist position that in any way threatens the supernatural foundation of his fear-based religion.

        The best you can hope for is to learn a few things, if this topic is your bag, and laugh at the lunacy of some of the things they believe and write.
        Wait til you bump into the Young Earth Creationists!

        Liked by 2 people

      3. It’s a book for Jeebus sakes!

        Yep! And a VERY old one at that. But look at how many people spend their entire lives trying to do what that book says in hopes of a “heavenly” afterlife. Boggles the mind.

        Liked by 2 people

      1. Coward! Have you never wondered what a pet Allosaurus was like?This was before Adam and Eve sinned of course, and only then did they get those big sharp pointy teeth.
        Grrrrrrraaaarrrr!
        Where’s Ken Ham when you need him ….

        Jurassic Park anyone?

        Liked by 2 people

        1. No, but our next task is to prove supernatural doesn’t exist. Science isn’t accounting for that biblical phenomenon that every believer believes knows is real, and we’ve been challenged

          Liked by 1 person

            1. Not a chance. I’m not going to acknowledge it because it is just too ridiculous

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    3. ARK — of course God cares! If He/They didn’t cares/care, He/She/It (bugger, Trinity is too complex, I’m going singular and to Hell with the fallout) wouldn’t bother, no?

      So the fact that we have a universe (and it’s pretty biggish, all things considering) at all should be proof. Sheesh!
      How often do you dum atheists have to be told that without God you wouldn’t even be here? (And some dare call ME thik! Oops, dense.)

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    4. It is absolutely frightening to witness how people can convince themselves to believe things untrue and absurd. Here in the U.S.A. we have juries that decide peoples fates. Most jurists believe in evil and cults, applying those erroneous ideas to people and condemning them. Once indoctrinated truth is less important than serenity.

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    5. Mary:

      wealth and power, Ma’am —that’s what it’s all about.
      That, and only that … my advice to the young? Find a new angle on Big G, start young and milk it for all you can get. Be ruthless, bulldoze any opposition (send in the persuaders where necessary) and set up a self-propagating empire of franchises.

      It works. Never fails if you do it right …

      Like

  3. I have a different take. The genesis writer was a evolutionist. Early mankind encountered other archaic humans. Interbreeding created a new being with a larger brain.

    The warning in genesis and the punishment of painful childbirth and death is really a history of our evolution. Self awareness would allow us to anticipate death, fear it. Having a self awareness would make embarrassment possible, thus cloths.

    I think an early geneticist had his work stolen and bastardized into the bible.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. That is an interesting hypothesis. Along the lines of Jesus being a astrophysicist. I’ll leave this up. Maybe the other guys will take a crack at it. Been a long day. Thanks for stopping by.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Christianity is hard because it doesn’t really make any historical claims, beyond the existence of a man named Jesus. The Acts Seminar concluded most Acts is pure fiction and there was never an early church in Jerusalem.

        As for the OT, well there’s a mountain of historical claims, and they’re all nonsense. No, that’s not right. They are historical fiction, written for a very specific purpose: to place Judah at the centre of the Jewish world.

        Liked by 2 people

  4. Seems strange to hide all the meaning when so much is riding on it. Why not preface their writings with “this is a parable?” That would certainly be effective in teaching and also not damming your position with apparent deception.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Great point Jim! If there is indeed layers of hidden, cryptic meanings, then WHY do so many Christians, especially Evangy-Fundy Christians, speak and teach tons and tons of absolute, infallible certainty!? LOL 😮 🤣 Again, those darn, constantly MOVING GOAL-POSTS!!! 🤬 😛

      Liked by 2 people

            1. Oh. Thank you Scottie for the heads up. My time is quickly dwindling this evening, haha, as my phoe is blowing up too. 😛 I’ll try my BEST to get over there!

              Hugs for you too! ❤

              Liked by 1 person

            2. About the the whole virgin birth story before Jesus thing. Ark hinted it was an issue. I read on line where it is true. But Mel claims they have all been debunked. When I first started talking with Mel about it, he made statements that made me think the virgin birth idea was very unknown at the time. Then I find websites saying it was very common. I was wondering if you had any studied this before or had some ideas of where I should concentrate my study of it. I know Aron Ra has said that there are similarities between the Jesus story and other myths, but I didn’t realize he was talking virgin birth. To me that is a total game changer on that story if it was a common god idea. Hugs

              Liked by 1 person

            3. Damn it Scottie! Could you ask me a HARDER question that would require 1-2 years to answer!!!? LOL 🤣

              No, seriously. I want to give you a good, viable-to-highly-compelling academic answer(s) because a bulk of MY answer will cover several centuries in Antiquity of little-known truer Jewish Messianism inside of the oppressive, harsh Greco-Roman Empire, both of which the floundering new “The Way” Judeo-Christian Movement sprang from and how. You deserve that Scottie! ❤ I will also provide a couple of intial suggestions of who and where to concentrate your study. And remember, when Mel says they've been debunked, what he SHOULD say is that HE falls on the side of constrasting schools of thought — naturally, because they align with his current lifestyle and occupation. Like most of us, he too is biased. 😉

              Give me tonight and the weekend please?

              Liked by 1 person

            4. Thank you Professor. Take all the time you wish. I will be ecstatic to get the information and learn about the subject no matter when it comes to me. Understanding is growing, and growing is living. have a great weekend. Hugs

              Liked by 1 person

            5. Forgot to also mention Scottie that for the last 4-6 months I’ve been working on a blog-post called The Missing Incarnate Nonsense which will most definitely get into your question of the Immaculate Conception fable. Unfortunately, I’ve had to put it on hold due to the non-availability of other scholarly bloggers that specialize in these areas. And since my time is also limited… this is what happens. Life. LOL 😉

              Liked by 1 person

            6. I would rather you enjoy the time you have available with your loved one, rather than work a study plan for me. I value your input and knowledge but I don’t want to take advantage. Best wishes. Hugs

              Liked by 1 person

            7. No, no, no! I just humbly ask for your patience is all cuz I DO WANT to assist you! This is very important stuff to know and be able to retort/challenge Faith-followers who honestly don’t know it or understand its full historical evolution. Fear keeps them from impartially/neutrally (as is humanly possible) scrutinizing their own world-view… as you and I and many other secularists, humanists, atheists, agnostics, etc, are happy to do anytime, anywhere. 😉

              Just please sit tight while I find the information and time to compose my best answer(s). ❤

              Liked by 1 person

            8. You always assist me. I just don’t want it to be your focus. You have too much life for that. You are a beacon because you have so much energy and enjoyment in living. Go for it. I will be here when you have time. Much loves. Hugs

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            9. I was wondering if I could ask you about the virgin birth issue that Mel and I and Ark were talking about. I would rather have the ideas / knowledge of people I trust and know have studied the issue than wade through youtube videos that may or may not be correct. Mels says, as you can see on your blog, that the issue has been debunked. That means it is false that it was a rather common idea, and according to one web site I read not even new to Jesus in the bible. But others say it was a common idea and many mythical characters had those same type of stories. I am basically asking all our community to chime in and help me sort it out, if they will. Thanks. Hugs

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            10. The first part of a lie is usually the easy part. Substantiating a lie is where it gets tricky. The virgin birth of someone that most likely is mythologic in every aspect, is going to require some explaining. Each explanation gets more convoluted than the next, and each attempt to explain creates new problems that defy logic or biology. THEN it gets so bad you switch characters. No no, it wasn’t Jesus that was born of a virgin but his mother! But that has the same issues and even less available story line. The church has taken it upon themselves to vilify sex as a control mechanism, sex is now a sin, and how could the mother of god been born of sex, so here we go. I’m surprised the mother of the mother of god didn’t have to be from a virginic line of the house of David ? Now I could start making shit up to keep it alive. Muddy the water, change the goalposts,write miles of endless conjecture and then demand obedience from conflicting data that keeps you guessing. You, like me, tend to want to do the right thing and have life make a little sense. You cannot decipher this Scottie as long as you live. All you can do is guess at which version is right and then start writing books about it like everyone else. Convince yourself it’s valid. You can’t do it without compromising your integrity as a person. As far as multiple Jesus characters Yes. As far as being born a virgin it’s too hard to tell what data is real and what is not.

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            11. Wow, I never seen that movie. You have it so correct. I am interested in what makes a person act like that. Is it delusion? Inferiority or superiority feelings? Why not be open and honest. Yesterday I seen him outright lie about what I said, even after I copied it from mel’s site entirely and pasted it on his. Then he tells Mel a lie, and Mel agrees with him. To top it off he called me and most of the community cowards. Me personally and the rest by default.

              There is no need for that. I acknowledge I am not the most educated person. I do not have a theological background. But I am willing to listen , read, reason, learn and make up my mind based on the best information possible. Oh well. Thanks for the answers and the laugh this morning. Hugs

              Liked by 1 person

            12. They don’t see that you are investigating because you are friends with us. And it’s none of the above Scottie, it is doubt! Doubt. Doubt. That is what puts you into apologetics. After many years of faith you come to the crossroads of doubt, and spend the rest of your life trying to prove you’re not an idiot and gullible. I spent 20 years reading Qumran, Nag Hammadi, Dead Sea scrolls, yada yada, trying to find proof. I never did. Just wish I had the memory recall of Zande and Taboo. Sadly I don’t. After a few years so much of it escapes me. But in Christianity the conversion process is to “believe” before you know the details, then apologetics takes the rest of your life wading through cleverly worded arguments trying to prove yourself right.

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            13. I understand how you feel about remembering all the dang details. I also admire the ones who seem to be able to recall the details, dates, names, places with such ease and write them out. I get the general idea, have to work hard to put the pieces together in my mind. Then another aspect or topic comes up and I do it all again, but losing parts of what I just worked hard to put together. Oh well, Lucky I can reason at all I guess. Be well. Thanks again. Hugs

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            14. Well if you want to spin your wheels the rest of your life on a mental exercycle just become a devout Christian. I know a guy here that will do your baptism is you like. 🙂

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            15. I like this I heard. I really like Matt Dillahunty when he is explaining stuff. I watch him when he is on the Atheist Experience. I admit sometimes he is over my head when he is into logic and fallacies, but he said this I love.

              “I want to believe as many true things and as few false things as possible.”

              – Matt Dillahunty

              Liked by 2 people

            16. Jim, I would humbly like to add there that the Nag Hammadi and Dead Sea Scrolls (and many other independent & non-canonical manuscripts) are utterly invaluable to the context and cultural background of the canonical New Testament creation. In fact, IMO they cannot be excluded one bit! With more extended context comes more precise historical and ontological truth. 😉

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            17. See Scottie, this is exactly the common human condition I’ve talked about in the past: Peer-assimilation/pressure. And our biological need to be accepted/affirmed inside a group. Throw in the Placebo-effect of theatrical group performances (church congregations) and anybody can believe absolutely anything in sync with the whole, and Voilà! Orthodoxy is born.

              Reading Mel’s and BrainYawn’s exchanges (even InsanityBytes as well) you see Mel turn into a DIFFERENT personality; one of childish snippyness. Reaffirmations. In other ways, we do the same thing among our community. It’s a natural human or primate condition. What you and I and Jim must do is try our BEST to focus on and stay inside the subject content — i.e. ignore the emotional chirps and personal jabs; they have no weight on the subject whatsoever. It is tricky to do, to keep the dialogue strictly on the content — I’ve tried numerous times with BrainYawn, SoM, ColoringSprinkles, CitizenTom, etc, etc, to no avail. They all take false offensive when I bring up (redirect) childish jabs/chirps. Then it gets near impossible for any constructive dialogue.

              We are required to have massive amounts of patience with these type personalities; sometimes successful, other times a waste of time and comment-space. LOL 🤪 Nevertheless, try and hang-in there. ❤

              Liked by 1 person

            18. So I think you are saying : stay calm, stay focused, stay understanding of the person you are talking with. Correct? Hugs

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            19. Jim —

              I asked Scottie this question too… Should my answer to his Christian Virgin Birth legend be given here or via personal email? What’s best and convenient for you? I think I’ll be finishing it up for Scottie today.

              Liked by 1 person

            20. Scottie —

              I will ask Jim this question too… Do you want your answer to the Christian Virgin Birth legend here or via personal email? What’s best and convenient for you? I think I’ll be finishing it up today.

              Liked by 1 person

            21. Personally it is up to Jim and You. I can always post it on my blog if you like, but more of our community will see it on your blog or Jims. Hugs

              Liked by 2 people

  5. I think some stories in the Bible have a different meaning then what they appear to have. Hidden meanings. Like parables. The story of Noah one such example. Also, the stories can have multiple layers of meaning to them.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. As Sam Harris puts it, religion has a lot of unfalsifiable claims. He says that even if one went back in time, he/she may not be able disprove the virgin birth. Unless they were willing and able to follow Mary wherever she went about nine months before Jesus’ birth to prove she she didn’t have any sexual relations with any man. So I guess telling fact from fiction in the Bible is rather hard. Two tools come to mind here, Occam’s razor and Hume’s lemon test.

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  7. Jim I think if large parts can be shown wrong then it must all be looked on with extra scrutiny and distrust. Personally I wondered why those who claim the original sin from Adam and Eve was passed to all humans born after them did not lose their belief when the human genome proved that the biological mother and biological father we all relate back to NEVER met. They were separated by time. So No Adam and Eve, which means no sin in the garden of eden and no need for a Jesus savior. But I have seen Ark try to get an agreement on this and boy I will say he has tough skin and strong shoulders for the crap thrown at him from those who he is in debate with. Hugs

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  8. I totally agree with your comment that “even smart people can be tricked.” I know this to be true because it happened to me…and I’m brilliant 🙂 …And humble of course.

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  9. Takes a lot of study,time, research and good old common sense. Even then because it was so long ago, some of the pieces will still be elusive. But the main dissection of the mystical, magical and absurd beliefs should be able to be exposed for the untruths they are.

    Now getting people to believe the facts staring them in the face is a whole other story…..

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Part of it Mary, is people are afraid. Afraid to be wrong, embarrassed that they fell for it, so instead of facing it they bury their heads in it and never look up. I did the same so I understand what they are going through. A lot of pressure and rank realizations that your not as smart as you thought. Many people feel this way, and it’s ok. I just want them to know even smart people can be tricked, especially by those who love them.

      Liked by 3 people

  10. I know it’s still February and it’s cold outside, but Christians like to cherry-pick year round. It’s quite a harvest too. “This part is literal. It really happened” “This part is just poetry, not to be taken literally.” “This part requires 100% faith to believe but it is 100% believable and should be trusted as fact.” They claim Bible inerrancy until you call them out on it and then they say that you can’t take everything from the Bible literally. And “just because there are errors, doesn’t mean it isn’t all God-breathed.” Christians like to claim “It’s all true” until it’s inconvenient for them to take that stance. Then it’s only partially true, but somehow still completely trustworthy.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Great points i genuinely want to know. A lot of people are losing their faith and it would be fair to ask to decipher this. Thanks Ben. Love the February cherry picking!

      Liked by 1 person

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