The Book of Mark (not Mark's writing, obviously, just entitled that) is widely known as the first Gospel.

 

But what if it's a work of fiction?  At the time, certain Hero Myth books were common and popular.  Similarities to the Hero Myth books (Oedipus, the Iliad, etc.) include the third person narrative, son-of-god credibility, miracles, magic, ghosts, witches, followers, alleged wisdom, fall and redemption, and resurrection.

 

Mark's original book did not include the last twelve verses.  Curiously, those verses are the ones that tell Uncle Mortimer that it's OK to handle snakes and drink poison.  Those verses were added hundreds of years later.  Mark's book ended with an empty tomb, and some frightened women who ran away and told no one about their find.

 

Quite the cliffhanger, is it not?  And could the other three Gospels and further books simply be sequels?

 

Without Paul of Tarsus, there would be no Christianity, of this much we're certain.  Some scholars surmise that Paul's writings predate the Gospels.  For instance, Paul never mentions Jesus' miraculous birth or his miracles, nor does he mention the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem in 70 BCE.  The Gospels say that Jesus foresaw the destruction.  What is more likely is that the Gospels were written after the destruction.

 

So... what if a Greek scholar was familiar with the Pauline myth of Jesus, yet had no history of the man?  What is he to do but write one, using the familiar hero myth components that Greeks had come to expect of important mythological people?  Add in a few prophetical satisfactions, and voila!  Athens Times Best Seller!

 

I'm not saying it happened this way, but it's not the least plausible explanation of the situation we've heard.

 

DF

Make time for great justice.  Expect us.

Original Post

Hi Deep,

As usual, you throw out a smoke screen, copy/pasted from one of your atheist gurus/gods -- Dawkins, Hitchens, et al -- and give zero references where you found it.  Why?  Are you afraid it is too easy to refute your sources?

Deep, you postulate, "The Book of Mark (not Mark's writing, obviously, just entitled that) is widely known as the first Gospel.  But what if it's a work of fiction?. . . Mark's original book did not include the last twelve verses."

While both religious and secular writers tell us that Mark and the Gospel he wrote are not fictional nor fabricated -- I will agree that, most likely, verses 9-20 of Mark 16 were not written by Mark.  It does appear that a scribe, or scribes, added this at some later point in time.   However, this does not, in any way, change the message and theme of the book:  Jesus Christ, the Servant Son.

Actually, you will find that each of the four Gospels has a specific theme or focus.  Much the same as sports writers who report Alabama football games will find a unique focus for their stories.  One may focus on the offense and the running game; another may focus on the skills of the quarterback; another may focus on the awesome Alabama defense (as Arkansas discovered this past  week); while a fourth may focus on the coaching.

All are writing about Alabama football -- but, each with a different focus.  Thus, we, the readers -- get a more complete picture of the game by reading the stories of all four sports writers.  The same is true when we read the four Gospels -- we get a more complete understanding of Jesus Christ and His earthly ministry.

Viewing the four Gospels:

Matthew's Gospel sees Jesus Christ at the King -- because he is writing primarily for the Jews.

Mark's Gospel sees Jesus Christ as the Servant Son -- he is writing for the Gentiles.

Luke's Gospel pictures Jesus Christ as the Perfect Man.

John's Gospel -- the fourth Gospel, the Gospel written by the apostle John -- has more of a theological emphasis, focusing on the deity of Jesus Christ -- the preexisting Son of God, God the Son.

Same game, different focus.  Same Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, seen from four different points of view.  


Four Gospels!  One Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ -- the overall theme of the entire Bible.

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SHOULD MARK 16:9-20 BE IN THE BIBLE?
Got Questions Ministry -- GotQuestions.Org
http://www.gotquestions.org/Mark-16-9-20.html


Question:   "Should Mark 16:9-20 be in the Bible?"

Answer:  Although the vast majority of later Greek manuscripts contain Mark 16:9-20, the Gospel of Mark ends at verse 8 in two of the oldest and most respected manuscripts, the Codex Sinaiticus and Codex Vaticanus.  As the oldest manuscripts are known to  be the most accurate because they were copied from the original autographs (i.e., they are copies of the originals), and the oldest  manuscripts do not contain vv. 9-20, we can conclude that these verses were added later by scribes.

The internal evidence from this passage also casts doubt on Mark as the author (of verses 9-20).  For one thing, the transition between verses 8 and 9 is abrupt and awkward. . . .  The author should be continuing the story of the women based on the word  “now,” not jumping to the appearance to Mary Magdalene.  Further, for Mark to introduce Mary Magdalene here as though for the very first time (v. 9) is odd because she had already been introduced in Mark’s narrative (Mark 15:40, 47, 16:1), another evidence that this section was not written by Mark. . .

While the added ending offers no new information, nor does it contradict previously revealed events and/or doctrine, both the external and internal evidence make it quite certain that Mark did not write it.  In reality, ending his Gospel in verse 8 with the description of the amazement of the women at the tomb is entirely consistent with the rest of the narrative.  Amazement at the Lord Jesus seems to be a theme with Mark. . . . Some, or even one, of the early scribes, however, apparently missed the thematic evidence and felt the  need to add a more conventional ending.


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GOSPEL OF MARK
Got Questions Ministry -- GotQuestions.Org
http://www.gotquestions.org/Gospel-of-Mark.html

 

Author:   Although the Gospel of Mark does not name its author, it is the unanimous testimony of early church fathers that Mark was the author.  He was an associate of the Apostle Peter, and evidently his spiritual son (1 Peter 5:13).  From Peter he received first-hand information of the events and teachings of the Lord, and preserved the information in written form.

It is generally agreed that Mark is the John Mark of the New Testament (Acts 12:12).  His mother was a wealthy and prominent Christian in the Jerusalem church, and probably the church met in her home.  Mark joined Paul and Barnabas on their first missionary journey, but not on the second because of a strong disagreement between the two men (Acts 15:37-38).  However, near the end of Paul’s life he called for Mark to be with him (2 Timothy 4:11).

Date of Writing:  The Gospel of Mark was likely one of the first books written in the New Testament, probably in A.D. 57-59.

Purpose of Writing:   Whereas Matthew is written primarily to his fellow Jews, Mark’s gospel appears to be targeted to the Roman believers, particularly Gentiles.  Mark wrote as a pastor to Christians who previously had heard and believed the Gospel (Romans 1:8).  He desired that they have a biographical story of Jesus Christ as Servant of the Lord and Savior of the world in order to strengthen their faith in the face of severe persecution and to teach them what it meant to be His disciples.

Brief Summary:   This gospel is unique because it emphasizes Jesus’ actions more than His teaching.  It is simply written, moving quickly from one episode in the life of Christ to another.  It does not begin with a genealogy as in Matthew, because Gentiles would not be interested in His lineage.  After the introduction of Jesus at His baptism, Jesus began His public ministry in Galilee and called the first four of His twelve disciples.  What follows is the record of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection.

Mark’s account is not just a collection of stories, but a narrative written to reveal that Jesus is the Messiah, not only for the Jews, but for the Gentiles as well.  In a dynamic profession, the disciples, led by Peter, acknowledged their faith in Him (Mark 8:29-30), even though they failed to understand fully His Messiahship until after His resurrection.

As we follow His journeys through Galilee, the surrounding areas, and then to Judea, we realize what a rapid pace He set.  He touched the lives of many people, but He left an indelible mark on His disciples.  At the transfiguration (Mark 9:1-9), He gave three of them a preview of His future return in power and glory, and again it was revealed to them who He was.

Connections:   Because Mark’s intended audience was the Gentiles, he does not quote as frequently from the Old Testament as Matthew, who was writing primarily to the Jews.  He does not begin with a genealogy to link Jesus with the Jewish patriarchs, but begins instead with His baptism, the beginning of His earthly ministry.  But even there, Mark quotes from an Old Testament prophecy regarding the messenger -- John the Baptist -- who would exhort the people to “prepare the way for the Lord” (Mark 1:3;  Isaiah 40:3) as they awaited the coming of their Messiah.

Practical Application:   Mark presents Jesus as the suffering Servant of God (Mark 10:45) and as the One who came to serve and sacrifice for us, in part to inspire us to do the same.  We are to minister as He did, with the same greatness of humility and devotion to the service of others.  Jesus exhorted us to remember that to be great in God’s kingdom, we must be the servant of all (Mark 10:44).  Self-sacrifice should transcend our need for recognition or reward, just as Jesus was willing to be abased as He lay down His life for the sheep.

 

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Deep, my Friend, your Tag Line reads:  Nothing is worse than ignorance with conviction.

I would change that to read:  Nothing is worse than bold statements made -- with nothing to support them.  This makes them look like horses with no legs!   

My Friend, be careful riding horses with no legs!   You end up with saddle sores -- and get nowhere!

God bless, have a wonderful, blessed day,

Bill

Lots of errors in the original post, including faults with the hero myth comparison. I'll skip all of those and just focus on the main error.

 

There is no "original book" of Mark. When dealing with ancient documents, historians have to go with the earliest manuscripts which are handwritten copies. Many times they are fragmented and incomplete, so these are used to compare with other copies to verify accuracy.

 

Mark 16:9-20 is included in many manuscripts, but left out of the two oldest ones. A few manuscripts actually have a different ending. This fact has been in dispute among Bible scholars for centuries and will always be in dispute.

 

This dispute does not discredit the entire book or automatically make it a work of fiction. To jump to that conclusion is not academic and not rational.

 

 

 

Greeting my friend Not Shallow Not Slim. Yes, I agree the book of Mark is not divinley inspired.  In fact, none fo the books of the new testament are inspired by God bu by men.

While my faith does put some creedence in what you may call the Old Testament, there is only one true Word of my G_d Allah and it is clearly from Holy Quran.  

 

It is an established, undeniable fact that the Prophet Muhammad, upon him be peace and blessings, was unlettered. Whereas the Quran, which he brought, has challenged all mankind with all their literary geniuses and scientists, from the first day of its revelation to the Last Day, to produce a like of it or even a single chapter of it:

 

" If you are in doubt concerning that which We have sent down onto Our servant (Muhammad), then produce a chapter of the like thereof, and call your witnesses, supporters, who are apart from God, if you are truthful. (al-Baqara, 2.23)"

 

This is indis****ble. 

There was nothing wrong with my statement to begin with.

 

I've met several former atheists besides myself. If there was no evidence, no argument, and no reason to believe that a higher authority exists, then there would be no former atheists.

 

Those who choose not to seek will never find.

I've met several former atheists besides myself. If there was no evidence, no argument, and no reason to believe that a higher authority exists, then there would be no former atheists.

 

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Oh really? Then explain why there are so many former christians/believers?  Many that were once preachers, priests etc.

Originally Posted by NashBama:

There was nothing wrong with my statement to begin with.

 

I've met several former atheists besides myself. If there was no evidence, no argument, and no reason to believe that a higher authority exists, then there would be no former atheists.

 

Those who choose not to seek will never find.

 

I question anyone who calls themselves former atheists. What evidence can you provide to other atheists to convince them a God exists that actually gives a crap about what happens on this insignificant little rock when looked at on the grand scale of the universe?

Originally Posted by Loki:
Originally Posted by NashBama:

There was nothing wrong with my statement to begin with.

 

I've met several former atheists besides myself. If there was no evidence, no argument, and no reason to believe that a higher authority exists, then there would be no former atheists.

 

Those who choose not to seek will never find.

 

I question anyone who calls themselves former atheists. What evidence can you provide to other atheists to convince them a God exists that actually gives a crap about what happens on this insignificant little rock when looked at on the grand scale of the universe?

___________________________________________________________________________

I have said many times on this forum, and I truly believe, there will NEVER be ANY evidence for God. He wants us to love Him on FAITH. If you have evidence, you don't NEED faith. If you have FAITH, you don't need evidence.

 

If He gave us evidence, that would be like giving students a test, but handing them the answer sheet at the same time. There would BE no atheists if there were evidence. Evidence is a physical thing. Faith is from the heart. The two are not compatible.

 

Now, THIS is what I am talking about when I say that we have GIVEN you the answers to many of your questions, but you deny those answers. You keep on asking for evidence, even when you have been told that there IS none. You guys all agree there is none, right? So I guess the part you WON'T accept is that we have FAITH.

 

Well, you can deny that answer all you want, but it is the truth - we don't want or need evidence because we have faith. You may not like it, but it IS the answer.

 

Originally Posted by O No!:
Originally Posted by Loki:
Originally Posted by NashBama:

There was nothing wrong with my statement to begin with.

 

I've met several former atheists besides myself. If there was no evidence, no argument, and no reason to believe that a higher authority exists, then there would be no former atheists.

 

Those who choose not to seek will never find.

 

I question anyone who calls themselves former atheists. What evidence can you provide to other atheists to convince them a God exists that actually gives a crap about what happens on this insignificant little rock when looked at on the grand scale of the universe?

___________________________________________________________________________

I have said many times on this forum, and I truly believe, there will NEVER be ANY evidence for God. He wants us to love Him on FAITH. If you have evidence, you don't NEED faith. If you have FAITH, you don't need evidence.

 

If He gave us evidence, that would be like giving students a test, but handing them the answer sheet at the same time. There would BE no atheists if there were evidence. Evidence is a physical thing. Faith is from the heart. The two are not compatible.

 

Now, THIS is what I am talking about when I say that we have GIVEN you the answers to many of your questions, but you deny those answers. You keep on asking for evidence, even when you have been told that there IS none. You guys all agree there is none, right? So I guess the part you WON'T accept is that we have FAITH.

 

Well, you can deny that answer all you want, but it is the truth - we don't want or need evidence because we have faith. You may not like it, but it IS the answer.

 

You also don't need a brain to have faith.

As far as not liking it, a reply or an answer, there are plenty of Christians that try and attempt to give you first hand personal experiences with God.    Stories from former atheist, non-believers, Christians from all over the world who through faith did put their trust in Christ and afterward was rewarded by the gift from God of God's Holy Spirit dwelling inside along with their created spirit.  Thousands if not millions who testify of personal miraculous changes to their lives caused by the presence of God's Holy Spirit.   Yet those testimonies are met with unbelief, statements that these people are deluded or don't know what they are talking about.

 

Fact is that these Christians experienced something that an atheist or non-believer never will and that is God's presence which dramatically altered their existence.  It makes total sense, though, that they would deny God would exist or claim such testimonies are delusion as it didn't happen to them so it has to be false.  For some that denial is an external one for within the inner spirit/mind they feel the tug of God's Spirit's conviction.  Conviction from something that they claim doesn't exist and cannot exist so, for some, they continue to deny it until one day that inner call totally disappears.  I personally believe God has patience on each of us but that there is a point when God stops speaking and calling unto someone.  My personal prayer is that when God is calling that one that they yield to God and His Calling in their own silent way.  I truly believe that is why some are here, on the forum today, they are seeking answers the real answers to questions only they know and that I believe only God, their own spirit's creator, can answer and fill that void that is there.


In the end when it's all over and done everyone comes to the point of physical death and afterwards the undeniable answer.  Cry Pascal's wager all you want but that is just an attempt to ease the realization that if you make the wrong decision and find out you were actually wrong then you will be facing the very real realization of what your fate will be, facing a deity that was once reaching out to you and knowing that you were cold hearted to God's one communication with you, a conviction and invitation to reconcile with the creator.  Sometimes i wonder who certain ones who protest the most are trying to convince, Christians or their own selves, their own conscience?

 

Through history Christians have gave their lives for a reason that was more than just faith or hope but because they knew something to be real and valid.  These were not people fighting a jihad or Spiritual war but gave their lives instead in peace instead of renouncing their faith in God or their testimony in Christ/God.  There was some real reason they were willing to die and that reason was the Holy Spirit of God.

Acts 5:38-42 (CEV)
{38} So I advise you to stay away from these men. Leave them alone. If what they are planning is something of their own doing, it will fail.
{39} But if God is behind it, you cannot stop it anyway, unless you want to fight against God. The council members agreed with what he said,
{40} and they called the apostles back in. They had them beaten with a whip and warned them not to speak in the name of Jesus. Then they let them go.
{41} The apostles left the council and were happy, because God had considered them worthy to suffer for the sake of Jesus.
{42} Every day they spent time in the temple and in one home after another. They never stopped teaching and telling the good news that Jesus is the Messiah.  


For Christians who suffer ridicule and demeaning realize that vs 41 applies to you also!


Romans 8:6-11 (CEV)
{6} If our minds are ruled by our desires, we will die. But if our minds are ruled by the Spirit, we will have life and peace.
{7} Our desires fight against God, because they do not and cannot obey God's laws.
{8} If we follow our desires, we cannot please God.
{9} You are no longer ruled by your desires, but by God's Spirit, who lives in you. People who don't have the Spirit of Christ in them don't belong to him.
{10} But Christ lives in you. So you are alive because God has accepted you, even though your bodies must die because of your sins.
{11} Yet God raised Jesus to life!God's Spirit now lives in you, and he will raise you to life by his Spirit.

Our inner sinful nature is hostile toward God and therefore the Spirit's conviction. There are only two ways to silence God's call, the Holy Spirit's conviction.  One is to yield to it and repent, put your faith in Christ and yield to God.  The other is to wait until God stops dealing with you.  It is up to each individual to make their own choice and then to live, and physically die, with that choice.

quote:   Originally Posted by SeniorCoffee:
Faith is believing in something you know is a lie..Mark Twain

Hi Senior,

 

Based upon your post, let me say the I most emphatically BELIEVE in YOU and your statement!

 

God bless, have a wonderful, blessed day,

 

Bill

Originally Posted by Bestworking:

I've met several former atheists besides myself. If there was no evidence, no argument, and no reason to believe that a higher authority exists, then there would be no former atheists.

 

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Oh really? Then explain why there are so many former christians/believers?  Many that were once preachers, priests etc.

Easy. My first doubts began while sitting in church.

 

Poor examples set by those who are claim to be Christians. Churches that have poor leadership. Lack of learning, community, and negative environment within churches. People who are told what to believe and discouraged from questioning. There are lots of reasons.

 

For those who asked, I could explain why I changed my mind. I met a guy just last week who was an atheist in college, then he also found something that changed his mind. Now he teaches seminars for a Christian organization. I've met several former non-believers at my church. All of our stories are very similar.

 

I won't explain what it is that changed our minds. For the reason why, look up 1 Corinthians 1:18.

 

So that means there are only two reasons why a non-believer would post in a forum about religion. Either they are truly looking for something or they are only here to mock others. So that might be a question to ask yourself. Why are you posting here? Are you really seeking or are you just here to make fun?

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