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The Witnesses to the Witnesses

January 2nd, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments


(Excerpt from Chapter VI of How to Live Forever)

…It turns out that Christians were still being tortured to deny Christ through the first decade of the fourth century[1]. Then in 313 AD, Constantinus Augustus (Constantine) and his brother-in-law, Licinius Augustus, issued

Henryk Siemiradzki. Leading Light of Christianity. Nero's Torches. 1876. Oil on canvas.National Museum, Krakow, Poland.

Henryk Siemiradzki. Leading Light of Christianity. Nero's Torches. 1876. Oil on canvas. National Museum, Krakow, Poland.

the Edict of Milan. With this decree, for the first time in its nearly three-hundred year existence, Christianity was formally recognized as a legal religion within the Roman Empire.

We have previously shown that cessation of testimony was sufficient to save a Christian from the Jewish persecution. Now it appears that simple repentance granted immunity from Roman capital punishment as well. It is logical to conclude that the many Christians slaughtered during the church’s first three-hundred years believed their message was worth dying for.

2. The Witnesses to the Witnesses

In reference to the stated goals of this book, we are very fortunate to possess the written transcripts of these earliest Christians’ message today. The pages of these documents contain the most graphic eyewitness accounts of resurrection ever recorded. All of these writers risked their personal safety, and many sacrificed their lives rather than renounce their beliefs, thus providing compelling evidence of their sincerity.

Because these witnesses faced such hardship, first under Jewish, and then Roman persecution, they formed a community, bound together by common peril. Many of the witnesses, such as Jesus’ original twelve Apostles, traveled together with Jesus for years and knew each other well. Over time, the church grew and spread throughout the Roman Empire, and a dialogue developed between various members of the new sect. This dialogue was frequently in the form of written correspondence, through which even the characters who never met became acquainted with each other’s testimony.

For those of us looking back at events which transpired two thousand years ago, this ongoing dialogue is essential, for it places each writer within an historical context. Rather than having an account from any one author whose place in history is unverifiable, we have an unbroken succession of accounts spanning the ages from the time of Christ to the present, and proceeding from divers authors who largely knew of the circumstances affecting their contemporaries in the Christian order. Sometimes these men wrote to each other offering encouragement, sometimes admonishment, sometimes sharing news of mutual concern, but the trail of correspondence from a plethora of writers over so many years places each character into an historical setting which cannot easily be altered. In this way, we know that the witnesses were who they claimed to be, and that they lived in the time and place necessary for them to have been witnesses.

The same types of relationships existed between our Roman sources as well. Thus we have two letters from Pliny the younger to Cornelius Tacitus describing the death of Pliny the elder, (the younger Pliny’s uncle,) as a consequence of an heroic attempt to save victims of Vesuvius’ eruption during the short reign of Titus[2]. Tacitus in turn attributes a number of anecdotes in his own histories to the previous works of Pliny the elder[3].We have Martial’s epigram honouring the younger Pliny[4], and Pliny’s letter acknowledging his corresponding gift to Martial[5]. And we find Suetonius, probably on the staff of the younger Pliny when the latter governed Bithynia Pontus[6].

We may sometimes infer opinions of disdain or rivalry from these relationships as well. We find Tacitus completely unwilling to cite his contemporary, Josephus, or even mention his existence. We know from Josephus’ own work, as corroborated by Suetonius and Dio[7], that Josephus was writing histories at court under the auspices of the Flavian Emperors. And we have Tacitus’ written admission that he owed his own advancement to the same rulers[8]. It does not seem possible that Tacitus was unaware of Josephus’ work. More probably, the omission stems from some personal disapproval of Josephus, as demonstrated by Tacitus’ anti-Semitic polemic included previously in this chapter[9].

This in turn explains why Roman authors documenting the persecution of Christians under Nero provide only a faceless multitude of afflicted, no names are given. Christian authors covering the same experience can hardly fail to note the execution of the Apostles Peter and Paul[10], two of the most influential leaders of the Apostolic Age.

Roman authors record that Domitian later executed Flavius Clemons for atheism or drifting into Jewish ways[11]. The fate of Flavius Clemons, consul at the time, was obviously important in the minds of these Romans. But we can’t determine with certainty from Roman accounts whether he was atheist[12], Jewish, or Christian. What did it matter from their perspective? Conversion to any of these ideologies was tantamount to rejection of Roman values.

Christian sources additionally record the exile of John the Apostle during the same persecution (under Domitian.) Although John is more familiar than Flavius Clemons to those of us alive today, he was not worthy of a mention to our Roman sources.

In this way, the Romans and the Christians each participated in separate but complimentary dialogues involving matters of interest to their respective communities. As a part of the ongoing Christian dialogue, the Apostle Paul’s writings were disseminated through the existing network of churches throughout the Roman world[a]. Clear evidence of this practice is provided vis-à-vis the Apostles’ own words. For example, when the Apostle Paul wrote the canonical letter to the Colossians, he instructed them:

16After this letter has been read to you, see that it is also read in the church of the Laodiceans and that you in turn read the letter from Laodicea.

-The Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Colossians, 4:16 (NIV)

Likewise, when he wrote to the Galatians, he addressed the letter:

1Paul, an apostle-sent not from men nor by man, but by Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised him from the dead- 2and all the brothers with me,
To the churches in Galatia:

-The Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Galatians, 1:1-2 (NIV)

Galatia was of course a Roman Province[13] containing numerous cities and villages. As Paul addressed the letter to the “churches[14]” of Galatia, we may presume that the Christian population of each municipality therein formed a separate church. Given that literacy was common in the Roman world, and recognizing that Paul originally founded the Christian movement in Galatia, it is hard to imagine that each church in Galatia would not desire and procure its’ own copy of such a message from the leader of their order. The Apostle Peter adds weight to this argument when he writes to the “strangers in the world, scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia[b] in around 66 AD:

15Bear in mind that our Lord’s patience means salvation, just as our dear brother Paul also wrote you with the wisdom that God gave him. 16He writes the same way in all his letters, speaking in them of these matters. His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction.

-The Second General Epistle of St. Peter, 3:15-16 (NIV)

How does Peter know of Paul’s various letters unless copies were being spread from church to church by believers? Not only was Peter personally familiar with the writings of Paul, but he was confident that his audience had a working knowledge of these writings and certain associated contemporaneous controversies as well. At the end of v. 16, Peter compares Paul’s letters with “other Scriptures”, thus inferring that Paul’s writings had also attained scriptural status. For this reason alone devout Christians would surely spread these New Testament treatises. Since Peter’s letter was addressed to a general Christian audience throughout Asia Minor, we should conclude that Paul’s letters were common reading material throughout the Christian world prior to Peter’s execution in 67-68 AD.

Remember that the epistles of Paul were originally just letters written to individual churches or local ministers located in divers regions of the Roman Empire. If the communications between Paul and these recipients became widespread and eventually canonical in this way, how much more would the Gospel accounts, written to the general Christian population as tutorials in the faith, be widely disseminated?

So when Paul asks Timothy to:

13 Bring the winter coat I left in Troas with Carpus; also the books and parchment notebooks.

-The Second Epistle of Paul the Apostle to Timothy, 4:13 [The Message]

To which “books” and “parchment notebooks” does he refer? The Jewish scriptures were traditionally written in scroll form[15]. The “books” in the preceding verse probably relate to these types of scrolls, and may have referred to Paul’s personal copies of the Jewish scriptures, (Old Testament scrolls to a Christian[16].) Around this time, though, the Roman poet Martial described “parchment notebooks”, a new format for publishing written works[17]:

You, who wish my poems should be everywhere with you,

and look to have them as companions on a long journey,

buy these which the parchment confines in small pages.

Assign your book-boxes to the great; this copy of me one hand can grasp.

-Marcus Valerius Martialis, Epigrams, Book I, ii

Parchment notebooks, booklets with small pages that could be held easily in one hand, were the predecessors to the modern form of a book with many pages bound together. While Jewish Synagogue worship of today still employs scrolls of scripture out of respect for tradition, these parchment notebooks would have been ideal for dissemination of the less traditional writings of the first Christians. Paul wrote of parchment notebooks fifteen to twenty years before the reference by Martial, but they employ the same distinctive terminology[18].

So Paul was in prison, awaiting execution[19], and he wrote to his disciple Timothy asking for assistance. In these dire straits, Paul desired that Timothy bring written documents, including certain parchment notebooks. If the “books” he requested were scrolls of Old Testament scriptures, it is easy to see how they would be desired by the condemned Apostle.

But what was contained within the leaves of these “parchment notebooks” that was so important that it required Timothy to risk his own life by bringing them to Rome at the height of the Neronian persecution? Were they collections of Paul’s previous letters? Or could they have been the existing Gospel accounts of Matthew, Mark, and Luke? (John’s Gospel was probably not written yet.) Eusebius believed that whenever Paul invoked the term “my Gospel”[20] he referred to the Gospel of his understudy, Luke[21]. Surely Paul would at least keep a copy of this Gospel on hand? Whatever these texts were, they must have been of New Testament origin. And as such they were part of the dialogue that we have been researching – a dialogue that was clearly propagating by means of the widespread dissemination of these early epistles and Gospels throughout the Christian community.

Neither were these early writings merely fuzzy hearsay recited third hand. Certain authors, such as John, Matthew and Peter claimed to be eyewitnesses. Luke and Mark claim to have written accounts gathered from eyewitnesses. Paul claimed to have been involved as a part of the opposition. And later authors deferred to the historicity of the eyewitness accounts, providing commentary but respecting the original testimony as inviolate.

So Luke wrote of Paul[22], Peter[23], John[24], Mark[25], Matthew[26], and the other Apostles. Paul mentioned Peter[27], John[28], Luke[29], Mark[30] and the other Apostles[31] in his letters. Mark discussed the doings of Peter[32], John[33], and Matthew[34]. Matthew recorded events involving Peter[35] and John[36]. The Apostle John recognized many of the twelve, including Peter, Andrew, Philip[37], Thomas[38], and Judas Iscariot[39]. And Peter demonstrated his awareness of both Paul and Paul’s letters[40]. We see in this way that the testimony of these men is inextricably bound together. Due to the cross-references included in each of their writings we must accept the fact that these men all existed as contemporaries.

The Apostle John’s brother James was beheaded by Herod Agrippa I in 44 AD[41]. Peter and Paul were executed by Nero around 67 AD[42]. Jesus’ brother James was stoned to death immediately prior to Vespasian’s siege of Jerusalem, around 68 AD[43]. John was exiled to Patmos under Domitian, in the 80’s or 90’s AD[44]. As they grew older and realized the extent to which they were at risk, the Apostles entrusted their mission to the men who had diligently and faithfully assisted them in their work[45].

Men such as Timothy[46] and Titus[47], to whom Paul wrote now canonical letters of instruction, left us no written material. Paul’s attendant Luke gave us the Gospel of Luke and the Acts of the Apostles, which records Christian history until about 62 AD. And as we will demonstrate in the next Section, Peter’s helper Mark left us the Gospel of Mark, based upon Peter’s recollections.

3. The Disciples of the Apostles

(i.) Clement of Rome:

But there was also a group of writers who knew the Apostles but were born after Jesus’ time. Men whose works, largely unread today, attest to the validity of the eyewitness accounts of their mentors. In this way, Clement, known to both Peter…

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NOTICES:

1.) Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.

NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION® and NIV® are registered trademarks of International Bible Society. Use of either trademark for the offering of goods or services requires the prior written consent of International Bible Society.

2.) Scripture taken from The Message. Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002. Used by permission of NavPress Publishing Group.

3.) Marcus Valerius Martialis, Epigrams:

Translated by Walter C. A. (Walter Charles Alan) Ker

Published by W. Heinemann, 1919

This work is now in the Public Domain in the United States according to Google Book Search. Copyrights may vary from country to country.


[a] This dialogue passed information both ways. Not only were Paul’s letters passed from church to church, but Paul was aware of the events which occurred within distant congregations; e.g. “First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is being reported all over the world.” –  Paul’s Letter to the Romans, 1:8; “My brothers, some from Chloe’s household have informed me that there are quarrels among you.” – Paul’s First Letter to the Corinthians, 1:11; 7And so you became a model to all the believers in Macedonia and Achaia. 8The Lord’s message rang out from you not only in Macedonia and Achaia-your faith in God has become known everywhere. Therefore we do not need to say anything about it, 9for they themselves report what kind of reception you gave us. They tell how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God,” – I Thessalonians 1:7-9; also Colossians 1:4; Ephesians 1:15.

[b] So the addressees of Peter’s first epistle (I Peter 1:1). Peter’s second letter states, “Dear friends, this is now my second letter to you. I have written both of them as reminders to stimulate you to wholesome thinking.” – (II Peter 3:1), indicating the same target audience, perhaps broadened to include other unnamed recipients through church to church correspondence.


[1] Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History, Book VIII, Chapter ii; Chapter vi, Paragraph 10; Chapter ix

[2] Pliny II, Letters VI, xvi; & VI, xx

[3] Tacitus, Annals I, 69; XIII, 20; XV, 53; Histories III, 28

[4] Martial, Epigrams X, xix

[5] Pliny II, Letters III, xxi

[6] Pliny II, Letters X, xciv

[7] The Life of Flavius Josephus – Autobiography, Chapter 65, Paragraphs 359-367 & Chapter 76; Suetonius, Vespasian V, vi; Dio, Roman History LXVI, 1

[8] Tacitus, Histories I, 1

[9] Tacitus, Histories V, iii-v

[10] II Timothy 4:6-8; Clement of Rome, First Epistle to the Corinthians V; Ignatius of Antioch, Epistle to the Ephesians XII; Polycarp, Epistle to the Philippians IX; Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History II, 22; 25

[11] Suetonius, Domitian XV; Dio, Roman History LXVII, 14; Marcus Fabius Quintilianus, Institutio Oratoria, Book IV, Chapter I, Preface, Paragraph 2

[12] Justin Martyr, First Apology to The Romans, VI; Athenagorus the Athenian, A Plea for the Christians, III, IV

[13] Strabo, Geography, Book XII, v, 1; Tacitus, Histories, Book II, ix

[14] Other “General” epistles written to more than one congregation include: James (James 1:1); I Peter (I Peter 1:1-2); II Peter (II Peter 1:1, 3:1,2); and possibly I John, II John, and Jude, which name no specific recipient congregation.

[15] Luke 4:17; Hebrews 10:7

[16] Melito the Philosopher, From the Book of Extracts, as cited in Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History, IV, xxvi

[17] See also, Suetonius, Julius Caesar LVI, vi; Martial, Epigrams, Book I, Introduction, 1, 3, 4, 25, 29, 35, 38, 52, 53, 117; Book II, Introduction, …

[18] Carsten Peter Thiede & Matthew D’Ancona, The Jesus Papyrus, Weidenfeld & Nicolson, London, 1996, Chapter 3, page 53

[19] II Timothy 1:8, 12, 15-17; 2:9-10; 4:6-8

[20] Romans 2:16; 16:25; II Timothy 2:8

[21] Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History III, iv

[22] Acts 13:9, 13, 16, 43

[23] Acts 1:13, 15; 2:14

[24] Acts 3:1, 3, 11; 4:19

[25] Acts 12:12, 25; 15:37,39

[26] Luke 6:15; Acts 1:13

[27] Galatians 1:18; 2:7, 8, 11, 14

[28] Galatians 2:9

[29] Colossians 4:14; II Timothy 4:11

[30] Colossians 4:10; Philemon 24; II Timothy 4:11

[31] Romans 16:7; I Corinthians 15:7; Galatians 1:17, 19

[32] Mark 3:16; 5:37; 8:37; 8:29, 32, 33

[33] Mark 1:19, 29; 3:17; 5:37; 9:2, 38; 10:33, 41; 13:3; 14:33

[34] Mark 3:18

[35] Matthew 4:18; 10:2; 14:28, 29

[36] Matthew 4:21; 10:2

[37] John 1:40-44

[38] John 11:16; 14:5; 20:24-29

[39] John 6:71; 13:26

[40] The Second General Epistle of St. Peter 3:15-16

[41] Acts 12:1-4

[42] Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History II, xxv

[43] Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History II, xxiii

[44] Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History III, xviii

[45] Clement of Rome, Epistle to the Corinthians XLII, XLIV, XLVII; Irenaeus, Against Heresies, Book III, iii, 3

[46] I Timothy 1:3

[47] Titus 1:5

  1. Tap
    March 6th, 2009 at 15:12 | #1

    “the Apostles entrusted their mission to the men who had diligently and faithfully assisted them in their work”

    Given Eusebius’ and nearly all the Church fathers’ testimony as regards apostolic sucession, i wonder how long you will tarry in your protestant denomination. btw i saw your post in a catholic blog and followed the link you posted there (can’t remember which blog it was. Good work. Bt the way, not sure if you’ve noticed but it looks like you blog is not arranged New-old for some reason, the old articles are first. Maybe you wanted it that way?

  2. March 6th, 2009 at 18:24 | #2

    The posts are in the reverse order of creation, with the exception of the prologue, which I thought should precede the others.

    You are correct in your assertion that other fathers strongly endorsed the idea that the proper order of the church was passed from the Apostles to the church through the Apostles’ successors. Examples of this include: Clement of Rome, First Epistle to the Corinthians XLII & XLIV; Ignatius, Ephesians XII; Magnesians XIII ; Trallians VII; Polycarp, Epistle to the Philippians III & VI; Quadratus, Apology to Hadrian as preserved in Eusebius, Eccl. Hist . IV, iii; Polycrates, Epistle to Victor as preserved in Eusebius, Eccl. Hist. V, xxiv; Clement of Alexandria, Stromata I, i. Tertullian dwells on this concept at length.

    However, even within the Catholic Church there have been disagreements concerning exactly what was ordained as church doctrine by the Apostles, and what was merely the personal practice of an Apostle. The paschal controversy of the second century AD is a prime example of disagreement in practice concerning traditions derived originally from Apostles. The custom of the Asiatic churches, based upon the practice of the beloved disciple during his tenure in Ephesus, was to celebrate Easter on 14 Nisan, according to the Jewish calender, regardless of which day of the week. The Roman Church, however, based upon the practices they received from the Apostles Peter and Paul, celebrated Easter only on the Lord’s day, or Sunday, the day of Christ’s resurrection. Obviously, the teachings of St. John, St. Peter, and St. Paul are all orthodox in every regard. And yet they disagreed on the details of this most important Christian Holy Day.

    After discussion of excommunication under Bishop Victor of Rome, common sense prevailed and each side agreed to respect the Apostolic traditions of the other, (even Polycarp of Smyrna followed the Eastern custom!) I think the point is that either custom falls within the pale of the church. If this work leads people to a personal commitment to the truth of the Apostle’s Creed, then I am more than satisfied.

  3. Tap
    March 6th, 2009 at 20:39 | #3

    Well, your response would be valid if i was telling you to join the Catholic church. I was merely exhorting to leave your protestant denom. If you join the Orthodox Church, i will have little qualms with it. At least they have Apostolice succession, so their Orders are valid.

    When you can literarily eat the Flesh and Blood of Christ (john 6) In either Church, Disagreement about the reach or authority of the Bishop of Rome is not excuse to stay in the protestant denom. Given as St. Athanasius put it: “he had not received his ordination according to ecclesiastical rule, nor had been called to be a Bishop by apostolical tradition”
    http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf204.xx.ii.ii.html

    God Bless

  4. March 7th, 2009 at 10:55 | #4

    I appreciate your concern and your position. Indeed , I am honored that you would dedicate such effort toward correcting me.

    I have often been struck by the propensity of man to achieve greatness in one area of life, and to fall utterly short of God’s grace in another. Thus we find Elijah the Prophet running in fear from Jezebel in the very next chapter after calling down fire from heaven in the name of YHWH. Thus do we see St. Papias, St. Justin, and St. Irenaeus embracing the doctrine of chiliaism. Thus Origen, whose works so benefited the church, was later accused of the heresy which bears his name. And Tertullian, after penning so many brilliant treatises defending Christianity and exposing the errors of various heresies (e.g. the five books against Marcion), fell into the heresy of Montanism in his latter life.

    Each of these men had moments of profound insight or inspiration, and each made contributions to the current theology of the church. And yet each fell into what most of us today would call error. I have great sympathy for the failings of these men who first worked out the systematic theology of the church. Had they not broached their opinions, and tried to explain questions as yet unexplained (in their time), we would not have the answers to these questions today. Somebody had to open the discussions on each of these issues, and in so doing, take the risk of failure.

    I am not and have never claimed to be a Theologian. And the purpose of this site is not to resolve the differences between churches formed in the Reformation and the Catholic Church. The purpose of this site is to demonstrate to all the reality of the resurrection of Christ as an historical event. We could argue over whether the doctrine of chiliaism was somehow supported by Apostolic Succession, endorsed as it was by many of the greatest writers of the second century church (I have no chiliaistic tendencies); but the answer is subjective, and arguments could be made for either view. Such are the arguments for the primacy of the Roman Church. I believe that the Reformation has strengthened the Roman Church, forcing a reexamination of the values and doctrines rejected by the reformers; thus allowing the Church to prune away errors and excesses, while reaffirming the pure doctrine of Christ. But my views on this matter are merely a distraction from the truth which is the real issue.

    Views espoused by various church leaders concerning the more esoteric aspects of Theology will always be open to discussion and interpretation; and in most cases divergent positions can be supported from the writings of the church fathers. BUT THE RESURRECTION IS A MATERIAL FACT! Either Jesus of Nazareth rose from the dead, an actual historical event, in no way subject to interpretation; or He did not rise, but remained in His tomb after crucifixion. If He rose, then He has proven His Deity, His claim to be the Anointed One of God, and all of His teachings concerning the relationship of man to God are affirmed; thus creating the foundation for the Christian church. If He rose not, then the Christian Church is false, based upon lies or delusion.

    Here the testimony transmitted by Apostolic Succession is crucial. And on this point the testimony is in no way subjective. There are no shades of grey in the resurrection; a man cannot ‘sort of’ rise from the dead, or rise according to a certain viewpoint. If the witnesses to Christ’s resurrection each taught their followers that this miracle occurred, (and these teachings existed in every church founded by Christ’s Apostles, whether Alexandria in Egypt, Antioch in Syria, the various cities of Asia Minor, Rome in Italy, or Lyons in Gaul); then we have universal corroboration of the testimony of the 500+ witnesses to this world-changing, miraculous event. Whether a man ever accepts Christ or not, he needs to be exposed to the certainty of the resurrection as an actual phenomenon, an actual occurrence whose cause is inexplicable according to the knowledge of man. So armed, each person may make an informed decision as to the merits of following the risen Christ.

  5. Tap
    March 7th, 2009 at 13:41 | #5

    Part of acknowledging the resurrection, is to recognize it fully, and not just as a physical, historically true event, which it certainly is. But a physical event with real meaning, i mean beyond a miraculous resurrection, it is an invitation to partake of the Divine nature while here on earth. Which invitation was extended by Christ and subsequently rejected by some of his disciples in John 6:48-70 (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=john 6:48-70;&version=31;) [my apologies how do you hyperlink a text without having to show the whole url?]

    This after he explained in the preceeding verses that the manner from heaven they Jews ate, was but a sign of the greater event which is now practiced (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=john%206:30-47;&version=31;)

    This is not an effort to chastise you. Your love for God is evident from your works. But as is always the Case, when the demon of doubt sees you advancing degree by degree to a greater knowledge of Christ,and sees that he cannot use reason to overcome you as regards something as ‘implausible’ as the resurrection. He reports back, and thenceforth the demon of Pride is sent out. (in its/their capacity/power of suggestion). What it does is find ways to fetter you, that you might not want to “convert” and partake of Christ.

    First, depending of what you think of Catholic/Orthodox view of the Eucharist, he tries to tie it to pagan rituals as best he can, if that doesnt’ work he suggests an exclusively non-literal meaning to the words in John 6. [if you’ve studied these “witnesses” that you called the Church fathers you will see that bar none, they held literal meaning, i mean the all held that Christ’s physical body and blood were present once the “words of consecration” were said.]

    Second, he tries, to puff you up by things that seem “abhorrent” to grown-ups. What i mean is the act of confessing your most intimate sins to a ‘man’. “how can you join a Church that does such a things?” He asks, by way of suggestion. “Is this not too embarrassing?” Hereby exhorting you against the very Child-like humility, that Christ proclaimed we needed to enter into the kingdom of heaven [Matt 18:3-4 ( http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matt%2018:3-4;&version=31; )

    I hope the above words sound to you as an encouragement, to seek and participate in the greater truths of the resurrection. I’ve been wanting to create my own blog to write on subjects similar to yours but with a Catholic perspective. I suspect it takes a lot of time though.

    God bless.

  6. March 7th, 2009 at 16:19 | #6

    I still hold out hope that the resurrection of Christ is an event that Catholics and Protestants can agree on. I am a scientist, not a theologian. My concern has been that the secular world dismisses the evidence for the resurrection out of hand, without examination, due to the preconceived notion that such an occurrence is ‘scientifically impossible’. Much of the Christian world, on the other hand, accepts the resurrection as an article of faith, without attempting to evaluate the evidence. In order to bridge this gap, I have spent over four years analyzing all of the pertinent historical evidence, resulting in the manuscript How to Live Forever . I believe that the book is an honest treatment of all the evidence, whether of Roman, Greek, Jewish, Christian, or other origin. My preconceived notion was that the evidence would be insufficient to arrive at a conclusion; but I believe that I would have been true to the data whether it indicated that the resurrection did occur, or that the resurrection did not occur, or that the data was insufficient to reach a valid conclusion. (I would not want to base my life upon a lie!) I was personally surprised by the overwhelming strength of the evidence in favor of the resurrection. Now the manuscript is complete, and I am seeking a publisher.

    I believe the book will attract adherents to Christianity from the secular masses who are now largely convinced that Christianity has somehow been discredited by science. Once a person accepts the reality of the resurrection, the Deity of Christ is the logical conclusion. From there, acceptance of the virgin birth, infallibility of Scripture, and other church doctrines are relatively small steps. This, I believe to be my contribution. Advocacy of my personal theological views would only detract from this message. And I hope to avoid such distraction at all cost.

  7. February 27th, 2013 at 08:17 | #7

    I was curious if you ever thought of changing the structure of your website?
    Its very well written; I love what youve got to say.

    But maybe you could a little more in the way of content so people could connect with it better.
    Youve got an awful lot of text for only having one or 2 images.

    Maybe you could space it out better?

  8. March 2nd, 2013 at 07:30 | #8

    @kredyty prywatne
    Thank you for your comment.

    The truth is that, due to family and work commitments, I have not been active on this site for several years. The research necessary (for me, anyway) to write at this level requires large, unbroken blocks of time. I have always studied history, and I worked on the project in my spare time from 2004-2008. Then I took a year long ‘sabbatical’ in 2008, which was devoted largely to answering the questions that mattered to me, personally. I was able to continue to publish articles based upon that research for several years, but have not posted an article since 2010. A manuscript of the ‘proof’ is complete, and was been submitted to 70 or 80 publishers, none of whom chose to publish it.

    Perhaps I will have time to dedicate to this pursuit in the future, but I don’t know when that might be. God knows.

  1. April 8th, 2009 at 13:12 | #1