Christological argument

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A Christological argument is one which makes the case that Christianity is the "one true religion" based on the Biblical record of Jesus.

Contents

Background Information

While some of these arguments attempt to build an empirical case to demonstrate the accuracy of the Bible's account of the life of Jesus (for example Josh McDowell's book Evidence That Demands a Verdict, or Lee Strobel's book A Case For Christ), other arguments simply assume the historicity of Jesus and the accuracy of the Bible, and build an argument based on the words and actions attributed to Jesus.

Argument

Syllogism

p1. If it can be shown that the bible is correct then Jesus Christ must be god
a. In the bible Jesus Christ fulfils certain old testament prophesy
b. In the bible Jesus Christ is too wise to be a mere human
c. In the bible Jesus Christ tells us he is the son of God
d. In the bible Jesus Christ performs various miracles
e. In the bible Jesus Christ dies and is resurrected
p2. There is evidence that the bible is correct.
a. A priori acceptance
b. Historical evidence
c. Archaeological evidence
c1. Jesus Christ is god

Counter arguments

False Premise p1: Jesus as God

Even if some aspects of the bible can be proved as historically accurate, that does not necessarily make the claims about Jesus or claims attributed to Jesus true. For instance, we have a large body of empirical evidence that George Washington was a real person, but that doesn't mean the story about him cutting down a cherry tree is necessarily true.

  • a. If the character of Jesus as depicted in the bible, is even just semi fictional, his actions or character can be twisted to fit whatever prophesy the writers like. In the extreme the new testament could be considered old testament fanfiction.
  • b. Jesus was not particularly wise. The majority of Christians maintain Jesus' most spectacular display of wisdom was the sermon on the mount, which contained advice ranging from average to awful. Arguably, the only outstanding piece of advice given by Jesus was the golden rule, which was blatantly plagiarised from the earlier Greek philosophers. There is nothing about his advice that could be considered divine wisdom.
  • c. The Jesus character claims he is the son of god. This is related to the Liar, Lunatic or Lord argument. Despite the fact that it cannot be proved that he wasn't a liar or lunatic, this line of argument completely ignores the obvious possibility that Jesus was at least part legend.
  • d. The bible makes claims about miracles performed by Jesus. We have no empirical or scientific evidence that these miracles (or any others) ever took place, and the very notion that they did is in violation of almost every scientific convention we currently understand about the world. Some christological arguments attempt to take a naturalistic explanation for these miracles. This is self refuting of course, because as soon as the miracles are explained by naturalistic means, they are by definition no longer miracles.
  • e. Even within the bible cannon itself, which is supposed to be the accurate basis for these christological arguments, many aspects of Jesus' resurrection such as the end of mark are known forgeries added later. Once again the evidence in this line of argument is lacking to non existence. The best empirical evidence is a supposedly empty tomb that we don't even know the location of. Even if we found the supposedly empty tomb, all this would really be evidence of is that there is an empty tomb. Any number of other explanations ranging from grave robbers to Jesus not really being dead is almost infinitely more probable than his resurrection.

False Premise p2.a: Begging the question

Many of these Christological arguments assume in their premises, that the holybook of the religion they actually seek to prove, is a priori completely true.

Until it is actually established that the bible is historically accurate and consistently reliable, there is no reason to accept arguments based on what the bible says.

To a non-believer, a theist quoting Jesus Christ from the bible without establishing its accuracy, is seen as no different than a Star Trek fan quoting Captain James Kirk of the starship Enterprise.

This is sometimes referred to by atheists as invoking the Star Trek rule.

False Premise p2.b-c: Empirical evidence

There is of course no evidence to back up the premise that the bible is reliable and historically accurate. Based on all the best historical evidence we currently have, everything we know about the new testament gospel is completely consistence with it being a fiction written some time in the late 1st and early 2nd Century.

Further more, the standard of evidence some theists hold is dreadfully low. For instance, the supposed archaeological evidence of the empty tomb being proof of resurrection, is logically no better than an empty wallet being proof of great riches. Not to mention, this is completely empty evidence as we don't actually know where Jesus Christ's tomb is, if it exists at all.

Why I Don't Buy the Resurrection Story- Why I Don't Buy the Resurrection Story.

Historical Evidence and the Empty Tomb Story- Historical Evidence and the Empty Tomb Story

By This Time He Stinketh- The Attempts of William Lane Craig to Exhume Jesus The Attempts of William Lane Craig to Exhume Jesus

Links

See Also

External Links

Reference


v · d Arguments for the existence of god
Anthropic arguments   Anthropic principle · Natural-law argument
Arguments for belief   Pascal's Wager · Argument from faith · Just hit your knees
Christological arguments   Argument from scriptural miracles · Would someone die for a lie? · Liar, Lunatic or Lord
Cosmological arguments   Argument from aesthetic experience · Argument from contingency · Cosmological argument · Fine-tuning argument · Kalam · Leibniz cosmological argument · Principle of sufficient reason · Unmoved mover · Why is there something rather than nothing?
Majority arguments   Argument from admired religious scientists
Moral arguments   Argument from justice · Divine command theory
Ontological argument   Argument from degree · Argument from desire · Origin of the idea of God
Dogmatic arguments   Argument from divine sense · Argument from uniqueness
Teleological arguments   Argument from design · Banana argument · 747 Junkyard argument · Laminin argument · Argument from natural disasters
Testimonial arguments   Argument from observed miracles · Personal experience · Consciousness argument for the existence of God|Consciousness argument · Emotional pleas · Efficacy of prayer
Transcendental arguments   God created numbers · Argument from the meaning of life
Scriptural arguments   Scriptural inerrancy · Scriptural scientific foreknowledge · Scriptural codes
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