Walter Cassels in his work, Supernatural Religion notes
As a general rule, any document so full of miraculous episodes and supernatural occurrences would, without hesitation, be characterized as fabulous and incredible, and would not, by any sober-minded reader, be for a moment accepted as historical. There is no other testimony for these miracles. Let the reader endeavour to form some conception of the nature and amount of evidence necessary to establish the truth of statements antecedently so incredible, and compare it with the testimony of this solitary and anonymous document, the character and value of which we shall now proceed more closely to examine.
it is with this background that we consider whether Luke was, first, an eyewitness to Jesus life, a companion of Paul ad the author of Acts.
As to the first point, Luke was no eyewitness. He says so himself in the first verse. HE is compiling what has come down to him from other eyewitnesses. Can his work be considered historical? I think to the extent that he writes about angels and other supernatural occurrences, that work cannot be historical.
As to whether Luke was the author of Acts, Cassels writes
After examining all the early Christian literature, and taking every passage which is referred to as indicating the use of the book, we see that there is no certain trace even of its existence till towards the
end of the second century; and, whilst the writing itself is anonymous, we find no authority but late tradition assigning it to Luke or to any other author.
And as to the final question, whether the author of Acts was a companion of Paul, the verdict, again, is negative. We cite this example, though plenty are provided for the student who wants to discover more for themselves
According to Paul himself (Gal. i. 16—18), after his conversion, he communicated not with flesh and blood, neither went up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before him, but immediately went
away into Arabia, and returned to Damascus, and only after three years he went up to Jerusalem to visit Kephas, and abode with him fifteen days, during which visit none other of the Apostles did he see “save
James, the brother of the Lord.” If assurance of the correctness of these details were required, Paul gives it by adding (v. 20): “Now the things which I am writing to you, behold before God I lie not.”
According to Acts (ix. 19—30), however, the facts are quite different. Paul immediately begins to preach in Damascus, does not visit Arabia at all, but, on the contrary, goes to Jerusalem, where, under the
protection of Barnabas (v. 26, 27), he is introduced to the Apostles, and “was with them going in and out.”
According to Paul (Gal. i. 22), his face was after that unknown unto the churches of Judaea, whereas, according to Acts, not only was he “going in and out” at Jerusalem with the Apostles, but (ix. 29) preached boldly in the name of the Lord, and (Acts xxvi. 20) “in Jerusalem and throughout all the region of Judaea,” he urged to repentance.
According to Paul (Gal. ii. 1 ff.), after fourteen years he went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas and Titus, “according to a revelation,” and “privately” communicated his Gospel “to those who seemed to be something,” as, with some irony, he calls the Apostles. In words still breathing irritation and determined
independence, Paul relates to the Galatians the particulars of that visit—how great pressure had been exerted to compel Titus, though a Greek, to be circumcised, “that they might bring us into bondage,” to
whom, “not even for an hour did we yield the required subjection.”
Given this background, where does my new friend, pastor blue jeans get his evidence for the claim that Luke was a physician, evangelist, author of acts and close companion of Paul?
Was Samson conceived without sperm? Is there a difference between his and that of Jesus?
In both cases an angel is involved and the said angel appears to the woman with a minor difference that to Samson’s mother, this event happens twice & she was barren not virgin.
And Joshua burned Ai and made it a mound forever, a desolation to this day And he hanged the king of Ai on a tree until the evening, and when the sun set Joshua have a command, and they threw his corpse down from the tree and three it down at the entrance of the city’s gate and set up a big pile of stones over him to this day
If any one has an idea where Ai is and whether archaeologists have found the bones of the king, let me know. I want to visit Ai.
Here Nan has an excellent post that there is nothing yours truly can add to. But borrowing from her line of thought, how do the people who take the bible as god inspired deal with the injustice in it?
Take for example Isaac’s blessing to Jacob. He says
May peoples serve you and nations bow to you be your brothers’ superior, and may your mother’s sons bow to you may those who curse you be cursed and those who bless you be blessed.
And shortly afterwards, from want of extra blessings to pass around, he tells Esau
Here, away from the fat of the earth will be your home, and from the dew of the skies from above and you will live by your sword. And you will serve your brother and it will be that when you get dominion you’ll break his yoke from your neck.
Some people argue that this was the way the authors of the bible explained conflict between nations or beginning of strife that still plague the world.
To imagine that these fellows were living at a time when YHWH would drop by for visits and they did not seek his advice! Shortly we have Esau planning on dispatching his brother to the netherworld following a botched blessing ceremony. Maybe this is why lawyers insist on everyone being present during the reading of wills and final testaments.
He was right who said a god who drowned his children cannot teach me how to raise mine.
The authors of the Uncensored Bible write and I quote
Many people try to follow the Bible’s teachings so they can have a happy home. But the truth is, there aren’t many happy homes depicted in the bible. The real inheritors of the bible example are families who have experienced divorce, deception, adultery, and incest or have a murderer or rapist in the family. The good book is simply loaded with bad kin. And it’s a virtual handbook for how not to raise children.
It must have been Bertrand Russell who said a god who drowned his children cannot tell him how to raise his. I think he was right.
When the author so assertively says in the introduction
Inasmuch as a number of writers have essayed to draw up a narrative of the established facts in our religion 2 exactly as these have been handed down to us by the original eyewitnesses who were in the service of the Gospel Message, 3 and inasmuch as I have gone carefully over them all myself from the very beginning, I have decided, O Theophilus, to write them out in order for your excellency, 4 to let you know the solid truth of what you have been taught.
He is relaying what he has read or others have said. And nowhere does he claim inspiration from anywhere, not even from a joint.
Whose work is he referring to? Who had written these earlier gospels and why doesn’t he mention their names?
And if he has gone carefully through them, let’s for the sake of argument say it was Mathew he read, why does his genealogy of Jesus H. Christ differ from it?
There are 7 miracles only Luke knows where he got. Did he make them up? If he is a historian, does he treat of history when he writes of miracles? Should we take him seriously as a historian?