was Luke Paul’s close companion?

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?

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Sunday disservice

The author of this post in making a case for Jesus H Christ tells us there were five hundred witnesses to the resurrection, and some of them famous. I for my case, would want to know the name of one eye witness among the five hundred.

He also says there were witnesses to the resurrection. Now, all my reading of the bible tell me all the people who went to the tomb found an empty tomb and Mary Magdalene did not observe the resurrection event.

He also claims as support for the resurrection story, that several names are given. How this builds the case for the resurrection when we don’t have independent accounts of these various witnesses I don’t see.

I am not a lawyer, but I think the claim that

The life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ would stand up in a court of law.

Is untrue. There are few Bible stories, if any, that would stand in a court of law. Unless of course, that court was one that ruled based on miracles.

Happy Sunday everyone.

where Germany has set a bad example for the rest of the world

The Archbishop of Kampala, borrowing a leaf from Germany’s church tax, wants the Ugandan government to deduct 10% tithe from salaried employees who are members of the church and forward it to the church.

The good bishop had this to say

“Whenever we ask for tithe, everyone gives only what they have at that time. But the Bible says a tenth of whatever you earn belongs to the church,”

This is such a busy Monday!

Happy week everyone.

Further reading

On Ken Ham

John, this your countryman is the king of fundamentalists. The Curmudgeon does pretty good job responding to his outlandish claims.

Ham claims, without an iota of shame, that

Without appealing to Genesis, there is no foundation for marriage. Abortion becomes perfectly acceptable if we aren’t made in the image of God. Get rid of spare cats or spare kids — what’s the difference? Why should we have two genders if God did not make them male and female in the beginning? Genesis provides the answers to those questions.

One wonders whether he lived all his life in a cave. People around the world have been getting married even before some white man with a gun and a bible set foot on their lands. How do people follow him and listen to his crazy shit?

Religion is a gigantic fraud

By James Hervey Johnson.

He begins by saying

Intelligent men do not decide any subject until they have carefully examined both or all sides of it. Fools, cowards, and those too lazy to think, accept blindly, without examination, dogmas and doctrines imposed upon them in childhood by their parents, priests, and teachers, when their minds were immature and they could not reason.

continue reading