They sometimes gave exacting details about things that they could not have possibly known, as you yourself admit in the next line. How is that not "making things up"? As for the "without genuinely believing them" part, those are your words, not mine. And just because you convince yourself your made up story is true, it doesn't make it any less made up. They may have believed their own tales sometimes, sure, but that's irrelevant to my point that they made stuff up.Robin S wrote:There are a couple of pretty major errors in the previous post. First, the implication that the authors of the Bible "made things up" without genuinely believing them. I haven't seen convincing evidence for this.
Actually, the "academic consensus" is that some of it was stolen from other religious and literary sources, such as Noah's flood being plagiarized from the Epic of Gilgamesh and other earlier myths. There are some "doublets" where you can see two similar-but-different stories repeated, such as creation and the flood. The conflicting stories show that at least one story is at least partially fabricated, if not both. ("Misremembered" if you want to be reeeally generous.)Robin S wrote:Secondly, academic consensus is that the books of Moses were written many centuries after the events depicted, whereas the Gospels were written less than a century later.
The actual academic consensus is that the Old Testament came from a few oral traditions that had been around for a long time before they were written down, but the consensus is not that they actually happened (for the most part.)
Furthermore, yes, the Gospels may have been "written less than a century later," but most were written decades after the supposed events. The Gospel of Mark and the Gospel of Matthew were probably written after 70 CE, the Gospel of Luke was probably written around 80-90 CE, and the Gospel of John, was most likely written somewhere around 90-100 CE. Heck, the last part of Mark (16:9-end) did not exist in the original text, and was tacked on at a later date. This means the authors were likely not even alive during the time when these events supposedly occurred, it's clear that Matthew and Luke plagiarized some of Mark, and some of Mark was added by someone else. It's not hard to conclude that some of the material must have been "made up."
Beyond all of that, there is little or no archaeological evidence for some major Biblical events, such as Noah's flood (despite what some creationists claim) and the Exodus. These are clear of examples that there were people who "made things up" that ended up in the Bible.
Only wishful thinking or blind faith would lead you to believe that nothing in the Bible was made up.
Today? Yes. Back then? Heck no! Seriously, do you think people could have just Googled to see if Jesus existed? Where is the contemporary, unbiased, historical evidence of Jesus' existence? There isn't any! Funny how such a supposedly major figure made so little impact at the time. Heck, for someone so important, why don't we even know his last name?Robin S wrote:And finally, inventing the central character of a religion within a few decades of his reported death presents far more problems than inventing a single miracle within half a millennium.
To take another angle on your argument, before Jesus' time, the god Mitra (a.k.a. Mithra, a.k.a. Mithras) was the son of Ahura-Mazda ("God"; born on Dec. 25th no less), had 12 disciples, performed miracles, healed the sick, sacrificed himself to redeem humanity, and was resurrected three days later. He was written about in the Vedas. If the Vedas claimed that this has happened just a few decades prior to its writing, would that mean that Mithra must have really existed too? 'Cause according to your argument, it would. Even today you can make stuff up that didn't happen (George Washington and the cherry tree, for example), and many people will believe you if they want to, and that was sooo much easier to do 2000 years ago.
Look, there were lots of "Jesuses" back then, it was a common name, but there is no good objective reason to believe any of them did all or most of what the New Testament claims its Jesus did. Even if he was based on a real human being, the character in the Bible is at least partially, if not mostly, fiction. For more, see "Did Jesus of Nazereth Actually Exist? All sides to the question"
Oh, and finally, inventing miracles isn't hard either. My grandfather could fly, brought back the dead, and predicted the Internet. See? Easy-peasy. Go ahead, prove he didn't.