STOP. First, millions of people all over the world have given their lives for millions of causes, so someone's strength of belief or willingness to die is worth precisely zero when it comes to evaluating whether their claims are TRUE. Your statement “would not have given their lives for Christ if,” is completely false.
This point you bring up is meaningless. My point is that the disciples would have known if Jesus truley did miracles. They would have known if He died and rose from the dead. They were there. No one who knew the ressurection was a lie would give up their lives to gain nothing which is what they did.
The point about hearsay is that a certain select number of people in history supposedly got it straight from the horse's mouth. The rest of us, on the other hand, are not only expected to take their word for it, not even their firsthand word for it. All we’ve got is this crummy book, with all its glaring flaws.
Do you believe George Washington was president of the USA. Obviously you do, but you were not there. You trust that information, yet you were not there. Hmmm. Oh and what you call a crummy book has only predicted the future accurately hundreds of times throughout history even up until today. This crummy book has changed lives, and given the hopeless true hope. I'm sorry you see no value in it, but the flaws you are referring to are not found in scripture, but they are in your own heart. I can see this just in the angry tone you have taken with me in these few posts. If this book is so obviously flawed, why would you bother to waste your time to debate with an idiot like me?
I repeat: you have it utterly backwards. I started from a position of faith, of belief, and through reading and study and following the evidence came to the conclusion that the Bible is a work of historical fiction. You have the end of the road confused with the beginning
Well if you had true faith, it would have been established on God's word. Your faith was not in His word, but more likely you had an emotional experience, or you trusted in the church you were brought up in. As for you following the evidence, well lets just say I doubt that. Are you an Aramaic scholar. Have you actually studied the Bible, or did you just believe what Athiest.org fed you. Or maybe you took some religious classes in some liberal college. If I am wrong, I am sorry, but I have spoken to so many people who sound like you, and usually their information comes from a source that rejects the Bible not because of evidence against it, but because it is a book full of miracles like Jesus walking on water or rising from the dead. However to deny these miracles, is to deny life and the origins of our universe, because these are miracles as well.
Your personal self-loathing is irrelevant, though I hope you get some counseling. I do hope you’re not gearing up to tell me how much I must love sin, because that would be an ad hominem attack as well as an incoherent statement, and you’d never go there, right?
I did not loathe myself, I loved my life, but thanks for your sincere concern. Linking the validity of the Bible to your love of sin is not an ad hominem. It is a valid point, because the Bible is all about people rejecting God's word because of their love of sin. Now are you saying you do not love your sin?
And again, I say: if this book is the preferred vehicle for an omnipotent, omniscient being to transmit the most important information in the universe, he did a pretty asinine job of it--why should God Almighty's inspired word have any need for broader apologetics?
To be honest, God's word does not need apologetics. God can reach people in many ways and does. He so chooses to use things like apologetics because of our lack of faith. If you actually studied and understood His word, you would marvel at its beauty, power, design, and brilliance. If you study it to prove your own agenda, you will never see these things.
By the way, your skills at picking things out of context and reading your own preconceived notions into things are as sharp as they ever were--I've read your posts on biblical "prophecy," and that's a perfect description of your work. Much of Christian commentary on most any subject, actually. Disgust over the rampant intellectual dishonesty among prominent Christian "thinkers" did much to push me away from the faith.
Ok, tell me where I misquoted or misrepresented what scripture says.