Sorry for the late reply -- it's been a busy week or so here.
a) If Jesus said "I'm coming back at x time." and he didn't come, he would be proven fraudulent. The OT is clear that if a prophet makes claims that don't come to pass, said prophet was not sent by God. Jesus never made any claims as to the time of His return, at least not of which I'm aware.
That having been said, it has been a long time. However, there was a long time between the first messianic prophesies and the appearance of Jesus of Nazareth, so it's not exactly without precedent.
b) I'm pretty sure there's nowhere in scripture where Jesus is recorded as having said "no man will see death before I return." the only thing close is a comment he made about John, and John makes clear what Jesus did not say in that Gospel. (John 21:22ff)
c) I'm not sure what people murdering in the name of God has to do with the validity of scriptural claims. People have abused/misrepresented scripture many times in history for their own purposes, and they probably will again. What people do with scripture has little bearing on whether it is truthful or not. That goes for good things people do in the name of their beliefs as well. If I am charitable or kind because of Jesus, that doesn't make Him deity. Either His claims were true or they were false, regardless of my beliefs.
d) I'm not convinced original sin is biblical, but even so, I have myself questioned the logic of sacrificial atonement. That is to say, I still have a hard time understanding how the suffering of the innocent can atone for the sins of the guilty. It is one of the key issues addressed in Romans, but I find it hard to absorb.
That's a long topic, but suffice to say I am at a loss for a complete solution. I accept that there is such a thing as right and wrong. I accept that wrong actions should have consequences for the actor since they inevitably cause consequences for victims. I accept that there is a place for mercy, but I don't know who would have the right or the wherewithal to judge who is deserving of such mercy or when to dole it out.
In short, I don't fully understand the scriptural answer to the problem, but neither can I offer a complete solution myself.
d) I don't know much about the Pope, nor am I inclined to defend the office. Nonetheless, I'm not sure a public figure taking precautions negates that figure's faith, unless there were some sort of promise from God that said figure would remain protected?
e) I'm convinced the historical evidence is strong for the following: A man named Jesus from Nazareth was revered as a teacher among Jews under Roman control. He was eventually executed by the Romans at the behest of local Jewish leadership. He was seen alive by multiple witnesses after this event. A movement grew and thrives today based on that understanding of events.
I always retain the possibility in my mind that I'm wrong, seeing as how I'm not beyond being duped. I go off of what seems most likely to be true, and for me, Jesus is it. If I'm wrong, then I've believed a lie and the most important parts of my life have been based on falsehood. If I'm not, then my work continues and I have a lot to look forward to once this existence has come to an end.
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