left biblioblography: KEVIN HARRIS: A STUDY IN SURLINESS

Thursday, July 13, 2006

KEVIN HARRIS: A STUDY IN SURLINESS


Due to a recent post at god4suckers.net, a memory popped into my head, from last year.

I read this post, recognized the name and photo, which redirected me to an earlier post, upon which I dug out some old emails.

He seemed pleasant enough when we began our chat, but if you go here, post #20, he seemed to come out of the blue swinging. I’m guessing that he’s been contacting other atheists via email, and receiving short shrift for his efforts – but that’s a guess only.

Originally, upon contact, I made the effort to look him up – lo and behold; I found a picture of him shaking hands with Josh McDowell. This told me everything I needed to know about him. My loins girded for battle (actually, this is dramatic embellishment – we were just going to have a bit of the natter), we talked.

Now, a note: This is long (11 pages), & there’s some repeated content. The reader can skip to the heading FINAL EMAIL. I prevaricated between doing the (snip) nomenclature, or quoting it in its entirety. Rather than be accused of cherrypicking, I opted for the latter. I do so detest being accused of revisionism – I style myself an honest man, and adhere to the standard as best I can.

So, onwards.

Tuesday, Nov. 8th, 2005 – received this.

Hi RA,
I see the Invisible Pink Unicorn is fast being replaced by the Spaghetti Monster! Both are Category Errors when it comes to theism by the way.

I'm a Christian. I'd be interested in why you reject belief that God exists and why you think Christ is probably not historical. You seem to be interested in how reasons should support one's view.
Thanks,
Kevin Harris
Morning Host/Creative Services Director
KWRD-FM/KSKY-AM Radio
kharris@thewordfm.com

Nov. 10th, responded:

Hello, Mr. Harris.
I'm always open to dialogue. My limited ability is the written word, BTW, but will be happy to correspond.

Am curious as to what you refer to as 'Category Errors', as both the IPU & the FSM are both parodies/satires.

Am I to assume you've reviewed my website? Many of your questions are (at least I thought) covered there. If not, I apologize.

I should perhaps explain that I am an undegreed layman, & as such, much of what I propound is that of an amateur. It is mostly opinion, & my apologies again if it isn't organized properly. I do make the effort to research to some degree, & try to build concepts according to some structure.  

Is there any format you'd prefer, or are we going to discuss this free-form?

Sincerely,
Douglas


The rest of the dialogue ran all the way up to the 22nd of November, so I will skip the dating schema.
--- Kevin Harris <kha

Douglas,

As we have time let's just have some free-form correspondence. If I may, I'll list some initial thoughts after scanning your well-written site.

First, because the Bible re-affirms or reiterates earlier moral codes does not mean the Bible is not inspired (another topic). It just means that moral objectives exist in God's universe. Jesus was not the first to offer the principle of the Golden Rule but he certainly confirmed it.

Secondly, I noticed you said the Bible declares "we are not our brother's keeper". Actually, it teaches that we are. Paul affirms we are to "bear one another's burdens". It is among many of the "one another" passages.

Thirdly, Paul is not saying he is a liar in Romans 3, but offering a hypothetical which he denounces.

Fourthly, as to the Crusades and Inquisitions, we should take Augustine's adage: "Never judge a philosophy by its abuse". The politicized perversion of Christianity has never been in keeping with
Christ.

Fifthly, the Bible does not always approve of what it records. A good thing about the Bible is it tells it warts and all. I detect you're interested in "the Old Testament Atrocities". We can discuss it.

Sixthly, what impresses me about the Bible is how it does not contradict itself when for all practical purposes it should be rife with them - seeing the time span it covers, multiple authorship, and hundreds of controversial topics. Your expample of Christ being wrong about his "coming in his kingdom" is answered. There are many aspects of his "coming in his kingdom". The next event after the passage is Christ's Transfiguration. That, along with his resurrection, ascenscion, and Pentecost, are aspects of his coming Kingdom. His second advent is the culmination of it. Besides, John was standing there, and he saw Christ's second coming in the Revelation.

Finally, the historical Jesus is found in the (1) the New Testament documents, (2) non- New Testament writers, (3) the early church writers.
If we penalize these, then we wipe out all of ancient history; for nothing from the contemporary period and earlier is better documented, with earlier sources, and abundant manuscripts, e.g., most ancient works survive on about 10 MSS, the NT has over 25,000. Most ancient characters and events are written about from 500 to 1000 years later. With Jesus and the NT it is 25, 30-60 years at most.

That's a lot but  perhaps a start. Thanks for your time.


Kevin:
 
Apologies for the lateness of my reply, as my PC is acting somewhat frisky of late.
 Still am curious about the 'category' errors you referred to.
 Are you an inerrantist? The question does have some merit.
Onwards:
 First, because the Bible re-affirms or reiterates earlier moral codes does not mean the Bible is not inspired (another topic). It just means that moral objectives exist in God's universe. Jesus was not the first to offer the principle of the Golden Rule but he certainly confirmed it.
 Well, that's predicated on whether or not 1 believes. I do not. Morals are defined by
A. Moral Relativism, &
B. Empathy
 Secondly, I noticed you said the Bible declares "we are not our brother's keeper". Actually, it teaches that we are. Paul affirms we are to "bear one another's burdens". It is among many of the "one another" passages.  
Gen: 4.9 <> Galatians 6:2 - "Bear ye 1 another's burdens" Personally, I'd rather be left to my own devices, thanks. Besides, doesn't this refer to Xians only? I'll bear my own burdens, thanks.
 Thirdly, Paul is not saying he is a liar in Romans 3, but offering a hypothetical which he denounces.
 Further research. Will correct this soon, if I find I am off.
 Fourthly, as to the Crusades and Inquisitions, we should take Augustine's adage: "Never judge a philosophy by its abuse". The politicized perversion of Christianity has never been in keeping with Christ.
Perhaps. All systems are inherently abusable. But religious systems seem to be in perpetuity. I look at long-term track records. Christianity has an ATROCIOUS 1 in this regard. The 'No true Scotsman' fallacy comes to mind.
 Fifthly, the Bible does not always approve of what it records. A good thing about the Bible is it tells it warts and all. I detect you're interested in "the Old Testament Atrocities". We can discuss it.
 It is fairly honest, I'll give it that. Albeit it is off on a great many points.
 Sixthly, what impresses me about the Bible is how it does not contradict itself when for all practical purposes it should be rife with them - seeing the time span it covers, multiple authorship, and hundreds of controversial topics.
I take issue w/that: it is OVERWHELMINGLY ripe w/contradictions, excuse me, 'difficulties'. No, very few of these are easily dealt w/, or satisfactorily explained.
 Your example of Christ being wrong about his "coming in his kingdom" is answered. There are many aspects of his "coming in his kingdom". The next event after the passage is Christ's Transfiguration. That, along with his resurrection, ascension, and Pentecost, are aspects of his coming Kingdom. His second advent is the culmination of it. Besides, John was standing there, and he saw Christ's second coming in the Revelation.  
Under the influence of wormwood, no less. This is a nice try, but he DID stipulate that there would be those who would not taste of death, who would see his coming. Like to see that explained away. No, not answered at all. Sorry.
 Finally, the historical Jesus is found in the (1) the New Testament documents,
Internal authors only. 4 men, somewhat asynchronous.
 (2) non- New Testament writers,
 Excluding anyone from the 2nd century? 0. Tacitus spoke of Chrestus in Rome, Suetonius was given to hyperbole (gave an account of the birth of the Phoenix), Pliny's letter only admitted Xians existed. Josephus was interpolated by the great liar Eusebius. Most (if not all) external attestations only admit that the cult existed.
 (3) the early church writers.
 Origen castrated himself, Tertullian's commentary, "It is absurd, ergo it must be true", Martyr's dialog w/Trypho, stating that the Devil knew of the prophecies, so he threw a 'curve ball' by copying them, Chrysostom, Jerome, & Eusebius all advocating deceit. I don't expect divine perfection: they were men. But truth be told, I'd try to live by higher & saner standards, myself.
 If we penalize these, then we wipe out all of ancient history; for nothing from the contemporary period and earlier is better documented,
 That's pure nonsense. We have all sorts of records of Rome & Egypt. The Egyptians wrote down EVERYTHING. Minutiae. Throw the baby out w/the bathwater, is the adage that springs to mind.
 Multiple external attestations. with earlier sources, and abundant manuscripts, e.g., most ancient works survive on about 10 MSS, the NT has over 25,000. Most ancient characters and events are written about from 500 to 1000 years later. With Jesus and the NT it is 25, 30-60 years at most.
 
Proves zilch. Sorry. Argument from popularity, is all that is. Profligacy suggesting truth is similar to saying, more insect life than human life? Insects are dominant. Besides, how do we know there weren't other documents, burnt wholesale, due to Theodosius' edict banning all non-Xian sects? We don't. Again, track record. There's an ongoing history, in which disputed works were burned/destroyed. Witness Iraneus' wiping out all Magus' works. We only know of Simon via Iraneus & Hippolytus. This is only 1 example, out of many.

Still am curious about the 'category' errors you referred to.

Being that the Category Error is the "apples and oranges" fallacy, a spacially limited, finite, creature cannot be compared to a spacially unlimited, infinite, Creator (thus, unicorns and God, etc.).

Are you an inerrantist? The question does have some merit.
Yes. I'd be glad to elaborate but I am in line with the Chicago Inerrancy Statement (google).
First, because the Bible re-affirms or reiterates earlier moral codes does not mean the Bible is not inspired (another topic). It just means that moral objectives exist in God's universe. Jesus was not the first to offer the principle of the Golden Rule but he certainly confirmed it.
  Well, that's predicated on whether or not 1 believes. I do not. Morals are defined by
A. Moral Relativism, &
B. Empathy
Actually, I should have said it is an evidence of moral absolutes, but at least evidence of widespread morality.  IOW, because the Bible reiterates some older moral code does not mean the Bible is therefore untrue. It may just be a recognition or reiteration.
Secondly, I noticed you said the Bible declares "we are not our brother's keeper". Actually, it teaches that we are. Paul affirms we are to "bear one another's burdens". It is among many of the "one another" passages.
Gen: 4.9 <> Galatians 6:2 - "Bear ye 1 another's burdens" Personally, I'd rather be left to my own devices, thanks. Besides, doesn't this refer to Xians only? I'll bear my own burdens, thanks.
Notice that Cain asks the question in Gen. 4:9. Also, Paul says there are times to bear your own (Gal. 6:5). Regardless, we see Christ's Golden Rule and Good Samaritan principle applying to all who will hear.
Thirdly, Paul is not saying he is a liar in Romans 3, but offering a hypothetical which he denounces.
Further research. Will correct this soon, if I find I am off.
Fourthly, as to the Crusades and Inquisitions, we should take Augustine's adage: "Never judge a philosophy by its abuse". The politicized perversion of Christianity has never been in keeping with Christ.
Perhaps. All systems are inherently abusable. But religious systems seem to be in perpetuity. I look at long-term track records.
Christianity has an ATROCIOUS 1 in this regard. The 'No true Scotsman' fallacy comes to mind.
Christianity in general and Christendom in particular has a very sad history. I wonder about the "No True Scotsman" fallacy. It doesn't really seem to be a fallacy, just an opinion. But one could determine if someone were a true X if one had a standard(s) for evaluating X.
Fifthly, the Bible does not always approve of what it records. A good thing about the Bible is it tells it warts and all. I detect you're interested in "the Old Testament Atrocities". We can discuss it.
It is fairly honest, I'll give it that. Albeit it is off on a great many points.
Sixthly, what impresses me about the Bible is how it does not contradict itself when for all practical purposes it should be rife with them - seeing the time span it covers, multiple authorship, and hundreds of controversial topics.
I take issue w/that: it is OVERWHELMINGLY ripe w/contradictions, excuse me, 'difficulties'. No, very few of these are easily dealt w/, or satisfactorily explained.
Yes, there are difficulties. One would have to look at alleged contradictions on a case-by-case basis. I've never seen one conclusively proven.
Your example of Christ being wrong about his "coming in his kingdom" is answered. There are many aspects of his "coming in his kingdom". The next event after the passage is Christ's Transfiguration. That, along with his resurrection, ascension, and Pentecost, are aspects of his coming Kingdom. His second advent is the culmination of it. Besides,
John was standing there, and he saw Christ's second coming in the Revelation.
Under the influence of wormwood, no less. This is a nice try, but he DID stipulate that there would be those who would not taste of death, who would see his coming. Like to see that explained away. No, not answered at all. Sorry.
Again, there are several aspects of his "coming in his kingdom". The Second Coming is only one aspect, in fact, the culmination of many of the other aspects.  And again, John saw his Second Coming in the Revelation so given your concern, there is internal consistency.
Finally, the historical Jesus is found in the (1) the New Testament documents,
Internal authors only. 4 men, somewhat asynchronous.

Not just the Gospels but Paul as well. "Internal authors" makes no sense, unless you want to throw out all of ancient history. I suspect you mean "biased". But biased people can and have recorded accurate history.
(2) non- New Testament writers,

Excluding anyone from the 2nd century? 0. Tacitus spoke of Chrestus in Rome, Suetonius was given to hyperbole (gave an account of the birth of the Phoenix), Pliny's letter only admitted Xians existed. Josephus was interpolated by the great liar Eusebius. Most (if not all) external attestations only admit that the cult existed.

First and second century writers, Greek and Roman. Josephus, Tacitus, Suetonius, Pliny the Younger, Letter of Mara bar Serapion, Thallus, Lucian, Emporer Trajan, etc. All mention Christ, Christians, or NT events or figures.

As to Josephus - very important - there are two Jesus passages in
Josephus. Most scholars believe there are interpolations in the longer passage but a shorter version has been found that may more fully  reflect the original. At any rate, here are two core Jesus passages, despite probable interpolations, in Josephus.

Most scholars hold that "Chrestus" in Suetonius is a variant spelling of Christ and is virtually the same as Tacitus' Latin spelling.

(3) the early church writers.

Origen castrated himself, Tertullian's commentary, "It is absurd, ergo it must be true", Martyr's dialog w/Trypho, stating that the Devil knew of the prophecies, so he threw a 'curve ball' by copying them, Chrysostom, Jerome, & Eusebius all advocating deceit. I don't expect divine perfection: they were men. But truth be told, I'd try to live by higher & saner standards, myself.

But don't fall into the Genetic Fallacy. Despite any idiosyncracies, the point is we have information in these writers.
If we penalize these, then we wipe out all of ancient history; for nothing from the contemporary period and earlier is better documented,

That's pure nonsense. We have all sorts of records of Rome & Egypt. The Egyptians wrote down EVERYTHING. Minutiae. Throw the baby out w/the bathwater, is the adage that springs to mind.

The point is, sans the NT, most ancient sources survive on a hand full of manuscripts 500 to 1000 years after the events. Compare Homer's Illiad, second only to the NT, with 643 manuscripts. Homer and the NT are miles beyond other sources in manuscript attestation.


Multiple external attestations. with earlier sources, and abundant manuscripts, e.g., most ancient works survive on about 10 MSS, the NT has over 25,000. Most ancient characters and events are written about from 500 to 1000 years later. With Jesus and the NT it is 25, 30-60 years at most.

Proves zilch. Sorry. Argument from popularity, is all that is.
Profligacy suggesting truth is similar to saying, more insect life than human life? Insects are dominant. Besides, how do we know there weren't other documents, burnt wholesale, due to Theodosius' edict banning all non-Xian sects? We don't. Again, track record. There's an ongoing history, in which disputed works were burned/destroyed. Witness Iraneus' wiping out all Magus' works. We only know of Simon via Iraneus & Hippolytus. This is only 1 example, out of many.

It proves that the New Testament is better attested than virtually anything from the ancient world. This is not Argumentum ad Populum, it is textual criticism. When it comes to ancient sources, the more manuscripts the better, the earlier manuscripts the better. The NT is second to none.


FINAL EMAIL:

My replies are in bold. Being that the Category Error is the "apples and oranges" fallacy, aspacially limited, finite, creature cannot be compared to a spaciallyunlimited, infinite, Creator (thus, unicorns and God, etc.).(hysterical laughter).1stly, again, SATIRE. 2ndly, unless said creatures have specific characteristics agreed upon via a majority, they're abstract concepts open to interpretation. Yes. I'd be glad to elaborate but I am in line with the Chicago Inerrancy Statement (google).All respect, my best friend is a fundie inerrantist, & his excuse (pardon me, raison d'etre) is that he has a special relationship w/the 'author' (of course, substitute 'Bob' for 'God', & we're talking therapy here).  Actually, I should have said it is an evidence of moral absolutes, but at least evidence of widespread morality.  IOW, because the Bible reiterates some older moral code does not mean the Bible is therefore untrue. It may just be a recognition or reiteration. Well, I agree w/most of that, except for the 'absolute' qualifier.  There are few absolutes. Ingersoll once said, "'Thou shalt not kill' is as old as life itself, inasmuch as most men object to being murdered."Older moral code? Try obsolete. Moral relativism, & all that.  Notice that Cain asks the question in Gen. 4:9. Also, Paul says there are times to bear your own (Gal. 6:5). Regardless, we see Christ's Golden Rule and Good Samaritan principle applying to all who will hear. And all that don't wish to, apparently. It's this sort of nonsense that gives carte blanche to folks with control issues. I'll listen, but I reserve the right to walk away. If there's objection to that, it's a clear violation of the 'free will' that Xtians tout, but rarely espouse.  Christianity in general and Christendom in particular has a very sad history. I wonder about the "No True Scotsman" fallacy. It doesn't really seem to be a fallacy, just an opinion. But one could determine if someone were a true X if one had a standard(s) for evaluating X.I find this sort of thing hypocritical & too loose in interpretation. As an atheist, we atheists don't have that sweet an option, "Oh, they weren't TRUE atheists!" We have to accept the black eyes of the French Revolution, the Communist takeovers in Russia, China, Cambodia, etc.  It fairly reeks of social Darwinism. Sorry. Misbehave? Screw forgiveness, you're OUTTA here! Yes, there are difficulties. One would have to look at alleged contradictions on a case-by-case basis. I've never seen one conclusively proven.Of course you haven't. Nor will you ever. "There are none so blind....", etc.  Again, there are several aspects of his "coming in his kingdom". The Second Coming is only one aspect, in fact, the culmination of many of the other aspects.  And again, John saw his Second Coming in the Revelation so given your concern, there is internal consistency.Still not buying it. Written in black & white.  Smacks of revisionism.Not just the Gospels but Paul as well. "Internal authors" makes no sense, unless you want to throw out all of ancient history. I suspect you mean "biased". But biased people can and have recorded accurate history.(Hysterical laughter). You're kidding, right? History is usually verified via the correlation of secondary sources. We know of Caesar because of A. temples, B. Coins, C. writings of Cicero, etc. We have recorded history of Egyptians down to the minutiae (but no record whatsoever of the Exodus), Paul provided NO historical background outside of hearsay, I mean, come on! We can toss the bibble out w/o compunction, & still keep our historical records. Really, if we're to continue to discuss this, please stop making outlandish statements like this. Just because your listeners accept this pap, doesn't mean everyone will.'But biased people can and have recorded accurate history.'Oh, yeah, like Kit Carson, the 'Indian fighter', who actually herded children, old men, & women from Native American tribes up, & slaughtered them? America lost the War of 1812? History is rife w/examples of 'biased authors' telling the story they prefer. 'History is written by the victors.' - Winston Churchill. (2) non- New Testament writers,  First and second century writers, Greek and Roman. Josephus, Tacitus, Suetonius, Pliny the Younger, Letter of Mara bar Serapion, Thallus, Lucian, Emperer Trajan, etc. All mention Christ, Christians, or NT events or figures.As to Josephus - very important - there are two Jesus passages in Josephus. Most scholars believe there are interpolations in the longer passage but a shorter version has been found that may more fully reflect the original. At any rate, there are two core Jesus passages, despite probable interpolations, in Josephus.Most scholars hold that "Chrestus" in Suetonius is a variant spelling of Christ and is virtually the same as Tacitus' Latin spelling.(More laughter). Are you serious? Simple mentions of a cult in Rome doesn't qualify as anything more than the existence of Xtianity. Stephen King mentions Maine, Janis Joplin, Hendrix, various cultural referents, in the Dead Zone. Still makes it fiction.Know about the Josephus paragraphs.  Interesting that Origen, Iraneus, etc. knew about the works of Joe, but it wasn't mentioned until the 4th century.'Most scholars' meaning inerrantists? 'Chrestus' translates to 'Honored one', & was a common name for released Roman slaves. Not to mention that 'Chrestus' was inciting problems in Rome, where JC never went. (3) the early church writers.  But don't fall into the Genetic Fallacy. Despite any idiosyncrasies,the point is we have information in these writers.If we penalize these, then we wipe out all of ancient history; fornothing from the contemporary period and earlier is better documented,  This is just vastly amusing. A. 'Despite any idiosyncrasies'? We're entitled to question the characters & motives of these folks, regardless of content. One's character & veracity are questioned in a court of law, especially when outre behavior is pivotal to testimony. B.  'If we penalize these, then we wipe out all of ancient history; for nothing from the contemporary period and earlier is better documented, '1stly, repetition doesn't work (at least w/me). You can repeat that nonsense about 'wiping out ancient history' a million times, it's still crap to me. 2ndly, 'better documented' is pretty much in the eye of the beholder (apparently), at least to those who foster co-dependence on an invisible being that doesn't exist.  I think I'll defer to Philo & Josephus before I defer to fishermen & a tax collector, thanks. It proves that the New Testament is better attested than virtually anything from the ancient world. This is not Argumentum ad Populum, it is textual criticism. When it comes to ancient sources, the more manuscripts the better, the earlier manuscripts the better. The NT is second to none.Again, crap. Textual criticism only applies if you lend credence to the documents. Approaching it from the premise that it's inherently true is simply positive reinforcement for those who want to believe.  Besides which, after Theodosius' edict, no doubt hundreds, perhaps even thousands of 'documents' were put into bonfires.  'Second to none'? Of course: given the climate, the minority was violently silenced.  Not to mention variant readings, Erasmus & the Johannine Comma, the list is long on this 1. Let's get this clear: despite my nom-de-plume, I am an utter & complete apostate.  The vacuous homilies & platitudes that your listeners may nod & agree w/, don't work w/me.  I've heard them all before, & they didn't work then, they sure as hell ain't gonna work now. Logic is my mistress. I bow to her only. Not to the lies of men.

And I never heard back from him again. I apologize for the length and repetition, but I wanted the whole story told.

Truthfully, he trotted out a number of the hoary old chestnuts (as you can see from the content). Chestnuts I’d cracked open over a year ago, and found wanting, completely vacant and lacking in logic, void of evidence, in short, completely casuistic in content.

Selective perception doth make fools of us all.

Anyways, I should’ve posted on this sooner, but due to the length, I kept procrastinating, but one more for the public record, I say.

Till the next post, then.

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60 comments:

Mesoforte said...

Hello, oh-silver-suited-one, long time no see -er-message. You really could of jumped on this guy on a few places, such as-

Most ancient characters and events are written about from 500 to 1000 years later.

Bull. Most 'characters' that are considered historical are written about by contemporaries.

With Jesus and the NT it is 25, 30-60 years at most.

25 years space at least, 100 years at most. Paul's you're first, and he starts at 50 CE. That more than disqualifies him as a historical figure.

Beowulf said...

“25 years space at least, 100 years at most. Paul's you're first, and he starts at 50 CE. That more than disqualifies him as a historical figure”

Oh yes, everybody loves a conspiracy right? A couple comments on this:

(1)You assume that because we don’t have any surviving manuscripts that there was nothing written in contemporary times. There may have been nothing, but there is not much remaining from the first century either. It’s an argument from silence both ways on this.

(2) In the prologue to the Luke, it speaks of “many” preceding accounts of Jesus’ life. This implies a strong oral tradition that supplied information about Jesus from His contemporaries.

(3) Your demand for contemporary written accounts is not one required by professional historians. Historians have rejected over and over and over and over and over and over the pseudo historian Jesus Myth.


(4) Now, by your criterion you can eliminate some more historical figures. Let’s see--probably:

~Confucius
~Homer
~Simon Magus
~Theudas
~Chrestus
~Apollonius of Tyana
~Shammai
~Gamaliel
~Plato
~Honi the Circle-Drawer
~Hanina ben dosa
~Hillel
~Clement of Rome
~ Judas the Galilean
~Rabbi Akiva
~Aristotle
And so on…


(5) If you want to amputate most of history, be my guest, but don’t pretend your criterion is scholarly—it’s not.

Mesoforte said...

I'll start with the people- Here are a few and their contemporary documents

Confucius

Born 551 BCE Analects 551-479 BCE

~Homer

Collection of poets, not one person.

~Simon Magus

Simon Magus, also known as Simon the Sorcerer and Simon of Gitta, is the name used by the ancient Christian Orthodoxy to refer to a person identified as a Samaritan who was a proto-Gnostic. The name was also used genericly by ancient Christian Orthodoxy, to refer to a person who founded his own religious sect (other than Orthodox).

Justin Martyr (in his Apologies, and in a lost work against heresies, which Irenaeus used as his main source) and Irenaeus (Adversus Haereses) recount the myth of Simon and Helene.

I love Wikipedia. ^o^

~Theudas

Lived somewhere around 45 CE contemporary with Josephus, who wrote about him.

~Chrestus

A word used long after Christ's supposed death for Christ.

~Apollonius of Tyana

Has his own letters and books, contemporary.

~Plato

Wrote the republic around 360 BCE, so there is contemporary documentation.

~Aristotle

Wrote Nicomachean Ethics, 350 BCE

Mesoforte said...

(1)You assume that because we don’t have any surviving manuscripts that there was nothing written in contemporary times. There may have been nothing, but there is not much remaining from the first century either. It’s an argument from silence both ways on this.

You can't assert someone is historical without evidence, you can only wait until you obtain the evidence. Until then, the person is not considered historical.

(2) In the prologue to the Luke, it speaks of “many” preceding accounts of Jesus’ life. This implies a strong oral tradition that supplied information about Jesus from His contemporaries.

Luke was written around 100-110 CE, so he is speaking of the Gnostic Gospels, Mark, Matthew, John, and other noncontemporary documents.

(3) Your demand for contemporary written accounts is not one required by professional historians. Historians have rejected over and over and over and over and over and over the pseudo historian Jesus Myth.

Garraghan divides criticism into six inquiries (A Guide to Historical Method, 168):

When was the source, written or unwritten, produced (date)? Is it contemporary or not?

Where was it produced (localization)?

By whom was it produced (authorship)?

From what pre-existing material was it produced (analysis)?

In what original form was it produced (integrity)?

What is the evidential value of its contents (credibility)?

Mesoforte said...

~Shammai

50 BCE- 30 CE mentioned in the Talmud which is a compilation of documents during the 1st century CE. Not taught in normal history classes.

~Gamaliel

Mentioned in the Talmud, documents compiled during his lifetime. Not taught in normal history classes.

~Honi the Circle-Drawer

First Century BCE, mentioned in the Talmud, contemporary compilation. Not taught in normal history classes.

~Hanina ben dosa

Famous ascetic of the first century and Galilean Rabbi, mentioned in the Talmud. Not taught in normal history classes.

~Hillel

Same as Shammai. Not taught in normal history classes.

~Clement of Rome

Pope Clement I, the bishop of Rome also called Clement of Rome and Clemens Romanus, was the fourth pope. Not taught in normal history classes. First Clement is probably contemporary. Not taught in normal history classes.

~ Judas the Galilean

Judas of Galilee or Judas of Gamala led a violent resistance to a census imposed for Roman tax purposes by Quirinius in Iudaea Province around 6 CE. Mentioned in the First century compulation of the Talmud along with the Zealots. Not taught in normal history classes.

~Rabbi Akiva

Mentioned in the Talmud, contemporary to his life. Not taught in normal history classes.

So, what's wrong with these guys.

Mesoforte said...

Here's a definition of historical method-

The historical method comprises the techniques and guidelines by which historians use primary (primary documents are contemporary documents.) sources and other evidence to research and then to write history.

In historical scholarship, a primary source is a document or other source of information that was created at or near the time being studied.

Mesoforte said...

http://www.skeptics.org/library/modern/theism/christianity/historicity.html

I'd recommend reading, "The Christian Myth: Origins, Logic, and Legacy, The Jesus Puzzle, Who Wrote the Gospels, and many, many others. (^_~ Just look them up on Amazon.)

Beowulf said...

Hello, I like wiki too!

Confucius

Born 551 BCE Analects 551-479 BCE


From wiki:

“[T]he exact publication date of the first complete Analects cannot be pinpointed. Much like the Plato's Republic in Greece…, the Analects were almost certainly penned and compiled by disciples and second-generation disciples of Confucius, albeit being mostly about Confucius himself and his thought.”

Homer

Collection of poets, not one person.


“Homer (Greek Ὅμηρος Hómēros) was a legendary early Greek poet and rhapsode traditionally credited with the composition of the Iliad and the Odyssey, commonly assumed to have lived in the 8th century BC.”

Given there is debate on whether he was historical, there still are many scholars who accept his historicity.

Simon Magus

Simon Magus, also known as Simon the Sorcerer and Simon of Gitta, is the name used by the ancient Christian Orthodoxy to refer to a person identified as a Samaritan who was a proto-Gnostic. The name was also used genericly by ancient Christian Orthodoxy, to refer to a person who founded his own religious sect (other than Orthodox).

Justin Martyr (in his Apologies, and in a lost work against heresies, which Irenaeus used as his main source) and Irenaeus (Adversus Haereses) recount the myth of Simon and Helene.

I love Wikipedia. ^o^


I will assume for now that this is just a mistake on your part. You stopped the quote at “the myth of Simon and Helene.” As if Simon was a myth or legendary figure. Below is the contex:

“Justin Martyr (in his Apologies, and in a lost work against heresies, which Irenaeus used as his main source) and Irenaeus (Adversus Haereses) recount the myth of Simon and Helene. According to this myth, which was the center of Simonian religion, in the beginning God had his first thought, his Ennoia (see Sophia), which was female, and that thought was to create the angels.”
The next paragraph also states this:

“Justin and Irenaeus record several other pieces of information, including: that Simon came from the Samaritan village of Gitta and that the Simonians worshipped Simon in the form of Zeus and Helene in the form of Athena”


Theudas

Lived somewhere around 45 CE contemporary with Josephus, who wrote about him.


Yah but the antiquities were written about 93-4 AD. Theudas (if he is real) died 46 AD. That’s 47 or so year’s difference. Also that would make Josephus like 9 years old when Theudas (if he is real) died.

Chrestus

A word used long after Christ's supposed death for Christ.


From here: http://ccat.sas.upenn.edu/bmcr/1998/1998-07-02.html

“lingerland proceeds to take on the notorious crux in Suet. Claud. 24.4: Iudaeos impulsore Chresto assidue tumultuantis Roma [Claudius] expulit. His treatment, although unnecessarily prolix, argues quite powerfully against the widespread conviction that "Chrestus" is Christ. As Slingerland points out, more fully than any predecessor, the name appears with reasonable frequency in the epigraphic evidence, encompassing persons of freedman or free born status, some of lowly origin, some of relatively prominent station. Nothing suggests Jesus Christ here. The passage indeed implies that Chrestus the impulsor was in Rome when these events transpired. And it will not do to save the Christian hypothesis by postulating Suetonius' ignorance. Nor does Acts 18:1-3 help the cause, for its reference to Jews expelled from Rome who joined Paul in Corinth does not suggest that they were Christians when they left Rome. Orosius' interpretatio christiana rests on no evidence independent of Suetonius. Slingerland reaches a proper and salutary conclusion: the burden of proof rests with those who wish to identify Chrestus with Christ, not those who distinguish them (pp. 169-217).”

Apollonius of Tyana

Has his own letters and books, contemporary.


No he doesn’t (if he existed). The main source for his life – and his existence is not disputed among historians– is Philostratus’ The Life of Apollonius of Tyana. Philostratus’ book, however, was written over a hundred years after his life. There may be some scattered references, but probably not until 40 years after his death.

Plato

Wrote the republic around 360 BCE, so there is contemporary documentation.


Wrong, there are only “copies”, earliest of which is 900 A.D. Therefore, we can’t know if he (427-347 B.C. ) really authored them and how many times it’s bee changed. Can we truth it if it’s 1200 year old copy?

Aristotle

Wrote Nicomachean Ethics, 350 BCE


Wrong, there are only “copies”, earliest of which is 1100 A.D. Therefore, we can’t know if he (384-322 B.C.) really authored them and how many times it’s bee changed. Can we truth it if it’s 1400 year old copy?

Shammai

50 BCE- 30 CE mentioned in the Talmud which is a compilation of documents during the 1st century CE. Not taught in normal history classes.


What’s a ‘normal’ history class? And were are these documents used for the Talmud? They don’t exist? Are they like ‘Q’? When was the Talmud written?

Gamaliel

Mentioned in the Talmud, documents compiled during his lifetime. Not taught in normal history classes.


What’s a ‘normal’ history class? And were are these documents used for the Talmud? They don’t exist? Are they like ‘Q’? When was the Talmud written?

You would do better if you just accepted the historicity of Act and earlier dating.


Honi the Circle-Drawer

First Century BCE, mentioned in the Talmud, contemporary compilation. Not taught in normal history classes.


What’s a ‘normal’ history class? And were are these documents used for the Talmud? They don’t exist? Are they like ‘Q’? When was the Talmud written?

Really, if a figure is not tough in a history class, does that mean that he/she never existed, or maybe they are not as important as some others, or other historical studies?

Hanina ben dosa

Famous ascetic of the first century and Galilean Rabbi, mentioned in the Talmud. Not taught in normal history classes.


What’s a ‘normal’ history class? And were are these documents used for the Talmud? They don’t exist? Are they like ‘Q’? When was the Talmud written?


Hillel

Same as Shammai. Not taught in normal history classes.


If a figure is not tough in a history class, does that mean that he/she never existed, or maybe they are not as important as some others, or other historical studies?

Clement of Rome

Pope Clement I, the bishop of Rome also called Clement of Rome and Clemens Romanus, was the fourth pope. Not taught in normal history classes. First Clement is probably contemporary. Not taught in normal history classes.


Yah, yah, yah, but is he a historical person or not?????? Is he disputed by scholars???????? Do you believe he existed???? The earlist reference to him is in Shepard of Hermas, written around the middle of the second century; thus separating the reference from the man by about 40 years. Thus, he must not have existed.


Judas the Galilean

Judas of Galilee or Judas of Gamala led a violent resistance to a census imposed for Roman tax purposes by Quirinius in Iudaea Province around 6 CE. Mentioned in the First century compulation of the Talmud along with the Zealots. Not taught in normal history classes.


Your way… way … way past you 25 years space between person and documents on ALL of them which, “more than disqualifies him as a historical figure.”

Rabbi Akiva

Mentioned in the Talmud, contemporary to his life. Not taught in normal history classes.

So, what's wrong with these guys.


What’s wrong? We are far more that 25 years space at least, 1400 years at most. That more than disqualifies them as historical figures. Remember?

I'd recommend reading, "The Christian Myth: Origins, Logic, and Legacy, The Jesus Puzzle, Who Wrote the Gospels, and many, many others. (^_~ Just look them up on Amazon.)

And how many of these authors are professional historians?

Since you offered me some resources, I will return the favor:

http://tinyurl.com/qpcec

http://tinyurl.com/oze7q

http://www.christianorigins.com/case/

http://tinyurl.com/q74kw

http://tinyurl.com/pz8fn

http://www.christianorigins.com/goguel/

http://tinyurl.com/qjttz

Krystalline Apostate said...

Holy crap, I take my old-man beauty nap, & this thing blossoms.
BF:
We're finding out all the time that history is written by the victors. There's debate on the existance of a # of figures: Buddha, Lao Tzu, Homer, Robin Hood, I'm sure there's more that escape my memory.
Let me phrase it in this way: you claim to have the truth, the way, the will, the light: how come your documentation is sub-par?
Also, there's a vast difference between JC & other historical characters - if I were the supreme deity, I'd sure as hell make there was no room for error.

Krystalline Apostate said...

MF:
Hello, oh-silver-suited-one, long time no see -er-message. You really could of jumped on this guy on a few places, such as-
Hey, it's been a time.
I could've, but instead, I focussed on what I call the 'McDowell' chestnuts. All those citations that come apart w/a little investigation.

Beowulf said...

I take my old-man beauty nap, & this thing blossoms

LOL, it was probably in front of the tv! I was just testing the criterion with other historical figures. You can have your blog back.

Krystalline Apostate said...

bf:
LOL, it was probably in front of the tv!
Naw, don't sleep well in front of the glass teat. I have to be really tired.
I was just testing the criterion with other historical figures.
It sounds like MF knows his stuff.
You can have your blog back.
Danke.

Mesoforte said...

bf

Confucius

“[T]he exact publication date of the first complete Analects cannot be pinpointed. Much like the Plato's Republic in Greece…, the Analects were almost certainly penned and compiled by disciples and second-generation disciples of Confucius, albeit being mostly about Confucius himself and his thought.”


Writing of, not publication. Secondly, if his disciples wrote it while he was alive, it is a contemporary document.

Homer

Given there is debate on whether he was historical, there still are many scholars who accept his historicity.


Actually, I find there is a consensus in the university community that the 'person' Homer was more than one poet.


Simon Magus

I will assume for now that this is just a mistake on your part. You stopped the quote at “the myth of Simon and Helene.” As if Simon was a myth or legendary figure. Below is the contex:

“Justin Martyr (in his Apologies, and in a lost work against heresies, which Irenaeus used as his main source) and Irenaeus (Adversus Haereses) recount the myth of Simon and Helene. According to this myth, which was the center of Simonian religion, in the beginning God had his first thought, his Ennoia (see Sophia), which was female, and that thought was to create the angels.”
The next paragraph also states this:

“Justin and Irenaeus record several other pieces of information, including: that Simon came from the Samaritan village of Gitta and that the Simonians worshipped Simon in the form of Zeus and Helene in the form of Athena”


Familiar with the term sociologists use called "cultural myth." Yeah, he's probably one of those.


Theudas

Yah but the antiquities were written about 93-4 AD. Theudas (if he is real) died 46 AD. That’s 47 or so year’s difference. Also that would make Josephus like 9 years old when Theudas (if he is real) died.

There's no mention of this guy in World History courses. I don't think he's considered a historical figure then.

From here: http://ccat.sas.upenn.edu/bmcr/1998/1998-07-02.html

“lingerland proceeds to take on the notorious crux in Suet. Claud. 24.4: Iudaeos impulsore Chresto assidue tumultuantis Roma [Claudius] expulit. His treatment, although unnecessarily prolix, argues quite powerfully against the widespread conviction that "Chrestus" is Christ. As Slingerland points out, more fully than any predecessor, the name appears with reasonable frequency in the epigraphic evidence, encompassing persons of freedman or free born status, some of lowly origin, some of relatively prominent station. Nothing suggests Jesus Christ here. The passage indeed implies that Chrestus the impulsor was in Rome when these events transpired. And it will not do to save the Christian hypothesis by postulating Suetonius' ignorance. Nor does Acts 18:1-3 help the cause, for its reference to Jews expelled from Rome who joined Paul in Corinth does not suggest that they were Christians when they left Rome. Orosius' interpretatio christiana rests on no evidence independent of Suetonius. Slingerland reaches a proper and salutary conclusion: the burden of proof rests with those who wish to identify Chrestus with Christ, not those who distinguish them (pp. 169-217).”


I raise the same objection as to the use of it, however, the mention of Chrestus is absent in the university history classes, causing me to doubt he is considered historical. Though in some of my other books, some guy does talk about him, Pliny the Younger methinks.

Apollonius of Tyana

Has his own letters and books, contemporary.

No he doesn’t (if he existed). The main source for his life – and his existence is not disputed among historians– is Philostratus’ The Life of Apollonius of Tyana. Philostratus’ book, however, was written over a hundred years after his life. There may be some scattered references, but probably not until 40 years after his death.


Probably? Never good to say probably.

Plato

Wrote the republic around 360 BCE, so there is contemporary documentation.

Wrong, there are only “copies”, earliest of which is 900 A.D. Therefore, we can’t know if he (427-347 B.C. ) really authored them and how many times it’s bee changed. Can we truth it if it’s 1200 year old copy?


You're right, that's the same reason that the Old Testament, or Torah, can't be considered a historical document. It's a cultural document.

What’s a ‘normal’ history class? And were are these documents used for the Talmud? They don’t exist? Are they like ‘Q’? When was the Talmud written?

The Talmud is a massive compilation of Jewish law and legends from the First century BCE to 217 CE.

Really, if a figure is not tough in a history class, does that mean that he/she never existed, or maybe they are not as important as some others, or other historical studies?

Historicity isn't about existence, its about whether or not a figure can meet historical standards.

Yah, yah, yah, but is he a historical person or not?????? Is he disputed by scholars???????? Do you believe he existed???? The earlist reference to him is in Shepard of Hermas, written around the middle of the second century; thus separating the reference from the man by about 40 years. Thus, he must not have existed.

Historicity has nothing to do with existence. Nor does it have anything to do with mere 'belief.' It has to follow the standards set forth in historical method.

Your way… way … way past you 25 years space between person and documents on ALL of them which, “more than disqualifies him as a historical figure.”

So, a document that is written in the First Century BCE is not contemporary to a document written in 6 BCE?

What’s wrong? We are far more that 25 years space at least, 1400 years at most. That more than disqualifies them as historical figures. Remember?

So far, only 3 of the people mentioned are even brought up in any classes. That's not that bad. It certainly wouldn't tear assunder history if someone besides Confusious, Plato and Aristotle where considered for the accomplishments. It might ruffle some old people feathers, but oh well. Heck, it would be interesting to be able to rewrite history.

And how many of these authors are professional historians?

Mostly sociologists, however history is but a branch of sociology. But, I do have Elaine Pagels, a doctor of religion, who agrees that Christ doesn't quiet fit into historical method.

Well, back to historical method then-

Garraghan divides criticism into six inquiries (A Guide to Historical Method, 168):

When was the source, written or unwritten, produced (date)? The gospels (all four of them) aren't contemporary.

Where was it produced (localization)? After reading 'Who Wrote the Gospels', they weren't written by people living in the supposed area.

By whom was it produced (authorship)? We don't know.

From what pre-existing material was it produced (analysis)? Mark was created by itself, Matthew and Luke copied of Mark and some unknown 2rd source.

In what original form was it produced (integrity)? Manuscripts lost to time or oral tradition.

What is the evidential value of its contents (credibility)? 0

"In historical scholarship, a primary source is a document or other source of information that was created at or near the time being studied"

"The historical method comprises the techniques and guidelines by which historians use primary sources and other evidence to research and then to write history."

Time to rewrite history then.

RA

I could've, but instead, I focussed on what I call the 'McDowell' chestnuts. All those citations that come apart w/a little investigation.

Chesnuts roasting over an open fire. ^_^

It sounds like MF knows his stuff.

Mostly. I still have a lot more work to do.

GooseHenry said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
GooseHenry said...

Although, considering all this, if we trust that the other antique works contain what the writers originally wrote, we should be able to trust that the gospels contain what was originally written, considering the internal consisteny of the documents in relation their timespan&geographical span.

It doesn't seem irrational to do so.

Beowulf said...

(1) I am still waiting for the cited historical method that states if a document has been written about a person that is not cotemporary, or has been written 25-100 years after there death, that person is ‘disqualified’ as a historical figure. Can you provide this data?

(2) There are many historical figures that are not studied in history classes. This is because classes are usually confined to specific time periods, limited resources (time) and historical importance. Stating that ‘most history classes’ don’t teach on person X, is not a sufficient criterion to determine is someone is historical. I could easily counter your Criteria and state that Jesus is just about universally taught to be a Historical Person at all universities if you want to use that criterion.

(3) What exactly is the difference between a historical figure and a figure that existed in history? (Since you have made a distinction.)

(4) Even by your late dating, the NT can still be written by contemporaries of Jesus.

(5) Matthew and Luke are said to use a document source called “Q” which would pre-date Mark.

(6) I said “probably” with Apollonius of Tyana because I am not aware of ANY reference to him before 40 years. If you have a reference before that provide it. He is considered a historical figure, even contrary to your invented historical criterion.

(7) None of your responses have demonstrated the historicity of any of the people I mentioned. The Talmud didn’t help you at all.

(8) Most academia does not agree with Pagels, Just like there are little to no (that I’m aware) historians who deny Jesus as a historical figure. That’s probably because people like you create historical criterion that doesn’t exists.

(9) about the “Historical Method”---

When was the source, written or unwritten, produced (date)? The gospels (all four of them) aren't contemporary.

According to historians, they are close enough developing the Historicity of Jesus. How many historians discount Jesus existence for this again??????

Where was it produced (localization)? After reading 'Who Wrote the Gospels', they weren't written by people living in the supposed area.

How many historians say this??? You are mistaken. Moreover, that’s just an assertion naked of any argument.

By whom was it produced (authorship)? We don't know.

You don’t know? Now your just being disingenuous. We may not know all the authors, but your claim is ridiculous. How many historians assert this again?????

From what pre-existing material was it produced (analysis)? Mark was created by itself, Matthew and Luke copied of Mark and some unknown 2rd source.

It’s called “Q” and is dated prior to Mark.

In what original form was it produced (integrity)? Manuscripts lost to time or oral tradition.

It’s expected that the originals cannot survive. How many historians use this criterion to disqualify Jesus existence again????

What is the evidential value of its contents (credibility)? 0

Cite me some real historians that say this. Even Bart Ehrman, one of the most critical scholars today would laugh in your face.

Keep taking those ‘world history classes’

Krystalline Apostate said...

BF:
Just like there are little to no (that I’m aware) historians who deny Jesus as a historical figure.
Brief aside here:
Richard Carrier is a 'jesus myther'.
I said “probably” with Apollonius of Tyana because I am not aware of ANY reference to him before 40 years.
Philostratus cribbed off his disciple Damis' works.
Simon Magus very well may not have existed, due to the scattered profiles provided by different sources.

Mesoforte said...

Goosehenry

Although, considering all this, if we trust that the other antique works contain what the writers originally wrote

We don't usually. Most documents we find are full of obvious interpolations and other such indescrepicies.


bf

(1) I am still waiting for the cited historical method that states if a document has been written about a person that is not cotemporary, or has been written 25-100 years after there death, that person is ‘disqualified’ as a historical figure. Can you provide this data?

This is what we take into account-

Garraghan divides criticism into six inquiries (A Guide to Historical Method, 168):

When was the source, written or unwritten, produced (date)?

Where was it produced (localization)?

By whom was it produced (authorship)?

From what pre-existing material was it produced (analysis)?

In what original form was it produced (integrity)?

What is the evidential value of its contents (credibility)?

"In historical scholarship, a primary source is a document or other source of information that was created at or near the time being studied"

Wikipedia

"The historical method comprises the techniques and guidelines by which historians use primary sources and other evidence to research and then to write history."

Wikipedia


(2) There are many historical figures that are not studied in history classes. This is because classes are usually confined to specific time periods, limited resources (time) and historical importance. Stating that ‘most history classes’ don’t teach on person X, is not a sufficient criterion to determine is someone is historical. I could easily counter your Criteria and state that Jesus is just about universally taught to be a Historical Person at all universities if you want to use that criterion.

Actually, history teacher have backed off the teaching of Jesus as a person using the Gospels. They always add qualifiers when talking about him briefly, such as-

"In considering the story of Jesus' carreer as an historical event, it is important to recognize that virturally the only sources of information are the first four books of the New Testament, the Gospels, the earliest of which (the Gospel of Mark) was written some thirty years after Jesus' death. Inevitably these sources are full of inaccuracies, in part because they were not eyewitness accounts, and even more because they were never meant to be strictly factual reports but were intended as proclamations of supernatural faith. Bearing in mind that more or less anything in the Gospel record may not be true in the historical sense..." World Civilzations, Ninth Edition, Volume 1 Pg. 262-263

So, that's 6 more historians (the authors) that don't think the Gospels are historical documents.

(3) What exactly is the difference between a historical figure and a figure that existed in history? (Since you have made a distinction.)

A person can exist even if there is no evidence of his existence in contemporary documents. A historical figure has to meet the standards set forth in the historical method.

(4) Even by your late dating, the NT can still be written by contemporaries of Jesus.

Late dating? I'm actually nice and give my document dates rather early ones. Mark is dated anywhere from 65-80, Matthew, 80-100, Luke 80-130, John 90-120. The only reason I date Mark at 70 is because of the destruction of the Jewish temple. Of course, we don't have the originals, as you have pointed out with Plato and Aristotle.

(5) Matthew and Luke are said to use a document source called “Q” which would pre-date Mark.

"Q" or Quelle is the magic bullet of theoretical documents. We only guess at its contents, and I would say that we won't find Q as one document, but many.

(6) I said “probably” with Apollonius of Tyana because I am not aware of ANY reference to him before 40 years. If you have a reference before that provide it. He is considered a historical figure, even contrary to your invented historical criterion.

Ask RA. He seems to know something of this.

(7) None of your responses have demonstrated the historicity of any of the people I mentioned. The Talmud didn’t help you at all.

Yes it did, its contemporary with the Jewish guys you mentioned.


(8) Most academia does not agree with Pagels, Just like there are little to no (that I’m aware) historians who deny Jesus as a historical figure. That’s probably because people like you create historical criterion that doesn’t exists.

Its below.

(9) about the “Historical Method”---

According to historians, they are close enough developing the Historicity of Jesus. How many historians discount Jesus existence for this again??????

"In considering the story of Jesus' carreer as an historical event, it is important to recognize that virturally the only sources of information are the first four books of the New Testament, the Gospels, the earliest of which (the Gospel of Mark) was written some thirty years after Jesus' death. Inevitably these sources are full of inaccuracies, in part because they were not eyewitness accounts, and even more because they were never meant to be strictly factual reports but were intended as proclamations of supernatural faith. Bearing in mind that more or less anything in the Gospel record may not be true in the historical sense..." World Civilzations, Ninth Edition, Volume 1 Pg. 262-263

How many historians say this??? You are mistaken. Moreover, that’s just an assertion naked of any argument.

Sorry, couldn't afford the book, so I can't make the argument. You can always look it up in your local library though.

You don’t know? Now your just being disingenuous. We may not know all the authors, but your claim is ridiculous. How many historians assert this again?????

The four Gospels are anonymous, so we don't know. What we have are second century church members placing the names of those four people on the Gospels.

It’s called “Q” and is dated prior to Mark.

Q is a theroetical document. It's dated from with Paul to Mark (50-70), however, we don't have the text to support the dating.

Cite me some real historians that say this. Even Bart Ehrman, one of the most critical scholars today would laugh in your face.

And I would laugh back in his.

What I think you're mistaking is that individuals are the imporant part of history. That's just plain wrong. History is more about the cultures and societies of the time that the individuals. Historians just use the individuals to illustrate the movements within the cultures. So, people dissapearing here and there wouldn't destory history.

Beowulf said...

This is what we take into account-

No were does it state that if accounts of a person are 25-100 years later that it disqualifies that person as historical. You made up your criteria.

Actually, history teacher have backed off the teaching of Jesus as a person using the Gospels. They always add qualifiers when talking about him briefly, such as-

More unsupported assertions here.

"In considering the story of Jesus' carreer as an historical event, it is important to recognize that virturally the only sources of information are the first four books of the New Testament, the Gospels, the earliest of which (the Gospel of Mark) was written some thirty years after Jesus' death. Inevitably these sources are full of inaccuracies, in part because they were not eyewitness accounts, and even more because they were never meant to be strictly factual reports but were intended as proclamations of supernatural faith. Bearing in mind that more or less anything in the Gospel record may not be true in the historical sense..." World Civilzations, Ninth Edition, Volume 1 Pg. 262-263

This statement does not challenge the historicity of the person of Jesus. At best, it challenges the historicity oh his “Career”(probably the miracle stories etc…etc…), but not Him. I completely disagree with it, but it leads to another trail beyond my original point.


So, that's 6 more historians (the authors) that don't think the Gospels are historical documents.

I’ll ask again, maybe you can answer me directly this time. How many Scholars (granting Carrier) deny the historicity of Jesus?

Late dating? I'm actually nice and give my document dates rather early ones. Mark is dated anywhere from 65-80, Matthew, 80-100, Luke 80-130, John 90-120. The only reason I date Mark at 70 is because of the destruction of the Jewish temple. Of course, we don't have the originals, as you have pointed out with Plato and Aristotle.

You’re nice? Rather, the dating is probably based on convenience for your position. I refuted the Jesus myth here if your interested. I offer some arguments for an earlier dating. It addresses the issue more. Here, I am just playing “devils advocate” with you based on your criterion.

"Q" or Quelle is the magic bullet of theoretical documents. We only guess at its contents, and I would say that we won't find Q as one document, but many.
No magic bullets. Rather, scholarly consensus. I wouldn’t die on a hill for the document, but I haven’t seen anyone really refute the hypotheses of it’s existence.


Ask RA. He seems to know something of this.

So I take you cannot provide any references before 40 years. Disqualify his as historical

Yes it did, its contemporary with the Jewish guys you mentioned.

So is Paul, Luke, Mathew, etc….etc..


about the “Historical Method”---

Regarding Pagels:

From here: http://www.answers.com/topic/historicity-of-jesus

“Elaine Pagels, a specialist in the study of gnosticism has in consequence proposed that Paul was in fact a gnostic, in her book The Gnostic Paul; a view which implies that the Pastorals, and the other disputed Pauline epistles, were created by the church to bring Paul's followers into the fold and to simultaneously subtly counter his arguments. Pagels' arguments have not found widespread acceptance in academia.”

Sorry, couldn't afford the book, so I can't make the argument. You can always look it up in your local library though.

Fine, fine. I am only playing ‘devils advocate’ here with the criteria you offered.

The four Gospels are anonymous, so we don't know. What we have are second century church members placing the names of those four people on the Gospels.

Then let’s disqualify Tacitus' Annals too, and what’s the textual evidence of the names being inserted? How come there is no historical dispute over authorship? There would have been contemporaries to challenge the authority of authorship.

What I think you're mistaking is that individuals are the imporant part of history. That's just plain wrong. History is more about the cultures and societies of the time that the individuals. Historians just use the individuals to illustrate the movements within the cultures. So, people dissapearing here and there wouldn't destory history.

What I think you're mistaking is that individuals are the important part of history. That's just a fact. History is more about the people and cultures and what peopled did in those cultures and societies of the time ofthe individuals. Historians just use historical individuals to illustrate the movements within the cultures. So, people disappearing here and there would destroy history. How can you talk about culture without talking about people? Historical figures? Their influence? Keep trying =)

I like this reference:

"New Testament scholar Craig Blomberg, who served as an editor for and contributor to a large scholarly work on the Gospels, provides four reasons why more was not written on Jesus in his time: 'the humble beginnings of Christianity, the remote location of Palestine on the eastern frontiers of the Roman empire, the small percentage of the works of ancient Graeco-Roman historians which have survived, and the lack of attention paid by those which are extant to Jewish figures in general.'...What we have concerning Jesus actually is impressive....let's take a look at Julius Caesar, one of Rome's most prominent figures....Only five sources report his military conquests....If Julius Caesar really made a profound impact on Roman society, why didn't more writers of antiquity mention his great military accomplishments? No one questions whether Julius did make a tremendous impact on the Roman Empire....Tiberius Caesar was the Roman emperor at the time of Jesus' ministry and execution. Tiberius is mentioned by ten sources within 150 years of his death: Tacitus, Suetonius, Velleius Paterculus, Plutarch, Pliny the Elder, Strabo, Seneca, Valerius Maximus, Josephus, and Luke. Compare that to Jesus' forty-two total sources in the same length of time. That's more than four times the number of total sources who mention the Roman emperor during roughly the same period. If we only considered the number of secular non-Christian sources who mention Jesus and Tiberius within 150 years of their lives, we arrive at a tie of nine each." (The Case for the Resurrection of Jesus [Grand Rapids, Michigan: Kregel Publications, 2004], pp. 127-128)

Mesoforte said...

This is what we take into account-

No were does it state that if accounts of a person are 25-100 years later that it disqualifies that person as historical. You made up your criteria.

You won't find specfics in historical method. We do are best, and I am one that thinks the absense of evidence calls historicity into question.

More unsupported assertions here.

This statement does not challenge the historicity of the person of Jesus. At best, it challenges the historicity oh his “Career”(probably the miracle stories etc…etc…), but not Him. I completely disagree with it, but it leads to another trail beyond my original point.

Bearing in mind that more or less anything in the Gospel record may not be true in the historical sense


I’ll ask again, maybe you can answer me directly this time. How many Scholars (granting Carrier) deny the historicity of Jesus?

The world has been for a long time engaged in writing lives of Jesus... The library of such books has grown since then. But when we come to examine them, one startling fact confronts us: all of these books relate to a personage concerning whom there does not exist a single scrap of contemporary information -- not one! By accepted tradition he was born in the reign of Augustus, the great literary age of the nation of which he was a subject. In the Augustan age historians flourished; poets, orators, critics and travelers abounded. Yet not one mentions the name of Jesus Christ, much less any incident in his life.

-Moncure D. Conway [1832 - 1907] (Modern Thought)


It is only in comparatively modern times that the possibility was considered that Jesus does not belong to history at all.

-J.M. Robertson (Pagan Christs)



Whether considered as the God made human, or as man made divine, this character never existed as a person.

-Gerald Massey, Egyptologist and historical scholar (Gerald Massey's Lectures: Gnostic and Historic Christianity, 1900)



Many people-- then and now-- have assumed that these letters [of Paul] are genuine, and five of them were in fact incorporated into the New Testament as "letters of Paul." Even today, scholars dispute which are authentic and which are not. Most scholars, however, agree that Paul actually wrote only eight of the thirteen "Pauline" letters now included in the New Testament. collection: Romans, 1 and 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Philippians, 1 Thessalonians, and Philemon. Virtually all scholars agree that Paul himself did not write 1 or 2 Timothy or Titus-- letters written in a style different from Paul's and reflecting situations and viewpoints in a style different from those in Paul's own letters. About the authorship of Ephesias, Colossians, and 2 Thessalonians, debate continues; but the majority of scholars include these, too, among the "deutero-Pauline"-- literally, secondarily Pauline-- letters."

-Elaine Pagels, Professor of Religion at Princeton University, (Adam, Eve, and the Serpent)



We know virtually nothing about the persons who wrote the gospels we call Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.

-Elaine Pagels, Professor of Religion at Princeton University, (The Gnostic Gospels)



Some hoped to penetrate the various accounts and to discover the "historical Jesus". . . and that sorting out "authentic" material in the gospels was virtually impossible in the absence of independent evidence."

-Elaine Pagels, Professor of Religion at Princeton University



We can recreate dimensions of the world in which he lived, but outside of the Christian scriptures, we cannot locate him historically within that world.

-Gerald A. Larue (The Book Your Church Doesn't Want You To Read)



The gospels are so anonymous that their titles, all second-century guesses, are all four wrong.

-Randel McCraw Helms (Who Wrote the Gospels?)



Far from being an intimate of an intimate of Jesus, Mark wrote at the forth remove from Jesus.

-Randel McCraw Helms (Who Wrote the Gospels?)



Mark himself clearly did not know any eyewitnesses of Jesus.

-Randel McCraw Helms (Who Wrote the Gospels?)



All four gospels are anonymous texts. The familiar attributions of the Gospels to Matthew, Mark, Luke and John come from the mid-second century and later and we have no good historical reason to accept these attributions.

-Steve Mason, professor of classics, history and religious studies at York University in Toronto (Bible Review, Feb. 2000, p. 36)


Many modern Biblical archaeologists now believe that the village of Nazareth did not exist at the time of the birth and early life of Jesus. There is simply no evidence for it.

-Alan Albert Snow (The Book Your Church Doesn't Want You To Read)



But even if it could be proved that John's Gospel had been the first of the four to be written down, there would still be considerable confusion as to who "John" was. For the various styles of the New Testament texts ascribed to John- The Gospel, the letters, and the Book of Revelations-- are each so different in their style that it is extremely unlikely that they had been written by one person.

-John Romer, archeologist & Bible scholar (Testament)

When it comes to the historical question about the Gospels, I adopt a mediating position-- that is, these are religious records, close to the sources, but they are not in accordance with modern historiographic requirements or professional standards.

-David Noel Freedman, Bible scholar and general editor of the Anchor Bible series (Bible Review, December 1993, Vol. IX, Number 6, p.34)


Paul did not write the letters to Timothy to Titus or several others published under his name; and it is unlikely that the apostles Matthew, James, Jude, Peter and John had anything to do with the canonical books ascribed to them.

-Michael D. Coogan, Professor of religious studies at Stonehill College (Bible Review, June 1994)



A generation after Jesus' death, when the Gospels were written, the Romans had destroyed the Jerusalem Temple (in 70 C.E.); the most influential centers of Christianity were cities of the Mediterranean world such as Alexandria, Antioch, Corinth, Damascus, Ephesus and Rome. Although large number of Jews were also followers of Jesus, non-Jews came to predominate in the early Church. They controlled how the Gospels were written after 70 C.E.

-Bruce Chilton, Bell Professor of Religion at Bard College (Bible Review, Dec. 1994, p. 37)



James Dunn says that the Sermon on the Mount, mentioned only by Matthew, "is in fact not historical."

How historical can the Gospels be? Are Murphy-O-Conner's speculations concerning Jesus' baptism by John simply wrong-headed? How can we really know if the baptism, or any other event written about in the Gospels, is historical?

-Daniel P. Sullivan (Bible Review, June 1996, Vol. XII, Number 3, p. 5)



David Friedrich Strauss (The Life of Jesus, 1836), had argued that the Gospels could not be read as straightforward accounts of what Jesus actually did and said; rather, the evangelists and later redactors and commentators, influenced by their religious beliefs, had made use of myths and legends that rendered the gospel narratives, and traditional accounts of Jesus' life, unreliable as sources of historical information.

-Bible Review, October 1996, Vol. XII, Number 5, p. 39



The Gospel authors were Jews writing within the midrashic tradition and intended their stories to be read as interpretive narratives, not historical accounts.

-Bishop Shelby Spong, Liberating the Gospels



Other scholars have concluded that the Bible is the product of a purely human endeavor, that the identity of the authors is forever lost and that their work has been largely obliterated by centuries of translation and editing.

-Jeffery L. Sheler, "Who Wrote the Bible," (U.S. News & World Report, Dec. 10, 1990)



Yet today, there are few Biblical scholars-- from liberal skeptics to conservative evangelicals- who believe that Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John actually wrote the Gospels. Nowhere do the writers of the texts identify themselves by name or claim unambiguously to have known or traveled with Jesus.

-Jeffery L. Sheler, "The Four Gospels," (U.S. News & World Report, Dec. 10, 1990)



Once written, many experts believe, the Gospels were redacted, or edited, repeatedly as they were copied and circulated among church elders during the last first and early second centuries.

-Jeffery L. Sheler, "The Four Gospels," (U.S. News & World Report, Dec. 10, 1990)



The tradition attributing the fourth Gospel to the Apostle John, the son of Zebedee, is first noted by Irenaeus in A.D. 180. It is a tradition based largely on what some view as the writer's reference to himself as "the beloved disciple" and "the disciple whom Jesus loved." Current objection to John's authorship are based largely on modern textural analyses that strongly suggest the fourth Gospel was the work of several hands, probably followers of an elderly teacher in Asia Minor named John who claimed as a young man to have been a disciple of Jesus.

-Jeffery L. Sheler, "The Four Gospels," (U.S. News & World Report, Dec. 10, 1990)



Some scholars say so many revisions occurred in the 100 years following Jesus' death that no one can be absolutely sure of the accuracy or authenticity of the Gospels, especially of the words the authors attributed to Jesus himself.

-Jeffery L. Sheler, "The catholic papers," (U.S. News & World Report, Dec. 10, 1990)



Three letters that Paul allegedly wrote to his friends and former co-workers Timothy and Titus are now widely disputed as having come from Paul's hand.

-Jeffery L. Sheler, "The catholic papers," (U.S. News & World Report, Dec. 10, 1990)

The origins of the three letters of John are also far from certain.

-Jeffery L. Sheler, "The catholic papers," (U.S. News & World Report, Dec. 10, 1990)



Christian tradition has held that the Apostle Peter wrote the first [letter], probably in Rome shortly before his martyrdom about A.D. 65. However, some modern scholars cite the epistle's cultivated language and its references to persecutions that did not occur until the reign of Domitian (A.D. 81-96) as evidence that it was actually written by Peter's disciples sometime later.

Second Peter has suffered even harsher scrutiny. Many scholars consider it the latest of all New Testament books, written around A.D. 125. The letter was never mentioned in second-century writings and was excluded from some church canons into the fifth century. "This letter cannot have been written by Peter," wrote Werner Kummel, a Heidelberg University scholar, in his highly regarded Introduction to the New Testament.

-Jeffery L. Sheler, "The catholic papers," (U.S. News & World Report, Dec. 10, 1990)



The letter of Jude also is considered too late to have been written by the attested author-- "the brother of James" and, thus, of Jesus. The letter, believed written early in the second century.

-Jeffery L. Sheler, "The catholic papers," (U.S. News & World Report, Dec. 10, 1990)



According to the declaration of the Second Vatican Council, a faithful account of the actions and words of Jesus is to be found in the Gospels; but it is impossible to reconcile this with the existence in the text of contradictions, improbabilities, things which are materially impossible or statements which run contrary to firmly established reality.

-Maurice Bucaille (The Bible, the Quran, and Science)



The bottom line is we really don't know for sure who wrote the Gospels.

-Jerome Neyrey, of the Weston School of Theology, Cambridge, Mass. in "The Four Gospels," (U.S. News & World Report, Dec. 10, 1990)



Most scholars have come to acknowledge, was done not by the Apostles but by their anonymous followers (or their followers' followers). Each presented a somewhat different picture of Jesus' life. The earliest appeared to have been written some 40 years after his Crucifixion.

-David Van Biema, "The Gospel Truth?" (Time, April 8, 1996)



So unreliable were the Gospel accounts that "we can now know almost nothing concerning the life and personality of Jesus."

-Rudolf Bultmann, University of Marburg, the foremost Protestant scholar in the field in 1926



The Synoptic Gospels employ techniques that we today associate with fiction.

-Paul Q. Beeching, Central Connecticut State University (Bible Review, June 1997, Vol. XIII, Number 3, p. 43)



Josephus says that he himself witnessed a certain Eleazar casting out demons by a method of exorcism that had been given to Solomon by God himself-- while Vespasian watched! In the same work, Josephus tells the story of a rainmaker, Onias (14.2.1).

-Paul Q. Beeching, Central Connecticut State University (Bible Review, June 1997, Vol. XIII, Number 3, p. 43)



For Mark's gospel to work, for instance, you must believe that Isaiah 40:3 (quoted, in a slightly distorted form, in Mark 1:2-3) correctly predicted that a stranger named John would come out of the desert to prepare the way for Jesus. It will then come as something of a surprise to learn in the first chapter of Luke that John is a near relative, well known to Jesus' family.

-Paul Q. Beeching, Central Connecticut State University (Bible Review, June 1997, Vol. XIII, Number 3, p. 43)



The narrative conventions and world outlook of the gospel prohibit our using it as a historical record of that year.

-Paul Q. Beeching, Central Connecticut State University (Bible Review, June 1997, Vol. XIII, Number 3, p. 54)



Jesus is a mythical figure in the tradition of pagan mythology and almost nothing in all of ancient literature would lead one to believe otherwise. Anyone wanting to believe Jesus lived and walked as a real live human being must do so despite the evidence, not because of it.

-C. Dennis McKinsey, Bible critic (The Encyclopedia of Biblical Errancy)



The gospels are very peculiar types of literature. They're not biographies.

-Paula Fredriksen, Professor and historian of early Christianity, Boston University (in the PBS documentary, From Jesus to Christ, aired in 1998)



The gospels are not eyewitness accounts

-Allen D. Callahan, Associate Professor of New Testament, Harvard Divinity School



We are led to conclude that, in Paul's past, there was no historical Jesus. Rather, the activities of the Son about which God's gospel in scripture told, as interpreted by Paul, had taken place in the spiritual realm and were accessible only through revelation.

-Earl Doherty, "The Jesus Puzzle," p.83



Before the Gospels were adopted as history, no record exists that he was ever in the city of Jerusalem at all-- or anywhere else on earth.

-Earl Doherty, "The Jesus Puzzle," p.141



Even if there was a historical Jesus lying back of the gospel Christ, he can never be recovered. If there ever was a historical Jesus, there isn't one any more. All attempts to recover him turn out to be just modern remythologizings of Jesus. Every "historical Jesus" is a Christ of faith, of somebody's faith. So the "historical Jesus" of modern scholarship is no less a fiction.

-Robert M. Price, "Jesus: Fact or Fiction, A Dialogue With Dr. Robert Price and Rev. John Rankin," Opening Statement



It is important to recognize the obvious: The gospel story of Jesus is itself apparently mythic from first to last."

-Robert M. Price, professor of biblical criticism at the Center for Inquiry Institute (Deconstructing Jesus, p. 260)

How many is that?

Okay, smartass, what is the exact number of historical 'scholars' that affirm it.

You’re nice? Rather, the dating is probably based on convenience for your position. I refuted the Jesus myth here if your interested. I offer some arguments for an earlier dating. It addresses the issue more. Here, I am just playing “devils advocate” with you based on your criterion.

How can a document that speaks of the destruction of the Jewish temple be dated earlier than the destruction of the Jewish temple? Perhaps I should do as you have- How many actual historical scholars accept your datings?

No magic bullets. Rather, scholarly consensus. I wouldn’t die on a hill for the document, but I haven’t seen anyone really refute the hypotheses of it’s existence.

There's no real point in refuting the document. Its helpful in understanding where Matthew and Mark obtained their information from.

So is Paul, Luke, Mathew, etc….etc..

But Jesus is not.

Then let’s disqualify Tacitus' Annals too, and what’s the textual evidence of the names being inserted? How come there is no historical dispute over authorship? There would have been contemporaries to challenge the authority of authorship.

Wiki on Mark-

The gospel itself is anonymous, but as early as Papias in the early 2nd century, a text was attributed to Mark, a disciple of Peter, who is said to have recorded the Apostle's discourses. Papias' authority in this was John the Presbyter. While the text of Papias is no longer extant, it was quoted by Eusebius of Caesarea:

Mark is first attributed to the Gospel in the second century, the others are similiar.

How can you talk about culture without talking about people? Historical figures? Their influence? Keep trying =)

If the individuals that we think of now did not exist, we would still be teaching about the same accomplishments and the same events. "A rose by any other name..." It is irrellavent as to what the people are named, so long as we can show the changing cultures.

'the humble beginnings of Christianity,

'Humble' beginnings? Christianity was a primary cause of the Jewish Roman War. Not so humble. 500 people being fed? That doesn't sound humble.

the remote location of Palestine on the eastern frontiers of the Roman empire,

So why wouldn't someone in that area write about 500 people being fed?

the small percentage of the works of ancient Graeco-Roman historians which have survived,

We work with what we have. Unless of course, you think we can work with what we don't have.

and the lack of attention paid by those which are extant to Jewish figures in general.

The Jews did pay attention to their own. The Talmud is evidence of that.

I think we're looking at this differently.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historicity_of_Jesus

http://pages.ca.inter.net/~oblio/jhcjp.htm

http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/g_a_wells/earliest.html

http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/richard_carrier/jesuspuzzle.html

Krystalline Apostate said...

BF:
Well, I'll chip into this discussion.
1st off, I think you & MF are correct: history is about both the cultures as well as the individuals. Can't have the forest w/o the trees.
Now, for the example, let's look at Caesar ("All hail Caesar!" Oops, channeling another life, hehehehe).

We have more than just 5 writers on him. We have works attributable to him:
"Caesar's literary works

Caesar was considered during his lifetime to be one of the finest orators and authors of prose in Rome—even Cicero spoke highly of Caesar's rhetoric and style. Among his most famous works were his funeral oration for his paternal aunt Julia and his Anticato, a document written to blacken Cato's reputation and respond to Cicero's Cato memorial. Unfortunately, the majority of his works and speeches have been lost. The most famous of his surviving works are:

* The Commentarii de Bello Gallico (Commentaries on the Gallic War), campaigns in Gallia and Britannia during his term as proconsul; and
* The Commentarii de Bello Civile (Commentaries on the Civil War), events of the Civil War until immediately after Pompey's death in Egypt.

Other works historically attributed to Caesar, but whose authorship is doubted, are:

* De Bello Hispaniensis (On the Hispanic War), campaigns in modern Spain;
* De Bello Africo (On the African War), campaigns in North Africa; and
* De Bello Alexandrino (On the Alexandrine War), campaign in Alexandria.

These narratives, apparently simple and direct in style—to the point that Caesar's Commentarii are commonly studied by first and second year Latin students—are in fact highly sophisticated advertisements for his political agenda, most particularly for the middle-brow readership of minor aristocrats in Rome, Italy, and the provinces. "

Not to mention temples, coinage. He was in fact, the 1st living man to appear on coins. We know that he had 3 wives, 2 offspring, 1 adopted son.

When we look at ole JC, we have an impressive LACK of historicity. No 1 wrote of him in the time of the alleged 'Palistinean' ministry. Not a peep. Sure, it's an argument from silence, but impressive nonetheless. Silence doesn't signify assent. Silence is a void.

We have no body. In lieu of that, we have no writings, outside of loosely compiled anecdotes. We have no coins. No bas-reliefs.

Ahmed Osman, in his book JESUS IN THE HOUSE OF THE PHARAOHS, states in Chap. 1, 'Scandal of the Dead Sea Scrolls':
"Jesus is a mysterious figure in a historical sense. All we know about him comes mainly from the Gospels & the Koran. 2000 yrs ago, at the time he is said to have lived, Palestine was a part of the Roman Empire. Yet no Roman record exists that can bear witness, directly or indirectly, to the Gospel story of Jesus. Even more surprising is the absence of any reference to Jesus in the writing of Jewish authors living at that period in Jerusalem or Alexandria, although we know from Talmudic writings that the Jews did know of Jesus, even if they refused to accept that he was either the Messiah or descended from the house of David.'
Osman's not a jesus-myther, BTW. He's a little more out in left field (he claims that JC was a contemporary of Moses).

As to tacitus, here's the passage under dispute:

" But not all the relief that could come from man, not all the bounties that the prince could bestow, nor all the atonements which could be presented to the gods, availed to relieve Nero from the infamy of being believed to have ordered the conflagration, the fire of Rome. Hence to suppress the rumor, he falsely charged with the guilt, and punished Christians, who were hated for their enormities. Christus, the founder of the name, was put to death by Pontius Pilate, procurator of Judea in the reign of Tiberius: but the pernicious superstition, repressed for a time broke out again, not only through Judea, where the mischief originated, but through the city of Rome also, where all things hideous and shameful from every part of the world find their center and become popular. Accordingly, an arrest was first made of all who pleaded guilty; then, upon their information, an immense multitude was convicted, not so much of the crime of firing the city, as of hatred against mankind.

Some scholars, such as Gordon Stein, have suggested that this passage could be a later textual interpolation by Christian scribes[1]; others, such as Georges Ory, that the name was originally Chrestus, with Christus being a later substitution[2]. The 19th-century scholar John Wilson Ross suggested that the Annals themselves had been forged by the Renaissance humanist Poggio Bracciolini, but his thesis has found no support among classicists and palaeographers.[3] Unlike the case with Josephus on Jesus, however, there is less clear evidence for doubting the authenticity of this text; debate focuses rather on the nature of Tacitus's sources[4]. "

The historians are still wrangling over the historicity of that. Interpolations seem to surface all over the place.

Apollonius of Tyana:

"A record of his travels, based on the journal of his companion, Damis, and written (c.A.D. 216) by Flavius Philostratus, is a mixture of truth and romantic fiction."


Also:

"References

The collection of Apollonius' letters was published by Robert J. Penella, The Letters of Apollonius of Tyana: A Critical Text (1979 Leiden). Philostratus' Life of Apollonius Tyana was -together with the Letters and the Treatise of Eusebius- published in two volumes in the Loeb Classical Library in 1912, with a translation by F. C. Conybeare. The new translation by C.P. Jones is reviewed here.

The most important recent discussion of the problems related to the Life of Apollonius, can be found in Jaap-Jan Flinterman's Power, paideia & pythagoreanism. Greek identity, conceptions of the relationship between philosophers and monarchs and political ideas in Philostratus' Life of Apollonius (1995 Amsterdam), pages 67ff. He refutes an earlier article by E.L. Bowie, 'Apollonius of Tyana: Tradition and Reality' in Aufstieg und Niedergang der Römischen Welt 2.16.2 (1987) 1652-99; Bowie maintains that Philostratus' source Damis never existed, but this view now appears to be superseded.

M. Dzielka's Apollonius of Tyana in legend and history is especially useful on the local traditions before Philostratus and the post-Philostratean elaborations. On the theoretical problems of the study of the 'divine man', see Flinterman's article 'The ubiquitous "Divine Man"' in the journal Numen (43, 1996), pages 82-98. "

All of course, gleaned from answers.com.

Mesoforte said...

RA

Thanks RA. ^_~

BTW, did you get the email?

Beowulf said...

You won't find specfics in historical method. We do are best, and I am one that thinks the absense of evidence calls historicity into question.

Then how are you so confident to say “25 years space at least, 100 years at most. Paul's you're first, and he starts at 50 CE. That more than disqualifies him as a historical figure.”?

Bearing in mind that more or less anything in the Gospel record may not be true in the historical sense

Irrelevant. The quote did not challenge the existence of Jesus…Period!

Now we get the old cut and past from by Jim Walker’s article of quotations. Nice digging. You should note though, I am interested in contemporary scholars, because of the mass amount of manuscripts found in the past 35 years. More data, more info, more informed decisions.

-Moncure D. Conway [1832 - 1907] (Modern Thought)

Not a Historian

It is only in comparatively modern times that the possibility was considered that Jesus does not belong to history at all.

-J.M. Robertson (Pagan Christs)

Not a historian

-Gerald Massey, Egyptologist and historical scholar (Gerald Massey's Lectures: Gnostic and Historic Christianity, 1900)

Not a historical scholar. That title is only attributed to his to fluff his credentials. Even if I granted it, he’s a little out dated and way over rated (hey that rhymes).


-Elaine Pagels, Professor of Religion at Princeton University, (Adam, Eve, and the Serpent)

Pagals (*vomit*). She is a liar. I went through his with RA a while back. Maybe he knows the link from his archive. It has been demonstrated that she either lied, or made some egregious mistakes in her work. I think she is a liar.

We can recreate dimensions of the world in which he lived, but outside of the Christian scriptures, we cannot locate him historically within that world.

-Gerald A. Larue (The Book Your Church Doesn't Want You To Read)

Never heard of this guy. Don’t know if he’s a historian, but you can use anyone you can get—so you can have him.

-Randel McCraw Helms (Who Wrote the Gospels?)

Does he deny the historicity of Jesus? Where is the quote explicitly stating it? Either demonstrate his position on the issue or drop him. You can have him as a scholar, when show that he denies the historicity of Jesus (though your still desperately lagging in #’s).

-Steve Mason, professor of classics, history and religious studies at York University in Toronto (Bible Review, Feb. 2000, p. 36)

Same issue here. Vague statements won’t get you free bees. Does he deny the historicity of Jesus? Where is the quote explicitly stating it? Either demonstrate his position on the issue or drop him.


Many modern Biblical archaeologists now believe that the village of Nazareth did not exist at the time of the birth and early life of Jesus. There is simply no evidence for it.

-Alan Albert Snow (The Book Your Church Doesn't Want You To Read)


Richard Carrier believes Nazareth existed. Who is this guy? What are his credentials? You can have him anyway—you need him.


-John Romer, archeologist & Bible scholar (Testament)

Were talking about Jesus right not John? So where is the quotation or demonstrations that he is a Jesus Myther?

-David Noel Freedman, Bible scholar and general editor of the Anchor Bible series (Bible Review, December 1993, Vol. IX, Number 6, p.34)

Does he deny the historicity of Jesus? Where is the quote explicitly stating it? Either demonstrate his position on the issue or drop him.



Michael D. Coogan, Professor of religious studies at Stonehill College (Bible Review, June 1994)

*Yawn* Does he deny the historicity of Jesus? Where is the quote explicitly stating it? Either demonstrate his position on the issue or drop him.

-Bruce Chilton, Bell Professor of Religion at Bard College (Bible Review, Dec. 1994, p. 37)

Uh oh, he said “A generation after Jesus' death..” So he not a myther then? Demonstrate here. Did you bother to read the quotes? Or did you just get exited and start pasting?

James Dunn

Does he deny the historicity of Jesus? Where is the quote explicitly stating it? Either demonstrate his position on the issue or drop him. Is he even a scholar?

-Daniel P. Sullivan (Bible Review, June 1996, Vol. XII, Number 3, p. 5)

When you get a chance can you demonstrate whether he is s Jesus myther?

David Friedrich Strauss

He’s rather ancient, but you still haven’t demonstrating he denies the historicity of Jesus.

The Gospel authors were Jews writing within the midrashic tradition and intended their stories to be read as interpretive narratives, not historical accounts.

-Bishop Shelby Spong, Liberating the Gospels

He’ not a scholar for one. Two he’s not a proponent of the Jesus Myth

-Jeffery L. Sheler, "Who Wrote the Bible," (U.S. News & World Report, Dec. 10, 1990)

Still nothing explicitly about Jesus; just some slamming on the Gospels. He even talks about “Jesus death.” DOH!

-Maurice Bucaille (The Bible, the Quran, and Science)

So were is here statement that Jesus never existed? Were…were…were…

-Jerome Neyrey, of the Weston School of Theology, Cambridge, Mass. in "The Four Gospels," (U.S. News & World Report, Dec. 10, 1990)

Interesting, nothing in the quote indicated that he was a Jesus myther. Hmmm. Did you read the quotes? I doubt it.

-David Van Biema, "The Gospel Truth?" (Time, April 8, 1996)

He’s not a Jesus myth cult follower. Try again. This is getting pathetic, really. Do some research.

-Rudolf Bultmann, University of Marburg, the foremost Protestant scholar in the field in 1926

Now I know you just desperate. You know nothing of Bultmann do you? He doesn’t hink much of your myth cult. In “Jesus and the Word” he wrote:

Of course the doubt as to whether Jesus really existed is unfounded and not worth refutation. No sane person can doubt that Jesus stands as founder behind the historical movement whose first distinct stage is represented by the Palestinian community.

LOL, HAHAHAHAHA thanks for the scholarly reference. So I guess refuting you is responding to the nation inquire. I must find new subjects ;-)

-Paul Q. Beeching, Central Connecticut State University (Bible Review, June 1997, Vol. XIII, Number 3, p. 43)

Not in your cult either.

-C. Dennis McKinsey, Bible critic (The Encyclopedia of Biblical Errancy)

He’s in your cult, but he’s not a scholar. He’s does some shoddy work. Just as you guys hate Holding this guy stinks in that way. So to even the board, here holding making him look foolish: http://www.tektonics.org/af/ebestart.html

-Paula Fredriksen, Professor and historian of early Christianity, Boston University (in the PBS documentary, From Jesus to Christ, aired in 1998)

He’ not a member of your cult.

-Allen D. Callahan, Associate Professor of New Testament, Harvard Divinity School

He’ not a member of your cult either. This is embarrassing on your part.


-Earl Doherty, "The Jesus Puzzle," p.83

Doherty has a degree in Ancient History and Classical Languages, but not at the graduate level. But I will give him to you anyway because I feel sorry for your poor presentation. He’s been sliced and diced any way.

-Robert M. Price, "Jesus: Fact or Fiction, A Dialogue With Dr. Robert Price and Rev. John Rankin," Opening Statement

Not a historian

How many is that?

Lets see…….2 maybe? Including liar Pagels. That’s sad.

Okay, smartass, what is the exact number of historical 'scholars' that affirm it.

Okay, smartass, a hell of a lot more that two or three. LOL maybe you should get you doctorate in history and help your cult member out. Or just keep pasting =)

Mesoforte said...

Irrelevant. The quote did not challenge the existence of Jesus…Period!

It does challenge it. If the documents aren't sound, they aren't able to establish historicity. It says you cannot trust them as historical documents. The Gospels are all you reallly have of a 'biography' of Christ. If they aren't accurate, then you don't have anything.

Okay, smartass, a hell of a lot more that two or three. LOL maybe you should get you doctorate in history and help your cult member out. Or just keep pasting =)

Firstly, they all talk about the documents and the problems with them. When understanding all the documents have massive problems and the evidence is flawed, you can't assert to have a 'historical' Christ. Whether or not they beleive it or not, their assertions of the problems taken together show what is wrong with documents.

I thought you could list them. Why don't you list all the ones with doctorate historical degrees that make an affirmation either way. Most historians I know don't make an affirmation either way. Quite frankly, most historical scholars don't waste their time on the issue. Its the researchers mostly that make the cases (on both sides), not always the historical scholars.

Then how are you so confident to say “25 years space at least, 100 years at most. Paul's you're first, and he starts at 50 CE. That more than disqualifies him as a historical figure.”?

The documents (Gospels) don't stand up to Garraghan's historical method. It can't take the first three (or higher criticism). The documents aren't contemporary, they aren't produced in the right area (you don't find manuscripts in the area where Christ was), and we don't know who they are produced by.

When was the source, written or unwritten, produced (date)?

Where was it produced (localization)?

By whom was it produced (authorship)?

From what pre-existing material was it produced (analysis)?

In what original form was it produced (integrity)?

What is the evidential value of its contents (credibility)?

Before you say anything to this, I suggest going to you're local library and reading some books on this issue.

Beowulf said...

So you affirm the negative that Jesus never existed, fail at providing scholars who hold your position and then want me to go read on the issue in the local library? Provide you a scholar roll with the given position, when you can’t give me any for your position? If no one affirms the negative, it’s because it’s historically naive to do so. You fail to understand that scholars don’t have to validate every thing a text says prima facie in order to determine if it’s there is historical content in it.

If the “historical method” invalidates Jesus as a historical figure, then how come 99.99 percent of historical scholars do not question the validity of Jesus existence?

If the New Testament is so unreliable to equate to any history, how come 99.99 percent of historical scholars do not question the validity of Jesus existence?

If there is absolutely no historical evidence for Jesus, how come 99.99 percent of historical scholars do not question the validity of Jesus existence?

So back at you…..Before you say anything to this, I suggest going to you're local library and reading some books on this issue.

Mesoforte said...

So you affirm the negative that Jesus never existed, fail at providing scholars who hold your position and then want me to go read on the issue in the local library? Provide you a scholar roll with the given position, when you can’t give me any for your position? If no one affirms the negative, it’s because it’s historically naive to do so. You fail to understand that scholars don’t have to validate every thing a text says prima facie in order to determine if it’s there is historical content in it.

Its not historically naive, its economically naive. I have only about 4-6 years left to make this argument before I have to conform to get a job at a university. I really think you can't provide many historical scholars that positively confirm they are in the 'Jesus was historical' camp. Many of them really remain neutral on the issue.

I understand that we don't have to accept everything in a document, but I think its more important to realize the limitations of many of the documents.

If the “historical method” invalidates Jesus as a historical figure, then how come 99.99 percent of historical scholars do not question the validity of Jesus existence?

If the New Testament is so unreliable to equate to any history, how come 99.99 percent of historical scholars do not question the validity of Jesus existence?

If there is absolutely no historical evidence for Jesus, how come 99.99 percent of historical scholars do not question the validity of Jesus existence?


99.99? Do you have anything to back up that statistic? But to perhaps to answer your question, how about because 76.5 of the US ones are Christian.

So back at you…..Before you say anything to this, I suggest going to you're local library and reading some books on this issue.

I have looked at the issue. I've examined the documents, and listened to the problems of the documents. That is the reason the documents, as the World Civilizations textbook says, are historically unreliable.

Krystalline Apostate said...

BF:
I suggest you settle down somewhat.
The commentary about cultists is neither true nor necessary.
I might remind you of the definition of cultist:
"A religion or religious sect generally considered to be extremist or false, with its followers often living in an unconventional manner under the guidance of an authoritarian, charismatic leader.
The followers of such a religion or sect."

The fact of the matter is, extravagant claims require extravagant proof.

However, your position seems to indicate that extravagant claims don't need any.
If no one affirms the negative, it’s because it’s historically naive to do so.
No, it's because it's historically entrenched. 100 yrs. ago, no 1 would've dreamed that anyone would challenge the historicity. Those that did would be subjected to the sort of diatribe you've spewed out here, only in multitudes.

Now, either you debate the argument, not attack the arguer, or I'll boot you. MF has been very calm. You're getting shrill. You know how I feel about that sort of thing.

Mesoforte said...

76.5% is the US population BTW.

Krystalline Apostate said...

MF:
BTW, did you get the email?
No, not yet. Just so BF doesn't feel discriminated against, stay cool. The smartass comment wasn't really warranted. Capish?

Mesoforte said...

RA

Capish, I'll try not to be sarcastic anymore. T_T

I sent the email to your Yahoo account earlier. Do you use a different one that I could send it to?

Krystalline Apostate said...

MF:
Capish, I'll try not to be sarcastic anymore.
Hey, I understand these things get a little heated. Got the email.
I've actually been to those project Gutenberg sites before. I even found out that I can get 'Some mistakes of moses' for free (right after I bought the book. D'oh! & then I gave it to my BAX buddy, who hasn't gotten past paragraph 1, d'oh!).
From what I've seen, you've managed to stay somewhat calmer.

Mesoforte said...

RA

Awesome. The sites like 'Worldbookfair.com' and some other one are offering them for free.

Think I'm going to sleep for the night. Seeya later.

Beowulf said...

Well my mother said if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all; so most of my comments should probably stop at about ten words. The cult reference is just a category file in my mind for the position. Every once and a while the name of certan file’s and categories comes out (I’ve heard some of yours :-P ), and my easily roused jesting becomes unsuppressed and eager to taunt. I found my suppression canister and have safely prodded the file to return to it’s natural habitat.

Now, it’s not extravagant to say that Jesus existed as a person. You’re jumping over the claim into territory that is not being argued (at least not now). To say that He is a historical person, is not the same thing as saying He is the Son of God. Crawl before you walk right? BTW, Bruno Baur claimed Jesus did not exist in the nineteenth century and he wasn’t burned at the stake.

Try Scholarly opinions on the Jesus Myth,I would recommend Craig’s book "Contemporary Scholarship and the Historical Evidence for the Resurrection of Jesus Christ," (1985). Also see Craig’s article. Contemporary Scholarship and the Historical Evidence for the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.

BTW, there is a lot of “left wing” or “liberal” NT scholarship that reject that Jesus was the Son of God, the resurrection, etc, ect, but don’t reject His historicity. They may fall into the classification of “Christian” according to stats, but are antithetically distant to more conservative scholars. So the % does not explicitly denote a specific conviction or ‘bias’ per se.

There’s also peeps like RT France, Robert E. Van Voorst,Shirley Jackson Case, Howard Marshal, Also seeA History of Scholarly Refutations of the Jesus Myth I’ll just stop here since I am way ahead on the positive—plus its getting late.

Krystalline Apostate said...

BF:
Well my mother said if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all; so most of my comments should probably stop at about ten words.
Snort & chuckle. Truth is, I was raised blunt. It's been kinda detrimental.

Honestly, I see your points as being an argument from popularity mixed w/an appeal to authority, & an argument from tradition.

Truthfully, if someone told me a decade earlier what my opinions are now, well, I'd've been shocked, & denied the whole thing. Never in a million years could I have forseen this.

I think that MF's criterion are logical, and sound -

A. When was the source, written or unwritten, produced (date)?

B. Where was it produced (localization)?

C. By whom was it produced (authorship)?

D. From what pre-existing material was it produced (analysis)?

E. In what original form was it produced (integrity)?

F, What is the evidential value of its contents (credibility)?

To say that He is a historical person, is not the same thing as saying He is the Son of God.
Hey, people used to be invested in the Flat Earth belief. Eratosthenes tried to prove it, no 1 would listen. We know how it went w/Galileo & Copernicus.
100 yrs ago, if someone tried to broach this topic, you can imagine the response, I bet. Some countries had anti-blasphemy laws.
We have a lot of people who've spent years & a lot of money, and/or make their livelihood based on the alleged historicity. So there's going to be a ballyhoo about it. Vested interest.
I'm not married to the theory, but the more I examine it, the more sense it makes.

Beowulf said...

Honestly, I see your points as being an argument from popularity mixed w/an appeal to authority, & an argument from tradition

If a case was made just on solely on scholarly opinion then probably that’s the case. But I haven’t tried to make a case on Jesus existence, I’m only exploring the method of historian’s vs the conclusion of historians. It’s only a partial (but informative) aspect of the issue. It was never my intent to make a case for the positive in your com box, nor have I tried.

The historical criterion from wiki is definitely logical (never said it wasn’t). The problem I see with it is MF use of it. If that’s the exact criterion historian’s use then there are several probabilities at hand. A couple are

(1) Historian are using the same criterion, but coming to the conclusion that Jesus exited (at least) as a historical figure. This could be because (a) they believe that the NT has enough historical content to make such a conclusion, or (b) they are so scared of criticism if they don’t. ‘B’ sounds ridiculous to me.

(2) Perhaps it’s the case that historians are using different criterion and coning to the conclusion that Jesus exited (at least) as a historical figure.

What ever the case, historians are just about universally concluding that Jesus exited (at least) as a historical figure.

Now, it would be interesting to see some other historians comment on why this is. I have heard it said (and I’m not making it up) that they don’t commonly address the Jesus Myth because it’s like responding to the national inquirer. But I am not sure if that’s really the case.

say no to christ said...

Well here are a few more Jesus myther scholars.

Barbar Walker Scholar in mythology

Marija Gimbutas achaeologist and mythologist

Acharya S religious philosopher and scholar

And I am sure if I did a google search using the right words I could find many more. I am the queen of google search!


MF

I am very impressed with you and it sure does give me a little hope for the future, you being so young and yet so wise. Good job! :)

Amy

Mesoforte said...

bf

Their not scared of criticism, they're afraid of losing their jobs. A quick look at the funding of colleges throughout the country will show you that a lot comes from Christian sources.

My bet is that most of the scholars you're thinking of have developed a different method for determining historicity. The problem that comes from not relying on contemporary documents rather immediately though are the vast amount of characters we now have to add in. Odin, Gilgamesh, etc. get a jump up on the list because they are written about. I've seen someone else include Gilgamesh in his history before, though it very doubtful that such a man really existed. But of course, 'normal' historians don't take the claim seriously.

Mesoforte said...

Amy, the Queen of Google Search ^_^

Thanks for the names, and the complement. ^_^

Beowulf said...

A quick look at the funding of colleges throughout the country will show you that a lot comes from Christian sources.

If it’s a quick look, how about some examples? I take it we can eliminate any state universities.

My bet is that most of the scholars you're thinking of have developed a different method for determining historicity

So sense they conclude Jesus existed they are using invalid historical methods? Or do they not know what their doing? Or they are afraid of losing their Jobs? Sounds like an unsupported assertion.

Krystalline Apostate said...

bf:
(1) Historian are using the same criterion, but coming to the conclusion that Jesus exited (at least) as a historical figure. This could be because (a) they believe that the NT has enough historical content to make such a conclusion, or (b) they are so scared of criticism if they don’t. ‘B’ sounds ridiculous to me.
Really? Sound logical enough to me. You seem to forget: unfortunately, fear is a motivating factor in any walk of life.

(2) Perhaps it’s the case that historians are using different criterion and coning to the conclusion that Jesus exited (at least) as a historical figure.
Well, I see it as this: the presupposition for many centuries was that it was (dare I say it? YES!) blasphemy to even think that JC didn't exist. Until the last 2, no 1 even questioned his divinity, except for a few brave folks. Same as in my example of the Ptolemaic system.
So the approach should be, IMHO, the same conclusions I reached when I did my research:
Does it hold up?
FYI, Bede & Holding hold zero credence w/me. Quoting folks who have a vested interest in JC's existence seems to be a conflict in interest in an objective debate. Provide, if you would, non-xtian references. I think that's a fair request.

say no to christ said...

Ra and MF

I'm not sure if Sam Harris is a scholar, but his books get high ratings and from what I've read on the net they look very informative and he's a "Jesus myther".

http://www.samharris.org/

Beowulf said...

fear is a motivating factor in any walk of life.

I still think fear as a primary motivating factor doesn’t sound persuasive.

Bede & Holding hold zero credence w/me.

As Pagals and Acyra S hold zero credence w/me. Besides, I didn’t give any thing bede wrote, but Christopher Price’s article(s) that are hosted there.

Quoting folks who have a vested interest in JC's existence seems to be a conflict in interest in an objective debate. Provide, if you would, non-xtian references. I think that's a fair request.

So anyone who actually believes is disqualified? That’s a entire trial we can go on, but this is getting old. So let me humor you with non-Trinitarian hypercritics who make me want to vomit k?

Rudolf Bultmann
Stevan Davies
Bart Ehrman
Paula Fredriksen
Richard Horsley
Gerd Lüdemann
Hyam Maccoby
Marcus Borg
Robert Eisenman
Robert Funk
Burton Mack
John P. Meier
John Dominic Crossan
Stephen Patterson
Gregory Riley
E. P. Sanders
Luke Timothy Johnson
Robert H. Stein
Gerd Theissen
Geza Vermes

Krystalline Apostate said...

BF:
I still think fear as a primary motivating factor doesn’t sound persuasive.
Then I refer you to your quotation of Bultmann: "“ Of course the doubt as to whether Jesus really existed is unfounded and not worth refutation. No sane person can doubt that Jesus stands as founder behind the historical movement whose first distinct stage is represented by the Palestinian community."
Being branded a lunatic is good cause to keep one's mouth shut, I think. Note your commentary on the Nat'l Enquirer.
People lose their jobs over a whole lot less.
As Pagals and Acyra S hold zero credence w/me. Besides, I didn’t give any thing bede wrote, but Christopher Price’s article(s) that are hosted there.
Glad you reminded me. That 'refutation' of Pagels was unworthy of credence. If memory serves, it was unrepresented example combined w/poisoning the well?
So anyone who actually believes is disqualified?
Pot.kettle.black. Anyone who disbelieves is also disqualified, in your book. Seems we can't agree on sources.
This isn't personal: I find a lot of dishonesty in the theological academia. Sometimes it's blaring, sometimes it's subtly nuanced. I can't speak to whether it was intentional or not. This was another factor in my atheism.
So let me humor you with non-Trinitarian hypercritics who make me want to vomit k?
Maybe we should just stick to the argument at hand, instead of name-dropping. 'Ask, & thou shalt receive' & all that, I know, I asked. Are these believers, or non?
I'm not trying to insinuate that all believers are dishonest, BTW. But humanity shows a distinct propensity to, how shall I say? lie to itself.
Otherwise, all we end up doing is tripping over names, & indulging in he said/she said scenarios.
So let's just stick to the facts.

Krystalline Apostate said...

Corrections:
I thought that Bede's libary was referring to Bede. My apologies.
That 1st reference quotes Carrier as a 'non-myther', though, & I know otherwise.
Why?
I asked him in person.
That website needs to do some serious updating.

Beowulf said...

Being branded a lunatic is good cause to keep one's mouth shut, I think. Note your commentary on the Nat'l Enquirer.

Perhaps it’s the case that Bultmann’s quote is how historians look at the Myth position due to the absurdity of it. Moreover, Bultmann is no accomplice to the conservative evangelical as any one who has seen his disproportionate skepticism about the reliability of the gospel narratives.

Glad you reminded me. That 'refutation' of Pagels was unworthy of credence. If memory serves, it was unrepresented example combined w/poisoning the well?

I thought it was an obvious demonstration.

Anyone who disbelieves is also disqualified, in your book. Seems we can't agree on sources.

I offered some anyway.

Ask, & thou shalt receive' & all that, I know, I asked. Are these believers, or non?
They are non believers. I meant to state they deny the divinity of Jesus, his miracles etc…. ‘Non-Trinitarian’ came out for some reason.

That 1st reference quotes Carrier as a 'non-myther', though, & I know otherwise.
Why?
I asked him in person.
That website needs to do some serious updating.


The site doesn’t deny that Carrier is a Myther. Actually, they quote him stating the difficulty of history and the importance of multi factors. I think Carrier is dead on in his comment. All the other comments speak specifically of Jesus. I happen to know that Price is aware of Carriers position, since he has written several rebuttals to some things in his book. Carrier was speaking to “armature” historians. He seems to stand alone in his credentials and conclusions.

say no to christ said...

Heres a link that names a few scholars that believe jesus is a myth.

http://www.christianorigins.com/wellsprice.html


Also Sam Harris is a scholar!

say no to christ said...

Hey RA here is a link about the Talmud and what is says about Jesus in 100 BC. I think this is along the lines of Osmans Theory.

http://www.christianorigins.com/mead/

Beowulf said...

quote
***
"Heres a link that names a few scholars that believe jesus is a myth.

http://www.christianorigins.com/wellsprice.html"

Also Sam Harris is a scholar!"


***
/quote

Wells and Price are not historians, neither is Harris. They go out of their “scholarly field” and make their case. Of course, nothing *necessarily* follows from that. Only that those in the field (with some exceptions) reject it.

Also, (RA) regarding the wikipedia “historical method” MF brought up, that was written by a Christian (Peter Kirby from critianorigins.com)

Introduction to the historical method

He also writes about the “historical intent” of the Gospels (if your interested):

Historical Intent of the Gospels

Beowulf said...

oops…that’s *christianorigins.com*

Mesoforte said...

That doesn't necessarily prove a historical Jesus, but it
does affect the landscape of our discussions.


I love how he talks about the citing of other historical figures as evidence, such as-

John 12:21- "The same came therefore to Philip, which was of Bethsaida of Galilee. . . ."

Bethsaida resided in Gaulonitis (Golan region), east of the Jordan river, not Galilee, which resided west of the river.

Krystalline Apostate said...

BF:
Also, (RA) regarding the wikipedia “historical method” MF brought up, that was written by a Christian (Peter Kirby from critianorigins.com)
Now, y'see, perfect example.
I was willing to accept it based on its logic, not its source. Because it made sense.
I'd accept Newton's theorems on physics, but not his theological take on the bible.
Proof's in the pudding: you can gather as many experts who proclaim it's vanilla, but if it's chocolate, it's chocolate.
Anyone gettin' hungry?

Krystalline Apostate said...

BF:
As to G.A Wells -

"In his last works, Wells has somewhat moderated his views, allowing for the possibility that certain elements of the Gospel traditions might be based on a historical figure from the first-century Palestine. However, Wells insists that this line of first-century traditions is separate from the sacrificial Christ myth of Paul's epistles and other early documents, and that these two traditions have different origins. Wells concludes that the reconstruction of this historical figure from the extant literature would be a hopeless task.

Wells claim of a mythical Jesus has received support from Earl Doherty and a few other scholars, even though it is still a minority position among Western historians and theologians. One must note, however, that this position was much more prevalent in the Eastern block countries during the Cold War, where despite its atheistic bias, the historical research was known for scholarly rigor."

So Wells hasn't 'recanted', per se, but modified his views somewhat.

Price is a Professor of Theology, isn't he?

I'm a fine 1 to talk, but I thought we were going to stop the name-dropping?

Krystalline Apostate said...

BF:
Waitaminnit:
That article's a little nutso.
Kirby cited Garraghan. He then completely bypasses the 1st criterion.
He then lands squarely in the land of presupposition w/this gem -
"Noting that few documents are accepted as completely reliable, Louis Gottschalk sets down the general rule, "for each particular of a document the process of establishing credibility should be separately undertaken regardless of the general credibility of the author."
Oy gevalt! Then we should maybe take the gospel of judas seriously? Or the Gnostic gospels?
"An author's trustworthiness in the main may establish a background probability for the consideration of each statement, but each piece of evidence extracted must be weighed individually."
Pardon me if this sounds like poisoning the well, but WTF? What 'may'?
If I used this criterion to try to get work, I'd be laughed right out of the interview.
Likewise, in court.
How is it that credibility is everything when someone disagrees, but not if they agree?

say no to christ said...

Ra said:"I'm a fine 1 to talk, but I thought we were going to stop the name-dropping?"


That is probably my fault. I'm sorry, but I knew there were more scholars that dont believe in an historical Jesus than bf thinks there are. Either way the point is mute with him cuz he doesnt acknowledge any scholars with opposing views no matter what. We're talking about someone who thinks Elain Pagels is a liar. So, I think it is pretty safe to say that there is no debate here no matter how strong the evidence is.


Amy

Krystalline Apostate said...

SNTC:
That is probably my fault. I'm sorry, but I knew there were more scholars that dont believe in an historical Jesus than bf thinks there are.
Hey, de nada, darlin'. I've been playing the same game.
Is it me, or is BF dictating the premises of the discussion?
Either way the point is mute with him cuz he doesnt acknowledge any scholars with opposing views no matter what.
You mean 'moot'? ;) Sometimes, I wish there WAS a mute button (hehehehe, just teasin').
I've noticed that as well.
Views change: life flows, & there is nothing locked in stasis. 100 years from now, these discussions will roll the eyes of our ancesters - perhaps every 1 of us, from either side of the fence, will be laughed at.
But who knows?
Nothing is written in stone.

Mesoforte said...

Nothing is written in stone.

Except for stuff written in stone. Like ancient runes. ^_^

say no to christ said...

Ra said:"You mean 'moot'? ;)"

Thanks. I do get a good laugh at some of my spellings and misspellings. I cant type for pooh and sometimes my brain is going in many different directions. You know how women are, always multitasking. Its amazing that we get as much done as we do without mucking everything up.


MF said:"Except for stuff written in stone. Like ancient runes. ^_^ "

Lol

say no to christ said...

Ra said:"Is it me, or is BF dictating the premises of the discussion?"

I dont think its you at all.
Its a typical christian debate tactic.

Krystalline Apostate said...

STNC:
Er, ummm, I meant that HE was dictating, not I.

Beowulf said...

Ho humm...