Discourse to the RRS regarding Tacitus

FathomFFI
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Discourse to the RRS regarding Tacitus

The quote from Tacitus in question will be found below:

Tacitus wrote:
"But neither the aid of man, nor the liberality of the prince, nor the propitiations of the gods succeeded in destroying the belief that the fire had been purposely lit. In order to put an end to this rumor, therefore, Nero laid the blame on and visited with severe punishment those men, hateful for their crimes, whom the people called Christians. He from whom the name was derived, Christus, was put to death by the procurator Pontius Pilate in the reign of Tiberius. But the pernicious superstition, checked for a moment, broke out again, not only in Judea, the native land of the monstrosity, but also in Rome, to which all conceivable horrors and abominations flow from every side, and find supporters. First, therefore, those were arrested who openly confessed; then, on their information, a great number, who were not so much convicted of the fire as of hatred of the human race. Ridicule was passed on them as they died; so that, clothed in skins of beasts, they were torn to pieces by dogs, or crucified, or committed to the flames, and when the sun had gone down they were burned to light up the night. Nero had lent his garden for this spectacle, and gave games in the Circus, mixing with the people in the dress of a charioteer or standing in the chariot. Hence there was a strong sympathy for them, though they might have been guilty enough to deserve the severest punishment, on the ground that they were sacrificed, not to the general good, but to the cruelty of one man." (Annals XV, 44)

The following is the first claim by the RRS against Tacitus:


RRS wrote:
(1) It is extremely improbable that a special report found by Tacitus had been sent earlier to Rome and incorporated into the records of the Senate, in regard to the death of a Jewish provincial, Jesus. The execution of a Nazareth carpenter would have been one of the most insignificant events conceivable among the movements of Roman history in those decades; it would have completely disappeared beneath the innumerable executions inflicted by Roman provincial authorities. For it to have been kept in any report would have been a most remarkable instance of chance.

It should be noted that the quote above is complete assertion, and provides no evidence for support. It should also be noted that the assertion above screams an argument from silence, which is a logical fallacy, since the argument basis itself upon the absence of the purported Roman records which, like most ancient Roman records, could have been lost and/or destroyed by the ravages of time. That being said, I will list the 3 RRS claims in the assertion above:

1. "It is extremely improbable that a special report found by Tacitus had been sent earlier to Rome and incorporated into the records of the Senate, in regard to the death of a Jewish provincial, Jesus."

2. "The execution of a Nazareth carpenter would have been one of the most insignificant events conceivable among the movements of Roman history in those decades; it would have completely disappeared beneath the innumerable executions inflicted by Roman provincial authorities."

3. "For it to have been kept in any report would have been a most remarkable instance of chance."

Although there are 3 listed above, I will deal with # 2 for now.

The RRS asserts that "the execution of a Nazareth carpenter would have been one of the most insignificant events... ." This statement completely contradicts the RRS' position that Jesus never existed, otherwise how could Jesus be a "Nazareth carpenter?"  If he never existed, he could hardly be a carpenter. Therefore, to claim this as a reason as to why the Roman authorities would not have any record of the execution of Jesus is ludicrous and completely self-defeating. Since we know that the only record of Jesus being a carpenter comes from the Holy Bible, and the RRS claims the Gospel record as a fabrication and Jesus did not exist, then to claim that the reason the Tacitus would not have read a previous record of the execution of Jesus is because he was an insignificant carpenter not worthy of note is very surprising and considerably amusing.

In order for the statement to be valid, the RRS must admit to the existence of Jesus. If not, then I will await their explanation as to why the RRS would use what they claim as a fabrication in the Gospel of Jesus being a carpenter to support their reasoning. The logical reasoning is completely invalidated, for you cannot use a a self-proclaimed fabrication to assert a possibility, truth, or a fact. If the Gospel record of Jesus being a carpenter is a fabrication as the RRS claims, then they cannot use a fabrication to quantify their reasoning as to why no Roman records existed for Tacitus to refer to. It is completely illogical. The following is an illustration of the faulty logic:

ASSERTIONS:

1. Jesus did not exist.
2. Jesus was a lowly Nazareth carpenter.
3. The Romans would not have kept a record of Jesus' execution because Jesus was a lowly Nazareth carpenter.

Question: If Jesus did not exist, how then could he be a Nazareth carpenter?

The logic simply falls apart under examination. If Jesus did not exist, he therefore could not be a Nazareth carpenter, and the RRS reasoning as to why no Roman records existed for Tacitus was because Jesus was a lowly Nazareth carpenter is logically invalidated. The only way to validate this argument is to admit that the lowly Nazareth carpenter existed, which subsequently would mean that Jesus must have existed.

If the RRS argues that "Assuming Jesus existed," then 'the execution of a Nazareth carpenter would have been one of the most insignificant events conceivable... ,'" then that assumption must come with evidence to support it. This means that in order to support the assumption, you must provide evidence to support the existence of Jesus.

Interesting twist, I must say. Either way you look at it, the argument is logically invalidated, and/or the assumption contradicts the RRS position of the non-existence of a historical Jesus.

In conclusion, according to the information available in # 1, the argument in its entirety is logically invalidated. The 3 claims I listed from the RRS in # 1 all depend on Jesus existing to be validated. Since the position of the RRS is that Jesus did not exist historically, then their argument in # 1 is logically and ideologically contradictory to their claims.

I now ask the RRS to respond to this argument before I continue through the rest of their claims against Tacitus.

Permanently banned


entomophila
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Tacitus, etc.

FathomFFI wrote:

Yes, it is out of bounds.

Most scholars' work is copyright, and it is my experience to not repeat any privy information they give to me unless I first get permission.

Hogwash! You don't seem to know what peer review is! I can't believe it! You know Fathom...they have this thing, it's called...a CITATION!

FathomFFI wrote:

blah blah blah...So if his work gains favorable review, and someone latter attempts to take credit, all the scholar needs to do is open the registered mail, take out his work, and prove to any judge that he was the creator.

blah blah blah...Therefore, what you've seen here is part of his copyrighted work, and he is "testing the waters."

That is just pure, 100 % unadulterated BULLSHIT. I'm a scientist...I WANT my work to be cited. The research I'm doing now...everyone in my field knows about it, as I know what others are doing. It's not a damn secret! The research is for others to be able to use...to solve murders, etc.!

Anyway, as you haven't given us one iota of a citation or source (except the secret decoder mystery person)...I'm going to look at the damn literature in YOUR field myself. Instead of trying to have a conversation and helping us understand this historical stuff, you have been insulting Rook, insulting the RRS...and I'm not sure what your damn point was in the first place!

So, after I connected to the UF library via proxy and search the academic database for religion and philosophy, with Tacitus as my keyword, I retrieved these:

Please do not attempt to click on links...well...you can try, but I don't think they'll work and I'm too lazy to remove the formatting. Anyway, let's look at the first one by Eric Laupot (as cited above). Here is the abstract (and I DO hope you appreciate that I had to retype this by hand because I can't copy and paste from a pdf file...I am not 100% positive that I got the Greek symbols correct--I'm not even sure some of them are Greek!):

"Tacitus’ Fragment 2: The Anti-Roman Movement of the Christiani and the Nazoreans

ABSTRACT: There is little consensus as to the historical nature of the sect identified by Tacitus in Annales 15.44 as the Christiani. Nor is there any firm consensus on the authenticity and historicity of all of that fragment know as Tacitus’ fragment 2 (= Sulpicius Severus Chronica 2.30.6-7), whose references to “Christiani” are widely suspected of being later Christian interpolations. Much of this fragment is thought, nevertheless, to be from the lost portion of the fifth book of Tacitus’ Historiae.

            A solution can be found to both of these problems by adducing from fragment 2 new evidence indicating that this fragment indeed represents a primary historical source. This new evidence takes the form of the discovery of a significant statistical relationship among the following three words: (1) The metaphor stirps (branch, descendants) used to describe the Christiani in fragment 2, (2) and (3) Nαζωραιος and Nαζαρηνός (Nazorean), describing the New Testament sect associated with the Xριστιανοί of Acts 11.26. The connecting link among, as well as the common source for , the three words listed above appears to be the Hebrew nester (branch, descendants—apparently influenced by Isa 11.1), which both translated into stirps and tansliterates into Nαζωραιος/ Nαζαρηνός. It is mathematically extremely unlikely that this link with nester represents a random coincidence. Also, it appears that a later Christian redactor of fragment 2 or his target audience would not have known of this connection. Because of this and other contextual explanations, the possibility is largely eliminated that fragment 2 could have been significantly redacted by a later Christian. We are thus left with the substantial probability that this fragment constitutes a primary historical source, most likely via Tacitus. In turn this source supplies us with a probable solution to the problem of Christiani’s identity by depicting them in fragment 2 as being major participants in the first Jewish revolt against Rome in 66-73 CE."

Does this help with this discussion? The writing style is very bad...when I read words such as "nevertheless", and descriptive phrases such as "mathematically extremely unlikely" (it is either mathematically unlikely or not...no need for "extremely"Eye-wink, it makes me crazy!

Either way, I see no need for insults. This is a really interesting subject and I am here to learn, not to fight. Who the hell is this Tacitus guy, and why is he important?

If anyone would like the pdf file, I have it.

 

 

 

 


jcgadfly
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entomophila wrote:FathomFFI

entomophila wrote:

FathomFFI wrote:

Yes, it is out of bounds.

Most scholars' work is copyright, and it is my experience to not repeat any privy information they give to me unless I first get permission.

Hogwash! You don't seem to know what peer review is! I can't believe it! You know Fathom...they have this thing, it's called...a CITATION!

FathomFFI wrote:

blah blah blah...So if his work gains favorable review, and someone latter attempts to take credit, all the scholar needs to do is open the registered mail, take out his work, and prove to any judge that he was the creator.

blah blah blah...Therefore, what you've seen here is part of his copyrighted work, and he is "testing the waters."

That is just pure, 100 % unadulterated BULLSHIT. I'm a scientist...I WANT my work to be cited. The research I'm doing now...everyone in my field knows about it, as I know what others are doing. It's not a damn secret! The research is for others to be able to use...to solve murders, etc.!

Anyway, as you haven't given us one iota of a citation or source (except the secret decoder mystery person)...I'm going to look at the damn literature in YOUR field myself. Instead of trying to have a conversation and helping us understand this historical stuff, you have been insulting Rook, insulting the RRS...and I'm not sure what your damn point was in the first place!

So, after I connected to the UF library via proxy and search the academic database for religion and philosophy, with Tacitus as my keyword, I retrieved these:

Please do not attempt to click on links...well...you can try, but I don't think they'll work and I'm too lazy to remove the formatting. Anyway, let's look at the first one by Eric Laupot (as cited above). Here is the abstract (and I DO hope you appreciate that I had to retype this by hand because I can't copy and paste from a pdf file...I am not 100% positive that I got the Greek symbols correct--I'm not even sure some of them are Greek!):

"Tacitus’ Fragment 2: The Anti-Roman Movement of the Christiani and the Nazoreans

ABSTRACT: There is little consensus as to the historical nature of the sect identified by Tacitus in Annales 15.44 as the Christiani. Nor is there any firm consensus on the authenticity and historicity of all of that fragment know as Tacitus’ fragment 2 (= Sulpicius Severus Chronica 2.30.6-7), whose references to “Christiani” are widely suspected of being later Christian interpolations. Much of this fragment is thought, nevertheless, to be from the lost portion of the fifth book of Tacitus’ Historiae.

            A solution can be found to both of these problems by adducing from fragment 2 new evidence indicating that this fragment indeed represents a primary historical source. This new evidence takes the form of the discovery of a significant statistical relationship among the following three words: (1) The metaphor stirps (branch, descendants) used to describe the Christiani in fragment 2, (2) and (3) Nαζωραιος and Nαζαρηνός (Nazorean), describing the New Testament sect associated with the Xριστιανοί of Acts 11.26. The connecting link among, as well as the common source for , the three words listed above appears to be the Hebrew nester (branch, descendants—apparently influenced by Isa 11.1), which both translated into stirps and tansliterates into Nαζωραιος/ Nαζαρηνός. It is mathematically extremely unlikely that this link with nester represents a random coincidence. Also, it appears that a later Christian redactor of fragment 2 or his target audience would not have known of this connection. Because of this and other contextual explanations, the possibility is largely eliminated that fragment 2 could have been significantly redacted by a later Christian. We are thus left with the substantial probability that this fragment constitutes a primary historical source, most likely via Tacitus. In turn this source supplies us with a probable solution to the problem of Christiani’s identity by depicting them in fragment 2 as being major participants in the first Jewish revolt against Rome in 66-73 CE."

Does this help with this discussion? The writing style is very bad...when I read words such as "nevertheless", and descriptive phrases such as "mathematically extremely unlikely" (it is either mathematically unlikely or not...no need for "extremely&quotEye-wink, it makes me crazy!

Either way, I see no need for insults. This is a really interesting subject and I am here to learn, not to fight. Who the hell is this Tacitus guy, and why is he important?

If anyone would like the pdf file, I have it.

 

 

 

 

I'd appreciate that pdf, doc to be

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
— George Carlin


todangst
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FathomFFI wrote:This

FathomFFI wrote:



This argument is about whether or not Tacitus used Roman records for his sources, and nothing else.
 

 

You can't be serious.

 

You have no grounds upon which to make such a claim. Furthermore, you simply ignore Carrier's point regarding who is the most likely culprit for ensuring that the years 30-32 are missing from the history of Tacitus.
 

There's no reasonable grounds to hold that there were ever any "Roman Records" of "Jesus"... no Roman historian talks of "Jesus".... yet, if there were such a person who fit the descriptions given by the Markian author, we'd expect a volume on "Jesus"

 

The "the Romans wouldn't have cared argument" doesn't work: you can't have a miracle working Jesus who goes ignored....

 

The "Naysayers" wouldn't care argument doesn't work: If there were a Markian Jesus, there wouldn't be that many naysayers in the first place.

 

And the "Jesus was insignificant' argument fails for an even worse reason: it refutes "jesus" as being anything akin to the Markian legend, rendering the entire argument moot, as you are no longer talking about anything but a man.

 

Seriously, you're pretty inept here...

Those who know the good, do the good. - Socrates

Books on atheism.


FathomFFI
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Rook_Hawkins wrote:FathomFFI

Rook_Hawkins wrote:
FathomFFI wrote:
Rook_Hawkins wrote:

 


Fathom,

The first half of your argument is worthless and an attempt to make you seem smarter than you really are.  I already said over and over that it was just a way to show the unknowable in Tacitus.  When you start speculating, it is easy yo make connections and assume causation, which you do over and over again.



If it was so worthless, then why are you wasting such valuable time attempting to write a manifesto against it?
 

I didn't address it.  You'll note I addressed the second half of your post.  Are you paying attention?

If you didn't address it, then what the hell is the paragraph above quote of you all about?

You addressed it with: "The first half of your argument is worthless and an attempt to make you seem smarter than you really are.  I already said over and over that it was just a way to show the unknowable in Tacitus.  When you start speculating, it is easy yo make connections and assume causation, which you do over and over again."


Rook_Hawkins wrote:

Quote:
Rook_Hawkins wrote:
I read through your position below and will respond for each section.  I was pleased to see you did not offer any critique that has not elsewhere been dismantled by scholars.


And you shall see how I utterly dismantle your "scholars" arguments again.

Why are you being so childish?  Where does "scholars arguments" come into play?

Ummm ... from your own quote above? It's bad enough you cannot understand my arguments, but when you can't even understand your own ...


Rook_Hawkins wrote:

FathomFFI wrote:

Rook_Hawkins wrote:
So you evidence that Tacitus used Roman documents for the passage including Jesus is that Tacitus said he would be unbias in passages about emperors.  And you really wonder why I have continually suggested that you have not yet presented an argument for this position?  Really?


You are attempting to misrepresent what my argument was. Would you be so kind as to show where I presented any detailed argument for Tacitus being unbiased?

Are you reading my rebuttal?  Where did I say you said Tacitus was being unbias?  Tacitus is saying that!  The very fact that you aren't saying that is precisely my point!  You quotes a text snippet from Tacitus which does not fit your argument!  Wake the fuck up dude.  Seriously.

I placed the quote of you saying "So you evidence that Tacitus used Roman documents for the passage including Jesus is that Tacitus said he would be unbias... in bold. Need a neon sign?

Where is this evidence I supposedly posted? If the word "you" is intended to be "your," then fine. But while it"s "you," then it suggests that I provided evidence since it says "you evidence that ..."

And that means that I supposedly supplied evidence.


Rook_Hawkins wrote:

Quote:
Let's see how you do ...

Now, let's look at your other assertions ...

Your argument appears to be a challenge to Tacitus on several fronts listed below:

a) Is Tacitus openly being unbias and impartial in this segment?
b) Is Tacitus citing his sources?.
c)  Is his information indicative of fact or of rumor?

Now, one by one, let's take a peek ...
 

1.  Is Tacitus openly being unbias and impartial in this segment?

Should Tacitus accept a Jewish religious text which contradicts his own religion as being the truth? Since he was not Jewish, and the text is a religious document, can you explain to me why Tacitus should accept it as being the truth? To do so would validate the Jewish religion, and invalidate his own.

Where did I suggest that was even necessary?  My argument was not that he should accept anything, but rather if he is being partial and unbias.  He doesn't even present the case for it at all.  He doesn't explain a single iota of a line from the Torah, which did exist and was circulating in Greek at this time.  If he were being partial and unbias, he would have suggesting that "well the Jews believe", at the very least.  He doesn't come close.

Why should he present a superstition as Roman history? You're acting as if he owes the then despised Jews something. You are suggesting that a strict polytheist present the monotheistic "superstition" as actual history! He doesn't have to explain a single thing about the Jewish version of their history! As far as he was concerned, it would be totally FALSE!

You are asking him to incorporate Jewish beliefs into the Roman historical record. Totally absurd.

Like I said, he was a ROMAN, and partial to the ROMANS. He wouldn't be caught dead presenting Jewish religious superstitions as part of his Roman history. If he ever did that, then he would be presenting a contradiction to previous proud Roman history, and to be presenting the laughable Jewish superstitions into a serious historical work would have made him the laughing stock of Rome.

The Jews were despised by the Romans, and no good Roman would be caught dead writing a serious work which included any Jewish superstitions.

It was a Roman history book, not a book of Jewish superstitions.

Rook_Hawkins wrote:
Quote:
Tacitus was a polytheist, opposed to monotheism.

I'm an atheist, but when I write a paper up I include theistic positions I do not agree with at times, and often include monographs or articles written by scholars I disagree with.  That is part of being impartial and unbias.  The ability to review the evidence, or in Tacitus' case, present the evidence.

Again, what century do you live in? Was Tacitus an atheist?

Your analogy is false, for you are comparing a state of belief with a state of unbelief.

Rook_Hawkins wrote:

Quote:
Since we have already discussed and displayed textual evidence that Tacitus and other Roman authors regarded other religions, including Judaism, as a "superstition," do you really believe that the Roman empire would submit a "superstitious" record from the Jewish Torah into the historical Roman archives, and tell the whole world, "This is the truth?"

Of course I don't  That is why Tacitus is bias and partial.  Not the latter.

Of course he's bias. He was biased to the ROMANS, and therefore writing ROMAN history.

Therefore, since he was bias, and writing ROMAN history, then perhaps you can understand that it was because of this bias that he wrote what he wrote about Christ. It was biased ROMAN history.

Since you have already demonstrated how he was biased to the Romans, and how he refused to write any Jewish superstitions into his books, then how little is the step you must take to understand that it was this same biasness that would prevent him from writing any Christian superstitions into his work also?

Therefore, your argument for bias works splendidly in explaining that Tacitus would not be recounting Christian history in his account of Christ, but ROMAN history.

So of course he was biased. He had no choice, since it was the law of the Romans. But his biasness was not personal biasness, but the biasness of the Roman Empire.

He swore an allegiance to Rome, and took an oath before the Roman gods. His religion and culture reigned supreme, and to even suggest he write Jewish or Christian superstitions into his proud Roman works would be blasphemous to him.

Surely you jest?

Rook_Hawkins wrote:


Quote:
As far as the Romans would be concerned, their history of the Jews as they understood it would be the correct history,

Irrelevant.  We're not talking about "Romans" but "a Roman" who you are using as a source of reliability to suggest, ignorantly, represents evidence for a historical Jesus.  Please, pretty please, stop pulling the wool over everyones eyes.

It is not irrelevant whatsoever. Tacitus was part of the Roman Empire, and a senator, governor, and consul. You have a man who epitomized Roman religion and culture with his status, and you are trying to make that irrelevant?

You call yourself a student of ancient history, yet you cannot even understand the Roman mindset?

I now have serious doubts about your education, and no doubt whatsoever that you have no expertise with Roman history at all.

Rook_Hawkins wrote:

Quote:
while the Jewish version from their religious book would be regarded in great disdain as a pitiful superstition. You are dealing with the Roman empire here, who heralded loudly to all "It's our way, or the highway."

The very reason why Tacitus is not a reliable source.  This is precisely my point.  He wasn't writing history as much as he was writing what he wanted to write.

He was re-working Roman history according to previous Roman historians. He was indeed writing Roman history, and there's not a reputable scholar on earth who disagrees.

He is indeed a very reliable source for not only Roman history, but for studying the Roman mindset and how it related to their view of the world around them. Your inability to recognize the work of Tacitus as an invaluable record of Roman history places you well outside reality in regards to what the actual truth is.

Your lack of education on the subject is startling, and glaringly obvious to the learned.

Rook_Hawkins wrote:

Quote:
Therefore, as far as Tacitus was concerned, he was offering Roman history as opposed to Jewish history.

That isn't what impartial historians do.  They must first examine why the other history is flawed, and express it in an argument.  Tacitus does not do this.  At the very least, Tacitus could have done what Arrian had done, which is take two conflicting sources, and compare them, and offer no related commentary, and leave it up to the reader to decide which is more plausible.  Tacitus gives only "one side" which is not impartiality.  Stop adjusting the subject of your original position.  You're grasping at straws to try to prove Tacitus' reliability.

You don't get it, do you? Do you think the Romans gave a damn about how other religious cultures viewed history? A proud Roman wouldn't be caught dead believing in Jewish and Christian superstitions, let alone present those superstitions in such a way as to represent a view of history.

In a culture were Roman gods were visible from anywhere in the city in the form of idols, and where they viewed other religions as superstitions and fabrications, how then can you expect a man of Tacitus' status to use Jewish "fabrications" as a serious representation of history?

If you were writing a history book, would you use the story of Adam and Eve to represent your view of actual history? Do you see how stupid it is? Would you even dare to mention the Adam and Eve story as an alternate view? If you wouldn't use it, why the hell can you expect the Romans to use it?

Don't think too damn hard about that one.

Rook_Hawkins wrote:
Quote:
Again, you have failed to make the connection that Tacitus was re-working Roman history as per how the Romans recorded it, and not how the Jews or anyone else recorded it. Therefore, the only bias Tacitus could possibly have was that he was writing things from a Roman perspective, from Roman history, for the benefit of the Romans.

So he isn't reliable.  Thank you.

On the contrary, his bias is what make him totally reliable. He was a proud Roman writing Roman history from the Roman mindset. We could not get a better look at the Roman mindset if not for Tacitus. We have a very proud Roman writing Roman history, and you can bet his mistakes would be few and far between.

I contend that Tacitus was TOTALLY biased, so much in fact that he wouldn't be caught dead using Christian records for his passage regarding Christ. No no, good old Tacitus was too good for the Christians. Instead, he's be using official historical Roman records.

After all, he's a proud, upstanding, completely BIASED Roman historian. Heaven forbid he use Christian resources, huh?

Rook_Hawkins wrote:

Quote:
This shows you the truth behind the phrase, "history is written by the victors,." and the Romans reigned supreme.

When will your naivety end?

When will you actually grab a clue? You're being ridiculed here and everywhere, and your pride and ego is on public display like an effigy being sacrificed as an atonement to the sin of nonexistent scholarship.


Rook_Hawkins wrote:

Quote:
2. Is Tacitus citing his sources?

You will be surprised to learn that by your own investigation into Histories, that you have unknowingly revealed that Tacitus actually does reveal his sources. Let me show you what you missed. I will post the beginning line of paragraph 3:

3. Most writers, however, agree ...

Oh yes, he completely reveals who these inconspicuous authors are... *eye roll*

Awww ... you can't defeat the argument that Tacitus used written historical sources for his Annals, so now you need to beg for the precise names of the authors he used.

I wish that I could say that your ship was sinking, if only for the fact that it was already sunk before I ever met you here.
 

Rook_Hawkins wrote:

Quote:
Oh my ... I love how you strengthen my argument. I was saving this one for later, but what the hell ... now is as good a time as any.

Once more you show your reliance on ignorance to make your case.  How does anonymous authors reveal sources?  Now you've completely gone nutter on me.

There's a difference between anonymous and unknown. The point is, you now have a 2ND piece of indisputable evidence which actually PROVES that Tacitus used written historical records to source his Annals and Histories.

And that's the real point, period.
 

Rook_Hawkins wrote:

Quote:
3)  Is his information indicative of fact or of rumor?

His information can be conclusively demonstrated to be indicative of a Roman recounting history according to the Romans, and whether or not we believe it was a fact or a rumor is not relevant.

It isn't a matter of belief.  It is rumor.  We know it is rumor, because other writers have included this rumor in their own discussions of Jewish history, which are not related to fact.

Would anyone knowingly write a history from rumor? Who the hell does that? Is that what you are doing with your book?

If you knew it was a rumor, would you write it and proclaim it as actual history? I should hope not, so why should you expect Tacitus to do that?

If what he wrote about were actually rumors, then they would be rumors which he believed to be true. Yet, it would not make a bit of difference if it was a rumor or not, because all that matters is the fact that he used written historical sources for his Annals, and that has now been proven.

Give yourself a pat on the back. After all, you unknowingly revealed that Tacitus used historical records for reference.

Kudos to you.

Rook_Hawkins wrote:

Quote:
What is relevant is what the Romans believed, and not what anyone else believed.

You keep saying "Romans" and generalizing the whole of everything.  Obviously not all Romans believed this, or there wouldn't have been "God-fearers", or rather, Gentile Jews who followed the teachings of the Jews, but kept their pagan gods and were not circumcised.  We are only talking about one Roman here, and whether or not he is recounting fact or fiction.  Nothing more.  Whether he believed the rumors is only relevant in that if he did, it would only further discredit him as a reliable source.

Did you fail to learn anything at all from Pliny's letters? Did you not read how the Christians who denied their god would be forgiven as long as they repented and swore by the Roman gods?

Can you not ascertain from that letter from Pliny to Tarjan that when Christians repented and swore by the Roman gods that they were no longer Christians, but Romans?

Therefore, ALL those who called themselves "Romans" were sharing the same culture and religious beliefs. Are you mistaking Romans as being a race of people?

They were a RELIGIOUS CULTURE, and not merely a single race. They had many races in the culture. Therefore, to be a Roman was no different to being a Christian or a Jew; you subscribed to a belief system.

So yes, ALL those who called themselves "Romans" had the very same beliefs, or else they ere not Romans.

And that's a wrap.

Look lad, it's rather obvious that you think you are some kind of "know-it-all" who cannot accept that some anonymous guy like me on the Internet can teach you anything.

Your ego and your pride have been batted around like a tennis ball, and it's only going to get worse if this continues.

Until you grow up, and recognize the fact that the lessons I gave you here totally demonstrates the lack of education you actually have, then really there is no point in this conversation continuing.

Out of pure mercy, I will discontinue this conversation with you.

My point has been made, and when you are ready to admit to that fact, I'll be at FFI.

Unless you apologize for your lack of respect, lack of ability to recognize that I am very educated in this subject, shove your ego where the sun doesn't shine, and hang your pride out to dry ...

Don't bother me. I have no use for posers.

 

 

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FathomFFI wrote:

FathomFFI wrote:

Rook_Hawkins wrote:

Quote:
Let's see how you do ...

Now, let's look at your other assertions ...

Your argument appears to be a challenge to Tacitus on several fronts listed below:

a) Is Tacitus openly being unbias and impartial in this segment?
b) Is Tacitus citing his sources?.
c)  Is his information indicative of fact or of rumor?

Now, one by one, let's take a peek ...
 

1.  Is Tacitus openly being unbias and impartial in this segment?

Should Tacitus accept a Jewish religious text which contradicts his own religion as being the truth? Since he was not Jewish, and the text is a religious document, can you explain to me why Tacitus should accept it as being the truth? To do so would validate the Jewish religion, and invalidate his own.

Where did I suggest that was even necessary?  My argument was not that he should accept anything, but rather if he is being partial and unbias.  He doesn't even present the case for it at all.  He doesn't explain a single iota of a line from the Torah, which did exist and was circulating in Greek at this time.  If he were being partial and unbias, he would have suggesting that "well the Jews believe", at the very least.  He doesn't come close.

Why should he present a superstition as Roman history?

He isn't just compiling Roman history, obviously, or he wouldn't have decided to go on an excursus on the origins of the Jews now would he?  You are completely dodging the point.

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You're acting as if he owes the then despised Jews something.

No, not at all.  I don't think he owes anything to anybody, and you changing around my argument to soften the blow to your ego is not going to help you.  The point is that he wasn't being unbias and impartial as your claim would lend us to believe.

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You are suggesting that a strict polytheist present the monotheistic "superstition" as actual history!

Where did you get that from?  Talk about desperation.  Look, you obviously are in way over your head now.  I never said nor implied that he was documenting actual history; that is, again my whole damn point.  He isn't documenting history, he his documenting things in a partial and bias manner.  He is neglecting history as opposed to securing it.  He is not reliable for this very reason.  You cannot consider somebody a reliable historian when they are neglecting data and information, or purposefully altering information to suit their Roman beliefs.  Unless, of course, all of your friends and colleagues are partial and bias in the same manner, and it is the only thing you're used to?  I will give them the benefit of the doubt.  You, however, I will not.

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He doesn't have to explain a single thing about the Jewish version of their history! As far as he was concerned, it would be totally FALSE!

Exactly.  And not only was ignoring it completely, but he was distorting history to fit a rumor and gossip he had heard or read from somebody else citing rumor and gossip who happened to write it down.  More reason why he is unreliable.

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You are asking him to incorporate Jewish beliefs into the Roman historical record. Totally absurd.

What is absurd is your inability to comprehend the meaning of "reliable."  What is more absurd is your ad hoc fallacy that I am requesting anything from him.  I never met the guy.  He wrote what he wrote.  He's obviously not a good historian, but as you rightly point out, he was a great Roman politician.  Good for him.  Is he a source for something that can be counted on as accurate?  Absolute not. 

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Like I said, he was a ROMAN, and partial to the ROMANS.

Damn straight he was.  Glad we agree.

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He wouldn't be caught dead presenting Jewish religious superstitions as part of his Roman history.

Why not?  Josephus did it, and he was a Roman citizen as well, the adopted son of an emperor.  And he lived around the same time as Tacitus, his contemporary even.  Just because he didn't document it, didn't mean he had no choice in the matter.  He did.  He just hated the Jews, and wanted to represent them in a manner which reflected his partiality.  This is unreliable. 

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If he ever did that, then he would be presenting a contradiction to previous proud Roman history,

Say what?  How does representing Moses in a positive light without accepting his beliefs (which did exist in attestations from Greeks) have any bearing on Roman legend and what was considered history then?  If Tacitus had represented Moses and the Jews without affliction, and leaving Egypt on their own merits instead of being expelled as exiles due to leprosy have any impact on the Romulus and Remus story?  Do you have any clue as to what you're talking about?  That was rhetorical.  Obviously you do not.

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and to be presenting the laughable Jewish superstitions into a serious historical work would have made him the laughing stock of Rome.

Based on what evidence?  Just because you say it would does not make it so.  And obviously there were historians who cast Jews in a positive light and were thought of no differently.  Just because you are losing this debate does not grant you the right to create and fabricate history as you have done just now.

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The Jews were despised by the Romans, and no good Roman would be caught dead writing a serious work which included any Jewish superstitions.

What are you talking about?  There were god-fearers all over the place in the Roman empire even in Rome during and after the fall of Jerusalem.  Jews were a part of Roman economy all over the place.  You are fabricating a whole anti-Semitic movement which never existed.

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It was a Roman history book, not a book of Jewish superstitions.

No d’uh. You are dodging the point, asshole.  I am really losing my patience with you.  The point was a comparison of his methods.  His methods show that he has copied and used gossip and rumor and parroted it as fact to suit his partiality.  That makes him unreliable.  Get with the program.

Quote:
Rook_Hawkins wrote:
Quote:
Tacitus was a polytheist, opposed to monotheism.

I'm an atheist, but when I write a paper up I include theistic positions I do not agree with at times, and often include monographs or articles written by scholars I disagree with.  That is part of being impartial and unbias.  The ability to review the evidence, or in Tacitus' case, present the evidence.

Again, what century do you live in? Was Tacitus an atheist?

Your analogy is false, for you are comparing a state of belief with a state of unbelief.

You completely missed my point, again.  Is this a defense mechanism you have going on where you stick your fingers in your ears and go “la la la, I’m not listening!”  The analogy was to represent impartiality in history.  I do not share theistic beliefs, yet I represent them in the argument to show impartiality.  Tacitus believed in many gods, and did not except the one God of the Jews, so much so that he could not be impartial.  You either purposefully dodged this analogy to delude yourself into being right or you are really out there.  I hope you alert the media, because I want everyone to see how horrible your logic has been this whole thread. 

Quote:
Rook_Hawkins wrote:

Quote:
Since we have already discussed and displayed textual evidence that Tacitus and other Roman authors regarded other religions, including Judaism, as a "superstition," do you really believe that the Roman empire would submit a "superstitious" record from the Jewish Torah into the historical Roman archives, and tell the whole world, "This is the truth?"

Of course I don't  That is why Tacitus is bias and partial.  Not the latter.

Of course he's bias. He was biased to the ROMANS, and therefore writing ROMAN history.

Glad we agree.  You probably have not yet figured out that you’ve had your ass handed to you this whole page.

Quote:
Therefore, since he was bias, and writing ROMAN history, then perhaps you can understand that it was because of this bias that he wrote what he wrote about Christ. It was biased ROMAN history.

Whoa, now you’re really stretching it.  Let me get this straight, now you’re argument is that because he was a Roman, he wrote about Christ?  I would love for you to dig yourself out of that logically impetuous hole you just fell into.  You are still (1) assuming the case in point and (2) dodging once again. 

Quote:
Since you have already demonstrated how he was biased to the Romans, and how he refused to write any Jewish superstitions into his books, then how little is the step you must take to understand that it was this same biasness that would prevent him from writing any Christian superstitions into his work also?

“Biasness?”  To take a line from my colleague a few pages ago, “Squeeze me?  Baking powder?”   The logical leap you made is huge, and yet you are completely clueless.  (1) He was bias against the Jews, (2) he was partial against the Jews (not pro-Roman, he didn’t even mention Rome in the history of the Jews he provided, you dumb ass), (3) I’m not doubting he wrote about the Christians and “Christus”; my point is that he was reciting gossip in the same way he recited gossip about the Jews before.  He is NOT reliable as a source of evidence in favor of a historical Jesus.  You are completely wacko today, and I’ve tried, really tried to be patient with you.

Quote:
Therefore, your argument for bias works splendidly in explaining that Tacitus would not be recounting Christian history in his account of Christ, but ROMAN history.

He was recounting Roman history, yes.  But that is irrelevant.  That has absolutely nothing to do with my point, and nothing to do with your point.  You are creating a wall around your failed attempts at providing evidence for Tacitus using Roman records for the Jesus passage.  The fact is, he doesn’t state he did, there is no evidence he did, and it is more likely he was recounting gossip as he has done so many times before, especially regarding the Jews.

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Surely you jest?

Even if I was joking, my argument still destroyed your witless attempt at a position.  However I wasn’t joking, so you’ll have no respite for the pain your ego has suffered here.  You arrogantly and ignorantly overplayed your hand, and dug yourself your own grave.  A lot of people underestimate me and end up in the same place you are.  How does it feel down there?

Quote:
Rook_Hawkins wrote:


Quote:
As far as the Romans would be concerned, their history of the Jews as they understood it would be the correct history,

Irrelevant.  We're not talking about "Romans" but "a Roman" who you are using as a source of reliability to suggest, ignorantly, represents evidence for a historical Jesus.  Please, pretty please, stop pulling the wool over everyones eyes.

It is not irrelevant whatsoever. Tacitus was part of the Roman Empire, and a senator, governor, and consul. You have a man who epitomized Roman religion and culture with his status, and you are trying to make that irrelevant?

Ad hoc much?  I am not making his status irrelevant, I never brought it up.  You are creating a dodge here that had nothing to do with my original point.  Again, that Tacitus is unreliable.

Quote:
You call yourself a student of ancient history, yet you cannot even understand the Roman mindset?

Oh, I would LOVE for you to try to lecture me on the Roman mindset.  Go ahead.  Lets see what you really know. 

Quote:
I now have serious doubts about your education, and no doubt whatsoever that you have no expertise with Roman history at all.

This is a really uncreative way to avoid answering the charges leveled at your argument.  It shows your level of dishonesty and intellectual laziness.

Quote:
Rook_Hawkins wrote:

Quote:
while the Jewish version from their religious book would be regarded in great disdain as a pitiful superstition. You are dealing with the Roman empire here, who heralded loudly to all "It's our way, or the highway."

The very reason why Tacitus is not a reliable source.  This is precisely my point.  He wasn't writing history as much as he was writing what he wanted to write.

He was re-working Roman history according to previous Roman historians.

No, dolt.  He was reworking Roman history.  Period.  You don’t have the other histories to compare to, do you?  You don’t have the other sources, or any of Tacitus’ source material, because he doesn’t cite them.  You are speculating, and then using speculation to prove speculation.  You have no understanding of ancient historians and why they are so untrustworthy.  Tacitus said he was writing to correct mistakes, but what were the mistakes?  He doesn’t say.  He suggests he is trying to fix historical errors because of politics, but we don’t know if he really fixed those errors, or if he created new ones and glossed over truths.  We don’t know.  We don’t have the sources he used to verify his reliability in that area.  All we have are his own writings and the internal content, which is consistent with unreliable use of gossip and rumor in place of fact.  Whether or not he claims something is not evidence a priori that he actually did it. 

Quote:
He was indeed writing Roman history, and there's not a reputable scholar on earth who disagrees.

And I’m not disagreeing either, that his Annals and The History are Roman histories.  He still dedicates time to additional subjects and was negligent in his transmission of the evidence, for the very reasons you mention, and his own personal ones as well.  This is the very reason why he is unreliable.  And no historian of classics would disagree with that either.

Quote:
He is indeed a very reliable source for not only Roman history, but for studying the Roman mindset and how it related to their view of the world around them.

Tacitus is only good for studying Tacitus’ mindset, and nobody elses.  Unless you want to suggest that every Roman was part of some collective brain that fed them every thought at once, all together.  The Roman Empire was spread over continents and across the whole western world into the Near East.  It was effectively two empires, with the Greek half still in place, existing as a unified yet separate entity.   They all had different lifestyles, and different problems, different languages (unless you’re going to suggest that every Roman only spoke Greek and Latin), and different backgrounds.  The Romans in Britain fighting against the Celts would not have the same “mindset” as a Roman in Rome, sitting in the Senate.  Your generalizations are annoying.

Quote:
Quote:
Your inability to recognize the work of Tacitus as an invaluable record of Roman history places you well outside reality in regards to what the actual truth is.

Your lack of education on the subject is startling, and glaringly obvious to the learned.

This appears to be a projection of your insecurities.

Quote:
Rook_Hawkins wrote:

Quote:
Therefore, as far as Tacitus was concerned, he was offering Roman history as opposed to Jewish history.

That isn't what impartial historians do.  They must first examine why the other history is flawed, and express it in an argument.  Tacitus does not do this.  At the very least, Tacitus could have done what Arrian had done, which is take two conflicting sources, and compare them, and offer no related commentary, and leave it up to the reader to decide which is more plausible.  Tacitus gives only "one side" which is not impartiality.  Stop adjusting the subject of your original position.  You're grasping at straws to try to prove Tacitus' reliability.

You don't get it, do you? Do you think the Romans gave a damn about how other religious cultures viewed history?

Some, yes.  All?  No.  But Tacitus certainly didn’t care about the Jews, and represented a false history in place of the other false history (so instead of the Jewish false history, he replaced it with the Roman false history, and presented the data as if the Roman one was the only one), which makes him unreliable.

Quote:
If you were writing a history book, would you use the story of Adam and Eve to represent your view of actual history?

No.  But when it came to representing the Jews, I would be sure to include their cultures understanding of history and let my book show how it is false.  I wouldn’t write three sections on them just to ridicule them and call it ‘history.’  Apparently you would, by the way you’re defending it.  That scares me.

Quote:
Do you see how stupid it is?

Yes, your position is really fucking dumb.

Quote:
Rook_Hawkins wrote:
Quote:
Again, you have failed to make the connection that Tacitus was re-working Roman history as per how the Romans recorded it, and not how the Jews or anyone else recorded it. Therefore, the only bias Tacitus could possibly have was that he was writing things from a Roman perspective, from Roman history, for the benefit of the Romans.

So he isn't reliable.  Thank you.

On the contrary, his bias is what make him totally reliable.

 

So his unreliability makes him totally reliable?  You are such a fool.  And to think you wasted everyone’s time on two forums with this tripe.

Quote:
I contend that Tacitus was TOTALLY biased, so much in fact that he wouldn't be caught dead using Christian records for his passage regarding Christ.

I don’t think he used any records.

Quote:
No no, good old Tacitus was too good for the Christians. Instead, he's be using official historical Roman records.

You have yet to prove this.  And so far your whole argument rests on “Tacitus is unreliable and therefore reliable”, and is so far unconvincing.  Your argument here is useless, and your attempts to speculate the evidence into existence are a prospect that is obvious.  You can’t suggest he is an unreliable historian, so his account of a Jesus is reliable.  You are a tool.

Quote:
Quote:

Quote:
2. Is Tacitus citing his sources?

You will be surprised to learn that by your own investigation into Histories, that you have unknowingly revealed that Tacitus actually does reveal his sources. Let me show you what you missed. I will post the beginning line of paragraph 3:

3. Most writers, however, agree ...

Oh yes, he completely reveals who these inconspicuous authors are... *eye roll*

Awww ... you can't defeat the argument that Tacitus used written historical sources for his Annals, so now you need to beg for the precise names of the authors he used.

DODGE!  You can’t validate his sources so you resort to complaining and being a pussy about it.  It isn’t my fault that you didn’t think these points through logically to their end conclusion, before posting them and making a complete fool of yourself.

Quote:
Rook_Hawkins wrote:

Quote:
Oh my ... I love how you strengthen my argument. I was saving this one for later, but what the hell ... now is as good a time as any.

Once more you show your reliance on ignorance to make your case.  How does anonymous authors reveal sources?  Now you've completely gone nutter on me.

There's a difference between anonymous and unknown.

Really?  So an unknown author is different than an anonymous one?  Pray tell, what do you suppose ‘anonymous’ means?

[quopte] The point is, you now have a 2ND piece of indisputable evidence which actually PROVES that Tacitus used written historical records to source his Annals and Histories.

All that we have is a reference to written sources.  Are you going to speculate now that because Tacitus says so, that they are useful?  Or that they are reliable? 

Quote:
And that's the real point, period.

That you have none, and never did.  That you were making things up as you went along?  Yes, I agree.
 

Quote:
Rook_Hawkins wrote:

Quote:
3)  Is his information indicative of fact or of rumor?

His information can be conclusively demonstrated to be indicative of a Roman recounting history according to the Romans, and whether or not we believe it was a fact or a rumor is not relevant.

It isn't a matter of belief.  It is rumor.  We know it is rumor, because other writers have included this rumor in their own discussions of Jewish history, which are not related to fact.

Would anyone knowingly write a history from rumor?

He obviously did, as I have shown in his own words in this very thread.  And yes, many classical “historians” and “biographers” did just that.  Read Plutarh, Porphyry, Livy, Ovid, Dionysius of Halicarnassus, Homer, Diodorus Sicilus, Josephus, Philo, Pompeius Trogus, etc… I doubt you have read more than a few chapters of two of these historians and documentarians.   The very point of the book I recommended proves this very thing.  You are still a lazy, arrogant fool if you can’t figure that out.  I gave you that source several pages ago and you still have no done any research.  Get an education, read the book.

Quote:
Who the hell does that? Is that what you are doing with your book?

Way to dodge.  So you can’t dispute the fact that Tacitus used rumor, so you’ll mentally masturbate me to death, and then change the subject?

Quote:
If you knew it was a rumor, would you write it and proclaim it as actual history?

No, but I’m not a “ROMAN” as you put it.  I’m not writing a bias, partial history. 

Quote:
I should hope not, so why should you expect Tacitus to do that?

I would expect him to do what bias, partial, anti-Semites do.  Exactly what he did.  Write down partial, unbias rumor and gossip as fact.

Quote:
Give yourself a pat on the back. After all, you unknowingly revealed that Tacitus used historical records for reference.

I hope people are reading this on RD.net; to my detractor who asked why I do not debate these clowns when I say they’re so easily refuted – this is why.  I guess he figures if he repeats it over and over again it will magically become true.  Maybe if he pretends he has an argument, it won’t be speculation any more.

Quote:
Kudos to you.

Thanks, I’ll take your kudos. 

Quote:
Rook_Hawkins wrote:

Quote:
What is relevant is what the Romans believed, and not what anyone else believed.

You keep saying "Romans" and generalizing the whole of everything.  Obviously not all Romans believed this, or there wouldn't have been "God-fearers", or rather, Gentile Jews who followed the teachings of the Jews, but kept their pagan gods and were not circumcised.  We are only talking about one Roman here, and whether or not he is recounting fact or fiction.  Nothing more.  Whether he believed the rumors is only relevant in that if he did, it would only further discredit him as a reliable source.

Did you fail to learn anything at all from Pliny's letters? Did you not read how the Christians who denied their god would be forgiven as long as they repented and swore by the Roman gods?

Dodge.  And by the way “Master of the Roman Mindset”, the Romans didn’t have a set Pantheon during the years of Pliny.  The Romans worshipped whatever the emperors did, including the emperor himself.  The “gods” changed with the wind, that is, every time an emperor died and another took office. 

Quote:
Can you not ascertain from that letter from Pliny to Tarjan

Tarjan?  He’s an autobot?

Quote:
that when Christians repented and swore by the Roman gods that they were no longer Christians, but Romans?

You’re completely dodging the point.  This entire extra fill you have here is not necessary to our conversation.  You do not impress me.

Quote:
They were a RELIGIOUS CULTURE, and not merely a single race. They had many races in the culture. Therefore, to be a Roman was no different to being a Christian or a Jew; you subscribed to a belief system.

Yes, but that does not automatically make everyone the same person.  It isn’t a collective Borg element, they’re people with different views and different lifestyles.  There were still Jews living in the Roman Empire right next to Roman neighborhoods, and there would have been some unity in that community.  The hatred of the Jews did not extend throughout the empire, nor even in Rome.  Like I said, you’re fabricating a whole anti-Semitic movement which never existed.  That isn’t to say a lot of people distrusted the Jews, but not everyone. 

Quote:
Out of pure mercy, I will discontinue this conversation with you.

Bullshit.  You just can’t prove your point and have been utterly defeated here.  Worse yet, you have posted this in a lot of places where a lot of people are going to see you embarrass yourself. 

Quote:
Don't bother me. I have no use for posers.

Speaking of posers, I’m still waiting for you to present an argument that I can refute.  Let’s do a recap for those who are at the end of this post, and wondering (like I am) “How the fuck did I get here from the start of this post?”  The answer is that Fathom would rather dodge then deal with the issues.  Hopefully somebody else will see his error, and take me up on this discussion where he could not.

 

Recap:

 

(1)   Tacitus uses rumor and gossip in place of alternative Jewish literature, ignoring it completely.  Not even representing it. 

(2)   Tacitus is partial and bias when it comes to information.

(3)   Tacitus is negligent in his sources.

(4)   Tacitus does not cite his sources.

(5)   Tacitus is unreliable

(6)   Tacitus, therefore, cannot be used as evidence for a position involving areas where he did not cite sources, and has been known to present gossip and rumor in the past, or any place where he has openly shown distaste, as it is impossible to know whether he had good sources or if he used bad ones without knowing, or purposefully represented false information to show his distaste. 

 

I hope this has been a learning experience for those reading the thread.

 

 

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FathomFFI wrote:Look lad,

FathomFFI wrote:


Look lad, it's rather obvious that you think you are some kind of "know-it-all" who cannot accept that some anonymous guy like me on the Internet can teach you anything.

 

 

This coming from a guy who freely asserts what "Romans" must have thought, based on .... what exactly? A general feeling you got in a dream?

 

Look, the whole "they were biased against my religion" routine leaves out a massive problem: if god really visited earth and performed miracles in front of thousands, why are there so many biased doubters in the first place?

 

Fathom, you really don't seem to know much of what Rook is trying to say to you, not sure why you think you're coming off good in this thread...

Those who know the good, do the good. - Socrates

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I AM not "mentally fit" for

I AM not "mentally fit" for jury duty on this but I see no good argument here, regarding Tacitus as evidence for a historical NT Jesus. Where are them Roman records, and many other writings one would naturally expect ???

I  think an evolving "Christ" Buddha style philosophy of a group was attached to favorite Rabbis or teachers, whom some were sadly crucified, and glorified and exaggerated in later folklore. But not a single Jesus or the Jesus. How many messiahs has folklore invented, to be stirred into a new mix?  Many. My hero is better than your hero !

Interesting this all is, but not important to me personally nor my atheist preaching and using story "Jesus" as an atheist icon  ..... Historical (cool) Buddha anyone ?  

    Anyhoot, Can we take a RRS vote ? 

    R  vs  F ? ,  I vote R ....    and crazy me thanks both of you radicals !  

 Obviously the winner doesn't change the truth, and we all agree here, that dogma and superstition is the enemy, and that is good ..... All is ONE, eternal ! Amen  

     P.S. I recommend make all your work fun, and a little RUM, godly sin .... 


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todangst wrote:This coming

todangst wrote:

This coming from a guy who freely asserts what "Romans" must have thought, based on .... what exactly? A general feeling you got in a dream?

You have no evidence that Tacitus ever had a dream! What evidence do you present that Tacitus had dreams involving Roman records?? Your claims are spurious and dishonest!

(You just got Fathomized.)

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HisWillness wrote:todangst

HisWillness wrote:

todangst wrote:

This coming from a guy who freely asserts what "Romans" must have thought, based on .... what exactly? A general feeling you got in a dream?

You have no evidence that Tacitus ever had a dream! What evidence do you present that Tacitus had dreams involving Roman records?? Your claims are spurious and dishonest!

(You just got Fathomized.)

(It's more like...)

How can you say he had a dream about feelings!  I say that conclusion is dumb!  There is a 0% chance that Tacitus had dreams.  It is more likely that he was told how to feel by a collective Roman source, a god-head brain which reached across the world to every Roman!  D'uh!  

 

Eye-wink 

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Coming from the position of

Coming from the position of not particularly caring whether or not there was a historical Jesus, and also from the position of a moderator carefully watching this thread, I would just like to say that this thread is completely ridiculous.  Fathom, for the record, thanks for visiting.  Really.  Just the other day, I was saying how much easier it is to be popular when visitors come in and make fools of themselves.  It's so much easier than having to actually go out and start new promotions and stuff.

Seriously, dude.  Ask rook yourself.  I don't endorse mythicism or historicism because I don't care.  What I do know is that I've counted the ad hominems, deflections, and red herrings in this thread.  You're way ahead on all counts.  If I was thinking of leaning towards the Roman Record theory, your arguments would have dissuaded me.  You have a lot of nerve citing issues of scholarship.  I'm not a historian, but I know my scholarship, and Buddy, what you're doing ain't it.

 

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Rook_Hawkins wrote:How can

Rook_Hawkins wrote:

How can you say he had a dream about feelings!  I say that conclusion is dumb!  There is a 0% chance that Tacitus had dreams.

It's 105% more likely that Tacitus dreamed of Jesus before discussing Roman records with Pliny! QED!

I've notified the media to tell them you're unscholarly. My friend agrees.

And todangst is a know-it-all!

(Seriously, now - what is it about this thread that I find so funny? It's been non-stop comedy this whole time.)

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FathomFFI wrote:1.  Is

FathomFFI wrote:
1.  Is Tacitus openly being unbias and impartial in this segment?

 


Should Tacitus accept a Jewish religious text which contradicts his own religion as being the truth? Since he was not Jewish, and the text is a religious document, can you explain to me why Tacitus should accept it as being the truth? To do so would validate the Jewish religion, and invalidate his own.

You're attempting to attribute motive without any firm basis in fact. The fact is that much of what Tacitus writes of Jewish history, origins, and religion is remarkably incorrect (even for the dates in which it was written), yet you only focus on the religious aspect. Even if your religious argument held any weight, how then would you make excuses for the remarkably incorrect assumptions he makes regarding the origin and history of the Jewish people? Why would he make remarks about a supposed exodus from Egypt-- implying that he had indeed at least heard some of their religious storytelling-- yet propose a completely unsupportable narrative change that really only serves to portray the Jews as imbeciles in the first place?

FathomFFI wrote:
Tacitus was a polytheist, opposed to monotheism.

Hello there, false dichotomy.

FathomFFI wrote:
Since we have already discussed and displayed textual evidence that Tacitus and other Roman authors regarded other religions, including Judaism, as a "superstition," do you really believe that the Roman empire would submit a "superstitious" record from the Jewish Torah into the historical Roman archives, and tell the whole world, "This is the truth?"

And yet he still mentions a Jewish exodus from Egypt, for which there is zero evidence whatsoever (especially with regard to Egyptian records). Where do you think he got that Jewish idea?
 

FathomFFI wrote:
As far as the Romans would be concerned, their history of the Jews as they understood it would be the correct history, while the Jewish version from their religious book would be regarded in great distain as a pitiful superstition. You are dealing with the Roman empire here, who heralded loudly to all "It's our way, or the highway."

Therefore, as far as Tacitus was concerned, he was offering Roman history as opposed to Jewish history. Again, you have failed to make the connection that Tacitus was re-wrorking Roman history as per how the Romans recorded it, and not how the Jews or anyone else recorded it. Therefore, the only bias Tacitus could possibly have was that he was writing things from a Roman perspective, from Roman history, for the benefit of the Romans.

Interesting how the "Roman" version of events seems to sound a whole lot like a mish-mash of versions that could have been found throughout the Mid-East at that time, from all of those lands conquered by the Romans in the first place. Ironic, that. Yes, Tacitus recounts gossip and hearsay regarding Jewish history, parts of which resemble accounts from Egypt, Greece, Syria, Samaria, and throughout the Fertile Crescent.

FathomFFI wrote:
His information can be conclusively demonstrated to be indicative of a Roman recounting history according to the Romans, and whether or not we believe it was a fact or a rumor is not relevant. What is relevant is what the Romans believed, and not what anyone else believed.

Which Romans? Are you including the Jewish, Greek, Egyptian, Samaritan, and other ethnically diverse Romans out there? You should probably use a smaller brush sometimes.
 

FathomFFI wrote:
What you would consider as rumor and gossip would be considered as fact according to the Romans in their time. The mistake you are making is in not placing yourself back in history to 2000 years ago, and putting yourself in Roman shoes. You are examining things from your own perspective, 2000 years later, instead of attempting to understand the Roman perspective 2000 year ago.

Until you have walked a mile in the Roman's shoes, you will not understand the Roman perspective.

Until you understand that "Roman" actually included many Jews you are going to continue to make a fool of yourself when trying to paint a cultural picture of the time period you are talking about.

 

FathomFFI wrote:
Why should he present a superstition as Roman history? You're acting as if he owes the then despised Jews something. You are suggesting that a strict polytheist present the monotheistic "superstition" as actual history! He doesn't have to explain a single thing about the Jewish version of their history! As far as he was concerned, it would be totally FALSE!

You are asking him to incorporate Jewish beliefs into the Roman historical record. Totally absurd.

Tacitus was about as strict a polytheist as politicians today are strict Christians, if records accounting for contemporary religious thought by first century CE Romans is any reliable indication. Even that aside, there were several non-Roman-Pantheist religions that were considered acceptable within Rome in the first few centuries CE. While many religious movements did tend to incorporate the Roman pantheon in some form or another-- the Mithraic cults, the blended Greco-Egyptian hybrids, or the incorporation of smaller European cultures into the empire-- there was no prohibition against practicing Jews in Roman law, nor a prohibition against Jews being considered legal Roman citizens (though few were).

FathomFFI wrote:
Like I said, he was a ROMAN, and partial to the ROMANS. He wouldn't be caught dead presenting Jewish religious superstitions as part of his Roman history. If he ever did that, then he would be presenting a contradiction to previous proud Roman history, and to be presenting the laughable Jewish superstitions into a serious historical work would have made him the laughing stock of Rome.

I seriously have reservations about the accuracy of your study here. Samaritans (also ethnically and religiously Jews) didn't have as many problems that the Judeans had, both socially and politically, because Samaria was more politically open to Roman rule. Judea had a reputation in those times comparable to Palestinians in Gaza in more recent times, which played heavily into the biases against them. The attitudes toward the Judeans had little to do with their religion as a source for the Roman outlook on the region-- it was the fact that the Judeans insulted the Roman leadership by refusing to submit even though they'd long since been thoroughly subjugated. For this very reason they were not considered to be a civil or reasonable people as a whole, even though there were plenty of those who submitted well enough to become Roman citizens.

FathomFFI wrote:
The Jews were despised by the Romans, and no good Roman would be caught dead writing a serious work which included any Jewish superstitions.

You mean like the Roman historian Josephus?

 

FathomFFI, you seem to at least have a basic working knowledge of the region 2000 years ago, but you seem to be applying a high-school-level understanding to the many cultural aspects of the Roman Empire in the first and second centuries CE. You need to understand that Rome encompassed a great deal of land, which contained several ethnic and cultural groups that had either two choices: assimilate or live as occupied people. Most of Judea did have the temerity to not submit and continued to be dealt with as an occupied territory, and that colored the tone of Roman propaganda regarding the region of Judea and many of the people therein. They were viewed as provincial, uncivilized, cruel, and heretical. However, a great deal of them did become Roman citizens without having to renounce their religion or their heritage. Hell, Josephus and Paul are the two biggest examples of this, even though Paul renounced his heritage and religion after his Christian conversion. Reading your posts ignoring these contextual details regarding Roman life leads me to believe that you really aren't as educated on the subject as you may think you are. In fact, the irony is such that your posts are often coming across similar to the typical Christian arguing things about the Jesus of their bible that blatantly ignore the fact that if he existed he would have been Jewish (funny story-- someone actually talked about the probability of Jesus eating a ham sandwich... I kid you not).

Unlike Rook, I wouldn't argue that Tacitus is totally irrelevant, though I'd also say he's not nearly as relevant as you seem to be so tenaciously arguing. Then again, unlike Rook and most of the RRS, I don't really care much whether or not Jesus was a real person in the first place. I don't think it has any logical bearing on the essence of what Christianity (and all religions) consist of in the first place, so I don't much care except in the instances where discussions may come up that include areas of academic study I'm interested in (which happens to be Mid-Eastern antiquity). So don't take this as me arguing for or against your initial assertion of the historicity of Jesus. I'm simply pointing out that your assertions of understanding regarding the peoples of that time period are flawed, in that you're painting them heavily with far too broad a brush and being far too cavalier in your critical analyses of supporting documents you use for your arguments.

 


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Well said, GreNME.  Always

Well said, GreNME.  Always appreciate your opinions on matters, even if you and I do not agree on everything.  It is appreciated.

Atheist Books, purchases on Amazon support the Rational Response Squad server, which houses Celebrity Atheists. Books by Rook Hawkins (Thomas Verenna)


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GreNME , if you are not

GreNME , if you are not writing a book or blogging on your own site, or or,  I wish you were. Are ya? 

Really good reading you. Maybe you and Rook, and ??? , could team up on a future project or two. Kick some more ass, kindly !

   Hey,  thanks ..... me a little bit ROMAN too ! 


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For me to write a book I

For me to write a book I would have to find a point of focus and stick with it long enough to complete a cohesive work on it. As it stands I'm currently enjoying meandering through Mid-Eastern antiquity and appreciating the view as well as being regularly surprised at how much it still tends to hold on to relevance today (whether through current studies or in political parallels). I also think Rook has a pretty solid head on his shoulders and he seems to have his subject matter well in hand. Besides, there are far better authors on the subject matter I tend to study most at this time (which isn't critical or comparative religion, by the way).

 

Rook, always a pleasure to plug in when I can.