Jesus: Neither God Nor Man, by Earl Doherty

lpetrich
lpetrich's picture
Posts: 148
Joined: 2007-05-14
User is offlineOffline
Jesus: Neither God Nor Man, by Earl Doherty

Earl Doherty has finally released Jesus: Neither God Nor Man; The Case for a Mythical Jesus, his long-awaited second edition of The Jesus Puzzle.

He has revised and expanded it to 814 pages and around a half-million words, and he devotes whole chapters to subjects like "according to the flesh" (kata sarka), "born of woman" (Galatians 4:4), the Epistle to the Hebrews and its Cosmic Christ, etc.

He also discusses Hellenistic pagan and Jewish views of the spiritual world, the early Christian apologists, the Gospels as extended allegories, Gnosticism, parallels between Jesus Christ and various pagan savior gods, etc.

He is very thorough, discussing putative outside references to Jesus Christ from Josephus, Tacitus, Suetonius, Pliny, Thallus and Phlegon, Mara bar Serapion, and various Jewish sources, including the authors of the Toledoth Yeshu ( "Generations of Jesus" ). He concludes that they do not really tell us anything about a possible historical Jesus Christ.


I don't know if I'll be able to get this book anytime soon, but I did get his original book, and if you want to see a good positive case for Jesus mythicism, it is worth reading.

Yes, it is a positive case, one that features a scenario for how a myth of Jesus Christ had gotten started. In it, he was originally a sort-of god who got reinterpreted as having had a human existence, and Earl Doherty discusses a wide range of issues related to it.


If you don't feel up to the task of reading that tome, you can check out his site, http://www.jesuspuzzle.com/

It contains some short summaries of his case, like

Quick Assembly of the Jesus Puzzle
The Jesus Puzzle: Pieces in a Puzzle of Christian Origins

 


anilbharti
Posts: 2
Joined: 2010-04-06
User is offlineOffline
Christian Lifestyle views

HI........

Thanks for sharing this post. Every body has own importance. So we have to try to keep balance.


Stosis
Posts: 327
Joined: 2008-10-21
User is offlineOffline
Hey, looks interesting. Just

Hey, looks interesting. Just a quick question, is this new book The Jesus Puzzle plus some new stuff or a book on its own?


Brian37
atheistSuperfan
Brian37's picture
Posts: 13675
Joined: 2006-02-14
User is offlineOffline
Arguing that this person

Arguing that this person existed or that place existed is a bullshit distraction to avoid the fantastic "poof" claims of magic.

We can prove George Washington existed, but no sane person would literally believe he could fart a Lamborghini out of his ass.

We see Superman flying around New York city in the movies, but no sane person would believe, because the actor is real and the city is real that a man could fly like that.

SO arguing that Jesus wasn't a real person misses the real point that DNA proves that the claim of virgin births is bullshit. Rigor mortis proves that the claim of rising from the dead is bullshit. So even if a man named Jesus existed it wouldn't make magic real. Jesus however, is most likely a common name and not a real person, that the writers of the NT used in combo of older motifs of magic borrowed from prior mythology to sell their new religion.

I do appreciate the deconstructionists though, it is hard to crack their facade and sometimes a slow deconstruction can and does help. I simply focus on the ultimate goal the theists have, in that "poof" is the cause when all it is, is a naked assertion.

 

"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers."Obama
Check out my poetry here on Rational Responders Like my poetry thread on Facebook under BrianJames Rational Poet also on twitter under Brianrrs37


KSMB
Scientist
KSMB's picture
Posts: 702
Joined: 2006-08-03
User is offlineOffline
Brian37 wrote:I simply focus

Brian37 wrote:
I simply focus on the ultimate goal the theists have, in that "poof" is the cause when all it is, is a naked assertion.

Good for you. I, for one, appreciate that there are people who show how much bullshit their other claims are.


Christos
Theist
Christos's picture
Posts: 311
Joined: 2007-06-05
User is offlineOffline
Brian37 wrote:SO arguing

Brian37 wrote:

SO arguing that Jesus wasn't a real person misses the real point that DNA proves that the claim of virgin births is bullshit. Rigor mortis proves that the claim of rising from the dead is bullshit. So even if a man named Jesus existed it wouldn't make magic real. Jesus however, is most likely a common name and not a real person, that the writers of the NT used in combo of older motifs of magic borrowed from prior mythology to sell their new religion.

This argument implicitly assumes that ancient people had no knowledge of science. Ancients didn't have a modern conception of science, but they knew that people don't rise from the dead. Jews especially knew that people don't return from death (evidenced by examining Second Temple Jewish literature). That's why its so fascinating that Jews like Paul or the authors of Mark and Matthew recorded the resurrection of Jesus.

"A man can no more diminish God's glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word, 'darkness' on the walls of his cell." (CS Lewis)

"A young man who wishes to remain a sound atheist cannot be too careful of his reading." (CS Lewis)


Jormungander
atheistScience Freak
Jormungander's picture
Posts: 938
Joined: 2008-07-15
User is offlineOffline
Christos wrote:This argument

Christos wrote:

This argument implicitly assumes that ancient people had no knowledge of science. Ancients didn't have a modern conception of science, but they knew that people don't rise from the dead. Jews especially knew that people don't return from death (evidenced by examining Second Temple Jewish literature). That's why its so fascinating that Jews like Paul or the authors of Mark and Matthew recorded the resurrection of Jesus.

Resurrections in the Bible besides Jesus's:

The widow's son by Elijah (1 Kings 17:21-24)

The Shunammite's son by Elisha (2 Kings 4:32-35).

A man whose body had been placed in Elisha's tomb (2 Kings 13:20-21).

Lazarus by Jesus Christ (John 11:43-44).

The widow’s son by Jesus. (Luke 7:12-17)

A number of people at the moment of the death of Jesus Christ (Matthew 27:51-53)

The daughter of Jairus by Jesus (Mk 5:39-40)

Eutychus raised back to life through Paul after he fell out of a third-floor window (Acts 20:9-12).

Tabitha by Peter (Acts 9:36-43)

 

They loved stories about resurrection. Jesus's resurrection wasn't special in that regard. So why is it so fascinating that they wrote about Jesus's resurrection in addition to the other nine that can be found in the Bible?

"You say that it is your custom to burn widows. Very well. We also have a custom: when men burn a woman alive, we tie a rope around their necks and we hang them. Build your funeral pyre; beside it, my carpenters will build a gallows. You may follow your custom. And then we will follow ours."
British General Charles Napier while in India


cj
atheistRational VIP!
cj's picture
Posts: 3330
Joined: 2007-01-05
User is offlineOffline
Christos wrote:This argument

Christos wrote:

This argument implicitly assumes that ancient people had no knowledge of science. Ancients didn't have a modern conception of science, but they knew that people don't rise from the dead. Jews especially knew that people don't return from death (evidenced by examining Second Temple Jewish literature). That's why its so fascinating that Jews like Paul or the authors of Mark and Matthew recorded the resurrection of Jesus.

 

Get it right.  Paul was a converted Jew, not a born Jew.  He was raised in Mithraism.

-- I feel so much better since I stopped trying to believe.

"We are entitled to our own opinions. We're not entitled to our own facts"- Al Franken

"If death isn't sweet oblivion, I will be severely disappointed" - Ruth M.


Christos
Theist
Christos's picture
Posts: 311
Joined: 2007-06-05
User is offlineOffline
cj wrote:Get it right. 

cj wrote:

Get it right.  Paul was a converted Jew, not a born Jew.  He was raised in Mithraism.

 

What the deuce are you talking about? There is absolutely no evidence for that claim. Here is what Paul actually says about his religious upbringing: "circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; in regard to the law, a Pharisee; as for zeal, persecuting the church; as for legalistic righteousness, faultless" (Phil 3:5). Note the first part...circumcised on the eighth day. That makes him a Jew from birth. 

Now before you  go run a Wiki search, Philippians is an authentic letter of Paul, unlike 1-2 Timothy or Titus (among others). I have no idea where you are getting his claim of Paul's Mithraism.

"A man can no more diminish God's glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word, 'darkness' on the walls of his cell." (CS Lewis)

"A young man who wishes to remain a sound atheist cannot be too careful of his reading." (CS Lewis)


cj
atheistRational VIP!
cj's picture
Posts: 3330
Joined: 2007-01-05
User is offlineOffline
Christos wrote: cj wrote:

Christos wrote:

cj wrote:

Get it right.  Paul was a converted Jew, not a born Jew.  He was raised in Mithraism.

 

What the deuce are you talking about? There is absolutely no evidence for that claim. Here is what Paul actually says about his religious upbringing: "circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; in regard to the law, a Pharisee; as for zeal, persecuting the church; as for legalistic righteousness, faultless" (Phil 3:5). Note the first part...circumcised on the eighth day. That makes him a Jew from birth. 

Now before you  go run a Wiki search, Philippians is an authentic letter of Paul, unlike 1-2 Timothy or Titus (among others). I have no idea where you are getting his claim of Paul's Mithraism.

 

That is what Paul says about himself.

Mythmaker: Paul and the Invention of Christianity by Hyam Maccoby

http://search.barnesandnoble.com/booksearch/isbnInquiry.asp?userid=bsq1rH4rNU&isbn=0760707871&itm=1

Also available at my local library, maybe at yours as well.

This is a good summary of Maccoby's intrepretation:

Quote:

Paul instead devised his own version of Jesus, based largely on existing pagan religions. Under Paul's teaching, Jesus became the son of God, the suffering savior who died to redeem the rest of us. This was not a new idea, but borrows from older religions like Zoroastrianism, and also takes on some of the flavor of the mystery cults of the day. In the idea of eating the flesh and drinking the blood of the savior, a kind of "magic" that became the eucharist that gives us instant salvation based only on faith, Paul roams a long way from traditional Jewish ideas. The eucharist is a basically pagan form of ritual, a practice that learned Jewish scholars of the time would have abhorred.

http://www.theseekerbooks.com/articles/mythmaker.htm

Mitraism is later mentioned in Maccoby's book as the most likely mystery cult Paul was probably raised in.  I recommend reading the book.  Maccoby is a more informed scholar than you or I.

-- I feel so much better since I stopped trying to believe.

"We are entitled to our own opinions. We're not entitled to our own facts"- Al Franken

"If death isn't sweet oblivion, I will be severely disappointed" - Ruth M.


Christos
Theist
Christos's picture
Posts: 311
Joined: 2007-06-05
User is offlineOffline
Normal 0 false

Normal 0 false false false MicrosoftInternetExplorer4



st1\:*{behavior:url(#ieooui) }

/* Style Definitions */
table.MsoNormalTable
{mso-style-name:"Table Normal";
mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0;
mso-tstyle-colband-size:0;
mso-style-noshow:yes;
mso-style-parent:"";
mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt;
mso-para-margin:0in;
mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt;
mso-pagination:widow-orphan;
font-size:10.0pt;
font-family:"Times New Roman";
mso-ansi-language:#0400;
mso-fareast-language:#0400;
mso-bidi-language:#0400;}

cj wrote:

"Paul instead devised his own version of Jesus, based largely on existing pagan religions. Under Paul's teaching, Jesus became the son of God, the suffering savior who died to redeem the rest of us. This was not a new idea, but borrows from older religions like Zoroastrianism, and also takes on some of the flavor of the mystery cults of the day. In the idea of eating the flesh and drinking the blood of the savior, a kind of "magic" that became the eucharist that gives us instant salvation based only on faith, Paul roams a long way from traditional Jewish ideas. The eucharist is a basically pagan form of ritual, a practice that learned Jewish scholars of the time would have abhorred."

Mitraism is later mentioned in Maccoby's book as the most likely mystery cult Paul was probably raised in.  I recommend reading the book.  Maccoby is a more informed scholar than you or I.

Ok, here's the problem with Maccoby. Just in the link you sent, there is very little evidence provided for his theories. He reminds me a lot of Robert Eisenmann - creating theories about Christian origins without actual evidence. This is what we do know, Paul was a Jew and an associate of the Jerusalem Church (Galatians 2, Acts 15). Paul certainly had his disputes with the Jerusalem Church, but they never claimed that Paul wasn't a fellow Jew. Second, Paul admits to persecuting Christians in his Pharisaic life (Galatians 1). No one would fabricate a Jewish heritage that involved persecuting early Christians.

Also look at Galatians 4 (another authentic Pauline work). This is an example of Jewish midrash. Paul's comparison of Sarah and Hagar represents Paul's usage of a common Jewish literary device known as midrash. A gentile would simply not be capable of producing that kind of work. Later rabbinic writers created different interpretations of Sarah-Hagar. The point  here is that Paul and later Rabbis were both utilizing Jewish midrash.

Does Paul sound less like a Jew in many of his letters? Of course, but there is a logical explanation for that. Most of his letters were written to Gentiles. Paul was of course the apostle to the Gentiles (Galatians 2). Letters like 1-2 Corinthians, 1 Thessalonians, and Philippians were all written to Gentiles, so obviously they don't read like many Jewish texts of the timeperiod. That doesn't mean that Paul wasn't a Jew.

Paul also condemns sacrificing to idols in 1 Corinthians. Paul allows gentiles to eat the meat that's sacrificed and sold in the market. However, Paul forbids Gentile Christians to sacrifice. Paul would not have commanded this if he was raised as a pagan. For Paul the Jew, the only acceptable sacrifice would have been a sacrifice in Jerusalem at the Jewish Temple.

Another error that Maccoby makes is his analysis of the Eucharist. This seems to be his main connection of Paul to paganism. The Eucharist comes straight from Jewish tradition in the Sabbath. The bread and wine were (and still are) used in Jewish sabbath meals. Jesus simply drew from that tradition in the Eucharist meal.

While there are similarities between Jesus and pagan religions, those similarities are not apparent in Zoroastrianism as Maccoby states. Zoroastrian dualism impacted Second Temple Judaism long before Christianity rolled around.

Maccoby also seems to be ignoring the Jewishness of the Gospel writers (except Luke and parts of John). They also hold to the Eucharist-arrest-trial-death-resurrection narrative that  Paul utilizes. Is Maccoby claiming that the authors of Mark, Matthew, and John (parts of), were not Jews? Because that would be problematic for several reasons.

Maccoby is correct in his criticism against legalistic interpretations of the Pharisees. Maccoby seemed to have the correct interpretation of the Pharisees and Saducees. Nevertheless, his analysis is wrought with error and lacking full evidentiary consideration.

I recommend E.P. Sanders. He is the expert on Second Temple Judaism and an expert on Paul. I would also recommend Jacob Neusner who is an expert on Second Temple Judaism.

 

"A man can no more diminish God's glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word, 'darkness' on the walls of his cell." (CS Lewis)

"A young man who wishes to remain a sound atheist cannot be too careful of his reading." (CS Lewis)


cj
atheistRational VIP!
cj's picture
Posts: 3330
Joined: 2007-01-05
User is offlineOffline
Christos wrote: cj wrote:

Christos wrote:

cj wrote:

"Paul instead devised his own version of Jesus, based largely on existing pagan religions. Under Paul's teaching, Jesus became the son of God, the suffering savior who died to redeem the rest of us. This was not a new idea, but borrows from older religions like Zoroastrianism, and also takes on some of the flavor of the mystery cults of the day. In the idea of eating the flesh and drinking the blood of the savior, a kind of "magic" that became the eucharist that gives us instant salvation based only on faith, Paul roams a long way from traditional Jewish ideas. The eucharist is a basically pagan form of ritual, a practice that learned Jewish scholars of the time would have abhorred."

Mitraism is later mentioned in Maccoby's book as the most likely mystery cult Paul was probably raised in.  I recommend reading the book.  Maccoby is a more informed scholar than you or I.

Ok, here's the problem with Maccoby. Just in the link you sent, there is very little evidence provided for his theories. He reminds me a lot of Robert Eisenmann - creating theories about Christian origins without actual evidence. This is what we do know, Paul was a Jew and an associate of the Jerusalem Church (Galatians 2, Acts 15). Paul certainly had his disputes with the Jerusalem Church, but they never claimed that Paul wasn't a fellow Jew. Second, Paul admits to persecuting Christians in his Pharisaic life (Galatians 1). No one would fabricate a Jewish heritage that involved persecuting early Christians.

Also look at Galatians 4 (another authentic Pauline work). This is an example of Jewish midrash. Paul's comparison of Sarah and Hagar represents Paul's usage of a common Jewish literary device known as midrash. A gentile would simply not be capable of producing that kind of work. Later rabbinic writers created different interpretations of Sarah-Hagar. The point  here is that Paul and later Rabbis were both utilizing Jewish midrash.

Does Paul sound less like a Jew in many of his letters? Of course, but there is a logical explanation for that. Most of his letters were written to Gentiles. Paul was of course the apostle to the Gentiles (Galatians 2). Letters like 1-2 Corinthians, 1 Thessalonians, and Philippians were all written to Gentiles, so obviously they don't read like many Jewish texts of the timeperiod. That doesn't mean that Paul wasn't a Jew.

Paul also condemns sacrificing to idols in 1 Corinthians. Paul allows gentiles to eat the meat that's sacrificed and sold in the market. However, Paul forbids Gentile Christians to sacrifice. Paul would not have commanded this if he was raised as a pagan. For Paul the Jew, the only acceptable sacrifice would have been a sacrifice in Jerusalem at the Jewish Temple.

Another error that Maccoby makes is his analysis of the Eucharist. This seems to be his main connection of Paul to paganism. The Eucharist comes straight from Jewish tradition in the Sabbath. The bread and wine were (and still are) used in Jewish sabbath meals. Jesus simply drew from that tradition in the Eucharist meal.

While there are similarities between Jesus and pagan religions, those similarities are not apparent in Zoroastrianism as Maccoby states. Zoroastrian dualism impacted Second Temple Judaism long before Christianity rolled around.

Maccoby also seems to be ignoring the Jewishness of the Gospel writers (except Luke and parts of John). They also hold to the Eucharist-arrest-trial-death-resurrection narrative that  Paul utilizes. Is Maccoby claiming that the authors of Mark, Matthew, and John (parts of), were not Jews? Because that would be problematic for several reasons.

Maccoby is correct in his criticism against legalistic interpretations of the Pharisees. Maccoby seemed to have the correct interpretation of the Pharisees and Saducees. Nevertheless, his analysis is wrought with error and lacking full evidentiary consideration.

I recommend E.P. Sanders. He is the expert on Second Temple Judaism and an expert on Paul. I would also recommend Jacob Neusner who is an expert on Second Temple Judaism.

 

 

The problem with sticking to the bible for evidence is the circularity.  "the bible says this, so this is true, because the bible says it is."  Having only one source of evidence is - - a paucity of evidence.

-- I feel so much better since I stopped trying to believe.

"We are entitled to our own opinions. We're not entitled to our own facts"- Al Franken

"If death isn't sweet oblivion, I will be severely disappointed" - Ruth M.


Christos
Theist
Christos's picture
Posts: 311
Joined: 2007-06-05
User is offlineOffline
cj wrote: The problem with

cj wrote:

 

The problem with sticking to the bible for evidence is the circularity.  "the bible says this, so this is true, because the bible says it is."  Having only one source of evidence is - - a paucity of evidence.

Oh c'mon, don't fall back on this argument. I'm making historical points, not theological ones. The Bible is a religious document, but its full of useful and reliable historical information and insight. All of my Pauline passages above are perfect examples.

Based on your logic, historians must avoid any religious text and ignore any historical information that the source could provide. That would eliminate much of our historical evidence from the ancient world.

Besides, Maccoby is using the Bible to try and prove his case. So why did you use Maccoby before when he is relying on Bibical texts?

"A man can no more diminish God's glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word, 'darkness' on the walls of his cell." (CS Lewis)

"A young man who wishes to remain a sound atheist cannot be too careful of his reading." (CS Lewis)


cj
atheistRational VIP!
cj's picture
Posts: 3330
Joined: 2007-01-05
User is offlineOffline
Christos wrote:cj

Christos wrote:

cj wrote:

 

The problem with sticking to the bible for evidence is the circularity.  "the bible says this, so this is true, because the bible says it is."  Having only one source of evidence is - - a paucity of evidence.

Oh c'mon, don't fall back on this argument. I'm making historical points, not theological ones. The Bible is a religious document, but its full of useful and reliable historical information and insight. All of my Pauline passages above are perfect examples.

Based on your logic, historians must avoid any religious text and ignore any historical information that the source could provide. That would eliminate much of our historical evidence from the ancient world.

Besides, Maccoby is using the Bible to try and prove his case. So why did you use Maccoby before when he is relying on Bibical texts?

 

Maccoby is using other sources as well.  Did you read the passage?

And, historians always rely on more than one source of information.  For example, (1) the bible, (2) other contemporary documents from other peoples at or near the Middle East, (3) archeological / anthropological evidence in or near the Middle East.

The bible was written about 900 BCE as if the historical cities and towns mentioned were identical to the contemporary cities and towns.  It's as if you were writing a history of the US.  "250 years ago there was a great country.  Two large cities, San Francisco and New York, were on opposite shores."

So 250 years ago, New York existed, and San Francisco was at least a gathering place for hunters.  But neither one was a large city, nor was the US a great country then.  Same with the bible.  Some historical facts are correct for the times near to the time the bible was written, 900 BCE.  But there is very little historical fact for times significantly before that.

The new testament has other problems, starting with the fact it was written well after the alleged events.  There are NO contemporary accounts of a Jewish messiah named Jesus or called Christ.  And they have found what should have been contemporary Jewish historical writings.  Three other Messiahs are mentioned by name, none are Jesus, and one is mentioned very briefly without naming the person.  You would think if the fourth one was the "King of the Jews", a Jewish historian would have paid more attention to him.

You are quoting what Paul supposedly said about himself.  We have no idea if Paul actually wrote the letters.  And what little evidence there is from other sources does not support what is said about Paul in the bible.  Before I believe doodly about Paul, I would like to have some secondary evidence.  Do you have any?

"This book I wrote myself as I was inspired by some really good shit says my god exists.  Believe or she shall smite you."  Yeah, are you bowing down before her any time soon?  Pfffffffffffftttttttttttttttt....................

-- I feel so much better since I stopped trying to believe.

"We are entitled to our own opinions. We're not entitled to our own facts"- Al Franken

"If death isn't sweet oblivion, I will be severely disappointed" - Ruth M.


Christos
Theist
Christos's picture
Posts: 311
Joined: 2007-06-05
User is offlineOffline
cj wrote:And, historians

cj wrote:

And, historians always rely on more than one source of information.  For example, (1) the bible, (2) other contemporary documents from other peoples at or near the Middle East, (3) archeological / anthropological evidence in or near the Middle East.

Obviously, but I think letter's written by Paul himself consitute better evidence than reading Josephus (who doesn't even mention Paul). To the Roman world outside of the small Christian movement, Paul was an insignificant figure in his time. Historians weren't going to write about him.

cj wrote:

The bible was written about 900 BCE as if the historical cities and towns mentioned were identical to the contemporary cities and towns.  It's as if you were writing a history of the US.  "250 years ago there was a great country.  Two large cities, San Francisco and New York, were on opposite shores."

No, the Bible was not written in 900 BCE. The books were written progressively from 1000 BCE - 100 CE. This is a really bad argument. The Bible contains myth, history, historical fiction, poetry, legal codes, etc. It's silly to throw away the Bible's important historical value and insight into the ancient world.

cj wrote:

The new testament has other problems, starting with the fact it was written well after the alleged events.  There are NO contemporary accounts of a Jewish messiah named Jesus or called Christ.  And they have found what should have been contemporary Jewish historical writings.  Three other Messiahs are mentioned by name, none are Jesus, and one is mentioned very briefly without naming the person.  You would think if the fourth one was the "King of the Jews", a Jewish historian would have paid more attention to him.

You make three basic errors here. First, in comparison to many historical documents in the ancient world, the gospels were not written that late. Mark: 64 CE, Matthew & Luke: 70-80 CE, John: 100-110 CE. Look at the texts on a contemporary of Jesus: Herod the Great. Documentation on Herod was written by Josephus almost 80 years after Herod's death. Second, there are contemporary references, which is surprising considering that Jesus was just another Jew crucified by the Romans before the First Jewish Revolt. Tacitus mentions Christ. Before you mention that it says "Chrestus," there is a simple explanation for that. Tacitus mis-spelled the Latin translation of a Greek word, which was the translation of a Hebrew word.  Third, you seem to be referring to Josephus' passages about Jewish messiahs. Did you even know who Josephus is? You seem to be unaware of Josephus' basic bias in writing. He was a Jewish traitor during the First Revolt who wrote his history while being paid by the Romans. He never writes anything that would have pissed Emperor Domitian off. Christians and the Romans obviously did not always get along. Remember the fire in Rome that Nero blamed on the Christians? So its not surprising that Josephus does not write about Jesus.

cj wrote:

You are quoting what Paul supposedly said about himself.  We have no idea if Paul actually wrote the letters.  And what little evidence there is from other sources does not support what is said about Paul in the bible.  Before I believe doodly about Paul, I would like to have some secondary evidence.  Do you have any?

Now you're just being silly. We do know that Paul wrote seven of the 14 letters attributed to him in the Bible: 1-2 Corinthians, Romans, Galatians, 1 Thessalonians, Philemon, and Philippians. Literally every Biblical scholar (Christian or non-Christian) agrees on this based on analysis of the Greek, and Paul's literary style (among other things). And like I said before, Paul was an insignificant figure in the 1st century CE. No historian would have wasted time on him, let alone known of his existence. But we do have actual letters written by Paul. When critically analyzed, they provide the best evidence on Paul's life.

"A man can no more diminish God's glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word, 'darkness' on the walls of his cell." (CS Lewis)

"A young man who wishes to remain a sound atheist cannot be too careful of his reading." (CS Lewis)


JesusNEVERexisted
Superfan
JesusNEVERexisted's picture
Posts: 693
Joined: 2010-01-03
User is offlineOffline
lpetrich wrote:Earl Doherty

lpetrich wrote:

Earl Doherty has finally released Jesus: Neither God Nor Man; The Case for a Mythical Jesus, his long-awaited second edition of The Jesus Puzzle.

He has revised and expanded it to 814 pages and around a half-million words, and he devotes whole chapters to subjects like "according to the flesh" (kata sarka), "born of woman" (Galatians 4:4), the Epistle to the Hebrews and its Cosmic Christ, etc.

He also discusses Hellenistic pagan and Jewish views of the spiritual world, the early Christian apologists, the Gospels as extended allegories, Gnosticism, parallels between Jesus Christ and various pagan savior gods, etc.

He is very thorough, discussing putative outside references to Jesus Christ from Josephus, Tacitus, Suetonius, Pliny, Thallus and Phlegon, Mara bar Serapion, and various Jewish sources, including the authors of the Toledoth Yeshu ( "Generations of Jesus" ). He concludes that they do not really tell us anything about a possible historical Jesus Christ.


I don't know if I'll be able to get this book anytime soon, but I did get his original book, and if you want to see a good positive case for Jesus mythicism, it is worth reading.

Yes, it is a positive case, one that features a scenario for how a myth of Jesus Christ had gotten started. In it, he was originally a sort-of god who got reinterpreted as having had a human existence, and Earl Doherty discusses a wide range of issues related to it.


If you don't feel up to the task of reading that tome, you can check out his site, http://www.jesuspuzzle.com/

It contains some short summaries of his case, like

Quick Assembly of the Jesus Puzzle
The Jesus Puzzle: Pieces in a Puzzle of Christian Origins

 

 

Cool...thanks for the info!

Click here to find out why Christianity is the biggest fairy tale ever created!! www.nobeliefs.com/exist.htm www.JesusNEVERexisted.com