Regarding Flavius Josephus

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Regarding Flavius Josephus

Is he a reliable historian when it comes to the life of Jesus?

 

http://sacred-texts.com/judi/josephus/ant-18.htm

Check out Chapter 3, paragraph 3. Is this guy a credible historian?

 

p.s. I have no clue about which forum topic to place this.

Idiots are Fun! No wonder every village wants one.-House


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FurryCatHerder wrote:Here's

FurryCatHerder wrote:

Here's a quote from a widely regarded website (www.jewfaq.org) on Kabbalah --

Quote:
Like most subjects of Jewish belief, the area of mysticism is wide open to personal interpretation. Some traditional Jews take mysticism very seriously. Mysticism is an integral part of Chasidic Judaism, for example, and passages from kabbalistic sources are routinely included in traditional prayer books. Other traditional Jews take mysticism with a grain of salt. One prominent Orthodox Jew, when introducing a speaker on the subject of Jewish mysticism, said basically, "it's nonsense, but it's Jewish nonsense, and the study of anything Jewish, even nonsense, is worthwhile."

point being?  basically they just say the opinions are divided.  i never said they weren't.  i just said that lurianic kabbalah had a universal influence on jewish thought, and that the popular conception of tikkun olam originates with lurianic kabbalah.  you haven't offered me anything to the contrary.  i offered a quote as well, by a distinguished scholar rather than an faq website.

FurryCatHerder wrote:

The areas of Jewish thought that most extensively discuss these issues, Kabbalah and Jewish mysticism, were traditionally not even taught to people until the age of 40, when they had completed their education in Written Torah and Oral Torah (in other words, in Bible and practical Law).

that is true.  but it doesn't contradict a popular influence of lurianic kabbalah, nor does it take into account that there was plenty of "unofficial" study going on.  scholem again, p. 258:

"[...] it was not before the end of the eighteenth century, and in some respects only in the nineteenth, that the Kabbalists consented to the publication of Vital's own books in print.  [Luria himself left no writings; his pupil Hayim Vital was the most authentic and popular transmitter of Luria's ideas.]  However, the innovation did not add much to their popularity, for during the eighteenth century the business of copying his writings from manuscripts had become in some places, e.g. Jerusalem, Italy and Southern Germany, almost an industry." 

A Talmudic tale on studying Jewish mysticism --

FurryCatHerder wrote:

Talmudic doctrine forbade the public teaching of esoteric doctrines and warned of their dangers. In the Mishnah (Hagigah 2:1), rabbis were warned to teach the mystical creation doctrines only to one student at a time.[40] To highlight the danger, in one Jewish aggadic ("legendary&quotEye-wink anecdote, four prominent rabbis of the Mishnaic period (first century CE) are said to have visited the Orchard (that is, Paradise, pardes, Hebrew: פרדס lit., orchard):

Four men entered pardesBen Azzai, Ben Zoma, Acher (Elisha ben Abuyah),[41] and Akiba. Ben Azzai looked and died; Ben Zoma looked and went mad; Acher destroyed the plants; Akiba entered in peace and departed in peace.[42]

In notable readings of this legend, only Rabbi Akiba was fit to handle the study of mystical doctrines. The Tosafot, medieval commentaries on the Talmud, say that the four sages "did not go up literally, but it appeared to them as if they went up."[43] On the other hand, Rabbi Louis Ginzberg, writes in the Jewish Encyclopedia (1901–1906) that the journey to paradise "is to be taken literally and not allegorically".[44] For further analysis, see The Four Who Entered Paradise.

i don't see the relevance of this quote to the point i made about lurianic kabbalah and the origins of tikkun olam.  if your purpose was to demonstrate that kabbalah is and always has been a movement with very little influence on popular jewish theology, then the haggadah are not the best place to start, since they predate any writings which can properly be called kabbalah, nor are they writings which critically examine the history of jewish theology. 

"I have never felt comfortable around people who talk about their feelings for Jesus, or any other deity for that matter, because they are usually none too bright. . . . Or maybe 'stupid' is a better way of saying it; but I have never seen much point in getting heavy with either stupid people or Jesus freaks, just as long as they don't bother me. In a world as weird and cruel as this one we have made for ourselves, I figure anybody who can find peace and personal happiness without ripping off somebody else deserves to be left alone. They will not inherit the earth, but then neither will I. . . . And I have learned to live, as it were, with the idea that I will never find peace and happiness, either. But as long as I know there's a pretty good chance I can get my hands on either one of them every once in a while, I do the best I can between high spots."
--Hunter S. Thompson


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iwbiek wrote:FurryCatHerder

iwbiek wrote:

FurryCatHerder wrote:

You're fixated on Kabbalah and the (incorrect) notion that "Tikkun Olam" only makes sense as having originated in Kabbalh.

tikkun olam doesn't just mean doing mitzvot in general.  tikkun olam means repairing the world, not making the world nicer.  if you're not talking about tikkun olam then just tell me to begin with, "i'm not talking about tikkun olam."  or at least, "i think of tikkun olam differently than 5 centuries worth of writers who developed that doctrine."

Oh, G-d Bless.  You learned from a Kabbalist nut-job.

iwbiek wrote:
FurryCatHerder wrote:

Start with "Ohr Ha'Goyim" in Deut and work your way forward to "Bayom ha Hu yiyeh Ad-nai echad u'Shemo echad" in Zechariah.  The tail end of Isaiah will also help paint the picture.  You should also look at examples in the teachings of Rabbi Hillel (the discussion around "Teach me Torah while standing on one foot" is a very basic lesson) and the attributed sayings of Jesus ("Do you put a light under a bushel?", a reference to "Ohr Ha'goyim".

i'm familiar with that, particularly ohr ha'goyim and rabbi hillel's analogy.  i just don't think you can identify ohr ha'goyim and all it biblically pertains to with the term "tikkun olam" and stay within common usage.

"Tikkun Olam" does not mean, in all schools of Jewish thought, and at all times, this Lurianic concept of gathering up all the (metaphorical, because they cannot be literal) "Divine Sparks".  This isn't even Judaism 101, it's more like Judaism 000.  If it's a "something" and it refers to G-d, it's a metaphorical "something".

iwbiek wrote:
by the way, please address my points.  don't try to fob me off with instructions to go do more reading.  i've done and still do my reading.  if you don't believe that the most common conception of tikkun olam in modern judaism comes straight from lurianic kabbalah then please make an argument, but you'll be disagreeing with some of the biggest names in jewish scholarship.  i'll even quote gershom scholem, major trends in jewish mysticism, new york: schocken books, 1995, pp. 285-286:

And I'll quote you poskim  who say that Kabbalah is crap, but it's Jewish crap, so at least it's worth studying -- FOR JEWS.

iwbiek wrote:
now, perhaps many jews today take lurianic kabbalah and the idea of israel's necessity in tikkun olam metaphorically, but we have no evidence luria himself, nor at least four centuries of later writers who developed the idea of tikkun olam, did, and so it's just plain fallacious to retroactively say, "well, it's metaphorical, it was always meant to be metaphorical, and anyone who says otherwise is a heretic or a nutter."  i say fallacious, but not surprising, since almost every religion says something to this effect in every age.

EVERY discussion about the nature of G-d is METAPHORICAL.  This is why studying these metaphorical discussions of G-d is 1) dangerous, 2) discouraged because people start to believe they aren't METAPHORICAL.

iwbiek wrote:
FurryCatHerder wrote:

And any yid who insists that Kabbalah is literally and factually true should be excommunicated for heresy.

now who's speaking in christian terms?

Cherem is NOT Christiam terms.

iwbiek wrote:

btw, once again, i thought it was impossible to "un-become" a jew.  how does "excommunication" work, exactly?  without a central authority, who does it?  and if what you're saying is true, why haven't the hasidim been "excommunicated"?

They aren't an un-Jew.  Who said anything about them no longer being a Jew?

Oh, right -- your misunderstanding of the Christian concept of ex-communication.  Sen. Patrick Kennedy hasn't stopped being a Catholic because he's been ex-communicated, he's simply bared from participating in certain rites, including communion, unless he repents.  After he repents, he gets to go back to participating in those rites.

"Obviously I'm convinced of the existence of G-d. I'm equally convinced that Atheists who've led good lives will be in Olam HaBa going "How the heck did I wind up in this place?!?" while Christians who've treated people like dirt will be in some other place asking the exact same question."


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FurryCatHerder wrote:No,

FurryCatHerder wrote:

No, from a pure TORAH perspective, sacrifices are simply NOT what is required.  Furthermore, for many things sacrifices were FORBIDDEN.  The notion that sacrifices are absolutely, completely, unalterably, etc. REQUIRED is a Christian interpolation.  It's the Christian justification for claiming that Jesus was a sacrifice -- to liberate Jews from the sacrificial system.

This gets back into the concept of what is NECESSARY and what is SUFFICIENT and using those two concepts to understand the mechanism behind some result.  In Torah Judaism, what is NECESSARY are the actions that lead up to making the sacrificial offering.  Without those actions, the sacrifice is meaningless.  Furthermore, outside of Eretz Yisrael, where sacrifices are FORBIDDEN COMPLETELY, the preceding actions which are required within Eretz Yisrael are still required.

then you should have no problem showing me where, chapter and verse, in genesis, exodus, leviticus, numbers, or deuteronomy, where it says actual animal sacrifices are not necessary.  chapter and verse.  not a talmudic quotation, not another part of the hebrew bible.  otherwise, don't get huffy when people say you don't use criticism with the text, because the first rule of higher criticism is take the text at face value.

FurryCatHerder wrote:

Yes, in Judaism we =can= have it both ways.  And if someone comes up with a third way, we can have it in that way as well.

well, in biblical criticism you can't have it both ways.  once again, if the rabbinic way is your way, that's fine, but don't expect anyone to take you seriously when you say you look at the text critically.

"I have never felt comfortable around people who talk about their feelings for Jesus, or any other deity for that matter, because they are usually none too bright. . . . Or maybe 'stupid' is a better way of saying it; but I have never seen much point in getting heavy with either stupid people or Jesus freaks, just as long as they don't bother me. In a world as weird and cruel as this one we have made for ourselves, I figure anybody who can find peace and personal happiness without ripping off somebody else deserves to be left alone. They will not inherit the earth, but then neither will I. . . . And I have learned to live, as it were, with the idea that I will never find peace and happiness, either. But as long as I know there's a pretty good chance I can get my hands on either one of them every once in a while, I do the best I can between high spots."
--Hunter S. Thompson


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FurryCatHerder wrote:EVERY

FurryCatHerder wrote:

EVERY discussion about the nature of G-d is METAPHORICAL.  This is why studying these metaphorical discussions of G-d is 1) dangerous, 2) discouraged because people start to believe they aren't METAPHORICAL.

that's apologetics of modern jews who are embarrassed by that part of their history.  we have no internal evidence in the texts of the safed kabbalists or the spanish kabbalists.  that they felt the majority of their ideas were purely metaphorical.  if you can find this evidence in the writings of cordovero or vital or ibn tabul or moses de leon or abulafia, then come forward with it.  you said you were critical, you said you were interested in a detached scholarly debate, and already you're flinging ad homs and retreating to your no true scotsman line.  if you want a debate, fine.  if you want an argument, go to someone else.

"I have never felt comfortable around people who talk about their feelings for Jesus, or any other deity for that matter, because they are usually none too bright. . . . Or maybe 'stupid' is a better way of saying it; but I have never seen much point in getting heavy with either stupid people or Jesus freaks, just as long as they don't bother me. In a world as weird and cruel as this one we have made for ourselves, I figure anybody who can find peace and personal happiness without ripping off somebody else deserves to be left alone. They will not inherit the earth, but then neither will I. . . . And I have learned to live, as it were, with the idea that I will never find peace and happiness, either. But as long as I know there's a pretty good chance I can get my hands on either one of them every once in a while, I do the best I can between high spots."
--Hunter S. Thompson


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iwbiek wrote:FurryCatHerder

iwbiek wrote:

FurryCatHerder wrote:

Here's a quote from a widely regarded website (www.jewfaq.org) on Kabbalah --

Quote:
Like most subjects of Jewish belief, the area of mysticism is wide open to personal interpretation. Some traditional Jews take mysticism very seriously. Mysticism is an integral part of Chasidic Judaism, for example, and passages from kabbalistic sources are routinely included in traditional prayer books. Other traditional Jews take mysticism with a grain of salt. One prominent Orthodox Jew, when introducing a speaker on the subject of Jewish mysticism, said basically, "it's nonsense, but it's Jewish nonsense, and the study of anything Jewish, even nonsense, is worthwhile."

point being?  basically they just say the opinions are divided.  i never said they weren't.  i just said that lurianic kabbalah had a universal influence on jewish thought, and that the popular conception of tikkun olam originates with lurianic kabbalah.  you haven't offered me anything to the contrary.  i offered a quote as well, by a distinguished scholar rather than an faq website.

No, "Tikkun Olam", in the Kabbalistic "gathering up all these (metaphorical) Divine Sparks" sense, originates with Luria.  Look at the end of Isaiah where Isaiah very clearly states that once the Nations realize the error of their ways (and how do they do this?  By Israel's example), they turn to the Jews to learn about G-d.

You cannot understand Judaism in a 14 week college course, or even 128 semester hours of college courses.  In particular, you cannot understand Kabbalah, something that it is FORBIDDEN to teach to anyone other than a 40+ year old married man, schooled in Torah and Talmud, unless you have the underpinnings of a proper Jewish education.  Which you don't have.

iwbiek wrote:
FurryCatHerder wrote:

Quote:
The areas of Jewish thought that most extensively discuss these issues, Kabbalah and Jewish mysticism, were traditionally not even taught to people until the age of 40, when they had completed their education in Written Torah and Oral Torah (in other words, in Bible and practical Law).

that is true.  but it doesn't contradict a popular influence of lurianic kabbalah, nor does it take into account that there was plenty of "unofficial" study going on.  scholem again, p. 258:

"[...] it was not before the end of the eighteenth century, and in some respects only in the nineteenth, that the Kabbalists consented to the publication of Vital's own books in print.  [Luria himself left no writings; his pupil Hayim Vital was the most authentic and popular transmitter of Luria's ideas.]  However, the innovation did not add much to their popularity, for during the eighteenth century the business of copying his writings from manuscripts had become in some places, e.g. Jerusalem, Italy and Southern Germany, almost an industry."


I hate to quote Star Trek as an authoritative source, but "You cannot get a permit to do a damned illegal thing."

iwbiek wrote:
FurryCatHerder wrote:

Quote:
Talmudic doctrine forbade the public teaching of esoteric doctrines and warned of their dangers. In the Mishnah (Hagigah 2:1), rabbis were warned to teach the mystical creation doctrines only to one student at a time.[40] To highlight the danger, in one Jewish aggadic ("legendary&quotEye-wink anecdote, four prominent rabbis of the Mishnaic period (first century CE) are said to have visited the Orchard (that is, Paradise, pardes, Hebrew: פרדס lit., orchard):

Four men entered pardesBen Azzai, Ben Zoma, Acher (Elisha ben Abuyah),[41] and Akiba. Ben Azzai looked and died; Ben Zoma looked and went mad; Acher destroyed the plants; Akiba entered in peace and departed in peace.[42]

In notable readings of this legend, only Rabbi Akiba was fit to handle the study of mystical doctrines. The Tosafot, medieval commentaries on the Talmud, say that the four sages "did not go up literally, but it appeared to them as if they went up."[43] On the other hand, Rabbi Louis Ginzberg, writes in the Jewish Encyclopedia (1901–1906) that the journey to paradise "is to be taken literally and not allegorically".[44] For further analysis, see The Four Who Entered Paradise.

i don't see the relevance of this quote to the point i made about lurianic kabbalah and the origins of tikkun olam.  if your purpose was to demonstrate that kabbalah is and always has been a movement with very little influence on popular jewish theology, then the haggadah are not the best place to start, since they predate any writings which can properly be called kabbalah, nor are they writings which critically examine the history of jewish theology. 

You ARE an idiot.

"Kabbalah" is just Jewish Mysticism.  It's just as forbidden to teach Kabbalah to someone like you as it is to have taught anything preceding Kabbalah in the same tradition.

And this isn't even a Christian "You have to have faith!" claim -- it's more along the lines of you cannot understand Synthetic Organic chemistry until you've had the prerequisites.  And while my professor was wrong, it's also like what one of my professors told me "Undergraduates don't have original thoughts".

And to quote another movie with strong Jewish influences, "There is no spoon."

"Obviously I'm convinced of the existence of G-d. I'm equally convinced that Atheists who've led good lives will be in Olam HaBa going "How the heck did I wind up in this place?!?" while Christians who've treated people like dirt will be in some other place asking the exact same question."


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iwbiek wrote:FurryCatHerder

iwbiek wrote:

FurryCatHerder wrote:

EVERY discussion about the nature of G-d is METAPHORICAL.  This is why studying these metaphorical discussions of G-d is 1) dangerous, 2) discouraged because people start to believe they aren't METAPHORICAL.

that's apologetics of modern jews who are embarrassed by that part of their history.  we have no internal evidence in the texts of the safed kabbalists or the spanish kabbalists.  that they felt the majority of their ideas were purely metaphorical.  if you can find this evidence in the writings of cordovero or vital or ibn tabul or moses de leon or abulafia, then come forward with it.  you said you were critical, you said you were interested in a detached scholarly debate, and already you're flinging ad homs and retreating to your no true scotsman line.  if you want a debate, fine.  if you want an argument, go to someone else.

They HAVE to be Metaphorical because it is utterly forbidden, in the Torah, to make ANY image of G-d.

Period.

And you want chapter and verse -- Exodus 20:4.

That means that all these descriptions of "Sefirot" are either metaphors, or they are forbidden (and thus not true) images.  If you want to argue that these descriptions aren't forbidden images, that's a different argument.

Likewise, I believe you stated that the Torah says G-d is always "100% in control".  If G-d is "100% in control", all the Kabbalistic stories of human beings "manipulating" G-d by uttering Divine Names is also metaphor.  So Kabbalah is metaphor from two different angles -- being forbidden images of G-d, or being impossible means of manipulating G-d.

So, here's what we have --

  1. You studied a subject which traditionally would never have been taught to you, and which the Talmud states you shouldn't have been.
  2. You reached conclusions about a subject that you are not allowed to study that are in contradiction to normative Jewish belief, as stated in the Torah.
  3. The subject you are forbidden from studying, contains concepts that are incomprehensible, except as metaphor.
  4. You are asserting that concepts in the field of study you are not permitted to study cannot be intended "metaphorically".
  5. I've explained this to you several times now, and you persist in mistaken belief.

QED, you are an idiot.

There is something worse I could say, but I'm giving you the benefit of the doubt and not saying that you're a pathological liar or malevolently and intentionally distorting the text.

BTW -- my older brother was told his IQ when he was 12 or 13 (165 to 170 range -- all three of us kids are up there, between 160 and 175.  Intelligent parents, intelligent kids).  He then decided that his raw intelligence alone meant he didn't have to study the prerequisites in university.  So, he'd make stupid statements about science, and then I'd have to get out college texts, except that he didn't even have the patience to learn the prequisites.

With Judaism, the prerequisites are what teaches you that Kabbalah is pure metaphor.

"Obviously I'm convinced of the existence of G-d. I'm equally convinced that Atheists who've led good lives will be in Olam HaBa going "How the heck did I wind up in this place?!?" while Christians who've treated people like dirt will be in some other place asking the exact same question."


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FurryCatHerder

FurryCatHerder wrote:

jcgadfly wrote:

FCH,

I have to admit i am a little confused. How can Jesus be of the tribes of Levi and Judah?

He wasn't.  His brother James is known through historically verifiable facts to have been from the Tribe of Levi.  Since there's no historical evidence that Jesus was from the Tribe of Judah (there's no evidence at all that he existed, but work with me on this one), he must have been from the same tribe  as his brother, which is Levi.

QED, definitely not the messiah.

99% of biological species on this planet are now extinct. What makes you think humans are special? Why do you think any human that has lived in the past, living now, or living in the future to the point of our extinction, will be remembered 1 billion years from now?

GET A CLUE, there is no such thing as a messiah. Muslims wont have one, Christians wont have one, and you wont have one. Our species will eventually die out like all biological life will. And our planet will die too.

Making up fictional super heros to ignore our finite existence is ignorant.

"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers."Obama
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In this topic: Iwbiek owns

In this topic: Iwbiek owns Furry completely and totally. Furry has a tantrum and whines like a baby.

Proud Canadian, Enlightened Atheist, Gaming God.


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FurryCatHerder wrote: They

FurryCatHerder wrote:

 

They HAVE to be Metaphorical because it is utterly forbidden, in the Torah, to make ANY image of G-d.

Period.

And you want chapter and verse -- Exodus 20:4.

you're assuming that the writers understood this ban in the same way as you.  the text says GRAVEN images, i.e. scultures or pictures.  it's not clearly a ban on theological or theogonical speculation.  you might think it is, but you can't get that from the text.  once again, if you want to interpolate stuff that's not there you're not looking critically., so don't claim you are.

FurryCatHerder wrote:

That means that all these descriptions of "Sefirot" are either metaphors, or they are forbidden (and thus not true) images.  If you want to argue that these descriptions aren't forbidden images, that's a different argument.

no, i want to argue that you are more interested in maintaining your present-day religious conceptions than critically examining the texts pertinent to the history of jewish thought.

FurryCatHerder wrote:

Likewise, I believe you stated that the Torah says G-d is always "100% in control".

yes, i did state that.  so did you.  i stated that to demonstrate that the common conception of tikkun olam runs contrary to the hebrew bible and thus, in order to reconcile this, you have to subvert either the meaning of tikkun olam or the meaning of the hebrew bible.  you chose the former course.  the lurianic kabbalists and their successors chose the latter course.  there's no shame: these are natural phenomena in any religion's evolution.  what they are not, however, is helpful to textual or historical criticism, which you claimed to have been engaging in since we were all in diapers.

FurryCatHerder wrote:

So, here's what we have --

  1. You studied a subject which traditionally would never have been taught to you, and which the Talmud states you shouldn't have been.

 

yup, because i don't take the ban on reading hoo-hah any more seriously than i take the hoo-hah itself.

FurryCatHerder wrote:

You reached conclusions about a subject that you are not allowed to study that are in contradiction to normative Jewish belief, as stated in the Torah.

if by "torah" you mean modern jewish normative theology, then yes, my conclusions are in contradiction to it.  what my conclusions are not in contradiction to, however, is everything that modern biblical and historical criticism can teach us about the development of modern "normative" jewish theology.  and like it or not, this theology is heavily influenced by lurianic kabbalah and, like it or not, the safed kabbalists were not modern jews who took their teachings metaphorically.

but the way, "I" didn't reach these conclusions.  every conclusion i've stated here is directly out of either scholem or moshe idel.  scholem of course was the founder of the modern academic study of jewish mysticism and was the first to hold a chair in that department at the hebrew university of jerusalem, and it's in his lecture on lurianic kabbalah in major trends that i first learned of that school of mysticism's universal influence on modern jewish theology, theogony, and eschatology.  i even quoted you a passage.

FurryCatHerder wrote:
 

The subject you are forbidden from studying, contains concepts that are incomprehensible, except as metaphor.

incomprehensible if one has a vested interest in maintaining historical theological continuity, yes.  in essence, your reasoning seems to be "you can't understand these texts properly, nor can you interpret them properly, regardless of what training or education you've had, because it wasn't traditional rabbinic training or education."  this is no different from a christian pastor who says in the face of new testament criticism, "you don't understand these texts properly, nor can you interpret them properly, because you don't have the holy spirit in you."

FurryCatHerder wrote:

You are asserting that concepts in the field of study you are not permitted to study cannot be intended "metaphorically".

no, i'm asserting that the intent of the original authors, i.e. the lurianic kabbalists and their successors, was not metaphorical but theosophical.  every other "detached, scholarly" treatment i've ever read of this "field of study," by jew or gentile, has asserted this as well.  YOU are free to take these "concepts" however you want, of course, but don't project it into the kabbalistic texts, or at least don't do that and claim to be critical. 

FurryCatHerder wrote:

I've explained this to you several times now, and you persist in mistaken belief.

the only thing you have explained to me is why i'm dogmatically wrong.  you have made no effort to critically engage either the pertinent kabbalistic texts (safed and post-safed) or find methodological fault with the conclusions of the scholarship i've repeatedly cited.

also, i'm beginning to suspect you think i believe in kabbalah or have a vested interest in it.  i assure you i do not.  i do not take the dogmatic claims of any branch of your religion, fringe or mainstream, any more seriously than those of any other religion.  if you wish to prove to me that either the kabbalists or myself are mistaken in their conceptions of god, you're attacking a straw man.  i have no conceptions of god.  if, however, you wish to prove that lurianic kabbalah had no major influence on "normative" jewish theology and/or that i'm totally mistaken in my conception of what lurianic kabbalah is, i'm afraid that arguments like "you're wrong because it goes against this certain set of beliefs" or "you're wrong because you're not allowed to study it" will satisfy no one but yourself.  go to the kabbalistic texts and the subsequent conclusions drawn by scholars or don't go at all.  and that's not a rhetorical challenge: i honestly welcome serious, higher critical engagement that approaches a text with no modern preconceptions. 

FurryCatHerder wrote:

QED, you are an idiot.

ok, now we can see beyond a doubt who starts with this stuff.  i believe this was always martin luther's last refuge too.

FurryCatHerder wrote:

There is something worse I could say, but I'm giving you the benefit of the doubt and not saying that you're a pathological liar or malevolently and intentionally distorting the text.

and you define distortion as "thinking it could mean other than what tradition (or you) says it means"?  you have barely thrown out any texts for me to distort.  i'm the one quoting passages of detailed and respected scholarship.  so far you've only offered a very cursory treatment from a general knowledge website and a few bible verses that don't directly address lurianic theology (nor could they, since luria utilized the zohar and prevailing gnostical and theosophical ideas much more than he utilized the hebrew bible).  you even convoluted ex. 20.4 beyond its obvious, literal meaning.  if you want to prove that my conceptions of lurianic kabbalah are wrong (i.e., that they definitely took it metaphorically) then you're going to have to provide evidence from the lurianic texts.  i'm even willing to wait.  otherwise, don't tell me i'm distorting a text if you're not willing to point out precisely where.

FurryCatHerder wrote:

With Judaism, the prerequisites are what teaches you that Kabbalah is pure metaphor.

there it is again.  "you can't read it right because you're not one of us."  once again, if that's the line you take, don't claim critical thinking.  if you went to science textbooks to prove your brother wrong, great: go to lurianic texts and prove me wrong.  go to scholem and demonstrate clearly why his assertions and conclusions are bunkum.  but a few quotes from texts that weren't even written in any time period near the period of the lurianic writers and don't even directly address the same concepts are not proof as far as historical criticism is concerned.

"I have never felt comfortable around people who talk about their feelings for Jesus, or any other deity for that matter, because they are usually none too bright. . . . Or maybe 'stupid' is a better way of saying it; but I have never seen much point in getting heavy with either stupid people or Jesus freaks, just as long as they don't bother me. In a world as weird and cruel as this one we have made for ourselves, I figure anybody who can find peace and personal happiness without ripping off somebody else deserves to be left alone. They will not inherit the earth, but then neither will I. . . . And I have learned to live, as it were, with the idea that I will never find peace and happiness, either. But as long as I know there's a pretty good chance I can get my hands on either one of them every once in a while, I do the best I can between high spots."
--Hunter S. Thompson


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FurryCatHerder wrote:iwbiek

FurryCatHerder wrote:

iwbiek wrote:

by the way, i mentioned the sacrifices because i was specifically comparing rabbinical judaism with the religion described by the torah, i.e., the pentateuch.  J, E, P, and D all espouse the viewpoint that literal sacrifices are required by god.  there is no internal evidence in the pentateuch that would lead us to believe otherwise, and this cannot be altered by anything a later prophet or rabbi says.  otherwise, it's not textual criticism: it's dogmatics, deductive rather than inductive.  nor does mixing around the hebrew letters, a la abraham abulafia, count as inductive reasoning either.

No, from a pure TORAH perspective, sacrifices are simply NOT what is required.  Furthermore, for many things sacrifices were FORBIDDEN.  The notion that sacrifices are absolutely, completely, unalterably, etc. REQUIRED is a Christian interpolation.  It's the Christian justification for claiming that Jesus was a sacrifice -- to liberate Jews from the sacrificial system.

This gets back into the concept of what is NECESSARY and what is SUFFICIENT and using those two concepts to understand the mechanism behind some result.  In Torah Judaism, what is NECESSARY are the actions that lead up to making the sacrificial offering.  Without those actions, the sacrifice is meaningless.  Furthermore, outside of Eretz Yisrael, where sacrifices are FORBIDDEN COMPLETELY, the preceding actions which are required within Eretz Yisrael are still required.

iwbiek wrote:

yes, i am very aware that according to the rabbis the torah is never finished, but one cannot take this concept into account when one engages in higher criticism.  you can't have it both ways.

Yes, in Judaism we =can= have it both ways.  And if someone comes up with a third way, we can have it in that way as well.

Which is no different than any god claim. When you make shit up, you can move the goal posts. That does nothing to prove one's own claim. It only proves that you will do anything to defend the claim.

Superstition has nothing to do with credibility and everything to do with marketing.

"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers."Obama
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FurryCatHerder wrote:iwbiek

FurryCatHerder wrote:

iwbiek wrote:

by the way, i mentioned the sacrifices because i was specifically comparing rabbinical judaism with the religion described by the torah, i.e., the pentateuch.  J, E, P, and D all espouse the viewpoint that literal sacrifices are required by god.  there is no internal evidence in the pentateuch that would lead us to believe otherwise, and this cannot be altered by anything a later prophet or rabbi says.  otherwise, it's not textual criticism: it's dogmatics, deductive rather than inductive.  nor does mixing around the hebrew letters, a la abraham abulafia, count as inductive reasoning either.

No, from a pure TORAH perspective, sacrifices are simply NOT what is required.  Furthermore, for many things sacrifices were FORBIDDEN.  The notion that sacrifices are absolutely, completely, unalterably, etc. REQUIRED is a Christian interpolation.  It's the Christian justification for claiming that Jesus was a sacrifice -- to liberate Jews from the sacrificial system.

This gets back into the concept of what is NECESSARY and what is SUFFICIENT and using those two concepts to understand the mechanism behind some result.  In Torah Judaism, what is NECESSARY are the actions that lead up to making the sacrificial offering.  Without those actions, the sacrifice is meaningless.  Furthermore, outside of Eretz Yisrael, where sacrifices are FORBIDDEN COMPLETELY, the preceding actions which are required within Eretz Yisrael are still required.

iwbiek wrote:

yes, i am very aware that according to the rabbis the torah is never finished, but one cannot take this concept into account when one engages in higher criticism.  you can't have it both ways.

Yes, in Judaism we =can= have it both ways.  And if someone comes up with a third way, we can have it in that way as well.

Which is no different than any god claim. When you make shit up, you can move the goal posts. That does nothing to prove one's own claim. It only proves that you will do anything to defend the claim.

Superstition has nothing to do with credibility and everything to do with marketing.

"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


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summation?

 So, as I understand the Josephus argument (and the threads written so far do a good job of laying it out);

 

1) Josephus talks about Christ and Christians

2) Josephus in those sections does not sound like a Jew, but like a Christian

3) There was opportunity for Christians to alter Josephus, and the figure of Eusebius of Caesarea

4) ergo Christians had motive and opportunity, therefor Josephus must be unreliable in regards to his statements on Jesus 

 

This is however a theory, and one based on several essential premises that may not be true.

#2 Josephus doesn't sound like a Jew. Yet most of Christ's initial followers were Jews, including all twelve of his closest disciples. Saul of Tarsus, trained under Gamaliel and a 'zealous' Jew, accepted Christ as the promised Messiah. Romans for a long period considered Christians merely a sect of Judaism. Jesus himself was a Jew. Merely because Josephus has complimentary words to say that support a Christian viewpoint does not mean that the text is unreliable.

#3 Where does this idea that Eusebius fabricates come from? Eusebius is responsible for several seminal works in understanding early Christianity, including of course his "Church History". Gibbon attacked Eusebius' honesty, but as I understand it, Gibbon's critiques were in turn roundly condemned as false. I've seen no references to the 'exhortations to falsehood' attributed to Eusebius, so if anyone has links to these please let me know. 

 

Generally though, I do question this critique of Josephus based upon modern concepts of historical writing. These concepts are anachronistic in speaking of Josephus, as he was not a 'modern' historian. Certainly there are flaws in the manner history was (and is) written, but these flaws are in the genre as a whole. 

 

Josephus MAY not be reliable as a source in regards to Christ. But 'may' is far different than 'is'.

 


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Brian37 wrote:FurryCatHerder

Brian37 wrote:

FurryCatHerder wrote:

Yes, in Judaism we =can= have it both ways.  And if someone comes up with a third way, we can have it in that way as well.

Which is no different than any god claim. When you make shit up, you can move the goal posts. That does nothing to prove one's own claim. It only proves that you will do anything to defend the claim.

Superstition has nothing to do with credibility and everything to do with marketing.

No, because in Judaism, "Two Jews, three opinions."

There isn't AN ANSWER.  There are only QUESTIONS and what you LEARN from the discussion.

"Obviously I'm convinced of the existence of G-d. I'm equally convinced that Atheists who've led good lives will be in Olam HaBa going "How the heck did I wind up in this place?!?" while Christians who've treated people like dirt will be in some other place asking the exact same question."


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Dragoon wrote:#2 Josephus

Dragoon wrote:

#2 Josephus doesn't sound like a Jew. Yet most of Christ's initial followers were Jews, including all twelve of his closest disciples. Saul of Tarsus, trained under Gamaliel and a 'zealous' Jew, accepted Christ as the promised Messiah. Romans for a long period considered Christians merely a sect of Judaism. Jesus himself was a Jew. Merely because Josephus has complimentary words to say that support a Christian viewpoint does not mean that the text is unreliable.

It's extremely unlikely that Saul of Tarsus studied anywhere near Rabban Gamaliel.  Most likely, the connection between Paul and Gamaliel is made in order to establish Paul's credentials.

"Obviously I'm convinced of the existence of G-d. I'm equally convinced that Atheists who've led good lives will be in Olam HaBa going "How the heck did I wind up in this place?!?" while Christians who've treated people like dirt will be in some other place asking the exact same question."


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FurryCatHerder wrote:It's

FurryCatHerder wrote:

It's extremely unlikely that Saul of Tarsus studied anywhere near Rabban Gamaliel.  Most likely, the connection between Paul and Gamaliel is made in order to establish Paul's credentials.

 

Hi Furry,

On what basis do you question Saul studying under Gamaliel?

Making claims that contemporaries could disprove would seem a strange way to establish credentials. There was obviously opposition to Jesus within both the Sanhedrin (giving a person to be crucified does tend to show opposition...) and within the larger Jewish milieu (as evidenced by the references to the attempts to stone Jesus/Yeshua). There would obviously be other students of Gamiliel living, and to falsely claim to have studied under someone would hardly 'establish' credentials.

 

  


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FurryCatHerder wrote:Brian37

FurryCatHerder wrote:

Brian37 wrote:

FurryCatHerder wrote:

Yes, in Judaism we =can= have it both ways.  And if someone comes up with a third way, we can have it in that way as well.

Which is no different than any god claim. When you make shit up, you can move the goal posts. That does nothing to prove one's own claim. It only proves that you will do anything to defend the claim.

Superstition has nothing to do with credibility and everything to do with marketing.

No, because in Judaism, "Two Jews, three opinions."

There isn't AN ANSWER.  There are only QUESTIONS and what you LEARN from the discussion.

yeah, but you've been giving some pretty unequivocal answers.  you've told us--quite confidently, considering your willingness to insult those who gainsay you (doesn't sound like a religion at all, does it?)--precisely what the intentions of jews writing 600 years ago were.  you've also made some pretty strong judgments about the spiritual and mental capabilities of any present-day jews who might disagree with your analysis. 

"I have never felt comfortable around people who talk about their feelings for Jesus, or any other deity for that matter, because they are usually none too bright. . . . Or maybe 'stupid' is a better way of saying it; but I have never seen much point in getting heavy with either stupid people or Jesus freaks, just as long as they don't bother me. In a world as weird and cruel as this one we have made for ourselves, I figure anybody who can find peace and personal happiness without ripping off somebody else deserves to be left alone. They will not inherit the earth, but then neither will I. . . . And I have learned to live, as it were, with the idea that I will never find peace and happiness, either. But as long as I know there's a pretty good chance I can get my hands on either one of them every once in a while, I do the best I can between high spots."
--Hunter S. Thompson


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Dragoon wrote:FurryCatHerder

Dragoon wrote:

FurryCatHerder wrote:

It's extremely unlikely that Saul of Tarsus studied anywhere near Rabban Gamaliel.  Most likely, the connection between Paul and Gamaliel is made in order to establish Paul's credentials.

Hi Furry,

On what basis do you question Saul studying under Gamaliel?

Besides there being no record of his doing so, or Gamaliel having "private" students, there are also enough gross inconsistencies in the entire Pauline story to discard it.

For example, Saul was supposedly "authorized" to run around harassing "Christians" and yet all the while the "Jesus Community" in Jerusalem thrived under the leadership of James.  The Sanhedrin itself was situated ON the Temple Mount, a place that "Ya'akov Ha'Tzedik" (James the Just, widely believed to have been Jesus's brother) frequented regularly.

Dragoon wrote:
Making claims that contemporaries could disprove would seem a strange way to establish credentials. There was obviously opposition to Jesus within both the Sanhedrin (giving a person to be crucified does tend to show opposition...) and within the larger Jewish milieu (as evidenced by the references to the attempts to stone Jesus/Yeshua). There would obviously be other students of Gamiliel living, and to falsely claim to have studied under someone would hardly 'establish' credentials.

That's not at all a problem -- first, Gamaliel died ca. 50CE, as I recall.  Secondly, none of the Pauline letters date to that era.  Thirdly, the destruction of the Temple in 70CE didn't exactly make Jerusalem a happy-fun-place to be hanging around.

As regards Jesus's execution by the Romans, it's important to understand that much of the Sanhedrin, as well as the Temple staff (as it were) were either appointed by, or under the control of, Rome.  Judea was not an independent sovereign nation.  Think "Vichy France" -- still French, but run by NAZI sympathizers.  NONE of the Passion Narrative would have been legal under Jewish law.  All four gospels are in complete agreement that the events happened =during= Passover.  Not only would the Sanhedrin NOT have met, but we know from records of that era that it definitely DIDN'T meet.  Crucifixion is not a legal form of punishment under Jewish law.  And the only offense that's recorded accurately enough to be analyzed is NOT a crime -- Jews routinely refer to G-d as "Our Father" (more typically, "Our Father, Our King, Our (lots of other things)" and the Torah contains references to various people as either a "Son of G-d" (including a "Begotten Son of G-d" -- thereby trashing the Christian claim that Jesus is the "only Begotten Son of G-d&quotEye-wink, or "Sons of G-d".

A more likely situation is that Jesus's closest followers were political radicals -- there were two Zealots and one Sicarii (assassin, mercenary) among the twelve -- and that Jesus was executed by Rome as a threat to Roman rule.  They traveled armed, per the Transfiguration account in the gospels.  They were popular with the general public, and unpopular with the Roman-controlled political establishment.  The method of execution is perfectly consistent with Jesus being an anti-Roman rebel and completely inconsistent with anything Jesus is said to have done in any of the Gospel accounts.

We do know historically that there was a major schism between the Jewish community and what was most likely the early Christian church about the time Paul was exerting his greatest influence.  The conflict between the "Jewish Branch" of the "Jesus Movement" and the Pauline "Gentile Branch" arose about 50CE, and my recollection is that the two "branches" irrevocably broke sometime between 55 and 65CE (and for those of you who are following along, Paul supposedly died in 67CE).  It's worth noting that after James and Peter threw Paul out of Jerusalem that Paul didn't go back, so there would have been no opportunity for Paul to have been called out by any contemporaries of Gamaliel.  Indeed, considering that James would have seen (and heard) Gamaliel on an almost daily basis, James' rebuke of Paul =should= be counted as exactly what you're looking for: someone telling Paul he's full of [email protected]

"Obviously I'm convinced of the existence of G-d. I'm equally convinced that Atheists who've led good lives will be in Olam HaBa going "How the heck did I wind up in this place?!?" while Christians who've treated people like dirt will be in some other place asking the exact same question."


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iwbiek wrote:yeah, but

iwbiek wrote:

yeah, but you've been giving some pretty unequivocal answers.  you've told us--quite confidently, considering your willingness to insult those who gainsay you (doesn't sound like a religion at all, does it?)--precisely what the intentions of jews writing 600 years ago were.  you've also made some pretty strong judgments about the spiritual and mental capabilities of any present-day jews who might disagree with your analysis. 

Jews disagree with other Jews.  It's a very Jewish thing to do.

And unlike in your Western binary mentality, it doesn't mean that one side or the other is wrong.  There definitely are "wrong" answers, but there is often far more than one "right" answer.  As I said, two Jews, three opinions.

"Obviously I'm convinced of the existence of G-d. I'm equally convinced that Atheists who've led good lives will be in Olam HaBa going "How the heck did I wind up in this place?!?" while Christians who've treated people like dirt will be in some other place asking the exact same question."


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FurryCatHerder wrote:iwbiek

FurryCatHerder wrote:

iwbiek wrote:

yeah, but you've been giving some pretty unequivocal answers.  you've told us--quite confidently, considering your willingness to insult those who gainsay you (doesn't sound like a religion at all, does it?)--precisely what the intentions of jews writing 600 years ago were.  you've also made some pretty strong judgments about the spiritual and mental capabilities of any present-day jews who might disagree with your analysis. 

Jews disagree with other Jews.  It's a very Jewish thing to do.

And unlike in your Western binary mentality, it doesn't mean that one side or the other is wrong.  There definitely are "wrong" answers, but there is often far more than one "right" answer.  As I said, two Jews, three opinions.

wo-ho-ho, "binary" western!  generalize much?  jews aren't the only ones who don't think "binary."  there are even many people raised christian who don't think "binary": nietzsche, christmas humphreys, and alan watts immediately spring to mind.  look, jews are human beings like everybody else, and jews are no more capable of any type of thinking than any other human being.  regardless of what the dusty old books you claim for yourselves tell you, you're nothing special.  sorry. 

"I have never felt comfortable around people who talk about their feelings for Jesus, or any other deity for that matter, because they are usually none too bright. . . . Or maybe 'stupid' is a better way of saying it; but I have never seen much point in getting heavy with either stupid people or Jesus freaks, just as long as they don't bother me. In a world as weird and cruel as this one we have made for ourselves, I figure anybody who can find peace and personal happiness without ripping off somebody else deserves to be left alone. They will not inherit the earth, but then neither will I. . . . And I have learned to live, as it were, with the idea that I will never find peace and happiness, either. But as long as I know there's a pretty good chance I can get my hands on either one of them every once in a while, I do the best I can between high spots."
--Hunter S. Thompson


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Indeed. I can give 50

Indeed. I can give 50 answers to a question too. I prefer to find the right one, however. And often there is only one answer. Usually when there's more than one, they tie together. Like combination of hypothesis' to form a theory.

Proud Canadian, Enlightened Atheist, Gaming God.


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iwbiek wrote:FurryCatHerder

iwbiek wrote:

FurryCatHerder wrote:

iwbiek wrote:

yeah, but you've been giving some pretty unequivocal answers.  you've told us--quite confidently, considering your willingness to insult those who gainsay you (doesn't sound like a religion at all, does it?)--precisely what the intentions of jews writing 600 years ago were.  you've also made some pretty strong judgments about the spiritual and mental capabilities of any present-day jews who might disagree with your analysis. 

Jews disagree with other Jews.  It's a very Jewish thing to do.

And unlike in your Western binary mentality, it doesn't mean that one side or the other is wrong.  There definitely are "wrong" answers, but there is often far more than one "right" answer.  As I said, two Jews, three opinions.

wo-ho-ho, "binary" western!  generalize much?  jews aren't the only ones who don't think "binary."  there are even many people raised christian who don't think "binary": nietzsche, christmas humphreys, and alan watts immediately spring to mind.  look, jews are human beings like everybody else, and jews are no more capable of any type of thinking than any other human being.  regardless of what the dusty old books you claim for yourselves tell you, you're nothing special.  sorry. 

Slowly and using small words.

People disagree.

I'm a people, so I disagree with other people.

This doesn't mean anyone is bad.  Or wrong.

It's just people disagreeing.

You said I disagreed with some Jews.

You said that was some kind of bad thing.

I said it's a Jewish thing.

Because Jews disagree with other Jews all the time.

Now you want to back pedal and point out that people disagree.

Just like I said people do.

"Obviously I'm convinced of the existence of G-d. I'm equally convinced that Atheists who've led good lives will be in Olam HaBa going "How the heck did I wind up in this place?!?" while Christians who've treated people like dirt will be in some other place asking the exact same question."


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FurryCatHerder wrote:You

FurryCatHerder wrote:

You said I disagreed with some Jews.

You said that was some kind of bad thing.

when did i say it was a bad thing?  precise words please.

YOU on the other hand said that any jew who took lurianic kabbalah literally should be "excommunicated for heresy" and/or given a lesson in "judaism 101."  do you seriously think these wouldn't sound like "bad things" to said jews?  like they would just shrug and say, "hey, you know what, you just insulted me but we're cool.  it's a 'jewish thing.'"

FurryCatHerder wrote:

Just like I said people do.

yeah.  you also basically said that those people who disagree with your particular theological/theogonical views either

1. don't understand judaism (in the case or gentiles)

or

2. should be excommunicated (in the case of jews).

i'm the one saying it doesn't matter.  i mean, an argument about whether fairies are blue or green is immaterial to me, since fairies don't exist.

but i invite other posters to weigh in on which of us has grasped the gist of this conversation correctly.  

"I have never felt comfortable around people who talk about their feelings for Jesus, or any other deity for that matter, because they are usually none too bright. . . . Or maybe 'stupid' is a better way of saying it; but I have never seen much point in getting heavy with either stupid people or Jesus freaks, just as long as they don't bother me. In a world as weird and cruel as this one we have made for ourselves, I figure anybody who can find peace and personal happiness without ripping off somebody else deserves to be left alone. They will not inherit the earth, but then neither will I. . . . And I have learned to live, as it were, with the idea that I will never find peace and happiness, either. But as long as I know there's a pretty good chance I can get my hands on either one of them every once in a while, I do the best I can between high spots."
--Hunter S. Thompson


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What Furry said...

Hello Furry,

I'm afraid I have serious difficulty in how you are treating your sources. You are making rather sweeping negative allegations on very clear Biblical statements… yet you base your allegations on very weak (and sometimes incorrect) supporting evidence. Having strong opinions is great, and I thoroughly enjoy getting to understand the opinions of those that disagree with me... but our views need to treat evidence fairly. If I may, I'd like to go through some of your comments and discuss them.

 

FurryCatHerder wrote:
Dragoon wrote:
On what basis do you question Saul studying under Gamaliel?
FurryCatHerder wrote:
Besides there being no record of his doing so, or Gamaliel having "private" students, there are also enough gross inconsistencies in the entire Pauline story to discard it. For example, Saul was supposedly "authorized" to run around harassing "Christians" and yet all the while the "Jesus Community" in Jerusalem thrived under the leadership of James.

Nowhere that I know of does Saul of Tarsus say he was a ‘private’ student of Gamaliel, and certainly no one here said so. Why do you add that quialifier? Rabban Gamaliel himself certainly had students. Your example of a ‘gross inconsistency’ also seems a little strange in how you're viewing it, but I'll leave that for another thread.

FurryCatHerder wrote:
Dragoon wrote:
Making claims that contemporaries could disprove would seem a strange way to establish credentials. There was obviously opposition to Jesus within both the Sanhedrin (giving a person to be crucified does tend to show opposition...) and within the larger Jewish milieu (as evidenced by the references to the attempts to stone Jesus/Yeshua). There would obviously be other students of Gamiliel living, and to falsely claim to have studied under someone would hardly 'establish' credentials.
FurryCatHerder wrote:
That's not at all a problem -- first, Gamaliel died ca. 50CE, as I recall. Secondly, none of the Pauline letters date to that era. Thirdly, the destruction of the Temple in 70CE didn't exactly make Jerusalem a happy-fun-place to be hanging around.

 

I think you’re missing the point here. Merely because Gamaliel had died, does not mean that his students had died. If Paul had not studied under him, there would be very clear condemnation of Saul of Tarsus for misrepresenting himself in this way. Gamaliel’s son Simeon and other teachers of the day would also be well able to disprove any false claims by Saul/Paul, which they certainly would have had desire to do.

 

Regarding some of your other comments, the Bible is also clear that the Jews did not and could not crucify Jesus.

Pilate said, "Take him yourselves and judge him by your own law."

"But we have no right to execute anyone," the Jews objected (John 18:31)

 

The Jews also sought to imply that Jesus was a threat to Roman authority, as evidenced by Pilate's questions to Jesus about whether he is 'king of the Jews', as well as the sign hung on Jesus, which labelled (or perhaps mocked) him as 'Jesus of Nazareth, king of the Jews' (Iesus Nazarenas Rex Iudaeorum). Thus it was the Romans who crucified Jesus, though under Jewish prompting.

 

I am thus a bit confused why you bring up crucifixion and the reason for Jesus' execution. If I have misunderstood your reasoning here, my apologies and please explain.

FurryCatHerder wrote:
A more likely situation is that Jesus's closest followers were political radicals -- there were two Zealots and one Sicarii (assassin, mercenary) among the twelve -- and that Jesus was executed by Rome as a threat to Roman rule.

You state with great certainty that “two (of Jesus’ followers were Zealots and one Sicarii (assassin, mercenary) among the twelve” It is true that in the book of Luke, Simon Kananaios is referred to as Simon the Zealot. Why do you so quickly accept this statement as fact, even as you deny others? Even if you accept the statement, it MAY also mean that Simon was ‘zealous’ for the things of God, and not necessarily part of the Zealot movement.

 

‘Zelotes’ is used twice in the New Testament to describe people who are fanatical about God or the Law (one of these in reference to Saul of Tarsus), so it is definitely POSSIBLE that the reference to Simon being a ‘zelote’ may refer to his zeal for God or the Law.

“You see, brother, how many thousands there are among the Jews of those who have believed, and they are all zealous for the Law” (Acts 21:11)

 

An even bigger problem is the person who MAY have been a Sicarii; Judas Iscariot.

  • Firstly, it is supposition based upon ‘Iscariot’ as a corruption of ‘sicarii’ that classifies him as one of that group.
  • Secondly, many historians believe the Sicarii only arose around 40+ AD (see John Meier or Raymond Brown) so even if the name meant ‘Sicarii’ it would be in reference to other things than his political affiliation
  • Thirdly, Judas is referred to as the ‘son of Simon Iscariot’ (John 6:71) thus strongly implying that Iscariot does not apply to him but to his father… and thus is likely merely a family name
  • Fourthly, it is also Judas that is considered as the 2nd possible Zealot. While many Zealots may have joined the Sicarii (though Flavius Josephus clearly identifies them as separate groups), you have a basic math problem. You cannot say that there were 2 Zealots and 1 Sicarii among the Twelve in reference to only TWO people. Bad math...

 

Your acceptance of the Zealot/Sicarii argument would thus appear to be based on rather poor grounds.

 

Your comment on the conflict between Saul of Tarsus and James is also interesting, not least because it seems rather vague about the actual conflict. Are you relying on the supposition by others that Paul is creating a 'new' religion in divergence from Jesus? Could you clearly state what you believe this conflict was, and how it weakens Paul as a reliable source?

 

My issue with you is not your viewpoint. We each should stand up for what we believe.

 

My issue is rather that you critique very clear textual sources, yet apply far weaker criteria to the sources you use to support your own views. Merely because someone agrees with our view does not make them 'correct'.

 

Please take your sicarii to my comments as well, and show me where my logic may be flawed Eye-wink I welcome the opportunity to clarify any fuzzy thinking on my part (no pun on your name intended).

 


FurryCatHerder
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iwbiek wrote:FurryCatHerder

iwbiek wrote:

FurryCatHerder wrote:

You said I disagreed with some Jews.

You said that was some kind of bad thing.

when did i say it was a bad thing?  precise words please.

YOU on the other hand said that any jew who took lurianic kabbalah literally should be "excommunicated for heresy" and/or given a lesson in "judaism 101."  do you seriously think these wouldn't sound like "bad things" to said jews?  like they would just shrug and say, "hey, you know what, you just insulted me but we're cool.  it's a 'jewish thing.'"

Considering I've told Chabadniks that they need to stop being Chabadniks because too many of them believe the Rebbe is Moshiach and will come back to life?

Oh, wait -- you're not Jewish.  You wouldn't understand how Jews discuss and debate.

Tell you what -- go study Hillel and Shammai and how their debates and relationship all worked out.

But also -- go study what our sages had to say about Jewish mysticism and underaged goyim studying Jewish mysticism.

You're about to be elevated from "jerk" to "idiot".  You're not likely to make it to "potential rapist and axe murderer" like Kevin, but you're definitely climbing the "people with very poor reading comprehension" ladder.

"Obviously I'm convinced of the existence of G-d. I'm equally convinced that Atheists who've led good lives will be in Olam HaBa going "How the heck did I wind up in this place?!?" while Christians who've treated people like dirt will be in some other place asking the exact same question."


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A scale emerges.

A scale emerges. Elaboration? What's before jerk, and what's directly after idiot? Assuming potential rapist/axe murderer doesn't immediately follow.
Which is something I should comment on. Kevin's an idiot, and a fascist. How then does he have the intellect to become a serial anything? I think he'd do one or two before capture, which is hardly enough to fit the serial moniker.

Not that I think he'd try. I don't believe he's that stupid or insane. If he were, someone'd probably already have had to kill him in defence, or he'd be in prison.

Proud Canadian, Enlightened Atheist, Gaming God.


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Vastet wrote:I don't believe

Vastet wrote:
I don't believe he's that stupid or insane. If he were, someone'd probably already have had to kill him in defence, or he'd be in prison.

A lot of seriously whacked criminals start out tormenting pets.

Like cats.

And women who herd them.

And I'm glad to hear that someone besides me thinks he's an idiot and a fascist.

"Obviously I'm convinced of the existence of G-d. I'm equally convinced that Atheists who've led good lives will be in Olam HaBa going "How the heck did I wind up in this place?!?" while Christians who've treated people like dirt will be in some other place asking the exact same question."


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 Dragoon wrote:#2 Josephus

 

Dragoon wrote:
#2 Josephus doesn't sound like a Jew.

Would Jews that are not christians say "He was the Christ" about Jesus? No where else does Josephus ever indicate being a christian, nor does anyone else.

Dragoon wrote:
#3 Where does this idea that Eusebius fabricates come from?

Eusebius is the first to mention the testimonium. At all. Christian writers between Eusebius and Josephus all fail to mention it, even when it would have been clearly in their best interest to do so (arguing with Jews and whatnot). Best example of this omission is Origen, who definitely knows about the Antiquities of the Jews.


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KSMB wrote: Dragoon

KSMB wrote:

 

Dragoon wrote:
#2 Josephus doesn't sound like a Jew.

Would Jews that are not christians say "He was the Christ" about Jesus? No where else does Josephus ever indicate being a christian, nor does anyone else.

I think there is an improper distinction made in this regard between 'Christian' and 'Jew'. The distinction is a modern one, and I think we often read it back into times when it is anachronistic.

The early followers of Jesus, including of course his 12 disciples, were all Jews, and I think they would argue quite forcefully that they did not cease being Jews by accepting Jesus Christ. Rather, they are affirming that Chrst is the fulfillment of the Law and the Prophets, and that he is the long awaited Messiah/Christ.

In his letters, Paul states that in every town he visits, he first goes to the synagogues. While many Jews did not accept him as the promised Messiah, this was obviously a hotly debated topic at the time.

I think you're definitely right that there is a question with the phrase sometimes translated as 'He was the Christ' (Antiquities of the Jews 18.63) though, and I think the phrase 'He was believed to be the Christ' would be more correct.

In the end though, what we are talking about is possibilities. Josephus MAY not be reliable in regards to Jesus vs. IS not.

Gotta run... answer the 2nd part later Eye-wink


 

 


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KSMB wrote:Dragoon wrote:#3

KSMB wrote:

Dragoon wrote:
#3 Where does this idea that Eusebius fabricates come from?

Eusebius is the first to mention the testimonium. At all. Christian writers between Eusebius and Josephus all fail to mention it, even when it would have been clearly in their best interest to do so (arguing with Jews and whatnot). Best example of this omission is Origen, who definitely knows about the Antiquities of the Jews.

 

Origen doesn't omit Flavius Josephus though.

For in the 18th book of his Antiquities of the Jews, Josephus bears witness to John as having been a Baptist, and as promising purification to those who underwent the rite. Now this writer, although not believing in Jesus as the Christ, in seeking after the cause of the fall of Jerusalem and the destruction of the temple, whereas he ought to have said that the conspiracy against Jesus was the cause of these calamities befalling the people, since they put to death Christ, who was a prophet, says nevertheless--being, although against his will, not far from the truth--that these disasters happened to the Jews as a punishment for the death of James the Just, who was a brother of Jesus (called Christ),--the Jews having put him to death, although he was a man most distinguished for his justice. ("Contra Celsus", Origin, I:XLVII)

 

What is in question is not whether Josephus mentions Jesus, but rather whether the phrase, "He was the Christ" is fully Josephus'. Origen clearly notes that Josephus writes about Jesus.

I think it's a dangerous game to argue things purely from ommision though. It may simply be that other writers did not consider whether Josephus thought Jesus was the Christ was important to the discussions they were having. The key question is not whether any man thinks that Jesus is the Christ, but whether the facts and the evidence support his being the Messiah promised in scripture.

In the big picture, Josephus is useful to show evidence that Jesus was a living historical personage (but there are many other evidences of this), but whether Josephus believed in Christ is beside he point. My accepting Jesus should not affect another person accepting Christ too heavily. In the end, the decision needs to be made based upon the evidence and best judgement of the individual.