Jesus Mythicism

Thor
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Jesus Mythicism

Ok, this is probably the wrong forum, but I'd like to challenge this idea that Jesus didn't exist. Now don't get me wrong, I think thats a possibility, but there is also very strong evidence for Jesus' existence.

For example, Mark contains a lot of information that seems so trivial that it can't have been made up (eg the pillow in The Calming Of The Storm). And not only that, but it contains embarrassing stories that seem unlikely to be made up (eg dieing on a cross, which would be extremely humiliating). I mean, what can a redaction critic really draw from that? He would have been naked on a cross in a busy area.

Theres also the documents backing up the historical Jesus. Going with the 4 source hypothesis, we have Mark plus the hypothetical documents Q, special M, and special L. And even with the two source hypothesis, thats still two document written relatively close to the actual events.

Now, I know that Christianity seems to be copied of the typical mythical religion-making formula. For example, Mithrus died only to be resurrected three days later. However, many of these mythical qualities come straight from what now makes up the OT, and furthermore I don't think Jesus did everything talked about in the Bible so some will be copied directly. But it seems to me like Jesus did physically do some of the things which supposedly happened in a more metaphysical plane in mythical religions of that time.

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Yellow_Number_Five
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Quote:
For example, Mark contains a lot of information that seems so trivial that it can't have been made up (eg the pillow in The Calming Of The Storm).

The Caine Mutiny contains a lot of detailed information about Captain Queeg. Was that hard to make up? What, exactly, makes the Christ story different?

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And not only that, but it contains embarrassing stories that seem unlikely to be made up (eg dieing on a cross, which would be extremely humiliating). I mean, what can a redaction critic really draw from that? He would have been naked on a cross in a busy area.

Christ was required to die as per the story's foreshadowing. Just as Queeg was required to face Court Marshall. It's a redemption theme, old as dust.

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Theres also the documents backing up the historical Jesus.

Not really. There are NO contemporary accounts of Christ's life. People didn't write about him until decades after the fact.

I find it amazing that there was a man who raised the dead, performed miraculous healings, rose from the dead and ascended into heaven - and nobody alive when he walked the earth bothered to write about it. NOBODY.

That is amazing. Wait no, that's un-fucking-believable.

There should be a voluminous record of such a man, not a scant few tidbits written decades after the fact.

For example, we have contemporary accounts of people such as Aristotle, Plato, Alexander the Great, George Washington, Harpalus, Hephaestion, Nicomachus, any number of Caesars, Archimedes, Marcus Claudius Marcellus, etc. In fact, most of these people chronicled their own lives via letters and manuscripts.

Think of the problems that would be solved if Jesus had kept a diary or wrote letters! Then again, Jesus if he existed was probably illiterate, as most of the population was back then.

Kind of strikes me as funny to think of an illiterate God in the flesh. How about you?

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Now, I know that Christianity seems to be copied of the typical mythical religion-making formula. For example, Mithrus died only to be resurrected three days later. However, many of these mythical qualities come straight from what now makes up the OT,

You're making the Jesus myther's point.

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and furthermore I don't think Jesus did everything talked about in the Bible so some will be copied directly. But it seems to me like Jesus did physically do some of the things which supposedly happened in a more metaphysical plane in mythical religions of that time.

WTF? This is a non-sequitur. You claim the man mythic, question the sources, yet maintain he existed and did metaphysical works?

How, exactly, is Jesus different from any of the god-men of his supposed time? How do you distinguish the the true works of Jesus in the Bible from the stuff added for fluff?

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MattShizzle
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Jesus Mythicism

The different books of the Babble even contradict each other - the accounts of the crucifiction and resurrection do not agree. The most widely claimed source outside of the Babble, Josephus, was fabricated.

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Thor
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Jesus Mythicism

Yellow_Number_Five wrote:
The Caine Mutiny contains a lot of detailed information about Captain Queeg. Was that hard to make up? What, exactly, makes the Christ story different?

I don't know the story. Pick a well known example, or give some more details about this mutiny. It seems to me like information about the captain would be crucial to a stereo-typical mutiny story to give motive to the plot.

Yellow_Number_Five wrote:
Christ was required to die as per the story's foreshadowing. Just as Queeg was required to face Court Marshall. It's a redemption theme, old as dust.

The key word here is, embarrassing. There?s plenty of noble deaths for him to pick from, this is not.

Yellow_Number_Five wrote:
Not really. There are NO contemporary accounts of Christ's life. People didn't write about him until decades after the fact.

I find it amazing that there was a man who raised the dead, performed miraculous healings, rose from the dead and ascended into heaven - and nobody alive when he walked the earth bothered to write about it. NOBODY.

We have to bear in mind the oral tradition here. There are other historical figures with far bigger timeliness as well btw (eg Buddha at over 200 years till the first written account). Remember, there were religious preachers just like Jesus on every street corner, and crucifixions were carried out almost every week by the Jewish authorities. I don't think any of these miracles happened, but the crucifixion does seem likely.

Yellow_Number_Five wrote:
Kind of strikes me as funny to think of an illiterate God in the flesh. How about you?

Just to let you know, I'm an atheist, and this is off topic.

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Now, I know that Christianity seems to be copied of the typical mythical religion-making formula. For example, Mithrus died only to be resurrected three days later. However, many of these mythical qualities come straight from what now makes up the OT,

You're making the Jesus myther's point.

Indeed I am, for I like to see both sides of the argument. I think mythicism makes a good case, but its just one of those bizarre situations where theres strong evidence on both sides.

Yellow_Number_Five wrote:
yet maintain he existed and did metaphysical works?

Just the existance part, and I say its probable.

MattShizzle - Your right, they do shamelessly contradict each other, but that just shows us that Matthew, Luke, and John had an evangelists agenda. It doesn't discredit historical credibility of the first gospel (Mark), or the hypothetical Q document (sayings of Jesus). And I am fully aware of the Josephus problem, but I should point out that historians are divided over whether the passage in question has been added completely or sustained minor alterations.

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Rook_Hawkins
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Jesus Mythicism

Alan_RRSdesigner wrote:
Yellow_Number_Five wrote:
The Caine Mutiny contains a lot of detailed information about Captain Queeg. Was that hard to make up? What, exactly, makes the Christ story different?

I don't know the story. Pick a well known example, or give some more details about this mutiny. It seems to me like information about the captain would be crucial to a stereo-typical mutiny story to give motive to the plot.

The entire gospel story of Jesus is no different then that of the Trogan War discribed in The Illiad or the Odyssey. Mainly of the part played by Achilles. Or what of Hercules? Heck, since we're on allegorical literature, what about Moby Dick?

As an author, things that seem trivial add realism to a story or plot. Sherlock Holmes has lots of trivial points, but all add to make it seem more real - in fact some people really think he was a real character. Same goes for King Arthur.

Just because a story seems real doesn't make it so. You want to speculate on the stories realism, when the only thing you have to base it on is itself, and even the stories themselves conflict! They are already invalidated by their own manner, and cannot be any more accurate unless further evidence can be presenting. As it stands, none has.

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Yellow_Number_Five wrote:
Christ was required to die as per the story's foreshadowing. Just as Queeg was required to face Court Marshall. It's a redemption theme, old as dust.

The key word here is, embarrassing. There?s plenty of noble deaths for him to pick from, this is not.

Sure it was. This story was as noble as anything. Sacrifice, especially that of horrible and bloody sacrifices, are so noble they predate the first century by hundreds of years. The greeks portray the battle of Thermopylae as one giant blood-bath for the Spartan soldiers who fought there. Defeat is embarrassing no matter what, but in the end they turned the embarrassment into a sacrifice.

Same with Jesus' story. He went through some embarrassment but kept his dignity...same as the greeks at Thermopylae. And then in the end he continued with his dignity, and won over. There is no difference.

Further, in all the hero-myths that existed during the time of Jesus' supposed life, they all went through some sort of embarrassment. Oedipus slept with his mother for goodness sakes!

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Yellow_Number_Five wrote:
Not really. There are NO contemporary accounts of Christ's life. People didn't write about him until decades after the fact.

I find it amazing that there was a man who raised the dead, performed miraculous healings, rose from the dead and ascended into heaven - and nobody alive when he walked the earth bothered to write about it. NOBODY.

We have to bear in mind the oral tradition here. There are other historical figures with far bigger timeliness as well btw (eg Buddha at over 200 years till the first written account).

Buddha was not a real person... Neither was Lao Tzu. These figures were made up...same as Jesus. Even most buddhists and taoists are well aware of that...

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Remember, there were religious preachers just like Jesus on every street corner, and crucifixions were carried out almost every week by the Jewish authorities.

Um, no. Jewish authorities NEVER ordered a single crucifixion. Crucifixions were a ROMAN punishment for people who commited crimes against ROMAN authorities. Jewish authorities stoned people to death. Get your facts straight please.

This is one of the biggest flaws in the jesus myth, and proves that the people who wrote the gospels were not first or second hand accounts. It also proves that they had very little knowledge of jewish culture and tradition. The fact is, the Sanhedrin meeting on passover eve to accuse a man of blaspheming and then ordering Pilate to kill him for it - these are incredulous factual flaws that should not be present in an accurate or even a semi-accurate accounting of a man who just recently lived...

The Sanhedrin would NEVER meet during passover eve, blaspheming was NOT a law punishable by death during the time of Tiberius and Pilate, and the Roman overseer would NEVER need to get permission from a lowly jewish tribal council (which is what the Romans looked at them as). Period. And, jesus would never have been crucified for it. The entire story is bogus.

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I don't think any of these miracles happened, but the crucifixion does seem likely.

To somebody who is un-studied, sure. You've been bull-shit-fed these lies about "history." A history which didn't exist.

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Now, I know that Christianity seems to be copied of the typical mythical religion-making formula. For example, Mithrus died only to be resurrected three days later. However, many of these mythical qualities come straight from what now makes up the OT,

You're making the Jesus myther's point.

Indeed I am, for I like to see both sides of the argument. I think mythicism makes a good case, but its just one of those bizarre situations where theres strong evidence on both sides.

There is no evidence for the non-myther side. None. If you have some, I would greatly like to hear it. Because I'm pretty schooled on this subject, and not come across anything that could be deemed evidence-worthy.

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Yellow_Number_Five wrote:
yet maintain he existed and did metaphysical works?

Just the existance part, and I say its probable.

Then I say you're wrong.

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MattShizzle - Your right, they do shamelessly contradict each other, but that just shows us that Matthew, Luke, and John had an evangelists agenda. It doesn't discredit historical credibility of the first gospel (Mark),

I would strongly disagree. Mark was not the first gospel ever written. It's just the first synoptic gospel. I suggest you read my time-line of events listed HERE.

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or the hypothetical Q document (sayings of Jesus).

Which doesn't exist. Has no extant reference by anybody during the time, and nobody has ever seen. :roll:

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And I am fully aware of the Josephus problem, but I should point out that historians are divided over whether the passage in question has been added completely or sustained minor alterations.

I'm working on showing the full problem with Josephus as we speak. I expect to have a rather long commentary on it completed in a few weeks time. From what I uncovered, it didn't exist prior to the TF.

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Thor
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Jesus Mythicism

Rook_Hawkins wrote:
Just because a story seems real doesn't make it so. You want to speculate on the stories realism, when the only thing you have to base it on is itself, and even the stories themselves conflict! They are already invalidated by their own manner, and cannot be any more accurate unless further evidence can be presenting.

Literature of that length, with that many authors, some of which hadn't read the other books, is bound to contradict itself. This doesn't immediately discredit the gospels. And what I am doing is more than speculative, it is drawing from the work of the greatest theologians.

Rook_Hawkins wrote:
Sure it was. This story was as noble as anything. Sacrifice, especially that of horrible and bloody sacrifices, are so noble they predate the first century by hundreds of years.

Indeed sacrifice was often noble, but crucifixion was never noble. It was the worst form of humiliation reserved for thieves and murderers.

Defeat in battle is not un-honorable, and neither was incest in many situations.

Rook_Hawkins wrote:
Buddha was not a real person... Neither was Lao Tzu. These figures were made up...same as Jesus. Even most buddhists and taoists are well aware of that...

Really? What makes you so sure. He certainly had been made to seem more God-like (esp. his birth) but I see no reason to conclusively say he didn't exist.

Rook_Hawkins wrote:
Um, no. Jewish authorities NEVER ordered a single crucifixion. Crucifixions were a ROMAN punishment for people who commited crimes against ROMAN authorities. Jewish authorities stoned people to death. Get your facts straight please.

It is in fact you who is wrong. The Jewish authorities were helping the Romans sustain power, and in return the Romans frequently crucified people at the request of the Sanhedrin. What?s your source for it being otherwise?

Rook_Hawkins wrote:
This is one of the biggest flaws in the jesus myth, and proves that the people who wrote the gospels were not first or second hand accounts. It also proves that they had very little knowledge of jewish culture and tradition. The fact is, the Sanhedrin meeting on passover eve to accuse a man of blaspheming

Not passover itself, but remember that Jewish days ended on sun-down. Also, I seem to remember that only one gospel sets it on passover eve. And yes a formal trial with the whole Sanhedrin council wouldn't meet, but a few of them would. Either way, Matthew is indeed very well educated in Jewish tradition, and shows a good knowledge of the OT.

Rook_Hawkins wrote:
blaspheming was NOT a law punishable by death during the time of Tiberius and Pilate, and the Roman overseer would NEVER need to get permission from a lowly jewish tribal council (which is what the Romans looked at them as).

Again I must ask your sources. The Romans could not keep control without the Sanhedrin helping them, and they knew it. And Jesus was a troublemaker for both the Jewish authorities and the Romans anyway. He had said he would destroy the temple.

Rook_Hawkins wrote:
To somebody who is un-studied, sure. You've been bull-shit-fed these lies about "history."

As it happens I am quite well studied. I am taught by three theologians at the moment, at least one of which who has an oxford degree.

A history which didn't exist.

Rook_Hawkins wrote:
Alan wrote:
or the hypothetical Q document (sayings of Jesus).

Which doesn't exist. Has no extant reference by anybody during the time, and nobody has ever seen. :roll:

How do you solve the synoptic problem then? Mark and Luke share a huge amount of sayings of Jesus that are not in Mark, how do you explain this? Do you have a synoptic btw?

Oh, and we have no copies of gospels that date before Mark that I am aware of. Using the most commonly accepted dates, we put Mark at c. 70, Matthew and Luke at 80-90, and John at 100. The next major gospel is Thomas at c. 150.

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Rook_Hawkins
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I hope you'll take this very quick refutation with some salt. I am at work on lunch, I have a half an hour left and none of my notes save the volumes stored in my head somewhere, so bear with me.

Alan_RRSdesigner wrote:
Rook_Hawkins wrote:
Just because a story seems real doesn't make it so. You want to speculate on the stories realism, when the only thing you have to base it on is itself, and even the stories themselves conflict! They are already invalidated by their own manner, and cannot be any more accurate unless further evidence can be presenting.

Literature of that length, with that many authors, some of which hadn't read the other books, is bound to contradict itself.

This isn't just about contradicting itself, it contradicts everything. History, science, philosophy, geography, and chronology. The Bible is a worthless peice of written literature, which I find little value with.

It's like Fellow Robert Price says, "You like comic books, and you say 'Oh, the Green Lantern is fake, Spiderman is fake, the X-Men are fake, but Superman...he's the real deal.' The fact is, they're ALL comic books. Just accept them for what they are." They aren't historical accounts of anything other then the fact that the authors of the books existed. That's about all the verifiable history you'll get out of it.

Yet this is the book you use to prove the existence of Jesus? And you don't find any red flags going off?

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This doesn't immediately discredit the gospels.

When they are being used as historical documents, yes it most certainly does.

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And what I am doing is more than speculative, it is drawing from the work of the greatest theologians.

Um...theologians? What about historians and people who actually know what they are talking about? Theologians are worthless when it comes to studying the history of a time period...they can only give the history of the dogma incoprorated with that time period. Not much else.

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Rook_Hawkins wrote:
Sure it was. This story was as noble as anything. Sacrifice, especially that of horrible and bloody sacrifices, are so noble they predate the first century by hundreds of years.

Indeed sacrifice was often noble, but crucifixion was never noble. It was the worst form of humiliation reserved for thieves and murderers.

This is where your theologians are flawed, thieves were NEVER EVER punished with crucifixion. Ever. The Roman's were not as vile and ruthless as the Gospels would lead you to believe. Stealing and theft was never punishable by crucifixion. The Gospel, again, fails in this historical reguard.

The authors of the gospels were, at first, writing allogorical literature, in which they may have dispised theives so much they wanted them to be crucified...or maybe they carried some internal guilt having once stolen something, but felt they could and should be redeemed. Who knows, but they definitely were not writing a historical account.

And further, at the time, crucifixion was most certainly a noble death to those who were fighting the Romans. It was a form of Martyrdom for the Jews who were fighting internally against the Roman occupation pre-dating the years before the fall of the temple. Josephus talks of 500 people a day being crucified outside the gates of the city and each of these peoples were fighters in the 'resistance' if you will.

Crucifixion was made noble due to the sacrifices of those who stood against the Roman Empire in Galilee. It's that simple. And since the first Gospel was written after the fall of the temple in 70 CE, probably much later, there is no reason why such a sacrifice at that time would not be considered....a sacrifice. In fact it was.

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Defeat in battle is not un-honorable, and neither was incest in many situations.

Non-sequitor.

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Rook_Hawkins wrote:
Um, no. Jewish authorities NEVER ordered a single crucifixion. Crucifixions were a ROMAN punishment for people who commited crimes against ROMAN authorities. Jewish authorities stoned people to death. Get your facts straight please.

It is in fact you who is wrong. The Jewish authorities were helping the Romans sustain power, and in return the Romans frequently crucified people at the request of the Sanhedrin. What?s your source for it being otherwise?

Josephus. Voltaire. Roman Law documentation and rules. What do you have? Perhaps you need to do more research, the Sanhedrin would NEVER have ordered a single crucifixion. That was a purely ROMAN punishment. The Jewish authorities were against the use of Crucifixion, they followed their OWN laws, i.e. they would have stoned somebody to death...not crucified anybody. The Sanhedrin followed their own laws, and did not bother the Roman Courts. In fact, the Roman Courts were ruled with respect and decorum, not at all how the gospels present them. You should stop believing what your theologians teach you and start reading things for yourself.

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Rook_Hawkins wrote:
This is one of the biggest flaws in the jesus myth, and proves that the people who wrote the gospels were not first or second hand accounts. It also proves that they had very little knowledge of jewish culture and tradition. The fact is, the Sanhedrin meeting on passover eve to accuse a man of blaspheming

Not passover itself, but remember that Jewish days ended on sun-down. Also, I seem to remember that only one gospel sets it on passover eve.

Which further proves my point about them being unreliable. Thank you.

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And yes a formal trial with the whole Sanhedrin council wouldn't meet, but a few of them would. Either way, Matthew is indeed very well educated in Jewish tradition, and shows a good knowledge of the OT.

Don't make me rip this apart when I get home. I would suggest you withdraw that statement.

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Rook_Hawkins wrote:
blaspheming was NOT a law punishable by death during the time of Tiberius and Pilate, and the Roman overseer would NEVER need to get permission from a lowly jewish tribal council (which is what the Romans looked at them as).

Again I must ask your sources.

Josephus. Richard carrier. Who do you have?

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The Romans could not keep control without the Sanhedrin helping them, and they knew it.

The Sanhedrin and Roman Courts were two seperate entities. The Roman's only handled cases in which the jewish population commited an act of law breaking against the Roman authorities. I.e. The jew released by the council in stead of Jesus was a known murderer of Romans, this would never have happened. In fact, it just doesn't happen. The Romans would never give back a murderer of Romans for a small unviolent rabble-rouser just because the council says so. The Sanhedrin handled cases that were against the jewish law, and again, even Blasphemy wasn't a crime punishable by death during the time of Tiberius.

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And Jesus was a troublemaker for both the Jewish authorities and the Romans anyway. He had said he would destroy the temple.

Come on, the gospels were written after 70 CE! Long after the temple was destroyed, Mark was writing from events he knew had already happened. Every scholar agrees this to be the case, why haven't you agreed with them too? Are you holding on to something just because you want to be right?

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Thor
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Jesus Mythicism

Rook_Hawkins wrote:
Quote:
This doesn't immediately discredit the gospels.

When they are being used as historical documents, yes it most certainly does.

So they contain errors, exadurations... etc. Just look at Homer, most of it is a bunch of crap but the war still happened.

Rook_Hawkins wrote:
Um...theologians? What about historians and people who actually know what they are talking about? Theologians are worthless when it comes to studying the history of a time period...they can only give the history of the dogma incoprorated with that time period. Not much else.

Actually theology is a very broad field and they try to encorprate history.

Rook_Hawkins wrote:
This is where your theologians are flawed, thieves were NEVER EVER punished with crucifixion. Ever. The Roman's were not as vile and ruthless as the Gospels would lead you to believe. Stealing and theft was never punishable by crucifixion. The Gospel, again, fails in this historical reguard.

Perhaps they were just criminals and Mark & thus Luke had assumed thieves?

Rook_Hawkins wrote:
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It is in fact you who is wrong. The Jewish authorities were helping the Romans sustain power, and in return the Romans frequently crucified people at the request of the Sanhedrin. What?s your source for it being otherwise?

Josephus. Voltaire. Roman Law documentation and rules. What do you have? Perhaps you need to do more research, the Sanhedrin would NEVER have ordered a single crucifixion. That was a purely ROMAN punishment. The Jewish authorities were against the use of Crucifixion, they followed their OWN laws, i.e. they would have stoned somebody to death...not crucified anybody. The Sanhedrin followed their own laws, and did not bother the Roman Courts. In fact, the Roman Courts were ruled with respect and decorum, not at all how the gospels present them. You should stop believing what your theologians teach you and start reading things for yourself.

Can you give me a quote from any of these people?

Rook_Hawkins wrote:
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And yes a formal trial with the whole Sanhedrin council wouldn't meet, but a few of them would. Either way, Matthew is indeed very well educated in Jewish tradition, and shows a good knowledge of the OT.

Don't make me rip this apart when I get home. I would suggest you withdraw that statement.

Which part? And go ahead.

Rook_Hawkins wrote:
Again I must ask your sources.

Josephus. Richard carrier. Who do you have?

Well, Richard Carrier says we should be agnostic on the issue, which I roughly agree with. But again please quote Josephus. Now whatever you say about theologians, one of my teachers gained an oxford degree in theology which must hold some credit. He will be fully aware of the contents of Josephus, and will probably have done quite a few history modules to get his degree. I also have a history teacher who may well out-rank Carrier in his own field anyway.

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Again, I'm writing this on my lunch. So I apologize for the quick responses. I also apologize that it's taken me so long to respond. I am currently working tediously on several projects and essays and the research time involved i usually more then I can give. So I tend to lax out on other matters like replying to posts.

Alan_RRSdesigner wrote:
Rook_Hawkins wrote:
Quote:
This doesn't immediately discredit the gospels.

When they are being used as historical documents, yes it most certainly does.

So they contain errors, exadurations... etc. Just look at Homer, most of it is a bunch of crap but the war still happened.

But it did not happen in any way like Homer discribes. Most of Homer is fiction and mythology. It's why historians don't count Homer as a historian. He's just a writer.

And besides, Homer wasn't claiming perfection or perfect inspiration. So again, the book is invalid as a source. Especially when it's wrong.

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Rook_Hawkins wrote:
Um...theologians? What about historians and people who actually know what they are talking about? Theologians are worthless when it comes to studying the history of a time period...they can only give the history of the dogma incoprorated with that time period. Not much else.

Actually theology is a very broad field and they try to encorprate history.

the?ol?o?gy ( P ) (th-l-j)
n. pl. the?ol?o?gies

1. The study of the nature of God and religious truth; rational inquiry into religious questions.
2. A system or school of opinions concerning God and religious questions: Protestant theology; Jewish theology.
3. A course of specialized religious study usually at a college or seminary.

Theology has nothing or little to do with the study of history. It's about religion and it's dogma, and in most cases the two are never compatable with history. Especially in this circumstance, the theology of Jesus Christ and the history (or lack there of) are absolutely in no way compatable with each other. Not in any form.

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Rook_Hawkins wrote:
This is where your theologians are flawed, thieves were NEVER EVER punished with crucifixion. Ever. The Roman's were not as vile and ruthless as the Gospels would lead you to believe. Stealing and theft was never punishable by crucifixion. The Gospel, again, fails in this historical reguard.

Perhaps they were just criminals and Mark & thus Luke had assumed thieves?

Why would you assume thieves? Why not murderers? You are speculating, and when you speculate anything becomes possible. Save that here, speculation is NOT what we are aiming for, it's facts we require and thus all the speculating in the world will not save this precarious position you stand by.

The facts, in this case, is that Mark and Luke got it wrong. They got it wrong. Not almost wrong, not semi wrong but plain wrong. What they thought or what excuses you can conjure for them are simply irrelevant, especially when you are attempting to make a case for the Bible's authority.

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Rook_Hawkins wrote:
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It is in fact you who is wrong. The Jewish authorities were helping the Romans sustain power, and in return the Romans frequently crucified people at the request of the Sanhedrin. What?s your source for it being otherwise?

Josephus. Voltaire. Roman Law documentation and rules. What do you have? Perhaps you need to do more research, the Sanhedrin would NEVER have ordered a single crucifixion. That was a purely ROMAN punishment. The Jewish authorities were against the use of Crucifixion, they followed their OWN laws, i.e. they would have stoned somebody to death...not crucified anybody. The Sanhedrin followed their own laws, and did not bother the Roman Courts. In fact, the Roman Courts were ruled with respect and decorum, not at all how the gospels present them. You should stop believing what your theologians teach you and start reading things for yourself.

Can you give me a quote from any of these people?

Why don't you just save me the time of searching through the volumes of books I have and just read them for yourself?

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Rook_Hawkins wrote:
Quote:
And yes a formal trial with the whole Sanhedrin council wouldn't meet, but a few of them would. Either way, Matthew is indeed very well educated in Jewish tradition, and shows a good knowledge of the OT.

Don't make me rip this apart when I get home. I would suggest you withdraw that statement.

Which part? And go ahead.

Heh, this will have to wait until I get home.

Quote:
Rook_Hawkins wrote:
Again I must ask your sources.

Josephus. Richard carrier. Who do you have?

Well, Richard Carrier says we should be agnostic on the issue, which I roughly agree with.

Since when did you talk to Richard Carrier? Because I've been in constant contact with him on this very issue, and he's no long agnostic on this issue. In fact, he's quite certain that there probably was no historical Jesus. You will hear him say that on the show with him in it as well. And, you will be able to read it in my essay of Josephus.

Quote:
But again please quote Josephus. Now whatever you say about theologians, one of my teachers gained an oxford degree in theology which must hold some credit.

It just means he's better at speculating away problems with religious dogma then somebody with only a standard degree. It doesn't have anything to do with history. I'll take a historian over a theologian anyday, especially when it was origionally theologians who corrupted history by destroying or burrying the texts of those who disagreed with them to begin with.

Quote:
He will be fully aware of the contents of Josephus, and will probably have done quite a few history modules to get his degree. I also have a history teacher who may well out-rank Carrier in his own field anyway.

I doubt that. But we'll see.

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Jesus Mythicism

Rook_Hawkins wrote:
Why would you assume thieves? Why not murderers? You are speculating, and when you speculate anything becomes possible. Save that here, speculation is NOT what we are aiming for, it's facts we require and thus all the speculating in the world will not save this precarious position you stand by.

The facts, in this case, is that Mark and Luke got it wrong. They got it wrong. Not almost wrong, not semi wrong but plain wrong. What they thought or what excuses you can conjure for them are simply irrelevant, especially when you are attempting to make a case for the Bible's authority.

THe vast majority of history contains speculation at least to some extent. But whats more, you state that it is a fact that Mark AND Luke got it wrong, when in reality it is only a fact that one of them got it wrong. YOu are speculating about the other.

Rook_Hawkins wrote:
Why don't you just save me the time of searching through the volumes of books I have and just read them for yourself?

Well I don't actually have the dedication to do that. But the burden of proof lies on you since you are going against the mainstream historical view. You don't have to proove it, but I'll remain skeptical unless you do.

Rook_Hawkins wrote:
Quote:
And yes a formal trial with the whole Sanhedrin council wouldn't meet, but a few of them would. Either way, Matthew is indeed very well educated in Jewish tradition, and shows a good knowledge of the OT.

...

Heh, this will have to wait until I get home.

Ok...

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Alan_RRSdesigner wrote:
Rook_Hawkins wrote:
Why would you assume thieves? Why not murderers? You are speculating, and when you speculate anything becomes possible. Save that here, speculation is NOT what we are aiming for, it's facts we require and thus all the speculating in the world will not save this precarious position you stand by.

The facts, in this case, is that Mark and Luke got it wrong. They got it wrong. Not almost wrong, not semi wrong but plain wrong. What they thought or what excuses you can conjure for them are simply irrelevant, especially when you are attempting to make a case for the Bible's authority.

THe vast majority of history contains speculation at least to some extent. But whats more, you state that it is a fact that Mark AND Luke got it wrong, when in reality it is only a fact that one of them got it wrong. YOu are speculating about the other.

How can you distinguish the difference and tell who is wrong or right when both accounts conflict so very badly? I say they BOTH got it wrong, becauase they are both relating a LEGEND and adding their own flare to the story. You've got no reference point, save for possibly Mark who saw and "knew" Jesus purely as a metaphysical being whose ordeal took place in a metaphysical and metaphorical realm. Matt and Luke wrote even later than Mark, and the best explanation is that this story is simply classic myth making and the building of a story.

Truth be told, the conflicts between Matt and Luke was one of the very first things that got me questioning the historical nature of Jesus and the faith itself when I was about 14 years old.

I've written on Matt and Luke in the past, enjoy (BTW, this isn't addressed to you personally (though it may as well be), I wrote it a long time ago):

Quote:
One thing that has always puzzled me, and was actually a seed for my deconverstion, is why Matthew and Luke bothered to give a lineage of Jesus through Joseph AT ALL. Not only do Matt and Luke's Davidic descents contradict one another as was already pointed out, BUT THEY ARE GIVING THE PATERNAL LINEAGE OF A CHILD SUPPOSEDLY BORN OF A VIRGIN!

What is the logic in that?

I?ve had it explained to me by apologists that the Messiah had to be a descendent of David, among other things. So Matthew and Mark trace Jesus? lineage, one biological (through Mary) and the other through the legal line (Joseph).

Sorry, I?m not buying it.

I think there is a much more plausible and likely explaination; namely that the virgin birth story was borrowed from Hellenistic religions running around at the time in order to make Christianity more palatable to the Gentiles.

You have to remember that the earliest Christians tried to convert only Jews, and that it was only after the world embarrassingly failed to end as prophesied that Hellenistic Gentiles were also targeted for conversion. Hellenistic Gentiles couldn't have cared less whether Jesus was the Hebrew Messiah, so in order to appeal to the Gentiles, Christianity borrowed elements familiar to them from Hellenistic cults: for example a hero man-god, born of a virgin, worshiped in the crib, who worked miracles, and was destined to die and rise again.....

It is why the story of Jesus and Christianity in general sounds so eerily familiar when compared to other man-gods and religious cults of the past.

The simple fact of the matter is that a virgin birth and a Davidic descent are completely incompatible, incoherent and contradictory.

In the book of Matthew it goes as follows:

1:1 The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.

(a whole list of begats follow)

1:17 So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations; and from David until the carrying away into Babylon are fourteen generations; and from the carrying away into Babylon unto Christ are fourteen generations.

(It is interesting too that Matt says 14 generations, but 1 Chr.3:9-15 says there were 18. Remember that 14 is a significant number.)

1:18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost

So Matt first says Jesus was Joseph's son in 1:1 and then lays the virgin birth on us in 1:18. Sorry, that just doesn't fly.

There are also other scripture that make the same contradiction:

Rom.1:3
"Concerning his son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh."

Heb.2:16
"For verily he [Jesus] took not on him the nature of angels, but he took on him the seed of Abraham."

2 Tim.2:8
"Remember that Jesus Christ of the seed of David ...."

Rev.22:16
"I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David."

Acts 2:30
"Therefore being a prophet [David], and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne."

Hmmmm?..?seed of David?, ?offspring of David?, ?seed of Abraham?, all of these examples clearly state that Jesus is the biological son of Joseph. Only in Matt and Luke does God knock Mary up, and as you can clearly see in Matthew the author simply slams the Davidic descent and the virgin birth together like freight trains and hopes nobody notices.

I?d call that a contradiction, how do you explain it away?

While you are at it, why don't you show us the historical evidence for Matthew's Slaughter of the Innocents and Luke's Roman census that called Joseph and Mary back to Bethlehem in the first place?

I for one find it curious that the two events used to determine the approximate year of the birth of Jesus have no historical evidence whatsoever.

Rook_Hawkins wrote:
Quote:
Why don't you just save me the time of searching through the volumes of books I have and just read them for yourself?

Well I don't actually have the dedication to do that. But the burden of proof lies on you since you are going against the mainstream historical view. You don't have to proove it, but I'll remain skeptical unless you do.

You've a lot to learn about the burden of proof.

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Yellow_Number_Five wrote:
Alan_RRSdesigner wrote:
But the burden of proof lies on you since you are going against the mainstream historical view. You don't have to proove it, but I'll remain skeptical unless you do.

You've a lot to learn about the burden of proof.

Exactly. Alan, holding a minority viewpoint has no bearing on your burden to prove. Your using two logical fallacies in one here bud.

The first is the appeal to popularity:

An argumentum ad populum (Latin: "appeal to the people"Eye-wink, in logic, is a fallacious argument that concludes a proposition to be true because many or all people believe it; it alleges that "If many believe so, it is so." In ethics this argument is stated, "if many find it acceptable, it is acceptable."

This type of argument is known by several names[1], including appeal to belief, appeal to the majority, appeal to the people, argument by consensus, authority of the many, bandwagon fallacy, and tyranny of the majority, and in Latin by the names argumentum ad populum ("appeal to the people"Eye-wink, argumentum ad numerum ("appeal to the number"Eye-wink, and consensus gentium ("agreement of the clans"Eye-wink. It is also the basis of a number of social phenomena, including communal reinforcement and the bandwagon effect, and of the Chinese proverb "three men make a tiger".

The second is actually the burden of proof fallacy:
Reversing the burden of proof is a logical fallacy whereby the normal burden of proof is reversed.

For example, it may be asserted that carrying a rabbit's foot improves luck on the grounds that it cannot be proven that it does not.

This is fallacious for two reasons: first, it requires proof of a negative, and second, it places the burden of proof on the challenger, not the proposer of the idea. Formally, before a claim is made, it should be proven, not asserted until disproven.

In some cases a reversed burden of proof may be appropriate: for example, when an empirical relationship has been observed but the underlying mechanism is unknown, it may be reasonable to infer from the lack of conflicting evidence that the empirically observed relationship is most likely causal. However, according to the scientific method the relationship is not formally proven in this instance, and to assert that it is so until disproven is fallacious.

COMMON RELIGIOUS IDEAS THAT HAVE BEEN PROVEN WRONG BUT WERE ACCEPTED AS REAL FALLACIOUSLY THROUGH APPEALS TO POPULARITY:

THE EARTH IS FLAT
THE SUN REVOLVES AROUND THE EARTH

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Re: Jesus Mythicism

Alan_RRSdesigner wrote:
For example, Mark contains a lot of information that seems so trivial that it can't have been made up (eg the pillow in The Calming Of The Storm). And not only that, but it contains embarrassing stories that seem unlikely to be made up (eg dieing on a cross, which would be extremely humiliating). I mean, what can a redaction critic really draw from that? He would have been naked on a cross in a busy area.

Mark may be consistent with other ancient Greek fictions of the time in that regard, so it can't really be shown as an indication of historicity.

Alan_RRSdesigner wrote:
Now, I know that Christianity seems to be copied of the typical mythical religion-making formula. For example, Mithrus died only to be resurrected three days later.

There is a lot of misinformation about pagan gods that gets copied uncritically from website to website. There is no myth where Mithras dies, so there is no myth where he is resurrected:
http://www.ceisiwrserith.com/mith/whatmithisnt.htm

You'll find that most of the parallels are cr*p, to be honest.

Alan_RRSdesigner wrote:
However, many of these mythical qualities come straight from what now makes up the OT

Yes, I agree, esp in the Gospels. Paul is more influenced by Hellenistic Middle Platonist ideas. The further you get from Paul, the more Hellenized it becomes.

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Jesus Mythicism

Rook_Hawkins wrote:
This is where your theologians are flawed, thieves were NEVER EVER punished with crucifixion. Ever. The Roman's were not as vile and ruthless as the Gospels would lead you to believe. Stealing and theft was never punishable by crucifixion. The Gospel, again, fails in this historical reguard.

"Thieves were NEVER EVER punished with crucifixion. Ever"? I find that an incredible statement to make. Roman authorities had a lot of leeway when it came to those without Roman citizenship. This is from Peter Kirby's article on Internet Infidels:
http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/peter_kirby/tomb/roman.html

An especially grim description of this punishment, meted out to murderers, highwaymen, and other gross offenders, is the following from a didactic poem: "Punished with limbs outstretched, they see the stake as their fate; they are fasted, nailed to it with sharpest spikes, an ugly meal for birds of prey and grim scraps for dogs."

Rook, why do you think that "Thieves were NEVER EVER punished with crucifixion. Ever"? If a Jew in Jerusalem stole from the Roman authorities at tax time, for example, what do you think would have happened to him?

"You can't reason someone out of a position they didn't reason themselves into." -- Author unknown


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Jesus Mythicism

Yellow_Number_Five wrote:
There are NO contemporary accounts of Christ's life. People didn't write about him until decades after the fact.

I find it amazing that there was a man who raised the dead, performed miraculous healings, rose from the dead and ascended into heaven - and nobody alive when he walked the earth bothered to write about it. NOBODY.

That is amazing. Wait no, that's un-fucking-believable.

There should be a voluminous record of such a man, not a scant few tidbits written decades after the fact.


Hi Yellow. The problem with that idea is that no historian would claim such a thing. As you note, there were high illiteracy rates back then. Richard Carrier has said that we have no reason to expect any historical record of a historical Jesus, and that we are lucky to have any records at all from there and then.

Can you find a historian who would support your statements?

Yellow_Number_Five wrote:
Quote:
Now, I know that Christianity seems to be copied of the typical mythical religion-making formula. For example, Mithrus died only to be resurrected three days later. However, many of these mythical qualities come straight from what now makes up the OT

You're making the Jesus myther's point.

Yellow, I'm curious -- do you really believe that there is a myth in the Mithraism of early Christianity that has Mithras die and get resurrected? If so, where do you get it from? If not, wouldn't it be better to correct Alan on this point?

"You can't reason someone out of a position they didn't reason themselves into." -- Author unknown


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gdon wrote:
Yellow_Number_Five wrote:
There are NO contemporary accounts of Christ's life. People didn't write about him until decades after the fact.

I find it amazing that there was a man who raised the dead, performed miraculous healings, rose from the dead and ascended into heaven - and nobody alive when he walked the earth bothered to write about it. NOBODY.

That is amazing. Wait no, that's un-fucking-believable.

There should be a voluminous record of such a man, not a scant few tidbits written decades after the fact.


Hi Yellow. The problem with that idea is that no historian would claim such a thing. As you note, there were high illiteracy rates back then. Richard Carrier has said that we have no reason to expect any historical record of a historical Jesus, and that we are lucky to have any records at all from there and then.

Can you find a historian who would support your statements?

Well look, we need to distinguish between the Jesus who worked miracles and some bum named Yeshua who happened to be an intinerate preacher at the time.

I'm sure there were plenty of preachers by that name at that time. So what. Nobody cares, and if Christianity is based on one of these undescript street preachers; well then quite simply Christianity is based on a laughable sham.

I am however confident that IF the dead rose from thier graves or that water were turned to wine or that every first born male son were put to death as a result of the Son of God coming to earth that SOMEBODY would have recorded it. YOU need to tell me what sort of Jesus you're talking about.

History (and I) really doesn't give a fuck is some dude named Yeshua lived around that time. We DO give a fuck if some dude named Yeshua lived then, performed miracles and rose from the dead.

I need name no particular historian, it is common sense. Extrodinary things get documented. I think Todangst once put it as Jesus rising from the dead and that going unrecorded by eyewitnesses would be akin to the moon exploding and Carl Sagan failing to mention it.

If there were a dude named Jesus or Yeshua or whatever, and he never rose from the dead and that cannot be demonstrated, then so fucking what - thus is the death of Christianity. No resurection = no Christ = Christianity is a sham. Who really gives a fuck is some dude named Jesus happened to live at that time if you haven't the literal CRUX of the point? That is unless you want to use a lame historical Jesus to try to argue for a magical one - is that what you're doing?

Quote:
Yellow_Number_Five wrote:
Quote:
Now, I know that Christianity seems to be copied of the typical mythical religion-making formula. For example, Mithrus died only to be resurrected three days later. However, many of these mythical qualities come straight from what now makes up the OT

You're making the Jesus myther's point.

Yellow, I'm curious -- do you really believe that there is a myth in the Mithraism of early Christianity that has Mithras die and get resurrected? If so, where do you get it from? If not, wouldn't it be better to correct Alan on this point?

When you're honest enough to tell me whether you actually believe in resurrections, I'll let you know. If you don't, well then I fail to see how it matters.

I won't play by double standards here. We will not switch willy-nilly between talking about regular dudes and dudes who were supposedly resurrected. You tell us who Christ was, gdon, tell us where we can verify his existence, and based on that I'll tell you who in history was similar and what significane I'd assign to such a figure.

Yeah, I know that probably seems unfair, but I've talked to dozens of different Christians with dozens of different claims on who Jesus was, what he did and why it matters. I'd like to know what Jesus we're actually talking about here - there are thousands.

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Jesus Mythicism

Yellow_Number_Five wrote:
If there were a dude named Jesus or Yeshua or whatever, and he never rose from the dead and that cannot be demonstrated, then so fucking what - thus is the death of Christianity. No resurection = no Christ = Christianity is a sham. Who really gives a fuck is some dude named Jesus happened to live at that time if you haven't the literal CRUX of the point? That is unless you want to use a lame historical Jesus to try to argue for a magical one - is that what you're doing?

First, let me apologise for my question. I know Christians ask a lot of dumb questions!

No, I'm not arguing for a magical Jesus. I don't think that it is possible at this distance to prove that Jesus performed actual miracles, rose from the dead, etc. I wouldn't argue for such a thing.

Quote:
Yellow_Number_Five wrote:
GDon wrote:
Quote:
Now, I know that Christianity seems to be copied of the typical mythical religion-making formula. For example, Mithrus died only to be resurrected three days later. However, many of these mythical qualities come straight from what now makes up the OT

You're making the Jesus myther's point.

Yellow, I'm curious -- do you really believe that there is a myth in the Mithraism of early Christianity that has Mithras die and get resurrected? If so, where do you get it from? If not, wouldn't it be better to correct Alan on this point?

When you're honest enough to tell me whether you actually believe in resurrections, I'll let you know. If you don't, well then I fail to see how it matters.


Okay. Thanks Yellow.

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gdon wrote:
Yellow_Number_Five wrote:
If there were a dude named Jesus or Yeshua or whatever, and he never rose from the dead and that cannot be demonstrated, then so fucking what - thus is the death of Christianity. No resurection = no Christ = Christianity is a sham. Who really gives a fuck is some dude named Jesus happened to live at that time if you haven't the literal CRUX of the point? That is unless you want to use a lame historical Jesus to try to argue for a magical one - is that what you're doing?

First, let me apologise for my question. I know Christians ask a lot of dumb questions!

No, I'm not arguing for a magical Jesus. I don't think that it is possible at this distance to prove that Jesus performed actual miracles, rose from the dead, etc. I wouldn't argue for such a thing.

Fair enough then. Let's say then that there is a possibility that there was a guy named Yeshua who was a preacher around the year 15 or so. In fact it is amost certain that there was a preacher by that name around then - Yeshua was a common name; I'm sure there were several shopkeepers, sheep herders, thieves, male prostitutes and fish mongers by the same name.

Where my problem arises is in saying that the Bible relates any truth or details about one of these Yeshuas or that any sort of definitive historical evidence indicates such an itinerate preacher founded Christianity through his crucifixition, etc.

Quote:
Quote:
Yellow_Number_Five wrote:
GDon wrote:
Quote:
Now, I know that Christianity seems to be copied of the typical mythical religion-making formula. For example, Mithrus died only to be resurrected three days later. However, many of these mythical qualities come straight from what now makes up the OT

You're making the Jesus myther's point.

Yellow, I'm curious -- do you really believe that there is a myth in the Mithraism of early Christianity that has Mithras die and get resurrected? If so, where do you get it from? If not, wouldn't it be better to correct Alan on this point?

When you're honest enough to tell me whether you actually believe in resurrections, I'll let you know. If you don't, well then I fail to see how it matters.


Okay. Thanks Yellow.

OK then, it appears we understand each other. We've talked on this point in other venues; the baggage involved is obvious. If it were simply a historical question, nobody would care.

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Jesus Mythicism

Yellow_Number_Five wrote:
Where my problem arises is in saying that the Bible relates any truth or details about one of these Yeshuas or that any sort of definitive historical evidence indicates such an itinerate preacher founded Christianity through his crucifixition, etc.

I thought that your problem was with the "magical" Jesus?

If we are talking about a historical Jesus, then I think that the current consensus that there probably was a historical Jesus is a reasonable position based on standard practice of conducting historical research.

Yellow_Number_Five wrote:
OK then, it appears we understand each other. We've talked on this point in other venues; the baggage involved is obvious. If it were simply a historical question, nobody would care.

Well, lots of people care, that's for sure. I know some people are only interested in the Gospel Jesus and a literally true NT -- either dogmatically for or against -- but I don't really care to debate that. I do enjoy debating on topics relating to early Christianity, though, which is why I was astounded at Rook's fairly silly comment about crucifixion "never ever" being done on thieves.

My concern is the correct dissemination of information relating to early Christianity and pagan beliefs, since this is a topic of interest to me. That's why I question comments like yours on Mithraism.

I think that you are locked into a kind of cognitive dissonance. You probably know that a lot of the Jesus Myth claims (e.g. on Mithras) are cr*p, but you won't actually question them yourself, because to do so would be unacceptable to your peers. Just my thoughts. Do you mind if I question your Jesus Myth beliefs a bit? I just want to concentrate on areas that I've researched myself. We can include aspects on the historical Jesus too if you like. If you don't want me to question your beliefs, I'll understand.

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Jesus Mythicism

Sapient wrote:
The first is the appeal to popularity:

I actually dispute that this is a logical fallacy on epistemological grounds - if we are as susceptible as psychologists like to suggest then one of the only ways we can draw logical conclusions is to go for a survey of a huge population, hoping that the climatory nemes would cancel each other out.

That is, however, a discussion for the philosophy forums and getting back on subject I did not commit this informal fallacy anyway. I appealed to a survey of authority rather than appealing to popularity

Sapient wrote:
The second is actually the burden of proof fallacy:
Reversing the burden of proof is a logical fallacy whereby the normal burden of proof is reversed.

I have to confess that I don't really know that much about the burden of proof, but to me it seems logical that the burden of proof should lie on someone who is going against the beliefs of the majority of experts on that subject.

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Quote:
I have to confess that I don't really know that much about the burden of proof, but to me it seems logical that the burden of proof should lie on someone who is going against the beliefs of the majority of experts on that subject.

Doesn't that sound like an appeal to popularity to you?

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Sapient wrote:
Quote:
I have to confess that I don't really know that much about the burden of proof, but to me it seems logical that the burden of proof should lie on someone who is going against the beliefs of the majority of experts on that subject.

Doesn't that sound like an appeal to popularity to you?

You missed "of experts on that subject", and it is therefore an appeal to authority. Most people could disagree with the experts and then the appeal to popularity would directly conflict with the appeal to authority so no, they are different things.

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Jesus Mythicism

Alan_RRSdesigner wrote:
Sapient wrote:
Quote:
I have to confess that I don't really know that much about the burden of proof, but to me it seems logical that the burden of proof should lie on someone who is going against the beliefs of the majority of experts on that subject.

Doesn't that sound like an appeal to popularity to you?

You missed "of experts on that subject", and it is therefore an appeal to authority. Most people could disagree with the experts and then the appeal to popularity would directly conflict with the appeal to authority so no, they are different things.

But you seem to admit it is a logical fallacy, am I right? Appeal to authority. Right?

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gdon wrote:
Yellow_Number_Five wrote:
Where my problem arises is in saying that the Bible relates any truth or details about one of these Yeshuas or that any sort of definitive historical evidence indicates such an itinerate preacher founded Christianity through his crucifixition, etc.

I thought that your problem was with the "magical" Jesus?

If we are talking about a historical Jesus, then I think that the current consensus that there probably was a historical Jesus is a reasonable position based on standard practice of conducting historical research.

Showing me that you've completely missed my point.

Quote:
Yellow_Number_Five wrote:
OK then, it appears we understand each other. We've talked on this point in other venues; the baggage involved is obvious. If it were simply a historical question, nobody would care.

Well, lots of people care, that's for sure. I know some people are only interested in the Gospel Jesus and a literally true NT -- either dogmatically for or against -- but I don't really care to debate that. I do enjoy debating on topics relating to early Christianity, though, which is why I was astounded at Rook's fairly silly comment about crucifixion "never ever" being done on thieves.

Don't lie. Nobody cares if there was a preacher named Yeshua at that time, as I said. What matters is whether we can take the Bible as a factual account on ONE of those Yeshua's lives - we can't. Nobody in their right mind would consider it factual, and if you do, would you mind telling me how you seperate the fact from the fiction? Even regarding possible natural events - what proof is there of the crucifixion? What proof is there of the Slaughter of the Innocents? What proof is there that this man was from where people claimed he was from?

The Bible says all that, and in the next breath says the man raised the dead, rose from the dead, walked on water, turned water to wine, cured diseases....

There's no demarcation line - and as such, there can be no account of the historical Jesus in the Bible if the miracles he supposedly worked are called into question. There can be no foundation for Christianity without those miracles, regardless of whether there was a Jesus in the flesh.

Nobody denies that there may have been a preacher named Yeshua, but I sure as hell don't think the Bible is even remotely the story of any of the multitude of itineate preachers by that name at the time.

Like I said, you need to be very clear on the Jesus you are arguing for.

Was your historical Jesus crucified? Did he have a brother named James? Was he born in Nazareth? When was he born? Where did he travel to? Was he political? How do you know?

You've no basis for an actual person with any details to thier life. You've certainly no basis for a person who founded a religion.

Quote:
Quote:
My concern is the correct dissemination of information relating to early Christianity and pagan beliefs, since this is a topic of interest to me. That's why I question comments like yours on Mithraism.

I think that you are locked into a kind of cognitive dissonance. You probably know that a lot of the Jesus Myth claims (e.g. on Mithras) are cr*p, but you won't actually question them yourself, because to do so would be unacceptable to your peers. Just my thoughts.

Honestly, the Jesus myths and the similarities don't even matter in the end, they are simply extra tinder for the fire. The overwhelming lack of evidence is the main point. Specific evidence to be exact.

Quote:
Do you mind if I question your Jesus Myth beliefs a bit? I just want to concentrate on areas that I've researched myself. We can include aspects on the historical Jesus too if you like. If you don't want me to question your beliefs, I'll understand.

Question away, but you may as well be quizzing a guy who doesn't think a historical Hercules existed. That's the damn point.

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Sapient wrote:
But you seem to admit it is a logical fallacy, am I right? Appeal to authority. Right?

Appeal to authority is certainly not a logical fallacy, but appealing to popularity normally is.

Yellow_Number_Five - you make a very good point over seperating the fiction and facts. I looked at those questions and thought "no he wasn't crucified, the gospel authors show clear signs that they made that up" and "no he wasn't born in Nazareth, that was made up to fulfill propehcies." I thought the claming of the storm story had some historical basis because Mark mentions a trivial item (the pillow) and yet I don't believe he clamed the storm. It is on these grounds therefore that I must conceed you have won the debate, and I will join the ranks of Jesus Mythicism.

Thankyou for dicussing this.

From Alan.

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Alan_RRSdesigner wrote:

Appeal to authority is certainly not a logical fallacy

Yes it is, bud.

http://www.nizkor.org/features/fallacies/appeal-to-authority.html

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

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Alan_RRSdesigner wrote:
Sapient wrote:
Quote:
I have to confess that I don't really know that much about the burden of proof, but to me it seems logical that the burden of proof should lie on someone who is going against the beliefs of the majority of experts on that subject.

Doesn't that sound like an appeal to popularity to you?

You missed "of experts on that subject", and it is therefore an appeal to authority. Most people could disagree with the experts and then the appeal to popularity would directly conflict with the appeal to authority so no, they are different things.

No, it isn't... not necessarily... if you are appealing to the RIGHT authrity (that would mean REAL and QUALIFIED experts on that matter), that's not exactly a logical errand. How else are we supposed to store and discover? If we were to only relate to the things that WE and only WE OURSELVES have discovered, perhaps we would be in the stone-age still...

In order to make the argument more convincing, perhaps the author of the post could clarify the topic by stating which experts he based his logics on ... ?

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Sapient wrote:
Alan_RRSdesigner wrote:

Appeal to authority is certainly not a logical fallacy

Yes it is, bud.

http://www.nizkor.org/features/fallacies/appeal-to-authority.html

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

Philosophers disagree on all but the most basic of logical fallicies that are found in classical logic (and even then a few disagree on the fallacy of excluded middle ground).

All other fallacies are called "informal" and not necessarily true. I think this would have been a fallacy if I had assumed that on its own it proved something completely, and that would be the fallacy of the afirmation of the consequent (I think, although this is normally only used in analogies), but not as a piece of a posteriori evidence.

For example if I said that I evolution is certain because 99% of biologists agree with it, I would be assuming too much, but if I said it was likely to be true because 99% of biologists agree with it, I think that is a fair statement.

Rigor_OMortis, this really is only a side issue anyway as a philosophical issue so there is no point naming the authority I am appealing to.

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er.. um hi guys :smt006
i'm new here... please excuse me for butting in like this...
grossly interesting stuff btw,
here are my simple uneducated views:

1) There prob was a guy called Jesus who might have been mistaken for the son of God. But he was just a guy-this is why i believe this:
2) according to the bible he performed miracles (i am guessing in order to prove his supernaturalosity?)
3) if i were him (el Jesus) i would have told people the earth was round, that it was 5 billion years old, and to watch out for a dumbass from texas. that way, if they wrote these things in the bible, we would know for sure that he was the son of god... but there is nothing in the bible that suggests that it(the bible) is not simply the product of men of the time.
4)considering above possibilities means that the existence of Jesus does not prove the existence of any supernatural force, including God.

so am i right or what? :smt017


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LOL at "watch out for a dumbass from Texas!" Laughing out loud


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the_avenging_bucket wrote:
er.. um hi guys :smt006
i'm new here... please excuse me for butting in like this...
grossly interesting stuff btw,
here are my simple uneducated views:

1) There prob was a guy called Jesus who might have been mistaken for the son of God. But he was just a guy-this is why i believe this:


Most probably... considering that Jesua was actually a Jewish name...
the_avenging_bucket wrote:

2) according to the bible he performed miracles (i am guessing in order to prove his supernaturalosity?)

It does say that he performed miracles, but I don't recall it saying the circumstances in which he performed them (perhaps only vaguely)... We can take stigmatas as "miracles", but we have no recorded evidence of how any stigmata has FIRST occurred.
the_avenging_bucket wrote:

3) if i were him (el Jesus) i would have told people the earth was round, that it was 5 billion years old, and to watch out for a dumbass from texas. that way, if they wrote these things in the bible, we would know for sure that he was the son of god... but there is nothing in the bible that suggests that it(the bible) is not simply the product of men of the time.

The Bible IS the product of men of the time... the Bible that we see now has been pieced together by one of the Ecumenical Synods (perhaps I should be excused for not spelling them correctly, I'm not a native English speaker)... earlier versions did not include some of the Canonicals and John's Apocalypse...
the_avenging_bucket wrote:

4)considering above possibilities means that the existence of Jesus does not prove the existence of any supernatural force, including God.

so am i right or what? :smt017


Well, finally, someone DID place a full-stopat the end of the sentence. Debate theme: Presuming that all facts about the life of Jesus Christ are, in fact, facts, does this prove that God exists? Or does it prove that Jesus knew more than that-day men could understand?

PS: A task for theists, and atheists as well: try to tell me how many apostles Jesus has had, and what were their names. Research all four "common" gospels, see what you find...

PS2: What dumba$$ from Texas ?

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"What dumbass from Texas?"

George W Bush, the President!


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Once I complete my dissertation, I think many opinions on this matter will change, and an end to this debate will finally come.

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If you don't mind, I'd like to ask just one more question - how do mythicists explain Q? Q has never been found in it's orriginal form, but there is substational evidence that it had existed through study of the Bible. Now, why would someone write down the sayings of a non-physical man?

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Alan_RRSdesigner wrote:
Sapient wrote:
Alan_RRSdesigner wrote:

Appeal to authority is certainly not a logical fallacy

Yes it is, bud.

http://www.nizkor.org/features/fallacies/appeal-to-authority.html

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

Philosophers disagree on all but the most basic of logical fallicies that are found in classical logic (and even then a few disagree on the fallacy of excluded middle ground).

All other fallacies are called "informal" and not necessarily true. I think this would have been a fallacy if I had assumed that on its own it proved something completely, and that would be the fallacy of the afirmation of the consequent (I think, although this is normally only used in analogies), but not as a piece of a posteriori evidence.

For example if I said that I evolution is certain because 99% of biologists agree with it, I would be assuming too much, but if I said it was likely to be true because 99% of biologists agree with it, I think that is a fair statement.

Rigor_OMortis, this really is only a side issue anyway as a philosophical issue so there is no point naming the authority I am appealing to.

Heh.. coming into the very tail end of this thread, I think I'm more with Alan_RRSdesigner on this one.

Sapient, as I understand it, an appeal to authority is actually a neutral form of reasoned argument; much of historical research relies on authorities who are in much better position than we to recount the details of an event removed from our own experience. However, it is a method that can be misused, and when that happens, you'll find the literature will add "inappropriate appeal to", or "Misuse of" as a caveat to the phrase.

If you scroll down a little further down the second link you provided, the wiki article gives several conditions for legitimate arguments from authority.

EDIT: Edited for clarity. 24 Jun


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Yellow_Number_Five wrote:
gdon wrote:
Yellow_Number_Five wrote:
OK then, it appears we understand each other. We've talked on this point in other venues; the baggage involved is obvious. If it were simply a historical question, nobody would care.

Well, lots of people care, that's for sure. I know some people are only interested in the Gospel Jesus and a literally true NT -- either dogmatically for or against -- but I don't really care to debate that. I do enjoy debating on topics relating to early Christianity, though, which is why I was astounded at Rook's fairly silly comment about crucifixion "never ever" being done on thieves.

Don't lie.


Heh? "Don't lie"? Calm down, dude. Can you point out the lie, please? If it is there, I will sincerely apologise.

Yellow_Number_Five wrote:
Nobody cares if there was a preacher named Yeshua at that time, as I said.

Since I've been in quite a few debates that discuss whether a historical Jesus existed or not, I can tell you that quite a few people care. Shall I point out some mythicist websites that say there was no historical Jesus at the centre of Christianity?

I don't care to debate the Gospel Jesus (e.g. all-singing, all-dancing Son of God), since I don't think there is evidence to support that. I DO think there is evidence for a historical Jesus.

Yellow_Number_Five wrote:
Nobody denies that there may have been a preacher named Yeshua, but I sure as hell don't think the Bible is even remotely the story of any of the multitude of itineate preachers by that name at the time.

"Nobody denies that there may have been a preacher named Yeshua"? Isn't that the whole point of mythicism? Does Earl Doherty, Richard Carrier, Acharya S, Freke and Gandy, etc, believe that there may have been a preacher named Yeshua at the centre of Christianity? AFAIK, they don't.

Yellow_Number_Five wrote:
Like I said, you need to be very clear on the Jesus you are arguing for.

Was your historical Jesus crucified? Did he have a brother named James? Was he born in Nazareth? When was he born? Where did he travel to? Was he political? How do you know?

You've no basis for an actual person with any details to thier life. You've certainly no basis for a person who founded a religion.


I think that there is evidence for some of those details. This is taken from another board:

Jesus was born of a woman (Gal 4:4); that he was born as a Jew (Gal 4:4); that he had brothers (1 Cor 9:5), one of whom was named James (Gal 1:19, corroborated by Mark 6:3, and by Josephus Antiquities 20.9.1, who adds that he was thought by some people to be the messiah); that he ministered among the Jews (Rom 15:7); that he had twelve disciples (1 Cor 15:5); that he instituted the Lord?s Supper (1 Cor 11:23-25); that he was handed over to the authorities (1 Cor 11:23); and that he was crucified (1 Cor 2:2, corroborated by Tacitus who says, ?executed by Pontius Pilate under Tiberius? per Tacitus Annals 15.44).

Of course, mythicists dispute most (if not all) of the above. But you'll notice that none of the above refers to supernatural elements. And they are also generally supported by non-Chrisitian scholars as well. As secular scholar Lowder says:
http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/jeff_lowder/indconf.html
"I think that the New Testament does provide prima facie evidence for the historicity of Jesus. It is clear, then, that if we are going to apply to the New Testament "the same sort of criteria as we should apply to other ancient writings containing historical material," we should not require independent confirmation of the New Testament's claim that Jesus existed."

Peter Kirby, one of the co-founders of Internet Infidels, wrote on the question of James:
http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/testimonium.html
"But assuming that at least the shorter reference is authentic, what can we conclude from this? It shows that Josephus accepted the historicity of Jesus. Simply by the standard practice of conducting history, a comment from Josephus about a fact of the first century constitutes prima facie evidence for that fact. It ought to be accepted as history unless there is good reason for disputing the fact."

Why not invite secular scholars who believe that there was a historical Jesus onto your radio program? Personally, I think they will consider you guys as kooks holding onto fringe ideas, but it would make for a great radio program.

Yellow_Number_Five wrote:
Honestly, the Jesus myths and the similarities don't even matter in the end, they are simply extra tinder for the fire. The overwhelming lack of evidence is the main point. Specific evidence to be exact.

Yes, I agree that evidence is the main thing. That's why the current consensus that there probably was a historical Jesus is a reasonable position based on standard practice of conducting historical research.

You know, we should encourage Jesus Mythicists to publish in peer-reviewed publications. Currently they haven't even tried. Unless they start engaging academia, mythicism will always be a fringe theory.

Why don't you invite secular scholars who think there was a historical Jesus onto your radio program, and bring up questions about mythicism? Do it over a period of weeks, and invite Price on as well. I'm sure a lot of people would be interested in the result. Heck, even I would subscribe to such a series of programs.

"You can't reason someone out of a position they didn't reason themselves into." -- Author unknown


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Alan_RRSdesigner wrote:
If you don't mind, I'd like to ask just one more question - how do mythicists explain Q? Q has never been found in it's orriginal form, but there is substational evidence that it had existed through study of the Bible. Now, why would someone write down the sayings of a non-physical man?

Most scholars believe that few of the sayings/parables, etc, in the Gospels were actually said by Jesus. From memory, the Jesus Seminar thinks that only about 30% can be traced back to a historical Jesus at the centre of Christianity. And if 70% are spurious, it isn't too much of a stretch to see 100% as spurious.

Some sayings may have come from visions about the Risen Christ, others put in later as propaganda (rival factions trying to co-opt the Founder -- the same almost certainly happened to Paul's writings also, e.g. those letters in the NT ascribed to Paul but were written after his death). So I don't think Q can be considered as slam-dunk evidence for historicity. It is evidence for an early tradition of a "wisdom Teacher", but that is about all.

"You can't reason someone out of a position they didn't reason themselves into." -- Author unknown


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gdon wrote:
Yellow_Number_Five wrote:
gdon wrote:
Yellow_Number_Five wrote:
OK then, it appears we understand each other. We've talked on this point in other venues; the baggage involved is obvious. If it were simply a historical question, nobody would care.

Well, lots of people care, that's for sure. I know some people are only interested in the Gospel Jesus and a literally true NT -- either dogmatically for or against -- but I don't really care to debate that. I do enjoy debating on topics relating to early Christianity, though, which is why I was astounded at Rook's fairly silly comment about crucifixion "never ever" being done on thieves.

Don't lie.


Heh? "Don't lie"? Calm down, dude. Can you point out the lie, please? If it is there, I will sincerely apologise.

I mean don't lie by claiming "....but I don't really care to debate that."

Give me a break. The amount of time you've put into this thread and numerous threads on infidelguy.com is proof positive that you DO care about the subject and DO care to debate it. There's no shame in admitting you care.

Quote:
Yellow_Number_Five wrote:
Nobody cares if there was a preacher named Yeshua at that time, as I said.

Since I've been in quite a few debates that discuss whether a historical Jesus existed or not, I can tell you that quite a few people care. Shall I point out some mythicist websites that say there was no historical Jesus at the centre of Christianity?

I don't care to debate the Gospel Jesus (e.g. all-singing, all-dancing Son of God), since I don't think there is evidence to support that. I DO think there is evidence for a historical Jesus.

Why do you spend so much time defending an insignificant person then?

Quote:
Yellow_Number_Five wrote:
Nobody denies that there may have been a preacher named Yeshua, but I sure as hell don't think the Bible is even remotely the story of any of the multitude of itineate preachers by that name at the time.

"Nobody denies that there may have been a preacher named Yeshua"? Isn't that the whole point of mythicism?

No, not at all.

Quote:
Does Earl Doherty, Richard Carrier, Acharya S, Freke and Gandy, etc, believe that there may have been a preacher named Yeshua at the centre of Christianity? AFAIK, they don't.

I doubt they'll deny the possibility that a man existed. What they WILL (and I will) take issue with is that the Bible reflects any such man's or a specific man's life. Like I said earlier, there probably was a preacher named Yeshua, and there probably was a merchant and bricklayer and male prostitute by the same name. Yeshua was the equivalent of "Joe" in Galilee.

Quote:
Yellow_Number_Five wrote:
Like I said, you need to be very clear on the Jesus you are arguing for.

Was your historical Jesus crucified? Did he have a brother named James? Was he born in Nazareth? When was he born? Where did he travel to? Was he political? How do you know?

You've no basis for an actual person with any details to thier life. You've certainly no basis for a person who founded a religion.


I think that there is evidence for some of those details. This is taken from another board:

Jesus was born of a woman (Gal 4:4); that he was born as a Jew (Gal 4:4); that he had brothers (1 Cor 9:5), one of whom was named James

The equivalent of saying there was a man named Joe, born of a woman who was a Jew who had a brother named Jim in this day and age.

(

Quote:
Gal 1:19, corroborated by Mark 6:3, and by Josephus Antiquities 20.9.1, who adds that he was thought by some people to be the messiah); that he ministered among the Jews (Rom 15:7); that he had twelve disciples (1 Cor 15:5); that he instituted the Lord?s Supper (1 Cor 11:23-25); that he was handed over to the authorities (1 Cor 11:23); and that he was crucified (1 Cor 2:2, corroborated by Tacitus who says, ?executed by Pontius Pilate under Tiberius? per Tacitus Annals 15.44).

On the issues of crucifixion of any specific man, I will disagree. There is no compelling evidence for that - though I'm sure more than one man named Yeshua met that fate.

Quote:
Of course, mythicists dispute most (if not all) of the above. But you'll notice that none of the above refers to supernatural elements. And they are also generally supported by non-Chrisitian scholars as well.

This is beside the point. The fact that such ridiculous claims are made throw the entire story into doubt, and once you remove such claims, the story becomes insignificant.

Quote:
Why not invite secular scholars who believe that there was a historical Jesus onto your radio program? Personally, I think they will consider you guys as kooks holding onto fringe ideas, but it would make for a great radio program.

I'd have no objection at all to having them on the show.

Quote:
Yellow_Number_Five wrote:
Honestly, the Jesus myths and the similarities don't even matter in the end, they are simply extra tinder for the fire. The overwhelming lack of evidence is the main point. Specific evidence to be exact.

Yes, I agree that evidence is the main thing. That's why the current consensus that there probably was a historical Jesus is a reasonable position based on standard practice of conducting historical research.

Already addressed.

Quote:
You know, we should encourage Jesus Mythicists to publish in peer-reviewed publications. Currently they haven't even tried. Unless they start engaging academia, mythicism will always be a fringe theory.

Well, our own Rook Hawkins is working on such a dissertation as we speak, you may also wish to talk to people like Robert Price, Luigi Cascioli, Dennis McKenzie to name a few.

Quote:
Why don't you invite secular scholars who think there was a historical Jesus onto your radio program, and bring up questions about mythicism? Do it over a period of weeks, and invite Price on as well. I'm sure a lot of people would be interested in the result. Heck, even I would subscribe to such a series of programs.

You do bring up a very cool idea for a show or two, I'm sure sapient and Rook would agree. I'm all for it, it sounds like fun.

I am against religion because it teaches us to be satisfied with not understanding the world. - Richard Dawkins

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gdon
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Yellow_Number_Five wrote:
gdon wrote:
Yellow_Number_Five wrote:
gdon wrote:
Yellow_Number_Five wrote:
OK then, it appears we understand each other. We've talked on this point in other venues; the baggage involved is obvious. If it were simply a historical question, nobody would care.

Well, lots of people care, that's for sure. I know some people are only interested in the Gospel Jesus and a literally true NT -- either dogmatically for or against -- but I don't really care to debate that. I do enjoy debating on topics relating to early Christianity, though, which is why I was astounded at Rook's fairly silly comment about crucifixion "never ever" being done on thieves.

Don't lie.


Heh? "Don't lie"? Calm down, dude. Can you point out the lie, please? If it is there, I will sincerely apologise.

I mean don't lie by claiming "....but I don't really care to debate that."

Give me a break. The amount of time you've put into this thread and numerous threads on infidelguy.com is proof positive that you DO care about the subject and DO care to debate it. There's no shame in admitting you care.


As I said, I don't care about debating about the Gospel Jesus. I do care to argue about the historical Jesus and topics relating to early Christianity. It's such a fascinating topic, for me at least! I apologise if I sound like I'm lying about this, though.

Yellow_Number_Five wrote:
Quote:
Yellow_Number_Five wrote:
Nobody cares if there was a preacher named Yeshua at that time, as I said.

Since I've been in quite a few debates that discuss whether a historical Jesus existed or not, I can tell you that quite a few people care. Shall I point out some mythicist websites that say there was no historical Jesus at the centre of Christianity?

I don't care to debate the Gospel Jesus (e.g. all-singing, all-dancing Son of God), since I don't think there is evidence to support that. I DO think there is evidence for a historical Jesus.

Why do you spend so much time defending an insignificant person then?


I just don't see the historical Jesus as insignificant, I'm afraid. But I think we can agree to disagree here.

Yellow_Number_Five wrote:
Quote:
Why don't you invite secular scholars who think there was a historical Jesus onto your radio program, and bring up questions about mythicism? Do it over a period of weeks, and invite Price on as well. I'm sure a lot of people would be interested in the result. Heck, even I would subscribe to such a series of programs.

You do bring up a very cool idea for a show or two, I'm sure sapient and Rook would agree. I'm all for it, it sounds like fun.

Cool! Thanks Yellow_Number_Five for your time.

"You can't reason someone out of a position they didn't reason themselves into." -- Author unknown


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OK, so, what was the point of this again ?


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Rigor_OMortis wrote:
OK, so, what was the point of this again ?

IMO, showing a false dichotomy that seems impossible to argue through: either Gospel Jesus, or myth. I reject both, which makes it hard to post on most boards Sad Too many people here swallow any rubbish that gets served up. I'm shocked to find Yellow_No_5 among that group.

Hey, no thieves were ever crucified! Never, ever! An atheist said it. Must be true.

This atheist said it best:
http://www.aracnet.com/~dcf/irnew/archives/001479.html

I detest the puerile effusions of all village atheists. "Me so smart! Believers so dumb! Me so brave! Believers moral cowards needing crutches!" Well, I'd say you a leetle bit smarter than the fathead fundies who apparently inhabit the intellectual stratum into which your natural gifts have delivered you, is my usual mental response...

And often sailing along with the above is the truly thickheaded implication - particularly thickheaded coming from people who lay claim to a materialist, and therefore necessarily biologically based view of man - that if human beings gave up their irrational belief in God, human nature would be miraculously redeemed and human beings would stop doing the terrible things we've always done. Would it were so. Oh twentieth century.

And, as this atheist said:
http://www.samefacts.com/archives/spirituality_and_religion_/2005/06/the_chastity_of_the_mind.php

I find dogmatic atheism harder to parse. The notion that religious people, as such, are enemies of humankind seems to me at least as silly as the analogous notion about atheists. And if you're an atheist, you don't even have the bad excuse that God told you to believe it.

"You can't reason someone out of a position they didn't reason themselves into." -- Author unknown


GrimJesta
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Jesus Mythicism

Alan_RRSdesigner wrote:

Yellow_Number_Five wrote:
Christ was required to die as per the story's foreshadowing. Just as Queeg was required to face Court Marshall. It's a redemption theme, old as dust.

The key word here is, embarrassing. There?s plenty of noble deaths for him to pick from, this is not.

Christianity focuses on humility as a Virtue. Why would Jesus die a noble death if he's supposed to be humble? The embarrasing death is part of the moral of the story, that even the Son of God knows humility.

Alan_RRSdesigner wrote:

Indeed sacrifice was often noble, but crucifixion was never noble. It was the worst form of humiliation reserved for thieves and murderers.

Defeat in battle is not un-honorable, and neither was incest in many situations.

Proving my point. Smiling

gdon wrote:

No, I'm not arguing for a magical Jesus. I don't think that it is possible at this distance to prove that Jesus performed actual miracles, rose from the dead, etc. I wouldn't argue for such a thing.

I'm arguing against both.

Josephus was born in what? Around 40 CE? So even if he wrote his accounts at age 15 he still couldn't have been an eye-witness. The Gospels aren't eye-witness accounts. The Rabbis didn't make note of any Jesus guy performing miracles (The Talmud notes two Jesuses': Jesus ben Pandira and Jesus ben Stada, neither of which are Jesus of Nazz.). So no contemporary non-Christians ever made note that some guy rose from the dead? Or made others rise from the dead (Matthew has some serious events go down that people would have noticed)!?! Or any of these other crazy miracles? But if the magical Jesus didn't exist, then the historical one must not have been very noteworthy- hardly worthy of a whole religion and institution.

I'm also skeptical of Josephus' claims being accurate: if he really witnessed these things, why wasn't he convinced? Wouldn't you be blown away and drop to your knees if you saw the Resurrection?

gdon wrote:

My concern is the correct dissemination of information relating to early Christianity and pagan beliefs, since this is a topic of interest to me. That's why I question comments like yours on Mithraism.

I think that you are locked into a kind of cognitive dissonance. You probably know that a lot of the Jesus Myth claims (e.g. on Mithras) are cr*p...

From what I understand, it's the other way around: the Roman Mithras was probably influenced by the Old Testament. The earliest record we have of Mithras (the Roman version) is the 1st century AD (if naything, it isn't clear who borrowed from whom). The other Mithras (Babylonian was it?) had nothing in common with Jesus or the Roman Mithras, and there's no link besides the name.

gdon wrote:
And if you're an atheist, you don't even have the bad excuse that God told you to believe it.

LOL.

-=Grim=-

No Nyarlathotep, Know Peace.
Know Nyarlathotep, No Peace.