Outside of Biblical Context

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Outside of Biblical Context

So, first off I will state was is about to become obvious. I am a Christian. To all atheists who are willing to read this, I will submit to you proof that Jesus lived, died, and was resurrected. Now, you are entitled to ask questions, argue, or whatever. Do not think that I am some one who is closed to what you have to say. So, here it is:

The Scholarly Proof
Many atheists reject writing of apologists and say that Jesus never lived because of lack of records that he did. Flavius Josephus published a history of the Jews in twenty books around 93 A.D. Josephus was not Christian, and he did not even refers to Jesus miracles as miracles, but rather "astonishing works". Also, Josephus did not refer to Jesus as the son of God as Christians do/did, rather he called Jesus "a wise man."
Josephus wrote "Now there was about this time Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call him a man, for he was a doer of wonderful works, a teacher of such men as receive the truth with pleasure. He drew over to him both many of the Jews, and many of the Gentiles. He was the Christ; and when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men amongst us, had condemned him to the cross, those that loved him at the first did not forsake him, for he appeared to them alive again the third day, as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning him; and the tribe of Christians, so named from him, are not extinct to this day."
Another historian I will quote actually became a Christian. He was a normal doctor and historian. He had a great medical practice in Greece and was probably one of the smartest men of his time, however he doesn't get much recognition for his works and medical discoveries because he wrote two books that cause controversy today. The Gospel According to Luke, and The Book of Acts. This doctor/historian dumped his medical practice to follow Paul. He also got together the best account of Jesus’ life that is available. Now, I said I would keep this out of Biblical context, but by no means did Luke intend for his works to be in the Bible, he wrote them from a historians perspective.
Now, to only quote historians that say how great Jesus was is wrong. And, since the purpose of this part is to prove he lived I will quote two people who were, I guess you could say, critics of Jesus. The Talmud said "Jesus the Nazarene practiced magic and led Israel astray." And, a historian by the name of Celsus said this "Jesus had come from a village in Judea, and was the son of a poor Jewess who gained her living by the work of her own hands. His mother had been turned out of doors by her husband, who was a carpenter by trade, on being convicted of adultery [with a soldier named Panthéra (i.32)]. Being thus driven away by her husband, and wandering about in disgrace, she gave birth to Jesus, a bastard. Jesus, on account of his poverty, was hired out to go to Egypt. While there he acquired certain (magical) powers which Egyptians pride themselves on possessing. He returned home highly elated at possessing these powers, and on the strength of them gave himself out to be a god." I do believe it is safe to post those, unless any of you believe that Jesus actually studied magic and could literally charm people back to life. Because remember, they are not debating his existence or his miracles, rather his mode of performing those miracles. So they DO maintain that Jesus lived.

There is Part 1 of Jesus Lived, Died, and Was Resurrected. Part 2 will be posted most likely tomorrow. So, for now, please review this and think on it carefully. Are you convinced that Jesus lived? I will touch on death and resurrection later, just for now focus on his life. Do you believe he lived or do you debate this?

My Master has no desire to be merely victor in a debate: he did not come into the world to fight a battle of logic just
for the sake of winning it. --Charles Spurgeon


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Never mind this or the next

Never mind this or the next post I made. I got the problem fixed.


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Forget these two comments

Forget these two comments are here. I had a problem with my original post not having paragraph breaks, but I fixed it.

My Master has no desire to be merely victor in a debate: he did not come into the world to fight a battle of logic just
for the sake of winning it. --Charles Spurgeon


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First off, anything in the

First off, anything in the BuyBull is suspect because we don't know who actually wrote any of the books. Second, if you read much around here you'd know what was written in Josephus about Jesus was a forgery. I am not at all convinced he ever existed.

Look how many older stories are similar:

http://www.atheistfellowship.com/aa3/03.html

check out this video from 2 of the "bigwigs" on this site for more information than I could possibly remember:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9lnFobYlsF4

 

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kingneb
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***yawn*** similarities

***yawn***

similarities with myths implies non-existence? irrational.

Your bigwigs assume late dates and beg the question. Furthermore, rookie's first argument was an argument from silence.

nothing rational about his response. 

 

 

 


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Why Josephus is clearly not

Why Josephus is clearly not an independent historical corroboration of the existence of "Jesus"

Josephus (37-100 AD) .

Josephus was not a contemporary and could not have been a first hand eyewitness of "Jesus", however, as a Jewish historian who focused on Jewish history and religion, he would have been greatly interested in the appearance of the Jewish Messiah. Josephus wrote The Antiquities of the Jews, See his works here: http://reluctant-messenger.com/josephus.htm

This is a work that focused on Jewish history from "Adam" to Josephus' time. Yet, while Josephus devotes a good deal of time and space to 'John the Baptist' (Note, the claim that he actually writes about John the Baptist is controversial) and other historical figures mentioned in the Gospels (He gives a detailed account of Pontius Pilate in The Jewish Wars, http://www.inu.net/skeptic/gospels.html) he does not appear to have actually written anything at all concerning the life of Jesus the Christ! This is 'damning' considering that we would expect that the appearance of the Jewish Messiah ought to have dominated a work dedicated to Jewish history.

Furthermore, Josephus was interested both in the concept of resurrection, as well as in the histories of various Jewish sects which a real Jesus would have either 1) been a member of or 2) have had substantial discourse with. How could a man with these experiences, and with these interests, not have dedicated volumes to "Jesus" if there were any reason to believe such a messiah existed?

Josephus writes:

"When I was sixteen years old, I decided to get experience with the various sects that are among us. These are three: as we have said many times, the first, that of the Pharisees, the second that of the Saduccees, the third, that of the Essenes. For I thought that in this way I would choose best, if I carefully examined them all. Therefore, submitting myself to strict training, I passed through the three groups."(Life, 1.2, 10-11)

Now we have a man with a keen historical interest in Judaism, combing this interest with a wealth of first hand experience concerning the very groups Jesus would have been numbered amongst, who doesn't mention a word about Jesus! Josephus is also known to have recorded the term in office of Joseph, son of Caiaphas, the very same Caiaphas whom the Gospels claim organized the plot to kill Jesus. Yet nothing in his report on Caiaphas alludes to such an event.

For this very reason, the claim that Josephus never mentions a Jesus the Christ was a concern for early Christians. Therefore, it is no surprise that a later interpolation of a reference to Jesus the Christ appears in the Antiquities. The infamous "Testimonium Flavium" appears to have been inserted into the Antiquities about the time of the 4th century. A key proof for this comes from the fact that while early Christians cited Josephus, none of them ever cited the Testimonium, even in situations where they were striving to provide historical proof for Jesus (i.e. in debates with Jewish scholars):

* Justin Martyr (circa C.E. 100-165) never once quoted the passage -- even in the face of charges that Christians had "invented some sort of Christ for themselves" and that they had accepted "a futile rumor" (Dialogue with Trypho 8; circa C.E. 135).


* Clement of Alexandria (ca. 192) - familiar with the works of Josephus


* Tertullian (ca. 193) - familiar with the works of Josephus


* Origen (circa C.E. 185-254), who in his own writings relies extensively upon the works of Josephus, does not mention this passage or any other passage in Josephus that mentions Christ. Not even when he is in dialogue against Celsus' accusations!


* Jerome (circa C.E. 347-420) cites Josephus 90 times, but never once cites the Testimonium.
(citation: Lost and Hostile Gospels, Rev. Sabine Baring-Gould)

Logic itself tells us that had Josephus written the Testimonium, he would have written more than 3 lines concerning the existence of the Jewish Messiah in a book dedicated to Jewish History! Remsberg writes:

"Its brevity disproves its authenticity. Josephus' work is voluminous and exhaustive. It comprises twenty books. Whole pages are devoted to petty robbers and obscure seditious leaders. Nearly fourty chapters are devoted to the life of a single king. Yet this remarkable being, the greatest product of his race, a being of whom the prophets foretold ten thousand wonderful things, a being greater than any earthly king, is dismissed with a dozen lines."

-- The Christ, by John E. Remsburg, reprinted by Prometheus Books, New York, 1994, pages 171-3.

It's brevity in fact points to interpolation:

Richard Carrier writes:

"An expert on manuscripts would know the problem here: scrolls have a fixed length. Each book of a work usually had to be no larger than would fit on one scroll, and certainly it was problematic for a copyist to break the pattern and use more scrolls than his source text (it would throw off everything, and make consulting the work a nightmare for any reader). This fact argues in favor of interpolation. If the material came from Josephus, he could have written more about such a topic (surely, since as we now have it, it is a marvelous digression indeed to warrant so slight a coverage), and just ended the whole book sooner, thus creating no problem. But if the material was added by a later editor, there would have been very little space to work with: so the addition had to be short, short enough to prevent the whole book from exceeding a standard scroll's length. (The interpolation was perhaps made by the 4th century Christian librarian Eusebius: see Kirby's "The Testimonium Flavianum&quotEye-wink."
- http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/richard_carrier/jesuspuzzle.html#General

Logic also provides us with yet another powerful clue as to the falsity of the Testimonium: Josephus lived and died a Jew, never converting to Christianity. Even a Christian apologist, normally at home with warping logic well past its breaking point, ought to find it difficult to reconcile the claim that Josephus had any substantial evidence of Jesus as the Messiah with the fact that he never converted to Christianity. How could Josephus have good evidence for the existence of a messiah, and yet, at the same time, die a Jew?

There's really only one way to salvage the Testimonium: to use Jeffery J. Lowder's argument that the Testimonium was radically altered by christians, and that the original Josephus passage was a second hand reference to a purely human Jesus who, while worthy of a brief note, did not merit more than a few lines of text, let along consideration as the Jewish Messiah. This would explain why christians did not cite it until it was radically altered: because it was an actual refutation of the gospel claim of Jesus the Christ.

Lowder writes:

"There are many scholars who believe the original text contained an authentic reference to Jesus but was later embellished by Christian copyists. I have italicized the sections widely regarded as interpolations":

Now there was about this time Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call him a man, for he was a doer of wonderful works, a teacher of such men as receive the truth with pleasure. He drew over to him both many of the Jews, and many of the Gentiles. He was the Christ, and when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men among us, had condemned him to the cross, those that loved him at the first did not forsake him; for he appeared to them alive again the third day; as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning him. And the tribe of Christians so named from him are not extinct at this day.

Lowder continues:

"If the original passage contained only the non-italicized text, then it becomes quite easy to explain why the passage was not widely quoted during early Christian history. In its "pure" form, the passage would have only proved that (a purely human) Jesus existed, not that he performed miracles, rose from the dead, etc."

Lowder states that this may explain why no early christian cited the Testimonium: because it did nothing to support the existence of Jesus as Jesus the Christ.

(Lowder's original article: http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/jeff_lowder/mckinsey.html)

The two most plausible explanations for the Testimonium: that it is either entirely or partially a fraud, both create a serious problem for the christian.

If the Testimonium is a complete fiction, it leaves the christian without any historical corroboration from Josephus.

If it is a tampered document, it shows that there is a non contemporary account of Jesus, one who may even meet one of the criteria mentioned in the book of Mark (that of a figure capable of drawing large crowds). But it indicates that Josephus did not consider this Jesus to be anything more than a revered teacher - literally noteworthy - but hardly the wonder worker of the book of Mark, a fact that embarrassed early christians to the point that they 1) ignored the passage for centuries, even while citing Josephus elsewhere and 2) later saw fit to deceptively alter the passage.

It should also be noted that some argue that Antiquities section 20.9 makes an indirect reference to Jesus. This claim is examined here: http://www.atheistnetwork.com/viewtopic.php?p=38864&sid=eae887916e8679c9cd9fd7af5fc065e5#38864
and also here: http://www.inu.net/skeptic/gospels.html There is good reason to believe that the reference to a "Jesus' here is actually a reference to Jesus, son of Damneus that has been tampered with by later christians, and not an actual reference to 'Jesus, son of Joseph', although Origen does cite this passage as historical evidence for Jesus. And again, the same point remains: the idea that a historian would mention the Messiah in passing while discussing an issue of minor relevance (and not elsewhere) staggers reason itself.

 

 

http://www.rationalresponders.com/a_silence_that_screams_no_contemporary_historical_accounts_for_jesus

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So you're ignoring the

So you're ignoring the counters to the so-called "evidence" he posted? I would say a new story that is very similar to earlier myths is very suspect to say the least.

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kingneb

kingneb wrote:

***yawn***

similarities with myths implies non-existence? irrational.

Your bigwigs assume late dates and beg the question. Furthermore, rookie's first argument was an argument from silence.

nothing rational about his response.

Incorrect. There are valid arguments from ignorance, something you clearly know absolutely nothing about, indicating that your own comments are irrational (asserting, without knowing what you are talking about.)

Because so many theists simply don't have a clue as to the existence of valid arguments from silence, I've had to write this brief review:

 

How to make an Argument from Silence

According to Gilbert Garraghan (A Guide to Historical Method, 1946, p. 149)

To be valid, the argument from silence must fulfill two conditions: the writer[s] whose silence is invoked would certainly have known about it; [and] knowing it, he would under the circumstances certainly have made mention of it. When these two conditions are fulfilled, the argument from silence proves its point with moral certainty.

It ought to be clear to even the casual reader that the men I have cited meet both criteria.

In addition, the historian Richard Carrier suggests two additional criteria to strengthen an argument from silence:

1) Whether or not it is common for men to create similar myths.

It is prima facie true that this is the case. History is replete not only with 'god' claims, but with claims for messiah status.

2) The claim is of an extraordinary nature, it violates what we already know of nature.

(Important note: this is not to rule out extraordinary claims, a priori.)

 

Historians make valid arguments from silence all the time. This is a basic element of historiography. The fact that you did not know this proves that you are incapable of giving a well informed opinion on Rook's work.

 

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kingneb
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 To be valid, the argument

 To be valid, the argument from silence must fulfill two conditions: the writer[s] whose silence is invoked would certainly have known about it; [and] knowing it, he would under the circumstances certainly have made mention of it. When these two conditions are fulfilled, the argument from silence proves its point with moral certainty.

 hahaha...give me a break.

 The typical redefinition of logic by the atheists. I am finding this more and more common among empiricists. The limitations of your epistemology cannot meet the demands of deductive logic, so you reinvent what constitutes a "valid" argument. E.g. An argument from silence is now valid.


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I find it interesting that

I find it interesting that a Christian would actually reference the Talmud.  Would that be the same Talmud that tells of a story of a conversation between the sun and moon?  The moon was upset it was smaller and not as bright like the sun.  God intervened and declared that over time the moon would increase in size and brightness to match the sun so both would be happy.

 Creationism at it's finest but completely shattered by the fact that the moon doesn't produce it's own light, contrary to what the Bible says.  Pick apologists are in the habit of picking and choosing what they want to accept.


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kingneb wrote: To be valid,

kingneb wrote:
To be valid, the argument from silence must fulfill two conditions: the writer[s] whose silence is invoked would certainly have known about it; [and] knowing it, he would under the circumstances certainly have made mention of it. When these two conditions are fulfilled, the argument from silence proves its point with moral certainty.

hahaha...give me a break.

The typical redefinition of logic by the atheists.

 If all arguments from silence are invalid, that's pretty awesome. Now I can claim anything I want. Did you know that George W. Bush was killed? It happened a month ago in broad daylight at a press conference. Yeah, the newspapers would certainly have known about it, and would have certainly made mention of it, but that's not a legitimate argument against my case anymore. I wonder who'll be president next!

Götter sind für Arten, die sich selbst verraten -- in den Glauben flüchten um sich hinzurichten. Menschen brauchen Götter um sich zu verletzen, um sich zu vernichten -- das sind wir.


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i could care less about the

i could care less about the talmud. wasn't my argument.


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I flew to the moon

I flew to the moon yesterday on a giant purple cat. Yeah, radar should have picked it up, someone should have taken a picture, and a giant flying cat capable of surviving vacuum and supporting a human in such would be a major stoy, but that's no argument against my claim. Is logic understanding this poor? When are these morons going to learn that in EVERY SINGLE CASE the burden of proof is on the person making a positive claim, and can never be on the person making a negative one.

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kingneb
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If all arguments from

If all arguments from silence are invalid, that's pretty awesome. Now I can claim anything I want.

Jeremiah, that is absurd. No, you can't claim anything you want because as you just said, it is "INVALID".

If you are agreeing with me that all arguments from silence are INVALID arguments, then you can't turn right around and argue anything you want. In fact, you've just admitting that an "argument of silence" is at least one invalid argument to make.

***ok, deep breathe again before next cycle of laughing***


kingneb
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Is logic understanding this

Is logic understanding this poor?

I guess it is, at least poor in understanding your redefinition of logic.

 Matt, what does "silence" mean?

It is an absense of noise and/or speech.

An argument FROM silence is a fallacy because SILENCE does not necessarily infer anything.

There could be multiple reasons why someone was SILENT about something or someone.

I ahve no idea why you went off about cats and moons, but in this CONTEXT Tod claims that Josephus' SILENCE of Jesus proves that Jesus didn't exist.

Got that?

That is an irrational argument. 

Very simple stuff here, folks. 


JeremiahSmith
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kingneb wrote:

kingneb wrote:

If all arguments from silence are invalid, that's pretty awesome. Now I can claim anything I want.

Jeremiah, that is absurd. No, you can't claim anything you want because as you just said, it is "INVALID".

If you are agreeing with me that all arguments from silence are INVALID arguments, then you can't turn right around and argue anything you want. In fact, you've just admitting that an "argument of silence" is at least one invalid argument to make.

sarcasm ->

point ->

 

 

 

your head ->

If all arguments from silence are invalid, then it would be possible to make any insane claim you wanted about history and get away with it. Your opponent could make no argument, since we've assumed that lack of evidence can never mean evidence of lack. George Washington's inauguration was visited by a ten-foot tall cybernetic human-alien hybrid? Sure, why not? "No historians wrote about it!" So what? "You have no evidence for it?" Don't need it; I can just assert what I like since, in this universe, there's no such thing as a valid argument from silence, meaning my opponents can't prove me wrong. I'm making insane claims, after all, I don't need rational reasons for my beliefs; I can claim divine revelation and leave it at that.

My point was that a naive discounting of every argument from silence would mean that historians and archeologists would have no recourse whenever some crackpot comes up with crazy ideas, like the idea that President Bush was really assassinated a month ago.

The definition todangst provided about a valid argument from silence wasn't written by him, it was written by a historian, Gilbert Garragan, back in the forties. Unless you can show that Garragan was an atheist, and that his comments are only accepted by atheists, it seems a little disingenous to claim that this is another "redefinition of logic by the atheists". On the face of it, I'm not exactly sure where the problem is anyway. Far from being a redefinition of logic, it looks like basic modus tollens to me.

h: Event E happened.

k: Author A would know if event E happened.

w: Author A would have written about event E.

a: Author A wrote about event E.

(h & k & w) --> a.

And the contrapositive:

~a --> ~h v ~k v ~w.

In other words, if author A didn't write about event E, either they didn't know it happened, didn't feel it worth writing about, or it didn't happen. Garragan's two conditions involve showing (w & k); if that can be done, then we can conclude ~h: event E didn't happen. So not only do you misunderstand the logical basis for Garragan's comments about a valid argument from silence, but you also misrepresent his comments as "just another atheist redefinition of logic": neither of which is true.

Even if the argument from silence were invalid in the case of Jesus Christ, that wouldn't invalidate it entirely. If you were to apply it to some other topic, something that wasn't as controversial as the existence of Christ, you'd find that arguments from silence could be perfectly valid and that you probably used them all the time. Did that famous celebrity really die, or is it just an Internet rumor? Well, none of the news sites have anything about it, the papers would probably have received a message from the celebrity's agent at some point, and the newspapers usually never shy away from talking about dead famous people. If it had happened, they'd know about it, and then they'd write about it, but they didn't write about it, so it's probably not true. A perfectly valid and non-controversial rgument from silence. You remember the old Sherlock Holmes story "Silver Blaze"? Holmes reasons that if the intruder had been a stranger, the dog would certainly have barked; but since the dog, curiously, did nothing, that would mean the intruder wasn't a stranger. A perfectly reasonable argument from silence, I would say. Perhaps you should write to Conan Doyle's estate and take him to task posthumously.

Götter sind für Arten, die sich selbst verraten -- in den Glauben flüchten um sich hinzurichten. Menschen brauchen Götter um sich zu verletzen, um sich zu vernichten -- das sind wir.


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Matt, what does "silence"

Matt, what does "silence" mean?

It is an absense of noise and/or speech.

An argument FROM silence is a fallacy because SILENCE does not necessarily infer anything.

 

It's a deduction based on probabilities. If there was a Jewish Messiah, a Jewish historian known for his verbose coverage of even minor figures probably would have written more than a quick jot about it. If his oddly terse and hurried mention of the ultimate fulfillment of OT prophecy was authentic and not altered, one would expect Christians familiar with said historians work to cite it regularly; but they did not. These things seem jarringly inconsistent based on what we expect from the historian and the apologists.

 

There could be multiple reasons why someone was SILENT about something or someone.

 

Is there a reason that would be the case here?


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magilum wrote: Matt, what

magilum wrote:

Matt, what does "silence" mean?

It is an absense of noise and/or speech.

An argument FROM silence is a fallacy because SILENCE does not necessarily infer anything.

 

It's a deduction based on probabilities. If there was a Jewish Messiah, a Jewish historian known for his verbose coverage of even minor figures probably would have written more than a quick jot about it. If his oddly terse and hurried mention of the ultimate fulfillment of OT prophecy was authentic and not altered, one would expect Christians familiar with said historians work to cite it regularly; but they did not. These things seem jarringly inconsistent based on what we expect from the historian and the apologists.

 

There could be multiple reasons why someone was SILENT about something or someone.

 

Is there a reason that would be the case here?

 

Did Josephus write about Christians? The early church was well one its way towards establishing itself before the first century was complete. Also, would a Jewish scholar write about somone that was considered a heretic and blasphemer by the Jewish establishment?

 

Just wondering. No point being made. 


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wavefreak wrote:

wavefreak wrote:
Did Josephus write about Christians? The early church was well one its way towards establishing itself before the first century was complete.

I don't think he did, but Christianity was still a pretty small minority at that point. It's not certain that he would have met the requirement of having known about the Christians, so you couldn't really point to Josephus to argue from silence that, say, the Christians didn't exist then. 

Quote:
Also, would a Jewish scholar write about somone that was considered a heretic and blasphemer by the Jewish establishment?

If Jesus were a heretic who had caused enough of a stir to be notable to the Jews, why not? It's not as if he only wrote about people the Jews liked.

Götter sind für Arten, die sich selbst verraten -- in den Glauben flüchten um sich hinzurichten. Menschen brauchen Götter um sich zu verletzen, um sich zu vernichten -- das sind wir.


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Hey everybody. Superman is

Hey everybody. Superman is real. We've got lots of books and stories about him and we all know his alter-ego, Clark Kent, is real. Here's proof:

http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewprofile&friendid=136203

He's even got his own myspace. 


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kingneb wrote:  To be

kingneb wrote:

 To be valid, the argument from silence must fulfill two conditions: the writer[s] whose silence is invoked would certainly have known about it; [and] knowing it, he would under the circumstances certainly have made mention of it. When these two conditions are fulfilled, the argument from silence proves its point with moral certainty.

 hahaha...give me a break.

 The typical redefinition of logic by the atheists.

Incorrect. There are valid arguments from silence, this is not an 'atheist' argument. You clearly, obviously, do not know what you are talking about, and the fact that you simply dodged everything here proves it.

There are valid arguments from ignorance, something you clearly know absolutely nothing about, indicating that your own comments are irrational (asserting, without knowing what you are talking about.)

Because so many theists simply don't have a clue as to the existence of valid arguments from silence, I've had to write this brief review:

 

How to make an Argument from Silence

According to Gilbert Garraghan (A Guide to Historical Method, 1946, p. 149)

To be valid, the argument from silence must fulfill two conditions: the writer[s] whose silence is invoked would certainly have known about it; [and] knowing it, he would under the circumstances certainly have made mention of it. When these two conditions are fulfilled, the argument from silence proves its point with moral certainty.

It ought to be clear to even the casual reader that the men I have cited meet both criteria.

In addition, the historian Richard Carrier suggests two additional criteria to strengthen an argument from silence:

1) Whether or not it is common for men to create similar myths.

It is prima facie true that this is the case. History is replete not only with 'god' claims, but with claims for messiah status.

2) The claim is of an extraordinary nature, it violates what we already know of nature.

(Important note: this is not to rule out extraordinary claims, a priori.)

 

Historians make valid arguments from silence all the time. This is a basic element of historiography. The fact that you did not know this proves that you are incapable of giving a well informed opinion on Rook's work.

 

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kingneb wrote:Is logic

kingneb wrote:

Is logic understanding this poor?

I guess it is, at least poor in understanding your redefinition of logic.

 Matt, what does "silence" mean?

It is an absense of noise and/or speech.

An argument FROM silence is a fallacy because SILENCE does not necessarily infer anything.

 

Silence does mean something in certain cases. I already gave you the list. Silene, where evidence ought to appear is a valid argument against a claim.

If I told you I just assassinated the president, a glaring lack of any corroboration of this event is precisely what you'd point to to refute my claim. That would be a valid argument from silence.

You clearly don't know what you're talking about, and you're a waste of the board's time. The person I cited to you wrote in 1946, and he was a theist. You're posts are an embarrassment to critical thinking.

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WOW

Thank you for at least reading and responding to the post. I would also like to thank most of you for your level of maturity you handled this with. Alot went on since my last login so I will adress the main problems I saw:


Josephus 

You can debate the authorship of Josephus' SEVERAL works, of which Jesus is about 1 paragraph of 1 story of 1 book, however I do not see why you would want to do that because to say that there is a conspiracy about Josephus is like saying "in one of his 15 books this author refered to Jesus in a paragraph, therefore the Christians wrote this and his other 15 works." 

 

Talmud

What are you talking about? By the way, those who even reject Talmud and Josephus can not reject Celsus and Lke, nor the other references that I perhaps should have posted here, like Pliny the Younger.

 

Superman

Let's follow your logic here:

This guy quotes prominate historians to prove that a man existed, so I will equate that with ONE fictional author who calims his works are fiction. Did Josephus claim he was making this up. Did Celsus, in all of his HATERED for Jesus even deny his existance? No.

 

 

 

Now people, perhaps this shold have been posted under the Killin em with Kindness thread because I am not trying to convince you there is a God. Search the post, the word God aint in it. The IMPLICATION of Jesus is God, and I believe Jesus iss God...but I am not trying to tell you God exists. I'm not preaching to you. I am not saying you are going to hell, and may fire from heaven hit me if I do tell you that...I am simply trying to bring you historical facts, from historians. I will post my proof of his death later, but first we must establish he lived. 

 

Does anyone think that the Jesus of the Bible lived? Whether you believe he lived as Lord, a HUGE Liar, or a crazy lunatic, do you believe he existed? 

My Master has no desire to be merely victor in a debate: he did not come into the world to fight a battle of logic just
for the sake of winning it. --Charles Spurgeon


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wavefreak wrote:   Did

wavefreak wrote:

 

Did Josephus write about Christians? The early church was well one its way towards establishing itself before the first century was complete.

The logic here is backwards... if the book of Mark were an accurate portrayal of history, simple human curiosity would demand that Josephus acknowledge such an epoch making event.

One might as well say that a paper not devoted to astronomical matters shouldnt be expected to mention tha the moon exploded yesterday.

Quote:
 

 Also, would a Jewish scholar write about somone that was considered a heretic and blasphemer by the Jewish establishment?

 

Again, you'r reasoning is backwards: if there were a jesus as per the book of Mark, why is anyone a Jew to begin with?

You can't assume that someone would be biased against reporting the events, when the events themselves would make such a bias less likely to begin with.

Think of it this way: there are few UFO experts and many skeptics.

If, however, UFOs clearly visited the planet on a regular basis in an unambiguous way, we would expect MORE UFO experts and far, far far less UFO skeptics, right?

So pointing to the bias of the skeptic fails to take nto account that there should be less skeptics if the evidence were good.

This is the flaw in every 'but why would X care about Jesus, he was a Y" argument. Every one of these arguments fails to take into account the decreased likelihood of disinterested parties if such events actually did occur.

It is interesting that the number of disintersted parties is akin to the number we would expect if the gospels were in fact non-history.

 

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Crossover

Crossover wrote:

 


Josephus 

You can debate the authorship of Josephus' SEVERAL works, of which Jesus is about 1 paragraph of 1 story of 1 book, however I do not see why you would want to do that because to say that there is a conspiracy about Josephus is like saying "in one of his 15 books this author refered to Jesus in a paragraph, therefore the Christians wrote this and his other 15 works." 

You're argument does not follow. Please actually read my post on Josephus and actually comment on what is actualyl written there. 

 

 

Quote:
Does anyone think that the Jesus of the Bible lived? Whether you believe he lived as Lord, a HUGE Liar, or a crazy lunatic, do you believe he existed? 

False trichotomy. You need to include "gnostic figure" mistaken as a 'real person' by later readers.

Please read my post and give a careful reply to it, and not these poorly considered off the cuff remarks.

 

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You missed the point. There

You missed the point. There is an overwelming number of works about superman. We have accounts written by Louis Lane (his girlfriend), Spiderman, other super heroes, etc. All of these super heroes have real names and the fact that I can prove that these people actually exist is proof of their existance.

Except it doesn't work like that. 


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Crossover wrote: Thank you

Crossover wrote:

Thank you for at least reading and responding to the post. I would also like to thank most of you for your level of maturity you handled this with. Alot went on since my last login so I will adress the main problems I saw:


Josephus 

You can debate the authorship of Josephus' SEVERAL works, of which Jesus is about 1 paragraph of 1 story of 1 book, however I do not see why you would want to do that because to say that there is a conspiracy about Josephus is like saying "in one of his 15 books this author refered to Jesus in a paragraph, therefore the Christians wrote this and his other 15 works." 

 

Talmud

What are you talking about? By the way, those who even reject Talmud and Josephus can not reject Celsus and Lke, nor the other references that I perhaps should have posted here, like Pliny the Younger.

 

Superman

Let's follow your logic here:

This guy quotes prominate historians to prove that a man existed, so I will equate that with ONE fictional author who calims his works are fiction. Did Josephus claim he was making this up. Did Celsus, in all of his HATERED for Jesus even deny his existance? No.

 

 

 

Now people, perhaps this shold have been posted under the Killin em with Kindness thread because I am not trying to convince you there is a God. Search the post, the word God aint in it. The IMPLICATION of Jesus is God, and I believe Jesus iss God...but I am not trying to tell you God exists. I'm not preaching to you. I am not saying you are going to hell, and may fire from heaven hit me if I do tell you that...I am simply trying to bring you historical facts, from historians. I will post my proof of his death later, but first we must establish he lived. 

 

Does anyone think that the Jesus of the Bible lived? Whether you believe he lived as Lord, a HUGE Liar, or a crazy lunatic, do you believe he existed? 

I think that there is a possibility that a Jesus has lived just as a Billy the Kid lived. Lord, liar or lunatic is a false trichotomy, however, because just like many claims have been made about what Billy the Kid may or may not have done during his life, it is unreasonable to believe everything that is said about him. The Jesus of the bible could easily be part man, part myth, part compilation, etc. One is under no obligation to think that just because some preacher named Jesus may have existed that he is accurately depicted in that book. In fact, to believe that someone walked on water, or made dead people walk around, or was resurrected from death himself, without verifiable empirical evidence is beyond unreasonable.

 

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Crossover wrote: Does

Crossover wrote:
Does anyone think that the Jesus of the Bible lived? Whether you believe he lived as Lord, a HUGE Liar, or a crazy lunatic, do you believe he existed?

The Trilemma. I love it. It's fun. It pops up all the time in Christian arguments but none of them ever realizes the two reasons we reject it:

1) Arguers invariably fail to convincingly rule out liar and lunatic.

2) There are other options besides lord, liar, or lunatic anyway.

http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/jim_perry/trilemma.html 

 

 

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As You Wish todangst

What I said was a response to what you said, just not indepth as you may have liked. You acussed Christians of tampering with Josephuses works, and that is what I talked about in my post. But here you go, an in depth response to your post (even written in the style of your post with quotes to! we're twins, except not!) :

 

Much of the vocabulary and style matches that of Josephus. His opening phrase, "Now about this time..." is used regularly to the point of nausea. The description of Jesus as "a wise man" is not typically Christian, but it is used by Josephus of, for example, Solomon and Daniel. Similarly, Christians did not refer to Jesus' miracles as "astonishing deeds" (paradoxa erga), but exactly the same expression is used by Josephus of the miracles of Elisha. And the description of Christians as a "tribe" (phylon) occurs nowhere in early Christian literature, while Josephus uses the word both for the Jewish "race" and for other national or communal groups.

 John P. Meier concludes the following from his analysis of the vocabulary of the Testimonium compared to Josephus and to the New Testament: "No one of these differences means all that much; but the accumulated evidence of all these differences may point to an author who is not taking his material from the NT...The upshot of all this is that, apart from Christianon, not one word of what I identify as the original text of the Testimonium fails to occur elsewhere in Josephus, usually with the same meaning and/or construction. As indicated in the first part of this note, the same cannot be said of the NT."

The arguement that Josephus could have seen the Messiah and died a Jew is an ignorant one. One ignorant of history, and of Christianity. First, Historically, early Christians considered themselves either "Jews" or "gentiles". Following the teachings of Christ did not take away from their "jewness" (if thats a word) at all. Many of whom we call "Christians" today considred themselves Jewish. Secondly, by the logic that he wouldn't have died a jJew would mean that EVERYONE who saw Jesus would be Christian. By no means does seeing JEsus, or even believing in him make you a Christian. To say that means that all of the people who were mocking Christ on the corss were Christians, that Pilate was Christian, and that tose screaming "crucify him" were also, Christian. Your logic doesn't follow.

 Meier writes: "The comparison of vocabulary between Josephus and the NT does not provide a neat solution to the problem of authenticity but it does force us to ask which of two possible scenarios is more probable. Did a Christian of some unknown century so immerse himself in the vocabulary and style of Josephus that, without the aid of any modern dictionaries and concordances, he was able to (1) strip himself of the NT vocabulary with which he would naturally speak of Jesus and (2) reproduce perfectly the Greek of Josephus for most of the Testimonium -- no doubt to create painstakingly an air of verisimilitude -- while at the same time destroying the air with a few patently Christian affirmations? Or is it more likely that the core statement, (1) which we first isolated simply by extracting what would strike anyone at first glance as Christian affirmations, and (2) which we then found to be written in typically Josephan vocabulary that diverged from the usage of the NT, was in fact written by Josephus himself? Of the two scenarios, I find the second much more probable."

 

 James Charlesworth writes: "Josephus must have made a reference to Jesus because the passage, divested of the obvious Christian words, is not Christian and is composed in such a way that it is very difficult to attribute to a Christian. What Christian would refer to Jesus' miracles in such a way that a reader could understand them as merely 'surprising works'? Would a Christian have written that 'first-rate men' or 'men of the highest standing amongst us' accused Jesus before Pilate, leaving the impression that he deserved a guilty verdict? Would a Christian scribe have ended a reference to Jesus by referring to 'the tribe of Christians' who 'are not extinct,' as if they should soon become extinct?"

 

Ken Olson writes:

It is sometimes argued that a Christian author would have known that Jesus did not attract many gentile followers during his ministry, but this is contradicted by Eusebius' testimony. Elsewhere he reports of Jesus that "by teaching and miracles He revealed the powers of His Godhead to all equally whether Greeks or Jews" . The paired opposition of Jews and Greeks is especially common in the first two books of the Demonstratio, where Eusebius claims, "Christianity is neither a form of Hellenism nor a form of Judaism" . It is, in fact, the re-establishment of the religion of the patriarchs, who worshipped the one God but did not have the restrictions of the Mosaic law, and thus was "that third form of religion midway between Judaism and Hellenism". The MEN. DE construction used in the Testimonium situates the "nation" founded by Jesus nicely between the two other religions.

 

 

 

Meier, John P. A Marginal Jew: Rethinking the Historical Jesus

 Olson, Ken. "Eusebian Fabrication of the Testimonium" <http://groups.yahoo.com/group/JesusMysteries/files/%22Eusebian%20Fabrication%20of%20the%20Testimonium%22>

 

Charlesworth, James H. Jesus within Judaism: New Light from Exciting Archaeological Discoveries

 

 

 

 

Is all of this good enough response or should I go on to talk about Reference 20.9.1?

My Master has no desire to be merely victor in a debate: he did not come into the world to fight a battle of logic just
for the sake of winning it. --Charles Spurgeon


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Proof

CrimsonEdge wrote:

You missed the point. There is an overwelming number of works about superman. We have accounts written by Louis Lane (his girlfriend), Spiderman, other super heroes, etc. All of these super heroes have real names and the fact that I can prove that these people actually exist is proof of their existance.

Except it doesn't work like that. 

 

You can't prove the existance of Louis Lane, or Spiderman, or any other account. Your logic is so far off. I'm quoting REAL PEOPLE here.. That is not in debate. The accounts are from real people, plane and simple. I get what you said, but your logic is wrong.

My Master has no desire to be merely victor in a debate: he did not come into the world to fight a battle of logic just
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I love it

JeremiahSmith wrote:

Crossover wrote:
Does anyone think that the Jesus of the Bible lived? Whether you believe he lived as Lord, a HUGE Liar, or a crazy lunatic, do you believe he existed?

The Trilemma. I love it. It's fun. It pops up all the time in Christian arguments but none of them ever realizes the two reasons we reject it:

1) Arguers invariably fail to convincingly rule out liar and lunatic.

2) There are other options besides lord, liar, or lunatic anyway.

http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/jim_perry/trilemma.html 

I love how you completely ignored the quesiton to attack some small part of the sentence! Thats fun. Go to the wquestion. I don't care if there are more than 3 options. Do you think that Jesus lived. Whether he was a magitian, wako, or what...did he exist? Its a question. Yes or no. I dont care what the answer is, I care that there is an answer.

My Master has no desire to be merely victor in a debate: he did not come into the world to fight a battle of logic just
for the sake of winning it. --Charles Spurgeon


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Crossover wrote:

Crossover wrote:

 

Is all of this good enough response

Clealry not seeing as I have already refuted all of this on page 1. The idea that anyone could report on seeing god stride the earth in three lines is self refuting.

At best, Josephus is a NON contemporary, reporting hearsay. And even this is unlikely.

You just don't have a case here.. merely citing christian historians who believe Josephus is making a real reference to "Jesus" does not matter, what you need to cite are good arguments.

And you need to deal with the refutations on page 1.

 

Quote:

or should I go on to talk about Reference 20.9.1?

And prove that you don't know that 20.9.1 is a reference to Jesus, son of Damneus, and not "Jesus" the 'christ"?

 

Richard Carrier writes:

One could say that Jesus was an insignificant, illiterate, itinerant preacher with a tiny following, who went wholly unnoticed by any literate person in Judaea. However, this would not bode well for anyone who wished to maintain he was God, or did any of the more amazing things attributed to him. It is very implausible, for instance, that a biography would be written for the obscure itinerant philosopher Demonax in his own lifetime (by Lucian), yet God Incarnate, or a Great Miracle Worker who riled up all Judaea with talk, should inspire nothing like it until decades after his death. And though several historians wrote on Judaean affairs in the early 1st century (not just Josephus and Tacitus, but several others no longer extant), none apparently mentioned Jesus (see the Secular Web library on Historicity). Certainly, had anyone done so, the passages would probably have been lovingly preserved by 2nd century Christians, or else inspired angry rebuttals.

 

 

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READ

todangst wrote:
Crossover wrote:

 

Is all of this good enough response

Clealry not seeing as I have already refuted all of this on page 1. The idea that anyone could report on seeing god stride the earth in three lines is self refuting.

At best, Josephus is a NON contemporary, reporting hearsay. And even this is unlikely.

You just don't have a case here.. merely citing christian historians who believe Josephus is making a real reference to "Jesus" does not matter, what you need to cite are good arguments.

And you need to deal with the refutations on page 1.

 

Quote:

or should I go on to talk about Reference 20.9.1?

And prove that you don't know that 20.9.1 is a reference to Jesus, son of Damneus, and not "Jesus" the 'christ"?

 

Richard Carrier writes:

One could say that Jesus was an insignificant, illiterate, itinerant preacher with a tiny following, who went wholly unnoticed by any literate person in Judaea. However, this would not bode well for anyone who wished to maintain he was God, or did any of the more amazing things attributed to him. It is very implausible, for instance, that a biography would be written for the obscure itinerant philosopher Demonax in his own lifetime (by Lucian), yet God Incarnate, or a Great Miracle Worker who riled up all Judaea with talk, should inspire nothing like it until decades after his death. And though several historians wrote on Judaean affairs in the early 1st century (not just Josephus and Tacitus, but several others no longer extant), none apparently mentioned Jesus (see the Secular Web library on Historicity). Certainly, had anyone done so, the passages would probably have been lovingly preserved by 2nd century Christians, or else inspired angry rebuttals.

 

 

 

If I took the time to go through your article you should take the time to go through mine. I put my own words, with the words of secular scholars, and cited them.. So I expect more from you than a simple sentece saying that I am wrong, as you did from me.

 

Reference 20.9.1 is talking baout Jesus, brother of James. Due to an accurate census in Rome the Discovery Channel was able to narrow down that htere were 3 people in the Roman empire that were Jesus, brother of James'. And only one in all of Israel who was called Jesus the Christ, brother of James. Now, in refernece 20.9.1 the main reference here is why Ananus was deposed as high priest. ohn P. Meier says, "we have here only a passing, almost blasé, reference to someone called James, whom Joseph obviously considers a minor character. He is mentioned only because his illegal execution causes Ananus to be deposed."

 

I shall go no further upon 20.9.1 but to say this. If a Christian group were to have tampered with this writting, they would taken the opportunity to definitely assert the Lordship of Jesus, like Paul refers to James in the Bible as the "brother of the Christ", not the "brother of the one called the Christ".

 

Now. Assuming that only the smaller reference ( the Testimonium Flavianum) is true it STILL shows Josephus was an authenticauthor who recorded Jesus. He did not accept him, but he knew he existed. That is the topic in question. We are not talking about the diety of Christ here, and I think I have stressed that enough. So, I ask once again, how can you as a skeptic say that Jesus never lived, when unbelievers from the 1st Century say that he did? I haven't even touched on the writtings of Mara Bar-Serapion, Galen,  Suetonius, or Philo. All of whom were unbeleivers from the 1st century who record about Jesus.

 

It's not rocket science. I'm not telling you "Jesus is God"...cause I can not prove that to yo. I'm simply trying to prove to you what is historical fact. I haven't quoted a single ancient source that was a follower of Christ, as I promised. I have quoted UNBELIVERS just like you, who deny Jesus' diety, but not him living.

My Master has no desire to be merely victor in a debate: he did not come into the world to fight a battle of logic just
for the sake of winning it. --Charles Spurgeon


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Crossover wrote:   If I

Crossover wrote:

 

If I took the time to go through your article you should take the time to go through mine.

 

One more time: I've already aware of your claims. They are not new.  My argument is already aware of the claims you make, and refutes it.

You can't just cite historians who believe "X" you have to give ARGUMENTS. My post provides refutations of your claims and shows why the testimonium is so problematic. 

 

 

Quote:

Reference 20.9.1 is talking baout Jesus, brother of James.  

No, it is not. 

 

    CHAPTER 9.

    CONCERNING ALBINUS UNDER WHOSE PROCURATORSHIP JAMES WAS SLAIN; AS ALSO WHAT EDIFICES WERE BUILT BY AGRIPPA.


      1. AND now Caesar, upon hearing the death of Festus, sent Albinus into Judea, as procurator. But the king deprived Joseph of the high priesthood, and bestowed the succession to that dignity on the son of Ananus, who was also himself called Ananus. Now the report goes that this eldest Ananus proved a most fortunate man; for he had five sons who had all performed the office of a high priest to God, and who had himself enjoyed that dignity a long time formerly, which had never happened to any other of our high priests. But this younger Ananus, who, as we have told you already, took the high priesthood, was a bold man in his temper, and very insolent; he was also of the sect of the Sadducees, (23) who are very rigid in judging offenders, above all the rest of the Jews, as we have already observed; when, therefore, Ananus was of this disposition, he thought he had now a proper opportunity [to exercise his authority]. Festus was now dead, and Albinus was but upon the road; so he assembled the sanhedrim of judges, and brought before them the brother of Jesus, who was called Christ, whose name was James, and some others, [or, some of his companions]; and when he had formed an accusation against them as breakers of the law, he delivered them to be stoned: but as for those who seemed the most equitable of the citizens, and such as were the most uneasy at the breach of the laws, they disliked what was done; they also sent to the king [Agrippa], desiring him to send to Ananus that he should act so no more, for that what he had already done was not to be justified; nay, some of them went also to meet Albinus, as he was upon his journey from Alexandria, and informed him that it was not lawful for Ananus to assemble a sanhedrim without his consent. (24) Whereupon Albinus complied with what they said, and wrote in anger to Ananus, and threatened that he would bring him to punishment for what he had done; on which king Agrippa took the high priesthood from him, when he had ruled but three months, and made Jesus, the son of Damneus, high priest.


Would it not also be reasonable to assume that Jesus, son of Damneus, was given the High Priesthood because his brother James was killed unlawfully by Ananus? James and Jesus in the bolded passage are not known as to where they come from, what laws were broken, nor does it discribe who they were fathered by. In Jewish tradition and law, and as is common in Josephus' works, the fathers name is always mentioned to establish geneology, in fact, it also establishes bloodline. The very issue that it does not establish it at that particular point might be because he establishes later in the underlined text.

It would also explain why the king replaces him a few years later due to the suspicious nature of the other preists in the Sanhedrin and what's this? He replaces him with another Jesus, son of Gamaliel. It woulkd seem almost as if the Jesus before was not as qualified as the other preists started distructing each other even to the point where they threw stones at one another.

Further the statement in this translation, done by a Christian source, as it stated as "who was called Christ" instead of "who was called THE Christ." The absense of such a word bothers me, as if Josephus had felt people were talking about their savior, he might have considered to make this Christ stand out a bit more using "the" to accentuate oneness. Unfortunately that isn't implied so I have to go about reasonably to assume this Jesus, perhaps the son of Damneus, was called "the annoited" as he was given the High-Preisthood.

MORESO, Josephus described Ananus, the High Priest responsible for the death of James in the Antiquities, as the following: "...a bold man in his temper, and very insolent."

What's also worthy of note is that Josephus did not mention the death of James in his Jewish Wars, if he felt they were so important to mention them at all – and his description of Ananus in Wars is rather different to what is found in Antiquities of the Jews, describing him as: "...a venerable, and a very just man; and besides the grandeur of that nobility, and dignity, and honour, of which he possessed, he had been a lover of a kind of parity, even with regard to the meanest of the people; he was a prodigious lover of liberty, and an admirer of democracy in government; and did ever prefer the public welfare before his own advantage, and preferred peace above all things; he was thoroughly sensible that the Romans were not to be conquered."

In fact, Josephus also wrote the following about Ananus in Wars: "I should not mistake if I said that the death of Ananus was the beginning of the destruction of the city (Jerusalem), and that from this very day may be dated the overthrow of her wall, and the ruin of her affairs, whereon they saw their high priest, and the procurer of their preservation, slain in the midst of their city."

He seems to completely forget that the whole reason Ananus was removed from power was because James was supposedly slaughtered unjustly, and that was why Jesus, son of Damneus replaced him. To me this smacks of foul play. Now we have another question...why would such an important moment to whom Josephus considers to be a "venerable and very just man" be excluded from the another book with contents concerning the same man? This is not only a question, it's a refutation.

It seems rather odd that as in one book he claims that Ananus was insolent, yet in another he attributes the very fall of the city to the death of Ananus. This should raise a few red flags as to something being "rotten in the state of Denmark." If not I would re-adjust your honesty measurement readings.

To complete this point Ananus is said to have stolen the position as High-Preist and did things against the will of the people in the disputed passage, where in Wars he makes it quite clear his intent was to do nothing but the will of the people he cared about. Another glaring contradiction between these two accounts.

It would also be noteworthy of the other forgery in Eusebius' Ecclesiastical History, passage 2:10 that was made into some sort of relevance to Acts 12:23. The authentic passage is in Antiquities 19:346.

As for the other accounts of James' death, Eusebius' (260-340) History of the Church preserved the accounts of two early church fathers on the death of James:

    Clement of Alexandria (150-215) History of the Church 2:1:3-4

      "For they say that Peter and James and John after the ascension of our Savior, as if also preferred by our Lord, strove not after honor, but chose James the Just bishop of Jerusalem." But the same writer, in the seventh book of the same work, relates also the following things concerning him: "The Lord after his resurrection imparted knowledge to James the Just and to John and Peter, and they imparted it to the rest of the apostles, and the rest of the apostles to the seventy, of whom Barnabas was one. But there were two Jameses: one called the Just, who was thrown from the pinnacle of the temple and was beaten to death with a club by a fuller, and another who was beheaded."
 

 

 

Quote:

Now. Assuming that only the smaller reference ( the Testimonium Flavianum) is true it STILL shows Josephus was an authenticauthor who recorded Jesus.

No, it does not. Even if it were true, it would only be hearsay. I already demonstrate why in the post you simply ignore.

 

There are no contemporary accounts of Jesus. None. There are NO historical facts to support the existence of "jesus"

 

[T]here is not a single contemporary historical mention of Jesus, not by Romans or by Jews, not by believers or by unbelievers, not during his entire lifetime. This does not disprove his existence, but it certainly casts great doubt on the historicity of a man who was supposedly widely known to have made a great impact on the world. Someone should have noticed." - Dan Barker

The Gospel story, with its figure of Jesus of Nazareth, cannot be found before the Gospels. In Christian writings earlier than Mark, including almost all of the New Testament epistles, as well as in many writings from the second century, the object of Christian faith is never spoken of as a human man who had recently lived, taught, performed miracles, suffered and died at the hands of human authorities, or rose from a tomb outside Jerusalem. There is no sign in the epistles of Mary or Joseph, Judas or John the Baptist, no birth story, teaching or appointment of apostles by Jesus, no mention of holy places or sites of Jesus’ career, not even the hill of Calvary or the empty tomb. This silence is so pervasive and so perplexing that attempted explanations for it have proven inadequate. - Earl Doherty, The Jesus Puzzle

It may surprise Christians to learn that there are no contemporary historical documents for 'Jesus, the Christ'. The writings of Paul are not contemporary accounts: they do not appear until years after the purported time of Jesus and they include a concession that Paul never actually met Jesus. The Gospels come much later (as evidenced by the fact that Paul never cites them) and there is good reason that all four of the surviving, accepted Gospels are based on Mark, which in turn is likely to be a form of 'Midrash', not historical documentation: (See: http://www.rationalresponders.com/the_gospels_are_midrash)).

While some apologists attempt to wave this problem away by claiming that "Jesus"would not have been a noteworthy figure, this apologetic tactic contradicts what the Gospels say about Jesus. One cannot hold, at the same time, that the Gospels are true eyewitness accounts of actual events, AND that the Jesus figure in those works would not attract the attention of men like Philo, Pliny or Seneca. It's an absurd contradiction.

Even the relatively sober account of Jesus found in the first gospel, The Gospel of 'Mark', presents us with a Jesus who garnered quite a bit of attention. Consider for example, Mark 2:1-12, where the crowd coming to see Jesus is so great, that a paralytic has to be lowered through the roof of a building Jesus is in, in order for Jesus to see him. Elsewhere Mark tells us that the crowds that Jesus drew were so overflowing that he has to lecture from a boat on the Sea of Galilee. When Jesus travels from Bethany to Jerusalem, throngs of people line the roads to welcome him. Mark also tells us of how Jesus performed miracles before thousands: on two different occasions Jesus feeds thousands through miracles (see for example, Mark 8:1).

In short, 'Mark' gives us a 'Jesus' who is bigger than the Beatles, and I believe the Beatles analogy is a good one: we even have a nice parallel between the story of Jesus' lecture from a ship at Galilee, and the Beatles famous 'rooftop' audition, where they were forced to play an impromptu concert on a rooftop, lest the crowds that would rush to see them cause a riot. In both cases, the crowds had reached, hysterical, historically noteworthy, proportions. Yet, John E. Remsberg, in 'The Christ: A Critical Review and Analysis of the Evidence of His Existence' (The Truth Seeker Company, NY, no date, pp. 24-25) makes the curious observation that no one from this era wrote a single word about the Jesus Hysteria. Remsberg notes: "(While) Enough of the writings of the authors named in the foregoing list remains to form a library, (no where)... in this mass of Jewish and Pagan literature, aside from two forged brief passages in the works of a Jewish author (Josephus), and two disputed passages in the works of Roman writers, there is to be found no mention of Jesus Christ."

There are Christians today who hold that Remsberg has 'been refuted' because many on his list either were not contemporaries, or were 'not the sort who would have been interested in Jesus'. They tell us, straight faced, that writers who were mainly interested in drama, or reporting war stories, wouldn't have bothered to write down anything about a crowd-drawing, miracle-working, godman striding the earth.

Leaving aside this bit of insanity, it is a red herring to respond to this problem by saying "Remsberg has been refuted", for not matter how many problems one may be able to point out concerning his famous list, no matter how many people one removes from the list, there remain people on his list who should have noticed, and their silence is glaring.

Let's take a look at the more notable names on his list, just to get an idea, again, of how glaring this silence is... We can call this list:

"They Would Have Noticed"

Philo (~20 BCE - ~40 CE) was a Hellenized Jew who lived in Alexandria, Egypt. He visited the Temple in Jerusalem, and corresponded with family there. He wrote a great many books on religion and philosophy which survive to this day, and mentioned many of his contemporaries. His main theological contribution was the development of the Logos, the "Word" that opens the Gospel of John. Yet Philo not once mentions Jesus, anybody who could be mistaken for Jesus, or any of the events of the New Testament. His last writings come from 40 CE, only a few years after the end of Pontius Pilate's reign, when he was part of an embassy sent by the Alexandrian Jews to the Roman Emperor Caligula.

Philo wrote an account of the Jews covering the entire time that Christ is said to have existed on earth. He was living in or near Jerusalem when Christ's miraculous birth and the Herodian massacre (which also has no independent corroboration) supposedly occurred. He was personally very interested in the concept of resurrection. He was there when Christ supposedly would have made his triumphal entry in Jerusalem. He was there when the Crucifixion with its attendant earthquake, supernatural darkness, and resurrection of the dead would have taken place--when Christ himself supposedly would have rose from the dead. Yet, none of these events are ever mentioned by him.

The following is quoted from: http://www.jesusneverexisted.com/philo.html

"Much as Josephus would, a half century later, Philo wrote extensive apologetics on the Jewish religion and commentaries on contemporary politics. About thirty manuscripts and at least 850,000 words are extant. Philo offers commentary on all the major characters of the Pentateuch and, as we might expect, mentions Moses more than a thousand times.

Yet Philo says not a word about Jesus, Christianity nor any of the events described in the New Testament. In all this work, Philo makes not a single reference to his alleged contemporary "Jesus Christ", the godman who supposedly was perambulating up and down the Levant, exorcising demons, raising the dead and causing earthquake and darkness at his death.


With Philo's close connection to the house of Herod, one might reasonably expect that the miraculous escape from a royal prison of a gang of apostles (Acts 5.18,40), or the second, angel-assisted, flight of Peter, even though chained between soldiers and guarded by four squads of troops (Acts 12.2,7) might have occasioned the odd footnote. But not a murmur. Nothing of Agrippa "vexing certain of the church" or killing "James brother of John" with the sword (Acts 12.1,2). "

It simply makes no sense that Philo would not have recorded something about Jesus, vis-a-vis the Jesus described in the book of Mark. Those who argue that Philo would have merely ignored a crowd drawing, miracle working godman because he could not have conceived of the 'logos' in human form merely beg the question that Philo's position would never change, even in the face of negating evidence!

Philo never reports ever seeing the godman represented in the Gospels. His silence is glaring. And Philo may well have even provided us with a positive rule out for a real Jesus Christ:

"And even if there be not as yet any one who is worthy to be called a son of God, nevertheless let him labour earnestly to be adorned according to his first-born word, the eldest of his angels, as the great archangel of many names; for he is called, the authority, and the name of God, and the Word, and man according to God's image, and he who sees Israel."
– Philo, "On the Confusion of Tongues," (146)

Quotation via: http://www.jesusneverexisted.com/philo.html

Pliny the Elder (~23 CE - 79 CE) wrote a Natural History that mentions hundreds of people, major and minor; he even writes about the Essenes in Natural History, section V, 15 . Yet nowhere in his works is any mention of the Jesus phenomena described in Mark. The typical apologist response is that Pliny would not have taken interest in a backwater preacher, but given the claims given in the Gospels concerning the purported life of Jesus, it is glaringly obvious that Pliny would have either seen, heard of, or at least investigated events as incredible as those reported in the book of Mark; yet not a word of these putative events is alluded to in his work.

Pliny also provides us with a direct refutation of the Gospel claims of earthquakes and eclipses (i.e. such as those found in Matthew). Pliny collected data on all manner of natural and astronomical phenomena, even those which were legendary - which he himself did not necessarily regard as factual, yet he records no prodigies associated with the beliefs of Christians, such as an earthquake or darkening of the skies at a crucifixion, or any star of Bethlehem.

Seneca the Elder (54 BCE - 39 AD) was a Roman rhetorician and writer and father to the more famous Seneca the Younger. Seneca was the author of a lost historical work, containing the history of Rome from the beginning of the civil wars almost down to his own death. While the work is lost to us, it was published by his son. The latest references in his writings are to the period immediately after the death of Tiberius, probably around the time of his own death in 39 AD.

Seneca the Younger (ca. 4 BCE–AD 65) Seneca was a philosopher and statesman, who wrote both philosophical works and papers on morality. He lived during the purported time of Jesus, in the general area of Jesus, and would have had contact with Roman authorities who in turn would have had contacts with Jesus. More importantly, he was interested in matters of morality and religion very similar to the concerns of later Christians. Yet, he does not take note of any of the miraculous events reported in the gospels.

From: http://www.jesusneverexisted.com/seneca.html

The life of Seneca, like that of Philo, was contemporaneous with the "Jesus" of legend. Yet though Seneca wrote extensively on many subjects and people, nothing relating to "Jesus" ever caught his attention, nor does he show any awareness of a "vast multitude" of Christians, supposedly, punished for the fire that ravaged Rome in 64 AD. (See Tacitus for more on this)

The lack of any reference to Jesus Christ or Christians by Seneca was an embarrassment to the early Church fathers. There was a futile attempt to rectify this during the 4th century by a forger familiar with Seneca's letters to his life-long friend Lucilius. What emerged was a correspondence purporting to be friendly exchanges between the eminent Roman philosopher – at the height of his fame and political influence – and an unknown itinerant preacher we now call St Paul.

The catalyst for the fabrications appear to have been remarks by Tertullian, in the early 3rd century. Tertullian, aware that Seneca had articulated sentiments suited to a "great moral teacher" referred to Seneca as "often our own." By the time of Constantius II (337-361), Seneca had been taken captive by the Christians, his fidelity to the cause vouched for by a lively exchange of letters (in Latin!) with the Jewish Christian apostle. Today, no serious scholar accepts these as valid communications between Seneca and Paul, they are universally accepted as fraud.

"The tradition that Gallio sent some of St. Paul's writings to his brother Seneca is utterly absurd; and indeed at this time (A.D. 54), St. Paul had written nothing except the two Epistles to the Thessalonians."
– Rev. F. W. Farrar.

After Philo, Seneca the Younger and Pliny the Elder one of the most damning omissions would be in the works of Josephus and Tacitus.

Josephus (37-100 AD) . Theists may be surprised to see this name on the list, and the inclusion is quite debatable, but read on.

Josephus was not a contemporary and could not have been a first hand eyewitness of "Jesus", however, as a Jewish historian who focused on Jewish history and religion, he would have been greatly interested in the appearance of the Jewish Messiah. Josephus wrote The Antiquities of the Jews, See his works here: http://reluctant-messenger.com/josephus.htm This is a work that focused on Jewish history from "Adam" to Josephus' time. Yet, while Josephus devotes a good deal of time and space to John the Baptist (Note, the claim that he actually writes about John the Baptist is controversial) and other historical figures mentioned in the Gospels (He gives a detailed account of Pontius Pilate in The Jewish Wars, http://www.inu.net/skeptic/gospels.html) he does not appear to have actually written anything at all concerning the life of Jesus the Christ! This is 'damning' considering that we would expect that the appearance of the Jewish Messiah ought to have dominated a work dedicated to Jewish history.

Furthermore, Josephus was interested both in the concept of resurrection, as well as in the histories of various Jewish sects which a real Jesus would have either 1) been a member of or 2) have had substantial discourse with. How could a man with these experiences, and with these interests, not have dedicated volumes to "Jesus" if there were any reason to believe such a messiah existed?

Josephus writes:

"When I was sixteen years old, I decided to get experience with the various sects that are among us. These are three: as we have said many times, the first, that of the Pharisees, the second that of the Saduccees, the third, that of the Essenes. For I thought that in this way I would choose best, if I carefully examined them all. Therefore, submitting myself to strict training, I passed through the three groups."
(Life, 1.2, 10-11)

Now we have a man with a keen historical interest in Judaism, combing this interest with a wealth of first hand experience concerning the very groups Jesus would have been numbered amongst, who doesn't mention a word about Jesus! Josephus is also known to have recorded the term in office of Joseph, son of Caiaphas, the very same Caiaphas whom the Gospels claim organized the plot to kill Jesus. Yet nothing in his report on Caiaphas alludes to such an event.

For this very reason, the claim that Josephus never mentions a Jesus the Christ was a concern for early Christians. Therefore, it is no surprise that a later interpolation of a reference to Jesus the Christ appears in the Antiquities. The infamous "Testimonium Flavium" appears to have been inserted into the Antiquities about the time of the 4th century. A key proof for this comes from the fact that while early Christians cited Josephus, none of them ever cited the Testimonium, even in situations where they were striving to provide historical proof for Jesus (i.e. in debates with Jewish scholars):

* Justin Martyr (circa C.E. 100-165) never once quoted the passage -- even in the face of charges that Christians had "invented some sort of Christ for themselves" and that they had accepted "a futile rumor" (Dialogue with Trypho 8; circa C.E. 135).
* Clement of Alexandria (ca. 192) - familiar with the works of Josephus
* Tertullian (ca. 193) - familiar with the works of Josephus
* Origen (circa C.E. 185-254), who in his own writings relies extensively upon the works of Josephus, does not mention this passage or any other passage in Josephus that mentions Christ. Not even when he is in dialogue against Celsus' accusations!
* Jerome (circa C.E. 347-420) cites Josephus 90 times, but never once cites the Testimonium.
(citation: Lost and Hostile Gospels, Rev. Sabine Baring-Gould)

Logic itself tells us that had Josephus written the Testimonium, he would have written more than 3 lines concerning the existence of the Jewish Messiah in a book dedicated to Jewish History! Remsberg writes:

"Its brevity disproves its authenticity. Josephus' work is voluminous and exhaustive. It comprises twenty books. Whole pages are devoted to petty robbers and obscure seditious leaders. Nearly fourty chapters are devoted to the life of a single king. Yet this remarkable being, the greatest product of his race, a being of whom the prophets foretold ten thousand wonderful things, a being greater than any earthly king, is dismissed with a dozen lines."

-- The Christ, by John E. Remsburg, reprinted by Prometheus Books, New York, 1994, pages 171-3.

It's brevity in fact points to interpolation:

Richard Carrier writes:

"An expert on manuscripts would know the problem here: scrolls have a fixed length. Each book of a work usually had to be no larger than would fit on one scroll, and certainly it was problematic for a copyist to break the pattern and use more scrolls than his source text (it would throw off everything, and make consulting the work a nightmare for any reader). This fact argues in favor of interpolation. If the material came from Josephus, he could have written more about such a topic (surely, since as we now have it, it is a marvelous digression indeed to warrant so slight a coverage), and just ended the whole book sooner, thus creating no problem. But if the material was added by a later editor, there would have been very little space to work with: so the addition had to be short, short enough to prevent the whole book from exceeding a standard scroll's length. (The interpolation was perhaps made by the 4th century Christian librarian Eusebius: see Kirby's "The Testimonium Flavianum&quotEye-wink."
- http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/richard_carrier/jesuspuzzle.html#General

Logic also provides us with yet another powerful clue as to the falsity of the Testimonium: Josephus lived and died a Jew, never converting to Christianity. Even a Christian apologist, normally at home with warping logic well past its breaking point, ought to find it difficult to reconcile the claim that Josephus had any substantial evidence of Jesus as the Messiah with the fact that he never converted to Christianity. How could Josephus have good evidence for the existence of a messiah, and yet, at the same time, die a Jew?

There's really only one way to salvage the Testimonium: to use Jeffery J. Lowder's argument that the Testimonium was radically altered by christians, and that the original Josephus passage was a second hand reference to a purely human Jesus who, while worthy of a brief note, did not merit more than a few lines of text, let along consideration as the Jewish Messiah. This would explain why christians did not cite it until it was radically altered: because it was an actual refutation of the gospel claim of Jesus the Christ.

Lowder writes:

"There are many scholars who believe the original text contained an authentic reference to Jesus but was later embellished by Christian copyists. I have italicized the sections widely regarded as interpolations":

Now there was about this time Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call him a man, for he was a doer of wonderful works, a teacher of such men as receive the truth with pleasure. He drew over to him both many of the Jews, and many of the Gentiles. He was the Christ, and when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men among us, had condemned him to the cross, those that loved him at the first did not forsake him; for he appeared to them alive again the third day; as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning him. And the tribe of Christians so named from him are not extinct at this day.

Lowder continues:

"If the original passage contained only the non-italicized text, then it becomes quite easy to explain why the passage was not widely quoted during early Christian history. In its "pure" form, the passage would have only proved that (a purely human) Jesus existed, not that he performed miracles, rose from the dead, etc."

Lowder states that this may explain why no early christian cited the Testimonium: because it did nothing to support the existence of Jesus as Jesus the Christ.

(Lowder's original article: http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/jeff_lowder/mckinsey.html)

The two most plausible explanations for the Testimonium: that it is either entirely or partially a fraud, both create a serious problem for the christian.

If the Testimonium is a complete fiction, it leaves the christian without any historical corroboration from Josephus.

If it is a tampered document, it shows that there is a non contemporary account of Jesus, one who may even meet one of the criteria mentioned in Mark (drawing crowds). But it indicates that Josephus did not consider this Jesus to be anything more than a revered teacher - literally noteworthy - but hardly the wonder worker of the book of Mark, a fact that embarrassed early christians to the point that they 1) ignored the passage for centuries, even while citing Josephus elsewhere and 2) later saw fit to deceptively alter the passage.

It should also be noted that some argue that Antiquities section 20.9 makes an indirect reference to Jesus. This claim is examined here: http://www.atheistnetwork.com/viewtopic.php?p=38864&sid=eae887916e8679c9cd9fd7af5fc065e5#38864
and also here: http://www.inu.net/skeptic/gospels.html There is good reason to believe that the reference to a "Jesus' here is actually a reference to Jesus, son of Damneus that has been tampered with by later christians, and not an actual reference to 'Jesus, son of Joseph', although Origen does cite this passage as historical evidence for Jesus. And again, the same point remains: the idea that a historian would mention the Messiah in passing while discussing an issue of minor relevance (and not elsewhere) staggers reason itself.

Tacitus (ca. 56 – ca. 117)

Tacitus is remembered first and foremost as Rome's greatest historian. His two surviving works: Annals and The Histories form a near continuous narrative from the death of Augustus in 14 CE to the death of Domitian in 96.

Interestingly, I cannot report on the silence of Tacitus concerning Jesus, because the very years of the purported existence of Jesus 30, 31, are suspiciously missing from his work(!)

Richard Carrier writes:

"...we are enormously lucky to have Tacitus--only two unrelated Christian monasteries had any interest in preserving his Annals, for example, and neither of them preserved the whole thing, but each less than half of it, and by shear luck alone, they each preserved a different half. And yet we still have large gaps in it. One of those gaps is the removal of the years 29, 30, and 31 (precisely, the latter part of 29, all of 30, and the earlier part of 31), which is probably the deliberate excision of Christian scribes who were embarrassed by the lack of any mention of Jesus or Gospel events in those years (the years Jesus' ministry, death, and resurrection were widely believed at the time to have occurred). There is otherwise no known explanation for why those three years were removed. The other large gap is the material between the two halves that neither institution preserved. And yet another is the end of the second half, which scribes also chose not to preserve (or lost through negligent care of the manuscript, etc.)."

Ironically, Christians often cite Tacitus as historical evidence for Jesus.

This is the passage cited:

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

However, there are serious problems with using this passage as independent corroboration of Jesus:

Jeffery Jay Lowder states:

"There is no good reason to believe that Tacitus conducted independent research concerning the historicity of Jesus. The context of the reference was simply to explain the origin of the term "Christians," which was in turn made in the context of documenting Nero's vices..."

It is not just 'Christ-mythicists' who deny that Tacitus provides independent confirmation of the historicity of Jesus; indeed, there are numerous Christian scholars who do the same! For example, France writes, Annals XV.44 "cannot carry alone the weight of the role of 'independent testimony' with which it has often been invested." E.P. Sanders notes, "Roman sources that mention [Jesus] are all dependent on Christian reports." And William Lane Craig states that Tacitus' statement is "no doubt dependent on Christian tradition."
- Jeffery Jay Lowder, "Evidence" for Jesus, Is It Reliable?
http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/jeff_lowder/jury/chap5.html

So it may simply be that Tacitus was relying on oral tradition, and not on any historical research for his reference to Jesus. Tacitus himself tells us about the value of such traditions:

"...everything gets exaggerated is typical for any story" and "all the greatest events are obscure--while some people accept whatever they hear as beyond doubt, others twist the truth into its opposite, and both errors grow over subsequent generations" (Annals 3.44 & 3.19). (Cited via Carrier's article)

As weak as the Tacitus claim is, it remains a possibility that even this weak bit of apparent corroboration is a later interpolation. The problems with this claim are examined here:

http://www.atheistnetwork.com/viewtopic.php?p=38864&sid=eae887916e8679c9cd9fd7af5fc065e5#38864

Some of these problems are summarized by Gordon Stein:

"While we know from the way in which the above is written that Tacitus did not claim to have firsthand knowledge of the origins of Christianity, we can see that he is repeating a story which was then commonly believed, namely that the founder of Christianity, one Christus, had been put to death under Tiberius. There are a number of serious difficulties which must be answered before this passage can be accepted as genuine. There is no other historical proof that Nero persecuted the Christians at all. There certainly were not multitudes of Christians in Rome at that date (circa 60 A.D.). In fact, the term "Christian" was not in common use in the first century. We know Nero was indifferent to various religions in his city, and, since he almost definitely did not start the fire in Rome, he did not need any group to be his scapegoat. Tacitus does not use the name Jesus, and writes as if the reader would know the name Pontius Pilate, two things which show that Tacitus was not working from official records or writing for non-Christian audiences, both of which we would expect him to have done if the passage were genuine.

Perhaps most damning to the authenticity of this passage is the fact that it is present almost word-for-word in the Chronicle of Sulpicius Severus (died in 403 A.D.), where it is mixed in with obviously false tales. At the same time, it is highly unlikely that Sulpicius could have copied this passage from Tacitus, as none of his contemporaries mention the passage. This means that it was probably not in the Tacitus manuscripts at that date. It is much more likely, then, that copyists working in the Dark Ages from the only existing manuscript of the Chronicle, simply copied the passage from Sulpicius into the manuscript of Tacitus which they were reproducing."
- The Jesus of History: A Reply to Josh McDowell
Gordon Stein, Ph.D. http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/gordon_stein/jesus.shtml

Supporting Stein's claim is that, as with the Testimonium, there is no provenance for the passage: No early Christian writer uses Tacitus' passage in their apologetics, even when discussing Christian persecution by Nero:

* Tertullian (ca. 155–230)
* Lactantius (ca. 240 - ca. 320)
* Sulpicius Severus (c. 360 – 425)
* Eusebius (ca. 275 – 339)
* Augustine of Hippo (354 – 430)

However, the key point here is that Tacitus did in fact write a thorough history of the purported times of Jesus and his ministry, and while this work is lost to us, Tacitus never makes any cross reference to it during his discussion of christians and Nero nor at any other point in his surviving works.

Plutarch (ca. 46 - 127) again, was not a contemporary, he wrote about the same time as Josephus, about contemporary Roman figures, oracles, prophesies, and moral, religious, and spiritual issues. A figure such as Jesus, whom the Gospels portray as interacting with Roman figures, making prophecies, and giving sermons on novel religious and spiritual issues to throngs of people, would have been of great interest to him. Yet we cannot find even a word about "Jesus" from Plutarch.

Gaius Suetonius Tranquillus (ca. 69 - 130)

Suetonius was not a contemporary of the purported time of Jesus. However, since some theists cite Suetonius as independent corroboration of Jesus, I will discuss him here.

Jeffery Jay Lowder writes:

"Suetonius, the Roman historian and biographer formerly known as Gaius Suetonius Tranquillus, wrote several works, including his Lives of the Twelve Caesars, which is an account of the lives of the first twelve Roman emperors. In his Life of Claudius, he writes:

As the Jews were making constant disturbances at the instigation of Chrestus, he expelled them from Rome."

Lowder continues:

The claim that 'Chrestus' is a misspelling of 'Christus' "can never be more than a guess, and the fact that Suetonius can elsewhere speak of 'Christians' as members of a new cult (without any reference to Jews) surely makes it rather unlikely that he could make such a mistake
- Jeffery Jay Lowder http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/jeff_lowder/jury/chap5.html

"Chrestus" means 'The Good" in Greek, while "Christus" means "The Messiah." Actually, Chrestus was not an uncommon name in ancient Rome. Since Jesus was admittedly not in Rome instigating the Jews, we are almost definitely talking about someone other than Jesus here. I should mention that the entire relevant quotation from Suetonius which is involved here reads as follows: "As the Jews were making constant disturbances at the instigation of one Chrestus, he expelled them from Rome." The "he" is Claudius. As just mentioned, not even McDowell claims that Jesus was at Rome in 55 AD, when this incident is alleged to have occurred. It is also difficult to see why Jews would be led by Jesus. That is pretty strong evidence that this passage does not refer to Jesus of Nazareth at all, and so is irrelevant to our discussion of whether Jesus ever lived. We can, however, add the lack of a mention of Jesus in Suetonius to our list of "negative" evidence for the existence of Jesus as an historical person. The reference in Suetonius is Life of the Caesars (Claudius 25:4).

- The Jesus of History: A Reply to Josh McDowell
Gordon Stein, Ph.D. http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/gordon_stein/jesus.shtml

Justus of Tiberius ( ? - 95 ?) Remsberg states that "Justus was a native of Christ's own country, Galilee. He was a contemporary and rival of Josephus. He wrote a history of Jewish people Kings (who the gospels state Jesus had interactions with) covering the time of Christ's reputed existence. This work perished, but Photius, a Christian scholar and critic of the 9th century, was acquainted with it said:

'I have read the chronology of Justus of Tiberias ... and being under the Jewish prejudices, as indeed he was himself also a Jew by birth. He makes not the least mention of the appearance of Christ, of what things happened to him, or of the wonderful works that he did." (– Photius, Patriarch of Constantinople, Bibliotheca, Code 33)."

Dio Chrysostom (c. 40–c. 120) was a Greek orator, writer, philosopher and historian of the Roman Empire in the first century. Eighty of his Discourses remain in existence. While Chrysostom was not a contemporary of Jesus' purported time (He was a contemporary of Plutarch, Tacitus and Pliny the Younger) he was both a historian and a person with great interest in moral matters. His philosophy has been considered a moral parallel to that of Paul of Tarsus and indicates that the early Greek Christians drew upon the Cynic and Stoic philosophies when developing their Christian faith. So we again have an early writer who certainly would have had interest in Jesus as Mark or any of the other Gospels, present him.

Epictetus (55-130) Again, the Stoic philosopher Epictetus was not born until sometime after the purported time of Jesus, however, his silence remains noteworthy. A translator of Epictetus, Elizabeth Carter, was baffled that he was not a Christian. “There are so many of the sentiments and expressions of Christianity in it, that one should be strongly tempted to think that Epictetus was acquainted with the New Testament,..” [p. xxii] Well, he was not and never even so much as mentions Christians in passing. He lived in Rome and as a slave to Epaphroditus, a senior member of Nero’s government would have known of the fire and the Christian sacrifice in the aftermath. However, all he has to say about Nero is his persecution of some good men who refused to attend his performances.

They all should have noticed. It appears that none did.

All that is left is to sum things up. The historian Edward Gibbons writes:

"But how shall we excuse the supine inattention of the Pagan and philosophic world, to those evidences which were represented by the hand of Omnipotence, not to their reason, but to their senses? During the age of Christ, of his apostles, and of their first disciples, the doctrine which they preached was confirmed by innumerable prodigies. The lame walked, the blind saw, the sick were healed, the dead were raised, demons were expelled, and the laws of Nature were frequently suspended for the benefit of the church. But the sages of Greece and Rome turned aside from the awful spectacle, and, pursuing the ordinary occupations of life and study, appeared unconscious of any alterations in the moral or physical government of the world. Under the reign of Tiberius, the whole earth, or at least a celebrated province of the Roman empire, was involved in a preternatural darkness of three hours. Even this miraculous event, which ought to have excited the wonder, the curiosity, and the devotion of mankind, passed without notice in an age of science and history. It happened during the lifetime of Seneca and the elder Pliny, who must have experienced the immediate effects, or received the earliest intelligence of the prodigy. Each of these philosophers, in a laborious work, has recorded all the great phenomena of Nature, earthquakes, meteors comets, and eclipses, which his indefatigable curiosity could collect. Both the one and the other have omitted to mention the greatest phenomenon to which the mortal eye has been witness since the creation of the globe" (Rome, Vol. I, pp. 588-590).

Could the most amazing event ever go unnoticed? Only the intellectual dishonest can answer with a "yes".

Addendum:

Let's now consider a person who 'does' 'notice' Jesus:

St. Paul of Tsarus. (10-67)

As Franc Tremblay writes:

"Such a deafening silence on the existence of any other historical figures would be extremely suspicious. In the case of an earth-shaking messiah who raised the dead and fed the multitudes, clearly we should find masses of testimonies and evidence, but we find none. It is clearly an argument for the non-existence of Jesus. But the clinching evidence is that even Christian leaders considered Jesus purely as a mythical figure and did not know anything about his life":

Indeed. And just to demonstrate how sparse in details early writings on Jesus are:

"In the first half century of Christian correspondence, including letters attributed to Paul and other epistles under names like Peter, James and John, the Gospel story cannot be found. When these writers speak of their divine Christ, echoes of Jesus of Nazareth are virtually inaudible, including details of a life and ministry, the circumstances of his death, the attribution of any teachings to him. God himself is often identified as the source of Christian ethics. No one speaks of miracles performed by Jesus, his apocalyptic predictions, his views on any of the great issues of the time. The very fact that he preached in person is never mentioned, his appointment of apostles or his directive to carry the message to the nations of the world is never appealed to. No one looks back to Jesus’ life and ministry as the genesis of the Christian movement, or as the pivot point of salvation history."

- The Jesus Puzzle, by Earl Doherty (Journal of Higher Criticism, Fall 1997)

Ironically, though supposedly in Jerusalem at the right time, he can give no witness to a historical Jesus.
- Jesusneverexisted.com by Kenneth Humprehys,

Then we must consider the basis for the earliest known claims for Jesus are based not on eyewitness accounts, but on a vision:

But the truth is, "after Jesus rose from the dead" our earliest and only eyewitness report says he only spoke "in a revelation" and not in "flesh and blood" (Gal. 1:11-12, 1:15-16). In other words, it was a subjective experience in the mind of the believer that Jesus was speaking to him. We know there are many other causes of such an experience besides an actual spirit of a deceased person contacting us, and have never yet confirmed that any such contact can or ever has happened to anyone.
- Richard Carrier, http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/richard_carrier/resurrection/rubicon.html

So tracing back the claim to its earliest trackable origin, we have a claim based on a vision. Not even Paul is an eyewitness!

As Rook Hawkins writes:

(The only Jesus we have is the Jesus of the Gospels) Jesus... is only the Jesus of Francis of Assisi, and Tertullian, and Augustine.... You just cannot locate a historical Jesus in Gospels. Where is he? Is it when Jesus walks on water in Matthew 15:22-33 or after that when Jesus condemns the Pharisees? Perhaps it is when Jesus hands off his cross to Simon in Mark 15:21? Where is he? Without any actual credible, extrabiblical data to attest to Jesus you are only left with two choices. Either Jesus is the Jesus of the Gospels or he fails to exist on any plane other than that of literary invention.

***********************
For those who wish to respond to this Essay :

First, those who wish to question my argument from Silence, please recognize that my argument not only meets all of the requirements, it actually meets the criteria required for a strengthened Argument from Silence:

How to make an Argument from Silence

According to Gilbert Garraghan (A Guide to Historical Method, 1946, p. 149)

To be valid, the argument from silence must fulfill two conditions: the writer[s] whose silence is invoked would certainly have known about it; [and] knowing it, he would under the circumstances certainly have made mention of it. When these two conditions are fulfilled, the argument from silence proves its point with moral certainty.

It ought to be clear to even the casual reader that the men I have cited meet both criteria.

In addition, the historian Richard Carrier suggests two additional criteria to strengthen an argument from silence:

1) Whether or not it is common for men to create similar myths.

It is prima facie true that this is the case. History is replete not only with 'god' claims, but with claims for messiah status.

2) The claim is of an extraordinary nature, it violates what we already know of nature.

(Important note: this is not to rule out extraordinary claims, a priori.)

The miracle claims in the book of Mark violate what we know of nature.

The argument presented here meets the two additional criteria.

Also see:
http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/richard_carrier/jesuspuzzle.html#General

Carrier writes:
There are two ways to "prove" ahistoricity:

(1) If you can demonstrate that there is both (a) insufficient evidence to believe x and (b) sufficient evidence to disbelieve x, then it is reasonable to disbelieve x. This is the "Argument from Silence."

(2) If you can demonstrate that all the evidence can be far better accounted for by a theory (y) other than historicity (theory x), then it is reasonable to believe y and, consequently, to disbelieve x. This is the "Argument to the Best Explanation."

For more on evidential arguments from silence: http://www.umass.edu/wsp/methodology/outline/silence.html

****************************


Now, if you still wish to respond, unless you have entirely new points to raise, please save yourself some time and just post "Number 1" or "Number 2 or "Number 3"

1) No one would have noticed, because "Jesus" was a minor figure.

- This response simply ignores my essay. Reread my opening points on the book of Mark, which demonstrate that the Jesus presented in the Gospels cannot be sanely held to be a figure that anyone could ignore, no matter their pre -xistent beliefs.

Richard Carrier writes:

One could say that Jesus was an insignificant, illiterate, itinerant preacher with a tiny following, who went wholly unnoticed by any literate person in Judaea. However, this would not bode well for anyone who wished to maintain he was God, or did any of the more amazing things attributed to him. It is very implausible, for instance, that a biography would be written for the obscure itinerant philosopher Demonax in his own lifetime (by Lucian), yet God Incarnate, or a Great Miracle Worker who riled up all Judaea with talk, should inspire nothing like it until decades after his death. And though several historians wrote on Judaean affairs in the early 1st century (not just Josephus and Tacitus, but several others no longer extant), none apparently mentioned Jesus (see the Secular Web library on Historicity). Certainly, had anyone done so, the passages would probably have been lovingly preserved by 2nd century Christians, or else inspired angry rebuttals.

For instance, the attacks of Celsus, Hierocles, and Porphyry, though destroyed by Christians and thus no longer extant (another example of the peculiar problem of Christian history discussed above), nevertheless remain attested in the defenses written by Origen, Eusebius, and Macerius Magnes. But no earlier attacks are attested. There is no mention of Christians in Plutarch's attack On Superstition, nor a rebuttal to any attack on Christianity in Seneca's lost work On Superstition (which ruthlessly attacked pagans and Jews, as attested in book 10 of Augustine's City of God), so it seems evident Christians got no mention even there, in a text against alien cults, by a man who would have witnessed the Neronian persecution of 64 A.D. (alternatively, the fact that this is the only work of Seneca's not to be preserved, despite the fact that Christians must surely have been keen to preserve an anti-pagan text by a renowned pagan, might mean it contained some damning anti-Christian material and was suppressed, though Augustine clearly had access to the work and says nothing about such content). All of this suggests a troubling dichotomy for believers: either Jesus was a nobody (and therefore not even special, much less the Son of God) or he did not exist.
- Richard Carrier, http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/richard_carrier/jesuspuzzle.html#General

2) "The people I listed wouldn't care about writing about a god striding the earth in earthly form, attracting throngs of people and working miracles... because they preferred to focus on other things... like philosophy."

Response: Sure, and people dealing with philosophy, the meaning of life, matters of the true nature of existence, would not be interested in a godman striding the earth, working miracles, offering redemption, because such things have nothing to do with the meaning of life...

Please think your argument through. It relies on circular logic when the very conclusion of such an argument is being ruled out in the first place: Had they encountered such a being, it's unlikely that they would have carried on writing about other matters in the first place. The fact that they did focus on other matters works against you, not for you.

3) We would never expect disinterested parties, or outright 'enemies' of Christianity to record it, since it would not serve their purposes.

First, we would expect to hear criticisms and attacks from enemies.

But more importantly, this is circular logic. If the book of Mark, a book that reports epoch shattering events, is a historical account, then how could there be so many disinterested third parties and outright enemies of Christianity in the first place? It is simply begging the question to assume that doubters would remain doubters, even in the face of overwhelming evidence as per the claims of the book of Mark. It is simply backwards logic to argue that doubters would simply remain doubters: the more parsimonious explanation is that these amazing events didn't occur in the first place. This better explains the silence.

As Richard Carrier writes:

"Of course, if the evidence were really so clear, there would not be many enemies in the first place: many leading, literate Jews would have converted, many more than just Paul, and all would have left us letters and documents about their experiences and reasons. But that would fall under the category of eyewitness testimony, of which we have none, except Paul, who of course never testifies to ever meeting Jesus in the flesh, to seeing the empty grave, or to seeing the actual corpse of Jesus rising and talking. In fact, Paul never really says anyone saw these things.

Instead, my category of hostile attestation is distinct from this, for if even those who don't like it or don't believe it nevertheless report it, even if only to denounce or deny it or explain it away, that is itself stronger evidence than we now have. For example, if we had what Matthew claims the Jews were saying in Matthew 28:11-15 from a first-century Jewish writer, that would be hostile attestation.[11] Certainly many Jews would have an interest in publishing such lies or explanations, if in fact Christians were making such claims then, and there really were enough Christians making these claims for anyone to care. Instead, the complete absence of any Jewish texts attacking Christianity in the first century is astonishing--unless Christianity was a socially microscopic cult making unverifiably subjective claims of revelations from God that no one could falsify. Otherwise, ancient authors were not beneath writing tracts slandering other people, and later pagan authors had no scruple against attacking the Christians. So why did no one attack the Christians earlier? There are problems here, surely."

- From "The Rubicon Analogy"

4) "Remsberg was refuted a long time ago."

This essay corrects the flaws in his argument. However, while many have pointed out flaws in Remsberg's original list, his main point still stands: it's ridiculous to claim that a historian or a philosopher wouldn't be interested in mentioning that he saw a god man working miracles. In addition, those who questioned the original list by pointing to authors of questionable merit, critics rarely, if ever bothered to concede the existence of early authors whose works are lost to us, but would have been available to second century Christians.

See also:

The Jesus Puzzle: http://jesuspuzzle.humanists.net/home.htm
by Earl Doherty

Jesus Never Existed: http://www.jesusneverexisted.com/
by Kenneth Humphreys

Did Jesus Exist?: http://www.atheists.org/christianity/didjesusexist.html
by Frank Zindler

The works of Richard Carrier: http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/richard_carrier/

The works of Robert Price: http://www.robertmprice.mindvendor.com/

The works of G. A. Wells: http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/g_a_wells/index.html

http://www.bibleorigins.net/

http://www.christianorigins.com/

And a rare, well reasoned counter position:

Jeffery Jay Lowder
http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/jeff_lowder/jury/chap5.html

Other points to consider:

Imagine the existence of letters by Caiaphas or "Joseph of Arimathea" or "Peter" or Pontius Pilate. A reference from any of these figures would present us with strong evidence for at least a historical Jesus. While it shouldn't surprise us that most historical documents are lost to us, shouldn't it at least arouse our suspicions that no letters exist from any of these men?

"If we had an actual papyrus carbon-dated to the first century containing a letter by Pilate or Peter documenting or detailing any of the key facts surrounding the resurrection claim, that would be physical evidence. If we had an inscription commissioned by Joseph of Arimathea attesting to the fact that he found his tomb empty and that Jesus then appeared to his disciples, that would be physical evidence. If we had a coin issued by Agrippa just a few years later declaring faith in Christ, that would be physical evidence. If the empty tomb acquired miraculous powers as a result of so momentous a miracle there, or if the angels never left but remained there to converse with all who sought to know the truth, so that either fact could be physically confirmed today--so that we could go there now and see these miracles or angels for ourselves--that would be physical evidence.

And

"On the Resurrection, however, no eyewitness wrote anything--not Jesus, not Peter, not Mary, not any of the Twelve, nor any of the Seventy, nor any of the Five Hundred. All we have is Paul, who saw nothing but a "revelation," and who mentions no other kind of experience or evidence being reported by anyone. On the Resurrection, no neutral or hostile witness or contemporary wrote anything--not Joseph, not Caiaphas, not Gamaliel, not Agrippa, not Pilate, not Lysias, not Sergius, not anyone alive at the time, whether Jewish, Greek, or Roman. On the Resurrection, no critical historian documents a single detail, or even the claim itself, until centuries later, and then only by Christian apologists who can only cite the New Testament as their source (and occasionally bogus documents like the letter sent by Jesus to Abgar that Eusebius tries to pass off as authentic). On the Resurrection, no physical evidence of any kind was produced--no coins, no inscriptions, no documentary papyri, no perpetual miracles. And everything that followed in history was caused by the belief in that resurrection, not the resurrection itself--and we know an actual resurrection is not the only possible cause of a belief in a resurrection.
- Richard Carrier, The Rubicon Analogy.
http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/richard_carrier/resurrection/rubicon.html

When you add up all of the following facts, the case for the existence of Jesus as an historical person becomes rather remote: 1) there are no proven, legitimate references to the existence of Jesus in any contemporary source outside of the New Testament (which is really not a contemporary source, as it was written from 30 to 70 years after Jesus supposedly died), 2) There is no evidence that the town of Nazareth, from which Jesus' mother supposedly came, ever existed at the time he was supposedly living there, 3) the existence of Jesus is not necessary to explain the origin or growth of Christianity (were the Hindu gods real'?), 4) the New Testament accounts do not provide a real "biography" for Jesus until you look at the Gospels. The earlier Pauline epistles imply only that he was a god, and 5) the biblical accounts of the trial and death of Jesus are logically self-contradictory and legally impossible. Jesus could not have been executed under either Roman or Jewish law for what he did. Whatever you call what he did, it was not a capital offense under either system. Rather, it looks like someone is trying to make Old Testament prophecies of the death of the Messiah come true by fabricating a scenario which simply doesn't make sense legally.

- The Jesus of History: A Reply to Josh McDowell
Gordon Stein, Ph.D. http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/gordon_stein/jesus.shtml

 

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

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Crossover wrote:  Much of

Crossover wrote:

 Much of the vocabulary and style matches that of Josephus.  

And yet parts do not match his style at all.

Quote:
 

John P. Meier concludes the following from his analysis of the vocabulary of the Testimonium compared to Josephus and to the New Testament: "No one of these differences means all that much; but the accumulated evidence of all these differences may point to an author who is not taking his material from the NT...The upshot of all this is that, apart from Christianon, not one word of what I identify as the original text of the Testimonium fails to occur elsewhere in Josephus, usually with the same meaning and/or construction. As indicated in the first part of this note, the same cannot be said of the NT."

The problem, as I point in my essay that you ignore, is that Josephus is writing a history of the Jews. Had he had evidence of 'jesus' 'jesus' would have dominated his writings.

 

Quote:
 

The arguement that Josephus could have seen the Messiah and died a Jew is an ignorant one. One ignorant of history, and of Christianity. First, Historically, early Christians considered themselves either "Jews" or "gentiles".

Josephus never accepts jesus as the christ, making this point irrelevant.

Quote:
 

 Following the teachings of Christ did not take away from their "jewness" (if thats a word) at all. Many of whom we call "Christians" today considred themselves Jewish. Secondly, by the logic that he wouldn't have died a jJew would mean that EVERYONE who saw Jesus would be Christian.

Why wouldn't everyone who knew jesus as the messiah not be a christian?!

Quote:
 

 

By no means does seeing JEsus, or even believing in him make you a Christian. 

This is backwards: if there were evidence of a real jesus, there wouldn't be many non christians left.. the fact that there are so many non christians in the first century is evidence that there was no actual jesus.

 

Sorry, but this is merely a bunch of bad arguments already considered in my essay. 

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Quote:No, it does not.

Quote:
No, it does not. Even if it were true, it would only be hearsay. I already demonstrate why in the post you simply ignore.

first off, let me say I have ignored no post on here unless I have mistakenly missed it. I am not so closed minded as to intentionally ignore something I believe contrary to, if I were that closed minded I wouldn't be here and I would just stick to Christian forums! Secondly, you have not proven ANYTHING to be hearsay. I think we can establich that it itsn't hearsay by the fact that it is written down by a man, who was a historian and probably prided himself in accuracy. Find me something in his works that are hearsay...you can't, because historians check their facts before they go writting them down in works. Story tellers don't, historians do!

Silnce speaks nothing. Jesus never left a 100 mile radius from Jerusalem. Those in Rome or Pompeii (like PLiny or Seneca) wouldnt hear about him. It wasn't really under Paul's travels and the spread of the Christian faith that word got around. And Philo didn't mention Jesus because he didn't beleive in Jesus, and he did beleive Moses was the greatest prophet. So Philo was busy writting about Jewish laws, traditions, and the life of Moses. His lack of mentioning Jesus is the same as you not mentioning Jesus if you were to write a history of the Egyptian Empire, the fact Jesus lived in Egypt for a few years wouldn't make you put him in there.

And what if I were to tell you that there was one HUGE, GLARING HOLE in your arguement. Those whom you say were silent about Jesus, are unreliable as you yourself proved. you say Tacitus is such a great historian, yet you say he relies on hearsay and exagerations to tlak about Christ. Why bring him up if you think he is so unreliable? And might I add, taht thwhy you say he is unreliable, isn't the full story. You talk about his mention of "Christ" being hearsay, but what about hismention of Pilate. He mentions Pilate as a real person, and by no means does he exagerate Pontius Pilate. In fact, he mentions Pontius Pilate's full name. Tacitus is the only secular reference known to Pontius Pilate. So, while the main focus of his "exageration" is Jesus, thsoe scholars you keep quoting won't defend why he mentions Pilate.

You mention Pleny the Elder, but not Pleny the younger. Am I to assume from your arguement that the slience of a few men cancels out the worsd by these men:

Suetonius

Lucian of Samosata

Pliny the Younger

Thallus

Phlegon

Mara Bar-Serapion

(all of those were not Jewsih or Christian, but pagans)

Talmud

(I would like to lst Josephus, but I'll just imply him)

 R. Shimeon ben Azzai

(the previous stated names, Jews)

Now, I have not mentioned a Christian historian, God, or the Bible in my text here. So do not try ot talk about the diet of Christ as you have tried to in other post. Also, give me some of your own thoughts to. I'm not going to sit here and debate 35 of you favorite ph.d athiests. I can bring out Christian doctors and such to, as I did in one post, and if you want this to become a discussion between theologians and athiests it can, I'm more than equiped to go there...but this is a forum and Richard Carrier, Robert Price, John Piper, C.S. Lewis...not members!

My Master has no desire to be merely victor in a debate: he did not come into the world to fight a battle of logic just
for the sake of winning it. --Charles Spurgeon


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Crossover

Crossover wrote:

Quote:
No, it does not. Even if it were true, it would only be hearsay. I already demonstrate why in the post you simply ignore.

first off, let me say I have ignored no post on here unless I have mistakenly missed it. I am not so closed minded as to intentionally ignore something I believe contrary to, if I were that closed minded I wouldn't be here and I would just stick to Christian forums!

LOL Good point.

 

I do hope that you will incorporate my points in your responses then, seeing as many of the points I make are counter yours.

One example would be the claim that we would not expect many early christians, given that 'seeing christ does not equal accepting christ'

Well, my arguments holds that such a claim is preposterous, given that it would render jesus' mission sorta pointless if the goal from the start was to have what we have today: 2/3 of the world NOT believing there was a christ.

It's clear to me that had there actually been a christ, there wouldn't have been as many naysayers or doubters or even disinterested parties to begin with! So you can't argue that a person's disinterest explains why they don't mention jesus the christ, as that is backwards: if there were a jesus, there would have been less disinterest.

This is already a part of my argument, yet your later post is written as to not be aware of this counter argument.

THis is why I hold I am aware of your arguments (For the most part) and have incorporated them into my post.

 

BUT we can still do point by point arguments if that clarifies.

Quote:

Secondly, you have not proven ANYTHING to be hearsay.

Actually, I have attempted to do so. You just disgree.

1) If Jospephus had good reason to believe jesus were the christ, it follows that he would have accepted jesus as the christ.

2) Three lines dedicated to a person held to be a claimanant to the king of the jews, in a work dedicated to a History of the Jews (!) is nonsensical, unless the 3 lines were mere hearsay, i.e. something clearly not noteworthy, as it JOsephus had no way to corroborate it.

 

In short, a limited testimonium can only be a report of hearsay, it cannot be an actual report, given that josephus tells us NOTHING about how he came to know of this 'info', and given that he himself cannot have taken the claim seriously for the reasons given above.
I can go into this more later, but look again at my argument...

 

Quote:

I think we can establich that it itsn't hearsay by the fact that it is written down by a man,

Lots of things are written down, my post is written down. You disagree with it.

Quote:

who was a historian

You overvalue historians and assume historians always write history and never hearsay. This does not follow at all.

 

This will be our key point: historians are not all good historians, and what matters is their methodology... if a historian doesn't even give us his methodology (some DO give it, even those centuries befor Josephus) then his claims are questionable to say the least.

Quote:

and probably prided himself in accuracy.

Well, what do you base this on? Just a hunch?

Maybe he prided himself on 'telling it like it really is, damn the facts"?

Anyway, if he prided himself on accuracy, this is precisely why if it is even his writing, the testimonium must be hearsay! He's writing a History of the Jews! IF he had evidence of a man claiming to be the king of the jews, then he would have had to written volumes on jesus had he any ACTUAL information. He cant' have written the full testimonium, and if he did write the partial, it can't be something he knew of first hand. It simply can't given its brevity.

Don't forget that this guy wrote about creation, adam and the suppposed ten lost tribes of israal, he's not above just assuming hearsay is fact.

 

Quote:

Find me something in his works that are hearsay...you can't,

Um... have you ever read the Antiquities?!!?!

Josephus writes on CREATION IN THE ANTIQUITIES OF THE JEWS! What do you think he's basing that on, 'first hand eye witnessing'?

He writes on a great deal that can only be hearsay! He's assuming genesis was written by moses and that it is history! 

Hey, isn't that ironic, given the name of your thread..we are no longer outside the context of the bible... josephus is citing genesis as history here. 

Seriously man, you're a good guy, but don't bluff me: you need to read the antiquities, and not act as if you have:

http://reluctant-messenger.com/josephusA01.htm

How is josephus writing on the creation as history, or adam as history, or the activities of the '10 tribes' as history when there is no history of any of this? He can only go on hearsay and he does thorughtout the antiquities.

The truth is that Josephus was not a top line historian, and he was not above telling a story that he 'felt' was true.

 

Quote:

because historians check their facts before they go writting them down in works. Story tellers don't, historians do!

You assume that every historian is a good historian. Or that every historian in antiquity was above reporting less than good information... you assume TOO much. The Antiquities write about Adam, do you believe there was an actual Adam? If so, then I must only shake my head. If not, you concede that Josephus wrote down as history, what is clearly MYTH.

We need to stop here and talk about ancient histortians and their methodology. You'll see how weak your case is. We should stop there as this is the most important point right now...

oh, and also, i have to go to salt lake city today to finish up my %*^&$*$$ dissertation, so i won't be back until tonight.

 

Take care, pleasure talking to you, you clearly have a good mind and you obviously eager to learn. Welcome to our boards.

 

 

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Crossover wrote:

Crossover wrote:

You mention Pleny the Elder, but not Pleny the younger.

Actually I speak about him too elsewhere, but the point of the essay was to deal with contemporaries and pliny the younger was not a contemporary - already focus too much on non contempories in the essay as it is.

Also, a pliny the younger refernce is of no help to you! Pliny the younger had access to all of pliny the elder's work, yet even Pliny the younger never mentions jesus (!)... he only speaks of the existence of christians.... but no one denies the existence of christians in the 2nd century.

Quote:

Am I to assume from your arguement that the slience of a few men cancels out the worsd by these men:

No, the point is that the silence of contemporaries makes the works of later historians moot, seeing as they would have NO FACTS to draw upon, as per the historical rule of provenance

Quote:

Suetonius

Lucian of Samosata

Pliny the Younger

never mentions jesus

Quote:
 

Thallus

You realize his works are lost, right?

Quote:
 

Phlegon

Mara Bar-Serapion

(all of those were not Jewsih or Christian, but pagans)

Talmud

Get serious

Quote:
 

(I would like to lst Josephus, but I'll just imply him)

R. Shimeon ben Azzai

(the previous stated names, Jews)

I can refute all of these non comteporary claims easily. You might want to look here in the meantime:

http://www.atheistnetwork.com/viewtopic.php?p=38864&sid=eae887916e8679c9cd9fd7af5fc065e5#38864

 

Where rook demonstrates the weakness of nearly all of these claims.

 

gotta go

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

Books on atheism.


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Give me a little time to

Give me a little time to respond to all of this. I've read it all and I started to repsond, but once I got one point done I got called to work, and I gotta leave now...so give me some time

My Master has no desire to be merely victor in a debate: he did not come into the world to fight a battle of logic just
for the sake of winning it. --Charles Spurgeon


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Quote: One example would

Quote:

One example would be the claim that we would not expect many early christians, given that 'seeing christ does not equal accepting christ'

Well, my arguments holds that such a claim is preposterous, given that it would render jesus' mission sorta pointless if the goal from the start was to have what we have today: 2/3 of the world NOT believing there was a christ.

It's clear to me that had there actually been a christ, there wouldn't have been as many naysayers or doubters or even disinterested parties to begin with! So you can't argue that a person's disinterest explains why they don't mention jesus the christ, as that is backwards: if there were a jesus, there would have been less disinterest.

 

Well, that logic is flawed and I'll tell you why. 1. There would be naysayers because at that time everything was easily explained away. Jesus' miracles were explaned as "magic he learned form Egypt". He was "devil possesed"...stuf like that. 2. The part about pepole ignoring is wrong. You see, some people have a natural tendency to ignore things they don't like. They don't like what some one says, they ignore it, they don't like a person, they ignore him, they dont like and idea...they ignore it. Just like if you don't like a tv show, you ignore it.

 

Also, 2/3 of the world DOES beleive Jesus existed. Muslims think he's a prophet, Christians think he's the son of God, Jews think he was a liar. There's 3 of your major world religions right there. Those three make of about 1/2 the world.

 

Quote:

Actually, I have attempted to do so. You just disgree.

1) If Jospephus had good reason to believe jesus were the christ, it follows that he would have accepted jesus as the christ.

2) Three lines dedicated to a person held to be a claimanant to the king of the jews, in a work dedicated to a History of the Jews (!) is nonsensical, unless the 3 lines were mere hearsay, i.e. something clearly not noteworthy, as it JOsephus had no way to corroborate it.

Once again, flawed logic. Josephus never thought that Jesus was the Christ. He says Jesus was called the Christ. Also, he didn't write about JEsus claiming to be king of the Jews for two reasons that flow together:

1. He didn't beleive Jesus was king of the Jews.

2. Jesus wasn't the only man claiming to be king of the Jews. TONS of other people did it. As Josephus saw it Jesus was the one getting th emost attention.

 

Quote:

This will be our key point: historians are not all good historians, and what matters is their methodology... if a historian doesn't even give us his methodology (some DO give it, even those centuries befor Josephus) then his claims are questionable to say the least.

Josephus is considred a great Jewish historian, one of the best. Taht is why your arguement of hearsay is really the irst arguement I've heard. I've heard agruements that he didn't write it and that Christians tampered with it, but never that it was hearsay.

 

Quote:

Well, what do you base this on? Just a hunch?

Maybe he prided himself on 'telling it like it really is, damn the facts"?

Anyway, if he prided himself on accuracy, this is precisely why if it is even his writing, the testimonium must be hearsay! He's writing a History of the Jews! IF he had evidence of a man claiming to be the king of the jews, then he would have had to written volumes on jesus had he any ACTUAL information. He cant' have written the full testimonium, and if he did write the partial, it can't be something he knew of first hand. It simply can't given its brevity.

Yes, I do base this on a hunch, which is why I put probably on there. Although it stands to reason that no historian prides themselves in inaccuracy.

 

If he did pride himself in telling it like it is an ignoring facts, most of his works wouldn't stand up to historical facts...which they do.

Brevity of something doesn't mean its not true. Summarization was alive and well back then!

 

Quote:

Don't forget that this guy wrote about creation, adam and the suppposed ten lost tribes of israal, he's not above just assuming hearsay is fact.

That is hearsay in that he basically rewrote what Moses wrote. Forgive me for not being an Old Testament expert, but I think the belief is that Moses got the story from God. The reason that it is important that he write this down, is because of the tradion of the Jews. The rabbis were really the only ones who knew scripture, other than the men who trained to be rabbis but didnt memorize scripture. The Jews knew what they had to do for sacraficeses and knew a few stories. His summary gave a broader idea for the people to know really.

 

Quote:

Hey, isn't that ironic, given the name of your thread..we are no longer outside the context of the bible... josephus is citing genesis as history here. 

 

We are out of Biblical context talking about Josephus. It's a stretch to say that I am leaving my original point because I am quoting some one who quotes the Bible, even though I am not quoting his quote of the Bible.

 

Quote:

You assume that every historian is a good historian.

No more than you assume that every scientist that agrees with the big bang is a good scientist. I have sifted through several accounts from historians because I felt that they were not good enough.

 

Quote:

The Antiquities write about Adam, do you believe there was an actual Adam? If so, then I must only shake my head. If not, you concede that Josephus wrote down as history, what is clearly MYTH.

There we cross fully into Biblical context of my beliefs, and my faith. Truth is outside of faith I have nothing to prove Adam an dEve, but you have nothing outside of theories to disproove i. Therefore I refrain from that debate, because my faith can not sway you, and your theories can not sway me. I tend not to like debates that go in circles with nothing really being established.

 

Quote:

oh, and also, i have to go to salt lake city today to finish up my %*^&$*$$ dissertation, so i won't be back until tonight.

 

Take care, pleasure talking to you, you clearly have a good mind and you obviously eager to learn. Welcome to our boards.

 

I hope the dissertation went well. Did it?

And thank you for your kinds words. You are also a very smart man, and definately the smartest athiest I've ever talked to. I'm happy to be here.

My Master has no desire to be merely victor in a debate: he did not come into the world to fight a battle of logic just
for the sake of winning it. --Charles Spurgeon


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I will deal with the last

I will deal with the last post later. Once I have reviewed that article.


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Crossover

Crossover wrote:

Quote:

 It's clear to me that had there actually been a christ, there wouldn't have been as many naysayers or doubters or even disinterested parties to begin with! So you can't argue that a person's disinterest explains why they don't mention jesus the christ, as that is backwards: if there were a jesus, there would have been less disinterest.

 

Well, that logic is flawed

I really don't think you are taking the time to consider it.

Quote:
 

 1. There would be naysayers because at that time everything was easily explained away.

Actually, that's sorta backwards. First, those were pretty credulous times, people tended to believe what they heard.  Next, assuming at the claims of the book of Mark were true, it's  hard to fathom how there could be any naysayers left.

 

 

 

 

Quote:
 

Jesus' miracles were explaned as "magic he learned form Egypt". He was "devil possesed"...stuf like that.

The problem with this defense is that is renders the sacrifice moot - if this were the case, you have ask yourself why 'god' would bother in the first place. Why can't 'god' make himself more impressive than an egyptian parlor trick? 

Christians place themselves in a very, very bizarre place.

1) Christianity must be true, why else would it have risen so quickly unless it was inspired by a real, incredible event?

2) Of course there NO contemporary evidence of jesus, he was a backwater preacher, and his works were indistinguishable from egyptian parlor tricks. He was easy to write off as a charlatan.

 

Do I really need to stress that these arguments contradict?

   

Richard Carrier writes:

One could say that Jesus was an insignificant, illiterate, itinerant preacher with a tiny following, who went wholly unnoticed by any literate person in Judaea. However, this would not bode well for anyone who wished to maintain he was God, or did any of the more amazing things attributed to him. It is very implausible, for instance, that a biography would be written for the obscure itinerant philosopher Demonax in his own lifetime (by Lucian), yet God Incarnate, or a Great Miracle Worker who riled up all Judaea with talk, should inspire nothing like it until decades after his death. And though several historians wrote on Judaean affairs in the early 1st century (not just Josephus and Tacitus, but several others no longer extant), none apparently mentioned Jesus (see the Secular Web library on Historicity). Certainly, had anyone done so, the passages would probably have been lovingly preserved by 2nd century Christians, or else inspired angry rebuttals.

For instance, the attacks of Celsus, Hierocles, and Porphyry, though destroyed by Christians and thus no longer extant (another example of the peculiar problem of Christian history discussed above), nevertheless remain attested in the defenses written by Origen, Eusebius, and Macerius Magnes. But no earlier attacks are attested. There is no mention of Christians in Plutarch's attack On Superstition, nor a rebuttal to any attack on Christianity in Seneca's lost work On Superstition (which ruthlessly attacked pagans and Jews, as attested in book 10 of Augustine's City of God), so it seems evident Christians got no mention even there, in a text against alien cults, by a man who would have witnessed the Neronian persecution of 64 A.D. (alternatively, the fact that this is the only work of Seneca's not to be preserved, despite the fact that Christians must surely have been keen to preserve an anti-pagan text by a renowned pagan, might mean it contained some damning anti-Christian material and was suppressed, though Augustine clearly had access to the work and says nothing about such content). All of this suggests a troubling dichotomy for believers: either Jesus was a nobody (and therefore not even special, much less the Son of God) or he did not exist.
- Richard Carrier, http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/richard_carrier/jesuspuzzle.html#General

 

  

Quote:

 2. The part about pepole ignoring is wrong.

Again, I don't think you're paying attention. Consider that had there been anything akin to the Markian claims for jesus that there would have been less doubters and more believers. The number of first century believer is scant, tiny... how could this be if there were multitudes drawn to Jesus as per the book of Mark?

From my essay:

The Gospel of 'Mark', presents us with a Jesus who garnered quite a bit of attention. Consider for example, Mark 2:1-12, where the crowd coming to see Jesus is so great, that a paralytic has to be lowered through the roof of a building Jesus is in, in order for Jesus to see him. Elsewhere Mark tells us that the crowds that Jesus drew were so overflowing that he has to lecture from a boat on the Sea of Galilee. When Jesus travels from Bethany to Jerusalem, throngs of people line the roads to welcome him. Mark also tells us of how Jesus performed miracles before thousands: on two different occasions Jesus feeds thousands through miracles (see for example, Mark 8:1). In short, 'Mark' gives us a 'Jesus' who is bigger than the Beatles, and I believe the Beatles analogy is a good one: we even have a nice parallel between the story of Jesus' lecture from a ship at Galilee, and the Beatles famous 'rooftop' audition, where they were forced to play an impromptu concert on a rooftop, lest the crowds that would rush to see them cause a riot. In both cases, the crowds had reached, hysterical, historically noteworthy, proportions. Yet, John E. Remsberg, in 'The Christ: A Critical Review and Analysis of the Evidence of His Existence' (The Truth Seeker Company, NY, no date, pp. 24-25) makes the curious observation that no one from this era wrote a single word about the Jesus Hysteria.

 

Quote:
 

You see, some people have a natural tendency to ignore things they don't like. 

Yes, I am seeing that clearly right now in fact. You can ignore arguments, as you are doing here.

But it's hard to ignore god walking about on earth. 

I think if we follow your own argument (and you must as it is yours, after all!) then it follows that it's more likely that you would ignore my argument than others would ignore a god-man striding the earth. 

You want me to believe that its easier to ignore god walking on earth than it is for you to simply ignore my arguments? Think that one through... if your own claim is true, it works against you.

What's easier to ignore:

a miracle working godman

or 

an argument you don't like? 

 

 

Quote:

Also, 2/3 of the world DOES beleive Jesus existed.

Not really. Maybe 1/2 if you add in the Muslins, BUT they reject jesus as fulfilling the gospel account, so to include them in your total makes zero sense, because jesus as a man is not the same being as jesus as the christ.

So to include their total makes no sense.

Let me explain:

Imagine a person believes in paul bunyan and he wants to prove paul's existence to you. A very avid Bunyan-ite might want to find away around these insurmountable problems by making a more humble claim for Paul. So imagine that I am now claiming that Paul Bunyan did exist, but that he was actually a French Canadian logger, called 'Paul Bonjean'. He was not over 100 feet tall and able to knock down a swath of trees with one swing...

...but he was a big guy who could knock down a tree quicker than any other lumberjack around.

Now that I have watered down my claim to something within the bounds of nature, would you agree that "Paul Bunyan" was real? Probably not, because you sense you were a victim of a 'bait and switch'. This "Paul" that you are being given is no longer 100 feet tall, no longer a man of myth. You'd argue that a "human Paul Bunyan" is an oxymoron - Paul Bunyan, by defintion, is something more than just human. Finding a human Paul Bunyan as the origin of the legend proves that the legend is myth.

Jesus vs Paul Bunyan

So, let's now apply this all to "Jesus" claims. It turns out that Jesus claims are in fact just like Paul Bunyan claims when we look at the situation rationally. There's no good reason to believe either claim and both violate what we know of the world. And interestingly enough, just as the attempt to 'salvage' Paul Bunyan as a 'man who inspired the legend' actually demonstrates that really isn't a Paul Bunyan, the same situation holds true for "Jesus".... Jesus as a a man who inspires the legend is no more "Jesus the Christ" than a tall guy with an axe is "Paul Bunyan."

So, pointing to people who believe that jesus was only a man as 'people who accept the jesus that I as a christian accept" is a fallacy of equivocation.

See? The fact that they believe jesus was a man hurts your case. Not helps. coz in the end, jesus as a man is different from jesus as the christ.

 

 

Quote:

Actually, I have attempted to do so. You just disgree.

1) If Jospephus had good reason to believe jesus were the christ, it follows that he would have accepted jesus as the christ.

2) Three lines dedicated to a person held to be a claimanant to the king of the jews, in a work dedicated to a History of the Jews (!) is nonsensical, unless the 3 lines were mere hearsay, i.e. something clearly not noteworthy, as it JOsephus had no way to corroborate it.

Quote:
 

Once again, flawed logic. Josephus never thought that Jesus was the Christ. He says Jesus was called the Christ.

The point here is that if there were a serious claimant to being the king of the jews, Josephus would have to dedicate a good deal of attention to the claim. Recall that josephus writes quite a bit on insignificant figures.

So, for josephus, consider this formula:  

1) Someone claims to be the king of the jews

2) I am writing a book about jewish  history.

3) I'm probably going to pay a lot of attention to the claim.

Even a rule out would require pages of discussion. Don't you see?

You can't write three pages on someone claiming to be the king of the jews in a book dedicated to telling the history of the jews... the formula must be

1) write nothing at all

2) write volumes.

The inbetween is too weird. The only to salavage it is as an incidental report of hearsay. 

 

Quote:
 

 Also, he didn't write about JEsus claiming to be king of the Jews for two reasons that flow together:

1. He didn't beleive Jesus was king of the Jews.

Again, this simply ignores my argument. If Josephus had heard of the claim, he would need to examine it further seeing as he was writing a history of the jews. Even if he is writing a rule out.

Josephus can't just pay a little attention to the claim, it makes no sense. He either pays scads of attention in order to rule it out, or to verify it....

Quote:
 

 2. Jesus wasn't the only man claiming to be king of the Jews. TONS of other people did it.

Can you tell me what josephus had to say on that matter? 

Quote:
 

 As Josephus saw it Jesus was the one getting th emost attention.

Can you demonstrate this claim? Beware, my above comments are a clue that you are in trouble again. This is going to keep happening because you are arguing over a work you've never read, concering a historian you know little about.

You also must learn more about the methods of history... you can't just assume "a man called a historian must write good history"

That's too gradeschool. It's concrete, dogmatic thinking. YOu need to employ your critical reasoning skills. 

 

Quote:

This will be our key point: historians are not all good historians, and what matters is their methodology... if a historian doesn't even give us his methodology (some DO give it, even those centuries befor Josephus) then his claims are questionable to say the least.

 

Quote:
 

Josephus is considred a great Jewish historian, one of the best.

What do you base this on? Can you cite me three other jewish historians and explain why josephus is superior? 

Josephus does NOT rank amongst the best historians.... and you seem to be blissfully unaware of what is in the Antiquities. Much of it is clearly NOT history.

Good historians tell us of their methodologies.  

 Can you:

1) Tell me who were the great historians of the time?

2) What methods of historiography the better historians used?

3) Where josephus ranks compared to historians such as Tacitus? 

 

 

Quote:

Taht is why your arguement of hearsay is really the irst arguement I've heard.

My argument is bad because you don't know what you're not versed in the knowledge that would render it good . Again, much of the Antiquities is clearly hearsay, seeing as Josephus reports on events that know one could know, such as the beginning of the world.

Again, if Josephus does not provide how he came to a claim, and he writes only briefly on the claim, hearsay is the most logical grounds for the claim.

And you are about to concede that josphus DOES report hearsay below! 

 

Quote:

I've heard agruements that he didn't write it and that Christians tampered with it, but never that it was hearsay.

But you don't seem to know much about this argument to begin with. First of all, I sense you've never even seen the Antiquities, let alone read it. Second, I can see that you've never considered the arguments against it. Finally, you seem to fall to a very simplistic argument:

Good historian = never rely on hearsay.

But this formula is nonsense.  Josephus cannot be calling upon any good evidnece for the testimonium because it is brief and because the claim would require him to change his views if it were based on good evidence!

Think! How can Josephus has GOOD evidence of Jesus the christ, and then

1) Write almost nothing about it.

2) Simply deny it's truth, despite the evidence.

 

Let's stop here as this stage is fatal for your argument.

You hold that Josephus was a man who prided himself on reporting facts. Well then, you seem to trust in him as a good man. So, you tell me: how can josephus have ANY good information on their being a jesus the christ and yet NOT accept jesus as the christ?

You CAN'T just claim 'bias' because this violates your own argument... if Josephus could simply ignore good evidence through bias, then how can you argue, at the same time, that the testimonium MUST be based on fact because of the good credibility of Josephus?

You can't have it both ways! You can't have josephus good enough to only report facts, but biased enough to ignore them.

 Josepus can't both have good evidence and then ignore the event. He can only have hearsay - weak evidence.

It does follow logically. Just have the courage to follow the reasoning to it's logical end.

 

Quote:

Well, what do you base this on? Just a hunch?

Maybe he prided himself on 'telling it like it really is, damn the facts"?

Anyway, if he prided himself on accuracy, this is precisely why if it is even his writing, the testimonium must be hearsay! He's writing a History of the Jews! IF he had evidence of a man claiming to be the king of the jews, then he would have had to written volumes on jesus had he any ACTUAL information. He cant' have written the full testimonium, and if he did write the partial, it can't be something he knew of first hand. It simply can't given its brevity.

Quote:
 

Yes, I do base this on a hunch, which is why I put probably on there. Although it stands to reason that no historian prides themselves in inaccuracy.

But there's a world of difference between reporting hearsay and reporting a complete falsehood. Historians of that era had little choice at times.

Did you know that until the 19th century, newspapers used to have a section called "Important, if True?" Why? Because I guess the internet and tv cameras were down that day.

Seriously, the times demanded a looser methodology... if a rumor was rampant enough, someone might record it, in the hopes that it was "important, if true"

 The simple reality is that the fact that  Josephus records an event does NOT mean that he always had good grounds for the claim. In addition, good historians also tell us HOW they came to know of a claim. Good historians, some writing centuries before Josephus, would tell us the names of the witnesses, the fact that some contradicted each other, then tell us his methods for determining truth! That's good history!

 Simply asserting "about this time, this happened" isn't top line history.  Again, look to chapter 1 in the Antiquities. He begins by talking about the beginning of the world, he assumes moses wrote genesis... this could ONLY be hearsay, and of course, we both know that both claims are absurd.

But hey, according  to your methodology,  it MUST be true, coz Josephus was a 'good historian' who 'prided himself on accuracy"

Seriously, you need to consider historical methodology more. We both do, it's vital to this discussion. 

 

 

Quote:

If he did pride himself in telling it like it is an ignoring facts, most of his works wouldn't stand up to historical facts...which they do.

So, the world was created in six days, moses wrote the book of genesis, there was a real adam?

There's likely much of what Josephus writes does NOT stand up as history - but the bigger issue here is that you really don't know, because come on, be honest...  you've never even read the antiquities, have you?

YOu really don't know if josephus was a good historian... you don't know how he measures up to other  historians... (he actually doesn't measure up very well) 

  

Quote:

Brevity of something doesn't mean its not true.

You seem to have no desire to think this through, your point here is a red herring. Its not just that the testimonium is brief, its more than that. How can Josephus have good information on a god-man being resurrected, and yet devote 3 lines to it, while he devotes pages to MINOR, SUNDRY DETAILS OF NO IMPORTANCE. Have you seen how trivial parts of the testimonium are? Do you realize that some christians hold that he makes 7 references to john the baptist? Why seven references to JB and almost nothing for jesus the christ?

It's like writing a history of the 19th century, and devoting 10 chapters to john wilkes booth and 3 lines to abe lincoln. 

 You're whistling past the graveyard here.

 

 

Quote:

Summarization was alive and well back then!

Then one wonders why would someone write volumes on the history of the jews, and then only 'summarize' the story of jesus, if they had good information on the claim?

You should read the antiquities. 

 

Quote:

Don't forget that this guy wrote about creation, adam and the suppposed ten lost tribes of israal, he's not above just assuming hearsay is fact.

Quote:
 

That is hearsay in that he basically rewrote what Moses wrote.

THANK YOU. You've now refuted your own claim (in your last post) that he never wrote hearsay.

 

Quote:

Forgive me for not being an Old Testament expert, but I think the belief is that Moses got the story from God. The reason that it is important that he write this down, is because of the tradion of the Jews. The rabbis were really the only ones who knew scripture, other than the men who trained to be rabbis but didnt memorize scripture. The Jews knew what they had to do for sacraficeses and knew a few stories. His summary gave a broader idea for the people to know really.

 

The only matter of importance here is that Josephus is dutfully recording hearsay as fact.

And notice that he's writing quite a deal here on hearsay, pages and pages... yet for 'jesus' he supposedly writes 3 lines!

What's that tell you? 

1) Hearsay is fine for josephus in some cases.

2) He writes volumes based on hearsay alone.

3) When he has facts, he writes pages and pages.

 And the testimonium is 3 lines. 

 

Quote:

Hey, isn't that ironic, given the name of your thread..we are no longer outside the context of the bible... josephus is citing genesis as history here.

Quote:
 

We are out of Biblical context talking about Josephus. It's a stretch to say that I am leaving my original point

I'm not saying that, never mind.... i just found it ironic. Just a bit.


Quote:

You assume that every historian is a good historian.

Quote:
 

No more than you assume that every scientist that agrees with the big bang is a good scientist.

I do?

You are assuming that josephus is a good historian without any grounds for doing so. That's  not a good way to approach the truth.

Let's cover the matter of historiography, you'll be surprised to find that Josephus doesn't measure up to some how came centuries before him, let alone those who followed. 

 

Quote:

The Antiquities write about Adam, do you believe there was an actual Adam? If so, then I must only shake my head. If not, you concede that Josephus wrote down as history, what is clearly MYTH.

Quote:
 

There we cross fully into Biblical context of my beliefs, and my faith.  

All that matters here from my side is that you concede the obvious: that Josephus recorded hearsay as history. Once you do that, you're original argument in your last post is DOA. 

 

Quote:

oh, and also, i have to go to salt lake city today to finish up my %*^&$*$$ dissertation, so i won't be back until tonight.

 

Take care, pleasure talking to you, you clearly have a good mind and you obviously eager to learn. Welcome to our boards.

 

I hope the dissertation went well. Did it?

STILL not finished.... but Salt Lake City is a nice diversion.

Quote:
 

And thank you for your kinds words. You are also a very smart man, and definately the smartest athiest I've ever talked to. I'm happy to be here.

Thank you, and yes,  nice to have you hear. Again, we need to cover historical methods, and you, my friend, need to actually read the Antiquities. What are you waiting for?! 

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

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Crossover wrote: I will

Crossover wrote:

I will deal with the last post later. Once I have reviewed that article.

We both have tons to do, let's consider this an early discussion, not a debate, no winners, no losers... let's both refine our arguments.... 

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

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I have a problem with the

I have a problem with the begining of that post. You very much broke my post down in spots it shouldn't be taken apart. Where I am talking about it being explaned away you break that apart from where I talk about how it was explained away. I will try to reword it so you understand my point.

 People explained away how Jesus did the "miracles" by saying that he used magic. The way you adressed these two apart from each other kills the point of them being posted in the first place.

 

 

Quote:

1) Christianity must be true, why else would it have risen so quickly unless it was inspired by a real, incredible event?

2) Of course there NO contemporary evidence of jesus, he was a backwater preacher, and his works were indistinguishable from egyptian parlor tricks. He was easy to write off as a charlatan.

This is an example of what happens when you take apart my post in the wrong spots. I MYSELF AM NOT saying that Jesus' miracles were magic, unbleievers from the 1st century did. So, these two points do contradict, but no Christian will argue the second point, so they do not contradict Chrisitanity.

 

Quote:

One could say that Jesus was an insignificant, illiterate, itinerant preacher with a tiny following, who went wholly unnoticed by any literate person in Judaea.

I do NOT maintain that. He was not illiterate, because he quotes scripture verbatum. Which means he read it, and memorized it. The rest of that Richard Carrier quote relies on me saying he is a backwoods preacher, which I adress earlier in the post.

 

Quote:

Yes, I am seeing that clearly right now in fact. You can ignore arguments, as you are doing here.

But it's hard to ignore god walking about on earth. 

I think if we follow your own argument (and you must as it is yours, after all!) then it follows that it's more likely that you would ignore my argument than others would ignore a god-man striding the earth. 

You want me to believe that its easier to ignore god walking on earth than it is for you to simply ignore my arguments? Think that one through... if your own claim is true, it works against you.

What's easier to ignore:

a miracle working godman

or 

an argument you don't like?

What am I ignoring. Once again I say. I am not intentionally ignoring anything. If I do, repost it and say "you didnt adress this".

It is very easy to ignore God wlaking on earth, if you do not believe God is on earth. Because Jesus was a man, you can't just look at him and say "o, that's God on earth". I would say how easy you can ignore something depends on your viewpoint of the two things.

 

Quote:

Not really. Maybe 1/2 if you add in the Muslins, BUT they reject jesus as fulfilling the gospel account, so to include them in your total makes zero sense, because jesus as a man is not the same being as jesus as the christ.

This is not at all about JEsus fulfilling the gospel. That takes faith, that no man can convince you to have. This is about the existance of Jesus. Whether as man, God, godman, whatever.

 

 

Quote:

Paul Bunyan

Not the same. I am not watering down my point at all. If you want to know what I believe, I'l list it all. He was 100% God, and 100% man. He did preform miracles, he did die, and he was ressurected. But, I did not put that in question. As I stated earlier, it relies on faith. I can not convince you that he is God, especially if you do not believe in any God. This isn't about what Jesus did, it's about him living. Did he live. Miracle, theology, all of that aside. This has nothing to do with his miracles. That discussion would be useless. This is all about DID HE LIVE? That's it. I am not watering down my arguement to make it an easier arguement. I am merely talking about his existance. If we want to talk about his miralces and divinity that is something for another discussion, which will be completely pointless because faith holds no ground in an athiest discussion

 

Quote:

So, for josephus, consider this formula:  

1) Someone claims to be the king of the jews

2) I am writing a book about jewish  history.

3) I'm probably going to pay a lot of attention to the claim.

Even a rule out would require pages of discussion. Don't you see?

You can't write three pages on someone claiming to be the king of the jews in a book dedicated to telling the history of the jews... the formula must be

1) write nothing at all

2) write volumes.

The inbetween is too weird. The only to salavage it is as an incidental report of hearsay.

 Well, he spend only one book on David. By Jewish standards David is the greatest guy ever. And he gets one book. What I am saying is Josephus just saw that Jesus was geting alot of attention with his claims, so he was obligated to write abotu him. The lenght means nothing. If you were writing a history of the 1st century, whether you believe in JEsus or not, you would write about him. So much happened in the 1st century, combined with the fact you don't believe in JEsus MIGHT get him 1 paragraph in your books.

 

Quote:

Do you realize that some christians hold that he makes 7 references to john the baptist? Why seven references to JB and almost nothing for jesus the christ?

Yes. John the Baptists was a major figure in Jewish history though. Even greater than JEsus, if you think Jesus wasn't the messiah.

 

Quote:

 Then one wonders why would someone write volumes on the history of the jews, and then only 'summarize' the story of jesus, if they had good information on the claim?

I feel I have touched on this enough, but I will say it again...Jesus was hated by most Jews. Some ignored him, others wrote ill of him, and others wrote of him but not much. Would you write an entire book on some guy you thought was destorying your religion. Keep in mind Josephus tries to be neutral in his writtings, so he doesn't call Jesus evil...he approaches Jesus neutrually...not as a belieiver, or a nonbeliever, but more of a bystander.

 

Quote:

Everythign about me not reading the Antiquities, and Jospehus being innacurate

He details Alexander the Greats invasion of Israel. Inacuracies there: 0. The only thing you find as innacurate is the creation story, which is only 1 book of 20.

 

 

Quote:

Again, we need to cover historical methods, and you, my friend, need to actually read the Antiquities. What are you waiting for?!

I've read omse of the books. But by no means to I have time to read 20 books. I realize they are short compared to a novel, but still. I have enough school books to read, I hardly have time to read the books I WANT to read. 

 

Do you feel that I ignored anything in here. I know I didn't cover the  end of your post very well, but that is beause it was all about Josephus so I pretty much summed it all up into "everything about Josephus" earlier in the post. 

 

 

 

My Master has no desire to be merely victor in a debate: he did not come into the world to fight a battle of logic just
for the sake of winning it. --Charles Spurgeon


Crossover
Theist
Posts: 206
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todangst wrote: Crossover

todangst wrote:
Crossover wrote:

I will deal with the last post later. Once I have reviewed that article.

We both have tons to do, let's consider this an early discussion, not a debate, no winners, no losers... let's both refine our arguments....

Yes. I still havent had a chance to read all of that post. I'll get it done though, I promise.  

My Master has no desire to be merely victor in a debate: he did not come into the world to fight a battle of logic just
for the sake of winning it. --Charles Spurgeon