Christian response to "The God Who Wasn't There"

BenfromCanada
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Christian response to "The God Who Wasn't There"

Called "Jesus: Fact or Fiction?" It's in 6 parts, and on GodTube.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3 (listed as part 4)

Part 4 (listed as part 5)

Part 5 (listed as part 6, nothing but plea to emotion)

Part 6 (listed as part 3)

Thoughts? I commented on each of the videos, pointing out a few flaws that I saw.


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Do you have any evidence or just dishonest bullshit?

adamryan

Would you agree that once it has been shown that an ancient document has been tampered with, that someone using a portion of that document has the burden of proving that the portion is reliable? Almost all Ancient documents have been tampered with.

What is your evidence that the gospels were written before the 4th century? None of them are carbon dated before the 10th century. The handwriting style on a fragment of papyrus that contains text that matches one of the gospels, and could be a forgery, is not sufficient.

What is your evidence that the gospels are not fictional? After all there were at lest 28 other gospels that the Church claimed were fiction.

what is your evidence that Paul was writing about Jesus of Nazareth? He never mentions anything about Jesus of Nazareth just the title Jesus Christ which could refer to someone else. He may have been writing about Simon Magus and every Jesus is an interpolation.

What is your evidence that Jesus was not just an urbane legend that was written down as gospels in the 3rd century?

What is your evidence that all the extent epistles of Paul are not 4th century forgeries - after all, bible scholars agree that there is good evidence that most of Paul's epistles are forgeries?

What is your evidence that whoever wrote the gospels knew what Jesus had said and did not just make up his sayings or adopt popular saying of the time. We have written testimony of ancient historians that claim that even the best historians invented the dialogue in their histories?

Do you have any evidence that the sayings of Jesus were not so extensively revised prior to the 4th century so that we do not know what he said?

Your evidence that Christianity existed before the 4th century is Pliny, Tacitus, and Josephus. They could all be forgeries. If the Testimonium Flavium was only interpolated it was probably about a different Jesus e.g. Bar Damnius. The Christians in Pliny might not be followers of Jesus of Nazareth. The Christians in Tacitus might be worshipers of a different anointed person, who was crucified, such as the high priest Jesus Bar Damnius. Do you agree that its possible that Christianity is a 4th century invention?

Give me facts and reasonable arguments. Do not give me opinions of bible scholars - its a discredited field - most of them are quacks especially the Christians.

when you say "faith" I think "evil lies"
when you say "god" I think "santa clause"


HisWillness
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adamryan wrote:No one argues

adamryan wrote:
No one argues that humans cannot naturally be born of virgins. The point is that Jesus' birth was not natural, but supernatural. Why is it that a child can see this but someone as allegedly intelligent as you can not?


Did you just insult Thomathy for not believing in magic like a child? I'm confused by that.

adamryan wrote:
Now we're getting somewhere. You discredit the Gospels because they contain Miracles. You're finally coming around to admitting it.

I'm surprised you missed that the first few times it was brought up. Yes, it's possible to discount entire works of myth because their contents are mythical. That is, they sound like a story. Multiplying loaves of bread, for instance. Mention of magic activity kind of gives the impression that the story isn't so much historical as it is made up.

Saint Will: no gyration without funkstification.
fabulae! nil satis firmi video quam ob rem accipere hunc mi expediat metum. - Terence


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HisWillness wrote:Mention of

HisWillness wrote:
Mention of magic activity kind of gives the impression that the story isn't so much historical as it is made up.
Gosh, I thought I was the only one who thought so.

BigUniverse wrote,

"Well the things that happen less often are more likely to be the result of the supper natural. A thing like loosing my keys in the morning is not likely supper natural, but finding a thousand dollars or meeting a celebrity might be."


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jcgadfly wrote:1. One can

jcgadfly wrote:

1. One can argue that about Mark but current research goes against it.


The arguments still stand, nonetheless. To tenaciously hold to a theory that has inconsistencies seems to be poor scholarship. 1


jcgadfly wrote:

2. Not arguing for its place in history. I'm arguing for vast opportunities for the gospel writers to research the Jesus, son of God character. Two decades is still a lot of time to bactrack through scripture to validate a character.


I get what you're saying. And true, valid point. Could you elaborate more on this for me?


jcgadfly wrote:

3. What is your basis that the people involved in the stories were still alive?


The dates. We know that, for example, someone like Jesus' brother, James, was stoned to death sometime around 60 CE. He's an example of someone who we know lived long enough to serve as a type of human "Rosetta stone", should the gospel message being preached become muddled and evolve into something untrue from the original story.

Not to mention Paul, who cites 500+/- living witnesses in 1 Cor 15: 3-8.2 


jcgadfly wrote:

4. Luke cribbed from Mark. Research shows this. I should forget all that and take Luke's say so? You wouldn't do that for any other source of information - why give Christianity a pass?


Research doesn't say that Luke copied Mark verbatim so much to the point that it nullifies his entire Gospel's authenticity.3 It says that certain passages appear to be constructed similarly, and that Luke and Matthew likely used Mark's gospel as early source material. He (Luke) says in the first four verses of his gospel that he wrote his gospel according to the testimonies of those who were "eyewitnesses and and servants of the word".4 If Mark's gospel was written earlier than Luke's (which I'll agree, it likely was), and Luke is copying specific passages of Mark's gospel, then this probably means that Luke considered those passages (which are similar to Mark's) to be early, reliable source material; to jump off the ledge and say that since Luke has copied Mark, his gospel doesn't count as seperate attestation seems a bit fanatical. Not surprising, it isn't a ubiquitous point of understanding for most historians.

jcgadfly wrote:

5. And you know which myths I'm referring to how? Hint - not Greek or Roman.


I'll take a shot in the dark here and guess Mithra, Osiris, Tammuz/Dumizi and Attis.


jcgadfly wrote:

Edit: I just notice how you complain about us not looking at history and then you give books by apologists as examples of "what we should read". Irony is beautiful at times.


Good point. Because clearly if they're written by apologists, then they must be wrong, right?.





-adamryan

 

 

 

1. Take the Augustinian hypothesis, for example. This is an obvious historical inconsistency for those who hold to a Marcan priority hypothesis, since we know the early church's consensus regarding the gospels' chronological order.  According to the Augustinian hypothesis, "...the final canonical order is the chronological order.", see Source Criticism by Scot McKnight in New Testament Criticism and Interpretation, ed. David Alan Black & David S. Dockery (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan Publishing House, 1991), p. 141

 

2. C.H. Dodd writes regarding this, "There can hardly be any purpose in mentioning the fact that most of the 500 are still alive, unless Paul is saying, in effect, 'The witnesses are there to be questioned.'", by C.H. Dodd, The Appearances of The Risen Christ: A study in the Form Criticism of the Gospels, in More New Testament Studies  (Manchester: University of Manchester, 1968), p.128

 

3. See Scot McKnight's Source Criticism, in New Testament Criticism and Interpretation, ed. David Alan Black & David S. Dockery (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan Publishing House, 1991)

 

4. Luke 1:2, NIV

"There is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil, no good, nothing but pointless indifference. We are machines for propagating DNA. It is every living object's sole reason for being."- Richard Dawkins


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Thomathy wrote:Considering

Thomathy wrote:

Considering the 'testimony' is of a virgin birth, it can only be unreliable.  Virgin births don't happen.  Can you prove that they do? I mean, the account is of an extraordinary (read: impossible) event.  It would take more than ancient testimony to be convincing.  Even presently, should a virgin birth be said to have occurred, I would find no compelling reason to believe so until it was verified to have actually happened.  That is reasonable.
  (emphasis added)

My point is not that virgin births happen naturally. I agree with you, they don't naturally happen. But there is a giant difference between things that don't happen naturally and things that can't happen. The claim that Mary gave birth as a virgin to Jesus is impossible naturally, I agree, but it is not impossible supernaturally. And this is the very point I'm making.

I can not "prove" a one-time historical event (like a claim to a virgin birth) anymore than I can "prove" Caesar crossed the Rubicon. All I can base my decision on is accepting whether or not said event happened, and whether or not the testimonies associated can be found persuasive enough on historical grounds. With the case of Caesar's crossing the Rubicon we have not only Caesar's own writings but also his enemies. With the claims of Mary's virgin birth, we have Matthew's gospel.

{Update:  In looking into this subject further I've come across some interesting material. Apparently the OT that Matthew was quoting Isaiah 7:14 from (the Greek Septuagint) contained a mistranslation of the original Hebrew wording, which may have lead him to cite the passage as a prophecy when in reality it wasn't. I'm going to keep studying this and post more about it later. Very compelling stuff so far, though, I must admit.}


Thomathy wrote:

Oh, I'm sorry you're not aware of the literature.  You do come across as being somewhat educated on the subject, if not only enthusiastic about it.


I like to consider myself somewhat educated on the subject. Which is why I'm scratching my head when you're referring to this (almost mythical?) body of scholarly work which is incongruous to the arguments I am advancing here.

Please, cite the works you're working from.

Thomathy wrote:

You're going to have to be very specific with your definition here.  I understand that you don't believe the birth was natural, but what does that leave?


Dictionary.com defines it as:

Su-per-nat-u-ral

   /supər-næt-ərəl, -nætrəl/ Show Spelled Pronunciation [soo-per-nach-er-uhl, -nach-ruhl]
–adjective
1.     of, pertaining to, or being above or beyond what is natural; unexplainable by natural law or phenomena; abnormal.
2.     of, pertaining to, characteristic of, or attributed to God or a deity.
3.     of a superlative degree; preternatural: a missile of supernatural speed.
4.     of, pertaining to, or attributed to ghosts, goblins, or other unearthly beings; eerie; occult.
–noun
5.     a being, place, object, occurrence, etc., considered as supernatural or of supernatural origin; that which is supernatural, or outside the natural order.
6.     behavior supposedly caused by the intervention of supernatural beings.
7.     direct influence or action of a deity on earthly affairs.
8.     the supernatural,
a.     supernatural beings, behavior, and occurrences collectively.
b.     supernatural forces and the supernatural plane of existence: a deep fear of the supernatural.
Origin:
1520–30; < ML supernātūrālis. See super-, natural

 

 




Thomathy wrote:

Certainly a child should be able to see that supernatural is a nonsense word (not that I'm comparing you to a child, or belittling your intelligence.  I would never level such insults at you).


Thank you? I can't tell if you're being sarcastic here, or not.


Thomathy wrote:

Can you coherently define 'supernatural' thus that it's not incoherent/meaningless?  Then, can you point me to the supernatural so that I can study it (I want to make lots of money, you see and if you know what the supernatural is you can point me to it!)?


Dictionary.com has a few specific ones for you (which I will italicize/bolden for emphasis):

1.     of, pertaining to, or being above or beyond what is natural; unexplainable by natural law or phenomena; abnormal.
5.     a being, place, object, occurrence, etc., considered as supernatural or of supernatural origin; that which is supernatural, or outside the natural order.

7.     direct influence or action of a deity on earthly affairs.
 

As for me "pointing to the supernatural" so you can make money off of it, sorry to say, I can't do that. Believe it or not, I actually haven't any control over the natural order of things. =]


Thomathy wrote:

Now, I've never alleged that I'm intelligent. Though, you could consider it a given that I have some intelligence. I am, after all, replying to you.  Oh, you could run far with that one. Will you be insulting me again, then?


I don't exactly see how I've insulted you, but if your point was that you've read what I've written in an insulting manner then I apologize. That wasn't my intention. My statement,

"Why is it that a child can see this but someone as allegedly intelligent as you can not?"


isn't to be read as me belittling your intelligence [far from it! you seem to be a quite intelligent person, given our current discussion], though I can admittedly understand now that what I wrote can be read this way. My point was that a child (one who is unfamiliar with all the details and is as unread as could be, the exact opposite of you!), when told the story of Jesus' resurrection- for example- can spot that Jesus' resurrection isn't something that occurs naturally due to some biological processes, but rather is an act of God. It is a miracle. The claim isn't that Jesus resurrected naturally because He was special, but rather that God raised Jesus from the dead.1 It is something that happens which defies the natural order of things, and an event which defies the natural order of things isn't impossible unless one is already under the presumption that an omnipotent doesn't God exist. Miracles aren't impossible unless one believes that natural law cannot be suspended/interfered with, and to date I have not come upon a probable reason why, if God is the creator of this universe, he should not be able to perform miracles, like resurrect someone from death, or bring about a virgin birth.


Thomathy wrote:

I do wonder if there's a problem with not taking seriously an account of events that are not within the realm of possibility?


You're mixing "possible" with "probable". The miracles contained in the Gospels and the Bible itself are not "impossible", they are what historians deem "improbable". A man walking on water, healing sick people, curing blindness and resurrecting from the dead are all examples of things which are highly improbable; improbable, but not impossible. There is a distinct difference. Something can only be impossible if it is logically contradictory, i.e. drawing a spherical square.  

The occurrence of what we call "a miracle" (defined as a violation or suspension of natural law) is not impossible, it is only highly improbable. By using a principle of analogy, it is obvious that we have more instances (in daily life) of miracles not happening rather than them coming about, but to thereby conclude that they cannot happen simply on the basis that they do not happen as often as we'd like is an unfounded conclusion. People all over the world report modern miracles, and to dismiss every miracle claim as erred, deceitful or mistaken reveals an a priori prejudice against the very issue at heart.2


Thomathy wrote:

Yes, it's odd, isn't it, that I wouldn't trust writting that contained events that aren't only impossible, as far as it's known, but that can't be tested for veracity?


Again, you're mixing expectations from science with claims of non-repeatable events of history here.



-adamryan

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1. "But here, I think, he’s confused. What, after all, is the resurrection hypothesis? It’s the hypothesis that Jesus rose supernaturally from the dead. It is not the hypothesis that Jesus rose naturally from the dead. That Jesus rose naturally from the dead is fantastically improbable. But I see no reason whatsoever to think that it is improbable that God raised Jesus from the dead. In order to show that that hypothesis is improbable, you’d have to show that God’s existence is improbable. But Dr. Ehrman says that the historian cannot say anything about God. Therefore, he cannot say that God’s existence is improbable. But if he can’t say that, neither can he say that the resurrection of Jesus is improbable. So Dr. Ehrman’s position is literally self-refuting." -  Is There Historical Evidence for the Resurrection of Jesus?, A Debate between William Lane Craig and Bart D. Ehrman
College of the Holy Cross, Worcester, Massachusetts, March 28, 2006

 

2. Though my point here isn't to accept all miracle claims as legitimate, but rather to take them with a grain of salt, each on its own merit.

"There is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil, no good, nothing but pointless indifference. We are machines for propagating DNA. It is every living object's sole reason for being."- Richard Dawkins


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adamryan wrote:jcgadfly

adamryan wrote:

jcgadfly wrote:

1. One can argue that about Mark but current research goes against it.


The arguments still stand, nonetheless. To tenaciously hold to a theory that has inconsistencies seems to be poor scholarship. 1


jcgadfly wrote:

2. Not arguing for its place in history. I'm arguing for vast opportunities for the gospel writers to research the Jesus, son of God character. Two decades is still a lot of time to bactrack through scripture to validate a character.


I get what you're saying. And true, valid point. Could you elaborate more on this for me?


jcgadfly wrote:

3. What is your basis that the people involved in the stories were still alive?


The dates. We know that, for example, someone like Jesus' brother, James, was stoned to death sometime around 60 CE. He's an example of someone who we know lived long enough to serve as a type of human "Rosetta stone", should the gospel message being preached become muddled and evolve into something untrue from the original story.

Not to mention Paul, who cites 500+/- living witnesses in 1 Cor 15: 3-8.2 


jcgadfly wrote:

4. Luke cribbed from Mark. Research shows this. I should forget all that and take Luke's say so? You wouldn't do that for any other source of information - why give Christianity a pass?


Research doesn't say that Luke copied Mark verbatim so much to the point that it nullifies his entire Gospel's authenticity.3 It says that certain passages appear to be constructed similarly, and that Luke and Matthew likely used Mark's gospel as early source material. He (Luke) says in the first four verses of his gospel that he wrote his gospel according to the testimonies of those who were "eyewitnesses and and servants of the word".4 If Mark's gospel was written earlier than Luke's (which I'll agree, it likely was), and Luke is copying specific passages of Mark's gospel, then this probably means that Luke considered those passages (which are similar to Mark's) to be early, reliable source material; to jump off the ledge and say that since Luke has copied Mark, his gospel doesn't count as seperate attestation seems a bit fanatical. Not surprising, it isn't a ubiquitous point of understanding for most historians.

jcgadfly wrote:

5. And you know which myths I'm referring to how? Hint - not Greek or Roman.


I'll take a shot in the dark here and guess Mithra, Osiris, Tammuz/Dumizi and Attis.


jcgadfly wrote:

Edit: I just notice how you complain about us not looking at history and then you give books by apologists as examples of "what we should read". Irony is beautiful at times.


Good point. Because clearly if they're written by apologists, then they must be wrong, right?.





-adamryan

 

 

 

1. Take the Augustinian hypothesis, for example. This is an obvious historical inconsistency for those who hold to a Marcan priority hypothesis, since we know the early church's consensus regarding the gospels' chronological order.  According to the Augustinian hypothesis, "...the final canonical order is the chronological order.", see Source Criticism by Scot McKnight in New Testament Criticism and Interpretation, ed. David Alan Black & David S. Dockery (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan Publishing House, 1991), p. 141

 

2. C.H. Dodd writes regarding this, "There can hardly be any purpose in mentioning the fact that most of the 500 are still alive, unless Paul is saying, in effect, 'The witnesses are there to be questioned.'", by C.H. Dodd, The Appearances of The Risen Christ: A study in the Form Criticism of the Gospels, in More New Testament Studies  (Manchester: University of Manchester, 1968), p.128

 

3. See Scot McKnight's Source Criticism, in New Testament Criticism and Interpretation, ed. David Alan Black & David S. Dockery (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan Publishing House, 1991)

 

4. Luke 1:2, NIV

1. To hold to a theory that has inconsistencies is poor scholarship, indeed. Why are you doing it? Just because an argument exists doesn't lend it validity or correctness.

2. Certainly. If you are trying to sell something, you are going to put it in as positive of a light as possible. They were trying to sell the non-physical Jesus Christ character that Paul built as human, divine and Messiah. The myths provide a "son of God" background and backtracking through the Messianic prophecies and writing the story so that the Jesus character fulfilled them covered the rest. There need be no collusion (in fact the distance between epistles denies a knowing conspiracy). Just different salesmen selling a product in their own style. the early dating you propose makes a conspiracy more likely, not less.

3. Good guesses - Note that none of those postdate Christianity.

4. Well, apologists do have their own agenda and none of them have historical expertise. So, naturally, I call their conclusions into question when someone claims them as history experts.

 

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


adamryan
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sorry for the long delay, i've been in the hospital. i'm okay.


patcleaver wrote:

Would you agree that once it has been shown that an ancient document has been tampered with, that someone using a portion of that document has the burden of proving that the portion is reliable? Almost all Ancient documents have been tampered with.


I agree. However it should acknowledged that you're creating a false dilemma here. You're wording this as if scholars are then left to discredit the entire text because, for its historicity, it is wholly irretrievable. This certainly is not the case.1

patcleaver wrote:

What is your evidence that the gospels were written before the 4th century? None of them are carbon dated before the 10th century.


1) My evidence is that (with the exception of 11 verses) the entirety of the NT is quoted by early church fathers prior to the 4th century. Early church fathers like Irenaeus, Ignatius, Barnabas, Hermas, Tatian, Clement of Alexandria, Justin Martyr etc all lived prior to the 4th century, and all cite the NT.

2) Your statement "None of them are carbon dated before the 10th century" is a non-issue for dating the texts; they carbon date to the 10th century because some of them likely are 10th century copies. We know their content are earlier than the 10th century, however, via citations from other early sources.2


The statement that they’re not written prior to the 10th century is really, to be honest, quite an embarrassing mistake to make, Pat.


A few quick examples:

a) the Chester Beatty papyri (most of the NT) is dated to 200 AD.

b) Magdalen Papyrus              (dated 'before 66 AD')

c) Dead Sea Scroll MSS 7Q5  (dated before 66 AD, 'could be as early as 50 AD')

d) Dead Sea Scroll MSS 7Q4  (before 68 AD)

e) Barcelona Papyrus             (before 66 AD)

f)  Paris Papyrus                    (around 66 AD)

g) Paul's Epistles                    (around 85)

h) Bodmer Papyrus II from the Johannine Codex (125 AD)

i)  John Rylands Greek 457      (between 100-125 AD)

j)  Papyrus Oxyrhynchus 2683 (150 AD)

k) P. Oxyrhynchus 2               (100 AD)

l)  P. Oxyrhynchus 3523          (125- 150 AD?)

 

patcleaver wrote:

The handwriting style on a fragment of papyrus that contains text that matches one of the gospels, and could be a forgery, is not sufficient.


Why is it not sufficient? If you're going to say that it isn't sufficient you'll have to explain why the entire science of textual criticism is wrong-headed.
 

patcleaver wrote:

What is your evidence that the gospels are not fictional? After all there were at lest 28 other gospels that the Church claimed were fiction.


The apocryphal gospels you're referring to are 2nd, 3rd and 4th century forgeries.
They are not based on eyewitness testimonies or reliably early source material (like the Synoptics are), which is why virtually no serious scholar considers them to be anything other than fictive rewritings of the original gospels, which often served to satisfy religious dogmas by other sects during those times (Gnostics, Essenes, etc)

patcleaver wrote:

What is your evidence that Paul was writing about Jesus of Nazareth? He never mentions anything about Jesus of Nazareth just the title Jesus Christ which could refer to someone else. He may have been writing about Simon Magus and every Jesus is an interpolation.

A few things can be said about this.

1) The statement “He never mentions anything about Jesus of Nazareth” isn’t necessarily true. In Acts 26:9 Paul mentions which “Jesus” it was that he was preaching against originally (note that it is this same Jesus who also gives the “forgiveness of sins”, in Acts 26:18) by declaring the name Jesus of Nazareth specifically.3   

"I too was convinced that I ought to do all that was possible to oppose the name of Jesus of Nazareth. And that is just what I did in Jerusalem. On the authority of the chief priests I put many of the saints in prison, and when they were put to death, I cast my vote against them. Many a time I went from one synagogue to another to have them punished, and I tried to force them to blaspheme. In my obsession against them, I even went to foreign cities to persecute them.“

-Acts 26:9-11
 
2) Now if you’re referring to within his own writings, then you’re right: Paul doesn’t cite “Jesus of Nazareth” throughout, but instead “Jesus Christ” (or Christ Jesus). This, however, is a non-issue, since the Jesus he alludes to throughout his writings clearly is Jesus of Nazareth, as written about in the gospels. He writes about a Jesus who was born and raised a Jew (Galatians 4:4), was descended from the line of Abraham and David (Galatians 3:16; Romans 1:3), had a brother named James (Galatians 1:19) and maybe some other brothers as well (1 Corinthians 9:5), was betrayed (1 Corinthains 11:23) and executed by crucifixion (1 Corinthians 1:17-18; Galatians 5:11, 6:12; Philippians 2:8, 3:18 [with allusions also in Colossians 2:13-14]) by certain Judean Jews (1 Thessalonians 2:14-15), instituted a memorial meal the night before his death (1 Corinthians 11:23-25), and was buried and resurrected three days later (Romans 4:24-25; 1 Corinthians 15:4; Romans 6:4-9; 8:11, 34; 1 Corinithians 6:14; 2 Corinthians 4:14; Galatians 1:1; 1 Thessalonians 4:14).

To say that Paul is referring to anyone other Jesus of Nazareth seems quite absurd. While it is not impossible, it is very unlikely.

3)  Paul’s writings are not apologetic in nature, but exhortative. A lot of modern scholars miss this point (Borg, Crossan, Wells) and in turn advance the ludicrous Christ Myth theory because they have a fundamental misunderstanding of the type of writing Paul was doing.
 
Paul wasn’t writing to skeptics challenging the faith, but to churches/people that had already believed in the divinity of Jesus Christ. He therefore had no real reason to layout Jesus’ history in his writings, for they already knew of the story of Jesus from the Gospel traditions. To Paul, what the early church apparently needed was not a reiterating of gospel stories but rather stoic examples of discipline and clear doctrine. For us to read through his epistles expecting detailed history of Jesus is to completely misunderstand his reason for writing.

 

patcleaver wrote:

What is your evidence that Jesus was not just an urbane legend that was written down as gospels in the 3rd century?


Aside from the fact that its patently absurd given the religious environment it arose from, goes against much of what we know prior to the 3rd century church's corpus of texts, requires that we ignore everything Paul wrote and seems like a desperate attempt on your part to try to cast doubt over the overall historicity of the NT?

Well, nothing I suppose.  Eye-wink

patcleaver wrote:

What is your evidence that all the extent epistles of Paul are not 4th century forgeries - after all, bible scholars agree that there is good evidence that most of Paul's epistles are forgeries?


Bible scholars do not “agree that there is good evidence that most of Paul's epistles are forgeries”. I don’t know where you’ve read this, but it certainly hasn’t come from the most recent scholarship on the issue (within the past 50 years). The epistles in question that scholars criticize for authenticity are Paul’s Pastoral epistles (1 & 2 Timothy, Titus and also sometimes Philemon).4

patcleaver wrote:

What is your evidence that whoever wrote the gospels knew what Jesus had said and did not just make up his sayings or adopt popular saying of the time. We have written testimony of ancient historians that claim that even the best historians invented the dialogue in their histories.

The dialogue invention you're referring to isn't one that wildly out-of-control. It always remained within the frame of what the writer knew the original speaker & message intended to convey. 

patcleaver wrote:

Do you have any evidence that the sayings of Jesus were not so extensively revised prior to the 4th century so that we do not know what he said?

Again, yes. The early citation of many early Christian church fathers proves solidly this point.

patcleaver wrote:

Your evidence that Christianity existed before the 4th century is Pliny, Tacitus, and Josephus. They could all be forgeries.


The fact that they could isn’t sufficient reason to suppose that they are.

patcleaver wrote:

If the Testimonium Flavium was only interpolated it was probably about a different Jesus e.g. Bar Damnius.


It probably wasn’t.

You’re taking this from a poorly supported thesis which unconvincingly reasons to ignore/extract the phrase “who was called Christ” (regarding the brother of James) out of the Jamesian passage. You’d have to prove that Jesus Bar Damnius was “a teacher of many Jews and Greeks”, was crucified under Roman authority, etc (all of the traits Josephus discusses about Jesus) because these are the very things the Testimonium implies, and the Testimonium and Jamesian passage go hand in hand.5
 
Craig Evans notes, regarding the Jamesian passage, that there is “nothing Christian, or positive, in the reference to James or Jesus. The whole point seems to be to explain why Ananus was deposed as High Priest.”6

John Meier further adds that instead of finding some laudatory reference to James, we have Josephus making a “passing, almost blasé reference to someone called James.”7

Honestly Pat, you’re really starting to worry me with these non-problematic questions. You should know better than to be asking some of these, especially if you truly are keeping up with critical scholarship as your vague references to “bible scholars” imply you to be.

patcleaver wrote:

The Christians in Pliny might not be followers of Jesus of Nazareth.


To my knowledge no serious scholar doubts the reference to Jesus in Pliny, simply because of the allusions which are found in the passage. It alludes to the communion meal (a chiefly Christian ceremony) and the singing of praise songs as worship on a specific day [sabbath] (which is another Christian/Jewish celebration). Even a cursory reading of the text shows that unless a similar character can fit the mold of being worshiped “antiphonally as if to a god”8, who taught against “crime” and to “abstain from theft, robbery, adultery, breach of faith, and embezzlement of property entrusted to them”, and in worship of this person had an already-established custom of his/her followers coming “together again to partake of a meal” which was “ordinary and innocent”, Jesus is likely the best candidate for pinpointing the man in the reference.
 

Interesting tidbit: Pliny writes, “They recited a hymn antiphonally to Christus as if to a god…”, which scholars agree implies Pliny viewed Jesus as an historical person. While not outright saying it, his use of “as if” (in Latin, "quasi" ) in mention to Jesus’ being worshipped shows that Pliny viewed the Christians as a sect who worshipped a man as if he were a god. A form of idolatry almost, Pliny distinguishes his Gentile view of Jesus as only a man, from the Christians’ view of their Christ being something far greater.

 
patcleaver wrote:

The Christians in Tacitus might be worshipers of a different anointed person, who was crucified, such as the high priest Jesus Bar Damnius.


Jesus Ben Stada was crucified, not Jesus Bar Damnius.


patcleaver wrote:

Do you agree that its possible that Christianity is a 4th century invention?


No, because it clearly existed prior to the 4th century.

patcleaver wrote:

Give me facts and reasonable arguments. Do not give me opinions of bible scholars - its a discredited field - most of them are quacks especially the Christians.


It must be quite enjoyable living the uncritical life you lead, Pat.
You don’t have to do tedious things like “read” or “reason” or “cross-examine”. Instead, all you do is make sweeping ad homs at learned minds and say embarrassingly ignorant things like “it’s a discredited field” (the field of Christian Apologetics clearly isnt discredited, by the way, and via your open allegation we all know how painfully unaware of this you are now. No wonder you never support your views with scholarship. You’re freestyling your skepticism and hoping I won’t catch the mistakes)

jcgadfly wrote:

1. To hold to a theory that has inconsistencies is poor scholarship, indeed. Why are you doing it? Just because an argument exists doesn't lend it validity or correctness.


I never said the existence of the argument makes it valid. If that’s how you’ve read my statement then you’re either intentionally mocking it or cannot deduce simple points. I’ll hope you’re mocking me, for the sake of the discussion (if this entire discussion ends up being all in vain because you have not been able to reasonably follow the arguments, I admit I’ll be quite disappointed).

That the arguments remain undefeated, is the implication I was making.

patcleaver wrote:

2. Certainly. If you are trying to sell something, you are going to put it in as positive of a light as possible. They were trying to sell the non-physical Jesus Christ character that Paul built as human, divine and Messiah. The myths provide a "son of God" background and backtracking through the Messianic prophecies and writing the story so that the Jesus character fulfilled them covered the rest.

 

1) Paul didn't invent the human Jesus.

2) Support this with more than just your opinion and I'll consider it.

 

jcgadly wrote:

There need be no collusion (in fact the distance between epistles denies a knowing conspiracy). Just different salesmen selling a product in their own style. the early dating you propose makes a conspiracy more likely, not less.


 How does that make it more likely?

 
jcgafly wrote:

3. Good guesses - Note that none of those postdate Christianity.


The cults themselves don’t but the texts with similarities do.
 
 
jcgadfly wrote:

4. Well, apologists do have their own agenda and none of them have historical expertise. So, naturally, I call their conclusions into question when someone claims them as history experts.


 None of them have historical expertise? Which apologists do you think I’m referring to here?
 
 

 

 

 

 

-adamryan

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


1. A commonly agreed reconstruction of Josephus' Testimonium has been reached via textual criticism, by scholars like J. Klausner in his Jesus of Nazareth: His Life, Times and Teaching, trans H. Danby (New York: Macmillan, 1943), 55-56; Meier, Marginal Jew, 1:61

2. John A. T. Robinson, Redating the New Testament; Carsten Peter Thiede, Eyewitness to Jesus; Bernard Orchard and Harold Riley, The Order of the Synoptics; B. Reicke, Synoptic Prophecies on the Destruction of Jerusalem, in Studies in New Testament and Early Christian Literature: Essays in Honor of Allen P. Wikgren, 1972; Eta Linnemann’s: Historical Criticism of the Bible: Methodology or Ideology? and Is There a Synoptic Problem? Rethinking the Literary Dependence of the First Three Gospel; Kenneth L. Gentry Jr., Before Jerusalem Fell: Dating the Book of Revelation

3. The only way to get around this would be to somehow make a fuss over the fact that it wasn't Paul's own hand that wrote Acts, but Luke's.

4. Thomas D. Lea, Pseudonymity and The New Testament in New Testament Criticism and Interpretation  by David Alan Black and David S. Dockery (Grand Rapids, Michigan:  Zondervan, 1991)

5.
a) The Jesus Legend: The Case for The Historical Reliability of the Synoptic Jesus Tradition, by Paul Rhodes Eddy and Gregory A. Boyd  (Grand Rapids Michigan: Baker Academic, 2007).

b) "The reference to 'Jesus the one called Christ' [in the James passage... clearly implies a prior reference. In all probability the Testimonium is that prior reference." Craig Evans, Jesus in Non-Christian Sources, p.470

6. Jesus in Non-Christian Sources, p.469

7. John Meier, Marginal Jew 1:57

8. Book 10, letter 96. As cited in Jesus in Non-Christian Sources, p. 459 by Craig Evans.

"There is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil, no good, nothing but pointless indifference. We are machines for propagating DNA. It is every living object's sole reason for being."- Richard Dawkins


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patcleaver wrote:I have good

patcleaver wrote:

I have good evidence and know for a fact that the gospels are fiction.

Let's hear it.

patcleaver wrote:

I have good evidence to believe that Paul was not written about Jesus of Nazareth.

Let's hear it.

patcleaver wrote:

Do you really presume that written testimony is true or were you being dishonest?

I take the written testimony of the gospels to be true, yes.

 

 

-adamryan

"There is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil, no good, nothing but pointless indifference. We are machines for propagating DNA. It is every living object's sole reason for being."- Richard Dawkins


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adamryan wrote:patcleaver

adamryan wrote:

patcleaver wrote:

I have good evidence and know for a fact that the gospels are fiction.

Let's hear it.

patcleaver wrote:

I have good evidence to believe that Paul was not written about Jesus of Nazareth.

Let's hear it.

patcleaver wrote:

Do you really presume that written testimony is true or were you being dishonest?

I take the written testimony of the gospels to be true, yes.

 

 

-adamryan

If you take the written testimony to be true - why do you think they waited so long to write it? If this guy was real and so important to them, why not write down his exploits when they were fresh in their minds? Why wait 20-40 years?

You asked me why an earler dating lends itself more to collusion, if you pusj the gospels back earlier, you have to push Paul's stuff back further also - even Christian scholas hold to Paul's work coming first. That makes it more likely that the gospel writers were disciples of Paul (not saying this is any more than my conjecture for now) because Paul never met a physical Jesus.

As far as apologists having no historical expertise, perhaps some have studied it. On the other hand, would they be tweaking things to fit their desired conclusions instead of drawing conclusions from the evidence if they were experts in their field.

It's actually pretty easy to support a conclusion when you have it first.

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jcgadfly wrote:If you take

jcgadfly wrote:

If you take the written testimony to be true - why do you think they waited so long to write it? If this guy was real and so important to them, why not write down his exploits when they were fresh in their minds? Why wait 20-40 years?

It wasn't a literary-dependent culture that Christianity arose from, it was an orally dominant one. The demand to have it "down on paper", as all of us in the Western world are used to, would have likely been a foreign concept to them. This understandably seems odd to us since our worlds are so different, but we shouldn't let our differences interfere with our understanding of the culture in which the faith was born from. If you'd like, I can send you (via Scribd) a good chapter on this very subject, from Paul Rhodes Eddy and Gregory A. Boyd's, The Jesus Legend: A Case for this Historical Reliability of the Synoptic Jesus Tradition. It goes into more detail than I'd prefer to here.

jcgadfly wrote:

You asked me why an earler dating lends itself more to collusion, if you pusj the gospels back earlier, you have to push Paul's stuff back further also - even Christian scholas hold to Paul's work coming first. That makes it more likely that the gospel writers were disciples of Paul (not saying this is any more than my conjecture for now) because Paul never met a physical Jesus.

...Alright, and again I'm asking you: Why does that lead to (or in some way infer) collusion? What are you basing this inherent deception on?
 

jcgadfly wrote:

As far as apologists having no historical expertise, perhaps some have studied it. On the other hand, would they be tweaking things to fit their desired conclusions instead of drawing conclusions from the evidence if they were experts in their field.

Kind of a brash statement to make about people you haven't even read, isn't it?

This assumption that they are "tweaking things to fit their desired conclusions" is not only rude and uninformed, but absurd. Read some of Habermas' work, or watch/listen to his debates. He covers plenty of historical arguments, and the man knows his stuff. It's like anything: if you publicly make a mistake, you're gonna get called out on it. He's made plenty of public debates (and has been published numerous times), if he were wrong and had stepped out of line he would have been called on it by now (especially when he debated Robert Price on air!)

But this all beside the point: They have no need to dishonestly tweak anything, because they're right. =]

jcgadfly wrote:

It's actually pretty easy to support a conclusion when you have it first.

 

Tell that to Carrier.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

-adamryan

"There is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil, no good, nothing but pointless indifference. We are machines for propagating DNA. It is every living object's sole reason for being."- Richard Dawkins


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jcgadfly wrote:If you take

jcgadfly wrote:

If you take the written testimony to be true - why do you think they waited so long to write it? If this guy was real and so important to them, why not write down his exploits when they were fresh in their minds? Why wait 20-40 years?

It wasn't a literary-dependent culture that Christianity arose from, it was an orally dominant one. The demand to have it "down on paper", as all of us in the Western world are used to, would have likely been a foreign concept to them. This understandably seems odd to us since our worlds are so different, but we shouldn't let our differences interfere with our understanding of the culture in which the faith was born from. If you'd like, I can send you (via Scribd) a good chapter on this very subject, from Paul Rhodes Eddy and Gregory A. Boyd's, The Jesus Legend: A Case for this Historical Reliability of the Synoptic Jesus Tradition. It goes into more detail than I'd prefer to here.

jcgadfly wrote:

You asked me why an earler dating lends itself more to collusion, if you pusj the gospels back earlier, you have to push Paul's stuff back further also - even Christian scholas hold to Paul's work coming first. That makes it more likely that the gospel writers were disciples of Paul (not saying this is any more than my conjecture for now) because Paul never met a physical Jesus.

...Alright, and again I'm asking you: Why does that lead to (or in some way infer) collusion? What are you basing this inherent deception on?
 

jcgadfly wrote:

As far as apologists having no historical expertise, perhaps some have studied it. On the other hand, would they be tweaking things to fit their desired conclusions instead of drawing conclusions from the evidence if they were experts in their field.

Kind of a brash statement to make about people you haven't even read, isn't it?

This assumption that they are "tweaking things to fit their desired conclusions" is not only rude and uninformed, but absurd. Read some of Habermas' work, or watch/listen to his debates. He covers plenty of historical arguments, and the man knows his stuff. It's like anything: if you publicly make a mistake, you're gonna get called out on it. He's made plenty of public debates (and has been published numerous times), if he were wrong and had stepped out of line he would have been called on it by now (especially when he debated Robert Price on air!)

But this all beside the point: They have no need to dishonestly tweak anything, because they're right. =]

jcgadfly wrote:

It's actually pretty easy to support a conclusion when you have it first.

 

Tell that to Carrier.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

-adamryan

"There is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil, no good, nothing but pointless indifference. We are machines for propagating DNA. It is every living object's sole reason for being."- Richard Dawkins


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adamryan wrote:jcgadfly

adamryan wrote:

jcgadfly wrote:

If you take the written testimony to be true - why do you think they waited so long to write it? If this guy was real and so important to them, why not write down his exploits when they were fresh in their minds? Why wait 20-40 years?

It wasn't a literary-dependent culture that Christianity arose from, it was an orally dominant one. The demand to have it "down on paper", as all of us in the Western world are used to, would have likely been a foreign concept to them. This understandably seems odd to us since our worlds are so different, but we shouldn't let our differences interfere with our understanding of the culture in which the faith was born from. If you'd like, I can send you (via Scribd) a good chapter on this very subject, from Paul Rhodes Eddy and Gregory A. Boyd's, The Jesus Legend: A Case for this Historical Reliability of the Synoptic Jesus Tradition. It goes into more detail than I'd prefer to here.

jcgadfly wrote:

You asked me why an earler dating lends itself more to collusion, if you pusj the gospels back earlier, you have to push Paul's stuff back further also - even Christian scholas hold to Paul's work coming first. That makes it more likely that the gospel writers were disciples of Paul (not saying this is any more than my conjecture for now) because Paul never met a physical Jesus.

...Alright, and again I'm asking you: Why does that lead to (or in some way infer) collusion? What are you basing this inherent deception on?
 

jcgadfly wrote:

As far as apologists having no historical expertise, perhaps some have studied it. On the other hand, would they be tweaking things to fit their desired conclusions instead of drawing conclusions from the evidence if they were experts in their field.

Kind of a brash statement to make about people you haven't even read, isn't it?

This assumption that they are "tweaking things to fit their desired conclusions" is not only rude and uninformed, but absurd. Read some of Habermas' work, or watch/listen to his debates. He covers plenty of historical arguments, and the man knows his stuff. It's like anything: if you publicly make a mistake, you're gonna get called out on it. He's made plenty of public debates (and has been published numerous times), if he were wrong and had stepped out of line he would have been called on it by now (especially when he debated Robert Price on air!)

But this all beside the point: They have no need to dishonestly tweak anything, because they're right. =]

jcgadfly wrote:

It's actually pretty easy to support a conclusion when you have it first.

 

Tell that to Carrier.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

-adamryan

1. If the first century Christians were an orally dominant culture as you claim, why were at least some of these writers writing during the first century? All or nearly all of Paul's stuff was written in the first century as well as Mark. If we go with your dating, all of them were writing in the first century so you seem to be shooting yourself in the foot with that statement.

2. Why are you assuming deception? I'm not - I'm assuming students of Paul wanting to make their teacher's concepts look good. Group work, not necesarily plagiarism. Makes more sense than the concept of all these guys coming up with their own stories which God allowed to miraculously connect and duplicate much of each other. Why does the Christian view glorify plagiarism?

3. More assumptions. You know I haven't read your apologist buddies how, again? Perhaps tweaking wasn't the right word - how about ignoring/disregarding what doesn't fit the conclusion he espouses? Shouldn't an expert take on all the evidence? And of course you know he's right because he says so, eh Smiling?

4. Not known Carrier to do such but if he has, you're asking me to castigate someone for behavior you idolize when it's on your side of the argument. Nah.

 

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
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jcgadfly wrote:1. If the

jcgadfly wrote:

1. If the first century Christians were an orally dominant culture as you claim, why were at least some of these writers writing during the first century? All or nearly all of Paul's stuff was written in the first century as well as Mark. If we go with your dating, all of them were writing in the first century so you seem to be shooting yourself in the foot with that statement.


 

The Synoptics and Paul all date prior to the close of the first century.

 

jcgadfly wrote:

2. Why are you assuming deception? I'm not - I'm assuming students of Paul wanting to make their teacher's concepts look good. Group work, not necesarily plagiarism. Makes more sense than the concept of all these guys coming up with their own stories which God allowed to miraculously connect and duplicate much of each other. Why does the Christian view glorify plagiarism?

The Christian view doesn't glorify plagiarism. What you're referring to, commonly know as the "Synoptic Problem"1, isn't an issue that questions the gospel author's originality but rather the specific sources used in each author's gospel. Did Matthew and Luke use Mark as source material? About 90% of his gospel is found in Matthew's and around 50% in Luke's. What do we make of the around 230+ verses that are only found in Matthew's gospel, and not Luke's? Did Matthew utilize source material that wasn't available to Luke? All of this is debated and discussed in what is called "source criticsm", as you probably already know.

None of this implies deceitful plagiarism, it only shows that when the Gospel authors found a reliable early souce of Gospel material, they used it. If Mark's account was found to be demonstrably early to Matthew and Luke, they were no doubt pressed to use it. This all makes sense, then, of Luke's introduction to his Gospel where he says that he considered sources for his account in order to give a reliably accurate picture of the things which had occured and which were written down in other places, but where at the time still needing "an orderly account for".

 

jcgadfly wrote:

3. More assumptions. You know I haven't read your apologist buddies how, again? Perhaps tweaking wasn't the right word - how about ignoring/disregarding what doesn't fit the conclusion he espouses? Shouldn't an expert take on all the evidence? And of course you know he's right because he says so, eh Smiling?

 

I know this because clearly only someone who was unfamiliar with their work would make such an erred statement as you did. And can you give me an example where they've been "ignoring/disregarding" facts? You've brought this up twice now, and you've still yet to show an example of this. Either cite and example or stop bringing up this faulty insult.

 

jcgadfly wrote:

4. Not known Carrier to do such but if he has, you're asking me to castigate someone for behavior you idolize when it's on your side of the argument. Nah.

 

Cite me an instance where I've done this.

 

 

 

 

 

 

-adamryan

 

 

 

1.  Source Criticism, by Scot McKnight p.139 in New Testament Criticism and Interpretation, edited by David Alan Black and David S. Dockery.  (Grand Rapids, Michigan Zondervan 1991)

2. Luke 1:1-4

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adamryan wrote:jcgadfly

adamryan wrote:

jcgadfly wrote:

1. If the first century Christians were an orally dominant culture as you claim, why were at least some of these writers writing during the first century? All or nearly all of Paul's stuff was written in the first century as well as Mark. If we go with your dating, all of them were writing in the first century so you seem to be shooting yourself in the foot with that statement.


 

The Synoptics and Paul all date prior to the close of the first century.

 

jcgadfly wrote:

2. Why are you assuming deception? I'm not - I'm assuming students of Paul wanting to make their teacher's concepts look good. Group work, not necesarily plagiarism. Makes more sense than the concept of all these guys coming up with their own stories which God allowed to miraculously connect and duplicate much of each other. Why does the Christian view glorify plagiarism?

The Christian view doesn't glorify plagiarism. What you're referring to, commonly know as the "Synoptic Problem"1, isn't an issue that questions the gospel author's originality but rather the specific sources used in each author's gospel. Did Matthew and Luke use Mark as source material? About 90% of his gospel is found in Matthew's and around 50% in Luke's. What do we make of the around 230+ verses that are only found in Matthew's gospel, and not Luke's? Did Matthew utilize source material that wasn't available to Luke? All of this is debated and discussed in what is called "source criticsm", as you probably already know.

None of this implies deceitful plagiarism, it only shows that when the Gospel authors found a reliable early souce of Gospel material, they used it. If Mark's account was found to be demonstrably early to Matthew and Luke, they were no doubt pressed to use it. This all makes sense, then, of Luke's introduction to his Gospel where he says that he considered sources for his account in order to give a reliably accurate picture of the things which had occured and which were written down in other places, but where at the time still needing "an orderly account for".

 

jcgadfly wrote:

3. More assumptions. You know I haven't read your apologist buddies how, again? Perhaps tweaking wasn't the right word - how about ignoring/disregarding what doesn't fit the conclusion he espouses? Shouldn't an expert take on all the evidence? And of course you know he's right because he says so, eh Smiling?

 

I know this because clearly only someone who was unfamiliar with their work would make such an erred statement as you did. And can you give me an example where they've been "ignoring/disregarding" facts? You've brought this up twice now, and you've still yet to show an example of this. Either cite and example or stop bringing up this faulty insult.

 

jcgadfly wrote:

4. Not known Carrier to do such but if he has, you're asking me to castigate someone for behavior you idolize when it's on your side of the argument. Nah.

 

Cite me an instance where I've done this.

 

 

 

 

 

 

-adamryan

 

 

 

1.  Source Criticism, by Scot McKnight p.139 in New Testament Criticism and Interpretation, edited by David Alan Black and David S. Dockery.  (Grand Rapids, Michigan Zondervan 1991)

2. Luke 1:1-4

"The Synoptics and Paul all date prior to the close of the first century."

Indeed they do whcih shatters your idea of no one writing in the first century because they were an oral culture.

"The Christian view doesn't glorify plagiarism."

Perhaps your view doesn't. If you are one of those that believe the gospel writers did original, independent work as some Christians I know insist on (despite evidence to the contrary) then your view does glorify plagiarism.

As for your examples, you apparently don't read the people you footnote. If you did, you'd know the nature of doing research when you already have the conclusion that you want to prove leads to ignoring information contrary to it. Secular researchers do it also - it's called "cherry-picking". I didn't mean it as an insult - just as an admonishment to take everything with a grain of salt (or a salt lick in some cases). Please stop defending these people as the final word on the topic.

Do you have an example of Carrier doing this? If you do, show it and thanks for the heads up.

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

jcgadfly wrote:

"The Synoptics and Paul all date prior to the close of the first century."

Indeed they do whcih shatters your idea of no one writing in the first century because they were an oral culture.

I was correcting your mistake. You said, "All or nearly all of Paul's stuff was written in the first century as well as Mark."   That isn't true. Which is why I said that Paul and the Synoptics were written PRIOR TO THE CLOSE of the first century.

 

jcgadfly wrote:

"The Christian view doesn't glorify plagiarism."

Perhaps your view doesn't. If you are one of those that believe the gospel writers did original, independent work as some Christians I know insist on (despite evidence to the contrary) then your view does glorify plagiarism.

 

Can you give me an example of this "evidence to the contrary"?

 

jcgadfly wrote:

As for your examples, you apparently don't read the people you footnote. If you did, you'd know the nature of doing research when you already have the conclusion that you want to prove leads to ignoring information contrary to it.


You do realize that a lot of scholars who have studied this are either non-religious, non-Christian or atheists, right? Gerd Ludemann is a great example of this.

 

jcgadfly wrote:

Secular researchers do it also - it's called "cherry-picking". I didn't mean it as an insult - just as an admonishment to take everything with a grain of salt (or a salt lick in some cases). Please stop defending these people as the final word on the topic.

I don't wholly accept whatever some scholar writes. I'd hope you'd think of me as at least a little more critical than that. I'm not some mindless zealot who's shouting the end of the world is nigh, and cramming Jesus down your throat as fast I can. That's not who I am. I'm simply correcting common mistakes that I recognize, and am keeping up with the works to the best of my ability. You can think of me as Rook Hawkins' counterpart. =]

 

jcgadfly wrote:

Do you have an example of Carrier doing this? If you do, show it and thanks for the heads up.

 

Yeah, no problem. He does it quite frequently. I've yet to read his book, Sense and Goodness Without God, so I can't say he's done it in formal materials but a quick common example would be from his blogs:

http://richardcarrier.blogspot.com/2009/01/wl-craig-debate.html

 

This is a blog of his covering the upcoming debate he's going to have with Dr. William Lane Craig.
Just read through it and get a feeling for how the guy works. Petty insults, question begging, you-name-it-he'll-do-it.

From what I've read, he also doesn't believe Jesus was an historical person. This isn't such an appalling claim to make, and on the face of it seems rather scholarly. However, what IS appalling to me is that a majority of the arguments he uses to support this thesis have long ago been confuted. Why cling to outdated scholarship to support a thesis? Does that not say something about one's methodology and a priori biases?

 

just curious.

 

-adamryan

 

 

p.s.
I plan on going to this debate to watch it in person. Hopefully I can pick up a signed copy of his book the day of the debate. I'll give it a read and if I notice anymore examples I'll definitely link them back to this thread.

 

 

 

"There is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil, no good, nothing but pointless indifference. We are machines for propagating DNA. It is every living object's sole reason for being."- Richard Dawkins


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jcgadfly wrote:"The

jcgadfly wrote:

"The Synoptics and Paul all date prior to the close of the first century."

Indeed they do whcih shatters your idea of no one writing in the first century because they were an oral culture.

I was correcting your mistake. You said, "All or nearly all of Paul's stuff was written in the first century as well as Mark."   That isn't true. Which is why I said that Paul and the Synoptics were written PRIOR TO THE CLOSE of the first century.

 

jcgadfly wrote:

"The Christian view doesn't glorify plagiarism."

Perhaps your view doesn't. If you are one of those that believe the gospel writers did original, independent work as some Christians I know insist on (despite evidence to the contrary) then your view does glorify plagiarism.

 

Can you give me an example of this "evidence to the contrary"?

 

jcgadfly wrote:

As for your examples, you apparently don't read the people you footnote. If you did, you'd know the nature of doing research when you already have the conclusion that you want to prove leads to ignoring information contrary to it.


You do realize that a lot of scholars who have studied this are either non-religious, non-Christian or atheists, right? Gerd Ludemann is a great example of this.

 

jcgadfly wrote:

Secular researchers do it also - it's called "cherry-picking". I didn't mean it as an insult - just as an admonishment to take everything with a grain of salt (or a salt lick in some cases). Please stop defending these people as the final word on the topic.

I don't wholly accept whatever some scholar writes. I'd hope you'd think of me as at least a little more critical than that. I'm not some mindless zealot who's shouting the end of the world is nigh, and cramming Jesus down your throat as fast I can. That's not who I am. I'm simply correcting common mistakes that I recognize, and am keeping up with the works to the best of my ability. You can think of me as Rook Hawkins' counterpart. =]

 

jcgadfly wrote:

Do you have an example of Carrier doing this? If you do, show it and thanks for the heads up.

 

Yeah, no problem. He does it quite frequently. I've yet to read his book, Sense and Goodness Without God, so I can't say he's done it in formal materials but a quick common example would be from his blogs:

http://richardcarrier.blogspot.com/2009/01/wl-craig-debate.html

 

This is a blog of his covering the upcoming debate he's going to have with Dr. William Lane Craig.
Just read through it and get a feeling for how the guy works. Petty insults, question begging, you-name-it-he'll-do-it.

From what I've read, he also doesn't believe Jesus was an historical person. This isn't such an appalling claim to make, and on the face of it seems rather scholarly. However, what IS appalling to me is that a majority of the arguments he uses to support this thesis have long ago been confuted. Why cling to outdated scholarship to support a thesis? Does that not say something about one's methodology and a priori biases?

 

just curious.

 

-adamryan

 

 

p.s.
I plan on going to this debate to watch it in person. Hopefully I can pick up a signed copy of his book the day of the debate. I'll give it a read and if I notice anymore examples I'll definitely link them back to this thread.

 

 

 

"There is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil, no good, nothing but pointless indifference. We are machines for propagating DNA. It is every living object's sole reason for being."- Richard Dawkins


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First of all, I'm loving the

First of all, I'm loving the Southern narrator. Sounds like Mr. Garrison, especially when he gets pissed.

The video is one thing.

BORING.

*Our world is far more complex than the rigid structure we want to assign to it, and we will probably never fully understand it.*

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Most pointless video ever.

Most pointless video ever. It depends on the bible to much. He just has the bible to say Jesus did those things, For anyone who isn't a christian that isn't enough. The question is did they know they would die for spreading the word of Jesus? Did they even die? I can very easily see someone starting a religion that takes money from people and not believe its true. How would they know they would be killed for it? People who commit crimes generally do it not expecting to get caught. 

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Whatever goes upon four legs, or has wings, is a friend.
No animal shall wear clothes.
No animal shall sleep in a bed.
No animal shall drink alcohol.
No animal shall kill any other animal.
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patcleaver wrote:What is

patcleaver wrote:

What is your evidence that the gospels were written before the 4th century? None of them are carbon dated before the 10th century. The handwriting style on a fragment of papyrus that contains text that matches one of the gospels, and could be a forgery, is not sufficient.

The Codex Sinaticus and the Codex Vaticanus are dated well before the 10th Century. The Sinaticus is dated to the fourth Century. Furthermore, P52 (fragment of the gospel of John) is dated from the early to mid 2nd Century CE.

patcleaver wrote:

what is your evidence that Paul was writing about Jesus of Nazareth? He never mentions anything about Jesus of Nazareth just the title Jesus Christ which could refer to someone else.

Thats not exactly true. Paul does make other references about Jesus. For example, Galatians 4:4, Paul references that Jesus was born of a woman. Galatians 1:18, James is mentioned as the brother of Jesus. James is also attested as the brother of Jesus in Josephus. I don't know what you would conclude, but I don't think mythical figures are born and have human brothers.

patcleaver wrote:

What is your evidence that all the extent epistles of Paul are not 4th century forgeries - after all, bible scholars agree that there is good evidence that most of Paul's epistles are forgeries?

Not most. Six of the 13 are seen as forgeries. The authentic letters are: 1 Thessalonians, Phillipians, Galatians, 1 Corinthians, 2 Corinthians, Philemon, and Romans. Furthermore, St. Clement in the end of the 1st Century references Paul's letters. So I think that debunks the idea that Paul is a 4th Century forgery. 1 Clement 5:5 would be a good example.

patcleaver wrote:

Your evidence that Christianity existed before the 4th century is Pliny, Tacitus, and Josephus. They could all be forgeries. If the Testimonium Flavium was only interpolated it was probably about a different Jesus e.g. Bar Damnius. The Christians in Pliny might not be followers of Jesus of Nazareth. The Christians in Tacitus might be worshipers of a different anointed person, who was crucified, such as the high priest Jesus Bar Damnius. Do you agree that its possible that Christianity is a 4th century invention?

 

I think I've already given you information that disproves the idea that Christianity is a fourth century invention. I'll quickly review: P52, the Codex Sinaticus was copied from manuscripts before the 4th Century, the writings of St. Clement of Rome. I can also throw out Papyus, Ignatius of Antioch or the Didache. So I have manuscripts dated well before the 4th Century, and the history of Chruch Fathers and their writings beginning at the end of the First Century CE. It's not possible that Christianity was a 4th CE invention.

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

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