Historical Jesus

Abrahamic religion, you know, the one with the cross...

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Re: What Can We Reasonably Infer About The Historical Jesus?

#24301  Postby proudfootz » May 01, 2012 1:46 am

archibald wrote:
Stein wrote:I'll start with Theudas the Egyptian.


I think we can say with some degree of Certainty that Theudas the Egyptian did not exist. I think you may mean Theudas or the Egyptian. :)


As far as I can see Theudas the non-Egyptian only ticks the boxes for numbers 1-7, which, IMO, would leave the probability of his existence something below 1 (can't see how anyone could argue otherwize), but he's not especially comparable IMO, only ticking the first 7 boxes.

It might be worth noting that since he was supposed to be a prophet whose big thing was trying to part the waters of the Jordan, a name which apparently either means 'gift of god' (if of Greek origin) or 'flowing water' (if semitic) doesn't necessarily inspire confidence that it was a real name, or, if it was a real name, I bet his mum and dad won the ancient Judean lottery a few times with predictive powers like they must have had when naming their little baby.

Then there is the fact that some think there was more than one Theudas who led a rebellion, to get around the problem of contradiction in either Josephus or Acts, which disagree about when each of their Theudases was supposed to have been around. Two guys whose name means either gift of god or flowing water who both thought they were prophets and who both tried to walk across a river. Quite a coincidence. Those NT scholars sure do come up with some interesting hypotheses. :)

I believe there is a half decent argument that Theudas, if he existed, may have claimed to have been a messiah. At least the story of what he did is pretty much the sort of thing that a messianic claimant might do. But Josephus doesn't refer to him as such, making it possibly all the more unusual for him to apparently have no prob using messiah in association with another supposed claimant. Or maybe he ('flowing water' to give him his red indianesque moniker) was just emulating Joshua (the OT guy who crossed the Jordan) and just thought he was a run of the mill Joshua type prophet. Either way, to Josephus, he was merely a charlatan, so it still seems odd. You'd think, if he was emulating a prophet and had hundreds of followers, he might at least get 'called a prophet'. :)

But whether or not he existed (which he may have) the main thing is he's not a comparable figure.

I suspect (I could be wrong) that the only comparable figures are either figures whose existence is questioned or figures for whom there is better evidence, but I could be wrong.


Before we get inundated with an 'avalanche' of wild goose chases several other figures of history have already been discussed previously on this thread. Perhaps we could review what we've learned thus far before continuing on that path.

For those who insist, here's a place to start:

What Can We Reasonably Infer About The Historical Jesus?

These arguments have already been proposed and answered.

Even if we can reasonably infer the existence or non-existence of a million other people that still changes nothing about the state of evidence for an 'historical Jesus' beneath the mountain of myth. Nor does the existence or non-existence of a human Jesus enhance or diminish the historicity of any other figure.

The whole exercise is reminiscent of christian apologists who claim Jesus is "better attested than ______________ (insert name of other totally unrelated person here)." It's like they're trying to hold Julius Caesar or Socrates hostage - 'give us Jesus or you'll lose Boudicca'.

My principle is that we not negotiate with these terrorists, it only encourages them to further infamy.
"Truth is stranger than fiction, but it is because Fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities; Truth isn't." - Mark Twain
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Re: What Can We Reasonably Infer About The Historical Jesus?

#24302  Postby Stein » May 01, 2012 2:54 am

proudfootz wrote:
archibald wrote:
Stein wrote:I'll start with Theudas the Egyptian.


I think we can say with some degree of Certainty that Theudas the Egyptian did not exist. I think you may mean Theudas or the Egyptian. :)


As far as I can see Theudas the non-Egyptian only ticks the boxes for numbers 1-7, which, IMO, would leave the probability of his existence something below 1 (can't see how anyone could argue otherwize), but he's not especially comparable IMO, only ticking the first 7 boxes.

It might be worth noting that since he was supposed to be a prophet whose big thing was trying to part the waters of the Jordan, a name which apparently either means 'gift of god' (if of Greek origin) or 'flowing water' (if semitic) doesn't necessarily inspire confidence that it was a real name, or, if it was a real name, I bet his mum and dad won the ancient Judean lottery a few times with predictive powers like they must have had when naming their little baby.

Then there is the fact that some think there was more than one Theudas who led a rebellion, to get around the problem of contradiction in either Josephus or Acts, which disagree about when each of their Theudases was supposed to have been around. Two guys whose name means either gift of god or flowing water who both thought they were prophets and who both tried to walk across a river. Quite a coincidence. Those NT scholars sure do come up with some interesting hypotheses. :)

I believe there is a half decent argument that Theudas, if he existed, may have claimed to have been a messiah. At least the story of what he did is pretty much the sort of thing that a messianic claimant might do. But Josephus doesn't refer to him as such, making it possibly all the more unusual for him to apparently have no prob using messiah in association with another supposed claimant. Or maybe he ('flowing water' to give him his red indianesque moniker) was just emulating Joshua (the OT guy who crossed the Jordan) and just thought he was a run of the mill Joshua type prophet. Either way, to Josephus, he was merely a charlatan, so it still seems odd. You'd think, if he was emulating a prophet and had hundreds of followers, he might at least get 'called a prophet'. :)

But whether or not he existed (which he may have) the main thing is he's not a comparable figure.

I suspect (I could be wrong) that the only comparable figures are either figures whose existence is questioned or figures for whom there is better evidence, but I could be wrong.


Before we get inundated with an 'avalanche' of wild goose chases several other figures of history have already been discussed previously on this thread. Perhaps we could review what we've learned thus far before continuing on that path.

For those who insist, here's a place to start:

What Can We Reasonably Infer About The Historical Jesus?

These arguments have already been proposed and answered.

Even if we can reasonably infer the existence or non-existence of a million other people that still changes nothing about the state of evidence for an 'historical Jesus' beneath the mountain of myth. Nor does the existence or non-existence of a human Jesus enhance or diminish the historicity of any other figure.

The whole exercise is reminiscent of christian apologists who claim Jesus is "better attested than ______________ (insert name of other totally unrelated person here)." It's like they're trying to hold Julius Caesar or Socrates hostage - 'give us Jesus or you'll lose Boudicca'.

My principle is that we not negotiate with these terrorists, it only encourages them to further infamy.


Your argument is the real terrorism here. You arbitrarily decide that ONE INDIVIDUAL who is no worse attested than at least half a dozen other figures of the same era should just be painted out of the history books BECAUSE YOU DON'T LIKE HIM. To render inadmissible here any corresponding mention here of any other figure(s) of similar vintage and documentation for whom no historians have ever had doubts is to terrorize away any proper understanding or perspective on ancient history necessary to this discussion. YOU'RE NOT JUDGE AND JURY OF WHAT'S PERTINENT TO AN UNDERSTANDING OF ANCIENT HISTORY, YOU KNOW.

Plenty of HJ-ers here have enough sense to know that your STRAW MEN of Caesar and Socrates are NOT pertinent to this discussion, while figures like Theudas and Boudicca emphatically are. You can't lump figures like Caesar and Boudicca together without revealing a woeful ignorance. Figures like Boudicca ARE relevant because they put a perspective on what would be the documentational norm for an agitator of no social standing who gets nailed, like Jesus. Figures like Caesar aren't. If you point-blank close your eyes and shut your ears to any such comparisons or list, then you reveal that you're only interested in proselytizing and not in learning anything new at all about real history and how to research real history.

At least, Archibald has some sort of an interest in examining comparable figures. You don't. You're just interested in propaganda. Anyone interested in sheer propaganda is the real terrorist. And don't come whining to me that you're the one being put upon here when it was you who inserted the notion of terrorism in the first place. In fact, by ruling out of court any mention of a Theudas or a Boudicca, you're not only sounding like a terrorist, you're sounding like a know-nothing fundie who wants TO IMPOSE YOUR IGNORANCE ON EVERYONE ELSE.

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Re: What Can We Reasonably Infer About The Historical Jesus?

#24303  Postby angelo » May 01, 2012 10:23 am

I think the main problem here are the sources. The only source we have of a HJ are the discredited gospels which are chock of block full of supernatural trivia that no clear thinking person would ever accept unless the person has a hidden agenda. Like funding from a certain organisation for example. This third quest for a HJ will end up as the last two unless new evidence is presented, which I doubt exists.
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Re: What Can We Reasonably Infer About The Historical Jesus?

#24304  Postby archibald » May 01, 2012 11:32 am

proudfootz wrote:The whole exercise is reminiscent of christian apologists who claim Jesus is "better attested than ______________ (insert name of other totally unrelated person here)." It's like they're trying to hold Julius Caesar or Socrates hostage - 'give us Jesus or you'll lose Boudicca'.


Ok, yes, I agree, but I think if one can show that one isn't being inconsistent, then at least one can say that one isn't guilty of an accusation tossed around quite a lot. Furthermore, if one can also show that one is using reasonable criteria consistently, then one can feel some justification.

Even Willhud, who has a very reasonable approach, IMO, makes the same point about possible inconsistency and feels that if we toss out the way we use evidence in the case of Jesus, we may toss out the way 'we' (i.e. historians) assess historical evidence generally. I think I hear cito saying 'so what?' and that is fair enough, but allowing for the sake of the discussion that there are arguably reasonable things we can guess about history and unreasonable things we can guess about history, I find it interesting to ask how does a rational person tell the difference, and furthermore I can't see how casting doubt about Jesus impacts adversely, in fact I think it's warranted.

Yes, a lot of arguably unrelated (i.e not significantly comparable) figures are often cited. I think Ehrman cited a couple lately. The closer the analogy, the better for comparison, I think. Best ones I can think of are Guatama Buddha (even then, there are differences, mainly as regards the amount of time the stories are assumed to have circulated orally before being written in anything we now have a copy of, but otherwize he's a pretty good analogy, IMO) and Muhamad al Mahdi (again, not an exact match, but pretty close, IMO. This time, he was, I believe, written about within approximately 80 years of his supposed birth).

Many don't seem to have much of a problem being agnostic about those two.

On the other side of the coin, we have Sai Baba of Shirdi, perhaps the closest analogy of all, and he illustrates nicely, I think, how a figure very like Jesus could very easily have existed. He, however, is in the category of, 'those for whom we have much better hard evidence' (photos).
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Re: What Can We Reasonably Infer About The Historical Jesus?

#24305  Postby archibald » May 01, 2012 11:46 am

@ Stein

Boudicca?


Hm.

Do I believe she existed?

In all honesty, I definitely would not come right out and say, yes, I think she did. I think there is archeological evidence that the Romans quelled a revolt in the region around that time, but that only suggests that someone led a revolt, not a specific woman. Tacitus is, I believe, the main source for Boudicca, and I think he's only about 40 years after the event? There is also Cassius Dio, but he's later. I believe (someone will correct me if I'm wrong) that Tacitus goes into some depth and detail, which is more useful than a brief passing mention. It's fair to say that we should not expect more than a passing mention in Jesus' case, and yes, that's true, but at the end of the day, this does not add to the independent evidence for Jesus, whereas the detail in Tacitus for Boudicca does add in her case.

So, I would say, off the top of my head, that there is more reason to accept Boudicca.

I am slightly reluctant to mention some additional reasons to you, because I think you (and say Byron, and maybe a few other HJers) will not readily accept that they are valid reasons, though quite honestly, I can't think why. I mean the things on the latter part of my list of 17 suggested criteria, about supernatural content, reliability of genre etc. But, in this case, I don't need to rely heavily on those. I think the good detail in an independent, considered fairly reliable source not far removed in time give Boudicca the edge over Jesus. I think Tacitus' son-in-law was a bigwig in Roman Britain at the time also, which might add to the weight of testimony.

Before anyone suggests that my list is unduly negative, I would say, yes, the idea in that case is to start at 1 (certainty) and move downwards. One could I suppose start at zero and move upwards towards 1. Either way, I personally have trouble seeing how anybody ends up far from 0.5 in either direction, even though I did only last year. :)
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Re: What Can We Reasonably Infer About The Historical Jesus?

#24306  Postby proudfootz » May 01, 2012 1:16 pm

Stein wrote:
proudfootz wrote:
archibald wrote:
Stein wrote:I'll start with Theudas the Egyptian.


I think we can say with some degree of Certainty that Theudas the Egyptian did not exist. I think you may mean Theudas or the Egyptian. :)

As far as I can see Theudas the non-Egyptian only ticks the boxes for numbers 1-7, which, IMO, would leave the probability of his existence something below 1 (can't see how anyone could argue otherwize), but he's not especially comparable IMO, only ticking the first 7 boxes.

It might be worth noting that since he was supposed to be a prophet whose big thing was trying to part the waters of the Jordan, a name which apparently either means 'gift of god' (if of Greek origin) or 'flowing water' (if semitic) doesn't necessarily inspire confidence that it was a real name, or, if it was a real name, I bet his mum and dad won the ancient Judean lottery a few times with predictive powers like they must have had when naming their little baby.

Then there is the fact that some think there was more than one Theudas who led a rebellion, to get around the problem of contradiction in either Josephus or Acts, which disagree about when each of their Theudases was supposed to have been around. Two guys whose name means either gift of god or flowing water who both thought they were prophets and who both tried to walk across a river. Quite a coincidence. Those NT scholars sure do come up with some interesting hypotheses. :)

I believe there is a half decent argument that Theudas, if he existed, may have claimed to have been a messiah. At least the story of what he did is pretty much the sort of thing that a messianic claimant might do. But Josephus doesn't refer to him as such, making it possibly all the more unusual for him to apparently have no prob using messiah in association with another supposed claimant. Or maybe he ('flowing water' to give him his red indianesque moniker) was just emulating Joshua (the OT guy who crossed the Jordan) and just thought he was a run of the mill Joshua type prophet. Either way, to Josephus, he was merely a charlatan, so it still seems odd. You'd think, if he was emulating a prophet and had hundreds of followers, he might at least get 'called a prophet'. :)

But whether or not he existed (which he may have) the main thing is he's not a comparable figure.

I suspect (I could be wrong) that the only comparable figures are either figures whose existence is questioned or figures for whom there is better evidence, but I could be wrong.


Before we get inundated with an 'avalanche' of wild goose chases several other figures of history have already been discussed previously on this thread. Perhaps we could review what we've learned thus far before continuing on that path.

For those who insist, here's a place to start:

What Can We Reasonably Infer About The Historical Jesus?

These arguments have already been proposed and answered.

Even if we can reasonably infer the existence or non-existence of a million other people that still changes nothing about the state of evidence for an 'historical Jesus' beneath the mountain of myth. Nor does the existence or non-existence of a human Jesus enhance or diminish the historicity of any other figure.

The whole exercise is reminiscent of christian apologists who claim Jesus is "better attested than ______________ (insert name of other totally unrelated person here)." It's like they're trying to hold Julius Caesar or Socrates hostage - 'give us Jesus or you'll lose Boudicca'.

My principle is that we not negotiate with these terrorists, it only encourages them to further infamy.


Your argument is the real terrorism here. You arbitrarily decide that ONE INDIVIDUAL who is no worse attested than at least half a dozen other figures of the same era should just be painted out of the history books BECAUSE YOU DON'T LIKE HIM. To render inadmissible here any corresponding mention here of any other figure(s) of similar vintage and documentation for whom no historians have ever had doubts is to terrorize away any proper understanding or perspective on ancient history necessary to this discussion. YOU'RE NOT JUDGE AND JURY OF WHAT'S PERTINENT TO AN UNDERSTANDING OF ANCIENT HISTORY, YOU KNOW.

Plenty of HJ-ers here have enough sense to know that your STRAW MEN of Caesar and Socrates are NOT pertinent to this discussion, while figures like Theudas and Boudicca emphatically are. You can't lump figures like Caesar and Boudicca together without revealing a woeful ignorance. Figures like Boudicca ARE relevant because they put a perspective on what would be the documentational norm for an agitator of no social standing who gets nailed, like Jesus. Figures like Caesar aren't. If you point-blank close your eyes and shut your ears to any such comparisons or list, then you reveal that you're only interested in proselytizing and not in learning anything new at all about real history and how to research real history.

At least, Archibald has some sort of an interest in examining comparable figures. You don't. You're just interested in propaganda. Anyone interested in sheer propaganda is the real terrorist. And don't come whining to me that you're the one being put upon here when it was you who inserted the notion of terrorism in the first place. In fact, by ruling out of court any mention of a Theudas or a Boudicca, you're not only sounding like a terrorist, you're sounding like a know-nothing fundie who wants TO IMPOSE YOUR IGNORANCE ON EVERYONE ELSE.

Stein


The problem with your suggestions above is that all the figures have been named : Julius Caesar, Socrates, and others have been suggested as figures from history we will 'lose' if it turns out this Jesus didn't exist. The example of Socrates has been discussed on this very thread. Camillus has also been discussed. Hannibal, too. Paul the epistle-writer.

Read the friggin' thread before you burst a blood vessel shouting your already refuted assertions.

No doubt you would like us to waste time and energy on all these red herrings. The problem is that none of the names suggested so far have shown any validity to the argument that we will lose any undoubted figures of history if as rational skeptics we maintain there is not sufficient evidence to maintain the historicity of a man Jesus underneath the mountain of myth.

The historicity of Moses has been downgraded - no collapse of civilization or of history resulted. Abraham likewise.

No, Stein, the sky is not falling. :whistle:

Why shouldn't I like Jesus? Is this what you are reduced to - making unfounded claims about my alleged motives because you can't seem to pony up any persuasive and valid arguments? :naughty:
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Re: What Can We Reasonably Infer About The Historical Jesus?

#24307  Postby Blood » May 01, 2012 2:13 pm

angelo wrote:I think the main problem here are the sources. The only source we have of a HJ are the discredited gospels which are chock of block full of supernatural trivia that no clear thinking person would ever accept unless the person has a hidden agenda. Like funding from a certain organisation for example. This third quest for a HJ will end up as the last two unless new evidence is presented, which I doubt exists.


Yes, this "attestation" idea is a canard of epic proportions. It is not the mere fact of a past figure's textual "attestation" that is a determinate to historicity, it is the nature of the sources of that attestation. Robin Hood is well-attested by textual sources, as is Hermes Trismegistus. But the nature of those sources do not give us much, if any, confidence that they are describing actual historical figures.
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Re: What Can We Reasonably Infer About The Historical Jesus?

#24308  Postby Stein » May 01, 2012 4:51 pm

proudfootz wrote:
Stein wrote:
proudfootz wrote:
archibald wrote:

I think we can say with some degree of Certainty that Theudas the Egyptian did not exist. I think you may mean Theudas or the Egyptian. :)

As far as I can see Theudas the non-Egyptian only ticks the boxes for numbers 1-7, which, IMO, would leave the probability of his existence something below 1 (can't see how anyone could argue otherwize), but he's not especially comparable IMO, only ticking the first 7 boxes.

It might be worth noting that since he was supposed to be a prophet whose big thing was trying to part the waters of the Jordan, a name which apparently either means 'gift of god' (if of Greek origin) or 'flowing water' (if semitic) doesn't necessarily inspire confidence that it was a real name, or, if it was a real name, I bet his mum and dad won the ancient Judean lottery a few times with predictive powers like they must have had when naming their little baby.

Then there is the fact that some think there was more than one Theudas who led a rebellion, to get around the problem of contradiction in either Josephus or Acts, which disagree about when each of their Theudases was supposed to have been around. Two guys whose name means either gift of god or flowing water who both thought they were prophets and who both tried to walk across a river. Quite a coincidence. Those NT scholars sure do come up with some interesting hypotheses. :)

I believe there is a half decent argument that Theudas, if he existed, may have claimed to have been a messiah. At least the story of what he did is pretty much the sort of thing that a messianic claimant might do. But Josephus doesn't refer to him as such, making it possibly all the more unusual for him to apparently have no prob using messiah in association with another supposed claimant. Or maybe he ('flowing water' to give him his red indianesque moniker) was just emulating Joshua (the OT guy who crossed the Jordan) and just thought he was a run of the mill Joshua type prophet. Either way, to Josephus, he was merely a charlatan, so it still seems odd. You'd think, if he was emulating a prophet and had hundreds of followers, he might at least get 'called a prophet'. :)

But whether or not he existed (which he may have) the main thing is he's not a comparable figure.

I suspect (I could be wrong) that the only comparable figures are either figures whose existence is questioned or figures for whom there is better evidence, but I could be wrong.


Before we get inundated with an 'avalanche' of wild goose chases several other figures of history have already been discussed previously on this thread. Perhaps we could review what we've learned thus far before continuing on that path.

For those who insist, here's a place to start:

What Can We Reasonably Infer About The Historical Jesus?

These arguments have already been proposed and answered.

Even if we can reasonably infer the existence or non-existence of a million other people that still changes nothing about the state of evidence for an 'historical Jesus' beneath the mountain of myth. Nor does the existence or non-existence of a human Jesus enhance or diminish the historicity of any other figure.

The whole exercise is reminiscent of christian apologists who claim Jesus is "better attested than ______________ (insert name of other totally unrelated person here)." It's like they're trying to hold Julius Caesar or Socrates hostage - 'give us Jesus or you'll lose Boudicca'.

My principle is that we not negotiate with these terrorists, it only encourages them to further infamy.


Your argument is the real terrorism here. You arbitrarily decide that ONE INDIVIDUAL who is no worse attested than at least half a dozen other figures of the same era should just be painted out of the history books BECAUSE YOU DON'T LIKE HIM. To render inadmissible here any corresponding mention here of any other figure(s) of similar vintage and documentation for whom no historians have ever had doubts is to terrorize away any proper understanding or perspective on ancient history necessary to this discussion. YOU'RE NOT JUDGE AND JURY OF WHAT'S PERTINENT TO AN UNDERSTANDING OF ANCIENT HISTORY, YOU KNOW.

Plenty of HJ-ers here have enough sense to know that your STRAW MEN of Caesar and Socrates are NOT pertinent to this discussion, while figures like Theudas and Boudicca emphatically are. You can't lump figures like Caesar and Boudicca together without revealing a woeful ignorance. Figures like Boudicca ARE relevant because they put a perspective on what would be the documentational norm for an agitator of no social standing who gets nailed, like Jesus. Figures like Caesar aren't. If you point-blank close your eyes and shut your ears to any such comparisons or list, then you reveal that you're only interested in proselytizing and not in learning anything new at all about real history and how to research real history.

At least, Archibald has some sort of an interest in examining comparable figures. You don't. You're just interested in propaganda. Anyone interested in sheer propaganda is the real terrorist. And don't come whining to me that you're the one being put upon here when it was you who inserted the notion of terrorism in the first place. In fact, by ruling out of court any mention of a Theudas or a Boudicca, you're not only sounding like a terrorist, you're sounding like a know-nothing fundie who wants TO IMPOSE YOUR IGNORANCE ON EVERYONE ELSE.

Stein


The problem with your suggestions above is that all the figures have been named : Julius Caesar, Socrates, and others have been suggested as figures from history we will 'lose' if it turns out this Jesus didn't exist. The example of Socrates has been discussed on this very thread. Camillus has also been discussed. Hannibal, too. Paul the epistle-writer.


===================

So? They've been mentioned. So what? Are they comparable? No. If they've been mentioned by some idiots here, is that any of my concern? No. I asked for COMPARABLE figures. How #%^$#^*%^#&^$% convenient that you continue with your STRAW MEN like Caesar and totally avoid someone like Boudicca. Typical.

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Re: What Can We Reasonably Infer About The Historical Jesus?

#24309  Postby dejuror » May 01, 2012 5:19 pm

Blood wrote:
angelo wrote:I think the main problem here are the sources. The only source we have of a HJ are the discredited gospels which are chock of block full of supernatural trivia that no clear thinking person would ever accept unless the person has a hidden agenda. Like funding from a certain organisation for example. This third quest for a HJ will end up as the last two unless new evidence is presented, which I doubt exists.


Yes, this "attestation" idea is a canard of epic proportions. It is not the mere fact of a past figure's textual "attestation" that is a determinate to historicity, it is the nature of the sources of that attestation. Robin Hood is well-attested by textual sources, as is Hermes Trismegistus. But the nature of those sources do not give us much, if any, confidence that they are describing actual historical figures.


An historical Jesus cannot be defended and will NOT be found based on the state of the existing texts.

Ehrman ADMITS that Scholars cannot agree on the NT testament texts.

Listen to Ehrman DESTROY his own sources for an historical Jesus.

See http://winteryknight.wordpress.com/2012 ... liability/
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Re: What Can We Reasonably Infer About The Historical Jesus?

#24310  Postby IgnorantiaNescia » May 01, 2012 5:26 pm

dejuror wrote:
Blood wrote:
angelo wrote:I think the main problem here are the sources. The only source we have of a HJ are the discredited gospels which are chock of block full of supernatural trivia that no clear thinking person would ever accept unless the person has a hidden agenda. Like funding from a certain organisation for example. This third quest for a HJ will end up as the last two unless new evidence is presented, which I doubt exists.


Yes, this "attestation" idea is a canard of epic proportions. It is not the mere fact of a past figure's textual "attestation" that is a determinate to historicity, it is the nature of the sources of that attestation. Robin Hood is well-attested by textual sources, as is Hermes Trismegistus. But the nature of those sources do not give us much, if any, confidence that they are describing actual historical figures.


An historical Jesus cannot be defended and will NOT be found based on the state of the existing texts.

Listen to Ehrman DESTROY his own sources for an historical Jesus.

See http://winteryknight.wordpress.com/2012 ... liability/


Erm, destroy?

We all know Ehrman is to some degree sceptical about our approximation of the original text of the NT and he's definitely more sceptical than conservative scholars, so how's this new? :coffee:

It would be clever not to overuse such Matthean hyperboles, or we might just mistake it for literal and conclude it's myth.
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Re: What Can We Reasonably Infer About The Historical Jesus?

#24311  Postby Stein » May 01, 2012 5:33 pm

archibald wrote:@[color=#CC0000][b] Stein[/b][/color]

Boudicca?


Hm.

Do I believe she existed?

In all honesty, I definitely would not come right out and say, yes, I think she did. I think there is archeological evidence that the Romans quelled a revolt in the region around that time, but that only suggests that someone led a revolt, not a specific woman. Tacitus is, I believe, the main source for Boudicca, and I think he's only about 40 years after the event? There is also Cassius Dio, but he's later. I believe (someone will correct me if I'm wrong) that Tacitus goes into some depth and detail, which is more useful than a brief passing mention. It's fair to say that we should not expect more than a passing mention in Jesus' case, and yes, that's true, but at the end of the day, this does not add to the independent evidence for Jesus, whereas the detail in Tacitus for Boudicca does add in her case.

So, I would say, off the top of my head, that there is more reason to accept Boudicca.


And I wouldn't, but I'm in the process of re-scrutinizing the textual sources further, right now.

I am slightly reluctant to mention some additional reasons to you, because I think you (and say Byron, and maybe a few other HJers) will not readily accept that they are valid reasons, though quite honestly, I can't think why. I mean the things on the latter part of my list of 17 suggested criteria, about supernatural content, reliability of genre etc.


Could you please give the link to that post with the 17 criteria again? Thank you.

Stein
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Re: What Can We Reasonably Infer About The Historical Jesus?

#24312  Postby dejuror » May 01, 2012 5:36 pm

IgnorantiaNescia wrote:

Erm, destroy?

We all know Ehrman is to some degree sceptical about our approximation of the original text of the NT and he's definitely more sceptical than conservative scholars, so how's this new? :coffee:

It would be clever not to overuse such Matthean hyperboles, or we might just mistake it for literal and conclude it's myth.


As soon as Ehrman admitted that we don't know what the original text contained then the history of the supposed Jesus cannot be re-constructed using the New Testament.

Bart Ehrman used the NT to re-construct his Jesus WITHOUT knowing what the original contained. How illogical can Ehrman be!!!!

See http://winteryknight.wordpress.com/2012 ... liability/
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Re: What Can We Reasonably Infer About The Historical Jesus?

#24313  Postby Stein » May 01, 2012 5:37 pm

IgnorantiaNescia wrote:
dejuror wrote:
Blood wrote:
angelo wrote:I think the main problem here are the sources. The only source we have of a HJ are the discredited gospels which are chock of block full of supernatural trivia that no clear thinking person would ever accept unless the person has a hidden agenda. Like funding from a certain organisation for example. This third quest for a HJ will end up as the last two unless new evidence is presented, which I doubt exists.


Yes, this "attestation" idea is a canard of epic proportions. It is not the mere fact of a past figure's textual "attestation" that is a determinate to historicity, it is the nature of the sources of that attestation. Robin Hood is well-attested by textual sources, as is Hermes Trismegistus. But the nature of those sources do not give us much, if any, confidence that they are describing actual historical figures.


An historical Jesus cannot be defended and will NOT be found based on the state of the existing texts.

Listen to Ehrman DESTROY his own sources for an historical Jesus.

See http://winteryknight.wordpress.com/2012 ... liability/


Erm, destroy?

We all know Ehrman is to some degree sceptical about our approximation of the original text of the NT and he's definitely more sceptical than conservative scholars, so how's this new? :coffee:

It would be clever not to overuse such Matthean hyperboles, or we might just mistake it for literal and conclude it's myth.


LOL! Good one, IN. Thanks!

Best,

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Re: What Can We Reasonably Infer About The Historical Jesus?

#24314  Postby Stein » May 01, 2012 5:40 pm

dejuror wrote:
IgnorantiaNescia wrote:

Erm, destroy?

We all know Ehrman is to some degree sceptical about our approximation of the original text of the NT and he's definitely more sceptical than conservative scholars, so how's this new? :coffee:

It would be clever not to overuse such Matthean hyperboles, or we might just mistake it for literal and conclude it's myth.


As soon as Ehrman admitted that we don't know what the original text contained then the history of the supposed Jesus cannot be re-constructed using the New Testament.

Bart Ehrman used the NT to re-construct his Jesus WITHOUT knowing what the original contained. How illogical can Ehrman be!!!!

See http://winteryknight.wordpress.com/2012 ... liability/


WARNING: Some wordpress links are apparently unsafe. They've sometimes been associated with "malware". If/When I know certain key words that are on some of those pages, I usually call them up via Google cache instead.

Good luck,

Stein
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Re: What Can We Reasonably Infer About The Historical Jesus?

#24315  Postby archibald » May 01, 2012 5:59 pm

Stein wrote:
Could you please give the link to that post with the 17 criteria again? Thank you.

Stein


In the context of starting at 1 and adjusting down from there, as a response to Ignorantia offering the view that he felt close to 1. One could do a different list starting at zero and working up.

1. For starters, it's generally agreed that Ancient History doesn't provide strong evidence compared to either current events or more recent history. This has gotta bring the assessment down, for everyone from ancient history.

2. No archaeology. Down another tad.

3. No original texts. down a tad.

4. No primary sources. Down a tad.

5. No secondary sources. Down a tad.

6. No writings by the figure. Down a tad.

7. No contemporaneous references. Down a smidgeon.

8. Most of the evidence not from independent or disinterested sources.

9. Most of the evidence from theologically motivated individuals.

10. Same individuals largely, if not entirely, anonymous to history, and undated. Forgeries commonplace.

11. Earliest independent source has been tampered with and is not contemporary anyway.

12. Figure described as supernatural from the get go.

13. Earliest source contains an odd lack of historical detail.

14. Figure dripping in mythology and supernatural claims.

15. Evidence contains other made up figures and events.

16. Plausible hypotheses that a lot of the texts are allegorical

17. Evidence that texts were routinely amended.
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Re: What Can We Reasonably Infer About The Historical Jesus?

#24316  Postby Cito di Pense » May 01, 2012 6:06 pm

archibald wrote:One could do a different list starting at zero and working up.


I guess integer arithmetic is just not real enough. You got your zero. You got your one. All else is just for show.

Binaries are for those who can only count to two. And you only need zero and one to do that, if you catch my exception.

Jesus! Either on or off! What about somebody who is neither here nor there but not nowhere, nohow?

A who's who of anonymity!
Хлопнут без некролога. -- Серге́й Па́влович Королёв

Translation by Elbert Hubbard: Do not take life too seriously. You're not going to get out of it alive.
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Re: What Can We Reasonably Infer About The Historical Jesus?

#24317  Postby Corky » May 01, 2012 7:46 pm

Comparing Jesus' existence to the existence of other personages of antiquity like Theudas or Judas of Galilee or whoever is like comparing pecans to apples. These other historical people have a human "feel" about them that Jesus doesn't have. All these other people made mistakes, human mistakes, Jesus doesn't make mistakes - none.

Jesus is simply not human - he doesn't even have normal human emotions. "Jesus wept" but not for his friend Lazarus who had died. No, he wept because Martha didn't understand that he (Jesus) was the resurrection and the life. So, Jesus resurrected Lazarus to prove to them that they should mourn him (and his death) and not this nobody Lazarus who "stinketh" in the tomb. "I (Jesus) am the important one here - do you get it now? Okay, good, now follow me you stupid ass people and let the dead bury their dead."

Jesus is simply not human - he has no human attributes at all - unlike, UNLIKE, every other "historical" human in antiquity. Therefore, he is not historical - he's not even human.
Faith is disdain for evidence, dismissal of reason, denial of logic, rejection of reality, contempt for truth.
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Re: What Can We Reasonably Infer About The Historical Jesus?

#24318  Postby archibald » May 01, 2012 9:01 pm

Cito di Pense wrote:
archibald wrote:One could do a different list starting at zero and working up.


I guess integer arithmetic is just not real enough. You got your zero. You got your one. All else is just for show.

Binaries are for those who can only count to two. And you only need zero and one to do that, if you catch my exception.

Jesus! Either on or off! What about somebody who is neither here nor there but not nowhere, nohow?



I've posted this before, but not lately:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4YF40ECLmRQ

Now that's philosophy for you. :)
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Re: What Can We Reasonably Infer About The Historical Jesus?

#24319  Postby Cito di Pense » May 01, 2012 9:05 pm

archibald wrote:
I've posted this before, but not lately:

...

Now that's philosophy for you. :)


Very clover of you. You're in your hay day.
Хлопнут без некролога. -- Серге́й Па́влович Королёв

Translation by Elbert Hubbard: Do not take life too seriously. You're not going to get out of it alive.
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Re: What Can We Reasonably Infer About The Historical Jesus?

#24320  Postby archibald » May 01, 2012 9:17 pm

Cito di Pense wrote:

Very clover of you. You're in your hay day.



I can't believe it's not Boudicca?
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